the boys

the boys

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas cards

Today I am thankful for a few minutes to write a quick blog.  Unfortunately it comes because two-thirds of my children are sick with the stomach bug and thus sound asleep on a Sunday morning.  Nonetheless, I am going to take advantage of some peace and quiet to quickly write out my thoughts.

I am sitting here preparing to address our family Christmas cards.  I started thinking about the cards themselves.  Ours, like many, are a nice collage of family photos from this year with a small square with our names and a quick message wishing our loved ones a blessed Christmas.  

I started thinking that sending Christmas cards used to be about genuinely sending warm wishes and Christmas blessings to our friends and family.  I think it has turned into more of a way to showcase a photo of ourselves and our kids/families/pets.  Like so many things in life it seems to have become a self-centered activity.  I have certainly been falling into that trap the last few years.  It's become a way to show people the fun vacations we have been on this year (guilty as charged, ours are beach pictures this year), or how beautiful our Christmas tree turned out this year (yeah, that was last year's photo I think), or how stinkin' adorable our kids are (that's me pretty much every year) or my face lift and new boobs (maybe next year). 

Maybe showing ourselves off was a bit more necessary or at the very least excusable before Facebook enabled us to share every single moment and photo with our family and friends, but now it seems less necessary.   Nearly everyone on my Christmas card list either sees my children frequently or sees pictures of them on Facebook. 

I used to be fairly decent at sending cards to family and loved ones on holidays or special occasions.  I rarely, rarely do it anymore.  Yet every Christmas I make sure to get them out to everyone.  It's all seeming very self-indulgent the more and more I think about it. 

So, I'm not preaching about it, I'm just sort of doing some self-reflection.  Just trying to bring myself back to the "reason for the season."  So this year when you get my self-indulgent card showing off my cute little kids on our fun beach trip, please also know that I very sincerely wish each of you the merriest of Christmas's.

I wish you this Irish Christmas Blessing:
The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of hearth and home to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I always thought it was silly when the State would call a hiring freeze a hiring "pause."  It was obvious word play.  I'm not sure if I am doing word play or just trying to ease my own thoughts on the matter, but I've decided to officially go on a "blogging pause." I haven't paid much attention to the stats part of blogging, but I just checked and as of yesterday I have had 10,098 views on my blog since it started in 2010.  Not too shabby.

I have blogged so rarely in the last year since William was born.  I don't blame the little cherub, of course, it's just that life has gotten pretty busy.  I can't give my posts the kind of attention that I used to. I still write them in my head in the middle of the night or while driving, but I just don't have the time to put it on paper, so to speak.  I just gotta allow myself to give it up for now.  It's taken me 3 weeks to get up the gumption just to convince myself I'm on this pause.  By calling it a pause, I feel like I am giving myself the out that if I can get to a place of "un-pause" it will still be here waiting on me. 

So I thought I would conclude this phase of my blogging life by once again plugging my life theme. 


Really, truly think about that the next time you have an opinion about someone or something. 

May God continue to bless each of you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Oh Well, Better Luck Next Year

I am constantly disappointing myself. OK that's not even true.  I am mostly amused by things I do that should disappoint me.  Here's just a few examples from this weekend of why my bid for Mother of the Year is slowly slipping from my grasp yet again. 

1.  Upon finding three different kinds of food in Will's hair this morning during church I found myself wondering when was the last time I gave him a bath.  And I couldn't remember. I literally could not remember the last time I gave the kid a bath.  If memory serves me correctly Jeremy gave him one on Thursday night while I was at the gym working out.  Seriously I was.  So Thursday night to Sunday morning.  In 100 degree heat.  Well, he's clean now so that's all that really matters.   Reason I might still be in the running for MOTY:  I took them to church. 

2.  I have consistently demonstrated to my children that procrastination is acceptable.  We did Justin's homework 10 minutes before bedtime tonight.  Reason I'm still in the running:  We actually did his homework

3.  While doing the aforementioned homework with Justin I convinced Leo his very helpful role could be rubbing my feet.  Reason I'm still in the running:  I'm teaching him to be attentive to the women in his life (I realize I might be stretching it a little on that one).

