Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year's Eve Christmas post


It was the week before Christmas. The 88lb kids' kitchen had arrived with nary a scratch. All that remained was assembly, and easy task by Mr. Claus.

Mrs. Claus to Mr. Claus:
"Maybe you should open up the kitchen now and see what you need to put it together. I can keep the kids out of the garage for a couple days."

Mr. Claus, working on the computer: "No, it's fine. I'll put it together Christmas Eve."

Mrs. Claus: "OK" (biting tongue against further comment)

9:00 p.m. Christmas Eve:
Mr. Claus kneels amongst chunks of styrofoam, a 20-page, multi-language instruction booklet and multitudes of itty, bitty screws.

Mrs. Claus knows well enough to not offer help, this is one of those Mr. Claus man-things that must be done alone. However, Mrs. Claus's sister, who is visiting, doesn't realize this about Mr. C. and naively begins reading to him out of the instruction booklet and handing him pieces of the kitchen.

"Now let's see, I think this is number 32..."

Because Mr. C. can't express his impatience to Mrs. C's sister, he relies instead on shooting Mrs. C. pleading looks. When that doesn't work he finally snaps when she sets her Christmas drink down next to a small grouping of screws.

"Could you stay away from the screws?"

"I didn't see them there. Lighten up." Mrs. C. was beginning to get a bit snippy herself.

"Use your eyes", Mr. C. growls quietly

Mrs. C.'s sister quickly begins helping wrap gifts. Luckily, Mrs. C....patient soul that she is... realizes that Mr. C. is just tired & grumpy assembling this mess. Besides, he'll apologize later.

Finally, at 12:30 a.m. the stockings are full, presents wrapped and the final wooden spoon and tiny pot holder is placed on that (@!#%*).... I mean, adorable, little kitchen. The Claus's go to bed tired, but happy. And wake up tired, but happy.

We wouldn't trade it for the world.


Look closely, Boo's already caught on to the whole hot pad thing.


Would you like some "cottee"?(a.k.a. coffee)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Good Day



Boo crashed out for a second nap while Bear did his best to wake her up. The girl was tired.

Monday, the day of my "lockdown" post was one of the best days ever with the kids. Isn't life great when it works that way? My energy was good, we played most of the day, there was time for a nap. A good day.

Yesterday they went back to childcare and I went to the doctor; it turns out that I have chicken pox too, just without the pox (be thankful for the small things, right?). Apparently you CAN get it a second time. At least it explains why this "crud" I've had isn't going away. I guess I just need to wait it out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lockdown - 9 Days & Counting

I'm sorry I left you hanging with those YouTube videos and no interesting posts since December 1st! In the holiday spirit, we've had lots of red & green things happening: chicken pox, sore throats & runny noses.

To top it all off, I got sick too (and it's still hanging in there). I knew it would happen sometime, just another one of those parent paying-your-dues things. It's like returning to those first few months of parenthood:you sleep every spare moment you can. You doze on the couch holding 60 pounds of toddler, while Curious George hoo hoos in the background, you sacrifice hygiene to sleep during their nap time instead of shower. (Boo is a one hour napper max, so there's not much time.)

Self absorbed blogger that I am, I just realized that I've only shared MY discomforts, and not my children's. Poor Boo was the first one with this, she's had it over a week and is finally getting better. Bear has it too, although not as bad and his legs are covered with spots. One or two harmless little spots (that I thought were flea bites) appeared almost two weeks ago. So even after Frontlineing the dogs, more spots appeared. Turns out the spots are chicken pox, however, he was vaccinated for them (one of the things they include now in their shots) so his is a mild case. He's not even scratching. Apparently the vaccine doesn't give full coverage to all children, but he's still contagious. So we were escorted out the back of the doc's office,with firm orders not to go anywhere public until the spots are gone. Our play school had to be notified via one of those a mass emails. It's weird when it's your child that's the "case" they are talking about.

So our 9th & hopefully last day of lockdown continues.


P.S. Oh ya, & they turned 2 this week. More on that later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Re Cut

OK, I stayed up too late on YouTube last night. It's amazing what a little editing can do!

