Tuesday, April 30, 2013

X, Y, Z It's Spring.

Spring makes me feel excited all over. 
When I'm inside I've been opening closets and cupboards and saying, "Ok!  Let's do this!"  I grab some empty diaper boxes and a Hefty bag and tear it up.  And I'm giving it to Goodwill.  Not the DI.  (Please.  Hold your applause until the end.)
When I'm outside I'm donning the gardening gloves (makes me less scared of bugs (applause would be appropriate here)) and digging.  I'm making mini-walls, creating flowers beds, and transplanting everything around here that's in the wrong place. 
And... in a way.  I feel like I'm transplanting myself.  Things within me that were in the wrong place, are being righted.
Has that ever happened to you?
It gets warm and breezy.  You spend the whole day in the sun...helping the Earth.
And after you're done working you lay on the grass and look up....
And you're blossoming into someone new?

Last Years A to Z:
X is for Xiphoid Process.  A little anatomy lesson. 
Y is for Yurt.  I know xiphoid process... yurt?  How many weird words do I know!  A plethora of them.  Ken wants to renounce humanity and live in a yurt.  Save me. 
Z is for Zeal  This post was about a bad day/week or so with Koley-Roosk.  (Did time really stop for a year?)  It is honest.  And lovely.  I loved re-reading it.  And I loved reading the comments.  I've got some good readers.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

V and W...Very Wrong

As a parent... I do some things... very wrong.

It started last Christmas.  At my mom's.  We were eating these chocolates and Kole came up all dewey eyed and asked, "What are those?"  I didn't want him to eat one and didn't want to fight him about it.  So I said...

"Dog treats."

Psht.  No argument there!  That was easy! *smacks hands up and down*  I told myself- that was your freebie because it's Christmas.  But- I've fallen into a bit of a habit here.

Kole catches me sneaking some jelly beans.
"What's that?"

"Can I sleep with an engine tonight?"
"Ohh.... they are all sleeping in Tidmouth Shed already.  Sorry bro.  No engines."

"Can we watch that Wonder Pets again?"
"Sure! Oh!  Dang it!  Netflix isn't working anymore.  Rats."

"I can't find my truck!  You find it!"
"I think it got towed away for illegal parking. Bummer dude."

It's for everything. And it comes so so easily.
Bad Mom Certification is in the mail.
And- I'm trying to think of a lie to keep him in bed at night and make him go to sleep without terrifying him.

Could you lie to this face?
Uh.  Yeah.  ALL THE TIME!

Last Year's A to Z:  V is for Vices.  If you thought I didn't have any faults, you were right.
W is for Wasted Time.  One of my favorite posts ever.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Update

Last night we put Koley in his bed, said good night, and left.  There were tears, pleading, some knocking, some coaxing, and some giggling.  It took 45 minutes.  We didn't go in.
After I had gotten on the treadmill and showered I checked in on the little sprout. 
Zonked.  In his bed.  Tucked in. 
The kid knows how to take care of himself after all.

I'm hoping tonight the shenanigan only lasts 15 minutes.  Heck.  If I'm hoping... I hope it doesn't happen at all!  I hope we give him his bath, jammy him up, lay him in bed, he tells us what wonderful parents we are, then closes his eyes and sleeps until 10 AM. 
Yeah.  That's what I hope happens.

I also hope all this treadmill crap pays off.  I'm doing 2.5 miles in 30 minutes.  It's one of those built in programs.  You know.. you start on a 2 and it's like... I'm not even moving!  So you bump it up to a 4... and the treadmill re-adjusts the whole thing... so you end up running at an 8.  When you were supposed to max out at 6.  And you're pretty sure that anyone with shorter legs than you couldn't run at an 8.  And you're sprinting and talking yourself out of standing on the sides for a second.  And the timer is running down and you only have to run for 7 more seconds.  Three.  Two. ErrrrrrRRRRRRRRR!  <-- Incline.  Speed 5.  Incline 8.  Yeah.  I stand on the side for part of that.
But I'm sweaty and that feels good.  And I'm sleeping better.  But I think that's because Joey sleeps all night now.
Currently on the look out for a running song.
I've been listening to a LOT of Eminem when I'm on there.  Could be the gray sweatpants I'm wearing.
But, if you come within 15 feet of the garage around 8 o'clock.. you'll here some breathless karaoke to "The Way I Am."

Last year's A to Z:  U is for Uncertainty. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Taking Charge

This is how bed time used to be with Kole:
Lotion and dress.
Lights off.
Total time elapsed?  Ehhhh.... 15 minutes?

This is how bed time is now (<---- since he moved to a big bed 10 months ago.)
Stalling in the tub.
I want to push the button.  This water was a little too warm let's start over.  Wrong towel!
Wrestle into clothes.  Well... at least the pants amid complaints of:
This is too small.  Wah. Too tight. Wah. Wrong jammies!  Wah.  I don't like those!  Wah.
Kole runs out of the room without a shirt on.
I get him.
Happy screaming from Koley.
Angry screaming in my head.
Get shirt on Kole.
Do burrito swing.
Prayer time.  I don't think I should really be able to call it prayer time.  Because I am saying a prayer.  Ken is watching Kole and Kole is doing whatever the "H" he feels like.
Normally rolling on the floor squeaking about Thomas the Tank Engine.
Lights off.
Lights back on because Kole wants to do it.
Lights off.
Chompy Dovey.
Special Talk.
Kiss from Daddy.
Chompy Dovey from Daddy.
Chuggy Chuggy from Daddy.
Special Talk from Daddy.
We leave.

