The things we leave behind

The Bloggess posted about a childhood memory of sitting in a giant turtle at the local library. She and her sister had both been looking for a replica of this turtle as adults (for their children, right?). This prompted a question for her readers  –

It made me wonder if everyone is like this.  If everyone has a thing they search for…something from childhood that they never got, or want to recapture.  A physical thing…like a book long out of print, or a toy a neighbor had that you always wanted, or a song that you knew but now you can’t remember, or a silk blanket that your grandmother had that you loved and that disappeared and you never found another blanket that comfortable or comforting again.

So here are some of my memories.

Disco Duck playing on a vinyl record on my light up stereo thing that was kind of like a Jukebox…..

Here is a picture. The lights pulsed with the beat of the music. Pure awesomeness.


The Belly Buster game.

Basically you strap on these inflatable bellies – one strap over your head, the other two for each arm. Then you slam into the other person. Good God this is such a 1980s game…. it sounds so stupid to write it out, but it was so much damn fun to slam into your sibling and bounce off of each other and fall down. I could not find a picture, but visualize blue straps and a pinkish/white belly with a picture of a bald headed dude on the belly. My Internet search history was quite suspect when I entered these search terms. I guess Belly Buster will have to live on only in my memory.

My Easy Bake Oven.


I was not supposed to use it in my bedroom…. but I did anyway when a friend was over for a sleepover. Come on, we were hungry. It cooked the tasty cakes right before our eyes… on my bedroom carpet. When I went to clean up, there was a perfect black circle where the oven had burnt a hole in my carpet. I tried to disguise it by offering to clean my room and kept a throw rug over the spot. Shockingly, I did get busted for my illegal cooking and I lost my Easy Bake privileges.

My Geraldine Ferraro biography.


My dad swears that UNC Chapel Hill corrupted my conservative Baptist upbringing, but if this book was on my reading list in 1985 I am thinking those liberal beliefs were deeply rooted in my brain despite living in rural North Carolina as a child.

Wow, now this was a fun blast from the past. Childhood memories that make me smile… thanks Jenny Lawson!


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Mother’s Day

Samantha and I started the day with a hike at Merritt’s Pasture.


Later on, we had a tasty brunch at Tandem and some hanging out time by the pool.

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So… I made it through this weekend. And I even managed to have some fun. Go me!

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channeling my inner Wonder Woman

This week has been hard. So busy with work and everything else related to being a mom. Today I asked Samantha to skip an informal soccer game/celebration tomorrow b/c I am working late… to which she said no. I asked Aidan to fold some laundry while I was getting Samantha from play rehearsal (this trip made 4hrs in the car for me today)…. he forgot. And Rahul is going to be gone again tomorrow night while I am working until 9pm in Southern Pines. I just lost it.

This time of year is always really busy with activities/life, and it is also the time of year that is the hardest for me.

So, I am channeling my inner Wonder Woman for this weekend. As a good friend said, my super power in mid May is being a warrior and carrying on. Wonder Woman is female for a reason folks.

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I ordered myself a very special Mother’s Day gift…. and it is jewelry folks. Here is my necklace in yellow gold. Mine will be silver.

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It is a symbol of adoption. The triangle represents each person in the adoption process – birth parent, adoptive parent, child… all connected with love. I have the tattoo as well.

Aidan’s guitar teacher posted on Facebook a picture of a memory that he has from his dad and asked others to do the same. This is what I shared. Jergens hand lotion always makes me think of my mom. Her hands were always so soft.


So, as we head into Mother’s Day weekend, I will color and try to be Wonder Woman for my family.


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the anticipation

For some reason I have been anticipating the anniversary of my mom’s death these days. And this weekend, I have been very tearful. I guess you never know how you will react to grief. I am trying to focus on the good things, but the sadness keeps creeping back in.

Rahul is out of town for an annual conference which is hard under regular circumstances, so I am trying to practice taking good care of me.

I failed at this in an epic way Sunday. Samantha spent the entire Saturday and Saturday night begging for her BFF to sleepover. She already had a sleepover after the weekday dance, and another sleepover at our house on Friday night, so I said no. But she was relentless. She and her friend were texting me up to 9pm begging. I finally caved and said I would pick her up after my church time Sunday morning. But by Sunday morning the pick up time had changed, which made me miss my regular church time.

Normal Kristan would have held strong to my “no” but I just did not have the energy to fight it. What I really wanted was for Samantha (who is 12, by the way) to be super thoughtful and put my feelings above her needs. I guess that is not a realistic expectation at this age.

I did get to go to church later, and it was just what I needed.

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And my blue birds have layed all of their eggs.


And I am coloring.

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I have a super busy week with work, sports, school play. Part of me just wants to blink and it be Monday of next week so this week will be behind me. But I have wise friends who have encouraged me to embrace the tears, let them come out…. they need to.

So wish me luck. May 13th is right around the corner.




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Bird watching

I am working a lot of nights and weekends this month, so I decided to take a few hours off on Thursday morning to go bird watching with an old friend. Aidan was in preschool with the Upshaw twins and we have kept in touch via Facebook over the years. Andy teaches a birding class at the local community college, but I cannot justify half a day off every week. We traded a bag of nice Kona coffee from Hawaii for a morning of birding. A good deal in my book.

First up were some Osprey.


Next, a brown thrasher. We could hear him singing in the tree, but it took us forever to find him.


A Cormorant. Also known as the snake bird. He sticks his head below water for a really long time to get fish for food. It was fun to watch him disappear and then pop back up.


Brown headed cow bird.


A juvenile bald eagle.


A mature bald eagle…. look for his white head in the trees after the 4th big set of branches on the right. I think this might be the first one I have seen in real life. Such beautiful creatures. I also saw his nest. It was about 5ft wide. I seriously could have climbed in it.


And, my favorite sighting of the day…. a baby eagle peeking out of the nest to say hi.


A great, relaxing morning. And I have places around where we live to go back and visit again. Win win!


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Samantha’s special day

It is hard to believe our sweet and smart Samantha is 12 years old today. She had an EPIC double party with her best friend Julia (whose birthday just happens to be in mid April). Check out all the fun…

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Is it Friday yet?

Not a good start to the week here at the Shimpi household. Monday started with Aidan’s best friend announcing that he was not allowed to drive with Aidan in the car with him because Aidan was deemed too immature. Keep in mind both boys are 13, so not sure why this conversation even needed to happen. But there were serious hurt feelings, and it helped piece together why this friend no longer comes to our house for hangouts and sleepovers.

My heart broke for Aidan as he tried to process this news. He is a good kid with a kind heart and not a mean bone in his body. Is he impulsive and easily distracted… yes. But we have been working on this since he was a toddler. When he was young, we structured his activities to keep him safe (and us sane).

We gave him the gift of an extra year in preschool, which is not uncommon for boys with late August birthdays, and armed him with all the supports we could give (speech and occupational therapy).

I remember a check up at the start of 5th grade. His pediatrician had reviewed his file and was so proud of where Aidan was based on where he started out. I think sometimes we all forget that Aidan was born into very unfortunate circumstances. His birth mother had no prenatal care, he was most likely born in a rural village in India, and had no real food or nutrients for the first 6 mos of his life. Given this start to life, he is a rock star in my book.

I hate that he is being judged only on his weaknesses, and not the full person that he is. As his mom, I will ALWAYS be his advocate. I also know that as he matures, he will find like minded friends and parents who “get him” and accept him for who he is – an amazing kid with a visual brain that can do things mine will never do.

So if you read our blog and believe in a higher power, thank that higher power for bringing Aidan into our family. We are grateful and love him more than life itself.




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