Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Simply Fabulous Dahling


Here's a picture Teresa took of my little fashionista at the Easter Egg Hunt last week. Amaya loved Allie's backpack so much that she threw one hellafit when I made her keep it inside when we went out to hunt eggs. She's such a little diva.

I don't have any other pictures of the Egg Hunt because I somehow forgot to take my camera. However, Molly was there using her new fancy birthday camera, so I'm hoping she got some great shots that she'll forward on to me. Don't make me whine now Molly--it's isn't pretty. It's much easier to just give me what I want. Just ask David.

Monday, March 29, 2010

This and that

Amaya is now officially in a big girl, toddler bed. The transition was a piece of cake. And not just any old slice, but a big hunk of chocolate cake smothered with butter cream frosting. She shed not a single tear over the dismantling of the crib.  At the time, I figured her composure was a show for her brother as she certainly wouldn't want to let him see her cry. Don't they look so sweet here? Of course 2 seconds later they were back to their normal brawling selves, but for at least this brief moment they gave the impression of loving each other.

That evening, I was prepared to fight the battle with her. But the little turkey went about her evening routine and then went right to sleep in her new bed. No whimpers. No cries. Just sleep. It was a miracle.

Another miracle? WVU beating Kentucky to earn a spot in the Final Four.

I tried to convince Andy to take me to Indianapolis to watch the game, but he gave me the look. You know the one. The "Mellon you've completely lost your mind" look.  Party pooper.

Sunday we had Passover Seder at the Nana's. I of course ate my weight in Matzah brittle. I tried to pre-burn some of those calories by reading The Matzah Man to the little ones prior to inhaling the dessert. I imagine that moving my mouth and containing squirmy little children burns just as many calories as an hour of Body Combat, right? This was perhaps the only minute that these three little gremlins were still. That 60 seconds went really fast--almost as fast as the brittle.

You know what else goes fast? Race cars. Here's a mock up of the helmet that Brian Scott will wear when he drives the BigSpot #11 car in Phoenix this April. I think it's very futuristic looking, don't you? When it's done serving its original purpose, I plan to let Chase use it as a bicycle helmet. Surely if it can keep a race car driver's noggin safe in a car going 140 miles an hour, it can protect my little dumpling's noodle on a tricycle. Right? (Before I get a thousand emails advising me of the hazards of using a too large helmet, please note that I am kidding. Mostly.)

Oh, and here's the car. Not nearly as exciting as the helmet in my opinion. (Kidding again. Sort of)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shrewd Businessman

Drew walked out the door bright and early this morning mumbling something about a Fantasy Baseball Draft. I imagine we won't see him again until this time tomorrow. An MIA Daddy meant that I had to take my two little angels to the gym with me this morning. They had a great time in the kids' clubhouse because their best friends Julia and Eve were there. Usually when I go in to pick them back up, they run toward me and wrap their little arms around my sweaty body. But today, they couldn't be bothered to even wave hello. I spent 20 minutes convincing them that we had to leave. It probably would have taken 40 if I hadn't thought to promise them that they could eat their chicken nuggets in the basement when we got home. For whatever reason, eating in the playroom is the biggest thrill of their young lives. I don't question it, I just use it to my advantage.

Soon we were loaded in the car, Happy Meals at the ready with home on the horizon. As I was in the driveway backing the car up for the fourth time in my ill-advised attempt to make it fit into that narrow little garage space, I heard Chase call my name.

Mama: Yes?
Chase: Are you steering Mama?
Mama: I guess you could call it that.
Chase: You're not very good at it, are you?
Mama: How much did Daddy pay you to say that?
Chase: What?
Mama: Because I'm willing to double whatever it is if you remind him about the time he drove away from the gas pump with the nozzle still in the car.
Chase: Sure Mama Sure.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mall Rat in the Making

Chase’s hair was getting a bit shaggy, so after dinner we decided to head on over to the mall to remedy that problem. It’s been a long time since I’d tagged along with the boys for this particular ritual, and I have to say I was very impressed with how well Chase sat in that chair. It was like he was a little man or something.
I liked watching him in the mirror. He’s very serious about his haircuts. Which is a good thing because the hair does make the man. Let’s hope he got my dad’s hair follicles so that he’ll get to hang on to his mane past his twenties.

