Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We took a big risk this year. We decided to let Collin actually help with carving the pumpkins. I don't mean we let him do the scooping, or the drawing or watching and letting him think he helped. I mean we let him wield a knife. Not some mamby-pamby orange handled pumpkin carving kit knife either. A real one. Don't get excited, it was pretty dull and it was with Mommy. Nonetheless, he was pretty excited. Don't you think?
And this is Collin about to come apart with excitement because trick or treating just.hasn't.started.quite.yet. Why!? Why?! Why?!

On another note, the "Jack" pumpkin looks pretty awesome doesn't it? Daddy did it and I'm impressed.
Collin was immensely tolerant of letting me take pictures while we waited for Gracie and Ben to show up to go out tonight. I got a couple of really cute shots. I can't get over how cute he looks.

Less tolerant of taking a picture tonight? Ben. Faster than a speeding bullet that kid. Had to be said. Thus our best picture is this: blurry and not together. But you get the gist. They had fun.

Hup Two Three Four - That's Parade Talk

This is Collin's preschool class...well, most of Collin's class. I'm not saying that my son is the cutest or anything. Nope, I'm not.
But, he sort of is. I'm allowed to think that if I'm his mom. I mean look at him.

Does anyone out there want to disagree? I mean he's even got the parade wave down. What a charmer. And by the way, is there anything more precious than like eighty preschoolers marching around in costumes and waving at their parents? I swear, I love Halloween at preschool. It almost makes me want another kid. Oh wait, they need to be potty trained to go there.
And, just for posterity's sake, here's my kid NOT singing while all the other kids do their thing. You'll note some of them are doing their dance moves, some of them are singing, some of them are doing nothing.

The key is that Collin is very clearly doing nothing except scowling at his mother who has just finished miming to him "SSSSSSIIIIIINNNG!!" Why you might ask? Because he's been singing annoying half songs around the house all week and demanding that I sing the rest of them.

It was nice to at least hear the rest of them played so I could hear them in their entirety, despite seeing Collin just stand there like a statue. Silly me for thinking he might sing this time. Weird kid.

"Dem Bones, Dem Bones Dem Dancin' Bones...."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I Think Wednesday

Ahem, hold on a moment while I pull out my soap box….

So, a long time ago I made myself a promise that I would stop worrying myself over what everyone else thought of me and to care more about what I thought of myself. That is an easier promise said than done. Think about that for a moment. It means that every time you overhear someone say something about you, every time you see someone roll their eyes, or you imagine someone taking a second look at you when you think you are having a bad hair day, you have to quiet that self doubtful voice in your head that judges, questions or even rewards.

This became more of a challenge when I had my son and then one day, it became easier. I let things go. I let people go. I let everything go. I realized that to be an effective mother, I had to be a good model. I had to show my son that I had to truly, honestly believe that I am the best me I can be, even if I didn’t always know what I was doing. In other words, I had to believe that I was okay with myself even when I was wrong. I also had to show my son that it’s not okay to be anything other than this.

Being at a place of peace in myself, as a constant struggle, has shown me that the negativity that comes from passing judgment on others comes from a place of insecurity. It is a constant struggle to resist the temptation to fall back to the place of worrying over security of my own identity, a struggle that I think we must all find ourselves in, whether it is in our parenting, our image, anything. But, when we make frivolous, silly comments or judgmental statements of others, we only reflect our own struggle and it makes us all smaller.

Rather than spending hours hashing over in my mind a small comment made by a small individual, thinking of how the dozens of friends I have would disagree with said individual, or said individuals, and how my husband and son would find them insane, and how I could rationalize them away, it dawns on me, the point is we can all do the same rationalization with anyone’s disagreeable commentaries. Everyone is different. We all have our own individual reasons for doing anything that we do. Anything. Ever. So long as no one is hurting anyone and we are all loving our families and being the best people we can be, making our way in this world, why sit in angry, purposeless judgment of one another anyway? Hurtful, mean things, said in spite are just fuel for pointless anger?

A friend of mine has a wonderful quote on her Facebook page that I think is wonderful, (don’t we all just love Facebook), it says, “Being authentic only really hurts those that aren’t. It angers the people that haven’t really come to know how to be vulnerable.” Warren Buffet said it. Who cares about Warren Buffet, but it’s a good point. When you are a real “you” it’s obvious and you aren’t wearing any amour and because of that, those people who are not authentic, and who do hide behind insecurity, feel it is okay to throw judgmental jabs at you. Trust me, our authenticity is protection enough from the harmful words. Knowing who you are is much better than being able to laugh at a joke that you think is funny.

