Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I don't want to forget days like this...

Today, we came home from school, threw open the doors and the windows. We drank soda (a special treat) and ate apples on the deck. We laid in the grass, watching and talking about the wild parrots that had gathered on our neighbors tree, well over 100 of them. Then we painted the afternoon away, creating our own masterpieces. Later that night, they both had long baths. AK thinks she is a mermaid and loves to lounge in the water, pretending her long legs are a flipper. Mr. Boy loves to use his bath crayons and draw elaborate scenes of pirates and knights. When it was time to put on jammies, I put my hands on those deliciously round toddler bellies and gave them a good zerbert. Tucked them into bed singing to each of them their "song". You are my sunshine for Mr. Boy and for AK, Hush Child and Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I walked out of the room and remembered a quote by author Anna Quindlen

"...but the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three on them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in a hurry to get on to the next things: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less...."

Today was more about the doing, getting it done a little less... and you know what? The world didn't fall apart.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Birthday List

My friend Booboo has a friend who makes list for her birthday of things she wants to accomplishin the upcoming year. Booboo stole that idea, and thanks to the freedom of information of the worldwide interwebs I'm stealing it from Booboo.

And yes.. it actually is my birthday today. 32 years old. The best was having Mr. Boy run out of his room yelling "Happy Birthday Mommy!"

1. Take my kids hiking. (Is that cheating, because we just did that! On the other hand it makes me feel great to cross one thing off my list.)

2. Take Mr. Boy on an Airplane ride

3. MOVE... or should I just amend that to say.... have Mr. Man home every night...if that means moving, great, I'm game.

4. Find pillows for the living room.

5. Paint the family room "Vanilla"

6. Watch the entire Planet Earth series

7. Be on a gameshow

8. Get a bike and teach Nathan to love his.

9. Run more often

10. Go an entire day without saying, "This is not a trash can, clean up the mess please."

11. Go away with Mr. Man for a weekend.

12. Get a pedicure. (I've never had one... manicure yes..pedicure no.)

13. Maintain my eyebrows and haircut. (Yep admitting to the world, these are not my natural brows, imagine some 7 times thicker and larger)

14. Take Mr. Man up on his promise to help me pick out a pair of Manolo's

15. Get Mr. Boy reading and loving it.

16. Help AK learn all her letters and colors.

17. Write a thank you note to the kid's birth parents.

18. Take the kids on an honest to goodness vacation.

19. Get my iPod all hooked up with sweet playlist and get the kids iPod set up in their room.

20. Host an awesome girls night at my house.

21. Learn to bake bread

22. Attend my friend Laura's spin class, and not die during class so as not to embarass her.

23. Have playdates for my kids at least twice a month.

24. Figure out Lego Star Wars for the Wii

25. Surprise Mr. Man with a fun themed dinner dates like I used to do. (I had a toga night, even the dogs wore togas!)

26. Write gratitude notes to the good people in my life, and at send one to two of my high school teachers.

27. Buy Mr. Man a fabulous outfit, and while I'm at it.. one for me.

28. Get family portraits taken

29. Plant a Clementine Tree

30. Dress up for Halloween

31. Learn Photoshop

32. Actually embrace and enjoy my birthday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Opinionated Fashionista

All of a sudden AK has gotten very opinionated about fashion. She insists on picking her own clothes, and will change her outfits 11 times a day. This was an ensemble she pulled together the other day. I'm not sure what is up with the Michael Jackson glove, my kids tend to sport. She found those converse sneakers in a bin of Mr. Boy's old clothes and she wears them everywhere. I'm grateful to get some use out of them as we couldn't wedge his cubed feet into them very well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Partying like a Rock Star

My brother, is an honest to goodness Rock Star. He is a very talented musician and I'm so proud of him. He stayed at Chateau du la Francaise for a few days while on official Rock Star business. Even though he threw me off the bunk bed when I was little and constantly threatened to give me a swirlie, I love him deeply. He was the person I ran to when life got obscenely complicated. He was the one who let me hang out with his college friends when I was an awkward teen, which showed me that high school would eventually end, and in college I would be able to make friends with people who shared my same ideals. To this day he still introduces me as his "baby sister" or "little sister", something that used to bother me, but now I see it as endearing and protective. And my favorite, he made sure I always got to dance up front during his concerts.

