Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Jammies

Posing like this on Christmas is a Koford family tradition.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Proof that the adults were more excited about Christmas morning than the children


After much deliberation, we decided not to give O.K. the caterpillar toy and gave him a more age-appropriate v-tech toy instead. Remarkably, neither that nor a shiny new tricycle drew much interest when sat side-by-side with Henry's gumball machine.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've got a Santa for a husband.

Every Christmas for at least the past two years, maybe more, Tim has been asked to be Santa either at work or church or both. Last year due to fitting issues he declined. This year his coworkers wanted him to be Santa so badly that they custom-made his suit for an open house planned for the kids they see. Despite his rather modern-looking eyeglasses and the beard being so big and unruly that you could barely see his face, the suit looked great. And for the record, while Tim was pleased with how well the suit fit, I think he liked all the attention he received the best.
Yep, we're sitting on "Santa's" lap...Ho Ho Hum.

I took the boys over to see Tim at the open house and watched as Owen went up to Santa (Tim) and sat on his lap. As soon as Tim said something, Owen looked at him and said, "Daddy, you look funny!" and all of Tim's coworkers laughed.

Speaking of Santa, he seems to be making way too many appearances this year. We saw Santa at Owen's little book club, our church Christmas party, then Tim's work. He even sent a personalized video to us. By the time we walked past Santa at the mall on Saturday, Owen and Henry were more interested in the decorations than the old guy sitting on the throne.

I've been working on little gifts for friends and neighbors this past week and have passed out almost all of them. I made white chocolate popcorn and gave it in cans I decorated (reused from Henry's formula).

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I get by with a little help from my in-laws

I am having a great week, still so happy coming off a fantastic weekend. Tim's parents gave us the best gift. They dropped all of their plans and babysat the kids all day Saturday while we went off and did whatever we wanted! Both boys were sick with colds, so I'm sure it wasn't an easy day, either. We ended up going to the Oakland Temple, went Christmas shopping, and even caught a movie. Aaahhhh....I really needed the break. THANK YOU MEL AND DIANE!!! Don't give us any other gifts for Christmas...seriously. Our Saturday-free-of-kids was the best Christmas gift ever!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Question of the Ages

We've got a new Target in town. And I love it! But while it's nice and clean and everything's new, that's not really the reason why I love it. It's because of the new shopping carts.

The new carts at this Target are made of plastic and they feel pretty light to push around. They are really cute, if one could use that word in correlation with a shopping cart, as they resemble a laundry basket more than a cart with their round holes rather than old-style rectangular mesh cage. And the big carts that are made for a mom to push her kids around are a whole new design. They don't have the little seating areas and load from the back, which in my experience are just giant, not to mention always filthy and not suitable for a baby. The new ones have front-facing seats and are just the right size for both of my boys. They almost look like roller coaster seats! And that's just how I described it to the kids to spread my excitement for going to Target today. Heh. That excitement lasted about one trip down the makeup aisle. Apparently despite their cuteness, the new kid carts aren't particularly comfortable.

By about five minutes into our trip today Henry was crying, Owen was complaining, (this occurred almost immediately after I took the picture with my phone) and I realized two things that sadly cut my Target trip short: I'd left H's pacifier in the car and it was almost nap time. The only saving grace that got me a few more minutes to shop at Target was a promise to spend some time in the toy section (along with a few more ounces of formula left in Henry's bottle). We barreled down all the toy aisles, and I handed Owen just about any toy he wanted to see and push its buttons. I wanted to really pay attention to the toys so I could make some Christmas-buying decisions.

For some reason, right before Owen's birthday last month, at a Target trip quite similar to today's, Owen spotted a toy that he just hasn't gotten out of his mind: a caterpillar. This particular toy is not a caterpillar tractor, it's a green plastic caterpillar that has lots of legs with letters on them. I guess you can push on the legs and it says a letter of the alphabet. At that trip he wanted to play with the caterpillar toy but I didn't let him. We needed to go, so we left the toy section and headed toward the registers as Owen cried, "I want the caterpillar! I want the caterpillar!" Ever since that day, Owen has been fixated on that toy. When Grandma asked him what he wanted for his birthday, it was the caterpillar. He didn't get it for his birthday. And now, when we ask him what he wants for Christmas, all he says he wants is that stinking caterpillar. The other day I got an email from ToysRUs advertising free shipping, and I thought I'd look up the caterpillar toy to see how much it cost and if it got any good reviews. The one I found was a purple caterpillar, and wouldn't you know it? Right then Owen ran up and got completely excited because he saw the caterpillar, and it was purple! I have tried to talk Owen out of this. Despite the fact that I think it's pretty overpriced, IT IS A BABY TOY. I have told him this several times, and it has not deterred him. No other toys I strategically mention to him hold a candle to the stupid caterpillar. This morning at his little book club, Santa made an appearance. I told him to go tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas, so Owen walked up and said, "I want a purple caterpillar for Christmas". Incidentally, under that giant beard and hat, Santa couldn't understand what Owen said so he smiled at him and told him he could open his present (a book).

