Sunday, March 30, 2008

For My May 06 Mommies

I found this picture of Jadyn at our niece's birthday party in October 06 when she was just 5 months old.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Introducing a Funny Nose Knows

I have been reading other blogs and simultaneously trying to come up with a way to write about those cute little random things the kids might do or say on a day to day basis. I have often heard them referred to as Gumbo. I like gumbo. I think the expression is very fitting. Well, for better or worse here is my unique twist on gumbo. There will be more to come in the future.

A Funny Nose Knows [#1]
How it makes him feel.

When the kids are pushing and pedaling their numerous vehicles around, Utah (our rotty) chases them. Sometimes they are amused, sometimes they are not. One day last week, Jake was riding his bike up and down the sidewalk on the side of the house and Utah got a little close, apparently knocking him over. It happens. Once Jake got over the small raspberry on his knee, he began riding his bike again but suddenly appeared on the back patio where Joe and I were with Jadyn on the swingset. Jake had a particularly sour look on his face so Joe asked him what was wrong to which he replied, "Utah made me grumpy". We couldn't help but laugh.

A Funny Nose Knows [#2]
Her colors.

Okay so not really. Although we are making some progress. At least everything is no longer green or yellow. She does now know blue and purple. But for awhile I would color coordinate the kids bowls and cups - the blue and green would generally go to Jake and the purple and pink would generally go to Jadyn. The sippy cups are definitely meant to be gender specific. The cups have pink flowers for the girls and blue trucks for the boys. The bowls are just random solid colored bowls. The reality is it is just an easy way to keep track of whose cup is whose. Occasionally I would get distracted and hand Jake a pink flowered cup that belonged to Jadyn to which he would reply, "Mom, you picked the wrong one. That's silly!". So the other day, I am serving Jadyn a bowl of lemon yogurt and place it in a green bowl and sit it in front of her. Gee. Guess what she tells me. "Mom, You pick wrong one. That's silly!" How do I argue with a 22-month old headstrong little girl about the color of her bowl and how it is perfectly fine for her to eat her yogurt out of a green bowl? I guess I should be more cautious about what I start. I am inflicting unnecessary gender stereotypes upon my children. Whatever shall I do?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Movie Magic

For those of you that don't know, Joe and I have known each other since high school. He was one of my brother's best friends. But it was not until we worked together at a video store after high school that we grew smitten with each other. So it would seem only natural that our mutual love of movies would carry over to our children. In an effort to make certain that Jake recieved one-on-one attention from his Mommy after Jadyn was born, I started taking him on movie dates. Our first date was to go see the movie "Cars". Of course, the movie was great. However he was barely 2 and it is kind of a long movie for kids so he made it about 3/4 of the way through before wanting to leave. I remember thinking, "But wait, I want to see how it ends!" Then it came out on DVD right around the same time he got a nasty flu bug and he watched it over and over and over again. He was hooked. We then went to see several more movies that were not very sucessful - Happy Feet (with the penguins) and the live action version of Charlotte's Webb. Last Fall I took him to see the Bee Movie and for the first time he made it through the entire movie.
He really enjoyed it. The popcorn and Skittles didn't hurt. We just recently added that one to our DVD collection and both kids actually really enjoy it.

Yesterday, I took Jake to see the CG animated version of Dr. Suess's Horton Hears a Who.
I have never heard so many kids laughing in a movie theater. It was really well done. A lot of humor for adults too. Jake liked it, although at times I think he laughed more so because other kids were laughing but he did make it through the entire movie. The real kicker though was that we saw a preview for the live action movie of the animated classic cartoon Speed Racer.

I almost fell out of my seat laughing when I saw the beginning of the trailer. THAT IS GOING TO BE JAKE. When the preview was over, Jake looked over at me, eyes opened wide and said, "Whoa Mom! That was cool!" I think he was a little disappointed that we were not seeing that movie but in the end he did like Horton Hears a Who. And so the love affair with the big screen begins.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


We are seeing the most beautiful wildflower blooms here in the desert this year. It did not seem that we got that much rain but I am not complaining. They are absolutely gorgeous. The streets are covered with yellow flowers and I could personally care less that they are weeds. Even the cactus have beautiful purple and white blooms on them. I cannot wait to see what it looks like in some of the hot spots up in Joshua Tree. Everyone is raving. We even have some flowers jetting through the fence in our yard. I showed them to Jadyn and she was quite taken with them. It is such a fitting metaphor as she is growing wild lately too - both in the sense that she is growing so quickly and learning so much so fast and in the sense that she has such an independent headstrong attitude about things. She is our little wildflower.

