Monday, May 26, 2008

Growing up is hard to do!

Gabe is at a fun age. I enjoy watching him as he struggles to be more grown-up. He likes to use the proper words, the "grown-up" words for things. So this morning, I refrained from laughing when he informed me that Moses had stepped on his "crutches" with his full weight. Judging by the portion of his anatomy that he was clutching, and the fact that he doesn't currently own any crutches, I can only assume he meant "crotch". I feel that by correcting him with a straight face, I have done my parently duty for the day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I give up!

After weeks of potty training, I'm ready to concede. Timothy wins. Just now, he called me to show that he had used the potty. What I found were several Capri Sun straws, a plastic coin and my toothbrush, all bobbing merrily in the potty. For all I care, he can go to his high school graduation in diapers. There, I've said it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Taking time to smell the roses

When the roses bloom at the Tulsa Rose Gardens, I could happily live there. Sleeping under the stars, smelling the roses, bunnies and squirrels all around...on second thought, I could happily live there but for the squirrels. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a squirrel now and then. But Woodward Park, which surrounds the roses, has a population that is a little extreme. At times, you can be sitting and enjoying nature, and suddenly notice that there are thirty-seven squirrels around you, they have you surrounded, and they're staring. Eryn, I'm sorry. I probably should have included a disclaimer earlier that there would be creepy squirrels in this post. Anyway, the roses are heavenly. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.

Timothy wasn't exactly Mr. Cooperation for this trip to the park. He heard "park" and thought "playground", so he was a bit disappointed. He was also fascinated by the fountains, and in constant danger of falling into them. I posed this picture and then warned Gabe to hold onto Timothy for dear life. In retrospect, that could've caused further mayhem, since Timothy weights only fifteen pounds less than Gabe, and they both could've ended up in the water.

These three roses were growing on the same rose bush. How is that possible?

I love it that Gabe is old enough to enjoy going to a "park" that doesn't contain a playground. If he's not careful, he's going to grow up to enjoy nature as much as his mom does.

I'm not sure how this picture happened, but it's my new favorite picture of my kids. I was trying to pose them, and Timothy wasn't cooperating (shocker!) so I think Gabe was actually getting up to move closer to Timothy so I could take the picture. The posed picture that followed wasn't nearly as much fun as this one. I want this one framed and hanging in my living room.

Another "please don't let your brother fall into the fountain while I'm taking this picture" pose.

For those who haven't visited this particular park and rose garden, it's modeled after a traditional English rose garden. It has several tiers, and each one has neat paths, water features, topiaries, and lots of roses. If I only had a helicopter, you could see it all.

Don't you just want to bury your face in these? I'm sorry for the recent obsession with flowers and gardening. I would like to promise that this is the last such post for a while, but my hollyhocks are starting to bloom, so I can't.

This is one of my favorites. Isn't that a perfect bloom?

Not to be outdone by the roses, the water lilies are also lovely right now. Gabe pointed out that they smell as good or better than the roses. I pointed out that if he didn't stop leaning so far out to sniff them, he was going to end up giving some poor frog a concussion when he landed upon it.

So, if you're stressed out, I would recommend a trip to the rose gardens. It always makes me feel better, as long as I pay no attention to the Hitchcock squirrels!

Gabe saves the day

This is a story that I'm not entirely sure I should tell, as it proves once and for all that my two remaining brain cells are in danger of colliding and causing an atomic reaction wherein my head will implode. However, I feel that Gabe doesn't get enough blog time, so here I go, telling it in spite of my better judgment.

