Monday, October 30, 2006

The Unbearable Joy of Being Slippery

A: Hey, Mama, do you want to hear the song I just made up?

Me: Sure.

A: (singing a tune similar but not exactly like "What's the Name of That Song?" from Sesame Street)
Snow is slippery, Snow is slippery, Just like you. (repeat 4x)

Me: Absolutely one of your best, A.!


Trying to figure out how to get Auntie R's attention to tell her there's a carnival set up near our house:
Hey, Auntie R! Do you wanna know what's going on in the world?

And there's more where those came from! Because I think I'm going to try this:

I'm on the official list of participants and everything. You might notice the non-committal language I've used. There are days when I'm lucky to brush my teeth, so I'm not sure this is going to work and I don't like to set myself up for disappointment, especially with blogging. There are enough things to fail at in life, why make more? But I'll give it a shot.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

In Love With the 21st Century

G. and the boys drove me to get a spa pedicure this morning, complete with a pretty pink color that A. picked out himself (after I vetoed his first choice - metallic blue. Nothing wrong with that - just not my current mood). Several spa workers came back to tell me how unbelievably cute my boys and husband were. Look, ladies, I finally have a chance to read Oprah for the first time in two years, OK? I know they're cute. Thanks. Let me read my magazine. (No, just kidding - I enjoyed it).

Went to Marie Callender's for dinner and realized I'd never had dinner there before. Whenever we eat out, it becomes startlingly apparent that we have failed to teach Ben to use a normal speaking voice. Every diner in the restaurant was aware that there was an "A" on the sign near us, and fans on the ceiling, too, because Ben announced their presence really loudly many times. The waiter brought a slice of cherry pie with a candle in it. Then, as we left, we apologized to the nearby diners for our extremely loud son.

Then we went across the bridge to the super-white Apple store and exchanged my brand new iPod Nano (from my rockin' sisters) for this baby. I was going to keep the Nano because, geez, 500 songs seems like more than enough to get me through an hour workout, and I liked that it was a flash drive so it could be jostled a bit. But G. offered to make up the difference between the cute little Baby Nano and the 30GB Daddy iPod for a Christmas present. I took him up on it.
I didn't realize it automatically transferred all the songs on my computer to the iPod as soon as I hooked it up. So now I've got all the songs from "Veggie Tales" and "TTFTE" on my iPod should I ever want them piped right into my ear. Like they're not permanently etched on my brain already.

On the other hand, I also have 8 free podcasts waiting for me that will turn me into the best-read, most interesting person you've ever met. And a tiny little playlist from about 12 grownup songs I've bought off iTunes, beginning with "Out of My Head" by Fastball and ending with "Word Up!" by Cameo. Turns out "Word Up!" actually sounds much better from a small boom box in a large gym. In the 80's.

You'd think I'd never listened a mix tape on a Walkman. Songs! Through headphones! Any order I want!

Still, I don't think I'm ever taking it off. The sound quality is fantastic. And it's so COOL-looking. I may go to bed with it.

Oh, and did I mention that G. bought me the warm coat that I've needed for years? Finally, I don't have to borrow a coat when we go to Portland in the winter.

Oh yeah. It's been a good birthday.

Friday, October 27, 2006

How to Turn 41

1. Sleep in a little bit while your husband gets up with the kids.

2. Don't sleep in too much because he still has to go to work.

3. Stumble out of the bedroom in your robe and sit down in the family room so your 19-month-old can sing "Haaaaa Bird-ay a Ooooo." Despite the yearning of every cell in your body, don't leave to make coffee. Let your 4-year-old bring presents and oooh and ahhhh over the butterfly soaps and the cool commuter mug that he picked out himself because it had raised rubber bumps all over it.

4. Be impressed that the 4-year-old wrote "MAMA YOU'RE THE BEST AIDAN" in shaky 4-year-old letters all by himself on the birthday card.

5. Hugs and kisses all around.

6. Make coffee, drink out of new commuter mug.

7. Keep 4-year-old out of school so you can take both kids to the best pumpkin patch in Northern California.

8. Put kids in a little red wagon, give them pumpkins to hold and take some cute pictures.

9. Pull kids in wagon to the nursery where there is a dusty, forgotten shelf with 5 old Lionel train cars. Leave wagon outside, with pumpkins and bag in it. Assume no one will take wagon because it has pumpkins and bag in it. Take wallet, camera and cell phone out of bag because you're not a complete idiot. Leave keys in it because you are a little bit of an idiot.

