Thursday, July 31, 2008

J&H

Earlier, before quiet time today, you two boys were running, screaming and laughing throughout the house. You made a game of running into the playroom, around the train table, back down the hall into mommy and daddy's room, and then collapsing in a fit of giggles on the feather mattress topper I had laying on the floor. You did this over and over to the point of sheer exhaustion. I laughed watching you two play so well together, seeing the joy of two best pals being crazy kids. It makes me smile just thinking of it. I hope you two will always have this much fun and always be this close.

A long run on sentence


I was going to blog about how annoying it is to take my children to Chik-fil-A for a lunch treat and to be the only mom in the entire joint actually supervising her children on the play area, which is why I greatly dislike going to that chicken joint in the first place (even though I do love their waffle fries) but I broke down and took the boys because my back is really giving me problems lately and I was coming from another chiropractor appointment (is this stuff even working??) and was too run down to even think about lunch so I pulled into the place the minute I saw that yellow slide that my son goes ape-bananas over every time we drive by it, which is a lot because it is located right next to Target, and I was of course foolishly thinking that maybe, just this once, I'd be lucky enough to dine with other moms who actually care about the havoc their children are wreaking instead of them staring blankly into space or talking on their cells in the dining room which is completely separate from the play area and always some child ends up crying and no one seems to care so I go searching to make eye contact with any of those moms to see if they might recognize the cry coming from the glass enclosed playroom only this time it was my child crying so I said forget it and I dragged them out of there promising extra stories and rest time...whew.

So instead of a long run on sentence rant I think I will post a peaceful picture of my youngest stopping to smell the flowers. Me thinks I should try that once in awhile, too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vintage Wednesday


Holden, 5 weeks old.

Once you were this wee. Once it was cold enough for you to need this snow suit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wall-E and Eve!




A couple of weeks ago we bravely took the boys to see Wall-E at the movie theatre. It was our first in-the-theater-family-movie experience. Surprisingly the boys did great and had a blast at the movie. I had imagined a game of up and down throughout the movie but they were too entranced with that lovable little Wall-E to budge from their seats. I don't see Wall-E competing on the level of Lightening McQueen or Buzz Lightyear for the boys' attention but I may be wrong. For weeks now they have both been repeating "Wall-eeeee!" and "EeeVaaaaaaaa!" over and over again in their weirdest little robot voices. awesome.

So it evolved that upon spying an empty box the other day after sorting through more of H's old infant clothes, I decided that it would be a pretty simple project to create a Wall-E costume. The boys helped me cover the box with recycled packing paper and paint it with "real grown up paint brushes!" using a mixture of orange, yellow and brown washable paints. After they were in bed that night I did some final detail painting and wa-la! Wall-E was born. We intend to add some swimming goggles to complete the ensemble as soon as we locate them in our swim stash.

Oh yes, and Eve came about out of pure necessity. I mean, seriously, two boys can't obviously both be Wall-E at the same time!! Believe me, they have tried. She isn't the prettiest but she'll do in a pinch. I may try and get her looking a little more official after a trip to the craft store. But for now she is a white pillow case with a little embellishment hot glued on for her face.

I have two happy boys. And gosh, anyone who knows me knows I love playing dress up! It might not be mom's old prom dresses like I used to play dress up in. But it's still make believe and you gotta love that!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Seven

Seven years ago today I married my best friend in the world.

He is never shy to hold my hand.

I can always cry on his shoulder.
Even if they are tears of joy.


We walk through this world together, side by side.

He is kind and generous to my family.

He gave to me a second family that I adore and love.
What a gift!

His kisses are romantic and sweet and always at the ready.

He melded into my world as if my friends were his before we even knew each other.

He knows that cake is an important part of my diet and he never denies me that.

We dance together often, even when we are by ourselves. And even though we often look dorky.
He is patient. Kind. Generous. Loving. Sexy. Sweet. An amazing father. An amazing husband. He is my life's true love.

Happy anniversary honey. I am so proud to be your wife and I look forward to a lifetime of happiness with you.

PS - this is your anniversary card. ;-)
If I haven't told you lately, I can't wait until our overnight getaway next month and seeing Amos Lee live!! xoxoxox

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not so dark knight

He has no idea who Batman is. I will relish that for another year or two, I hope. But he definitely knows he loves his new Batman pajamas. Why? Because they have a cape, silly. A real cape! He is super boy in that cape, and his pose is at the ready. Batman to the rescue!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Glacier Treasure Hunt!









