20 December 2011

Christmas Wishes

I fear my last post was too sentimental because I am still get teary thinking about my friends here, there & everywhere. I apparently opened the flood gates so if you ladies don't mind doing nothing this year, I would greatly appreciate it. 

So today I shall focus on myself & share with you my selfish Christmas wishes. I have some absolutely sincere wishes as well but those are boring.

I wish
I could have one day of Ben's toddlerhood that didn't involve him spilling something on something else.
It's usually whatever drink I'm attempting to enjoy.
And since the most decadent drink I have most days is a caffeine free Diet Coke, "enjoy" is stretching it.
But it's better in my mouth than all over the table or couch or floor ... or me.

I wish
I could figure out how to make a fortune on all the fine cheese I clean out of Evan's neck rolls every day after he drips as much milk as he drinks.

I wish 
Brownies & celery would trade nutritional content.

I wish
Kids couldn't hear curse words.
Some days, cursing is my only outlet.

I wish
For a million more wishes!
See, I'm smart.

Where my girls at?

As we're approaching Christmas, I'm finding myself feeling very sentimental. I guess we all do that a bit around the holidays, don't we? I'm usually more of a Thanksgiving gal myself but now that Ben is old enough to enjoy Christmas & the joy of Santa (or "Sansa" as he tends to pronounce it) I'm coming around to the pure bliss that is Christmas. I thought I'd never get used to the concept of a warm Christmas over here but I've even gotten over that & can appreciate the warm glow from all the spray tans lighting up the holiday.

I've been catching up with friends, old & new, recently & it reminds me how lucky I am to have them ALL in my life. There has been so much going on with everyone - new babies, weddings, divorces, moving house, falling in & out of love, you name it someone has done it this year. I wish I had the ability to jet around the world quickly to give all my buddies a big hug & tell them how much they mean to me. Wait, if I'm really wishing let's skip the jet with all its accompanying bloody jetlag & go straight to magically appearing wherever my friends are all over the world. That would scare the bejeezus out of them!!

If I was a better friend I would sit down tonight & write each of them an email telling them how special they are & what I appreciate about them. But I know me & I'd get halfway through one email, feel embarrassed so start over about 70 times then get distracted by a crying baby or a nutty toddler then it would be all over.

Chances are if you're reading this then you're a good friend (or my mom or my Uncle Paul who I'm pretty sure owes me a boat) so please know that I love you, adore you & admire you so much. Your new baby is beautiful & special, I'm so happy you found the right guy & best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together, I'm devastated that your marriage didn't work out but you deserve the best so I'm proud of you for knowing it wasn't right, your new (or very old) house is awesome - I love what you've done with it & can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve & don't you worry about finding the right guy, he's out there & he's going to be worth the wait.

If anyone can think of a nice halfway point in the world for us all to meet (Hawaii??) let's just go & throw ourselves the biggest Ladies Night ever - watch a bunch of TV, bitch our hearts out, eat whatever we want (Ladies Night calories don't count)(it's true) & just appreciate the hell out of each other.

Okay, enough of this. I'll be back with more of my usual blather sometime soon.

13 December 2011

Friday I'm in love

Ben's Christmas concert was the other night & it was glorious. It was very casual, which was good - they weren't up on a stage or in lines or anything, just all the kids & their teachers & helpers sitting around on the floor with their Christmas jingle bells (which Ben chose to drive around like a car) singing away while we family members ooh'ed & ahh'ed from the sidelines. There was about a million people there so we didn't get any good pictures but I'll post them anyway ... uhhhh, not today because I just realized I don't know where the camera is.

Christmas shopping is almost done. I got four of my internet orders this week so I'm only waiting on three more. One is actually kinda for myself so no hearts will be broken if it doesn't get here in time & one is for Evan who is oblivious to the festivities anyway so no drama. Oh! For those of you not on Facebook, below is Evan's first Santa photo. Ben wanted no part of it so it's just Evan plopped on old St. Nick's lap. Santa offered to keep Evan because he was such a cute lump of sweetness. No go, you big elf - I like having my boys even when they drive me bananas.

