One to grow on

Okay, I’m feeling (a bit) better now.  I pulled out my ‘fu this morning and chose to do a whole “mind over matter” thing and just MAKE MYSELF feel cheerier.  And, for the most part, it has worked.  Because, damnit, this is my birthday and I refuse to be in a snit all day long.

Though I had to laugh at ya’ll and your suggestions of leaving the house.  Hoo hoo!  That’s a good ‘un!  Seriously, though.

I had to make this choice when, shortly after I posted my entry this morning I got a phone call.  I didn’t recognize the number but answered and lo’ it was my oldest.  Wha?  “I don’t have a lunch,” he told me, sadly.

ZOMG.

And that was the point I could have crawled into myself and given up the day as a total loss or I could laugh at my own idiocy and just GET THE FREAK OVER IT.  (I chose the latter, btw.)  I can’t believe I forgot Harry’s lunch.  True, Kile does usually make it while I’m dealing with Evie in the mornings or whatever but he was in a hurry to get out this morning and I USUALLY do ask Harry if he has a lunch before he leaves, just to make sure.  I don’t know why I didn’t this morning.  I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with the foulness of my mood and how focused on MYSELF I was feeling.

Boo.

So I whipped up a lunch, all the while smacking myself on the head every few seconds in case I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t the biggest idiot on the block this morning.  I was just finishing it up when Kile arrived back home.  I told him about the call and he took the lunch right down to the school for the poor kid.  OY.

We left the house, believe it or not, a little while later.  I went and got my lab work done, (woo hoo!) and twittered about that and also a question about Kendall on AMC and why is she in a coma which NO ONE RESPONDED TO.  I am officially UNLOVED, ya’ll.  I shall never know why Kendall was in a coma, as I refuse to watch AMC anymore.  But shoot, it was on in the lab waiting room and curiosity got the better of me.  I could of course google this question to find out but I’m not going to now, simply on principle.  It’s my birthday, I can cry if I want to.

We got hot dogs at Sam’s Club after that and cruised around enjoying all the free samples (seriously, it was like a Free Sample Bonanza there today).  That always makes for a nice lunch.  Who says you need to spend a fortune, eh?

After that, we checked out the local yarn shop that I’d been hearing so much about.  And yes, that place is pretty much HEAVEN.  So many books and needles and YARN.  Beautiful, beautiful yarn.  I was surprised that there weren’t any 12″ circular needles there, but I guess I could always order them.  I would have loved to have spent a day in there (and a fortune) but we had neither so we left.

Tonight, we’re doing a modified “date night”.  Kile is making up some lobster ravioli and we’re going to ship the kids to bed before we eat.  Supposedly there’ll be a birthday cake but I think it’s just rumor at this stage.  I’ve also heard tell of birthday presents but we’ll see about that.

Thirty three.  Yikes.  Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes everyone has sent me here and on Twitter and on Facebook.  It’s nice to be remembered. I don’t have many readers, but what I do have are pretty awesome, so thanks.

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One of those days

You know how every so often you’ll wake up and NOTHING seems to go your way.  In fact, your mood is so sour that even the smallest things which might normally roll off your back suddenly seem like dozens of sharp, pointy needles jabbing you in the eyes?   And then your blood pressure feels like it’s going to skyrocket off the charts and if someone says ONE MORE THING TO YOU then you’re going to seriously loose your shit and melt into a puddle?

Yeah.  that’s me.  Today.

And today is my birthday.

AWESOME.

I’m not entirely sure what got this day on the wrong track to begin with.  Maybe it was Evie waking up just shy of 2 am and wanting to come to bed with us.  And then spending the rest of the night being needy and clingy and basically just keeping me up.

Then, the plan this morning was simple.  Maybe too simple.  Kile was going to take the day off in order to kind of give ME a day off (do stay at home moms ever really get days off?).  But he had a meeting he had to go to and he had to be there by 8, which meant getting up and around rather early.  The idea here was that I would sleep in with Evie as long as I could.  And since Liam had been reluctant all week to get up at 7:30 with the rest of us, surely he would like to sleep in too, right?  So all Kile would need to do is wake up Harry on his way out the door and as long as Harry was quiet as he got ready, we’d all be good.

