Monday, March 30, 2009

Maybe This is just the Teenager in Me...

I was having lunch with two girlfriends today (hi Micha and Tracy!) and they asked how the pile in my room was looking. Interesting that they should ask because I have been thinking about doing a post about that pile for several weeks. The thing is, the pile has made like bunnies and multiplied all over our room. After talking to the girls for a few minutes I realized that our bedroom is such a mess because:
a. we have a super small house and there is nowhere in the main living area to leave things without the house shrinking into nothing. Since you see the whole house the minute you walk into the door, our room is the only spot that can be a mess without everyone knowing about it. (well, until I post it on the internet for everyone to see)
b. I have too much stuff for such a small space. But the sales! Who can resist all the sales?!
c. I perhaps have a problem getting rid of things--not trash, necessarily (although I am not denying holding on to things that should probably be thrown out)--but more like clothes we have outgrown, kids toys, old home decor that we have replaced, furniture that we no longer use since we had 2 babies in 2 years, etc.
d. I would rather blog than clean up my room
e. I would rather do just about anything other than clean up my room

But the thing is, I HATE having such a messy personal space. Our bedroom is my sanctuary after the kids go to bed. Matt is usually playing games or watching TV in the living room and I kind of like the peace and quiet of my room after a long day so I usually retreat to the bedroom around 8:07 every night and stay there until it is time to go to sleep. So clearly it would be more relaxing to have a clean and clear room to enjoy while I am unwinding in the evening. I just haven't made the time to clean it up recently. Well, since Christmas. The following pictures will illustrate what has happened to that pile. 


First, some context:

Our kitchen is clean. 
Our living room is clean (that's Matt wondering why the heck I am taking pictures of our living room tonight).

But the pile in my room has turned into this:
this is the pile by Matt's side of the bed. That is his night stand (so clearly it isn't just me) and those clothes are partly his.
Here is the pile of things that have been in our room since Christmas. That's my awesome travel bag on top, along with Matt's backpack. We used both of those last week in Vegas. They just haven't been put away yet...
Here is a kid's toy that obviously isn't being used anymore. I plan to put this on Craig's List this weekend. Bonus! It isn't dusty because of all the clothes piled on it. (by the way, those are clean clothes. Some of it is baby clothes that Jack has outgrown.)
Now this is an interesting pile. It is the view of the floor directly where my head lays in the bed. I have approximately 873 cords for various electronics down there. (2 computers, 2 cell phones, a breast pump, a camera charger, and an extension cord) You'll also notice a People Magazine, my passport, a children's book, the tape of the kids at Christmas, some kids clothes (pajamas are often removed in our room and then end up on the floor) and some travel sized Q-tips. 
And THIS! THIS is the original pile. Still relatively the same. I added a clear tub of maternity clothes, a suitcase from a trip I took for work in February, some clean clothes that need to be hung up and a few clothes hangers. 

Tomorrow I will try to remember to take a picture of the garage. Now that is a doozy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vegas Continued

Ok, so then on Sunday we met my friend Blake (who totally crashed our vacation and came to Vegas at the same time and stayed at the same hotel) and went shopping with Josh. Matt really wanted to go to the Ferrari store because he had unrealistic expectations about the prices there. For example, they had a baby bottle and pacifier set for $65. The t-shirts were $60. There was a lovely umbrella there that was on sale half off--and who can resist that kind of deal--for $125. Needless to say, we walked away empty handed.

We continued on to the Bellagio for lunch at their famous buffet. The line was forever. You would have thought we were waiting in line to see the President or something. Lucky for us Blake is awkwardly cute and some girls with a line pass walked by and gave it to him. We didn't realize what a gift this was until we actually walked form our place in line to the front and it was about a half a mile. (or maybe just the length of a football field. the point is that we were HUNGRY and this pass was a lifesaver. why are we squabbling over the distance?) The food was amazing and Matt was in love. He wasn't even sure what to start with. It is a feast for the eyes as well. I think we could all agree that the table next to us was the loudest table in the history of the world but we mocked them and overcame the annoyance. 

