Monday, December 19, 2011


We live a short drive away from our local zoo. I bring the boys often and we marvel at the marvelous animals that live there. The thing I love about our zoo is that it is spacious with plenty of room for the animals to roam. My heart pours out to the poor animals that live in cramped spaces, but the wondrous creatures that live at the Point Defiance Zoo seem happy to roam their area.

Every December, the zoo opens up at night for their annual Zoolights. The animals are put to bed and the zoo comes to life like a Christmas tree in motion. This was my first year going and it was a sight to behold.

The zoo doesn't seem very special from the outside. There is a lit up sign stating that the Zoolights are in effect. It's not until you walk through the gates and look out over the hill that you realize the enormity of this "attraction".

I wrangled my little guys hand so I wouldn't lose him and then looked up. I felt myself gasp at the sight before my eyes. The normal green hill was covered in a rainbow of lights. All the trees were lit up and displays flecked the grassy plain.

The area where I've taken my students to eat their lunch was now a winter wonderland.

I watched as one color changed to the next. I began to think of The Wizard of Oz and the horse of a different color. The raven night was lit up for all to see. There was a lit pathway that walked you through the light displays. The pathway was easy to follow, with no room to stray.

Some lights were just displays, tucked into corners and out in the open. My boys went on treasure hunts to see what lit up animals they could find. The lights matched the animals habitats which made it easy for me to guess what would be next. Sounds of "Elephant", "Fox", and "Owl" could be heard screaming from small lips around the park.

Other light displays moved. The anteater above moved from one corner of the field to this light stump. The red speckled ants moved up as the anteater approached. There were displays of fish jumping, eagles swooping in to grab their pray, a cat scurrying up a pole to a bird that flew away, and penguins sliding on the ice.

Statues that permanently reside in the park were highlighted as well. This particular statue has always been one of my favorites and the lights brought more of a meaning to it. A family, gathered together, hands grasped in solidarity....this time, surrounding a fire.

And of course, what display would be complete without a touch of it's home town? The zoo put special touches of home in its display....The Tacoma Narrows Bridge and Mt. Rainer. Both were put in plain sight for all to see.

Zoolights was a memorable night and the start of a very busy weekend. I think that this may need to be a new least while we live close to an amazing zoo like this.

Monday, December 12, 2011


photo   © 2007   Incase , Flickr
It was Wednesday night, and I had just gotten home from printing off the last report card. The boys were at a cookie exchange with their grandma and the house was quiet and calm. I don't get many moments where there aren't boys wrestling, cars driving up my legs, or stuffed animals being shoved in my face. For the next 2 hours, before hockey, I was going to relish in the silence.

I should start this story but making a confession...I have NO willpower when it comes to Red Vine Licorice. Some people have a chocolate weakness but mine comes in red strips...either ribbed or smooth. My TMJ doesn't care for them but it's worth the uncomfort just to down a few as a snack every now and then. Today was no different then any other day. I tiptoed into the kitchen like I normally do, eased open the cabinets, and stealthily took out the bag (no tub this time), I had purchased the multi pack that had the ribbed vines and the smooth ropes. I selfishly grabbed 4 and went to settle in on the couch.

My cat quickly nestled himself into the fold of my lap while my dog salivated for her piece of the red goodness. I had bought the bag a couple of days prior so they were the perfect chewy consistency. I quickly gnawed my way through the first vine and was moving on to my first rope. There are no grips on the ropes so your teeth tend to slide a bit. Getting the right gripe with your canine teeth is the key. The front teeth, like a mouse, don't work half as well as those meat ripping pointers. I carefully placed the rope between my vampire fangs and began to saw back and forth. I could tell that this particular piece was going to be persistent. I put more force into the bite and sawing....only to slip.


Oh my goodness, what in world was that? I slid my tongue over my teeth.There was a gritty feeling.  Is that....? As I slowly began to stick out my tongue, my fingers touched a white sliver of something. You have GOT to be kidding that my tooth? Oh yes, in my hand was a layer of my ever precious, licorice gnawing tooth.

I quickly ran to the bathroom to see the damage. The very tip of my ivory tusk was rough and jagged. Thankfully it was just the tip and not a huge chunk. Sitting next to my grade school chipped tooth was now a partner in crime.

Who would have thought that you could chip your own tooth by chewing/gnawing licorice? This was not the way that I planned on celebrating the end of report cards.

Thankfully the dentist was able to polish it down and add a little caps or reconstruction for me. I will have to be a little more careful with my licorice addiction in the future.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Report Cards

I am staring at my report card comments right brain has completely shut down. The ticker that was going across my mind has stopped suddenly. Now what do I do?

"Mama, I love you", whispers a little voice from behind me.

I don't even have to turn around to know who it is. The feet slapping the floor and rustling of pj's gave it away long before his voice made its way to my ear.

"I love you too! What in the world are you doing up?"

"I just wanted to snuggle you and look at our tree."

How do you refuse a request like that? I stopped my comment factory and wrapped my little monkey around my waist. As we traveled down the stairs, I heard all about how excited my little guy is to go to preschool tomorrow. We curled up on the floor together, staring at the lighted tree in our living room. As I looked at my little guy, I couldn't help but smile. I am truly blessed to have such amazing boys. After a few minutes of chats, snuggles, and taking in the tree....we ventured back upstairs. I carefully tucked my baby in, kissed him on the cheek, and promised to say goodbye in the morning before another long day.

"Will you miss me?"

"Always! Good night!"

As my bottom nestled back into the imprint on the chair, my mind did not follow. I could't help but take a moment to treasure that sacred moment. I love my job but I could easily give up this report card thing for more time with my little guys. UGH! Back to the grind stone I go.