Monday, November 30, 2009

stupidist thing I've done as a mom version 2.0

I woke up this morning and remembered I still have a blog. Oops. Sorry about the slight bloggy break. I'm sure you were too busy enjoying food, family and store wide savings to be bothered with my silly ramblings anyways.

Anyhoo.... our Thanksgiving was great. Exhausting and full of traveling and assembling and disassembling pack n plays about 26 times per our 4 days gone. Just what a good Thanksgiving should be.

And to top off our Thanksgiving festivities I pulled my all time, "I'll never do that when I'm a mom" boneheaded feats!!! Yes, its true, I really topped myself this time.

I WENT OUT ON BLACK FRIDAY. At 4:30 in the morning.. to TARGET. Somebody shoot me in the head, please.

I wasn't intending to. In fact, I'm pretty sure somewhere along my 37 year journey called life, I have declared I would never set my alarm for an hour that begins with a 4... but I did. It happened because I *just for fun* checked out the Target add on Thanksgiving day. And there IT was. The ONLY toy that Olivia has consistently asked for and wants from Santa. For a $50 savings. A $100 toy for $50. There's not much in life that would make me get up and leave my bed at 4:30 am, but apparently a $50 savings is my price.

I stumbled out of bed, put on some warm sweat pants and opened the door to, wait for it, SNOW. Oh yes, if you got out of bed at a normal hour you would have never known it because by the time the sun actually rose, it was a beautiful sunny and dare I say, warm day. But at the ungodly hour called the middle of the night, it was snowing.

So when I pulled up to the Target parking lot and saw the line wrapping all the way down the strip mall (from one end to the other) I made the executive decision to stay in my car until they opened the doors at 5 and then jump in line once it was moving. Well, my adrenaline finally got the better of me, because by 4:55 I just couldn't sit in my car any longer. As I strolled to the back of the line, I heard someone yell to the very first guy in line, "Hey, what time did you get here?" Crazy first in line guy yelled back, "9:00 last night." Hmmm... hope that t.v. is worth it, buddy.

As I made my way to the back of the line I realized the circular said the first 500 guests in line got a free reusable tote bag. Yep. didn't score one of those. So by 4:55am there were over 500 people in line. By the time I made it to the doors (the girls behind me timed how long it took us to get to the doors- 4 minutes) the crazy first guy in line came strolling out with a satisfied grin on his face and a large t.v. in his cart. Good job, crazy guy.

What about me? I made my way, quickly- but without running-, to the toy aisle. I asked the Target worker where I could find the Disney Princess Vanity mirror on sale for $49.99? She pointed to an empty shelf and said, "Well, they WERE right there. Guess they're gone." With a *wee bit* of sarcasm in her voice, unless I was just feeling sensitive. No, I'm pretty sure it was sarcasm! So when I looked at my watch as I headed out the door it was 5:14am and I was empty handed. I climbed back into my warm van and was snuggled up under my covers by 5:30. Stupid!

Well, lesson learned. Unless I'm willing to put in the really hard and really stupid work of pulling an all nighter at the local Target- which I'm NOT, Santa is just going to have to fork over full price and deal with it. Except P.S. there is an amazing thing called Cyber Monday and I'll have you know that I was able to order FROM THE WARMTH OF MY OWN HOME a very similar Little Mermaid vanity mirror for $49.99, thankyouverymuch. So take that you Disney vanity mirror, revenge is mine. Until Christmas eve and there is *some assembly required* but that's what daddy's are for, right!?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm dreamin' of a wide Christmas

