Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving on Baker Street

It's this time of year I start to crave turkey.
I know Thanksgiving is close and the anticipation is killing me. 
I can almost see myself standing it the kitchen, pulling the first bit of turkey skin off the meat and watching the steam pour through the new opening in the bird.
Now that's Thanksgiving to me.
That and the bacon green beans my grandmother used to make and my sister-in-law, Laura's stuffing.
It's the best in the world.
And then there's the pumpkin pie, on Thanksgiving no other pie will do.
It's easy to associate Thanksgiving with the food, however, it's more about family and traditions.
 It's funny to see how these things have slowly changed over the last 15-20 years. 
When I was a child we spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and birthday dinner at my grandmother's house.
All the cooking was done there in the small kitchen on Baker street.
We went over early to help.
I opened cans of olives, scrubbed and peeled potatoes and cut the ends off the fresh green beans.
I helped fill pies and washed mounds of dishes when the feast was done.
The holidays could not get any better.
Then, when I was in high school, my grandfather passed away too young for any of our liking and things slowly changed.
Grandma moved away from the little red brick house on Baker Street.
Then she remarried and Thanksgiving was never the same again.
The holidays were shared with her new husband's family. All the food was brought over, already prepared.
Then I finished school and got on with my life. 
I spend two Thanksgivings in Canada, away from family, where it is celebrated in October and is barely more than an afterthought.
Canadians don't make a huge deal about Thanksgiving like we do here in the states.
There, boxing day is more of a big deal than Thanksgiving.
I still have not spent another Thanksgiving in California or with my grandmother.
When I returned from Canada, I moved to Utah within a few short weeks.
A few months later I married a local whose roots are so deep here that we'll never leave. 
Before I knew it, I was spending my first Thanksgiving with my new family.
Those first few years were an adjustment for me, finding how I fit in this new family.
We had millions of small nieces and nephews and they were very loud.
Lots of laughter and babies crying and there was a general sense of contented chaos.
But it was not Baker Street.
Now all my sisters live close and we like to have Thanksgiving with my family, too, so we trade every other year.
I love it, but I hate it.
I want to have it all, Thanksgiving with the Angels AND Thanksgiving with the Weavers.
I want my angel mother-in-law there and my sweet, now very old grandmother.
I wish there were a way to meld the Thanksgivings of my childhood with the ones I share now with my own children.
I wouldn't trade the Thanksgiving traditions I have with my own family now, but I'd give almost anything in the world to have just one more Thanksgiving on Baker Street.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

That's My Boy

This fall we enrolled the oldest three children in a Montessori charter school.
If you don't know what a Montessori school is, you must find out about them, I am completely in love with this method of learning.
But that is a whole other post for a whole other day.
My point is that for the first time ever I got to attend parent teacher conferences.
Most of what I heard from all of their teachers was what good children I have, areas in which they could improve and how they are all multiple grade levels ahead in reading.
In fact, Doodle's teacher banned her from working with the grammar station because it's just too easy for her, she has to find other ways to challenge her in that area.
I think I'm raising a family of book worms.
All except Dubs.
I think he's still finding how he fits in a school setting, but is still doing well academically.
He is a very smart kid.
During our chat with his teacher she informed us that our middle child has acquired a new skill since starting school.
What fabulous new thing could this be? Fractions? Contractions? Cursive?
Nope, none of those things.
It was burping.
You heard me right, belching, discharging air through his esophagus.
Over and over and over, all day long.
He learned from another student how to suck a gulp of air into his stomach, then regurgitate it instantaneously.
Back to back burps All. Day. Long.
Loud, distracting, annoying burps.
Yup, my son is that kid.
His sweet teacher had to tell him multiple times a day that his behavior was not appropriate in the class and asked him kindly to stop.
When he continued, she explained that burping is a natural thing and that if he really, truly needed to relieve the gas in his tummy he could walk out of the room, belch, then return to his work. 
He took this as permission to go burp in the hallway.
Over and over and louder than ever.
So loud in fact, the teacher of the neighboring classroom heard this strange sound coming from the hall and had to go check to see if a child were choking and dying in the hall way.
Her entire class was distracted at the sound.
Yup, that's my boy.
Correction, I blame this one entirely on his father.
Remind me to tell you about the time Mr Bird was in elementary school and was sent home for farting in class.
Yup, Mr Bird, that's your boy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Daylight Savings is for the Birds

This time of year it is so fun to listen to everyone complain about the sudden change of time.
Facebook is filled with it.
Some say their kids still wake up at their regularly scheduled time, their little bodies don't know that the clock changed, despite going to bed an hour later.
Some complain that now it's dark by the time they get home from work.
Others just like to complain, so they jump right on the bandwagon with everyone else.
My complaint?
I'm hungry.
Meal times are now an hour later and my stomach has no idea why it must wait.
I wake up starving and so I fill my belly. Then, by snack time I am ready for lunch.
By the time lunch rolls around I feel like I could eat a bus.
Last night before dinner my whole family thought I had forgotten to feed them.
I had to remind them about 500 times to look at the clock and that it was not time to eat yet.
But you want to know my biggest complaint?
It's not the time change, I am usually OK within a few days.
My tummy gets the message that it will get food and that I am not intentionally starving myself.
My complaint is the cold.
It has nothing to do with moving the clocks back.
Cold and winter would come no matter the digits glaring from my clock's display.
When the cold hits I'm ready to fly South with the birds.
Florida or Arizona or even parts of California beckon me.
I want to bundle up in ugly sweats and slippers and never leave the house.
And then there's the snow.
I love how beautiful it is and one of my favorite things it watching from my nice warm house as the kids build snowmen and laugh and play in the snow.
But I don't want to be in it.
I don't want it to touch me.
And I don't want to drive in it.
Or walk in it.
But, silly me, I went and married a local who has no intentions of ever leaving this place.
He actually (*gasp*) likes the snow and winter.
In my humble opinion, the only thing winter is good for is to make me fall that much more head over heals in love with Spring and Summer and Fall.
 During those times of year I literally walk on cloud 9 because it's not winter.
So here I sit, listening to people moan about day light savings while all I can think about is the impending doom of the seemingly ceaseless cold about to envelop my world.
I'll still be here in the Spring, waiting for the warmth of the sunshine to thaw my bones.