Friday, February 27, 2009

he pretty much double dog dared me

the last thing my doctor said to me as I was leaving his office yesterday morning was this:

"I have total faith that you can have a 13 pound baby!"

Is that a challenge?

It is now -

place your "bet" in the comments, and if you want to make it interesting, and live close or know my address, or will see me soon, bring, donate or send a dollar.

Winner takes all.

the money.

not the baby.

I get to keep him.

Update: The goal is to make it to 39 weeks, and as of right now, all signs point to that happening. That's one week case that influences your guess.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The end of a season


I'm not a coach. I've been a coach (does assistant to the sophomore girls for three years count for much?) and like all the other members of my family, I live and breathe basketball, can diagram a good play, disect a zone defense, and have way too much opinion for the gym. I was a decent girls team athlete in my day...though that day will have to live on in the glory years of my brother....and my boys. We'll get our NCAA championship one day, I know we will.

That being said, yesterday was the end to a very disappointing junior high season. Good thing it's only 7 games in one month - I'm not sure our basketball gene could take much more chaos.

My brother is (pardon my language) a Damn good basketball player. One of the better 14 year old basketball players I've seen, especially for his size (and guess what - like his older sister, there aren't many kids his size out there). I mean, the kid is 6'1" weighs over 200 lbs and is a force to be reckoned with on the court.

The excitement of making the junior high team, and the adrenaline rush of the first two wins quickly disappeared when said brother, and all the parents (and older sisters) in the stands quickly realized that, like most coaches, he didn't get it - didn't know what kids to play when, and threw away the following 4 games - blow out doesn't even do the losses justice.

But, in our family we have a work ethic and a "stick-to-it-ness" that even in my years of teaching I didn't see in many kids (heck, I don't see it in many adults to tell you the truth). My brother's got it and he persevered... he didn't get much time, got pulled the second he made a mistake, and so on but he fought through.

Then, we get to yesterday. The last game of the season. The game that, even with a losing record, if the team could pull it out and win, they would go to the playoffs. The coach, at the last game, finally found his line up. Isn't it great of coaches to figure it out at the end of the season? Yeah - same when I played basketball, too.

Will the Thrill was part of that new, pretty dynamic line-up. He went in with 3 min.left in the first, played all the second, almost all the third, and all the 4th. He didn't score that many points, had 3 blocks and countless rebounds and a defensive play at the end of the game that was collegiate in athleticism. He was double teamed the entire game and more important than anything - my brother decided to step-it-up and be the team leader. Being an 8th grader amongst 9th graders, and the kid who didn't make the team last year he's had a tough time finding his role.

Yesterday though? It came to him naturally - that brother of mine is a born leader. He was talking, guiding, cheering his team mates on, to what we thought would be a victory. Unfortunately, the coach didn't see the need to keep that dynamic line-up in the game. He switched things up. The hard fought for one point lead at halftime disapeared. Before we knew it, the "wrong" kids were in and we were down by 12 or more - unable to claw and fight back on top.

The season ended. I think, for our family at least, it was one of those Moral Victory's you hear about. You know the kind - you didn't win the fight, but you proved your point and took a stand and that's made you all the better person.

And even more important than that? That brother of mine, who also happens to be the best uncle in the world....has created a monster - I mean protoge in his little, newly obsessed with passing, rebounding, dribbling, and shooting little nephew. A little buddy who is now sleeping with a ball, just to be on the safe side.


Who also happens to be his biggest fan.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

warning: bath tubs are slippery when wet

he slipped in the tub, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Some history. When Ross was 18 months old he somehow broke his collar bone. Throughout his life he has broken several bones sometimes requiring surgery.

Though accident prone by nature (the term, "Hey Grace, how's charm school" rings a bell) nothing serious has ever happened to me. I did once break my finger once playing basketball.

I come from a family of realitive (knock on wood) safety and no emergency room visits - my husband? Not so much. That being said, my boy is a combination of his parents - and definitely party klutz.

