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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

I have been thinking about my earlier post all day and it is now true confession time.

If I'm going to share my life with all of you and eventually Lucas himself, then I have to share the good, the bad and the ugly...

By and large, Sea World is one of those places that is great for busy toddlers; there is tons of open and safe places for them to roam around and explore, provided there aren't swarms of people and you're up for some exercise.

So, yes while we had a very fun day yesterday, Lucas has decided that the stroller is a torture chamber.

Full.

On.

Meltdown.

Every time I tried to get him into the stroller so that we could venture on to the next exhibit.

He wanted only to be on the ground and mobile, not strapped in or confined.

There were tears and sweat and head butts and one skinned knee.

It wasn't pretty.

I have decided that I'm NOT cut out for these tantrums.

They are embarrassing and exhausting and leave me feeling completely helpless and awful. They make me want to package up my child, take him home and never leave the house with him again.

These fits of rage never last very long, but it is as though the devil himself possesses my son for four minutes and for me it is an excruciating 240 seconds. Seriously, it is the worst part of parenting... so far.

I am hoping these outbursts are just a phase. Somebody, please tell me that this is just a phase. Lucas has only been walking for three months, so I know that it is still very new and exciting to him.

So, there you have it. There were oh, four of these episodes yesterday. Luckily they got tamer as the day wore on because his little legs got tired, but nevertheless, they took their toll on both of us.

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Another Great Day In San Diego

We are so lucky to live in San Diego; home of the Padres, bountiful beaches, beautiful weather and plenty of amusement parks.

Yesterday, we tackled Sea World with our friends Jenn and Tristan.

It was a great day.

We saw penguins, sharks, sea lions, walrus, beluga whales, Shamu and met Elmo!

While I was mesmerized by the walrus, you couldn't get enough of your favorite Sesame Street characters. It was fun to see you get so tickled over meeting Elmo. I was expecting you to be scared, but you hugged all of them and were all smiles. My brave boy.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Best Is Yet To Be

Many people have asked me where my sign off line: 'the best is yet to be' is from, and I actually had to do a little research.

The first place I came across it, was as a child on an anniversary card my mother gave my father. I loved the phrase so much that it stuck with me.

From time to time I would hear it in songs on the radio and see it mass produced on various merchandise, but I never really knew where it came from until now...

Rabbi ben Ezra is a poem by British poet, Robert Browning about Abraham ibn Ezra (1092-1167), one of the great poets, mathematicians and scholars of the 12th century.

The poem begins:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be...

The poem in it's entirety is below and definitely worth the read, but I warn you it's very long.

To me, 'the best is yet to be' is the perfect sign off because I truly believe it. I am a hopeful person and love looking forward to events and what will be.

Another phrase I considered was: 'what will be is now becoming' because when I started this blog, I was a brand new mother and I knew from Day 1, it was going to be the most difficult adjustment in my life. A process. A transformation of give and take, push and pull and that day after day, I would be bound and determined to get better at.

Each day, I hope to be a better wife, mother, sister and friend tomorrow than I am today and that I learn from each experience and take them with me as I go.

As a mother, some days are a lot more trying than others and that sometimes means taking two steps back just to make one forward, but I do it, day in and day out, always hoping for the best. Some days are stellar and those are the days I live for, 'the best of' days.

The days that aren't so stellar...well, those are the days I am grateful come to an end and I get to go to bed knowing that tomorrow has to be better!

Having a child really forces you to be in the moment, which has always been a very difficult task for me, but I'm getting better at it because I have to. For Lucas' sake and my own.

Rabbi Ben Ezra
by Robert Browning

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be
afraid!'

Not that, amassing flowers,
Youth sighed, 'Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall?'
Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned, 'Nor Jove, nor Mars;
Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends
them all!'

Not for such hopes and fears
Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!
Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.

Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast;
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men;
Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the
maw-crammed beast?

Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!
A spark disturbs our clod;
Nearer we hold of God
Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge
the throe!

For thence,—a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks,—
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink
i' the scale.

What is he but a brute
Whose flesh has soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?
To man, propose this test—
Thy body at its best,
How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?

Yet gifts should prove their use:
I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn:
Eyes, ears took in their dole,
Brain treasured up the whole;
Should not the heart beat once 'How good to
live and learn'?

Not once beat 'Praise be thine!
I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now love perfect too:
Perfect I call thy plan:
Thanks that I was a man!
Maker, remake, complete,—I trust what Thou
shalt do!'

For pleasant is this flesh;
Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest:
Would we some prize might hold
To match those manifold
Possessions of the brute,—gain most, as we did best!

