Monday, August 30, 2010

Where the wild things are...

My house...that's where they are.  Yes, anyone who knows me well knows that usually you can find a multitude of wild things within my four walls.  It's how I roll.  Not talking about kids here, but the things that walk on all fours, slither, sniff, poop in boxes, shed, bark, meow, tweet, growl...ok, maybe kids could fit into this category as well.  Needless to say, we tend to be a shack for homeless pets.  Bless my poor husband's soul!  In my defense, he knew full well what he was getting into when he married me...keeping my not-so-small menagerie a secret is no small feat!  I remember cringing the first time he came over to my tiny apartment in college...greeted by a senile, drooling golden retriever and shrieking jack russell on a pogo stick, only to be scampered over by two frisky felines as they perfected their hunting techniques across our laps during our first snuggles on the couch.  I thought he might run in terror from the creepy cat lady that had turned at such a young age, but to my surprise he came back...and kept coming back!  He has drawn lines, and it is only due to his efforts that we are "limited" to 3 dogs and foster cats only.  Still doesn't keep me from pleading for the next homeless soul that limps our way.  He is just really good at saying "no" or ignoring me. :)

Truth is, I adore my husband and my children come second to no one, but life wouldn't be the same without my managed chaos.  It would be too quiet and un-hairy.  What fun would that be?  Tucker is my old man and has accompanied me through most of college, into and out of relationships, into adulthood and marriage and, reluctantly, into motherhood.  He is not fabulous with the boys, and he would rather hang in the quiet solitude of the laundry room, but when he is subjected to their innocent torture, he makes a lot of noise about it, but wouldn't dare leave a mark.  He would never admit any amount of fondness for the rugrats, but when he doesn't know you are looking there are stolen licks and moments of sweetness...might just be the leftover peanut butter talking...

A much younger X-man sharing a treat with Tuck

Tanner is truly J's dog...he LOVES J.  Everybody else is just a major annoyance that takes time from him and his person, but he tolerates our existence, and we love him for that.  He is a very stately, handsome fella, and J affectionately muses how he wants to make slippers out of him when he dies because his coat is so soft...don't worry, Tanner, I won't let that happen!  He is our alarm and is very watchful...we must have a 100 cars drive by our house every day, but if one pauses slightly longer than normal at the intersection or goes in reverse instead of forward, he will let us know that something is fishy.  He considers it his personal duty to perch on our bed so that he can stand watch...peering out our front window as the world passes by.

Last, but so far from least is Stella.  She is our newest member after joining us in January.  After watching the boys run poor Tanner and Tucker through the house, and witnessing such worry, anxiety and in some instances, just plain fear from the poor beasts, I thought we should find a canine friend that would welcome the boys' rough-housing.  My lovely husband finally agreed (thank you, J).  I can say, despite the headaches that come with canine adolescence--chewed up shoes (or more often in her case, shoelaces), piddles on the floor, over joyous greetings that tend to knock guests on their rears, the desire to wrestle with any willing counterpart virtually 24 hours a day--I am thankful every day for her presence and undying love for those boys of mine!  She is exactly what I was hoping for in a companion for them.  She almost seems to welcome their abuse.  They climb on her, pull on lips, push on noses, stick fingers in ears, run through the house with delight luring her with the last bits of their gummy graham crackers before they shove it in their mouths, leaving not a morsel, yet she adores them with every fiber of her being.  The second night she was in our home as a nine month old 60 pound puppy, our greatest struggle was keeping her out of X-man's room where she so longed to snuggle with him in his bed.  Today I wouldn't hesitate allowing such a sleepover, but at the time, she was still a stranger to us and I didn't trust her to remain accident free (both of the pee and mauling-a-small-child variety).  And, how Gokey adores her...he knows no fear when she is by his side...I love that she has taught him such confidence around animals.  He has been trampled, knocked over, whacked in the face with an exuberant tail, but he takes it all in stride.  I continue to marvel at what she puts up with, which isn't even the right description, because she doesn't "put up" with it, she loves it!  I can't tell you how many times I have witnessed Gokey sticking his fist in her mouth trying to grab her tongue or remove an ear, only to lose interest, walk away and then be cut off by Stella who is begging for more "attention."  I have never seen such a masochistic dog, but I wouldn't trade her for the world!

I love that she allows this to happen...

