Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Our vacuum has been ticking me off of late. We have the Bissell pet hair eraser. It was super awesome. It was also super heavy. It always annoyed me in the "hose coming off the base" department, in that I'd find that I vacuumed the entire living room only to discover that the darn thing wasn't attached and had succeeded only on re-flinging the dirt around the room in a new and interesting pattern. Lately, the heavy, burdensome thing has decided to only work in the recline position, something I'm considering for myself. I've always wanted a Dyson but can never convince Bryon that the astronomical price tag is worth it. The bargain shelf at Target had, not the one I want, but some other one, for, gasp, $107! Hooray! Yes, that original price says $429. I didn't even have to put up a fight or bat my little eyes when I showed it to Bryon. He just put it in the cart. What a man!

I'm considering it a "trial run." If we like it, we can invest in the "big one" that I've always wanted. I'm so in love. How can I not feel that way!? He's so little and cute! And he has a slidey handle! Oh! Oh! Oh! I have vacuumed the house three times since I got it home two days ago. That little ball thing is so amazing! It seriously turns and glides like a figure skater and it weighs less than a hummingbird. What? You think I'm exaggerating? The one we got is obviously designed for an apartment because the reservoir is itty bitty and the cord is super short. But, R2D2 (yes, I named my little wonder) is perfect in my eyes.

Homer fell in love too. I consider this vacuum an emergency, and Bryon will too, in short order, because I'm so enamored, I'm not sure how much longer this vacuum will be able to live as just a trial run and will soon be relegated to the "upstairs" vacuum and we'll be forced to invest in the real deal. Sorry Bryon.

Collin is addressing the other neighborhood emergencies, like pretend fires. Cuteness alert!

For any real fires in the neighborhood, call your local fire department. He's still struggling with pedal operation. And steering.

But, we had an intensive lesson on both this afternoon. Can't you tell how well he's learning by how he's keeping his hand's firmly at 10 and 2? But, he's good at looking dorky, right?

He did pretty well; not as well as he did at looking adorable though. He spent some time practicing his "stud, driving a car" faces. I think he plans to eventually learn to pick up chicks. Perhaps he shouldn't be learning this from his father, who had to be told, repeatedly, that his future wife was, in fact, single and that maybe, he should make a move.

He even learned proper egress procedures. Or not.

Finally, upon returning from our driving lesson for the afternoon, Collin learned that simple coloring book lap time with Daddy can turn from fun to an emergency rescue situation for Mommy. Doesn't he look thrilled with whatever they were doing? In all seriousness, they were having fun and I think his nose itched, but I can't resist making fun of them.

Oh, have I mentioned my new vacuum? It's so cute and small and perfect! It's kind of like this other perfect lil guy. They have become acquainted. (I'm excited, can you tell?)

Even Collin can push the thing and has decided he loves it too. Look out Bryon! I see a major Dyson purchase in our near, near, near future. I have Collin in our camp.

Bryon, by the way, refuses to push it. He claims that he will do so, in good time, and that there's nothing to be excited about, over a vacuum. I think he's afraid of his feelings.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Someone (not naming names) Turned 3!!!

While the lil man was sleeping, I thought to myself: "self, your headaches haven't been bad enough lately, you should go ahead and blow up 50 balloons and line your child's floor with them." It was a fun idea though, in all seriousness and it was worth the lack of oxygen to my brain because the lump of cuteness sleeping under the fish blankets there thought it was the greatest thing that he ever woke up to.

He briefly liked it even better than what was waiting downstairs.

See, when Granny is here, sometimes Mommy gets the role of second fiddle, despite her having blown up 50 balloons to, or despite her saving pennies to buy him a car, or despite her running all over town to get him a Star Wars cake or wrapping all the presents that came unwrapped. So, even though she spent all night giddy with excitement to see his eyes light up when he came down the stairs, guess who's hand he wanted to hold? Yep. Darn kid. Whatever. I got to take the picture, I guess. I love that boy.

