You like us! You really like us!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TIME MACHINE TUESDAY: Digging up old videos

Chapter 5

I am extremely far-behind with editing and burning my home movies, as well as getting my hundreds of gigabytes of digital pics from the past 4 years printed/scrapbbooked/otherwise organized. I have had this really strong "creative urge" lately (it tends to come and go, my "urge" is fickle that way), and I have learned from experience that I should act on this whenever it so happens to come my way, cuz it doesn’t happen very often anymore! One of my aspirations is to include blog posts along mixed in with some of those pictures and send them in to be printed and bound in a digital scrapbook of sorts. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a tech geek and so going 'digital' is the only way it even has a shot in hell at getting done!  But that is still a time-consuming process and I can just never seem to get motivated to get it done in big chunks. I did at least get all my photos grouped and backed up to discs in case (heaven forbid!) the hard drive fails or something.  Eh, it's a start!

So this past weekend I was doing a little editing and organizing, and came across some old home videos of Asha. This is one of my favorites of all-time, because it captures her so very well. My little dramatic diva, who has a great sense of humor and the best comedic timing! She had always known just how and when to turn on the charm!  This was taken about a month before she turned two. She’s such a precocious kid, and has kindof always seemed so grown-up, I forget that she was ever this little and adorable!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TIME MACHINE TUESDAY: How Bam Bam got his name

Chapter 4

I sat in the chair tonight, rocking my little boy to sleep, for the first time in weeks. He hasn't been much for sitting since he learned to walk at 10 months of age!  He is cutting his 1-year molars and they must be real killers, because he has been a real p.i.t.a. the past couple days. Poor kid. Turns out all he really needed was some Mommy time.

I realized as we sat there together in the peace and quiet, singing his favorite tune (Twinkle, Twinkle… he loves to chime in with his version of the lyrics, “UPABUBBA huh huh high”) how rare these moments are becoming, and how unprepared I am for them to end.  My little snuggle bug is growing up waaaay too quickly. Before I know it he won’t want to come anywhere near my lap and certainly won’t find it nearly as funny when Mama sings “I’m a Little Teapot” in her best high-pitched proper British accent.  But for now, I'm holding on tight and taking in every moment.  Fully enjoying and appreciating toddlerhood and all its wonders! 

Here's our little Bam Bam.  See any resemblance?

He is apparently a big believer in the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy "walk softly and carry a big stick," as the child is rarely without his club (or sword, stick, or other weapon of choice).  Combine that with his ever-lightening hair and his tendency to run around in nothing but a diaper, he looks like he came right out of Bedrock!

A "typical boy", he enjoys dirt, noise, and testing his mothers' intestinal fortitude (as well as her patience)

This is my favorite -- his "rock star" face. He does this when he knows he is being naughty, and tries doing something cute to distract us. Hard to get mad at cuteness. This appears to be genetic, as his father uses this same technique when he is in the doghouse as well... oddly enough, while the cuteness part only works for the baby it is suprisingly hard to get mad at dorkiness!

NOISY BOY! (here, I believe he was saying "aahntdat" = translated, "I WANT THAT!")

The following pictures were taken one very hot evening when Mama & Bam Bam were home by themselves (Daddy & sister had gone to a movie).  We seeded about half our backyard to grass earlier this summer and were watering 3x per day, so it was good & muddy back there... and you can about imagine where the child was drawn to every time we went outside.  So this particular evening instead of trying to Spray 'n Wash the mud out of his clothes after the fact, I decided to thwart his attempt at muddin' and ditched the clothes before they got muddy...

CAUTION:  Playing nekkid in the sandbox can lead to "Sandcrack"...

or worse yet, the dreaded "Sandweiner".

Never fear, our backyard is fully contained by a 6-ft privacy fence, and no indecent exposure arrests were made.

Cleaning up after himself when he was finished!

"Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails.... that's what little boys are made of!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"You like me, you really like me!"

