Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Couple Ben-isms (or, As Close to Hard Copy As I'm Realistically Getting, Mom)

Instead of "Mamma mia! Here I go again!" Ben sings "Mamma mia, here you come again!!"

Instead of "I want up", he says "Can I have a uppie?"

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Day So Far

7am: silent argument with husband about who gets up with Ben. We both lost.

7:15am: all 3 kids are up (we are watching an adorable and well-behaved 2 year old girl) and wanting breakfast. dogs too.

9am: husband is dressed in Halloween best and leaves for work.

9:30am: all 3 kids are changed, dressed and ready to go start errands. Kaia argues over necessity of wearing a coat. Kaia asks to wear bathrobe instead of a coat. due to bad attitude, she is denied.

9:40am: in the car, I explain The Plan: bank, haircut, groceries. I notice the tank is on empty. New Plan: bank, gas, haircut, groceries.

9:45am: bank trip goes well.

9:50am: at gas station, notice the tank key is missing. drive home, notice extra is missing. call husband, find out he has the extra (and no idea where the first one is, claims innocence).

10am: On E, drive to husband's work, pick up key, return to gas station, fill up.

10:15am: on the way to the haircut, Kaia has second thoughts. claims to no longer want haircut or costume choice. discussion concludes with a return to The Plan. continue on to hair salon.

10:25am: at hair salon, Kaia frowns at me worriedly during her shampoo, and stares suspiciously at the woman cutting her hair. Darling Girl that I am watching sits quietly and plays with the toys. Boyo transforms into a tornado and begins to make multiple attempts at escape.

10:30am: I catch boyo as he races past. He falls to the ground then yells "DON'T THROW ME!" this is then repeated every time I catch him. After the first few times of saying" I am NOT throwing you! YOU FELL ON PURPOSE" I figure it's useless and just stay silent.

10:45am: Kaia's cut is done, she looks adorable. She glowers at me as I pay, seeming to have totally forgotten this was HER idea and she was in no way forced to get her hair cut.

10:50am: in the car, Kaia bursts into tears after realizing that her hair will remain short even AFTER Halloween. I had not considered that this was a necessary fact to state. I was wrong.

11am: I decide NOT to go to the store, as toddlers and child are hungry and tired. I make an executive decision and stop at Taco Bell. Kaia decides she no longer wants her usual, and takes forever to decide what to try. finally at the threat of nothing she orders nachos.

11:05am: on the way home, we spot a Pomeranian loose in the street. Kaia becomes extremely upset thinking about its possible fate, and I pull into a safe spot and get out. Pomeranian looks at me and takes off in the opposite direction.

11:06am: daughter is in tears about the damn dog's Certain Death by Car, so I grab a piece of Taco Bell food and head off after it, calling "here Pommy Pommy!" it stops until I am a few feet from it, then trots off. I look back at Kaia's tear filled face and know I must follow the darn thing. I do, for another block.

11:07am: a cop passes by, then turns around. He parks in the middle of the road and attempts to capture the Dog Twit. he fails, and turns to me. I assure him of my non-ownership, therefore letting him know it was NOT ME who has a loose dog, and we continue to chase the moronic beast. The dog and the cop disappear around the corner.

11:08am: not wanting to lose sight of the car, I turn back, and realize I've gone 4 blocks. CRAP. I start to run, but not being in any shape at all, stop after half a block so I can breathe instead.

11:09am: cop pulls up beside me, tells me the dog ran back into its house through an open door, and he has ascertained its right to be there. He thanks me for my help and drives away.

11:10am: in the car, Kaia cries while relating "what COULD have happened" and I try to console her and remind her of what DID happen--the dog was returned safely home.

11:15am: we return home and I dole out the food. Darling Girl that I am watching decides Taco Bell is not for her. Kaia decides the nachos are too hot, so eats Darling Girl's food. Ben is happy with whatever.

11:20am: after much discussion, mac and cheese are decided upon for Darling Girl. Ben wants some too.

11:40am: I take Ben and put him down for his nap, read him a story and return to kitchen. I send Kaia and Darling Girl to the bedroom for some quiet time.

11:45am: I get a call from Darling Girl's mom. She has missed her flight by 20 seconds and is totally stressing out. I reassure her another night is fine.

11:50am: I spend about 10 minutes in my room, relaxing and getting some stuff done (meaning: I read email and veg out!)

