Proud moments

We've had quite a bit of snow here the last few days, something that, while not entirely uncommon in these parts, certainly isn't the norm. And since we live way up in the hills, when it snows, we're pretty much stuck at home. It's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it means that we get to go sledding and build snowmen. However, after a few days we all start to go a bit stir crazy and the walls of our house feel as though they're closing in on us. So today when it appeared that the snow was finally melting enough to make it possible to drive down into town, I took the boys out to run a few errands.

Our first stop was the post office where we dropped off some bills and sent a few packages that I needed to get out to different people. What was in those packages you ask? Oh, just some Christmas presents...on January 29. I feel terrible that it took me so long to get them out to people, but since they were just going to my parents and uncles (all of whom I had expected to see by now and be able to give them in person), I don't feel quite as bad. While waiting in line, though, Will felt the need to make and voice an observation that only a 3-year old (and a cute one at that) could get away with. The woman in front of us was rather nice and very friendly, making a point to talk to both of my boys. As we all stood there, though, Will decided to shout out, "Mommy, look at that lady's hands!" She had what had to be artificial nails with French manicure (something mommies might like to have, but who are we kidding? who has the time?)Now the woman was rather busy trying to tape up one of her packages and didn't hear what he said, but I was rather embarrassed. What the heck do I say to something like that? It's like the time in Trader Joe's when he saw a woman with a cast on her foot and asked why she wasn't wearing shoes, didn't she know you were supposed to wear shoes in the store? He was absolutely incensed that this woman was not following the rules. Have I mentioned his penchant for making sure that people follow the rules? He's a bit like his mother in that way. Except, of course, when it comes to a game of Candyland or Hi Ho Cherry-O and he's losing. Then the rules all fly out the window.

So after the post office, we trekked over to Target to pick up a few essentials, including a couple of superheroes that Will needed for his collection (and paid for with his Target gift card). As soon as we got there, I made a beeline for the bathroom. After drinking two huge bottles of water while working out earlier, I was paying the price by having to pee incessantly. Oh well, all in the name of good health, right? Anyway, we hadn't gotten a cart yet, so I was forced to hold Brody while trying to take care of business. Can I just tell you how difficult it is to get your jeans up and down with a baby in one hand? Seriously, though, how awesome at multi-tasking are we women? So as I'm finishing up and trying desperately to get my pants back up before Will manages to open the stall door, he yells out (in a crowded bathroom, no less), "Mommy, I see your vagina!" How proud was I?


What's for dinner?

Last week proved to be quite successful when it came to planning menus and following through. I think we swapped our planned meals Tuesday and Wednesday, but still managed to stay on track for the week. In attempt to keep it up, here's a look at what's cooking at our house this week.

Sunday-linguini with shrimp scampi
mixed greens

Monday-chicken chili
green salad
corn muffins

Tuesday-chicken noodle soup
fresh veggies with ranch
cheesy garlic bread

Wednesday-it's a toss-up between taco salad (the husband's request) and bbq chicken chopped
salad....stay tuned


Friday-yet to be decided...stay tuned

Reason #4623

As if I needed another reason to love my oldest son, this morning he just melted my heart. Anxious to get outside to play in the snow, he was more ansty than usual as I tried to get him dressed (in what seemed like 12 layers to keep him warm). I'll be the first to admit that I was struggling and starting to get frustrated, but then he looked down at me, in my disheveled state, sitting on the floor in front of him and said, "Mommy, you look beautiful this morning." He didn't care that I was still in my pajamas, hadn't washed my face, and was wearing what shih-tzu owners affectionately refer to as a top-knot. What more could a mom ask for?


Fun is...

explaining to a 3-year old the difference between Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm still not sure he understood what the heck I was talking about when I started babbling about the 95 theses. Nor did he know what to make of the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr. is brownish-black (how do you explain that one when you live in a place where diversity means having people with brown, blonde, AND red hair?). His main concern, though? Whether or not Martin Luther King, Jr. wore a black suit.

What's for dinner?

