Thursday, June 30, 2011

A little of this, a little of that.

I don't want to brag or anything but my boys and I have eaten eighteen nectarines this week. EIGHT. TEEN. NECTARINES. A dozen and a half. Since Monday. Afternoon. And since you already know that my five year old eats like a bird on a hunger strike and my 10 month old, while a very enthusiastic eater, is still like, a baby,with a baby-sized stomach (although he might have a hollow leg...), that means I have eaten one heck of a lot of fruit this week.

It's not my fault, I swear. The nectarines made me do it. I was just walking along in Costco, minding my own business, when all of a sudden that cartoon thing happened where a delicious smell went right up my nose and pulled me backward by my head until my face was buried in a cardboard pillar of nectarine boxes. I was inhaling loudly saying, "Wow! Ohmygosh! Amazing! You've got to smell this!"

I bet Liam is SO GLAD he finally learned how to roll his eyes.

At least, he THINKS he can roll his eyes.

So what could I do? I bought myself a $9 box of nectarines and went home to eat the whole thing. And then, two days and twelve nectarines later? I stuck the boys in the car and drove them all the way across town to pick up another box.

With basil, mozzarella, olive oil, salt & pepper...
Like a bowl full of summer for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It seemed a little frivolous driving all that way for one thing but once we got there Liam remembered that he needed to pick something up as well.

As soon as we walked in the door he said, "Oh good! I can finally get you some flowers!" Okay first he said, "Plain cheese pizza and Sprite! Plain cheese pizza and Sprite!" Then he grabbed his crotch and yelled, "I have to pee!" But then he remembered the flowers.

He'd been talking about giving me flowers all week. It started after he spent four times longer getting ready for bed than should ever be humanly possible and I sighed and said something about being disappointed (it was at the end of a VERY LONG DAY). He sighed too and said, "I wish I could give you some flowers." His chin was quivering as he said it. I know. When I asked why he wanted to give me flowers he said (chin still quivering), "I just want you to be really happy." Ugh. What a killer...

Also on his shopping list this week? "Big White Tiger"
(Bought with some of his hot sauce money!)

I guess I just wanted you to know that he's not always a foul-mouthed nut job. Sometimes he truly is the sweetest kid alive. Unlike my diet, he's very well balanced.

I can't tell if it's funny or not that as I'm finishing up this post wherein I call Liam "the sweetest kid alive", he's in the next room SCREAMING and stomping his feet and has been for the past ten minutes. Apparently he thinks "QUIET TIME IS SO STUPID!!" Also, he no longer likes me and thinks Finn is the ONLY sweet one in the house. All in the name of balance I guess...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just when I thought I might never write again.

I've been having a little bit of writer's block lately. The kind of block that isn't a block so much as an absolute lack of desire to sit anywhere near a computer and even so much as attempt to write. Maybe I'm not blocked at all. Shoot, for all I know I might have a landslide come out if I tried. But my brain's just not in it. I think it's on on summer vacation or something. All it can really handle right now is picking out two ice cream flavors that go well together. Which is nothing to shake a stick at when your choices include Riesling Poached Pear and Black Coffee...

I'm getting ahead of myself.

We have a new ice cream shop in our neighborhood that is totally adorable and within walking distance. Which, by my calculations...a 15 minute walk pushing a 20 pound baby in a stroller up and down hills while doing deep belly breathing to prevent the panic that would otherwise set in watching an unleashed five year old speed down hills on his itty bitty bike with no pedals + summertime + ice cream = absolutely no excuse not to get ice cream whenever we darn well please!

I mean, seriously, what would you do?

Good Time from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams on Vimeo.

Adorable, no?

So today after Liam's first day of summer school (he was supposed to go last week but we all slept in...jet lag is tricky), we walked over to Jeni's to get ourselves a little treat.

He drew the three of us smiling and saying "yum."
(Finn is the little one trying to grab the bird "so he could taste it."

By the time we were finished and ready to walk home, the clouds had all blown away and the uncharacteristically temperate and lovely weather we had been enjoying all day had disappeared. Now it felt pretty much how Tennessee normally feels at the end of June - hot and sticky. This was a bummer for us. We don't really do that well in the heat. I immediately get sweaty (mostly just my face and hair so...that's hot) and Liam sort of withers and melts into a pouty pool of his usual self.

The walk home was LONG but we made it. When we finally rolled up to our front porch, Finn was half asleep, I was dripping sweat all over him trying to get him out of the stroller and Liam was, well, crazy.

Out of nowhere he started yell-singing, "Poooossy, pooossy, pooosy, pooosy, poooosseeee!"