4.  I let Leo wear this out of the house today.  To one of Justin's friend's house.  That we don't even know that well.  But one of her kids has answered the door in his underwear so I think we're still cool. 
 yes, that is a child's three piece suit minus one of the pieces.....oh, and the shirt.  
Reason I am still in the running: I didn't let him wear it to church like he really, really, really wanted to. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Plan vs. Focus

A very wise man told me this week that he has never had a plan and he isn't going to start now.  I was in much agreement. 

This week I submitted my resignation for a job that I have known and loved for eight years.  And that was not the plan.  No, no, no that was not the plan.  Or what I had thought was the plan. 

I should have known better.  All of the best things in my life have been unexpected.  My life works best and moves forward smoothly when I stop trying to plan and force it into action.  My life works best when I focus on what is important to me.  FOCUS.  Stop planning.  Stop assuming.  Just focus. 

It's not that what I thought was my plan was a bad way to go.  It was working for me.  It was very solid.  Very consistent.  Definitely was a great option.  I could have stayed in that job for another ten years and been just fine.  I could have promoted and retired with a state pension.  I know those are hard to come by these days.  But possibly, just possibly, I was not completely satisfied.  Not completely fulfilled in my ever increasing desire to challenge and extend my abilities.  And I didn't even realize that until I opened my heart and mind to the fact that there might be another path for me.  Opened my mind and heart to the fact that not only was change possible, but very much within my grasp.  It is ok to change. 

And just as soon as I became comfortable with that thought and began to really spend some time in prayer for what it could mean for me, change happened.  The power of prayer will never cease to amaze me.  Change dropped right in my lap.  Happened fast and furious. I wasn't looking or particularly seeking it out.  But it is SO right for me.  I found it and it found me.  There are some definite parts to it that are out of my comfort zone; out of my usual  program areas.  It's still social work and still focused on the safety of children in our community.  I have so much to learn from my future peers and employees.  I am so ready to soak up every bit of knowledge they have about forensic interviewing and management of the program.  But there are also parts of this new job that are just screaming my name.  Such a great fit for me.  Like a hand in a glove (or jug, as Allison would say).  The possibilities seem endless.  I have so much to offer and so much to gain. 

But oh I am so sad to leave my job.  I've cried more in the last 9 days than I probably have in the last 9 years.  Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but still I am surprised at my own emotions.  Maybe a more accurate statement would be that I have cried more in front of people in the last 3 days than I have in all of my time in Platte County.  No one can ever convince me there is a better working team in Missouri.  For anyone that has ever studied group settings, we are in Stage 4: Performing.  (if you care, we went through stages 1-3 of forming, storming, and norming....and oh, the fond memories I have of those stages!).  We have been "performing" our asses off for about the last 4 years.  We have made significant strides in how we serve foster youth in Platte County and move them to the best possible permanency outcome.  I am SO PROUD to have been a part of it.

But I am reminded that I am only one person on that team.  One spoke on the ol' wagon wheel for those of you that will get that reference ;) At one point in time I would have thought that it was so much of my own doing.  How very narcissistic of me.  How unfortunate to not give as much value to all of the many other team members that make Platte Co function.  I previously would have never thought about leaving for fear that it would all implode without my leadership.  But, I am learning that leadership is more about leading than it is doing.  I was a do'er for most of my time in Platte County.  Carried it on my shoulders for a long time, unnecessarily. That team is going to be successful in serving the families in Platte County with or without me.  My standard motto of "it's not wrong, it's just different" will be well played out in Platte Co over the next few months and years.  For my staff, the community players, the foster parents, and the families it won't be the way "Gwen did it" but it will a different way to do it.  Sometimes a little bit more right, sometimes a little bit more wrong.  Different. 

And the same will be true in my new job.  I'm stepping into a wonderfully well-oiled machine which is something that is completely foreign to me.  Clean up someone's mess?  Solve someone's disaster? I'm your gal.  Continue to maintain and strengthen the integrity and functioning of a well managed program?  Well, we'll just see how that goes. 

