Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ask and you shall receive.

Don't specify, and you get what you get.  Case in point:
I wrote on Facebook the other day about how I didn't have any stories or quotes or happenings for the blog.  Either stuff was happening but I didn't feel like it was newsworthy or nothing was really going on here and my entire family and I were comatose for 8 days.  Probably the former but you never know.  Sure enough, last night, Breckin busted out with one of his many charms.  Using inappropriate words.

The Doofenschmirtz back story is that we were supposed to have a playdate with some neighbor kids (Kellen and Mikah), they wanted to play outside, Breckin did not, had a meltdown, went inside, all kids followed him.  Playdate commences in our house.  All is well.  Kellen and Mikah are asked if they'd like to stay for dinner (even though we are having cheeseburgers and- SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE- 1) they haven't really ever had cheeseburgers and 2)  DO NOT like them after trying them)  I digress.  Ok, so, here's where small child inappropriateness occurs. 

Well, sort of.  The rest of the Doofenschmirtz back story is this.  Tiki LOVES- like makes it her daily hobby- to step or lay or sit down right in front of your next step.  And, while she was previously sleeping 10 nanoseconds ago and your leg is already in mid-stride and somehow she appears out of thin air to lie back down right where your foot was going to go.  Now and then, Dustin says "Crap, Tiki.  Move it."  But, she's big and doofy and kinda does whatever she pleases and makes a big scene of being asked to move nap spots. 

So, anyway, Breckin is getting utensils. Gets up from his chair.  Tiki appears out of thin air to stand right between him and the utensil drawer.  And, my mini-Dustin says "Crap."  Not loudly.  Not for show.  But with the tone, body language, and annoyance that only comes with someone who's worked behind a desk for 10 years and has to pay insurance bills and mow the lawn instead of golf.  And, what do I do with all of my well-versed parenting skills?  Bust up laughing.  Almost spit out my root beer.  Laugh out loud and with no restraint.  Cause the vision of a small child saying a simple word like crap with the understanding of his father is down right hilarious. 

Then, Dustin says "did he just say crack?"  Oh no.  So I laugh harder at the sight of my baby saying CRAP.  So, Breckin says it again cause he thinks it's funny that I'm laughing.  Dustin laughs.  CRAP again.  Dustin, in mid snort, says "You really shouldn't laugh.  Get serious."  Uh huh.  Kellen and Mikah don't know whether to laugh cause we're laughing or stay serious cause saying crap when you're 5 isn't really ok.  They are the only ones holding it together.  Dustin hides behind the kitchen counter until he is done laughing.  I pretend to look for stuff in the pantry until I'm done.  And, since we have resumed our parental status upon returning to the table, dinner carries on. 

But, damn it's funny to hear your kid say crap.  And mean it like a man. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No Matter What You Call Him, He's Amazing.

We temporarily interrupt this family story to bring you breaking news.  My heart and eyes and brain have been sobbing for a fellow mother for the last few months.  I became aware of her story via an online network of mommies called The Bump.  While I am now living Bump-free, I still follow her blog.  Something about her baby's face, the fact that she's in Indy where my parents have such a connection, her Keegan's eyes look like my Ella's eyes, I don't know- I just really felt her story and literally tear up with each update.

Why, you ask?  Go here- I really mean it- click on this link and read her story

Read the About Us.  Just know that she has been through HELL and back and has moved from her home to a Ronald McDonald children's home AND lost her job because of this trauma.  Then, read this post:


Done crying?  I'm still not.  If you haven't already read the most recent post and you need something to stop your tears of sadness, read this post:

Oh, you'll still be crying but this time it should be tears of joy.

Just having a baby the same age and being able to look at my baby's perfectly healthy face and knowing that another mommy out there is going through something so horrendous and scary makes me want to be a hermit crab and hide my babies away in their rooms so nothing can hurt them.  But, knowing that some mommy out there can't go to parks and on walks and to school and to ride bikes makes me get up every day and force my kids out the door to experience precious life. 

