Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We survived Spring Break....and now I need a vacation.


The kids are back in school.

I know it's not PC to admit this, but between you and me, my friends of the interwebs...I'm relieved as hell. My children are awesomely exhausting.

We had a busy Spring Break. We parked it up and hiked it up and movied our butts off and now I'd love nothing more than to park my butt on a beach with a paper-umbrella-embellished-drink. But alas, some things just aren't meant to be.

Here are some highlights of our week:

The girls enjoyed their first tailgate with their Grammy, up on the Rowena Loops. They were searching for the massive fields of wildflowers that are supposed to abound this time of year, but apparently they were a little bit early. Still, sandwiches, pickles, and snacks were enjoyed, and a few nice pictures got taken. As a side bonus, I enjoyed a few hours in a quiet house with my boys and caught up on my sleep after a few busy shifts at work.

Both of the girlies also had a chance to practice their camera skills on a few early spring flowers:

We also braved the zoo - along with every other school-aged child and harried mother in the state of Oregon. We packed a picnic and dragged along some friends and had an awesome time seeing the baby elephant and the smelly penguins and goats and lions... and don't go asking Laura about the little episode in the lion exhibit. Let's just say that I thought there were only two in the enclosure and that when a third sauntered out from around a nearby rock corner licking her chops and eyeballing my slightly more than rounded rear end, I almost peed myself. We aren't going to ever mention this again.

Anyway, here's a few shots - do you know how hard it is to make six kids look at a camera at the same time? Laura got the best shot so I stole it off of her Facebook. The girls especially had fun feeding the lorikeets.

After the zoo, I was honestly pretty exhausted. In fact, it would have been fair to say that I was gratefully looking forward to working all day on Wednesday and Thursday, if only because it would give me a chance to REST. But before that could happen, I soldiered on in the name of fun on Tuesday, taking the kids out for ice cream and for a hike down on the riverfront trail that runs through our scenic little town. I am sorry to say that there aren't any pictures of this - not because I didn't bring the camera, but because it was me against three kids, one dog, dripping ice cream, and the distractions of frogs croaking, joggers, off leash dogs, an airplane flying overhead, the creek, and the great adventure of a five year old that desperately needed to pee behind a bush. Let's face it, pictures were the last thing on my mind - I was just trying to make sure we all made it back to the blissful safety of my minivan before the sun went down and we got lost within 100 yards of the Google complex and the animal shelter.

So yeah. That was fun. WHATEVER.

Wednesday and Thursday I worked. That meant that my dear devoted girlfriend and babysitter Laura had the kids. I would have offered her the chance to blog about the experience, but I doubt the good people at Blogspot would appreciate that many obscenities and f-bombs being dropped in one post.

But once Friday rolled around, we were in the home stretch. We hung out and watched movies. Skippy and I cleaned out half of the garage on Saturday and took everyone out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for the Chunker's third birthday - he loves it whenever anyone gets to wear the big sombrero and all of the servers sing "happy birthday, cha cha cha" -- so what better way to say good bye to the terrible twos than with his own serenade, complete with maracas. On Sunday, we rounded out our Spring break with How To Train Your Dragon in 3D. It was the Chunk's first movie in the theater - aside from the ones when he was a few months old and small enough to nurse under a blanket and fall asleep while his sisters shoveled popcorn into their mouths. He wasn't crazy about the 3D glasses, but liked he liked having his own box of "tandy" and he loved to make his seat go up and down...oh yeah and he even seemed to enjoy intermittedly watching the BIIIIG TEEE VEEEE. But that being said, I think we'll wait before we attempt it again. And after the house lights came back up, we headed home for cake and presents (but that's another blog) and finally we tackled baths and backpacks.

So overall, our Spring Break meshed with my little boy's birthday pretty nicely. That night I peeked in on my sweet munchkins before I collapsed in my own bed, and I thought to myself that our week of freedom and fun had absolutely flown by.

But when Monday rolled around, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wasn't thrilled to see that bright yellow bus pull up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"My Keeeety"

I really need to utilize my camera more. For awhile there, I was a picture taking fool. I would even venture to say that I had a decent eye for awesome shots of my kids. But for the last few months my shutter happy amateur skills have taken a hiatus. I snapped this shot of the Chunk with my phone yesterday and realized that I really need to get my camera back into my hands...because time flies by far too quickly.

In case you haven't seen it already, here's Chunk with his friend "my keeeety," the newest addition to the W Zoo, Licorice.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Parenthood....my thoughts.

