Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hey there Mr. Sandman

I come home from work most days tired, but ready to take on my "home list"

I transition from balance sheets, meetings and negotiations to laundry, dinner & homework.

This time of year there is always more to be done after the kids have gone to bed. Wrapping gifts, online shopping...putting away the laundry. Ahh my nemesis, laundry.

For the record Super Son has asked the last 3 nights in a row when his clothes would be back in his room so he could get dressed before coming downstairs. I think tonight will actually be the night it gets done. Our laundry room is looking a bit like a messy version of this these days, but I digress.

Bedtime routines are for the kids. Warm bath, lotion, teeth brushing, tucking in, story time and maybe a few extra snuggles for good measure.

What happens to me each night from the moment I put my foot on the bottom stair and begin my ascent has become a bit of a joke. Nevertheless I have a plan that goes something like this.

1. Put kids to bed
2. Go back downstairs and do something productive

My well laid plans are discarded as their bedtime has somehow morphed into mine. They smell so nice fresh and clean, their beds are warm and cozy, the lights are low and the house shushes for them. Can you really blame me?

Some nights I fall asleep in their beds, but most I stagger down the stairs seemingly drugged by the routine and fall into my own bed. A book, maybe a little TV, sometimes some knitting and I'm out.

Forget posting on the blog, returning overdue emails, putting away laundry, emptying the dishwasher or packing lunches.

I marvel some nights as a I wobble along to find Hero Husband returning from a trip to the grocery store (God love the man, he does virtually all of our shopping) or the gym glowing with accomplishment. I do my best to scowl, but really it is just envy. I love my lists and checking things off. I have been known to write things I just did on my list just so I can check them off. I want to spend those hours getting things done,

BUT

I don't want to trade those last sleepy kisses, twilight conversations about dinosaurs or what happened during your day that I don't already know about for a little bit more efficency. I don't want gain one more check mark on my list if it means I have to miss the sweet puff of breath against my shoulder and the warm weight of their love pressed against me as they surrender the day.

So I have my plan, but most nights am completely happy to come downstairs sleepy.

Hey there Mr. Sandman fancy meeting you here again. Is that a tempur pedic pillow in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Okay, thanks to Hero Husband

Thanks to Hero Husband we won't be reduced to this...

But I get to come home to this each night



and this,



but best of all this.



Mmmm toasted marshmallow kisses...

Thanks Honey!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pack your bags kids we're goin' to Nova Scotia

So here I am sitting around catching up on my blog reading eating a pomegranate. My keyboard is getting a little sticky and I am wondering if the yummy fruit is really worth all the effort. So, I decide to tweet about it. My holy awesome amazing mac tells me that I have misspelled pomegranate and so google it to check spelling.

And this is one of the results that pops up

The pomegranate phone

Seems pretty strange to me to name a pda after a very round, difficult to eat fruit and so I do what any rational consumer would do. I click on the link to check it out.

The pomegranate phone brews coffee, projects HD video onto your wall, can be used as a harmonica and has a built in electric razor among its features.

When you are done exploring the device and click to find out the release date information you are directed to the place where you really can have it all... Nova Scotia

Freaking marketing brilliance. I want to go now just because of the genius in this marketing plan.

Oh and the global voice translator. I want one of those for real. They sell those in Nova Scotia right?

Rocks in your chones

So this afternoon I arrive at Miss Thing's school to pick her up. I head out to the playground and she is half sitting on a swing a small herd of 4 year olds around her and she has her hand in her chones.

Strange

I walk a little closer

"Hey baby girl. Everything okay in your britches?"

One of her friends hands her a few small rocks from the playscape and she stashes them in her pa'nti'es.

Again I say ~ Strange

She looks up at me smiling happily

"Nope Mama I'm fine"

I begin removing the rocks as her teacher approaches

"Miss Thing, honey" I say "Rocks don't belong in your your va*gin~a so lets not put them in your pa'ntie's"

"But Mom I didn't have a place to carry them"

Sure enough she is wearing pants with no pockets. I am somewhat pleased with her logic if still slightly disturbed by the end result.

Her teacher has arrived and lovingly bestows a hug on me.

"I just wanted to thank you for Miss Thing. She is such a gem in class and is so smart."

I agree, but I can't decide if she is being facetious because of the rocks in the chones or if she is being serious.

