Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Conspiracy

I was supposed to go to the movies last night. I was supposed to jump in my car, race from the house like it was on fire, and meet up with some human beings over the age of 3. I was supposed to eat popcorn, drink an over-sized diet coke, and have to desperately pee midway through the flick. I was supposed to be an individual for a couple of hours last night. But instead my boys conspired against me. They decided to both get sick. Not just one of them. Both of them. Both of them now require daily (3 times daily for Holden) nebulizer treatments. Both of them require a lot of cuddling, calming and coo-ing. Both require a lot of hugging, snuggling and swaddling (ok, just Holden requires the swaddling). Both of them spit out their medicine even if M&M's follow (ok, just Jackson gets M&M's). Both of them conspired together to stop their mother from having a night off, a night to herself. Maybe that's why I'm in a moody-mood today. Double hrmph! I'm guessing this won't be the first time these two conspire against their mother. I'm guessing this is just the beginning. One day they will not just conspire against me, they will tower over me. Their voices will be deeper than mine. They will weigh more than me (oh God I hope they weigh more than me!). They will overpower me. Not just me, their dad too. It's bound to happen, Shawn and I are vertically challenged individuals, and our children for some inexplicable reason are above average in height. Oh Lord, this is just the beginning. Hrmph!

hrmph!


I miss Seattle so much today. I'm so homesick. The boys are both sick with bad colds. There's still more snow here than a ski resort. And I'm housebound. So on days like this, I guess I get a little more homesick than usual. But today...man, I'm feeling it today.

Friday, January 26, 2007

They're listening

Jackson told me today "I'm so proud of you mommy!"

I have no idea why. I just think it's funny that he said that, because once again I'm reminded, he's listening to every single word we say. (note to self and dear husband: watch our language!).

I tell him I'm proud of him daily for one thing or another.
"You ate your carrots? I'm so proud of you!"
"You sat on the potty? I'm so proud of you!"
"You took your plate to the sink? I'm so proud of you!"
"You looked at me cutely? I'm so proud of you!"

You get the point. My mom pointed out to me that when Jackson goes to preschool next fall he's going to be perplexed why no one applauds his every move. Maybe I should lay off the praise just a little bit. I mean, good grief, I think I was drying my hair when he told me he was proud of me. Maybe I was having a really good hair day. Maybe my hair drying didn't interfere with "The Higglytown Heroes." Maybe it was that I actually took the time to properly dry my hair. Who knows. I'm glad my son is proud of me, 'cause I'm darn proud of him, too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wee pants

The boys are both sawing logs. Shawn's on the phone in our room. I was just down stairs watching "Grey's Anatomy" (which totally always makes me cry because I miss Seattle so very very much). The show ended, I picked up a few random toys that didn't get picked up at clean up time. Loaded a few things in the dishwasher. My usual night routine before bed. Then I saw a piece of clothing on the floor, picked it up to toss in the hamper. And noticed they are a pair of Holden's pants. They are dark blue and velour. They are wee. Tiny. Soft. They smell like his lavendar lotion. They are just like him - wee, tiny, soft, and smelling so sweet. I ached momentarily, missing him, and he's only been asleep for a two hours. I'll be up with him in another 4 hours or so. But I missed him. My sweet little boy, my little baby. Who is already growing so fast. These pants -- which sit beside the computer terminal as I type -- used to swallow him up. Now they barely fit his pudgy little waist. At 3 months of age he's a growing little weed. One day a pair of pants fit him, the next they don't. I know he is my last baby, and I'm trying so hard to relish it as much as I can. But the days fly by. The time flies by. And soon these wee little pants simply won't fit him at all. And my little baby won't be as wee, tiny, soft and sweet smelling. But he will always be my baby.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Things I Love

A list of things I am currently in love with. Note: things, not people - it's pretty obvious I'm madly in love with my family! :-)

(oh, and forgive my materialism, but alas, I am a material girl living in a material world...)

