Sunday, January 31, 2010

out with the old, in with the new... patients

Brandon and Gabriel went to church this morning, leaving us two sickies behind.

In the boys' room, Ethan wanted to play.

I played the part of Susan (from Monster's v Aliens and McDonald's Happy Meal toy)

E played the part of the Tonka tow truck.

Tow Truck: Hi Susan, you want to go with me to the football game?

Susan: yes! that sounds like fun! (attempting to climb on back of tow truck)

Tow Truck: No! You ride in your own cars.

[grrr.... looks like I have a lot to teach about chivalry]

Bob enters the scene (also from Monsters v Aliens and McDonalds Happy Meal toy)

Bob: hi susan! coconut! coconut! coconut! coconut! coconut!

We tried building mega lego towers too - but since we lack a shared vision we both moved onto something else.

Later, after I've given up trying to play and think like a 3 year old. Ethan says to me, "I sick with the germs. I watch Spongebob now."

That's a great idea. I watch Spongebob now too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the american patient

I was asleep and dreaming.

"Becca! Becca!" Brandon's cries wrenched me out of sleep and into reality. Oh yeah, he's sick and I'm taking care of him.

"Wake up! You're dreaming."

Our bedroom is warm and humid. Germs hang heavy in the air. I'm almost afraid to breathe in there. But I don't want to leave.

In his half reality half fever dream he asks in such a small voice, "Are you cheating on me?"

A giggle escaped my lips. Very inappropriate.

"No baby, I'm not cheating on you. You're all the man I need. It was just a dream, go back to sleep. I love you."

"Who is Dave? The oil change guy? I was running. I was sick but I was running anyway and it was so hot."

Then we realized his side of the bed was drenched. I sent him to take a bath while I changed the blankets. The only clean blankets we have left are light blankets, so I give them all to him. The couch would be comfortable but I don't want to leave him so I try sleeping in the chair. I wrap up in an Incredible Hulk blanket from the kids' room. It fits me like a shawl.

He murmurs and tries to fall back asleep.

Eventually, I move to the couch in the loft. Its right outside our bedroom and the house is quiet so I should be able to hear him if he needs me. Indeed, I hear him talk and cry out my name several times in the night.

This morning he looks a little better, well, lucid anyway. He won't go back to the clinic. He says he just has the flu and it just needs to run its course.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a day in the life...

The weather today is perfect. It is sunny, 71 degrees (that's 21.6 celsius), not a cloud in the sky.

Brandon has been sick for several weeks. He just cannot shake whatever it is that he's got. To give him a reprieve, I took the children out of the house. We hit a JC Penney sale by 9am. Then we were off to the bookstore for Gabriel to pick out a book (his prize for getting excellent marks on his report card), drove through the car wash (one of my favorite things to do of ALL time!), and stopped by the store for medicine, kleenex and magazines for Brandon. You might wonder, if you live in an area of the world with crappy weather today, why we did not enjoy the outdoors?

We did.

After we finished our errands, we packed a picnic lunch, the kids hopped in the wagon and we went to the park. The park is about 1.7 miles from my house (that's 2.73 km). I can leisurely jog this in about 15 minutes. But with both children in a wagon it took a painstaking amount of time. I calculated that our total travel time (round trip) was just shy of an hour.

At the park, we three sat on a bench and enjoyed our food. The sun was shining on us. The boys were contentedly eating their PB&J and orange slices (and being quiet!). It was such a precious moment that I wanted to cry!

Then they raced off to the slides. I worked on my bible study. Occasionally I would glance up at them. They ran like little maniacs all over the playground. They really need to burn a lot of energy. Maybe that's why they've been so naughty lately? It's a lot like raising a couple of greyhound puppies.

Ethan is actually napping! Gabriel is hanging out with some neighborhood friends. Wow! It looks like I have a few moments to myself! I think this is the very definition of Blissdom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

best songs for valentine's day

With Valentine's Day upon so is my wedding anniversary! We knocked out two birds with one stone - talk about efficient!

So I've been thinking about making (yet another) Valentine's compilation. Sometimes, these compilations are sentimental songs from our courting and sometimes they are just romantic songs that I like.

