Saturday, April 26, 2008

News for Now

How I have missed blogging! I updated my site with a new look and have not had time to enjoy it!

I have been buried all week creating Eric's 40th birthday gifts. In one case I had to find a designer to create one of the gifts and in the other case my dear friend, Carrie, assisted me in creating a gift of my own for him. The orders have been placed and I can't wait to present them to him. It has been a tiresome yet wonderful journey chronicling 40 years of Eric. What a beautiful baby, darling boy, cutie pie teen, and handsome man. I am so lucky! I felt drawn back in time as I looked at pictures of his childhood. Some of them showed pure joy and yet others I know were taken during times of pain that he experienced on many levels. I am so proud of the person he has become.

I have slacked a bit at work this week. Well, more than a bit. For that I feel guilty but not too much so. All will be well and it will get done. The world of PR definitely ebbs and flows...after 17 years in the world of media I am finally learning to roll with it.

Last weekend the girls and I visited a local farm where they make artisan cheeses. One of my restaurant clients has partnered with the owners as we're featuring their cheeses during the months of April and May. They have hundreds of goats, yaks, cows, and even a water buffalo. And it is breeding season. So much so that upon entering the barn the owner said, "Look, there--two new babies arriving!" Here was one of them.

I got to hold it mere minutes after birth. Sheer magic.

The two new goats were girls so I jokingly told Julie (the owner) that Olivia & Audrey would be perfect names- just like my girls.

So Wednesday morning when I met my client and Julie at the local NBC affiliate to do a TV segment there was Julie & baby girl goat, "Olivia!"

Speaking of Olivias, my Liv has had what she might dub some of the best news of her young life thus far. She was "invited" to go to pre-team at Cascade Elite Gymnastics Academy. After her league meet last week the team coach asked Eric and me if we'd consider sending Olivia to pre-team. We were clueless as to what that meant and frankly, why she would ask. While Olivia has lovely form and great strength she is certainly not the most focused, nor is she the most competitive but she certainly has passion for the sport. The coach explained that they seek kids who have innate talents and skills (precision, clean moves, strength that generally exceeds their age expectations, etc.) While we were excited for her, we were still a bit perplexed that she was invited at this stage (she will be the youngest in the next pre-team class). We wondered, "Was it a money maker for them?", "Are the other classes too full so they simply move kids up?", "Do all kids eventually get invited and only some make it?" I contacted three coaches, I spoke to a 16 year old on team and a 21 year old who was on team from ages 8-18. I even cornered a mom at Target who has a daughter on team. Finally one of the coaches put it to me like this, "We have 320+ kids in our league and rec sessions right now and only 8 of them have been invited to go to pre-team. It's a real honor for the kids." I got it. "I can't believe I've been asked to go to pre-team, Mama!" Olivia must say this two dozen times a day (at least). I can only equate her joy with what I felt when I was pregnant with her. Each morning I woke up with a renewed lease on life knowing I was carrying a baby. It was thrilling and a great journey. I can't wait to watch hers unfold. I am so proud of her.

Her behavior has also been fabulous--we hit the one month mark of being tantrum free and learning how to hold it together better. Her reward was black Converse sneakers. How my baby girl who once wore matching bloomers and baby doll tops has grown...

Audrey has been reveling in "Earth Day" all week. Her teacher asked for flowers to plant in their school garden- Audrey brought in one for the garden and one for indoors. For "show & tell" she needed to bring something made out of wood so she chose an antique doll cradle my mom had bought the girls and prepared her baby dolls for nature camp. Here they are all tucked in underneath my baby blanket--nearly 40 years old!

I must run now--sun is shining, birds are singing, girls are awake and it's Saturday--much to do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Little Miss Sunshine

I've been in a funk. I am not overstressed. Not overwhelmed. Not hormonal even. There is no reason for me to be out of sorts. Perhaps the reason is that it's been raining for what seems like seven months straight. I know how tired it is to bitch about Seattle weather and to be honest I have done so very infrequently in the past 10 years we've lived here but for now I am blaming my blues on the weather.

Audrey is going on a field trip to the beach tomorrow. Rain or shine. We dropped Liv off at gymnastics tonite and headed to Target in search of rain boots that fit.

Thanks to retail therapy my mood has been transformed some. So rather than complain tonite here's a brief nod to all the bright things in my life.

Audrey kisses me and Eric each time we're near her. I just went up to pat her back as she hacked & hacked (her dreaded cough is back). I picked her up, rocked her, and patted her back. She kissed me like always-whether she is dead asleep, half asleep, or wide awake- always a kiss as a greeting. Bless her.

Olivia has been tantrum free for 21 days today. Our house is so much calmer. I am so proud of her. God love my Livvie.

