Thursday, January 30, 2014

He's my Ham and Cheese

Everett seems to know that he's my baby. He can turn on the water works in no time and as he throws himself over my lap with "wo is me" dramatics I think, wow, this kid is just the cutest. Isn't that awful? I don't find his real naughtiness adorable at all, but let me tell you--these fake alligator tears he's been shedding lately are about to throw me over the I-want-to-eat-your-cuteness limit. And I'm trying not to encourage the bad behavior by giving him unnecessary attention during his sad spells, but seriously though, do you see that fake little grumpster face he's giving me in the above picture? You know, my Aunt Lee Ann used to have this dog that would pee all over the house and she'd "reprimand" him with a, "you little terrorist you" in the most endearing voice ever, and that dog knew that he had it made. And you know what, I'm starting to think that little Everett knows the same.  

I was showing him how silly a grumpster face actually is, and he was just surprised that I could copy him so well! Your mom's talented kid...and rather obsessed with that face of yours!

Sometimes I think Ever looks like an anime character. And other times I call him my little bobble head. Just in case you're wondering, both of those are meant as compliments. And I love that he smiles for the camera. Bless you little boy! 

"Hey Mom, I be wike Pepa. Take a pictcha!"

Can you see it?

It's 5:20 pm, and the natural dusky light is still peeking through our windows, just barely about to welcome night into our home. The lights are still turned off. And we can still see. And it's 5:20 pm, it's 5:23.

It's been a long winter already, and it's by no means over. But after months of darkness blanketing our home a little after four, I am looking out of my window while cooking dinner and I can see trees, and smokestacks and grey skies glimmering with sunshine's hot pink wave goodbye, and hope, I'm pretty sure when I look out at all those other beautiful things {especially when I'm seeing them after 5 pm} I see hope.

Because we're going to make it through this winter. And we're going to make it through life. And it's 5:29, and dinner's in the oven and I'm just now turning on a light and life is just really looking better everyday. Don't you think?

Just feeling pretty grateful. That's all.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We took the subway to see the subway

The NY Transit Museum is in Brooklyn. It's all things trains and buses and very hands-on. If you were to take your kids to Grand Central Station around Christmastime and help them do a scavenger hunt through the terminals, they could get free tickets to this museum. I know because this is what we did, so I only had to pay for myself to get in--which seems kind of ironic since the museum was kind of a little person thing. It's also ironic that people in New York City pay money so that they can go look at buses and subway trains--uh, remember how that's our main form of transportation? We took the subway to Brooklyn, to play in a subway train. Riiigght. But my boys LOVED the museum, and Talmage can now tell you all sorts of things about electricity while Everett can tell you why taking off your gloves on one of the coldest days of the winter is a bad, bad choice. Most importantly, they will both tell you how cool the new family full of boys are that moved in down the street from us, and how excited we were when they agreed to come play with us. And Elsa came, the dreamy little girl that Everett talks about every week after nursery so, sigh, life was good on that train to Brooklyn.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dad, This is SO Worth It!

I got home from my Relief Society meeting on Saturday morning to find three brown-eyed boys excited to show me a brand new, hot orange sled. This giant sled was now ours, I learned. Turns out those boys of mine can make serious trouble when I'm in a meeting and they happen to find themselves is a sporting goods store! But trouble in the very best way, of course. I can tell that our new sled-friend is going to get us through the rest of this blasted season.
 So on our Saturday afternoon with a hot orange sled in tow we walked half a block due east until we ran smack into Central Park, one of the many reasons that our location simply rocks. The snow was falling and boy, was it frosty but we bundled and bundled and hello--bundled some more, and everything except for my face felt cozy. But my face, you ask? Kind of like a million needles poking into it over and over.
We started at the hill nearest our house, and after seeing Everett's wide smile as he zoomed down nestled in his brother's arms I knew our afternoon would be one of the greatest in memory, and it was. We walked from east to west trying out every hill in our path, with Super-Dad pulling the boys up the steep, slick hills and then running to the bottom to ensure their safe trip.
They would be in hysterical fits of laughter all the way down the hill and Talmage would tell his dad, "That was SO worth it!" And James would laugh, because worth what T? Both boys just sat in the sled the whole time (they actually never left the sled!) while James was the real muscle behind the operation. But James agreed, it was SO worth it.
And just because this made me laugh harder than anything: After a few hours of fun the boys were turning into popsicles and things went downhill fast. Before we knew it, both boys were sobbing in the sled and Talmage was yelling, "Dad, this is SO not worth it!!!" And he was serious. And I was amused!  
My boys and the hot orange sled.
The hill by our house.
My two, sweet and thrilled boys after their first trip down the hill.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Because I mostly wasn't acting


