January 22, 2013


It's that time of year again. My most favorite kid sport ever....even though I really know nothing about it aside from the basics. Meaning the players try to throw the bouncy ball into the basket thingy.
Why is it my favorite sport then? Well, because it's fast and active. The parents get to stand (or sit) indoors in a warm gym. Every kid plays a lot...nobody is standing in the wings while the coaches all-star kid plays over and over again. And, the kids get a lot of exercise running up and down the court.

Turns out El Fuego's not so great experience in football served him well with some 'blocking' skills in basketball. That is until the referee bluntly told him "this isn't football kid!" Parental units got a good chuckle out of that one.

Our girls team are a little behind the eight ball as they are one practice short because they didn't have a coach. Mr. Hawthorne finally raised his hand and the team took off running. Two hours fr practice and they won their first game with a score of 20 to 10. Not too shabby.

I have to say, I do love this little team Miss O landed on. The group works really great together....

....and Miss O is happy.

January 21, 2013

t minus 3 days

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of wrapping up and preparing. The chance to go to Costa Rica kicked my rear end into hyper drive. The freezer is stocked, the suitcase is half packed, the schedule has been mapped out and every day I try to check mark more items off my do-to list. Unfortunately, I seem to add more items to my list than I check off.

Jeans. Check.

T-shirts. Check.

Passport. Check.

Camera. Check.

Hiking boots. Check

Charging cables. Check

Mostly, I feel prepared but at the same time feel like I'm forgetting something.

The kids didn't go to school today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. I think a better way to honor the man who fought for equal rights would be to send the kidlets to school, but that is battle I don't think I'm going to win today. I was actually cool with the three-day weekend because the girls are fighting off the cold bug that seems to be flying around. An extra day to rest was a good thing. They watched movies, while the neighbor kid and El Fuego played xbox, so the day has been rather low key.

I continue to run around while washing bedding, cleaning house and preparing for Grandma's stay in my absence. But, I'm tired today. Miss Petite got a little sewing doo-dad kit for Christmas and I spent about an hour and half sitting on the floor sewing the little bugger together. Half way through the project, Miss Petite disappeared. Of course. And, when I was all finished and presented the project to her, she was all like, "oh, put it over there." Grrrr!

Then I worked on Valentine's Day party prep for the first grade class because I'm one of the room moms and it's my duty to supply the six and seven year olds with a par-tay. I wanted to have everything pretty much wrapped up before I left so scrambling afterwards wasn't an issue. So I made a plan and made an online order. This little shin-dig will be on level "chill".

Four loads of laundry later, I'm still in my pajamas, the garbage cans are still on the curb and no dinner plans have been put into place in spite of the well stocked freezer.

Ten minutes later: Scratch that, I just put my go-to easy dinner in the oven. Frozen chicken breast, sliced potatoes and Italian dressing thrown in the oven. M'm M'm.

Another ten minutes and four games of Bejeweled later: I'm wrapping this long winded post about nothing special up. Relieved? Yeah, me too....

January 12, 2013

check, check, 1, 2, 3, check

So, you probably thought this ole windbag was up to posting at this here blog again, huh. You might have even come back to check?? And, then......nothing. I'm sorry. The truth is, I just feel so boring. A day in my life typically looks like me dragging myself out of bed, walking kids to the busstop, cleaning house, doing chores, yelling at the dogs for peeing in the house....again!, picking kids up at the busstop, making dinner, cleaning some more, putting kids to bed and sitting on my a$$ until the next day rolls around.

I know, I just put myself to sleep too.

Sometimes I have great angst about my professional life on a train going nowhere and what I've chosen to give up in replacement for being a stay-at-home mom. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful in every way possible that I get to be home. I get to send the kids off to school. I get to volunteer in their classrooms and be around when a kid (or two) gets sick. I get to be standing there every afternoon when the bus pulls up in front of my house. I love that! I really do. Some days less than others, but you know what I mean, right mothers?!

However, on the flip side, I've taken myself out of the rat race for eleven years now. I'm not building my retirement plan. I'm not buffing up my resume. And, it makes me scared in many ways. It was like as soon as I push that first baby out into this new life, I also walked off the face of the working force world. And now, I am 'just' the designated cook, laundry doer, maid, food shopper, waiter, dog walker and personal chauffeur. I walked this weird, tight-rope, journey. I had baby blues, and moving blues, and gaining weight blues, and questioning my role in life blues. I sort of flipped everything I had worked towards for all my life (ie: college, job, marriage, house, family, back-to-work...in that order) and got all Willy Wonka on that sh*t. My picturesque image wasn't as white picket fence as I had imagined. Not bad! Just different. And, sometimes sad.

In March 2011, I made a big decision to do something for myself. I elected to have surgery on my guts which essentially took 'me' out of the equation for a solid three weeks and it caused stress on my family. Things didn't run on autopilot. Meals might not have been the healthiest. Neighbors complained about barking dogs left out too long. The house was mostly messy. I didn't feel 'good' and I suffered a full gamut of emotions. It was hard at first, and I felt guilty for putting hardships on my family. In the end, however, I wouldn't have done anything differently. Almost two years later, I am ninety-five pounds lighter and totally feel like I've taken me back.