Because that's what I'm going to be, now that I've found a place nearby that serves Funnel Cake FRIES! Couldn't believe my eyes when I went with a friend to pick up a pizza one night and discovered THIS. She couldn't believe HER eyes when I whipped out my camera from my pocket and snapped a photo. *Clearly* Amy needs to read my blog more often... then she would have fully understood my obsession with all things funnel! (You really can't expect anything less from a pizzeria called, "Between the buns!") Ohio really IS the heart of it all!
But even more important than finding a source to get my funnel fix, I brought out the Christmas decorations over the weekend. I feel like I got off on a technicality (since I don't normally decorate until this coming weekend) by NOT putting up the Christmas tree. Because there are 2 rather disobedient/mischievous boys and 1 REALLY bad dog living in our house, we have a table top Christmas tree (which goes against all things good and right in the world, but hey, it works for this season of life) and I will wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to put that up.
But in the meantime, I lugged all 9 of the 50 lb. Rubbermaid containers from the attic to the downstairs so that I could re-decorate our house for 5 weeks.
Isn't it really just the stupidest thing ever? WHO DOES THAT? Americans, that's who! As I was muttering under my breath about all the work (even the plates get changed around here for the month... stupid) I was secretly LOVING it.
Maybe even more this year. Because for the first time I had a little apprentice. Olivia was in heaven. As I got certain things out of boxes she would gasp in excitement, "Mom! I remember THAT." Or "Look mom, its the Nutcracker toy Bebe got me" (I had certain words reserved for that toy myself, but I kept them to myself... curses on your head, Bebe!) She was riding high for a few days!
And so weird, but the boys LOVE this snow globe that plays piano Christmas music. Pretty sure my mom got it off QVC a few years ago. Worth it's weight in gold I tell ya.
I know the next stop on the holiday train is Thanksgiving. But a girl can't get too excited about the whole holiday season, right?! And although this picture of Turner in no way shape or form has anything to do with anything, I had to include it because isn't it just the cutest thing??!! The kid found these glasses in the toy chest. They used to be O's when she was a toddler and he wore them around for about 20 minutes. Hey, when you get a laugh, you gotta ride that wave!
Life currently is presenting some challenges, but all in all I have to say... 'Tis the season to be jolly!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

If I had only known!

These photos are from Olivia's last ballet class of the last session on Halloween. The parents are not allowed to be in the studio during class except for the last class of the session. So I snapped some pictures.

If I knew then what I know now I would have done several things differently (ahhh.. the story of my life!)
First thing would have been to NOT sit in on that lesson. Because little did I know that sitting in on that lesson would be the end of O's ballet career.
The next session began the following weekend. Interestingly enough, there were more boys than girls this session. There is a short tumbling portion of the class right at the end, but honestly, most of it is ballet and jazz. Call me sexist, but it seems like most 3 and 4 year old boys would not want to do that.

I don't know if having more boys than girls was intimidating for her but the second week of the new session, O clung to my leg and refused to go into the studio. I dragged her in and the teacher let her sit on the floor and watch. So I spent 45 minutes waiting for her to get done sitting on the dance studio floor. Very frustrating. She *insisted* she was sick (without any actual signs of being sick.)
Fast forward to yesterday where she, once again, protested like crazy. Clung to my leg and refused to go in. She said she wanted me to go and sit in her class with her. (Thinking here that the class on Halloween ruined my independent dancer.)

I turned into *ballet mom*. I gave her a lecture about how she loves ballet and how I don't understand how she marched into the class for 8 weeks with enthusiasm and now she's scared. I also lectured her with how mommy and daddy paid for the class and have sacrificed time for her to go. I was mad/embarrassed and waving my finger. Oh, lord, how I hate the finger wave. But I swear that finger had a life of it's own yesterday morning.

I gave her a choice. She could either go in and dance by herself or we could go home. She chose to go home. Crap. Choices backfired on me that time. So, we left. I huffed and I puffed all the way to the car. Then I looked in the backseat to a crestfallen little girl.

Then it dawned on me, I was behaving like the 3 year old! I let Olivia know that I love her when she does ballet and I love her when she chooses not to. I decided that if she doesn't want to do ballet, she doesn't have to, she's only THREE for Pete's sake. I appologized for yelling at her and asked her to forgive me. Then I had to deal with my own issues.

You know what I discovered? Disappointment. I enjoyed watching my little girl love something. I enjoyed going and being a mom of a "big kid". I enjoyed getting a cup of coffee and having 45 minutes TO MYSELF on a Saturday while I waited for her to be done. The disappointment was some for her (because I know she loves to dance and all things ballet... it really is a mystery this whole regression thing) but mostly for myself. And that is crazy talk.