This morning for example. The water was drained from the tub and it was time to get out. The boy didn't want to get out - he wanted to jump and dance instead. He did and immediately slipped and bonked his head.

I scooped him up to see the welt immediately form on his head and turn purple, just like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. He screamed so hard and for so long I was certain he was going to die. Or at least pass out and/or throw up on me. Once he calmed down, I think the crying was more out of embarrassment - getting hurt bare naked isn't fun for anyone, especially a sensitive little two year old.

He eventually recovered after what felt like hours of rocking, took two tylenol, and then proceeded to participate in his new favorite past time. Passing the ball.

Before his nap however, he crashed into my bedside table, the wall, and almost fell down a couple of stairs playing catch. It just wasn't his morning.

For once in his life, at nap time, he willingly went to the safety of his crib, and his books, and his blanket and immediately fell fast asleep.

And I keep checking on him to make sure his head hasn't exploded yet.

Friday, February 20, 2009

he's pretty extrordinary


We had a rough morning yesterday - one that resulted in tears on both sides. How do you teach a two year old that he cannot kick his "mama fat tummy baby" in the stomach? I don't know either.

Once lunch was served (early) the morning ended when the boy when down for a very early nap. He was a different kiddo upon waking up and we had fun. We ran some errands - one of which involved being somewhere close to ducks. Yes, ducks. We saw them and Elliott immediately started telling me the colors ("white and orange mama") but unfortunately, they sniffed us out, assumed we had food and got too close. Very close. We did what any normal two year old wants to do when the animals get to close - we ran away!

We went to a store where he could play music and "ho" (translation: show) me everything.

We got a snack ("ooohhh french fries").

We went to cub scouts where he got to play and as we were leaving, got hugs from both of my co-leaders kids. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the hugs, but seemed very appreciative and had fun. Who knew other people had balls in their homes? Crazy.

After dinner my boys went to run some errands then it was home and time for bed. The Monkey DID NOT want to go to bed. At 9:45, well past his bedtime I took him to his room. Got my "I yuv you mama" and put him in bed, unsuccessfully.

As the crying escalated to screaming, I rescued him and oh my goodness! My sweet two year old....once we wiped the boogers away, he let me ROCK HIM TO SLEEP, just like when he was a baby. It was the best 10 minutes of my day. Reminded me of when he was itty bitty and didn't have opinions or kick me or get mad at me - just be sweet.

The rocking of course - didn't work and we moved on to plan B and then plan C before the kid finally conked out for the night.

but oh - those 10 minutes?


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Road Trippin....

were home.


double yeah.

so happy to be home.

we had a good time. it was a good trip. always fun to see family.

it was a long drive.


the monkey was so good. a few minor car meltdowns, but when you spend what feels like a lifetime trapped in a car seat, struggling to get out, you'd probably have a meltdown, too. Good thing that we had our GPS for him to play with, and guide the way to grandma's house.

calling grandma

lots of gas station rest rooms, some with so many old ladies letting loose behind stall doors that the enclosure smelled more like a barnyard than the facilities.

too many snacks consumed. not as many good meals as were used to, but that's what happens with a two year old who prefers a gas station corn dog to a real meal with a knife and fork.

kettle korn

when you are used to sleeping on a cal. king bed at home, a queen size in a hotel just doesn't cut it anymore.

family portrait

didn't take many pictures - mostly because there were already four million cameras taking pictures....if one of them is yours, and you read this blog, will you e-mail me some from weekend events?

very swollen ankles, sore back, puffy fingers. reminiscient of way back when. oh the memories.

swollen in san jorge

the monkey loves everyone. and the sun. and the turtles and fishes at the zoo. he even loves the strangers that sat behind us at lunch today. he also loves balls. and having money in his pockets. and nice mama's who buy him crap at gas stations because they feel bad he's been stuck in the car for so long.


on the road

Sunday, February 15, 2009

When in doubt, in and out...

