Saturday, February 27, 2010

Little gifts

Every once and again I will leave my camera out on the table. The kids will see it, of course, and being kids they will pick it up.  Once they realize I'm either not looking or indifferent to them holding my camera, they start to take pictures.

I like the images that kids take. Usually they show what the kids find interesting. They often show movement. I used to give the kids a disposable cameras. Yes, we would end up with 20 pictures of Barbie, but among those were gems. A 4 yr old Beks posing a 2 year old Luke by the dress-up trunk. A photo essay of what can be done with a chalkboard and a new package of sidewalk chalk.  An expose of everyone knees at a church event. Close ups of what, exactly, is under the bed. It was almost worth the expenditure.

Now that I don't actually have to pay for the bad, the blurry, and the what-the-heck-is-that pictures, I think of them as little gifts. Gifts of my kids being kids.  A still life of lives that are in constant motion.

Pass the wine and cheese and let's have a look at this recent gallery created by my children.

A popular pose is what I call Open Wide


Another favorite theme is food. Luke is usually consuming it or taking pictures of it. Food is very important to an 11 yr old boy. I never realized HOW important until I had to hide things from him. Leave a baked chicken on the counter to serve for dinner, and Luke will have it torn apart, topped waffles with it, and be emptying a can of whipped cream over the mess all while asking " what's for dinner?"

This is actually a failed loaf of bread. I forgot it was rising in the oven, and turned the oven on 10 hrs after I had put the frozen dough in there. This is not recommended on the bread dough label. Luke ate this after he took the picture.

This is dinner. Or part of it. He's wondering where the rest is.

Another frequent pose is kids acting goofy. I actually delete a lot of these, but here is one to sample.

And sometimes they take my picture. ish. Maybe that is how they see me. Just a big smile. I kinda like that image.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The fact that I have a history of really sucky birthdays is well documented. I have carried on about it in person and print for years. Some of those birthdays were really bad. Space shuttle explosions, full family multi-orifice stomach viruses, city stopping ice storms,attempted home invasions-- bad stuff by any standards. Some were only bad to me, lest we never forget the year Brian gave me Clorox wipes as a gift. The only gift. Not valuable at the time, and very hurtful, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of it so really was a gift that kept on giving. It's all about how you spin it, right?

Last year I thought it would be fun to get together with a bunch of my mom friends and celebrate our mutual sucky birthday histories. We would laugh , eat and drink in the face of our common bond and scare away the sucky mojo. It was not only a fabulous party, but it worked! Last year I had a great birthday!

So, I did it again. Last weekend several of the same women, and many several more, met up again. Same restaurant. Same day, same time. Here is me and my friend ( I consider every woman at that table my friend so let's toss the description) Michelle being goofy:

Down the table, one part of it anyway... no matter how few times we had met we all chatted and laughed and carried on like we got together every week. But the truth is, all of those women " met" in an online message board  ( mom2momKC  ).To be in the same room as each other rarely happens. Some had stepped way out of their comfort zones to be there. I think all of them were happy they took the risk.

Megan and Other Susan got the " wear black" memo.

Karen and Sally showing their cheesy side.

Tracy likes a little wine with her fruit.

  24 women, a few sangria's, and many laughs. It was the perfect preventative medicine for any curse. It totally worked for me,and I hope it works for the others who have a similar birthday curse. My actual birthday was wonderful! Nothing bad happened, exactly the opposite. It was the kind of birthday that we all wish for- I imagine- but don't really verbalize. You can't plan for days like that, they just have to happen. Flowers, calls, notes, and a few gifts rolled in as the day and the delivery drivers went by. It wasn't about the objects, it was about the meaning behind them. I felt loved. The best gift of all.

Melissa made me a coffee themed table cloth, Lee sent a beautiful bouquet!

I got to hang with my kids while my fabulous mother-in-law cooked us dinner!

I have steak about once a year.. this was that night. I'm not much of a meat eater, but once in awhile I get a hankering for a hunka beef.

What kinda awkward body twist I got going on there? Ahh, Brian. Smile. Please?

The cake was carrot ( my favorite) homemade , too, and not by me! Bonus!!!

Tracy - the sangria drinker- send a flamingo with a fairly large seasonal wardrobe. This was a seriously cool gift.

Thanks to a bit of planning, a lot of people who love me and one fabulously outfitted flamingo I turned 47 with glee in my heart. A new tradition has been established and, on  a purely selfish note, I hope it happens every year. Aging has enough of a bad reputation, anything we can do to spin it is essential in my book.