Yesterday, when I picked Gabe up from school, he noticed immediately that I was wearing my seatbelt incorrectly. I had the shoulder harness tucked behind my shoulder, like I'm forever telling him not to do. Any male readers (do I HAVE any male readers?) will not be able to relate to this problem, but it goes something like this: you wear a sports bra, which causes a phenomenon I like to call "unaboob", and the seatbelt won't stay in the middle of your chest. Since I am a Pilates instructor, I spend a lot of time driving around with my seatbelt slowly attempting to decapitate me, sawing away at my neck. The last week or so, it has been particularly bad, and it was driving me crazy yesterday to the point that I tucked it behind me when I pulled off the busy street into the neighborhood. I explained to Gabe the general theory of this (minus the unaboob section of the theory) and was met with "Mama, I know why your seatbelt is cutting into your neck!" Everyone will have to forgive me for this next part, because unless you've lived with Gabe, you can't possibly know how often he knows absolutely everything, and can solve any problem. I responded sarcastically. "Is that so?" I said. "Go ahead and tell me why my seat belt is cutting into my neck!" At this point, Gabe collapsed into helpless giggles as he blurted out, "Because it isn't in that little plastic loop that's supposed to hold it!" And so it wasn't. I felt like a genius. There's a very real chance he's going to start charging me a consulting fee in the near future.


You know those really, really soft "minkie" blankets that all of us with kids seem to have several of? Did you ever notice that when you wash a whole load of them together, when they are dry, it's impossible to keep a grip on all of them as you carry them out of the laundry room? No matter how hard you try, they slither out of your grasp and fall on the floor. Then you trip over them and fall flat on your face, and the entire house shakes when you land. No? Just me? Well, then, I'll be under that rock over there, if you need me for anything.

Play date at Brooke's house

Timothy and Micah enjoyed the sprinkler. They also enjoyed chasing each other in huge circles around Brooke's yard, squealing all the while!
Rachel helped the kids blow some bubbles. Well, some blew them, some ate them. Ok, my kid ate the bubbles. But he wasn't completely alone. Layla later used to bubble wand to scoop up fruit dip. You can't blame her. It was delicious! I'd have used a bubble wand, too, if that was all that I had on hand!
I love this action shot of Layla and Jayden. I also love Layla's swimsuit. Is there anything cuter than little tiny swimsuits?
I'm not sure what Timothy is telling Rachel here, but it looks very important.
My son is goofy. He takes after his father. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it! Thanks for a fun time, Brooke!

Why Timothy eats in his birthday suit

I realize that eventually we'll need to break him of this habit and teach him to get more of the food into his mouth, and less everywhere else. It could be awkward later in life. Most girls don't go on a second date with a man who strips to his underpants prior to dinner. Nevertheless, for now it saves me extra laundry. It would save me even more if I'd just let the dog in to lick him off afterwards, instead of using a washcloth to clean him. I haven't stooped that low. Yet.

Are you sitting down?

...Because this announcement is BIG. And shocking. Today...I fixed something! I fixed the washer, to be exact! I admit, when I say "fixed", I mean that Chris walked me through checking the circuit box over the phone, and I figured out that the fuse had tripped the circuit breaker, or whatever it is that happens, and I flipped the switch back, thus "fixing" the washer and garage door opener. Truthfully, I couldn't care less about the garage door opener, but laundry was piling up, and desperation is the mother of invention. Or the mother of nervous break downs.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hair, there, and everywhere!

I know I'm LOOOOONNNNNG past due on answering the question of what I'm going to do with my hair. The answer is that I got some of it cut off a couple of weeks ago. Spur of the moment, huh? I wanted to take before and after pictures, but I didn't get the chance. Next month, after Amy's wedding is over, there will be a major chop. Right now, nobody can tell I got it cut, even though it was at least a five inch chop. Sometime after June 7th, I'm going to do something drastic. Not a mohawk, though. That would be too drastic, as well as too much work in the morning. I don't have time to iron my clothes, much less my hair! So, thanks for taking the survey, and I'm sorry to be so anti-anticlimactic about the whole thing!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm not a mother, I'm a referee!

Why didn't anyone tell me that as a mother of boys, I would spend most of my time as a referee? Also, while we're asking the important questions, can anyone tell me if there's a school for become a better referee? Because at this point, I make a lot of bad calls. For instance, today I've spent the better part of the afternoon breaking up wrestling matches. So just now, when I was trying to shove the boys into the shower (about like trying to bathe a cat, only more dangerous!), I happened to realize that Timothy's hair was sopping wet. The water in the shower had not yet been started, so I found this to be perplexing. "Timothy," I asked, "why is your hair wet?"

