Jul 28, 2009

Scope Creep

I started this blog when Robbie was a baby. The original purpose (or scope - if you want to enter my world of project development) was just to keep out of state family up to date on his development and antics.

There's been a bit of scope creep over time - the focus of the site has been getting blurry around the edges. Even so, there are literally dozens of things I don't write about simply because they don't fit within the site's scope. I have other blogs - blogs where I can write about soap or photography. But I don't.

Keeping one blog up to date with fresh material is hard enough. Three fresh blogs - impossible. Besides that, three blogs with narrow focus are still cutting out most of what I'd write about if I had more freedom.

Add to that the constriction of dealing in blogger's interface. I'm a web designer for heaven's sake - I can do so much better!

Soon this site will be at an end....but a newer, better, fresher, and hopefully more interesting one will replace it at a new address.

Stay tuned.

Jul 27, 2009

We're Back

We're back from our trip to Oregon. After a bit of a blogging hiatus I just wanted to say "Hi, I'm still alive." Once I finish shaking the sand out of my luggage and camera gear, I'll be posting plenty of photos and video of our adventure.

Jul 9, 2009

High Blood Sugar, Child Abuse and Patriotism

If you think about it, an Independence Day parade in the eyes of a child is a lot like a reverse Halloween. The kids stay put, the adults dress up funny and go around tossing candy at the kids. What could be better?

What follows is a pictorial review of the Tooele parade with commentary from Robbie and I. But really it's just things Robbie actually said and things I imagine Robbie would have said if he were older, as sarcastic as me and not nearly so hopped up on sugar.

Best parade spot ever. Right in the front lawn of Uncle Kip's house!

So all-American. I love it.

Hey Dad, while we wait for the parade to start, wanna fight?!

Of course by "fight" I mean tickle.

And hold me upside down.

And put the strength of my bladder control to the test with more tickling.

Ok enough "fightning", let's jump off the stairs!

I have one cute dad, right? Right?

Um, excuse me. I was told there would be candy at this thing but so far I only see a bunch of people jogging past with numbers on their chests.

This is my cousin carter. We'll do just about anything for candy. Aren't we cute? Give us candy.

Ok I'm waiving this flag. When does the candy part start?

Well until the candy gets there, these huge sugar cookies will tide me over.

Mmmm sugar!

Ok Carter, here's the plan. When the candy starts flying, you take out the little girl in white. More for us, Cuz.

I think I see...is it...could it be?? Candy's coming!!!!

False alarm.

Fire truck! Finally, some candy.

Look mom, they're just like my ARMY MENS!


Hmph. They didn't have any candy.

Look at that kid. Look! That's just child abuse.

My mom agrees. Putting your kids to work pushing your political message. Child abuse.

Hmm, I can't read yet, but I scan left to right. So I think they're saying that I should have babies first, then get married, then fall in love. Ok, I'll tuck that away for future reference.

Ok, parade's over, time for dad to shake up all that sugar in my belly with some tossing!

Sugar high? Never heard of it.

My mom thinks she's so smart. She put my huge sack of candy in the car but this nice lady gave us ice cream sandwiches and otter pops. Did I mention it's not even 10:00 am?

Ahh, Grummy and Grumpy and cousin Carter. Life is good.

Jul 7, 2009

I Still Can't Believe I'm Going to Put this in Writing

I hate running. I never loved it, but ambivalence started turning to loathing when I was 11. It was at that point that I was outrun on a race track by the 6 year old brother of a friend.

My high school gym teacher didn't help. He'd take our class on runs through town, trotting us around in our ratty gym-wear for traffic and bystanders to view. Of course, he usually ran right behind the stragglers, which meant that at least half the time my friend Jesse and I could count on his company.

Jesse wasn't in bad shape at all but she, like me, was only five feet tall and our stride was bound to be a bit shorter than the rest of the class'. We had co-ed gym, so half my class were boys, many of the class were in better shape and all of the class had longer legs. My memory is a bit fuzzy but the only kid I know for a fact was slower than us was in a wheel chair.

And in the ensuing thirteen years? Let's just say running hasn't had a big part in my life.

And now, at 31 and hopelessly out of shape, I've committed to run a 5k in October. Of this year.

I kind of wonder if my gym teacher does house calls. Maybe I could use the motivation. He was sort of a younger version of R. Lee Ermey. In lieu of Gunny, I have Toby and a progressively more difficult running schedule mapped out in Excel. The goal is to be race-ready in 12 weeks.

Now all I have to do is...well....just do it. Too bad the "doing" is so much harder than the planning.

Jul 6, 2009

Mini Vans and Time Machines

Before we even began trying to have children, Toby and I took a blood oath that we wouldn't own a minivan. I'm sorry if I'm offending any readers here, but I think I'm pretty safe on this one. Even if we had 4 or 5 or 15 kids, I think we'd find another solution before opting for a minivan. Even if that solution was a bus.

