Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial weekend

once you mention "memorial day" and explain its meaning to ella, there is no turning back.

its sweet how she prays for the "sholdiers" who are protecting us.

and for the people who bled.

and then she decided to make memorial place mats the other night for dinner.

i, for one, thought this was totally awesome. i expected innocent red white and blueness not this hardcore "mean guy" (translation: tough guy) complete with sword in his left hand.

i can't decide what i like the most though. that he's giving a thumbs up with his right hand, or that his gun, tucked into his belt on his right side reaches on down past his feet.

or that he is possibly 9 months pregnant.

(oh, and it was pasta for dinner. pardon the sauce remains...)

so this morning, anthony took the older 2 to a memorial service at a nearby cemetery.
he was telling me how cool it was and how the speaker was explaining how memorial day used to always be may 30. then congress decided to change it to a monday for the convenience of a three day weekend. many prominent military knew that by doing so, it would change our perspective and remembrance of such an important day.

"changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. no doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of memorial day." (VFW)

he then said, "look to those on your right and to your left and give them a hand. they are the ones who took the time to honor the heroes for whom this day was established."

(unlike your wife who is at home preparing for the afternoon barbecue)


ella made a card to pass out to a soldier.

its a boat, and the plastic spoon is the oar...

so i mentioned that maybe daddy could help her find someone who had served in the navy.

(and who also might have a sense of humor...)

but they found this fine young man who was thrilled to be thanked by my kids.
and also, they brought some friends with them and i'm really sad that noelle isn't actually looking at the camera here. but this is the only picture that our fearless marine is looking and i figure since he's the one who may give his life for our freedom, he wins. sorry noelle, maybe next time.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

man vs wild: family edition

its a beautiful saturday afternoon.

daddy asks with excitement, "who wants to go exploring?"

the kids are thrilled and run around finding shoes and socks and hats and ask a million where/what/when/how questions.

ella says, "i know. exploring means hiking."


maybe it used to.

that all changed today.

exploring actually means braving the elements and risking your life for adventure.

it started out harmless enough. wide open spaces. perfect temperature. green trees. and we found this awesome little creek.and who doesn't love throwing rocks in the water, getting your feet wet... good times. everyone was happy. the trail pretty much ended right there at the water. and no matter that we'd only ventured a mere few hundred feet from the car.

but then...

we happened to notice that the trail continued across the creek.

well, that could be fun.

(or not.)

"funny" thing is, i'm pretty sure no one has been on this trail in the last century. it was covered with overgrown weeds. i think my poor little boy is in there somewhere...this wouldn't have been so terrible if it weren't for the fact that i was positively sure we'd step on a rattlesnake any second. or that there were 85 million gnats swarming around our heads.

it was a bit claustrophobic being surrounded by these gigantic wildflower/weed-type things, fearing snakes and then having your children stop every few inches because they didn't want twigs touching them.

but hey, we couldn't turn back. and what is there to fear when
bear grylls is leading us? no but really, once we made it through that horrible, scary rattlesnake infested no man's land, i really didn't want to go back through it.

i mean it. i was sorta freaked out.

especially when we heard loud "rustling" at the base of the mountain.

ella gasps, "its a bear!"

daddy, mr. fearless explorer, reassures, "no, its probably just a lizard."

big fat liar.

i know lizard sounds. it was no lizard.

but whatever. (yeah, this is actually the picture of when we heard the "lizard" (aka bigfoot). i had to capture the moment. after all, what if we died? you all needed something for my memoirs.)

and while this completely secluded "we could die here and no one would ever know" place (sure there is a paved road like 1/2 a mile away, but still, we were buried in this unforgiving terrain) was beautiful...

i was kinda wondering if we'd make it out alive.

so anthony says, "i'll head up and see if this crosses back over to the road. you guys can wait here."

yeah, that was fun. except for all the bugs flying in our noses and ears.

oh, and that wild animal about to pounce on us out of the bushes.
so being the scaredy cat i am, we follow off in the way anthony went. the whole while i'm watching very intently at the base of this mountain. i've convinced myself a mountain lion is about to attack us. and i'm also convinced i can kill it with my bare hands to protect my children. it would have made an awesome story. but it didn't happen.

instead, anthony meets up with us and tells us he found the way. its just up here across this: yes, but is there actually civilization across that? so he blazes on up ahead to find out. thumbs up.

so, child #1 makes it safely across: child #2 makes is safely across: child #3...

he made is safely across too.

and now that i'm home and alive and well, i can say it was actually kind of fun. and maybe we'll go back there again sometime.

with a machete.

and a gps.

and a rifle.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

knotts berry farm

apparently my memory has diminished over the decades as to the intensity of the log ride when suggesting to my 3 year old, "you totally have to ride the log ride with daddy! its super fun!"


