Reincarnated As A Mother

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kean Astaire

For ages, Kean has been doing this break dance move and heaven only knows
how many times I've
tried to capture it on video-- and failed.
Until tonight.
The girls were putting on a dance recital and Kean wanted
nothing to do with watching.
He had to be in the middle of the floor doing his thing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Lesson In Giving

Okay, so this is why I get so darn stressed every Christmas season-- but it is fully worth every ounce of added tension.
My friends and I, each year, "adopt" Refugee families.
This year, we scaled down and only took on 20 families-- but still a huge undertaking.
Just getting the boxes, bikes and goodies (and our own families) loaded into cars takes a miracle.
 Channel 2 showed up to give some air time to these families in need-- the forgotten segment of society.
 This little boy from Iraq got just what he wanted-- thanks to the generosity of one of my friends.  Her family
and all of her in-laws adopted this little family and gave them more than they even asked for.
 This is my core group of friends - we've been doing this for about 8 years.
We call ourselves the "ELFs"-- the Eternal League of Friends and we recruit
our other friends and relatives to help us help others.
 Perfect example:  here's my friend, April and her four children who
adopted this little family from Burhma.  We all got involved in this
project first, for the need of those we help and secondly, to teach our
children that Christmas is really about giving and not getting.
 So here are my children giving.....
 We had part of this family from Nepal/Bhutan-- the boy in the plaid shirt is Chandra.
He is 17.  And that is his little sister, Mengala who is 14.  Chandra spoke excellent English
and we all were quite charmed by them.
Many years in the past, we've had families who did not speak more than a few
words of English.  Yet, somehow, we had no problem communicating or
understanding when it came time to say goodbye and they said thank you!
Our children love, love, love this tradition.

A Memorable Gift

Grandpa and Grandma Bodily (our favorite neighbors in the world) treated us for
Christmas to an evening at the Botanical Garden's "Garden Aglow".
Ignore Holland's pouty face.  She was on one that night.
Thankfully, it didn't last too long.
 Sure wish our pictures could do justice to the millions of lights
and the all-around-awesomeness.
 One of our highlights was actually getting to meet one of Santa's finest:
Blitzen.  Her antlers were covered with velvet.
Pretty cool stuff for everyone... even mom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I know, I know, I bring this on myself!

Oh, we have been way too busy at the Barker house.
I don't know if Christmas makes this the craziest time of year
or if Christmas just comes at a crazy time... but I'm ready for this
week to be over (I know, ba humbug).
We have been running every night
and while it's been great, frankly, I'm tired.
This pic is from a few nights ago.
We went on a trolley ride through the
streets of Boise to look at all the holiday lights.
And some of 'em were dazzling!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cha Cha Cha

A couple of years ago, Grandpa Bodily gifted us
this dancing, singing Santa Claus.
Honestly, I'm not sure whether to thank him or
send him hate mail.
The girls push the button non-stop...
so we hear Oh ya better watch out,
Ya better not cry...
Ya better not pout...
I'm telling you why...
over and over and over again.
I seriously hear him (Santa) singing in my sleep.
Anyway, Kean LOVES him.
I think.
 He sits and watches,
then starts to sway (like he's dancing along).
And then he throws him.
But don't worry Santa,
Kean does that with everything.
It is just a phase, right?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sampson -- No More...

Ohhh, you should have seen the pile of hair on the floor.
His long locks are finally gone.
And he looks so very grown up.
No, I didn't cut it this time.
It looks too good, doesn't it.
My friend, Jan traded me out haircutting lessons
for blackberries.
Good trade, eh?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Here We Go...

The parade of holiday parties has begun.
Last weekend, we went to one of our "must attends"...
the annual NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit) Christmas Party.
Usually, we see Kean's doctors, nurses etc. there...
but this year, they had a whole slew of therapy dogs.
They were quite the hit.
As was, the big guy and his little lady.
I do believe this is one of the few pictures we have
where one of our kids isn't screaming bloody murder while
sitting on Santa's lap. 
 One of the main reasons we went was to hook up with this little cutie and her mum.
Emily "lived" next door to Kean in NICU.
Let's just say Emily's mom and Kean's mom bonded through the trauma.
If we have our way, these two kiddos will be fast friends forever.
 It just might take a few years to get them there.
Kean was much more enamored with the Christmas ornaments than with
Emily in her cute little snowflake dress.
We will try again next year!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Love Survives

About two months ago, I went to North Carolina for
a reunion of sorts--- it has been nearly
20 years since our news helicopter crashed at the TV station
I was working for...
3 of my co-workers (and dear friends) were killed.
One of our four guys survived.
The actual anniversary is on December 7th.
We scheduled our get-together around television ratings and of course,
the craziness of the holidays.
The anniversary will be next Wednesday.
But today, one of the columnists in the
News and Observer published this well-written piece:
One of the blessings to come out of this tragedy
is that I now have a group of exceptional friends
and we will forever be bonded together.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You Know You're Getting Old When....

I went out with my girlfriends last night.
We had a lovely evening downtown-- lots of shopping, lots of eating and a boatful of laughter.
We ended up the Bittercreek Ale House... packed at a table surrounded by
a majority of people that looked 15 years younger.
Anyway, towards the end of our meal, a band started setting up behind us.
It was already overly loud in the place... so we all kind of cringed... thinking we'd never be able
to hear each other now.
I had a major flashback to when I was in my very early twenties.
Somehow I had convinced my bosses at my first TV station (KVBC in Vegas)
to let me do a week's worth of special reports on "Jazz Legends Who Live in Las Vegas"...
We spotlighted Joe Williams (the singer for the Count Basie's Orchestra who we followed to the Playboy Jazz Festival to get video of him performing),

Marlena Shaw (the Grammy award winning singer who sang at my wedding)

and several others-- including this guy-- Carl Fontana.
He's one of the best trombonists in history.
Shortly after we shot interviews and video with Carl, a well-known, modern-day
saxophonist and trombonist was coming to Vegas for a concert-- a guy by the
name of Richard Elliot.
Carl had heard of him- but never seen him... so I invited my 60 something year old friend
to go out with me and my 20 something year old friends to the concert.
Of course, Richard Elliot knew who Mr. Fontana was and paid tribute to him at the beginning of the concert.
But what I remember most... was Carl rolling up pieces of his cocktail napkin and stuffing them
in his ears to help block out the loud music.
He loved it-- but thought it was too loud.
Now flash back to last night... in downtown Boise with my girlfriends.
As the band prepared to play, I, for a moment,
actually sized up the cocktail napkins on our table.