Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!!

I hope everyone has a great Christmas Eve/ Christmas / Kwanzaa / Hanukkah / Festivus / Solstice (what did I miss?)

For those out there that do Santa...does he wrap or not? Do you do the PJ's? Does everyone take turns unwrapping or do you just go for it? Do you have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner? Traditions? We are in Utah having Christmas with my parents this year. It was originally because they were going to be alone, but we started a trend because now we have EVERYONE but one family here for Christmas. We are having to coordinate traditions. Luckily, Lulu is the only one big enough to really remember so we get to set the tone this year. My poor inlaws (who normally have a house FULL at Christmas) are all alone. Everyone is at their inlaws this year. So, my mother in law and father in law are going to go out for Chinese and re-create the scene from A Christmas Story. When we all get home around New Years we are having "Second Christmas" at their house. Just what my kids need. A Second Christmas.

At Derek's house Christmas Eve is very formal. For dinner we dress up and have something like rack of lamb or goose. Then we open PJ's and everyone goes home. In the morning, we get the kids up to open gifts at our house and then we head over to the "big" house and do it again. We usually have eggs benedict for breakfast and the unwrapping goes on so long that we often take a break in the middle for breakfast. Lauren thinks that is terrible. The waiting, the fancy food. The adults think it is nice, but there is nothing that will make a kid turn into a crabby patty faster than a dress and roasted goose.

My parents do things very informally. It is all about the kids at this house. We have fondue for dinner and other munchie things (sweet and sour meatballs, cheese platter, brownies, artichoke dip, etc). They also make a big ham and turkey for everyone to eat during both days. We usually play a game of some sort on Christmas Eve. Santa leaves one big thing unwrapped and everything else goes under the tree. We take turns opening, but I think that this year that might change. There will be 17 people here this year, mostly children and no one wants to deal with that. During the day we nap, eat and just hang out. Nothing too fancy, very relaxing.

It is nice to have both a formal and an informal Christmas. Now, all I am waiting for is to be able to have our OWN Christmas. I know it seems selfish, but one of these years we are going to have it at our own house. No schlepping, no traveling...just home in my own bed, my own kitchen and letting the kids run crazy. No keeping them from breaking things at Grandma B's. No keeping them from fighting with the cousins at Grandma K's. Someday. For now, we will continue to break things and fight with cousins and be glad that we have both options.

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


"Mom, KidzBop 11 is out, we should get that"

"Lauren, you have Kidzbop 2 and you never listen to it"

"Thats true. The thing is that I don't really have much time to do it. I prefer to focus on TV instead".


Have mercy........

No one told me that having a two year old boy would be so hard or that they could be SO destructive. If he makes it to age three, we will all be lucky. I spend half my waking time trying to KEEP HIM ALIVE. He is like (as my friend Suzi puts it) a truffle pig, but for danger. He can enter a room and immediately find the most dangerous thing. I spend the rest of the time trying trying to keep my cool. I count to 10 a lot these days, 20 actually. I leave the room to take minute to calm down a lot. Sadly, when I leave the room is when the REALLY good stuff happens.

Remember when I told the story about how Lauren was so sad that Jacob had big eyelashes and I said he would need them one day to get him out of trouble? That day has come......and gone.

Which story do you want first?

The one where we flew out to Utah on the tiny plane (two seats on each aisle) and there were only extra oxygen masks on one side, meaning that Derek had to hold the baby while sitting next to Jacob AND we forgot the carseat? Highlights include Jacob coloring on the wall of the plane with crayon, ME being confronted about it by two angry stewardesses (and I am a few aisles away...), Jacob throwing the mother of all tantrums on descent and me finding out that at the tender age of two he is now stronger than I am and Derek going berserker on the stewardess ....... That is just the highlights, there is more...

Or, the one where I left the room for 5 minutes and Jacob managed to find a tube of Desitin and cover himself, two lazy boys chairs, my mom's NEW couch, the Christmas tree, the DVD player AND the baby in it. And by the way, it DOESN'T come out. Ever.

I know, I can tell the one about where I put him down for a nap at Oh Judy's and he got out of the crib, found some Christmas presents, unwrapped and OPENED them and played happily until I found him...

