Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gobble, Gobble.

My Mom sent this to me this morning... not sure what she is trying to say, but I laughed a little anyways.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



A man in New York City calls his son in Phoenix the day before Thanksgiving and says, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop! What are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father replied. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick about talking about this so YOU call your sister in Chicago and YOU can tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this!!"

She calls New York immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Do NOT do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then , don't do a single thing, do you hear me!?!" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "It's all set," he says, "the kids are coming for Thanksgiving ... and they're paying their own way."


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Housework Can Suck

... but not quite as bad when you are the proud owner of one of these little beauties:

I know, I know. Its purple. I've made peace with that. In fact, I've already affectionately nicknamed her "The Purple Fecal Eater."

I have already come to realize the magic and power and majesty to behold in a Dyson, as my Mom has graciously 'shared' hers with me for the past year (and by 'share,' I mean, she borrows it from me sometimes...).

I figured it was finally time to cut the vacuum cord and get my own.

Tyson (iloveyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyouILOVEYOU!!!) found this little beauty for me online. I am a little apprehensive about that fact that its refurbished, although it does come with a 90 day warranty, and the savings ($220, shipped) will be well worth it as long as it doesn't, well, bite the dust in the figurative sense before its time.

The Dyson refurbs still come with outstanding performance and durability ratings.

Since I bought it before the end of the year, it will be a lovely business write off (see how easy it is to justify my spending habits? I have almost convinced myself not to feel too guilty... almost).

Still, guilt or no guilt... refurbished or not...I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Adore 4

I am so in love with my 4 year old boy.

I closed down the daycare shop last Friday, on November 14th, the fourth anniversary of the day I changed forever.

It was a fantastic day even then... but I think so far, its gotten a little bit better every year since.

We started our day like this:

This is the face he stood frozen in for the longest time, staring in disbelief at THIS:

Then, we had some health food for breakfast (4 chocolate doughnut holes, with vanilla yogurt, hot cocoa, and some banana).

Then, we put the finishing touches on these little beauties we decorated special to take to his preschool friends.

It was adorable, Dawson felt SO special. I want to go back and watch the whole thing happen again. Is that what video taping is for? Hmmmm. Whoopsey daisy.

Miss Elaine gave him his prized birthday hat, which clearly meant a lot to him.

I didn't take pictures, but I feel compelled to mention that I don't typically get many opportunities to take my kids to the Dr unless I schedule and maneuver WAY ahead of time to make it happen (that's what Grandparents and Aunties are for apparently, thank the Lord).
That said, it occurred to me the Monday before his birthday to call and see if I could get him in for his 4 year well check up appointment on Friday... But not too early, not too late, and not during nap time, so basically it was a total long shot.
It happened. Perfectly.
I felt kind of bad having to take Dawson to get a flu shot and a check up on his birthday, but as mentioned in my previous post, the kids were actually looking forward to it. (Little psychos.)
And not only did neither of them shed a single tear, but Dawson actually begged and pleaded with the Dr to let him go first (in an ooo, ooo! pick me, pick me! kind of way, not a shivelrous, sacrificial lamb kind of way). He looked a little betrayed when they poked him in the leg initially, but I reminded him of the sticker on the way out the door, and he was back on cloud nine before the band aid was applied.
I love them.
Oh, and Dawson was tested hearing and eyesight for kindergarten already, and apparently we need to go see an eye doctor... but I am putting good thoughts (for good insurance and/or good eyesight!) into the universe, so I am not too worried (haha). He is also in the 75th percentile for height at 41.5 inches tall. Atta boy.
Anyway, we came home, the kids took a "rest" although Dawson was a little too excited to even consider closing his eyes, and I cleaned up and reset the shop for party time.
His campfire cake turned out decent... after all, he is 4. And it is home made... by an amateur that always screws up important birthday cakes, so... considering its not charred black or caved in and nothing is spelled wrong, I think we made out OK.

This was a cute idea I found on a website for party ideas, to make 'bug juice' out of Gatorade with floating plastic bugs inside. The kids liked it.

And Ty is (of course) Super dad (again/still/always), for rushing straight home in a blaze of fire to dive in with both hands and set up an entire outdoor entertainment center for his little boy and the neighbor kids.
Thanks for making that happen, Tyson. And for the cutest little 4 yr old camper boy I ever laid eyes on.

I spent part of the afternoon hiding teensey lil creatures all over the backyard...

So our party started off with a big bad bug hunt.

And Dawson could NOT take his mind off the presents from the moment the kids started arriving with packages of joy and wonder. I have NO idea where he gets that from, ha.
So, next we HAD to open presents (there was a meltdown brewing at the thought of anything else besides...)

