Thursday, April 26, 2007


6:26am - today: driving my car on the way to my future home - staring the road down, feeling keenly aware of my vulnerability having my two children in the car, watching the sunrise on the 26th day of April of this year. Driving to see my husband who has been working a new job, starting a new life, one that we will all join shortly enough. It feels so strange to leave something that has defined me for so long. Looking at my oldest child, and then my youngest, and knowing that we are doing the right thing.

6:26am - three years ago: pushing my body to it's limits to bring my oldest into the world - staring at my husband, feeling keenly away of my vulnerability being mostly naked with family in the room, watching my child's birth day rise on the 26th day of April, 2004. Feeling so strange to start something that will define me forever. Looking at my newborn child and knowing we had done something right.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart Boy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Totally wasting time not wanting to do the dishes:

Looks close enough to me - just add SEVERAL pounds!!

You can make your own at Meez!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Arm yourself!

I just don't get it. When you go to hug someone and they reach out with only one arm. WHAT IS THAT!?!?! It's not a hug, it's like a sloppy handshake. I'm not sure what is worse, the dead-fish handshake or the one-armed hug.

Seriously, I will not be offended if you do not want to hug. I have a cousin who prefers not to hug, and ever time I see him we exchange a warm handshake. And I love it! It's him.

But if you are going to hug someone, use both of your arms. A one arm hug makes people feel awkward and misled. Not misled like 'I guess we aren't going to sleep together' but misled like 'Shoot, I just hugged them with two arms. Did I make them uncomfortable?'

Hugs don't usually last more than ten seconds - which isn't long. I realize that hugging makes some people uncomforable, but ten seconds or less will not kill you.

I'm not asking for a french kiss from everyone*, just two arms.

So if you greet me firm up that handshake or open up both arms!

*Robbie Williams IS excluded from this. From him I do ask for a french kiss.*

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Archenemy

As if I need a reason to clean my house more often - that my OCD is not enough already - my archenemy appeared today.

I hate ants. Nothing makes me more crazy than finding ants in my house. Ants outside, that's fine. That's their territory. In my house though they are invaders and need to be killed even if I must do it one teeny tiny ant at a time.

Of course this means I will get rejected from the study of Buddhism. There are Buddhists in Malaysia who are letting ants just keep building their little ant hills while the Buddhists try just blowing or flicking them off in a way to try and prevent hurt or death to the creatures. Well they are just better people than I am - and I'm ok with that. I take pleasure in getting rid of the ants in my house, whatever torturous method that takes.

Now Wikipedia tells me that ants are of particular interest because of their highly organized colonies or nests. So that tells me that if I were an insect, I would be an ant. No doubt the Queen ant. Or at least in my mind I would be. Still, this is my house and my colony!

So now my kitchen, which I scrubbed uber-clean last night, is shining once again after I sprayed bug killer like it was cheap cologne, donned my rubber gloves, grabbed a toothbrush, and scrubbed out every nook and cranny in my house!

They will not colonize this landmass!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Over hill, over dale...

There is nothing like the energy of a three year-old. If only I could muster that energy up while I was at the gym every morning. Regardless I love watching it in him, and in my equally energetic nineteen month old. After watching the boys chase each other around with their toys I decided it was time to go out and expend energy. The weather was lovely today - a nice mix of sunshine and gray rain clouds that sprinkled randomly. Wi really wanted to bring his fire truck, this model:

This of course made Wa want to bring his hippo - the one that vacuums up blocks in a hungry-hungry-hippo flashback. (child pictured is not my own!)

Figuring we would attempt a walk around the block, near our neighborhood park, I lugged both truck and hippo outside. The boys were thrilled and immediately started racing down the sidewalk. Soon our adventure took us from the small park with it's bumps and bridges to the steep street leading up to the capitol. I have no doubt that we were the hit with the rush hour drivers as our little family parade made it's way, slowly but surely, up the hill. Given the balance issues of toddlers I figured heading back down that hill wasn't the smartest of parental moves. This led us to journey down the backside of the capitol into another park.

As our adventure here in this state nears an end, an outing like this holds a lot of meaning. OF course I failed to charge the camera and take pictures - but hopefully this verbal record will jolt my memory in years to come. Standing on the grass looking down at the city, seeing our house from above, and looking at all of the colors and lights decorating our town, was mesmorizing. The moment felt unreal as the wind blew just enough to surround me, the sun was setting casting a glow on the city and a warmth on my skin, and I found myself trying to mentally capture everything my eyes did. As strange as it sounds I felt like the city was trying to pause just for me...

