Saturday, September 30, 2006

Yucky happenings at the mall

We went to the mall today. Woo hoo, an outing! The food isn't great, but the kids have fun playing in the VF kids play area. I keep the antibacterial wipes handy. All you have to do it take a look at the bottom of Brandon's socks to know that they don't come and power wash the play area on a regular basis (or ever).

Before we left home, we changed Caitlin's diapers (like the good parents we are). We took food, we took water. Before leaving I was stocking the diaper bag, and saw her extra change of clothing. I almost took it out (*what was I thinking!*). I didn't. Smart move. Caitlin grunted and groaned the entire trip. Brian could smell her when he got her out of the car. I'll save the gory details for another time (those of you with kids, just use your imagination). Needless to say, it took two of us to change the diaper, change all the clothes, get a trash bag, wipe her down and redress her. What she really needed was a bath, but we lacked the warm water and a tub. Brandon, bless his little heart, waited patiently in the stroller in the parking lot as we did all this. He never even complained (he did complain all the way to the mall that he was hungry and wanted Caitlin's Cheerios, though). When she's older, Caitlin is just going to love the fact that I shared this on the internet. We figure that our kids will not want to be seen with us after about the age of 15. They're going to think we're very weird. They'll be right.

After all that, Caitlin was a fairly good baby while at the mall. She ate her Cheerios, her peas, and her baby food. She's such a wiggly girl that we have to let her down to crawl at the play area. Brandon was an active, wiggly baby, and Caitlin just puts him to shame. I have a feeling she's going to be a real pain the rear once she starts walking. She's already cruising around the coffee table, which makes me nervous. The bruises are already starting. There's a place on her forehead that's permanently a light purple.

Did I tell you, I have a friend on Myspace? She *asked* me to be her friend (okay, okay, that's how it all works). Still, I accepted. Good thing, too, since we are sisters and will be putting up with each other for the rest of our lives, and beyond. Hi sis!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Myspace and Old friends

I did it, I opened a Myspace account. I am waiting for the Myspace police to call me and tell me that I'm way too old to have a Myspace account. I only did it because I wanted to send an old friend an email. I ran into a friend from high school the other day at "Sweet Charity". That wouldn't be such an amazing fact, except that we lived in the Sierra Nevadas in high school, which is nowhere near here. I think I saw "Sweet Charity" with her the first time I saw it, back in 1986 or 1987. Anyway, that set me on an internet search to find some of my old homies. I found a couple on myspace, which lead me to sign up. It still fells weird. However, I did hear back from Josh, so I guess it was all worth it. Now I just need to write back! If you want to find my Myspace profile, click here.

I had lunch today with an old friend from EPRI. We use to go to lunch on Wednesday for over a year before we didn't work together anymore. It was quite a funny site to see the two of us, with his twin girls, age 4, my 3 year old, and an 8-month old. The waitress was very smart to seat us back in the corner. I do recommend Mimi's Cafe with kids. It's loud enough in itself that the kiddoes don't draw extra attention to you. Unless you have an 8-month old girl testing out the limits of her vocal cords. Then they all look at you. Luckily Caitlin was happy, so I didn't have too many angry stares. Still, I'll be happier when she is satisfied with her vocal cords and doesn't want to see how loud she can be.

Seeing and talking with old friends makes me think back on all the good times. When times were more good than bad, my mind eventually filters all the bad stuff out an focuses on the good stuff. Of course, it also does the same in reverse (so I won't tell you about my first job out of college. I still have issues! It's also why I cringe when I watch "The Office"- UK and USA versions). I have mostly good memories of high school and of all my friends. I've wondered over the years what they've been up to. Thanks to the internet, I've been able to look them up and sometimes write to them. I don't think I would have gone to my 10 year reunion if my friend Lari hadn't told me about it. My parents had long since moved from the Sierras when it rolled around. I hope I don't turn into one of those old ladies who just tells stories about the past....

One of my kids is fussy. I guess my nostalgic time is up.

