Thursday, December 30, 2010

101 Things About Us.

I mentally blocked on the 100th post.  There were so many good ideas from previous bloggers but none of them struck me.  So, I gave you some random conversations that I didn't want to forget about but couldn't save in my memory much longer so there you go.  I guess this is partially things I'm thankful for, things you may not know about us, and some of my bucket list.  Maybe for the 200th post, I'll have Dustin write his 101 things from his perspective.  Or, have a guest blogger cause I'll take a mental vacation on that one, too.

1.  Dustin is my number one.  And, Breckin and Ella are our number one.  I think this is what makes us a successful couple and family and it's a good recipe for love. 
2.  I LOVE cinnamon.  The smell, the taste (mostly the cinnamon and sugar variety, not the burn your mouth off red hots variety), the warmth, the color. 
3.  Three.  It's the magic number.  Yes it is.  It's the magic number.  Good things happen in threes. 
4.  Breckin is complicated.  He cares immensely for his family, his toys, his pretend friends.  And yet, he is the first one at the park to whipsmack a kid who sasses him.  I don't get it yet.  It's passion.  On both sides of the fence- I just don't get how to get through to him about the bad kind.
5.  I loved going to school.  I loved studying and being with friends and showing school spirit.  I don't get how people don't love school.
6.  Crap.  I said I'd write 101 things.  I'm only at six.  Dustin and I are HORRIBLE at maintaining a tidy home.  It feels like running through mud to keep this place organized.  I don't know how my parents did it.
7.  I wish I knew my grandparents better.  I wish I knew their childhood stories and the loves of their lives and what they dreamed about. 
8.  Green Day, Sting, Smashing Pumpkins, and Gwen Stefani are all overrated.  Their voices annoy me.
9.  Ella has skinny feet that don't have a big instep.  I envy that cause she will be able to wear so many cute shoes that my wide, tall feet don't fit into. 
10.  My favorite color is green.  All shades for different purposes.  Muted green for walls, turquoise (or toysker as we like to call it) for clothing, the beautiful color of a sea turtle's shell.  I LOVE green.

11.  I have travelled a lot.  More than most people my age.  I've been to Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia, England, France, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Lichtenstien, Luxembourg, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and 24 of our states.  I am blessed to have seen so much of the world and want to travel more.
12.  I got lost in Ireland with two other girls and slept in the dirt next to a castle.  It was more cool than scary.  Now you know that, mom. 
13.  Music is everything.  A song can take me to another place and another memory.  Almost every place I've been and everyone I know has a song associated with them. 
14.  I'm marginally good at lots of things but not really good at any one thing.  I kinda like it that way.
15.  Nothing scares me more than birds.  My whole inner being screams like a horror movie when a bird flies near me.
16.  My college roommate got a bird even after she knew that AND she let my tortoise die while I was studying abroad and made her a book on how to take care of Harvey.  It might be the only grudge I hold.
17.  I HATE when I think people don't like me.  It makes me shrink.
18.  My siblings are geniuses.  Or geniusi.  I don't even know what the plural of genius is and there they are with their vaults of knowledge. 
19.  Bobby likes corndogs.
20.  I miss the people who were in my life for a short period of time and have now lost touch.  I wish I could find them all on facebook. 

21.  Rain. 
22.  Thunder.
23.  Lightening.
24.  Cut grass. 
25.  Hibiscus.
26.  Lilac.
27.  The sound of waves. 
28.  Breckin's giggle when he can't handle the pain.
29.  Ella's snore.
30.  Dustin dancing. 
31.  My dad watching Two and a Half Men.
32.  My mom.
33.  Chai tea. 
34.  Stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut.
35.  Cinnabons.
36.  Acoustic guitar.
37.  Pachelbel's Canon in D.
38.  Stickers.
39.  Green sea turtles.
40.  These are a few of my favorite things.

41.  I hate my cell phone.  I can't wait until April.
42.  I love watching reality TV.  I fully know which ones are scripted and which ones aren't.  I watch the scripted ones just like any ol' sitcom or drama.  I know it's not "real."  I watch the ones that aren't to see what people are like.  They amaze me.
43.  I LOVE how The Hills ended.  What a great way to acknowledge what's really going on.
44.  I'm a closet Twilight junkie.  Only Dustin knows how many times I've read the books but it's beyond that.  The love story engrossed me entirely the first time I read them and I will forever search for something that moved me as much as Stephanie Meyer's books.
45.  The movies need a complete recasting.  And redirecting.  I'll wait the appropriate 20 years until someone redoes them.
46.  Bunco is fun.  You should try it.
47.  I'm an Aquarius and very true to the sign.  Google it.
48.  I used to watch slasher movies and play ouija board as a tween.  I have no idea why but my girlfriends and I had a blast.
49.  When I was 15 I went on a peace march down MLK Jr Way in South Seattle, attended a demonstration outside of the Pepsi plant to end racism, and painted garbage cans for a better tomorrow.  What the hell did I know about any of it?  Nothing.  But, it seemed cool.
50.  My final report for History in high school was the evolution of fashion and how it was affected by current events along the way.  Christy and I ROCKED it, put on a killer slide show, and convinced the cutest guy in class to be our model. 

51.  My mom answered the door when he came over to take the photos and said "Oh!  He IS cute!"  MORTIFIED.
52.  Hey, I'm more than halfway there. 
53.  At the beginning of every season, I think THIS is my favorite season.  I still don't know which one actually is.  Probably between Halloween and New Years.  What season is that?
54.  I miss Joslyn and Courtney.  There's a hole in my life without them around.
55.  I don't get comics.  What's the point?  They're hard to read and meh.
56.  Mmmmm Bud Light.
57.  I like that Breckin's favorite color is orange.  It's a fun color that not many other people claim as their favorite.
58.  If I'd known so many other babies were named Ella in the last few years, I would have lobbied for a different name.  That said, I can't picture Ella as any other name.  Go figure.
59.  I wish I was more technologically minded.  I'm behind already and I'm only 30.
60.  Dustin is REALLY GOOD at graphic design on the computer.  He used to make cool, colorful things just for fun and hasn't done it for a long time.

61.  He's also really talented at woodworking.  I'm constantly impressed with the things he makes. 
62.  The garage drives me crazy.  I'd love to bulldoze it.
63.  I have a black thumb.  I can't grow something to save my life.  And yet, I LOVE beautiful flower gardens and well manicured lawns.  Someone please teach me.
64.  I've never loved a job more than the one I had before being a stay at home mom.  I miss it- and everyone I worked with- daily.  I had the best boss.  Seriously.  You can't write a better boss than that.
65.  I LOVE being a housewife.  I'm busy all the time but never really stressed.  It's the best of both worlds.
66.  I don't really ever get bored.  There are always things to do AND I could probably be content watching paint dry. 
67.  It takes a lot to make Ella really belly laugh at stuff but she is the most pleased, content baby I've ever met. 
68.  Breckin will laugh long and loud at anything that's remotely funny but he has neverending ants in his pants.  He can not sit still for anything other than trains or legos.
69.  Sixty Nine Dude.
70.  Dustin's eyes are beautiful.  Go look at them.  His lashes are killer.

