Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Intrusion

I was getting ready to take a shower (read: without attire) and Kole walks into the bathroom.  I was surprised for two reasons.  1.  He was supposed to be with Ken.  Where was Ken?  2.  It's always surprising when a little person sneaks up on you.  Midget or toddler... same surprise level.
I said, "Go find Dad.  Mom is going to take a shower now."

Kole:  Are you taking a shower, Mom?
Me:  Yup.  Go get Daddy and build a train track.
Kole:  Moooom!  I can see your big boobies.

I blushed and grabbed a towel.
Why are you looking?  Why do you call them boobies?  They're not big.  That's gross.

Me:  Well... I am going to take a shower so... yup... I'm not dressed right now. Go get Dad, okay?  Ken?!  KEN?!
Kole:  There's your big stinky Mom Butt!
Me: (*Sigh.*  Self esteem just went from zero to negative ten.) That's not nice to say.  Go find Dad. (Kole doesn't know what an actual Mom Butt is.  But I do.  And that was a mean jab.)

I start to usher Kole towards the door.  Where's Ken?

Kole:  Mom.  You don't have a wiener.
Me:  Nope.  KEN!
Kole:  Oh.  That's sad.
Me:  It's not sad.  It's just different.  Boys and girls are different.
Kole:  What happened to your wiener?
Me:  I don't have one.
Kole:  Because you lost it?
I was so not ready to talk about all this.  He's two!
Me:  KEN!!

All day I kept thinking:

1.  Well!  Can't take showers while Kole is awake.  He's only 2.  But I was embarrassed all of the sudden.
2.  Do I have to talk about girls and boys and private things now?
3.  Doesn't the dad have that talk when it's a boy?
4.  When do you draw the line?  Now?
5.  Does anyone else have kids that walk in on them?

Am I over thinking this?  Is it different if you're a mom and your little daughter comes in? 



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Need a Stage Name

When I was little, my sisters and I sang.  A lot.  We had the parts down to "Love is Spoken Here."  And Dad would (occasionally) have us perform it when the missionaries (or other families or crushes) came over.  We would also perform "Called To Serve" while marching around the coffee table and saluting to the beat of the music.
We sang while doing our After Supper Jobs.  Aladdin's "A Whole New World" was a constant performed most often by Julie and Victoria.  For a time Mulan's "Reflection" was big... and the last slam dammer was Ja-Rule and J-Lo's "I'm Real."
Julie is wearing my all-time favorite dress of hers.  She recently gave it to me. 
My goal is to wear it (and look presentable) by my birthday.
 We'd had lip synching competitions. Primarily to Lisa Loeb's "Stay."  After we each had a turn winning (twice or three times) we put in the Spice Girls' SPICE CD and lip synched "Too Much."
I may be speaking out of line, but... We were Performers.  (Capital "p" necessary.)  A new musical breathed new life into us.
Bye Bye Birdie. We became Ann Margret.  Byyyyye Byyyyyye B-herrrrrrrd-ie, the army's gotcha now.  But more than the main title... whoa.... The Telephone Hour.  I was always the dweeby Harvey Johnson calling to try to get a date.  And... the creme de la creme from that musical... "How Lovely To Be A Woman."  Oh!  Life changing.  Still one of my all time faves.  How lovely to be so grown up and FREEEEEEEE!

After we saw 7 Brides for 7 Brothers.  We each chose a brother to be our husband.  OoooooOOOooo.  OooooOOOOoooooooooooooooooo.  Can't make no voooooows, to a herd of cows.  All those Sobbin' women.  We never really could get over Dorkus.  None of us wanted to be Dorkus.

Uncle Victor brought over Thoroughly Modern Millie and we were flappers.
Saw Evita and we were dying Madames of Argentina.
We were the Mistresses of Murderers Row from Chicago.
Teachers in Siam in the King and I.
I was Chava.  I was disowned for marrying a Russian Orthodox. Tradition!
Music was magical.  Singing was liberating.

Maybe it was the six years of Concert Choir I took, maybe it was the 2 awards I received (oh.  hold up. *dusts shoulder* I had a little dirt on there), but singing has just stuck with me. 



I love it!

iPods have been a blessing.  You put those earbuds in and sing as loud as you can and you don't even know if you're on pitch or not.  I mean, I know... because I have a gift.  But "you" was meaning people in general.  When I got my first iPod the first CD I put on was Cher's Greatest Hits.  If I could turn back Ti-ime! ner-ner-ne If I could FIND a way! I take back all those words that had hurt you and you'd staaaay!  I filled my iPod in like 3 days with all my favorite songs and then I gave Ken a headache.

