Monday, May 28, 2007

It went something like this -

Big Al: So, (cracking open a Memorial Day beer) I've decided that there's a name for the baby that I like better than "Jack."
Me: Tough.
Big Al: No really, just hear me out. I just don't like "Jack" as much as you do.
Me: Listen Honey, it's on the scrapbook. In Man Terms that means that it's WRITTEN IN BLOOD.
Big Al: I like the name "Drew."
Me: Well, I really liked the name "TESS"
I am instead getting a baby named "JACK"
I like the name "Jack", so "JACK" it is!!!
Big Al: (understanding that he isn't going to win this one)
Me: I'm in love with this little guy, and wouldn't trade *him* for a "Tess", but the fact is - this is my THIRD FREAKIN' SON and DAMMIT - I'm picking the name.
I mean really......
Big Al: ok.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Summer is upon us......

We had a busy week! Wednesday was the last day of preschool for BB. The kids put on a little music show, and then had a big potluck/last day party. The teachers are so sweet, and the kids come home with the best art projects. I'm really glad that LB will be there next year. We of course made cookies to share, because given the choice - I'll always bake rather than "assemble" or cook for these types of things. I mean, I like to cook - but not appetizer-ish type things. Our flower cookies turned out pretty cute, and all the kids loved them. Okay - confession. I've been saying "our" and "we", but the kids didn't help me with these. I made them while they were sleeping on purpose. I let them help with baking sometimes, but not when I want the end product to be fairly uniform...and without hair and fingernails.

I'm on a mission to catch up on my scrapbooking before the baby arrives, and have been enjoying the process. It's amazing how therapeutic it is for me. My family has been going through a really rough couple of weeks, and just taking time-out to do something that I enjoy has been tremendously helpful to my mental state. Even big Al can tell. I know because he has sweetly suggested that I take some time "in my room" when he can tell that I need to de-stress! I love that guy. Anyway, as soon as I have a collection of new pages - I'll post some pictures.

Today there was a Memorial Day parade in our darling small town. We were all able to walk in the parade with the boys preschool group. I took lots of good pictures, but almost all of them tell exactly where we live! So...sorry for the lack of pictures. Being part of such a sweet little event today was reminder #457 why I LOVE living in a small town. Everyone is so nice, and there is really such a sense of community here. There weren't massive crowds pushing......just a really pleasant event. I sometimes forget and take for granted how BEAUTIFUL it is here, so it was nice to get out and really enjoy it. If I need to get to a "big city", I can do so fairly quickly. But I wouldn't live there again for anything! I'm happy that my boys are growing up in this town where things are simpler, kids stay young longer, and people really seem to care about one another.

Here's one picture that reminds me of a cute little moment with LB he is....bug hunting in the middle of the road.

Little Boy, Big Boy, and their buddies were loving all of the traditional candy-throwing that comes along with being in/watching a parade. Before we jumped into our place in the parade line, the kids were enjoying watching the firetrucks, Harley riders, and various club cars drive by and throw candy. After each car went by, we would let the kids go out into the street to collect whatever candy had been missed before the next attraction came by. Well little boy spotted a bug, and really couldn't have cared less about the candy! For the next few minutes, he and his new bug enjoyed getting to know each other by the side of the road....until LB inadvertently....killed him with kindness. He is bordering on an obsession with bugs these days. I have to keep reminding him that he has to show me the bug before he touches it. I have this fear that one of these days he'll come marching into the kitchen to show me the black widow he just found in the yard. Ugh - lets hope not.

