Monday, November 29, 2010

Letter to Santa

This is Jake's letter to Santa.

Dear Santa,

I am a good boy. Please bring me a Tinkerbell, a dinosaur, a Special Agent Oso Whirlybird, a Spiderman, some brussel sprouts and a new bicycle and a bumblebee pillow pet.

Love, Jake

He came up with most of it by himself. I did prod him a little bit on the brussel sprouts and bicycle. But only because I knew that Santa has already gotten him one. A bike I mean. Not brussel sprouts. Yuck.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Musings and Ramblings

I sit here typing this while wearing my fat pants instead of my skinny jeans. Thanksgiving was good. We went to my sister's house this year. She had our entire family plus Alan's parents over for dinner. It was delicious and great because I only had to cook a side dish!

I began what I'm going to call my holiday baking marathon the day before Thanksgiving. Right now I'm really into pumpkin. I made some chocolate chip pumpkin muffins because I saw that everyone else was doing it and I'm a follower. Let me tell you this. Everyone else knows what they're doing. They were delicious! Although I think Big D was a little sad I didn't stick with our traditional blueberry muffins. Especially since the last time I made those for him I had to put some whole wheat flour in the batter and totally ruined the experince for him.

Anyway, then I made a pumpkin dump cake that I was going to take to Cheryl's house for Thanksgiving. Only it was kind of ugly. It tasted pretty good but was not pleasing to the eye. So then I made some layered pumpkin cheesecake brownies that were not only beautiful but also yummy. I took those to Cheryl's house. Although she didn't really need them because she made a chocolate pecan pie that was delicious! Are you beginning to see why I'm wearing fat pants?

My plan is to eat the rest of the brownies tonight and make Mike eat the rest of the cake so that tomorrow I can make a pumpkin cheesecake pie. Then we will be done with the pumpkin. Until next year.

Today at church one of the helpers in Jake's sunday school class asked him what his name was and he replied "Spiderman."

A few days ago I recorded a Tinkerbell movie because it just happened to be on the TV and I noticed that Emma was really paying attention to it. It's a Christmas miracle! She has never really been interested in television. And I know this is bad parenting but sometimes you just need to sit them in front of the TV so you can breathe for a minute. Well, Jake also loves Tinkerbell now. And he really wants a Tinkerbell for Christmas. Mike is going crazy. I think Jake has about as much of a chance of getting a Tinkerbell for Christmas as I have of getting into my skinny jeans before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh no he didn't.

Really? Blue crayon on the table and both chairs. At least I know how to get crayon off of furniture. And now, so does Jake. He was introduced to the Magic Eraser this morning.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh no she didn't.

Does anyone know how to get ink out of leather?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wild Thing

THIS IS JAKE!! If I had to describe our son in terms of punctuation he would most certainly be an exclamation point. Two exclamation points to be exact which are defined as a writing tool used to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc. He is capital letters all the time. And bold. Let's not forget the bold. He is a bold, capital letter with two exclamation points at the end about 95% of his waking life. And sometimes for good measure he is also underlined.

All I'm saying is that Jake is very excited about life. He has not really discovered his inside voice. He has not really discovered that walking can be better than running in some life situations. And he has not yet discovered that not every little thing that happens to him is worthy of a theatrical debut that merits an Oscar nomination.

A lot of people might not see this side of Jake. Sometimes he seems quite shy. I cannot get him to look people in the eye and say hello when they speak to him. So how can I claim he's the fireball I describe him to be so often? All I say is give him five minutes alone in a room with you. His true colors will come out.

We were at Cabela's the other day looking at dead stuffed things because that's how we roll around here. Jake was in front of the rest of us having an animated conversation with himself. Or whoever it is he is ALWAYS talking to. A nice, older gentleman walked by us who just happened to be wearing a shirt that looked like the American flag (it was Veteran's Day.) Jake stopped his conversation just long enough to look at the man, point at him, started laughing hysterically and turned back to us to say "LOOK AT HIM! HE'S SO FUNNY!!"

His excitement for life has landed him in trouble at school a few times this year. It seems there are a couple other boys who are also exclamation points in his class. They have trouble keeping their hands and feet to themselves. I think tackling each other is also a problem. Anyway, he has two of the sweetest teachers who put up with his antics every week. For Thanksgiving, they sent home the cutest list of all of the kids in class and what qualities they possess that the teachers are thankful for.

