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We’re Still Living the Dream…

May 31st, 2007

…   Ok, so we actually did end up driving to Las Vegas yesterday (6+ hours), then checking in at the airport with Dudley (2 hours) then waiting for our redeye to board (another 2 hours) then we flew to Washington, DC (nearly 5 hours), then drove through the morning rush hour traffic to our little home on the creek (3 hours).   And in all the bleary whilrwind, I never had a chance to get online and post our second winner of the “Living the Dream” contest, Jessamyn of Learn as We Grow!   So congratulations and read on… (and check out her blog!)


I woke up this morning with a deep, piercing longing.   The kind of longing that
doesn’t go away without great intention.   I woke up to a small sweet voice
speaking right into my ear.   “Mama:UP UP!   Mama:.UP UP!”
It was time for me to get to work.   But today I didn’t want to go.   I wanted
to call in.   I wanted to use a vacation day.   I wanted to not show up.  
“Mama:More ju??”
I redirected my toddler to his daddy’s side of the bed.  
“Ask daddy if he can get you some more juice bud”
I hear his pleading into his daddy’s ear.   Josh gets up and they both go into
the kitchen.   The momentary solitude allows me to escape into my own mind which
is now remembering the imprints of last night’s dream.   My body begins to feel
the emotions that came along with my dream.   I am remembering:and
feeling:and wanting to escape into my imagination once again.
I think I lived in South America.   I can’t remember what country it was
exactly:.but it was foreign to me.   I had just arrived there, in a small
village.   I was a teacher.   I had a certificate that allowed me to travel the
world and take on teaching jobs for 6 months at a time.   If I enjoyed the place,
I could stay longer.   If not, I could move on and discover something new and
different.   I taught English.   I was able to immerse myself into various
cultures.   I was multi-lingual by the time I had reached this village.   I
enjoyed my life.
My babies didn’t exist in my dream.   I didn’t know what it was like to be a
mother.   I was a traveler.   I followed my intuition, I was an activist for
justice, and I sought out new and daring adventures.   There was no one else to
worry about but me.  
Now, in the waking hours, it is hard to even imagine what that felt like.   But
it was so real to me last night.   The feeling of complete freedom lingered with
me, and when I woke up to my reality, I couldn’t help but LONG for more of my
I didn’t want to get up today.   I didn’t want to start work.   I didn’t
want to meet the demands of my reality.   I just wanted to dream.
There are so many times when I struggle with my life at this point.   Sometimes
it is something that debilitates me; sometimes it is just a moment of longing
that is short-lived.   In college I was a women’s studies major.   I knew the
political science of women’s issues with my mind.   I knew the complexities of
what it means to be a woman in this world through my studies and through my
experiences up to that point.   But nothing teaches you about it more than living
it out day to day.   And nothing gets you right into the realm of the personal
and political inequalities that come with being a woman and a mother in this
society than actually being one.   I learned it with my mind in college, and now
I am learning it with all my heart and soul as a mother.   Sometimes it feels
like I don’t have a place.   I have been exiled from the corporate world with
my decision to stay at home with my babes.   I have been challenged with the
decision to stay at home full time or take on the balancing act of working
outside the home as well.   I am challenged with all that is implied in my
decision to stay at home with my little ones.   I am finally understanding why
the personal IS political and how undervalued we as women, as mothers, can often
feel at times.   Sometimes, after I haven’t talked to a friend in a while, my
answer to the typical question, “So, what have you been up to?”, actually
astounds me.   Often times, without even thinking, I blurb out something like
“Oh, I’m JUSt being a mom!”, all the while trying to scrounge up some

