Monday, April 30, 2012

Gecko-esque Sun Worshipers

He is impossible to bring in these days.  
It's funny how they call Alaska the "Land of the Midnight Sun." I mean, true, in the summer months it feels like eternal daylight...but for the majority of the year, we're sun-deprived and snowed in.

So recently, when the sun started coming back and the snow finally said "uncle" and receded, the kids have been outside more. I've been outside more. We've been soaking up as much sunshine as we can and it reminded me of a childhood spent drenched in the West Texas desert. Freckles and tans. Lemonade and bicycles.

And now as we box up a few belongings and I lie awake at night thinking about what I could possibly find in common with Houston, I think about the sun. It will be waiting for us, along with the heat, with pools and wildflowers and longhorns. And it will last more than three months a year and that's enough to help me back to sleep on the really bad nights.

Is there sun where you are? Can somebody please remind me how much I wanted the heat of a Texas summer when I'm actually living there and enduring 100+ degrees in the ninth month of pregnancy? I'm sure I'll need to remember just how cold my days up here really were.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Just another weekly update

I can't believe how fast April is zooming by. SLOW DOWN! Well, wait, don't slow down. Maybe I should SPEED UP!

It's been so long since I did my weekly journal and I'm sorry. I'll do my best to make this a regular Wednesday thing if I can. Famous last words...

I'm still fighting off this god-awful bronchitis. Seriously, today marks day 15 and I'm all shades of over it. Umm..what else? I skipped a doc appointment this morning because I thought 7:30 a.m. was such a great idea a few weeks ago, but not this morning. Nothing was a great idea at 7:30 a.m. this morning besides the morning java/waffle dance we do around the table each day.

Another week, really, chugging along.

Boy Wonder is all about playing outside now as much as he can and that's fantastic. He's tall. Taller than last week. I don't even know what to make of that...dang.

Boo is all about schedules. We have our days where we get to walk BW to school AND walk to pick him up and let me just tell you...don't consider being a minute late to leave. Without knowing real time, he knows when it's time to go and when you're slacking. He also knows the entire PBS Kids morning line up by heart and tells time that way. His brother goes to school in the middle of "Dinosaur Train" and Boo knows when to kick him in the pants if the backpack hasn't been loaded up. Smart kid, that one.

Makenna took her first steps over the Easter weekend (at 9 months, holy moly) but she's really trying to motor now. Sometimes she's successful. Sometimes she's not. But she's a fearless walker.

Crafty blogs. sigh. They distract me and make me wish I was a better crafter/photographer/writer. I'm also really inspired by the increasing temperatures and sunshine around here.

Our move to Texas is just about 30 days away. Am I inspired to hustle more crap outta the house to make the process easier? Not really. But I'm still picking away at it the best I can. I'm panicked and giddy. Nervous and impatient. This quote really sums it up:

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra

Well said, sir.

The cold that nearly took me down. Yikes. Short of my bouts with strep, I don't think I've really been that miserable in a long time.

We took the kiddos to the Anchorage Kids Day celebration and left just a tad bit jaded...feeling less like they got hands-on fun and games like the ads claimed and more like we were shuffled through rows of businesses pushing flyers in our hands. Boo.

Sunday made up for it, though, when we took the kids kite flying. Two kites went out and only one made it back it, but it was still fun.

There's a lot going on in the writing arena. Harlequin has some great fast-track opportunities and I sent my entry in on Monday for one of them. I also spent the weekend sending queries out for "Jasper and the Fiddlers Three," the MG project.

A new blog re-design and Texas-friendly name is going on at the moment, too. I'm trying not to jump the gun too much because what if we land in a different community and I've already included "Katy" in the new blog name? See? Drama! But seriously, I've been studying and adoring blogs lately and I see a new direction for this one soon. Soon-ish. Oh, eventually!

I also have a few quilts to finish, a house to move, and a boy to prep for summer vacation with his dad and that side of the family.

Oh yeah, and a baby to have. Ha!

Everyone is trying to get the most sunshine they can. Nevermind the fact that they freeze their fingers still if they stay out too long. It's sunny, the snow is retreating and they're all about that.

P gets the amazing responsbility of orchestrating a move because, honestly, my idea of moving right now is a good, old-fashioned housefire. I can't miss it if it's ashes, right?

Cooking has been so prefunctory lately that it's almost not a joy. That said, I'm eyeballing various strawberry cupcake recipes and something should come from that soon.

In other news, we're cooking with way less meat lately. Nobody's really noticed that we're up to an average of three meatless dinners a week. Go, us!

The Goblin Secrets by William Alexander. Amazing MG book.

Boy Wonder had a book about the Titanic last week. His other gem from the school library was a book full of riddles about mummies. It was pretty funny. Until the 180th mummy riddle. Then it wasn't.

Boo isn't into reading so much as watercolor painting lately. Mostly he likes to paint coloring page books so I try to sneak in letter and number pages to his repetoire.

Energy and patience for the next 30 days. I need both. Lots of both.