"Because it was in the potty gettin' a swirly!" was his innocent answer.

"GAAAAAAAABBBBBBBEEEEEEEEEE!!!" I bellowed, "What is the meaning of this? Why would you do that? What made you think giving your brother a swirly was a good idea???"

Gabe looked up from his disrobing, and calmly said, "Mama, I didn't give him a swirly, he gave himself a swirly. And he had just used the potty and didn't flush!"

See, bad call. And disgusting (but unfortunately true) story. I hope to complete my referee training by the time my sons are grown, and graduate to the UFC. I'm sure they will appreciate my skills at calling fights and kissing owies.


It has recently been brought to my attention that my children may be a bit...eccentric. They deviate from the standard in so many ways, it's hard to keep track. I was an eccentric child, so this doesn't seem at all strange to me, but I can imagine how it looks from anywhere outside of the family. As Dad recently put it, "Eccentricity doesn't run in our family, it positively gallops!"

This morning on the way to school, I found myself explaining complex economic theory to Gabe. Is this a normal interest for an 8-year-old boy? I'm pretty sure it isn't, but who am I to judge? I kept waiting for his eyes to glaze over so I could stop, but they never did, and I eventually got in over my head. When this happens, I give my standard answer, "I don't know, but I'm sure Daddy does! You should ask him when he gets home!"

Then there's Timothy. I don't even know where to begin when it comes to Timothy. Lately, he has set all requests to song, and they are accompanied by an interpretive dance. As in, "Caaaaan I have some Lu-uh-uh-uh-unch?" over and over again, with strange gyrations. He knows every song on the radio, beginning to end. And the other night in martial arts, when Guru Eric was standing over a couple of kids cuing, "Shake! Shake! Shake!", Timothy felt the need to add, "Senora, shake your body lion!" at the tops of his lungs. I have my ring tone and Harry Belafonte to blame for that one.

We are in the midst of potty training with Timothy. He's gotten down the whole pooping in the potty thing pretty well. The rest, not so much. Being the lazy parent I am, I'm happy to leave it at that. Let's face it, you have to choose your battles. I feel that I have enough battles already. Plus, he's in pull-ups, so he can, for the most part, change his own diaper now. See, told you I'm lazy! Anyway, today he was sitting in the kitchen, playing with his letter magnets while I fixed lunch. Suddenly, he jumped up off the floor and shouted, "Oh, NOOOOO! It's raining in my pants!" I admit, I laughed. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I am speaking of spring, of course! Have I mentioned that I love spring? It's as if the world were trying to apologize for all the mean things it did to us during the winter. Believe me, after last winter's ice storm, it owes us one! First: Wild roses. I planted these seven years ago. I've tried for the past six years to get rid of them. They're the spiniest, spikiest things you've ever seen in your life. But they are lovely when the bloom! They grow all over the place in Oklahoma, and supposedly, they were brought in by the early settlers' wives. The rose that is strong enough to survive a covered wagon ride across country isn't going to be discouraged by a little thing like being dug up by me each and every year!
Second: Irises. These were transplanted from my mom's childhood home, on a farm in Missouri. She and my grandma planted them, and years later, went back to dig some up. The farm house is now in a sad state, abandoned and falling to ruin, but the irises will certainly outlive it. Isn't it funny that my family passes down flowers as heirlooms? I'd rather have these than jewels, anyway!

I truly wish I could figure out a way to add smell to my blog. These smell heavenly!

Despite all my complaints about how tiny my house is, it IS a cute little house. It's not a bad little house, Charlie Brown! It just needs a little love! (And maybe an extra thousand square feet!)

Ok, I know this doesn't look like much. These are the seedlings I planted a few weeks back. If you look closely, you'll see...purple basil! Ta Da! Every day when I check on my seedlings, I feel like I'm getting a little present. It's so exciting to watch them grow. I'm such a DORK!

