Friday, December 31, 2010

This Moment

A Friday ritual that I am copying from Finding Chaos, who got it from SouleMama.

A single photo– no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Happy New Year everyone! Have a safe and fun evening. See you all in 2011...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Official...

My daughter is...a girly-girl (GASP!!) I knew this would happen. As soon as that ultrasound showed I was having a girl, I knew that I would be given one that was as "girly" as they come. It's just the law of nature. Although I have to isn't quite as scary as I thought. Sure I still have a mild panic attack when she comes to me in the morning and says, "Wanna fix da hair..." because, let's face it, there aren't a lot of tricks in my arsenal regarding hair styles. But I am learning. I still marvel at the people at her daycare that make her hair look SO cute (little braids and whatnot) and it isn't that I can't do a braid; I can. It's just that I cannot even BEGIN to braid her hair when she's twisting and turning and grabbing the brush and trying to do it herself...etc... So really, she ends up with a little side pony most days.

But there really is no denying her love of all things baby. And this is seriously some in-born stuff we are dealing with here. I bought The Boy a bunch of babies when he was little and he never once picked them up. So when The Girl started getting baby dolls for gifts and stuff I assumed she would act the same. In a word: No. Not the case. She started carrying them around and patting their backs and covering them with her blankets and singing to them. It's amazing how different it is between the two of them. And as you saw previously, one of her gifts from Santa was a cradle and, although she wasn't that into it when she first saw it, she now sits in her room with like three different dolls and puts them in, and covers them and sings to them and then comes out and tells me to be quiet please because her babies are sleeping. And then she finally opened one of her last gifts (she couldn't be bothered on Christmas to actually finish opening her gifts so I just left them under the tree for a "bored moment" assuming she would find them and open them) it turned out to be a little high chair for her babies. She wanted it out right away and put together (god help me...). And now? Now this is her favorite past time...
She takes the feeding of her babies very seriously. My little girly-girl with her side that little girl!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Great Holiday

Those of you who know me in real life know that there was a bit of drama this holiday season regarding my family and when we were going to celebrate each occasion and with whom. Since I don't really talk about my family on my blog, I will spare you the details but let you in on the important part. I had to fight hard to have one day this holiday where my kids and I were not obligated to go anywhere or do anything. That day turned out to be Christmas Day. And what a wonderful day it was. I am SO glad I went through what I did to be able to have a day at home with my kids.

Of course it really started the moment we got home from the Christmas Eve festivities. The Boy got all ready for bed and then had to leave the cookies and milk for Santa and the carrots for Rudolph... Look at the anticipation on his little face. I swear if I could bottle that magical feeling...
(Note to the future: Perhaps if one's child is going to leave cookies for said "Santa," then perhaps said Mommy should buy some cookies she actually likes. I hate those damn chocolate things...but it was all we had in the house...)

And once the children were all snug in their heads with their visions of sugar plums... Then it was time for me to get to work. Fortunately The Ex and I had a good agreement this year. I paid for all the Santa stuff, but I sent it all home with her in the boxes and made her put it all together. Therefore once the kids were in bed, I went underneath the quilt in my room and found everything ready to be wheeled out. Here is the loot: Stockings for both of course, a Skuut Balance Bike for The Boy, his Bat Cave (the only thing he actually asked Santa for besides flash cards...), a new cradle and new dolly for Peanut, a new shopping cart for her as well, and then a Crayola drawing thing that they will both share...
Note the movie that is on the TV--mandatory for Christmas Eve in my house! And then I had a glass of wine and went to bed. The Boy got up about 7:15am and we texted The Ex (who was coming over for Santa time in the morning--how nice am I?) and while we waited for her The Girl got up and enjoyed her morning milk and then they tore out into the living room at about 7:45am. Not too bad. Of course The Boy LOVED, loved, loved his batcave...
The Girl was a fan of her shopping cart and didn't so much care about her dolly or her cradle, although she has really used and enjoyed both of them since then. I think her favorite gifts would be the shopping cart and this other dolly with a bottle...because apparently it's ALL about the bottle. Who knew?
And as you see in the above picture, The Girl stayed in her jammies all day long. It was fabulous. We had The Ex here until about 10:00 in the morning and then she left and it was just me and the kids until about 2:30 when my mom, step dad and grandmother came over. We had a mellow afternoon and had some good food, but it was SO relaxing and so lovely. I really had a great day. I am so unbelievably lucky to have the kids that I do and the family that I do. I really realized that this holiday season. Perhaps because my 94 year old grandmother is getting up there, or perhaps because I don't have a partner...but for whatever reason, I was eternally grateful to have the life that I do.

And then the next day, instead of being anal-retentive girl and ripping down all of Christmas I had a leisurely morning and took the kids on a walk. It was a great weekend. Exactly what the holidays SHOULD be.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well, however you celebrate. And here's to a great 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays to You!

I am wishing all of my internet friends a wonderful and happy holiday. If you know me in real life and got my Christmas card, just move along. :) But for the friends I know through my blog and the internet, here was the holiday cards that were sent out of my house.

The stockings are all stuffed by the chimney with care and Santa has visited and left all the gifts for the morning. I am enjoying a glass of milk left out by a certain red-headed little boy, finishing up watching A Christmas Story and then heading to bed. I can't wait to wake up with my little ones to watch them enjoy the morning. I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing and wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holy Crap, the 400th Post!