After we left Blake "paid it forward" and gave the pass to another group of 4 at the back of the line. It was clearly the line that never ended and I was afraid that those people would surely die before any morsel of food touched their lips. Blake is a good man for giving up that pass. 

Next we headed over to the Palms Hotel (which looks much cooler on TV) and I was sad that I didn't see any D-list celebrities while we were there. We drank at the bar most of the afternoon--the BEST coconut margaritas of my whole life--and just enjoyed the company of my sister-in-law and her sister, Erin. My brother was busy at the craps table and Matt was trying his luck at Blackjack. Let's just say that both of them were at work today so you can imagine how they did at gambling. 

Meanwhile, back at the bar, Erin and I were feeling the effects of the aforementioned Best Margaritas Ever. For the first time in over 4 years I can officially say that the alcohol had the best of me. But more funny than that was that it had the best of Erin, too. And she was hilarious. For some context, Erin probably weighs 50 pounds soaking wet and she had not had anything to eat all day. So by the time she enjoyed 2 of those marvelous drinks she was definitely feeling the affects. She had to be carried out, literally, and then she gave the taxi cab driver some crap for not having a puke bucket in his car. I think it is hilarious that Erin was yelling at the Vegas taxi driver about the importance of being prepared for anything. Back at our hotel she continued to need assistance and spent the rest of the day/night enjoying the wonderful accommodations in the hotel room at Treasure Island. It was fun to watch, although I do feel bad for her that she was sick for the rest of the day. She was a great sport about it, though, and laughed it off the next morning. 

I kind of wish I had been sick for the rest of the day rather than spending time at the Casino War table again (oh, Casino War...why can't I quit you?). Apparently I should be very embarrassed by this because Matt kept giving me crap about playing War. All I know is that the tables were always full so it wasn't just me. And since Matt was playing in another poker tournament I felt that this was the best use of my time. I lost it all, though. I lost it all.

We ended the trip with breakfast with the family before heading out on our overcrowded flights home. It was a great weekend away and the good news is that Matt is HOOKED on Vegas. He is already talking about going back--especially this morning when both kids were crying in unison and we just wanted to run far away from here. He loved the idea that he could play poker whenever he wanted to for 24 hours a day. I think there was just more to see than we could possibly fit into a long weekend so Vegas definitely left him wanting more. 

Mission Accomplished. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The One In Which I Tell You About Our Vegas Trip

...sort of...

First off, this was Matt's first trip to Vegas so my biggest goal was to get him hooked so we can start traveling there together more rather than me going without him. This kind of trickery requires a sound mind and sober body so I didn't get all crazy with my old friend, alcohol. But we did meet for lunch a few times and I can report back that not much has changed with fruity drinks in the 4 years that I have been away. Still yummy and still dangerous. 

On our first night we watched the pirate show at the Treasure Island hotel from our room on the 31st floor. From up there it just seems awkward because you see the fighting/dancing and fire but you don't really understand what is going on. Why are all those half-naked people breaking out in dance while two guys try and kill each other with swords? You would think one of the dancers would, perhaps, turn to see the fighting and offer to get help. I guess you have to see the show from outside of the room (and at ground level) for it to make more sense. But the fireworks and fire coming from the ships were pretty neat...even from way up high.

Next we joined a poker tournament at 10pm. Which was 12am to my body and should have been a sign that I wasn't going to do well but I was drunk on freedom from putting babies to bed and threw caution to the wind. It was an interesting crowd at our table--a rude Frenchman, a man from somewhere in Latin America wearing a hat that looked like it belonged at the pool rather than the poker table, a guy from Vietnam and a girl who was so out of it that she missed the first 45 minutes of the tournament and lost 2 blinds in the process. Of course we also had Mr. Plays Poker Too Much (and his "friends" fail to tell him that he is a jerk) and the always popular, Mr. Wants To Give You Advice Guy because he thinks you don't know what you are doing (you know, because you have boobs so you must be dumb). Overall the game was a lot of fun and I eventually made it to the final table. Lost on a bad bet but had a good time in the process. 