story of how I am saving the world through the comfort of my own home.   The
minute those words make their way across my lips I want to take them back.   I
want to leave out the “JUST”, I want to compose my words in such a way that
reveal the true height and depth of what it means to mother, of what it means to
be a Mama.   There really is no way to translate it.  
So, lately I have been thinking about all of that.   I always think about it.   I
always wonder about my place.   Sometime I fight to see my own importance.
Sometimes I see things as clear as day and KNOW that my work is more valuable
than gold.   But sometimes, on days like to day:.I can’t help but feel
insufficient.   I can’t help but wonder if there was something else out there
that was meant for me.   I can’t help but notice that in my mind I am saying
the words “Who am I?   What do I do?”
My thoughts are quickly interrupted by the scuffles from my 6 month old moving
about in her cradle.   She’s waking to start her day and she is hungry.   It is
time for me to start my work.   It is time for me to show up.
I reach into the cradle, greet her with a soft kiss, a gentle squeeze and a
whispered “good morning love”.   She meets it all with a bright smile and a
long stretch.   I pick her up and put her to my breast.   She nurses.   I am a
I walk into the kitchen and notice that Asher hasn’t eaten breakfast yet.   I
conjure up some berries, make some bacon, and toast a bagel for him.   I arrange
it all on his plastic toddler plate and present it to him with a smile.   I am a
I gather a change of clothes and diapers for both of my babes.   I change
Journey quickly and easily and wait patiently for Asher to decide he is ready to
get dressed.   I am his support when stepping into his over-alls; I gently nudge
his hands through his shirt sleeves.   There.   We are dressed.   I am a guide.
I turn on the TV for Sesame Street and walk over to my computer.   I read the
list on my desk of things to research.   Today:I look up natural remedies for
ear infections, I read a post on a feminist housewife’s blog, and I research
books for homemade baby food.   I am a student.
I sit down with a parenting magazine and read up on the various food groups,
how many servings of each that my toddler should be getting construct a chart
and place it on my fridge.   I am a nutritionist.
I have to involve myself among the interaction between Asher and Journey.
Asher is blowing in her face in attempt to make her laugh.   Journey isn’t
enjoying the spit shower in the least bit.   I have to intervene.   I am a
Asher doesn’t listen to my requests and continues with his behavior which has
now become less of a spit shower and more of a “licking your face while I pin
you to the ground” sort of thing.   I separate him from us and tell him to join
us when he is ready to play nicely.   I am a judge.  
Asher wants to play with a toy boat that he has.   He can’t quite grasp how to
make it glide across the tile.   I show him how to gently pull back and release
it.   He tries by himself and he gets it!   His face lights up.   Again!   Again!   I
am a teacher.
Journey starts to fuss as she sits on the floor with her toys.   She needs some
attention.   I crawl towards her on my hands and knees, making noises that get
louder as I draw closer to her.   She joyfully anticipates my arrival.   She
laughs.   I am an entertainer.
It is time for Asher to take some medication.   I administer the medicine and
lovingly praise him for his willingness.   I am a nurse.
I read in my book on natural children’s health care about eye and ear
infections.   I search for homeopathic remedies and proactive recommendations.   I
am a researcher, a healer, a naturopath.
Asher and I get out some play dough and start to make shapes.   I start rolling
the dough between my palms and form a snake.   It becomes a cobra, with forked
tongue and all.   Asher is thrilled.   I am an artist.
I start to play pee-ka-boo with Journey on the floor.   Asher comes to join us,
mimicking my every move because of the reaction it is getting from his baby
sister.   I am a leader.
We turn on some music.   Baby Boogie is today’s choice.   I sit Journey in the
middle of the living room.   Asher grabs his toy lizards with both hands.   We
turn up the music and dance about the room.   Asher shows me his latest moves and
I fire back with some of my own.   I am a dancer.
We are outside enjoying the sun.   Asher wants to kick a ball.   I alternate my
body between kicking with Asher and swinging Journey on the baby swing.   I am an
Asher screams from his bedroom.   I hear his yells “Mama HEP!   Mama HEP!”   I
see his small frame stuck between his toy box and the wall.   I reach under his
arms and take him out.   I am a rescuer.
I make a list of things to do before our small trip up to the mountains this
weekend.   I start to create a packing list.   I begin to compose a grocery list.
I am an event coordinator.
Asher can’t find his baby fishy.   We trace his steps.   I think of when I last
saw him with his fishy.   I remember he was playing with it when we were outside.
I seek out the place he LOVES to hide his toys in.   There is baby fishy.   I am
an investigator.
