Sunday, May 31, 2009

The bad idea

Yesterday we were all up early because I had a date with the rug doctor and still wanted to make it to the Farmer's Market. 

We had decided to go in on renting a carpet cleaner with some of our neighbor friends, and since it was a 24 hour rental, our time slot was for the early part of the morning. So we rushed around opening all the windows and moved furniture into the far reaches of the rooms (you may not remember that we have wall to wall carpeting in this rental, with then exception of the plumbed-in rooms). It took me just under an hour to whip through the main floor and we were on our way out the door to the market. 

Many hours later, with two fairly cranky children, we arrived back home. But the carpets were far from dry so we quarantined ourselves in the kitchen and took turns napping in the basement. 

As it got closer to supper time and the carpets were still fairly damp, I came up with this brilliant idea to set up the tent in the backyard and have a family camp out. That way, the carpets would surely be dry by the morning, and I thought it'd be fun! So we spent a good hour carrying plenty of blankets and padding and books and toys out to our backyard getaway destination. By 6:30 p.m. the kids were showing signs of slowing down, bellies full and a long day behind them, I assumed it would be only a matter of minutes to get them down. Boy was I wrong. 

They spent the first hour in the tent rolling around on the blankets, giggling and climbing all over each other and me, like little kittens. They spent the second hour in the tent listening to stories and songs and constant warnings to lay back down. They spent the third hour in the tent whining and complaining and fighting and crying. I'm not sure why at this point I didn't clue into the fact that my brilliant idea was in fact a bad one. 

Robin showed up around this time, after having spent a few hours in the studio, thinking he would crawl into his sleeping bag and doze off to sleep. HA! So then the two of us spent another hour keeping the two kids separated from one another at each end of the tent only to witness them getting more and more wired in their overtired state. I resigned myself to try and ignore the little beast that was pulling my hair, sitting on my head and perching himself on top of my lower back while giggling and screeching. But it was when I got bit that I decided, okay that's enough! Wet carpets or no wet carpets, this was ludicrous! 

Robin took Roscoe into the house and Isla and I furthered another 1/2 hour before it started to thunder and we were driven indoors as well. The kids fell promptly asleep in their beds, as I knew they would, and I had a fitful night of restless periods only to wake up feeling hungover this morning. Ummm, it really was a bad idea. We certainly won't be taking them camping this year, or only on the condition that we bring separate tents. 

Well, I'm off to bed, in hopes of a better night of sleep and fewer casualties. 

PS: I decided against posting a picture of the teeth marks left on my shoulder, so sorry no photos tonight. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The not so happy, happy face

Roscoe is a happy child. Has been ever since I can remember. He has always been generous with his smiles and flirtatious smirks and reciprocally is often cooed at and gawked over, much to his delight.  And as his mother, I am in turn always delighted to share this preciousness with others.  

But lately we've been experiencing another side of Roscoe. Still always happy, he has adopted a new expression that I call  - the frown. He has likely picked it up undoubtedly from his mother and his sister, but somehow it just doesn't seem genuine. His nose crinkles up and his eyebrows furrow, yet there is still a twinkle in his eye and a slight dimple indent in his cheek as he tries mightily to look displeased.  

Even this morning, when we raced him to the medical clinic to get checked for an allergic reaction he was having, he still managed to smile at the nurses through his red and puffy bloodshot little eyes. Turned out it was likely a reaction to a new pair of sunglasses that I had bought him, perhaps some residue chemical in the packaging, and thankfully all returned to normal within a couple of hours, but he sure gave his mother real reason to frown with worry. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching up

Well we did it! Three weeks without the dada seemed like an eternity, but we managed and are thrilled to finally have him home with us. We have spent a blissful morning together catching up on what's happened around here, and all the stories he brought back with him from his trip. 

Now, Isla and Robin are catching up on some much needed sleep, both snuggled down for an afternoon nap in our bed, while Roscoe is snoozing away in his crib and the mama is at a loss for what to do with her free time?  

