Friday, May 29, 2009

Last call

I'm buying dance tickets tomorrow, so anyone who wants one, you know, call me or something. I might be able to get some next week, but no promises.


Is it just because she's my kid that these pictures are totally hilarious?

Seriously, look at that face!

I'm cracking up, the cuteness will kill me

Ahh, there you are my monkey


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend- Part 3

Actual Memorial Day, like the day. When Monday feels like Sunday, and we swim and BBQ and ring in summer, even though it's not officially summer for another's summer enough.

There isn't a lot to say, no big story to tell, no hilarious potty incidents....although we did forget the diaper bag with Cali's bathing suit and change of clothes, so she "swam" in her dress.

Ok wait, I totally take that back. There was the hilarious incident of me putting all of the hot dogs on the grill, then deciding that maybe the grill should be lower, attempting to do just that and every single one of the dogs rolling off the grill into the ash and charcoal. Patrick managed to fish them all out and I took them in the bathroom and washed.....scrubbed them. We didn't tell the kids, and I ate steak.

As mentioned in previous entries, Caliana is.......was opposed, very opposed to swimming. So she played in the sand with the sand toys for a long time. We keep our sand toys in this big green plastic box. It was standing up on it's side and I happened to spot Cali just as she closed herself inside. I'm glad I saw her at that moment or I would have been searching for her for a long time. She was in there for a good 15 minutes with nothing but a slice of watermelon. I don't know how she got so strange. Lord knows my husband and I aren't odd in the least.

She eventually made her way down to the water where the other kids were playing...

and decided....maybe the water isn't too bad...

A good time was had by all

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend- Part 2

After my adventure from the previous day, Sunday morning was like a long lazy yawn. I came awake slowly, there was a tiny monkey balled up next to me on the bed, the morning spring sun just starting to stream through the trees outside my window. I contemplated an early church service, but decided, why ruin the morning with an agenda and especially, a time limit.
Patrick and I sipped on coffee and cooked together. Breakfast burritos, I do the eggs and meat, he shreds the cheese and fries the potatoes. We make a good team.

Later in the afternoon I took Cali outside for a little bit. It was pretty hot out and the sun was killing my sunburn through my jeans, but it was worth it. She's finally learning to pedal the awesome bike she got for her birthday last year. But I think her favorite part was helping the neighbor fix his truck.

Emily had a friend come over to spend the night and the plan was to take them to see Night at the Museum 2. Cali was to stay home with Daddy, but she knew we were going, and at the last minute it seemed cruel to leave her behind. So I took all four kids. Yes, four kids. I'm an optimist, can't you tell?
We made a pit stop at the store for candy because I refuse to pay four dollars for it at the theater, especially when I need a variety of choices to bribe the 2 year old with to stay quiet until the end of the movie.
She did pretty well, except she wanted to sit in my lap instead of in the booster, and as I may have mentioned before, we're potty training. She's doing remarkably well, except for one teeny tiny little minor drawback. She won't use a regular sized toilet. Only her little pink potty, or the one at grandma's is ok.

I believe this is a result of an incident that occured on one of her first days using the potty. She was with daddy at McDonald's and they went to the bathroom. He had her all situated on the toilet, when the stall door opened behind him. He turned around to close it and in that moment, she...............slipped. Now she won't go near the things.

We're nearing the end of the's getting, I wonder what's going to happen......

Cali says "mommy, I wan go home, go potty"

Oh shit.

"Baby, we can't go home yet. Do you want me to take you to the potty here?"

"NO! My wan go potty at my house!"

She's getting a little frantic now, and I'm not about to sit and have this discussion in the theater, and I'm especially not keen on the idea of her peeing on me, so we head to the bathroom. We walk in and I'm immediately met with resistance.

"No, no no, My wan go potty at my house!"

I carry her into the nearest stall and start the reassurances. It's ok, mommy will help you, it's a good potty, want mommy to go first?

So I sit, she cries, and we both pee. Me in the potty, her on the floor. I clean it up and now I just feel horrible for her. Poor girl didn't want to pee in her pants, but she's just afraid. Afraid of that big potty. And who could blame her. Imagine using a toilet where your feet aren't even close to touching the floor and you could easily just fall right inside. No thanks.