Well, it's official - the Olympics are over. We enjoyed them tremendously this year - it was the first year that the girls were old enough to really understand the awesomeness of the Olympics and they were pretty fascinated with all of the different events, with the exception of curling. One rainy Saturday Skippy hollered down the hall for the girls when curling came on and they dutifully came running to check it out. After a brief explanation, they stared at the TV for a few minutes and then turned to their Daddy with blank expressions and in stereo surround sound told him, "I don't get it."

Me neither girlies.

But anyway, the Olympics were a blast. Now it's time to get back to good old fashioned in-my-jammies-on-the-couch TV. This past Tuesday, I propped my eyeballs open into the wee hours of the night (aka ten p.m.) to watch the premiere of Parenthood on NBC
http://www.nbc.com/parenthood/ and I thought it was great. If you have kids, or if you work with kids, or if someday you want kids, then you should definitely watch it. The cast is wonderful - I immediately recognized Lauren Graham from her days on Gilmore Girls, and I am a huge Peter Krause fan from the short lived Dirty Sexy Money, although I've read that he was hugely successful on Six Feet Under on HBO as well. I think that what I liked most about the show was that it had something for everyone - the successful working mom, the stay at home daddy, the single mom, parents with rebellious teens, parents with little munchkins, and the cornerstone of the premiere episode, parents dealing with their child's newly diagnosed disability. And aside from the fact that everyone in the cast was skinny, fit, and sexy, I thought that the show it was pretty realistic - and let's face it, the show wouldn't be as appealing with a lot of chubby soccer moms like me running around - I like my actors as hot and sexy as the next viewer. And despite the fact that lot of online reviewers bitched and moaned that it was too similar to "Brothers and Sisters" I thought that it had a more appealing plot, plus the advantage of not having Sally Field OR Calista Flockhart (who as Skippy would say, still needs to eat a sammich) in the cast.

But anyway, I liked the show so much that I was still thinking about it while I drove my purple minivan around town all day on Wednesday in all my Mommy glory. Mostly it got me wondering when my tastes changed so much. It's funny what parenthood does to you. Skippy and I occasionally laugh about how quickly things can change - like when I'm saying goodnight at quarter to ten and heading to bed we will often remark that once upon a time, quarter to ten was prime "let's get dressed in something hoochie and hit the bars on a Thursday night" time for me and Jacquie. Napping used to be a luxury but now, it has become a necessity that all too often eludes me. And even looking at the magazines that come into my house provides proof of the changes. After all, I look forward to my monthly deliveries of both Family Fun and Family Circle (you'll notice that both of these titles contain the world "Family"). But more importantly, let's touch on the fact that I get FAMILY CIRCLE - it's like Better Homes and Gardens for those of us who don't have the time, money, or talent to make Martha Stewart Perfect rooms and rose beds but still find ourselves in dire need of another new "quick and easy dinner idea" for the nights that the kids have soccer practice.

But when did this happen? When did a fully loaded Honda Odyssey become my total dream car? When did vomit stop being a big deal? When did I develop a first name relationship with the doctor's office, and when did the highlight of my week become MOPS or Friday night skate night at school? And where in the HELL have all of these damn animals come from? Isn't it enough that I have kids?

I've noticed that it seems to happen gradually, this transformation. You stand in line at the grocery store (with your cart full of foodstuffs that bear no resemblance whatsoever to your child-free carts of the past) and you glance at the covers of the various magazines. Suddenly, instead of thinking "Wow, Cosmo has twenty ways to blow your lover's mind this month!" you are thinking "Wow, Woman's Day has a chicken-smothered-in-salsa recipe that I HAVEN'T tried yet!" You don't even realize that you are doing it - it's not that you wouldn't love to know how to twist your body into a pretzel for your partner's delight, it's just that you would love to have that chicken recipe more...and the fact that now your knees crack when you get out of bed and your ankles protest when you go down the stairs in the morning. It's not that you don't care what the season's hottest color is, it's that that the hottest color has become "What doesn't make my ass look big?" or the ever popular, "What will make my boobs look like they are up where they belong?" It's because now you have a family to feed, and your six year old who (despite what she claims) cannot subsist on noodles alone.

It's a funny thing, becoming a parent. It changes you to the core. And if part of it means that I find that I relate to things in different ways, I think that's okay.

And really, I wouldn't change it for anything.


Currently Reading: Envy, by Sandra Brown

Thursday, March 4, 2010