Let us not always say,
'Spite of this flesh to-day
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!'
As the bird wings and sings,
Let us cry, 'All good things
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than
flesh helps soul!'

Therefore I summon age
To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term:
Thence shall I pass, approved
A man, for aye removed
From the developed brute; a god though in the
germ.

And I shall thereupon
Take rest, ere I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new:
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armour to indue.

Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby;
Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold:
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame:
Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.

For, note when evening shuts,
A certain moment cuts
The deed off, calls the glory from the grey:
A whisper from the west
Shoots—'Add this to the rest,
Take it and try its worth: here dies another day.'

So, still within this life,
Though lifted o'er its strife,
Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last,
'This rage was right i' the main,
That acquiescence vain:
The Future I may face now I have proved the
Past.'

For more is not reserved
To man, with soul just nerved
To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:
Here, work enough to watch
The Master work, and catch
Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.

As it was better, youth
Should strive, through acts uncouth,
Toward making, than repose on aught found made:
So, better, age, exempt
From strife, should know, than tempt
Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid!

Enough now, if the Right
And Good and Infinite
Be named here, as thou callest thy hand thine own,
With knowledge absolute,
Subject to no dispute
From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee feel
alone.

Be there, for once and all,
Severed great minds from small,
Announced to each his station in the Past!
Was I, the world arraigned,
Were they, my soul disdained,
Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace
at last!

Now, who shall arbitrate?
Ten men love what I hate,
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
Ten, who in ears and eyes
Match me: we all surmise,
They, this thing, and I, that: whom shall my
soul believe?

Not on the vulgar mass
Called 'work', must sentence pass,
Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O'er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice:

But all, the world's coarse thumb
And finger failed to plumb,
So passed in making up the main account;
All instinct immature,
All purposes unsure,
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled
the man's amount:

Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher
shaped.

Ay, note that Potter's wheel,
That metaphor! and feel
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,—
Thou, to whom fools propound,
When the wine makes its round,
'Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize
to-day!'

Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be:
Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay
endure.

He fixed thee mid this dance
Of plastic circumstance,
This Present, thou, forsooth, wouldst fain arrest:
Machinery just meant
To give thy souls its bent,
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.

What though the earlier grooves
Which ran the laughing loves
Around thy base, no longer pause and press?
What though about thy rim,
Skull-things in order grim
Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner stress?

Look not thou down but up!
To uses of a cup,
The festal board, lamp's flash, and trumpet's peal,
The new wine's foaming flow,
The Master's lips a-glow!
Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what need'st
thou with earth's wheel?

But I need, now as then,
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
And since, not even while the whirl was worst,
Did I—to the wheel of life
With shapes and colours rife,
Bound dizzily,—mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst:

So, take and use Thy work,
Amend what flaws may lurk,
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the
aim!
My times be in Thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!
Let age approve of youth, and death complete
the same!

I told you it was long!!

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Letters For Lucas

I can't believe I have been at this for one year today! Over 300 posts.

Letters For Lucas has gone from what I thought would be a passing phase to an absolute necessity and something that I think about all.the.time. I enjoy writing more than ever and I am grateful for all of my readers and especially the comments that they leave.

This is my outlet and documentation of my son's childhood and my life as his mother.

I am proud to be apart of the mommy blogging community, look forward to the next year and beyond and I'm thrilled to have Lucas' dad guest posting here today for the first time.

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Lucas,

I know that I rarely call you by your name, but since this will be printed and is somewhat permanent, I’ll refrain from calling you Babu, Bubba, Crazy Larry or P. Your mom started this blog as a creative and social outlet in the hopes of helping her understand and enjoy a new role in life, motherhood. In her early posts, she wrote to you. Things progressed to her writing about you. Shortly thereafter, she began to very bravely write about herself. While you will appreciate the first two formats, it’s in the third where you will get to know her best. I, on the other hand, am a private and emotional person who will always share with his thoughts and feelings, but I plan to do it discretely. I’m a reluctant guest here, but I love your mom deeply, so I’ll share with you, 110 confirmed followers and god knows how many unregistered lurkers, some things I know about being your dad.

I wasn’t worried when we brought you home from the hospital. With nearly twenty hours of classroom style preparation, immaculate transportation, fully outfitted nursery and a college fund in place, I thought my next job was to continue looking cool and hand out cigars. Somewhere between five miles from the hospital and five days of being home, I realized that I had studied for the wrong test, you didn’t like riding in the car, you didn’t want to sleep anywhere but in a swing at the foot of our bed, college was a long way away, nobody looks cool without sleep and none of my friends or family smoke.

