Thursday, May 20, 2010

Road Trippin'. In bullet points.

  • Despite the little setbacks and annoying moments, I still say that spending hours in the car with the kids HANDS DOWN beats spending hours at an airport/on a plane with the kids. At least on a road trip you can stop whenever you need to. For instance if you have a four-year-old who has to pee every time you're about 5 miles from FRICKING NOWHERE.

  • "Rented Car Console Road Trip Detritus: A Still Life"

  • Speaking of annoying moments. I'm not sure what the Geneva Convention has to say about it but I'm pretty sure that listening to one kid fuss/cry loudly as another kid whines incessantly while you're enclosed in a small space like a car is a waaaaaay more effective torture method than waterboarding could ever be.

  • Oh, portable DVD player, what would we do without you...

  • Speaking of setbacks. The $90 that we randomly spent for one night at a Best Western in Cedar City, Utah when the kids were torturing us as above and we realized that it was after dark and we still had AT LEAST THREE MORE HOURS until we were back in Vegas? BEST MONEY WE EVER SPENT.
  • Chillin at the random motel.

  • So apparently a certain small someone cannot be trusted on a bed or other elevated surface anymore because a certain small someone learned how to crawl overnight while we were on this trip.

  • Amazingly as soon as we got to Denver Jr. stopped itching and had absolutely no allergy symptoms while we were there. The very first night we were back home he scratched the crap out of his face and his eczema flared up. File that under "Yet Another Reason We Need to Stop Jacking Around and Just Move Back to Colorado, Already." (And before you say, "Maybe it's your cats!" my sister also has pets. It's not the cats.)

  • It really is a nice city.

  • You want to be an effing Rock Star the next time you see your out-of-state nieces and nephews? Bring a puppy with you as a surprise. (Don't worry, their mother knew about it.)

  • Look what we brought! A puppy! TOP THAT.

  • After a week of dwindling pumping output and Jr. being increasingly annoying at the breast (i.e. only nursing for 30 seconds at a time while kicking me in the stomach and pinching me), I thought that while were on the trip we were going to Stop Nursing Forever. Until he had an apparent reaction to the formula and suddenly was interesting in nursing normally again. So now we're back to Begrudgingly Still Breastfeeding. For now.

  • Speaking of decreased milk supply. PPAF. Totally unexpected. Therefore I was totally unprepared. Thus we were totally late to my sister's graduation ceremony (the whole reason for the trip, she got her Master's degree) because we had to make an emergency WalMart run. Oh, what a lovely 18 months without you, AF...

  • You want to feel old? Go visit your old college campus and GET LOST trying to find the student union because there are so many new buildings and all your old landmarks are gone. Then try to track down one of your favorite professors who was a mentor only to be told that he retired "like 5 years ago."

  • My old dorm, Sewall Hall. Still one of the loveliest campuses there is.

    Running around at the student union (CU Boulder).

  • Garden of the Gods. If you've never been, it's sooooo worth a visit. Just look at this:

  • I can't believe I'm about to write this. After renting one and driving it all over hill and dale and back again...I kind of maybe sorta want a minivan now. A MINIVAN. What has become of me...
  • And finally, how many shots does it take to get The Perfect Family Photo in the Mountains? I don't know, we never got it.

Perfect! Now just look at the right *&$@ camera.



Obviously not.

There's always one joker in the bunch...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photo Friday - 4th Birthday Party

The Theme: Hot Wheels (what else?)

A friend who's been to all of J's birthday parties commented about our "big" party every year "Wow, he is so spoiled." Whatev. My mom did it for us even when we were broke (one year she made decorations out of a packet of construction paper). It's once a year, get over it, if you can't spoil them on their birthday when can you?

This year's masterpieces LOL. Time spent making and tinting frosting: about 30 minutes. Time spent decorating the cupcakes and "giant"cupcake: about 30 minutes. Total cost including decorations: Maybe $12. I'll never buy another birthday cake from a bakery again.

Do these things ever get old? We briefly considered not getting one but we got a "hook-up" (i.e. dirt cheap) and without the jumpy...what else would we do? Play games or something? I couldn't wait for the kids to leave so I could get in it - TH took pictures of me jumping in there that will never see the light of day because I made the hugely unfortunate decision to wear white linen pants to a kids birthday party. You can imagine.

For once we look just alike, people usually say he favors TH. I love these visors as opposed to actual party hats.

Having a ridiculously good time with his best friend K. Seriously at one point they were running around and J was clutching his face saying, "I'm just so...EXCITED!!"

Bittersweet moment. First year I haven't had to hold him up to the candles and walk him through it. He was so grown up, and I kept thinking, "This year's party is one he'll actually remember 20 years from now." After looking at this picture I also thought, "When will I learn to put on some frigging Spanx if I'm going to wear a 'tissue-thin' t-shirt..."

Happy. Tired. Blessed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And then he was four.

Dear J,

Every year I think I'm not going to be wistful and nostalgic and kind of bittersweet at your birthday, and every year my heart is squeezed a little bit more thinking about how quickly you're growing up. Today is your 4th birthday. It feels like a big one, for some reason, and we can tell that it's big to you, too, because you have been arguing with us that "Yes I AM four already!!" for a few weeks now. You're not a baby anymore, you're not a're officially a Little Kid.

Little Kids like you run, and jump, and turn in circles until you're "bizzy," and purposely slide in your socks on the tile floor, and do herky-jerky Little Kid dance moves (cute), and run up behind me and punch me in the rear end with both fists shouting "BOOTY!!" (not so cute), and try to jump down into the living from higher and higher up the steps (downright scary).

Little Kids like you can turn on the computer, boot up the "Kids" user (password and all), navigate to your favorite website, and look like a little gamer playing Team UmiZoomi and Curious George games. You pretend to play Madden Football with Daddy on the PS3, telling him which plays to pick and shouting funny things like, "Get that guy! Throw the football at his head!" This is the first year where we've had to limit your computer use because you are so good at it and already addicted to the screen (a little like your mommy).

Little Kids like you suddenly started really reading a few months ago, pointing out a headline on the newspaper I was reading and saying, "Hey! That says the word 'explore!' And that says the word 'cars!'" It was like the scene from The Miracle Worker; I could almost see the wheels turning in your head as you realized that you could recognize words without us telling you what they said. And like me, you are a voracious reader - you're so happy to get new books, and I often find you sitting in the PBK chair in your room reading out loud to yourself and sounding out the words you don't know. I can't tell you how proud I am that you like reading.

Little Kids like you are obsessed with numbers, to the point where our friends have started to call you "Rain Man." You've memorized the numbers on the houses of all of your friends and daycare and even the office manager at my job whose house you only went to TWICE for a Christmas party and to pick up some supplies. One day you told me you saw a car like Daddy's but you knew it wasn't Daddy's "because it has a different number on it," and then you proceeded to tell me the license plate numbers of both of our cars. You have over 100 Hot Wheels cars, and ever since the day you noticed that alot of them have racing numbers on the side you've started identifying them by the number: "Where's my 40 car? I made a bridge for the 59 car. Mommy, I need a 31 car to go with my 30 car." When we listen to music while we're driving somewhere you've memorized the track numbers to all of your favorite songs, to the point where now I know which song you mean when you tell me "I want to hear Mickey Mouse 21."

Little Kids like you are sweet, and kind, and still generous with affection for Mommy and Daddy. You tell me all the time that you love me, or that you missed me during the day, or that you love your little brother. The more things you learn to say, the more I love listening to you.

Happy Birthday, J! I get the feeling Four is going to be a great year.

Love, Mommy