Thursday, April 27, 2006

In Three Seconds Flat

Kids move fast - there is no denying that little fact.

Yesterday we were in the yard playing and after the kids managed to drench themselves playing in/with the water table we headed in to change into dry clothes.

I stripped down Kelton and sent him to his room for dry clothes and then turned my attention to Kaylen. I removed her wet clothing and sent her down the hall as well. I picked up the wet stuff, tossed them in the washing machine and headed down the hall to make sure the boy was getting dressed and to pick out dry clothes for the girl.

THIS is what I found when I rounded the corner.

Oh yeah - that would be his entire dresser contents on the floor. And yes, that would be my daughter trying to climb her way to to top of the dresser/changing table. OY OY OY!!!
Some random pictures from this weekend:

Need I say more? Oh yeah - this pretty much sums up my life. :)

Aren't they cute together??
Toddler Speak Is Growing Up

I've been experiencing some of wistfulness for toddler talk . Kelton has always had a special way of saying certain words and then, as he grows and his language skills develop, he begins using the proper word or phrase. Yeah, I know - this is how it's supposed to be and I'm happy for him....I'm just said that bits of his babyhood are quickly falling away.

For example, he has always said "hang-ga-burr" for hamburger and, my favorite one by far, hic-a-bus for hippopotamus.Two days ago he said hippopotamus right for the first time.....and I almost cried. I'm so not ready. :(

I remember the first time he said "bottle" instead of "ba-ba". It was like a knife through my heart.

They grow too fast, don't they?
Up for a good laugh?

Or maybe it's a frightened shiver......I linked to this blog from Random and Odd.


From reading the comments it doesn't *seem* like a joke....though it really could be someone playing people. Something tells me it's not....I've run into a good number of these type of folks in the on-line world. It seems that parenting message boards overflow with them.

Happy reading!

Happy 40th Birthday, Dakota!!!
Pop on over to her blog and leave some birthday love. :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Seven + Two = The reason I haven't gotten much sleep the past two nights and why my little sweet pea is one heck of a cranky baby.

During one of her meltdowns today (I believe it was the time I wouldn't let her walk directly into the path of the swing which a certain 4 year old was swinging high enough to touch the tree with his feet. Geez...I really am a mean mommy!) she had her mouth opened wide enough for me to see that she has two new upper molars poking through on either side.

Well no wonder!!

One side is further along then the other but they are both clearly visible. Her lower molars are still in the bump phase but I'm willing to bet they will be poking through by this time next week. OY! Kelton never had this much trouble with teeth - I really feel for Kaylen. It surely can't be comfortable to have teeth erupting right and left.

Good bye sleep in more than 30 minute increments. I'll miss you.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Charlie Update

Well - it appears that Charlie the wonder cat has rallied on his own. So - for now all decisions are on hold. Thank God.

Thanks to everyone for your support and kind words.

Sunday Six.....or, in this case, Monday Six
Answered by Kelton, age 4

1. How big is the whole world?
"Really." (as in "really big")

2. What is a rainforest?
"With a lot of trees and it's dark and its rainy."

3. What lives in the ocean?
"Dolphins and turtles. Whales and sharks. Something else lives in the sea; puffer fish."

4. What color is the Earth?
"Black and white."

5. Why do humans live in houses?
"Because that how we keep from the rain coming in."

6. Why do we celebrate Earth Day?
"I don't know."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Clothes

There is nothing like new clothes to bring a smile to my face. I just LOVE when the kids have new clothes and Little Missy Lou hit the mother-load again this week (is that a word? I thought it was spelled Motherlode but maybe that's just the musical group but then motherload isn't in spell checker either...oh get the point: it was a LOT of clothes!). A little while back, Sonya sent two big boxes of things her girls had outgrown and trust me, we are getting tons of use from all that great stuff. In fact, Kaylen is out in the yard right now in one of those shirts. The great thing about Sonya's girls is they are twins so Kaylen is able to have the same great clothes in different colors. Bonus! :)

This time around, Cristin, bless her buttons, sent a huge box of spring/summer clothes that her daughter has outgrown. This box was packed so darn tight that once I unpacked it, there was no way I could get all the clothes back in the box. One of the items was a very pretty party dress (with tags still attached because, let's face it, how often do we take our one-year olds to fancy parties or weddings?). I just knew I had to get that dress on my little one. There is just something about the way her little face lights up when we dress her in frilly clothes and when we add a headband thingy (the technical term, I'm sure) she is just beyond herself.

I figured I'd at least get a professional photo of her in the dress but then I remembered that we had our great-niece's 5th birthday party to attend. What could be better? I could dress her up AND show her off at the same time. SCORE!