Bringing us back to the present, back in the toy aisle at Target, Owen saw the caterpillars today, both green and purple, and I looked and instantly realized: the purple caterpillar is SPANISH speaking. So now my 3-year-old wants a Spanish baby toy for Christmas, and just won't let it go. He didn't even want to touch the green one. And here's what made me really frustrated: I handed him the purple caterpillar to play with, because I wanted to see if it would really hold his interest, and after about 30 seconds, he was done with it and threw it down. Now that alone should tell me that this is not the right toy, but even as we were leaving Target shortly thereafter, I asked him again what he wanted and his vision of having a caterpillar of his very own has not changed.

So now I face the decision that could make or break Christmas morning. Do I buy the caterpillar and relive the joy of a Christmas morning long ago when my parents made my dreams come true by presenting me with a Casio SK-1 keyboard with voice recording (that to this day I still refuse to let my mother discard)? Or do I buy him something else that might provide (maybe a minute or two) more enjoyment in the long run and possibly RUIN Christmas? What is a Target-loving mother to do?

My Henry

He gave us a good night's sleep and is back to his old self today. Yay!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Family Fun

We had a fine Thanksgiving at my parents' house last weekend. We spent time with my parents and Mindy's family, and we also saw Chad's family and Bill. Owen chose Preston as his current favorite cousin, following him around everywhere; he always wanted to share whatever chair Preston sat in. Even as we were putting him to bed, deliriously exhausted and filthy from playing all day in the backyard, he'd say, "I want to go play with my cousins!" I'd have to break the news to him that Preston, Sydney, Campbell, and Quincy were all in bed, too. I really wish we lived closer to my sisters!
On Sunday Henry turned into a teething beast. No teeth are in sight at this point, and we've lost a lot of sleep lately--I think from the time we put Henry down last night until this morning, he woke up 4 or 5 times. He is so miserable and cranky. I am so lucky to have a husband willing to trade off with me for night wakenings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Good to be Three!

Last week in honor of Owen's 3rd, we threw him a wild west cowboy party and invited 8 of his little friends. At the party the children learned how to dress, talk, and walk like a cowboy. Then we headed outside to rope a longhorn (with hula hoops) and shoot like a cowboy (shooting cans with a water gun). All the kids with their bandannas and cowboy hats looked so cute, and it was funny to see the difference between boys and girls at the party--the boys were pretty interested in the cowboy games, while the girls mostly hung out by the swing set. I think they all enjoyed the spread of cowboy grub which included little doggies and cowboy trail mix. Most of all, I think Owen had a great time. He walked around with his hat on the whole time, and I even got him to wear a pair of tiny leather chaps that we borrowed from the Hibbards.
I can't believe this kid is three already! Owen is very sweet and energetic. He loves to help feed and hold his baby brother. He gives him big hugs and a kiss every night before bed. Owen can be rambunctious but is always quick to apologize if he's caused any pain. In nursery at church, he tries to comfort other kids who are crying. His favorite snack is pretzels and he is gaga over ice cream. He loves to play games and after months of practice, just learned to do a correct somersault all by himself. He can sing on key and learns songs very quickly. And I just love how his nose scrunches up when he bites an apple! Happy Birthday Owen, I love you!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Owen Skiing


Yesterday, in conjunction with Sierra Summit, the city hosted a learn to ski/snowboard day. Even though both kids were sick with colds, I really, really wanted to go. I was picturing real snow brought in from the high sierras kinda like they used to do at Santa's Village (anyone who grew up in SoCal remember Santa's Village?). I talked it up to Owen, how he'd get to see snow and throw a snowball and even brought a pair of mittens in my bag. We were all so excited to see snow--silly me! We went to the park and found this giant white carpet ramp that was sprayed with something that made it pretty slick. Despite my sheepish disappointment it still worked great for the kids to get a feel of what skiing feels like. Owen had a BLAST. He stood in line and went down the hill about 10 times. The best part was that after we were done, we all got free passes to go to Sierra Summit including rentals and a lesson! Hopefully we'll get up there in the next few months so we can see the snow for real.

