Friday, May 30, 2008

Jackson and the Chocolate Factory

Welp, as of now, I've only got one kiddo in my keep for the weekend. Jackson has just been loaded up into Nana's car and is off to spend the weekend with her in Canon City. He is very, very, very excited. He's talked nothing of it all day long. He informed every single person at playgroup today that he was going to Nana's today. When we got home I didn't even attempt to make him have a nap or a quiet time. I knew he was far to excited to be "quiet" much less nap.

So after Holden went down to sleep, Jackson and I snuggled on the couch and watched a movie while we waited for Nana to arrive. We never get to do that just the two of us and it was a real treat. I let him flip through all our movies and pick what he wanted to watch. What did he choose? "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!" (the original) This movie is my all time favorite movie ever and I was super excited he wanted to watch it. He's seen bits of it before, mostly the scenes with songs and chocolate, but he's never watched the whole thing through. I was worried that it would be too "grown up" for him since it isn't a cartoon and has some parts that are somewhat frightening. But now that he's four, I think he is ok to take in a little more in depth film. And he wanted to watch it from the beginning. He did not want me to fast forward (or "fast play" as he calls it) to the candy scenes. So we snuggled down to watch the movie, from the very beginning, and share a bowl of cherries.

At one point I told him that it was my favorite movie of all time. To which he replied "It is my favorite movie of all time, too!" Then he rested his head on my shoulder and scooched in closer to me. I think my heart melted.

When you picture yourself as a parent there are definitely certain scenarios with your children you imagine in your head -- first steps, going to the zoo, eating ice cream, first bike, etc. I have always loved the idea of watching movies with my kiddos. And not just cartoon movies, but movies we can all get into and enjoy. We have just reached this stage with Jackson, and even Holden to some extent. We like watching "Cars" and "Toy Story" as a family. But "Willie Wonka" brings it to a whole new level of family-movie-watching. It was a perfect afternoon of movie viewing with just me and my boy.

And now I'm hearing my youngest wake up from his afternoon nap. He's babbling to himself and asking for me. He'll certainly be curious as to where his big brother is. Probably quite confused actually. But we'll have a great time together. I'm off to get some snuggles from him now.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer

I have decided that it is officially summer as of now. I don't care what the calendar says. I'm ready for it. I am ready to hit the pool and splash in the shallows with my boys. I'm ready for 80 degree temps at 9AM. I'm ready for the light afternoon showers that cool the day down while the boys nap. I'm ready to pack pb&j's, potato chips and ripe summer cherries and hit the park for a picnic...even if it is just the park across the street. I'm ready for late evenings spent in our backyard with our neighbors, Lisa and Tyler, enjoying a glass of wine and watching all our kiddos run around chasing the rabbits. I'm ready for bike rides. Sandboxes. Bubbles. Kites. Columbines blooming. Birds chirping at 6AM. Birds still chirping at 8PM. Bare feet. Bare shoulders. Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Sun tea. Big, fluffy pool towels. Bathwater that is beige from all the dirt washed off my kids. Skinned knees. Homemade popsicles. Ice cream from Good Times. Or Coldstone. Or anywhere. Ice cold diet coke. Our first official family camping trip. Our trip to Texas. Train rides. Discovering new parks. Watching the neighborhood come alive with kids and their parents. Summer. Welcome girl, we have missed you!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Practicing My Bokeh











I recently learned about "bokeh" which is a photography term. It essentially means all the fuzzy, pretty, sparkly lights that blur either in the background or foreground of a photo, with the focal point being tack sharp (or at least as "tack sharp" as I'm able to get - I'm still learning). Sort of like when the background is all hazy and the focal point is really crisp. You see this a lot in portraits. I love this term and I have loved figuring out how to better achieve it with my fancy-pants camera. So indulge me a few shots if you will -- my columbines are at last starting to bloom. And I must admit, they rival the hydrangeas I so adored in the Pacific Northwest for their delicate beauty and startling blue color.

By the way, isn't my youngest absolutely sweet as can be playing in the sandbox? I love his little pudgy fingers.


