Thursday, December 23, 2010

Catching up with Holiday Mayhem.

None of my posts can ever get off the ground and running without a little "background" So here we go:
There are 3 days left till Christmas, I am sick with Laryngitis, and Evan has a girlfriend.
Many of you may not find the sick part shocking since you have sat by and witnessed the apparent permanent grey cloud of sickness that has been hanging over our house since September. From colds to sinus infections to Mono to the dreadful stomach flu that took down the whole family the week of Thanksgiving.

I have to say, I notice a lot of things when I am sick. First, my husband refuse's to make eye contact with me. I am pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that if he and I were to lock eyes, and he sees how bad off I really am, he will have to stay home from work and run things here at the farm. So he tap dances around me, throws in a "you okay" every now and then and slips me vitamins when I am not looking. He then leaves skid marks on his way to work.

Second thing I notice when I am sick is that I am not allowed to get sick. I say this with all sincerity, because I truly do value my job as a stay at home Mom but I get no sick days. Zilch, Zero, Nada. The last "sick day" I had was two years ago and it was only classified as a "sick day" because I was chained to an IV in the ER compliments of a kidney stone. But now since it is the holidays I am especially not allowed to get sick. Too much to do, too much going, so on day 3 with no voice and a cough that was officially getting on my last nerve, I headed to the doctor where I proceeded to beg for an antibiotic and some cough syrup. Not the pansy kind either. No I wanted the one with a slight hint of narcotic's that puts me on a magic carpet ride of sleep and makes me say things like "did you put the cat out? (We don't own one) and "For God's sake turn the air conditioner up" (it is 12 degrees out). But sleep I got and sleep I needed because it is now time to address Evan's "girlfriend."

So here is where I am on the whole thing. I am contemplating two things: Home schooling or finding a bridge to jump from. Now some of you may be rolling your eyes but this is Evan we are talking about... My BABY. Oh fine, he is not a baby anymore but he is only 5 (okay to be fair 5 1/2) but STILL!!!! A girlfriend in Kindergarten??? Have you ever?? For privacy purposes I won't use her real name, so let’s just call her "Angelina" (it just came to me). ANYWAYS, Angelina's name has been mentioned more and more around here. They share the same table at school and when I went and had lunch with Evan I had to fight her to sit next to him. Even some his classmates know about their budding "friendship."
"Evan is in LOOOVVEEE" a few of them tell me.
"Uh huh." Is my response, but I see her looking at me. And I have to admit, she is a doll..... Wait, no I mean she is like a spider. A SPIDER I SAY, just waiting....preying any second now.....But her sweet blue eyes and she seems to really like me, she asked me to help her with her hair clip. I guess if he were to have a girlfriend, he at least has good taste.
WHAT AM I SAYING!!!!!?????? You know what I found the other day? Do you?? Well let me tell you. An envelope with Angelina name on it. And it hearts all over it. HEARTS!!!
He used to draw me hearts. I remind him of this one night and is met with his coy little smile.
"But Mommy.... he says sweetly. "You have me ALL the time."
Who in this house taught him logic? Certainly not me. But damn it all......
"So Angelina is your friend huh?"
He shakes his head. "Yeah she is my friend." he replies.
"Does she make you happy?" I ask fully knowing and intending this to be a set up question as I reach for my bottle of Zanax.
"Huh?" He replies
"You know... do you like being with her?"
"Ewwww, no she is a GIRL."
Deep breath...... I love that Kid. Did I tell you he was my baby? Mommy- ONE Angelina- ZERO!
"But Mommy when I grow up and marry Hannah like daddy said I could can I sleep in the same bed with her like you and Daddy do?"
As I chug the bottle of Zanax I make a mental note. "Murder husband slowly and painfully."

Well, on that note lets switch to some holiday cheer shall we!!

I say this every year but what the hell?? Is it me or does December seem to just be on fast forward more and more each year? If only its predecessor January would move as fast. But here we are 3 days to the big day and All the signs are in place that we are ready. The kids excitement level has doubled, The Elf has officially worn out any and all hiding places and my husband (whose murder plans I have decided to put on hold since I will need him to set up the Xbox we have gotten the boys) keeps leaving our bank statement page up on the computer. Like this really works. It is Christmas, I spend money and I crave (Okay NEED) the $4.00 gingerbread latte form starbucks. It is all a part of the festive joy and mayhem that makes this time of year...Well, My favorite! So here is hoping that your mayhem is just as wonderful as ours. And if your kindergartener has a girlfriend or boyfriend, please contact me so I can talk to a reasonable person about the whole how to stop kids from growing up thing.  There must be a way right?  Christmas I am ready for, but not quite the Angelina's. 

Here are some photos from our holiday season. Merry Christmas everyone.

The boys at the Penland Farm snowman showing how they are growing.

Standing in front of the tree before we cut it down.


Evan hangs his baby "1st Christmas" Ornament

Ryan's Turn

Our Tree at Night

Ryan in his class Christmas Program.

One of my fave pictures of me and the boys in Snowshoe WV.

My blessed and wonderful Family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cursing and counting and the tube of cream in the back pocket!

It is important for you to understand upfront, that Evan had hives. Or at least that is what I called them. The doctor at our local clinic called them a virus related “rash”. Never mind the large, swollen, red welts he had covered all over his body, nope just a rash they said related to this nasty virus he has been fighting for over two weeks now. I left the clinic with no prescription and a pamphlet on the definition of rash-vs-hives.  I was out $20.00 for the co-pay as well as another $35.00 for the most expensive cortisone cream on the market and the “real” Benadryl, not generic. Generic sucks!
I know what I am talking about people!!

It is also important that you know Evan has been sick for 16 days, 23 hours 14 minutes and 12 seconds. Not that I am counting (of course I am). But you must know this my dear readers to understand my current state of mind. Add on a last minute business trip the Husband springs on me to Las Veags (f**ing Las Vegas but I f**ing Digress). Code- I am out my partner for 6 days and 5 nights (yes I am counting again).  I count because I can. It may be the only thing I can do right these days.

Back to my story, or my rant. (I haven’t figured out what this is yet). I will skip over the last 72 hours of more coughing, fever and of course the hives. Yes, that was a lovely 20 minutes when the hives presented themselves on his bottom.  One more thing you must know, Evan is a bit “dramatic.” So a normal five year old who scratches his butt probably does so with a bit more discretion. But nooooo, not my little cupcake! He proceeds to strip naked, claw at his butt cheeks, jump up and down in a frantic ritual and scream at the top of his lungs- “It itches It Itches!!!” God help me if this kid ever gets the chicken pox. The good news is we were at home when this scene occurred. The bad news is Benadryl takes at least 20 minutes to kick in and I am now out another $5.00 (it was the only thing that got him to calm down, although I now feel slightly punked).

So here we are to today. Wednesday morning. The illness is finally wrapping up, the cough is better we have been fever free for 24 hours and the hives are tame for now. Yes, ladies and gentleman Evan IS going to school today (zipppty doooo daaaa zipptyyy aaaa.....) But wait…. What is that I see on my calendar circled in red…. Field Trip day??? To the Pumpkin Patch….and WHAT?? I agreed to chaperone?

