Monday, March 23, 2009

Really, I Don't Get What The Big Deal Is.

Everyday when Morgan helps me clean up her stuff that has been scattered about the house I give her a quarter. She gets another quarter for brushing her teeth. She puts her money in a jar and then wants to count it every night. Her jar was full and I told her we could go cash it in and she could pick out a new toy. She very excitedly told me she knew what she wanted and said it was the new "Totally Styling Tattoo Barbie". Now if you are a regular reader of my blog (or even if this is your first time here) you know I have a few tattoos. And you might know that I have a drawer in my kitchen that has temporary tattoos in it for Morgan. If you have visited my Flickr page you have seen this picture, which has been viewed 112 times, where you can see a couple of her tattoos.

So on Saturday we went to the store and cashed in her change. She had about 21.00. Just enough to buy her Barbie (before tax). We came home and started playing with it. It comes with a sheet of stickers for Barbie's tattoos, four shirts, a skirt and a pair of jeans you can tattoo, two sheets of temporary tattoos and a tattoo gun, which is basically a water gun with a sponge on the end. You place the tattoo on the end of the sponge and put it on whatever you are tattooing and push down. It makes a noise like a tattoo gun. We were laughing so hard at this. Morgan tattooed everything she could.

Here is my issue. This is the second Barbie to come out with tattoos. The first one was removed from stores because so many parents were outraged about the doll. And now this one is drawing a lot of attention from parents who don't want their daughters (or sons) playing with this doll that has tattoos. Why? I have read a lot on this issue and the big argument is that Barbie represents an age that a lot of people get tattoos they later regret. It is a doll. If you don't like it, don't buy it. I do not feel like I am a bad parent because I let Morgan buy a doll that comes with tattoos. I feel like it is my job as a parent to teach my kids how to make the best decisions about life including tattoos. If they get a tattoo they later regret I will not blame Mattel or the Barbie doll Morgan had when she was three. And no, I also will not blame myself. Our kids are going to do stuff that they regret and we don't agree with. It is life. For now, I am going to have to buy more Barbie tattoos, since the ones that came with the doll were gone by Sunday afternoon.

Here is a picture of the Barbie I bought my niece for her birthday. Call me crazy but to me the cup she is holding looks an awful lot like a glass that I use to drink alcohol out of. And she looks like she is going out to the club.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We Took A Vacation?????

So my Mom hadn't seen her parents in about three years (I hadn't either) and has been wanting to go see them in Illinois. We would make a plan but something would come up and we couldn't go. I called her a few weeks ago and asked when she wanted to go out there. We decided to go and surprise my Grandma for her birthday (which is also Carter's birthday). Since it was a surprise I didn't write anything about it in case my Grandma stopped by to see what I've been up to (and for pictures of the kids).

I had Carter's party on the 7th and we left on the 8th (Sunday). To drive to Illinois in a Ford Focus with two kids. On Monday before we left the hotel to continue our drive Carter threw up all over me. Twice. We thought it was because we fed him a bunch of junky food that he is not used to and the confusion of being away from home that caused it. By mid afternoon he wasn't throwing up any more but seemed like he was still sick.

We arrived at my Grandparents house Monday afternoon. They were so surprised. They hadn't seen Morgan since she was five months old and this was the first time they met Carter. The look on their faces made it worth the trip. We hung out for a little while and went to our hotel room for the night. On Tuesday we went to see my gp's, then Morgan and I went to the hotel pool while my Mom got Carter to take a nap. We went back to gp's for the birthday dinner. After dinner, Morgan threw up. Everywhere. In my Grandma's very clean house. It was bad. I'm so smart I again started blaming food and juice (not wanting to admit what it was). She threw up all night until about 3am.
On Wednesday I stayed in the hotel room with the kids since they were still not feeling too great. My mom went to gp's house. My Grandpa called right after she left and told me that my Grandma was sick now. When my Mom came back we ordered a pizza. We were planning on leaving Thursday but were worried one of us would get sick on our drive home. We got up Thursday and everyone seemed a little better and Mom and I were fine so we left. We stopped by to tell my gp's goodbye and found out my Aunt was sick now too. We got the hell out of there before anyone else got it and came after us. This was so quickly spread I don't know how my Mom or I didn't get it. But thank god we didn't.

