Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adventures with the Grandparents in Two Parts

My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. Two years later, both of my parents were remarried within 20 days of each other. August 1994 gave me two new parents, two brothers, and a sister.  Two more little sisters joined the crew over the next couple of years. These days we are a complicated jumble, but the important part is that we all love each other. There is history there, of course, but I know every single member of my family absolutely has my back. They'd bail me out of jail for sure (which is a good thing because occasionally I watch that show Lockup on msnbc and I know those chicks in the lady prison would EAT. ME. ALIVE. They scare the bejeezus out of me.) I'd bail them out, too, but they probably wouldn't want me to because then I'd blab it all over the internet. Memories, people!

People occasionally ask me if I'm glad my parents split up. Honestly, I don't think that's a very useful question, and there's simply no way for me to make sense of an answer for it. What I do know is that I don't want my family without every single person in it. If surviving divorce as a child gets me here, then so be it. 

So the point of that whole discussion is to illustrate how lucky I am to have the big, jolly family that I do. I believe that as a parent, one of the most beautiful gifts I can give my babies is to surround them with people who love them. Neither Paddy and I have extended families that fit the typical mold, but our children are blessed with love and support on both sides.

Over the last couple of weeks, Bug and Mister Baggins have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with both sets of grandparents on my side of the family.

Part One goes out to Bunk and Grammy Lu. Holla!

Bug has learned to pretend. There's probably something developmentally significant about this that I should recall from all those classes I had to take as an undergrad, but all I know is that it's pretty much the cutest thing in the land. 

During a recent visit to their home, Bug and Grammy played store. Grammy Lu pretended to scan boxes of Jello and CrystaLight about 100 million times in a row, and never once suggested maybe she add a little brocolli to her diet.

After a couple of rounds, Bug decided to try her hand at working the Barbie Register. It took me back my sophomore year of high school when I toiled away at the register at the sporting goods store near my house under the not-so-watchful eye of my Yogi Bear-shaped boss. It's lucky Scott and I made it out alive, what with all the sacrificing of virginal brides and channeling evil spirits that was happening in the back room.

Bug labeled each item one of two prices: either eighteen cents (a favorite amount you may remember from this post) or one hundred dollars. I mean, I love pudding, but...

Baggins is a dude. Dudes don't shop.
A week or so later, Grammy Lu was kind enough to get us in to see the circus. (That's right. We went to the circus on a Friday night. I'm such a parent right now.)

Bug was in heaven with all the "ballerinas" (luckily she didn't notice they were twirling while hanging FROM THEIR HAIR) and was ecstatic over the elephants. She was elated the entire time. I, on the other hand, was naive enough to believe the PETA volunteer outside the venue was handing out genuine information about the circus, and spent the intermission perusing animal rights propaganda. IN COLOR! And GLOSSY! They've upped the ante for sure.

Part Two is a shout-out to PopPop and Nana. Heeeey! Oooooh!

We spent a couple of weekends in September down at Utah Lake playing around on some toys. We all had a great time, including Mister Baggins, otherwise known as Floating Baby Head on Life Jacket.

That smiley picture came after many minutes of screaming. I bet it's hard to wear a life jacket twice your size.

The Buggy-girl, on the other hand, actually loves wearing her life jacket.

I have a new absolute favorite water activity: paddle boarding! I can't tell you how much fun we had, and I bet it would be even more awesome in a body of water not green and murky like Utah Lake. I want one of these a LOT.

I was insanely jealous that Bug wasn't as interested in hopping on with me as she was with MJ. Can you believe how brave she is?!

I tried kayaking for the first time, too. It was fun with the Schmoops, but not as fantastic as the paddle boards. Kayaking is so much work! We are terrible at rowing in sync so we kept knocking paddles in mid air. At one point we tried to execute a turn, and I'm pretty sure I was paddling backwards at the same time and on the same side he was paddling forward. We have some work to do.

What a fun way to wrap up the summer. Thank you, family!

Friday, September 21, 2012

We need to TALK.

 Hey! You! Over there!

Yeah, you. The one with the cheeks and the striped puppy jammies. I'm talking to you.

Here's the thing, you chubby round little ball of squishiness. Just when I think I've had enough of you and your silliness, just when I think I'm finally over you, you go and get yourself a pair of striped puppy jammies and then what am I supposed to do? Couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? As if those baby blues weren't enough? Trust me, Mister. It's not me. IT'S YOU.

I don't know why I put up with any of it, really. Always with the fingers in your mouth, the blatant flirting with other women, the complete inability to manipulate semi-solid food in a way that guides even a tiny portion of it down your esophagus rather than all over your belly-- you'd think I would learn.

I don't even remember the last time you picked up the check.

And that's not even the worst of it. It's so obvious, so absolutely, undeniably CLEAR that you're totally into another girl. Don't even try to deny it. I've seen the way you look at her, all dreamy-eyed and drooly. When she's around, it's like I'm not even there. You can't keep your eyes off of her.

I hear all the nonsense she says. The completely unprovoked, out-of-the-blue comments she comes up with for no apparent reason at all, like, "I want some bouncy shoes so I can jump all the way to the spaceship!" or, "Daddy, I don't want to watch football and that guy in California doesn't want to watch football" or, "I don't have to go potty right now. Maybe on Mensday."

What does she have that I don't?

