Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"She's the Gal for Me!"

My favorite all time movie is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I have other movies I love; favorite romantic comedy: Love Actually, favorite comedy: Tommy Boy or Harold and Kumar (it's funny!), favorite sports movie: Remember the Titans. But overall, I love Seven Brides. I had it on VHS and then my sweet husband bought it for me back when DVD's were still new. I didn't understand why I needed a new copy of the same movie until he explained that one day we wouldn't even watch VHS. Shocking, I know!

When I saw the 5th Avenue was having the play: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I knew I had to go. Long ago, Brandon and I agreed that there are just certain things about us that we go are own way on. I go to Toby Keith and Reba concerts with my sisters, please - oh please - go to Built to Spill concerts with your friends.  I will watch you ride your bike in a race but I will not join you.  We gave up trying to agree on a radio station and went instead to KEXP that plays everything from African music to old rock-a-billy. For tacos, I eat beef, he eats turkey.  The only thing we agree on is our love for coffee - and eating out!  So, when I saw the play I knew it would make a great mother/daughter event. 

It wasn't until I mentioned that we were going, off-hand, that Brandon made me think he was actually going to take me. That was sweet, but not necessary. I still remember the last Reba concert he went to with me. I was singing along, doing my awesome dance moves, and he was checking his watch. That's cool, I know he isn't a fan. Which is why I told him I was going with my family, not too worry.  I also told him I didn't want to see it twice, too much money, you know.

So, one Sunday afternoon, my mom and sisters head downtown to the 5th Avenue for the play. We sat up high in the balcony but we had a great view of the dancing. I was expecting a nice show, but I was unprepared for how much I would love it. I mean, absolutely LOVE it. Even though they changed some songs and didn't quite sing all the ones I love, it was still an amazing show. I left there wanting to see it again and wishing I had gone with Brandon. It was fun to see it with my family, but there were times I wanted to lean over and whisper a comment or squeeze his hand with excitement.

A couple of weeks later it snowed. I was reading the Seattle Times and saw that the 5th Avenue was having a special. If you went to the box office that night and said "snow" you got $20 tickets for the show! Hmm, I thought, I wonder if I could go. I would have to go alone because we didn't have a babysitter, it was snowy and I don't drive in the snow, I would have to take a cab and I would be downtown alone. I realized it was not possible and I was so sad. I would give anything to see it again.

Fast forward to Christmas Day. I've opened my presents, received some nice socks, underwear, pajamas, and Christmas ornaments. I was feeling pretty happy, when Brandon handed me a card. This is for you, he said. What?? I didn't know. But then I opened the card and out fell 2 tickets to Seven Brides! I was so surprised, I didn't even know what to do. It wasn't just tickets it was tickets in the third row, dead center.  I started screaming, I was so happy.

This past Sunday evening we were sitting three rows back from the stage. From the moment the first strands of music were played I was smiling. I didn't stop smiling until the play ended 2 1/2 hours later. I clapped, I laughed, I was giddy with excitement.  It was one of the best nights of my life.

At the end of the play, I turned to Brandon and said "Wasn't that amazing?" I expected him to be nice about it, he has seen the movie several times with me so it wasn't anything new. But he said "That was a great show. Really. I would see it again."

Even with all our differences, just as the last line in the play says: 

"Bless your beautiful hide, you're the one for me!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas Recipe

A little bit of paint....

A little bit of saliva...

A lot of glitter...

What are we making? Our first Christmas ornaments to pass out to family. Just you wait, 18 years of homemade Christmas ornaments coming your way!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Card Preview

Each year my family goes to the same Christmas Tree farm in Arlington to get our trees. After all the tree hunting and cider sipping is done, we take our family photos in front of the roaring fire.  I thought between 2 cameras and 2 different photo shoots I would have one good picture to use. 
But then again maybe not.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Think I Need a New Rolling Pin

I've had the same rolling pin since Brandon and I got married. We got married 2 weeks after I graduated from college and with Brandon still needing one more year. Money, we did not have. So I went to my mom's and took any extra dishes/utensils she no longer needed. I ended up with a hodge podge of things, but at least I had a somewhat functioning kitchen.

One of the items she sent with me was her rolling pin. It is not a fancy rolling pin, in fact, some might consider it kind of ugly. It is green and plastic. But I remember my mom rolling pies and biscuits with this very same rolling pin. I remember standing in the kitchen waiting for my piece of biscuit dough. Or watching her make pinwheels out of the left over pie crust dough. One of my fondest memories is my mom baking in the kitchen using this rolling pin.  

My family loves biscuits and pizza. Both things we make on a regular basis and I find myself reaching for this same old rolling pin almost weekly. I like the idea of my boys creating memories of me baking them a special treat. They already stand there begging for a bite of dough as I try to us my rolling pin to roll it out.  