Quiet for 35 seconds.

Knocking on the door.
Mom?  Mom?  Mom?
Books start getting slid under the door.
Goes for 5 minutes.

Crying starts.
Door kicking.
I go in there.
"I need something, Mom?"
 It's terrible.  And all my fault.

It's been 10 months in forming the worst habit ever.  A habit that's there every night.  For 2 and a half hours.  And I'm sick-of-it!I get so fuming mad at him for not going to bed and really.... he's 2.  So, it's my fault he doesn't do it right. It's my fault for going in there over and over and over.  Me and Super Nanny give me a lot of crap after I've given into 768 requests from what should be a sleeping Koley.
The Bad Sloppy Unable to Discipline Mom groupies came over and asked me to be their President.
That's when I knew it was way worse than I thought.  AND!  I start looking forward to bedtime at like 3:30 in the afternoon.  So when it's supposed to be at 7 and it happens at 9:30... I'm not saying anything nice in my head.  And I'm normally not talking at all.  I am walking silently and rigidly around the house with my jaw clenched and one eyebrow up.  It's my angry stance.

So, to end the humiliation and bad feelings towards a genuinely sweet kid, I'm taking charge!  I am 14 times his age... and way more times smarter than him.  Although my sentence structure and grammar proves otherwise.  I've created a chart with Sleep Rules.  And we are going to have a lesson about going to bed the right way.  And there's a reward system.  And if he gets up and pounds on the door- I'll walk in and not talk and put him right back in bed.  No sympathies.  No coddling.  The buck stops here, Koler-roosk. 
And so does the bowls of crackers, refills on water, extra snuggles, late night readings from Who Put The Pepper In The Pot, checking under the bed, looking out the window for train engines, and getting your stuffed animals dressed for bed. 

Last year's A to Z: T is for T is for Thirty-Two.  A little post to commemorate 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Monday, April 22, 2013

R and S are for Really? SERIOUSLY??

Today I have orientation at The U.

I'm guessing it'll be a lot of pimply 19 year olds wearing their red Utes sweatshirts and cautiously flirting with each other.  The thought is gagging me.  I know they are probably really excited... they're not in high school anymore and they are adults and can do what they want.  This is their first big day away from home.  It's only 8:30 - 4:30.
Is your dad paying your tuition?
Yeah.  Get over your adulthood and study.
Or you'll fail your first semester. 

I know you got to take one of the cars from home and your mom is paying your cell phone bill so "she can still call you whenever she wants to."  So- I just can't take you that seriously.
And... you know how on TV they stay up all night and party and laugh and take pictures to post on Facebook and then they are so tired in class the next morning...but still pass their exams.  Well, um, that's TV. 
You know what would happen if you did that in real life and not prime time right?
And, finally,  do you understand what mandatory means when used in Mandatory Orientation?  It means MUST.  You have to show up for this orientation or you can't register for class.  Do you still feel like an adult? 

I don't.  And I'm 28.
This is my third University.  I get the drill.
And I don't want your campus tour either.
Just give me my ID and free ham sandwich and let me register already.

PS.  You (University Officials) can use this post as part of your orientation speeches.  These youngsters really do need to hear it.

Last year's A to Z:  R is for Recently.  Kole's transition into bath time fun is explained and videoed.
S is for Stands of Lemonade. A must must read.  This is a flashback story of me and my two younger sisters and our great ideas to get more business at our lemonade stand. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quickly

As in how quickly you'll get through this post.

My favorite thing on Pinterest is my sister, Andi's, Laughing Jag page.

Enjoy these to get your weekend rolling.


Last Year's A to Z: Q is for Por Que?  I don't like the movie Cars.  With good GOOD reason.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Pushy Parenting

Kole's friend, Triston, spent the afternoon with us on Monday and I was shocked by how bossy and authoritative Kole became around his friend.  It was... out of Kole's character.

They'd be pushing their trains on the little wooden track and Kole would stop Triston and say:
Actually, THIS is how you push your train.  And then give a demonstration.

I'd tell Kole there were lots of ways to push a train and let Triston push his however he wants.

We were cuddling up to read a book under the blankets and Kole stops the group.
"Actually, THIS is how you get under the blankets."  Demonstration followed.  "See?  You try."

I explained there is no right or wrong way to be cozy.  People just do what feels good.
It continued all day.

Snack time.
Actually, THIS is how you eat a Oreo.

Actually, THIS is how you act like a puppy.

Actually, THIS is how you color your page.

Actually, THIS is how you look out the window.

Actually, THIS is how you drive a truck backwards.

Actually, THIS is how a cow sounds.

He was getting under my skin, I can't imagine how poor Triston felt.  When his mom came to get him I relayed the story and told her my fear that Kole would never make friends... because who wants to be with someone who constantly corrects you?  Ugh.  Annoying.  When I told Ken I added,  "Where does he get that?"  Ken shrugged.  Kids have lots of unsolved mysteries.