I think I have this commercial memorized, I saw it so many times as a kid.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Touch the Frog


I just really, really, love this kid.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bye Bye, No Child Left Behind

I kinda wish I was back in the classroom teaching history today!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Collides With the Kofords

Halloween was a manic holiday of highs and lows this year. Although Owen was one of about 62 little boys dressed as Batman at our church Halloween party, I can say with much confidence that no other boy's costume was constructed with as much detail and intricacy (Thanks, Susanna!), and no other little boy was flanked by a trusty infant sidekick, either. Unfortunately our dynamic duo was beat out by Things One and Two in the costume competition. Our pot of chili almost didn't make it due to my Dad's recipe of epic spice proportions, but was saved by a can of tomato soup and quickly devoured by the Mormon masses. Then after Tim's sister Amber and I worked hard to decorate our car as the Bat Cave for the trunk-or-treat, we ended up parked under a light that was out and the bat cave became nothing more than a dark car in which no one correlated or commented on our clever combination of costume and car.
Halloween night culminated with dinner, trick-or-treating, and homemade donuts with friends. Owen, who was running with his pirate friend like there was a true Bat emergency (in Batman boots that were a bit too large), tripped and fell down upwards of 10 times. As I checked to see if he was okay (he was fine), I was reminded of the Halloween in fifth grade when I dressed up as a marionette and went to school with two strips of plywood criss-crossed on my head. On the way to the cafeteria for lunch, I fell down and hurt myself because two sticks were tied to my head as well as connected by strings to both arms and legs! I have become one of those parents who make their kids dress in the most ill-fitting, uncomfortable clothes (with props) on Halloween just because they are so darned cute. I guess it's time to get started on next year's matching costumes: Astronauts with real domed helmets!

Batman and Robin contemplate the danger in which they put themselves night after night to help clean up Gotham City.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness

I've been missing my Mom and Dad lately. I wish we lived in the same town, but it's really not too bad being about 3 1/2 hours away from them, and it's lots of fun when we get together. Mom and Dad are always in the mood for an adventure, so when I recently read about The Logger, an old steam train offering rides in the mountains just outside of Yosemite, it seemed like the perfect lure to get them to drive up for a visit. The train ride was fun, and the weather was a perfect fall day, if a little on the warm side. Owen, who as of late is infatuated by trains, loved hearing the genuine "chugga chugga, choo choo" sound of the engine and its whistle.
The train was used at the turn of the century in the logging industry. After the logs were brought out on the train, they were put on a flume that carried them all the way down to a mill in Madera (just outside Fresno). I think I would die of happiness if only the flume was still around for rides. Could you imagine a 12-hour version of the log ride? Now all I can think about is going to Knott's Berry Farm. Hmmm...I wonder if Mom and Dad are up for another adventure.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For Those Of Ya'll Who Have Bubble Buckets

Ever since my friend Margaret told me about watching caterpillars turn into butterflies a few weeks ago, I've had an empty pickle jar on my counter, patiently waiting for the right specimen to be found in the backyard. I'm not at all a bug person, but the thought of seeing a butterfly come out of a cocoon sounded really cool and I thought O.K. would love it. Several times I thought about throwing it into the recycle bin, or at least storing it in the garage, but for some reason (read: laziness) I've kept the empty jar right by the sink. Finally today I had a chance to use it, and while it wasn't actually for the original point intended, I am so glad that it was right by the sink when I needed it.

Owen was playing with a friend in the backyard and brought me his long forsaken bubble bucket to fill with bubble solution. I opened it up in the sink and started washing out all of the dirty evaporated bubble gunk from the bottom container. When I picked up the lid to rinse it out, there was a GIANT black spider going crazy at the bottom of the sink.

I'm going to pause from my story for a second to consider my decision-making at this point. Regardless of size, I am always freaked out by any spider--but why is it that when an abnormally large one appears, my first thought is to grab the bug jar? I guess it's partly because I wanted to show Tim, but mostly because when I see spiders and know that Owen is watching, I always try really hard to put on my best bravado to kill them. (I really don't want him to be a sissy boy who is afraid of spiders. My plan is to raise brave spider-killing sons who will save me at any moment's notice--so for a couple of years, at least, I've got to brainwash him into thinking that it's no big deal to kill a spider.)

