Monday, December 29, 2008

I know I shouldn’t complain. After all, it’s been 2 years and 2+ months since I wrote this. But three nights ago the inevitable happened. Parental nighmare, realized.

Fortunately, 1) Sweet Pea is not very quiet when she’s bumping down the hallway in the dark. And 2) we haven’t lost the ability to move quickly and assume a “Wha? Nothing’s going on here” air. Ok. Well. Maybe it was just dark and she was sleepy. Whatever the reason, we have avoided having to fabricate any awkward tales of mommy and daddy wrestling in the night. Thank GOD. Because she was sure to start asking 84,000 questions about that in the grocery store, or in line for the bank. Or worse, in front of my mother. (Although, I suppose that doesn’t matter now since she is probably reading this and wishing for a Men In Black-esque brain wipe. Sorry Mom.)

I tried for 45 minutes to get Sweet Pea back into her own bed. But she wasn’t having any of it. I told her she had to sleep in her room because she would get too hot in our room. So she changed into shorts and a tank top and appeared in the doorway. I told her daddy was sick, so she kicked daddy out of his bed and made him sleep in her room. I told her she wouldn’t get a button in her “big girl who sleeps all night in her own bed” button jar. She told me she didn’t give a flying rip about that and then she fell soundly and peacefully asleep on my pillow.

Le sigh. Will may have to sleep in his crib until high school.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Kawanza! Happy Hanukkah! Merry, merry, merry, merry!

I hope everyone is having as wonderful a week as we are. Lots of friends and family. Tons of good food. Kids who had their expectations exceeded and then some, twinkly lights, softly falling snow...It's pretty much Miracle on 34th Street around here. Woo!

We took a brazillion pictures of course. Those will be forthcoming. (I say that a lot...)

But in the meantime I had to share some very exciting news...My ABC book that I made for Sweet Pea, and posted a few pages from, is being featured on the Shutterfly Gallery site!!! I'm inordinately excited about that. Makes me feel all kinds of crafty famous or something.

She loves the book too. That might have been my favorite Christmas present. (reading it to her and having her tell me how much she liked it)

Ok...off to wrangle children. They are home for a week, and after that maybe I'll be a blogger again.

Enjoy your holidays!
~Clover

Monday, December 15, 2008

There has been chaos. There has been illness. There has not been much sleep. I'm hanging in and making a list of all the things I need to blog about. Specifically a photo essay of gratitude and a rant about people who honk at you when you are turning right at a red light. Until then..Christmas music. And I don't wanna hear NUTHIN about the Hanson track. Me likey.

~Clover

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dear Santa,

Please can I have a scooter for Christmas? A pink one with flowers. But not too big. I'm 4. I also want a play hair salon. I can play with my cousin.

I have a brother and I am good with my brother. I have been a good girl this year.

My Grandma has toys and stuff. Sometimes I like to visit her.

I'm watching Little Bear.

I'm going to make you cookies. Do you like sprinkles? Stars, or pink?

Have a great Christmas at your home. Santa Claus is coming to every house. That's you Saint Nick!

Merry Christmas!

Love,
Sweet Pea

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I don't know how to explain what's going on in my life. It seems like I should have all this time to do things like catch up on emails, post to my blog, play around with the pictures from our vacation...make some of the loooong list of Christmas gifts on my to do list. But as it turns out, I haven't peed without an audience in 2 weeks, and because I can't seem to make it to the grocery store we're eating things like cheerios and powdered milk for dinner. (Ok. Not really. But we might have to tomorrow night.)

Strange.

And here it is 11:57 p.m. and I am torn between posting a few Mexico pix and going to bed. Because I KNOW that there will be a child needing my attention in a matter of minutes. That's been our pattern. Everyone is just off. (Will is sick, and Sweet Pea is reacting to all the extra attention he's getting a little, shall we say, negatively. I'm not going to say I'm at my wits end, but. Um. Hey! Girl weekend is coming up in March! Wicked is coming to Portland and I'm going if I have to hitch a ride on a cattle car. Woohoo!!)