Unfortunately, my rolling pin had an unfortunate encounter with my vacuum cleaner. I am not sure what happened but before I knew it one handle of the rolling pin had been sucked up into the vacuum cleaner. Needless to say, neither appliance has been the same sense.  For a while, my rolling pin looked like this:

Still usable, just missing a handle.  Well, I'm not sure what happened but now my rolling pin looks like this:
I just put it back together every time I need to roll dough. It is not working our so well, but I am managing.  Why don't I buy a new one, you ask?  Because I am hoping that under the Christmas tree I will find a new rolling in from my mom.  I can not just go to the store and buy some random rolling pin.  I want the connection I have with this broken, old, plastic one.  

As I teach my boys to make pie crust, homemade biscuits and pizza dough, I want to think of my mom showing me how to make the same things.  Girls or boys, who doesn't love homemade apple pie, fresh biscuits with honey, and, well, in our house roasted beet pizza!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Many Faces of Micah

The other day I looked at Micah and realized his face was changing. Slowly going away is the baby face I know and love. I am excited to see the more boyish face that is emerging, but I am sad to say good-bye to the rolly-polly baby face.

His "I'm smiling for the camera" face

I'm not quite ready for this new look of his - I still want his baby smile!

This is my absolute favorite. This is the first time I can see the boy he is about to become.  He reminds me so much of a Carlson boy and of my nephew who shares the same name.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Soup, Soup, Soup!

My boys love soup. More specifically, they love grandma's soup.  It all started when my mom babysat Jack every week. One of the things they did together was make soup and Jack 'grew-up' tasting grandma's soup as it was being made. My mom would leave it for us for dinner and it was my favorite night of the week. Dinner would mostly be made, I would make homemade biscuits, and we would sit down for a yummy meal with little work.  Since I stopped working last year, my mom's soup has disappeared.  I was about to ask her for some soup when she came down to babysit one Monday morning with a fresh pot of soup.  Oh, I was so excited!

Since then my mom has sent down soup every other Monday when she comes down to watch the kids. We are back to having soup on our menu and the boys are loving it.  Each time we have my mom's soup, Brandon raves about it. I would be jealous, but she really does make the best soup. Mine always ends up with the same 4 ingredients: chicken, carrots, noodles, potatoes. It is good, but not very interesting.

Now when I put the pot of soup on, I hear Jack say: "I made that with grandma!" and Micah finally use a word "soup!".  It makes me smile. 
I'm hoping to see some cabbage patch soup come my way soon!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat

Growing up I remember all of our homemade Halloween costumes. Give us a dress, fancy shoes, and a scarf, and we could be beautiful princesses. Or tie the scarf around our waist, add some gold jewelry, and we were Egyptian princesses. Hmm, those are surprisingly similar.  We used my mom's prom dresses, wedding dresses, and even just old, what we thought of as, fancy dresses.  A trip to the thrift store and we were all set.

The first year Jack was ready to trick or treat, I ignored the sage advice from my older sister and went and bought a costume. It was very cute, all warm and fuzzy, and he HATED it. He would not wear it no matter how much we bribed him. Instead, the day of, we ended up putting him in normal clothes, sticking a name tag on him and calling him "Earl". Get it, My Name is Earl.  No one else did either.  We went to a party and all the other kids were in serious costumes and there was Jack, running around looking pretty normal.

The next year I was going to have a real costume to make for him. But then it was Halloween and I had nothing. Since his brother was going to be Charlie Brown, I decided Jack could be Linus.  Pig Pen would have been better, but Linus gets to carry his blanket everywhere. Again, no on really got his costume since he was mostly just wearing normal clothes and carrying his blanket.

I was dreading this year. What would I do for costumes. We were talking about it in the car one day and Jack said he wanted to be a pirate.  A pirate, I could do that, all I need is a hat, sword, and some torn pants.  
But what would Micah be? Of course, what does every pirate have?  A parrot!!

I listened to my sister this time and bought a green hooded sweatshirt. Then I spent about 4 hours hand sewing on a billion (well, I don't know how many for real) felt feathers onto his sweatshirt.  Ta-da! A Parrot! 
Or a turkey as one woman guessed but that's okay at least she recognized he was a member of the bird family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Reasons to Finish our Downstairs Bathroom

10. We have all the materials already.
9. It has a nice linen closet where I could finally unpack my towels.
8. There are definite times having a second bathroom would be handy (especially with a just potty trained 3 year old).
7. It has become a catch all room for my husband. Even found his clothes in there last week
6. When the shower backs up into the tub, we don't know, because we never go in the bathroom!
5. I can stop showing guests the horror that is the bathroom.
4. It has a real medicine cabinet where I can store all the kids medicine, no more accidental overdoses!
3. No more running upstairs every time someone has to go!
2. Oh, to give baths to my boys again!
1. So my neighbors won't see me outside helping my three year old pee on tree. (Didn't want to wake the baby by using the upstairs bathroom!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

"What IS That Smell?"