The last couple of days seemed particularly more trying, perhaps in anticipation of his return. Luckily our calendar filled up quick with dinner invitations and backyard parties over the Memorial Day long weekend and our friends and neighbors kept us distracted from counting the hours. 

Even when he called to say that they had missed their flight from Los Angelos and would be arriving a couple hours later than originally planned, I thought, someone must be testing me.....
But all my restlessness and anxiety have since vanished since I picked him up late last night at the Salt Lake City airport, and funny enough, life seems as though it totally returned to normal when we all woke up this morning to get Isla ready for preschool. 

Now I just can't decide what I missed more, crawling into bed with him at night or enjoying that first cup of coffee together in the morning. Ahhhhh, it's just great to be all together again. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Letter 'P'

The letter of the week is 'P it seems'.

'P' is for Preschool. Isla is into her second week of preschool and still loving every minute of it. Unlike last week, we've kept our plans to a minimum on the days that Isla is at school in the morning (Tuesdays and Thursdays) because she seems to need to nap on those particular days.  

'P' is for Pyjama days. On the mornings that we don't have to get up and out the door, Isla and Roscoe have been happy to putter around the living room playing with their toys, while I sip coffee and bask in the sunlight until one of them makes the first hunger call. Their latest game is to haul as many toys as they jointly can manage and set up a picnic behind the big armchair.
'P' is for Pulling weeds and Pushing lawnmowers.  With the warm weather we've been having, lawn maintenance feels like a never ending process. I've waged war with the dandelions out front and surrendered to the army of them in the back. My preference is that our landlord does not use pesticides to eradicate them, but that means me having to put some elbow grease into getting rid of them. 

'P' is for Pasta night. Our Pal Sunshine came over the other night with her Pasta machine and all the ingredients for a delicious supper. The kids loved the interactive component to preparing the meal and got right into the cranking the wheel part.  We made fresh fettuccine noodles with a cream sauce that was to die for. 

'P' is for Pizza and Patio. Tonight we took advantage of the perfect weather and walked over to the local pizza parlour a few blocks away. We met up with our friends Maria, her kids Colin and Violet (whose daddy is also in Korea) and Maria's mom Peggy for a pizza party on the outdoor patio. Our mealtime did not go without incident, as expected with 4 small children, but worth getting out of the house for and the excuse not to have to do dishes. 

'P' is for Patience. Which I am trying my hardest to exercise these last few days. We are all very keen to have Robin home again in only 4 more sleeps. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunny days

It's hot! 29 degrees outside (or 84F, if celsius isn't your thing). Not unbearably hot, but warm enough to get up and out of the house early in the morning because the afternoons are all about hanging out by the poolside. 

I was woken early this morning by a phone call from Korea. Robin was about to head off to sleep and thought he'd try us. I was happy enough to crawl out of bed and boot up the computer so that we could skype. He's also counting down the days until his return, only 1 week left of this whirlwind of a tour he's on. Roscoe eventually woke up and caught the last few minutes of our overseas conversation, but Isla slumbered on and was disappointed that she had missed her dada when she did eventually wake up. 

Without any prior plans in mind we called our friend Kate to see what she and her kids were up to for the day. She had this great idea to pack up the strollers and try out a river walk that neither of us had been on before. The trail wound along a very full and silty river, crisscrossing over it and back, much to the delight of Isla and Finnegan - as they were on bridge patrol. We snacked and yakked and were pleased to be shaded by huge Cottonwoods for most of the trail. 

Noontime rolled around and we ended up at their place for lunch and a dip in their backyard pool. Today has felt somewhat indulgent, really. The warm weather, the spontaneous outings and now both kids are sleeping the afternoon away while I enjoy another latte! Life is good. These last few weeks have flown by. I've been fortunate to have friends from far and near to keep us company, share meals and playtimes while Robin has been away. Thanks to everyone. 

Especially to Kate and family, who have been so good to us in so many ways. She even let me borrow her husband!  Mike saved the day this evening when he was able to unlock the bathroom door from the outside after a particular little person had locked it and closed it behind her (thankfully with no other little person locked inside). 

