May 28, 2007

In the Dark

So, it's Memorial Day, a three day weekend, Kevin's home, and the weather is great, and I'm sick. Yup. Sick. I've got the usual head cold with a fever, runny nose and wicked sore throat so pretty much, all plans are off. This sucks. Grrr.

Now, I have a strange fascination with sickness. I'm not at all squeamish at the sight of blood. I was the kid who kept peeking under her band-aid and picking at her scabs before they were ready to fall off. I adore poking and prodding all sorts of cuts and lesions and find myself over come with a strange morbid curiosity around wounds and cuts. Have a splinter you need pulled? I'm your girl. Have an ingrown toenail that you need dug out? Call me up! Oddly enough, Kevin has no stomach for my strange love of all things icky and he appears to derive no please what-so-ever from examining all my hurts and scraps. Odd, no?

So really, it's no surprise that whenever I get sick, I delved willingly into every sick symptom. I marvel over the green color of my snot, I find myself almost giddy as I plot my rising temp and my all-time favorite sickness event is the viewing of the soar throat.

Ah yes, the unsurpassed joy of looking at a throat lined with white cold soars. Is there anything more fascinating, I ask you? Poor Kevin is frequently dragged into the bathroom with me to hold the flashlight while I admire my ravaged throat in all its red and white spotted glory. Unfortunately, now that we have kids, my joy is often squashed because finding a working flashlight in this house is about on par with finding a square foot of clean floor. It just ain't happening people.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about the disaster preparation. Living in Oregon for the last 10+ years, I've discovered that losing power is pretty much guaranteed. In case you didn't know, we tend to get just a little bit of rain here over the winter months and power lines tend to drop like flies. For just this reason, I have strategically placed flashlights and candles throughout the house. In closets, drawers, and pantries I've stashed a torch or two so I don't have to stumble around in the dark. Well, my love of cold sores is but a mere ember compared to my children's bonfire of love for flashlights. To say they adore them is a severe understatement. Short of ice cream covered in sprinkles, nothing brings forth a squeal of glee in my kids like a flashlight. Go figure.

Now, here's the problem. I open the coat closet to get a coat and Leina spots the flashlight I have thoughtfully stashed in there and her eyes grow as big as saucers.

"Oh, mommy, can I please, please, please have that flashlight?" she'll ask dancing in place at the mere thought of getting her grubby mitts on it.

"No honey, that's for emergencies only." I'll reply in my best mommy voice.

"But mommy, please! Just for a minute! I promise I'll put it back when I'm done!" Leina will whine as she tugs mournfully at my leg.

"No Leina, every time I let you play with the flashlight you forget to turn it off and the batteries die. This is not a toy."

"Please mommy, please!" Leina begs me, "I promise to turn it off when I'm done. I promise! I Promise! I Promise!"

About now, I begin to cave. I mean, it's just a flashlight. I can pop in new batteries. It's not like she's asking to play with the kitchen knives.

"OK, but Leina?" I relent, "you have to give it back when you are done. OK?"

"Oh thank you mommy, thank you, thank you, you are the bestest mommy ever!" she shouts and runs right up to sister. Of course, she immediately begins waving the flashlight under Kulia's nose and chants, "look what I've got, and you can't have one, 'cause you're a baby, na na na na na."

Kulia, of course, reverts to her place of power and unleashes a scream/whine/cry in an octave that only a younger sibling unfairly scorned can reach. Toddling over to me, bottom lip quivering, big crocodile tears dripping slowly from her big eyes, she holds out her pudgy baby hand toward me and with a word of protest, I place the back-up flashlight into her little hand.

And they are off. They disappear for an hour or so doing who knows what with their hard won flashlights. I won't actually see those flashlights for another 3 weeks when they will mysterious reappear in their underwear drawer or mixed in with my curling irons. Inevitably, the kids will be right next to me when they are unearthed and the whole dance will begin again.

So the kids are happy because they get their flashlights. Kevin is happy because he is no longer pulled into the bathroom and forced to inspect my throat sores. I'm the only one who suffers really but then, it really isn't so bad because Leina thinks I am the best mom. Ever!

Posted by Chrissie at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2007

Something New

I've decided to try a new approach to life. You know, just for the fun of it. Ha.

I consider myself a very efficient person. I pride myself on moving quickly and decisively. I can whip together a meal, whirlwind clean a room, or organize a closet with lightening speed. I'm one of those people who would rather find a way to balance 12 grocery bags full of food and make one trip rather than slowly carry in two bags at a time. For whatever reason, I like to rush. I like to "bang" things out. I have little patience for the slow and steady approach. That just isn't me.

But, I've decided that maybe I could do with a little more patience in my life. You see, the side effect of my current break neck lifestyle is that while I can whiz through my primary objection, the secondary suffers. For example, I can get my kids fed, diapered, clothed, shod and out the door in about 15 minutes. (For those of you without kids, this is nothing short of a miracle.) However, the unintended consequence of this super-human speed is that in my wake I leave a trail of dirty dishes, used diapers and strewn clothing behind me. So when I return home, I find a whole new set of chores waiting to be done. Sigh.