10. Wait around for 15 minutes while 4-year-old ignores the pumpkins, the choo-choo train, the jumpy house and all the halloween decorations and plays with the 5 old Lionel train cars. Feed pumpkin muffin to 19-month-old.

11. Pull 4-year-old away from dusty shelf and return to the sunlight. Discover that wagon with pumpkins and bag is gone. Wonder who would take a bag full of diapers and wipes (and keys).

12. Ask every worker at patch if they've seen your bag. Continue to feed pumpkin muffin to 19-month-old to get his cooperation. Finally find wagon, with pumpkins and bag still in it, about 20 feet away from where you left it and in the opposite direction of the way you went to search for it. Give into oldest son's demands and buy him his own pumpkin muffin.

13. Get kids into car; call sister to tell her you'll be a little late for lunch. Hear oldest son give entire muffin to youngest son after eating off just the top of it.

14. Look into back seat, see youngest child with about 3 inches of orange pumpkin muffin crumbs on his lap, and the rest on his chest, the seat and the floor.

15. Meet sister for lunch, wrestle youngest son off table, educate oldest son once again on the physics of using a straw and why it's a mistake to tip the cup while you're drinking from a straw.
16. Eat really good chicken Cobb Salad.

17. Open present from sisters - get very excited about new iPod (YES!).

18. Assure 4-year-old that the iPod is nice, but still not as cool as the commuter mug he gave you that morning.

19. Return to car, find $50 parking ticket for parking at a WHITE curb. Let very nice sister grab it and say she's going to fight it.

21. Drive home, realize you've continued to listen to "Martha Stewart's Playtime" on the CD player half an hour longer than you needed to because both boys were fast asleep as soon as you pulled away from the curb.

22. Get home, lay boys down, relax for a little bit.

22. Get boys up, let little one play in the driver's seat of the car while you vacuum the pumpkin muffin carnage from the backseat. Note that it's unusual, given your fairly low standards, that a mess is bad enough to make you pull the vacuum from the house and clean it the same day it was made.

23. Pull out box of old Halloween decorations. As you hang a skeleton from a plant, listen to oldest son tell an original Halloween tale: "Once upon a time, there was a skeleton hanging from a plant. But then the wind blew so hard it blew him off the plant. But then the werewolf came and ate the skeleton up. But then the bats came and ate the whole world. Hahaha! That's scary, isn't it Mama!"

24. Let oldest son put all the decorations on the bottom 2 feet of the sliding glass door.

25. Let youngest son transfer all the mummy heads from one ghost bowl to another ghost bowl.

26. Wait for husband to get home.

27. Decide to eat sandwiches, instead of going out to dinner, because we're all still full from lunch. Go to the small carnival in local mall parking lot.

28. Console oldest son after he learns that he is too short for the giant slide. Be silently grateful because you know as soon as he climbed the steps he'd chicken out and have to be rescued.

29. Let oldest son take husband into the fun house. Watch as the worker has to go rescue them from the hall of mirrors when they can't find their way through. Hope they make it out alive.

30. Stand at bottom of twisty slide at fun house to catch oldest son who is scared to go down. Reach arms out and get ready to catch oldest son. Withdraw arms with a little yelp when it turns out husband and son let another child go down first, and so the child you almost grabbed is not your child, but a 12-year-old boy perfectly capable of managing the slide by himself, thank you very much.

31. Figure out that youngest son is loudly identifying the children's roller coaster as an "Aaay-dee-bug! Aaay-dee-bug!" Try to tell him it's a caterpiller, but give up quickly.

32. Run into man with leg brace in parking lot who starts telling you about the wooden ferris wheels in Afghanistan that are hand-cranked. Get a little worried when he starts walking with your family. Feel guilty when he says he's an Iraq vet injured in the war, but still be suspicious.

33. Go to Coldstone Creamery and order coffee ice cream with hot fudge and brownies. Try to convince oldest son that Coldstone ice cream is better than the cones they were serving at the carnival. Fail.