New job.  New focus. Planning, be damned.  Very much looking forward to it. 

Proverbs 19:21  "Many are the plans in a mans heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rock-a-bye-bye, my baby!

Sad.  So very, very sad.  I feel like a fool though because I know that people have real loss in their lives and this loss is very superficial, but a loss nonetheless.  I can't hardly bear to even write the words.  Here goes.

I, Gwen O'Brien, no longer have a recliner in my living room.

There.  I said it.  I am a disgrace to my family.  The Hales family will disown me for sure.  How have I become such a....such a.....such an O'Brien??  I mean when I first met Jeremy and his family I thought "who ARE these people?"  With their crazy couch and loveseat set-ups.  No moving furniture?  Wh-wh-whaaaat???  I mean I love them, but WTF??

It's ok.  It's gonna be ok.  I can survive this.  I know it seems silly but this is a truly painful shift in my life.  I was born and raised on a recliner.  Well, not born on one.  That would have just been awkward and quite frankly disgusting.  But I would bet a lot of money it was the first place I visited upon being brought home from the hospital.  Which is really why I think this is so painful.  Rocking recliners are meant for rockin' babies.  And I have.  For 6 straight years I have rocked my babies in my living room and now I just have to sit on a stupid couch and stare at them.  And they at me.  BORING.  And not at all relaxing.  Or comforting.

It was this last little baby that is responsible. Yes, I have William to thank for this.  And yes, I will hold him responsible for the rest of his life.  That tiny kid has spewed so much spit up on me and that chair that it couldn't be saved.  No amount of Febreze could save it.  I have tried.

Oh I miss it so much.  This is the first blog I have ever written while slouching on my couch.  Stupid couch and ottoman.  It's true that our living room looks better with the two matching pieces of furniture in it.  It was overcrowded with my recliner and it didn't match.  But I didn't care.  Beauty isn't everything.  It's what is inside that counts.  I don't know how that is even relevant here but it sounds good. 

I refused to let the new fancy furniture bully my sweet little 1990-esk recliner.  I continued to give it all of my attention even after we bought new furniture 3 years ago.  It was perfectly fit to my body.  I had it for 15 long years!  It has lived in 2 states, 3 cities, and 8 households.  And now it is sitting sadly in the garage awaiting it's death.  I wonder if it even knows.  If it's out there wondering what it could have done differently.  I wonder if it's silently cursing the overstuffed chair or if it's stepping aside gracefully for the newer and perkier models.  I wonder if it's feeling unloved and abandoned or if it's just basking in the wonderful memories we made over the years.  I wonder if I'm even still writing about the chair.  Awkward.

I miss the glue stain where Louie ate a bottle of Elmer's glue on it when he was a puppy.  I miss losing the remote in the sides.  I miss the boys climbing up on the arms to sit and read books with me.  Wayyyyyy to much room for all of us on the couch.  On my chair we were crammed together.  And it was a good thing. 

But it had to go.  I loved you dear, dear recliner, but it was time to let you go.  And with your departure enters a new era in my life.  One of boring, matching, adult furniture. BLAH!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

O'Brien Boy Stories

'Cuz who doesn't like some good ol' O'Brien boy stories....I've been writing them down quickly when they occur to blog later.  as I put them together today I was surprised how many were potty humor.  Not sure why I am surprised though.  It will be my life for the next 20+ years. 

Me: We are having spaghetti for dinner.
Leo:  NOOOO!  I don't want spaghetti.  I get so tired.  I have to twist and twist and twist and twist and twist and twist.  I'm so tired!

After Leo asked for his vitamin Justin said "Do I dare ask for one too?" 

Favorite one-liners from Daycare Bowling night:
Leo:  I took a poop.  Now let's bowl!
Justin:  I really thought there would be an audience.

Watching the Billboard Music Awards and Justin Beiber was accepting an award and thanking his fans:
Justin: THAT'S Justin Beiber?  I think I'm one of his fans.  Aren't I? 

Leo:  (while Justin was getting in trouble) Mom, you are beautiful and wonderful and I love your toenails. 