Followed by an impromptu balloon fight dance par-tay with lots of high pitched squeally little girls like all good balloon fight dance par-tays should have...

And THEN, we headed back outside for a campfire story custom made just for this special birthday event by (again) Super dad himself.
The roasted marshmallows kept the kids mouths stuck shut and it was dead quiet the entire time (not that your story wasnt completely and totally compelling and not at all predictable, dear... ;) ).

THIS is me, bringing Dawson his campfire cake, and all the kids singing and watching in anticipation for the birthday wishes that were about to be breathed into life that he had been thinkin and dreaming on all year...

And THIS is me opening a can of momma bear whop-ass and Dawson staring in utter disdain at the smirky little gremlin beaming across the table (ahem, ANABELLE!!), who in one instant managed to lean across and blow those 4 little flames that symbolized an entire year of hopes and dreams right out of sight for the sad little birthday boy. She looked like she had been planning it all along.

And then, at long last, it was time. And we all headed out to the tent with every eligible sleeping bag and flashlight in the kingdom... and everyone piled in for an exclusive showing of the Adventures of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Everyone went home tired and happy, and they all lived happily ever after.
The End.

OH, I almost forgot, this was Dawson's favorite birthday card, he sleeps with it under his pillow every night. Its from his Grammy, and it sings the Star Wars theme song when you open it.
He sat at the table and made a replica of Yoda on the front with his new crayons from Auntie Carly the first chance he got... and I thought it turned out pretty good!

Guess I shouldn't be all that surprised, tho. After all, he is four years old now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things That Are Currently Burning My Biscut

(prepare for rant).


There have been swarms, swarms I say, of fruit flies buzzing around my house, up my nose, and into my my morning coffee in this house for days. I am NOT exaggerating (which I know I sometimes do).


At first, it was just in the kitchen. We keep a fruit basket out on the counter, so my first plan of attack was to dispose of the source. When that didn't work, we looked on the Internet and found some helpful little home remedies such as putting rotting banana and balsamic vinegar in a bowl with saran wrap over the top with little holes so they can fly in, but not out.

Yah, they pretty much just fly in... and then have a big giant rotting food orgy and fly right back out. So now, I have fruit flies that have outlived their normal life expectancy of 24 hours by, like, 5 days because when life is THAT good, WHO WOULD EVER DIE!?!?!?!?

Now they are all over the house, including the bathroom (how friggin disgusting and downright embarrassing is THAT?!). Tyson just got the vacuum out and sucked a half dozen or so down before they all dispersed back to their mysterious rendezvous point to plan their next attack on my limited remaining supply of human sanity.

I do NOT know what to do, but if I find in my cereal... Im not exactly sure what the outcome will be, but it will most definitely be against the law.

Any suggestions out there?

(For ridding the house of fruit flies, not for ways to release the rage that are against the law).

Second, I would just like to say I love my husband very very dearly.

But tonight, I would like to lock him in the oven and see how HE likes to be burned.

I spent the entirety of nap time cleaning the kitchen, and pre-making dinner (which I often do), so that I could load the kids in the car the moment the last daycare kid leaves and hit the gym in hopes of being home in time to still have dinner and spend time as a family together before the kids are off to bed.

Today, I got extra ambitious and decided to try making home made bread to go with our soup. Ive always wanted to try it, I don't know whats taken me so long. I love the way fresh baked bread smells in the oven, and I love to cook, so whats the hold up, right?

I don't know. It always seemed like a lot of work. And now, I know this to be true first hand, it was a lot of work and not to mention a lot of time! Waiting for butter to cool, yeast to get creamy (ewwwww!), dough to rise, dough to get punched and rise again, dough to get cut and rise yet a third time, and finally to bake. AND, I must say I happen to be in pretty decent shape at the moment, and I actually broke a sweat kneading for eight minutes straight.

Hard work.

But it was fun, and I could.not.wait. to get home from the gym and eat my tasty little warm pieces of love handle hot from the oven.

I left a note on the counter, "Hi Dear, were at the gym, soup in the fridge, just put on the stove to warm and please put the rolls in the oven at 400 for 12-14 minutes. Thanks!"

I guess my handwriting must have been illegible, because for some reason I think Tyson read "please put rolls in oven for 400 minutes."

That is to say... BURNT.


Top it off, you say?

He thinks its funny that Im this perturbed over it.

Next time, he is SOOOOOOO kneading the dough.

See if I ever trust him with putting buns in my oven ever again.