It all started when I told a girl at church that I would help her with a project. By "help" I mean I would let her use my stroller for a video shoot and by "girl" I mean the beautiful hair model that is also a budding and talented producer. Last week she came to church with rich red hair perfectly pinned in spirals and curls on top of her head. Turns out, that was just the remains from her morning shoot where that bun was sandwiched between two Maleficent horns that had long ribbons flowing from them. I saw the pictures and this girl's legit--that's what I'm saying.

So, my job was easy--bring the stroller, let them use the stroller, go home with the stroller, done. Until this morning when she texted me with a "you know this darn Business" kind of message and said that the shoot was rescheduled for tomorrow, model problems to blame and Business, of course, with a capital B. OK, I made that capital stuff up, but you know that's how they mean it! So tomorrow it was. Until I got a text a few minutes later that said, "Still on--you're the model now! See you at 2" and I was like, "Huh?" because really though, if there's one thing I'm not it's a model and if there are two things I'm not, the second would be an actress. I make weird voices behind a video camera and no, just no. And no big deal, I was going to replace that MTV girl.

But there I was, at our designated location after pushing my two screaming children through sidewalks full of slush in weather that I'd rather not even talk about; OK, I'll tell you because this is worth complaint--3 degrees with wind chill, up from -5 this morning when I went to an appointment, oh my life. And have you ever tried to push a double stroller through slush and snow and puddles and people? So we arrived, red-faced and flustered from our walk and we met up with my friend and her friend (also a gorgeous and talented actress) and there I was, thrown on our set of sorts to show my acting chops. And what was my role? I was the frazzled mother pushing a stroller full of stuff trying to catch an elevator while a rude woman rushed to shut the door. And I could have laughed, because shoot guys, that's my life!

In between takes I was handing out treats to the tired and grumpy littles in the stroller and I was telling Talmage to stop making weird, Curious George noises and I was asking Everett if he needed to go potty for the umpteenth time and then she'd say "Action" and I was running like mad screaming for the woman to hold the elevator and if it looked convincing, it was because that frazzled mother thing comes pretty natural to me during New York winters, and somehow when she said "Cut" I thought to myself, oh--was that part of the shoot? Yeah, I don't think it's acting if you're just playing yourself. But let's look at the bright side, I just finished my first gig and I pretty much killed it!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Santa Lucia

We took a time machine back to December so that we could celebrate Santa Lucia Day with Melissa and her girls. We were supposed to have a big party together on December 13th, but then her kids got sick, and my kids followed suit, and the holidays happened and so this week was the soonest we could make it happen, hence us in a time machine on rewind. In true Melissa fashion, everything was planned and executed with perfection. She made us a traditional Swedish lunch, read the kids a book about Santa Lucia, we ate saffron rolls and drank hot chocolate and they decorated gingerbread cookies. My favorite part was when all the children dressed in their traditional clothing (girls as Santa Lucia, boys as star boys) and marched in a parade around the apartment. And no big deal, Melissa made the boys' costumes, and then gave them to us so we can continue this tradition each year. If I had it my way, our babies would grow up as neighbors and we could always celebrate it together! She really is amazing. But alas, they've paid their Bronx dues and are heading back west this summer. Until then, we're going to soak up all of their goodness!  

I mostly spent my time cuddling Norah, who has gotten so big since I saw her last. Talmage is still awfully in love with this baby, and if he wasn't stuffing his face with cookies he was oohing and ahing over her! When we were riding the subway back home he started grumbling and when I asked him what was wrong he said, "I just really miss Norah already!"