Here are my preliminary picks:

Alicia Keys - Fallin'

Beyonce - Halo

Madonna - Justify my Love (you just can't have a sexy compilation without a little bit of Madonna raunch. It would be like going to Philadelphia and not visiting the Rocky steps at the Museum of Art)

Chris Isaac - Wicked Game

Justin Timberlake - Let Me Talk to You (prelude) / My Love

Britney Spears - Circus

Christina Aguilera - Nasty Naughty Boy

Prince - Joy in Repetition (remember this one? its from Graffiti Bridge)

Juanes - La Camisa Negra

Speech - Esmeralda Top 40

Commodores - Brick House (I don't know why, I've always thought this was a really sexy song! When I was little, I would turn this song on and thought I was doing something naughty just to listen to it!)

What are your thoughts? What are your favorite romantic or sexy songs that you would put on your V Day comp?

Monday, January 18, 2010

the bad boy

About a week ago I finished reading Isabel Allende's Portrait in Sepia. And now, I have my nose in another book about unattainable love. Both of these books share a theme - and they share that theme with my life, and with some other women I know.

Girl wants boy. Girl loves boy. Boy is detached but allows the chase anyway.

And all this time I thought it was just me!

As a single girl, I dated all kinds of guys - well, just to say, a variety of types. I thought if it didn't work with one kind of guy, I would try a totally different kind of guy. Yet, all of my relationships played out the same...

scenario A - the nice guy.
After a few exciting weeks of getting to know each other, I get bored. Either I took my exit to stage left then - or after a few more weeks when I felt terribly guilty for torturing this nice guy with my tantrums.

scenario B - the bad boy.
After a few exciting weeks of getting to know each other, he took his exit stage right. I was left to sob in my pillow, because that guy, you know the one - the one who was so aloof to your advances, the one who took you to dangerous places and left you breathless, the one you could fight with in one minute then passionately kiss the next minute, the one who returned your calls in 10 days (or just showed up on your doorstep with all that charm and rugged good looks) - that guy left because he was on to his next adventure. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Oh, how I cried over the bad boy. Oh how I wanted him to want me. This drove my best friends INSANE. All of the late nights on the phone or the living room floor, crying my eyes out over a pint of Ben and Jerry's for that emotionally unattainable guy and his torn blue jeans and indifferent attitude. "You deserve someone who treats you better." "Don't you want a guy that loves you just as much as you love him?" "He's not worthy of you!" "I know guys who want to go out with you - guys who will CALL YOU BACK." Well meaning words, totally lost on me. I wanted the guys that didn't want me and I didn't want the guys who wanted me.

I've always been aware that girls like me aren't rare - but I didn't think we were particularly common either. Could I have missed that common denominator? Are we the majority? Are some girls secretly vying for the bad boy - and just have the discipline and strength to hold it in long enough to comfort their basket case best friend?

Two novels in a row with this underlying theme - not too mention all of the romantic comedies - and I think that maybe I've had a revelation about all my girlfriends! Not just my real life girlfriends - ALL of you! All my girls: the ones I've known FOREVER, the ones I've only known through the bond of motherhood, my friends I've had for a year, a month, a decade, a lifetime, my friends I visit with regularly, and the ones I see rarely, the ones who live on the other side of the world, the ones who have never met me face to face but only through blogging.

What is that desire in us that pulls us towards the bad boy, the lone wolf?

Stasi Eldredge says in her book Captivating, "... every woman in her heart of heart longs for three things: to be romanced, to play in irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive."

(That book? is amazing and you should totally read it if you haven't. If you have read it? You might as well reread it. ;-)

Good news, I managed to catch one! Yep, I married him, had kids with him and everything. We have a mortgage and a retirement plan and argue over yard work. But don't let that facade of a routine marriage fool you. My favorite thing about us is that our marriage is not boring. I can honestly tell you, we have not had a dull moment. There are times I feel like we are just barely hanging onto each other, and times a magnetic field pulls me close to him, closer, and closer still. As frustrating as it can be, I wouldn't want it any other way.

There is no other man who could leave me wanting him more and more and more after 9 years. Yes, there are times I cry and wallow in self pity because I think I love him more than he knows, more than he loves me back. I get jealous over the possibility that there is a woman out there who could win that part of his heart that I think I couldn't win. But he does love me. He is the bad boy that didn't move on. He is the bad boy that stayed for two kids and a corporate career. Nine years may not be that long in the grand scheme of things, but we're getting older. Together. And we have had so many adventures together. Too numerous to account for here. We have so many adventures in front of us too.

I guess that's what I love the most about my bad boy; living with him is a provocative adventure.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

my favorite things

To continue the January theme of 'best' how about some of the best tools of the trade - the mom trade...

