Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good bye to Avery

Two years ago when Jackson entered Preschool, he instantly became friends with a pretty little girl with curly hair and big, soft eyes named Avery. Every day he went to school he came home talking non-stop about Avery, Avery, Avery. He wanted to sit by Avery. Play on the playground with Avery. Read books next to Avery. She was the only friend he talked about. In fact, I would say that she is the very first friend he made independent from me. All his other friends have been a result of my own developing friendships. So it was really special to see him form a friendship without any interference from me.

The following year when Jackson entered the Pre-Kindergarten program at the same school, he was beyond thrilled to find that Avery was once again in his classroom. And he naturally fell back into step with talking only of his best friend Avery after school each day. He was even known to have to take a time out at school for throwing a bit of a tantrum when he couldn't sit by Avery at snack time.

A few months ago Avery's mom mentioned to me that they were moving to California for Avery's daddy's job. I was sad to know my little guy's friend wasn't a forever-friend. I personally have a few that I knew from preschool through to high school, who I've been so lucky to recently have gotten back in touch with via online social networking (aka Facebook). I guess I was hoping Jackson and Avery would have that same kind of friendship. But it was not to be...

On Monday I found out today would be Avery's last day. I took Jackson into my lap at home, and explained to him that Avery was moving far away, and would no longer be in his classroom. It was hard for me not to be emotional, as I watched him try and comprehend this information himself. He sort of grasped it. But not really. I'm sure he didn't really "get" that his best pal wouldn't be there to laugh and pal around with any longer. I wish I knew a better way to explain it. But then again, at the age of 14, I watched my best friend in the world pull out of my driveway, heading for her new home far, far away. It was horrible and lonely, and at the time, one of the saddest things I had experienced. And honestly, I don't want my son to experience that kind of sadness. I think he's too little to feel that deeply about a friend anyway, at least I hope so.

Today was Avery's last day at school. Jackson made her a card -- which he signed himself "To Avery, Love Jackson." I admit it, I cried when I read what he wrote. He did it all by himself, without even spelling help from me (though Love was spelled Luve). And after class he gave her a big hug good-bye, and told her he would miss her. Is my little guy really only 4 years old? Because his good-bye showed the maturity of a much older child. It was sweet and sincere, much like the friendship Jackson and Avery have.

Avery and Jackson on Halloween, 2008

Digital Wha??

Vintage Wednesday...


Back in 2001, a few months after we were married, we bought our first digital camera. A Fuji Fine Pix. I think it was 3 mega pixels. Fancy! It was our Christmas present to each other that year. Here is one of our first shots. We spent our first New Year's Eve as a married couple in the San Juan's. We rented a cute little guest cottage overlooking the water. We slept late, ate good food, drank good wine, window shopped, and enjoyed the quiet and solitude of the island. Emphasis on quiet and sleeping late -- this was obviously pre-children.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sometimes they just say things you don't ever want to forget. I guess that is when blogging comes in really handy...

A lullaby by Sarah McLachlan is playing on our iPod. Jackson tells me that it is "the most beautiful song ever!" and that is makes him almost have to cry.

So I swoop him up in my arms so we can dance to it together.

He then throws me the zinger that will help me sleep at peace tonight...

"Mommy, let's pretend I'm Batman and we are getting married and dancing to this song!"

loves it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nap Time


His version of nap time had ended. And by that I mean, he stayed in his room and "rested his heart, mind and body" for all of 37 minutes. Fine. I needed a subject to test out some new ideas I had buzzing around my head, so by way of a bribe, I got a great little photo session out of him. You can see more, naturally, on my photography blog. Sorry to keep sending you over there, but honestly, that's where my head is these days. And I'm lucky to have such a cooperative model at that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Holden, at 28 months

He's my baby, and I can't seem to give that up. I still rock him every night. I still snuggle with him every chance I get. I still smooch him up and down and in between because he has the softest skin ever (except his skinny little legs, which have a touch of eczema). His eyes brighten up my day. If he cries, I cry. When he does throw a fit (rare), I tend to not be able to control my giggle because it is just so darn cute, and honestly, not very convincing. He's wee. Just a sinew of muscle, no meat on those bones. My little peanut. And that keeps him small in my heart as well. He just doesn't seem 28 months of age. He is still so darn small to me. I'm not ready to give that up yet. He is my last baby. And I guess I'm holding onto it. Oh sure, he's progressing as a normal 2 year old would. He's doing his ABC's and can count to 12 and knows all his colors. He loves reading books and playing Batman, just like his big brother. He wants to be just like his big brother. He still loves to color and play with stickers and play-doh. He's my quiet, contemplative, artistic child. But his laugh truly could bring about world peace if we all just stopped and listened to it. Or at the very least bring on a whole bunch of smiles.

My baby boy. Baby. Boy. Yeah, not so much. But in my heart, my baby boy he will always be.

One Day Old

28 Months

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Worm

At three months shy of five years of age, our little man is reading. Full on reading, not just memorization. Big words. Small words. Silent "e" words. Words with "igh" in them. He knows them all. I don't know when this happened. Or how it happened. Just one day we realized he could read. And he loves it (thank goodness). I wish I could take all the credit, but I don't think I can. I guess it is a combination of things, but more or less I just think it "clicked" for him one day and that was that.