Anyway, seeing that spider caught me so off-guard that I jumped and immediately started screaming. At first glance, the spider looked like a mini tarantula; I even thought I could see fur on its legs...but then Owen ran into the house to see what was going on, and I quickly cleared my throat and became Super Tough Mom. Instead of taking the easy way out and washing it down the drain, I scooped it up with a spoon into the bug jar (so conveniently at hand, I might add) so that Owen could take a look. The spider is BIG. I don't know what kind of spider it is, and I'm not willing to spend any time looking at spider pics online to find out; I've felt like creepy crawlies are on my arms all day as it is!

After the spider was in its jar with its perforated lid in place, I returned to the sink to take a closer look at the bubble bucket. Inside the lid was a densely-webbed spider nest that is sure to give me nightmares for weeks to come--especially because at that point I was too chicken to clean it out! I put the lid back on the bubble bucket and threw it back in the backyard. Hopefully I can get Tim to take care of it, or it's going into the trash. So--the moral of my story--if you've got a bubble bucket sitting out on the porch, use caution when opening it up! Also, there is nothing wrong with having an empty pickle jar on the counter for a few weeks--it just might come in handy sometime.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Henry is officially crawling! After a few weeks of balance practice on his hands and knees, he actually went somewhere today. I guess it's time to move that crib mattress down a notch.


...yeah, so apparently learning to crawl is a bit frustrating! In other news, Owen took the Big Fresno Fair by storm yesterday! His favorite part was seeing the animals, where he got to pet a pig and says "the roosters made loud noises that were SCARY!" (Just lately he's afraid of birds--no idea where that came from.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

a wholesome recreational activity

And so we had times of great enjoyment at Tim's parent's house. Saturday afternoon we found ourselves magically whisked off to the enchanting land of Alameda, Ca. It was a beautiful day of windy proportions, a day filled with love, laughter, sea water, and a multitude of mini m&ms. Henry got his first feel of sand and we sat on the beach watching lots of kite boarders having fun.
We also visited the USS Hornet museum, an old ship from WWII that is anchored in Alameda and offers tours. As always, watching LDS General Conference is way more fun (not to mention comfortable) at Grandma and Grandpa's!

Owen has Grandma wrapped around his little finger. All he had to do was begin to pout and Grandma was passing out the treats like nobody's dentist. Today he told me he wanted "some more of Grandma's candy", and was sorely disappointed to learn that the treats he eats at Grandma's, stay at Grandma's! At least this time we remembered to bring his toothbrush!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice

This baby is getting more and more mobile! I left the room for a minute today and came back to find Henry hanging out under the rocking chair. He rolls everywhere. He will get on his hands and knees and rock but won't move his hands or legs forward to crawl yet. Last night I put a toy in front of him just out of reach and he did a total face plant for it. He got it, but he was not happy about it--he started bawling. I think he'll start crawling any day now. I always have to remember that it's going to be a very gradual process. It's not like all of a sudden, he's got it! And he can crawl perfectly. These things take time!
Okay, so I made this hat last week for a friend but now that it's done, I'm not sure if I should give it away. Is this ugly? I call it the Kremlin Hat, because it sort of reminds me of a dome on top of the Kremlin. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's a spiral pattern with alternating rows of knit and purl stitches going up. (Click on the picture to get a closer look.) The different colors of yarn make it very busy. I can't decide if it is cool Boho, or old lady. Would this be something you might see at Anthropologie, or the Salvation Army? I think the light blue is tripping me up. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, I need an honest opinion and the yarn only cost me a dollar so it's no big whoop. Should I give this hat away?

By the way, if you were one of the FIVE people who requested a Koala Bear hat, it might take me a few weeks, but I'm working on them! These things take time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a new knitting project

I borrowed this knitting book from the library recently and just had to make a frog hat. I bought some inexpensive washable yarn that day, and lucky enough, had the right needles. Owen wanted the matching mittens, which I think are kinda ugly, but I love the hat! The whole project actually took me less than a week, just knitting evenings after the kids were in bed. I wish I knew a little girl who would want the koala hat on the cover of the book....any takers?
I couldn't get him to stop jumping long enough to get a very good picture. Here's the finished product:

Rub a Dub Dub

Two boys in the tub!

