Scenes from the weekend

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM

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a.k.a. sorry I disappeared for a week and didn't say anything. I just...didn't feel like saying anything!

Eve gets new shoes, loves them more than any shoes ever were loved in the entire history of the universe up to this point. Toms has a new fan.

(Make that two new fans - avoiding Shoe Drama every day ranks extremely high on my Quality of Life rating scale).


We have bees in our backyard. I tried to look and see what they were up to, but I didn't see a hive and didn't want to get too close because, duh, BEES. But our bug man was brave and has a suit, so he went and checked things out - and I kid you not, there was TEN TIMES this much honeycomb in my compost tumbler, which is why I couldn't see it. It was insane/inspiring/life-affirming/embarrassing. 


I go and check out Smeeks, which is a cute little candy and toy shop (right next to Halo, where I went to have them check on my nose ring - kind of strange bedfellows, but hey, I went to both places so there must be a market for it!) Big Chinese-food-size box of salt water taffy for $2.50, I'm a fan. 


Devlin totally schools me at chess:


and builds extremely elaborate Lego submarines:


Little Green continues to put his tortoise body in positions from which he cannot right himself, including this one which looks quite relaxing was but actually rather distressing for him:


Iris has curly hair...


...falls asleep after LOUDLY protesting she does not require a nap...


...and steals my camera:

All Is Well

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM

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Cardi and top: Anthro
Skirt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Zulily
So, I have a blog!  How about that?

David was offered, at the last minute, the opportunity to go to the Coachella music festival last weekend with some friends, so he did that, and it was great.  But I was so busy I just didn't check in here.

(That's usually a good sign.  If I'm grumpy, you'll hear about it.)

I did buy myself a new blouse as a reward to myself for being a completely awesome single parent for the last several days (and not getting to see Radiohead and a whole bunch of other great performers).  It's silk and feels like wearing nothing, only much prettier.

Since we last met, I also:

ran Pat's Run (4.2 miles) in 48:05
broke my brand-new glasses (well, I was holding them and they broke all on their own)
had a rockin' girl's night out
took three kids to church alone
my hair keeps getting taller and taller
attended Cub Scout day camp with Devlin
taught a yoga class! (super informal, but still kind of a bucket list-er)

And with that, I think we're about caught up. 

I'll try to be witty/motivational/insightful tomorrow.  No promises though.





Don't Skip This Post, Even Though There Is More Poetry Contained Herein

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 9:50 PM

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After the dazzle of day is gone,
Only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the stars;
After the clangor of organ majestic, or chorus, or perfect band,
Silent, athwart my soul, moves the symphony true.

This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death, and the stars.

At the last, tenderly,
from the walls of the powerful, fortress'd house,
from the clasp of the knotted locks --
from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks -- with a whisper,
Set ope the doors, O Soul!

Tenderly! be not impatient!
(Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh!
Strong is your hold, O love.)

Our life is closed, our life begins,
the long, long anchorage we leave,
the ship is clear at last, she leaps!
She swiftly courses from the shore, she leaps!

- Walt Whitman, from four different poems combined by Daniel Gawthrop

I am thoroughly enjoying this setting this week, and thought I would share with you on a fine Wednesday evening. It's almost enough to make a person want to die so someone can read this at my funeral.

In the unfortunate-for-you event that poetry is not your thing, and the necklace in this photo caught your eye (this is very similar), you might want to consider stopping in at this little shop (use code SPRINGFLING for 15% off your purchase until April 20th).



I have this on the way, and am plotting to acquire these, and maybe this...

The Power of Now

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

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If it seems like I post about Iris more than the other kids, that's because I'm pretty sure I do.

She's my buddy this year:

in my face

hanging on my leg

pulling my hand

examining my earrings

lifting up my skirt

asking me the same question 347 times, just ever so slightly different each time

hogging the spotlight

confirming the itinerary

being the baby

When the kitchen is clean after breakfast, and it's time for her to watch a show, she always asks me to snuggle with her on the couch.