12:00pm: I return to kitchen to discover Ben has dragged a chair out, gotten some sunscreen and is decorating the chair and floor liberally. I clean him up, send him back to bed, and clean up the chair, floor, etc.

12:02pm: I send Ben back to bed.

12:05pm: I send Ben back to bed.

12:06pm: I spend 15 minutes holding Ben's door closed. He tries to get out 3 times.

12:20pm: I put a gate in his doorway and check on Kaia and Darling Girl. They are fine, and working on making an art project.

12:50pm: I get a cat visiting job. :-)

1:40pm: Ben wakes up WAY too early and joins the girls in front of Kipper.

1:45pm: Ben asks for more crackers. I ask Kaia to please get him some. She claims to "not be in the mood". I inform her this is not optional. Ben cries. I intervene.

here is the plan for the rest of the day. guesses on how smoothly it will go?

2pm: attempt to put Darling Girl down for a nap.

3:30m-get Halloween costumes on 3 children, and possibly self.

4:00pm-meet Mike at his work and walk kids around as they get candy.

5 or so-return home, attempt to make some sort of dinner.

5:30pm- Kaia and I are going to a corn maze and hoping to actually find her friends BEFORE entering it.

later- finally go grocery shopping.

even later--SLEEP! (after probably the consuming of alcoholic beverages)

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's Good

Please excuse the possible meandering that may follow...

When we moved here, I knew no one local. I had a few friends and relatives in nearby towns, but no one HERE. I was extremely lonely, and missed having the kind of friend you can invite over just to hang out.

So I joined a mom's group on meetup.com (highly recommend it!). The first group I joined started well, and I met some women I felt I would like to get to know. I also met a few women at Kaia's school that I really liked.

Some of those friendships worked, some didn't. I found that though I might really like someone, we just might not click, sometimes on my end, sometimes on hers (seemed for a bit to mostly lean the second way) Being a sensitive person emotionally (don't laugh! I am! :-)), I took it personally when someone didn't seem to want to get to know me better.

I had two main wishes. To find some couple friends with kids that we ALL enjoyed hanging out with, and to find some really wonderful women, just a few, that I really felt comfortable with and laughed with.

I have a hard time sometimes focusing on the positive. We met some really nice couples, and happily the women in those couples were awesome. We met some with kids our kids' ages, and some with kids older or younger. (we don't really hang out in circles with kid-less people, which is fine.) For awhile, I kept thinking how I really missed good friends, and still felt that the friends we had weren't our BEST friends. I kept wanting that perfect person who would be my best friend here.

In the last few weeks, we've met even more families that we really click with. We've decided to make an effort to invite someone over for dinner every weekend. The weekends we don't, or even the ones we do, but on other nights, we go to friends' for dinner. I've realized that EVERY weekend we have one OR MORE social things planned.

Even more surprisingly, I've realized I have been more picky with who I choose for friends now. I simply don't HAVE TIME for a lot more. I have found a few women I adore, and feel really comfortable with. Mike gets along really well with them, and more importantly, their husbands. Our kids get along, and their kids aren't brats. We have to actually DISCUSS who we should invite over this weekend for dinner, and often have to decline invites because we are already booked!

We have become SOCIAL. We have made FRIENDS. I am a bit taken by surprise that my goals have been more than reached. I am really happy in our social life, and so lucky in the friends I have found. I can let the hurts go for the ones that don't want to get closer, because really? I don't need them. It's a good feeling.

I am happy. truly content with my life here, and it's only getting better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

an update

since I haven't posted in forever...a post to try to at least get some things down before I forget them.