Why pigeon hole my kid into something when she's 3? She has her whole life to dance. I'm going to look around and see what other classes I can expose her to while her interests are still varied. The sky is the limit for my talented and bright little girl.

As for me? I'll have to just treat myself to a cup of joe somewhere and get over myself!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Because some days are random

I just sat here for 20 minutes listening to my two little boys in their beds yelling, "Go Buckeyes" at each other. For 20 minutes! I had to laugh. And then I had to turn down the monitor. Turner is totally a sport lover already and Quinn, well, he just loves whatever everyone else loves. So today, he loves the Buckeyes.

This has been the barfingest week and our house, and I'm ready to move on.

I did the adoption webcast last night and it just re-confirms my philosophy of life... perfection is over rated. I'm REALLY glad that I didn't spend *too much time* preparing because I was on the phone for about 5 minutes and NOBODY asked me any questions. Maybe if I had planned, my story would have been much more riveting, begging people to ask for more. Probably not. So, I'll just keep sliding by in life.

Steve and I are going on a date tonight, thanks to our church that is offering FREE BABYSITTING to anyone. I'm anyone, so I qualify. 6-midnight. Sounds great, right? Except my kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8pm and we might get crazy tonight and not even pick them up until 8. Looks like we're gonna paint the town red!

I'm getting my hair cut at a fancy-shmancy salon tomorrow morning. My girl, Aimee, is still doing it but she can't come to my house, so I get to go and be pampered. Don't be too jealous, I have to take O with me. It's gonna be hard to enjoy the surroundings with a 3 year old who will most likely cry when I go to the shampoo bowl.

Just a few more days until Thanksgiving... and I can't wait. I'm breaking my own cardinal rule of THOU SHALL NOT PUT UP YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UNTIL THE WEEKEND AFTER THANKSGIVING
this year. Since we'll be gone that weekend, I hate to wait a whole other week, so I'm doing it early instead of late. If I'm gonna break my back "redecorating" we're gonna enjoy it, by golly.

Hope your Friday isn't so random.
Go Buckeyes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's my story and I'm stickin to it

It's kind of weird but tomorrow night our adoption agency has asked me and Steve to be on a webcast where potential adoptive parents can call in, here our story and ask us questions. In some ways I'm kind of looking forward to it (even if it IS right in the middle of Survivor!) and in other ways I don't really know what to say.

In fact, I just looked across the room where Quinn was playing with his cars. (He SHOULD still be taking a nap, but that's for a different post.) He was telling me that Olivia and Turner are sleeping. He just held up his shoe and said, "MY shoe!" He jabbers on ALL DAY LONG in English. He even loves our dog (and he *might* be the only one in this family who does.) When he first arrived he screamed bloody murder at the sight of him. He has a funny little dance he does to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that he must have learned at the orphanage, because he didn't learn that from me. He is my little boy and he is full of contradictions and delights rounded out by a few annoying traits. As I took it all in just now and thought about that call, I got a bit overwhelmed with what the heck will I share to people contemplating adoption?

We didn't adopt because of infertility. We didn't adopt because we have this righteous cause for saving orphans. We didn't adopt because we had extra money we didn't know what to do with. We didn't adopt because we wanted more kids. We didn't adopt because its the sexy new cause. We adopted because God told us to. And for some people, that's weird as heck.

Our experience was unbelievably amazing. We got a great kid with so few "issues" that I'm STILL waiting for the other shoe to drop. He has a new and improved smile and was a trooper through it all. In a heart beat I'd do it all over again. But that's not always the case with adoption for the kids or the family. I don't believe adoption is the right thing for everyone. I can't promise it will be easy and blessed and a joy.
So, I'm still trying to figure out what to tell these people. I guess I'll just go with our story and let that tell itself. It is SO good to reflect on the blessing of the past year! Because sometimes it gets lost in the day to day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home sweet home

I'm doing something this morning that I'm not very used to, or very good at for that matter. I'm spending a quiet morning at home with the boys. Last night we were hosting our small group from church where we hire some college students to babysit the 9 kids that attend. The group was just wrapping up when Olivia came downstairs and announced, "Quinn just threw up."

