the hardest parts

I have always said that my most favorite age and stage in the lives of each of my children is this one, the one they are in now…except for the adolescence of my first born. Don’t judge. She agrees. It was hard on both of us. And we both lived to tell the tale.

Thank gawd!

But yes, the best part in the lives of my individual children is this part right now when you are asking me what is the best part.

And it is often also the hardest part.

Sharing a moment with one of my grown circus clowns, we discussed just this. We talked about potty training and how she remembers the day I gave up and put her back in diapers because we both weren’t ready. I remember relief and later feeling vindicated when two months down the road she was ready and accident free. She remembers feeling so mad and sad that I put her back in diapers.

OMG, she was 2½! She remembers that!

And sharing a glass or two or more of wine, we recall each age and stage…the big sister worship, the picking on the baby sister, the silly times, the hard times, the scary times, the fun times.

And now here we are, sharing wine together…and she shares what’s going on in her life right now I am wishing we were back in the days of potty training battles because potty training was a lot easier than this is right now. This part where they are grown up and they make mistakes and they deal with consequences and tears and fears and heartbreak and mommy can’t fix it is hard. Too hard sometimes. I could easily dispense my wealth of wisdom telling her what she must do. But in spite of the wine…or because of the wine, I just listen because just listening is what she wants, what she needs the most right now…and hugs and wine and The Kitten Bowl that I dvr’d especially for her.

This parenting gig gets harder and harder I swear. What I wouldn’t give for a little potty training right now…seriously.

Sorry millennial parents! The hardest part of parenting, like the very best part, is the here and the now.

Hang in there.

I am.

 

 

a dining oasis

Married now for decades…decades…that sounds like a really long time, doesn’t it? Well, yes, 31 years and more is a long time to love and be loved and be stuck together like the old married folk that Bill and I are.

So what about Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day?

Really?

Truthfully, as an old married lady, I haven’t thought too much about it as Love Day was approaching. But my darling husband, on the other hand, was thinking about it a lot. Again, just when I think I know him and can predict almost anything about him he goes and does something like this.

I hate when he does that.

I love when he does that.

He does too because, yes, he loves catching me off guard.

So let’s get dressed up and go somewhere really nice for a Valentine’s dinner?

Around here?

Well, there is an oasis?

An oasis?

Yes, an oasis in the dining desert that is Manteca. It says so right here in Yelp.

So it does. Well, okay then. It’s a date.

And we waited this week for date night to finally arrive.

Ah, the romance of anticipation!

And…

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes, indeed Ernie’s Fine Foods & Spirits truly is an oasis in the desert that is Manteca’s dining offerings of endless fast food restaurants, taquerias and chain restaurants.

The appetizers, the 5 onions soup, the grilled to perfection steaks, the lobster, the spirits, the wine, the service, the ambiance all perfection.

But Bill impeccably dressed in his grey suit and me in a jersey column dress were definitely overdressed because this is Manteca.

Still, good food, good drink, great uninterrupted conversation…this was good. This was very good. My darling husband definitely hit this one out of the park.

We shall be back, Ernie’s!

photo dump 2-9-15 edition

I may not be writing much lately but I am taking pictures.

There is that at least.

Colds and flu season…sigh!

Bridesmaid gown acquired. Little sister will be pleased.

So apparently Starbucks and Match have joined together to help me meet someone? Um…no one tell my husband?

I might have a problem. Then again, most runners I know have a similar problem…worse even. By the way, I crushed that long run this past weekend and then I ate all the Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

Actually I did save some for the family including Hazel who declared it all to be delicious…except the mushroom.

Meanwhile, not even her favorite, Queen Elsa, could wake up Fallon to come join the family for dinner.

Cavity inducing bedtime moments like these are truly the best.

And this. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

I sure do hope so!

Happy Monday y’all!

 

this week’s photo dump

Feeling lazy…fighting hard against Bill’s nasty cold that he picked up after our trip to Texas that everyone else is succumbing to…thinking that I have way too much to say and not really wanting to say much of anything at all…I’m just going to dump another slide show on y’all.