...and pays him back with this! :)
So...for my shameless plug...

You should find your perfect furry friend today!  Please adopt!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Tribute to The Girls!

There was a time in my life that I was surrounded by my girlfriends...lots of 'em.  As a kid, preteen, teen and young adult, girlfriends were the ones that made the days go by.  In elementary school, my bestie, Erika and I floated through the days dreaming of being grown up and having horses...lots and lots of horses.  We would also have dogs and kids, but somehow men didn't fit into that equation.  When we weren't dreaming and aspiring, we were running around on all fours pretending we were the horses that we someday would own and train.  Erika moved a city away when I was in 3rd grade (25 miles is a LOOOONNNNNGGGG way when you are under the age of 12), and though we saw each other, our days of climbing trees, finding shapes in the clouds, whinnying with the best of them...our whimsical days of childhood dwindled.

In the 5th grade it was Becky who became my confidant...and we were truly joined at the hip for the next 8 years.  Every weekend was spent at her house or mine and we both grew extended families consisting of each other's siblings and parents.  Parents were addressed as "Mom" and "Dad," whether they were hers or mine.  We shared everything.  I got my first dog, Penny (her story will surely surface in another post because she is the dog of all dogs) and did my best to convince her parents that Becky needed one too.  When she FINALLY got her own special canine, Celia, we became a party of four.  Oh, the adventures: Celia jumping out of the bed of the truck, still on leash running alongside the moving vehicle; Celia and Penny both running under a small foot bridge while on a walk...Penny gracefully swimming across the little stream below and Celia swinging out from under the bridge, her too-short extendable leash still attached to her harness, not allowing her paddling feet to actually hit the water.  Somehow most of the stories have to do with a dangling Celia. :)  Highschool came along and then we were driving and FREE, basketball, volleyball, "dragging Main," movies...whatever it was, we mostly did it together.  Then graduation came, we had a fun-filled summer and parted ways, choosing rival colleges (Go Wildcats!!!  Sorry Becky).  

College in dorms is a whole new experience.  It just happened that Erika, who was a year ahead of me, was switching schools when I was about to make the leap into my first year of college and we were able to arrange to be roommates in the dorm together.  It was great reconnecting on a daily basis again, but she also had different (probably better) priorities in her second year compared to me in my first year.  She was very busy in her major, while I probably had too much time floating through my pre-reqs.  She was gone a lot, found a new boy who made her gone a lot more and I was at the dorm with a whole floor filled with new potential friends.  In the beginning, I can remember staying up most of every night and wondering how I survived it.  We would all sit out in the hallway, order pizzas and pretend to study.  We would take "study breaks" and walk down to Aggieville to get a coffee, or to Dara's to get a $.52 refill of Dr. Pepper all the while bonding.  As the first weeks flew by, floor unity gradually began to break up and split off into pieces.  For the most part, they were peaceful pieces, but you can never underestimate a floor full of girls in their ability to create drama.  On the other side of all that drama Stef and I found ourselves side by side.

The next 4 or 5 years (what was it, Stef?) were spent hanging out with Stef and whatever rowdy group of guy friends belonged to the guy Stef was dating.  I could distinctly categorize our partying experiences by that ever changing group.  I like to think it was her way of making sure our socializing didn't grow too stagnant.  It was a time of too much drinking, too little sleeping, football games, an occasional breakfast out in place of the class that was supposed to fill that time slot, but most of all, conversation...camaraderie, mending of broken hearts, laughter, tears, tears caused by laughter and just plain ol' good times.  I sometimes wonder how we fit school in there, but we both did...mine was just a little more spread out than hers turned out to be.  Once again, my fave companion for that period of my life flew the to bigger and better things...the things that come after graduation.  I think it's called adulthood.

