Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chitchat today.

Coversation (or lack thereof) at the dinner table.
[chew, chew] ", uh......................Mom?"
"What, bud?"
"OK, I'm going to start over."
"Okay, go ahead." :)


I was subbing today. This is a direct quote from a 3rd grader's persuasive speech on why you should not smoke:
"...and when you litter your cigarette out the window, you are killing polar bears."



Here's the situation.
I went to pick up the kids from my mom's house after teaching all day. I needed to take a Tylenol for a headache. I had the pills and saw a cup of water sitting next to the sink. Not really thinking, I just grabbed the cup and chased down the pills. I got one gulp down before I spit the rest out.

Me: Ew! What did I just drink? It tasted like salt!
My mom, looking up and thinking as she looks at the cup: Uh-oh.
Me: WHAT?! Is it cleaning solution or something?!
My mom: Uh, no, but earlier Carson wanted to see what salt tasted like, so I let him lick some, and he, of course, didn't like it, so I gave him that cup to wash his mouth and spit it out.
[long, disgusted pause]
Me: Oh that's fantastic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad."

That's one of my favorite lines in one of my favorite movies, Sense & Sensibility. The woman that he loves is gravely ill, and most likely going to die. Colonel Brandon is waiting, like the rest of the house, for some news or some change, and the helplessness is killing him. Not only does he not mind being asked for a favor, he is being eaten up with the need to DO SOMETHING.
On Saturday, I was told about a tragic plane accident that took the life of a local pilot the night before. I know his wife casually, we've met a few times and have several mutual friends. They have four young children. For some reason, I have not been able to shake the sadness. I woke up that night several times thinking about Holly, and how she's probably fading in and out of sleep as well, but every time she fades into consciousness, she's smacked in the face again with the horrible truth that she'll never wake up with him again. I can't even begin to fathom the engulfing pain of telling your kids their dad is not coming home. I barely know this family, and yet I was overcome with sadness for them. Obviously, as a young mom myself, I can't help but put myself in her shoes, though I was trying not to "go there" in my imagination, and I was left feeling so helpless and shedding many tears for a pain that wasn't really mine to own. I just prayed and prayed and prayed.
Then today, I stumbled upon THIS LINK from a few of those many mutual friends--they were sharing it on Facebook. The title of the blog post? THE RESNICK FAMILY: HOW YOU CAN HELP. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I don't know this friend of theirs, but I feel like giving her a huge hug. (And yeah to my FB friends for passing it along!) She's taking action, giving information, spreading the word like wildfire and organizing all the hundreds of helpless mourners--even in our many varying levels of intimacy with the family. If something like this ever happens to me---one of you DO THIS. If something like this ever happens to one of you--I'm going to do this for you. Now, I have an "occupation." Yes, it's probably just going to be a Target gift card, but you know what--somewhere down the line, it will be used. It will be one less thing for Holly to have to worry about. She might not even remember who I am, certainly doesn't care right now and will never even know it's from me. But in situations like this, I'm with Colonel Brandon: taking action is the only way to combat the grief--even if sometimes the grief is vicarious.
(By the way, I don't think it would be out of line at all for strangers to reach out to this family as well. :) The step-by-step instructions are hard to miss.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A new kind of embarassment.

Confession time.

The other day the kids and I were walking in a public place and I decided it would be a perfectly acceptable time to, well, I'm just going to say it: to pass a little--a LITTLE--gas. Victimless crime, no?

Enter: LoudMouth ThreeYearOld.


Huge fake smile, grab his arm and walk quickly away from anyone in ear shot.

"Hahaha! Carson, you're so silly! What are you talking about!??! I don't smell dirty!!!"

"YEAH YOU DO," he sticks his nose right in my rear end, for which he happens to be the perfect height.


"Hahaha! No it's not! You must be smelling Sydney! Maybe she's poopy. You're so silly!
Now shut up kid and keep walking."

Just kidding. Thought it, but didn't SAY it.