Fortunately the sound of the fire truck rumbling down the pavement brought me back to our current adventure and we continued on. Wi & Wa pushed their way down through the canyon, up the grass of the park, and back into the hallways of our house.

Never before have a fire truck, a hippo, two kids and their mom had so much fun.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Social Status Update

My three year-old, Wi, has been assigning people to a certain social status for the last three months. Of course he only assigns people that he personally knows so as not to make an unfair judgement call. He also only has two ratings, good and great. Here are some loose definitions:

Good: You aren't as favored as the great people.
Great: He likes you better than the good people.

One never knows exactly what category you will be in, but lately everyone has been stuck in the same categories.

Good: Mom, Wa, Goosey, Bob, Steph, V, Pop, Juanie - and most everyone else.
Great: Dad, Papa, KK, Ali, himself - and that's really it.

He's fantastic at letting you know where you stand. It started with us trying to teach him how to respond to the questions 'How are you today?' or 'How's your day been?'Originally he answered the question(s) in a normal fashion. Lately the conversation looks a little like this:

Me: "How are you doing today Wi?"
Wi: "I'm great. And you're good Mommy. And Daddy's great. And Walker's good."

He will continue this social status assignment until he has noted everyone in the room. Basically everyone is good, unless you are one of the elite mentioned above. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to why someone is good and why someone is great. Daddy can be totally mean that day, and he's still nice. I can be Mother Theresa to him, and I'm still good. I've tried introducing new adjectives like excellent and superb with no luck. My poor grandma keeps trying to get 'great' status, but for three months none of us have changed...

...until today! While helping him put his clothes on for the day, I asked how he was. I got the usual 'I'm great.' Then something magical happened, he said 'And you're great Mom.'

I'll take this as a sign, much like a fortune cookie or horoscope, that my social status is on the rise! Then again, I don't dare ask him again for fear that I've already been demoted back to 'good'.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happiness is....

As I sit here typing the potent smell of bleach from my hands keeps filling my nose. I spent yesterday scrubbing the grout on my Grandma's tile kitchen counters. Oh, spending time doing projects like that is as close to heaven as I can get.

If it were heaven, here are five of the cleaning projects that would be there with me:

Oh yes, the yellow Rubbermaid gloves. I'd prefer it if they came in purple or flower-print. Regardless they allow me to scrub places and things that I really want to shine, without making me question what the heck I'm touching.

Strong, sturdy, and willing to go where no one else can go. It's not just for teeth anymore!

Every cleaning kit deserves one (or two) of these hard workers.

Swiffer. Any swiffer. Enough said. Ok that's not enough to say. Seriously! I would kiss all of the people who invented these! Use one with for your floor - use one to dust - use it to clean the console in your car! Angles in heaven have wings of Swiffers.

We bought one of these little babies last year, after I finally go sick of pulling out the big vacuum to suck out the food from Wi and Wa's chairs. I love this thing - LOVE LOVE LOVE. And yes that does mean I would marry it. The little quick flip lid hits those really hard spots.

And finally, my little friends in the campaign against germs:

These bubbles find themselves right at home in the tub, toilet, sink, high chairs, and many other places. I do suggest you check the instructions before spraying it all over.

Golly...I'm not sure if I'm ready to pack this computer up and get cleaning or hide my embarrassment for being so enamoured with cleaning! Oh I am so domesticated!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'll take E7

Someone once said that change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. So true. I've put many a dollar into a vending machine and not received the difference. I guess when you are already paying 85 cents for a Snickers who cares about that extra 15 cents that never returns.

Anyway. I spent some good time in the car today driving back and forth to visit my grandparents. Wi & Wa (commonly referred to as WiWa) are wonderful passengers after I've cranked up Raffi, or Hap Palmer, or Anne Murray. Today Wi said he preferred the Dr. Seuss music and he sang along with Suessical. With their attention diverted and no traffic my mind started racing with all the things I need to do before this big change of ours.

Then, I started thinking about all of the upcoming changes. Wi turning three. E starting his new job. Me in my hometown again. Siblings graduating college. And so much more. Given my disposition for worry you can imagine what came next. A fast heartbeat, tapping fingers, shortness of breath, and the inevitable tears. I stared out at the mountains around me and thought to myself "I don't need to leave, I could live here forever". If you know me at all, you know that isn't true. I need to get out of here. It's just that the idea of change, well it's not that it's just scary, it's overdue. The combination of the fear of change plus the feeling that this is what I have needed for so long, is indescribable.