In effort to be better prepared for dinners around here, I've decided to start making weekly menus. So here's a peek at what we're having for dinner here this week:

Sunday-burgers (beef for the guys, turkey for mom), oven fries, coleslaw and grapes

Monday-taco salad and cheesy garlic bread

Tuesday-chicken meatball sub sandwiches, chopped salad

Wednesday-homemade pizza, fresh veggies and ranch


Friday-chicken chili, green salad

From the mouths of babes...

Art Linkletter was right about kids saying the darndest things. While I generally expect to be mildly amused by most of what Will says, sometimes he says things that cause my sides to ache from laughing so hard. Here are a couple of examples from today:

In an attempt to persuade Daddy that he should have an ice cream sundae (in the middle of the day) instead of a popsicle, "Popsicles are not good for me because they are freezing." Um, apparently he's not clear on how ICE cream works.

And in the car with Mommy this afternoon, "W-I-L-L spells Will. What does A-S-S spell?"

Midas turned things to gold....

Me, not so much. Yesterday was one of those days where I should have just stayed in bed with the covers pulled way over my head.

The morning didn't start off too bad, but once the afternoon hit, watch out! I went out, with baby in tow, to run a quick errand at the bank. After missing the turn into the parking lot, I made the monumentally stupid decision to back up (on a busy street...my lane was empty behind me) three feet to try it again. Yes, I know, I should have just gone around the block, but I didn't. And while I did look to make sure there weren't any cars behind me, I didn't bother to check the opposite side of traffic. Long story short, I backed up into a car turning from the other lane of traffic. The damage to both cars wasn't too bad (her car was stopped and I was going all of three miles an hour at the time), but it was enough to shake me up and put me into a mild state of shock. After exchanging the necessary information, I went on about my business, wondering how on earth my dear husband would take the news. Let's just say he was none too pleased. Nor was he impressed by the fact that it was the first accident in which I'd ever been at fault. So now we get to spend a couple of days this week schlepping the car around town to get some estimates for the repair work.

Okay, so that was really the worst part of the day (um, could you really get worse than that anyway?), but things certainly didn't swing upward after that. There was me whining about my dead cell phone and the morons who work at AT&T and absolutely refuse to help me in any way except to offer to sell me a phone at a completely inflated price...despite the fact that I've already been to the store twice and called the company countless times. Luckily Jason stepped in and did his magic; I have a new, free (minus the $50 deductible...thanks phone insurance) phone being sent to me. Then there was the Slurpee that I dropped all over the freshly mopped floor. The Slurpee that I bought to appease Jason and make up for my overall slump of a day. I was able to save a good portion of the Slurpee, but the floor? Sticky as hell. Let's just say that by 10:00 last night, I'd had enough and decided to retire for the evening.

Thankfully, today was a far less eventful day.


Why is it?

Why is it that whenever I ask my son to do something I have to ask 20 times or make some sort of threat to get him to actually do it? It never happens right when I ask, but rather whenever he feels like getting around to it (does that make me sound like a fantastic and in-control parent or what?). However, when he asks me to do something, he wants it done right away. If it's not done within 3 seconds of him asking (or telling in some cases), he will stand next to me and ask 127 more times (yes, I've counted). Does anyone else live with this incredibly annoying double standard? Are you as fed up with it as I am? Do you find yourself dreading the sound of your own voice some days only because you've had to say the same thing over and over again? Believe me, I love the child, but I really dislike sounding like a broken record (or even, gasp, like my own mother sometimes). And what I dislike even more is his expectation that I will do things as soon as he asks and not a second later. That sounds worse than it really is because we really don't give in to his every whim or be in control, but sometimes you'd be hard-pressed to tell that. In any case, his smiling face and sweet voice make it hard to be annoyed for too long.


