Monday, March 31, 2008

Date Night

I know what you're thinking. "Oh Please! We don't want to hear about your sultry night of interesting conversation, footsie under the table, and mad dash home for more hot stuff."

Don't worry, there is none of that when the headline is Date Night. Not around here anyway. But I will say this, the Hub and I have been on so many date nights lately. Well, way more than ever before... maybe since we got married, in fact.

Why? You may ask -- but I very seriously doubt it because if you're reading this blog you are either a) my mother or b) my mother's sister or there is even the slight possibility that you are c) one of my four charming brothers. Any way you slice it, you're SO not interested in my affections for my significant other. So.... on with it, right?

I've taken a new approach to securing a babysitter. I used to plan something that I wanted to do then scramble for like a month to convince some tween to babysit our two perfect -- never get kicked out of daycare -- children. Needless to say, we had a lot of canceled plans and absolutely zero date nights.

New approach: I call my list. (That's about 10 babysitters who live around these parts.) I leave a message -- because you know, no one picks up their phones anymore -- and mention that we might like to go out sometime soon if they are available sometime soon.

Then I get phone calls and text messages (oh this is a topic I will rant about later) from girls on the list offering up the days that they are willing to babysit. It's never when I would have actually wanted to go out, like on the night of a basketball game or football game, but whatever.

The downside is -- as I alluded to in my last sentence (are you paying attention) -- we go out on random days and in fits and starts. We'll have like 5 nights of date nights in a row and then like 50 nights of no dates at all. Feast or famine around here. It's a dream.

Why am I explaining this whole thing anyway? Oh yeah, date night. Unlike the come-hither moments you are probably imagining, our date nights always end with our kids eating a dessert from the restaurant. (Because of course I order dessert!) And here is cute cupcake wearing Midnight Milan Cake from Maggiano's. For my own self let me say that I found it to be fantastic. It was creamy layers of cinnamon flavored mascarpone and dense chocolate cake. I'm pretty sure all Mason had to say was, "More!"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Every Boy Loves a Birthday

Remember Bone Head Moment No. 423? Well, today we made up for it by taking the boys to the right birthday party, on the right day, at the right time. Getting ready to be a well-behaved birthday goer takes a lot of preparation.

First, [actually the REAL first is making sure your mother gets you to the party at the right time and on the right day] but seriously, first we checked out a book by Mo Willems called, "I am Invited to a Party!" This was a great jumping off point for a delicate but certainly detailed discussion of all things party manners. Including such topics as what to do with the boogers you pick when you are at the party, and who to tell if you need to go potty and you are not at home. Then it was bathtime. Had to make sure everyone was squeaky clean [nevermind that we got plenty dirty at the park before going to the party].

Of course there's the pre-party sugar-load. (note enormous block of candy in mouth) Then a trip to the park to wear off the pre-party sugar-load and the pre-party cleanliness. And who can forget the whole getting sassy and wearing matching outfits (so as to trick people into theinking you are well-behaved as you are cute) segment of the afternoon?

All this work, all this effort, all the excitement, just to stand at the front door and beg to go home.

Sometimes it's harder being a kid than you think.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

All Dressed Up

If you're keeping score, get ready to make a mark in the "bone head moment" column. We got the boys all dressed up today (in matchy-matchy) to go to a birthday party. We also wrapped presents and talked about cupcakes and balloons and party manners. So exciting.
Then we loaded up the car and drove around the block to the supposed location of the birthday party. Ummmm... I got the days switched. Breaking the news was a little like a Deep Thought from John Handy. (Remember this one: One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no,' I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.)
I'm telling you there was supposed to be a brithday party today. Well, there was. But it was for our across-the-street neighbor celebrating her 70th. I got the Saturdays switched. The toddler birthday party is next Saturday. At least we didn't miss the kid one. Now I just need to bake some "forgive me" bread for our poor neighbor.
PS -- Worried about the kids and the big birthday let down? Don't be. They have been utterly lavished with gifts this weekend. They will live.
PSS -- Photo note: Our boys snuggling on the kitchen rug. Gross. I don't know why they do this.

Friday, March 21, 2008


There's something about bedtime around here. It's the one topic that gets me complaining. One of our biggest challenges when the boys are sleeping is keeping their clothes on. It's a pretty regular occurance that I will go in to wake them up from a nap, or check in on them to pull a blanket over them and find them naked or well on the way. Any idea on how to make your kids keep on their clothes?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Test Drive

Our biggest boy took an unsteady first today: first ride on a two-wheeler (plus training wheels). He wasn't very good, but entirely enthusiastic as he careened from one side of the sidewalk to the other. A few of these weaves and waves ended in Dad catching him before his head hit the concrete.

The event took me back to my own memories of a shaky but thrilling ride down a neighborhood street in Las Vegas. I had the spectacular privilege of learning to ride the bike my father rode as a youngster. Of course it had been retrofitted with a sparkly banana seat and painted vanilla yellow because it was the 70s, or at least so early in the 80s that we were still celebrating the 70s. Also unique to my first bike ride was that my grandmother was the one huffing and puffing along side me as I zoomed toward my historic teetering, tottering milestone.

My grandma! Folks, that is just amazing to me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Grow Lovely

I'm not the first to exalt the youthful benefits of fresh air. But as we approach the beginning of the warmer months I'm practically salivating for more time in the sun, breathing air that seems untouched and makes my skin prickle with happiness.

I'm finding that in our eagerness to feel the warmth we feel it when it isn't quite there. We rush to the park in light jackets -- or none at all -- when weather this cool would drive us inside if it were September rather than March.

The crisp currents of wind, full of green trying to burst through brown, revive our spirits and energize us to roll in the remains of winter's turf that hasn't quite donned it's newborn verdure. We ignore the roughness of the change and seize upon little buds, measly stalks, and wimpy blades -- seeing them instead as prosperous gardens, flowering vegetation and prolific fields of wonder.

Like the beginning of a love affair, Spring, makes us blind to all that we were painfully aware of just a few degrees ago. So, rather than fall in love, fall in Spring with everything and everyone around you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm a Little Hunk of Tin

I am so glad I spent $12.99 on this footstool. It is the favorite toy in the house. Here it is masquerading as a car. But it has also been a diving platform, a garage for hotwheels, and of course, a good 'ol footstool for helping in the kitchen. We use it every day and it is played with as a something-or-other every single day. Good investment.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

DWD: Moments I Missed

Today was mom's day out. I spent at least 5 hours away from the kiddos and significant other. It was great. For everyone. Here are a few of the moments I missed...

Hubby takes good pictures, doesn't he?