Watching every single recorded minute of the three-week-long 2009 Tour de France with your newborn son is heaven on earth. From Saturday, July 4 to Sunday, July 26 we watched the top cyclists in the world ride over 3500 kilometers. With a coffee in one hand and my month old son (you) in the other, getting up at 4:30 has never been so great. During the four-hour broadcast I got to watch you wiggle, yawn, sleep and hang out while your mom got a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. In case the 2009 TdF ever comes up in conversation, please remember that we (you and I) decided very early in the race that it was naïve of Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong to expect a talent like Alberto Contador to serve as domestique to the aged seven-time champion. Contador danced on the pedals like a full-figured kid chasing an ice cream truck and earned his rightful spot on the podium.

I will never, ever forget how I felt the first time you were injured and to make matters worse, it was my fault. You were about seven months old and were really starting to enjoy rough play with me. I would roll you around on the bed while you laughed and laughed. I would stand you on my chest and say “Lucas you’re crushing me” while you stared in awe. Then one day you were laying on my chest and I rolled you off onto the couch unexpectedly. You landed on your little hand and I heard a few cracks (worse than cracking knuckles, but not quite bone breaking) and then you screamed. I felt awful. Within an instant I thought of every parent on every talk show explaining that they would rather have 10x the pain than watch their child struggle through what they had been through. Thank you for forgiving me faster than you could catch your breath. You’re a big man little buddy.

I assumed more risk than I should have while participating in the Targa Tasmania and living to tell about it will make me a better father. My friend Nick asked me to be his co-driver in the 2010 Targa Tasmania. This legendary five-day rally in Tasmania consists of thirty-nine individually timed stages on public roads that have been closed temporarily for racing. You were ten months old when your mom and I took you to Syndey where we spent a few days as tourists. From there, you and mom went to New Caledonia to see her friends while I met Nick in Melbourne where we picked up the Porsche 911 that we had entered in the race. Nick and I had discussed ad nauseam how we were there for fun and how our overall time didn’t matter. That’s an easy conversation to have over a Subway sandwich, but when strapped into a racecar and staring at a time clock on the start line, that argument enters your mind about as often as gas mileage. We were fast, consistent and getting better everyday until our enthusiasm exceeded our skill. Late on a wet and rainy day four, we took a corner way too fast, ran out of road and hit at tree, head on. Trees don’t move. They don’t absorb impact like when you hit another car or guardrail. We walked away from that impact with our egos and wallets bruised, but our bodies intact. We were lucky. All I could do from that moment on was think about seeing you and mom again at the Sydney airport. With tears in my eyes, I waited for you to pick me up at the airport. Your mom didn’t quite understand the look on my face, but when I hugged you both the way I did, she realized the incident was worse than I had explained on the phone. I was lucky enough to learn that lesson without being injured. Not everyone gets that chance.

Lucas, I promise not to do really dangerous things anymore. I will eat well, exercise, have moles inspected and go to the doctor at the first sign of a problem. I will do my best to be around for as long as possible. You and your mother mean the world to me and I cherish the responsibility that is on my shoulders.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Under Construction

Letters For Lucas is getting a brand new look!!

Please pardon the dust and be sure to let me know if you see anything that you think looks funky, have suggestions for additional changes or ideas for elements I should add.

I'd also love to hear what you think of the new design and if you are a faithful reader and have a blog of your own, I now have my very own badge. :)

A special thank you to Alissa at Simple Sweet Design for all of her patience and creativity.

The best is yet to be.


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Lost In Translation

Lucas, you know so many words, but trying to communicate with one another is still very difficult and frustrating for both of us. You and I had our first of what is sure to be MANY major communication breakdowns this morning.

You woke up in a delightful mood; happy and all smiles, but once we got downstairs and I started trying to make your breakfast, that all went to hell.

You spotted something on the cluttered kitchen counter top that you wanted and wanted BAD. You whined and and cried for it and kept saying "mama mama", which I took as "help me", but help from me was the LAST thing you wanted.


When I picked you up, you arched your back and pushed me away, so I put you back down on the ground, which only escalated your anger.

There was a pile of mail, a pair of your shoes, all the breakfast ingredients; a banana, milk carton, box of cereal, container of apple sauce, a cutting board, knife, bowl, spoon, and my wallet spilling out of my purse. As I meticulously picked up each and every item, showed you and asked, "is this it?", your frustration grew and grew.

You were so mad and started the ugly cry, complete with big crocodile tears, a huge pouty lip and a look in your eyes that pleaded, "why don't you understand me?!".

