Friday, April 24, 2009

Smoovie Night

The hour(s) between dinner and bedtime can get pretty silly and whiny and destructive with two tired little monkey boys and a worn-out Mama.

Last night we made strawberry yogurt "smoovies" and headed for a relaxing bubble bath. The perfect way to end a long and busy day.

Out On A Limb

I predict that Max (and eventually, Sam) will go lots of fun places in this tree. On any given day, it's either a horse, or an airplane or rocket. I stay pretty close to him while he's on these journeys; weeding the endless abundance that is sprouting around our yard. I just love to hear where he's going and how fond he is of this special, quiet space.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Painting by Max, age 5

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chunky Cheese

I took the boys to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this weekend.

The End.

PS: We survived. Barely.

PPS: This is what happens to your brain if you go to a Chunky Cheese. You are never able to form an original thought again. This is a result of the creepy mouse and all his carni kicks who suck the thinking parts of your brain out and replace it with the part that enables you to scan two small children in a moving, whining and germ-laden crowd.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Leather Racetracks

I knew I was doomed.

There's nothing quite like a dinner party audience peering from the window of a delicate sans children home in a torrential rainstorm to make the unloading of a minivan with two small boys look like "Hi, we're your hillbilly cuzins from the south comin' to move in fer a spell, don't mind if we chain our dog to yer fence, do ya?" We were an assembly of raincoats, backpacks, books, Legos and matchbox cars; the Easter Lily in floral wrap that had crashed madly on I-5 and dumped soil on my seat yet narrowly missed the freshly baked hot-cross buns; the stomping in puddles and inspecting of worms on the walkway into the house.

We can hardly spell subtle, let alone demonstrate it.

Our gracious hosts were lovely, inviting and warm. As coats were hung and a tour given, I noted that there was crystal on the table. And china. And chocolate Easter bunnies in pretty gold ribbon so confidently placed in the white cloth seats where the children would sit.

I was doomed.

This lovely Easter dinner was at the home of friends who are newly married and in that blissful cocoon of "kids are something cute and sweet to LOOK FORWARD TO" portion of their lives. Max hadn't even taken his shoes off before asking where the toys were, and I ssshhhhd him immediately with THE EVIL EYE as our happy hostess escorted him to a coffee table with ink pens and construction paper. And olives. With pits. Which he ate and then nearly choked on and spit/dribbled over the other guests.

"At least he likes vegetables" they offered weakly.

I was doomed.

There was a lovely little girl there, close to the same age as Max, who quietly put on headphones and plugged in her personal "My Little Pony" DVD and was never heard from again. Until she blasted the boys on Wii bowling and the entire dinner party apologized without sincerity or irony that she was a "wringer".

I was doomed.

There were salad plates each adorned with a chocolate brown, jewel-sized box of truffles decorated jauntily with yellow marshmellow Peeps placed on top. Which my boys demolished before ever a green leaf could come between their lips OR the Easter blessing could be given by our generous host.

In that quiet moment of grace, when not even a single serving of tossed greens had been tasted by any dinner guest, Sam was screaming "MEAT!!!" at the succulent Easter ham sliced at the center of the table.

I was doomed.

I begged forgiveness and quickly added some ham to my salad so that I could slice it for the meat-eater on my left. At which point the meat-eater on my right whined about wanting his "BIG" and *not* cut into non-chokeable portions. I sliced, I diced, and wait - there was more - passed the green baby peas and asparagus with sliced radish, yes I know you don't want yours cut but you'll choke on this grizzle, hold on, I'm cutting it as fast as I can, no you may not eat that Peep, no you may not leave the table, use your manners, please, try some of these potatoes, they have cheese - your favorite!, no more bread until you finish what's on your plate, yes, I see that you have a knife, please don't put it in your mouth, NO MORE PEEPS!, say "no thank you", yes, I'm getting you some more meat.

I was doomed.

Our host madly searched the inventory of Nickelodeon, Sprout, Disney, etc. to provide the necessary kid crack for us to finish our delightful meal. I suggested we consult our savior, Roary The Racing Car. "But, it's only 11 minutes", he replied with regret and apology.

Dude. That's MY 11 minutes of peace and quiet for the day and it's 11 minutes more than we're getting right now. I say it's worth it, don't you? He smiled in silent agreement.

I was doomed.

We wrapped up a lovely meal, delightful conversation, and the kids were quiet for 11 minutes. A wineglass was broken AND IT DIDN'T INVOLVE ONE OF MY CHILDREN! I started to not feel so doomed.

I excused myself from the clean-up because the last thing an embarrassed guest needs is an audience (spoken from the voice of experience). I casually walked into the t.v. room to see what was going on with the Sproutlets, only to discover to my horror that the nubby soft leather sofa had a distinctive "Sammy Swirl" etched into it. In BALLPOINT PEN.

Choking back tears and rage, I sputtered out the "WHO DID THIS", only to get the cheerful reply of my primary suspect, Sam "My did it. My made a racetrack!" So proud.

So doomed.

Holy &*\ *($% @&)*@. Seriously. Could this get any more painful? I guess it just did.

With a perky criminal on my hip, I went back into the dining room to face the music.

"I'll see your broken crystal and slightly torn tablecloth and raise you a ruined Corinthian leather sofa.

Our host scoffed graciously, waving his hand as in "no big deal". Then he grabbed the sofa seat and a leather-cleaner-kit still in its box, scurried off to the kitchen and went to town. Serious work and life-saving attempts were made on the sofa.

I was doomed.

And then there was dessert. And an Easter Egg hunt.

I offered up Mr. Wonderful's mad skills at tanning animal hide and suggested a particular cow at the family farm that I had in mind, but people thought I was joking.

I was doomed.

Doomed and blessed. Blessed with a minivan of monkeyboys who are nothing less than exuberant, eager, and excited. Easter and otherwise.

Upon returning home and after getting the boys to bed, I called my friend and apologized profusely. She laughed it off in that way that proved that she has perspective and elegance and a keen sense of humor.

I told her that when she has kids, they'll be welcome to come to my house and write on my sofa, key my car and vomit profusely on my carpet.

I'm doomed.

I hope she takes me up on it.

Muddy Morning Easter

What's a Mama to do on a muddy, rainy Easter morning with two candy-infused bunnies who woke before dawn and are bouncing off the walls (and each other)?

The same thing I always do when Mr. Wonderful's out of town and I'm a loss for activity and at the end of my rope....

Find a tractor.

Easter Eggs hide very nicely on a road grader tire.

I was particularly proud of this one.

My bunny loves a big tread.

Who needs bow ties and white shoes when you live on a dirt road?

Eggs also hide very nicely on a roller, too. I think Max just found a green egg!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

Spring Break

Last week's vacation brought us closer to bright sunshine, warm hearts and unrestrained Joy. A winning combination.

"It's like a hot tub full of SAND!" - Max