***Update - my Myspace account is cancelled. Too much spam. Too many "mmmm, sexy" remarks from creepy men. Ugh. ****

Brandon's imagination

Things we have had to do because of Brandon's imagination:

-Play trains (which seem to get wrecked a lot)
-Hide from the "Teakings" (we cover up with blankets or pillows in the living room while he counts in a whisper, and tells us when the "Teakings" have gone away)
-Run away from the monsters in the park (this is easier when friends come along and their kids can run around with my kid while I sit on my lazy butt, trying to prevent Caitlin from sampling all the leaves on the ground)
-We had to put some toys in the closet that had previously been stored under the bed. We started hearing him whispering little stories to himself over the monitor. When we did a surprise bedroom raid a few minutes later, we'd find him with all the "Bob the Builder" characters on his bed, an he would be telling a story about their day.
-Play with playdough, and build strange characters

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Glorious Morning!

This morning was wonderful. I woke up at 7:30 (okay, my husband got me up before he left for work because, with the nights I've been having, I could have slept in until 10:00). I took a shower, did my hair, got dressed, ate breakfast, read the paper, watched the news, and even printed out a recipe for dinner tonight. I put the chicken out to thaw before I heard the happy babblings of an 8 month old girl. Then, I heard a little voice behind me ask "is it morning for us yet, mommy?" My children slept in until 9:00 am. That's a record! And, they woke up happy! This may never happen again, so I will take what I can get.

Several days have passed without a new blog to entertain you all. A few sleepless nights will get to anyone. Can't say why I can't seem to stay asleep. It takes me an hour to fall asleep. Then, I wake up every hour and a half or so and feel the need to go an do something. Caitlin is sleeping pretty well these days, so I can't blame her. Her usual schedule is bed at 7:00 pm, bottle around 11:00 pm, and then not up again until around 5:00 am. This is soooo much better than Brandon. Of course, we have a less vague idea about what we're doing with kids the second time around. It's not the kids, so I don't have the foggiest idea as to why I'm up all night. If I have a few bad nights in a row, I end up having a night where I sleep great. This is the 4th night in a row of waking up, so I'm hoping that a good night is coming up soon. I'll be in a much better mood. Once I'm not so tired, I will write more. Right now, I need to go do some boring, housewifey stuff - fold towels, put the clean dishes away, and get the trash out the curb. See you soon.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chunky Girl

I've long suspected that Caitlin was close to 20 pounds (since my arms ache whenever I hold her!). I took her to Maternal Connections today (a mother's support center attached to the maternity center at El Camino Hospital) to weigh her. 19 pounds, 5 ounces. I think she's 29 inches long, but she's so wiggly that it was hard to tell. Looking back at Brandon's weight, he had just reached 19 pounds at 10 months. Of course, he was in the 5th percentile for a while, so I guess it's nothing to brag about. Brandon didn't fit into size 12 months until he was 14 months, and Caitlin fits into some now. Maybe it won't be so hard to find clothes for her when she's 3.

After weighing her, I continued on my task of returning pants to various stores. Caitlin chewed on my car keys in each store. I took them away from her at Mervyns. You would have thought that I just slammed her fingers in the door, she cried so hard. Tears and all. It made me laugh a little, which didn't really help her any. She just cried harder. I found a set of keys that Brandon use to play with and gave them to her. She wasn't as thrilled, but stopped crying none-the-less. The other day she got hold of my watch and started gnawing on it. A few minutes later she turned around, and she had black smudges all around her mouth, on her hands, and anywhere else she had touched. It was so gross. I had no idea that my watch was so filthy! I'm a little disturbed at that fact, and have been wearing a different watch.

Caitlin and Brandon took a bath tonight. Brandon really likes taking a bath with Caitlin. I think he likes the company. Caitlin is much tougher that he was or is (although he is getting better). She kept going for the mesh bag that all the bath toys are kept in, and went swimming in the water. Brian and I were laughing at the fact that had it been Brandon, he wouldn't have taken another bath for about 3 months (the sort of semi-painful laugh that you have when you are remembering horrible, awful periods of your past life that you can now use as fodder in a comedy routine). We hated Brandon's bath rejection period. He drove us nuts for a few weeks when he would cry any time he got near the bathtub. We're not exactly sure what happened, but we think it has something to do with his head going under the water. The bath rejection happened a few times, and each time we were stumped as to why. This is the same boy who still cries when we wash his hair, and insists on wearing a little hat during hair washing time. So far, it looks like our little girl is tougher when it comes to things like that. I really hope so, since Brandon's fears have driven us to drinking. We can't drink much more (really, we can't. It's not healthy).

