Friday, December 2, 2011

The Magic

If you live in this area and you've never spent an evening at Bellevue Square without the pressure of shopping, you need to do it.  Just absorb the beauty of the lights, the immense amount of decor, the detail in Santa's Workshop, and the absolute joy of dancing outside with the drummer boys and falling "snow".  We do it every year and I am clinging to the magic in my kids' eyes desperately.  I am so not ready for them to grow up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Ella!

The princess is now 2!!  And, if you don't feel like this on your birthday, find a way to make it happen.  All it takes for Ella is Jessie and the rest of the Toy Story gang.

For a change from our usual birthday fanfare, we had a quiet day at home opening her gifts, eating pink cake, and watching Toy Story 3 (or as she calls it "watch Woody?").  After a crazy Thanksgiving week, apple cup party, and skimming over Dustin's birthday, it was all we could handle.  And, she was perfectly happy.

Happy Birthday, baby girl.  You are a complete blessing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A true friend....

We are going to Yakima this weekend for a family reunion on Dustin's side of things.  Tomorrow night we are having dinner and swimming in our hotel pool with one of Dustin's best friends, Jay.  They have two kids close to our two kids' age so it will (or should, with all intentions) work out well.

Me:  Hey Buddy, you know how we are visiting Yakima this weekend? 
Breckin:  Yeah
Me:  Guess what Daddy's friend's name is?  (Fully knowing this will peak his interest as it is the same name as one of his favorite Lego Ninjagos and may boost the coolness of the new people).
Breckin:  Peter Pan?
Me:  Nope, Jay.

Breckin:  Ooooo, Jay, huh?  Does he have a blue dragon?
Me:  No, I don't think so but you can always ask him.
Breckin:  Is he a ninja?
Me:  Not that I know of but if he was he may not be able to tell us.  It might be top secret.
Breckin:  Does he like ninjas?
Me:  I'm not sure.
Breckin:  Does Daddy know if he likes ninjas?  Does Daddy know if Jay is the real ninja?
Me:  (and it's hard to answer, with a straight face, a very serious child when he asks questions like these...)  I don't think Daddy would know.  He's never mentioned it.  But you could ask him?
Breckin:  What kind of a friend doesn't know if their best friend likes ninjas?

Me:  Good question, dude.  Sounds like you'll have to have a talk with Daddy tonight.
Yikes.  Someone's gettin grilled when they get home from work.... 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank you, Disney.

I am folding laundry downstairs, half listening to the boys playing trains upstairs.  I enjoy Breckin's playdates because it allows a few extra minutes to fold a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher or prep a meal without having to pretend like I'm Darth Vader or a skeleton or a Great Wolf Lodge employee while I'm doing it.  It's exhausting having multiple personalies around here. 

Anyway, I hear a lot of "let's pretend....."   "blah, blah, blah"   "and then they jump out and scare you"  "but my guy is a monster..."  and then I hear some crashing and train explosions and Breckin says "Hey, Kellen!!  That's not cool!  Don't do that to the tracks!!  KELLEN!!  Stop!  Haven't you seen what happened to Sid?  You're going to make the toys angry!!"

And all crashing stops.  Thank you, Toy Story, for instilling the fear of God and Living Toys upon my son.  He cherishes his toys like no other child and doesn't allow anyone to anger his toys.  And then I realize I'm laughing by myself at no one else in the room.  The downstairs toys probably think I'm crazy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff I don't want to forget

Our summer has been horrible.  Not because of us, because of the weather.  We've had a week of semi-humid, overcast, mostly rainy days that prevent out and abouts because you never know if you're going to get dumped on.  The kids and I have been filling our time with trips to malls with quarter rides, nonsense errands to goodwill to clean out more closets, and walks to the grocery store or yarn shop down the street to get a new knitting needle or a few bananas.  Anything to get out of the house but never be further than five seconds from a roof in case of random downpour.

In the car, I told Breckin to sing a song to make the rain stop so we could enjoy a park.  He sang Rain, Rain Go Away no less than 35 times.  In a row.  Loudly.  Dustin often wonders if the kids talk all the time everywhere we go but when you have kids that sing or talk or scream or don't have an off button, you find your selective hearing button rather quickly.  So, I couldn't really answer him cause if they do, I don't really hear them.  Is that bad parenting?  Maybe.  Sanity saving?  You bet.  But Ella hears Breckin and hears every word.  So when he was done, she busted out with her own version.  "Rain, rain.  On my shoes.  Oh YEAH!"  She's been slowly putting together small strings of words but this was her first solo singing and first multiple strings of words.  I laughed and Breckin laughed so hard that she kept saying it and followed everything she said for the rest of the day with Oh Yeah. 

I just didn't want to forget.  Oh, and we can't find the charger for the camera battery so we've had zero pictures since June 10th.  Lame. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Her Brother's Shadow

That little girl follows her brother around like it's her job.  She knows where he is at all times.  She does what he does and says what he says.  She has the little sister shadow like no one's business.  Ella has taken to playing under the dinner table, standing on her head, attempting to jump on the couch before I can catch her, slide down the stairs on her bum, tickle, chase, making funny faces, and- the most important little sister job- annoying his friends.  She will stand at the bottom of the stairs and holler "OWEN" or "KELLEN" at the top of her little lungs when Breckin runs upstairs to play in his room with his friends.  She loves his friends as much as she loves him and will mortify the both of them relentlessly if she sees them on the street.  Poor Owen and Kellen don't know what to do with her so they avert their attention and attempt to pass quietly.  I'm sorry, quietly is not a word known in our house.

Today, she took her Breckin parroting to an extreme.  I always know where she is cause one and a half year olds aren't as quiet as they think they are.  I can hear some sort of toy pounding or sing songing or little feet stepping wherever she is.  Or I can at least catch a glimpse of that hair swooshing around the corner as she pushes her little shopping cart filled with towels.  (Her fave!)  But today, while I was making lunch, after checking in her usual hang outs, I couldn't find her.  Not under the table, not by the toy drawer in the kitchen, not at her little white table doing puzzles.  I called "Ella?" and heard a giggle.  Not too far away from the kitchen counter but nothing I could see.  "Ella?"  Something smacked a wall and more giggling.  And pattering of feet.  "Miss Ella Bee?  I'm gonna getchu."  The surefire way to make her run down the hall.  Giggles but no running baby.  Then I see a small pair of jeans sticking out from under the dining room window curtain panel.  That girl has watched Breckin play hide and seek enough times to understand how to find a hiding place and STAY THERE!  What the heck?  She was standing perfectly still- except for her little head wiggling back and forth with the excitement of being found.  I tickled that curtain panel's baby belly and out she came.  Holy cow am I in for it.  She can manage, at one and a half, to hide behind a curtain and stay put even with the threat of I'm gonna getchu...  I'm fascinated and scared and proud.  And in big trouble as she finds better places to hide.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ella Meets Hospital

You know hindsight and how it's always so smartassey?  Like duh, mom, you should have known that.  How dare you be overly confident in your children and think that safety measures are not cool.  Or necessary.  How many times has Ella gone up and down stairs in all situations- my house, grandma's house, sidewalks- and never had a problem?  A bazillion.  We put our safety gate up at the bottom so that I know when she motors to the play room cause I know I can't watch everything all at once.  99% of the time she'd be fine but it's safety first.  So why, when my mom asked, do we need to put the safety gate up, did I shrug and confidently say "nah, she'll be fine"?  Because it was my hindsight's turn to be smart, not mine.

