Disneyland Prep

In about 37 hours I will be boarding a plane bound for the happiest place on earth. I am totally excited. Actually, excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.

As a stay-at-home mommy, my world is my kids. Making sure they are fed, clothed and happy is pretty much all I do every day. They are my first thought when I wake up. Usually either “Did I make Donovan bottles last night?” or “Quick! Out of bed – get to Madison and put her on the toilet before she pees.” They fill my days with giggling, play, laundry, toys, diapers, tiny sandwiches, puffs and stickers. They are my final thought as I hit the pillow and fall into exhausted dreamless sleep. My kids are the reason I want to be kind to others, not yell obscenities when a driver cuts me off and answer absurd questions multiple times a day. I want them to be kind. I want them to understand the intricacies of the world. I don’t want them to be the type of horrible drivers that litter our roads. Most of the time being a mom is absolutely delightful. However, the thought of getting to be just Tonya for six whole days is amazing. [Read more…]

Lock your doors!

Buuzzzz! Buuzzzzz! Buuzzzzz! At 4 o’clock this morning, I was awakened from my dreams to the sound of my alarm. It took me a few minutes to recall why on earth I was waking up at such an ungodly hour. As I blinked bleary eyed at the green numbers switching to 4:01 I remembered – my dad was having heart surgery this morning. I am not a morning person. I’m quite thankful that both my kids sleep in each day until after 8 and that, as a stay-at-home-mom, that means I get to as well. Even when I have somewhere to be in the morning, I rarely am awake before 7:30 because I refuse to schedule doctor appointments (and such) before 10 o’clock. The few reasons I am happy and willing to wake up before the sun are: Christmas, an early flight to Disneyland or a morning hot-air balloon ride. Driving an hour to sit at a hospital worrying about my dad certainly does not top my list of fun things to do in the wee hours of the day.

At five on the dot, two of my sisters (Amy and Lizzy) arrived to ride down to the premier hospital in the area with me. We stopped to pick up our Nanny (not a baby-sitter, our 82 year old grandmother) on the way. As I pulled into her driveway and dashed up the stairs in the misty rain, the oddest thing happened. Her door didn’t open when I turned the knob. Strange. So, I turned it the other way, thinking I’d forgotten which way it opened. Still not budging. Please understand, this was the first time in my entire life my Nanny’s door had been locked. Seriously. I have no memories of anything other than knocking lightly on Nanny’s door and then going right in. Since she is now mostly deaf, I was pondering how hard/long to stand there pounding on the door when I heard the phone ringing in the house. One of my sisters was calling to let Nanny know we’d arrived – smarty pants.  It hit me just then WHY the door was locked. My Poppa (Nanny’s husband of over 50 years and my beloved grandfather) has been in and out of hospitals and rehab centers since last December and hasn’t lived at the house with Nanny for many months. It made me sad to think of my sweet English grandmother living alone and being concerned enough for her safety that after 40+ years in the same house – she’s finally locking her doors against the evil of the outside world. [Read more…]

“Mommy I have to go potty!”

Ah, potty training. Is there a more wonderful thing in all the world? I think not.

My daughter Madison will be three in October. As of last week, she was still going in a diaper and I, her mother was changing her (sorry – little potty book humor for you moms out there). We tried going cold turkey to panties before, all it got me was a week of cleaning her messes off my floors, carpet and whatever toys she trailed across in her rush to tell me she was going potty. We tried bribing her. For a week she got a new play-doh item every time she went in the potty. For a week, she was perfect. Her motivation ran out as soon as the toys did.

Part of me wants to say she’s too smart for her own good. That she obviously knows it’s far easier to have Mommy (or Daddy) clean her up than to do it herself. So she’s intentionally deciding to continue with the diaper. But I know that’s just vanity – wanting to believe my child is brilliant rather than too lazy or stubborn to just go herself in the bathroom. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Madison  (I’m sure) is a genius who will one day wow the world in some amazing fashion, but that’s not WHY she isn’t potty trained yet. [Read more…]

A steaming serving of guilt

Today I will be returning to visit Jim. Jim is not a friend. He is not a member of my family. In fact, he doesn’t really exist.

Jim is what I call my YMCA. Actually, it’s more than that. Jim is who my YMCA is to me. I created the concept of “Jim” shortly after my son was born in December – I had the desire was to lose the baby weight, but zero desire to workout. I tried to rethink how I was viewing exercise. It dawned on me that I thought of it (as most of us do) as something I was supposed to do, not something I actually wanted to do. So, I put the following picture in my head.

Do you remember when you first met your spouse? Some of you have to think back many many years for this, but stay with me.  Think about the first few months of your relationship. How many times did you drive somewhere just to be with them for a few minutes between jobs, or school? When you were away from that person – what were you thinking of? [Read more…]

For Shame!

I realized today (thanks James) that I haven’t blogged in – well, far too long. Shame, shame on me. I’m so sorry!

I’m currently decompressing from an incredibly busy day and preparing for a new (equally hectic) day on the horizon. I started watching a friend’s children today, and will have an infant, two 2 1/2 year olds and a five year old for the next several days. This on the week I’ve finally put my foot down with my daughter and am refusing her anything but panties to wear on her “I want to keep going in my pull-up because it’s way easier to have you keep changing me Mommy”-butt.

