Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Do all two year olds have it in for the baby?

Particularly at nap time?




It's inevitable that when I get Thing Two to sleep, Thing One starts screaming. And, the attempted nap is aborted.

Yesterday, Thing One wasn't home in the morning (Thanks Grandma!) and Thing Two slept for FOUR HOURS!!!!! (almost).

Today, nothing.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Junk Mail

I get an e-mail almost every day in my spam folder admonishing me to be a teacher.

"be a teacher, Ann" it says.

I laugh a little every day.

I was a teacher.

I am a teacher.


Silly spam.

A couple of weeks ago, after attending 2 days of staff meetings a coworker helped me carry some stuff to the car and we had a conversation about how we had to leave the classroom to become better teachers.

Pretty regularly these days I have flashbacks. Good ones, to when I was in the classroom every day, teaching to my hearts content. Using up more energy than I thought I had (at the time) and drinking more cokes and eating more ritz crackers than one should consume in a day. I remember counting my steps walking to and from the office and always looking down in the halls, because that's what I did when I was in school. I think about parent teacher conferences, kids I liked, kids I didn't, my wall of quotes, the year my entire room was decorated with American flags, and loving history. Loving every minute of teaching my curriculum - of teaching kids to think for themselves, and be able to back up their opinions with evidence and thought.

The other day, I was even thinking about if I could have been pregnant and teach at the same time. I don't think that I could have. It may have killed me, or, like with everything else, I probably would have just done it. Showed up every day and done my thing.

There is a new high school being built by my house. The thought of teaching in a new school is so appealing to me. I would be so good now. I left the classroom five years ago this coming March, and in the last five years I have learned so much about theory, and technology, and how to engage kids, that a prospective classroom of mine could absolutely come alive with energy and enthusiasm and a love of learning.

But, alas.

There is a lot holding back that thought as well. The time necessary to dedicate to good teaching. The low pay, the crowded classrooms, the goober kids. My intense desire to be home with my kids, and not send them to a sitter all day long.

And then I had another though. I still am a teacher. Always have been and always will be. It's the only thing I really know how to do. The only thing I've ever really been good at. Whether it's teaching a class in church, or teaching my boys how to shoot free throws or read books, or answering that blasted, "Why, mom?" every ten seconds, or helping my dad with his computer homework, I'm still a teacher. Every single day.

As I was approaching my last year of college, ages ago, my mom's advice to "graduate with a marketable skill" was hovering over my head. I'd been ignoring her for years and then in a gut-wrenching panic - I realized she was right. I needed a skill.

Then 5 semesters at 19-21 hours a piece later, plus two jobs, plus student teaching I had that marketable skill and credentials and I've never looked back. A teacher in my department once asked me after a class change day where my line was longer than everyone elses, why kids wanted to be in my class so bad. My snarky reply, "Because I wear tight sweaters", was meant as a joke. I figured it was pretty obvious why kids wanted to be in my class. Because we had fun learning. But, maybe it was because of the tight sweaters. I'll never know.

One day, I see myself getting back into a classroom somewhere. If I'm that lucky. And I hope that the kids "stuck" in the desks in my room will feel lucky too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Watching people jump in unison makes me smile

Last April, tickets for the Killers went on sale. Knowing that the band was Ross' exclusive "president" for about a 6 month period I asked him if he wanted to go and it could be part of his birthday present.

At first he said, "Who would I go with?"

I told him that if I could have a seat and not get general admission tickets that I'd go with him.

At the end of the purchase, the $24 dollar tickets ended up costing me $100 (Happy Birthday!) and we had a date on the calendar - for the last Saturday in September.

That was last night. Can't say that I was really looking forward to it, but I went.

We went late, hoping to miss the opening acts. We missed one and were "lucky" enough to see a punk rock band perform as their alter ego mariachi band.


The Killers however, excellent. They were excited and enthusiastic and you could really tell that they not only love their job, but love their music.

I had a good time. Well, once they started singing songs that have been on the radio and I knew what they were, then I had a good time.

As luck would have it, we ended up sitting right by my good friends Codi and Blake. I'm sure it was a one in one thousand chance that you end up sitting by someone who you didn't even know what going to the show except for like, an hour before.