By the way, my mom posted some some cute pictures of Brandon's birthday here.I didn't take any (too busy fluttering around), so I need to get some from friends and family! One picture of Caitlin really reminds me of me when I was a baby. I don't know why, but it does!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Skinny Boy

I have to return at least 6 pairs of pants. I bought 8, know that 1 fits, need to get Brian's opinion on the latest pair, and am returning the rest. I can't be the only parent on the planet with a 3 year old who doesn't even weight 30 pounds! I can't sew, so altering pants isn't an option. Brandon received a few 3T hand-me-downs from an unknown source which seem to fit. I've also found that the Levis slim fit adjustable waist band pants from Target fit (no pair of pants should have such a long title!). So much of my energy has been expended lately on finding pants for this boy. I have a hard enough time finding pants for myself, even when I'm slim (if any of you know a brand that's made for big hipped girls, please let me know. Stores like Gap and Old Navy, and Levis jeans are off limits for my curvy figure). This is getting ridiculous! I think I just don't want to do laundry every 3 days. Brandon's clothes can't usually be worn more than one day, unless I'm into the "PigPen" look.

I went to VF mall today. I really do like that mall. However, with my "great" self esteem (notice the quotation marks), I always end up feeling bad about myself. It seems like all the moms there have some sort of unlimited budget with which to shop. They have lots of bags of loot from the various trendy stores. Their hair is cool and well styled. They match well (shoes, belt, purse), while I'm in my "it kinda fits my post baby body, and was clean" clothes that have milk and baby food rubbed in somewhere. My feet shrank after Caitlin was born, which wasn't suppose to happen. Replacing your shoes is a slow process, and an expensive one. I now wear an 8, not an 8 1/2, so my choices of shoes to wear out is small. I know I'm not hip or cool. I usually don't match, am not showered, an not calm, am not thin, and don't have the right stroller or diaper bag. I'm sure there are "normal" women at the mall, but I don't notice them at all. It's a really good thing that I have such a loving husband, who doesn't care about that sort of stuff, or I'd be a mess.

On the bright side, I did find a pair of pants that fit Brandon (as long as I put the adjustable waistband to the smallest setting). He's outgrowing the size 2's in length, so size 3 is the only option now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random things about me

The kids are sick, so there's not much to report except for general crankiness. I think I've entered the wiping years - wiping bottoms, noses, table tops, counters, etc.... I go through a lot of wipes. My hands are in water a lot, so I use a lot of lotion.

Random things about me:

-I'm almost 5' 7"
-I wish I was shorter
-I love TiVo
-I love my Roomba (robotic vacuum cleaner)
-my favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough
-I really love dill pickles, too, but not with ice cream
-I did live theatre for years. I miss it. It was a lot of work, though.
-I get mad when advertised sale items are sold out on the first day of the sale
(I also get mad when what I want at the store is sold out and I have to go elsewhere)
-I didn't want to have kids before I was 30
-I really like being a mom, but it's tough. I hope my kids forget these early years.
-I like my house to be neat and organized
-I don't really care if other people's houses are neat and organized. Messy is far more interesting.
-I skipped first grade
-I played the clarinet for many years, and took piano lessons for about 12 years
-From preschool to college graduation, I've attended 12 different schools
-I had a very vivid dream about going to Europe when I was in high school. I'd never been there, and hadn't seen many pictures, but it felt really weird when I did finally go there and realized how close my dream really was to what the old European cities look like.
-I truly believe my husband, and now my kids, are gifts from God.
-I like to go sit by the ocean when I'm sad
-I like the beach best in winter, when it's at it's bleakest
-Summer is my least favorite season
-I am really bad at cooking beef
-I like wearing makeup. I think it makes me look pretty.
-I have very few skills and talents. I wish I was passionate about something!
-I have a temper
-I use to drive fast, but have slowed down a lot since my kids were born
-I'm a power napper
-I wish I was more outgoing and friendly
-I talk way way too much
-I'm really a loner and a semi-introvert, but I want to be an extrovert, so I just keep talking (think Virginia Woolf stream-of- consciousness type talking...)
-My best friends have usually been boys
-That all changed when I got married
-I'm really grateful for the girlfriends I have now
-I am terrible at keeping in touch with people, although I think about all sorts of random friends and acquaintances all the time
-In my mind, time is circular, not linear, and you have to know a lot about my past to keep up with my current thoughts, since they all blend together
-My daughter's crying grates on me like nails on a chalkboard
-I love green bean casserole
-I read international news on the internet to get a different perspective on things, and to find out what's going on in the parts of the world that US news doesn't really cover.
-That has lessened some since I've had kids. I don't have as much time
-I wish I could sew
-I can sing most, if not all of the songs on the "Grease" soundtrack
-I can sing most songs from "Little Shop of Horrors" as well (I don't often admit that)
-All that said, I'm not a good singer
-I remember odd things, which makes me good at games like Trival Pursuit. That kind of mind doesn't get you far in life, though. What it does is make people not want to play Trivial Pursuit type games with you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Story Time