That night I was giving Joey his bath and Kole came in and said, "Look Mom!  I got some pepperoni from the bakery!"
To which I responded:
"Actually, you get pepperoni from the deli."

My mouth went dry.  My face burned.
Mystery solved.

Last year's A to Z: P is for Perm.  I got my hair permed right before I entered 4th grade.  And I was a hottie!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Obviously

 Very obviously blessed these days.
Strong boys.
Strong willed, bodied, and spirited.
Strong singing voices too.

They are happy.
Happy hearts, minds, and faces.
Super happy at cookie time.

They love to cuddle.
Cuddle me,  Ken, or one another.
Really love blanket cuddle time with all stuffed animals in attendance.

I'm blessed.
And it's obvious.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Novice Advice.

Back in '95 I was working on my Gospel In Action award.  One of the requirements was "List ways you can become a better friend and practice some of them."  I was eleven.  And I had some damn good advice.  And I loved using WordPerfect.  Clipart was as fun then as it is now.

Points to Notice:
1.  Rude noises in #3?  Was I thinking like that armpit sound boys in 5th grade made?  I didn't even know how to do that.  Still don't.  Was it snorting when laughing?  I wish my younger self was more specific.
2.  Re-read #4.   I will give out encouragement to those who do not feel they are not doing good.  That would be the people who think they are doing good.  I really wanted to lather those feel-gooders up.
3.  Uh, #11?  Still struggling with that one 18 years later. 

There you have it The 12 Step Program to Be a Better Friend.  Review the list... and then... review your life.

Last years A to Z: N is For Number 1.  It's the best possible music flashback.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Mommy On The Bus

The Wheels on the Bus is Kole's all time favorite song.  I haven't introduced him to Air Supply yet- so... ya know.  He has always really liked the "mommies on the bus" going "shh shh shh" and the "babies on the bus" going "wah wah wah."
A couple months ago we were singing it and I said "The daddies on the bus go...." and in a moment of panic (and cruel teasing) I sang "Pfft!  Pfft!  Pfft!" And I made the sound of one passing gas.  Kole was rolling.  He's two, so stinky things and toot noises are soooo funny.  Plus, Dads do pass a lot of gas.  Post here.  When Ken came home Kole wanted to sing him the new verse we made up.  Classic.  Point Patty.  She takes the lead.

I went to run some errands last week and Ken was home with the boys.  When I got home and asked about what happened in my absence; everything was reported as fine.
Yesterday me and Koley were sitting on the living room floor and decided to sing his favorite song.  We did the wipers, the driver, the wheels, the tooting daddies, the babies, and when we got to the mommies... Kole sang a different verse than before.

"The mommies on the bus eat LOTS OF SNACKS!  Lots  of snacks!  Lots of snacks!"

Touche Ken.  Touche.

Last year's A to Z: M is for Moot Point.  It's all those things I heard wrong... and said wrong for so many years. Moot point not mute point.  Nip it in the bud not in the butt.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lines

Today I was waiting in line at Costco to pickup my prescription.  When I got there I was 5th in a slow line.  By the time one customer was cared for- 4 or 5 other people were in line behind me.  Now, at Costco, a line just kinda forms down one of the aisles and as good citizens and Costco cardholders one would seek out that line and find their place at the end of it. 
After roughly 20 minutes I was second line.  I stood behind an elderly couple... probably in their eighties.  As we were waiting there a man came walking towards the pharmacy from the aisles of groceries.  I'd peg him in his late fifties early sixties.  He was obviously eye-ing the Pharmacy.  And get this... he walks up, sees the line, and takes his place... next to the couple in their eighties.  Not behind them... not at the back of the line where he was supposed to go.  The pharmacist says, "Next" and the man gestures for the really old couple to go first.  Oh how generous he is!  To let the people who have been waiting to go ahead of him.  What a gem.
At this point, I'm getting that really hot ball in my heart.  The one I get before I pick a fight with a stranger. I can feel it coming... an unnecessary quarrel.  So I tell myself, Patty.  Patty.  Listen.  He's older than you.  Respect your elders.  Ken is waiting in the car with the kids.  Just stay calm.  Make this easy and let him go first.  It doesn't matter that he "broke rules."  You're not his mom.  This isn't your place.  Just... leave it.  But my feet started shuffling and I was biting my lips and my hands were white fists.
The elderly couple was swiping their card.  The time was coming.
Out of the corner of my eye I see the line cutter looking at me.  What was his plan?  To pretend he's been in line for 20 minutes?
Me and the guy who jipped in line met eyes.
A wave of the hand would have been easy.  I can't do it!
Patty:  Do you think you are next?
Man: (head tilted smiling)  I just need to get some pills.
Patty:  (head tilting and also smiling)Yeah.  We all just need to get some pills.  That's why we're waiting in line at the Pharmacy.
Man:  Yeah.  But it'll be so quick.
Patty:  I don't think you should be allowed to cut everyone in line because you think it'll be "so quick."  Mine will be quick too.  The people behind me will be quick.  We all planned on just running in and running out.  Didn't work that way today.
Man:  I don't really need to be in that line for what I need.
Patty:  Hmmm.  Really?  I had to be in that line.  But-  if you think you can get what you need in less than 30 seconds.  You can go.  And I will be timing you!