Great! Naturally, I was concerned about Quinn (he hasn't spent a day sick since he arrived home, and I even include the day of surgery and the day after) but I'll go ahead and admit it, I may have been even more concerned for myself. Did I just catapult into the role of *that mom* who has the barfing kid that launches barf fest '09 throughout my group of friends!? "I swear I didn't know he was sick before having all of your sweet little ones in his midst and sucking on his toys for the past 2 hours... sorry."

The 2am wake up call with a son raging a 103.8 degree fever. Crap, I TOTALLY am that mom. Although it was sweetly pathetic to hold a human inferno from 2-3am, selfishness was intermingled with selfless compassion. Thoughts of "Who did this while he was in the orphanage?" ran through my mind followed close behind, "Guess I won't be going to Pilates in the morning, or that really fun birthday party for our friend Sophie tomorrow."

So here I am, thinking "Gosh, I'd just now be doing my leg workout at Pilates right now" as the clock hits 10am (and I have rather mixed emotions on the subject) but realizing its just kind of good to have a quiet morning with the boys, playing with their toys, watching Sesame Street as I clean my house and am not rushing here and there. Is this what *normal* stay at home moms do? Hmmm... maybe there is something to this whole stay at home part that I should practice more often.

PS. as an added bonus of staying around the house this morning, Turner tinkled on the potty for the first time ever! He was pointing at his diaper and mentioned his bum, so I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty. He said, UH HUH and the rest is history. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle that one yet but the dawn is on the horizon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

House for Sale

Steve and I were packing our kids up to head over to some friends' for dinner last night around 5:15. I poked my head out the front door to see what the temperature was and this is what I saw.

I had looked out the window five minutes before and there was nothing. But when I popped out this time there were 8 cop cars, a canine unit and an ambulance. Okay, that was not normal.

A couple was walking their dogs and I stopped to ask what was up. They said a man had threatened his girlfriend with a gun one street over. I asked them to describe the house. It's the one that is across our alley and our garage backs up to theirs.
Within the next 5 minutes, most of our neighbors were out and about trying to figure out what was really going on. Our next door neighbor went to take a closer look and got shooed back into his house by an officer with a shotgun. Okay, really not good.

It became pretty clear real quick that we were going to be late, at best, for our dinner. So I phoned my friend, told her to turn on the news and see what was going on. I called back 15 minutes later when it became apparent that this thing was not going to be settled in the next 20 minutes. In fact, our alley, the street and pretty much the whole neighborhood was shut down. No one allowed in or out.

It was gorgeous weather for the middle of November so I sat in our window with it open and watched it all unfold. Within the next 30 minutes the news crews showed up and 45 minutes later the Dayton SWAT team showed up. I could hear an officer on a bull horn telling the man inside to lay down his weapon, turn on a light to let them know he was alright. I continued to listen to that same message for the next 2 hours. They also informed him they were not leaving until they talked to him.

Meanwhile, the wife/girlfriend who reported the whole thing was standing with the cops across the street from my window. We know her. She had a kitchen fire not even a month and a half ago. The kids and I were coming home after picking O up from school. We went to see if we could help. I ended up praying for her and later gave her some gift cards to some restaurants while their kitchen was out of commission. And now this; being threatened with a gun. I can't even imagine.

Because we had planned to be at our friends' house for dinner the kids got PB&J's and chips. Steve and I had nothing. I never felt like our family was in immediate danger, but I did find my knees knocking at points (like when the SWAT team arrived). I was nervous that we would hear gun shots and they would carry our neighbor/others out dead. I could explain all this other activity as the police trying to help a sick neighbor, but I didn't know how I would explain gun shots and body bags.

FINALLY 7:00 rolled around (thank God) and it was bath/bedtime. I just wanted to get the kids in bed in case this continued well into the night. I have to say because the weather was nice, it was like a stinkin' block party around here. What's with that? A bunch of boring Ohioans who don't get much excitement? Seriously, there were neighbors huddled together with wine glasses and snacks. As for me, I just sat at my perch in my window and talked with them from the comfort and safety of my own home thankyouverymuch.

