Thursday, December 31, 2009
One of the beautiful things about having a blog is that all these memories are documented forever. As I looked over this year's posts, I laughed and I cried....so much has changed yet so many things have stayed the same.
I also never imagined how many wonderful people I would meet simply through blogging. Many of you have ridden this crazy, wild roller coaster called life right along with me. Not one minute have I ever felt alone or misunderstood and I'm so very grateful for the friendships I have formed in the blogging community.
So here are some of the highlights of 2009 ...
January 2009 - I started off the year with a Getting to Know You post, where I revealed that I was still bitter about my mom refusing to buy me an Easy Bake Oven when I was a child. I also began writing about some of the funny things the kids said. I shared the top 10 white lies I tell my kids, along with confirming that there is nothing wrong with eating cake while watching The Biggest Loser.
February 2009 - This month was filled with lots of memorable moments...like the 6 major discoveries I made in 72 hours, as well as taking all the kids to the pediatrician's office by myself. Then there was the list I made about the top 10 things my kids will never hear me say.
March 2009 - I discovered that Beer Day really does exist. We also celebrated Garrett and Landon's 2nd birthday, where I marveled at the fact that I survived the first 2 years with 2 sets of twins, 3 years old and under. I made some more confessions, including why my kids would need therapy when they're older . Cole cracked his head open and I pondered thoughts about marriage. This is the month when I finally figured out that Tim's idea of supervising the children vastly differed from mine.
April 2009 - This month started off with a bang, when I turned the BIG 4-0 on April Fool's Day. I enjoyed laughing at the expense of the people who ended up on my blog via a Google search. Bella shoved a seashell in her ear after being told not to, of course. The kids informed me that I'm bossy AND old. As much as I didn't want to, I felt it was important to talk to my kids about how to stay safe in an unsafe world after little Sandra Cantu went missing here in Northern CA.
May 2009 - More thoughts on motherhood, as I compared it to a ride at Disneyland called Tower of Terror. Cole shared his feelings about not wanting to grow up, which makes me sob like a baby every time I read it. Just for kicks, I put together a video called Tantrum Torture for those people who wonder why mothers drink. Last but not least, I finally cracked the communication code between husbands and wives.
June 2009 - Lots of milestones happened this month. Garrett and Landon transitioned from cribs to toddler beds. After a couple sleepless nights spent chasing them back into their beds, I came up with several humorous ways to make the transition successful. Cole and Bella graduated from preschool, as I cried my way through the ceremony. Tim got a lesson on what it feels like to be ignored when speaking. And after a particularly rough day with the kids, I considered auctioning them off on E-Bay (Buy 2, Get 2 free).
July 2009 - We celebrated Tim's 41st birthday. To kill time one day, I took the kids to Petsmart and ended up bringing 2 hermit crabs home with us. There were more odd google searches. We took a road trip and also went on vacation (which I referred to as a change in routine in another environment because there is no such thing as a "vacation" with the kids). I wrote a memo to the bosses (aka my kids) after realizing I was getting a raw deal. And we discovered that Bella had shark teeth.
August 2009 - While some people renew their vows, we renegotiated our marriage contract in honor of our 7th anniversary. Bella lost her first tooth, which was caught on video. I shared that there is a moral lesson in every situation, something always to be learned, probably the hard way. And we made some upgrades on our home.
September 2009 - Cole and Bella started kindergarten, even though I was in denial. Garrett and Landon taught me about the world according to a toddler, while I desperately tried to find some balance in my life. I got my day in the spotlight as a featured blogger at SITS, finally figured out how to deal with the kids' constant whining and signed Bella up for Daisies.
October 2009 - Cole and Bella celebrated their 5th birthday and I discovered my inner Betty Crocker when a friend and I made their birthday cakes. This was also the first of a funny series called An Interview with the Experts (the experts being the kids, of course). Tim wrote an informative post about what every wife should know about her husband, which left me wondering why he doesn't just start his own blog on behalf of all the misunderstood men in the universe. And we can't forget what went down at the pumpkin patch and Halloween - lessons learned past and present.