It is time for Journey and Asher to take a nap.   First, I lay Asher in his bed
and start to take his song requests.   Today he wants a fishy song, a BIG fishy
song, a whale song, and a shark song.   I do my best to appease him.   I begin to
create new melodies and lyrics.   I am a musician.
I sit down with Journey and rock her.   Noticing how much hair has grown on her
head.   Adjusting to her desire to sit up and then lay down again.   Watching as
to how she drifts off to sleep.   Noticing when her body gets heavy and her
breathing changes.   I am an observer.
Asher wakes with tears.   He is scared or uncomfortable or mad.   He is very
tired.   I ask him to talk with me, to use his words so that I can help.   He
tells me he wants his lizards.   I help him find his lizards.   We sit in silence
for a while, me holding him, him holding his lizards.   He is content.   I am a
I sneak a few moments while the children are entertaining each other to write
in my journal.   I let my heart run out through my hand.   I allow my yearnings to
exist on paper.   I try to make space for all of the thoughts flowing in my mind.
I close the journal.   I am an author.
Journey is letting out high pitched squeals.   She is very unhappy.   I use
deductive reasoning.   I have just nursed her.   She has just been changed.   I
spent almost an hour with her in the sling.   I think she is cutting some teeth.
I give her a teething ring that has been in the fridge.   She starts to gnaw on
it and seems to be content.   I am a problem solver.
I take pictures of my babes as they move about the day.   To capture the essence
of their individual personalities is my goal.   I want to be able to look at
their pictures and not only remember the moment but also the spirit of the
moment by what was captured.   I am a photographer.
I sort through my mail and read a letter from the Southern Poverty Law Center
and their efforts to bring justice to victims of hate crimes and to rid the
world of hate and prejudice through education, tolerance, and social justice.
It is time to renew my membership.   I write a check and put it in my diaper bag
to be mailed.   I am an activist for social change.
I keep an article on how to teach children ways to share concern for the earth
and our natural resources.   I have Asher help me empty the recycle bin today.   I
am always looking for ways to become a better advocate for our earth.   I am an
Bath time begins!   Asher splashes about in the tub.   We sing the bath time
song.   I give him minutes of splash time as I sit closely and admire his energy.
I am there to watch over him.   I am a lifequard.
It is time to read books before bedtime.   Asher picks out three books.   He sits
down next to me and says “Mama read book.”   I am a storyteller.
The babies take baths and I massage lotion on their little bodies.   Taking
great care to try and calm them with a loving touch.   I am a massage therapist.
Asher is having trouble sleeping.   He comes out of his room saying that he is
“sared”.   He says there is a monster in his room.   I give him a flashlight
and tell him that it keeps the friendly monsters at bay.   It seems to work and
he is safe to dream.   I am a magician.
My babes are asleep and I am able to put some attention on my husband.   He is
stressed out from work.   We have been having some terrible luck with our van.
He is down.   I wrap my arms around him on the couch and lay close.   It has been
a long day.   I am a lover.
I lay down in my bed at the day’s end.   I anticipate waking several times
throughout the night either to calm a frightened Asher or to nurse a hungry
Journey.   I know that my job doesn’t stop when the sun goes down.   There is no
beginning and no end.   Moments turn into days, days to weeks, weeks to months,
months to years and there is no paycheck:no review:no raise:no
compensation plan:no retirement plan:no cash bonus.   And yet, right in the
circle of it all, I feel complete.   I go to my bed feeling fuller after a days
work.   I look at all the things I became that day, the moments in between that
there are no labels for and all the opportunities I had to exercise different
parts of myself. I look forward to tomorrow.   For it is a new day, with new
roles and new parts of myself to discover.   There is no other job, no other
place that could fit my spirit more perfectly.   There is nothing that could
better encompass my eclectic nature.   I must always attend:always show
up:and really there is no other way to do it.   There is no other position on
this earth that requires the flexibility, the change of titles, and the
willingness to be all sorts of things:than being a mother.   So, tonight I feel
grateful.   I feel grateful for those moments of longing because they help me
feel the fullness of this life.   I feel grateful for the wholeness that is
required of me to fulfill my role as a mama.   I feel grateful that I am all of
these things and beyond.   I feel grateful that I mother these two children, that
there are two bright stars of the future depending on my ability to seek and
grow and learn and change.   When I lay down tonight with the day’s events on
my heart and when my mind begs the question “WHO ARE YOU?” there will be no
hesitation in saying:

