Friday, February 29, 2008

Thanks a lot honey

My hubby sent me an email this afternoon of this amazing blog about Seattle. It is a photo taken each and every day in that glorious emerald city. I was all set to blog this afternoon on why I love living in the suburbs of Denver (and honestly, I do - more so than I ever expected), but then he sent me that email with this Seattle photo blog and I've been fighting back nostalgia all during the boys' nap time (as if Jackson were really napping anyway) and not getting anything written about my quaint little hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado.

Today's picture on the blog is of Freeway Park over the convention center. When I first moved to Seattle I lived in a tiny (tiny!) studio apartment on First Hill and walked through this park, over the I-5 Freeway, every single day to get to my job downtown. I loved that feeling of independence and freedom I felt walking to my fancy-pants job (ok, I was an administrative assistant at a now-defunct computer hardware company) in the big old city of Seattle. This park is just one of the million reasons I'm in love with that city -- even the freeway has been made beautiful!

And yeah, I'll be adding that blog to my daily blog review. Thanks a lot honey.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Peek-A-Zoo


(click on picture to enlarge)

A day at the zoo with my two crazy boys and our great friends and neighbors - Lisa, Jackson (George) and baby Allison, as well as Lisa's sweet sister LeeAnn. Needless to say the monkeys at the zoo increased by 7 today, at least for a few hours. This was also Holden's first trip to the zoo being old enough and awake enough to enjoy it. He growled at lions and peacocks alike. The carousel was the hit of the day for everyone involved. And the gallon sized Diet Coke I bought on the way home was a hit for me.

Thanks for a fun day Lisa and crew!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Scattered Pictures

I've been playing around with Picasa tonight. Here's another fun feature I discovered. Kinda cool.
These pics are of the boys from about a year ago. So sweet.

Posted by Picasa

Cool Hand Jack


I learned about a cool new feature in Picasa. I thought I'd try it out and look what I got! A collage of Jackson painting - pretty neato!
Posted by Picasa

HEY!

This morning on the way home from the gym the boys were yapping in the back. Suddenly I yelled out:

"HEY!!!"

They both stopped cold. Jackson sheepishly asked:

"What mommy?"

I replied:

"No, HAY! Look, hay!"

Driving down the road was a big truck loaded down with hay. For some reason both boys found this hysterical and screamed with laughter. To be fair, I think Holden was just laughing at Jackson's laughter. But Jackson was practically rolling in his car seat and shrieking:

"Again! Again!"

So I repeated "HAY!" the entire way home. Over and over and over again, much to his excitement. And Holden's. I have no idea why this was so funny. But they thought it was a riot. I love that.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 24

Today is one of those days that I reflect upon and appreciate the two beautiful children we have been blessed with even more so than usual. It is a day that always stays in my heart, even years later, and stands to represent all the gratitude I have for being able to create and raise two amazing boys. I am forever grateful that I was chosen to be their mother. Caelitus.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Big City Adventure

This morning we gathered up the boys and went on a big city adventure -- to the Hammond's Candy Factory in the depths of downtown Denver! I'd seen the factory on the Food Network and knew you could take tours. I mean, what could be more fun than touring an actual candy factory on a brisk Saturday morning (besides actually sleeping late which my boys don't know how to do). So with the cool air upon us we packed up the kids and headed to the big city for some city-folk fun. The tour was pretty enjoyable. We saw how their candy was handmade and how it was packaged, and most importantly we got free candy samples. Can you imagine the wide-eyed wonder in our 3.5 year old son upon seeing all that candy? Jackson also got to use some of the money from his choo-choo train bank to buy a sweet treat all on his own. He picked out a strawberry chocolate cream and a chocolate covered graham cracker. I chose a caramel covered marshmallow and a dark chocolate caramel (as if the Godiva's I got last week weren't enough!). Shawn picked a dark chocolate peanutbutter cup (naturally) that could have choked a horse. And for Holden, he got a chocolate graham cracker as well, which proceeded to melt away in his hand as we drove home, both boys exhausted by the journey. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning with the boys, and even more fun making candy eating "educational." And we are all on a sugar buzz now which should make for a nice late afternoon crash as the day wears on. Sweet.