Don't you know that as we were getting the kids to bed, all the cops left. By the time we got back downstairs all of the excitement was over. Just like that. I called one of our neighbors to find out what happened. She said that after all that the police decided he was not a threat, broke no laws and no longer posed danger to the neighborhood. So they left. With the crazy man with a gun IN HIS HOUSE RIGHT NEXT TO MINE. The news at 11 said he will be charged with a misdemeanor of inducing panic.

While I'm glad to say it ended peacefully, I have to say I'm not exactly thrilled that as I write this there is a crazy guy next door!

How about you? What did you do with YOUR Friday night?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The good, the bad and the talented

The good? Who else... our little trooper is healing up nicely from surgery. The bruising on his face is nearly gone. It's now just kind of a greenish hue running down the side of his face. Lovely. We go in two weeks to get the tube inside of his nostril removed. Can't wait. It remains to be a boogery, bloody mess. Gag.

Quinn continues to be a delight, although he does love to do whatever anyone else next to him is doing. So if that said someone is throwing a fit, then by golly, Quinn's gonna match it, and raise you a double. That's the kind of week its been at my house. A hair raising, whiny good time!

But one cute thing the boys started doing this week was making funny faces. They get a laugh and they know they are funny. This picture is Quinn just coming out of his funny face (he likes to squint his left eye, thus the half squint.)
And its a good thing Turner found something cute to start doing this week, because other than "Make a funny face, Turner" its been non stop, "Stop hitting, Turner." "No, Turner." "Time out, Turner." "Do you want a consequence, Turner?"

Can't you just see it in those eyes? I'm pretty sure he's plotting pure evil in this picture. In fact this week he has decided he will no longer wear socks. It was a 20 minute power struggle as we were getting ready to head out to the Y this morning.

In one of my finer parenting moments I *might* have gone into the other room and used the F word. Not sure when the last time I dropped an F bomb out loud was. Seriously, I'm not proud of this but I figured that was a better route than bodily harm. Do you think someone at our house is full on into the terrible two's?! (Hey, I was talking about Turner!)
My daughter, who you may mistake for Hannah Montana in this photo (don't ask), on the other hand has turned into a dream boat.

My very own little miss lippy from two weeks ago had a break through moment the other day. She and her brothers were going to the park with Steve. It was cold outside so I said she needed to wear her winter coat. Here was her response, "I don't really like wearing that coat, but I'll say okay." And SHE DID. What the...??? She got an automatic congratulation prize for that.
She's also been a great helper recently.

Here are the two of us "couponing." She didn't get real ones, but what she doesn't know won't hurt her, right?
In one short week she learned to draw and to snap. Thank you Dayton Public. This is O with her self portrait. The fingers are a bit spooky, but the detailing on the dress is superb.
Since I went ahead and admitted a personal failure, is it okay if a brag for a short moment too?

Steve and I went out on a date last night and we put a major dent in our Christmas shopping. We got some awesome deals and are more than 1/2 way done. After that, we went for some Indian food. We always have an in depth conversation on where to eat without the kids... then we almost always end up at an Indian restaurant. I ordered Indian hot. Living on the edge, what can I say.

I also bought nearly all of my stocking stuffers this week. FYI, I don't know about your Target, but our Target has TONS of Princess and Hello Kitty stuff in their $1 section. I HIGHLY advise getting there soon if you have a little girl in your life who loves all things pink, sparkly and Disney. Santa's not getting caught with his pants down this year!!!

That's it from here. May the rest of your day be fun and family friendly. Wish me luck as I try and do the same.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It just doesn't add up

I've said it before and I'll most definitely say it again... I have some organizational *challenges* in life. And as of late, things are falling through the cracks left and right. If you are among the dozen or so friends who have asked me to do something lately (Stacie, sorry about that babysitting list. Susie, sorry about that 360 form) and I have TOTALLY forgotten, accept this as my public apology. It's not you, it's me.

I would blame it on my stage of life. On three little kids who literally suck the life out of me leaving me little energy at the end of the day to do little else but lie comatose in front of the idiot box. I'd blame it on 14 other things going on in my life, but the truth of the matter is, I've always had great intentions but my follow through, well, it just kinda sucks. Am I chalking it up to, "That's the way I am and I'll never change"? I don't think so. There is nothing more I'd love to do than transform into a type A, perfectionistic kind of person. But instead, we're stuck with lazy me who is *trying* to shape up.