That'll teach him.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Like a Needle in my Heart

Anabelle has been ready for quite some time now to spread her little butterfly wings outside the confines of her own living room and journey into the blessed germ-infested and bad habit ridden environment we like to call preschool.

About 6 months ago, every time we would get off the freeway and make a turn toward our neighborhood, she would burst into hysterics and sob "IIIII DOOONNNT WANNNN GOOOOOO HOOOOMMMMMMEEE!! thru huge crocodile tears as if someone had just ripped the head off her favorite baby doll or something. Heading home is a practical death sentence to her!

We thought it was just a phase, but I think SIX MONTHS is a pretty stinking long phase, if you ask me.

I would understand it if we were coming home from, say, Disneyland, or the park, or somewhere else magical and fun filled. But it happens when we make a quick trip to Trader Joe's, for crying out loud.

I know every parent tends to analyze their children's behaviors, and perhaps out of guilt even blame themselves for some obscurity it could be attributed to, but I honestly think the best conclusion that can be drawn from this is just that she spends SO much time at home, and she is SO socially inclined that she craves even the brief stimulation she gets from the strangers in line ahead of us at Target.

Plus, she watches in wonder and slight jealousy as Dawson skips off with his cool lunchbox into the neighbor's car every morning, headed off to some great adventure she is excluded from.

The kids are only 14 mos apart, however, because of the months that their birthday's fall under in terms of the California educational system, Dawson will (hopefully) start kindergarten as a 4 year old next September, and Anabelle will be two whole grades behind him.

Because of the fact that she will have extra time to attend preschool than he will have had, and also because of the fact that its WAYYYYYYYYYY too expensive to have two kids in even part time preschool when I am home all day and fully capable of caring for them, she will just have to wait her turn until the Fall. (I know, meanest Mom award, AGAIN).

Anyways, all of that said, it still doesn't solve the issue of Anabelle's hatred for being ball and chained to her own dungeon of a home life in the mean time.

Recently, Rachel Hunter has been an absolute SAINT, and once a week she has been taking Anabelle to gymnastics along with her OWN two children (she's as crazy as I am!!!). Anabelle LOVES going, and talks about it constantly.

She also has become obsessed with going to 'KidsClub,' which is the daycare at the Gym. She asks me first thing every morning if I am planning to go to the gym that day, and treats me as a best friend or worst enemy for the rest of the morning depending on the response I give her. Goes to show how important it is to get out of the house to her (or what a huge attitude issue she has, either way).

Dawson turns 4 tomorrow, and it occurred to me yesterday that I hadn't scheduled his 4 year old checkup with the pediatrician. I took the day off Friday, so I called on a whim to see if I could squeeze him in then, and also hopefully get both the kids a flu shot ("Guess what you're getting for your birthday this year Dawsie?! A SHOT!!!").

By some miracle, YES, they did have one appointment left, the kids could both be seen, and at the perfect time of day to allow us to fit all our previously scheduled activities in as well (don't you LOVE when sometimes things actually work out as planned?!).

When I hung up the phone, Anabelle asked "Who was that you were talking to on the phone, Mama?" (noooosey, I know!)

I told her it was the Dr. and that I had to make an appointment for Dawson, then I hesitated while I decided whether or not to break the bad news to the kids in advance.

I decided to prepare them.

"Anabelle, on Friday before we go to Dawson's school and give our friends their cupcakes, we have to go to the Dr. They are going to give you a shot, like a poke in your arm, and then you will get a band aide and a sticker..."

I don't even think she heard the last part about the band aide and sticker, for she was off down the hall in a cloud of dust, and re appeared a half second later frantically fumbling to pull her shoes on."


So, yah. I think she officially prefers contact with the outside world- even if that means being tortured with needles- over the company of her own mother.

I love the warm and tingly feelings of motherhood.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let the Festivities BEGIN!

My tiny little 7lb 14oz baby boy is turning FOUR on Friday.


As in... this time next year, we will be doing kindergarten homework at the kitchen table (lets hope I can keep up!).

We wanted to help Dawson celebrate without going all out (bounce houses, petting zoos... party rentals... GAH!).

We thought long and hard (thats what she said), and finally came up with the idea of a back yard camping/outdoors themed movie night for just the kids on the block.

Tyson is setting up a movie and the tent out back, we are roasting hot dogs over the fire pit, the kids are 'hunting bugs' (plastic ones that I will hide), I am making a campfire cake and cupcakes with "dirt and worms" on top, and I think we might even get a 'ghost story' out of our dear old Dad to top it all off.