It was 8:15 at grandma and bapa's dinner party and I was literally tensing the muscles in my legs to announce it was time to pack the kids up and head home when I 1) wondered where Ella was 2) heard a couple thump thumps and 3) heard Breckin shout "Ella just fell down the stairs".  Perfect.  Lightening struck and I don't know how I got from my chair on the deck to the bottom of the wooden staircase and I thought she was actually alright until I picked her up and realized the drool was not from the oreo she just ate, it was from her lip.  Damn head wounds bleed a lot.  A LOT. 

Grandma was smart enough to get a wet washcloth and we dabbed as best we could with a shreiking baby girl.  Enough to notice three tooth sized holes in the top of her lower lip and one small hole in the outside of the same lip.  I didn't see her fall, THANK GOD, so I had no idea what she hit or how.  I am not an urgent care specialist so we decided it was best to take her to one to find out if she bit through the whole lip.  Ick.  We left Breckin in the responsible hands of Bapa, Unca G, Auntie Heidi, and Uncle Jim and I never thought, before this day, that crew was the responsible one.  Just kidding, family.  ;) 

My mother drove while I sat in the back and dabbed her lip carefully.  She was not a happy camper.  My shirt was covered in blood as was hers and sometimes that's just what you need to get first in line at urgent care.  For her first visit to the real deal emergency peeps, it was a good one.  We had plenty of hands on deck, she got a Curious George picture, a new teddy bear, and a Maisy sticker.  The doctor was super cool and informed us she did not needs stitches, her cut wasn't all the way through- just on both sides, and she also cut that skin connecting your upper lip to your gums.  OUCH.  Leave it to my mom to say "well, that's one way to get botox lips."  Seriously. 

What is it, three days later?  Ella acts like nothing happened.  She is back to her binkies, eats like a champ, hasn't lost a minute of sleep, and was only clingy and fussy the day after.  No doubt her body hurt from however she fell but I can't find a bruise on her.  You better believe we are putting that baby gate up until she's twelve. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Husband Loves Movies

He loves them so much that once in a while he cooks up a plan to watch all of a series of movies in one day.  Like all six of the Star Wars (done it) or all three of the Lord of the Rings extended versions (not yet).  It seems like a marvelous idea but when it's over, the idiots dummies fellas who participate with him are cross-eyed and swear to never watch movies again.  They are sore and cranky and sick from too much movie snacks because we all know you can't watch a movie without enough red vines and chips and Goobers to last a Himalayan expedition.  Today- actually last night and today- they schemed to survive the ultimate Harry Potter viewing.  They watched all seven movies over the span of Friday evening and from 9:30 am until 11:15 pm today.  They work themselves illegally doing this only allowing a ten minute break between movies, one half hour for lunch and one half hour for dinner and Dustin is a relentless coordinator of film times keeping to a strict schedule and posting it well in advance just in case one more person wants to sneak in between shows.  They will know to show up at exactly 3:52 pm to catch whatever movie starts next in case they've seen the prior episodes.  It's insanity at its finest.  I don't attempt to stick around and partake.  I don't love movies THAT much and I love my lower extremities more than their determination of finishing what they said they would.  I don't think I can sit that long.  Most of the time they are bleary eyed and sick of it half way in but damn it if they aren't going to complete the task. 

So where does that leave me?  Well, we haven't done one of these feats in a while so when I said yes to this chore, I forgot that small children are a) not quiet in a house 2) not able to watch these movies and f) not likely to leave Aaron alone especially if he brings Brutus.  I started planning a day long excursion with both kiddos but didn't decide on our destination until midnight on Friday.  Where could we go with questionable weather and stay out for twelve hours?  It had to be a combo of things so we did the errands business in the morning- hair cut, Starbucks run, gas up the car and hit up Northwest Trek AND IKEA for the rest of the day.

Usually any two items from that list is enough to run Breckin and Ella ragged but the whole list?  It was the antithesis of movie day.  I didn't sit down for twelve hours.  Ella sort of did but she was more interested in getting out at each animal habitat and playing in the kids furniture at Ikea so not only did I not sit down, I was lifting her in or out of the stroller five hundred times.  Breckin walked the whole way at Trek and played in the ball pit at Ikea.  Hello exhuasted feet.  Both kids were phenomenally good.  Beyond my expectations.  I think it helped that it was a yes day.  Wanna go back to the wolves?  Sure.  Wanna eat hot dogs for lunch?  Sure.  Wanna visit the scientist research cabin fourteen times?  Ok.  Slow down?  Fine.  Run?  You bet.  Whatever caught their fancy, we did.  Cause we didn't have to be home at any certain time.  We spent six hours at the Trek going back to visit Ella's favorite river otters no less than ten times.  We checked on Breckin's wolves at every opportunity.  We played scientist and lost camper and forest adventurers in the research cabin.  We had ice cream.  Twice.  We had the luckiest tram ride of the day seeing newborn bison, black tailed deer, their babies, trumpeter swans, mountain goats, elk, caribou, moose and their babies, a hummingbird flew through our window, a raccoon, blue heron, and bullfrogs.  Breckin saw a wolverine go poo in it's den.  He listened to the park ranger talk about a Spotted owl and asked intelligent questions like "how old is that owl when is his birthday mine is May 11th?"  and "did you know I've been very good at not touching the stinging nettles?"  and "I think I'm kinda done with this owl which way is it to the wolves?"  He's scientific like that.  I took some pictures but it wasn't worth my arm skills to try to juggle the camera and chase Ella and pull Breckin back from habitat fences.  So the pictures lost the battle.  There are some over there.  They ended about lunch time as did my arm tolerance. 

The kids went to bed at 10:30- parent award of the year, I know- but we don't do days like this very often and I'll consider it a vacation day.  Would they have gone to bed much earlier if we were in a hotel or cabin?  Nope.  And I'm really hopin they sleep past 8:00 and don't mind playing some board games or coloring or watching a movie tomorrow.  My feet could use the break.  Sorry, hon.  Looks like it's more movies.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Not-so-little Helper

My brother-in-law, best known as Uncle Jim, is a home inspector.  He came over today to practice some new tricks on our house and do home inspection stuff- I don't pretend to know what he does.  It's not that we needed a home inspection but our place is available for trying his new stuff on....  it's cool.  So, the very insta-second he walks in the door, he gets greeted in his usualy fashion.