I was just about at my wits end with your repetitive "no's" and sad face that I almost broke down myself.
Why was I having such a hard time figuring out what you wanted and why was this all happening before 8 o'clock in the morning?

All of a sudden, it hit me.

You call Daddy's phone "mama" because his wallpaper is a picture of you and me. You also call my wallet "mama" because of the picture on my driver's license that you see as soon as you open it. The minute I handed my wallet to you, all was right in the world again. Thank God.


The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whenever You Call You Friend

I never miss Natalie's blog, Mommy of a Monster and I am so proud of her presence in the mommy blogging community. If you aren't reading her blog, you are truly missing out.

Natalie is the mother of three; a three-year-old son and one year-old twin daughters. Her writing is witty and heartfelt. She has over 400 followers and claims that I helped her get started, but at this point, we are inspiring each other. After all that's what friends are for....

Thank you, Natalie for guest posting here today and I wish you continued success and hope that I get to see your beautiful face soon, my friend.

The best is yet to be.

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Having a "friend" can mean so many different things. Sometimes it is someone you have lunch with everyday at work. Sometimes it is someone you talk to each day either on the phone or by e-mail. Sometimes it is a person whom you've known forever, but don't talk to except a few times a year.


Some friends start out as enemies, or end up as enemies. Friends make us laugh, cry, mad, and happy. They support us, encourage us, and hold us when we cry. Some friends are our "fun" friends, some our counselors and some are like family.

We have different friends for different seasons of our lives. Friends can change when jobs do, or when life does. For instance, when you have a serious boyfriend or get married, you might not hang out with your single friends as much. Or when you are going through a difficult time in your life, you might lean on your friends that have also been through similar situations.

I have known Tonya for about 8 years. I consider her a very good friend of mine. I know what's going on in her life everyday through reading her blog and tweeting with her on Twitter. I know she loves reading, wine, and Dave Matthews Band...music in general for that matter. I know she doesn't cook very often. I know that she's lived and traveled all over the world. I know she lost her parents in a tragic accident. I feel like I know her sister, even though I've never met her. I know Tonya has an amazing group of friends that she's been friends with for years, and they regularly all get together. I know she married an amazing man, had the cutest son you've ever seen and is happy.

But I don't know her favorite color. Or favorite food. Or who gave her her first kiss. I've never met her husband or Lucas. We didn't attend each other's weddings, don't know each other's birthdays, and haven't physically seen each other in years, even though we live less than two hours away from each other. And yet, I still consider her a good friend!

During the years I've known her, there were probably four years that we fell out of touch with each other. We first met while working together at a marketing agency. We worked in different departments and rarely talked shop - when we talked it was always on a more personal level. Oddly enough, we never went to lunch together or saw each other outside of work, and yet we still developed a friendship.

We got back in touch (thank you, Facebook!) shortly before I found out she was pregnant with Lucas. We started chatting about pregnancy and all things mom. I found out a few months later I was pregnant with the twins and so we got to experience our pregnancies together.

And when Lucas was born, she joined the new and exciting world of motherhood. The joy, excitement, fear, frustration, worrying, and all other emotions that go with it. Like the rest of us, she realized quickly she didn't know what she was doing, but kept doing it anyways. And she's doing it well!

For me and I'm sure many others, when you become a mom for the first time your friendships change. Before I had my son, who is three now, I remember listening to moms praise or complain about their kids and remember thinking "Don't you have anything else to talk about?!". I remember moms saying how hard it was to deal with their toddlers and I would think "How hard could it be? He's a lot littler than you and you're in charge!" Ha! Little did I know that being a mom does not necessarily mean you're in charge!

After having my son, I realized that I was stepping into a new chapter of my life, and everything was changing. My friends that had children already suddenly became people that I needed; I had so many questions, needed so many tips, wanted recommendations on everything. I suddenly understood that I knew nothing about being a mom, and each of my friends stepped up to help me.

And those things that I was afraid to admit to myself and certainly terrified to say out loud? Things like "I don't like my kid today" and "This is not what I had in mind when I wanted to become a mom" or "I'm not sure I can do this", I finally told a close friend, who was an experienced mom, how I was feeling. And she told me it was completely normal! I'm not a bad mom...I'm just a mom!

I think after having children, our friendships become more open; more honest. We aren't afraid to say the wrong thing because we (finally) realize there are no wrong feelings when you are learning something new. And let's face it, motherhood is a constant, ever changing, never ending adventure.

Tonya, I'm glad to be going down the winding, bumpy road with you. We're in for a fun ride!

