Monday, January 28, 2008

Joyeux Anniversaire

So how does a French wannabe celebrate ones birthday?

I was sent to the spa for a scrub and massage in the morning. It was very relaxing, but I must admit I was a little dissappointed by the spa. My last spa visit was at the St.Regis Resort and it was a pampering experience like NO OTHER. So, my point of reference is a little skewed. I couldn't help but feel like I was sitting on a lawn chair in the "tranquility room". In reality, it actually was a lawn chair, although made out of teak. The massage was fabulous, and I did leave relaxed, but it was not a place where I felt like I wanted to linger.

Then, I hit Nordstroms for a little retail therapy. I recently bought a pair of f'Uggs, and while they are not attractive they are fabulously warm and comfy. However, I am constantly tempted to wear them out in public, which is not helping this dowdy-momma image I'm trying to shake. So, I bought these obscenely expensive bad boys for everyday wear. My favorite shoe salesman Derek brought these out and said, "This ain't your momma's shoe". However, I can't bring myself to wear them yet. Some enabling is appreciated.

I came home to this! Pictures on the mantle from my 3 favorite people, listing off their favorite qualities about me. Quite possibly my favorite gift!

Then off to dinner with the family for some tasty prime rib, and yummy desserts. Mr. Boy is showing off his "crayon binoculars". Then, my brothers gave me two awesome gifts. One was the book Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, which I can't put down. The other was Emergency on DVD. Oh how I loved Jon Gage when I was little. Anyway, I'm having a blast watching these with the kids. They love them!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Come Away With Me!!

Today, we got some very exciting mail! The kids passports arrived! Getting Mr. Boy's was not a problem, however AK's took a million hours of waiting in long lines at the Social Security Administration to get her application completed. Now our the whole family is Passport Approved and ready to travel.

Of course now that we have them, Mr. Man won't be getting many overseas assignments, because that is just how my luck runs. Before I had my passport, it was "oh, I'm going to Paris on Tuesday" and I never could join him. This last time was "We can go to Tokoyo for a month as a family", however the kids didn't have passports.

So, now we are ready. For sure we will go to Calgary next summer, so at least we are prepared. Each and every night I pray for a long term assignment in Paris for Mr. Man's work. "Please God.... send my cute family to Paris to live. I'd buy AK a little Madeline outfit and we'd have picnics underneath the Eiffel Tower. We'd spend afternoons at the Musee d'Orsay and the kids would say Merci to the Balloon Man at the park. We'd be so cute in Paris"

So far, no such luck. Maybe you all should start praying too!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pardonner Notre Poussière

Pardon our Dust at Chateau du la French. I've had meetings with plumbers, masons, and contractors. The credit card is primed and ready to be swiped daily at Home Depot. This old house is getting a small facelift, all part of the "Big Plan" Mr. Man and I came up with over Christmas. It's exciting to imagine a dishwasher without duck tape, and exciting to make some changes.
If anyone has mason, plumbers, or handymans that they love, or is willing to come paint, let me know!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

They say... The way to a man's heart...

It's been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If that's the case.... oo it's a miracle Mr. Man & I are still together. The gig is up, he wandered down the frozen food aisle of Trader Joes and realized.. "Wow.. Wendy makes Orange Chicken just like this, and she makes a Gnocchi dish just like this one... wait a minute!" Truth is... I mostly just reheat or BBQ. That's it.

However, because I love Mr. Man dearly, I ventured into a regular grocery store in a blustery windstorm that nearly blew the wee one into outer space if it weren't for my deathgrip, to obtain Mr. Man's favorite food. (see, we don't have snow here in Sunny So Cal, so I couldn't use the standard "I walked 10 miles in the uphill both ways" story." However, thank goodness for the Santa Ana Winds to draw some drama into my mediocre tale of love's labor. ) Anywho, just for Mr. Man, I stocked up on his favorite Oatmeal. And I couldn't resist taking a picture of it all stacked up. Shhh.. it's whole grain... and all natural!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Elephant Friend aka as the Miracle of Adoption

Once upon a time there was a little boy who had a blue stuffed kangaroo that he named "Friend". He played and slept with Friend constantly. The boy loved Friend so much that he loved off one of it's eyes, and replaced it with a bandaid. The boy grew into Mr. Man, and Friend was put away. Then along comes Mr. Man's son, Mr. Boy. He recieves this elephant as a gift and he gravitated towards it even as a small infant. When Mr. Boy is two years old he is frantic one night and is looking under the bed and in the toybox. I could tell he was looking for something, when I asked him what it was he said "Elephant Friend". We had never referred to it as Elephant Friend, just his Elephant. Ever since, the stuffed animal has been referred to by Mr. Boy as Elephant Friend... just like Mr. Man's beloved Friend.
Then flash forward to when Mr. Boy is 4 and we are sitting in the doctor's office reviewing his allergy test results. The doctor shows off the list of allergens, and it's identical to mine. I mention to the doctor, "oh, this is easy, these are all the same trees I'm highly allergic to." He says, "Oh yes.. well that makes sense, we find that allergies run in families, more on the maternal side.... but... wait...erm... uh.. wait.. no wait, that doesn't make sense in your case." Then he just kind of smiles and says, "well, I've just witnessed another the miracle of adoption, these kids, they tend to morph."

