Monday, July 28, 2008

Kid Train!

Yay! Just when I was feeling bad about not taking any pictures at our bbq this past weekend, low and behold I found these 3 on my camera! Thanks, Dave!

I don't know why, but for one reason or another we haven't barbecued much this summer. Clearly we'll have to remedy that because the kids had a ball and did such a good job playing TOGETHER. And the whole time while I was sitting and visiting with my friends, I was thinking about how different it was last summer. Last summer we had a BABY--one who was still getting used to her walking legs. (Can you believe that our budding gymnast/kamikazee stunt woman didn't walk 'til she was 16 months old?!)

A year changes them SO much at this age!

Yes, last summer we were constantly chasing our girl--saving her from impending danger and fishing rocks and wood chips out of her mouth. This year we...SIT! And visit with friends! (And look over once in awhile to make sure that she hasn't managed to reach the top of the rope ladder...) It's kind of a mixed bag, isn't it? I love that my kids are becoming so independent, but I sure do miss those chubby cheeks and unsteady legs!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Which hurts worse?

A.) Being a 5-year-old who has to get 4 shots in his arm? -or- B.) Being the mom of a 5-year-old who has to get 4 shots in his arm?

The answer is B. I figured that out a little over 5 years ago when I held a brand new little being in my arms, and for the first time in my life my heart hurt. Hurt because I loved him so much. A kind of love that just swells up inside and sometimes you don't know how to wrap your mind around it. It's a different kind of love. I guess that's why sometimes as parents we question whether or not to add to our families because it's hard to fathom that you could actually feel that kind of love to the same extent for other children without your heart literally bursting open. But thank goodness, we are given the capacity to love in such a way whether it be 1, 2, or 10 kids. So for over 5 years now my heart has been a good way.

But it kind of hurt in a bad way yesterday as I was preparing to send Grayson off to the doctor's office. It hurt so bad that I couldn't even be the one to take him. Daddy had to. True, I've learned how to deal with skinned knees, bloody lips, crushed spirits, wheezing, and vomit from head to toe (on me!), but to watch a stranger jab 4 needles into my son's arms--the thought of that was a little too hurtful to bare.

So I waited at home. And waited. And imagined just how awful it was in the exam room right at that minute. The screams, the crying, the tears, and the look that he gets in his eyes when someone has let him down. I might as well have been there because I was just certain that I had accurately imagined the scene to a "T".

No, I wasn't there, but I prepared for it to be just as bad when Grayson walked thru the door at home. I knew he'd probably walk in with a brave face, one that he had tried to keep plastered on his face the whole drive home. You know those looks? Those ones you have to work so hard at that they actually make your face hurt? But then I had a feeling that the second he saw me he'd break down. Mamas seem to have that effect. He'd crumble into my arms, and the tears would start flowing. The kind of tears that you can't stop, and the ones that stain cheeks and dampen your shoulder. I would be the only person who could make his pain go away even though my heart, at that minute, would be aching terribly.

Huh. What fantasyland do I live in? Thinking that I would be saver of my son's universe, the hero, the rescuer...

G: "Mom! What's my surprise?!?" (as he came bursting thru the door, definitely no evidence of hurting or sorrow in his eyes or a face that was sore from a plastered look of bravery)
Me: "Oh honey, are you okay? (running over to my post, arms outstretched and ready to catch him)
G: "Yep." (running past me to see if a "surprise" was anywhere in sight)
Me: "Did you get the shots?"
G: "Yep. I didn't cry."
Me: "Did you a little?"
G: "Nope."
Me: "Did you get the special cream to make it hurt not as bad?"
G: "Nope. That would have taken too long."
Me: "So you're okay?"
G: "Yep. Now what's my surprise, Mom?"

Alrightythen, now that's not much of a story to tell, is it? Apparently Grayson does not have the same flare for dramatics as his mother!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Page 244

In case you're wondering, that's what page I'm on in the book I'm reading (Where the Heart Is). So what do you think of that, friends?! Huh? Huh? Yesterday at the party I was on Chapter 4, and now I'm up to Chapter 25! But I don't know how you girls do it without totally ignoring your children?!? Admittedly I was so immersed in the drama of my book that I didn't care that Molly was wiping her sticky, peach juice covered hands all over the couch, I pretended not to notice that Grayson was climbing over the back of the furniture, and I ignored the fact that it was almost 10 o'clock and both kids were still up. It was only thanks to Dave that a wet diaper got changed, jammies went on, teeth got brushed, and 2 darlings got tucked in and kissed goodnight. Hmm, I can imagine that my uninvolvedness won't fly too many nights in a row. Guess I better finish this book FAST!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And the Webkinz were nestled all snug in their beds...

...while visions of camping danced in their heads.