"Uncle Jim, did you bring any tools?"  Not hi, or hey there, or what's new?  Just a small six year old wondering if the Uncle who knows how to make rockets out of tin pie plates and fruit cans and jumping jacks happens to have any tools or tool boxes on him.  Everyone needs an uncle like that.  And, today, he did have some tools.  Done.  Breckin was hot glued to Uncle Jim's side pocket for the rest of the day. 

Breckin was "helping" me get the front closet cleaned out and moved around so Uncle Jim could have access to the crawl space and "helped" me move Daddy's lumber out of the way so Uncle Jim would be able to get to the electrical panel in the garage.  He knew the fun that was coming.  After a quick badgering of trying in vain to get Uncle Jim to come see his new dragon castle or play legos or watch this neat trick or check out that ninja move- none of which worked- Breckin was content to follow Uncle Jim asking no less than 5,472 times if it was time to go under the house.  Uncle Jim is solid.  He did not waiver once and always answered "no, it wasn't time to go under the house" until Breckin gave up and stopped asking.  Only then would it be time. 

I went to put Ella down for a nap about fifteen minutes into the home inspection when Breckin comes tearing upstairs like a man on a mission.  He informs me that he is getting dressed for the day- a Batman Lego tshirt and backwards black tear-away pants- and runs back downstairs in time for me to see him put on his shoes and jacket and head outside to follow Uncle Jim around looking for working outlets, stuff under the roof, and whatever else a home inspector does.  I never did hear Breckin stop talking to Jim but uncles are very good at nodding, responding with an occasional uh-huh, and going about their business as usual.  He followed Uncle Jim all the way around the house in the pouring rain- who knows what went on out there- and they both came in to finish the job. 

Daddy came home then, and it was just in time.  It was time to go under the house.  Uncle Jim let Breckin use his extra special, small, super bright flashlight since our lantern needed eight D batteries and we were fresh out.  We lifted the hatch- a small square of carpeted floor that all but disappears in the front closet.  It's only small enough to barely fit one person at a time and Uncle Jim went first.  Daddy lowered Breckin down with strict orders to stay with Jim.  I don't know how it went.  I had to run some errands.  But Breckin has been waiting for the day to go under the house since we moved in.  I hope Uncle Jim found everything he needed and got some good inspection practice.  One thing I do know is he is fully prepared for any home inspection where children are home.  No one can compare to this guy when it comes to concentrating under pressure.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Would you rather?

Would you rather go bananas for one day or spread birthday celebrations out over several days?  Would you rather damn near kill your child with excitement in one 24 hour period or string it out and lengthen the anticipation over several weekends?  Is it time to just give up all nutso parties and invite three friends from school over for dinner and a slumber party?  I think so.  I keep going through this debate and it's hard because 1) he has friends from school and friends from the hood and family from everywhere and we want to include them all and B) Dustin and I enjoy having people over for dinner and games and we will take any excuse to do so.  But I think I slayed my son.  He is so pooped from Saturday's nonsense of bouncy house party, TBall picture day, TBall game, and evening BBQ and hanging out session that I need someone to remind me of this next May.  So I don't do it again.  I had a great time and took a lot of easy roads so I don't feel stressed out but he is worn the heck out. 

It doesn't help that we went to Great Wolf Lodge for four days in the same week as this insanity.  What?  It was super cheap cause it was mid-week and a good time to go schedule-wise.  We had a ball.  There were no rules and if someone wanted to go to the water slides, we went.  If we wanted to eat, we ate.  If we wanted to walk up and down five flights of stairs millions of times to complete quests and slay the dragon, we did.  We slept in.  7:30.  We stayed up late.  8:30.  I spent four hours in the kiddie pool and bought a real deal film waterproof camera spontaneously cause my kids are too damn cute in the water.  Ella is not actually a small child, she is a fish.  I could not get her out of the water.  She woke up three times in the middle of the night wanting to check on her slides and new best friend- snakey- a ten foot, red, floating snake in the middle of the big pool. 

Are we done?  Hell no.  Tomorrow is the actual birthday and Saturday both kids are in their cousin's wedding.  Maybe we can breath on Sunday.  Or maybe we will be in padded rooms.  Eating cupcakes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Only in Seattle

Saturday:  beautiful, sunny, warm enough to wear a tank top and not get chilled by arctic winds.  Breckin and I got some sun on our shoulders and cheeks from being outside ALL day for Easter egg hunts, T-Ball games, and cleaning the garage. 

Sunday:  cloudy, rainy, and down right cold.  And, honestly, great weather for Easter day because it keeps my kiddos slightly calmer and more in the mood for hanging out with their family indoors while finding plastic eggs under the couch and eating a classic Sunday night dinner of ham, tri tip (cause D doesn't like ham), asparagus, roasted red potatoes, watermelon, and raspberry batter cake. 

Only in Seattle do you get one weekend day in your tank tops and flip flops and the other weekend day in your sweaters and pajamas and cold enough that roasted food sounds good.  I'll take our crazy weather every time if it's going to be like that.  Saturday was so flippin gorgeous and just what we needed for our outdoor events.  TBall was fun and it's so awesome to see Breckin getting more and more into it.  And who knew that all kids needed to sit down and listen and pay attention was orange buckets.  Seriously.  A line of orange buckets was all it took to make our team of rascally five and six year olds act like normal children instead of complete spazoids.  Look.

Crazy, right?  Last week they were falling down and all over the place and this week, with the addition of the orange buckets, they had a place to be and stayed there marginally well. 

And then there's Ella.  I think Ella's favorite holiday is Easter.  That girl loves bunnies more than anything.  Well, almost anything, cause no one loves anything more than Ella loves Curious George.  That's a whole nother photo essay.  But Ella and bunnies and chocolate come a close second.  Look again.

Yeah, that was breakfast.  There are no rules on Easter morning.  We met my family for a wonderful Easter brunch at one of my favorite restaurants- The Crab Cracker- and Breckin thought it was so cool that you didn't have to wait to order or wait for the cooks to make your food.  You could just walk over to the middle of the restaurant and fill your plate with whatever you wanted.  He chose cheese, fruit, cheese, fruit, marshmallows (from the chocolate fondue fountain), bacon, bacon, and bacon.  I said no rules, right.  Ella mostly just ate strawberries and grapes and helped herself to a belgian waffle.  See.  What idiot mom puts their daughter in a white sweater and feeds them strawberries?  Hmm.

Happy beautiful, sunny, warm, rainy, cold Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is This Thing On?

