Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pictures from Disneyland

For some reason I am having trouble posting pictures to my last entry. So, here are some of my favorite pictures from our trip. 

We never did get any pictures of the kids with any of the characters. AJ never wanted to stand in line to get them taken. I told him I would photoshop him in later. 


AJ's present, party and celebration this year was a surprise trip to Disneyland. At least it was a surprise up until about a week before. Then I spilled the beans. 

His birthday started out with his birthday breakfast while he got a call from Mickey and Goofy. Although he doesn't looked too impressed here, he thought it was pretty cool.

After school that day we were on our way. We arrived in CA at about 10 that night. Charlie was up and ready to go and did not end up falling asleep until about 1 AM. 

 The menfolk had to check the maps and come up with a plan.

We decided to start with the Jungle Adventure, and work our way to Tomorrow Land. It was a fun day right up until Charlie had a complete an utter meltdown and Shawn had to take him back to the hotel. AJ and I stayed for a bit and then walked back ourselves.

The second day went much better. We had gotten the lay of the land and knew exactly what we wanted to do. Charlie actually slept at night and was in a good mood. We also found some spots where he could get out of the stroller and walk around. That seemed to improve his mood immensely. 

AJ and Shawn rode on a ton of rides, we went to the petting zoo, saw some characters, bought some loot and all in all had a great time. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

How things change in 9 years

Nine years ago today, I was holding a baby.

This morning, this "baby" killed a spider on my behalf as I ran screaming from the room.  

Whose the mature one now? 

Don't answer that. 

Happy Birthday AJ !!!!!!

Nine years ago today, AJ came into the world. He was a week early. I was actually ok with that because his due date was April 1st. I had stayed up to watch the Oscars and then had gone to bed. Two hours later my water broke in the middle of the night and we were off and running.

It was a long day. My labor started at 1 AM in the morning, but he didn't make an appearance until 6 PM that night. Oh yeah, and I was **convinced** he was a girl. Really, really convinced. 

I remember when they handed him to me I had a distinct thought along the lines of "This was not what I had ordered". But he looked up at me and I realized our family had begun. 

I remember wondering what this little squirmy bundle of big eyes, tiny toes and grasping hands was going to be like. And now I know. He looks like me, but he is his father's son through and through. He is confident and cocky. He is protective and nurturing. He is smart and stubborn. And he is sensitive yet a complete smart ass. And I am so glad he is mine.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wonder Twin Powers Activate!!!

So I was talking to my twin brother this morning about the real estate market. Because what else is there to talk about these days? Anyway, he was telling me that a friend of his just looked at a beautiful house that is on the market in his area. He said that the family was moving to Austin.

The following conversation took place:

Me: Do they happen to have 7 kids?
Jeff: Yeah (sounding confused)
Me: Do they have 6 boys and 1 girl?
Jeff: How did you know that?
Me: Is the kitchen recently redone and beautiful? And are there hardwood floors throughout?
Jeff: You are freaking me out.

I am not sure what the odds are, but my brother had just toured the former home of a woman whose blog I follow daily. (And the only woman I know of who use to live in CT and now lives in Austin.)

I have been following it for years and I read it every day. She is sort of a celebrity in the blog world. I love her blog because she approaches parenting with a sense of humor and she is very grounded.  I also liked reading it because she use to live in CT, where I grew up. And since I live in AZ now, (and as I have mentioned before), sometimes I just need to see a tree. 

So anyway, let the six degrees of separation game begin! I wonder if she knows Kevin Bacon?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learning Curve

A friend of AJ's has been staying with us since Sunday while her parents are on a trip. She is one of the nicest kids we know, and she is fun to have around. AJ loves having a playmate 24/7 and I love having some non-feline estrogen in the house. (Our girl cat doesn't even acknowledge my existence for crying out loud!)

The first morning she was here I had a bit of a panic. AJ had come downstairs dressed, eaten breakfast, brushed his teeth and was watching cartoons before his friend had even made an appearance. I got a little worried and went to knock on the door. The reason for the delay? She was doing her hair. What? I don't know much about hair.  AJ barely has any, and my own hair has baffled me for 38 years. Thank God she didn't ask me to help her! (Shiver)

One thing I am discovering is how *different* 9 year old girls are from 9 year old boys. Girls match their outfits and care about personal hygiene without being told to. (Read: threatened with death)  Boys don't. Girls can sit quietly and do an art project. Boys will take anything that is not nailed down and use it to build a race track, obstacle course or test its aerodynamics. 

Oh, yeah. And there is a lot of pink. Lots and lots of pink. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Hat

Charlie has a love-hate relationship with this hat. He likes to wear it, if it's his idea. 

The other day it happened to be in the diaper bag when I took him to the doctor. He insisted on wearing it during the exam, much to the amusement of the doctor. But if we are out in, you know, *THE SUN* he wants no part of it and will spend a good deal of energy trying to pull it off his head. 

How to Keep a 1 Year Old Entertained. . .

Give him a tupperware container and watch him try to balance it on his head. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Erin's Visit

We had a great time when our friend Erin made the trek from Boston to come visit.  She got out of the cold and I got a friend that helps take care of the kids like they are her own. 
We met Erin because she looks like Shawn's sister, Stacey. And Shawn walked up to her in law school one day and told her so. We have been friends ever since.  She was a huge help to us while Shawn was in school. AJ was about Charlie's age at the time, and she babysat AJ regularly. AJ thought the sun rose and set with her. Some things never change.