We spent the weekend crafting these invites up. Thank heaven for our artistic Daddy, who hand cut the tent out... or we would have had a naked nature scene on the front of a black card! It was quite the group project:

When they were all finished and the kitchen table was officially trashed, we bundled up and headed down the block to disburse our handiwork to the neighbor kids. How adorable are they?

My parents were kind enough to offer an early birthday dinner celebration in Dawson's honor, so after we had worked up quite an appetite handing out all our little projects, we headed down to Big Bubba's Bad BBQ for some grub with the fam.

Dawson could.not.wait. to ride the bull. He couldn't sit still, he was SO annoyed that he had to order his stinking dinner before we could walk over for a ride (oh, plus I needed a margarita, te-hee), and then... he was terrified. I even climbed on with him (In a skirt, at that! I know, SUCH a damsel), but noooooooo no no no no NO, he wanted off, NOW.

So, little lady Belle and her Papa took the reigns and rode to the death with high pitched squeals and laughter all the way. Motion sick MY SPURS! Go figure.

Dawson didn't mind being shown how to ride by his baby sister... because there were presents. Ahhh, Mommys boy.

And speaking of damsels... check out Anabelle riding into town on these here RIBS! (She's probably going to hate me for this when she's 15...)

Ahhh, Anabelle. "Be A LADY!" as your Auntie Carly would say.

Bubba's Birthday crew never disappoints, and the evening was ended with a giant 'cow pie," from which Dawson eagerly plucked the candle from and tucked away into the secret compartment of his new wallet from his grandparents.

He spent the day with his Grammy yesterday as he is fighting a cold, and she tells me she lit the candle three different times for him so he could "make more birthday wishes."

I hope one of them was for a bigger bike... because that's what his Mom and Dad are giving him on Friday.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crazed Little Lumberjack

On Friday night we got home past the kid's bedtimes after a family redneck outing (free fast food dinner and a trip to WalMart).

Anabelle fell right asleep, but Tyson and I spent extra time lingering in bed with Dawson for a snuggle after our usual bedtime ritual of jammies and prayers.

He was just about asleep in our arms when suddenly his eyes FLEW open and he hypnotically asks me

"Mom, when are we getting our Christmas tree?"

I answered that Christmas is after Thanksgiving, which is after his birthday next week, and we will go pick out our tree soon after Thanksgiving is over.



"After we choose our tree, how do we chop it down?"

Immediately I realized he was picturing the live Christmas tree lot down the street filled several rolling acres of all different varieties of Charlie Brown evergreen trees ranging from saplings to full grown sequoias growing straight out of the ground. I think he's mentioned it maybe one time in the years we've driven past it, but he had it tucked away in his memory and knew its exact purpose.

I answered that when the time comes to pick out our tree, the man who works at the lot will let us use a saw to cut down the tree.

"How big is the saw, Mom? Is it... this big?"

(holds up hands a short distance apart)

"No, its bigger than that. More like this big."

(pull his hands further apart)


More chuckling.


More thinking.


"Mom, is it dangerous to use the saw and cut down the tree?"

"Oh, yes. Very, very dangerous."

Chuckling turns to giggles.



More thinking.

"Mom, when its time, do you think I can help cut down the tree?"

"Mmmmm, I think that would be ok...."

Aaaand, that does it.

Immediately the giggles turn to hysterical, rolling, raging, uncontrolable laughter.

Tyson and I had to leave the room, he could not for the life of him pull it back together to get to sleep.

I think someone is getting excited for the most wonderful time of the year.

That, or his evil plan is finally falling into place...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh What A Beautiful Day

Yesterday we hit the parental jackpot.

Tyson's (insane) sister OFFERED to take the kids to church with her for the morning.

And, Tyson's parents OFFERED to watch the kids for the afternoon so we could catch a matinee.
Then, they made us dinner.

To Auntie Carly, who the kids (rightfully!) worship and adore. Its amazing how comforting the sound of silence can be. I almost forgot it could be possible! Oh, and a medal of bravery and courage for taking them ALONE. Who are we kidding, THEY ARE WORK, particularly in pairs.
Second, to the grandparents, who always insist it is their pleasure to sacrifice their own well deserved peace and quiet on the weekends to spend time in the company of their grandchildren. I know the kids will have a childhood filled with many beautiful memories of making "Jamba Juice" and jumping in huge piles of freshly raked leaves at their Grammie's house. Their happiness is priceless to me, I couldn't imagine parenting being as much fun without the reinforcements we have.
And finally... nothing makes me appreciate how much I love and miss my husband for our lost time together like spending a few hours in his company. He is (almost) always easy and fun to be with, and though I love our kids with my whole heart I really miss seeing Tyson and enjoying the luxury of being his wife alone without all the chaos that comes with the territory of parenting thing one and thing two.