November 2009 - Two additional installments of An Interview with the Experts were posted, courtesy of my smart-ass kids. After Garrett announced he was done with diapers, the post Potty Training 101, According to a Toddler was born. Still struggling with how to balance it all, I had to laugh at the irony of motherhood, as I tried to find time to work on my book.
December 2009 - I wrote about the most awkward ultrasound I had ever had in my lifetime, which now, looking back, is actually quite hysterical and I FINALLY found that balance of motherhood through irretrievable moments. My head was filled with fleeting thoughts at times, which led to random posts. Lastly, I whined about feeling like a walking encyclopedia, due to making weak attempts at satisfying my children's curiosity about life and other things.
That's the entire year of 2009, in a nutshell. Thanks for sharing it with me!
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Here are some highlights from our 3-day long holiday. Wednesday was Christmas with my sister and her family. The kids had fun with the cousins that they never see even though we live only 10 minutes away from one another. The adults drank wine and the kiddos drank sparkling cider. Good times.
The picture below cracked me up. Tim actually fell asleep while the kids were opening their presents and my BIL looked like he was completely bored.
On Christmas eve day, we met my IL's at their church and the kids did amazingly well sitting through the 90 minute service. Every time I heard a child scream or cry, I took pleasure in the fact that it was NOT one of my kids, for a change.
I forgot to take pictures of the kids opening their presents at my IL's but suffice it to say that they made out like bandits. Lots of toys....which meant lots of tiny pieces with sharp edges that will surely end up impaled on the bottom of my feet at some point.
We got home late and the kids made sure to leave a plate of homemade cookies for Santa, along with some carrots and reindeer food for the reindeer. In the morning, they were pleasantly surprised to see that Santa and the reindeer had eaten mostly everything.
Then their attention turned to the tree and when they saw the presents, chaos ensued.
Each of the kids got exactly what they asked Santa for (and then some).
Yes, that's Garrett...our little Toy Story obsessed child. He's carrying a stuffed Buzz Lightyear doll on his back with a TS backpack, and Woody, Buzz and the rocket ship stuffed in the pocket of the front of the scooter. He rode around the house the entire morning screaming, "To infinity and beyond". More good times.
Bella got every doll imaginable. I believe she has more inventory than Target does now. And her doll house has nicer furniture than my home does. Those freakin dolls even have a piano!!
The one thing she really wanted was one of those Zhu Zhu pets. And they were nowhere to be found in any of the stores around here. But I had entered a giveaway on Clueless Mama's blog and...I won a Zhu Zhu pet!!!
Can you believe that luck?! Bella was over the moon with her new pet, who later received a companion when we went to Toys R Us to buy the kids gifts from my dad and grandma. I found it kinda interesting that they suddenly had some more hamsters AFTER Christmas.
You wanna keep your kids entertained for hours? Buy these pets, seriously.
Cole's theme this year was dinosaurs, Hot Wheels and Wii games. Typical boy.
Landon got lots of cars, trucks and trains. He was a happy boy, although the picture below doesn't really show that.
My mom, stepdad and brother came over that evening to give the kids their gifts and have dinner with us. When my mom noticed that Bella and I were making a cake, she asked, "Oh, is that for me?" I had completely forgotten that her birthday was the next day. But that's okay because she forgot my 40th birthday last April. No harm, no foul.
I said, "No, the cake is for Jesus...we bake one every year to celebrate his birth". She frowned and asked, "No cake for me?" She looked so pathetic and sad so I told her she could share a cake with Jesus this year. This will definitely go down in history....the year my Jewish mother shared a birthday cake with Jesus.
And that, my friends, was the end of Christmas 2009. I'm SO ready for 2010! Bring it!
Sorry I haven't been around the blogosphere much this past week. Hopefully, I can make up for that this week!! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their loved ones!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Upon greeting Santa, Bella was the only one willing to sit on his lap, as seen in the picture below. Probably because she noticed the elves were giving candy canes and cookies to the children who were brave enough to get within 5 feet of Santa.
