The Lost Art of Walking to School.

3 Sep

Gia First Day

Gia started asking this summer if she could be a walker. We live roughly three miles from Gia’s school. Too far to walk, but too close to drive. (Not really. We did that for an entire year.)

In an effort to say, “yes”  I did some brainstorming. How to find a solution to this walking conundrum?  Not to mention, she is helping me solve my problem of wanting more time with her.

More time where we are  just in a space together. Where there are no distractions from the radio, screens, toys, what could we be doing. Just us (and us can certainly include other humans we love both family and friends). Where we can talk. Or not talk. Just be. If something crosses our mind- we discuss it. Or we may just hold hands.

First I started parking across the street from G’s school.  And it really wasn’t enough.  It was like walking into Target.  I wanted to cross streets.  Look both ways, see the sun, find rocks, feel the humidity, feel the cold (whenever that is coming GOOD GOSH).  Last Thursday, I found a place about a half a mile from Gia’s school and roughly half a mile from Luke’s school.

And we walk.

Well, we parked.  Got out. Put on Gia’s backpack.  Crossed the street. Luke and I walked Gia to those two big double doors and kissed her good bye.  Then Luke and I walked back towards the car, passed it and went straight to his school.  I walked back to the car and drove home.

I am in love with this. Sure, it adds some time on the morning routine.  But it is precious time.  You see, while we are not right- when- we- wake- up morning people; we are get- us- going- a- little -and- then- we- are morning people. It works.

Every time I turn around I am bombarded with the facts that this time with my children is fleeting. I am committing to doing this rain or shine a minimum of three days a week.  This way if we go to JKC Live!  we can park closer and if we are running late I won’t be backing off of my promise.

With three days a week I hope we can see a community form from walking into a school and not simply sitting in the carpool lane.  With three days a week I anticipate mornings (no matter how rushed or flustered they start) with conversations about aspirations and excitement.  With three  days a week I except to meet friends I would have never heard about around the dinner table.

And lets be honest, this extra two miles on my FitBit will certainly help me beat Popa on steps.

So here’s to a new routine, a few extra steps, and more moments that I can cherish with my sweet darlings.

Kids and color.

28 Aug


Every parenting book that I have ever read talks about pointing out details to toddlers during everyday event.

What color are the leaves?

Can you see that there are so many petals on the flower?

Look how big that house is?

As I do with many things in life I tend to take the first part and run with it.  So, my kids have gotten a lot of “What color is XYZ?”  in their days.

Last night on our Wagon Walk while Gia and Ralph were at soccer practice things were no different.

“Luke, What color is the tractor?”


“What color is the dump truck?”


“Duke, what color are your shoes?”

“YELLOW!!!!  My favorite.”

And then, I remembered Gia telling me one day that I was purple when she was Luke’s age.  I had on a long sleeve purple shirt.  I had also been partaking in a fair amount of NPR commentary on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”  speech.

Gia and a red furry guy

So I asked my tri racial (Hispanic, Caucasian- mutt, Japanese) two year old-

“Luke, what color are you?”

With great parenting and societal pride, my boy looked at me like I was crazy.  As if all people are the same.  People aren’t colors.  Things are colors.  Instead of leaving that perfect moment alone (as I should have.  I only realize that now as I am writing this) I prodded once more-

“Luke, what color is your skin?”

Still perplexed (but ever the pleaser) he looked down and said,

“Black?….no silver, silver.  No black?  I don’t know mommy.”

And all I could say is, “No sweet boy.  You are gold.  Just like your heart.  We are all full of gold and it shines through.”

No child is born thinking people are a color.  We create that.  It is our job to look for the gold on the inside in lieu of placing a judgement for anything that we see on the outside.

Duke and Brownie

Thank you for the changes that you have made America.  I am well aware there are still grave injustices in the world but I think that one person at a time, one heart at a time we can all judge not”… by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I am proud to see first hand evidence that we are contributing to this dream Dr. Martin Luther King.

And just like that, the paci was gone.

20 Aug

For a boy who loved his paci so, its departure was somewhat anti climatic.

August 20, 2013 will go down in the history books for Luke. At 2 years 7 months 2 days (or 81561600 seconds) old he gave up his beloved pacifier.

For months, when at school he only had his paci at nap time. And for a few months, we kept telling him that if he gave his paci’s to Uncle Eddie he would get a bike. Then, we went on our ten day vacation and Luke fell asleep twice with out his pacifier. So we went with it.

We just stopped giving it to him. Told him we couldn’t find one. Didn’t have one. Etc. This is exactly how Gia (much less attached) gave up her paci and bottle.

When we returned home and Uncle Eddie was over for dinner- we gave them to him. I had big plans of becoming a YouTube sensation.  A chiminea, tears, a new bike unveiling.  None of that happened.  He had not had a paci for close to twelve days at that point- we were on a roll.  I didn’t have a bike (still don’t) but thought we should make it happen.

To be frank, I am not sure that I was ready. Not because I wanted him to still have his paci. Believe me, the orthodontic bills are already giving me nightmares. But it is a very real illustration that my baby is growing up. Getting bigger. More self reliant.

I melted on a puddle in the floor when we moved from California to Texas and all that was left in our bedroom were a pile of paci’s, newspapers and dust bunnies.


That is the last picture I have of Luke with his pac. It was pretty painless. I guess slow and steady is the best way to get rid of a pacifier. It was a six month (and two year) journey (love affair) and now we have to find a bike for this sweet boy.