This is the question I ask myself every time I go into my kitchen.  It isn't a 'hit you in the face' smell but more of a subtle smell that seems to just linger. I have scrubbed my cabinets, countertop, sink, and now even disposal.  I can not seem to find the smell.  

My kitchen already has some issues so I at least try to keep it clean. That way I can ignore the door-less cupboards, drywall backsplash, gaping holes in the ceiling, and even the temporary countertop.  But with this odor I am constantly feeling my kitchen is dirty.

I thought it was due to our container for food scraps. Now that we can put food scraps in the yard waste bin, we have a nice stainless steel pail (with a lid!) to hold food scraps.  Not so bad, we used to just have a bowl, that was kind of gross. But I have emptied and cleaned that daily and I still have the smell.

I thought it was the garbage disposal so I cleaned that. I did have a very unpleasant surprise, which I was sure was the origin of the odor. Did you know that the little black plastic thing above the garbage disposal comes out? I did not. As I was scrubbing it, it moved and I thought, oh this is interesting. I pulled it out and nearly gagged. I've dealt with some seriously disturbing things in this house but the stuff clinging to the rim of the drain was disgusting. I cleaned it, I sprayed it with good smelling, environmentally friendly cleaner. Nope, that was not the smell.

I've scrubbed the sink, under the sink, around the faucet. Nothing.

I finally decided it must be the countertop. When we bought the house we did not plan on re-doing the kitchen. Yes, it was disgusting, but a little spic and span, a little paint, and good as new! Or so we thought until we started cleaning and found the entire countertop was rotted. So, out went the cabinets and countertop. In went Ikea cabinets and no countertop. We didn't want to put in a laminate countertop so we decided to go without until we could afford what we wanted.  Instead Brandon nailed down a big piece of plywood and called it good. I covered it with stainless steel contact paper (at the time we thought we might like stainless steel countertops) and we were set.  So, my last idea, Brandon came home from work to find me ready to take off the old contact paper, scrub around the sink and faucet and put down new contact paper.  That was a big project but we uncovered some nasty things under the rim of the sink, plus some mold where the wood had gotten wet. New contact paper, some serious scrubbing, and it was like a new kitchen. Yay! I was so happy.

Next morning I walk into the kitchen and pause. Oh, yes, the smell is back.  

What to do now? Stock up on candles. I have a vanilla one for this  month, pumpkin spice for next month, and a spruce tree smelling one for Christmas. My new plan is simple. Burn a candle at all times and embrace the smell. 

So, if you come over and think, you catch a whiff of something unidentifiable, chances are you are right. But don't worry the longer you are here the less you notice the smell, pretty soon you are thinking, "Do I smell something? Oh, yes, that nice vanilla candle that is burning. What a lovely smell!"

What my kitchen looked like the day we bought it:

What my kitchen looked like on moving day:

What my kitchen looks like today:

Now onto the next issue. Get the buckets and the hose honey, the sewer pipe is backed up again!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Going, Going, Gone!




"It Won't Stop Moving!"

I hear this from my 3-year old as he comes walking into the bedroom. 

"What won't stop moving?" I ask, a little afraid of the answer.

"My arm, it won't stop moving" I realize he is trying to take his shirt off and when he pulls on the sleeve, he doesn't understand to bend his elbow to pull his arm through. The arm just keeps moving and he can't get his shirt off.

"What are you doing" I ask him.

"I picked out my own clothes" he tells me.

This is a first and is sure to be very interesting. Most mornings it is a total battle to get him dressed and out of his jammies. To avoid a fight he will most often get to wear 'comfy' pants as he is at least willing to get dressed then. I am excited he was willing to get dressed and even picked out his clothes. With nervous trepidation, I went into his room to see his outfit for the day. I wanted to honor what he chose to encourage this step in independence.

Which is why left the house dressed like this:
It could have been worse, way worse!

What Not To Do on a Friday Night

Do not go to Safeway, the grocery store of all temptations, after a long day, with crabby kids, emotionally crazed, craving sweets, and with no-health conscience husband in sight.

If you do, this may happen:
I have to say, I really did enjoy my time to myself.

Friday, September 19, 2008


What's the only good thing about both boys waking up from their naps at 2:20, after only sleeping an hour at the most?

An early bedtime.

Why is that important?

Because hubby is going out to dinner with friends and I am on my own. At least now I will only have to make it until 7:00 before I can put on my comfy pants, grab a gallon of ice cream, and a good romance novel and settle myself on the couch.