The other kids refused to get near Santa...not even a candy cane could coax them near him. But he followed us outside....because he's creepy like that.
Santa: Ho, ho, ho...I'm gonna get you!
Garrett: I'll spit on you before you can get your sleazy hands on me.
Cole: Maybe if I hold real still, Santa won't be able to see me.
Me: Uh, Cole...only dinosaurs can't see you if you don't move, not Santa.
Santa: Ho, Ho, Ho! What?! No one's got love for good old St. Nick? Is it the way my eyes seem to be boaring into your soul that's got you all freaked out?
Tim: Hey, sweetie, Santa just called you a ho.
Finally, 2 of the 4 kids agreed to sit with Santa. Tim looks like he's trying his best to hold in the nastiest of farts.
Bella: Hey Santa, my parents sometimes say bad words. They should probably be on your naughty list.
Santa: Oh, they do? In front of you kids? That's totally f'cked up.
Tim: One of you kids better come over here and sit on my lap so I don't look like a total loser sitting next to Santa.
Bella: The whole Santa thing is losing its appeal. I just want a freakin' candy cane already.
Santa: Mom, move closer to me. I won't bite...well, not in front of the children, anyway. Heh, heh, heh...
Landon: You're traumatizing me for life, do you realize that? This is so not worth a candy cane. Now, if you promised me my very own room I might be willing to smile.
Balloon guy: Hey lil dude, do you want a candy cane?
Garrett: Heck, yeah!!
Garrett: NOOOOO!!! I want a real candy cane, not a balloon candy cane. You won't be laughing when I come over there and kick you in the shin. I may be little but I can kick your ass.
Garrett: Daddy, why did you give my balloon to Landon?
Daddy: Because you were freaking out saying you didn't want a balloon candy cane.
Garrett: But I want it now that you gave it away. You should know that. I'm 2 years old! It's my sole purpose in life to want things only after I've turned them away.
Me: Landon, close your mouth. You'll catch flies in there if you leave it open too long. Bella, what's up with the courtesy smile? Look happy, for crying outloud. It's freakin' Christmas time, dammit.
Bella: Psssst, Santa....my mom just said another bad word.
Bella: Look, Mommy, I made a friend.
Me: You do know that's a mannequin, right?
Bella: No, she's real. Her name is Karen and she lives at my new house with my sister and my cat.
Me: Hey Tim, remind me to schedule an appointment with the therapist for Bella. She's creating an imaginary family for herself....again.
Tim: Can you blame her?
Me: No, not really.
Thank goodness, the Santa Fiasco of 2009 is over. I wonder what the Santa Fiasco of 2010 has in store for us. Peace out.
* I can assure you that the kids and Santa did NOT actually say any bad words. On the other hand, I can assure you that Tim and I did.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
They are tiny clean slates...so inquisitive about the world around them. They spend most of their days shooting off questions to me, left and right....so quickly, in fact, that I can't always think of the perfect answer.
I lay in bed at night stressing about this, wondering if they'll think I'm lame someday because I don't have the answers to some of life's most basic questions. Why can't they ask me simple and uncomplicated questions like "why do cookies taste so good?" and "what exactly is a borderline personality disorder?"
Here's their latest series of questions, along with my weak attempt at answering them...
Why does it rain? Remember when I told you that the angels cry when a child picks his nose? Well, today there must be a whole lotta kids picking their noses.
Where does our poop go when we flush the toilet? It goes into the sewer system...you know, where Roddy St James lives. And I think some of it goes into the ocean...you know, where Nemo and Dori live.
Why is the sky blue? Because blue is God's favorite color.
How did He make the sky blue? With a really big paintbrush.
Who decided that grass should be green? God did...only because he ran out of blue paint
Do boys have brains? So I've been told
Why do people get married? Ask your father
How did God make people? He used a huge batch of playdough
Is God like Superman? Yeah, except He doesn't wear a speedo and tights
What would happen if we never slept? Mommies all over the world would be devastated
Why do we have boogers in our nose? In case you ever get stranded on a deserted island, you'll have something to eat
Does everyone have a butt crack? Yes, everyone except Frosty the Snowman
Memorable conversation of the day:
Bella: Cole, why does that happen?