For some odd reason I did manage to get a picture from his concert's after party - Marcel must have snapped it on his phone & emailed it. The boy has inherited my love of popcorn & like any child he adores anything sweet so the multi-color candy-coated popcorn is his kryptonite.

And while I'm sharing pictures, I'll give you these doozies from a particularly late night after Ben took a late nap. Marcel was still at work & Evan was asleep like the angel sleeper that he is so Ben & I partied hard.

I'm still trying to master the snarly face but it ain't working.

This one's not so hot either.

A subtle hint that it was time to cut it out with the photos.

No, I don't have a moustache. I have teeny tiny freckles that catch shadows in a terribly flattering manner. Well, I do have a moustache but luckily it's super pale - now you've got me all paranoid & I need to make a waxing appointment.

And I just remembered that I got on the computer to check some finance stuff so I should actually go do that & stop farting around. BORING!

12 December 2011

nothing new

I am currently in the midst of writing a very comprehensive shopping list that should hopefully finish out my Christmas shopping tomorrow. It's one of those doozies that has it broken up by store at the top but then broken down by person at the bottom so when I'm in hour 78 & wondering why I'm looking for "orange post-it notes shaped like a snowman" or something really random & overly specific I can remember why.

There are also six things out there in the world that I've ordered online & am patiently waiting their arrival. One I ordered only an hour ago & I'm already trying to track it. WHY ISN'T IT HERE?? I do have concerns over some of the things I've ordered from Australian companies because somehow they take forever to arrive - I imagine it's because they're much smaller businesses but I still shake my head. Folks, it's worth tricking friends & relatives to help you out 'round the holidays if you're a one-man operation - nothing worse than packages not arriving in time for Christmas.

In non-materialistic news, I've got nothing else going on these days. I'm eating well, getting back to the gym tonight after a few days off while our entire household suffered from a cold. Luckily, it disappeared very quickly with only a few lingering sniffles remaining. Evan is still breathing a bit rough at night but sleeping soundly & nothing serious so we're all happy campers. But yes, taking care of myself.

Tomorrow night is Ben's first Christmas concert!! I'm so tickled I can hardly stand it. He's been singing around the house & putting his hands in the shape of a star & we can understand the word star a few times in his singing but can't understand much else (speech classes start next month) so we're trying to figure out exactly what a bunch of 0-3 year olds will be singing for us! It's going to be classic whatever it ends up being! We'll be filming it so I'll post it as soon as possible.

Okay, #2 is suddenly wailing at me & Ben is burping up chocolate milk so I need to go teach some manners while feeding the baby. Life is good, life is good.

09 December 2011

It's Friday here

Hey there, how are ya? Got a few things for you today before my brain short circuits and I just go lie facedown on The Lanai (someone watched Golden Girls today) & give in. Uber drama around here today if you can't guess.

But firstly and foremostly, I need a favor. I read blogs of all kinds & somehow at some point in time I stumbled upon a lovely one called Simply Radiant. I don't know the woman who writes it in any way shape or form & I honestly can't even remembered whose link to a link to a link I followed to find her (probably a cute craft that I had every intention to make but you know how that goes) but she's great. She shares stories of her gorgeous family, her home, travels & faith. Anyway, her family could use some prayers for her youngest son (you know anyone with two sons automatically has my heart). If you want to check out her blog, you can see what I'm talking about here:
Otherwise, maybe just send up a quick prayer or warm thought for a mom you don't know but who needs it now.

But back to the mom that you do know and who always needs your prayers because I am hopelessly bad at this mothering crap sometimes. SOMETIMES. Sometimes I get it right ... I think. Evan slept 11 hours straight last night, then only woke up at 7am long enough to have a quick feed then slept another hour. I'm taking credit for that even though I did nothing besides peeking every so often to make sure he was breathing.