Oh it's not like he'd give up playing superheroes mid-day to read a book. But he'd read the whole night through if we let him. Lately Shawn and I have been letting him read quietly in bed after we've done family stories and tuck in. He sits quietly in his bed reading as many books as we'll let him. Tonight I gave him free will to pretty much read as much as he wanted. No school tomorrow. And he slept late(ish) this morning. We tucked him and Holden in at 7:45. H was asleep in seconds. Jackson settled in for reading. I checked on him at 8:00. "Four more books, please!!?? No five!" 8:15. "Two more!" 8:30. He was curled up on the floor under his loft bed, hiney up in the air, sound asleep. I lifted him up to his bed and tucked him in. He whispered sleepily to me:

" I love you mommy. Thank you for putting me to bed. I'm soooo tired."

I love you, too, baby boy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Amo. Amas. Amat.

amo. amas. amat. amamus. amatis. amant.

Woo-hoo! Look who still remembers how to conjegate "Love" in Latin!!

I digress....

Of course I think Valentine's Day is total commercialism at its very worst. Of course I remember dreading the day with a passion when I was a sassy, single gal in the city. Of course it's just a day. But of course, being a mama, I defy all my Valentine's prejudices and do my very best to fill the day with pink, white, red and lovey-dovey-gooey-mush.

We started the "holiday" off with a double-shot of partying yesterday. Our playgroup met up for cupcakes, card making, air hockey competition, and mommy-gossip (I love my Friday playgroup mornings). After that, we were off to Jackson's Pre-K party where the kiddos feasted on apples, caramel sauce, red punch, and cranberries. Each child made adorable little bags to collect their Valentine's, and each kiddo then got to deliver cards to each bag. Holden even got to sit at the table next to Jackson and his best friend Avery for snack. Such a big boy! We capped off our evening by meeting Daddy for a Friday night dinner out. Such a treat for mommy - no dishes!!

This morning Jackson came padding into our room around his usual wake-up hour -- 6:30 AM. He informed me that his owie on his pinkie finger was all better and he did not need a Diego band aid any longer. I snoozily told him that was great. He then went and played by himself for another half an hour before we all rose from our cozy slumbers. We each had Valentines to open at the breakfast table, and Jackson and Holden munched on chocolates sent in heart shaped boxes from their so-sweet Grammy. Shawn and I agreed no gifts this year (because hello, it is totally a made up holiday and we're trying to buy a new house...!), but of course, neither of us obeyed. We surprised each other with a box of chocolates each. Great minds... (oh yeah, and we finished off the Little Debbie cakes last night after the boys were in bed).

The morning was spent preparing our house for our first Open House. We've had very little traffic on the house thus far, but it was a decent turn out for the Open House according to our agent. We shall see...it ain't exactly a seller's market right now! But, while the Open House was going on, we had to skedaddle, so we took the boys to the Traildust Steakhouse for lunch. It's one of those restaurants where there is a gigantic slide for the kids to play on, and all the employees wear dungarees and say "howdy!" in a fake southern drawl. The food was awful. But at least the kids had a blast on the slide!

We finished off the afternoon by taking the boys to a movie. As there are very few kid-friendly movies out right now, we sort of had to scramble to find something to appeal to them. This search lead us to find a somewhat-nearby discount movie theatre. The four of us saw "Bolt!" for $3.75!!! Not each. TOTAL! The boys loved the movie, and so did Shawn and I. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie for that price. You can't even rent one for that! The Tiffany theatre may become our new family entertainment spot. Sure, it isn't the fanciest theater going, but it is old school style like the kind Shawn and I grew up going to, before the days of mega-cineplexes and $9 movies. It rocked. And more than made up for the overpriced food at lunch. "Bolt!" was such a cute film to boot.

Once we got home, the kids were wiped out. A big bubble bath was in order. Followed by the usual pre-bedtime meltdown that had unfortunately become tradition in our house. And eventually lights out. Shawn and I nibbled on chocolates and enjoyed an utterly clean and quiet house. Ahhhh....

And that is how we have spent our day of amo. Or is it amas?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For the Love of Little Debbie


Well, after 9.5 years together, Shawn and I discovered something new about each other. You would think that many years as a couple we would know every nuance, every love and dis-love, every quirk and question, but this evening we both professed our unknown, mutual love... for Little Debbie snack cakes.

While helping Jackson pick out Valentine's Day cards at Target the other day, I noticed a lovely display of Little Debbie snack cakes, especially for Valentine's. Something about those sugary, pink, sweet hearts called out to me, and forced me to put a box of them into my cart. I like to listen to the little voices in my head as much as possible. So I obliged. And happily continued my shopping.

I can't remember the last time I ate a Little Debbie snack cake. Well over a decade. As a kid, Little Debbie cakes were a treat in our house. We rarely had them in our pantry. But when we did... oh boy. Something about that waxy frosting, the ultra-spongy cake, and the sweet fake whipped cream... I just loved them! It took all my willpower to not devour both cakes in a package, as we were restricted to one cake each, per snack-sitting. At least that is how I remember it.