Yeah.  Not so much.

Pup came into Evie’s room, which is hooked up to the monitor and so I heard her snuffling around in there.  Which got me nervous about her pooping in there because she’s been known to do that in the past in the morning if Harry doesn’t let her outside right away.  Normally, I make sure to close Evie’s door at night when I go to get her but I guess I was Night of the Living Dead last night and didn’t do it.  So that woke me up.  And then I heard Liam cry and Harry holler at him in return.  Which woke Evie up.  So I gave up.  And I wasn’t really happy about it either.

And it’s just gone downhill from there.  Liam has been so tired and cranky, crying and whining and unhappy.  He scared Evie deliberately, so that she would cry too.  Which, you know, two crying children is AWESOME.

I was trying to do something fairly simple on my laptop that involved getting pictures off old CDs and you’d think that would be a piece of cake but apparently not with my PIECE OF CRAP laptop because (get this) the laptop keeps locking up when I try to look at what is on the CD drive.  UGH.  So that has not helped my blood pressure any.  Throw in the “shift” key being up to it’s usual shenanigans and selectively refusing to capitalize letters for me and I’m about ready to chuck this damned thing out the window.

Now, any of these things would probably never bother me normally.  Because nothing so far today has been that out of the ordinary.  In fact, dare I say it, it sounds like a regular day around the ol’ homestead.  But it’s ONE OF THOSE DAYS.  And when you get started down that path, it’s hard to veer off.

And I’m just supremely annoyed that I’m having ONE OF THOSE DAYS on my birthday.  SHEESH.  I’m hoping that things improve (and by “things”, I mean “my attitude”) greatly as the day progresses but you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not too entirely hopeful about it.

Whoops! They're escaping again!

Here’s some more thoughts.  They’re trying to make a break for it, so I better write them down first.  I guess I didn’t empty my head well enough yesterday.  You think after almost four years of blogging I would know better by now.

  • I updated to WordPress 2.7 this morning.  It was surprisingly painless.  I only had to deactivate one plugin and I did that before I upgraded.  I like the interface MUCH better and I feel like I can customize everything a lot more to my wishes (and demands *cackle*).
  • Of course, now I feel like my blog needs something new and shiny as a result.  After all, now that the “backend” is looking so spiffy, that change needs to be reflected on the front end as well.  However, I still love my design so I’m not sure what this would entail.  A new plugin?  Hmm.  Must think about this one some more.
  • I’ve got about nine inches of red scarf finished so far.  I’m making this one for Harry, on some soft, acrylic yarn that he picked out at the craft store.  I’m doing a rib knit on it (K2P2, for those in the know) and it’s looking great and all but DANG, it’s getting a little boring.  Whenever I get too tired of it, I switch to working on Kile’s cap (in a heathered dark grey acrylic yarn), but his hat is in the ribbed stage as well.  SIGH.
  • This could be why I’m knitting in my sleep these days.
  • I’m also spending a lot of time on the goodmama thread over at Diaper Swappers.  This could also be why I was buying diapers in my sleep last night as well (when I wasn’t knitting, that is).
  • I think I need a life.
  • Mah birfday is tomorrow!  However, I don’t think I’m in any way going to get the kind of attention and adoration Rhi got for her birthday with all the posts that sang her praises.  Whatever.  Attention hog. *wink*
  • I need a shower and with both of the wee ones taking naps right now, I could take one.  But I’ve sorta grown to enjoy taking one at night after I get Evie to bed.  It’s a very relaxing way to finish the day and my hair has enough time to dry before I go to bed myself.
  • Kile did not mail off all our packages yesterday.  He stopped after three because the cost started to scare him.  SIGH.  This is officially going to be His Deal, not mine.  And on that note, why does it cost so much in this day and age (and yes, even with the gas prices which really aren’t so bad right now anyhow) to ship something across country?  It’s goofy!  Overnight, Two-Day, Priority… those I can almost understand.  But First Class and Parcel Post should be a LOT cheaper than they generally end up being.  Makes one wonder why they don’t have a “Strap to the back of a passing burro” option.  I’m thinking that could be a lot more affordable.
  • And while I’m ranting about the Post Office… It happened AGAIN yesterday.  Kile brought home the mail from our box (we have one of those “community” box thingies down around the corner from our house) and in it was a “Sorry we missed you” package delivery slip.  Normally, they give you those when a package is too big to fit in the little locker thingie and you aren’t home when they bring it to your door and it needs a signature.  But no one EVER came to the door.  Our mail man has been getting VERY lazy.  He doesn’t even TRY to come up to the door to see if someone is home (and yes, I’m pretty much ALWAYS home because I’m a total hermit).  He just puts that slip in the mailbox and we have to go down to the post office (a good ways away from here too, down the interstate) to pick it up. I tried last night to go on the website and arrange for a redelivery but they wouldn’t even give me the OPTION to have it redelivered.  I even tried to send them a pointed note saying “STOP IT!  BRING PACKAGES TO MY DOOR!” and that “failed” out.  Grr.  The Post Office is OFFICiALLY On Notice.