"What was that?" I asked cautiously. I mean, I know what it was. It was my five year old son singing "pussy" loudly in my front yard. But why? Why?!

"Pooosy! Pooosy, pooosy, poooosy!!"

"Why are you saying that?" I said, laughing nervously. "Do you mean 'pushy'? Like how I'm 'pushing' the stroller?" Of course! Why hadn't I thought of that at first? "I get it now - pushy, pushy, pushy..."


"I don''re crazy, man. I mean, if you're not saying pushy I have NO IDEA what you're saying."

"What? I'm just saying pussy. What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing. I just. I don't understand why you're saying it."

"Finny and I just love pussy! Don't we, Finn? Yes we do!"

"Okay, whatever. You guys are nuts."

"From now on, whenever you say anything I'm going to say pussy."

"Yeah, okay. Whatever."


"Can you get out of the way so I can get the stroller up the stairs?"


"I'm going to lay Finny down so can you-"


"Would you just get the stuff out of the stroller?"


"Okay, I think we've had enough of th-"


Wow. You know? I mean, I just never would have seen that coming. It was so unexpected it shook me right out of my writer's block. And even though I'm still a little like, What?! about the whole "pushy" business, it feels really good to be sitting at the computer, writing something down. Especially since the clouds came back and I'm sitting on my front porch under the ceiling fan not sweating. So I guess I owe Liam a thank you. That kid never ceases to inspire me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Once I had a sore throat that was different than any other sore throat I had ever had so when I described it to Bill and Liam I said, "It's not like a sore throat; it's like a sore throat."

They've made fun of me for it ever since.

I generally try to be less of a dumb dumb in writing (if only I could re-read and edit the words that fall out of my mouth!) but I'm on vacation so the only way I can think to describe what is about to happen here is this:

This isn't like a post; it's just like...a post.

You know. So you won't think I'm dead. Or worse yet, scared.

See, right before I went missing, my boys and I were featured in an article in The Tennessean titled, "Are proud moms and dads a cyberthreat to their kids?" In the article I was all, " Oprah said if someone is going to hurt your kids, it's not going to be a stranger hiding in the bushes or lurking on the Internet, it's going to be someone you know. So yeah. What she said." I intended to talk more about the topic here (in a more re-read and edited way, of course) but then life got in the way and two weeks went by without so much as a peep (or not even, like, a peep) and I'm sure the poor reporter has been freaking out like, "Oh, no! I made her think about her actions and it completely ruined her! She realized her kids were going to get raped by the Internet because she shared some photos and stories about them and now she's probably in the witness protection program or something!"


Okay, so it's not the witness protection program, it's Hawaii. And I'm not here because I'm scared of the Internet, we're just on vacation. But you have to admit the timing is kind of funny.

We arrived in Kona on Monday after spending nine days in Reno with family. Most notably, with my brand new beautiful nephew JACK!!!

Love him.

I flew there with my two boys alone and then Bill met us later in the week.

Oh, how we missed him...

Getting there was not too bad although I'm pretty sure nine months is the age when babies realize being confined to a lap all day is for the birds. Finn didn't want to sit, he wanted to stand up and grab my face and scream happy screams and dive bomb the stranger in the aisle seat and lick the arm rest and crawl all over Liam and eat my hair. And that was all before his trip to Yakima Valley. If you've ever considered giving your mostly toothless baby a bite of your granola bar and thought, "What's the worst that could happen?", the answer is you could be projectile vomited on on an airplane.

You're welcome.

But that's all behind us now and I can assure you, it was more than worth the trip.

This place is absolute paradise. If I had to take a dozen trips to Yakima Valley to get here, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Bill's parents have owned this condo since he was a little boy so he's been coming to Kona all his life. My first trip was on our honeymoon; Liam's was when he was one. So I think little Finn is the youngest member of our family to ever set foot on this beach. Yay, Finn!

(We say that about a million times a day because his new favorite trick is clapping. And playing peek-a-boo. And crawling. And pulling himself up. And drinking milkshakes through a straw. And eating sand. He's a busy little guy...)

Alright, so I'm not dead or scared. I'm in Hawaii and it's awesome and I'm having the time of my life. Aren't you glad we cleared that up? (I swear, I can actually hear your eyes rolling...) My clapping baby just woke up from his nap so I'm going to slather him with sun screen so we can walk down the beach and eat sand or snorkel or whatever else suits our fancy.


(I understand if you're totally hating me right now. I would be too. But there's good news! My in-laws rent this place out and it's totally amazing, family-friendly and reasonable. It's a bit of a haul from Nashville but if you're on the west coast it's a piece of cake to get here. E-mail me if you're interested!)