And thank Heaven for the Glee soundtracks, right?  I love singing to them.  I sound more like Kurt Hummel than Rachel Berry these days- but- oh... love those CDs.  Ken will ask me why I buy the Glee songs instead of the real singers.
Uh.
Because I can sound like the Glee kids.
Duh.

With the kids, and being home all day, you can bet Spotify is on.  Last week we were part of the French Revolution and I was Cosette, Fantine, Jean val Jean, Javert, and Eponine. Busy day for me. Lots of costume changes. When that got old (For Kole.  Not for me.)  we put on our jeans, tucked our shirts in and sang some George Strait for a day.  Today, when Kole gets up from his nap, he's gonna be Big Boi and I'll be Andre 3000 and we are gonna blaze with a little Outkast.

It feels good to sing.  To sing the really high loud notes.  As you spread your arms.  And turn your head up as you close your eyes.  To bring.  The house.  Down.
And then take a bow.

Try it.  Put on your favorite song.  And sing it. 

Or to try something new:
1.  Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
2.  Don't Go Breakin' My Heart- Elton John and Kiki Dee
3.  Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice
4.  There Is No Arizona- Jamie O'Neal
5.  We Are Young- Fun.
6.  I'm Not Lisa- Jessi Colter
7.  I Just Called to Say I Love You- Stevie Wonder
8.  Can't Stop Loving You- Phil Collins
9.  Come What May- Moulin Rouge Soundtrack (Do an encore with El Tango de Roxanne)
10.   Maggie May- Rod Stewart
11.  More Than A Memory- Garth Brooks
12.  Don't Stop Believing- Journey
13.  Shoop- Salt n Peppa
14.  Piano Man- Billy Joel
15.  Proud Mary- Tina Turner
16.  Stranger In My Hosue- Tamia
17.  One Two Step -Chiara
18.  The Story- Brandi Carlisle
19.  He Had It Coming- Chicage Soundtrack
20.  Long Time Gone- The Dixie Chicks
21.  I Never- Rilo Kiley

I got chills just MAKING that playlist.
Hmm.  What do you think I should add?

I'm the one in the light blue t-shirt.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Take a Look-See

Is it take a "look-see" like you look and see?  Or is it take a look-sie.  Like a cute-sir way of looking at something.

 
So...
Check it out.
What do you think of the new look?
Eh?  Eh?

Now.  I know this is schmancy and techy and beyond my wildest dreams.
But don't worry.  It's still just us.
And it'll stay just us.

I don't see my blog blowing up for the following reasons:

1.  I'm a realist.
2.  I could never publish personal stories about my spouse.  Some stories I can't share.  They are private.  And when I read the "big time" blogs... things are said about their spouses, and families, and I'm not comfortable sharing all details of another person's life.  It's like ratting them out.  Somehow.  In my Soprano alter-reality. (Unless they're my kids?  And I got them to sign a permission slip.)
3.  I can't talk about private parts of the body.  I struggle mentioning periods or sex.  I couldn't talk about my private body parts like they belonged to everyone.  Because they don't.  Nursing is one thing... lady parts are another.
4.  I can't/won't "Make Life Happen."  When I blog it's something that happened just regularly.  Or a funny encounter or an epiphany or a family milestone.  That's my zone right there.  Coming up with new party ideas and tips on how to raise kids and product reviews and outfit posts and ... ? .... Come on.  I'm treading water as is.  I can't plan an activity or throw a party just so I can put it on the blog.  I checked with my receptionist and she said I simply don't have the time.  When I told her I hate that excuse, she said I don't have the energy.  And I told her, "I love you."

So.  Enjoy the new space.
I made it for you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

You're In The Right Place

Rearranging.

Teeth!

Joey has 2 teeth coming up on the bottom.
Ken found them on Sunday.

I said I felt like a negligent, unobservant, inattentive, and careless mother.
Ken said he felt like Christopher Columbus.

Yes, really.  Christopher Columbus discovered the New World and Ken discovered Joey's baby teeth.  I see the similarities.

No I don't.

Ever since those little tooth buds have popped up Joey's been wanting porterhouse steaks, prime rib, whole apples, caramel taffy, beef jerky, bacon & blue cheese burgers, kielbasa, hard shell tacos, licorice, corn on the cob, hot wings, fried won tons, duck a l'orange, sausage and peppers, Skittles, a nice BLT,....