So I got the genius idea for a glacier treasure hunt from the blog "Let's Explore." It was so much fun that J has been begging me to do it again ever since we finished. I highly recommend this activity as it captivated the boys' attention for almost an entire hour!! I started the day before by searching the playroom for fun little trinkets and toys that would freeze without damage. I then found my biggest bowl, filled it about 1/3 full of water and threw in 1/3 of the toys. I froze this for a few hours. Then filled another 1/3 with toys and water. Froze. And finished up with the last layer of toys and water. The layers are necessary as most of the toys float so the layers allowed for surprises throughout.

The following day we gathered out front for a glacier treasure Hunt. Our neighbor and best pal JG joined the boys. Armed with plastic hammers and spray bottles of warm water, the boys got to work excavating for toys. Aside from a few squabbles about which toy each boy was going for, and a few miss-fires with the squirt bottle, the boys all had a fantastic time. Even though the toys were all from our playroom the boys all acted as if they were brand new toys they'd never seen before. New toys! New toys!

Lisa and I began plotting all the variations we could thing of for this activity. Individual treasure chests. Colored ice. Birthday party activity with the trinkets as prizes. Gems and jewels for a pirates treasure hunt. One big toy suspended in ice for each child. Jello with toys hidden for the babies to explore. The list could go on and on!

Give it a try! I'd love to see pics from anyone who gives it a go! Such a fun summer activity - thanks "Let's Explore!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vintage Wednesday


Jackson, my baby, at just eight weeks of age. This picture is one of my all time favorites of both Shawn and Jackson. There is so much love here. These two have been pals since day one. I love how curious and intense Jackson's eyes are in the picture (I shot a few in color as well to get his baby blues in their full glory). Even at this young age his personality was coming through. That first year of his life is a blur of non-sleep and diapers and nursing challenges and figuring out how to have a career and be a decent mama and all the other new changes that came with our little bundle of joy. And I wouldn't change a thing about it.

You truly don't know this kind of love until you hold it in your own arms. It is the definition of pure, unconditional love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer do!





We made daisy crowns the other day from the flowers in my backyard. I figured if they were going to pick them (as they are likely to do) then we may as well make something fun from them. I'm not creative enough to intertwine them together sans tape. So I used leftover floral tape from TaShawna's wedding (9 years ago!). I'm so glad I hang onto little things like that!

Jack was a King. Holden was a Prince. I was a Queen.

I hope my boys won't hate me for these pictures in another 10 years.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sun Tea

The other day I thought it would be a fun experiment to show the boys (mostly Jackson at this age) how to make sun tea. I thought they might find it interesting how the natural, Colorado sunlight can brew the tea without having to heat up the entire house making it on the stove. No, neither of the boys actually drinks tea, but they've seen me make it for myself and they know how it is made. Mostly I just wanted some freshly brewed sun tea and as with most of my grunt work, daily routine I try and find something educational or fun in it so I don't feel the entire day is a waste for the boys.

The sun was warm and our back porch gets a delightful (if not extremely hot) amount of morning sun in the summer. I filled the glass jug with ice water, tossed in a few tea bags, and had Jackson help me choose a nice, sunny spot on the deck. We then went back to our regularly scheduled play time with trains and cars and trucks. Within an hour or so the tea was brewed and Jackson was in awe. Holden could care less. But Jack thought it was pretty cool that the clear water was now reddish brown in color.

I poured a refreshing, tall glass for myself. I like my iced tea a little sweet so I added a touch of sweetener and a mountain of ice. It was, as expected, delightfully refreshing. Thinking it wouldn't harm J to have a little taste of the fresh brewed sunshine, I offered him a sip. He adamantly shook his head no. He was not interested. He said he'd try it when he was a grown up. So we went on with our day. Myself a little more refreshed than norm.

Fast forward a few days and since I'm the only one who drinks tea in our house, half of the sun tea was still around and very stale. I considered trying to savor one last glass but it wasn't worth it. It was past its shelf life. So I began pouring it down the drain. Jackson began squealing and crying:

"No, no! No!"

"What ...what is wrong buddy!?" I replied.

"NO!" he continued wining, close to tears. "NO don't throw it out! I wanted some when I'm a grown up!!!"