  • Ben says "are you?" instead of "where are you?" I love the existentialist quirkiness of it.
  • Kaia has been taking excellent care of her friend Ben's rats for the past week. They are cute, but MY GOD THE STINK!
  • Ben has been saying "up! down!" and "1!2!" and "lay down!" and all sorts of other concept type things. He also loves "GO AWAY!"
  • Kaia is moving out of the constantly morose phase! She is frequently cheerful, and has even said "yes, mom" and not argued a few times!
  • Ben is in a hitting phase. I have not found a punishment that does not make his laugh.
  • Kaia lost 3/4 of the stuff in her room. Though I said I would slowly give it back, she has not seemed to miss any of it, except her art stuff, and her room has stayed looking like a room, rather than a tornado site.
  • Ben is doing awesome in his mattress-on-the-floor bed. Even when he protests sleeping, he stays in bed.
  • Kaia just got her first legos. (damn, they're expensive!) She has spent several hours already building things, and they are a toy I will happily spend money on in the future.
  • Both kids slept with us last night to take advantage of our one fan. I love having my whole family in the same room, all snuggily together. Our king size bed helps make it a happy thing, and not a get-your-elbow-out-of-my-ribs thing.
  • Mike has next week off, and we are staying home! We will be going to parks and such, but mostly relaxing and spending time together. I am going to try to talk him into severely cutting our computer time that week.
  • Kaia's reading skills are through the roof. Except for an occasionally mispronounced word, you'd never know she was only 8 if you heard her read. There are adults who consider themselves educated who can't read as well.
  • Ben also loves to read. We'll sit in the car waiting for Mike after work, and we'll all be looking at books. I love it.
  • Kaia starts school in a few weeks with her new teacher. She's unhappy about it, and I hope that her new teacher is better than anticipated.
  • Ben knows his colors if you have him show you "red", etc, but not if you say "what color is this?" He can show you red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple (sometimes). He still thinks anything other than "one" is "two".
  • Kaia learned how to do the "twist" the other day, as well as the arm motions for "YMCA". She's very proud, and will do them for you if you ask. or even if you don't!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Teaching a toddler to say sorry is an uncertain endeavor. Sure, you can tell them, "say sorry!" and they do, smiling sweetly at whoever they just hit/kicked/bit. But do they know that they are expressing anything other than a two syllable word? Not really. But you hope to at least instill the habit so that when they do figure it out, they know when to say it.

Early this morning, at about 4:30am, Ben woke up, as usual, and wanted to get into bed with us. Usually he falls right back to sleep and we cuddle until a decent waking hour. This morning, he was mad. He didn't want to go back to sleep, he wanted "UP!" and..."EAT!" He yelled and cried and slapped Mike on the chest as hard as he could, then collapsed against my side, crying. After a few minutes, he calmed down, and lay there for a moment. Then he rolled over, and without being asked said "sowwy" to his daddy. It was one of the sweetest things ever.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Lazy Bullet Update

  • My tallest pea plants are almost as tall as me and have blossoms!
  • We start Phase One of Making My House NOT Look Like I'm Twenty And Just Moved Out on Saturday!!!
  • This school quarter is almost over! Then I only have three more...until I enter the two year ultrasound tech program...
  • My other plants are doing well, if a bit sporadic in their sprouting.
  • I met my brother's baby's mom this past weekend. From the little time I had with her, I like her okay. We didn't click well enough that I'm disappointed they aren't together, but enough to be okay with her being the mother of my niece (like I have a choice, of course!)
  • there isn't a whole lot more in my life that is exciting, so I think I'll end this post!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what education does...

Last Monday, our family all lounged about on the back deck. Kaia and Ben ran around the yard while Mike and I watched. At one point Kaia started running around with a stick, pointing it at imaginary bears and saying "Pow! Pow! Kill!! Kill! Die!"
I asked her to refrain from pretending to kill things. She said... (ready? you're not)

"But we're farmers! We grow all our own fruits and vegetables, but if I don't go hunting, my family won't have protein!"

game, set, match.

The most I could do at this point was request that the words "die" and "kill" not be used, and that she better use the WHOLE bear.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

An Afternoon in Seattle

So these pictures are out of order, but I want to show some of the pictures from our Ride The Ducks. The "ducks" are vehicles in Seattle that are tour bus type things that take you around Seattle then into the water and around the water a bit. Pretty cool. So here we go. and by the way, I have no idea why all my words are underlined.
That (oh. hmm..the line is gone. how odd.) anyway. That tree is made from metal. Cool from a sculpture point of view.
This one of the girls was taken on the way back. The rain and wind had been coming in for over an hour, and they were getting cold.

"the girls" are Kaia and her friend A, both very strong willed girls who seem to want to be best friends while arguing about EVERYTHING they do.

Ben and I in the "duck" while still on land. He was really well behaved considering the ride was during naptime.

The anatomically correct statue in the middle of a fountain downtown.

Our driver, Captain Who-Ha. He was awesome, very friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and all around cool.

Ben with his Quacker, very cook toys that make quacking sounds. I bought 3. one for each kid, and one for me!