Ahem.  There.  I feel much better now.  Hopefully this brain-emptying will stick this time.  I really don’t have a lot of room to spare in there, you know?

Target is trying to take my money (and Whole Foods makes awesome cupcakes)

That title right there pretty much sums up my weekend.  Well.   Sorta. 

We stopped by Target while we were out (after going to Ben Franklin Crafts and drooling over all the yarn-y goodness) (well, I drooled while the others waited patiently for me to stop drooling).  I wanted to get some diaper ointment for Evie (she has a rather persistant rash on her legs, where the diapers sit) and we wanted to bum around and look at stuff.  

My love for Target is amazing to me.  In fact, I dare say that the more I shop at Target, the less I like Walmart.  And the more I shop at Walmart, the more I like Target.   See how they’re connected there?  I’m convinced that Target needs to open a Super Target here in Reno.   I heard somewhere that one of the only companies that is doing well in this awful economy is Walmart because so many people are having to shop there.  It stands to reason then, doesn’t it, that Target could make good money by expanding their empire?  After all, Walmart Supercenters do better than regular Walmarts.  So wouldn’t Super Targets do better than regular Targets?  

I know I, for one, would shop at Super Target RELIGIOUSLY.  I love everything there.  Our Target, while not Super, is Great (as in it’s a Target “Greatland”) and has a limited selection of groceries.  And there just about hasn’t been a time that we’ve stopped in there that we haven’t been majorly tempted by some of the loveliness that is the Market Pantry and Archer Farms brands.  Kile is especially partial to their roasted almonds.  

So it was that Saturday night we wandered through the aisles of Target, gazing fondly at the wonderful, wonderful products on the shelves.  There was so much that we wanted to take home with us.  It’s the same every time we shop there.  There just isn’t enough money in the world.  That store is a friggin’ miracle.  So… Target?  Would you consider giving us a Super?  PLEASE?  I beg you.  I need a Super Target.  

After that stop, we had to go by Whole Foods.  It’s in the neighborhood and Kile has a major Whole Foods addiction.  And for the last several months, I’ve been salivating all over the goodies behind the bakery counter.  In particular, the cupcakes.  They are always themed appropriately for the season and look so good.  I told Kile that I’d like to have one of those cupcakes instead of a birthday cake this year.  Well, since my birthday is Friday and Kile didn’t think he’d have a chance to get down to Whole Foods again before my birthday, he suggested we get the cupcakes on Saturday night.  

Like I was going to argue with THAT!

Whole Foods CupcakeSee that?  It’s a Christmas wreath!  AWESOME. 

Happy Birthday to Me!Happy (Early) Birthday to me!!! 

Ornament CupcakeHarry was disappointed that the ornament cupcake he picked out wasn’t chocolate like mine so we switched.  Because, truth be told, I actually kinda prefer white cake.  Shh!  Don’t tell chocolate!

