Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Final Birthday Post

Tired of these yet? Well, too bad! This is my journal as well as your afternoon reading (ha!) and I have to take a moment to document some irresistables about Husband.

1. I still feel, after six plus years, like I hit the jackpot with this guy. Even though he is sometimes stinky.
2. Best dad ever. Which is lucky for me, because I wasn't really thinking about that when we got married.
3. Handsome.
4. Really smart. Big smarty-pants.
5. I trust him completely.
6. He is so humble and interested in improving his weaknesses.
7. Big muscles.
8. The most honest person I know.
9. Loves dark chocolate even more than I.
10. Really loves my cooking. I mean, I can cook, but he acts like no restaurant can match my food.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My little girl

She is not so little anymore! Ugh. Sometimes I have anxiety about teaching her all the things she needs to know to grow up in this big world. And, now that she is four, the pressure is really on, since I think that is when kids really start remembering stuff. Following are my top ten irresistables about Gigi:

1. She is just such a bright light around here. Almost always happy and lovely and excited about life.
2. She loves her brothers with gusto, even though the little one has developed a hitting problem, she keeps on loving him through the hard times. She really looks up to her big brother.
3. She wants to date and then marry her daddy. Great taste. But he's taken.
4. She can do so much all on her own, but she still thinks she needs me sometimes.
5. Taking naps with her is the best . . . not always very restful, but she is so snuggly and sweet.
6. Gives great hugs and is so affectionate.
7. She has a way of not being overlooked. Wherever she is, and whoever is in charge, she somehow makes herself someone to be noticed.
8. She is crazy good at Memory.
9. She loves to help me cook or clean or organize.
10. Her opinions are almost always firm . . . She has learned to be obedient, but rarely backs down from how she feels about something.
11. (Bonus) She love to dance, and play ring-around-the-rosie, and make up imaginary games and friends. She can draw almost anybody into her make-believe world.

For Gigi's birthday party, we did a princess and knights celebration at the park. Some of the kids even came in costume. I hid treasure bags full of little gemstones and glitter and sequins. When the children arrived, I gave each one of these noble steeds that I made with my trusty sewing machine, anti-pill fleece, sticks, and plenty of hot glue, and I sent them on a quest for their treasures. They used the stuff to decorate little crowns and then they just played and ate pizza and cake. It was simple and fun and perfect. I don't know why I ever stress about these things. They always come together. The one thing I forgot was batteries for the camera, so we got only a couple of pictures before ours ran completely out.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Baby Boy is Two

April is a month of birthdays for this family, and two is one of my personal faves . . . the child has no expectation, and I can buy any old cake I want for the occasion. This year it was a key lime cheesecake. Yum. We had some friends over and ate and sang and generally made merry to celebrate this cutie chubby boy. Love him. Here are some reasons why:

1. Most contagious laugh ever.
2. Total Daddy's boy. Seriously. He loves me lots, but when Dad is around, I am not even allowed to open up a piece of candy for him.
3. He is already so good at saying "Thank you Mommy!" when I give him something. This is significant, since we were starting to get worried that he would never ever speak. I will say, though, when you have three children, you don't necessarily want those words to start flowing too soon. I can now appreciate that one of the best things about one-on-one time with him is the sweet music of quiet play time.
4. His big tummy is adorable.
5. He hates haircuts even more than his brother at this age. I never thought that was possible.
6. He loves to RUN.
7. He is so independent. He has endless patience for doing things all by himself, even if he has to try and try again.
8. He loves to hold hands. I love this because it is sweet, and because it makes walking in parking lots so much less stressful when I don't have to fight with a child to hold his hand.
9. Just learned to give kisses.
10. He lays his head on your shoulder when you tell him it is time to go to bed . . . even if he isn't really tired yet.

For his birthday, I got him a sand/water table. Terrific mess, but the child loves it so much, it is totally worth it. I caught him "watering" my tomatoes and strawberries with a bucket of sand and had to lay down the law. Otherwise, we have loved it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Haven't seen my husband in awhile and find myself watching way too much TV.

Have moved bedtime up 45 minutes and now think it is wonderful that the boys share a room so they can entertain each other until they are actually tired.

And yet, I find myself surprisingly cheerful most of the time, because the money keeps on comin', even during this difficult economy. What a blessing!

Have been using my abundant evening time on my big plan to become an avocado farmer. Would also like bees and goats and chickens.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Birthday Conundrum

The tricky thing about being a mom (unless I am doing it wrong, which is entirely possible) is how that tried and true economic principle of specialization flies right out the window. For example, if event planning is not your thing, you still find yourself putting on events. Ditto with cleaning house, home improvements, teaching jump rope skills (most of my afternoon today . . . I'm still the only jump-roper in the house, despite some really impressive efforts from the kidlets), and coming up with cool science experiments (yesterday afternoon). This is also the reason I think I know so many amazing moms -- they are inspired by their kids to learn new skills. In any case, Gigi's birthday party is right around the corner and I have got to figure this thing out. Please help. It's her first one and she has high hopes. I love me a shindig, I just prefer to bring the food, rather than be in charge of the whole durn thing.

