Saturday, October 30, 2010

Little Pumpkins, Big Pumpkins

I'm really trying hard these days to relish the moments that pass with my babies...

who currently adore nothing more than reminding me constantly OUT LOUD! of all the ways they are, in fact, no longer babies.

I can still hear my mom and dad laughing and joking around as my very own 6 year old self frantically tried to choose just the right pumpkin in an overwhelming patch of opportunity... "you can have the biggest one you can carry back to the car all by yourself!!!" they would say.

This year, they tagged along to the patch once again. As the grandparents.

Evidently that whole "biggest pumpkin I can carry" crap doesn't apply any longer (!?!?!?!?). But you know what? I happened to be wearing my big girl panties that day.... and didn't even throw a tantrum. They rewarded my good behavior by purchasing my kids the biggest pumpkins they could carry each.


So ya. I'm trying hard to drink in every cup of cocoa these cold Fall mornings.

Every first candy-apple making experience.

I'm trying hard to just run with the idea when my daughter decides she wants to be a "skeleton mermaid," and my son can't decide if he wants me to hand make his skeleton costume, or just "buy-this-one-RIGHT-NOWWWW!"

At the end of the road, I want to remember every Taylor Swift/ Kelly Clarkson dance party in the living room, and the look in my daughter's eyes when she learns ~from her mother of all places!!~ that a hairbrush can double as a super awesome lip-syncing microphone!

I want to remember how my little boy utterly despises the feel of pumpkin slime, but he forces himself to be a little more convincingly brave each year for the sake of the carving cause (and the excuse to use all the awesome sharp toys the task involves!).

I want to remember Anabelle's disgusting Lady Gaga fetish (try not to judge me), and her hysterical giggles as she proudly belts out "He ate my heart!!!...he ate-ate-ate my heart...." at the dinner table... as we are eating artichoke hearts.

I want to remember each of these days like they happened only moments ago, even decades from now...

Each of these beautiful,



...and really, just plain old lovely moments that are whipping by faster than a kid on a sugar binge.

Tonight at Target, Dawson was rather impressed with the pair of black stilettos he spotted, and thought I should most definitely have them.

"But MOM!" he said... "EVERY witch needs a pair of black heel shoes!"

..."But Dawson!" I whined back... "I'm not dressing up as a witch tomorrow night, remember? I'm going to be a flapper!"

(evil grin spreads across dirt-smudged and snot crusted face...)

..."I know you're not dressing up as a witch, mom...."

I just cant believe how big my little pumpkins are. And how funny they are. And smart. And perfect in all their imperfect ways.

What a big responsibility this parenting gig is! And what a complete joy.

Alright. This witch is tired. Better get some shut-eye... I've got a hot date to make over a skeleton/mermaid tomorrow in hair and makeup!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Like 2 Bike

A couple weekends ago, we done busted Kyle out of the dark dungeon of military boot camp hell for a weekend of fun and relaxing family time.

Evidently it gets so bad there at times.... he was delirious enough to agree to a 50 mile bike ride thru the middle of forsaken nowhere during his brief moment of 'relaxation' while he was home!


I'm kidding about Grizzly being bad. I mean, I'm sure he's not always thrilled to get up before some of us go to bed and sweat and take cold showers... but over all, it was cool to see him and hear first hand about all the awesome stuff they are being 'tortured' with. He's a freaking man. I can't believe that kid... I kind of want to go there. I think it would make a lot of people better parents (me, MEE! PICK ME!!)! SURVIVAL TACTICS, PEOPLE! ;)

Anyways. The bike ride.

It was the same ride Kari and I did last year... only we trimmed off a few miles due to over committed schedules and sparse training opportunity. Well, that's my excuse anyways... Kari did just make a whole new person and all.

Kyle on the other hand... has probably not ridden a bike since it had a spider man horn on the handle bars and beads on the spokes!

But sure enough, he headed out to battle like a trooper at the crack of dawn....

The ride was gorgeous as expected. We pretty much just meandered along at a slow pace and drank in the countryside. It was just a ride... not a race. My kind of event!

We met up with Melinda and Larry a few miles in, and mostly rode in a pack of 5 the whole way! Melinda is the sister of my good friend Stephanie... we knew last minute they were riding but didn't expect that it would turn out to be so convenient to have a few extra pals to ride with!

I can honestly say... the first 30 miles or so were an absolute blast.

But then... the sun came out... and the tarantulas. The hills started getting MEAN, and the rest stops started closing down (we started later than we expected...) which meant we had to hustle! or else risk loosing our opportunity to rehydrate!...

..... and then...