I don’t curse a lot (this is a lie) but cursing has now taken on a whole new meaning. I like to stomp my feet and jump up and down when I curse. It's my Zumba if you will. And during my Zumbathon something happened. I faced the window and saw grey skies.... clouds.... a minor sprinkle in the air.  Halle-freaking-luiah!! Surely, the field trip would be canceled. I mean as fun as that sounded.... But seriously I have to get stuff done today. I have such a small window of time to myself. I need it people I have to have it or I go crazy. In fact I was incredibly impressed with how well I had handled myself to date. So I called the school to double check. I mean of course there wouldn't be a trip. Who sends kids out into a muddy field in the rain?

The School. That's who. The School sends a group of Kindergartners out in the rain and forces the parents who were dumb enough to sign up to go too. I resume my Zumbathon when the 4 year old wanders down into view. He has massive bed head, a trembling lip and soaking wet pajamas.
“Mooommmmyyy… I had an acccciiiddeeennntttt…” He mutters and then begins to cry.
Oh For God's Sake...
"Do you still love me?” He asks in desperation?
So I count to ten (see I told you I was good at something). And I usher him to the bathroom and get him naked. And it is here sweet readers where I bring you back to the hives. Because if it wasn’t for the hives, I wouldn’t have grabbed the cortisone cream I saw on the bathroom counter and stuck it in my back pocket (just in case another butt scratching episode was in store at the Pumpkin Patch) No, I would have put it in my purse, checking to make sure the cap was on tight. Caps need to be screwed on tight because guess what happens when you have a tube of cream forgotten about in your back pocket and then you go sit in your car on the way to a field trip that you are already late for? It explodes. Yes indeedy, it explodes everywhere!  All over my jeans, the back of my shirt and the seat. Did you know that car seats have creases and crevasses and everything in between? Yup, they sure do It was bad enough I accidently poured an entire can of diet coke down the gear shaft earlier in the week. Now I have cream everywhere. I hate my life at this point. I hate the cream, I hate my husband for being in Las Vegas, I hate any and all rashes and hives and I hate field trips that take place in the rain that I Hate Hate Hate!
And then it hits me. My euphony(all writers have one and if you have stuck with me this long than you might as well stick around for the euphony) .

I am that person who is constantly living her life in reverse. I don’t know if I am coming or going. I am in too much of a hurry to put things back where they belong. I then get pissed because I can never find anything. I forget about my commitments and always run late because I am too busy looking for my life that is under the overdue library books and 3 day old coffee. I am so stressed out because I am looking to blame someone... anyone... other than myself.

And sometimes I just really, really suck at this Mommy thing.

So I count and I curse and I sit on tubes of cream. I over commit and run late all the time.  Yet with all of that being said, the life in reverse thing, something else happens with life. It to has it own counting system. Tick tock tick tock.... There it goes again..... And before I know it, I am standing in a pumpkin field with my son who is now old enough to be in Kindergarten.  Evan, who deserved a fun outing after everything he has been through, Evan, whose hand the girls wanted to hold (more than once.....there I go counting again), Evan, who despite my frazzled demeanor, tired face and cream stained pants, told me how happy he was I came with him on his trip.
Evan, who made me a Mommy in the first place.
Then out of nowhere, suddenly, reverse feels normal.  For once in the past two weeks I finally feel like maybe I am not so bad at this after all.  Maybe I should stop trying to slow down life.  Maybe I should let life slow me down instead. 
I plan to give it the good ole  f**ing try anyways.  After of course I count to ten.
Sun came out long enough for the perfect eye squinting class photo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today's Art Project!

Or In other words… Today’s “Mommy you don’t know what you are talking about” Moment.

Evan is in Kindergarten now. He is learning so much. Letters, words, drawing objects, labeling objects etc.. I am so proud of him, he has come along way. He is the kind of kid that loves to do homework (especially loving this part since I know in a few years it will be a dreaded battle). He also loves art. He is constantly drawing things. I find little creations all over the house.
This was today’s….

Yes…. I KNOW!!!

So I called my little Picasso into the kitchen and seated him at the table where he left this recent and oh so visual creation. A minor version of how the conversation would ensue began in my head. I was prepared for his answer of course to be loaded with way too much information. I did however have to admire his design. It was large and well shaped. Proving my theory that even at the tender age of 5, they are obsessed with this part of their body and on some occasions feel the need to brag.

Bracing myself I asked the question….”What’s this Evan?”
“Oh, that…..” he said with his super slick and evil (okay cute) grin.

Here we go… I thought…Things to draw and not draw… Insert proper penis speech here… Please oh please tell me he didn’t draw something like this in school…..
“That is the world’s largest tongue!” He replied.
“A tongue?” I repeated, hearing the sound of a record scratch go off in my head.
“Yeah I will show you.” He took the paper and held it up to his mouth while I sat there utterly speechless.
“See?  It's a big tongue."
"Yes I see." I replied still a bit shocked but could feel a whoosh of relief come over me. 
"What made you want to draw a big tongue?" I asked him.
"My brain."  He replied casually.
"Can I go play now?”
“Uhhhh…..okay.” Was all I could muster.

It is not often I am dumbfounded. I sat there by myself, smirking as I watched him go play outside. He was (for now) still my innocent little boy.

I, however, turned out to be the work in progress.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Changing Time.

He has been eyeing me for weeks. The husband that is. And not the sort of "eyeing" that leads to romance (I think I remember what that word means). No, this type of eyeing involves something completely different.
He wants me to get rid of the last remaining baby items in the house. How could he you ask? Well, I will tell you. Right about this time every year our church does an attic sale. Chris is in charge of most of the planning. So that means the official "eyeing" begins in early spring. Little sayings like "Look at all this crap!" "Do they even play with that anymore?" And of course small little stabs at the items in our bedroom that have been there since infancy:
A pac-n-play, a baby swing and a changing table!
These items are no longer needed. Evan starts Kindergarten in less than a month. Ryan finishes up his last year of preschool as well. They are no longer babies, they are no longer toddlers, they are barely even pre-schoolers. They are now boys. Kids.... Little men!
I can barley stand it as is, and he wants me to get rid of this stuff???
Does he not know about my inner neurosis?
Now, in his defense, I will have to say that he may have a teeny tiny (microscopic) point. Our bedroom has sort of turned into a version of the Fisher Price Graveyard. The pac-n-play that is in one corner of the room now sits under a thin layer of dust and has come to serve as my laundry assistant. Clean clothes draped over on the left side, the somewhat clean (a.k.a can wear again) on the right side. Inside the pac-n-play are items of clothing that I am not sure are in style anymore. A few toys are in there too, and okay a pair of sheets. Yeah, so it has gotten sort of bad. My habit of stock piling clothes. According to my mother I have done this for years. "What do you think hangers are for" I can hear her oh so clearly say. My husband (the eye) has the same speech. Yes, I drape clothes over the pac-n-play sometimes. What can I say, I am freaking tired!
Then there is the baby swing. The cute, sits a foot off the ground, travels easily, "Ocean Wonders" baby swing. It was Ryan's favorite. It was also my nephews favorite when he stayed with me one day a week last year. I liked being able to offer that to friends and family. If you were visiting, and owned a child who was 18 months or under it was no problem! I had everything they may of needed.  I was that cool Mom who just had it all, no matter the age.  I even had diapers on the changing table.....  Which is where I turn to now.  That changing table was one of my favorite finds at a consignment store after I had Ryan. We had just moved into our new house and I needed a changing table for downstairs, It's white, wooden, has a little drawer and two shelves. It's simple and sweet and only cost me $25.00. It now sits on the opposite side of our bedroom, It too a dinosaur of memories. Yes of course clothes are stocked on top of it. A mix of stuff that doesn't fit anymore,their old soccer uniforms, tractor pajamas from last year, all of their shorts and T-shirts for the summer lay on top.  It has indeed become a bottomless pit of 4T and 5T clothing. Or as the eye likes to point out, another place for "crap" (his favorite word of the decade).
Well.....what does he know? I like having a place to keep some of their clothes down stairs. Especially the summer time. I wash their stuff fold it and pile on the changing table. It's just easier so they do't have to run upstairs to get dressed all the time. It's not my fault that the washing machine is downstairs and their rooms are UPSTAIRS!
Can you feel my neurosis kicking in?
Me too!
So now is probably a good time to pause and admit, I don't know what makes life easier anymore. I am not sure I ever really knew and probably never will.  I have to say I am not upset over losing my dual laundry assistants. In a weird way I agree, it's time to move some of this stuff out of our room. Take our room back if you will. Yeah, I get that.  But what I really think has me waffling back and fourth here, is the idea of getting rid of all this stuff really means we are done having kids.  It seems so final even to write that, but sadly I do believe in my heart it is true. No more babies... How weird. But yet, how not so weird. I certainly had my fun, had my time. Not once but twice! Two wonderful, chunky, squishy perfect, little babies.... And now they are old enough to put their own laundry away.
And talk back.
And slam doors.
And sing songs from the Black Eyed Peas.
Oh My...

