Sunday, February 28, 2010

I love Dirt

He looks so sweet and innocent doesn't he? Sitting there all quiet and introspectively on his soccer ball? Pictures can be deceiving.

Getting Ian ready for bed usually takes 39 minutes, the use of muscles I didn't know I had, a Cradle (not the loving & rocking kind, but the wrestling kind), and oftentimes an ice pack...for me.

And that is just to get his pajamas on.

I've taken to starting conversations with him to distract him from flailing, kicking and flip flopping like a fish out of water. Today I said to him, "I love your face", and the following transpired:

Ian: I love you Mommy!

Moi: Who else do you love?

Ian: Daddy.

Moi: Do you love Alex?

Ian: No...(long pause) but I love dirt.

Moi: Well what is your most favorite thing in the whole world?

Ian: Nanna...(long pause) and Hot Dogs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Talkin' bout the BLAZOS

It's not often that Sean and I get to go out, but last night we, with two of our best friends attended the Blazer game. We planned to meet at McFadden's, a bar on the max line with cheap happy hour. We show up and much to our dismay it's CLOSED SUNDAYS. I stare at the door, I peek in the windows and see chairs up on tables. It's dark. All I wanted was Mac n Cheese for $3. My dreams are squashed. Now, if we were hip we may have known this but we've lost our 'coolness', our knowledge of the Portland Bar scene and after last night...a bit more of our youth. We. Are. Old.

We swallow our pride and arrange to meet at Kells instead. We chatted, we caught up, we shared funny stories of our kids and the woe's of toddlers and their respective bedtimes or lack thereof and laughed. We stared in pity at a young couple with their child, trying to entertain her with a giant book of animals. They intermittently sipped their beverages, turned pages and asked her 'which one is the Ostrich?' We've been there, we were thankful we had babysitters turning the pages of books for us. We then felt guilty that had that been us we probably would have passed off our iPhones and let our kids watch shows off iTunes, or play some $2.99 iPhone application game.

Apparently on Sundays, Kells hosts a local music group. On this particular Sunday, it was a group of wind instruments. They played Irish Music and we sipped the remainder of our drinks. We argued over whether the instruments were recorders or piccolos. Soon it was time to go. We were too late to board the double Decker bus that leaves from Kells at each Blazer home game (I love Portland), so instead walked a block to the Max where we boarded the over-crowded (standing room only) train. We walked in silence like cattle with all the other fans, accepted free inflatable noise makers for the kids and found our seats.

I enjoy these games for two reasons. First, I just love the Blazers. I've loved them since I had huge bangs that I could curl both up and down. I've loved them since I had a giant poster of Buck Williams taped above my bed and well, that about says it. I also love the people watching. We spotted a man with a 'skullet' (mullet but bald on top) skullet man also had a pony tail. We see a woman stuck in the 80's with big bangs and box bleached hair and a man that looked just like Brad Garret, well a younger version anyway. We see old school Blazer jackets. You know, the shiny ones where 'Blazers' is written in cursive. We see Jerseys from every year, with ever Blazer name, we see them over tight black T's and in some cases, no T's at all. We watch in awe and horror the young girls wearing (essentially) bathing suits, dancing out of sync and moving their bodies in ways we hope to God our daughters never do.

The stars were shining on us this day because clearly the best people watching could be found just one row in front of us where a couple entertained us throughout the entire game. Now forgive me while I momentarily mock, judge, and poke fun at two people I don't know. These two were most likely that couple that have been watching the Blazers for years from their very own living room. And tonight, they headed to the Big City to watch the Blazers play the Jazz. They stood there, arms entwined, in love with each other and our very own Rip City. She was adorned in black stretch pants and a Blazer T, he in light wash Levi's and a Blazers Jersey. They hugged and kissed (made out really) each time the Blazers scored and screamed 'RIP CITY' and 'BUST A BUCKET' so many times that by the 3rd quarter we discussed making a drinking game out of the whole ordeal. It was epic. At one point, the young man (after a failed free throw shot) pumped his arms crazily and yelled, 'SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO UUUUURRGE IT IN'. What.

The only other highlight I can't fail to mention is I won something. I never win anything, literally. But when that big Blazer blimp flew over the crowd, my heart palpitated and I felt that this time it could be me. Now, I had no idea the prize as when they were announcing it I was either too engrossed in dancing to the wonderfully chosen 90's beats, or couldn't hear over the frequent 'RIP CITY' shouts, but practically into my hands fell a lovely sealed envelope. I WON. Scenes from 'A Christmas Story' flashed in front of my eyes. OH COULD IT BE? Was it a lovely leg lamp? Was it French or possibly Fragile? Well no, it was a $10 gift card to Subway but hey, a prize is a prize.

