From an early age, our lovely son has always found the most sanitary and practical toys to play with.
He learned to smile for the camera while wearing most of his afternoon snack.
He also learned that applesauce not only makes for an excellent facial but it provides hours of entertainment. I think he's been hitting the boos (see exhibit A, empty wine bottle on the left) We knew from an early age that this dude would be slightly obsessed with food. What we didn't know was that his food choices would be er....uh....interesting. ....I don't even know how to explain this one. Cheers!! Happy birthday to my baby on the 3rd!!
(editors note: no child was harmed in the posting of these photos and of course no child had access to any alcoholic beverages (although it may seem so) His parents are mature, responsible adults (just don't give them wine) and love him very much. All complaints should be taken up with Brody.)
The perfectly clean and organized house is all but a myth according to me.There is no way that this so called cleanliness is achieved if you have children and/or pets. We like to use the phrase comfortably lived in to describe what our house looks like most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit of a neat freak and sometimes follow my children around and pick up while they are still playing (drives them crazy!) but there is only so much one can do. This is the snap shot of the, "playroom" as it was left right before nap time. Very comfortably lived in indeed and this is nothing compared to the destruction that the short one can do on any given day.
...and that brings me to my next thought....
The rule in our house that is if you are outside you have to be clothed. One would think it is a simple concept, but obviously since I am raising two nudists, it's harder for them to grasp this concept. Baylor wanted to come outside but for some reason that is always beyond me, he was naked. I told him that in order to play outside he had to get shorts on, so he did. Kind of.
He decided that when I said, "go get shorts on" that it meant, "go grab your brother's shirt and squeeze in it, making it into a skirt and that will be just fine." Just like the other day when I said, "Brody please take your shoes off, " and he heard, "Brody please take off all of your clothes."
..and then we have thought number three.....
These two beautiful pieces of art were constructed by my husband. I just want you to take a close look at both of them. One is a beautiful sand castle...or should I say castles and the other is a volcano that he made with the boys last night.
Frank is the mean combine from the movie Cars. Brody happens to be in love with Frank. After asking him what he wanted for a birthday cake, of course he responded, "FRANK!"
We'll see how that one turns out. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he also gingerly responded, "a flashlight."
So Brody gets a Frank cake and a flashlight for his golden birthday on the third.
Baylor wants a dragon. No, a dinosaur. No, a dragon. No, a pirate ship. No, a dragon.
August happens to be our party month. We start the month off with Brody turning three on the third, then Lonnie turning uh, well..having a birthday on the thirteenth and then Baylor following suit by turning five on the thirty-first. We also celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary this month on the ninth. Got all of that? It is a very busy month including the start of cross country, school for Baylor and working on an art show for mama.
Triathlon is on Sunday. YES SUNDAY!!
Slightly freaked out. Having a head full of snot last week as well as an IT (iliotibial band ) issues. I think I should be okay, the goal is simple; do not die. It should be interesting but I'm really excited to do it.
The other day I happen to have a conversation with a complete stranger that quickly turned into a battle of intelligences when they asked me what I, "did for a living." I quickly responded that I was a stay at home mother (excuse me, domestic goddess of course) to two adorable and well behaved boys that always keep their clothes on. I then began to clarify that I was an art teacher and would return to the working world when the boys were in school, how I worked in the mornings at a coffee shop, did house cleaning and art on the side, blah blah blah....but by this time they had completely glazed over. Our conversation, which happened to be quite academic in nature, had taken a turn for the worse. I could tell as soon as I uttered those four little words (stay-at-home-mom) that my IQ had dropped significantly in their eyes. I read their facial expression and it said no, it screamed, "Is that ALL you do?" Even the way they talked to me changed, like I was suddenly unable to understand English and needed drool wiped from my chin. Our exchanges went from discussing foreign policy and psychological disorders to gummy bears and Sesame Street. Don't get me wrong, I am a genius when it comes to Big Bird.
Why is it that we (some, but not all) are so quickly to define and judge an individual by their job, status or educational background? We judge a person who makes the choice to sacrifice time, energy and sanity to the proper care and raising of our children. Apparently when you make that choice to stay at home with your children your intelligence level plummets. I would like to think that I have become more brilliant, make better choices and can multi-task like a pro simply from staying at home. I don't know about anyone else but in college I never learned how to hold a baby with one hand, flip an egg with the other all while talking on the phone to the pediatrician. Just because we have put our careers, education and life on hold while we raise our children doesn't make us idiots. When we aren't coloring with crayons, making grilled cheese or cleaning pee off of the floor we frequently engage in activities that do better ourselves and the people around us. That or we are passed out from exhaustion on the floor.