Cole: Because it happens.
Bella: Oh, okay.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This is a repeat post from ages ago. Life has caught up with me and I've been super busy (basically, I lack the energy and talent to come up with something good to blog about right now). I know, I'm slacking. I plan on catching up over the weekend!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When: last Tuesday morning
Who: Garrett and Landon
Why: We needed a bunch of stuff from Costco that I had been putting off getting, like toilet paper and paper towels. I figured it was time since the kids were complaining about having to wipe their asses with paper bags.
After being confined in the cart for longer than they had anticipated, the boys started screaming, "Out..out! I wanna walk". So, I let them out of the cart, threatening them with, "You need to stay right next to me or else...."
But the excitement of being set free in an open environment such as Costco was too much for the little guys to bear. Before I knew it, one was running off to the next aisle while one was admiring the numerous packages of sodas. I told Landon, "Come on, we need to catch up to Garrett...and we're not buying soda anyway so let's move on".
He Fuh-reaked (yes, with a capital F). And we're talking not just the "I'm gonna throw my body down on the ground right here and shriek as loud as I can" kinda tantrum. We're talking arms swinging left and right trying to hit me, high-pitched screams coming out of his mouth, "No, Mommy....I mad at you!!" THEN he threw himself on the ground and refused to move.
I said, "Alright, well, I'm gonna go catch up to Garrett. Hope you know your way home".
He didn't budge. Now, he was laying on the ground, screaming and crying so loud that I'm sure everyone in Costco could hear...."Mommy, get back here right now! I want soda! I mad at you!!"
The further I moved away from him, the louder he got. I got Garrett back in the cart and continued to glance back at my precious 2-year old, who was obviously having a bad day.
Two ladies passed by me, while staring at Landon. One said, "In this day and age, it's probably not very wise to leave such a young child by himself".
I smiled politely and said, "He's been tantruming like that for the last few minutes. I'm not giving in to him so I walked away. I can still see him from here, just like you can".
One of the ladies frowned and said, "Yes, but anyone can just come by and grab him".
Trying to keep a straight face, I said, "You honestly think someone's gonna try to kidnap a 2-yr old child who's screaming at the top of his lungs, having a tantrum that badly?! If someone's gonna kidnap anybody, I'd be more worried about that child over there, who's calmly and quietly sitting in the cart, while her mother walks away from her to grab a food sample."
They both looked over to the little girl I had mentioned and they nodded their heads, obviously in agreement. Apparently, I had made my point.
I said, "If anyone was gonna try to take my kid while he's acting like that, more power to them. I can guarantee they'd be bringing him right back, begging for his mother to come to the front of the store and claim him".
I grabbed my cart, with Garrett just sitting there watching this whole thing go down and repeatedly asking, "Mommy, you get Veggie Straws for me?", and returned to Landon, who was still laying on the ground with red puffy eyes. He refused to get back in the cart but he did allow me to hold him.
Compromising is good. Giving in is not. Even if two overly nosy and opinionated women thought I was the most horrible mother in the world.
Memorable conversation of the day:
Cole: Mommy, when I get older who will I marry?
Me: You can marry anyone you want.
Cole: Can I marry Bella?
Me: Uh, no...you can't marry family members.
Cole: Well, you married Daddy and he's a family member.
Monday, December 14, 2009
This year, there is simply no money left for stocking stuffers. But, not to worry, I always seem to have something up my sleeve.
Yesterday, I spent a good majority of my day cleaning house. And by cleaning house, I mean....going through closets clearing them out of clothes that don't fit anymore, cleaning out drawers and cabinets, organizing the garage....you get the picture.
While cleaning, I discovered many things that had either been lost awhile ago or simply forgotten about. Ironically, all these things were small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking...imagine that?