So, why is it then, that I LOVE to do laundry??? It just doesn't make sense based on who I am. Is that not the weirdest, most go-against-the-grain kind of thing you've ever heard? I mean, probably your most reliable type A kinda gal wouldn't say she *loves* to do laundry. She may tell you her system, show you her chore chart and come hell or high water, her family will have clean undies to wear. But as for me, laundry is a bit of a release. And I'm embarrassed to say, I love it.

Maybe its because so little actually gets done, finished, accomplished in my life. Maybe its because I have so much yummy smelling laundry detergent stockpiled from my couponing/CVSing and I feel the urge to use it all. Maybe its the folding. Oh, I love the folding and the sorting part of it all. I love to fill up my little wicker basket and have it all neatly piled (God forbid one of the kids TOUCH my folded laundry.) Wrath have no furry like a woman whose had her clean laundry messed with. Maybe its that when I'm done with the load or two for the day there is an empty basket on the floor ready to be re-filled. And for those 3 hours before something makes its way into the empty basket, it makes me feel good. Really good.

Maybe I'm just a complete nut job who is in need of a hobby and some friends. Don't know. Don't want to know. Because all I know right now is, laundry makes me happy. And if laundry is my current lot in life, I may as well be happy with it.

As for you, Stacie and Susie, you'll get your list and your form... someday! But right now, I've got to go put a load from the washer to the dryer... ahhhhhh.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

W.O.R.D. Up!

So, I've included some pictures of the kids that really have nothing to do with this post, nor really have/need any explaination. So enjoy the kids and please put up with my drivel- I really need you today.

Things around here have been ridiculously good. In light of a kid who is a week out of surgery, things are business as usual. Loud. Fighting. Whining. Crying. Laughing. Singing. Eating. Stuff like that.
As for Quinn's lip... amazing. Even with all the swelling, bruising, crusty blood and boogers, he looks amazing! (Spoken like a true mama, cuz right now he's got a nose situation only a mama would think looks amazing.) I will post pictures when he is more pleasant to look at. Until then, take my word for it. This kid continues to be a walking, giggling, talking miracle.
Speaking of talking; both boys are amazing me with their linguistic skills as of late. I know I'll soon regret this statement, but it has been SO fun recently to have both boys increase their vocabulary. Turner just this morning held up his cup and declared, "Milk!" I know that shouldn't be news worthy, the kid IS nearly 2. But he is a man of few words so when he declares milk, cookie, Baxter, movie, pumpkin or NO! it is fun for me.
And then there's Quinn. He is a virtual parrot and it annoys Olivia to no end. "Quit saying what I'm saying" is her mantra these days. I keep trying to explain to her that this is how Quinn is learning English. And boy is he picking it up! His favorite new phrase this week, "Thank you, Mama." EVERY TIME I give him something (and it doesn't matter what it is) he responds with a heart melting, "Thank you, Mama." I told Steve that Quinn is liable to be 300 lbs. soon because I'll give him whatever he wants to hear that (I *might* be a tad bit emotionally needy, I'm open to that.)
The only one who is not melting my heart these days is Olivia (with her words that is. She melts me in tons of other ways.) I've recently had to soap my finger and "wash her mouth out" twice. Please don't contact Social Services on me. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And I KNOW Super Nanny would not approve. But I've been at my wit's end with Miss lippy. I warned her. And then I followed through. Let's just say, she thinks twice now about sassing back.
Well, with all the words around here, its a wonder I've got anything left to say here. But really, this is the only place I get a word in edgewise. Thanks for the adult conversation, blogosphere. I appreciate the listening ear.

Friday, November 6, 2009

So many people, so little time

So, last night Steve and I were watching Grey's Anatomy. Well, I was watching and Steve was goofing around on the computer making it VERY hard for me to hear all of the smart dialogue coming at me from my idiot box! hrmph. men.

Anyhow... I have a love/hate relationship with the show. I think that the drama, the characters and the human dynamics are very well captured. I could just do without all of the affairs and what not. But last night had a story line that had me bawling like a little baby. Now that I'm a mom, I just can't take anything that has to do with kids dying. Ugh.

