Monday, December 14, 2009

Apparently the mall Santa needs to Up his Game...

Mr. Z is a thinker. He possesses wisdom and understanding far beyond his six years that is humorous at times and alarming at others.

For the past few months he has been trying to rationalize the existence of Santa. He has a strong opinion that magic is not real - which has caused him to doubt - but wanting so badly to believe he came to the dubious conclusion that "the Christmas kind of magic is real but all the other magic stuff is made up by grown-up's who are trying to trick kids."

It kind of reminds me of the time a certain cousin told Miss 'A' that the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa were not real. Later, my daughter told me "I kind figured that it was true about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy but why would Jessica lie about Santa"?

Today at the Mall Mr. Z begged me to stop and see Santa. He had changed his mind from wanting a crayon maker to "wanting 2 pet frogs more than anything in the world". (Incidentally I already have the frogs because I knew he would want them - they have been living in my closet since Thanksgiving due to a shipping miscalculation on my part).

While standing in line Mr. Z evaluated the man in the red suit.

He started with the beard - which passed scrutiny because it looked quite real. Unfortunately this Santa did not look plump enough to satisfy my son. Plus, this Santa had gold zippers on his boots which Mr. 'Z' told me was entirely innacurate. (Apparently there are no zippers on authentic Santa boots - just in case you want perform an inspection at your local mall).

But - willing to give him a chance - my boy told me that he was just going to ask 'that guy' if he was the real Santa.

When we got to the front of the line Mr. Z climbed onto Santa's lap.

Santa: Hello - what is your name?
Mr. Z: (rolls eyes) That's it. Mom - this guy doesn't even know my name I told you he wasn't fat enough.

He hopped of the surprised Santa's lap grabbed a sucker from a big bin (without waiting for it to be offered) and kind of shook it at me.

Mr. Z: See - he doesn't even have candy canes. Sheesh! Let's go!

And so we did.

Good thing I didn't pay for an overpriced picture of my suspicious, attitudinal, grabby six year old rolling his eyes at a sucker-bearing, gaunt Santa with gold zippers on his boots.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apparently I need to do the laundry...

An ingenuitive boy will substitue swimwear for underwear when Mom has been to sick to keep up on the laundry.

And indeed, Mr. Z is ingenuitive.

I seem to have kicked the Killer Cold From XXXX -but October -the WHOLE feverish month of October- was another story.

I think that Mom's should be automatically immune to any illness but ESPECIALLY to a killer cold that lasts for FOUR weeks! One morning, when I was feeling particularly crappy, Mr. N gave me a quick hug on his way out the door to catch the bus and said:

"I hope you don't have the swine flu and die! Bye"!

If that is not love, I don't know what is.

Miss A was very diligent for the whole month to keep a careful distance from me to avoid over- exposure to any of my persistent germs. I have no idea how much antibacterial hand gel she used but I did notice that my rather large supply (I stocked up when there was a bunch on sale) has been depleted.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apparently I am accident prone...

Boy rides scooter to school
Mom jogs.
Mom must take scooter home.
Mom rides scooter.
Mom assumes instantaneous acquisition of scootering prowess.
Mom neglects to brake before going over bridge.
Mom is airborne.
Mom is splayed out on bridge.
Scooter lands on Mom.
Mom limps home carrying scooter.
Mom applies direct pressure to gash on leg.
Mom now has scraped and bruised leg - not unlike said boy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Apparently male walrus' are gross...

This morning Mr. Z gave me cause to think with some deep (and poignant) five year old thoughts.

He said:

"You know Mom, nobody wishes to be a male walrus."

I am fairly certain that this assessment regarding the hopes and dreams of humanity was inspired by a maritime program on animal planet this morning. And you know what? I can not fault his logic. In fact, I believe that Mr. Z's insights could potentially help any of us deal with future trials.

Like when I am having a bad day I can say to myself - "Well, Wendy - at least you are not a male walrus..... ."