On the plus side, my kids are the best traveler's in the world. They rode 2000 miles in a car and didn't complain once. Well Morgan complained a little when I told her that the patch of grass on the side of the highway wasn't a rest stop and she had to wait to get home to play outside. She responded with "I want to play in this outside". I can truly take these kids anywhere.

And we got to witness the beginning of the Sandhill Crane Migration in Nebraska (quite an event amongst bird watcher's I guess considering there is a live "Crane Cam"). I am scared of birds and kept thinking of the movie. I swear it was like a bunch of bird tornadoes. One of the groups we saw was at least a half mile long and two blocks upward coming off the ground.

Since we basically stayed in the hotel room the whole time these are the only pictures I took. I will get more this summer when we go back.

This was our first night. The calm before the puking.

Carter wanted to see what Grandma brought.

The first morning. Right after Carter got sick. Morgan was fine still.

Going swimming.

I put Carter on the bed with us and he crawled over and put his head on Morgan's tushy and fell asleep.

Feeling better.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Carter's Birthday Party

I have so many posts to write but I will start with this one. I am keeping it simple with a picture post, that will make my Dad happy since he only stops by to see new pictures of the kids ;~). And then tomorrow I will post about our "vacation" with sick kids and what the heck I've been up to.

I decided to keep things simple for Carter's party this year (and caught a lot of slack for it since I have always been a big birthday party planner) and had just a small party. A few people I invited didn't come but we still had a lot of fun. I bought 4 premade sub sandwiches (and only needed 2) and had chips and dip, olives and pickles and a premade bakery cake.

This cake had nothing on it. I had the store write on it and I added the Hot Wheels cars to "boy it up".

Carter waiting patiently for his cake.

Which he obviously liked.

A Lot.

Uncle Matthew loves to help open presents.

"I think I'll try this"

Carter wouldn't keep the cute hat Andrea made him (which I thought I had a picture of but guess I don't) on his head but liked this one enough to keep it on for a few minutes.

I've heard stories that David is a grumpy baby, but I don't see it. Maybe that's because every time I see him he is in his TaTa's lap.

I love Ab's hair in this one. I remember fixing Morgan's like this and everyone laughing at me. (don't kill me Kelly, this picture is too cute not to put on here).

So there are the pictures from the party. It was a lot of fun and I can't thank everyone enough for coming and for all of the cute clothes and the very cool Lightning McQueen back pack (which of course Carter is "sharing" with Morgan).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today You Are 1

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of. But you Mr. Carter have just the right amount of sweetness mixed in. I have had some of my best laughs since you were born. I hope you keep that silliness forever.
Happy Birthday Grandma too.

I am sorry about these pictures being so small. I am in Illinois and had to snag them off of another site for this post. When I get home I will redo them and add birthday party pictures. His party was on Saturday and we left on Sunday with my Mom to come out and surprise my Grandma for her birthday which is also today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Aunt Marly

I don't really know the timing of all of this but when I was born my aunt Marly was in the Army. I am not sure when she got out but I know when she did, she went to school in Fort Collins, so I am not sure if I am remembering her visiting while she was on leave or just coming down from school. But I remember a lot about her visits. She would take Matthew & I to the Children's Museum and play with us there for hours (which seemed like a couple of minutes to us. I remember we (Matthew & I) went up to FC to see her one weekend and we saw a big hairy spider, we were calling it a tarantula but I don't think that was right. Marly caught it in a jar and Matthew probably still has it in a box somewhere, we were so proud of that thing and showed it to everyone that came over to the house and every time Marly came over for a visit we would get the jar out and tell the story again. When I got older I would stop by Marly's house and talk to her for hours. She is a great friend to me who I can talk to about anything. She is great at listening and knows when to give advice. She is a great gardener and jumped at the mention of planting a community garden in her yard since my Mom's house is on a mountain and not great for gardening.

She raised my cousin Ben to be one of the most responsible, hard working, funniest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I often say that I hope my kids turn out as well as he did. And now she is doing stuff with Morgan, and that is so special to me. Morgan loves it too but it means so much more than she realizes yet.

