Thursday, June 26, 2008

High quality H2O

The kids emptied THIS entire thing onto my kitchen floor this afternoon. I'm talking 3 inches of water under the dining room table. A strange phenomenon occurred. I wanted to burst out laughing. In the middle of telling them sternly that this behavior was inappropriate and then putting them in time out, I had this hilarious memory of my childhood.
I was very little. All I remember is that my brother Jeffrey and I (two years older) were being babysat by an older sibling (a regular occurrence, I had seven of them)and we got bored. We decided it would be really fun to make a swimming pool in the bathroom. We proceeded to put towels under the door (to block the water AND to not let anyone know that something fishy was going on) and turn on the two faucets. Pretty soon we were splashing in puddles and having a blast. I won't go into details about how the story ended (older sibling got mad and accidentally caused scar on Jeffrey's lip, which his wife happens to think is sexy, so it wasn't all bad...) but we survived. And we had a blast, for a minute!
I am not claiming to always be calm when the kids are naughty. However, when I can be rational enough to see the perspective of some creative little brains at work, it can be fun to travel back to a time when you didn't really think about consequences before you did something.
Hey, can you remind me of this next time I start to lose it over an entire box of Cheerios spread all over the house?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Little Indulgence

No, this is not a picture of a huge hormone-injected pear... This is an ultramicroscopic carton of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. What a great invention! Ro and I were discussing the benefits of having a miniature carton of ice cream last night. We had to throw our new product endorsement out there so they will keep sellin these babies. You can have a delicious treat without going overboard and then having the pesky remains of temptation in your freezer the next day. There is even a teeny-tiny little spoon included under the lid to make it last longer because you can't fit more than 1/8 of a teaspoon on it. (:
To be honest, our trip to Hawaii in a month has caused me to mostly choose the healthier alternative on the right, but everyone needs a little chocolate sometimes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bonding over sports

I actually shed a tear (or seven) during the NBA Championship game today. This IS Natalie typing; the emotional behavior over a game would be quite the norm for Roland. (:
Couldn't tell you if it was because I like the three top players so much, or because the coach seems so genuine, or perhaps because they celebrated with so many kids and babies after the game... or maybe it's just because I never could stand the Lakers. Whatever the reason, this game was good for the Celtics AND good for my marriage.

Just remembering...

When my baby looked like this! I had always imagined myself with a fat, bald and fair baby. Aren't I lucky that she still looks like that at two-years-old? (:Only slightly bigger with a little more peach fuzz.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fickle as a pickle

Could you describe a pickle as fickle? Guess you could say so because there are different variations of pickles. You could be prepared to eat a delcious bread and butter pickle and then realize mid-bite it is actually a sour dill. ? Anyway, it's the first thing I thought of that rhymed with the word that is in my thoughts today. This post isn't even about pickles, so just drop my dumb comparison. It's about girls. But "fickle as a girl" is just too obvious of a simile.
Ava is a sweet and charming little person... most of the time. And almost always with other people. However, I just had a challenging moment with her. It was the end of her nap and she was talking sweetly in her room. I went to pick her up, knowing I needed to quickly get her out and get the chicken out of the oven and broccoli off of the stove for the kids' lunch. I walked in with a smile and she looked at me and screamed "NO MOM!" at the top of her lungs. I tried to tell her nicely it was time for lunch but she just buried her head in her pillow and screamed at me. Then I tried to pick her up and she yelled "Go away!" So I turned and started to leave and she peaked through her crib slats and screamed "NO MOM!" even louder. I was annoyed. Can't please her by picking her up or by leaving her alone. At that moment, the phone rang.
I ignored her sudden insistent pleas to stay with her and went to grab the phone. It was my husband. I got excited, thinking he was coming home. Instead, we had a familiar conversation that he had more things to do at work (it's his day off and he is covering for someone, as general managers are expected to do) and would meet me at my job to exchange kids in 2 hours. Sarcasm colored my voice as I sweetly said, "That's okay honey- just what I was hoping to hear. I didn't really want to talk to any adults today anyway." We got off the phone after agreeing on a time to meet and I went back to the grumpy baby. I then realized that even if Ro would have been calling to tell me he was coming home, I would have been a little bitter to only spend 30 minutes with him before having to leave for work. Then little Aves and her stubborn (and sometimes moody) personality popped into my mind.
After coaxing her out of her crib, we both went to enjoy some burnt chicken and overcooked broccoli together. After all, I know her better than anyone because she is so much like me. Wish me luck in the teenage years. Fickle friends forever.
SO I am documenting this right now because in five minutes I will probably feel like my fickle self and have changed my mind about it: The real people in this family to feel sorry for are not the two alike, head-butting females but the males, who will have to deal with our ever-changing moods and still love us anyway.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shout out!