Me and Norah, again! I'm not kidding people, I held her for hours and only gave her back when she needed to nurse. I really, really love that baby!
And then there's the sweetest Soph around! She is such a good little girl and so, so easy. Being in a home full of girls is always so much fun, and as soon as we leave we're looking forward to next time.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Holding a Dinosaur

We went to a party in Morningside Heights and they had everything my boys love--face painters, jump houses, a balloon show and candy! Talmage is not on team face paint, but that Ever Knight got himself right into her chair and when he was steady, he closed his eyes as tight as could be and said, "I wan be a dinosauw." And she understood him, because frankly my baby is growing up, and she started painting his sweet face to match his Dinosaur Explorer raincoat. I have a really bad habit of forcing other people to enjoy the cuteness of my kids right along with me, and this was no exception. Everyone in arm's reach heard an earful and I demanded that they take a peak at that sweet little boy in the chair. Because seriously though? Take a look:
Getting started! This face painter had serious skills.

He was pleased as swamp-water punch with his big boy-ness.

I think he knew I was taking pictures. And how could I not? 
Here he is, that "scawy, scawy dinosauw" that ran around screaming "Roar!" at everyone. He especially loved making his brother jump!

I pretended like he scared me just to see him smile, but mostly I just wanted to eat him for an afternoon snack. Dang, that's a cute dinosaur! Who is obviously very interested in the balloon show!

We brought a stroller, but Everett asked me if I would carry him to the subway and how could I resist cuddling with a dinosaur? He wrapped his arms around my neck and pressed his cheek against mine and left me wishing for a little bit that time didn't move so quickly.

We definitely wore that little dino out. The next day at church he totally conked out and since that never happens anymore, I had to whip out my camera and steal a picture.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New York Hall of Science

We trekked to Queens on a freezing rain kind of day to visit the New York Hall of Science. The museum is free every Friday afternoon and you know how I feel about free events, I'm kind of all about them. And my boys are just about getting out of the house these days--winter woes. It takes a little under an hour to get to the museum on the subway, but the last half of the trip the train is above ground and my boys think that's just the coolest, so really the whole trip was a treat.

Speaking of treats? We got to see the museum's famous Gingerbread Lane (just days before they tore it down for the season, no less). There are 164 independent gingerbread houses that make up this village, and get this: the structure weighs in at slightly more than 1.5 tons and uses 2,240 pounds of icing. I feel like even the best of pictures can't show how massive this is and how awesome it was to see it!

The museum was relatively empty for being a free afternoon (probably because not many people are crazy enough to go out in freezing rain) which gave my boys the opportunity to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Now that they are both getting older, I am seeing how awesome it's going to be having two boys so close together. They love learning and playing together, and were interested in a lot of the same stuff. Some days they fight like enemies, but today they played like besties and couldn't get enough of each other! Here were a few of their favorite things:

making molecules
blowing bubbles

playing surgeon
learning about ecosystems

trains--because playing with them for hours a day at home is surely not enough ;)

science experiments 

We left after 3 hours and the boys were in tears because they had such a good time and didn't want to leave. I can see another visit to this museum in our future, for sure!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday musings on a Tuesday

My Monday proved to be quite busier than most, in such a positive way. There are good people in my life these days, and I spent much of the day enjoying them (and making the most out of some alone time with a daytime sitter-swap as well). So alas, my musings from yesterday are coming atcha today.  
*I signed my baby up for Kindergarten, and then I looked at myself long and hard in the mirror and said, "Self, are you ready for this?" And all I could say was, gulp.
*Walking around in freezing weather (negative 18 with wind chill last week folks) makes you realize just how many dogs live in this city, mostly because their yellow pee freezes all over the sidewalk (instantly I presume, although I didn't let Talmage test his hypothesis!) We are ice skating down our block on dog pee. Three second rule for dropped treats? Not in New York.
*T is making a name for himself as being very, um, outspoken in primary. Shocking, right? His recent outburst? "I HATE New York weather. I'm moving back to Stanford."
*Word for the wise: if you must carry your groceries home in the rain choose plastic over paper. It might be a bad choice for the world at large, but it's definitely a positive choice for your personal world. And for the innocent bystanders that might see a mighty scene were one of your paper bags to disintegrate.
*Ever to me, as sincerely and innocent as can be: Mommy, I go poo-poo in da toiwet because I wuv you so much.
*I'm kind of digging the Christmas trees all over the streets of New York waiting to be picked up. The smell of pine drifts through the air on my walks and it's almost like I'm in a forest...that's being logged. Anyway, I definitely don't cry the day we take the tree down. But Christmas cards, that's another story. Those will be on my wall for months if James doesn't protest soon. There will be a lot of tears when they leave.
*That moment when you see the mailman walking down your street and he says, "How are you? It's been a while!" and yet you just saw him a few days ago. And after your conversation you realize that you're a grown up and you are friends with the mailman and you remind yourself an awful lot of your parents. Me, yesterday.
*We make Talmage run up and down the stairs in our building to release some energy because he has a lot more than too much, especially on our recent stint of inside-only days. James came back after a particularly rough T-day with a tired kid. Turns out running up and down 40 floors will do that to you ;)
 What Ever and I do while climbing the stairs after T. Pictures and faces and huffing and puffing. And him in my arms, always.

