Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Anabelle Lee is Dawson's VP

Anabelle (sitting on kitchen counter as we baked cookies): "Momma, where is Barrack Obama at?"

Me: "He's in Washington DC at the White House."

Anabelle (annoyed at my ignorance): "NO, he's NOT, Momma. He's in the car on Daddy's radio!"

Can't argue with that.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Key Lime

Over the weekend, I made this.


I think I found my new summer crush.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"...and THATS A Daffodill!"

I read this little morsel about Daffodils in this month's Trader Joe's newsletter, and in honor of Springtime, flowers, and all things happy I thought it was worth a post.

"According to classical Greek lore, Narcissus was a beautiful youth who became so enthralled with his own reflection that he fell into a pool, whereupon the gods turned him into a Narcissus flower, otherwise knows s a Daffodil."

As a kid, my mom would take me on walks and name all the wildflowers and plants for me as we meandered. Some of my favorites included bottle brush, Queen Anne's 'shoe' lace (as Im told I liked to call it), and of course daffodils.

She taught me this little rhyme to distinguish daffodils from other blooms that are about this time of year, and I thought it was so lovely I still remember the first time I heard it. It brings me such joy to pass this poem along to my own children now, who seem to share my love and my mother's love for nature and all the different varieties of wildflowers that are native to our area this time of year.

The saying says:

A little yellow cup,
A little yellow frill,
A little yellow star,
and THATS a daffodill!

Hope your day is filled with lovely, and that you take time to enjoy the bloom of Spring. It puts me in a good mood just thinking about it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beautiful People, Beautiful Things

So I've had a tough couple weeks.

I'd like to believe I'm not feeling too sorry for myself... but I know reality is that we all have our moments of self pity.

I think my silver lining in all of the turbulence (aside from knowing God is faithful, and still having our health) is just again seeing all of the amazing women that have been placed in my life that are constant examples, encouragement, and inspiration.

Not to say this is the only way to show love to a friend, or that it makes all the worries disappear, but I just wanted to acknowledge that within a single week I have gotten FOUR bunches of flowers.

The first were from Kari, who is just sweet, and happens to know I adore me some daffodil...

(Sorry they look a little sad now... unfortunately I didnt capture the essence in time and sadly they just don't last forever).

The next were from Sylvia, who sent me a birthday bouquet a couple short weeks ago, and was appalled that the flowers she had ordered from an online picture of a beautiful bunch in a glass vase arrived in a box that I had to self trim ON MY BIRTHDAY (ohhh, the atrocity of it all!).

She then actually took the time to call the company and suggest their photo was a smidge misleading and they offered to resend me flowers of her choice for the misunderstanding.

Next thing I knew these lovely tulips arrived from the delivery man!:

The third were from my little brother's sweet girlfriend Jessica after I may have had had a slight nervous breakdown on the phone with KJ that morning when I couldn't find my keys and I smacked my head on my mom's car door in a moment of panic so hard I saw stars and Tweedy birds. I guess he told her I was having a day (week/month/year?), and next thing I knew I was holding these little hand delivered beauties:

And the last... were from Tyson. Lets just say the doghouse was getting hard to sleep in.

Thanks to all of my girlfriends so much for filling my life with hope and love and my home with the cheer of Springtime.


Lastly (how could I almost forget!?), my sweet Dawsie Bug (who is such a sweetheart and adores giving things to his Mommy to make her happy) picked this little wildflower at the park for me, and then insisted on taking my picture with it.

Not bad for an amateur photographer, if I may say so!:

I have so many good things to live for, and good people to live with.

I am truly a rich woman... and I have the floral arrangements to prove it.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Some kids want breakfast the second their feet hit the floor in the morning.

Some kids want to sit on the couch in a fog and be ignored until they come to terms with their day.

MY kids pop up, demand their cocoa (always with perfect manners, naturally), and then set straight to work solving the quadratic formula and looking for natural remedies to help soothe arthritis for the elderly.

OK, maybe not quite. But they DO like their cocoa first thing... and they ARE morning people. Like their Mom! (See, Tyson... Dawson isn't ALL of your genes... theres no denying I'm in there somewhere too!).

Sunday Dawson shot out of bed bright and early as usual, and sat on the counter chatting away while I warmed his milk and stirred in the shot of sugar-free-sorry-excuse-for-chocolate-goo.

He decided to pass the time as he waited sounding out the following words, and writing each and every letter articulately as a brain surgeon... by memory! I swear there were still sleepy boogers in his eyes, I was so shocked at his ingenuity I almost dropped the faux-cocoa.

The boy is barely 4.