Tap, tap, tap.  Anyone out there?  Did I lose all of you?  Was our month hiatus mysterious and suspenseful and too long to go without your random updates of what Breckin says or Ella's new tricks?  I'm sorry.  It's not really my fault.  Actually, it kinda is my fault in a roundabout, don't think about it too long way.  Oh so long ago I ok'd it for Dustin to get an iPhone.  Was it inevitable?  Sure.  But I gave in cause it had a contraction calculator that would help us figure out when to eat more pie and when we should go to the hospital to deliver Baby Ella.  Ever since then, he has joined the rest of the data junkie world while I sat with my phone that barely texted, usually lost texts in mid-flight, had no battery charging capability, and irritated the living daylights out of me but I didn't really feel the need to have apps or surf the web on my phone.  Until I got lost looking for a park.  Three different times.  And needed something to entertain Breckin while waiting in line.  And needed to check an email but wasn't going to be home til 10 pm.  Ah-ha!  An iPhone would solve all of those problems and we were due for an upgrade a few days after my last post.  Do you know how hard it is to type a blog entry on an iPhone?  I tried once and got so frustrated with re-typing everything it tried to auto-correct that I gave up.  It is, however, super handy for checking that email and playing mindless games and texting and getting directions.  It's so handy that I had to get directions on how to get to our own office cause I am NEVER on the home computer.  Never.  Thus, no blog updates. 

I'm sorry.  We've been kinda boring the last month, anyway, and things will pick up as the weather picks up.  By boring, here's what I mean:

Breckin did 3 months of swimming to end up in the same level he started in.  Don't get me wrong, he had a blast and is really good at back floats, kicking his legs, doing alligator arms, and pushing off from the wall.  He just doesn't want to get his head or face wet.  So, we are taking a break and coming back to it circa later.

Ella.  Ella is a full blown toddler.  She LOVES to say NO to anything and everyone for no apparent reason.  She wants what she doesn't have and is good at having fits.  She can play by herself extremely well for long periods of time but once she hits her wall, you better be ready.  She wants up and a binkie and to go to bed.  Her newest words (sorry, the absolute newest, you missed the older newest) are wowler (flower), weet weet (birdies), Neece (Denise), BINAN (Mr Brian), botty (potty), mou (mouth), and ai-bane (airplane).  She is a chatter box and reads stories by herself and sings to her Curious George.

TBall has started.  Dustin coached his first game and has checked that off of his bucket list.  Done.  Handing that one back to the head coach for now.  Let's just say sometimes the kids aren't the hardest part of coaching. 

Ella likes going to the gym's kids play area better than her house.  She screams PLAY whenever we drive past the gym and cries when we don't stop.  The gym is right outside of our neighborhood and we have to pass it to go anywhere.  It's super fun.

Breckin is reading.  He reads pretty much all Dr Seuss books, everything on commercials, menus, the mail, things on the computer, and thinks we need each and everything he sees a commercial for.  He tells me frequently that if I'm good for the rest of the year, he'll tell Santa that I can have a roomba, sham-wow, lifelock, ziploc containers, dryer sheets, shampoo, and a swiffer.  Marketing works.  On 5 year olds.

I'll add some pictures but I only have a few minutes as Breckin is on his way home from playing at a friend's house- the story of my life these days- and Ella is napping but who knows how long.  I LOVE that the weather is getting nicer- even if we have arctic winds- cause Breckin is really loving playing outside and bounces from house to house with the rest of the neighborhood gang.  It's my childhood all over again....  Love.   

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Make It Do

My new little yellow button over there on the right makes me swoon.  I long to be a mommy like her and in my head I'm working on it.  I'll tell ya what, seeing other mommies who have it all together makes me want to wear and apron and clean this frickin house out and have a useable office and fully dusted corners and spotless base moulding and tidy drawers so that I can quilt and bake and dance and entertain and play outside in my free time.  Dustin challenged me to get rid of 60% of our stuff this year.  Oooo baby, I'm gettin spring cleaning fever now!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Typical Friday Night

So, every Friday night we get together with one of our favorite neighborhood families.  They have two kiddos that play well with Breckin and Dustin and I enjoy their company.  We have a constant battle going with canasta..... that's another story.

Last Friday, as usual, they came over around dinner time.  We enjoy a simple, kid friendly dinner together and the kids play together while the food is cooking and again after we eat until it's movie time.  They mostly monkey around in the playroom upstairs while we chat and relax downstairs.  The dynamic between the kids is very liquid as it contains two boys the same age with one girl who's older.  It's anyone's guess if the brother and sister are going to get along OR if the boys are going to get along.  This is that time in their lives where they learn to handle stuff and compromise and be kids- we've all been there, in a room with other kids and parents who marginally care what you're doing and as long as no one's bleeding, carry on and sort it out.  We have the added element of Ella who goes to bed about the time the movie starts and creates a nice break in the canasta game.

I was taking Ella up to bed and crossing through the playroom when I see:
Kellen on one corner of the playroom couch crying.  Seriously crying with his hands at his face and not looking at anyone.
Mikah on the other corner of the couch reading a book and looking seriously annoyed and like she'd like to be anywhere but stuck in this playroom with two juvenille boys.
Breckin playing in the middle of the floor aimlessly saying "Don't cry.  Come on, Bells.  Don't cry."  But not really showing brotherly love to the one who is crying.

I ask Kellen if he's hurt.  He shakes his head.
I ask him what happened.  He quietly says Breckin sat on his head to which I immediately look at Breckin with the mom stare of doom.  He says his head doesn't hurt but Breckin farted and it stinks really bad.  He says he's crying because of the fart and his head doesn't hurt but it just really stinks.

I take Breckin in Ella's room with me- while biting the insides of my cheeks to keep from laughing cause dang it I have to be serious and clearly seperate these two and at least discipline the head sitting.  There's not a whole lot I can do about the farting.  He is, after all, a boy and related to his father.  Breckin sits quietly with me to give Kellen time to recover and all goes well thereafter. 

But, really?  Do I really have to have another male in the house who can bring tears to the room?  Honestly. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Treasure Map

My imaginative and scatterbrained son came home with this Treasure Map from school today.  He made it during his free time in the Make-It Take-It center.  He grabbed it out of his backpack excitedly and walked me through it with plenty of hand gestures and pausing to run across the room and jump on the couch no less than 12 times.  Here's how it goes:

You start by going through Swistymooth Mountain.

Then you go around the twisty tree.

"You have to go 18 Thousand Hundred times around the spinning circle of doom."  (No, contrary to popular belief, that is not just an orange circle.  Foolish pirates!)

"Then you climb up and down the circle ghost man.  Which is hard cause he's a ghost and you can't see him."

"Finally you get to the whatever colors you want treasure map.  The brown spot lines are sand.  The orange and red (didn't show up very well) and purple are lava.  Don't walk there.  Then you get the treasure at the brown X, cross the yellow skull, and go to the Rock and Roll house hut.  Party in there with your treasure of guitars." 

