Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seven Years Old

Bo. What can I say about you? You still light up my life. You are such an amazing little guy, I feel like I won some kind of super awesome lottery that I got to be your mom. And speaking of which, you aren't such a little guy anymore. In fact, every time I notice this, it kind of breaks my heart. You've grown a LOT in the last six months. This year, you lost your last little speech impediment. At 6 and a half, you couldn't say your R's. Somewhere between then and now, you started to. I miss that sweet little "o" at the end of a lot of words.

But I also love the big kid you've become. You are witty and clever and it still surprises me. Recently you and I were looking on to buy a used book and it cost more than you were willing to pay so you suggested that I look on "" for a cheaper one. It was so witty, I just didn't expect it from you and didn't get it right away. I love that your humor has developed so much in just 7 short years. I think we are in store for many, many years of laughing with you.

Right now you are standing next to me reading what I write. That's another thing that happened this year. You can read anything and you like to read everything. So, that means no more spelling things to dad to hide something from you, and I have to be careful of what I'm reading or writing because you could easily be watching.

You've read with Dad several Harry Potter books this year, one Percy Jackson (like many things, you like the idea of those books, but they are still a little too advanced for you), a handful of Magic Treehouse books (which are perfect books for you but are painful to read as an adult) and you've recently discovered Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I have to admit, Dad and I think they are pretty hilarious too, and we love that you love them. You read them by yourself but still like having them read to you as well.

You are still reading what I write, and correcting me. Niiiiiiiice, Bo, nice.

I love your smile. You've lost a few teeth. Still the cutest little smile.

You have really started to come into yourself this year. You had a great first grade teacher that helped to cultivate your (you just blurted out "mind!" but that's not what I was going to write) love for reading and writing, and even math. You are a natural at math and love it. But this year, your reading really took off and you've discovered a talent for writing. You have a great mind and a great ability to write what is in it. I hope you write for the rest of your life. I love your stories.

You have a tender heart. You are a tough kid though. You don't cry easily (except when you are tired and then you cry because the wind blows) and you work hard to be brave. You had an incident at school several months ago where you got bullied a little and several kids were being really mean to you. Sometimes other kids don't know how mean they are being and I think that might have been the case. You were tough, you didn't do anything mean back, but you also didn't back down and let them hurt you or see you cry. See, Dad wants to see you be tough, and I want to see you be good, and you managed to do both. :)

In fact, that pretty much sums you up for me. You are such a good, good boy. That's not to say you don't ever get in trouble, and don't ever do things you shouldn't. You are also a very normal boy. :) But you really just naturally make good choices and have a good strong desire to do what is right. I am grateful every day to be the mom of a boy like that. It makes me proud to be a part of your family, and proud to be your mom.

You are somewhat impressionable with your friends. If another kid talks about wanting a cell phone, so do you. But when we ask you what you'd use it for, you kind of laugh, realizing you have absolutely no need for it. It's kind of funny to me.

Today you want to go to the convenient store and buy sunflower seeds, "there are three different flavors to choose from", and you'd like to spit the seeds on the ground like the neighbor kid is doing. No thank you. But it still amuses me that you ask.

This last year your best friend moved away. It was very sad for all of us. Fortunately we got to go visit them soon after the moved, so the sting of their departure was lessened. But we have really really missed them, and you've missed Caleb and Joe a lot. Saying goodbye to friends like that will happen a lot in life---you've really handled it well. You guys send each other "letters" (mostly pictures with one sentence) and talk on the phone and he's still the best friend you've ever had. You are a lot alike in some of the important ways, so I won't be surprised if you stay friends for a long time, even if you don't live near each other.

You basically think Dad is the most awesome person on the planet. That entails smartest, funniest, coolest, most interesting, etc. I agree with you almost 100 percent. Except funniest. I'm way funnier than he is---you just don't appreciate my humor yet. :) You and dad have a good thing going. You are lucky to have such a great dad and he is lucky to have such a cool son.

