Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's all about attitude

As a little kid, I remember being terrified of people.  My mom would introduce me to someone - a neighbor, a colleague, someone I already knew, and I would just stare.  Or, run away.  Or both.  When I saw someone I went to school with at a store - I wouldn't wave or acknowledge that person.  Even though I was told to.  Even though they said "hi" to me.

As an adult, I still suffer from a lot of the same anxiety and paranoia.  I don't do dumb or crazy people, I only answer the phone if I know who is calling, it's still scary for me to order my own food at a drive through and just like when I was a kid, I'm perfectly okay in a lot of situations having people talk for me.

Today we finished our first round of swimming lessons.  I say "we" because over the last three weeks, I got just as wet as my kid did.  I love my boy so much.  He is good and smart and opinionated, and stubborn and sweet and kind.  He calls his baby cousin, "sweetheart" and lovingly takes abuse from his little brother all day long - even if he trips him up on occasion just because he can.

Swimming lessons was  a bit rough.  You'd think that 6, thirty minute sessions would fly by for one of the most social kids around.  It didn't fly by.  Some days it was down right painful.  In reflecting a bit today though, I've learned a good lesson from our first adventure into the land of structured swimming - it's all about attitude - mine just as much as the kids.

I grew up with a mom who never let us be bored, always kept us busy and taught us to work hard.  Sometimes the lessons were tough, and not the most fun but they were lessons learned.  As a grown-up I can only look back on those times as a kid with gratitude (thanks mom) because I learned that it's all about your attitude - you just suck it up, do your job, and feel better in the end, win or lose.

We did that with swimming.  Even though it wasn't the most fun - and there were tears shed on many days, and that nutty kid of mine wouldn't swim with the others, preferring to shiver on the edge of the pool by himself, we went.  We did it.  We took our "just do it" attitude and shoved it in the face of potential disaster.

I'm proud of my kid for sticking it out.  I'm proud of myself for giving his little three year old self a mini life experience and lesson.  The same sort of lessons I learned as a kid.

We (yes, we) will probably need to repeat this level of swim class a couple of times.  Someone (not me) needs to learn to be brave and float on his back.  We'll do it though - and this time around, we'll do it with an even better attitude.

I hope.

Monday, June 28, 2010

baby with glasses

baby with glasses, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Life is full of funny stuff. It seems that I'm drawn to the miniature, mostly in food (made almost 200 mini cupcakes this weekend for a family party) and to the little doing big things - like talking, walking, and wearing grandmas glasses.

Big doing small and small doing big.

Too cute for words.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Thursdays are not my best day.

Every Thursday I lose my mind a by 9:30 am and it takes me through the weekend to find it again.

Everything on Thursday's is annoying, overwhelming, icky, and stressful.

Do you have a day like this?  Days where the whole world goes haywire and screwy and all you want to do is run away and hide under a rock?

I complain a lot (shock!) and it seems that every week I call my husband with the laundry list of complaints and stresses while he's at work.

His response, "Annie, it's Thursday.  Everything falls apart on Thursday."

He's right.  It is always on Thursday.  Today though I haven't called him.

I've been texting!

You know what else bugs me?

Bright yellow cars.  Why can't yellow cars be metallic, like gold?  Why must they always be such a yucky shade of yellow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Something to look forward to....

We're pretty tied to home during the summer these days.  The kids are little, travel is expensive and oh so tiring and we just aren't as ambitious as we used to be.  We've ventured to Cedar City and Arizona this year and might go to Disneyland in the fall but otherwise, the dream of a vacation is just a dream.

We are planning a little getaway in a month or so though.  Just up one of the local canyons, we've booked a cabin on it's own little island with a beach and hopefully a guarantee of a moose sighting or two.

Several years ago we discovered the website VRBO and were hooked.  "Vacation Rentals By Owner" has places all over the world.  We've stayed in apartments in Europe and are now taking a look at the local rentals.  The concept is pretty simple - people rent out apartments, homes, condos, cabins, etc. to vacationers - usually for a price that is much cheaper than a hotel with many more amenities.

It's awesome.  Just look at where we'll be staying when we go on our weekend adventure.

Yes, that is a rope suspension bridge.  That's how we'll get into the place.

