Brody and Evan, the continuing saga

September 26, 2007 at 10:13 am (Brody, Evan)

We have been discussing Halloween costumes for about 3 weeks now. Brody is insisting on being Garth Vader with a lifesaver. Evan, well, he’ll be whatever Brody wants him to be.  Just kidding! He’ll probably be a storm trooper or something. Maybe Lou Skywalker?

I’m hesitating on ordering the costumes too early, because the same thing happens every year… Brody and Evan will beg to wear their costumes as soon as they arrive. I will resist, but their constant whining will wear me down. I will allow them to wear their costumes, they will destroy them somehow or will be bored with them by the time Halloween roles around. I will then be stuck either repairing said costumes, or getting new ones. I refuse to do this again! Then I’ll see their sweet little faces and give in completely.

Brody is becoming quite the little chef. He loves preparing breakfast for his little brother. Insists upon making eggs for Evan, even though Evan doesn’t like eggs yet. He loves putting toast or Eggos in the toaster. I always know when Brody has been “cooking” because the butter dish looks like snakes had been wrestling in it. He’s slowly learning how to do things like butter toast and put syrup on Eggos.

Evan, on the other hand, likes to reap the rewards of Brody learning to cook. He sits on the couch watching TV while Brody serves him breakfast. He’s no fool!

Speaking of Evan, his pronounciation has improved since he started school. He’s speaking less and less with Cintia’s accent! He still clings to his brother, but I am hoping as time goes by, he’ll begin to make his own friends.  He’s a shy kid who doesn’t really care if he’s got anyone to play with. I know that later in life, he’ll need these social skills to survive – so I’m trying to encourage him to make new friends. I envy his ability to play on his own.

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Where was I?

September 26, 2007 at 9:47 am (House, Housekeeping, School)

These past few weeks have been very rough. I won’t get into it, but I’m glad the flood is over. It’s becoming more and more difficult to write this blog. I’m trying to keep up with school, work, and family, AND Michael made encouraged me to cancel our housecleaner. I’m trying not to slit my wrists over this, but man is my toilet yucky! With three boys using the toilet, our bathroom belongs in a Frat house.

I’ve written about our housecleaner before, about how much I loved those few precious minutes on Friday afternoon before the children arrived when the house was spotless. Sure, there were piles of magazines and papers – we didn’t hire her to pay the bills or sort through which one was due.  I loved her, I loved how she could clean my house and I loved how I felt like a good mom because my house was clean.

I won’t go on, because I might not be able to stop weeping.

School is going really well. I have a great GPA and I’m going a great job of keeping up with my homework. I have given up reading for pleasure – I just don’t have the time anymore. Someone mentioned knitting the other day and I laughed! Knitting! I wish I had the time.  I am in the middle of my second block of classes and should be finished my first year around June or so.

The boys and I have big plans for this weekend. I am taking Michael on a date on Friday night, I’m not telling where we are going – it’s a suprise! He’s been bugging me all week for the location, all I’ll say is they offer Mac n’ cheese. Fancy! I will say that they have a wine list.  OOOHHHH

I am forcing Michael to finish installing the windows (no excuses!) and I’m hoping to get started on finishing the kitchen this weekend.  We have to install new drywall over the existing ceiling and get it taped and prepped for painting. I want to start prepping the walls for paint as well. It’s a lofty goal, but if I can keep the TV off, we might have a shot!  We bought pendant lighting and I’m crossing my fingers for this chore as well! Wish me luck!

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Where I am from

September 12, 2007 at 3:48 pm (Memories)

When I was growing up, my family lived in two very small towns (around 100 people or so) until I was about 14. At that time, we moved to a big town (around 5000 people). I changed high schools in the middle of grade 10; you can imagine the trauma that I endured because of that.

I will admit that I loved living in a bigger town, but the memories and friendships that I made in those smaller towns are still with me to this day. Through the magic of facebook I have been able to reconnect with some of those people that shaped and influenced my younger years.  It’s been great! 

