Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day: February 17, 2013

My Saturday afternoon shopping date was Carrie, the only one of my children that didn't wake Mommy up needing attention the night before.

We tried to use a President's Day coupon to score some shoes, but I couldn't find any white Easter sandals.  Instead, Carrie threw her very first fit over something she wanted that I wouldn't buy.

High heels.  On a baby.  I can't believe anyone would sell them.  Twinny Spice had fifteen minutes teetering around the store and striking poses, and then I threw them back in the box and ran for the exit.

Melina gave me a pretty thrilling Valentine's Day present.

It takes context to understand it.  It took a year for Devon to master eating with a spoon.  He was ambidextrous for a long time and then chose his left hand, which made Mommy much less confident in modeling the positions.  It's been great the past few months to set a plate of food in front of him and watch him pick up spoon and fork and confidently go at it.

Friday morning I made Devon some yogurt with Cheerios.  He was more interested in Toots the Train than eating.  After the girls got up we all sat on the floor and played with his trains.  Suddenly, I noticed that we were short a twin, which usually means I'll find her rearranging the pantry or trying to climb on the toilet.

I found her perched primly on the end of Devon's chair, holding the spoon in her right hand and lifting dainty little bites to her mouth.  I sat down by her, taking pictures and cheering her on until she finished the entire bowl.  It just goes to show how different one's children can be. 

On Valentine's Day morning we Skyped with Grammy and Grandpa, opening the box they sent for the kids.

Apparently I needed to hide the chocolates a little higher.  Devon woke me up this morning asking for more chocolate.  It was the "more" part that brought me straight up out of bed, concerned.

At least he unwrapped them...

I chose procrastination over Pinterest for Devon's school valentines this year.  Devon and I went to Sam's Club to buy them.  To make them more personal, I asked Devon what he liked best about each of his friends and wrote his reply (verbatim) on the back of each box of chocolates.

Yup, not on a little foam square.  Just on the plastic with a Sharpie marker.  Right over the Nutrition Facts.

Mom of the Year.

Devon's craft to me was much more thoughtful.

Valentine's Day itself was a long day.  I think each of the kids wanted Mommy to be their exclusive Valentine, and got upset whenever she tried to spread herself around.

By the end of the day, I was ready to sit and talk to Craig while he made Oyster Stew with Fresh Rosemary and send some holiday text messages:




I was just drifting off in my sports bra and leopard print pajamas (the magic is NOT gone) when Craig said "Hey, that's your phone!"  I jumped up to get it and we heard some exciting news!  My little brother Tim celebrated the day by slipping a ring onto the finger of his longtime girlfriend.  We had fun congratulating Tim and Bojana and sharing joy in their engagement.

We didn't wake the kids up.  It would be too hard to explain to them why we're happy that someone who's been in their lives for as long as they can remember is now a member of the family.  Of course she is!  She's Auntie Bojana!  Why wouldn't she be....

Last night we filmed a congratulatory video and posted it on facebook.  The first take was the best.  No surprise.  I deleted the fourth take immediately, the one where I grab a toy that was distracting Devon and toss it out of the shot with a look of pure annoyance on my face.

The second take was pretty funny, though, so I decided to post it here.  The only reason it didn't make facebook was that the first thirty seconds or so are pretty much ALL my butt.  After that it gets pretty good, with Devon dancing with me in the foreground and the girls rocking out behind.....

Today's the day
We'll say "I do"
and we'll never be lonely anymore...

Hmm... That's the truth!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Foodies: Feb 11, 2013

Morning temperatures of 47 degrees brought Devon into our bed earlier than usual, and when we got up he complained of being "shivery".

Forty-seven degrees.

Poor kid.  

Our pantry was attacked by a gang of thieves.

They found Daddy's stash right away.

Just when I thought the messes couldn't get any worse, I took Devon through the car wash.  He loved it.  Now he drinks a mouthful of milk sippy and spits it out.  All over his cars, trucks, and trains.  "Look!  Car wash, Mommy!" he says, pleased as punch.