...we all DIED.

Ha. Alright, we didn't die. But I think all of us were soooo over it by the cruel and bitter end (with the exception of Larry maybe... who I don't know all that well, but he miiiiight just be too nice of a guy to whine as loud as the rest of us!).

Next year I will DEFINITELY be training a little more seriously before I go committing myself to those wretched blistering hills.

And maybe Kyle would prefer a road bike... instead of the monstrosity of a mountain bike he had the pleasure of driving up those demon hills! Live and learn! ;)


In other cycling news... I think I mentioned this *big event* in a previous post?:

..."Look, Ma!! No training wheels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Well, over the weekend (thanks to craigslist!) we upgraded our baby girl.

Is it just me, or does she look 16 on that thing?

It IS a little big for her. We may be storing it and finding her a 18inch for another year or so (we hope!).

Even so... looking at my baby on this monster puts a lump in my throat.

Lucky for me, as long as the band-aids are too high for her to reach, I think she'll be keeping me around for awhile.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

So the kids are both currently locked in their bedrooms. I sent them there after their unauthorized wrestling match in the hall resulted in Anabelle damaging her fragile who-knows-what, and as my interest to the matter decreased, the sobs increased in volume until my ear drums (and every dog in the neighborhood's) hit their limit. Dawson was banished promptly behind her for laying in the floor mocking her every move, as his copy cat wails also got louder and louder, as did his cackling and snorting in between.

That's pretty much life in a nutshell here at the McDermott's these days.

The bloggage gets fewer and further between as I literally don't have the time to sit and process all the hilarious/rotten/life changing things they do as the moments whip by at the speed of soccer-mom-on-the-way-to-the-E.R.

My kids are flourishing.

Dawson is slowly but surely adjusting to the first grade madness that hit us full speed. That was (is!) a doozie!

He is a budding artist, and can read and spell and sound out words at a level that is beyond impressive to me. He is making friends, talking about "mean girls!" that chase him on the playground (that he says with a suppressed smile and a glimmer in his eyes that slightly concerns me). He says phrases like "DUDE!," and "like," and "SO AWESOME!" all of the time, and never forgets anything I say. The boy can do 30 consecutive push-ups (lets just say more than I can do for now...), and has taken on the 100 push-up challenge with me. He loves to run and bike, and play anything involving a ball on the playground at school... he comes home with a new game to be obsessed with every day it feels like. I can't even believe the boy has another birthday approaching... my Mother-in-law asked if we could freeze the kids in time today and after my initial snarky remark (you KNOW I can't resist me one of those...), I realized... whoa. This actually wouldn't be such a bad time to stop the clock. He is just so darn great.

Our Anabelle Lee still has no idea she is the little sister, and I'm starting to think she may never catch on. Every thing Dawson does, she wants to do. That girl will have NO trouble getting her tasks in this world accomplished or otherwise delegated. She is already sight reading a lot of short words (thanks to a great pre-school curriculum, and of course to Dawson for his own interest in reading to keep her motivated to compete). I cant tell her ANYTHING she doesn't already know. You can, but not her mother. Unless it is a bedtime story, or tickle scratch. She keeps me around for those things, so guess I'm safe for now. She just recently requested (demanded) we remove her training wheels, and like her brother before her, she TOOK OFF down the street with no help from her useless parents what-so-ever. Only as she flew by (with NO HELMET!!! &^&#*Y$&#*^$&#*$^!!!!!!) and my voice froze in my throat and my jaw hit the ground she chanted "Nah-nah-nah-nahhh-nah!" at me... (as in "I told you I don't need you, mother!).

But I know one day she'll realize she that she actually does.

We are in a foreign land of nightly homework, and early (but never early enough) bedtimes... which basically just gives us one more thing to be running late for.

Ty is gone a lot in the evenings, which we anticipated with his new job. Its been easier than expected in some ways... the kitchen is never dirty when I go to bed. But the house is lonely and quiet without him, and it makes me (and the kids) realize how sweet it is to have him around to read a bedtime story, or cover bath routine while I run to the store so the kids have lunch tomorrow. The best news is that he gets a whole week off around Thanksgiving! Now THATS something to be thankful for. I don't know which family member is most excited!

I suppose this blog is getting border line boring. Its purpose is simply to acknowledge that I know there seem to be a lot of conglomerated updates now a days. Its just that I am feeling a little bit sad, and also (if I'm being completely honest) a little bit free...

