Tuesday, December 25, 2012


So this is going to be a vent session... and hopefully a lesson will emerge. Otherwise, at least I won't have a heart attack from the rage!

This is the Holiday Season. This means that people are supposed to reflect on and appreciate what they have. And maybe just maybe give to others. Now what you're supposed to give is any number of things... help, presents, money, friendship, love, etc. You are not supposed to give other people crap!

I understand that what I do for a living isn't important. It's not even something I enjoy doing, but it's a job. I understand that some of the people in my life have jobs that are important - police officer, teacher - and that's wonderful. They can give back to the community every day.

Well let me tell you something... my job may not be important but my career is! My career is being a mom. My career is being here for my sons and taking care of them. Making sure they are safe, loved and know that their mother is here for them.

I had an important job once. A job that saved lives. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher.  I loved that job. I could have retired at that job. However, I had to make a choice. Family or job. This is a choice a lot of women have to make. Some choose not to have a family. Some choose both. In my case I couldn't stay at the dispatch center and have a family. I never saw my husband - he worked days with weekends off and I worked graves with weekdays off. Not seeing him makes it pretty hard to have kids.

So I made the choice to leave a job that was "important" for one that certainly wasn't. But my job gave me the opportunity to have the two wonderful boys I have now and begin the career of being their mother.

Does that mean that what I do every day is less important then the rest of my family? Does that mean because I left a job that was important I am less important in the lives of my family? Sometimes I feel that's exactly what that means.

You see, maybe I shouldn't have been hurt by this, but I was. Someone posted on Facebook about how they received a tree for free for Christmas (in honor of the 26 kids in Connecticut). They went on to say how and I quote "one of my kids is a first responder, one is helping buddies put a roof on the house of a family in need and we have an elementary school teacher in the family. You get the picture."

Now there are four kids in the family and only three are mentioned. What does that say to the one left out? It tells me what I do isn't important. What I do in respect to this world is unimportant. That angers me. What I do is teach my boys whats important in life. I teach them to respect others, to care about others and to give to others when we can in any way we can.

I don't advertise when I do something for other people. It's not about the recognition. It's not about the thank yous or the kudos or the job well done. It's about teaching my children right and wrong. Teaching them to be caring individuals. But I will give you an example of what I taught them this year.

This year we donated toys to the children's pediatric unit at our local hospital. I took both boys down to the store and they got to pick out several toys they thought would be fun. We then went down and donated them. We left them at the Bank that was collecting them. The boys had fun. I had fun. It was an important lesson for them to learn. There were no kudos, props or adda boys. It is because I only work part time and can spend the rest of my time with them, that I am able to teach them these kinds of lessons.

Isn't that what this season is all about?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Season of Giving

I have recently been confronted by my brother about the amount of "stuff" we give each other.  And by each other he means all of us (mom, dad, hubby, K, C, bro, his fiance, etc.).  He thinks that we should donate the money we would spend on "stuff".  That instead of buying for ourselves we should give the money to a good cause like Susan G. Komen or Dive For a Cure or even our local humane society or animal shelter.  I think these are all great ideas. In fact we donate to CASA every year and I'm more then happy to do that.

And while I understand his point, do we really need more stuff? I have a different point...

I don't CARE!  I love Christmas. I love giving gifts to my family. I love looking for the perfect gifts for my husband and kids. The perfect gifts for my parents and brother. I LOVE it.  I like to go shopping looking for the perfect gifts that I know they will love.  It has nothing to do with reciprocation. It has to with my joy at going out and doing that. The hunt for the perfect gifts. I also will not deprive my children of a joyful holiday.

And please note I did say gifts.  I don't give just one. I can't. This time of year is about me being able to spread joy and happiness to those around me. I find things for people and I only get to do this once a year.  I'm going to enjoy it.

Of course, as I type this I realize I may sound superficial. I mean after all who needs all those "things". But I donate old things that I don't use or wear to St. Vincent de Paul.  I have a rule in my house. If I get a new t-shirt, an old one gets put in the PJ drawer and one of those goes to the donation pile. I try and do the same with the boys toys.

I am going to start something new this year. I'm going to take the boys and buy gifts from the Giving Tree. I want them to experience buying gifts for others. Knowing that by giving these gifts they are giving someone who's in need and may not get a gift otherwise.  I'm excited for this new tradition to start in our family.

I guess my point is this.  Now while I understand and support his point, it's not for me.  I will still donate money to any number of charities, but I will not stop buying presents for my family. The Christmas season is about giving and that's exactly what I love about it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get out and VOTE!

Today is a very important day.  It's about getting out and voting.  Tonight this country - well divided I might add - got to vote for the next President of The United States. As we sat around the dinner table tonight and the TV played in the background we talked about the local elections as well. However, this countries most important job, Commander in Chief is what I was really interested in.

Now I'm sitting here watching the acceptance speech.  It doesn't matter anymore if you voted for President Obama  or if you voted for Governor Romney. It's been decided the people have spoken.  President Obama has been reelected.

