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(Blitzen Trapper – Furr)

So hi. I really don’t have anything clever to say. But yesterday was my birthday, and I feel compelled to at least attempt to note major milestones. Unfortunately there’s nothing really that interesting or funny to say about it (except for Jack’s declaration of happy firdy free, old lady Mom. And Lorelei’s singing Old McDonald had a farm. Jingle all the way! But that was all of, what, two sentences?).  I was made yummo french toast and strawberries with homemade whipped cream, Jack started second grade, the weather was absolutely perfect, we went to Powell Gardens, and overall it was just a wonderful day.

The best birthday I’ve had in years, actually.

It’s been a pretty damn good summer overall, really.

And these are untouched! Go check her out at www.cassywilson.com for the even gooder goods.

Dig it. Saw this as a blogmemeideawhatever, and I’m totally stealing it because I love having an excuse to write my posts as lists. Onward ho.

1. I, too, just got the new Buzz for gmail, and see now why my friend said it was becoming goobook. I love me some google, so I’m down. (I was also a wave behind some friends on the new FB layout, and I gotta say it feels a wee bit like being picked last for teams again in junior high.)

2. I’ve begun to edit a book in my spare time for a very nice gentleman who is in a writer’s circle with a friend. The money I make will be nice, but more than that it feels good to use my brain in a comfort zone; getting paid to (essentially) read books would be a cool profession to work toward.

3.  A dear friend from college is back in town for a few months, and is pregnant with her second child. Seeing her and being there for a prenatal visit has me more excited than I’ve been in a while about birth. I’ve been decidedly on hiatus with Bradley stuff, mostly b/c I feel like I shouldn’t be teaching impressionable first-time parents about what is often one of the most important days of their life, if I don’t have my shit (al)together personally. I have the knowledge and the passion to teach, but I don’t want to do it half-assed, and something just doesn’t feel right at the moment to try and pretend I can give them the focus and attention they deserve. Soon hopefully, but not yet. At least not for strangers. However attending births as a doula is a different thing, and I’m itching for another one. We’re coming up on a year since my last birth, and I’m getting baby crazy again. Either way, I’m hoping to take E with me to the next birth conference; the key speakers will be uhmaaaazing to see.

4. Divorce sucks. Even when you can pat yourself on the back for being amicable, it’s a messy, tiring and trust-eroding event that doesn’t simply end with the court date.

5. That said, we have Jack’s conferences tonight, and I am proud that we can have periods of pretty wicked fighting, but still remember what it was like to be friends – enough that we can put it aside and work together on things involving the kids. Co-parenting (aka My Not Having Full Control Over Every Aspect Of My Children’s Lives) has been the hardest part for me, hands-down.

6. I need to set up a new paypal account so I can renew my imbedding space so I can actually imbed songs instead of sending you to youtube to listen to the song “Sweet Disposition”. It was in the previews for 500 Days of Summer, so when it became popular recently I immediately remembered liking it. I’m sure I’ll tire of it pretty quickly, especially if it’s getting radio play, but until then I LOVE IT. Even with the U2 sounding beginning. I’m such a sucker for pop.

7. My boyfriend and I have the opportunity to piggyback on some friends’ vacation to San Francisco in May, and I’m trying to finagle finances to make it work. Mama needs a vacation, people.

8. Soon I will update the kids’ dictionary, but I’ll start (and publicly remind myself to do it) with Lorelei’s saying yets instead of lets, and Jack’s version of glubs instead of gloves. Heh.

9. My friend Liz and I are starting a business where we write or edit dating profiles for people. Not sure how it will go, but how awesome would that be to not only make enough money to work from home but ALSO bring couples together, one dating site at a time? Huzzah, right?! Win-win in my book, so head our direction for help, por favor.

10. And that’s it. I have the squiggly lines in my vision that prelude a migraine (possibly from navigating Buzz), so I’m going to say goodbye and happy Wednesday. Hope all is well in your worlds.

I have the weirdest stomach bug this week. You know that feeling RIGHT before you ralph? Like when you first wake up and you’re trying to decide if it will just go away if you lay real still on the bed? I’ve had that for four days. And last night I attempted to eat a dinner that did not attempt to stay with me. Blech.

Secondary to that, Jack has had this horrible hacking smoker-sounding cough that people turn their heads to look at. No other symptoms and accompanied with physical exertion, I’m beginning to wonder maybe if it’s asthma? I’ll research and decide if we should get him tested, but he doesn’t seem to be out of breath, and I really want to make sure there’s a reason to go first. Anyone knowledgeable about childhood asthma?