We'll have our own private beach.

 And hopefully, these guys will come to visit while we're staying over.

Yes, it isn't much of a summer adventure but at the rate we're going these days, I'll take it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Are you afraid of Sheep?

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

In our house, we aren't huge fans of animals, but we are huge fans of activities. Especially int he summer time. The more we have to do to whittle the day away, and the more people we have to do it with, the better.

The other day we crossed the valley, headed into the mountains and ventured to Carvers Cove Petting Farm.  The boys and I survived the long ride (almost two hours each way) to Eden, Utah, and were ready for some fun.

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

This little farm was pretty cool.  Family run and very friendly, the end of may through June is their "Baby Animal" month, with new animals being born weekly on the farm.  They had a little big of everything, too: ducks, chickens, pigs, rabbits, horses, cows, llamas, goats, sheep, cats, dogs, and a few donkeys to round things out. 

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

It was a bit expensive ($7 a person, not counting the food you buy to feed the animals) but the kid friendly atmosphere was worth it.  If my kids were older, and brave, they could have held baby goats, ridden horses, and really gotten involved.  Instead,we were happy to keep a safe distance and throw our food to the animals instead of feed them from our hands.

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

Afterwards, we went to a cute park for lunch, let all the kiddies play and thank heaven, the boys slept almost the entire way home.

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

Carvers Cove Petting Farm

Saturday, June 19, 2010

41 months

Preschool Graduation 2010

This was a big week for my three and a half year old.  He had his first of many graduations.  This one was from preschool - something he'll be doing for another two years because he has a January birthday.  Sorry kiddo - your mom and dad should have planned that one better. 

When I found out last year that one of the nicest ladies in the neighborhood was going to put together a very small at home preschool to help her deaf son assimilate a little better into the world of crazy kids I jumped at the chance to add you to the group.  You needed the social time and you already loved Benjamin and I hoped it would be just the structure you needed to get some quality learning in.

Well, it ended up being the absolute best thing in the whole world for you, my boy.  When school started in January you were shy and nervous and prone to dramatics.  One of the first times at school I brought you home in hysterics because I wasn't the first mom to pick you up - you thought I wasn't coming.  Six months later however, you were wanting to walk to school by yourself and being upset when it was time to come home - wanting to stay and play and learn forever.

Preschool Graduation 2010

At graduation this week you were the star.  You followed instructions, sang the songs the loudest, and stood silently and proudly as Miss Tammi talked about all that you have learned, and all that you have taught the kids over the last few months.  You're a born leader, she said, with an imagination that took the class to the moon and back.

You have learned so much.  We are so proud of you at three years old, I can only imagine what the years ahead hold for you.  I get goose bumps sometimes when I see you learning and growing and turning into such a smart and kind little boy.  Though we have our moments, the two of us, I couldn't be more happy and proud of you.

Preschool Graduation 2010

To celebrate your big graduation day, Dad was able to come to your ceremony.  Then, we went to lunch with some of your favorite people; Uncle Willie, Haley and baby Molly.  And, if that wasn't enough, tonight you and your dad are going to a REAL soccer game.  Just the two of you.

Because you're a big boy.  And we love you.

Preschool Graduation 2010

Preschool Graduation 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One reason I like my sister

Me:  Thursdays suck in our house.  How are you?

My Sister:  OK.  Haven't gotten my assignments done this week if it makes you feel any better.

Me:  Sorry.  I feel like I'm losing my mind.  I need a vacation.
Sister:  Where do you want to go?

Me:  Somewhere besides crazy.

Sister:  Like Texas or Alaska?

Me:  Um, I think they qualify as crazy.  Some place that's quiet.

Sister:  Library?

Me:  No.  Add some sun and the calming sound of water.

Sister:  Library bathroom with a sky light?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Squirt:: 13 months

Hello my boy.

Over the weekend you became 13 months old.  You inched one step closer to super coolness, too.  Being one suits you just fine.  You move about the cabin freely exploring and destroying everything in your path.  It seems that rather than thinking you're a toddler, you are instead a rock star and our house is your hotel room to trash.

You're cute though, so I guess it's okay.

