with love to the people we practice on


So apparently today is Siblings Day.

Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, shaking your head and muttering under your breath…as you some of you sometimes do over things like this that you might find silly.

Whatever.

The day was created by Claudia Evart, who lost both of her siblings earlier on in life. She chose the date to honor her late sister, Lisette. After losing her two siblings to separate accidents early in life, Claudia realized the importance of remembering our siblings, both living and no longer with us. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift it is.

Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings.

Yes, I am sentimental, and sometimes very emotional when I remember my late brother, Randy and think of where the consequences of life, our choices and others’ choices brought Randy, Billy, Valerie and me.

Sigh!

So many memories…good, bad, ugly and even WTF parents?! But they are/were ours and as Randy once told me, they are the one thing that we share and share only with each other. No one will ever get any of it and that is okay. Memories like that romper Billy is wearing…that haircut of mine which would be in the WTF parents? column. But ultimately the good is what I think of looking at this picture and other pictures of the four of us. Anything else would likely have destroyed me as it crushed my younger brothers and sister. And so I focus on the magic we created together, the four of us and I give thanks.

Then I celebrate some more because, yes, I have more siblngs!

Sisters…so awesome are they! So much younger than me, so much more smarter than me, more amazing than me and even taller than me now. Our memories are different, still they are good and always make me smile. I’m pretty lucky to have you, Angela and Elana both, as sisters.

But not to be left out, my own clowns began to share today celebrating their siblings.

Nobody tell those kids of mine that this is a dream come true especially when I recall the knock-down-drag-out fights that always ended up in tears, blood drawn and a broken nose or two in the past and maybe even last month.

Honestly, kids!

Zoë shared

And because only siblings are great in that way, Hollie declared this to be probably the worst picture to share.

Oh kids!

So I offer perhaps a better picture.

I have more…lots more…Hollie found some.

Oh the secrets, promises, laughter and tears these four have shared…and the fighting…with blood and a broken nose too that these sisters have shared!

Hollie shared: “Hey Daniel, thanks for being our brother. You kind of didn’t have choice in the matter (does any sibling ever have a choice, I wonder?). But you are literally the best thing to happen to this family. You’re crazy, and awesome, and weird in the best way. You’re brilliant and inquisitive, and so much like the four of us. You’re going to drive mom and dad crazy when you’re a teen (next year, OMG!). You were meant for us. And I love you so much. Happy Sibling Day!”

My heart just exploded with glitter and rainbows and unicorns.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way. – Pamela Dugdale

 

 

 

fashionista


“It matches because of the skirt.”
-Hazel Faye

Yes.

See what happen when you refuse to let your little girl wear her favorite sundress on a cold, blustery winter day? You dress her funny on purpose and then she grows up to become mommy to a true fashionista.

Seriously.

Why was this look not on the runways during Fashion Week?

WHY????!!!!

 

 

new and adorable


There is nothing more adorable than a brand new baby…and the brand new parents. Everything is shiny, new, perfect, clean and sweet smelling. Oh that new baby smell! Then they burp and puke and fill their diaper with the most foulness that is literally twice their body weight. How is that even possible?

Still babies are amazing and the newness of them and their parents discovering it all is oh so adorable. Like how the newbie parents I know with their perfectly precious babies have discovered all things breastfeeding and babywearing and cloth diapering. I mean how did the parents before them…their parents and grandparents… manage before these awesome things? A new parent I know literally said that recently.

?

Oh you brand new parents! Y’all are absolutely precious!

Some of you I have known since you were kids yourselves. You know, back in the day when I seemed to be always pregnant or carrying a baby around…in my baby sling…when they weren’t attached to my breast like that one I nursed until right before she turned FOUR YEARS OLD. I’m pretty certain that my sister in law believed me when I joked that I was going to continue to breastfeed her right up until she graduated from high school. I was dead-pan serious when I told her that in answer to her question, “How long are you going to keep doing that?” And when I wasn’t babywearing or breastfeeding those babies of mine I was cloth diapering them with real SAFETY PINS. What can I say, some of my parenting peers and I were way ahead of our time. We were kind of hard core too because safety pins.

Erm, actually no.

To the generation or two before me I apologize for being certain that my baby parenting style of babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding was something we parents of the 80′s, 90′s and 00′s invented because, OMG, I was pretty obnoxious about it all, wasn’t I?

Note to the generation before me, this is likely one of the only times I will apologize about my early parenting know-it-all obnoxiousness so savor it while you can.

Now don’t stress my dear newbie parents. I’m not judging you or poking fun at you. I’m just observing and realizing that I was pretty much the same way. I think it is part of the process of figuring out what kind of parent we are going to be and feeling confident in who that is in spite of the grandparents’ well-meaning critiques. Sorry newbies, they never really stop that even when you have somehow managed to raise a human up to be an adult who makes an honest contribution to society…or makes human babies of their very own.