I am healthy.

I have not been obssessed with death, my weight, and general impending doom for months now.

Eric remains my prince.

I connected via phone with my girlfriend Kathy today. Every time we talk we connect. What a gift.

Tomorrow night is date night.

It's bed time & Eric says he'll take the dogs out.

The weather report shows colder temperatures tomorrow and rain for at least the next five days but I am not concerned...and Audrey is thrilled. She will be starring as Little Miss Sunshine and my luminous reminder to look on the bright side.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Raising Royalty

Here are my little friends Julian & Carson. Each Wednesday afternoon I have the privilege of taking them and one other little girl (along with my Audrey) to tap class. As I was gathering their backpacks and tap shoes from the car the other day they were playing in the field nearby. Together they ran to me and in unison presented me with these flowers. My girlfriends are raising little princes!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


To be loved for what one is, is the greatest exception. The great majority love in others only what they lend him, their own selves, their version of him.~Goethe

I have felt like I've been swimming upstream-alone. I have been trying desperately to put into practice the tools I've learned from "The Explosive Child" book (see previous post) in regards to Olivia. Truth be told I have failed a lot but I've also tried to be very consistent and Olivia has been a star at holding it together. Nine days without an explosion (yes, I am counting). Bless her. While Eric agrees with the book he has been dreadful at implementation. And he knows it. Bless him. But I have been really disappointed in him. More than that- he has been disappointed in himself. And so we talked --about how hard it is to change habits, to buck conventional wisdom, to silence the tape in your head that makes you question if you really are doing the right thing. Beyond that we delved into how he feels that I am always driving the bus and I explained that I often feel he'd fall asleep at the wheel. We both got it.

He headed out of town late on Thursday to visit his mom in upstate New York. His overnight flight was delayed so he called me to chat. As he sat in the airport I laid tucked up in our bed and we talked about everything-- and nothing. I let out giant belly laughs. And I remembered clearly why I love him madly. I remembered how chatting with him in the dark each night is the perfect way to end my day, that he picks the best songs to play when we're making dinner or getting the kids ready for bed, the stories he tells the girls each night about rock stars and monsters and sports heroes and how they believe that he lived them all, how it is always him that quietly speaks into the silent night air each evening, "I love you, Kate" just before he falls asleep. And I couldn't wait for him to return to us.

Eric has always contended that we "work" because I don't let anything go--I discuss, analyze and want to sort out and "fix" nearly each thing about our relationship that does not sit well with me. I contend that we "work" because he listens and more than that--he hears me and tries everything in his power to make things right for us. We accept each other for who we are (even though it is not always easy to do and we are very different people).

Olivia is at a sleepover tonite and so Audrey asked if she could sleep in my big bed with me since Papa is gone. I told her Frib, Alice, and I would be delighted to feel her feet in the night. We walked the dogs around our little neighborhood park together before bed just as Eric and I do so many nights and she collected trash to recycle as we went along--just like her dad. She pointed out the sky and talked about the night air and how good it feels- just like her dad. She came through the front door and immediately gave each dog a treat-just like her dad. And then I brushed her teeth, put cream on her cheeks and tucked her in my bed and told her I'd be back after I got a few things done. "I know, Mama, you're just going to grab your laptop and then come to bed," she said. And that insight was certainly "just like her dad." And he -and she- love me as I am. And because of that I love & accept him more each day just as he is. I can't wait to tell him in person.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grammie

Today my grandmother turns 93. Here is the latest picture of us together taken last fall when I was visiting back home in New England. I am so blessed to have her as a mentor, friend, and a light in my world.

Dearest Grammie,

Generous. Courageous. Supportive. These are but a few of the adjectives I use to describe you.

You are the first to encourage my mothering capabilities when I feel helpless and hopeless. You remind me of the thank you notes I have taught my girls to write and the many baking projects I tackle with them.

You inspire me to follow my professional dreams. You earned a degree in nutrition at a time when other females did not always graduate high school.

You always put others first. Your “birthday book” is so chock full of people that you remember monthly that finding room to add new babies born into the family is a challenge!

I love to remember my childhood days with you. Baking chocolate chip cookies, your renowned Boston baked beans, goodie bags for the drive home from your house, bus visits from college, full breakfasts (complete with eggs, bacon, half grapefruit (pre-sliced, of course!) and always a warm, loving greeting.

Your voice on the other end of the phone makes me miss you so. “Hi Katie, It’s only me gram.” Only me-- you say…There really is only one you, Grammie. One fabulous you.

I love how genuine you are when you sign off each call with, “God bless you.” I have adopted it as my salutation as well, hoping to make others feel as special as you make me feel.

Happy Birthday, Grammie.

God Bless You.