Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In a nutshell....


We went to the zoo with some of our favorite people. We got cokes and churros. We saw all the cool dinosaurs on display. The youngest member of our zoo party found the dinosaurs to be exciting and awesome and roared right back. The second youngest member of our zoo party was terrified.

Oh, we're so glad that Meranda is back in the valley for the summer.


We ate homemade chocolate malt marble cake for my birthday with a butt load of chocolate malt frosting. It was one of the yummiest cakes I've ever eaten if I do say so myself.


We visited a few graves.


We saw a lot of rain, but this pretty rainbow made up for it. We saw the entire thing, from one end to the other in the sky. It was beautiful.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On my birthday...

The boys and I took my Grandma some flowers.
I've been missing my grandma a lot lately. Particularly yesterday. She would almost always call me on my birthday and be front and center at my self-thrown birthday party every year. Oh I missed her today.

The boys were so good and respectful at the cemetery. Elliott wanted to know about headstones and cemetery etiquette. He's such a good boy. Wyatt just tried to steal pinwheels from a nearby grave. He was quiet about it though and like a nice boy put them back.


My boy drew me a birthday picture on the sidewalk. It was a pink, blue and yellow birthday cake and a herd of jelly fish. I loved it. Elliott was so good yesterday. One of his best days ever. I was so proud of him and he told me that he was being especially good because it was my birthday.


We went on a walk that ended up at the park. My boys are crazy and that Chick is a daredevil. They had fun and were good boys and then even came home without a fight.


And no birthday is complete without a present. Especially a present that you pick out yourself and your husband sweetly obliges.

Side Note: I am late to the Tom's shoes bandwagon but I wore these new guys all night last night. It felt like I was walking on a pillow. These are my new favorite shoes. I'm already going to start saving my money for a second pair.

Thank you to all the friends and family that wished me a happy birthday in person, in e-mail, in the mail and via text.  I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

living down the legend...


Today is my birthday.

I am 33.

I have a great husband, two handsome and smart little boys and the weather outside my window right now is beautiful and sunny and the tree in front of my house is actually filling in with leaves.

Today I am going to the doctor because I feel like I have strep throat. Last year on my birthday I spent the day in staff meetings for a job I no longer have. The year before that I sat at home in the dark watching sad movies, thinking sad things, all alone except for my sleeping two week old squishy baby boy.

I bought my own present yesterday afternoon just in case everyone forgot about me. A new purse and some new pajamas.  A sweet friend brought me a beautiful gift though so I wasn't forgotten and her card made me cry.  Thank you!

I spent half my night last night in the basement watching "16 and Pregnant" on MTV because the teenage girl was also anorexic and she only gained 12 pounds her entire pregnancy and it was freaking me and my fat out.

The celebrations today are going to be awesome!  Packing up my house because I have to.  Taking myself to the doctor because I need to.  And, because it's my birthday I think that today I'm going to go and visit my grandma. I've missed her so much this week and I've got some beautiful tulips from my yard that I want to share with her.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jodi and Trevor got Married (witrh more photos)

Note: I've added more pictures. Please scroll through all the photo booth shots and the wedding pics are at the end.

On Friday, May 20, 2011 my cousin Jodi married Trevor.  It was a good day with cooperative weather.  It was also the first time I've heard my newest cousin speak.  They've been dating for almost two years and not until their wedding day had I ever heard his voice.

Good to know you're not a mute, Trevor!

Jodi asked me months ago if I would take the pictures for her photo booth guest book.  I of course said yes and after hours and hours of editing in the last few days I finally got them finished.  I took a few other pictures too.  It's hard to take photos when one of your kids is screaming and you're ignoring him.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Morning Conversation


(Note: The Chick is not tall enough to actually reach up to the counter. He was standing on a bike seat.)

Mama: Hey Chick, what are you doing?
Chick: Yust Yooking.
Mama: What are you looking for?
Chick: I yooking for pizes.
Mama: Oh, did you find any prizes on the counter?
Chick: No. Not yet.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down....

photo shopped wild flowers

I love to sleep. There may not be anything in the world I like better than a mid day nap on a warm day with a slight breeze. I'll open my window, find a light blanket, dim the lights and drift off to la la land for an hour, or two, and it's sheer bliss. I look forward to the days when my boys are old, and then like to sleep in and I can be one of those moms who doesn't get dressed on a Saturday morning, or Christmas vacation until 11:00 or later. Oh, that will be the day.

The spring has been so cool this year that my tulips have lasted twice as long. I'm having a huge internal dilemma about my flowers. Do I leave my tulip bulbs for the new people to enjoy in the spring or do I dig them all up and bring them with me to my new home? And, what about my peony? I've been taking care of it for almost three years and this year, I think, is the year it's actually going to flower. How do I safely get it out of the ground? I desperately want my flowers but I don't know the best way to transfer and protect them.

