Conversations with Little Guy: Brothers Playing

The newest thing around here is Little Guy's love for all things Scooby Doo. Ever since he saw an episode of the show and noticed his brother looked just like Shaggy he's pretty much been singing the theme song non-stop.  He likes to "play Scooby Doo" which involves his family members assuming the various, Little Guy-assigned roles; generally I'm Velma. (the story of my life- always a Velma never a Daphne!)
Recently, while we were busy getting ready for Thanksgiving and the boys were in Little Guy's room we heard this little exchange between them over the monitor:
LG:                Buhbuh (little guy's term for his brother), let's play Scooby Doo!
Teenager:  All right, I'll tell you what, I'll be the monster, I'll hide and I won't say anything.
LG:                Blissfully unaware of what this meant:  Okay!
So we peek in and see that Teenager is in a corner playing his PSP while Little Guy plays. Brotherly togetherness at its best, right there.

The Roller Skating Story

Recently I was thinking about a story from my own childhood that perfectly illustrates my accident-prone nature; what’s now become known as a part of my “I-Love-Lucy-tendencies”.

Flash back to the late seventies. My mom, dad and I were visiting relatives in the Seattle area including two female cousins, around my age. At this point in time, roller skating outdoors is particularly popular. The cousins and I throw on our skates and start skating around their large cul-de-sac. The older of my two cousins tells me one of her favorite things to do is skate down the hill that starts at the top of the cul-de-sac and slopes down steeply toward their house. She demonstrates to me how this is done; she starts at the top and swiftly zig-zags back and forth so as not to pick up too much speed. I try next. I start out at the top of the hill, manage a zig and part of a zag when I panic that I’m unable to do this move and start to head straight down. I begin to pick up some serious speed as I head down this step hill. At this point in time all I’m thinking about is how I just need to get to the bottom and eventually stop myself because I’m pretty sure the sparks now flying off the back of my metal wheels would be a fire hazzard if not for being in very green Washington state. From off to the side I can make out my oldest cousin yelling something about how I need to zig-zag and I think my younger cousin was probably watching in horror. What I didn’t know at the time, were that the rest of the relatives sitting upstairs at the kitchen table watching out the window. They saw this whole thing unfold and were wondering where on earth I was going to stop.

So, I’m zooming towards the house and my plan at this point is to simply get to a stable place where I can stop myself. To this day I don’t know how I managed to do this, but I stepped up onto the curb, still going at lightning speed and then stepped up onto the raised walkway towards the front door. I made it to the door thinking surely I would simply be able to put my arms out and finally stop. I went straight through. If this were a cartoon there would have been a cut-out shape of me left in the door. As is was, I tore the door off the hinges and landed on top of it in their entryway as my horrified family members came running from the kitchen asking if I was okay. I remember exactly what I said at that moment; in my stunned state all I could mutter; “I’m ok, but your door isn’t.” I don’t know how I made it through this incident in one piece. I had some aches and pains, some bruises and a little dent in the middle of my thigh that still exists today, but I was for the most part “okay”.

Scenes, Seasons and Milestones


I love Fall and look forward to this time of year. It kicks off when the weather first starts to cease being blistering hot with a much anticipated segue into Halloween. Now I’ve already shared with you our Halloween festivities and of course it’s not yet Thanksgiving. In between these two favorite holidays of mine are two other very significant events. Our anniversary, as you saw me mention in my last post, followed shortly thereafter by Teenager’s birthday.

This is a year for milestones; just as we hit our five year anniversary mark, Teenager will have a milestone all his own. Turning 18. I can hardly believe it. The official day and celebration does not take place for another week or so, but it’s coming fast and I’m still in amazement that it’s been nearly 18 years since my darling baby boy was born. And naturally I can scarcely believe it’s been four years since my other darling baby boy was born! Frankly, I’m not sure which one is the cause of more of my gray hair; the Teenager or the Toddler! I think it’s too close to call.

As my oldest becomes a “young man” (yeah, I know it’s “technically” an adult, but the kid isn’t even out of high school yet!) and I reflect on all he’s done in his life thus far, I could not be more pleased or more proud. Last week, Hubby and I had the opportunity to attend his school production in which he had several roles, including a great acting role along with singing. It was very entertaining and so fun to see him up there performing! I was just so proud.