And even though there are a million other things I could/should be doing, and even though I know it means I will probably fall back asleep for at least half an hour, making me feel (and, indeed, be) very lazy, I always say yes.

Because the housework, unlike my children, never does go and finish itself when I'm not paying attention. It's always there, waiting exactly (so pitifully exactly) the way I left it. I lose nothing by ignoring it for a while.

But because Iris is my third, and my last, I am pretty much on to the way babies have of growing up at an alarming rate if you aren't watching every moment.

(And even if you are.)

Devlin and Eve, I don't lie when I write here, so when I say that I love you every bit as much as Iris, you can know that it is true.

But I know you will indulge me if I loudly slurp up every last drop of this year, when you are in school, learning and growing so fast, and Iris is still all mine.

I know I will be ready to move on to the next stage when it comes, because that is how it has always been for me. I love my babies when they are babies, but it is just as much fun to help them learn to read, to have wild scientific and philosophical conversations with them, to explore the world together.

But this year - this day - with my baby is pretty amazingly perfect, just the way it is.

Grown-up

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM

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I remembered to get gas, and I knew within a dollar how much it would cost to fill the tank.

I rolled the garbage bin out to the street...the night before.

I cleaned up the kitchen, so it can be tidy for 9 whole hours before my precious children destroy it again with their ridiculous, persistent need to be fed.

I spent the afternoon pulling weeds.

I remembered to buy cotton balls and shampoo.

Do I get a prize for being such a responsible adult?



My grown-up prize is the first tomato from my very own plant, that I remember to water every single day.

It's not very exciting, but there is a certain kind of satisfaction nonetheless.

In a nutshell

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM

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Iris: shopping with me (because she comes EVERYWHERE with me)
bright colors
many blankets
snuggling
looking impish
working the crowd
manipulative, but in such a lovable way



Eve: to a casual observer, all looks peaceful
she chose the book
she insists on reading it herself, Spanish words and all
she told everyone where to sit
she will not permit Iris to touch the pages or make any sound without her written permission
having just a tiny bit of a controlling phase



Devlin: this is just one corner of his room
the rest looks 10x worse
yes, it is always like this
so messy and yet so wonderful
just like his brilliant brain
why buy a dinner bell when you can build a Rube Goldberg machine that will make a bell sound?
isn't that so much more interesting?



Also having a robot moment
(he is usually having a robot moment)
I might be a stage mom, but I would totally buy a print like this on Etsy
(that is, if I didn't already have 1,000 of them in my house)

I dare you not to love this

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM

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My buddy.

My Day Without Shoes

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

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Yesterday, I spent the day without shoes.

Now, I love to be barefoot, so this probably doesn't sound like a big stretch to those of you who know me! But here's why I did it yesterday.

It's important to me to learn about the world around me, and my brothers and sisters wherever they are, and what their lives are like, and how I can serve them, if I can. Sometimes we can make a difference - even if we can't do anything physically for the poor or the oppressed in far away places - just by expanding our own worldview, and bringing our attention to the sufferings of those people. This awareness, in turn, heightens our sensitivity to perhaps less headline-worthy, but still raw, heartaches that people we pass in the street - in our own neighborhoods - are harboring every day.



Feet are funny.


I began my day at a little shop near ASU called Here On the Corner, which was hosting a little kick-off party to raise awareness for the event.

(See? Even as I go without shoes to better understand the circumstances of the less fortunate, I am on my way to a party, with free food, that I drove to in a car that I own, with gas that is readily available, with my beautiful daughter - who not only has shoes, but is in no danger of being recruited by warlords, or raped and pillaged, who will be educated and fed and clothed and loved every moment of her life.

And I paid for the parking meter, because I have money, and I made that payment on my phone, which is amazing - and I am literally overwhelmed with how privileged my life is, and it's not even 8:00 in the morning.)





It's a darling store, incidentally, with lots of local, fair trade, or charitable labels inside. I bought a bracelet made by a company who donate their proceeds to HIV and AIDS treatment in Ghana. This bracelet will pay for a month of treatment for someone.

