Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Fun

Daddy took lots of pictures of Collin having a blast at Bobby and Hugh's birthday party this weekend. My head just wouldn't have it for me to stay too long. I was pretty bummed.

I love the look on Collin's face at the top of the bouncy castle slide, as if he's never been up there before. It cracks me up. Meanwhile, I saw him scaling it from every angle possible and had to counsel him on not scaling it in reverse while other children were coming down as it was perhaps, a teensy bit dangerous. Feet plus heads equals black eye.

Ahhh, that's the King of the Mountain Collin that I know. The bouncy castle was actually a water slide but it was so cold that they just left the pool empty so it was a slightly harder landing than anticipated but the kids didn't care. Does Collin look like he minds? Dude, I don't think I'd go down the slide. I think the landing would be a little rough. But, that's just me, with my old bones. Let the kids hit the ground with nothing between them but a piece of rubber.

My favorite pictures of the day though are of him and Gracie off in the playhouse together just quietly doing whatever it is they do when they are getting along. They have grown into little siblings. One minute they are fine and the next he's made her cry because he looked at her cross-eyed or she's taken the purple car and he wishes more than anything he had a purple car like hers, oh Mommy why don't you love me as much as Kari loves Gracie. But when they are at peace, it's so sweet. I just wonder what little giggle she was having.

Bryon did a good job with these pictures. They both look so cute. I'm glad I didn't see it if they fought two seconds later!
Who knows, maybe they both wanted whatever that blue thing is! What a wonderful thing pictures are. I've decided they look cute and happy together, so they are.

What Do You Think Collin Likes Best?

Every time I upload pictures, I find that I have an inordinate number of shots of this child with a beverage in his hand, or some sort of food product.

My favorite shots of him at a birthday party, are when all the other kids have run off to play, because, heck, it's fun to play, and my kid is sitting at a table, all alone, eating. Still, eating. Forever eating.
It isn't that he isn't cute when he eats his birthday cake. He's downright adorable. But come on kid. Go play!

Of course, my meaty sweatball, was playing, and playing hard, to get that sweaty for that SnowCone. He sat on my lap for thirty minutes eating that thing; and staring off at the picnic tables eyeing the bowls of chips, begging and pleading with me for them. It's no use. I have an eating machine.

Who Says Black Cats are Unlucky?

Rachel: Don't be mad
Bryon: Now, I'm already mad.
Rachel: I said don't be mad.
Bryon: What did you do?
Rachel: I wasn't thinking. It was instinct. Try to think of it as a good quality, my sweet nature, my loving heart, my willingness to help those in need.
Bryon: Oh god.
Rachel: I let the cat in.
Bryon: Go let it out. Now. We're not keeping it.
Rachel: No.
Bryon: Now.
Rachel: I already love it.

Thus the beginning of our relationship with Azriel.

She's a stray that's been wandering our neighborhood oh these past four months. I fed her for a few weeks, then felt guilty about it and stopped because, well, she was obnoxious and felt like the neighbors shouldn't have to hear her howling.

Well, yesterday she came back after about a month long hiatus. She was so sad, so lonely, so tiny, so meek, so hungry. Oh, woe is Azriel. Yes, you should never name a stray cat. Because you know what happens if you name a stray cat? She's your cat.

So, I let her in. Rephrase: I dragged her in. I put her in the bathroom and quarantined her away from the other animals, lest she be be-plagued with some weird disease that she could infect my pets with, until she could be seen by a vet. Rephrase: until a vet could charge us to tell us that she's perfectly fine.

She took this imprisonment with the usual attitude of a cat. She hid behind the toilet. After an hour or so, she came out and expressed equal amounts of love for my legs, arms, hands and cabinetry in the bathroom. She rubbed on everything in sight and fell about in seizures of rolling and that weird kneading thing that cats do. She was positively in love with the house. Oh, how could we put her back outside in that cruel, cruel world?

Especially upon the vet's kind news that she was already spayed, hip-hip-hooray! That means we don't have to pay the extra money to do that! Bryon was pleased. I was pleased that the prior owner, who did, in fact, have her chipped, was willing to relinquish her to me (Bryon, not so much). Oh, Azriel, I was happy to keep you.........

Until you crapped on my counter. Then all over the house, in projectile fashion. Bloody, projectile fashion. Oh, did I mention the vomit? The vomit that was actually poop coming out of her mouth. Yes folks, bloody cat poop, coming out of her mouth. Not so cute anymore.

