Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Vader Baby

I snapped this picture as we were headed off to pick up Jack from school today. Did you know Darth Vader had an infant son named Norman? Contrary to popular opinion he's actually a very good father. Almost all of his friends are girls, so he's quite in touch with his feminine side. Starbucks is one of his favorite haunts, where he can always be found leisurely sipping a Horizon chocolate milk and munching on a donut of any variety. He's a friend to all animals great and small, and loves to snuggle anywhere, anytime. He makes absolute sure Norman is well cared for night and day (except when he's thrown to the ground from the limbs of a giant rhododendron.) He bathes, comforts, and nourishes his baby. But most of all he protects Norman from vicious attackers whenever they are in battle. And from what I've observed there have been no limbs amputated by light saber, whatsoever.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Beginnings

Today was Jack's first day of First Grade. This picture is hilarious and perfectly represents Jack's state-of-being as of late: I'm trying not to smile because I don't want to, but I can't help but smile because my mom is such a dork. He had mixed emotions about today, and I clearly remember feeling the same way when I was a kid. He was excited to see his friends, to get to know his teacher, and to be a Big Kid. But he was sad to be leaving home for the whole day. He and Max had a five minute discussion at breakfast about being best friends, and about how much they love each other. And from the minute we got back in the car after dropping Jack at school Max has been like a lost puppy. He's aimless, wilted, and flopping around on he floor like a fish out of water. I've been hugging him lots, but I think he'll be glad to start preschool next week. With one more week to go until we move I haven't been the best mom around.

Work has begun on The House. Yesterday they started by ripping up the carpet on the basement stairs, the main stairs, the main floor hallway and the upstairs hallway. The main floor hallway has the same beautiful mahagony inlay as the living and dining rooms, but I never knew it because it was covered by carpet. That was an exciting find. They've sanded the entire upstairs and are ready to seal it. They'll begin the downstairs rooms tomorrow. I love hardwood floors, and I've really missed the look and feel of it these past few years that we've had carpet. Jack informed me that he prefers carpet like our house has now, but I had to inform him that he learned to crawl and walk on our hardwood floors in LA. So there! We finally agreed that hardwoods with rugs is the perfect combination. These floor guys are good and they're making good progress, which is important because the timing will be getting critical next week!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sand, Salt Water and Tomatillo Green?

We just came home from a great extended weekend with my parents at a beach house in Gearhart, Oregon. This is the fourth year in a row for our Gearhart getaway, and we always find ourselves in awe of the beauty and splendor of the Oregon coast. Jack is a complete beach nut. Come to think of it he has been in love with the ocean since he was just a toddler at Manhattan Beach when we lived in Los Angeles. He would sit for long periods of time just pushing his cars and trucks through mountans of sand. Now somehow he has come to associate the beach with being nude.
Within seconds of hitting the shore his clothes are in a pile at his feet and he's off like a gazelle running over the dunes, through beach grass and into the waves. We're not exactly sure, however, how this habit will translate into action when he becomes a teenager. Perhaps we should be worried, but for now it's a pretty amazing sight. Max is a bit more reserved than Jack when it comes to nudity, but he loves the beach equally. Running through flocks of resting birds seemed to be his favorite bit of action. Although snuggling in the chair with me and eating yummy snacks was one of his highlights too. And once again, Zöe may perhaps be the wildest of all. She has no fear and would wander into the waves and swim to Atlantis if someone weren't holding the back of her shirt. She face-planted into sand and water with nary a pause, oggled horses and dogs, and happily ran through the rain. Her nickname for the trip was "nature's child." I think it suits her.

The only bummer of the whole trip was that it was necessary for us to leave early and take care of some pressing business here at home. We need to pack our boxes because two weeks from today we're moving! We have sold our house and are buying my grandparents house in the Laurelhusrt neighborhood. The excitement level around here is pretty intense and emotions (on every level) are running high. It's actually a pretty amazing story. Thirty-one years ago my grandparents were babysitting me and brought me with them to look at a beautiful house that they were hoping to buy. I remember my gorgeous grandmother leaning close to me as she told me that this was our secret and that I needed to do my best not to tell anyone until the time was right. Somehow my four-year-old mouth kept the secret (much to my mom's amazement) and I always felt extra-special that I was her co-conspirator in such a grand plan.
The house became a castle to me, as the backdrop for decades of happy memories. Holidays of every sort were celebrated there with Aunt and Uncle, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents. Their home served as an anchor for all of us, the place where we gathered together no matter where life was taking our individual family units. Since the passing of my grandfather several years ago and my grandmother just this Spring, I feel so honored and fortunate that I can attempt to carry on the tradition of this great gathering place. It's twice the size of where we live now, double the bathrooms (two instead of one!), with a great 1950's knotty-pine party room basement. My parents sacfrificed an enormous amount to make this happen, and for that I'm forever grateful. So now we get to make all sorts of exciting decisions such as: Tomatillo or Pressed Leaves green? We're having the floors refinished, a new roof, paint, tree-trimming and so on. I'll be posting lots of before-and-after photos in the coming months. But for now it's just Playstation2 for the boys, Teletubbies for Zöe, and packing for Eric and me.