You don't talk much about how you are feeling, or what you did in a day---but it always comes out eventually. I have had to learn that, and it took me a long time. You like to talk and share, but it's on your terms. When I try to push it, the boy who remembers people and places from when he was two years old answers, "Uh, I can't remember" about something that happened 1 hour before. I'm on to you now. I know that means, "I don't want to talk about it." So as hard as it is for me to do, I leave you alone. Mostly.

Of course, bedtime, when I'm exhausted and ready to have quiet time to myself, you would like to tell me every thought you've ever had since the beginning of your time on this earth. Someday we'll meet in the middle.

This year you really got into PE. You really took to heart all the things your PE teacher taught you. It was really cute to see you practice running with longer strides, and doing exercises you've learned. Running fast does not come naturally to you but you have practiced and practiced and practiced so much to become better. And you have! You are also a really good sport, which really makes me proud. You don't cry or sulk if you don't win. It makes you sad not to win, but it also makes you want to try harder. I LOVE that about you. You ran a mile at a St. Patrick's Day run. Do you know how awesome it is that a six year old ran an entire mile? You did such a great job and I was so proud of your perseverance.

I love you Bo. I know you know that. I hope you never doubt how much we love you. It's bigger than words, bigger than dreams, bigger than Texas.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Two In One Weeeeek!

I started this post about 5 weeks ago. I still have some "insecurities" posting solely about the kids, as though I have some unspoken obligation to do anything different. I'm just going to put this out there again. They are the reason I started blogging, and having the documentation of their days and the passing years is priceless to me. This post is NOTHING but kid stories, so if that doesn't interest you, hey, there's your warning!

Things Bo said to me this morning:
"Hairbrush spelled backwards is Shur buh ree ahh. Huh."

Bo: I can get high at Sara's.
Mom: Oh really? Who's your dealer?
Bo: Uhhh, on the swings Mom.

Bo:If we never ate sugar, we'd never poop, so we DO need sugar because we need to poop.
Mom: How do you figure no sugar equals no poop?
Bo: There would be no "crap" to get out of our body if we didn't eat sugar.

As I'm recounting this conversation, I realize that it almost sounds like he's telling a joke. Probably the funniest part about it was me, afterward, wracking my brain to think of something our body would need to eliminate (if not sugar), without a detailed physiology lesson.

Yesterday as we were driving to see How To Train Your Dragon, Bo was telling Avee that the movie was made by the same people who made Shrek. She told him Shrek was a totally different movie. He explained that Dreamworks made both of the movies. Avee didn't care. Then Bo asked me, "What are all the movies that Dreamworks has made?" I said, "I have no idea, that's something Dad might know."

To which he casually responded, "You don't know crap."

I think my head just about spun off, right there at the stoplight where we were waiting. It was so uncharacteristic of him and SO RUDE. I don't think he even realized how rude and completely unacceptable it was for him to say that. Believe me, before the next stop light, he was well aware. Along with the eastern side of our city.

More recently:
Bo had joke day at school. Everyone was supposed to bring their favorite joke to share with the class. Bo is very interested in finding the funniest, the fastest, the biggest, the longest, the highest of everything. So I should have known he wouldn't settle for any ol' joke he already knew.

The only problem is, I worked the night before joke day. So J helped. This is a recipe for disaster. This is the joke he helped Bo find and subsequently MEMORIZE. (J claims he didn't help him memorize it, he only read it to him 2-3 times. And then sent him to bed, where Bo undoubtedly repeated it over and over in his mind. So when he woke up, it was the first thing he said to me, verbatim.)
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the hospital. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

That's the joke my preshy shared with his first grade class. I told him on the way to school that his classmates would not get it and he said, "I didn't get it first either! But I'll just explain it to them like Dad explained it to me." I emailed his teacher beforehand with a half-hearted apology. She wrote back that she was the only one who laughed, but it really cracked her up. I'm pretty sure the fact that he told that joke was funnier than the actual joke.

Later when Bo got home he told me that none of the kids laughed or got it. I thought this would be sad for him but he said, "But it was still the funniest joke!"

