Monday, May 31, 2010

Lying to the Children

I recently realized that I lie profusely to my kids.

Paint? You want to paint? Sure thing, Sawyer.

I love the fact that we can still lie to our kids and get away with it. Sawyer obliviously "paints" with water on construction paper while Jack gets to use the real stuff. Hey, I have enough to clean up around here without handing over the paints to the toddler.

I'm not sure that we've been lying so much here as misleading the kids into thinking that it's totally normal to run around in your underwear and have a dance party after bath time. They totally rock out and if I really wanted to embarrass us all I'd tell you that often Saturday night finds us all in the kitchen dancing to KLCC's Dead Air. (Those hippy roots are hard to suppress, I suppose.)

They will totally hate us for these photos later, I predict. Incidentally, it's worth mentioning that Sawyer's dance repertoire includes one solitary move: the bouncing arm. You have to see it to fully appreciate it.

Jack tried to lie to me about sticking his face in the mixing bowl when we made those amazing cookies over the weekend.

And I just have to lie to Jack whenever we play Candyland together because that game just drags on and on. Just when you're finally nearing the magical rainbow square you draw that stupid cupcake queen and have to move practically all the way back to the start. So I have to make up rules and point out some extra shortcuts that maybe aren't so obvious on the board. He buys it every time. Ha.

I guess most of my lies are pretty harmless. But I do sometimes wonder how he will feel when he eventually learns that there are no "sugarbugs" on his teeth and that carrots won't make him see in the dark. I guess I'll take the risk- therapy is cheap.

But I do believe that some of the lies we tell our children are for their own good. I'll let Jack continue to believe that all people are gentle and kind- that there are no real "bad guys". I'll let him think that I know a magic spell to keep bad dreams away and that his dad is the strongest guy around. There are so many god awful things about this world that I do want to shield my kids from, at least as long as I can. The kids have the rest of their lives to stress about the ills of society and to conform to its expectations if they choose to do so. For now I think I will let them live in a world where you can rock out in your underwear and bounce one arm along to "Sugar Magnolia" and remain blissfully ignorant.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Live Strong

If my recently restarted running career comes screeching to a halt, we'll just blame Lance Armstrong. Or maybe it will be the other guy's fault.

We live near the bike path. I like to ride my bike and to do other bike path type activities, but I often avoid our particular segment of the bike path because it is sketchy. Brent has mocked me for this in the past, but I've always maintained that the bike path can be a scary place. Turns out I am right (let the record show).

Jack has not taken a nap in, oh say, a week or so now which has lead to some serious grouchiness on his part. And then subsequent grouchiness on my part, as grouchiness begets even more grouchiness. He will generally fall asleep in the stroller so I often find the motivation to go for a run when I see the grouchies coming on. Brent was off fishing today so I decided to go for an early afternoon run to spare myself the agony of dealing with a sleep deprived preschooler for the rest of the day. Oh, and I decided to brave the bike path. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. How sketchy could it be?

So there I go, blissfully jogging along with my two kids tucked safely into the stroller when I see a guy on a bike right ahead of me FALL OFF HIS BIKE AND LAND ON HIS HEAD! This happens to happen under a bridge (sketchy!) and there's really no way for me to go around him without rolling over his body with the stroller, so I instantly become a good Samaritan and stop to offer him my assistance. As he staggers to his feet I see that he is BLEEDING PROFUSELY FROM THE HEAD! I immediately offer to call someone for him and he seems totally dazed and confused, like he's just suffered MAJOR HEAD TRAUMA or something. Then it dawns on me that he must be disabled. Or perhaps he has had a stroke or two in his lifetime. At any rate, I cannot understand a word he is saying and there is BLOOD dripping all over his face and he looks like he is about to drop dead right there in front of us. My children are traumatized into complete silence at this point. I keep asking him where he lives, can I call someone, how can I help? No coherent response.

Finally a voice barks out a scolding to us about blocking the bike path and how dangerous it is for people to stop right there and I whip around to see a Lance Armstrong type bike rider approaching the scene. I ask him to stop and help, since clearly I am getting nowhere with bleeding guy on my own. Lance Armstrong parks his own bike and assesses the situation in about ten seconds. "He's drunk," Lance Armstrong informs me. Oh, well, I guess THAT EXPLAINS A FEW THINGS. "Don't worry, I have a gun," he then tells me. A GUN! HE HAS A GUN! I am under a bridge with my two kids, a drunk bloody guy and Lance Armstrong with a gun?! Major parenting red flags here! What kind of a mother gets herself and her kids into this situation? My mind is racing- I am a mandatory reporter- do I have to report myself??

