Thursday, March 31, 2011

some things never change

Like going to the park with little ones and the first thing I hear amongst the squealing and laughter and playing of dozens of kids and hearing countless languages, is a mom--"Andrew, don't throw sand!"

Oh--and hearing, when asked if this is a good birthday (surprise visit from gramma and grampa, trip to the park, lunch at McDonald's, topped off with ice cream cones)-- "This is the best birthday ever!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

and about that vision

Today I wish I could see better.

I wish I could see why somebody would smash giant holes in the windows of two of our vehicles that were parked in our driveway, grab Jack's tiny little meaningless day planner, and the drummer's two winter coats and his backpack that contained his Hebrew textbook, three library books on Rachmaninov or someone like that, a book of Beethoven's sonatas, and his Hebrew homework.

I mean, I would think that anybody with an ounce of smarts would steal the power tools that Jack had moved from the rental house to the back seat of his truck because he was worried that somebody might break in to the vacant house and steal the thousands of dollars of tools he was using in the rental house.

I can't see what that was about except that maybe that protective bark Gus let out late last night scared them off, but then again, the truck would have been parked in the garage but for the two couches that are in the garage because of Gus and his formerly-bad behavior.

So that looks like some type of balance in the world, right?

Oh, and if you see any of those books for sale on e-bay or craig's list or something, let me know, okay?

Monday, March 28, 2011

cloudy days

Today was one of those days where I'm glad I have vision. Okay, wait, I'm glad I have vision every day, but today I was more aware of how great it is to see.

There were clouds. Big dark masses and low-hanging nimbus. Huge clusters of storming, sheets of precipitation. And both this morning and late tonight, amongst the multiple versions of clouds, there were stripes of orange and pink sunshine glistening over and through the clouds.

See today is one of those days where I remember as a child learning that the eye works like a camera and I wish I had the newer version of camera eyes that have a memory card that can download those photos onto my laptop so I could share them with you dear readers and save them in my available, retrievable memory for moments when I need to see an instant of natural beauty.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


1. Gus has trained us well. We have had no accidents in the house for a week or more and we have had no chewing up of stuff that is not specifically designated as appropriate for dog chewing.

2. Progress is slow in the rental, but progress is still progress, right?

The rewiring of the house continues. Lines have been pulled and will be replaced with wires; new switches and outlets will be installed in nice safe boxes.

The tiling of the bathroom, nearly completed, then removed, may be completed in the next week. Note though, the new window has been installed.

The dirt under the stairs has been replaced with cement, the termites have been discovered and will be dealt with, and the ladder that is temporarily the way upstairs will be replaced soon by new stairs. Excessive wiring and conduits and pipes continue to be removed so walls can be patched and painted. New fluorescent light fixtures have been purchased to brighten up this previously rather dreary room.

Patching of the plaster in the stairwell continues, and hopefully, painting of the walls and tiling of the landings will begin soon.

Discussion related to the kitchen upgrade continues, ebbing and flowing all the way from complete demolition and replacement to simply clearing off the counters and calling it good.

Progress is good. Sitting on the microwave stand that was left behind by the previous owners was good until Jack stepped on the lower shelf and I attempted to sit on it one last time while fishing a string out of the wall, not realizing it was broken, and ending up on the floor on my butt and elbow, in somewhat the same manner as Goldilocks after sitting on the chair of Baby Bear.

ps I don't recommend searching Google images for a picture of Goldilocks. Dirty internet. sheesh.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

favorite quotes and moments from the trip from provo to san jose

gramma, do you remember my old house?

i got soda but i'm not a soldier...

meowing instead of singing the words to a song

mom, this is our first pizza picnic in our new yard

gramma, will you read this rapunzel story to us again?

goodnight bunny bouncy ball--see you in our yard tomorrow

hey gramma, you have green eyes like rapunzel!

...and thankful gramma can stay with us...

do you know the way to san jose?

Check out the time:

and enthusiastic riders...

breakfast at McDonald's

just one of the views

lots more driving, then 13.5 hours later...

then home:

Here's a little tour of the place:

The garage:

The back yard:

The family room/breakfast nook:

The hidden downstairs bathroom with lights that turn on when you enter the room:

The kitchen:

The living room/formal dining room

The really cool office space at the top of the stairs:

The master bedroom:

walk-in closet:

Master bath:

The next-door neighbor's house:

California might be green and lush and it might have great homes, but not everything is perfect...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

more farewells

One was napping...

one was at work...

This may go on for a while...

these photogenic faces

I should probably be getting showered and dressed or should probably be doing laundry or packing or something, but I took a bunch of pictures yesterday and really feel like sitting around in my jammies while I look at them in real life.

the amazing packing miracle

Just before six last night, I sat on the front porch steps and watched Jessie confidently push her stroller full of girls across the street and out of sight while Breanne skipped and ran and walked alongside her.

Jack and I knew that Jessie and Cory had a lot of stuff in that little house of theirs. We didn't know how all of that stuff would ever get into that one truck especially since Cory is in California and none of our family was available to help with the move.

But just a minute or two after Jessie left, I noticed a man walking towards her house and quickly realized he was there to help her pack the truck. Then I noticed another man coming from the opposite direction and then a couple with their three boys and then another two men and more boys and more couples and more men and more and more. The first man introduced himself (Carlos, maybe?) and asked if I was Jessie's mom, which is when the tears started. I nodded and suggested that perhaps they could start by hauling all of the boxes to the front yard. The increasingly larger group of people moved into the house and the moving had begun.