While we were at Children's this week, Steve and I ate a lunch in the cafeteria while Quinn was in the OR. I had to laugh because as I looked around I was wondering what all of the dramas around me were that were unfolding. I also wondered why not everyone was as stunning good looking and sexy as Grey's. We even had a short conversation about it. I found myself thinking, "I wouldn't mind working in a place like this." Mostly because my lunch was delicious and I had a sugar cookie that was to die for. But also because of the human drama. I. love. human. drama.

When I lived in NYC, my favorite thing to do on a Saturday was to walk the City. Just walk. And watch. MMmmm.... I'd love to be there doing that, right now. After several miles of walking, I'd pull up a park bench somewhere and watch some more.

I had an artist friend in NYC who told me once that she saw the world through shapes and colors. Photographers see the world through lenses, frames and photographs. Some see the world through numbers. I spent a long time frustrated... not knowing how I see the world. And then it dawned on me, I see the world through people. Their lives, their style, their beliefs, their drama. I love people and am deeply intrigued with them. I think I see the nature and character of God better when I observe those created in His image. The good the bad and the ugly.

So as we sat in that cafeteria, I realized it was a hot bed for what I love. Small problem, I have a full time job (its called motherhood, people.) Bigger problem, I hate anything medical. I might make a really great receptionist or cashier there, though.

In the meantime, I'll just keep observing, enjoying and worshipping as a result of all that I observe.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nip & Tuck, toddler style

Tuesday was the big day. Quinn went in for his plastic surgery. He had a cleft lip revision and another *thing* revised. But I've learned my lesson with typing out the word. Weird people lurk on the Internet.
Quinn was all smiles heading down to Cincinnati Children's. Playing toys, charming nurses and although he wasn't allowed to eat or drink all morning, he was super cute.

All went well on both surgical fronts. He was under for about 2 hours and both doctors declared complete success. Thank you, Jesus! I knew that neither procedure was life threatening, but I was worried about about anesthetics. You just never know.
But we got to visit him in the recovery room where we found this!
A sleeping boy (who slightly resembles Chairman Mao, don't you think?) who's nose is incredibly different and who's lip, time will tell.
I feared the worst when he woke up (they warned us it could be rocky.) But really, he did quite well. He pretty much only cried when they checked his blood pressure and...
tried to wheel him down the hall on the gurney to his room. So, in order to keep him consoled, I took a ride with him.
I have to say, I felt a bit self conscious (it is Children's Hospital, after all) it's not exactly like there are tons of adults riding around on stretchers there. But it did seem like having mommy in the bed with him comforted him.
A few hours after getting settled in the room, we ordered him dinner. He scarfed down some Mac 'n Cheese, animal crackers and chips. He was very snugly and slept a bunch (he was pretty heavily medicated) which left Steve and I to channel surf and enjoy some quite.

Let's just say I O.D. on TLC. I'm totally up to date on Jon and Kate and any form of Little People!
Quinn had a fine night's sleep as long as they weren't coming in to check his blood pressure, machines weren't beeping, he wasn't rolling over and pulling out cords etc. So, yeah, sleep stunk... but not because of pain. Thanks, God.

So in summary, my baby boy looks like a prize fighter. He is a champ. And he is going to be one handsome guy!!!
We are so glad this is behind us. The one thing I've been worried about since we receive the referral is now in the history books. I have a new found love of history.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who's the laziest blogger of them all?
You say it's me, because I'm just now getting to my Halloween post?
Stupid mirror, what do you know anyhow?
I know I let the cat out of the bag last week by saying that the kids went as Snow White and the 2 dwarfs (thanks to Target... YES... I did have to buy a SECOND Snow White dress because the first still has not turned up... and Steve's Aunt Debbie for the dwarf outfits.)
Let's just say this will probably be the last year mom gets to decide what the boys get to be. And I'm *pretty sure* their picks will NOT include anything with beards!
They were suppose to be Happy (Quinn) and Bashful (Turner) but apparently they both went as Grumpy.
The beards stayed on long enough for me to snap a few shots. Turner at least wore the hat for most of the night. Quinn... not so much.