She continues "Today I hid cards all around the room with "H" words and asked the class to find them. She (and her best friend Finn) were the only ones who did it."

So there you have it. Putting rocks in your britches doesn't preclude you from being smart.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

We know you, we love you.

We are grateful for all that you do, for the heavy mantle that you wear.

Thank you just isn't enough.

Thank you

Especially to the awesome Uncle G...The best little brother I always wanted

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bean got a dollhouse for her birthday.



Very well organized.

Upon further investigation



Why is there a dog bath in the nursery? Wait a minute, why is there a mom in the dog bath?




Did Grandma have a little too much to drink with dinner?

And what exactly is Dad wearing?



Yes, that would be a baby sling.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween

Hero Husband was gone on his elk hunting trip when Miss Thing's birthday was approaching so we opted to schedule her birthday party when we knew he would be back. I asked her if she wanted to have a Halloween party holding out hope that she would bite and score one for team Mom she did.

Then she got the flu and we had to cancel the party.

Then I got the flu from Miss Thing and we wondered if our house would still be a petri dish for the redo date.

Last year I lamented the annual struggle to work my family into a cohesive costume theme. For the record I had no success last year (princess, 2 soldiers and a kung fu girl do not a family costume make) but this year as I prepared my arguments, exhibits and documentation of prior Halloween fun in family costume the kids surprised me.

"Mom, I want to be an indian" Super Son announced. I began strategizing for what I could tempt Miss Thing with because of her recent obsession with Snow White when she declared that she wanted to be a cowgirl.

Choirs of heavenly angels began to sing and i barely restrained myself from dancing. This was something I could work with.
Hero Husband opted for an old west sheriff and I went for the saloon girl.

Costumes were pulled together and the morning of the party there was much curling of hair and painting of faces.

And then there was the old west family



and it was good.

Oh yeah and then there was a birthday party. That was fun too.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Policeman vs Fireman

Turn off the music at the bottom of the page before you hit play.

Enjoy

Wise words from a friend

"He [God] loves us through the way we love each other. Someday our small children will be grown, our busy hours will be times of quiet reflection, we may or may not still be married, we may be healthy or we may be fighting for our life, but if we are very, very lucky...we will have the indescribable comfort of women who have traveled beside us. We don't just get that as a bonus, we get it because we invested all along" -Kristin Armstrong

Thinking about all of the amazing women that I travel with. Love you all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Sunday

After mass this morning Hero Husband called our dear friends at the Cross Creek Ranch and inquired as to their plans for the afternoon. No objections were posed to our arrival and so we headed out. Super Son was born to live in the country, dig in the dirt, investigate watering holes and gather tinder for fires. Uncle Rich indulges his every story and so off we went over the bridge and through the woods



Miss Thing was hot on their tails investigating all things woodsy, just with slightly more glamour



Then back to the house where Super Son and Riley found a common interest...ahhh a boy and a dog on a mission



and Miss Thing was all smiles, but what else is new.

Mom I have a song I have to sing to you right now




"Sabalo" is my favorite day of the week for sure

Don't forget to pause the audio player at the bottom of the page before playing the movie

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cliche contest entry

I swore I never would, but this is an author I really love and I really want the extra entries in her contest so there.

I am posting for a contest entry. so go ahead click on it. You know you want to.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Secret Places

My husband compartmentalizes things.

He has a container for every tool, nut, bolt, screw, gadet and gift.
A place for every thing and every thing in its place.

My errant shoes make him a bit crazy.

His heart is much the same. There is a secret smile that hides within his place for me. A deep laugh that he holds in a place within only the reach of the small hands of our children. Even deeper still is the place he holds all that can't be visited often. His eyes have seen so much, his hands held the things beyond mentioning and his heart has found a place to let the memories live without destroying.

And so on this day each year I go there. With him, for him, that his burden doesn't become too heavy and that he remembers that the weight of it all is not his alone to bear.

And with each passing year we still remember

Sunday, September 06, 2009

And now for some levity

Heaven help you if you actually are hungry for pizza



And an addition to my wildly inappropriate collection of switchplate covers

Saturday, September 05, 2009

When did I become Richard Gere?

So until recently my lovely sister #2 has been looking a bit like this.



Lovely, round and full of new life. We are sisters and it has fed the joy and anticipation of her daughter having her own little sister.