It went something like this. We are thankful for "Jane" for being such a good friend. We are thankful for "John" for his ability to answer questions. For so an so for her quiet, gentle nature. And then, we are thankful for Jake and his excitement about everything everyday!! I just cracked up. His other cohorts were described with words like enthusiasm and high spiritedness. God bless their teachers. Let me tell you if you have more than one high spirited, enthusiastic kid in your class you have your hands full.

Anyway, parenting this excited about everything everyday child has gotten to a most challenging stage. We don't want to quench the excitedness. We just want to harness it and use it for good instead of evil. If we could figure out a way to power cars with it that would be good too.

Our search has led us to this book which I'm hoping will give me some insight into the mind of the boy. Wild Things-the art of nurturing boys. Maybe it will help me figure out Mike as well!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Emma Mae (guest blogger)

It is so hard being a girl around here. The boys are always tickling, poking, prodding, hugging and touching me. They make rude noises and don't say "excuse me." Plus, their feet stink. The big one is nice but he talks really loud. Sometimes it startles me.

The little guy likes to push me off of pumpkins and stuff.

He's kind of cute when he smiles though. And he makes laugh every single day

He also makes me cry every single day.

The other girl here (I think her name is Mama) tries to help me out as much as she can. But sometimes she disappears for awhile and I find her in a closet eating chocolate while whispering things I don't understand to herself. Sometimes I just have to hide. Go incognito. Just for a little while. Just me and my lanpshade.

And don't even get me started on the dog. Fur everywhere. Every time he walks by me he shoves me down. And the stench! Plus, the other day I caught him chewing on my stuffed lion. It's more than a girl than take.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our latest art projects

I know most people could care less about what Jake and Emma and I do to pass the time around here. But, I care and this is my blog. Someday, when I can't remember anything that happened from their childhood I can look back at this blog and think "oh, we did stuff together! how nice!"

Last week we made these cool, super fancy bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed. The kids had a blast putting them together. Too bad the birds didn't have a blast eating them. Poor Jake must have sat at the window for minutes waiting for a bird to appear. Alas, all we got was ants when one of the feeders fell off the tree and landed on the ground.

On Halloween, one of Emma Mae's little friends at school gave her a cute little ceramic sea lion with tiny paints and a wee little paintbrush to decorate it with. Today, I busted it out for the kids to decorate together. They did surprisingly well. They took turns even! I think I've finally found the inner artist in Jake. Much to my dismay, he doesn't like to color. He does, however, like to paint!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh my goodness it's Rick Springfield!

Friday night Amy and I went to see Rick Springfield. In concert. In San Antonio. It was kind of a spur of the moment deal. I found out about the concert two days before. My doctor who is helping me with my back found out via Mike of my love of Mr. Springfield and let us know about the concert. Thanks Dr. Askey!

Rick was giving the concert in conjunction with a rock and roll marathon going on in San Antonio this weekend. I was so glad I didn't have to run the marathon to see him play. I don't know if I could run 26 miles. Even for Rick. Maybe if I got to meet him at the end.

Anyways, we left around 4pm Friday afternoon because we didn't want to get stuck in traffic or have anything happen to us that might make us late for, or heaven forbid, miss the concert. We arrived at 5:30 with plenty of time to spare. We decided to walk the streets of downtown San Antonio to look for a spot to eat. We finally settled in at a place called Pat O'Brians. It was really good. Until it started to rain inside. Yes, I said inside. We were sitting in an enclosed patio area. It was totally enclosed with walls and a ceiling and everything. They had a guy playing guitar and singing really good songs and Amy and I were really feeling the vibe. Do you know how long it has been since I've sat somewhere and listened to music? Me neither. I can't even remember the last time.

Yes, those are really big drinks. No, neither one of us finished it. Yes, we walked to the theater. Yes, mama, it's just iced tea.

So, we're listening to music when I feel a few drops of water splat on my head. I tell Amy and she looks at me like I'm crazy. Then the girls at the table beside me start looking up and moving their chairs because they're getting wet. Well, then it full on started sprinkling. You would have thought a hurricane had blown through the room. Everyone started running for cover in the bar section of the place. I was just so confused about where the water was coming from. Amy and I got situated in chairs in the "no water" section and she brought up the fact that she hoped it stopped raining before we had to walk over to the theater where Rick was playing. I was all "is it raining outside?" And she was all "where do you think that water was coming from?" And I was all "I don't know. Rain? Is that what that was?" And she couldn't stop laughing at me. I'm still confused about how it was raining inside. I thought maybe a pipe had burst or something. Apparently, they just have a leaky ceiling. We were both scared we might get rained on walking over to the concert and have to deal with really bad hair. I already felt there was some sort of conspiracy going on because on the way to the restaurant a bird pooped on my forehead. Just a little bit.