Here's a list of things I found, which will find their way into my children's stockings this year:
-- a new tube of chapstick that I found at the back of my vanity drawer
-- 4 toothbrushes given to us by the dentist, which we had forgotten about
-- 4 tiny tubes of toothpaste also give by the dentist
-- 3 Hot Wheels cars that were under the stove
-- 2 Thomas the Train tank engines that were also under the stove
-- 4 mini bouncey balls I found at the back of various closets
-- a never-opened deck of cards that had been pushed to the back of a drawer
-- 2 Barbie dolls that were behind a dresser
-- a Hannah Montana pen which was on the side of the dryer
-- 4 Pez dispensers from last Christmas which were in a storage bin
-- a handful of pencils and erasers found under the sofa and in cushions
-- several packages of stickers stuffed in the back of a drawer
-- 2 never-opened packages of Lightning McQueen temporary tatoos
-- 2 new bottles of sparkly nail polish in back of vanity drawer
So, you see, cleaning your house can pay off in more ways than you think. Your house will be spotless (for a couple hours, anyway) and you'll have found enough stocking stuffers to fill not only your children's stockings but probably also the neighborhood children's stockings. Throw a couple candy canes in there and call it a day.
Then pat yourself on the back....and cross those two things off of your to-do list. This is my idea of frugal living, at its best.
Memorable conversation of the day:
Cole: Bella, do you think there's a Boogeyman in our closet?
Bella: No, the Boogeyman lives in the sky.
Cole: He does?!
Bella: Yeah...he lives in the sky with the man in the moon and a bunch of shooting stars.
Cole: Wow, that's awesome!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The kids and I have been attempting to make a gingerbread train this past week. I know, right? Like I'm all crafty and stuff? No, it's more like I'm just trying to see how far I can push myself before I need a hefty supply of wine....or serious medical intervention. Whichever works (and gets me out of going to the in-laws' for Christmas eve....ooops, did I just write that outloud?)
So while we were shaping and frosting burnt gingerbread train pieces and crying (oh, wait that was just me crying, not the kids) I had Christmas music playing in the background and when Deck the Halls came on, I started singing along.
The kids were like, "Whoa, you know this song?" Were they serious? I said, "Uh, yeah, I know this song....it's not like it was just recently written by the Imagination Movers or the Wiggles".
I said, "When I was younger, my friends and I would sing the naughty versions of these songs".
My kids wanted to hear them...of course they did, because they are MY kids, after all.
So I started with Deck the Halls...
Deck the halls with gasoline...fa la la la la la la la la
Light a match and watch it gleam...fa la la la la la la la
Watch the school burn down to ashes... fa la la la la la la la
Aren't you glad you played with matches...fa la la la la la la la la
"More, sing more songs...", they cried. And because I'm a horrible role model for my kids, I continued...
"Okay, what else....oh, there's the funny version of Jingle Bells", I said, feeling encouraged to continue being immature.
Jingle Bells, batman smells
Robin laid an egg
Batmobile lost its wheels
And Joker got away
Laughing hysterically, they urged me to go on...but unfortunately, all the other ones I knew were super naughty and seriously not meant for little children's ears.
You know, like Silver Balls, Your Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Do You Smell What I Smell, Grandma Got Bent Over By a Reindeer, Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Reindeer, Little Hummer Boy and Getting Knocked Up Around the Christmas Tree.
What??!! Don't act like you all never sat around with your friends on a dull and boring Saturday afternoon in the middle of December changing up the lyrics to some of the most popular Christmas songs! And don't lie...because Santa is watching and he knows if you've been good or bad.
After refusing to sing any more songs to the kids, I said, "You guys have to PROMISE me that you'll never sing those songs while you're at school or anywhere else, okay?"
Cole asked, "Why, cuz they're bad?" and I said, "Well, some people don't appreciate humor like we do".
Bella said, "I think the songs are funny and you're funny. You're more like us, Mommy".
I asked, "More like you how?" She answered, "You're more like a kid than a mom".
Yeah...I kinda deserved that. I never said I wasn't immature.