Check out how absolutely adorable my baby is. While keeping in mind what she was wearing, picture this: Kelton was in jeans and a Big Dog baseball shirt. :) Yeah - no one else was dressed to the nines for the party but I don't care - Kaylen was simply adorable. :)

PS...Tracey, get ready girl...once Kaylen has outgrown all the things Sonya and Cristin have sent, they are on their was to you!! :) I just love our chain of handing down - what a great group of friends even though we span the entire US.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I Love The TV

Yep - you read that right: I love the tv. I have no guilt over letting my kids watch tv (age appropriate stuff only - I wouldn't sit them infront of some horror flick or anything). Seriously. I have no guilt and I don't care that other parents act all disapproving. The fact is I sometimes so use the tv as a babysitter. How else would I be able to get things done without 20 little fingers trying to "help"? It's not like I have a neighbor girl that I can call to entertain the kids on the days I have a million loads of laundry to fold or the times when I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't have 15 minutes of relative quiet.

So yep - call me what you want but I love the tv. God bless the creators of Dora, Blue's Clues, Backyardigans and the rest. And a HUGE blessing for the person who came up with DVR's. That little box has made my life so much easier than it was when I had everything recorded from the VCR onto a million tapes.

I will let my kids watch tv - heck, I will even let then eat a popsicle while they watch tv if they want.

It's whatever works. :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Long Evening

It's been a long, hard and emotional evening. One of our cats isn't doing well and Dakota and I agreed via phone tonight that it's time something is done. He is 16 years old - we can't expect him to rally many more times. I wanted to prepare Kelton (who just turned 4) because I know how much he loves Charlie. I expected a lot of questions and a few tears but what I got was all out hysteria.

We've talked about heaven lots and lots of times. My grandmother died when Kelton was 2 and while I know he doesn't remember it, we do still talk about it when he sees Grandma's photo. We talk about heaven all the time. We had a cat last year whom we sent to heaven when he was too sick to stay with us. He coped well with that. Not this time.

It was bad. It was ugly. It was heartbreaking on so many different levels. He even went so far as to say that if Charlie went to heaven then he wanted to go too because he never wanted to leave Charlie. I tried explaining. Over and over and over. Nothing worked - the hysteria got to a point I'd like never to see again. I know he's four. I know he is only four. I'm sure lots of people would just do what they felt needed to be done and deal with the child later but I'm not one of those people. My childhood dog was sick and while I was gone to youth group, they took her to the vet. I never knew they were doing it and I carry that with me to this day. I think it was cruel to do to me - I never said goodbye. I refuse to do that to my child.

We called Dakota, who is at school tonight. She knew what was happening at home so she made sure to answer her phone (she normally doesn't when she is in the library or class). She talked with him. He cried hysterically.

I talked with her and we agreed to hold off doing anything tomorrow (providing Charlie doesn't get worse between now and then) so that we can do some more prepping. I don't expect him to say "Oh ok - go ahead then." but I do hope we can get him to a place of acceptance that this is indeed the most loving thing we can do for Charlie and that it isn't nice, or right, to let him suffer and be in pain when we can help him.

I just want Kelton to understand that we aren't doing this to be cruel. That we love Charlie and want the best for him and, most importantly, that we wouldn't send him to heaven if he were to get sick. There has to be a gentle way to do this but for the life of me - I don't know what it is.

So not only am I worried sick over my son....I'm also facing losing someone I've had with me since he was 9 weeks old. My buddy for 16 plus years. I knew this day would come - I just wish it wouldn't have.

Another Thought

Hmmm...I bet you all wish I would go back to being quiet for days on end. :)

For those of you who think the statement/thought of "good enough is good enough" is not good enough for parenting, I'm wondering if it is because we are lesbians and therefore our standard of what we expect of ourselves, our parenting and our children are higher than the "traditional parent(s)". Do you feel you are being judged by other parents and watched much more closely because of your lifestyle?

I know, that for me, I do feel like I am under the microscope more than "straight" decisions seem to be looked at through a critical lens of "Gosh - that's probably going to screw her kid up." Then there are the shocked looks I can receive when I, a lesbian who wouldn't be caught in a dress for love or money, puts a dress on my daughter. It's like they are saying, with their eyebrow raised "Well I'll be - she is going to dress that child like a girl after all and not like a small boy."

