Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Love the Smell of Dead Trees in the Living Room

We purchased our Christmas tree way too early. Got it on the 1st, I think, and well, its untouchable now. So dry at least one ornament tumbles to the carpet daily because the needles just aren't pliable anymore and as they crack and break, the ornaments are losing their grip.

Its a bonfire waiting to happen since all it would take is one wild ember to take flight from the fireplace and POOF! our pretty dead tree would be pretty no more.

What I've noticed most about the tree this year is that the "deader" (as if there are levels of "deadness") the tree got as indicated by the dry needles and inability to soak up anymore water, the more fragrant it got. Everytime I leave the house and come back inside, the tree is the first thing I smell and its so festive.

To all of you fake tree lovers out there - definitely worth the mess and hassle of a real tree. Come on over. I won't charge you to catch a whif of our lovely noble fir.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

6 Going On 16

I mostly dressed Jake today, but it was the way he carried himself that really made me stop and watch him. He was so relaxed, hands in his pockets just chillin' and it was this attitude that got me thinking he looked more like 16 than 6.

Shout out!

Laura and I were shopping at the Allen Outlet Mall yesterday and I'd like to give a shout out to the extremely beautiful man at the Calvin Klein cashier station. He didn't handle my purchases, but OMG, I had to stop and stare at him through the window after I left in complete awe.

Beautiful beautiful man.

I Exist!

In my desperate attempt to provide visual documentation that I existed during the boys' childhood, I volunteered a couple of family members to shoot some impromptu pictures of me with the boys. Here are a couple of the "better ones".



Monday, December 10, 2007

The Best Christmas Present

I used to love Christmas. The smell of the tree (real of course), watching the same five holiday movies over and over again (typically National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, White Christmas, The Grinch, A Christmas Story - damn, that reminds me I haven't watched that one yet this year), the baking and decorating of the sugar cookies and who could forget the magic of opening present after present after present on Christmas morning?

Jason and I have tried to recreate my childhood traditions with the boys and have even added an additional tradition of our own, which is our annual horse drawn carriage ride to look at Christmas lights. The boys watch the same movies, help us pick out and decorate the tree and although the sugar cookie dough is rarely made from scratch, the process of decorating (and eating) them miraculously hasn't changed. The tradition of gorging the tree with presents for the Christmas morning greed fest continues this generation as well.

The problem we're having is the boys not only don't NEED anything, but they really haven't said they WANT anything. Ok, ok, Jake has mentioned a few things, but oddly enough the boys don't develop their Christmas lists from the 30 second breaks during their SpongeBob program. We really don't hear "I want that!" every time a small child on a sugar high is on the tv having the time of his life with the latest hideously colored turquoise or purple toy that is either loud, messy or claims to be educational.

So, I'm embarrassed to admit that Jason and I literally had a date at Toys R Us where we bought age appropriate crap we think they will like - it was a date to buy toys JUST FOR THE SAKE of buying toys. Its really sad.

Lately, while watching the boys play during our tri (yes tri) weekly visits to McDonald's, I realized the best present we could give Jake we've already given him - his little brother, Harrison. I would say the Jake is the best present we could have given Harrison, but that doesn't quite work, so I'll just have to say, "you get the picture."

The boys play so well together - they chase each other, they wrestle, they play legos and color and snuggle on the couch while they watch SpongeBob, they take baths together. Harrison adores Jake and does everything he can to be like him. Jake would be very lonely at McDonald's playgym without Harrison.

For anyone himming and hawwing over whether to have a second baby - definitely do! Yes its more work and you have to start everything over and over again, but it all goes so quickly and your first born (assuming they are within 3 years like Jake and Harrison) will love the built in playmate he/she can learn some of life's most important lessons from.

Plus, they occupy each other for hours on weekend mornings so Jason and I can sleep in.

Having Harrison was the best present we ever gave Jake, and our family.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Double Yum

I'm not a super huge TV watcher. Honestly, I'd rather read a magazine or a book, than sit in a vegetable like trance for hours watching other people mimic real life. I'm not a TV hater or anything. I like my shows like anyone else, I just find that I seem to have less of them that I watch regularly than other people I know.

