Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eat it.

That's what my husband just said to his opponents in Wii tennis. And he wonders why I don't think this is a family activity.

Seems like a busy day, but really haven't done all that much. The thunderstorms held off long enough for Evan to play soccer while Eric/Ethan went swimming, but pretty much killed our plans of breaking in the pool membership this afternoon. Instead, boys watched a move while Ethan and I dug deep into the closets of the house and filled our dining rooms with things to be donated to Goodwill and sold on Craigslist. And I can actually walk into the closet under the stairs in the basement, which is pretty impressive.

As part of our cleaning activities, I discovered a stockpile of gift cards in our 'junk drawer,' so we figured we should put those to good use. After a trip to Target to pick up our latest drug supply (allergy medicine companies have to be loving our family!!), we stopped by Macaroni Grill on the way home for way too much delicious food. I had something that resembled chicken parmesan, but it was made with Pinot Grigio. YUM.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Graduation Day

My "little" brother graduated from high school. I say "little" because...well...he's about a head taller than me. But I remember what he looked like when he really was little (especially because Evan looks soooo much like him), so I can still call him little.

So the whole graduation ceremony was...hmmm...interesting.

As I was giving my father a hard time for not buying me Twizzlers at the concession stand (yes, graduation had a concession stand), I hear my first and middle name being yelled at me, something generally done by a parent when you are in trouble. Pretty darn close, it was my oldest (as in, have known the longest) friend's mother sitting 2 rows in front of us, attending her grandson's graduation (not my friend's kid, her older sister's kid). Very small world.

They let 2 seniors make speeches. The second was definitely better than the first, but #1 set the bar pretty low. I don't know how long her speech was, but by the end she had quoted/referenced Barack Obama, her minister, one of the Columbine shooting victims, the bible, and Dr. Seuss. And she went into a lengthy portion about how not all people get up in the morning saying "Good Morning, God!" and instead say "Oh God, it's morning?!?!" which was just odd. She smacked her mouth a lot, which was quite annoying, and also paused every 5 words or so. Near the end, when she paused, everyone would clap with the hopes that she would just stop talking (that's why I was clapping anyway).

Speaker #2 wasn't tooooo bad, but the basis of her story was to remember when you were in first grade and your teacher asked you to draw a picture of what you wanted to be when you grew up. This girl apparently drew a picture of herself graduating high school, which I don't think was a thought that crossed my mind in first grade. My biggest concern in first grade was how I got stuck taking gym class (I thought it was just my class--didn't realize EVERYONE had to take gym). But, during the speech, she also referred to first graders as being 10 and 8 years old. If memory serves, I was about 6 at the time, so maybe things have changed ;-)

The rest of graduation was pretty standard...lots and lots and lots of kids getting diplomas, ear piercing whistles/shrieks/screams when certain names are called by people acting/looking like they were at a basketball game instead of graduation. Beth and I picked our favorite names out of the program for future children to pass the time after Tom's name was called (if you name a girl 'Diamond', she will always be somebody's best friend, according to the lady in front of us who screamed that repeatedly when Diamond received her diploma). And that was all I can remember from graduation, although I know my sister will fill in any highlights that I missed, because I'm sure I missed something!!

A sight I never thought I'd see

I have blogged many times about our trials and tribulations with giving Eric nebulizer treatments. I searched my own blogs and was kind of surprised at how many time I have talked (complained) about this. It is an awful, miserable experience for everyone involved--even our daycare teachers. But finally, we seem to have turned a corner. Almost 2 years after we were introduced to this horrid contraption that has become a fixture in our house...

Yes, that's my boy, nebulizing himself. In a desperate moment to get another book to distract him, Ethan handed the mask to Evan to hold, and Evan in turn gave it to Eric. And Eric? Doesn't really seem to mind. Finally.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hurricane Isabel?

Evan has been invited to 4--FOUR--birthday parties in the month of June. FOUR!! And I think all of these kids are turning 4, which leads me to wonder what in heck was going on 4 years and 9 months ago? And then I remembered...I was bursting at the seams pregnant with Evan and cannot forget good old Hurricane Isabel. Who could forget not having a flushing toilet for 2 days when your 8 1/2 months pregnant and needing to pee every 5 minutes?? So that answers the mystery of how so many children are celebrating their 4th birthday at the same time.