So I got her changed just as the movie was ending, and then I had to corral corral corral, because the older girls had to go to the bathroom, Damien wanted to play on the escalator and Cali was trying to win something on the "impossible, pick up a stuffed animal with a tiny claw for a dollar" game. We finally made it downstairs, outside, down the sidewalk to the parking garage and into the elevator. They fought over who got to push the button and then Damien thought it would be such a great idea to kick the orange julius that someone had discarded on the floor. It splattered all over Cali and me. As disgusting as that was, I'll take it over getting peed on any day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend- Part 1

Saturday, my little girl turned 10 years old. At 8:37 AM, officially. By that point we were halfway through our 3 hour drive to go river rafting. My mom and I spent the drive sipping coffee, chatting, and gossiping as women do, while Emily spent it in the backseat designing a treehouse.

We arrived shortly before 10, snapped a couple of pics with the "real" camera, the one that is not waterproof and is staying in the car.

We made our way down to the meet and greet and were introduced to our guide, Ned. Ned who told us that contrary to what we had been informed, we did not need and would not be wearing wetsuits. Yeah but Ned, I don't think you understand fully!
I was TOLD I would be wearing a wetsuit which is why I only wore a bikini and cotton sweats.
Nah, not necessary, just go put your sweats in the car and come on down for the safety talk.
So it was a lesson in humility for me, to come walking into a group of people all wearing quick drying shorts and poly-water resistant tops, a group that is waiting for YOU so they can begin the safety lecture, while wearing only a skimpy bikini and tennis shoes.
I sat with confidence and Ned says to me "ok, I'll get you a wetsuit"
Thanks dude.

My "wetsuit" turned out to be a fluffy orange fleece sweatshirt. Redheads look MARVELOUS in bright orange, so too bad for you all the waterproof camera pictures haven't been developed yet, and you don't get to see.

After our safety talk, we got sunscreened and suited up. Both Em and I had long sleeved tops on, so we just did our faces, hands, ears, etc... but skipped the legs, because Emily never sunburns, especially on her legs, and I wanted some tan on mine.

We strapped into our lifejackets and the guides took turns lifting Emily off the ground by hers. She's so little, it's kind of irresistable, but I think she was getting a bit perturbed.

There were 4 boats in all, but ours only had our party of 3, plus 2 guides.
We paddled the first half of the river with little fanfare. The weather was beautiful, we snapped pics, chatted, took a couple smaller rapids, and worked up an appetite.

We stopped for lunch and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Emily. We stuffed ourselves, examined the progress on our tans, and got pumped up for the second half.

About an hour in, we hit a pretty big rapid, and I paddle hard, take a wave in the face, and then glance to my right just in time to see my mom's legs go over the side of the boat. I immediately look to the right to be sure my 50 pound daughter is still where she should be, then back to the front, where my mom has assumed the correct feet up position and is calmly floating down the river.
Emily however is totally losing her shit over here. Dropped her paddle, is half sitting, half standing and is screaming her head off.

Now I imagine it's pretty scary to be 10 years old and watch your grandma fall out
of a boat and float away, but I have little tolerance for panic in a crisis, and I was now the only paddler in the front of the boat, the guides were yelling, the rapids were roaring and we had to go fish my mom out of the river, so I was like "EMILY, SIT DOWN AND CHILL!"

We paddled our butts off and the guides pulled my mom back in, minus her glasses, just as we were approaching another good size rapid. Emily alerted us to that fact with a blood curdling scream, so we got through it just fine.

Emily decided she was done with rafting and spent the remainder of the trip in the middle of the boat holding on, but my mom and I had a blast paddling through the rest of the river. We laughed a lot and I teased her a good bit about taking a swim...."Don't you know it's OVER the river to grandma's house, not IN the river" Hahaha, but she got me back on the last rapid, where she almost went in again, let go of the end of her paddle and whacked me in the cheek with it.
OK, OW, I was just kidding!

We spent the last half hour getting towed up the river by a jet ski, relaxing, taking in the scenery and reflecting back on the day. By the time we were dry and viewing our pictures on a slideshow, Emily was smiling again.

It was a great day, full of excitement and adventure, and I would love to have stayed and gone again, but we were pretty exhausted and besides, Emily and I needed to get home and nurse our sunburned legs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A decade

Tomorrow is my 10th anniversary as a mother. I'm writing about it today, because tomorrow I'll be out river rafting all day with my mom and my birthday girl.

There are a few things I've learned in 10 years as a parent.