Ok. Without further adieu (i.e. interruption by my bad attitude). Some Mexico pix:

He spent a lot of time running away from me while I was trying to change his diaper. So I spent a lot of time taking adorable nekkid pictures. Adorable!


We had an iguana family living in the tree outside our window. We were pretty fascinated by the iguanas, as evidenced by the 34 pictures we took of them. I'm not kidding.


They like to clearly label the edibles at the grocery store so the Gringo tourists will know what to buy.


Ok, but for reals...the grocery store was so awesome I can't even do it justice here. I think for me that was a trip highlight. Except for the one time when we were in an aisle that either contained a lot of kool aid, or cleaning products. And I couldn't tell which. THEY WEREN'T CLEARLY LABELED. Is it FUD, or is it KEMIKALS? How am I supposed to know?

This part was nice:





The kids were delightful, and bonus...kept each other totally entertained. I am totally on board with communal living now.


The husbands were delightful, and bonus...kept each other totally entertained...oh, wait...


These were taken after the Mommies had their spa trip. Don't we look blissed out? BEST EVER MASSAGE at a place in Old Town called Metamorphosis. AWESOME. Somewhere on another camera there is a picture of me sitting on a couch all squishy like jello, post massage. There is a lovely seniorita at my hands giving me a mani, and another at my feet doing the pedi. That might be my happy place, that couch.



On the boat ride to Las Calitas. I'll take that villa on the cliff, please and thanks.






Las Calitas, another happy place. The kids had a blast here. Swimming, snorkeling, hiking, playing with the crabs in the rocks. And the food was fabulous. Actually, the food was fabulous everywhere we went. But particularly good while my feet were stuck in the sand on a secluded beach.






Yep. That's a Monkey. Cute little bugger.




Dinner at La Palapa.



Yum!

Puerto Vallarta is rather known for their amazing food. We didn't have a single bad meal. And there was great wine everywhere we went too. Mr. G was pretty excited about the $20 bottles of good vino. Mucho Gusta!

Hey, look who's back!


Funky art on the Malecon and a package of Mexican Oreos. This might be Sweet Pea's happy place.





There are a bunch more iguana pix, but I'll spare you.

Oh. So the speeding ambulance story. It's nothing major really. Will fell off the bed and hit his head on the tile floor. Big goose egg. Much crying. He fell so sound asleep from 1) the crying, and 2) the fact that it was naptime, and then we couldn't really judge if he was just tired or maybe had a concussion. So the hotel doc wanted an x-ray. And, get this...the ambulance ride was free. A cab would have cost us $30. So away we went. Sirens, lights and all. It was terrifying actually. Much scarier than the injury. Our entire hospital trip, including 2 x-rays only cost $170.00. Can you believe that? The hospital was really nice too. We were in the ER here last weekend - because Will got a bad case of pink eye while we were in the mountains, and there is no place else to go on a Saturday afternoon in rural Idaho except the ER - I bet that little visit costs my insurance company $800 or more. Crazy!

The trip was so wonderful though. GO TO PUERTO VALLARTA. It's so lovely. Get a massage from Angie at Metamorphosis. Eat at Sea Fare in the Marina. Walk the Malecon. Take a boat to Los Arcos national park. Take a thousand pictures of an iguana. Drink things with pinapple slices in them. Eat. Eat. Eat. And take me with you. It's way more fun with a lot of people you love to hang out with.

~Clover

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, I finally did it. Total overload.

After 14 days, 3 separate trips in 2 countries, 4 airplanes, thousands of miles, 400 plus photos, one speeding ambulance ride, and 3 beds that are not my own, I'm spent. D.O.N.E. Not going anywhere farther than 15 minutes from home for as long as I can stand it. (Two weeks, I figure.)