So here we are with our 4 invitations. 3--THREE!!-- of the parties on the same day. Seriously??? And technically we could hit all 3, as they are at 11, 2, and 4, but it's not going to happen. The 2:00 invite was a mass invite, so we'll skip that one (daycare has a rule that you can only give out invitations in class if you invite the whole class, so I don't feel too bad about skipping those parties).

By the time June is over, I may not be able to look at cake again. And now I have to figure out gifts for a 1yo girl, 2yo girl, 2 4yo boys, and a 4yo girl. I know that math doesn't add up, but we have another friend's party to attend and one of Evan's party is a double party for a brother/sister that Eric is also invited all that?

Mommy, do you always love me?

Evan has been fixated on whether or not I 'always' love him. We read "Love You Forever" a couple of nights ago, and that seems to be when it started. We've read this book probably a hundred times before, so not sure why he's suddenly concerned, but he is. So every night we have a conversation that goes something like this:

E: Mommy, do you always love me?

M: Of course. Daddy and I love you all the time?

E: But not when I do bad things.

M: I'm not happy when you do bad things, but I still love you. I would love you AND be happy if you didn't do bad things.

E (laughing): Oh, ok.

And then, just to make sure I'm not lying, he jumps on the bed or something else he's not allowed to do, just to make sure I still love him. I resist the urge to get angry at him, and tuck him back into bed before going downstairs and pouring a much-needed glass of wine.

The curse of the big boy bed

We moved Eric into his 'big boy bed' this weekend. It's actually a toddler bed that looks like a race car...we thought this was a brilliant thing to have when Evan got out of the crib, and except for the pains of hauling it in and out of the attic and someone not saving the screws that hold it together requiring a trip to Home Depot, it's a pretty cute bed.

Eric disagrees. He wants nothing to do with it. Ethan reads him stories in a rocking chair and I can actually see Eric getting worked up at the thought of sleeping in this bed. He looks at it out of the corner of his eye with an evil glare and his breathing gets more labored...I kind of feel bad for him. And then the crying when he actually has to get in the bed...oy. I'm sure I will regret it, but I have been laying down next to him and then, every couple of minutes, easing my way to the door. So far it's been working okay, except it takes waaaay longer to put him to bed than it used to. But that's not the worst part.

The worst part? He's waking up an HOUR earlier in the morning. An hour. That's a lot. And the only way to get him back in the bed laying down? Yep, I have to lay down next to him.

There must be another way...

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's a zoo out there!

Literally. When you are at the zoo, it is a zoo!! The boys had the day off today for various reasons, so I figured a 4-day weekend would be nice and we headed to the National Zoo to see what we could see.

At first, it was a little disappointing. There were busloads of school kids running everywhere, and hardly any animals to be seen. Then we hit the jackpot in the elephant house, where we got to visit with some baby hippos and watch a baby elephant get some snacks and a shower.

After the boys had finally had enough of the elephants, we went to visit the monkeys. On our way, we noticed crowds of people had stopped and were all staring up into the sky. After a minute, we too saw...

Apparently the orangutans have what looks like a tightrope where they can roam around their living areas above the zoo. Pretty awesome, except for the zookeepers yelling at people to watch out for flying pee and poo. I guess when you're living in a zoo, you get your kicks anyway you can ;-)

After naps, we went to the elementary school to run around and both kids look like they're ready for another nap. I've never seen Eric sit still for so long during a movie before :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bubbles bubbles bubbles!

I wish I had pictures, but at the risk of my child's safety (not to mention my camera), I don't. Maybe next bath night.

We've started giving Eric bubble baths. Why does it take 2 years for us to let our child enjoy the fun of bubbles in the tub? It's not because we're mean parents...the poor kid has such awful eczema the first 18 months of life that I would sometimes tell people I thought he was allergic to the water itself. Thank goodness for Lever 2000, Aquaphor, and growing out of things.