Yes, folks, Azriel, in her first two days in our house managed to rack up three vet visits, two of them at the emergency, after hours vet. Apparently, she had what the vet can only guess at. She either reacted to the vaccine, or had something that one of the vaccines was vaccinating against and her body was thus, expelling it. Yummy.

Oh, and by the way, on the second trip to the emergency, after hours, not so cheap veterinary clinic, I hit a tree in the parking lot with the car. I tore the mirror off the car and scratched the crap-ola out of the car. Did you know that busy pine trees have branches, BRANCHES!! in them?

Rachel: Don't be mad. (crying this time) Please. Please. I love you.
Bryon: (silence)
Rachel: Please
Bryon: What now. The cat?
Rachel: I hit a tree.
Bryon: What?
Rachel: I don't know how to get home.
Bryon: Bungee cord it to the car.

And that my friends, is why I married an engineer.

P.S. He's not mad. And Azriel is doing fine. She's not a big fan of Eddie just yet; but she's pretty sweet.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There are No Words

Bryon says, "By the power of Grayskull."

I say, "ummmm......" And, I'm considering starting a folder on my computer labeled, "Embarrassing Pictures of Collin," just for future, discretionary use. I'm not sure what I like best about this picture, the fact that he's in his underpants, or the fact that he is wearing a shirt with his own picture on it, which he chose.

Oh, and yes, those are his pants behind him. They actually FELL off him because he was fighting so hard with that crazy light saber. He has one pair of pants that are just humongous on him and those are it. What a morning.

How We Treat Visitors 'Round Here

Aunt Robyn and Uncle J came to visit us last weekend. It's my excuse for being so lazy about blogging. Okay, that and feeling like crapola for a while. I've been doing a little better, so I'll make more of an effort, promise. Anyway, we summarily tortured her as soon as she got here. She thought she could handle our workout routine.

Oh Robyn, you knew I'd do it. Be thankful that I didn't put the picture of your tiny little butt up here. Everyone, it's hard to take a picture of Bryon and Robyn doing yoga and NOT get a picture that doesn't center around their behinds; a photograph made even more amusing by the fact that Robyn's shirt says "got gas?" on the back. Oh how silly am I?

Collin, did not feel that he could handle the workout routine as well as his father and aunt. He found a better use for the mats.

In fairness to you and because I love you, I will equally tell the world (the tiny portion of it...aka our family) that reads this that you stuck with our torture all weekend, and worked out with me as well; and embarrass me too. See, sweaty, gross Rachel too.

We rewarded/tortured her and J with the antics of our child, endlessly. People who haven't seen Collin look forward to seeing him and can't wait to rush through the door and then after about two hours wonder when he goes down for a nap because he's exhausted them. What's that you say, Robyn? You mean forty minutes of light saber fighting is tiring? There's no sitting if you are a Jedi!

He requires constant entertainment and is a constant source of energy drain and a continual noise-making, talking machine. This isn't a bad thing. As his parent, I kind of like him. I adore him. I also find him exhausting. They caught on quickly though. Car rides were entertaining.

We managed to get a "family" picture after about five tries. J is remarkably good at the arm-holding-out self portrait; even of five people. It's a rare skill. If only it was a resume-type skill. How could you put that on an OPR?

And, we went to, where else, Disneyland? The White Rabbit was shocked, shocked to see us, I'm telling you. Even more shocking was the realization that our passes expire in ten days and we'll have to buy one for Collin this year. Can you believe our child is too old to get in for free anymore. Ugh. Accepting Donations...for my therapy to accept the fact that my child is too old for anything.

Did you know that there are parades at Disneyland?! Yeah, yeah, we know. They are every flippin' day at x-o'clock. We try to avoid them because they are a nightmare. You can't cross the street. They are crowded and they are irritating. We've gotten pretty good at figuring out how to plan around them. You can't see anyway. Anyway, guess what went by the Alice in Wonderland ride while we were in line. Doesn't he look like he's been missing out on something terrific his entire life? Yeah, poor baby that gets to go to Disneyland practically every day.

Did you also know that if you bring relatives with you to Disneyland that don't normally get to pick your heavy child up, they are more likely to do so in a long line when he whines to be carried? Even on a hot day? Even when they are also tired? Wow. And they look pleased to do so. Isn't Robyn's hair nice? It just stays like that. All day. It's not fair.
Ahhh, Disneyland. It really is the happiest place on earth. Even if in the next attempt at this silly shot, Mommy got kicked in the face. Isn't that the story of a Mommy's life?