First of all, this is my 400th post! And don't I wish this was going to be some spectacular post worthy of that great number...alas, it's not. I feel so sad for my poor, neglected blog. Not because I kid myself enough to think that my readers (all 10 of you) are sitting at home staring at your computer screen thinking, "I enjoy her posts SO much...I just wish she would post more..." No, I don't think that at all. But the main reason I do this blog at all is for myself and for my kids. And to keep record of this crazy life that seems to be flying by me at a rate faster than I can possibly absorb. So I write it for me, and for my children when they are old enough to read it. And because of that, I am a little sad that I haven't been more diligent in updating during this holiday season. Because this is one of the special ones. It really is. My children will only be young for so long and this is truly the "magical" time. My son is SO taken by the entire season and my daughter is at the most hysterical and sweet age that I could literally eat her up and not get enough. Alas, I have work and I have to prepare for said holiday so that the children CAN enjoy the hell out of it and, as always, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to get it all done. And so my record keeping (aka the blog) suffers.

We are a mere 3 days away from THE BIG DAY, as it is known in my house. And everyone is all a flurry of excitement. Unfortunately my clients don't seem to care about that and still want their damn bookkeeping done. It is quite rude actually. And to further that notion, they don't seem to understand that my daughter is out of daycare for 2 entire weeks, thus leaving me with nary of a moment of time to work on said bookkeeping. So I spend the entire day doing a balancing act. As I type away and try and figure out the numbers my daughter follows me around the house telling me it's time to read a book. Add to that the pressure of having all the gifts and stockings (the damn stockings!! Whose idea WAS that anyway?!?! What a waste of time and money...) and food and everything ready for the big day and you have one tired Mommy.

BUT. There are moments. There are moments during each and every single day that I stop for just a millisecond and I smile in my heart. Because these are THE moments. You know? The ones that make it all worthwhile? There are so many of them lately. From my son singing all the Christmas carols he knows while falling asleep at night to my daughter just recently mastering singing Jingle Bell Rock that make me smile. A moment like the other night when I walked down the hall about an hour before bed time and noticed that my son's door was closed. This usually means he has had quite enough of his sister thankyouverymuch and has taken a break. So I walked the house looking for his sister and when I couldn't find her I knocked on his door and entered. What I found was enough to bring tears to my eyes. They were both sitting on his bed leaning against his pillow and he had turned out all the lights but turned on the lights from his little Christmas tree in his room. It was dark except for the light of the tree and they were laying together singing songs. And not only that, but he had gone into her room and gotten her pillow (if I'm being honest it is one of those damn pillow pets that they advertise for all the time--I can't help it! They love the freaking things!) and her lovey for her and they were laying together actually holding hands. I seriously cried. He told me to please shut the door because this was a brother and sister special moment. Of course I shut it immediately and smiled while doing so. THIS is why I had two of them. THIS RIGHT HERE. This bond that they have. These holidays that they are sharing together. The fact that on Christmas morning they will run down the hall TOGETHER to see what Santa brought for them. My son isn't doing it alone. He has a sibling to share it with. And all the drama of getting pregnant and being the single mom who CHOSE (gasp!!) to have another child on my own is all culminated in that very moment. My heart literally bursts with joy.

Of course then I had to continue down the hall because I was in the middle of 15 things and needed to continue. But the point is, I stopped and I DID notice. And even as I try and type this blog entry my son just came barreling down the hall into my office because my time of typing has come to an end. He wants to tell me a story about a ladybug who has small claws on their legs so they can poke holes in the leaves...

Of course the monotony of life is still here and it also exists in my son's everlasting stories about his bugs and his friends...and I can honestly no longer hear myself think because we have now moved on to listening to how his ants in his ant farms dug tunnels so they too could have holes to live in...and dear god I just can't shoo him away. I will go and listen to the end of his story and then I will brush his teeth and put him to bed and then I will go and sit at my computer and work for the next two hours until it is almost 11:00 at night at which time I will stumble to my room, turn on an old rerun of Golden Girls from my DVR and fall asleep before the credits are even done rolling. Thus is my life lately. But as I pointed out earlier, amongst the craziness and work and preparations for the holiday season, there are some super special times. I just wish I had more time to stop and enjoy them and document them here for me to look back on later. Because for some reason this year I am acutely aware of the fact that my kids will not be small forever. They will be sullen teenagers who just await their gifts and skip past the singing of songs and the magic of the season and just sit with their iPods playing in their ears and only stop long enough to rip the paper off their gifts and then go back to their room to enjoy them. I know this is coming. And that is why NOW is so special. And that is why I feel like I need to "bottle" now and be able to look back and remember it.

But for tonight I will just put a little red-headed boy to bed and listen to his stories about bugs and hug him and we will read Twas the Night Before Christmas and I will kiss his little head and then listen to him sing softly on his monitor while I work.

And since you have stuck with me for this long, babbling are some pics. Because of course we all know that's why you really come here anyway, right? The Boy decorating a gingerbread man:
And The Girl when we were picking out our Christmas tree. I don't know how I snapped this picture but it is SO her. The little face, that little expression...just totally my daughter. Love her so much...
Happy Holidays everyone. May you all be enjoying it as much as I am!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Swear I'll Post Something of Substance at Some Point...

We interrupt this blogging haitus for these words:

Thank you, Spout PBS, for airing the Calliou Holiday Movie on this rainy Sunday morning in December and giving me an hour and a half with which to get things done. I do not, however, thank you for airing commercials during said movie because my son is now following me around going, "You know what else I want for Christmas...I saw it on a commercial during Calliou..."

