Friday, December 31, 2010
TRANSLATION: I'm not a handsome prince, I'm Bear!
My kids are into playing pretend. Pirates, Princesses, Monstas. When you are a mother, your princess days are over. Now you are relegated to be a monster or frog, or, if you're lucky, the princess's older sister. (Just had to share this)
Christmas was great. There was no holiday let down that it didn't live up to my fantasies. The kids were into Santa. Santa was into coming. Cookies. Presents were opened at a pleasurable pace. Mess was somewhat contained. We played in our pajamas most of the day. I made killer pulled pork tacos. What more could you want?
Sunday was hectic preparing for a 16 person party on Monday while having houseguests, but everything turned out fine. Monday's gathering bubbled with hugs, laughter and chatter: kids playing, women cooking, men gathering around iPads. It was a long, satisfying, exhausting day. The next morning, the kids were able to see their cousins ride off into the overcast sky from our local airport. (a.k.a. strip of runway where you walk right up the plane.)
So now the family is gone, and tonight it's our turn. We've got a babysitter. Need I say more?
Happy New Year.
Monday, December 13, 2010
In the past fourteen days I've shopped "Black Friday", had three days of birthday celebrations, including a party with eight-3 year olds, multiple cupcakes, a visit from my stepdaughter and her boyfriend, a cheesecake, a five day visit from my best friend, two more birthday cakes and our company's Christmas party. It's been crowded, crazy, filling, fun, decadent, wonderful, yummy, festive...pretty much in that order. And there's no let up, starting next weekend we'll have more family visiting until after Christmas.
By now I know the scenario.
The planning: I'm the warm hearted and excited hostess. Ready to welcome all into our house with freshly made beds, flowers & chocolates.
The reality: The housecleaning, the laundry, overwhelming guilt as your children watch TV so you can accomplish these things. Making beds at 10:00 p.m. the night before, promising that next time I'll have the flowers and chocolates. Hostess facade completely crumbled.
But after many late night conversations over cozy glasses of Bailey's, and enjoying the kids re-bonding with their long distance family members, I settle into the chaos. It is a skill I am perfecting. It's okay if someone gets cranky. Isn't that what families do? We get cranky, make memorable remarks, and share things that an average houseguest doesn't...our realness. So here's to authentic holiday experiences.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
--Back again, both kid and carpet are clean. Now, where was I?
The craft bug is biting me again. Actually, this is a project that I've been working on for a year now, but it was put on the back burner while I played PTA mom. Now that this volunteer project from hell is almost over (notice the word "almost"), I can get back to my own stuff and try to get something done by Christmas.
I'm creating a felt name book for each of the kids, each page will have a letter and a picture from their name.
No letters, yet, but here's sneak peek...I'll post better pictures once it's finished.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
(Technically, they're actually still two until early December, so it's even more amazing.)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Digging a hole with Dad (I suppose that's obvious!)
Ready to be a flagger!
Fresh from a haircut from Big Sister, V. Think he's ready for the Disney channel?
One of our granddaughters, with V's dog "Stewie"
Posing in a tree
Another free haircut!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Boo is always coming home with artwork. Not that Bear doesn't paint, but every day, Boo comes home with 2 - 3 paintings she has done at her school. She seems to have an eye for composition and color. Am I a little biased? Nah. I thought I would kick off our first "Virtual Fridge" with one of her recent projects (one of my faves).
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Contrary to my last post, we are enjoying a bit of Indian Summer. I'm savoring these last few sunny, long shadowed afternoons--riding bikes, climbing, swinging, peeing...yes, peeing. It happens everywhere these days. Bear just finished his first week being diaper free and he's doing great! He always tells me when he has to go: right after I strap him into his car seat, or in the shopping cart, or as we enter the playground. Never before an activity, always during.
