Monday, June 27, 2011

Kids These Days

So, last month our awful cat disappeared.

She just wandered off into the hills, and was never seen or heard from again. Ah, sweet relief. That's probably the nicest thing she's ever... oops, i mean, we've all been utterly devastated and searching around the clock for her to no avail.

I was beginning to enjoy not having to get up in the middle of the night to swat her off the screen outside our bedroom window she regularly climbs while moaning like a laboring zombie when she wants in at 2am. I was getting used to the idea of not having to rake the logs out of the landscaping bark outside our front door that she decided were more inviting than her litter box. I was noticing how nice it was to not have to vacuum clumps of matted cat hair stuck to whatever area of carpet looked freshest.

But then. One beautiful sunshiny morning as we walked out of Target... one of Tyson's co-workers mysteriously ambushed us outside the store as we were heading to load our car- holding...


Its almost as if it had been pre-arranged somehow. But I know that's not possible, since Tyson and I had repeatedly discussed all the disadvantages (there are so so so many!!) of cat ownership, and how it was delightful to be rid of the chains once and for all. It was pure happenstance... odd coincidence!... and this poor kitten soul needed a home, immediately!!, or surely she would perish and a jewel would be removed from our heavenly crown for our lack of compassion on one of God's creatures.

Anyways. This blog is not supposed to be about the spawn, I mean kitten.

Its about how adorable my kids are-

There was a knock on the door and 'someone' left a suspicious box.

Dawson immediately tore it open, and scooped her up,

with Anabelle hot on his tail, I mean trail...

They were pretty excited.

Then, without any prompting what-so-ever... Anabelle pipes up...

"I think Dawson gets to name her, because I got to name the last kitten."

He thanked her, and not 5 seconds later said very matter of fact "Her name is Rosemary." As if he'd been thinking about it all his life and had never been more certain.

Both kids have really been enjoying her, but Dawson is especially adoring.

He thinks about her constantly.

He worries that she will be lonely, or cold, or get lost in the garage she is banished to sleep in.

He doesn't want to leave the house because she can't come with us everywhere we go, and when we finally get home, he races to rescue her and acts like its the first time they've met all over again.

Yesterday he made her a present...

A scratching box.

Tyson says its marketing brainwash at its finest and that perhaps we've allowed a little too much time on the electronic devices in our household... but I personally think its a testimony of how brilliant, creative, and caring our lovely little boy is (duh!).

First, he tied some string to the box 'to get her frisky.'

Then, he drew instructions:

1. No standing on the box.

2. No cutting the box with scissors.

3. No zzzzzz sleeping zzzzz on the box,

4. (Stick figured) Kittens only.

Seems pretty reasonable to me.

Then, so as not to waste valuable advertising space, theres an added bonus!

This scratching box received a 5 star customer rating!!

And also, loyal customers are eligible to win big prizes. Somehow.

So. freaking. awesome.

This kid doesn't miss a singe detail of his surroundings. We've never discussed the 'instruction labels' on the shopping carts or on product merchandise at all, but obviously he's on to them.

And... 5 star rating?

Thats just funny stuff right there.

These kids are a riot. They are proving hard to keep occupied so far this summer because they just want to



And they're always dirty and never ever tired.

Hopefully Rosemary will be a good summer babysitter, oops, I mean companion for the both of them.

And hopefully one day our marriage will recover from the ultimate betrayal.

Although, I must admit, it will be hard to stay mad for long at something that makes my kids look this happy...
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Whirlwinds of Change

When I was a new mom, and just learning to adapt to all the drastic life changes that brought along with it, I would often let my mind wander a year or two down the road... toward the flicker of hope in a time when the kids would be less dependent on a constant basis. When I could eat a meal with both hands again, or without being interrupted mid-spoonful by a starving infant. When I could finish a conversation with the friend I had bumped in to without having to rush home for an afternoon nap schedule. When I could take a shower without the fear of the world's most daring baby climbing out of his crib and falling onto his head and I wouldn't even be there to hear his screams.

Recently, I'm realizing these 'less dependent' days... they aren't coming anytime soon. Maybe not ever. While all the above issues are no longer top concerns, I have entirely brand new sets of crisis management training skills ranging from "were late for gymnastics and I can't find a leotard that doesn't have magic marker all over it" to "why can't I wear my roller skates in the grocery store... past this display case of glass bottles?"So life is exciting round here! Its a whirlwind. But I've noticed how I've stopped looking down the road, and started to really breathe in the scenery as its flying past.