I wrote a post about Teenager last year at this time when he turned seventeen and it’s hard to believe another year has already gone by. I won’t do too much more mommy-gushing since I covered a lot in last year’s post, but I will sum up by stating his most recent GPA was 4.0 and that’s with two advanced placement classes. And again, he’s an awesome big brother.

During our recent family shoot that I shared some of with you in the prior post, we also had Sr. Portraits taken of Teenager which you can see below.

Here’s wishing my son a very happy 18th Birthday!

We love you!!!


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Marriage, Family and a Look Behind the Curtain!

I feel compelled to begin this post with a short clip from one of my  favorite movies; The Princess Bride.
This month marks the five year anniversary for me and the Hubby. That’s five years of wedded bliss, aka, five years of not killing each other. Because let’s face it, as much as many of us would like marriage to be all Fairytale-like there are many factors involved that make it much more of a comedy-drama . So let’s take a little peek into the marriage of yours truly to see a bit of what five years has contained.

~ A thirty-something bride and forty-something groom, both previously married and the bride with a young son, meet and marry. (Okay, there was more to it than that, but I’m ‘nut shelling’ here, folks.)

~ It was a beautiful wedding and reception. The stress of planning this event alone (we did it all ourselves!) was about enough to do us in…but it all worked out and was well worth it.

~ A Thanksgiving time honeymoon in Hawaii was planned…during which the groom ended up with some bizarre illness involving a high fever and lots of sleeping. I watched a lot of TV and managed to make it out to the pool a couple times.

~ But surprise!  A couple weeks after the honeymoon we learned that Little Guy was on the way. Didn’t see that least not that fast!

~ Then we ended up in a car accident; nearly head-on with a big truck, car folded all the way into the glove box, right before our first Christmas. Though we “walked away” from the crash, Hubby had lots of back pain and lots of therapy. And yes, I was seven weeks pregnant during this ordeal but the baby was fine and I was thankfully unharmed all but for some temporary pains.

~ Year one of marriage while pregnant is not something I recommend, suffice it to say, the “honeymoon period” was non-existent. However, at our ages we didn’t have lots of time to get this whole baby-making process going, so I’m glad things happened how they did. My pregnancy was rough towards the end, I had a huge weight gain, high blood pressure and a tough delivery, though little guy made it here ok. On our first anniversary, we had a two and a half month old baby. It had been tough, but we were overjoyed with our little guy.

~ During our first years of marriage we were dealing with the incredibly unnecessary, former-spouse -and-his-new-spouse (aka; “Special Reader”!) induced court dates regarding support and care of Teenager. As if court itself weren’t delightful enough, dealing with all this nonsense during the first years of marriage was taxing, to put it mildly. But we made it! And yes, it’s trite but true; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The things we went through during this ordeal were certainly not something I’d sign up for, but they’ve strengthened me as a person and a mother and have provided unexpected opportunities to bring positive things into my life.

Now, there are a host of other things we've dealt with during these last years, but I think the above gives you the overall idea that we’re practically shoe-ins if they give out an award for couples who’ve dealt with much more than usual for their first years of marriage.

The Hubby and I have learned a lot along the way. We’ve learned that we’re more alike than we thought and that two stubborn, strong-willed people have to work on (& continue to work on!) how to deal with each other. We’ve learned that as two pretty darn funny people separately we are knee-slappingly hilarious together (just ask our kids!) We’ve learned that putting the emphasis on the positive is critical in a marriage; whatever you want to grow is what you need to put the fertilizer on, so put it on the flowers, not the weeds! Of course this is easier said than done. We certainly don’t claim to be marriage experts by any stretch, but we’re both very committed to our marriage and family.

To celebrate our 5 year anniversary which coincides with the Teenager about to turn 18 and little guy now 4, we recently had a family photo shoot. Along with some great family shots, our fabulous photographer also got some nice couple shots, which I’ll share with you here. No, really! For those of you who’ve been wondering for years now about this anonymous blogger, you'll finally get to see an actual photo. And I didn’t even Photoshop a bag over my head.