Because I'm weird and a little obsessed with having a wreath for every occasion, I felt the need to come up with a "live" wreath for this spring. Each and every morning finds me watering my front door. I'm not sure whether I should be impressed with myself, or a little scared for my own sanity. I'm pretty sure I know which of these options my neighbors choose when they see me watering my door. I'm assuming you can't see the lettuce growing from the street.

Last, but not least, there are my peonies. This is only the third year that they've bloomed, and I can't help but think they're gorgeous. The bees all agree with me. Right before they bloomed, I was mesmerized by the site of a huge bumblebee hovering patiently over a bud, waiting for it to open. There were other flowers all around him, but he wanted this one. Really, can you blame him?

Mother's Day

This Mother's Day was a wonderful. My own wonderful mother left to visit her wonderful mother, so we didn't have any real plans for the day. Or so I thought. Chris brought me breakfast in bed. AND he wouldn't let me do any chores. None whatsoever! He even cleaned out the litter boxes, no mean feat when you have as many cats as we do! It was a lovely day, and the next thing I knew, Chris was packing up the truck for a trip to the park! This isn't the park, it's our front yard. We were getting ready to leave and I decided I needed a picture of the peonies in bloom. Aren't they lovely?
Chris drove us to Target to buy kites. Timothy finally got the Elmo kite he's been begging for. Big brother Gabe already had a Spiderman kite. Then we went to Chandler Park. Chris and I have been to this park several times for the Scottish Games, but I've never really explored it. It's a great park!

Here's a shot of Gabe, flying his kite. That's one of the upsides of Oklahoma. It's nearly always kite weather. The down side is when you leave for a meeting of the Wine Club in a very full skirt, catch an updraft, and show some unfortunate jogger that your underwear does indeed match the rest of your outfit. But that's a story for another time.

Gabe and I got our kites up really high! Timothy got his going, then spotted the playground and was so excited he let go of it entirely and ran off. I wish I had pictures of Chris running after Timothy's kite!

When Gabe and I were done flying our kites (aka dive-bombing passing pedestrians and motorists with them!), we joined Timothy and Chris at the playground. Nothing will make you feel better about your own kids than watching other people's.

My kids seemed more interested at climbing the rail fence than playing on the playground. Go figure.

Timothy hadn't had a nap all day, and he was falling asleep in the swing. Then he'd get mad that he was falling asleep, and yell at himself to wake himself up. It was hysterical!

I spent the playground time sitting on a blanket, sewing up the seams in the baby trousers I had crocheted. I also watched the bees, made some clover flower chains, and stared at the clouds. Time well spent, if you ask me!

By the time we finished at the park, it was 4 o'clock, and we decided to go to the Hideaway for some gourmet pizza. The lunch rush was over and the dinner rush had not yet started, so we ended up getting the patio to ourselves. It was a good day. In retrospect, I wish I'd remembered to put some sunscreen on myself after I'd finished putting it on the boys! My shoulders look like boiled lobster!

Gabe's zoo field trip

Yes, it's that time again. I have once again fulfilled my civic duty. No, I didn't vote. I chaperoned Gabe's field trip, for the third year in a row. I am happy to report that everyone survived the experience. It's getting easier each year. By fifth or sixth grade, I expect I won't break out in hives when the note announcing that chaperons are needed arrives. On second thought, by then new problems are sure to have arisen. Like puberty. Help!!! Anyway, a good time was had by all. The kids were supposed to be filling in a map of the zoo, and locating various buildings and exhibits. Here we see Elisha, Aidan, Gabe and Jordan hard at work.

My boys seem to have learned a thing or two about climbing from the mountain goats. This was their favorite part of the whole field trip. We spent a LOT of time climbing this rock. By "we", I mean them.

Here are Gabe and Aidan during our lunch break. The playground where we ate lunch accounts for our second biggest expenditure of time.

Here we are, preparing to go into the rainforest. I LOVE the rainforest. Animals get to roam free in there. Besides, there are three-toed sloths. And a zoo keeper who lets me pet three-toed sloths. Shhh! Don't tell!