Yesterday was Ross' Grandma Bea's 85th birthday. We came to AZ to celebrate. The party was great and my little Monkey not only met most of Ross' family for the first time, but he was an ANGEL. So good. So cheerful. So fun. He would just sit down and chat and socialize with folks and just gleaned onto some of Ross' younger cousins who would play with him (Thanks, Zac.)

The party was long and by the time we helped get things cleaned up it was nap time for mama and boy. We came back to our hotel room and I crashed....the Monkey did not.

Since he wasn't going to sleep - and I'd finished up with a stomach ache 2 weeks in the making, we headed out to a place called the Pita Jungle. A new place for us, and a little on the earthy, healthy, organic side. On the car ride there, of course, a certain little exhausted two-year-old fell asleep. One minute he's saying, "hello sun. I love you sun", and the next he's folded over in his car seat out cold.

We got to the pita place, woke the boy, walked in and were seated - then things took a turn for the worse. He started being, well, frantic. Like in a movie when the bad guys are closing in and the person the hero is trying to save starts to freak. He cried and cried and clawed and panicked. Ross took him for a walk - they came back and as soon as he saw the table it started all over again.

We ordered drinks - and the boys went to look at the kitchen - where a certain little person got happy. So pleasant in fact that the manager let us switch tables so we could see the action. We ordered - then the drama started again. The boy and I went to the bathroom -still freaking. We came back and our food came.

Ross got, well, a pita - which he said was very good. I forgot my insulin (silly diabetic) so I ordered a broiled chicken salad with a lemon vinaigrette - the salad had no dressing and the chicken was, yuck. We got the Monkey a strange combo plate of stuff - he ate the fruit, one piece of pasta, and then went ape crazy. This time, there was no turning back.

My boy and I left the restaurant giving Ross clear instructions to stuff his face and pay the bill. The place backed up to a man made "lake" with ducks. We spent some time following them around. Once outside, life was good again and my boy was fine - except both of us were hungry and one of us wanted only one thing - to go to a store. Yes, he didn't want to eat, he wanted to go shopping.

Ross met us outside. We got in the car. We were all frustrated and as I said - two-thirds of us were starving.

What's a family of three, having some intense struggles to do?

Go to the In-and-Out drive through of course. 2 burgers, one animal style one plain, a diet coke and some fries. Then, promises of a STORE.

That seemed to make all the difference in the world. For me at least. The burgers were great. The boy didn't want his, and with starving children all over the world, I wasn't about to let one special little burger to go waste so I downed both. Even plain, the In-and-Out burger tops them all.

We then went to a store - and bought ties, a Thomas the train, and a baby sling thing for me.

Then the boy ate his fries - cold.

And then, went and got one of these.....The sugar in the little sucker nearly killed me but oh, so good. Divine, really.

Bahama Rama Mama indeed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Someone once told me that today is supposed to be a holiday or something like that

Happy V-DAY!

We don't celebrate and give gifts to each other in our household, but that doesn't mean that we can't party like the rest of ya.

The Monkey and I got into the spirit of the day and made valentines. We couldn't make them for all those we love and admire, so unfortunately we had to be selective. If you didn't get one from us in real life, please accept this digital version.

We made our own V-day pins out of candy molds and plaster of Paris. Then, we painted - I helped but the boy did most of it. As you can see, he is quite the artiste.


 a handmade gift

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

my two boys

My boys are in very different places in their lives right now.

The oldest, my Monkey? Well, he loves to sing and dance and talk, talk, talk until even I am blue in the face. We have a great time together every day, especially in the mornings after the bath when I'm trying to get his clothes on. We have a routine, the two of us and it generally involves hiding under the covers, pretending to sleep, and singing songs.

See what I mean.

My other boy? The one who isn't here yet? The one we started simply calling squirt, but have graduated to Squirt Schnitzel Vladimir Periwinkle von Nebraska? Well, he doesn't do much, but does have a few likes, based off of today's ultrasound. He enjoys kicking, yawning, burrowing and we discovered this morning, he is all around cute. And, based off of the sort of creepy 3D imaging, we have found that he looks quite a bit like his older brother.

baby #2 profile

baby #2 face

baby #2 ear

PS - In case you're curious about the Squirts "giantosity"...the ultrasound technician spent an hour taking measurments - to eliminate as much error as possible. At 26 weeks, he is weighing in around 2 lbs 4 oz. According to, a child this "age" should weigh just over a pound.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Waiting for our refund

Ross filed our taxes last week.