So, I give in to the eye and allow him to dismantle the items. I am, however not giving up the baby swing. Some things I just have to put my foot down. And I still have a few friends left with little babies who may visit any time now. I can still say "Come on over, the sing is waiting."  My husband seems to understand this and I am grateful.
I look around our room now and feel oddly impressed. We have more space now. The room looks bigger, more grown up. Different.... Where was that IKEA catalog that came in the mail the other day? I can sort of visualize a sleek new book case in that corner. I turn on my heel in pursuit of my favorite furniture magazine. I do after all have a new graveyard to build!

*The boys pose on the changing table before it's carted out of the house.  It cracks me up how once they were so small, now have legs long enough to dangle to the second shelf.  Sigh....  Can't beat the silly fces though.*

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So they play with themselves. Get over it Mommy!

It was the sort of laugh that means they are up to no good.... The laugh that is not so much a laugh per say, but an evil cackle.... Every Mom in the world knows this sound. While entertaining to the ear, it usually ends up two ways: Either they are up to mischief, or they are up to something totally disgusting. Since I own boys, the later usually applies. So with anticipated fear and curiosity I followed the noise to where I last left my children. I was met with neither mischief nor disgust, but rather something else. Something I, in a million years, thought I wouldn’t have to deal with until at least puberty.
Touching themselves.
Or in this case, each other!!
Oh Goodie….

Now before you think you have entered the freak zone of this blog let me clarify a few things. No, they were not naked. No, they were not being gross or perverted. They were just “playing”…If you will. Evan was the fondler, and was using his foot. Ryan was lying on his back and laughing. “That Tickles” he kept saying in between the evil cackling.
Dear God Please Help Me…..
Before I knew it words come pouring out of my mouth, and I had no control over the volume.
Both boys de-tangled themselves from each other and even though they sensed I was mad proceeded to laugh even harder.

Okay so I knew the day would arrive. The "private area" talk. I really totally swear I knew it was coming. Especially, with Ryan. The child came out of the womb fondling himself.

I begin my approach with a brief pit stop at what I like to call 'Mommy Rationalization.' They are after all just kids... no harm here right? These are the same children who not only pee together but have contests as to whose stream goes the furthest. Yes they have ventured down "there" before and yes it is a thing I am sure all kids do. But Still, I have to say something….
Ryan pulls me out of my current state of shock.

"Hehehehe....Mommy" He begins with a laugh. "That was ticking me!"
Oh the innocence.... the pure innocence.... Think woman think! What to say what to say.
"Guys" I begin (I tend to favor the word guys).
"We need to have a talk about your private areas."
"Our what?" The ask in unison.
"Mommy can we have a snack?"
"No, we need to chat about your penis!"
More laughing!

Why oh why isn't Daddy home for this moment. But no, this falls on me. Just like everything else. Must educate the children pronto!!!
But they are only 5 and 4.  Really??? I am at this point already?

I look at the clock. OH BLOODY HELL! Too early for a cocktail. Too late for ignoring what I started. I round up my best serious face and sit down on the floor next to the boys who have shifted expressions from sheer happiness to the onset of boredom.

I try again.
"Guys - " Your private areas are your own business."
"The penis you mean" The five year old offers.
"Yes, that's right, your penis. Okay so now, we don't play with each other’s penis okay. That is private."
“Like your Boobs are Private Mommy?” Once again, the ever informative and observant, 5 year old offers.
“Yes Evan, that’s right. Some things are personal to girls and some things are personal to boys.”
“What about your penis Mommy?” Ryan says.
“No…Yes, I mean I don’t have a….” Sigh….

“What I am trying to say guys is that you and ONLY you are allowed to play with your OWN penis.
Yes, I said it. I did. Play with yourselves dear children. Need a magazine????
And right on cue they crack up again. It’s like they know I am in Hell right now. This so sucks!!
I want to be mad but I can’t find my voice.

So I call my Mom.
"Mom, you won't believe what I caught Evan and Ryan doing?"
"What?" she asks with her ‘my perfect grandchildren could do no wrong’ tone.
"Well, Evan was using his foot and uhh.. stroking Ryan in his privates. And Ryan was laughing.”
"Oh, that is hysterical." My Mom replies perfectly calm like.
"What do you mean hysterical, its weird right?
"Now, honey it's classically kid like. They don't know any better and it feels good.'
"What?!?!  Now, it's not a big deal sweetheart really. Why when you and your sister discovered-"
I hang up on her before she can finish her sentence.
Next I call my husband.
"And." he replies unimpressed with the story I laid out for him. Maybe he didn’t hear me right. Maybe he isn't concerned that they were engaged in such activity." So I repeat it again, this time using major graphic descriptions
"Well, they are dudes." Is all he has to offer.
"But shouldn't I engage in some sort of chat here?
"Hey what's for dinner?'
I hang up on him too.

I am alone in my journey. I am. I realized this a few years ago. A house full of penises. Its’ like a circus half the time. I look back towards the boys. They have moved on to their Transformer toys and probably don’t even care anymore.

So I cave in and get over it. Me and my non-penis schlep off in to the other room. Waiting.... Anticipating the next evil cackle that has become both my friend and enemy. Friend because it has saved me from many 'screwdriver in the light socket' moments. Enemy because case in point today, in a split second, they have the nerve to grow up a little bit more.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Classic Sumer funk and PLEASE Stop Talking!

