Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's you!

Don't look so surprised at your own cuteness!

love always, mama

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The music man

After a baby is born they are in a haze for several weeks. They sleep the majority of the time and are unable to see what's going on around them. Slowly and steadily their world comes into focus. They begin to recognize the face of their mother and eventually their father and other family members. They begin to smile and laugh. They begin to discover the joys of being alive.

After we got married Zach gradually stopped playing the guitar. He traded in his mixer to buy me an engagement ring. Coworkers replaced bandmates as he finished his degree. Daily playing eventually drizzled away and he would go weeks without touching his guitar. Life just took over and priorities changed.

But as Franky began to discover the world he discovered music. And Zach discovered his muse.

Many nights we sat around for hours and listened to Zach play: Bob Marley, Sublime, The Format, Zach originals. We sang and sang. Franky soaked it all up. Sometimes he lay there, quietly taking it all in. Sometimes he would shriek kick his feet like crazy. His love of music was cemented during those summer nights.

And we find ourselves here again. As a sleepy newborn discovers a new world, his father rediscovers his guitar. Our house is full of music once more.


Guys who sing and play guitar: HOT
Guys who are sweet with babies: ALSO HOT

love, ali

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just because...

I just think this is a pretty picture. And sometimes, that's all it means.

The end.

Love, ali

Monday, September 27, 2010

Typical Monday Morning

"I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." -Anna Quindlen, Author

This morning I just enjoyed my boys. We hung out and watched a little bit of a movie called 10,000 B.C. It's not really a kid movie but Franky begs to see the "tiger" and the "guys" and tells me they are "SO COOOOOOOL!"

We went grocery shopping like we always do on Mondays.

Typical shopping venture:

The moment we put the grapes in the cart Franky begins begging for one. What's a mom to do? He doesn't understand that we are charged by the weight. But I figure Walmart can afford a few cents less in grape revenue with all the money I spend there.

He eats them happily until I swing by the string cheese. It's sort of tradition, eating grapes and string cheese as we cruise down the isles. I would feel bad for presenting the clerk with a half-eaten string cheese to scan but I always make a point to not make them touch the wrapper. It's usually spitty and, if I'm being honest, full of the partially chewed bite Franky can't manage to swallow. I just hold it up for them to scan with a half-smile and a shrug. I think they sort of know the drill by now.

Upon arriving home Franky helped me bring in groceries. Then we had a turkey sandwich and some more grapes for lunch. We ventured into the backyard and Franky called for the orange cat we saw on our fence yesterday. He doesn't understand that all the neighborhood cats are too scared of Tyke to hang out in our yard. It makes me a little sad for Franky because he LOOOOOVES "kiddies".

And now the babies are napping, safe and sound in their cribs. I wonder what our Mondays will look like in a year? In five years? We are always moving so quickly towards our future, too quickly. I'm working real hard at savoring the now.

love, ali

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two (and a couple of weeks)

Dear Franky,

It seems like just yesterday I was lying awake in an unfamiliar hospital bed with a tiny newborn baby in my arms, my entire perspective on life having been eternally shifted, my capacity to love stretched beyond reason. I became a mother. Two years ago. TWO YEARS.

If I had to choose one word to describe you it would be pleasant. How boring is that? There is not another word to describe it though. You are a joy to be around. You are friendly and playful and funny. You make me laugh every day and that's no exaggeration. You love to play with vehicles of every kind and even have a favorite you call "Trucky." You are obsessed with motorcycles and "bigtrucks!!" (semis) If you ever hear a motorcycle drive by we must drop everything to listen. Every Thursday I strain to hear the garbage truck coming up the street. Then we run outside and watch the garbage get dumped and wave to the garbage man.

You are such an easy going kid. I am very fortunate to be able to leave you with babysitters. You go with the flow. As long as you have some toys to play with or an attentive audience you are loving life. We took you to the doctor yesterday for your two year old well child exam. You were so good for the nurses and the doctor, letting them help you up onto the table while I held your brother. You let them bonk your knees to check your reflexes and didn't even flinch when they stuck that thingy in your ear. One nurse commented that if all two year olds were like you her job would be so much easier.

Watching you learn to speak is an unexpected source of complete joy for me. It is so exciting for me and Dad to hear you say new words, most of them I didn't even teach you. You are always watching us and picking up on things we say. I've had to really start watching what I say around ya, you little smarty pants. No more potty mouth for me. You have also picked up on counting a little bit and I often find you counting up to three.

You love books. We read every night before bed. Your current favorites are The B Book (Barenstein Bears), Bears on Wheels, Goodnight Moon and Goodnight Gorilla. But your favorite is Go Dog Go. I think this is because it combines two of your most favorite things in life: cars and dogs.

