Sunday, August 29, 2010

To my dear sweet boys....

Dear Miles and Liam,

Tonight marks the official end to this adventure called "summer vacation."  Tomorrow this mama's got to get up early, put on some professional clothing, and head out into the working world once again.  I knew this day would come, and back in June when I was trying to figure you boys out, I didn't think it could come soon enough.  I'm here to report that it has indeed come too soon.

Little Liam, what am I going to do all day without your smile everytime I walk into the room?  Never again will you be eight months old, crawling everywhere and getting into absolutely everything.  This was my chance to be everything for you.  I hope that we made the most of it.  I know you won't remember this summer, but know that I always will.  My first summer with my dear, sweet, funny, and charming Liam.  I'd like to make a deal with you....if you promise to save your first steps for your sorry, pathetic working mom, I promise to give you all the sweet potato puffs your little heart desires (within reason).  Do we have a deal little boy?

And Miles, my big, bouncing boy.  Your laugh!  How will I survive my days without hearing it run through the house, jumping on the bed, or doing somersaults in the living room?  I'm sorry I didn't think I could survive this summer, because we actually were really good at figuring out what summer was all about.  I'm sorry also for the terrible summer haircut I gave you myself.  I promise it won't happen again.  I need you to promise me that you won't start pedaling your tricycle while I'm gone.  You're so close!  Just wait until I get home to watch you perfect it.

Boys, promise me that tomorrow while I'm gone you won't grow even a smidgen.  Save all of your fun and games for when I get home so that I don't miss a thing.  You are not allowed to read any stories, look for bugs, jump on your beds, go for walks, or play in your sandbox without me.  Don't even think about getting out your swimming pool and sprinkler until I get home.  There will be no tickling or giggling while I'm gone.  I need you to promise that smiling will be kept to a minimum and that you will be waiting for me at the door when I come home.  Promise that you'll miss me as much as I miss you.  I promise you that it isn't possible.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Day Miles Became a U.S. Citizen....

Yesterday was a big day for our little Miles.  He became a citizen of two countries...two beautiful countries...two countries that will hopefully love him and treat him well.

We took the trip of to Chicago on a whim....spending the days beforehand trying to decide whether to go up for a few days, whether to find a sitter for Liam and just go with Miles, or whether one of us should just run up there quickly to pick it up.  In the end we decided to go up with a family and appreciate all that our beloved windy city had to offer in just 8 short hours. (So of course, the boys requested a trip to H&M, Anthropologie, and the Apple Store.)  It ended up being a fun and tiring trip that was totally worth it.
Heading out to Chicago...everyone is excited to go.  Especially the little blondie that has proven to be incredibly unhelpful on long trips.
On on way....
First order of business...picking up that very important document!

Then a long nap equals a long, leisurely, and fantastic meal for mom and dad.
Family picture!  That's us in the corner, with our newest member - Mr. Giraffe (a stuffed giraffe that Miles picked out to commemorate the occasion.)
It was like we put them there just for him on his special day...
sigh....I love this boy.
Then of course we wrapped it all up with a fantastic dinner at Buca di Beppo where a bunch of Italian women fawned over our children, who then proceeded to babble loudly and rub spaghetti sauce all over themselves.  It was nice.
In the end it was a great, but quick trip.  Liam did great in the car (despite our parental skepticism), Miles was in awe of the traffic, and both boys were in such good moods for the majority of the day (minus the five minutes it took us to literally peel Miles away from the fountain - not pretty.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to successfully end a summer....

Bye Bye Summer....

I've heard so many of my teacher friends talking about their summer being over.  For many teachers, it ended awhile ago.  For some incredibly lucky reason, I got about two weeks added to the end of my summer.  That lucky reason was - building remodeling.  Don't think for a minute that I'm lucky enough to ALSO go back to a renovated room.  But I'm not complaining!  Two more weeks to bask in summer's warmth is enough luck for me. I keep seeing my coworkers on facebook talk about "getting back into the grind" and the dread that comes along with it.  The truth is that I still feel like I have tons of time - almost a whole week yet!  I realize I am so lucky.

What am I going to do before the end of summer?
  • A quick trip to Chicago
  • Finish another book
  • Go out to lunch
  • Go on a bikeride on a trail I've never been on.
  • Go out for morning coffee with my husband - a lot.
  • Make more jewelry
  • Edit a few more pictures
  • Update photo albums
  • Finish our home renovation project(s)
  • Write a few letters
  • Organize my desk
  • Watch the Netflix movie we got about 3 weeks ago
  • Blog about some things I've been meaning to blog about (this isn't one of them)
  • Paint my toenails
  • Jump on beds
  • Go on walks at Forest Park Nature Center
What am I NOT going to do before the end of summer?
  • Clean my house
  • Clean my windows
  • Empty the dishwasher (I would rather wash dishes between each meal)
  • Break a sweat
Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I need to plan something for my students to do the first week of school....no sweat.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Movie Monday on Tuesday - again.

video

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What I know for sure...

This week I have the intensely pleasurable opportunity to spend the entire week at home in Ohio visiting my parents with M and L in tow.
I love Ohio - way more than I ever did when I lived here.  I never appreciated this area and all of it's little quirks when I lived here, and literally counted the hours until I could pack up my bags and move to the big city (I wasn't really thinking "Peoria, IL" at this point).  These days I love nothing more than coming home for extended visits.  Whenever I come home there are always things that I know I can count on.

