Sunday, March 31, 2013


This is my beautiful family:

I told Mike that this picture was very important to me and he took me seriously.
This morning, after letting me do my crazy Easter basket tradition with the boys, we all got dressed and went outside to find a green background.  Mike figured out the timer on the camera and propped it on top of a trash can.  Then he would press the button and run into the frame, picking up Zeke and making the boys laugh.  I had lots of pictures to sort through this year - hooray!
Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 25, 2013

... for a three hour tour, a three hour tour...

Last Saturday we discovered that we had no obligations. It's a wonderful feeling, especially in this time of birthdays, baby showers and business. We decided to take Zeke out to the beach bike path and cruise up the beach for a while. Tina would drop us off at the bottom of Venice Beach, Zeke would ride his bike and I would push Ben in a jogging stroller with my roller-blades. Tina would then drive up to a park we had visited before, with our lunches, so the boys could play before going home.

So, off we went without a hitch. We stopped within 5 minutes and ate our granola bars. When we got going again, I told Zeke he could stop whenever he wanted to check out anything he fancied. He immediately tried out this power and stopped to play on a little grassy area for about 30 seconds until he got bored.  We hopped back on the path and were off again. A few minutes later we passed a park where we had spent a little time the previous Thanksgiving, but we pressed on with the promise of park time at the end of the ride.

A few minutes after that we found a part of the skate park that didn't have any skaters and was just a small steep hill that opened onto a large concrete circle, perfect for little boys to ride bikes up and down all day. We spent about 20 minutes there, with Zeke happily riding around and Ben running down the hill with just as much exuberance. There was another 4-year-old boy there with a terrified-looking mother. She was terrified because her boy was in full armor with elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet, and was bravely riding his skateboard down the hill (whenever Zeke slowed down enough to let him go).

Eventually we moved along so we could make it to our lunch before nap time, and we set out again on the path. We rode for a very long time, enjoying the sites but stopping less frequently. Ben was quiet in the stroller, a little chilled and a little hungry but happy to be part of this adventure.

About an hour and a half into the journey, I get a call from Tina wondering where we are and when we'll be at the park. I try to describe my surroundings, "we just passed a restaurant named (something), I can see the pier up ahead, we should be there soon." We pressed on, enjoying some very nice stretches of wide bike path that allowed us to race a little. This was, of course, very painful because I don't ride my roller blades very often and they exercise muscles that I tend to forget about when I sit at my desk all day.

Eventually we make it to the park, a little less than 2 hours after we started, for a grand total of 3 miles. My legs are sore, my boys are hungry and restless, and Tina is nowhere to be seen. I call her and let her know that I'm here, at the park by the Santa Monica Pier, but where is she? Then we realize we had made a colossal mistake: she's at the first park we passed down in Venice, and I'm at a park we visited on Zeke's 3rd birthday the year before.

Now only Tina can save us. We can't go anywhere else because we're tired and hungry, but at least we can hang on the rings and climb the exercise ropes and swing in the swings. But Tina spent her last dollar bills on the parking in Venice, and there is no free parking in Santa Monica. She manages, with much trouble I'm sure, to locate the side street that points right to the park where we're playing and come to our rescue. We double and triple park, the boys tear into their lunches, and I apologize profusely for misunderstanding which park she was talking about.

View Larger Map

The journey was fun, if long, and certainly made for some good memories. I'm so proud of my boys for sticking with it on that trek, and grateful to Tina for saving us from certain destruction. And next time we know to look at a map together before we head out.

An unrelated vehicular activity

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

I didn't know it was possible, but there is someone who talks more than Zeke:  Ben.  I get through most days okay, but I think Mike has the worst of it.  When Daddy comes home he is faced with three simultaneous conversations :  Zeke's retelling of the Vampire Squid episode from the Octonauts, Ben's retelling of whatever story Zeke told last, and Tina's jibber-jabber about the events of the day.  It's amazing he comes home each night. 
Handsome boys, going to church.
The "nesting" urge is still a powerful force - I took a load to Goodwill this morning and felt terribly accomplished.  Note to self:  donations of toys should not be made whilst young children can peek through the minivan windows and see.   

Sunday, March 10, 2013

No pants

My boys refuse to wear pants.  Every morning they select shorts from their messy drawers of clothing and, everyday last week, I put two pairs of pants in my shoulder bag and carried them everywhere.  (Along with the jackets they refused to wear.)  Zeke will break down eventually and demand that warm clothing be applied, but Ben would rather freeze.
 Zeke and Ben, at a park hours after a big storm, with serious wind chill and temps in the low 50s.  I wore two layers and gloves.  We were the only ones at the park.
Ben is serious about strawberry season.  

By the way...I was released from my calling as Primary Chorister!  I had lots of fun today teaching a new song but I am soooooo relieved.  Chorister is a great calling for someone who is well-rested and not nursing a new baby.  I no longer qualify.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


A big ole chocolate cake with a frosting to cake ratio of about 1:1.  
Milk.  A tall glass of cold milk.  Refillable.
A thick slice of homemade bread.  With butter.  And maybe peanut butter and honey. 

I have lots of cravings these days, but the cravings have nothing to do with being pregnant.  I'm a gestational diabetic (again) and I've been instructed to test my blood sugar 4 times a day and to change my diet to a highly restricted, low-calorie, low-carb nightmare.
Since this is not my first time at the barbecue, I will admit that I have not been as strict with the dietary regimen.  I know when I can splurge a little and avoid having any negative test results, and I am willing to engage in such rebellions.  The last time I was a gestational diabetic I was scared and obedient, probably to an extreme.  This time I know there's no extra gold stars for strictness.
The boys have been "helping" me test my blood; they are very interested.  I've never used the lancet on them, but they think it's great fun to push the button and stick mama with a needle.  Then they think it's terrific to see the blood bubble up and scoop it onto the test strip.  Tonight I had such eager helpers I had to test five times to get a legitimate result.  The boys were very happy.

Mom waddles into the boys' room, as fast as she can.
Ben is wailing; face down on Zeke's bed, face in his hands.
Zeke is hiding on the floor at the foot of the bed.

Mom:  Ben, Ben.  You are so sad.  So sad.  I'm sorry you are hurt.  I'm sorry.
(She picks up Ben and hugs him, trying to soothe.)
Ben:  (wails unintelligibly)
Mom:  Ben is sad.  Ben is so sad.  Ben got hurt.  I'm sorry.
(Ben slowly calms down and begins to whine.)
Mom:  Ben got hurt.  Did you hurt your hand, Ben?
Ben:  No.
Mom:  Did you hurt your arm?
Ben:  No.
Mom:  Did you hurt your leg?
Ben:  No.
Mom:  Did you bonk your head?
Ben:  No.
Mom:  Did you hurt your foot?
Ben:  No.
Mom:  Your toes?
Ben:  (laughing)  No.
Mom:  Your fingers?
Ben:  No.
(Ben hops down and begins to play with some toys.
Zeke pops up from the floor.)
Zeke:  You should ask him if he hurt his face.
Mom:  Why should I ask him that?
Zeke:  Because I hit him like this.  (Zeke makes a fist and hits his own nose.)