While watching me change Will's poopy diaper:
Leo:  Remember dad's big poop?
Justin:  Yeah.  It was bigger than Will's.  Because Dad is bigger.  His was HUGE!
Leo:  I have to poop.
Justin: If I had 100 kids our house would smell like a diaper. 

Justin came running out of the lake with an urgent need to use the restroom (#2). 
Me: What's with you waiting until the last minute to tell me you have to go potty?
Justin:  Wellllll, sometimes I fake it.  You know like how I fake stuff sometimes?
Me: Like what?
Justin:  Like when you tell me to go wash my hands or something and I just go upstairs but I just fake it and don't really do it.   (pause)  Sorry about that, by the way

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life Coach. Apply Within

I need a change.  Gotta change it up a bit.  Neeeeeeed to change it up a bit.  Perhaps this is a bit of a mid-life crisis.  Although as a social worker I object to the word "crisis" because in no way is this an emergent situation that needs immediate attention or requires any kind of freak out.  As if I would ever freak out.  Maybe that's the change I need to make.  Just start freaking out every few days?  Nah.  Not my style. 

But this is a mid-life thing. I don't think I realized it at first but this thing.....perhaps I will call it a re-evaluation period....because that is more my speed......anyway, this thing that is upon me is appearing as I cross over into my late 30's.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  It's now or never. Ok.  Again, "never" might be overstating it a bit.  But the now part is completely accurate. Why not now?  So I'm reaching my late 30's and I am reevaluating.  Nothing major.  I'm not about to leave my husband and children, buy a Ferrari, and move to California.  I'm not going to quit my job (right now) or dye my hair red.  It's more about self improvement.  It's about positive and healthy change.  Physically, mentally, spiritually. 

I want to be better.  Well, let's be honest. I want to be the best as that is my competitive nature but there is no such thing as the "best" person.  And in my quest to be the best I am ending up in utter failure.  So I really just want to be better.  Even a little bit better than I am right now.  But I'm doing a horrible job at managing life these days.  Sooooo.....

I'm made the executive decision that I need a life coach.  I am accepting applications.  I won't be listing qualifications because I am open to assessing all applicants.  Hit me with your best shot and I'll see if it's a good fit.

I am overwhelmed in the areas in which I want to improve.  Diet, exercise, parenting, relationship, engagement in church activities, employment, budgeting.  The list goes on and on.  I need guidance and structure and someone to hold me accountable.  I know that "they" (whoever the heck "they" are) say to make changes one at a time.  Pfooey! 

I respond well to coaching.  I was coached for a good bit of my life.  And I would like to assume that this life coach thing will not involve anyone throwing gym equipment, screaming obscenities at me, weighing me, or making me feel worthless for poor performance.  Although I have survived all of that so honestly I think I could take it. 

So I need a life coach.  I need change. I need improvement.  Maybe there's an app for that.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Backyard Fun

We have high hopes for our back yard. One of these days we will tear off the deck and pour a new patio and make it super beautiful and inviting.  Until then....this will have to do. 

Justin, our little trapeze artist

Jeremy wondering why the heck I am taking his picture.

Jeremy can't resist mugging for the camera after he realizes I will not stop taking his picture

Check out that sweet ass!

Uh oh.  Daddy no likey getting his picture taken anymore. 

He's thinking "I LOVE MOWING!!!!"

and now "are you still taking my f-ing picture??"

and now our dog Sammy takes a big dump right where Jeremy is getting ready to mow. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Who says I don't look like Brooke Shields?

It's been over 2 months since my last blog post.  Life has been busy.  I try desperately to get some time set aside to post and I have a few started but just can't seem to get them finished. For months I have been thinking of this great idea for a post and today I took the time to put it together.  It was sooooooo worth it.  I am certain, without a doubt, that you will enjoy this little trip down memory lane.

It will be hard not to focus on my clothing because it, in and of itself, is rather entertaining.  But try your hardest to stay focused on the ever changing hairdo's.  Some pictures you won't be able to help yourself from staring at it.   Some pictures you won't be able to peel your eyes away from it.  While others you will try to avoid looking at it straight on.  I can't say I blame you. 