He is sounding out every word he sees. He read aloud "Food4Less" in the grocery store a couple weeks ago. He guessed each and every letter of our last name perfectly as I sounded it out for him.

Also? They boy is an artist (I know, Ive already bragged on this one before but I thought this picture he made in Sunday school was the most adorable thing...):

He is crying... but has a happy face 'because Jesus makes him happy when he is feeling sad.'

Break my heart, why don't you?

With all his many talents, theres just no doubting this kid will soar...

Lets just pray he capitalizes on one of his intellectual abilities and saves the record spinning and slapstick comedy act for his night job to help pay the Dartmouth tuition tab.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Crappy" Birthday Retraction

That's right. I'm behind in saying so, but I actually did have a great birthday after all, despite all my greatest efforts not to.

I am posting on this day as a reminder to myself for next year, when I start to crawl underground in preparation for the looming cloud of darkness, that when you have such a great group of family and friends in your life, theres really not a lot to complain about (even a birthday).

My first birthday love of the day was from my family (Tyson) left on the kitchen table... for garden season is just around the bend and that, friends, is my favorite time of year...

My fabulous in-laws also funded my veggie garden and bought me a lovely little garden gnome (bet you didn't think such a thing existed! NEITHER DID I, but I love him, I MUST name him and post on him later!). I can't wait for the last frost so I can get digging already!

My Mom stopped by with a sweet card and a 'new running shoes' allowance. I already bought them, they rule... theys my magic shoes (and, they're purdy too!).

The rest of the day included not one, but TWO birthday cakes, one custom made from my fabulous friend and neighbor, the cake goddess of my universe,the one and only Alyssa Bright of Incredible Edibles (buttercream frosting with lemon cake... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ate all of. Want more of.)

And THIS little beauty (complete with curly party ribbons and yellow daffodil candles) was created by my sweet , lovely, dear mother-in-law and went fantastically with our lasagna dinner. Scrumptious!

The rest of the day included other fabulous presents from fabulous people at random:

Flowers from people I love (thanks, Sylvia!)

A nice brisk jog with my wonderful sister, a beer with the girls at the end of the evening... and watching the lovelies having the time of their lives taking an all natural mud bath in the world's most giant puddle in an empty lot next to our house.

Saturday I had the pleasure of a girl's day out (completely birthday un-related where people happened to still be saying and doing nice things that happen to coincide loosely with the same-ish time of year....)

We hit Sephora for some makeup madness,

and headed out to a couple local wineries to find some trouble.

Yup. We found it.

We finished up the evening with a lovely dinner at our neighborhood bar and grill. And I came home with a headache... just as planned.

Rachel bought my dinner, Stephanie funded my Urban Decay fetish, and there was also a wide assortment of birthday mail/emails/facebook love notes and packages that trickled in in the days directly following.

All of my dreams came true, and I have the best people EVER in my life.

Thanks for loving me so much, guys!

Even on my birthday.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Chivelry is NOT dead.

So since we are watching our pennies these days I've resorted to grocery shopping exclusively at Food4Less.

At the cost of revealing the alter ego of high maintenance spoiled brat' that lies within me... its been next to torture.

I despise the layout, they don't carry half the things I consider weekly necessities (case and point: fat free half and half for morning coffee. WTF!?), and then, to add insult to injury... just when you have made it thru the labyrinth of darkness and you can almost see the light of hope at the end of the checkout stand... You get to BAG YOUR OWN GROCERIES with two toddlers who are absolutely DONE with the entire shopping experience and looking for mischief.

Unfortunately... it IS less expensive and so I keep going back... every week...

This Sunday I was fortunate enough to get a shining moment of opportunity to sneak out the door for a shop without the kids while they were resting. Since it was right after church, my mother in law was in town and came along because I'm needy like that and I like to shop with other people who don't make a habit of using my sleeve to wipe their nose or shrieking when I don't pay and extra dollar fifty for the crackers with Dora on the front of the box.

When we got to the check out I felt slightly less anxious about the dreaded grocery bagging drill since I knew I wouldn't need to stop and look over my shoulder every third item bagged to make sure the candy display wasn't tipped over on top of a senior citizen in the next lane over at the hands of one of my terrible two.

But since I am emotionally scarred for life from such past experiences, I still began to cringe at the thought.

I ended up swapping lines just before check out to a lane that had a man with fewer items than the customer I was behind. Ann was still in the old line and asked if I thought she should swap also.

Me and my smart mouth... I said just loud enough for the whole line ahead of me to hear... "Oh, that's OK, stay where you are because I'm going to get this guy ahead of me to bag my groceries for me so you won't have to do it."