Beautiful!     And again, thanks to all who submitted stories.   Keep submitting them, too, because I always post new entries on “Mommy Story of the Week” and you never know when you might see your own story published!

And the Winners Are…

May 29th, 2007

First of all, thank you to all who entered the joint contest with LTDChix and MommyBlog for the “Living the Dream” story competition.   Let me tell you, reading some of the scenes you all sent in suddenly made my own circus ring seem a lot more tame…

Choosing the winners was difficult, especially because one entry was an essay so beautiful, so beyond what I expected, it added a new dimension to the contest.   I genuinely hope the author will consider submitting her piece to a magazine or two for publication!   I will publish her story tomorrow, but for today,  Congratulations to our co-winner, Audrey of Pinks & Blues Girls!  Her story hit a chord with me for two reasons: 1. Like Audrey, I seem to be often momentarily trapped between the BC and AD eras of my life (that’s “before children” and “after delivering them” ha ha) and yet realizing that without a doubt, my life now is the far better one, and 2. Any woman with three boys under age three deserves far more than a t-shirt!   How she has time to blog and write stories is beyond me, and I hope I’m still writing when I have  a houseful of kids!   So congratulations, Audrey, and here is her story…

I absolutely had one of those “living the dream moments” on May 22nd. And I
remember the exact day because it was the night before my birthday! I had just
hung up the phone with a girlfriend I went to college with (single girl, lives
in the LA, was calling me from her cell on the way to a “hot party”) who wanted
to wish me an early Happy Birthday wish). For the few mintues I was on the phone
with her (while I was loading the dishwasher) I was lost in “her” world for a
second.. and then as I hung up, I walked into the living room to tell my husband
it was time for the boys (I have 3 sons – 2 1/2, 1 1/2 and 7 weeks) to get baths
and ready for bed… well I walked into quite a scene –

My 2 1/2 year old was on all 4’s ON the coffee table eating Cheerio’s out of a
bowl and saying to me “look Mommy, I’m a puppy!”

My 1 1/2 year old was running around naked (sans diaper too) with Valentine’s
Day stickers all over his chest and cheeks… and happy as can be!

And my 7 week old son was on the floor smiling up at my husband – who happened
to have just been the brunt of his projectile throw-up a few minutes before!

And even though there were toys everywhere, 2 books that had been (apparently)
ripped, spilled juice on my beige (was I that naive to get that color for my
living!?) rug… and the fact that I hadn’t showered all day – had on sweats…
I thought to myself, Life can’t get any better than this!”

That was my Mommy Moment of the Week in Living My True Dream! I always dreamed
of being a mother… but I never knew it would be this absolutely amazing!

Thanks, Audrey, and Congratulations again!

PS – Check out Audrey’s blog!

Tick Tock…

May 28th, 2007

Per our usual adventurous tendancies, it is begining to look as if this little snow-birding family may be leaving a day early from a different city.   That is to say, the forcast for Phoenix on Thursday is 105, and the forcast for Washington, DC is 90.   Airlines won’t fly dogs if the tempurature is above 85 on either end.   Great.

So we are toying with the idea (my brilliant brainstorm) of driving to Las Vegas on Wednesday night and catching a   redeye that will deliver us in DC in the wee hours of morning; long before the mercury begins to rise.   A red eye from Phoenix wouldn’t work because the heat tends to remain here until about midnight anyway, so chances are even the last fight out would find us in the 100’s, and we are starting to question whether or not it is wise to keep crossing our fingers.

