Thursday, April 30, 2009

perfectly edible

do you see those thighs? DO YOU SEE THOSE THIGHS????

i tell you what, there have been few in this world as loved as this child. he's almost ragged.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

sing it in a round

ava's a singer. it makes me laugh to hear her because i can tell that she finds herself more princess-like than usual when she's singing. therefore, i love it when the child sings. i also love it when she wants to have me videotape her singing so she can watch it again. she points to the scene she wants, takes the camera from me and slides her little hand into the leather handle to sit back and watch.

"that's me," she says, listening to herself with a smile on her face. "i'm singing."

my favorite part of ava singing is when she gets stuck and doesn't know how to stop. for example, she takes a deep breath and begins, "HHHHHHEEEEEAAAADDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes, HHHHHHHEEEEEAAAAADDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes," with a bit of a confused look, a look that shows she's struggling to remember how this song ends, she continues, "HHHHHHEEEEAAAAADDDD shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, HHHHHHHEEEEAAAADDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes," more confusion for a brief second before she throws herself into the song, closes her eyes and cranes her neck. too much american idol, if you ask me, "HHHHHHHHEEEEEEAAAAAADDDDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes, HHHHHHHHEEEEEAAAAAADDDDD shoulders knees and knees and toes," her eyes open, she takes another deep breath, looks confused and perhaps a little panicky before beginning (again), "HHHHHHEEEEEAAAAADDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes, HHHHHHHHEEEEEEAAAAAAADDDDDD shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes,"

this is where two things can happen: 1) i kindly step in providing either additional lyrics or a distraction. it depends on how much singing has gone on today already. or, 2) i let her suffer because she has been beastly that day. there, i admit it: hanging out with a 2-year-old has resulted in some immaturation of mommy.

i'm certain this post reminds my parents of a certain car trip where I sang, "i had a little turtle- no, wait-" and beginning again, "i had a little turtle, he lived in a- no, wait-" and again, "i had a little turtle- no, wait-" and once more, "i had a little turtle, he lived- no, wait-" ALL THE WAY FROM CALIFORNIA TO UTAH. that's hours and hours AND HOURS of a 5-year-old and her inability to remember a simple song taught in mrs. price's (i called her dr. price for some unknown reason) kindergarten class about a little turtle who lived in a box, who swam in a puddle, who climbed on the rocks. . .

aside from the ever popular "head, shoulders, knees and toes" song, ava also excels at "i know YOU. i walked with you once upon a dream" and "i am a child of got" (should be "god". i guess she so seldom comes across an opportunity to speak german she's got to take it where she can). and of course, my personal favorite, the nighttime lullaby my mother sang to her children (not me, of course. being the oldest you miss out on everything) "go to sleep the bobbits". we have no idea what a "bobbit" (pronounced bo-bit) is. we just sing about them. i hope it's nothing vulgar. the song makes seth throw out his arms and squeal. or maybe that's ava singing it to him. were i not possessed with such magnificent self-control, i'd throw my arms out and squeal when i saw ava, too.

so tell me, do you sing? what do you sing? and how do you feel about it?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

swim lessons

now that i have two children, i'm signing ava up for swimming lessons. i figure keeping an eye on one child was hard enough last summer and if i have to multitask (not my greatest strength) i'll probably end up calling ryan from the inside of an ambluance while someone is rushed to the hospital because watching two children fling their arms around in the water is so dang confusing.

so i tell ava about her swim lessons, she gets really excited and starts talking about her swim lessons and all of the boys that are going to be there, too. i have no idea what she's talking about. i never mentioned a single boy. i'm trying not to read too much into that comment. we show up and she's so eager to get in to the pool, i have to physically restrain her which leads to her feeling cranky. lately ava has been rather cranky. ask my mother. everytime she sees me i'm following an irritated ava and shooting nasty looks at her little bobbing piggy-tales. she's saying things like, "don't do that, mom." and if you could hear the disdain in her voice you'd do one of two things: you'd give her a swift kick in the pants, which is what i'm dying to do, or you'd give me a hug. actually, there are three options. i know there are three options because my mom always chooses the third, which is laughter. when my daughter speaks to me as though she's one of the miniature self-absorbed divas on the mtv television show, sweet sixteen my mother laughs. good and hard. at least she has the decency to cover her mouth with her hand, but i can still see the corners of the her mouth. and they're pretty high. i mean, the woman is smiling so hard that she can't even hide her smile with one hand. she needs two hands. i can only hope she's not thinking, "vengence is mine!" although i wouldn't put it past her. there's a great possibility that i was a handful as a small child. a very cute handful, but a handful nonetheless (as opposed to now, where i have become a cute and LARGE handful).