The one thing that I remember most about my childhood was the feeling that I was safe. I never felt as though I was in danger from anything. That’s what you get when you live in a one horse town. (Or one road town). There was an instance when I felt I was in danger… just once.  I think that is when my whole world changed.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

We used to live right across the street from our elementary school.  This school yard was the spot for tons of activities! We played football, baseball, tag, “house,” and hockey (in the winter) right across the street.  We rode our snow mobile in this yard, we played on the school equipment and swings. I remember Barry Rinas shaking the trees so the catepillars fell on me and Lorianne.  Ahh Barry Rinas… 

Last week, I found out that the woman who taught me to sew passed away.  I was a very proud member of 4-H and I went to her house on Saturdays. I was in the same grade as her son. She was a vibrant woman, very energetic but patient at the same time.  She helped me make an apron and a placemat (both of which I still own.) Mom reminded me that she also gave me a kitten. Thank you Mrs. Weidrick – for all of your knowledge and patience. I still love sewing.

I miss those days.  I hate living in a city and long for the country again. I want the same memories for my children that my brother and I had growing up. I want the boys to know the freedom we felt.  To feel safe and secure in their surroundings, to have the room to run and play. We used our imagination; we fixed things; we discovered rocks, leaves and trees; we formed relationships with our neighbours.

It was a great way to grow up.

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Pronounication

September 11, 2007 at 3:45 pm (Brody)

Writing about my children is something that I really love. They bring such comedy with them in every situation. I love their ability to laugh and to make jokes!

Last night, Brody HAD to tell his grandmother how he pronounces Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name — “Arnold Shushunegger.” I know! It’s so cute to hear him say it out loud. I think I’m going to hook that little microphone thingy back up to my iPod so that I can get actual recordings.

Evan loves to copy his brother. It’s gotten to a point now where Evan will repeat the exact same question that Brody just asked. I don’t think he does it on purpose, he just really wants to be like his brother – and does everything just like him. If Brody isn’t eating chicken – neither is Evan.  It’s like having twins!

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Buggy’s first day

September 5, 2007 at 2:26 pm (Evan)

I had the pleasure of picking Evan up from his first official day of Montessori school yesterday. He’s getting to be such a big boy now. He was so excited to see me that he almost knocked me down when he ran into me.

We are lucky that he’s attending the same school as Brody, Evan tends to be a little shy. He’s not a quiet kid, but he prefers to play by himself rather than meet new people. With his big brother showing him the ropes, I’m hoping it will be easier for him to make new friends and break out of his shell.

I got a call from Cintia today, just wanting to know how Buggy was and if he was okay.  Funny, I expected the call yesterday. I promised her we’d stop by so that she can give him hugs. He’s such a likeable kid and women flock to him like you wouldn’t believe.  When he was a baby, I would take him to Safeway and little old ladies would follow us around gooing and ahhhing over him.  Cintia is the same way!

Needless to say, his first day went well. He will very quickly learn how school is and will adjust just fine. I had no concerns over school, I was more concerned about Cintia and her attachment to Evan. As he got in the car yesterday he said “school was fun momma, but I miss Cintia.” It brings tears doesn’t it?

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Wildlife

September 5, 2007 at 2:00 pm (Michael, Weekend)

Along with swimming, s’more eating, dirt and a roaming dog – we ended up seeing quite a bit of “wildlife” while camping this past weekend.  We saw turkeys, foxes, deer, birds, lizards and something brushed against one of the hippie’s legs while swimming. 

Can you believe that we saw turkeys?  Michael spent two weekends sitting against a tree during the last turkey hunting season and didn’t even see one turkey, nevermind a whole rafter! Gobble gobble all day, taunting him – practically laughing in his face. Here he was without a stitch of mossy oak camo, no gun in sight, no special “seating pad /back pack duo” covered in the special mossy oak camo pattern, no hand warmer or face cover (same mossy oak pattern), thigh high boots (don’t ask), or jacket in site. It wasn’t just 1 rafter of turkeys, there were two or three.  Gobble gobble.  Brody even mastered the gobble and encouraged them into our campsite.  Don’t you love how I’m “up” on my turkey lingo?

Maybe next time, Michael should bring the palace and his four year old son when he goes turkey hunting.  He might catch something! Who needs a stinking turkey call – I got a four year old right here! I have warned, though, that if he does “catch” something – he must not rely upon me to “prepare” it. Even though I was raised around farmers, I am not interested in plucking or cleaning said turkey.  Besides, I get my turkeys frozen from the grocery store.