I feel certain that God has given me boys because he knows it would be a sin for me to put girls though anything remotely similar.  Mind you, I don't blame my mother.  Most of the time this was my idea. 

It all started back in 1977.  Such a sweet little baby girl with blond hair.

Gettin' my tap dancin' on with my saddle oxfords. 

And hair got darker.  And for some reason that required a bowl cut.  And I just wanted to be like my daddy.

Who knows what my hair looked like at Pre-School.  I am pretty sure it never came out of that hood.  Apparently I was the only one bracing for a snow storm (that's me on the top right). 

Oh, there's my hair.  Perfectly curled under for 1st day of Kindergarten. 
And then......brace yourselves.  I found the joy of perms.  Enter:  the Afro stage! 
Now this next picture is my absolute favorite.  Let me set the stage for you.  It has to have been around 1984.  Someone was taking "professional" photos at Hales Market....because that is a perfectly normal place to have your photos taken.  Next to the bread and cereal aisle.  I had recently seen a picture of Brooke Shields smiling with her mouth open.  I thought she was beautiful!  I was certain that I could match it.  Positive I looked just like her.  If your opinion differs and you think that I am NOT her spitting image please just keep those thoughts to yourself. So here is my very best Brooke Shields look.   Brace yourself. 
And I rocked that fro all the way into 2nd grade.  

And then something happened in 3rd grade.  Perhaps we were poor that year.  No money for perms.  So same hairdo, minus the tight curls. 

 But that was too hair needs some BODY to it!  I don't know where it came from but somehow, somewhere, someone invented this little Mary Lou Retton do with a twist.....flip up all of the ends into a bell shaped NIGHTMARE!!!!

Although it worked perfect for the ring of flowers that I wore as flower girl at Karol and Peter's wedding!  

And here it all it's glory....year after year....(5th grade)

after year.....oh yes, add some glasses.....that makes it all better! 

after year.....I am pretty sure this is my first day of 7th grade.  I'm sure I fit right in moving from Covel D Searcy Elementary in Gallatin to Raytown Middle School.  (nice Holly Hobby bed spread)

OHHHHH, it wasn't enough to take one school picture this year (7th grade).  I had to do it twice.  Once in Gallatin so they could be ordered with my sister's pictures to give to all of the grandparents aunt's and uncles....and then another one at my actual school.  This stage in my life was so worth capturing twice.  UGH!!!!

So this morning I pulled out the picture on the left and asked the boys "Who is this?"  They pondered and pondered.  They could not figure it out.  I so badly wish I had the camera on when I told them it was me.  They had the most horrified looks on their sweet little faces.  Justin insisted it could not be me because the picture is "a boy." 

BUT, when I turned the page of the photo album to this little gem of a picture Justin said "Ok, that one looks like you" 

Ok, enough of the short hair. It was finally time to grow it out.  Please just focus on the hair and try your hardest to ignore the Hammer pants.  
9th grade.  Contacts.  Braces.  Letting the curls go natural finally. 

Longest my hair has ever been. 

But then it would smack me in the face when I went upside down.....soooooo......

It was back to short hair for Senior Pictures.  Pretty sure I capture all requirements in these photos.  Standard blazer for formal picture.  Vest and jeans for outdoor picture.  And sexpot/lay on one arm/twist head in awkward position trying to look good picture.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I took the day off today.  For no particular reason other than that it is in my own best interest...and really the interest of those around have a little me time.  ME ME ME.  I might just skip (in the socks pictured at left....which you will find amusing as you read on) around the house singing that at the top of my lungs.  To further enhance the ME experience I just got a hot stone massage.  BOOM SON (as my young son's would say). 

The most recent experience that brought on the need for this ever-important me time came just a short 12 hours ago.  When I got peed on.  A lot.  And as usual with these funny mommy times my first thought was "this will make a funny blog." 

The house was quite.  Everyone in bed but me and sweet baby Will.  We are having to put some extra effort into helping him gain weight so feedings are important even late at night when he is very tired.  He only nursed for a few minutes before he conked out on my lap.  The kind of sleep where his mouth is open and eyes are rolled back with just tiny slits trait....sleeping with the ol' eyes open. 

