Saturday, November 7, 2009

I did it

2009 certainly turned out to be a year of change.

I am taking (possibly) the biggest step of my professional life. I'm quitting my job. The job I've held for 14 years (minus 2 maternity leaves), the job I dreamed of having, the job I never had any intention of leaving.

Did it change? Did I change? A bit of both, I think. For decades, I have been ruggedly proud of my career. Of doing whatever it takes to get the story on. Of working odd hours, weird times--all for the sake of TV JOURNALISM.

But that's all changed. The kidlets, most certainly, have made me realize what really is important (without sounding like a cliche). Also, though, the business changed. It became a business, for real. No more "Just go". Instead, how do we cover the story with no crews?

So I'm making the change. Moving into academia. I've done TV for almost 25 years, I can teach it now. Starting out as an adjunct. Already, though, I am more excited about the possibilities than I have been about TV in awhile. I always liked school--liked the exchange of ideas and the chance just to learn something new.

Oh, I know that no job is perfect and I'm sure I will miss the hustle and bustle of the newsroom--and breaking news. But I think, I know this is the right move for me and the right time to make it.

God help me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Construction begins!!

I am so excited--I can barely contain myself! There is a GIANT hole next to my house, and soon it will contain our new addition. A very nice 4000 square feet of SPACE. For THINGS. And CLOSETS. And STORAGE.
Space for my babies to grow. Space for my books to live. Space for my clothes not to be crammed together. Space for me to go and be alone when I need to be. The latter being (almost) the most important of all...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Fall!

I have so much to say, so why can't I get it posted? beats me. I guess I'm having my life, not writing about it. Which is OK, but I don't want to forget so much.
Jake turns 5 on Thursday. Yes, 5. He's halfway through his first decade. Holy crap. It's amazing... unbelievable... awesome. All wrapped up together! This past Friday, he was sick and I kept him home. He asked if we "could just have a special day together"... it was so wonderful! We went to the zoo, the mall and Griendly's. My big boy, full of wonder!

Phoebe is also an amazingly wonderful girl. She's getting more and more words, and has such a sparkly personality! Right now, bubble is her favorite word. She also yells "DOWN" when she sees Regen... and she loves to grab my hand and drag me to wherever she wants me to be.

I am such a lucky mom!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Growing up...too fast?

The kidlets are maturing at an amazing rate, and it's both scary and wonderful to see. The sibling relationship is developing and I have high hopes for success.

Jake played so nicely with Phoebe on Saturday! When she woke up from her nap she was a bit cranky. He started blowing raspberries on her tummy, making her giggle--a sound I just can't get enough of! She looks at him with such happiness and love, and he loves to make her happy too. Later Jake and I were playing tag on the bed and Phoebe wanted to get up and play too. Jake folded her right into our game and we all laughed and rolled on the bed and had just a great time! At the playground, Jake got onto the tire swing. Of course, Phoebe wanted to be on it too--Jake said "put her on the other side Mommy!" I sat her down and Jake put his legs on either side of her, then leaned over and put his hands over hers on the chain so she wouldn't fall off. I swung them around and both just laughed and laughed. Truly a golden moment I will savor forever in my mind...

Phoebe is quite the big girl now, walking everywhere and she's developing a devilish grin that just melts me... When we go to the pool Jake has to carry his toys inside, especially his swim ring. Saturday, Jake grabbed his ring and before I could grab Phoebe's, she had picked it up and was toddling towards the pool! She was so proud of herself for carrying her toy, and I was so proud of her too! Honestly the cutest thing you ever want to see... then as we were leaving I was carrying stuff to the car, and I looked behind me and she was right there with the biggest smile on her face--so proud to be following Mommy.

Each day, my heart seems to grow fuller and fuller. Watching them, playing with them, hugging and kissing them... my babies are my heart, my joy and my soul. Thank you God for giving them to me!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday with the Kidlets

Saturdays in our household tend towards the chaotic. I get home from work around noon, make lunch, and try to keep two active kidlets occupied. This week, Daddy had a run-in with poison ivy and was on the couch with his eye swollen shut.

I headed out with Jake and Phoebe so Daddy could rest a little bit. First stop--drop off teenage babysitter. Second stop--head to Costco to pick up cake for colleague's retirement party. Third stop--the dollar store!

First stop went well. Second stop, we got the cake and a watermelon--no problem. Then of course we needed some lunch. OK, 1 adult, 2 kids. Shouldn't a large slice of pizza, a hot dog, a soda, a yogurt cup and a berry sundae be, well, ENOUGH? Not with these kids!

Jake ate the hot dog, Mommy got 1 bite. Jake ate some pizza. Phoebe ate pizza. Mommy got 4 bites. Jake ate yogurt, sharing with Phoebe. Mommy attempted to eat berry sundae, but Phoebe yelled every time I tried to get some in my mouth.

