Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Show & Tell #63

We had a blast at Total Con this year. So much fun that even a bout of stomach flu did not spoil it!

We arrived on Friday afternoon and while my husband got the kids and the stuff situated in our hotel room, I went to a role playing game called Final Flight (husband played the other game, The Burning Stars).

That evening, Michael played in his first adult role playing game, where he played Scooby Doo in a horror mystery game based on the cartoon show (yes, this was more for Teens and up).

More role playing games, more board and strategy games were played on Saturday. I enjoyed playing this game so much, I bought it...

Michael played his annual run of Clay Wars , and we had fun looking at all the goodies to buy from the vendors.

Husband won "best gamer" ticket during a game, and Michael used the ticket to get this Star Wars attack game.

Who knew that 4 hours later, he would be sick as a dog...

Willow...she was a little monkey. She and her brother got to play in the pool, she ran around everywhere and was fascinated by everything. She got her hand painted...

And she tried her first red onion at the hotel restaurant...

Wow. Another year over. It was definitely a fun time.

Show and TellClick to see who else is Showing and Telling.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday (on Tuesday)

Sometimes perfect moments are messy and gross and yucky.

We were away this weekend in a hotel. We had a wonderful time, to be capped off with my son's birthday on Sunday (a dinner out before going home was planned).

Being in a hotel room, our configuration on sleeping is this: she is in a portable crib; husband is in one double bed; my son and I share the other double bed. I thought it was so nice to be this close to my son on his birthday eve.

Going to sleep that night we talked and my son mentioned how he wanted to stay up till his "actual" birthday (which is a little after 1 a.m.). But at midnight we went to sleep.

Around 1 a.m. I felt something warm and not right on my back. And then I realized--my son had vomited and was still vomiting--I took him into the shower, pajamas and all...and I realized an hour later that both of us had a stomach bug that would make us cut short our day--his day. But, as I laid there worrying about my son and feeling quite ill and dizzy--I could not help but think of being in the hospital sick and ill and happy to have my son--11 years ago that morning.

(We are both feeling better now--one sick day later and we are back to our routines)

More Perfect Moments Here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy Birthday


He found them. My stash of Mad Magazines--ones that I have saved and saved from when I had a subscription. He is excited and tells me some of the jokes, and I remember them well. He likes Don Martin. His father shows him the CD versions that he bought me one holiday...I prefer the feel of the magazines myself, but I do appreciate that we have all of them (up to 1999) on CD... Sometimes I can see myself in my son. This is one of those times. For his upcoming birthday, I am getting him a subscription to Mad.


It is getting time to go to bed and its time to read to her. He has been at a Babysitter's Introduction Class most of the day. So, he volunteers to read to her. And then he proceeds to multi-task...he needs to finish his Einstein biography (so that they can do the report this week). So, we all cuddle up to my almost eleven year old reading about Albert Einstein going to school. She listens intently for a while. Then she starts poking him in the face. And then she hugs him and kisses him. I have no idea how she realized this--but she showed her brother such affection at such the right moment...

It is a half an hour later. We are sitting down to some adult time television viewing. We hear some rustling up stairs, but figure they are settling down. We think he is going to the bathroom; we think she is talking to herself in her crib. And then, they are at the top of the stairs. He says that she was so cute, that they just wanted to cuddle in his bed for a while. And then he promised her they could come down and visit...we acknowledge them reluctantly, but with full hearts--Bed Time Take 2...


I don't do as much socializing outside my comfort zone--usually my husband, a few mutual friends. Sometimes that can be isolating. So, one part of my Plan this year--try to reach out to others and find my social life again. Yesterday, I was going to a Meet Up for Ruby Feathers (see sidebar badge). As I was leaving, my husband and she were sleeping on the couch. My son--he was acting dejected. He knew he needed to do some homework, but did not want to...and suddenly--he was clingy. I told him if he wanted me to, I would stay. I told him that nothing is more important to me than him. But, he said I could go. I left him my cell phone number, I told him to call if he wanted me to come home. LATER, when I got home, my husband and I were expecting company--and I expressly ignored them (with their permission) to go watch "Monsters, Inc." with my son next to me in my arms.