So, we’re camped in today, taking our vits and watching movies. The kids just discovered Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (yes, original) and Lo wanders around humming the Oompa Loompa song now. Between that and singing the Star Wars theme, she’s the coolest kid I know.

But the real reason for this entirely pointless post is that I’ve been downloading a bunch of music today, and came across this little gem.  I unabashedly love the original, and have no embarrassment at loving this one too. I even dig the Spanish version.  Enjoy and I really hope none of you feel as shitty as I have this week.

Flying Pickets – Only You

I swear I had full intentions to post something coherent today; I even tried to set aside time this week to do it. But I think this will be if not an epic fail, at least a substantial one. I’m sorry. I’ve got myself a tidy little cold, and the only positive thing about it is that being this stuffed up, the acoustics in my head when I sing are uhhmaaazing. Other than that I’m drinking vitamin C-laced hot water like crazy, and walking around in a tired fog.

Let’s see.. Jack and Lorelei started swim lessons last week. The gal who is teaching them is an older Jewish (I’m guessing) ex-New Yawker (pretty sure about this one) who apparently used to run an autism program somewhere. Whatever, she’s hysterical and the best teacher for my particular knuckleheads. She’s very (on par with the above-mentioned stereotypes) no-nonsense, and you could tell she was smitten with Jack’s eagerness, which, if you remember from last year, is a tremendous 180. I’m pretty stoked.

I’m also stoked because I’m headed on over to Colorado next weekend with the kids and my mom and sister for a short trip and SWEET JEEBUS I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I NEED THIS.

In exciting news, in a few weeks I’ll be moving into the little blue house that sits next door to the house I work out of! My boss’s brother owns the house (but lives in CA), and is giving me a pretty sweet deal on rent. I’m so excited to do this I am almost unable to verbalize it. Really. That big. So if you’re free any weekend in the next couple months, let me know. Best of all I get my beloved, cantankerous old-man cat, Lucky, back. That grumpy old goat has been with me for almost 12 years, and I miss him something fierce. I might bring that stupid Oscar too, but I think it’s funny hearing the stories Jon tells me about him knocking over the Britta pitcher at night. (Heh. I kid, I’ll see if I can bring them both.)

[So, in an ADD look-a-squirrel sidenote, I’ve been singing this song non-stop for a few weeks now. It’s Band of Horses – “The Funeral”, and I was convinced it was a side/new project from the lead singer of Sunny Day Real Estate, but it’s not. I’m curious if anyone else thinks they sound the same, though.]

Hmm… Took the kids to the movie Up this weekend and it was.. erm.. disjointed. Odd, mostly. Predictably sweet because it was Pixar, with one particularly sad part, but meh overall. Ironic since they opened with a montage of all the cool movies they’ve made <<scratches head>>. Moving on to television, I’m officially kind of embarrassed to admit that I’ve been watching the first and second seasons of Friday Night Lights. It’s so soap operaish, with every conceivable after-school special theme possible. First season alone they dealt with underage drinking, underage sex, parapalegics, steroids, rape, infidelity, deadbeat dads, deadbeat moms, Alzheimers and football in Texas, of course. But like a fool, I keep watching. Shrug.

(I’m also reading the book  The Stone Diaries for my book club, so that renews some brain cells, right?)

And, I think that just about sums up everything I could think to talk about at the moment, my brain now officially hurts. But as a last appeal, if you help me move I’ll give you some of my totally-stolen-from-Hippy-Chick spaghetti sauce, because it’s da bomb.

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Have a great week, everyone.

So here’s some irony. Becoming a mother was the single most empowering thing I’ve ever done, and yet I have less control in my life right now then I’ve ever had. Ever.

I have no real address. I have no car (just a loaner I was thankfully, blessedly, graciously given to drive. Don’t mistake my gratitude.). My income is tenuous, at best. Jon and I got into a stupid (but resolved, because we were, in fact, always friends first) fight that only could have happened because of a divorce. I’m in a fairly constant panic about trying to remember bills and and birthdays and events and schedules, because I simply feel un-moored. Adrift, mostly.

At the moment my life is the pause in the movie while the buffering attempts to catch up. You know it will get there, but goddamn it’s torturous waiting sometimes.

Now. Having said that (but not a whole host of other things I could mention), I want to say that I’m not unhappy – mostly because I have a strong and loving group keeping my head above water. And as another cliche proves to be true, I appreciate my moments of happiness much more than I could have known to do before.  My life is a helluva lot simpler, somehow, and that’s pretty freeing in a lot of ways. But mostly it’s my kids, in all of their vulnerable, tiring, destructobotic, nomadic, innocent power, that are the only compasses I feel comfortable trusting right now. I don’t know up from down, but I love them and that’s enough to start with.