And now, my soap box is put back away. So there, no one be talking about me behind my back no more.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Very Own Living Bobble-Head

Someone very special had a 5th birthday this week. That meant a trip to the toy store for us. Mommy had just gotten a phone call from Collin's gymnastics teacher regarding his "distracting" behavior and how, while he's a precious kid, we have to sit with him in class from now on to help encourage him stay on task a little better. I was feeling a little sad for my boy and a little frustrated and a little worried and a little sure that this isn't the first time a teacher will call about my, let's just call him, exuberant, child. So, what better way to make us both feel better, than to buy him a present?

Like say, the coolest present ever? He was so excited! He loved it. He couldn't wait for Daddy to get home so he could fight him. The buttons make all the Darth Vader sounds and the orange button morphs your voice into DV's voice. Well, approximately. For Collin, it just sounds like a chipmunk with a scratchy throat.

Don't worry though, we did remember to get Gracie a present too. And she had a fun party. It isn't a party unless someone loses their pants. Thanks, Collin for making sure that someone was you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Stroke of Genius

Starting last Thursday, I was knocked flat, and I mean F-L-A-T with a migraine that was so wicked, I had Bryon take me to the hospital. I almost never do that because it's a major commitment. One, you know the doctors are going to triage you at the bottom because, let's face it, you are not dying, just in pain. Or, they might, on an off-chance think you are dying of an aneurysm or stroke, or something and triage you to the top, but refuse to treat your pain until they do an MRI or something. All very logical, but sucky when you are shaking. Either way, you are waiting forever until you get treatment. Two, chances are, you won't get treated until they are convinced by either your demeanor your your medical record that you are, in fact, not there because you are really just a drug addict, after a quick fix because what they will treat you with is the "good stuff." Alas, it was really, really bad; so bad that I went to the E.R. as late as 10 pm after class and was there all night. I didn't get out of bed again until Monday. Needless to say, I missed Collin. A lot.

How do you make up for missed time with your little guy? Well, you do stuff that he adores every second you have with him.

Case in point, the minute he got home from school on Monday, we had painting time. We painted for probably two hours while we waited for maintenance to show up. We don't have any smocks so I told him to take off his clothes and he insisted on wearing an apron because that's what he wears at school.
Homer, ever the curious cat, insisted on getting involved. I'm surprised he didn't end up panted.
I just love how happy he looks when he's doing something like this. Last year, I would've said an afternoon like this would've given me gray hair. This year, after Montessori, I could have left the room for an hour. He followed all the directions I gave him about rinsing the brush between colors, not using too much paint, making sure the brush was totally clean, everything. He closed all the caps. That school is worth every stinking penny. He knew it was fun but how to stay on task because it was an "activity." I was in awe of his focus.
There was absolutely zero mess. It took me less than ten minutes to clean up. He probably didn't even need an apron. There was barely even any paint on his hands. I was totally shocked. I had more paint on my hands because one of the containers had an air bubble and it popped in my hands when I opened it. I was just so proud of my little guy.
Such a good boy. And has anyone noticed how handsome he is? Just wondering. He's pretty darn special, isn't he?

"But I Slept on My Ear?!"

Collin doesn't understand why his hair would be sticking up if he sleeps on his ears and not his head. Someone explain bed-head to the child.
Oh, and is it terribly wrong that I never, and I do mean never comb his hair for school? I don't mean that I don't do it out of neglect, I don't do it because I simply think that his hair looking all messy like this is just way too cute for words and I love it. How long can you get away with looking foolish like this? Twenty, thirty years?

Happy Feet

Are you aware of The Frye Company? Don't worry, if you aren't. I wasn't until about three years ago. I'll wait while you click the link...

Are you back? If you were gone for about ten hours, I understand. The first time I actually saw a pair of Frye boots at a Macy's I almost cried. I touched them and they had to be mine. I didn't buy them for over a year but I talked about them pretty much weekly and every time we went to Macy's, I made Bryon look at them, and I tried to get him to admit that they were, in fact, heavenly. He did not agree. There was a significant amount of eye rolling.

He insisted that $300 plus dollars was an absurd amount to spend on anything you step on. I disagree. They smell nice. Once I put them on, I was sold.

Meet my third, yes third, pair of Frye's.
Look, they have buckles! Bryon says I look a little like a Musketeer, as in "Three." I say, they still make me as giddy as that first pair did and they make the entire house smell like leather (says the vegetarian).

I suppose I could have taken a better picture, but they just came a few days ago and it's been raining cats and dogs and I haven't been able to wear them until today and I don't want to take them off. Wait, logically, I suppose I could've taken a picture when it was raining. Oh well, this is what you get until I invent a time machine.