"How do you figure?" I asked him.
"Because I saw my teacher showing it to all the other teachers!"

That REALLY made me laugh.

And now for a dose of Avee.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a hair place my friend goes to. I wanted to see if she could fix a terrible and dark color I'd gotten a couple weeks prior. She told me what she could do so I asked if she had any availability in the next week. She said she could fit me in right then. I looked down at my little hooligan children, chewing on their hair, picking their noses and gestured to them. She said, "If you can handle them, we can!" It was awesome. Halfway through, I was sitting under a dryer and Avee was leaning against my legs. A VERY tall man walked in. He was, we later found out, 6 foot 9. He also was built kind of like a woman. With hips and a booty. It was notable.

My entire body tensed up and I scrambled to pull Avee closer to me as I saw her eyes make their way up the entire length of his body. I could heard her loud, high voice, giggling as she said, "You have a butt like my MOM but your a MAN!" I heard it, saw it, felt the burn of embarrassment, all of it. So before she could do that, I got my mouth close to her ear and frantically reminded her, "Remember how we talked about saying things about how people look!? Remember we don't talk about how people look when they can hear, we don't say things that might make them feel said!?!?! REMEMBER!? REMEMBER!?!!!!"

She turned and looked at me like I'd missed taking my crazy pills that morning and I could clearly see that there was no connection between what I said, and what she was about to say to this man. I kept my hand on her arm. I had resorted to the death squeeze for my method of parenting. I would just squeeze her arm so hard she wouldn't be able to remember her thoughts.

Suddenly I hear, "YOU AW SO TAWWWLL!! YOU AW LIKE A GIANT! YOU AW THE TAWLEST MAN IN THE WOLD! Except Jesus. He's tawler. I sink he's 9 feet tawl."

My relief overshadowed the true humor of the moment, but later I got a big kick out of it. A day or so later she came to me with her hands out, shoulders shrugged, "I actually don't know how tawl Jesus is, do you sink he's about 9 feet?"

Lately she has begun to refer to herself as "Mrs. Avee". This provides me endless amusement. I don't know where she comes up with some of the stuff she does. It started when a neighbor kid tricked her and when she found out she went barrelling out of the house with her finger in the air, pointing to the sky, yelling, "NOBODY LIES TO MRS. AVEE!"

That neighbor kid was twice her age.

Danyo is talking up a storm and I pretty much adore every word that comes out of his mouth. Yesterday we went to get in the car and it was raining. He noted, "It's dripping outside. It's dripping all over us!"

He also overuses the phrases, "I'm sorry" "That's not fayoh" and "Dat's miiiiiiine".

He tried to win Avee over the other day when she wasn't sharing by saying, "But I wuv you Avee!" I don't know how she resisted that. She is a cold, cold woman.

I think that's about all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Really Long Post

I started this post 6 days ago. I just finished it today. I didn't write in between. :)

A couple of days ago I got a call from my work telling me I'd been exposed to pertussis. Apparently I came within 3 miles of the sleeping baby who had it. I was to go to the hospital pharmacy and get some antibiotics and get started on them right away. (I'd like to hear your opinion if you think this is reasonable and even rational). I had to go before 5 pm, and totally forgot until 4:45. I went about rounding up the kids in my normal reasonable manner. GET IN THE CAR NOW! I DON'T CARE IF YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR SHOES, THAT'S NOT MY PROBLEM. And stuff like that.

Bo told me he didn't want to go and that I should get a babysitter. I told him that I didn't want to pay for the boy next door to babysit when I could take him for free. He offered to pay the $1.50 for the half hour I needed. He was HAPPY to pay it. He's pretty tight with his money, so this was particularly amusing to me. I got to go child-free and FOR free!

This morning as I was dropping off Avee at preschool I asked her to pick up a little pile of french fry stubs that were on the floor in the back of the van. She said, "How about you just take the van to the car wash? You can get some quarters out of my piggy bank for it." I laaaaaaaauuuuuuughed. Boy did I laugh. And she picked up the french fries.