Brandon has been telling stories to himself for a long time. He tells train stories when he's playing with his train tracks, and little vignettes when he's playing with his Bob the Builder vehicles. Today he was telling me a story of a snake as he drew the picture on his new Doodle Pro It went something like this:

me: tell me about your picture
Brandon: it's a happy snake
Oh, what is the snake doing?
He's jumping up.
He's jumping up?
Yes. He's jumping on to a tree.
Really. I didn't know snakes jumped on trees.
Yes, they do.
That's because the trees are empty.
They're empty? How?
That's because they have no berries.
No berries?
No. The snakes have to get them berries. They pull trees.
Where do they pull them?
to the quarry mine, to get more berries.

Okay, so the story doesn't make much sense. But I could see the little hamster running on the wheel that is his mind. This is the first time he's told me a story. Most of the time I'm just evesdropping. My little boy is growing up!

Blue's Clues

I need to get out more. Brandon wanted to watch "Blue's Clues" this morning, which is fine. I'm sitting here watching it with him (I could get up and do something productive), and debating with myself which of the "Blue's Clues" hosts I like better - Joe or Steve. I like Steve, but I think I'm voting for Joe (he's kinda cute, in an "I'm only 20" sort of way. And he dances funny). Must have been quite an upheaval for the toddler set when Steve went off to college and Joe came into to figure out what the dog was thinking. Maybe he's a pet pyschic. hmmm..... My second though is "why am having this debate with myself? I'm a grown woman." Maybe I don't need to get out more, maybe I just need get off the couch! My cup of coffee didn't fully wake me up this morning. Maybe getting up and blow drying my hair will help!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trains Trains Everywhere!

Thanks to my friend Suzy, we have enough train track to make two entire play areas! When Suzy's boys were done with their Thomas set, she gave them to me (and I gratefully accepted). We gave Brandon a few pieces at a time, and then gave him some more on his birthday.

Who knew that all of this would come in so handy? Owen, a friend of Brandons, has come over a couple of times in the last week while his mom gets some much needed rest. The boys play wonderfully together. Owen is almost 2, and reminds me so much of Brandon at the same age. He's also very well behaved, so he's always a joy to have. Brandon initially didn't want to share his new trains with Owen, so I built the track on the floor for Owen. Of course, both boys ended up playing on that track, and no one played on the table! So much for options.

I had a load of kids laundry soaking, and managed to convince Brandon to put in his blankey to be washed. He was quite conflicted about the right thing to do (usually I grab blankey when Brandon isn't looking, and stick him in for a good wash). Both boys were fascinated by watching the washer churn. I got this cute picture....

We also tried to go to HFM (Highway Family Ministries), which is our midweek family time at our church. Brian and I meet up there at 6:00, have dinner with our church friends, and then go to our class. Caitlin wasn't in a great mood, and I got paged out of class to take care of her. I hope this is just a one night thing. Her bedtime is usually around 7:00, but I was hoping she could last until 8:00 tonight. She can occasionally. Tonight wasn't that night. I'd really like to go to HFM regularly, so I hope she doesn't do this every Tuesday. I think it's important to get out, even with little kids. Brandon had a really good time, though. At least one of the kids was happy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Picture Frustration

Just wanted to let you all know that this is the most common type of picture that I get of Caitlin. Those big eyes and large forehead make you wonder if the Roswell stories are true, and that aliens really have landed on earth and had little babies. I feel lucky when I can get any good pictures of the kids. Brandon won't look at me (dirt is much cooler), and Caitlin practically tries to eat the camera lens. Sadly, I have been reduced to one of those horrible moms that you hear at the park, this close to yelling, telling her children "please just look at me!!!" I need to get rid of the delay on the camera or re-read the manual. I'm messing up somewhere.....