Happy Anniversary to my Hubby! I love you!

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More than a little Spooky

This year’s Halloween festivities included two parties, one which we hosted and the other which we attended. The Hubby always gets into the spirit of holiday fun–he’s definitely not a stick in the mud when it comes to fun and frivolity. This year, we made the most obvious choice for a Halloween costume for him, and once you see it, I think you’ll be able to tell why. Behold; Dracula, my own personal vampire....



Now, I know it’s probably just the fact that I’m his wife talking here, but the black hair with the natural “point”and the way he pulls that whole costume off just says the guy was made for the role. Of course, I also have to chuckle to myself because the baby face he’s got going on gives him that total package of adorable and hot mixed with a bit of delightfully-geeky all rolled into one. Uh hmm…okay, moving on now.

Since we were attending costume party I impressed upon the Teenager the need for coming up with some sort of costume several weeks in advance. Naturally, he dragged his feet and a week before Halloween still had no idea what he was going to wear. I attempted to take matters in my own hands, came up with what I thought was a great costume idea and pitched it to him. Apparently, that was all I needed to do because I guess there is no faster way to pull a costume together than when your mother comes up with something totally embarrassing and threatens to make you wear it out in public. He ended up wearing his torn-fabric cloak from last year, sans mask or make-up, so essentially he just looked like a teenager in ratty a bathrobe.

cloak 2010

Little Guy made his second year appearance in his Dragon costume. It had one more year left in it, size wise, but just barely.

dragon 2010While out Trick or Treating we went to a house that had gone out of their way to decorate and it was pretty impressive. We’re talking all the way up the walk to the door were huge characters, lights, spooky sounds and more. Now, Little Guy loves Halloween as I’ve previously mentioned. He’s not one to be frightened too easily and usually enjoys a fair dose of the spooky. He bravely made his little way to the door, Daddy in one hand and shaking pumpkin in the other. By the time the homeowner opened the door, instead of saying “Trick or Treat” all he could manage to get out is; “I scared”. Poor Little Guy! He managed to press on and hit a few more houses before calling it quits.


Oh, and speaking of scary here’s a little something for you; it’s only 53 days until Christmas!

Conversations with Little Guy: Wagon Accident

Recently we were at a birthday party for one of little guy's friends.

The kids were running around the backyard taking turns pushing each other in a wagon. All of a sudden there were lots of tears coming from little guy.

Me: What happened?

LG: I got runned over from the wagon!

Me: Are you okay?

LG: No, my foot hurts!

Me: I'm sorry little guy, how did your foot get run over?

LG: It was a drive-by.

Introducing The Reduce, Re-Use and Re-Do Project

This is the first post in what will be a multiple post series to show and tell you all about what we’ve been up to with this new project.

The Hubby and I decided to redecorate the main rooms of our home. As we thought about what we’d like, we came up with the idea that we not only wanted to be as frugal as possible, but still purchase quality, mostly secondhand pieces and then re-do them to make them fit our tastes and style. This was the perfect project for the Hubby; after all, he’s not only handy, but this is the guy who designs jewelry from wine bottles and silver spoons!

Back when we had the Garage Sale, we sorted through our belongings to see what we had that we might want to use again by re-purposing things to work and we did find a few things. During our trips to secondhand shops and used furniture stores we’ve stumbled on several things that we are excited to work on and make our own. I’ll be uncovering these here complete with before and after photos and descriptions of what we’ve done. The first project is posted below.

The Table & Chairs

An old, badly painted cottage style table, but solid wood. It came with some chairs we didn’t care for so those were set aside. We stumbled on a set of four chairs a week or so later with a cute, scroll-like design and heart along with  legs that matched the table’s legs. In order to seat six instead of four, we ended up using two chairs on one side and a bench we already had (yet to be painted but will eventually match) to use on the other side. In fact, you may remember it from the post; The Brother Bench. Ironically, it’s still the “brother bench” as this is where the boys both sit at the table. Below you'll see the "before" shots as well as the finished project.




