Just to Listen

I was doing a little surfing and came across this:

A woman is stuck in the mud and the man is trying to fix the situation by grabbing sticks to help pull her out, etc. The woman is crying out and the man is desperately trying to rescue her. After all, this is man’s instinct – to rescue, to fix. Finally, the woman yells: “I just want you to jump in the mud with me!!!” Women want our men to crawl into that ugly mud pit and sympathize with us. Isn’t it true? – from Learning to be a Wife

It reminds me of an article or book I’ve read, advice or tip I heard on television… I’m not too sure what the source was. It just sunk in my mental reserve that men like to “fix” things. I guess I’m kind of man-ly in that way, as I’m an action-type person. I’ve had to learn to quiet my own head a bit when people are telling me about an issue in their lives, instead of always being in action-mode (like I need to do for PTO or at work, etc.).

Simply listening, is helping. Quite often the person who is doing the talking just needs to talk, to tell someone, or to work things out themselves as they speak to a listening ear.

Bless my wonderful husband who has gotten so very good at simply listening and not always fixing. Granted, he’s had a lot of experience, especially through some of our difficult times the past couple years (and my ability to “talk it out” on a near daily – sometimes hourly – basis). I am very thankful for that.

The Twins are Ten Years Old

Happy Birthday Little Freaks!!!

10 years old today when I went into pre-mature labor, waking up to bleeding. I wish I could put a sentimental chain of photos from birth and their struggle in the NICU to toddler-hood and their 10-year-old selves. But I don’t have time. I’d get around to it sometime in the summer, maybe. But I remember. I remember eating the Dove Chocolates outside of the hospital, praying to bring them home someday. Praying that the systemic infection Sal contracted a few days into his life would be knocked off by the anti-biotics. Cringing every vein from head to toe kept blowing on his tiny body. I remember coming one day and his head was shaved on the side to allow for a needle to be placed. Finally a central line was put in. It worked. He came home the same day as Franny.

They looked different, a bit more sickly. I worried they’d never recover. Frank and I prayed and cried. And did it some more. I had taken for granted that I had three “normal” deliveries and was able to scoop my babies up and bring them home right away. I never thought that it would have been different this time. But it was.

And now they are ten. Sal has outgrown Franny by 40 pounds. They look strikingly different. In the same class since 1st grade, and very good buddies (while being very different people).

Mom and dad took us out for dinner last night, and then the boys got to open their gifts.

Lightsabers, money and a video game.

Franny enjoys money. And saves it. Poor Sal spends it much quicker.

I made cake in a hurry yesterday, since our dinner was impromptu. Jack’s Chocolate Mayonaise Cake, which has become a staple in our home. (I’ll have to re-post that recipe… it got buried in my archives)

One candle for each decade.

Happy Birthday, boys!! I love you.

Mexican Corn in a Bowl

Yum. One of the perks of having your kid play soccer in the Hispanic soccer league. The food. Besides the Chicharrón, you have what our family calls “corn-in-a-bowl” or, if you like it on the cob, “corn-on-a-stick.” Either way, it is yummy. Corn, mayonnaise, cheese and chili.

I’ll admit, the first time I saw it made (a few years ago), I was skeptical. I mean, the mayo was sitting out, unrefrigerated for what was probably hours in hot Wisconsin weather. I gave my husband the “poopy-pants” look that we give when at potlucks, picnics and questionable restaurants. The, that-doesn’t-look-like-it-follows-safe-handling-food-guidelines-and-there’s-a-good-chance-of-poopy-pants-if-we-eat-this” look. But it smelled so good. And it was hot. And, a little diarreah every now and then is like a free colon cleanse, right? It’s not like every kid on the field was running around with poopy pants… it had to be safe. Right? Or are their stomachs are conditioned to mayo off the shelf?

In a moment of weakness, we bought, we ate, we fell in love. We never looked back.

I don’t get the corn every time we go. The kids do get the chicharrón quite often, though, using so much hot sauce it is like pork skin cereal. There’s a salad that looks extra yummy. I thought it was seafood on top of a crunchy chicharrón with lettuce, avocado… turns out the translucent slivers peppering the entire salad are thin slices of pork fat. I can’t get into it.

We’ve made the corn-in-a-bowl at home and it is very good. But there’s something about getting it served after (before or during) a game in a styrofoam bowl.