Devon and I shopped with the nutties at Walmart for an hour and a half on Saturday night.  We played Walmart Bingo to amuse ourselves.

Rather large woman on an electric scooter with a t-shirt that reads "Let's Get Naked".... Check.

Bearded man with holes in his ears that Devon could throw a tennis ball through... Check.

Tired woman with son holding on to a toy at the end of the rope, scolding him for trying to eat everything in the produce department.... No, wait.  That was me.

Princesses.  They're what's for dinner.

We've crossed the park off our list of outings, with three big kids able to run fast in different directions.  Right now we enjoy the morning sun on the tennis court, with a twelve-foot chain link fence and a door that bolts.  Ahhh, bliss.  If I'm lucky I can sneak in a cup of coffee and enjoy the sensation of being over a hundred feet from my kids in a public place.

Last time they amused themselves by picking up the white pebbles scattered over the court and driving them around in the dump truck.

It's one of the few times I've seen them come together in a cooperative activity.  I hope there will be many more soon!

I've pretty much tabled cooking as well.  Don't get me wrong: I heat, bake, serve, and clean up food.  I spend ten minutes a week scrubbing out what I call the "primary instrument of food preparation".  The microwave.  I just find it impossible to spend time preparing a nice recipe that needs my full attention with two little girls fresh and energetic from their afternoon naps trying the kitchen cupboard doors.  Meanwhile, Devon eyes me from the table, waiting for me to take my eyes off him for a second so he can jump down and color all over the walls.

Craig to the rescue.  We've started Sunday Soup Night.  While I play with the kids, Craig makes homemade soup from a recipe from an artsy Williams & Sonoma cookbook he got me for Christmas.

It would otherwise be gathering dust, but last night we had Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

Devon was much more fond of the baked pear garnish than the actual soup.

It's pretty relaxing to watch Craig roast a red pepper or waft a fragrance from a bubbling pot towards him like he's in the lab mixing chemicals.  He's planning oyster stew for Valentine's Day. 

Devon is gearing up to write Love and Friendship notes for all the kids in his Tots class.

He came home with this one last week.  Just in case we ever forget....

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Haircut, February 3, 2013

Their hair has been getting a little long.

Devon traded his little boy hair cut for a buzz last week.  All week long Vero moms have been talking in hushed whispers about the L-word and combing through their children's hair looking for nasty white bugs.  I didn't want to take any chances.

Devon took the haircut about as well as he ever does.  I held him scissored between my legs and did it quickly while he struggled and screamed.  We went for a dip in the pool afterward to repair the damage to our relationship.  He is now old enough to put the experience into words.

"Did Mommy buzz all your hair off?  I said "No!  Mommy, don't buzz all my hair.  It went BBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRMMMMMM  BBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRMMMMMMM," he says over and over.

On Friday the girls turned eighteen months old, and we decided that they also needed a new look.

Melina seemed to enjoy the experience, although she had trouble holding still.  Daddy and Veggie Straws to the rescue!

Carrie's "before" pictures include evidence of the incident that prompted the haircut: a shiner on her cheek from accidentally walking into a wall.  We thought she could see better if her bangs weren't hanging in her face.

Carrie and Daddy watched the Super Bowl together, giving me a chance to photograph her hair from the back.

I did the best I could with the scissors, even though my inquisitive, squirmy girls kept moving and pointing.  Just as I would line up a straight cut, they'd jerk their heads around and I'd let go.  I don't think a hairstylist could have done better.  Thankfully, if the girls can't stop long enough to let people look at their hair, nobody will notice that it's not straight.

I was hoping that getting the hair off their faces would make them easier for strangers to tell them apart, but no such luck.

"So...... is Carrie the one with the uneven, whack-job haircut?"

"No, actually, that would be both of them.  Sorry!"