I meant it to be a joke, thinking Ann would go "ha ha, as if i would bag your groceries you lazy excuse for a daughter in law" (cuz were passive-aggressive like that), and the guy ahead of me would overhear and chuckle and say something friendly like 'why would I help an able bodied single woman like yourself you lazy excuse for a human soul' and we would all walk away feeling good about ourselves.

Ann got her laugh in right on cue as expected... but to my disappointment... the man ahead of me didn't look up!

Oh well.

But then, as I finished putting all my items on the belt and reached for my purse to swipe my card before heading down to the bagging station of dread, I glanced up and noticed the guy putting my things in his bags.... wait a minute...

Oh, no. No, no, no.... not HIS bags... MY bags!

He is putting my things in my bags!

He is bagging MY GROCERIES!

And now at a better look, he is a totally kind looking soul, with a wedding band proudly displayed on his finger for all to see, probably doing his wife's honey-do shopping on a Sunday after church... and all the while making sure to take time to smell roses, help old ladies across the street, rescue kittens from treetops, and teach the smarty pants behind him in line at the grocery store a lesson about opening her big fat mouth!

He bagged every.single.item.

I immediately turned beet red, broke into a sweat... muttered something to Ann about 'look at what is happening right now...' who then made some comment I can't recall that drew the attention of the checker who was 'so touched by his kindness and couldn't believe he was a total stranger who didn't even know me!' while I stood by not knowing whether to burst into tears and run away and hide or throw my arms around him and offer to name my (non existent and never-to-be) third child after him...

I think I might have managed to thank him... being extra careful never to make eye contact of course...


Note to self on lessons learned:

1. Be careful what you wish for (will I ever, ever learn this??)

2. Watch your mouth, stupid!

3. Try not to live life like you are the helpless victim for a random act of kindness in the next volume of "Chicken Soup for the Soul..." and if you are auditioning for the role at least make sure you have your children with you so you look less pitiful and more deserving while doing it.

4. I can't wait for the recession to end so I can go back to my fabulous life of the luxury of shopping at VONS where the high school boys are paid fairly to bag my groceries.


5. Chivalry is not dead... its just extremely rare and shockingly difficult to receive.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

...and evidently that stands out at day one.

Anabelle got a fever over the weekend. On Saturday night she woke up in the middle of the night and called out. I didn't even hear it, Tyson ran to her rescue and then told me the next morning she was running a fever, so he gave her a shot of Tylenol and she flipped over and went back to sleep, then slept in Sunday morning. When she came out, she was happy as can be with the exception of a snot trickle. We got my parents to watch her so we wouldn't infect the whole Sunday school class at church (see, I do have discretion!), and by the end of the day we figured she was as good as new aside from the green monster leaking out of her brain here and there.

On Monday (see previous blog entry) I went back and forth on whether she could go to school, but since she was happy and begging to go and snot free for the first couple hours of the morning, I sent her. Before I sent the kids off, I noticed Dawson's finger had become infected from a splinter I tried to remove on Friday but apparently had not successfully done so.

I bribed him with a ring pop I found stashed in the cupboard leftover from Halloween so he would be a trooper and sit still so I could drain the wound and get what was left of it before he developed gangrene and CPS showed up on my doorstep. Of course to make it fair, I had another sucker stashed and I allowed Dawson to offer it to his sister so she wouldn't feel left out at the end of the ordeal. I told them they could have one lick before school, but save the most of it for when they got home after lunch. They both eagerly ripped off the package and ran for the kitchen table where they sat side by side arguing about whose was bigger (that's what she said, but STAY WITH ME), and out of the corner of my eye I watched Dawson lean over and take a giant slurp off Anabelle's ring.


The damage was done, Dawson broke into a fever exactly 12 hours later. His version of the same exact illness was... well, lets just say I'm tempted to buy a long term care policy for my toddler boy.

Tyson went in to cover him up before we went to sleep after 10pm like he does every night. He had just crawled into bed and turned out the light when a godawful screech came from his bedroom. We ran down the hall with our ears bleeding all over the carpet and the glass shattering out of the windows, and sure enough... let it be heard, oh quiet village of Atascadero!

Dawson now has a matching low grade fever.

We got him Tylenol. We got him water. We closed his closet door, assured him there was no 'buzzing sound' in his brain (he says this every night), changed him into cooler jamies, found all 3 blankets he can't sleep without, turned the bathroom and hall light back on... and finally went back to bed.

He woke up again here and there just to let us know he was still uncomfortable in his own special way until about 2am, when I finally wised up and gave him some 'sleepy cough syrup' along with his second dose of Tylenol. And then he decided to get a good night's sleep.