I have to say though, I do feel some pride in my kids for thinking this way. Initially I was feeling some wonder, how did they get that way? Then I realized that I regularly offer J $50 (or $500, depending on the day) to change a diaper, give baths, switch the laundry. My kids are at least offering their money in the transaction. That means I'm raising children who are better than me. I'm amazing.

I just got back from a delicious 4-5 day visit to Utah. Child-free. Like sugar-free, but better. It was a little tiny slice of heaven. I'm having some hesitation to posting about it (even though I have some spoiled friends who want a play by play) because I will inevitably leave something out and plus, it was kind of boring.

I did throw a mini temper tantrum at the car rental place. The price couldn't have been beat. $13. With taxes, I was out the door in under $20. But the lady at the counter left MUCH to be desired. Typically I'm not one to judge on appearances because I have my own cross to bear in that department. But this lady was not even remotely professional in appearance, attitude, or helpfulness. Maybe she was the owner. That's how I'd be.

Anyway, my fit involved me not wanting a huge deposit taken out of my debit card (that happened to me once at a hotel and it got all screwed up, took more than they should, and took ages to put it back in) and not having an activated credit card. I forgot that my card was inactive and so when she swiped it, it was declined. So I called to have it activated. In the middle of me talking to the service rep, she says, "I can't swipe a card twice! If it's declined, I can't do it again." In the moment I was a little too flustered to respond or be rational, but seriously, can't swipe twice? Are you kidding me?

I had the dude activate my card anyway. Then because I actually gave credence to what she said about double swiping, I tried to get another card activated that had Jay's name on it. But that was a no-go. So I called J to have him call and activate. Again, the lady waited until after I had dialed, and started talking to blurt out, "Your ID and credit card name have to match!!" It was right then and there that I became officially annoyed. I was mid-sentence with J and I stopped, "You know what J, never mind. This is ridiculous. If this lady can't make this work, I'll call for a friend to come and get me." Then I got off the phone and said, "This does not need to be so difficult, you either want my business or you don't. So, you need to stop making this harder for me, and start helping me. If this card doesn't work, I will go somewhere else." She swiped the card, it worked fine, I was in a car within 2 minutes. I didn't even feel badly afterward about being kind of harsh. She was like making up crap to make it hard for me to rent from them. Weirdo.

Then I put my flip-flop and capris wearing self in the car and sent a text to my friend that said "What the hell! I'm wearing flip flops!" as snowflakes fell on the windshield and I waited for the heater to warm me. It was cold the whole time I was there. Rude.

I stayed the first night with Camille. Anyone who knows me well, knows I love Camille. We've known each other for 20 years. Camille is my apple pie, my sittin' on the porch watching fire flies, my hairy legs and she don't care girl. We are both equally horrible at staying "in-touch" (I used to be great, but then three kids and a healthy dose of apathy got in the way--just kidding) but hardly a moment has passed when we get together. Her kids are insanely gorgeous and really quite delightful to be around. It was nice to be able to soak them in without having to manage my own. Her youngest is the exact same age as Danyo. Actually, he's 4 days older than Danyo, and I can honestly say that those four days between A's birth and Daniel's, I did not like Camille one single iota.

I had a nice relaxing morning puttering around, chatting,and leisurely getting ready for the day. Then we puttered around town, had lunch, shopped, etc. It was truly a slice of heaven for me.

One highlight: I was trying all morning to get in touch with our friend Anna. Anna is a friend from college we both absolutely love. And she has 3 kids ages 1, 2, and just turned 4. So yeah, we figgered she was pretty busy, but I kept harassing her. Finally we gave up on the cell number I had tried another route. Her husband's name is quite unique so we were confident we could find it online. We did. I called it a couple of times and it went straight to voicemail. So, I figured that's why she hadn't called back, she has been tied up on the phone with someone else.

I don't do "second best" very well, so I called and left a harassing message on that phone. I said, "Anna! Answer your phone! I want to see you! If you don't answer your phone I am going to show up on your doorstep, wrapped in saran wrap and there will be a scene, and I'm fairly certain the police will be called."