You've been walking for two months now and have figured out how to dance really well and to the beat of the music and ride a bike.  We took you to the allergy doctor to find out what you're allergic to (thank goodness it isn't me), you had a reaction to your measles vaccine, and have permanently skinned knees and a bruised head from all your crashing about.

You love to be outside.  Sometimes you stand at the front door and just beg until I let you out like a little puppy.  Chalk, sprinklers, bikes, name it and you're game.  Oh, and lets not forget eating chalk, and dirt and washing rocks.  That is important stuff, too.

Over the last few weeks you have finally figured out how to sleep through the night.  Yeah!  Your dad thanks you!  You are an absolute jabber box and at the zoo last week you thought every animal was a quacking duck.  It was pretty funny.

Though food has been your enemy in the past, just over the last week (not counting today) the choking and gagging on everything has been replaced by chewing and swallowing.  It's a miraculous development.  The pediatrician says you need to drink 12-18 oz a day of soy milk and then we can get rid of the formula.  A few swallows do not count kiddo so get a move on.

Thank you for being such a funny, smart, and beautiful little boy.  It is an absolute joy to be your mama - even if you scream like a peacock when you don't get your way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

musicals - the elliott edition

As I was writing all these musical posts last week, Elliott wanted to know what I was doing. My brother and I told him that we were writing about musicals.

He then said to us, "I have favorite musicals."

"Really? You do?" we inquired.

"Yes", he said. "Rock Lobster, Bust a Move, and Don't Let Me Down."

Well, there you go.

Boy oh boy my kid has varied interests in musicals.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Musicals, Day 5: Day by Day


One of my favorites.

Grew up listening to the music on a cassette tape in the car. I've seen it live lots of times and even though I still don't really get it (it's about Jesus and stuff, right?) I love the music.

My sister would play the songs for me on the piano and I would sing off key and out of tune. The best way I know how. I probably got waaaayyy to into it, but luckily no one who cared was around.

This musical is a family favorite. When asked what his favorite musical is, my dad actually said, "um...Godspell?" If he has a musical fav, then you know it has to be good.

I've seen it live several times. Always powerful and never disappointing. My sister and I years ago saw it in Washington DC. We were on a family trip, saw a play bill and made arrangements to attend. We went to a matinee with a bunch of elementary school kids who had been learning the songs in school. At intermission in the musical, they pass out wine to the audience. That scared me (still does). Luckily when we were there with all the little kids, it was grape juice.

Enjoy some of our fav's (these are from the 1973 movie. Not the best way to see them performed).

Day by Day

Prepare ye the way of the Lord

All for the best

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Musicals: Day 4, Any dream will do

Everyone knows the story of Joseph from the Bible, right?

You know, mean brothers - sell their younger more favorite brother into slavery. Then Elvis comes, blah, blah, blah.

Joseph isn't my favorite, but the music is good. I asked my brother, Will the Thrill, what his favorite musical is and he said this one. When asked what his favorite song is, this is the one he told me. As we watched it on YouTube together he said, and I quote, "Doesn't it just give you chills". Yes Willie. Yes it does. Nothing like a lot of good la, la, la's to get the chill factor up.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Musicals, Day Three: A day at the beach

Okay - most folks have never seen a Frankie and Annette beach movie.  It's okay.  You probably aren't missing out on much because the movies really weren't that great.  Poorly acted, bad story lines (check that, no story lines), and bad editing (sometimes you can see the film splice).

That being said, the movies were a fun part of my childhood, the best being "Beach Blanket Bingo". My sister and I watched this countless times where we were much younger than we are now.  I haven't seen it for years, but this song often pops into my head at strange times.

Like I said, classic cinema.

And who doesn't like a movie where the girl is named "Miss Sugar Cane" and it's the chick from Dynasty.

And, if I havent' sold you yet on adding this to your Netflix que, there's even a mermaid.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Musicals - Day Two: Sincere

Oh, Conrad Birdie!

Who knows the first time I saw the movie "Bye Bye Birdie" but it was magical. When I was in Jr. High the high school did the stage version and the guy who played Conrad Birdie was a ringer. There weren't any guys dreamy and talented enough to play the part so they brought in an older guy who could do it. It was awesome.

