Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

Friday I turned 34! Had a good day. Here are the highlights:

My husband surprised me and brought me an iced coffee and scone for breakfast.

I bought myself gladiolas-beautiful.

Taking the girls into the city for adventures.

Ran into a lady at Trader Joes whose birthday it was also. I knew this because she was chatting with some guy near the entrance about how it was her birthday but it was pretty crappy so far, and he announced to the store, "It's her birthday today!"
I went up to her and said, "Maam, is it your birthday today? It's mine too! Happy birthday!" We conversed right there in the middle of the snack food aisle and left one another a little lighter and smiling.

Treated the girls and I to several Saint Cupcake mini dots.

Got an e-card from Adrienne, cards from Donna, my mom, my husband, Meagan, Fiona, and my in-laws. Got calls from my mom, Ry, Fiona, Uncle Paul and Sara...

A date night with dinner at Salvador Molly's

Surprises left on the back porch from Aunt Marisue

Presents, glorious presents........all which were stupendous. Like...... ipod speakers, a cupcake cookbook and pan, some cool new additions to my polish pottery,
a vintage set of Whitman Old Maid cards (see above)that I had when I was a kid, napoleon dynomite mad libs, a $50 gift card to Urban Outfitters, an anklet, a CD. People were very kind to me.

My husband made me a birthday cake.

I ended the night with some episodes of The Office that were totally rich.

For the first time in a very long time I just let it all be, without expectations and therefore unrealized hopes. And the day was wonderful.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Step Right Up Folks, It's The Amazing Baby

Avery, now 15 months, has been doing all sorts of things lately that amaze me. I will now begin my proud mother rant, uttering phrases that any mother of a 15 month old would utter, but doing it still because, well, I just forgot that she would change, grow, and emerge a PERSON!

Like, when we're reading she will see a duck and say, "DUCK!" And I'll point to a fish and she will say, so adorably, "WAYOH." WHALE! She did the same thing when we saw dolphins on TV. Last night she saw the Counting Kisses book and when she handed it to me, did an audible smooch, then held out her foot because it's a kissing book where you give ten kisses to teeny tiny toes. She sits down with the Hand Hand Finger Thumb book and pats it and says "DUM DUM" and opens the Olivia's Opposites book and says UP DOWN and then growls because there's a page that says QUIET LOUD and I always growl it that way.

In terms of musical proficiency, (I know, I hear the groans of all who are reading this: Tia, hello, all babies do these things) Where is Thumbkin will be playing in the car and she'll be dancing her fingers around all concentrated and cute. When she hears certain verses of certain songs she will be inspired to add her own, "BEEP BEEP BEEP" or "EIEIO."

Jooge loves to guide her through various repetitive phrases, "Avee say, Daddy." To which she response, "DADDY." She says, "BABY" whenever she sees another little baby, even if they are her own size. She says, "WAWA" and "CHEESE" and "CACK-O" and
"MIO" for milk. She sees dogs and points and says "DA!" She Moos when she sees cows.
She loves seeing "KEE-KEES" on walks. She can't say Jooge yet or Julia but she does attempt "SISTER" with a spit-hurling "SSSSS." Of course she is very good at her "NO" and at saying "BYEE" to whatever we are leaving behind.

The biggest of all miracles is that she has been very interested in the potty lately. As in, she loves to play with it, take the little container in and out, sit on it, etc. The other night after bath she was climbing in and then sitting on it. I left the room to help Jooge get dressed and when I came back, there was pee pee in it! She peed in the potty for the first time! Unbelievable. Especially considering we are by no means finished pottytraining child numero uno.

And so, my little blonde Bub is growing every day. Why just this second she is protesting her mother's computer time, urging us towards breakfast. It will be seconds before she has wedged the gate open and is inching down the stairs, large motor skills honed and eager. Oh wait, no, that's the potty being mucked with....
Okay, gotta go.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

We All Scream For It

Yesterday we were playing around in our backyard kiddie pool when suddenly I heard it. It was faint, mixed with the faraway noises of passing cars, construction, children's voices. I grabbed the actual cash that was nestled in my wallet and we ventured out to find: The Ice Cream Man.

Sure enough, my ears had not betrayed me. There, coming up the street, he flew, spreading the ice cream spirit by blasting "Turkey in the Straw." We waved him down, he obliged. We chose our frozen treats. He even gave us a DEAL on one. It was all too exciting for words. Back on our lawn, we enjoyed the fru-its of our quest. And for your viewing pleasure, a photo montage.....
Eyeing the Sweetness

Letting her sample it AFTER removing eyeball eyes, goodbye, choke hazard!

Trying sister's

Double Fisting it

Second born gets ripped off with her sister's hand-me-down treat

So, exactly HOW do you eat these things?

Welcome to Screwedville.

Note: the snow cone is no longer.

And, we see a naked popsicle stick. Thank you, thank you very much. We'll be here all week!

On Teachers Never Dying, Just Losing Class....

I taught for seven years (nine if you count subbing) and therefore the whole TEACHER side of me got enough practice that it hides within and comes bursting forth every once in awhile. Like, for example, other teachers may relate to being at the park and seeing a kid climbing UP the slide and feeling well, let's just say, unsettled, ready to blow the whistle, ready to give them the old "Down not up" speech.

