Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Conversations with little people...

M: Alex, what's your favorite thing about soccer?
A: My outfit.

M: Ian, where is this whiny voice coming from all of a sudden?
I: My mouth.

M: Ian, are you so excited to start your new school?
I: No, my new friends will wreck my buildings, step on my toes, and scratch my butt.

A: Mom, when will I need to wear one of those 'booby things' (bra)?
M: Not for awhile, when your older like me.
A: You mean when my butt gets bigger and I need to wear hats?
M: Yes, I guess so.

M: Alex, tell me your favorite thing about Kindergarten.
A: I had two recesses
M: Did you meet any new friends?
A: Yes, five of them.
M: What are their names?
A: I have no idea.
M: You should ask them tomorrow and start by saying, "My name is Alex, what is your name?" because they probably want to know your name too.
A: There is no talking when the teacher is talking.
M: That is good attention to the rules, maybe you could ask at one of your recess breaks.
A: That's when I swing.
M: Well okay, suit yourself and have nameless friends.
A: We don't need to know names, we just play.

M: Ian, eat your dinner
I: I can't, my tummy is up to here (he puts his hand on his forehead).
M: Well, that is too bad. If your tummy is up to your forehead than you have no room for a Popsicle.
I: But my leg hurts.

(A brief pause)

I: I think my tummy is only up to here (he puts his hand on his thigh) and there is room for Popsicle in my foot.
M: Then you should have room for dinner.
I: My leg hurts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Backlog #4: Black Butte 2010

Where once there were two, now there are many. It always blows my mind that one person, or the combination of two can create an entire family. That because two amazing people find love, people are created and those people find love and create their own little people and it grows and grows and grows. And now that I'm getting all existential and weird on you, I'll show you this:

And now I'll say this: The woman in the middle, to the upper left of me is 50% responsible for everyone you see here. I'm grateful to this lovely matriarch each and every day, and this photo (although just a brief glimpse into the many many amazing memories I have with her) reminds me of the sheer gratitude I have for the love she shows to all of these people unconditionally and the joy she brings us and my own kids.

For the past two summers, we've been lucky enough to spend a week in Ocean City, NJ. This is the special place that Sean spent his childhood summers with his entire family. His grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, etc all gathered here for most of their lives and darn if I don't feel privileged to get the opportunity to share that with him and watch him share that experience with our kids.

This year, we decided to spend our summer vacation at MY childhood vacation spot, Black Butte, OR. This place holds so many memories for my family and extended family. We've spent countless weeks here biking, swimming, playing tennis, poker, golf and just enjoying each others company.

This was the first year that my grandfather was not there with us which was hard and different. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like something was missing. However, it was the first year in which I got to see the kids doing what I did at their ages. To see this trip through their eyes was nostalgic, and heart warming.

It was definitely a different 'vacation' than I remember as a child. Vacations with children are hardly 'vacations' but parenting at a different location. It's still work, and biking with children attached to your bike either in a trailer, infant seat or snap on bike prevented us from gallivanting around the ranch like banshees, and we didn't quiet get the same quality time with our childless cousins. Laying by the pool is more like, swimming IN the pool helping your kids learn to swim, and managing naps and odd sleeping arrangements is never easy but the week was still lovely nonetheless.

Sean golfed more times than I can count, I got to go twice and went horse back riding which was fun. The kids would have been happy spending all day everyday in the pool but they also enjoyed riding bikes and running around the golf course at night.

My hope is that one day, when our kids are grown they will remember these two places just like Sean and I do and that one day they take their own kids themselves. I hope that they too are as appreciative of the experiences they have been given as I am today and have a clear understanding that it is only those experiences and the people we share them with that matter.

If you know me at all, you know I took more than 200 photos of this trip and without the energy to pick through and post them all, you may view them all here.

Blog Backlog #3: Camping is Fun, FINALLY!

Words cannot express the feeling of joy that Sean and I shared last month as we drove home from our first camping trip in more than 3 years.

I grew up camping. It's part of who I am. Getting dirty, eating dogs, and roasting marshmallows while trying not to burn our faces off with them are some of the fondest memories of my sisters and my childhood. So you can imagine my dismay and disappointment after taking Alex camping at the age of 18 months and vowing to never ever do it AGAIN, ever.

And anyone that has camped with children under 3 knows what I mean when I say it was not fun. It was all work, and suffering, and strife. And oh, miserable. Maybe also excruciatingly too much work.

