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Kitties & Stuff

Monday, February 28, 2011

The post below was written completely by Eleanore. Sentences may or may not be complete, words may or may not make sense. I'm simply the messenger.

This is our pictures. I love them. YES! We are blogging right now, and it is so much fun! I think what a blog is, is when you write down stuff. Hows my hair look now? (she thinks you can see her)

Ummm. I love baby animals.

Do you know how to make a yarn bird out of glitter and apples slices?

Do you know how to ummm, make flowers grow with shoes and a huge pail of water? *she bursts into a fit of 4 year old giggles*

We're going to put up a picture, and then download it for somebody. I want to show you my stuff. Because we're blogging.

Me and Mommy took these pictures today...

I snuggle with my kitties. And then Mom takes my picture. My kitties are so happy, they almost cried. My kitties loved it, but then kitty knew that, but she had enough of snuggling.

This is my baby sister Evelyn. Do you know how to make a paper baby? If a paper baby is made out of a real baby, then Evelyn will become a paper Evelyn!

I like to snuggle with Evelyn, I like to eat with Evelyn, I like to ummm, snuggle with Evelyn, I like to hold her. All that kinds of stuff! Evelyn sleeps. A lot. Evelyn drinks boobie. Evelyn ummm, eats solid food sometimes (no she doesn't).

Evelyn does all kinds of stuff!

This is my bedroom! My room is good, its very neat.

This is my bed. I love my bed! My bed is comfy, and it is cozy, and it makes me warm and cozy when I go to bed.

Sometimes when Charlie is sleeping, I get to go color. I don't color all of the pictures, because I want to read. Soo, instead of sleeping, I color and read, because Mom lets me.

And sometimes Kitty is there.

These are my crayons. My crayons are fun and they are all different colors. I throw the crayon papers all over my carpet, and Mom makes me pick 'em up.

Want to see the inside of my closet??

My closet is very neat, with tons of stuff right in it, even my clothes for when I go to bed, and when I'm awake. I have some toys. And my movies got taken away but I can get them back I promise. (Her movies actually didn't get taken away, but her Hello Kitty comforter did)

Ok I'm done with my room now.

This is me when I was a baby. These pictures are in the hallway hanging on the wall upstairs.

I can scoot down the stairs on my butt. Mom always tells Charlie to scoot down on his butt, so that he doesn't fall down. I can walk, but sometimes I like to be a baby too.

I am 4! And I have a Mommy and Daddy and a Brother Charlie, and a Sister. I like kitties. I have tons of friends, and I make new friends. I like to play with my friends, I like to paint, I like to read books, I like to go places.

My favorite thing to play is hundred acre wood friends, I got them for my birthday!

My favorite thing to eat is cocoa loco bars. My favorite thing to drink is apple juice.

My favorite thing to do with Daddy is play with Daddy. My favorite thing to do with Mommy is blog with Mommy. Charlie is my little brother, sometimes he doesn't want to play what I play, but I get used to it. Thats all I want to say Mom, I'm really tired of blogging.

...Oh. I'll take that as my cue to wrap it up then.

And I want to be a photographer when I grow up.

Goodbye blogging friends!

Flashback Friday- Both Wearing Button Ups

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm in an awkward position on the couch, using the stiff fabric covered arm as my pillow, with my netbook balanced on my hip. Its uncomfortable, but- better than sitting up. I'm tired, friends. I haven't been getting nearly enough sleep lately. There just aren't enough hours in the day. So as soon as I hit publish on this post, I'm off to bed. That is, if I can pry Christopher away from his intense game of Wii Harry Potter.

This weeks flashback is kind of awesome. And kind of embarrassing.

See I have these 2 school portraits. One of my Dad, and one of me. They're not from the same grade, but when put beside one another, it doesn't matter.

I held the two side by side in the air, and I laughed. I am so my Father's daughter.

I was in the 8th grade, when my picture was taken, and I think that my Dad was maybe a Freshman. Either way, the difference couldn't have been more than a year or two in age...

Ignore the fact that my Dad was obviously stoned in his (Daaaad! Shame shame!), and that my head must have been attacked by some kind of hair eating bobby pin monster- we basically look like the same person.

Unibrow- check. Big shiny bottom lip- check. Length of forehead and shape of chin- check, and check. Facial hair- ...yeah well, not back then at least (remind me to get out the tweezers and wax strips this weekend).

Also, nice vest Dad.