Sorry about the writing on the last one.  I was furiously trying to follow along.  It's one of the first times he's brought home pictures with a story.  I'm in Kindergarten mom heaven! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

She's a Maaaniac, maaaniac on the floor.

And she's dancin like she's never.... well you know.  Ella is so interested in, motivated by, obsessed with music.  She stops everything when she hears the slightest cheesy commercial jingle and looks up at anyone near by with her crooked grin as if to say "it's dancing time!"  It's a guaranteed lock to calm her down on the changing table if I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider or Old McDonald.  She drops toys and whips her head around when she hears the first few notes of the Handy Manny theme song or Elmo's World.  She grins with all eight of her teeth, sticks her head forward, throws her arms back or up in the air, and stomps her feet.  She has no idea what she's doing but music makes her move.  It soothes her and makes her wiggle and excites her when nothing else will. 

Her latest musical interest is a giant magnetic Elmo that holds her pots and pans in our kitchen.  His hat is the button and he says a few things about eggs and oatmeal.  She has learned to push it as fast as toddlerly possible to skip the sayings and get to the songs.  Once she hits a song, she waddles off down the hall wiggling her little butt and throwing her hands in the air and moving her head.  It's a six second song, mind you, so she has to come running back and start another one quickly.  It's pretty funny but it keeps her entertained.  And, it's a good thing she likes music as much as she does cause we play it or sing it or create it with our hands frequently.

Except not today cause she has an icky fever and rattly cough.  Poor little pumpkin.  Anyone know any sick songs? 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I got robbed. A1-5 might have won this time.

First of all, HOLY COW.  I was thinking I hadn't blogged anything in a while and I haven't kept up on reading the blogs that inspire me and interest me and let me read something other than Hop on Pop.  And to see that I haven't told you anything since February 4th!  Really?  What the heck?  It's not like we haven't done anything.  In fact, we've done quite a bit.  Breckin has had plenty of antics and Ella says a new word every day.  Today, it was "small".  Yesterday it was "down".  She adds something new every day, I swear.

Well, let's get caught up.  I'd love to walk down memory lane of February but there is one glaring event that blurs out the rest.  It threw me for quite a loop, made me drowsy and spacey for an entire day, and kinda smooshed every other thing that happened before it together behind this veil of holy-crap-ness.  Let's just say- the frickin Groundhog lied.  And, he lied big.  Spring did not come early, rather, winter had one last HA HA HA YOU'RE AND IDIOT FOR CROSSING THE PASS IN FEBRUARY moment before March starts. 

We did some stuff in February, blah, blah, blah.  And then, on February 19th I hosted a beautiful baby shower for a dear neighbor and was so excited to have some long overdue girls time that I left for Spokane- a 300 mile trip- at 5 pm on Saturday night.  Pass was clear and dry and it was actually a perfect time to leave cause the kids ate dinner in Ellensburg and crashed in the car for the rest of the trip.  I got to zone out to some Twilight soundtracks and mentally vacate the child-focused portion of my life to reminisce in my head about all of the fun we had in college and beyond.  I love driving alone- or mentally alone- for the pure sake of thinking about whatever without conversation interruption.  It was a nice and much needed mental break. 

Anyway, we got to Spokane about 10:30 at night, waited for the girls to get back from the hot dog store, and settled in.  The kids fell asleep relatively well and on we go.  I don't remember if it was late at night on Saturday or it waited until Sunday morning but A1-5 made an appearance.  A1-5 is Breckin's imaginary nemesis and he shows up now and then- mostly in the comfort of our own home.  This time, he drove across the state and invaded Joslyn's house.  Fortunately, Joslyn was ready with a secret hideout (the back covered porch), a bad guy gun (a caulking gun), and a team of spies on the good side (Mo, Maggie, Jos, and me).  Breckin made us look out for him constantly. 

What's the best place for a bored little boy with no Saturday morning cartoons, not many toys, no computer games, and an imaginary bad guy to chase?  A mostly empty pizza shop.  He jumped right up on the bar stool and chatted with the hostess.  He was fascinated by the pizza maker throwing the dough and asked if he could watch.  He checked the fire now and then for OUR pizzas.  He turned everything in the store into something related to A1-5 hunting.  He did anything he could to not sit in his chair. 

We spent most of Sunday just hanging out at Jos's house, walking around Riverfront Square Park Mall- or whatever it's called- and letting Breckin get some wiggles out at the children's museum.  Miss Hands Tenneson joined us and we headed back to her place cause most of us had never seen it.  The kids were losing their very last ounce of patience when we went to dinner at Red Robin and back home to crash. 

Monday was spent in Coeur d'Alene or as Breckin says "I didn't know we were going on a vacation while on our vacation!"  He loves that town from the last insane road trip and we did our now-ritual stops at the ice cream shop, Figpickles Toy Store, CdA Olive Oil Company, the giant metal moose, and the big rocks in the park.  Of course, A1-5 was there and Breckin had to hide in Jos's little storage closet in the oil shop.  Just after the fire truck made an appearance, I was notified that A1-5 had to go potty and we hightailed it out of there to hit the road back home.  Except the road hit us.

We left Coeur d'Alene around 2 pm thinking even if we got to the pass around 6 pm, it'd just be getting dark and we'd make it over the pass with no problems.  Three potty stops, a dinner stop, and some slow traffic later got us to the pass later than expected.  We knew there'd be a bit of snow but hot damn.  I was more nervous than I'd ever been.  I turned Looney Tunes on for the now awake kids in the back seat and white knuckled it.  We swerved.  We spun in a circle and somehow straightened out.  I was absolutely sure we'd lose all traction trying to get on Highway 18 and called Dustin to get ready to come and get us.  I can't convey in words what a scary drive it was.  We locked up and spun our tires and- by the grace of God- made it over the pass, through Issaquah, and home by 10 pm.  Eight hours after we started.  I think A1-5 was responsible for the snow. 

All the next day I was drowsy, couldn't stop yawning, could not focus on anything, and felt a little nauseated.  It was a horrible feeling but the kids slept in and just wanted to play quietly.  I think they were worn out, too.  It was worth every moment to see my girls and spend some much needed time just being together.  It's a good thing we planned that trip at the beginning of a week off of school cause we have needed every day to recover. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Little Budding Photographer

Breckin got a Lego camera for Christmas and he LOVES to take pictures of things he's made, people who happen to be nearby, and his favorite things around the house.  Like toilets.  Or his sister's butt.  He's classy like that.  Here's a few and via The Photos link, there's his own little album.  Fair warning- the flash is ridiculously bright so everything is overexposed but it's his perspective and he likes them.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Turns out, I was the only one who was nervous.