I thought it was a really cute idea, the group costume and all. But when 2/3 of the group throws a coup and you have to spend the whole night explaining who they are, cute idea turns into pain in the rear. But after all, isn't the spirit of Trick or Treat night candy and tearful photo ops for the parents?
The weather forecast left little to be desired for my little beggars (and Baxter!) But apparently the weather guy at Fox 45 didn't get the memo, because it ended up being a rather nice evening.
Such a nice evening that we did more houses than ever before which brought home some nice loot. Quinn adapted rather quickly to this strange American "holiday." He would run from house to house, hold out his plastic pumpkin and say as best he could, Trick or Treat. As his plastic pumpkin got heavier and heavier I asked if he wanted me to carry it for him in between houses, to which he yanked it from my general direction and declared, "NO! Mine. My pumpkin." Are you sure there isn't a Greedy dwarf?
After we got home, at one point Quinn had 3 unwrapped suckers and he was working on all three at one time. It was so cute if not a bit glutenous. Which begs the question once again, is it really true that I did not birth this child?
It was a fun night, full of tears, laughs, memories and sugar highs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey Dayton, pimp my ride!

If you're family then you are anxiously awaiting Halloween pics. If you're not family you may be delightfully surprised to get a break from what you thought would be my obligatory Halloween post to show off my most adorable Snow White and the 2 dwarfs (who remained *dwarfed* for exactly 3 minutes, long enough to get a few shots of them screaming bloody murder over the bearded hats I made them wear!) but due to some technical difficulties and not wanting to spend an hour down loading ALL the pictures on my camera to get the 8 from Halloween posted, I'm delaying that post for this one.

Because you see, I am amazed EACH day that I go to pick Olivia up from school (her dad has drop off and I have pick up, its a nice little plan if I do say so myself) by what I encounter. Olivia's school is in what I would refer to as an *interesting* neighborhood. And at the risk of sounding like a suburban snob (which I deny to my core but is probably undeniably true) is one that our family may not normally venture into.

Which, in fact, is one of the appealing factors of this school. As long as its in the daytime.

On our way to the school from our house (which MIGHT be 2 miles) we experience some drastic cultural changes. And I'm not talking about racial kinda culture, I'm probably more talking about socioeconomic culture and therefore general social culture. I might make a point to one day count the number of boarded up houses on the street we drive on, but my best guess would be 25. That's a lot of plywood.

This morning on the way I noticed a guy sitting on his front stoop with a toddler who looked easily like she was not quite 1. She had on a summertime onsie with no jacket, pants, socks or shoes standing on the concrete. I couldn't help but glance at the car thermometer... 53 degrees. Holy H1N1 opportunity, Batman! I *might have* talked to myself out loud about the guy letting that little baby do that.

I pulled up in front of O's school where I wait for her classroom door to be opened and I go and sign her out for the day. As I was waiting this pimped out car (is that a term the young kids are still using?) complete with those spinning rims and a bumper sticker on the back window (? is that in style now too?) that said, "Only haters talk sh*t". Nice. The guy got out wearing a fine urban get-up including a tilted ball cap with rhinestone writing and a lit cigarette dangling from his lips. Hmmm. Hadn't seen that parent before. He marched right up to the preschool door Olivia should be coming out of. I KNOW my mouth was hanging wide open as I waited to see if he was going to put out the cigarette before he picked up his kid. Nope. Interesting.

Then (there's more???) as I was signing Olivia out for the day, the teacher nearly plowed me over on her way to *address* 2 teenage girls who had their faces painted like skeletons. She told them to stop peeking their heads in the preschool windows and scaring the little kids (ummm... yeah, that would be my little kid, thankyouverymuch). The teacher went on to tell me about how she had to shoo them away earlier and that the next step was to call the police. Again, nice! When I asked why they weren't in school (something I thought the teacher might have mentioned) she said, "Oh, they are probably suspended." Good idea, release them from being the school's problem so they can come and harass my 3 year old. Thankk you, Dayton Public.

So, these are the people in the neighborhood! Hey, I bet you don't get this in the suburbs!