Monday, June 28, 2010

hands full

isn't it kind of strange when people say, "wow. you've got your hands full" ?

i feel like i hear that a lot. depending on how it's said and who says it, it sounds like it might mean:

a. better you than me.

b. that looks like hard work. and everyone knows hard work is awful and to be avoided at all costs.

c. you are awesome and completely capable.

frankly, i prefer to think people mean "c" even if their tone of voice really sounds more like "a" or "b". but the phrase always makes me feel uncomfortable, maybe because:

a. if it's in reference to my boys, well, i like what i've got.

b. i like my job.

c. empty hands steal stuff.

actually, 8 1/2 years ago, i did have empty hands. and you know what you would have caught me doing with them?

a. rocking 5 lb bags of flour in the grocery line.

b. patting a loaf of bread's pillowy bottom.

c. flipping through the pages of martha stewart's baby magazine in my car on my lunch break.

my empty hands knew what they were missing. so, i'll take them full, thanks.

how lucas keeps his hands full

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"twin a"

so, a while ago, i posted something about my little "twin b". it was only a matter of time before his identical accomplice, isaac, was similarly written up.

1) isaac was once nicknamed mr. furious after the character of the same name in this movie whose super-power was to become really, really angry. i think we called him that for a month or two when he was a baby, but gave up on it when we realized that it might be mean. accurate, but mean.

2) he might have a flair for the dramatic that sometimes results in family members saying that they "wonder where he gets that from" with their eyebrows raised at me. well, i raise my eyebrows right back. and i'm really good at it because i trained my eyebrows in front of a mirror over a period of months as a young person. so, there.

3) isaac loves jokes. and never gets tired of them. never. ever.

"what does a hot dog say to another hot dog?"

"hi, frank."

4) at the age of 4, isaac nicknamed everyone he was in close contact with, a transformer name. i was "starscream". oh, and people will stare at you strangely in public, if you readily respond to your child when they address you as "starscream". just let them take their mental picture of awesomeness, and move on.

5) isaac makes me laugh regularly. my favorite quotes from this week have been:

"it's a two-bedded toy box trophy room!"- referring to the bedroom that he shares with jacob. 6/20

"it makes my teeth like chips."- on why he doesn't want the windows down while riding in the car. 6/21

"i'm dealing with a lot of tissues."- said in a gruff voice, while upset over having to get ready for bed. 6/24

6) he can't resist a microphone. it could be some kind of addiction. we need to rent out a karaoke bar. should we teach him "i will survive"?

7) for his audition for the wizard of oz, isaac sang/shouted "take me out to the ballgame". i think he really wowed the crowd with his enthusiasm. like, wow.

8) has a based-on-real-life-yet-kinda-imaginary girlfriend named "cindy white-ard". when asked to describe her, he has said that she has brown hair, is pretty, and likes cinderella toys. we think she's based on an actual little girl named sydney, but we can't be sure. we also think that isaac made up her last name with the idea that a color + "ard" = a plausible last name. try that formula for your next alias.

9) loves reading and being read to. has written a few books, one under the pen name, "stef blackard", with the scholastic symbol after the title. he'll probably be published before i ever am.

10) he is thoughtful and loving. he loves to remember people in his nighttime prayers, and has lately begun to incorporate some spanish phrasing into those same prayers. as in, "por favor bless oma." we have these very cute books to thank for the spanish. and i feel very thankful for my own little crumb cake.

Monday, June 21, 2010

(belated) shout out to dads and dad-types

yesterday was father's day. and, i was thinking about how i DO happen to know a few real stand-out fellows.

i know an uncle who takes his little niece to all sorts of fun places and events. and, even might buy her special shoes for those occasions. happy fathers day, unc-n-daddy! (that's you, c.s.)

i have a pal who has opened his home and heart to several foster children. he recently became a dad, in a legal sense, but he was probably halfway there when he told me how much he wanted to be a dad more than 10 years ago. i think he and his wife are amazing. happy father's day, j.f.!

i know a dad who listened sympathetically to a despairing daughter-in-law who had fatherly-troubles, and reminded her, that he was happy to also, be her dad. happy father's day, bobby tom!

and, i know a dad who looked after 5 little boys (while mom and friend ate baskets full of greek fries! i love you greek fries!) and called it fun. that same dad attends school meetings faithfully, packs lunches, gels cowlicks into place, fixes and re-fixes transformers, cleans up vomit, reads rhyming books, and makes a respectable grilled cheese. he also has some sincerely devoted little fans. happy father's day, r.a.f.b.!

happy father's day to all other awesome dads, uncles and grandpas out there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

all the stops

so, the recipe for cheer in my previous post didn't quite cut it...

let's see if these will do the trick.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"quiet as mimes"

as a frustrating situation with my extended family has unraveled in a very disappointing way, i haven't felt like saying much. or, more accurately, i've felt like saying a lot that is probably better left undocumented.

for that reason, i think i'll leave the weekend recap for another (more cheerful) day.

lucas c. november 2008, looking like a french mime. or, at least what i imagine a french mime to look like.

recipe for cheer

1 13x9 inch pan of very fudgy brownies

2-15 phone calls to mom and dear friends

1 5-disc dvd set of the office: season 5

10 bright red toenails

6 listens to this song (you're welcome)

100+ hugs and kisses from anyone delightful

1 old photo that makes you laugh

sweetest of dreams to you. also, the quote from the title is from this book, on page 81. it might have been my favorite part...