My kids are big. I see it loud and clear on days like today, when we attended two 1st birthday parties that were relocated indoors because of rain... and I sat, and watched, and enjoyed with the other adults while my kids (for the most part) practiced good manners, self restraint, and appropriate indoor behavior. I kept seeing images of just yesterday when my own little chunky blond baby boy greedily piled fist fulls of red dye #5 sugar paste into his sweet little face, and feel overwhelmed that now, my little girl is the big kid at the party who thinks its her personal calling in life to control all chaos caused otherwise by children smaller than she.

Don't blink, people. Look what happens.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sister Suprise

We had the BEST last minute company in town recently.

With a few days off work stacked on top of each other, a free ride here, and a cheap ticket home, Auntie Carly dropped everything to come home to visit us for a long weekend!

We all adore our Carly, but my kids really really "Mommy when are we going back to Washington and will she come see us at Christmas and for my birthday" miss her. They didnt know she was coming since it was so last minute and I knew they would be crushed if it didn't happen. But it was SO fun to see them excited to see her, and great to have her around in the midst of our weekend.

Poor Carly drove alllll night, and we wisked her right off to the Avila Valley Barn the MINUTE she set foot in the house! It was our lovely friend Andy's 2nd birthday party... and who doesn't adore any excuse to pay a visit to the barn?

On Sunday, Carly took Dawson on a special date to church with her. He felt SO important and of course looked handsome as always in the company of his gorgeous auntie. Quite a pair, these two.

Carly, that weekend went WAY fast. Come back soon now, ya hear?!

We've got some pumpkin raviolis to make!

Local Paradise

Tyson and I really wanted to do something fun together this year for our anniversary (as we usually do), but were bored with the idea of dinner and a movie. Not that we'd complain, getting out in ANY form is always great... but since we planned a little ahead, we actually put our heads together and came up with a plan for what turned out to be one of the best days.

We utilized our amazing grandparent resources once again and managed to send the kidlets on their merry ways on Thursday night. We've discovered a method we like to call "dividing the risk..." where we send one to each grandma, under the premise of 'special time.' Not that they ever need an extra nudge away from us anyways, but it really does make them feel cool to get to be the center of their grandparent's universe(s) individually once in awhile.

We went to a nice dinner (thanks, Mom!) in Cayucos that evening, and I accidentally ordered duck liver and then managed to accidentally eat it thinking it was a portobello mushroom. The best part is... I actually got TYSON to eat it too! He doesn't eat mushrooms to begin with, so it was appalling to him before he even knew what it actually was! I just couldn't believe how much it tasted like meat (thinking it was the mushroom), so I talked him into trying it, and he described it as "smoky and cheesy." When we found out what it was, it was HILARIOUS and yes... we wanted to barf. In the most sophisticated way possible, of course.

The next morning despite the overwhelming temptation to sleep in in a quiet kidless house, we got up EARLY in order to tee off before 7:30am for the early bird golf special. It was my first time golfing. Tyson is nice, and took this picture of me looking super focused and skilled.

...but because I believe in honest, fair, and impartial journalism... this is what he was actually doing MOST of the time...

(That would be chasing my ball off in the wilderness).

I think we still managed to have a good time. I would do it again, although I have a LOT of room to improve. And... I'm glad it was only 9 holes. Just sayin.

The next item on the agenda involved a highly refined lunch at the Costco food court. Tyson had been craving a hot dog... can't beat $1.50 lunch! We browsed inside after with no shopping cart and no kids, and didn't buy ANYTHING because we wanted EVERYTHING... as it usually goes at that little wondrous retail jewel.

After that, we had a very important appointment with... absolutely nothing at all. We brought our blanket and chairs down to the beach... and just sat. I'm not very good at just sitting. There is ALWAYS something I should be doing, or somewhere to be. But for over an hour... we just sat on the sand and soaked in the sun in our bathing suits and listened to the crashing waves and all the other parent's with screaming kids. It was brilliant.

And then... just when we thought we couldn't possibly be ANY more relaxed... we packed up and headed to our final activity of the day.

Sycamore mineral springs, you are my new favorite daydream!

We've both lived here and loved each other most our lives, and somehow I'm realizing there is so much we haven't done together right in our own backyard! We rounded out our hot tub soak with a couples massage... a first for Tyson that he was previously uninterested in... but I managed to persuade him since I was willing to try on the golf course.

I don't think I'll have to convince him at ALL next time we get that opportunity. ;)

We headed back toward SLO early evening, and after a quick dinner at Firestone, Ty met up with a couple friends and hit the Jimmy Eat World concert while I headed to pick up the little ones.

Its amazing how a day and a half away can do amazing things for Mom morale. Especially when you're in the good company of the man you married.

Love you, Ty. Thanks again for the BEST day.