I cannot blame who I am right now on the fact that I've been here for almost eleven years. I cannot blame my weight on my zip code or my anxiety on the street that I live on. I can say that my resistance to change these past few years have led me to where I am. Now after having being so hungry for change I find myself at the proverbial vending machine, with a full pocketbook, ready to select all of my options.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

W2W: Difficult Personalities

I was linked into this great idea on another blog from TJ. Since I am always in need of information, advice, and inspiration in regards to my children, I figured it would make for great self-analyzing and blogging.

Today's Woman to Woman topic is: Parenting children with difficult personalities

In her blog Lei mentions her preference for babies any day - and the same is true for me. Not so much because 2-5 years old aren't fun - but more because children one and under seem to have better schedules. I am one for schedules!

Will & Walker couldn't be any more different. Even when they were under one. While neither of them would be labeled as 'difficult personalities' I think what has been hardest for me is parenting children with polar-opposite personalities. Will came out with a built-in day planner, one that had been magically synced with my own. He slept through the night early on, pooped on schedule, ate on schedule, and was mellow as could be. Walker came out with his own wonderful that has taken me his whole eighteen-months to just understand! I should have known, given his hyperactivity in the womb, his incredible response to sounds and touches while in there, and his quick birth!

As they've grown I've struggled to understand both of them and parent both of them well. Walker is a total textbook baby. Each email I get from the baby center about his growth mirrors exactly what he is going through and feels like a nice cold drink as I realize it's normal. Will is not so textbook: knew his letters and numbers to 20 before he was 2, knows 30 of the 50 states by name, shape, location, etc.

Now at almost three and nineteen months, I am realizing something. Dealing with their different personalities has really nothing to do with their personalities, but rather with my own personality. This has been a harsh realization for me. Initially there was a lot of blame placed from me to them on their mood swings, and their issues, and their behavior. In reality it was my behavior, issues, and mood swings that made them 'difficult'. Don't get me wrong - sometimes they are plain in the wrong! However, they are also little kids experiencing an enormous amount of learning and change.

One of my cousins has these incredible mood swings. She's my age - and she's wonderful. Yet if she has to pee - get her to a bathroom now or you risk cranky. If she's hungry, don't force her to go without food or you'll wish you were dying. Too much social interaction and her introverted personality is overloaded with stimulation, and you don't want to be around should she explode! Somehow I understand her moods and make excuses or arrangements for them all the time. Yet a 3 year old who is tired and skipped his nap, UGH!

Kids at this age are just trying to learn that there are rules, let alone what the rules are. Part of their identity process is to understand and push boundaries, to explore yes and no, and to learn what the reaction is to their actions! My goal is to continue to challenge myself to parent better. And not to compare the two kids - there is no way for fair comparison. When behavioral challenges present themselves it is up to me - not the 3 year old or 18 mo. old - to identify the issue, address it, and find a solution to it.

Wimpy day....

It's a Wimpy day. No it isn't because I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. I'm just having a 'blah' day. A wimpy day. There is so much to do and so many things to take care of with the upcoming move, and I just feel like sitting on my wimpy butt, reading books, and watching movies all day. E took the boys to his Mom's for the morning - so that I could have some me time. That's all nice and good - but somehow that makes me feel even more like a wimp. Fortunately the boys were thrilled about the notion of spending time with their grandma, and it's raining outside which would have made our adventures harder to do.

Some days are just better than others for productivity. I spent the day yesterday cleaning out the closets in the boys' room, took the boys to the Dr, reorganized my grandma's kitchen drawers, loaded up my parents' car with stuff from our storage unit, did the dishes, bathed the kids, and then managed to squeeze in a pedicure after bedtime. Now that is production. And usually I prefer productivity.

I think part of my mood is that E is leaving on Sunday. This is the official mark of all the upcoming changes in our life. He'll move down there and then we'll follow in May. Maybe my wanting to lounge around all day isn't really from being wimpy, but more from wanting to just make time stand still. It's moving too fast. My oldest child will be three soon - where did all that time go!?!?! We will soon be living in another state, one that has always been more my home than this one, and let's face it, I'm turning 29 soon and that is closer to the big 3-0 than I ever wanted to be :)

Ok, so now that I've complained about it a little bit it feels better. Doesn't mean that I'm going to get off my wimpy butt today and do anything - oh WHO am I kidding! You all know I'll have my Rubbermaid gloves on, grooving to my iPod, and scrubbing tile with a toothbrush before lunch.