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The hubby sanded down the table, painted it in a creamy, antique white, distressed it to make it look worn like many of the current styles you see in stores such as Pottery Barn, etc. and did the same to the chairs. The seats were recovered in a mocha-colored cotton canvas. Finally, all the wood was treated with a matte lacquer to protect it. I’ll go ahead and tell you right now that when my mother recently visited, having no idea about current furniture styles and seeing the distressed table immediately said very confused; “I thought you said you had just re-finished the table?” I got a kick out of that.

Speech Delay & Sensory Processing Disorder Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Little Guy’s progress with these two developmental issues. A while back I wrote about how it was determined that he’d progressed so well within the Speech pre-school program he attended last year that he was not able to attend this year. At that time we’d hoped to be able to put him in regular pre-school but unfortunately that is cost-prohibitive and now he's not in any school at all until he starts Kindergarten next year. The assessment made by the school district was that although he did still require some speech help, he didn’t need enough to send him through the pre-school program during the year before Kindergarten. It was determined that he would still receive some Speech Therapy through his school during this school year. He’s now being seeing his new Speech therapist for individual therapy and so far she’s seeing practically no delays in speech. In fact, she told me that the sounds and blends his records showed he’s previously had problems with are now things he can say with no problem. She went on to further mention that the sounds he does have problems with are sounds all kids his age have problems with and that at this point he speaks like any normal four year old and should have no problems in the classroom once he starts school next Fall.

As far as the Sensory Processing Disorder, his therapist at the school last year said she saw tremendous improvements to the point where she was no longer seeing sensory issues by the end of the school year. In addition, I’d had him seen again by his prior therapist who’d worked with him initially for over a year before he started with the school therapist and she also said that she no longer saw sensory issues in him.

We’re blown away that what were once huge obstacles to overcome now no longer are cause for concern. Little Guy has recently seen a few people who hadn’t seen him in awhile and they’ve been impressed with the fact that he talks so much and they can actually understand him!

So, to those parents struggling with these issues, I just wanted to reassure you that they can improve and often even go away with therapy. I know how difficult it is, believe me. When little guy was 18 mo- 2 years and said virtually nothing, we turned to sign language to get us through and started plugging away with therapy and homework. All that diligence paid off and was well worth it.

Weight Loss Success!

I thought it would be a good idea to come back and share with everyone how my week went, weight-wise.

After re-committing myself to weight loss last week, I managed to lose 3.6 pounds. (See my ticker down below in the left column!) I didn't starve, didn't deprive myself and didn't amputate anything. Basically, at the beginning of the week I took a look at what I normally eat on a daily and then weekly basis. I wrote everything down (actually, I typed it up) and then made tweaks here and there to shave down some of the meals that were clearly too high in fat and calories. I managed to put it all together like a mathematical puzzle so that everything fit within the allotted WW points, using my extra points (or as I call them, my "splurge" points) for treats on the weekend.

When the week was over, I found I even had a few splurge points remaining. I did not swap my exercise points for food, rather I let them stand so that my exercise would go towards weight loss instead of eating more food. Of course, a loss this big is also due to the fact that I'd had gains in the prior couple of weeks, so I know I cannot expect this every week. But if I keep doing what I've been doing I hope to continue to lose at a reasonable rate each week.

For anyone who is struggling with weight loss and staying on a diet plan, I sympathize with you. It comes down to a matter of control; mind over matter. Once you have a plan (whatever "diet" you choose to utilize) it's more mental than anything else, which is why it's so important to choose a plan you can actually stick to and fit within your daily life. Because here's the thing folks; you can't go on a diet, lose weight and then go back to eating the way you did before. It's such a common misconception that once we're done with our diet we can "eat normally" again. You have to learn a new normal. As unpopular as this is, a new normal is eating less than you used to.  That's not an easy thing, I know all too well.  But the alternatives are clear; you can eat the way you want to and continue to be a weight you're not happy with, or you can modify the way you eat (yes, for life) and achieve and maintain a weight that's right for you and makes you happy.

I know I am not happy being the weight I currently am. It doesn't make me feel good to know that I am not in a position to wear shorts or a shorter skirt. During summer, I long for the days of the 1920's swimsuits! Now, I don't know that I'll ever achieve a "bikini body", but just being able to wear a swim suit without wearing my husband's long board shorts over it would be an improvement. Hopefully, my new found commitment will result in success of "Operation Fit" [Back Into My Pants] before too long!

