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.   

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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.