Anyway...if I ever have the opportunity to withhold bubble baths from a child again, I think I might. He is HYSTERICAL with the bubbles and appreciates it so much more than Evan did at that age. I think when he started getting bubbles in his bath, he was too young to have a dramatic reaction, and by the time he was 2 it was like "a bath with no bubbles? what kind of crazy talk is that?" It was expected. The novelty had already worn off.

Eric though? Screams with delight when he sees the bubbles. "BUBBLES MOMMY!! BUBBLES MOMMY!!" And laughs hysterically when you pile them on top if his head and laughs even harder when he splashes water in his face in an effort to rinse them off his head. He is fascinated by hiding things in the bubbles "where my toes? there they are!" and "where'd elephant go? there he is!"

And then I showed him how to pick up a handful of bubbles and 'blow' them. I may pay for that the next time Ethan gives him a bath. Eric hasn't quite mastered the trick, but gives it a valiant effort (spitting all over the bubbles) and then waves his bubble-covered arms in the air, sending bubbles flying over half the bathroom and one lucky parent.

And I can do nothing but sit there and laugh and enjoy the moment.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Woe is he

My husband was looking for sympathy from me last night because he had to get up very early this morning and drive far far away.

To play golf.

For work.

And the kegs will be ready by the time he gets there.

While I take the children to daycare AGAIN and go to work inside an office building where there will be no beer.

Can anyone else find some sympathy for him? Anyone? Bueller?

On. Off. Open. Close.

Eric has become obsessed with light switches and doors lately.

Light switches must be flipped when he sees them, and usually in an inconvenient direction. If I'm trying to make dinner in the kitchen, he turns them off (or does an on-off disco type lighting effect). If no one is in a room, he turns them on. When I'm drying my hair in the bathroom, he turns them off. My/Evan's anal tendencies are starting to show as he insists on putting his nightlight on the table at night and back on the charger in the morning. And he cannot do anything else until it's in its proper place!

Doors must be closed at all times. Even if he is leaving the room and you are still in the room but want to leave the room. We used to remind him not to shut his fingers/toes in the doors as he was closing them, but now we have to watch out for our own fingers/toes because he closes these doors with no regard to other people's limbs.

What is the fascination with doors and lights?

Sunday, May 18, 2008


My husband has been complaining of not feeling well and using mass quantities of kleenex and coughing all sorts of gross things. And today? I am sneezing non-stop and using mass quantities of kleenex. And I should have my butt parked in bed, sleeping, but instead am sucked into the season finale of Desperate Housewives.

I have my priorities in order...I can always take a sick day at work ;-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What is that bright yellow thing in the sky?

Oh wait, it's the sun!! Yes, after inches upon inches of rain over the past couple of weeks, the sun has finally returned and we spent part of our morning outside. Evan was able to return to the soccer fields, and Eric made it to swim lessons. Now if only I could get Evan to take a nap so I could improve my Wii skills (I pretty much suck at every sport except for bowling).

Some pictures from our morning...

Bye-bye Mommy! We're going swimming!!

Nice kick Evan!
Being silly during warm ups

Eric and Mommy, enjoying the sunshine!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wii be jammin'

The blog is not letting me create a new post, so who knows if this will go through...but it's going to be a short post anyway because tonight?  Wii be jammin.  With our new Wii.  I love Craigslist :-)

Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes my hubby to break something?

Note: Watching my hubby play the Wii may actually be more entertaining then playing it...actually, listening to him TALK to the Wii is the funniest part of it.  I think he likes it ;-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Drinks need recipes too...

In an effort to get Becky's fajita recipe, somebody I don't know came up with the idea of recipe day, which I saw on Emily's blog, so here we go. And since sangria season is here, what better recipe to post?