I recently discovered (when three of my friends posted on Facebook that they actually missed reading my TMT post - or lack thereof - last week) that I actually have a Shanna’s Shenanigan’s “fan base”… of at least four people, if you count my mom. Frankly I am incredulous that anyone reads this thing, but I am extremely flattered and thrilled that you do!!

So never fear, Time Machine Tuesday (TMT) will return to its regularly scheduled Time Warp this Tuesday. (Maybe all I have to do is travel back in time to last Tuesday, enter a blog post, then return to this coming Tuesday and write another? Does that tangle the space/time continuum and the fabric of time and whatnot? This confuses me. )

My excuse is a pitiful one, but it's all I've got: plain & simple, this week sucked. It wasn't that the week was extraordinary in any way, in fact it was quite the opposite.  It was just kindof... "off."  Jordan worked the extended (11-8) shift, which always puts a bit of a kink in our routine. The kids were out of sorts.  I just couldn't seem to shake this headache I've been messing with on & off for a month.  And work was a real nasty ol' b*tch.  In my job, there are some days where after spending 8-9 hours straight in front of a computer, the last thing I want to do when I get home is spend another 1-2 hours in front of one. This week was…well…one of those days.

It started out with a return trip from Bismarck, where we spent the weekend for the Tvedt family reunion and also picked up Asha (who had spent the previous week with Grandpa & Grandma C in Lemmon) and arrived home late Sunday night. It was a super fun weekend with the relatives, but when we got home the kids were exhausted, there was a week’s worth of laundry to be done, and a pigsty of a house to straighten up.

Monday: Alarm rang way too darn early. Going back to getting two kids ready in the morning was a bigger adjustment than I’d anticipated! I had to literally drag Asha out of bed and put her clothes on her while she went completely limp and whined about my “bugging her” while she was very clearly trying her hardest to continue sleeping. Miraculously, we all got out the door on time.
Monday night was Brooklyn’s birthday party.  Noah came with us and spent the whole time trying to destroy Shane & Tara’s beautiful home. But he showed his softer side too, by smooching on his baby cousin Brielle every time he ran past her to try and knock over their flat screen. Asha had a blast, hanging out with her “BFFFFFF” while they got makeovers, played on the water slide, and ate cake & ice cream. She had so much fun, but it was unexpectedly easy to convince her it was time to go home – she was pooped!

Tuesday: This seemed to be the night that the children conspired together to challenge my single-parenting skills. With Daddy working late and Uncle Shad now gone, my wild monkey children seemed to smell the vulnerability on me. We had arguments over eating (or not eating) supper. Tantrums over not getting to play with the remote. Spilling the dog dish (twice). Stomping. Slamming doors. Hitting. A trip to the park 3 blocks away began with the intention to get them out of the house to run off some energy but ended catastrophically with Mommy pushing a stroller while pulling a bike while leading the dog while bargaining with a whiny girl while trying to entertain a crying baby. But we made it back home in one piece, albeit a disheveled, sweaty and grouchy piece. At bathtime, though, they gave me one of those lovely and sweet parenthood “moments”: the realization that going through all the sh*t in life gives you a better appreciation of the good stuff…

Asha: “Noah, is that your butt?”

Noah: (pointing) “Butt.”

Hysterical giggling from Asha. “Mommy, he said butt!”

Noah: “BUTT!”

More giggling. This time Noah joins in with his hearty belly laugh. Even more giggling.

Both chime in, “Butt! Butt! Butt!”

Sassy barks. I swear to you, it sounded like “Butt.”

All three of us completely lose it.

What can you do but join in? C'mon, "butt" is hilarious, after all. We laughed so hard I cried and might have even peed a little. Who would’ve known though, with all the water splashed onto the floor already?!