Just another date movie



You'll never look at her the same way again...



Take my breath away...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Shhhh


Ok, another Yo Gabba Gabba plug here, but I love, love, love this video. The animation, the ingenius imagery of listening, the song...everything about it. My kids love it too, probably because of the repeated viewings, and now it's on their lullaby playlist.

'Listen' by Paco! on Yo Gabba Gabba
FYI: the YGG site won't let you use the back key to return here, so if you want to come back, a right click opening the link in a new window or tab is best.


You can find out more about the animation artist and the song on Yo Blogga Blogga

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Red Wine for the Soul

Last night I had a last minute hook up with my friend 40licious and her significant other (first time meeting him.) M. stayed home with the kids, taking advantage of a chance to watch an action flick without me.

It felt so good (dare I say, nourishing!) to catch up, connect and have a couple glasses of wine with an old friend. She laughed at my jokes, she even said she misses it when I'm too busy to blog. (Aw, shucks!) Her partner is a great guy, I was immediately comfortable with him. So much that I found myself unabashedly discussing my birth experience...and all the gory details. (Hey, we were exchanging hospital stories and it's all I've got.) Let's just say he now knows way more about my uterus than most people.

So my friend, when you & your sweetie are weary of the sunny beaches, the endless mani-pedi pressure, Whole Foods, spiked Frappucinos and you've got a hankerin' for polar fleece, Carhartt's, Volvo's (sorry honey, the old kind) and off leash dog encounters, I know of a great Yurt. You can keep your high paying jobs! Why not telecommute from our wi-fi equipped Safeway Starbuck's? Where else can you enjoy your nonfat, soy, double latte with General Tso's chicken and a $5.00* take home pizza (*Friday only with a Safeway Club Card). You CAN have it all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Pre Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

I just finished rubbing a raw turkey. I know how it sounds...actually, how does it sound?
Can you tell it's late and I'm tired?

Anyway, the point of this post is that tomorrow is our Thanksgiving. My stepdaughter V, her boyfriend and their new dog, Stewy, are coming up. M. asked me if I felt nervous about cooking the turkey this year. (I'm still living down our first Thanksgiving dinner in this house...where I proudly served a beautiful golden roasted turkey that was horrifically raw on the inside.) The next year, my paranoia made me resort to roasting the turkey in pieces. It's much easier and you know it's cooked, but it's not nearly as festive. Now, with a few holiday turkeys under my belt, I feel fairly confident (not too cocky, I don't want to jinx anything.) Somehow, I think celebrating on a different day also eases the pressure. I can't tell you why, but it does.

An added bonus is that tomorrow is a regular babysitter day, so we will have an adults only household for much of the day. I love my children dearly, but I'm really looking forward to that break. In light of the Thanksgiving spirit, I should say I'm thankful for it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall 2009 Photos

I was just reading my posts and man...what a downer! We need to liven things up here a bit. So what better than photos of my darling children.

Fall 2009

The rainy season has officially started.



A trip to the pumpkin patch. I couldn't get any photos of Bear, he was running around too much.
Gee, why is Daddy's back always sore?
You turn your head for just a second...
Having fun with Dad.

Sunny day in the woods
Getting into dolls now
Oooh, I like petunias!
Yes, that's a scab on his nose from his first big face plant. Poor guy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Your Intuition Always Knows

I noticed just a couple little oddities at first, not alarming, but nagging.

An upstairs bathroom window left open. ("I don't remember doing that").
A tupperware container full of change outside of it's normal drawer. The mattress pushed over slightly. (I don't remember doing that either").
A pile of hair bands spilled on our bathroom floor. (I know I didn't do that!)

After dinner, M & I tried to figure out which one of us left the bathroom window open. Was my memory getting that bad? There was no way someone could have come into our house. Our TV was still here, the computers were here, the house looked pretty much the same as we had left it. Besides, our German Shepherd and Lab were inside, surely they would keep someone out. But I just couldn't shake that nagging feeling of someone having been here. M suggested I check for the Ipod upstairs in the kids' room. Sure enough, it was gone.