Anyway, the parade ended at a local park where there was a big festival. Jump houses, carnival games, face painting, spin art - all free. We bought some hot dogs from the adorable firemen who were BBQ-ing them, and the kids played at the park and enjoyed the many events. As an aside, I'm convinced that being adorable is a prerequisite for becoming a fireman. Really. They are so freakin' cute. I've told Big Al on more than one occassion that he missed his calling!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Stupids Step Out

Bright and early Saturday morning, we all set out for a mini-vacation to a semi-local theme park. The plan was that we would go and enjoy the park, and then spend the night at a nearby hotel so that the boys could swim. Also in this general area, is a huge outlet shopping center. YAY FOR SHOPPING! With the new baby coming, we wanted to do something special and different with the boys this summer - even if it was just something small like this. We were going to go to Disneyland, but it came down to putting a lawn in our yard, or visiting the mouse. The lawn won. Anyway, big boy in particular had been looking forward to this little trip as he LOVES hotels. Silly boy. Here is a picture of me and the boys before we left the house - you know - as proof of my existence. I had Big Al take the picture since I knew I'd be on the other side of the camera for the remainder of the "trip." You'd think he could have told me to pull my shirt up a little. Men. Always with the ulterior motives. LB is winking at you. He's flirty like that.

We arrived at the theme park about 15 minutes before they opened, and were able to park right in front. We had an absolutely wonderful day. It was as if no one knew this place existed - it was so NOT crowded! Totally worth the FORTUNE it cost us to get in. The kids went on all of the rides and didn't have to wait in line once. This was perfect for a kid like LB who has all the patience of a flea. I hadn't been to this place in a couple of years, and had forgotten how little-kid-friendly and adorable it all is. Besides all of the really cute and non-commercial-y rides, there are some of the most gorgeous gardens, trees, and flowers. At one point, I made all three of my boys (incl. Big Al) come over and smell some roses. They all had that incredible rose smell. Remember when roses used to smell good? Back before they started breeding out the smell? These were awesome old school roses.

After about 4 hours, the kids were exhausted and we had done all that there was to do. We decided to head to the hotel to get settled and go swimming. The boys had a blast swimming with daddy, and looking like the little floating dorks that they are. For the record, we are starting swimming lessons this summer! Big Boy took lessons last summer, and can sort of make his way provided his feet can touch - but not so much that he doesn't need some sort of assistance in order for *me* to feel better. I did not get in the pool.....I'd rather eat glass than buy and/or wear a maternity swim suit. I wish I was *that* Mom, but alas....I am not. Plus, I was having an exceptionally good hair day yesterday. Okay, now that I've sufficiently caused some of my readers to cringe and roll their eyes, lets move on!

***BB wanted both the water wings and the jacket. I'm not so nuts that I insisted on both!***

LB seemed to know how silly he looked in this get-up. When I put it on him, he turned around to check himself out in the mirror and said "I look like a rocket butt!" Indeed, honey. Indeed.

After swimming, it was late afternoon and we thought that the boys might rest for a little bit, and then we could go out to dinner. Well, that didn't happen. They were literally bouncing from bed to bed, getting into everything, and just being a couple of a-holes. Sorry, they were. We decided that we would go check out a couple of the outlet stores (COACH not being one of them......damn kids) and then play it by ear. We got to the outlets, and I picked up a couple of cute things for the baby. By now, big boy could barely keep his eyes open and little boy was in meltdown mode from pure exhaustion. It was 6pm. We knew that we couldn't bring LB to a sit down restaurant at this point. No.....I wasn't up for that kind of excitement. I remembered that the hotel had room service that we could take advantage of later since Big Al and I weren't hungry yet. The kids were starving and tired, so we bit the bullet and bought them happy meals to eat in the car on the way back to the hotel. Better than nothing, right? They were literally on the verge of sleep, and this was a good, quick option. We figured the boys would go to sleep once we got back. We would then order a decent dinner and watch a movie on HBO. Great!

Yeah.......not so much.

The kids got a second wind. Again. They wouldn't sit down and play with any of the new, various, hotel entertainment I had brought for them. To top it all off, we learned upon trying to order some dinner that they don't offer room service on weekends. Excellent. We weren't near anything as far as food. No grocery stores or restaurants - and now we were hungry. Big Al offered to go and get us something, but the more the kids goofed off and found this crazy, meth-like energy in the midst of their exhaustion - the more I wanted to bag the whole thing.