Anyway, onto the good part. The concert started at 8:30. At 8:20 this girl came and sat down beside us and started talking to us. She had come to the concert alone. She looked at us and said something like "do ya'll know who this guy is? he sings that one song right?" Oh, ma'am. Yes, we know who this "guy" is. He is our childhood idol. He is the man whose posters adorned my entire room from 1981 to 1988. He is the man who made me want to be a rock star. And yes, he had that "one song" and also he had 16 other top 40 hits. Thank you very much. She could not believe we knew so much about him and that our very first concert had been with Rick 27 years prior. Good Lord, we're old.

So, he came out promptly at 8:30. I couldn't tell you what his opening song was because I'm old and my brain doesn't remember things anymore. But I can tell you that he was fantastic and we had the best time! He played all of the songs I wanted to hear and had an amazing energy level. He is 61 years old and was hopping around all over that stage like it was nothing. Now, let's talk about his arms. They are perfection and that's all I have to say about that. This was my 6th or 7th time seeing him and it was just as good as the first time. There is just something about seeing him live, playing his guitar and singing Jessie's Girl (or any of his other number of hits). Nothing compares to the feeling. And there is something about seeing him with the person who walked the Rick road with me way back when we were just girls. There is something about connecting with your teenage self and remembering the way you felt back then. I just wish I could go back and talk to that teenage self and say "hey! it's gonna be okay. stop stressing out!" The only thing that would have made it better is if Amy and I had back stage passes and could have actually met him. That would be heaven. I know this sounds weird but it would also have been nice if we could have touched him. During his song "Human Touch" he comes out into the audience. He is walking on the tops of the chairs and the crowd kind of carries him along. We were on row 12 (pretty good seats) and when he got to about row 8 I hear Amy yell at me to GO! And then I think she pushed me. So we rushed up to row 8 just as Rick was making his way to, you guessed it, row 12 where he hung out for a little while. So I screamed at Amy to GO BACK! We did, but some other maniacal fans had taken our spot on our row and we couldn't get to him. Sorrowful. Just another missed opportunity in the roller coaster of my life. Still, it was kind of funny that we got swept up in the hysteria and we are still and will always be BFF's.

I took lots of pictures and videos that didn't turn out well at all. Luckily, Amy got some good pics. I also wished I had an extra $35 for a blue football jersey that had Jessie's Girl on the back but I think I'll live without it. We could have paid $500 for an autographed guitar and a chance to meet him but neither one of us had that kind of money laying around. Too bad. We'll always have the memory because no matter how bad my mind gets it seems to be able to hold onto details from every one of his shows.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm seeing glimpses into his future

This is what happens when Jake takes possesion of our camera. We get many, many pictures of his stuffed animals. I'm thinking he could grow up to be a photographer for National Geographic. It's funny because I used to want that job. But I was too scared to leave my parents house let alone go to some jungle with huge spiders and gross diseases.

I call this one Blue Eye. I think he captured the essence of penguin here.

This one (obviously!) is called Penguins in Daddy's Shoes. I think he was trying to show the quirky side of the penguin and also how they like smelly things. Mike just informed me that there is no way Jake could have taken this picture since he is, in fact, in the picture. I see his point. I must have taken this one. But Jake put the penguins in the shoes and posed them all on his own. I swear!

Shamu-a close up.

I think he was trying to invoke compassion here. Doesn't this picture make you want to reduce, reuse and recycle?

Jake is such a crack up lately. Here is the joke he told Mike last night.
"Knock, Knock."
"Who's there?"
"Banana who?"
"Banana in your FACE!" hysterical laughter.

Is that funny? Because to me it doesn't make any sense although I have to admit I don't always get jokes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Okay, I'm finally getting around to putting up the Halloween pictures. I didn't get any real good ones. Go figure. Anyhoo, let's recap.

Jake was a pirate and Emma was a feisty kitty. Jake really got into the whole pirate thing. From the minute I showed him his costume he started yelling "ARR, MATEY!" It was cute the first day. Then he scared a lady in HEB on Halloween by screaming it at her. I had to ask him to tone down the pirate speak a little bit. I had every intention of getting him a bandana or something to tie around his head to complete the look. Would you believe I couldn't find nary a bandana around? Is nary still a word? Anyhow we ended up using this cool spider hat he made in school. Every one was calling him Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirate of the Carribean. So cute. The first day I tried Emma's costume on her she had a complete fit and screamed "NO, NO, NO, NO!" Emma always says no four times in a row. It's her thing. But luckily, on Halloween night, she bucked up and became a kitty. She even made a few weird kitty sound effects.

