Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nash's International Palette

Nash and I attend an International Luncheon once per month. We select a different international restaurant, eat some of its' ethnic cuisine and learn a little about the culture of that nation. Luckily, in our area there are at least six restaurants for each ethnic group in existence so we never have to travel far. In the last several months we have tasted Filipino, Korean, Venezuelan, Bolivian, and today Russian cuisine. Russian food has been my favorite so far. Nash loved the mushroom and cabbage stew and gobbled up all of my beet, carrot, and cucumber salad.

He obviously enjoyed the stickers from the napkins too. At one point I needed to take a potty break and asked him to come along his reply, "No, I'll just stay with the ladies." It is fun to have him along because he has no preconceived notions about what the food is going to taste like. He tries most everything and isn't even worried that the so-called beef on his plate might really be the stray dog we saw in our neighborhood last week. I, on the other hand, struggle sometimes.

Here is a picture of me and the rest of the lunch bunch ladies!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

You still need me!

Dear Atley,

I thought it might come to this but I was hoping you would be more like 17 rather than 5 when you began to think you were too cool for your mom and the rest of your family. I guess I was wrong because lately you seem to be growing up much faster than I had ever anticipated. First, you are refusing to take a bath. Bathing is for little kids and now a shower every morning is more your forte. Second, you refuse to play in the playland at the mall, stating that it is too embarrassing. You want to comb your own hair, brush your own teeth, pick out your clothes, and pack your own snack for school. You won't let me walk you into kindergarten anymore either. Instead, you bail from the car as soon as it is in park without a single look back. Although, I suppose I can understand. I know that Nash humiliated you in front of your friends when he kissed you on the lips and told you that he loved you, but did you really need to call him stupid in front of your whole class? It broke his heart. He loves you so and wants to be just like you. And when we went to your classmate's brithday party yesterday did you have to lie and tell everyone that Nash was really your cousin, explaining to us that cousin's are way cooler than brothers? And though we all know that you love music your teacher tells me that you are refusing to sing because the songs are too babyish. So, I ask is it really better to spend an entire day with your shoes untied instead of admitting that you need my help to tie them? Are you really too old to hold my hand in the parking lot? Or even wave goodbye? Well, maybe so but I think the truth is you still need me.

For example, you need me to tell you how disgusting it is to make a girl smell your breath because you are convinced that the onions from the cheeseburger you just ate will make her cry if she gets a big enough whiff of your rancid breath. You still need me to explain why it is wrong to eat spaghetti sauce from a broken glass jar scattered all over the floor of Wal-Mart. You still need me to remind you that taking a break to go to the bathroom is way more attractive than the potty dance you do instead. And as macho as you want to pretend to be we both know that you can't sleep unless your little brother is in the same bed with you.

It is hard to watch you grow up and see how much the opinion of your peer's means to you. I hope you will always try to remember how much your family loves you and that friends may come and go, but we will always be here for you. Whether you like it or not you will always be my baby and that just might mean some very embarrassing moments for you in the coming years. Just want you to prepare your self.

Love Always,

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Great Escape and Surviving the Storm

It has been 8 days since we last ventured out of our home but today we made our great escape. AHH! What an amazing feeling to be reunited with civilization! While I felt fortunately prepared and pretty lucky to have had all of our basic necessities during the storm, keeping the kids entertained was another matter entirely. I have learned in my nearly 6 years of parenting that my primary roll as mother is not to nurture, feed, or clothe, it is to entertain. My job is just like Julie on the LOVE BOAT. She is the girl who plans all of the activities that keep the cruisers happy. The primary difference between Julie and I being, I don't get paid and we ain't sailing to no tropical paradise. I know what you are thinking, "KIDS LOVE SNOW! MY KIDS WOULD BE IN HEAVEN WITH THAT MUCH SNOW!" But you see snow isn't that fun when it is over your head, like in Nash's case, or if you don't own a pair of skis, a snowmobile, or even snow shoes. Snow becomes a miserably confining monster lurking at your doors and outside of all your windows. Of course the kids did venture out, but most of their time was spent indoors under the tutelage of their unpaid Snow Day Director, aka, Mom! While I can't say that anything we did while trapped in our home was particularly creative or exciting, I thought I would give you some ideas just in case, heaven forbid, you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