I think we'll just make a new batch when that happens buddy. We've got a ways to go until you are a grown up...I hope!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Playgroup Pals


When we started, there were 4 little 15 month old children - 3 boys and 1 girl - and 4 new mamas. My how we have grown! We are now 9 children (new baby Tripp is not in the pic, and there is also a big brother, Kent, who comes now and again when school is out, so I guess then that makes 10 kids in total!). I am so fortunate to have found this group. Right after we moved to Colorado I met Danielle at the park. Her son Jack was my Jackson's age and she asked me to join her newly formed playgroup. I was so there! Gidget was already in with Aiden, and Andrew was on his way. And Carissa joined shortly thereafter with Charlotte, and Lily on the way. Soon Holden was on his way. And then Charleigh Jo. And then Tripp. Every Friday like clockwork you can find us all together in one of our backyards, playing with ride on cars and bubbles and trains and occasionally one of the girl's dolls (they are so outnumbered!), snack'n on nuggets and fruit and Popsicles.

How I love these kids. How I love their mamas .

Oh yeah, one more of the same pose. I like this shot because a) I muted the saturation and I think it looks cool and sort of antiquated a bit, and b) look how my son and Charleigh Jo are totally checking each other out! love it!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Black Toe Down

I think I'm looking for some sympathy here. I am fairly sure I broke my toe earlier today. I stumbled on a flip flop in my cursed laundry room and now the toe next to my big toe on my right foot is purplish black and getting darker by the minute. It also hurts like the dickens. Oh joy!

I just this week broke down and scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor because my neck and back have been giving me trouble again (it has been a recurring issue since I was in college -- the Quack Shack doc on campus actually gave me high strength muscle relaxers back in the day for it. I'm not sure how responsible it is for a doctor who mans a university medical clinic to be handing out dope to young, impressionable college students... but I survived and fortunately for that doc I was a responsible - for the most part - college student who didn't let her new prescription for dope get out of hand...) Whew. Anyhow, so now I will be limping into my new chiropractor's office with a dead toe, to boot (no pun intended). I'm a bit nervous about the chiropractor as I have never been to one before. But I'm somewhat at my wits end with it all and am ready to try something beyond pain meds, heating pads, and forcing my husband to give me nightly back massages. I wonder if the chiropractor can readjust my toe, too?

I am old.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mellow-Yellow

Holden is my mellow child. I may have to amend that. Holden has -- up until this point --always been my mellow child. He's been rather content his whole life to sit happily in my lap playing with a bit of fuzz or torn piece of paper. He can sit quietly doing puzzles or coloring in his coloring book all the morning long. He enjoys watching kids at the park or birds in the sky or bunnies in the yard - an observer more than a participant. He finds amazing beauty in a fallen leaf. He is fascinated by my flowers in our yard. He loves books and is quite happy reading the same story over and over again. He doesn't need a library of books, just "Goodnight Moon" or "Are You My Mother?" and he's happy. Simple. Quiet. Mellow.

But alas, the times they are a-chang'n. As of late the kid goes ape-bananas while playing trains. He love, love, loves playing with Jackson's GeoTrax train set. They both could play trains for hours if I let them. The problem is that Holden seems to have taken on some of mine and Shawn's minor-OCD habits. He's quite particular about which train he uses, which track it is on and how fast it goes. Should said train fall off the track (it happens often it seems), or the remote control start to run low on batteries (we do use rechargeables!) or the track come unhitched, he starts screaming and crying and wailing in complete and utter misery. It is a side of him we have never seen. It is a sad and unfortunate site to behold.

At first I assumed his brother was beating him up or teasing him but upon closer inspection I see now his frustration is geared 100% at the trains. Nothing else. He loses his marbles. And the only consolation is someone rushing to his side to help him realign the train or replace the batteries or rebuild the track. Only then does he calm down. And that usually lasts a minute or two before another catastrophe hits and he's back into hysterics. It is unnerving to say the least. So while I hope this is just a temporary set back for my mellow-yellow kid, I fear that a lifetime of OCD-ness may be upon us. I have no idea where he would get that from...

Vintage Wednesday


Today's Vintage Photo -- My beautiful mother, my sister Debbie (adorable!) and me (the squinty-eyed baby). Love this picture. I think my Dad was in a photo phase at the time as we have lots of "artistic" type pictures of flowers, bugs, us, all with sort of hazy, artistic lighting...sound familiar?!? I also love this picture because I see my baby's dark brown eyes in my sister. All three of us girls have the same eyes, but in this picture I can really see Holden in her eyes. That is so cool.

