Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shooting the Raised Eyebrow.

A graceful, and wise friend once told me..."the more I am a mom, the more I am less judging of other moms." As I venture deeper into this parenting adventure I am getting the gist of what she was saying. We are all just getting by doing what we need to do to make it to bedtime healthy, semi-clean, and with a daily adventure under our belt (and probably a few bribe snacks). Funny, the most judging comments I have received from 'friends', are the ones who have no kids. It sure was easy for me, in my no-kid-ilton days, to send a raised eyebrow to the father who took his 4 year old to the dreaded McDonald's, or a mom, who allowed her daughter to have genetically unattainable barbie dolls. "How plain wrong", I would mutter as I peddled my too-cool-for-school bike from the outdoor education program I managed to go have beers made with organic hops). If there were hybrids and I could afford one, I would have been driving one. I look back now and think, "how so very ordinary, Terry."

Two tailbone breaking births, a neo-natal 'your baby has a brainstem injury' scare, bloody breastfeeding nipples, and two sassy little girls later, I am singing a different tune. Actually, I am bellowing a different tune from my basement while folding laundry cleaned in hypoallergenic soap. Sure my kids drink hormone free milk, just planted a chemical free herb garden, attend a oovey-groovey private preschool, and have over-priced Waldorf dolls that they have no interest in. I believe in that type of parenting. I also combine it with a healthy dosing of sugar vitamins, dancing with the stars nights, and family outings to the demo derby where gas fumes whip the audience into a blurred stupor while daddy drinks canned beers purchased in a large bag.

To all those parents-to-be, with grand ideas of what is right and wrong parenting. Know that the day too shall pass when you will be sitting in judgement of the purple wad of bubble gum you just gave your 4 year old to get him to sit through a rehearsal dinner...and the next time, instead of sending out a raised eyebrow, you will sit in amazement of of how families just get through the day...healthy, semi-clean, and hopefully with a daily adventure that fills their sleepy little heads with dreams of what is possible.
I have to go now , my girls are fighting over cowgirl barbie and some chicken McNuggets.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lamenting the Cool Chick

I used to be pretty cool. I mean if climbing mountains in Alaska, or kayaking the Grand Canyon is your idea of cool. Sleeping under the stars on the Sea of Cortez, drinking cold water straight out of a glacier, trolling for fish from the stern of my kayak was my job, not my dream vacation. One year I spent over 300 days in the wilds kayaking with icebergs, or rafting southwestern rivers as petroglyphs and ancient ruins floated by. Oh yes, I used to be one pretty cool chick. Lately however; that cool chic has taken a bit of a vacation. It seems that one husband, one black lab, and two little girls later the cool factor has been replaced by the drool and gruel factor. Gone are the days of waking with the off shore breeze, and sleeping with bergies calving in the distance. Today I awake to little elbows digging into my ribcage and toddler cries a wet nappie snapping me out of my drowsey bliss. I guess adventure does not have to come in the form of snow-capped mountains, class 4 rivers, or wave-swept seas. Today my adventure comes in little pink socks, tiny fish crackers and crayon marks on the kitchen wall. At night when I put my little adventures to sleep, I close my eyes and smile when I think of the great adventures that await them. I think of the cool chicks that that they are going to be...that they all ready are, and how I would gladly trade any mountain in the world to be rolling and cuddling on the floor with my little girls, my black lab, and my husband...now that is cool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the morel of the story