Friday, February 22, 2008

Letting Go

My friend Katie commented on yesterday's blog picture that I was a brave woman letting my boys paint willy-nilly in my house. To a point she is absolutely correct. I am brave. But more it is that I have had to, in the last 2 years, really let go of my neat-freak attitude that once plagued me. I have to allow the messes because let's face it, boys are messy and I'm home all day with these messy boys so messes are inevitable. Oh the messes still bother me, in fact, they make my skin crawl at times, but I have to let it go. Because otherwise I would have two very bored little boys. They would sit all day on a carpet square - -maybe even an old towel so they don't mess up my carpet -- and watch movies. That's no fun for anyone. So I've let it go and allow paint and crayons and block everywhere and messes galore. Yes, it drives me crazy. But yes, my boys are entertained. And entertained children are children who don't get into (much) trouble IMO.

In fact, yesterday we (Shawn and I) treated ourselves to having a cleaning crew come to the house for a Spring Cleaning of sorts. They cleaned the house top to bottom and I didn't have to do any of it (yes, I know, go ahead and call me a spoiled brat - I am). I simply came home from taking J to school to an utterly spotless house that smelled not like a house of 2 small children. It smelled like a house that grown ups live in. And there were NO TOYS in the downstairs whatsoever! None! They were all upstairs, put away in their appropriate bins, baskets or drawers. Trashcans were empty and lined. Beds were made. The carpet had vacuum marks in it for Pete's sake! It was heaven. It was the best pick me up I've had in a very long time. Of course today I hosted playgroup with 7 children, 1 newborn, and 4 mommies (2 of whom are knocked up) so the cleaning I had done was completely obliterated by toys, cupcakes, pretzel sticks and spilled juice. BUT the point is that

Ah yes, my point... So knowing the cleaning ladies were coming I had to keep the house picked up the entire morning. It was like a marathon as I ran around picking up after the boys. The Molly Maids crew was due between 10AM - 12PM. So I kept going around all morning picking up messes and re-picking up messes that the boys made. It was making me insane. I seriously did consider sticking the boys in front of the TV all morning long just so I didn't have to put Lincoln Logs away again after Holden dumped them out, again. For the 3rd time. You'd think I'd just put them up on a higher shelf -right? I mean, he's only like 2.5 feet tall! But Holden isn't really into TV and Jackson gets bored and snappy, so TV was just the fall back. Mostly I just picked up behind them until the sweet ladies arrived and I whisked the boys away to the library and to school while they cleaned my house and made it shine.

So sure I have let go of my anal retentiveness to a degree. There is painting and art projects galore to be done in my house. And I caught Holden coloring my kitchen floor with a blue crayon the other day. And Jackson bashes his monster trucks into my once-crisp-white floorboards one time too often. But it sure was nice having two total strangers come in and reset my neat freak button, if only for a day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yeah, we paint a lot







More pictures of the boys painting. I know, find a new activity already, right!? But I had fun discovering a new editing tool in my Picasa arsenal. I keep thinking maybe I need a fancier tool for my photo editing, but overall I'm really happy with how this free one works. I'm sure there is a lot more for me to learn (always), but this new color focal technique is pretty cool (in my very humble opinion).

ps - no, Jackson doesn't have a head wound -that is paint strategically placed on his forehead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I hate doing taxes

I'm doing them now. I hate doing them. They confuse my mushy-mommy brain (I try hard to act like my brain has not turned to mush since becoming a SAHM but I'm afraid it is all a facade - my children, God lov'em, leach the brilliance right out of me). I have to go pick up J from school in 10 minutes. I can't wait to not be doing taxes.

ps - my husband has a degree in finance and I have a degree in theater. Which of the two of us is better qualified to do our taxes?!?!? I suppose she who once dreamed of becoming a starving artist.

Change is in the air

Is it true? Is there a change afoot? Could my son really, honestly, truly love me!?!?? Could he actually love the woman who gave birth to him (very painful birth I might add), nursed him, changed him, fed him, potty trained him. She who continues to prepare every other meal for him (the other meals are prepared my strangers in restaurants), washes his sheets and clothes, and folds them neatly just so his brother can pull them out of the drawer with a fling as if it were a fun game, helps him brush his teeth, wipes his tooshy, makes him chocolate milk, reads him the same story 18 times in a row, takes him to the park and the zoo and the library and playdates and school, plays trucks and trains and cars and boats and Rescue Heroes, and all things boy-like all day and all night long? Could this child, who adores his father more than anyone else in the entire world and has no problems displaying this eternal love much to the hurt feelings of his 34 year old mother who should know better than to have her feelings hurt by a 3-almost-4-year old who chooses Daddy even when Daddy isn't around, actually be turning a corner in his adoration for his mother?!!? Is it true...

