Monthly Archives: December 2011

Finding Resolution

Minus thirty not only feels cold, but it looks cold and the thought of going outside in it isn’t very appealing.  So we didn’t go out.  We stayed home and flopped on the sofa and baked a casserole for the morning and worked on downloading photos….and made a half-hearted attempt at New Year’s Resolutions.  And then I went out for a walk….and everything changed.

The kids, my husband and even the dog (and probably the frog) all took a mid-afternoon nap so I decided to go to the library, liquor store and coffee shop.  I donned all my winter gear including my beaver hat and seal skin mitts and stepped outside.  It was cold – the kind of cold that makes you immediately cough and then make sure your face is covered.

Even the statue looks cold!

And I looked around and it was beeeeeeautiful out.  Absolutely beautiful.  The ground was white.  Houses were coated in white.  The air was a pinkish blue.  The sky a whitish blue marked by a crisp clean crescent moon.  Everything was sharp and still and accented by the frost lining the trees (few that there are) and the rising clouds of exhaust coming from people’s heating stoves.  Hmmm – that word “exhaust” isn’t a very pretty one is it.  Nonetheless – it WAS pretty (still is).

And as I walked I felt inspired and energized and connected to the world and full of new cheer and I couldn’t help but think about the things I’d like to do in this New Year.

So here is my New Year’s list BEFORE going outside followed by the list created AFTER going outside:

Before Going Out:

1. Write a blog

2. Teach our kids good

3.  Decide on hair length

4.  Get super skinny (I considered saying fit, but figured that sounded too exhausting)

5. Run a marathon with no soreness or injuries (just read a blogher post about the dark side of marathon racing)

6. Make money

7. Play guitar  (An attempt at creative goal planning)

Goals AFTER going outside:

1. Learn to tap dance well enough to “jam” with other tap dancers

2. Bake cookies for the woman at the coffee shop

3. Bake cookies for our neighbors who we don’t know very well (Ah, heck – bake cookies for ALL our neighbors and the folks at the restaurant we like to go to)

4. Write Christmas cards and thank you notes

5. Start a music group for kids and their parents

6. Sketch out some book ideas

7. Create a beautiful mosaic something with my kids

8. Sing and play the guitar with my kids all the Beatles songs

9. Learn Tai Chi

10. Blog with my son every day

11. Create a successful, creative, interesting blog

12. Host an Indian dinner night (and Thai night, German night, Italian night…)

13. Go for a one hour walk/run every morning with the kids in the Bob double stroller that is currently lodged in the icy snow

14. Eat a diet of grains and lentils and vegetables – a tasty diet of those things filled with fun, joyous cooking experiences and great recipes

15. Travel to the East coast to visit relatives

16. Read books

17. Take a great photo every day documenting my day

18.  Be in the present

19.  Meditate and do yoga and stretch with the kids

20.  Etc…

And my goals starting tomorrow morning when I wake up?

Ha!  That’s the kicker.  I haven’t a clue.  And midnight is rapidly approaching.

But perhaps I have one underlying principle….regardless of the list I intend to write up, I plan to work on finding that space that allows me to feel energized, creative and caring – perhaps I’ll be doing a lot more walks at thirty below.

(Though hopefully just a good dose of outside even in warmer temperatures will do the trick)

And you?  What are the things you do when you find your frame of mind shifting to one you really enjoy and embrace?

Leave a comment

Filed under Life in Alaska

A Honey Bucket and a Porcelain Toilet Seat

If you return from a trip to find your drain pipes frozen up, minus 30 degree temperatures and not a plumber in sight, you can either stress and fret and put on your full winter gear and headlamps and crawl under the house or you can set up a honey bucket with a porcelain seat and put off the problem for a day or two.

We did the latter. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Life in Alaska

Anxiety and Stuttering in the Two-Year Old: How Do We Serve as Emotional Coaches for Our Kids?

The day after we returned home from a recent trip, little boy began repeating words.  It wasn’t just the three or four repeats of a word or a sound that happen here and there.  It was really intense repetition.  It began with, “I want want want want.  I I I I I I want I want I want I want” and evolved into a repeating of almost everything in a sentence.  There were some attempts by our talkative little boy that my husband and I couldn’t even discern. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids

Getting Down and Dirty in the Bathroom

I cleaned the toilet and bathroom sink today and I was once again amazed at all the locations where baby finger grime shows up. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve had one toddler for well over a year and a second toddler for a couple months and I KNOW that they walk around with grubby greasy fingers touching everything, but yet I am still amazed at where I find the trails of slime.

And the entire time I’m bent over craning my neck to see where they’ve gripped the bottom of the stand alone sink, I’m mentally comparing our bathroom to the ones on the commercials where mothers keep their bathrooms clean enough for their infants to crawl on them.

I don’t think our bathroom qualifies.  I instead think that we are supporting the development of a healthy immune system.  It’s the only win-win situation I can think of as I get down on my knees and peer behind the toilet discovering…spaghetti sauce???