Afterward, we browsed in a few shops for a bit. I spotted this atrociousness and just had to snap a picture.
Like grody to the max, man.

Shopping with Amaya is a trip. She’ll start out by happily walk along holding your hand. Then she’ll spot something that intrigues her, and she’ll excitedly laugh and clap her little heart out. Then without warning, she’ll suddenly stop for no reason and refuse to move. No amount of pleading, begging or bargaining will get her feet moving until she decides that she’s ready to continue on. This could be in 5 seconds or 5 hours—there’s really no pattern to it that I can distinguish. Thankfully, she’s still small enough that I can just pick her up—though just barely. Girl is heavy, yo.
“You think this comes in my size, Mama?”

People watching was her most favorite pastime; especially people of the teenage variety. Thus an exorbitant amount of time was spent standing outside Hot Topic observing the hoodlums carry on. I’m almost positive I saw her taking notes on how to be a mall rat. I’m hiding the credit card right now.

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Playing in the driveway in the afternoons is tough because starting around 2, the sun beats down on that side of the house hard. With all of the blacktop and nothing to speak of in the shade department, it can be down right uncomfortable to play there at times. So it isn't surprising that that particular location is the only place the kids want to be after nap. Luckily, yesterday was warm, but mostly cloudy which is the perfect weather for driveway play.

While the kids were drawing their masterpieces in chalk, I decided to make one of my own. Because I'm so sweet, passive and full of love, I drew an orange heart.

Chase: What's that Mama?
Mama: It's a heart.

Upon further inspection, Chase decided that it my art was missing something. 

Chase: Oh. It needs eyes. And a nose. And a mouth.
Mama: That's nice. Hello Mr. Heart.
Chase: No, not yet. He needs eyebrows, neck, shoulders and some feet. There.

Mama: Now he's ready to dance.

Chase: That's what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beyond the Nos

I'm feeling like a very neglectful Mama. How can it be that I've never done a post on Amaya's ever expanding vocabulary? Even though at times it seems like the only thing that she knows how to vocalize is "No!", she's actually built up quite a lovely little collection of words.

Good thing my memory is so reliable allowing me to get all the highlights down for you here now. Let's see--well her first word was "boon" which she would screech every time we entered Red Robin with its lobby full of colorful balloons. This was sometime last summer. June? July? August? Yea, let's go with that. August.

Soon after that followed all of the normal first words: Mama, Daddy, Chase, duck. Why does every kid learn to say duck so soon? I find this very odd. I mean it's not like there's a band of the little webbed footed creatures strolling around after her all day. I imagine the only time she's even seen a duck has been in a book or on TV. Based on frequency of exposure, I'd have thought the word chocolate would have come long before duck.Or Target. Or maybe Poopis.

 Speaking of animals, she's also getting all of their sounds down--moo for cows, woof for dogs, meow for cats, grunt for dads. She is very good at imitation.

Little Petunia is working on her colors, and like her brother she insists that everything is the color of the word that she can say the best: boo (blue).  Though occasionally she will admit that some things are red or "PURpell", but not until you've spent a lot of energy trying to win her over to the idea. Sometimes I find that it's just not worth it. Which is why you won't hear me argue when she tells me STOP signs are blue. Now her brother, well, he has plenty of energy to attempt to correct her. Makes for interesting backseat conversation.

My personal favorite of her available lexicon: shoe, hat, & cookcook(cookie). These words provide me with a glimmer of hope that there is something inside her that is part me despite the facial evidence to the contrary. 