After the super scary drama of Bean's birth much time and thought was spent on the preparation of this birth plan. #2 was hoping and working for an intervention free delivery and it was impressive watching her conquer her own fears and reservations in the process.

She asked me to be there to photograph the birth and I was geared and ready to give her something like this to memorialize the day. We discussed the prohibition of migrating too far down the table. No objection here. We sat up late one night scrapbooking (you have no idea how far behind I am on my kid's baby books) and we got to talking. I think I might have snarfed something when she said "I have had an epidural before, even I think I am crazy for trying this". She established the 3 times rule. If I ask for pain medication 3 times then I really do want it. If I just bitch and complain don't you dare offer medication.

She called me from work on Friday with a stream of consciousness rant something along the lines of GeeshwhatamIdoing Iwas upallnight contracting andnowIamatwork. Youdon'tthinkthiscouldgoonfordayslikeBean'sdoyou? My answer fell somewhere in the lines of #2 you can't do this tonight, Hero Husband is at the fire station, Melissa (my kid sitting go-to) is in Missouri and Nana (my awesome suegra) is having a dinner party tonight. For the love of Pete you can't have this baby tonight. Okay so that at least made her laugh and we agreed that if she called I would find a way to be there and it would work out.

Then the Back Cracker called at midnight, Crap. I hadn't gone to sleep yet so I rationalized that the it was still early enough for me to schelp the kids up to #2's house and put them back to sleep there (where Bean was sleeping too) and there was bound to be qualified overnight kids sleeping there is nothing you actually have to do kind of supervision to be had.

My kids are angels that will never end up in therapy regardless of the crazy things I put them through. They were excited to go and promptly fell back to sleep in #2's big bed when I tucked them in. Good kids I say. Remind me of this when you break curfew the first time, you just earned a pass. I hopped in the car with a frantic Back Cracker and a grunting non verbal #2. I should have known something was up when she started laughing at my jokes as we were driving. She was checked in and was dilated to a 4. I vaguely recall her bargaining with the midwife for a higher number. A debate was had on the merits of checking in and staying for the duration or going home to labor some more. It was decided to stay and see if she would progress. This was pretty optimistic in part because she was full on conversational and her contractions were spacing out and not doing much to the monitoring machine.

Then the call came. Bean is awake, she is dressed, she had breakfast and I need you to come back (to hang with the still sleeping Super Son & Miss Thing) so I can bring her to the hospital.

I looked at my watch. Laughed. Repeated what had been said (as #2 began to curse) and handed the phone to the Back Cracker. It was 2 AM. Did I mention that Bean is 2 years old. It was 2 in the morning.

A few more hours of watching and waiting as labor came to a screeching halt. I packed it up to go check on my kids, obtain food for the Back Cracker and get a few hours of sleep. When I woke up at 6 my beautiful sleeping kids were still out and I went downstairs to call the hospital and see if my comatose state might have facilitated a few additional centimeters. No such luck, but 4 hours later Bean was still awake and watching Diego cartoon. Bodies were strewn throughout the house. Bean elected to join me on a taco run and we talked about how hard her Mommy was working to give her a baby sister. She is such a sweet and smart little thing. Tacos delivered, my kids ate breakfast with Bean and hung out with their grandparents while I ran a few of the tacos back to the hospital.

#2 was so not in labor anymore and didn't have a single contraction (until she signed the discharge paperwork of course). She was completely exhausted and I drove them home. Bleh.

The kid maelstrom was already underway when we arrived. I got my kids dressed as I watched my exhausted baby sister get a little glassy eyed on the stairs. The words flew out of my mouth before I could claim them and I left their house with my kids plus Bean and a promise of the bouncy house place so#2 and the Back Cracker could get some sleep.

So what do a set of Irish twin cousins do with a bright sunny day of play ahead of them? Get Naked! and play in the sprinkler



Have you ever had a Rockstar energy drink? I have. In large quantities. I have never been more grateful for caffeine than I was then and I was only slightly more grateful when I got all of the kids to sleep for a nap. Praise God. At this point Bean had been up since 2am and was getting a bit punchy.

We won't talk about how punchy I was getting because I was supposedly the adult in charge.

The bliss that is naptime only lasted an hour, but with promises of the undiscovered bouncy house (read only a few kids there and lots of room for my brood to go crazy in) place I was able to attain a vertical status.

