This fall I decided to change….

This fall I have apparently decided to change as dramatically as the colors on the leaves of the trees. It has been almost 2 years since I’ve moved anywhere and after the 4 years of moving 2-5 times a year [in and out of dorms and summer crash pads] I’m drastically out of practice. Some dear friends of mine asked if I was interested in moving into their little attic room and for a while I debated heavily about moving out. Mostly because, I LOVE LIVING WITH THE MARQUEZS! They are seriously one of the neatest families EVER and have welcomed me into their family over the years as one of their own. I attend birthdays, baby showers and I am Auntie “Shay-shell” to 22 months old, Jayelle, who I’m fairly certain, I’d take a bullet for.  They are my family. I will desperately miss their hospitality, graciousness and love as they have allowed me to move in and out over the years. I’m excited to re-visit our TV times as one of the first reasons why I started coming over 7 years ago, was to do laundry and share my love of the show Alias with Barb who never missed an episode either. It will now be, Top Chef, The Office, The mentalist and Project runway as our must sees so I may be over a lot.
Some of you may wonder why I decided to leave such a sweet situation. The reasons are not simple nor easy to explain. However, one of the primary reasons is that Portland is my home base and it has been since my parents left the country 6 years ago. However, I’ve never had my own place in Portland. I’ve only ever lived in the dorms or at the Marquez’s, It was my hope to move out of the Marquezs in January after I had started working full-time for Mercy Corps but then the news of being laid off put a dramatic hold on that plan. Since then I had been thinking about moving into a studio by myself. This August I had headed to look at one I thought would be awesome and was trying unsuccessfully to get the lock-box open when my friend Mari called. I had thrown my fleece out asking the Lord to make it clear to me if I was to move into this place and He did a 180, per usual, of my plans.  I prayed about it over the next month or so and got the green light. So yesterday I packed almost all my crap and started the move. It was down-pouring on and off and they always came at the most opportune, no UNFORTUNATE times, like when I went to Ikea and bought a wardrobe and had it hanging out the back-end of the truck when it started DOUSING the earth. C’est la vie.  So this week I’ll be settling into my new house, possibly painting and going through crap! If you’d like my new address it’s: 2231 NE 59th Portland OR 97213.

The other big change this fall is I’m experimenting with becoming a Vegan/vegetarian. For those of you nay-sayers, do a little reading on the vegan lifestyle. It is the most healthy and environmentally friendly way to eat and in the short time I’ve been doing it, I can’t tell you what a drastic difference it’s made in my overall health. At first it was sooo hard to give up dairy especially [no cheese!] but after eating right for a few days and then eating some cheese, I was doubled over in pain. I don’t know what they put in the stuff, actually I do, and it’s bad for you. It has made going out a little more difficult but overall, it’s not that bad. For me, the shift to this lifestyle was on account of not being able to control my eating habits and wanting to get healthy. If bad choices are not an option for me, I won’t eat that stuff.

Other news, I am still training for the Las Vegas marathon which is coming very quickly, December 6th. My good friend Angela got engaged this past weekend so I’ll be helping coordinate another wedding! So those are the big changes in my life! I hope you’re all doing well!


Adventures in mom-dom: “Is that the kid that thinks Fatson is a word?”

Tonight my boss returns. I’m totally torn about it. Part of me is ecstatic to have my nights back but the other part of me is totally bummed because we are really starting to have a lot of fun. We’ve been playing games every night we’re able to and laughing a lot.

One of the things that’s tearing me up lately is the word “fatson”. For the 11’s homework the other night he had to turn nouns into adjectives [ cheese is cheesy etc.] The assignment said to use his “invented” adjectives in a sentence. He did it and when I went to check it here are a few of the 5 he had on the page:
NOUN                ADJECTIVE
Rat                       Ratty [which he later admitted they did in class]
Pat                       Pattie
Fat                       Fatson

FATSON?!?!? WHAT THE HECK? I almost died. I said, please use in a sentence and he said, “fat people are fatson.” I fell over laughing. His sister and I had to convince him that his teacher did indeed, not want him to make up words, and  that submitting fatson might cause him to fail the assignment. All night and the next day, if anyone said the word fatson, I was doubled over howling with laughter. His sister the 15 even put it up as her Facebook status.