You know what else reminds me that she is half me? Those dirty knees. Can't keep this one clean to save her life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

10 things making me smile today

1) The rain. Yes, I know that a number of you will disagree with that. However, if anyone out there has been experiencing the symptoms of stuffy nose, sinus headache and runny eyes from early spring allergies, then you probably appreciate the relief the rain brought too.
2) My children playing independently together. Happily.
3) Chase’s hair in this picture. I love when they get little random pieces sticking up.
4) The way my daughter attacks her cupcake—fingers straight into the icing. The only way to eat that particular confection in my opinion. Also, the birthday party hats from Sofia’s party.
5) Finding Amaya “reading” in her crib in the morning.
6) Followed by listening to Chase “read” us a story while Amaya gets dressed and ready for the day.
7) The Bradequinn in Andy’s office. Every place of business needs a headless, racing fire suit-outfitted mannequin.
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8) My little Amaya Thug sporting her brother’s hoodie and a tutu. Fashion icon.
9) Watching Chase, Amaya and their friend giggling like little gremlins while playing air hockey at Chuck E. Cheese.
9.5) Mountaineers in the Sweet Sixteen.
10) And last, but certainly not least—daffodils. Welcome spring. I promise to enjoy you more as soon as you stop shooting rockets of pollen into my breathing space.
077 080

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You gonna eat that?

Why is it that I can put piles of baby carrots on lunch plates that go completely untouched,


but use those exact same carrots to feed the bunny and suddenly everyone wants a little beta carotene to
munch on?


Little advice Noog: if you’re not going to eat that carrot, at least sit on it to hide it from Amaya’s little grubbing fingers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The truth always comes out

  I know that you’re going to think I’m very spoiled by what I’m about to share with you. Well, the truth is I am spoiled, so I might as well just come out with it: I get a new car every two years. Believe it or not it isn’t because my poor driving ends up totaling all my cars in that time frame either. It’s because my husband leases my cars. He probably sees it as betting against the damage I’ll eventually cause or something. 
Since 2001, I’ve had a Hyundai Tiburon (loved until I saw one crinkled on the highway), Toyota Rav4 (lemon), Nissan Murano (horrible blind spot), Cadillac SRX (liked, but caddies are a little too uppity for me), and my Volvo XC90 (I would marry this car). If you’ll notice I never have gotten the same model or make. Until now. When my lease was nearing an end, I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about my car. Nor could I think of a car I’d rather have, well after Drew told me the Bentley was a definite “no” that is. Factor in all of Volvo’s safety innovations—which I clearly need—and it was pretty much a done deal.
After noting that I put less than 10,000 miles on my car in two years, Drew decided to go ahead and buy this one for me. Watch, now I will total the sucker. Anyway, since, I don’t ever test drive a car (another hazard of being a horrid driver) and I don’t really enjoy sitting for hours in the dealership listening to people talking about APR, MPGs and MSRPs (who does?), I let Drew go alone to trade in my car for the newer model. 
He came home with this:
Pretty huh? I took the picture in the garage because I needed a dark environment for comparison purposes. Why you ask? Well, because my husband bought me the Volvo XC90 Twilight Edition. 
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What? You can’t see it? Well let me get a little closer then. How about this:
See, my car has little golden flecks that sparkle in the sun, just like Edward Cullen. I knew the man secretly enjoyed watching those movies with me, and now I have hard proof. You are so busted Drew.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I’ve still got it going on. Maybe. Well probably not.

Here’s a picture of Amaya and I arriving at Aiden’s birthday party on Saturday. The blog worthy thing about this photo is the guy in the background.

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Doesn’t it look like he’s totally scoping out my rear view? He was probably just wondering how I was balancing so well on those heels or judging me for my laziness for sliding in to the party with a store wrapped gift. But, if it’s all the same to you, I’m going to stick with my “checking out the hot mama theory”. Just smile and let me have my moment, ok? 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

No really. You shouldn’t have.

Many of you know that Amaya is thus far the only granddaughter in the family. Not only that, but for Gran she’s the first girl baby since my mother-in-law was born. Now, I’m not going to get into specific numbers here for fear of the danger that would bring to my life, but suffice it to say that she’s had to wait a really long time for someone else in the family to wear pink.
All those many long years of Y chromosome dominance meant that Gran has been holding on to lots of girly treasures just waiting for someone to whom she could pass them along. Take for instance the cool box purse in the photo below.
That was something Pop made, and since I have the only girl, I get to have it. Or—uh—I can hang on to it until Amaya’s ready to appreciate it. Yea that’s it. I also got that Little Women book that Gran used when she was in school. How cool is that? Totally worth those 9 months, 40 lbs, and permanent C-section incision scar.