The ADHD medication messes with his sleep patterns. Sometimes, he just can't sleep. We tell him to try to read in bed or at least rest. Tonight I hear him move around in his room. I can tell he is up. I go upstairs and he is sitting in his chair playing with Star Wars figurines--he is almost 11 years much longer do I get to see him do this? I say "You can't sleep?" "nah"; I ask him if he wants to make our annual holiday peanut butter fudge recipe (my Grammie's recipe). He perks up--and we go down and make fudge. He spills vanilla extract all over the floor; he eats more peanut butter than he puts into the skillet; he almost burns himself stirring the hot sugar mixture. And I wouldn't have missed a second of it. Afterwards he goes to bed, hopefully for the night.


Just getting up this morning. I see a child in green or is it blue? Is that my daughter at the hall window, looking out? She has not learned how to get out of her crib yet, that her? Blurriness leaves me and I realize that no--that is my son, kneeling down at the window in the hall. Looking out at the sun. And then I notice, yes, he is wearing his blue pj top. And his new green iguana (just acquired yesterday) on his shoulder. He is showing Pepi II his new world.


Walking around outside yesterday in an historical park. We were talking about walking the same path as the Revolutionaries. And my son presented me with his theory on reincarnation and how he thinks it could transcend time and space. Of course, as soon as I said that is what he said—he was onto another topic. But, for a brief moment, I saw his inner mind struggling with one of life’s mysteries. And then it was onto the latest video game he is tackling.


Around 9:30 p.m. that night, my son climbs into bed with me. He is having trouble falling asleep. At this point, so am I. We play shadow figures on the ceiling and I am happy to spend this quiet time with just him.


After picking him up from his first day of school, I knew I wanted to do something special for him—perhaps his favorite ice cream stand near our house? Unclear whether that will be a treat he would want, I start to suggest doing something special. He says “Can we go to [the ice cream place]?” We go and he gets his favorite, Mint Oreo, in the warm autumn air.


He always gets to pick out which bed is his when we get to a hotel room. And since he is small and we are large, the double beds are not big enough for the both my husband and I in one bed. So, I get the luxury to sleep in the same bed as my ten year old. Having an excuse to cuddle him is one of those moments I will miss as he gets older. During the second night away, I woke up with a start, not knowing where I was. The thick furry legs of my partner were not there. Instead they were the lanky, stick like legs of my son poking into my stomach. And all was right with the world again.


Michael is in the "SpotLight" this month at school. I guess each month they pick a child in his class who brings in some photos and they post it on a bulletin board in his classroom. So, last night, Michael and I looked through the many scrapbook pages I have of him. I haven't scrapbooked in about a year (I have done a little of Willow's book, but hardly anything since she has been born). I had forgotten how many books I had done of Michael. And all those books are his when he grows up. And it was wonderful to go through those books with him, remembering him at various ages. The first time on a beach, his various obsessions over dinosaurs and superheroes. And he enjoyed looking at them. I think, I hope, that he sees the love and tenderness that went into them. It also reminded me why I love scrapbooking.


Just me and my son. Getting our hair cut. Finished, getting ready to go home. “Do you want to pick up something for lunch, or just…” “Well, mom…there is the Wendy’s right over there…” I am thinking of just going through the drive-thru. I want to get home, I want to see my husband and daughter. My son wants to go inside to eat (where my temptation to have some very fattening food awaits). I relent. We go inside, I eat my good-but-not-good-for-me food. And we play the games suggested by the kids meal bag…a matching game, an eye spy game. I enjoy this small moment between me and my son.

Son, thank you for these precious moments and so many more I have not put down here. You are a gift that keeps on giving to the world. To my world.

You are witty and funny and kind. You can be frustrating, bossy and spoiled sometimes. You are smart, energetic and inquisitive. You are an enigma sometimes to me. And sometimes you are as clear to me as my reflection. You are my first born, my one and only for so long. You hold a place in my heart no other can.