There’s a multitude of things I had no clue about before children, poop and pee are two of them. Especially how much more of it there is now that they're out of diapers. When I excitedly bought the sweet little potty chair at Target, all I heard was the siren song of "potty trained". However, between diapers and potty trained there's a lot of pee: on carpet, in the pants, not to mention the dumping, splashing and cleaning of that sweet little potty chair; and when your kids decide to help by carrying it to the toilet (more splashing, more rinsing, more carpet cleaning). Then there's the poop: in the pants, on the hands, on the floor (when it falls out of the underpants they've removed cause they're ‘poopy’). I can only be grateful they've never painted the walls with it.
My "aha" moment was when Boo yelled, "Mama! Poop on the table!" and I realized that I wasn't even phased to see little brown nuggets on the coffee table. (Future houseguests: I do sanitize things, usually before you arrive.)
In spite of my griping, I’m so happy that we’re moving out diapers and into our next phase. These kids move forward so quickly, I know all of this poop & pee will soon become a distant memory. But I may never want any yellow or brown in our home décor again.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The first day of Fall. We're enjoying an Indian Summer, an entire one day of it. No worries, I'm not feeling as bad as this song suggests, but I thought some of the lyrics here were fitting for an Autumn that is here too soon.
(Artist: Hawksley Workman. I heard this on "The Vinyl Cafe" last weekend and was struck by his real-ness.)
I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately, I'm currently bogged down with a volunteer project that is consuming every evening. I actually added a new label called "Volunteering" since I'm sure I'll be writing more on the topic, but I'm thinking that maybe I should have called it "Overcommitting" or "Sucka".
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I told her I thought it meant..."ya, I know what you mean" a term of agreement. The truth is, I"m only guessing based on my obsessive viewing of "The Wire", where "word" and "true dat" and "mothaf***er" are mumbled every 10 seconds or so.
"Oh, god am I totally old that I don't know what this means?" she texted. "What's worse, is he's my age!" I mentioned this to M and he said "Word, bullshit, that's not a slang". For the record, so all of us over 40 can keep up, here is the official "googled" definition of WORD
Word: It is short for saying "you have my word". Instead of saying "you have my word" you simply say "word."
For example: "I did not check out that girl. You have my word." instead you would say, "I did not check out that girl. Word."
It is the absolute truth, the authoritative word. "What you are saying is absolutely true."
Thursday, September 2, 2010
This week I received a Facebook 'friend' request from a girl who was my absolute bestest friend in grade school. Her initial message was really an inquiry....asking my maiden name, did I go to St. B's, etc... I was so excited to hear from her that I immediately responded with a lengthy, two paragraph email, giving her the highlights of my life. (As if you can do that in two paragraphs and email emoticons.)
We enjoyed years of young girl best friendness: sleep overs, passing notes, prank calls, imitating Ann & Nancy Wilson (you know, the band Heart), Disco roller skating, swooning over the Bay City Rollers and writing screenplays with 70s celebs like John Travolta and Leif Garrett. As we grew older, our friendship was occasionally challenged: she made out with a guy I had a crush on for over a year, but it turned out OK since I got together with a guy I had a crush on during the years before that. (Ahem, small school, you couldn't be too choosy)
We broke off our friendship in ninth grade, she stayed on the straight and narrow and I became a party girl (not necessarily a good thing). When I think back now to our last fight, I can't even remember the details of what happened. I only remember her pain, yelling how much she had trusted me, and my adolescent way of shrugging it off while dying inside. I almost want to ask her what she remembers...but I'm chicken, since I was probably a total jerk.
We'll see what happens, she's already responded back to me,and I know I'll send her at least another paragraph or two. It's refreshing to actually get a meaningful email from someone on Facebook. And who knows? Maybe I'll even get the courage to ask her why we broke up, and maybe I'll share it, maybe not. ;-)
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see the kids’ reaction when they came home, but M. did. They were shocked and upset. They wondered why the 'tree broke'. So, in the tradition of parenthood, I made up a story about how the tree was old so we had to take it down. Then I told them about all the flowers and veggies we'll grow in our garden next year while I watched the twilight moon rise through the window. It's so nice to have moonlight again.