You see those quick little feet in the background of the picture? That's what T does. He takes his work-outs seriously.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cleaning the Commode

The rule in our house is simple: all those who sit on the throne, shall clean the throne. And all of a sudden, my little Everett has found himself doing the dirty work. He's a peeing pro these days and when his little underwear bum wielded the toilet sword {read: wand} for the first time this week I just couldn't believe my eyes. It's official, my house is void of babies. I didn't think I'd be in this no-diaper phase for many years to come, but here I am, with two big boys and an awfully clean toilet. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Three Wigs Meet The Three Kings

Our radiator has sounded like a construction site for months, what with the hammering and puffing and banging when the darn thing turns on. Today was the blessed day for it to be fixed and I was supposed to have my children out of the house for the ordeal, mostly because said radiator just happened to be in their bedroom (waking them up bright and early every morning might I add). But people, it was pouring. Not snow, rain. Weird since yesterday was like 30 degrees and tomorrow's supposed to be like 10 degrees, but today it was 50...and raining hard. Ugh. So as the men worked patiently, Talmage and Everett sat on the bunk bed telling them stories and asking them questions about every tool they used and Polish word they said. Neither party understood the other very well, but gosh, those men were like superstars in those little people's eyes. Case in point, Everett told me he wants to be a construction worker when he grows up and Talmage said, "Did you even know that Teddy can fix everything around here?"
I had consigned myself to a day indoors bugging our kind workers and eating endless scoops of the world's best cookie dough until our Super came in a few minutes later with bad news--the main water pipe had busted while thawing out this morning and in order to fix it, the water in our building was to be turned off for the rest of the day. So, between the no water thing and the sincere sympathy I had for the radiator-friends I said, as you'll learn I often do, "Boys! We're going on a scooter ride!" The rain had let up and I knew it was now or never baby. So now it was.
They got their helmets on and left the winter coats at home (because, 50 degrees) and we scooted to our 72nd street subway station where I carried one stroller, two scooters, a purse, and Ever Knight down two flights of stairs so that we could take the 2 train to Spanish Harlem. We were off to see the 3 Kings Parade, which was my original plan for the day before the rain, and became my back-up plan after the flood. The whole thing made me feel awful heroic, braving the rainy elements to accomplish the grand adventure that I've planned for weeks to do (let's just forget the part about no flushing toilets being the real reason I left home and let me feel amazing, alright?)
We showed up just as the camels and Wiseman were turning the last corner and I couldn't have timed it better myself. We walked along the parade route, Everett begging me to carry him for a better peak and Talmage mimicking all the silly sounds those camels made. Just then, one of the wise men came right at us, and bending over to look in my boys' twinkling eyes told each of them "Felicidades" before continuing on the parade route. It was about right then as I was explaining to T and Ever what felicidades means that I realized, once again, that life is pretty darn awesome.
Just in case you're wondering, this was one of the three camels that we stalked...seriously we followed them right to their horse trailer! I think I need to add "ride a camel" to my list of things I want to do someday.

Also, because I was in a stalkerish mood, we waited in line to take a picture with those wise men, and Joseph, Mary and a little cabbage patch baby Jesus. It was about this time that I realized we were the only ones around that spoke English, and my Spanish is not awesome enough to understand any of what was happening.

The rain started coming down in sheets so we hid out in a dollar store and ended up buying way too many dollars worth of only somewhat-needed things. But it kept us dry, and out of our house for a little bit longer. After we got closer to home, Ever decided to throw a fake little tantrum that was adorably hilarious. He seriously can start full-on, rushing-tears crying on demand, the little pill!

But he was happy only seconds later and just, gosh, just so cute. He really is getting big and I kind of want to eat him for dinner.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hercules! Hercules!