... he's settling for carrot sticks and pepper slices.  I slide him a graham cracker when I'm feeling generous.  But he'll shake his bottle at me and yell gibberish that I translate to mean, "This food stinks!  Where's the good stuff, lady!"



 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm A Go-Getter

I've been thinking about the goals I set 52 days ago.  (26 days until Spring, 171 days until my 29th birthday (the age I've been waiting to be my whole life), 306 days until Christmas.)  It's seem like the year started a long time ago.  Winter blows.
I set the normal goals I always set for myself: workout, save money, make a schedule for the kids, fix my bed everyday.  And then as a couple weeks passed I got to thinking that I made really boring goals.  Which would follow suit for my boring life.  And sad sad woe is me.
And then, towards the end of January, I switched Goal Gears.  And I made fun ones.  Things that I really wanted to do.

A sampling, mon chere?

1.  Order something new, that I've never tried, when we go out to eat.
I love going out to dinner and I always order the same thing.  Name a restaurant and I'll tell you what I always get.  Outback?  Did someone say Outback?  House salad with Tangy Ranch 86 the maters.  Tassie Buffalo Wings with blue cheese sauce and don't forget the Blooming Onion.  Uhhhh.  Garcia's.  Tampico stuffed chicken.  Coke. With lime.  Olive Garden.  Come on.  EASY!  Soup, Salad, a Breadsticks.  Zuppa Toscana soup.  And if the menu is overwhelming I cruise for Chicken Strips (and mashed potatoes) or Country Fried Steak.  I always get the same things.  But this year?  2013?  No repeats.  All new things.  Even new restaurants.  That's mostly because I married a man who is firmly against chain restaurant dining.  Unless its breakfast on Saturday and then you'll find us at The Village Inn.  It's a fun goal.  One that's fun to keep.
2.  Take a Continuing Education class.
Not some Institute Religion Class from BYU.  I've still got a chip on my shoulder about my whole experience there.  But I wanted to do something to meet new people and enhance myself. (You didn't there WAS room to improve, did you?) So!  My 3 options are Toastmasters, Master Gardener, and Pottery.  And, I say "options"... but let's be real here... I'm doing all three.  I looked into some pottery classes and they are all full but I called and am Numero Uno on the roster for summer at the Red Kiln.  Before weeks end I'm going to get info on the other two.  Toastmasters would be great for my inability to small talk. Personal example and personal example. And Master Gardener? I mean, yes, yes, yes!  That is me!  I just need that 3 pack of floral gloves from Costco and a big garden hat.  (Hint: 171 days until my birthday....there's two perfect gifts right there.  Ken?  Are you reading this?)
3.  Talk to Strangers.
Not scary strangers... but like the check-out people at the grocery store, the local librarian, people I don't know at church.  My Mom and father in law are really good at this.  In totally different ways.  My father in law knows all the workers, by name, at his local Albertson's.  And they all know him.  And my Mom will talk to people while she's waiting in line at the bank, or store, or post office.  She's friendly without being obnoxious.  Like, she'll tell a kid with crazy hair that it looks really good and ask where he goes to get it cut.  I was in Walmart and the woman in front of me had a beautifully tied scarf.  I asked her how she tied it and she showed me!  My own personal demonstration, right at Walmart.  It takes a little bravery- but people (so far) are very accepting.  ONE TRIBE YA'LL.(clap) Oh OHH OHH (clap) Oh OHH OHH One Tribe Ya'll!
one planet, one race it's all one blood, don't care about your face the color of your eye or the tone of your skin don't care where you are, don't care where you been Wha? Wha? Wha? One Tri One tri One tribe ya'll.


 Joey loves dancing with me to that song.

4.  Look up.
I have a nice life in a nice world.  Look up and enjoy it.  Look up.  Look up at home, at the store, at the gas station, when you're taking a walk, shoveling snow, getting the mail.  Look up with your eyes, with your face with your heart.  Feel good.  Look up.

And just for some additional hoots, here's my goals from 1997.  I was 13.  I'm so glad my mom saved this stuff.




Please Notice:  I was going to run once a week but exercise daily. ??? Wert. I wish I could remember who Tiesha was.  I know one thing...She had long hair.  I like the little clock I put by my time frame for reading the Book of Mormon.  Always been uber creative.   I felt the need to have an emergency/Christmas fund when I was 13.  I guess if an emergency didn't crop up I would have Christmas money.
...and what about that very last goal.  Cross stitch.  You go super cool Patty!  Get involved!