It doesn't matter how I voted. In fact I don't share how I voted with people. That is one of the beautiful things about America... the secret ballot. You don't have to advertise who you voted for. I'm proud I voted. I did it. My voice made a difference!

I do wish Oregon still went to the voting booths like other states.  Here, everyone votes by mail. I voted weeks ago. Even if you have to wait in line 3 hours to get your voice heard or, like me, you got your voice heard 3 weeks in advance... it's worth it. It's important. It's your civic duty.

How did the local folks do? Peter DeFazio was reelected. Kate Brown remains our Secretary of State. Looks like Betty Taylor got reelected as Eugene city councilor.
Local measures? Bethel School District got their money. Springfield Public Safety got their money. Oregonians said no to a Private Casino in Portland.  See I paid attention to more then just the Presidential election. Voting is about more then just the CEO of the country. It's about the little city councilors too.

After dinner we were sitting on the couch watching the results come in and I called K over to me. I felt so blessed to be able to talk to him about what was going on. How important this evening was in American history. We elected the 44th President of The United States. To be honest, I don't think he got it... he's only 4. But it's never to early to talk about how voting is an essential American right. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he asked questions and said it was cool.

And you know what, he's right. It IS cool! I voted. I hope you did too. It's downright American! This is the Greatest Nation on Earth. God Bless these United States!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Older then dirt... ok, not really but come on...

Today is my birthday. Am I happy about it? No, not really. Frankly, I'm a bit indifferent. It seems as we age things seem to matter less. You know, like aging. Of course I know I'm not old. I'm only 35, but I feel older then dirt. My kids are 4 and 2 and that makes me feel older then my years.

I think about celebrating my birthday and all I want to do is curl up in bed and not get out. Sleep all day, drink a mocha and watch movies. I, frankly, don't like celebrating my birthday. I would rather the day go by without notice. Maybe that's because my brother (younger by 18 months) teases me that I'm older then dirt. I just would rather not even recognize it.

For my 30th birthday my parents and husband wanted to throw me a huge party. I however, just wanted to ignore it. Seems no one would let me do that - and they still don't. So I told my mother NO PARTIES! I didn't want some big who ha. If they had a party for me I was leaving. I wouldn't be staying around for anything like that. In fact I was hoping to go to go to Las Vegas with my husband and some friends. Just hang out and have some grown up time. Of course this was before I had kids. My mother told me if I was pregnant she wouldn't throw me a 30th birthday party. I just laughed at her. I shouldn't have. Turns out I was 8 months pregnant for my 30th birthday. No party and No Vegas. But it was low key at home instead. It wasn't too shabby.

But if no one noticed my birthday and if no one said "Happy Birthday" that would make me sad. I woke up this morning and had half a dozen texts wishing me happy birthday and got another half dozen before the night was out. I also spent an hour reading Facebook messages that my friends and family had left for me on my timeline. Gotta be honest, other then the spaghetti dinner, those were the highlight of my day.

I know I'm a contradiction in terms. In one breath saying I'd rather it go unnoticed and in the next saying how much I enjoyed being acknowledged. It just goes to show how important birthdays really are. I guess if I'm going to leave a message about birthdays to my kids it's this:

You may feel older then dirt, but when the dust settles, the family and friends around you who celebrate with you are what keep you young. So celebrate, enjoy the day and know age is only a number. How you choose to live your life is a lot more telling then how many years you've been on this earth!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick-or-Treat whore? I think not.

That's right.  Tonight is Halloween. It's a wonderful night and I love dressing up like a crazy Bronco fan and taking the kiddos out.  However, if when my kids get bigger, if they act or dress the way some of those kids did tonight... I will kill them. No ifs, ands or butts.  I will kill them.

I'm talking about the young girls that dress up like hookers. The young boys who don't even put effort into dressing up. The kids who are old enough to drive door to door. The kids that when you open the door say, "Give me some candy!"

First of all, lets address the clothing. Today my kids dressed as astronauts.  They were so cute with their little orange jump suits.  Every house we went to, the people knew exactly what my kids were dressed as.  There was NO question.  Last year, they were dragons.  These are costumes that kids should wear on Halloween.

As we left my brothers house we saw to young girls walking down the street.  They were wearing fish net stalkings and their skirts were so high you could see their cheekers. That's right, their butt cheeks.  REALLY?!? Just because it's Halloween and you can dress up, at least wear some clothes.  Now don't get me wrong.  I own fishnet stalkings and I wear them to work.  But I wear them with skirts to my knee and boots.  Not 6 inch heels and boy shorts.  PLEASE!

My kids saw them and K said "they're not scary at all... What are they supposed to be anyway?"
I was stymied.  What do I say, hookers?  How do I explain that to a 4 year old? My husband - ever the one with quick wit - replied "college girls..."
K just said, "ah... ok..."

That's what I'm talking about.  Really? Since when does hooker clothes equal a Halloween costume? Apparently, I'm too old for this.