Then as we leave Costco--the skies OPENED up. From the door to the parking lot, I got drenched. Soaked. Kids were yelling about being wet. I packed them into the car, and jumped in myself, feeling like a wet dog. But as we headed towards home, the rain stopped. So we went to the third stop--dollar store! I didn't find what I needed, but kidlets did. As we walked out of the store--the sky was turning BLACK. As in I was a bit concerned about our safety! We raced home as the thunder started and made it inside before part 2 of sky-opening.

The rest of the afternoon was spent inside with a monsoon pouring down. And 2 kidlets who REALLY wanted to go outside. Finally we walked the dog around 6:30, then dinner and bed.

And hey! get to do it all again today.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


So I just keep getting more bad news. But I don't want to focus on that because bad begets bad. Instead, I am resolving to focus on my blessings.

Jake and Phoebe are the number one, simultaneous, wonderful and perfect blessings in my life. I am so fortunate to have them and THAT is what I need to remember. Their joy, their love, their happiness need to be paramount in my brain. Not the b.s. of my job--which exists so I can support them.

My husband Steve is also a blessing. Despite my frustration, he truly is a good father, companion and friend. There really isn't anyone else I want to spend the rest of my life with!

My good heart is a blessing. Even with all that has happened, I am still resolute in my belief that people are basically good. The world has been trying to prove me wrong, but I refuse to go along with it.

My good health is a blessing. Years of sleep abuse notwithstanding--my body continues to function well and keep me happy. I keep promising it that I will be nicer and finally get enough sleep, but until then the ol' body is performing well.

My parents and brother are blessings. They love me, support me and have full confidence in my abilities to do anything I set my mind to.

My friends are blessings to me. They have shoulders to lean on, ears to listen and arms to hold in good times and bad.

All in all, life is a blessing and God has blessed me with so much. I have to keep these thoughts firmly in my mind and not fall victim to self-pity or other destructive tendencies.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hooray for Summer!

I cannot believe how excited I am for summer! The pool is open and the fun is beginning. I don't think I have been this excited since I was about 15... that was the last time that I truly looked forward to summer. The last time summer was ahead of me as an almost endless stretch of time, full of warmth and promise and freedom.

After that summer, I was thinking ahead to college and to "real life". Of course once I graduated, summer became just another season. Even when it was just Jake, somehow summer didn't have the thrill that it does now. Last year with a newborn, I was just glad to know if it was day or night. But that changed.

I think yesterday at the pool really brought it home. We visited a friend's pool for a few hours, then went to our community pool. Jake and Phoebe had such fun! And so did I--from the smell of the sunscreen, the hint of chlorine, the bright sunshine, the great splashes, the towels, the pool snacks... it all suddenly came together and helped me recapture the joy I used to have in summer.

The coolest thing is that summer never really went away. It was hanging out and waiting for me to rediscover it in the faces, voices and actions of my 2 water babies!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I like to write. I started a blog because I enjoy putting my thoughts down in some more durable location than... my head. So why aren't I writing more?

Damn, but life gets in the way.

In February I found out about a huge change coming. I thought about it, prepared myself, took deep breaths, etc. And now--the job change has yet to happen. I was supposed to be done with my PhD LAST year. Still not done.

The changes aren't happening. Oh they will, but the suspense is killing me! Honestly. For real (as Jake says). I can't sleep, I'm cranky, I'm frustrated. Anticipation can be a good thing, but in this case it's just making me mad. And when I'm mad, I don't write because I'm mad. A huge circle of illogic that keeps going and going... until I am frankly dizzy and feeling nauseous.

The future generally looks bright and happy to me. Except right now. It's an impenatreble black cloud at the moment, all avenues are hidden and all look bad. Bleah. Go away black cloud of despair! Go away dense fog of sleepiness and exhaustion! Come back shiny happy Lydia that I was not long ago!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A day with the kidlets

I tell you what.
These kidlets are about the most fun I can imagine. In the morning, Phoebe usually wakes up first (before Jake, that is). I pick her up and as soon as she spots Jake in bed she puts her arms out and lunges towards him. I put her down on the bed and, with great glee and laughs, she throws herself on him! Rolls all over him, laughs... it's really one of the funniest things I've seen.

And Jake is cute too--he usually smiles and laughs and tickles her. Or he pulls the blanket over his head and she pulls it off, laughing all the while! It's such a joy to hear happy sounds in the morning.

At daycare dropoff, we usually take Phoebe to her room first. Jake gives her 2 hugs and 2 kisses goodbye--such a good big brother! She waves to us, and we head to Jake's class. Jake gives me 2 hugs and 2 kisses, tells me he loves me, then I'm gone. It's such a fun ritual!