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Anonymous

Remember when Anonymous was associated with something nice, pleasant, and usually uplifting?  Someone "anonymously" raked all my leaves.  An "anonymous" donor gave the money for the library. Or you got a letter from your secret admirer signed "Anonymous."  Well, maybe you did- but I wasn't ever really secretly (or openly) admired in 4th grade when those letters were all the hype.  Psht.  Don't know why.  I thought bluish old lady glasses, fully buttoned shirts, brushed out perms, and Chiclet teeth were what the boys were after back in '94.
Anonymous was so mysterious and generous.  To be Anonymous was the Ultimate in brotherly kindness.  You did something compassionate and then didn't take any credit for it.  You were Anonymous.  Highly regarded among mystics and library card holders.
But now, with the Internet, Anonymous means something completely different.  It means you can say whatever you want without consequences. Being Anonymous has given people the liberty to say things they would never say to some one's face (or even out loud) and post it where everyone and anyone can read it and jump on the Anonymous Band Wagon themselves.  Often without using a form of spell check.

Being Anonymous has always seemed cool to me but when did being mean also become cool?

The Anonymous Commenter needs to stop.  Belittling and attacking someone simply because they don't know who you are doesn't provide entertainment for that long, does it?  Calling someone a bad mom, a bad person, or swearing?  Really?  Do you know that hurts.  To be called those things?  No matter what level of self-esteem you are soaring on... those comments hurt.  Because the person reading them is real.  The person reading them is not Anonymous.  Real.  And attacked on a personal level being called by their own name. 

Anonymous doesn't mean invisible.
What you say is visible.

However... if you insist on being Anonymous... get back to the roots.  Bring Anonymous out of the mud and back to the gold standard it previously enjoyed!  Leave an Anonymous comment.  A nice one.  A comment that will leave the author smiling for days.  Partly because they have no idea who sent it.  Become the secret admirer.
Stay Anonymous.  Change the stereotype.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And He's All Mine

Kole is really into "No Way Jose."  For a long time he left out the "way."  So it was "No Jose!  No Jose!"  Poor poor Mexicans.  Kole was always denying them whatever they were asking for.  Without fully grasping the fun in "No Way Jose," you know... the rhyming... Kole started using it to answer in the affirmative about a week ago.
Example:
Me:  Do you want jelly on your toast?
Kole:  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!

Me:  Would you like to take a walk with me and Joey?
Kole:  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!

Me:  Do you want to wear your bad-azzzz motorcycle shirt today?  (Notice I said azzzzzz.  I don't swear in front of those tender delicate ears.)
Kole:  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!  Yes Jose!

It's catchy.  I can envision my sister, Victoria, and her wife saying it around their house.  I think Cornapple caught on over there.

Kole was running around acting kerrr-azy.  Jumping off the couches, trying to do a somersault, doing donkey kicks, spinning in circles, showing me his belly, shaking his bum, clapping his hands, rolling on the floor, and cracking himself up.  I (was in a good and patient mood and) said, "Koley, you're acting like a wild animal!"  He said, "Yeah!  A WILD COW!"
...
extended pause
....
You know how crazy those cows can get.  All that standing in fields.  Grazing.  It even sounds outrageous.  Ehh.  Maybe not.  If I was having a party and inviting the wildest party-ers in the animal kingdom... the cows wouldn't be on my list.  They'd be on my grill.  Buh-Domp!

I was feeding Kole lunch and he said, "When I was a younger boy I liked bananas."  When you were WHAT?!  You're 2 years old!  When you were "a younger boy"?  Where does he hear these things?  Who talks like that?  Is he watching Downton Abbey without me knowing?  Reading up on Pride and Prejudice during nap times?  He also refers to the kids in nursery as "the other children."  Not some kids or those kids or by their names maybe.  No... they are "the other children."  And if they will excuse Kole he has to go finish his Earl Grey and change for the royal ball.
Kole eating The Mixture.

At Christmas he got into the "See Ya Later Alligator."  I think since we where saying hello and goodbye so often... see ya later alligator popped up and boy was it fun.  Since then, he's gotten a little sloppy with it.  Or maybe he has just forgotten.  So he'll say "Bye alligators!"  or sometimes just "You're an alligator!"  Which tends to leave people a little flummoxed.  Some even look down at themselves and wonder what characteristic is alligator-like.  The claws?  The scales?  What gave it away?  If one doesn't make the see-ya- later-connection it is a rather unusual way to say good bye.