Anyway, one day at the library we saw some REALLY disruptive kids who were calling each other inappropriate things and basically playing tag amongst the shelves in the children's section. Jooge was watching them very closely, edging nearer and nearer until I said, "Come sit next to me, those kids are being naughty."

When they started to SPRINT past me, I could help it no longer. I could not control myself from pulling out a can of whoop ass! (Please believe me, these days I am not usually one to impose behavior redirection upon wild and crazy children who are not mine but these kids were BAD!)
ME: (Emphatically) "HEY! We don't run in the library!"
GIRL: Looks awkward, stammers, makes lame excuse.
ME: (pointing at my three year old) "She's going to think it's okay to run when she sees you running!"
GIRL: More stammering, more lame excuses, then takes off running.

Pretty soon a dad appeared, gave the kids a second-long, "Hey, mom and I are upstairs, don't LEAVE the library," and was off again. I was really close to pointing out that his kids were out of control, but bit my lip. Sweet victory arrived moments later when over the loudspeaker I heard: "If you are the parent of two youngsters that have been left unattended in the children's section, please come and get them immediately. Their behavior is unacceptable."

My teacher self was quite delighted.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wait Up, Guys!

We took a trip to the Japanese Garden a few weekends ago and loved it! Photo ops galore, serenity, lots of green, an amazing view of Portland, and a pond with super cool fish to gaze at. Go! If you haven't yet, get your fanny there. Breathe in. Rest. Contemplate. Be.

(Of course chasing a three year old through the woods isn't exactly the definition of serenity, nor is removing lips suctioned to the drinking fountain or cleaning tiny piles of pebbles from the benches where industrious hands have piled them.......Still, very aesthetically pleasing and calm, very worth experiencing with little people.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

25% Of Kids Get Them

We had the three year Dr. visit today. Jooge was super cute with the doctor,
full of personality, coy, then comfortable. I was really glad that we had our visit though because last week when we were up at Diamond Lake she had started to do this blinking/squinting thing. It was irking me because I thought she was having some vision problem or something, so I asked him about it. He informed me that she had a tic. A TIC! My mind was reeling. What in the bleep causes THAT? Aren't tics NERVOUS tics? He assured me that tics were normal, involuntary habits that people get. Two of his own kids had had them. He said the important thing was to not ask her to stop, because she couldn't, just as she couldn't explain what was going on. (Prior to this we had been saying things like, "Are your eyes bothering you?") He also said that talking about it around her can reinforce it. She hasn't been doing it lately, so maybe that little TIC is TAKING OFF, but in the meantime, we'll be browsing the internet sites only to see that it's right next to TOURETTES and other loveliness........

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What Makes Me Proud?

Seriously. Is there anything cuter than a baby wearing a bikini eating dirt?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here We Are and It's July....

Had to share these amazing blooms from the farmer's market we went to at Orenco Station near our house a few weeks ago. SO GORGEOUS. I also had THE BEST cupcake from the Dessert First! booth. YUM! It had this amazing cappucino frosting. I was all, making love to my cupcake, while sharing little tiny teensy bites with my children. Heaben, pure heaben.

In other news, we had a splendid fourth of July. We started the day at a local 5KWalk/Fun Run to support Cancer Awareness. I was totally emotional because we were there in the midst of all these brave Cancer survivors and most of the people who weren't survivors had "IN MEMORY OF" signs hanging off their race numbers. Cancer affects SO MANY PEOPLE. I was just thinking, "Who will it hit next?" The husband ran with all the runners and I walked pushing the girls in the Burley, which was pretty peaceful, but not a hugely easy task. At one point had to pull over due to fighting over the FISHY cup and then about mile 1.5 Jooge wanted to get out and walk. Anyway, that started the day off with a bang, an early bang, but a rewarding bang. I finished in 50 minutes too, which I was proud of. Then we watched the 4th of July parade, amassing a ton of candy in Jooge's little bucket, which she was cramming in her mouth as fast as she could. We went to a BBQ at some of my husband's co-workers house, complete with a firework extravaganza. Jooge, not a fan of the show, kept saying, "Stop Vat." Oh, and we came dressed in our patriotic finery, my shirt being a red glittery winner that said: 50% Sweet 50% Sassy 100% American. (A mere 3.99 at Kohl's!) My husband's shirt had a big ugly eagle in flight festooned by flags. Were we mocking patriotic clothing by wearing them? Totally. (Though my kids did look cute in their starry striped attire.)

The highlight of the weekend had to be when I went grocery shopping and came home to see the family out back enjoying the kiddie pool we'd scored at the Rockin' Big K. My husband had dressed Avery in her swimming suit, but had unknowingly put it on backwards, so it fit her more like a wrestling unitard might. You know, a plunge in the front, riding a bit in the rear. I could not stop laughing, and I am talking genuine laughter here, folks, no small chortles, no guffaws. Apparently he had struggled with Jooge's too, finally figuring out the science of separating the straps just right so she could step in without maiming herself.

Ahhhh. And summer has arrived.