1. Kashi TLC Trailmix Granola Bars - these things are divine! They have huge almonds in them and it's like snacking on yummy, nutty, fruity trail mix, but lower in calories. I have one daily, and sometimes two.

2. Corinne Bailey Rae - her CD rocks! I bought it in Texas for my 10 hour drive home, and I haven't taken it out of my CD player yet. Jackson knows the songs so well that when she was singing on Oprah a week or so ago he turned to me and said "that's like Mommy's song!!" Her sound is so melodic and beautiful and pure. I just love her to pieces! And she's cute as a bug, too! Favorite tracks: 1, 3 and 9 - especially love 9 right now.

3. Diet Coke - explanation not necessary

4. Our new Pottery Barn Julia bedside tables. At last our bedroom feels like a grown up room, not an IKEA cast off. Don't' get me wrong, I love (and miss!) IKEA, but these tables are so beautiful and so elegant. They make me smile when I see them -- even at 1:00 in the morning when I'm waking up to nurse a crying baby.

5. My (or rather our) Subaru Forester, complete with Thule box on top. Yes, it's a 2001, 6 years old, and covered with Goldfish Cracker crumbs. But it's a totally sturdy car, drives through this cruddy snow like a breeze, carries 2 carseats, two grown ups, and all the stuff that accompanies this family of four. And it's paid for - which makes me love it even more!

6. Anything Black and White - the toile fabric used in our playroom, the photos in the hallway, the cheapie sketches we picked up in London a few years back. I love black and white, it makes me feel good just seeing this color combo (or rather lack of color combo).

7. My MSN mommy-message board. I've known some of the women there for over 3 years, and they are my daily sanity break. I love that I can hop online for a quick break and there is always someone there making me laugh or cry or both. (ok these are people, but the board is the "thing" so I get to list it)

8. Sunshine on the snow. It's beautiful. And it reminds me that eventually, one day, it is going to melt.

9. Grey's Anatomy. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The Office. 30 Rock.

10. My 2 pairs of Dansko clogs. The brown ones look like they've been through a war, and the black ones are slowly getting there. But these shoes are the best shoes I've ever put on my feet. There's a reason doctors, nurses and chefs wear them - they are COMFORTABLE with a capital C! And they give me an extra inch or two in the height department. That rocks.

11. Dryer's Double Churned low-fat Ice-cream, especially the caramel flavor. Tastes like the full-fat stuff. Don't take my word for it, try it yourself.

12. My weekly playgroup. OK, yes, technically "people" but it encompasses so much that I can list it. I get to talk to grownups for 2 whole hours and Jackson gets to have fun playing with kids his age. And between the four of us gals, we have some darn cute kiddos at that! I'm pretty sure this is what I look forward to doing most all week.

13. Barilla pre-made Italian meals (recommended to me by my friend Carissa, see #12). Shawn and I make this treat a couple times a week after the kids are in bed. These are not your mama's frozen dinners! They are delicious dinners for two, ready in 10 minutes, and sooooo freaking good you'll just melt!

14. Clean laundry. Sure, I have to do it all, but once it's done (usually on Monday's) it's done and I don't think about it again for at least 4-5 days.

15. OK, truthfully, I'm thankful for my life. The people who are in it, near and far. I have a beautiful family - a loving husband, wonderful kiddos, great extended family. My friends make me smile, whether they are here in Colorado, far away in Seattle, or virtual. We live in a great neighborhood, in a house that is spacious and comfortable. We have access to great education for our kids. Fun activities for our family. I'm so blessed. I don't have to remind myself of this because I'm in it every day. And oh truly, truly, what a blessed life it is. I love it!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Nap Bank