I am Speed

Yesterday I got the paperwork to attend traffic school. It occured to me that somehow, I forgot to mention that I had gotten a speeding ticket about a month and half ago. I was driving Jake to school on a long stretch of open highway right through a well known speed trap and zoned out chitchatting with my brother on the phone. I saw the cop out of the corner of my eye and tried to slow down, but it was too late. Busted. So he pulls me over, asks me why I was speeding to which I try to answer honestly that I was just not paying close enough attention and was very sorry. Not good enough. He takes my paperwork and goes back to his car to write me up. Darn! In the meantime, Jake is asking all sorts of questions as to why we are stopped, what the police car is doing, if he is going to be late for school etc. etc. Agree with it or not, Jake has occasionally watched Joe play a video game where the object of the game is to run away from the cops. It is fairly benign other than that. He just likes watching the racing and crashing but Jake started telling me to run away from the cop so I had to explain to him that I should not have been driving so fast and now I was in trouble, kind of like time out. I was winging it the best I could.

So the cop comes back to give me the ticket and seriously you are not going to believe this but Jake tells him, "Mommy was not going too fast!". You know one would think it was at least a little cute, maybe funny enough to crack a smile, maybe even let me off with a warning. But no. I have to get the cop without a sense of humor. Maybe he does not like kids. Anyway, there was just a brief glance in Jake's direction and that was it. "Here is your ticket mam. Drive safely".

So we get on our way and I tell Jake, " I am speed" trying to lighten the mood because honestly he was a little upset that he was going to be late for school. To this he replied, "No mom, Lightning McQueen is Speed". Of course he is right. That is the catch phrase of the main character from the movie "Cars". The movie that started his whole obsession with race cars to begin with. And for now, I think mommy will be anything BUT speed. I had better slow down.

Mommy Brain

When I was pregnant and would absentmindedly put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge I would blame it on pregnancy brain. When I had a toddler and a newborn and Jadyn was screaming at the top of her lungs as I frantically searched for her pacifier only to find it and try to insert it in my brother's mouth, I blamed it on the sleep deprived state known as mommy brain. But here I am with an almost 2 and 4 year old and I am starting to wonder - when does mommy brain go away?

With the weather warming up I decided to put the kids in short-sleeved PJs the other night. Jake immediately picked out a pair with race cars on it from last year. Problem was the pants were not hung up with the shirt. Hmmm I thought. Somehow, they must have ended up in the give away pile with other hand me downs. So I go through the trouble to bother my sister in-law who has a newborn and toddler of her own and ask her to please be on the lookout for the said pajama bottoms the next time she goes through the clothes I sent her for our nephew. The next day I find the pajama bottoms in question at the bottom of our hamper. It suddenly dawned on me that last week Jake had had his first middle of the night accident since with the warmer weather, he has been drinking more liquids. In my half awake stupor, I had grabbed the first pair of available pajama bottoms and apparently completely forgotten about it, even after seeing them missing from the said shirt a mere 5 days later. How could not remember that??? But wait it gets better. I take a shower yesterday, which is our usual routine. I lock the kids in our bedroom with an episode of Dora or Diego and a bowl full of Cheerios and leave our bathroom door open for me to supervise them. For some reason they were not behaving and I was rushed. I get out of the shower and come to realize I had only shaved one leg!!! Come on people. I really want my brain back.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

From Luck of the Irish to Easter Sunday in 7 Days

It was a very busy week. It started off with a very cold and windy St. Patrick's Day that was supposed to be spent at the park for a potluck picnic with green food and green clothes. But the weather had different plans. When I tried to explain to Jake that it was too windy he was obviously disappointed and wanted to know where "his boys and girls" were. So I took him to McDonalds. Not my first choice but they have the indoor playground. I was hesitant. I actually have not taken him back since December 2006 when he climbed to the top of the tunnel got scared and forced me to climb up after him while my mom held Jadyn (who was 6 months old and crying for her mommy). Of course at this point, I was not really so concerned about Jake as much as Jadyn but with big brother there, she just followed him along and they had a blast:

At home, we took a few more pictures before heading out to music class:

And then while Daddy made dinner, we worked on a couple of crafts we still had for the green holiday:

Jake had made this hat in school the week before:

Stay with us folks - that's only Monday!!! Of course, Tuesday was our big trip to Sears for professional pictures. We all know how that turned out (good right?). Wednesday our super group of mommies and kiddos got together to celebrate all things spring for a small but festive Easter egg hunt at the local park on base. Jake is starting to get to an age where he remembers things from the year before so he dove right in and was immediately excited to hunt for eggs:

This is his new pal Andrew, who unlike most of his other friends is actually a year older than him.