I'm totally not one to talk, with my ridiculous Chinese symbol earrings, multiple mismatching necklaces, and button up maroon colored cardigan that I wore every other day.

As you can see, I didn't really blossom, for lack of a better word, until later in life. No wonder attractive-rock n roll-football-player-guy never gave me the time of day.

Anyways, putting these photos side by side, is pretty rad. Seeing the similarities, even though anybody who knows us can easily tell that we're related, just makes me feel so nostalgic.

I guess people used to mistake my Dad for being Hispanic? Umm... yeah I think if anything, he kind of looks like John Cusack. Right? Maybe a little? ...okay well I think so at least (huge compliment to you, Dad. John Cusack is obviously ranked pretty high on the good-looking-dude charts).

So heres what we do. Every week we dig through our memories- old cell phone pictures, polaroids from 1986, something that you pulled out of a dirty shoe box- and we flashback to it. We show it off, and we write about it. We take ourselves back to that place, with as little or as much detail as our hearts are willing to share. Scan it, upload it, copy and paste it from your livejournal (remember those?)- display your memories in whatever way works for you. And then grab out button way down at the bottom of the page there (or link back old fashioned text style), add it to your flashback, add your link to our flashback, and if you've got an extra minute- maybe browse around and read some of the flashbacks left by others. Its just for fun. And really- memories are too precious to be left in an old dirty shoe box.

*This is a comment-free blog


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Its common for the weather to change quickly, and drastically, where we live. I think the craziest shift we ever saw, was a 65 degree temperature drop in something like 6 hours? Its just one of those things that we've gotten used to.

A few weeks ago there was a blizzard that had us stuck in our house for 4 days straight. We were seriously feasting on plain white rice, and trying to convince the kids that the milk they were drinking wasn't from a crappy shelf stable box that we pulled out of the pantry in our time of emergency.

But then a couple days ago, not long after all of the ice melted- the sun came back out, and we were blessed with a nice little winter heat wave. An 85 degree day in February.

We opened up the back door, and let the kids run free. Sunblock, the sprinkler, the play house and slide- all of it.

But Miss Evelyn, with her beautiful white porcelain skin, layed down on a vintage floral pattern baby sleeping bag in the shadow of the fence, and enjoyed the view from there.

Okay so maybe the shaded area wasn't quite as fun as jumping through droplets of water exploding out of a flower shaped hose, but- when you can't yet walk, or even sit up on your own, you have to make do with what you've got!

And even though it may have been slightly less than torture, for the baby to lay there on her tiny ship of comfort in a sea of dead scratchy brown grass, it sure was fun for me!

Look at how cute she looks lying there, in her little red striped polo dress!
Feet crossed, tongue sticking out, HAH! The cuteness!

So she stretched, and she squealed. She reached for her toes, and happily strummed them like a guitar.

Brother and Sister ran circles after each other in the yard behind us, Daddy chased after them with "Monster Claw!", and I hovered in the dark part of the grass, hiding from the sun, and playing the part of Mama Bear.

But the warm air was just all too nice, and soon she started rubbing her eyes. Enough is enough, says the crying baby with her hands covering her face.

Soon rubbing her eyes turned into whining, turned into crying, turned into screaming. Not even an attack of KissesKissesKissesKisses from Mama and Sister could crack a smile out of her ready-for-nursing-and-a-nap face.

So Evelyn and I brushed off the dried grass from our feet, waved goodbye to our wintertime summer afternoon, and headed back inside the house for a round of milk and a lay down.

The warmth, the shade, and our toes will still be there tomorrow.

Window Scribbles

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I don't care who you are, or where you're from- ...wait! Did I really just start typing out the lyrics to a Backstreet Boys song? I promise I didn't mean to. As I was going to type my next line though- I started singing the tune in my head (because when I was 15 I probably saw the video on TRL 8 billion times), and rather than just deleting it and starting over with my post, I decided to instead to point it out and hopefully get the song stuck in all of your heads too. Did it work?

Okay but now what I was going to say, was that I don't care who you are or where you're from- there is nothing like getting new art supplies. And I'm not talking the crappy Rose Art kind that you buy for a few bucks cheaper (because we all know that those suck in comparison), but ya know, the bright colorful might-as-well-be-getting-a-new-car crayola kind.

And seriously, what doesn't crayola make these days?

We were browsing around at the BX the other day (basically a military kmart, in case you're not quite hip to the air force beat that we step to), and there on the end of an aisle, was a display of window crayons and markers? I didn't even think twice... straight into the basket they went.