It was hilarious to watch Jake and friend Aiden trick or treat together. They are 100 percent boy. They ran from house to house screaming but found their manners long enough to say trick or treat at every door. Emma was so cute. She had no clue what was going on at first and just stood around looking bewildered. That got her a lot of extra candy. Since she wouldn't leave people's doorsteps they just kept dropping candy in her bucket. Then later she got extra candy just for being so darn cute and waving bye to everyone.

Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Most of the adults dress up too and some of them are pretty scary. Death showed up again this year.

I did what I do every year when I see him. I tell him to grab his sickle and take a hike. I'll see him when I'm 97.

Someone gave Jake these fabulous vampire teeth. He wears them everyday as he chases Emma around the house. Reminds me of my brother. Hope you all had a happy Halloween!

The two Emma's

I need to catch up. Honestly, between the dizzy spells and the back aches I don't have time to do much other than complain. My hubby loves it! But, when I'm not busy acting like I have one foot in the nursing home, life goes on. My parents came for a visit last week. They actually came down to watch my nephew Tom play in one of his final football games of the season. However, he broke his leg in practice which put an early end to his final football games of the season. Mom and Dad decided to come down anyway to check on him and spend a couple days with us. It is always good to have them here. We discoverd the joys of the Texas Pie Company while they were here. I can't stop thinking about that darn chocolate fudge pie. Oh pie, I just can't quit you.

Emma. Pssst, Em! Look at the camera. She's a bit of a diva sometimes.

While Jake was running my dad ragged, Emma brought all of her books to MeMaw to read. Although my mom doesn't go by the name Emma anymore I love the fact that they share the same name. And the same eyes. And I think, the same temperament. Look at that lip! Jake has that pouty lower lip too. I wonder where they get that from?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What we did today

This morning I got the kids dressed and fed and we headed over to our local library for story time. I was so looking forward to a sweet time listening to books with my children cuddled up around me. I should know better than to look forward to something by now. My normally sweet children have been abducted by aliens and I'm not sure when I'll get them back. But these pod people we've been left with are OUT OF CONTROL.

We've been to story time before with much success. It has been a few months though and I couldn't wait to get back into going because Emma has gotten to where she really loves books. Apparently, she only likes books in the comfort of her own home.

We got to the library and got the kids settled in on their carpet squares and waited for the librarian to come on down. As soon as she started reading the first book, Emma took off towards the stage the librarian was sitting on and climbed up to the top step where there were all of these stuffed animals laying around. She picked one up, giggled and brought it back down to where we were sitting. No big deal. Kind of cute.

The librarian continued to read. Emma continued to run to the stage, climb the stairs behind the lady and pick up stuffed animals. I decided she was being very distracting. So I went after her and pulled her off the stage and told her she had to sit with us. Emma said "NO, NO, NO, NO!" So I let her go.

Jake decided he needed a stuffed animal too. He started whining about it. Jake's whining is sort of like nails on a chalkboard. It just gets to you. It makes you grind your teeth after awhile. I told him to sit still until the story was over. Emma ran back to the stage and picked up the very stuffed animal that Jake wanted and threw it down on the ground almost pelting the librarian in the head.

It was on. I picked her up and told them both that we were leaving. Mind you, the librarian hadn't even finished the first story yet. Jake went berserk. He was screaming at me that HE DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE! The other mama's were averting their eyes, trying not to look at me. I'm sure they were judging me and thanking God that they have sweet, perfect, well behaved children.

I had to drag Jake out of the library while he had a full on fit. He was screaming all the way out and flailing his arms about while stomping his feet (actually it was his entire legs stomping). He looked like a toy soldier on crack. Or too much caffeine. Or too much Halloween candy. I'm just saying his arms and legs were moving so fast you couldn't even see them.

We made it outside and I sat them both down on a bench to calm down. I explained to Jake that we had to leave because sister was not behaving and that he was being ugly with a capital "UG". So, he hit me and told me it wasn't fair. Right in front of two men who were doing some landscaping work. I told him that it wasn't fair that we had witnesses at that moment. Not really. But I thought it.

So, we left the library. But I still had to go to WalMart to pick up some stuff for dinner. I threatened them with bodily harm if they didn't behave. Then I threatened them with the with holding of Halloween candy. They weren't perfect, but we did make it through WalMart without another melt down. We came home, ate lunch and now they are in their rooms trying to nap. And here I sit self medicating with a big pile of their Halloween stash. I think they owe it to me.