Weight Watching, Losing, Gaining and Complaining

It’s time once again to gripe and complain about weight loss. Who’s with me?

Yes, weight loss can be hard. Weight loss, by its very nature, is eating less food which, let’s face it, is not fun.

I’ve managed to somehow gain weight over the last couple months. This of course puts me even further away from my weight loss goal. And it really ticks me off. Of course I have absolutely no one to blame but myself.  To be quite honest things have been going a little something like this:

Tuesday: (This is the beginning of my weight loss tracking week and my weigh in day) Begin with renewed vigor to stay on the plan and within my points

Wednesday: Still doing well

Thursday: Hanging in there, things are ok

Friday: Not horrible, but slipping up a little here and there

Saturday & Sunday: Eating like I’m going to the electric chair

Monday: Saying; “what the #$%!” and all control goes out the window...after all, I'll "start again" tomorrow

As far as exercise goes, it’s been so-so. As readers already know, the hubby and I get up before the crack of dawn to go out running/walking before we get ready for the day. We manage to make it out about three times per week. We may or may not actually run all of those times, as some of those include some rather lazy walking justified by saying; “it’s better than not moving at all” and "hey, at least we got out of bed!" Ideally, we’d be getting out 4-5 times per week, running every time and throwing in some family bike rides on the weekend as well. This should actually be a minimum as I know I need to kick things up with some additional strength training, etc.

So, after seeing a number on the scale this morning that contained a digit I hadn’t seen since I was 8 weeks postpartum, I decided that enough is enough. I’ve swung into action with a plan which I’ll share with you in upcoming weeks. Part of the plan included taking measurements along with photos. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before because at this point I cannot think of a more effective appetite control system than a photo of myself in a swimming suit. It was pretty horrifying. I also took a couple shots in some snug, capri yoga pants as well which are slightly more suitable for public viewing and I may use those as part of a before and after set. Once I get to the “after” of course.

This is it, folks. I need to quit complaining and start doing. More details to follow so stay tuned!

Date Night

Things have been hectic enough around here lately that good ‘ol Date Night has taken a back seat. Finally with the Garage Sale behind us, followed up by the little guy’s Fourth Birthday Bash (I can’t even go into the whole “my baby’s four!” thing right now) the hubby and I decided we needed to actually go out.

Even when we don’t have massive weekend projects looming sometimes it still seems like more than I want to tackle on a Saturday evening to get presentable, set up my going out purse (because I really don’t need to lug around the big ol’ “mom satchel”) and go out with the husband. But I think it’s that complacency in marriage that sets in and causes things to get stale and that’s not good. As much as I love sitting on the sofa on a Saturday night with a pizza and a movie with the family, sometimes you just have to make the effort to get out of your sweat pants and put on your fancy pants.

As luck would have it, we had a gift certificate for a nice restaurant not too far from us. The hubby made reservations. He remarked on the drive over that they have live music on Saturday nights. When we arrived at 7pm (when on a Saturday night even the not-so-great places are usually packed) we were the only ones there. No, I take that back. There was the guy playing guitar and singing…to himself. The place was deserted. Yikes. We were seated and commented that at least this wouldn’t be one of those nights where we have to yell to converse with each other.

Although they were oddly out of both the wines that hubby and I ordered, nothing else gave any indication that we were going to be sorry. The food was fantastic and we both loved the entrees we chose. We even decided to stay for dessert and instead of sharing one (which never seems to go well for us) I decided to get my own when I saw my favorite on the menu: Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee. We had a great evening and the boys enjoyed staying home playing video games together. So, I’d like to just throw out the suggestion to all you mommies: “Get out of your sweat pants, put on your fancy pants and go on a date night!” It’s worth it.

The $100 Question Contest

  Head over to BlogHer to answer my $100 Question: What era would you like to have lived in?

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The Garage Sale Wrap-up

I’ve blogged about it enough that I figured I should share how it all came out. Because you know, as most things around here go, hilarity is always bound to ensue.