I must confess when I heard the little one start to cry I almost cried myself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Gift of Time

I have been trying to look for a silver lining in the midst of the ongoing strike. Everyday I think of my co-workers who are walking up and down the sidewalks. I think of the kids missing school, especially the ones who rely on us to feed them breakfast and lunch. I think of the bus drivers, the office managers, the aides, who will also be feeling a financial crunch if the strike is not resolved.  I am sad for the choices that have been made to put us in this position. Even thought the tentative agreement that was given to us was not good, I am still sad we voted no. I had hoped to be back in school by now. 

Today I found a reason to be glad we were on strike.  For weeks now I have known that Jack's first day of preschool fell on a Thursday. This is my one day I work. It seems every year I end up working on a special day (the boy's birthday for example).  It wasn't too surprising that I would work on a special day again this year. I reminded myself that my husband never gets to do the special things. He is always working, and misses most "firsts". This time he would get to take Jack to school for his first day. I had already planned the outfit for Jack, had reminded my husband to take pictures, and was preparing myself to leave for work without even kissing Jack goodbye on his first day.  

But luck would have it, we are still on strike.  Not just on strike, but on shifts. I was not at the last meeting so I was assigned a shift. I walk the picket line from 12:30-4:00.  This means I can take Jack to preschool. I was so excited today to be with Jack as we got ready, dress him in his new school clothes, attempt to take pictures of him, and then to drive him to school.

What I wasn't prepared for was leaving Jack at the door and walking away. I took him last year for a one day a week 2 year old class and was in no way prepared to be emotional today. It was quite a surprise as I walked down the stairs and to my car quickly, so I would not be seen crying. It was a brief moment of emotions but surprised me none the less. 

My little baby is growing up too fast.
The strike did not just give me the opportunity to take Jack to school today, it also gave me time with my little one. Before picking Jack up, Micah and I had
 some time to be together. We stopped at our favorite coffee shop for a little coffee and scone.  Note to self, do NOT go there at 10:30 on a weekday. Apparently that is when only grown-ups with laptops are allowed in the coffee shop and not only are no tables available, no one is talking! After a few brief moments of screaming we were back outside with our treats and our drinks.  We sat for a while outside watching cars, buses, and dogs go by.  I took time to enjoy this time with Micah. Most days he is swept up in the whirlwind that is Jack and I miss the time I have to just enjoy him. We sat outside for a little while today looking at birds (just crows, Jeanette!) and smiling at each other. 
While I am anxious to have the strike be over and done, I will cherish the time I had today. Time to see my oldest start his first real day of preschool. Time to sit with my baby on the back step looking at the beautiful blue sky.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do I Have Boys or Girls?

That is the question I keep asking myself when I walk by the playroom and see this:
To be fair, my mother-in-law got these chairs from her neighbors at a pseudo-garage sale. I mean pseudo because the neighbors had opened up their garage intending to clean it out by taking things to the Goodwill, when my MIL ran over. She saw kids things and assumed it was a garage sale.  Pretty soon more people stopped by and the family ended up making money off of what was just supposed to be a dump run!

When I heard they were pink, I said no problem. I can get replacement covers that are more boy appropriate.  I just haven't done it yet. I looked on line and the covers were a little more expensive then what I wanted to spend. Since I got the chairs for free I should not be complaining but I am kind of a cheap skate when it comes to my kids.  If you ask Jack where he got his new pants he will be sure to say "The Goodwill". His dollhouse - from the street corner. And yes, I did say "dollhouse".  

The stroller in the picture was not a 'free' find, but a requested birthday present for Micah. He loves babies and I thought he would enjoy pushing the stroller. He does. Sometimes it has the baby, sometimes cars, or planes, or balls. Whatever he finds to zoom around the house.

Should I be worried that the playroom is overrun with pink chairs and a pink stroller, not to mention the dollhouse in the kitchen?

I would be except in the other corner I have this:
What is that, you say? It is a mini-trampoline. The kind you will mostly find on the street corner for free, or marked down 75% at the Goodwill. Why do I have it? Because my oldest has so much energy that we are trying to find creative ways to burn off that energy, while trapped inside the house. With rainy weather coming I am in need of some good ways to get the wiggles out!

Besides, look how cute they are in their chairs:

Yes, I do have boys. Just boys who are secure enough in themselves to love the pink chairs!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Can I have some more Tofu, PLEASE?"

The please was only added after my husbanded reminded "how do we ask for things". Then my three year old repeated this jaw-dropping statement but added please so that he would be allowed to have some.  

Trust me, I am still cringing at this. It all started when I read a recipe in my new Real Simple magazine. It was for a one pot curry rice meal. The picture looked really good, and I am all about one pot meals, so I thought I would give it a try.  The recipe does not call for tofu but for shrimp. I looked at the picture, I looked at the recipe, I tried to decide if I could buy and put shrimp in something I was going to eat. I was tempted but then I read the instructions. De-vein the shrimp. What? I don't know how to do that but it sounds gross and I would probably not be able to eat the shrimp after that. 