34. Enjoy ice cream immensely. Dissuade youngest son from eating the styrofoam bowl.

35. Come home, blow out candles on cupcake that you can't eat after all that ice cream.

36. Open present of nice warm coat you've been needing for years (YES!). Note that coat has no pockets except chest-level ones. Note that you don't care if you look funny walking around with hands in chest-level pockets because you're 41 now, damnit, and it doesn't matter.

37. Pop open a Pumpkin Ale.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is what I woke up to this morning:

All the stuffed animals were sitting in a circle. Apparently A. was concerned because my friends wouldn't be around to sing "Happy Birthday" to me like his were at his party, so he substituted his stuffed animals.

"Mama, Grover's your friend, and so is the Snowman."

They sang "Happy Birthday" (yes, it's not till Friday, but the festivities started today) and put on party hats. The stuffed animals were singing on the inside. Ben, in true Ben fashion, yelled the last word of each line. It was pretty freakin' cute. Another thing blogs are good for: because G. read my last entry, they gave me the Pumpkin Ale today.

Then we had A.'s first field trip. His WHOLE CLASS went to the pumpkin patch. They had a hay ride, picked out their pumpkins and ran through the hay maze. The hay pyramid is no longer a challenge, and he and his girlfriend played "Ring Around the Rosie" over and over on the top of it, knocking down as many kids as possible with them each time. He has truly found his soul mate.

We are also seriously pumpkin-patched out. Although the real one, the one that's like an amusement park in Half Moon Bay, home of the Pumpkin Festival and the World's Biggest Pumpkin, still hasn't been visited, so we're going to have to bite the bullet for more photo opportunities.

While A. was on the hay ride (there was no more room for Ben and I to be squished beyond breathing on a very bumpy road, so sad) Ben and I toured the Island of Misfit Pumpkins.

By the way, and this is going to sound terribly comment-whoreish, but I just really appreciate those of you who take the time to comment. One of my psychology professors told us that silence is usually interpreted as disapproval rather than approval. Which means I need to remember what I wasted a ton of money on learned and not project all over the blogosphere.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

2 Shopping Days Left

...Until my birthday, in case you're not keeping track. I'm told the birthday celebrating will begin tomorrow. There has been much crafting and secrecy going on behind closed doors. A. is old enough to understand what's going on and to be involved, but not yet very good at keeping secrets. As I was coming into the kitchen , he told G., "But Papa! You said we had lots of presents for Mama, but we only have three! That's not a lot! We have to get more!" I swear I had nothing to do with that.

A. also told me that we're going to play "Red Light, Green Light" for my birthday, and that it was his idea. G. says that he's comparing the preparations for my birthday with his 4th birthday party last month, and is finding mine lacking. So he's doing his best to liven up the festivities with a rousing game of "RL, GL." He also saw some spider cupcakes somewhere and tells me that we should have those for my birthday because "spider cupcakes are really yummy."

Today while I drove the boys to A's soccer lesson I thought, and apparently said out loud, "I need to get some Pumpkin Ale." Pumpkin Ale is great, and was invented by a microbrewery right here in our fair town although it's now brewed in Oregon. But it can be hard to find, so I was thinking I would take a little trip over to that microbrewery some time this week and pick up a case for the season. A. heard me, and told me, "But we already got you some. We got you a whole box. And chocolate cake mix, too." I looked at him in the backseat and he had a shocked, "Ooops," look on his face. Hey, thanks in advance, guys. I hope you don't wait until Friday to break it out.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saw this billboard today while driving:

In my fantasy, this is the billboard just opposite:

(courtesy of custom sign generator)

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Photo a Day Keeps the Gloomies Away

So I'm considering doing the "Project 365" challenge. I've started just to see how difficult it would be, and the last week or so is on Flickr. It started out as a new blog on Wordpress, but it's too much trouble to resize all the photos. Blogger would be easier. Not sure I'm staying with Flickr because I'll probably have to pay to upload 30-31 photos a month, and you can't rearrange the photos once you've uploaded them, which explains the odd order you'll see.