So last night we went to the 15’s cross country meet and after it was all said and done, one of her friends walked by, saw the 11 standing next to her and said, “Is that the kid that thinks fatson is word?” My laughter was echoing across the stadium and the 11 turned about 18 different shades of red. I almost died.

After the meet, we were driving to dinner and we drove past a Spaghetti Factory and the kids went nuts. I couldn’t believe that I was setting foot once again in a Spag Fact. 2.5 years ago when I left that wonderful dining establishment, I threw my entire uniform off the 205 bridge as I drove home; just to paint you a mental picture about how I felt working there. So we ate dinner together for our last night at the Spag Fact and as the 11 got up to go to the bathroom, he got caught up in his sister’s feet sliding out of the booth and launched across the floor. It was just not the 11’s day but he laughed it off and was a trooper but again, I was howling with laughter.

Another note about the Spag Fact, I was sitting there eating food I hadn’t eaten in 3 years, not able to believe I had broken my vow to never eat there again, when who should walk by but my old manager. It was insane. I tried to avoid him all night, only because I knew he wouldn’t remember me and didn’t want to put the kids through an awkward conversation with my old boss, but on my way out he was at the host desk and saw me and my face. HE THEN FOLLOWED ME AND THE KIDS TO THE PARKING LOT. It was soo creepy. I am standing in a dark parking lot with two kids and this creepy man is hollering at me. SO AWKWARD. I wanted to die.

Adventures in mom-dom: The home stretch

I’ve rounded the final corner of my time as full time mom/farmhand/chauffeur… etc and everything has gone to hell. I’m so tired and I don’t want to do any of the many things I want to have accomplished by the time they arrive home. Part of me fears I’ll be fired on the spot, the other knows that I’ll no likely be washed in waves of gratitude. However, the house is a flipping s*$# show right now and I’m still in my pajamas.

The 15 is home sick and I was going to go have some normalcy and head into Portland today. The Stones keep playing in my head : “you can’t always get what you want…” and I feel as if it’s God’s way of showing me that He is the orchestrator of my days. Trust, trust, trust and when that doesn’t work, try trusting again is the lesson I’ve learned through all of this.

My eye is swollen and itchy and I’m not sure why. The dogs chased the coyote all morning but it didn’t leave. We had to put the poor geese and chickens in the small pen and they aren’t adjusting as well as we all hoped. The geese now run frightened when you go into the pen and we only have 3. When the bosses left, there were 6 and 8 chickens of which we now only have 3 as well. The dogs have seemed to forgotten the training we went through recently and all the growling in the world doesn’t seem to break their awful door opening habit. The house is then full of flies which land on you and it just grosses me out. I have become rather adept with a fly swatter.

I made the brilliant decision to document their time away and the movie has come out very nicely. I’m pretty proud of it but then again, I’m somewhat embarrassed that I decided to make a movie for a man who’s livelihood is made doing just that. I joked with his daughter and brother in law about it and they both assured me that he’ll love it. I know his wife will absolutely LOVE it. She deals with the feelings of missing out on her kids’ lives so much I didn’t want her to deal with it while she was away celebrating such a significant accomplishment. [20 years of marriage is great in anyone’s book.]

I’m sure this week will undoubtedly have its ups and downs and I’ll fill you in later!

to be continued…

Adventures in Mom-dom: OMSI

If you live in the great state of Oregon then you are most likely aware of the wonderful Oregon Musuem of Science and Industry, commonly known as OMSI.

It is God’s gift to parents and caregivers.

There are so many things to pull, push, build, destroy, watch, manipulate and learn it is FANTASTIC.  It truly makes my day when I get to go to OMSI. On Friday, we were taking the 15 up to the train for her maiden voyage to see her brother; this caused quite a bit of heartburn from mom and dad, but she did a great job. So since we were in Portland, the 11 and a friend and I  decided to go to OMSI.