So we have decided to all take a nap.

Denial, my friends, is the surest way not to have to make up your mind about something pressing.

Seriously, though, the clock is ticking and our departure may infact become another story to relay in the not-too-distant future.   Speaking of stories, time is running out to submit your “Living the Dream” story to not only win a super-cool t-shirt from LTDChix, but to have your story published in this blog.   Send me your funniest, sweetest or hysterical story by midnight tonight!   (That would be midnight Pacific time… I need to show love to my readers out here in the west!)   The competition is heating up, so don’t miss out!

The Countdown

May 26th, 2007

With five nights left before our departure to Maryland, I think it’s safe to say that we’re  all getting a little antsy.


Today we had to do a “trial run” with some “relaxation pills” we had our vet prescribe for Dudley’s first airplane ride (We needed to know how the medications would affect him, to know if he would be ok for the fight on Thursday), and the poor guy  is  walking around like he’s had one too many martinis.   He walked over to his water  bowl and stared at it, as if he couldn’t remember what it was for, then sighed and walked away.     Now he is laying on the floor, staring at his toes and not even remotely resembling our wild and crazy weim.  

In addition to preparing for our departure, we’ve been trying hard to fit the last bits of Arizona social life into the next few days.     A party last night didn’t get us home until eleven o’clock ~ a near record for attending a party with Kenny.   (Actually, we took a pack-n-play for him, and he actually went   to sleep like a perfect angel in our host’s guest room.)   The party guests included a dozen or so kids under age seven, so Kenny was thrilled to be a part of the “big kid’s” night out.   Casey and I sipped some fantastic wine in between chasing Kenny across the yard as he dicovered the joy of sticking his face into the lawn misters.   (For those of you reading this who are not in the Southwest, “misters” are like giant outdoor cool humidifiers to make it a little easier to hang outside when the temperatures are in the triple digits.)   Tonight we had our neighbors over for dinner, and Kenny was once again the life of the party with his playmate Ryder, who is barely a year older than him.   They chased each other over the furniture, through the rock garden and in and out of the house with such speed it was hard to keep track.   They had so much fun the adults were actually able to have whole conversations.

But leaving is bittersweet, and there is much I will miss in the next few months until we return again.   I will not, however, miss the fact that the nineties had been left behind and the 100’s are the forcast for the next three months.

In other news, don’t forget about the t-shirt contest!   Click on the “Mommy Story of the Week” icon to the right for complete details.   I’ve gotten some great entries so far, and I’ll close the submissions at midnight on Monday, May 28th.   Send me your stories!   Winning entries will be published on Tuesday and Wednesday (as I’m in the last throes of moving upheaval!).   Two winners will be selected to recieve “Living the Dream” t-shirts.   Show me what you’ve got!

My Old Stomping Grounds

May 24th, 2007

For the past five days, I’ve been battling a tummy ache which turned nasty last night.   Despite my vow to not return to the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital until the next time I had a baby, I found myself driving to the ER last night.   The pain was bad, but not so horrible that it kept me from waiting until the end of American Idol with my fingers crossed for Blake.   Even though I think Jordan was the right winner.   Anyway, wonders never cease, because the usually packed ER waiting room was completely empty.   As in, The Rapture happened and everyone’s gone but me! empty.   The triage staff was so happy to see a patient that I was whisked through to an examination room (which I shared with six other patients) and immediately assessed by a nurse and a doctor.     End of story: everything is fine, meaning that anything dangerous was ruled out by a CAT scan and blood tests, and anything not-so-dangerous will have to be found by a gastroenterologist at a later date.   There are a slew of post-gallbladder-surgery things to watch out for, and I’m beginning to question my own agreement to let that zealous surgeon remove it so quickly.

I miss my gallbladder.