Of course there was much fun in Mexico with our crew of 18. And more good times RVing it with friends in the Kibbie Dome parking lot for the University of Idaho game this weekend. I will share lots more about those adventures than any of you probably care to hear about as soon as I get my head above the piles of laundry.

But before I disappear for another day or two, I want to take a moment and share a little bit of Golightly family sadness and joy all rolled up into one. Mr. G's grandfather passed away while we were out of the country. So as soon as we got off the plane we started packing the car to head north for his services. My sweet strong husband was pretty overcome with grief. Not because it was sudden. Grandpa Darrell has been battling Parkinson's Disease for years. His last years at the Veterans home were difficult at best. It was hard to watch the patriarch of this family have his life shrink so unjustly. I can't help but wonder what the lesson is there. God and I have been having quite a few chats about that sort of thing lately. What keeps coming back to me, is that for some reason all of us who were so cared for over the years by Darrell - by his success in the dairy business. By his dedication to his family. By his committment to his country and community. By his example of strength and honesty, and above all LOVE. Maybe we needed to take care of him for a while. To learn how strong and kind and generous we can be.

I'm not sure. I guess it's not for me to know. But what I do know is that I want to strive to live the kind of life that when I die there are people packing into a church to say the kinds of things about me that people said about Darrell. He influenced so many of us in so many ways.

All of his grandkids were asked to say something about him at the start of the service. Mr. G wrote his speach with a lot of trepidation. He was so sure he wouldn't be able to make it all the way through without being overcome by tears. And he really wanted to be able to tell everyone how much love and respect he had for his grandfather. As it turns out, he didn't make it through the whole thing. In fact, he barely made it through the first line. But I think his emotion made it a sweeter tribute to his hero.

We love you Grandpa. Thank you for teaching my husband how to be a great man.



When I would think of what I would say today, I wasn't sure what I would be able to get through. I could go on for hours about the lessons he taught and the memories he created for me...from our horse pack trips as a child, to getting up at 5 in the morning to change pipe along side him as a teenager...to visits with him at the lake and cabin as a young adult. But I wouldn't make it through more than 5 minutes of the details of those memories right now, so I am going to keep it brief.

Grandpa taught me through his example about the satisfaction of honest/hard work, the value in caring and compassion for others, the rewards of giving your gifts to others. If you look around our family today there are numerous examples of his influence in our lives. Each of us has taken a little bit of his work ethic, his charm, his honesty and his big heart. Thank you Grandpa for everything you have given us, we have inherited a tremendous set values and benefit every day from the fruits of your hard work.


(A big thank you to Mr. G for letting me post his words. And to my outlaw sister Scarlett who took that beautiful photo and posted it on her blog where I swiped it without even asking.)

See you in a few.
~Clover

Monday, October 27, 2008

I’m exhausted. But in a good way!

Where to start? How about the part where I almost caught on fire? So, yeah. Friday night we had our neighbors over for what we, in our cul-de-sac, like to call a fireside chat. I’m sitting in this big, heavy, Adirondack chair with a sleeping Sweet Pea in my lap when suddenly the bottom falls out of our ceramic fire pit. I was in that awkward sitting position where you’re semi reclined and your butt is lower than your knees. Add 28 lbs of dead weight, and I literally couldn’t move. I was trying to push the chair back with my feet, but it’s just too heavy. And the guys were all too busy doing their best Keanu Reeves impression…”Whoa…” “Cool dude…” (I think there were a couple of empty wine bottles on the counter at that point.) So finally I just yelled, “MOVE ME! MY FEET ARE BURNING!”

Big excitement. I thought for sure the entire backyard was going to go up in flames. But apparently dead leaves aren’t quite the kindling I thought they would be. Thank goodness.

Sadly, we are now out a fire pit. Damnit! I do so love the fireside chat. Stupid Home Depot cheapassed fire pit...

Moving on.