PS - I managed two blog posts today because, drum roll please....both of my children are napping today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and this is the 2nd day in a row they've done that for me! that never ever ever happens. yippee!!)

Just Like Daddy

J: Mommy, I want to be like Daddy.

me: Whatya mean?

J: When I get bigger. When I'm a grown up. I want to be like Daddy.

I'm thinking to myself - what part of Daddy is he aspiring to? How smart Daddy is? How handsome he is? How kind and considerate he is? How cute his tushy is? To what does he aspire?

me: Like how buddy?

J: I want to wear glasses just like him when I'm bigger! I hope I can!

Monday, May 26, 2008

yo!

Yo! Happy Memorial Day to one and all. Giving thanks for the awesomeness of this life, and for all those who fight to keep it free.

Now go eat a lot of BBQ ya'll!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A cute little upright, European style "ride through the French countryside, picnicking on red wine and brie" kind of bike




I've always thought families who bike together are totally on the cutting edge of being fun, fabulous and healthy. Seeing them dart along the path behind our house I imagine that they are all chatting, laughing and bonding as they sail across the hills of the path. I always have felt a twinge of jealousy for their biking-ness.

Now Shawn is a biker. He actually was a National BMX Champion (yes, I said National!) when he was a kid. Not something he brags about but I tell everyone I know. I slip it into casual conversation whenever possible, such as: "Oh yes, I love All detergent, it gets my whites really white... did you know Shawn was a National BMX Champion??" He's going to beg me to delete this post but I refuse.

Anyway, so he's a big biker. He likes to mountain bike whenever he gets a chance. (Which admittedly isn't very often since we had kids.) For awhile right after we met I even owned a bike and we rode together. My bike was a cute little upright, European style "ride through the French countryside, picnicking on red wine and brie" kind of bike. I owned it about 3 months and then came home from work one day to discover the lock on my bike cut and my bike gone. It would have been a very sad weekend, losing my beloved bike, except that Shawn proposed to me the very next day so my bike was forgotten as I stared incessantly at my beautiful diamond engagement ring and imagined hydrangea bouquets and a duchess satin wedding gown. I never gave my stolen bike much more of a thought after that, and never replaced her either.

I'm digressing. So a couple of months ago Shawn decides he wants a new bike. A road bike. His mountain bike is about 10 years old so I figure he is due for a new ride. He comes home after several hours at the bike shop with an order for a sweet fast-as-lightening-school-bus-yellow road bike, and a fancy bike brochure... In glimpsing through the brochure I realize if I'm not careful I could become a bike-widow. Meaning he might start spending his weekends on his bike and I'd be home alone with the kids. Nu-uh, I don't think so! The following week a precious little lime green, upright, European style "ride through the French countryside, picnicking on red wine and brie" kind of bike also inhabited our garage. That was followed quickly by a biking trailer to hold our brood. And we were set. We were officially a biking family.

Totally on the cutting edge of being a fun, fabulous and healthy family!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sayonara Preschool!



Today is J's last day of preschool for this year. My baby made it through his first official year of "school." I couldn't be prouder of him. He really has changed and grown so much in the past 9 months. I've mentioned more than a few times that the age of three has been a rough age for all of us. Whoever coined the phrase "terrible two's" never met a three year old. But over the past several months I have seen so many positive changes in my sweet boy. He loves school. Loves his teachers, Mrs. Lisa and Ms. Lietzel. His two best friends at school are Avery and Samantha (yes, my son is a total "ladies man"). His favorite thing to do at school is play with trucks and read. He's not super fond of art projects but he has learned to at least finish his projects without complaint. He loves helping and being a leader. His great with his numbers and letters, so his teacher tells me. He hasn't gone to time out at school in several months (at least not that I know of). He has learned so much about letters, numbers, patterns, friendship, sharing, and enjoying school in general. That is a good thing because his mama was a big nerd who also loved school. I hope he will keep up his love of learning for years and years.

I'm so proud of you Jackson, and all you've accomplished in the past 9 months. This is just the beginning of your learning adventure. I can't wait to see where your love of school takes you.