And yes, it might be totally lame and Bono-ish to buy something like this, but every time I look at it I remember what it stands for to me. And I don't think that's lame, or pretentious.

It might be lame and pretentious that I told you all just now, though.

Except that maybe you will all go buy one too, and then it will be awesome again.



This is my bracelet.


This rough pavement did hurt my feet a little, although at the same time it felt kind of grounding and lovely to spend so much time in contact with the earth all day.



No, I did not make Iris go barefoot. To each their own, but she is three and not old enough to thoroughly understand what day it is, let alone advocate for humanitarian causes. It didn't seem worth the trouble to me, although I thought about it.

I spent most of the morning supervising a sick friend's children, so I was more aware of our breakfast crumbs on her wood floor than any major discomforts, but my piggies were still looking pretty worked over.



As one of the first people to show up at the event at Here On the Corner, I was presented with a voucher for a free 30-minute foot massage at a salon on Mill Avenue, which I was delighted to be able to use once my friend was fit to leave on her own.



Cindy treated me right, and was very gracious and accommodating about having Iris with us in the treatment room.

And there I go again, trying to put myself in someone else's shoes, as it were, and instead getting a free foot massage. My life is incredibly cushy, no matter how you slice it.



The salon's pretty green door.


I went to yoga at a friend's house that evening, and the many, many trees on their property had dropped some kind of very unpleasant sharp leaves all over the ground. This was the only point during the day where my experiment was actually painful.

But I was going to do yoga, with a group of friends, including my husband, who I love very much, so there goes my life being awesome yet again.



Maybe it was the bougainvillea?


At the end of the day, I think the thing that impressed me most deeply was the homeless gentleman, who I am told is named Robert, who was sitting in this very spot between my parking meter and Here On the Corner when I walked into the store.

I was suddenly very, very self conscious of my position as I walked, intentionally barefoot to draw attention to the plight of shoeless children in the Philippines, past a man who had no roof over his head or food to eat, right in front of me.

My new dress, luxurious leather purse, fresh haircut, and general air of health and well-being felt very heavy to me in that moment.

I can't fix everything that is unjust in the world.

No one can.

But on my way back to my car I did bring that nice man a donut, and a smile.

And I will always remember him.

Just so we're clear

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM

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I've already accomplished a lot today. And if I take care of this:



and this:



before I lose steam tonight, then I am absolutely helping myself to a piece of Almond Joy cheesecake from the fridge.

Peace.

Easter Weekend

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM

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Iris in the irises at Nana and Papa's house:



An Easter egg hunt with Granny and Gramps and our Arizona cousins (the Bartle branch, who would have doubled the size of this gathering, were missed as always):



Devlin, as the undisputed oldest, fastest, greediest child, made off with at least twice as much loot as anyone else present. I tried to walk the line between gentle remindings of graciousness and helpfulness, and allowing him to revel in his childish enthusiasm.

(Especially since all the girls were perfectly delighted with their smaller - but still ample - portions):



As in, he had to be given a second treat receptacle because his (HUGE) basket couldn't hold it all. I'm so proud:



One egg hunt is enough for me, but I did put together some simple Easter baskets. Each child got a book about Jesus appropriate to their interest level, a playsilk dyed by me, and a Cadbury egg. Got all the bases covered there, I think.

Eve's basket:



Devlin's:



And Iris couldn't resist playing with her new goodies right away:



A rainbow silk for my Iris:



Some Children Grow Up, But Never Grow Out of Dressing Up, or, Why I Wish Every Pair of My Shoes Had a Huge Sparkly Bow On the Toe, or, Do Not Adjust Your Monitor Because My Outfit Really Is That Colorful:



P.S. My green cardigan was $1.

Eve the Easter "bun"ny:



And all my completely fabulously, infuriating, wild beautiful children:



I love Easter. I truly do "stand all amazed".