Lately, Charlie has been coloring on everything. The walls, the floor, the toilet. How do you color on the toilet, you wonder? I don't know, why don't you ask Charlie, he seems to be a pro at it.

Magic Erasers seem to be key when it comes to cleaning colorful wax off of random household surfaces, but I don't have any, and even if I did, I find it awfully annoying to have to scrub purple swirly marks off of toy drums and play kitchen oven doors. We color on paper, kids. PAPER!

As soon as we got home, as promised to the whiny impatient children at the store, the packages flew open, the shades pulled up, and the babies turned into little artists...

The kids stood at the back window, separated by a Fisher Price Animal Zoo on the ground between them, confused as to how they were actually being allowed to smear what looked like rainbow stick lipstick all over the glass .

Eleanore jumped into it much more quickly than Charlie did, since shes not the one thats constantly sitting on a chair in time out for drawing "dinosaurs" on the door by the laundry room. After I assured him over and over again though, that it was okay, he started taking the caps off, and legally breaking the rules.

Tap, tap, tap, went his finger tip to the color. And then tap, tap, tap, went the color to the glass.

And you should have seen the way that his face lit up. Like all of his toilet scribbling dreams had come true.

Mama wasn't yelling. Crayons weren't being snatched from guilty hands. The time out chair remained empty and on the other side of the house?!

Eleanore had lined up all of the markers be on the sill, being very particular about how she went about her painting. And when I tried to take pictures of it, she made pirate sounds, followed by monster sounds, and then just gave me the look seen above.


Okay okay, I hear you. You want me out of your space. You've got a canvas to create on. Okaaay. I'm going.

Stand back, stand back!

I have no idea what it was that she was drawing, but it was big, and bright, and made her laugh. So whatever it was- it was awesome.

And once Charlie got a feel for it, he really went for it. Loopdy loops and swirly swirls, jagged lines and dots and smudges. The works.

The shadows that crept onto his face and arm, through the thick marks that he had left on the glass, were so intense- in the most perfect black and white sort of way.

Because coloring on the glass isn't something that happens every day, the kids didn't get bored of it after 5 minutes, the same way that they do with a regular ol' coloring book and crayons.

And when they were all finished, and the windows were nice and dirtied up, the kids were both extremely proud of their beautiful pieces of work, as they should have been...

Good job, babies! No other artists in the world could have painted a prettier picture than the two of you did.

Someday you'll have to show your baby sister how its done.

Aaaand, not having to bust out the magic eraser to clean it all up, definitely made it more fun for Mama. These crayons are toilet scribbles approved.

Goodmorning Sunshine

Monday, February 21, 2011

When we were pregnant with Eleanore, we were gifted an old used crib by my parents. Not used by them for me, but used by one of my Dad's work friends, not so gently, but with a good amount of use and love left in it.

As Eleanore grew out of it, and Charlie grew into it (keep in mind that the crib, by this point, had moved homes several times), we decided to freshen it up by painting it white. A brighter color to bring light to the room, and maybe cover up some of the scuffs and scratches that had accumulated.

When Charlie moved out of the baby bed recently, just a month or two ago, we had to make the painful decision of taking the crib apart, and putting it away (throwing it away) for good. I had always thought that all of my babies would use the same crib, but it just so happened to get worn out at the exact same time as the drop side ban took place.

The same night, in fact, that we heard about the new ban on drop side cribs, Christopher went into Charlie's room, where the crib hadn't yet been taken apart, but was instead just pushed into the shadows of Charlie's new toddler bed- and he applied pressure to the rail, just to see if a dangerous drop was possible (because no way could our innocent baby bed be the death trap that its accuse of being).

The side collapsed. Dangit.All he did was go in there and touch it, and the thing fell apart (good thing our babies have never been crib jumpers). So anyways, the crib had to go. We said our goodbyes, and then just the other day, the tax return fairy brought us a new one.

A nice little cozy nest for baby Evelyn

Not bad, right? It looks pretty comfortable, with the assortment of soft colorful blankets draped about, the elephant friend music projector at the foot, right there beside the window, and underneath her beautiful embroidered "bean" plaque.

Well lets see what Miss Evelyn thinks of it...

Oh thats right. Somewhere around 3am, she must have gotten lonely, and hungry, and when all of Daddy's soothing and singing failed to rock her back to sleep, she could only find comfort on my breast.

