Friday, December 16, 2011

"You got me a deep fryer?"

Ok.  It’s day 3 of the Christmas decorations and I am beyond ecstatic to announce that the turkeys have not broken a single ornament.  I knew they could do it.  

What, I didn't?  Gee, my memory must be worse than I thought.   

Yesterday, I posted a request for advice on facebook.  The responses were awesome.  Thank you for taking the time to give such thoughtful ideas. 

David and I have decided to get the boys Android tablets.  I found two on Craigslist for $180 (total).  I know there are a lot of parents out there that would disagree with this decision, but we are getting them for several reasons. 

There are a ton of educational games on these suckers and I would rather them play some sort of educational game than watch T.V.  That being said, the fact that we can watch Netflix on them is another reason.  Especially when we are out to dinner.  

Seriously, now that they are no longer in high chairs, I need something to keep them distracted.  Otherwise it sounds like the Indianapolis 500 in our booth with the ridiculously loud sounds the children make with their hot wheels.  Or they start playing hide and seek with the unwilling people in the booth next to us.  Or they just heave their hot wheels into the booth behind us.  These turkeys move faster than the flipping speed of light, I am certain of it. 

I am also please to announce that my husband found one of his Christmas gifts the other day while he was decorating the house for Christmas.  Seeing as though he is only getting two, I am batting .500 in the present hiding department.  To be honest, I didn’t hide it all that well anyway. But did he really have to say,

“Why is there a deep fryer in that box over there?”

Gee, honey, I don’t know.  Why the hell would there be a brand new deep fryer hidden in a box in the garage?  Do ya think it might be a Christmas present?  Couldn't you have just pretended you didn't see it and look all surprised and uber happy on Christmas morning to indulge your poor wife?

‘What?  You got me a deep fryer?  Why would you do that?”

I’ve lost track, but that may be strike 3.

Despite my husband’s seemingly dogged determination to take away what little Christmas spirit I have, I am getting much better and more excited for the big day.  Hope you all are getting everything done that needs to be done and thinking about the true reason for the season. 

Love and peace


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh, where are you Christmas spirit?

Finally, it’s done!  And all because of my wonderful husband.  If it weren’t for him Christmas may have not come to our house this year.  Last night I came home from work to find the house almost completely decorated.  He had the tree up as well as the rest of the decorations.  Although, I think last night I discovered that his mission in life is definitely to make me insane. 

You see for the past couple of years we have not put any ornaments on the tree.  This is actually the first year we don’t have the damn thing fastened to the wall out of fear that turkey number 1 or turkey number 2 would try to wrestle the giant green monstrosity to the ground.  Well, last night, my dear sweet husband, looks at me, stands his ground and says,

“We are going to put ornaments on the tree this year.”

Me, with images of shattered ornaments laying all over my hard wood floor dancing in my head, replies:  “But, but, but…they’re not ready.”

Translation:  I don’t feel like spending my days constantly disciplining them for not leaving the freaking tree and all its sparkling balls alone.  I don’t feel like cleaning up broken glass and I don’t feel like putting all the ornaments away in two weeks.  

Bah, Humbug!

I am not gonna lie.  For some reason the Christmas decorating spirit has completely eluded me this year.  For those of you who know me well, you are probably shocked.  And rightly so.  My home at Christmas used to “look like Santa threw up in it.”  That little quote is compliments of my former law school roommate, Lisa. 

Up until 2 years ago, I was a gung ho, put out Christmas before Thanksgiving kinda gal.   Christmas music on November 1st?  I loved it.  Not so much anymore.   You would think it would be the opposite seeing as how I finally have a couple of kids that realize Christmas is pretty cool and not just the time of year where we drag them to see a stranger with a white beard and suit whose lap they are forced to sit on.  

Maybe I didn’t decorate because it is such a pain in the ass to put up and drag down and I am exhausted.  Yep, that is definitely the biggest reason.  These two turkeys, while I love them with all of my heart and soul, are wearing me out and I am tired. 

