Friday, February 19, 2010

Capital B

the shack, 2002

woolacombe, england 2003

mud bath, rotura, new zealand 2002

nothing says cool, like having your mid-drift showing

bay of islands, new zealand 2002

bay of islands, new zealand 2002

October 26, 2002

b shredding at sand dollar 2002

valnetines day york, england 2003

june 2009

i know i write about my kids. a lot.

after all, they consume about 95% of my thoughts-- leaving a small 5% for things like what i'm gonna cook for dinner, or how i can get a break from my kids...

sometimes the dog will get a shout-out, or my mom, the occasional friend, and once in a great while i'll mention my husband. well today i wanna make up for it. today, my man, brandon trevor rodgers turns 40, 32.

so how can i begin to tell the world- (all 9 of you who read this anyway) how lucky i am-- when i know the only present he wants involves a sentence with the words - install, exercise, pole, and bedroom? since that sounds as likely as it snowing in osos, my words will have to suffice.

having 3 kids in 4.5 years has, at times, left us more as roommates than the sultry lovers we once were... our days are devoted to food, diapers, clothes, trains and babies. the little time we do have for ourselves we spend half dozing on the couch. but then, just when i least expect, i'll catch a glimpse of why it is i fell so hard, so long ago for a tow-headed boy who worked at CCS.

a friend of mine asked me awhile back, 'would you rather have your husband be a good father or a good husband?' ten years ago, it was a no-brainer. good husband. i remember trying to be intentional about showing affection, or wondering what he would like best for dinner, or pining after him when he left for 2 weeks to go surfing in indo. i remember him bringing me flowers for no reason, or writing little cards or notes for me, or planning a romantic night out. i never could've imagined a day where i would rather have him rock the baby to sleep instead of cuddle me on the couch, or bring flowers home for his 4 yr old instead of me. i never thought seeing those gestures would seem more romantic than candles and dinner ever did....

i could go on and on about what an amazing father brandon is... from ALWAYS being the one to wake up with the kids, to never saying 'no' from the smallest will you change the babies diaper? to at the last minute, can i go get a drink with the girls and leave you with all 3 kids (for the record - if b wants a night away, i need like days to prepare, and even then, its likely with a disgruntled heart). its times like those, that i'm reminded that i got more than i deserved when i married brandon.

but even amidst those aspects of his character that i admire and adore, i see glimpses of a good man. from when i see him surfing the cayucos pier while the waves are scraping the bottom, to when he finished his ultra -marathon, to him getting his queer eye on and obsessing over what shade of yellow to paint the kitchen, to asking a stranger to hold their newborn baby. its times like those, i fall in love all over again.

though we've had some good times, we've come along way from smokin bowls in the cab of your white ford ranger or running around naked in big sur when we thought we were alone... i know neither of us can't help but recognize somewhere along the way, we got swooped up by grace... the fathers hand took ours, and took us --and gave us a life we never, ever could've a dreamed of.
i am so thankful i got to marry my very best friend...

so cheers to you b, on your 32nd, may you always know, you look like gold to me...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the birds and the bees...

it was a typical saturday morning.

i slept in while b and the kids came downstairs for some toons. after pancakes and a puddle jumping walk, the kids made their way to the bath. it was here, oz discovered his balls.

sidebar: i have a severe distaste for the words "P" and "V." in fact i despise them so much i won't even write them out here. i know all houses are different, but in our house they are affectionately termed pecker and gee gee. now a few months back my friend erin called me to tell me about how her son had discovered his, ahem, well, nuts. he was asking her what they were called, and she was at a loss. she wondered should she say, 'balls, junk, tenders, nards, gonads, tasties (b's suggestion) or your basic testicle (ewwwwww).' i said, gosh, i never thought of it- what would i say to oz should he ever ask?

well this lovely, rainy saturday we found out. oz was in the bath and tali started fussing. i went to get her, and i kinda forgot he was in there until he called me in a bit panicked....

oz: 'moooom, come here! come here!'

me: 'okay, okay, i'm coming. hold on a sec.'

oz: 'mom, hurry come here.'

i walk into the bathroom half expecting him to be in some sort of peril, but instead he's just sitting in the bath holding his manjigglies.

me: 'what's up bud?'

oz: 'what are these?'

me: (knowing he was explicitly holding his cojones) 'uh, that's your pecker bud. you know that.'

oz: 'no these!' (with a firm voice and a death grip on his man-tonsils)

me: 'oh, those. (long pause) those are your nutters.' (thanks to lealah and her family for the use of the word nutters).

oz: perplexed 'nutters?'

me: 'ya, your nutters.'

oz: 'well what are they for?'

me: 'well, that's where you keep your babies?' (i know, it was crazy. but i was trying to make it educational)

oz paused and thought for a second, then with a furrowed brow he looked up at me and said, 'well, will they be okay if i squeeze them?'

me: a loss 'ya, i guess' (thinking that vice grip can't feel good, but its his nap-sack)

oz: in a determined voice, 'will my babies be okay?'

me: resigned... 'ya, your babies will be okay'

so there you have it. oz found his nutters, and you and i found at least 6 or more new ways to say a word i loathe... its a win-win for the rodgers house.