Anyway - it was fun. I'd see them again. The show reminded Ross and me of the first (and only) time we saw ColdPlay. Almost 7 years ago at Salt Air. It was before they were famous and full of themselves, and before they made crap music. It was at the time, one of the best concerts either of us had ever been too.

Last night probably topped that - and I know it did for Ross.

And - no concert experience would be complete without crazy creepy dancers...all standing right next to us. And, the kids who managed to film it all on their cell phones and send it to their friends.

We had some girl who danced so provocatively that it was like she was doing a strip tease with her clothes on. Or, the creepy old guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt and tight Khaki shorts (with a braided leather belt) who not only danced the night away, but had his own hand actions for most of the songs. Gotta love the people who love the music more than the band.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I love...

...Honey Crisp Apples

...Fall air

...helpful husbands

...anti-depressants that are fixing my anxiety issues

....this boy
The tank is a little big for the bumbo

...and these boys
fun at snowbird

...saying what I think ALL THE TIME, even if some people don't get it

...going for walks

...pandora radio on my iphone

...positive reinforcement in many forms

...little boys who tell me that I cooked the best dinner ever!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a couple of milestones

a bit more bragging from this pleased as punch mama.

the Squirt is 4.5 months old today. I told his dad last night, before falling asleep, that I cannot even remember being pregnant - that it feels like a lifetime ago. This little guy of mine is sure growing up fast.

Last week, after his 4 month check-up we started rice cereal....with a pinch of sugar of course.

He loves it. Absolutely loves it. He reminds me of a baby bird. When he sees the spoon coming he opens wide and starts to giggle.

Being such a big kid, like his brother, Ross and I were pretty certain that some of those important gross motor skills like rolling over, sitting up, etc. would be a bit delayed. They were with the Monkey, so why not with the Squirt.

Well, with a lot of motivational talks between the two of us and a few attempts to teach him how, my chubby wubby rolled over this morning. Unproded. No help at all. All by his little old self. In fact, he did it about six times and on the seventh? Well, he seemed to have forgotten how to roll over and just yelled at me instead.

It was so cute.

I am so proud.

And, because all mama's need to give equal love and face time to their munchkins, here's the other one.

We went to the zoo last week with my dad, and the video speaks for itself. That kid of mine loves the "rhinerocerous" and I love to hear him say it. Over and over and over again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Boys Friday: The importance of size

Yesterday we took the Squirt to his 4 month appointment. He weighs 20 pounds (well, 19.11 so we'll round up) and is 26.5 inches long. That puts him in the 90% percentile, overall.


He is currently wearing 12 month clothes and doesn't have a whole lot of room to maneuver. He doesn't have ankles and is so solid, that when you squeeze his leg, there is hardly any give.

He is also starving - we got the okay from the pediatrician to start him on rice cereal STAT and in the next few weeks move him to cereal and fruits, and then vegetables, and then the food flood gates will surely open wide.

Here's the funny thing - this little baby - my little squirt - is smaller than his brother was at 4 months old. When I hold my little ball of goo, the heft of him really takes it's toll on my shoulders and arms. But, he still is a smaller than the monkey was.

By 2 pounds, and almost an inch.
sitting up018

I've been thinking about the size of my boys a lot lately. They both happen to be bigger than anyone their age. A lot bigger. Ridiculously bigger. I've also spent some time thinking about the future of this size of thiers. A few weeks ago, after Sunday dinner at my parents, we plugged our measurements into an online calculator to see just how big my Monkey might end up when he's full height. The numbers were calculated and the prediction was about 6'6". With that thought, that my boy could be a bit of a giant, I was a bit giddy, smiling from ear to ear.

It gets me excited for the Squirt, too. That he is on the same trajectory as his older brother - that my boys will be giant boys.

And what if they are athletic?

And what if they are really good athletes?

And what if they play college ball?

And what if they win me a NCAA tournament championship?

And what if they follow their mothers advice and marry tall girls?

Then just think about my grandchildren.

If only I could be so lucky. A mother can dream, right?

And then I got to thinking....
About how much I love being tall, and big. And about how excited I am that my boys are big. How cute my chubby baby is, and how great my lean, mean giant two year old is.

I know that there are lots of things in life more important than size. Like intelligence, and kindness, and courage, and virtue....

But I have to be honest with you, tall is pretty important to me, too.

