Monday, November 24, 2008

More Mason Quotes

Today as I am working on my computer Mason sidles up to me and looks at my screen which happens to be open to my itunes, and this image

Mason patiently asks, "Why is she putting a hat on?"
I say, "I don't know."
Mason says, "Maybe she wants to be like Bob the Builder?"
I had a good laugh, because I am sure that is exactly what Brit intended to portray with that picture.

If you are feeling like you need a pick me up today find a three and a half year old and have a conversation with them, it always cheers me up.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I love Sundays at our house. We declare it family day, we go to church and recharge our spiritual batteries, we come home, and have lunch, and then Max who is exhausted from running laps around the chapel and eating all the other kids snacks zonks out for a good two to three hour nap. That's when Shane and I calmly discuss who got the Sunday nap last week and therefore should get to hang out with Mason so the other partner can have a nap. Sunday naps are a most coveted item in the Notes household, and although we try to be civil this conversation usually ends with a wrestling match to see who can get to the bed first. Mason thinks its hilarious and knows that really he's the winner, because he doesn't have to take a nap at all.

So last weekend I lost, so while Shane took a nap Mason and I picked a movie from our extensive Disney collection. This Sunday's pick: Dumbo. Mason had never seen it before and I thought how lovely and wholesome, I forgot how sensitive my little one is... All was fine and good until the kids started making fun of Dumbo's ears. "Why are they doing that Mommy?" and then the horror when they pulled Dumbo away from his mom. My son was in anguish, "what are they doing to his mom?" and then almost pleading, "He needs his mommy!" I could see the therapy bills piling up and I asked Mason if he wanted to turn it off. "No" he said unable to tear his eyes away from the screen, "just stay here and watch it with me." "Ok, bud, I promise it will turn out ok." I put my arm around him and he snuggled in closer. So we watched together and I reassured Mason over and over again that it would all work out and I thought back to my own childhood and tried to remember how I perceived Dumbo's predicament when I saw it for the first time. Perhaps it was because I was so busy reminiscing about my own childhood that I was so unprepared for what happened next. The little mouse takes Dumbo to see his mother and from where she is chained to the wall she can't even see him she can only reach her trunk out, catch up her perfect little baby, and rock him, and yes I know you can all hear it too... "Baby mine don't you cry..." And all of a sudden I am BAWLING! Seriously an uncontainable blubberfest, and I realize that this is the first time I have seen Dumbo through a mother's eyes. This is something I was completely unprepared for, the intense empathy I can feel for Mrs. Jumbo. I was a rock before I had kids, I even remember pointing a mocking finger at my own mother who cried during Hallmark commercials. Now a cartoon elephant makes me cry. Now you can blame the increased emotionality on hormones, or age, or whatever you want, but I think that I know the truth, its a deep dark secret that no one tells you before you have kids. Its not that they don't want you to know, its not that they don't want to explain it to you, its just that there are no words that can truly describe the intensity of feeling so you wouldn't believe them anyway. I realized the truth of the secret the first time I held my tiny one his little lungs unable to work on their own, knowing that I would do anything to make him better, to take away the hurt, and also knowing that I couldn't. I couldn't fix it or make it go away, I could just hold him and rock and sing and comfort. That's when I learned the secret: that mother's are truly the strongest creatures on Earth, and also the most vulnerable because mother's have the most to lose, because holding my babies, and sheltering them from (albeit Disney induced) fear I know that I have in my arms the greatest gift to humankind, my child. Many writers have tried to describe love, but my feeling for my children is more intense, and more powerful, its not emotional, its biological, its hardwired into my soul. And if I ever were to lose...well let's not go there, its too awful, but that my friends is why Dumbo makes me cry. So the next time that sappy "Baby Mine" song comes on the old lady radio station, and your mom tears up, don't laugh or point, because now you know that you made her that way, because loving you has made her feel more deeply than any human should have to, and because although you may be grown she can still see in her mind the time when you resembled that little elephant and she lovingly rocked and sang and comforted.

At our house that time is present, and maybe that's another reason I have such tender feelings for that little Dumbo...