If given enough time, I probably could recite this entire musical to you - or at least sing you all the songs. In order.

I'm hip like that.

My favorite song from the musical is, "Honestly Sincere".

The opening and closing credits always embarrassed me a bit. Ann Margaret's boobies were a bit too pointy and because my mom is my mom, she somehow managed (at least in my mind) to embarrass me about the part where she squishes and growls the words.

See what I mean? A bit embarrassing. Even so, it didn't stop me from singing the title song to myself in the bathroom mirror when I was twelve.

No, I don't do it anymore.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Musicals - Day One

I'm completely inspired by "Glee" and music and singing and all that junk.  This inspiration has transferred to the blog and this week will be dedicated to MUSICALS!  My favorite musicals.

Can you even stand it?

Some background:
When I was a kid, my mom made us watch musicals.  She probably said it was to keep us cultured, but I think it was more to feed her desire to partake.  She made us watch some doozies (State Fair, The King and I, Oklahoma) that I really didn't enjoy but others like "Bye Bye Birdie", Beach party movies and Elvis movies became family sing alongs.

My parents were even in charge once of a church musical - the directors/producers and my sister and I spent what felt like months sitting in the gym watching the same lines be repeated over and over again.

"Keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole."

So to start the week off with a bang, I'd like to dedicate the day to RENT!  A million years ago, when we still lived in Mildred, my childhood home, and bought music at the record store owned by one of our neighbors, I discovered the story of RENT.  The playwright who died right before the show went live on Broadway, the sensitive topics of HIV, AIDS, and drug use and the even more sensitive topics of gender relations.  My sister and I bought the soundtrack.  We listened in the car.  We were nervous what our mom would think about all the "f-bombs."

Even so, we were brave and played the music for our mom.  She was okay.  She liked some of it even.  Next, it was time to see the show live.  I've seen it three times and the touring group is coming to town a year from now.  I'm sure my sister and I will see it again.

To commemorate - here are a few of my favorite songs - from the movie "RENT".

La Vie Boheme - one of my favorites

Take me or leave me - yes, it's two girls singing to each other, but I sort of thought of it as my personal, split-personality theme song back in the day (Can you believe I just said, "Back in the day"?)

I'll cover you - one of the prettiest love songs ever

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Conversation in which I whine

I had a conversation with my husband via chat on the phone today about the dishwasher.

I loathe the dishwasher.  I absolutely love what it does for me - the ease and the convenience.  Putting the dirty in is fine - it's taking the clean out that rubs me the wrong way.  Seriously.  Yes, I'm strange, bizarre, can continue but there is just something about the clean dishes needing to be put away while the dirties sit on the counter, in the sink, and on the table that just bugs.

It has always (officially and unofficially) been said husband's job to put away the clean dishes in the morning.  Sometimes, it doesn't get done (it feels like lately, more often than not.  But I love you!) and I'm the one stuck doing it. It was mentioned to said husband that one of the meanest things he can do to me is leave me with a dishwasher full of dishes that are clean.

Like I said - I'm a weirdo.  Really though?  I'd like, rather scrub toilets than put all the silverware in the right place.  A washer full of dishes makes me not want to do another single task in my own home.  It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. I didn't make my bed until 2:30 I was so distraught.  Oh, the insanity.

After hosting my own pity party, threatening a small rebellion (just in my head - they are more fun that way), and almost convincing the Husband to come home from work and do the dishes RIGHT NOW, I did it.

I put them away.

Like I always do.

And I didn't like it one bit.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Today was a big day.  We took the Chick to the allergist.

He has food issues.  Has since the day he was born and they don't really seem to be getting any better.

After a lengthy talk about his history with our new doctor and then the prick test on his back, we now we know what those major food issues are.  Chicker is allergic to Dairy and Eggs and we've been told to avoid peanut butter until he's older.

Super easy to avoid dairy and eggs in everyday life, right?!  Hello, what planet do you live on?

Did you know that even most brands of hot dogs (which I don't eat but kid 1 does and we've thought about giving kid 2 a try) have milk in them?

Yep - it looks like the Chick and I are going vegan.  At least until he's 5 - at which time he may have outgrown the evil allergies over the next 4 years while his immune system continues to develop.


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