Monday, June 7, 2010

in bad taste

sometimes monday is like a crushed baby aspirin in honey. surrounded by thick sweetness, and kind of gag-inducing. i feel like you might know what i mean.

you know, usually, mondays seem especially awful when you had a particularly enjoyable weekend. which we did.

shall we cover the bad news first? the weekend was bookended by two very unfortunate incidents. friday afternoon: the stomach-knotting school meeting. (p.s. i think the crossed fingers may have worked as far as keeping my composure. p.p.s. i didn't call anyone any names out loud.) sunday night after 11pm: the discovery of a presentation/project for jacob due this morning (!). please insert fist-shaking.

on to the highlights:

1) tried to take the boys to burr's for what we (still) hoped would become a new ice-cream-filled family tradition. when we announced our destination, isaac cried, "but we already went there!" bewildered by any manner of ice cream-refusal, i asked him where he wanted to go, and he said, "mc donald's". please insert rant against commercialism and shrek-soaked marketing.-- oops, fake highlight.

2) dropped off some long overdue information packets and 3 bags of donation items. i am now 37 pounds lighter and no longer screening my calls from uc davis.

3) went to the dump with k. this was more fun than a truck bed full of carpet tacks. so literally. also, if you're ever in need of some undivided attention, make an all-girl trip to the dump. "have a nice day, ladies." "don't work too hard today, ladies." "you drive safe, ladies." in my head, i hear barry white saying that, but that's not really accurate.

4) davis ranch market in sloughhouse. i love this place. and i love watching it fill up with more and more awesome produce. it's almost corn festival time ! meet you there!

5) swim. swim. swimming. i didn't swim. but my boys sure did. thanks for hosting swim time (twice!), k. maybe i'll make it into the pool, myself, before the summer ends.

goggled jacob

6) bowling at strikes! i pulled something. and fell down. and i wasn't even bowling. i am so uncoordinated, i should wear reflective tape. but, you know what was strange? i wanted to bowl. like really wanted to! and i used to HATE bowling. or maybe i hated the inevitable rear view that bowling offered. whatever the case, i now have bowling fever. as does lucas. bowling league, anyone? no. seriously.

isaac and i, hoping for a strike!

lucas, future bowling league captain.

7) saturday night trip to whole foods followed by diligent baking efforts with a new cupcake recipe... and the results proved, sometimes it's all about the journey. (good thing we had pita chips.)

8) isaac's uncanny impersonations. the details are not family-friendly enough for this blog...

9) lucas saying, "i love you, mom." without prompting, when i first woke up. (he has said "i love you" before, but only in reply and never with my name attached.) it made for a very good morning.

10) family sing-along to this song.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

here's hoping

i've got my fingers crossed for a couple of things right now.

don't underestimate the power of crossed fingers. i'm pretty sure it kept me from being called on 85% of the time, freshman and sophomore years of high school.**

**disclaimer** crossed fingers will not prevent horribly embarrassing moments: like tangling a wad of gum around the front brackets of your brand-new braces minutes before your crush-object speaks to you. tripping over a phone cord, causing your shoe to enter a room several moments before you do. turning your head to sneeze and spraying an entire car window with, um, spit. your dad failing to recognize your steady boyfriend, making you look like a tramp. calling an assemblyWOMAN, first a senator, and then, a MAN, to HER face.

the things that currently require my most earnest finger-crossing are:

an IEP for jacob tomorrow. this will be the last meeting of this school year, and will likely involve the school telling us to look for an alternate placement for jacob. as in, not in a mainstream classroom. will you join my crossed fingers in hoping that i will keep my composure? i'll need several sets of fingers on this one.

isaac has had a week of bad days at school. tears have flowed freely. milkshakes have been denied. and homework + leftover classwork have sucked up our free time and reserves of patience. if we can just make it through tomorrow, i think we can skate through the final week which will be taken up with art day, puzzle day, game day and teddy bear picnic day. (this last sentence begs the question, is there really a reason to go next week?)

our lil' walk needs some sponsorship (calling all businesses!!) and publicity (sac bee, get on the bandwagon, already!). a few more walk teams and volunteers wouldn't hurt, either.

my childhood rock collection is missing. tell me i didn't throw it out in a frothy-mouthed organizational frenzy! also, missing, all my concert t-shirts. they may not mean anything to you, but really, how can i ever hope to replace a marigold-colored shirt from anything box? or a giant hunk of quartz with red velvet glued to its scraggly underside? priceless, i assure you.

these are probably the most pressing issues. if i've forgotten something, please don't remind me. i only have so many fingers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


lucas drinking from a drippy mister. he knows how to sell it, right?

do you ever feel impossibly cranky? the brand of cranky where you can only surface from it for an hour or two at a time?

i am sorry to say that i have been wrestling with crankiness for the past several days. crankiness quite possibly has me in the most relentless headlock of all time.

i find this terribly disappointing as has assured me that with saturn going direct, it is, in fact, my turn to "get back in step with the beat and get out on the dance floor of life". i'm counting on you, saturn.

in spite of my general petulance, there are/have been reasons to crack a smile today. they are/were:

1) school will be out in 9 days!!!!

2) someone left a VERY good treat on my front door. xoxoxo

3) i did not hit another curb and knock my hubcap off in the school parking lot... again.

4) i have orange creamsicles in the freezer. they are waiting for me, and i will rendezvous with them as soon as i finish up, here.

5) all 3 boys passed out during the bedtime story, but i kept reading because i wanted to know what would happen next. ah, suspense!!

the memorial day weekend, in review. we attended 2 barbecues. we saw 2 sets of friends and 2 sides of families. the boys swam 1 time. we watched 1 movie (the hurt locker). we ate 0 donuts because our donut place was out (say what?!?!) by the time we got there. oh, and we made 1 trip to wal-mart which was 1 trip too many.

what about you? did you swim? what did you eat? was it delicious? should i try to make beignets from scratch? will i regret it? does regret really count when your fingers are all sugary and sticky?

don't answer that last one.