Yes, I’m running more again and I am thinking seriously about running the Modesto Half…the one I couldn’t run three years ago. No, I still don’t have a place to hang all those race medals from all of those other half marathons that I ran three or four years ago. But I do have these new, sweet compression tights which proved to be AMAZING on their inaugural 5 miler.

Yes, I am THAT mom who sent her son to school with mismatched socks. In my defense, it was Spirit Week and yes, one day was Mismatched Socks Day.

But the next day was NOT Dirty Face and Un-brushed Teeth Day. Twelve is such a wonderful, kind of scummy age. Yes, I am THAT mom who didn’t notice this until he leaned over to kiss me goodbye at the drop-off. I don’t imagine that he will forgive me for the spit bath I gave him anytime soon. That’s okay.

Halloween came the next day and that trauma was soon forgotten. This happens to be the first year where an older sister wasn’t using him as her trick or treat beard…er, I mean volunteering to take him trick or treating which meant even more candy for him and his new neighbor and friend here. Do you know how awesome it is to have a friend your age living on your street and who likes doing the same things you do? Daniel says it is definitely awesome.

And while Daniel was haunting the neighborhood, some sisters were busy making adventures of their own.

Nieces too.

Fallon’s very first flight, from San Francisco to Atlanta.

Where she and Hazel rocked it as the flower girls.

Hard!

Meanwhile, you know that Halloween drinking game everyone was playing this year?

Major fail here under The Big Top.

Two Elsas and one Anna.

A good thing since I voted while passing out candy.

Then there was the end to Daylight Saving for this year. For some of us it was hard…really hard!

As for me, driving home from SFO late tonight, after picking up my daughter, her husband and their wonderful, little flower girls, I am thankful for that extra hour. Yes, as a matter of fact, there is wine in that cup.

 

 

 

little me

Last summer when Hazey-Face auditioned for the Dance Stars team, she told her dance coach that more than anything she wished to do a duet with her Auntie Jodie.

She really does look up to Jodie.

Kind of hard not to when your auntie’s feet seem to rarely touch the ground.

Since this was to be Jodie’s last recital as student and teacher, Hazel’s wish was granted today.

Little me

Yeah you got a lot of time to act your age,
You cannot write a book from a single page,
Hands on the clock only turn one way,

Run too fast and risk it all,
Can’t be afraid to take a fall,
Felt so big but you looked so small,

Wish I knew back then,
What I know now,
Wish I could somehow,
Go back in time and maybe listen to my own advice…

You gotta speak up, you gotta shout out,
And know that right here, right now,
You can be beautiful, wonderful,
Anything you wanna be,

Little me

How fitting that they would choose this song, Little Me, since Hazel is basically Jodie’s mini-me. True story, at dance competitions people backstage will ask if Hazel is Jodie’s little girl…which would mean that Jodie was a mommy at age 12…

Um, NO!

Not that I have never seen that happen. Sadly, I have. Jodie would have been so grounded forever if that ever happened to her. Don’t think I wouldn’t. Why not ask if they are sisters…you know, since they share the same last name?

I’m sorry.

There I go again, off on another tangent.

Back to the sweetness…

Isn’t this so sweet?

Aren’t they just adorable?

Don’t they just make you want to cry because of the sweetness, the tenderness, and the years just blurring by as we witness the magical moment between Jodie and her Little Me?

Hazel’s mommy and I have decided that these two are so grounded for like forever for making us (and pretty much everyone in the audience) cry today.

Thankfully, their dance coach knew this just might wring my already emotional because-it-is-Jodie’s-last-recital heart out and she was prepared with her gift to me.

Today I learned that after nine years of dancing and recitals and competing, when it is your kid’s last dance recital as student and teacher, you get wine…because Dance Moms do like their wine. Harmony knows me so well…perhaps too well.

Jodie and Hazel are still in so much trouble.