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Family Portrait

Here we are. September 17, 2006
Brandon is 3
Caitlin is 7 1/2 months

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Happy Birthday Brandon! You are three. How did you get to be three? I had a baby, and now you're a boy. So fun, so bright, so energetic! You are so funny. At your birthday, you told us you couldn't be three until you had your cake. You waited a little while before we had cake, thus delaying your ability to turn three. Then it happened. That magical moment. And now, you are three...... Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Today was my day to bring snacks for our playgroup. Yesterday, Brandon and I decided that we should bring some cupcakes to help celebrate his birthday. I baked a dozen or so in the afternoon. I did pick the hottest day in September to bake cookies - it was 95 degrees. Sunday reached a high of 72. I wish I knew what is going on with the weather. Anyway, I put yellow frosting and little black outlined happy faces on them. Generic, but cute. I didn't know it would be so hard to make black frosting with food coloring. Brandon asked for a cupcake 10 times this morning before accepting my answer of, "we'll have them at playgroup." The kids sang "Happy Birthday" to him. I thought it was cute. Brandon didn't like it, and told me so on the way home. I hope he can handle everyone singing to him at his party.

As I was getting ready to leave this morning, I asked Brandon to play with Caitlin. She decided she was above napping this morning, and was in a cranky mood. Brandon proceeded to sing an odd little song. When I asked him what he was singing, he told me it was "the whining song." Very appropriate. Wish I knew the words.

It is really hard to get out of the house on time with a whining baby, and a toddler who insists on doing everything by himself (clothes, shoes, seatbelt). If I try to help him, he gets mad and tells me that it's not my job, and that it's not nice to help with ____ (fill in the blank). My favorite was when he once told me "it's not nice to put people on potties". Heaven forbid I should try to help. We managed to get to the park around 10:20. Not bad. Brandon fell asleep on the way home, and has decided not to nap. He's been in his room for about 2 hours now, but hasn't slept. I'm forseeing an early bedtime tonight. I need to wrap some of his birthday presents, so at least I should have lots of time to do that!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sleeping Children

This is what I saw when I went to check on the kids last night before I went to bed. Note the train set up in Brandon's room. That was not there when I put him to bed. He got out of bed, got his Take Along set out from under his bed, proceeded to put it together, and then got back into bed and went to sleep. Is this why he's complaining that his night light isn't bright enough? He can't see well enough to play at 10:00 pm?

On the other hand, Caitlin is looking very cute - little hands all folded together.... I'm sure I won't think the same when she wakes me up at 3:00 am demanding food.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Brian is gone for a week. Left this morning on a business trip to Boston. I don't really mind the business trips. I use to look forward to them when we had no kids - it was my time alone, to do as I pleased. It's more difficult with kids, but I think we have the rhythm down now. This one is a long one, though. Sunday through Friday. On the bright side, it was a very relaxing morning getting ready for church. Brian wasn't leaving until around 11:00, so he took care of both the kids while I leisurely ate breakfast, took a shower, did my hair and got dressed. I haven't looked this good in a while! One of us should stay home every Sunday!

Brandon was my complete angel today. He did as he was told, was fairly compliant, and even took a good nap. We went to Target and Mervyn's today to try on pants (Mervyn's - that is a really weird name. Say it over and over. It's odd). The boy is so skinny that I have a hard time finding any pants that fit him. He doesn't have the girth to even hold them up. Levi's jeans work, and most toddler pants from Mervyn's. Before he was potty trained, I relied on his diapers to help hold his pants up. Now I don't even have that. I usually have to go to 3 or 4 stores before I can find a pair that fits. I try to go to other stores, not just Mervyns, because the material used on a good deal of their pants is reminiscent of a parachute. Not what I'm looking for. If I wasn't so boring, looking for jeans or solid colors, my options would be greater.

Caitlin, on the other hand, is having a hard day. She has cried and cried, not napped, and cried some more. I'm not really sure what is up with her. Maybe it's constipation, gas, teething... She can't tell me, so I have to go with my best guess, which isn't always right. She hardly napped at all, for me, but did fall asleep in the arms of one of the workers in the nursery. She looked so cute when I went in, all hot and sweater in her little sweatshirt. Her hair is growing in so blonde now, but is still dark at the tips. Let's hope she gets in a better mood soon. I'm going out on Tuesday night, and don't want her to be in a bad mood for Jackie!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Make a Funny Face!