You are becoming a wonderful big brother to your sister. It impresses me to see what tenderness and care you have for her. I hope that in the coming years, your bond with her will only get stronger and that you will find her to be one of your staunchest friends and ally (she already adores you).

You are on the edge of one of the hardest stages of your life and I hope to be there when you need me. But I know I cannot always break your fall. I have seen glimpses lately of the young man you will become and I know that everything will be alright.

So, for your birthday this year, I just wanted to say that I totally, unconditionally love you with all my being. And that as much as I love you now, I will love you even more throughout this coming year and the many years to come.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Show & Tell #62 - My Show & Tell Runneth Over!

I have not just one, but TWO subjects for my Show & Tell this week---

This Sunday we saw a cool display of Legos--several trains going around several scenes (a carnival, a haunted house, a village, etc.) all made of Legos. This was done by the New England Lego Users Group (click to read the article about the display). Michael, who is a big Lego user himself, was suitably impressed, as was Willow.

Here are some pictures:


Second part of Show & Tell concerns this previous post. Twenty years ago today I met my future husband. This morning, he came by my office and dropped off these roses (20 of them for 20 years).

When I got home today, he had hastily put up this banner:

(My son then pointed out that I hadn't gotten my husband anything--I pointed out that I had poured my guts out on my blog post--but, yeah, hubby gets extra points on this)

Unfortunately, our plans to have a nice kid-free romantic dinner fell through when our designated babysitter fell sick, came with us for SUSHI and some traditional Japanese food...

Wish I had taken a picture before half the sushi was gone--it was a very impressive sushi platter for two...

Michael tried some tempura that he had not tried before and he even ordered fish (and ate a little bit of it). Willow liked Miso soup and both children liked their rice.

Willow, of course, was "done!" first---as demonstrated by her trying to climb out of her high chair.

It was really kind of interesting to realize that we never would have expected that this would be what we were doing 20 years from when we first met.

And now...I am exhausted....

Show and TellClick to see who else is Showing and Telling.

20 Years

Has it really been twenty years? Almost half my life and so much more...

20 years ago today I "met" you. Well, officially, I met you a few months before. You often joke that I rejected you three times before we "really" dated.

You must forgive me. You met me at a weird time in my life, my sophomore year in college. My freshman year had been tough. I had went through horrible homesickness and awful roommates, culture shock (I was not into PARTY ALL DAY-ism) and fatigue. I imagine my freshman year was a mixture of the normal freshman stuff, but added into the mixture was my own lack of involvement. Thing is, I am very introverted. My idea of a good time often involves listening to music (at that time on my Walkman) and reading a good book. Not exactly the best ways to meet people.

But...I did meet people eventually. And by my sophomore year, I was feeling pretty good. I had friends, a potential long-term boyfriend back home, and I was doing well. I even went out to clubs--um, social, geeky the MSU Star Trek, you might remember the first time we met, we were playing Star Fleet Battles?

By the time I met you the second time, my boyfriend had fizzled and I was sick to death with men/boys. I was fine with my girlfriends and just "hanging out". So, yes, I did not think of you as a "potential boyfriend" then...I just merely heard you across the room talking about the JFK assassination (yes, how romantic, but that is what perked my ears). You were talking about it in relation to the story presented in the Graphic Novel "The Watchmen". (BTW, thanks for helping to revive my love of comic books)

Okay. The third time, well. That was a mistake. Really. Star Trek club, again. We were playing laser tag in one of the abandoned (for the night) halls (can't tell y'all which one--we were not officially supposed to be there--one of our members worked there and had the keys). Speaking of which. When you say "Sure, I would like to get a pop (soda to you guys not from Midwest) too." with this guy who is vaguely familiar...remember that he is NOT the guy with the keys to the building. Cuz we got locked out. Because we wanted soda from a machine OUTSIDE the correct hallway. Luckily (or maybe unluckily, who knows if we had spent some extra time there what might have happened?), some one found us and let us back in.