Ugh. Is this why everybody bashes the TV watching by young kids? :)

Monday, December 13, 2010


I've been neglecting my blog lately; it's true. But I have also been neglecting my health which is why my throat is so raw that I can't even begin to swallow and I have no voice to speak of, or to speak with for that matter. I have also been neglecting my sleep, my laundry, my house work and probably some of my good friends.

But here is what I have NOT been neglecting. First of all my kids. On Friday I sent my daughter to daycare even though she doesn't usually go on Fridays (okay so maybe I neglected HER a little bit...) so that I could have an entire one-on-one day with my son. We went to Petroglyph to make Christmas presents, had a little lunch, went and saw Tangled at the movies and then ended the day back at his school for his performance of the Holiday Program where he sang 5 songs like a champ. It was an amazing day and I am SO glad I carved out some time just for him.

I have not been missing these holiday moments with either of my kids. As you saw in my Friday "this moment" post, my daughter is unbelievably cute in her little Santa hat as she runs around the house singing Jingle Bells. She stops by our Christmas tree every single time she passes it and tells me, "Oooohhh! So pretty!" which is quickly followed by, "Don't TOUCH! We don't touch the ornaments..." as she gives me a sideways grin and proceeds to touch every single ornament that she can reach. BUT! She isn't pulling them off so that's something. I have said before and I'll say it again, I think this might be the greatest year ever for my son and the holidays. It is just so...magical for him. I want to bottle this time and save it for when he's a sullen teenager telling me, "just give me my gifts!" When we went driving the other night and looked at lights he said to me, "Mommy these lights are a special rainbow made just for my eyes!" I know, right? Kills me...

I have not been neglecting my so-unbelievably-busy work schedule and I can't get over how much work there really is to be done. I am not sure I will ever get back on top of it all but I am doing my damnest to try and get myself out from under the pile. And so far nothing tragic has happened... (knock on wood...knock on wood...)

AND! I am almost done Christmas shopping. I still have the damn stockings to deal with but all the big gifts have been done and ordered and most have arrived. PLUS! Super bonus. I actually got my Christmas cards (photo picture cards plus a letter) written, addressed, stamped and mailed out this morning. And believe me, that was no easy task as I send out over 60 cards and hand addressed them all.

So as you see...tis the season for lots of things. It just doesn't appear to be the season for updating my blog. Which is unfortunate really because there are some pretty damn cute and priceless moments going on in my world right now and I would love it if I had the super human strength needed to document it all here so I can look back later and swoon. I said, the Christmas cards got mailed. So that's something.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Moment

A Friday ritual that I am copying from Finding Chaos, who got it from SouleMama.

A single photo– no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season

In my family we celebrate Christmas. And it is such a different time as an adult than it is as a child. And thank God right? It is such a magical time for kids. And I think part of our jobs as parents is to attempt to give that type of a feeling to our children. But I think for a lot of adults in general, Christmas and the holidays in general isn’t anywhere near as amazing as it was when you were a child. And part of that is because you are trying to give your children that magical experience and the magic doesn’t just come out of nowhere does it?

We work hard as parents to create the perfect holiday moments. But the moments with our children when they are young and impressionable and sweet during the holidays are amongst the best. Seeing their little faces when they walk down the hall and see a full stocking that Santa filled for them? And then the look of pure amazement on their faces when they see the almost-completely-gone cookies and milk they left out the night before for Santa and you can practically hear them thinking, “He was actually HERE last night.” It really is a magical time for them. And, I think, for us as parents. This is what we work for all year long. Not necessarily the gifts, because although seeing the kids open and enjoy those gifts is fabulous, it’s the whole “Santa coming to visit” thing that makes it all spectacular. I remember feeling like that as a kid too. I remember going outside of my grandmother’s house at like 8:00 at night and looking up in the sky and seeing (what was probably the lights of an airplane) Santa and the reindeer flying and just knowing that it was Santa. And that feeling of joy that comes with it. Not only gifts, but gifts from Santa!!, which of course was different than gifts from my parents. They were the special ones. Parents gave stuff like underwear and clothes and stuff, but the stuff that came from Santa was always awesome. Somehow he knew exactly which present would be your favorite and it always came from him. Funny how that happens.

All of this to say that this time when the kids are young and they feel this way goes so fast. My son will be 5 in January and he is still firmly in the magical kingdom. But when talking to my Mom about plans for the early morning she said, “You know it won’t always be like this.” In a few years he will know and it will be different. And then it will be that way for The Girl for as long as her brother keeps his mouth shut…and then it is just different.” And she’s right. I hadn’t thought of that. I guess I just thought it would always be like this. But I don’t know how many more years I have of this innocence and love and pure joy. I want to live it while it’s here.

The other day in the car we were listening to Christmas music. And for the first time this season my son heard the song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and he thought it was great. We talked about how it was a silly song and we laughed and listened to it again. One the second listen through my son was trying to sing along with the chorus and suddenly he stopped singing and said, “What do they mean ‘there’s no such thing as Santa…” ? Why would they say that?” Cause you know that’s part of the chorus. Sing it for a minute in your head…I’ll wait…

Right? So of course my little OCD son picks up on that. I proceeded to tell him that it was just part of the silly song. Of course Grandma wouldn’t get run over by a reindeer! And of course there’ such a thing as Santa!” Silly song!!

But how much longer do we get to believe that?

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Moment

A Friday ritual that I am copying from Finding Chaos, who got it from SouleMama.