750 ml cheap merlot (I'm partial to Vendage or Yellow Tail)
Carton of orange juice (pulp free for me)
~5 seconds worth of bourbon (pour freely, not a trickle)
~3 seconds worth of triple sec (pour freely, not a trickle)
~2 tsp sugar
1 orange, sliced (don't peel it)
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced (kind of thin, so it soaks up the sangria)
  1. Mix the OJ and merlot first. I used to do a 50/50 mix, but now it's more like 70(merlot)/30(OJ). Depends on how potent you want it to be. You might want to reserve a little of the merlot so you can adjust the flavor, if necessary (see step 4)
  2. Add the bourbon, triple sec, and sugar. Clearly this is not an exact science and again depends on preference.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Before adding the fruit, have a taste. If it's too juicy, add some more merlot. If it's too winey, add some more OJ. If you don't get a good whiff of bourbon, add some more bourbon. If it's not sweet enough, add some more sugar and/or triple sec.
  5. Repeat step 4 as needed.
  6. Add the fruit.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let the fruit soak in and serve (don't worry about keeping it refrigerated while serving, it's pretty good at room temperature and after a glass no one will notice anyway)
  8. At the end of the pitcher, you will be left with a messload of alcohol-soaked fruit. And eating it will be the equivalent of drinking another glass, so I'm just warning you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ridiculously Rainy

All right Mother Nature, I know I asked for rain a few weeks ago so I wouldn't have to stand outside for hours on end watering all the new landscaping, but enough is enough!! If the internet is to be trusted, we have had almost 5 inches of rain in the past 36 hours--and another 2 inches in the 2 days before that! My landscaping is soaked! Everything is green! Bring back the sunshine!!

I have a hard time falling asleep when it's raining, although if I'm already asleep and it starts, it usually doesn't bother me. I can even sleep through thunderstorms most nights, although the bad ones still freak me out. I haven't tried to sleep under my bed in a good 10 years though, so it's progress.

Anyway, so last night I was tossing and turning because of the rain. I finally fell asleep and woke to what sounded like something re-arranging furniture in the attic. And then footsteps coming up the stairs--luckily I realized Ethan was NOT laying next to me before I clubbed him with a lamp. We laid there for a while, trying to figure out the noise (he wanted to go in the attic, but I said if there was something up there, I'd rather it stay up there until daylight hours). Finally realized it was a tree next to our house that the wind was blowing into the gutters making a horrid sound. This tree has never touched our house before, but I guess it's time to have it trimmed back. On the plus side, we did not lose power during the whole ordeal, which is pretty amazing considering we used to lose power every time the wind got above 2 mph.

And Evan was not happy about having to wear long sleeves this morning. Neither was I, but I guess he was making up for his outstanding Mother's Day behavior yesterday and proceeded to have multiple lengthy tantrums while sprawled on the floor of various locations around the house.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Because it's Mother's Day

Things I was able to do because it's Mother's Day:
  • Sleep until 8:30
  • Have champagne in my orange juice
  • Eat the last of the strawberries on top of the pancakes
  • Shower and primp in peace (I told my grandfather I got to spend an hour showering and he questioned what I was doing in the shower for that amount of time, so figured I should clarify...especially when handheld showerheads came into the conversation)
  • Tell my children then could not whine/cry
  • Listen my children tell each other they could not whine/cry
  • NOT change any poopy diapers
And the gifts were lovely and sweet...

Seriously, how cute is this kid??

Love the bag and the palm tree handprints

A picture of Evan and I

All the great things he had to say about me as his mom

A lovely flower
(which I will try very hard to keep alive,
although it will probably look like one of Becky's flowers in a few days)

The kitchen...complete

I don't know if words can describe how awesome the new kitchen is. And my favorite part, as strange as it my sound, is the lights. We used to have crappy lighting (a ceiling fan and another light over the table) which is now the ceiling fan and four recessed lights, plus the lights under the cabinets. And it makes such a difference!!!

I think we are going to replace the kitchen table, but hopefully with something similar. This one just looks big and out of place and really doesn't seem to like the new kitchen (the storage piece on both benches broke during the renovation--it's a sign!!).

And for those of you who don't know me (or don't know this much about me), here's an example of just how anal I can be. And yes, I've been compared to the psycho dude in 'Sleeping With the Enemy' more than once in my life...although I've gotten better with the bath towels since I met Ethan :-)

And while the picture doesn't quite do it justice, I also have a problem with bulk shopping. As in, yes, that is 12 boxes of cereal on the top shelf (1 is hidden) courtesy of Amazon Grocery and an awesome sale at Shoppers Food Warehouse. It's kind of tough to see all the Easy Mac and Kraft Bistro, but there's a lot of those too ;-) And my boys eat Ramen like they're a bunch of poor college kids, and I hope that keeps up so we might actually be able to afford to feed them in their teenage years.