Today I put them to work digging up bricks and then lugging them to the front yard to make a path. No. I’m not kidding. They begged to help me. We also played hopscotch, went to church, read books, pushed Minnie Mouse around in a stroller, ran in circles (this occupied them for far longer than I expected it to), ate Mac-n’-Cheese (real stuff for all but my poor Madison who made due with vegan ‘cheese’), got incredibly dirty, destroyed the playroom and had an all around fantastic time.

I grew up in a family of 5 children, but myself have never wanted tons of kids. The two I’ve got now normally keep me incredibly-crazy-don’t-have-time-for-anything-else-busy and my theory is that God would have given me more than two hands if He wanted me caring for more than that number of children on a daily basis. Honestly, I have no clue how my mother raised (and home-schooled) five munchkins. My brain starts hurting just considering that many offspring.

I will concede however, that today was delightful in many ways that a normal two-kid day just isn’t. Little kids are amazing to listen to, especially when they’re discussing things (that really, only they understand) with each other. I love that today Madison had other little people to tell her funny stories to, laugh with, bathe her babies and”bake” cupcakes with. It really was awesome. I’m looking forward to the next few days – should be full of laughter and fun.

Don’t get too excited Shannon (or Mom) – I didn’t love today enough to want more of my own.

Just a little happy day

Spent some time outside enjoying a GORGEOUS Seattle day today. Ahhh. It was awesome. Burned my shoulders, grew lots of new freckles and discovered that Donovan is NOT a fan of the lawn mower. Took some photos of the little man, which he is a big fan of. The little girl has decided to become anti-camera. But, she is very pro-bubbles…and sidewalk chalk.  Just a little happy day.

Please don’t burn the house down!

This morning as I sat at my computer desk running through my normal routine (e-mail, facebook, wordpress) a strange wisp of white floated past my vision. “Weird” I thought. I figured my eyes were playing tricks on me – that I hadn’t been awake long enough and I was seeing things. But then it happened again, this time accompanied by a scent that took me a second to place – the sulfurous smell of something burning. “Crap!” I shouted, pushing my chair away from the desk and rapidly pulling my monitor away from the back of my hutch. No smoke to be seen, but a pungent smell of it. I quickly decided to turn all my electronics in the area off – and flipped the master switch on my power cord.

[Read more…]

One t-r-i-l-l-i-o-n dollars…mwah, ha, ha.

I talked to my mom this morning regarding the “tea parties” going on today to protest the massive government spending plan. Americans are joining together in cities all across the country to take a stand against their growing tax burden and out of control government spending. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of reaching far too deeply into our pockets to fund their own issues – and lately, to “bail out” many many many companies. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the President’s new plan will tally up a 1 trillion dollar deficit per year for the next decade. Now, I’ve never really sat down to think about how much money 1 trillion dollars is. Actually, I’ve never thought about one trillion anything. But I realized when talking to my mom that maybe the reason our politicians get away with throwing HUGE numbers around like they do is that Americans have no concept of how big those numbers really are. [Read more…]

Introducing the shock of your life

Thank you Kevin for posting a link to this on Facebook so I could be inspired.

Those of you who haven’t yet seen this video will (I’m sure) think I’m exaggerating when I say that I have never been more shocked at anything on YouTube.  Susan Boyle lives at home with her cat – never been kissed, almost 48 years old and unemployed. Her assertion that she wants to be a professional singer seems totally absurd and actually earns an eye roll from Simon. Like most people watching this video for the first time, I laughed at her intro, and kind of felt sorry for her and the fool she was about to make of herself. You can see the smug ridicule pouring from the judges faces as she stands alone on that stage, reflections of looks this woman has probably endured her entire life. Then she sings: [Read more…]

I can’t leave you alone for one hour!

Earlier this week I decided to make a quick trip to Costco, leaving the munchkins with my husband. When I returned an hour later, I returned to hear the following story from Zack.

(imagine a hot 30-something relaying the following)

“So, shortly after Donovan woke up, the doorbell rang – I answered it, holding the baby to find a phone salesman standing there”. <insert me asking why he answered the door – considering we have a “no solicitation” sign just to the right of the doorbell> Zack continued “I don’t know why I didn’t just tell him we don’t accept solicitors, but I didn’t. So then the phone guy launched into his schpeel about how we could bundle our phone, internet and cable and save a TON of money. He had our name and address, and said there was going to be a representative in our area and he could just schedule an installation for next week sometime.” <insert me asking incredulously if he signed up for a new “bundled” phone service from someone selling door to door > “No! Well, sort of…let me finish” exclaimed Zack. “So, suddenly the guy was pulling out a form in triplicate and filling in our information. It was only after he walked away that I realized I’d signed us up to switch our service and bundle it all together. So I immediately called Qwest and cancelled the new services – so don’t worry, we’re all good.”

“I can’t leave you alone for one hour without you changing our phone service all around. Good grief!” [Read more…]

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