- Having children is harder and better than you can ever imagine

- Diaper wipe warmers, diaper stackers, and diaper pails are completely unnecessary

- I will never know how many children I want until I'm done having them

- The difference between a cheap breast pump and an expensive one is more than just the price. Some things are worth double the money

- There are some parenting questions that have no right answer

- No matter how you think you're going to mold your children, they will have their own personalities, independent of you, and they will exert them

- Carpets in dining rooms are stupid

- 3 year olds are some of the funniest people you will ever meet

- However much you do for them, you'll always want to do more, and less

This isn't only about me though, and how long I'VE been a parent and me me me. Really it's about her. Her years. A part of my life, but her COMPLETE life

Tomorrow my baby will be 10. Double digits. A whole decade. She's out of fingers. Like most things it seems like just yesterday, and alternately like an eternity. Was there life before Emily? I vaguely recollect prom? graduation? Then there she was.

She took a long time coming, and I now know that that's just how she is. She does everything in her own time. Can't be rushed.

I was 18 when she was born, and there's something to be said for being a mom when you're still experiencing all of those heightened teenage emotions. She and I spent a lot of time together in our room of my mom's house. Just soaking each other up. I wrote long entries to her in her baby journal, read to her, and I even dedicated a song as "our song" the way young couples do. I used to put it on and sing it to her and cry. My heart was so full.

These words still have the ability to start the tears welling

Whenever You Call
By. Mariah Carey

Love wandered inside
Stronger than you
Stronger than I
And now that it has begun
We cannot turn back
We can only turn into one

I won't ever be too far away to feel you
And I won't hesitate at all
Whenever you call
And I'll always remember
The part of you so tender
I'll be the one to catch your fall
Whenever you call

And I'm truly inspired
Finding my soul
There in your eyes
And you
Have opened my heart
And lifted me inside
By showing me yourself


And I will breathe for you each day
Comfort you through all the pain
Gently kiss your fears away
You can turn to me and cry
Always understand that I
Give you all I am inside


I won't ever be too far away to feel you
And I won't hesitate at all
Whenever you call

It's not so much just a song making me cry, as it is a song bringing to the surface the all encompassing love and devotion of a mother for her daughter. My love for my daughter.

Happy Birthday Baby! I'm so proud to be your mommy, and I can't wait to see what you do with your next 10 years.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random encounters of the ..whatever

This morning saw the return of the weird guy. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, refer to the second half of this post:

He spotted me just as I came out with my coffee and rushed over.

Wg: Hey, have I met you before?

me: *stupidly* uh, yeah I think

Wg: You're really pretty, did I get your number?

me: No. I'm married

Wg: Hey, well, bring him too

me: I have to get to work now

Wg: Ok, be sure to buckle up, some ASSHOLE COP GAVE ME A FUCKING TICKET for not wearing mine, and I was like what the hell dude are you just FUCKING BORED or something.

me: *a little scared now*, um well, I always wear mine, but thanks. *slams door*


A little later I had to run a quick errand at the bank. Things were going well, the teller was friendly, it's a beautiful sunny spring day. One of Emily's classmate's mom works at this particular bank. She walked by and said "Hi" so I said "hi" back. I explained to the teller that our daughters go to school together.

She looked at me, nodded, and said

"Yeah, aren't you Dan's kids' mom?

Ok, this transaction just jumped into the awkward zone.


"we dated for a little while. How's he doing?"

*coughlosercough* *doesn'tpaychildsupportcough*

what I really said though was "the same, lives with his sister, doesn't work...."

I don't remember ever meeting her, but apparently she remembers me....

I don't even live in a small town either. We're talking hundreds of thousands of people here. I think I'll hide out in my office for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

That time again

My hip hop dance class will be performing in a show on June 6th at 4pm at the persons theater at sonoma state university.
Once again, tickets are $15 and have to be bought in advance so if you know you want to go, please let me know, and get me your money by next Friday, the 29th!

Thanks everyone! It should be a fun show!

Speaking of performing, here's a quick video of Emily from gymnastics last night.

Back handspring

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy are the small things

I've been given a gift. I just discovered it yesterday. It was there all along, but I didn't know it. It's a magical button on my camera, that allows me to change the size of the picture that I'm taking. Before I found this button, my pictures would take a few seconds each to upload, and then I would go and manually resize each one, to 20 percent of it's original size. But now, they upload in no time at all, at exactly the size that I wish them to be. It's so magical. I feel as though I've found a genie, or a unicorn or a magic well, and been granted a wish.
Now, it would have been nice if I had discovered said button BEFORE our Disney trip....400-ish pictures later.....but it's ok. That's behind me, and we're looking ahead now.