So she woke up in our bed with us.
So much for her new nest.

It looks like I wasn't the only one not too happy about having to sleep uncomfortably in order to prevent babies from getting rolled over onto. Kitty couldn't come get her routine morning pets, because surprise! The loud obnoxious red headed kitten was in her spot.

And the whole reason that we had to get a crib anyways, is because Evelyn, in case you haven't noticed, has gotten kind of huge. Look at her there, taking up an entire half of the bed. If shes doing that, then where in the heck am I supposed to sleep? God forbid I actually have to touch my husband overnight (he twitches in his sleep and it wakes me up, so that was only partially sarcasm)!

Oh Evelyn. I don't mind. So I woke up not being able to feel my arm, my neck has a permanent kink in it, and the entire left upper half of my body froze in order to keep the blankets as far away from your face as possible- its okay.

But hey, maybe tonight lets try to sleep here...

Just an idea.

I love you no matter where you sleep. Even though I'd prefer to have my half of the bed all to myself, with nothing and nobody touching me.

Oh, and just an FYI...

I wear a toe ring now.

I just thought everyone should know.

Mama's, make sure you ditch those old drop side cribs. And babies, make sure you sleep well for the Mama's.

Evelyn that includes you.

Flashback Friday- We Have To Eat Too

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Before I dive into an event that happened last summer, flashback style, I really want to make sure that y'all read the post that I wrote yesterday. I know that some of you only stop by here on Fridays for the link up and trip down memory lane, and thats totally okay, I welcome you however you come, but- its an important post, and it would mean a lot to me if you read it?

Now. Onward...

It was in the 80s today. It was so warm (and perfect, and beautiful), that I got sunburned. We set up the sprinkler in the back yard, which the kids have been terrified of until today, took our clothes off (okay well not all of them, and not me), and ran through the water. There were bees, and crickets, and ... it is still February, right? Wasn't it just snowing last week? There was some kind of blizzard and we were trapped inside for 4 days?

Well todays visit from summer, reminded me of last July. The smell of sunblock and bbq.

Something that I guess I've kind of stopped talking about so much, is our food intolerances and allergies (add carob to the list of can't-have's btw). Until this past summer, would you believe it if I told you that we hadn't been out to eat in well over a year? That means nobody had cooked for us, other than each other, in something like 430 days. Can you even imagine? ...it was sad.

So then I met this really rad lady, named Marlene. I don't remember exactly how it was that she had found my blog, but we talked a little bit here and a little bit there, and it turned out that she was the manager for a restaurant here in town (Red Robin, yummm). She asked me more than once, if we wanted to come in, and assured me that her and her staff would shut down the dang place if they had to, in order to serve us a meal that wouldn't kill us (because believe me when I say that a single grain of wheat is the death of me). And while at first I was nothing but "no thank you"s and "maybe some other time"s, come Christopher's birthday, after a whole lotta convincing- I really did want to take him out, and more than that ...I just didn't want to cook for once, haha.

So we set up a time when she was working, we got the family all together (Eleanore didn't even know what a restaurant was), and we went out to eat.

Marlene was amazing. She had literally given her staff a pep talk. More than once I think. They had a game plan. A game plan, you guys! A special table for us, special menus for us, and when it came to cook our food, they brought out specially sanitized cookware, and shut the kitchen down in order to make me salmon that was surely untouched by anything else.

At the time, I was hugely pregnant with Evelyn, and had been having contractions all day. The anxiety of eating somewhere other than my own kitchen, food that somebody else had made, was enough to keep the cramps coming steadily. I almost thought I wasn't going to be able to go in, I was so stressed out about the whole thing.

But y'all- it was awesome. If theres anybody in Abilene Texas reading this, with food allergies or without, Red Robin wins. Nobody else in this town (or in this world, even) would have gone through so much trouble just to give our family a break at dinnertime. Nobody.

We have family coming into town next month, and I'm anxious to go out again. Even though we know we can go there now, its still such a hassle. Not only for us (I don't know how other families do it, because we just don't travel well), but for all of the folks that have to cater to my "if I eat this I'm going to die" requests. Next month when Christopher's Dad & Brother come to town, we're totally going. I can't force them to eat our crazy everything-free diet the whole time they're here, and I have to admit, I've been dying to sit in a booth and watch my kids sip happily from their fun bendy straw plastic restaurant sippy cups.