A single photo– no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Poop Update

Because I know you are all dying to hear about this. In fact the only reason I am posting this is because 'tis the season for all things flu and yuck and I thought I might be able to help someone else out who might be going through something similar. If you don't have kids at home who might or might not come down with the flu this season feel free to just skip past this entire post.

To recap: The Girl as had horrific diarrhea for the is day 6. And when I say horrific, trust me, I mean it. Explosive, water type yuckiness that happens three to four times a day. No fever and for the most part she is acting mostly normal. She is a little more clingy and whiny than usual and for sure she has less of an appetite than normal, but other than that, when she isn't physically pooping, she seems to be okay. In terms of the poop (so sorry...) what has been happening for The Girl is that she starts to cry and asks to have her diaper changed. Generally at that point there is nothing there to change. But about 10 minutes after that happens she bursts into tears and starts screaming, squats down and has "a blast." It literally puddles at the bottom of her jammies if she's wearing them, and if not, then physically goes to the floor. Good times...

So that has been going on for 6 days now and after the fourth time yesterday I decided that I was going to bring her into the doctor to test for allergies or something. This happened at the end of September/early October so this was the second time this type of thing had happened with her and I wanted to make sure that I wasn't giving her some food to set it off, or doing something else that was causing it. Plus I was getting worried about dehydration given that she absolutely refuses to drink pedia.lite, or Gator.ade or any of those other things they recommend and I was sure she was losing weight. So I called the doctor this morning and they said since it was the second time it has happened and we were on day 6 to bring her in.

Bottom line: Stomach flu. As someone who really hates barfing I can thank my daughter that she doesn't seem to have that type of flu. But that appears to be what this is. The doctor said the things to look for and/or worry about are blood or mucus in the stool and dehydration. I asked him the signs of that and he laughed and said, "She's fine. I heard her screaming all the way down the hall. She wouldn't be doing that if she were dehydrated." Point taken. But apparently the signs to watch for are obviously no urine output, lack of saliva in her mouth, chapped lips, no tears...that kind of thing. I asked about the B.R.A.T. diet and he said it doesn't make it go away it just sometimes helps the symptoms. So give her mild stuff to eat but I don't have to be totally anal about that diet (thank God, she HATES it). He said to basically leave her alone in terms of eating and let her do her own thing. Her body will send her cues. Put out a bowl of toasted "O's" and let her snack on them. But don't bug her to eat. Think about how we feel when we have the stomach flu and realize we don't want to eat at all; she probably doesn't either. If she is freaking out about wanting her milk and it doesn't seem to make things worse then let her have milk. But basically it just needs to run it's course. And sometimes this can take up to two weeks.

I asked about having to keep her home from daycare (!!!) and he said she was probably only contagious for the first few days and since we are on day 6 there is little chance that she is giving it to the other kids at this point. So anyway, he won't start worrying unless there's blood or mucus and/or it lasts more than 2 weeks. So continue on, business as usual. Anyway, like I said, since this is cold and flu season I just thought I should post this so that if someone else is dealing with their kids yuck-fest maybe this can help them know what's going on. Hopefully she will be on the mend soon.

PS--To my regular commenter who asked how her daycare would simply change her outfit four times full of poop and not call me...well I had warned them about what was going on and told them to call if she was upset or cranky or causing them too much work, or lethargic etc... And since she was acting perfectly fine in between bouts of poop, they went with it. And I'm fine with that. They know her very well and love her and I trust they would call me if she was in trouble. I am grateful that they are still willing to take her everyday given that she is a walking poop machine. And of course I knew getting into single motherhood that there would be days/weeks like this and I would NEVER change anything for the world. I adore my kids and don't ever question the bad with the good. But I also don't want to sugar coat things either and there are times when it really IS tough to be the only one in a house with two kids when one of them is sick. And I try to keep it real on my blog so I was simply expressing that it had been a LONG weekend home alone with both of them.

Here's hoping all of your kids are flu and poop free all winter long! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful Take 2...

So everything I wrote in my last post on Thanksgiving was true. All of it. I am thankful for SO much and my kids are just amazing little things...but...

There are other things I am thankful for too. Like daycare and school. After spending every single waking hour (and some not-so-waking hours) with both of my kids from Wednesday at noon until this morning...well I can definitely tell you I am thankful for daycare and school. SO SO thankful. If I'm being honest, it was a really long weekend.

The Boy was fine. He was good. Plus, he's easy to deal with so he got some time out of the house away from me with friends and family. So he was good. But The Girl? She and I literally spent every single second together and got rough a couple of times. Remember a couple of months ago when she got some little bug and started having diarrhea all over the place? Remember that? Yeah, we are right there again. It started the day after Thanksgiving which makes 4. Last time it lasted almost 10 days. Dear God we are not even half way done if that repeats itself. And on a long weekend it was really hard. She was super whiny and just wanted to be held and rocked. Which for the first day or so was really sweet and cute and, OF COURSE Mommy will hold you and rock you and make you feel better. But by day three I started to wonder what that smell was and couldn't tell if it was my own self because I hadn't showered in two days, or if it was something coming from the kitchen as I hadn't been able to empty the dishwasher in two days, or perhaps the cats litter box...the choices were endless. Because, you see, when you are a single Mommy and one of your children is demanding to be held all the time there isn't a lot of other stuff that can get done. So you choose to either let your child cry and whine and follow you around the house and latch onto your legs every time you pause long enough for them to get a grip, or you sit. And you sit. And you watch PBS because it is the only thing that keeps her quiet.