There are other gifts in my life.

Like these girls. Resplendent in their bold summer colors, a sparkle in their eye.

The sun shining, and my boy, ready for summer adventures

Little monkey, helping a loving daddy fix the bikes

The bond of those two, oh it kills me, if I think of it too often, my heart will blow a gasket

There are freckles.

This one has a few

This one is sprouting more every day

There are big hugs, and stripey pants. Oh but I do love the stripey pants

And lastly, there is MONKEY BREAD. Sticky. Cinnamon-ey. Monkey Bread.

Life is Suh-weet!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Growing up, I was always small for my age. My sister called me "Runt" for as long as I can in "runt of the litter."
When I was in 4th grade, all of my sister's friends called me "small fry."

In 8th grade, there was a group of boys who called me "somalia child" because I was short and thin and the malnourished in Somalia were all over the news, when they weren't broadcasting the OJ trial that is.

My freshman year of high school, I was 4'10" and weighed under 90lbs.

The summer before my sophomore year, I got my tonsils out and I always attributed my renewed oxygen intake to the growth spurt that followed. By the end of high school I was almost 5'7"

But now I'm thinking....maybe that's just genetically how I grew. Because my daughter, the one who is like a little blond ME, is pretty short herself.

Not the BEST picture, but the girl next to her is one of her best friends, and is a whole head taller.

This is the beginning band, so most of them are 4th graders, 4th grade vampires judging by the look in their eyes

I'm sure she'll be just like me and grow someday. In the meantime, short is better for gymnastics, and her clothes will fit for years at a time. It's a win-win.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Her other birthday

10 years ago, today was my due date. I know it's not the actual day she was born, but it's the day you repeat over and over for 9 months, the day you're counting down to, the day that takes for-ev-er to get here, and then it passes, and nothing happens, and you're all like "what the hell? This was my DAY!"
Still though, forever emblazoned in my mind. MAY 15th! D-Day!

On that day 10 years ago, when it seemed no baby was about to appear, her dad and I went to Scandia Family Fun Center and played mini golf. We had a bet going that if I won, the baby would be a girl, if he won, it would be a boy. I won, HA! I bet Emily's happy I practiced my putt.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the other side of the lens

I'm the resident photographer in the house. The camera resides in my purse. I'm the one who brings it out and takes hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of the other 4 people in my family. Consequently, the only pictures of me come about when I turn the camera around, high school buddy style and snap a pic of myself, or when I shove the camera at someone and say "here, take a picture of us."


On a rare occasion....

My husband will go get the camera out of my purse and snap a few

I really love when he does that. It's nice to have the pictures, but the main reason....

It means that this moment in his life is noteworthy to him. And that makes it so much more special to me

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

oh my quirky girl

I walked into the kitchen on Sunday and caught Caliana in the fridge, with an egg in her hand.

"Caliana! Get out of that fridge RIGHT NOW!"

She immediately took on a look of exaggerated wariness, like "Whoa dude, chill, I was just "talking" to your girlfriend, no need to go all ape shit"

Except really it was like "hey, yo mom, just "talking" with the egg here. Just wanted to know if it'd rather be scrambled or fried. No harm done"

Kids and eggs, there's a fascination there somewhere. There have been multiple egg incidents in the past....I won't even get into the time that Damien tried to hide one in his pants, in some "david copperfield" attempt. No suspense here, it broke.

Back to the scene at hand though, she placed the egg gently back in it's place, never taking her eye off of me, lest I jump her from behind and chew on her jugular.

Then she says to me with eyebrows raised and hands up in appeasement "Sorry mom.....sorry I hurt your feeeeeelings"

Damn she's a lovable monkey.
I just got her this shirt.

And someone asked me "so, you like AC/DC huh?"

"Uh, yeah sure, they're cool. Mostly I just like five dollar shirts. Cali likes it though. She calls it her ABC shirt, as in "MOM! I can't get my ABC shirt off!"

She's potty training right now. Doing pretty well at it actually, and everytime she actually goes, she has to do the toddler thing and get way excited and show us. But the thing she does that really cracks me up is she thanks me. She pees and says "thank you mom!"
I'm not quite sure what she's thanking me for, but I'm like "no dear, thank YOU."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

subject unaware

See this face?

It's the same as this face

Only aged 4 more years.

I love to take pictures of this kid when he's sleeping

He's so calm, so serene....

I wonder how long I can get away with it before it becomes just creepy