I think there's a bit of a resemblance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I love Halloween, oh it is so fun. I'm not really a crafty mama, but I love to make my kid's Halloween costumes. I think I like doing it so much because my mom always made ours growing up, so in my head somewhere its written that Halloween costumes must be homemade, anyway this year the costume making became a major event. Really I thought it would be no big deal, Mason saw a picture of something he thought was so cool he just had to be...and then I thought of the perfect costume to go with it for Max, you know like a theme and then well there were two other parts to the theme to make it complete so soon Shane and I needed costumes too. Really I thought I would work on it a few evening and then we would have these adorable costumes for Halloween. I started making them the first weekend in October, and finished the Wednesday before Halloween. After weeks and weeks of our house being covered in fabric scraps, hot glue bits, and ribbon the finished products finally emerged. I admit it was a much bigger project than I anticipated, but oh my...the cuteness...

Monday, September 15, 2008

We have walking

Oh my! So Saturday I noticed Baby Bug standing once or twice all on his own. Now this is rather significant in and of itself mostly because this child doesn't ever stop moving. So finding the time to stand still enough to balance on only two legs is big for him. So I decided to encourage him by helping him practice standing throughout the day...By evening this was the result.

This kid never ceases to amaze me. He is so full of energy. He is still completely wobbly, too wobbly I think to be walking on his own, any other kids would spend several more weeks holding onto fingers and being walked around, but not this kid, he doesn't care he simply cannot be bothered with the fact that he doesn't know how to walk, he has too much to do and see, so he just goes and muscles his way through, and when he falls down it doesn't even phase him he just keeps on crawling. His determination just really makes me smile.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Give me the spoon already

Baby bug has found new independence as of late. It actually really cracks me up to see his little determined personality growing.

This picture may look innocent enough, but if you will notice how tightly he is gripping the utensil in his hand you will see that there is no way that he plans to eat anything unless it is done properly. Baby bug now insists that all meals be eaten with a fork or spoon, unfortunately for me Baby Bug also insists that he feed himself, and even more unfortunately for me he has a hard time getting the food on his utensil of choice. So each meal consists of Baby Bug screaming until I finally give him the spoon and then said screaming continuing until I place a portion of food on that spoon for him. Also should the food fall off before the food makes rendezvous with the previously screaming mouth screaming will immediately resume.

Its so funny to see how very determined he is, and how his volume abruptly increases when things start to go south.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Man quote of the day

So this weekend we went on a little day trip to the mountains. It was quite fun, and I think I heard one of my favorite Little Man quotes that must be written down.

Sometime during the day (after about five Capri Sun's) Little Man tromped off into the bushes with Shane to take care of some business. He returned a few minute later hopping excitedly into camp the look on his face was that of pure elation and he exclaimed with pride and gusto, "Mom! I stood on a stump, and PEED on a bush!"

It really is appreciating the little things in life that truly brings us happiness isn't it...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Conversation had at my house today

Today Little Man happened on a small pile of change.

Little Man: (examining a quarter) This one has a man on it.

Me: uh-huh

Little Man: (looking at a penny) This one has a trolley.

Me: yeah it does look like a trolley doesn't it?

Little Man: What's this one?

Me: A nickel

Little Man: It has an angry station on it.

Me: An angry station?

Little Man: Yeah.

Me: Why is it angry?

Little Man: (In a don't you know voice) Because it has too many doors.

Me: Too many doors?

Little Man: Uh yeah mom.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Come on say it with me. Is he not the most adorable thing you have ever seen, and with two new teeth too.

The toys are talking

I know, I know you've all been missing me right? Aw how my life keeps on keeping from documenting said life appropriately. What can ya do?

Anyway I have lots of catching up to do. One thing that I've been wanting to write down is this little story of sweetness. Recently Little Man has developed a new skill: pretending. All of the sudden all of the toys in our house have all kinds of things to say. Bears and guys, and trucks and cars that have been waiting for more than three years are finally able to express themselves. Oh and they have so much to say and do, it is so cute. A few weeks ago I was tempted to get mad when I came upon this scene.

Seeing as how we had only moments before made the bed I felt somewhat justified. But upon further inspection I found that this was no ordinary mess, this was necessary, because Little Man had decided while I was putting Baby Bug down for a nap that Elmo also needed a nap. He also needed a story, Little Man's favorite puppy, and a kiss goodnight.

Seriously, how precious is that?

He is growing so much all the time. I can't believe how independent he is becoming.
Although thankfully he still needs his mommy sometimes.

