Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I actually found Matt King to be a sympathetic character.

This past Saturday, we got back from spending Thanksgiving in DC.  It was a terrific holiday -- once again, my parents' house was packed to the rafters with me and my brothers and our families.  The kids had a great time hanging out with their grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts, I enjoyed the fact that there were enough adults around to give me time to read two books in five days, because someone took the kids the park every day.  I got to go to the State Department to see my mom tape an interview panel on child adoption. I got to see my high school friend Lisa and my college friend Susan, who happen to know each other because their husbands are law partners.  We ran/walked/pushed strollers in the SOME Turkey Trot, a 5K run for charity that benefits DC's homeless.

The whole mishpacha
We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  We went for walks by the Potomac River.  We had our annual Day After Thanksgiving Pie (DATP) gathering with my friend Ali

Mostly we just got to be together and enjoy each others' company.

But traveling with the kids is tiring, plus there's the time difference, so after getting home on Saturday, we got to enjoy Sunday as a lazy day.  At one point J took the kids somewhere and I had the house to myself, so I decided to watch The Descendants, which was on HBO.

Later we were all driving in the car and I was telling J about the movie (which I thought was great).  J asked me what it was about, and I said, "well, it's about this guy who's a, uh..."

I hesitated for a second as I tried to think of what I wanted to say.

And before I could finish my thought, Zeke -- who hasn't seen the movie and had no idea what we were talking about -- piped up from the back seat, "...a dick?"

Now, I'm pretty proud of the fact that though J and I both have potty-mouths, the kids do not know any of the bad swear words because we're really careful about the language we use in front of them.  When J and Zeke went camping with his friend Coleman and Coleman's dad, they had a running thing that because they were camping and it was a boy's weekend, everyone was allowed to swear.  So they encouraged the boys to say the worst words they could think of.

The words that the boys came up with?  Butt and fart.

In the grand scheme of things, "dick" isn't so bad, but obviously I'd prefer that Zeke not use it in public.  So in between wheezing with laughter, J and I tried to explain that "dick" isn't a nice word and we shouldn't call someone a dick.  (Unless they're a dick, I thought to myself).

I can't decide if this is a parenting fail or a parenting win.

Against my better judgment, I'm leaning towards "win."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lydia, Oh Lydia

Today is my niece Lydia's 10th birthday.  She's a special soul who holds a special place in my heart, so I thought I'd write her a little something to let her know how much she means to me.

My dearest Lydia:

Ten years ago today, your introduction to the world was abrupt and a bit scary, as you were a couple of months premature.  I remember visiting you in the NICU and thinking how impossibly small you were.  How it wasn't possible for a human being to be so, so tiny.  Plus you were born with a hole in your heart, for which you required risky surgery when you were only 6 months old.  So from day one, you had a lot to deal with.  But you got through it, and we knew you were tough and special.  Our little miracle baby.

As a toddler and a little kid, you showed yourself to be creative and artistic.  You loved fashion and drawing and color.  I remember one Thanksgiving in Washington, when you were about 5 or so, we were going out to go to a museum.  And you insisted on wearing a dress and multiple necklaces and a hat and fashionable sunglasses and a handbag.  One of the museum guards took a look at you and said, "little lady, you're about the best thing I've seen all day." 

You are the middle child, which comes with its own struggles.  You have a sister 5 years older, who was the first grandchild and therefore beheld by all as a superstar from the day she was born.  You have a sister 5 years younger, who is smart and loud and hilarious and a bit larger-than-life, personality-wise.  You are reserved and more of a gentle soul than either of them, and I sense that sometimes you feel a bit squeezed out.  But I want you to know that you are a shining star in my sky.

Because you have your own quiet strength that shines through.  When Emma had her accident 2 1/2 years ago, it must have been horribly scary and awful for you, not only because your sister had been hurt so badly, but because it meant such total upheaval in your life -- seeing your sister hooked up to tubes and machines in the hospital, being taken care of by different people while your parents dealt with the trauma, and still having to go to school and try to have some semblance of a normal life while it was all going on.  You were a rock at a time when no 7 year old girl should have to be a rock.

In the past few years, I feel like we have had the privilege of really seeing you blossom as a person.  You are still artistic and creative, but you're also a terrific athlete.  Your Uncle J adores you, and particularly adores seeing how great you are on a surfboard.  You're a great lacrosse player, which is so, so cool.

And you are such a mensch.  Whenever the family is together, you are so sweet and patient with the little kids, playing with them and looking after them and entertaining them.  Every year when we come home from Thanksgiving, Zeke and Josie are constantly asking me -- for weeks -- "when is Lydia going to come and visit?  When are we going to go to Josh's house so we can see Lydia?" 

Thanksgiving is next week, so we will be seeing you soon.  We are very thankful for that, because you are the best 10-year-old girl in the whole world.

All my love,

Auntie Wendy

Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday Frippery


My friend Karen has been doing a Thirty Days of Gratitude series for the month of November and I really liked the idea, so I've been doing the same over at my fitness site.  I've been doing all kinds of social media training, learning about search engine optimization and that sort of thing, so I'm blogging much more over there these days.  I'm really trying to build up my coaching business via social media, so I would love it if y'all would check out my posts, maybe subscribe or leave a comment or two, tell your friends, or even join one of my upcoming challenges.  I'm planning some good stuff for December and post-New Year's.

Single Parenting

J left last Friday for 8 days to celebrate a friend's birthday with a bunch of people in Key West.  I'm not sure what prompted me to agree to such a long solo stint, but I'm on day 7, so it's almost done.  We've been staying busy -- visiting friends, going to Jump Street and Monkey Bizness, playing at the park.  The kids have been great (mostly - bedtime has been a bit rough), but I'm so ready for some time alone.  J has already given me the thumbs-up to go to the movies tomorrow when he gets back.  I'm torn between Skyfall and Argo.  I might do Argo and then see Skyfall with J.

I'm so screwed

Josie is cracking me up these days.  She has become so headstrong and self-assured, which is awesome - I abhor a doormat - but I foresee some epic battles in about 10 years or so.  Yesterday at school, the kids were instructed to go sit on the reading rug for story time.  The rug has the alphabet on it, and each kid was assigned to a letter to sit on.  When Josie sat down on her letter, she looked around at the arrangement and exclaimed loudly, "this seat STINKS!  I can't see a thing!"

Which is hilarious because she's a skinny little three-year-old peanut, but won't be so cute as she gets older. 

Speaking of young whippersnappers...

One of my high school friends, who is one of my favorite people in the world, has a wonderful teenage daughter who has started a really cool bilingual blog (they live in France).  It's a good read -- check it out by clicking here


We had an election.  I am happy with the results.

Happy Friday, y'all!