The guy smiled.  As he was walking towards the counter he asked for a bottle of some Gold Mineral Vitamins or something.  The pharmacy tech tossed him a bottle that was kept on the shelves behind the counter.  The man caught it, as he was still walking.  He held it up to me with a wink and smile.  I couldn't help but smiling back.  He gave me a pat on the back and told me "Thanks."  We had bonded.
See?  All kind of fun things can happen when you're waiting in line.

But uh... as a P.S.... it doesn't always end so pleasantly.
This one time I fought with a man a Winco about bagels.  Post here.
Or another time this lady at the University Bookstore wouldn't let me sell books back.  Enjoy here.
One time a neighbor passive aggressive-ly put an op ed article in my mailbox about dogs barking.  That didn't work.  Read the face to face confrontation here.

I don't look for these situations.  They find me. 
That and I listen to a lot of Jock Jams.

Last Year's A to Z : L is for Longevity  I think the perfect age is 60 and I explain why I can't wait to have my AARP card.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Koler-roosk

The kid is 2 and talks like (and thinks) he is 28.  He looks like Ken but acts like me.  His favorite things to say right now are:

1.  You're a bossy Mom.
2.  Uhhh... let me think about that one sec.
3.  Check it out.
4.  I'm a sad snake.
5.  I need something.
6.  Hmmm. It's hard to say.  (uses this when I give two choice for breakfast/clothes/trains/games)
7.  I gotcha.  IIIIIIII gotcha.
8.  It's such a beautiful day out.  I should play in the dirt today.
9.  I'll be very careful.
10.  I could use a little treat.
and...my favorite.
11.  Let's put Joey down for a nap and chit chat.

Worth pointing out:  Kole doesn't know what bossy means.  At first I thought he knew what it meant because he used it in context.  I'd ask him to eat his cereal- "You're being bossy."  Put your shoes on.  "You're a bossy Mom."  Picture gotten.  Then he'd be playing and say, "Hold on, I gotta get my bossy engine."  ???  Or "Joey is crying because he is bossy. ???  And "I don't want to take a nap, I'm too bossy."  Yeah.  He's in left field kicking the grass on "bossy."
Also: He thinks "something" is an object.  Like a pen is a pen.  Something is a thing he can hold.  Not a pronoun.  So, a few times a day I russle with Koley saying, "I need something."  And I ask, "What thing?" "Something!"  "Yeah- but what?"  "SOMETHING MOM!"  Tears.  Crumbling to the floor.  Becomes a sad snake. <-- Origin unknown.

He's a happy boy with a happy heart.

   Last year's A to Z:  K is for Knockout.  All about pretty Andi Girl.  Spreading some sisterly love.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J Is For Joey. Poor Second-hand Joey.

Because Joey was not only my second child but my second son he's got a lot second hand.  Typical mom move.  Joey doesn't know anyway.
But as the last nine months have passed, I think Joey has gotten about 9 new outfits.  All the rest have been Koley hand me downs.  He's using Koley's old crib, drinking from Koley's old bottles, and bathing in Koley's old baby tub.  Joey bounces in Koley's old blue horse, get his diaper changed on Koley's old changing table, and takes walks with me in Koley's old stroller.
Sometimes I think Joey even gets second-hand parenting.  First class... but second hand.  Like with Kole I was so strict about bed time and naps and the duration thereof.  There was a strict schedule and there was no wavering.  When it was time for Koley to sleep through the night.... I quit going in there.  Kole never had anything sweet or sugary until he tasted cake on his first birthday... and then there was that 12 months in between his 1st and 2nd birthday that was pretty void of sweets also.  Wert.
With Joey... eh!  I nibble off a piece of my Oreo for him here and there.  I'll let him take a bite of cheese even though he's not one.  I'll take him out of his crib and let him watch The Wonder Years with me if he's gonna cry about.  It's a looser ship.  And when Ken gives me a sideways look that says Abnormal Patty Parenting Happening, I raise my fake glass and say with a smile, "It's 5:00 somewhere!"  Cheers!
With the parenting Joey has kinda lucked out with the second-hand stuff... but in all other ways... he seriously gets the shaft.  For instance:
If Kole takes something from Joe he has to replace it with something else.  If Kole takes a train from Joey he should give him another one.  I thought this was working pretty well.  I'd always hear Joey cry and then Kole chirp, "Here you go!" and the crying would stop.  So I figured all was well.  But Monday I heard Joey cry, looked in on the situation, saw Koley had taken a light up toy that played music from Joey.  I said, "Hey.  What do you need to do now?"  Koley, ne'er missing a beat, chirped, "Here you go, Joe!"  and threw a sock in Joey's general direction.  A sock.  Not a comparable toy.  Not a toy at all!  A sock that Ken took off after work and tucked under the couch.  Here you go Joey!  Sorry you were born second.  Sucks for you!
Yesterday, I saw Joey's tide had the opportunity to change.  He had outgrown Koley's old carrier car seat and it was time for his very own new one.  Mint condition.  Never before used.  Complete with leather trim and cup holder.  All his own to carry him through 3 levels of automobile safety.  During nap time I hauled it out to the Subaru and started reading through the Installation directions.  In case you've never had a modern day car seat... there's a reason it's called Installation.  It's a process.  And a bear.
As I read the new manual I found out Joey's seat can not be used as a rear-facing.  Only forward.  And all children under one have to be rear-facing. Sad turn of events.  My arms dropped, my heart dropped, and my head dropped... to see Koley's old stained car seat strapped into the car.  It was covered with Goldfish crumbs and mud from Kole's shoes.  It was wet from where he spilled his water that morning on the way to the store.  It just looked beat up.  But- it could face backwards. It took an hour and a half but I got both car seats in, attached, and facing the right way.
Koley, us usual, got something new and shiny and never before used.
And Joey got a worn out piece of Koley memorabelia.
But on the positive side, I kept Joey's streak of second-hand hand me downs in tact.
Go Joey!
Here's Joseph sporting Kole's old Boise State sleeper.