Saturday Mr. G and I were invited to a grown up Halloween party. It was the first time we’ve dressed up in years. And I have to say that someone at our house really got into it. And I looked pretty good too.

Sweet Pea was all about helping us get ready. Mr. G was Guitar Hero. So in addition to actually dying his long locks last weekend, he had black nail polish, black eyeliner, a press on tattoo, and a plastic guitar. I’m not even going to lie to you, he looked kinda hot.

I was his vampire groupie. Basically I just dressed kinda trashy and had silver fangs. Those fangs were a hit! But every time I laughed I would bite my lip, and that hurt like a son of a witch. And today I have a blister on my gums. So in case you were wondering, I’m not going to turn into one of those vampire people who drink their lover’s blood.

Anyway, back to Sweet Pea. There was a meltdown. I think it was caused by a combination of staying up a little late the night before, getting into the stash of chocolate bars from the s’mores we made by the campfire, seeing Daddy in eyeliner*, and OMG having one of her most favoritest babysitters in the whole world come over. She spent the afternoon acting like that little girl in the SNL skits. The one who goes, “Rick, Rick, Rick” and runs around like she badly needs some Ritalin – you know who I mean? Then when it was time for us to go she f.r.e.a.k.e.d. Screaming. Kicking. Wailing. I pulled out every parenting skill I could think of to no avail. In the end I was completely prepared to cave into her massive tantrum. That’s probably bad. But seriously, there was no way we could have in good conscience left her like that. So after lots of tender coaxing I got all tough love Mommy and told her that if I didn’t get to dress up and go to my party she couldn’t either. She had to choose between staying home with me and going Trick or Treating. She actually told me to THROW HER COSTUME IN THE GARBAGE and stay home with her. Oy.

Then she saw how much fun baby brother was having taking a bath while Miss Favorite Babysitter entertained him with an arsenal of tub toys. And just like that the cloud passed.

*Quote of the night, “Daddy, you look like a woman!”

Off we went to the party. Which was amazing. The house was completely decked out. I bet there were 40 carved and lit jack o’ lanterns. And even though I literally didn’t know a soul except the hosts, we had a BLAST. Awesome people. Great food. Fabulous music. And the costumes! The costumes! I am reminded why I wanted to be a theater teacher…

Sunday we had an amazing dinner and carved pumpkins with our good friends. E made the entire menu out of a fall Martha Stewart Magazine. Props to her, because it looked complicated. But it sure tasted fabulous. Sausages, apples and sauerkraut, roasted root veggies, and for desert baked plums and chocolate chip cookies. Uh…yummy.

It has just occurred to me that I didn’t take a single picture of any of this stuff. No costumes, no pumpkin carving. Whoa. I’m off my game.

And then this morning after I dropped the kids off at school I had coffee with a psychic. It was considerably less “airy fairy” than you would think. But she said some things to me that have my brain on overdrive. Change is in the air for me. And I think that’s good.

But right now I need a nap.

~Clover

Friday, October 24, 2008

We started a new tradition with some friends of ours. It's a Fall Weekend Extravaganza. First we all meet in N. Idaho to watch some Vandal Football. Then we head to E. Washington for some pumpkin patching. And then we have a birthday party for my friend Tricka*. It makes for a busy weekend, but the fun factor outweighs the chaos factor.

*That's not really her name. She's not a stripper or anything like that.

We took some great pictures while we were visiting the assortment of farms in Green Bluff. What a cool place!

My only regret is that because I was freezing cold (read: dressed inappropriately for the weather) I only got pictures of the girls and Sweet William. I think because they were slower moving. And also, for some reason they decided that I was going to buy them a busload of pumpkins. So they stuck close. There were three handsome dudes with us (in addition to Will) that day. But alas, they are not preserved in digital form. Not on my blog anyway.

Enjoy the pictures of my chillins. The pumpkins aren't the only things growing like crazy 'round here.