"This was a great idea Hon! Really, really relaxing!" Big Al joked as the kids jumped on him while he was laying on the bed trying to read.

"I'm hungry, and this totally SUCKS. We are SO outta here" I said.

Big Al agreed.
And so...........The Stupids checked out early and went home.
We tucked the already sleeping boys into bed, and I then had a very tasty and satisfying bowl of cereal (because I'm very into cereal these days.)

The end!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Strawberry Jam, The Family Bed, and Bathtub Diving. In that order.

I love Thursdays......well, not all Thursdays - but the last 3, today, and the next 2. Big Al switched his Thursday schedule with someone from work so that he is available to take Big Boy to soccer. This means that he works a later shift instead of his regular day shift. Nice for me, kind of a drag for him. This morning we all went out to breakfast at our favorite local coffee shop/breakfast joint. What we learned, is that they clearly save their competent help for the weekends, and have their slow and clueless servers working the weekday shifts. Ugh! We had to wait so long for our food, that little boy resorted to eating strawberry jam pots with his spoon. I wish I had had my camera with me. I think he went through about 6 of them. Poor, starving, little boy.
In other news, I'm finding myself mourning the loss of my little boy as the "baby" of the family. He's so delightful. Maddening at times, but delightful nonetheless. He's in an intense Mommy worshipping phase and I really hate it. KIDDING! I LOVE it. I've been trying to break the habit of him sleeping with us, but honestly - I can't bring myself to force him to be in his bed! I love looking over at his sweet, sleeping face in the morning. I love his little breathe on my cheek. I love how he wakes up, sees me, wraps his arms around me and falls back to sleep with a smile on his face. My "smart" thinking, was that I should really get him out of our bed in case I need to bring the baby in. I obviously can't have little boy in there with the baby. Big Boy slept with us until he was about 4. At that point, he sort of transitioned himself without incident. Every once in a while, all 4 of us end up in our California King - if BB has a nightmare or something. It's crowded and I wouldn't want it that way all the time, but honestly - I don't mind all that much. Like a big family of bears in a cave. I don't know. I'm a sap. I know this. For those of you worried about our "marital happiness" with all of this family bed-ing - don't worry. We do just fine!
The other day, I was resting on the couch reading a book, when Little Boy came and snuggled himself behind me. He ended up falling asleep with his arm around my neck and his face resting on my head like a little chimp baby. Big boy fetched my camera for me, and I managed to get this sorry excuse for a picture -

This next picture is entitled "The poor mans swimming pool"

Note to self: Get these kids in swimming lessons.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A New Scrapbook for Our New Baby

I finally finished "making" (re-covering, actually) Jack's scrapbook.

Here are the before and after pictures:

I can never find an album that I'm happy with, so in my never-ending quest to make things easy on myself - I now buy fabric, ribbon, batting, etc. and cover plain albums whose construction I approve of. You know (fellow scrapbookers) - because adding pages and spacers to post bound albums isn't treat enough. Anyway, I like how it turned out! It's funny - in most area's of my decorating life, I'm not into "cutesy"........for some reason scrapbook album covers seem to be the exception.

I'll admit, it feels good to be "caught up" on at least one of my children's scrapbooks! Here are the first two pages in Jack's book. The first is a page commemorating the moment we first knew I was pregnant, and the second is when I found out we were having a boy. I'm so excited to meet this little guy.

**I think if you click on the pictures, they'll super-size to show detail.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day and I hope you did too!
More later.........

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pictures of Pictures

Because the scanner and I don't get along.

Anyway, here are the spring pictures from Big Boy's school - I think they turned out great.