Last Year's A to Z:  J Is For Justified.  I was entering my third trimester of pregnancy and had some happy and unhappy things to say about it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for I Said....

Six months ago we moved into our little house and I felt so happy.  So happy that I felt like celebrating every day.  With a pop and a cookie.  Or a pop and some ice cream.  Or a candy bar and some pop. 
I kept saying, Isn't this the greatest day? Nom nom nom.  
Then the holidays came and after they passed I got a leetle depressed.  It's annual and recoverable. 
But I'd get up and think, Nothing fun is ever going to happen again
And I'd drink a pop to try to remember the good old days. 
Then one morning I woke up and just stayed as I was.  In faded pajamas and messy hair.
I said, Give yourself a break.  You don't have anywhere to go today.  Just relax.  One day felt so good, I gave it a whirl for a couple days after that.  And the following week- it wasn't uncommon for Kole to be in his footy-jammies when Ken got home at 6:30. 
I'd smile and say, It's cold out.  He wanted to stay cozy.  Don't worry we didn't go anywhere.
Should have been a sign right there.  Ken should have interfered... though I probably would have bit his head off and put it on a shush-kabob.
Weeks passed and I stayed just like that.  Not dressed.  Not going anywhere.  Not all that inspired.
One day I was trying to get Kole dressed so we could take Joey in for a check up.  Kole was fighting it with all his 2-year old might.
"Kole, You have to get dressed."
"No, I don't stinky Mom!"
(Stinky is his worst insult.  Doesn't really leave a dent.)
"Yes you do."
"Why?  You don't get dressed."
And the youngling had a point.
First knife entered my heart.

I got Kole dressed and went to put my jeans on with his unintentionally hurtful words in my head.  I pulled my jean up and uh... they didn't zip.  And I don't mean the whole way- I mean like none of the zipper teeth were touching.
I put on some black leggings and a drape-y shirt and said, It's winter.  Happens to everyone.
(See how good I am at justifying?  Pro.  Fessional.  Besides that... does it happen to everyone?  I know there could be a little winter pudge... but so much pudge your jeans no longer zip?  Excessive, no?)
That day I sulked over some pop and said, That's it.  I'm changing.  I can do this. I can fit into my size 12 jeans again. 
So I went to the gym.  Once.  And was pissed when my pants didn't fit me when I got home.  True story.

So, since the gym didn't work, I decided to at least get dressed in elastic waisted pants everyday.  Show little impressionable Kole the importance of changing out of your pajamas.  Even if it be into some VS Love, or black yoga pants, or some heather gray leggings, I Would still look presentable.  Well- apparently that's a slippery slope. 
Yesterday, I was home in my pajamas all day.  After only a few weeks of my "lofty goal."  And it was just sad.
So, last night I said,  Get up and get ready.  You'll feel good.
And I did.
I squeezed into some jeans.  Put on my Rolling Stones t-shirt.  I blew out my hair and used my Chi.  I put a little makeup on and fed Koley his breakfast.
Over our bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios Kole looked uneasy.
He kept staring at me.
Then he'd tilt his head.
"What?," I asked.
"Are we going to church today?"
"Nope.  Today is Wednesday.  We go to church on Sunday."
"Well your hair looks pretty.  I thought we were going to church."
"Hm!,"  I said, "That makes sense.  But you can look pretty and just stay home too."
Continue eating.
More staring.
More head tilting.
"What are you looking at Kole?"
"Oh, and?"
"You look different.  Like we're going to church or something."
I smiled.
"Maybe you think I look different because I put some makeup on and fixed my hair today."
"Yeah.  That looks beautiful."
"Why Thank You Koley-roosk."
"You're welcome.  And you put your clothes on today."
"That's right!  I did!  I'm all ready for the day."
"You should do that everyday.  It feels good."

Second knife to the heart.  I don't know if he meant HE feels good when I am dressed- or if it just feels good to be dressed- or if he's just repeating something he heard me say once.  Either way- ouchie.    And shame on you, Patty!  You are setting an example for your children.  Is that example, "Look at me!  This is how to be a bum!"  Currently, (except for today) Yes!
And the buck needs to stop here.
Or... I need some money to buy some bigger jeans.
When the pooch was just getting started.  Can you see it?  Hanging there over my waistband?

Last year's A to Z: I is for Intellectual, Inventor, I Thought of That

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hottie

My celebrity crush list has adapted once again. The only thing constant is change- whaddup.