It doesn’t help that little boy has chosen to park Tonka dumptruck in the bathroom next to the toilet or that the kids love playing behind the bathroom door.  Or that we let our kids walk around after eating without always wiping down their hands – hmmm – that might be the KEY thing that is missing in our daily routine that would make all the difference.

Nonetheless, I mused as I scrubbed the bottom two feet of the fridge and the stove free of blueberry jam, I think they’d still manage to leave their mark.  How the heck do people on TV do it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids

The Seduction of the Mattress

There was a blizzard yesterday so our friends trying to catch a plane stayed at our house overnight because they couldn’t get home. We pulled a mattress down the stairs and put it in our living room for them.  We ate pizza and the kids made a mess and then we all went to bed.

When my husband and I woke up this morning, the downstairs was cleaned up and our friends and their baby and all their luggage were gone.  The blankets were folded, a couple more cookies were missing and all that was left was the mattress on the floor.

And that’s pretty much where I was most of the day.

I’d like to make the claim that mattresses are nice places to stretch and do sit ups (better than our hard floor) but ours turned out to be just a nice place to flop.  I had a book in my hand at one point, but even that proved too difficult.

We ate on the mattress, played on the mattress, tried to nap on the mattress, and rested on the mattress when we were too weary from the rigors of the day.

There’s a lot that is due this week and I’m harboring a touch of stress about all that needs to get done and I had fully expected today to be a productive day.  But it wasn’t – not in any sense of the word.  So I’m enjoying the remaining moments of the mattress by blogging on it and tomorrow I will wake up early and plan on having a very full busy Get-Things-Done kind of day.

And my husband and I will drag the mattress back upstairs to its proper location where it won’t entice us with its do-nothing ways.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life in Alaska, Life with Kids

A Morning in the Life of a Marriage

“I bet we could use these pie tins,” I said holding up a set of three aluminum pie tins that were sitting on the floor of our car (don’t even begin to wonder why we had pie tins on the floor of the car, but we did).  My husband looked at me and scoffed, “No – that’s not going to work”. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Life in Alaska, Life with Kids

Everybody’s Got One

“No. I have gyna. Sister has penis.”   Hmmmm.


“No sweety. You are a boy! You have a penis! Sister is a girl. She has a vagina.”


“Nooooo. No want penis. Want gyna.  Sister wants penis.”


“Oh sweety.  Boys have a penis.  Dog is a boy.  He has a penis.  DADDY is a boy.  What does he have?”


Little boy looks over at his dad who is doing dishes at the kitchen sink.


“Pots.  Daddy has pots.”


“Yes.  Daddy has pots.”


“No.  No Daddy have pots.  I want pots”


Hmmmm.  (Not quite sure how to respond)


Sister approaches brother.


“No sister.  No.  I have penis.  You have gyna.  No penis you.  No.”


Satisfied smile on my face – guess we weathered through that anatomy lesson with flying stars.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids

If you want your kids to fall asleep, don’t…

If you want your kids to fall asleep, don’t pick up their slothy stuffed animal and throw it back in their bed with a grin on your face.

Little girl just discovered how unbelievably FUN it is to play “Throw Things Back And Forth When You Should Be Sleeping”.

And she’s got quite the arm! She can throw slothy a good two feet (and she’s ONE!).

Admittedly, I did have fun, but I fear I might have set a bad precedent.

And certainly don’t laugh when little girl begins to climb over little boy when they are supposed to be sleeping.  It just doesn’t quite send the same message.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids

It Gets Better

“You know our Friends are DUE next week?!” I said to my husband as the realization of the imminent birth date hit me. “Huh?” he responded looking up briefly from his Facebook Scrabble game. I stretched out on the sofa with my foot up on his shoulder and said, “Can you IMAGINE having to go through that?”

Now, please note that it is 8:15 pm and we are both (both) downstairs doing absolutely nothing of any significance.   We are doing so much of nothing that I’ve even given up flipping mindlessly between tabs on my computer hoping for something new to happen in the world, but notice that… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids

Getting Old – Not as Bad as I Expected

“Can you list any weaknesses?”, I asked the reference check over the telephone for a possibly employee.  “Hmmm.  No – Only I worry that she overextends herself”.

That used to be me.  I used to overextend myself.  I was a sponge pulling in new information, eager to take on new jobs, excited to chip in.  And now…smiling ruefully and sighing…and now I just sit in the car seat and laugh with my husband about getting old as he says, “I got up this morning.  I think I got a lot accomplished”.

“We’re getting old,” he says again and I nod in confirmation.  We sit in our seats with the -14 temperatures buffeting our car, too tired to climb out and haul the baby into the restaurant for lunch.

It’s 11:45 am and we are a-okay with our current state.

We thought getting old would be dreadful and horrid, but it just kinda sneaks up on you and you’re so tired anyway, you just don’t care.  It’s a little funny how that is.

(Side Note – I don’t REALLY think we’re THAT old, but we’re certainly not the vibrant go-getters we once were.  Perhaps two children in two years does that to you – we are going to assume that is it and some of our youthful vigor will return as the children get a little older.)

And after another cup of coffee.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life with Kids