Anywho, he didn't eat enough to satisfy his daily requirements so I had the grand plan of doing a  diaper change to rouse him enough to want to eat again.  I laid him down on my lap for a quick change-a-roo.  And of course as all mommy's of little boys knows sometimes it just takes that burst of fresh air to get em' going.  Pee everywhere.  Fountain straight up in the air and coming straight down on both of us.  The only choice at that time is just to cover up and let it run it's course.  I actually had one of those cartoon moments when I lift up the burp cloth that I used to cover him with to see if he was done only to have him squirt one more time at me.  I'm pretty sure it was intentional on his part. 

Mission accomplished.  He was awake now.  Laughing in fact.  Very sure at this point that it was at my expense.  So I gathered us both and headed up stairs.  I was soaked clear through my yoga pants, underwear and nursing tank-top.  Oddly enough, he hardly had any pee on himself.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

As I laid him out on his changing table he was happy as a little lark.  I, however, had pee running down my leg.  Seriously.  So I wanted out of my wet clothes.  I decided to strip down right there and just throw it all in his laundry basket.  But I was still a little chilly so I left my fuzzy warm socks on.  Yes, there I was naked as a jaybird save for a pair of turquoise and brown fuzzy socks changing Will's clothes and diaper.  And as soon as I got him all cleaned up and laid him in his bed I strolled my happy little naked ass down the hallway to put some clothes on.  I was careful not to disturb Sleeping....not Beauty...hmmmmm.....Sleeping Gorilla?  I mean the man sleeps with no shirt on and we all know by now that he has his own built in sweater...and it's winter.  Doesn't fur get thicker in the winter?  Perhaps Sleeping Bear might be more appropriate.  He was sleeping hard enough to be hibernating anyway.  I digress.

So I dressed in the dark, made it back to Will's room to scoop him up and finally finish the last feeding of the night. I got us all comfy and cozy back in my recliner and promptly realized I had my nursing tank-top on backwards.  Gonna make it slightly difficult for him to eat that way.  So I had to strip down one more time, turn it around, get us all settled again and start feeding him. 

And God love the child.  He knew he had given me enough trouble late at night that he did me the huge favor of sleeping through the night.  Sweet, sweet kid.  He's a keeper.

So now it's ME day.  ME ME ME.  Did I already say that?  I might be beating that drum a little too hard.  I've had my massage (don't be too was preceded by my yearly well woman check....TMI?  we're past that), had my lunch, wrote my blog.   There's only one more thing to do on the Me Day To Do list.  N. A. P. 

nighty night, folks.  Me and my fuzzy socks are gonna go snuggle in.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Funny Boys

Anyone who knows Justin or hears my stories about him knows that he is just a funny kid.  Just a downright funny, funny little boy.  This week has been no exception.  There have been several instances that have sent me into fits of giggles. 

On Monday he accidentally poked Leo in the eye.  No, seriously was an accident.  I saw it  happen.  So Leo was crying and carrying on and Justin felt so bad.  Justin kept telling Leo in his most sincere and encouraging voice "Don't worry buddy.  You still have TWO eyes.  You do, Leo.  You still have TWOOOOO eyes.  It's OK.  You have two eyes.  I promise.  You still have two eyes." 

My Valentine's gift to the boys was a trip to McDonald's Play Land.  I know.  You are soooo impressed!  We got food from the drive thru after playing inside and I asked the boys if they want their "usual."  When it was our turn to order Justin yells from the back "Just tell them we want our usual.  They should just know our usual so you don't have to say it all of the time."  OK, seriously we only visit McDonald's once every few weeks but he was making it sound like we are there every day.  He went on and on and on about how even if there is a different girl working they should know our car and our faces and just know our "usual." 