So, because I’ve got my Girls on, and I’ve been meaning to post some pics of my handiwork lately, I’ll neatly tie this Mother’s day leit motif with ‘Closer To Fine’ and recent pictures.

Have a great day, friends, and don’t forget to tell your mother you love her.

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1. Jack is ebbing again, in that he’s being a TOTAL PAIN IN MY ASS the last few days. I love him with a ferocity I’ve never known was possible – I know I’ve mentioned that – but he is the single most contrary human I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending every waking moment with. He argues when he wants something. He argues when he doesn’t want something. He argues if he feels something is unjust or unfun or just for fun.

He argues when he agrees with you. I’m really not kidding.

And it’s hard, because I know he’s not even always unhappy when he does it. Sure, he reacts to the stress he senses around him, but I think in part it’s his natural personality from.. erm.. grandparental bloodlines, and also as residual habit from when he first was navigating social interaction altogether. He is not a natural cuddler, but wants attention (as everyone does) so pressing everyone’s buttons around him ensures a modicum of it. I get it.

Regardless, he’s driving me nuts and I’m not in an awesome place with my autism parenting right now. It will pass, like every phase has, but one of us might not make it out unscathed from this one, that’s all I’m sayin’..

2. Lo has discovered the joys of whining. To which I say really, karma? REALLY?

3. I was shown an article today about a local newscaster’s wife being paralyzed by the flu vaccine – and the subsequent trial in vaccine court. This one’s particularly fascinating to me as someone who has such an aversion to the propaganda every year, it’s nauseating.

4.  Here’s a follow-up article telling that the Neo-Nazi family has had their children taken away by social services. I know we all had a nice pat-on-our-back rant about why they probably are d-bags, but I sincerely hope those kids needed to be yanked for legitimate reasons, and not because of the limelight they were in. Three and under. Oy. That’s so very little to be away from their parents, it breaks my heart.

5.  Saw Gran Torino last weekend. Hmm.  It was on many people’s Best Of lists, and my friend Justin really liked it, so I’ll just say I must have missed something. .. Both times I watched it.

6. My back is at about 90% at this point, which is relieving. Now I just need to go back to the gym, because despite herculean efforts to not eat the bagel with cream cheese that’s calling to me, the scale is reflecting my absence.

7.  It’s 2°.  Four hours ago it was 1°.  Toasty!

1. My back hurts. I either pulled a muscle that will heal or I herniated a disk and am slowly dying a painful and hunched-over death. Ibuprofen and ice help, so I’ll assume I’ll live.

2. I’m getting very grumpy about finding a job. I don’t know what’s worse: no bites or being strung along and then told the job has been frozen due to the economy.

3. I watched the movie The Wrestler and highly suggest it. I dig Darren Aronofsky and give him (as everyone else has) mad props for eliciting a phenomenal performance from an historically creepy Mickey Rourke.

4. I  finished Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and also recommend it. Partially because it was a reminder for me of camping as a kid, but mostly because the book is guffaw funny in many parts. Really. Like quietquiet BRUAHAHASNORT quietquiet kind of reading. Plus he sneaks in some history before you’ve even realized it. Clever fella, this guy.

5. My kids crack me up. Recently we started a game that goes as follows:

Me (to kids):  Guess what?

Kids: What?

Me: I love you!

Yeah, I know, it’s a happy loving cheesefest. Well, then one day, unaware that the game had been created, Jon answered ‘chicken butt’ to Jack’s initial question. A totally acceptable instinctive response from a child of the 80s. Unfortunately, the introduction of that kind of out-of-the-box thinking has gotten us to this stage:

Jack: Guess what?

Me: What?

Jack: There are birds flying out the window.

OR,

Lorelei: Guess what?

Me: What?

Lo: CHICKEN FINGERS!

6. Speaking of my kids, I really don’t know which direction this plays out in the ‘What’s Grosser Than Gross’ game. The fact that last week Jack was riotously laughing about being able to continually dig a booger out of his nose, or that every time Lo  – without second thought or awareness that this could be a game – would calmly lean over and slurp it right off.

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Sigh. Future Prom royalty, those two. I just know it.

So this will be quick pictures and a song d’jour (Creature Fear by Bon Iver). Congrats to Brandi on beautiful baby Harper, Shelly on her wedding tomorrow and Mike and Emily on their engagement! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Pretty nails on chubby fingers, pre-clean up.

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It’s tough to be the redheaded stepchild of the house. He’s so old and cantankerous he can’t even scrounge up the energy to run away, so he just sits and looks grumpy.

