Friday, May 30, 2008

The Golden Gate Bridge



When people visit my house I often get the comment, "Oh, wow, you guys don't have a diswasher." To which my husband loves to reply, "Sure we do, she's right there." He then points at me or jabs me in the ribs. I know, charming right?

Well at the end of this day I surveyed the kitchen and wondered, did I really dirty this many dishes in one day? Is it possible? When I woke up this morning there was one bowl and one spoon in the sink. Right now there are:
4 mixing bowls
2 cookie pans
4 dinner plates
1 pitcher
1 pot
1 frying pan and lid
4 tumblers
4 sippy cups
5 large spoons
2 graters
1 can opener
6 cereal bowls
1 strainer
2 tupperware bowls
2 measuring spoons
10 forks
2 pairs scissors
8 spoons
4 butter knives
2 steak knives
1 cleaver
1 cutting board
1 mug

Somtimes I wonder if from now on we can live on dry cheerios served on a napkin.

My sister once told me that the painters of the golden gate bridge never take a day off. They start at one end and when they reach the other end it is time to start painting the first end again. In other words, it is never, ever, ever, (did I mention ever?) done.

Deep down I know it's worth it. The kids ate pancakes and stirfry and tuna sandwiches and all kinds of other good stuff today. Even as I speak I hear Evan saying "nummy" because he's in the middle of a gooey chocolate chip cookie. But I think tonight I'm going to hand my paintbrush to my husband.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Phantom of the Cow Poo

Today was a day of fun landmarks. First of all, Evan said his first prayer at dinner tonight. You will need to know that he says "cow poo" when he is trying to say "thank you". So here was his prayer:
Cow Poo. Amen.
I'm sure God gets all kinds of prayers, but this was probably today's cutest. In the whole world.

In other news, Afton has inexplicably become obsessed with Phantom of the Opera. I know. She has been pretending I am the phantom for three days. She only eats if Phantom cooked it, asks me to wear our couch blanket for my evil phantom cloak, and periodically caresses my face whilst saying, "It's okay Phantom, I can love you and Raul even though your face is hideous." She is even learning the lyrics to her favorite scenes. This clip is from when the Phantom appears behind the mirror in Christine's dressing room. Afton sings Christine's response:
video
Sometimes I dream about the things I would be doing if I weren't a mom. But I think I can safely say, I couldn't dream up stuff as fun as this day no matter how hard I tried. Viva la mommyhood.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pick your Battles



I like things done my way. I just do. Nic and I argued about the temperature the dishes should be rinsed in for the first two years of our marriage. He said it doesn't matter...I insisted it should be flesh-melting hot. We've compromised. We use really, really warm water now.

Anyway, Afton was cleaning up a big dominoes mess. I wanted her to hurry so I could go put Evan down for a nap. She insisted on cleaning them up by stuffing as many dominoes as possible into her mouth, crawling over to the box and offloading. Annoying that she wouldn't do it my way. Then I realized...she's cleaning isn't she? So it felt good to enjoy the moment, take a picture and laugh about it. I'll Lysol the dominoes later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Man vs Nature



A couple of years ago my neighbor who is disabled, unexpectedly died in his condo and nobody knew for a few days. How's that for a cheerful post eh? Anyway, a few days after he died I caught two bored boys kicking the crud out of the cactus outside my neighbor's house. They had completely destroyed it and huge hunks of the plant were strewn everywhere. It was a mammoth cactus that I'm sure took at least a decade to grow that big. I was so sad. I made those boys pick up every piece with their bare hands and throw it in the dumpster or else I would drag them over to their mom's house by their neck hair and tell on them. They did it...(moaning and wincing all the way). But the mangled stump has been a sad little sight for the last two years.

Well...NOT ANYMORE!! I just noticed that spring has kissed that cactus with a breath of life and it is budding out like crazy! It even is full of blossoms that I have never seen in the seven years I've lived here. There was also a bee on that blossom enjoying the new growth. Hooray for life's little victories!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Best Moms I Know


It's 11:19 p.m. and I'm feeling sentimental. I was thinking about mother's day and about all of the moms I know. I think as a community of moms we learn a lot from eachother. I wanted to let all of you moms know what I have learned from you.

First of all MY mom (of course!)
Sandy Cecchini: taught me all about the importance of caring for the physical needs of my kids. I love to put freshly washed jammies on my kids. I love to see their clean little teeth after we use dino-floss. I get immense satisfaction in watching my family sit down and gobble up a well planned, nutritious meal. I love to care for my kids. My mom taught me that with all of the decades of fastidious care she gave us kids.