so, we're at the pool and ava is sitting on the hot sidewalk because that's where i restrained her and that's where she's going to sit just to show me how mad she is. and i can't make her move. not that i care. well, i do. a little. i care because the other mothers are sending concerned looks my way. they are the same looks i get when they see i am not dunking ava in a vat of sunscreen before i let her go out to be a part of society. and even though i turn my nose up at enormous vats of sunscreen, those looks still make me feel like i should feel guilty which is almost like feeling guity, which i hate. anyway, i'm mostly fine with her sitting on the hot pavement. in fact, i'm certain a tiny part of me wants it to burn her bottom. that'll teach her not to listen to me!

finally, the current class climbs out and are wrapped up in enormous towels held out by eager mommies. the teachers hold clipboards, shout their names, the names of their students and extend an offer for all to jump in the pool. i take ava over to her teacher, named ryan just like my husband (ava loves this idea) and show her where she's supposed to get in.

she freaks out. this whole getting wet in the pool thing? this swim lesson thing? it is a terrible idea. so, when ryan-the-swim-teacher suggests everyone get in, i grab ava by the fists and dangle her over the water. then i stick her in. and ava reacts as though it's a pool of acid. but that's okay, she'll get over it.

the rest of the lesson was spent on the steps where ava did everything in her power to ignore ryan-the-swim-teacher and make sure i didn't move more than 18-inches away from the poolside.

half an hour later, the other children get out of the pool and run to eager mommies with towels. ava deigns to pour water on ryan-the-swim-teacher's head as he does everything in his power to win her over. then she gets out. i have to admit that i hold out a towel, but i'm not that eager. more just tired.

on the way home ava suddenly says happily, "i went to swim lessons today!"

"yeah?" I answer.

"yes! i love swim lessons!"

of course she does.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Thursday, April 23, 2009

guess who's home?

we love her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


seth doesn't really sleep through the night anymore. when he was really sick, he wasn't really sleeping. one night he was up about seven times. seven! even as a brand new baby he slept more than that! right now we're at a 10:30 waking, a 1:30 waking and a 5:30 waking. I guess it only counts as getting up once, since I go to sleep at 10:30 and wake up around 5:30, but still. . .what happened to the baby that went to bed at 8:00 and awoke at 6:00? i miss him.

here's what i've learned from this experience: children are constantly changing. so even if my baby is finally sleeping through the night, there's no guarantee he's going to keep doing it. and i guess that bit of knowledge can keep me humble about my parenting abilities. and when he's being bizarrely impossible and waking up seven times a night, i can trudge to his bedside with the comforting thought that soon he'll change and i will be sleeping again. and all of this can become some distant memory i throw out the window the next time the baby hunger sets in.

let's hope the baby hunger stays off a little while because frankly, i'm exhausted.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

waiting for me to catch up

good thing ryan has a blackberry

Monday, April 20, 2009


Friday, April 17, 2009

one year ago

oh, how they grow. . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

going with daddy

i finally sat down and edited and sorted through some photos. this was a favorite.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

movin' on up

i came in one morning to get the squawker out of bed and this is what i see:

what does he think he's doing? doesn't he know he's the baby? i'm not ready to promote him to anything else yet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

all things easter

egg hunt #1 at church.

uncles. perhaps now would be a good time to mention that all five of my younger siblings are adopted. that's why we don't look alike. this has confused many people.

ava has been very excited for easter this year. i tell her the activities to expect and she squeals and then says, "excited!" i think it's cute. her grandparents probably do, too. that's why i'm adding it to the post.

looking in the baskets. the winning item? the chocolate bunny. ava spent a lot of time holding it and seth spent a lot of time trying to grab it. ava, of course, had a few things to say about that bunny:

"daddy? this is my chocolate easter bunny. i love him."

and, after taking off his bow, "he's naked."
and, of course, the hunt. it was cold and ryan and i were both barefoot. so we maybe hurried her along faster than she would have liked. but chances are she was cold, too. the point is this: she had fun and we caught it on video. we also caught on video her endless chatter about the easter bunny, "mom? i love the easter bunny. he brings me treats and snacks. he puts them in my basket. he brought me chocolate. i looked for eggs. he hid them. mom? i love the easter bunny. he brings me treats and snacks. . ."

i feel grateful that all the holiday stuff is over and i can finally stop having delicious holiday candy calling my name from across the grocery store. it's about time i stopped eating food i have to keep hidden like a junkie. also, with easter out of the way, summer can begin and i can start spending every day at the pool or at the beach. "excited!"