But it isn’t just Gran that had things to pass along. Aunt Danielle gave Amaya an original Holly Hobbie doll. Which yes, I sometimes borrow it so that I can pretend I’m five again. Like you wouldn’t.
Of course being the only girl also meant that there was no one else to take the black sheep of the family : Hedda Get Bedda
Hedda was Jan’s dolly. I’m told that she was a very popular toy in the 1960’s, but I’m not sure if I trust the source being as it’s Jan who staunchly maintains her assertion that there is nothing scary about the little plastic hobgoblin. I think after seeing the evidence, you’ll side with me and agree that Hedda is hella-scary. Chucky could learn a thing or two from this broad.
Strangely enough, my daughter loves the little demon. Oh, yea Hedda looks innocent enough in that first picture, but don’t be fooled. The phrase “wolf in sheep’s clothing” seems fitting. That’s Hedda being all Bedda, but she isn’t always such a vision of health. Sometimes, she’s so sick that all she does is sleep:
Which aside from that crazy eye shadow isn’t too bad. But please take special care to not get her wet or feed her after midnight. If you do, Bedda Hedda will become a thing of the past and you’ll be stuck with Horrid Hedda:
But even Horrid Hedda I could take—in small doses. It’s when little Hedda starts getting all schizophrenic—that’s when she becomes truly horrifying.
Now, that’s just demented. I mean can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night and seeing that? One way ticket to an asylum, that’s what Hedda is. I’ll be sending the bill to Jan.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuesdays with Nana

The weather has been so deliciously spring-like these last couple of days. It's amazing what a little warm air and sunshine can do for your mood. You know what also helps improve moods: a little entertainment provided by the Nana. Everything is always much more fun when she's around, and she even offers her services free of charge. Best deal this side of the Mississippi.

Here we have Chase studying the tiny bird nest while in the background Amaya has found the last remnants of snow to be much more thrilling than a first tender sign of spring. I am 100% sure that she was switched at birth---though I haven't quite figured out how she can look so much like Andy given that fact. I'll have to think on it a bit more.

I love this picture of  Amaya dragging an upside down Mickey along for the walk. You can also see that Chase is determined to reach that pile of rocks up ahead before someone else gets there and steals all the good ones. We've got a wagon to fill people.

        What should one do if they feel fatigued while out for a stroll but there isn't a bench in sight? Why plop themselves down by a storm drain of course. My little gutter girl.

 Now, on a completely unrelated note, have I mentioned that I'm taking a writing class? Well, I am. The project that I'm working on is sort of an essay compilation? anthology? compendium? selection? bunch? whatever. I'm trying desperately to channel Erma Bombeck though my collection won't be nearly as funny--or profitable--as hers. Anyway, I was wondering if there were any past posts that I've done that stand out to you as something I should consider including in my work. If you could let me know, I'd be greatly appreciative. So much so that I'd be willing to share the Nana with you. For an hour. Maybe.

Monday, March 08, 2010

A pound of clown

Saturday morning, I decided to be a super gym girl and wear my weighted gloves to combat instead of giving in to my normal slacker tendencies. I know now why my body insists that I be a work out under achiever. Oh my. I was so exhausted the rest of the day that at one point when we were contemplating what to have for dinner, I told Drew that I didn't want to eat at TGIFriday's because there were too many steps to climb to reach the front door. (I think there might be 10) At that point, Drew gave me a look that roughly translated meant: "Mellon, if going to the gym turns you into a slug like this then I'm going to have no choice but to cut off your membership".  Which is why I will now blame my "just skating by" gym mentality on my husband. Totally worth it.

After wasting the entire day on Saturday, I knew we owed the kids some kind of excitement on Sunday. They're certainly not the type to not collect on their pound of flesh, let me tell ya.  Not only did we go to Chase's favorite store (Target) and restaurant (Mimi's), but we also took them to the circus. Amaya of course loved every minute of the show laughing and clapping the entire time. Chase, well he's the critic of the family. He was less than impressed by the majority of the performances.

The only act that got his attention was when Bello the clown climbed up a hanging ladder.