I didn't take too many pictures when we went, I spent most of the time trying to explain to the kids what the hell we were doing (seriously, neither of them know what eating out is, it was so confusing for them), but I did manage to sneak a few in, between spilt ice water and ketchup artwork.

Eleanore loving her blue balloon.

Charlie sucking from a straw for the first time.

I taught Elie how to hold a crayon the right way.

And then these ones are my favorite...

I know that for most people, going out to eat is no big deal. You do it once a month, once a week, whatever. But for us, the family who has 8 billion different food allergies and sensitivities, each one different from the other- its epic.

To this day, Eleanore still asks me if I remember when we went to Red Robin, haha. Because its right up there with the Dallas Zoo, and if given the chance, Disneyland.

So heres what we do. Every week we dig through our memories- old cell phone pictures, polaroids from 1986, something that you pulled out of a dirty shoe box- and we flashback to it. We show it off, and we write about it. We take ourselves back to that place, with as little or as much detail as our hearts are willing to share. Scan it, upload it, copy and paste it from your livejournal (remember those?)- display your memories in whatever way works for you. And then grab out button way down at the bottom of the page there (or link back old fashioned text style), add it to your flashback, add your link to our flashback, and if you've got an extra minute- maybe browse around and read some of the flashbacks left by others. Its just for fun. And really- memories are too precious to be left in an old dirty shoe box.

In Search of a Simpler Life

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The other night I found myself in that place again. Lying in bed, lights off, eyes wide open, staring at the wall. I was going over the days events over and over and over again, trying to remember what had happened, and maybe pinpoint what I maybe had missed.

I felt empty.

I had woken up that morning with no particular goals in mind. I had flown through our morning routine, somehow blending it into our afternoon routine, and then... there I was- lying in bed, not knowing where my day had gone.

This is the exact place that I had been in, when I decided to cancel comment on my blog. The I'm-missing-out-on-my-life, part.

So I tossed and I turned. I listened to the baby breathe, in her bassinet beside the bed. I listened to my husband chomp his mouth open and closed, as he must have been dreaming he was a horse eating grass. I listened to the cat crunch her food in the closet, the dishwasher run its rinse cycle, and the clock in Eleanore's room down the hall, tick tock itself into another hour of the night.

After my thoughts chased each other through the loopy maze behind my eyes, I came to a difficult yet sensible conclusion. Very similar to the one that I had made months ago, only this time I knew it would involve more than just myself.

I want a simple kind of life.

I don't know if anybody else does this or not, maybe its just me and I'm totally crazy (which I am), but- I often compare myself to women from history. Not a specific date in history, just history in general.

When I'm having a really hard day, where everything seems to be going wrong, I imagine that theres a woman going through the exact same thing, but 100 years ago. Can you imagine, all 3 of your kids catching the flu at the same time, one hundred yeras ago? Theres no urgent care to take them to. Theres no DVD to distract them. No Twitter friends to distract you. No pedialite, no popsicles, no anything. You just had to deal with it.

Constantly, I remind myself of this. When I'm bitching about my husband being away working late again- well what about the woman with 3 kids whos husband went to war and never came home? When I'm throwing a tantrum about having not left the house in two weeks- well at least I have a home, and I should learn to love it the way that it is.

See that picture up there, of the hearts on the teacups? My friend Carrie was over, and noticed it as we were in the kitchen making hot chocolate. ...Seriously? The way that the light comes in as the sun is setting, projects love through my window? ...I was in awe. Its something that I would have never noticed, had she not pointed it out. Those teacups had been sitting there for a month, and never once did I see that. The sun rises and sets every day, and- I'm just blind sometimes, to the most beautiful things.

Sometimes I'm so busy, doing the stupid things that I think are important, that I end up missing out on my own life.

When Charlie filled his mini dump truck with chex. I didn't see it as it happened. I didn't get to watch his face as he figured out how cool it would be to transfer the cereal from one of the window to the other. It wasn't until later that night, after the kids were in bed and I was picking up, that I stumped upon it. My face softened, my heart skipped a beat. ...where had I been when he was doing that? Whatever it was, it couldn't have been that important.

The changes that I've made just aren't enough.

I'm done with wasting my time. I'm done keeping up with everyone else- and by that I mean the world. I'm done wanting the things that I don't have and wishing there was something better. I'm done comparing myself to others. I'm done lying in bed at night wondering what the hell I missed out on, because I was too busy doing things that don't matter.

I want a simple kind of life.
And I've never wanted anything so badly, before.

