Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stereogram Summer

We're at the Jersey Shore for our vacation in a town that I spent every summer at growing up - at least until working at the pizza parlor was no longer considered a viable job. Being here is always a trip down memory lane for me, but this summer seems especially so.

I find myself staring at aging men on the beach. Their bellies are extended, muscles disappearing and hair slinking upward, but I'm compelled to keep looking yet unsure why. Suddenly my eyes shift focus and, just like those stereogram posters that were popular a while back, the man turns into an adorable 15 year-old boy with a grin and a tan and I realize it's an old friend.

It's a beautiful thing to see.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Vibrations

We are still on vacation and enjoying our time at the beach. Last night J and I went to see Sheryl Crow, with James Blunt as the opening act. It was a great show and really fun to get out and hear some music.

It got me thinking of the other time I saw Sheryl Crow. I went with a guy I knew from college who I almost, kind-of-sort-of dated for a while. The thing about him though was that he was incredibly jealous. At the time we met I thought Marky Mark was pretty hot. This guy was jealous of this crush. I mean, can you picture it:

I'm walking down a rainy street one day and there, before me (with no shirt on, of course) is Marky Mark.

We both stop, unable to look away.

Stars and hearts fill the air above our heads and we are magnetically pulled together by a force neither can explain.

We embrace and stare into each other's eyes.

He begins to do some back flips, lifts some weights, does a little dance . . . it's good like Sunkist. . . makes me want to know who done this.

Can you feel it, baby?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peanut One Asks

I'm at the beach with the Peanuts and having trouble with my internet access. While somewhat freeing to not have the option to go online all week, I'm glad to be back up.

I thought today I'd share some questions from Peanut One - in case you have any brilliant answers. As a solo parent this week, I'm sort of stymied!

What makes the wind?

Who is meaner, pirates or robbers?

Could a pirate beat Shere Khan (the tiger from Jungle Book)?

Who could crunch 139 people?

What if the kids had to throw their food and
knock the grownups off their seats?

What came first, fire trucks, police cars or ambulances?

As you can tell, I need some help!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Museum Melancholy

I thought long and hard about my decision and decided to go ahead with the plan. I took the Peanuts to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. We had a great time taking in the new exhibit on Polar Bears, Penguins and other icy things. We spent a long time in the children's play area. We named every animal in the display cases along the hallway.

Then, against my own trepidation, we went into the 'A Walk through Time in Georgia' exhibit. This area takes you through all the different regions of Georgia and shows the animals and plants that live there. Simultaneously it shows the history of our planet from creepy sea creatures that used to own the ocean to the magnificent dinosaurs that Peanut One loves so much. (I always get confused trying to converge the two tracks, but it works for the kids).

The dinosaur room is always a big hit for Peanut One and when we got there he sat right down to stare at the life-sized models of his buddies. After much coaxing, I finally got the Peanuts to leave the dinosaurs. As we wove our way through the final rooms of the exhibit - seeing the wetlands and barrier islands in full force - I tried to shift Peanut One's focus to anything but the dinosaurs.

Obviously I still haven't learned the skill of distraction because, as always and on cue, the minute we walked out of the exhibit and into the museum Peanut One burst into tears. I gently asked him what was wrong (as if I didn't know) and he sobbed, "Why did the dinosaurs all have to die? Why can't they still be here? I love them so much."

Knowing from past experience that rational conversation about extinction and evolution doesn't work for a 4 year old, I carefully picked him up, gave him a big hug and told him it made me sad too.

You've got to love my sensitive little guy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beach Magic

We just returned from the beach for a long weekend and are heading out again this weekend, so the whirlwind of transforming sandy, wet clothes into clean ones to be packed and become sandy wet ones again has begun.

Our time at the beach was amazing. It was so perfectly wonderful to watch our kids play in the sand and water and wear themselves out with their cousins. With a deep fondness for the beach - arguably my favorite place in the world - it was such a joy to see the cycle of awe, joy and fun encircle the Peanuts.


Sitting in the surf with Peanut One as the waves
knocked us down to peals of his laughter.

Snuggling Peanut Two up in a warm beach towel
after we physically dragged her from the pool.

Peanut One chasing crabs at night
with a flashlight, shovel and a gaggle of cousins (he caught one!).

Peanut Two taking 25 minutes to walk 25 feet of beach
because of all the interesting things she wanted to pick up.

Peanut One's instinctive urge to swim in the ocean,
get out, and promptly roll in the sand.

Our last night we were sitting on our deck looking at the ocean and Peanut One said to J, "It is going to be hard to say good-bye to my cousins, but even harder to say good-bye to the beach".

I couldn't agree more.

