Monday, January 30, 2012

Chow Mein can do that

After lunch today:
Miah: That was so delicious. I can't even feel my brain!
Krisann: Haha, what!?
Aaron: It blew her mind!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Learning Shapes for Toddlers: Advanced Lesson

Two pictures of Aaron's face are up on the computer, and Miah happens by.
"Heyyy! That's the shape of my daddy!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

They See Me Rollin'

This prompt - "a personal anecdote turned metaphor" - was killer. I wrote four personal life stories in search of one with a metaphor before I settled on this. It's short, yes, but gets the point across, I suppose. One of the reasons so many of the others got rejected was because I felt like any metaphors contained within had to be so painfully drug out to be made clear. I wanted to just tell a story and let the metaphor kind of peek its head out and announce itself more subtly. In any case, enjoy the tale.

  The backyard of the house on the corner of Linda Circle claimed more of my childhood hours than I know how to count. There was the playhouse, of course, which hosted our drive-thru restaurant and our castle imaginings alike. There was the retaining wall holding up a small hill, covered on one side with honeysuckle vines where many an afternoon was passed chaining floral necklaces full of fragrant nectar one could later snack on; what pure magic. There was the long and thin patch of muddy grass that made for a perfect excavation site. And yes, there was the simple slab of concrete outside the kitchen sink window and adjacent slider door, on which the pogo stick unendingly pounded (in pursuit of the personal-best record, which wound up being three hundred and forty-something), and perhaps more importantly, on which the Fisher-Price Roller Skates were daily donned.

  Ah, those skates. How brilliant were they? Clunky and shockingly bright, engineered to expand as the wearer grew and fit over just about any shoe, these skates were in my life long before I had memory to know there had ever been life without them. I was a child of the 80's; my parents' whole social circle revolved around the roller rink. They went on skating group dates after school on the weekends together. My mom even worked at the snack bar of their local rink for a while after I was born. Nothing could be more natural, then, but for their daughter to know how to skate from infancy.

  I can't recall exactly when, but I have a feeling I was about seven, after having skated the heck out of my Fisher-Price bad boys (for at least three years, maybe longer), when one afternoon my mom stepped out of the house after having completed a sink full of dishes, and announced a trip to K-mart. Dude.

  K-mart being full of its usual charms, I know it wasn't long before I requested a turn down the toy aisle. I know the coloring books were on my radar that day, but I genuinely never could have expected what I didn't know had been planned for me.

  Real roller skates, you guys.

  I had never asked for real roller skates. I never pined after real roller skates. There had been no begging or pleading or circling in catalogues. This gift was a complete surprise. It was not within our 'normal' for a purchase like this to be made "just because." Stuff this level of awesome was reserved for birthdays and Christmas. I was floored. As I took my place on the scratchy industrial carpet, removing my shoes and taking the skates out of their box to try on, I looked at my mom with wide eyes begging the question, "really? Why?" She stated simply that she had been watching me on my skates for a long time, and that one day I had "got it," and when you get it, you get big-kid skates. That's the way it goes.

  I felt like I'd won the lottery. You know, because I never knew I was being watched. I never knew this was planned for me. I just knew I was outside, in my strap-on wheels, circling that concrete slab faster than I could on my feet alone, not knowing I was accidentally working for something great I didn't know was coming.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Out of Frequency

Hubby and Miss M went out on an errand tonight, and as they're pulling up to the store, just before Aaron shuts off the car to go in, the radio announcer names the title of an upcoming album, Out of Frequency.

Miah: Out... of... frequency?
Aaron: Yep, that's what he said.
Miah: They're out of frequency! But we need some for mommy! This little customer store does not have any!
Aaron: Oh no. What are we gonna do?
Miah: I know. Maybe we can go to a different little customer store.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can't please everyone

Some days are only cured by ancient remedies, rare and secret. I'm not supposed to say it, but here's one of them: Some days are just of the peanut-butter-and-jelly-and-mini-marshmallow-sandwich-for-dinner variety.

Man, I am so good at this parenting thing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just so we're clear.

Ezra's words for me (mama) and food (nana) have become interchangeable. It's good to know where I stand with her.

Are you saying I'm not a good dancer?

"DADDY, NO! Don't do that to mommy's pants!!"

Miah's unfamiliarity with the ants-in-the-pants song is causing some emotional trauma at the moment.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Story in which Someone Dies

A very wide-open prompt, don't you find? I'm one-third of a writing club whose purpose is to offer challenge and mutual growth amongst its trio of members. Our first meeting as three was wonderful, and this is my effort put toward said prompt.

A small boy on his birthday can’t help but attempt to steal a peek in the cracks between the fingers of his mama’s hand--carefully cupped over his eyes, as her other hand gently leads him in disorienting circles around the house for what feels like ages. Her voice is jubilant and laughter fills his ears from every direction, but his only thought is to discover the surprise waiting for him. Beyond her hand he can hear her voice directing him this way, now that, and farther off his papa and brother are yelling out small clues as to what is waiting for him, trying to tempt and tease him to call out for the end of the charade and to have the celebration revealed at last.