Monday, February 18, 2013

BLOGGIES 2012

It's time!  It's time!  It's time! It'stimeit'stimeit'stimeit'stimeit'stime!  Have you picked your favorites for this year?   Have you placed bets against friends?  Have you planned on having your Bloggie Party catered?  What are you having?  Pigs in a blanket going on over here.  Wings with blue cheese.  Those deli-swirls from Sam's Club.  Yup.  We've got em.  Who are you bringing for you plus one?  Did you get invited to the after party? (you did.)


For the main event!

It is my honor each year to recognize my fellow bloggers.  You guys put in the time.  You share you life with me.  Your ups are phenomenal and your lows... worry me.  This year each of you has made me laugh, made me rethink things, and made me glad to be apart of your blog-o-sphere.  You're out there treading water, growing bit by bit and it's high time I recognized you for your efforts!   You might feel like you are a little fish in a big bloggy pond.  And you might think nobody looks at the little fish.  But I do.  I look every day!



Best FindMeagan Tells All
She's got little ones.  And she's honest about it.  Nothing new there.  I think a majority of bloggers are "honest."  But she post pictures of her with no makeup.  And she calls her baby "squish."  And you feel good and safe reading her blog.  It's a comfortable place.  You breeze in, have a lemonade with the girls, and breeze out.  Feeling renewed.  She makes you want to know her in real life.  And I've been reading her undercover for at least a year.  Just became an open follower and commenter.  Join the masses.  You'll love it.

Best Commenter doubled as The Perfect Stranger: Beth Willmore 
 Don't think ol' Beth-y has a blog but I sure wish she did.  (OpenHint.  OpenHint.  OpenHint.)  She just popped out of nowhere and voila(!) we're blog friends.  Isn't that the best?  I guess it's sorta one sided since... she just reads my blog and comments on my blog and makes me feel good about my blog.  And I just soak it all in.  Thank for the one-sided blog affection, Beth!  Her comments are little conversations.  Cutesy, cutesy, cutesy.  Always more than, "This was great." or "Nice one, Pat."  or the worst, "Lol."  She converses.  And it's brilliant. Hands down... Best commenter of 2012.

One Liners AwardKar's Kith and Kin
Karlenn's blogs are so well thought out.  She is of English Teacher background and I wonder if she doesn't outline her posts before writing them.  They have such flow.  And they are loaded with great one-liners, zingers, and nuggets.  Sometimes its a song lyric or a well-placed movie line.  Sometimes (like a few days ago) it's just a phrase you haven't heard in AGES.  Like "Your funeral."  I died!  The blogger's got skills.  She also has really clever captions for her pictures.  Especially on the side-bar.

Want a Quick LaughLife On The Muskoka River
Kathy doesn't know who I am and that doesn't matter.  She cracks me up.  She talks about "tooting" at work.  Tricking her kids.  Family trips gone wrong.  Family trips gone right.  Her dogs.  Her favorite movies.  She throw in funny pictures and swear words here and there.  She's like a crazy neighbor.  But the good kind.  Is there a good kind?  I just know whatever she says is going to hilarious.  Maybe I'll be her in 20 years.

Makes Me Wish I Was NerdierVive le Nerd
Josh is a dad and a blogger and a nerd and writes a little bit of everything.  He is one of three male blogs I read daily.  He is witty and clever and into writing a novel.  (I forgive him for that.)  And sometimes his posts are about Dr Who or Star Trek or Star Wars or zombies or some nerd thing I don't even know the name of.  And I read the post in complete confusion and then read the comments and everyone is all cracking up.  And all I can think of is "I wish I was nerdier."  He's worth the read.

Keeps Me Waiting (a nice way of saying LEAST UPDATED)Munns Funs and Tori
Come on you two!  Quit slacking.  Post pictures of your kids and let me back in the loop.  Tori I can't even find a link to your blog.  Where ARE you?!  Larae, I've given up on you.  Sorry Toots.

 
Most Loyal Reader Who Never Comments Lyner Jo
I'm taking your word on this Lindsey.  Lindsey is a newly married hottie.  She's got to have oodles to blog about...but she's busy with work and meeting the late night needs of her husband no doubt.  But I know she checks in on me and mine all the time.  So, Bravo Lindsay!  (Not sure how to spell your name, babe.  So I tried every which way.)

Mystery Reader: You! Miss Never-Leaves-Comments
You who never comments.  I don't even know who you are.  I don't even know how you feel about what I write.   But I'm glad you're there.  Making me smile anytime I check my stats.

*Sigh* That was fun.  Let's see what 2013 brings.  I hope you losers can win next year.  I do openly accept bribes.  And winners!  Winners!  Your speeches?

