Monday, January 20, 2014

the best boyfriend

And while his sister is up to all sorts of things radical and fabulous and grown-up, Mr. Beans is pretty darn incredible as well.  We had lots of q.t. over this lovely holiday weekend.  Lots of date time while dad was on the mountain with Elie.  Lots of deep talks about wolverines and cheetahs and "pumbas."  A couple go's on the carousel.  A scone date in the sunshine.  Out-of-the-blue questions about what animal is the largest or the heaviest or the fastest peppered with, sweet nothings.  

Did you know a wolverine can defeat a grizzly bear?  It's true, mom.  It really is.  I really love you, mom.  You're the best mom.  Which animal is more powerful?  A great white shark or a cheetah?  

Keeps a girl on her toes, it really does.  Having one-on-one time with the kiddos is so precious.  Jeff and Elie can come home with their alpine-glow, but homie and I were keeping it pretty real just around the house, just around town.  Sol helps me scrub toilets, unload the dishwasher, organize the shoes.  His whole attitude is so different when it's just him.  I guess because he can just roll with whatever without worrying about what Eliana thinks or says or gets.  There's no second guessing when he's the only one calling the shots. 

 He's always been my sexy little boyfriend.  The magic continues. 

And the sun!  The January sun and the way she laughed with us all day.  The way we wandered the river trail, just staring up, savoring the warmth.  I'll take the Colorado winter.   I'll take Mr. Beans and his sweet lips, insane hair.  I'll take these days, every last bit of light, every last question and kiss.

things I don't do

My girl is turning into a shredder.  I've been meaning to post this video from our trip of her on a boogie board.  The hoot-hollars from Jeff and I are ridiculous.  She's just rad and it's freezing in the water and she's just rolling with it.

Then there was skiing this weekend.  Jeff's been pretty invested in Eliana's ski career for a number of years now.  This year she is on what is called the "ski team."  Because we were away for the holidays, we missed the first session.  So Eliana had her first day this weekend.  I wasn't there, but Jeff came home all aglow.  He said it was his best day of skiing ever.  They were both in this mountain sun kissed, dreamy delirium.  So we went back today.

The pathetic thing is, I really haven't even seen my girl ski.  We played for a while on the bunny hill, racing each other down, laughing.  But then she went up with her dad.  And skied down some insane stuff.  Black diamonds.  Really.

Snowbowl is a steep mountain.  It's a rough mountain.  Apparently their greens are like blues, their blues are like blacks so their blacks are like...?  I don't even know.  I just can't really even handle it.  People warned me.  People said, you better get up there or they're gonna be better than you soon.  Before I even had a chance to contemplate this idea, she was better than me.  Like leaps and bounds better.  Like not only can I not keep up with her, I'm terrified to go down the runs she went down today.  Shoot.  They were totally right.

Friday, January 17, 2014

my girl

I'm not really sure what's happened in the last two weeks.  But Eliana is growing-up.  Right before my eyes.  Way too fast.  She's had a big week.  Back to school and homework and long days of learning and focus.  A strange new sensitivity about having to go to after-care that lands her in sweetly pathetic bouts of tears.  A loose front tooth.  Extra wild, long hair.  Dramatic singing performances.  A "Frozen" themed tea party she hosted (she hand-wrote invitations, made place mats, cut snowflakes for decorations, set the "tavle" -- she says her 'v's like a Columbian, baked carrot muffins, hibiscus tea -- while it sounds sorta Pinterest it was exceedingly homespun and awesome and I really didn't do a whole lot except help with the funky muffins...) that went really, really well until it ended and then she melted down like the it was the end of the world.  An intense sensitivity.  She looks huge all of the sudden too.  Strong legs and booty out of nowhere.  I can barely carry her and she eats more than I do.  Is this what happens at six and a half?

Today in yoga this woman brought her three or four year old into the studio.  The little girl had a mat and a few coloring things.  It was a heated studio, so the sweet thing was just in her little cotton panties.  She was silent and graceful and didn't distract from the packed class.  At the end of the class, the teacher brought her up to the front to help lead the final, "om."  Then the girl's sweet little voice rang out in a high-pitched, "Namaste."  It was really lovely.

But all I could think about when I saw this little girl was, I no longer have a baby.  I have a girl.  If I bring Eliana to yoga, she will try her darndest to actually 'do' yoga.  She will be long on the mat during Shavasana, will take her Tree really seriously and will melt into Pigeon with a sigh and some sort of made-for-TV-movie comment, ("Mama!  This feels really relaxing!") 