I know. It kind of sucks.

But you did invent this new cloth-diapering style with those sweet little fancy wraps and baby wearing amazing wraps for every day of the week that coordinate with your hipster wardrobe and co-sleeping and breastfeeding and everything else awesome that you are doing for your little ones. I know that you believe this all to be true. It’s okay for you to believe that because there are some exhausting days and sleep-deprived nights where it will seem like that is the only truth you can cling to in order to reassure yourself that you are doing this parenting thing right.

You ARE doing this parenting thing right.

You also might cling to the novel idea that it’s going to get better and so much easier when they are older and can mostly take care of themselves. Then, at long last, you shall sleep…like babies.

Oh you adorable parents of young ones who long for when they are older & can do things for themselves so you can relax and sleep well.

Heh!

You have no clue.

Absolutely no clue.

You think you do.

But you don’t.

Those grown and nearly grown beautiful children of yours go out and sometimes make bad choices. Of course sometimes they don’t because of your amazing parenting skills but they are still out and it is late. Are you beginning to understand now why years ago I declared to darling daughter #1, Hollie, that the car had a curfew even if she was 18 and an adult? One night she came home, bringing the car home in time for curfew and offered that I didn’t have to wait up for her. I immediately answered back that yes I did. Nineteen year old Hollie would never understand that yes I did because though she be all grown up and an adult, she was still my baby girl and how in the world was I supposed to sleep like a new baby if she was out and about town?

How?!

I think mother-of-two-little-girls Hollie might begin to understand…soon…as soon as her girls let her have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I know that big sister Hollie definitely understands.

Meanwhile, there isn’t enough coffee to get through today after last night’s epic bad choices because part of becoming a grownup sometimes involves making such mistakes…the kind you’ll likely never, ever make again and the kind that you will never, ever let the children you might have in the future (the distant future) ever even try to make.

Good luck with that.

Excuse me, I’m going to pour myself another cup of coffee.

light and fluffy


Although Hazel has absolutely no patience while sitting in a very slow drive thru line at our friendly, neighborhood Starbucks with her Mima, she did discover this week that her hot chocolate is even more delicious with one pump raspberry syrup.

Inspired by The Lego Movie, which he has managed to see twice already, Daniel handled the assault to his senses during the dance preview creating this awesomeness with his Legos.

Meanwhile I found myself identifying with Tresa Edmunds here about living with our “magical burdens”.

Yes…blah, blah, blah…and laughing until I cried.

In other news, I sent off my submission to audition for Listen To Your Mother because dear Kizz encouraged me to try again because she thinks I have plenty of stories to tell.

Meanwhile this girl attended her first Stockton Thunder hockey game.

Truth be told, it actually was not her first hockey game. But this time she was not a sleeping, swaddled infant. No, she was right there cheering and yelling and people watching with her family. She probably liked it best because she could yell like crazy.

My daughter, Hollie Austa, is a pretty awesome person. One thing most parents wish and hope for is that their kids are better people than they are/were. Yes, she is a great mother. I’ve already talked about that. Today she just confirmed what I already knew about her (and her sisters and brother). She has a very kind heart. Not everybody would have come alongside someone to offer the kind of patience, kindness and help that she did for someone we know today. But my kid did. Proud of you Hollie!

And lastly, right now this is one of my favorite songs on my running playlists for so many reasons.

I don’t always listen to Gangsta Rap when I run.

#thickhairproblems


I have thick hair. No, I have REALLY thick hair. I have the kind of thick hair where perimenopausal hair loss is no big deal; once you adjust to the fact that, no, you are not dying because although it is a lot of hair there is so much more on your head. I have the kind of thick hair that most hairstylists hate. At least I have been told that…by a few stylists through the years…except for the one who does my hair now…whom I gave birth to. Perhaps she doesn’t complain because of the fact that I am her mother.

Nah!

Come on! This is Hollie we are talking about! No, Hollie insists that although there is a lot of hair to work with there could be worse problems that a stylist can have…

Like maybe a toddler with super thick hair sitting in your chair?

Perhaps so.

Little Miss Fallon decided that she wanted short hair. Yes, little Miss Fallon Elizabeth with that epic, thick, gorgeous, strawberry-blonde hair. Where in the world would this girl with the gorgeous hair get an idea like that? Damned if I would know! Lucky for her she has a mama who is quite skilled at cutting and styling epic, thick, hair with a stubborn life of its own.

Unlike some of those less fortunate ones whose mommy dearests would literally scalp them because they had no clue how to cut and style epic, thick hair with double barrel cowlicks. The photographic proof through the years would make you weep. I know it did for me.

Oh why?!

As for this little pixie, she is lucky and very adorable.

And clearly she approves.

You’ll excuse me now while I go and make a little pillow stuffed with baby angel hair.