AAAAANNNNDDDD add that moment to the myriad of ways that motherhood has humbled me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Reality doesn't always bite. (opinion piece)

I always bristle at the term "reality television." For some reason, that phrase reminds me of the non-scripted shows that I DON'T like (such as any dating "contest"). By nature, I am a fan of well-written comedies or dramas, with good acting and clever dialogue. By reputation, I like to cling to snobby literary choices. ;) However, it would be totally hypocritical of me to write off all reality tv, since there are a few shows that I do follow. No, that is misleading. There are a handful of shows that I really LIKE. I admit it! Amazing Race has churned out some fabulous seasons that I have watched and loved. Last summer I referred to (and surely I will post again) about probably my favorite reality show: So You Think You Can Dance. And ever since I accidentally caught the first episode of the first season of American Idol, I've been unable to truly stay aloof.

There have been seasons that I watch more than others, especially if I don't have any real favorites, but this season, in my humble opinion, had the best top 5 vocalists of any past year. I thought all 5 were really talented and deserving of being in that group. Speaking of #5, I totally loved Matt Giraud's voice and style--remember him? Now, there's always talk on and off the show about whether or not this is a truly a "singing contest" or a popularity contest. Don't kid yourself! It's very much both. But, hello?! So is the music industry. I don't spend my money on the artists who I think are the most talented. (If that were the case, I'd have a lot more Andrea Bocelli and not a single Britney Spears song on my iTunes.) I spend my money on songs that I ENJOY. We all purchase music that sounds good to our tastes. The artist's public personae certainly plays into our choices, but I don't think we'd buy something we didn't like just because so-and-so seems like a nice person.

So, in watching and voting for AI, I was pleasantly surprised for Kris' win. Simply because his performances were more to my taste. I think most of us agree that Adam was more vocally talented, but I didn't vote for him (and yes, I actually picked up my phone and voted 3 times on Tuesday night) because I was totally not into his style. Plus, I've always had a soft spot for guys with guitars. I have been mucho impressed with both the finalists and how gracious they have been. Kris has been a good winner and Adam's been a good loser. However, with all the attention, press and natuaral ability that kid has, I think loser is an outrageous contradition.

While I'm sure some people include their perceptions of the contestant's off-stage life in their voting decisions, I honestly don't think I did. However, it didn't bother me to find this video on facebook the day after the winner was announced.

Did you watch AI this year? What did you think?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Simply adore.

This little lady has no shortage of adoring male fans in the house. Her daddy and her brother practically compete to see who can give her more kisses, who will be the first to greet her in the morning, and who can make her laugh the most. There is no better word to describe their affection than pure adoration! (BTW: this is Sydney's equivalent of a binky or thumb sucking. When she is getting ready to sleep, she puts Minkee in her right hand by her right cheek and sucks the three middle fingers on her left hand.)

Funny guys all around!
And, as you can see, the adoration goes both ways.

Monday, May 18, 2009

To three or not to three?

...that is the question. At least, that is a question that seems to have come up a few times in our house lately--whether or not we'll have a third kiddo. Partly it is frequently under discussion between Trent and me, and also, Carson chimes in quite a bit about his desires. Fortunately, we are not at all in a crunch time, as we really like the age split between Carson & Sydney, & if we DO decide to "three" then we don't need to get the ball rolling (so to speak) for quite a while.

The funny thing is, Trent and I always assumed we wanted three kids. Not sure why, just thought that was a good number for us. But now that we have these two...both of us have a surprising feeling of completeness. I think part of it is that we were sure we didn't want an only child, so that has been solved. And also, for us, it's been an added joy to experience a boy and a girl. But does that mean we're done? We honestly don't know! I've been given all kinds of input, from "If you don't know if you're done, then you're NOT done," to "You should never have more kids than you have hands." We're also open to (I wouldn't even use the phrase "considering" because that would indicate we've done some research, which we really haven't) adoption, but we've researched enough to know that there is a huge financial cost, and we're not sure we can (or choose to?) overcome that. I won't go into my list of pros and cons of having a family of five(this time--you know it will come up again!) b/c I think many of you know them--either I've shared mine or you have your own.

