adventures in awesomeness…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s that time of the year where single people rush to get a date or go out in a group or hide under their covers while couples send and receive flowers and chocolates and make reservations for fancy outings called ‘dates’ and cynics complain about how much greeting card companies profit from it all.

Heart-Shaped pancakes taste better than regular ones.

Me, I cleaned my house from top to bottom, from the microwave to under the sofa and didn’t find time to shower until after dinner was started. But don’t feel too sorry for me. I had a blast making heart-shaped pancakes for the boys – which they gobbled up, plate after plate – leaving Matt with the clippings.

Baby hearts for my baby boy.

And then I was pleasantly surprised with a lovely red rose that Mylo almost destroyed and a tin-foil wrapped gift that Matt hid in the fridge. How sweet!

Flowers, books, and Coke Zero… Can a Valentine’s get any better than this?

Um, yes. Two hours later, Jaxon comes home from Preschool with a giant red bag filled with a shit-ton of cards, pencils, toys and candies. Jumping Jehoshaphat! What is all of this? My gift has just been put to shame. Jaxon is laughing (high on sugar, obviously), shoving as much candy into his mouth as fast as he can before I confiscate it, or worse, make him share with Mylo. But that’s not all. Matt starts going off about Jaxon’s Valentine party (and I start wishing I was three) and unveils Jaxon’s party plate. Pizza, cookies, cupcakes, and a doughnut!?!!? We all get excited about how great Preschool and Valentine’s Day is and help Jaxon with his goodies.

Valentine’s Day: It’s okay to be dateless and in yesterdays pajamas as long as there are Choose Your Own Adventure books, a clean house, and lots of free food.

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What To Do If You Wash a Disposable Diaper.

It’s 5:30pm and you are in the middle of dinner, surrounded by sick, hungry children who keep bringing step stools, chairs, potties, overturned toy bins, and anything else they can get their grubby little hands on to get a closer view (and reach if you’re not paying attention) to either the extremely hot pan of meatballs and sauce or the sharp knife you are using to cut lettuce.

You manage to finish cooking without anyone getting e. coli, cut, burned, or dumping the entire meal down to the ever-hungry Beagle, when *buzz* you hear the dryer go off. Seeing as the plates are still steaming, you decide to switch out the laundry before washing hands and sitting everyone down to eat.

The freshly dried laundry feels so good on your chapped, icy hands that you almost throw the clothes on the bed and jump into the pile of them, sinking into a soft sleep. But you know that before you could flop down, two dirty little boys would be in the bed jumping and kicking and throwing clothes around like they were swimming in money. Fantasy ruined, you put clothes in hamper and open up the washer… to a horrible sight!!

Little sticky gelatinous balls.

You’ve seen this before (usually the morning after Daddy gives a baby too many bottles). Your mind starts racing as you begin ripping clothes from the washing machine. Where is it? Where is it!!! Ah ha! The diaper. It’s tripled in size — yet still completely in tact. You stare down at the clothes, covered in goo. What do you do?

1. Eat dinner, because who wants cold meatballs?

2. Procrastinate some more while bathing kids, cleaning kitchen, and singing every clean up song you know to entice your messy little boys to pick up their toys.

3. Look up online remedies, and feel better in knowing that you are not alone in your negligence. Of course, as my mom would say, that is what sorting clothes is for. But who has time for that? Not me.

4. Address the situation. A glass of wine usually helps. Then remove your clothes and shake them out. I was pretty lucky that the gel globules came off most everything except my more-expensive-than-I-would-normally-pay maxi dress. Sigh.

5. Fill washer with water, add 1/2 cup of salt. Throw clothes back in, cross fingers, and wash. I did a 4-minute regular wash.

6. Check for globules. If you’re lucky like me, there will be none, and you can get back to your documentary on life in North Korea.*

* = I did re-rinse my load and then put it in the dryer on a low setting before I got back to my documentary.


On the Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

… Seven Squirming Snapshots, Six Super Strikes, FIVE MOMENTS OF PEACE!!!!! Four Yummy Chocolate Crinkles, Three Rock-hard Sugar Cookies, Two Chocolate Melting Moments and some fabulously delicious Checkerboard Coook-kiiiees!

After almost 2 year of trying (unsuccessfully), we have finally captured a photo of all 5 grandchildren:

These kids make my heart super happy.

Yes, the FroBo 2.0 is taking up most of the photo, but everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. I don’t know how photographers get good photos of kids. It took forever to get that… there was so much squirming and running away and distractions (like looking outside the window at nothing.) I shudder at thinking about getting our own family photo in front of the tree… thank goodness for the tripod and Photoshop.

After a weekend away (and a 3 1/2 hour drive in the pouring rain) its always nice to walk into my clean, yummy-smelling house, ready to take on my freezer full of cookie dough. COOKIE TIME… Game on!