Already too smart for me

The Moose, our 10-month old, is a big fan of bathtime. He's a champion wriggler when it comes to diaper-changing and getting dressed, but as soon as he realizes that it's nearly time for a soak in the tub, he just mellows out. Once he gets in the bathroom and the water starts running, he stands at the side of the tub, jumping up and down as he watches the tub fill. When he gets into the tub, he does a few manic laps from one end to the other (it's your average-sized tub, so this doesn't take long). After that, he sits under the faucet and lets the water wash down over him. His older brother? Wouldn't even take a bath in the big tub until he was about 18 months; we had an inflatable duck tub that fit inside the tub. But this kid? No fear. And now I fear that he's already too smart for me. For the last week, whenever I go to drain the water, he watches and waits...as soon as I pull my hand out of the water, he twists the drain (or whatever the heck it's called) and makes it stop! We go back and forth a few times before I finally give up and just pull him out of the (still-full) tub. Oh, I know, it's just a small thing, but they add up and suddenly your baby is gone and you're left with a toddler (which really, on most days, is just as fantastic, but it's hard not to miss your baby).

Make New Friends...

One of the biggest concerns I had two years ago when we made the big move to Oregon was whether or not I'd be able to make new friends here. It's not that I have a particularly hard time making friends, but since I'm not the most outgoing person in the world, it doesn't always come easy. I knew all of two people my own age when we first got here and they were the wives of my husband's cousins. It turns out that I became good friends with both of them, but since I couldn't exactly build a social network around only two people, I was forced to step outside of my shy comfort zone and, gasp!, initiate conversations with complete strangers.

Of course, having a kid makes it a lot easier to meet new people (other parents at least), if only because at least you've got one thing in common. So when we first moved here, I signed Will up for a gymnastics class and an art class, both of which he loved. Unfortunately, I was not equally enamored with the classes and didn't find any moms who struck me as anyone I wanted to hang out with outside of class. We then tried a class at Gymboree and we were both hooked. It didn't take long before Will made his first real friend (he had just turned 2) and I, in turn, found some moms who seemed worth getting to know. I hope that doesn't come off as snobbish as it sounds to me because that's certainly not the way it's intended, but really, we all know what kinds of people we do and don't mesh with, don't we? And it seems sort of silly to spend time getting to know people with whom we won't ultimately get along, doesn't it?

So now here we are almost two years since making the move from the warm climes of California to rainy Oregon and I'm happy to say that we've all made friends. Yes, it took some time, but it was well worth the wait. Will has a good group of friends, both kids he's met at Gymboree and those he knows from preschool; the list of those he wants to invite to his birthday continues to grow. They're all sweet kids and I get a real kick out of watching him play and interact with them. But the best part? They come from good families with good parents, people worth getting to know and befriend. As much as I feared that this move would mean a whole lot of loneliness for me, quite the opposite has happened. I've met and made friends with more moms (and a few dads as well) here than I ever did back in California. Perhaps it's because people in the Bay Area tend to wait until later in life to have kids and the age gap was just too much to overcome. Or maybe there's just a bit less pretense here than the Bay Area. Whatever the case, as much as I miss my family, friends, and hometown, life here is good.


Just one of those days...

Today was one of those days where I spent most of it hoping for a do-over. For some reason, despite 9 hours of sleep last night, I woke up feeling grumpy. It may have had something to do with the fact that my mouth still hasn't recovered from dental surgery and it's making eating rather difficult or maybe it was the fact that no matter how often I do laundry, the piles never seem to dissipate, but who knows. All I know is that I spent most of the day in a funk. By the time this afternoon rolled around, I was more than ready to climb into bed and call it a day. But then we were all sitting around talking and I asked Will how much he loves his mommy (since he had just professed some mad love for his daddy). His response? "Ten days before Christmas!" Really, what choice did I have but to laugh hysterically and remember why I love being a stay-at-home mom.

Oh, and overheard at our house this wee--"You have boobies Mommy. Hawkgirl has boobies too. Are hers for nursing?"


Is it night?

Tonight as I was getting dinner ready, Will popped his head out of the bathroom to ask me if it was night or day. I replied yes and went back to what I was doing. When Will came out of the bathroom later, I asked why he needed to know if it was night or day. He looked at me like I was crazy and replied, "Because if it's night, I can take my underwear off. I don't need underwear in the dark!" Of course, why didn't I think of that?