Drunk bleeding guy realizes that Lance Armstrong means business and makes a feeble attempt at escape. Meanwhile I slowly release the brake on my stroller in case I need to make a break for it. Bloody drunk guy then stumbles over his bike and LANDS FACE FIRST ON A STUMP. He does not get up this time. Armstrong is dialing someone on his phone. Alrighty then. I'm out. C-ya later, Lance!

With all that adrenaline pulsing through my veins, I actually went on to have quite a nice run. When Jack's stunned silence wore off a few minutes later he was full of questions. I did the best I could to reconstruct a story of somebody falling and getting hurt and someone coming along to help him. Jack's matter-of-fact response to this was "That guy should have been wearing a bike helmet." Indeed.

Hooboy. No more bike path for me. Needless to say, Jack did not take a nap today. We'll all sleep well tonight, though.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the Run

It appears as though I have started running again.

I so hesitate to put this into writing because as soon as I do I will inevitably return to my slovenly couch potato ways, leaving you all to ask me how that running is coming along and me having to confess that it was just a passing trend.

But maybe not. I've been going strong for over two months now and am feeling pretty good on my feet these days. The boys are troopers about being strapped into that jogging stroller just as long and I remember to pack along some snacks. Jack shouts out words of encouragement, which could sometimes also be interpreted as words of harassment when he feels that I am not running fast enough...

People always want to know how far you run. My runs back in the day were of the five mile variety but who has time for that?? These days I just go for half an hour or so and call it good, since pushing two kids in a stroller definitely slows your pace and I think it would be quite disheartening for me to calculate mileage and know how slowly I really am running.

It feels so good to get out there and pound the pavement. My food tastes better, I sleep better, my clothes fit just right and damn I know I look cool pushing two kids while I run. Just kidding (kind of).

So here is the pit crew, gearing up for a run by the river (while Brent goes fishing).

Jack likes to run, too!

Warm weather often means a picnic dinner at the park. That seems to be our family's version of going "out" to eat.

Love love love my big boy's feet in flip flops! Sawyer screams when we put his on him....

Who planted those squishy buns??

I am still totally in love with Brent's new job and the free vegetables that he brings home. I wait with excitement every Saturday afternoon to find out what freebies he has scored for the week. You should have seen how excited I was about the season's first cucumber. Is is normal to be so enthusiastic about vegetables? I guess if loving free cucumbers is wrong, I just don't wanna be right.

(My laptop has been decontaminated, in case you were wondering. Turns out it just had a mild virus, bit of a cough really. Whew. The thing is like a member of the family.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Have we been away on some fabulous tropical vacation?

No. My stupid laptop has a virus. I discovered the problem over the weekend when it wouldn't stop directing me to "". At least I wasn't using it in front of a class at the time.

So we're down to one computer in the house (I know- a real hardship- the world clearly revolves around my computer usage) so posts may be a bit slower in the coming days (weeks? God I hope not!).

On the plus side I find that I have much more free time after the kids go to bed now that I can't hang with my best friend facebook. Maybe this is a good thing after all...

In other news, Jack made me an adorable little duck the other day. I thought for sure this was one of those mass produced preschool projects but no, Brent gets the credit for this one. What a creative dad!

This warm summer weather has come and gone again, but at least we've had a taste of what's to come. I predict that the boys (all three of them!) will just live outside this summer. The garden is coming along- something is eating our broccoli plants, but Brent's on the case. Everything else is growing jut fine. We even had our first rhubarb crisp of the season last weekend!

I love that our house suddenly feels so much bigger when the sunny weather hits and everyone heads outside. The front yard is like another living room and the back deck becomes the dining area. Brent has worked so hard over the years on our yard and I believe it has finally all come together. Now all we need is a picnic table!

(Not from our garden. I wish. Credit to Lost Creek Farms- all of these freebees are awesome!)