But my visit was less about me, than about the five others in my curtained room.   There was the elderly German woman, there with a hacking cough and chest pain and her husband and son, who were obviously strained at best, and who bickered alternately in German and English all night.   There were flying accusations, ghosts from the past and twenty-year grudges spewed back and forth through the fluorescent-lit midnight air.   It was like having a juicy soap opera on TV in the next room.  

But the Germans, though heart-wrenching and dramatic, lost first prize for the ER Entertainer of the Year to the lady who apparently escaped from the cuckoo’s nest in the bed next to me.   She was there with her sister, and from the sounds of their conversation, I’d put her somewhere around 60 years old.     She was there because she felt, “out of it” and because she was having trouble breathing.     The opening scene in their cubical was “Sarah” (the patient) asking “Becky” (the sister) if she would help her to the bathroom:

Sarah: Help me up.

Becky: Lay down!   You’re going to rip your IV out.   You don’t need to get up; you have a catheter.

Sarah: No I don’t.   I’m going to wet my pants.   Besides, I have to *poop* and they don’t have the catheter in for that.

Becky: Your catheter’s in, see, there’s the tube and the bucket.

Sarah: It fell out.   Here, look!

Becky: I’m not looking down there.

Sarah: Then feel it with your hand.

Becky: I’m not putting my hand down there, that’s gross!

Sarah: The nurses do it and you’re my sister, do your duty and help me!

This went on for several minutes until a doctor came in with her test results…

Doctor: Miss Smith, do you take any medications?

Sarah: No.

Doctor: Drugs?

Sarah: No!

Dr: Well, there is evidence of opiates and narcotics in your urine.   Are you using heroin?   Opium?

Sarah:   No!   I don’t even know how to use heroin.

Dr: Well, you’re taking something.   Do you have any medicines you might have taken at home?

Sarah:   Well, I took that medicine my dentist gave me a while back for a toothache.   Oh yeah, and that percocet stuff.   And  I might have taken  some vicodin, too.   Or was it codeine?

Becky: You’re not supposed to take it all at once!

Sarah: I wasn’t sure which one would work!

(I was begining to feel bad for being so boring in my own little curtained cave.)

In the midst of all that, I actually fell asleep in between the blood test and the CAT scan, missing the departure of both the Germans and the narcotic-laced suburbanite.   By the time I was discharged at 5 am (with the official diagnosis stated as “Acute Belly Ache”), I was ready for a real nap, and Casey mercifully stayed home for the morning so I could sleep.     Hopefully this belly-ache will go away on it’s own accord, and I can stay out of the ER for at least a little while….

The Art of Moving & a Living the Dream Contest!

May 22nd, 2007

As we wrap up our last eight days or so here in Arizona, we are in a whirlwind of last minute “To Dos:”

Packing.   Health Certificate for Dudley.   Anti-anxiety pills for Dudley.   Packing.   Scheduling someone to mow our lawn so we don’t return to a jungle.   Scheduling delivery of some new porch furniture so that it doesn’t arrive before we do.   Scheduling swim lessons and doctor’s appointments for our first few weeks back.   Packing.   Cleaning our rental house.   Finding someone to clean our other house before we return, as it’s been inhabited by a bachelor for the last four months.   Last minute playgroups and get-togethers before we say good-bye.   Trying to eat all the stuff in the pantry and freezer so we don’t have to throw it out.   Did I mention packing?

You might say we have a dream life of living in two of the most beautiful places during the year.   Arizona winters and Maryland summers.   But have any of you moved a large dog (with all  of his  paraphenalia), a toddler (with all  of his  paraphenalia), two avid readers who buy two or three books a week (and both refuse to part with them), and a guitar back and forth across the country every few months??   No long drives and U-hauls for us, no sir.   We fly.   And ship things.   I’m already thinking of taking one of Dudley’s anxiety pills, just thinking about all this….

Not to mention that 24 ended last night, and since it was the only TV show Casey and I watch, it can only mean buying more books.   We need a library card.   Or we need to learn to let go.

