Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oh, hello November. And December. (and probably most of October, too!)

It's been more than a couple of months of troubles that have now resulted in a new hard drive, but hopefully (fingers double crossed here) things are back in swing and the last few months of thoughts, pictures, and ramblings can be uploaded, jotted down, and forever memorialized. Or at least I can pick up from today and move forward. Let's not be too ambitious, here. It is Christmastime, afterall.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

It was a low-key kind of Halloween and that was just fine by us. The black widow and the more-often-than-not headless beetle made the rounds with their best buddy Jakey and the whole thing wrapped up by 6:30 when Anderson declared it was getting late, he had enough candy, and it was time for bed. OK, then. Party animals or bugs, as it were.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The cutest black widow in town | homemade spider costume

If Anderson had it his way, he'd have been the same beetle that he's been for the last 2 Halloweens. Except it didn't fit. It barely fit last year, but that was good enough for him, so this year we needed something new. But not too new, because being a bug (insect? arachnid?) is just entirely too great. I started out making a tarantula, but realized that without the red belly, he would just look like a furry black blob. I have never made a costume, and had absolutely zero luck in finding a pattern at the fabric store or online so I had to just wing it. I'm so happy with this little costume I can hardly stand it. Even if he did refuse to let me tie up the leg pieces, resulting in floppy legs, I just can't help but think he's the cutest little arachnid around. And of course Beck got to be the beetle. Because bugs are the best!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The thing about soccer... that he kind of hates it. I think. During the week he talks about it as if he loves it and he hasn't stopped talking about the goal he made a couple of weeks back. But. He doesn't play. He loves the practice prior to the game and he most certainly loves the "tunnel" and snack at the end, but the actual playing of the game? Well, not so much.

The season ends in just a few weeks and I am sure he will tell tales of how great the experience was,  but for now I am doing all I can just to keep his interest long enough to last through the game (bribes of the pumpkin patch or ice cream seem to work pretty well for this; and yes, I know that makes me a bad mom but whatever).

I would never push my kids to participate in something they didn't like, but at the same time they aren't going to quit half way through when the rest of the team is counting on them. The fact of the matter is that he's four. What is great one day is forgotten the next and my job is not to push, but rather to expose him to as many things as I can and let him carve out his own path. Just perhaps not with a soccer ball. Maybe it will be sports, maybe it will be art (doubtful), or maybe it will be something that absolutely surprises me (song writing! ceramics! woodworking!); whatever it is, though, you can bet I will be right behind him, cheering loudly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

School started

It's been a couple of weeks since Anderson went back to school. Pre-kindergarten! I have no sappy, dramatic comments about how he's growing entirely too fast and will he just, oh my gosh, stay little forever because, actually, I kind of love all of this growing up stuff. He's becoming such a person. His thoughts, his opinions, his interests, his view of the world- they're all unique to him. His attitude? Well, that's unique to him, too. Help me. But this is about the beginning of what promises to be a pretty great year in school, filled with fun, art, music, and numbers as big as he can imagine. And letters! Oh, please, please, please let him flourish when it comes to writing his letters. I'm more than a little concerned at this point.
So he was not the happiest about the pictures before school or having his brother in the picture. This one's got attitude, I tell you.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Computer is fixed, summer is over, and a bunch of other stuff

It has been a crazy couple of months around here, primarily because the computer has been ailing with some sort of virus that was inadvertently downloaded. By me. And apparently just waiting for nearly two months for it to magically disappear as easily at it appeared in the first place was all in vain. A house call later and we're back. Now it's time to sift through hundreds and hundreds of pictures from summer and back to school and get myself back on track. Technically summer doesn't end for 2 more days, so it's all good.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekly Adventure | Discovery Science Center

This summer I made it a point to go on at least one "adventure" a week. Every day we go to a park or the beach, but I have tried to take one day during the week to go do something a little different, something we wouldn't normally do during the school year when free time is scarce. Sometimes I remember my camera, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I am having too much fun to be bothered with it.