I had to break the news to Owen and Henry: Effective immediately, neither of you will be taking a bath by yourself for a very, very long time. Henry celebrated his first trip in the big tub by (of course) peeing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Dollar Date with the Kids

If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit on the cheap side. My idea of a good time is shopping the clearance endcaps at Target and getting free stuff in the mail. On Saturday evening we had a blast on a great date that cost us only a buck. We went to the Nazarene church that's a few blocks away from our house. They were having a big festival that was free. It was almost over when we got there, and it was really crowded, but we wanted to check it out anyway and we had lots of fun! There were several inflatables, including an obstacle course and two giant water slides. Between those and a big cherry-flavored snow cone ($1), Owen was in heaven. He LOVES bounce houses. If I won a million dollars, the first thing I'd do is buy Owen a big bounce house. Well, actually maybe I'd buy myself dinner first...but the next day, he'd have his very own bounce house to share with his brother. Owen had just started jumping in a fun one with a slide when a lady came in and pulled the plug, saying it was time to pack them up. O.K. was so sad! We felt sad for him, too. He ran to the side of the auditorium where we were and laid his head down on the floor and just cried. I totally wanted to go back and plug it back in for a few minutes so Owen could jump a bit more, but I knew it wouldn't fly! Sometimes, free stuff doesn't last so long.

Then when we went back outside, he saw that all of the other inflatables were also down and it was sadness all over again. Tim, being the good dad that he is, took Owen over to a big firetruck that was just about to spray water from its top ladder. They stood under the hose and got soaked! Underneath the spray there was a giant mud puddle that tons of kids were playing in. Tim was the only adult out there with Owen having fun. Henry and I opted to stay out of the water.
After the fire hose, we decided to skip the Christian rock bands and go home, where we cut the rug dancing to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse soundtrack we borrowed from the library. Later we sat outside in the dark on the back of Tim's truck and watched the fireworks coming from the church. We had a great view from our driveway. It was such a nice evening. Times like this make me recognize how good life is and how much I just love my boys!
Henry hit six months, time flies!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

not to be trusted

I think my kids are out to get me. Just when I think we're having a good time, they turn on me. Last night I was playing airplane with Henry, holding him high above my head. He was smiling and giggling, just loving it. I bet you can guess what happened. Yep, Henry threw up--in my hair and all down my face. Picture a person who gets a pie in the face, how when they open their eyes their face is all white except for their open eyes--that's how I looked, it was so gross! I was amazed when I stood up and saw that there was no spillage on the couch or anywhere else. It all stayed on me. I had to take a shower, it was that bad!

Then today Owen pleased me by going potty all by himself while I was on the phone with Merilee. Maybe the time got away from me, because he was in there for quite a while. I was still chatting away when he came out holding a new roll of paper. I went into the bathroom to see that he had emptied the ENTIRE roll into the toilet. It was in a huge pile above the rim of the bowl! When he saw how upset I was, he said, "Be happy at me, Mommy!" It's the new thing he says to Tim and I when he knows we're mad at him; he says it a LOT!


Owen: "Is bodily functions all she's ever going to write about?"sorry about that.-E

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sitting down on the job


Henry is sitting up for short lengths of time. Take a look at our baby falling down.



Friday, August 29, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray!

Tim is so S-M-R-T.

Tim has wanted to be a marriage and family therapist since before we started dating, something like nine years ago. It's been a long road, and he's still not quite there yet, but he cleared a big hurdle this week. Tim passed his first licensure exam on Wednesday! Before he was even eligible to take the exam he had to earn his M.S. degree and log THREE THOUSAND hours of face-to-face therapy as an intern. It seemed like we'd never make it but after three years, he completed his hours and passed the first exam. I'm so proud of him. He only has one exam left and he will be a licensed MFT. Finally!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I used to have a car like this!

So there's this new movie coming out that sounds kinda cute called Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and I was wasting time today and found a widget to put on my blog. The interesting thing about the movie is, when I watched the trailer, I immediately recognized my old car that I used to drive in high school. It's a 1979 Ford Fiesta. Mine was white and included such luxury features as a board to hold the hatchback door up, a heart-shaped dent in the side that the previous owner had painted pink, and a heater that released various scents of breakfast foods on the way to seminary in the morning (seriously, you never knew what you'd smell--one day maple syrup, another day sausage, the possibilities were endless!). Sometimes I'd take it out on old dirt bike trails with my friend Ryan Heywood. That car never broke down or had any problems except for the times I forgot to put gas in or left the lights on. If you were one of those rich kids whose parents bought you a brand new car when you turned 16, you don't know what you were missing.

Even though the Fiesta (nicknamed "Patsy" by my sister Susanna) was a pretty sweet ride, it didn't have a radio; I compensated for that by putting my own little boombox down on the floor on the passenger side where I would blast my favorite band of the mid-nineties: The Aquabats! I'd ride down Bear Valley Road on my way to work at Hogi Yogi with my windows down and belt out every word of the Aquabats every day after school. Thank you, Katie Stier, for introducing me to the band that added to what can only be classified as the MAGIC of my high school experience! This mix tape is for you!