Second let's talk about the demand for candy.  That's right... Demand.  Since when is it your right to come to my house and have me give you candy. Isn't it something I'm choosing to do for you? Something that I'm doing for you as a kindness?

If I hear one more kid going up, ringing the bell - over and over again until someone answers, or banging on the door repeatedly then demand candy when the door opens I'm gonna pop them upside the head.  I know if some teen had come up to my door and demanded candy they would have got the... "I'm sorry you're too old to be trick-or-treating and I'm out of candy..."  Really?!?

Also just a side note, but if you can drive to the neighborhood you're going trick-or-treating in... YOU ARE TOO OLD!  Go to a party with your friends. Have friends over and play games. Go to a friends house and watch some old school horror movies.  But for the love of GOD, don't go out and ask people for candy.  Trick-or-treating is for small kids, not you. Get a job and go buy yourself some candy!

I guess its all a matter of youthful teenage stupidity.  But God help my children if I find out when they are teens that they act this stupid.  They will be one hot mess when I'm done with them.  I'm just sayin.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Say HELLO! I'm bat shit crazy!

I started this blog a while ago.  As kind of a way to keep track of things I think that are important for my kids to know in the future.  A way for me to tell them things, just in case I'm not here to tell them later.  You never know what could happen to you tomorrow.  So I decided to reach out and say "HELLO!" to the world.

Will my blog be read? I dunno.  Will it matter to me if the only ones that ever read this are my kids? Yeah. I want this to be helpful to more then just my kids. I want this to be helpful to others as well. Will I tell my kids, family and friends I'm writing this? Not yet. I don't know how I'll do.  I'm not sure I'm going to keep this up. But then again, I just might. At that point I'll tell them.  For now, it's just me and the millions of people out there that read blogs. Or then again, back to the first question, maybe just me.

I don't get to write this blog every day.  I'm a busy mother of two toddlers and a pain in the butt dog and I have a husband I have to help along the way.  I love my family, my mother and father live near by, as do my in laws. My brother just moved home from Alaska. My whole family is here and it's incredible. I love them all. It makes my life fuller.

It seems to me, as I sit here late at night writing, that my life is pretty awesome. My kids are fantastic, even when they're driving me bat shit crazy. My husband loves me, doesn't cheat on me and provides for our family, even when he's driving me bat shit crazy. My parents and brother are alive and well... even when they too drive me bat shit crazy. It makes me wonder if there are perfect families out there.  I doubt it.  Those that think they are are full of crap!  No life is perfect. Awesome yes, but perfect no.

Are there things in life I would change? Sure, who wouldn't change things in their life for the better. But as I sit here tonight, my husband snoring peacefully on the couch beside me, I realize I love my life and I wouldn't change the choices I've made along the way for anything.  Those choices, good and bad, made me who I am. Those choices are the reason I have the husband I do and the kiddos I do.  Even though they make me bat shit crazy on a daily basis.  I just have to figure out how to clean up the guano and move to the next day... And shout "HELLO!" to the world!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Loved ones...

I know it's been a while, I've been busy.  But recently I've discovered exactly what "Loved Ones" means.  Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, brother, sister, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandparents, etc. However, our dogs are also our Loved Ones.

My lovely dog Mulder is 11 years old. She is my first baby and my only girl.  When she dies I will be the only girl in a family full of boys.  She has some medical issues and it seems she is deteriorating fast.  She has spondilosis of the spine and degenerative nerve disorder of the spine.  She is having trouble walking. Trouble standing. Trouble being a dog.

Tonight we went and bought her a wheelchair.  We are going to put it on her tomorrow and see how she does with it.  This is going to change her life and her routines and it's going to change our lives and how we treat her.  I'm not sure yet how, but I know it.

Now we bought this wheelchair used and cheap compared to its new price. Don't get me wrong.  I would have paid twice it's value if I knew for sure it would work for her.  I just don't know yet. Only time will tell. It's like when the vet told me she could have this degenerative nerve disorder.  The only way to know for sure is by a very expensive test (thousands of dollars).  Sure I'd pay it, but would it make a difference for her? The answer was a resounding NO! If she has it (and I'm sure she does) there is nothing they could do for her knowing or not.  So why on earth would I pay that money. If I knew there was a surgery out there that would fix her and give her a longer life, I'd do it despite the cost.

That's what we do for our Loved Ones.  We love them and do anything for them. My dog, my Mulder-Roo is one of the most important people in my lives.  She's kept me sane. She's comforted me when I was sad. She's comforted my children when they were sick. I remember when we brought her home. I remember staying up worried about her because I thought she had a fever and she was just a puppy sleeping and being warm. I remember my fun loving, gregarious puppy and now I have my old and loving dog who would still do anything for me.

Now I recognize that dogs are not our kids. I know that dogs are not people and there are only certain extents we can go to for them. But I would do anything for my baby girl. Just like I would do anything for my baby boys. I just hope that I can help her feel better with this wheelchair and her meds.