(still use it at nighttime, even though Ethan almost potty trained! yay!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Best Artist

It's Nablopomo! And the theme is 'Best' - so I am showcasing the best artist!
Ok, i might be biased.

This piece, in particular, cracks me up! I can't help but smile when I look at this. Not only is the main focus especially happy and colorful, but he also created a smaller model to base the final piece on. AND - it gets so much cooler - its on the back of his homework!

Mixed Media.
At first glance, this appears to be a cunning and ferocious tiger - but look again and you will see it is also the hand print of the genius who created this masterpiece!

This one is titled, 'Turkey Lurkey'. I believe that one day this will auction for tens of thousands of dollars and hang proudly in the dining room of some rich lady in Dallas.

This one is especially significant. It is a replica of a less famous piece created by none other than yours truly as a gift for the artist's little brother. What makes this even more amazing is that it is on the reverse side of the original.

circa. 2009

Back story of the 'People in the Mountains':

(at the Dr. office for Gabriel's weekly shot - waiting the mandated 30 minutes after the shot)

Ethan: draw me something
Me: ok, what would you like me to draw?
Ethan: Daddy.
Me: (reaching for the blue marker) No problem.
Ethan: No, use this one. (handing over yellow marker)
-as Ethan handed me a different color for each request -
Ethan: Now draw mommy .... now draw me ... now draw Gabe ... now draw Kasha [our cat] ... now draw mountains ... now draw trees ... now draw hikers.

And so 'People in the Mountains' was born. Hours after we returned home, Gabriel calls me into the kitchen to show me his rendition of my drawing. Notice, he used the same colors. His is much better; and therefore will sell at auction for tens of thousands of dollars.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Orleans Zoo; 2 of 2

he got such a kick out of picking the noses of every statue we passed

well, friends, this is it - the last of the new orleans pictures. what's next for nablopomo? who knows? i have a day to figure it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Orleans Zoo; 1 of 2

isn't this the cutest carousel ever?

this little girl is only 7 months old! i really wanted to take her home and dress her in tu-tus and put lipstick on her - then i realized how dysfunctional that is and have been trying to put it out of my mind ever since.

turns out that brandon is the river otter whisperer. he clicked at them and they swam to him - then they had a whole conversation of clicking back and forth. my river otter language is pretty rusty but i think they thought he had doritos and he was lecturing them about eating healthy foods and not filling up on chips.

ethan trying to get a better view of the nutria

then it was time for lunch.

see? didn't i tell you that we got ridiculously close to the animals? i would love to have a telephoto lens - but i don't - so that should tell you something about the proximity. this zoo was amazing.

ok, you FL bloggers should really take a road trip to new orleans (i'm talking to you casey and mrs. bear and sprite's keeper!). kyooty, you might as well take a trip too since you live in the arctic - it might be a nice treat for you to visit the deep south! it was really fun with the family!

tomorrow is the last of the zoo pics, subsequently, the last of the new orleans pics. there are so many more days left in january for nablopomo - i'm going to have to get my camera fired up again!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surrey's, Streetcar and Auquarium

Surrey's. Eat there. I had the bananas foster stuffed french toast and i'm drooling now just remembering it. Brandon had some seafood and egg concoction. The boys each had some sort of massive pancake with peanut butter. We were all fat happy people when we left.

ethan called it the "Charlie Bus" - which was his way of saying "trolley bus" but even if you drop the bus, he's still wrong. the locals are very clear about it being a streetcar. but charlie bus is kind of cute!

my MIL in her natural state

Gabriel exclaimed: "MOM!!! Look!!! Its frog bones!!!" I seriously love how little it takes to get these kids excited. Now that I know how much he loves frog bones I can set a trap and .... now I'm thinking of les cuisses de grenouilles.


The next two posts will be pictures from the zoo. We bought an Audubon Fun Pass or something to that effect. It was pretty reasonably priced as far as touristy stuff goes. We paid (so you can plan your own trip to New Orleans) $105 for admission for all four of us to the Insectarium, IMAX, Aquarium and Zoo.

By the way - the zoo? Was the best one I have ever been to. Ever. Better even than St. Louis. First of all - the landscape is gorgeous. It was really easy to get around. They had fewer animals than St. Louis has but they have all the cool ones. But the animal exhibits! It was amazing how close we got to the critters! You'll see in the next posts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

insectarium and cafe du monde

my MIL and I visited cafe du monde
oh my goodness - it was sooo good!

i didn't realize alligators were insects, but ok, i'll go with it.