And, I keep pointing out to Bryon that the box insists that they last a "lifetime," so I'm building a "collection" that I plan to wear forever. Yep, that's the story. I am not kidding. Not one bit. What? I could be addicted to crack. This is much less harmful.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some Frustration--Leading to Craziness

I can't figure out how to do a blog post in word. It has made me so mad that I would almost, almost like to throw this otherwise wonderful Mac out the window and let it crash into a thousand pieces. That tiny application alone has infuriated me. Why, why, why won't you scroll when I upload a picture? Why? WHY! And when I try to find a way around your infuriating little flaw, like say, doing a post in another program other than blogger, why is it impossible to find? WHY!? WHY?! WHY!!

Collin is dealing with his crazy Mom by becoming a nut job himself.

This is Collin.

This is Collin playing a disturbing game he me made up called "decorating a baseball bat." Oh, and why isn't he wearing pants, you might ask? Because he said, "it was more convenient to leave them off because I will be taking a bath soon." It was five o'clock.

This is Homer. Homer is always crazy. No need to associate him with my nuttiness. He sat on my homework no less than a dozen times that morning and gave me "that" face that said, if you don't pet me and stop pushing me on the floor, I will eat your face when you sleep.

This is Collin again. As if you even needed to guess. He decided he didn't need a nap the other day and instead, went spelunking in his drawers and dug out these overalls. Apparently, we didn't know we still had them, and took a fashion-risk. He felt they were stunning. I agree.

By the way, seriously, if anyone knows how to blog post via word on a Mac, I will sell you Collin to tell me. No, it isn't as easy as New/Open and viola it says "blog post." It doesn't.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

And Here We Go...

Can you tell that this is my first blog post on the Mac? I can. I'm nervous. Collin says, "pfft!"

So far, it's going relatively well. I didn't have any trouble uploading any pictures. I haven't had any trouble working with Word for my excessive amount of homework or any trouble getting online, or any trouble with anything. My main concern, a-la blogger is that when it does come to selecting photos, their thumbnail views are so itsy bitsy, that I can't really see what I'm picking. Anyone have any tips on that? I can still tell that my husband looks pretty handsome, doesn't he?

Anyway, we had a pleasant afternoon in the blazing California heat, selecting a pumpkin. It isn't fall in California unless you are sweating to death picking your fall pumpkin. It's always so weird. Without the camera zoomed it, you can't see Collin's pit stains. You're welcome.

Zoom: Sweaty meatball. He's awfully cute with rosy cheeks though, eh? I think so. I don't pull off the "glow" as nicely.

Also weird: whenever anyone else is around, Collin's complete and total willingness to forgo sitting with his mother. And, I do mean anyone. It could be a hobo, Collin will absolutely shun sitting by me and sit by an axe murderer for sheer novelty. No, I'm not offended.

It's okay, I left him in the corn maze as punishment. He felt it was a reward. Darn that kid is hard to punish.

I thought that his insistence on posing in all the cut-out pictures was pretty funny though.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Death by Crushing

The year before last, we were invaded, yes invaded, by some seriously large spiders. I never took any pictures of them, just take my word for it. I think we might be in for it again this fall. I'm afraid to leave the house because there are a bumper crop of them lurking at the entry way. This is only one of them.

Now there is one less. Yep, those are his gross little guts
. I was left no choice. His legs were red! Red, people! Red! When a spider is that big and he rears his legs at you, rears!! You must kill him. I swear he was actually wagging his butt too. It's like he was big enough to have independent movement of all those gross little parts. It was creepy.
Despite the creep-factor of the season, Collin agrees. He's a little icked out about the whole spiders lurking by the door thing too. I'm almost about to call Tierra Vista maintenance to spray the house but eh, I don't trust them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Collin: The Science Kid

I wonder what they whispered on the whisper-ma-phone? Last time I was with Collin at this place, he told me, "I love you," over that thing. It was pretty cool. I have a sweetie pie for a son.

I don't know because I wasn't there. I was at home. Doing homework. I'm not complaining. Nope. Not at all. (Okay, a teensy bit, but only when I find out I missed moments like this).

It turns out I'm loving half my classes and not the other half. It is my final decision that Romantic Literature sucks. So, I'm working hard at making sure I spend the rest of my Master's in the Medieval period and working toward a focus in that, perhaps even a (gulp) thesis. But I don't wanna. Maybe if I show my advisor that previous sentence, I'll be excused.