Because that's what we do for Loved Ones.  Anything we can. Be it man or beast we love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Babysitters.  A necessity. An unfortunate necessity that I have finally come to realize I need.  Not that babysitters are bad.  Not at all.  I was a babysitter.  But I now understand the parents wanting me to answer the phone, have Red Cross training and be punctual.

Today was a first in our house.  A babysitter.  Not that my kids were only watched by family up until this point.  They had their favorite Nanny Amie to keep them company last summer.  She was wonderful and was actually one of the kids I babysat.  Life certainly does come around full circle. But Nanny Amie graduated college and figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up - and it was not a full time Nanny.  So that left me with a conundrum and find a new sitter.

I didn't want to put them in day care so I needed to find someone to come to my house and watch my two angels (or demons depending on their moods).  Well the worry wart in me was freaking out.  How do I find someone?  Well, I did.  I found someone.

Today was the trial run.  Erin came over to my house (after a rave recommendation from a friend of mine).  I snuck out of the house so C didn't freak out and collapse on the ground in tears.  I was so worried all day.  How were my babies doing.  I tried calling and no one answered.  I was worried.  But like I said, this was a trial run.  My mom was right next door in case of emergency.  And about 20 minutes later I called back, and got an answer.  It was a relief.

When I got home I asked both kids if they had fun and if they wanted Erin to come back and play with them.  They both answered with a resounding "YES".  So I guess that is also a glowing recommendation and Erin will be coming back.

The only problem I had was my own unease.  I know, I have no doubt, things will be just fine this August when my parents are gone.  I have no doubt the boys will be fine and safe in my house with Erin.  I also have no doubt I will worry the whole time they are out of my supervision with her - or anyone.  That unfortunately, is the nature of being a mother.  You worry and no one will take better care of your children then you. NO ONE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Preschool pain

So when I took K to preschool for the first time in September I wasn't sure who would suffer more.  Him or me. Turns out, me. Not that I'm too surprised by that fact. I was expecting to suffer more then he did, I just didn't expect his reaction.  AT ALL!

When we went to school that first day I was expecting tears.  I was expecting a little boy to clutch my leg and beg me not to go.  I was expecting to have to stay in the parking lot for the four hours he was there, just in case he needed me.  Boy was I wrong.  There were no tears.  There was no errant clutching of my leg and certainly no begging.  I didn't have to stay in the parking lot all morning wondering if he needed me.  I did however have to stay in the parking lot and wait until the tears flowing down my cheeks stopped.

I wasn't crying because I was said.  I wasn't crying because I'd left him the caring hands of Miss Rebekah.  I wasn't crying because K hadn't cried.  I was crying because I was relieved he was so secure being there.  I was crying because I knew he was safe.  I was crying because I had raised him secure enough in himself that he was ok in a strange environment.

Does that sound strange.  It shouldn't.  Ultimately I was crying because he didn't need me.  I felt utterly un-needed by my almost four year old boy that I couldn't help but cry.  I was so proud of him.  So proud that he was able to be in that room with kids his own age and learn.  My heart was singing his praise as I pulled out of that parking lot.

I rediscovered that feeling of pride and overwhelming sadness this week when I dropped him off at summer camp.  He was going to be there all day.  His first all day at being away from home.  I was scared stiff!  I had my cell phone on me the whole day and kept checking it, just to be sure if the school called I could get to him immediately!

But that call never came.  That call was never made.  K had a blast.  He had so much fun in fact... he didn't want to leave when I came to pick him up.  He started crying - no sobbing is the more accurate word - and yelling that he wanted to stay.  That he didn't want to go.  He curled up on the floor totally distraught.

I was thrilled that he had had such a good time.  I was tickled pink he hadn't needed me.  I was beyond excited to know that he could have such a wonderful time and not want to end that time.

I wasn't sure who hurt more on either of those days.  I know he wasn't traumatized by the experience, but I can't say the same for me.  I just hope when C starts preschool I'll be a little less traumatized.  But... I doubt it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


For whatever reason I find myself reflecting on the past.  Reflecting on things that were. Things that could have been.  Things that never were.  Things... People... Places... It's amazing how time can change the way you perceive things.  Change how you remember people.

Although there are times in life when I reflect on the things that I wish had happened and the people I wished they'd happened with, I am always brought back to the present.  To the life I have.  To the life I chose.

I ask myself often, if the boyfriend I had in college were the man I married how would my life have been different.  It would have been very different.  I wouldn't have the house I love, the property I love, the children I adore or the husband who loves me.  I know if I married him I wouldn't have any of those things.  I wouldn't have a husband I could trust, or even my own children.  And although I think of him often and even still love him, I'm not IN love with him.  I miss him.  And sometimes I wonder if that's wrong.  I wonder if that's an affront to my husband.  But it truly makes me love my own husband more.  How strange is that!?!

Now what if I married the boy in high school?  The boy who at the time I couldn't imagine being without.  The boy who I cried many nights over because we'd broken up.  Well I tell you what... I would most definitely not be here.  He's a meth tweeker now so I KNOW I wouldn't be with him anymore.

