Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things Other People Love But I Just Don't Get

You may have seen this floating around the blogosphere and since I am suffering from writer's block, I am totally stealing it. Feel free to do the same. :)

* Coffee

* "Dancing With the Stars"

* "Real Housewives of ____________"

* Lady Gaga

* 24 hour news channels

* Science Fiction

* Gigantic TVs

* Texting

* Golf (both watching and playing)

* Kindles

* Dyeing/highlighting one's hair

* Jogging

How about you? Are there things that everyone else seems to love that you just don't get?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Wheels In Their Heads Go Round and Round....

I could actually see the wheels turning in his little head.

Now what do I have to do to reach that thing I want? I know. I'll pull my little table over to it and stand on the table to reach it. Nuts. Still can't reach it. Hmmm..... I know! I'll put my riding toy on top of the table and then stand on it. Surely that will make me tall enough to reach it. goes. Uh-oh. The wheels on the riding toy are moving and my little balancing trick isn't working. Oh no, oh no, oh no.....and down I go.

And then I heard him crying and screaming, but not because he was really hurt. Surprised? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. Defeated? Heck, no.

Once a couple of kisses made it all better, he was on his feet and planning his next move. with boys. It is just one surprise after another.

I'm actually awed by their logic and problem solving skills. They may not always get what they want, but they sure do try hard. And their little plans are so creative. They're not always smart, but they're creative. And they actively pursue what they want. While Sydney uses her verbal skills to try to get her way (future attorney alert!), the boys just go for it.

This kind of creative risk-taking is probably why so many things throughout history have been invented by men. It's also probably why most of the stunts-gone-wrong on AFV feature boys and men. :)

Unless they are in imminent danger, I usually let them follow through with their little plans. How else are they going to learn to become risk takers and future innovators? Plus, it gives me plenty of opportunities to kiss the boo boos, both real and imaginary. In fact, in Liam's case, those are the only kisses he doesn't playfully wipe off.

Now when they get older and their risk-taking involves real cars, not just riding toys, that will be another matter. But for now, I'm just going to sit back, watch them hatch their little plans and happily give them kisses to heal their bruised knees and egos.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun Fact Friday

* I'll be glad when Lent is over. Fixing fish/vegetarian meals every Friday (for both lunch and dinner) is getting old.

* On a related note, is there anything more disgusting than having to pick out bones and skin from a can of salmon?

* On a more positive note, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous the next few days. Can't wait!

* Ryan heard an ad on the radio for this government agency that is seeking new employees. On a whim, I checked it out and I actually qualify for quite a few of the positions. And they sound really interesting, too. Too bad they're all in Washington, D.C.

* We tried the Dave Ramsey trick of negotiating with cash last week when we had to have some body work done on our van. The guy knocked 10% of the bill when we offered to pay with cash. Score!

* For my birthday, Ryan bought me an exercise ball to use at home to help me get in shape for summer. The kids have had lots of fun playing with it. Notice I said the kids.

* This past week's political events have me pretty disgusted with both major political parties. Too bad there isn't a political party for people with common sense who know how to turn off the TV and think for themselves. I'd join that one in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gettin' Old

So here it is again. My birthday.

I long for the days when I was excited about my birthday, when the month leading up to it was filled with secrecy and anticipation. I imagine that I probably acted just like Sydney does about her birthday. She gets so excited thinking about it that we've had to set a limit on how much we'll talk about it: no talking about birthdays until the month before.

Even though I'm not as excited about them as I used to be, I'm not all that sad about them, either. I don't particularly dread them (I wonder if I'll feel the same way as I get closer to the big 4-0?), but see them more as just another way to mark time. Some are remembered for the huge life events I experienced around the same time, like when my OB told me on my 30th birthday to go on bedrest for a few weeks and hope that my pregnancy with Liam wouldn't end in a miscarriage. That was a fun one. And some birthdays are unmemorable. Did we go out to eat to celebrate my 28th birthday? What gifts did I get for my 31st? I honestly don't remember.

I think this birthday will be remembered for the slight feelings of "getting old" I've been experiencing. For instance:

* two consecutive days of yard work left me wishing we had some Bengay in the house. Instead, I had to settle for soaking in a hot bath and a few days of groaning every time I moved.

* the birthday presents I requested would probably make others laugh: new clothes (since I always buy for the kids and not myself), new measuring spoons (since I managed to grind up our previous ones in the garbage disposal) and some spice racks to help me organize the kitchen cabinets a bit better. Ryan was amazed at how excited I was about organizing the spices.

* I've found myself having to use both acne and wrinkle creams at the same time. Nature is so cruel to make you deal with both.

* And just this morning, I read this article which explains why, despite eating healthy foods for the past few months, I'm still struggling to fit into a pair of jeans I bought during one of my "skinny eras."

Even though it may sound like I'm whining about getting old, I'm really not. I know that achy muscles and wrinkles are just a part of life and I will gladly accept them in exchange for the gift of being able to watch my kids grow up. To me, that's the best birthday gift of all.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Three Cheers for 3D

Before this past weekend, I hadn't seen a movie in 3D in probably 25 years. From what I remember, the visual effects were just okay so my opinion of them was not too high. And then Ryan and I went to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D and all I can say is wow.