They even got to try their hands at about an hour of babysitting while I went to the doctor. I left my child in their capable hands and they took him to the park. I told Robyn to apply sunblock because it's been pretty hot and sunny here this week and apparently, this was a photo-worthy event in J's mind. I can't wait for them to have kids.
The first thing she said when I showed up to my sweatball child, who was beet red, was, "I swear, I put sunblock on him."

Perhaps the reason she was concerned about his coloring was the fact that he played this hard. Nope, Robyn, that's not sun-red. That's play-red. Besides, you've got the photo-proof. You put on the sunblock.

Perhaps I should've consulted photo evidence of my own before trusting them with the kid. J is a terrible wagon driver. And he's a pilot folks. An instructor pilot. I fear for our future. It's not even a big curve.

And I have to put this picture up because I'm just not sure what my child is up to. Anyone? He stops at this pole often. Kind of like the dog in that way. He just seems a little too eager to be there, don't you think?

See those sunglasses he's holding? This is what they look like on his face. Just had to show you because he picked them out himself at the drugstore the other day when he promptly put them on and declared he had to have them because as he put it, "these are for boys and are cool." This is before the wagon accident threw them from his face of course and nearly killed him. (You'll of course note,that I don't pull the wagon because I'm too lazy to pull it up the ridiculous hill, and I've been known to actually get in the wagon with him if he asks and be pulled myself; so, I'm allowed to poke fun).
What's that? There's more! Oh yes, more fun was to be had with this visit. There was no rest for us. We went on a Collin-sized hike to the beach. It was pretty hot so it was fun for Mommy to carry the backpack full of waters (read: I got a sweaty back).

We went to the Natural History Museum (and I wish I could write that the way Collin says it because it's way too adorable), where Collin truly loves watching the disgusting bugs. Why are all boys the same?

And, we spent some time chasing the damn white rabbit through the rose garden again.

I'm beginning to think he actually sees a rabbit.

Have you ever seen a kid that's totally wiped out? I mean completely, totally, zonked? This is Collin, ten minutes after I put him to bed after Robyn and J left. I snuck into his room and took this picture.

We spent a long time talking that night before he went to sleep and I asked him to promise me that when he is a big boy, a really, really big boy, like sixteen, he will still want me to cuddle him and talk to him about his day every night before he goes to sleep. He said, "of course I will, Mommy. I love you." Please, oh please let it be true.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Friday Super Post

This is Collin. In his right is his Peter Pan sword from such life moments as Halloween 2009. He's pretty much carried it nonstop since then. It's been glued, chewed and everything in-between. He insists that he needs it at all times. I've managed to convince him that he does not need to sleep with it, that in fact, there is no fighting to be done in his sleep. In his left hand, is half a light saber, for the attacks of Darth Vader or Rancors that pop up when Captain Hook leaves the room. You'd be surprised how often they both attack at the same time. For anyone who wants to lend me the rulebook on how to get a boy not to be interested in weaponry, I'd like it.

This is Collin as well. Have you met him? He's pretty awesome. This is not evidence of his possession by demons which sometimes I'm convinced of when he doesn't get a nap. I just wanted to show you that I'm getting better at using the camera and that I do sometimes try to experiment with the shutter speed and that I guess it's not something I should do in the playroom where there isn't a all. Wow. Crazy.

Bryon's got something in his pocket and it doesn't belong across is face. He keeps it very close at hand in a most important place. Anyone remember that song? If you were a Girl Scout? Well, he was super proud of it because it's the first vegetable we grew in the back yard. It is a cucumber. Or a zucchini. I can never remember the difference between them. Isn't that stupid? There, take that down as one of those, "25 things you never knew about me." No matter how many times you tell me; you can put the two in front of me and I won't be able to tell them apart. I think it looks awfully bulbous, myself but who am I to judge? Maybe he should get it checked out.

Back to the cuter of the men in the house: this is the boy again. He got his current issue of "Highlights" magazine. Don't bother him for at least an hour. Oh wait, he can't read. Insert Mommy into the equation, make her drop everything to make her read every syllable to him, every page, explain every picture, make her help solve every maze, problem and riddle, no matter what time of day we get the mail, even if she hasn't brushed her teeth yet, prompting him to say; "I smell something yucky." I think the face makes it worth the insult. Know what though? Usually the following day he gets his, "National Geographic Kids," and we do it all over again. Man he loves those magazines. It's worse than Mommy with her Us Weekly. hold on now....rapid subject change. Like there was a coherent subject anyway; but, we had Asian noodle salad for dinner this week. Collin saw Bryon using chopsticks and he was pretty sure he could handle it.