Bloggies 2009
Bloggies 2010
Bloggies 2011

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's in 3 Parts

PART I

Top 10 Reasons Ken Loves Me (I Bet)

1.  I ask but never force him to participate in Harry Potter Marathons.
2.  I clean the kitchen once every 24 hours.
3.  I'm very good about shutting the door when I'm in the bathroom.
4.  I work out in order to keep up a sexy physique.   Shooting for two trips to the gym this week.  Wert.
5.  I make sure his shirts are ironed.  Sometimes he does the ironing.  I just make sure their done before work.

Uh oh. I could only come up with 5.  5 semi-good reasons.  I serious married up when I married Ken.  And he reminds me alllll the time.  No.  Not really.  I remind him though.  And I like to tell him how lucky I feel and how loved I feel with him in my life.  Because I do.




PART II

Top 10 Reasons I Love Ken

1.  He can watch a really boring show about engineering bridges and by the end I am totally into it and want to learn more about how exactly they make the steel do that?  And how many other areas can benefit?  And is there a sequel to "Bridges of Northeast Vermont"?
2.  He cooks dinner.  Every.  Night.  Not kidding.  And it's the good stuff.  Nothing frozen.  He enjoys it.  Which is totally awesome because the few nights I've volunteered to make dinner to take a load off of him... it's been awfulThe food is awful (and not cooked enough) and the experience is awful.  
3.  He is really good at driving in reverse and pulling into parking spots.  
4.  He reads.  All kinds of books.  I think he is on his 7th or 8th book this YEAR!  
5.  He grew his beard again.
6.  He wants to spend time with the boys and gets his version of upset if one of them is in bed early before he gets home.
7.  His version of upset goes no further than mildly irritated.   
8.  He's book smart and mechanically smart.  
9.  He'll take a short shower so I can have all the hot water.
10.  He laughs at my jokes.  
11.  He can see potential in unwanted things.
12.  He keeps a journal.
13.  He tells me when my clothes don't match.
14.  He makes the weekends special without having to go somewhere.
15.  If I have a plan or an idea or a dream he makes it happen.
16.  Everytime he burps he acts like he's never done it before.
17.  He knows when the teasing has reached a not fun point and is able to stop.
18.  He makes really good angel food cake.

18!  Already!  Yoiks!  It's easy to love Ken.

PART III

When we were growing up our mom taught us that Valentine's Day is about love.  Not about relationships.  Growing up my mom would make cut out hearts and they'd be laying at our spots at the table when she called us in for breakfast and morning scripture study.  She'd write "Cutie Pie" or "Honey Bun" on it and it'd be accompanied with a little candy treat.  It always made me feel very special.  And loved.  I think this helped me feel like it didn't matter if I was "alone" on the Big Day.  I was loved.  Valentine's Day is a day to eat the foods you love.  Wear the clothes you love.  And tell anyone you love- that you DO love them.        
I'm teaching Koley the same thing.
Today we had his favorite food for breakfast.  Donuts.  We made valentines for our neighbors (because we love them) and he put his favorite (Cars) stickers on them.  We are going to have corndogs for lunch and we is wearing his favorite outfit.  Sweat pants and a Thomas shirt.  
Today is all about Love.

I can remember being little and having the Valentine's Day party at school coming up.  Mom and Dad said we should make our Valentines.  And bear in mind... this was 20 years ago.  WAY before homemade stuff was "cool."  Dad made them in Word and we cut them out.  Colored them.  Glitter is coming to mind.  And wrote PERSONAL messages to our classmates. Not just signed our names!  We expressed ourselves! I can still remember one of the valentines had monkeys laughing in a barrel and it had typed something like "I Like Monkeying Around With You!"  I didn't want to give that one out to anyone.  But at the end of the night... it was the last one left and I had one more classmate to write one to.  I gave it Michael Lakatos.  Who I didn't want to give one to at all.  Probably because I was in 3rd grade and liked him.  And giving him a valentine would make my crush very obvious.  

I don't remember what happened at the party.  Did he notice?  Did he cherish it?  Did he embarrass me and I have blocked it out?   Hmmm.  Not sure.  Not sure.

Doesn't matter.  I've got my Valentiner- Kenner.
And two little wanna-be Kenners here that love me.
And it's totally mutual. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Somedays are just good.

Today while I was effortlessly feeding and dressing the cubbies, I realized "I can do this!"  I said it in an upbeat and manifesto type voice.  (Yeah.  Out loud.  There was a 2 year old and a baby present... talking to yourself out loud is productive.  Not cray cray.)  It's taken just over 7 months but I am in the swing of having 2 kids.  My next thought was "I AM doing this!"  So much for can!  I'm there!  In it to win it, bay-bee!
And then I cocked my head and looked way out on the horizon and thought These two are alright.