Why so early? I'm not sure - maybe nervous that the government will run out of money by creating "stimulus packages" before everyone gets their refund?

Regardless, because we paid too much to the government (not my fault), have a kid, and a house, and donated a lot to charity and our church we're getting a sizable refund.

What are we going to do with that refund?

Pay off a credit card. The LAST credit card. We paid off three (two pretty substantial) in 2008!

Such a good feeling.

Once this card is paid off, our debts are down to three - student loan, car, house.

One baby step closer to being debt free.

Once again, thanks Dave.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Squirt Schnitzel Chowder Vladimir Periwinkle....

My monkey was a big boy before his official arrival. At the last ultrasound appointment a little less than a week before he was born, the technician and doctor both agreed that he was pushing 10 lbs and would be a chunk-a-chunk of burnin' love upon his arrival.

We know that didn't happen. He weighed in at 7 lb 12 oz and when we finally sprung him from the NICU 10 days later he weighed around 8 lb 6 oz. Then, the ballooning continued and by the time he was 4 months old he weighed 22 lbs.

In the long run, we (his parents, grandparents and uncle ME ME) hope that the Monkey is at least 6 foot 5 inches tall. That would be a good fit for him and won't he be oh so cute?


Yes. He. Will.

Moving on though - it seems that the monkey may have a run for his money. With full intention of avoiding technical information and all icky-ness associated with such things, I had a dr. appt. yesterday. At that appointment things were checked and measured. The measuring is what's important though - Squirt Schnitzel Chowder Vladimir Periwinkle is measuring nearly 4 weeks ahead of schedule.


That's interesting isn't it? Why is it interesting? It means a large child.

I've told Ross that this kid feels bigger and kicks harder. I think I was right.

10 pounder at birth?

We may be headed in that direction.

6 foot 5 at full height?

Let's shoot higher....6'11"?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sleep, where art thou?

I love to sleep. When I first started teaching high school I'd get home so wiped out on a Friday afternoon that I'd fall asleep by 4:30 pm and sleep until the next day, around 11:00 am. Yes, you just read it right. Usually my mom would come and check on me, and most the time I'd wake up with my pajamas on - no recollection of how or when it happened, but I'd sleep 18-19 hours. Every weekend.

There was a year where I pretty much slept through church - never got out of bed to actually go. Or on airplanes, in the car, on the floor, in a hotel, on the name it and I can crash out there - for hours if given the time.

Unfortunately, my beloved sleep is extremely elusive these days. I've been going to bed at the same time every night for months. And then, I lie awake. Maybe it's because I cannot shut off my brain. Maybe it's my hormones or the fact that a little squirt is using me for karate practice for at least 3 continuous hours every night. Maybe it's everything. Maybe it's nothing. Not quite sure.

Tired has always been pretty much synonymous with my name - ask my mom, my brother, my husband. As I said, I've always been able to sleep anywhere - except right now in the present time, in my bed at night when I'm supposed to.

This weekend though, I devised a new plan. I don't like it, but it's what I've got. Bedtime is now 12:30 am. I stay up and read, or do work at the kitchen table. Then when I finally do go to bed, I'm only up for about 30 minutes to an hour before I fall asleep, instead of 3-4 hours. Wake-up is 6:30 am. If I'm lucky, I can maintain that sleep mode (I seem to do my best sleeping right now between 4-6 am) through the shower and the Monkey is still out, I'll jump back into bed - allowing for some crazy hair styles once I finally do rise to face the day.

The dark circles under my eyes aside - this seems to have been working better for me. 5 hours a night of real sleep vs lying in bed for 8 + hours where I'm awake for over half the time?

You can survive on 5 hours a night, right?



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