Sometimes I wish that the internet had never become. I think back to the days of when Eleanore was a newborn. We didn't have a computer, then. It was just me, my baby, my husband, and our home. I had all of the time in the world, to do what I wanted. If I wanted to start a project, I could. Not only could I start it, but I could finish it. Those days maybe seemed "boring" at the time, and I'm quoting myself there, but- now that I'm able to look back at it with a straight head on my shoulders, I see that it wasn't boring at all. It was just simple.

So I took a step in the right direction. I logged into my facebook page, and I started cleaning house. I thought that maybe if I unclogged the drain that had become of my wall, maybe it wouldn't be quite so overwhelming. I dismissed anybody that I didn't communicate with on there. Or anybody that wasn't a close friend, but more of an acquaintance. Or anyone that I went to high school with that I wasn't friends with then, and still aren't friends with, and why did I ever accept their friend requests in the first place anyways? ...I dwindled it down to the bare minimum. Close friends, and family. By the time I was finished, I had gotten rid of something like 70 people- and I turned my facebook into a private place again. There was nothing personal about it, it was just something that I had to do in order to breathe.

But as you can imagine, in this day and age, apparently unfriending someone on facebook, is like slamming a door in their face and giving them the finger. Who knew? So with that, came drama. Which is the opposite of what I had been trying to do. People took it personally, and if I put myself into their shoes, I can see why, but- since when did not wanting to share your every single personal status updates with everyone mean that you're not friends with them? See things are just getting ridiculous now.

A few people unfollowed my blog because of it. And thats okay. They clearly don't know the real me if they think that a simple click means that I dislike them, to the point of retaliation. I guess if somebody feels that strongly about it, its probably better for them to spend their time reading somebody elses blog, right? ...I don't usually talk about much more than sweat, tears, and dirty diapers here anyways. Okay and food allergies, and lost Lovey's, and so on and so forth.

So then I decided that I'm just done with social networking altogether. Its sucking the life from me and my family. Checking my facebook, checking my twitter, reading blogs, blah blah blaaaahhh. My daughter, she doesn't do any of those things, and she has more time on her hands than she knows what to do with.

The other day I was explaining to her "we do chores before we play". I was telling her how we pick up toys before we can watch a movie. We put clothes away before we play dress up. We do the dishes before we can blog. ...wait- that last one doesn't sound quite right, does it? In more ways than one.

Do y'all know how many times I've skipped eating at the table with my family, because I was too deeply involved in an online conversation with someone. Or because I just had to edit this picture for that blog post? Its embarrassing.

So we started eating at the table together, for every meal, of every day. And the benefits have been beautiful.

The other day, you know what Charlie did? He spilt his milk in the living room, it dripped from his leak proof sippy straw, and then he came into the kitchen, opened up a drawer, pulled out a white towel, ran back into the living room, and he cleaned his mess up himself. Jaw, wide, open, on this Mama. And had I been too busy focused in on something stupid and computer related, I would have missed it. I would have missed the moment that my baby boy, just barely two, cleaned up his first mess all by himself.

I want to be Amish. Not really Amish, but- my kind of Amish. I want to cut out all of the crap in my life that slows me down. Cable- gone. Facebook- gone. Twitter- gone.

...Okay, I'm still going to tweet out random text message rants into the twitter sea, because sometimes everyone really does need to know that I'm parked at a stoplight next to Stevie Nick's tour bus, but other than that, I won't be engaging myself, or others. I'm taking a step away from the computer. The only thing that I'm going to make an effort in keeping up with, is my blog.

I love this blog. I blog for my family, I blog for my babies, I blog for myself.

Sometimes the only thing saving my sanity, is letting my words find their way out of my mouth through my fingers. They throw themselves onto the screen in a way that suddenly makes sense. My feelings come together through sentances on the monitor, like a painting on a wall.

This is my art. This is my therapy. This is my love letter.

I'm 26 years old. I'm done thinking about living life, and ready to start actually living it.

Black and white or full of color- my pictures are what they are.

Looking back at everything that I've just written, I'm not even sure what was said, or if I said enough, or if it came out right. I'm never sure if it came out right. I guess the fact that it came out at all, is enough to let the weight rise off of my shoulders.

I'm living my simpler life.

And Hearts

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yesterday was a whirlwind of pink colors and heart shapes.