We woke up on Friday morning to a winter wonderland of sorts. It's amazing how snow can make my California boys instantly LOVE the cold weather. I think I even heard Talmage say that he loved winter, which kind of is the opposite of everything true in the world! But it was pretty fun to see nothing but white in this big ole city of ours, plus James got an early morning phone call from the court saying that the federal government was taking a snow, yes please! He still had to work from home, but he took his lunch break in Central Park so that we could capitalize on this Herculean snow day. We were all ridiculously layered and it did us good--we played for almost an hour in zero degree weather without so much as a sniffle! Yes, zero degrees. Those are numbers I never, ever wanted to see on my weather app (and PS, never want to see again please) but boy, we made the most of that winter storm!
The first thing T did was fall into the snow and start making angels. Lots of them. Side by side there were rows of Talmangels!
 He was so happy, and wanted to get in as much snow play as possible into what he knew would be a short romp in the park, due to, oh did I mention? ZERO degree weather. He was throwing snowballs, building snowmen, creating snow villages and making snow angels like a wild-man, always with a smile on his face.

 Before long Daddy got in on the action and helped us build a family snowman. Which, by the way, was when we realized that none of us know how to build a snowman. It's kind of much harder than you'd think, right? 

I think we did all right after all. The boys sure were happy and of course it was a Stanford snowman!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why hello there, new year.

2013 and I didn't get along super well. I learned a thing or twelve from Sayville, so I would feel ungrateful if I didn't acknowledge all the amazing things that have rocked our Wiggy world...but in the deepest parts of my soul I just want to leave this year in the dust with a big fat, "good riddance."
2011 shot us into the heart world and 2012 found us in open heart surgery and such, so my hopes were high that 2013 would be the dreamiest, you know? But then the miscarriage from hades happened (and kept happening!) and as I look back I see a year that was consumed, from very start to very end, with getting my body healthy again. It's been a full year since everything happened and I thought I'd be further along in the process by now. But I'm not. Because that 2013, it just didn't want to give me any news that wasn't super lame.
A few days ago I was talking to my mom, who was as positive as ever and said, "I'm so excited for 2014--it's going to be a great year!" and the whole thing just really caught me off guard. You're excited? A great year? I could feel the cynicism rushing through my veins because sadly, I've started believing that something awful is waiting for me just around the corner. It's almost like I'm scared to hope for a great year because when it goes south, shoot--it's going to hurt all the more. But let me tell you, that is no way to live a life. So for the past few days I've given myself little pep talks (and cool downs) and finally come to terms with this 2014 thing, whatever the heck it brings. Not only have I come to terms with it, but I think there's finally some excitement a-brewing. The whole process has been healing and empowering and exactly what I needed at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. 
So dearest 2014, I welcome you into my life, as you have welcomed me into yours. Let's be nice to each other, ok? 
I took the boys to Times Square on New Year's Eve. We absolutely were not going to wait all day and night to see the ball drop (you have to be in your place and can't leave after 3 pm!) but I wanted to show them what it was all about. Plus, the visitor center has next year's ball on display which I thought would be cool to see.

We also submitted our wishes for 2014 on pieces of confetti that were dropped onto Times Square at midnight. The boys both want to see "Newsies" in 2014 (Ever copied T in the wish department) and my wish? Well, I bet you can guess.

James and I went out on a hot date after celebrating an early New Years with the boys (early meaning they were in bed by 7--napping problems are still abundant around here!) It was so, SO fun to go out together!

Our friends hosted a NYE party at their home and everything about it was perfect and beautiful and I'm so glad we got to go. I'm also so glad that James sang to me on our walk to the party while I filmed him and people stared at us like we were drunk. It was just the best moment, maybe topping my list of awesome moments in 2013 :)

 Noise makers, which we used in full force when the clock struck midnight!

I was totally obsessed with these glasses and this fun couple. We were lucky to be surrounded by so many great friends this year!

I always cry at midnight. The ball drops and bam, tears are streaming down my face. Most of it has to do with seeing the camaraderie between all those crazy people who camp out for hours to experience Times Square at midnight and then achieve their common goal. Silly, I know, but it's true. This year was magnified because we watched the ball drop on our friend's TV while also watching the Central Park fireworks out their window. No, I don't believe there was a better place to ring in the new year.