Then there are the times when my son wants to wear a pink shirt and I know I can't let him because "what will other people think of a lesbian letting her son wear pink?" It broke my heart into a million little pieces when I told him he couldn't have the Dora shoes he so desperately wanted because they had pink on them (yeah, they were girls shoes but I have to wonder if I would have cared much had I not been worried about others judging my ability as a parent). And straight parents probably wouldn't have had the issues that arose at Halloween when my son came to me begging to be a princess. I just happened to read an article in Parenting the very next month about a boy from a hetero couple who wanted to be a princess for Halloween and his parents let him and how it's age appropriate at 3 or 4. It focused on the parents issues with the whole thing. There was no way I could let him do it for fear of other people judging him....and me. And that is based on my feelings of being watched closely to see how I, as a lesbian parent, will screw up my kids.

Wow - it's late. I have no idea where I was actually going with all this but there you have it. A big ol' brain dump. Believe me, when I started this post many, many hours ago, I actually had a train of thought that was relatively coherent (and I was VERY proud of that considering how sleep deprived I am and what a challenge it is to strong two sentences together most days) but I do believe that train has left the station.

So I'll eave you with this: I'm going to try to embrace the mindset of "good enough is good enough" and apply it to my life. Perhaps it will make things less stressful. That being said, I am a Type A personality so this is going to take some serious "trying" on my part. :)
Good Enough Revisted:

Ok - so if the argument stands at: "yes, good enough is good enough" then by whose standards are we using as our measuring tool?

Is it the perfectionist who finally decides good enough is good enough when her whole house gleams and her children are immaculately dressed and well-behaved giving the illusion that her life is indeed perfect? Or the person who decides good enough is good enough even though her home looks as though rats shouldn't reside there let alone children?

Maybe it's somewhere in the middle.

Maybe good enough being good enough varies for everyone based on their value system and if that's the case, then how can this statement be measured enough for someone to say "yes, good enough is good enough." Shouldn't people be saying "For me, good enough is good enough based on my particular set of values and beliefs. But what is good enough for me probably isn't going to be the same as what is good enough for you. Maybe my standards are lower or higher than yours." I'm not sure a blanket statement of "yep - it's good enough" is well.....good enough. :)

I guess we all have to set our own measuring device based on what we value and what we want/expect from life.

Apparently I have a lot of time on my hands today. :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Good Enough

I was watching The View just now ( I record it daily but rarely actually get to watch it) and saw an interview with Jane Fonda. Apparently she has a new book out "My Life So Far" - it sounds pretty interesting - I may have to pick up a copy to add to my stack of books to read when I have time (when would that be? When the kids are grown?). My point though is she has a line in there that says "Good enough is good enough" and it struck a chord in me.

Is it? Is good enough good enough? And does that encompass everything or just some aspects of life? And if only some, then which ones?

Why does it feel like if we just do "good enough" then we are actually just skating by and not giving the situation our all?

And yet - shouldn't it be enough?


PS...Told you I was tired...maybe I'm just rambling and not making any sense at all. That's possible. But I gues this is good enough, right? LOL!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

A New Favorite Blog

Put It On Your Therapy List is a new personal favorite of mine. Thanks to Sonya for having it linked through her blog. I'm LOVING it!! Check it out!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Little Drummer Boy

Auntie Stella sent Kelton a rockin' birthday gift - check out the video! And then get your checkbooks and credit cards ready because I am now accepting donations so that I can renovate and sound proof the garage.

Here's a bit of trivia for you: I have been told that if he decides that drumming is for him and he eventually joins a band than I can expect the band to practice right here, in my garage, because the drum set stays stationary while other instruments are easily transported.

Did I mention I'm set up to accept PayPal? :)

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Seriously though.....THANK YOU STELLA!!!! Kelton adores his gift!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The birthday boy ate his first ever chocolate Easter bunny today. First went the ears....then the head... He brought it to me after eating the head and said "Hey Mom - this is hysterical! He has only a butt left."

Boys! :)

Four? Four. Four!

How in the world is it possible that my baby boy is turning four years old today??? I demand a recount!!

Happy Birthday, Kelton. You enrich my life more than you will ever realize and more than I will ever be able to tell you.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate!!

Brokeback Mountain Paradoy

Ok - if you haven't already seen this link from Jo Anna in the comment section of the original post then you are missing out. This is definitely worth your time. BUT....doesn't go if you haven't yet seen the movie and really want to. :)

Thanks Jo Anna!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Princess

Need I say more? :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sunday Kelton who will be 4 on Friday!

1. What planet do you live on?

2. What happens if you don't eat all your dinner?
"It gets cold and I want to heat it back up again."

3. What happens when you are sick?
"Just I get sick"

4. What makes a rainbow?
"Light. I know because of Magic School Bus." (Who says TV is a bad thing?)

5. Do you know everything there is to know?

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
"I got so many people I don't know what to be. How 'bout a doctor?"