We got up at an unholy hour to do all the final preparations. Hubby went out to put up signs, I made coffee and then we started hauling everything out to set it up. Of course despite the “no early birds” stipulation in our ads there were still cars parked outside an hour before just waiting.

My tolerance for dealing with the whole garage sale business has grown thin over the years. Over many years of moving, scaling down, kids, and general getting rid of stuff I’ve had more sales than I can count. Each time it never ceases to amaze me how people will pick up an item worth multiple times what I’m asking for it and still ask if they can have it for fifty cents. But this year one customer really threw me. After bargaining down my Baby Bjorn to more than just a “good deal” she had the unmitigated gall (always wanted a reason to use that term) to return a little later and tell me she’d changed her mind and wanted to return it and get her money back. I know! After making a half-joking comment about refunds at Garage Sales in my best shocked-with-a-hint-of-witchniess voice, I went ahead and gave it back to her. She’s lucky.

Thankfully not all our customers were pains in the rear. One charming gentleman wanted to purchase the typewriter my mom used to own. He picked it up and asked if I had the “kise” for it. While searching my brain for what typewriter part he was talking about it dawned on me that he was Australian and was asking for the “case.” Sadly we had no case for it, but he bought it anyway. The hubby told him to enjoy it and said he was looking forward to reading his novel. (That man cracks me up!)

All in all we had a successful sale and were happy with the outcome. Oh, and in case you were wondering no one bought the hubby's 8-track tapes. What a surprise.

Reducing, Re-using, Remaining [somewhat] Sane

We’re powering through "Project Garage Sale" and have made lots of sale piles, junk piles and some regular old pile piles. Of course we managed to take on this task during Back to School, then combine it with a fridge switch out (bought a new one, set it up, lived with the old one hanging around until someone came and bought it). As if that weren’t enough going on, it also coincided with another project (a fun new thing I’ll be sharing much more of with you in the future) that involves a lot of shifting around and living with even more stuff inside the house for the time being. So basically, this last week or so it feels like we’re living on the set of Sanford and Son. Really, it’s that bad.

But the good news is, we’re making progress and gearing up for what we hope will be a successful sale. As much as it’s a pain to go through box after box and cabinet after cabinet of stuff, it always feels good to know that you’re paring down, clearing out and possibly even making use out of things that otherwise have just sat there. We actually have unearthed a few things we’re now using again. I’m of course always hopeful that in this process we’ll be that ridiculously lucky couple you hear about in the news that discovered some hidden treasure at the bottom of a box of crap in their attic/garage/basement that’s somehow worth millions. Yeah, I know, fat chance. So far all we've got is that Boz Scaggs 8-track.

Proof unearthed

We're currently deep into a major garage clear out and clean out project. One that will ultimately result in a Garage Sale to end all Garage Sales.
Here's the crew. Note the look of sheer excitement on their faces to be part of such an exciting project.
Readers have heard me gripe about the Garage "situation" for some time now. We've got too much stuff and many things that need to go have enough value that we decided we've just got to do it. Even after years of giving countless items to charity we've still got lots of very good baby items, furniture, decor and other things that are begging to be sold. The best part of this whole project so far is that it has forced us to go through boxes of things that otherwise would sit untouched, as they have for years up until now.

As you may recall, I've made a few jokingly sarcastic comments here before about the hubby being older and making fun of some of the amusing items from back in "his day". Well, now I've seen some with my own eyes and after unearthing this vintage treasure I had to share a photo here:

Here you go, folks. For those of you that have no idea what you're looking at, those are 8-track tapes. Before iPods, before CD's and even before cassettes, my friends. Straight out of the 70's and no doubt straight out of the Hubby's old AMC Gremlin.

I can't wait to see what else we stumble on.

Conversations with Teenager

It's recently become apparent that I've not been tapping into the full comedy potential of both my kids.  When this occurred to me,  I shared my new idea with the teenager and it automatically proved my point. This particular dialogue went like this:

Me:   Guess what? I've just come up with a new feature for the blog!

T:      Ok, what's that?

Me:   Well, you know how I do "Conversations with little guy"?