Moms complain more about their jobs than any one else.  You never hear a receptionist, or a waitress, or an engineer, or the president go on and on and on and on about how much their job stinks and how much it wears them out.  But ask a mom and she will let you know exactly how bad she's got it.  And I am capital "G" guilty.  I think it might be because Mom's can't get fired.  But is that because they are the boss?  Or is it because the boss is 7 months old and can't speak?  Hmmm.  Are Moms employees or employers? For me?  It depends on the time of day.  First thing in the morning, I am very much the boss.  I make Koley call me Sarge.  Sometimes he cheats and just calls me Mom.  We are on a timed schedule.  Everything is chip chop "this" and scrub the decks "that" and mind your p's and q's.  But... when we roll to around 5:00 pm.  It's all pretty loosey goosey and the kids can have their way with the house.  And rules.  And snacks.  (Just kidding on the snack part, Ken!)  If the topic is "Complain About Your Kids" I might take a while to chime in... but when I do... prepare for a concerto.

This is wrong.

So!

Kole is so stinking tender hearted.  I yelled at him.  Bad!  Last week and he didn't even react.  He just said, "Oh mom.  You're upset.  Come get a snuggle."  I hope he learned that from me!  And he's been a member of The Clean Plate Club at dinner more nights than I have lately.  He was eating broccoli a couple nights ago and saw I hadn't really eaten much of mine and said, "Try it, Mom.  It's not so bad!  It's kinda... good!"  He loves our daily craft time.  I lucked out there.  He doesn't even care if the craft is dumb.  Or unplanned.  Today I got construction paper and drew on it with a glue stick then poured glitter on top.  Wow.  Was he impressed.  So easy to make him happy.  But my very favorite thing about Koley-Q is that he is my cheerleader.  If I am doing dishes he'll pop his head in and say, "You're a hard worker, Mom!"  If I'm putting the vacuum away he'll say, "WOW!  That's better!  Good job, Mom!"   He's just a gem.





And my little Joey.  2 days ago Joey figured out that he can roll as a form of transportation.  Not just for exercise.  And it seems he finally considers himself part of the clan.  Now, when I walk to my room to get the next load of laundry and Koley-Bubby is following me... Joey sets off with a determined roll.  He struggles around corners.  But bless his heart for wanting to be close.  Joey also is a good eater.  No.  Joey is an over-eater.  Which the pediatrician said is okay and will fade.  No signs of that yet.  He eats four jars of baby food any time he sits in his high chair.  And then he wants a couple graham crackers and a 9 oz. bottle to slam it all down.  Porker.  Joey loves to get his head rubbed.  And he loves it if you sniff around his ears like a dog would.  Can't say I remember how I figured that one out.  Joey's best traits:  patient and long-suffering.  Typical little brother stuff I think... and hope. 

They are good good boys.  They are a lot of work.  But today I see it as enjoyable. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Craft Catastrophe

It's winter.  Stillllllll. 
Still winter means we're still inside... still running out of things to do... still still still.

My sister, Andi, sent me an e-mail that listed 200 things to do with your kids inside.  Most of them were crafts and experiments.  Right up there in my alley.  I sorted through what I considered to be the duds and was left with about 75 winners.  Or... so I thought.
I showed Kole the list and he picked one with cotton balls.  The kid loves cotton balls.  What can I say?  I'm raising him right.
We got all set up.  Covered the table with newspaper, carefully mixed the flour and water, and added food coloring.  We dipped the cotton balls in and then placed them on a well-greased (old and nasty) cookie sheet.  We sat and watched them bake for 40 minutes. Yup.  We sat in front of the oven with the little light on and watched.  And "chit chatted."  Which is Kole's newest favorite word. 

And we made:

Um... They were....

They kinda were like.... rock hard cotton balls.

"What do I do with it, Mom?"

"Can we eat it?"  "No.  You can't eat it.  You can.... uhhhhh...."

"It's dinosaur poop." -Kole

I can't really say what we made.  Or what the purpose was.  It killed time.  We ended up sorting them by color.  Lining them up.  Throwing them at the baby. (Just kidding.)  (Not really.)  They turned out right... I just can't say as what.  And when I went back and re-read the article, it never really said what they were.  But they're kids called them dinosaur poop too.  Which is really pretty cool that dinosaurs poop in color.