Holy Frosting, Batman!Would you look at all that FROSTING??  Interestingly enough, it wasn’t so sore-toothed sweet as a lot of buttercream frosting tends to be.  Very rich, yes, and very yummy.  And the cake was TO DIE FOR.  But as you can see, I had to cut it in half and eat the rest the next night because it was SO MUCH. 

Some of you may think I’m silly for getting so excited over a cupcake but BELIEVE ME, I have a major thing for cupcakes and I’ve been wanting one of these for SO LONG.  I’ve earned the right to wax a little poetic.  

YUM. 

Reporting from Small Town, USA

I’m writing this on my iPhone, sitting out in the van with the kids while Kile is in the DMV here in Elko trying to take care of a situation that has been brewing for the better part of a year. I’m also hoping that there’s enough of an Edge network signal to post this once I finish.

Cell phone service is criminal out here. Edge is as best you can hope for and I don’t think I’ve had more than three bars worth of signal since we got here. I tried to talk to my parents this morning and the call was dropped no less than 10 times. Whatup, AT&T?? To be fair, the Internet is little better. Though my in laws have wireless DSL, the signal and performance are… spotty. Very frustrating. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m rather glad to gave any signal at all. Having Edge is even better than I expected. But this would definitely be a deal-breaker should we ever consider moving here.

It’s Harry’s birthday today. Nine years old. I don’t think I feel nearly old enough to have a nine year old. We did up a family party last night and he is beyond thrilled with his new iPod Shuffle (which he is now listening to in the “way back” seat). He got some other great gifts too. Only I didn’t take any pictures because I totally forgot and I fail as a mother. Sounds about right.

I saw the big BlogHer announcement this morning. I’m a little sad that the conference is going to be in Chicago this year. Since it is, I don’t think I’ll be able to go. The combined costs of traveling and hotel and conference itself are just too much. We’re going on a big cruise in August and though my parents are pretty much paying for it all, we’ll still need spending money. That doesn’t leave much room for BlogHer. I’m sad because it’ll be the first conference I’ll miss since 2006. And I’ll miss seeing friends and all sorts of other awesome people. So… boo.

Anyhow, we’ll be cooling our heels here for another day and are heading back to Reno tomorrow. And then I’ll have my decrepit laptop back. Yay.

Grandparent Guilt

Do you know how RARE it is to have something on your parents that you can guilt them about?  At least around these parts, it’s pretty hard.  Mostly because it seems our parents are professionals at making us feel guilty without having any backsplash on them.

BUT NO MORE.  Because the next time one of us does something to cause them to try to guilt us, all we’ll have to do is say, “Oh yeah?  Remember when you forgot LIAM’S SECOND BIRTHDAY??”

It’s like “Sixteen Candles” all over again.  Although, admittedly, it would have been a lot more traumatic for Liam if he had been sixteen years old and not two.  As it was, I don’t even think he really understood that it was his birthday yesterday and if he did, exactly what having a birthday entails.

BUT STILL.

What are the chances that BOTH sets of grandparents will forget a birthday at the same time?  I feel like it’s the start of some “Twilight Zone” episode or something.  We called both sets last night just to make sure someone wasn’t languishing in a hospital somewhere (hey, it’s happened before).  And both sets were suitably shamed by their indescretion.  No real good excuses, just forgot.  AWESOME.

Meanwhile, let’s have a look at some of the pictures from our low-key festivitiies last night.  It was just the five of us, and we tried to do all things that Liam enjoyed.  We went to dinner at McDonald’s where he scored his very own Happy Meal (but Harry accidentally drank his chocolate milk), came home to open presents and then finished off with cupcakes and ice cream.  Liam had a great time.  Especially with the ginormous rubber “Go, Diego, Go” ball that “Evie picked out for him”.  LAUGHED HIS FOOL HEAD OFF.  And he really enjoyed the cupcake (almost didn’t wait to blow out the candles to take a bite) and got a kick out of spooning his own ice cream.  Messy?  Yes.  But worth it.

What's all this?
What are all these toys?  For me?  NO WAY.

Liam's Cupcakes
Mmmm…  chocolate.

"No, YOU'RE the man!"
Bad sign: He had the wild look in his eyes BEFORE he ate the cupcake.