Caitlin has this odd face that she makes at different times (and a lot when she's eating). It's hard to get a picture of it when I'm trying to feed her, so you'll have to do with the one that I managed to get. I'm not sure why she does this. She wrinkles up her nose and makes a little snorting noise. Odd.

After Caitlin started crawling (a few days before she turned 7 months), she went straight to standing. I remember that Brandon did this as well. The biggest difference is that Brandon had strong legs and arms. Caitlin has legs of jell-o. She is getting better Still, every time she attempts to stand up, she inevitably falls over and hurts herself. She cries a lot, and is covered with bumps and red marks. It doesn't help that she tries to pull herself up on unstable items (the curtains, the chair to Brandon's little table, the ball blaster). If she'd stick to stable things, like the couch, coffee table, or train table, we'd all be in better shape. I feel like I have to contain her in something if I leave the room for more than a minute, or I'll quickly hear the screams of a little girl who has clonked her head on something else.

I think I am finally getting use to the routine with 2 kids. I have taken a shower now for two days in a row with both kids awake. That means I'm showering in the morning (gasp!). Today I got in the shower at 8:30. After breakfast and what have you, I put Caitlin in the exersaucer or door swing, tell Brandon I'm going to take a shower, and ask that he stay in the living room with Caitlin. He's a good boy, and will play near her. After the shower (just the showering part, mind you), I check on the kids again. Caitlin was bored in her door swing, so I brought her into the bathroom with me. She isn't scared of the blow dryer, so she'll just play with some toys while I finish my hair. Today I attempted to blow dry her hair. She didn't mind a bit! Brandon has just recently come the conclusion that the blow dryer isn't scary, but he still runs past me whenever it's on. Caitlin was very good as I tried to tame the abundance of fine, straight blonde hair that she has. This will be fun when she's older. I hope she's good with having her hair done, and doesn't struggle like all the other little girls I know (do I hear laugher from the audience?). I managed to shower, dry my hair and get ready today in about half an hour. Woo hoo! It's coming back! We even got to Costco by 10:15. Another achievement! Sad, isn't it, that these are the things that excite me. Hopefully this will all change in the future, and my goals will be a little bit bigger than showering and dressing.

Cute Caitlin pics

I thought you might like to see some cute Caitlin pictures. She's quite the camera hog. I did manage to get a few pictures of her doing what she does best.... destroying the traintracks on the train table. She's quite a handful, but we love her.

ps - if you click on the picture, it gets bigger.

Boys and Dirt

What is it about little boys and dirt? Brandon is just fascinated by it. He has been ever since he was 6 months old and I put him in the sand for the first time. He just can't get enough. If I leave him alone in the backyard with some water, he inevitably makes mud. I didn't understand how my other friends could get away with only bathing their children every other night when mine needed a bath twice a day (which I have done). Maybe Caitlin will be better about staying clean, but I doubt it. Now that she's crawling, I can't keep her out of anything when we're outside.

Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin died the other day. I'm sure you've seen the news. I was shocked, and saddened, when I heard the news. I feel like a friend has been killed. When Brian and I were first married in 1999, we had a hard time getting together with other people. We were no longer allowed in the singles group at church, and most of our friends were still single. While we still talked, our schedules didn't synch up at all. We were free when they had singles activities, and they were free when we were busy. There were almost no activities in our fledgling young married's group, so we ended up home by ourselves a lot that summer. The Discovery Channel was running old episodes of "The Crocodile Hunter" every night at 9:00. So, almost every night at 9:00 we camped out rears in front of the TV and watched an episode. We just loved the show. In later years, it was a treat to find an episode we hadn't seen yet! I'd heard of the Crocodile Hunter before that time, but years of no cable TV, long hours at work, dating Brian, and going out with friends made it impossible to watch them. I pray that the family is doing well over in Australia. The death of a loved one is so hard.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Picking out an Ornament

Today Brandon participated in the ages old tradition on his paternal side - picking out his annual Christmas ornament. Since time began (or since Brian and his sister were born), they have picked out an ornament for their Christmas tree each year (which explains our expansive Loony Toons ornament collection. I have yet to see this at any other house during the holidays). Today, Donna and Jackie picked up Brandon at 10:00 am to take him out to a Hallmark store in Saratoga that has a good selection (yes, there are Christmas ornaments out already in some places). After which they had lunch at "Old" McDonald's (yet another Brandonism). Brandon had a blast. He enjoys spending time with his Nana and Aunt Jackie. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad pretended that they only had one child, and after Caitlin woke up we went out to lunch at Chili's. It is so much easier with only one kid at a restaurant, especially when she isn't eating table food yet. Back to ornaments - Brandon picked out a battery operated ornament with a train on it that goes around and stops at several stops. It even lights up. He did a good job. We are going to put it away until Christmas time, so it will be new all over again in a few months.