First of all, I must begin with 2 'thank yous'. Thank you, Sarri, for posting pictures of your family's backyard campout on your blog so that my child could see them and then beg repeatedly for the opportunity to do the same. Thank you. (Hopefully you do not sense any sarcasm in my words. Ha! Ha!) But then I must also thank my dear, sweet husband who did not make me participate in said campout!!! I mean I partook in the smores, of course, but the actual sleeping in the tent part--no, no, no. Besides, with all those Webkinz, where would I have slept? Now really. A little father-son bonding time is what it was...along with a pug, a panda, a kangaroo, a poodle, a chihuahua, a gecko, and a leopard lizard. Me and Molly? We had some girl-BED bonding time (after dessert, of course)!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crazy Kid

Well there you go. We were wondering how and when Grayson would be able to use those goggles and snorkel that he got from Grandma Pearl months ago!

(The sprinkler is on if you can't tell.)

Now just to find a use for the inflatable boat...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rebound Beach (continued)

Can I just say that the Pacific Ocean where it meets the Oregon coastline is COLD! In fact, if I was one who cursed, I would use an expletive before the word cold! But I knew this. My intellect told me such. Yet somehow I managed to idealize Oregon beaches, thinking that maybe, just maybe the temperature of the icy cold water had risen since our last visit. It has not. But we wanted so badly for it to feel like the waters off the shores of San Diego! So that's why I termed the beach at Lincoln City our 'rebound' beach. We needed (okay, wanted) it to fill the void we've felt since returning home from the white sandy beaches of sunny California (being over-dramatic here for literary purposes). And we almost felt fulfilled. Okay, no, that's a lie. Our Oregon beaches will NEVER compare to those down south! Was it sunny? Yes. Was the sand white? Yes. Was it warm? NO! It's amazing how 68 degrees can feel like 48 degrees when that stinkin' wind blows!

But 2 kids I know had a grand time. The adults in the group? Perhaps not so much.

Also this past Saturday we visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium. That, I must say, was much more enjoyable. By the way, Dave's mom, Pearl, and his brother, Craig, have been visiting us the last several days. The next few pictures are ones that I know my Ryan readers will enjoy. I kept everyone busy! (But dare I say that not everyone was a fan of my tour guide/"event" planning prowess!) No doubt I would have been fired by paying customers. But you know me--planner, planner, planner! Besides, who wants to waste these lazy days of summers actually being lazy?!! :) We hit the local Farmer's Market, had a picnic at the park, spent an evening at the Downtown Festival (formerly known as TurkeyRama), and then of course enjoyed a day over on the coast.

Check out the look on Miss Molly's face! So funny. But rest assured, both kids are big fans of their Uncle Craig!

**Edited to add--Man, this post could be full of expletives. Photobucket thus far is NOT my friend! If you only knew how long I tried to get that blankety-blank slideshow to work! Obviously I wasn't entirely successful because I had to create 2 posts. Ggrrr!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Anniversary Bling!

I got this back from the jeweler today:

Had to have it sized down from a 7 to a 4. Now wearing a size 4 ring, wouldn't you think that the rest of me would be teeny tiny?! I wish. But anyway, I am a lucky girl. Thank you, Dave! I love it!

Gotta Love Summer!

Here are some pics from a recent family outing. Grayson absolutely loves to explore! He was especially curious about the poison oak, but thank goodness we managed to avoid contact with any! Our little trekker made sure to remind us repeatedly, "Leaves of 3, leave them be!" But at one point he did need reminding that we weren't outside hiking on a beautiful day so that he could play with his new transformer from McDonald's (which he brought along).

Dave: "We're out here to enjoy nature, not play with your transformer."
Grayson: "Welllll, Dad...I can play toys WHILE I nature!"

Great talent, eh?!


To Read or Not To Read?

Okay, here is my vow. I am going to do it. I promise. I am going to read this summer. At least 1 book. Maybe 2. And all of you are out there to hold me accountable. Ugh. Why do I do this to myself? :)

Here's the thing. I have no idea why I don't like to read. I am an educated adult, after all, and a teacher, for goodness sake! A teacher who doesn't like to read--sounds as bad as a dentist who doesn't brush his teeth! But don't get me wrong, I LOVE children's literature. I read tons of it. I keep up. I do. And I share that love with my kids and my students. But the section of the library where the grown-up books are--ummm? Where is that? (I must really trust you people to divulge such information!!!)

This is why I've decided that I don't read. Perhaps I am a person who can't go "deep", or at least I don't give myself credit for being able to go "deep". I doubt myself. I mean I have read books before that I've enjoyed just fine, in fact I couldn't put them down they were so good, but then upon finishing the book someone asks, "What did you think about the symbolism between the....and the....?" Huh? Symbolism? You mean that book was supposed to mean something more to me than just the girl gets the guy and they live happily ever after?! Or I can remember times that I've tried book clubs (see, I have tried to go "deep" and think like the rest of you!) and someone will make reference to a particular episode in the story and explain its supposed meaning and I am just left to think (while I sweat), "Shoot! How did I miss that? Did I skip a few chapters? I thought I read this book cover to cover!"