The weather was also super crappy and cold and rainy here this weekend and what with Little Miss Poops-A-Lot messing through any outfit at any given time (OOHH!! Also thankful for the washing machine. SUPER thankful for that), we barely left the house. And man...these walls started to close in on me. Add to that bored, whiny, sometimes sick kids and it makes for a REALLY long weekend.

So today! Back to school for both of them. Yesterday was somewhat better for The Girl with no major blow outs so I was hoping we were going to be done with it. I warned her daycare ladies that she had a bit of a tummy thing going on and to please call me if they needed me to come and get her (please don't call...please don't call...please don't call...) but that I hoped she was on the tail end of it. Since I made it through the entire day without a phone call I figured we were all good. Until my mom brought her home tonight. She was in a different outfit than I sent her in (bad sign number one) and then my mom came in carrying a grocery bag stuffed full. I knew we had done the grocery shopping over the weekend (an outting!! Yay!! How sad is my life?) so I looked a little perplexed. My mom said, "Apparently your daughter pooped through every single one of her spare outfits and it all needs to be washed." (Bad sign number 2). She has 4 spare outfits. All 4 of them came home, along with ALL of her bedding from school. Not only did it need to be washed, but it had to be rinsed first because they literally peeled it off of her and stuffed it into a bag. So it sat in a bag and marinated all day long and then when I opened it? I can't even tell you all. I seriously almost barfed from the stench.

And bad sign number 3? Well when we were eating dinner, out of the blue The Girl starts screaming. I asked her what was wrong and she said in a pitiful little voice, "I wanta a new diaper..." Her poor bum. So I took her back to change it and...nothing. A little tiny skid on the diaper but that was it. I can't imagine how much it must have hurt to have that reaction. So I gave her a fresh diaper anyway and put some medicine on her bum and sent her on her way. About 10 minutes later she came toddling down the hall and said, "Pee You!! Stinky!!" I looked at her and she was COVERED. Seriously. Down both legs, up the front, in her belly button you guys. So of course I picked her up and cleaned her up getting my new cute red Christmas sweater covered in poop in the process. Poor sweetie. Poor me. Poor all of us.

At least my mom agreed to take my sweater home and make it smell like new again. Because seriously, the washer was already going and...I just didn't have it in me. Even now, I am going to go put on a different outfit all together because something on my person smells like ass. And it is kinda making me want to lose my mind.

So...thankful? Absolutely. Wouldn't trade it for anything. But damn...sometimes it is just easier to go to work!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving was a first for me. It was the first time in my 36 years on this planet that I have not spent this day at my grandmother's house. She is turning 94 this year and has finally moved out of her home and therefore we had to start a new tradition this year. So we ended up at my brother's house and it was lovely. I left there after a very long, but thankful, day.

I am thankful for my support system; the wonderful people in my life that allow me to live the amazing life that I live. My mother. Couldn't live without her; my best friend and co-parent to my children and just an amazing example of what I would always strive to be. Thankful for the rest of my large and complicated family. Thankful for my nieces and nephews and the ability to give my children the kind of traditions that I had as a child. Thankful that my other 88 year old grandmother was home from the hospital and healthy. Thankful that she sat next to me during dinner and told me that this was the best Thanksgiving she had ever had and it was because of my children. She said seeing their faces makes her life on this planet smile.

And thankful for my two amazing kids. Thankful that on days like today when both of you have colds and therefore are both pretty pitiful and whiny...thankful that I can make it through the end of a long day still thinking you are both amazing kids. I not only love my kids, but I like them too. I like spending the day with them. They make me laugh, they make me smile, they make me crazy...but I have nothing but love for the both of them. I could not be more thankful for them. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope it was a great one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is me between 18 and 24 months:
...and this is my son at 18 months old...
...and this is my daughter at 18 months old...
Can you see the resemblance?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The First Haircut

Here's The Girl this morning during breakfast. This is true "morning hair." It hasn't been brushed or anything. But this is how she spends her time before I "do her hair" each day. She has taken to saying, "Where's [Girl]?" and then she takes both of her hands and pushes her hair up out of her face so she can see and says, "Der she is!!"

It was time for the first haircut. Here's the before.
And here's the "after."
I love it! She looks so grown up. The pics from the "during" are on my phone so I'll show them to you later. Or not... But I love it. My big girl!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Check Out the New Digs

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to tell you to check out my new header and format of my blog. I take no responsibility whatsoever. A fabulous reader--who am I kidding--Calliope! offered to give me a little face lift to my old header as a holiday gift. How rad is she? (Although I may have given her a little cashola into her paypal as a thank you anyway because she's just THAT awesome...).

So if you're reading this through a reader, click through and check it out. And then go over to her site and give her some love (and some business!!)

Continue on with your day...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

More shots from The Girl's 18 month photo shoot... And you may wonder why I chose to have her photographed in her sunglasses pushing her stroller. The reason would be that this look really wraps up her essence at 18 months. She wears these glasses on a daily basis and for some reason she connects pushing her babies in a stroller with wearing the glasses. I wanted to capture this image to always remember this time. This is what she loved to do. This is who she 18 months old...

PS--Clearly I am challenged by the "wordless" portion of "Wordless Wednesday..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

OMG You Guys...

Yesterday I had perhaps the scariest moment of my parenting career thus far. I can't even tell you how scared I was... But first, let me back up and give you some background.