The best part? He didn't realize there was a car there. He essentially thought it was just a fancy present holder.Well, until the end of the opening extravaganza (thanks grandparents! you guys came through for the lil guy, we seriously didn't get him anything else!!). He suddenly came to the realization that, this beast of a thing beneath his gifts was a pretty fancy toy and he couldn't be persuaded to open a single gift outside of it at that point, despite the awkwardness it posed.

Finally! 18-hour minimum battery charge be damned! He got to drive his car! In the house! We are bad parents. I know. We didn't open the box until the night before so we didn't get the charger started in time for the minimum charge. Shame on us. If we charged it for the "right" amount of time, that would have meant he couldn't drive it until just when his friends showed up. Right. "Here Collin, drive your new car, now immediately share it." That'll work. Needless to say, house driving didn't go well. Base housing isn't exactly spacious.

Road driving? Much better, if only because there's more room. He sucks. I love that kid but he's a terrible driver. He's pretty sure that you can't both steer and apply pressure to the gas pedal at the same time. He's also pretty sure that you need to stop for imaginary gas every two to three feet of "road." Needless to say, it took about twelve hours to get around the block and Mommy and Daddy do a lot of steering. We need some practice.

Later, he was getting a "teachable moment" lesson from Granny on the basics of steering on his play structure steering wheel. My boy can smell it when you are trying to teach him something from a mile away. He was having none if it. Can you tell?

Anyway, it was about time for his buddies to arrive and he was so darn excited for them to get here because all he wanted was cake! He knew that his birthday meant one thing: cake!

He was more than a little excited for that crazy thing. You can't tell from the pictures just how weird it looked. The decorators did a mighty crappy job with the Star Wars logos. But, it was Star Wars and that's what counted. My boy was pleased. The last time I checked, George Lucas didn't design Star Wars with random crooked circles. And, the best excuse the bakery staff had for me was, "It just happens sometimes." Thanks.

And, he had a blue mouth. I love this picture. It makes him look like he had way too much cake...or something else.

Kari had to pick Barry up at the airport so she left Gracie and Ben with us and of Ben had a great time with us. And I don't think she'll ever leave him with us again because Ben had way too much to drink.

At some point, late in the afternoon, my weird kid decided that he perhaps, had enough of his own birthday, and thus emptied out his own toy box, because of course, the house wasn't trashed enough, and climbed into it for some privacy and quiet away from all the other guests.

Since it was relatively quiet and, of course, insanely cute to be in there, he requested a pillow and his monkey and decided to snuggle up in there. He said, "I have not had enough sleep!" and stayed in there for about twenty minutes, opening and closing the lid every few minutes for peeks. What a weird little cutie pie.

After everyone went home, it was time to wind down and just chill. Mommy can't complain about just snuggling with her, now, all grown up man! He's three now! Sniff. Sniff! We watched Toy Story (stupid vault! patooie!), now that it's out of the vault and someone got it for him for his birthday.

Of course, it wouldn't be a birthday weekend if Collin didn't get sick, right? Respiratory infections are part of our life around here lately. We wouldn't know what to do without them. I think if it a solid month went by with him not getting one these days, I'd take him to the doctor and ask if he got switched with another kid or something. Alas, he spent all of his birthday night alternating between nightmares and breathing problems. Awesome. Not to fear, back to driving his car and towing it home with daddy, just to be fun the next day.

Maybe he keeps getting sick because we work him so hard with manual labor jobs like gardening? Who knows? I'll just continue to keep him warm.