At night it's not as cute, as everyone is tired, but Jake is doing so well playing with Phoebe. She has this loud squawk she emits, and we all come running (to her delight). Then we play with her and she loves it.

Phoebe goes to bed at 8, Jake at 9 so we have some one-on-one time... and the house is at rest.

Until tomorrow!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Who knew?

Who knew children could be such fun? Before the kidlets were born, I had a very hazy concept of parenthood. It seemed like a lot of work, but ultimately rewarding.

What I didn't realize was that the rewards would be so soon and so much fun. I spent yesterday playing elaborate games with Jake while Phoebe attempted to climb all over me, all three of us laughing almost continuously. We raced cars, we built a robot and a racecar and a dump truck (although Jake said mine didn't really look like a dumptruck), we made popcorn and watched The Wizard of Oz.

Jake quizzed me on math problems, mostly addition. (I love that school of his!) Phoebe always has a lot to say to us. She is a girl who WILL BE HEARD. And watching her and Jake interact--now that's joy!

I am so thankful for my babies and all they give me!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Musing on Spring

Spring is taunting me. It knows how much I long for its arrival. How I hate the cold, snow and wind. How my heart leaps at the sight of crocuses peeking out of the chilled earth, a promise of new life, warmth, beauty.

Somehow this spring seems like it will be especially marvelous. Phoebe will turn 1! We've already been outside on a warm day. She in the swing, watching her lunatic brother run fast and fall down, just because he can. Laughing and pointing at the silly canine and equally silly Jake.

Pretty soon I will let her onto the ground to feel the growing grass for herself. To soak in the sunshine, look at flowers, watch birds hop in the garden. How fun it will be! Before I know it, she'll be walking, then running.

And I will have the exquisite joy of seeing my children play together, laugh, run, fall, get up and do it all over. I must remember to cherish the moments and lock the sun and laughter in my heart so I can see them again and again!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Getting Things Done

Why, oh why, is it so hard to get things DONE? Big things and little things. I feel like I spend my life trying to do just one more load of laundry... one more load of dishes... straighten up just one more room... take the dog for just one more walk...

I long for a sense of completion. To be able to cross a task off my list once and for all. To dot the i's, cross the t's and file it away. To not have to think about it anymore, not have it hang over my head like a black cloud that refuses to lift.

I realize that the daily and weekly chores aren't ever going to be done, though, and that both scares and saddens me. To know that I'm going to have to match socks for the rest of my life? AUGH!

But there are some things that can be done. Completed. Finished. Like, my PhD. I'm so sick of thinking about it, revising it, editing it. I just want it to be DONE. At this point, I don't even care if it makes sense, I just want to be done. With luck, though, that day should come soon. Then maybe I can relax.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gourmet Kidlets

I was a picky child when it came to food (just ask my mother). I didn't eat "junk", but I had my favorite few meals and I stuck to them. Mom would try new stuff, but I would throw a fit, so she was reduced to the same old, same old.

Imagine my surprise that I appear to be raising 2 gourmets. Their daycare does a fantastic job with meals, serving a great variety from different cultures. They have meals like chicken alfredo or baked fish, veggies like asparagus or spinach, fruits like mango. At their age, I had no IDEA those foods even existed.

But the kidlets vacuum it all up. At the grocery store, Jake will actually choose asparagus as his green vegetable. And Phoebe will try anything, multiple times. Her teacher told me that yesterday the kitchen served ground beef, but no spices on it. She apparently kept taking bites, spitting some out, and trying again--in search of some with flavor!

Their Oma makes some delicious dishes, seasoned with spices I find appealing, but I wouldn't necessarily think children would like. THESE kids eat it up and look for more. Last night I fed them her food, then made myself a filet of tilapia, with garlic and lemon juice. Phoebe banged her high chair until I gave her some, which she chowed down.

I am glad they both are gourmets. I just find it terribly funny!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Change is a funny thing. Some people embrace it--flitting like butterflies from job to job, situation to situation. Living for the thrill of newness and unexpected circumstances.

Other resist change like it's a disease. Digging their feet in, and getting dragged kicking and screaming into change.

I like to think I'm closer to the former than the latter. I'm about to find out.

My job was just eliminated. The place is being reorganized, changed. I can apply for the new job that will be created, but there are no guarantees, no promises that I will continue to be employed here. Continuing my employment means learning a new skill set, changing how I do what I do. Not continuing my employment means finding something else, something new to do.

That change can be a good thing. Changing by learning and opening your mind is exciting. I welcome the chance to stretch myself, learn new technology and move into the future. But this future might or might not include me. Change that is paired with extreme uncertainty is not as exciting.

But I wanted, I needed a change. I was stuck in a rut. Despite my successful efforts to learn a new career and challenge myself, it's still been hard to actually MAKE a change. And now it's forced on me.