Friday, July 11, 2008

You Really Like Me

Whenever Peanut Two gets upset, which of course seems to never rarely always happen to our budding two year old, we'll find her standing somewhere quietly drowning in her hurt feelings.

So, for example, when Peanut One snatches something from her or raises his voice to her or if J or I tell her 'no', her chin will quiver, eyes fill up and she'll stand there silently crying until someone notices.

Lately, though, I've watched the little gal trying a different path. She'll still silently cry, but then when I come over to her she'll start telling me all the things that like her:

"Bugs like me"

"Bees like me"

"Bunny likes me"

It almost breaks my heart to hear her - as it seems her heart is so broken by whatever has happened. But, on the other hand, I admire the little Peanut. She seems to have an instinctive ability to take care of herself and remind herself of the abundance of love in her life.

So I scoop her up for a big hug, agree that all these things (and more) like her, and smile at the magic in her heart.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Art Show

While I've dabbled in various art projects over the years, I recently took a class called 'Building Large, Dynamic Paintings'. How could I not take a class with such an awesome name?!

I decided to work on a project that showed my battlefield - the place I go when I am overwhelmed with something and am not sure how to get out of it.

I had an image of physically going into the battlefield and digging in the muck of the desolate spot, searching for something to guide me out. Suddenly I grasped a spectacular, old sailing ship with vibrant red sails. My symbolic ticket out.

While no Picasso, I wanted to share my painting today.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Up in Smoke

For some reason, Peanut One is obsessed with smoking. We've told him how smoking is bad for our lungs and not good for our bodies and how back-in-the-day people didn't know that so they smoked.

This works, until he sees someone smoking in the here-and-now and then the questions begin . . .

Why are they smoking?

Don't they know it isn't good for them?

What does smoking do?

How do they smoke?

Why, why, why. . . ?

Fortunately, with smoking bans abounding and no one in our circle of family or friends that smokes, this doesn't happen often.

Even so, yesterday we were playing outside and he was holding a large stem to his mouth, putting it in and out and making puffing noises. I asked him what he was doing and he matter-of-factly said,

"I'm just smoking some grass, mom".

Is this how it starts?!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Symbols in the Sky

I have to admit that this blog has already veered a bit away from what I wanted it to be. Yes, I wanted a place to tell great stories about my kids, to make readers laugh, to bring to light the joy, silliness and sorrow of everyday reality.

I also wanted this blog to be a place to explore and share the magic I've been slowly feeling in my life. Synchronicity, kismet, internal evolution through a connection with a higher spirit. . .

The past week, while quite a nice week, has brought me away from my magical journey and I've been wondering what is next. This morning I was exercising on our treadmill, in our basement, and all of a sudden a dragonfly began fluttering around me. For the entire workout, it flew around and around me!

If you don't know, dragonflies are a symbol of going past self-created illusions that limit change or growth and are considered a divine prompting to use creative imagination as a force within your life. Read here or here for more where that came from.

Thanks for the message. The magic is back.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What Did She Say?

I had a meeting yesterday with a woman whom I had been in email communication with, but hadn't met. When I came into our meeting room, she stood up and shook my hand saying "Oh, you are an ???l? lady like me!"

Because of some rustling, or perhaps my personal blocking, I wasn't sure what she said.

What I hope she said was "Oh, you are little lady like me", since we are both on the shorter side of not-so-tall.

What I think she said was "Oh, you are an old lady like me", since many of our colleagues are on the younger side of not-so-old.

Did she just say that?!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Daisy Duke

I sometimes refuse to admit that I live in the South now. I also have a hard time remembering that my children are Georgians. With no rhyme nor reason, I think they live in New Jersey.

Don't get me wrong. I've grown to love my life in Atlanta. There is much to be valued, learned and embraced. But there are some traits I'd rather not bring into the Magic Mansion.

Because I managed to grow up in New Jersey without that 'Owe. Maiy. Gawd.' accent, I assumed I carried some genetic trait that blocked the development of talk-to-be-made-fun-of. One Southern stereotype off my list that I figured my kids wouldn't adopt.

Once again, a Peanut proves me wrong.

Peanut Two has taken to carrying around a tiny, plastic baby in her hand. She loves it to no end and must sleep with it, walk with it, play with it. This past weekend we were at church and she decided it was to be called Baby Jesus.

Peanut Two has also taken to speaking very, very loudly with the clearest enunciation possible when she really wants to get her point across.

Now Baby Jesus is so small that it is often misplaced. Last night the search was on to find the little baby girl (yes, Jesus is a girl in our house). Peanut Two was searching all around for it, getting more and more riled up. Finally she began yelling -

"Where! ais! Bay! Bay! Jeeee! Suuus?!"

The Wise Woman of the South cometh.