We've sent a letter to the Chupps letting them know that another family is thinking of them and that they are being prayed for in the far reaches of suburbia.   Ella sent Keegan an Elmo and I crocheted a blankie.  We've been praying our little butts off for that baby and this recent post makes me smile like no one's business. 

Blogs are cool and the blogger world is very personal despite the distant, technology aspect.  Beth, I'm sure, never knew who she would touch when she made her blog about her new son.  I, for one, am touched. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spray Parks and Drama Queens

Spray Parks.

Yesterday, we went to a spray park with Mr. Matt and Jonathan.  As usual, since it was our first time going to this particular park, we got slightly lost along the way- even with Mr Matt's iPhone map thing.  The kids were patient and we only arrived a few dozen wrong turns later than planned. 

The water was cold, it was 93 degrees out, and there was a killer playground next to the water feature.  Definitely for the 5 yrs old and up crowd- it had giant slides, a spinning wheel, plate swings, a cargo net, and some sort of weird drum circle.  Ella was hot but she kept cool by making eyes at Mr Matt, eating mandarin oranges, and sippin on her water bottle.

You know that whole thing that people say about birthdays where even when you turn 5, you're also still 4 and 3 and 2 and 1?  Your younger ages stay with you and so do those life experiences and you have the prerogative to act those ages at will, right?  Well, Breckin went through his range of ages all in one afternoon.  He was 5 when he was on the spinning wheel thing, asked the bigger kids to stop it, they didn't, so he jumped off and skinned his belly and knees.  I never heard about it until bathtime.  Super brave, huh?

He was 4 when he did everything Jonathan wanted to do including butt dances in the fountains, making fart noises, and shooting the water guns at anyone who walked by. 

He was 3 when threw a huge-a-normous fit about still being in his water clothes and how he just wanted to change cause he was too hot to keep playing in the water and just wanted to swing again in his regular clothes and he just hates his water shirt.  Wah.  Breckin didn't really start having tantrums until he was 3, not 2, like most kids.  So, that was his 3 moment. 

He was 2 when he stayed on the plate swing too long, got motion sickness, and had to get off with a green face and sit in the shade for a bit.  We first noticed Breckin got horrible motion sickness when he would bring books in the car, try to read them, and complain of getting the ickies. 

He was 1 when, at bedtime, he only wanted to read a million stories even though he couldn't keep his eyes open.  That kids has loved books since he was 6 mos old and would sit through a dozen stories a night if we'd let him.  The more tired he is, the more he wants to read. 

He had a good time but he definitely had his ups and downs.  As usual.

Drama Queen!!!
Did I mention my kids like to read?  One of the first traits I've noticed in both of them is that they love to read.  Ella more so than Breckin which is hard for me to believe.  We started looking through books with her as soon as she could sit up in our laps.  And, she LOVES it.  Is there a bigger word than loves?  Cause now would be a good time for it.

So- here's our usual routine.  At bedtime (between 7:30 and 8:00), we grab an 8 oz bottle, change the baby girl into her jammies w/ or w/o a bath, head to the rocking chair in her room, and try to feed her.  She'll oblige to about 3-4 ounces of milk before pushing it away, straining to sit up, swinging her arms wildly in the direction of her bookshelf, and fake crying.  This translates to "See, I drank some of that stupid milk, now let's read."  One book must contain Elmo.  One book must contain baby animals and the rest are random.  She will cry and flail if we stop at one book.  She won't finish the chore of drinking her milk until we are through at least four books. 

And now, just moments ago, the book reading has gone to a new level. Drama Queen level.  We already know that if someone takes away her chosen toy of the moment, she cries.  With big, giant crocodile tears.  If you stop reading in the middle of the story or hold up a story and have to put it down because your son just fell and hit his head, she cries big crocodile tears.  She just noticed that those cute baby animal books have fur.  Chunks of soft, yankable, mesmerizing fur.  She reached out to turn the page of a baby rabbit and grabbed the fur instead.  I could not turn that page for at least 19.2 minutes.  She was IN LOVE with that fur.  I tried to turn it a few times and got instant crocodile tears and huge, giant wahs. 