T:      Oh no, don't tell me you mean ...

Me:   You see where I'm going with this right?

T:     *Eye roll*

Conversations with Teenager: Snack Time

During swim lessons with little guy, Teenager and I had the following brief exchange.

T:       I'm hungry.

Me:   Oh, I brought snacks. Here's some crackers.

T:     *Grimacing* Not those things, they're a weird flavor!

Me:   They're not a weird flavor, they're soybean and seaweed.

T:      Um, yeah. My point exactly.

Conversations with Little Guy: The Pool

So we're now into the fourth and final session of swimming lessons for the summer. Little Guy has come a long way, making it to level three and finally starting to swim independently. All these days at the pool have brought about the following:
LG:    I want to be a wifeguard.
Me:   Oh, does it look like fun to be a lifeguard?
LG:    Yes, I wear a whistle around my neck and blow it like this *makes whistle sound*
Me:     What do you say when you blow the whistle?
LG:      I say; "No running!"  and "Get out of the pool everybody! There's sharks in there!"

I'm pretty sure one of those was not overheard at our local pool. My guess is on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

What’s that smell?

Apparently there’s been some amusement/excitement over some Old Spice commercials that I’ve somehow missed until just now. I guess there are times when I live under a rock. So, here’s a fun little video for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, followed by my own story below.


So, speaking of men and smells, here’s an amusing little slice of my life. Some time ago I began buying natural deodorant in an effort to avoid harsh chemicals. The Hubby also informed me that antiperspirants tend to make him break out for some reason as he’s apparently extra sensitive. So we tried several scents of various natural deodorants with vastly mixed results. Some smelled too “girly”, some flat out did not work, and others had some rather curious odors. I recall a time here a while back when I looked at my Hubby and asked what on earth was that smell? He stated that the new deodorant I’d purchased smelled worse than what it was designed to cover up and that I might want to try to find something that doesn’t smell bad from the start. So as not to duplicate my mistake, I asked him which particular scent this one was. His response; “I think it’s just called ‘Old Hippie’”.

Conversations with Little Guy: Nursery Rhyme Edition

The little guy recently recited his version of "Pat a Cake".

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man

Bake it with a cat as fast as you can

Roll it, mash it and smash it with your feet

Put it in the oven for Baby to eat!


We were of course impressed that after changing the words around he was still able to make it rhyme!

Male Fashion Faux Pas

I know I'm not alone in thinking there appears to be a little problem when it comes to men and putting clothing choices together. Now of course, there are plenty of men with great fashion sense, but we women are sure to know many, many more men who can't match a shirt with a pair of pants to save their lives. In fact, a lot of us are probably married to one of them.

Now, my husband was in the moderately fashion challenged category when we met (remind me to tell you sometime about the outfit he wore on our first date.)  However, after years of coaching, he now does pretty well overall. Also, the fact that we haven't bought clothes in a long time makes it easy since he's been doing the exact same match-ups for years now so he's got it down.

The Teenager on the other hand has a more severe case. For your entertainment I've included photos of his latest atrocity. Let's take a look, shall we?


Here we have the shirt: 

003 A black tee shirt with an argyle print. This would go nicely with a pair of black shorts or denim shorts.





So, what does he decide to pair it with?





004 Some patchwork, Hawaiian print shorts, naturally!






And in case you think I'm making this up or showing different parts of different outfits, here's the whole ensemble.

As you can see from the smile on his face, he wears it proudly.

Then it got even more embarrassing

So, the Teenager has been accompanying me to the local aquatic center each day while his little brother has swim lessons taught by one of his own classmates from school. What could make this situation more awkward? Well, for one, as we've previously stated in the swim lesson post, having a mom who insists upon setting her up own folding chair complete with an attaching umbrella is a good start. But wait, there's more. Today after I got everything set up I couldn't get the right angle and ended up with too much sun on my legs and feet, so I decided to cover up with the little guy's beach towel. While I was fiddling with that, a huge gust of wind came up, picked up the entire umbrella out of it's holder stick and all and then flew the thing over a fence where it then made a loud thud into the side of the water slide. 
I think I've made my point.

