Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm a CRM. . .

. . .a Chronically Restless Mama. I am convinced that I completely lack the ability to slow down, relax, and stop looking for some way to busy myself. This is true on a small scale (right now, I could be soaking in the tub and/or reading a book with a glass of wine, rather than uploading pictures, responding to emails, and posting on my blog) as well as on a large scale (I have been working to convince Dave that it's a good idea for us to take the kids and live in Guatemala for a month this summer).

I have three kids, two fish, a hamster, and six tiny tadpoles who rely on me for absolutely everything--and I still feel like I don't want to wait too much longer before we add a dog to the family again. I just finished working on Thursday night and have taken the summer semester off from teaching night school--so now rather than looking forward to those two extra nights without obligations, I'm in the process of setting up a cooking lesson/computer lesson swap with one of my Chinese students (if you have to guess which one of us will be on the receiving end of the cooking lesson, you've never truly experienced my cooking). I'm also working on some short stories that I plan to send out to different print and on-line magazines with hopes of getting published sometime. And, I printed out the volunteer application for the local animal shelter.

What is wrong with me? Or is there nothing wrong about my excessive ambition? Am I just trying to live life to the fullest, find ways to do things that I enjoy? Or am I burning the candle at both ends due to some deep twisted issue that needs to be exorcised by a good therapist?! I just feel like there are so many things I want to try, so many others I want to get good at, yet more that I want to experience with my kids and/or Dave. . .life is too short, every day has too few hours, and my list just keeps growing even though I check things off from time to time. If I took the time to write down every goal, dream, and ambition that floats through my head on a given day--the list would be scary long!

Anyhoo. . . here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks, because I know that many of you come here for the photos, rather than my mental meanderings:

Our Easter hike on Sugarloaf Mountain. . .

(We found this natural see saw and had an interesting real-life lesson in physics--notice that Keller is holding Dave & Casey up in the air!)

Marley got some bike-riding lessons (bell-ringing included) from Casey . . .

Enjoying the backyard and our 85+ degree weather. . .(Also note the boys torturing Grandma Nancy in the helicopter!)

(This next picture is one of my favorites I have ever taken of Marley)

Keller had his first baseball games and track meet . . .

Although Marley is getting much better at feeding herself, yogurt is still mostly fingerpaint!

Casey's awesome bedhead. He came down stairs and said, "Mom, I have bad 'tatic'"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Specific directions for Danimals voting

It's been called to our attention by several of our 'supporters' that the Danimals website is making it hard to register and vote. Here is what you need to do, step by step. We hope you can get through and vote for us every day until Sunday night!

1. Watch our video and click "Vote for it". When you enter your child's birthday, it will say that you need a parent to help vote.

2. Danimals will send you an email that has several links in it. Click on the THIRD link. It will look like it has taken back to the exact same place on the site.

3. Watch the video again and click "Vote for it" again. This time when the window comes up that says "Sign in" or "Register now" (or something along those lines), you will not see the little 'hand' icon show up over 'register now', but if you click on it anyway, it will take you to the place to enter a birthday again.

4. This time, enter your own birthday. It will take you to a registration screen where you enter your info.

We wish it was easier to vote, believe us!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our big film debut!!

Hi everyone!

Keller, Casey and I have entered a video in a contest hosted by Danimals yogurt products. After about twenty-five takes, and some creative editing by a friend, we think we have a winner! We need your votes, so please stop by the website and vote for us. We are entered in the first of 10 submission periods. Each submission period will have one finalist, chosen via popular vote. Finalists win a video camera and a chance at the grand prize---a trip to Hollywood and $10,000! Here is a peek at our video:

Here is how you vote:

1. Get a Danimals code. You can get a code by either purchasing a Danimals product (yogurt, yogurt drinks, crush cups, etc.) or by sending away for one (directions are on the Danimals website). We are going to pick up a few extra packages, too, so if you cannot get a code, email me and we'll send one to you ASAP. I'm guessing that a lot of the moms on this list probably buy the products anyway, but if not, now is a great time to try them!

2. Go to the Danimals website and follow these directions:
* Click on 'skip intro' (unless you're interested)
* Click on "View Gallery & Vote"
* Click on 'skip intro' again * Watch our video!! We are currently the first one on the top left (you can see the backs of Keller & Casey walking out the front door)
* Click on 'vote for it' and then go through the process. You will need to register so you can vote. Use your code.