In the weeks ahead I'll find out more about the change, what I can do and what I can't do. Where I can go. What my options are. What grand new adventures are ahead of me! I look forward to change and the opportunity to re-invent myself. Out with the old and in with the new.

Yeah, but can I say I'm still just a bit scared?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Observations on Siblings

For most of my life, I wanted a sister. I have a little brother, but our relationship is more special than most, due to his Down Syndrome. I love him dearly and am so proud of what he has accomplished so far in his life-- but the relationship is very different that what typical siblings experience.

So I was excited to have the kidlets experience siblinghood in all its glory. It's only been 9 months, but already I am delighted by what I see.

Jake told me that Phoebe is his princess and he is the prince. That means "I will rescue her and save her and will marry her." On the flip side, he told me he had a dream that Phoebe was still inside me but when she came out she was big and knew how to play with his toys "the right way".

Phoebe simply adores her big brother. She can crawl and is mobile, which means she can get to him. She'll crawl up to him and put her hands on his shoulder (or whatever she can reach) and look lovingly at him until he acknowledges her. And he usually does so in a loving way... then she proceeds to tear down whatever it is he's doing. Resulting in howls. Leading to the previous comment.

But Jake still wants her to play with us. He always includes her in Candyland (until she pushes the pieces off the board) and wants her to build with him. The other day he was putting away his toys (amazingly) and she was pulling the toys out of the box as quickly as he put them in. And she was doing it on purpose! Looking at him and laughing!

I think what strikes me most about their relationship is the love. He hugs her, she hugs him... she even seems to be saying his name! I hope this love continues for all time. I know they will not like each other sometimes, they may even say they hate each other. I've read the books, I'm not naive.

If I have just one wish for their relationship, it's that they will be secure in the love that surrounds them and they will spread that love to the world around them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter blahs

Boy I hate winter. Especially January, followed closely by February. Nasty, brutish and short, to borrow liberally from Thomas Hobbs. I always feel like there's NOTHING to look forward to, that I'm stuck in some sort of stasis where all I do is get fat. Seriously, it's like this every year.

DH wants to go on vacation, which would be great except for the fact that then I'd have to move. And pack. Then unpack, and frankly, it just seems like too much trouble. Sad, huh?

The kidlets and I have a day off together, tomorrow. And I have NO IDEA what to do. Museum? Sure, along with every other kid in the state. Playdate? Then I have to make calls. Bleah.

In happier news, Jake started soccer! Indoor, and our babysitter takes him because the only league happens Saturday mornings when I'm at work. I'm glad he's getting some time to blow off steam! He also starts basketball Monday night, so that will be cool too. Work off that excess energy...

If only I could figure out how to transfer HIS energy to ME.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making Myself Over for 2009

Oh how I long to be different.

I look at myself in the mirror, seeing a body that is lumpy...fat...ugly. Eyes with bags under them. Hair that's got just a bit too much gray. Clothing that is bland.

I want to look like someone else. I want to be that slim chick who was full of energy and confidence. Not a close to middle aged mom who just wants to get through the day... the week... the month.

I want to be the person I thought I would be. Fabulous job, fabulous body. Fabulous clothes. Well-behaved and perfectly coiffed children at my side as we dash around doing interesting and important things that boost brainpower and save the planet.

So where did this vision come from? I hate to say it. Damn. It came from the media. Argh! I don't want to blame my profession for my failings. But I see images of women who clearly have it all together, with an army of nannies and personal trainers to help them. Oh yeah--that's right. I don't have any of that.

So how do I make myself over in 2009? Maybe I need to start from the inside. I guess I really ought to see the woman in the mirror as a miracle worker who created and carried and bore 2 living human beings who will grow up as people in their own rights. Eyes that remain bright, if sunken, with spirit and fun--always willing to look "one more time" at the crazy antics of a 4 year old, and to regard with love the smile of an 8 month old. Hair that is still chestnut, and see the streaks as lines of precious metal that detail the challenges faced and overcome. And clothing, well pfft. Since when do I care about fashion?

I need to make over that internal critic who berates me about what I should be instead of celebrating who I am. Who compares me to an impossible ideal instead of realizing all the great qualities I already possess.

So in 2009 I will be different. I resolve to be happy with who I am.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How the Chinese Won the War

3 words.
Adult Assembly Required.
That's it-- we have lost it all because all of our life, our time, our holiday is spent attempting to assemble STUFF.

Oh, and Transformers too. Which are SUPPOSED to be kid friendly for assembly, but because the parts "conveniently" detach, become a complete nightmare because all those damn doors and wheels and weapons look alike and who can tell which is Prowl, which is Starscream and which is Bumblebee? OK, the Autobots are brightly colored, so I have a shot there. But the Decepticons are all dark!!! ARGH!

Is it bad to just throw out the whole box of random parts?