I still needed to add some protein to make this a full meal.  Chicken is my stand-by but then I couldn't have a one pot meal. I was really into the idea of only washing up one pan following the meal. So, I thought of tofu. I don't particularly like tofu but it would be in rice, the rice looked good, there were some carrots, I thought I could do it.

When it came time to eat the meal I looked at the big, white chunks of tofu and thought "what was I thinking?" It did not look good.  My three year old picked up one piece and asked what it was. I wondered if I should just tell him it is chicken. But my husband quickly informed him it was tofu. He put it in his mouth and chewed, I watched, waiting for the moment when partially chewed up tofu would come spilling out of his mouth. He chewed, he swallowed, he picked up more tofu! When all the tofu was gone he politely asked for more!

I looked at the baby's plate and his was also clean of tofu. They both ate it. I looked at mine. Still full of tofu. Okay, if a three year old and a 16 month old can eat it so I can. I picked it up, I looked at it, I put it back on my plate. If I take a small piece, mash it into little bits, put a WHOLE bunch of rice on my fork, then I can quickly chew and swallow before any hint of tofu touches my tongue. I shudder.  It is disgusting.

I quickly fill my plate with salad and bread. No more tofu for me. I will leave it to my husband and sons.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

After the Walk

When we got home the other day from our nice little walk to coffee, I realized I had left the back door open. This was even more concerning because our neighborhood has had some break-ins lately. I quickly ran through the downstairs making sure everything was where it should be. When I stepped outside again to check on the boys, this is what I found:

How did he get so dirty???  I'm not really sure. I know the front yard is torn up as we are working on some curb appeal and there is lots of dirt, but really, what happened?  When I told Jack I needed to wash his face because it was dirty he said: "What I've got on it mom?" Umm, dirt, lots of dirt.  

Before we could clean up we had one more project to do outside.

We are in the process of picking out house colors and I was painting sample shades on the outside of the house. I kept hearing, "I'll help you paint" and it was so sweet I finally gave a paintbrush to my three year old. 

Of course the little one also had to be involved.

These pictures made me smile because they remind me of a time when I was little and I painted the side of our house with the help of my brother and sisters.  Little did we know when we were opening cans of paints and using our hands and leaves to paint, that we did NOT have our parent's permission like we thought we did.  Oh boy, were we in trouble!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A New Tradition

Today I decided the boys and I had a new tradition.  Several times this summer we have walked to the local coffee shop, but today I realized we tend to go most often on Tuesdays.  Every other Tuesday is Bible Study and the off Tuesday is my night to clean my house. Since I know I have somewhere to go or something to do each Tuesday I tend to want a mid-afternoon pick me up. Hence the tradition.

We get out the umbrella stroller, Micah rides, Jack walks.  We head the block and a half to Cafe Javasti.  Jack practices walking next to us, stopping at the road, holding hands to cross the road, and jumping on stones. Micah just enjoys the ride. 

At Javasti, I order a double short non-fat latte and a butterhorn for the boys the share. While I am ordering Jack picks out the same table, the one closest to the door and the toys and gets out the legos. I bring back the cookie, put Micah at the table, and sit down with my coffee. The boys love the butterhorn, I sip my latte, and watch them eat and play.  

We stay maybe 15 mintues, not long, but enough to enjoy our treat and play a little. We don't talk much but we all seem to feel better after our little treat.

On the walk home I savor my coffee, Jack continues to work on following directions, and Micah still enjoys the ride.  A little sweet time with my boys and the added benefit of caffeine to hlep me make it through the night. What could be better?
Enjoying half of a butterhorn.

Building a tree with legos.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thank You Mom!

Today we celebrated my older sister's birthday. We had been having a very wet camping weekend and showed up excited for some good food and a dry table to eat at.  During dinner I found out my sister, who was supposed to also go camping until she realized it was going to rain, went and saw Mamma Mia! for the THIRD time last night.  Hmmm, that is not even fair.  Ever since the movie ended I have been dying to go back. I bought the soundtrack that night and have listened to it on repeat ever since.  

Once dinner was over and we were sitting there visiting, my husband came over and whispered in my ear: "Mamma Mia!, Marysville, 4:00". WHAT???!! He is even willing to go.  I subtly asked: "When is Michelle opening her presents, Lisa, Brandon and I are going to see Mamma Mia!". Everyone started talking at once.  When it was all said and done, both my sisters were going, my brother-in-law was going, and my husband and I.  I was giddy. My mom was left with 5 grandkids, two who were recovering from a weekend of camping.  But she just smiled and shooed us out the door.

I loved the movie even more the second time. I sang, I clapped, I laughed. You would have hated to be at the movies with me. My husband just laughed at me. He enjoyed the movie, even laughed out loud a few times, but was a little in awe of how much I loved it.