3. Go back to the site and vote for us every day! You can vote for our video once per day starting today and ending on Sunday night, 4/26. The winner of this submission period will be announced on Monday, 4/27.

Please spread the word--Keller already has the $10,000 spent ; )

Monday, April 13, 2009

MOBs vs. MOGs

There is a writer/mom whose blog I love to read, and a recent post of hers gave me pause for reflection on my life as a MOB (mom of boys). Marley hasn't been here long enough to show me too much of what it's like to be a MOG (mom of girls) yet, but I'm sure she's got a lot in store.

Here is the post from the writer's blog, which can be found here:
(Take time to read some of her other posts--she's very witty, but also tackles tough subjects)

I often wonder how my life would be different if I was a MOB (mom to boys) vs. a MOG (mom to girls). I have a lot of MOB friends, and it seems like their lives are vastly different, no matter how "gender-neutral" we like to think our parenting styles are these days.

As a MOG:

1. My laundry comes in darks, whites and pinks.
2. Legos are used to build castles, stages and baby beds.
3. There's always sequins and glitter in the crevices of the couch.
4. We adore Star Wars, but mostly like to play that Queen Amidala, Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker get married, go camping or engage in other, not-so-violent pursuits. And no longer like Obi-Wan Kenobi, because he called Anakin and Ahsoka "stupid."

5. Screaming at the top of your lungs is an appropriate response to happiness, sadness, anger, boredom and excitement.

6. A dance party could break out at any moment—and it's a requirement to rock at least a tiara and beads if you're attending.

So, MOBs, what's your life like?

And here is my response:

I read your post "Girls, Girls, Girls" and just had to chime in. As a MOB with two boys (6 1/2 and 4), who finally added a 'G' from China 3 months ago, my version of your list would go something like this:

1. My laundry comes in muddy, bloody, and boogery.

2. Legos are used to build hamster mazes, Ben 10 scenes, and are mostly left laying around so that I can step on them in the middle of the night.

3. There's always dirt and mulch in crevices (couch, bodily and other).

4. We adore Star Wars because everyone knows that light sabers aren't as dangerous to young developing minds as other violent weapons, right?

5. Screaming at the top of your lungs is an appropriate response. Period.

6. A wrestling match could break out at any moment--and it's a requirement to stretch the necks of your opponent's shirt beyond elastic capabilities and to always aim for the face.

So, so different

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yesterday, we celebrated Casey's birthday. Four years ago, we welcomed Casey into our family through the uniquely intimate experience of a home birth. Although it was a long and difficult labor, giving birth to him in my own bedroom, being pampered by the midwives who helped me take a long hot shower and get into pajamas, and then crawling into my own bed with my new baby are all experiences and memories that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Casey's first year (in no particular order at all) . . .

(Being weighed with a fish scale. He weighed in at 9 pounds!)

Here are a few photos from his first and second birthdays. Third birthday pics are in a file I can't manage to open right now :(

And here are the pics from yesterday's birthday party. He was too cute when he woke up yesterday. He wanted me to measure him to see how much he had grown over night now that he turned 4!

Casey testing out his new helicopter:

He got a little crazy with the Spidey tattoos:

The kids each got a can of silly string to 'sling webs' at the target. What started like this. . . .

Ended like this . . .

Have you ever seen such serious faces at pinata time?

Marley gave the party a 'thumbs up':

Today we took the kids for a long hike at Sugar Loaf Mountain, so I'll post with pics from that in a few days.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A little dirt never hurt

With a gorgeous day predicted, we headed out to Great Country Farms this morning. If you are from the DC/VA area, it's definitely a terrific place to take the family for a day. It was our second trip there, but I still don't think we've seen/done all the farm has to offer. The kids (and Dave!) got filthy from head-to-toe, which is usually a sign of a good time had by all. The list of fun and filthy activities includes: a giant bouncing pillow ("giant" as in like half a football field, which significantly reduces the odds of one of my kids giving or receiving a bloody nose while bouncing maniacally), tire swings, slides, rope maze, small farm animal petting area, corn crib, pedal carts, playhouses, two fishing ponds, tractor rides to the u-pick fields, and so on.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day. Ok, I'll admit there are more than a "few" here--What can I say? It was an awesome day in terms of photo-taking lighting, and I happen to be obnoxiously smitten with my three cute kids (and my husband)!