• Musical Mother’s Day

    05.10.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Musical Mother’s Day

    I happened to get one song stuck in my head yesterday which lead me down a YouTube rabbit hole of my childhood in music, with my parents as the deejays. It was a good time for music, the seventies and eighties. Mostly because that’s when I was alive and open to the world, but man, I love these songs!

    I knew every word to this song. Every. Word. And I could even do Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand’s pitch to accompany this number. Still can’t sing it without doing that! I hadn’t listened to this song since I was a kid and it instantly took me back to sitting on my shag green rug in my bedroom. It’s amazing how music can awaken so much with it’s background sound suggestions. I’m not terribly ashamed to admit that I cried a little. :)

    I loved this song! Again, I could sing Dolly and Kenny’s voices and did often. Enough so a friend of mine once asked me to sing it at her wedding. I politely declined.

    My mom was a huge Julio Iglesias fan. This was played often in my house, and I often wondered about the greater implication of ‘all the girls’ they’ve ‘loved before, who traveled in and out my door…” Creepers? But still, a sweet song.

    Whenever I heard this song playing it was because my dad was trying to patch a rough spot. Usually it was because he let a swear word out in front of the kids that we weren’t supposed to hear. My dad would slyly slip over to the record player and before we knew it our house would be filled with the sultry sounds of Joe Cocker’s buttery voice.
    (Irony, people.)

    And then there was the summer before my eighth grade year where everyone in my family learned each and every song of Dire Straight’s Money For Nothing album and Whitney Houston’s first album. To be fair, I loved them both and they make me think of a lovely summer in our family boat, cruising Puget Sound, Vancouver Island and Desolation Sound and all the islands around. It was the first summer I ever got hit on by a boy, a trip I will never forget and the accompanying soundtrack is ever in my loop.

    Photo credits go to Hannah Elvrum
    I know what my own kids will share when they are 41 and reminiscing about the music from their parental-chosen, childhood soundtrack. The short list will have The Decemberists, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Death Cab For Cutie, The Vaccines, Monsters and Men and, of course, my latest obsession with New Kids on the Block- all of their songs since they’ve been on repeat in my car for a year or so. But before that we inundated them with the other stuff. Bradley is less defined since he rapidly jumps from band to band, lighting on one or two bands for 2-3 months then moving quickly on.

    We do this to our children and, in a way, it keeps us ever connected to those magical childhood moments as it shows us time and again how it can whisk us away to another time and place. I’m grateful to my own mom and dad for filling our house up with love, laughter and music. Cheers for a Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s hoping the music in your life is filling your family up as well.


  • Color Vibe 5K

    05.09.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Color Vibe 5K

    Several months ago, my best friend, Beth, who I’ve known since 8th grade, invited me to run the Color Vibe 5K with her- her first 5K. At first I decided that I absolutely would not- it was Mother’s Day weekend, after all. Then I started thinking about who I AM instead of who I WAS, and realized that I’m exactly the kind of mom who would choose to do a fun and messy 5K with her kids as the focus of my Mother’s Day weekend. So I signed up and the kids were free! As I talked about it over the past few months, reminding them that it was coming their way, Jude would look at me with fear. For him, this did not sound like a treat like it did for Gigi and me. To him it sounded like a lot of work.

    I decided to make this a mama-K. We would go at intervals, at his pace, slowing on hills, walking when needed, drinking lots of water, talking about Pokemon and resting if necessary. It went pretty much as expected- Gigi took off like a rocket and ended up finishing in 32 minutes (the race actually turned out to be 3.5, not 3.1 miles, according to both of our GPS).

    Jude knocked my socks off. He ran almost the entire way. At the beginning, he told me that he wanted to run the entire distance. I said we would try, but the secret would be going as slow as we needed, so that’s exactly what we did! We jogged, sometimes as slow as we could have walked, but we jogged the entire distance with the exception of two blocks, which were also steep hills. He was amazing! I was so proud of him as he crossed the finish line! I have an amazing boy, an amazing girl and I decided that it was definitely the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day!

  • Exercise Princess

    03.31.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Exercise Princess

    I can’t even tell you how funny it is when this kid comes out onto the patio, all business and starts pogoing all over the patio with the most serious face you have ever seen. Nothing in moderation with this kid. She’s all like, “I’m going to try to pogo 100 times.” Then she does it.

    If that’s not enough, she’s suddenly made a decision about the kind of life she wants to live, and it’s a life of activity and moving. Guinevere was inspired by a girl we discovered on Instagram who is only nine years older than Gi and already living an amazing, active and healthy life. She suddenly is in love with running, working out and eating healthy. She runs about two miles every other day now, and in between she researches alternative health cooking. I’m amazed at how very cool she is and how very ahead of the game she is. Amazed.

    Here’s to love, here’s to health!


  • Seven

    03.22.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Seven

    On March 19th, Jude turned seven. I always tuck my kids in on the Eve of their birthday with the acknowledgement that this is the last time they will go to bed as one age, and the next day, like magic, we won’t have a six year old in our house anymore! It’s amazing how that just keeps happening, and our kids keep growing and getting older. This one, though, this one is important with his kindness and patience and thoughtfulness. The world needs this one.

    Pokemon captured the boy’s imagination this year. His birthday brought a new notebook filled with card sleeves and a package of cards. He couldn’t have been happier- all of the other gifts waited on the table while he sorted through his cards, arranging them just so and exclaiming over the rare ones, the foil ones and the powerful ones. He has a new friend at school who is also a Pokemon nut so the two have become fast friends, picking up their poke-conversation where they left it off and letting it go as the bell rings and they need to head to class. It’s Jude’s first self-selected friend who he has not been pushed toward, and we are pretty proud of his choice. Judge a person by the company they keep, and he keeps fine company!

    We celebrated Jude with a Pokemon party and a few friends. Rather than invite many, he asked that we only invite a few kids as he didn’t want to get overwhelmed or make someone feel left out. 😉 We spent the afternoon hunting down Pokemon and trying to catch them all. The finale was a Pokemon piñata and we felt like winners when we had to ask the kids to pick up the candy- they wanted to leave it on the ground and just get the mini figures instead!

    We love this boy- our future writer, artist and great thinker. Our future daddy, our love bug, our boy who loves so deeply and with such compassion. Our beautiful little songbird with his clear voice and fearless timbre- happy birthday my little love. Xxoo


  • Onderland

    03.20.15 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Onderland

    It’s worth noting here, on Littlejohnesque, that I have made my goal of weighing under 200 pounds! Interestingly enough, it came the day after Jude’s birthday! I don’t hoot much about my body project here because I like the focus to be on my family, but I firmly believe that my weightloss has had a tremendous impact on my family. We do so much more now that Mama is so much more capable. Our world grew when I shrunk and it’s been the best thing ever.


    If you’re interested in following me and reading more about my weightloss story, go to www.tamarashazam.com. There are, literally, hundreds of my ramblings… 😉


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…