For father's day this year we went on a family treasure hunt. Daddy, the girls, Bubba -the dog, and I, packed up the Subaru and drove into the mountains. Our destination - wilderness scorched from last year's severe fire season. Here, amongst the blackened ashes, charcoal stumps, and marshy ground lies our quest. The delectable morel mushroom. Why we have not gone on this hunt long before heaven only knows. Anyone who is everyone, in our neck of the woods, sets out each spring on the great morel crusade. Never speaking of their ' secret spot' except to gloat, "I have a secret spot". Our morel mad friends note, " they sell for $100. 00 a pound"! I think we thought it was the 'trendy' thing to do. My husband scorns all things trendy. I; however, don't. Morels are not easy to spot. They hide themselves amongst burned logs, debris, and water seeps, but' once you spot your first one you are hooked. It reminds me very much of fly fishing. Searching for spots that look 'fishy', or in this case, 'mushy'. Perhaps the greatest part of all is my 2-year old daughter's sheer delight in the whole mucky adventure. Armed with her orange mushroom pail, mushroom hunter knife sheath, and plastic play knife, she would stomp, tromp, and bushwhack her way to the golden spots. I am not sure if is her height, her ability to stop and see everything, or just pure luck, but she was able to find more treasure than the grown -ups around her. As for daddy, I haven 't seen him run, smile , and bushwhack with youthful abandon since before our infant daughter was born. Trendy, or not, the great morel hunt will become a family tradition. Our secret spot is..........ah, maybe I will tell you next year
~mom's the word

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tu-Tu Cute!

Lily had her first dance recital last night. In front of 150 adoring art-goers, Lily and her fellow tu-tu clad 3 year olds, pranced, grinned, waved and pointed their little pre-schooler toes. She loved every minute of it. It was truly the sweetest moment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Merry Pouting Christmas Mommy

Every year there comes this day,

when Mommy acts in a peculiar way.

Primping our hair, pressing our skirts

sewing on buttons on holiday shirts.

Wiping the yucky away from our noses,

stuffing us into tight panty-hoses.

Sticking us on a scary mans lap,
as really bright light go snap, snap, snap.

For all your hard work Mommy, we won't let you down,
here is our best holiday frown.

Here is a hint Mama, this too shall pass,
but pictures with Santa are a pain in the #$*!

Authors note: Every year I vow to skip the dreaded picture, but every year I head back to the dreary mall, the sweaty santa, and the $20.00 snapshot. I guess I am a believer in the Christmas miracle.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yikes...Oh No....Trouble....

My 3 year old daughter is a girly-girl, and for a hockey playing, sport loving, outdoor living, jeans and a T Mama, it is freaking me out! I am not talking about the odd princess dress and dolly-tea party. I am talking about, barbie houses, socks must match shirt, and won't get a hair-cut because she wants to be Rapunzel girly-girl. The other day we were in the hockey store looking for a new hockey stick for Dada. Daddy pointed out the cutest little hockey jersey, but was Lily impressed? No way, little girly-girl bee-lined right to the figure skating dresses and proudly declared to the lime green, sequined, bedazzled spandex dress,
" You are bootiful, I want to skate with you".
How could she do this to me? Barbie, the most horrible, miss-proportioned, high-heeled shoe wearing role model, and this is all she wants from Santa this year. What have I done? Where have I gone wrong? The other night while tucking her in she whispered to me,

"Mommy, you can be a princess too, you just have to let your hair grow longer".
I replied, " Princesses have short hair too Lily".
She replied, " Actually Mama....they 'don't".
It seems I have not read the 'How to be a Princess Rule Book' lately but she has it memorized. I guess raising a girly-girl is not that bad. She rips on the ski slopes, dives in head- first at swim lessons, and belts it out like Joni Mitchell when no one is watching. She is one independent, determined little person. In fact, this little girly-girl has the determination of the the toughest of dudes... 'Conan the Barbarian,...just in pigtails, bubble skirts, and matching ribbons.
'How to be a Princess Rulebook' by Lily Miller
1. Must have long hair ( messy and tangled is allowed);
2. Must have 1/2 dozen dresses of tu-tu, tulle, and sparkly variety (curtains work);
3. Princesses do not eat peanut butter;
4. Princesses cuddle at any opportunity;
5. Must have pony (plastic, stuffed, or family Labrador retriever may substitute for real thing);
6. Must spend portion of day trying to convert baby sister into 'princess in training program', and if that does not work...lock her in bathroom with lights off;
7. Mermaids are princesses of the sea and are tolerated.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Going Home

I miss the ocean.

I bring my young daughters to my island home.

Whales guide our ferry to the bay.

The iron steps of the lighthouse we climb,

and climb and climb.

The cool salty air greats us each morning, and puts us to sleep each night.

Bull kelp makes us giggle, and squirm, and giggle.

The island casts a spell on us.

I am home...I am happy...I am home.