My list started in 2008 with:

1.  Phil Mickelson
2.  Jim Cramer
3.  Stephen Colbert

Valid reasons and drool worthy pictures found here.(Psht...as if I needed to defend those choices.  Pa-lease.)

A little later I added Hugh Jackman and Robert Pattinson.  Claiming I'd watch any (properly rated) movie they were in.  Even the dumb ones.  So... yeah... any of their movies.  And I stand by that claim.  Because, Robert Pattinson, you're on my list- but I don't like you for your acting skills.  Do you know whatI'msayin?  *pulls chin down to neck and shakes head loosely* YouknowwhatI'msaying?
Then, I got into a phase with fictional characters.
Ari Gold from Entourage. Golden Bad Boy.
Ron Weasley.  Oh, Ron.
Peeta is still fresh in my mind.  And dreams.  And I'm still writing our names on the back of my notebooks. *sigh* Oh Peeta.  The odds are so in your favor.

That takes our total to eight.  And a list of eight just feels incomplete.
To even the score.
One fictional.  One real.

9.  Barney Stinson
Barney is from the sitcom How I Met Your Mother.  He loves suits.  And he loves women.  Eh... maybe he just loves their boobs.  He writes a blog.  Mostly about the bro code.  I don't know what it is that is so hypnotic.  The one night stands every night?  The clothes?  The eyes?  The singing?  No.  No.  That's not it.  I think it's all the cheesy one liners.  I'm a sucker for a pun.  And, Barney, though you may be numerically #9 on the list... you are #1 in my heart.

10.  Leonard Cohen.
I'll let the man speak/sing for himself.
Chills, right?  Sexy, right?

I could listen to him all day. And for the last three days I have been. And how he looks right.  at.  you.  Whoa. Swoon.
So!  That completes the list.

1.  Phil Mickelson
2.  Jim Cramer
3.  Stephen Colbert
4.  Hugh Jackman
5.  Robert Pattinson
6.  Ari Gold
7.  Ron Weasley
8.  Peeta Mellark
9.  Barney Stinson
10. Leonard Cohen

Whew!  Zing zing baby!

Last year's A to Z: H is for Hirable.  I take you on a comic journey of my first few jobs.

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Garden Markers by Moi

I decided to power up my garden markers this year.  I got the idea on Pinterest.  And may I add an emphasis on idea because I looked at this picture:

And said... "Well, THERE'S an idea I can improve on."  Which is big of me to say.  Because although I've always considered myself smarter than most average and above average bears (bordering genius really).  And, considering I've always known I was burdened with good looks that challenged those of Helen of Troy. (Everyone thinks so.) And because I'm flat out funny (ProofMore proof Extended proof.)  That there makes up the tri-fecta.  I've never considered myself artsy.  That I left to my sisters.  Talent overfloweth.

"Birthday Flowers" by Victoria.
Hanging in my bathroom.

"Doug" by Victoria

"After" by Victoria

"Abstract" by Julia

"That's Amore" by Julia

Julia's got herself a fancy Etsy shop too! Bee tee dubya.  I've pretty much stuck to coloring books.  But this Pinterest pin sparked something within me.  So, while I didn't think I could really do all that well... I knew I had my other qualities to fall back on and I might as well give it a whirl.  And I had a vision in mind.  Well...
Watch out Julia!  and Victoria!  And Wassily Kandinsky!

Take THAT Georgia O'Keeffe.
My specialty is painting vegetables on rocks that I stole from The Pond and using them as garden markers.  Ka-freekin-boom!
Bit of a niche market, right Henri Matisse? A bit time consuming.  But... like my predecessors, van Gogh and Seurat... I'm just artsy enough to appreciate that.

Last year's A to Z: G is for Giant Baby.  Kole was a rocking11 pounds... it's been constantly one upped since.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fasebuken

Anytime Ken takes out the iPad Kole says, "You Fasebuken, Dad?"
Facebook.  Instagram.  Twitter.
We're all kinda up in each others' business.
At times it's amusing... I love those postcards with old fashioned people saying modern things.  Or just regular people saying funny things.

And sometimes, it's a little crushing.  It's easy to feel inferior.  Below par.  And inadequate.
My sister, Andi, sent me an article this morning from Relevant Magazine written by Shauna Niequist.
It's been what Andi and I have been realizing, what we needed to hear, and what I want to share.

The danger of the Internet is that it’s very very easy to tell partial truths—to show the fabulous meal but not the mess to clean up afterward. To display the smiling couple-shot, but not the fight you had three days ago. To offer up the sparkly milestones but not the spiraling meltdowns.

True, right, RIGHT?!  Why aren't people... people anymore?  Everyone (according to the Internet) has perfect families, perfect homes, and perfect BMIs.  What's the other option, Shauna?

Community happens when we hear each other’s actual voices, when we enter one another’s actual homes, with actual messes, around actual tables telling stories that ramble on beyond 140 pithy characters.
But seeing the best possible, often-unrealistic, half-truth version of other peoples’ lives isn’t the only danger of the Internet. Our envy buttons also get pushed because we rarely check Facebook when we’re having our own peak experiences. We check it when we’re bored and when we’re lonely, and it intensifies that boredom and loneliness.