And, the fact that my boys are probably going to be taller than your kids, well?

I think that's wicked awesome.

And, because I'm their mom, I'm sure they'll be smarter, too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's like when I was 12 years old and madly in love with Kirk Cameron

Admit it, you were too.

I like to read.

I read a lot.

I love that at 4 months in with a new baby, I'm starting to find the time to read again.

And, I've got a bit of an obsession.

"The Hunger Games" and "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins.

I don't read series books and have always tried to stay away from what's popular. You will not find a single "Twilight" or "Harry Potter" book in the house.

But these two books have got me hooked and hooked good. I've read them both but am going to buy them. I must own them. I haven't wanted to actually own books for years. I'm recommending them to everyone I can - and now internet, to you.

There is one more in the series.

It doesn't come out until September 2010. I love the other two so much that it might actually kill me to wait an ENTIRE YEAR to read the final installment.

Oh Peeta!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Squirt:: 4 Months

Oh my baby!
You are so sqishy.
And adorable.
And happy.

I love you lots and lots.

You weigh, unofficially of course, about 20 pounds and are about 26 inches long. You are wearing 12 month clothes and have no ankles.

You sleep through the night, from about 8 or 9 to 6 in the morning. I wish that there were some naps during the day, but since you'd miss SO MUCH if you were asleep, I guess three 30 minute naps a day is all that you need. Your grandpa says that your lack of interest in day time sleep must mean you are a genius - that would be cool. So would a long nap in the afternoon, too.

You are a hunk-a-hunk a burning love. I love to kiss you and tickle you and talk to you and tell you stories and listen to the stories you tell me in return.

You can almost sit up all by yourself and have two teeth starting to come in. Poor little guy. I'm sorry that mine and your dad's genes make baby teeth come in so early and in sets of two. You're being a real trooper though. A real slobbery boogery trooper.

fun at snowbird

Thank you for smiling.

Thank you for sleeping through the night.

Thank you for laughing and talking and giving me big slobbery wet kisses on my cheeks.

Thank you for being smart and alert and soft and squishy.

Thank you for "going with the flow" and taking life in stride.

Since the day you were born, I've called you my little Zen baby. It's so true. You are the calm in our home and the peace in our day. No matter what happens, what I'm worried about, or what our moods are, you make everyone around you happy.

I love you little squirt.

He found his hands

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Full Circle, once again

This past weekend marks the start of one of the most stressful weeks of my life, last year. That of course, ended with glorious results.

You see, last summer we decided that adding another monkey to the family would be a good one wants just one monkey swinging through the trees because we all know that a solitary monkey has the potential to just be really desperate and sad and cooky and not just fling poo but maybe eat it (okay, gone to far, sorry).

Anyway - adding a monkey to the family. The idea of it was exciting and terrifying at the same time. What would I do with two kids? How could I take care of one busy toddler while another one, to be determined, was making me sick at the same time? What about all the progress I was making on weight watchers trying to slim down? What if it was a girl?

Well, in the grand scheme of things, we realized that those questions iron themselves out and that no time is the "perfect" time to add a monkey to the family...

You just wait and see and pray that it's in the cards. That there is another special little person waiting to join the ranks.

That gets us to this week.

Last year at this time I didn't feel well. I hadn't felt well for several days, but just blew it off and kept it to myself. It was Labor Day weekend and I was watering a friends flowers and then decided to just mow her lawn, too. My boys were going to run some errands and stopped to check on me on their way out of the neighborhood.

My husband asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was either pregnant or dying.

Shock to his system I'm sure.

Later that day we went to Target - as a family - and spent a ton of money on useless items to hide the fact that we were buying a certain type of test.

We got home.

I took the test.



I felt awfully sick and miserable, but those tests are 99.9% accurate, right?


So I resigned to the fact that I must be dying, threw on some clean clothes and went to a family barbecue.

The next day...still felt awful. Just decided to deal with it. When the awful didn't subside at all that day or the next, I did two things.

Took the second test from the pack.



And talked to my friends Mr. Google and Web MD about what could possibly be wrong with me.




Psychotic episode?

Still didn't feel well.

Made Ross buy more tests.

Took two more.

Both negative.

By this time, it's Thursday night and I'm losing my mind.