To all the special fathers in our lives on this Father's Day! We love you and are so thankful for you Daddy, Grandpa, and Grandad!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Getting Out

We are anticipating getting a little stir-crazy in the coming months while the heat is intense. As of now, we still play in the backyard with the hose almost every day and we are lucky enough to have Jana's family and their perfect swimming pool five minutes away. However, we wanted to go out and enjoy nature a little so here are our most recent AZ adventures. Wait, I'm lying- both of these adventures happened to be in nearby California, just a short drive away.
Dunes day: We don't have any "toys" for the dunes as of now (got to have something for our kids to look forward to in the future) but what kid doesn't love miles and miles of dirt, so we had a little picnic and fun in the Dunes one beautifully cool afternoon:

Then on one rare day when neither of us had to work, we packed up the van and headed to the Laguna mountains for another picnic and hiking day. We had a blast. There is something about nature that brings out the kid in all of us. We played baseball, went hiking and just hunted for rocks and pinecones. Can't wait to do some actual camping this summer!

Nature girl just kept rolling around in the grass and dirt.

Only one very sad point- Mase got a splinter in his finger and there was some LOUD wailing in the wilderness. Man, I can still remember seeing my Dad come at me with the tweezers when I got a splinter- the anticipation was killer! He was back to exploring in no time, though.

Everybody got tired after awhile so they all took 15 minute naps while I cruised over to Pine Valley so we could play at their amazing county park for a few relaxing hours.

To some, these little day trips may not seem like a big deal. But to us, with our crazy work schedules and Ro in school, we really try to embrace what family time we can get. We document these things so our kids will know that we treasure our time with them and tried to provide little opportunities for family fun. That was so important to both of us when we were growing up.

Next month: Braving a week without our kids in Hawaii! Think we can handle it?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Brotherly advice

I just heard this conversation coming from the bathroom. The kids are in there taking a bath together and Mase says, "Ava, do you want to be fat?"
Ava: "What?"
Mase: "Do you WANT to be fat?"
Ava: "Yeah."
Mase: "Then just ask Jesus to be fat. Say, 'Jesus, I want to be fat."

Simple as that. Can't I do the opposite?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Spitting Image

***NOTE: This post relates to the previous two posts***
I thought this look-a-like-meter would once and for all tell me which kid looks like which one of us, but it gave me nothing. People are always changing their mind about who Mase or Ava look like. But they seem to do it with such certainty:
"Ava looks EXACTLY like you, Nat!"
"Look at Ro's little Mini Me!"

Funny thing is, we hear both things about each of them. I think people mostly relate us to our little ones due to gender similarities. Guess time will tell. My opinion is, they are both outrageously adorable, so it doesn't matter who they look like; just thought this would be a fun game.

Hancock Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celeb - Collage - Morph

Hancock Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Genealogy software - Ancestory

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Just a thought

I keep sitting here thinking that this shouldn't be bothering me. I should definitely be used to this kind of thing by now. A man at work passed away yesterday. I work at an assisted living home and this kind of thing happens all the time. I've been in this line of work for 10 years, give or take a few child-bearing years. I visited with him just before I left to go shopping for Bingo prizes (a very vital task) and when I returned, he was gone. Pretty normal situation, I guess.
Here's what I think is bothering me. He and his wife shared a room. They had been married since 1939. Um, that is almost 70 years. I walked back there and hugged the poor woman and the look in her eyes really made me feel sad. I know she was probably grateful to have him for that long. I know she probably knew it was coming soon. But he took care of her. And she needed him. And she looked so lost when the news was sinking in.
And I just realized that I am thinking of myself. And my mom. And my mother-in-law. And my sisters. And my grandma who had to live for 26 years by herself. Women almost always outlive their men. I guess I should feel like they are stronger and they can handle it, but I don't feel all independent when I see this situation firsthand.
Anyway, just have to put it out there that I am SO thankful that my husband...friend...true love...did I mention best FRIEND...companion...has been there for me for the last seven years and I hope we make it to EIGHTY years of marriage! And if he leaves me a little early, I'm just thankful I will someday have him forever.
(Sorry about the morbid post- older people just force you to think about things you don't want to sometimes.)