And to brag on my other son for a moment, my #1 went #1 in the potty for the first time today!! Huzzah!! Hooray!! Other exciting words!! As you know, we have not pushed the potty issue with him at all after many discussion withs nurses, midwives & teachers that said it's best to wait until he told us he was ready. I assumed this would be sometime after he went away for college at the rate that we were going but now I think it could happen by high school instead so major improvement! When I asked him this afternoon if he wanted to do it again, he gave me a very firm "no" so maybe it was a bit more traumatic than I imagine tinkles to be. 

We're all sick around here so drama is running high and patience is running low. The weather was crap until this afternoon when the sun suddenly made an appearance so we had a strong case of cabin fever on top of the sniffles, sneezes, snorts & headaches. But now Marcel is home & has set off with Ben on a shopping adventure - I predict it will end in tragedy as Marcel is as sick as the rest of us but here's hoping for the best. I'm using my precious time to hopefully get Evan down for a nap (hahahaha!) and to clean the house. Um, after I finish this blog I'll do all that. 

Now, when our family gets bored there is one time waster that cheers us up for at least a good few minutes - we hit ye olde Photo Booth on our rootin' tootin' Macintosh (remember when we called them that?) & had some fun. I will leave you with the results. Please ignore the lamp that thinks it's part of the family. I don't have the heart to tell Old Silver Balls that he needs to step off.

We started with an attempt for a good picture but Evan went all Popeye & somehow Ben managed to give himself buck teeth.

More Popeye plus I'm starting my crazy face & Ben pulled an ornament out of nowhere for a snack.

I'm trying to teach Ben how to properly stick out his tongue.
His version is a little too sweet. 

I'm also teaching my boys to be tough.
I'd also be happy if they turned out to be like this guy:

*sigh* How much of a mom am I that when I see a gorgeous actor who seems to have his crap together, be successful, friendly, smart, etc. I don't think "I want him." Nope, I think "I want my sons to be like him." 

Evan's thinking, "Oooooh, things about to get crazy up in here."

And out comes my duck face. 
I don't know where it comes from but it always makes an appearance. 
In my next life, I will have cheek bones!

Oh Evan, fire your mama.
Also, that magnified sausage neck of mine is what clinches the win on every ugly face contest I enter.

Let the good times roll. 

Awww, my little rays of sunshine who WOULD NOT SIT STILL FOR A DECENT PICTURE.

Anyway, it is now much later than when I started this & all I've managed to do was rock & feed Evan who slept until I put him down, make our bed & blow my nose about 700 times. Time for a warp speed cleaning session so Marcel doesn't realize how useless I am. Godspeed!

04 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like a boring blog.

First things first, I promised you pictures of Ben's bizarre post-terror sleeping:

Please note the (very clean) diaper on the floor, plus the blanket & pillow chucked out of the bed. This seriously could not have been comfortable.

Today has been much better so far. Ben seems to be out of his "NO!" phase of the weekend that I assume was brought on by being sick since it's not his normal modus operandi. I've decided that he has a deconstructed flu if you will. First he coughed for a couple of weeks, then once that was gone he got the fever for 24 hours & then that left, bringing about one bout of puking & now he's got a seriously sniffly nose & the occasional sneeze. What the hell else is next?? He doesn't sleep well when he's got the sniffles so after I fed Evan at 4am (after 8 glorious hours of sleep)(for him - I still went to bed after 11pm like a moron), I got to hang out with Ben in his room while he played with his car in bed. *sigh* If you are considering having kids, please realize that you will never win & your children will never be perfect & the most you can hope for is a little bit of sanity once in a while.