When I saw the empty spot on the dresser, the hairs on my arms stood up. Strangers walked through our house today! In our kids room, in our room. Rifling through our nightstand drawers, pushing our mattress aside. After filing a police report, we spent the evening calling credit card companies and putting fraud alerts on our socials. The police suspect it was kids, taking just what they could carry. We live right next to the woods and they exited through a back gate right to the trails. In a way, it's a relief to think that it's kids and not some creepy man walking through here with other thoughts on his mind. But to lose the cameras, the Ipod and the baby monitor of all things...it's a bummer! I've always felt such security with our dogs here, but apparently they can be sweet talked.

I guess that's all for now. We have Playschool tomorrow and I'm the snack lady. Life goes on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh, the Guilt

Today I shut Bear's hand in the car door. On the hinge side. Uuggh! I hate even thinking about it. It happened during the hubbub (beware of hubbubs) of getting out of the car and over to the playground. As I was shutting the door, I glimpsed his hand near the crack but I didn't think it was that close. Turns out it was closer! It was sickening to see his little fingers wedged in the impossibly skinny door crack, hear his shocked pause and then panicked shrieking. Luckily for Mom's conscience, oh yeah, and for Bear, his fingers survived, nothing is broken and we didn't have to visit the ER. He was even able to eat a pretzel and hang on a monkey bar afterwards.

If only Moms recovered that well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TGIF!

My stepdaughter had to put her 13 year old dog down.
A friend's Mother passed away.
A friend of another friend died unexpectedly after surgery.

And today I discovered that our renter left us with a $500 water bill. Needless to say, he hasn't returned any calls.

Sometimes you have to just get through the week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Toot"

While running errands this afternoon, I saw a little deer along a neighborhood side street. Seeing deer in our town is a common, everyday, multiple-times-a-day occurence. It's nothing special, but my children don't know that. They don't even know what a deer is! So I pulled up alongside the deer let the kids look while I "wowed" excitedly. The deer stayed put nicely and gazed back at us. The kids weren't too terribly interested, but as I pulled away, I could hear Boo quietly saying "toot, toot".

"Hmmm, toot...toot", I whispered to myself, trying to translate (which is also a common occurence), "doesn't sound like deer."

Then it hit me, she was saying "cute".

Well, it was cute.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Parents Are Visiting

I'm trying to get my Dad to start a blog. So I'm showing him how to do a post. He has a ranch in Spokane and is selling grassfed, organic beef if anyone is interested. Who says you can't do a little promotion while we experiment with blogging?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Parent Room

Today was our second Playschool class and things went very smoothly. Last week, Bear got a little overexcited (so much to do!) and a little overtired (it's in the middle of nap time) so the second hour was pretty much meltdown after meltdown. But we survived and returned this morning, despite my late night anxieties.

During the second hour, I visited the "Parent Room" and enjoyed a cup of coffee while the kids played. As we sat around the table drinking coffee, one of the moms said she graduated high school in 2006. 2006! Ok, so I won't be telling anyone when I graduated.

"I tried a year of college, but it just wasn't for me," she continued.

Oh, but to be 21. So much possibility. When I was 21, divorce was something that happened to other people, and life was full of time. Time to go to school, build a career and then think about kids. I politely listened, drank my International Delight French Vanilla coffee, and wondered if she was going to complain next that she has sex only four times a week?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Guess this is the New Normal

I'm now realizing how busy life is with two, nearly two year olds. Don't forget two dogs, a cat, a job and oh yes, a husband! Take last week for example, we had houseguests for three days, the dog had a cyst rupture, one of my crowns fell out, and the kids had their first day of Playschool. I also heard myself volunteering to be on the school's fund raising committee (it's kind of required...it was either that or cleaning), and another volunteer position came up that involves marketing and I couldn't resist helping them out, so here I am.