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me
I tremble to know that for me He was crucified
That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled, and died

I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine
to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine
That He should extend his great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify

I think of His hands, pierced and bleeding to pay the debt
Such mercy, such love and devotion - can I forget?
No, no - I will praise and adore at the mercy seat
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet!

Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Good Good Friday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

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This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Everywhere I go
I'm gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go
I'm gonna let it shine
Everywhere I go
I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

I'm not gonna make it shine
I'm just gonna let it shine
I'm not gonna make it shine
I'm just gonna let it shine
I'm not gonna make it shine
I'm just gonna let it shine
Let it shine
Let it shine

Let it shine

Back and Forth

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 9:32 PM

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The last couple of weeks, for a number of reasons which are very boring and I won't detail, That Guy and I have been obliged to rely on plastic for our spending, instead of our usual cash-in-envelope.

This is very annoying because now we know all each other's exact spending habits - or more specifically, he knows mine, since he pays the bills and does the finances.

Today he was making fun of me because my paper trail basically shows up thusly:

Dutch Brothers
Goodwill
Goodwill
Dutch Brothers
Goodwill
Dutch Brothers
Dutch Brothers
Goodwill



To which I say: this skirt was a DOLLAR, and the top was $3, and that kind of thing takes perseverance!

Earrings: gift from my mom
Top: Ann Taylor (thrifted)
Belt: Anthro
Skirt: wool, vintage (thrifted)
Shoes: clearance at Famous Footwear (so, practically thrifted)

Wakey Wakey Baby

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 9:55 PM

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Iris usually comes in to breakfast all sneaky ninja-like:



Sometimes it takes her awhile to wake up:



But she always does get there eventually:



And she sure does clean up nice, missing tooth and all.

Letters

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

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Dear Rachel,

I thought we had been over this, but it seems it bears repeating. Always, always, no matter what, always pee before Zumba class. Or yoga class. Or running. Or jumping on the trampoline. Or leaving the house.

Stay glamorous,

Rachel

* * * * *

Dear children,

When I made this amazingness for dinner tonight, I thought I was the coolest person alive for making brussel sprouts delicious. Then when you all ate it too, and asked for second helpings, I became the coolest person alive or dead.

If I serve it next week and you turn up your noses, I am going to lose my shizzle. Lose.it. I know it's going to happen, but I will still lose it.

Just saying,

Chef Boyardixon

* * * * *

Dear Devlin,

You are such a sweet kid. The way you are taking care of your sisters this week has my heart all a-flutter. Why, just tonight, you gave Iris a hug at bedtime and told her you loved her - which is awesome, but normal. Then you did the same for Eve too, and I could have died of happiness.

I know you're only doing it for the check marks on your "chore" chart and the promise of chocolate in your lunchbox, but I'm hoping it becomes habit all the same.

Bribery in the name of love,

Yer Mom

* * * * *
That Guy I Married,

I love you so much. If we can replace our carpet, I am reasonably certain I can live very happily with only one kidney. How much are those things going for nowadays anyway?

Healthy as a horse,

Wifey

* * * * *

To Mt. Laundry,

If you were an actual mountain, and I took a shovel to you and reduced you to level ground, you WOULDN'T COME BACK. Really, now, this is ridiculous. I would rather have an actual mountain in my house, because then at least it would be a one time thing.

And I could ski on it.

Truce?

Housekeeping

* * * * *

Dear Everybody,

It being Easter week and all, if you want to hear some music that will remind you what it's all about, try this. Don't let the German bite you! It's really beautiful stuff. In all of life's craziness, these simple words from Jesus himself, set to soul-stirring music, really helped put the focus back where I need it to be. I was able to sing it this last weekend, and it was truly an honor.

Peace be with you,

The Wizzle

free verse

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM

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Driving aimlessly tonight, taking in the familiar roads by streetlight, like I used to do when I was young and had nothing but time and all the world before me

Listening to a song from that long-ago, precious, wasted time

"all I want is you"

It was true then

Truer now

Time more precious and beautiful still

Music burning my heart into my throat

And I feel like it's raining even though it's not