three is the new terrible-two

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN A LONG TIME AGO and I never posted it… and it was truthful then… but, time flies and things change. The kid has actually passed through the demonic phase and scooted right into the mama’s-boy phase – which for Marc, may very well be more annoying.


The kid turned 3 1/4 and became a holy terror – OK not maybe not a holy terror, but, an every-three-weeks-for-a-few-days-complete-pain-in-our-asses. We’re pretty sure that it is in relation to his normal brain/body development, or maybe it was because I was cavorting with the devil right around the time he was conceived. Either way, we are stuck with him for better or for worse I suppose.

But, the mood swings? Are you serious with that, dude? I’m pretty sure that the toy that you dropped on to the floor of the car is NOT “lost forever and ever — waaaa waaaaa waaaaa — I’ll never get it again!”… and the fact that I poured the honey into your yogurt in the kitchen and not right in front of you at the table, does NOT make it inedible… and I’m pretty sure that you should be saving the “I HATE YOU, YOU STUPID!” comments for when your dad and I embarrass you in front of your first girlfriend, rather than wasting all of them because I want you to put socks on.

But, then he will, completely out of the blue, look at one of us deep into our eyes, grab our hand and say, I love you more than anything. And all of the terrible is washed away.

Listening: Summer Camp

happy halloween!

Listening: wilco

there are no words

Yesterday morning began like any other these days… 6:15am tiny, stomping footsteps (H is a heel-walker like his momma) up the stairs to our bedroom. Sneaking to the side of the bed he gets really close to me while I pretend to still be sleeping. And rather than the typical tickling, yelling of “wake up!” or poking of my side, he leans in and kisses my arm then climbs in bed. Then he sweetly, but, excitedly whispers in my ear that he has seen something.

Me: “What did you see?”

H: “I saw a star…” motions with his hand, “flying slowly across the sky…”

Me: “Yeah buddy — that’s a shooting star!” (he has never seen one before)

H: “…It was my grandpa… it was my grandpa sending me a kiss.”

Again, I find myself with no words.

Listening: Lower Dens

a life well lived…

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to an amazing man.

I don’t have the words right now to talk about how much he will be missed. But, I am so very thankful that I was able to communicate to him through this blog many times just how I felt about him. Kylie and I read an edited version of a post I wrote to him on Fathers Day and it is below. The service was just as perfect as it could be, complete with heartfelt remembrances, a piper, a slideshow of photos of his life and a playlist of his favorite music.

Each night at dinner Harrison has raised his glass and made a toast to him – some of my favorites:

“To Grandpa. Thank you for being my friend.”

“To Grandpa. Thank you for reading to me.”

“To Grandpa. Thank you for being a great grandpa.”

“To Grandpa. Thank you for being my daddy’s friend.”

***

A TRIBUTE TO MY DAD

by Aimee Blase

This is a shortened version of a tribute I wrote to my dad on Father’s Day of this year and published on our family blog. He asked that I read it at his service.

What a man my dad is. An old-school boot-straps man. A no-nonsense, no-silliness kind of man who raised two of the silliest daughters on earth. Two of the shriekingest little girls you could ever imagine. A man who must have stored away any irritation of said silliness deep down inside because I never once heard him raise his voice to tell us to SHUT-UUUUUP! But, then, he never would have used that word. Because in his calm, quiet way he didn’t have to. We respected him absolutely and still do. A look from that man and you know it’s time to chill.

My dad has been my teacher, my mentor, my coach and my sister’s and my creator of magic.

Part of the backyard of our San Ramon house was dad’s vegetable garden. Kylie and I would run, walk and bike through the cement paths that dad made (not for us, but, to make caring for his vegetables easier) little did he know how many adventures those paths took us on. We would often play that we were orphans running away from an evil caretaker and we would fill our pockets with sugar snap peas for the long journey ahead. I, as the older sister, would dole out sustenance as needed. The peas grew tall to form massive walls and the fragrance of the tomatoes and squashes was intoxicating – to this day fresh tomatoes sitting in the sun will transport me back to that place. That magic place. Closer to the house was the terraced walls up to the back fence. Lovely big boulders with the most amazing tiny flowers and mossy ground cover winding in and out. There was no more perfect place for Strawberry Shortcake and gang to live. He created a world of magic for us. I’m not sure that was his goal or that he actively bought plants that appeared to our tiny eyes as the foliage of fairy tale lands, but, that’s what he did.