This is Jadyn's friend Aden. Like her other friend Skylar, she knows Aden not just from one activity but from several - YMCA, Kindermusik and playgroup. So see, I am not the only mom who likes to keep her little ones social calendar full.

Here is Jadyn investigating the candy in her basket. This is another dress of cousin Madison's, which is completely adorable. I find that most of the dresses I like best on Jadyn actually used to be Madison's.
Now we arrive at Thursday. This is the BIG YMCA Easter Egg Hunt at Luckie Park. We are talking 60 kids and over 600 eggs plus parents. Here they are waiting patiently as Miss Lisa explains that they can each get 12 eggs. On your mark, get set, go!

Okay, I do not know what Jake was doing with his shirt in the background, flashing someone his bellybutton?

Friday was supposed to be a day of rest but of course Jake's Scholastic book order did not arrive until then so I had to make the trek to his school to pick it up (because the books were for their Easter baskets, which by the way they both love the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If you Give a Pig a Pancake" series now). This lead to a trip to Wal-Mart for a few last minute goodies and during the mayheim that inevitably ensues when you are checking out of a busy store with two kids, I got distracted and left my wallet at the checkout. Yikes! Of course I did not actually realize this until much later that evening. Once I realized it and retraced my steps, I called Wal-Mart who was able to ensure me that they had procured the said wallet and had it stored safely in the cash box. Phew! Diaster diverted.

Saturday evening we dyed Easter eggs. Boy was that a 3-ring circus. I was atually trying to dye eggs myself as I had gotten a glitter egg dying kit:

So the kids (namely Jadyn) went to town, putting eggs in every bowl and then when they ran out of available bowls, they just put more eggs in the same bowl. At one point I am pretty sure Jadyn had 3 or 4 eggs in the pink dye.
Then on a whim, she decided to taste test the pink dye, which I had put vinegar in for color vibrancy. Yummy! By the time we were through, you literally could have swam on the table they were dying eggs on. Here they are posing with the finished results Jadyn was peeling all the eggs because she thought there was chocolate inside:

I am determined next year to dye eggs the Friday before Easter because I spent a fair amount of time scrubbing their hands, chins and yes tummies (it soaked through their shirts) to remove all the dye for fear it would still be there on Easter morning.

So finally we arrive to Easter Sunday. I was so excited to have the kids wake up and wade through their Easter baskets full of goodies - Jake got some new hot wheels, including a couple that pop open when you crash them and a new game for his handheld Leapster. Jadyn got a little purse with wallet and fake credit cards (so she can stop playing with Mommy's) and an Elmo doll that you feed and burb. Like I said it was more like Christmas and I know I went overboard. I will have to speak to the Easter bunny before next year especially with it being so close to their birthdays.They also got some new Color Explosion markers and paper and the aforementioned books.

After getting ready we drove to Joe's Grandma's to have Easter brunch. My favorite holiday meal complete with carnitas and chicken, "garbage", fresh avocado, tortillas, fresh fruit salad and mexican pastry bread. Joe's sister and her family were there with their newest addition as well as the rest of Joe's family.

After eating, we immediately retreated to the garden for the annual easter egg hunt where the kids gathered candy and coin containing eggs and other assorted trinkets to add to their ever growing collection. By the time we were through, the kids were quite tired. It had been a long and eventful day full of good food and good company and we just feel so incredibly blessed. I like Christmas but I love Easter. There is just something about the spring and its symbolisim of rebirth that awakes ones spirit. And let's face it - the clothes are cuter. Speaking of which, Leigh and I both had on the same dress. Not planned, we both just have really good taste. LOL!

Jake with cousin Aliyah. They always have so much fun together.

Dadddy helping Jadyn with the easter egg hunt:
Jake needing no help at all:

Racing the rocks:
Playing amongst the poppies:
Family photo:
At home, one final shot of me and Jake:
Hope everyone had a nice Easter!

***ETA: That was not a typo. Garbage is a garnish similar to pico de gallo with lots of cilantro. Not sure where the name came from but I will be sure to try and find out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bunny Ears revisisted

I will be back later for the full Easter week/day scoop. But for now I just had to share what I thought was a very fun set of comparison pics of Jadyn from Easter time last year to Easter this year. The change within the first and second year is so dramatic. It is amazing!

Bunny ears last year:

Bunny ears this year:
Easter dress last year:
Easter dress this year: