Posts from the ‘family’ Category

5 Snapshots

If you’re my facebook friend you’ve probably already seen these, but they are too good not share.

Giving her brother a fauxhawk. Or at least trying.


Happy Dinner Time


Planina at the Russian Festival in Boulder


L's reminder to throw away 2 year old frozen turkey


Most Cheerful Baby's Summer Reading

English Language Learner

So, having two boys as close in age as the boy and his cousin are living under the same roof has taught me many things.  Mostly that little boys (and their sisters) really want to be first.  At everything.  Going in the door.  Getting their food.  They even only want to use the number one Wii remote.

Which brings us to today.  I asked Kindergarten to get into a circle, and two boys were lagging behind, bickering in Spanish.  I asked them, “Are you arguing about who gets to go first?”  They sheepishly hung their heads, said, “Yes.” and sat down.  The little girl sitting next to me asked, “Did you learn Spanish over break?”

I said, “No.  But I’m pretty fluent in 5-year-old boy.”

Merry Christmas 2010

A friend of mine on Facebook used the Year in Status Collage application and pondered if it was going to replace our Christmas letters.  I played with it and found it gave a pretty accurate snapshot into what my year had been like.  It reminded me of things I had already forgotten.

My dad says that the adult years pass so quickly, and he is right.  Things happen.  Funny things.  Sad things.  Stressful things.  Lucky things.  It’s weird seeing it summed up by short witty Facebook phrases.

I’ve just finished my first year back teaching music.  Loving it.  My students inspire me to become better at my craft.  It’s so strange the differences between being a young single teacher and now a not so young mama teacher.  My mama and teacher voice are starting to sound similar.  Heh.  I used to rely solely on the piano as my accompaniment but I’ve started using guitar (Thanks Marcy for the loan!) much more often.  (I think Santa might be bringing me one this year!)

The husband is still working for the same company.  As I understand it, he’s starting to work more internationally (there have been conference calls to India!)  We both feel very fortunate to be working when there’s so many people looking for jobs these days.  He is a patient patient man who has been very supportive with all the changes this year. 

The girl is in second grade and now a proud member of Prep Choir of the Colorado Children’s Chorale.  She has learned many of the same songs I learned back in the ’80s when I was in CCC.  They do way more choreography now, though.  So cute!  The husband and I went to the Christmas Concert.  When I asked her what it was like to sing at Boettcher Hall, her eyes grew wide and she answered, “Awesome.”  Yep.  She’s my kid.

The boy is in his last year of preschool and continually cracks us up with his antics.  I especially enjoy his dance maneuvers.  I often forget what a big boy he is, and am surprised when he uses grown up words and phrases with his little boy lisp.  Lately, the kids have been playing Harry Potter and my favorite spell he uses is “Potato!” (Protego!)  It is quite a sight to see, the boy running around, Tinker Toy wand in hand, shouting “Potato!”

This year we also welcomed my sister and her family to stay with us.  It’s pretty much a sitcom waiting to happen, but times are hard and when we can help, we should.  Sometimes people think we’re crazy, but I cherish this time with my family.  We get to hang out with other adults (we trade babysitting), my children get to have a great relationship with their cousins, and I get a baby fix without having to actually have one.  🙂

Like my dad says, it all goes by pretty quickly and life at our house is anything but boring. 

So my Christmas wish for you, my friends, is that 2011 is chock full of not boring things and witty Facebook statuses.  What is the plural of status, anyway?

PS  You’ll notice (the boy often uses this phrase) I did not mention the C word this year.  In fact, I think this year, the C word is Crazy.  Heh.  Or Christmas.  Or even Cookie.  As in, I have not actually made any Christmas cookies this year and it’s now Christmas Eve.  Oops.  Or Card.  As in, I have not actually sent out my Christmas cards.  Maybe everybody gets Valentines this year.


So I’ve been seeing the usual gratitude postings for Thanksgiving this year and have decided to join in.

Today I am grateful for large arm chairs, for mine allows me to cuddle with both my not so tiny babies before bed.