Happy one year blogoversary, my friend. I look forward to reading Letters for Lucas everyday. It has and will always be one of my favorite blogs. Keep on writing your beautiful words and sharing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings with all of us. And without your encouragement and support I would have never started my blog. So more than mere words can ever say, thank you for the inspiration!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kidsville

Today, Lucas and I spent the afternoon at Kidsville, a wonderful little city made just for children.
My Mommy & Me friend, Jenn told me about Kidsville and I was really excited to check it out, but I had no idea how much fun we were in for.
The place is huge and it is a child's heaven. There's a play kitchen, grocery store, school house, fire station, pet shop, castle, hospital, tons of toys, slides and tyke-size vehicles.
What a great way to keep cool, tire out the my little monkey and keep him safe while he explores, plays and makes new friends.
There is a $10 fee for a one day admission or $65 for a three month pass. Talk about a great deal!

File this under 'I wish I had thought of that'.

The best is yet to be.

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Guest Post

This Friday marks my one year blogoversary and to celebrate, I have asked my three favorite readers to guest post this week.

The first is your aunt Leah, who shows up here once a month or so and shares her wit and wisdom.

Leah has her own blog, LA 'n' LA.

Dear Lucas,

I believe there is one thing that your mom may love more than your daddy, me and even you and that is her beloved blog, Letters for Lucas.

Yes, she sure does love her blog and has surprisingly found the time to post just about every single day. Not to mention, she now has over 100 followers! That’s a lot of people checking up on her (and you) daily. So, where does she find the time to blog? Well, fortunately you occasionally will take a mid-morning nap and of course go to bed delightfully early - around 7:30. This leaves her just enough time to clean up after YOU, catch up on some TV or watch a movie with your dad and then sit down with a glass of wine and blog.

She always has things to say. Sure, it’s not always all about you and what new and fun things you are doing, sometimes, it’s just about her and what she is currently interested in. I really think/hope you are going to absolutely adore reading her blog when you are older. I hope you know how lucky you are to have a mom who is keeping track of your life this way. I wish that your Grandma Adams had done something like this for us when we were growing up but then again, we didn’t have blogs or even the Internet back then. I know, it was a crazy and different world! Ha ha! : )

Your mom has certainly inspired me and my blog. I definitely would not have even started my own if it hadn’t been for her. She is always encouraging me to write. When our parents died, one of the first things we did was go to a bookstore and buy journals. At the time I wasn’t sure how writing would help me deal with my grief, but I took that purple journal and began writing that night. Immediately, it felt so good to put on paper how sad and alone I felt. Then, a couple nights before their memorial service, I read out loud to her what I wrote and that felt even better. I think this is why we both enjoy blogging so much. We get to explain how we feel and share our worlds with strangers, who are now friends, read it. Often times, we learn that we are not alone. I suppose it's human nature to want to be understood by others.

Your mom is a great writer and really makes you feel connected and interested in her subject matter. She may think that this is a crazy idea but she should really consider being a professional writer. I love how her writing style is just like the way she talks. Seriously, it’s like she is sitting right there next to you having a conversation with you. How many people can really do that?

Congratulations to your mom on her 1 year blogoversary! May she continue her blog with the same excitement and enjoyment that she does today. And in her now famous last words, “the best is yet to be”.

I love you, LMW.

Your Aunt Leah

Thanks, Leah. I do love my blog and I'm glad you are enjoying having one too. Writing is like therapy.

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Celebrating 41 Years

My parents have been on my mind all day.

It's always the milestone days that get me.

Today would have been their 41st wedding anniversary.

Theirs was a perfect match. Where he was weak, she was strong and vice versa. I don't remember them ever fighting about anything.

Ever.

Honestly.

There were never any slamming doors or my waking up to loud yelling in the middle of the night. They were both very level headed and freakishly calm. They were educators. They knew how to talk and they knew how to listen.

Sure, there were disagreements, but they never lasted very long and I couldn't tell you what they were about. Perhaps they sheltered me from their arguments, but it seemed as though they knew the fine art of compromise and what ever came their way, they worked together...beautifully.

They were a couple to emulate and I wish that they were still here to celebrate today.
Here's to you, Mom and Dad.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Whirlwind Weekend

Ah, it's finally Friday!

I am so excited about my weekend that I could pee in my pants. We have not one but TWO Dave Matthews Band shows with my husband's 20 year *gulp* high school reunion in between.

The first concert is tonight in San Diego and these tickets:

have been on the refrigerator staring at me for months!! I love Dave and the boys and look forward to seeing them every summer. This will be my 18th and 19th show, much to my husband's chagrin. He has fun, but he'd never admit it.

I can't really explain why I love the Dave Matthews Band so much. Their music livens my soul, lifts my spirits and makes me believe in hope, peace and harmony for all mankind. Oh, and I think the lead singer is an amazing talent and in the words of my new favorite blogger, Roxanne at Days, "I'd lick his teeth".

Tomorrow morning, we leave bright and early for the Bay Area for the reunion.
Lucas grandparents will watch him while we mix and mingle and then we head home for show #2 in LA.

This second show is not on DMB's tour schedule because it's being hosted in someone's - wait for it - BACKYARD!! Talk about peeing in my pants!! Can you say: once in a lifetime opportunity?! The event benefits the Tuition Assistance Fund at Heschel West Day School in Agoura, California by providing need-based scholarship to students. Heschel West teaches children in preschool through 5th grade "how to do things right and to do the right thing".
I cannot wait to report back on this. :) :) :) Unfortunately no cameras or videos are allowed. :( :( :(

If you're still with me, I bet you're wondering what on earth I have to Flip Off today. Well, true, my life is pretty damn good right now, but I can ALWAYS find something irritating. This was a great week so I only have one teensy tiny flip and that honor is bestowed upon:


PACKING!


I hate packing.

I hate packing for a weekend, a long weekend, a week, even an overnight. It was bad enough when it was just me, but now that I have to pack for a 14 month old as well, I want to pull my hair out.

I pride myself on my 'To Do' lists and being uber organized, but when it comes to packing... ugh! Forget it! FLIP OFF!! The difficulty for me lies within the question: How am I suppose to know what I'm going to want to wear there based on what I feel like wearing today? And don't even get me started on shoes! For Lucas, it's: What if he has a blow out or gets sick, are two outfits a day going to be enough? Will it be chilly, will the hotel have sheets and blankets for the crib, etc. etc. etc.

If there was a company that would pack for me, I would seriously hire them, without even blinking an eye!


Thank you to Gigi at Kludgy Mom for this fun and very necessary (some weeks more than others) meme. This week she is taking her flips across the Atlantic to Pumpkin and Piglet in the U.K.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend and please be sure to come back next week as I celebrate my one year blogoversary!

The best is yet to be.

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A Letter From Lucas

Dear Mommy,

I know we are still getting to know each other, but here's what I can tell about you so far:

You must adore reading because I have a million books and you read to me all. the. time.

You must take pride in me looking my best because I'm always dressed in a matching shirt and pants. I'm always very comfy too.

You must yearn for whatever is in that funny red and white can because it's the first thing you drink every morning. When are you going to let me have a taste?

You must delight in seeing me smile because you sing silly songs, make silly voices, and perform silly dances that make me laugh.

You must care for me a lot because you take me to the doctor when I'm sick, bathe me, brush my teeth (all six of them) every night, clean my ears and nose (which I hate), keep my nails cut back and make all of my food at home from fresh organic produce.

You must think I'm pretty cute because you constantly have a camera in my face. I must admit, I love seeing pictures of myself too.

You must enjoy the outdoors because we go for a walk almost every day, just when I start to get a little fussy. I like it when you point out surfers, trees, plants and dogs.

You must savor turkey sandwiches because we stop to get one several times a week. At least now I'm getting my own!

You must want me to be a well-rounded individual because you take me to music class, swimming lessons, trips to far away places and let me play with finger paints.

You must assume I enjoy going to the place with all the food and bright lights more than I like going to the place with the fish and Legos. You're wrong.

You must really like that small white rectangular shaped thing you carry around with us everywhere because you talk to people on it (like Daddy!), take photos with it and do a lot of typing on it all day long. Sometimes I get to see Elmo on it, which is very fun for me.

You must need alone time every now and then because you leave me at home with different women and disappear for a few hours each week. I miss you while you are gone but, truth be told, I enjoy this time apart too.

You must cherish your friends because we spend a lot of time visiting with them. Lucky for me they all seem to have babies too!

You must appreciate it when I lay in my crib and fall asleep because when I wake up, you are always very happy to see me.

You must love me a lot because you give me lots of hugs and kisses.

You must believe
that I am special because you tell me every day.

I love you a lot too and I am very glad you're my mommy.

Love,
Lucas

The best is yet to be.