*flashback* One time at one of my brother's shows, I was dancing up front and this girl kept bumping into me and giving me dirty looks. She kept trying to push me over into the corner. Oooo I was getting mighty ticked, "no one puts baby sister in the corner". After the show, my brother introduced "obnoxious dancing encroacher girl" to me as his girlfriend. That relationship didn't last long. *end flashback*
Along with sharing many physical traits, we both share a passion for Barbeque. So we shopped at the local natural market and grilled up some fabulous food. My brother is the only person I have let touch my Silver Sexy Beast of a BBQ other than myself. Let me just tell you, my dear sweet internet.... that was the best meal I have had in a LONG time. I have a long list of things I want to do this year with my family. One of them is taking the kids on hikes. The weather has been phenomenol, so we decided to tackle the challenge, grateful for my brother's extra pair of hands. It was beautiful and something the kids are begging to do again. I love this pic with the snow capped moutains in the distance. Along with AK wearing a ski hat looking so carefree. And this dog was in heaven, her ears all perked up like when she was a puppy. There was a spring in her step that masked her aging hips. Ah, yes the men in my life! I am so lucky!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fit of Giggles

It all started out with Mr. Boy eating his ice cream cone. (Btw, love the mini ice cream cones) He loves ice cream so much that he closes his eyes each time he takes a lick.
And then I wanted to take a pic of his soul patch and goatee... and then we both started giggling and we just couldn't stop.
It was the best laugh I'd had all day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He's a Real Life Super Hero

This kid's kryptonite is his asthma. I love love love what solid sleepers my kids are. They can sleep through anything. At night when I hear him wheezing, I put on his on mask and his hand immediately goes up to clutch his mask, almost as if it was a security blanket. While I'm grateful for the medicine, the technology, and for his ability to sleep soundly, it tugs at my heartstrings every time.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

God Speed Grandpa O

I just put Mr. Man on a jet plane to go to his Grandfather's Funeral. I have fond memories of his grandfather. He is the man who knew that Mr. Man and I would marry before ANY one else did.

When Mr. Man & I were first dating, a long long time ago, I told him all about my love of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. He mentioned that his grandpa shared the same passion. A few days later while Mr. Man and I were "deep in conversation" there was a knock at the door. It was his grandparents! In walks his Grandpa wearing a Harley Davidson tie. Mr. Man was anxious to introduce me and I adored the relationship Mr. Man had with them. They weren't just his grandparents, they were his friends.

A few weeks later Mr. Man invited me to join him for a weekend at his grandparents house in rural Utah. I was hesitant as we had just begun dating, and I thought it would be awkward staying with his grandparents. Staying at his Grandparents house was anything but awkward, they were gracious and welcomed me eagerly into their home. Grandpa especially wanted to show me around the sites. He learned that I had never seen a deer in person and we spent hours driving around chasing deer in his Ford Taurus. He was always convinced that there would be one "just over that hill" or "just around the bend". I don't actually think we saw deer that day... however the thrill of the "hunt" was just as exciting.

On the morning we left their house that weekend, Grandpa offered a prayer over breakfast. I specifically remember him asking the Lord to "Bless this couple as they begin their new lives together" and I was stunned. We had been dating for only a few weeks!

Mr. Man and I married later that year, and his Grandfather told me stories of all the Harley's he had over the course of his lifetime. He had a quirky sense of humor and would often mention that talking about Harley's would get his heart pounding with excitement.

He was a gracious host and was eager to show you the sites. We visited at Christmastime one year with Ross's sister. Grandpa insisted on taking us out to look at the lights, he would disobey all traffic laws to get you closer to the action, including driving on the wrong side of the road.

Later Alzheimers took away his memory, but he still was still a great host. He was anxious to show us around his nursing facility and gave us the grand tour, even though it wasn't apparent that he remembered who we were.

God Speed Grandpa O, I'm sure they have Harley's in Heaven....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Christmas Day

The rule was: You have to stay in your room until mom & dad come and get you. We heard singing and dancing, which quickly turned to pleas of "Can we come out now?"And after opening their stockings and pausing for breakfast we dove into a mountain of gifts. We practiced for a year to say "Thank you so much" after every gift, because of the incident with the batman pajamas. Last year AK was annoyed when we tried to get her to open more gifts, this year AK tore through her gifts with gusto.
Mr. Boy has talked about this red dragon since August. He wrote Santa and this was one of the items he whispered in Santa's ear.
Again, this year we tried to pair it down, we look at this picture and wonder what happened. Shhh... on Christmas Eve Santa & Mrs. Claus may have reevaluated some of the gifts and put some away. Mrs. Claus even hummed "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch" while Santa tried to put away some of Mrs. Claus's favorite gifts. In the end, we both decided to postpone a handful of gifts for later in the year. A good move.... because these next few pics scream "spoiled!" Notice all the blue boxes, that's all Playmobil my, er.. I mean Mr. Boys favorite toys. AK and I have a weekly ritual of watching the trash truck, and when the recycle bin was dumped it was a shower of blue boxes. AK started yelling, "Oh NO, my PLAYMOBILS!" As AK was getting ready for her pic, Mr. Boy leaned in to offer some encouragement.
Christmas Evening looked like this.... Kids & Dogs in the disaster zone aka the living room, still in their jammies playing with their new toys.
Big boys in the other room... still in their jammies.... playing with their new toys... It was the perfect day, including a new camera for me and a two hour nap!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Feeling Domestic