Oh! I almost forgot the other hit of the present pile! The super fast squirrels! At least that's what Eddie thinks they are. Otherwise known as slot cars. The dog hates this present. We have to lock him up because he is so freaked out. Collin can't stop playing with it though.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Fun Run

So, when things are out of the ordinary at school, like say, when Mommy shows up, it shakes things up for a lil guy like Collin. When he saw me outside, he thought, "Heck, I'd like to run to her. I'd like to get me a hug. I'd like to bust out of this line that I'm supposed to stay all orderly in and just go get me some Mama-lovin." Miss Jacqui, well, she thought that maybe she ought to reign in the little guy. Chasing followed.
Pouting and pitiful faces that say, "this is torture, please save me, Mommy, moooooommmmy!" soon followed that. Seriously, I mean, COME ON! Like this is water torture camp! It's fun! And, I'm right there! Man, they can pour on the guilt, can't they?

Anyway, they were soon, off! Look at those kids go!

Wait a second. Something's wrong here. Oh, I know! My kid forgot to run.

Yeah, that's a bunch of kids about to lap him while he stands there staring at me, like he's forgotten how to use his feet. Anyone who knows my boy knows that he's pretty much incapable of walking anywhere, as running is his only speed. This is weird.

Yeah, he got the hang of it. Mommy had to run a lap with him and he got it figured out. Suddenly, he was unstoppable. Even after he bit it a number of times. His friend, Luke kept picking him up, dusting him off and basically telling him, walk it off dude, you're fine. And, he did. It was pretty cute. For the grandparents that sent us some money, I counted his little hash marks about halfway though and he had twenty-something laps, so way to go on just donating a flat amount. He is a crazy runner! He told us this morning that he was planning to run, "like lightning, just like mommy!" Apparently, he's unfamiliar either with just how slow his mommy runs or just how fast lightning is. Either way, he was quick and ran a lot!

He took a well-deserved breather at the half-way point and had trouble containing himself from going back into the fray. Once he got started, he had trouble stopping. He was pretty thrilled with the idea of running being allowed with wild abandon.

And, of course, what is a fun run day without Popsicles. You can see, of course, that Mrs. Nance is within the vicinity with a box of Popsicles. While all the other children are sitting nicely and merely existing together, Collin has spotted the mere presence of a food item and while he has learned to sit patiently, he is no fool. He's putting his hand out ten minutes before everyone else, eagerly awaiting his grub. He sat like that for, no kidding, five minutes.

Phew. Good thing he got his Popsicle.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Evidence: I love my kid even when he sucks. After a rough day at the zoo, culminating in a dozen or so time outs when we got home, my little man apparently needed reminding that his mommy did, indeed still love him even when he has rough days. He pulled my arms around him at bedtime and insisted that I snuggle him until he fell asleep. As you well know, my boy, despite being one of the huggiest boys in the world, does NOT like to be snuggled to sleep. EVER. He didn't even like it when he was a baby. So, this was a moment for the record books. It was a little rough for Mommy to stay awake after a day like that one. The afternoon was one for the record books for our boy. Sometimes, I think they do things like this just to reset the love clock for us. It worked. Daddy caught us. He called it the coveted "triple spoon."

Evidence: Blue candy is still gross and kids still love it. I will pass, thanks. Gave Collin his first Airhead today because it came in an equally gross lunch that I'd bought for the zoo and decided, ultimately, not to bring it because I couldn't bring myself to eat it. Vegetarian options for lunchables are pretty limited and I was feeling lazy about packing something. The "Cheesy Pizza" variety, as a note for you guys, looks like paper and ketchup. Ewww. He inhaled it. Apparently, if you are three, and will dip your Girl Scout thin mints in BBQ sauce, anything is tasty. Evidence: Kids take pictures of stupid stuff if you let them use the camera. Look! Did you know that Disneyland has....PLANTS!!! We know it now. And we have six pictures to prove it. They all look exactly like this. Exactly. Some might say that the hundreds of pictures I took a day of my infant son are similar in scope to this plant picture. I disagree.

Evidence: No one is good at taking a picture of themselves. Not even Daddy. But, Collin is still cute. I think it has something to do with the fact that he's with his Daddy and that we are at Disneyland again. Man that kid is one lucky dude.