Blow them out
We had to actually prevent him from faceplanting in the cupcakes and start monching.

All in all, a good time was had.  And today he gets to play with all the toys, so you know, less time spent pestering me!  Yay!

Two Years Already

It’s Liam’s birthday today.  Can you believe it?  Two years ago to the minute, we were hoofing it over to the hospital from our doctor’s office, getting checked in at the admittance desk and waiting for a room to open up in Labor and Delivery.  It was real and it was happening.  FINALLY.

Mom and Dad and Liam

It’s strange to think, that two years plus one day ago we were still a family of three.  We got very used to it just being the three of us.  And Harry was getting older and more independent.  We had left the baby years behind and now, fast forward to today, we’re hip deep in baby.

UNBELIEVABLE.

This last year was a rough one.  Not that it wasn’t a good year, because it has been fabulous for us.  But there has been an awful lot of upheaval that we never saw coming at this time last year.  No, last year it was All Liam, All the Time.  And he, naturally, loved it.

Sink Bath

Since he was born, Liam has been referred to as “The Golden Child” around here.  He was our miracle baby.  And watching him grow up through his first year and then his second one has been nothing short of a treasure.  He has such a personality and in this last year, it has just blossomed.  He charms everyone with his wit and antics, twinkling eyes and engaging grin.  And did I mention the antics?

Exploring

Last year we didn’t know Liam would have a baby sister.  But it wasn’t too long after his first birthday that we found out.  And so, predictably, a lot of this year was filled with baby preparations.  So the focus was diverted somewhat off of Liam, but if you knew Liam, you would know that we couldn’t divert it for long.  Watching this child grow and learn actually became a great distraction from obsessing about the baby growing within my belly.

He likes cartoons

He has such an adventurous spirit.  I know a lot of you who have toddler boys are going, “Uhm, DUH?”  But if you had known Harry was a toddler, you would understand.  He was perhaps the most cautious child in the history of children.  He never took a chance and was the rare sort of child that if we told him “NO” then he actually would not do that anymore.  Yeah, Liam is not that child.

Basket Boy

We were so nervous when Evie was born.  We worried that Liam would be jealous of the baby, that he would act out against us and against the baby.  And we were so surprised when that didn’t happen.  In fact, he hardly noticed her at first.  There was interest, sure.  But he couldn’t be bothered to stop in his playing to throw things at his sister.  He was too busy having fun.

Arms full of love

And now here he is.  TWO.  I have a feeling that Liam will be redefining the Terrible Twos for us (Harry didn’t have them at all).  He’s not talking a whole lot, just his regular Liam gibberish.  I can understand a few things he says (the other day, he was playing under a blanket fort with Harry and Harry farted and Liam didn’t even miss a beat, saying, “Uh oh… wa-shat?”  I about bust a gut laughing), and know the rest will come.  His big brother was a late talker as well.  I’m not worried about him.

Cute Boy

He doesn’t walk when he can run.  That pretty much sums him up to a t.  Liam moves fast and surprises us with how fast he catches on to things, learns, immitates and acts on his impulses.  He’s quick to anger, but also quick to forgive and quick to give hugs.  He loves hugs.  But maybe not as much as he loves to run.

On the go

We’re not going all out for a party this year.  Just the five of us here at home having cupcakes and ice cream.  Everyone has picked out a gift for the little guy and we know he’s going to be in hog heaven.  I can’t wait to see the look on his face (I gotta make the cupcakes first, though!).  Most of all, I can’t believe he is two years old already.  I find myself looking ahead and wondering what this year will bring us.  Chaos, of that I’m sure.  But if I know Liam, it will also bring lots and lots of fun.  Happy Birthday, monkey boy!

Charmer

Birthday Wishes

It’s Kile’s birthday today. (Yeah… happy FREAKIN’ birthday, huh?) I’m not going to divulge how old he is but a) chances are if you looked back in the archives I’ve mentioned it at one point or another and you can do the math and b) I will say this: he is 5 1/2 years older than I am. OLD MAN. I love to tell him that. Of course, on this particular birthday he’s behaving older than usual, poor thing.