Unfortunately, about that time Anabelle started to get restless. She heard me rummaging around in the bathroom to get the humidifier and sat up in bed. She asked for the special breathing machine so she could feel better. I told her no, that it was Dawson's turn because now he was sick (because of your stuuuuupid lollipop, brat! ha ha) but NO, apparently karma was rearing its ugly head at me for something horrible I must have done at some point... she kept insisting she "needed it! BUT ITS MIIINE!!"

Finally I went back to bed... and she followed me. She always tries for his side of the bed first because 1. I was smart enough to request the side furthest from the door when we delegated sleeping arrangements for that very reason and 2. he is a HUGE sucker and almost always lets her. But this time, I was awake and pointed out that she was going to breathe snot germs in his face all night... this seemed to make sense to Sargent softy, and he put her back.

THEN she started crying. I knew something was wrong, because she NEVER does this. I went in to negotiate, and she started saying how something was in her ear. Uhhhh-oh. Infection.

I propped her up and made her comfortable, more drugs... but she kept tossing and turning in her room, I could hear that she was restless and not asleep tho she stayed in bed crying out every so often until about 5:30am when it was time for me to wake up and she drifted peacefully back to dreamland.

Oh, sleepless nights! How I despise thee.

I called and scheduled a doctor appointment first thing yesterday for Anabelle, just in case she had the infection I suspected. I almost cancelled it when she woke up and acted like I was crazy when I asked her how she was feeling. She said her ear didn't hurt anymore. I thought I'd be safe and send her anyways, and my wonderful Mom took her in for me.

For Dawson, I assumed he could lay low for the morning, hang out in his jammies, and watch TV in his room (we have a small one in the guest bedroom that we move on special occasions, like when he is sick and we don't want the whole house infected!).

He woke up fever free, but I told him we were having a quiet day, he could stay in his jammies if he wanted (he loves this) and watch movies and color in bed.

He lit up like he won the lottery jackpot. He quickly rattled off his demand of movies, coloring books, activities he would like to try from bed (cars, play dough, Legos... ugh), and then asked me ... are you ready?!?!?...

"... and where's that special tray with the tractors on it?" (I bought one of those 'homework stands' at the kid thrift store last summer, its never been used).

"Could you bring me my breakfast in my bed on that tray, please?"

Meanwhile, Anabelle comes home with a 'raging ear infection' and an enormous dose of antibiotics, while Dawson sprints thru the house at the speed of light all day long terrorizing innocent citizens, and then insisting he is 'sick' and so he needs" ______."

All I can say is... although Venus is a WAY better sick patient, funny how despite the fact that its alien territory and I'll never understand the science of it all, in some way its nice to know Mars depends on me so much. And my universe would not be complete without both of them in it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Prince Charming And A Snotty Little Princess

Call it bad parenting, but today... I sent Anabelle to preschool with a snot nose.

It was only the third day of the Hounds program, and since it is for just three short months, they make it pretty clear that its not desirable for your kid to stay home when avoidable. She fought a cold all weekend but woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning... and then started to trickle just a smidgen right before she left. She kept insisting she felt "GOOD!" and then at the mere mention of staying home with her wicked witch of a mother she captivated me with those oh-so-sweet "please don't crush my hopes and dreams and one chance at early admittance into a Ive League school by denying me my third day of preschool, please please please mommy!" eyes...

So I sent her.

When the kids came home, they bounced thru the front door with arm loads of art projects and lunch boxes as usual and when I asked Dawson how his day was he proudly puffed out his big brother chest and shined his big brother badge of courage as he flashed me a huge grin and valiantly announced...

"Anabelle had a snot nose... so I let her use my jacket to wipe it today!"

'Um. Thank you... and gross. Go wash your hands.'

Auntie Carly told him that's exactly what prince charmings are supposed to do for their fair maidens.

And in some disgusting way, I happen to agree.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Cable Guy

Oh glorious day!

Today is Tyson's first day at a new job! That means... out of the house and into the light of day actually making MONEY and moving forward!!!


So we are back in business again... for now he is installing cable and wireless internet for a company called Prince Communications.

It pays just what we need it to, no more and no less... for which we are beyond overjoyed.

Nothin like a little bit of sweat and a few sleepless nights to make you appreciate what you had all along.

Thank You, Lord!

And luckily, the industry standard isn't too high, so he should be "running the show" in no time!:

Heh heh heh.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Little Hounds

Anabelle is over the moon for today she has officially entered the magical land of 'big kid."

She started preschool.