On Sunday Marly took Morgan to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's. One of Marly's friends little boy turned four. It was a big deal for Morgan. Marly picked her up and they went shopping to pick out the perfect present (this is what a google search turned up, Morgan says it is the correct one), and then they went to the party. After the party they went to see Great Grandma Ruth. Marly told Morgan "maybe we will go see Grandma another day" to which Morgan said "I want to go see her". So they did. Morgan had such a good time she is still talking about it. On Monday I took her to the store and on the way there she told me she got to hear Marly's music (Rise Against), I guess Marly had turned the speaker's off in the back so it wouldn't be so loud and at one point Morgan asked her to turn it up (I told Marly "I am not sure she has ever heard Mary Had A Little Lamb (which she has on Max & Ruby), but she sure knows a Social D song when it comes on, and she knows she was in my belly at one of their concerts"). Then we were walking in to the store and she told me she wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese again and she would miss me. I told her I would take her again if she wanted and she said "No Momma, Marly has to take me, but I will miss you." I couldn't help but start laughing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is It Really March 3rd?

I complain about living in Colorado a lot. But days like we have been having for the past month or so make it hard. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. The high yesterday and today was hovering around 75 degrees. That's warmer than parts of Florida. Everyday the weather reporter tells us to get our shorts out, and then reminds us that March is usually our snowiest month. I have been grilling every night, leaving the doors and windows open all day, Morgan and Carter want to be outside all day playing in the sandbox (or carrying a shovel around as Carter does). And then today Morgan told me to come see what she found. I had to dig a little, and keep in mind it is technically winter so everything needs cleaned up before spring, but these are my tulips and lillies. Growing. On March 3rd. I am really having spring/summer fever now. I want to start planting my flowers and a little container garden, and our big garden at Marly's house (who by the way will be my topic tomorrow, it's good, I promise). But I know. The snow will come. It was only five years ago that we had a blizzard in March, so it happens. 70's for 3 weeks and then bam, 3 feet of snow. So if you are sick of the snow where you live, come to Colorado. We really aren't buried in snow all year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

5 Questions From Lost In Splendor

Angela from Lost In Splendor had an interview project posted on her site recently. I signed up and she sent me five questions to answer. She came up with some pretty good ones and I am going to try to answer these with as much thought as she put in to asking them.

1. I met you through the CMHS Group. What do you enjoy about swapping most? Any disappointments?

I found swapping through OMSH's old blog. I thought it sounded interesting and since I love to shop and give and receive presents, I signed up. I think the idea that someone can take a list of someone else's likes and dislikes and find the perfect thing to go along with whatever the theme is, is fantastic. The First swap I participated in was called Creature Comforts, meaning pillow cases, books, magazines. I was so spoiled by my swap partner. We actually created a friendship and exchange emails every so often and sent Christmas cards to each other. I haven't had any disappointments with CMHS so far and I hope not to.

The only down side is that swapping is addictive. I joined another swapping site and haven't been too happy with it.

2. You do something called "Flashback Friday". What do you like most about remaining past experiences. How did that begin.

I have been reading Anne's blog for about a year now and I love it. She is a wonderful writer and the stories she tells about her boys have had me in tears and running to the bathroom to avoid peeing all over my desk chair so many times. When she announced FBF I had just started my blog and I thought it would be a fun way to fill in when I really didn't have much to write about. Plus it is a fun way to spend Friday, reading other stories and seeing the pictures bloggers pick to represent their stories. I have been having fun with it because I don't really go back and look at old pictures too often, so it is fun to see pictures from when I was little and also the pictures of my kids, I have taken close to 4000 pictures of Morgan (in three years) and about 1500 of Carter (not even one year yet) (it really is a joke in my family how many pictures I take), who can remember what pictures were taken with numbers like that.

3. You're the tattooed mama! Do you have any tattoos that you regret? What is your favorite tattoo?

Ahhh, another addiction. Although I don't regret any of them now, I am sure the day will come when I say WTF was I thinking getting a sleeve on my arm but for now I love them. My Mom is always surprised when we are out at how many people stop me and compliment my arm.