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I embarrassed my friend by taking pictures of this lady’s car, but.. wow. This doesn’t do it justice, I swear. I don’t know how she compacted the vast amount of crap in there enough to keep her seat clear. It was.. wow. Really.

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Requisite adorable kid inclusion, of course.

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Every year we host the everyone’s-back-in-town Christmas party, and this one was especially memorable. It meant a lot to see those we did, and we missed those who couldn’t make it.  I’m sorry the quality is poor; I tried to clean it up, but methinks in retrospect our photog possibly wasn’t in a state to do the job successfully, though God love him he tried cheerily enough.

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  • Was introduced to this today. I’d heard about “Prop 8 – The Musical”, but didn’t realize this was out there. 😉
  • Some pictures of my halflings as they continue grow. Hot damn but I make cute kids. Have I ever said that?

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But I promise we give it our best shot.

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Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving – more soon!

Worth mentioning, I promise. The last time I attempted oatmeal cookies I messed up, surprisingly, and they were bland concrete discs. I seemed to remember that it was b/c I didn’t have an ingredient I needed (or substituted a different sweetener that didn’t bake as well, who knows) so this time I made sure to – wait for it – plan ahead. I looked online for a ‘thin and crispy’ recipe and rounded up the kids for help. After lots of spoon licking and one-in-the-mouth-two-in-the-bowl raisin distribution, the cookies ended up fat and chewy instead. But they taste good, so I’ll take it. I’ve now graduated 1st grade cooking class.

[Total tangent: Let’s take a gander at Brandi’s post, which had the desired effect of making the cookie come back up just a little in my mouth. You’re a clever girl – wait, I mean old lady – but I would like to submit this as an equal entry. (Bring on the Sinbad, H.Pimp.)]

So, how is everyone? Jon’s going out of town next week for a work lake trip (rough, ain’t it?) and so this weekend was completely Jen-centric. On Friday I went to a country concert with my friend Tami.

I don’t listen to country, so the bands themselves were innocuous mostly. But after a couple hours in the sun, the beer began to soften the shock of all the mullets, rebel flags and ill-fitting jeans. And don’t get me wrong, I have a long-standing love for some of my college cowboy friends, but most of the people at this concert were.. uh..

Well it was fun hanging out with Tami. 😉

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Saturday I went for coffee with the girls I’m friends with on the cul-de-sac. I’m glad I made it this month because I’ve missed many of our summer Driveway Drinks recently. I’ve just been a hermit, and it was good to catch up. My good friend across the street had her baby while we were in CO, and I finally got to see him. I LOVE squishy little newborns.

Last night I went to a birthday party with Megatron, and later we met up with her friends – one of whom I knew because he used to work with Jon. KC is so much smaller than you think, I swear.

(I know the angle is dizzying. It’s worse the other direction. I have no idea how this picture was taken.)

Finally, after some cuddly time with the halflings today, we’re going to meet up another family for dinner tonight. And including some overdue phone calls, this has been a really happy weekend for me. I need people almost as much as air, and I know that If I don’t get my head out of my arse and start keeping up my friendships, I’ll lose them. So those of you who think you’re in that camp, hear me say I know that. Playdates, emails and phone calls will be forthcoming, I promise.

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.

xoxo

My kids, after sitting for a train this morning.

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Jack begins..

The train is gone, the train is gone. Gone, gone, gone..

The train is gone, the train is gone. Gone, gone gone..

GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE GONE

(Lo canons: Gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw gaw)

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A few choruses later..

The gane is tron, the gane is gone, fawn, fawn, fawn..

The train is done, the grain is done, gone, gone, gone..

(Gaw gaw gaw gaw…. nonononononono!)

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30 seconds after that..

The la la la, the gone gone gone, the train the train the train la la..

 la-la la-la, la-la la-la, la-la la-la, goooooooooooooooooooooooone..

(STOP IT! STOP IT! AUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!)

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Reasons today will be a great day:

1. It’s raining. Sigh.

2. I’m probably going to drink beer tonight. It’s just either going to be out in the crowds or relaxed at home.

3. I’m (part) Irish.

4. My daughter woke me up this morning by interlocking our fingers and resting her head against my hand.

5. It’s raining.

6. K-State got an 11 seed in the tourney.

7. Jack just shared his snacks with Lo, telling her he loved her.

8. We get to drive around today, listening to music when it’s cloudy. My favorite. Sigh.

9. This song, although not the quintessential Irish song, is a beloved dance favorite for our family, and apropos for today at least. Hope you all have a great day as well!

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Flogging Molly’s ‘Drunken Lullaby’

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