This post is for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #1 Dear Mommy and/or Daddy...(write a letter to yourself from one of your children)

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When-sDaze

You know you're a mom when...
  • You spend at least 30 minutes each night after your child goes to sleep reassembling your house. Sometimes it's just easier to let them empty the entire contents of your drawers, than pick up after them as they go. I have learned this the hard way!!
  • Your computer screen has little tiny finger prints all over it, your phone has a new crack and your remote control is probably broken.
  • You consider the hand held vacuum cleaner one of the greatest inventions ever and aren't ashamed to admit you have used it, not only on your floors and counter tops, but on your child as well.
  • You are beyond grateful for the LOCK button on your refrigerator's ice and water dispenser.
  • You wonder why there aren't PSAs warning us of the dangers involved with turning around to give your child a toy, book, snack or bottle while driving.
  • You give yourself a mental 'pat on the back' for making it through yet another day every night just before your head hits the pillow in pure utter exhaustion and delight.
I look forward to coming up with this list every week, Arizona Mamma, so thank you for developing the meme. Otherwise I fear I'd just have all these 'you know you're a mom whens bouncing around my head'. Please visit Our Daze in the Sun for more!

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Can true fulfillment come if a woman leaves her husband to hopscotch around the world tromping on pasta, dudes and eastern meditation? In a word: yes!

I read Eat Pray Love as soon as it came out WAY back in 2006 and like most women, I gobbled it up and devoured every page. I identified with Elizabeth Gilbert's journey and I found her story enlightening, brave and romantic.

I, too was (and still am) a thirty-something year old women, who had been divorced because I felt trapped in a going nowhere marriage and wanted to run off in search of myself and wondered if I could ever forgive and be open to love again someday. Gilbert shares her experiences so vividly and had me nodding along the whole entire way.

Whether her publisher paid her to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia and write about her journey or not, I still loved this book and gave several copies to friends as gifts because I knew they'd love it too.

I haven't a clue where my own copy of the book disappeared too, but thankfully I did write down some key passages that spoke right to my heart:

My heart skipped a beat and then flat-out tripped over itself and fell on its face. Then my heart stood up, brushed itself off, took a deep breath and announced: "l want a spiritual teacher." I literally mean that it was my heart who said this, speaking through my mouth. I felt this weird division in myself, and my mind stepped out of my body for a moment, spun around to face me heart in astonishment and silently asked, "You DO?"

...traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth and cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible colicky, restless newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to - I just don't care.

Bel far niente - the beauty of doing nothing. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life's achievement.

When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.

The Bhagavad Gita--the ancient Indian Yogic text--says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection.

I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt--this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.

Yoga is the effort to experience one's divinity personally and then to hold on to that experience forever. Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and the true nature of the world (and yourself) to be revealed to you.

A true soul mate is probably the most important you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it....

Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well--that would be the end of the universe.

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.

I was greatly anticipating the screen adaptation of Eat Pray Love and when I found out one of my favorite actresses was going to be the lead, I was even more excited.

I saw the movie over the weekend and it did not disappoint. Love her or hate her, Julia Roberts is larger than life and truly shines in the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, and spending a little time with Javier Bardem is always a nice treat too. The scenery is gorgeous, and if nothing else, maybe you'll leave the theater with daydreams of taking a fantastic voyage to a distance land.

I enjoy reading about people's self discoveries because it helps me with my own journey. I don't believe you have to go to around the world to find yourself, for most of us, it's not even a possibility. For real inner change to occur, I think you just need to be open to it. You have to learn to be still with yourself and be very patient. Transformation can happen at any time and any where.

You can meditate in the comfort of your own home, take a painting class, or learn a new language. Get lost in a good book, movie or bottle of wine. Talk, listen, write, feel, touch, taste and cry. Surround yourself with people and things that make you feel good about yourself and your place in this world. And never take any of this life for granted or too seriously.

I think we are all always transforming and growing into the person we wish to be.

The best is yet to be.

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14 Months

Unbelievably another month of milestones is behind us.

At 14 months, you:
  • Can 'ask' to go to bed, for food and a bottle.
  • Had your first Subway kids meal! You are no stranger to Subway, but this was very exciting for me, seeing as I eat there 2-3 times a week. No more sharing turkey and cheese.
  • Know what sound kitties, dogs, cows, snakes, monkeys and sheep make and your dad and I ask you all the time because it's adorable and hilarious.
  • Know where your head, belly, toes, nose, teeth and ears are. We ask you about these a lot too.
  • Recognize pictures of "mama", "dada" and aunt Leah, whom you call "Eah"
  • Still enjoy Kindermusik class and swimming lessons and we have signed up for another round of each.
  • Got your first haircut and it instantly turned you into *sigh* a little boy.
  • Have molars starting to come in and you are taking it all in stride. Thankfully, teething has never kept you awake at night or been a big issue for you at all.
  • Caught your second cold from me this week. Sorry. We have both been a mess.
  • Can get on and off the couch which scares the bejesus out of me!
  • Can walk up stairs...with reluctant assistance.
  • Took a tumble down 5 stairs this week (of course, the week Daddy is away), which scared a whole lot more than the bejesus out of me.
You are a busy little bee and into absolutely EVERYTHING. I can't turn my back for a minute without you grabbing for my cup of water, items out of the refrigerator, or heading right towards the toilet. It's exhausting and wonderful watching you play and discover and become your own person. You are caring and funny and delightful. Keep on keeping on.

