Weekly Prompt – Memory Association

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts, and this week the prompt is:

We all have songs that really mean something to us. Often just hearing it can take us right back to that place and we are able to re-experience the memory associated with the song. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but either way music has the ability to really draw things out of us and evoke deep emotion. Choose a song that has a particular meaning to you. Tell the story of the memory associated with the song, sharing as much detail as you can. Take us there; let us experience it with you.

I’ve always loved music and off the top of my head can think of so many memories that have music associations, mostly just fragments, but those fragments are often filled with such nostalgia and/or happiness that it’s hard to even put into words.  Some of my earliest childhood memories have music in them, and I can probably attribute that to the fact that my parents listened to music so often and bought us read-a-long records as well as awesome children’s records like The Smurfs and Rainbow Brite because I was obsessed with the Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer movie.

When we were younger my mom stayed at home with us and when I listen to Petula Clark and Peter, Paul and Mary, I always think of her because she often had them playing on the stereo while cleaning and making beds. It made doing mundane tasks so much more enjoyable. If I’m really down, I can always count on Petula Clark to put me in a better mood, and I am instantly reminded of sunshine and warm days and the smell of fresh sheets.  It seems so simple, and yet to this day there is no better feeling than opening up the windows on a glorious sunny day and letting in the fresh air and singing along to ‘Downtown.’

When I think of my Dad I always think of bands like The Scorpions, Foreigner, The Eagles and even Bob Marley.  Listening to them makes me think of sunny days, driving with the windows rolled down with no real destination in mind.  When I was younger I would get so excited when my dad when come in early on a weekend morning and ask if I wanted to go for a drive.  Usually the purpose was to get out and just drive and look for photo opportunities, and I still love to do that.  There’s nothing like getting up early just before the sun is up and getting to watch it rise while you sip on warm coffee and simply take in the beauty of everything around you.  Listening to Foreigner usually makes me want to do something with my hands… build something or do yard work or something physical.  I think of my Dad’s work shop and all of his carpentry tools and piles of sawdust and getting to see something go from a pile of wood to something so much more.

I vaguely remember a road trip in which my Dad played Bob Marley and the Wailers (Legend) over and over again.  Ha ha.  Now it is one of my go-to CDs when I need a pick-me-up and one of my favorite albums of all time.  I walked down the aisle to ‘Is This Love.’

I could probably go on and on now that I’ve gotten started, but I think I’ll stop before I get too nostalgic.  Instead I’ll leave you with my first memory that is associated to a specific song rather than just general memories and feelings.  I was around 6 or 7 when I had my first real crush on a boy… Jared.  Our families knew each other because we were in the same congregation, so even though he was a little bit older than I was and his sisters were too, I got to see plenty of him.  Ha ha. I don’t remember whose wedding it was, but I do remember being asked to help hand out wedding favors (with my crush’s two older sisters, no less) and being so excited about the dress I was wearing. I can still picture it because it had a unique neckline that I thought was so fancy, and a floral pattern since this was the late 80’s.  It was a huge wedding from what I recall, and might still be one of the biggest weddings I’ve ever attended. Granted, my perspective might be skewed since everything seemed much bigger when I was smaller. The one thing I remember was the dancing. I wasn’t as shy as a child as I am now, but even then I wasn’t out on the dance floor even though I loved listening to the music and watching everyone else.  Then there was that spectacular moment where I saw Him coming towards me, and my tiny little heart pitter-patted as he asked me to dance.  I still remember the song, and how excited I was, and yet simultaneously embarrassed because it seemed like everyone was watching and I remember one or two comments on how cute we were. Admittedly, it was probably adorable to anyone who was paying attention, and there’s a picture somewhere of the moment, but even as a young kid it was equally mortifying to have my crush called “cute.”  I should probably make a note o fthis when dealing with my future kids.  Anyhoo, without further ado… the song. It was an oldie, and rather fitting – Do You Wanna Dance.