1. We made homemade playdough. There are recipes all over the Internet and you will most likely be able to find the ingredients in your pantry. My boys also love Moon Sand and Bendaroos. More of an investment but worth the entertainment value.
2. Board Games or should I say "BORED" Games. My boys love Candyland, Memory, Jenga, Twister, and UNO.
3. We spent a lot of time with the LEGO Box.
4. Making and decorating cookies.
5. Making Valentines and writing letters to friends and family.
6. Looking at old photo albums and telling the boys stories about when they were babies and when they were born.
7. Taking a bath in the middle of the day, even if they were not dirty.
8. We used a roll of butcher paper and drew roads and buildings to create a city for their matchbox cars.
9. Finger Paint, Coloring Books, and Puzzles!
10. DICE! We rolled dice and graphed the numbers we rolled. Believe it or not this was totally exciting for them. What can I say, maybe their nerds or better yet maybe they are destined to become dealers in a Las Vegas Casino!
11. We watched alot of TV!!!
12. We played alot of Computer games! My boys favorite site is
It correlates with Atley's Kindergarten Curriculum. Therefore, I feel totally justified when they play.

13. We made collages from old magazines!
14. At least one hour of reading a day!
15. At Michael's you can buy these little wooden projects with the paint included for $1. There are trains, airplanes, animals, etc. I try to keep a supply of them for days like these. The boys painted COBRAS this week!

16. Stringing beads for no reason other than stringing beads occupies little minds and little hands!
17. Rock Band with Pots and Pans!
18. Building blanket forts and sitting in them with flashlights.
20. And when all other ideas failed, Nash decided to dress up like a Hawaiian Stripper.

Monday, February 8, 2010

When Hell Freezes Over!

I went to college in the state that claims to have the "GREATEST SNOW ON EARTH." I grew up in the state that actually has the "GREATEST SNOW ON EARTH," and now I live in the place that has the "MOST SNOW ON EARTH." But, all I want is to be back in Arizona where there is no snow in sight. I can only imagine that Washington D.C. under more than three feet of snow, bears a striking resemblence to what hell will look like when it finally freezes over. If my recent blog posts seem to carry a constant weather related/I hate winter theme, I apologize. But I can only describe this winter as being horrendous. I have honestly never experienced anything like it. Let me give you some perspective. We have had more than 50 inches of snow with another 20 forcasted for tomorrow. Do the math! That is almost 6 feet of snow. We have had church cancelled twice and Atley has had 9 snow days, which means that he will be going to school until after the 4th of July to make up for it. The National Guard has been called in to assist, and when people call it SNOWMAGEDDON, it is not an exaggeration. This SNOWPACOLYPSE has kept us trapped inside of our house for four days with no sign of an impending escape. I must say that I feel very fortunate that we have kept our electricity and I was one of the lucky few that was able to stock up enough food to last us a couple of weeks. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves. Keep in mind there is much more snow to come!! EXCITING!!

Another tremendous blessing was when our neighbor let Scott use his snowblower. We still wouldn't be able to escape the driveway if not for his kindness.

These pictures are of our pool cover breaking under the weight of the snow and the depth of the snow against our three feet tall pool fence.

It sure would be nice to take a dip in the hot tub about right now, but it would be way too much work to unbury it!

The kids have had fun building forts, sledding, helping dad shovel, and of course eating yellow snow. But, don't worry it is only Mountain Dew, a slightly healthier alternative to pee.

Nash really only goes out in the snow because of the promise of hot chocolate when he returns. We have gone through 13 packets this weekend.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Good morning, Baltimore!"

What's with the title? Well, if you have ever seen "Hairspray" you will understand, and if you haven't seen "Hairspray" rent it, so you can be in the know. I think it will truly enrich your life. Anyway, I am rambling. However, we did go to Baltimore this weekend to visit the B&O Train Museum. Apparently the first train/tracks in America were located near Baltimore. And I suppose that is why B&O Railroad is such a hot commodity in Monopoly. The boys were in locomotive heaven.

This is a picture of "TOM THUMB" the first American train ever built, circa 1830.

While we were there we also visited the homes of some famous people. First, Baltimore just happens to be the birthplace of Babe Ruth. Here is his home.

Second, Edgar Allen Poe called Baltimore home. Hence, Baltimore's football team is named the RAVENS! The only thing scarier than Poe's poems is the pregnant woman posing outside of his childhood home. By the way, Baltimore is a scary city and both of these houses were in the projects. Nothing like the happily singing city in Hairspray, imagine that. So, consider yourself warned if you decide to venture there yourself.