It was a bit sudden and definitely not something I had high hopes of working out, particularly with Tyson's current employment status. But this program is called "Little Hounds," and it is offered thru Atascadero High School, taught by upper class students taking a child development course. The high school kids plan the lessons and entertain the kids for class credits, with a teacher supervising them. There are several high school kids in the class, and not a huge amount of kids... so the ratio of supervision is amazing!

The best part of all... its 2 half days a week, for all of March, April, and May... and the cost is... are you ready? ARE YOU???



I was super lucky to get Anabelle in, word travels fast and more people are on the wait list every year. Priority goes to siblings of other kids who have done the program before. When I called to get on the list I was made no promises, but sure enough about a couple weeks before the program started I had all but lost hope when I randomly got all the forms in the mail!

I went down to register last Friday and give the woman a check to hold her spot.

Before I went in, I said a prayer for Dawson to get in somehow. We already pretty much decided it wouldn't be financially practical or even possible to keep him in the preschool he is currently going to without Tyson working (Little Lambs is almost $300/mo for a few half days a week!). If I had known at the time I put Anabelle on the list that Dawson would be in need of preschool I would have put him on the list also or in place of Anabelle since he starts Kindergarten soon and would benefit more than her. Anyways, long story short, I caught the teacher at the exactly perfect moment where she just found out a kid wouldn't be able to come, and he got in too!

Best part... siblings... $50 discount.

So for 3 months of preschool for two kids... $150. Amazing!

Better still... my parents offered to fund their grand children's early childhood education.

I am beyond overwhelmed that this has worked out so perfectly, it reminds me that God is in control and his eye is on these little sparrows.

The kids were elated to have each other to share the experience with. Dawson tried to tell all his friends at his old school goodbye on Monday "because he is going to his sister's new school" (even tho he is paid thru the end of the month and its non refundable so he will still be there a few more times).

Anabelle was SO excited all morning long, the moment she opened her eyes she knew what day it was. School didn't start until 9:30 and she was up at the crack of dawn... it was torture for her to wait. She squealed and giggled and ran all thru the house with her new butterfly lunch box she bought with her birthday money... and when I asked her what she wanted to wear her first day she looked at me like "DUHHHHHHH, what is wrong with you Mom!" and said "A dress! And this one is my choice."

Then she chose the brown one with pink polka dots that I think is absolutely adorable on her.

Mommy's girl.

When we got there the kids ran right into the middle of all the chaos, didn't even look over their shoulders.

Actually I take that back... Anabelle did look up momentarily to tell me to 'leave now.'

And that was that.

Shot of the day... Anabelle completely miserable to say goodbye to her tearful mother....


Monday, March 2, 2009

Crappy Birthday

OK, Sylvia, this one's for you!

Yes, I have been absent for awhile yet again. We've mostly been busy trying to figure our lives out now that we've been thrown the old curve ball. Tyson has been spending most of his free time applying for anything and everything he can until he figures out what he wants to be when he grows up. I don't want to jinx anything so I'm not posting about it just yet, but he has a couple promising leads, we are cautiously optimistic for his future employment opportunity.

I've been snapping pictures here and there of the kids but nothing profound has happened in these last few weeks, so I'm waiting for some new blog material to... materialize.

Wednesday is my 26th birthday. If you are my girlfriend in real life, you know how difficult I am this time of year.

Sorry bout that.

I don't know what it is exactly that sends me into a downward spiral of dark Birthday funk each year, but (its the darnedest thing!) the older I get, the harder it seems to hit me.

I think I'm a generally content person, I usually like my life, I have most of the things I want and all of the things I need... When my birthday is NOT closing in on me I think to myself how stupid it is to be so dramatic about this wretched day, and what a bad friend I am for putting people who are looking out for me and love me through a gantlet of guessing games as to whether they should ignore it entirely or throw me the quinceanera I never had.

And yet, sure enough...despite my greatest efforts to rationalize with myself... a dark cloud of gloom settles in around the middle of February... and I can't seem to think clearly anymore. All I want is for March 5th to be here... a day when I can finally step into the sunshine that has probably been there all along and drink in the early signs of Spring I've managed to overlook for weeks in the midst of the shadow of darkness.

...aaaaand there's that dramatic flare I was talking about. But go easy on me, because like it or not... I have 48 hours of depression left ahead of me (plus or minus). And I do happen to think Im pretty worth the "mood swings of March" throughout the rest of the year. If you happen to disagree... do yourself a favor and don't tell me that until Thursday.

On an up note... I have decided to drink my birthday money this year! I opened a few early birthday cards that came in the mail (I like to drag out the suffering), and I am pleased to announce that If I order off the Happy Hour menu, I am already at hangover status!

If all goes well, I might have a new birthday tradition to dread...

Who wants to come?