Sunday, September 26, 2010


6th Grade Crazy Hair Day...but, really, isn't every day a crazy one when you're in sixth grade?

The adolescent and I have been doing a little Jakeover in his new bedroom.

Apparently, he has not been loving my decorating techniques lo these many years. Apparently, the preppy Nantucket cottage look is not jiving with his inner rockstar/sk8erboi. So madras plaid and denim are out. Black, silver and leather are in. Yes, there are fake fur throw pillows, which have been a major source of envy among younger sibs. (Pictures coming, once we hang the black-out curtains!)

Jake has grown a lot over the past couple months. I think I tower over him by a measly inch, maybe two. When I talk to him now, I am looking straight into those baby blues. Of course, this does not mean we see eye-to-eye on much.

Bedtimes, computer time, chore time, homework time, mealtime, dental hygiene time. All continue to be a struggle of wills. Life with Jake has never been boring.

My mom and I laugh about the day Jake learned to roll over. The absolute moment he discovered that he could actually muscle his way over that bulky left shoulder and GET AWAY, he started to roll like a demon tumbleweed from one room to another. There was no stopping him. I've been chasing after him ever since. He keeps me humble and very tired.

I am proud of the way Jake has handled the big changes life has brought him lately. Not only does he have a new school and new neighborhood, Mother Nature's starting in on a more personal sort of Jakeover.

Loathe to blog about it. After all, what kind of tween-hating mom posts about curly blonde leg hair or tiny little forehead breakouts? Certainly not me! (Even though both make him look quite manly and, if I were a sixth-grade girl and not his mother, I would totally have a major crush.)

I think adolescence is just as thrilling to watch as a baby discovering how to roll over for the first time.

But twice as frightening.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Trying to Swim to the Surface

For some reason, I really thought a cross-country move would be restful. A day at the beach. Not the moving part, of course, but the arriving and settling in.

I figured for the first year, I'd just be buried in packing peanuts and painting projects. I was actually kind of worried that I'd be bored and lonely.

Already, though, I feel like I am right back in the deep end. Today I started with a new responsibility at church and a big commitment at the kids' school. Soccer is three times a week, art class every Wednesday, piano lessons, orthodontist appointments, activity days, Scouts and...don't forget!...the laundry pile isn't going anywhere but up.

I guess at this stage of life, there isn't much time for lying in the sand. It's all about keeping my head above water.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hives at our Hive

It started with a tummy ache and fever. It ended with a serious case of leprosy. At least, that's what my overactive mombrain decided.
Luckily, the doctor said it was just a virus and all these things are typical back-to-school symptoms. A little cortizone cream, a low-dose steroid and everything is all cleared up.

In the meantime, I had a chatty daytime buddy most of the week and Sam's fantasies of life as an only child were temporarily fulfilled.

We spent a lot of time talking about his plans for the future, which include (in no particular order): becoming a chef, having 12 children, living next door to me, attending BYU, marrying a beautiful girl, going to Legoland and working as a cashier at Fry's.

Sam is a delightful child.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life with a Tweenage Daughter

Em just finished my all-time favorite tween romance. Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. Since Salina Gomez got her all pumped about Ramona and Beezus again, she has been devouring all the Cleary books in the house.
I confess, when she reached for my old dog-eared copy, I discouraged her a little. "That's kind of a teenage book, Emmie. About a girl who wants a boyfriend." Well, duh, Mom. She was all over it. A few nights I even tiptoed in to read a chapter with her and it was pure pleasure.

Can I just say Beverly Cleary ROCKS?! I mean, this book was originally published in 1956. It was old-school when my mother read it. The dad smokes a pipe, for Pete's sake. The best friend wears a girdle. No one is texting or online. But the writing focuses on emotions and relationships that are timeless.
When she got to the last page, that climactic moment when Stan finally gives Jane his ID bracelet and a chaste 1956 kiss, Emmie's eyes were shiny.
My little girl is growing up. She is babysitting (a little) and on the phone with old and new friends (a lot). Her moods have always been less predictable than her brothers', but now that she's almost in the double-digits, I find I have to tiptoe even more carefully. Just yesterday, I was teasing her (a little too publicly, I guess) about something we'd always laughed about. But this time, she burst into tears. Yikes.
And that was just the school nurse on the phone, calling to say Em is in her office with a headache. She forgot her glasses. Again.
Time to go. Life with tweenagers is not all a Beverly Cleary romance, if you know what I mean.
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