So, here's how Carson's mind has been working regarding this issue. This was a conversation we had in the car the other day:

Carson: Mom, when Sydney grows up and we get a baby brother, I don't want to name him Max anymore. I want to name him Shasta.
Me: Uh, OK. That's an interesting name. Where did you hear that?
C: I just thinked it up myself.
Me: I like it! But what if we don't end up having a baby brother?
C: Huh?
Me: What if we just have 2 kids in our family?
C: No! I want a baby brother!
Me: Well, we just don't know yet how many kids we're supposed to have in our family. We need to pray about it.
(A few seconds of silence pass.)
C: Mom! There's a policeman! Ask him. He'll know how many kids we're supposed to have in our family.
Me: Oh, honey, I don't think he knows. He knows things about how fast we're supposed to go and how to help people, but he doesn't know this.
C: But who DOES know?
Me: Well, right now, only God knows.
C: Then we need to ask him.

Three days later at breakfast. Carson is the only one sitting at the table, the rest of us are buzzing around with morning business.
Carson: Hey! We need to pray.
Me: Okay. [We both pause and walk over to him for a quick morning prayer.]
Carson, very seriously: Don't forget. We need to ask Jesus how many kids we're supposed to have in our family.
Me, smiling: Okay, I won't forget.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"The sun is out! Hurry! We're going outside THIS MINUTE before it goes away!"
This is basically what I said yesterday. Good thing, too, because today is like out of a movie set on the day when they were going for "gloomy and wet" backdrop. Seriously, it's ridiculous. It's MAY for crying out loud. My California & Arizona friends will probably mock me, but when the sun comes out, we drop everything and RUN for the daylight. This year seems to have been particularly...soggy.
BUT, we do have sunny days and boy howdy, we do NOT take those suckers for granted. Yesterday afternoon we spent every second possible outside. Of course, to honor the occasion, I took about 111 pictures of Sydney's new 99cent hat.
Swingers: Big bro guarding their "fort."
Sydney's saying "Everyone look at my teeth!" (Enlarge for full affect.)
"Um, hello, I said check out my 2 teeth. They are, like, so cool. I can eat cheerios, goldfish crackers and pasta now."
She's just starting to figure out that sitting still can get kind of boring when you want to explore things.
But she's still mostly a happy baby!
I know this umpteenth picture is gratuitous and repetitious, but for some reason, I just love it. Please imagine her flapping her arms and squawking. You a bird.
These rainy days require a mother to get creative. It doesn't happen every day, but sometimes I'll cook something up. Long live IKEA drawing paper that comes on a huge roll. Word to the wise, paint tape is made for protecting your molding/window sills from paint. It is not made to be particularly strong when holding things on the wall. It kept falling and we kept putting back up and adding more tape. Thus the Morse Code pattern of the blue tape. Another word to the wise, check to make sure that your markers are washable BEFORE YOU LET YOUR KID DRAW ON THE PAPER TAPED LOOSELY TO YOUR WALL.

Here's to a sunny weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

This little piggy a specialist.