So, my new plan is to slow down and follow through. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, not really. Instead of seeing something and saying, "I'll get to that later", I'm trying to pause, take a minute, and clear the hurdle instead of running around. It isn't easy for me to do, but I'm going to give it a try. So instead of breaking my arms carrying in 12 bags of groceries, dropping things willy-nilly, and killing my back, I am going to try and remember that life is not a race. There is no shame in making more than one trip. And maybe, just maybe, Iíll find time for a few of the half started but never finish projects that seem to surround me. Doesnít that sound wonderful?

Posted by Chrissie at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2007

Today

For me, there is usually one day that stands out in my mind as the start of summer. It doesn't have to do with the day of the month or the status of the earth's orbit around the sun. Rather, it's an internal moment merged with a set of external events that signals my own personal start of summer.

Today was that day.

The weather was cooperating and it was beautiful, sunny and warm. We dressed in t-shirts and shorts, packed our new picnic basket and headed to the park where we meet Liza and her girls. It was a perfect day. The kids were glad to be outdoors finally and played and played and played. Nobody whined about being too hot or too tired or too bored. Everything was fresh and new. Liza and I began to plot and plan for the start of park season; where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do and explore. Oh so many wonderful plans streach before us! I trundled the girls home for a quick lunch and long nap then I pulled out the brauts and corn and made my favorite summer meal. Liza and the girls re-emerged and we tossed them all outside while we cooked and chatted and just enjoyed being friends. Heavenly I tell you! Heavenly!

On some level inside, I know that today will stand our in my mind with clear colors and vivid detail as my first true day of summer. Yes, I know that the clouds will roll back in. (This is, after all, Oregon.) I know that there will be more gloom and mud. But on the inside, I'm in summer mode and it is truely joyous. Have your turned that mental corned into summer yet? I sure hope.

Now all I have to do is clean off my deck furniture, dig out my tank tops and stock up on sunscreen so I'll be ready when Oregon's true summer kicks in!

Posted by Chrissie at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2007

Finally

It seems like during every stage of my life, I've found a special friend.

In Texas, I remember playing countless hours of Peter Pan with Elizabeth in our house. When I moved to California, I found Heidi Hyiatt and almost every memory revolves around endless summer days spent in her pool. In 7th grade, I found myself partnered with Jean Chung to craft a sculpture of Garfield made from 100 sticks of bubble gum we had to chew ourselves. From this beginning sprang a friendship that would see me though the horror of middle and high school. At UCSD I found Kevin, and still haven't been able to shake him! I survived law school and the terror of working in a law firm thanks to Kat. The countless hours we spent together studying for the Bar have been burned forever into my memory.

But even though I have been blessed with all these wonderful friends, there is one person who sits above them all.....

My sister.

I have no memory of a time before Suzy. Being 20 months apart, we were custom made playmates. And oh the games we played! Hours and hours of Benji, Battle of the Planets, spiders, Charlie's Angels, roller skating, tree climbing and endless games of make believe. Sure, we fought but that didn't matter because we loved eachother as only sisters can.

So when I began planning my family, I hoped and prayed that I would have two little girls close together. I wanted that special relationship for them. I wanted them to have someone to play with and love. I wanted them to be true sisters. So imagine my joy when my girls were born a mere 22 months apart! Could anything be better?

Um, yeah.

Turns out having two little kids at the same time is really really really hard. Endless diapers, endless crying, and fractured night sleep to mention but a few of the joys of two kids under the age of 2 at once. And that whole playmate thing? It wasn't happening. Nope, it appears my sisters were broken. They wanted nothing to do with eachother and my vision of them playing happily (and quietly) in the corner while I sat and read my book was merely a hallucination. Instead, I spent all day mediating between the two of them. Trying to get Leina to share, trying to get Kulia to be gently, trying to stop the endless fighting.

And, then... something happened.

I don't know when or what it was, but I think the sister gene is finally kicking in. Every now and then, I'll find them playing together so happily. Leina's in charge and Kulia is her willing peon. They play doggie or mommies. There's no fighting or yelling. Just laughter. Laughter people! Can you belive it!? When this happens, I sit very very still and barely dare to breathe for fear of breaking the magical spell.

I think my girls have finally figured out what I've known for a long long time. If you are lucky, you'll make some great friends throughout your life. But your sister? Well, your sister will be in a league all of her own. There is no friend like a sister.

Posted by Chrissie at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2007

Quandry

So, I've been afraid to blog lately because if I do, it will mean these precious pictures will slowly scroll away and that thought breaks my heart. Every second of every day I am forced to witness how big Leina is getting. Tonight, she painted her own figernails people! By herself! Ok, most of the polish ended up all over her fingers but she did a pretty good job for a 3 yr old. But here's the scary part. If she can paint her own fingernails, what does she need me for?!?! Pretty soon she'll be polishing her own toenail, and then it just snowballs downhill to where I'm watching her drive away into the sunset with my grand kids. It could so happen that fast I tell you! So anything that emphasizes her littleness I pretty much grab onto with both hands. Because dang it, she need to stay little! Stay! Now!

Ohhh, I just figured out how to set her karate picture as my wallpaper. Oh happy day!

Posted by Chrissie at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2007

Ki-Yah!








Posted by Kevin at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)