It's Official.
Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wyatt has now gone public with the dramatic break-up between he and Thomas the Train. Sources close to the 4-year-old insist the separation was amicable, yet photos captured by the paparazzi suggest that the boy has been cavorting around with a new partner in crime for the past couple of months.

Gotham City now stands where the Island of Sodor once stood.

We had some great times, Thomas. We'll miss you!

Holy Smoke, Batman! It's Wyatt's Birthday!
Sunday, September 20, 2009

When Wyatt was a baby, I would find myself looking forward to the day when he'd be able to understand just how cool it is to have a birthday party and be able to voice his likes and dislikes. How funny it is that now I find myself (at times) secretly wishing he was a baby again. Or that he at least came equipped with a mute button.

The anticipation surrounding Wyatt's 4th birthday has been almost agonizing for everyone in our little 4-person household. Every morning for the past few weeks, Wyatt has tiptoed out of his room, sought out one of his parents, and with stifled excitement has asked, "Am I four yet?"

After about a gazillion no's, not yet's, soon's, getting closer's, and right around the corner's, we were finally able to shout to the heavens, "Yes! You're four! Finally! Thank the good Lord!" And then we all did a happy dance. And Avery performed (more like tried to perform) a very special song for him.

Wyatt made a point to involve himself in all of the cake-decorating details in the few days leading up to his party. I had come to a really stressful part of the decorating process when I asked him politely not to talk so I could concentrate. So he whispered, "Mom. Please don't mess up the cake." He got the evil eye for that one. Then he told me that one of the bat-a-rangs didn't look very good and I should redo it. Oh yes. He did. Let's just say his lip became zipped once I suggested we just toss the whole thing into the garbage. The next words out of his mouth about the cake were, "Mommy, I'm so glad you made this cool batman cake for me!" Now that's more like it.

We had an informal birthday party at home. It was more like a playdate with a few friends to help us eat the cake and homemade ice cream. A couple of years ago we inherited the ice-cream freezer that Eric's grandparents bought over 50 years ago. We love it.

Churning ice cream with one hand, remote control in the other.
Eric always finds a way to incorporate college football into every activity.

A few of Wyatt's friends came over to play. They had a great time play-fighting with bat-a-rangs and tackling each other to the ground.

Brayden and Wyatt

We live on a very quiet street with plenty of room to run. One of the other dads told the kids it was okay to run up and down the street as long as they didn't run beyond "the witch" hanging out in the neighbor's yard.

Investigating "the witch".
Seconds after I snapped the picture, the poor witch was nearly mobbed.
Apparently, they were going to see to it that the witch didn't interfere with their fun.

After the cake and ice cream, there was just enough daylight for a little fun with the batman pinata.

This boy means business, and it's spelled C-A-N-D-Y

The kids eventually got bored, so Eric gave it one hit and pretty much showed Batman who was boss. Pure annihilation.

Candy for everyone! Yea!

Just in time for bed, too.
Parents, good luck with that one. Sorry.

Beater-lickin' good
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Folks, I believe he's found his calling.

Lost Lake
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When Eric asked me if I was interested in going on a family bike ride in Hood River, thoughts of leisure raced through my mind. Taking in the beauty of the landscape with the wind whipping through my hair. Laughing at the kids while they make funny faces or nod off to sleep. Interested? Totally.

Reality check. I'm married to a man who turns every adventure into an exhausting, and sometimes painful, epic journey. Maybe one of these days I will learn to ask more questions before embarking on such "family" outings.

Destination: Lost Lake
Distance on bike: 14 miles
Cargo: Catrina- 0 lbs; Eric- at least 100 lbs

Piece. O'. Cake.

Did I mention that the entire ride was a 14-mile ascent? Yeah, Eric forgot to mention that one very important detail to me too. Probably because he knew the idea would get a big fat thumbs down. Although he remains steadfast in his claim that he did not realize it was going to be uphill the entire way. Likely story.