Tina (my sister): Oh boy, here come the tears. My sister has an insanely challenging life. Her oldest son has a severe case of Autism. Because of that her house basically runs like the floor of the New York stock exchange. There is a lot to do and not enough hands and time to do it all...BUT she always finds a way to make life fun for her kids. She has four kids and the youngest is five months old. But she finds a way to do Disneyland, four wheeler rides, the zoo, family bike rides, the pool, Mexico (for heaven's sake), christmas cookies, messy crafts, turtles, read books, million tiny part lego stuff, piano lessons (most of the practicing she does happens with a baby hooked on her boob)etc...and the list goes on. She taught me that life doesn't stop just because your heart gets broken and things are hard. You have fun anyway.

Julie Morris: My best friend. She taught me that kids are durable and that they are smarter than we give them credit for. They can fix thier own disagreements. They can dust off thier own knees. We as moms don't need to hover. I have often thought that if Nic and I died, I would totally trust Julie to raise my kids. They would be loved and learn the gospel because she is a great mom.

Ashley Stout: I have learned from Ashley that kids are what life is about. Her hubby is in dental school and things can be hectic, but she has started her family and those boys are her life. She didn't wait til life "got started" to have them. She pushed right on ahead and started without "life" and enjoys every minute of it. Because kids are that important to her.

Michelle Larkin: My mom in law. Michelle taught me that there are no limits to what we can do. It just takes planning, a bold, fearless attitude, and a lot of frequent flyer miles. In my short time knowing her, she has encouraged her sons to: be models, artists, olympians, authors, architechts, husbands, scuba divers, musicians, calf-riders, raw fish eaters, and a myriad of other daring endeavors. She is larger than life and I was lucky to snag one of her boys.

Monica Rawhouser: I've always admired the way Monica exposes her kids to different things...countries, languages, foods, ideas, music....I'll never forget the way Conrad loved ABBA for a whole year straight.

Christina Dickerson: I remember Christina let Bailey lick Jonas to death and climb all over him when he was a little baby. I remember stiffening at the sight of it. Then I kept on watching her as a mom. What a lesson I learned! She has a laid back attitude that becomes something so comforting and inviting. I met her mom and she is the same way. Christina's mothering style is steeped in some kind of magical maturity that I envy. She knows what stuff to sweat and what stuff isn't worth it. I love that about her.

Apryl Larkin: My sister in law. This girl has three kids two years old and under! It wasn't exactly what she planned. She was going to be this amazing scholar who had accomplished many an impressive feat. She was going to travel. She had big plans. But when I see her with her three little treasures (Vaughn, Pax and Gauge)I know she knows they are her greatest accomplishments. And she still mangages to have a hot bod two weeks after having a baby and read all kinds of challenging books yadda yadda....! Poo poo on you Apryl for your abs. It's not natural and you make me want to take the scissors to my own flabby belly.

I could go on. There are so many great moms. I love you all for what you teach me. So here's to mother's day. We deserve a lot more than a national holiday!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Come again?

I was dropping off Nic at work this morning with the kids. Afton and I noticed a woman with a bad perm and a sour expression walking into Nic's building. I was silently musing about how glad I was I didn't have to pull a suitcase on wheels anywhere or put on panty hose at 6a.m. . Afton was musing about something else entirely because she then said: "Well, she looks like the Grinch's mother." I gave a real effort not to laugh, but man... couldn't do it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Family



Afton, Evan, Vaughn and Pax chillin' at Burger King.




I was really hoping nobody was in the mood to poop!



Gauge Wentworth Larkin, 8lbs 11oz.


Nic's brother Sean has recently moved his family back to Las Vegas. We have had such a good time getting to know eachother again. Apryl, Sean's wife had a new baby this weekend and we watched the kids for them while she was in the hospital. I have discovered there is nothing quite like cousin fun. Those kids had a blast doing nothing more than running around with burger king crowns on eating cheetos. It is so special to make these relationships while they are young. We loved being together! And can I just say...holding that new little baby made me baby hungry like nobody's business! He had the most amazing pure white eyebrows and perfect little peanut head!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Faux-J















Anyone who really knows me knows I can never wait for the next thing. I take pregnancy tests way before it's time and then rush to my friends' doors with EPT's that might possibly have a line on them. I put up Christmas decorations on November 1st. I start watching Snow White and Peter Pan a month before we step foot in Disneyland. I read the last paragraph of books before I'm done with them. I started planning my wedding with Nic (secretly of course) about a week after I met him. I just can't wait!!!! I'm always anxious for the next thing.

Now it's summer time. ALMOST! I have already swam in the UCHOA pool three times even though it is freezing. My fingertips and countertops are stained with berry juice from all of the berry stuff I've been making because it just feels summery! I eagerly wait for the days when my kids live in My Little Pony panties and diapers. (Cuts way back on the laundry). I've poured over Tahiti Vacation guides...(someday). I have even stocked up on our summer staple...Faux-J which is Walmart's generic version of Crystal Lite orange juice.

We've had a couple of warm nights so far and we took full advantage of playing with the garden hose for an hour, getting all sticky with watermelon juice and riding trikes and bikes half naked! (The kids of course).

So here's to summer and all of it's joys!