Why did I think that coming out here for 10 days was a good idea? How can I keep him from destroying this house? It has been suggested that I tether him to something heavy. That might work, but he is freakishly strong and we might just end up giving him a giant, heavy weapon instead of an anchor. Lately he is really hard at home and I have really been struggling with him. The thing is that he isn't trying to be bad, he is just curious. At home we have a room that is totally empty and he can't really destroy anything in there and can't get hurt. That is how I make it through the day. I have a crib tent for him in his bed because I need to have one place for him where I know he is safe. His room is on the second floor and there are sliding doors that go out to a balcony. He knows how to unlock the doors. Last week he was so fed up with the tent, he chewed a hole in it and stuck his hand through the hole and unzipped it. So, now we tie up the hold and pin the zipper down. It is just a matter of time before he figures that one out too. He is very mechanical. He can take a part pens (all the way down to the springs) and flashlights (did you know a flashlight could be broken down into about 25 pieces?) and radios. He figured out how to take the lid off the baby Tylenol at about 18 months. He took the childproof cap off the children's vitamins last week (that whole push and twist thing is nothing for him......).

What am I supposed to do with this child that is both stronger and smarter that I am? What keeps me going is that Oh Judy's son was very similar (her stories are WAY better than mine, so far...) and he is now the happiest and easiest child. I just have to hang in there for a few more years..........


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm loving this....

I don't know why, but these colors are what make me happy. I love the blue and orange combo. I had great plans to paint the kitchen this color of blue. We have white cabinets and crown molding so it would still be very light and airy. Then, I wanted to paint the kids table orange with matching chairs a light color of orange. The color of the berries isn't very good in this picture, but they are a really great October-y orange.

THAT would be a happy kitchen.

Instead, we are getting a new kitchen (new as in "rip everything out and put it all back in again shiny and new and exactly how the NEXT person that buy's this condo would want it to be"). It will some sort of cookie cutter neutral wood w/ dark counters and stainless appliances. No blue or orange in my future. We are hoping to move back to the next town over in the near future because it is a little bit more culturally diverse. In our area, doing stuff like this to a house can bring HUGE returns in the resale. Since all houses cost one million billion dollars (well, more like just a million) every little bit counts. One the one hand, it totally stinks that the down payment on our house will be the same as the entire mortgage for my parents house. On the other hand, we get to live HERE. It is awesome here and we love it. Besides, I don't mind condo living. Sure we share a few walls but we also have a pool and a gardener and someone else has to deal with things like garbage bills and burnt out light bulbs.

The sad part is that we will only live with the cool new kitchen for a little while before we sell and move to a place that will NOT be remodeled (I have a feeling we will not be in that kind of mortgage range...) and we start over at "old and needs work". That is ok. A yard would be great for my kiddos'. I met with the designer yesterday and it is going to be really cool. We will get to live with the cool kitchen for just a little while before we sell our souls and move to a new place that we can't afford to remodel. We might even (gasp) be able to move into a house. An actual house with a yard (but don't get too excited....the houses here are the size of a just don't share walls). So, until then, I will cook in my cool new kitchen and store up that grate new kitchen feeling. I will also do my best to keep my children from destroying the kitchen before we can manage to move away from here......

That is it for me this rainy Wednesday. I am frantically doing last minute projects so I can pack up and leave town for two weeks (why did I think that was a good idea?). Christmas cards are on their way...... sort of........ I will post from the road. :-)

Friday, December 08, 2006


Hey all,

My kids are the "gratuitous kid picture" of the week over at Anti-Racist Parent. Check them out. You have seen the picture before, but still.

I love the Anti Racist Parent website. The tagline is "for parents committed to raising their children with an anti racist outlook". This isn't a site that is applicable only to transracial families or people of other ethnicities. It is for everyone. They track racial issues that are in the news, but they ask a series of questions every week that challenge you to examine the views that we all have of race. I have appreciated their approach on how to live our lives in such a way that we recognize that racism exists (so, we aren't trying to pretend it isn't out there) but that we can challenge others to think differently.

I have 4 or 5 posts that are mostly written, but haven't edited or added the links. It has been mayhem in my house. Jacob has turned positively demonic (AKA "a teething two year old") and it is all I can do to keep it together until bedtime.... sorry about the lack of posts...........

Have a good weekend.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lauren can always make her smile...

...even if she does look at her like she has three heads the rest of the time.

Lu took this one... not bad, eh?

Happy Monday....

Saturday, December 02, 2006