Wednesday: The Day from Hell at work. Everyone on earth demanded my attention all at once, my headache was raging, I didn’t get a lunch break, and I absolutely HAD to be out the door right at 5:00. Because it was Preschool Open House night, and I had to get from daycare to home, feed the kiddos, then back to the preschool, all by 6:00. But we made it! Asha was uncharacteristically shy - except for when she saw Brynn (her daycare BFF) in the parking lot before going in, those two ran around like loonies before I finally dragged her inside. This will be her 2nd year at Preschool, so she already knew the teacher and a couple of the kids in her class. The moment she saw Mrs. Larson, she got that huge chock-full-o’-dimples smile on her face. She eventually introduced herself (very adult-like, “Hi, my name is Asha, nice to meet you.”) to a couple kids and played a bit before we left. Back in the car, she tells me, “I’m ready to go to school tomorrow Mama! I can’t wait!” Crap. School doesn’t start for another 3 weeks. This generally means hourly status reports of how many days/hours/minutes before Preschool begins. Ah well, I’m just happy she’s excited.

Thursday: Reeeeally beginning to hate this “Extended Shift” nonsense. Do not reveal this information to The Hubs, but… his help is necessary for me to function. In fact, I realize I am highly dependent on him because he is good at stuff in general, and doesn’t usually have the Wild Ones attached to him 24/7 so he can actually finish tasks he starts. But there are benefits to this extended shift, as well: a morning “off” to get stuff handled!  I came home to a de-cluttered house, folded laundry, empty dishwasher, mowed lawn. RAD!!!!  I knew I liked that guy.

This was doubly grand, because I was planning to host a team morale event at our house Friday night, and I hadn’t even bought groceries for it yet! So the instant Jordan walked in the door, I jetted over to SunMart, then spent the rest of the evening browning 6# of hamburger & 3# of ground turkey for sloppy joes, making bars & appetizers, and prepping everything else I could do ahead of time. Not sure how I made it there, but I recall collapsing in bed (fully clothed) at 2:00 am… ZOINKS!!!!

Friday: Work mercifully SPED by, and my boss very kindly let me leave a bit early to head home and start the grub a’ cookin’ before the gang arrived. The kids were uncannily cooperative: Noah went down for a quick snooze, and Asha plopped down to catch up on a couple episodes of iCarly while I cooked & flitted around getting set up for the party. The crew started arriving at 6:00 – a houseful of my coworkers and their families – and we ate, drank, played the best game(s) ever, and just had a really enjoyable night! Good friends, good food, good beer… well, at least the good friends part anyway. It was just a really great way to end a not-as-great week.

Saturday: The Hubs earned about 12 skillion more “brownie points” this morning by keeping the children quiet and allowing me to sleep until 9:30!!! I don’t think I’ve slept that long since Asha was born! It. Was. Tremendous. We had the first ‘at-home’ Saturday in I-can’t-remember-when, and that was also tremendous. It was a much-needed day to recuperate and just hang out with the fam.

So that was it, my week in a very large nutshell, and the reason for Tuesday’s passing with no Time Travel. It can only go uphill from here. :)  My sincere apologies to my cherished fans for the late post, I so appreciate that you missed me!  It motivates me to write more! (uh-oh, now see what you started? I’m lookin’ at you Erica, Jeannie & Kim…)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Road Trippin'

Crack of dawn, Sunday morning.  Car is bustin' at the seams with fruit snacks, strollers, duffle bags, and enough DVD's to keep two monkeys occupied for the three hour drive across what is arguably the most god-awful stretch of pavement in the nation.  Bam Bam is a notoriously cranky passenger, but the Princess has him under control and erupting into giggles with her multi-character rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus".  Uncle Shad "may or may not" have been out late the night before, but he is a trooper and keeps me company while trek that lonesome stretch of road to the wild west.  We are on our way to meet Grandma & Grandpa in Bismarck!!

Three hours, (only!) two tantrums, one pit stop in Jamestown and zero naps later... we meet Grams & Gramps at Space Aliens for lunch, then immediately head to Raging Rivers.  (I know, I know, swimming less than 1/2 hour after eating, bad Mommy!)  It is at least 112 degrees out.  The water has never looked so inviting! 