I suppose this is just normal, everyday family life. It's easy to tell you about the craziness, but what's more difficult is to tell you about all the little moments of wonderful-ness that happen in between. Boo speaking in two word sentences and exploding with new words every day. Bear saying actual words ("doh"=door, "ny"=night, mow=mouth) instead of just "da-da-da-da". Seeing their gender hormones at work...a little girl who talks to her dolls in the stroller and a little boy who wants see how hard he can ram that same stroller into the wall.

Normal, everyday family life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grace in One Thing

I just discovered this "Grace In Small Things" (GIST) site that is inspiring, yet surprisingly challenging...the act of recognizing the grace in five small things every day. This may not even count as "grace" but it was a proud moment.

Doing my final check of the night on the kids, I was hit with the tell tale waft of....well, you know. I wondered who did the deed, hoping it wasn't Bear, who was wearing a a full body sleeper, instead of a two piece like his sister. Yep, it was Bear and it was a big one. I stood for a moment watching his chest rise and fall in the steady breath of sleep and decided I couldn't chance waking him.

Mission Impossible music please....

Carefully, oh so carefully, I pulled each leg out of of the sleeper, removed the dirty diaper (in spite of the loud velcro "braaack" of diaper tape), deftly kept the offending mess out of his crib, held his legs up, negotiated the many dirty wipes back into the dirty diaper, kept him from rolling over (which he kept trying to do), and got the clean diaper on...ahem..by flashlight. Amazingly, the kid stayed asleep. I walked out of the room with a squishy, warm, rolled up diaper in hand and did my best fist pumping, lip synched "Yes!"

Grace. In small things.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad Blogger



I've been a bad blogger. A busy blogger. A non blogger. I've gone weeks without posting. I blame it on the weather. It's been great. We're enjoying one of the best summers in ten years, but it's winding down. You can really see it in the afternoons. The way the light hits the trees at about 4:00 p.m: it's softer, slightly more golden, lower. It reminds me of school, of football and fresh starts.
Boo & Bear have been "accepted" into playschool. I know it sounds ridiculous that our not-even-two year old kids will be attending a school that preps them for preschool, nevertheless, I'm excited, not only for the social opportunities that await mom and kids but for the excuse to buy them supplies. New shoes, a new outfit, or crayons? I might even splurge and get the 64 crayon box set with the built in sharpener. Forget about the kids, I'll keep those.

Friday, August 21, 2009

City. Good.

Pix, the ultimate dessert destination.

I know what you're thinking. "Oh thank God she finally put up a new post so we don't have to look at those damn toys anymore!" Sorry, I got busy.

I just returned from a trade show in Portland, hence the busyness. One of the highlights of this trip is an annual dinner with some great friends. We've realized that now we've been doing this dinner for ten years, and every year they give us a hip, urban experience, something I need desperately. So I return home with memories of cute waiters, rosemary chocolates, and a new song on my Ipod--Portland based "Starfu**er" (yes, their name is an obscenity), check out the song German Love.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Carnage

In the morning, everyone is fresh and eager to play...


but after hours of being hugged, kissed, fed, dropped, and set in the spilled liquid of the day, we're tired.


CSI
tired.




We're rattled...





spent...




...downright exhausted!




Maybe hiding under the bed all day isn't such a bad idea.


Crime scenes have not been altered. Well, except when they had to go back to the toybox.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Slice of Summer

OK, I'm back for a few minutes at least. I've been feeling like a total slacker not doing any postings, but it's a little freeing as well. Kind of like not having homework. So much has been happening, I'll just show rather than tell.

OK well, maybe I'll tell a little bit...

Enjoying the outdoors.



M's daughters visited with our youngest grandaughter, G. She's the one on the right, looking at her 20 month old aunt. I know it's a little wierd, but family is family.

Sadly, we lost our beloved Sparky, who made it to 17. A good, long life for a cat. Every morning I miss her insistent meow demanding breakfast.

My friend & I added some pizzaz to the living room. What's so cool is that these decals are repositionable, but I'll never tell the kids that!

My BFF visited, tons of fun. Kids loved her. We all miss her.


While on a diaper run at Costco, we tried on glasses, and laughed our heads off. I think these need a little push up, they're a little low. (I seem to say that alot these days.)
Oh yes, my stepdaugher cut my hair too.