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

**Do not read this is you are looking forward to seeing the movie. I am going to ruin the ending for you. You have been warned.

Ok - apparently I need to turn in my gay card. You know the one I'm talking about - the card that allows you to identify as a gay person. You get this card by loving all things are so happy that you dance around for days when they release a new "gay themed" movie, TV show or book.

Apparently I am not worthy of the gay card.

I did not enjoy Brokeback Mountain. I didn't even like it.

There. I said it. The truth is, once the credits rolled, my first thought was "Well..there's two hours of my life I'll never get back." I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it so much that I would run out and buy it as soon as possible. I really wanted to.

But it bored me to tears. Almost into a coma. It was drab, lacking in substance and tragic for no actual reason. I mean seriously - did they NEED to kill him off? What was the point? The lesson? That the one guy was right and it wasn't worth the risk? That in the end what makes you happy...what makes you.. well....YOU will get you beat to death? That you need to pretend you are not who you are in order to fit in and then, it STILL gets you killed?

And will someone please tell me why the "base camp" needed to be an hour (by horseback) away from the sheep they were there to protect?

I don't get it. I seriously do not get the point of the movie. The back cover states: "a movie that is destined to become one of the great classics of our time". WHAT? Why? What was so stellar about it?

Is it liked by the community at large because it has a gay theme? Is that the only reason? Seriously that the only reason? If it is, that's truly sad. We have a right to movies and books and tv shows that are uplifting, positive, supportive. If we want to be seen to the masses as people who live lives that mirror the general population (kids, bills, jobs, hobbies, happiness, joy, strife, etc) shouldn't we demand such?

Do we not have the right to see our lives, our families mirrored in movies in a positive manner?

Dakota argues my points (which are hard to convey here since I have to keep leaving and returning to my writing) saying the film was set in 1963. True - at the beginning it was 1963 but the movie spanned into the 80's. Couldn't it have been hard at first but then as time marched on, turned more positive? This was not based on actual events - it was fabricated so why couldn't the outcome have been more uplifting, more positive.

Dakota again argues the point (she does that a in point why being an attorney is so fitting) about Matthew Sheppard. How he was indeed killed for being gay. Probably not coincidently, the setting for both the movie and Matthew horrible death was Wyoming.

Ok. I can see that. But still.

So what about the rest of you? Have you seen the movie? What is your take?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Eleven Years Ago This Saturday.

Yep - this is indeed what was taking place in my life 11 years ago this Saturday night. I can't believe it's been 11 years already - where has the time gone? I was thinking of all the things that have happened over these past years and I have to say, the list is very long. Without a doubt, the very best things on the list are not things at all...they are our beautiful children.

Happy Anniversary, Dakota. I love you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It only seemed fair to have one of Kelton's first year......and that of course will lead me to year 2 and 3. :)

Create your own video at One True Media
A New Game

While mom is keeping an eye on the 13 month in the backyard, this is what the almost 4 year old comes up with to entertain himself. :) Pretty clever, if you ask me.

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Is There A 12-Step Program For This?

My son has a serious Scotch Tape addiction. I either need to get him professional help or buy stock. I can't even tell you how many rolls of tape we have gone through in a 12-month period.......all I now is it's a lot. I find pieces of tape in odd places - right now I can see one piece on the screen door, another piece on the door of the computer hutch, another on the kitchen table....I know the bed posts are covered in masking tape. I have to wonder - do all boys have a tape addiction? I have heard of other kids loving tape but this boy is addicted. If it stays still - it gets taped.

Case in point:

A Few More Birthday Party Pictures

My sister sent these to me...aren't they great?

Double fisted drinker with three drinks to choose from: apple juice, water and soup

Feeding her new baby.

Loving Spiderman

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thirty-Eight Days

Oh yeah. That's all that is standing between today and the last day of the first year of law school. One year almost down...three more to go.

Can you hear my gigantic sigh of relief??

Ok - I went nuts today and took the kids to Flash Portrait Studio to have Kaylen's pictures taken in her adorable little Easter dress (that is a size too big). Check out the cute pictures they got of my baby!!

To access the photos, you need my last name. If you know it, you're set. If you don't know it, write to me. :) The password is kaylen.

Go on - go look and tell me she's beautiful. :)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Trip - Part 2

Saturday was the day the kids were having their birthday party. Their cousin, Mikayla, also a birthday kid, was supposed to be there as well but sadly she and her baby brother were very sick and unable to come. It was still a nice day. We had lunch, open gifts, sang Happy Birthday, blew out candles and ate cake and ice cream.