71.  I don't test well.  I freak out and forget stuff.
72.  I'm perpetually cold. 
73.  I loved being pregnant.  I may have griped and groaned but I really did like it. 
74.  I also loved birthing and labor.  What a powerful, awesome experience.
75.  I don't think I could "do" three kids.  I die a little thinking about never being pregnant and giving birth again but three kids scares me.  Ute for rent.
76.  Cancer is stupid.
77.  We went camping a lot as kids and yet nothing about dragging my children camping seems appealing to me. 
78.  I have always wanted to rent an RV and drive Route 66. 
79.  I think my mom lived a perfect life.  She was born late enough to avoid the World Wars, was a teen in the late 50's to experience the music of that time, was a young adult in the 60's and could appreciate the struggle of that time, was a parent and grown-up in the 70's and beyond.  She's seen the stuff I wish I could have seen.
80.  Being 80 is the new50. 

81.  I really need to pack for tomorrow night. 
82.  I am NOT a night owl.  I get a sick tummy, headache, and grouchy if I stay up too late.  But, one cup of tea after an early morning and I'm good to go.
83.  Settlers of Catan is the best game I never get to play.
84.  I could play games every day in every spare moment.  Board games, card games, whatever.  I love them.
85.  Except not video games.  They make me stressed out.
86.  Except Kinect.  I really like that one cause you never die if you don't kill the monster.  It's all about beating your personal best.
87.  Zumba is rad.  It makes me feel sexy and hot and like I can shake it.
88.  I love dancing.  Not structured dancing but shakin what your momma gave ya with your funniest girlfriends dancing.
89.  Good gravy I'm almost done.
90.  I don't like swearing.  I utter a few choice words when something like the vacuum isn't working but I really don't like hearing swear words.

91.  Tom Hanks is one of the funniest people alive.  His humor reminds me of my dad.
92.  I get giddy about fabrics.  I love the patterns, the colors, and imagining what I could make out of them. 
93.  I wish I was a faster knitter.  I love the end result but it takes me so damn long.
94.  I have a horrible short term memory.  It's so bad that I can watch  movies over and over and forget what happened and it usually seems like a new movie.
95.  I love math.
96.  Dustin and I took a train from Seattle to Chicago to attend an AKPsi event one summer.  I can't remember ANY of the event but can vividly remember the train ride.  It's still one of the best trips I've been on and I have no idea what I did in Chicago.
97.  I'm kinda pissed that it's Oprah's last season.   I've always wanted to go to a taping with my mom and now it's over.  Time for a new item on the bucket list.
98.  I wish I liked running.  I hate running more than any other physical activity on the planet.  It's cheap, available everywhere, and requires very little gear.  Why can I not like running?
99.  I don't believe in soul mates.  I believe in best fit mates. 
100.  I really hope to live to be 100.  I want to see my kids have kids and even more kids than that.  I want to old and hunchy and live in a home with Jos somewhere warm with rickracked curtains and damn near burn our face off trying to make our tea and soup. 

101.  I was horrible at English in school.  I couldn't write a paper to save my life.  I painstakingly wrote each idea I had down on 3x5 cards, made lists of thesis topics, and organzied things over and over until some sort of paper emerged.  I ran everything past my sister and called her from college to edit my papers.  When people tell me they like my blog and they think I should write a book because they like the way I write, I don't know what to do.  My brain shuts down.  I can't write.  I don't know how.  I write here as if I were on the phone with Joslyn and telling her about stuff that happens.  You should read some of the emails we've exchanged.  I re-read them and cry with laughter.  That's just how it is.

I've got 99 posts....

And here's one more.

Before I forget, here's stuff Breckin says.

We do frequent Goodwill or consignment store trips and I used to ask Breckin straight up if he wanted to donate anything.  He'd get a freaked out look in his eyes and panic all over the place and mentally snatch his toys out of sight for fear of losing them to dusty shelves.  Of course his answer was NO and sometimes it was accompanied by tears, loud voice shouting, or grabbing the nearest stuffed animal and hugging it.  That kid has never met a toy he doesn't like and he treasures every single one he has.  What he doesn't know is that I load a few handfuls in the bottom of the "clothing" boxes- just things he hasn't played with or have been stashed in the closet for over a year and never mentioned.  Only after I make the swoop through do I ask him if there's anything he's ready to part with.  There never is.

I've learned the hard way to preface the Goodwill trips with "Don't freak out or get upset, but I'm going to Goodwill and if there's anything you'd like to share with other kids, put it in this box."  For a while, he was ready and willing to donate Tiki's toys and, more recently, Ella's.  We have a little talk about only giving away your own stuff (ironic, I know, since I give his stuff away all the time).  Well, this time the tables turned.

He says, in his most earnest voice, at breakfast the other day:  "Mommy, don't get upset.  Don't cry.  I just wanted to ask you if you were ready to get rid of your teapot collection today because I notice you don't get them out and play with them anymore."  He's right.  He just doesn't understand parental hoarding and the beauty of nice things displayed in a home.  Or something.  I told him that I liked having them and would love to have a tea party whenever he was ready.  That stopped him momentarily but we may be having a super fancy tea party with Optimus Prime, a lego man, Breckin, Ella, and his favorite stuffed reindeer.  Fun.

Also- Daddy was sorting through his Christmas presents and muttering "garage, garage, not garage, garage, not garage" as to where his things would end up.  No, they aren't already being shuffled off to the wooden grave of junk- he got mostly tools and tool paraphenalia. 
Breckin says "Was Daddy talking about garage stuff again?" 
Me:  "Yep.  He's figuring out where his presents go." 
Breckin:  "Yeah.  That's how he rolls."

And, Ella says Ho Ho Ho, ham, eeyore, mama, bapa, mmmm, hot, hat, and the crowd favorite  HI! 
Just wish I could record them and show you.... 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What no one wants to go through.

It's December.  People should be bustling around with holiday cheer and smiling at strangers.  People should be watching movies at night with their kids and eating jello and playing board games.  People should be getting the mail and eating lunch in their dining rooms and sleeping in if there's no school or work.  But, one family on our street is not.  They are together, sure, but together in the worst way.  Their baby girl- a 2 1/2 year old who melts your heart with her smile- is very, very sick.  She has been at Children's Hospital for far too long with her tiny body fighting infections and mucus and fevers and anything else that is testing her for reasons we don't understand.  I've been avoiding talking about it here because it scares me. 