Today is a weird day.
Okay it's a weird "weird" day. I don't know why exactly. No rhyme no reason....It's a Friday which is cool... It's summer which again, is cool. The sun is shining the birds are chirping, cool, cool, cool. (or as my four year old would say Blah Blah Blah...)
Yet I am in a classic summertime funk.
And it's not even July 4th.
So I have decided I need a project. Something that doesn't involve putting on sunscreen and endless searches for the kids swim goggle, and funny enough I do have one in mind.

Get rid of all toys that talk!

This actually came to me yesterday after I stepped on 'Buzz Lightyear' with a hand full of laundry. "I come in Peace" the little shit responds.
You come in Peace?? Do you now?? Here's your peace... And I sideswiped him with my foot where he slid underneath the dining room table and had the nerve to speak again. "I am Buzz Lightyear defender of the universe!"
I hate that dude!!

However, the real reason all these talking toys need to go is what happened a few weeks ago. I am just now recovering from this so I can talk about it openly. Let me start with the fact that all toys whose voices come over on a child's monitor usually sound silly and cartoonish. However at 3:00 a.m. they sound like Freddie Kruger. I am not exaggerating at all (okay, slightly....) But still....
Since becoming a mother my ears went from blocking everything out to I hear everything including the "swoosh" sound a pin makes when it drops to the floor. This is a miserable yet necessary part of parenting. I mean sure I sleep, but any little thing...I am up. Case in point the 3:00 a.m. Freddie Kruger incident. It sounded like evil whispering actually, but I bolted right up immediately. What the Hell was that? I looked over at my husband who was sound asleep or playing dead (which he has a history of doing when there is ruckus via the children between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m.).

It's funny what goes through your mind when you think there is an ax murderer in the house. I am happy to say that after the mind numbing fear registered, my first instinct was to yes- check on the children. In my sleepy stupor I ran up the stairs, realizing half way up that I failed to bring a weapon. Crap!! No matter no matter, must check the children will figure something out. However my heart was pounding. All I could hear was that voice. What (or rather who) the heck was that? Better question what the heck was I doing? Last question, did I turn the oven off?
I tip toed gingerly into the kids bedroom, and thankfully the children were indeed safe and sleeping. Breathing, lost in their sweet little la la land. There seemed to be no monster in their room, no alligators under their beds or nightmares in their closets (I really do need to get the boys new books to read as I have turned into one of them)
But then....there it goes.... It happens again. A muffled creepy voice it is coming from the other room. It says something to the effect of "Do it again Hot Wheels" It is dawning on me now that this may not be an ax murder but indeed a child’s toy. An irritating talking toy that has woke me up and given me a major panic attack at 3:00 a.m. I find the toy. It is a Hot Wheels track with a big shark head that talks, or more specifically- taunts. It's evil. It's also lying slightly underneath another toy, somehow its button being pushed setting it off in random rants. I kick it and it shuts up. I go back downstairs, mission accomplished.  I am supermom, defender of the universe. I fall back to sleep making a list of all toys that need to go:

Item # 1) anything and everything from the Madagascar movies, mainly the Happy Meal toys. We have 100 of these. For years Chris Rock, Jada Picket Smith and the Penguin dudes have filled up our house with sayings like "You Guys Are crazy." and "Let's Go." Sure it's stuff I say on a daily basis but who needs miniature zoo animals mocking you? Nope, not this mama. They need to go.

2) The GI Joe Doll - Who does this guy think he is? With his Al Pacino be voice and his "Hoooohaaaa." Sounds. "Take that you Cobra!" It says constantly. "Oh yeah? Take this you Ken doll wanna be, and guess what your lime green jumpsuit and crew cut is NOT a good look for you!"  Ass....
**I might have a minor GI Joe hatred thanks to one of my childhood neighbors (we will call him crazy evil Johnny) who used to tease me and my sister with his GI Joe dolls. But I digress.**

3) Robots! Especially ones that inform me when I walk by that "The enemy has been attacked" and follows with rapid gunfire. I know I am the enemy. You see shiny red robot that was greatly over priced, I am Mommy. Of course I am the enemy. I am the one who doesn't allow the children to chew gum. I also don't allow Chocolate milk for dinner anymore. I put my foot down when there is a child standing or walking on the back of furniture and I really, really come down hard on all sentences that start with the word “Poppyhead.” I am a buzz kill for sure. I didn't used to be. I used to be cool and in charge and the fixer of all problems. Now apparently, I suck but don’t need to be reminded. Robot be gone!!

4) Diego. Yes, "Go Diego Go" got me through a lot of "phases" in this house. The toddler phase particularly. You remember that phase right? The one where they can talk but can't reason yet? The tempers, the learning of the word "no" themselves, the emptying of trash cans and pouring juice all over the sofa... That one. So yes, my little amigo Diego helped me out by memorizing both two year olds to that much loved catatonic state. He is a real pal and I am grateful. But the dude has one of the most irritating voices on TV. So transfixed into toys it's even more irritating. Especially the talking camera. "Click.....Take a Pic....." Yeah Yeah Yeah.... Blah Blah Blah.. Go....Diego....Go.

5) Last but not least. Any and all Laser Guns. These are extra special and usually given to the boys by one or both set of retired and relaxed grandparents. I can tell they love watching my husband and I suffer on Christmas Morning when the boys open a loud obnoxious toy that requires 18 batteries and ear plugs. I am being shot with one right now actually. My sweet innocent first born is pointing aiming and firing. A sound follows that resembles what would happen if I tried to steal an article of clothing with the plastic sensor still attached. It’s a lovely sound really. Good mix of high volume and sheer obnoxiousness.
“I shot you Mommy.”
“Yes Thank you Evan. You got Mommy.”
“Play dead.”
And so I do. And he is happy. He run’s off to go shoot his brother who defends himself pretending to be Buzz Lightyear. It’s kind of cute actually. I smile, my funky mood lifted slightly.
Maybe that guy is not so bad after all.
And in all honesty neither is Summer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Catching Up!

Oy! It has been way too long since I have had a chance to sit down and do some blogging. It's not that I haven't tried, I have three stories saved in my drafts folder, just somehow can't seem to get around to finishing them. Once agian just a testament to how busy life has been lately and... okay how sometimes I just end up on the couch after a long day catching up on episodes of"Glee." There I have outed myself as a "Gleek." You are caught up now on at least my party animal lifestyle these days...

Here is what every one else is up too....

The boys are driving, Evan has been accepted into Stanford University for his discovery of how to fly planes  through a large pile of volcanic ash. He is also currently working on writing his Memoir called "How to solve all Earths Mysterys by watching Scboy Doo." Jeepers!!!

Ryan has been accepted into the University of Charleston and will be majoring in surfing, babes and beer. He is also student teaching a course called "How to Convenience Your Parents That The 'Eat Smart Veggie Chips' Really Are a Vegetable."