Sidenote: One day we were over at a friends house whom we had given an identical Elephant Friend to when their son was born. Nathan opened the closet to get a toy, and saw Elephant Friend in there, and exclaimed "Elephant Friend, WHAT are you doing HERE!?"

Bye Bye Baby Girl...

Somewhere in November, Mr. Boy started asking to sleep on the floor, instead of his bed. Since we are trying to be parents who say yes more often than no, we let him. The monsterous bunk bed has sat empty for two months. Early last week, AK crawled into Mr. Boy's bed, hoping to sleep there, and I decided to try it out. She got out of bed once to tell me that she was sleeping in a "big bed" and that was it.
So, I've got one kid in the lower bunk, one kid who prefers the floor, and a crowded room full of unused furniture. Ah.. no more. I took apart the crib and had a good little sniffle, as it has been in constant use for four and a half years. No more baby girl screaming "Mama, I'm Awake!" in the morning. Thanks to Mr. Man's muscles we moved the room around a bit, and promoted Mr. Boy to the top bunk. So far, all seems to be going well. The best part is the room is spacious!! The kids now have room to play and there has been many hours of hearing them dance around in the big open space instead of sleeping. Now, I think it's time for AK to pick out her own sheets, although right now she loves the cowboy ones, or as she refers to them the "Orse Peets".
Also, it's time for another version of SuperHero Stories! Here the Superheros are "having a slumber party at their Uncle's house." (My brother is in town at the NAMM convention promoting his awesome website Beathive and spent the night, thus we had a "slumber party". That's the phrase he uses anytime anyone sleeps over. Mr. Boy has been begging all day to have a slumber party at his uncles house) The superheros look like they are having a good time. I love how Batman is standing next to the open fridge, I'm pretty sure he's the host.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Year's Resolutions...

I always vow to do things differently in the new year..."This will be the year... I *insert unattainable obnoxious goal here* Then I fail, beat myself up, and spend New Years Eve reflecting on what a failure I've been.
So.. while having breakfast with my dear friend Laura, somehow we got to talking about resolutions, and she is brilliant. She said her resolution for this upcoming year... blow dry her hair, instead of air-drying. And so I'm shamelessly stealing herNew Years Resolution.

Yep, that is all. For 2008, I will blow dry my hair.

Now granted, it's not like I already do this, so it's taken a bit of effort... but for the most part it has been the most successful resolution I've made. I had previously sworn that 2008 will be the year of good health, but already that is proving to be much more difficult to keep.

I appreciated one of my blogger friends list of resolutions was things like...
-love Crowded House, more than the last year (her favorite band)
-Not smoke Crack
-Answer the telephone by saying "Hello"
Those are all very attainable resolutions, however, the Crowded House one I'd have to work on.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I did on my Christmas Vacation by Mr. Boy

I came up with cool outfits every day. Mr. Boy has really taken to dressing himself and creating ensembles that make a statement. I am proud most days of the choices he makes, he's got a decent eye. (It helps when mom, doesn't buy the cheesy stuff.) Notice how there is a bit of Orange in the plaid in his shirt, well he picked his Orange Crocs to wear because of this teeny strip of orange. So, because we had leisurely mornings in jammies, when it was time to dress, he took his time, picking each outfit out carefully. Every day it was accessorized, with a hat, glasses, or gloves. During my mandatory "Quiet Time" I created elaborate scenes with my toys. And he created elaborate stories to go along with them. The animals on the pillow in a pile are "Australian" hence they are on an island (that explains the pillow). Next to him there are animals sitting in shoes, which are really animals driving cars and speedboats. "Elephant Friend"** and his piggybacking Panda Pal near the front are escaping their evil jail, but got tangled in some fencing. I LOVE hearing his stories.
I did my part to help the Justice League defend the Universe. Every single day I run into a Justice League formation. They crack me up. Here, they surround "Justice League Headquarters, protecting it from the bad bad bad man who makes people sit in their rooms until they calm down" Apparently, the Justice League is a little bit of a Therapy tool for Mr. Boy.

**Elephant Friend... I'll post more details on him in the future, so check back! Also, other upcoming events include an interview with Mr. Man, and resolutions for 2007.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It all started with a note from.....

It all started with a note from Mr. Boys Preschool teacher. Telling us... well.. that's not important...good things though... what is important... it reminded me that I needed to send a sympathy card to a friend who lost a loved one this week. As I went through my stash of cards, I started to weed out the ones that were just too frilly, cheezy, or foofy to ever send to anyone. Then I got to thinking about correspondence. In this tech savvy day, we have instant access to people... via cell phone, text messaging, email.... we just spout off the neccessary communication so easily and instantly.

How often do we sit and contemplate then write something heartfelt to those around us?