Monday, August 16, 2010
9:08 p.m. Went up, soothed him, but now he's at it again.
We've had three weeks of houseguests, beloved houseguests, but nonetheless we're feeling the transition back to our regular routine. We've all gotten used to staying up & sleeping a bit later, but now it's back to work. Our ten year old granddaughter came up, so I was able to hear the newest Black Eyed Peas cd (20 times), see the third Twilight movie, Eclipse at the drive in, hear all about Jacob (lovesick werewolf in aforementioned vampire movie) and see way too much of the Disney channel (the scariest of all). M & I also enjoyed the wonderful treat of spending four days together alone at the ocean, thanks to my sister, who watched the kids for us. It's amazing how much your kids change just after four days. Bear is talking in sentences, and can add a forlorn "Mommmmmmyyyyyy" to his cries, like right now. Boo has increased her already large vocab by giving answers like "of course" and "not quite yet, Mommy".
9:30 p.m. OK, I went up again, calmed him down by standing at the door for a few minutes. I hate hearing him cry.
Summer is winding down so quickly, I suppose it's so much more bittersweet since the real summer heat is just starting to kick in. If we're lucky it will last for a few days. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm rather excited for Fall. The kids will attend a brand new Montessori school (started by our wonderful caregiver)and we'll have a whole new schedule. If only the summer weather would stay for a bit longer, and my son would stop crying.
9:39 p.m. It's finally quiet. Whew.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
"DON'T say hi to me!!", he yelled in Bear's face.
M & I glanced at each other but purposedly kept quiet, waiting to see what Bear would do. Bear grew quiet, lowered his head towards the ground and his bottom lip grew larger & larger. Suddenly I was aware of how much we can't protect them, how much they'll have to learn on their own, when he let out a shriek and smile. About twenty feet away, an even bigger boy of ten, did a stunt jump off the swing, much to Bear's delight. We went on to have a great play session, the earlier episode totally forgotten. A great lesson on being in the moment and not to dwell on things.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Hmmm, should I wash the dishes, or have a bowl of ice cream? It's not a ton of dishes, and I will do them in the morning...Down guilt, down! Ok, that's much better, now where was I? Wow, crushed Oreo's are really good on vanilla ice cream! Sorry, I'm getting distracted.
I enjoyed dinner last Friday with three friends from high school, it's so nice to NOT be the oldest person at the table! We've done this once or twice a year for the past five years or so and I've noticed how our conversations have evolved. We spend about 5 minutes reminiscing about high school, and now words like 'menopause', 'liposuction', 'botox' & 'spanx' are thrown in between sips of wine and bites of salad & fish. Interspersed with debates on the merits of Facebook, and whose friend requests we're ignoring. We're all at different stages in our life...two of us have grown children, one has just become a grandma, one has a five year old adopted child, and there's me, toddler twin mom. Maybe this is a sign of the times, but I can't help but think that fifty years ago, we would not have had the freedom in our lives to be at such different places. It's great to be in a place where we have so many choices.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I purchased this book as a gift, after hearing NPR's positive review of "another vampire story", and an 800 page one to boot ($15 at Costco). I was curious and thought "I'll just read a chapter and if I like it, I'll get a copy".
Five hundred pages later, that book isn't going anywhere. I'm not a total cad, I did buy another copy for my gift. I had to. I wasn't about to give a book that I've had cracked open every spare minute since that first chapter (a thick one pounder, hello carpal tunnel). A book Boo & Bear have mauled & yanked my bookmark out of countless times (eerily, I go right to my place within a couple pages.)