Monday, May 24, 2010

good ol' az

well, our recent trip to arizona wasn't actually about visiting family, making memories with cousins, seeing friends or taking a break with grammy and poppa's help while daddy traveled and worked like crazy.
actually, the real reason we southern california residents went to arizona was to dump as much of our economic resources into the arizona economy as we possibly could.i'm sure our $17 spent in admission to state parks made a huge difference. especially the $3 my awesome husband panhandled from some tourists so we wouldn't have to drive all the way back to an ATM...
we love you, az.

(but our stroller? not so much.)
(ok, so this post isn't actually to talk about an absurdly ridiculous boycott)

(or the literal definition of illegal)

but instead, how about more pictures of my kids! 'cause i know we all love my kids...
bennett is sorta obsessed with cars, racing, nascar, tools, lightning mcqueen, etc... so poppa became the greatest person on earth when he said, "hey bennett, let's take the tires off my truck and check things out."
and for the next couple of days he could be heard whispering to himself, "i just love taking tires off trucks. i just love it so much..."

we had a great time at grammy and poppa's. once we got a little sleep, of course. there were forts to build, crafts to make, games to play like "return to tooth kingdom" (which is just the kind of dorky thing you find when your grammy is a school nurse and gets loads of free stuff from colgate), gardening, and stories about grammy's friend anita from germany who lived under hitler's rule and almost starved to death and had to eat boiled grass to survive:a story that should have a lasting impact on my kids and has also provided plenty of opportunity for me to threaten them into gratitude for whatever they are served...

we also spent some great time with our cousins and, bummer for you all, i can't seem to find those particular pictures at the moment.

but i must say, should you be looking for a destination to spend your money, don't forget about arizona.

there's all kinds of wonderful things to be discovered...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

slugs and bugs

may this bring even a fraction of the joy to your children that it has brought to our house.

(and may your oldest also know how to click replay all by herself... over and over and over...)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

my testimony

i rather enjoy digging through old boxes and pictures at my parents house.

she always was looking after me...

Monday, May 17, 2010

kinda like satan

my parents are from nebraska.
nothing like the good ol' midwest.
back in their parts, people have "dinner" at lunch time and "supper" at dinner time.

i'm sure not all people in the midwest do this, but my folk sure do.
growing up in arizona, we only did this on sundays. after church, we'd have dinner (good ol' meat and potatoes) and then supper at night. (i.e. cereal or whatever we could scrounge up that didn't require more cooking)

this always made perfect sense to me. its all i've ever known.

when i got married, anthony was confused by this. we'd be at my parents talking about eating "dinner" right after church and he's like, "umm... dinner? isn't it noon?" and then later in the day he'd be getting hungry and look at me kinda curious when i handed him the box of cheerios.

poor ol' city boy. he don't know no better.

yesterday, at my parents we had "dinner" at lunch. and ella heard us say dinner and she got all confused and said, "is this dinner? wait... what time is it? did we have lunch yet?"

she'll figure it out...

so last night, after having already made them a fruit smoothie for their "snack" it made perfect logical sense to me to cut straight to s'mores for supper.
i clearly wasn't going to cook something else for them. i mean, its sunday! and we only cook once on sunday!

kids were ecstatic. s'mores for dinner! who ever dreamed of such a thing.
hopefully they went to sleep last night with wonderful, sticky marshmallow memories...

memories that will erase how they began the day yesterday.

because... after pulling an almost all-nighter with mason (seriously, what have i done to deserve this exhausting sentence of sleepdeath?), bennett tried to wake me up a tad too early.

it wasn't pretty. and he didn't take my gracious hint at leaving me alone. i was not about to get out of bed and therefore he needed to go BACK. TO. SLEEP!

he didn't.

then ella started coughing a lot. a. LOT.

"honey, take a drink of water." and then please put the pillow over your face!

(kidding, people, kidding...)

so at breakfast, i needed to do some serious apologizing to my poor kids.

i'm telling them how sorry i am for being so mean this morning and impatient with bennett's incessant 5:30 am talking...

my mom, trying to make me feel better says to my kids, "well, i'm sure mommy wasn't that mean to you, was she?"

ella raises her eyebrows and says, "um, yeah. she was kinda like satan."

nobody's perfect.