And yes that's him putting his coat on albeit upside down in the middle of May. Summer was a long time coming to Idaho.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Grand Canyon Really is Grand

Ok so in my last post I told you all about how Shane and I had just gotten back from the most wonderful weekend away. For three whole days, we went places without having to take along a diaper bag filled with extra outfits and snacks and wipes and various other necessities. We spent an hour by the pool and not a single whiney voice was heard. We ate at nice restaurants and didn't have to worry about irritating the couple next to us. We stayed up late and we slept in the next morning. We had a great time, but I think that the thing I enjoyed the most about our vacation was the time that we had to talk to each other. We talked and talked and talked. We learned new things about each other. We remembered things about each other that we really liked.

By far our favorite day was Sunday. We decided that we would need to get out of sin city for Sunday so we rented a car not just any car mind you, but a shiny black Corvette and drove to the Grand Canyon. Now Shane had never been to the Grand Canyon and I had only been there once as a child, so we really saw it with fresh eyes, and it was well, grand. It took our breath away and we were truly grateful to witness such a miracle.

We spent the entire day just cruising around without an agenda. It was so wonderful. I'm really grateful for my huband who works hard for our family and knows how to appreciate the good things in life. It was so enjoyable to spend the weekend with the man I love and really isn't he so handsome!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Report

So Shane and I just got home from a weekend in Vegas sans children. This was about the closest I got to doing any gambling while we were there, but it was the most FABULOUS weekend.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Little Man asked me...

So lately little man has been a little insecure about things, and maybe just a tad bit more clingy. I think its just a phase, so I have just tried to continually reassure him. Anyway recently I was explaining to him how I was going to leave him with a sitter (that he knows and loves) and he started to get a little nervous, and wanted to make sure that he would be taken care of and more importantly that I would come back. I pulled him up on my lap and told him that I was his mom and my most important job in the whole wide world was to take care of him and Baby Bug and that I would always make sure that there was someone to take good care of him if I had to go somewhere and that even if I did go somewhere I would always come back because there is no where in the whole world that I would rather be than with him and Baby Bug. He still seemed a little nervous so I tried to really drive my point home I said, "Heavenly Father chose me to be your mom, and that means that its my most important job to take care of you, and I will always be your mom and I will always take care of you." ('Even when you don't want me to' I thought to myself'). Little Man looked at me thoughtfully and said, "Mom who's Heavenly Father?"


Now we talk about religious things openly and quite frequently in our house, and we offer prayers with Little Man's help all the time, and we talk about our Heavenly Father and Jesus regularly, but I suppose I have never explained everything out like I should. It seems like a major oversight now, but I suppose I just took it for granted that everyone even my three year old knows who God is. So I answered him the very best I could, but what struck me was not the answer I gave, but the rather the question itself. How do you explain God to someone so small, and innocent and whose understanding is so concrete. How do you introduce God to someone. The final answer I settled on was so simple, but Little Man was completely happy with it. Heavenly Father is someone who is in charge of the whole world, and He loves us more than anyone else, and because He loves us He watches out for us all the time, and takes care of us all the time, and one of the ways that He takes care of us is by giving us families. It was a reaffirming moment for me. I am so grateful for the raw innocence of my children, they are one of my greatest gifts from God.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lets talk customer service.

So I have a secret, ok its not really a secret, but I love gadgets, and deep inside I am a great big computer geek. For many years I have wanted to upgrade my computer, and finally a few months ago I did. I ordered what I thought would be a great little laptop computer from dell. I was so excited for my new toy I order all the best components, and even forked over the extra fifty bucks to get my sweet new computer in spring green. I waited a few weeks and then it came, my wonderful new machine. Ahh it was so beautiful, and fast, and had all of the bells and whistles. Oh I loved it. I used it everyday, I didn't even mind that I had to spend another pile of money to upgrade my other programs so that they would be compatible with Vista.

Yes, my new computer was perfect...for about three weeks. And then one day as I waited for my brand new computer to boot up I did not see my lovely welcome screen, I saw a black error screen. I re-started my computer, and the error screen did not appear again. I wrote it off as a software glitch, no big deal. Then it happened a few days later, and this time re-starting didn't work right away. Soon the black error screen was appearing more and more often, and eventually starting my computer, was next to impossible. I called customer service, waited on hold, spoke to a tech did everything that he told me to do even though I knew it would not help, and then after an hour he told me that I would need to back up my files and then reformat the hard drive. So I did and all was working well for a few weeks, until that same error screen surfaced again. I reformatted again. And then a week later found myself fighting a losing battle against the black error screen to start my computer. After two hours of trying to get it working I called customer service, the tech started the same process I had already been through to fix the problem I politely told the tech that I could not do any of the things that he wanted me to do because well my computer wouldn't turn on, and even if it would I was not doing it because, I'd already spent an hour on the phone with a tech and it did not help. My case was "escalated." 48 hours later Ronnie called me to help me fix the problem, I carefully explained the problems, I told him about how my aspiration to have the coolest gadget was slowly dying a painful death. I told him how taken advantage of I felt. I told him that I had spent what felt like a very large amount of money to buy this computer, that I now hate, because it frustrates me daily. I told him that Dell had stolen from me when they took my money and gave me a defective computer in return. I asked him if consumers should just accept that when buying from Dell getting a shoddy product was simply a risk they should accept. I went on and on and when I was done he told me he would send me a new hard drive.