Evidence: The Tiki room is fun, Mommy takes awful pictures in the dark (put some makeup on woman!), and Collin is a mama's boy. Daddy is continuously pointing out how our boy refuses to sit next to him on rides, on the couch, at the table, or anywhere and how I get more hugs, kisses, attention and how it seems I'm the only one who can do anything, like read stories, brush his teeth or give him his bath. I did a scan of the Tiki room and pointed out that every mother in that room had a kid on her lap and kids on either side and poor Daddies were forlorn by being second fiddle. I said, "if you want to be first choice, get a vagina." I'm pretty sure that one of these days, Collin will get stars in his eyes for daddy too. It happens, but for now; I'm relishing being his main squeeze.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Notes on A Field Trip

The bus was late. Very, very, VERY late. This is the face Mommy tried not to make because, the bus being an hour late meant that the kids had approximately ten minutes to look at animals before lunch. I'm not exaggerating.

Since 98% of Collin's joy pertaining to today's zoo field trip was the bus ride, he was not disappointed (at least until we got to the zoo that was). Can you tell he was excited to get on the bus? Ignore the flames shooting off the side of his face. It's hard to take a picture of your kid getting on a bus for the first time while being shooed on yourself at rapid-fire pace because, as noted, the bus was an hour late. Lighting was not considered.

He spent the entire bus ride in one of two positions. Position one:

Position two, I like to call, "harassing Krishan" (however, Krishan found it wildly entertaining and made little squeaky noises that I can only assume meant, "hey, where the heck did your harassing fingers go? Come back!" every time he stopped). Anyway, the bus ride was popular with the Collin half of the McClain clan that went on the bus. The Rachel half found it unpleasant and will not be checking the box that says, "riding the bus" next time on the permission slip. Been there, done that. Thank you. We'll be driving next time. Hot, loud and did I mention an hour late? We were not done with the waiting once we arrived at the zoo, however. Since we have a family annual pass to the L.A. zoo, Collin and I slipped through the gate and didn't have to wait through the ticket gate where the class processed. Yep, more waiting for us. Not to fear, he wasn't antsy to "come on, Mommy!! I waaaaaaannnnna see the (fill in the animal of the second)." In case you can't tell, there's sarcasm there. The thirty minutes it took the class to get through the gate wasn't long at all. shooing the kids through the back of the zoo, few animals to be seen, to the lunch spot, so we could make it back to the bus in time to make it back to the school, made Collin a little (a lot) pissy. He was whiny, crabby and ornery. He threw angry, angst filled yelling matches at me and I was totally mortified. I kept looking around, thinking, "Is my kid the only one acting this way?" A fruit roll up helped. He did get one minute, and I do mean ONE MINUTE on the play structure at the lunch spot. That ticked him off even more. But, when you choose to poop at every public place you go to, that's the price you pay, dude. Alas, we were left behind at that bathroom an nearly lost at the zoo, left forever, forlorn and lost. Thanks for your public pooping fetish, Collin. Thanks. It's not embarrassing at all or anything. Not even when you combine it with the fact that you were acting like a total turd. Thank goodness I love you so much. Apparently, though when we walked with Ms. Jacqui and he held her hand, and/or Wolfie's hand, he behaved like an angel. Seriously. It was like someone took out the extra battery out of him and he just mellowed. I mean, who is this kid? At the end of the day, how can I expect my kid, who I know is more high-energy and a little more OCD than the average kid (yet another of my wonderful traits that he's managed to get from me), to behave in a situation that is out of control and in a situation in which he has no power to make even a single decision? In truth, he wasn't that bad, and we had a pretty good time despite the complete mishap of events that allowed us less than two total hours at the zoo. The crazy, high energy spirit that makes my boy wild with desire to crawl across the decorative log, instead of following every other kid in his class, walking with the teacher, is the boy whose heart is so big and crazy and full that he can't help but yell, "I love you!" to his teacher every three seconds on the bus ride. I can't squash that spirit. I just can't.