Random thoughts

1.  I asked the boy to help me dry the dishes this morning and noticed how fastidious he is when he’s doing a job.  He dried every little crevice, nook and cranny and refused to go to the next dish until it was completely dry.  He does not get this from me.  Heh.  And the best part, when he finished he put his hands on his hips, smiled that smile, and said in his best superhero voice, “All done, Mama!”  Almost erases the memory of the birthcontrol tantrums (the ones that make you think having more children is crazy).  Almost.  🙂

2. So at school, the middle school kids were grouped in a class of 6th graders, a 6/7, a 7 and an 8.  (This is actually changing on Monday.)  I had them doing an assignment where they needed to write their name and grade level on the paper so I knew which class it came from.  In 7th grade, one of the kids asked, “Do we write straight 7 on it?”  Before I could answer, one of my more, ahem, exuberant students blurted  out, “Of course we’re straight.  We’re not wiggly.”  Internal sigh of relief on my part because that sentence could have gone so many other ways… 

3.  And for the record.  They actually are kind of wiggly.

4.  The boy has become enamored with a website called Animal Jam that was created by National Geographic.  It’s all fine and good until he gets “mail”.  Which then one of us has to come read to him.  Which usually just says, “Animal Jam rules!”  It’s also weird to have your 4 year old yell out, “Mom!  Mom!  How do I make my bunny join the Dance Party!?”  His avatar is bunny.  With flames and bat wings.  It’s really meant for older kids so we won’t enable the chat part, but he is enjoying the games.  And I guess it’s slightly better than the television babysitter…

5.  3 days of school and I already caught the crud.  Awesome.

Those three little words.

“You’re no fun.”

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest child said this to me, followed closely by, “You never do anything anymore.”,  not realizing at all how that cuts.   Some of you are probably thinking, “Big deal, Nicole.  Kids say stuff like this all the time ”

But it is.  The last three summers I haven’t been any fun.  Surgery/Chemo.  Surgery/infection.  Surgery.  And in this case she wasn’t referring to some parental comment like “Our sofa is not a jungle gym, please sit down.” (Which she has heard on occasion.)  She was sad because she couldn’t go somewhere due to my inability to drive post surgery.

When I was first diagnosed, I worried about how she would cope with all the weirdness of having a mom with cancer.  At first, I thought she’d be afraid.  But she wasn’t.  I thought she might be clingy.  But again, she was her usual gregarious self.  She would talk to anybody and everybody about my cancer.  (I’m sure she gets that from me.)  There is no playground conversation stopper quite like, “Hi there!  Did you know my mom has one boob?”  (And no, I’m not  exaggerating.  She actually said that.)

So then I worry that my children have become intolerant of my medical issues.  The boy still cuts me some slack, but man, the girl is giving me a hard time.   “Do I have to do all your jobs for you?”  Let me tell you how well that one went over.  😛  Thankfully, my mama friends say that their 7 year olds are the same way, which makes me feel better.  I’m hoping to chalk it up to my horse blinder theory in which kids (and some adults, heh) can really only see the world as it relates to themselves with little regard to the bigger picture.  One of our job as parents and educators is to help our children learn the empathy skills that enable them to see the world outside of themselves.

I don’t want you to get the idea that the girl is nasty all the time.  She’s not and is generally very helpful.  I think it’s just those well-timed zings that she doesn’t truly understand that prey upon my fears as a parent. 

Am I no fun?  Has cancer made me a bad mama?

Of course not.

But I think it’s time for empathy training boot camp.  🙂

Hydrocodone hat

I think I’m going to start naming my knitting projects after what pain med I’m on, since that’s the only time I get to knit these days.  After surgery, on narcotics.  Heh.  Anyway, I found a hat I’d started with a skein of Rowan cotton.  I don’t remember starting it (probably was last year when I was on Oxycodone.  heh.)  And I didn’t even know what size it was going to end up.  I randomly added cables, twists and eyelets.  And as it turns out.  It fits a really cute 3 year old.  🙂
 I should probably call it the popsicle hat.  A little more appropriate for a kid’s hat.  Heh.  🙂