Larry and Tina (my brother and sister-in-law) arrived around 12:30 am and were ready to have a good time. At that point I was ready to have sweet dreams. They didn't make things easy, what with the mocking and the constant texting about what a loser I was, but I stayed strong and went to bed. I may have missed their longest night gambling (they were up until 6am) but I was really well rested, which is all that a person going to Vegas can ask for. humpf.

On Saturday we tried to will the sun to stay out long enough to give us just a little tan. Not a burn, but just enough that tells your co-workers that you relaxed at a pool in Vegas while they went to t-ball practice (suckers!). But the sun wasn't cooperating. Matt kept saying that you get a better tan without the sun but his (unusual) optimism wasn't spreading to the group. We ate our $70 poolside lunch--chicken sandwiches are apparently a delicacy in Las Vegas--and then went off on a tour of the strip. We went to a dumpy casino that was on Vegas Vacation and that is where the trip went downhill for me. I started to play Casino War (a game in which you bet that your card will be higher than the dealers card) and I was HOOKED. This will hurt me later but for the time being, I came out even. We continued our tour of the strip by heading to Caesar's to play the high stakes game of penny slots. I was living on the edge and it was worth it. I ended up winning $40 there. 

After a brief shopping trip and a viewing of Pete Rose--who apparently has nothing better to do than hang out in a sports memorabilia shop at Caesar's on the weekends--we went back to the hotel to lose some more money. I pretty much didn't win anything in slots ever again. We saw Mystire on Saturday night, which was amazing, but the Casino War table kept calling my name and I couldn't wait to get out of the theater. I should have gone to bed at that point but instead decided to donate $100 to the casino and leave filled with regret and a healthy dose of self loathing for not leaving when I was up $50. I blame it on the sleepiness. 

........will continue this thrilling recap (anyone still reading? didn't think so) tomorrow. For now, must go to bed since it is back to the grind tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One



one minute old and our lives were changed forever.
one month old and already outgrowing clothes.

2 months old and curious about everything.
Three months old and sleeping all night long.
4 months old and your eyes started to sparkle.
5 months old and easy with a smile.
6 months old and eating solids.
7 months old with a belly laugh.
8 months old and on the move.
9 months old and fun to dress.

10 months old and happy as ever.

11 months old and loves to play.
Happy birthday little man, you have made all the difference in the world. 



mmmm. cake face.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day



Avery would not cooperate and take a real picture today (and Jack is just in the background playing with a bowl of goldfish) but I needed to take some pictures since it is Jack's first St. Patrick's Day. 

Clearly he is drunk already and it is only 8am. I have tried talking to him about staying away from the booze since he is about 20 years under age, but he doesn't listen to anything I say. 
Avery takes ever opportunity she can to put Jack in a headlock, er, I mean...give him a hug. He is starting to get old enough to fight back, though. I think things are going to be really fun around here when he starts to push her around. He already tried pushing her away when he was sitting on mom's lap and Avery tried to encroach on his territory. 
Here she is pleading with me to stop taking her picture. I don't know why she bothers because that just makes it more fun for me.

The whole gang before they were off to school and work this morning. One day I will get a picture of all of them looking at the camera at once. One day.

Hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Singing the Happy Birthday Song

video

I tried to post this yesterday but it wouldn't load. As you can see, Jack enjoyed the singing and the cake. I stopped filming so I could pick up my camera and take approximately 342 pictures of him eating the cake. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Great Day for a Party

Jack's birthday is Wednesday so we decided that today would be a good day to celebrate. At first I was going to stick with my tradition of not having a 1st birthday party for my kids because they don't know what's going on and it can be overwhelming. But as the date got closer I just couldn't stop thinking that I would regret it if I didn't celebrate this milestone with at least a small party. Since Jack is (almost certainly) my last baby I didn't want to look back on this and wish I had celebrated a little--more for myself, really, than for him. After all, he won't remember any of this but I am sure that I will never forget. We just had a few friends/neighbors over so that it wouldn't be too big of a crowd. The weather, which had been rainy and overcast all week, cleared up just in time for the kids to be able to play outside and burn off some of that sugar high from the cake.

Jack's very own little cake. The video will show how he did with this but let me just state for the record that he was the polar opposite of his sister. He didn't cry when we sang to him and he really enjoyed eating the cake. Avery had nothing to do with all that messy icing when we presented her with her first birthday cake.

Some of the table decorations.... I did a candy theme for the party so I used different sized glass containers filled with candy as frames holding pictures of Jack from various ages. I had another table with snacks and drinks on it but it didn't even occur to me to take a picture of that. 
As the favors I did multi-color containers filled with jelly beans for the kids. The little label says "so sweet of you to come. Jack's 1st birthday" on them. For the adults I made cake balls and cake ball cupcakes in the white packages. Same label on the back. 
Jack's big birthday cake. It is the same cake that we had for Avery on her first birthday. I wanted to carry out that tradition since I was breaking all of my other rules. :-)
Here are the cake bites that I made for the party (also used these as favors). It was a lot of work to put them together but I think it was worth it.  They were really yummy. 


Jack LOVED his cake. He had it all over him by the time it was all over. We had to go through an outfit change before we could keep the party going. 


Jack's favorite part about opening gifts was throwing the bows around. The kid loves to toss anything he can get his hands on if it reminds him of a ball. He laughs and has a great time when we roll the ball back and forth every day. I guess he thought the bows would be a good substitute.

I am so glad we decided to throw a little party. It wasn't much but it was just enough. I think Jack had a great time (which was secondary, of course, since the party was for me anyway) and right now he is sleeping extremely soundly. So is Avery which means the day was a total success. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maybe 1 Hour of Kids TV A Day is Too Much for Me

If you have kids you have probably been subjected to Dora. That's Dora The Explorer for those of you who haven't officially met her. And she can be a dumb bish most of the time. I have several problems with Dora that I would like to list out here:

1. What the hell is wrong with her parents? Who lets their pre-schooler roam around without supervision? With a monkey as a sidekick? 
2. And not just roaming around, but going so far away that you need a freaking MAP to get places. First off, 4 year olds can't read maps. Secondly, maps don't talk. It's a fact. It would be more believable if she had GPS.
3. She always need help. What is that teaching our kids about life? Can't see the BIG GIANT (insert object of the moment here)? JUST LOOK BEHIND YOU. Turn around! I'm not asking much. If you lose your keys, I will definitely help you look for them but when you ask me where the giant hot air balloon is I want to scream.
4. A fox is always lurking around trying to steal her stuff. Again I ask--Where are her freaking parents? I've heard of CPS being called for MUCH less. 
5. I don't know about you, but I don't know many kids who are allowed to ride in submarines, climb mountains or ride around in cars being driven by a bull. It's a bit much is all I'm saying. 
6. Interesting that her damn backpack has exactly what she needs and then 5 other things that make no sense at all. Yesterday her backpack had honey, a sand shovel, an umbrella, some tape and a piece of string. WHO PACKS LIKE THAT?

Needless to say, we watch a lot of Dora around here and I have had plenty of time to think about these things. We also watch a bunch of Handy Manny and I have some thoughts on him as well. Like Dora, he also teaches kids to speak Spanish. So, you know, if you ever need to know how to say "nail" in Spanish ("clavo"), Manny is your type of show.