Gettin' my blog (back) on

We were just visiting with bunches of family members in honor of Mother's Day and my uncle said "should I just stop reading your blog?" So that's it. I'm getting back on the blogging horse, dammit! Even if it's just to give my uncle something to read ;-) So the rest of you better get comfortable in front of your computers, because there are some blogs coming your way!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bliggety Bloggety

Our kitchen is done, but now all the pretty cabinets and countertops are covered with boxes while I put everything away, so no pictures yet. Poor Ethan is wondering when he's going to get his wife back, as I tend to spend about an hour organizing a single cabinet. Yes, I'm weird like that :-) It's nice to have a kitchen again, and be able to cook and wash dishes. And our dishwasher is huge! Seriously, I was worried I was going to run out of dishes before it was full enough to run :-)

Otherwise it's been an 'eh' week, but there's always next week, right?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One last meow...

Yesterday we decided it was time for Cole the Cat to go on to that big kitty farm in the sky. He was old (almost 17), and his health issues (arthritis from 2 broken legs, heart murmur, and failing kidneys) have had us wondering how much longer he would live happily. Yesterday seemed like the right time, so we can remember him in a happy way, and not as an old, sick, unhappy animal. So here's my happy cat memories:
  • Picking him up just before Christmas out in Bel Air Maryland, causing my mother to miss her work Christmas party (which she reminds me of, every time we talk about the day I got him). Hey, it was the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas!
  • Going out right after I got him and my mother telling me I better not go out and leave that kitten running around her house when he didn't even know how to use a little box (hmmm...that could explain his litter box issues throughout his life).
  • When I came back from going out that night (after locking the cat in my bathroom), he was snuggled with my mom on the couch because she went to check on him "and he was just so pitiful all alone in there"
  • Walking home from the vet carrying my passed out kitten after he was neutered, and my mother wondering if there had been anything for the vet to remove.
  • Cole peeing into the electrical outlet in our kitchen before we learned the value of a covered litter box (he was fine, I think he managed to miss the holes of the outlet).
  • Seeing Cole for the first time since I went to college (he went to Florida with my mom) and commenting his butt was bigger than Garfield's.
  • Picking him up from the airport when he came to live with me in college. He stood on top of the cat carrier in the back of my car with his mouth hanging open like a dog. It's a sight I will never forget.
  • The way he would ram his head into doors if they were closed and he wanted to come in. His meows would get progressively louder too, so you'd swear he had busted through and found a way into the room.
  • The time we had a party in college and some genius used the litter box instead of the toilet (luckily it was #1)
  • Putting a tag that said "Fat Daddy" on his collar because, well, he was a fat daddy!
  • Replacing the collar/tag because he would sneak out every time the door was open for more than 2 seconds.
  • Piggy! This little stuffed pig he would drag around with him. I think a dog ate it at some point.
  • Shorting out not one, but TWO of those litter boxes that automatically scoop. I don't know what was in his pee, but I bet it was nuclear.
  • Max (my mom's dog), putting Cole's head in his mouth and dragging him around the floor like a dustmop. He was very gentle and never hurt him, but good grief it was FUNNY!
  • Greeting me when I got home like a dog...with a loud meow and as much of a wagging tail as a cat can have.
Okay, that list got a lot longer than I expected, but I needed the therapy :-)

So we're a pet-free household for the moment. Not sure how long it will last or what the next pet will be, but it will certainly have some big paws to fill (no, that was not a crack on Cole's weight. Okay, maybe a little...but it gave him personality.)

It's been a while

I'm still here, but life has been more than crazy lately. The kitchen is almost done and will hopefully be completely done by the time I get home today. Countertops are beautiful, the sink is huge (deeper than our old ones) and we have water again. Although the ice/water dispenser on the fridge is rather violent, especially compared to the tiny trickle that came out of our old one.

We (mostly me) had a whirlwind traveling adventure this weekend: PA for a 1st communion on Saturday, then a mad dash to the airport so I could attend another one in Florida on Sunday. Busy, but good.

And then yesterday? The next blog will tell...