Two and a half hours later, we made it to Lost Lake.

We rented a row boat and got the kids out on the water for the very first time. I'm not very comfortable around water, so I was very militant about life jackets. I checked, double checked and triple checked. And that was just my own!!

Not quite sure who was holding whom.

If Avery wasn't rowing, she was crying.
Needless to say, we went around in circles quite a bit.

Even Wyatt and Avery noticed how ominous
the clouds appeared just over the horizon.

We stayed on the lake for about an hour and a half, and I was quite surprised the kids could actually sit still that long, especially after having sat on the bike for two and a half. But they really enjoyed themselves. And despite my irritated tone, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as well. But not until the feeling in my rear-end came back!

Wine Selection: Maryhill Syrah Reserve 2004
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: Fruity with a hint of spice on the finish.


Has it been six years already?
Monday, September 14, 2009

As of yesterday, Eric and I have been married six years. And what did we do to celebrate? We got a babysitter and went to a sports bar and watched college football. Yes, we're uber romantic.

What did we do last year to celebrate? We went to a sports bar and watched college football. Fancy that. It doesn't look like we've grown any more sophisticated over the past year. Oh, well. Being a grown-up is entirely over-rated. Eric assured me, however, that next year he'd treat me to more than just buffalo wings with chips and salsa, but I think we all know that as long as our anniversary falls smack dab at the beginning of college football season, we'll forever be celebrating our marriage at a sports bar. You think I'm kidding...

Eight years ago, madly in LOVE.

Eight years later, MADly in love.

In exchange for spending my anniversary amongst the wild drunkenness surrounding college football, I'm therefore entitled to share at least one of the many endearing stories (insert snicker) of how my beloved husband stole my heart. Get the tissues handy.

It was April 2001. Eric and I worked together at a local fitness center. I was finishing my first year of grad school while Eric was taking a year off to play (which for Eric means earning a second mathematics...N-E-R-D) before starting medical school. There were always two fitness specialists working every shift, and I always enjoyed working with Eric because he'd teach me fun things when business was slow, like how to play chess, or the science behind Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (aka PNF stretching). Like I

One night, Eric and I were working the 4-11 p.m. shift and it was apparent by my mood that I had had an incredibly crummy day. He did what most men would do in that situation and awkwardly avoided any discussion of the matter. But occasionally, he'd make an effort to distract me with random small-talk from whatever it was bothering me. In one such attempt, we were walking the deserted hallway leading to the parking lot after our shift when he started talking about socks. Yes, socks. He had been training for his first marathon and recently discovered the most amazing moisture-wicking socks. Me being a runner, he knew I'd appreciate such enthusiasm. It was then that he uttered the sweetest, most romantic words I had ever heard. "You're more than welcome to borrow them sometime."

Well, shucks. Can't say I've ever had a man offer up his socks to me before. The best part about this story is that if I knew then what I know now about the condition of his socks, I'm so glad I never took him up on his offer.

Needless to say, two weeks later I was cheering him on as he crossed the finish line at the inaugural Oklahoma City Marathon, and a week later we went out on our first date. Rest assured... there were no exchanging of socks...ever.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I've never considered myself an artist. After all, artists tend to be more on the eccentric side and are typically adept at sketching amazing drawings or painting magnificent masterpieces--none of which describe me. I like to write. I like to bake and decorate cakes. I like to design invitations. I like to sing. I like to photograph. But I don't like to draw, and I don't base my life decisions on tarot card readings. Therefore, I am not an artist.

Or am I?

I recently completed my on-line writing class, and it far exceeded my expectations. I not only learned how to more effectively transfer my creative thoughts to paper, but I also learned to appreciate the other various outlets in my life toward which I direct my creative energy. What I realized is that I spend most of my free time creating. Or educating myself on how to create. Yet I never considered myself creative. Funny.