Other interesting things I've noticed about Handy Manny:

1. Everyone in Sheetrock Hills loves him. I mean love loves him. Kelly from the Hardware store totally wants him. I'm not sure if you've noticed but she totally undresses him with her eyes every time he goes into her store.
2. He has to go to Kelly's Hardware store a lot. As in every time he repairs something. No wonder repairmen make so much money. Don't they carry anything around with them besides the tools? I've seen him go there for nails, wood, screws, and hinges. You'd think those would just be things he had laying around at all times.
3. Mr. Lopart from the candy store also wants Manny. He is always breaking things but never wants Manny's help so that he can appear more manly. He is a total nerd and even his cat has a comb over so there is no way he stands a chance with Manny.
4. Mr. Lopart is also in love with his own Mom. He calls her "Mother" (as in, "Mother likes banana nut muffins best") and everything in his life is done to please her. She also lives alone, probably because her husband left her since she raised a pansy-ass son; but I can't be sure because the story doesn't go that in depth. I am sure if E! did a True Hollywood Story on the people of Sheetrock Hills we would learn that Mr. Lopart has always been a bit of a sissy and his dad left the family after many attempts to make him a man. 
5. Manny's dog is a robot. I just think that if you aren't going to have the real thing you should just forget about it all-together. 
6. The screwdrivers pretty much hate each other. Well, that's not exactly true. Felipe is kind of naive and likes everyone and Turner (that's the slotted screwdriver, duh) is older and grouchy. He tries to be stern all the time and pretty much doesn't like anyone. There was an episode where a lonely little girl who was neglected by her work-a-holic father dressed Turner up as a doll and played house with him. Boy was he pissed. All the other tools had a great time mocking him while he wore a pink dress and southern belle-style hat. Manny finally rescued him and the father realized how lonely his child was and everyone was happy in the end--except Turner. He remained grumpy about the whole doll thing and kind of spoiled the whole mood of the show.  See what I mean...not nice.
7. There is always someone in a wheelchair on the show. They may not be a central character but you see them wheeling along in the background or on the sidewalk in just about every episode. I guess it is meant to add some diversity to a show but it is kind of awkward at times.
8. The tools are the ones that actually do all the work. Manny gets all the glory but he doesn't even really touch the tools...they just kind of do everything on their own. He pretty much starts things off by telling them what to do and then he thanks the tools for a job well done. Everyone cheers for Manny after that. Maybe it's because he has opposable thumbs and the tools don't. I don't know. But whatever it is, I think the tools deserve more credit.

And then there is Barney. I think we can all agree that Barney is a special kind of hell. Those kids on that show are extremely cheesy and the story lines aren't even realistic. And it isn't just Barney anymore. Now there is a whole slew of imaginary dinosaurs roaming round that park. 

1. First off, if he is imaginary then the whole premise of the show is that all these kids (and adults) can all see an imaginary dinosaur at the same time. I think the only way that is possible is if they were all dropping acid together. Is that the kind of programming we want shaping our children's moral character?
2. I don't know if Barney and Gymboree are partner companies but the songs are practically the same. And they stay in your head. It is torture. You'll be at work preparing a presentation and suddenly you find yourself singing, "Growing...Growing...you're getting big and it is showing..." and then you want to punch yourself in the face. 
3. I think the show has some kind of trance effect that causes young children to stare at the screen. They can't resist. And when it is over you are subjected to the "I love you" song which kills the soul of most adults. 
4. Are they even making any new episodes of this show because everyone on their seems to be stuck in the early 90s. The hair styles, the clothes, the video clips they use...it's all very dated. And yet, the story lines are, unfortunately, timeless. You find yourself wondering when the heck this was taped and it makes you want to start using drugs. Which takes us right back to the show's values. Is this really the kind of thing we should be subjecting our children to?

