Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finding a voice

Something we all work at, right? Finding our voice, our place in society, our role as a child, a spouse, a parent, a student....

I found my voice years ago, I think. Sometimes it falters, but early on I formed opinions and forged my existence - the high road - like robert frost said, "the road less taken".

I've always wanted to stand out - but not be noticed. Be a friend, but not have to be thanked. Be like my mom, but a little more on time (mom, remember all those times you were supposed to pick me up from school in Jr. High and you never came and I walked home? That's what I mean).

Today sucked. One of those icky, can't stand my life sort of days. Toilet training may be harder on the parent than the child. That's what I've decided anyway.

Tonight though, I went to my little brother's junior high choir concert. He was the only blond haired blue eyed boy in the whole concert choir. He stood out. He is finding his voice.

He loves to sing. He has always loved to sing. He sings all day long.

I love to sing with him.

His choir posse tonight did a rendition of "stand by me". It was pretty cool. He stood in the back, a little shy and embarassed, but sang loud and proud. If only his choir teacher could hear him sing that song on Friday's after school with Chunky and Allen and Parkie in the basement. Then, he'd have done a solo.

My two year old also loves to sing - he sings all day long. He has a new song. The tune fluctuates, but the words go like this: "I never get to go outside in the snow and the rain...."

I can't wait to see the blond blue-eyed boy that he'll turn into.

And Chicker? He's finding his voice, too. His voice is loud and powerful. He is making his presence known - and boy do I know what he's telling me. I don't know what he sounds like, but he screams all the day long. Since he doesn't sleep much, that's a lot of hours of loud, boisterous noise.

Imagine this screaming - this happy excited to be alive screaming, all day long.

Every single day.

remember - he doesn't nap.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's coming again.

It's almost here folks.


National Blog Posting Month is upon us, starting November 1st.

Are you ready? Can you do it?

Let's dance, break it down.

Monday, October 26, 2009

One of the bigger milestones

Toilet training

Something I desperately wanted for my 2 year old but something that after a few reckless attempts over the summer I'd failed at miserably.

As parents, we decided that we'd wait until the first Saturday in November for a toilet training barrage on the kiddo, once little league football was over and we were home on the weekend.

Well, Saturday night, the monkey had other plans. He'd been wearing, for kicks, "big boy pants" on some evenings and he wanted them on Saturday night.

With an hour or two of hawk-like supervision from dad, Elliott figured it out and peed in the toilet. He slept in underwear that night, woke up dry, and did awesome yesterday - even surviving a couple rides in the car.

Today - dry again in the morning and it's been mommy dearest on toilet patrol and guess what - I'm exhausted! Absolutely wiped out. I'm so proud of my boy, and he's doing great, but this constant supervision - along with everything else I'm supposed to get done today and taking care of the chicker has worn me out.

But, it's so worth it to know that there are no more diapers.

And he has such a cute skinny little butt.

To commemorate the occasion, enjoy a clip from music class. Watch my little non-participator/beat to his own drummer/space cadet in action. It's meant for another post, but my little fart is so much like me it's scary.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I love..., crisp air that makes your lungs burn a little when you breathe deeply...

...sunny days for little league football...
Beautiful day for football

...planting tulip bulbs with little helping hands and a spongebob squarepants shovel...

...the color of fall - RED. It's everywhere and I just cannot get enough...

...turning on the heat...

...the excitement generated by a two year old for cement trucks - it's powerful enough to blow the top off the car...

...wearing sweaters...

...deciding where to hide out on Halloween night so we don't have to be home and pass out candy...

...calling pumpkins, pukins, because it's more fun...

...the fact that my jeans are loose...

...the double stroller and a little forced brotherly love...
At football

...painting pumpkins instead of carving them...
Painting pumpkins

Painting pumpkins

Painting pumpkins

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Him: Hello

Me: Hi, can I yell at you for a minute?

Him: What did I do now?

Me: When you drive my car to the airport on Sunday afternoon while eating lunch, I would appreciate it if after you got home, you would take your dishes and drink cups out of my car.

Him: (laughing) Oh, sorry.

Me: The car stinks like crusty pickles. When we opened the door, Elliott said, "Oooh mama, what's that stinky smell?" (note: There was a bowl on the floor of my car with 3-5 crusty and molting pickles, left over from some sort of sandwich)

Him: Sorry, I forgot.

Me: It's pretty gross. I've left everything in the garage for you. Goodbye.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandmama!

fun at snowbird

Today is my mom's birthday.

I invited the whole famdamily over for dinner.

I spent the entire afternoon cooking. We used the china and the fancy glasses. And table cloths with fancy festive napkins. Not until the table was cleared did I remember that I forgot that I wanted to take pictures. Trust me though, it was beautiful.