So, in closing, if you're feeling the winter blues, if you've got a little cabin fever and you want to bust out of it by making so cotton ball rocks- Let me know!  I've got the recipe!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Doing Good

In church on Sunday (or maybe a couple a Sundays ago) we sang, "Have I Done Any Good?"  I learned this song in Primary and just laaaaaa-hove it.  Let's sing it together!  You can sing it in your head if you want.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped any one in need?
Have I cheered up the sad?
Or made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.

Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there

Then waaaaaaaaaake UP(!) and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, 
a joy beyond measure
A blessing of duty and love. 

I added a little emphasis there on the chorus.  What?  That's how I sing it.  I normally straighten my posture right there too.  Right there on the "up" I just like to pop up.  I've been humming this song around the house.  There's been a lot of do-goodery towards me lately.

Lets start with my neighbor, Cloyd.  Cloyd lives all by himself and has Fallow Deer and a tractor.  (Just wanted to throw it in about the deer. They are unrelated to this story.)  Any time it snowed this year and he saw me out there breaking my back and sweating through my parka trying to shovel... he fired up the tractor.  Rolled down to my house and plowed the driveway in five minutes.  And he'd salute me and Kole then drive on home.

Another woman, Ruth, brought me warm bread.  She baked bread!  From... what?... yeast?  And flour!  And love.  Cheesy but true.

Then, a couple days ago on Facebook, I put that I wasn't ready for the day...the Kenster took the car... and I could really use a Coke.  And wouldn't you know it... just like rubbing a genie's lamp... my friend, Kristi brought a Coke over.  It was Diet... but I was overcome with love and was tearing up so didn't hold it against her.  She probably figured I must drink Diet to look as smoking good as I do.

I'm always getting straight out blessed for no reason.  These 3 all happened in the last week.  Maybe it's been a week since we've had snow but Cloyd's been around.   All these acts sure has made me think.... Have I cheered up the sad?  Have I made someone feel glad?

Meh. Doubt it.

My first reaction was oh HECK yeah.  My kids.  All day every day.  I'm getting them what they need, playing with them, feeding them, rubbing cream on their rash-y ashies.  But.  When I thought about it.  That probably doesn't count.  I'm their mom.  I'm supPOST to do that stuff.
I haven't really helped anyone.  Perhaps.  Perhaps that is why I have felt so bleh.
But my chance to turn things around happened.
I found my chance to make a burden lighter when I was a Walmart.  I stopped there after going to the gym (25,000 points to Patty!) to reload our milk supply.  I walked over to the very last cashier the one by the produce that's 20 items or less.  I had only the milk.  There was a kid in front of me who might have been 18.  He was buying 3 Totino's pizzas and a 1 liter bottle of generic Mt. Dew.  The checker girl rang up the 3 pizzas and the boy slid the Mountain Mayhem (or whatever it's called) off to the side.  Out of the line of purchase.  He paid for the pizzas with what was left on a gift card and some change.  I just felt for the kid.  He had this plan in his head to go home and eat pizza and drink Mt. Dew and probably play World of Warcraft.  He had his night planned.  He had stopped at Walmart... and his math was wrong.  And he didn't have enough money.  Isn't that the worse feeling in the world?  Well... when you're 18.  And have a party planned for yourself.  He was going to have to eat all those pizzas with plain old water.  Talk about the pits.
So, with my new-found zeal to do good I said, "Do you want this drink?"
"Uh. No.  I don't.  I don't know why I picked it up.  It was an accident."
"I'll buy it for you.  You can get it."
"Oh.  No.  Don't do that.  I don't need it.  I don't really even want it. I think I have the money for it really."
And he started looking in his (obviously) empty wallet.
I looked at the checker and told her I wanted to buy the pop.
The kid just kept staring at me.
The pop cost 78 cents.
I gave it to him and he said, "I didn't think there were nice people in the world any more."
I told him to have a Happy Groundhogs Day.  And patted his shoulder.  I felt like my mom.

It felt good to do that for him.  Really good.  Way more than 78 cents worth of good.  It was really a pleasure.  A joy beyond measure.

The last verse to the song has a line that says:
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today.

Do.  Go do something.  Today.  Especially if you are feeling blue about something.  Or are in a rut.  Or you've been thinking of doing it for awhile.  Go.  Do it.

I always thought that last line was
"If not I have failed in deed."
not "...failed indeed."

And I think "in deed" is more suiting.  So I'm gonna stick with it.
Unless we want to add to it and make it... "If not I have failed in deed, indeed."
Just hold out that same note.