The Last Day of Kinder

7 Jun


And just like that, Kindergarten was over.

She is well gifted.

10 May


As she should be.

Happy Mother’s Day Meezer!

I adore my mother. And I never could fully understand what she meant until I became a mother myself. She is right. She does love me more. But I love her so, so, so, much.Sometimes my heart could burst at how very thankful I am to have my Meezer. As MY mom. I am truly the envy of all (ok, a lot of)  my friends.


Seriously, where were these weight gain genes during my pregnancies? 17 pounds. Totally unfair. But how beautiful is she? So adoring. Of me. And Eddie. Thank you for loving us so completely and fully and teaching us that we are deserving of happiness.


Thank you mom for teaching me that Sun-In is ALWAYS a bad idea. But letting me figure it out on my own. Thank you for showing me that to cackle and enjoy life. It is far better to be having the fun than to listen to the naysayers. We may be a little loud and overwhelmed in laughter but we refuse to through life crying or just not experiencing that kind of joy at all. How I wish Gia could have had one card game with Sis and Grandma. That group of five cackling together would be a moment to go down in history.

My Meezer taught me that there is obnoxious; and there is border line obnoxious. Walk the line.


Gia has my mother’s genes. Lucky. Her lean frame and legs for days. Her big heart and emotions on her sleeve. Her willingness to give until the point of breaking. The relationship that these two have is so dear and special. Smelling roses. Doing crafts- that never come out right. But the memories are made. And cherished.



My mom has been there for every important moment of my life. The gut wrenching, I should be ashamed of myself moments, to the pride inducing ones. Supporting me every step of the way. She has not always been proud, but she has always been there. Which is such a testament to who she is. As a mother it is very hard to constantly support and never give up. But she didn’t. Not once. Even though I was mean. Often.


My moms friends and co-workers often say she is well gifted by my brother and I. And she is. And all the great JCrew gifts in the world can not even compare to the gift she has given us by being our mother.

Happy Mother’s Day. I love you, Mom.

Owning it.

8 May



This morning I was doing my daily “me time” and read this:

“Instead of letting our kids live in the realm of excuses we need to help them deal with their tendencies and move on.”

And it just resonated with me so much.  I do indeed have a spunky, creative, out-of-the-box child.  And she is my heart.  She and her (very in the box) brother fill me with so much joy.  It is these unique attributes that make them well, them.  And for that I am so thankful.

But there are societal norms that we have to adhere to in order to function.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we squash our children’s unique attributes.  I go above and beyond to foster them.  I do not want my children to conform.  But too often I find we allow those so-called idiosyncratic behaviors to be excuses to not do what you need to do.

In order to be successful, you have to do the work.

In order to be respected, you have to do the work.

In order to be wealthy, you have to do the work.

In order to lose weight, you have to do the work.

In order to make a cake, you have to do the work.

In order to have a clean home, you have to do the work.  Oh wait, you can hire that.  And I firmly believe that I have been affirming since I was six years old that someone will take care of the dirty work for me.  Waiting on the universe to place that in my lap.

…I’m still waiting, but doing the work in the meantime.

In order to be forgiven, you have to do the work.

One of my personal motto’s is “Own your shit.”  Because once you own it you can move forward.  If you never own it you become stagnant.  Or even worse you digress.

I am about to head into a teacher conference.  Which I frankly have no idea what it is about.  But my goal is to be open and receptive to whatever information that I receive and the strength to own my piece of responsibility for Gia and even more difficult as a mom force Gia to own her part in the equation.  Owning her part makes my life easier.  Until I want her to go out and be self sufficient.

I remember being told over and over- “This is harder on me than it is on you.”

The truth to those words is startling.  Wish me luck.

Sponsored: FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Stroller- changing my life.

2 May


I have a love/hate relationship with running. I absolutely love it when I am out there pounding the pavement getting the endorphin’s but I hate feeling guilty that I have to take the extra time away from my little guy. But a good jogging stroller is hard (and often times insanely expensive) to find. And one that does not take a cumbersome, clunky process I just haven’t found. But this new Graco stroller really has the best of both worlds. Pretty, easy, compact and awesome on the road when running. Which is frankly unbelievable. But I promise you. It is true.

That is where the Graco FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ comes to the party. It is fast folding, comfy for my Duke and easy to fold. And when he was a baby- you can just snap in the Graco SnugRide Click Connect™ 35 Infant Car Seat through a secure one-step attachment. For reals. No need to wait the average four months that you have to with some of those other joggers on the market. And, it has these awesome reflectors on the back. So if G is asleep and my little Duke wants some mommy time we can go on an evening run (Kinder starts SOOOO early). Graco_Stroller

With Ralph’s travel gearing up and this stroller is going to be great for summer evenings. The weather will be cool (ish- kind of, not really) in the evenings and I can put Luke in the stroller and have Gia ride her bike along side. It will be a great way to get the wiggles out before bed which can always be a challenge when I lose my man on man defense.

And the best part? Is that because of this stroller coming into my life I am averaging more and more miles to my week. I am back to averaging 35-45 a week. Which is super exciting.

Graco’s NEW jogger is the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger.

As an added bonus, Graco’s innovative one-second, one-hand FastAction™ fold automatically locks & is self-standing.

This post is sponsored by Graco.


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