These things I know for sure....
  • There will always be a pan of my dad's rice krispie treats waiting for me when I pull into the driveway.
  • I will always sleep extremely well.
  • There will always be coffee waiting for me when I wake up.
  • I will always find hairs I need to pluck in the crazy magnifying mirror in the upstairs bathroom.
  • Miles will always get to go on a bike ride.
  • I will always be over-indulged
  • My dad will always fall asleep sitting up in the wingback chair.
  • I will always get to eat delicious food.
  • I will always make at least one trip to Tiny's Dairy Barn.
  • My parents will always take very good care of me.
  • I will always be happy to arrive.
  • I will always be sad to leave.
  • There will always be tears shed on the drive back to Illinois.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A little YaYa getaway...

On Sunday morning, in YaYa Sisterhood fashion, I packed up my babies and headed to the Lake Michigan Beach to meet my two dear friends from home, along with their babies. 
What was great about this adventure?
  • Driving away from Peoria on a tree-covered highway with my car packed to the brim, my babies sleeping, and the Avett Brothers playing on the radio - a scene straight out of a chick-flick.
  • Watching all of our boys play together like only boys can.
  • Staying up late to talk about serious topics, hilarious topics, (how to save the world and what happens when you're done breast feeding all in one night!).
  • Calling our absentee friends late at night and harassing them.
  • Adding this memory with them to my rolodex of favorite memories of all time.
  • Lying on the beach all day long while little ones ruled the sand.
  • Fresh Michigan fruits and vegetables.
  • Late evening games of tag outside while the sun sets over the lake.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The One Where Joey Speaks French

As a product of the nineties I can relate nearly every experience I have to a Friends episode. I try to explain this to my students every once in awhile, but it is sadly getting to the point where my students don't even know Friends, or the legacy that it was. Back to the original purpose of this post. Again, I had an experience that immediately took me back to an episode of Friends. I was trying to teach Miles how to say "Umbrella". Perhaps some of you might remember this Friends episode from when Joey was auditioning for an upcoming movie and Phoebe was trying to teach him French.....




This is very similar to my experience with my son.
Me: "Miles, this is an umbrella."
Miles: blank stare
Me: "Can you say Umbrella?"
Miles: "Ba!"
Me: "Um-brel-la."
Miles: "Ba-ba."
Me: "Um"
Miles: "Ba!"
Me: "Oh, forget it."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Collision of Worlds

The other day I was at the grocery store when I heard my name yelled across the fancy cheese case.  I looked over completely surprised to see an artist that I worked with when I owned and curated the art gallery.  I was thinking that it had been about a year since I had seen him and how he looked exactly the same.  He asked me how motherhood was, and I of course was surprised that he remembered.  Just as I was answering Dustin pulled up with our cart full of food and babies.  I was surprised by the shocked look in my artist-friend's eyes, and then it occurred to me that he only expected to see one baby.  How quickly time flies.  He had no idea that Liam existed.  He said that the last time he saw me I was waiting to bring Miles home.  That feels like lifetimes ago, but my memory of working with this artist didn't.  Just then, for the first time as a mother I felt my two worlds collide.  Here was someone that knew me only as an artist and gallery owner.  My nights of sipping hand-selected glasses of wine while listening to jazz and talking art with people who found time only to create.....(forgoing the occasional shower and meal) were what tied me to this person.  He knows me as Tiffany - art lover and art maker.  My cartfull of babies?  They know me as Mom - nose wiper, macaroni maker, Popsicle eater, car-ramp maker, and storytimer reader (specialty voices included).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where in the World is Tiffany?

Some of you may be asking this question because you actually read my ramblings on this blog and have been wondering where my daily words of wisdom have vanished to (read: sarcasm).  I could tell you that we've been just so incredibly focused on traveling and frolicking our summer away that I can't find a minute to turn on my laptop.  OR, I could tell you how my days are filling with so much productivity that I am just a walking success story of the woman who can do it all.

The truth?  I'm totally addicted to Friday Night Lights.  I don't watch much television.  I wish I could say that it is because I have so many other important things to do, or because I would rather enjoy a cup of tea on the porch with my husband.  In reality it is simply because I get so easily addicted.  All it takes is someone to expose me to one episode of some lame tv reality show and I'm hooked.  Who exposed me to Friday Night Lights? My husband.
Anyone who knows me in my present-day life knows that I have no tolerance for sports.  I don't like the sound of squeaky shoes on basketball courts, I call it "Wrigley Stadium", I get innings and quarters mixed up, and the guy on the ESPN talk radio station gives me the hives.  My dirty little secret is that I used to love them.  I was a high school athlete AND I never missed a varsity high school football game.  I was a high school sport groupie.  What? You're telling me it is below zero degrees and the game is an hour away?  I'll be there!  Pouring rain on a Friday night in October?  Count me in!  Cold cocoa and popcorn for dinner?  Heck yeah! 

There you have it.  The cat's out of the bag.  At one time I loved high school football.  AT ONE TIME.  People could HEAR my eyes rolling in the back of my head when Dustin suggested we start with season one of FNL right after we got our Netflix upgrade.  Seriously? Football?  TEXAS Football?  The only thing I pictured myself having in common with Texas was the one summer I dated a guy with a gun-rack and Confederate flag sticker in the back window of his pickup truck.
I was wrong.  I'm totally addicted.  I am now caught up with the series and am desperately wishing my life away as I anticipate tomorrow night's episode - it's a big one people.  Perhaps my favorite part is watching it with Dustin.  He has taken to tossing a football around while we're watching it and saying such phrases as "Texas forever", and "No regrets."  We incorporate comparisons of QB1 and QB2 (that is quarterback for those (like me) that wouldn't know) into conversations and talk about Dillon, TX like it is our hometown.  I know no one reading this will appreciate just how funny that is.  Let's just say that we were made for each other.

Big plans for Friday night?  Me too....I've got a date with QB1.