So today the hard drive arrived I opened it up and looked at the seal on the static bag, there in great big letters was the word REFURBISHED. Now I don't want to sound like a diva, but I paid for a brand new "functioning" computer, not a broken one, and not a refurbished model. I called Ronnie right away and left him a message telling him so.

So here I am waiting to hear back from my customer service rep and wondering how much poor quality is acceptable. I don't remember in the product description reading "lots of RAM, big hard drive, oh yeah and may or may not work. Also in addition to the exorbitant amount of money you must plunk over for this computer you will also be required to spend large amounts of time on the phone, fixing the problems that you didn't know you ordered." I feel like I am being held hostage by Dell, while they slowly suck the life out of me. Yes they are working with me, and they are trying (although not succeeding) to fix the problem, but why is it acceptable that there is a problem to begin with. Why can't they just say, "we're sorry we sold you a lemon, here's your money back, we won't waste your time anymore." Why do I have to pay for their mistake, or I guess it was my mistake when I bought from them in the first place. Either way me and the other consumers who are in the same boat lose, and our only consolation is being able to whine about on our blogs. *Kicking and pounding fists* Its just not fair!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Self expresion through licensing

So the other day I'm waiting at a red light and I see this shiny new Saab in front of me. I'm thinking to myself what a pretty car it is, and feeling a little jealous from the driver's seat of my oh so average mommy car, when I read the border around the license plate it says...
"Edward Cullen's got nothing on me"
For a brief irrational moment I wanted to jump out of my mommy car and slide into the plush passenger seat of the that Saab and let it drive me away. Then the light turned green and we all returned to our regularly scheduled lives.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

He's not a picky eater...

He just knows what he likes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Addition

Yeah I know its been forever, we've been swamped here at the Note's household. One fun event that we celebrated recently was the momentous third birthday of a certain little man. Shane and I struggled with what to give little man for his birthday he has way too many toys that he doesn't play with already, and then Shane thought of the perfect thing. Internet meet our new pet Bown...

Yes you read that one right the fish's name is Bown as in rhymes with down. Little Man named him all by himself. He is a great pet, Little Man can't wait to feed him each night, and Bown dutifully rises to the top of the tank and eats the fish food, which absolutely delights Little Man. After picking up Bown we spent the rest of the evening eating pizza and cake with family. Little Man told me that he wanted a "car cake with a giraffe." Check it out: This mom delivers.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Checking in

Many of you have pointed out to me that I haven't posted in some time... My excuse is simply the ordered chaos that is my life. I promise I'll get back on top of it soon.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Well my friends I know its been awhile, and I swear I have a good excuse namely one case of the flu and one fabulous third birthday party that had to be put on, but I'm back now. And while I am sure that I will be blogging about the illness and the party eventually that is not what has brought me back to you today. It was another little gem that I had to put down on paper (or screen) so as not to loose it to the ages.

So there are days when being the only female in my house I truly feel out numbered. Today Shane took it upon himself to teach Little Man the ancient and bewildering art of making armpit noises. Little Man was indeed awed and inspired and immediately stuck an arm in his shirt and started wildly waving his other arm up and down trying to emulate his father, but alas not a sound was heard. He pulled his hand out of his shirt and looked it over carefully, and then held it up so that his parents could also see the discrepancy then in case we didn't fully understand (which we didn't) he said sadly, "look no squeaker." I smiled and said, "Its ok bud, Mom didn't get one either."