Those are pretty much the only shows the kids watch. Sometimes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will be given a shot but that is few and far between. Avery is starting to also like Franklin (which, kill me now. that turtle is a real downer) but her hour a day of TV is mostly filled with a Dora-Barney cocktail while Jack enjoys watching Manny and all the tools on a different TV. 

I think as they get older we'll be moving on to different (fingers-crossed) shows and I'm sure I will have a thing or two to say about those shows, too. But no matter what, we are DONE with Dora if she turns into a middle-school skank. It's one thing to be dumb and always need help. It's another thing to turn an innocent girl into a sexualized character. Jerks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's the Journey, Not the Destination

I'm fairly certain that he will be sucking that thumb when he goes off to college. Oh, sure, he isn't even 1 yet but he has an attachment to that thing that is pretty hard to break. Even Avery (a thumb sucker herself) tries to get it out of his mouth and it springs right back in there every time. I'm not sure if this is something that my hospital teaches them when they take the kids to the nursery in the middle of the night after they are born or if it is just in their genes. All I know is that I happily gave both kids pacifiers when they were newborn and they laughed at me as they spit them out and put their thumbs in their mouths. 
I actually sucked two of my fingers until I was in 5th or 6th grade so I can't really give them a hard time without being a total hypocrite. I also couldn't swallow a pill until I was almost 18 and there is no way I am putting up with that BS with these kids. My parents would have to get EVERYTHING in liquid form (they make all medicine in liquid form for really old people and jerks like me who have some mental block about pills getting stuck in their throats). For the record, I can swallow a pill now but I still need a little mental pep talk each time. 
Jack and Avery in the wagon on the way to the park. Gee, do you think he likes riding in the wagon? He laughed the whole way and Avery had a great time entertaining him. I think they had more fun on the way to the park than they did when we got there. 
I think we could pull him around in the wagon or push him around in his car all day and he would be the happiest kid on the planet. He definitely likes to be out and about. 
It is in the 80s outside. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bath Time Fun

video

I meant to upload this last night when I put the cell phone video up but a certain someone in this house complained about how I was using up all the bandwidth or some such nonsense. I stopped listening when he started telling me that I was preventing him from playing video games. 

I try not to film Avery in the tub because of all those pervs on the internet that like that sort of thing. But Jack was being cute and kissing on demand so I got the camera out. Don't take my short responses to Avery as brushing her off; it was just hard to talk to her without having the camera on her.

Since the weather has been in the 80s we have been spending a lot of time outside. Avery loves riding her tri-cycle around the cul-de-sac. It is very nice to be able to go to the park and play in the street now that it is light a little later at night. I am looking forward to Daylight Savings Time coming up this weekend. I realize this is going to mess up our lives for a few weeks while the kids adjust but overall I think it is so worth it to have it light outside longer each night. YAY for spring and summer just around the corner!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The One in Which He Tries to Break my Phone

video

It was all going so well until he decided to take the camera from me. It is clear that he doesn't see me as the person in charge. He pretty much does what he wants whenever he wants. sigh.

Things are changing around here and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Jack is now blowing kisses and just kissing the air freely. It is pretty amazing because he makes the cutest sounds. Of course, he doesn't do it much when I try and capture it on video, but that didn't stop me from making several attempts.

While he isn't walking solo--or even thinking about it--he is cruising around the coffee table and some of his taller toys. I have several friends that have babies that walked at 10 months and if this were my first child I would probably feel like Jack is behind. But since he is my last baby I am perfectly happy with this slow pace. I know he'll walk soon enough so I am just going to enjoy this baby pace while I have it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

oh, I know. I am so deep.

Oh my Lord, the Bachelor. Is that guy for real? I can't believe how the show ended tonight. I don't know why I care or why I am surprised since this show never works out for the people who appear. (Except for those who want TV deals or some form of D list celebrity fame)

I just don't know how he could treat Melissa that way and I can't believe that Molly would let him treat another girl like that. I would have told him to get lost. But that's just me. Maybe you are different.

wow.

just, wow.