Praying for my family. Pop's burial is this Sunday. God bless the man...

My beautiful family. A job that pays the bills. The chance for a new start in an old state. Optimism. Books. My sewing machine.

Have a great week!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Get Your Flying Machines at the Ready

Nothing like a balmy 49 degrees to inspire some kite flying, right? We got ourselves a couple drug store specials and waited until it was nice and gusty this afternoon to take the boys flying. Boy Wonder was just about Boo's age when he first met a kite, so I suppose it was about time.

But it wouldn't be our family without a few broken strings, a kite-eating tree, and an emergency potty break. Go figure.

Read on, on.

1. Picture it. Anchorage, 2012. Still snow on the ground, but not for the weather's lack of trying. Go, weather, go.

2. The boys and their pre-flight instructions. "Hang on tight. Stay away from each other. Hit me, your mother, or your sister with a kite and I'm knocking you out when you're 16. Got it?"

Notice the tree. In about three minutes, said tree is going to try to EAT Boy Wonder's stealth bomber kite. Thanks to dad, it fails. But it was sure close...

3. This is Boo and his bug kite. Have you ever tried to teach him anything? You can't. You can hint, cajole, and express concern that maybe he might want to hold on tight to his string or his kite will fly away.

Guess what?

His kite flew straight over those buildings in the distance. Guess who jogged down there (six months pregnant and all!) and yanked it free when it finally made its suicidal jump off the roof on the other side? Yep. Me. Super Mom. You'd have done the same thing if you heard the heart-breaking shrieks of agony from said know-it-all when the wind yanked the string from his hands and liberated the kite.

4. This kid's kind of a natural at this game. And oh my goodness, I just love that he still wears puddle boots proudly. I can hardly believe he's 8-years-old. Where did the time go? I wonder what sort of young man he's going to grow into...a scholar? A ladies man? Am I rambling? My bad. I get caught up when I start thinking about how quickly this one's growing. Great kite flyer, isn't he?

5. This is the point in the story where the Boo man noticed a fly near him. This is his scaredy-man freak out dance. He hates flies. And bugs. And especially spiders. I think the fly was traumatized after all the noise he made. Is it ironic that he picked out the bug kite himself? Just when we thought it was safe to return to the skies...

6. The second freakout of the half hour involved an exploding (or about-to-explode) bladder. Daddy had to convince him that boys do, in fact, pee outside from time to time. Boo was uncertain at first but now I wonder if he'll ever use the toilet again...

7. I love kites. Have you picked up on that? Oh, and can we have a moment of silence for the bug kite? A slip of Daddy's wrist while in flight and the thing shattered into three or four plastic, buggy pieces. You'll be missed fearless building-jumping bug kite. Go to glory, friend.

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

the world according to pop

My grandfather passed away Easter Sunday at the amazing age of 90. I'm still not sure what to say about it, as I immortalized him as a hero a long time ago and now that the time is here for him to take his rightful place in family history, I'm not ready for that. I'm not ready to sort out the legend and the man and to put one in the past and one in the halls of fame in our memories.

So in the meantime, here's a poem my mom wrote about him. I can't say enough how much I love these words. It feels like a direct connection to him, all the wise pieces of advice I was lucky enough to hear him say and even the ones I didn't get a chance to hear.

Lessons From My Father
(the world according to pop)

Respect your mother, whether you are six or sixty-five.

Technology is wonderful but nothing beats a
stroll through a bookstore or an afternoon at
the library.

Who says a cup of coffee and a handful of fig
newtons is not the breakfast of champions?

Get rid of grudges, disappointments and clothes
that don't fit.

Dogs are man's best friend. So are cats. Birds?
Not so much.

A tidy bedroom, pressed trousers and daily
baths are highly overrated.

Commune with nature: plant a garden, feed
the birds, study the night sky.

It's the love of family and friends that makes
one wealthy, not bank accounts and big houses.

Be happy. Enjoy your life. Make great

by debra larsen whitcomb


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Phony Egg Hunts and Imaginariums

I spent a good part of the morning rounding up lost easter gear (thanks, Nana!) and wrasslin' baby girls into frilly tutu dresses and tights (tights!). We had a plan to be at the fancy schmancy Easter Bazaar downtown in time for egg hunts and pastel-colored revelry.

Well, when we got there all we saw were a whole bunch of bewildered looking families, all with baskets, none with eggs. There was a putzy photographer set up with a white sheet backdrop and some plastic easter grass and that about constituted this amazing "easter bazaar." Bummer, right?

Being that we were downtown and we are NEVER downtown, we trekked north a few blocks and landed at the Imaginarium over at the Anchorage Museum. The kids forgot all about promised (and denied) easter eggs for a while and Makenna got to strut her fancy stuff. We played in bubble solution and, as you'll see, Boy Wonder got into a shouting match with the snapping turtle through the plate glass. I think the turtle won, though...I can't be sure.

At least we still have tomorrow to come up with eggs and 8 pounds of candy. Hopefully the easter bunny is in a good mood!

Happy Easter, beautiful people!