Last Friday the 5th of November I had an appointment to take my kids to get professional pictures done. We were going to do their Holiday shots and also get some of just The Girl for her 18 month shots. My mom always goes with me on these things to help out so that was the plan. My mom called me at 8:00 that morning to tell me she had food poisoning and would (obviously) not be joining me. I was a little stressed out about doing it all on my own, but it went really well. In fact, after the pictures were taken I was going to write a blog post about "Tips for surviving Professional Pictures with your kids," and talk about my tips. First, schedule as early in the day as possible to avoid delays, second bring snacks and books, third bring toys that your kids are familiar with to use in the pictures (they are so much better than the props they give you that your kids have never seen before...)...I could go on. I never got around to writing that post (shocker, I know), but the point of this is that it all went really well. We got some great pictures and I left there proud of myself for doing it all on my own and I even managed to take the two kids out to lunch by myself after the pictures. So it went great. In fact, I got those pictures back yesterday and here are a couple of shots. They are adorable...

So anyway, that was last week. So THIS Friday we had another appointment at the same place with all of the cousins to try and get a picture of all 7 grandchildren to give to the parental units for Christmas. The age ranges of the kids goes from 7 as the oldest all the way down to 5 months as the youngest. I knew going into it that The Girl was going to be our difficult child to deal with. The baby (5 months) can pretty much just be propped up somewhere, and the child that is older than The Girl is almost 4 so all of those kids can just be told where to sit and they will stay. So my daughter was the wild card. I knew that going in. And she had had a ROUGH day. One of those days where they just don't want anything you offer them and the entire world seems to be conspiring against them. You know the days...we've all had them. So that was how we went into the pictures.

Also, even though The Girl is a complete ham and a crazy child, she is uncharacteristically shy when she gets somewhere. Even though she sees her cousins all the time, whenever we get somewhere with them she spends the first half an hour glued to my side until she warms up a little. So I knew that getting to the picture place with all those people and being rushed into a room and telling her to sit down away from me out of the blue was going to be a challenge.

It was more than a challenge. She threw a freaking colossal fit. I am not kidding. She screamed NO!!!! at the top of her lungs and threw herself on the floor kicking and screaming and throwing the biggest tantrum you have ever seen. The photographer actually even snapped a picture of it (which I am glad she did; it's hysterical and I bought a copy) with 6 kids posed perfectly and my daughter strewn across the floor screaming bloody murder and my son sitting above her with his hands over his ears because she was screaming so loud. It was quite a moment.

So we took her away and let the other families do some family shots with her watching hoping it would "warm her up" to the camera. Nope. Not so much. She still refused. After 40 MINUTES!! (that is NOT an exaggeration) we got her to sit on a stool next to her brother by bribing her with Pirates Booty. So in the pictures we ended up with, my daughter is sitting there with a zip lock bag of "popcorn" in her lap and her face stuffed full of the stuff and the powdery stuff all over her face mixed with snot and tears and her cute brown dress covered in "popcorn dust." Charming. But at least she was IN the picture. We weren't even sure if we would get that far. But needless to say I was glad I hadn't posted a blog post talking about how to conquer professional pictures because that day? That day was a huge failure. Huge.

So at that point it had been a REALLY long day with my daughter. I was stressed and tired and to be quite frank, really over it. I just wanted to get home and have a glass of wine (or 12). So then we were waiting for quite a while for them to process the pics and show them to us and the kids were all running around being crazy and eating snacks and reading the books I had brought (see back when I thought I knew how to get through this type of thing; I had packed well). My daughter was playing with all of her cousins and watching TV on her iPod and doing her thing. I was watching her like usual and also looking at the pictures they had managed to capture. I checked on her and saw her sitting on the floor with the iPod and went back to the pictures and not 30 seconds later, seriously, I looked back for her and she was gone.


I said "Where's [her name]?" very casually while looking in the other studios and around the room where we were, and then "WHERE'S [GIRL]?!?!" with more urgency in my voice and when I still didn't see her I screamed, "I'm serious you guys! [She's] missing!!" This is one of those portrait studios in a bigger department store so the portrait studio opens up to the entire store. I looked and there were rows of clothes and sheets and crap everywhere. She could be ANYWHERE!! I freaked. We all scattered, including all the other kids until one of the other parents realized that wasn't the best idea and rounded up all the kids and stayed at the studio with them while my sister, my sister in law, and the photographer started running frantically around the store screaming her name.

My heart was pounding so loud you guys. She wasn't anywhere. It was all a blur. I was just looking down all these rows of clothes and racks and stuff and she wasn't there. Ever. She wasn't ever there. I was just about to run up to a checkout desk and tell them they needed to make an announcement about a lost child when I heard, "Kim, we found her!" and I ran back to see the photographer carrying my child back to the portrait studio. She set her down and she casually strolls up to me saying, "I wanna see Mommy..." I grabbed her and hugged her and then threw her in her stroller and put the 5 point harness straps on her and sat down and burst into tears. Holy crap. She had been way over by the escalator and the front door! The front freaking door you guys. And the escalator. Holy shit. She was probably missing a total of about 5 minutes but it was the longest 5 minutes of my entire life.

Somehow I managed to keep it together and we picked pictures paid and got out of there. I got home and The Ex took The Boy for the night and after I put The Girl to bed it all hit me. I just lost it. I cried for a good 5 minutes. That entire day was SUCH crap with her. From the temper tantrums in the morning for not sharing with her brother, to her fit getting into the car because she didn't want a jacket on, and then she DID want the jacket on, and then NO! NO! NO! not the jacket!! And then ruining the group picture for everyone and then freaking RUNNING AWAY!!!, it was all just too much.