I wish I could go back in time, scoop up all the naps I fought or missed when I was a small child, and put them in a "Nap Bank" to use at a later time. Forget time travel, I just want a Nap Bank. That way whenever I'm tired, I just make a withdrawal - say 30 minutes from a nap I missed in 1976. Sounds good to me. Sure, I guess I could lie down for a quick snooze on the rare occasions when my boys nap at the same time, but that is becoming very rare indeed as Jackson boycotts naps most afternoons these days (such as, oh, right now!! "Jackson - go to sleep!") But if I did lie down while they were both napping my mind would race to the million things I need to be doing - call Allstate, fold the laundry, do the lunch dishes (and breakfast), clean the bathtubs, return Lisa's call (sorry friend, I'm lame!), order a filter for the fridge, etc, etc...and I'd never nap. Or the day I did get a few zzzz's, I'd be asleep for approximately 58 seconds and one of the kids would wake up, sending my brain into utter dismay and confusion - "what time is it? where am I? who am I????!!!" So instead of all of the above, I listen to Jackson playing with his trucks rather than napping, and I daydream of a time when I was actually told to "go lie down and go to sleep!" The Nap Bank has huge revenue potential. If I could just figure the logistics of storing those naps, moms everywhere would be lining up for a withdrawal...or maybe I should refer to it as a "hit" - sounds more like a drug (and a wonderful one at that!).

Jackson, go to sleep - right now!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Damn this snow

I am FED UP with this snow. Seriously, enough is enough! No it's not snowing anymore, or at least not now. But we still have over 3 feet of snow in our front a month after the first storm! I haven't been in the back yard in over a month. Last year this time I was able to take Jackson to the park some afternoons. We haven't been outside - except walking to and from the car - in I don't know how long. Even playing in the snow has worn it's welcome. I'm over it. The pinnacle of my frustration came at the grocery store today. First, grocery carts do not accommodate a baby and a toddler, so much to my dismay, Jackson has to walk through the grocery store. No easy feat. As good as he is about staying by my side during the journey, he often gets clipped by my cart because I can't see over the baby carrier. He's too close! He likes to "help" too which means me finding appropriate sized/shaped items for him to chuck into the cart. He's only 3 feet tall, so he can't really "gently drop" it in. I end up with smooshed bread and battered cracker boxes. Lovely.

Then there's my Holden. My sweet, mellow Holden... who turns into a siren as soon as we get into the store. I don't know what it is, but he loses it in grocery stores. He's usually so amicable, but something about it makes him nuts. So I'm now the lady with the screaming baby and rambunctious toddler that you hate running into at the grocery store. Oh wait, this post was about snow...I digress...so I'm leaving the store today, baby crying, trying to hold onto my toddler so some van doesn't run him over because obviously the driver doesn't know what a cross walk is! And I'm doing this all through slushy, bumpy, dirty, disgusting snow. The baby's carrier isn't secure in the cart because those carts are not made to accommodate baby carriers, never mind that MOM'S are the main shoppers using those carts. So I'm trying to navigate the cart; I can't see over the baby carrier; I'm trying to keep the carrier from falling (good Lord!); I'm trying to keep my toddler from running into traffic; and the (&$#($&(#@ cart is wobbling through this )#&U($%*#(* snow that is STILL here a month later. Some 80 year old woman is now helping me to my car - somehow I can't help but feel it should be the other way around! Can you tell I'm frustrated??? Giving birth to my first was easier than a trip to the grocery store these days. Especially in this damn, cursed snow.

If I ever wondered what it would be like to live at a ski resort, I now know... except I'm not spending my day on a snowboard, I'm not sipping hot cocoa, I'm not sitting by a roaring fire with a cute toboggan on my head, and I'm definitely not enjoying the peace and solitude of a snowy, winter's afternoon... but hey, our monthly mortgage payment is probably one night's stay in Vail, so at least in that respect, I'm ahead.

