Friday, February 29, 2008

My Children, They Are Sophisticated

Last weekend, we had a fun visit with Grandad Tracy and Mimi. We hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving, so by the time they got here last Friday, the girls could hardly contain themselves. Arden walked around for hours Friday morning saying "Mimi? Mimi?" over and over. And Claire asked me so many times when they would be here, that I finally told her if she asked me once more, they might not come. Seriously. I said that.

One of the highlights of the visit was our final dinner together on Saturday night. We went out for sushi. I'm just going to let that soak in for a minute. Sushi=raw fish. Meredith=only consumes foods that are cooked according to USDA food safety guidelines. Luckily, any good sushi place realizes that for every raw fish loving customer that comes in, there's going to be one that feels sushi is just one step removed from snacking on your goldfish (and I'm not talking about the crackers).

I do not consider myself to have a sophisticated palate. I love a grilled hotdog almost as much as a filet, prefer chocolate cake (from a mix) to creme brule, and let's face it, I watch American Gladiators. It should come as no surprise, then, that I ordered myself a noodle bowl and left the sushi-eating to the other adults.

About half-way through our meal, Claire decided that she wanted to try some sushi. Mimi cut her a tiny piece, and I watched as my FOUR YEAR OLD ate raw fish, with chopsticks, no less, and asked for more. She finished the entire piece and loved it.
Arden opted not to try the sushi, but instead filled up on all the edamame that was available. I think she seriously ate a pound of soybeans that night.

How is it that my children have more sophisticated tastes than I do? The next thing you know, they'll be wanting to discuss art and politics and religion. I blame Baby Einstein. I really do.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's My Blog and I'll Brag If I Want To

Since my blog is called "Shameless Bragging," I'd like to take a minute and brag about its awesome new look. Which I had nothing to do with, other than using PayPal for the first time. Thanks, Summer, for recommending Shauna. She has a knack for creating the perfect thing, even when the only direction she gets is "Ummmm...I like simple? And.....ummmm.....pretty? What do you suggest?".

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'd Like to Thank the Girl Scouts of America

Here are the current conditions in our little corner of the world...

1.The weatherman got the weather wrong AGAIN and instead of going to the park today, as planned, we've been stuck inside all morning.
2.My one year old has a huge bruise across her forehead--the result of banging her head against the handle of the shopping cart at Wal-Mart when I refused to let her pour TicTacs onto the floor.
3.My four year old has been in Time Out four times so far today (please see #1 in my list for further explanation).

And then there's this...
4. Three men are digging two giant holes in my front yard. A back-hoe is on stand-by on a flatbed truck parked directly in front of my driveway. No one is sure what the problem is, but the builder and his plumber are both certain it's not theirs.

If it weren't for these, the day would be a total loss.

Oh, Thin Mints, how I love you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Girl Likes to Party All The Time

Since Claire's actual birthday fell on a Tuesday, we ended up having her party the following Saturday at the Kids Fun Factory at our gym. I understand how weird that sounds, having a party at the gym, but trust me, the kids area is totally fun and we only made each party-goer run a mile on the treadmill before they could play or have cake.

When I asked Claire what theme she wanted for her birthday party this year, she replied without hesitation, "Lazytown". If you aren't familiar with this show, consider yourself lucky. I promise if you watch it, you'll want to punch yourself in the face. I tried to sway her into choosing something else, something more girly, something less bizarre, something that has invitations available within the continental U.S., but once Claire makes up her mind, there's no changing it. So Lazytown it was.

The kids had a great time playing in the maze, jumping in the bounce house and running around the kid's gymnasium. Of course, no good party is complete without drama, and ours came in the form of casualties. One guest bit through her tongue in the bounce house (but quickly recovered and went back in for more jumping) and another fell facedown on the floor and appeared at first to have broken her nose (think Marcia Brady saying "Now I'll never be a teen model!"). Luckily everyone was fine but the next time we have a party at the gym, maybe I should require signed waivers from all the parents.

Not surprisingly, Claire's favorite part of her party was opening presents. After she blew out her candles (twice) she called out to all her friends, "OK, kids! Gather around! It's time to watch me open presents."

Claire had so much fun at her birthday this year that she's already planning next year's blow out. Hopefully she'll stick to something more mainstream than a show that originated in Iceland and stares a girl with pink hair.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Be Honest.

How redneck is it that we:
a)Tivo'd the finale of American Gladiators
b)Watched it last night, in its entirety
c)Know all the Gladiators names and said things like "Man, that Wolf guy is a psycho"
d)Allowed our now four year old to watch it
e)Discussed the various merits of each contender
f)Talked about the glory days of the original "American Gladiators"
g)Remember some of the original Gladiators names (Nitro, anyone?)

Yeah, I kind of thought so...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Claire is four today, and as cliche as it sounds, I don't know where the time has gone. Wasn't it just yesterday that Jason and I were bringing home that sweet baby, suddenly very aware of the fact that everyone else on the road was driving like a crazy person and didn't they know that we had precious cargo on board?!

Overall, she was a very easy baby--the kind that tricks young mothers into thinking they've figured it all out when, in reality, they just got really lucky. She was a good sleeper, but a horrible napper, never napping for more than 45 minutes at a time. And she always wanted to be rocked to sleep. Which I did, against the advice of many of the baby books that I read, because she was my first baby and I could. So there, Mr. Babywise.

Once Claire started toddling around, life got pretty interesting. She couldn't be bothered with such things as staying in a highchair, sitting in a stoller, or, heaven forbid, being carried. There was a world to explore, and it could only be done on foot.

Claire's toddler years were much like everyone else's, I suspect. She cracked us up every single day with some new phrase, or dance move, or silly face. And then in the next minute, she was so infuriating that I was contemplating selling her to the gypsies, only, I didn't know any gypsies, and even if I did, it wouldn't be fair to subject them to this behavior.

Her preschool years have been the most fun, so far. She's learned so much and is so full of life, still intent on exploring the world around her. One day she wants to be an astronaut, the next, a waitress. She thinks she can read and will not be convinced otherwise. She's in that magical place, somewhere between being a baby and being a big kid, where her dreams still outnumber her inhibitions.

Happy birthday to my big four year old! My birthday wish for you is that you will always approach life with the same sense of urgency and excitement that you do now. We love you so much and can't wait to see what this year has in store for you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I wish I had something really fun and happy to report. Something with rainbows and puppies and pink fuzzy hearts. What I have instead is the flu. Complete with a 102 degree fever, a massive headache and that all-over achiness that feels like someone punched me in the kidneys. Also a toddler. I have a toddler. I think that pretty much explains the title.