It seems to me the reason we reflect on life and what we gave up is not so we can wonder what we lost.  What we never had.  What or who we'll never have again.  It's so we can look at what we do have and know it's right where we're supposed to be.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby names

Why you might ask am I writing about baby names?  That is simple...

When I was pregnant it was very important to me that my children have names that meant something.  I did not however want everyone and their brothers input.  What I'm talking about is the "what about...." or "I don't like that name..." or "That doesn't sound right, how 'bout...." or "You know that doesn't flow right with your last name." or "did you think about what those initials will spell?" and on and on and on.  Or even better... the look. You know the look that says "wow, you're really thinking of THAT name?!?"  Or how about the laugh followed by "oh... you were serious?!?"

You see I have friends that are currently going through this very problem now.  They aren't sure what they are going to name their daughter so they constantly get name ideas.  You gotta love when people through their two cents in.

So because we didn't tell anyone what we were going to name our sons before they were born we had the "two centers" throwing names in left and right.  Turns out everyone we knew had a different name for our kids before they were born.  They had to call them something because BD1 and BD2 were just not acceptable things to refer to our babies as.

With K, he was our first so people were overly helpful with him.  He ended up with several names.  My dad called him Ishkabible.  I don't know why and I'm pretty sure he made that name up.  Being a huge Bronco fan that I am the name Elway came up.  The Hubz uncle decided to throw out Magwheel.  Of course to be fair he pitched that idea to every baby that has been born in the family (even C).

With C my dad didn't really give him a name.  My mother called him Elam (the homage to the Broncos again).  The Hubz went out of town for a bit when I was nearing my due date with C and I warned him that if I had that baby before he got back I'd call him John Elway or Bono The Edge.  As you might guess another Bronco reference and even better a showing of my love for the best band ever... U2.  Turns out he made it back in plenty of time.  Just to throw people off I called him Seamus (which I really do Love!!!)  Seamus however got "the look" from a lot of people.  A friend of mine at work called him Aaron.

So you see... people come up with names for kids all the time even if the kids don't belong to 'em.

Names are important.  As a parent it's the first gift you give your child.  And hopefully, you've chosen correctly.  Sometimes you don't.  But more often then not, they grow into the name you pick.  What is also important, if it's not your kid... BUTT OUT!  If the parent asks for an idea and you share it but they don't take it... Fine, no biggie... have your own kid and use the name.  No biggie!  I guess my point is you're the one having the kid. You're the one that's going to be up all night.  You're the one - or more appropriately the kid - that has to live with your choice.  So make it.  Embrace it.  Love it.  And don't let others change your mind.  That's the beauty of being a parent.  That's one of the main reasons you get on this ride.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Oral filter

It is true what they say.... kids say the darnedest things.  But let's face reality.  If an adult said the things the kids did it wouldn't be hilarious, we'd just comment about the fact that they had no oral filter.  That doesn't make what the kids say any less funny, just an ironic point I thought I'd make.

Speaking of darnedest things, my kids crack me up.  Now while C can't say much yet - in fact the only words he's ever spoken are mom, dad and no - he still points and says "Ah" with conviction.  We definitely know what he wants when he wants it.  But K... now he's a funny little one that's for sure!

Where do I start?  It seems so many funny things come out of his mouth so often I can hardly keep up.

Yesterday I went to our local dive shop (Eugene Skin Divers) to pick up some stuff.  Well I had K with me.  We went inside, he promptly decided to start playing hide and seek in the dry suits while I got what I needed.  Then we left.  I got him in the car and put him in his car seat and started looking over the stuff I'd ordered (cuz frankly I'd forgotten one of the items and was rediscovering my excitement over it!).  Then my cell phone rang - damn obnoxious thing that it is in life.  I got in the driver seat, got off the phone then looked at K and said "Ready to go buddy?"  His reply, "No mom.  We can't go anywhere!  I don't have my seat belt on!!"  Sure enough in my excitement at my new goodies, I'd forgotten to buckle him into his car seat.  Way to go K for reminding me!

Then the other night my wonderful son was  building with his Mega Bloks.  He loves those things.  This particular time he was building robots.  He even gave each one a job.  There was the Cupcake Robot, Ice Cream/Otter Pop Robot, Coffee Robot and Crane Robot.  Each one made or did exactly what he said it did.  Then he turns and looks at me and hubs and says, "you guys wanna see a show?"
"Sure," we reply.
"Ok then.  Lay down on the couch first."  So of course we do, because he rules our house with an iron fist.  Then he says, "now I need a curtain."  He grabs one of his blankets and holds it up blocking our view of the robots.  "Can you see 'em?"
"No baby, we can't," I replied.
"Ok Robots, Go!" he said and pulled the 'curtain' away with a flourish.  Then he ducked behind the couch.
Now, not wanting K to think we weren't paying attention, and because there was no sound at all in the family room we started making the obligatory "ah", "wow!", "ooooo" to the show.  That's when he jumps up and runs around to me.  "You guys have to be quiet! None of the ooooo's.  You see that sign over there?" Pointing to nothing in particular "it says no ooooooo's.  You can only talk quietly, no ooooo's."
Guess we got a show after all.