Despite holding a wide lead the entire game, the Blazers choked in the end and lost the game in overtime. It was disgusting, and disappointing, and we left feeling defeated but thoroughly entertained. The Blazers did not bust quite enough buckets, but Rip City anyway.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Everything you can do, I can do better. I can do everything better than you.

Ah, I really hope Sean's sense of humor is on fire this week because I'm about to test it.

I'm starting to realize that some people are just better at different things. After 7, err...8? years of marriage you'd think I'd come to accept our definitive roles. You'd think that although Sean and I compliment each other in so many ways I could realize that he is really nothing like me. And truly, that is not a bad thing.

Let me explain.

Much to my dismay, I am type A. I worry about everything. I make lists to keep myself organized and I write things on them I've already accomplished JUST to make myself feel productive. I am a control freak. Most weekends, I wander my house completing half of a task as I cannot focus on what I'm doing because THERE ARE SO MANY other things to do. So you'll find me opening the fridge, removing a shelf of contents to clean it and as I stop in the laundry room to grab the cleaner I see a load of laundry to be folded. Twenty minutes later I'll see that the fridge door is open and Ian has carried the jug of milk into the living room. I'd love to say this is a result of having children, a full time job and being over-extended. But I'm sorry to say, I think I've always sort of been like this. Anybody want to be my friend? I didn't think so.

Sean is much more relaxed. He knows what's most important and would only find himself in the cleaning supply bucket if the toilet was growing fuzz. He prefers to spend his time, engaging with the kids and giving them fun filled weekend activities while I spin around like a tornado making sure the blocks are in the 'block bucket', and the Mr. Potato heads are in their drawer. Wouldn't want them mixed up right? I'm sick. I know. The fact that some days he never stops running from one meeting to the next and then closes his computer alas at midnight doesn't even affect him. He works hard and with a positive attitude. If I leave work 30 seconds past 5, I feel like I am now TOTALLY behind in my evening routine and now there is NO way I'll make it to the gym. GAAAWWWWD, over dramatic freak.

Over the last two weeks, we found out our Mexico trip with friends was not going to work out. We opted to have a MASSIVE CHANGE IN PLANS which typing the words alone is making my blood pressure rise.

Cancelling flights, researching new vacation spots, hotels, logistic planning to and from has been my primary focus for the past two weeks. In my spare time, outside of work, and the kids, and well...The Bachelor.

I managed to change our flights, I poured over hotel after hotel looking for the perfect abode at both Disneyland & San Diego. I found a reasonably priced 3.5 star establishment equipped with attractive comforters, fluffy pillows, AND complimentary breakfast. Believe me, this was no easy task as comforter design and fluffiness is almost as important to me as free coffee in the morning. I digress...

I spent an obscene amount of time PLANNING, organizing and laying out our trip. Meanwhile I asked two specific favors of the hubsand including 'please call (blank) hotel and ask for rates.' He did, I heard him discussing dates, then he says loudly, 'OH, I need it for March. Not February. Oh, OK, thanks goodbye'. I also asked him to handle car rental. I thought that was fair and although he's spent two evenings researching Hertz, Budget, & Thrifty car rates all we've resolved is that renting a mini van is more cost effective than a mid-sized car. Great. I'll take comfort in that fact as we hitch-hike to San Diego with two small children, 3 bags, 2 car seats and a couple of pirates of the Caribbean swords.

In his defense, we have a month til vacation. But in my eyes, why wait? Why leave the task loitering there on the list like that? It just seems like uneccesary stress..and clutter.

I say all this because this morning I checked our credit card transactions to ensure all the bookings I've made over the past few days were correct, etc. And low and behold you'll never guess what was on there. A charge to above (blank) named hotel. The one that was booked? But available in February? Can anyone make it to Disneyland by Saturday? Because apparently there is a room with your name on it. 3 nights on us, the name is under SEAN KOLMER.

There is a reason I do what I do and REFUSE to share the responsibility of bill paying, etc with Sean. There is a reason Sean takes out the trash. And it's not just because I can never remember which side of the street to face the lid or which bucket is recycling and is it an even or odd Thursday? And truly, I don't even know which can is for Yard Debris and which is for Garbage. Because well, that's his job. And unless he's travelling all I know is that if I place the garbage sack outside the garage door, it miraculously makes it into the can, onto the street and gets whisked away to garbage land. Like MAGIC.

I fill the dishwasher every night but do I ever put soap in it and push START? No. I may find the perfect dog for us, but do I walk him? Ever? Heck no. I cook and do dishes, Sean gives the kids baths and typically combs Alex's fro (and believe me this is a bummer of a task). I make sure we have the ingredients for the weekly meal plan, yet Sean is always changing the oil in one of the cars, or replacing the furnace filter. It's hard to deviate. So I can sympathetically understand that when I ask Sean to do one of my jobs (because I do have MORE of them) he forgets, or does it wrong. Truth be told if when packing for a trip he asked me to remember the phone charges, the monitor, and to set the light timers? I'd forget. Or do it wrong too.