I'm pretty sure this is going to add a new dimension to bedtime because we are going to have to pencil in enough time for adequate baby animal fur devotions.  Time to teach Ella about nice, gentle ways to love our animals- not baby girl's hair removal systems.   

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stuff we say

Breckin:  Mommy, what's your favorite store?
Me:  Um, I think it's Nordstrom Rack or Joann's.
Breckin:  What's your store that's really the most not your favorite?

Man, least favorite would have been so much easier.

Me:  (knowing this is going to get a reaction AND it's darn near true)  Toys R Us.  Toys are so boring.  I would never go there again.
Breckin:  long pause  giving me a very serious look that I'm sure he learned from me   Mommy, if you ever say that again, I'm going to knock you in the middle of next week.

After coming home from a park trip, Breckin was beyond his limit.  We turned on Phineas and Ferb, got a snack, and he watched with half mast eyes.  After finishing his apples slices and drinking two cups of ice water, he sort of fell asleep- lightly- until the show was over.  As soon as the TV clicked off, he literally leapt up from the couch, grabbed his new blue knight's cape, his fireman's axe, and ran down the hallway- screaming at the top of his lungs- I'M A CRAZY MANS.  I'M A CRAZY MANS.  Dude, what happened to being tired? 

Breckin:  Mommy.  This is serious.  You need to call Officer Mark right now.  Someone is parked in the wheelchair spot here and it's not a wheelchair.  It's a car.
Me:  Oh, no, buddy.  Those spots aren't for wheelchairs.  They are for people that may have wheelchairs or have trouble walking so they need to park close to the door.
Breckin:  Oh.  When Daddy is old he will have a wheelchair so we can park in that spot. 

And, keep reading cause Dustin is playing NCAA on the xbox so I had plenty of time to post three lovely blog entries all at the same time.

Hot Summer Days

If you know me, you know I am a "true Northwestern."  That's code for does not do well in heat, burns easily, is as pale as a Cullen, and knows that noon is a better time of day than 4 pm.  And by heat, I mean anything about 80 degrees.  When is a keyboard company going to just put a frickin degrees button somewhere?  Anyway.

But, despite my lack of skills in the summer, I am determined not to force my kids to succumb to mommy's heat intolerance.  Although, I know for a fact that this is one trait that Breckin got from me.  He is not a huge fan of getting hot, being in the sun longer than 30 minutes, exerting any energy when it's above 75 degrees (again, keyboard companies, really?) or doing things at 4 pm.  Ella- however- is already tan.  She wears more sunscreen than the Coppertone baby cause I'll be damned if my kids get burned and it's ridiculous.  She was born tan.  And, her best time of day is between 2 and 5 pm.  All of these facts combined mean one thing- I will go anywhere and everywhere if it means my kiddos get to experience a great, sunny, summer day.  Festivals, beaches, parks- we do it all. 

Lately, we've been to Coulon Beach in Renton to watch the Blue Angels practice their airshow.  We took secret trails around the beach to cool little "islands", played in the FREEZING water, built mud castles (you know our sand sucks, right?), and let Ella practice eating fruits and crackers without worrying about destroying the high chair.  Also- we went to Mud Mountain Dam in Enumclaw.  After a few wrong turns, some brief WTF phone calls to Dustin to get better directions, a confrontation with another parent at the playground, some more snack practice, and splashing in the wading pool.... I've decided I'd go back.  Monumental?  No.  Not either beach or pool day.  But, the pics are pretty stinking cute.  Go look over there on the right.

Why I Have No Time to Blog

We've been busy around here.  I posted on Facebook, a few weeks ago, a huge list of craft supplies we would need for all of the fun, summer projects I had lined up for Breckin to do so he wouldn't get bored being home with mom.  We've gathered what we need and started.  Our first project is the Hot Wheels town.