I'm not really hung up on cars. I can drive just about any brand of reliable car without a drop in my self esteem. But, to me, nothing says "I've given up trying to be anything but a chauffeur and I no longer try to keep the upholstery clean" like a minivan. My personal belief is that they should come with metal grate floors so the graham crackers can be hosed out periodically. Maybe a giant crumb tray like in my toaster oven.

Even Brad and Angelina couldn't make a minivan sexy - and they did try. See Mr. and Mrs. Smith for a refresher.

So where am I going with all this? Just here: this morning Robbie and I had the following conversation.

Robbie: Mom, we should get a slidey-car.
Me: A slidey-car? Explain please.
Robbie: A car with the slidey thingies on the side
Me: A minivan?
Robbie: Yes! That would be so cooooool. The doors slide back and forth! I wish we had one.

I'd never thought of it that way before. But to a three year old, sliding doors probably do seem pretty exotic and space-age. Almost as good as a DeLorean

Thanks for the perspective, Robbie.

Jul 2, 2009

Taking "tingly sensation" to a new level.

Old ads have always made me chuckle - especially when they advertise a product we now know to be completely useless or even harmful. When I saw this ad I was at first horrified. Lysol?? Down there? Yikes. I hope it was a milder form than what I currently use to disinfect my trash can. I really, really hope.

But this begs the question. What kind of products do we use that will make our grandchildren shrink in horror? My bet is Listerine. Future generations will probably discover it is the root cause of diabetes or erectile dysfunction. It would figure.

Jun 30, 2009

Better Late than Never

This has seemed to be a strange summer. As a girl born and raised in the damp northwest I've quite enjoyed the constant rain but even I have limits. Especially when I've been spoiled by the last 12 or 13 years of nearly uninterrupted summer heat and sun.

So, when the rain finally took a break and we could get out in the Reed Family Truckster and RV combo it was indeed and exciting time. Diets were broken, bedtimes were forgotten and our skill in cooking over flame was honed.

Here is the Fireball in all its glory, resplendent in Avocado green racing stripes. I put Robbie up to posing in front of it to give you, gentle reader, a feel for the sheer scale of the beast.

Here is Woody and his "cousin" Jasper (my brother's dog). Both dogs are the same breed, born within a week of one another and yet....there is a 100% difference in weight and 180 degree difference in personality. Whereas Jasper could be compared to Barney Fife, Woody is an even mixture of neuroses: sex addiction and aggression. Poor Jasper will need to seek the counsel of a rape trauma center after this weekend. Here the dogs are tethered to within kissing, but not humping distance.

Here is my son, ever the soul of responsibility. See how he personally takes it upon himself to prevent forest fires?

And here is my boy once again. This time he's fashioning himself a grass mustache...or is it a nasal cannula? One never knows.

And finally, eating the requisite Cheeze-Its. Is anyone else put off by the way this product sounds like "Cheese Zits"? I am.

Jun 3, 2009

We Fight About Fruit Trees

Some couples fight about money. Others fight about housework. We fight about fruit trees. The fight is long over now but I am still reeling from the stupidity of it all.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever fought with your hubbs about?

May 21, 2009

Between Cleaners and Cleanees

We moms spend a lot of time cleaning. The more children you have, the more cleaning - and it isn't just twice as much cleaning with two children. I suspect it's an exponential increase.

Today my neighbor's six year old daughter came the front door shortly after I'd attacked my kitchen floor with bleach water and a mop.

"Eww, your house smells like chlorine!" she said, wrinkling her nose.

Twenty minutes later, her mother came to my kitchen door. Just like in those Febreeze commercials, she poked her nose in for a good whiff. "Mmmm your house smells good!" she said.

An affection for the smell of chlorine...just one more way being a mom changes everything.

May 18, 2009

Just When We Thought We Had Him Figured Out

I still don't know what made Toby ask this question. We were sitting down to dinner and he just tossed it out, totally without context.

Toby: "Robbie, where do babies come from?"
Robbie: "Uh, from the hospital.....
Bow Chicky Wow Wow!!"

If you can't imagine what "bow chicky wow wow" sounds like - it's a tune, not a phrase. It's supposed to sound like bad "romantic" background music one might hear in the soundtrack of a really low budget 70s movie. He learned this at some point from us - it's kind of a joke between Toby and I. We use it ironically - such as when we see something that is quite the opposite of romantic...time to start censoring our conversation more carefully.

May 13, 2009

This Would be Funnier if it Had Happened To Someone Else

First of all, if you're my parent or Toby's parent...just don't read this post. It has the potential for you to form mental pictures you don't need. Really. Just skip it.

This afternoon before nap time, I was running up and down the stairs bringing up baskets of clean laundry. The last time I brought up a basket, Robbie stayed upstairs. This is usually not a cause for alarm but after a few minutes of too much quiet, I called him downstairs. When he came down holding a shower head in his hand I had a moment of panic...but then I recalled we had a spare shower head under his bathroom sink.

