Wednesday, May 31, 2006

morning conversation

J: why your cheeks red?
Me: Because ladies put pink stuff on their cheeks so they look pretty.
J: are you pretty?
Me: I don't know. What do you think?
J: yeah, you pretty. Oh, what dat stuff in that pink thing?
Me: that's mascara. It makes my eyelashes look long and thick.
J: I want some.
Me: if I had eyelashes like yours I wouldn't need mascara. Your eyelashes are so long and thick already.
J: I will give you my eyelashes and I'll have yours.

4 day weekend

I admit that in the past I wouldn't have been that excited for a long weekend. Worn out by the work week and wary of planning too many activities for me and the boys knowing that it might result in a meltdown or end in frustration, I tended to not plan anything and then we'd sit at home bored which would result in a meltdown followed by frustration. However, as this past weekend approached I was excited about our plans. Not because we were doing anything particularly exciting but just because I would get to spend the time with my boys and without realizing it, I maintained an "open to anything" mindset that kept me from getting frustrated. On Friday morning, we went over to the Sullivan's to play then went to lunch with them. Following that, we went to costco where J and D were positively angelic despite the fact that they hadn't yet napped. I thought they'd fall asleep on the way home but they didn't and when I asked them what they wanted to do next, they said they'd like to go to the park -- so we did. Where they played and played, together and separately, and made friends with other park-goers. And then, because you have to - they got ice cream.
Saturday morning (7:30am!) we headed back over to the Sullivan's to babysit E. T joined us at 2:00 after spending the day cleaning our house (THANKS!!) and while E napped, we stuck our feet in the swimming pool. Sunday morning we went to the Farmer's Market, as usual, where I shopped and the boys bounced in the bouncy house. Then off to the Sullivan's again and we walked over to the Greek church for their annual Greek festival. It was hot and the boys were really tired after not taking naps for 2 days so it wasn't much fun. Way too crowded and the Sullivan's (and we) were a little cranky. We didn't stay too long and then headed over to Uncle Peter's and Uncle Julian's house. Peter's dad is in town and we visited with them awhile before heading out to Dr. Hogly Wogly's for some yummy Tyler Texas BBQ. Monday morning, Peter, his assistant Seth, his dad Dave and T left at 9:00am for the Canoga Park Parade of which Peter and Dave were a part and T was the driver. Julian came over around 10:00am and we headed over to watch the parade. We got settled at around 10:45 but didn't see Peter et. al. until 1:00pm. It was so hot and the boys were tired but they were so patient and blared their little trumpets when they saw Peter. I ran out to the car with the boys so Peter could do baby kisses - he's a politician, after all. As soon as they were gone, Julian and I packed up and headed out. The boys took their first naps of the weekend on our way home! They're so close to giving them up. After we all had lunch together, Peter and the gang left and we headed over to the Sullivan's for a BBQ. We hopped into the pool and the boys practiced their paddles and kicks and J is getting pretty brave in the water. Too brave.
Anyway, after lots of food and homemade ice cream for dessert (we made that) we headed home for baths, stories and bed.
The next day, when the boys were complaining about having to go to school and wishing we could all stay home, I felt - for the first time - like joining their chorus.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

the weekend, belatedly

It's really scary that it's only Tuesday and I can't remember what we did on Friday night.

Saturday, well that's another story. We took the boys to swimming lessons where J did everything his girl teacher asked but wouldn't go near his boy teacher. And D cried. He sat on the step, the very top step, and cried.

Yes, they got ice cream anyway.

Then Saturday afternoon we went to the dog park to pet big dogs (in an effort to get them over their fear of dogs) and then to their favorite store - Target. It's their favorite store because that's where all the batman and spiderman stuff is. Whenever they see a batman or superman doll - oh, sorry "action figure" they always say it came from Target. They've learned to recognize that familiar "target" and say that's their favorite store.

Sunday we went to the Strawberry festival in Oxnard with our friends, the Sullivans. There we ate lots of fried foods and then feasted on a strawberry pizza. Yes, strawberry pizza - it's baked dough with cream cheese frosting topped with sugared strawberries and of course, whipped cream. J was in heaven. Then over to the Sullivans for dinner.

And now - I gotta go pick up those little munchkins.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Belated Mother's Day Post

Until I became a mother, I had no idea how your child could make you feel such a myriad of emotions. Pride one moment when they finally master the art of using a spoon and absolute frustration the next when they refuse to do so. Overwhelming love that makes you feel like your heart will break into a million pieces to indifference when they whine that they want more cheerios. I didn't understand sacrifice until I became a mother. I was slow to realize that when I had my children, I dropped to the bottom on the list of priorities. I lost the freedom to go out for a cocktail after work or to spontaneously go to the movies with my spouse - now those things involve planning and a lot more money. I can no longer fit four people in my car because 2 spaces are taken up by enormous car seats. I can't swing by the grocery store after work to pick up dinner for the night. I can't go out for a run with my coworkers after work or go on the Tri-Team's group bike rides on Thursday evenings. I fall asleep when I read a book now, often while I'm reading "Hop on Pop" and the boys have to nudge me awake. But oh, it's so worth it. Seeing their faces when I arrive at daycare - so excited to see me, scrambling over so they can give me a hug and rub their dirty smudged faces all over my crisp white shirt. Talking over each other as we walk out to the car and they tell me about their day. J getting in the car first so he can pull my lipstick out of my purse and D crying because he wanted to bring his stuffed kitty home with him and would I please go back and get it? Walking in the door with them firing requests and questions at me that when I answer always gets the question "why?" back. The sound of their feet slapping on the hallway floor every morning at 6:00 and then folding them in my arms so we can sleep together a few more minutes. Getting to sneak out every now and then while they're still sleeping so I can get a shower only to have them stumble into the bathroom as I'm toweling off with an emotional mixture of betrayal and joy on their faces. Hearing J giggle in his sleep is one of the most wonderful sounds I've ever heard. Listening to D sing Baby Beluga is the best music to my ears. Being their mom is the best gift these boys could ever give me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Magic Word is Ice Cream

The boys had their first swimming lesson on Saturday morning. How did it go, you ask? Well, after much coaxing we got them to sit on the step with their feet in about 1 inch of water. The instructors tried to get them to come to them but NO WAY. D actually emitted this sort of deep, primal scream nearly caused everyone in the vicinity to stop and stare. T took off his shoes and sat on the side of the pool with his feet in the water and managed to get them to the next step. So they were sitting in an inch of water and their feet were submerged up to the knee.
They spent almost the entire lesson that way.
Finally, when the lesson was over and all the other kids got out, the instructors asked if the boys would go in with them. No. But, D did finally sit on Lizzie's lap and then she got him to sit next to her on the lower step so he was submerged up to mid-torso. When J saw that, he agreed to sit next to D.
Then, they got ice cream.
We told them that they'd get ice cream next week if they went into the water with Cory and Lizzie and kicked their feet. Sadly, I won't be there to see it because I'll be at the Mother's Day Brunch but ice cream is a powerful motivator and I'm confident they'll do what is necessary to get it.