Maybe three minutes after she left I saw Jessie coming back towards her house sans stroller and girls. Coming from the other direction were Shi and her dad, Steve (aka packing genius extraordinaire). Already there were at least 30 people moving in and out of Jessie's house carrying boxes and furniture. Everyone was laughing and moving and helping and talking and joking together. Shi and her dad climbed up into the truck and began organizing, calling out for different items, carefully stowing each thing, and all the while, this mass of helping humanity kept growing until there were more than 50 people, maybe as many as 75, all helping and laughing together. There were probably four or five couples who were Jack's and my age, but most of the people were closer to Jessie's age. All of them were full of energy and enthusiasm and a desire to help this family, this mom and her girls.

I have never before seen such an outpouring of love and support. I am weeping again as I type this and remember again how overwhelming it felt to see such love for my daughter and her family. Over and over people told me how much they love her family and how much they will miss them.

Meanwhile, back in the truck, Steve and Shi were working away, carefully selecting and wrapping and tucking and stowing, until somehow, in just three hours, everything Jessie and Cory and their family own was moved from inside their little home, to their front lawn, and into the truck, ready to be transported across a couple of states to their new home in California, where Cory has already met people in their new ward who are excited to meet them and help them unload that big truck and settle in to their new home.

After a quick stop at McDonald's, we headed to our house for a sleepover, and after today together and another night sleeping here, we girls will load into the minivan and drive west.

But last night, because she is the mom, Jessie collected everything they needed for a night at gramma's and gathered her girls and their stuff and brought them into my house where she quickly got everybody into jammies and got them drinks and helped them settle down for the night, and when Janey was having trouble settling down, Jessie snuggled her on her lap on the couch until she fell asleep and then lay her down and climbed into the top bunk to sleep herself. But, ever-vigilant mom that she is, then woke at the sound of Jack up in the night, and then, unable to get back to sleep, moved to a couch to wonder if she'd remembered to close a window we'd opened to run a cord outside to a drop light to help with the packing.

This morning, she was up early, feeding her girls, starting a load of laundry, heading back to their house one more time to finish up the last bit of leaving.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

i should not be posting right now

I'm tired. I got about an hour of sleep last night. My job has required me to drive 45 minutes each way to and from work for the last three weeks. And I drive 45 minutes to and from school two days each week and 20 minutes one day each week. And the 45 minute drive is earrrrly in the morning. My dogs are driving me crazy. Gus has absolutely no ability to remember any of the two house rules for dogs: don't chew up stuff that isn't yours and only relieve yourself outside. How hard is that? No object permanence in his brain. And JoJo and Gus cannot stop with the wrestling and chewing on each other. Or the licking me. Or the laying all over me. And I have a killer painful zit on my upper lip that is hurting my lip and also hurts to look at. And Jessie is moving next week. And Breanne and Janey and Cailin are moving next week. And we are buying their house and remodeling it so we can rent it out. And I made this really comprehensive list of all of the things we thought we wanted to do so it would rent and I added a column for what I thought each of those things would cost and also included an item called "20% additional" because I always underestimate, and we are two weeks into the remodel and we haven't crossed off one of those things on the list but we have spent $500 at the Home Depot already. And Oscar won't quit sitting on the kitchen computer keyboard which causes it to make some oddball return key pressing sound. And I don't have any bread or milk or diet coke or chai tea in the house. Oh wait. Oscar moved off of the keyboard. But every time I tell Gus and Jo to stop being such dogs they look at me with that pathetic "why don't you love us" look and then I feel guilty for not just loving them for who they are which is obviously not dogs because they don't even remember the two dog house rules.

Okay. So I'm really tired. And I should not be posting right now.

Oscar is back on the keyboard.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the way we view the world

Audrey turned four on Saturday and Janey turned three on Monday.

My perception is that most people don't remember much about the first four years they are alive.

Yet all of the nurturing we do or don't receive is stored away in those little developing brains, not consciously remembered, but certainly a significant part of how we become who we are.

Parents have such power. Isn't that amazing?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

a little big something

Listen to this: As very, very sad as I feel about Jessie and her family moving to far away distant California, that is what I feel: sad.

Not dark, not lost, not black hole, not dismal not worth living anymore.


This is something to celebrate.

the sadness, not the moving. of course.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

now i really get it

Many years ago, I worked at my kids' orthodontist's office. I helped him put braces on kids' teeth. I peered into kids' mouths, embarrassed the ones who didn't put in the effort with a toothbrush and, because I also had braces, sympathized and reminded them that in your mouth, callouses usually develop after three days and your best friend until then was probably wax and ibuprofen.

I enjoyed that job--I liked being around the patients and their parents, usually their moms.

One time, a patient came in with his dad. The patient was 19, a nearly man-boy, and it was the first time I'd ever seen his dad in the office. Turned out that the boy was leaving the next day for an LDS mission. His dad had taken the day off work to be with his boy as much as possible because he wouldn't be seeing him again for two years.

It seemed like such a tender visit for that big man with his son that day at the orthodontist's office.

You've probably already figured out where I'm going with this post. I'm that dad right now. No, my son isn't going away for two years with only four phone calls and a weekly email home. But. My girl is moving away. About to begin a big new adventure. She's been feeling sick this week and it's all I can do to not drop everything and rush to her side to make soup and toast and tuck her under a blanket and read stories together. I keep thinking that a good mom would be there helping her pack and sort and such, but she's a grownup now, an independent capable woman.

How did my pioneer ancestors ever pack up and go when they had to realize they would never see their families again? Whatever would I do without airplanes and cars and phones and computers and the internet? Perhaps these are the wax and ibuprofen for this situation?