In January 2012, I was given an opportunity to spend ten days in Costa Rica. It was, in two words, LIFE CHANGING! I went into the rainforest just a tired mom of three but I came back to my life with renewed spirit and a positive outlook on everything around me.

The little non-sense dramas didn't bother me. The over analyzing of trivial problems were brushed off. The jumping on bandwagons to criticize others were pointed out as such. The importance of family and loving one another was more important to me than ever before. But besides all that, which is wonderfully awesome, I also realized in full force how my absence was difficult on my brood and my husband. Stress was transparent. But this jungle I emerged from helped me to see that even in the trials my family faces with my absence I can find good. Meaning, I am a much needed, intricate piece to this little world I call my own.
Slowly I put my home and my people back in order. And my life fell into a routine which included sending my peeps off to their workplace and learning institutes, as I was left behind to clean, cook, dog walk and organize once more. Welcome to the world of motherhood and wife of one. Glamorous ain't it?!
That said, my renewed spirit carried me far. I mothered better. I wifed harder. I valued friendships more often. And, I organized like no other. I looked back at my experience fondly whenever I felt low. Like mini-Costa Rican pick-me-ups. Anytime, my life was rocked by a little unpleasantness I would remind myself of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I was able to experience and remembered what is truly important.
And THEN!!!! Out of the blue and totally unexpected, the opportunity to go to Costa Rica again (at the end of this month) fell into my lap once more. The pieces fell into place in a days time, literally. Getting struck by lighting can happen twice for reals people!!! I am nervous about leaving my family while I trapes back into the rainforest, I cannot lie. I know it's stressful on my man and the normal routine of the my kidlets is rocked. That said, I won't be gone as long this time and my mother-in-law kindly agreed to stay with the fam to ensure the place isn't burnt down. Her being here also ensures Mr. Hawthorne's work schedule won't be effected. I'm crossing my fingers everything goes smoothly for everyone here in my absences.
I will miss them much but I firmly believe this is a good thing for all involved. I do. I feel much guilt for leaving, again. But I know the good it does for us all far outweighs the tough.

January 5, 2013

radio silence

It has been a long while since I've updated, huh folks. Much has happened, but not much on an exciting front, mostly just busy family/holiday/kid stuff. Boring to most I'm sure. I've filled my need to overshare via facebook these days. Pictures of comings and goings, dogs in precarious positions, kids being kids paired with one liners. I know some are leery of the gigantic timesuck and I agree, much time can be sucked away. But, I can honestly say, I love it.

I've partly been MIA because of the horrific Sandy Hook shootings. My dear college pal lives in Newtown and was hit close to her heart by the tragic event. Blabbering on about happy nonsense here felt just so unclassy. I came to this spot many times. Logged in, even. Stared at the blank screen. Only to back out and walk away for everything I could ramble on about didn't feel right.

That said, I am responsible for this wee family I share my abode with. My offspring are, for the most part, not mature enough to really grasp and understand the hugeness of December 21st. We talked about what happened and ensured the safety of their own school.  And, then we honored those twenty sweet faces by being positive while focusing on happiness and family.

That Friday was the start of the kids' winter break. We celebrated the holiday with a close encounter of the jolly kind, aka Santa Claus. Being that we live near Seattle, we decided to visit "fancy" Santa at the ever popular Nordstroms for the first time. Ever popular because we stood in line for three hours. (Never again people!) And, being Seattle, which brides itself on celebrating differences and originality, our Santa was also hearing impaired.

Other activities included:

Mr. Hawthorne and I ran the Jingle Bell 5k together. I beat my race time by fourteen minutes. Which was partly due to actually running and not walking.

The Divine Miss O had her expander put in to correct her bite and realign her jaw. I have to turn this little doohickey every day while it slowly moves things around. It gives me the hibbie-jibbies every time I turn the key. Because of this contraption stuck in the roof of her mouth, we get to enjoy the awful sucking noise made on a regular basis. Tis a lovely sound. Not!

We shared a most delish brunch with family while the cousins ran around playing and giggling. My heart is always filled when the cousin kids are together. Brings back memories of camping at the beach, sleep overs, and playing hide-n-go-seek in the woods with mine.

Christmas day was mellow and relaxing and really lazy. Lazy because Mr. Hawthorne and I hit the sack around 2am and the kids woke us up around 6am. We had fun opening gifts and playing with our new toys. The entire day was very peaceful, just the way I like it.

The rest of vacation was spent relaxing, organizing, making Goodwill runs, cleaning, watching movies, partying with friends old and new, cleaning and eating. And, just as quickly as winter break began, it ended. I put the kids back on the bus earlier this week and slipped back into my routine. 2013 has been great so far. I hope yours has too.