Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Hope I'm Not the Only One

Alana is turning four on Saturday. Yay for her! She's excited and keeps talking about eating vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. She's not a real culinary risk taker these days.

Me on the other hand, I'm depressed. I don't know what it is about my kids birthdays that I find so depressing. I hope I'm not the only one who feels like this. Is it that another year has passed in the blink of an eye? Maybe. Is it that with every year I get older too and inch my way toward the inevitable big 3-0. Yikes. I suppose that's part of it.

I think its mostly that with every year older Alana gets that chubby little baby disappears just a little bit. She can dress herself. Put on her own shoes. Brush her own wild mane of curly hair. Give me tons of unsolicited kisses and hugs. She now asks to go to bed, instead of having to be coaxed into it. She can get in and out of the car and buckle herself into her booster seat without my help. She washes her own hair, then Barbie's and Ariel's on top of that. She loves to watch Monster House at least 3 times a day and asks me everyday if someone is gonna buy her the new Tinkerbell movie for her birthday.

With every single day that passes, she needs me a little less. She still loves me, but she's learning that the world doesn't revolve around me, as awesome of a mommy as I may be. That's a sad day for every mom. She doesn't rely on me for every little thing. Everytime I hold her little hand it grows a little bit, so that someday it won't fit so securely in the palm of my hand, but instead match the size of my whole hand. Someday she won't even need to hold my hand to cross the street.

She's always saying crazy stuff that cracks me up. I can't believe it! I get to see Brinley! I can't believe it! I get to hold baby chicks! When I'm a woman, can I wear your earrings? Pink shorts match pink shirts. Terrance is my favorite fairy, cause he's a boy! Grayson is strong, he can pick me up! If you put water in my cereal instead of milk, that would be crazy!

I didn't plan on getting pregnant, but I loved her from the second I took the pregnancy test in the work bathroom, then even more when I heard her heart beat for the first time. She made me an official mommy and I'll always love her for it.

She is stubborn and headstrong and opinionated. That's how I know she's mine. She's also loving and beautiful and perfect. Who knows where that came from?

Just last week she was a baby.

Then she turned one.

Before I knew it she was a terrible two year old. But not so terrible.
Next day she was three.
And now she's gonna be four.

I hope I don't blink or before I know it she'll be graduating from high school.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Applying Yourself

When I was in middle school I was a model student. I actually did my homework. It didn't take much effort for me to get straight A's. Minimal effort in middle school = 4.0 GPA.

If I got something less than 100% on a test it was because I was in a hurry. My test taking strategy has always been Why dwell on it? If you don't know the answer, you don't know the answer.

All in all, middle school was a cake walk. I'm a fast learner. Middle school was easy.

High school, on the other hand, I just quit trying. Not that I couldn't have gotten good grades if I had tried, but I had other priorities. Boys. In middle school I didn't care about boys, mostly because the ten in my class didn't interest me. But in high school, suddenly there were way more boys.

Instead of doing my homework I talked on the phone with a boy. He is to blame for my academic downfall.

I coasted through high school with minimum effort, only doing assignments when absolutely necessary. I aced all the tests, so homework wasn't a priority. Then I graduated. The real world slapped me in the face. I hadn't bothered with thoughts of the future, because most 16 year olds don't care what's gonna happen next week, let alone next year.

I got a job at Wendy's, which I kept for four years. Then I moved on to the City of Benson, where I worked till I had Alana. Then I entered the world of voluntary unemployment, ie stay-at-home mommy. This job is harder than the others, takes more qualifications and doesn't pay me. Its not a permanent position, because someday my kids will go off to kindergarten and leave me here alone. So someday, in the future, I will once again venture into the workplace, outside of my home. Yikes!

I will have to pay taxes and deal with co-workers and shower before noon. None of those things appeal to me.

Next time around though, I will be qualified for a job I actually want to do. I'm not gonna serve hamburgers to lazy people who can't cook their own meals, or take utility payments from old people who complain that the mayor made their gas bill too high.

That's why right now, while I'm in the hybrid world of student/mommy, I have to actually do my homework. And I'm not happy with a 90% on my biology test, I need to get 100%. Because what's the point of doing it if I'm not going to apply myself?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why even buy her new toys?

 I spend countless hours everyday picking toys up off of the floor, only to turn around and find Ava playing with a milk carton. She played with that same carton for almost an hour. She's pretty easily entertained. And the carton only set me back $2, including the milk. And every time she sees this picture of herself playing with a milk carton, she starts laughing hysterically.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

One of the perks about having a sister is always having a scapegoat. Who doesn't need someone else to blame for their actions?