Our dog, Palo ripped his toenail off chasing a coyote in the woods. I think he hates the sock more than anything. A striped toe sock with pom poms really messes with the whole watchdog German Shepherd thing.


Loving our heatwave!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Family & Friends...Summer

Right now our house is full of suitcases, air beds, bare feet, popsicle stained lips, and in a few days, more suitcases. Enjoying summer, enjoying life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Princesses Revisited


I stumbled upon this the other day and I'd love to share it.

What if Snow White, Cinderella and some of our other favorites had alternative outcomes? Photographer Dina White explores this in a new series called Fallen Princesses.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Working. At night.


8:32 pm to be exact.

It's not exactly the midnight oil, but it's beginning to feel late. Working at night in an empty office has it's perks: evening jazz, no phones, and no talking is quite relaxing and I can get quite a bit accomplished. As long as I don't get distracted by blogs (including my own.)
.
Ssshhh, don't tell anyone I was here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Gal Needs a New Purse Now & Then

OK, I got off the computer, plugged in the glue gun, dug out some felt scraps from my upstairs "room" and got to work. Boo has been carrying around an ugly pink vinyl purse that we've had in the toy bin for years, so I decided a new one was in order. I was able to whip this out while her brother napped. The strap is a little short, but she seems to like it.



It's handy to have your purse when you're playing ball with the dog.




Saturday, June 27, 2009

Major Crafterbation

I don't know what is happening to me, I've never really been a crafter but these days I can't peel myself away from the computer. Stuffed animals, felted gnomes, tooth fairy pillows, super cool fabrics, little girl dresses, appliques...the urge to sew and craft little cute things is becoming overwhelming. And just in case you're wondering, I'm not pregnant. Although I'm finding that I'm spending more time on the computer looking at other people's crafts rather than making my own. Hence the term "crafterbation"...I actually stole that wonderful word from another blog, so I won't take credit for it.

A friend loaned me her an old sewing machine that she got from Goodwill for $15, so I can try my hand again at sewing (a class I flunked in tenth grade!). I've been nervous about breaking it out. I have this nagging feeling that once I start fumbling with bobbins and the thread starts getting tight and the swearing starts, then my whole sewing fantasy will be crushed.

But in the meantime I can dream...and use my glue gun. Besides, there's always knitting.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

God's Holiest Work

When people say "you must be so busy", I just smile and say "oh yes", but inwardly thinking "it's not really that bad", but then at the end of the day, around 9:00 p.m., when I'm still washing dishes, hoping for a little down time before bed, I think of everything I had hoped to do, and none of it is done. OK I admit it, I guess I am pretty busy. I'm usually able to complete daily cleaning tasks, thanks to Sesame Street's Elmo, but nothing of any consequence, except for cleaning, dressing, undressing, hugging, feeding, diapering and teaching two toddlers how to: take turns, use inside voices, appreciate flowers, be gentle with the cat, not to eat the cat food, dance, play peek-a-boo, not shove all the banana slices in your mouth, negotiate steps, use a fork and much, much, much more. Mothering is God's holiest work according to Oprah (she must have watched Elmo). So be it, this is my road to Zen masterhood.

Here are a few summery photos.




Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Night

Mix one free babysitter (gotta love family), two glasses of red wine, one outta-this-world pasta dish, throw in some adult conversation, a surprise sighting of friends at a restaurant, finish with a little ice cream and decaf and oila...Saturday night!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nature vs Nurture

One fun thing to do with boy/girl twins is to see the "Nature vs Nurture" theory play out. Over the past 18 months we've seen clear gender differences in Boo and Bear's development. Bear loves all things mechanical: opening doors, fiddling with latches and Boo loves stuffed animals, talking and shoes (seriously!). Boo hugs the baby doll and Bear throws it aside, totally uninterested. I decided to put them in the driver's seat of our 24ft company truck and see their reactions.


Hmmm, what is this big round thing?

I'll admit, the view is nice up here.

Now what?

Cool!

If I could just pull that e-brake.

I was meant for this!