Breckin doesn't like new things.  He gets nervous and doesn't want to try and doesn't like it when he's not good at something.  I've learned over the years how to approach Breckin to get him to do new stuff.  We used to tell him about it weeks in advnace in hopes of preparing him for a new activity like soccer or Tball.  He'd build up anxiety the whole time and freak out in the car on the way.  Not good.  Then, we'd try just going to something and he'd figure out that it's a new thing and freak out in front of everyone.  Also not good.  We'd do a combination of those and warn him a few days in advance then not really bring it up again til it was time and he'd panic in the car all the way and freak out while trying to participate.  Not good.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous about how swim lessons would go.  He's been in pools but always with an inner tube or one of us holding him or in such shallow water that he could touch and walk easily.  He likes that kind of swimming.  We've mentioned swim lessons before and he was adamant that he did not need them and he was not interested in doing them.  Ever.

So, I signed him up about a month ago for our local high school pool's swim classes cause Mommy and Daddy really want to go to Great Wolf Lodge and ride the water slides and dang it, he's going to like it, too.  I didn't tell him about it.  In fact, I didn't mention anything about it until Saturday when I casually said "Hey, Breck.  I think there's a pool close by.  Should we go swimming on Monday after school?"  "You bet!" he says.  And that was it.

Until the car ride.  On the way I said "Oh, buddy.  Sometimes at these pools they have a special swim time where the mommies don't get in and you get in with a teacher or something and play some games."  He didn't buy it.  "I do not want to go during those times."  I said "well, let's just see what the scoop is and we'll do whatever the rules at the pool are."  I lightened the mood by suggesting weird things like some of the characters from his tv shows might be there or wouldn't it be weird if his pool teacher was his school teacher or what if he saw kids from his class there.  He liked those ideas and dropped it for a few minutes.  His tone was getting a little frantic each time he spoke, though, and said he did not want to swim like that- he just wanted to play in a floatie.  I said he sounded nervous and it was ok to be nervous because maybe there are other kids there who are nervous, too, and needed a boy to be brave and show them how to have fun in a pool. 

Then, blink.  He was a different kid.  The showers in the locker room were hilarious.  The pool water was the best thing he'd smelled.  He couldn't wait to get in the water and when his teacher called his name, he marched right down the kids' stairs and followed along like a pro.  I have no idea what happened but he played simon says, dipped his face in the water, practiced holding on to the edge and pushing off with his feet, tried to float on his back, and made great alligator arms.  I was blown away.  For the last thirty days, I've been sweating swim lessons and thinking of things to say when he's breaking down on the side of the pool and fighting me to get outta there.  He was laughing and didn't mind getting splashed and jumped off the side into the water when it was his turn.  He said it was the most fun thing he'd done in forever and can not wait til Wednesday.  We still can't call it swim lessons cause he does not want to take swim lessons.  But, "swim time" is just fine with him.  And, Mommy can't wait til it's Great Wolf Lodge time.

Ella's First Piggy Tails.

Her hair is finally long enough in the back and yet not long enough to capture the front.  Yep.  That's a mullet.

So it's not so straight in the back but they got installed while she was flipping her head around as fast as she could to prevent me from doing whatever I was doing.  And, they fell out in the car about an hour later.  But, she didn't really bother them too much which gives me hope that she won't have hair in her eyes forever.

Friday, January 28, 2011

You LIED Mr. Pool.

I was so excited about our day out at the park that I paid close attention to Steve Pool the weather man on the 11 o'clock news to see when I could ruin us again soon.  What's that?  Thursday will be sunny and close to 60?  Lovely!  It's a perfect time to grab a quick lunch at mickey d's and drive North to Bellevue and hit a place we haven't been in ages.  I don't think Ella's ever been and Breckin couldn't remember it at all.  And that kid remembers everything.  I wasn't sure if the animals would be out cause, after all, it was January but we brought our heavy jackets (lesson learned from yesterday) and arrived at Kelsey Creek Farm shortly after 1 pm.  It was overcast and 45.  Degrees.  Not sunny OR 60.  In fact it was downright cold.  I had two jackets on and thank goodness I have random snow hats in my car cause I drive around prepared like that. 

Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment or my memory is so bad that I forget how wrecked we were the day before.  Cause we really just did the same thing to ourselves all over again.  But, man, it was fun.  Breckin chased the ducks.  We swang and climbed through mazes and played in a little house and see sawed at the park.  Ella mooed at the cows.  Breckin pointed out the rabbit poop.  The pig oinked at all of us.  We walked up and down and up and down the hills between animal fields and Breckin asked if he could run down and back up the hill one more time before we left the cow pasture.  Sure, why not?  No, buddy, you can't get good exercise and run up a hill..... I don't think so.  Run away, kiddo, run away.  Ella said moo to the cows, neigh to the horses, baa to the sheep, and sniffed at the rabbits.  She was a farm expert.  The highlight of the day according to Breckin?  A small amphitheater with a basic stage and some metal benches in the side of a hill.  He put on a show for us then we put on a show together for the horses then Ella got frustrated with the woodchips on the stage and tried to take them all off carefully.  She may or may not have tried to eat some.

It was 3:00.  Hmm.  Do we see if we can pick up Daddy from work early?  Fat chance since he was hoping to work late and have us come get him so he could skip the vanpool.  I needed to go to PinkBella cupcakes anyway and scope them out for an upcoming baby shower...  Do the kids have it in them to eat a cupcake and hang out at the boats?  Could we make it last until it was time for Daddy to really leave work and he could just ride with us?  Oh why the hell not.  I love exhausted demon children at dinner time.  I mean, I must.  Why else would I run them ragged and feed them straight sugar. 

Cupcakes.  Check.  (and AWEsome, by the way!  Mmmmm coconut.)  Play at the boats.  Check.  Peek at the See Kai Run shoes at Bump cause I still have a $35 gift card that I can never seem to spend.  Check.  Quick $8 detour through Lego store to give Daddy ten more minutes at work.  Check.  Drive home with maniac screaming Ella who doesn't want her binkie but wants her binkie and jabberjaws Breckin who wants to talk about his amazing day.  Check.  Have all intentions in the world to make a quick dinner- even if it's cereal but give in to the idea of Taco Bell/KFC when it starts to take an hour to get home.  Check. 

Crazy ass day #2 done and Friday will consist of tucking ourselves in at home, playing board games, finishing the laundry I started on Tuesday, and chilling out.  And not complaining about the rainy day. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh, fresh air. We missed you.