Kidding.... Of course, but not so far off of their little personalties. Oh how these little guys have grown up on me in the past few months. We are the the end of the school year, 2 more weeks left of preschool and I marvel every day at how much they have learned and how smart and very different both boys are. Why the other day when I picked them from school and asked them how the day was the conversation went something this:
Me - "So guys how was school today?"
Evan - "I made a telescope."
Ryan "It was very Jesusy"
So there you go!
I am somewhat sad to see this year come to an end. It is the last year of pre-school for Evan who has had the nerve to grow up on me and will be attending Kindergarten in the fall ( Kleenex and Valium on hand of course). So I am trying to savor having only one commute to school, both kids still on the same schedule, in the same building at the same time. I have loved watching them come out of school together holding hands, smiling at me as I pick them up and getting home early enough in the afternoon to watch a movie together and just be. Next year will bring a big change in routine and a pretty decent does of reality for both boys as they go separate ways for school. I think they will handle this fine, they always seem to amaze me by adopting to change pretty quickly. I am the one who will probably be a wreck for awhile. But at least I know this about myself and have plenty of time to prepare and work on a theroy of how to stop time.
The boys and I at a recent school function.

We have had a decent spring so far. The weather has been both great and awful at the same time. Great because it has been warm and awful because of the record breaking pollen amounts accumulated over the last few weeks. The second week in April was the worst which also (conveniently) was the same week as spring break. For 4 days Evan and I turned into red eyed, runny nosed, sneezing, tired, wandering, ommpa loompas.   We were cranky and miserable and as it turns out, misery really doesn't like company.
Ryan, however (the one who doesn't eat vegetables mind you), was not effected at all.  This wasn't too bad at first until he grew just as cranky and bored with being inside.  He then decided to protest by refusing to put clothes on for the duration of spring break.

Isn't he cute when he is being defiant?

A few other updates, The boys are more than half way done with their second season of playing soccer. Two more weeks and we can say goodbye to Wednesday night practice and Saturday morning games. The boys have seemed to enjoy soccer much more this season. I think it's because they are better now, getting used to playing and getting used to working on a team.  I also think it has something to do with the fact that there is almost always a cool snack provided at half time.

I am still playing guitar and still learning new songs. I am and have been learning for months now that playing the guitar is not only very, very hard but also very, very time consuming.  I had no idea how involved and technical this music stuff was. Did you know that there are 4 beats in a measure? And that there are things called "half measures" and I have to stay on beat ( not easy for me since I have no concept of musical rhythm except after a couple of beers). My guitar instructor is wonderful and very patient with me and even spent an entire class on teaching me how to clap. I thought child birth stripped away most of my dignity, but ohhh nooo... I still had some to be stripped away after a lesson on how to clap to the beat only to realize that I am completely and utterly tone death.  I am sticking with it however.  No need to stop the dignity stripping anytime soon. Until then I just keep strumming. 

The other members of our family (Bruno and Josie) are doing well for the most part. Bruno has been off and on sick.  For extra fun he came down with a stomach bug (also conviently over spring break) and proceeded to vomit just about every where. If you ever are looking for an activity that will complety memorize a 4 and 5 year old, have them stare at you slack jawed and wide eyed, try being on all fours scooping up large amounts of dog barf while cursing and gagging.

Good times....

Bruno has also been diagnosed with the beginning stages of hip dysplasia. He is 7 years old and the life expectancy of Great Danes are typically 9-10 years. So I realize our big boy is getting older (and also quite expensive). He has had three visits to the animal hospital since March all racking up close to $1,000. My way of handling this is complete and utter denial. Chris on the other hand keeps eyeing Bruno with a "You cost me any more money I will have to off you myself." look. So it's been a bit stressful lately. Especially since there seems to be no exact reason as to why he keeps getting sick. However as of date he has gone 2 weeks now with no incidents so fingers are crossed.

One of my favorite pics of Bruno.

Josie,our yellow lab mix who is also up there in years is her usually cranky old lady self. Since she never quite forgave us for bringing Bruno home as a puppy then a year later- a baby, followed by another baby, she pretty much spends her daily life eating the children's crayons and sleeping in the closet. She has also taken to rather loud and obnoxious snoring at night. I firmly believe this dog is still holding a grudge. But every now and then I catch a glimpse of the old Sweet Joise and reward her with a tummy rub and doggie biscuit.

I caught Evan and Josie watching the rain together and had to take this.

Let's see what else....

Favorite new TV Show from the past few months, Other than Glee, (OMG I so want Rachel and Finn together....OMG did I really just say that?) has been Jamie Oliver's Food revolution. First off Jamie is just a cuite pie and secondly what a great insight into what we put into our kids bodies. I have to admit that I haven't done a stellar job to date. No wonder Evan is allergic to anything and everything related to nature. and Ryan (who refuses to eat vegetables in case I haven't mentioned that yet) will only eat anything remotely healthy if and ONLY if he can dunk it honey Mustard (grapes included).  I learned a lot from watching that show and now make my own homemade chicken nuggets. Yes I have become "that" Mother. I avoided her for awhile but she found me regardless. She is funny that way....

Favorite Media Story - Joe Biden dropping the F-bomb on national T.V.  I loved this for many reasons but mainly because I get busted for cursing by the boys at least once a day so it's always cool when someone else does it.  Especially over a live front of the whole world....standing next to the President.....played back endlessy for days...Classic!

Favorite new thing I have done just for "Me" I have joined a gym and work out 3 times a week now. I am loving this not only because it gives me a chance to do something for myself, (even if it is only for 30 minutes). But also because the gym I belong to has free child care!!! This is a bloody fantastic motivator for on the days I am feeling lazy and tired. Boys are acting up and driving me crazy.....Play room at the gym here we come!! Let someone else deal with it for a little while, even if it means I have to take a spinning class, fake enthusiasm (and the ability to spin) and end up on the floor with oxygen and an IV.

Most recent wake up call - Getting de-friended on Facebook! That was interesting. BUT... I de-friended that same person back (so there!). It only took me a year to apparently piss someone off but who knew how liberating it feels to hit that little "remove" button. So cool and so unbelievable childish too. I am oddly proud of how this feels but at the same time recognize the fact that I might need to get a life.

Favorite moment with other Mommies - A recent get away trip down to Hilton Head (thank you Chris for a much needed mini-vacation kid free). Five Mommies, no children, no husbands, no laptops. Plenty of beach, good weather and of course cold beer. I laughed more than I ever thought possible and bonded with these women in ways that only the other 4 women can understand (sorry guys no pillow fights in our underwear). But what a treat to get away and be outside my life for awhile. I came back refreshed, re-energized and tan. What else more can I say about the magic of that.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

So that is about it form the life of our little world. It' has been busy, it has been crazy it has been all over the place. But after taking some time to write about our happenings and my "favorites" I have to say that life is exactly where it is supposed to be. I am learning that I enjoy life better this way because, darn it all there really is no way to slow things down anytime soon. I hope to post more, especially with summer coming. Surely there will be plenty of pool stories, park stories, bruised knee stories and (hold your breath) can master Margaritaville on the Guitar stories. Now if I can just find time to sit, play, write, breathe.... Yes, that would be perfect. Until then, my plan is to just keep strumming.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Those Moments.

Since becoming a mother, I have found on many occasions muttering, lecturing and reciting (sometimes word for word) things my own Mother said to me and my sister while growing up. Here are a few common ones that come to mind:
"Because I said so."
"Do you know how lucky you are to have each other?"
"Do I need to come up there?"
"Just wait till your father gets home!" Too name a few, but last week I found myself in new territory. A lecture, I for the life of me could not recall my own Mother using. I went something like this:

"The bathroom is not a place for food."