Okay, so 20 years ago was another Star Trek club event. We were doing a movie night over at one of our member's houses. We car pooled there (most of us did not have cars). When I arrived, I vaguely remember that I sat down and made sure to have the seat next to me empty. Not sure why I did that. I might have got vibes off of you. Or it just could have been that fact that my best friend was not there that evening. Either way, watching "Excalibur" with you next to me was thrillingly, nerve-wreaking fun. And we stayed there until 3 a.m., watching more movies, and then simply talking. We stayed so long that the member, whose house it was, finally asked us if we needed rides HOME...we talked in the car.

And then the next day, I kinda just went about my normal day. I am sorry, but I could not have known. How could I know that that evening you would come up behind me and ask me to go out for a walk with you. And I am so bad at names--I am sorry that the first thing I thought when I saw you behind me was--"Okay, its THIS guy--what's his name again?!?"

Thank you, my love, for being persistant. Thank you for walking in the snow, 20 minutes across campus (with a hole in your shoe), then walking 20 minutes with me towards your dorm, then walking me back afterwards (oh, and you had to walk back to your dorm, again!!!).

Thank you for being my husband and being the father of my children. Love you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

This time I am going to share a moment about me being proud of myself:

Coming up to his 11th Birthday has been interesting as this is the first year we are not doing a big party, a theme, a place, etc. I had told him that this year we would do something more intimate--a couple of friends of his choosing, an activity of his choice, some cake, some ice cream, etc. When I asked him about a month ago what he wanted to do, he said a sleep-over that would include his best friend (since kindergarten) who has recently moved to a neighboring state.

Problem. The best friend, I had only one way to contact his mother. And it took weeks to try to find out whether and when I could have him come. And I never told my son that these plans were in motion. Mainly because I was uncertain of the outcome.

Friday, I finally got confirmation from the mother that he would be able to come THE NEXT night. I called the other child's mother to make sure he could come. Then, on Friday night, I went out and bought some small Star Wars figurines and a small gift (he will get his other birthday gifts on his actual birthday). On Saturday, while my husband took the kids to his karate class, I went out and bought a cake, party plates and cups, snacks, and put the Star Wars figures on the cake. And hid all in the oven.

Late afternoon, door rings, and my son answers the door to see his best friend. And later was further surprised with the cake, ice cream, etc. They had a great time and enjoyed themselves. They were well behaved and the house is only a small mess.

It was one of those Perfect Moments I have had as a mother, one of those times when all your planning actually works to perfection. To feel like I had made my son so very happy. How much I love him.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Five: Warmth

Took this from Suzy's blog:

it's friday and time for friday five! want to play along? you can either leave your answers in the comments or leave a comment that you've posted it onto your own blog.

today's topic is things that keep you warm. so, here goes!

What is your favorite blanket like?
Its a down comforter within a blue cover. It is sooo snuggly and warm. I also love to pile on the blankets, especially during winter!

What was the last thing you baked?
Baked chicken and vegetables on Tuesday night.

What television personality gets you most hot and bothered?

That would be DB (from Angel and Bones) or DT (from Dr. Who)

When did you last burn yourself?
Its been so long I have forgotten, but I do remember it was pan handle related...

What are your feelings about hot sauce?
Not really into hot sauce, although I like mildly spicy foods (Indian, etc)

so what are your answers this week?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Show & Tell # 61 - Of Sock Puppets and Men...

Already posted this yesterday, but it really is the epitome of Show and Tell...

Michael had to do a biography project for school. He had to do a book report and an oral report--with a PUPPET. Yep. A puppet of the person. Since he is interested in being a scientist, he picked Albert Einstein.

And this weekend, we made not one, but TWO sock puppets of Albert Einstein.

We used an old pair of dad's socks, and these materials:

One of the things they were graded on was if the puppet looked like the famous person. We lucked out, because Einstein is basically the hair and the mustache.