**edit: I just borrowed the book on which this movie was based from the library, and the car in the book is actually a Yugo, which is basically the same as a Ford Fiesta, except maybe slightly more cool, if that's possible. Also the book is chock full of foul language and everything else you don't want to read. So skip it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A whole lotta exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a great day today. I keep finding things to do to avoid going to bed and I think it's because I don't want today to end! Owen was soooo good today. We didn't do much besides go the library and the park, but somehow I was able to give both boys the attention they needed and we (okay I) didn't have any major meltdowns. I'm trying to think back on everything that happened and find out what was different. It's amazing what one ordinary but good day can do to lift my spirits! Yay for today! Up with patience! I love my family!!!!!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacuuming Sucks.

Henry is playing with toys and grabbing his feet now. He sometimes will laugh if I gobble his tummy or if Tim puts him on his head and rubs his head back and forth on his tummy. He LOVES peekaboo and jumping in the jumper. I haven't started him on solids yet, but he wears a bib much of the day because he drools SO much.

Owen is doing mostly great at potty training. On a slightly negative note, he's been pretty defiant lately and makes me hope that the terrible twos will end on his third birthday like flipping a switch. I'm not very hopeful on that one--I can't describe how sick I am of him running away from me whenever it's time to leave ANYWHERE.

A few days ago I was vacuuming and having suction problems. While trying to clean out the dirt cup and filters, Owen wouldn't leave me alone. He wanted to help really bad. I was frustrated as it was, trying to get the house vacuumed before Tim got home and having difficulties fitting the pieces back together. And then despite my warnings not to touch, Owen kept taking out pieces and playing with the hose and everything else. Dust was getting everywhere, resulting in the opposite effect that I originally intended. I was trying not to yell and keep my cool, so I spoke to him the way my mom always did when she tried not to yell at me: I clenched my teeth as tightly as I could to tell him what I wanted him to do: "GET AWAY FROM ME."

This "Mom's mad" voice always worked on me. Growing up, it was like a signal to get in gear and I find myself using it more and more, because somehow I feel slightly less guilty about being mad at Owen if I can control myself and not yell. And I figure that because I consider my mom to be an absolute ANGEL who can do no wrong, I try to copy a lot of her mothering skills.
Unfortunately, I couldn't help but add my own twist to the whole thing. When I told Owen to get away from me, I tried to make my eyes go red like Teen Wolf's when he tells the liquor store clerk, "GIVE ME A KEG OF BEER". That was my inspiration, and while I know it's not exactly, um, patient/loving/angelic as a mother's voice ought to be, secretly I wanted Owen to cower and do exactly what I was telling him to do just like the guy in the movie. Did it work? Of course not. Owen didn't bat an eye. He got as close to me as possible, grabbed my cheeks and sang loudly and smiling, "I wuv you, you wuv me, we're a happy family, with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you wuvvvvv meeeee tooooo!" And as irritated as I was, I felt really bad. I just wanted a couple minutes to vacuum and not be bothered. But why do I get so angry and worked up over things that are so trivial and simple? My lesson for the day was to lighten up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Everybody Cut Footloose!

My friend Tiffany called me on Saturday morning, wondering if I was busy that night. She had tickets for the best that our little city can offer--Kenny Loggins! Not being able to recall even one Kenny Loggins song, I was skeptical that I'd enjoy the concert; but the idea of getting out of the house for a girls' night out was too tempting to pass up. That evening I put on lots of black eyeliner and waited for Tiffany to pick me up. We drove over to the theatre and when we found a parking spot right in front of the theatre (rock star spot!), I knew this night was going to be good.

We walked in and saw lots of old people going in to the concert, and I had mixed emotions. My first thought was, "Wow, we're probably the youngest people here!" And then a sinking feeling made me realize that 1, we probably weren't the youngest people there, and 2, I wouldn't be able to have that thought for much longer, being as I'm pushing 30 these days. It was a bit disheartening, but I quickly forgot my worries of getting old when Tiffany showed me where we would be sitting--she'd scored 3rd row seats! I guess that her parents bought the tickets for a charity and had extras for us to use. I was right on the end of the row in a side aisle toward the middle, affording me a clear, close view of the stage. I was right in front of one of Kenny's guitar players, who looked exactly like Tim's cousin Craig. It was freaky how much this guy looked like Craig. Anyway, when Kenny Loggins came out, I was surprised by how much he looked like a pirate. To be more accurate, he looked like (and sometimes moved like) an animatronic pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland--the one with the goatee who sits on a barrel of gunpowder, shooting off his gun. It was a little bit freaky.