Do you ever watch Dr. Oz? Weird question, I know. I assumed I would hate him as much as Dr. Phil. That Dr. Phil makes me crazy mad because the people on there have no common sense & he talks down to them. Dr. Oz I don't mind, I've decided - he says his business, moves on, no judgment, no drama. But every single episode I've caught - maybe 5 total - there's a lot of talk about nuts. Not the boy kind, the eating kind. Shut up. The last episode I saw even mentioned us SDAs & how we eat so many walnuts, which could be the key to our longevity. Weird, right? He has convinced me to always buy nuts at the grocery store now at least. Maybe I need to get into more Adventist casseroles too! It's a bit odd because isn't the SDA diet a bit heavy on gluten, which is supposed to be kinda evil now? I could eat about a gazillion gluten steaks if they weren't too complicated to make (sorry Debbie, I'm not up to your speed!). I'm pretty sure the key to Adventists' long lives is we're all holding out until that guy at church plays the saw again for the service. Every church had the guy who played the saw, right? WHO WAS THAT GUY???

Okay, now I'm going to show you some of our Christmas ornaments so feel free to tune out because seriously, Christmas ornaments? Not as cool as I once was but I love the bastards! So does my dear son Ben, I'm afraid. When I got out of the shower this morning the Christmas tree had been pulled out a few feet from the wall, one adorable penguin ornament had been beheaded & there was a trail of ornament glitter across the floor. It took me a few minutes to realize that he had turned the tree lights on, which scares me. How did he figure that out? And also, he apparently loves a bit of ambiance. What if I had taken a long bath instead? He would have had time to go out & buy Michael Buble's Christmas album & heat up some hot chocolate to go with the lovely lights! Terrifying.

Anyway, the ornaments:

First of all, I need to move that blue poster to the left - not Christmasy & doesn't match at the moment. Maybe we'll just make up a little Christmas poster to replace it.
More importantly the little blue owl is Evan's Baby's 1st Christmas ornament. It's one of the only halfway cute ones I've ever seen. Poor Ben got a blue stocking ornament with a teddy bear hanging off it. He hated it so much he ripped the teddy bear off last year. Not really. Well, he did rip it off but not out of hatred ... I think.

Okay, the Mickey Mouse head made of bells is one of my favorites (warning: every ornament is "one of my favorite" so prepare yourself) - got it at Disneyland last year when Mom & I dragged Ben around. I am the kinda gal who thinks Disney at Christmas is MAGICAL but I understand if you disagree.
The heart was from my parents to celebrate Marcel & my first Christmas together. The delicate wooden snowflake scene (there are several) is from Marcel's parents & the little thing on the right is a Star Wars talking ornament with Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke & C3P0. 

I call this an Ode to Opa.
We got that (I can't spell what it's called close enough to find out the correct spelling online!)(sounds like Hampelman?) in Austria when Ben was 3 or 4 months old & Opa put it on his stroller. He loved it then & still does. He also chews his tongue when he's concentrating just like Opa (note: I just typed Oprah instead of Opa, which is a fantastic mental picture) - how is that stuff hereditary??

Anyone who knew me as a weirdo in high school will remember that for some odd reason I wanted to be a Secret Service agent (I blame Courtney who influenced everything I did!). Heaven bless the Spy Museum in DC for having this ornament. 

I'm sorry, you don't have a Cracker Barrel Christmas ornament? You're weird.
Also that little penguin is bedazzled ... bedazzle with rhinestones! If you enjoy the movie 17 Again, you'd understand that reference. And how hot is Zac Efron, am I right?
Got the penguin at Domayne who has got the best ornament this year. Love them!

The award for the classiest ornament on our tree goes to that one in the middle, which our lovely friends Nicole & Clint (visit Nicole at firsthouseontheright.blogspot.com/) brought us from The Plaza in NYC! 

Wait, one picture is missing. Hold on, I'll go find it - I know you'd just die if you missed out on any of the exciting ornaments ...

That little TV is from Domayne as well & it features the nativity scene, which I think is adorable for some reason. The awesome badass tiger jumping through the flames (my homage to my first crush, Gunther Gabel Williams) was a clearance one from Restoration Hardware years ago, the globe is from Big W last year, the gingerbread cookie B could be from anywhere & the kiwi in the top right corner was brought home with Marcel from New Zealand!