Friday, February 29, 2008


I think that somewhere embedded in the Y chromosome there is a car gene. Shane called home from his work trip this week to tell me about his most amazing, wonderful day. Over the phone I could hear the pure elation in his voice. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever heard the man so excited "kid in a candy store" does not describe it well enough it was more like "kid in a candy store, at Disney land, on Christmas eve." He was thrilled. Why you ask? Well he was scheduled to go to a conference in Southern California, and had had to arrive a day early. So while standing in line for his rental car he contemplated what he would do...You know perfect weather, a whole day ahead of him with nothing planned...Hmmm there are lots of things that I would have suggested had I been there, but I wasn't (I was home trying to stay sane with the children, but that's another post entirely) he was there instead with a co-worker who also happens to be a car lover like my husband. SO what does he do...He upgrades...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh the fun...

If necessity is the mother of invention, then little boys are the big brothers inventing fun out of just about anything. We have a new game in our house its called "Tato Jumping" it works like this.

First one stands in front of the sofa on our little ottoman

Then you jump...

Then the you lay there and laugh and laugh until you've recovered enough to do it again.

Playing the Tato Game often leads to a build up of static electricity which has also led to the invention of the very fun "Finger Shock" game.

In case you were wondering the "Tato" (pronounced tay-toe) is in fact not a large potato, but actually a big bean bag thing that just happens to be the same color and shape as the well known tubers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pay Attention Mom!

Sometimes I think that communicating with me must be such a lot of work for Little Man. Especially when he clearly explains things and I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

Tonight in the continuing quest to get my child to consume more calories I ask him if he wants butter on his bread, at first he declines then after a thoughtful moment he gets really excited and exclaims that he wants butter, but not just any butter he wants yellow cupcake butter. I look at him confused, because I know I went along with the Cheetos thing, but there is no way he is having cupcakes for dinner, besides that we don't have any. Little Man gets all flustered and maintains that we DO have yellow cupcake butter. I tell him to show me and what do ya know we do...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mommies leave your personal space at the door...

Sometime I feel like raising small children is like walking into a den of raccoons with a pocket full of crackers. I feel like I am constantly getting pawed at. Whether its Baby Bug needing my breasts for his food and general pacification, or Little Man who insists he must be touching me in some way All. The. Time. I admit there are days that I just want to scream out rules about personal space to my little ones, and I admit I often have to remind myself that my kids only want to be near me and that there will come a time when they don't and I will really wish for this time back, so I must not ruin it by being grumpy. And even then I still sometimes get a little selfish with my body and firmly suggest that Little Man keep his hand/foot/mouth away from my face/ear/arm/leg/hair. So Little Man decided to give me a little reminder a few days ago...

As I was walking around the kitchen cleaning up the lunch aftermath Little Man took to putting a hand in each of my back pockets and "following me" as I worked. After a few seconds of this fun, I asked him, "why are you doing this me?" Not understanding sarcasm yet Little Man piped right up with his answer, "Because I love you mom."
Ok Little Man proceed...and I love you too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Great Potato Escape

I opened my box of potatoes for dinner tonight and found that my potatoes had been hatching a plan during their weeks in the pantry.

Note to self: Use the potatoes before they have time to grow scary arms and hash out plans of rebellion.

To give credit where its due I must say that although I often personify my foods and other inanimate things in my little world, I have never thought to share it with the rest of you until I read this post. If you don't know her already go check out that Pioneer Woman, she is hilarious, takes lovely pictures, and her recipes are oh so good.

On another side note:Some of you may remember this post and well those water bottles are in fact the very dishes I was referencing, and yes they have been left exactly twelve inches from the sink.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Potty Training: Another Learning Experience

So in November I declared that it was time to start potty training little man. I now I stand here three months later the mother of a big boy, who hardly ever has accidents, and I can say that it has been a harrowing journey and as a recovering parenting know-it-all I can say with humility that I have learned much. I have learned that...

1. You can lead a toddler to the toilet, but you can't make him pee. Seriously! There is no amount of pleading, bribing, threatening, or bargaining that will make a two year old go pee if he doesn't want to. This is the most important piece of knowledge I can share with my fellow mommies because...

2. As soon as your toddler learns the above he will become giddy with power and well you will have to give up and try again in a few weeks (or months).

3. You must wait until they are darn good and ready. I picked a convenient time for us to start potty training. That is to say that after I thought Baby Bug was fully integrated into the household, but we were still in that new baby stay home all the time mode, I thought it would be a great time to potty train as we were home anyway...Little Man not so much (refer to #1 and 2).

4. Even when they are darn good and ready you will have to convince them that the potty is AWESOME, because diapers are so much easier. You must act like he is peeing rainbows and pooping gold stars. Think Pollyanna on steroids.