And then, finally, at 8:30pm...I had my glass of wine. And then another one. And then half another one which I couldn't finish because I got so tired I simply had to go to bed.

The end.

Friday, November 12, 2010

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual that I am copying from Finding Chaos, who got it from SouleMama.

A single photo– no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This has been a bit of a rough week here in my household. My 88 year old grandmother (my mom's mom) ended up in the hospital on Monday evening. She was having issues with her heart and ended up with atrial fibrillation. She needed much monitoring and a procedure where the docs went down her throat to look at her heart for blood clots and ended up having to shock her heart back into rhythm with the scary little paddle things. It has been a scary week but it looks like she is getting out of the hospital this evening and everything will be fine. But...DAMN!!!

This entire thing has made me think a lot about family. I am 36 years old and I am lucky enough to still have both of my grandmother's alive and well. One of my grandmother's is 93 and the other is 88. The one who is 88 lives in a "penthouse" apartment in a very ritzy little area right near my house (which, it should be noted, is not anywhere near as ritzy) and the one who is 93 just recently moved into an assisted living facility but she is still very much alert and healthy. So I am extremely lucky. But more than that, my KIDS are very lucky. My son is almost 5 and I think there's a good chance that he will actually retain memories of both of them. My 88 year old grandmother lives literally a couple of blocks from me and she is able to stop by my house on a regular basis and hang out with my kids and they both love her dearly. She has said to me several times that moving out of the house that she lived in for over 30 years to where she lives now was completely worth it because of my son and my daughter.

It makes me think that my mom and I probably won't have that same luxury. Because we are all having kids later in life now, the chances that my mom will see her great grand kids is very slim. And same for me. I was 31 when I had my son and if he is near 30 when he has his kids and THEY are near 30 when they have theirs...I will be 90-ish! It really is a treat to be able to have 4 generations in the same room. And I genuinely treasure it. And this week has made me realize that I won't get to enjoy that forever.

Family really is a very special thing. The relationship that both of my kids have with both their grandmother AND their great grandmother's is one that is beyond special. I hope one day they become old enough to realize how very lucky they were.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Return of the Bean Bag Shot...

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, you might remember the "Bean Bag Shot." For those who don't, I took a picture of my daughter in the exact same spot every month of her first year so that I could watch her grow. And now she is 18 months old, so I thought it was time for an updated bean bag shot. So here is The Girl, 18 months old.
And if you want to see how she has changed over the years, click on the short video below and watch her grow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween--All of It

And when you have young kids...there is A LOT of Halloween to be had. But this year was all good. The Boy is old enough to really get it and he was SO excited. He picked out his costume really early on (good thing too since his Mom had to make it...) and watched his pumpkin grow in his backyard and couldn't wait until we could put up the Spider webs in front of the house.

First thing was his school field trip. I was sorta put off by the fact that they wanted the kids to go over an hour away. I was like, What the hell, there are hundreds of pumpkin patches within 15 minutes of where we live... But it turns out I shouldn't have been such a scrooge. It wasn't even so much a pumpkin patch as there was no large area with hundreds of pumpkins. It was a little tour that included picking out a pumpkin. But we started the day in a giant tee pee listening to stories, then we went and got to pick a pumpkin. Here is The Boy with his pick:
And here is The Girl with her pick. She picked a good pumpkin and remembered to smile for the picture, she just forgot to open her eyes...
And after that we went to "Mine for gold." It was actually really cool. They gave all the kids a bag of sand and they had to sift through it to find a bunch of little rocks and stones. The Boy was ALL about this part. It thought I uploaded a picture of his with this but I guess I didn't and there are far too many pictures in this post to try and go back and do it now. But just trust me. This was his favorite part of the day. In fact after the mining for gold we went and had a little snack. All the other kids were scarfing on popcorn but my son said no thank you to any popcorn and instead spread out his napkin in front of him so he could sort his rocks into like piles. Like I have said before...gotta love my little nerd.

Then after the snack we got to ride on a little train that went around the entire property. It was like a 20 minute ride and both kids loved it. The Girl went a little bit postal at first when I told her she had to sit next to me and couldn't climb around all crazy (they were just little seats...there really wasn't any sort of enclosure to hold her in place...) until the train started moving and she understood. She is still talking about the "choo choo twain..."

After that we headed over to the carousel. Guess who took one look at it and decided he wasn't interested?
And guess who pointed furiously and said, "I want it...I want it..."?
After that we went on a big corn maze thing and then went and had a nice picnic lunch. Like I said, it was a long drive to get there but in the end it was great. The Boy had a great time with his friends and his sister had a blast too. It was a really nice day. I'll try and remember that next year when I get the attitude...

Then it was time for THE EVENT. I can't remember how much I have posted about this here but way back in spring, on one of the Saturdays The Ex had The Boy she asked me if she could plant some seeds with him in the backyard. I said sure and then came home to find she had planted watermelons, corn, peas and pumpkins in a tiny little space on my side yard. I don't know a whole lot about gardening, but I do know that the things she picked are things that like to spread the hell out. Watermelons go EVERYWHERE. And so do peas and of course the pumpkins. The corn at least just goes up. So while I appreciated the concept of planting with our kid, I was was less than enthused at her choice of veggies.