Why oh why don't I remember this one??
Oh, that’s right, my Mom owned girls.
I own boys!
Dirty, grubby, bouncing, climbing, jumping, gooey, mud pie making boys.
But I digress....
Here is what happened.
The scene: Downstairs bathroom. I was drawn to this scene when I heard slight cackling followed by something that sounded like "Quick... hurry.... before Mommy comes." This almost always sends me into a light sprint mixed in with dreaded fear. So it was no surprise when I found my feet moving themselves quickly towards the sound of the cackling. When I arrived I found the following:

Perpetrator # 1 The 5 year old. He is sitting on the potty, pants around the ankles feet swinging slightly, dum dum lollipop sticking out of his mouth, proud smirk on his face.

Perpetrator # 2 The four year old. Standing slightly behind his brother pants also down around his ankles.  His little white butt is clenched in position as he is attempting to aim his pee pee stream in the small gap of space behind Evan and the back of the toilet lid.

The explanation: "Look Mommy" begins the 5 year old who speaks perfect English even with the dum dum lollipop in his mouth. "Ryan and I are going potty at the same time to conserve water like Daddy taught us. Isn't that cool?"

"Evvvaaannnnn!" The four year old begins to whine in a high pitched squeal, "move your hiney I can't see!!"

It's often moments like this I catch myself doing a double take of my children (my last double take involved a glue stick, a pair of scissors and the dog). They happen quite frequently around here and this indeed was a double take moment. I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. My boys, using the same potty, at once. One doing # 1 the other doing # 2, both successfully with lollipops.

Welcome new readers. Nice to have you. Please don't leave skid marks. I have to write about it or I would go insane....

Back to the scene in front of me I realized intervention was necessary but oh where to start....So many to chose from... But decided to go with the lollipop... Because......well.......Ew!

"Evan, the potty is not a place for food." I say and as calmly as I could, walked over to him and pulled it out of his mouth. It's half gone but has been in his mouth for so long that the stick has now turned into tissue paper and has decided to stick to his lip as I yank it away.

"MOOOMMM!" He yells.

"Do not MOM me." Is the only brilliant thing I can think of to say at that moment. I threw the stick in the trash and tried to decide which next to tackle.

"Ryan, why on earth are you using the same potty as your brother?"

"Because, he told me to." A gleeful Ryan announces, still standing in the exact same position I found him in although at this point he has finished and quite impressively did not get any pee pee on the back of the potty.

"If your brother told you to jump off a bridge would you do that?" I say reciting a classic and familiar lecture and feeling somewhat back in control. However, Ryan just blinks back at me unsure if he is in trouble or not.

"Mommy, I had to go pee pee." He begins, starting to defend himself. For added effect he throws in a minor lip tremor which he too can also do perfectly with a lollipop still in his mouth.

"Okay Okay..." Was my yet again my only brilliant come back at the time. I helped him pull up his pants, grabbed his lollipop out of his mouth and instructed him to start washing his hands. I told his brother to finish up and wash his hands and that they both were to meet me at the kitchen table for a "talk."  Something they both know means Mommy is mad.

"I don't want a spanking...I don't want a spanking...." Ryan starts crying while at the sink. Crocodile tears in full effect, lip trembling even harder. He has enough soap on his hands to clean a small army and has forgotten to pull his sleeves up. 

Oh these moments.....These sweet, sweet, labored and somewhat agonizing moments as a Mother.....I closed my eyes and counted to ten before speaking again. "You are not getting a spanking, just finish up, both of you."

And I stormed out of the bathroom stomping my feet for extra effect, a childish maneuver that I was fully aware but too frazzled to care.

I sat down at the table and begin to ponder my speech. Where does one start? This is new territory for me. In one hand I do remember very clearly overhearing Chris talk to the boys about conserving water. I do truly believe that their intentions were good. But I also truly believe that they were enticed by the idea of trying something new and different just for kicks. They do it every day. Pushing new buttons, setting off warning signals in my head.  Walking across the back of the sofa..... swinging from the bar on the treadmill, climbing the shelves in the pantry, just to name a few.... They are fearless, clueless and oh so curious wrapped into one giant wad of pure unexpected moments.
Is there any hope here?
Will anything get through to them?

I am going to pause right here for a second. As funny as this story is, there is a serious side as well. I didn't set out for there to be one until I sat in church last Sunday and listened to the pastor talking about aligning our hearts with Jesus ( I know, going from a potty story to Jesus, but please bare with me…). This act of aligning sat with me for a few minutes as I listened to him encourage us to align our thoughts with God’s thoughts, and if we do, our lives will follow the course he has prepared for us.

I am often hit in the deepest part of parenting that no matter how hard I try to stay on a path, I get knocked off most of the time falling down and not sure how to get back up. I didn't recognize that moment in the bathroom was one of those moments until I sat in that service and listened, and it was there that I soaked in the fact that is every bit of God's intent. And I was suddenly filled with the emotion of pure gratefulness.  I realized I want to be knocked off the path. I want to be thrown off course, because the act of getting back up is (crazy as it sounds) really half the fun.

Those little surprising moments…

At the time it didn’t feel like it, but underneath it all, (even the gross potty moments), I realized that the easiest yet also hardest part of parenting is aligning my hearts with theirs. Their hearts, their spirits, their hopes, their ambitions, their weirdness, their everything.

I wondered if my own Mom felt this way at times, if she too searched for the wonder in my sister and I. That sometimes a moment is simply that- “a moment.”
I also realized that even though the potty incident was a bit crass, it was also classically kid like. At least for my boys. They are at an age now where gross stuff is cool stuff.  A phase that doesn't seem to be ending any time soon in our house hold.

But back to my story.  I want to go on record and say that I did indeed address the lollipop’s in the bathroom, the act of respecting privacy and even found a way to praise Ryan for his aim. A mixture of lectures all wrapped up into a 2 minute speech that surprising enough, despite my best intentions to stay serious and focused, ended up with laughter and a trip to the park.
And it's moments like that- when I align my heart right back with their's, that I realize it never really left in the first place.
And that is without a doubt, the best moment of them all.