The day after she got here, we went out to dinner with Shawn's extended family to celebrate his Grandma's birthday. During the meal, Grandpa turned to Erin and asked her if anyone had ever told her she looked like Stacey.


We also had a few cookouts with friends. Erin told us she hadn't been to a cookout since law school. Since we dragged her to three of them this past week, she should be good for a while. 

The last cookout we went to was for AJ's basketball team. It was a potluck where the kids got awards, the coach gave a little speech, etc.  The awards were not part of the program. So the parents had the option of buying their kid a trophy or dog tags at the end of the season. Another mom and I were talking and she wondered if the kids would even care if they got dog tags or a trophy. I told her *my* kid would care. He would do just about anything for a trophy. One could say he is easily bought. But, I prefer to say he is easily motivated. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Taking a Break

Because our laundry room is upstairs, I have a hamper in the kitchen I use to throw the dish towels and bibs into when I am done with them. Charlie loves this hamper and spends a lot of his time making sure I have not left it opened. 

The other day I had to laugh when he went to the hamper, dumped it on the floor, proceeded to make a nest and lay down. I guess he just needed somewhere soft to rest.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Championship Game

They played hard, but ended up losing by 4 points. AJ got elbowed in the mouth, but is doing ok now.  AJ says that he doesn't want to play basketball again next season. Who knows, that may change. He is a pretty laid back kid- unless he is competing.  Then he takes everything very seriously. And he does not like to lose. 

Soccer starts in 2 weeks. He was already talking about game strategy last night with Shawn.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Basketball Playoffs

Last night, AJ's team had their playoff game in basketball. The teams were very excited. There was a lot of nail biting, upset stomachs and pacing. And those were the parents. 

You will notice in this picture that AJ has something all over his arms and legs. That would be marker. It was "Crazy Day" at school the other day and he came down for breakfast covered in marker. My choices were to get mad or compliment his creativity. I went with option "B". We were hoping that the other team would think he had some exotic disease and refuse to guard him. No such luck. But he did manage to get a few baskets, and even a foul shot.

 The kids played hard. Really hard. They sweated. A lot. If they sweat this much when they are 9, what is it going to be like when they are 19?. It will be like going to a Gallagher show. 

It was a very close game and ended up going into overtime. We won by two points. Tonight is the playoff game. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Door Decoration

AJ's school is big on decorating the classroom doors for events. So this week is Young Author's week. His teacher wanted her door decorated with a monkey, a palm tree and coconuts. So, this is what I came up with. I forgot the camera when I took it to school, so this was taken the day before, in my garage, where I was working on it. 

The hilarious thing was that after assuring the woman in charge I had plenty of art supplies at home, I got home to find I was all out.  So this was painted with AJ's Crayola Washable Paint.

This Week in Bio. . .

I am starting the chapter off by viewing a CD-ROM entitled "The Genetics of Peas, Learned with Ease".

If anyone needs me, I will be over here drinking. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Difference of Medical Opion

As I mentioned, Charlie and I are sick. So I asked Shawn to go get a few humidifiers. He went to a few stores and came back to tell me that he couldn't find "vaporizers" anywhere. I am not a doctor, but I am pretty sure we are not suppose to vaporize our kids when we they get sick. 

I blame George Lucus.  

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mean Mommy

This is Charlie looking longingly out onto the driveway where AJ and two of his friends are playing. Charlie and I are both sick. So, we stayed inside and drank apple juice and hot tea respectively. Poor Charlie couldn't *believe* that the big kids were out there playing without him. But, one of us had to be the grown up and make us stay in and rest.  And today was my day. 

He got me back, though. I was sitting on the steps keeping an eye on him and drinking my aforementioned tea. All of a sudden he grabbed a forgotten goldfish off the floor and came and threw it into my mug. Soggy goldfish. Yum. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Charlie in the Toddler Room at School

Charlie recently moved up from the infant room to the toddler room at his daycare.

Here are some pictures from his first week. These tables crack me up. They are seriously six inches off the ground. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Trip to Prescott

On Saturday, we decided to go up to Prescott for a change of scenery. Not that the desert isn't beautiful, but sometimes you just need to see a tree.

Prescott looks a little bit like Colorado. It is a beautiful, quaint town with antique shops, ice cream parlors and. . . trees. 

 We walked around and did some shopping. I got a clock for the kitchen and a sink basin for the future remodel of the powder room- both for 50% off. Score! We also went to this cute shop that had a sign in it that read: "Any unattended children will be given an expresso and a puppy". There really were no puppies- AJ checked. 

But at this same store, we got Scorpion Suckers.  AJ
 thought it was the coolest thing **ever**.  I wasn't going to let him get one, but then I decided to buy two for my friends with scorpion "issues". ('Cause I'm that type of friend). So, I let him get one too. I had to take a picture of the ingredients on the back. 

Then we grabbed some pizza and AJ got some icecream. Following in his father and uncle's footsteps, he ordered vanilla. I cannot believe I am related to these people.