Some of you know her, some don't.  She is one of the sweetest people I've met- grown or not.  She loves life and pets and babies and everyone around her.  Her mommy and daddy are having the worst month of their lives.  They should not be spending December- or any month for that matter- in a hospital room praying for their baby's life.  They are enduring things that we cannot imagine and that we, as parents, have to stop ourselves from thinking about for fear of ending up curled up on the floor in puddles of tears.

And, what the heck do you do for someone else going through that?  I've never been through anything like that and I have no idea where to start.  We pray.  Every night we pray for Bri and her mommy and daddy and her unborn brother or sister.  We are making them food so they don't have to eat hospital food.  Our street is truly a family and we have each other's backs.  Is that enough?  I don't know.  It's what we've got.  I wish I could take the burden off of Jamie and Paul's shoulders for one day.  If someone knows what to do for parents going through this, please let me know.

I have a badge over there for another family fighting for their child's life and it's only fair that I give mention to one who is right. across. the street.  She is on my mind every single day.  Fight, Brianna, Fight.  For God's sake come home.  Soon.  Your silence around here is deafening.   

You can read more here but you will have to create a login.  It's ok.  Just do it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MIssion Accomplished!

If you've ever been in love for a long time, you get it.  At some point you get comfortable and, for lack of a better word, lazy.  You take each other for granted.  You know you'll spend some time together but it isn't always as quality as it used to be.  You still love the person and think about them often and deep in your heart of hearts never want them to leave your life.  But you get lazy.  You stop hanging out 24/7, conversation is predictable, and you just kinda get in a rut.  Then something happens that brings back those memories of the early days and you get kinda fluttery and want to smooch them on the cheek and tell them you love them all over again. 

No, it's not about marriage love.  It's about Your Girlfriends Who Have Known You The Longest love.  October has always been a hard month for us- it's when one of us gets at another's throat, sometimes feelings get hurt, and we get kinda strained.  Maybe it's the recent lack of sunshine.  Maybe it's why we had a depression in the 30's- maybe those ladies got strained with their girlfriends and stressed out their working husbands and everything fell apart.  There was no particular incident this October but it wasn't our best month of the year.... it was.  Bleh.  And then I got Mo's name in our annual name drawing for Christmas presents and I knew she needed a little reminder. 

I saw her playing with my kids one day and let me tell you what.  She can play with my kids like no one's business.  Sorry, Mo, get your kleenex.  They listen to her.  They respect her like a teacher, love her like an auntie, and wipe her kisses off like an old granny.  She needed to know that her girlfriends all still love her and cherish her cause I don't think she really knew how much we do.  She keeps us together when we can't do it ourselves.  SO, I had them write letters to tell her what she means to them. 

It worked.  She cried the minute she opened the cover.  And those that were present did, too.  We all worked together to orchestrate an outpouring of love for someone who gets taken for granted.  We are severely missing two members of our BachelorWatching, SexInTheCityViewing, WineTasting, CrazyDancing group of girls.  They decided that home was best and moved back across the state but we kept a small piece of them and will not let them forget to return voicemails for longer than a week.  They had letters, too.  Ha ha, Mo.  We made you cry! 

I felt kinda bad cause she's had a headache all day and crying only brought it back.  And, it was late at night on the most beautiful farm in Gig Harbor in front of a fire place and we were exhausted from building elaborate gingerbread houses.  The kids were sleeping- well, Ella was up and down cause she's a bed diva and can't handle a portacrib.  The day was amazing.  I haven't had a day like that in a long time and it was much needed.  Start with a warm, friendly 30th birthday for someone we NEVER get to celebrate cause her birthday is on December 24th AND SHE'S Jewish.  Man, that food was good, Debs.  Throw in some mid-day Christmas shopping in the madness of Target.  End with a tortellini soup that would knock your socks off and horrible children's Christmas movies starring talking dogs and getting frosting everywhere while trying in vain to make lovely cookie houses.  I'm telling you- the day was what my soul needed. 

And celebrating Mo was the cherry on top.  It made my heart feel good to throw verbal confetti all over her.  Mission Accomplished.  Now, wipe your face and go tell your girlfriends that you love them. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

It's time for our favorite new game show!  Where contestants find random pictures on their computer and have to look for the date taken in order to figure out which child it actually is!  Now, with our at home game, everyone can play!  It's time to play- Is it Ella or Breckin?!?!?*

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Night Fevah!

Man, I love Saturdays when we don't really have much to do.  Breckin got worn out at a new schoolmate's birthday party but it was literally down the street, only lasted 90 minutes, and the parents in charge were hella cool.  We could take our time waking up.  Didn't get dressed until 11 am.  Moseyed home and chilled some more.  Ella was in a good mood (well, except for while Daddy was watching her.  Then, she put on a grumpy show just for him).  Easy dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and edamame.  Impromptu movie night cause D went out for chicken wings to celebrate one of his favorite people being born so I needed a distraction for Breckin while I cleaned up dinner and got Ella to bed.  They were playing so well together tonight.  My heart may have melted onto the living room floor watching Breckin lure Ella down the hall in her walker by dancing with her Elmo.  And kissing her on the forehead.  And twirling his new Clarice build-a-bear around (Daddy, you spoil your kids!) followed by slamming her on the ground and saying she crashlanded into an iceberg.  It was just one of those nights were things go well and Mommy is happy. 

The one sour note?  I already put my order in for our Christmas cards at Costco AND THEN get a picture like this.

I mean, I've only been trying to get a picture with both of them looking, smiling, and no one with red eye for about a month.  But, hey.  Here it is.  Print it on copy paper and paste it over the top of the one that gets sent.  Happy Holidays.   

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Batten down the hatches!

Ella is stepping!  I would say walking but it's more like two or three or five steps, gingerly, then a crash to the floor.  She won't do it on command- she's not a huge fan of party tricks- and it's not usually to reach anything.  She's really good at cruising along the couch to the ottoman to the exersaucer to the play table and every now and then, she gets gutsy and leaves her rink. 

The way our couches sit, we only have to block two little spots in between the couches and between the couch and the side table to keep her confined in the living room.  One of those access points leads to the Christmas tree and, man, if that one gets forgotten, she is out of there!  She loves that tree.  She doesn't try to yank it to the floor- instead, she sits right under the bottom branch and gives it loves.  She leans on it, kisses the pine needles, gently touches the lights, and spends a long time looking up at the angel on top.  It will be sad when her love affair with the tree has to end after December 25th.  They have a good thing going.