On another note, Caitlin seems to have developed a case of "mommy-itis" - meaning she is not happy when mommy leaves. Unfortunately for her, she was born to a mommy that desperately needs time to herself every now and then. When you consider that I can't go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat a meal, get dressed, go outside, drive a car, etc, etc., by myself, grocery shopping becomes stolen moments when I can just be alone with my thoughts (0r turn up the music loud in the car) . I do a lot of grocery shopping on the weekends, which I hate, but right now it's easier than trying to do it during the week with two children. Today, while I was gone, Caitlin decided to take up crying for a couple hours for Brian. He was thrilled, I tell you, just thrilled. At one point she started to crawl away. Curious to see what she would do, Brian just let her go. She ended crawling down the hall, sobbing the whole time. Miraculously, she was cured of her ailment when I returned. Poor Brian. I hope she gets over this soon, or he won't want to let me out of the house!


Here are some of the unique things that Brandon says:

Brandon has a handful of pebbles:
What do you have?
I have a half of rock.
Don't you mean a handful of rocks?
No. I have a half of rock from the dirt over there.

Pee pees! Pee pees! Pee pees! (As he's running through the house, the store, the park, etc. My job is to then find a bathroom quickly)

Is it morning for us yet? (usually said as I am stumbling down the hall to make some coffee)

We'll go straight away (from watching too much British based "Thomas the Tank Engine")

No Lelling (no yelling)

I'm a slacka-slacka (or whatever made up word he has decided to use that day)

No, Mommy, that's my job!!! (whenever I do anything that he thinks he should do, such as buckle his carseat in, open the door, put his shoes on, put soap on his hands, I could go on forever.....)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Our first babysitter

Tonight Brian and I, plus his parents and sister, all went out to a fabulous dinner at Alexanders Steak House in Cupertino. Pricey, but worth it. The portions were, of course, huge. I'll be having the rest of my steak tomorrow for lunch or dinner. We celebrated Donna and Rich's 40th anniversary (8/28), Brian's birthday (7 years later on 8/29) and Donna's upcoming birthday (9/11). We had to find a babysitter for the kids, though. I can't belive that we've gone almost 3 years and have not had an official babysitter for Brandon . Brian's parents or sister watch the kids most of the time if we have evening stuff to do, and I trade off with friends when the need for kid-free events happen during the day. This time, it was trickier. All the regulars were with me, or out of town for the Labor Day Holiday. I was able to have Michelle come over. She is a mothers helper for my friend Leanne, who has a 2 1/2 year old boy and twins Caitlin's age. Michelle is great, and Brandon loves her! She let him jump off a big box in the backyard, and basically run around like a maniac. We didn't realize that Brandon had opened his bedroom door, and heard Michelle leave after we got home. He was so upset. He cried and cried. "Mommy, I don't want Michelle to leave!" I'll have to let her know she is so loved. Luckily, she's coming over with Leanne on Wednesday for a playdate. Brandon will be soooo happy to see her!

Slacker Mom

Am I a slacker mom? In some ways, yes. Yesterday morning I put Caitlin in the door jumper and Brandon played outside in the dirt in his PJ's while I ate breakfast. Breakfast is the hardest time of the day for me. I wake up hungry. Unfortunately, so do my kids, and right now I need to take care of them before I take care of me. The routine is to get up, jump in the shower if no one else is awake yet, then head out for breakfast once I'm done with the shower. I'm usually greeted at that time by babbling from Caitlin's room, or a small little boy's voice asking, "is it morning for us, mommy?" This is followed by a cup of warm milk, then getting the other one up and giving her a bottle. After a diaper change (and sometimes an outfit change), I get to have breakfast. As much as I love my kids, I do miss having breakfast by myself without feeling like I'm ignoring someone.