My sweet Little Perpetrators, staying out of trouble long enough for a photo!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


We have a new member to our family. Her name is Lily and she is a lizard.
Yes, a  lizard….Or as I would later come to find out they are called “anole’s” (but more on that later).
However for the sake of this story she is a Lizard, (and for the sake of myself I have deemed it a "her" because quite honestly I need more female companionship in this house).
We noticed Lily about two weeks ago. She has taken a liking to the shelf in the garage next to Evan's old Bicycle helmet. We first saw her on a crazy rushed Tuesday morning on our way out the door to preschool. I had just finished instructing (okay yelling) for the boys to get in the car and went about the rest of my normal chaotic school morning routine. (According to a recent study, the hours between 8:00 and 9:00 are the most stressful for Mom’s) and this particular morning was no exception. Especially after coming out the door to find them NOT in the car but standing perfectly still, completely mesmerized by something on the shelf.
"What part of NOW don’t you understand?" I began to say (okay shriek). Two little ‘deer in head lights’ little boys turned to me and gleefully said "Look Mommy - a lizard."
Perched quietly on the shelf was a light brown small lizard. She was pressed up against the wall and had frozen herself completely still probably compliments of the boys looming in front of her chatting excitedly and attempting to poke her. I looked at her long enough to make sure she was breathing (a reflex I clearly have no idea how to turn off since becoming a Mom.) After a few seconds I saw her little rib cage suck in and suck out and deemed her alive
"Uh huh that's nice, okay we have to go Mommy is late and it's school time."
"Buuuuutttttt Moooommmmmyyyyyyy llllooooookkkkkkkk.." The three year old whined and I had no choice but to stop once again and act more interested.
"Yes, very cute." I said after a 5 second pause and then threatened spankings if they weren't in the car and buckled up within the next 30 seconds.
"Do you think she will be here when we get back?" Evan asked while climbing in the car.
"Sure." I replied as we did a whirlwind out of the garage and driveway and on our way to school.
I didn’t think about the lizard until hours later when I had to leave to go pick the boys up. I came out the back door and happened to notice the lizard was still there in the same spot just hanging out. Wow, I thought to myself… She is still here.  Cool.
And then again the follwoing morning as we once again scrammbled out the door to school
"Look Mommy, the lizard is still here. Maybe she likes it here". Evan said.
She is kind of cute I thought.  No longer brown in color she was almost green and seemed peaceful with her eyes closed sound asleep
"Can we name it?" Ryan asked.
"Sure." I said. 
"How about Tarzan" Evan chimmed.
"No I like chicken face." Ryan said cracking himself and his brother up.
Ignoring their goofy laugh, "How about Lilly." I suggested.  "Lilly the Lizard."
Whether they liked it or not her name was now indeed Lilly.
And upon returning from school that same morning, I took a moment to lean down towards her, smile and say a quick “hi there.
And it was here she opened her eyes, cocked her head and if I didn't know any better winked at me.
I now own a lizard.
And (apparently) in need of a major vacation.
What can I say, she has grown on me. She has been there two weeks now and every time we open the door we (okay I) look for her. The first few days I really worried about her physically. Was she getting food and water?? I mean what do these things eat anyways? I figured she found herself into the garage and if needed could find her way out. I toyed briefly with the notion that maybe Lilly was better off in the grass. I even almost moved her (before I formed an attachment, now everyone in the house is under strict orders not to move, touch, or breathe anywhere near her for fear of scaring her)
I hear Tahiti is nice this time of year….
We began feeding her last week. Nothing fancy, just some broken up cheese crackers. The boys enjoyed crumbling them up and putting them on the shelf. Slowly over the last few days the crackers have disappeared. Whether it’s her (or perhaps another creature I don’t want to know about).  Either way someone is eating them and I am just going to pretend it’s her.
“Why are you feeding the Lizard?” Chris, my husband asked one night.
“You mean Lilly?”
“LILLY” I shot back looking at him as if he had forgotten one of our own children’s names.
“It was the boy’s idea.” I said (it was my only defense).
“You realize ants may come now.”
“Good, more for her to eat.” I said

I can’t really explain his next facial expression but it was something similar to the face he sometimes makes when he is forced to watch American Idol with me. Pure horror yet unexplained fascination.

I guess I can’t blame him. While it’s true I have formed a fondness for her I do realize that eventually Lilly will probably be on her merry way soon enough. But until then, providing a nice friendly environment for her isn’t too off in crazy la la land is it?? What’s the harm in just helping her get through these next few weeks of winter. Especially this week with a snow/ice storm looming. As if I needed further encouragement one night when the temps were in the 20’s I checked on her and could not find her.
“Lilly???” I called…. Small fear began to creep through me. Maybe it was just meant to be for her to move on. I mean seriously….what is wrong with me?
But then I saw her. Snuggled in between two plastic grocery bags also on the same shelf in attempt to stay warm. She was sleeping and looked very, very cold.
I made up my mind right there and then that Lilly must be brought inside to live with us.
St. Thomas…..???

So off to Pet smart we went the following day in search of a small aquarium for our new family member. Now I must mention that at this point, (like anything else that is new and different in the world of a 4 and 5 year old) newness wears off. While the boys haven’t completely forgotten about Lilly they seem to have moved on to the “could care less” category. It’s okay I reason with myself. Once we pick out a new cage and bring her inside they will be interested again. Or at least that is how I explained it to the nice young man who offered to help me while I stood clueless in front of the large display of reptile appropriate glass aquariums.
“What can I do for you today” he asked. He was very polite and had nice thick brown hair pulled back in a pony tail (as a mother of two boys I tend to notice tidiness).
“Umm, well, we seem to have a little lizard that has taken up residence in our garage, and well the boys have become way attached so we decided to see if we could find her a little cage to keep her in. “
The young man nodded politely and looked down at my side at two little boys who were not only no longer standing next to me, but had now positioned themselves strategically in front of a large colorful bird cage sticking their tongues out and chanting “I thought I saw a puddy cat…”

“Guys, come here!” I say (yell) Then smiled at my helper. He smiled back and nodded his head that reassured me he has seen my kind before. It was here I got the education of the common “anole” that usually is seen around North Carolina. Most likely Lilly came in to the garage because she was cold. He then went on to say all the different ways you can care for one and pointed me in the direction of a very reasonable priced cage.

“Now, what do they eat?” I asked him.
“Crickets.” He said without blinking.
“Cric…crickets?” I replied almost mutely.
“Yes, they eat crickets.”
“Okay, and umm… where does one buy crickets?” (So much for my theory that she was eating those cheese crackers).
“We sell them here live, .10 a cricket.”
“Uh huh… “was all I could muster.
I mean I had grown very fond of Lilly but now I am supposed to buy her crickets….to eat….to feed to her??”
“Well, um can you show me where the crickets are, and by any other chance do the eat cheese crackers.”
My helper grew wide then laughed and shook his head no.
“I have never seem them eat anything that doesn’t move.”
Oh God…
What was I getting myself in too?
At the cricket display (yes cricket display stocked with live jumping crickets and cricket vitamins to also purchase) I began to realize that perhaps I may be in over my head. Not a lot over my head, just a little. Although cricket vitamins??? Really???

So thus my mental processing began. Do I really need to spend money on a cage….crickets…vitamins a little water dish that Evan had found… ? I mean seriously? She is probably very happy in the garage and let’s face it, she is a reptile, they are used to being cold. I looked over at the boys who (once again) had left my side and were now engrossed with the hamsters and had to ask myself who was I really doing this for….Them or me….? As much as I wanted it to be them, it was clearly me. I cared about this lizard, yes but not enough to go crazy on un-necessary purchases. In the end I decided that it was best to just let her be. Maybe this was a sign of some sort; maybe I need a new project, a new outlook of some kind. It is the dead of winter and not much excitement going on in our worlds but I will be determined to set my focus on something else. Something worthwhile, something that doesn’t involve little jumping insects that I would have to possibly touch or witness escape thier box and be free in the house.... The mere thought….