The girls at the beginning of the ride, with quackers of their own. yes, the quackers became annoying. but they are still marvelous.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Playing the piano kept Ben occupied long enough to actually produce something in the potty. He thought it was the coolest thing, to poop and play piano at the same time!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

big boy!

Ben pooped in the potty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He sat on the potty playing his toy piano for several minutes, then got up really excited. He stood looking down at it saying "Pooop!!! poop!!" He was really thrilled with himself!

Friday, March 27, 2009

perhaps the sippy days are done with?

I just gave Ben a sippy cup with water in it. He promptly opened it, carefully poured half of it onto the floor for the dog, drank the rest, closed it, handed it to me, and said "more!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ben's Words!

Go - go
ow- outside
wa - water, walk
no - no, no, NO
mo - more
ma ma - mom, sometimes dad
dur - dirt
gack - either duck or quack, but meaning the same thing
gat - cat
gog - dog
dow - put me down, put that down
coh - coat
shoo - shoe
boo!!!!- boots
eh-woh - hello, phone
baa baa - bye bye
cack - cracker
joo - juice

he knows more, but that's all I can think of right now. Yesterday he said his first 2 word sentence - "mo wa!" - more water.

Monday, March 09, 2009

a "poem"

the snow
is so pretty
from the sky

and even prettier
on the green grass
not sticking

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I wish for World Peas

Tonight I set up my pea planters!! I have two kinds, both pole type, meaning they will climb to about 6 feet. One of them is the edible pod sort, the other not. I planted some tonight, and then will plant more in 3 weeks, then again 3 weeks after that, to extend the time we have tasty peas to eat!

I went to the local nursery to get more bamboo and planters, and got some wonderful advice! I will definitely be going back.

My first peas should be able to be harvested in about 2 months! Wish me luck.

Friday, March 06, 2009

You Know You're A Mom When...

...while chatting with a friend, you don't notice for several minutes that your toddler, who is sitting on your shoulders, has been sticking his fingers up your nostrils and digging around.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Monday Afternoon

I stand in my backyard, look around. In one corner, by the garden shed, there is a patch of tatty ivy around a still-dormant tree. Under the ivy leaves, not hidden well yet, as the ivy hasn’t had its spring growth spurt, are several broken cement pavers. In other places, I spot what looks like pieces of black electrical cord, and that’s what decides me. I pull on my gloves, and pick up the clippers, already grinning with the idea of cutting the ivy, clearing the space, cleaning up the wire, incongruous in the organic hodgepodge of sticks and leaves and pinecones.

I start to chop and pull at the vines, throwing them behind me to put in the yard waste bin later (next week, really, after it’s emptied. Probably should’ve waited…) I move slowly into the middle of the sprawl of leaves, getting closer to the fence with each step. Then I am at the tree, its many spindly trunks growing thinner as they grow taller, sending out multiple branches. I have no knowledge of the rules or art of pruning. I have no idea what sort of tree this even is. I pause for only a moment, then start clipping away, guided only by feeling: this branch is growing in a strange direction, this one hangs over into the neighbor’s yard (and it’s only good manners not the let that happen, right?), this one….looks wrong. I enjoy the…simplification of pruning the tree. I glare at the higher branches, irritated for a moment that I can’t reach them, then settle for simply cutting them off lower down, and then, grasping the cut end, turning around and yanking it out of the tree top an inch at a time, staggering forward as the branch pulls its way through the topmost parts of the tree.

I switch back to the ground, and pick up a piece of black electrical cord, only then realizing it isn’t cord at all, but a black stem from a leaf, long decomposed, leaving the dried stems scattered about. I look more closely at the other “cords” and discover that my quest to clean out the area of non-organic material, carried out by ruthlessly ripping out all the ivy, was based on false assumptions. I stand and think for only a minute, then continue my scourge. It was only an excuse anyway. I wish for a rake, to sweep smooth the several square feet I have de-ivied. Then I see it.

A small green shoot, visible only now that the darker more prominent green of the ivy is gone, reaches up toward the sky. Others jump out at me, and suddenly I realize the whole area I have just uncovered, recklessly stepping here and there while pulling at vines, is filled with some unidentified spring flower shoots.