And then I will probably feel a bit better cause let's face it, Mr. Z is right - nobody wishes for that!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Apparently I am half way to seventy...

I just read a great blog post by one of my long-lost friends who is now part of my on-line social network (thank you Facebook). It was about growing older and realizing - with some dismay - that we have reached the 'adult' phase of life. This hit a strong cord with me because over the past few months I have been thinking a lot about aging and growing older.

I turned 35 in January and this has been the first year that I have really started to feel the age thing setting in. I have noticed the start of wrinkles, changes in skin elasticity, changes in metabolism, and then there was the day that I heard a relatively newlywed girl at church describe me to another person as "the lady with the dark short hair".

The Lady?

Who would I call a lady? If it were someone around my same age I would call her a 'girl'. A lady would certainly be someone considerably older. It was then that I was forced to face the fact that to these younger 'adults', I was considerably older.

The thing is, I don't feel old - at all! In fact, sometimes I look at my life and think - what happened? I still feel like a twenty something person. How did I get from there to a Mom whose baby is starting Kindergarten, whose oldest child is starting middle school, and who has been married for thirteen years???? That is a longer period of time than I spent in the public school system! Why does it seem that time passes us by more and more quickly the older we get?

As I have been evaluating all of these things I came across a statement made by one of my neighbors (again, thank you Facebook) who is a few years older than me. She said "I firmly believe that my best years are ahead of me."

Her comment has made me think a lot because I have never considered this possibility. It is not that I sit around complaining that my best years have past - but so often I get sucked into the 'daily grind'. I go about doing the things that I am supposed to do. Usually I accomplish them in an acceptable range of 'the best of my ability' and then I go to bed, only to get up and do it again. What I often fail to appreciate is that with my daily struggles comes a lot of growth.

My grandmother, who is in her nineties frequently tells me "you learn how to live when you are ready to die". Though this is a bit dramatic, I absolutely agree. The more experience that we achieve in life, the greater our knowledge base becomes. The greater our knowledge base becomes, the more ability we have to fully understand situations that we have to face. With aging comes the invaluable knowledge of how to live.

I can clearly see the benefits of aging when I look back at my 25 year old self. I will admit - I was inexperienced, unaware, and often kind of dumb. I understand myself, my situations, and others so much more now - and it is only through growing older, and experiencing the trials that have accompanied this process that a better version of myself has been able to emerge.

My grandmother also tells me that one of her favorite decades was her 70's. She didn't worry about body image because she was 'supposed to look kind of lumpy'. Her hair was easy to do because she went with the 'old lady' curl and set, which was what worked best anyway. She quit worrying about make up because she 'was supposed to look like an old lady for crying out loud'. She didn't need to shop for new clothes because she had decades worth of things and the older stuff was back in style. Her health was still reasonably good so she started taking some college classes and she traveled.

So here I am at 35 - which my daughter so graciously pointed out is, in fact, half-way to seventy. Instead of making me feel old - I think this is kind of inspiring. I have plenty of time to make plans for some fun stuff in the year 2044, and until then - I will keep on learning how to live.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Apparently I have Lug Noids...

I recently told Mr. N and Miss A about the importance of stretching before swimming their heat at a meet. We talked about how to stretch the different muscles and what they were called. When we got to our quadriceps Mr. N said:

"Oh! I always thought those were my lug noids!"

Perhaps we will discount physical trainer or doctor as potential professions!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Apparently we went to Utah...

Here are the highlights from our Utah/California Vacation:

The hubby, his parents and kids went camping in Moab. I stayed in SLC to help with wedding things, and missed the Southern Utah adventures.
My main job for the wedding was to over-see the making of 200 cookies.
Matt and the kids drove back from Moab to Heber where I picked them up so we could all drive to Logan for the wedding. Heather was beautiful and we all had a great time!