When we got home my boys had been fed, bathed, and were all sweet smelling. My mom got out the cake and ice cream and we finished celebrating my sister's birthday. Well, we did as soon as I was done singing and dancing to my favorite Mamma Mia! songs.

Thank you mom, for willing taking all the grandkids, and sending your girls out the door with a smile and a wave. It was the perfect way to end the day!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

While I was sitting at my desk reading other people's blogs (my favorite past-time) I heard, what I thought was little feet above my head.  Nap time should not be quite over yet, but if my older son was up, I wanted to get him out of the room before he woke up the wee one.  

I quietly tiptoed up the stairs, careful not to step on an creaking stairs, opened up the doors and peeked in.  I saw my three year old laying in bed.  His opened his eyes and looked right at me.  I quietly beckoned to him: come, get out of bed, be quiet, don't wake your brother, come on, we can watch a show (all just using hand gestures). He blinked once and rolled over to face the wall.
Okay, so that wasn't him I heard moving around the room. And I don't think he is ready to get up.

The little one is turning out to be my reader. See... he can't even go to sleep without holding onto one of his books. 

Sweet dreams baby boys.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The 'Other' List

Long ago I wrote about a list that my husband and I had hanging in our house, a TODO list of things that needed to be done before we could move. Well, that list is still hanging in the same spot. It really can come down now but apparently our design aesthetic is to have random paper taped to the wall with blue painters tape.

Tonight I am not talking about that list but a different list. The list of actors/musicians that you could *ahem* you know, wink-wink, if you ever ran into them. For years, engraved in stone, has been Toby Keith. With his hat on, of course. Loved him, loved his songs, went to his concerts every year. But, as with all things, Toby has lost his allure.

Today I saw Mamma Mia! and I have a new man to put at the top of my list. Pierce Brosnan. I loved him in Remington Steele.  Haven't seen a Bond movie since they replaced him.  Own and love The Thomas Crown Affair. I even enjoyed his turn as a bad guy in The Matador. But nothing put him on my list until this movie.  My mom and younger sister said it was the opening scene that did it for them. Watching Pierce Brosnan in his jeans was good enough for them. That was fine, but for me, it was when he stood in the doorway with his arm on the doorjamb and sang "SOS". OH - MY  - GOD! Never heard the song before and did not care. I didn't even care that Pierce Brosnan is apparently not a great singer. I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

On the way home I stopped and bought the CD. I have played the song over and over along with Mamma Mia, and Take a Chance on Me.  I am even trying to figure out how I can go see the movie again.

My List:
1. Pierce Brosnan
2. Johnny Depp (can I just say: Captain Jack Sparrow)
3. Hugh Grant (watching him dance in Love Actually makes me want to jump)

Who is on your list?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I know this is the third post of the night but I am heading out for a week of camping and needed to get all my thoughts up and posted.  

A warning: some graphic information in the following story.

I have lived in this house since mid-February. I don't have the exact number of days but am thinking it is around 150, give or take. This is important because of what I discovered, much to my dismay, this afternoon.

We have one bathroom in our house that is working. It is upstairs and, unfortunately, the only window is right next to the toilet. This has always caused me some concern but the window is that frosted, privacy glass and we have a paper shade over it.  I know it isn't 100% private as I came home late one night and saw my husband's silhouette through the window. Since then I have tended to leave the light off when I am using the bathroom once it is dark outside. I have serious peeping tom issues.

Unfortunately, I found out today that it isn't at night that the bathroom is most on display. I had gone out to the Westy to get some things for our camping trip. I am walking back to the house and I happen to glance up at the bathroom window and what do I see?? I see my husband. I see his blue shirt, I see his khaki shorts, OMG, that is not his shorts I can see! Are you serious??  Every day I go into the bathroom when the shade is up you can see all of me. You can see my clothes, you can see my lack of clothes, you can see EVERYTHING I am doing. Just think on that for a second.  

This summer we have had the window open quite often because it is one of the few that opens upstairs and we need the breeze. I will go inside, close the window, do my business, open the window and leave. I figure the most that the neighbors have seen is the window opening and closing. Nope, they have been getting quite a show. The best part is the neighbor directly behind us is having construction work, so this last week the house that stares at my bathroom window has been full of men working on his new garage. 

That is just great.  I think I have to move.

The trouble with money

I have to admit I have an issue with money. Not with spending it unnecessarily (really!) but more with thinking I have been 'cheated' out of my money. This tends to only happen when I have cash on hand, which thankfully, is not often.