My favorite question is, "So what do you do all day?" I often have to restrain myself from socking them in jaw or pulling out a piece of paper and giving them a bulleted 123 point list of what EXACTLY we do all day. I have many friends who now stay at home with their children who have Masters or are working on second degrees or were teachers, nurses, accountants, dietitians you name it, and very educated and strong women. Didn't your mother always tell you that you can't judge a book by it's cover? So just because a person has decided to stay at home and raise their children doesn't mean they can't carry on a lively conversation about current events, pro football teams and kick your butt in Trivial Pursuit. Of course our jobs are so easy though, right? We sit around all day watching Oprah and eating bon bons.
It also goes for mothers who chose to work or have to work. They are often judged if the don't stay at home with their children, becoming somehow unloving and unable to nurture. It just goes to show that your family, no matter what occupational path you chose to follow, will always be under fire. You are no less of a woman if you chose to stay at home with your children, work outside the home or even have children at all.
I may not know what day it is and venture out in spandex and a sweatshirt, but I certainly am able to hold my own in an intelligent conversation. I am certain that I have the most amazing and meaningful job in the world right now and can't imagine doing anything else. Just don't ask me to spell.....we might have a problem.
54. We should take care of the earth and limit our paper usage. That is why I am opting not to waste paper towels. Besides, slurping is much more fun.
67. If you close your eyes tight enough, nobody can see you and if you're lucky, they might even think you're sleeping.
7. It's important to give the parts of your body that don't see the light of day a little sun. 78. You should always try and remember where you threw your pants off the deck. 90. Never ever leave me and a can of shaving cream alone in the bathtub. Ever.
3. Brush and floss regularly.
123. If you must throw a heavy object, squishing your face and grunting is a must.
45. Goggles make for fun play toys. They also work if you're trying to potty train and keep shooting yourself in the eye. 456. Dogs, especially my dogs, usually don't like pieces of paper being shoved into their eye sockets.
55. When you run out swiffer sweepers you can always use a Baylor.
89. Sometimes you have to stop and enjoy the little things....like the spin cycle.
4. ...yea, that's right...extra cheese and....wha? Oh, uh.....don't let dad find out you've been ordering pizza with his cell phone.
2. Art is all in the eye of the beholder.
65. Never hide anything in the bottom of the sand box.
16. Nets are best used for catching fish and butterflies, not children.
45. If you happen to have a runny nose and play in the sand box, the sand WILL stick to the snot creating a not so comfortable feeling.
57. Mom's idea of bunk beds was a little different from mine.
33. Swim caps work much better when submerged in water.
66. Dirt tastes bad....really bad.
9. Everything can be a weapon. When mom takes away your weapon, you just use something else. My favorites are the crust off of my bread, vacuum cleaner attachments and trucks (see photo below) 11. Don't make a two year old mad. Especially a two year old who likes to hurl objects.
This is why I love Iowa. Due to all of the rain we are having a very green July! Went for a bike ride to stay off of my ouchie leg (Iliotibial band IT is killing me!) but it's throwing a wrench into my triathlon training which is in two weeks! Eeek! We traveled to Erie to pick some sweet corn and spend some time with my grandparents. Baylor took up bird watching. He informed us that he wants a bird book and binoculars (real ones) for his birthday.
There was corn. Lots and lots of corn.
This man is serious about his sweet corn. He set up his gigantic flame throwing slightly redneck corn cookin' machine in the 103 degree heat, just so we could have corn when we got there. (see exhibit A) Then he stood there and carefully watched it, as to not over cook the corn! Nice work Grandpa. Loving the socks. There was also some beautiful clouds. I have a thing for clouds. God does good work, doesn't he?
One of our favorite things is to yell, "Hey, Baylor...it's a hay baler!" when we drive by the John Deere implement store. He was thrilled to sit on a real hay bale.
Newest attributes: Can we say ATTITUDE? Apparently he's 4 going on 16. This recent attitude comes complete with evil stares and ugly faces and plenty of, "your face will stay like that" comments from the parents. Along with the attitude comes a slight violent streak. Yes, I realize that boys will be boys and for the most part we let the boys be boys, but when it involves numerous punches, kicks and slugs to the groin areas, we have to take action. It's one thing to be rough but it's another to be disrespectful. He still has a very sweet and tender side which we love. He has a caring and compassionate heart, towards just about anyone not named Brody.