Seriously?  We went to the park for a little over two hours today and it WRECKED us.  It was sunny after 1 pm for the first time since last fall.  And it was over 45 degrees.  And Ella woke up early which means she napped early which means she was awake by 1:30 pm which means we'd have enough time to spend at the park before it gets dark at 4 pm.  See, there are a lot of factors that have to happen just so in order for us to hit the park on a weekday.  If Ella sleeps in past 8:00, she doesn't go down for a nap until after lunch.  And that lands us at home base until she wakes up.  If she gets the early nap and goes down for the count at 11 am or earlier, we have all afternoon.  But, it's Seattle.  And if the sun comes out in the AM, you can be sure it'll be gone and overcast with scattered showers in the PM.  We can never get all factors to line up- PM sun, Ella's early nap, no other prior engagements, temps above frozen fingers- in the winter.  Until today.  And HoLy CoW did it wreck us. 

We drove to the Pirate Park (not it's actual name but the name given by Breckin therefore it shall always be called that) around 1:45.  Lightweight coats cause we almost got sunburnt walking home from the bus.  Yeah, we're pasty like that.  Breckin pushed his cheetah button on his jacket and ran full speed to the swings.  You'd have to know him to know that 1) I'm not kidding about that and b) The buttons change daily. 

We did some of this

And a little of this

And Breckin taught Ella how to slide like this

And Ella wore her sassy pants like this

And said very grown up things like No No and Rawr and Bye Bye.  And the most important thing?  She left her shoes and socks on!!!  For the first time in her life, she didn't rip her shoes and/or socks off the minute she could reach her feet.  Yay Ella! 

You'll just have to check the photos tab to see the rest otherwise this blog could go on forever.  We played pooh sticks.  Google it.  We danced on a tree stump.  We made a very small tree fort and all fit inside.  We chased birds.  We swang and swung and swinged.  For an hour and fifteen minutes we swinged.  We went down slides and up slides and fell in the wet woodchips and ate them.  We froze our fingers and necks cause it turns out the park which is in the woody area is shaded and therefore not sunburn status like our front porch and our lightweight jackets and no gloves was a bad idea but we didn't care for two hours cause we were breathing fresh air DAMMIT.

And now?  Now we are wrecked.  Ella was out like a trout by 7:30 and I fell asleep with her in the rocker while she was chowing on her milk.  Breckin is a disaster.  He was SOOO good at the park and left nicely and used great words and was nice to all the kids and now his daddy is getting the brunt of that.  He fell apart when his sister took his green plastic sunglasses out of his drawer.  He crumpled on the floor when he found out it was hair wash night.  He had a slight meltdown when his bandaid fell off and he discovered wrinkly bandaid skin on his finger and it felt different and he doesn't like different.  He is wrecked with a capital WRECK.  But DAMMIT we got fresh air.  And it felt SO NICE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

13 Months, 25 days, 2 Hours, and 13 Minutes.

That's how long it took Big Brother Breckin to teach Baby Girl Ella how to say No No and take her toy back from the clutches of evil.  I mean, her brother.  He's done it since the day after she was born.  He let her have one day in the hospital to learn to breathe real air but I'm pretty sure- although most of the first few days are a blur- that he reclaimed at least one thing from her bassinet that he deemed as his.  Oh yes, the pink pony given to her by some Emerald Downs coworkers became his as soon as he saw that she had two pink ponies and she surely didn't need both.  It was a smooth "Thank you Ella.  I'll have that since you don't even know how to play with toys yet."  Which transitioned to "Thank you, Ella.  I'll take that since you're a baby and can't have little toys yet."  And, finally to "No No, Ella.  That's mine and you can't play with it." 

Did we sit idly by and let him assert his dominance?  Heck no.  We've been calmly walking him through sharing with his sister or if he really feels the need to take something from her, he needs to already have an age appropriate toy in hand to exchange with her.  It's hard to differentiate the difference, however, that we encourage him to take away some small legos or the dog toys but it's okay for her to play with stuffed animals.  Even if those stuffed animals are found in his room.  Are they going to hurt her or could she choke?  No?  Then it's ok for her to play with.  Even if they aren't technically hers.  It's an ongoing and tough lesson to learn.  He does the best he can.

Well, today turnabout was fair play.  Both kids were playing well in the living room.  She had only smacked him in the head with a weeble once and he only snatched a geo train away without a ready trade once.  They were laughing about something and she had already recovered from the hiccups after the hilarity that is Breckin shaking his head super fast.  He was lounging on the dump island (the coffee table sized ottoman that got it's name from when Breckin was 2 and would get dumped like a sack of potatoes from his Daddy's shoulder) and happened to be on top of Ella's pillow pet.  She caught site of it, waltzed over to him, reached her hand out sideways and said "No No." 

I said "Buddy, I think Ella would like to have her pillow pet back.  I don't think she wants you to lay on it."

Finally, Ella spoke his language cause he got up, handed it to her, said "Oh, I'm sorry Ella.  I know that's a special toy to you."

She grabbed it like a woman in Kleinfeld's and motored across the living room where she put it on the floor and rolled around on top of it lovingly.  She loves her pillow pet, sure, but I think she is asserting her right to her toys just as she's been taught by her smarty pants big brother.  Thanks, Breck.  Good first lesson.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy MLK Day!

Leave it to a day off of school to bring me out of my blogging funk.  Good ol' Breckin and Ella have me in stitches from the time they wake up til they are fighting going to sleep.  It's one of those holidays that polarzies employees.  Not everyone gets the day off- though they should cause Dr King was a pretty important guy- so those that do have an extra weekend night and those that don't are a little extra scowly on Monday.  School is definitely out cause the Murphy's Law of public school is If There Is Any Reason To Stay Home, We Will Take It.  But, Dustin had to get to work.  What's a better way to break up a cold, rainy day stuck in the house than going to visit Daddy for lunch?!?!?! 

It used to be kind of easy.  Sometimes we'd pack a pail and eat in his common area.  Sometimes we'd pick him up and have a nice lunch out at Red Robin at the mall.  Sometimes we'd be his lunch meeting between two other meetings and make it a quick fill up at Jimmy Johns.  This time, it was a nice combo.  Breckin, Ella, and I grabbed said Jimmy Johns and took it up to the common area.  After all, a trip to Daddy's office is not complete without stalking Drew.  That sandwich shop is ALWAYS busy and they move fast.  You have to be on your game to order there.  There's no browsing over the veggies like at Subway.  Those guys are moving and you just might get kicked out if you aren't ready when it's your turn.  Breckin won't eat lunch meat and Ella can't chew raw veggies yet so their orders are easy- The Veggie and a Ham and Cheese Slim.  I'm preset with D's order- Lulu, extra tomatoes.  I didn't really think about mine so I ordered the only sandwich I've ever ordered there cause I was too afraid to look around the menu and panicked when it was my turn and blurted out Beach Club for fear of not getting a sandwich at all.  It turns out it doesn't matter if my son is dancing and swinging around like a hooligan at a place like that cause he really just blends right in.  So, I let him get some wiggles out while we waited the 5.2 nanoseconds it takes them to get the food ready and we hightailed it over to the big, black skyscraper of Breckin's dreams.  He LOVES that place.  He loves the lobby with the orange chairs and the revolving door and the giant yellow airplane that greets you and watching Daddy use his top secret agent badge to make the elevator work and the nerf gun proudly on display in the elevator lobby on floor 12. 

