Monday, October 29, 2007

there's a party goin' on 'round here

Everyone who knows me knows
that I adore the beautiful and majestic state of Colorado. . . .
But that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy watching the Red Sox take the World Series at Mile High stadium last night!

Here's a flashback to 2004. Who's that guy with the long brown hair?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

dance, little sister, dance!

This morning, while I was drinking my coffee, Bryan yelled from the living room, "Hey, Trish, NPR is doing a feature on Mick Jagger."
The kids jumped up, dropping their trains and Little People on the floor, and went running across the kitchen. "Mick Jagger!" Alexa squealed. Dylan echoed this. As the radio played clips of the Stones and Jagger solo, the kids danced around maniacally (much like Mick). Dylan added his own favorite lyrics to the musical menage: "Don't you know the crime rate's goin' up up up up UP!"
Proud? Hmmmm, I'm not sure. Kindermusik it isn't. I can't say I don't feel a little twinge of mom-guilt when Dylan walks around the house rapping "Hit me, come git me" a la Red Hot Chili Peppers. But I do relish their interest in music. On Sunday morning, Dylan asked Bryan to play his guitar, then proceeded to join in with every auxiliary instrument he could find: Guatemalan drum, kiddie rattle, tambourine, harmonica, castanets. Alexa, wearing jeans and no shirt (we took off the shirt because she was eating applesauce and refuses to wear a bib), put her arms up and twirled around, head back and hair flowing, like she was at a Dead show.
This isn't to say that they have discriminating musical tastes. Lord knows, they're just as excited--if not more so--to hear the Wiggles as much as anything Mom and Dad listen to. But it is fun to hear Dylan singing along to Neil Finn or Bruce Springsteen or whatever else is in the CD player.
"It's no hangin' matter. It's no capital crime."
I guess, in the end, it's only rock-n-roll (and we like it).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

happy birthday, little brother

This is how I like to remember Michael: boyish, flippant, and self-assured. Always ready with a smart-ass comment, a spot-on impression of some comedian or other, or a witty observation.
I miss my little brother. Especially on those "marker" days, those anniversaries, holidays, and birthdays.
Michael would have been 33 today, had he not been so haunted by the demons and shadows that slowly ate away at his vitality, his self-image, and his belief that he could ever pull himself out of the dark depths of his addiction and into the world again.
But he never lost his humor. During his worst periods, he was still as funny as hell. Joey once said that, at times, you wanted to hate him, but when confronted with that cocky smile, you couldn't. You just wanted to throw your arms around him and say, "Oh, Michael."
With each year that passes--almost four years now since he died--I am more reminded of those childish qualities that drew people to him, even people who swore they would never speak to him again. And I still look for reasons, and I still beat myself up and tell myself I could have been a better sister, less the advocate of "tough love," more the gentle guardian.
And I look into Dylan's eyes and see the resemblance, and I wonder if I he can sense the intensity of my love, even though I know that a parents' love, for as much comfort as it can provide, can never be a savior.
And I lament the fact that Michael never met his beautiful niece and nephew, that he will not meet Joey's son, who is soon to arrive.
And sometimes, in those moments, I feel panic that Dylan and Alexa have only each other.
And I wish that they could have met their impish, frustrating, magnetic, and maddeningly funny uncle.
I love you, Michael. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

hay jumpin'

Had to add this image of Alexa jumping in the hay at the Berkshire Fall Festival. She's been talking about it ever since.

berkshire bash

While we were in the Berkshires, we went to a down-home fall harvest festival, done the Berkshire way: children dancing in tye-dyes and "peace"t-shirts, hay-themed rides, hula-hoop shows, bucket-truck rides, crafts, cider donuts, caramel apples, the works. Dogs were welcome, which was a nice treat for Sasha. Alexa donned a large helmet for her pony ride, and she was pretty jazzed about the whole thing.
Dylan was a regular equestrian.

The hay maze was very kid (and parent)-friendly, as you can see.

Zombie kids: the result of night #1 in the tent.
Smile (but not too hard)

fall camping

We spent the long weekend camping in the Berkshires, in Western Massachusetts. Grampy (Dowcett) and Kaytie met us there. Dylan enjoyed lounging in the camp chair (as you can see by his "genuine" smile).

A little fireside scene, with Bryan playing pack guitar.
By Day 2, Alexa was a little dazed. She probably needed the coffee as much as I did.

We all found it amusing when Fred made a rare appearance at the stove. We made sure to capture the special moment on film.

Kat and the kids, fireside.

All in all, the weekend was a success. A little rain, a little lost sleep, but overall, the kids (and the dog) were well-behaved, the company was pleasant, and the scenery was fine.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

indian summer

Apple picking in Cheshire with Maggie, our neighbor.

Alexa preferred the Johnagolds, because they are about the size of her head and she likes a good challenge.
The pumpkin cart was the main attraction of the day.

The mysterious blonde is Gwynnie, Dylan's pal.

The little guy is pretty buff. Here, he's just pulling a few pumpkins, but he also made an attempt to pull his buddies. That was less successful.