I hate this snow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No longer blonde

*This post has nothing to do with my children*

I have been blond for as many years as I know. The only time I wasn't blond was for either plays in college or a brief period of craziness after Shawn and I were married (I guess I thought I had my man so who needed to pay $150 for cute hair...turns out, I did). Anyway, I was born blond. I was blond through my teens. When I was 20 a costume designer was fitting me for a show. She took down my measurements (much smaller measurements than if I were to say give those same measurements today, ugh) and told her assistant to write down that my eyes and hair were brown. Um, nooooo! I told her I was blond. She argued with me and took me to a mirror. Brown. Boring brown hair. I made an apt with my salon that week and became a born-again-blond. And stayed that way!

I am cute blond. I am bubbly blond. I match the color of my children's hair blond. But over the years my means of becoming blond has changed. For 10 years I had it done, expensively, in a salon. First there was Rebel. Then William (not Will, William). Then Christy. Those were my hairdressers, my therapists and truthfully and eventually, my friends. But then I became a mom. 2 hours spent in a salon on a Saturday afternoon was no longer my luxury. Nor was the $150 bucks I spent. I started coloring my own hair. I have vivid, hilarious memories of T and I coloring each other's hair at her house off MLK. Eventually I stopped paying for the outrageous haircut prices as well. I started going to walk-in-cheap-joints. Always I walked out hating my hair. But hey, it cost me $7, who could complain???? Apparently I did. I always complained when I got home, and for weeks thereafter.

The pinnacle of my hair drama came last winter after moving to Colorado. It is VERY dry here. Going from wet-Seattle to dry-Denver put my skin and hair into shock. I colored my hair one day only to have it turn GREEN! Yup, GREEN! I had burned it because my hair was so dry and damaged. I had to cut if off. All off. What a nightmare. Yet I continued with the cheap color and cheap cuts.

I did this for 3 years. Finally, my darling husband said "Enough! Go get a real haircut and color already!" So I made an apt. I walked into a real salon. One that offers you wine or tea with your cut. One where everyone is dressed sleekly in black and have great hair. One that costs as much as my co-pay for my Cesarean delivery (OK, not quite that much!). I told the lovely woman my "hair-story." Told her I wanted something easy, quick, and with low-maintenance. I just don't have the time for a big-maintenance-do. She cut it very cute, a graduated bob. Very chic. But most drastically it meant no more color. Or rather, very little color. So she took me back to my roots - literally. It's sort of a really light brown, or maybe dark blond if you stretch, with a few light highlights. But most certainly not blond. I'm no longer a blond. This sounds silly, I know, but it's sort of a mourning for me to give that up. Being blond was who I was. But alas, I guess I'm now more of a mom than a blond.

I'll get used to it. In time.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Li'l Man




Choices

I decided to try giving Jackson more choices in order to get my way more often, and to reduce the tantrums that seem to plague our every day life these days. My friend Lisa told me about a book called "Love and Logic" and this seems to play into the ideas of discipline in this book. I still need to read the book, so I may be doing it all wrong. But I'm trying the choices thing, and it's helping a lot. For example I ask Jackson if he wants to go to nap now or in 2 minutes. Of course he chooses 2 minutes! I get my way. I ask Jackson if he wants to help me clean up his Colorforms or go clean up the playroom -- the playroom is a wreck, so he chooses to help me pick up his Colorforms, which is what I wanted done (the playroom will still get picked up, don't fret, but not until tonight before bed!).

So just now Jackson was crying because he wanted to take his garbage truck to nap with him. I said no, he could take his letter B (he loves his magnetic, green letter B - go figure). Well he began to cry uncontrollably. Great! His baby brother is sleeping so I rush Jackson to his room and shut the door so as not to wake Holden next door. Jackson is sobbing about his garbage truck. Now here's where I could get really angry or try the "Love and Logic" thing. OK. So I ask Jackson "Do you want to read stories before nap or do you want a minute to cry by yourself?" I'm thinking he'll stop crying and be excited to read some stories. Nope! He says "I need a minute to cry by myself!" So suppress a giggle and leave him to cry, which is what he's in there doing right now. It's not the choice I expected, but sometimes I guess everyone needs some alone time just to cry.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More Jacksonisms

More funny quotes from my first born:

"Owen, your hair is beautiful!!" (said to his 3 year old buddy Owen)

"Mommy, I love you so much!" (said to me at 6:45 this morning as he rolled around our bed waiting for us to get up and fix him breakfast)

"Baby Holden is so cute!" (said to his baby brother, but with an air of frustration 'cause that kid ain't going anywhere apparently!)