Taking two 11 year olds to OMSI doesn’t seem like it’d be that tiring but I was exhausted at the end of the day. There were two happenings that made my day. My favorite moment happened when we entered the chemistry lab after playing in the turbine room with lots of levers and things to pull. The 11’s friend walked in, made a sweep of the room and saw a large silver handle hanging down from the ceiling in the corner. Thinking that it was another attraction, he reached up and proceeded to start the emergency shower rinse. 3 gallons of water gushed onto the floor as OMSI employees raced over and shut off the water valve, looking at the poor kid like he was an alien. To his credit, the shower lever was not clearly marked. We promptly left the chem lab. 5 minutes later I heard a mop bucket rolling across the floor as the reinforcement mop was being brought in to continue the clean-up. I was still laughing.

The second moment that made me laugh out loud came during our show at the IMAX theater. We were watching the movie Adrenaline Rush and one of the scientists in the movie was named Nick Anus. Now, as embarrassed as I was to be sitting with the kids who lost it at the mention of the scientist’s name, I was 11 once too and I probably would have lost it at their age too. Boys are so fun.

I’m rounding the corner to my finally days here as mom and I have to admit, I’m looking forward to getting my day job back. I’ve needed a beer on so many of these nights and it’s hard to be chained to the house. I’m sorry if I haven’t seen or talked to you recently. I’ll be done soon. I’ve also noticed that the 11 especially is picking up on my lingo. He now says, rather frequently, “Crappy Crapperson” “Epic Failure” “Criminny” “dur dah dur” “it’s go time” and much more. I had to laugh.

To be continued

Adventures in Mom-dom: It’s all worth it…

So, I’m feeling somewhat bad for all my complaining and stress because this morning I got an email from my boss.

“You are such an incredible gift to us Rachel.  You have absolutely no idea how wonderful it is to feel so secure knowing you are there with the kids.  Yah, the stuff like the chickens and dogs and machinery….that all happens anyway.  But having the peace of mind that “the 15” and “the 11″ are with you is just the best!”

So. I’m a giver. It’s what I do.

Adventures in mom-dom : “I need everyone to stop being dumb”

Well it was up at 6:30 as usual today to get everyone off to school and all I can say is


However, this weekend is chock full of homecoming festivities for the 15-year-old and a soccer tournament for the 11-year-old, needless to say, it will not be a restful weekend. Who plans a major area soccer tournament the weekend of most high school’s homecomings? I need everyone to stop being dumb.

This week has been full of its ups and downs as well. On Tuesday, the 15 and I BOTH dented the van within an hour of each other and it’s going to be a pretty $700 to fix. I need everyone to stop being dumb.

The 11 has told me he “hates me” 5 times this week, 4 of them occurring when I made him practice piano. When I told him that he could talk to his parents about quitting when they got home, he replied : “No. I don’t want to quit. I just don’t want to practice.” I need everyone to stop being dumb.

This morning while he was eating his breakfast, the 11 exclaimed : “One of the geese is on the back porch!” So I turned and headed to the garage to boot up to get the geese back in its pen when the 11 yells ever louder “There’s a fox!! NOOO… it’s a COYOTE!!!” I dash back to the door with the dogs going crazy as the geese heads closer to the house and the coyote is  closing in. I’m trying to decide to release the dogs or not, fearful that I might unleash a disaster of epic proportions. Thankfully, the coyote hears the dog and sees us finally after he is, I kid you not, 10 feet from the geese and 15 feet from the back door of the house. He turns and runs back towards the woods. I put on some boots and grab an old curtain rod from the garage as a weapon and head outside to herd the geese back to the pen and the stupid coyote is still there! His head pops over the hill and I yell at him and he takes off finally. I need everyone to stop being dumb.

Perhaps I am projecting a little too much? Perhaps I am the one who’s dumb to believe that this 3 week ordeal would go off much easier than currently is? Perhaps this is the reason I need everyone to stop being dumb?…

To be continued…