Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back Up

Who knew a Tuesday afternoon apt. at the Genius Bar would hand me such heavy heart.

My laptop, or what's become a nasty thorn in my side the past month or so since bogging down in what seemed to be an overnight regression, making any kind of communication on the web a slow and painful daily process, was finally diagnosed - via a helpful, bearded man behind the counter at the Apple store conducting the diagnostics test - who told me that my hard drive was just about "done." And then assured me my external back up had made a successful run and would now house the past three years of my life to allow a fresh start on my newly cleared out macbook. A clean slate he said. With the promise of all of my old swift operations back in place. After the non stop battle with that damn spinning beach ball turning carelessly, hopelessly, after every few words I typed, was music to my ears.

In the meantime, I decided to purchase a new keyboard to hook up to my old desktop so I could stay on top of things (to a degree) until I get the revamped laptop back in my arms. But powering on the old one tossed me late last night deep into the rabit hole of 'Ole. Stuck scouring hundreds of photos stemming from the birth of new babies, to birthday parties and beach days. Old friend, happy times. Sad times. My sweet Leon in the hospital with RSV, past vacations, new beginnings and everything else that happened to us in between during the first few years we became parents. I was up way past midnight watching videos of the boys as wobbly babbling toddlers. Learning to walk, learning to hit, to talk and complain. Wondering how, in the blink of an eye they all turned from babies to boys. And knowing full and well how quickly time will take them from little boys to grown men. It made me miss them young, the way old home videos are meant to. To stir up those settling memories that fire up forgotten corners of your heart. But it also sparked reminders of how hard life was during those first few years. How chaotic our house hold felt, how difficult it was to keep them all fed and clean and happy and loved on a daily basis. How exhausted, and proud, and confused, and worried, and happily entertained I was in the midst of it all.

And then I finally flipped it off. And slipped back to bed reconsidering what I think I've always accepted and understood: that to be a mother, and watch them grow will always be marked with bitter sweet emotion. And that some of the hard times that come to pass should be counted as small victories themselves. I was reminded of how I cried for a year worrying that Leon would never walk, now I catch him racing around the playground when I stop to drop off his lunch. How I wondered if Rex would ever wear anything other than an old man's sneer and now he's one of the funniest people I know. How I scolded Arlo time and time again for pulling apart so many things as a toddler and now see that he was always learning. Teaching himself to dig a little deeper and is now one of the brightest kids in his class.

So for now, the photos will continue to pour in with that back up there as savior to catch what overflows. And I am fully ready for a fresh start, a blank space to fill up with pieces of our life the way it plays out now, all over again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Home Works

A little sneak preview into the back room / ex rental / new office space I started working on this past weekend. It all started when I lugged home that little wood hutch from a local flea market and realized it didn't really go in the space I had in mind when I bought it. I moved it out to the spare room and realized how handy the storage inside could be. So I moved all of my crafting stuff there and started creating a new space, just for myself. But more on that later, once it feels more finished. 

For now, I am working little by little (like everything in my life these days, I have to squeeze into two hour increments while the baby naps) to clear out and organize. The one rule being, I have to use things I already have on hand which makes it kind of fun trying to repurpose items I've had tucked away or neglected for years. 

I've also taking up a mean new stitching habit I indulge in late at night when I escape outback and practice getting these little pieces down the way I want them. Still a ways to go, as far as the finished outcome is concerned but it's been a sweet and relaxing break from my usual late night habit which consists of sitting on the internet browsing mindlessly until I finally decide to turn in for the night. 

Planing on sharing a proper tour of the space (as well as a complete essay regarding the importance of "A Room Of One's Own") over on The Ma Books when it's ready.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Month Nine

Let us just say, because I am behind on these, that this was the month you:

- Clapped your hands for the very first time.

- Learned to sit securely on a moving skateboard pushed across the length of living room by your ever attentive, always encouraging brother / mentor, Rex.

- And flat out refused anybody, other than me, that sought to touch or hold you.

Like the switch of a light you woke nine months and decided it was me and me alone you wanted. Crying when I walked away to answer the door, reaching desperatly, furiously for me even in the familiar arms of your father when I went to hand you over. Heartbroken anytime I plopped you down to help your brothers.

Luckily, it passed.
So you have returned to accepting (at times) the smiles and arms of others.

But in all the plight and exhaustion that came with trying to sooth a baby who decided, on a whim that he was the only one I might need hold or tend to, it was still hard to stay frustrated very long at boy who saw you as the sun, the stars and the moon no matter what or where on the day you stood to offer.

Scenes From a Weekend

*As in - Last weekend - because I am still terribly behind here due to major computer issues and ongoing genius bar consultations. 

YEAH! Pop - Up

Anyway, I got the chance to spend two whole days with two boys in tow. Leon, Hayes and I packed up and crashed my best friend's place in Korea Town last weekend where we cozied up in pajamas and ordered in burgers and watched movies the first night, then headed downtown bright and early to visit my Friend Elizabeth and her husband's newest venture Yeah! Furniture, hosting a jam packed two-week pop up extravaganza in the Hudson Loft to help celebrate the launch of this new line.

The agenda was chalk full of great events ranging from crafting workshops for kids (and adults) to discussions revolving around all kinds of interesting topics led by an array of inspiring folks, as well as beautifully stocked catering tables handing out samples from a few favorite local food stops, to wine pourings, to flower booths, to art shows, film screenings and so on. Literally the list went on an on. Every event I made it to proved a complete blast. And I would say they did a fantastic job of showing how you can work to promote yourself, and each other in a warm and authentic way that in turn, helps engage and connect the community at hand. I know I met quite a few familiar online faces  so it was nice to get to know them a little better there in the skin, in such a such a welcoming space. Nothing like the kind of try hard hipster stigma these L.A gigs tend to wear.

Though the best part of it all was having all my attention there with Leon. It's so hard these days, to get that with any of them that I really cherish the times when I am able. I had my friend there to help with the baby so I got to really soak up my time there with him. Watching his God's Eye construction at the Crafting Community's neon colored yarn decked booth, sharing a Popsicle in the lobby, conversations over dinner and even a long day at the Rose Bowl flea market where he was such a good sport and so much fun to have by our side. That kid's whole vibe is infectious. Proof is in everywhere we went, vendors and strangers alike stopped to hug or talk to him. There were more than a couple times I stood back and watched with pride over how much palpable joy he carries with him and how much it seems to transpire when he is with others. On the flip side though it also gave me a heavy heart in realizing how much I take for granted on the rush of a regular week with each of them. Because of all the good things I have to say about the gifts a big family brings, there are times like these where it pains me to admit how sliced my time and attention as a mother to four has become.

Hopefully though I'll be making more of an effort from here on out to secure these special days with each of them, alone. To stop and fully appreciate what unique and incredible people we are raising. God knows it whips by in a flash and what I am learning more and more is that the greatest milestones are not necessarily the ones that you mark in the books or share in photos, but more the small moments you start to see them as their own, working through a particular situation or carrying on an ordinary conversation where it tends to assure you that they are indeed stocked full of all the qualities you could want and hope for in the those fleeting days when they are brand new.