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On the Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

… FIVE MOMENTS OF PEACE!!!!! (in which I played the New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii!) Four Yummy Chocolate Crinkles, Three Rock-hard Sugar Cookies, Two Chocolate Melting Moments and some fabulously delicious Checkerboard Coook-kiiiees!

Much to the cookie monster’s (aka Jaxon) dismay, we are going on a cookie making hiatus to go to San Diego for the weekend! At least there will be Wubzy, trains, Tyler and Mema. And a haircut… but he doesn’t know about that yet.

Hahaha! Bruhahahahaha! Mwhwhahahahahahahahahahah!!!! (This is my sinister mom laugh that is normally reserved for saying no to buying toys in the store.)

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Happy Birthday Jaxon!

Three years ago today baby Jaxon popped out of my vagina and was born into the world (with a kick ass view of downtown San Francisco!) And he was so beautiful and I was so tired. I carried him around everywhere I went, even when I showered, and learned how to cook one handed. He had a massive head that he could barely lift, but bright and curious eyes, ready to take on the world.

And his first birthday passed, and his second, and now, three years later, he’s no longer the baby crawling along the floor or rolling in the dog bed. He is a little boy! Jumping down the stairs, building complex train tracks for Thomas and his friends, singing songs, biting his brother, and whispering to me that he needs Dora and Boots, or Ovaltine, or to pee-pee in the potty. He gives me hugs and kisses and tells me the thoughts on his mind. And then he crawls in the bed and snuggles up close with me, his cold feet tangled in mine.

Jaxon, I am so grateful to have you in my life. I love every minute I spend with you – even the bad ones. You are my first baby and I love you very, very much. Today is a day to celebrate! Happy Birthday!

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The Spanking.

So I know it’s pretty much criminal to spank your kids nowadays because spankings lead to serial killers, rapists, and tea-partists (or marxist-liberals, depending on your viewpoint).

However… I have found that the spanking (most importantly, the threat of a spanking) is in fact a very useful tool in my parental discipline belt. The first time I used spanking, it wasn’t effective at all. My eldest son laughed, then proceeded to thrust his butt into the air and patted his butt again. So, I went back to “No, no!” and just being a human barrier between Jaxon’s curious little fingers and whatever it was they wanted to get into. And I must say, it worked pretty well.

Until a few months ago, when my children were kidnapped by witches and replaced with changelings.

My sweet, well-behaved children.

Two wild and crazy imps, masquerading as children.

“No” was a joke and time out…? Oh you mean peek-a-boo with brother while Mama is trying to corral two little wild ones both into different corners? And then I lost it and spanked the babies. And I spanked them good. But while I felt better that they no longer thought that destroying the house was a game, it didn’t have a long-term effect. Plus, you really can’t wallop your kids in public because you get mad. Well you can, but who wants to risk someone reporting you to CPS? My kids aren’t that bad. So instead I give them a choice. They can do what I ask, or they can get a spanking. After getting a good swatting for running away up two flights of stairs, Little Mylo thought twice about getting up from bed.

Go to bed Little Mylo. He throws himself on the ground, screaming. Do you want a spanking? He says “No” in that oh-so adorable Mylo voice. Then get into your bed. One, twoooo… (two is always dragged out, just to give them a running chance) and before I could say three, he hopped up and scurried over to his bed and put his head on the pillow.

Yes! Me: 1, babies: 0

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Matt and I decided that we should keep a list of all  the strange/neat/amazing/bad things our kids are doing at the moment. Right now there seems to be a lot of them:

The Whisper: Jaxon is potty trained and (I believe) but is woken up by accidentally pee-peeing (as Liz would say, just a quarter size amount) in his underwear. He runs into my room (Mylo following, always) and then taps me on the shoulder. I look down at him and he whispers: Tee-tee ina pawdy. He also whispers for more Ovaltine. It’s a riot, when I can hear  / understand what he is saying. The shoulder tap adds a nice touch.

Jumping: I remember a few years ago we all got together at Stephanie’s house to go out in PB. While we were waiting, Stephanie’s oldest son was jumping from the end table to the couch. I was pretty much horrified. Fast forward 3 years and guess who’s jumping now? And it’s not just from the end table to the couch. Jaxon (and Mylo — the ringleader) are jumping off of couches, tables, and my favorite, the adult-waist-high dresser. Nice. Sometimes they’ll put a pillow down to ease the fall. Where did they even learn that!!??!! Can’t wait for that first trip to the emergency room.

Secret Songs: Mylo and Jaxon have this song. It’s not a real song and it’s not in a real language — because Mylo knows like 10 words and they all sound like “key” or “pizza” and Jaxon is just unintelligible — but they both know the words and the melody. Best part? It’s completely original. Mylo is also singing along to Dora’s Backpack song and knows the ABCs. It’s incredible how musical they are. I love, love, LOOOVE it!!!