I got a little intimidated by the idea that this project would cause me to see my life in a whole different way, and I found myself trying to figure out what photo would best explain this day in its totality, which of course was ridiculous. So I gave myself a break and just decided to take a damn photo a day. Doesn't matter what it's of.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Other Night....

We were both sleeping peacefully when G. jumped, full-force, on top of me.

Me: What the - !!

G: What?

Me: You jumped on me! You scared the crap out of me!

G: Who did? (accusingly, like he's going to go beat the crap out of whoever jumped on me)


G: Oh. Well. Don't go over there. (points toward the edge of my side of the bed)

Me: Where?

G: Over there.

Me: Why not?

G: Because I don't want you to fall off the bed.

Me: (expletive)


For Halloween dessert: a thoracic cavity cake.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Papa Lunasea Tries His Hand... Halloween crafting.

A. has been saying we need to do more Halloween crafts. Actually, he says that last year we did 11 crafts and this year we only did 8 so we need to do lots more, but I'm suspicious of his data.

So on G's child care shift, he took out the Halloween crafting supplies and helped A. make some cards.

Those who frequent craft stores may recognize the spider and the web on the gray foam as stamps. That's right, instead of rubbing the stamp on an ink pad and transferring the image to the paper, he actually glued the stamps themselves onto the card.

But check out the ribbon spider web and the black spider on the corner - pretty artsy, huh? And that's a little black foam ball in the lower right corner...for balance, I guess.

Monday, October 16, 2006


To: Ben
From: Mama and Papa

When we requested no more 5 am wake-up calls, we erroneously assumed that it was understood that wake-up calls were to be later than 5 am. Substituting a 4:30 am wake-up call for a 5 am wake-up call is unacceptable.

If a situation arises involving vomit and/or diarrhea, you may wake us up but are then to go back to sleep after intervention. Under no circumstances are you to stay up and play. Requests to "see ghost" will be denied.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Oh My!

It's only 13 days until my birthday! I'd better post my wish list!

More Spookiness

More craftiness at Chez Lunasea:

Mummy heads. A. can't get the "u" sound right so he tells everyone we made mommy heads for halloween.

And here's the banner A. and I made from some left-over paper scrap supplies. Personally, I had planned on having all the triangles point down, but A., who glued the letters on, had other ideas.

Ben says all the halloween stuff is "pooky." And he loves saying, "Boo!" and having us freak out and scream. So you can imagine how many times we have to do it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

19 months

Dear Ben,

I swear this stage of your development (18-19 months) was made purely for my enjoyment.

Except the waking up at 5 am thing. You can cut that out right now.

You mimic everything we say and do. If I’m sitting with my chin in my hand, you come up with your hands tucked into your neck, which of course makes me grab you and kiss you. You repeat everything we say, and since you hear A. asking “Why?” every time I answer “no” to something, you’ve started saying “why?” when I say no to you, too. The funny thing is that I find myself answering you before I remember you don’t know what “why” means. Sometimes I’ll say “no,” and you’ll say “Whybecause. Whybecause.” You must think it’s a “thank you….you’re welcome” kind of thing, because I can’t imagine you really care about “why.”

You are a gifted mimic. You repeat sounds that you hear and it’s amazing how close you often are. You can mimic the sound of our next-door neighbor’s bicycle bell so well that sometimes we can’t tell the difference. You mimic animal sounds pretty well, too. You don’t get that each animal has a different sound, though. So right now, everything says “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” For a while, everything said, “Aaarrrgh.” I’d ask you what a chicken or a cowboy says, just to hear you answer, “Aaaargh.” I enjoyed it when the frogs and Noah on his ark said “Aaaargh,” too. Now they say, like everything else, “cock-a-doodle-doo.”

You’re very friendly. You’ll stand in front of strangers minding their own business and grin at them until they grin back. You’ll flirt with anyone and everyone at the grocery store, even the clerks who look like they’ve had hard lives. I think you’re hoping one of them will give you a balloon or a free piece of turkey. It’s as if you believe everyone is friendly and in general, people have indeed been quite friendly to you. I think that’s a pretty good way to operate, but I’m afraid for the first time you find that people can be mean. Oh wait, never mind. You have an older brother. Already taken care of.