One day K and I are driving home from his Nana's house.  He's busily talking on his 'phone', you know the thumb and finger of his hand.  "Who you talking to baby?"
"Uncle K3.  You wanna talk to him?"
"Sure, hand me the phone."  So in an act of pure yoga bendiness, I reach behind me and grab his 'phone' and start talking to my brother.  "Hey there Uncle K3, how are you? Yeah, I'm good..."  I look in the mirror at my son and see him giving me the stink eye and he's holding out his hand - like he wants his phone back.  "What's wrong baby?"
"You're not talking on the phone."
"What do you mean, you handed it to me."
"No," with a tone that says 'you're a retard mom!', "I still have the phone in my hand."
"But you handed it to me."
Again with the retard tone, "no.  I didn't.  Here."

So you see what I mean.  If an adult had said these things we wouldn't find them hilarious. In fact anyone other then my husband and I may not find them that funny, but by God I'm so glad his oral filter hasn't grown in yet.  That kid keeps me in stitches!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Underwater Haven

So this weekend is Memorial Day.  I've always understood what this weekend represents.  I've always honored Vets - on any day - but particularly this weekend.  I think it's important to remember the men and women that serve in the armed forces and that what they do gives us our freedom.  Their sacrifice provides us the opportunity to spend our weekends any way we see fit.  To honor their sacrifice, this weekend, I'm going diving.

Diving.  Underwater Haven.  There is just something about being able to spend an hour underwater, breathing and watching all of the creatures that live in that world.  I want to be able to teach my children not to be afraid of things.  To enjoy the world around them and to save the world.  I hope that one day, the worlds oceans will be a sanctuary that people, who respect the earth, can escape to on a regular basis.  I know that is what happens now for me and my friends.  It's a remarkable experience to be underwater.  To swim with the fish, catch crab and lobster and be stalked by baracuda's.

My sons will one day embrace this world.  They too will be able to swim with the sharks and turtles.  I wonder sometimes what this hobby will mean to them.  I wonder if I will push them into doing something they don't want to do.  Isn't that the fear of every parent.  To let their children grow into the people they are meant to be and not push them into something they aren't?

K wants to be a diver.  I don't think he truly grasps what that means though.  Because he DOES NOT want to take swim lessons.  It'll be very hard to dive if he won't learn to swim.  I think it's cute, but he insists when he's 10 he'll learn to dive.  Ok honey, good luck with that without knowing how to swim!  =)

I know that I had visions of my children playing football and winning the Super Bowl.  I never had visions of my children underwater for an hour.  Now I know how safe diving can be if you know what you're doing and you do it right.  I also know there is no way my husband will let the boys dive without knowing exactly how to do it right.  I also know I want them to learn - for all the above stated reasons and more - but what I know most of all...  It SCARES the HELL out of me!

That's right.  It scares me!  I know logically they will be fine, but the mere thought of them with tanks strapped to their backs and regs shoved in their mouths and that is the only thing keeping them alive?!?!  Scary, SCARY, SCARY, SCARY!!!!

But that's what makes being a parent so... scary.  This is an adventure I want my children to enjoy and learn to love.  But the thought of them in my Underwater Haven... makes my hair turn gray!  Being torn between these two very conflicting emotions... is as natural as the sharks swimming in the ocean.  I know that, but it doesn't stop the illogical thoughts from forming.

So I guess what I'm saying is this.  Enjoy the paradise that is underwater.  Just don't be surprised if I tether myself to your torso and never let you out of my sight when you're there!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A beautiful and painful day

Tuesday May 8th was a beautiful day.  It was a day for remembering.  It was a day to reflect on life and what we actually did agree to.

My friend was murdered just over a year ago.  This day, May 8th 2012, was a day to remember him.  And much to my dismay and heartache, many, many more men and women.

I went to Salem, OR with my friend Becky.  She and I have been friends for quite some time and we both knew Chris.  We took this trip together.  To be there and support each other and to support Chris's wife and our friend Kristie.  This was a memorial to honor fallen police officers.  Officers killed in the line of duty, doing a thankless job that many people would never do in a million years.

I stood outside of the memorial, a memorial that should never have been created, and looked in awe at the sheer number of names written on it.  There were 172 names.  My friend and two other officers were remembered that day.  Their names added to the wall.  Like I said, too many names.

I looked at the families of the survivors who were gathered there to remember their loved ones.  Not just my friends family but others too.  Too many others.  They were all their to celebrate the lives of the ones they lost too soon, ripped from their lives.

Remembering Chris that beautiful sunny day in Salem I couldn't help but think of my husband and children.  I couldn't help but think of what my life would be like if my husband were murdered and take from me.  From my sons.   I hope I have just an ounce of the strength and courage Kristie does.

