Friday, February 26, 2010

Cutting Edge

J got a new phone and gave me his old one. It's a nice, blue Treo. The problem is that I can't use it. Or, maybe I should say, I don't want to learn how to use it. This is part of my whole "simplify" view of life. Just give me a phone with numbers and a pound key. That's all I ask for. I don't need one with a big screen and a multitude of functions. He tries to teach me how this can actually simplify my life--all my information, email, data, internet, schedule, calendar all at my fingertips.

Yeah, I understand the individual words...

Part of me resents the fact that I have to be 'taught' how to use a phone. I just want it to store numbers of people I love, and dial them when I tell it to. That's all. For the rest of all that 'stuff', give me my tangible, paper Franklin Covey any day. I can see my week at a glance and that's all I really ask. There's something easier about scribbling down things that my kids say onto paper instead of using the little poker-thing and leprechaun-sized keys that the phone requires.

It drives him crazy. He's a techy type. Works for Microsoft. Meticulous and methodical. Gets tickled pink by new technology. And I do mean tickled pink. Me, I'm an old fashioned kind of girl. A free spirited, 'feely' kind of person. Steeped in tradition, doesn't like the impersonality of electronics, and loves the smell of organization that comes from a paper planner, even if I frequently lose it. J and I are an interesting combination.

Someday we'll come to some sort of an understanding. Right now, I'll just focus on retrieving voicemail.
Now, if it did vacuuming...that'd be another story...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Family Vacation

Our first not-to-visit-family family vacation was spent at Great Wolf Lodge. Three days of all you can handle waterpark-ing, kids crafts, and pajama storytime.

J and I took turns going on the waterslides with the kids. Surprisingly, Girlie was the daredevil and loved the wave pool and fast slides, while Wild Man preferred swimming life jacketless in the kiddie pool.

My two little water monkeys. Quick, pictureless story: we practiced swimming with them at the YMCA a couple weeks before our trip. As I demonstrated back floating and my belly emerged from the water, J pointed out, "Hey, mommy looks like a hump back whale." All I could think as I went down the slides were echoes of "hump back whale...hump back whale..." (Sorry, honey--if you don't want me to share that, you shouldn't say things like that).

The kids thought the nightly slumber parties were terrific.

On our way home, we stopped in Olympia, WA. If you squint, you can see us standing outside the capitol building. What family vacation would be complete without a little lesson in government for the tots, right?

J decided it would somehow be appropriate to have a family council in Govenor Gregoire's conference room.

It was a fun, not-at-all relaxing vacation. We had a great time, and luckily, still have the rest of the week off thanks to our weird "mid-winter break" here in the Northwest.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Before and After

Before: 11:50 a.m. I have my ultrasound at 1:20 today. And, while I will continue to wait with bated breath, I still suspect it's a boy. My 'suspicions' were right with the other three, and while I am willing this to be another pink-loving princess, I may in fact be the 'boy mom'. Girlie's cheering for a little sis; Sammy is pulling hard for another member of 'the boys team.' Like we have anything to do with it.

I found out this morning that my sis-in-law--lucky duck-- is expecting a little girl (due the same time--well, 'due' the same time, but she'll undoubtedly 'beat' me like she did with our last babies). I'm not sure I can be truly happy for her unless I find out I'm having one too. It very well might be just jealousy.

As I know that my kids may very well stumble across these words in later years, let me just clarify: Child o' mine, I will love you with all my heart and then some, no matter if you're a boy or girl. I will love and delight in your every facial expression, every milestone reached, and every moment I get to hold you in my arms. It's just that, if you would also let me dress you up and take you shopping, and plan your wedding, I'd really appreciate it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to start chugging the 32 oz of water that's going to make my bladder feel like exploding so that you'll be a little more photogenic.

After: 3:31 p.m. Being wrong has never made me so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! It's a girl, and I am one big permagrin! Yay!! I did a few jumps for joy in the hallway outside the ultrasound room. A few fist pumps, a click of my heels, and a few random nurses got to hear my good news. Yay!!

I helped at Girlie's class Valentine's day party after the ultrasound, and told her the good news. She got a huge grin when I whispered "You're going to have a little sister" and declared it "the best day of [her] life."

I've already got some fabric from Keepsake Cottage that is going to make the most darling quilt, and if Little Buddy weren't napping in his crib, I'd be setting it up in Girlie's room and hanging some mosquito netting from the ceiling.

Ah, another girl...{contented sigh}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh, For Crying Out Loud

I know I'm a crier. I am, and I make no apologies. Maybe if there were more overly tender, crying people the world wouldn't be such a nutty place. But, during pregnancy, my crying kicks it up to a whole new level. The other day, I heard a song of the radio that reminded me of something (I am still not sure what it reminded me of, I just know that it must have been something) and I got all teary.

Have you seen that silly commercial about the little girl who loses her dog and is putting up signs, and this guy sees her and takes a picture with his phone and texts it to everyone he knows and the girl gets her dog back? Okay, first, I don't even know how to text. It ages me, I know, but seriously, how does anyone get the right letters to come up? So, this commercial is about technology that is embarrassingly out of my grasp, but it still makes me stifle a sob. When the girl sees her puppy again, and everyone is happy because, thank the technology gods, they could send this picture around and brings me to tears.