Sayonara Preschool... and hello Pre-Kindergarten!

This post was brought to you by Buzz Lightyear:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peet (or is it Tully?)



This is Peet. Or perhaps it is Tully. I'm not sure. But he (or she) is a baby bunny who loves to visit our yard and feast on my perennials. His (or her) parents are named Star and Buck (see the theme here?!). They too like to feast on our plants. All in all we have Star and Buck - the parents. And Peet and Tully, their children, who recently debuted just in time for Spring. We don't have to house these bunnies or feed them. They live in the fields behind our house, and like to visit our back yard, as well as our various neighbors. Though I think they are rather fond of our house as they are here first thing in the morning licking the dew off of my plants. Have I mentioned they like my plants? But I have to say, the boys adore their "pet" bunnies. And honestly, they are probably as pet-like as our boys are going to get. We are very much not pet people. But as much as these little cutie pies like to nibble my spring-greens, I think they are about as cute as they come and so far haven't done a thing to try to get rid of them. The boys adore them. And secretly, so do I.

(For those not in the know, Peet's and Tully's are coffee shops. If you don't know what a Starbuck's is you've been living under a rock for the past decade)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Purpose


Once upon a time this was my "formal" living room. We never used this room. Ever. Well, maybe every once in awhile I turn the music up really loud and we dance in here. Occasionally I nursed the baby in here if we had company in the other room. But overall this is a room we pass through to get to the "family" room and the kitchen and dining room of our house. I never have understood the whole two-living-areas-cookie-cutter-house type layout. It just means having to buy more furniture for a room that really hardly ever gets used. But now, since Geo Trax have become a part of our lives (if you have a boy under the age of 10 you know what I'm talking about... or you will very soon), this room at last has a purpose.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Boys

At the end of the day, when you are both sound asleep, the most cherished part of my day is tip-toeing into your rooms and watching you sleep. That kind of peace can never be felt in the hustle and bustle of our regular day. But when you both are asleep, there is a calm that is beyond words. I pull up your covers. Kiss your cheeks. Pat your backs. And thank my lucky stars, yet again, that you two boys are ours.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Photoshoot







A few more pics from yesterday's photoshoot. It was brief but so much fun!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day


Only half-way through the day and it already rocks. I got to sleep in (8:30!!). Jackson gave me a precious painted trivet that he made at preschool. Despite me telling Shawn I needed no gifts at all, he surprised me with a killer new tripod (it is beyond cool!) and a day at the spa with my wonderful friend & next door neighbor Lisa (who's hubby also got her a spa day). And then we had a delicious brunch at my favorite brunch spot, Cafe de France. When we got home we snapped our first official family photo with the tripod. How cool is that!? And we are gearing up for a family bike ride later this afternoon. Shawn and I both got new bikes recently (which is why I said no gifts necessary today -- but oh boy am I love'n the ones he got me!), and a bike trailer for the boys. We are officially a biking family now. What a cool mother's day. My hubby and my kiddos rock. And you know what, so do I.

Happy Mother's Day to my Mama, and also to the other "moms" in my life -- Alison, Diane, Debbie, Kimi, BJ, Wendy and all the other terrific rock'n moms that I know.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Imperfection Confessions

In light of tomorrow being mother's day, a day that praises us Mama's for all our amazingness (yes, I made that word up and I'm sticking to it) I thought it only appropriate to divulge the imperfections of this Mama. I think when I planned for being a mother, day dreamed of what kind of mother I would be, I was smug and a bit naive (OK a lot naive). I had a long list of things I would never do as a mother, and an even longer list of things I would always do. Needless to say, 4 years into this parenting thing, I've broken a lot of my woulds and would nots. And now, I happily share my imperfections with the world (or at least the 4-5 people who read my blog).