He just found it to be the most fascinating thing in the world.

Later, when we were going over the highlights of the the show over dinner, the ladder was the only thing that he remembered.

My bets would have been on the spooky, dancing horse. But perhaps self-preservation caused him to block that one from his little boy brain.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

That’s quite a preschool

I mean I knew they were good.
I just didn’t know they were Olympic Gold Medal good. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Earning his stripes

 After months of careful study in the fine arts of running, jumping, sliding and climbing, Chase has finally earned his first knee hole. He was so proud of this badge of honor that any tears that may have fallen as he fell to the floor were halted in their tracks as he proclaimed:  "Mama! There's a hole!"

Yep, he's swiftly moving up the ranks. I'll be calling him Major before I know it: Major Trouble that is.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mamas Gone Wild*

*Author has taken creative liberties with the definition of the word “wild”. Though comparatively speaking, what you’re about to read is quite rowdy Mama behavior. 
I’ve been reclaimed by my captors and have been placed in a maximum security wing of the prison to discourage any further attempts to break free. They can chain me to the stove, but they can’t take away my memories. Nope, I have them locked away in my over-fatigued brain—oh and I also have them in full color pixilation for you to view as well. Of course, they were all taken with my iPhone because—surprise, surprise—my camera battery was dead. But better low quality, than none at all, right? As you’re looking at these pictures, please let me know if you pick up on any overriding themes. (hint: we like to eat. a lot.)
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After having a tasty lunch at Coastal Flats, we rushed to the theater in time to catch Dear Channing Tatum You Are Sooo Fine. No wait, that’s not right. I think it was called Dear Nicholas Sparks Why Do You Always Make Me Cry? Or something like that anyway.
010 - CopyWe had a delectable dinner at a French Steakhouse which was an odd combo I thought, but delicious right down to that chocolate tarte I consumed in 3.5 seconds. After all of that food consumption, someone had the bright idea to try ice skating for the first time ever. I think it might have been me. Why do I do these things? I mean I didn’t think that I had a death wish, but apparently I do. 
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Sure it was all giggle and laughs getting our skates on and watching the zamboni, but then reality came sliding in to remind me that ice skating involves razor thin blades of terror on a sheet of rock hard, freezing cold ice. Teresa was the lucky one—being pregnant and all she had an airtight alibi for her lack of participation. I had nothing to get me out of harm’s way but a railing and the grace of a higher power.
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Sam and Molly had to be show offs and take to the ice like little Sasha Cohen clones. I  swear, I think I saw Sam complete a triple axel as I was clutching desperately to the rail. But what I lacked in balance and skill, I made up for in congeniality by making several new friends as I warned them that I might at anytime run them over, trip over them or pull them down with me as I fall. I had at least four concerned skaters who’d give me pointers as they glided by me. Of course since most of the advice involved moving away from the safety of the rail, I ignored it. Let go?? And people say I’m nuts.
Before heading back to the hotel, we made a late night stop at Harris Teeter to pick up necessities. Of course, what can be deemed a midnight necessity is up for interpretation.
Sam and Molly: baby food and sippy cups. I mean come on girls! We don’t have kids anymore—we’re free, free, free! Well, until the next morning anyway.
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Teresa: Krispy Kremes and a whisk. I understand the pastries, I means she is pregnant and those glazed doughnuts are heaven on earth. But the whisk? We don’t cook on girls’ weekend Teresa. In fact, I’m currently working on a return treaty that would bar us from cooking ever again. I just need it ratified by four husbands; I’m sure that won’t be a problem at all.
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Now this is what I’m talking about ladies. This:
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is a necessity. So necessary in fact that the entire six pack is sitting unopened in my fridge as I type this. Apparently, you can take the Mama out of the house, but she’s still too tired at 1AM to be doing anything but laying in bed watching Channing Tatum kick some Cobra behind. Go Joe!
I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures of all of the shopping we did. Well no, I’m not really as that’s a detail probably better kept off Drew’s radar. I plan on being on my best behavior so I might earn a weekend pass for a future trip. You’ll put in a good word for me, right? Or at the very least, try not to mention the stuff about Channing.