5. Finding the right reward for your child is key because see #1. For us it was some good old fashioned verbal praise (see #4), a sticker chart, the occasional marshmallow, and this potty chair playing a royal fanfare every time he peed on it.

6. After he is fully potty trained, you deserve a serious vacation. Of course it isn't going to happen, but let's all close our eyes and dream about it for just a minute.

When I started my journey I read Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro I thought it was very helpful, although as has been well documented potty training in a day was just not in the cards for us, but it did have some good reminders on being more positive, patient, and making the whole experience more fun and less painful. The potty party that the author suggests was a great way to introduce the whole concept to Little Man. I also invested in a "Potty Time Elmo" which was a huge hit, Little Man got a kick out of Elmo's shrill little voice saying "Elmo has to go potty!" although late at night when I hear that same thing randomly coming from the toy box it is a tad bit creepy. He and Elmo both had charts and Little Man was so very proud of his progress

And I have to say that I am so very proud of him.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Parenting 101: Sometimes cheetos are a part of a balanced breakfast

Or lunch or dinner...

This week in my house I have been learning another parenting lesson that I didn't learn in all my years of parenting education. Let me tell you this is significant, because I spent many years of my professional career BEFORE I had children teaching parenting. I'm not saying that I didn't have some good information to share with my students and clients, but I am saying that there was a lot that I thought I knew before I had kids, but I found out that there was so much more that I didn't know I didn't know. That being said, I think that my husband will agree that I am still usually the parenting expert in our house, which I admit has given me a bit of a professional mommy ego. So you can imagine my reaction this week when I saw my husband make great progress in a parenting battle we have been fighting since my sons babyhood by giving him Cheetos.

Since our Little Man was old enough to eat foods he has been a picky eater. Now this was a parenting lesson in and of itself, because I had silently judged all of those parents of picky eaters in my childless days. Knowing that that was a learned behavior that those parents had allowed their children to acquire. Oh yes my friends my horse was high and the fall has been considerable. Even as a baby the kid had a natural ability to forcefully eject any unwanted food from his mouth, and did. He REFUSES to try new foods, he eats only from what we call the beige food group, this food group consists of exactly three foods: bread, milk, and occasionally cheese. The kid won't even eat ice cream. Anyway all along I have been taking my own well meant parenting advice that was this, "You can't make him eat, so don't turn it into a control battle you can't win," and "He won't let himself starve, so don't stress over it." Lately that last bit has been hard to believe, because honestly when you can fit everything that your child eats in a day into a tablespoon, and count all of his little tiny ribs you start to worry, and you to start to doubt the know-it-all childless you. You start to wonder if your child is so used to feeling hungry, that he doesn't know when he's really hungry. Then the first piece of advice starts to haunt you because you know that it is true (at least you were right about something) and you start to feel trapped, and worried.

Finally with my son's hunger strike reaching frightening proportions this weekend Shane decided any food was better than no food and took Little Man to the grocery store where he picked out his own family size bag of Cheetos, a food that momma with her large parenting ego had banned. Knowing that my plan of passive insistence wasn't working however I did not argue, but I must admit I did not think that it would work.

Little Man was soooo excited about his Cheetos and Shane put a little pile on his plate next to three dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Little Man ate his Cheetos with gusto and then wanted more, Shane gently told him that he would be happy to get him some more as soon as he ate some dinos, I sat back waiting to be right, and then what should my eyes behold, but a little boy eating three WHOLE chicken nuggets, an entire string cheese, and a granola bar, with Cheetos mixed in. It was like Thanksgiving dinner for a preschooler, it was a miracle. Since then almost every meal has included Cheetos...this morning Little Man came to me and told me he wanted breakfast, I don't remember the last time he told me he wanted a meal, and do you know what he had for breakfast yes Cheetos, AND oatmeal! The kid wanted to try oatmeal! I don't think that this boy has had oatmeal since he was a baby (and even then he spit it right back out at me). Seriously I'm dabbing at little mommy tears right now.

So I learned that sometimes a few Cheetos can get you a long way and that dads do things differently from moms and sometimes different is just what the Little Man needs.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What will they think of next? and the week in pictures

These things come with demo babies now?

I call this one "Dad You Missed a Spot"

And really I can say that this one probably deserves a post of its own, but its not getting it, because I'm busy like that. This is just another example of how this boy loves his dad. Everything that dad does is magic, and cool, and exciting. Little Man followed Shane around for half an hour helping him paint the walls. When I asked him what he was doing he said with pride, "I'm learning to help dad!." How sweet is that?