And I hung up.

An hour or so later Anna called back. She had had to take the kids to the doctor. So I apologized for leaving threatening messages on her machine. "What message? What machine?"

"Oh, on your land line, your 592 number."

"Uhhhh, I don't have a 592 number...."

So we laughed and laughed and laughed and I thought I was going to collapse from laughing so hard. Then we said, "But it was your husband's name!" and that's when Anna laughed and laughed and laughed and said, "Oh, that's my mother-in-law's number!"

So yeah. That was pretty awesome.

Camille and I ate 3 meals that day between noon and 7 pm. That is also the awesome part about Camille. I'm twice her size and she can eat twice as much as me. Everyone needs a skinny friend like that. I'm pretty sure she's a convert to the love of Pho too. I'll have to verify that for sure though.

Later we met up with some of my friends from my mission. We talked nonstop. For like, 4 hours. It was at The Melting Pot so it was really a fun experience altogether.

I spent the night with my friend Alicia from the mission. I was laying down in the bed waiting for her to finish in the bathroom so we could chat away. The next sound I heard was the click of the door at 8 am as she was leaving the room for the day. I am fairly certain I haven't slept that soundly since 1992.

My friend Kiki picked me up at the hotel and we headed to SLC to pick up another mission friend. She flew in with her 6 year old that I've read about on the blog, but never met. He's darling. And hilarious. At one point we were discussing a place to go to lunch. Someone mentioned "should be kid friendly" and Henry piped up, "McDonald's is fun for kids!" They had later plans to go to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. Henry thought they flew from North Carolina to Utah just to go to Chuck E Cheese's. Pretty awesome.

That night I met up with a bunch of bloggers for a baby shower for Carrie. I got to meet some new bloggers and visit with some "old" ones. That was a really great night. The highlight for me was when I sat down next to Compulsive Writer and told her my name. My REAL name. She greeted me kindly and then I decided, in case she knew my blog, I'd mention that. So I said, "I'm Nobody." She swiftly threw her arm around me and pulled me close, "Oh no! You are not! Everyone's welcome here!"

I didn't really know what to think. I thought it was a hilarious response, but I didn't know if she was playing off of my name, like a lot of people do. Then I heard someone say, "No, her blog is Nobody Called Today."

She was serious. What a really sweet lady. And I've laughed about that probably 17 times since.

I left with my bff Jen and we picked up Kiki on the way to our hotel in Sandy. They were planning on pulling an all-nighter. I planned on faking enthusiasm it for a good twenty minutes to avoid being ridiculed and then go to sleep. I did just that. In the morning, when I woke up fairly refreshed, Kiki told me she thought I had sleep apnea. I was startled to hear this. Until I learned that her definition of sleep apnea was that I "moved around ridiculously a lot". I was just loving the whole, I got a bed to myself, and living it up!

These girls are my people. I love being with them. I love talking, laughing, introspecting, making fun of, being made fun of, crying, laughing, with them. It was wonderful.

We had our mission get-together. Beforehand we stopped at a benefit garage sale. I bought two picture frames to bring home because J says I can't go into a store without buying a frame.

I spent all the rest of Saturday with mission friends. It reminded me of how amazing the girls I served my mission with were. They still are.

Sunday I got to visit with Anna again. She made me and Jen this amazing sandwich. She made us each a sandwich and a half. We objected to her making us so much. She replied, "It's just one and a half!" I thought that was so funny. And in classic Nobody fashion, I ate a sandwich and a half, while Jen delicately nibbled on the half and wrapped the whole to go. You'll note that neither of us left anything. Them sandwiches was GOOD.

My trip was so rejuvenating and so everything I could have hoped for and more. Thank you to all of my friends who uh....let me 'pend the night, paid for my meals, chauffeured me around, flat ironed my hair, laughed at my jokes....

And thank you Jay for holding down the fort so effortlessly. My kids missed me, but they didn't need me. They also managed to eat an entire Costco bag of salt water taffy.