The first time I became aware of this problem was our first trip to Seaside. At dinner the last night, or second to the last night I can't remember, I counted my money remaining and had less then I thought. I went back in my mind over all of the meals I had eaten, lattes I had enjoyed, and all the taffy I had bought.  I kept coming up with the wrong number. I felt in my gut I should have more money in my wallet then I did. This was very upsetting to me because the only thing I could think of was that my sisters had some how 'taken' my money. Now, I know they didn't do it intentionally but I was quite convinced at one of the meals I must have put in more money to pay for my share of the dinner then I should have. It was only $6 so it wasn't a huge amount but it was very upsetting to me.  Well, I won't go on but I will say that, no, my sisters did not take my money. I had forgotten about the $6 admission fee to the aquarium we had gone to. It was a little embarrassing, and to this day my sister's still tease me about how I felt I had been gip'd by them.

Well, I realized this is a serious problem I have when I went to take my boys out for ice cream the other night. Their dad had a dinner meeting and we were on our own for the night. For a special treat we headed out to Baskin Robbins before going to a park to play. I was so excited to go and eat ice cream with my beautiful boys.  I ordered Jack's strawberry ice cream cone, my rocky road ice cream cone, and a spoon for Micah. When I went to pay my heart stopped! I only had $2, where was my money? Each week my husband and I get $10 for  our 'coffee' money. This can be spent anyway you want but that is our cash to use for treats, mainly coffee. I was going to use the rest of mine to pay for our ice cream cones. I knew I had only gone for coffee once that week and it had cost $3. Where was the rest of my money! 

I sat down to eat my ice cream but could not enjoy it. I spent the entire time re-tracing my steps of the week to find out where my money went. I knew on Tuesday I had stopped at McDonald's after VBS for chicken nuggets for the boys. I did not have my $10 with me and ended up paying with my debit card. That night I went to Bible Study but did not spend any money there. Then, Wednesday, I stopped for a latte because I knew that from 2:30 on it would be a VERY long day. I got a triple latte and handed over my $10 to pay.

That was it! My barista must have taken my $10 and given me change for a 5 dollar bill! I go to the same drive-thru espresso stand and the barista is always the same. On Wednesday he was telling me a long story about President Bush and he must have looked at my money wrong. I was very upset. I was considering if it was possible to bring this up with him. I know $5 is not a lot of money but it was my coffee money for the week and it was gone.  

By the time I came out of my musings over my missing money, I realized Micah was on the table licking the window and Jack had ice cream all over his face and hands. Quickly, we cleaned up and left. I was still very upset about my stolen money and was once again re-tracing my week when I remembered. Oh, yeah. The boys and I went on a walk Tuesday afternoon to Cafe Javasti and shared a butter horn and I had an iced coffee. Oh, right, that is where I handed over my $10 and was given a $5 bill as change. I guess my money was not stolen and I did not have to confront my friendly barista to demand my money back.

I think I need help.

A sister shares...

On the ledge next to the mirror in my bathroom I have this little picture that says: 

A sister shares the memories of yesterday, the joys of today and the hopes of tomorrow

I read it several times a day whenever I am in the bathroom washing my hands, brushing my teeth, putting on make-up. I think of my sisters and agree that they do share the memories,the joys and the hopes. But they also share something else.

The share the snotty email sent late at night when you are tired and cranky.  They share the terrible, awkward family obligations that you know you have to attend.  Knowing that at least one sister will show up at the dreaded family Christmas, or the cousin's birthday that you know you will need a stiff drink to get through, or even an awkward and painful dinner event.  No one else understands what some of these events mean or can even attend. Husbands are not always there based on work schedules but sisters always are. 

We don't always get along or say things nicely to each other but we try. I love looking at the 4th of July pictures from this year and seeing my sisters and me lined up on the curb with our families.  Seaside is mainly about sisters and creating memories that we will laugh about for years to come.  

I am thankful for my sisters, for the memories of yesterday, the joys of today, and the hopes of tomorrow. I am also thankful they are there to call when I am upset, to ask questions about make-up colors, to listen to their bad day or current frustrations with husbands and or kids.  

I am thankful for my sisters.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Four Little Words

My three year old tends to repeat his needs and wants over and over and over. Quite often he repeats himself to the point of frustration.  "I need to watch a show", "I need to watch a show", "I need to watch a show", or "I don't want to go hiking", "I don't want to go hiking", "I don't want to go hiking". When I stop responding to him he will pause say "Mom" and when I say "Yes, what is it Jack", away we go again with what he has already been telling me.

One of his favorite things to say, all day long, is: "I miss you mom". He says this when he wakes up, when we are sitting on the couch watching a show, when we are outside playing.  He tends to follow this with "I'm so glad you came home". Since I am 90% a stay-at-home mom, my usual response is: "I've been with you all day, how can you miss me?". I will tell him that he needs to tell his dad he misses him, that is the person who is gone all day. He will but more often he will turn to me and say "I miss you, I'm so glad you came home". I have to admit I hear it so often I have started to just ignore him. I used to always say "I miss you too" or "I love you" or tease him, but lately I just continue with what I am doing because, honestly, we are together all the time. The chances to miss each other are very few.