We went to the Discovery Center on an especially crowded day, but the boys made their way through and fared much better than I did. I'm not sure what it is about that place, but it always leaves me feeling anxious. Probably (undoubtedly) all the kids. Ha! The floating ball was a hit. As was the recycling truck. And "driving" the Zamboni? Get out. Easy to please, these two are.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

OC Fair

The fair is in town. We ate until we were sick, the boys rode rides until we were broke, and we had fun for as long as our moods would allow. Between 2 day old piglets, giant tarantulas in bunk beds, and just about every vehicle ride imaginable, the boys were pretty thrilled. And although we had to forgo a ride on the Ferris wheel ($24 for the four of us was just not going to happen), we had a pretty memorable day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer to-dos

Wow, how different this year's list is from last's. I guess because Beck was at the "too young to really enjoy and too old to just hang out in the stroller" stage last year I made my goals all chore-related. Yuck. Keep those expectations low, right? But this year, these two months of nice weather, no work, and 2 boys that desperately need to be out of the house require a totally different list. This year my goal is simply to relax, have fun, and seek out new adventures. We have already made some decent headway on what we have deemed the "Summer Bucket List" and I can't remember a more enjoyable summer in recent years. This quality time with my boys is exactly what I need right now.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It made me smile

The first time he successfully (almost, at least) put on his undies by himself. He was so proud I didn't have the heart to tell him...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Snap out of it

Somewhere between the school year's end, the hectic weekends, and the seemingly never-ending piles of laundry I have fallen into a funk. Things just aren't as they should be and I have been working to remedy the situation the best I know how. Sometimes thoughts, feelings, and self-judgments get in the way of the important things and I just need to step back, survey my surroundings, prioritize, and simply enjoy what comes my way. Perfection is unattainable, but contentment is not. Though it seems just out of my grasp, it is looming and, hopefully, inevitable.

Monday, June 3, 2013

There's something about Trader Joe's

Within the last 6 or so months, while shopping at Trader Joe's:
  • Anderson pulled over a shopping cart on himself while Beck was sitting in the seat (5 firemen just happened to be there and came to our rescue)
  • Anderson had a hysterical meltdown (kicking, screaming, most likely spitting) over not getting a second sample of something (God only knows what)
  • Anderson nearly stole a bag of Trail Mix and a bag of Gummy Penguins (we walked back in and returned them)
  • A woman pulled me aside in the freezer aisle just to say, "it's OK, we've all been there" as a reaction to the insanity (albeit usually joyful insanity) that is my two boys in a tiny grocery store, one of whom wields his own shopping cart haphazardly through the aisles
  • I dropped a hundred dollar bill on the floor only to discover it was missing when I went to pay for my groceries (I am forever indebted to the nice woman with the "God bless!" voicemail who turned it in)
  • An elderly woman got down at Anderson's level while I was singing/dancing in the aisle (it was Come on Eileen, for goodness sakes) and proclaimed, "your mom's a crazy lady!"
  • I had to put groceries back at the checkout when I realized I had left my wallet at home and only had a twenty in my pocket (which of course made Anderson's day as he had a legitimate reason to sing "only got twenty dollars in my pocket"). This of course caused me to have a Terms of Endearment flashback to that scene where Debra Winger is mortified at the grocery when she doesn't have enough money and everyone stares at her as if she is some sort of incompetent mother who can't even afford to feed her kids. Oh, how I love, love, love that movie, but I digress.
And then, yesterday, the best of the best:
  • I locked my keys, my cell phone, and my children in the car. My kids! Trapped in their car seats, talking (screaming) through the window, not even 1 minute after I had warned them against this very thing. (Seriously, just listen to me! I am wise!) It was quite a dilemma and thanks to the kindness of many strangers (and one kind of grouchy dad who lent me his cell phone) I remained calm and handled the situation. Unfortunately I apparently drive a "high security vehicle" ha! and AAA was proving to be a bit of a hassle (locksmith? since when can't you bend a coat hanger and open that sucker up?) so I did what I do best and called my parents to help. Fortunately it wasn't a terribly hot day and within 40 minutes or so my babies were in my arms once again. Needless to say, Anderson learned his lesson about not pushing the door lock button, "never again, mommy!". All's well that ends well.
And so, Trader Joe's, I shop with fear every single week for I know my days of cheap wine and milk are numbered. It's OK, I don't blame you. Clearly there is a black cloud that follows me on every trip. Who knows what damage we are capable of causing? Perhaps there is some sort of secret employee announcement when you see me walk in the door. She's here! Hide the samples! My only saving grace is that Trader Joe's is still the unpretentious, down-to-Earth grocery for nice, normal people and so far nobody has kindly suggested that I try doing my shopping at the Trader's down the street. Not yet, at least.