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Curse that groundhog and his shadow…

I think my least favorite phrase this year has to be “Polar Vortex.” I normally wouldn’t complain about the winter – ha ha, yeah right – but this winter has been particularly frigid and I’m done. It wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t have an extremely active toddler, but we do, and active toddlers need to be able to run around outside and get rid of their absurd amounts of energy.  I think I can count on 1 hand the number of days he’s been able to go outside and play at day care in the past 2 months.

 MiniBronco

I am, however, grateful that we have such a large amount of space for him to play in, in our new house, though.  We had thought about staying in our much smaller townhouse and just being cramped to avoid larger mortgage payments, but the extra room has been  wonderful for this crazy little tornado who prefers running over walking, climbing over sitting, and general chaos over calm.

 TornadoEnzo

We’ve tried to get creative with inside play, but we’re burned out on winter and have few ideas, so my husband introduced Enzo to Nintendo.  He hasn’t quite figured it all out yet, but he’s getting better at recognizing that the buttons he’s pushing are controlling what’s on the screen.  We probably need a few more games that are geared for his age and therefore easier.  He now asks for “Tendo”, though, and we generally oblige considering his attention span is like 5 minutes and then he decides it’s more fun to jump on the bed and toss pillows around. (The Nintendo is currently hooked up to our bedroom TV).

 GameMaster

I can’t believe this little boy is going to be 2 in just a couple of months. It’s a fun age right now (minus typical tantrums) and it’s entertaining to watch him try and copy everything as well as repeat everything, unless it’s copying certain words that are yelled when Daddy is playing video games. 😉  Okay, maybe I’ve slipped once or twice too. It’s all about redirection, though. The minute you’ve slipped, replace it with something else like… “Cabbage!” and he’ll instead try and say that over and over because Cabbage is much more fun to say than Damn or Shit.  The counting is also fun… he tends to skip over 1 and go straight to 2 and 3. I also love his animal impressions and the fact that he watches Cake Boss with me on Netflix and says, “Cake… nommy.”

Crossroads

Sometimes Sweet is doing a weekly journal prompt, so I thought I would join in on the fun! This week’s prompt?  Write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse. 

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I can think of two moments in my life that were completely life changing, and both of them happened within the same year.  Thankfully for me, they both ended up being positive experiences, though the events leading up to the first were anything but easy and was a daily struggle.  That story, however, is for another day.

In June of 2008 I met a man.  Technically I met him a year before that, but didn’t remember it. He tells me that he tried to talk to me, but I was apparently not interested. Whoops. Thankfully for me he decided to try again, and as these were the days of the MySpace he sent me a message asking me out.  Throwing caution to the wind, I figured I might as well, even though he had been stalking me at the nearby coffee shop (which I didn’t actually know at this point – I just thought I saw him in there because he also liked coffee, it’s not like I kept running into him in the feminine hygiene aisle at Wal-mart… that would have been awkward).  Long story short, he picked me up for lunch, we talked and joked around and set up a second date… for later that same day.  We stayed up way too late and watched movies because we apparently both really liked movies.

Within a couple of weeks we decided to make it official and label each other boyfriend and girlfriend and we almost virtually became joined at the hip.  Before I knew it he was inviting me to go with him to visit his family in Minnesota for Christmas and suddenly we were talking about living together.  At the time, I thought nothing of it, but now looking back I can see why family might have been nervous at how fast things were moving.  I wasn’t someone who dated often, but I felt really good about Josh, and was happy with the way things were going.

And then we came to it – a major crossroad.  Josh had decided that he wanted to move home to Minnesota from our current location in Colorado… where I had spent the majority of my life, and he wanted to know if I would come along.  I vaguely remember when he told me that he wanted to move back, but I do know that my heart sank when he said the words. Our relationship was in early stages, but I knew that I loved him and that he loved me, so I wasn’t surprised that he followed this up with his hope that I would come with him. As much as I loved him, I was immediately torn. I’ve never been one to jump for joy at change, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to leave my entire family and little world behind.

I can’t tell you how long it took for me to make a decision, but I don’t think it was long.  I knew I had to take a leap of faith and just believe that everything would work out.  I’m not sure who was more surprised that I was taking such a big step to move across the country to the unknown… me or my family. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I could have made.  Sure, the first couple of years were tough, but overall the experience has been a good one, and I don’t even want to imagine what my life would have been if I had stayed behind.