I'm sure you can imagine where this disaster lead. I am not going to lie, I took at least twenty pictures of this fiasco. It was too hilarious not to.

Like the time he ate anything they handed him on the tractor, he was so amused by eating with chopsticks, he literally cleaned his plate.

I suggested to Bryon that I just start feeding him in new and inventive ways every day, like with shovels or buckets, or maybe with other odd implements and he'll be so intrigued he'll eat whatever I put in front of him.

Of course, it was a disaster. The dog had to lick the floor for much longer than usual to clean this disaster up. And, in celebration of our new neighbors, whom I call, "the stalkers" Collin has broken into a rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" sans rain, just puddle edition.

They are actually pretty nice but their kids kind of stalk the sidewalk and when you go outside they shout to you, "where are you going?," then if and when you answer, they will shout, "when are you going to be back?" and if you dare to answer that, they will ask you, "well, what is in your purse?" or, "what's in your bag?" or, "are you going to buy anything?" They will ask you anything just to keep talking. It's really quite impressive, and dare I say, rude?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Worst Picture Ever of Best Thing I've Seen in a Long Time

There are lots of things you learn to adjust to in this military life of ours: but, this is something that I must say, never occurred to me. The great thing? The kids just rolled with it, like eh, whatever.
Yep, folks that's the "Daddies" as my boy calls anyone in cammo, doing survival stuff in our base pool while the kids are doing swim classes. Apparently, they were there all morning. Since it was just a regular day, I didn't have a camera with me, and this is my cell phone.

I am making the assumption that those are not real machine guns and they aren't loaded two feet away from my child. Anyone? Anyone? Oh, and I care about them being two feet away from the other kids too.

Since no one got shot, I'll take it as a wash either way, and just chalk it up to a heck of a fun morning watching G.I. Joe's doing high dives in boots and helmets and swimming across the pool with "guns." It was quite the experience watching the kiddos trying to focus on their lessons with all that going on. Focus isn't exactly their strong point at three years old anyway.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Collin's First Idol Worship

Collin's been in swim class all summer. The first session he was in love with his teacher, Miss Polly. That was okay with me because, let's face it, she was cute, as all eighteen-year-old lifeguards seem to be and, well, she is a girl. He did pretty well with Miss Polly, but when the second session started and Mr. Dylan was his teacher, he started off skeptical. He seemed to be amazed that a teacher of anything can have man parts.
That skepticism has blossomed into pure idol worship. If three sentences go by in the morning in the brief hours before we get to swim class in which his name isn't mentioned, it's a miracle. The sun rises and sets with this pre-man (because is anyone under twenty really a man?) who my son describes as "hairy like Santa."
Collin is so eager to impress him that he wants to put his head under water as long as possible, as far as possible and go down the "fast slide" as many times as possible to show him he's brave just like him.

I choose to believe that this is male idol worship and that he is learning good male role models in educational positions, which we don't see all that often, rather than him having a little boy crush. It is way too cute to watch him though. This is the conversation we have to have in the car every day on the way home:

Me: Collin, you can't push the other students aside when it's not your turn to practice with Dylan

Collin: But I want to!

Me: You get plenty of turns and you have to listen in class.

Collin: But I want to play with Dylan!

Me: Dylan will come and get you when it's your turn.

Collin: But I want ANOTHER turn!! I can't wait!! I'm too excited!!

Me: Ugh.

On another note, this is what I came home to after swim class today.

If we leave a tissue box within reach of our dog, he WILL find it, no ifs ands or buts about it. He doesn't really chew anything else, just tissue boxes. He's weird. He also likes to bring them down to the living room, place them delicately in the middle of the floor and on prominent display, to ensure that it's the first thing I see when I come home. This box was from the nightstand upstairs. He is also not ashamed of his habit. Stupid dog. (Is it wrong that because this is my last box of tissues and I have a runny nose, I debated saving them because those few in the pile there look a little "unchewed?")

So stupid, in fact that while I was taking a picture of the tissues, he thought, "hmmm, what a good place to lay down." I love my dog but sometimes I wonder if evolution didn't somehow skip him in particular.