The little baby that danced between my legs, that snuggled into my body, she's a big, strong, capable, emotional, imaginative, creative, intense child.  I am so full of pride for every ounce of her complexity, for her grace and sensitivity.  The wonder holds on...

in the mood for gratitude

It's been two weeks back into the routine.  Zombies are going down, sun's been shining on the melting ice, we all wake up way too early and stuff a tremendous amount into each day.  While I tend to zonk out too close to nine o'clock for my taste and while, perhaps, meltdowns seem to be a bit more intense when our days are full, it sure is lovely to be back.  The awesome thing is, it sure was lovely to be gone.  I'm working towards harmony as I approach my fourth decade.  This transition seems to be a good place to start.  I did find a gratitude list from my journal when we were gone that I wanted to share:

The biggest highlight:

Spending so much leisure time with kiddos -- Soli's kisses, Elie's observations, being present with them, moving through adventures as a foursome...

And in other highlights:
  • A fortunate thing is when a trip has too many highlights to recount.  Each day was full of blessings, of adventure, of old friends and family, of holidays and nature, of sunshine and the winter wind that whips through NYC, of Soli's fist movie and the happy tears I cried watching how much they loved, "Frozen", their faces during the opening of, "The Lion King" on Broadway, the giraffes and elephants lumbering majestically down the aisles (way more happy tears...), their faces pressed to glass, looking down on the wilds of Times Square, safe on their bellies above, the haunting harmonies from, "Pippin" as I grip the hand of an old and fabulous friend, the mellow comfort of Jeff's mama's home in NJ, the date the two of us had for sushi while the kiddos slept safe, sound...Then...the sunshine!  The ocean!  Green parks and noodles drowned in rice vinegar and shoyu, a Christmas cookout, tank tops and bare feet, wet grass, the leisure of an afternoon with my family, the laughter between cousins, beach sunsets, playing baby dolphins and baby turtles and baby foxes, digging our sandy den, Eliana on the boogie board in January in just a swimsuit, the wave pushing her forward, watching my sisters get to know my kids, cheap and fabulous burritos, Solomon helping my mom up and down the steps, their budding connection, late night shenanigans with my dad over enchiladas and really good conversation, an impromptu game of volleyball in Mark's backyard, cousins and brothers connecting together outside.  
  • I love how while I intended to use bullet points, my tremendous sentence seems to have thwarted my ability for further organization.  Some things I just want to put down, excessive commas and all.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


It's not even eight o'clock and the house is silent.  The children have already been out for an hour.  I'm ready to turn out the light but have so much to say, know that -- as always --  the only way out is through.

We are journey-er's, my family, me, our sweet team.  We fought a long fight to make it back home, logged extra hours in airports, in shuttles, trains, buses, unplanned hotel rooms.  And I had a hunch on the way to the airport in LA that something was bound to go wrong with our travel home.  It had just been too good a trip.  So that's the karmic price we pay for our absolutely satisfying adventure.  A little extra airport time, some cancelled flights, an icy tarmac.  I'll take it.

This is one of those trips that eludes any sort of blow by blow.  It was a bi-coastal adventure, a celebration of our histories, our origins, our families.  It was a sharing of our children with their east and west coast families, oldest friends, favorite haunts.  It was all four of us all together all day.  That's super cool.

I felt it within half an hour of our time home.  I was multi-tasking again.  I was unpacking bags and uploading photos and not sitting on the floor with the kids and their Legos.  I made myself stop, sit, and immediately found myself folding their laundry, chastising them for how quickly they messed up their space.  That was when Solomon began jumping on my back declaring that he was a puma and he wanted to battle the cheetah.  You are the cheetah, mama.  You strike with your paws. We are having a battle.  

Because that's the mama that they get on vacations.  A mama who is wholly present and ready for battle.  Battles of love and sunshine and sandcastles.  Battles through the extravagant streets of Times Square, their hands clenched in ours, our city roots alert and ready.  Battles of splendor through little slices of hamachi and unagi, sushi a way to the culinary core of our foursome.  Battles of beds as we moved from place to place, the kiddos a heap at our feet, snuggled into one another, a mess of California curls.  Battles as they meet new people and move beyond their comfort zone.  Eliana became really good at shaking hands, looking people in the eye, saying, Nice to meet you with a humble self-assurance that makes me melt with pride.  Post bedtime battles when Jeffy and I actually have enough energy to hang out together.  Alone!  We even went on some little late night excursions around New Jersey and New York, the music loud, us remembering a time not so long ago when that sort of freedom was the norm, so happy just to share space, check things out, hear the next song on the sound system.

Solomon helped me extend an odd and unexpected metaphor.  The battle.  So I'll keep it rolling.  My new battle, a battle I am uncovering in this very moment, is a battle for this lovefest to continue, even when we return to our real life.  I vow to battle a bit more consciously, flex my muscles, draw my sword for this in-the-moment joy.  I will battle for the spontaneous bursts of I love you's and kisses and gratitude that have held us, have halo-ed us in bright city light, in San Clemente sunshine, in rolling waves and applause from the Broadway audience, in another meal together, another gracious host, another generous heart giving to my family, appreciating us wholly, so glad to have us around.  I will battle for focused time with my children when we are just together, one moment blending gracefully into the next.   I will battle to hold on to perspective -- know that there is only this moment, this family, this go around. 

I will battle for gratitude, may she always prevail.