Monday, February 1, 2010

you're just figuring this out?

i need to lighten up.

as i mentioned a few posts ago, having a new baby around seems to have shifted my perception of my 3 and 4 year old. when i look at tali i see that she is a little tiny baby capable of nothing outside of me. she can't feed, change or clothe herself. now when i look at my 3 and 4 year old, i see that when they feel like it they can feed, relieve, and clothe themselves. when they don't, i kinda want to break windows.

four months ago it wouldn't have been that big of deal to help lily sort through her myriads of clothes to find just the right outfit, or help oz hold his pecker down while he poops. in fact, i was just in the habit of recognizing that sometimes they need a little extra help...

and it isn't just the basic day to day things. i've always been a little crazy about manners and behavior. i think because my kids are naturally pretty mellow and well-behaved that when they do act up i find it almost un-tolerable.

over the holidays having so many people around, i felt especially on edge. not taking the time to consider that there were suddenly 5 or more people around than usual, and that they were just 6 weeks into having a new baby sister, i felt like their behaviour was not up to par. when the dust finally settled and i had the chance to de-brief with b, a few things stood out.

i don't need to feel crazy when when my kids mis-behave around their grandparents. it seems trivial, but it was like i finally realized that they are just kids. they are 3 and 4. that's really little. i've spent the last 4 years with very little tolerance for bad behavior. its time to lighten up. i'm all about dissolving tense situations with humor in the real world, its time i started doing it more with my kids. when my 4 year old tells someone she doesn't like them, i don't need to freak out on her. i have to recognize that that is really how she is feeling in that situation. does she know its not okay to say that? yes. does she say it anyway? yes. by letting her feel her feelings am i accepting defeat? no. i actually have the choice to deal with the situation with grace and move on.

after talking through all this with lealah she gave me some really good advice. but like the good friend she is, she first told me all the way worse things her kids had done--ha. as we were talking about our crazy expectations for our oldest, and how we are so much more laid back with the younger ones-- she said, 'the reason you're like that with lily is cuz you've never done 4.5. its easy to write it off when oz acts out cuz he's 3, and you've been through it plenty of times with lily and came out okay. but when lily does something new you're not sure what to do, cuz her age is, and always will be new to you.'

me relaxing doesn't just start and stop with the behavior- its in everything. like letting my kids make messes (finger painting all over each other) or creating a bug habitat using most of the flowers from our garden, or spraying each other with the hose while jumping on the tramp, or even cracking eggs with the huge risk of shell bits falling in the bowl. before, those things would make me so uptight i'd put an end to them... now i'm just cleaning up after them. no shoes, no shirt, no problem. lets live a little uh?

realizing that my kids seem to be turning out okay has recently giving me the freedom to loosen up. i'm finding that more grace for them is actually turning into better behavior. they seem to be treating each other better and obeying me and b faster. i still have a few freak out moments like when lily decides to lift her shirt to reveal a tiny tank top and announce to everyone she sees that 'she has a bra on,' or when oz yells at his friends when they aren't sharing, 'you're in a bad, bad choice!' but all in all, i've definitely taken some steps to chill the freak out.

as i've mentioned before, i want to look back on these years of my life as a time full of joy.

the other night my mom was over, and b was making a fire. the kids were playing a game, and tali was chillin in the bouncy. my mom turned to me and said, 'hol, these are the best years of your life. you are going to look back on this time and remember it with such a joyful heart.' my response was, 'really? i've never thought of that before.' 'oh yeah,' said my mom, 'are you kidding? this is the sweetest time in raising kids. think about it-- they are home all the time, you have complete control, and they just think the world of you!'

after she left and i thought about what she said, i realized she had a point. even though most days i feel like i'm gasping for air, it is such a special and unique time... the last thing i want to do is wish i was more present.

so here's to 2010, i'm gonna lighten up, play with my kids more, and really try my very best to enjoy and remember these sweet days.