The best is yet to be.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Fun Day

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack and Sons of the Desert had to be one of the most over played country cross over songs of 2000.

I listened to it again the other day and it struck me differently than it ever had. I don't think I have heard since becoming a mother and it really is a perfect wish list for a child and the life they have.

I Hope You Dance
Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance
I hope you dance
(Dance)
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder
(Dance)
Where those years have gone
(Dance)

What more could a mother ask for?

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

No Complaints Here

Instead of flipping stuff off today, which I enjoy doing oh so much, I thought I would switch gears a little.

Okay, a lot!

On Monday, I blogged about being On My Own for the week while my husband is away on business. We are on Day 4/7 and so far so good. We have gone though a mega-size package of Boogie Wipes, countless boxes of Kleenex and OJ and watched too much television, but we are hanging tough!

On Tuesday, my friend posted this video (Soldiers Surprising Their Loved Ones: PART ONE) on her Facebook page and I haven't been able to shake it from my mind ever since. As I watched it, tears rolled down my face because it put being apart and the challenges of doing it on my own into a whole new perspective.

The men and women that are serve our country deserve our thanks and our respect, but the family that they leave at home deserve that and a whole lot more in my mind, especially the children. They are so young and don't understand the concept of war or death. They know Daddy's hugs and the way he smells and he makes them feel protected.

Just look at these faces when they see their loved one return home. Safely. After months of asking "when's Daddy coming home?" and wondering "is he okay?" and "when will I see him again?"; it's pure joy, utter disbelief, delight and love.



I have NOTHING to complain about!

Happy Friday, everyone. Have a glorious weekend!

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grease Is The Word

For my seventh birthday, I asked for and got(!) my very own record player!!

It was sweet.

My father painstakingly went over how to handle a record and place in on the turntable and how to gently set the needle on the vinyl without scratching it.

I was in heaven. I finally had my own a stereo system in MY room all set up on cement blocks and lumbar yard wood, which even today I think would look very cool.

My first record was the
Grease soundtrack.

I played those records (it was a double set, remember?) to DEATH. I knew every word to every song and made up dances based on the one single time I had seen the movie in the theater. I was just like every other little girl in 1979.

Only, I had a mother with very bad eyesight.

Remember the album cover? How could you not, it's iconic! Dreamy greaser Danny, the original good girl good bad Sandy and a pencil.
I remember it as if it happened yesterday...

My mother came into my bedroom, probably without knocking and caught me shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yipitty boom de boom-ing to We Go Together and saw the pencil, jumped to conclusions and then started yelling at me about writing on the album cover and not taking care of the things she and my dad had given me, etc., etc. Once she calmed down we had a good laugh. Well, my dad and I did.

C'mon mom, there are worse things I could do, but deface my precious LP? Never!

The best is yet to be.


I don't know if it's allowed, but this is my second post this week for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #4: The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stay Blue

But my deepest and most secret love belongs to the fair-haired and the blue-eyed, the bright children of life, the happy, the charming and the ordinary. - Thomas Mann

All my life I have been complimented on my eye color.

Strangers have asked me more than once if my eyes were real. As opposed to what, I'm not sure. They must have thought I was wearing colored contacts.

My eyes are blue.

Sometimes they are unbelievably blue depending on the color of the sky, my disposition or what I am wearing.

I have only met two other people with eyes as blue as mine...my father and my son.


This is one of my favorite photos of me and my dad.

This is one of my favorite photos of Lucas.

I am so grateful that the three of us share this trait.

According to a Boston Globe article written in 2006, blue eyes have become increasingly rare among American children, with only one out of every six or 16.6%, which is 49.8 million out of 300 million (22.4% of white Americans) of the total United States population having blue eyes.

Of course, I realize that Lucas' eye color can still change at any time. My mother used to say that she was blond haired and blue-eyed until she was five and then magically, mysteriously she turned into a brown-eyed brunette.


Something tells that he's going to stay blue.

The best is yet to be.


I wrote this post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - Prompt #3: The most unbelievable blue eyes you've ever seen.

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