Check out the wood paneled walls. And the blue yarn ribbon in Debbie's hair. And mom's turtleneck. And the yellowish tinge to the photo in general. This is such an early 70's shot - eh!?


******

ps - Happy Anniversary Kimi and Robert!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome Home Mom!

As my little sister mentioned in her comments to my last post, my Mom has been out of the country for almost 3 weeks on a European cruise -- the vacation of a lifetime if you ask me!  She gets home today and I am so excited to hear all about the trip.  Yesterday we got a post card from her in the mail.  It had a picture of her Princess Cruise ship on it.  My mom knows my boys all too well -- they could care less about some ancient European tourist spot, they want a postcard of a boat!  And she was right. I told Jackson to come take a look at Grammy's boat.  He grabbed the card and exclaimed:

"WOW! That is a big boat!"

Yup, it sure is. I think he thinks Grammy might own that boat.  I mean, we have been calling it "Grammy's boat" for the past few weeks!  Both boys gazed at that postcard over and over last night.  They seriously studied its every detail, right down to the orange life boats on the side of the ship.  Good choice Grammy!

Welcome home Mom!  We've missed you so much and can't wait to hear all about your European adventures!!  

*****

And finally...
Happy 4th Birthday Emily!  We love you sweet girl!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Email chain

My stepmother sent me an email with this questionaire. Instead of emailing it out I'm putting it on my blog. Anyone else care to play??

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
not really, though my middle name is Michelle and my Dad's middle name is Michael...

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
about a month ago

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
not at all

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
turkey

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
two gorgeous boys

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
sure

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
sure

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
yep

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
10 years ago, yes, now, probably not

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I love sugary cereals with marshmallows in them, like Lucky Charms. But I never buy that stuff so I guess Kashi Lean

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
no

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
yes

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
turtle sundae from Coldstone

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
hair and eyes

15. RED OR PINK?
(?wine?) red!

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
my skin

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST ?
My Seattle friends

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
sure

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
none, I'm barefoot

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a nectarine at the pool

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
the hum of the air conditioner (the boys are napping!)

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
yellow

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
food cooking; the Pacific Northwest

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Shawn

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
definitely

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
my boys running

27. HAIR COLOR?
light brown/dark blond

28. eye color
brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
nope

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
pizza or fruit

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Just Friends

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
brown

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
summer

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
anything with whipped cream

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The 5 Love Languages (for one of my book clubs)

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
geometric shapes

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
the movie I listed above

40. FAVORITE SOUND?
My boys laughing

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME???
Greece

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
don't we all?!

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Lubbock, TX

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Old friends

Sure, they look young, but these kiddos go way back. Way back. Owen and Lilly are friends of our boys from, well, before any of them were even born. Robb and Lisa (the parents of O & L) are like family to us. In fact, they are family in that we share a niece and nephew in common with them. Robb and Lisa were actually with Shawn and I on our first date. They helped us celebrate our engagement. And our wedding. We traded many a pot luck meal at each other's homes in Seattle. And a cat shaving or two (that's a story for another day). And fortunately for us we have all ended up here in Colorado. They are dear, dear friends. And now our kiddos can carry on that friendship. These are friends we'll know for a lifetime.

3 out of 4 of the crazy kids

Beautiful Lilly holding her own with the boys

2 of my handsome men

Ain't he a looker!?
Pals
Soaking wet

One last glamor shot of Lilly

ps - we missed you at dinner Lisa! We'll get you in the mix soon. Robb and Shawn were as obnoxious as ever ;-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

At the carwash, baby!






Occasionally, when the sandbox toys get really grungy and filthy. And the day gets really hot and sticky. And the boys grow bored and whiny. And I grow weary and tired. I fill plastic pails and bowls with cold, sudsy water, and we give all the toys and cars a carwash.