Monday, May 27, 2013


This month is flying by and will be gone before the week's end; atypical May behavior in my experience. Too many doctor's appointments, a nasty computer virus and a more-scheduled-than-normal few weeks have left me neglectful of blogging (hello, Mother's Day post which was started 2 weeks ago yet never finished?!). It's times like these where I question whether it's even worth the effort to go back and document what has been happening or just look forward. But then I remember why I keep this whole thing going and remind myself it is of little importance when it happened, but of the utmost importance to document that it did happen.  March/April double birthday party post to come. Ha!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A little broken

I had been keeping up with my running and, well, actually enjoying it (seriously, did I just write that?) and then this (a fracture, no a sprain, no a sprain that I then stress fractured). Whatever it is, two weeks later I still can't bear weight and the doctor tells me it will be at least 2 more weeks before I am out of this boot. I have yet to even ask about the running as the thought is simply excruciating at this point. No doubt the reason my my un-fractured foot now has a stress fracture is due entirely to my inability to take it easy so my goal is to mind doctor's orders, wear the boot except for when in bed, and stay off my foot a much as possible. Right.

Friday, May 3, 2013


We followed this mama and her duckling all the way down the street the other day and surely the boys gave her quite a fright as I haven't seen her back since. (I'm pretty sure at one point Anderson asked to get his bug net to capture them.) Ducks drive me crazy, but ducklings are pretty much perfectly adorable.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Anderson's birthday adventure

Anderson turned four a month and a half ago, yet I am only now just getting around to uploading the pictures. Seriously with the time passing so quickly. It needs to stop already.

When Anderson celebrated his first birthday we started a tradition of birthday adventures. The boys may never remember what they received for any particular birthday, but the hope is that they carry with them always the memories that were created and (hopefully) captured. It's certainly not an original idea, but it makes for a special day. I have learned over the years that the best plan is to not have any at all and this year was no exception. Perhaps in the future entire birthdays will be spent at Disneyland or some other attraction, but for now just just hitting up a few favorite places for fun and treats all in one day seems to be just our speed.

This year began as all the others, with balloons and presents before the sun even thought about coming up. Anderson received his very own light-up light saber as all good jedis should. (Jedis? Ewoks? Stormtroopers? I have no idea, but he does and that's all that matters.)
After saving the planet (really, I have no idea what Star Wars is about, but I think they live in space, right?) all morning the boys and I (Gabe was working for  a few hours) hit up the bagel shop and Jamba Juice for a late breakfast/early lunch. Anderson was sure to tell every single person that crossed his path that it was his birthday. That's my boy.
After bagels we realized we had just enough time to get to Shipley Nature Center before they closed for the day. Why they close at 1:00 I will never understand, but at least it makes it more of a treat, I suppose.
They held hands as they walked around and I swear my heart was about to burst. That just doesn't happen everyday with these two.
Beck learned how to spear a fish and Anderson learned how to throw a boomarang thanks to some handy guides.
 We identified bugs and spotted lizards
 and got entirely too close to the edge of the pond.
 Inside, we identified leaves and trees
 and matched bird calls to their taxidermied bodies.
 Beck played with bugs
 and Anderson read us a story and put on a puppet show.
 and I tried, unsuccessfully, to to get them to sit still just long enough to get just one picture where they were facing the same direction.
 I'm not sure it will ever happen.
 Anderson had taken off at this point.
We went home for a dinosaur break
and wouldn't you know the ice cream man came down our street.
After a sugar re-fuel we went to the park to burn it off.
And then we went for birthday burgers and sundaes on the pier

It was another perfect birthday adventure for a perfect little birthday boy. Beck's adventure was just two weeks later and was strikingly similar! Don't mess with a good thing, right?!