Oh, and she likes "tea" and scones.  Ella is very interested in drinking out of my cup.  It doesn't matter what is in it, she would rather drink out of my cup and spill it all over the place than deal with a ridiculous sippy cup.  So, this morning, I put some warm soy milk in her little purple, plastic tea cup and sat her at the table while I had my tea and scones.  No, I don't usually have scones- I'm not that sophisticated- but I got lucky and kept some from my fun tea party last weekend.  She had a ball.  With every bite of scone came a little "mmm!" from her and she may have to drink everything out of her purple, plastic tea cups.  She loved it.  She loved it so much, she put some butter in her hair and threw her cup with a little milk still in it right onto the floor.  That, my friends, is a compliment to the chef!  Time for a bath!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ok, Now I want a million dollars.

I mean, all I did was write a blog about wanting a tea party and my beautiful sister throws me a tea party.  What else can I casually mention on here that I'd like to have?  Hmmm.  My car washed.  Someone to buy the ugly, red-sharpied couch out of my playroom so I can make it more like this one.  I could go on.

Anyway, I got to escape for a few hours today to completely indulge myself in small cucumber sandwiches, five or six different teas (steeped perfectly, I might add!), homemade scones, lemon curd, peppermint divinity, and chocolate rum poundcake.  And good company with loads o' laughter.  Super duper uber thanks to Jim for baking everything and not getting to sit down and enjoy- ladies only!  I wore my favorite heels, a new festive winter hat, and a pretty-pretty skirt that's been hanging all alone in my closet in favor of jeans and yoga pants on a daily basis.  One gal had a dress to die for- a very Mad Men style floral, fluffy number with a fun little red belt that made her look amazing!!!  Dainty china, a tiered serving platter, and linens in front of the lit Christmas tree made it so- oh, I don't know- WHimsICaL?!?!?  What a beautiful afternoon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ella's Birthday and other news.

Quick!  Someone take a snapshot of this past week!  It's been a whirlwind of snow and no school and playing games and turkey day and cake and baby girls in pink dresses and chicken wings.  I think every day has been better than the one before and it would take fifteen blog entries to get through every detail.  I haven't been able to blog nice, short, concise entries each day as things happen because I no longer have access to the computer.  Breckin has discovered computer games and now has his own log in for our office computer.  He is ALWAYS on the computer and when he's not, Dustin is.  I'll be as brief as I can but sometimes I rattle on....  Here goes.

So, you've heard about the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas party.  That was last Sunday, November 21st.  What did we do on Monday?  Nothing.  We waited for the snow to start and watched live coverage of Arctic Blast 2010 on King 5.  Those poor saps in yellow jackets reporting from which ever town had the worst wind and the most snow falling in vain attempts at freaking all of us out and sending us darting for the nearest Fred Meyer in search of snow boots and sleds and batteries.  They should be saying "King 5 news sponsored in part by Energizer and Columbia Sportswear."  Breckin already didn't have school planned because he's a 1/2 day kindergartener who is out from Nov. 16th through today for conferences.  But, Dustin went to work and though I called him every 30 minutes to nag him about coming home early, he stayed until 3:00.  He was lucky with a 90 minute commute.  Some people sat on I-5 for NINE HOURS.  You better believe we played in the snow the very second it had accumulated enough to make an angel in.  And, not one hour into a snowball fight, did Breckin get whisked away by a little girl down the street for an indoor playdate. 

Tuesday?  More snow play.  This time, school was delayed or let out early or whatever- I didn't pay attention cause, again, we were already out for the break.  Ten kids plus five plastic sleds plus enough snow to shut down the city of Seattle and we were in hog heaven.    Breckin, Kellen, and Mikah built a snowman.  Complete with a carrot nose and oreo eyes and buttons.  The boys ate him.  Ate him.  Bit his head and ate his whole face.  Also, we have a small hill by our mailboxes.  It doesn't look big but man, those kids were FLYING down that thing on National Lampoon sleds.  Leave it to the dads of the 'hood to think that's not enough and introduce them to sledding in the street.  Thanks, Matt.  I think we spent about 1.75 hours bundling, unbundling, and rebundling children in snow gear between potty breaks, lunch, and thawing out finger breaks.  I'm pretty sure we only came inside for a grand total of 30 minutes on Tuesday.  What a great day in the snow.  Well, Ella doesn't think it's so great when the snow actually touches her.  And, Dustin went to work.  Again.

Wednesday?  A little more snow play but we had to run a few errands.  I mean, we can't just play all week, can we?  Ok, maybe.  The highlight of Wednesday was game night with the Davenports and movie night.  We usually get together on Fridays so the kids can run each other ragged and we can sit at the table and play cards and marginally tell them to behave.  This time, we bumped it to Wednesday because no one had to get up early on Thursday.  Kirsten and I lucked out of cooking- we both enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at our respective parents houses so we relaxed Weds night.  The kids watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer after a lasagna dinner.  They got lofty visions of how much energy they had and started Bee Movie right after Rudolph.  All three fell asleep shortly into it so we finished our game and let them snooze.  I love our game nights!! 

Thursday?  Clearly awesome.  It's Turkey Day and for me, that means browsing the Black Friday ads.  I've gone out on Black Friday shopping since I was a little girl.  Yes, we've evolved from going to Ernst at 7 am to get free popcorn, a free snow globe, and cheap poinsettias to getting up at 3:15 to be at Target shortly after they open to load up the cart for 1/2 the price I would normally pay.  Yep, 3:15 and that's sleeping in cause I didn't really need any doorbusters.  Anyway, I'm ahead of myself.  Mom made a fantastic meal and both of my siblings were there- rare these days!  Mom and Dad already had the tree up- the short story is they had to do it early cause Dad had surgery- but it made the whole day more festive.  Ella's birthday celebration started that day as there were presents under the tree for her.  And everyone else who showed up.  Go Mom!!  

Friday?  Shopping.  EIGHT hours of shopping.  I got everything I needed minus one thing and I'm done.  There will always be one or two more oops things between now and then but for the most part, I'm done.  I killed it at Target.  I saved more than I spent.  I was in there at 4:15- got a cart from someone already flying out the door on their way to the next place- and out of there at 6:30.  It's all the running between stores that slows you down but I made it to Joanns, Old Navy (twice!), Nordy Rack, TJMaxx, and Toys R Us and was home about 12:30.  I LOVE Black Friday. 

Saturday.  Ella turned ONE.  I know her birthday is on the 27th but for me, it will always feel like the day after Thanksgiving.  I will never forget going into labor at the dinner table on Turkey Day and missing Black Friday due to being in the hospital.  No matter what day of the week it falls on, the whole Thanksgiving weekend will be my reminder.  We had a small gathering of family and close friends for pizza and cupcakes.  Stress free and very relaxing.  Well, for all of us except Ella.  She's had a bad cold and took a long nap right into the first hour of the party.  Here's how she felt about her cake.