Summer Time Antics

What happens when you mix a Summer BBQ with friends, add some margaritas for the parents and then give the toddlers s’mores? Well naturally, hilarity ensues. Be sure to listen for what little guy says as he tried to get his hands unstuck.



In case anyone missed that, he says; "oh cwap" which we found hilarious. Of course, that could have just been the margaritas or the fact that we, as his parents, find little guy pretty darn entertaining most of the time. But the margaritas help.

The now traditional, annual "A/C is out" post

Apparently this is now a yearly thing; the #@!* A/C going out. Readers may recall last year's entries ending with; It was the Flux Capacitor. Thankfully, at least this year it didn't happen during triple digits as it did two years ago when this not-so-fun tradition got its start.

This year's installment all started with a leak although the A/C was still cooling. All of  sudden we had water dripping down from a recessed light fixture above the fireplace. The hubs swung into action and quickly discovered it was due to a clog in the emergency overflow drain. Once he unclogged it, water started dripping out the drain outside and onto the patio. Not so great for patio entertaining, but better than coming through the ceiling.

We called the repairman who supposedly fixed the leaking problem. Then things really went awry. Later that evening, we noticed the temperature in the house was getting hotter and hotter even though the A/C was running. Turns out while the repairmen were "repairing" (and I use that term sarcastically) they bumped something loose, broke something else and basically knocked out the whole system. So essentially, we went from having A/C before they "fixed" something, to having no A/C at all.

When we had them back, they discovered the coil was shot and leaking freeon. They had to order the new part, which meant going into day three of no A/C before it was finally fixed yesterday afternoon. 

I'm just very glad the temperatures were within "we can make it through alive" range during this saga. Thankfully, it got fairly cool in the evening and we used our whole house fan to cool down the house for the night before it starting heating up again during the next day. We made a dinner that required no heat and for dessert we enjoyed these:


Another Trader Joe's favorite.  Like a margarita on a stick...minus the tequila.

Little Guy's Swim Lessons with associated amusements


This summer we finally started the little guy on swim lessons.


Monday was the first day.  The irony of having a teenage brother is that there's an excellent chance your swim instructor at the local aquatic center is right around his age, goes to school with him and knows him. Sure enough, Teenager informed me that little guy's swim teacher was in fact in one of his classes.

009 025

We've completed day three of lessons and so far, so good. It looks like he's quite comfortable in the water and is taking to learning the basics pretty well overall. We've had a bit of a challenge with him not wanting to get his ears wet, so we tried kids silicone earplugs which seemed to help.

The first day I was not prepared for a total lack of any shaded areas to sit. I'm not one to stay in direct sunlight for any length of time so I knew this was going to be a problem. So, since yesterday my solution is to haul in my folding chair and attaching umbrella. Apparently this embarrasses Teenager. I guess when your mom is pushing a stroller with your toddler brother that also contains folding chair and umbrella bags sticking out the side and then proceeds to set up said chair & umbrella combo poolside it's a spectacle you don't want to be associated with. It only gets worse when it's discovered that the sun is in exactly the perfect spot for the umbrella not to work as made, therefore it must be jimmy-rigged onto the side of the stroller and held in place by your sun-sensitive mother.


So to re-cap, I've provided swim lessons for the toddler, protection from skin cancer and embarrassment for Teenager. I'd say that's quite an accomplishment combo.

Potty Training Hits and Misses

So, in an effort to get better on track with Potty Training, we implemented the brilliant plan; “Poop for Toys”. Basically, if you poop in the potty, you get to select a small toy from a specially created basket of items waiting enticingly outside the bathroom door. This plan has worked like a charm. Unfortunately, our toy supply has depleted rather quickly after a recent bout of diarrhea, something we did not take into consideration.

Most amusing however, was an incident that took place during our Memorial Day BBQ with friends. Little guy was playing inside with his two little buddies while Teenager supervised. Apparently, there was some sort of incident that involved an attempt at pooping on the potty, a missed target and one of little guy’s friends being sent outside with a dramatic message for us;

“Um, Teenager told me to tell you that little guy went poo poo. But he missed. A little. And there’s poop on the rug. And the wall. And he wants to know if he gets his toy now.”