Every week, I re-write my 'to do' list. I don't like it over cluttered. I don't like it to be messy and hard to read and this morning as I did this. Something happened. I RE-WROTE for the 100th time, 'College Fund' automatic deposit.


If blood could boil, mine did.

Since Ian was born back in July of 2007, I have been writing this down over and over and over. You see, Sean's work allows you to deduct pre-tax a set $ amount per month to be deposited into the kids Oregon College Savings Plan. This is something I CANNOT do. This is something Sean HAS to do. So I'm begging him, publicly and embarrassingly to 'PLEASE submit the paperwork. Also, please call your health insurance and discuss Ian's hearing test costs. If you do this, I do hereby promise (and you know how I stick to those) to do any one of your jobs of your choosing. As long as it's not the garbage thing, or anything in the garage and/or outside. Which includes dog walking, poop picking up and removing all the trash from my car which you so graciously do weekly. And Sean, 'I love you'.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Is there a point in time when your kids are no longer your property? MY son, MY daughter, MY kids, MY responsibility. Everything about them right now is mine. Their food? Mine. Their fun? I gave it to them. Their clothes? I bought them. Their toys? Technically mine (which I've had fun reminding them of as they battle over something screaming MINE MINE MINE!!. I like to say, 'Actually kids, it's mine. Give it to me. Now when you'd like to share MY toy, please let me know.'

I'm starting to feel this sort of shift.

Babies are easy to me. Taking care of the physical needs of infants never really rocked my world. I never felt so horribly tired or fatigued. I was never overwhelmed with the time it took to get out the door, or the amount of items we now had to pack in the car for a two night beach trip. But what I am finding overwhelming is managing their personalities. This enormous responsibility is hitting me. How will I be sure I'm doing the right things? Am I disciplining enough or too much? How do I make sure my people become good people. How do I make sure I'm giving them each equal attention and praise? Because that is mine, all mine to do.

One of MY kids in particular has recently developed quite the personality.

This is the boy that at 9:45 pm, was found playing his drums secretly in his room. His light was on, all books were torn from his shelf, and he had removed several shirts from their hangers and strung them around the room.

This is the boy who runs, everywhere he goes but can be found in a dead asleep heap right in front of his bedroom door.

This is the boy that spits incessantly, and sends out ear piercing shrills of joy all. day. long.

This is the boy that REFUSES to potty train.

This is the boy that when asked to do ANYTHING falls to the ground and screams 'MY KNEE!'

This is the boy that pleads, 'Mommy, read me just one more book please?' while pouting his lip and batting his long girlish eyelashes.

This is the boy that has his mother wrapped all the way around his chubby little finger.

This is the boy that was once my baby.

I can't believe he's 2 1/2 years old. I was thrown back in time Sunday night when he awoke at midnight crying in pain. Unlike two years ago, he's now able to tell me his tum tum hurts. Unlike two years ago, I can't fully cradle or rock him in my arms anymore and all soothing mechanisms (bottles, & binks and whatnot) are long gone. Okay, the bink has only been gone two weeks. But still. The only thing that was the same, was that he still needed me.

There is a stack of paraphernalia in the garage that includes a highchair, a porta-crib, a bassinet and a moses basket. Boxes of boys clothing, baby toys and a excersaucer litter our attic space. I don't have a baby anymore. I love my kids, but I MISS my babies. MOST of the time these days, I'm fighting an inner battle of wanting another baby or just missing the two I had. Do I want another college tuition? Do I want another wedding to fund? Another plain ticket to buy or another tab on the monthly daycare bill? Not really. But do I want another little face to call my own? Hell yes. Don't tell Sean, he's perfectly fine with two faces and a dog mug at this point.

I have a photo in each of the kids room next to their bed. Ian's is of him at 6 months. He's a chubby yummy, just sitting up on his own, chewing on a teething toy pile of cuddly goodness. OH LOOK, I found it! Man, I love technology.

Last night I pointed to the picture and said, 'Ian, where did my baby go?'. He said, 'That's me! Why is my eye broke?' (The frame I had cut it off just a little bit). I apologized and told him the picture was too big for the frame and he said, 'But that's MY eye'. My baby is starting to have things of his own, opinions and wishes of his own. I mean, is it too much to ask to have your WHOLE eye showing? Next he'll want the keys to the car, or his own car or will be petitioning us to build him an apartment over the garage because we are too un-cool to live with.
But until then, I'm going to hang on like hell to what I can. Like that toy in Ian's hands above? It's in the garage. I know exactly where. And for now, it's not going anywhere. It's totally mine.