You love to run and you LOVE to be chased. Sometimes when I'm cleaning or taking care of Drew you just run laps throughout the house. Sometimes you chase me with plastic bugs ("kuh'kuh bugs") and sometimes real dead ones. A lot of times I chase you around the house and you try and get dad to hide you under a blanket. If you are under foot while I am trying to make dinner I stomp after you until you run around the corner and then go back to cooking for a minute until you come back out and then I chase you away again. We play this game almost daily.

And you love your brother. Have I told you yet that was my biggest fear about bringing baby Drew home? One of my biggest regrets in life was being in the bathroom when you first laid eyes on your brother. But from what I've heard you squealed with delight and asked to hold him immediately. That hasn't changed. You call him "bee bee" or "beeb" and give him kiss and "ugg" (hug) before bed every night. Today you were throwing a ball and it rolled into his leg. It didn't hurt him but you stopped everything and ran over to tell him sorry and kiss his boo boo.

Sometimes you are a stubborn little thing. Before bed you will think of any excuse you can to delay the turning off of the light. You have also started expressing preferences in clothes and will beg me to put you in a "cute shirt."

Mostly being your mom is so much fun. Occasionally I really crave a moment for myself but the vast majority of the time I really enjoy playing with you all day and being the one who meets your needs. Although I know you probably won't remember life at two, my greatest wish for you would be to enable you to look back on your childhood and know that you were loved unconditionally. It's nice that you're so easy going right now and haven't presented me with any really big challenges (potty training is just around the corner). But even when you do, I am going to be here, basking in who you are. Your joys are my joys. You are the sunshine in my life every day.

Love you buddy,


Friday, September 24, 2010

Second day hair

The best part about this long(ish) haircut is second day hair. It's not quite bedhead, not quite curly. Just a couple flips of the flat iron and a little bit of product and I'm "off like a dirty shirt."

Love, ali

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some family pics I took last week...

My adorable cousin and her cute family...

I know the baby is crying in this one, but I just think Katie looks too foxy not to include it.

She has the greatest parents. Love the concerned look on Dad's face.

She was so done by the end. Being a newborn is hard work.

Mama bear...

Thanks for letting me take some pics for you guys. Wish we lived closer!

Love, ali

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New hair

I was hoping this haircut might make me look like her, once my hair grows out, minus the baby belly (although I'd still need to lose about 15 lbs to look as good as she did at 40 weeks pregnant).

love, me

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Elder Tate

He says he's going to be like a ginger Shaq surrounded by all of the short Asians. That's Mitch. He's funny and kind and he's my brother. I haven't begun to process the fact that in less than a month he will be leaving for Korea and I won't see him again for two years. The kids are going to miss their Uncle Mitch and I'm going to miss my brohan.

love, ali

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our view

I know I've already mentioned how great our backyard is. But I just can't stop myself from posting this picture, mainly to induce jealousy. Is it working?

There are no houses to the south of us and this is just a taste of the views we are provided with in a daily basis. In fact, Franky often spends hours standing in the big, picture window in our living room, pointing to the fields and yelling "Horses! Horses!"

Sometimes living on the edge of a sprawling suburb isn't so bad.

Love, ali

PS. Lovely shade provided by the mc mansion next door. It's no shade-tree but it'll do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oak City Days

I think I might have written about Oak City before. Yeah, I have. We visit as often as we can. Zach's parents and brothers and their families still live there. It's a wonderful little place to call home. And every year at the end of August there is a celebration. It's called Oak City Days and it's freakin awesome. There's about a gazillion things to do and we play hard all weekend. Me and my sisters-in-law all ran in the 5k. Of course I don't have any pics of us (doh!) so you'll just have to take my word for it. But here are some pics I did take.

My niece is the blonde. I told her mom she is in trouble. And you can see why. Can you say gorgeous??

Franky and Mads, hanging out in Grandma's kitchen. I love this family.

This is us.

This is us too!

We ride 4-wheelers and dirt bikes in the O.C.

We also eat popsicles.


It's a good time. Can't wait for next year.

love, ali

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Short thought

It should have been a trying week. My babies have been sick. And then I got sick. Sore throats, stuffy noses, achey bodies. I've ingested quite a bit of herbal tea. I'm supposed to run a 10k on Saturday and I haven't logged a single mile this week.

I often feel a burst of calm energy whenever things are suddenly hard. I don't know if it's the first born in me or something I've learned as I've grown. I like being the one who brings comfort, the one who maintains perspective.

So as the restless babies have grown needy and stopped sleeping I have become a deep well of mothering. I've wiped noses and kissed foreheads and rocked late into the night.

That's not to say I haven't complained, or wished at times for a personal assistant. But I feel my capacity expanding.

I'm am a mother of two and I'm not totally failing at it.

love, ali


My lands, child! Could you be any cuter??


love, mama