This is what I think about when I'm trying to not think about anything else.

Naps and flowers.

And pulling weeds.

I really like to do yard work. I enjoy mowing the lawn and pulling weeds and planting flowers. I do not enjoy grasshoppers or hornets or crickets but I suppose that goes with the territory.

There are so many things I like about what will soon be my new house, but what I'm most looking forward to is having a new yard. A bigger yard with more flower beds, more grass, and for the first little while, enough weeds to pull to keep me busy for a long time.

I may be setting up the yard, before I set up the house.

Oh, I'm excited.

I can hardly wait.

Friday, May 13, 2011

If I were a patient sort of person....


A couple of weeks ago my mom bought a new car. She decided on a make and model a while ago and was just waiting for a gently used version to hit the market. She could have paid for it in cash but chose not to...probably just to bug my dad. She bought the new-to-her car from Car Max. You know, the place where the sticker tells you what the car costs and you pay it. No barter.  No hassle.  She saw the sticker, paid the price and drove home with her new station wagon on crack.

I've ranted before on this blog about customer service, coupons, and all my aversions to bartering, bargaining, and getting a deal. It is incomprehensible to most, particularly my husband, why I am willing to pay the asking price for products and services large and small. He says that most of the world functions as if it were a Moroccan Bazaar - where the ASKING price is very different than the actual SALE price. I say, "I don't go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and tell them that even though the price is $1.39 I only have 10 pennies so that is what I will pay."  I just pay for my milk and tell the checker to have a nice day.

My husband and I? We're very different. For example, when I need a new shirt, I go to a store and buy a new shirt. I wander, peruse the merchandise, check out the sale rack, pick my item and pay. I bring it home, wear it the next day and call the experience a success. That boy I married? He wanders a store forever, carries 10 shirts around trying to make a decision, tries stuff on, only buys stuff on sale, brings his purchase home, tries it on again and then more often than not, decides he doesn't like it. Then he returns that shirt to the store. Sometimes he returns the return.

In my purchase decision making I am definite. In his purchase decision making he is indefinite.  I say the offer is good and he says there is always a better offer.

Husband vs. Wife thing?  Man vs. Woman issue?  I don't know.  I do know however that this is NOT a good yin and yang when trying to buy a house.

I don't know how many counter offers (counter to the counter to the counter) are kosher when trying to buy a new house. I don't know what is reasonable to ask for when buying a new home. I do know that I wish house buying was like my mom buying a car at Car Max - the price is the price and deal with it.

Today I signed a contract for a new home. A home that two and a half weeks ago I walked through it and said to myself, "This is a beautiful home. I could live here for a long time. I like it. It's not perfect, but nothing is. It will do." I took my husband back to see this home. He wandered and paced the floors.  He opened cupboards and closets.  He found every flaw.  He was, in essence, trying it on just like a shirt from Banana Republic.

We left the house to see others. Nothing we saw (or have seen) has compared to this home so we decided to make an offer. We waited and waited for a response.  The response came in the form of a very "ungenerous" counter offer.  We then countered the counter. Then they countered the countered counter......it's gone on for an entire week.  It's been making me sick and frustrated.  It's made me have strange dreams about cancer and divorce.

I talked to my husband whom I love dearly last night. I asked him, "do you like this house? Could you see yourself living in this house?" He told me yes, but that he wanted a better deal. I told him that I think we've got the best deal we're going to get and we should probably take it.

He told me this morning that we were lined up with our realtor to see three more houses tonight.  Just to see what else is out there.  Just to see if instead of a white linen button down I might want a blue gingham mandarin collar.

I told him no!

You see - I'm done shopping. I'm done "returning" my purchase. In 2.5 weeks I am going to be homeless. A family from Florida is buying my house and as generous as the offer is, I don't want to spend time in a basement.  Our clock is ticking (the store is closing) and I want to move into my own house and start setting up shop as quickly as possible. I shopped and found a house I liked. It fit. I'm satisfied. I don't need to try on a different size of house and I don't need any coupons (like a short sale).

Phew!  Did you make it this far?  Are the shirt analogies confusing?

Moral of the story?
If I ever live in Morocco I will never go to a bazaar.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Squirt: 24 Months

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday crazy cooky puppy
Happy Birthday to you!


Today is your birthday my sweet, road rashed little boy. Can you believe it? You turn two years old officially at 1:39 pm, and even though we celebrated your birthday with a big party last weekend, today will be as special as we can make it for you. The sun is shining, we'll wear shorts, and maybe go find a pig to stare at and a tractor to ride.