I actually have two favorites. I have Morgan's name inside of butterflies on the top of my left foot and Carter's name inside of start on top of my right foot. I wanted to do something that was special to me and that is what I came up with.

4. You have two beautiful children. What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a parent?

Thank you. Before I start to answer this question I would like to say (not trying to sound arrogant) that if there is one thing I don't question it is if I am a good mother. Mother's are people too and have good day's and bad ones, whether you stay at home with your kids or go to work, it is one of the hardest jobs out there. Not only because you are responsible for molding the brain and heart of a living, breathing human, but because it is one of the most judged jobs there is.

Parenting is something I wanted no part of until I found out I was about to be one. I thought (still think?) babies were disgusting little creatures who puked on you and peed and pooped their pants. They are needy and once you have one there is no going back. I remember watching other people's kids and freaking out if I had to change a poopy diaper. Now it is nothing. I do it at least twice a day (no, Morgan is still not potty trained at 3 years old, that is a whole week's worth of posts in itself).

The most challenging part of being a parent are the days when you have no patience. Even though I do not doubt if I am a good mother, I still have days when I feel like I could be better. There are plenty of days that I think to myself silently, while I am picking up toys/food/clothes, what in the world was I thinking? There are also days that I scream. Both inside and out. But at the end of the day I would not trade jobs with the richest person in the world if it meant I could not hang out and read stories to my kids.

The most rewarding parts of being a parent are the small things. Right now Morgan is into this thing where you tell her you love her and she says "no, I love you more". This could go on for quite awhile before she finally says "I love you too". She also says "You are my best friend in the whooole world". And Carter is so fun. Everyday is an adventure with him. He is not quite one yet (March 10th) and already walks and talks. The way his face lights up when I walk into the room he is in makes all the delivery pain (natural, not by choice) worth it. He is so adventurous, he will crawl up the stairs (14 steps) but won't get too close when it comes to getting down. He wants to do everything Morgan does but knows the limits. And (although this is fading quicker than I expected) he likes to cuddle in the morning when it is just him & I. I have so much fun watching these two babies grow up and it makes me so proud to see what kind and wonderful kids they are it breaks my heart to see that it really does fly by.

5. How did you and your husband meet? I always love to know that.
I am a professional dog groomer (not as glamorous as it sounds), which is not something I mention because I am not working at this time. I was working at a shop and one of the girls (who is now one of my good friends) told me about her husband's best friend who I would probably like to meet and hang out with. (I copied this from one of my Flashback Friday Posts) She told us both "It wouldn't have to be anything serious, but you might get a new friend out of meeting". The first time we went out was with a group of about 15 people, and we went to see "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Now if you don't know me you wouldn't know that I hate scary movies. I hate being scared. So this was a pretty big deal. A few of the other girls went to see a girly movie but I wanted to go to the same movie as the guy I was meeting. I hated the movie, but played it off pretty cool. When the night ended we said "nice to meet you" and went our own ways. We saw each other again on Thanksgiving. We talked a little bit of small talk and again said goodnight at the end of the night. Kim (the mutual friend) told me that Roy wanted to take me out to dinner so I told her to tell him to call me. I found out later that her husband was telling Roy I wanted to go out to dinner with him and he should call me. He called me and we decided to go to dinner and a movie. Kim and Jeremy wanted to go with us. It was the worst date of my life. I paid for my own dinner and movie and movie snacks. We barely said four words to each other. At the end of the night I was convinced that I had not found my new boyfriend or friend.
Then he called me and asked if I wanted to go get dinner. Just us. I reluctantly agreed. We went out to a sports bar (fine with me) and had the best time. We couldn't quit talking. By the end of the night I knew Roy was a pretty cool guy (and double dating on the first few dates is not a good idea).
We officially moved in together in February of 2004 (I say officially because I pretty much never left after our first date) and on November 7, 2004 we went to Las Vegas (with my parents, brother and about 14 of our friends, those who couldn't make it watched on line) and got married at A Little White Wedding Chapel.
This was such fun for me. I hope these answers are enough for the thought Angela put into the questions. If you would like to participate (even if you don't have a blog you can answer in the comments and I may pick your to be the blog of the day) leave a comment letting me know. Don't forget to leave your email address.