So since I’m in the midst of frazzles, I decided that now would be a good time to have a contest.   The owners of the t-shirt company LTDChix  have offered to sponsor  a “Living the Dream” contest.   Here are the rules:

Are you missing those days of happy hours with your girlfriends, romantic trips with your hubby and wearing dry clean only clothing?   Then this conest is for you!   If you’re suddenly realizing that you are delieriously happy over changing diapers, listening to Sesame Street’s greatest hits all day and starting a fashion statement with the toddler handprints all over your new khaki pants, then we want to hear about it.   Please write out your best “living the dream” moment of motherhood; frantic, sweet, frazzled or triumphant and email  it to me.   Click on the Mommy  Story of the Week side bar for all the rules and the contact form.  The contest will run  until May 28th, and I will be anouncing the two winners, and posting their stories, on Tuesday, May 29th.

Good luck!  

Third Person Present

May 20th, 2007

A few weeks ago, Kenny started understanding the intricacies of speaking in more complete sentences.   What was once, “Tai-tais, pa-lease” has become, “Kenny some tai-tais now!   Pa-lease!”   (I should probably mention that in spite of his excellent pronounciation of most words, he still calls strawberries “tai-tais” and bananas “b-la-las”   I have a sneaking suspicion that it is deliberate, as he gets a real kick out of the giggles and smiles we offer when he pronounces his favorite fruits that way.)   “Hode it” has become “Kenny hode it!” (hold it) and “Pee pee potty” is now “Kenny pee pee on da potty!”

In other words, he has come to understand that he needs to distinguish himself when making a request, yet lacks the ability to translate his own name into the pronoun “I.”   I have to say, I am in no hurry to correct him, as there is something infinitely charming about him running through the house with his constant narrtive babble, speaking in the third person present.   “Kenny hode you” means, “Mama, please hold me!” and “Kenny walk self!” means that he wants to walk wherever we are going by himself, without being held or confined to the stroller.   All day I hear, “Kenny snacktime” and “Kenny juice?   Juuuuuuuuuuuu-cie?” (as if the missing sippy cup is going to burst out and say, “Here I am!”), and “Kenny read it” when he is holding a book in his lap.   He even self-corrects, as in “Kenny stand up table!   Oh, no!   Sit down Kenny!   Down!   O-Bay Mama!” and he commands Dudley, “Dudley sit!   Dood boy!”   And on Mondays when we head out to MOPS, it’s, “Kenny play friends; Mama coffee wid ladies.”   When the landscaper broke our window last week, it was “Outside guy bwoke window!   Assident.    Kenny no touch… ga-lass… Kenny hurt!” then two days  later,  “Window guy fix it!   Kenny touch it!”

He is such a charmer, my little guy.  And such a talker!   But I’m glad, and it’s fun to start having little conversations with him as we spend our days together.   Now if I can only figure out how to get him to let me get a word in edgewise…

Time Well Spent

May 19th, 2007

Casey decided to take a couple of days off work this week so that we could spend some unhurried family time together.   Within the first  day of his respite, the yard maintenance guy hired by our landlord accidentally shattered a three by eight foot window when his weedwacker hit a rock, our TV blew out during a movie and our garage door went on the fritz.   So we decided to let the gremlins have our house for the night, and we checked into a five-star resort.   Actually, it is a spot Casey has stayed in for business many times, and since he has an alumni connection with the director of sales, he finangled a great rate and a room upgrade at the last minute.

Let me tell you, sometimes twenty-four hours is all you need for a stellar vacation.   We dropped Dudley off at a cage-free kennel for the day and night, and arrived at our resort at 10 AM yesterday.   As we were too early even for an early check-in, we changed into our bathing suits and played at the pools (there  were eight pools there, all connected with waterfalls and walkways), stopping only for a pool-side lunch, until our room was ready.   Once we checked in, we got Kenny to nap in the stroller and parked him in the shade while Casey and I laid in the sun and read books.   Later, we cleaned up in the spa-like shower in our room and headed to the  fantastic hotel restaurant where we shared an appetizer and an entree (but we didn’t share our martinis!).   Kenny, ever the adventurous eater, relished his share of the spinach linguini with garlic cream sauce and the chicken katsu.   We topped it all off with an ice cream sundae from the kid’s menu, and fought for the last bits of decandent hot fudge sauce.   Back in our room, Kenny went to right sleep in the crib without a hitch, and Casey and I sat on the balcony, drinking a bottle of good  wine we had brought from home, and talking as we watched the sky turn dark over the mountains.