Some days, I feel like I have nothing to offer, like I must be the only one who isn’t a graphic designer and hasn’t yet managed to display her entire darling life online with lots of chevron and mint accents. I feel so certain that my life is a lot less darling than other peoples’ lives.

But that’s the Internet. The nature of it. I so easily fall prey to the seduction of other people’s partial truths and heavily filtered photos, making everything look amazing. And their amazing looking lives make me feel not amazing at all.

Although we come on here for entertainment, how often are we left truly entertained?  Or uplifted?  Or do you sign off feeling belittled?  Inferior?  Deflated?  Or Disheartened.

If that's the case when you read my blog then by all means break up with me.  I mean- look at my pics and you'll be able to tell I'm a 26-34-26.  And my kids are angelic messengers from above who ne'er step out of line.  And my house... oh pardon.... my mansion is spic and span thanks to my maid.  But even if something I once said- or how I portray my life leaves you feeling less than who you are.... this needs to be our goodbye.

Shauna ended in the same way I wish to end:

Let’s choose community. Let’s stop comparing. Let’s start connecting.

Her full article is here.

Last year's A to Z: F is for Fluffer Nutter It's about growing up with all sisters and how the "F-word" evolved in our house.

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Every Time

Today.  Well recently.  The last 2 years and 9 months it has seemed like every time I have something planned or something I need to do... the kids interfere or find a way to meddle.  Every thing.  Every time.

Say we have to get to church at 9:00 AM.  I purposely set the clock for a half hour before they get up so I can shower and start getting ready before they are up and at 'em.  But, wouldn't you know it, they both wake up early that day.  So it's all the regular frenetics just an extra half hour of it.
Say one of them has a doctor appointment.  We're all set to leave on time, everyone is strapped into their car seat, and.... hmm.  Suddenly it's very smelly.  And Kole is smiling.  I change him in the trunk so we don't have to go back inside and as soon as he's strapped in again- Joey is giggling.  And smelly.  Every time.
Say I get a Redbox and plan for an evening in with a special snack and a horrible romantic comedy (because really the worse those are... the better they seem).  I get dinner and baths done a little early, put them into bed, take a long shower, slip into my Soma jammas, set up the movie, turn off the lights... and as soon as the previews are over... Kole is knocking on his door needing something.  Anything!  Anything he can think of.  Fresh water, another train engine in bed, different pajamas.  After settling him (and myself) down I head back to the movie.  Push play and....Joey is crying.  Every time.
Say I have plans to meet a friend... one of them will be sick.  Every time.
Say I finished cleaning the kitchen... there will be an unexpected spill/sticky mess/mud exhibit.  Every time.
Say I am making an important phone call... someone will get hurt and scream.  Every time.
Say I get dressed and do my hair and get everyone's shoes on to go to the store... Joey will puke on me.  Right on my head.  Gross and smelly and warm in my hair.  Every time.
Say I want to go to the bathroom... there will be little attendees in there with questions and questions and questions.  Every time.
Say I buy a Coke... it gets spilled... or shaken.  And then spilled.   Every time. 
Say I want to _________.  The kids will  interfere, spoil, or wreck.

I know they're cute.
But you can save all your "You're gonna miss this" and "they are blessings" and "have patience" comments today.  I'm mopey and frustrated and deprived of personal time.  I'd rather just have a commiseration party. 

Last year's A to Z: E is for Everything As It Should Be.  I was apparently also in a grouchy mood this day one year ago.  Yoiks.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Disaster

On Easter I wanted to do something special with the kids.  Their grandparents had sent a chocolate gingerbread house to decorate.  I guess it was a chocolate cookie house with little bunnies to decorate.  No longer is the gingerbread house decorating confined to the Christmas season.  Which is the best news I've heard all day.  Because I construct a wicked awesome gingerbread house.
Or so I've always thought.
And always bragged about.
And made myself a certificate for.
So, naturally, I was all over this.
The kit was simple enough.  Lots of frosting and stale candy.  Easy to follow instructions.
I had a couple ideas running through my head.... did I want to go "cozy country cottage?"

Maybe "House in the Hamptons?"  A little more upscale.

 Get cutesy with a "Bunny Bungalow?"
 I figured with my above average artistic ability and God given eye for precision- this would surely be a house to remember.
And it was.
Just not in a good way.

Instead of beating myself up about how the frosting is drooping in all the wrong places, and how you can't even tell that the bunnies are bunnies and not candy globs, and how there is no pattern to the candies or colors, or how I didn't landscape... I've decided to blame it all on Koley.
This was his first house.
He's a novice.  He's still tempering his patient hand at the craft.

Last year's A to Z: D is for Didn't Know That.  I love last year's post.  It's about Kenmo.

P.S.  This is my 500th post on this here old blog.  Thank you for your readership. Be sure to take a couple cookies on your way out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Cue the College Confetti

Triple points for all the Cs, right?
I got accepted to the University of Utah.  Now, according to my supportive, encouraging, endearing husband, everyone gets in.  Psht.  Uh... how bout a pat on the back?  Maybe a 'Way to go, champ.'  Or a platonic hug would go quite a long way. 
I have 39 credits left to G-day.  (Graduation Day... get with the program people.)  And then I plan on have an epic Graduation Party.  This degree has been 11 years in the making.  Let's say the party has been too.

Gifts will be accepted.