Plywood, gray paint, green paint, sandpaper, pencils, high-tech 4" measuring device to create a two lane road for the widest Hot Wheel we own to travel down comfortably, paint brushes, and imagination.  Breckin sanded for 4.5 seconds before declaring the utmost boredom and retreating to the playroom for train time.  So, I sanded the 3' x 3' plywood on my own.  Done.

Next, Breckin measured the width of two Hot Wheels side by side to figure out how big their two-lane road needed to be.  Then, we found something around the house that was exactly that width (4") and taped two pencils to the ends to make an evenly spaced road marker.  Breckin drew a few loopy doodles before declaring the utmost boredom and feigning incompetence, thus, I took over the measuring device and became the Supervisor In Charge of Road Way Direction.  I turned when he said turn and created crossings when he said to.  Done.

Then, Breckin squirshed immense amounts of gray paint in the paint bowl, took my favorite paint brush, and- in the best pre-Kindergarten fashion possible- slopped road paint somewhat in the right areas.  I was the Supervisor In Charge of Straightening out the Pavement and did some clean-up work but somehow he did not show the least bit of boredom or incompetence when it came to painting.  Hmm.  Done.

We are waiting for the paint to dry.  We have spaces marked off for the fire station, his house, Kellan's house, the dirt pit AKA construction site, and garbage station.  I don't want to just paint those on there.  I'd love to find some small lightweight paintable houses and make him a set of little town houses (similar to those that come with the board game Life).  To be continued....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The big trip.

Fruit snacks   $1.00
Paint, crayons, markers, glue   $5.42
R2D2 lunchbox    $6.99
lunch at Red Robin   $22.18
play time at Kids Quest   $0.00 cause Grandma and Bapa are the coolest and got us a membership
New Buzz Lightyear undies   $5.99

Getting choked up while picking out a Batman backpack in Target just thinking about the first bus trip, the first day of school, the first recess, and 12 years of childhood flashing before my eyes. 


I'm not ready and he is.  It's not fair. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Adjustment Phase

Holy Hell.  I'm sorry, was this my idea?  Oh, wait, let me straighten my plaid skirt and dust off my apron.  I simply ADORE being a home-bound mommy.  No, it's not that sarcastic- only a little.  Really.  I promise. 

Both Breckin and I are going through the adjustment phase.  When I put myself to sleep last night (on the couch while "watching" a show with Dustin) I was dreaming of this glorious free time I would have while home with the kiddos.  Because, you know what?  On weekends, Breckin can and has sat and played with his trains for an hour.  Maybe more.  So, I was all, sweet.  I'll have a few chunks of time to work on some of these closets and really make this kitchen floor shine and send a few emails to long lost friends.  Uh huh.  Yeah.  Turns out he only sits down for an hour on the weekends because 14 SCREAMING 5 YEAR OLDS RUN HIM RAGGED all week long.  Where are those damn kids and how do I rent some for a day? 

We did fine in the house together right up until the midafternoon witching hour.  He played for a while this morning, I got some nice work started cleaning out my clothes, Ella jumperooed, we had a nice lunch, played at a park, the clock turned 4 PM and BLAMMO!  Game over.  Meltdown city.  He was bored, I was frustrated that I didn't get enough done, Ella only took one nap, and that was it.  Nothing could satiate him.  And, it only went downhill from there.  Slumpy at the dinner table, grumpy about eating his sausage, rude to the neighbor kids, sassy to his Daddy, and the last straw, folks?  He hit the Jeep.  With his hand.  While sassing his Daddy and making an ugly face.  He lost his nighttime show, one story at bedtime, and his dignity.  It was a struggle to get him to bed and I think it's going to take some getting used to.  Being around Mommy all day is new and weird and tiring and there's no nap hour or sprinkler time or bouncy house. 

I better pull out my bag of tricks soon or we're both going to hit the Jeep.