I kissed him good night last night and he proclaimed:

"I'm not going to wipe this kiss off like I usually do Mommy."

Yup. I think he loves me after all.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nostalgia gets the better of me

I think it is pretty obvious I've got the old nostalgia bug going lately. What, with all my posts about my babies as babies and what not. I keep watching old videos, flipping through old pictures, trying to remember small details and big moments alike. I have to say that ever since I started keeping this blog almost two years ago, my memory has become even sharper. I'm fortunate to have this as my forever-baby-book, especially since I never really got hooked on doing the old baby book for either of my children. This blog has followed me through Holden's entire life, and helped me hold tight to Jackson's toddler-hood. But it's my memories of Jackson's infancy that escape me the most, before the blog. We walked around in a pseudo-fog for the first 9 months of his life, exhausted by a baby who did not sleep. ever. So my memories of that time are also on the foggy side. So I reach for them, far into the depths of my brain, trying to recall it all.

I suppose it is the baby-clock going off in me again, one that I have to permanently put on snooze because, well, let's just put it this way -- there are no more babies for us. I don't want any more babies, honestly - I'm beyond blessed and happy with the ones I have been graced with. But somebody forgot to tell my body that two was our number. It seems to be tick-tick-ticking again. I just keep reaching for the baby moments, just beyond my grasp. And trying to retain them as best I can.

I have a few friends who do not have children. Perhaps they never plan to have them - I'm not sure. I have never broached the topic with them, it is so personal. But I wonder if they feel the maternal clock in the least or if it is silent in them, never ticking. If they do not yearn to feel a baby growing inside them, the first gentle nudges turning quickly into full on kicks and jabs that feel bruised. I wonder if there is no tug emotionally to nurse a newborn child in the quiet of dawn when all the world is snoozing except you and that wide-eyed infant. Or to snuggle with a being all but 7 or 8 pounds, who completely depends on you for life, love, sustenance. Or all the other millions of feelings, emotions, moments, and touches that make a woman a mother. I just wonder.

Then of course reality hits. The boys start wrestling. The toys get fought over (and then broken). Dishes pile up in the sink. Shawn and I forget what the other one looks like. Food gets thrown to the floor. The house turns into a pigsty 10 minutes after I vacuum. It's 8pm and I didn't brush my teeth all day. You know, that kind of stuff -- the stuff that knocks the ticking mommy-clock off the nightstand. These two gorgeous boys are all the children I want or can handle so knock it off maternal clock and make yourself useful -- like helping me clean the kitchen!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lest we forget

OK, so I posted a year old video of Jackson last week. Tonight I'm posting Holden's video at 2 days old. Oh my, do you see how tiny he is?? He was the skinniest baby I've ever seen. And so stink'n cute I can't stand it. What a pumpkin he was (is).

video

Friday, February 15, 2008

3 years later

Yeah, this is the same kid. Amazing.


Godiva

Oh who am I kidding??! I LOVE gifts. Hubby surprised me with a box of delicious Godiva chocolates last night. We had agreed no gifts so as usual, he went above and beyond. I made us a delicious meal after the boys were in bed and then we devoured the chocolates. Yum.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

heart

My sweetheart and I didn't exchange gifts this Valentine's Day. What would we get each other?!? I think these pictures show we have all the gifts we'll ever need in the world.

Happy Heart Day. (and sorry to be extra gooey today - - the pink and red bring it out in me)

Heart-y Pancakes for Breakfast
Bed-head on my eldest looks good
(who is still sick and had to miss his V-day party at school...so sad)

GIFTS!
Stencils from Mommy and Daddy
and rad Lightening McQueen sweatshirt from Grammy
(yeah, I said "rad")

"I love pancakes...and candy"

New alphabet picture books for Holden...mooo!!!

The love of my life, getting caught off guard by the camera

Sweet-tarts for my sweetheart

Sweets for my sweets (ok, I'll stop now)

To Daddy from the boys

To my honey, from me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sick Day Clones

I suppose you come up with anything to pass the hours away when you have sick babes and slushy snow outside. I rolled out the holiday wrapping paper, taped it to the glass door, and traced my kids with a Sharpie. They had a blast coloring in their hair, eyes, jammies, smiles, etc. Then all hell broke loose when Holden tried to color the Jackson clone. Thank goodness I can't really clone 2 sick kids.






Tuesday, February 12, 2008

R.I.P.