My ideas so far, which I researched painstakingly through the googling-while-watching-The-Office method, include:

Princess and Knights Party -- sort of boring and 'done', but this option includes tiaras, which I'm pretty sure she would be all over. She is as girly as they come, but has mostly boy friends, hence the knights. I could even make it Fairy Princess and Knights, which would incorporate her two great loves: crowns and wings.

Ladybug Party -- she came up with this idea because her aunt once made her a ladybug cake which she would like to have again. But will I really get boys excited about ladybugs?

Art Party -- fun, but sort of generic, I would get each kid a beret and have different art stations and they could let all their creative juices flow. I think I like this one the best because for party favors I would get to melt down crayons and put them in candy molds to make cute new crayons. Not sure why I want to do this so much, but I might just do it no matter what. Here are the instructions.

Little Chefs Party -- another unisex option. But I can't really get excited about it. I love to cook, but cooking with kids is not what it's cracked up to be.

So, what do you say? Can any of you supermoms help a sister out? Ideas, suggestions, helpful websites would be appreciated.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wind Caves

We are fortunate to live very close to Husband's best friend, former college roommate, and Best Man . . . was that clear? These are all the same person. And our two older kids and their three boys are similar ages. So, they occasionally go camping all together. I stay behind with Baby, as does BFF's wife with their baby, and the guys plus Gigi have a great time romping around in the dirt, getting messy, and as I just learned, making fire sticks. I don't know what these are exactly, but it sounds dangerous and like something that there were written rules against making at girls' camp. I am glad they have such fun. Even more glad that I don't have to go! It isn't that I don't like camping . . . I do! But overnight for one night, when I am one of two people packing and unpacking and cooking and setting up and taking down and doing laundry at the end of it all? No thanks. Nosirree, Baby and I had a great time cleaning, organizing, sleeping uninterrupted, and catching up on reading. Everybody wins. Here are some pictures of their trip to the desert.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Craigslist Score

I don't know who Craig is, but I am really happy about his list. I scored this solid maple bunk bed set with built-in storage, dovetail drawers, an extra dresser and mattresses (which are pristine, in case that makes you feel icky) for $473! AND it matches the crib which is already in that room. The bottom bunk is not set up in this view because the baby still sleeps in his crib. Looking around my house, I see lots of things I have bought because of this site, and I feel warm and fuzzy all over. It's like dumpster diving, only better stuff. And no smell.

When I was a kid, my dad used to bring stuff home, like baseball hats, a Charlie Brown figurine, old towels. If it was a kid thing, he would present it to one of us and if we asked where he got it from, he would unabashedly say something like, "It was right there on the freeway!" or "I was pumping gas and looked down and there it was!" like he'd had the great fortune of finding hidden-in-plain-sight treasures. Once he was driving my oldest sister and her friends to go bowling or something for her birthday and stopped and made a U-turn to pick up a towel for his workshop. She was mortified, of course. I guess that's where I got it from.

Baby's Recent Conquests

Baby Boy has turned into Holy Terror, maybe HT for short? I have yet to think up a good blog name for him. In any case, here is a list of his latest damages.

Opened a large bottle of tempura paint (midnight black, of course) and started flinging it all over the carpet, entertainment center, brother's Leapster, etc. Grandma's advice was, "Time to find a new place for the paint." Luckily, I was able to find a carpet cleaner on a Friday night who would clean it up initially and then come back a week later to clean up the stain that creeps up after the first cleaning for only twice the normal price, instead of four or five times. Grrrr . . . I thought my head would explode.

Plucked almost all of the keys off the laptop. I am grateful that Husband has the skills to put these keys back on because it is harder than you might think(Funny Parenthetical Story: Husband acquired this skill while using the laptop to play music during a home improvement project. He thought it would be a good idea to vacuum the drywall dust off with the shopvac . . . until he discovered that the shopvac is not kidding around when it comes to suction power.)

Fingerpainted all over the upstairs bathroom floor and himself with my foundation, mascara and blush. It is unfortunate that I had also just given him a buzz cut and the overall effect was scarily reminiscent of Boy George.

Emptied all of my spice rack containers into one bowl. Dumped yogurt into the silverware drawer. Made oatmeal soup in the kitchen with oats, water, and other pantry items. Many, many more incidents of illegal dumping.

Hacked up an entire loaf of fresh bread with a zoopals knife. While I admire his initiative, I don't like what this suggests about my promptness with meals. I promise I try to keep the child fed.

Since the paint incident, the impression I get from this ambitious and lovable child is that he is just frustrated with not being able to speak and he's not waiting around for us anymore to read his mind. Many of these things happen when my back is turned for only a moment. Needless to say, I have learned to keep him with me as much as possible and watch him like a hawk! Which is probably exactly what he was going for. Smart kid.