The dinner menu was splendid:
Balsamic glazed chicken
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Salad with crasins, green onions, and carmelized shallots and a homemade balsamic-rosemarry vinagrette
Homemade rolls from Haley and James

and for dessert
Spice cake with homemade caramel frosting

Oh, it was a yummy meal. And worth all the time it took to prepare it. Anything for my mom.

It's funny how I've always appreciated and loved my mom but not until I had kidlets of my own, did I truly get it. I finally know not only what it means to be a mom, but what a good mom I've got, and what a great mom she's always been for me and my sitster and my brother....and my cousins, and the kids she's been a school counselor and advocate for, and the neighborhood kids, and anyone else who might need her help.

She takes care of everyone.

Most importantly though -

She still takes care of me and my boys. I love my mom now, because she loves being a grandma to my crazy babies.

And that means more than words.

Happy Birthday Momacita!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Boys Friday: A brief glimpse into a small chunk of our afternoon

wwh october

It's been an interesting week - one in which Thing 1 isn't interested in Thing 2 at all. He says that the baby smells like puke.

All the time. Even when he doesn't.

Our morning have been like this. The Chicker and I go into Thing 1's room when he wakes up. We sing him his good morning song. He lifts his head up, looks at us and says Good Morning back. Then we sit on his bed and he looks at us, sniffs, and says, "Mom - take Wyatt out of here he smells like puke."

Which he doesn't.

Brotherly Love.

The other day I got out my camera however and tried to document this "brotherly love" in action.

I tried to get a picture of the boys together. It didn't work. As I was giving directions, Elliott was choking his brother a bit....which is probably why Wyatt puked all over him. Then our picture togetherness was over.




In fact, my failed attempts at togetherness caused quite a stink in the form of bedroom destruction and dirty looks.




Since the Chicker and I were being ignored however, we took the time to practice some very important skills.

Sitting and playing with balls...


and scoring touchdowns.

And what was our grumpy big brother doing while we were practicing our sweet skills?
Riding his train in the hall.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

so i've been thinking...

Dumb Dora the Explora may be everything that is wrong with society. And her sidekick Diego - he's another issue.

Those shows - we made it almost 3 years without introducing the dynamic duo into our home and I can't even tell you how they found their way onto our television set and into my 2 year olds mind. One minute we're watching Super Why!, then Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then Dora. Obviously, it's my fault but I cannot remember how it happened.

But, it did.

And last night, I bought the kid a Diego shirt. With long sleeves. He may be in love with it.

What is the world coming to?

There are many, many reasons I don't like these two shows, but I think the biggest reason is...

they suck!


How come none of the animals even resemble real animals at all - not even close.

Why can some animals talk, but others only make their native animal sound.

Who decided which animals can only speak Spanish, while others are English speakers and others are bilingual?

Does anyone have a kid that actually talks back to the dumb cartoon that is waiting for a response? Mine doesn't -he just stares.

Why does Dora yell?

If swiper "swipes" stuff - then how come he doesn't actually steal it - he just throws it somewhere and Dora has to find it?

If Diego is an animal rescuer in a jungle - somewhere maybe in South America - then why does he just swing on his vine and show up in Antarctica with the polar bears or under the ocean with a whale shark?

Re-runs....why!!!!! Aren't there literally years of these shows? Then why are the same episodes on two days in a row? In our house, we're smart enough to realize that it's the same episode over and over again.

At least then - we're also smart enough to change the channel.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Squirt:: 5 months

Good morning, Chicker.


You are 5 months old today.

I love you!

There is so much to say, and will never be enough time or space.

You are big in everything. Big in spirit, in size, in calm temperament, in appetite, in enthusiasm for life. Every minute you are with us you are more excited than the last. And, the other day you picked up a golf ball that was rolling around on the tray of your walker. I was very impressed.


You are still the king of puke - but it's getting better, especially the more "real food" you eat. Yesterday, you tried applesauce and loved it. You are definitely a cereal and sauce guy. Anything that gets us a step closer to no more bottle is always good. Food is so much better than soy formula - I promise.

You can sit up, almost completely by yourself, your front two teeth are this close to popping through, and even though you were a pro at rolling over a few weeks ago - your girth seems to have gotten in the way. It's much easier to have mom and dad and grandma carry you around, isn't it?


You love your cousin Maddie who helps take care of you a couple afternoons a week, as well as all the other people who smile and laugh at you.

The new stroller is a hit, and riding in the car at night is good - even if you have to ride backwards.