Kristie is a remarkable woman and she gives me the strength to know I too could carry on with the same grace and dignity she does.  I cannot imagine her pain.  I cannot imagine what she has been through this year.  I cannot imagine what her children, who miss their father immensely, have and are going through. 

This day gave me... love.  Gave me... pain.  Gave me... relief.  Seeing the sheer number of people that gathered to celebrate my friends gave me peace. To be honest what they say is true.  With the passage of time it is easier.  It's still just as painful but remembering him is easier.

This is why we agree to life.  It has it's ups and downs but thankfully more ups then downs.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

WildLife Safari

Today we went to WildLife Safari.  It was truely an epic day! 
We headed out early, I was hoping C would catch a nap on the way down - since it's over an hour away - but no luck.  That is until we got there.  That's right, just as we get there, C falls fast asleep.  Unfortunately, he doesn't sleep for long.  But no biggie we were heading into the park any how. 

The last time we were here, C was just a little thing, not even a year old yet.  So I was excited to see his reaction to all of the animals.  Now K was big enough last time to remember and love every minute of it.  So I knew he'd love it again.

WildLife Safari is a drive through zoo... Like the name suggests, a safari.  It's pretty cool.  You drive about ten miles per hour and just go. You can stop your car wherever you'd like, but DON'T get out of the car... after all these are WILD ANIMALS!  The animals roam free, and most can come right up to the car.  In the "good old days" every animal did - even the Cheetahs.  That was the best part about the place.  Now however, the cheetahs are contained behind fences like any other zoo.  Oh, well... it's still awesome.

K sat on my lap as I drove and C on his dads lap as we made our way through the safari.  At one point an osterich stood right next to the driverside window.  Now when you enter, they warn you that the osterich and emu's running around can and will stick their heads in your windows and peck at you if given the option.  So I had rolled up our window.  This thing stood right outside and pecked at our window.  K was thrilled!  He laughed hysterically.  C even was giggling from the next seat over... probably mostly at his brothers laughing, but it was priceless. 

C waved at all the animals as we drove by and even blew kisses to them.  And to top it off... it was the first time he got the "blowing kisses" part right.  Before today he would just hold his hand to his mouth...  Today, he was actually making the motion of moving his hand from his mouth.  It was so cute!  Of course, when I asked him to blow me a kiss, he gave me a sly smile and looked back out the window at the animals.

We had a wonderful time, looking at animals and just being a family.  Of course C didn't get a nap on the way down.  So I was sure he'd sleep like a baby on the way back.  How could he not, he was exhausted.  But NO! He was awake the whole drive back.  He was awake and screaming the whole way back. 

Despite C's melt down on the way home it was an awesome day.  The sun was out and shinning, the animals were out for all to see, and we were together as a family.  Yes, this is what I agreed to!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Talk...

It's been four years since K was a baby.  I find it hard now to remember certain things about that time.  It all passes so fast.  In fact, C is only 18 months old and I find things hard to remember about his growing achievments.

One thing that is currently happening is C's inability to talk.  I'm not sure he can't talk so much as wont.  I have a little caveman baby.  That's the best way to describe C's communication efforts.  Sure he knows some sign language, all of which he has altered to his own language, and he says "mamamama" and "dadadadada".  But the rest...

He did say one actual word the other day.  It was dinner time and he was eating something but didn't want what was currently being shoved in his mouth on the fork.  He looked at it and said "no" then pointed and said "ah" at his plate.  No more since...  he hasn't repeated it, he hasn't expanded his vocabulary either.  I'm not surprised his first word was "no".  Afterall, besides his name, that's the word that he hears most.  He is into everything and anything and is constantly being told no... even by his big brother.

Long story short... grunts and the occasional "uh-huh" are all I get.  And you know what... I'll take it!

One thing I do remember vividly about K's previous four years is him learning to talk.  Of course I don't recall exactly when he said his first word - apparently I didn't get an opportunity to write that in his baby book - but it was "tree".  I remember, how excited I was that he was finally talking.  How I couldn't wait for him to talk so I could hear what he had to say. Truth be told, I wish he had taken longer.

Don't get me wrong.  I love to listen to him.  He's so smart and he's funny.  He's clever and asks good questions like "mom, what's an ecosystem?" (at 3).  But my God... he's a Chatty Chester!  He never stops talking.  He runs his mouth almost the entire time he's awake.  I relish the times when he's watching a movie and he's actually quiet.  I love the times when he's alseep and I can hear myself think!  But on the other hand, I love the sound of his voice.

Do I want C to talk?  Absolutely!  Do I want him to talk tomorrow?  I could wait a bit.  I know what he wants and I understand him, and that's what is important.  I'm just not looking forward to competing Chatty Chesters!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Football Baby!

Saturday was an awesome day.  Unfortunately, C you are too little to join us on this outting but boy did big brother and I have a wonderful time watching football.