The reason for two Einsteins, to explain his theory of relativity which tells us that the faster you travel through space, the slower you travel through time.

(His twin paradox says: "Consider a pair of brothers, identical twins. One gets a job as an astronaut and rockets into deep space. The other stays on Earth. When the traveling twin returns home, he discovers he's younger than his brother.")

So, the two puppets helped to represent this theory during the oral report. These are the puppets drying.

I was going to take pictures today of Michael with the puppets, but he had to hand them in. Grade on the whole project: 96%

Good job, Michael!

Show and TellClick to see who else is Showing and Telling.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Moment # 1: He found them. My stash of Mad Magazines--ones that I have saved and saved from when I had a subscription. He is excited and tells me some of the jokes, and I remember them well. He likes Don Martin. His father shows him the CD versions that he bought me one holiday...I prefer the feel of the magazines myself, but I do appreciate that we have all of them (up to 1999) on CD... Sometimes I can see myself in my son. This is one of those times. For his upcoming birthday, I am getting him a subscription to Mad.

Moment #2: She is getting a bit bossey in that cute way. She will grab your hand and pull you towards something. She will ask you to "sit" or "come". She is also learning to say "pees" and "tank you", but those are not as demanding she has learned. She is insistent. That you take the world at her pace. That you take the time out of the routine and play blocks with her or kiss her dolls or play ball. She makes me stop and enjoy the moment. Dishes, laundry, cooking...the house is a mess sometimes. But. I am playing with my daughter right now at her insistence and I don't mind being bossed around to do that.

More Perfect Moments Here.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Please, Oh, Please Go to Bed...

Mostly my children are very good when its time to go to bed. Generally, bedtime is around 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. My husband is usually the Sleep Master. No kidding. The man can get an infant/toddler down in 15 mins. flat. (sometimes quicker!!) The man has super powers. So our routine lately has been for him to put both kids to bed (since Willow tends to want to lay in Michael's bed for a bit to say "good night").

However. Michael's medications sometimes play havoc with his sleep patterns. And Willow. She has never been the regular routine sleeper that Michael was at her age. So, we usually have, on average, one night a week where the kids give us bedtime heck.

This week, it was Thursday night. After trying twice, my husband gave me the reigns to the runaway train...and here is some video!!

Note my son says "9 p.m." then says the real time--9:40 (!)
You can note the irritation in my voice...yeah, I got them to bed finally...and still worked out on the Wii (!)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Show & Tell #60

It's Willow time!

Tried to get some video of Willow tonight, these are the two attempts. As soon as she sees the camera, she wants to play with it. So, here she is.

I call this Baby Hospital. She took a WHOLE bunch of wet wipes and I am not sure what is going on, but it looked like a scene from Gone with the Wind...

Show and TellClick to see who else is Showing and Telling.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Here's everyone's latest...

Michael's: Star Wars; Spongebob Squarepants "Lights, Camera, Pants" videogame; Mad Magazine; Wierd Al (as in every time we are in the car--"Mom, can we play your iPod? Start at "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota")

Willow's: Shoes, hats, things she can put on. Snow, as in eating it. Wipes, washclothes, in washing/wiping things off (the dishwasher lid where you put the soap in--she likes to wash off the water and clean it before I can start the dishwasher); baby dolls, putting them in strollers and wandering the house; making the cat "Get DOWN!" off of places the cat has every possible reason to be at.

Husband's: Dragon Age; sleep; working all hours of the day and night; Cok.e a Col.a; sleep.

Mine: Re-watching the New Dr. Who DVDs in the morning during my work out--I am done with the first season with delicious CE onto yummy DT; Wii Golds Gym Cardio workout and Wii Fit; sleep; Twitter; Facebook; Blogging; capturing perfect moments on camera since Willow now is starting to say "Cheese!"; This American Life Podcasts; Eddie Izzard

Now, if I could only get "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" out of my flipping head!!!

Roll Out

Well, after over nine months of unemployment, I have accepted an offer for a position at a mid-sized law firm.  So, the "strange normal...