Wednesday, October 30, 2013


We three took on Bates Nut Farm on our own this year. Gorgeous day with the all the usual festivities, save the ponies. They were there, but Nate said he was done with them; he only rides horses now, thank you very much.

After the tractor ride, rock climbing, frisbee painting, and tri tip eating; finally, it was time to choose our squash.

The rule is always the same, you can choose any pumpkin, as long as you can pick it up and put it into the wheelbarrow.

And so began our journey across the picked through patch.

It turned out to be a longer than usual afternoon.

Complete with a lost and later (thankfully) found cell phone.

Have I ever mentioned that when Nate puts his mind to something, there's not much that can dissuade him from his goal?

Most of the time, it's a beautiful thing.

I spend more time negotiating than is probably wise.

My last negotiation cost me a new betta fish, but landed me two free weeks of pet feeding and poop pick up with nary a complaint.

I became fearful that this negotiation was going to land us in the hospital for a hernia, but I hung back and let him do his thing. I busied myself losing my phone and looking for the perfect butternut speciman; slightly overripe and sweet, but not, you know, rotten.

I was told several times, "this was not the time for photos".

There aren't many times that are the time for photos it seems.

I have to negotiate for those too.

I'm pretty sure he indulged me a few because he was working out his own negotiation.

There was no way this child was not going to get one of those "Big Mac" pumpkins in our wheelbarrow.

He knew all along that he wasn't going to pick up the pumpkin he wanted.

He also knows what suckers we are.

Sometimes I'm too easy, sometimes too difficult and sometimes just crazy.

But I'm pretty okay with flexing the boundaries in response to hard work and perseverance. Plus, you should have seen his face.

It was pretty fantastic.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boy to Boy

"You may be scared, but you're also brave"
Nate, age 8

Monday, August 5, 2013

Walking and Talking

It's been about a year ago that Nate told me I was the best mom a kid could ever have, except his wife of course.  Sheesh, not even a Momma's boy when he was seven, I must be doing something wrong.

A few weeks ago we were coming home from walking the dog and he proceeded on down the alley on his bike as I put Cooper in the fence.

"Honey, are you going to ride in the alley for awhile?" No response.

"Yo Nate, I'm going in to make dinner, are you going to stay out here?" No response.

"Nate, if you're going to stay out you need to answer me and tell me you'll be on the lookout for cars."

Finally he looks up, hits the brakes on his old bike too hard, lunges forward, looks up at me, and goes down.

Somehow, I feel responsible and run over to him, and try to figure a way to untangle him from the bike. I don't have the heart to tell him to get himself up as I have been doing lately in an effort to help him break the habit he has of just laying there when he goes down. I'm repaid with kindness:

"You're the worst, it's all your fault. You're the worst mom ever."

After cleaning him up and having dinner, the storm seemed to have settled so I took a chance, "Hey, why do you suppose you were saying those things to me when you fell on your bike earlier?

"You know, because you distracted me and made me fall by talking to me and you know, I was panicked and didn't know what to do, so of course I blamed you.

Today we walked at sunset and he talked and talked about all the things we should do every day, or every week.  We should go on a long twenty mile bike ride every weekend and we should take Cooper on a long hike every day.  I suggested a walk around the neighborhood might have to do most evenings, he swooned and said, "Yeah, then you and Dad can take walks in the moonlight together."

"You know, I think you're gonna make someone a good husband someday."

"So you think I'm gonna get married?"

"Sure, if that's what you want."

"Well I have four girls who like me and seven who don't, so I need to get to work practicing to make more girls like me."

"You have plenty of time for that.  Plus, remember it's not just about whether they like you, it's whether you like them.  In fact, when you get older and start dating, that's what it's all about.  Learning the qualities you most like and those that you don't.  Eventually, you'll meet someone that has most of the qualities that you like and then maybe you'll decide to get married."

"I know Mom", he says, "but mostly it's up to the girls, because if they decide they like someone, they just dress up all pretty, and basically they've built themselves an arrow."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's Summertime!

We are two weeks into summer vacation and Nate and I are still putting together our Summer 'hit list', but we've also marked a few things off the list as well. As I've encouraged him to keep up some writing during vacation, it occurred to me that I should revisit my little corner of the blogosphere.

There is much to catch up on, but with Gramma in Paris, it may be best just to jump in with a tidbit of the day. Nate is heavy into riding his bike these days and has gotten pretty proficient on the fancy bike gifted to him by Grandpa, with gears and everything. Best of all, he gets to ride with Grandpa on a regular basis and he's motivated all of us to take some family rides as of late.

 Yesterday, Grandpa, Shaun, Nate and I rode around Tidelands Park and Coronado for a cool ten miles. It was overcast and breezy, perfect morning for a ride.

Today, Nate was all about his cousin Harper this and Harper that. We spent the day running errands and preparing for a quick camping trip next weekend. He was relentless with his plan to ride the trolley, then the Coaster and finally for the last leg to my sister's house in Ventura, there would be a taxi ride. Unless of course we wanted to save a few dollars, then he would make arrangements with Aunt Terry to pick us up. "If I ask her, she will do it you know."

"Will Dad be going on this trip with us?"

"No, because that will cost too much money and besides, I calculated that I only spend two to four hours with you per day during the week, so I need to spend more time with just you." Great, so I'm not the only one counting...

Nate begrudgingly agreed to come with Cooper and I for a walk when I reminded him that he could mail his letter to Harper along the way. During the walk, the plan changed. "Mom, I am waking you up when I wake up tomorrow morning and we are going for the bike ride of our lifetime. Mom, can you keep up with me? The fastest we went yesterday was 19 mph and we have to go about 335 miles so I think we will get there in about 5 days." Planes, trains and automobiles were sounding spectacular about right now.

"Mom, can I trust you to tell me the right way to go? Other than that you can not say anything, you can not try to talk me out of it or say no. Just follow my wheel, no words, only follow. We will have the trip of our lifetime. Actually Mom, I think it would be better if Siri gave me directions, you just be quiet and follow my wheel, just follow it okay Mom?"


"Mom, only speak if you want to say what a good time we're having, or if I ask you a question, then you can answer."