I took K to his first football game ever on Saturday.  It was the spring scrimmage for the University of Oregon Ducks.  The Ducks were honoring the men and women in the armed services that are fighting for our country.  It was incredible to see the men and women there in uniform enjoying the game.

Anyway... back to the main point of this story... Go Ducks!  I love football more then I can say and to be able to share this experience with my son.  Holy Cow was I excited.  K... not so much.

Now K, you've never been one to watch football on TV, but like I said, I LOVE FOOTBALL, so I really wanted to take you to a game.  When C gets bigger, I'll take him to a game.  Now, your dad doesn't like football so much so it falls to me to expose my sons to this fabulous game.  A game I grew up loving and I hope you guys do too.

We got to the game and they had a fly over of two F-14 fighter jets.  You were in awe.  You love planes so this was a spectacular bonus for you.  The game started, and since it was a scrimmage we were rooting for both sides.  We yelled when touchdowns were scored, when interceptions were made, when fumbles happened, and when there were awesome hits.

Then halftime.  It was an incredible ceremony of honoring service members world wide that had given their lives for their country.  It was very moving.  At the end of the ceremony there was a fly over by a Coast Guard Helicopter.  You were again in awe.

The game continued.  More rooting for the players, watching how the kids play and attack the ball.  You were restless, but seemed to enjoy it.  Then at the end of the game we got to go down on the field.  You didn't want to, you wanted to leave, but I wanted to.  I wanted to go and take your photo on the field.  You went down to humor me and when we got down there... You loved it!  You ran around on every 10 yard marker as fast as you could.  Again, Awesome!

When we got home you couldn't wait to tell everyone (Gram, Pa-o, Dad, Uncle Keith) about the game.  You know what you told them.  Not about the game. Not about the players.  Not about the touchdowns, runs or tackles.  You told them about the two Fire Jets and Hollycopter that flew over the stadium.  You loved it!

Finally there was something, at least close to football, that you were excited about.  This was something I couldn't wait to share with you.  Football is something I look forward to sharing with you and your brother in the future. 

But my sons, I want you to know I will not push you to play.  I had visions when I was pregnant that you would both play for the Denver Broncos (QuarterBack and Kicker respectively).  I still hope you do one day.  But if you guys have nothing to do with football, other then watching the games with me on Sundays, I will be one proud Mom!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Every morning is a catch-22...

One of my most cherished routines of the day is my morning.  I should actually say, our morning. 

K, every morning you wake up and toddle into my room.  While I am often wishing that you'd go away and sleep a little longer (or at the very least stay in your room so I can keep sleeping!) you come in very quietly and climb into bed with me.  More often then not you will just lay there for a bit until you just can't contain yourself any more. 

Then as you poke me in the shoulder I hear you whisper... "Mom, I'm ready to watch cartoons now."

As I unbury my head from the pillow that is allowing me the false belief that it's still dark and I still have hours left to sleep, I see you only inches from my face smiling.  Your eyes twinkle.  It's all I can do not to wrap my arms around you and hug you tighly!

"Ok baby," I say and I sit up in bed looking for the remote. 

"I love you mommy!" you exclaim and wrap your arms around my neck.

I turn on Mickey Mouse and rebury my head under the pillow.  I have no illusions that I could possibly go back to sleep.  I realize that the noise from the TV could wake your brother and I pray that I have a little bit of quiet time left before that happens.  Fortunately, the volume is low enough he doesn't wake. 

You however, that's another story!  You laugh almost uncontrolably as Goofy or Donald does something you just find hysterical.  That, of course, makes me chuckle under my pillow.

I long for the days when I could stay up until midnight and sleep the next day until noon.  On the other hand, I would never trade our morning routine for anything.

Monday, April 23, 2012

starting out

So this is going to be the first of many blogs to my children.  That's right.  My kids.  I love them dearly and I want them to know how much I love them.  Here's why...

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the murder of my friend.  He was a wonderful man.  But beyond who he was... he left behind a family.  A family who, until that day, couldn't imagine a life without them.  A wife.  Two daughters.  A father.  A mother.  A sister. A brother.  That is just the beginning.  Those left behind when he was murdered must now come to terms with a man taken before his time.  Taken by force.  Taken when he had so much left to give.

It is because of this loss in my life, this loss in the world, that I want my kids to know how much they mean to me.  Despite the fact that sometimes I want to strangle them!

Sometimes I ask myself... why on earth did I have children?  Why on earth did I want to do this to myself?  These two little helions are the most important thing in my life (next to my husband that is) and yet... sometimes I can't wait to get out of the house and go to work.

I had children because I wanted to.  I wanted to take care of someone and to love someone unconditionally.  That is what parents do.  Love unconditionally.  I don't believe you truely figure out what that love is until you have your own child.  I can't explain the depth of this love in words. I can't explain how incredible being a mother is.  Of course, I think parents love their kids unconditionally because if they didn't, the world population would be A LOT smaller.  Because parents would have them taken out! 

Remember that.  I love you, but you're lucky!