Dad as Teacher. Of course there was help with homework – I mean, the man is a MENSA Member (read: “NERD”) But, what I really remember, is my dad teaching me to draw. It was pretty standard figure-drawing type stuff which lead to a few mediocre landscapes done while on family vacations. But, it was very special time between us. He also guided me into graphic design. He took a youthful notion of “sure, it might be fun to design stuff for a living” and took me to a design show at the Contemporary Art Museum, took me to a graphic design firm’s studio for a tour, bought me books and helped me create a portfolio out of thin air to attempt entrance into Cal Poly’s design program – a program that I didn’t make, thankfully. Because as we all know, Fresno — really, the hub of high-minded design — was waiting for me. While dad always was and is a quiet man of few words I always knew how proud he was of me. And I always wanted and still want to do better… be better — for him.

Dad as coach. Another amazing thing my dad and I did together was softball. After overcoming a rocky first year with my first team — “Bill’s Bunch” he became a very successful head coach — taking many of our teams to the playoffs — and as my greatly under appreciated pitching coach. It’s been forever since I played competitive softball but, I can still feel the nervous excitement and the feeling of being at home on the pitcher’s mound with my dad looking on from the dugout. I had some speed but, couldn’t ever really tame my arm which lead to a lot of strikeouts as well as walks. Dad was my rock through the walks, injuries and losses, but, also through the championship-wins and strikeouts. He never got angry or stressed – or if he did, he certainly didn’t show us kids. And, now, that I am playing a competitive sport as an adult I realize how much time and effort he gave to us. I realize the countless, thankless hours he put in helping me practice. Those years didn’t just improve my ability to throw a ball at a target, those years made me learn about myself – about how strong I actually am, about overcoming, about leadership, about humility and about striving to better myself.

Dad as mentor. I have always been a bit – OK a lot – spontaneous. And for a man as careful as my dad, I imagine letting me find my own way must have been challenging. Upon hearing that rather than heading to San Francisco to pursue a sensible job in advertising I was going to Truckee to be a waitress and snow boarder, I imagine my dad’s heart must have broken more than a little. But, he bit his tongue and allowed me the freedom to make my own mistakes. Luckily in the end all that craziness turned into a pretty amazing life. And while I talk about dad as this buttoned-down, serious, smarty pants – there is actually a bit of that same risk-taker in him. He is an entrepreneur – has started many businesses and figured it out on his own. It takes a brave and kind of crazy person to take a risk like that. He is a dreamer – born in the city, he always wanted a piece of land away from it all, so, with $5,000 between he and his sister, they purchased an acre of land in the podunk town of Truckee and built a house on it. My dad taught me in roundabout ways how to trust yourself and how to create an amazing life. Even though we seem different, in many ways I have been following in my dads footsteps for most of my life.

My dad, along with my incredible mom of course, built a remarkable family. My dad, without having a really great model of what a father should be, is all that I could have ever asked for. I am so incredibly lucky for this life. And I wish for Harrison that I am able to give the same kind of patient wisdom, gentle nudges toward greatness and constant love that I got from my dad.

I love you so very much dad.
Thank you for everything.

Listening: Jimmie Rodgers

weawy weawy weawy!

One of Harrison’s favorite pastimes is to play with toys, lose toys, ask us to find toys. We do not, to say the least, share his enthusiasm for that game.

While at my parents’ house last week he received what is basically a dollhouse for boys – a Bat Cave with Batman, Robin and a motorcycle. It is pretty awesome. However, Robin (aka “my best friend”, aka “sidekick”) went missing quite a lot and it was very distressing.

Harrison: “Mom, I need help finding Robin!”

Me: “Buddy, you really need to be more careful with your toys and remember where you put them. You have to be responsible for them and find them yourself.”

Harrison: “But, I CAN’T find him!”

Me: “Did you look hard enough?”

Harrison: “I wooked!”

Harrison: “I weawy weawy weawy wooked!”

Harrison: “I wooked and wooked and wooked!”

Harrison: “I weawy weawy weawy WEAWY wooked!”

I’m not kidding the “weawies” and “wooks” went on for a long long while and about killed me. It was so freaking adorable and from the way he kept repeating it I think he enjoyed the way it all just wolled off the tongue.

Listening: Foster The People

pillow talk

Harrison has been becoming increasingly cute at bedtime – a ploy to get us to stay longer and allow him to stay up later no doubt.