You love to laugh and smile and sing songs all the day long. Whenever I'm having a bad day, a few kisses of your squishy cheeks seems to always make everything better.

Napping is getting better - meaning that every once in a while you are actually taking one longer than 35 minutes and I just love you for it. Forever.

Most importantly, you love your brother and that makes me so happy. One day soon enough you'll be able to get to him and slobber on him and chase him - but for now, laughing at him seems to be just enough. Even though he thinks your a stinky puker. Your goofy brother has taken to calling you his little chickermunker and whether you like it or not, "Chicker" is probably going to be your nickname for the rest of your life. It'll grow on you, promise.


Oh sweet boy!

We love you lots and lots.

Keep growing and loving life and flourishing. It is so exciting to watch you!

Friday, October 09, 2009

My Boys Friday: 2 of a kind

, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

We got a new toy this week - a double stroller. Something we should have thought about investing in long ago.

The boys love it. I love it.

We're in love....with the stroller.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Department of Redundancy, Department


On Monday, I tried to sync my beloved babysitter and friend, the iphone, to my computer.

I got error messages.

My phone got erased and sent back to the land of factory settings.

After several more attempts, I got my contacts, calendar and pictures back but that was it.


Yeah, but not as much as would be expected by such a loss. I told my husband that my medication must be working, because the un-drugged Annie would have totally freaked out - and probably thrown something and broken it. Yeah for meds!

We (I mean Ross) finally got around to calling AT&T and subsequently Apple last night to try and figure out the fatal error message I was getting.

No help.


AT&T cannot help, because it wasn't a service issue and Apple wouldn't help because we didn't pay for the super duper extra help when we bought the phone.


We joked between the two of us, Ross and I, that maybe my phone had a virus. Ha, ha!

The Apple guy did give a small piece of advice - that some how I had changed all my folders around on my computer and my phone couldn't find the path.

I didn't buy that! Not good advice at all.

So, I took to the internets and started googling.

Found message boards discussing the same kind of problem and it gave me an idea.

On Monday, when I plugged my phone in, I'd used a third party USB, from my charger, to do so.

Last night, I plugged it in again using an Apple USB.

It synced.

Just fine.

No problemo.

How stupid is that!!!!!!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

hey mom, look at me

photo.jpg, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

See this cute boy?

He doesn't like pants.

It's cold out.

We've got a deal figured out. He can wear shorts and a long sleeve shirt or long pants and a short sleeve shirt.

You can see what he chose today.

The duckie slippers are too small, but that's what he wanted instead of shoes.

Once the knit hat was placed on his head to complete the ensemble, he turned to me and said...

"Mom, I'm pretty good looking and beautiful in this hat."

Yes, Napoleon, you are.

Now, go feed Tina and fix yourself a dang ka-sa-dee-uh!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


It seems that I've always been a bit on edge. Okay, a lot on edge. One of those, glass is half empty kind of folks. Panic should be my middle name.

It is important to me to always have a plan (even though I don't always want to be the one doing the planning), a goal, an objective and get things done in a timely manner. When things don't happen as I think they should - I freak out exponentially.

Anxiety - a cruel bedfellow.

Sometimes the panic is mild - just a thought, then maybe a little out of breath and a touch of a racing heart.

Sometimes the panic is a bit more extreme - resulting in a little personal injury from banging my head into counter tops to slamming my wrist into the arm of the couch until I think I broke it. My wrist, not the couch.

Not the smartest ideas in the world.

Generally, in the past, when this overwhelming anxiety takes hold, I stop, reflect a bit, and drop something - I cut out the extra stuff, say no a little more often, and then go about the business of calming now.

Right now however, there is no cutting out. There is a lot to do and I need to do all of it.

After the little squirt was born, and life started in full swing again, I started wallowing a bit. A sort of drowning feeling. My chest was tight all the time, I couldn't breathe very good and I was in full scale panic mode. Nothing could calm me down - especially being told to "just relax" all the time.

Once it got to the point that people around me (okay, my husband) started to realize that I wasn't just being crazy - that I was really drowning in panic - he made me a doctors appointment.

That was now about 7 weeks ago. Since then, I take a little blue pill every day.

It helps.


I still stress out.

And panic a little.

But that helpless feeling of "I'm going to have a heart attack right now" that was in my mind and chest is gone.

It's so good.

The pill I'm taking does have some side effects - and the ones that are affecting me aren't pretty.

The worst?


Like I'm menopausal - hot flash city. I cannot keep the house cold enough, and I go through two or three shirts a day.

And stomach aches - feeling nauseous some point every day just isn't that much fun.

But -

It's worth it to start to feel normal again.

And I'm starting to.

Feel normal again.

Whatever that means.


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