Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Partly because I don't know how to blog from my iPad, but mostly because I want to focus all of my attention on my family, I'm taking a two week break from Realized Mama.  In Maui!  In the sun!  By the pool!  At the beach!  Drinking margaritas!  Snorkeling!  Hand washing laundry in a hotel sink! (I tossed that last bit in to deflect hate).  I promise to take lots of pictures to share when we're back in February.  Aloha!

Something Magical

I joined the girls for quiet time yesterday afternoon, too tired to charge through the day without some rest.  We cozied up in my bed with piles of books, fuzzy pink blankets and Angelina Ballerina.  At 3:30, like clockwork, their warm bodies started fidgeting and they somersaulted out of their blankets, back to it with gusto.  Genevieve noticed it first.  Something magical is happening she whispered.  Snow!  They squealed down the stairs, bundled up and ran outside to feel it melt on their tongues. 

(Why yes, Genevieve does have an extraordinarily long tongue.  Carry on.)

We moved on to breaking ice,

and watching new cement dry under hay in the lumber yard - more exciting than watching paint dry, I swear.


Roughing It

I'm trying out a new fancy parenting technique called ignore your children so they can figure out how to play on their own.  So far so good.  With the absence of my attempts at catering to their every entertainment need, they built a tent,

with a campfire, wildlife, picnic table, and "jumping pool" (also known as a loophole for getting away with jumping on the couch, torturing the cat, and eating in the living room):

The new slacker mom me pretended to not pay attention to their imaginative hobo camp construction and crossed a few tasks off my list. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Packing for One

When it comes to packing for a trip I always put it off until the night before we go.  In the week leading up to that, though, I do a lot of talking about packing, thinking about packing, worrying about what to pack, kicking myself for being such a packing procrastinator, waking up in the middle of several nights thinking about packing.  It's ridiculous. 

Today, while driving home in the sunshine after two kid free hours getting my hair cut and running errands, I heard my packing nag voice start up.  I told her to shut up, that it isn't easy to pack for a family of four for two weeks.  She told me to stop being such a freak, to pretend I was packing for just myself for a tropical island getaway to make it fun, to do things in stages, to be thankful that I get to be in paradise with my family. 

So, when I got home I set the girls up with an art project in their room and focused on packing for just me!  The me that easily gets sucked into the swirl of what everyone around me needs and loses track of herself.

I laid it all out on my bed, thought about what I really needed to bring and what I could live without.  It was a simple and small gift to myself.

I'm still faced with reality.  The miscellaneous snorkel gear and floaties that need to be sorted out, the lost pink crock that needs to be found, the not-so-orderly pile of stuff accumulating in our bedroom,

but now I'm not overwhelmed.  Small gift.  Big lesson.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Care and Feeding

I was upstairs with the girls and took a moment to look out the window towards the wood shop just in time to see this giant prehistoric log teetering from a crane in the lumber yard, Wes and Drew scurrying around below readying a spot for it to land. 

This big beauty of an old growth Douglas Fir was unearthed from the Joe Leary slough just up the road.  A treasure from the past with a mysterious history soon to be decoded by a dendrochronologist. 

The girls and I waited for the sawdust to settle before bundling up to check it out, noses pressed to the glass they watched their dad.  What a gift for them to see and understand what he does for work. "Is this tree older than our planet, Earth?" G asked as she sized it up.

My brother and I have been spending our time well during his visit.  Watching the cousins play, cooking, eating, playing, taking walks, telling stories.  Are you bored?  I keep asking him.  No.  I'm not.  I'm perfectly content.  Are you hungry?  No, I'm not, we just ate.  Oh, right,

and then Flora sneaks around the corner into the kitchen, gives her sign for "more" with a twinkle in her eye at the question of hunger, and on we go with the care and feeding of three little girls. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Ship Without Her Sail

A cart without a horse, a leash without a collar, a ship without her sail, ice cream without a freezer, a saw without a blade - you get the point...a blogger without her camera!  No!  Say it isn't so!  Have faith, it will turn up.  In the meantime, I've been soaking up some real time with my brother and his littlest little.  He's been painting nails (fuzzy iPhone camera photo documentation),


while I've been on cheerio duty with my niece Flora,

Marguerite is mostly enamored but sometimes bowled over by the addition of her baby cousin into our fray, so she and I slipped out for a walk before dinner.  The wind was strong and cold, gusts carrying her song "twinkle twinkle little star, how me wonder...twinkle twinkle little star, how me wonder..." to my ears from the stroller. 

Fingers crossed for my camera to materialize tomorrow so I can share more of this trio of girls.  Anne without Diana, a light bulb without electricity, toast without butter....sigh. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

Genevieve:  People think my pink coat is fancy,

but what they probably don't understand is that it's actually a bunch of pink mohawks sewn together.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Quote of the Day

Genevieve:  Do hula girls have veins in their tongues?  Were pineapples ever animals?

A sign that we're gearing up for Maui.  15 more sleeps.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Polar Bear Plunge

The first of the year started with brilliant sunshine streaming into our bedroom through the fog and an early morning cup of coffee.  Much better than starting off with a hangover, a payoff to spending New Years at home in bed, watching the fireworks blast off in the distance over Samish Island. 

We bundled the girls up as much as they'd let us and headed to Lake Padden to watch a crowd of brave souls take the polar bear plunge.

I'm not ever planning on joining this crowd.  Spectating was cold enough for me.

Marguerite took the lead for a walk along the shore,

and G busted out this move every time she had an audience.


Bring it 2013!