Here’s the conversation we had the other night at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Harrison: “Mommy when I grow up I will be your husband.”

Me: “I’m sorry buddy, I already have a husband, it’s daddy. but, when you grow up you can marry another girl and she will be lovely and sweet and beautiful and…”

Harrison: “NO!” …lifts up his shirt in a panic and exclaims… “TAKE THE FOOD OUT OF MY BELLY! …I DON’T WANT TO GROW UP!”

father’s day

With Father’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d take this chance to honor my dad.

What a man my dad is. An old-school boot-straps man. A no-nonsense, no-silliness kind of man who raised two of the silliest daughters on earth. Two of the shriekingest little girls you could ever imagine. A man who must have stored away any irritation of said silliness deep down inside because I never once heard him raise his voice to tell us to SHUT-UUUUUP! But, then, he never would have used that word. Because in his calm, quiet way he didn’t have to. We respected him absolutely and still do. A look from that man and you know it’s time to chill.

My dad has been my teacher, my mentor, my coach and my sister’s and my creator of magic.

We lived in a house in San Ramon from the time I was two until Jr. High. A perfectly fine house with a truly magical backyard. It was a huge lot and dad built us an above ground pool – which I never knew wasn’t “fancy” because of the massive above-ground deck that he built around it. That pool gave us years (literally I think we spent years of our lives in that pool) of joy. Out near the pool was dad’s vegetable garden. Kylie and I would run, walk and bike through the cement paths that dad made (not for us, but, to make caring for his vegetables easier) little did he know how many adventures those paths took us on. We would often play that we were orphans running away from an evil caretaker and we would fill our pockets with sugar snap peas for the long journey ahead. I, as the older sister, would dole out sustenance as needed. The peas grew tall to form massive walls and the fragrance of the tomatoes and squashes was intoxicating – to this day fresh tomatoes sitting in the sun will transport me back to that place. That magic place. Closer to the house was the terraced walls up to the back fence. Lovely big boulders with the most amazing tiny flowers and mossy ground cover winding in and out. There was no more perfect place for Strawberry Shortcake and gang to live. He created a world of magic for us. I’m not sure that was his goal or that he actively bought plants that appeared to our tiny eyes as the foliage of  fairy tale lands, but, that’s what he did. And I haven’t even mentioned the sandbox. Oh! That little slice of architectural genius. No, it DOESN’T make sense for kids to have to sit down in the sand in order to play in it! HEL-LOOO! Why don’t we raise it up 18 inches! That way the kids can walk around it and maximize their sand-space for the building of cities, tunnels, castles and road systems! Yeah, my dad built that for us.

Dad as Teacher. Of course there was help with homework – I mean, the man is a MENSA Member (NERD ALERT! International High IQ Society) WHOA! But, what I really remember is my dad teaching me to draw. This was special time between him and me because Kylie wasn’t interested. He gave me a book of how to draw animals and one of my most vivid early memories and biggest regrets in life was what happened when we sat down to draw with that book the first time. He tried to show me a technique of how to sketch a shape of some animal – I want to say it was a rooster – and he drew lightly in pencil over the printed shape on the page. I threw a full-on fit. The same exact fit that Harrison now throws for any equally ridiculous crime against him these days. I was appalled that my dad would DRAW IN MY NEW BOOK! IT WAS RUINED. Of course, upon finding that book years and years later I turned to that page and wished more than anything that I had not been such a little psychopath and allowed my dad to mark up the whole book with his and my sketches, mistakes and triumphs, but, alas no… so it goes. Over the years I got over the pain of the drawing-in-my-book incident and he did eventually teach me to draw. He also guided me into graphic design. He took a youthful notion of “sure, it might be fun to design stuff for a living” and took me to a graphic design show at the Contemporary Art Museum, took me to a graphic design firm’s studio for a tour, bought me books and helped me create a portfolio out of thin air to attempt entrance into Cal Poly’s design program – a program that I didn’t make, thankfully. Because as we all know, Fresno is really the the hub of high minded design. While dad always was and is a quiet man of few words I always knew how proud he was of me. And I always wanted and still do – want to do better… be better for him.