Elisha and Gabe are just plain goofy. I'm denying that there is a picture of me doing this exact thing at this exact spot, but at a much greater age. Denying, I tell you!

We met up with various other groups throughout the day. Here we are with Summer's group. Summer is the adorable little girl on the right. I'm sorry to say that I can't recall the name of the other adorable little girl. Gabe would know, but I'm too lazy to get up and ask him. Besides, he's in his room watching "Iron Will" right now.

I have a picture of my group from kindergarten in front of this penguin. I should find it to compare. Nah, I'm too lazy.

This was a high point for me. After years of trying to learn to speak flamingo, this year one came right up and started a conversation with me! I tried to stuff him in my bag to take home as a yard ornament, but the zoo keepers caught me at it and made me put him back. Don't you just want to pick him up and use him as a croquet mallet? No? Just me? Alice in Wonderland, people! The Queen of Hearts! No? Still just me?

Don't know if you can tell, but the tiger is yawning in this picture. Apparently, we bore him.

Zoe asked us to join her group at the elephant house. Zoe is the little darling in the baseball cap, sporting the huge black eye. Zoe and Gabe have simultaneous crushes on one another, best I can tell. My son has excellent taste in girls. I love Zoe! Is it too soon to hope that this crush lasts through middle school, high school and college? Perhaps a little, but that won't stop me!

So, there you have it. Zoo field trip '08. I'm off the hook until May of '09!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Amy's Bridal Tea

Amy is getting married next month, and I am her matron of honor! As such, it was my honor to host a bridal tea for her last weekend. I use the term "host" loosely, since it was actually held at my mom's house. Had it been held at my house, every picture would show seventeen people crammed in like sardines, and me with glowing red eyes and white hair that stands on end. Here is a picture of Amy and me in our hats and tea party dresses.

Here are the goodies! It doesn't look like it, but this was a LOT of cooking by my standards. I never would've gotten it done, except Nichole came over the night before and helped. Otherwise, these pictures would show a pile of lunch meat, un-iced cupcakes, and me with glowing red eyes and white hair that stands on end.

Amy received many lovely gifts, including some very soft towels. As you can see, she was very happy about having soft towels.

Here's the whole group of us, minus my mom, who was taking the picture. We all look so demure and ladylike! I'm thinking that I like wearing hats. From now on, I'm going to wear one everywhere I go. I find that they do a lot to hide the glowing red eyes and white hair that stands on end!


So many of the others that share my house have no dignity. None, whatsoever. For instance, Moses doesn't seem to mind at all when Timothy makes him wear sunglasses. Cats should have more dignity than that.

Then there's Timothy. He got new shoes and he's very proud of them. So proud, in fact, that he likes to wear them all the time. Even if he's not wearing anything else. To be honest, you can't really expect him to have much dignity. He's only three, after all.

Sometimes, however, I can't help but think he's doing it on purpose. Like last week, when he showed up wearing my shoes and socks. The socks kind of look like lederhosen, don't they? Or possibly furry legs.

This is Moses lying on my bed. I don't want to know how he ended up like this. But I'm sure however it happened, it was undignified.

Here's another undignified tummy. This is Miss Mouse. She's experiencing some psychological problems and is pulling out her hair. I saw a special on this disorder on 20/20 and made her watch it, hoping to help her realize that she has a problem. It didn't work. Our vet suggested kitty prozac. He also suggested that might be more trouble than it's worth, since she doesn't seem to mind being bald. Oh, and if you're wondering, she's on top of my pattern book and yarn on my lap. This is why I'm so slow at crochet and knit projects.

Finally, as undignified tummies go, this one takes the cake. Chris was supposed to be overseeing Timothy's attempts to pick up his room before bed. It seemed like it was taking a REALLY long time, so I went to investigate. This is what I found. Remarkably, the room was clean and Timothy was playing happily.

If Chris sees this picture of himself on my blog, he's not going to be very happy with me. Please don't tell him it's here!