After a night and a day in Logan we drove back to SLC for a night and headed to California the next morning with a lay-over in Vegas. We had celebrated Mr. N's birthday before we left but it turned out that we went to Disneyland on his actual b-day. It was quite a celebration!
One of our traditions is to get Balboa Bars on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. We are always a spectacle with all of the kids lined up on a bench enjoying their treats. Last year we were photographed for the travel channel.

We like to go to a couple of different beaches. Newport Beach is fun for the boardwalk and shops, Corona Del Mar has great sand and the best bathrooms but the most fun is Crystal Cove which is pictured below. There are lots of tide pools where the kids find all sorts of things including crabs and starfish (and did I mention the shake shack?).

It was a BUSY week but tons of fun. I miss spending time with my family but I am SO glad that we have such a good time together. As the Hub would say "they are the awesomost"!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Apparently my son does not care for my cooking...

This afternoon whilst making grilled sandwiches for lunch I was ignoring Mr. Z. The reason for this purposeful disregard was that he was being ultra-high-maintenance concerning his lunch request. In case anyone thinks I was exhibiting negligence in my mothering this is what was being asked of me:

"I want a peanut butter sandwich, nothing grilled. But I do want some ham slices on the side. And I want them rolled up and stuck with a tooth pick. And I want an orange that you peel. Don't just start it and put in on my plate - you peel the whole thing. And I want two slices of apples. WAIT! I actually want peanut butter on my two apples and I DO want a grilled sandwich. The kind with lines on it (panini) and I want the lines to be criss-crossed, not just going one way but I still want my ham on the side and just cheese in the sandwich.........."

Before long Mr. Z realized that I was not paying attention to his lunch order at which point he exclaimed in frustration:

"Are you paying attention to me or are you just wasting my time?"

Sounds like my work is cut out for me. Both in the kitchen and in the child rearing department.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Apparently I went to London...

Over the past two years my oh-so-insightful husband has repeatedly told me to update my passport - just in case I had a last minute chance to travel with him. I honestly had every intention of doing as he requested, but..................there were so many other things of immediate import which had to be done that my passport has lain dormant in the file drawer.

FORTUNATELY, A few weeks ago the Hub called me on a Monday morning and asked if I would like to go to London with him. Of course, the answer was an unequivocal 'YES'.

UNFORTUNATELY he was leaving on Wednesday and I would need to depart on Sunday - BUT MY PASSPORT WAS EXPIRED!!!

FORTUNATELY as a man 'in the know', my hub was able to figure out how I could get my passport updated overnight, which is not possible in many locations but luckily residents in the vicinity of Washington D.C. have this capability. And so, within 24 hours I was able to get a passport and a babysitter (thank you Courtney) who was recently home from BYU.

UNFORTUNATELY, 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the airport, Mr. Z tripped on his way up the stairs. I really wanted to ignore the gushing blood and fatty tissue that I could clearly see exposed in the gash in his chin but clearly, I was going to take a trip to the E.R., before any other trips were possible.

FORTUNATELY the E.R. was not too busy and they had me in and out in eighteen minutes, a Loudoun County record.

I admit, I left my stitched up little boy with the babysitter and tried to make my flight but UNFORTUNATELY that eighteen minutes, plus the twenty on each end to drive to the hospital were ten minutes too many. Or so I was told by United Airlines.

(I was at the airport a good 50 minutes before my flight was scheduled to depart but apparently you need a least one hour before international flights).

FORTUNATELY I was able to schedule my departure for two days later (and extend my trip by two days) and was still able to join the Hub in London!

What an awesome Hubby I have! We had such a great time. He felt bad that I had to spend so much time alone but I kept reassuring him that for full-time-at-home Mom being alone in England is a magical and wondrous thing!

And did I mention that though Mr. Z was very glad to have me unexpectedly home, when the other kids realized that I missed my flight Miss A said "Oh, rats! I was excited to hang out with Courtney", and Mr. N said "What! You are here? That stinks!"

I silently agreed.

The fateful split chin.