I just finished reading Julia Cameron's, The Artist's Way, and found it so inspiring. She reminds us that we were all born as spiritual and creative beings. However, for most of us, those creative tendencies are often suppressed somewhere along the way due to common dream smashers like lack of encouragement, insensitive teachers, or just plain fear. She offers several effective strategies for discovering or recovering one's creative self.

I feel like I've been granted with so much clarity lately that I find myself walking with an extra spring to my step and singing (more like shouting with glee) this familiar tune by Johnny Nash:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

True. So true.

Am I an artist? Still not sure if I can answer that one with confidence. The Oxford English Dictionary defines artist as "one who makes their craft a fine art." Well folks, it doesn't get any more vague than that, does it? I guess I need to know what qualifies as fine art. If it lies in the eye of the beholder, then yes, perhaps I'm an artist.

While I ponder it a little more, I'll leave you with the culmination of my latest burst of creativity.

I made this cake for my dear friend Shelly's baby shower last night. It was my first time working with fondant, and while I did run into quite a few roadblocks, I managed to somehow turn it into something I felt really good about. I stayed up late, stressed out about the details, and unfairly barked at my husband. But in the end, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment and joy that I could do something special for a friend who has done so many special things for me.

Stay tuned for next week's artistic adventure:
A birthday cake straight out of Gotham City. Wyatt has been so excited about this cake, he's been in on the planning from the very beginning!

Wine Selection: Claar Cellars Syrah
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: Honestly, I can't remember a whole lot about this wine. It has been a few days since I had it, but I just remember that I enjoyed it. I'll be sure and take better notes next time. :-)

The Ultimate Adventure in Potty Training
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We made our contribution to the education of young physicians today. It's a dirty job, but hey, someone has to do it.

This morning, a first-year pediatric resident learned a very valuable lesson:
When you ask a distraught 3-year-old to pee in a very small cup after not having peed in 12-hours, be sure to have extra cups or containers on-hand. The child will be unable to stop once he has started.

Ah, yes. Leave it to Wyatt to teach such a lesson.

Wyatt awoke this morning complaining of pain. By 9AM, he was hurting so badly that his cries escalated to violent screams. Fortunately, we were able to get in to see a doctor rather quickly. And it's a good thing because it's no fun at all pushing a stroller through the halls of the hospital with a child painfully grabbing his crotch and screaming at the top his lungs, "My pee pee hurts! My pee pee hurts!" Way to not draw attention to yourself, kid.

While talk of kidney stones commenced among the physicians, we waited patiently for Wyatt to finally give in and deposit a urine sample into the cup (he had refused to go ALL morning). It was obvious he was in excruciating pain, but the doctor couldn't do anything for him until his urine was collected and tested.

Well, he must have understood what the word "catheter" meant, because he finally caved and peed in the cup...and peed...and peed. He peed until his cup runneth over! And then peed some more. We had been begging him to pee for nearly a half-hour, and when he finally did, we were suddenly begging him to stop. He must have been one very confused little boy.

Seconds after standing motionless in a nice little puddle of his own urine, Wyatt looked up at the doctor with his tear-stained eyes and let out the most relieved, "Aaaahhhh!!" I have ever heard. Then wah-lah! The boy was cured. He was bouncing off the walls of the exam room in true Batman fashion. No kidney stones, no infection. He just needed to pee. Lovely.

Apparently, kids who are potty-training sometimes get really freaked out when they wake up to the discomfort of a full bladder after having held it during the night. It eventually scares the pee out of most kids. Not mine.

I'll take my Mother of the Year award now, please.

At home and up to his old tricks again...showing the world his daddy's dirty socks.
Proof that he does actually own a pair without holes in them. How about that!

Wine Selection: Badger Mountain Syrah
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: The bad thing about wine-tasting is that your palate starts to get fatigued after a while. Wines you thought were great when you tasted them often don't taste as great when you get them home. This was one of those wines. It was okay, but not as spectacular as I wanted it to be.




My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771