Meanwhile, milestones are happening all around me: a baby crow is learning to fly in our yard, my Dad just turned 70, Bear goes 'pee pee' in the toilet nearly every time, Boo is entering her princess phase (I guess it was bound to happen), and Mommy has developed has a serious fear of the dark.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Tomorrow morning I'm going to a Design seminar in downtown Seattle. I'm looking forward to attending a professional event, but a little nervous about the morning: getting two potty training toddlers ready, getting mom Seattle seminar ready, dropping them off at the sitters (on time for once!) and actually making my ferry. Oh, did I mention that I'll be doing this all by myself since M. isn't here? Sure, I'll get up earlier to do it all, but Bear has been waking up these days around 5:00 a.m.
Doesn't innovation happen when life gets interesting? One can hope.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I wasn't phased in the least. It's amazing what a good hair day can do.
Monday, May 17, 2010
What more could you ask for? A carnival with rides...
..then a parade.
The next morning the kids made me waffles and Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Then they were official "Hi-Fiver's" at the 12K Run on Sunday (which goes right by our house).
We even had a babysitter for an evening so Mommy & Daddy could have a date! After all that, we were zonked.
I guess 45 ain't too shabby after all.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Now c'mon, you know you want a mini van.... right?
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Last Thursday was one of those days that ended with the feeling that I'm really botching things as a parent. Nap time was a fiasco, it took nearly two hours for the kids to go down! By that time, it's like, what's the point? For a few months now, the kids have gotten used to me sitting in the recliner while they go to sleep, and I've been working to end that. Nighttime has been working pretty well, but the nap is another story. So I did my nighttime routine of sitting in the chair for 5 minutes, then leaving. Immediately, Bear (who was almost asleep) rose up "mommy night night, mommy night night!"
"No, Mommy has to go downstairs now, good night" was my calm reply.
He followed me out of the room, crying and I guiltily shut the gate on him (we have a gate in the hall for stair protection). At night he has done this for just a couple minutes then goes back to bed, but not this time. And so it continued, one or the other getting up, crying.
I tried the Supernanny thing of no talking and calmly putting them back in bed (The show never talks about how your back feels after you do that 100 times!) Then I would finally get exasperated and go into the other room. But then Bear started sitting on Boo, and pushing her into the gate...essentially doing anything to get me back in there.
When you first have your baby you think "oh, I know I'll get angry sometimes, but I'll just breathe deep (or whatever)". You can't imagine that this sweet little thing would ever do anything to make you angry...or to what depths. I hate to admit this, but I'm being honest here: when I saw Bear ramming his sister against the gate, I felt so angry that I just wanted to swat him. I took everything I had not to. But I wasn't very calm. "NO! We don't do that! You get back in that bed right now!" Then I put him into bed, not very calmly.
I was tired, frustrated, exasperated and felt I was being played like a fiddle by these two kids. In hindsight, I put them down too late to begin with, so they were overtired, and I probably should have just given up on the nap, but then I imagined the late afternoon meltdowns. But I also felt that I should not give in. Oh, it's so hard to know what is the right thing to do!
They did finally fall asleep that day and didn't wake up until almost 5:00, which threw our schedule way off. But we went to the playground (like I had promised earlier) and met Daddy. Then a dinner in the mini van of Sushi for the grownups & Chicken Nuggets for the kids, and home for popcorn & Thomas the Train. Mommy needed the kind of soothing that only eating a bowl of popcorn (my vice) and sitting on the couch watching TV can give...even if it is Thomas.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I discovered over drinks during Karaoke, that my sister would like this song, "Walking in Memphis" played at her funeral. Don't worry, I didn't receive any horrible news like she has cancer or something, but she had a flash that if you never tell anyone what you want played at your funeral, then no one will know. She's got a point.
My late grandmother picked out all the songs for her funeral, most of them church hymns, but at the end of her service, she brought down the house with Ave Maria, a classic probably quite overplayed at funerals, but I was silently cheering "you go girl" as mascara streamed down my cheeks.