Not afraid to get herself & everyone around her soaked!

My baby fishy.  He is SO at home in the water!

He ran Grama Kerry all over the place!

Tubing was her favorite!

The boys, heading in for a snack!

I scream, you scream, for Strawberry ICE CREAM!

Well, at least he enjoyed it. 

Getting a "buckin' bronco stroller" ride from Papa Chuck.  Apparently, this is hilarious.

One pooped lil' pardner.  He slept all of 17 minutes, then after his power nap headed straight back to the pool to pick right up where he left off!

This Little Mermaid was having a ball! 

They actually paused for ONE brief moment to let me snap a couple pics!

 "Swim!" said the Mama Fishy, "Swim if you can!"
(Boop boop dittum dattum whattamachoo!)

The whole purpose of our trip was to hand Asha off to Grams & Gramps so that she could go back with them to spend the week at the farm.  After several hours at the waterpark, we were all completely wiped out and ready to get home!  So we grabbed a bite to eat and headed our separate ways: one excited little girl and her two very tired Grandparents in one car headed south, one happy little boy and his very tired Mama and Uncle in the other car, headed back east. 

Three loops through "Elmo's Great Outdoors" later, the little dude STILL had not closed his eyes.  His aversion to sleeping in cars is astounding. The kid has willpower, I'll give him that.  But despite his resistance to falling asleep (even though we hit the road at what is his usual bedtime) he was a very good boy!  Lots of singing and laughing hysterically to his beloved "Ehmo", babbling quietly to himself, and making animal sounds while Mama and Uncle laughed at his antics.  He had our full, undivided attention...and was not about to give that up for sleep!!  This coming from the child who earlier this summer had us vowing to never ever again leave town in the same vehicle as him for fear of igniting the 8-hour supertantrum that ensued after our last trip.  He was miraculously... good! 

So next weekend we are tracing our tracks back to Biz to pick up the Princess.  She is having a blast at the farm, but we are really missing her back at home.  It seems SILENT in our house without her!  Our trip will involve a Tvedt family reunion as well.  We are excited to go -- there should certainly be some great "blog fodder" with that crew!! 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

You Got to Have Friends...

Chloe, Georgia & Asha got together, changed outfits 23 times, ate 3 or 4 cookies apiece, played a good amount of "house", and called it a successful playdate! 

After meeting Natalie at Heidi's wedding, the two were instant pals.  They talked about how they were friends "when they were little girls" (they were actually, when they were 1 and 2 years old!) The rest of the night was spent fixing each others' hair, drinking 'wine' (punch), and dancing their shoes off!  These two were a hoot!  Let's just hope they don't take after their mothers in their teenage years... that'd be the kind of trouble I'm definitely not prepared for!

Daniel came to hang out with us for a few nights.  They got along great (actually, they're a lot like siblings -- best of friends and worst of enemies!), but I think the poor boy may have been forced to play the part of Asha's prom date and watch girl movies. 

Lauren came to babysit, and it was like two old souls were reunited.

"Whatcha eatin'?" said Fat Baby 1 to Fat Baby 2.

The Stone boys came over for to play for a couple hours one weekend... allowing their Mommies to 'catch up' a bit, plus the kiddos got some serious playtime in with their little buddies!  Noah and Ian are about 7 months apart, Nolan and Asha are about 6 months apart in age.  They all play really well together!  And might I add, isn't this the CUTEST bunch of kids you've ever seen?!  (Honestly can't believe they all sat still for the 1/8th of a second it took to snap this pic!)

And the little doppelgangers, Brooklyn and Asha.  It is hilarious watching these two play together -- they are like a couple of little old ladies at bridge club!  They are "BFF...FFFFFFF's" according to Ash. (That means 'forever and ever and ever and ever and ever', I am told.)

I'm so grateful for all of our friends, and for their beautiful children. 
It's so much fun to watch them grow up together!