New passions: Animals. He wants to own a zoo. First it was a moray eel, then a set of stinky turtles, now it's a chameleon. Maybe he'll grow up to be a vet. He's also really into Frog and Toad books, Tom and Jerry and anything related to animals.
He is really looking forward to starting AK in the fall (and so are we!) I still can't believe my baby will be five and going to school. AK will be perfect for him. Hopefully it will lead to a lifetime of new friends and relationships.
Age: Will turn 3 on the 3rd!
New Attributes: Will do anything for food. When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he responded with, "chocolate." A man after my own heart. He's also watching his brother and copying his ugly faces, except when he tries to do it it just makes us laugh. Everything is a weapon and must be used as a projectile. This kid definitely has a sense of humor. Lets hope his teachers think so too.
New Passions: The movie Cars and anything that goes along with it, building blocks and getting into the fridge by himself for a little snack....every five minutes.
There are days (like the one I had yesterday chasing naked boy around the house....don't ask) that make me wonder what life was like before children. We left the house on a whim without bags, cheerios and spare shorts or watched shows without singing veggies or sword fighting heroes.
One of the best choices was for us to start a family, but along with becoming a parent comes responsibility (or at least we hope so) Things change, most for the better, some for worse (but you already knew that...it's in your wedding vows, right?) A few of my friends have just gotten married or are now expecting their first child and I wonder if they really know what they're in for.
You really know you're a parent when....
1. You consider date night a trip to the grocery store...minus the short ones.
2. You're out with your friends and you excuse yourself to, "go potty."
3. Most of your grocery lists are made out in purple crayon
4. You no longer get any privacy when using, "the potty."
5. You are so in love yet so frustrated all wrapped into one.
6. Sleep becomes for the weak. You survive on caffeine and a prayer.
7. You have mastered the art of speed eating....and can do so standing up.
8. The five second rule turns into the three minute rule.
9. You use baby wipes to dust and hope the dogs clean up the food under the table.
10. You use a chisel and hammer to remove food from the kitchen chairs and the computer keyboard smells like peanut butter.
11. You find yourself using the phrases, "Don't put that in your mouth! Where are your pants? and Don't make me come over there." often.
12. You talk to your mother on the phone and tell her what your child has just done and she laughs.
13. You don't get to take sick days.
14. You magically become a healer by a simple kiss.
15. Although you are tired, grumpy, excited, sad, angry, frustrated, happy, joyful and just about every emotion out there, you have to admit you have the best job in the world.
What are these strange things? Bound together and enclosing a retreat for the mind. Creating an escape to another world.
There are no pictures. There are no buttons that make noise when you push them. There are no tabs, pulls or pop ups. I reacquainted myself with this marvelous thing weekend.
What was I missing?! I had forgotten how calming it was to dive into the plot of a good fiction novel. To forget your surroundings, stresses and chaos around you. I used to read stacks of books as a child, staying up way past my bedtime hidden under the covers just so I could finish the next chapter. In college I read because I was forced to endure painful text books and was turned off to reading all together. Next came self help books about marriage and love and babies. Then I soon graduated from not reading at all to reading picture books about trains, bunnies and baby faces. I couldn't fathom picking up a reading material that did not contain bright pictures, glossy pages, recipes and perfume samples.
But I did.
This past week I checked out a book from the library (honestly, because the title sounded cool and the picture on the cover was intriguing...who says you can't judge a book by it's cover?!) with high hopes of kick starting a reading habit. I slowly read the first chapter and then I was hooked. My mind was taken to another place and time as I dove head first into the plot of the story. I read the entire book in one day and even in the car (I usually end up sticking my head out the window with car sickness) I have the bug. I even went to the bookstore and purchased another book to read on the way home. Apologies to my family which I completely ignored on the car ride to and from. So now that my newly restored love for reading has returned, I have a big stack of books by my bed, ready to be devoured. It won't happen during the day, but it will be my little escape at night.
What do I like to read? Strange as it may seem, I love a good eerie ghost story, especially if it's historical. I love mysteries and of course the classics and pretty much anything without a cheesy story line. I know many of you are also avid readers so I'm going to ask for some suggestions on new reading material. So have at it. Suggest away. I'm looking forward to hearing what you've been reading!