Sawyer is starting to say a few words. His vocabulary is limited to uh oh, Mama, Dada, water, etc. He will mimic anything that Jack says but still doesn't use most of the words in context. Jack says he wants to teach Sawyer how to talk so that they can play together. Awww. Sawyer continues to be our super eater and an excellent sleeper. He makes us laugh everyday and has brought so much joy and comic relief to our family. He is just the sweetest and goofiest little guy.

Jack is learning to write his name. He can identify letters and numbers and his memory is eerily accurate. He has an eye for detail and nothing gets past him. He is opinionated and sassy. He loves his preschool class and his other weekly routines of going to the inside park and the library. He has become a painfully picky eater but we continue to fight the battle. He never ever ever ever wants to go to bed and will insist that he is NOT TIRED even as he fights to keep his eyes open. Jack is so smart that it almost scares me. I predict he will do something amazing with his life.

I am counting down the days until summer vacation. It's creeping up on us, but it just can't come soon enough for me. Even though I really do love my job, I am ready to spend my days at home with my family for awhile.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mom's Day

It wouldn't be Mother's Day without flowers. This lovely basket went to Brent's mom, who deserves mad props for raising a boy who cleans up after himself and never leaves the toilet seat up.

All I wanted for my special day was a little walk down memory lane to our favorite coffee shop (where Brent and I met, actually) for a latte and a fruit danish. We used to be Sunday morning regulars at Midtown but it has become trickier to get two little people dressed and out the door when Mom and Dad haven't had any coffee yet, so we hadn't been for a few months. Jack got spoiled with a hot chocolate which bought us enough time to sip our coffee and nibble some pastries. Sawyer sat on my lap and ate raisins. They were perfect little gentlemen.

In the afternoon we went to Brent's mom's house for a family barbeque and the boys got to play with their cousin Xavier, who is most definitely the most serious lawn mower I have ever seen.

Jack suckered his Uncle Frank into playing a game of baseball. Jack's swing has about a five second delay so it's pretty rare for him to get a hit. Nevertheless, he will ask you to pitch to him for hours on end and Frank was game. Jack's and Frank's enthusiasm was contagious and soon Frank's nieces joined the game. Finally he got a hit!

Sawyer and Xavier palled (sp?) around for awhile and contemplated eating some rocks. Luckily Xavier's tastes seem to be more discriminating than Sawyer's.

Ever since Sawyer and I got matching haircuts (not intentionally!!), people have been commenting on our resemblance. I really see it in this picture. It's kind of too bad, though, because we really thought he would look more like Brent... Those Mitchell genes are sneaky- that kid was born with BLACK hair, I tell you. Oh well. Maybe my boys will inherit other things from their dad like being tidy and always putting the toilet seat down. My fingers are crossed.

Friday, May 7, 2010


New things in our backyard include a pole for the hops to climb and eventually it will reach across the yard and to the roof. Someday this hops will be used for home brew purposes, but for now it just looks cool.

Jack and Brent made a bird house to attract the swallows and Jack has been having a great time yelling at the non-swallow birds who get a little too close. Sawyer gets really excited about birds. He really doesn't talk much yet, but he does point and grunt and he does this with intensity when a bird is in sight.

Oh, I do love the sandbox!

I caved and made the boys their first matching clothes: train shorts. I just can't get enough of the boys in homemade pants and I follow the simplest method around. Just trace a pattern onto a paper bag based on an existing pair of pants that fit well and presto! Sewing projects that can be finished within one nap cycle are so very satisfying.

We live on a street with a ton of young families so a neighborhood get together usually yields a pack of small children. Such was the case last weekend at Noah's birthday party. The little kids played well together in the ice chips that were used to chill the beer. Our neighborhood knows how to throw a birthday party.

Oh boy do I ever wish I could have talked Jack into the plain, blue, benign sunglasses on the rack. But no. He had to have the race car glasses. I pick my battles.

The beds are raised and the seeds are planted. If all goes according to plan, we will have peas a plenty this year, which is good because these boys do love their peas.

Poor Sawyer. He is willing to be led around the backyard on a leash if it means Jack will play with him.

Last summer we were all about going to the park to play. This year Jack is really into the backyard, which is quite convenient. When the sun shines these two just want to be outside all day and it's a struggle to get them to come inside for dinner. The bathwater is dirty and they crash into their beds after a book or two. Then Brent and I get a few minutes to sit on the deck and sip a beer as the sun goes down and talk about how much fun we'll have this summer.

So c'mon sunny weather, we are ready for you to stay!