Granted Alex was apparently coming down with the stomach flu and vomited profusely before we even had a chance to unpack which explains the whining, the crying, and the overall suckiness of her mood. HOWEVER, some other unfortunate events occurred during our shortened 2 day camping trip. They included an infestation of ants, a blown away tent, a major (okay not so major) fall into a pot of beans (done by my sister), the failure to insert the pin into the back of the trailer causing all camping gear to fall out onto a dusty and bumpy road in the middle of a thunder & lightning storm, and...well, that's probably enough to give you a good mental picture. Wait, did I say that when we finally arrived home at 11 pm after bugging out early our garage door broke and went slamming into the ground? Oh, I didn't? Well, it did. And it's still broken.

So, words cannot express the feeling of joy that Sean and I shared last month as we drove home from our first camping trip in more than 3 years.

So what was so different this time you ask blogosphere? Well aside from all of the above NOT HAPPENING, except for the ant infestation which we cleared up by throwing all of our scraps way over there (and by golly the ants went way over there) the kids had a blast. We almost didn't have to parent them except to occasionally feed them and ask them to change their dirty clothes into some less dirty clothes. It was great.

We spent two lovely days on the boat, the kids swam, and Ian spent most likely 17 full hours digging in the dirt by the shore. Even Chip managed to mind his own business and made peace with nature. Sean managed a nap in the sun, and I spent many many hours floating on an air mattress.

We zipped around on wake boards, inner-tubes and Sean got a great kick out of surviving the biggest whip of his life and living to tell about it.

We had so much fun, we are going back for Labor Day and in celebration of our successful camping trip I bought a new tent which Sean swears the entire city of Tigard could fit in.
It has an actual door, and shelves, and a special hole to grab things out of your cooler right from your sleeping bag because apparently that's important in 21st century camping. I'm kind of ticked it doesn't have an iPhone charger overhead fan, but I'll survive.

Blog Backlog #2: Ode to Grammom

It's unfortunate that we only see Sean's family once or maybe twice a year, there are many miles and many states that separate us but we manage to see them around the holidays and have spent the last two summers out East in Ocean City. This year, we had to forego our normal Jersey Shore trip for a few kept around here (more to come) but were lucky enough to have Sean's mom come spend a week with us recently.

This made Ian's birthday even more special this year. Not only did he have a personal fireworks display AND a custom Buzz Lightyear cake, but Grammom came and brought him his first big boy bike!

We had a great week spent galavanting around town. We...

Had a photo Session in the backyard.

Celebrated Ian's Birthday with a few close friends and family.

Went to the Portland Rose Garden.

Hit the Washington Park play structure.

Most importantly, I skipped work on a 95 degree day and we took the kids to Cannon Beach. It was a lovely day spent playing in the sand, basking in the sun, and eating giant ice cream cones.

It was an awesome week and we can't wait to have her again. Until next time Grammom! We had a blast!

I interrupt my previously scheduled blog catch up posts for this special announcement.

No, I'm not pregnant, we are not moving to Belize, and so far the lottery has not been good to me. So stop that.
The big announcement is that I almost killed my son last night and then proceeded to save his life. No joke.
As a mother, I spend the majority of my time worrying. I see injuries moments before they happen, I have visions of TERRIBLE things happening. For example, I rarely walk down stairs with a child in my arms without envisioning them flailing from my grasp and falling over the railing, psycho I know.

Yesterday, as I tried to keep the kids occupied AND clean the house AND do laundry, AND mow the yard I offered to pay the kids each ONE DOLLAR if they'd help water my dying, moisture starved and neglected plants in the back yard.

They were happy to oblige, and were quite proud of the four shiny quarters I gave each of them. Ian was so proud of them, he carried them to bed for his nap and tucked them in right next to his favorite blanket buddy.

Big time foul.

I figured after a busy day, a run to Alex's first soccer practice, dinner with some friends, and an evening visit from our babysitter who is leaving for college today (sniff sniff) that the kids would fall quickly asleep without a peep. So Sean and I raced downstairs to start the next episode of Weeds.

3 minutes in, I heard choking.

I ran upstairs to find Ian gasping for breath and choking. I reached down his throat and after many failed attempts finally grabbed hold of one shiny quarter lodged in his throat. He then proceeded to throw up his entire dinner, and cough up blood. Probably from me scraping his throat in a panicked attempt to remove the bastard quarter.

I felt fear, panic, responsibility, and gratefulness that I heard him.