Not a fan.  We tried to show her how to eat it.  Breckin ate some and made a MMMM! face.  No dice.  She wanted out of there.  She hated her dress cause it hindered her crawling skills.  Fortunately, she did like seeing her granny and family and the fun toys she got to open.  She was so cranky from not feeling well.  What a way to turn one!   

Dustin's birthday was on Sunday.  And, what did he do on his birthday?  Put up Christmas lights for his wife.  He could care less about them but he knows I go nuts about Christmas stuff and it was really our only chance to get them up before too late.  What a guy!  Also, we went out to dinner at Wingers- one of his favs!  Bull, Annie, Clark, We miss you Andi!, Bobby, Mo, and Maggie met us there and made it a really fun dinner out.  His now annual birthday trip to Best Buy was a bust- they didn't have either thing he wanted- but I think he had a good day overall. 

WWHHHHEWWW!  Was that brief enough?  Looks like I'll have to start setting the timer for Breckin and Dustin so Mommy can jump on the computer long enough to update the blog.  I can't handle these week long updates!  Happy Thanksgiving, Birthday, Friday, Birthday, Game Night, Snow Day, and Back to School Monday! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's early, I know.

I know, I know.  It's kind of a rule in our house not to put out any Christmas decorations or turn on Gene Autry or really have any sort of Christmas acknowledgement until the day after Thanksgiving.  November is a month for celebrating football games, thanking Pilgrims, and finishing up all the Halloween candy.  Christmas doesn't rear it's sparkling, delightful head until after the1st plate of turkey is gone.  BUT.  It's not my fault if one of our family traditions involves the most beautiful Christmas party in Seattle.  I mean, I worked there as a young teen dressed as an elf or sugar plum fairy.  I've decorated trees, tied numerous giant bows, held the flashlight to point out bidders at the live auction, wore beautiful jewelry around the cocktail hour for the silent auction, baked cookies, served hot chocolate, got blown off by a rude and not-so-child friendly Jerry Lewis, packaged Christmas decorations bought by party goers, and any other task asked of me. 

My gorgeous mother STILL is involved with making this "Christmas Party" happen although it's gone from teddy bear teas for children to an overblown night of glamour for the wealthiest to story time and cookies for all.  25 or so trees are dec'd to the hilt with oversized ornaments, yards of ribbon, and statues of Santa that you usually only see on mantels.  Those suckers are hard wired so tightly to the trees that when someone buys one tree, it is delivered with all decorations still attached and those puppies don't move.  An inch. 

Just pulling up to the Fairmont Olympic downtown Seattle brings back so many memories.  The warm pineconey, cinnamon smell of the lobby.  The hoards of people dressed in their carefully chosen Christmas sweaters and pearls and tulle.  And, for crying out loud, last night it was snowing.  And now, I get to share it with my kids.  The suite they cover with teddy bears has new meaning in the eyes of baby Ella.  The giant teddy bear is almost the same size as Breckin when only a few years ago it dwarfed him.  We all had three or six cookies.  Listened to Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Danced to the choral singers lined up on the staircase.  Stood in line to talk to the big man only to see Ella FREAK OUT, flail her legs wildly, cry crocodile tears of fear, and damn near fall on the floor trying to escape.  Sorry, Yuen Lui, have fun processing those pictures.  It was a glorious night and one I look forward to every year.  I may or may not be getting the Christmas boxes down early cause for me, it's Christmas time! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ahhhh Wind Storms.

I LOVE them.  I could feel this one coming.  No, really.  I have a small thermomo-baro-meter in my back.  The place where I got the epidural when I was in labor with Breckin aches when the weather changes and when the temp drops in my house.  I can literally point at the spot where the needle went in cause it bothers me when I'm super over tired or the air gets cold or hot real quick.  Weird, I know.  Some attention-starved mayors of jerkville would file a lawsuit for illegally installing a thermometer in the spinal tap but I kinda like my back spot.

Anyway, we had our first overnight power outage last night and I was mentally prepared to sleep in the hall and set alarms on our cell phones before I heard it coming on the news.  See, when the power goes out, fancy gadgets like baby monitors don't work.  And, although it'll be nice to be completely across the house from Ella when she's a teenager and blasts her Nirvana, right now it's not so great.  I can't hear her crying while IN my room.  Let alone in my room asleep.  So, when the power goes out, I sleep on the floor in the hall outside her room so I can hear when she wakes up.  And, yes, she's slept from 8:00 pm til 7:00 am every night since she was one week old but (knock on wood, cross your fingers behind your back, do not tell the sick fairies I said this) the one, eventual night she chucks in her bed will be the one night I don't have full monitor abilities.  So, there I sleep. 

The power went out at 10 pm.  Breckin was snoring and Dustin moved him from his bed to ours so when the temp dropped he wouldn't wake up cold and step on my head on his way to wake us up and tell us he was cold.  A-ha!  Five years of being a parent gives us this insight.  Anyway, we all had our flashlights near our heads, our unusual sleeping positions assumed, and cell phones alarms set.  Sure enough, the power stayed out til 8 am.  Which is good cause if it hadn't fifteen lights, two tvs, and the dishwasher would have all started at 3 in the morning and no one wants that.  It was the perfect start to storm season.  Just enough power outage fun to cancel school the next day.  Just enough pitch darkness to get our storm brains going- do we have enough batteries, canned peas, oatmeal, and peanut butter?  But we didn't have to deal with grilling shrimp on a Coleman or take super cold showers or drive around doing nothing to charge our cell phones.  There was a significant loud bang right when the lights went out- probably a tree or transformer blowing or the huge steel light pole that fell across some poor sap's driveway a few blocks away.  And, I LOVED every minute.  Ok, now no more.  A few inches of snow so we can sled and build some snowmen and I'm set.  Thanks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whimsical Wishes

My sister and I used to ridicule the word whimsical.  For that matter, we kinda used to ridicule people that used the word whimsical but you have to understand, at the time, we were immersed in a project and it was the golden word.  Everyone used it to describe everything.  From tiny snowmen to feathery birds to strands of gold tinsel.  If it was whimsical, it was ideal and, we thought, annoying.  Oh how times have changed.  I still cringe when I hear or see "whimsical" and get internal giggles that make me want to throw a thesaurus at the person using it but really, I want something whimsical.