Monday, April 13, 2009


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

oh, if you only knew

last week was terrible. i mean really awful. i almost hated motherhood all last week.

it started off with disease. it seems like this year has been fraught with all manner of sickness but this last week really took the cake. there were deep chest coughs and copious amounts of mucus that caught on to ava's hair and glued it in place on her cheek, there was puke (oh the puke) and moaning, sleeplessness in the night and sleepiness in the day. . .

it was impressive, really. i mean, how did they do that? how did they get that sick at the same time???

wednesday we went to the doctor. guess what? rsv. remember him? ava had him last year. i don't remember it being as bad, though. maybe when you throw another child into the mix it gets phenomenally worse. so, seth couldn't breathe and ava was impossible and every four hours i had to pin seth down (or, rather up) so i could force him to inhale an asthma treatment for what felt like twelve hours. it was especially tricky because he had to be upright and not down. how do you pin a child who cannot walk? i'll tell you: i'm not sure. all i know is that we wiggled a good amount during treatment time. and at the end of it, i was never really certain anything had been properly inhaled.

it's nearly over now, people are acting happier, breathing more clearly and i dislike them a lot less that i did last week. thank goodness. it got pretty bad. one night ryan came home and i had claw marks all over my face from giving seth a treatment and i said, "it's a good thing you came home when you did because i almost dropped our children off at the police station today." he thought that was funny until he saw i wasn't laughing. i can laugh about it now, and i think i will as long as no one gets sick anytime soon. this is probably going to turn into one of those mothering experiences that is so awful but i can't remember that fact six months from now (like childbirth).

you know who's really good at that? my mother in law. she had four kids all within six years of eachother and the two middle children are fourteen months apart. i would have barely lived to tell the tale, but to hear kristine tell it you would have thought she was mothering little stuffed animals rather than humans. stuffed animals are silent and hold still and i have yet to meet a child who does that. hands down, stuffed animals make easier offspring than humans. but on the other hand, who ever told a cute story about a stuffed animal?


ava comes to me with a piece of dried mucus on her extended finger. "This my booger, mom." she says.
"yes," I agree, "why don't you throw that away?"
happily she obliges and goes off to play. moments later she approaches me again. this time she says, "i want my booger back."

i dare you to come up with a story about a stuffed animal that rivals this one.

i guess another option is that kristine just had really well behaved children, but after hearing about michael leaving her so frustrated she actually started tying him to a chair (the story goes that michael was so interested in being tied up that he held very still which made kristine realize that she was actually tying her child to a chair. then she laughed hard. very hard. and michael got away), i think that perhaps kristine just had normal children that sort of get everywhere and are loud.

that week was so hard that i forgot that i actually enjoy my children. saturday things really looked good when for the most part of the day seth was his normal cheerful self. i couldn't stop marveling at his ability to be amused, the fact that he smiled often.

"he's always like this." ryan said, baffled at my joy over seth's laughing. oh yeah. i'd forgotten that he's actually a mostly pleasant child.

so here we are, nearly inflammation free and ready to mingle with the general public. i'm thrilled about the prospect of leaving my house without the risk of someone losing their lunch. so if you're out today and you see the woman and the two small children with smiles so wide their faces are about to split open, that'd be us. go ahead and say hello.

we hope to see you out there, too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

life is for tagging

the tag: self-portrait now. don't change your clothes, don't do your make-up, just take the picture.

lucky for you people, i was wearing clothes and of course, my biggest accessory, the baby. also, aiming is not my greatest ability.

i tag: kari, erica, leah, mandy, hernan

Monday, April 6, 2009


Friday, April 3, 2009

march favorite

Thursday, April 2, 2009

potty training a fickle child

ava just urinated the nile rive on my kitchen floor. this makes me think that when i saw her just five minutes earlier doing a subtle little potty dance and i asked her, "ava, do you have to go potty?" and she answered (with emphasis), "NO, MOM. I DON'T." she was lying. and as i mopped up this nile river and cursed myself for bathing her not fifteen minutes before that, i thought about how children are never consistent and therefore unreliable and should never be left alone ever and should always be kept near a toilet.

the thought has left me exhausted.

but then i thought about how children are never consistent and therefore unreliable and i realized that tomorrow ava will go potty instead of recreating natural wonders across my kitchen floor. and perhaps my house will even be clean and our health will be good and i won't be so exhausted.

i look forward to it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

dear breastfeeding,

we've had a rough relationship, you and i, what with the children being born weak and not able to start off with you initially.

and then that whole drippy, leaky, swollen bit followed by the biting and the engorgement and the fact that i had to nearly undress myself every time my child wanted to feed while we were out in public.

it has come to this: you're nothing but drama and i want to break up.

sure, there have been good times: quiet moments when all is peaceful and seth's little body is curled around my own. and i really love the thought of all of that superior nourishment is coming from me. i love the feeling that comes with having done something hard, knowing that i won the battle.

but really, there's been a lot of less than stellar moments. for example, the arrival of seth's baby teeth and his jumping at the chance to try them out on me. and frankly i'm sick of the dripping, leaking, squirting and feeling sticky and sour. i'm ready for my body to be my own again.

so, farewell, breastfeeding. it's been real. maybe we can stay friends.