He’s wearing sweats, had to have his mom help him wash his hair (he can’t take a shower until after his post-op appointment on Thursday so he had to do some slick maneuvering), he walks with a slow shuffle and holds a pillow over his belly to deflect crazy dog attacks.

Right now, he’s kicked back in his mom’s recliner just opposite me, head on one pillow, another on his belly, snoring as he sleeps off his latest dose of ibuprofen. Despite all the time it took me yesterday to secure his super-duper-painkiller prescription, we have since decided that perhaps those are best at night or maybe NEVER since they are sort of the tools of the devil. I have no idea how people get addicted to those things, they’re such a pain in the ass to start with.

Meanwhile, I’m still pretty pooped, but then again, I haven’t slept well the last several nights and it’s been go, go, go all day long. I did make Kile a purty cake today and birthday cards are signed and ready. We’re doing a barbecue over at his sister’s place tonight (Harry is excited, they have “Guitar Hero” over there). I hope he thinks it’s a decent birthday. Obviously, it could have been better. But all things considered, I’ll take this.

I have no idea when we’ll be going back to Reno. Obviously, our plan of going back tomorrow is pretty much out of the question since his post-op appointment is Thursday afternoon. At that point, why not stay through Father’s Day? A lot will depend on what his doctor has to say. I’m fully prepared, at this point, to drive us home, anticipating him not being able to. Not that I’ve ever driven from Elko to Reno before, but there’s always a first time, right?

God help us.

Sooooo…. we may stay a while longer. Who knows? I’ve got no schedule here. I’m just taking each day as it comes for now. And that’s saying something because I’m a planner and planners have a hard time just taking each day as it comes.

I’m putting it out of my mind tonight by taking the time to wish my sweetie pie a happy birthday and hoping that we have many, many more together.

The most amazing year

Today is Liam’s first birthday. At 2:00pm on the nose, as a matter of fact. I’ve been dreading this moment from the day, the very hour, he was born. Because this moment signals my baby growing up. Having had Harry before him, I knew this first year would blaze by and never look back. And so I knew to try to cherish each moment. I think I did, but the moments still slipped between my fingers like sand. The tighter I would grasp, the quicker they’d slip. Looking back, I honestly can’t think of any times in which I wished time would speed up. I’ve amazed even myself, this last year, with my patience. Because, let’s face it, I’m not a very patient person. Even the middle of the night, when I’ve had to stumble into his room blindly (bashing into walls as I go), all I would need to do is scoop him up and hold him close to me and I would become overwhelmed with the desire to stand like that and hold him like that for the rest of my life. It won’t be too long before I cannot do that anymore.

This has been the most amazing year. It’s like the answer to the question, “What happens after your fondest wish is answered?” Actually, it’s been exactly that. Liam has been our Answer. And, you know, it’s been as wonderful as you’d expect. As we’d hoped. He has filled an open spot in our hearts and in our family so neatly, it’s as if he’s been here all along. He’s so different from Harrison and it’s truly been a joy discovering his personality and celebrating those differences. And then we’ll turn around and find out he’s more like Harrison than we thought and we are charmed by that as well. Because it further asserts that these two boys of mine are brothers. Brothers for life. How awesome is that?

Harry is already talking about us having another baby, can you believe it? He thinks he might want a girl this time. Though I wonder if that’s just because his best friend has a little brother and a new baby sister. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but think that I just want to enjoy this time with Liam for the short while it will last. I do want another baby, and sooner rather than later, but I want Liam to be my baby just a little while longer too.

Thinking of him growing up makes me want to cry. I love to watch him discover and learn and delight in the world around him but with each new discovery, he’s growing further and further away from me. I just don’t feel like I’m ready for that yet. I’m not ready for him to be one year old, but the day has arrived despite my wishes. So today, we will celebrate his life and the wonderful impact he has made on us and our family. We will eat, drink and have cake and ice cream. I’ll take pictures and document the day. And I’ll try to ignore the fact that my heart is breaking.

Here’s a little video I made for my beautiful boy. Enjoy, if you want to.

[see link on video’s page]