Breckin has been slaving over every toy book that comes in the mail in search of the perfect items for his wish list.  Dustin and I were briefly chatting about what we wanted for the upcoming holidays and really, there's not a thing that I want or need.  I want to save money for Disneyland someday.  And, I want something whimsical.  I want to throw a whimsical, enchanting, magical mad hatter tea party.  I want all of my girlfriends to indulge me by wearing silly hats and their fanciest shoes.   I don't care if they wear dresses or jeans between those hats and shoes cause who notices anything other than the hat and shoe anyway?

I want this.

And this.

And I want to use my silly collection of tea pots and the over the top floral tablecloth that I got on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond ten years ago.  I want to learn how to bake good scones, make raspberry freezer jam, and serve tiny cakes.  I want to use my china.  I want a reason to wear some of the high heels in my closet.  I love tea:  I drink it every morning and sometimes in the evening.  I don't really want things for Christmas.  I want experiences.  Whimsical ones.  Who wants to be a Mad Hatter with me?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


What are you supposed to do when it's 70 degrees in November?  Go to the park in your tshirt, of course!  I am defintely not complaining about our weather lately- it's nice enough after the big kids get out of school to play outside yet the leaves are all over the ground and crunch deliciously as I walk to the bus.  It just smells like fall outside.  People are still cutting their grass but pumpkins still linger in the air and the wind is crisp enough to make you clutch your arms even for just a moment.  LOVE it.  I have a great recipe for some spice cookies that will end this week beautifully.  And, Toy Story 3 is out on DVD.  Sounds like a perfect movie night tomorrow!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This one's for you, Mom.

I don't know if all parents to do this, but I do.  Every little thing my kids do- especially if it's the first time doing it- I wonder where they get it from.  Did I do that?  Did Dustin?  And, I know full well that a lot of stuff skips a generation.  Heidi and I do things that our grandparents definitely do (stay up til 3 am reading?  Heidi) but our parents may not.  Well, this one?  It's me.  I only know this because my mother reminds me frequently that I used to signal dinner was done by wiping my food slathered hands through my hair and swiping the rest of whatever was on my plate onto the floor.  See that face above?  She's just finished some salmon and rice and veggies and now she shared some with her hair.  Then, before I could grab her tray, she grabbed two handfuls of smashed food and carefully dropped it straight into Tiki's waiting grasp.  Other than when Auntie Jos reminded Breckin of his hair during his 1st birthday cake party, he never really did that. 

It's never been a guessing game with Breckin- he is 110% Dustin.  Looks like him, walks like him, makes the same expressions, is 75% torso and 25% legs, and snores like him.  But with Ella- she started out looking exactly like her brother and, to my surprise, is evolving further and further away from that.  I have a picture where she looks exactly like my sister did as a baby.  Alright, she doesn't have pitch black hair but I see more of my family and less of D's. 

Am I grasping at straws to make one of my children resemble the Lauer crew?  Maybe.  Should I not compare everything my kids do to each other or one of us?  Maybe.  I can't help it and I know other parents MUST do it.  Sure, they'll change.  Sure, Breckin says I Don't Think So with the same raised eyebrow and head tilt as my mother.  It's kinda fun playing the genetics game when they do stuff and trying to make sense of the two family trees that shaped these kids.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soggy Pumpkin Patch, CHECK!

Well, we made it.  One more year of delusions that Seattle will be sunny in late October so we put off the pumpkin patch trip as long as possible by lying to ourselves that we do it because we don't want rotten pumpkins.  Meanwhile, we allow ourselves to rot a little by tromping around in the muddiest places on the planet in search of vegetables.  Sure, we'll pay obscene prices for produce at the grocery store cause there's no way in hell we'll take the time and muddy effort to grow our own but Dang It! we are going to a pumpkin patch come hell or highwater to get a squash.  Cynical?  Only because this year was the wettest, coldest, muddiest I've been and I didn't even jump in lakes, er, I mean puddles or fall in a slick patch of mudslime like my crazy little man.

Don't get me wrong.... I had a really good time.  We found a fantastic little family owned place in Enumclaw.  We managed to do all of the outdoor activites including "Uncle Steve's Redneck Sandbox"- a mostly buried hot tob filled with dirt- seconds before the torrential downpour that had us trapped in the covered Corn Box for half an hour.  And, the kicker?  We didn't even get pumpkins there.  We didn't make it to the patch portion before the monsoon so we hightailed it out of there- stopping only to inhale a dozen mini donuts on the way to the car- and got pumpkins at Foleys and Safeway instead.  Breckin had a total blast.  He was allowed, even encouraged, to stomp and jump in the biggest puddles he could find.  He fell belly first in a large patch of matted grass/mud/soggy boot slime.  He rolled around in a giant pit of dried corn niblets.  He saw animals, rode in a tractor train, blew giant bubbles, and raced a rubber ducky down a water chute. 

Pumpkins got carved.  Cider was drank.  We even tivo-d the Hawks game for when we got back.  Ella could have cared less and was not amused by any of it but she maintained sanity most of the time.  Next year, I'll have two mud monsters by the end of the day. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm SO Behind...

It turns out we took 718 photos from sometime in late June through today.  And, none of them have been put on the computer.  You know that commercial where that kid is suspended in mid- swimming pool jump and just wants off the camera?  Those are my kids.  I've added some new photo albums over there under the Photos link.  I promise to get them out of the swimming suit stage and into fall.... although with the weather around here these days, it sure feels like they should be swimming.  Heck, the ice cream man drove through the neighborhood yesterday and it seemed perfectly reasonable to purchase a Spiderman popsicle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Chicken Recipe

Alright- if you are here from Facebook, here's the Chicken recipe from my status update.  I'm fully plagarizing the Biggest Loser 6 Weeks To A Healthier You book but I'm not selling it as my own or anything. 

It's called Ed and Heba's (I HATED her when she was on the show) Blue Ribbon Chicken

You Will Need:
4 chicken breasts, butterflied
4 slices low sodium ham
4 slices low fat provolone cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 cup low-sod chicken broth

Here's what you do:
Make sure the chicken is kinda thin- I smashed mine with a mallet before butterfling it.  Inside the chicken, put one piece of ham and one piece of cheese.  Make sure they are tucked in good so you don't lose them while cooking.  Sprinkle the outsides with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  (I have a rosemary plant out my front door but dried will work, too). 

Coat a skillet with spray, heat over medium-low, and put the stuffed chicken breasts for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side.  They need to be cooked through and golden brown.  Remove them and scrape out browned bits or bubbly cheesey-ness.  Pour the broth in the skillet, put back over the medium heat, and put the cooked chickens back in.  Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.  This is what makes them super juicy.  EAT!

It's 200 cal per chicken breast.  I served mine with homemade oven roasted potato chunks and steamed broccoli/edamame/carrots.  I'd make it again in a heartbeat.  For that matter, pretty much all of my favorite recipes have come from the Biggest Loser cookbooks.  I'd buy one if I were you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ah Damn.

