Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seriously Slacking...

So, I have been seriously slacking in the blogging arena. I have some good excuses though:

1. J was gone in Africa for 9 days. I made it. But, barely. The first 4 days I was getting a little cocky with how well I was doing, and then in the last five days I had two days where I was on the verge of tears, mostly from being tired (is it really necessary to wake-up at 4:30 in the morning several days a week?) They started the week with runny noses which caused a lot of night-wakings but they mercifully slept through a couple of nights (even if they weren't in their own beds.) We stayed very busy that week, which was good. Friends were fun, as was the baby pool, sprinklers, splash pads, train rides at the park, sidewalk chalk, museum, library, Costco (twice), church.... Our backyard was used almost every morning and evening and some afternoons in between.
    The garage became one of my closest friends. We did not have one in Pasadena, where we lived on the 2nd floor, so being able to drive until the kids fell asleep and then transfer them one by one to their beds at night has been amazing. It has saved us approximately 6 viewings of CARS that week. That was especially good news since our dvd player was currently only showing movies in black and white. Being by the grandparents was awesome, too! They each took us out to dinner and lunch and gave the kids some much needed energy expenditure and attention. My mom also watched the kids for three hours one day so I could go to book club/bible study (this happened to be a tearful day, so that was VERY good!)

      I feel like these times always put a lot of things in perspective for me. For one, they help me to suck it up a bit once I realize that even though these children can be absolutely exasperating, if the worst thing is the fact that I have two beautiful, healthy, energetic toddlers (who require freakishly small amounts of sleep) and love to be with their mama, then I am extremely blessed. Only 3.5 years ago right after our miscarriage, I would have given anything for these two, and now I am so amazingly thankful for them. 
       And secondly, it makes me appreciate J. I am so proud of who he is and I know that these times we are apart are for a very good reason. I totally love what Life In Abundance does. We just miss him so much when he is gone. I don't just miss his help (though I definitely will be happy to have his assistance again!) but I really missed being able to talk with him. We don't get to talk on the phone, skype is super choppy, and internet access is sketchy, so I can't share with him those times I am laughing or crying or giggling at something one of the kids did or about to lose it. That's really the hardest now I am gearing up for the fact that he will be gone a lot more this fall...

2. My second is excuse is that I had a lame week after that, too. I went to the gym without tennis shoes (Can you tell I don't go that often? Don't worry I did the elliptical in flip flops like a true athlete.) I lost my glasses. I got a traffic ticket on my way to the dentist where I had cavities. I went to take care of the ticket and sat in the court room trying to keep 2 2-year olds quiet for 45 minutes (without our snacks which had been confiscated at the metal detector) before they told me the officer had not done his job of turning the ticket in yet and I would have to come back and do it again. Then, I took the kids to a splash pad that had the water turned off where B proceeded to be bitten by 30 ants (literally!) and we were almost hit by a pigeon that fell dead from the sky. I had been thinking lately that I really want to learn to be more patient and to roll with the punches. God seemed to think I really needed to see just how badly I do with that apparently before we can go about correcting it. :)

3. I started cloth diapering again. My motives are not altruistic. Enough said.

4. We had some dear friends come into town fro CA for the weekend so we were very busy with lots of fun! The mommies got to go for a wonderful lunch out and the kids had a ball together. Then we ended the weekend with a family party. We were tired!

Hopefully, now I will be back in the game... :) I think I made up for it with my rambling... 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stay Wet or Stay Inside!

      We have figured out that the secret to desert living with toddlers is stay wet or stay inside. And avoid as many "getting in or out of the car" episodes as possible. It also helps if you arrive in the desert with only 1-2 months of ridiculous heat staring you in the face rather than 5.

      We have been spending a lot of time with friends at splash pads (I am infinitely grateful to the creator of such wonderful water goodness - all without the paranoia of one of your two toddlers becoming submerged). Our experience earlier this week, was almost spoiled by the evil mom that very intentionally stole T's Croc shoes (another mom witnessed it and told me the woman had asked if they were hers and when they weren't proceeded to take them knowing they did not belong to her! What kind of a person would take a little kid's shoes knowing they would have to walk out on burning sidewalk without any. I was livid! Okay - now I'm over it.)

      We have also been outside in our backyard a lot. When you wake up at the ever so early hour of 5:30 a.m. (ahem, B) you still have a good 4 hours to be outside before it's too hot. Last week, we painted birdhouses. And at dusk the kids enjoy watering the plants with dad and finishing it off with a good run in the sprinklers. It may just be because this is all novel at the moment, but so far, so good! Now if we could just transport our CA friends here....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wedding on the Midway

My cousin, Kristen, got married labor day weekend on the U.S.S. Midway, a permanently docked naval aircraft carrier. We got to spend the weekend in lovely San Diego, which was even more beautiful after a week in the heat. The wedding was gorgeous (on the flight deck overlooking the sunset on the harbor) and the entire event was great as Kristen and Andrew are both very special people. 

I was a bridesmaid, so I had lots of pictures and prep time where my parents, brother, and J took the kids. They did great with the toddlers - they even managed to get them to suck on lollipops during the ceremony in the front row, with nowhere to escape to. They are brave people! 

The reception was lots of fun - B LOVED dancing at the "Ball." She is definitely in a princess stage right now - she loves the idea of getting dressed up and dancing. In fact, she will not wear anything other than a dress. Ever. Enjoy the pics!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Say Cheese Factory!

The title is cheesy I know (no pun intended - no seriously). But, I actually uttered those words less than a month ago outside of the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon. I have been meaning to post about this for far too long, but I just couldn't forget about this one. I may never have another opportunity to blog about a cheese factory again.

       One morning while we were at camp I took the tots with me and the three of us went on a fantastic adventure. I love a good adventure. Especially a super random one so this one really fit the bill. We drove 45 minutes along the OR coast enjoying the drizzle and the farms and cows everywhere until we finally arrived at the factory herself. We went in and the kids were immediately taken by this video explaining all about the factory. Sounds boring, right!? I would have thought so if it weren't for the way my little B was absolutely enamored with the dancing man dressed like a block of cheese. She still can't help but giggle if a cheese costume is brought up. 

Once I peeled her away from the TV and T away from the benches he was leaping off of, we managed to head upstairs to the observation deck where you can actually see the cheese being made and manufactured. This was very very cool! It was so fun for us to see how they actually do this process which we are so far removed from. There was also a pretty sweet fake cow that was entertaining, too. 
        The main thing that struck me about the manufacturing was the fact that these people who work there in this particular plant, constantly have people watching them. They mostly didn't pay attention, but would sometimes sheepishly look up. Overall, it must just feel pretty awkward to have random people just staring at you push cheese around all day everyday (except Christmas and Easter, I believe). I mean you might feel kind of celebrity-like for a bit, but I bet the novelty would wear off quite fast. Then, I thought about what that would be like in my own life. Yikes! I have some moments I would be proud to display, and a whole lot more professional parenting moments that would be rather embarrassing to have witnessed. And, I think I would always feel on edge which would make me not feel like I could be me or make mistakes (both of which I do rather well). Therefore, this seals the deal that I will not be applying for my own painfully boring reality show anytime soon.

          Next up was the best part - free samples! We sampled lots of different cheeses and then got some of the freshly made (on-site) ice cream. It was a big hit! Since daddy didn't join us, I brought him back the most ridiculously good fudge you have ever tasted. And, Tillamook brand now has 4 new fans :)