Sharing, Kisses, and Hugs: So they fight most of the time. And these are knock out, drag down, choking fights over stupid things like a plastic spoon or Thomas the Train’s caboose. But other times, they are so loving and will just hug and hug and hug. And Jaxon will even kiss Mylo on the mouth (the most I get is the bowing of the head). Also, Jaxon is very fair when it comes to Mylo and always makes sure that Mylo has a turn when they are doing fun things, like being thrown up in  the air by Daddy.

The ‘Ottie: This is Mylo’s way of saying the potty. About a week ago, he got REALLY into wanting to use the potty. I was slightly annoyed at first, because he would push and push and then two drops would come out and then he’d get up and pee all over the dining room.  But a few days ago he starts tugging on his diaper and says “the ‘ottie!” and I almost tell him to keep his diaper on and then I realize — what am I thinking! I put him on the potty and out comes the biggest poop! Whooo!! Mylo starts clapping and peeking into the potty at his poop. Jaxon joins in on the fun by emptying the contents in the toilet. Now whenever Mylo says potty, I put in on — and fast. He can’t yet hold it — so I have a bout 20 seconds before showtime. He claps every time. It’s the most adorable thing ever.

Never Tall Enough: Our boys are still of puntable size and they don’t like that we can put things up out of their reach. So they have decided to take matters into their own hands with the chairs. There is always at least one chair in the kitchen. Some morning when I am fighting to wake up, Mylo will move a chair from the dining room into my bathroom — so he can eat toothpaste. Jaxon likes to use the chair to get on the counter and get the fruit snacks that are stashed way up on the top shelf. They’ll also use chairs (and step stools, over turned laundry baskets – with laundry, toy bins – after dumping out the toys for mama to clean up, of course) to get into just about everything. I’ll be glad the day I don’t have to move a chair out of the kitchen.

Macgyver: Jaxon likes to take things apart. Neat. But since he is a baby, he doesn’t know how to put them back together — and his “take-apart skills” aren’t exactly what we would call delicate. Luckily, the printer survived. The garage gate remote, however, didn’t.

There are so many more, but these are the first that came to mind. I can’t wait for the boys to read this some day. =) Hahaha.


The Beach, the Beach!

Well it’s official. I can return my boxes to Costco because we’re staying put in NoHo!! Matt’s un-ex-coworkers got a new deal together with more money, better benefits, bonuses (bonus!) aaaaand we don’t have to pack up and move again. Effing awesome. I had gotten all psyched about moving to SF but… moving sucks.

And so do foggy beaches. (And while I have been known to bring the sun with me everywhere I go, I don’t think my sun-drawing powers are any match for a San Francisco summer.)

A long walk down, but oh-so worth it.

Jaxon preparing for his swimwear photo shoot.

Playing together in the sun.

The beach! The beach!

Some lucky bastard stole my dream home!!

Mylo the sand-faced glorious one.

Babies and boobies.

Bottom Line: Sorry San Francisco, the beach has put me under it’s magic spell.


Mylo’s Teething Aggressions…

Apparently Mylo has a thing for cool colored, jelly-like objects. Nothing, it seems, is safe from Little Bear.

Mylo can’t wait to smell like man… in the mouth.

So after finding out why it smelled so good in my bedroom, I decided to get the hell out of dodge, pack the boys in the wagon and go to the park, stopping at Starbucks for Iced Coffee and juice boxes.

Instant Stress Relief.

A shot of Mylo worthy of celebrity fame!

The red truck, before it was dismantled and destroyed by Jaxon.

Jaxon shows off his progress with the red truck.

Bottom Line: An afternoon at the park makes everything better, even a bathroom smeared with Old Spice.

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Because Donuts Don’t Wear Alligator Shoes.

If you haven’t seen Black Dynamite, then you need to move it to the top of your Netflix queue, you dig?

So after the extreme heat warning was issued, we decided to hit the beach. The plan was to go to Venice Beach via Santa Monica Blvd. From some way back memory I had many, many moons ago, I thought this would be a quick and easy drive — about 30 minutes and we’d get to pass through some neat areas on the way.


One hour into the drive we pass Beverly Hills and haven’t yet seen a freeway. I am apologizing profusely. At least Mylo passed out in the car. Almost two hours later we arrive at Ocean Avenue. We are not at Venice Beach but at this point, anything with waves and sand will do. And then the real monster rears its ugly head. Parking. $7 / day parking. Waaa?? I knew it would be a bitch to park, but we have to pay too? Damn. After 20 minutes of trying to find a spot in the short-term ($1/hr) parking we bite the bullet and pay $7.

The beach. is. glorious.

My little beach baby!

Mylo was unsure about the waves but found the sand tasty.

Ah… this is the life!

The beach looks good on us.

And by taking the 10 and 405, we got home in 40 minutes… with traffic! Nice.

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