"I will eat when Daddy gets home!" (said adamantly last night when I tried to give him his chicken before Daddy got home from work, for shame!)

"We can watch the garbage truck movie later, OK!" (said very positively, as if to say we WILL watch that movie later...)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Giving me permission

Jackson has taken to giving me permission to do things.

I.E.:
"Mommy, you can read me another story if you want!"
"Mommy, you can be Muck if you want!" (from Bob the Builder)
"Mommy, you can have a cookie if you want!"
"Mommy, you can get me more oatmeal if you want!"
"Mommy, you can play with me if you want!"
etc, etc, etc...

It's quite commical. In other words, "you can do this mom, because I want you to and if I say it cutely, you'll agree with me and do what I say." It's early mind games on behalf of my 32 month old, and it's working. He's clever, and he knows it. And again I echo the sentiment that seems to plague every other thought I have -- boy oh boy are we in trouble with this kid!






Sunday, January 07, 2007

Time

Time is not on my side when it comes to recording life with our two boys. It seems we are too busy living the life to write about it. I just don't have the time anymore. But I am a "recorder" by nature, always have been, and I don't want to let the days, weeks, months and years slip by without remembering and writing about the changes our boys are going through or the joy they bring to our lives. Our time with them as infants and toddlers is so fleeting. I have to remind myself of this, when it's 2AM and Holden's waking for another feeding, or it's 5AM and Jackson awakens to tell us about his favorite new garbage truck for the one millionth time! It's fleeting, and will be gone in an instant. Before we have time to blink our boys will be involved in a million activities and school functions, meeting their friends for movies or slumber parties (note to self: to boys have slumber parties???), or just have better things to do than hang out with boring old mom and dad. So it's because of this that I must find the time to write. Because it will be gone in an instant, and I want us to have the memories well preserved to replay over and over again.

I have to remember the silly things they do. Like how Holden, all of 10 weeks out of my womb, cracks up when I say "Mocha Frappacino with the Whip on Top!" Or how their vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds -- Jackson used the words "amazing" and "awesome" this weekend, astounding us with his prose. And as I work to throw out the clutter of old toys and make room for new ones, I have to remember how Jackson once adored shaking the Aunt Jamima syrup bottle I cleaned out and filled with popcorn seeds when he was just a baby. It made a magical sound and mesmerized him. I didn't throw it out, with hopes that first homemade toy will provide the same laughter for Holden. (but I did toss the two plastic Halloween pumpkins, which seem to multiply every year in the fall, and all the toys that came in kids meals over the past year or so).

With all the changes that our lives have undergone in the past almost-three-years, it has already gone by in a blink. Neither Shawn or I even remember what it is like to sleep in on a Saturday morning. But we know what the early morning light looks like as the sun comes up and shines through the kitchen window on our children's faces. We don't know what reading the Sunday paper uninterrupted is like, but I can clip coupons from it in record speed. We have forgotten how to have a leisurely date night or what a long dinner out at a non-chain restaurant is like. But seeing Jackson's excitement when he gets to pick out his color of balloon at Red Robin is sooooo worth it. And no one notices a crying baby in a noisy joint like that either!

We relish another view of weekends now - playing at the park or in the snow, long walks on the trail behind our house, early morning coos and snuggles from our newborn son, the quiet the house feels when both boys are napping... that is what our life is now. And like I've said, it will be gone in a blink. So I have to remember to write it all down, 'cause it's all going so darn fast...time is not on my side. But I also know that the best is yet to come.