You’re my little lover boy. You yell, “Big hugs!” and tackle me. Over and over. Your latest trick, though, is to hand me something and then throw yourself into my arms so we can both hug the thing between us. It’s very sweet and cuddly with stuffed animals, and a little uncomfortable when you do it with boxes, toy trucks or golf balls. But you’re an equal opportunity lover and toy trucks deserve affection, too.

You adore music and can’t get enough of it. “Moosic! Moosic!” you’ll demand, pointing to the CD player. You get upset with the pauses between songs, too, yelling, “Moosic!” whenever a song finishes. Maybe someday you’ll be a DJ so you can run all the songs together and eliminate all pause-induced panic. I promise we’ll do some baby-and-me music classes soon.

One of my favorite things about you, though, is your enthusiasm. If you see something that looks kind of neat, like a water fountain, you get so excited it looks like you’re either going to blow up or lift off right up into the sky. You hold your arms out straight, get all tense, squeeze your hands tight and yell, “WOW!” If we’re in public, everyone around us laughs. It’s good to be excited. I’m glad there are so many awesome things in your world. You’ve got two dimples and we see them all the time.

You’re just so goddamn cute. It’s fun to take you out places (most of the time) because you and your red-headed brother get a lot of attention. You guys always make people smile, and that makes me feel good about people, so you’ve been an antidote to the stupid and/or horrible stuff people are doing to each other out there in the world. Thanks for lightening my life.

Except the 5 am wake-up thing – really, that’s gotta go.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The First Thing to Go is the Memory

Seriously, I have got to start writing stuff down. Just about 20 minutes ago, I had an idea for a 3-bullet-point post: had the thing all written in my head, in fact, and the idea has had a chance to flee the open fields of my brain and is now hiding in a bunker somewhere.

Anyway, I’m all about the energy lately. I can’t keep functioning on empty. I’m just so tired all the time that I feel like I could close my eyes and fall asleep at any point during the day (yes, I’ve checked, and no, I’m not pregnant). I swear, since I turned 40, my body has decided it’s holding my energy hostage unless I really take care of myself. I can’t keep the pace I used to keep, and I can’t eat what I used to eat without gaining 20 lbs.

The fact is, my lifestyle requires more energy than I currently have. So, I’ve got to make some changes. I’ve given up white flour and sugar during the day, and it hasn’t been that hard. I wanted something sweet today, but I thought, “Yeah, I could get a cookie, but then I know I’d be falling asleep half an hour later.” That has become motivation enough to keep to my routine. I do eat dairy, and I don’t worry about the sugar in some stuff like lowfat yogurt and fruit. I’m eating whole grains, yogurt, fruit, vegetables, and lean protein during the day. It’s only been a couple of days, but my energy is staying more stable throughout the day.

I’m also giving up naps, even though I sometimes really feel like I need one. I’m going to bed earlier and sleeping better without the naps. I’m just going to have to tape the shows on after 10pm (still don’t have Tivo, and the cable company only has digital recording if you get their full package).

The next step is to exercise regularly. Today I took Ben for a walk before picking A. up at school, but I need to work in more real cardio work.

So there it is in black and white. Two days down, hopefully many years to go.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fifth Fall

Yesterday was the first of several trips for us to the pumpkin patch this fall. Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday, and we have a great pumpkin patch attached to a working farm right near us.

I had Harry Belafonte singing "Turn around and you're three, turn around and you're four..." in my head when A. climbed to the top of the haystack pyramid all by himself.

Here's A. doing his Marlon Brando imitation on his first visit to the pumpkin patch at 5 weeks old:

And here he was yesterday. That's Ben at the bottom saying, "How'd you get way the hell up there?"

Friday, October 06, 2006


It's Halloween Craft Day at Chez Lunasea. We made a wreath, and two things to hang in the window. I cut out the "BOO" letters and A. was in charge of decorating them and the spider web with foam stickers. I did the wreath while he was busy decorating - just sticking pipe cleaners (some with beads on them) into a twig wreath. Couldn't have been easier. The picture of the BOO isn't so great because it took me a while to get it hung up there in the window and I wasn't going to take it down just to take a photo.

Self-Portrait Friday

"I drawed a person of myself!"

He explained that the lines mean it's a windy day. I'm thinking that must be why his hair is standing up, too.

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