"What else did you get out of your bathroom cupboards?" I asked.

"Nothing." and he batted his long eyelashes. Silly me for not pressing harder.

Twenty minutes later we headed back upstairs for stories and a nap. Our first stop was the little boys' room.

"Look mom!" He said after climbing onto the toilet, very proud of himself. He pointed to the mirror. There was white glob smeared all over it.

"What is....?" I started to ask and then I saw it. A small white jar of...well...mint chocolate flavored "body topping". He had apparently made use of his time alone upstairs to scour our nightstands and came away with this prize. He obviously hustled it back to his bathroom where he promptly decided, possibly because of the minty flavor, that it was a kind of toothpaste.

His toothbrush was doused in it. The mirror was smeared with great globs of it. The jar itself was nearly empty and what was left had been covered with water from the faucet.

I sent him to his room while I cleaned it up. The whole time he was crying and yelling that he was sorry and I was his favorite "grill" (girl) and begging for just one story. By the time I came into his room I was not angry. I was just trying not to laugh. He was still sobbing when I came in and he said:

"I'm sorry Mom. Don't be mad. You see that picture?" He asked, pointing to picture on his wall of me and him. "You were happy in that picture. Just be happy like that, ok? Can I have just one story?"

So of course, I read just one story.

May 8, 2009

The Wit of Children

It's no doubt, kids are silly. Robbie just gets sillier as he grows into his sense of humor. Every day we have at least twenty conversations that get me chuckling. Here are a few from the last 24 hours.

Robbie: Mom, where do porcupines live?
Me: In the forest.
Robbie: Where do birds live?
Me: In trees.
Robbie: Where do hearts live?
Me: In our bodies (I pat his chest to show him where)
Robbie: (looks at me for a moment while he decides if I'm serious, then rolls his eyes and laughs) You're crazy, mom.

- - - -

This conversation took place this morning while Robbie was in the bathroom and I was in the hall.

Robbie: Mom, I have good news and bad news.
Me: What's the good news?
Robbie: I'm going to Megan's house.
Me: Ok, what's the bad news?
Robbie: (toots) That's my bad news! (then laughs like a maniac)

- - - -

Me: Good morning!
Robbie: Why you had your hair cut?
Me: It was getting too shaggy and I wanted to change the color. Do you like my hair this way?
Robbie: No, I liked the old way. Can I go downstairs now?

- - - -

Robbie: Mom! Last night I went to a big basketball thing! And I threw the ball and it went UP UP UP UP! And then down down down and then BOOM, it went in. And everyone said "Yayyy Robbie!!!" It was coooooool!

Since I know he was just home with Toby while I got my hair done, I think this must have been his dream last night.

- - - -

Robbie: (walks up to me while I am sitting down and drops a bobby pin down the front of my shirt) I put it down your drain! It went down your DRAIIIIIIIN!" (more crazy laughter)

Apr 17, 2009

The Birthday Saga

Tuesday was my birthday. Besides my birthday, many other blessed events occurred on April 14. In history, the Titanic struck its infamous ice berg on this day. This year on April 14 my husband made a wonderful dinner for me. Fettuccine Alfredo. Robbie loved it and had two plates.

Shortly after this, our basement flooded.

After frantically sucking water off the floor, out of the window well, (which was the culprit) mopping up funky smelling water out of my soap room and storage room, standing in the rain (while sucking out said window well), cleaning our carpets, etc, we came back upstairs for cake.

Robbie promptly fell off a chair right on his head.

After repeatedly kissing and calming him down we again tried to have cake.

Then it was way after bed time. We were all exhausted.

Then Robbie woke up at 1 am and began vomiting near impossible quantities of fettuccine and birthday cake. This didn't stop until 4 am.

In spite of all this drama, one little gem did come out of this. I got this video of Robbie singing me Happy Birthday. Robbie loves to sing but will rarely do it on film or even on command.

Please disregard the mountain of crud behind him in my laundry room and remember - we had just finished using all our towels to mop up nasty water and we were wet, tired, smelly and not in the mood to clean up the laundry room yet. The rest of my house was pristine - but that's husband for you...they will film the the dirtiest room in the house.

Afraid of the Water? Not Exactly.

I am sorry for anyone whose children are afraid of water. I have a few friends with this problem and I don't even have a word of advice. Robbie has always loved it and his passion for it gets stronger every year.

For about a year we've been having him wear this shortie because it keeps him from shivering the whole time. The poor kid is just skinny. We don't know where he gets it from. Just last week we introduced the water wings and...well lets just say they were a big hit. The picture says the rest.

The goggles are also a recent thing - an Easter present. Does he mind when they fill with water? Not a bit.

Ah, you may be thinking. Does he mind when he goes UNDER water?

Not exactly.

He's even gracious enough to smile for the camera.

And if all that wasn't cute enough, watch this video. The way his funny little legs kick just cracks me up every time.