We sure do miss you though dada...get home soon so you can help unlock bathroom doors and enjoy and little poolside time with us too!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Over in Asia.......

Here's a little sampling of some of the sights Robin has encountered thus far on his trip to Korea and China. 

He's having a fabulous time, really!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Growing up is hard to do

I can't decide if this is more so true for the mommy or for the child. 

Here is my sweet little Belle on her first day of preschool. This week marks the beginning of yet another stage in our lives. We decided to enroll Isla in a four week summer session at the University's early childcare centre, The Children's House, to ensure a spot for fall entry, but also to test it out and see how she'd fare being away from her mother and brother a couple mornings a week. 

Well, if her consistent displeasure of sighting me (to pick her up) is any indication, it's safe to say that she likes going to school. From what I've been able to coax out of her, she's already met some new little friends, been on a field trip to see the Entymology lab at the University,  likes the outdoor play equipment best with snack time a close runner up and if it were up to her she'd go to school everyday of the week, not just Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

I, on the other hand, seem to be more affected by this new change in our daily existence. Besides getting all vaclempt when I dropped her off the first morning, today I found myself wandering around the house all morning wondering what to do with my time (while Roscoe napped.)  I'm also more aware of watching the time, have dug out our alarm clock and am doing my best to work on my promptness at dropping her off and picking her up at the right time. 

And despite her best efforts to share the details of her mornings at school, she is wiped by the time we get home. Today in particular, we scheduled a lunch date immediately following her morning at school, which was fine, that is until I got her home and she crashed out on our bed in utter exhaustion. 

So while it's hard work and tiring for Isla, at least I can be assured that she loves it. As for me, I suppose this is only the beginning of encouraging independence and reluctantly letting them go. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another year older...

...but none the wiser. Okay maybe a little.

I turned 33 yesterday and this morning I discovered a very predominant laugh line on the left side of my mouth. It's new, seriously, it wasn't there on Monday because I remember looking closely at my face in the mirror early that morning and wondering if I felt or looked any different (which I didn't). But today is another matter. 

I attribute the newly acquired wrinkle to how enjoyable and fantastic this past week has been, with  so much to celebrate and plenty to laugh about. Our ability to be productive and accomplish great things didn't get any better since my last post. For the most part we found ourselves stuck at home with a minimum of one napping child, but still managed to make at least one outing per day while Kim and Daniel were here. But it really didn't matter, the purpose of our visit was clear to us anyways. 

Sunday evening we celebrated Mother's day and and braved a meal out at a local Mexican restaurant with all the kids. Luckily the waiter seated us near the kitchen and the boys were kept entertained by the blender that seemed to be whipping up Margaritas all night. We toasted one another with a couple of our own slushy cocktails and I was tickled as pink as my strawberry drink when I was asked for ID!   

Kim and Isla put themselves to work making a decadent chocolate cake from the Rebar cookbook, and showered me with presents throughout the next day. I got a special birthday message from Robin, who was enroute to China that day. He'll be in China for the next three or four days and then back in Korea by the end of the week.
Then we packed the Jeep up with firewood, hotdog sticks and the appropriate roasting edibles and went up into Green Canyon to meet friends for a birthday campfire. It was a beautiful night and the kids loved tromping around the trails while we adults tended the fire and ate cake. 

Roscoe was most thrilled with the cake eating part of the evening, but got a little nasty when we tried to take his plate away from him. 

It was a superb evening and birthday day all around. Kim and I polished off another bottle of wine that night and stayed up a little later than we likely should have, just enjoying the last few hours of our week together. Now as mommies, and over 15 years since we first became friends, we laughed a lot this week about how we used to predict what it would be like one day when we would  be mothers, would be more responsible and have plenty more wrinkles.....

Thanks for the fabulous visit Kimmy, and for the memories. All of them! 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Diddly squat

That's what we've been up to these last few days since Kim and her handsome smiley guy Daniel arrived - a whole lotta nothing. And it has been fantastic. We had great ambitions to travel the state together with our children, perhaps even do an out of state trip north to see the Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming. Instead we've decided this visit is all about the the food, the friendship and the familiar. 