Me thinks word travels fast in the turkey community – they knew exactly where we would be.

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The last weekend of the summer

September 5, 2007 at 1:41 pm (Family, Friends, Weekend)

We took the kids and the hippies to Folsom Lake for some Labor (or Labour depending on where you are reading this) Day camping. We arrived on Friday at around 1:30 or so.  It was about a million degrees and the children were cranky from being cramped up in a vehicle while we tried to negotiate the twists and turns of the foothills.

Trying to put up the tent (aka “the Palace) in 100 degree weather is not the nicest job on the planet.  We got a choice (ha, i’m so 80’s) camping spot that was close to the water. After quickly setting up camp we headed down to the water for a refreshing swim. Folsom Lake is like a reservoir, local people use the water so the level drops during the summer (Ranger Ego said the level drops 6 – 8 inches per day). You’ll find out why we called him Ranger Ego later.

The first step in going to the water is to get dressed FOR the water. With two cranky boys – I would have preferred wrestling rattlesnakes. We all want to go swimming, why can’t we work together as a family to accomplish this? I taught another lesson on families. Anyway, we finally got into our swimsuits and headed out across the terra firma; it felt as if we were walking across the Sahara.  It’s hot, about 105F, the ground has been soaking up the sun (so it’s hot) and is golden in color (dead grass color actually) with prickly things.  I have floatie’s, two boys and a dog.  I am wearing flip flops. The boys are wearing flip flops. It’s 105 but it feels like 120.  The only place that I’ve ever been more hot was in the Mojave Desert (the sand actually burned my feet).

We get to the lakeside and promptly sink 12 inches down into mud. Because the lake water is used regularly, the “shore” of the lake was actually the “middle” of the lake.  You know the yucky mud and sledge that sits on the bottom of the lake?  Well, it’s actually now the shore.  And it smells like ass. Dirty, nasty, camping for 5 days with no showers ass.

However, it did NOT stop me or the boys from jumping right in.  I did mention it was 105 right?  We were feeling great by the time Michael and the hippies joined us. 

Camping was everything we hoped it would be.  I was still stressed on Friday and part of Saturday, but I was finally able to let all that stress leave my body and genuinely enjoyed myself. The heat died down over the weekend and we found ourselves comparing each day to the previous day. It can’t be 98, it feels less hot than yesterday.

We did have issues with bringing our dog Sasha.  Could she please just stay in the campsite? Why is that so hard? Did she want to be tied up the entire time? You’d think that with the heat she’d by laying in the shade or something. Nope. She was off galavanting.  She chewed through every rope we had until Michael finally found a computer lock cable, it was really short – but we had no choice.  After Ranger Ego came over to inform us that if he caught her off leash again, we’d be fined $250 – we seriously had no choice. Finally, on Monday (the day we were leaving) – she figured out that she needed to stay in our campsite. Duh.

Did I mention that there were no showers? It’s probably a good thing, because the water levels would have sunk an additional 12 inches – there were a ton of “girlie girls” camping and the fact that there weren’t showers was “gross.” Um, you are camping! Deal!  We bathed ourselves (partially) and the boys at the water spigot. Classy! I washed the important parts, my feet.  We set up a plastic tub and bathed the boys completely, which made the adults completely jealous!

I ate enough s’mores to choke a horse. I ate some without marshmallow, I ate some with just chocolate, I ate some chocolate, some graham crackers.  We contemplated starting a fire because it was desert hot out – but the need for s’mores outweighed the heat. I had expected drunken nights playing Uno, but by 10:00 we adults were wiped out.  We were all quite well-behaved. 

All of us, except the laughing hyena at the neighboring campsite.  You know the type. She was excited to be camping! She’s waited all year! She drank enough coors lite to float a boat and laughed at EVERYTHING anyone said!  Until 3:00 am!  Then, she was promptly up at 6:00 am!  Between her and the heat, I was a tad grumpy.  She did sound like a hyena – you can ask anyone.

Lucky for her, the Ranger put a stop to the shenanigans and everyone slept peacefully throughout the night the rest of the weekend.  We had a good time, we drank some beers and laughed.  We ate way more than we should have (see s’mores story above) and we came home happy.  What more could you ask for? If you said rechargeable tent fans, you’d be right.  🙂

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