However, this morning, when they came out of their room to the house and tree trimmed and beautiful with their faces full of sheer joy and delight, I was reminded of a simple fact. 

This is all for them and they are more than worth the pain of a couple of broken ornaments.

Love and peace


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Laughter really is the best medicine

Oh Hayden and Logan!  What am I going to do with you?  Sometimes all I can do is laugh. 

Like when you Logan, go potty and don’t put your pants back on and then mosey on over to the couch and lay across the back of it with your bare butt in the air.  Yeah, all I can do is laugh.  Sorry, kids, no nakey butt pictures on the blog, but I did get one.  Oh yes, I did and it is GREAT.  It is carefully archived on the computer and reserved for future use.

All I can do is laugh, when you run outside in the morning and insist upon turning the Christmas lights on and insist upon leaving them on ALL DAY LONG.

All I can do is laugh, Hayden, when you come bounding into our room when the sun is just starting to rise, hollering, “Time to wake up Mommy and Daddy!  Sun’s coming up!”  I really need to teach you how to make coffee before doing that.

All I can do is laugh, turkeys when I walk into your bedroom and you are jumping from bed to bed, grinning from ear to ear saying, “Mommy, watch me!  Watch me!” 

All I can do is laugh, when I discover you put my favorite pair of jeans in the washer, while it was running and into a load of whites, with bleach, no less.  At least they were only $8 jeans I purchased on ebay, but damn, those were my favorite pair.

All I can do is laugh when I walk into your playroom and you have systematically turned over every single container of toys looking for that one red truck which you probably threw over the fence the other day anyway.

All I can do is laugh, boys, when you walk out of my closet wearing my black high heels shoes and say, “Look mommy, I found it, I found it, shoes match.”

All I can do is laugh when I go into the bathroom to find the sink almost overflowing because you decided to stuff toilet paper down the drain and turn the water on.

Oh, boys, you bring me so much joy every day and some days I just have to laugh.

Love and peace


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The little known side effect of being a NICU mommy

Sorry I’ve been a MIA the past several days.  Things have been a little crazy here. 

Oh, who am I kidding, I just haven’t felt like writing.  I’m entitled, right?  After all it is my blog.  It is probably a good thing that I am not a professional blogger.

I had a bit of a revelation today.   I kinda suck as a mom.  Okay, that may be a little extreme, but I had this revelation as my kid was screaming for a second glazed donut as an afternoon snack and I gave in. 

I shouldn’t have given him the first glazed donut to begin with.  But man, when that kid (take your pick, either one or both) look at me and say, “Please mommy. Donut, please,”  I am a complete and utter pushover. 

I know there are a lot of moms out there that would stick to their guns and under no circumstances give their kid a donut as a midafternoon snack.  But I am not one of them.  I also fix my kids multiple things to eat for lunch and dinner.  If they do not want turkey, I fix something else.  I wish I could be strong and say, “Either eat this, or nothing at all.”

I can’t.

I have a strong suspicion that my behavior now is a direct result of their premature entrance into the world.  From the moment they were born, everyone was obsessed with how much food they got.   When and exactly how many ounces they consumed was my job for the entire first year of their life.  For crying out loud, when they were learning how to breastfeed in the NICU, we had to weigh them before they nursed and then after they nursed to determine exactly how much milk they were able to get.  I think that scarred me for life.  I’ve been preoccupied with their weight and food intake ever since.

I am obsessed with how much my children eat.  I just want them to eat.  I don’t care what they ask for or when they ask for it.  I will generally give it to them.  While the rational part of my brain knows that they will not starve if they do not eat that second glazed donut, the irrational part of my brain is so worried that they will starve if they don’t eat that second glazed donut.  I know, totally insane thinking, right?

Lucky for me, the donut thing is an anomaly.  Usually they ask for somewhat healthy items, like vegetables, chicken, fish and fruit.  They do not eat a ton of junk food.  They do not like candy.  Thank you God for that one.  And my kids are not overweight at all; they are still in the 75% for weight and like 99% for height.  They are very active children and play hard. 

I just wish I could get over this irrational thinking. 