After Stef left town I met the love of my life, J...for the first time I tumbled into this crazy thing called Love.  As my relationship with J blossomed, he replaced that spot that was always filled by the "bestie" that graced each phase of my life.  Make no mistake, though, those girls (now women) have never left my life...nor my heart.  We have all grown up, gotten married, scored jobs, lost jobs, had kids, made giant moves from city to city, quit jobs and all in all...we've moved on.  We still talk when we can, though phone calls are interrupted by screaming kids, meetings that have to be had or simple exhaustion and visits happen when someone chances upon an area the other habituates.  Paths cross here and there and somehow we always pick up where we left off, but we always leave off.  There are new priorities...families, spouses, children, careers that pull us away and keep us from daydreaming, "hanging," partying.  Still...there are times when there is nothing better than sharing exciting news with a girlfriend or seeking out a familiar shoulder when news isn't so great.  There are some voids only a fellow female can fill.  There is often a stigma surrounding femaleness...drama, cattiness, vanity, shallowness.  I think any woman who has had relationships as I have had can easily debunk these stereotypes.  Cheers to my know who you are and I love you very much!!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Funny how almost every one of my posts is about sleep, or lack of sleep.  Ah, the good life! :)  This is going to be short because you had better believe that I am going to take advantage of this nap time and find a little snoozage of my own.  Gokey has been running a mild fever for 24 hours now...I am almost positive that it is just some severe teething going on as it is accompanied by copious amounts of drool.  He went to bed at normal time around 7:30 pm and then awoke around an hour later, probably because of his brother's overzealous bedtime protests (thank you, X-man).  From there it was all downhill.  He would crash only to be up 10 minutes later over and over and over again for the next hourish.  J finally decided to throw in the towel and go to bed and I finally decided to throw in the towel and quit trying to make the kid sleep.  I sat down in the living room thinking he might crash if we watched a little idiot-box.  It seemed to be working...he got that glazed look for a while and was limp in my lap and then suddenly he exploded to the floor and began running delighted laps around the living and dining rooms.  So...I made myself a cup of coffee and settled in for the long haul.  Around midnight, after trying to keep him quiet for our slumbering counterparts' sake I decided a drive was in order.  Buckled him into his carseat and off we went!  Boy this city is exciting late on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning!  It worked...thankfully.  I crawled into bed around 12:30 only to be wrenched from my dreams at 4:45 this morning by his sweet cries...ugh.  There were some feeble attempts to get him back to sleep, but somehow I was too tired to even try at that for long, so...once again, we are pooped!

We did make it out on an attempted trip to the park.  Both boys crashed on the way there, so I parked the car in the park and let them sleep while I miserably sat in the driver's seat wondering why they so eagerly departed from wakefulness as soon as there was promise of excitement, but there was no convincing them that sleep should happen when we were in the comfort of our own home in the midst of boredom.  Go figure.  We had a lunch date with Nana, so turning around wasn't an option...and we had a great time at lunch, anyway (thank you, Nana)!

So...hopefully a nap is in my very near future!

Belly full of pizza...maybe now I will sleep so Momma can too!

Oh...and a shout out to my oldest and one of my dearest friends:  Happy Birthday, Erika! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To my Seester...

Today happens to be the 27th anniversary of the day my little sis was shoved into this world!  Happy Birthday, Adie! :)  This has been the theme of our day even though she is now living states away.  We called her on the phone, X-man doing his best to relay his heartfelt birthday wishes to her, but failing miserably as the pressure of spewing such a complicated wish flustered him.  Since then, though, he has requested over and over to "go to Adie's house."  How do you explain distance to a two year old?  I showed him on a map..."we live right here and Adie lives wwwaaaayyyyyyy over here."  I think he thought I was nuts...if he had the extended vocabulary I am sure he would have said something to the effect of, "um...that's 6 inches, Mom."  He was pretty much unimpressed with my explanation.  So, we did the next best thing!  We drew her a picture and had a zoo trip.  Life is good...and we hope Adie's day was as good as ours!

Boys hard at work on their Birthday creations!

I wish I would have captured his face when he realized this goat was trying to taste his head!

A boy and his goat...

Gokey getting bold

Leading the way!

...and being retrieved by big brother!

Lunch Break

He insisted that he had to talk on the question is  how in the world does he know this is a phone?  The contraptions he uses for calls bears NO resemblance.  Interesting...wise for his years!  I am pretty sure I heard him mutter, "Happy Dirtday, Adie!" :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Telltale Signs...