These are my favorite jeans. My Gap Ultra Low Rise Boot Cut jeans. They fit me like a glove. And they died last week. They split down the rear whilst dancing with my boys to the "Bob The Builder" theme song on Sirius radio. This is SUCH a catchy tune, seriously. It is not the version they play along side the movie/TV show. It is a much catchier, danceable, British sounding tune. I'm not joking when I say I could almost hear this song flowing out of some hidden SoHo club in London. Almost. And let me tell you, my boys and I rock out to it. Especially Holden, who I think I've mentioned loves to dance. Loves it. And in the midst of rocking, my pants split. I am very sad. I've only had these jeans for a little more than two years. My mom bought them for me about 4 months before I got knocked up with Holden. So I didn't even get a long time wearing them before I started showing. Then, after I had Holden, I can't tell you the extreme joy I felt when I could fit into them again. And then even more so when they became "a tad loose" after Shawn and I got on The Best Life Diet kick last fall. And now they are gone. I thought perhaps I (or rather my Mom) could repair them. But the rip isn't even really on a seam. The seat just wore out and split sort of down the middle of where my bum is. If I patched them they would only rip further. And besides, these are my "going out" jeans --- they look pretty decent with a crisp,white button down --- so a patch with say, Lightening McQueen on it, might take away from what I love(d) so much about them. So I've tossed them away. Bid farewell, never to look back. I've scoured Gap's site for them, and they no longer sell this style. My luck has run out. Farewell my sweet jeans.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Are You Ready For Some Monster Truck Action?!?!?!

That is what my 3.5 year old has been screaming very LOUDLY for the past 24 hours. Ever since he returned home from his first Monster Truck show. Yes, you read that right: Monster Truck Show. I did not attend, nor did Holden. But Jackson, Daddy and Nana (thank you Nana!) made an afternoon of it yesterday, taking the train downtown and then sitting through an hour and a half of sheer monster truck madness (and a few drunken idiots in front of them as well). It was something, as Shawn put it, that you have to experience just once (and only once)! The trucks were loud, fast, and obnoxious. The audience members were hairy, intoxicated and obnoxious. The souvenirs were big, bright and obnoxious. And of course, Jackson had a blast!





Sunday, February 10, 2008

Looking Back

I found this video of Jackson from last year's Valentine's Day. I'm agog at how much he has changed, grown, and matured. He's still so much a "baby" in this video. He's not even 3 yet. And yet here I am, one year later, trying to plan for his 4th birthday. Slow down baby, you're making Mama's head spin.
xo
video

Friday, February 08, 2008

Welcome baby Zain

Lisa, my oldest friend in the world (meaning she's not old, in fact, she's 13 days younger than me, but we've been friends for a million years so that makes her my oldest friend) welcomed her newest son Zain into the world early this morning. Lis was scheduled for a C at 7:30 this morning but sweet baby Zain couldn't wait. He sent his mama into labor at 9pm last night and was born just after 12:30 this morning. I couldn't be happier for Lis, Ali, Adam and now baby Zain. He's a miracle baby in the truest sense of the word. I can't wait to gaze upon his golden face. Lisa is an amazing mother, whom I admire beyond words for her patience, kindness and gentleness. How lucky Ali is to have her as a wife. And how lucky her boys are to have her as their mama.

As I mentioned, Lis and I have known each other forever -- since Mrs. Hudson's Kindergarten class back in 1979/80. We've stuck together like glue through just about every thick and thin a friendship can go through, and have come out stronger as a result. Imagine 29 years of friendship and still going strong. What a blessing her friendship is to me in my life. Especially now that we are both mama's of two exquisite little boys each.

Welcome to the world baby Zain. We've all been waiting for you. Thank you for making it such a brighter world to live in.

Hugs Lis - I love you and your clan. xoxo

******************
Lisa, Adam, Jackson and Me in 2005.
I can't wait to see us together with all 4 of our boys one day soon.
(assuming Jackson doesn't try and clobber Adam like he did last summer)



Thursday, February 07, 2008

I can't breathe

I did Kickboxing 4 hours ago and I'm still unable to catch my breath. I mean, I breathe in and I then hack because my breath comes short. Then my throat closes up and I hack again. Then my hiney hurts because I think I pulled something in it. The class literally kicked my hiney. In fact, I got in the car with the boys afterwards and said aloud:
Oh boy kiddos, that kickboxing class sure did kick my hiney! Your mama is strong boys! Supa-strong!

To which my eldest son replied:
I thought you said on the fridge this morning that you were going to do kickstands?!?