So we bounced and played. The kids ran off all of the possible excess energy they could muster and we called it a day. Hero Husband made them an awesome dinner and then we began to scrub the grime off of them. Back Cracker called at some point and we talked about the merits of Bean staying the night or going to the hospital. A few contractions later the decision was made. Bean was exhausted and would stay with us. Unless a baby arrived before bedtime Bean would stay put until morning.

It wasn't much longer until they were headed back to the hospital. I was promised a status check once the midwife had arrived and I dove headfirst into baths, stories, tucking in and soothing a frustrated and exhausted Bean who wanted her Mom.

I got a few phone calls checking when I would be leaving or arriving. The words changed slightly but the question and the flow of information remained the same.

Kids tucked in I changed my clothes, kissed my husband, and grabbed my camera bag.

As I rounded the corner I was greeted with "You have a niece"

When I made it to #2's side she cried and asked where had I been, why wasn't I there and by some insane force of will I was able to stopper my tears and not point fingers and scream.

She had done it. She had an intervention free, midwife assisted delivery. She was the pinnacle of life and feminity and I missed it all.

No where in my never ending, Bean soothing, caffeine addled exhausting day had anyone said "she's at a 7" or "she's pushing, you should come now"

But they were all there and I wasn't

I cared for her most precious treasure, I fixed the craptastic mess that had been caused the night before by waking a 2 year old up at 2 am and I wasn't there for "my person".

After Bean was born #2 and I talked through the details of the day a thousand times. I helped her to remember, validated her fears and her choices and stood by her as the years soothed it all away.

She already wants clarity on the moments as they happened and I will never be able to share that memory with her.

She was the first person to hold both of my children (after me and Hero Husband of course), she is my touchstone, my tribe, my person and I will never be able to give her this .

And so I am like Richard Gere (or at least his character Edward Lewis)

"I am angry"

It didn't cost me ten thousand dollars in therapy to get there, nor did I need a prostitute to help me with my clarity, although Hero Husband might have thought that was more interesting than my crying all the time.

"I am angry"

I needed some time and now I am done with it.

My new niece KatyDid is beautiful and she lets me hold her and get my baby fix. My husband's awesomeness knows no bounds. My children are loving having a baby around. My sister is an exceptional Mom. I got to know and love Bean in a new way. And now that I am done being angry I will share with you my newest little treasure. Meet KatyDid

Isn't she lovely



Sunday, August 09, 2009

It's always fun and games until someone gets hurt

Today was the fire station family picnic and we all gathered together for a good meal and some great conversation.

As things were winding down the chief said that we should let the kids jump on the beds before we left and so some good old fashioned monkeys on the bed commenced.

That is until one little monkey fell off and...you guessed it bonked her head.

I guess if you are going to have an accident it is ideal to do it in the middle of a fire station surrounded by Daddy and his fire fighters.

Off we went to Dell Children's Hospital to get our sweet little one all patched up.

#2 and the Back Cracker picked up Super Son and took him to Grama & Grampa's for Grampa's birthday party and because as he said "I don't want to see what they are going to do to Miss Thing's chin when they fix it."

While we waited we had a tea party



She was such a tough girl and while she started out with this



The child life specialists talked her through what was going to happen and let her touch all of the instruments. We hoped that they would glue her wound, but when it was all said and done we left with this.



5 stitches and she is all put back together now and proud of herself for being so tough.
She is surely one tough little girl.

Glow in the Dark

Of all the uses I can come up with for glow in the dark paint I never would have imagined badminton being one of them.

Apparently at the fire station they have started playing, badminton that is. After realizing that it was too hot to play in the parking lot until the sun went down they quickly discovered that they couldn't play for long because you couldn't see the shuttlecock (otherwise known as a birdie) for more than a few minutes.

The first solution...break open a glow stick and cover the birdie with the contents and prepare to have glowy stuff splattered all over you as you play. Hero Husband swears he wasn't around to consult on this little bit of ingenuity.

Hero Husband was lamenting the loss of the glow in the dark birdie he remembers playing with when he was little (did they even have glow in the dark toys back then?) and I suggested they get some glow in the dark paint and just paint the birdies.