My kids will not starve, my kids will not starve, my kids will not starve.  Repeat every 5 seconds until it gets through your brain Andrea. 

Wishing you all a wonderful and non-obsessive weekend full of fun!

Love and peace


Monday, December 5, 2011

Heat lamps are my best friend

Yesterday was the annual Graves/Boring trip to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the holiday display entitled “Las Noches de Luminarias.”  It was, as always, a lovely night spent with family minus the turkeys.  They were tucked at home with their girlfriend/babysitter Meaghan. 

This year Mother Nature played a nasty trick on us.  That mean old lady made it cold (45ish) and rainy. 

In Phoenix. 

In December. 

That is seriously unheard of.  At least in my 2 ½ years of valley residency.  We actually had to wear gloves, scarves and hats.  I did not move to the Valley of the Sun to deal with this kind of crap.  The slow, steady, drizzle froze my bones, and face, and eyeballs, and, well, you get the picture.   

Our evening didn’t start off rainy.  It was cloudy and cold, but us Arizonans firmly believed that the ominous looking clouds would not produce any lasting precipitation.  Hmmmmph…wrong.

But I am slowly working through my anger at Mother Nature.  We did have a great time despite her efforts to dampen our spirits. 

It began with a hoard of people gathering at the gates of the gardens, chomping to get in.  Seriously, kids, this was reminiscent of the video footage I saw at Walmart on Black Friday.  And as my brother so cleverly quipped to his wife, she and I were the only two of child-bearing age within sight. 

Yeah, so you really don’t want to get in Grandma’s way, as my husband quickly learned after receiving the death glare from one of blue hairs upon daring to follow his family through the gates. 

We had a lovely dinner and then the rain started.  Thankfully, Padre Graves, the leader for the evening had done his research.  He led us to one of the only covered pavilions with a musical act.

And then I saw them.

The heat lamps.

I made a beeline for the only open table with a heat lamp and beat out some lady for the primo spot.  Oh, wait, that was my mom.  Sorry, madre but NOBODY stands between me and a heat lamp when it is 45 outside. 

Okay, okay there was plenty of room for all three of us ladies to bask in the glow of the heat lamp.  I did not force the woman who gave birth to me stand there shivering.  Geez, people, have some faith.

So we bunkered down while the rain drizzled around us and enjoyed the delta/blues band until we realized something very important.  We had trekked all the way over there without stopping to get anything to drink.  And no, I am not talking about hot chocolate. 

So Lauren and I batted our little eyes at our husbands and off they went to fetch a couple of bottles of wine.   Padre was excused from this mission since he found us such a top notch spot.   I did feel a little bit bad when they returned sopping wet, but the warm red wine in my belly removed all traces of guilt rather quickly.

And there we sat warm and cozy listening to an awesome blues band for a couple of hours.  I almost felt like I was back in the Midwest for a while, you know, except for the cactuses and palm trees.

Love and peace


Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Who's your favorite rapper?"

Yesterday was one of the all around nicest days I have had in a long time!  My brother Jeff, and sister in law Lauren are visiting from Cleveland for a few days, which is always a treat!

And, it was my madre’s birthday!  She probably won’t read this, but Happy Birthday Mommy! 

The boys and I had a peaceful morning.  About 9:30 we packed up the ol’ minivan to head over to our local floral shop (i.e. grocery store) to pick up some flowers for the birthday gal and then to mom and dads for the birthday breakfast. 

As I was checking out the flower selection and debating between 2 individual roses or a small bouquet, the turkeys discovered they were able to reach the strings attached to the mylar ballons which were floating directly overhead in a cage type thing to keep them stationary. 

Yep, before I knew it, about 5 balloons had been captured by Hayden and Logan and they were making a run for it.  I was able to catch them around the meat department and herd them and the balloons back. 

I quickly decided that individual roses were the way to go, handed them each a rose and headed to the checkout.   At some point in the 30 feet from the floral department to the checkout lane, the turkeys decided the long stem roses would make perfect pirate swords.  That was enjoyable; almost as enjoyable as the looks of pity I encountered from nearly every individual I made eye contact with. 