And, the other day, I was at Girlie's school. I was in the office, and I thought I would let the secretary know how much we adore our teachers (I'm not kissing up, I just believe in praising honestly when it's deserved), and as the sentence is midway through my mouth, I have to start smiling and blinking back the tears that have welled up, and quickly excuse myself with some rambling "get Little Buddy home for a nap" mumble. Because, sniff, these teachers are, sniff, just so...wonderful. {sniff}

And maybe if I were a 'pretty' crier, it would be a different story than the blotchy red face and mascara smudgies that I come up with. However, until I can get that wiring fixed (which is last on the list of imaginary procedures that I swear to have done when I'm finished bearing children), I will cry (somewhat unattractively) over the happy, the sad, and for no good reason at all.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wuv, Twue wuv

We all know that love and relationships are complicated. That's the nature of the beast. We're reminded of that more so on Valentine's Day than any other day of the year. What you may not be aware of, is that these complications begin early. In elementary school.

You may remember Sawyer. He was the mowhawked kindergarten friend that 'loved' Girlie. Because she was 'cute.' And he wanted to marry her.

Now we're in first grade, and thankfully his flames of passion have died down. What we didn't realize, until recently, though, is that the whole first grade love scene has gotten more complicated. As it turns out, my daughter has been 'in marriage'. Twice. Once to Blake and once to Nolan.

'In marriage' happens when you hang around someone, like at recess. You get in marriage then. You can also find yourself in marriage if you notice that a boy is hanging around you. Being in marriage lasts for about 10 miles (I asked). If a boy starts teasing you, then you can go ahead and not be in marriage anymore.

Being in marriage appears to be on the same level as having a crush on someone. But, you have to be careful with crushes. Because Amy had a crush on Zak, and she told Angela, her second-grade cousin. Well, that was a mistake, because Patrick heard about it. Patrick is the mean second grader, and he's just going to tell everyone. And that will be so embarrassing.

And what is really bad now is that Zak doesn't love Amy. He loves Madeline. So Amy and Angela are really mad now, and have decided to ditch Madeline. I asked what 'ditch' meant--she said that it was like a hole.

We told Girlie she didn't need to worry about any of that stuff for many, many years.

So, see? As complicated as love may be, count your lucky stars that at least you're not in first grade. Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little Ways to Make Your Day Better

1. Ignore the phone. I don't mean just screen your caller ID, I mean don't even bother to look if you are doing anything that you'd rather not interrupt--like reading with your kids, enjoying the rain, or breathing. It's liberating. (But you should probably perk up if you hear the school nurse leaving a message)

2. Listen to nothing. This rarely happens to me, but if I find myself alone, I try to take a few minutes of no radio, phone calls, etc. It gives my mind time to think without interruption. Who knows what revelations await you?

3. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone. It feels good. And, if they happen to thank you, smile and say 'You're welcome.' It's much nicer than hearing 'No worries' or 'No problem'. Who wants to hear a sentence with 'worry' or 'problem' in it?

4. Thank someone for something. Little or big, long ago or immediate. (One time I wrote a thank you to the hospital where I delivered my baby....10 months earlier...). Chances are, it will make you think of other things you're thankful for, and that will make you happy. And the person you thanked. It's a win-win.

5. Eat something fresh. Snap peas, strawberries, blueberries, bananas--pick a color, any color. It will make you feel just a little more alive.

6. Take a bath. It's like a warm hug for your body.

7. Cut out unnecessary day-fillers. This includes things like Mary Kay parties and watching TV shows you're really not that into.

8. Smile when you would normally frown. It will help you remember that, most of the time, it's really not a big deal. Whatever 'it' is.

9. Write someone a little love note.

10. Dance around with wild abandon. It gets the blood flowing and lets you be a kid for 2.5 minutes. Or however long your song lasts.

Those are my thoughts on having a better day. I hope you do. Love, Me

Monday, February 1, 2010

Das ist gut, ja?

While the rest of you were whining about the cold, we were getting a little warm in Seattle, so we packed up the snow gear and headed two hours away to the little Bavarian town of Leavenworth. We spent the day in this charming little German town.

This is the view from the restaurant where we ate real German food--weiner schnitzel, German potato salad, spiced German cabbage, bratwurst sandwich and sauerkraut. J couldn't contain his snicker when the waitress said, "Well, all of our schnitzels are good." At the end of the meal, J and I decided that either we didn't like real German food or 'Cafe Christa' wasn't very good.
The snowy hill you see is where we did our first sledding.

The kids kept asking to take a ride. We kept asking them if they brought money.

We haven't had any snow this winter (not that I'm complaining about sunny, warm weather...), so the kids went crazy over sledding.

You can't tell, but Sammy is standing right next to an icy puddle that he kept barely missing.

Along this street was a cute German bakery where we had some mediocre cherry custard, a yummy raspberry turnover, and some 'cream bollen' that was di-VINE.

It was hard to get the kids to leave sledding.

Little Buddy wasn't a huge fan of the cold stuff. At one point he fell down on his belly and just yelled for help to get up, because he wouldn't put his hands down on the snow to help himself up.

How pretty is this???

Yes, I realize that he has a binky in almost every single picture. We're working on it.

We found another park, right by the waterfront where we went sledding again. It was a really wonderful, fun day.