We tried solid foods this week,
and I think that if Baby bug could talk he would have said, "Oh man! Where has this stuff been hiding my whole life?" He loved it.

And last, but not least...I call this one "Mom I'm Tired of Blogging"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The mall, not just for shoppers anymore

Holy schmoley! Can you say cabin fever? We can.

With our recent bout with illness and it being a balmy 2 degrees outside, all.the.time. I can say that the kids and I have not left the house in what feels like weeks although its probably only been a week. So we ventured out for our first outing on Wednesday. Where do you go when its cold out and you live in our town? Well I'll be honest there aren't a lot of options. In fact I could only think of one...The mall.

Can I say that the mall is no longer just a place for old ladies and juvenile delinquents the mall is a happenin' place for three year olds and their desperate mommies everywhere. I don't know why nobody told me sooner.

The mall has rides...

And snacks...
And a play area, where if you go before three p.m. your kid won't get clobbered by any big kids that are definitely over the height resriction (yeah you know who you are).

There is also a great fountain that you can throw pennies into. Little Man LOVES to throw his money in the fountain.

Even a Baby Bug enjoys having new things to look at.

And if your a lucky mommy when you leave this magical retail emporium this...

and this...

will be the result, and may you just have to drive around the block a few extra times to revel in the quiet (that you know will be over the minute the car turns off) before going home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So I've long wanted to learn how to make my photos look better and I stumbled onto this website. Its been really informative. This week I read all about using levels and curves to make pictures look better, this was my practice picture.



Cool eh?

Monday, January 28, 2008


O.k. that last design didn't work for me, so I'm trying something new. Do you like it? Seriously, be honest, does it make me look cool?

Friday, January 25, 2008


When Little Man was born I quit my job as a social worker, I said goodbye to the world of family dysfunction and abuse to take care of my sweet little babe. I had spent years working to help little children whose lives were horribly unfair and whose futures were, I'm deeply saddened to say, very dismal. It was a job I put my whole heart into, but often came home at the end of the day feeling defeated by my inability to help enough. When Little Man was born I was filled up with the joy I felt knowing that to him I could really make a difference, that he was one child whose future I could protect, I could build him up and my work would not be undone. It was a wonderful feeling, I walked away from my job where I had thought that I was so needed and to this day I have rarely looked back.

In fact I can say that there are only a few things that I really miss about the working world. On occasion I miss the know a conversation where grown up topics are discussed and where prompting your fellow conversationalist to "say please" or "use his big boy words" is not generally necessary. Some days I miss dressing up in work clothes, I know it sounds silly, but when its 4:00 p.m. and you haven't showered yet, sometimes you miss the sound that your heels made as you walked into the staff meeting with makeup AND jewelry on. But I think the thing that I miss the most is sick days. Yep you got it, those feeling lousy so you call in and say your not coming and then you go back to bed, until you wake up ON YOUR OWN, and then you stay in bed and watch t.v. all day and eat chicken noodle soup days. Mommies don't get sick days. What you say? Mommies don't get sick...No mommies get sick they just don't get time off to do it.

After a week of caring for a sick baby and his older brother (who decided to join the fun two days ago). You'd think this mommy deserves a prize, or something, but what DOES she get? A big fat awful head cold...Seriously, seriously?

When I explained to Little Man that I couldn't play race cars today because I was sick he looked at me worriedly and asked, "Do you have to go to the hospital?" Apparently my days being MIA from home because I was at the hospital trying to keep my blood pressure down while I was in my last month of pregnancy really had an impact on him. I explained that I was only a little sick, and so I didn't have to go to the hospital because you only go there when you are a lot sick. He was relieved and kindly covered me with his "blankie" (a high honor to be sure) and used my limp body as a speed bump. Oh well, its nice to be needed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heard at my house

So we've been riding the potty train with Little Man lately, which has started some unique conversations at our house.

Little Man: Whatcha doing mom?

Me: Changing the sheets on my bed

Little Man: Who peed? Was it you?

Me: No, sometimes we just change the sheets on our bed.

Little Man: Was it Baby Bug?