So, I took some of the cheezy and foofy cards, and instead of tossing them, I wrote... and then kept writing until I had this impressive stack of notes. It was the best thing I've done all year.

Try it...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Years Eve, a day for taking stock...

New Years Eve, the close of 2007... We hit the neighborhood party, and continued in the annual tradition of letting the kids stay up until midnight. It was AK's first year... and possibly Mr. Boy's last year doing this. We hit the neighborhood party for a bit, then played on the Wii for a while. All was going well...

However, by the time the clock struck midnight, we had one whiney girl, and one hysterical boy. Perfect pic to show Mr. Boy... when he resists bedtime. Both were asleep by 12:08.
At the close of 2007, I couldn't help but reflect on where I am today compared to a year ago. I had high hopes of things being different in so many ways, but the truth is thing are not much different. Whether or not that is a good or bad thing, I do not know.

What I do know, is that from May until just a few days ago, my body has not been well. It could have been worse, I don't want to paint a grim picture, but I haven't felt like the me that I knew in 2006, physically speaking. I have seen far too many doctors, waited anxiously for test results too many times this year. It's not a year I want to relive in that respect, however, most of it has not been in my control, which has taught me patience, and also to accept help. I vow for 2008 to be a better year healthwise, as far as I can control it.

Today, I ran for the first time since April. I mean.. really ran. I tried a couple times in the last few months, but stopped, because my body said... "no thank you" . Though I ran at a snails pace, I still enjoyed it. I'm so ready to train for another race. Anyone want to join me on a half marathon, say September? C'mon who's with me!? And this time I want a better finish line shot! I didn't look at the camera or smile at all!

I REFUSE to raise ungrateful children aka Christmas Morning

*Warning: Ridiculously, obnoxiously, picture heavy post.

The Scene: Christmas Morning at Chateau de la Francaise, Santa, who spent most of the night putting together Playmobil products, has arrived and delivered a bounty of toys for all, both big and small.
Santa has set up scenes all over the living room. Here pirates fight off Crocodiles...
Enter the children, who are thrilled at Santa's arrival. However, remember the 2-9-9-9 Cars from my earlier post? Well, Mr. Boy doesn't see them under the tree, and grows increasingly more frustrated as he opens each gift. Promptly after this photo was taken, Mr. Boy threw his new Batman PJ's over his shoulder and proclaimed them "Stupid". Mr. Man & I looked at each other with a look oh "oh no he di'nt". With a flick of the wrist Mr. Boy is sent to Time Out. I know, I know.. Time out on Christmas? Oh yes indeed. Then we made him reopen his presents, be grateful, and say thank you after each one....
Then, after he practiced and perfected Gracious Present Opening 101, we pulled out a gift from far under the tree. It was the 2-9-9-9 Cars he so desperately wanted. His excitement was contagious.Then there was AK, who kept getting mad at us for making her stop playing with her new toys and open more presents. She got a new baby, to replace her well loved baby who has a skidmark on her head from being dragged down the driveway every morning. We learned that you can not simply replace toys, you merely add to them. AK now drags two babies around. We should have opted for the double stroller.. AK also ripped the wrapping paper off in dime sized pieces, so Mr. Boy had to intervene in the interest of getting through the gifts prior to 2010. Also, random thought, for months we keep trying to have Mr. Boy get dressed before he comes out of his room in the morning... however, he didn't get the memo that Christmas is Exempt from that rule. So just pretend he is wearing matchy matchy red PJ's. Santa brought Mr. Man and I lots of good gifts for the Wii. Knowing that Santa was bringing us good gifts, we decided to do a $5 buck gift exchange between us. Mr. Man did not follow the rules, however, I did. Here he is opening up his Sponge Holder... yes... a Sponge Holder, you know for Kitchen Sponges. It sticks to the side of the kitchen sink. Here is a little known fact, I can NOT STAND Kitchen Sponges. Oooo how I hate them. What? I know you are shocked, that I loathe a product that is a haven for germs. If I see one in the bottom of the sink, I get a ziploc baggie, and turn it inside out like a glove, pick it up and seal it up, then I walk it out to the outside trash. I can not stand them. Anyhow, Mr. Man loves Sponges. So.. as a gift from the heart, a place for Mr. Man to keep his beloved sponges.

I can't help but look at this picture, and think.. huh.. what happened? Mr. Man and I picked five gifts for each child back in November. We went shopping togethere on a Hot Friday Night Date in November to avoid the "Christmas Eve shopping at Walgreens Fiasco of 2006". Looks like Mr. Man and I had a hard time sticking to our list. We really don't want to raise spoiled children, but this picture is Exhibit A in the fact that we are failing at our cause. Here is AK with her loot, however she's sitting on most of her gifts. Then the family arrived, and my brother and I with Mr. Boy in between us, all rocked on Guitar Hero.
While my dad, who was hospitalized a few days after this pic was taken, snoozed with his favorite pal...
And the cousins snuggled the other dog.

And if you made it to here in my posts, you win the "Reader of the Year" prize.