Ella got up the stairs today.  She's been real deal crawling for a little over a week.  I mean, motoring with both knees coordinated and head down and hands cruising and little raw red marks on her knees by the end of the day crawling.  She inches towards the office.  Stops by the dog toy bin.  Keeps heading down the hall and HOLY GRAIL there's the stairs.  What is more perfect than a small, reachable ledge that's just the right height for stubby legs to swing themselves up on?  Stairs are not going to move out from under you.  They aren't going to get up and walk away (like when your doggie is sitting nicely against the couch and you grab her collar and stand up all wobbly like and your doggie looks at you like what the hell? and walks away and you fall on your face).  And, your big brother left his nice little bucket of trains on the landing so all you have to do is crawl and shimmy and swing your way up two little perfect-baby-height stairs.  Done!  Throw each and every train out of the bucket knocking yourself in the heels with half of them.  Done! 

Where did my little baby go?  I used to set her down on her kangaroo blankie in the living room and unload the dishwasher, fold some laundry, and vaccuum and know perfectly well that she'd still be there chewing on Big Bird's nose when I was done.  Smiling and laughing and perfectly content.  Damn!  Those days are over! 

I mean, yay for growth and all but LAME!  Now I am on the chase.  My saving graces are the exersaucer and the playpen.  Fortunately she still loves to get in both of those.  I am screwed when those have seen their day. 

Oh yeah, Breckin said I had a unique perspective.  And, read a new book all by himself.  And sent Daddy an email.  And, knows how to click on the Add to Wish List button when he sees toys on the computer that he likes.  And, plays computer games on and  Again, where the hell did my babies go?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Things We've Heard

Oh, Breckin.  Your one liners kill us.  Here's the latest.

Daddy and Breckin were playing the alphabet game while waiting patiently for Ella and I to be done eating dinner.  None of us leave the table until everyone is done eating- unless Breckin is picking out a dessert.  It was Daddy's turn and he had the letter Q.

Daddy:  Hmmm.  Q.  That's a tough one.  Oh, I know.  Quality food (and points to our dinner plates- Breckin's was wiped clean).
Breckin:  Ooooo.  Good one.  That's not really true.

A lot of people ask Breckin if he has a girlfriend at school.  I do it, too, but I kinda wish it would stop cause I think he feels like he has to say yes.  He used to be smitten with a little girl in preschool- two, actually- and it's so early in the year, it's impossible for him to know anyone well enough to be drawn to them.  Plus, he's FIVE.  But, anyway....

Me:  Breckin, do you like any of the girls in your class? 
Breckin:   Oh, yes.  I have a girlfriend.  Her name is Ella- just like my sister.
Me:  Oh, that's nice.  Do you guys play together?
Breckin:  Not really
Me:  Do you sit by each other?
Breckin:  No.  She usually sits far away on the rug.
Me:  Do you go to work stations together?
Breckin:  No.  She doesn't play trains or legos and the time I tried to go to listening center, she told me to go back to trains.
Me:  So, how is she your girlfriend?  What does she do to be your girlfriend?
Breckin:  Oh, she doesn't know yet.  I tried to say hi every year (he's still caught up on the day/week/year differential.  they all substitute for each other) but she never says hi back or talks to me.
Me:  Got it.

Breckin:  Mommy.  Wanna play tool bench?
Me:  Sure.  What tool do I get?
Breckin:  The suggestable jaw wrench.
Me:  I think that's an adjustable jaw wrench.
Breckin:  Right.  Suggestable. 
Now you say what I wrote outloud.  It's totally a suggestable jaw wrench. 

Just like toysker (turquoise), trundeval (I don't even know what this is, really, but it's any large bridge with railings on the side), festibal (festival), fief (theif), and brefixt (breakfast).   

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Teeth. For such little things, they sure are a pain.

Poor Ella is teething.  And, she has a bad cold.  But, she does it in her own non-complaining, life is peachy way.  When Breckin teethed, he was a maniac.  (What?  So I compare my kids.  Not in a competitive way, just in a way to gauge my parenting.)  He bit our chins, screamed bloody murder, and didn't sleep.  He couldn't be satiated, didn't want anything, but wanted everything.  He was kind of a disaster when it came to teeth.  And, he drooled.  Like, we went through three bibs a day drool.

Not Ella.  She plays quietly on the floor gnawing on some poor Fisher Price little people's head.  She scoots around, pulls herself up on the ottoman, and steals Breckin's toys with a smile.  She's content, mostly, and only gives me grief when I stop reading stories at night.  But today?  I think the teeth kicked into high gear.  She's got four little babies on the bottom already and now has FOUR MORE WHITE NUBBIES on the top.  Four.  At a time.  Good lord woman.

So, she was totally fine playing on the floor.  I walked over to pick her up and give her a hug and play in the mirror and Swipe, Smack, Chomp.  She pressed her little head as hard as she could against my head, swiped her smushed up, slimy, slug trail nose across my cheek, smacked me in the face with both hands, and bit down like a frickin gator right under my eye.  I think she's had enough.  I couldn't see her face when I reached for her or I would have armed myself with a Boogie Wipe.  She had the unfortunate green river from nose to lip- hey, it happens when you can't sniff or blow your own nose- and donated it all to my eyes, cheeks, and hair in one foul swoop.  Then, and maybe it's cause she was surprised about being picked up or really happy to see me, clapped me like a patty cake on the temples.  And, chomp.  When those teeth hurt, she bites.  I guess.  I had a small spot of blood and a little pinch mark from the bite but it took about three Boogie Wipes to get us back to good.

She cried.  I laughed.  I was so surprised by her insanity- and maybe so was she.  I ran my finger across those new teethies and she pressed down so hard.  Poor baby must hate those things.

The insanity continued at bath time.  She usually just splashes and gnaws on a few squirty fish.  Today- not so much.  She was like a mad scientist in a toy tasting lab.  The minute she hit the water, she was possessed.  Her arms were flailing.  Her feet were frog kicking.  She looked panicked.  She swung one arm like a buckin bronco rider and used the other to snatch every tub toy rapidly and chomp down really hard.  If it wasn't tasty, it got tossed out.  With unnecessary roughness.  I ducked out of the way after getting hit by a rubber duck and let her finish her task.  She settled on a thick, foam puzzle piece and made her mark with four tiny tooth prints.  The legs stopped, the arm stopped, and she was normal.  It was crazy.

Tomorrow I'm wearing a helmet and making loud noises upon approach.  I'll be armed with wipes, chunks of foam, and her favorite baby doll.  She's crazy.  Good thing she's getting four at a time.  I don't know what I'd do if this was all over one tooth.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ok, Heidi. You win.