The graphics are just amazing and the colors are more vivid than anything I've ever seen before. I really did have the urge to reach out and touch the graphics as they "came out of the screen." I generally like Tim Burton's movies and while this one had a style similar to his other movies, this one went above and beyond. Think "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on steroids. I've never gone to see a movie twice while it was in the theaters, but I'd be willing to go see this one again and that's saying a lot coming from a person who does not like to spend much money on entertainment.

I can easily see how 3D will become the new norm when it comes to films, especially animated and/or action films. Instead of wearing the cheap, theater-provided 3D glasses, everyone will have their own pair that they take with them to the movie theater and like airplanes, theaters will have to provide barf bags in the seat pockets for their more sensitive patrons. (I actually found myself getting a bit nauseous from all of the graphics, but closing my eyes for a minute or so thankfully made me feel better.)

Ryan was just as impressed with the film (and the technology) as I was. He's already excited about the new 3D Tron movie that is set to come out in December. And he and I both agree that when we're ready to buy a large flat screen TV (yes, we're aware that we're the only people left in America without one), we'll actually consider getting one of the new 3D capable ones because we can see this technology making its way into personal homes.

So if you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend "Alice in Wonderland" for anyone over the age of 10. It's a bit scary, especially toward the end, so you probably don't want to take the little ones, but it's definitely worth spending the money on if you're looking for two full hours of fascinating entertainment.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taking Turns

Back story: Both boys like to sing along with our favorite radio station's call letters jingle. Actually, they like to sing out the "J" at the end of the jingle and it cracks me up every time. Lately, it's become a competition between them as to who can sing it first.

The following conversation took place in the van the other day.

Radio: (singing) KSBJ.......

Evan: (singing) J......

Liam: Evan, that was my turn.

Evan: My turn.

Liam: No, my turn.

Evan: My turn!

Liam: MY turn!!

Evan: (laughing because he thinks it's a game) My turn!!

Liam: (yelling) MY TURN!

Evan: Liam's turn.

Liam: That's right. MY turn.

A few moments of silence.

Evan: (very quietly) My turn.

I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard. But now I know that Evan can definitely hold his own.

Monday, March 8, 2010

God 1, Me 0

On our way to a friend's house for dinner on Saturday evening, we were pulled over for speeding. Well, I should say Ryan was pulled over for speeding; the rest of us were just along for the ride. And while the police officer was running Ryan's driver's license and insurance information through his computer, I was silently seething.

This isn't the first time Ryan's been pulled over for speeding. The last time he was caught in a blatant (and unavoidable and completely unfair) speed trap so we're not exactly the most trustful people when it comes to traffic cops. And while Ryan was speeding this particular time (and he readily admitted it to the police officer), our previous experience left us completely jaded when it comes to the fairness of moving violations.

So I was really mad and annoyed. And I'm not afraid to admit that there was a lot of eye rolling on my part because I believe that there are real criminals out there that need to be caught. You know, murderers and the like.* Ryan, however, seemed completely calm which I found to be quite strange since I knew neither of us would be too happy about having to part with a good amount of money for either the ticket or a defensive driving class.

When the officer came back to our car from his, he handed back Ryan's license and insurance card and simply gave him a warning. That's it. Just a warning.

In utter disbelief, we went on our happy little way. When I said that I couldn't believe that just happened, especially since I was so busy silently cursing the existence of traffic cops, Ryan just laughed. He told me that while I was wishing lightning would strike the guy, he was praying.

I should have known that God wins every time.

* Disclaimer: We're both aware that the law is the law and there are consequences if it is broken; we were perfectly willing to pay for a ticket since he did break the law. I'm just saying that in the grand scheme of society and the rules that hold it together, going a little bit over the speed limit ranks toward the bottom of the list of crimes and society would be better served by having the police concentrate on crimes toward the top of the list.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fun Fact Friday

* Liam is obsessed with puzzles. Put them together, take them apart, put them together, take them apart. Now if I could just get him to put them away.

* Sydney finally lost her other top front tooth. Now she has a huge gap and talkth like thith. I promise to take a picture before her permanent teeth grow in.

* I think we're going to have to have Evan's tear duct surgically opened. As in full-on hospital trip with anesthesia surgically opened. The poor little guy constantly has goop in his eye and it's affecting his vision a bit.

* The Dave Ramsey class is going well. We're now halfway through and although we're not doing absolutely everything he recommends, we're definitely making progress toward some of our goals.

* I can't decide where we should go on our summer vacation this year. I know I should have said we can't decide, but Ryan doesn't ever really care where go as long as we go somewhere. Maybe the beach. Hmmm........

* Sydney is itching to start Book 2 of the Harry Potter series. She is excited about the overall plot line and characters and most of her free-time drawing is of scenes from the first book.

* My next book club hosting involves another time travel book. I don't think I can possibly come up with another time travel related menu. *Sigh*

* After touring the United Nations and reading a few articles about international relations and the responsibilities of the State Department, I told Ryan that I should have studied to become the Secretary of State since it sounds like a fascinating job. He pointed out that I'm probably too opinionated and would get in trouble for telling this guy to shut his mouth or for telling this guy to get over himself. He's probably right. :)