After all was said and done, we stopped by Aunt Lannon and Uncle Arne's house to play and visit for a bit. Kelton decided he wanted Aunt Lannon to drive him back to the hotel and there was no convincing him otherwise. So, Lannon drove to our hotel and stayed for a visit. Kelton was thrilled to be able to show her around....or as he called it "Go on an adventure."

We decided to go to go to Canyon's for dinner. It was one of our favorite places to go when we lived there and we were not disappointed. They had a basket of toys the kids could choose something from to help keep them entertained at the table. What a genius idea!! I'm sure they had it back when we lived there but since Kelton was only 10 weeks old when we moved, I'm sure I never paid any attention. Truly, it's a great idea and helped make our dining experience wonderful.

Then it was back to the hotel for swimming, baths and bed. It had been a whirlwind weekend packed from sun up to sundown. We didn't see everyone we had wanted to see or go everywhere we had wanted to go but we had a fantastic time just the same.

It's be great to be able to stay there whenever we visit up there but honestly, there is just no way we can afford it. We had an excellent deal and it still hit us pretty good in the savings account. Thank goodness Uncle Sam had been generous this year. :)

Here are photos from the birthday party. Enjoy!

Helping to put the candles on the cake.

Playing Snap with Uncle James

Being silly goofy birthday kids

Waiting for someone to light the candles!

Blowing out the candles. Does anyone else notice that Dakota is the only one blowing?

Present time!

To this girl, everything is a hat!

Opening presents.

Looking adorable.

Peek-A-Boo! Kaylen is looking through the window of a doll house.

One tired baby.

Another tired baby.

Did You Miss Me?

Ok - I know the answer to that is no but still - it's nice for me to *pretend* I was missed. LOL!!

Our mini-vacation was awesome! We stayed in a really great hotel with an atrium - complete with waterfalls, streams and koi ponds. And, of course, the all important swimming pool....and even that had a waterfall in it. Kelton was in heaven! Kaylen had her first pool experience and it's clear that we have another water-bug on our hands. :)

Koi Pond

This is where breakfast was served each morning. It's also the view from our front door.

We see this a lot these days...they love to hold hands and walk together.

Kelton on the walkway.

First thing in the morning, after enjoying a really amazing breakfast at the hotel, we drove by our old house. It looks exactly the same as the day we drove away (except for being able to see a couch through the front window). The squirrel feeder is still attached to the tree in the front yard. The flower box is still on the front porch. The compost bin can still be seen in the back yard. The wood shed; still there (even though we replaced the wood burner stove with a propane stove two years before we moved and there is no need for the wood shed). The raised garden beds in the back; still there. The plants we planted are bigger but basically it looks like we still live there. It's kind of eerie. We pointed out the bedroom that was Kelton's and answered all his questions about his "first, old house". The neighborhood looks the same. Almost like everything was frozen in time.

We then went to Alderwood Mall, which looked nothing like when we used to live up there. It was renovated and really quite nice with a new play area (always important when you have kids)and chairs clutsters here and there for resting (or, as Kaylen discovered, napping. Kelton has always wanted to visit the Build-A-Bear workshop so we made a stop in there. I am happy to report that it wasn't nearly as expensive as I had always thought but then, Kelton didn't want clothes or accessories for his new friend and I'm sure that's where the money starts to add up.

The play area

Catching a few Zzzzzz's

Helping to stuff his new friend.

Giving his bear a bath.

One happy boy who is taking her new friend, named Kelton Bear, home!

After a full morning at the mall, we headed to the Everett Children's Museum. This is a not to be missed place if you are ever in the area. The roof top exhibits are worth their weight in gold. :) We spent about two hours playing in all the exhibits (and we didn't even see half of them.....that's ok though, we have a membership since it's a place we like to go whenever we visit up there).

Dino Dig

Playing in the water room

Flying a plane

After the museum, we went to the home of my parents and spent a few hours visiting with them. The weather was beautiful so Dakota took the kids on an adventure around the compound and they found plastic Easter eggs from last years Easter egg hunt. Use your imagination as to what the still-present candy looked like when the eggs were opened. Ewwwwwww!!

We had dinner with them and then headed back to the hotel. Kaylen fell asleep about 10 minutes from the hotel and was pretty much down for the night. When she woke, I changed her into her jammies, nursed her and she was back out. Dakota and Kelton hit the pool for an hour of swimming and then even he went down without a fight. It had been a busy, fun day and our little ones were were we. I was in bed by 9pm and Dakota, after putting in some study time, was down by 10:15pm. That's quite early in our world. :)

Stay tuned for Saturday's Adventure. :)

PS...anyone out there blog-saavy? Why oh why did my profile stuff move to the bottom instead of staying on the right hand-side of the screen? Grrrrrr.