Well, of course it is. That was my goal all along, you know….clear out the ivy so that the …daffodils…umm..tulips?...I mean crocuses??....can grow. Yep, that was the mission the entire time.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Around 6pm

Tonight I stand in the kitchen, sneaking a bit of reading in between checking the chicken and corn cooking on the stove. In the living room, I hear my family….my daughter sitting at the computer, silent except for the occasional, “Daddy, look! I drew a girl with glasses…” My son running around, his little feet making a slapping sound, louder than his size would suggest him capable of. He drags his toy vacuum around, then momentarily drops it to pick up the dog’s ball and ineptly throw it for her, giggling as it lands about 6 inches in front of him, then rolls away. Our dog, still a puppy in her exuberance, snatches it up, glances doubtfully at him, then carries over to my husband, who she is well aware can throw it further. He obliges, and with a “good dog!” tosses it down the hall. Tail wagging, she chases after.

I put down my book and stir the chicken, the smell of the coconut oil I am cooking it in spilling into the air around me. From the living room come the happy shrieks of a boy who’s just been swept off of his feet by his daddy, and flung into the hair. I flinch at the same time that I smile. The dog bites her ball several times, causing it to squeak maniacally. My daughter says something about what she’s drawing on the computer, and in the chaos, I hear a crash….In the silence , I call “Is everything all right out there?”

There is a pause, then my husband – “Oh yes!” I hear the smile in his voice. The chaos resumes, giggles and feet and a squeaky ball.

“Dinner’s ready!”

Monday, February 02, 2009


sigh...I'm back on Facebook ,for now...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A General Update

I guess I need to post an update for those couple of people that read this!

We're settling in well in our house, though there's still a lot to be unpacked. Weekend by weekend it's coming along...

The big news, of course, is that we adopted a dog! I'd post a picture, but my camera is...well, packed. Daisy's a spaniel/lab mix, white with a few big black areas and black spots on the rest of her. She's full of energy and not exactly what you'd call trained, but she's full of love. Kaia and I are going to take her to obedience classes starting on the 28th. Look for many pictures in the future!

I started classes again, so I'm pretty busy. We found a wonderful woman to watch Ben for 2 hours each day so I can take one class during the day and one at night. She brings her 19 month old son with her, and he and Ben get along marvelously. She and I have very similar philosophies on life, which help when sippy-cup sharing (no big deal) and illness (it happens. again, no big deal) come up. Ben adores her, and she bought a double stroller to take both boys on outings to the nearby park!

Kaia is back in school, and doing fabulously. We got her mid-year report, which is very different from a public school report card. It said many wonderful things, and very nicely wrote about her efforts to become less bossy (I'll believe that when I see it!) She has a real best friend (she used to call everyone she met her best friend) and still loves her teacher. Her room is a study in chaos since the move, and this Saturday my goal is to finally tame it (with fire, if need be!)

Ben isn't talking much, but getting into everything. He understands everything you say to him, and babbles happily back. He's getting over a stomach bug (we all had it, but he was the worst) and is happily devouring everything in sight again. Unlike Kaia, he is unsure about the dog, but getting used to her.

Ok, reading back over that, it sounds like a Christmas letter...so Merry Christmas! and I hope you all have a wonderful 2009! My posts will be sporadic, as I am limiting my futzing about on the computer time.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hair-editary Trait

Both my husband and my daughter have a loose-hair phobia. Maybe not technically a phobia since they are not frightened of loose hair...they are disgusted by it.

I first noticed this in Mike when I had long hair. If I had a loose hair on my shirt, I would pick it off and drop it on the floor. Mike would freak out, get up, search until he found the hair, and throw it in the garbage. I thought it odd, but funny. (Is it just coincidence he finds short hair sexier than long hair?!)

Ever since Kaia was a toddler, and before she could even really talk, she would freak out if hair was in her food or on her person. She would hold out the piece of food, or her finger, and act as if there was a dead tarantula there that I must remove IMMEDIATELY or chaos would ensue. She could find the most tiny pieces of hair ever. If there was any sort of fuzz on her food or self, she'd find it. She is still that way. She hates to find loose hairs anywhere and will demand their instant removal, preferably to be burned or sent out to space, so she will never have to encounter them again.

I have seen both of them actually gag at the discovery of loose hairs in an unexpected place. They cringe when I drop it on the floor, where they could accidentally STEP on it, or worse, pick it up with their socks.

I am constantly surprised by what we pass on to our kids.