Me: No

Little Man: IT WAS DAD!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Cosmic Bank

I once had a time in my life where I was the recipient of a great deal of kindness and service from my family and friends. I was overwhelmed by the love and kindness that was shown to me, and felt completely undeserved, and truth be told I may have been, it was then that I was introduced to what in my family is called "The Cosmic Bank." The cosmic bank is where all good deeds go, we all have a revolving account where we make deposits and we make withdrawals. The tricky thing with the cosmic bank is that we never know when we will need to make a withdrawal, so we have to continue to make deposits whenever we get the chance. This week we had some neat experiences doing both. Shane and I were both able to provide small services to those in need this week, and I must say that we both felt all warm and fuzzy about it, besides that they were small things that we did, no big deal, just a little deposit in our cosmic bank account. Who knew that we would be needing to make a big old withdrawal too. So fast forward to Sunday night Baby Bug who has had a cough for several days learns to whistle. No he's not a shoe in for the next baby talent show, because his mouth isn't whistling, but his lungs are. So Shane and I start trying to decide if this warrants the ever dreaded trip to the emergency room. We don't want to go, but Baby sounds awful, so we decide to tromp on over the next door neighbor's house who also happens to be our pediatrician for some advice. The neighbor drops everything he is doing leaves his house guests and goes to his office to get a stethoscope. Then a few minutes later after listening to Baby Bug, he makes another trip back to the office to get more equipment and medication. So forty-five minutes and one nebulizer treatment later Baby Bug is breathing a little easier, our neighbor is able to go back to his guests, and Shane and I are feeling really grateful for good neighbors, and a skilled pediatrician. We are also feeling worried that our cosmic account is perhaps a little overdrawn, and we think that maybe we need to make some even bigger deposits in the near future, not just for the warm and fuzzy feeling, but for the piece of mind that doing the right thing for someone else is really just saving something for a rainy day.

Another thing that I learned is that my baby has a unique sense of humor. We have been trying just about everything to get a good belly laugh out of our Baby Bug lately, and nothing...we put a nebulizer mask on him and he thinks its hillarious...go figure.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How much is too much

Last weekend the boys and I enjoyed a fun visit to Grammy's house. We had a great time, but the highlight of the entire weekend was probably when we took the TRAIN downtown to the Build a Bear Workshop. Who would have thought that public transit could inspire such wonder, and sheer joy. Little man could not believe his luck when the train pulled up and we climbed aboard, he was not discomforted by the hoodlums contemplating vandalism around us, or the odd people smell that made me clutch my Purell like it was gold. He was in awe, it was an adventure...score points for the fun mommy.

Once we arrived at the workshop, again there was more awe from my child, and I had the odd sensation that we were walking into a trap. We were greeted at the door by a happy helper in a smart uniform who directed us to the wall of bears we could make. Little man had a good time filling his bear, and giving it a bath, and brushing it off, but thankfully started to lose interest before we got to the oh so cute, and oh so bill increasing clothing and accessories. All in all it was a fun experience and little man enjoyed it thoroughly, although I think that he was most impressed by the "house" he got to take his bear home in, but as I was paying for our fun, my mom who was with us (and has an uncanny knack for hitting the nail on the head) helped me put to words the odd feeling I had had when we walked in the store. The whole conversation went something like this...

BUILD-A-BEAR LADY: Have you heard about our rewards program?

ME: No

BUILD-A-BEAR LADY: Well its a program where for every $200 you spend you get...

MY MOM: A big stamp on your forehead that says sucker.

BUILD-A-BEAR LADY: (somewhat crestfallen) $10 off you next purchase.

At that point I politely declined the rewards program and we quickly exited the store, Grammy laughingly apologized for any embarrassment she might have caused with her errant comment, but then validated it by saying, "But honestly, there are starving children in this world." And I think that I have to side with my mother. With the passing of Christmas I have been thinking a great deal about how much is too much, when does giving our kids things cross the line from helping our kids to hurting them? I realized that the gimmick at the workshop was not the teddy bears at all, but rather the notion it gave parents that they were doing something magical with their kids. That's it, the workshop was selling at least a facade of quality time, and we had bought into it. As I rode home on the train clutching my hand sanitizer and trying to mirror the excitement on my little man's face, I realized that its moments like these that we as parents are always trying to capture with our children and its moments like these that often get passed over for the quicker, more comfortable car ride. And when they get passed over enough times we find ourselves at the Build-a-Bear Workshop forking over our $20, or $40 dollars so that we can feel like the fun mommy again. I suppose it does no harm and even is the special memory we want it to be, if done in small doses, but I think after careful evaluation I've decided that joining the "rewards" club will be far too great a sacrifice for me and my children, we'll take the train instead.