We are greeted instantly by a table of D's coworkers who know everything about us and us nothing about them.  I know my familiar faces and everyone in the building knows the moment that Drew is spotted.  He's the big celebrity there.  After all, he does have a velcro dart board and nerf guns at his desk.  And, he and Breckin go way back.  Breckin tries to act all cool and slap him high five and say big kid things like "what's up, Drew?" but internally he's acting like he's in front of Robert Pattinson.  He just wants to hang out with Drew so bad and go to his desk to play darts and see all of his toys and shoot the nerf gun.  He talks about Drew for days before we go to the office and days after we've come home.  In fact, on the ride home he wondered if Drew would come over for a playdate and make his own kinectimal.  Kids can sense other kids disguised as grown ups.

Breckin knows his way around so he got us some drinks from the fridge, checked up on the things he can see from the window, and patted the glass buddha statue's belly as part of his I'm Here ritual.  Ella is being ok until she sees the sandwich bags and lets us know she is ready to eat.  She has a bad habit of shrieking like Ellen Degeneres does to her audience and points sideways at her food until someone has torn Ella-approved pieces up for her to frantically stuff in her mouth like she hasn't eaten in days.  And, Breckin eats half standing up for fear that he might be able to sit down for longer than 12 seconds and it would ruin his entire crazy man game.  He talks loudly in general and chats with anyone in earshot so between Mr. Wigglypants, loud kid voice, shrieking baby, and fully distracting more people than we should have, I don't think we'll be back for lunch with Daddy anytime soon.  We made D late to a meeting and Breckin got stuck in the revolving door on the way to the car.  It was a good way to get the kids out of the house on a dreary day but we'll probably just stick with a mall playland or the McDonald's slide from now on.  Sorry, hon.  Tell your coworkers we apologize for disrupting their work space and making you late for your meeting.  And, of course, tell Drew that Breckin says HI.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holy Photos Batman!

My compact flash card just vomited all over my picasa web albums over there on the right.  I think there's 60 something new pics in the winter 2010 album.  Here are the topics, in no apparent order and probably is an incomplete list.

  • Gingerbread house making and slumber party in Gig Harbor
  • Kinect playing
  • The 276th Street Gang's gift exchange
  • Christmas Eve at Grandma and Bapa's
  • Ella's first solo mission.  Walking, I mean.
  • My kids entertaining each other through a glass window.
  • Cookie decorating
Don't have time to scroll through all of them?  Here's my favs.

Ella says "I hate opening presents.  I hate it. I will scream and cry and try to get away.  Debbie, you are so mean for making me open  Oooooo Look!  Teddy Bears!"

It's not that the cookie decorating was so important or really any sort of momentous occasion.  I think it took less than fifteen minutes, really, cause dumping them and running away was the theme.  But, Breckin's faces back there kill me.  He must have been on a sugar high.

These are timeless.  My handsome father and my train obsessed little boy checkin out his new "real deal model train set" as Breckin says.  And, our Christmas present from Ella was stepping confidently.  She makes it across the kitchen or down the hall before stumbling.  I would say she's walking.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I am exhausted.  Last night was one of the best New Year's Eve nights I've had in a long time.  Dustin and I got to get away to fabulous Everett (hey, it's the journey- not the destination) for a long lost friend's wedding.  We loaned our kids out to my parents' for the night.  And by night, I mean noon on Friday.  What?  We had to beat the crowds at the casino and outlet mall in nearby Tulalip.  And it's a good thing we did cause I sat down at some random Panda Pagoda (who the hell's ever heard of that?!??!) penny slot machine, hit the button a few times, and bust out three pagodas worth 23,000 CREDITS!   I look away from my machine for a minute and glance back to see 23,185 credits on my screen.  I'm like "Hon, wait.  How much is 23000 credits?"  Twenty three bucks?  What?  230 bucks?  Sah- Weet!!!

Backup.  That didn't happen until after shopping.  Mo, Maggie, and I- after Bobby was rescued from the clutches of Claire's- milled around the outlet mall in no apparent direction.  We wandered in and out of shops mostly to escape the bitter cold of the outdoor hallways.  I got a super cute, bright ass pink, Kate Spade purse that will only be used on Mommy's night out events cause it's not big enough for one diaper.  On sale for 30% off then another 40% off.  Hells yeah.  Dustin and Bobby, not to be bothered by droves of women, went to more manly stores like Ralph Lauren and Nike.  You know what I say?  Uh huh.  They still shopped.  On their own accord.  And bought shirts.  Manly style.

Mags got some kick ass bling for later.  Mo got a Wilma Flintstone on crack necklace set.  We all ate HORRIBLE food that rounded out to $9 french fries cause the actual items that came with them were Army food rejects.  Who cares.  On to gambling and the 4 pm buffet.  We played the cheapest slots with the most freebie games we could find.  The boys played manlier table games.  Done.  Eat first, vip and HolyHellThatBartenderIsTryingToGetUsAllLaid later.  Buffet was meh.  Good enough to fill our bellies but not the NYE food of champions. 

On to the wedding.  The girls and I took every opportunity to doll it up cause what the hell?  It was New Year's Eve for crying out loud AND we were at a wedding.  We had hot shoes and shiny, pretty jewelry and sexy little dresses and make up with extra oomph.  Hot!  Do I have pictures to prove it?  Nope.  Dumb ass me forgot to charge the camera battery before we left.  You'll have to believe me until I can snag some from Mo and Mags.  And Bruce. 

Oh yeah, the wedding.  A little unconventional- the details aren't important.  What matters is that they were a super cute couple who could only look at each other.  She was BEAMING.  And, I got to reconnect with people I haven't seen in way too long.  Like 10 years or so.  I had a frickin blast.  Conversations were hilarious and clearly fueled by the Hosted Bar bartender.  That guy was happy with the pours and the customers were happy with him.  Met some new friends who had me in stitches and just when I was feeling guilty and lonely for my kiddos- Bromund's squishable baby boy let me hold him and dance with him and gave me drooly kisses on my face. 

Ok, so the night ended with some minor rum fueled drama in the parking lot- 4 FRICKING MILES!- you know who you are!  And, Maggie wasn't feeling so hot.... Hmm.  Can't imagine why.  But we went back to the casino, ate at Denny's, and hit the sack at 3:45.  It was a throwback to when we all started hanging out and reminded me that I can no longer hang like that on a regular basis.  I am more tired than I can really handle yet I can't stop smiling about it all.  Looks like 2011 is going to be a good year!