Confession time: I sew. I wanted to be a fashion designer growing up (and a Senator and President of the US... still do in fact) Sewing is not something I do that often anymore because I've got a house full of little curious hands and a dog that eats sewing needles, so I can't leave the stuff out anymore. One day, I'll have a guest room where I can leave stuff out and shut the door. Flashback: My parents bought me a professional use sewing machine for my 15th birthday and I loved it. Used the thing to death! It died while we were living in the Dollhouse on the Freeway. (A teeny tiny house on the 134 fwy in LA) I sobbed and sobbed and cried and cried because a new machine was going to be a ton of $$$$. My mother-in-law intervened and loaned me her old Singer machine. That machine was a workhorse and plowed through countless projects. It made slipcovers for 2 couches, a loveseat, 4 chairs, and 6 dining room chairs. And nursery bedding, curtains, duvets, and countless throw pillows. Last October I pulled it out for some alterations on a halloween costume to find it limping along. My sewing machine repairman put his hand on my shoulder and said, "It's time to put her to rest, she's 30 plus years old" I went home to Mr. Man and told him, my old pal was gone. He said, "Go pick out a new machine, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday" And so I did, and this new machine is awesome. I've rediscovered my love of sewing.

I recently inherited some vintage napkins, and decided to turn them into Aprons. There is something about wearing a pretty apron that makes me feel a little more spunky and puts me in a good mood. I think Aprons are the new Prozac for desperate housewives everywhere...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Christmas Eve

It feels like Christmas was ages ago. The tree has been down for over a week, but I still haven't finished my Christmas posts. So throw on some festive music, and let's share some yuletide cheer.
For Christmas Eve we hosted 25 plus for dinner. My parents, Mr. Man's family, and our pseudo cousins. The house was packed, there was lots of laughter and good stories were shared. Mr. Uncle is one smitten kitten.... when it comes to his niece. And we love the lady that is on Mr. Uncle's arm. While everyone was feasting, I stole a moment with Mr. Man under the mistletoe. These ladies are amazing. They are my rock and the people I look up to. I have had some heartfelt conversations with these ladies while working in the kitchen. I love them. After everyone left, the kids changed into their Christmas jammies. I took a posed pic, but this one seems more fitting. The kids were beside themselves they were so excited.
Mr. Man hasn't been well for a few weeks, something I'll address at another time. So I had to jump in and do the tradition reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas. Mr. Man reads the Cajun version, however I just couldn't pull it off, so I went the traditional route.Last Christmas, Mr. Boy opened his presents and because they weren't the coveted 2-9-9-9 cars from Target, he proclaimed them stupid and threw them on the ground. We've been talking about how we need to be grateful and can't throw our gifts on the ground. As he said his prayer, he asked God, "Please help me to remember to say thank you and that I won't say any of my gifts are stupid, like I did with my Batman Pajamas." It was so hard to stifle our chuckles.
And while the wee ones were nestled in their beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads... Santa arrived.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Reason #10,498,267,112,677 to live in Southern California

That's AK and my niece watching the Rose Parade Practice. We got to see some of the floats and the bands due their dry run on New Years Eve.I have pledged my undying love for Trader Joes, and here is their float, which was awesome. On New Years Eve, we gathered for the traditional New Years Eve Buffet at Aunt Deb's & Uncle Mikes. Best thing about their New Year Eve's banquet besides the great company....(which includes Mr. Uncle..)Is the floats go RIGHT by their house on their way to line up. So, while you all woke up hungover to watch the parade on TV, we got the sneak peek on New Years Eve.
After the floats went by, I couldn't help think of my mom who watched the Rose Parade as a girl on TV in Iowa while the snow piled up outside. I bet that little girl would never believe that her grandkids would be standing outside on New Years Eve watching the floats go by LIVE, not even 10 feet away, and they aren't even wearing coats!