Day At The Zoo

Wordless Wednesday.

(And in case you’re a person who likes words… we took a trip to the zoo this weekend. Us and half the population of the city. Nice, spring weather will do that. We are fortunate enough to have a free zoo here in town, so we can always go back, and it isn’t like we’ve lost money because there wasn’t enough time or space between sardine-packed kids to see the exhibits.

Franny insisted on taking pictures of the giraffes who were “humping” – they weren’t really, they were cozing up to, or had finished, couldn’t tell. He then took a picture of the rhinos. At the end of our visit, the boys played at the new play/park area. Franny climbed the rock structure and I snapped a couple pictures.)

Land’s End Squall Jacket Bargain

Do you see a difference between these two jackets?

At the beginning of the winter season, Frank’s aunt purchased a jacket for Carlito from Land’s End ($70). A very nice jacket, perfect for his ski trips, daily use, sledding, etc. She got the jacket with matching hat and gloves – very nice, practical gift. He wore it thorough most of the season until the zipper broke, and we had to exchange it for another one. It was an easy exchange, I’ll give Land’s End credit for that.

Twords the middle of winter, though, Sal’s jacket broke. He had been using a hand-me-down from Carlito, but that was too snug. Well, during one of my Goodwill trips, I found a duplicate of the jacket Carlito’s been wearing – in Sal’s size and in excellent condition – at a fraction of the cost ($7). I picked it up, checked the zipper, looked for tears… nothing. The only difference was the name label inside was cut out. I could definitely work with that. Score.

Sal’s jacket is the smaller, on the left; Carlito’s is on the right.

Warm For Winter – Knitting Project

I received an email from a woman named Sis. She said she used the Chunky Ribbed Hat pattern posted in the knitting section of my site. She said it was perfect for a knitting group she has that makes hats for homeless people in the Seattle area. The program she is working with is called, “Warm for Winter”  — A program sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Washington. Sis’ specific group goal is to make 100 hats by winter 2009. Can we help her?

I think we can.


Here’s a little information from Sis:

…I have been very involved with knitting, started two groups at my Temple and along with this I thought it would be nice to give an afghan to each new renter. I had labels made with my Temple’s knitting group name – “Knitzvah” which is knitting for a Mitzvah. Mitzvah in Hebrew is acts of good deeds. Most of the people we have put into apartments are women with children and each family gets an afghan. I started out having folks knit strips which I put together but it got to be so much work that I figured why not make the whole afghan and came up with a pattern. I have folks knitting in Florida, Arizona, Maryland, California and locally. We have made close to 100 afghans and have placed close to 100 families into apartments; mostly women with kids. Then… I also got my folks knitting for hats for the homeless. I watch for yarn sales and put together both afghan and hat kits and give them out to people I meet at book events, etc. around town.

If you’d like to knit a hat (or two, or three – with the Chunky Ribbed Hat pattern, or a pattern of your own) for the homeless, fantastic!!! Whip ’em up.

Completed hats should be sent to:
Sis’s Homeless Hats
T.B.A. 2632 NE 80th St
Seattle, WA 98115

Thanks so much!!! Send me a picture or link if you have the time. I’d love to see your hats. Feel free to link to this post to help spread the word. (*Hats pictured above are made from Sis’s own hat pattern, which you can find here: Sis’s Hat)

Daylight Savigns Time

I live in Wisconsin, USA we practice daylight savings time (read up on it if you haven’t – pretty interesting). I wish we did not, honestly. It throws me completely out of whack.

Spring ahead, Fall back.

In Spring, you set your clocks ahead an hour and in Fall you turn them back an hour.

Fall, I can handle more than Spring – I mean, how can you not handle to gain an entire hour?! Besides, in Fall, you’re kind of cozing in for the season. The earlier onset of evening encourages my body and brain to start “tucking in” and doing cozy things like knitting, reading, cooking, relaxing.

Spring, however, throws my whole system out of whack, making me feel out of my element. Tired. No wonder people have Seasonal Affective Disorder (although, like I said, my adjustment really comes in with the Spring time change).

I’ve gone over a month without coffee (I switch between coffee and tea), but this morning – hadto have it. My internal clock is set to get to bed around 11:30pm-12:00am and I’m finding myself not able to sleep until 1am. Not good. And when I do wake up – it’s dark out. Gar!!