With this news I have tried to mend my detestable feelings towards BYU-Idaho.  Still no luck.

Last year's A to Z: C is for "Confrontation"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Believe in Magic

When we were younger, my sister, Victoria, claimed she had magical powers.  She could do anything if everyone believed in her 100%.  If one person had one iota of doubt... her powers were diminished.  I can remember a Saturday when we were in charge of cleaning the garage.  (I think we had plans to make it into a rollerskating rink.)  We had completed and were left with a huge pile of dirt mixed with spiders in the middle of the garage. Victoria said she could make the pile disappear with her magical powers.  Rounds of "prove it" broke out.  Victoria closed her eyes, stretched out her hand, and the pile remained.  Someone didn't believe.  The magic wouldn't work.  Vicky assured us that one of us lacked belief.  Because her powers were real.
I was a believer then and I'm a believer now.
Victoria does have magical powers.

She travels, dances, judges food contests, paints.  She writes, runs in marathons, she has impeccable taste in .... gosh, everything.   Victoria is a force for good in her community.  People are drawn to her.
Like magic.
And it's taken me 28 years- but I think I've figured out her trick.
It doesn't matter if everyone or anyone believes she can do it.
Victoria believes she can do it.
So she can do anything.
Her magic lies within her because she knows who she is. 
When I listen to Victoria talk about her wife, her most recent publications, her latest favorite song... it's like an incantation. 
She pours her spell over me and suddenly, I feel magical too.
I'm excited about Hanson or organic farms in Allegheny County.  I care about things I had never heard of up until 5 minutes ago.  And not only that...
I feel like I can do anything and be good at it.

The key to Victoria's magic is confidence.

There is no need to be afraid of confidence.
Especially in yourself.  It isn't vain.  It isn't prideful.
It's comforting, inviting, and exciting.

If you don't feel like yourself...
Try new things until you find something that excites you.
Maybe it will be a musical instrument.
Or slam poetry.
Or taking walks.
Maybe you'll enjoy watching birds.
Watching movies.
Or crochet.
Eat foods you love and then try a dessert you've never had.
Visit a place you've never been.  And bring a book.
If you've tried something and don't feel comfortable.
Try something else.
Look in your local paper for classes that are available.
Pottery, gardening, writing, parenting, photography, karate, sculpting, bonsai.

Once you find what delights you, stick with it.

You will feel like a burning version of yourself.
Alight and alive.

You'll feel magical.


So you know that I love me or in case you wanted to know a little more: Patters
Last year's A to Z: Barbies
B could also be for Big Bully

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Andi Candy Girl

Andi is my youngest sister.  She lives in Mexico.  And the crazy nut came to Utah for her Spring Break.  A little ironic.  But very welcomed.  Our rendezvous started at the zoo.  When we got out of the car at the zoo... I was like... crap I didn't even bring real coats.  And that wind was a-nipping. But soon the weather was a warm as our hearts (smirk) and the day went marvelously.
Glad you asked.
The polar bear.  Though not a professionally trained circus bear.  He sure acted like one.  The flips. The dives.  The rolls.  The back stroke.  He went a little far when he started juggling and I ushered Kole and Great off... and muttered "show off."

Me and Julie raced up that huge hill that has the llamas and the wolves and the goats and the turkeys.... weird combo.  We were pushing our strollers and after about ten strides I was thinking This was a terrible idea.  Julie beat me.  Big time.  Is that any surprise?  Look at her!  Lean.  Fit.  Tall.  I didn't stand a chance.  I'm all talk.  And all flab, by the way.

 Lowlight of the day:  Paying $20 for lunch.  Kole had a corndog and I had a cheese burger.  We shared fries.  And a lemonade.  Twenty dollars.  I wanted to say, "Uh... can I see the receipt?"  But I didn't want to seem cheap.  And chalked it up to sponsoring the zoo.  So I just smiled and said thanks for my souvenir cup.  Andi drove home with us and we didn't have any more time to just change our clothes when we were off.  Where to?  Da Jazz Game.

It was our first Pro Basketball Game.  Jazz vs. Suns.  It was insane.  Well... we made it insane.  Some of the people around us weren't really "into" it.  Like they only sometimes cheered when we made a basket.  They only occasionally booed the other team.  They rarely got out of their seats to shake what their mammas gave them.  And they certainly didn't provide their own commentary. I wanted to yell, "You're not sitting for the SATs!  You're at a game!"  *sigh... shoulders drop*  The stiff upper class.  They just want to watch their hoops in silence and sip their Pellegrino.  Well... psht.  Good luck doing that sitting next to Flap Jack Pat and Suga Suga Andi Candy Girl of 26.9 Sports. Yeah.  We started up our own radio station.  (Currently trolling for sponsors.)  And listen to our clip.  I mean, we're naturals. Our enthusiasm far outweighs our lack of knowledge of the game/players/rules and our on the spot math skills.  'Twas riotous.

And the good times kept rolling.
If I had any computer skills this would have been a photo montage with Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" playing over it.  But... just hear it.  Feel it.  Live it.

This is Andi.  But in my head... this is what I look like.  I am delusional. 

It was glorious.  And now I am suffering from Andi withdrawals.  Food has lost it's taste- colors are dull.  Woe is me.