After a long, less than restful night we have slept in much later than usual (7:30 am...woohoo), had a sugar rush during a donut breakfast (yes...hand over the "Mommy of the Year" award now), had a very short trip to the park due to a two year old who just couldn't stop throwing sand at any other kid that wandered into the sand box, a very messy bout of coloring, a little lunch and I finally have some quiet time as is evident by the creation of today's entry!  I am aware of the run-on sentence...I just couldn't figure out where to break it.  When nap time begins my first order of business is general clean-up...usually the lunch mess left behind by the hooligans who are sleeping and then the rest of the house that has been trashed in the preceding 6ish hours.  Today, I had to first take a quick bathroom run (sorry for the TMI, but it's relevant) and had to grin as I entered the master bath to find the evidence that a rugrat had been there before me at some point this morning.


Yes, one of Gokey's favorite activities is to rummage through my bathroom cabinets and drawers...not so much for primping, but more to attempt to ingest as many of the sweet smelling and probably very toxic pieces of momma's beauty repertoire as possible.  Needless to say, something else must have drawn him away because this is a truly mild form of disaster for him.  It quite possibly could have been the "bed" that big brother was making while I was preparing lunch that was enough to entice him from his own destruction.  


This blanket was freshly laundered and folded prior to a sand-laden X-man deciding it made a perfect addition to the basket of clean towels for the creation of his new "den".  Ah well...clean laundry is over-rated gets dirty so quickly these days.  As do walls!  I cringe on a daily basis at a simple glance at any of our walls in this house.


They are scuffed, colored on, drooled on, kicked, and smeared with various beverages and bodily fluids. I often lament that I just want to paint them today and have clean looking walls again.  So far my husband has been able to snap me back into reality on each of these occasions that it would be pointless at this time...and he is so right.  The rest of our home decor has suffered equally.  


This poor Willow Tree figurine has been decapitated so many times that she is permanently marred in the neck region.  Poor girl...but she still loves the small boy that she embraces, though he has a striking resemblance to the boy-suspect in her innumerable maulings!  There are countless other reminders that these clumsy, loud, short creatures lurk here on a regular basis.

Furniture has been replaced by colorful, obnoxious toys

beaming flashlight and flip flops have been quickly abandoned by their careless owner with the promise of lunch
Step stool, toilet paper out-of-Gokey-reach and "Everyone Poops" book marking a boys' bathroom
Permanently smudged glass and poor Tanner catching a much needed wink after a morning of "fight-or-flight"

Coloring supplies, kleenex discarded after a snotty wipe, a comb and foot scrubber that migrated from the bathroom in Gokey's fist, an injured lego helicopter and it's missing pieces, salt and pepper shakers and napkin holder that grew tired of being emptied on the dining room table...there is ALWAYS a similar smattering of items on this bar no matter how hard I try to keep it cleared.

These are all the pieces of evidence that our lives have been permanently altered.  This house we live in today is a far cry from the one inhabited "before kids".  Decorative candles, books and figurines have either been eaten, destroyed or placed out of reach.  Carpet is stained beyond recognition, beds often go unmade, and miniature trucks and boats can be found under every piece of furniture and sometimes in makeup drawers, inside pots and pans in the kitchen or in the front lawn.  Some may shake their heads..."what a shame that those kids are destroying that house".  Ahhhh...but, here is where they are wrong!  It's easy to get frustrated at the messes that have been left behind, but when I walked into the bathroom after laying my little munchkins down, it was that mess left behind that reminded me how lucky and truly blessed I am.  Maybe they are destroying my poor house piece by piece, but in doing so they have created our home.  

And here is some recent cuteness:

Lunching at Gigi's and Papa's and destroying their house for once...

X-man looks pained, but that is his cheesy smile on their
 after-shopping reward

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


 Let me share my timeline of exhaustion, just for the sake of sympathy.  I haven't slept for 3 years.  Ok...maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but I am probably not stretching the truth much by saying that I could probably count on one hand how many times I have slept a solid 8 hours in the last 3 years.  You see, 3 years ago I was 7 months pregnant with X-man, no longer expelling the contents of my stomach as much, but I was enormous.  Sleep was failing me.  I would be up at least once a night to visit the bathroom much to the relief of my poor smooshed bladder.  On top of that I had excruciating hip pain.  Sleeping on belly or back was, of course, impossible and 20 minutes on either side and I would have to shift to the other to momentarily relieve my hips.  I have heard it said that this is just God's little plan to prepare you for the birth of the baby causing all this discomfort...we all know that new parents are lacking in the sleep department.  I think it's more of a cruel joke.  The last 2 months should be the time when we can relish in childlessness and catch the last few guiltless, worry-less winks for the next 18+ years.  Who am I to argue with God, though?  I am hardly the first, nor the last to experience this method of "infant-preparation".  