We have a long discussion that night - about what's wrong with me. We decide that I'll take the final test in the morning, just to be sure. Then, when it's negative, I'll call my doctor and make an appointment to see if in fact, I am dying.

Ross alarm goes off that Friday morning. I bolt out of bed and pee on a stick.

I watch the digital timer do it's timer thing.

I don't have to watch long.

It's positive!

Holy freaking crap!


After a week of negatives.


I walk out of the bathroom and climb back into bed.

I tell my husband that I just took the last test.

He says, "And?"

I say, "We're going to have a baby, probably in May."

But just to be certain, I made him go and buy a few more tests, that I took. They were all positive, too.

fun at snowbird

And now, a year later, look at what we've got. A little squishy squirt of our own. The most adorable, squishy, even-tempered, brilliant ball of goo on the face of the Earth.

And he's all ours.

And we love him lots and lots.

Full Circle, the first time (incase you want to read it again)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Beer, Brats, and the Brilliantly Dressed!

As an ode to Labor Day, we spent the night with my family up at Snowbird and had a glorious time. Thanks parentals! (more details and pictures later....)

Because we just aren't in "the know" about such things, no one in our party knew that it was Oktoberfest this weekend at the resort. It didn't really matter except that there were a billion people and that the lines for activities like the Apline Slide were super long.

No worry though - while I was waiting for members of our party to come down the slide from their hour long wait, I couldn't help but take pictures of some of the cooky folks hanging around, having a great time. There were more people than I dared to take pictures of during the day, but these are of course, some of my favorites, that just needed to be shared with you all.


Get the flash player here:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

One of the ways we communicate

When my brother was little, we played a game. I would say a word, then he'd say a word, then I'd say a word. We'd tell stories that way, usually cracking ourselves up about 10 words in and starting over.

We're both older now, and have moved onto more mature forms of communication.

Now, we text.

We text movie lines. I'm not sure what the "rules" to our new game are, but we both seem to know when the rules have been broken, and how to play the game.

We play when sitting in the same room, laughing at each other from across the living room carpet.

Here was our game from the other night.
Willie: Ferris Beuhler, you're my hero

Annie: When Cameron was in Egypt land

Willie: Nein........................ten?

Annie: Dude, where's my car?

Willie: I was hiding under your porch because I love you

Annie: Nobody puts baby in a corner.
I love you so much it's retarded

Willie: Nobody stabs my bus

Annie: Wuv. Twoo wuv.

Willie: I want to be a sweater vest enthusiast
He's only part dead

Annie: Kick boxing. You know, sport of the future.

Willie: You guys aren't a-the-letes....Since when does athlete have 3 syllables

Annie: If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter

You get the idea. There was more, much more but most of it had to do with HomeStar Runner and Strongbad, and I've just got to spare you that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

33 years

Today is my parents 33 wedding anniversary.

I've been scrolling through my online pictures and I cannot find one of my parents together.



33 years. That's a long time. My parents are pretty young. They got married pretty young. With the exception of my brother, they had kids pretty young.

They have both always worked and worked hard to give their kids (and grandsons, and sons in law) the best in life.

I love my parents.

Very much.

I had the thought this morning that when my mom and dad got married, my dad was in school, finishing his bachelors degree. And now, 33 years later, my dad is back in school.

Starting over, so to speak.

You see -my dad has always had a job. A J-O-B. He's always been a hard worker and taken care of us. But now, after a bit of soul searching I suppose, my dad is going back to school. He's truly starting over.

He quit his job.

Jobs are funny things. Most of us want one, all of us need one to feel good about ourselves and be productive members of society. Some of us are lucky enough to have careers - a profession that we love and are passionate about - but most of us...we have jobs.

I read once that the average American has about 14 jobs in their lifetime and switches careers a couple of times these days.

My dad's old job had been his for the last 17 years. But, after a lot of thinking, soul searching, whatever you want to call it - he decided that the time was right to jump ship and finally find something that he WANTS to do - instead of HAS to do.

You have to have a job - I think it's super cool that my dad finally has the chance to find a career, a path, a future.

Even if he's a grandpa.

And a little scared of his computer technology class.

He's doing it.

Taking the plunge.

Being bold and brave.

It's awesome.

Life always seems to take us full circle - lots of times I suppose.

This is just one of those times.


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