Fast forward months later and the watermelon never grew (funny how that happens when a certain Mommy doesn't "remember" to water that particular plant...), the corn had grown and been eaten and pulled out, the peas had grown and produced enough peas to make the boy happy and then had been killed by the GINORMOUS pumpkin plant that took over my entire side yard and was trying to move into the regular backyard. I bitched and bitched about this plant constantly. I told The Ex she had to get rid of it...I took clippers and cut the hell out of the thing several times. Until one day I noticed a small pumpkin growing near the back door. It continued to grow (and it was the only one) amongst an insane amount of vines and leaves. Anyway, about three weeks ago we took the pumpkin out of the "garden" (HA!) and it has been sitting on the front porch. Well last week The Ex came over and carved it for The Boy. He was SO excited. It actually was quite big. Again, this post is ridiculously long enough but I could post pictures of the plant and the pumpkin itself but I will spare you all.

The pumpkin that he himself grew from a seed had made it into a full-fledged pumpkin and was now carved into his latest obsession: bats. He couldn't have been more thrilled. Here is the finished product...
After all that it was time for The Boy's Halloween Parade at school, which I have already posted about... Then it was time for THE BIG DAY!!

The Boy started asking if he could trick or treat at about 7:15am. Sigh...loooooonnngg day... Anyway, we decided to start out the evening at the gay boyfriends' house. They decorate their house all up so we took the kids and headed over. The Boy didn't wear his costume cause he can't ride in the car with it (kinda hard to fit in a car seat with a tail...), but The Girl was ALL decked out in hers. My daughter was The Cat in the Hat. And she couldn't have been happier about it. It is one of her favorite shows on right now and was so excited to put it on. She even tolerated the hat for a little while. Here she is running around the backyard of the boyfriends' house...
After we had a little snack there (kids AND adults; my mom and grandmother came with us to their house) we went over to my brother's house for the trick or treating. They have a great neighborhood so we have been going there for the past few years. Here is The Boy all dressed up and ready to hit the streets!
And again, here is his crazy sister playing peek a boo with her hat... (We all know I am pretty damn cynical, but my daughter playing peek with her hat? Perhaps one of the cutest things I have witnessed in my entire life...)
There are a ton more pictures but they all have a bunch of kids in them so you will just have to take my word when I tell you that they both had a grand time. My daughter, although she is a mere 18 months old, quickly got into the groove of things. She would march up to the doors with her brother and cousins and yell "tick teet!" and then run away before actually getting any candy. She thought it was hysterical. I had brought the umbrella stroller because, well...she's 18 months old and it was late..., and she wanted NO part in that. She walked the entire way (except for a few times when I picked her up because she wasn't moving fast enough). Her brother, true to character, after about the third block asked me if HE could sit in the stroller if his sister wasn't going to. So my almost-5-year-old rode in the stroller while his 18-month-old sister walked the entire way. Gotta love them.

And is a picture of the one time The Girl actually remembered to get candy before she ran off again...
As my 93 year old grandmother would say... "A good time was had by all."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Halloween Parade

My son had his first ever big Halloween parade at his school on Friday. He has been in daycare since he was 3 months old but this school he's at now has 4 classrooms and way more people than before. So this was big for him.

The costume? I'm not sure if I've mentioned in on here before but he wanted to be Lizard Man from the Spiderman TV show. He watches Spiderman with his Mom (the Ex) and this is one of the bad guys. Basically it is some scientist named Dr. Connors that is working in the lab and he drinks some potion and becomes a lizard. And thus Lizard Man is born. I did a quick google search and found this image of a Lizard Man bobblehead for your reference:

So that is Lizard Man. But back to his costume, I put The Ex entirely in charge of his costume this year. I reminded her that back before he was born she talked about how she was going to whip out her sewing machine and make him the best costume in the world every year and he was going to be the envy of every kid. Well...this would be our 4th Halloween and I have seen no home-made costumes. So she took my challenge and said she would be completely in charge of his costume this year.

So this has been their thing. They planned it all together, they picked it out, they went to the fabric store and, true to her word, she sat down at her sewing machine and made our boy Lizard Man. She bought a lizard base (which was a dinosaur but she had to take all the "spikes" off the back and tail) and the bought a lab coat and some fabric and sewed purple pants and made the tail fit through it all... It is pretty good. I have to say she totally stepped up to the plate. He loves it. And I give credit where credit is due. She did really good.
It's hard to see in this picture but she made him happy and that's all that matters.

So here's the funny part. He has talked about this all week. Every day he has asked me how many days until his parade. He tried on the costume; he checked it hanging in his closet every night. He was stoked about this parade, I'm telling you. So we get there and get out of the car and I put his costume on and all of a sudden he has the face like he's going to cry. What the hell? So I kneel down and ask him what's going on and he says he just doesn't want to scare people. Huh? What? But for some reason he seemed to have a case of performance anxiety or something. Or that this big parade was all of a sudden a little bit scary, or whatever it was. But he got shy and weepy but braved through.

My gay boyfriend came with me because The Ex had to work and my mom couldn't come. It was sorta funny showing up with this hot guy after pretty much all of them had figured out that I was gay. Made them turn their heads a bit. And my son's favorite aide asked me if he was my brother (she and I have talked openly lots of times) because The Boy kept referring to him as Uncle B. I told him that he was my gay boyfriend and that he was a big part of The Boy's life etc... But we laughed about what everyone else was thinking.

The Boy got into it once we got inside his classroom and he did some crafts and stuff. And he marched the parade like a big boy. My little Lizard Man.

Oh and of course his sister was there too...