Things I said I would never do as a mother... that I have done:
  • Pour bowls of cereal and excitedly called it "breakfast-for-dinner!"
  • Did Cry It Out - desperate for sleep I did this "no-no" with both my boys around the 9 month mark...and low and behold, it worked...
  • Stay in my jammies all day long (only a couple of times, but I admit it)
  • Allow my boys to stay in their jammies all day long
  • Yelled at my children
  • Put my children to bed before their usual bedtime (and told them it was bedtime)
  • Pop in a movie just so there would be quiet
  • While I'm at it, allow the boys to watch far more TV than I expected I would
  • Leave the house without diapers
  • Give the boys juice before the age of two

Things I said I would always do that I sometimes don't:
  • Make beds
  • Clean toilets weekly
  • Read to the boys every day (though, yes, most days I do)
  • Wash the kids sheets weekly (or ours for that matter)
  • Serve veggies with every meal
  • Have outlet covers on every outlet
  • Have my children clean up their toys every day at the end of the day
  • Stop using sippy cups by 2 years of age (yeah right)
  • Stop nursing or giving a bottle by one year of age (yeah right)
  • Count to ten before I raise my voice
Things I do always do:
Love my children, unconditionally, and give thanks for them in my life every single day. Especially on the bad days. I cannot imagine my life without those two precious and amazing boys. It shocks me still that Shawn and I made such perfect little people.

Happy Mother's Day, to all the awesome Mamas out there!! (And a little extra thanks to my hubby for partnering with me on this whole parent thing. Your day is next month honey but you deserve a little extra thanks, even on my special day. I love you.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Home, at last


It is raining today, and reminds me a of a place I once called home. But you know what -- this, Colorado, is home to me. I feel that now. It took going back for me to realize that. I am glad to find a peace with it. I love the sunshine here. The park across the street. Calling up Lisa next door for an impromptu playdate. Taking Jackson to preschool yesterday. Riding bikes at the park. Digging in the sandbox with Holden. Watering my plants yesterday evening (I didn't realize it would rain today). Ordering Stumpy's veggie combo pizza for dinner last night and savoring every single delicious bite - it is the best pizza I've ever had in my life, here, there, or anywhere. Snuggling up with my hubby for boring old Tuesday night TV -- and loving the quiet and the closeness. Falling asleep in my own deliciously squishy bed. Driving home from the airport on Sunday the Rocky Mountains called to me and I completely responded ...yeah, I missed you guys, too... I told them. And I did. I'm anxious to meet up with my playgroup Mamas on Friday. See how much the kiddos have grown in a week. I look forward to Lilly Pike's "Princess and Pirates" birthday party on Saturday with the boys. I am anxious to get out and photograph the Columbines in my yard that are about to bloom, I hope. All things that are Colorado to me.

Because, yes, at last, this is feeling like home to me.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Four







Today, Jackson, you are four. 48 months spent on this earth. I can hardly believe it. You are everything I expected from a son and more. At four years of age you are beyond bright. You know all your letters, their sounds, how to write them, and are even starting to spell and read. You are a whiz with numbers and patterns (patteruns as you call them). You love playing Eye Spy. Your favorite toys are trains, planes, cars and trucks - and have been since you were barely walking . Your favorite playmate is your brother Holden (who adores you beyond words). Or perhaps your Daddy (who also adores you beyond words). You love to run fast, jump high, yell loudly, and now, ride fast (you just got your first real bike for your birthday). You are adventurous and boisterous. You are all boy. But you also have this wonderfully quiet side as well that loves to read, watch butterflies, paint and sing. You know most Jack Johnson songs by heart and we sing them together in the car on the way to school. You love school. You love life. Your happiness is infectious.

How I got so lucky in the son department is beyond me. Oh certainly we have our share of squabbles. You get your stubbornness from your Mama and your perfectionism from your Daddy...or maybe it is the other way around. We butt heads and disagree on what is white and what is black, but at the end of the day we are always pals. You are my first born son and will always hold that honor. Always remember how much we love you and care about you. You are one spectacularly special kid and you always will be. You bring us more joy than should be legally allowed!

Happy fourth birthday son. I love you. To pieces and pieces.

love,
Mommy

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Awesomeness


xoxox,
love you gals!!!