Anyway, my boy is lucky. He has such a wonderful family. They all came down to see Bryon get promoted and couldn't wait to spend the day with Collin doing whatever his little heart desired. He was so happy to spend the day there. I was sort of hoping they would have an exhibit explaining the word, "echolocation," because he learned it a few weeks ago in passing somewhere and he's been using it inappropriately ever since. Alas, no. They did however have lots of "ecosystem" exhibits apparently, and he's now been using that word inappropriately.

I'm not sure what the heck this thing is, and I'm not sure that I want to know. I'll just go ahead and assume that Collin, and other children, are allowed and encouraged, to be swinging from that rope. Maybe it has something to do with "gravity." But, look folks, California has leaves that change too. We do have "seasons."

And, I don't mean to say that he's saying "Hey you! Ecosystem-head!" No, he just uses it slightly out of context like; he shouts at the top of his lungs and when he tell him to be quiet, he'll say, "but I'm using echolocation." Or today, he said, "my house is a good ecosystem, right?" Oh Collin, you are so darn cute.

Parenting Fail #3,762

Collin was disgruntled that I stopped a movie he was watching, while in progress yesterday. I have managed, in the nearly four years (gasp!) of his life, to stick to the minimal T.V. rule and yesterday, as he was watching a movie that he'd never seen before, I started asking him questions, like, "who is that character?" and "what are they doing?" He couldn't answer me. Not because he wasn't able to peel his eyes away, but because he was so zoned into the movie that it was just flashing pictures to him and he was a zombie. They might as well have been anything. If you are watching a movie and can't even name one character, it's time to turn it off according to the mantra of Mama. Thus, he was mad; so mad in fact that he took it upon himself to instantly rebel.

Three to five seconds after I turned the movie off, I heard the playroom door slam and then re open with the announcement, "I wrote on the door. And, I did it ON PURPOSE!" So, little boy, you got yAlign Leftour revenge. So you think. Your cowboy pen that Granny got you, that was so special? Yep, it's gone. Sorry. Sorry Granny too. Poor pen. We just don't do things like write on our house. And we certainly don't do it as revenge. And, the best part of this whole scenario is I set him up with a bucket and water to clean the mess up and told him he couldn't play until every bit was cleaned off. I probably should've realized that soapy water would've been a party too him. I just hope he doesn't color on more walls as an incentive to get to scrub again. Punishment: backfire. He scrubbed all the shoe scuffs, everything. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm Not Calling Him, Sir. Don't Ask Me.

Last time Bryon got promoted, we'd been dating all of two weeks. We were in the same squadron and Bryon insisted that, at his ceremony, we were two people who still barely knew one another, lest we break up and have it float all over the squadron that "those two, 'you know....'" We ate a lot of leftover cake that weekend, that he promptly kept at my house...where he had already been staying and didn't leave again for um, ever. I consider him a squatter.

This time it's safe to say he is willing to admit we are "together." Things have changed. (P.S. had I known my bra was showing this whole time, I would have "adjusted." Ugh. Donna said she didn't notice and that all she noticed was my skinny waist. I guess she's forgiven).

It is amazing to see the change in our lives of a block of time that a rank means. Our son, our son did his rank with me. Wow.

And as proud as I am of him, listening to the General list his accomplishments, I can't help but realize that this is really the long haul we are in for. Award, award, award, award, all of which Bryon refuses to tell anyone about because that's not his style. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love this life of ours and I can't wait to see where it leads and I'm proud of my husband despite his refusal to be proud of himself. I mean Generals don't take time out of their days to promote Captains to Majors every day. Sometimes, it takes your family to tell you, "you done good."

Oh, and just in case you want to think he's all important; this is the last picture on the camera before the ceremony shots begin.

I cut his hair on Saturday night so he wouldn't look like a ragamuffin. Cleanup is always hilarious to me, especially when it involves nipple vacuuming.

Oh yeah, obligatory, "I love my wife, and she gets flowers for putting up with me when I'm promoted...."
Part two. Aren't they pretty. They smelled so good, they stunk up (is that the right word? how about fragranced?) the whole room. I had to divide them up. Pretty big bouquet. Maybe when he gets promoted to Lt Col, I will ask for a car.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Washed the Car

Yes, it's breathtaking. Yes, it's beautiful. Blah, blah, blah. (It is kind of pretty, especially since it was taken with a cell phone camera in a supermarket parking lot).

The hose was also in a knot that took me ten minutes to untangle. And the vacuum fell over on my foot. And, I didn't attach the hose to the feed correctly and sprayed myself with water. Collin even came out of the playroom to say, "Look, that's my Mommy getting mad."