I should've listened to my mother. She told me it wouldn't last. Said you'd learn to scoot and roll your way to basically whatever spot you wanted, and that would be the beginning of the end. You've started balancing on your hands and knees and rocking back and forth, and before I know it you'll be motoring all over the place without the least bit of regard for me and my needs. It's coming any day now, I can just feel it, and do you want to know what I think about that? No? Well, I'll tell you anyway. I don't know what in the world you plan on doing when you get wherever it is you're going, because let's face it. You can't even sit up for any real amount of time without tipping over and conking your head every two minutes. 

Oh yeah. I went there. You deserved it, you smoochable little munchkin snack. I've had enough of your little giggles and slobbery, crooked grin. A girl's gotta have a little dignity, and after months of nuzzling your neck and nibbling your toes at every opportunity, I'm taking what's left of mine. Maybe I'll move to the city, I don't know. I'll make it work. This is it. 

For REAL this time. I'm outta here. REALLY. Sayonara. 

P.S. Call me, k?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Color Run

Last weekend, I ran in The Color Run with nearly every first-degree female relative I have. We missed Grammy Lu, who figured that the possibility a vertigo-spiced stagger-fest might not be all that much fun even dusted in colorful chalk, and Tia, who, I don't know, had something to do with waterpolo going on. Typical.

So anyway, I worked a 12-hour shift by myself the night before and got home with just enough time to change my clothes and pack up our free Color Run sunglasses before a couple of my girls were there to pick me up. We met the rest of my fam and my friend Anna at South Towne Mall and headed over to the race. The organizers and staff were the most energetic, fun bunch I've experienced at a race, and we all had a blast! I think we'll definitely do it again next year.

Here are a bunch of shots of us after the 5k was over. Now that all is said and done, I'm basically just left to wonder why I jut my chin forward in such a bizarre way all the time.

me and Anna

Monkey, Kari, Madre, MJ, and me. Maddi was lost in the party someplace.

Madre, Kari, me, Ash, Aunt B, and MJ

me, my chin, and MJ

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Snuggle time

 Hi, babies. I love you, too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Worth a thousand words.

Schmoopse and I have been busy falling in love with the new camera we purchased recently. Even with my rudimentary photography skills, this thing takes gorgeous pictures (though, to be fair, I gave it some pretty cute subjects.)

Check out these shots right out of the camera, no editing required.

Pretty sure every person in the history of the universe who has dyed their hair red
 is a little ticked it didn't come out looking exactly like hers.)

And speaking of those last two shots (were we?) I wonder if I will ever stop being completely cuted out by the little relationship growing between my two babies. As Mr. Baggins grows more animated and communicative, Bug just can't get enough of her little pal. We've gotten in the habit of carrying the Bags into her room when she wakes up, and now she's deeply disappointed if he's not the first thing she sees in the morning. She is constantly asking if she can "check on him"-- translation: "go coo at him until she wakes him from his nap prematurely." 

Yesterday, Bug threw some sort of fit while she was supposed to be getting ready for bed, and her screams woke him from his late nap. I was at work, but Paddy called to tell me how, after family prayers, Bug threw her little arms around Mr. Baggins and said, "Buddy, I'm so sorry I woke you up with my screaming and hollering. I yuv you so much." With that kind of unsolicited angelic behavior, she's either the sweetest sister ever, or master parental manipulator.

For his part, the Mister cranes his neck in every possible angle to keep her in his line of sight at all times. She is generally the only one who can tease out his best giggles. (He's a stingey fellow with those laughs.) He thinks her every move is the greatest thing ever, like, HELLO, CALL THE PRESSES, Bug just put on a funny hat and how come you people don't see her GENIUS, and he proves his eternal love by ramming handfuls of her hair into his mouth at every opportunity. At fairly regular intervals throughout the day I'll hear a remarkably calm and composed Bug call out for me to come save her, and I'll find her head twisted at some bizarre angle with Baggins next to her, pleased as punch with himself and his sweaty little mit full of her locks.  All in all, he thinks she's the cat's pajamas, and she digs him.

I am so lucky to have these two babies and I don't ever forget it. My new camera ensures I'll never forget the way it looks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My love song.

Your favorite love song is crap.

I don't know what your favorite love song is, obviously, and I'm sure it's nice and all. I'm sure you like it just fine, and I get that, I really do, because there are more than a few radio-friendly love songs that I enjoy myself.

But here's the thing. Your favorite love song gets as much right about real love as Bug would get on a multiple choice trigonometry quiz.

Would you like to know what love sounds like? Because here's a hint: it doesn't sound anything like Rascal Flatts or Taylor Swift or Disney soundtracks or whatever you think it should sound like.

My love song is the sound of him coming through the front door in the evening. I know it like I know the sound of my name, the way the glass door creaks open, his key scrapes its way into the lock and the deadbolt pops open. The squeak of the mailbox top opening, and the way the air whistles out of the spring on the glass door while it bounces once and clicks closed behind him. Creak scrape pop squeak whoosh click. That's my love song.

There's another song, too. It sounds like too much tickling and peals of laughter, and it comes through the baby monitor at night. I sit on the couch in the basement with Mr. Baggins folded in my lap and watch him swallow gulp after gulp from the last bottle of the night, and we both listen to the sounds of Daddy finishing bedtime. The song is longer than it should be, with long instrumental sections that sound suspiciously like games of peek-a-boo, and eventually winds down into whispered prayers and puckered lips.

My love song sounds like diaper changes and grocery shopping and lawn mowing. My song has a washing machine swirling away in the back ground, and my song is punctuated by cheers for touchdowns and three point shots on the television. My love song is the sound of him sweeping the Fruit Loops off his side of the bed before climbing in next to me with a low chuckle. My love song is the sound of the life we have built together--the good, the bad, and the screaming from the Time-Out chair.

Take that, Celine Dion.