So for a person who couldn't name one Kenny Loggins song before the concert, I was totally surprised at how many songs I actually knew. He sang "Even though we ain't got money", "Pooh Corner", "This Is It", "Celebrate Me Home", "Highway to the Danger Zone" and even "Footloose" among several others I knew. At one point, Kenny came down into the audience and stood right next to me as he sang a song. I had lots of fun, although if I had been maybe 10 or more years older, I probably would have appreciated it more.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Water Log

We've been sampling the local pools and fountains this week. There's a cute little kids' pool in a park in Exeter (very close to Tim's work) where Owen loves to play. I like it because there's lots of shade around the pool to lounge around while the kids play, and the pool is emptied and filled with fresh water every day for the kids. If I'm lucky, Tim takes Henry during his lunch break while I take Owen to the pool. Today he kept getting in trouble for running, splashing the girls, and commandeering other childrens' pool toys. This alligator belonged to a little boy who kept trying to run away from the pool. So Owen snagged it. He really, really wanted to use the water guns that a couple other boys had, but they weren't sharing.

We have a nice water feature at the far end of town that's also a great place to take the kids. On Monday I was there with a friend who has a one-year-old. I volunteered to walk around with her little guy while she took a break and in less than one minute of walking around, I got sprayed in the eye! Those fountains can be so tricky. Owen loves the water so much, and he runs and runs the entire time we're there. One time a few weeks ago I looked up from where I was sitting next to the fountains, and couldn't find Owen. Then I saw a little boy flat on his back on the other side from where I was sitting. I practically threw Henry at my friend and ran across to see if Owen was okay. I thought for sure I would be visiting the emergency room with a head wound needing stitches. But he was just fine. Phew! Now we have a rule that running is not allowed on the outer cement border, or what Owen calls "the grey slippery parts".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random Stuff

So I got a new calling on Sunday, and I'm super excited about it. I'm the brand new nursery leader in our ward! Ring-a-ding-ding! No more feeling dumb about what to do during that ridiculous "music practice time" in Relief Society (I was the music director for almost a year). So now I get to spend 2 hours with 5+ children three and under (one of them being Owen) and play with toys, eat snacks, and all-around act silly, all without feeling self-conscious about it. This is the first time for me to be a primary teacher, if nursery counts, so that's probably why I'm so energized. I don't know why, but it seems like I always get put into adult callings when I'd much rather be with children. I guess only time will tell if I'm feeling the same way a year from now. So I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me...what are some dos and don'ts that you have experienced with nursery at church? Any particular fantastic things you've come across or some bad ideas you've dealt with?

All of a sudden last week I got interested in knitting again. I got a few books from the library and now all I'm thinking about (besides kids, meals, sleep, blogging, reading, and Last Comic Standing) is knitting. The other day I saw this cute pattern for a baby's hat with sheep on it using a technique I'd never tried before (intarsia, or making a pattern with a different yarn) and I just HAD to start on it right then. It turned out really bad, mostly because I had the wrong yarn. And just maybe I'm not so good at knitting. The blue part should have been cotton and the only black yarn I had was this frilly stuff that makes it impossible to tell that those are supposed to be sheep's face and feet! This one's defintely going into the trash. Or maybe I should donate it to the church humanitarian aid! (Not really!) But it totally got me fired up again to start another project. Now I'm waiting for some new needles I bought on ebay to come in so I can start on another hat. I know it's a total old lady hobby, but I love knitting.

I am loving this baby's armpit rolls! (just ignore that ugly excuse for a hat.)

I made the best mix CD last week! It's an easygoing, happy summer mix that's fun to sing along with when driving. Anyone want me to burn you a copy? Let me know. I'll send it off lickety-split.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

I miss my mind today.

Yesterday was Tim's birthday, and I really wanted to make it fun. But I've got a little ailment going on these days that I like to call Baby Brain...which basically means that I have no short-term memory. I'm constantly thinking of what seems like a hundred different things I need to do but am unable to accomplish any of them because when I get around to doing anything, I've forgotten what it was that I needed to do. I can't even make a decent to-do list, because I keep getting distracted by other stuff I need to do! After I had Owen I was working as the school librarian at Tehipite Middle School, and I remember I would just sit at my desk and not be able to remember what needed to be done, then get interrupted by someone needing something, walk around the library helping students, and then return to my desk to try to remember what needed to be done. It was like that for weeks until I finally got my brain back--I was so spacey!