So here's a fun little piece of trivia about our little Sydneybird...she has what we call "special toes" on her left foot. To be honest, I didn't even notice it on the day she was born...even after I held her feet in my hands for Mike to take a picture. I don't think he noticed it either! Trent told me a few hours later. If you look closely, you can see what we initially assumed was just her 4th & 5th toes fused together. They have 2 separate toenails, and you can feel that the 4th toe is a separate bone. But that fifth toe is pretty big. Our pediatrician and a couple other pediatricians that were on call that week told us it was no big deal and that we could probably get the toes separated very easily around her first birthday. Well, at her 6 month check up, I asked the doc if he could recommend the next step for the toe sitch. He sent me to a very experienced pediatric bone and joint specialist up in Portland.
When we got to the specialist, he looked at Syd's foot, and the first thing he says, totally non-chalant and matter-of-factly: "OK, no problem. Looks like we've got a pretty obvious sixth-toe mutation." Me: "Huh?"
He went on to explain that separating toes 4 & 5 would not be wise. His reasons were about skin grafts, skin cells, toe muscles, aesthetics, etc. He totally convinced me. However, he said he's quite sure she has a sixth toe, or at least part of a sixth toe bone in with that big 5th toe! He said it will probably start to rub on her shoes when she's walking, so THAT he would gladly fix. According to him, it will be an easy and safe procedure. We're supposed to come back next year with an x-ray after she's steadily walking. I think making that last toe smaller will make her "special toes" almost unnoticeable.
Isn't that strange? He said it's genetic, so if neither Trent nor I have a sixth toe (we don't) then she is the first and her children will have a 50/50% chance of having one.
Now, we've had many conversations in our family and amongst our friends about whether or not to even bother doing any procedures. I mean, it's her littlest toe. On ONE foot. Talk about the least obvious birth defect. And don't get me wrong--I am BEYOND grateful to have a healthy, happy, gorgeous (I think) baby girl! I thank God every day for her health.
But, she's my baby girl! I want to give her every advantage in the world. I would GIVE her the world, if I could. Also, my baby girl will grow up to be a self-conscious middle-school girl someday. And I've BEEN a self-conscious middle-school girl. There will surely be something else about her body that will cause her to feel inadequate...if this is one thing I can fix early on,
why not?
If, for some reason, the doc changes his mind and says we can't do anything (or it turns out to be outrageously expensive), then I won't fret about it one bit. Either way, we're already planning to pour our energy into consciously building up this little Bird's self-esteem and self-confidence as she grows. We are learning and reading about how to plant those seeds in her even as an infant. I am going to fight every outside influence that tries to tell my daughter that she is not _______ enough, by constantly telling her that SHE. IS. ENOUGH. Exactly the way she is.
So although it may sound contradictory to tell her that after I went ahead and changed something about her, I think she'll understand. I guess I just can't turn off that Mommy instinct that wants to make things as smooth as possible for my babes.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

You've got it backwards.

I know this day is partly to "celebrate" me, but when I look at these faces, I realize I'M the one who has reason to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dance Party USA

I was organizing all of my little 60-second videos from my digital camera the other night and came across this one. This is a very common scene in our house in the evenings. We have a well-worn dance music playlist on our iTunes, and SURPRISE!--Carson is Pantless Wonder again. Be sure not to miss his memorable appearance in the first 3 seconds, because he never comes back in the frame. Sometimes this father/daughter dance makes Sydney melt into giggles, but this particular time whe was being stoic. It still is pretty cute, no?

This one is an oldie, from when Carson was about 16 months old. If you'll notice, his dance moves haven't changed much. My dad is in the background because he was our part-time roommate and landlord at the time. :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Carsonisms & messy mouth

Random pics of the Birdie after eating pureed prunes. YUM!

And some Carsonims:
At the dinner table, out of the blue...
(Trent and I stop talking and just look at each other and at Carson in surprise and curiosity...)
Me: Where did you learn that?
Carson, smiling: Word World.
Trent: What does panic mean?
Carson: (thinking)
Me: What does it mean when someone panics?
Carson gets down from his chair and says: It's when people don't know what to do and they run around like this (he proceeds to scream and run in circles, waving his hands in the air).
Me: Actually, that's pretty much exactly what it means!
Also, Carson has been interested in weddings and marriage lately, b/c his grandma showed him a video of our wedding. After we worked out that he couldn't marry Sydney, but that he could marry Abby, and that Sydney could marry one of his boy friends, he says to me with excitement:
"Let's call 'em right now and tell 'em!" Hello, arranged marriages!
Getting dressed one morning. I choose a new sweater I got for him on clearance at the Gymboree outlet.
Carson: NO, mom! Not this sweater!
Me: Why?
Carson, absolutely exasperated: Because everyone will tell me how good it looks!