Last night I came back from Bible study and went in to check on the boys. Jack was turned all around in bed and laying on his blanket so I decided to move him. I gently lifted him up and placed his head on his pillow and tucked blankie in all around him. His eyes barely opened and he mumbled something. I pulled his pacifier out of his mouth and leaned down to hear him. On a very soft sigh I heard "I missed you mom" as he rolled over and snuggled in.

Oh, Jack, I missed you too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Ma-Ma" or simply "Moo"

During lunch today my little one turned to me and said "Ma-Ma". I was stunned. After hearing him learn the words: car, bark, Jack (really), Da, and of course his first word, Emma. He finally was saying "Ma-Ma".  I am so writing today down in his baby book.

Later as we were watching Curious George and getting ready for nap time, a cow came on the screen. "Mooo" says my little one. What?? Today he learned both "Ma-Ma" and "Mooo". They sound suspiciously similar when he is talking.

I have yet to hear "Ma-Ma" again but all day long if you ask, "what does a cow say?" you will hear: "Moooo".

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"God Bless the USA"

I think the 4th of July is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. I've always enjoyed the day but in recent years I have found it is one I really enjoy.  This past 4th was my favorite one so far.

I love the Arlington Parade. There, I said it. I really do. This year I think was one of the best years for the parade. This could be because I was absent from the parade last year but it truly was a really good parade. I was surprised when I looked up to see the final 'float' coming through. I thought "it can't be over yet!". In past years, I will admit, the parade has tended to go on for a long time. Sometimes the amount of fire trucks, ambulances, and tractors does take its toll. Luckily, the logging trucks are no longer involved.

I love sitting on the curb of the street, people watching, nudging my sisters to ask "did we go to school with that person?" or "did you see that??".  The number of familiar high school faces is dwindling but there is always plenty of people watching to keep us entertained.  This year my sisters and I sat there with our husbands and our kids.  We added two more cousins since the
 last time we all sat together and now we have 5 cousins there to enjoy the parade.  
After the parade the fun, for some of us, begins.  My husband and brother-in-law go to the fireworks stand alone, with some cash. Lucky for them, they realized the fireworks stand takes debit cards! No limit!  They bring home bags of fireworks from smoke bombs to crazy flying ladybugs. They have it all.  Watching them light the fireworks takes courage. You want to be close enough to see the show but far enough away to not be hit by any flying objects. It is not good enough to just light the fireworks they must see how many they can light at one time and also what happens when you put them in things like: glass bottles, tin cans, pans, even stumps. 

By the time we are heading home, watching all the fireworks blasting off along I-5, both boys asleep in the back, we are exhausted. But we are already talking about next year, what we want to do, how much more fun our boys will have, and what fireworks we should buy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Very Different Boys

Last night for dinner I made a new recipe, Thai Chicken Pizza (TCP) that I found on the food network website. I had actually never had TCP until recently when I was at a friend's house for a playdate.  She offered to make me lunch, which was very nice of her, and offered the pizza as an option. I was a little nervous because Brandon orders TCP from Zeek's alot and it kind of grosses me out, but that is also because it has no cheese on it. Seeing a pizza without cheese is just wrong.  Anyway, the pizza was good and I have been craving it ever since. When I stumbled across this recipe I thought I needed to give it a try.

Fast forward to last night, I have my 15 month old screaming pretty much the entire time I am making dinner. I had already tried measuring spoons, mixing bowls, dried pasta, and everything had been met with more screaming. I finally put him in the highchair with a bowl of grapes and worked frantically to finish the pizza. About the time I was ready to put it in the oven my little one had finished all the grapes and was once again crying.  I handed him the spatula I used to spread the peanut butter sauce with and thought, well this might amuse him for a minute or two.  When I turned back he had completely cleaned the spatula and had peanut sauce all over his face and hands. I was surprised he liked it because it had garlic and ginger in it but he really did.

When we all sat down to dinner I was feeling optimistic about the meal. It looked really good and I was excited to eat it. I gave a piece to my baby and he started eating all the toppings off of it before eating all the crust with sauce.  I was thrilled! Then I gave a piece to my 3 year old. He took one bite said "BLECH" spit it out and looked at me and said in an accusing tone: "It has peanut butter on it!" What could I say, it did, I just thought he would like it as much as his brother.  He managed to pick off a few pieces of chicken before proclaiming himself "full" and wanting to be done.  Apparently, he is not a fan of Thai Chicken Pizza. Oh, well, 1 out or 2 isn't bad.

This little boy had pizza...

This little boy had none....
On a different note, for those of you who know the ups and downs of my relationship with my three year old. We had another rough day yesterday and I was feeling frustrated with it all when I went in to check on my boy at bedtime. I leaned down to give him a "hug & a kiss" when he put his arms around me and said "Mommy, you are my friend". 
Oh, how I love him.