October 27th, 2007 rolled around and the little man arrived without complication.  Instead of relishing in the first month when all the helpless little being does is sleep, J and I spent every last second, day in and day out, watching said little being sleep!  Hindsight is 20/20 as they say!  From here, things get foggy.  Night after night of zombie-like wakings to burp, rock, nurse, diaper change and adore creates this unique kind of fog.  All I know is that this fog lasted a LOT longer for me than it did for all the mommy friends around me!  I have come to realize that I don't make sleepers!  I want to slap the well-meaning mom (you know who you are) who tells me, "I don't know what to tell you.  Gertrude has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 weeks old!"  I survived, though, and by 10 months of age, X-man was starting to figure it out.  At least it was usually down to one wake-up session a night.  At 10 months and 2 days, we found out we were expecting #2.  Let the puking commence!  By 14ish months, I would be comfortable saying that X-man was an expert sleeper...and Mommy needed lessons.  I spent every day chasing an extremely active toddler and tossing him cookies, while trying not to toss mine.  By bedtime for him, I would collapse on the couch for a much needed foot rub from my adoring hubby and pass out...only to be awakened by the uncontrollable urge to vomit.  Nights that my nausea was manageable, I would wake up with such severe hunger I would consider eating an arm...or something closer than the kitchen pantry provided.  Sleep continued to escape me.  

After a very long and strenuous pregnancy, little Gokey (a name given to him by big brother lacking the ability to say his proper name) finally arrived, May 5th, 2009!  By the end of his first week Gokey was sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night, while X-man, struggling with this extreme resource-sucking arrival, was up multiple times.  By Gokey's 3rd month, his pattern went out the window as X-man fell back into his great sleeping routine again.  Could you give a mom a break?  It really was this point I was so used to having no consistency that I just somehow functioned.  Afterall, it had been 2 years since I had a normal sleep schedule.  

Gokey has reached 15 the past 6-8 weeks, following in big brother's footsteps, he has finally realized the value of a true, full-night's sleep.  Almost without fail he sleeps from 7:30 pm to 6 am every night.  The kicker?  X-man is now up at least once a night!  My only conclusion is that they have some twisted little game going between the two of them to slowly suck the sanity from Momma...and it's working!  While I was existing quite well on virtually no sleep, I am suffering greatly with the 4 hour stretches I get now and being ripped from such a peaceful slumber to assist with a potty or drink break. I write...the boys and had a normal morning of adventure at a county fair a county away (because I somehow missed ours), they had a great nap in the car and now we are home, they are bouncing off of the walls...and I am EXHAUSTED!

They are still stinkin' cute!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Phew...They're Asleep! I am!  It's no secret that I like to talk...incessantly.  It's usually to a fault.  My stories tend to create their own stories and take on their own lives.  It's an affliction that has been passed down through the  generations (thank you, G'ma).  I can't just say, "we went to the park."  I also have to include the details of how we decided that's where we would go, the cat we almost hit with the car on the way there (and what he looked like), the toddler conversation (or scream-fest) that was going on in the backseat, the way the sun was shining through the trees to illuminate the get the point.  I am sure there are more than one of you out there that experiences your own internal dialogue that goes something like, "I sure wish she would just get to the end of this story that will have no point."'s my solution.  My very own blog. Why not join the masses of people that assume that someone else will really want to read what they write? :)  This way when I launch into some inflated tale, you can say, "can't you just blog it?"  And then you can choose whether to read it or not.

In all actuality I need my own space to brag!  Before kids, it was about the cute things my dogs were doing on a daily basis.  Now it is about the disgusting things the kids leave behind and the dogs eat or roll in.  But, despite the horrible, smelly, obnoxious, destructive scenarios my two boys can get into or create, they are freakin' adorable and I need a place to record the moments, snapshots, conversations...the sweetness of everyday with them!  I am so afraid of sending the last one off to college and not remembering what his voice sounded like as a toddler, or how a stuck-out lip and a giant, swollen tear could tear my heart out.  I guess, more than this blog is for everyone else to read, selfishly, it's for me. on...or don't.  The next twenty-somethingish years will fly by regardless, but hopefully these pages will be full...for my sake.