This is our porch all decked out for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So, you know how I mentioned that I lost my keys last week? I didn’t realize they were missing until I tried to leave for work on Tuesday morning, and so began the tearing apart of my house. Seriously, it felt like we looked everywhere. I actually had given up and decided that either a small person dropped them down a heat register, or that they had been thrown away with the wrapping paper and stuff from Sweet Will’s birthday party. So frustrating!

Fast forward to yesterday. My friend E emails me suggesting (lightheartedly) that I call a psychic. I respond that I’m about that desperate, and how do I go about finding a psychic? This was her response – cause it was funny:

“As for finding a psychic, I haven’t seen daytime TV in awhile, maybe the phone book? OK, I just googled it and here is what I came up with:
Lelelewa Tano Rikiho
Psychic Sheila Suga Shack
Gaile Hensley Psychic Intutitive


(Phone numbers and addresses have been deleted, because for some reason that seems inappropriate, even though we got their phone numbers and addresses off the interweb in the first place.)

Sheila Suga Shack is the clear choice. Lelelewa gets props for her exotic name, but the Psychic “Intutitive” a) cannot spell, and b) lives in an apartment, so is probably not that good.”

So you guessed it, I called Sheila Suga Shack. And yes, she actually answers the phone, “Sheila’s Suga Shack.” I asked her how the whole thing worked, and she told me about her rates - $75 for a private hour long reading. And her procedure – bring stuff for her to touch. We talked for a little bit, and then I said, “How are you at finding lost things?” She replied, “What did you lose?” I told her I lost my car keys several days ago, and that I had torn my house apart looking for them.

She said, “Do you have two purses?” I said, “Kind of, I have a diaper bag.” And she said, “I feel like they got lost in a transition of some kind, like when you were switching between your purse and that bag. You need to take everything out of that diaper bag. Turn it upside down and dump it out.”

And then I kind of naysayed her a little, saying I had checked there multiple times. She just kept repeating the lost in transition thing, and then said, “They are in a bag. Look in every bag you own.” So last night, stubborn me looked (again!) in the nooks and crannies of the car, Sweet Pea’s backpacks/purses, all my grocery bags, my gym bag, the art supply bag, all the gift bags from the birthday party, the bag where I keep fabric, and then finally and grudgingly I dumped out the diaper bag. Again. Voila, keys.

I might put her on speed dial.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I am back to reality today after a lovely and rare weekend alone with Mr. G. We took off to the hills for a day and a half of adult only entertainment. Namely, sleeping uninterrupted and eating without sharing. Good times!

This time of year is beautiful in central Idaho, and I thought I would take you on a hike through Ponderosa State Park. I never fancied myself a leaf peeper before Saturday. But now I'm hooked. The colors were unbelieveable. And bonus, there wasn't another soul in sight. Just what we needed.

While you're putting on your hiking shoes I have to share a little bit of Mommy Heartbreak from this morning. I was dropping Sweet Pea off at preschool. Mondays are sometimes tough for her. What can I say, she's my velcro baby. She was trying to muster up a smile and a kiss goodbye when she asked her teacher where her BFF N. was. The teacher responded that N. had moved to a new school! Friday was her last day...Sweet Pea was devistated. I've never seen her so heartbroken. She just wept on my shoulder for a good 5 minutes. I'm so sad for her. There have been three in her little girl gang since they were barely able to sit up, and now both the other girls have moved away. Poor bebe. I promised to arrange a playdate. But geeze, it's hard to be a kid. Even though N. is just across town, to Sweet Pea it must seem like she's gone forever.

My big girl dried her tears and went off to class with a hug from another girl to cheer her up. I hope she had a good day today. I'm going to hit post and then jet out of here to pick her up.

And now campers, you're hiking the Meadow Marsh Loop, and ending on the beach at Payette Lake. Watch your step and be quiet so you don't scare the deer away!



















This last one is a bonus shot. The meadow out our front door on Sunday morning.



~Clover