This just gives you an idea of the chaos we're living in while Christmas is settling into the house.

Now there's a ringing sound & I can't figure out where it's coming from - it's not my phone or anything like that. It sounds like a bell & Ben is putting his shoes on so I have a suspicion that he's hiding an ornament in his footwear. Gotta run & shake him down. Hope your week starts with a smile. If it doesn't, go out & buy an ornament that means something to you. 

Starvin' Marvin

There are days when I would give up this parenting nonsense in a heartbeat. Luckily, the feeling passes fairly quickly since I generally have two awesome boys. I'll save you the mind-numbing tiny details but this weekend has been a pisser - Ben recovering from being sick & Evan just not wanting to do any day sleeps unless he's on me & breastfeeding at least every 2 hours. Lots of whining & tears from both of the bozos. I'm personally ever so glad that it all hit on the weekend so that Marcel was home to keep me sane, meaning that none of the tears ended up being from me! Anyway, we did nothing fun this weekend, didn't finish a single one of the projects we wanted to finish & the one time we decided to go out to eat, Ben puked in the parking lot so we just went back to our sad house.

It finally all hit the pinnacle today after trying our own patience by making us all sit at the table until Ben would eat his whole meal (he's getting way too skinny) but I think you know who won that standoff. He did lose possession of his new black Hot Wheels car & didn't get the chocolate milk he'd been begging for AND he had to take a nap, which he doesn't normally ever do at home but he still totally won. The child cried for over an hour before he finally fell asleep! Don't feel too bad for him because they weren't real tears, just the whiny ones that magically disappeared when I would check on him & he'd ask "Toctic some?" which is his way of saying "Chocolate milk?" Yes, we start speech classes in January. He always calls milk "some" I guess because we ask him if he wants some milk? I don't know why it caught on for that. Anyway, he cried a lot over chocolate milk & once in a while I'd hear him whine for his "blaaaack car" so he wasn't really suffering. I was suffering. Evan had joined in the crying chorus because I wasn't feeding him right that very second because I was trying to finally get showered & dressed for the day (I won't tell you how late it was) & Marcel had gone to pick something up. Ben finally passed out with his legs stuck through the bars of his bed & minus a diaper. He took his pants off, took the diaper off & put the pants back on with nothing under them. Luckily he stayed dry - that's supposed to be a sign that he's ready for potty training but I'd rather put a gun in my mouth these days so that's going to wait until after the holidays.

I actually took a couple of pictures of him asleep in his awkward position with the diaper on the floor but I am honestly too exhausted to go get the camera to post them. Tomorrow perhaps.

There is nothing else to report these days. I've gone back to the gym a couple of times, ready to get rid of the baby weight ... from both babies thank you very much. You know how when you decide to do something good, the bad thoughts get stronger? Ever since I've been making plans to get healthy (& thin) again, suddenly I am desperately hungry for ridiculous things. Anyone have an extra birthday cake with a nice buttery frosting on it that you'd like to get off your hands? Yeah, I'll have two of those please. But I think I'll settle for some Weet-Bix with unsweetened apple sauce & skim milk & a ton of water. I keep getting puffy the past few days so I obviously need to crank up the water intake, right?

On the plus side, we did get the Christmas tree put up & Ben only broke two unimportant ornaments. No, make that four but the only one that matters is fixable. I have become a Christmas ornament nut somehow. I have to restrain myself from picking them up everywhere I go - I can't resist anything penguiny (branding my poor Christmas tree I suppose) or anything halfway relevant to us. My favorite of this year has to be the retro looking TV showing the nativity. Hysterically cute & a tiny irreverent but  not really.

Obee kabee, I'm off to make myself that delicious healthy cereal & to watch a rerun of Castle. Hope your weekends have been much more exciting & a lot less whiny than mine!! And seriously, send me that cake.