Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where'd My Baby Go?

With all the Miss-Pink-focused posts lately, somebody's been getting the short end of the attention stick. At least here on the blog, because goodness knows, he's not letting anyone ignore him in real life for any length of time at all.

Yes, Mr. Blue has transformed himself from a sweet-tempered, laid-back baby into a full-fledged temperamental toddler. He's clingy, whiny, and apt to scream when frustrated. Which is? Pretty much ALL THE TIME.

I thought it was mostly teething--I still think that's a big part of it--but on the mom-to-mom advice web site "Ask Moxie" they had a breakdown of the developmental spurts from 18-24 months, and there it was: at 16 months, becomes whiny, clingy, and scream-y. (Disclaimer: this stage may happen in a different month for different kids, as the comments showed, but gloat not: it WILL happen.) The fit-throwing has to do with frustration: the child's inability to verbalize his wants/needs, and anger when his demands are not met. The first recognition of the human condition, in other words.

I love what someone said: we spend the first 18 months of their lives reassuring kids they're the center of the universe, and the next 18 years convincing them they're not. The thing is, the first stage is necessary for the second to work.

It will get worse before it gets better, apparently. Moxie predicted that "pain in the a#$ will be an understatement" during the 20 month stage, then he'll turn into an angel again after he turns two. So there's that to look forward to.

He LOOKS like a cherub, though, with that silky blond hair, delicious cheeks, and killer long dark lashes. His skin has turned golden brown and his legs still have that fun baby chub. He now calls me "Ma-ma-ma" and gives me kisses and laughs, showing the gaps between his teeth, so I forgive him everything.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Words I Can't Take Seriously

despite the fact that they're not meant to be silly. This post was inspired by my dad using the word "stalwart" to describe a church member during a sermon. My husband and I looked at each other and whispered "stalwart!" It's just an odd-sounding word. So I started thinking about some others.
  • stalwart
  • nimble
  • bulwark
  • akimbo
  • Walla Walla, Washington
  • morose
  • oboe
  • sphincter
  • frolic

Yes, those are all real words. Maybe this will explain why I have started doing crossword puzzles and Scrabble. I have to find SOME use for these obscure words that are taking up valuable brain cells (which could be used to store more relevant information, like, where my keys are when my arms are full of baby, diaper bag, purse, and multiple sippy cups. When that happens I am much more likely to feel morose than to frolic.)

Let the record show that besides "sphincter," Justin's contributions were "orifice" and "gluteus maximus." If you are more mature than he is (or even if you're not) think about it and let me know if you have any to add!

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm a champion

I just finished a one-hour trial of computer Scrabble (yeah, I know I'm a nerd. stop laughing) and Miss Pink was watching me play against the computer. While I was trying to think, she was being just a little too encouraging, like the world's youngest stage mom or the Greg Kinnear character in Little Miss Sunshine, with desperation gleaming in her eyes. "You can DO it! I KNOW you can!" she said over and over through her gritted teeth. When I took a while to think of a word, she'd exhort me, "Just TRY to win. Try really hard."

Um, thanks, because I was really trying to lose. (I won. Good to know I didn't let her down.)

It was sweet, really. But I'm glad it's over now. Makes me think about how I will encourage my kids during their sports and activities.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

So you wanted to know about my vacation to the Silicon Valley in northern California? Well, too bad, ‘cause I’m going to tell you anyway!

During the week, Justin attended the conference and I slept late, read, wrote, watched movies, shopped, showered AND styled my hair without being interrupted…you get the idea.

The two of us had so much fun being together. We were so relaxed. We got to be a couple again. We ate together without hurrying through a meal; watched Blades of Glory when we darn well wanted to instead of waiting until the kids were asleep and we were exhausted; talked about our relationship after ten years (guess whose idea that was—but he didn’t seem to mind); drove around, checked out the local tourist attractions, and…none of your business. Anyway (clearing throat), it was wonderful to reconnect without interruption. At one point I said in a conversational tone, “You know, I’m enjoying being alone so much that I’m thinking about finding a military academy for the kids. I mean, there's got to be one that'll take a four-year-old and a sixteen-month-old.”