My sister wanted to know what I would have played....just so someone would know. My first thought was Big Iz's version of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World. A beautiful song, but now I've heard it too much on my kids lullaby cd. Then they went and used it in a Cheerios commercial, that kind of wrecked it for me. I'm not really sure what other songs I would choose, maybe some Gipsy Kings, or even Duran Duran from my highschool days (I loved them- note: past tense on the loved). A grand finale of Rideau. "Mood for Day" a classical guitar song by Steve Howe on the band Yes's Fragile album should be played. It's always been my goal to be able to play this one day, and maybe, by the time it plays at my funeral (hopefully assuming that's a long time from now) I'll know how to play it. Or rather, I knew how to play it?
And of course, Ave Maria.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Oh and did I mention my parents are on their way over for the weekend?
P.S. Thanks for all the support on that last post! Hopefully, I'm back for awhile.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
We've had two weeks of what my husband termed "hell". I don't know if I would go that far, but we've had some hellish moments. I think the top one was when I skillfully caught Bear's barf in my hands, M. and I were so relieved, then as we walked away to clean up, Boo threw up all over the floor. I actually forgot that it happened that way in my last post.
Bear continued to get sicker since my last post and ended up in the hospital on Friday the 29th with RSV. His blood oxygen levels were low, and he was dehydrated. Of course, they had to run many tests on the poor guy, multiple culture swabs up his nose (while I had to hold him wrapped up in a sheet.) Blood tests: the first time it was the finger prick, then they graduated to the needle in the arm. You haven't lived until you've had to lay on your screaming child and whisper soothing words in his ear while a man in a mask slaps a turniquet around his arm and pokes around for a vein. (Our local hospital isn't that child friendly.) As sick as Bear was, he had alot of fight in him. Luckily we were able to return home the next day, with oxygen & nebulizer treatments in tow.
Bear was better within days, and like clockwork, it was Boo's turn. She never had the breathing issues that Bear had, but she had coughing fits that would nearly always end in her throwing up.
It's so hard to convey the range of emotions that a parent can feel in a few easy-to-read blog paragraphs. Concern for your sick child, frustrated and tired getting up again in the night, guilty that you felt frustrated, pissed off that the sheets & the child you just changed are now covered in vomit, peace as you realize this is what you do. Yesterday, they both were crying and wanting to be held, but are getting so heavy now that all I could do was sit on the floor, hold them and give in to the tears myself. So much neediness-- it can be so rewarding, and sometimes so draining. But then you hold them, kiss their soft cheeks, smell their morning breath, talk to them, listen to them and whatever "hell" you've been through fades away. Isn't that what nostalgia is made of?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I also had scallops with this incredible carrot mousse, (sounds a little weird, but it's not). Out of this world! I didn't even think of taking a picture until I finished. (It's on their website though if you care to see it)
I was doing pretty good there for awhile...right? I was posting every couple days, putting up photos and everything. But then life happened. Last weekend, I was eager to post about a wonderful dinner with friends in downtown Seattle at Boka, how fun it was to get out, and how expensive, when you add in the babysitter's cut.
and now onto life...
The week started with a well child doctor visit for Bear. Gone are the days when he cheerfully and curiously poked his way around the exam room, now he's wised up and wants "out!". He continously walks to the door, "out, out", and cries when he can't go. (and cries, and cries and then cries a little more) Books, games, toys, Teletubbies on the iphone, they're just distractions from what we all know is really around the corner...a big 'ol shot.
For the next couple days he's had a little fever, a cough and was definitely out of sorts. Moaning & crying throughout the night and even throwing up all over M. (who happened to be the lucky one holding him). I thought it was side effects from the vaccination until I started getting a cough too. And then Boo started coughing. And when there's alot of coughing, with our kids, things get exciting because they start gagging: two mornings in a row , we've had throwing up in stereo, and when it's curdled milk, it's not pretty. Sorry, I know that's probably too much information, but too bad, I've had to live it!
So that's where we are. Boo is asleep yet after another cough-upchuck spell and Bear is lying in my lap moaning and getting tired of my typing. Time to go.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Here's a preview. Chambourde on the left, the competitor on the right--a no go.