Friday, May 14, 2010

that's funny...

... i don't remember my mom using purple as an accent color in her house.
guess we should probably start packing up. i sense we've maybe overstayed our welcome.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

for those concerned

(i'm sure you've been able to think of little else beyond sleep-deprived me over here...)

last night was a little better.

i think...

ella had a monstrous bloody nose. lots of gagging and horrified crying. it was bad.

so i settle into bed, with ella next to me and fortunately, she kept her feet all to herself. and i only rolled her snoring face away from me like 3 times. not bad.

bennett really didn't feel well and kept waking up telling me he was mad at his nose and needed tissue and couldn't breathe. i got him some medicine but it didn't seem to help too much since he kept waking (me) up. then i woke up with his cute little face in mine, holding his blankie saying, "move over, mom. i want to sleep with you."

fat chance little kicking boy.
"sorry, buddy. its ella's turn. you can sleep with me tomorrow night."

"move over! we can both sleep with you!"

oh, maybe you don't know how selfish i actually am. i will not share a bed with both of you. oh no, i will not.

he finally gave up and settled back on his bed.

then i wake up to his pouty little voice saying, "tomorrow, when i talk to daddy, i'm going to tell him you would NOT let me sleep with you!"

ok tattle-tale. but until then can you stop talking to me?

shortly after, when he woke up again, i decided a little more benadryl couldn't hurt so i poured him a cup and he slept like a baby.

(wait, did i say like a baby? 'cause that would mean he was up all night crying. i should say he slept like the father of a baby. very sound.)

and mason was only up once. and then when he woke up for the day at 5:15, i took him some cars and toys and he played in his crib until after 6! praise Jesus! i take back every evil thing i ever said about that angelic little child. i love you, mason! so it was a good night over here.

i guess...

actually, it still sounds kinda pathetic to me.

but my mom and dad make good coffee so we are going to make it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a series of night time events

do they conspire against me? i do believe so.

these kind of nights happen when daddy is gone.

lucky me.

i'll set the scene for you... the kids and i are visiting my parents while anthony travels, works hard and sleeps well. ella and bennett sleep in their sleeping bags in a guest room with me. your highness:

gets his own room. he needs a tomb-like environment to sleep and we will not risk interrupting his unconsciousness for any reason whatsoever.

so here goes...

it all began shortly after i fell asleep. and ended when i awoke for the day around 5:30 am. (not by my choice, mind you.)

(intermittent, restless sleep filled between the numbers)

1. ella: "mommy, i have to go pee-pee so bad i'm going to pee my pants."

2. ella coming back in to the room and "settling" back to sleep. and accidentally slamming her head into the wall.

3. bennett screaming bloody murder.

4. ella needing medicine for her sore throat. and coughing. and congestion. and sore head.

5. bennett waking with a jolt, bolting out of his sleeping bag with his blankie, turning on the light and looking around him in a complete daze.

6. bennett: "mommy, can i sleep with you?"

7. stop kicking me, bennett!

8. ella's grizzly bear-esque snoring.

9. bennett's elbow in my eye socket.

10. the water softener. which is way louder than it can possibly sound to you.

11. shoving pillows between me and my precious 3 year old since i couldn't find duct tape to keep his flailing arms and feet together and away from my sleep.

12. mason waking up. make bottle, change diaper, plead with God.

13. ella's snoring.

14. alarm clock. at 3 am!!! finally located under a pile of toys and since i couldn't figure out how to turn it off, i ripped the thing apart and restrained myself from chucking it against the wall.

15. bennett's feet breaching the barricade and finding my back.

16. ella's snoring. seriously, must see doctor about this.

17. ella's bloody nose.

18. mason's early wake up call.

and... a good morning to you as well!

please excuse me while i go drink 85 cups of coffee.

(i realize i'm complaining again. my hope is that someday when my kids are older and reading my blog they'll say, "wow, no wonder you were so mean and impatient and haggard-looking all the time. you must have been exhausted!")

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


and to think... i stood in the goodwill and deliberated... for quite some time... over spending $8 on a pair of cowboy boots for bennett's halloween costume. i wondered,
should i really spend all this money on a pair of boots...
he'll never ever wear again?
(yes, that is a purse.)
and sometimes...
i wonder what the neighbors must think...