“Okay guys, I said let’s go” and as I turned to thank my nice well groomed helper a thought occurred to me. I remembered the other day when I leaned down to Lilly I startled her a little bit but instead of moving quickly like they do she backed away very, very slowly. A little too slowly, I actually wondered for a minute if she was injured. So I asked pony tail guy one last question.

“She moved really slowly the other day when I startled her.” Do you think she could be hurt?"

“Nah, he said once again.” “She is probably just cold..

Okay, I found myself reasoning. Not injured just cold…. Good, Lilly would be just fine.

"Or pregnant.”  He then added.

I went with the cage with the amber colored roof, little green water dish and freeze dried crickets (who knew). She looks great in our kitchen, and the boys have regained interest now that they know they can show off their new robots to someone else.

I am sure both Tahiti and St. Thomas are nice and warm this time of year.... But as of now, so is our kitchen.

Welcome Lilly. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In Better Hands Now.

My Mom, Dad, Nana….and actually most of my relatives (now that I think about it) used to tell me that once I became a parent, time would fly by so fast. I didn't believe them at first. Especially in those first few months of sleep deprivation, no reason crying and diaper changing I couldn’t wish hard enough for the time to go by faster. It seemed to stand still in those late night feedings, and as I rocked back and forth in the chair feeding my precious little new wonder I could hear those words... "Enjoy, because it goes by so fast..."
But as I sit down to write this post, damn at all if all those relatives of mine weren’t right. I had planned on writing about the past year, but as I type, I really find myself focusing on the decade. A whole decade. 10 years since the Y2K mumbo jumbo. Do you remember that? I sort of do, but just like most things that come and go it has fizzled and jokes are made and eventually it's forgotten about except in one liners here and there and my husband (who is in technology and had to work that night) makes reference form time to time with a proper and much deserved sour look on his face.
But we got through it, and I started thinking over the past ten years and what we all have gotten or not gotten through..... For me, these were the stand outs.....

We lost the twin towers, and went to war. Right or wrong??? Ten years later, I am still not sure. I do however feel one thing is for certain…Our soldiers are the real heroes and I can never thank them enough.

The Anthrax scare… SARS…Swine flu… It did (and still does). Seem endless. I still think one of the coolest inventions of the decade is liquid hand sanitizer. Thanks Purell.

Snipers in cars, shooting innocent victims, threatening the whole east coast and make us all never pump gas the same again. Those few weeks felt like we were in a Steven Spielberg movie and I could feel the whole nation breathe a sigh of relief when they were caught.

And on that topic, Goodbye (and good riddens) to John Muhammad, Timothy McVeigh, Sadam Hussein and well anyone who is or was just plain evil.

In the next breath goodbye and rest in peace Chandra Levy, Caylee Anthony, occupants of the twin towers, flight numbers 11,175, 77 and 93 the crew of Columbia, Ronald Regan, JFK Junior, The Crocodile Hunter, Lacy and her unborn baby Peterson, Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson, Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II, Natasha Richardson, 33 Virginia Tech students and staff, Heath Ledger, Gregory Hines, John Ritter, and Billy Mays. I know there was more… I know there will be more. I hope the new decade brings closure and peace to everyone who lost a loved one.

New York City blacked out, not terror just a glib. Kind of cool actually the city that never sleeps may have for at least one night.

Catholic priests were no longer invincible, and neither was the sweet old man next door. Skeletons came out; reality of certain evils in this world took new shapes and forms, and made riding bikes to and from the park without an adult no longer possible. I hug my kids a bit harder now, and probably always will.

The oh so hip and catchy phrases to sum up a celebrity couple…. “Bennifer” ”TomKat.. “Branglina”

But that brings me to my next topic, Reality TV I really feel that MTV’s “The Real World” started the trend here (anyone remember Puck) I was so addicted….. But a slew of realities TV smacked us all in the face and made us watch such silly (sometimes crude) yet absolutely fascinating shows like Survivor (first one is and will always be the best one). Bachelor, My Big Fat Obnoxious fiancé (yes I watched and routed for the big guy) Big Brother and more…. So many more that it became overwhelming and too much. At least for me. I don’t think I watch any reality TV anymore…Well….there is that one…

AMERICAN IDOL!! I mean talk about a time of the Decade. Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, the awful few weeks before the show actually starts of horrific auditions and embarrassing out takes (“she bang she bang….”) that guy made a record!! WHAT!?!?!

Oh my…

Yet it works and we now have Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry (heeeeyy…) Fantasia, David Cook, Adam Lambert and a plethora of others who made me really love music again, even music I didn’t think I would like… (Yes I have a few Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks songs on my iPod….)

TiVo, Facebook, Economic crisis,The Kindle, Organic foods....

Goodbye Ross, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Phoebe and Chandler. Hello Jim and Pam, Tina Fey and that Dexter guy, who kills bad guys. Not to mention McDreamy, McSteamy and Mc-Hannah Montanta.

“LOST.” Lost come out, come out where ever you are. This year is the last of the hit cult series. I will miss this show but finally excited to learn what the heck has been going on for the past 5 years.

Welcome home Elizabeth Smart, Sean Hornbeck, Ben Ownby and Jaycee Dugard..

A storm named Katrina.

Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, David Letterman…You got caught and that beautiful pedestal you stood on disappeared before our eyes. But you can’t be blamed for everything…. You didn’t ask for the pedestal, probably didn’t even want it. As hard as it is for most of us to see, you are human and not so invincible. Are you a bunch of asses??? Yeah, pretty much…. Will we forgive you and remember you other talents, yeah pretty much….

Susan Boyle. I think she speaks for herself.

A Pregnant dude?? Again speaks for itself.

Our first African American President!

A story about a boy named Harry Potter. Another one about vampires who fall in love and captivated a nation of true believers that no matter what love can conquer all.

One more, about “The Shack”, where tragedy yet miracles happen. Sadness and beauty come together in a way I know personally I will never forget reading. Believe…

Natalie Holloway, Madelyn McCain and way too many more missing young children and adults. Please come home.

The loss of great news personalities such as David Bloom, Peter Jennings, Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert.

IPods iphones, itouch, blackberries, mp3 players, Xbox Wi-Fi Wii Jib Jab, You Tube… Lions tigers and bears.
As for me, personally how does one sum up a decade. It’s impossible. .. Yet, quite simply the best part of my life has taken place these past ten years. I said goodbye to my fun yet naïve (and relatively confusing 20’s). I found and married my soul mate. I have two wonderful and healthy boys. Out of all the places I visited, Ground Zero in NYC, was the most profound and had the most impact on me. I am more confident now, not quite as scared to try new things and probably my favorite is I laugh more. I laugh at myself the most which, when all is said and done should be mandatory for everyone. Maybe if we laughed more and didn’t take ourselves so seriously, the new decade and ones thereafter will offer more light and hope and beautiful moments of peace. How much better the world is when you laugh.
I also can't leave this post without focusing on the real reason I am so blessed. Thank you so much God for my family, my friends, my life. Ten years ago I wasn't quite so aware of the impact faith can have on us all. As I worked on this slide show, and remincesed on some of my favorite memories from the past ten years, I was reminded again and agian that all my happy, sad and in between moments all are "my moments". They have made me who I am today. A person who without a doubt is in better hands now.
How so very lucky am I?
I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed New Year.

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