Finally he’s still; her hand is steadying rather than pushing him. She’s whispering instructions to Jake: something about hats. He is near to bursting with anticipation, but for a peculiarly static moment, he takes pause to wonder at the orange glow of this tiny world behind her temporary mask. The light above is streaming down through her hand, making the edges of her fingers seem transparent; his eyelashes tickle as he blinks. Finally her hand is lifted and for a precious bit of a second, as his squinting eyes adjust to the sudden flood of light, everything is white and his family clamorously yells out, “Happy birthday!” The noisemakers sound, the paper hats are brought out and donned, and the long-awaited reveal displays a chocolate cake so rich it actually shines, the drippy wax of the six candles each harboring their own miniature blaze, three perfectly wrapped packages, and the grins of each family member watching closely his every reaction.

The old man started awake. This memory was just one of many that surprised and intruded on his daily bouts in and out of fitful sleep as he lie in his sickbed. He warmed at the thought of the youthful glow in his mama's voice and hands that day, and could not help but to glance at his own withered reach, and the shape of his bony, claw-like grip on his blanket as he winced in pain.

"You need something Pop?" His grandson's voice. He shook his head and turned back to his thoughts; the young man went in search of a nurse anyway.

He recalled a bit of a poem he had heard somewhere once.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

How terrifying. Was his light dying? After a quick moment of serious self-examination, he realized that it was. The physicians and the family members all held up small hopes: surgical options, newer clinical trials, rarer, foreign treatments. But no, for the first time he allowed, he knew his hours were numbered. “Well, where’s my Marley?” he wondered aloud, surprised at the hollow sound of his own voice. “Where’s my Clarence? Who’s here to come and escort me to the other side?” He waited a moment for something, anything to happen. All he met was more silence.

What then? Did he rage against his end? Not hardly. The symptoms had hit all at once. Were those cancer symptoms or treatment symptoms? He couldn't even tell now. Treatment proved to be insufficient, so the "end-of-life care facility" was decided upon. At first it seemed a reprieve; no more needles, no more hospital smell. They had promised more rest, but unrest was all he knew now. All his senses could recall or be sure of were days and days of feverish, dreary, half-sleep - passing in strange measures of time that didn't seem to obey the normal rules, sometimes living through a minute of agonizing length, sometimes waking from a nap that had actually been days, usually spent traveling through memories. "Rage?” he asked of himself. “Not at all. I've just laid here," he criticized. "Maybe I ought to cause a little trouble."

He struggled at length for the strength to sit upright enough for his legs to swing over the edge of his bed. He looked around once more to see if some angel or reaper had come, but saw only the linoleum tiles stretching out before him. His feet found the cold floor.

He feels disoriented but a steady hand on his back, leading, calms him. He strains to peek through the fingers. Jubilant laughter fills his ears from every direction, and as the hand is lifted from his face, everything seems brightly white while he waits for his eyes to adjust.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Either this wallpaper goes, or I do."

What is this obsession with the idea that the best place for writers is a solitary cabin in the woods? I get the isolation, but, come on. I dare anyone to try to stick me in one of those; you'll get a resounding, "I CAN'T WRITE WITH ALL THIS WOOD GRAIN IN MY FACE!"

Rite of Passage

While dressing for bed tonight, Miah finished brushing her teeth, looked at herself in the mirror for a moment, put her hand on her cheek and said, "Well look at me. I'm a young woman now."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Case of the Mondays

Yesterday was Monday; Aaron's day off, and thus, adventure day! Brilliant. We went on a treasure hunt of sorts, and were not disappointed.

Found in South Park:
Free fortune cookies from an old Chinese man because Miah is just so cute.

That Ezra has a teething fever. Poor precious baby.

A shop with charming teeny succulents which totally inspired me to build a micro cactus garden.

An enchantingly empty early-40's Post Office building, in just the right location, practically begging to become a restaurant. We'd call it Evening Post, or something.

A cobbler(!) who will fix my favorite boots for forty bucks.

A belated Christmas present from Aaron. This is an installment into my incredibly specific, Broadway-musicals-with-very-graphically-designed-covers vinyl collection and a free(!!!) vintage chair to refinish.

Found in Kearney Mesa:
Dinner at Sushi Deli 3. The sushi was good, but I think the line out the door before they opened and persisting into the evening may have had more to do with the cheap beer than anything.

Now we've arrived at Tuesday. Back to routines and chill days and essentially our Monday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


For the year 2012, I laid out a plan for small, totally accomplishable improvements to tackle each month in three categories: body, brain, and home. We're aiming to take good care of our selves, enrich our creativity, and continue our structure and organization mission. The aim is to continue any and all good habits and patterns started in one month into the next. By December 2012, we will have stacked up a whole slew of accomplishments and life adjustments. On with the show!


Body: Water cleanse.
Cleansing time! I'm nursing my baby still, so my cleanse options are limited, but even if all restrictions were off, this would still be a body-loving choice--I'm going to drink water, and only water. The Holidays are full of reasons to indulge in sweet foods and drinks and I'm sure I took more than my share; anyone may know this about me: I am a huge fan of cookies and hot chocolate. Aaron may choose to tackle something more, but we're both sticking to water for the month.

Brain: Read a book together.
I've long had the itch to tackle some of the classics, either again as a more mature reader, or for the first time. For our first foray, Aaron chose Wuthering Heights. Score!

Home: Dining storage.
As we kick off our continued quest for ever-more organization, the first focus will be my table full-to-overflowing of crafty supplies. It's split between my and my girls' tools for various creations and in desperate need of a solid restructure.