Hmmm, is it truly all me?! I'd like to believe that maybe sometimes you people make things up about books, and perhaps you're not that much smarter than me!!! No, you probably are that smart. I guess that's why I like tv so much. I just sit on the couch and am entertained. Seems like reading should be the same way, right? So okay, if I try it, then the rest of you have to promise not to stress me out!

Here's what I'll be picking up first thanks to my friend Sarri, who, by the way, I stressed out with my request for books. See, she knows what a big deal this is that I would even ask for book recommendations!--

-Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (I'm already a tad bit nervous since it was part of Oprah's Book Club--makes me think I am supposed to think "deep".)

-The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (I have a feeling that it's not just about beans that grow on trees...Do beans even grow on trees?!)

Okay, off I read...but first, The Today Show is on. Can't miss that! :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Fun Filled Fourth

Happy 4th! Our fam enjoyed a low-key holiday yesterday. Now truth be told, we are also ones who enjoy a big raucous party with family and friends, but this year it worked out that it was just us and our fun neighbors, the Lees. And we still managed to stick with tradition--barbequed burgers, smores, and fireworks.

Pre-festivities we pulled out the jeep. For reasons that I don't know, we hadn't done so in a long time. And apparently Molly wasn't the same 1-year-old who rode with reckless abandon last year!...

Their facial expressions crack me up!

And yes, Molly made Daddy walk alongside for the first several passes up and down the driveway.

But then, thankfully, she got her 'no fear' attitude back. Watch out, Daddy!

Later it was time to grab some chocolate milk, sit back, and enjoy the fireworks show, presented by Rich and Dave. (Yeah, you know the kids actually sat for about 10 seconds!)

Showin' off his post-smores face!

Thought I better include evidence that we actually did have fireworks.

After our own "show", we hopped in the truck and headed downtown to catch the city's version.

God bless America!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

One Last Day...

Sunday, June 29th - Saturday night we stayed in Carlsbad, though all of us wished that we were still at the Catamaran! And believe it or not, but we had NO plans for Sunday! The only thing we had to do (besides catch our supposed 8:40 p.m. flight) was return the rental car to LAX by 5:30. Hmmm, what to do? All of our luggage was neatly packed, wet and sandy beach/pool clothes had been dried and carefully stowed away in large ziplocs, kids were showered, and hair was done. But how could we pass up one last opportunity to play on a sunny and warm California beach?!? We couldn't. So back out came the beach clothes, on went the sunscreen, and we brought home an extra souvenir in the form of sand...all throughout our luggage. But I bet at least Grayson would tell you that those few hours at the beach on our last day ranked near the top of his list of favorite vacation moments. So what that we were filthy grease balls at the airport and all the way home!

And with that, my camera never came out again. The only hiccup of our whole trip was that our flight home was delayed by about an hour. But even that turned out okay because while we were waiting and trying to entertain our kids, we met a sweet little boy (named Grayson of all names!) and his dad whose flight to Reno had also been delayed, and from then on Mom and Dad no longer had to entertain. The kids just played and played, swapped Disneyland stories, and genuinely had a good time...even in an airport. Then around 9 o'clock we finally got to board our plane, and off we went.
Now, we're by no means rich people even though we definitely splurged at times on this trip, but every single cent we spent was worth it. In fact, I'd pay to do it all again next year! Huh, maybe I will! Ha! Ha! Guess you'll have to stay tuned...
Thanks for reading!


Saturday, June 28th - Are we home yet? Okay, if any part of our vacation was a tad bit disappointing, both Dave and I would agree that it was our day at Legoland. I don't know if maybe it's because we went to Legoland AFTER Disneyland (though I don't think that we would have liked it much better before either), but we just didn't think that it lived up to the hype. There are always 2 camps, and sadly we have joined the "don't waste your money on it" camp. But still, we tried to make the most of our day there. Actually, I think the kids enjoyed it just fine, but for a park that claims to be geared toward the age 2-12 set, there was not much that our 2-year-old could do. :( And the lines--oh, the lines! Legoland could learn a thing or 2 from Disneyland! The rides were SO...SLOW...LOADING! But enough complaining, here are some pics:

2 cool boys with their shades.
Where are the grown up strollers, I ask? This is how we all felt much of the day.

These are shots from Miniland. I must say, all of the replicas, built entirely out of legos (go figure), were pretty cool.
And luckily we came prepared for water that day. There's a "Pirate Shores" area that the kids had fun in.
Also, before the day was over, Grayson got to go on and see the Bionicles' ride and display. He insists that he LOVES Bionicles even though he doesn't really know what they are. Nor do I. Whatever they are, I doubt that they're age appropriate, but some battles just aren't worth fighting with a 5-year-old...
And with that, we bid Legoland and our last full day of vacation farewell. The next night we'd be headed home, anxious to sleep in our own beds but sad that our adventure was over...