I love these funny, cute boys. I can't believe how big they're getting. All of a sudden, little boy has just shot up. Tall and boyish.....less "baby", more "kid." Thankfully, I'll have a new baby to cuddle soon. I love to hug and squeeze and kiss my kids, but I just can't wait for my little pea to get here. Smooshy, sweet-smelling, adorable, little thing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Taking after his father.......

After having a coughing fit at 5:30AM:

Big Boy: "That was a bad one. Feel my head Mommy, I'm a little worried about myself."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

It's okay to giggle. Photo faux pas's are funny.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Some Moms would look at this as a teaching opportunity.

This Mom showed her oldest son the freezer and said "This is why it is STUPID to put a can of soda in the freezer. PLEASE DON'T EVER DO THIS AGAIN."

With posting this picture, I'm also admitting that Big Al likes to eat Marie Calendar's chicken pot pie's on the nights I choose not to cook. For the record, that doesn't happen very often - but it does happen sometimes. And also, we have rocky road ice cream. It's "light."
Points for buying "light?"

I should also make it clear that my kids don't drink soda (except for the occasional sprite if we're out at a restaurant.) Big boy has an obsession with freezing things lately. Small containers of water, juice boxes, pieces of fruit. Random stuff. He now knows what it means for something to be UNDER PRESSURE and NOT A GOOD IDEA TO FREEZE.

Oh well, it all worked out. This morning as I was waking up at the crack of way-too-freakin'-early (thanks to bedside requests for orange juice and waffles) I was hoping to have a great reason to clean the freezer today.

Protecting himself from knowledge...

One should always wear a bike helmet while being read to. This is the only way to protect the thick skull from unsavory information getting in. This particular book is about sharing.

I rest my case.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Making up for calling me a "Shithead" over breakfast.

Little boy came over while I was emptying the dishwasher, took my hand - looked up at me and said:

"Mommy, you're my best friend."
I picked him up, and his sticky hands wrapped around my neck as he kissed me on the cheek.
And that's why I do this. Because he's my best friend too.

To be fair - I *was* being a shithead at the time.

Notice the pregnancy swelling beginning it's ugly decent upon my face. Nice.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Tooth Fairies and Tea Parties

Yesterday was a BIG DAY for my big boy!!! He lost his first tooth. Yanked it out himself, like the 5 year old man that he is. He was so proud and excited. He couldn't wait to go to school and tell all his friends.

As I looked at the tiny little tooth sitting in the tiny little container I had given him, I became so emotional. I know - what a surprise. I remember that little tooth coming in when my beautiful boy was a beautiful baby of only 4 months. Peaches. Peaches were his favorite when he was a baby with his one tooth. This tooth. As I look at him now- an inch over 4 feet big for his 5 years, and so incredibly sweet and wonderful and smart - I can't believe how he's grown. I imagine him a giant of a man someday.....tall and handsome like his Dad. And still my baby. Always my baby.

How cute are those freckles??

Needless to say, he scored big time. His tooth fairy left him a fiver under his pillow. Now a precedent has been set, and she's going to have to kick down a ten for molars. Aw, well. His tooth fairy was always spoiled by her tooth fairy as a kid. And so it goes.........

In other news, Little Boy and I had a tea party today! I actually bought this little set a while ago after noticing how much LB likes to pour and measure. Since Big Al was taking BB to soccer, I thought this would be a great time to do a fun activity with (read: distract) LB.

Nice goose egg on the forehead. It's the result of jumping from the laundry basket to the chair, and missing the chair completely.
It actually goes nicely with the tribal band (temporary) tattoo he's got going on under that ghetto Hanes t-shirt.
See? I don't need a daughter to have a stinkin' tea party.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Perfecting their "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Routine

Big Boy:
"Mommy, can we please jump on your bed?"

"Absolutely not, but thanks for asking"

Big Boy (defeated):

Little Boy to Big Boy:
"Oh Dammit"

Big Boy to Little Boy:
"You heard her....she said 'no'.....that's the best I can do"

I predict that in a year or two, little boy will be handling all major negotiations.