After the birthday breakfast, the turkeys spent some time rolling around with Uncle Beff and Dandad.  Then, Jeff, Lauren, the boys and I headed to the grocery store to pick up items for mom’s birthday dinner. 

Grocery store?  Twice in one day, Andrea?  You must be trying to drive yourself crazy!

Oh, but see, since there were other people with me, I could throw the boys in a couple carts and they were completely unable to wreak any havoc.  It was a beautiful thing. 

We were in the car on the way home from the grocery when the boys started fussing.  My brother, God bless his heart, starts asking the boys random questions, you know, to get them to stop whining.  One of the questions was,   “Who’s your favorite politician?”  To which Hayden responded, “Hmmmmmm.”  Perfect answer, Hayden, perfect answer. 

The other question was, “Who’s your favorite rapper?”  My brother worked with them on the answer to this question for several minutes.  Stay tuned for the answer. 

Turkeys did not nap well, which sucked but we muscled through.  The family arrived at 445.  I was a little crazed because of lack of nap.  Lack of nap = lack of break for mommy.  My dad, sweet man that he is, must have seen the “I need a drink and I need a drink bad” look in my eye and took the boys on a wagon ride for about an hour. 

So David and Jeff were able to prepare our feast without a couple of kiddos underfoot.  Lauren, mom and I drank wine and sat outside. 

The birthday dinner was a hit and we were having dessert when Hayden wandered over and climbed on David’s lap.  It was at that moment my brother asks, “Hayden, who’s your favorite rapper?”

Hayden didn’t say anything for about 30 seconds and we didn’t think he was going to remember the intense training he received on his alleged favorite rapper while riding in the car this afternoon when all of the sudden his mouth opens and out come the words,

“Dr. Dre.” 

I hope you can get a visual in your head of that one, because it was seriously one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time

Thanks, brother, my kid now thinks Dr. Dre is the best rapper on the earth.  We have some serious re-wiring to do, to get that idea out of his head. 

Happy Saturday!

Love and peace


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jesus Lights

Sometimes my turkeys absolutely blow me away with how much they REALLY know.  Their little minds are just moving at light speed and picking up so much new information every day. 

I’ve been talking to them about Jesus lately.  After all, they are going to be baptized in the next couple of months, better get ‘em ready for that little dip.  And it is Christmas.  Basically all they know is that Jesus loves them.  But that’s a pretty good start I would say for a couple of 3 year olds.

They have gone to church with me only once.  We lasted for the first 10 minutes of mass and then headed to the cry room, where they preceded to reorganize all the chairs and play with the volume button.  They haven’t returned.  Every week, I gaze wishfully at all the other toddlers that seem to do so well at mass.  Their parents must engage in some serious bribery or blackmail to ensure such good behavior. 

Or maybe my kids just aren’t wired with any sort of “sit still” behavior, you know, unless I tie them down. 

I’m not really sure where or how Hayden figured out that the cross was a symbol of Jesus Christ.   But he knows.

We went to a Christmas Light “flip the switch” night last weekend.  There is a local church that goes ALL out decorating its campus for Christmas.  They even hang cross-shaped Christmas lights in the trees. 

Well, we arrived and had some cookies, or I did, the turkeys each took one bite of theirs and promptly handed the remaining cookie to me.  I couldn’t let perfectly good cookies go to waste, now could I?

Four cookies later and we were waiting with anticipation for the organizers to “flip the switch.”  Well, I was waiting eagerly; the turkeys were more interested in jumping off fire hydrants and walking along curbs.  I should mention that the parking lot was roped off, so the danger was minimalized.  No danger of being hit by cars, just in danger of cracking their heads open.  No big deal.

So the countdown began and the lights were on!  We were right under a tree with the lighted crosses.  Hayden looked up and said,

“Look, Mommy, Jesus lights!  Pretty Jesus lights.”

His little brain is something else.  I sure do love my turkeys.  They warm my heart.

Love and peace