Tomorrow and someday arent a daydream anymore... they are TODAY! Right now! We are enjoying these moments!

I was remembering that a blink ago I was sitting here blogging about Dawson's first day of first grade with a glass of wine and tears on my keyboard because I just wasn't sure he was ready. I didn't know if he was strong enough to handle the demands and challenges of first grade. It honestly was a really tough transition for us, but then, suddenly, it was Christmas vacation, and then oh! Where did March come from?! And then it was May! And then, my little sea star was saying goodbye to all his first grade buddys and his 'stern and demanding' first grade teacher... who actually ran such a tight ship that I'm proud to say confidently, my baby boy is the most confident, effective reader/speller that I've had the pleasure of knowing. With the neatest handwriting, and correct grammar and punctuation, and a strong sense of self confidence in his gift for drawing because of the recognition and encouragement he received throughout the year from his 'tough' teacher.

This year made me realize all the more, teachers have the hardest job. And I appreciate that this one recognized she wasnt there to be my kid's friend, but to teach him about the potential within and the standard we learn by. Tough lessons, but ever so valuable. I'd call it a successful year.

Fun side note~ every morning we would wait til very last thing to comb Dawson's hair, and he'd beg me in my frazzled get-your-coat-on-stand-up-look-at-me-dont-forget-your-lunch-box mom state to "puh-leeeeeze make him hair like Two Face on Batman." I'd say... "uh, no." Because... I dunno... I wish I could be that uninhibited artsy mom that says 'be who you are! Who cares! Let them stare!,' but really, I care... and I didnt want him looking like he came to first grade straight from a night on the Las Vegas strip. On the last day of school... I finally caved...Cutest little wanna-be villain around. I'd say we definitely upstaged last years mohawk. ;)

Anabelle also is at a milestone, with her final day of pre-K last Thusday. Thats it untill Kindergarten for her~ she's SO beyond ready! That girl is also a reading/writing machine. I was speechless the other day (a first for me!) when she picked up Green Eggs and Ham and started sight reading from the middle of the book... FIVE whole pages without help. WHAT!?

They had a promotion chapel last week, so the daycare kids and I took a little field trip... we busted Dawson out of school and met both my parents and Tyson's mom at the event. Anabelle planned her whole outfit, and wore her flower girl gown and her princess tiara from the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Disneyland for the special occasion... and she acted every bit the part she dressed to play. They recognized each kid for a character trait that stood out in them, and my daughter was awarded for her encouragement to others. Beams of pride from her dad and I.

Then they called out each name, and when they handed them the promotion certificate they asked into the microphone "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

The little heartfelt responses were so moving and so thoughtful and sincere... some hilarious, some sweet... some completely unrealistic but charming just the same.

One child said a doctor. One said a captain of a ship. There were future firemen, poliece men, teachers, ladybugs, even vampires... one quirky soul said "bone collector" and gave us all a good laugh (and some food for thought).

My daughter's big announcement: she's going to be a princess, naturally (I know you're SHOCKED).

Maybe its time to stop replaying the recaps of the royal wedding for us to watch together on YouTube... and TYSON! The beauty sleep mask from the dollar store you surprised her with- NOT HELPING THE ISSUE!

(Actual conversation after the promotion...)

Me: "So, Anabelle... what exactly do princesses DO?"
Anabelle: "Oh, well, they like to clean and stuff."
Me: "Well. I suppose I'm definitely a princess then?"
Anabelle (rolls eyes!): "NO, Mom. You never clean ANYTHING!!"

i give up.

So ya. Shes charged with plenty of personality to go around, and ready to roll right in to kindergarten with her posse of preschool pals. A good handful of the younger siblings from Dawson's class will be in her grade, and another good handful from around the block. Its strange how many more familiar faces there will be the second (and last) time we do the first day of kindergarten. Definitely not rushing these lazy days of summer, realizing that after this there is no going back: we will officially have 2 school aged children.

So that brings us to the official start of summer! Ty will be home a lot more, he gets a whole week and then some off in July. Its great to have him around, he is such a help with the kids and the daycare and just in general around the house.

Its a good thing, too. With these little monsters, I need all the help I can get. (Gulp!)