I highly recommend buying the 24 hour bus tour. You can hop on and off the bus
through out the city at the different attractions over a 24 hour period.
I went with the Big Bus Company, if I ever go back I will go with
The Original Sightseeing Tour - they have a LOT more buses in operation.

The Hub had to work whilst there, but he grabbed a few moments whenever possible
as seen with me in front of the Clock Tower. Contrary to popular understanding,
the bells within the tower are called Big Ben, not the tower itself.
And 'yes', this is what an International Man of Mystery wears whilst working.

Here we see the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. Just before I took this picture
I was asked out by a French Man who did not care that I was married (which I had to keep telling him). Had I been unmarried perhaps this tale would have a different ending.
Or had I been attracted to a 50-something short man who worked for the Big Bus Company.

I loved seeing all the red phone booths but did not love it when
I had to use one as they are frequently utilized as urinals.

Guards in front of Buckingham Palace. The last time I was in London we were able to
walk up to the guards and get pictures with them.
It would seem that the 9-11 terrorists continue to effect life here and overseas.

Picadilly Circus

The White Cliff of Dover - where US and Allied forces set sail on D-Day.

Canterbury Cathedral

Tower of London

The Tower Bridge

Leeds Castle

Westminster Abbey

The Flower Garden at Hyde Park
The Dining Hall at Christ Church, Oxford - to Harry Potter fans this might look familiar...

The 'Harry Potter Stairs' at Christ Church

The Cottswolds - a picturesque 'suburb' of London where we had lunch.

Shakespeare's House at Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Warwick Castle

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Apparently I went to NYC...

My Mom and I took the kids to NYC for three days. We had SO much fun!

The boys's loved that it was Fleet Week.

When we walked into Dylan's Candy Bar (a three story candy store) the kids shifted from 'I am so tired and can not walk another step' to a pre-consumptive sugar high. We literally had to run to find the restroom as two of the three were in such an excited state that I was sure that at least one of them was going to wet their pants.

We formed many memories on this surry ride.......squishing 5 people into a mode of transport that was likely made for a maximum of three.......watching our 'driver' haul all of us uphill as we headed for the entrance to central park......the kids popsicles rapidly melting and dripping onto my shoes, pants and arms.....learning (from an angry NYC resident) that it was illegal to bring a surry into the park.....

The kids were troopers, we hauled them to The Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, through Central Park, to the World Trade Center Site, Battery Park, Toys R Us (with a ferris wheel), Times Square, the M&M's store, Ellen's Star Dust Diner, the Natural History Museum, Dylan's Candy Bar, FAO Schwartz, and to the Lion King.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Apparently Miss A had a birthday...

Nothing like a birthday on a weekend so that presents can be opened first thing in the morning!

Birthday Breakfast is a tradition at our house.
Waffles topped with ice cream and all the toppings!

I designed cupcake sleeves for Allie's cupcakes! I didn't want to pay for them (pricey!) and I couldn't find a template so it was a bit of work but totally worth it!

Allie designed and helped decorate these cupcakes - she is so artistic and creative!

I am so proud of my amazing girl. She is SUCH a wonderful person. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She amazes me all the time with her maturity, sensitivity, and great attitude. She is 11 this year..........I can't wait to see what she accomplishes. LOVE HER ! ! ! ! !

Apparently I am playing catch-up...

Made a wedding veil for Heather - love her!

Allie's art was in a show at the mall!

Zack's allergies have resulted in a slight case of asthma -
for which he need periodic breathing treatments.

Matt was out of town so the kids took it upon themselves to decorate for
Mother's Day. They sent me on a treasure hunt to find my gifts! Cute kids!

Mother's Day tea at Zack's preschool.

Apparently Mr. N is a lover...

While riding into D.C. to see the Cherry Blossoms (on the Metro) Nick was showing
me the way he was going to stare into the eyes of the girl that he loved.
Paddle Boats in the Tidal Basin (Jefferson Memorial).

Walking around the Tidal Basin

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Eternal Flame (Kennedy grave site).