I've never cared much for Valentines Day. I think my neutral feelings were planted the day that my Dad took me to pick out my own "gift" from the Valentines Day section at our local Pharmacy. I still remember what I got, too- a standing white glass unicorn, with a velvet rose coming out of its back. A nick knack that moved from shelf to dresser around my bedroom for at least 4 years, before being discarded during a random bedroom-meets-trash-bag purge.

In elementary school, exchanging Valentines with the other kids was always fun. One year we got to make our own mail boxes (I decorated mine with tin foil), and then deliver our letters to everyone. And even though everyone had to give one to everyone else- I still couldn't wait to see what character was on whos, and I was anxious to know if my crush gave me one (even though he had no choice), and if just maybe he really wanted to be my Valentine. Whatever a Valentine is.

And then once we hit middle school, it went from tiny decorated paper squares, to miniature boxes of chocolate bought with allowances.

High school: even bigger boxes of chocolates, cards stuffed into lockers, and if you were really lucky, flower deliveries.

...do you sense that I'm bitter? There were no flower deliveries for this Mama. I had a boyfriend for awhile in high school, but he didn't go to the same school as me, and he was way too much of a bad ass (by his standards, not mine) to do anything romantic. 9th graders aren't really romantic anyways. Can't believe I ever went out with him.

Now that I'm married and madly in love, there just isn't a need for all of the hype and make believe. I told him not to get me a gift (he did anyways). Making plans to go out seemed silly. Its just a day. And I love him every day. So lets not make a big deal out of it, okay?

...Oh, thats right. But the babies.

I remember how fun Valentines Day was, back before the standing glass unicorn came along and wrecked it. And I want my babies to know that fun. And hang onto it for as long as they can.

So heres how we spent our day:
These are SOOC ("straight out of camera"- fancy camera lingo meaning not edited in any way), because I'm anxious to get back to watching season 1 of True Blood. I'm hooked. No time for making my pictures extra pretty tonight, haha.

It all started out with pink milk, and raspberry pink oatmeal.

Hubby and I had our coffee in matching red mugs.

Grammy had sent the kids a special Valentines Day package decorated with hearts. Eleanore couldn't wait to open it.

Charlie wasn't too impressed when I handed him a boring envelope (but it had hearts!), haha.

But he was thrilled to get his brand new rocket ship themed hooded bath towel! (Elie got a pink one- lucky duckies!)

If I would have waited just one minute, you'd be looking at a picture of Evelyn eating her card.

And of course we got the babies some gifts too. I didn't wrap things up all fancy like (I know, whats gotten into me?). I just presented it to them by taking it out of the bag, and then we dug right in...


Christopher and I got down on the floor with them, and we painted. He helped Charlie, I helped Elie. It was so much family fun, I felt like we were posing for a magazine shoot. So nice though, to just be there with each other, concentrating on making a colorful mess. Dipping the paint brushes in the blobs of blue and pink that we had dabbled onto their dinosaur paper plates. It was the best gift that we could have given them.

I'm sure they'll argue that one though, once they figure out that most other kids get candy.

While the babies had their quiet time later that afternoon, I made them heart shaped sugar-free stevia sweetened "sugar" cookies for them to decorate and eat for their snack.

They spread around their cashew based frosting with baby spoons, and then sprinkled on their gluten free/vegan/all natural sprinkles like cookie decorating champions.

The cookies may sound a little funky, being completely sugar free and made out of mostly nuts, but the kids loved them. I think the sprinkles were key.

And, I don't have any pictures of it, but the babies got to skype with their Nana and Grauntie up in Washington. A live Valentine!

They also got to go outside and go to the park. The weather was perfect, so we strapped baby into the Ergo, sat Charlie down in the stroller, and went went went and ran ran ran off our non-sugar highs.

By the end of the night, the over stimulation of hearts and fluffy pink things was starting to be too much for all of us, so we settled down and watched a movie together.

It was kind of the perfect day. I'm glad I put on a show for their sake, instead of letting my V-day Grinch getting the better of me.

But it turns out, that my putting on a show, was the real deal. As soon as I stirred the red food coloring into Eleanore's soy milk earlier that morning- it was all over. The holiday had gotten to me. I had been bitten by the cupid.

Or... shot, rather.

Clearly, its time for me to exit the blog post, and rejoin the cast of True Blood on the couch for episode 7.

Well done babies, for mending Mommy's broken heart, and showing me the cute and covered in vegan sprinkles meaning of Valentines Day.

I sure do love you kids.