As way of explanation, I checked my workout schedule on my refrigerator this morning as the boys were eating breakfast and said aloud:
You know, I think I'll try Kickboxing this morning to change things up a bit.
You can see where he thought I said I was going to try kickstands. Whatever that means. I feel certain he thinks I rode a motorcycle for an hour and stopped and put the kickstand down. Because the only reference he has to kickstands is his toy motorcycle his Nana gave him for Christmas. Toy, mind you, not an actual ridable motorcycle!

And to continue this thought, after I said I was supa-strong. And then explained I took kickboxing not kickstands. I then asked Jackson who was stronger, me or Daddy. He said I was. You are correct! Then I asked him who was stronger, him or Daddy. He said he was. Correct again! And then finally I asked him who was stronger, Daddy or Holden. He said Daddy was. At least Shawn gets props for being stronger than a 19 pound toddler.

I should also add that I think my husband's muscles are supa-sexy and that they are probably the 3rd thing that attracted me to him, behind his cute hiney and his wit with regards to "White Russian" beverages. Ah, that is a story for another day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

can't keep up

Do you know how many blogs there are out there??? Oh my, too many, too many. I can't keep up. Anytime someone sends me a new one I get engrossed and have to shut the computer down so I remember I actually have a life, oh yeah, and two small children who need me NOW. Reading blogs, it can be addictive I tell you. But here are three of my very favorite blogs because I'm too tired to blog anything else tonight.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/
Ree, aka The Pioneer Woman, has the best sense of humor. I'm not kidding - she's a hoot. She's a big city girl living a cowgirl kind of life, and for some reason I'm totally addicted to her "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" love story. (maybe because I'm a big city girl living the suburban life and lov'n it) She's also a phenomenal photographer which is why I adore her. Oh, and she also has a cooking blog that would make you gain 10 pounds just by reading it!

http://cathyzielske.typepad.com/
Cathy would be one of my best friends if she even knew who I was. I found her books when I used to scrapbook. She's a "Pottery Barn" scrapper and has more creativity in her finger than I do in my whole body. I don't scrap anymore, so now I just love her for her humor, her photography and her wit. Her spoof of the Tom Cruise video will make you almost pee your pants.

http://www.elizabethkartchner.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth is just cute as a button and crafty as heck. I found her blog by accident and have never looked back.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Please read

I don't actually know how many people, if any, read my blog. But my sister Kimi sent me this email and I felt strongly about sharing its message. Her email shared with me a Website that has every drivers license in the U.S. It is an actually copy of your license with your photo and all of your personal information. You can remove your name from the list. Go to the URL below and remove your name off the list. Protect Yourself!!! I did!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

So this is love...



Allison + Holden = True Love

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Warming up

Our winter temps continue to warm up, cool down, snow, warm back up, ice over, dump snow, melt snow, ice over, and start all over again. It's a big tease to the Spring which is hopefully on its way. Though I have no doubt snow will continue to cover our landscape for at least another 6-8 weeks or more. However, the boys finally have been able to get into our back yard for bits of time. The deck is clear of snow, for now, and the sandbox is back in business. Even with hats, mittens and coats to keep everyone warm.

Last week I mixed washable paint with water and put it in spray bottles. Jackson proceeded to paint the snow gorgeous shades of purple, pink, blue and red. It was really quite fun and creative on my part, if I do say so myself. He thought it was most fun to paint my statue of Saint Francis red. Don't worry, its washable paint. Saint Frank, as we call him, was known to be a patient saint, after all.

That gorgeous half-smile that I've known since birth. It is his "I'm truly happy and content" kind of smile. I love it to pieces (even though I know this picture is slightly blurry - I'm still trying to figure out aperture and shutter speed on my fancy-pants camera).


Jackson's level of concentration is to be admired. And I adore his hands.

Painting Saint Frank

"Well, I want to play, too!"

His eyes, my gawwwwd, his eyes!

I always imagined I would have brown eyed children. I assumed brown was the dominant gene and something of me would come through my children. I think Shawn and I were both shocked Jackson's eyes remained so blue, and still do to this day. They are gorgeous eyes that he gets from his Grandpa (Shawn's Dad). I love that he inherited something so unique from him. And truly, people comment on their beauty often. But then along came Holden and I admit, I was thrilled when his eyes turned into this deep brown. They are so wide and so beautiful. They are truly "Broome-girl" eyes straight from my kin. It would be a stiff competition to choose who has the prettier eyes. Straight up tie in my book. And yes boys, you can have "pretty" eyes. I'm your mama and I say so.