Dad as coach. Another amazing thing my dad and I did together… softball. He was the coach on many teams of mine with varying levels of success as well as my greatly-underappreciated pitching coach. It’s been a thousand years since I played competitive softball but, I can still feel the nervous excitement and the feeling of being at home on the pitcher’s mound with my dad looking on from the dugout. I had the beginnings of a curveball and was able to place the ball in/out/up/down with a fair amount of accuracy and dad would call those pitches for me. I had some speed but, couldn’t ever really tame that arm which lead to fear in the opposing team when they faced me – fear which lead to a lot of strikeouts as well as walks. Dad was my rock through the walks (more than I care to remember), injuries and losses, but, also through the championship-wins and strikeouts. He never got angry or stressed – or if he did, he certainly didn’t show us kids. And, now, that I am playing a competitive sport as an adult I realize how much time and effort he gave to us. I realize the countless, thankless hours he put in helping me practice. Those years didn’t just improve my ability to throw a ball at a target, those years made me learn about myself – about how strong I actually am, about overcoming, about leadership, about humility, about striving to better myself.

Dad as mentor. I have always been a bit – OK a lot – reckless. Passionate. Spontaneous. And for a man as careful as my dad, I imagine letting my spirit  find its own way must have been very challenging. Upon hearing that rather than heading to San Francisco to pursue a sensible job in advertising I was going to Truckee to be a waitress and snowboarder, I imagine my dad’s heart must have broken more than a little. But, he bit his tongue and allowed me the freedom to make my own mistakes. Luckily in the end all that craziness turned into a pretty amazing life. And while I talk about dad as this buttoned-down, serious, smartypants – there is actually a bit of that same risk-taker in him. He is an entrepreneur - has started many businesses and figured it out on his own. It takes a brave and kind of crazy person to take a risk like that. He is a dreamer – born in Oakland, he always wanted a piece of land away from it all, so, with $5,000 between him and his sister, they bought an acre of land in the podunk town of Truckee and built a house on it – themselves! That cabin is where Marc and I lived for a while when we were starting to create this incredible life that we now have. My dad taught me in roundabout ways how to trust yourself and how to create an amazing life. Even though we seem different, in many ways I have been following in my dads footsteps for most of my life.

My dad, along with my incredible mom of course, built a remarkable family. My dad, without having a great model of what a father should be, is all that I could have ever asked for. I am so incredibly lucky for this life. And I wish for Harrison that I am able to give the same kind of patient wisdom, gentle nudges toward greatness and constant love that I got from my dad.

I love you so very much dad. Thank you for everything.

of sisters and brothers

Harrison told me yesterday that he wanted a little sister… and another sister too.

If his dream were to come true that would mean that I would be insane blessed enough to get pregnant TWO more times or be burdened blessed with twins. Let’s hope he doesn’t have any crazy magical psychic powers.

And while time passes and Harrison gets increasingly awesome and I forget about how annoying babies are, I have to say… I’m coming around to the idea of doing it again. But, I’m on a good-healthy streak with my knee and finding my stride in derby. The season is half over and I can’t imagine NOT doing this. So, as long as my ol’ body can keep up with my desire to skate around in circles and hit other women, that fictitious baby will have to wait. Also – I did the math – I figure I can get at least 2 more years in with this crazy sport and still have another little bean before I’m 40. Unless I counted wrong… which is entirely possible. I fell pretty hard on Monday and could have jostled around some of my brain parts.

Listening: Middle Brother

harrison tells a story at the dinner table

“Excuse me. I’d like to talk…
Superheroes are good. Bad guys are not good.”

Me: “Yes… And what else.”

“One day Gregor* was walking down the street and a bad robot …(pause for dramatic effect)… A good guy came and fought the bad guy with his hands. And then he poured yogurt on him …(huge smile)… Then he poured milk on him …(pause)… On his eyes …(over-acted laughter)… On the ceiling. And on the wall …(giggles)… Then he squirted him with goo …(pause)… THEN the good guy captured the bad guy… And trapped him. HA HA HA HAAAAAA.” (typical bad guy laugh that he uses to punctuate most stories he tells)

Listening: Arcade Fire

* Harrison’s imaginary friend, Gregor, is still very much with us. Although, he is often at his house, on a trip or captured by bad guys, so, we have yet to see him. He gained another imaginary fried, Chuck for one day, but, then Chuck went away – no explanation – he just “went away”.

gone fishin’

The loft is being shown right now and our renter has a tiny, cute, but, oh-so-vicious guard-dog named Pinchi. He is a Dachshund that likes to make a lot of noise when people come in so, in an effort to make the place more appealing we take Pinchi for a walk when people are touring. Marc just sent me this photo of H “fishing” on the lake while out on their walk, photo by Marc and Pinchi.


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