Don't forget to crack a window

Last night at bedtime, Will informed Jason that our plans to take the family to Cabo this summer simply were not acceptable. Instead, he has decided (um, because he's in charge, right?) that we will be going to Disneyland. We had planned on taking the kids either there or DisneyWorld in the near future, but wanted to wait until Brody was a little older and able to have some fun there. Well, that just won't cut it for Mr. Will. When Jason pointed out that Brody probably wouldn't get much out of the trip, Will was ready with a surefire solution," Mommy and Brody can wait in the car." Sweet! Just be sure to crack a window or two for us since Anaheim gets a wee bit hot in the summer months.


Where have all the socks gone?

Every once in a while, I'll go to get socks for the boys and come up empty-handed. After a quick search of their bedrooms and the laundry room, I'm still usually empty-handed...and stumped. Where the heck are all the socks? All the laundry baskets are checked, my sock drawer is checked, as is Jason's. Still, no socks. Today as I dressed Will to go outside and watch Daddy smash a big fluorescent light (um, please don't ask...I don't know why), we found one sock stuffed into his snowboot. Then I looked next to my car and found another one on the garage floor. Peering inside my car, I could see at least two more socks. Upon opening the door, I found seven (!) more socks! The only possible explanation I can come up with is that the socks are planning a big escape. So next time you're missing some socks at your house, check the car. It's entirely possible that they're simply trying to take themselves for a ride.


Resolutions...or something like that

The idea of making resolutions for the new year seems pretty silly to me. Most people, it seems, make grandiose gestures when it comes to resolutions, but really, where's the follow-through? So instead of coming up with resolutions that will likely be broken by say, next Thursday, here are some goals that I've set for myself in the coming year:

1. Be the best wife, mother and friend that I can be.

2. Stop to savor the little moments with my kids, whether it's a quick game of chase with Will or rolling the ball back and forth with Brody. Sometimes this will mean that the floor goes unswept a while longer than I'd like or that the dishwasher doesn't get unloaded until after the kids go to bed, but really, it's all about priorities.

3. Continue to exercise on a regular basis. I'm not looking to run a marathon here, folks, just to stay in shape and be able to enjoy that game of chase without losing my breath.

4. Make healthy choices when it comes to food and drink. Since I'm not a drinker or a smoker and I exercise frequently, I'm off to a good start on the health front, but damn if those potato chips on aisle 7 don't call to me every once in a while.

5. Wisen up when it comes to saving money. It's easy when you have it to want to spend it without much forethought, but it's a heck of a lot smarter to put some away for a rainy day (something we have a lot of here in Oregon).

6. Find a way to spend more time with all of my family in California. If these past few months have taught me anything, it's how important my family truly is to me.

7. Let go and have fun sometimes. Really, isn't this something we all need to do?


He's all mine!

Over the years, I've given this blog thing some thought here and there, but never really commited to it. Being privy to the innermost thoughts of other bloggers and having read countless stories of funny kids, I've thought to myself, Hey, I could do that! However, after a comment made by my dear, sweet husband as I went to bed on New Year's Eve, I've decided that it would be selfish to keep all the fun stuff that goes on in our house to myself. So what was it, you're wondering, that finally got me to take the leap? Well ladies and gentlemen, my husband's parting words of 2007 were, "Be sure to smell Will's butt when you go to bed." Yes ladies (and gentlemen for those of you who are so inclined), he's all mine. But really, if you're wondering what the impetus for such a loving comment was, you need look no further than our family room where you'll find a somewhat lethargic 3-year old suffering from a mean stomach bug. He has spent the last two days moving between the couch and the bathroom, pausing to share with us the most minute details of his illness and insisting that we join in the fun by helping to clean him up each time. Anyway, as I climbed the stairs to go to bed last night and thought about New Year's Eves past, I thought to myself that really, there's no place I'd rather be than here with my two little guys and my one big guy.