Alana takes full advantage of this perk. Whenever I ask who made a mess, who spilled something, who wrote on the couch with marker, who took Barbie's clothes off, the answer is always the same: Ava.
Ava did it. Ava wrote on the couch with the pen that Alana was drawing with. Ava used her tiny baby fingers to take the clothes off of all the Barbies. Ava got up on the kitchen counter and spilled my drink. Ava drew on Alana's face with marker.

Poor Ava doesn't even know how to talk yet to defend herself. She is constantly getting the blame for what Alana allegedly did, but she can't say Not me! to correct her sister.

Or when they're fighting over something and all of a sudden only Ava is crying Alana makes sure to make it clear Ava pinched herself.  That's diabolical. Pinch yourself so your sister gets the blame.

Ava is one guilty baby. I've never met another one year old with such a long rap sheet, filled with so many unspeakable crimes. Who knows what Ava will do next? Hold up a liquor store? Tear the tags off of mattresses? Start parking in handicapped spaces? Sends chills down my spine because I just don't know what Ava is capable of. Or what Alana is capable of blaming on her.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Feel Like I'm Fallin' for Fall

Hooray for September! It's officially fall-ish here in AZ, which means its only 90 outside. I'm ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving and cooler weather. And soup. Lots and lots of soup.

I made soup for dinner tonight. It was yummy. You should try some. I added a little more chicken broth than her and left out the bacon, but it was great cause my kids ate so many vegetables and they didn't even know it. I'm a master of disguise. Its a little harder to disguise veggies in grilled chicken. I also made a zucchini cake. My house smells like cinnamon. Very fall-ish.

I love this time of year because we finally get a break from the sweltering heat, but not so much that we have to run the heater or anything. Its not so hot during the day and cool at night. I wish we had some trees that provided some fall foliage, but you can't win 'em all.

And I love October. Its the best month. It contains Alana's and David's birthdays, Halloween and plenty of soup weather. If every month were like October the world would be a great place.

Then comes November. Its slightly cooler, but around here its pretty nice. This is the month of low utility bills around here, because the cooler is no longer needed but the heaters not quite on yet. Cheap gas and electric bills all around. And I love Thanksgiving. Its my favorite holiday. All the delicious food of Christmas without having to buy ten million presents. Lots of pumpkin flavored foods, turkey and my dad's gravy, which is delicious enough to be eaten by itself. And of course football. The Cowboys play every Thanksgiving, so our day is planned around that. We must be somewhere with a big screen TV (our house or my dad's) by 2 pm. Not optional to miss that game.

All of my favorite stuff happens in the fall and it just happens to coincide with cooler weather. I couldn't of planned it better if I'd tried.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Woman's Prerogative

For almost a month Alana has been going on about how she wants to be a witch for Halloween this year. A scary witch. A ghost witch. A zombie witch.

On Tuesday we went to Sierra Vista to get some costumes, cause we had the money and didn't want to wait till the last minute. They had zero girl costumes. Lots of boy costumes. Nothing for girls. They hadn't gotten around to it yet.

So yesterday we went to our lovely Benson Walmart. After much deliberation and various different witch costumes being picked up Alana finally made up her mind. She wants to be Jessie from Toy Story.

Not even close to a witch, but she does make one cute cowgirl. Even if the costume looks kind of cheap-o to me, the pure happiness on Alana's face when she tried it on made up my mind.

As a woman, Alana has the right to change her mind at anytime. That's her prerogative.

As for Ava, she is going to be the cutest Minnie Mouse baby you've ever seen. But she probably won't look like a mouse, since she won't leave the ears on. Would it be totally mean to tie them to her head? Probably.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feeling Crafty

Today we re-started our long abandoned craft/scrapbook day. Ava did her part to make sure I accomplished as little as possible. Then I got orange acrylic paint on her white onesie. Whoops. We made really cute candy corn, minus the beadboard. It was a custom version.

Now I need to post a pic of what we need to make next, to go along with my description so my sister knows what I'm talking about.

I need one of these. I love argyle. I must make it. My life will not be complete without it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The fridge is a place of honor in every home. It's a place to display our most recent accomplishments, invitations and even grocery lists of what we need the most. You can hang up that test you got an A on, your favorite picture or your children's artwork.

Alana is currently the dominant decorator of our fridge. It's covered with many masterpieces: watercolor paintings, drawings, coloring book pages and her most recent piece of work. It is titled Homework. I give it an A.

After I got finished covering an index card with my chicken scratch she took one look at it and proclaimed You did a good job! You should hang it on the fridge! Thanks Alana. But I'm prouder of other things I've made.