I'll shout out "Let's play carwash!" and the boys come squealing. I might as well have said "Let's eat chocolate till our tummies explode!" because that is how excited they get. And the cars and machines and diggers and nick-knacks get pulled out of the sandbox and dunked into the cold, sudsy water and come out sparkling clean. And the boys can play at it for up to an hour sometimes. And that makes for a happy mommy, too. Of course I end up having to fill and refill the buckets with sudsy water, as they get knocked over or poured out. But it is a fun, easy way to pass away a hot summer afternoon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Random

Decision making can be tough. For example, this evening I felt I had a big choice to make -- chocolate ice-cream with caramel sauce or a glass of yummy Vouvray that Lisa brought over. Lisa's little one has been sick for a week so I doubled my batch of Mexican Lasagna for dinner and took some over to them. In return she brought me a bottle of wine. I think I won on that deal. But seriously, I hope Allie-kins feels better soon. Poor girl. Anyhow, I opted for the chocolate ice-cream. My sweet tooth won out...this time. And I devoured the sundae in minutes. It was soooo delish.

In other weird news. Today I went to put a load of my sons' freshly washed laundry into the dryer. I could not get the dryer to work. I pushed and pulled on the knob and nothing happened. I was stumped. It's not that old of a dryer and it just worked a couple of days ago. So weird. So after fiddling with it for a few minutes I hung up all their clothes to dry on hangers, draped over curtain rods and strewn across bed railings and doors. When Shawn got home from work I told him the dryer was broken and asked if he'd take a look at it. We both went into our (minuscule) laundry room and I turned the knob and pulled on it. Keep in mind, I've lived in this house for 2.5 years now and have probably done hundreds if not thousands of loads of laundry. So Shawn says, "And did you then push the 'on' button after you set it?"

blink. blink.

Oh, yeah. No, I didn't. We both busted out laughing, tears rolling down our cheeks. I could barely breath. I had forgotten to push "on"???? Seriously??? I felt about as crazy as your average Hollywood starlet. I'm still reeling from it. Wow, the crazy genes are pushing hard today.

On second thought, I think I will have a glass of that Vouvray after all...

My Nephew Bubba

I've gone on and on about various nieces and nephews on my blog, but I've shamefully failed to mention my nephew Bubba. So here he is all dolled up for the 4th of July....



Ain't he cute?! I'm so not a dog (or pet) person, but Bubba has wound his way into my heart over the years and I love him dearly. He's as sweet of a dog as they come. Kimi and Robert treat him like a prince...as well they should.

In my next life I'd like to come back as one of Kimi's dogs. Yeah, that would be an A.O.K. life.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vintage Wednesday


Back in the day, before we had a scanner, I actually took a picture of a picture so I could put it online. Silly me.

So for my "Vintage Wednesday" photo, I present: my hubby and me on our wedding day - July 28, 2001. This month Shawn and I celebrate 7 years of marriage. Lucky #7! Our photographer for the big event was amazing -- Young Lee. We seriously spent the biggest portion of our budget (and I do mean budget!) on photos. After all, at the end of the day, what we had left were our memories of that incredible day and the photos of all of our friends and family helping us celebrate our new life together. (Oh yes, and a really big liquor bill). It was truly a magnificent day, and I peruse my photos often to relive the day. This particular photo is a hand painted black and white photo done by Young's wife Jessica. She, too, is an incredible talent.

Oh yeah, and I love my hubby as much today as I did on this day nearly 7 years ago... maybe even more.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pretzel Yummies


Hey, check out these yummies! I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. I've seen chocolate dipped pretzel sticks in fancy-pants-bakeries and grocery store bakeries and I've thought how flipp'n easy it looked. I can do that I've always thought! And so, I did! We made homemade sundaes for our 4th of July celebration, and these little beauties were perfect little toppers.

The ingredient list is simple -
  • bag of pretzel rods
  • chocolate for melting (I used some leftover chocolates from the treats I made for Jackson's birthday party this year)
  • Various topping - I sort of scavenged my pantry for toppings -- brightly colored cookie jimmies, crushed pecans, smashed cream cookies).
Simply melt the chocolate in a dish in the microwave. Dip your pretzel rods into the chocolate to cover about 3/4 of the rod. Tap off excess chocolate. Dip and roll in various toppings. With the nuts I had to gently press them into the chocolate to get them to stick. Place on a lined cookie sheet to cool. Within about 10 minutes they are cooled and ready to eat. My kiddos loved them!

Basic Ingredients
The dipping and coating in progress - notice I used a baby spoon to help scoop the chocolate onto the rods. I use the nubby spoons all the time for baking! They are like mini rubber spatulas!
Candy jimmies sprinkled on top of the chocolate coated pretzel rod

yummers!

Pretty colors!


OK, I know his expression isn't one of adoration, but believe me he adored them! He kept signing more over and over! A hit!
Finished products - delish!