Let's face it, a road trip with a 3 year old, an 18 month old and a 9 month old??????? The kids have been more than happy to hang out here in Logan this week, listening to the constant chatter of their mothers in the background whilst playing in the yard, making pancakes, hiking in the canyon, planting a strawberry patch, going for ice cream, taking in the Farmers Market season opener. We haven't really done much, really. 

Little Daniel has been charming us all with his brilliant smiles and ambition to crawl, even though he has been feeling under the weather and naps three times a day. Isla has become the apple of his eye and produces giggles and squeals of delight from Daniel with her twirls and baby talk. Roscoe is equally intrigued with this new little person that has arrived on the scene, but favors his Auntie Kimmy and goes to great lengths to spend as much time sitting in her lap as he can manage.

Here's a few shots of our week so far.........

Meanwhile, 15 hours ahead on the other side of the planet, the dada is having his own fun.....We think he's joined some kind of boy band. Let's hope it's a phase. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Real Deal

My very best friend Kimmy Veale is here visiting and she truly is the real deal! I couldn't ask for a better friend. She arrived only a short 24 hours after Robin departed for Korea. And she brought her gorgeous babe Daniel with her for all of us to swoon over for the next week. Kim's timing for visiting us down here in Utah couldn't be better.

After an epic trip down to SLC to pick her up from the airport (we waited over 1.5 hours to get her luggage) we drove three very tired babes home in the dark back to Logan. Needless to say, most of today was spent in a nap trap with one or two of the kids napping at a time. But the sun shone, the kids played, we admired the newly blossomed tulips, we drank lattes outside and eventually moved on to red wine and a delicious curry supper. A perfect day.  

Robin made it safely across the big pond and is hanging out in a funky little arts district of Seoul called Insa-Dong. We're all missing you dada, have some soju for us!  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bye Bye Blues

I can hardly keep my eyes pried open long enough to blog this evening. It has been an eventful day, beginning at 4 a.m. when Robin and I got up and out the door without disturbing our kidlets to make an early trip into the Salt Lake City International Airport. 

Robin and five other people from the ceramics department left this morning for the study abroad Korea trip. I volunteered to be one of the drivers to take a carload of them into the city. Many thanks to our friend Sunshine who helped out by sleeping over and watching the kids in the morning so they didn't have to make the trip at dawn as well. 

I was glad to have been able to kiss him goodbye again and send him off with warnings to be safe and reminded him to come back to us healthy, with no swine flu symptoms if at all possible. By 6:45 a.m. I'd already had too much coffee, arrived early for my car appointment and spent the next couple of hours thinking about what a great adventure Robin is about to have overseas.   We will surely miss him here though and already felt his absence throughout the rest of the day. 

I arrived back home mid morning to find two happy kids, they hardly missed me at all it seemed. After an long afternoon nap, which was successful for everyone except me, we headed outside only to find a gigantic turtle had taken up residence in our backyard!!!!!

Much to our delight and relief, this turtle turned out to be not the living kind, but a sandbox for Isla and Roscoe to play and get dirty to their hearts content. So that's what we did. We whittled the afternoon away in the backyard, pulling weeds and building sandcastles. 

But our day didn't end with a good post-sandbox scrub in the tub. We all dolled up after a bath and walked over to the campus to take in the final thesis shows for the remaining two graduate students that are completing their program this year. It was here that it really hit me that Robin was somewhere far away,  somewheres over the Pacific Ocean, likely just as tired as I was, but probably not as comfortable. I hope he finds a couple winks before they land in Seoul tomorrow, as they will hit the ground running in an attempt to pack in a very full itinerary in three short weeks. 

Our itinerary for the next week will include taking a second trip into the big city to pick up my very best friend Kim from the airport with her darling little Daniel. They are coming to visit for a week, which I am over the moon about. Her timing couldn't be more perfect to come and hang out, talk about motherhood and drink copious amounts of wine together.