Like this apple pie:

And especially these two ladies:

 I don't think any of my magnets are strong enough to hang either of them from the fridge.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Must. Resist. Warm. Buttery. Bread

I'm hungry. David's not home from work yet. There's a pot of broccoli and cheese soup sitting on the stove. Calling to me. But the thing screaming my name is the pan of warm buttery soft pretzels that I just took out of the oven. They are sitting there, in all their salty deliciousness, waiting for me to eat them. To dip them in my cheesy soup. I'm trying to resist.

This isn't the first time I've been in this predicament. I usually give in to temptation. Then by the time David gets home I'm full of bread. Warm delicious bread. Just one bite wouldn't hurt right?

It's not my fault. It's David's. If he were home on time I could just eat dinner.

The Obligatory Back to School Photo

My kids aren't old enought to go to school yet. So I have zero pictures of them in the yard or in front of the door, giant empty backpack strapped to their tiny frame. But now I've found myself as a student again at 28 and I guess I've got to document it. Minus a giant backpack.

Most people don't have one year olds with car pajamas in their back to school pic. But mostly people don't have a one year old who doesn't want her mommy to put her down. It was almost as if she could sense I was about to leave the house for three hours. Its not like I want to spend every Saturday morning between now and Christmas in a classroom re-learning algebra that I've long forgotten. But sometimes we have to do stuff we don't want to do. The last time I took algebra was in 8th grade. Its been awhile. If you need me I'll be thinking of places to take a picture that don't have my gas meter in the background.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fashion tips from Alana

After a short hiatus from the fashion world Alana is back and better than ever.

*Four is the perfect amount of hair accessories.
*Personalized Mickey hats are the big thing for Fall 2010.
*Boots look great with pink shorts. They really look great with any shorts if you've got the right legs.
*Pink striped shirts definitely match with pink shorts. In case you were wondering. The rule is: pink matches pink.
*If the front of your shirt is wet with whatever you happen to be drinking, that really completes the outfit.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fashion Sense

One of the perks of being a parent is that you're finally in charge. You're the boss. The number one go-to guy. El hefe. The chief. The general. You get the picture.

Once said power is in your hands its up to you what to do with it. You begin your reign as soon as your baby is born, but you lose your power sooner than you'd like to admit. Exercise it while you can, because it will be gone before you know it.

I choose to use my powers for good. The good of fashion. I have two little girls, it would be a crime if I didn't dress them as cute as possible.

But the thing about fashion is its relative. What I consider cute might not be cute to someone else. The clothes they consider cute and fashionable probably won't be appealing to me.

I've always been a little on the preppy side for some people, though I've made a couple detours to the punk way of life. I considered PacSun to be the best store ever back then. Back when I had my eyebrow pierced. I wore shirts that said stuff like Don't Label Me. I had a yellow shirt with a monkey in a yoga pose. My personal favorite was an orange shirt that said Boys Lie. I can't even begin to tell you how many creepy old men commented on that shirt. I was 19 and they had no business looking at my shirt.

I see other people out in public and I sometimes frequently think to myself What were they thinking leaving the house in that? But they probably thought it looked good. Who knows? Maybe muffin tops are in style somewhere that I've never been. They might even be looking back at me and wondering if I thought I looked good when I left the house. Impossible. Maybe.

Everyone has different personal style so who am I to judge what looks good and what doesn't? Seriously though, some things will never look good. Camel toes, muffin tops, toes hanging off the front of your shoes, that gap between articles of clothing where they can't quite seem to cover the middle. But those things are more about how the clothes fit, not what clothes you're wearing.

I'm not a fashion expert, although I've seen plenty of episodes of What Not to Wear. But I'd like to think I dress okay. That's why I like to dress my kids almost like miniature versions of myself. They have little skinny jeans, Ugg boots, ballet flats, leggings, hoodies, cute little shirts. All the necessities. And I have to say they definitely look cuter in it than I do. But they look cuter in everything than I do.

I wouldn't wear everything I dress them in, cause I don't wear pajamas with feet in them, but I like their clothes to reflect my style. At least for now, while I still have control. Till I lose control though, its every woman for themself around here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

6 + 4 = Holy Crap Ava has 10 teeth!

That's right. My basic math skills are correct again. Ava has reached double digit teeth. Exciting. I know.

She was a little bit of a groucho-deluxe last week and yesterday I was playing with her and holding her upside down and I got a glimpse of a couple of molars. So I pried her mouth open for closer inspection and guess what? Four more teeth were peeking out of her little gums.

She is the proud new owner of three molars, which will undoubtedly be used to eat jaw-breakers and beef jerky. And her bottom two teeth now have a little tiny companion, which I'm sure will alter the future bite marks on Alana's arms.

I've accepted that she's not a tiny baby anymore, but come on! Does she have to do all her growing up at once? Its a lot for a mommy to handle!


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