Anyway, I thought that I had escaped it this time around, but the crazies came upon me this week with a vengeance. My grand plans for potty training this week? I crossed that off my list with a giant NOT READY note. Topping all that with a family-wide stomach bug and it pretty much eliminated any chance of fun for Tim's birthday. On Wednesday, the day before Tim's birthday, I had a ton of errands I needed to run, so I packed up Owen and a still-napping Henry and we got out of the house fairly early. Our first stop was to pick up some baby formula that I got off Free Cycle. Then it was over to Walgreen's to the drive-through to get Owen's vitamins. After the long wait in line, Henry was crying hysterically for food, but instead of taking the boys home to feed, I decided that we'd go to McDonald's, where I could feed Henry while Owen played in the indoor playground. I bought two apple pies for a dollar so that I wouldn't feel guilty playing and not being a customer. McDonald's went just fine, but took a while. Then I packed the kids back into the car and drove across town to Jo-Ann's to pick up birthday cake supplies. Both boys were doing good, so we cruised around the store for a little while before checking out. But when I reached the cashier and she rang up my stuff, I looked in my bag and realized that my wallet was not in there. I asked the cashier to hold my stuff, and ran out to the car, hoping it had just dropped out of the diaper bag while I was driving. But it was nowhere to be found. I frantically drove back over to McDonald's, searched inside as best as I could with by-then-crabby infant and toddler in tow, but it was not there, either.

After that I drove home to put the boys down for a nap and regroup. I sat at the computer for the entire nap time, trying to figure out what to do, calling and cancelling cards, at some point getting sidetracked getting a free credit report online (why? baby brain is why.). Then a knock came at the door. It was my neighbor, Mary, who said, "The police came by a few hours ago and dropped off your wallet. They said someone found it by Savemart and turned it in to the police. Didn't you see this note on your door?" Gah! No! I DIDN'T see the note on the door, because I came home through the garage. And now that my wallet is back complete with nothing missing, I can't use anything in it to shop for Tim's birthday because I just cancelled every stinking card in it! Man, I felt so stupid as I thanked my neighbor and went back inside to say a sheepish prayer of gratitude.

Determined to make Tim's cake that day, when Owen woke up from his nap I was ready to go back out and try again to get the cake stuff at Jo-Anne's and stop at Home Depot to get a present. After loading the kids back into the car, I had to stop at the bank to get cash because I had cancelled my debit card. Then we went back to Jo-Anne's. We went in the exit to the registers to see if they still had my things from earlier, but I could see it was pretty busy and there was a long line. So I took the kids back out and went to put them into a shopping cart. It was then that I heard an unmistakable sound and looked down to see Owen with vomit all down his shirt. What bad luck! I hurried Owen out the doors so he could, um, finish, outside, and then poured some water on his shirt to try to clean him off a bit. It was then that I looked back in the store and saw all these people staring at me. Then I looked down, and realized that Owen had trailed vomit all the way from the registers to where we were. And it was a LOT of vomit for a little kid. I felt so bad! I had a few napkins with me and thought that I might try to clean it up, but quickly realized that it was a much bigger job than two napkins could clean, not to mention I had a baby and a still-sick Owen waiting for me. A cashier said someone was coming to clean it up, and I yelled, "I'm so sorry!" as I ran to get the boys out of the store and with much sadness, drove away from the store again. Owen cried all the way home, not because he was sick, but because he really wanted to get the "flower for the cake" and I being the mean mother that I am, insisted that we go home. I was so frustrated. Thankfully later that evening, Tim stayed home with Henry and Owen while I drove to Jo-Anne's for the third time and ran all of my other errands. In less than two hours, I accomplished everything by myself that I couldn't get done all day with kids.

I made Tim's birthday cake yesterday, and I tried to copy the style of a Nothing Bundt Cake that I had at Jill's house in Las Vegas last month. Their cakes are so cute. I couldn't find a frosting tip large enough to make the frosting petals like theirs, but I was still happy with the result. It was fun to make, but could have come out better. I made a lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. It was a bit girly for a man's birthday, but Tim liked the taste very much.

I took Tim out on a date last night for his birthday. We left the kids with a babysitter and went out to dinner at the Firkin and Hound, an Irish pub/restaurant. We had an offer for a free dinner there. It was fun, but I always feel like such a poser when I go to bars. I must stick out like a sore thumb, being the Mormon Mom that I am.

I know this post has been totally disjointed and rambling, but since beginning to write this post I have been interrupted nine times and have had to remember what I was writing about more times than that! Gotta love my brain.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Today we participated in the festivities in Tracy, CA with the family. Rebecca Koford and her children are here visiting from Maryland. What says Independence more than a fake Elvis singing Battle Hymn of the Republic?
Watermelon eating contest