My awesomeness apparently knows no bounds. He doubted the existence of glow in the dark paint until I sent him into Home Depot to procure some. The paint department staff knew that I was right and he returned with the goods.

Next report: Painting of the birdies and glow in the dark badminton ~ success or failure

Sunday, August 02, 2009

And until next year

Vacation wrap up

Super Son and I went kayaking out to los arcos




and he discovered a new hobby



And now on to some examples of what happens when the kids commandeer the camera






Adventures at Sea World

Super Son, Miss Thing & Finn ready to hit Sea World We should all have a friend with us that wants to hold hands on a new adventure Finn if you stand right here you'll see your Mom and Dad come down on the boat roller coaster... You should have a great view and you should be able to stay dry.
sorry about that kids Super Son has begun perfecting the big brother skill of bunny ears Come on Finn I'll go with you Have you ever seen a 4D movie? There was much debate about what the 4th dimension was. That is until the seats began vibrating and the chair in front of me sprayed water in my face. I screamed and jumped. Miss Thing looked at me like I was crazy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mismaloya y Caletas

Okay so not the most inventive of post titles, but I like the word Mismaloya. It rolls off my tongue. A little smoother after a few beers but I find that I keep saying it as often as I can just because I can. Oh, and there is that small thing about us sitting around enjoying La Playa Mismaloya all day that gives me an extra reason. If I was in Cleveland then wandering around saying Mismaloya people would probably write me off as afflicted in some strange way. Here people seem to know what I am talking about at least and at worst discount my repetitive behavior as a classic case of crazy American practicing her spanish....badly.



We packed the kids up this morning to catch a boat to Las Caletas.



Miss Thing has been wanting to see the jungle (She seems truly convinced that if we find vines Diego just might come swinging by) and Las Caletas is an awesome little segment of private beach that gets you into the jungle a bit with a little control for those of us with a ridiculous desire to avoid jungle related illnesses. Turns out that director John Huston used it as his home for years after filming Night of the Iguana here. That quickly prompted Super Son and Miss thing to plead their case for letting us live there. Off the grid for the afternoon is one thing...I will pass on taking up residence there.



While we were there we found in a hammock swinging happily a rare species Missus Thingus Naturalas.



What a lovely specimen! She was quickly replaced by the more commonly known Missus Thingus Hammus ItUpus Maximus.



Hero Husband even got his hands on the camera for a bit.





Well, the sun is setting and the Puerto Vallarta rainy season is gracing us with an evening storm that tastes fresh and summery as it comes down from the mountain whipping up winds worthy of a good romance novel cover. So I leave you with a parting shot and some old Irish wisdom about living near the sea

'It stops old wounds from hurting. It revives the spirit. It quickens the passions of mind and body, yet lends tranquility to the soul.'

When you sit at the seam between the tropical forest and the beach I think this becomes exponentially more true. I may only be living here for a short time but I will embrace it while I can.


(oh my goodness does she look like her Daddy or what?)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How awesome is the TSA?

The TSA may have earned its less than stellar reputation in more ways than one lately but as with all things you can’t judge the group by the failings of one...

The fun began with awesomely oblivious Mom (that would be me) laid out clothes for our eager travelers. Miss Thing's cute little blue dress with mermaid socks and for Super Son a pair of khaki cargo shorts and a rockstar black printed t-shirt.

Cargo shorts that have 9 metal snaps and 2 metal slide buckles should never go near an airport security booth. Combine that with a frozen orange juice concentrate container lid slipped in a pocket and we were quickly whisked off to our very own “male assisted detail screening”

Super Son failed to confess to the orange juice container lid with the first screener when she asked if he had anything in his pockets and as she called for our detail screening he went white.

As soon as they set us down in the private area he looked at the new agent and said “I think I found something in my pocket.” and slid the lid out and handed it over.

The agent couldn’t have been nicer. He explained to us both everything he was doing as he waved the wand over, around and under every one of those blasted snaps and buckles.

So thank you to the TSA agent who was as nice as could be while inadvertently helping to teach my lovely son a lesson in little white lies...when it was really all my fault.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

My little girl growing up

Just before bed last night Miss Thing announced that she wanted holes in her ears like mine.

So this morning the anticipation was in full swing


Until the piercing was done and she was and she said "Ow it hurts"



And after a smoothie everything was better and she was loving her pretty blue sapphire earrings.



My little girl is growing up