We went to San Francisco on Sunday. We started by driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, which I had never visited (Justin had never been to S.F. at all, and kept saying he’d had no idea it was such a major city). The weather was so amazing: a little windy off the bay, but in the low 70s in the daytime and down into the high 50s at night; however, it only got chilly after sunset. We checked out Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 and the trolley cars (but decided not to spend $22 to ride one). I got to shop at H&M, the famous discount department store that does not exist in the South, and I was happy despite the crowd because I got some good deals. I had a sandwich on sourdough bread for lunch (a priority for me, since I love me some sourdough bread). By late afternoon, though, we were ready to rest. We said goodbye to the city by the bay and headed back to our hotel.

On Monday our plane didn’t leave until 3:20, so we toured the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. It was built by the heiress of the Winchester rifle fortune after her baby daughter and husband died; a medium convinced her that continuous building would appease the spirits of those killed by the rifle. So she hired workers to work continuously for 38 years, and as a result the house has 160 rooms and a lot of odd features, like a staircase that goes to the ceiling and doors that open on a 2-story drop, or this window built in the floor.

The house was very strange, with low-ceilinged rooms and lots of narrow little hallways. But the outside was pretty and the gardens were lovely.

I already told you that our plane got delayed and our luggage was put on the later plane instead of the one we were on. It was inconvenient, but not horrible; however, we were both missing the kids something awful by that time. The luggage was finally delivered the next day at 2:00 pm. Ever since we got back, I feel that I can’t catch up with all my responsibilities. I’m off my game, not having practiced for a week. Still, it was worth it to get away, and nice to get back home too.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Today I feel like I'm 92, myself

I'll post an account of our trip as soon as I can (probably tonight or tomorrow); I wanted to include pictures and just now got our camera back from my husband.

But this story couldn't wait. Before we got home, my mom was hurrying around packing the kids' things. She said she knew her body language was talking when Miss Pink asked her, "Mawmaw, is it hard taking care of little kids?"

Mom said yes, sometimes, but Mawmaw loves them anyway. Satisfied, Miss Pink went off to play.

A moment later, Mom heard a little voice singing:

It's hard taking care of little chil-dren
It's hard taking care of little kids...
Especially when you're old!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We're Back

Had a wonderful time. BUT. Plane delayed and changed to flight 2 hours later. No food on flight; shared 2 mini cinnabons and package of mixed nuts with husband. Landed 10:45. Luggage MIA with needed medication inside. Starving. Filled prescription at 1 am, went home and fell into bed at 1:30 am.

Baggage delivered (thank God!) at 2:00 pm today. Hugged kids 1,000,000 times. Can't talk in complete sentences but will update ASAP.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

California or Bust

I'm going on a vacation! It's my tenth anniversary next week and to celebrate, we're going on a vacation! Alone! Without the kids! I can't stop using exclamation marks!!!

When my husband mentioned the possibility of me accompanying him to a business conference, he said, "Now, I'll be in meetings all day and you'll be by yourself until I can get away. Is that going to be okay?"

"Hmmm, let me see," I said. "I'll be in a lovely hotel, where I can sleep late, take a shower with no one crying, watch TV, read a lot, write for longer than five minutes, order room service, swim, and possibly even shop? Yeah, I think I can handle it."

Reasons I'm excited about this vacation:
  • After 10 years of hard work, we deserve to get more "alone time" than a (very occasional) overnight. I'm looking forward to feeling like a couple again. Yes, I know we'll miss the kiddos, but they'll be fine being spoiled by my parents.
  • We don't have to drive. I know airports are a pain, yadda yadda yadda, but I like to fly because you get there quicker.
  • We're going to Santa Clara, near San Francisco, and I haven't been there for closer to 20 years. This ought to be fun. I'll report back. Also, nice weather--gotta love it.
  • Perhaps best of all, since it's a business trip, the company pays. For years I've been mildly envious when friends got to take their spouses along on trips for work, and now it's finally happening for us. Yay! (It also means I won't spend the entire time worrying about every dollar.) Too bad I can't think of any reason the owner of a cabinet company needs to go to Europe (research in Versailles?)

Thanks in advance to my sweet husband, who thought of this and whom I would marry all over again if I were given the choice.