In the sisterly battle of who is becoming mom first, you win.  Or, I win.  Or, however it means that I'm the Patti of our generation.  I went to my first PTA meeting last Thursday.  I volunteered for stuff.  I'll be the art docent in Breckin's classroom.  I'm making his Halloween costume cause they just don't sell Devastator cosutmes in stores.  I've said "What's the worst thing that could happen?" to Breckin at least three times last week.  We listen to Phantom of the Opera in my car cause then no one fights over music.  I made cheese tortillas for lunch.  And, I ate them, too.  I drank a Pepsi while ironing and watching Oprah.  Part of my getting ready for bed routine always involves unloading or starting the dishwasher, switching over laundry, or cleaning up the entry way from it's jacket bombardment.  And, five point three seconds after sitting down once the kids are asleep, I am nodding off in my chair while "watching" a show with Dustin.

It's happened.  Do we go to my girlfriends' house for cheap weekend entertainment?  Yes.  Do we hang out in the driveways of our street and order pizza?  Yep.  Does the local beach or park qualify as sunny Saturday activities?  You bet.  Scholastic book orders?  Check.  I'm mom.  And, don't tell anyone, but I think I'm wearing mom jeans.

Here's the thing about mom jeans.  When did this title erupt?  When our generation's mothers were convicted of wearing jeans that meant they were high at the waist, had large back pockets, shorter than regulation allows, and lighter than the trendy dark jeans.  When were the last time these jeans were in style?  The early 80's.  And, as a mom, if anyone in the house needs clothing, then mom doesn't get new stuff.  When was the last time Mom bought herself jeans?  The early 80's.  So, don't diss moms for wearing mom jeans cause it means her children are trendy.

So, my generation of mom jeans are boot cut, medium blue, Silvers.  I see trendy moms or moms who's children don't need new stuff wearing the cute jeggings (are they really that cute, though?) or 7 for all mankind with the fancy pocket details.  I'm not.  Ella needs jammies, Breckin needs shoes and winter stuff, and I'm wearing the same jeans I wore before I had kids.  Totally not complaining- jeans shopping sucks and I'd rather buy fuzzy footie jammies than try on new stuff for me.  But, there it is.  I'm working the mom jeans of our times.

Heidi, you better start catching up.  If I don't see you driving 18 children to soccer practice or being a cookie mom soon, the race will be officially over.  The ultimate contest ender?  A mini-van.  And, I have to say, the 2010 Town & Country looks pretty dang good....  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Breckin's 1st Paying Job

Last weekend, Breckin hit a milestone.  He had his first gig.  He had to wear a special uniform, show up on time, do some pre-job training, and some last minute on-the-job re-training.  The interview process took about 5 years and we don't know who the other candidates were but he was the right choice.  We greatly respect his first employers and were proud to hire him out for the day. 

Here he is.

He was the ring bearer in Clark and Andrea's wedding.  Let me tell you what.  He, as well as all of the guests at the wedding, were spoiled rotten.  They thought of everything.  He was mailed a book about how to be a ring bearer ahead of time.  He was thanked and oohed and aahed over and high fived and sincerely loved by both groom and bride.  Every little detail of the wedding was impecable.  Seeing these two start out so thoughtful brought tears to my eyes and I CAN NOT WAIT until they are parents because their children will be so lucky to have them. 

Not only that, but after getting home at 8 pm on Sunday night- the wedding was that morning!- Breckin dashed through his usual night time routine, threw on his jammies, ran down the hall into his room yelling "You only have to ask me once this time, Daddy!", jumped into bed, shut his own door, and was not conscious until 8 am the next morning.  Andi- YOU are an ANGEL!  He was thoroughly exhausted but elated and on a cupcake high. 

There were other details to the weekend, of course, but the best part was the wedding.  I have not so thoroughly enjoyed a wedding, apart from my own, ever.  I got to reconnect with some dear friends who, as most people can relate to, we don't see near enough.  The bloody marys were phenomenal.  The toasts were funny but not embarrassing.  The food was to die for.  Her gown was dreamy and yet she actually looked comfortable.  And, the groom got choked up on his vows.  I LOVE to see grooms get emotional about their wives.  Love it. 

I also love to see my groom get lovey with his baby girl.

Great weekend!  Saturday was kinda free time for me and the kids.  Dustin was busy hangin with Clark and the boys so Breckin, Ella, and I went exploring Portland.  We hit the Children's Museum- it ended in minor meltdown- but what a cool place.  We attempted to go to Voodoo donuts but with a 2 hour line around the block, it was 6 pm at night, and two homeless shelters/rescue missions right next door, and I was alone with the kids looking very suburban.....  we skipped it and settled for Fred Meyer donuts instead.  Remind me to spew my one black cloud moment of the weekend another time.  I have never been so judged by another mommy and I have to say....  I'm still replaying it in my head and thinking of what I should have said....  Later.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two, two, two posts in one!

Post #1:  My Kids

My Kindergartener.

Ella wears her new shoes and LOVES her doggie.

Post #2:  Mc Fatty Monday- revisited
Remember this mess?

It was the disaster formerly known as my craft space.  A dear friend of mine eloquently said something along the lines of you won't make a change until you are mentally ready to do so.  I really wanted to get this space under control but I never really had a reason.  No project looming or other reason to get it whipped into shape.  And, I had other things on my mind like a new baby and a busy body child to take care of.  I just didn't make time to clean.  Well, with a lot of energry surrounding me in the house (Dustin's rock band) and no access to the TV, I did it.  There's still nothing on the walls but the table top is clean, most of the stuff under the table is gone, and the shelves have been rearranged.  All photos are now in the front room and more boxes are stored up high.  Here it is now.

Shortly after this picture was takn, the rest of the stuff on the table was dealt with.  I have two bins of papers that need to be filed or shredded.  The white notebook you see in the middle of the table was my wedding planning book.  Yeah, it's been buried long enough.  I saved some stuff and trashed the rest.  I gotta say.  It feels good to have a clean table.  Now to trash it again with Halloween costume making.  Ahhh.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

Last Thursday was the highly anxious Day Before Kindergarten.  I figured we all needed to wear ourselves out thoroughly so we went to Bounce It Up in Black Diamond one more time.  This time, we brought Daddy and the entire Davenport crew.  Thanks to Kirsten for snapping the pics of the Daddys battling.

And, what do you know.  After we were done bouncing and battling, there were firefighters pulling up behind the bouncy place to train some new recruits.  They let the kids sit in the driver's seat, wear the headphones, and turn on the lights.  We stayed to watch them practice with the hydrant and the fire hoses.  Breckin was in heaven.  He slept soooo good that night.  Mission accomplished.