Those neighbor boys that I've mentioned that creepily ask you where you are going when you leave the house? They lurked with in elbow's reach of me until I invited them into the playroom and let them play with all of Collin's toys (not with Collin mind you, just his toys).

So, nice rainbow. Know what it means? It rained. All over my clean car. You'd think I would realize it was about to rain when I washed the car. Since it is California and rain appears out of a clear blue sky, I did not.


Back to homework...hopefully for the last weekend on my PC. Wish me luck adjusting to the newness of a Mac. I'm scared. Also, where can I find a behavior management therapist to modify my husband's habit of saying, "Macintosh" every time. I realize it isn't incorrect but he sounds weird. It's like saying, "automobile," or "davenport."

Oh, and Erin, sorry it isn't a double rainbow.

Oh and on a side note, when I took this picture, I was super frustrated, aside from the whole car thing. I pulled into the parking lot to pick up bread for dinner and there was a couple in the CENTER of the row with a shopping cart, ogling the rainbow. Why do people walk in the center of a row, ever? Ever? Ever?

They turned around to look at me driving, and trying to park and she literally shouted, "sorry!" waved and laughed and then stood there, with her cart and husband and continued to chat. For five minutes. Pointing at the rainbow. Five minutes, people. Five. No way around. It's a rainbow, not a spaceship.

What's the conversation going on between them, really?

"Honey, how long can we stand here and point before she mows us down?"
"Gee, I don't know, Estelle? Your leopard print stretch pants are pretty ire provoking"
"But the colors, oooooh the colors. I must look longer!"
"If I point longer, I look intrigued"
"Our ice cream is melting maybe we should move along"
"But indigo! There's indigo!"

Friday, October 1, 2010

How to Punish Collin

Daddy picked up Collin from school on Wednesday because I had a meeting at school. This is unusual, in fact rare. I hated it. I love picking up my boy and doing the whole, "what did you do today," followed by "nothing."

Apparently, I missed a whopper.

Collin got in trouble on Wednesday. A kid has to be pretty bad to get in trouble at Collin's school. "Trouble," being a relative term. They get sent to the "thinking" chair. From what I can understand, he was poking his friends and being generally annoying. This is pretty much not outside his typical behavior. When Collin gets it into his head to so something like that, he won't stop.

The thing that gets me is that once he got himself comfortable in that thinking chair, that is supposed to be a punishment, he said, "eh, I liked it there."

Welcome to my world of punishing this child. Virtually impossible.

Too Hot for Disney?...Perhaps

We've been having a heat wave here in California...just in time for fall. Also just in time for fall is Jack Skellington's arrival at the Haunted Mansion. See, they decorate the Haunted Mansion in "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme from September through Christmas and it's kind of our thing. You probably knew that, right? We have been promising Collin we'd get there, and soon and last weekend was our first free Saturday. It was also well over 100 degrees. Ick. So, we made the trip just for the morning. Ahh, the beauty of season passes. You get to see just the thing you want and then hightail it out of there before you melt.
You also get to come home, review your photos and see that you were seated next to a psychopath on the carousel and never knew it.
We met Gracie, Kari and Ben there and it was a pretty fun time. Apparently Ben is going through a "hug" phase and no one can complain about that. How awesome is it to be hugged by a baby boy? Collin's getting him some of that. Ben, however, looks a little suspicious of Collin's methodology.
Since we were with Gracie, we did the faeries and Ben apparently likes them too because, as mentioned, he gets to hug them. How cute is that? My question is it a good job or a sucky job to have to hug a bunch of other people's kids all day? They are cute and all but have you seen how dirty and gross some kids are? I mean sure, Ben is cute. Collin is cute but there's some pretty scuzzy looking kids out there. And they all want to hug you. Just a thought. Can you tell how hot it is?
It was so hot this week that Bryon and I slept on the air mattress in the living room. We have a portable a/c unit in there and I refused to sleep upstairs where it was just too darn hot. Collin thought the whole thing looked too adventurous to resist snuggling up in it when he came downstairs in the morning. A bed! In the living room! Amazing!


I'm convinced that our friends the Roaches have some super genes because they have the most gorgeous children I've ever seen (besides my own of course). Ignore Paige's closed eyes here; she's using "The Force" because she's unarmed in this light saber battle and she's got no other weapon.
They came over the other day (ahem week) to play and I'm pretty impressed at her ability to fend off two boys with no weapon of her own. She's going to grow up and break some serious hearts. We continue to warn her mother that she had better be prepared for boys to knock down her door and Jen always says, "I hope that child gets my hips to ward some of them off." Ha. Beautiful child.
Anyway, my point is, look at my charmer. He is such a player!

Hands above the blanket, buddy.