Oh little boy, I don't know what we'd do without you. You are crazy and funny and smart. You talk and talk and talk and 90% of it makes perfect sense. You dance and play and run and wrestle. You are brave and coordinated, sensitive and will sometimes even sit on my lap. You sleep through the night most nights now (finally) and you can eat ice cream. What little boys life is complete without some ice cream!


You love dinosaurs. Nothing is funnier than hearing a two year old say spinosaurus, brachiasaurus and t-rex. Your favorite shows are Dino Dan, Dinosaur Train, and Kipper. You love to dance and when we listen to Rock Lobster you go down, down, down to the floor and wait to jump up and start dancing again. You chew holes through binkers and love to take Tylenol..probably because your dad has convinced you it's candy.

You have a goofy sense of humor and love to call people cuckoo and poopy. Most of your favorite words, you end in an "eeee" sound. Sugar is Sugeee. Apple is Apeee juice. Chocolate is choceee. You get the idea. You are starting to love food, which is awesome but no food can compete with cake and frosting. That seems to be your thing. You can beg for a cake and I'll make you one and you can sniff out a cake in the oven fresh from a nap. It's a skill you should maybe learn to market one day little Chickie - you are like a cake bloodhound. Granted, you only eat the frosting, but we're working on that.


You love to do what the big boys do, play and run and shoot balls and play video games. It is so awesome to see your independence and love of life. You are a leader, not a follower and I can hardly wait to see the path you carve out for yourself. It's going to be an awesome ride.


For your birthday, you got a cooter (scooter) and you can now coot (scoot) the day away. It blows my mind that your little two year old body and brain are coordinated enough to do a scooter, but it's pretty crazy awesome that you can.

Oh kiddo. Happy Birthday. You are a super cool two year old and we all love you very much.

Monday, May 09, 2011

In a nutshell...

It was another one of those whirlwind types of weekends with a lot going on from start to finish.

Here are some highlights, poetically rendered for your enjoyment.

There was the random eating of toes.

And talk about animals on land and on sea.


Mother's Day programs from beautiful boys.


And such intense TV watching he forgot all the toys.



The Chick's turning two and he got a scooter.


and Parkie got stuck in the window well...is there anything cuter?


I was celebrated as mom and much to my delight


My kid knows that a trip to Target will make a great Friday night.

wyatt 2

And, nary a weekend would be complete without these three cute kids...


and one good uncle


Oh, aren't they sweet.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Decision to Sell

cute house

Sometimes in life there are miracles. Little things happen, subtle things that you don't really even pay attention to...maybe because they are created by a high power, to let you know that you have made a right decision.

We'd been discussing the possibility of selling our cute little house for the last 6 months or so. We had the carpets cleaned, the house professionally painted, a few minor problems fixed all in anticipation of putting the house for sale this spring. We've looked at so many homes online that the urge to move bug has just been swimming in all our minds.

I never would have imagined that when a sign went up in my front yard last week that eight (yes, only 8!) days later my house would have a buyer, be under contract for sale, and I'd be frantically venturing out with our realtor looking for the next house.

But like I said, sometimes miracles happen. The sale could still fall through. I could still live in my house for another year or two, but right now I'm really excited. I'm excited to give my boys a yard to run and play instead of an alley and find my husband his third car garage. I'm excited at the possibility of having a "gourmet" kitchen with an island, maybe even some granite.

I love my little house. The thought of moving has brought tears to my eyes. This is the home where we became a family - where we've hosted parties and where my babies came home. There is so much sentimental goo oozing through the walls. But, I'm ready to move on. Ready for a new neighborhood, a new floor plan and a fresh start.

And that miracle thing? Seriously. How can my cute little house sell so quickly is such a bad market? One, I think it's a sign (yes, I believe in signs) that we've probably made the right decision and two, I'm pretty certain that there are some folks up in heaven working some magic for me and my little family. And for that I will continue to live right, be good, and do the best job I can in all that I do.

This truly is a blessing from heaven.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Happy Birthday to you!

disneyland w dad

The spring season really keeps us busy with celebrations.

First, it's our anniversary on April 19.

Next, it's Ross' birthday, one day shy of Cinco de Mayo!

Then it's mothers, day, then Wyatt's birthday (then Molly's b-day), then my birthday then father's day.

It's a busy time of year for us but such a fun time, too.

Happy birthday to you Ross. You are a hard worker, an excellent father and a good husband. We may disagree about every single thing in the entire stinkin' world, but I don't know what I'd do without you.

I made you a cake. We'll eat it tonight.


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