Friday morning I had to take Will to the doctor so we didn't have our usual morning rush to get out of the house.  Justin was slow to get out of bed so I bribed him with $1 if he takes his shower and gets dressed without having to be told 15 times.  He complied.  He has an envelope for saving money for a special Lego castle that he wants to buy after he gets all of his birthday money.  After he got ready he came into my bathroom to tell me that he doesn't want to take my dollar.  He said that I always have to give my money to him and I never get to keep any for myself so he really, really wants me to just get his dollar.  Then he suggested that I start my own envelope to start saving money for "that washer that dad keeps saying he will buy you but he hasn't bought you yet.  Maybe you can just start an envelope and buy it for yourself."  Good idea buddy!  I kept my dollar.  Only about 900 more and laundry will be a breeze! 

Friday night Jeremy fixed the boys dinner while I fed Will.  The boys were eating at the table and Jeremy is running back and forth getting them stuff and trying to fix our dinner (after I screwed it up by forgetting to turn the oven on and bake our potatoes in advance!).  Out of nowhere Justin says "Dad, I promise not to say the S word anymore."  Oh Geez.  First of all I thought he said "F word" so I was really worried.  Is it wrong that I was relieved when I realized he said "S word"?   So of course we have to ask the follow up "what is the S word?"  And then he won't say it because it's a bad word, etc but Jeremy can't let it go so he asks again to which Justin replies "Sexy.  I can't say sexy anymore because that is a bad word so when I sing I have to say 'Foxy Lady'"  I seriously about lost it.  I had to hide my face behind the What To Expect In the First Year book that I was pouring over to make sure Will isn't falling behind!  And by "make sure" of course I mean obsess about it and analyze his every move. 

Not to be outdone, I heard Leo telling Justin at dinner earlier this week "We should never drive like Dad.  He drives crazy and I will never drive like Dad."  I swear I didn't tell him to say that.  I mean he may have overheard a conversation or two that we have had about it.  And by conversation, of course I mean when I freak out on Jeremy when we are in the car and he make inappropriate comments or gestures to other drivers as he weaves in and out of traffic. Yeah, it's possible that's where Leo picked up that little gem. 

And then his own funny moment again this morning when Leo went into Will's room and woke him up because he "just had to ask him if he remembers that I have a band aid on my finger."  Oh yeah, Leo.  Will in all of his mature 3 months has been worried sick over the scratch on your thumb.  Maybe THAT'S why he was up three times last night.  He was worried about your band aid. 

Love these little guys!  They keep me laughing every single day! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Who Cares? DayCares

Recently I saw a picture of my childhood babysitter, Jackie, on Facebook and I started reminiscing.  The good ol' days.  I have a few pretty clear memories of my time there.  I had to be about 5-7 years old because Allison was already born and I was in school for at least part of the time because I can remember riding the bus there in the afternoons. 

You know how it's funny the things that stick with over time?  Well that's what happened to me as I started thinking back....way back.  So here's a few that popped into my head immediately.  We, and by we I mean myself, my sister Mandi, Jackie's daughter Heather, made our own version of Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" video complete with leotards, sweatbands on our heads, and pillows stuffed in our shirts/leotards which were then removed to show off our fabulous new "physical" bodies!  So funny!  I bet Jackie loved that one! 

I also remember that Jackie had hot syrup for pancakes.  How funny is that?  What a funny thing to remember.  In my house we were straight out of the ol' Mrs. Buttersworth bottle and I was in awe of her hot syrup warmed up on the stovetop. 

Another favorite memory is listening to the Thriller record for the first time and being scared to death of the creepy laugh at the end!  Oh, and Toni Basil's "Hey Mickey, You're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind!  Hey Mickey!!"  I remember singing that while jumping on Heather's bed. 

Great memories!  Being a working mother is super hard work but I know my kids are making some wonderful memories with Ellan and Heather.  I can't wait to hear their memories some day when they are grown.  But of course I had to ask them now too.... 

Justin said his favorite thing is "usually eating goodies like cookies or something. Or playing and trapping cars.  And doing pumpkins at Halloween"

Leo said his favorite thing is "when I learn new papers" meaning pre-school time.

I asked Will and of course he said his favorite part of daycare is Penny!!  In fact, just this week Justin checked with us to make sure that Penny isn't related to us so Will can marry her when they get older.