Of course by the time I got to middle school, there were no lunchtime restrictions, since it was, well, middle school. We could eat what we want, and choose from a variety of snack choices. The favorite choice for most of my girlfriends and me was a .25c package of chocolate Little Debbie cakes, and a coke. Such health! I'm sure my mom had no idea that my lunch was so full of nutrition and nitrates.

When I was in college and worked at an after school daycare, I brought Little Debbie cakes on Fridays for my kids who went all week without time outs. That was 16+ years ago, before we worried about childhood obesity, and kids actually played outside, ran around, jumped rope, enjoyed the sunshine! And of course, all the leftover cakes went back with me to my dorm to devour during late night study sessions.

I guess somewhere between those college years and adulthood, I realized the utter unhealthiness of a Little Debbie cake, and stopped purchasing them. My metabolism really caught up to me after having children, and alas, Little Debbie's no longer made an appearance in my shopping cart. I passed by them in the snack isle, with a small longing, but kept looking ahead, towards fiber filled snacks and other such health food. Blah.

But those cakes just leaped into my cart the other day. And without realizing it, I had paid the $1.34 (they were .99c back in the day...) and walked out of the store. And tonight, when Shawn mentioned he was craving something sweet, I sheepishly mentioned there were Little Debbie Cakes hidden in the pantry. I waited for him to brush them aside, as he tends to be more of a health-freak than I, but he didn't say anything. Not for a moment. Then he took a package of cakes, happily opened their crinkly package, and popped a pink treat into his mouth, smacking away and declaring his utter love for the perfection that is -- Little Debbie.

And with that, this old married couple came upon a hidden truth about one another that we had not known before. Our mutual love of fake, sweet, ultra-processed cake. Love is in the air.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ye Old Other Blog

I'm really pleased with some infant newborn pictures I took yesterday for my friend Michelle. So in light of the fact that I'm too worn out (I know that excuse is getting old...), please hop over to my photography blog and check out pictures of my new friend Lauren Olivia...she's a beauty and has my womb aching just a teensy bit (nothing I can do about that though, so don't go gett'n anyone's hopes up for a third child, 'cause it ain't / can't happen...)

http://cribtalesphotos.blogspot.com/

good night.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For my Dad

Dad called me last night to tell me I haven't been blogging enough. I laughed. But he's right. I'm either too busy, too tired, or too distracted. One or all of the above. So Dad, here's a few gems for you from your eldest grandson, who as of late is a million questions and/or comments an hour.

"Why does Superman cover his mouth?"

"When we move do I get to take my blankies with me?"

"What about my bed, too?"

"I'm FRUSTRATED!!!"

"I don't like school! When do we leave?"

"Look at the sun, it is so beautiful!"

"Avery is my best friend."

"Why do my Superman jammy pants have a yellow 'S' and the shirt has a red 'S'?"

"MOMMY!!! MY cape came off my jammies!!!" (yelled at 5:30 in the morning)

"How come meatballs are red?"

"Why are there so many trucks at the police station?"

"How can you find my bed in the dark when you check on me?"

"I love you Mommy, to all the planets and back."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Play-doh Days





Thursday, February 05, 2009

These are the days...

...we remember...

It has been so gloriously sunny the past few days, you would never guess it is the first week of February in Colorado! We are used to snow and ice and frigid temps around this time of year. But nope, it has been gorgeous and sunny, nearing 70 the past several days. So naturally I've gotten my cooped up boys out in that good old vitamin D as much as I possibly can. They both have desperately needed to run, jump, laugh, dig, hop, skip, twirl and shriek. And they have managed all of the above.

Today specifically we it a cool new local park with our pals Ms. Carissa, Charlotte, Lily, and baby Tripp. The sun shone brightly. The kids had such a wonderful time, and Carissa and I actually got to chat and catch up. Despite seeing each other every week at playgroup (along with our pals Gidget and fam, who are heading out of town this weekend), we just don't get a lot of true chit-chat time. We are usually scrambling around trying to make one of our 8 children happy, or making lunches, or pots of coffee, or referring a game, or whatever. But today the kids just played. And it was so fun to watch them. And to have catch up time. My playgroup Mamas mean the world to me. And I adore their kiddos as if they were cousins to my own kiddos.

It is days like today that make being a full time mama so worth it, so fun, so enjoyable. The kids were happy. I was happy. The sun shone. These are the days I hope to remember.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Banishing the moods



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Sure, I should have been doing laundry. Or cleaning the tubs. Or doing yoga on my fancy-shmancy Wii Fit. Or any of a number of other mom-like chores. But instead I spent the hour uploading new pics of the boys that I took this morning. After Saturday's down-in-the-dumps day, I needed a little pick me up reminder of how incredibly awesome these two boys are. All I needed was my handy Pentax to capture their sprite-like moods as they spun each other 'round and 'round in my office chair. Moods forgotten. I love these two people.