We got up this morning for a huge breakfast buffet, where Kenny once again out-ate me, then another romp in the pool, and a chance for Kenny to run wild on the bocce ball lawn,  before showering and checking out exactly 24 hours from when we arrived.   We picked up an exhausted Dudley on the way home, and here we are – feeling as if we’ve had a full relaxing vacation, and we were only 9 miles from our house!   Kenny and Dudley are napping, Casey is running errands, and I am “recovering” from our whirlwind trip.   The best part is, we still have the rest of the weekend to spend together.

I can’t believe we only have a week and a half left here in Arizona before returning to Maryland.   We are so blessed to have the unique opportunity to live in two places that are so different, each with their own beauty and charm, and with good friends to boot.     Time flies when it’s time well spent.  

Why Weimaraners Don’t Play For the NBA

May 16th, 2007

One of Kenny’s favorite pastimes  was dunking this crazy basketball (covered with pictures of farm animals… don’t ask) into this Little Tikes basketball hoop that I rescued from the curb during bulk trash day a few months ago.   Everytime he starts doing it, Dudley is at the ready to chase down the ball, presumeably to offer assistance by playing for the imginary opposing team, though in reality unwittingly spoiling Kenny’s rebound stats.   Earlier this week the inevitable happened when Dudley’s teeth made their way through the rubber and deflated the ball in seconds.   Kenny was dumbstruck and not at all good-natured about Dudley’s gaffe.  

I’ve been promising ever since to buy him a new one, and since we haven’t made it to a store that sells tyke-sized basketballs, we picked up a crazy $1.99 neon blue bouncy ball at the CVS store today.   He was so excited, he crowed, “New Bass-kit ball!” all through the checkout line, and insisted that he “hode it!” all the way home.   As I unstrapped him from the carseat, he said, “Slam dunk!   New bass-kit ball!”   and we ran through the house to the backyard so he could play.   No sooner had he made his first shot than Dudley jumped up, caught it in mid-air and popped the sucker in one bite.

Kenny actually sat down, dropped his head and said softly, “Dudley chewed up bass-kit ball.”   Dudley, seemingly aware that he’d done something awful, dropped his own head and slunk off to his bed, lying down with a “humph.”   I walked over to Kenny and put my arm around him and said, “Honey, I’m so sorry that Dudley ruined your new ball.   We’ll go back to the store after your nap and buy you a new one, ok?”   He looked up and said, “Kenny nap now?”   So we ate an early lunch (or is 10:15 considered a snack?) and I put him in his bed.   “New bass-kit ball afta na-time Mama?”   We rubbed heads on it, and he curled up and went to sleep.

Such a sweet little boy.  

Things I Learned Today

May 15th, 2007

1. Do not let your toddler hold your cell phone (even if he’s talking to his grandparents) when he is eating waffles and syrup.  

2. Pick up all the doggie poo in the yard everyday.   Or twice a day.   And explain to your toddler that only Mommies (and Daddies) can pick it up… otherwise they will try to help.

3. Don’t let your toddler share his yogurt with the dog when you’re not looking; make sure you have working eyes in the back of your head.

4. When you throw away the piece of cookie that landed on the floor, make sure your toddler doesn’t see it go into the trash.   He will go in after it.

5. Naptime is a wonderful time of the day.

Please keep the “great grocery-unloading debate” going!   (See yesterday’s post & comments.)   I really appreciate the tips you all have added so far, and I am looking forward to reading more!   I like the little grocery cart idea, except that it is a downhill walk from the garage to the house… I have visions of roller-derby in my head! I am especially waiting on you, Kimberly, to see how you do it with two (very active) kids and a houseboat!  

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