Granted, while Minnesota has been good to us, it is not our forever home and we are yet again coming to another crossroad in our lives. We’ve been there before more than once, but tend to make a U-Turn and circle back around.  This time I think we’re going to have to just take a chance and risk getting lost. Maybe we’ll find the place we didn’t even know we were looking for.

3 Months

I’m a little late writing about Phoebe aka Toots turning 3 months old, but I think my excuse was valid.  In the blink of an eye our little lady turned 3 months old and she is literally changing right before our eyes, and I can’t believe how big she’s getting.  She still fits in most of her 3 month clothes, however we may have to move up to larger pajamas sooner than I would have thought… especially with her long feet. Still, it’s sad to already have put her tiny newborn pajamas in storage.

SleepingToots

What to tell you about our little lady?  We thought for sure that we had gotten lucky with what an easy baby Enzo was, but Phoebe might be even more easy-going than he was.  This little lady is so patient, and I couldn’t be more grateful since her big brother demands a lot of attention (as most toddlers do). She is full of smiles and has really started talking, which makes us all laugh on a daily basis. I think she’s already realized that to be heard in this house, she’ll need to raise her voice. 😉

Uzi&Toots

Along with loving diaper changes, she loves to lay in her crib and watch her mobile. She also loves looking at the lamp we have in the living room as well as her Himalayan salt lamp, and she enjoys music as well.  She’s a big fan of bath time, and I ordered this cool bath tub insert thing from Amazon that allows both her and Enzo to fit in the tub at the same time. So for now she’s using the side that has a mesh hammock and when she’s sitting on her own you can flip it over and it’s a nice little protective tub, so big brother can’t accidentally knock her over. 😉

Overall she really doesn’t complain about much, and is such a joy in our house. I still love watching how she and Enzo are together.  He has his moments where sometimes he says, “Go” to her if he wants her to move or instead he’ll pat the seat/bed/spot next to him and say, “BeeBee” to let us know he wants us to put her next to him.

HappyChaos

I just want to squish this gal of mine.  I’m so excited to watch her grow and continue to change… and buy her adorable clothing. Seriously… so many cute clothes.  I always managed to find cute stuff for Enzo, but I have to admit… it’s so much more fun to pick out girl clothes. Looks like I’d better take up sewing. :p

Yearly Yuck

Without fail I come down with something that knocks me out of commission for several days or more every year.  I can’t complain too much, but I do hate using the majority of my “Sick” Time at the beginning of the year since there’s that much more pressure not to get sick the rest of the year and to keep the kids as healthy as possible.  This year it all started with a cold that didn’t want to leave and then an ear infection that is mostly gone, but I still have fluid and pressure in my ear(s) that is sticking around.  I could deal with that just fine, but then apparently since my immune system was already working overtime taking care of a viral infection; it decided I needed something like a bacterial skin infection as well.  So, I have what the doctors think is Impetigo on my face (they are questioning it because it doesn’t look like typical Impetigo).  Josh is pretty sure it showed up after I was cleaning up some mold we found in a couple of windowsills – Ewww!  I thought I had kept it contained, but it makes sense because I don’t know how else I could have gotten it.  So… I have an awesome sore on my face and little blistery spots and I’m on my second round of antibiotics because for some reason the first round stopped working and it began to spread again.  I’m going to see about finding a dermatologist, but the tricky part seems to be finding one that I can get into quickly because I really hope I won’t still have whatever this infection is a month or two from now… thanks, House. :p

Anyhoo… at least the kids are pretty healthy.  If anyone has to get sick, I’d rather it be me than them.  I did find out something interesting, though… apparently it takes your body 2 years after pregnancy for it to return to normal (as far as immunity goes, at least).  So it makes sense that my body’s immunity is much lower than usual considering Enzo wasn’t even 1 when I got pregnant with Phoebe.  The more you know!

That’s all I’ve got for now… so how about a cute baby?  Right?

Toots