I asked, "Is that a good thing?" and Bella said, "Of course, it's a good thing. Who wants a mom who never makes you laugh?"
Excellent point. Okay, so maybe I won't end up on Santa's naughty list, after all.
Friday, December 11, 2009
While I don't have any gift ideas, I did want to share our holiday decorations and crafts that we've been busy with. It's starting to look pretty darn festive around here.
Missy at Two Little Monkeys demonstrated some adorable handprint reindeers as one of her weekly crafts on her blog! So cute, right? If you're looking for some fun ideas for crafts, check her blog out!
Notice there are only 2 handprint reindeer and not 4....Bella and Garrett refused to make one. I pretended to cry, hoping they'd feel bad and give in. But they laughed and said, "Look, we made Mommy cry". I got the last laugh though when I reminded them that I have Santa on speed dial and all it takes is one phone call from me and there will be no presents under the tree come Christmas morning.
Here are some little snowmen that the kids and I made...
Oh and our makeshift gingerbread man wreath...
The stockings were hung from the staircase with care....good thing we don't have more than 4 kids or someone would've gotten a raw deal.
I thought it would be fun to make gingerbread houses with the kids.... yeah, I must have been hitting the crack pipe a little hard that day. Once the houses were constructed, we actually did have a blast decorating them and putting our "yards" together.
Of course, maybe I just thought it was fun because I was buzzing from a sugar high after eating a whole bag of large marshmallows.
This is Santa Claus, sitting atop of the bookshelf....staring at us with those empty, glazed eyes (kinda how I looked after the kids and I made the gingerbread houses). Oh and notice the "Silent Night" decoration? Wishful thinking on my part, right?
Here's our tree in all its glory. I don't think this picture does it justice because it really is a wonderful sight, especially when it's night-time and we have all the lights off in the house.
Okay, here's a picture of the tree at night...the picture still doesn't do it justice.
This is one of my favorite ornaments!! A friend of mine sent it to me for Christmas 2006 with a little note that said, "The minute I saw this, I thought of YOU". It took me a minute to get what she meant. Check out the Mama reindeer's face...that's exactly what I looked like the first few weeks after having Garrett and Landon.
The following picture actually wasn't our original Nativity scene. I had a gorgeous one that my sister had given me a few years ago. But someone, who refuses to take responsibility, broke it when he was taking it out of storage. He claims that it was my fault...saying that I never fully sealed the box last year when it was put away. But we all know I'm perfect and I would never do such a thing.
I have to say, though, that it was kinda funny when Cole and Bella ran in the house screaming, "Daddy just killed baby Jesus".
See that lovely candle there on the right....I put it on our little table with the other decorations and then thought to myself, "I should probably move that before someone breaks it". What do you think happened no less than 30 seconds after I had that thought? One of the spawn broke it. I was able to piece it together with crazy glue....for now, anyway.
And, last but not least, are our outside decorations. I'm not sure why I took a picture of it during the day because obviously you can't get the full effect of it, with all the lights glowing. Now that it's dark, I suppose I could throw on some slippers and a robe and take a picture of it....but I'm not going to....because I'm a lazy ass.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
....and not wake up with an incredible ache in his neck. This is how I found Cole on the stairs the other night, as he was waiting for Tim to come into his room and say goodnight. Apparently, he got impatient but fell asleep in the process. Poor little guy.
2) What's the point of having this....
....if we have to capture all of these ourselves, with no help from her?
Eeeeekkkkk...a mouse. The kids wanted to keep it and get rid of the cat. Trust me, I was tempted....
3) Remember when I had to have a talk with Garrett about where it's okay and not okay to color? I was pretty sure he got the message loud and clear that he was only to color on PAPER. Apparently, he still needs a lesson....
Just in case you're looking at the above 2 pictures and asking, "So what...he colored his lips blue?", the picture below, as blurry as it is, shows that he colored his teeth and his tongue blue as well....with permanent marker.
Memorable Conversation of the Day
Garrett: Mommy, can I have a banana?
Me: Sure (handing him a peeled banana)