By this time of course, Sean and Alex were there and 'mother hen' Alex proceeded to assure her brother that 'one time, I threw up cuz I had a bad cold and had to lay on the couch for a coupla days. You're gonna be ok bud', she said.

After we all calmed down and I was ready to release Ian from my grasp the kids hugged. Yes, they hugged and Ian said, 'dat makes me feel better'.

Twelve hours later, I'm 40% recovered from the experience and will now be paying the kids in crisp dollar bills. I'm pretty sure the whole shabang took 10 years off my life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog Backlog #1: Ian Turns Three

I'm now officially 'months' behind in this here 'baby book', life documentary, and reference manual. This diary I keep is important to me for many reasons but mostly so I don't forget a thing. As the years pass I am completely in awe of how quickly time ticks, how fast these kids change, and how easy it is to rush through life. I hope that one day this blog, when I'm old and senile and potentially crazy will remind me of the best years.

I can't believe my baby boy is 3. It feels like yesterday that Sean and I were looking into our backseat at one nappy headed fro child and imagining what it would be like with two kids. It also seems like yesterday that Ian was a baby and we were imagining life with a 2 and 4 year old. And now we have a 3 and 5 year old. Time flies. It's true what they say, that each child is so different. They have their own personality, demeanor, temperament, etc. My kids are no exception. Ian is independent but strong willed, when his sister is gone he will play quietly by himself which Alex has never and most likely will never do. He is sweet and cuddly, but opinionated. He loves his mom, is smart as a whip ( I think ) and is more athletically gifted than I've ever seen a child this age. In fact, he is HARASSING us for a set of his very own golf clubs. I'm 100% willing to invest the $89 its going to cost if one day he buys me a house, a car, and maybe a small island for my trouble. He is almost as dramatic as his sister and his first reaction to everything is an emotional one.

He's finally potty trained, and has had a great time exploring his manly rights of peeing wherever, whenever and however on a few recent camping trips. Or, when he's just playing in our yard.

We spent his birthday at home this year with some family and friends. Being that it was the 4th of July he felt like the entire fireworks display was in honor of him. The Buzz Lightyear cake, a special visit from Grammom, and more gifts than he thought possible was the icing on the cake (pun intended).

He still has an imaginary friend named James, and is into Tom & Jerry and Scooby Doo on the tube. He loves Tinker Toys and anything you can build with and is rarely found without his plethora of security items including his infant blankies, 'dog', 'buddy', and his most recent stuffed toy named 'chip dog'. He's also rarely without one of his 4 Buzz Lightyear figurines, 'Big Buzz', 'Medium Buzz', 'Tiny Buzz', and just 'Buzz'.

When Alex was three, I asked her a series of questions. You can see them here. I decided to ask Ian the same questions in honor of his 3rd birthday to see just how this little fellow measures up.

What's your name?
Ian Patrick Kolmer

How old are you? Free

What's your favorite color? BLUE!

What's your favorite book? hhhmmmm Star Wars

What's your favorite song? After no answer, Caden whispers into his ear that it's 'transformers' but I know that it's anything he can dance too or drum.

What's your favorite movie? Star Wars (although he's never seen it, he knows it to be true)

Television Show? Kung Fu Panda and Tom and Jerry

Who's your best friend? Caden.

* Caden than proceeds to say, 'C-A-D-E-N'. Just in case I wasn't sure how to spell it. Alex then sits frustrated that she is not his #1.

Favorite Smell? Corn Dog

What's your favorite kind of candy? Chocolate

Favorite Sound? Trees.

What's your favorite instrument? He is making a bunch of sounds, gibberish and squeaks so we will move on.

Favorite thing to do at school? Slide (same as Alex)

What's your favorite game? Candyland

Favorite Food? Bananas, Eyeballs (giggle giggle) and Peaches.

Favorite thing to drink? Juice

What's your favorite animal? Giraffe

What's your favorite thing to do? Going on Pop Pop's boat

Where's your favorite place to go? On the boat

What's your favorite Toy? Buzz Lightyear

What's your favorite thing about Alex? Boys don't like Alex's. Did you know that?' He ends most of what he says with 'Did you know that?'

How old is Dad? 2

How old is Mommy? Free

What makes you happy? Buzz

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A bad guy (oh sheesh)

Well, that's Ian in a nutshell. I can hardly wait for all the years to come with this guy but am enjoying this 3rd year the best so far. What a bundle of pure love he is.