Maybe a day will come again where we can just sit and sip our morning coffee and read the paper in casual conversation...
In the mean time, let the blissful madness resume, for I have caught a second win after a perfect day off like yesterday.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Halloweenies.

Phew, what a weekend.

The Halloween festivities officially began last Thursday evening, when we had our annual pumpkin slaughtering festivities. The kids were SUUUUUPER bored with the idea of it all...

I practically had to scrape them off the ceiling when they realized the extent of the wonder of it all.

Dawson got really expressive when describing to his daddy just how he wanted the face on his spooky pumpkin to look... he kept making this face over and over... "Like THIS dad! Make it scary, like THIS!"

Anabelle was really excited about slicing them open... cutest lil psychopath I've ever seen...

Dawson hated scooping out the guts with his fingers... he kept sticking his hands in, grabbing a scoop of insides, and then squealing "MOOOOOM!!! Can you please wipe my hands now?" I bet I used a whole box of wipes. I love me a tidy man... I guess I shouldn't complain.

Anabelle loved being dirty, and especially loved being a social butterfly with some of her favorite people...

Even Uncle Kyle made an appearance. The kids loved it.

That night, after the kids went to bed, Ty and I crept into their rooms and hung their costumes up for them to find when they woke up. As I mentioned before, they had no idea they were getting new dress up outfits, so they were really surprised. Anabelle ended up in our bed sometime during the night, so she didn't see her costume right away, but Dawson came stumbling into our bedroom a little before sunrise with a grin the size of the grand canyon stretched across his face.

I greeted him good morning, and asked him if he knew what day it was, and he giggled his cute little giggle and whispered "Will you tell me?" I answered that today was the day he had been waiting for, Halloween... and then asked him who he thought he was going to dress up like, and he looked up and shouted "SUUUUUPERMAN!!!!! I SAW IT HANGING IN MY ROOM, and i TOUCHED it, and IT HAS A CAPE, COME AND SEEEEEEE!!!"

Aaaaand, then little Stinkerbelle saw that she was the tag along... but I don't think she minded...

The rest of the day was filled with temporary tattoos,

Photo ops,

Home made SLIME,

Pumpkin painting,


Parading every child I know around the neighborhood (now you can all see why half the time I'm certifiably INSANE!),

OH, and then, just in case nobody had avoided rotting their pearly white baby teeth, we had some more SUGAR.

There was also a guest appearance by Little Bo Peep (Ok, how freaking adorable is Carly in my old prom dress. I knew I saved it for a reason!!!):

After the kids all left and we were waiting for Dad to get home, the kids put their costumes back on and headed outside to wait with the neighbor kids. Brielle was super girl also... how freaking adorable are these little supers?:

We hit the carnival across the street where there were LOTS of FREE games and prizes and candy... Dawson actually remembered this game from last year (I know I shouldn't be surprised, but seriously! He wasn't even three years old! The kid NEVER FORGETS ANYTHING!)

After the carnival, we hit the street and Superman and I worked the neighborhood hand in hand it was so sweet id say it was almost the same as soaring over a city in the arms of a hero...

That is, until THIS little princess swooped in and STOLE MY SPOT!

That's right, we ran into the Hammies, worked the last part of the block with our friends and neighbors, and Dawson took hold of Kailee's hand and walked ahead of us the rest of the time just chatting about the night, the costumes, the candy... REAL LIVE BIG KID STUFF! It blew my mind, and made me realize how fleeting these moments really are.

I'm trying not to blink, or I'm afraid it will be prom night when I open my eyes.

We got home WAY past bedtime, sticky... filthy... and exhausted... but not too exhausted to WALLOW in the LOOT! (I showed the kids the proper way to sort and distribute the candy... one for you, TWO for Mom...)

So, yah. I'd say it was a success. The kids had a blast, they ate WAY too much sugar. Its funny, our kids NEVER get sweets like that, EVER. So when they had a night (ok, and mayyyybe the next morning for breakfast too) of free-for-all candy binging... well, lets just say I think as far as they're concerned they have lived their little lives to the fullest and can officially die happy.

And now all that's left is channeling every ounce of will power that's in me to NOT eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cups for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack for the rest of the season. And that's NO small task. But this year, Dawson knows how to count the inventory. I'm trying hard to remember that... oops, gotta run, I think I hear a Snickers bar calling me...