My dad, for instance, will sit and watch the Food Network ALL DAY LONG. When I tell my mother they need to get a tivo for their TV, she jokes that it wouldn't be any good since the only channel they get is the Food Network.

Friends of mine have at least one show every day of the week and sometimes multiple shows back to back. More often than not I find myself consistently repeating the phrase, "I don't watch that" or "I haven't seen that" to deer in the headlight looks of shock and awe.

I loved the show Friends, but didn't really start watching it until it was already on for 2 years. With Sex and The City, one of my all time favorites, I had to borrow the DVDs from Blockbuster for the first 4 seasons before I got caught up. Same with Sopranos, another favorite and now I've started the same intense focus to get caught up on Grey's Anatomy.

It reminds me so much of ER, which I really liked too, but ER never really had a super hot actor to keep my attention. I could stare at Patrick Dempsey all day long - and will never stop wondering how the dorky guy from LoverBoy became Dr. McDreamy.

Double Yum.

Yum

I feel the need to share some thoughts regarding some tasty treats I've eaten recently. Its the Potbelly Sandwich shop's bag of a dozen mini oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that are baked fresh in the stores daily. I've known about them for several months, but wanted to consume several dozen, in the matter of research of course, to be sure my recommendation is legitimate and not an overzealous promotion based on one fluke bag.

They are real and I believe you can buy one large oatmeal chocolate chip cookie instead of the minis, but I think the minis last longer and the bag is resealable - a bonus for saving the last two or three that you could definitely polish off, but out of nothing more than sheer guilt, you push the bag away begging your spouse to eat them before you do, but he doesn't eat more than one (how is that possible?), leaving you two to savor the next day.

I have no idea how much this bag of goodness costs, but I think its somewhere around $2 to $3 and absolutely worth it. Next time you're in a Potbelly Sandwich shop, you must experience the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookie - EVER. Period.

Friday, November 23, 2007

This Moment

My December issue of Real Simple suggested some "non traditional" Christmas songs for your holiday playlist, so I went to itunes today to check them out. Most, if not all, were in the R&B genre and I selected one titled, "Back Door Santa". Jason will laugh at it and suggest that he, too, should be the Back Door Santa.

The boys came down from an hour of silence upstairs (doing who knows what? refer to the Silence is Golden post earlier today) to request some lunch. I put my Christmas playlist on my ipod speaker and the boys and I jammed to "Run Rudolph Run" while I reheated Thanksgiving leftovers.

Jake scoffed at my lunch menu and disappeared. I stopped periodically to dance with Harrison and he just giggled and laughed and put his hands up for more when I would return to finish preparing his lunch.

One time, I picked him up and cradling him like a baby, I spun around and he giggled while watching the ceiling spin. I stopped, nuzzled his nose mimicking an eskimo kiss and listened to him giggle. Although today is a holiday for most (except Jason, who is at work trying to "carve out a living" as he calls it), it is these moments that make me truly thankful that I can be home with him, to play with him, dance with him and listen to him laugh during the day.

Happy Birthday Harrison

Harrison celebrated his 3rd birthday at Build A Bear Workshop on Saturday, November 17th with Jake, Taylor and Bailey. Grandparents were also there to celebrate.

Harrison made a fireman dog, named "Fire Dog". The kids had a great time creating their new friends, not all bears, and then we headed back to the house for his paw print cake, ice cream and presents. The kids even played a few rounds of hot potato and once the prizes were all awarded, they lost interest in favor of exploring Harrison's new presents.

Harrison really digged being the center of attention and I know he just loved having his friends and family there to celebrate his big day.

His actual birthday was on Thanksgiving, November 22nd, which we acknowledged by covering his bed with balloons for him to find when he woke up. Guess he'll have to share his birthday and the attention with the turkey every few years.

Silence is Golden

Last Sunday, Jason and I were reading the paper and watching home improvement shows. Other than the sound of an overzealous homeowner banging a sledgehammer through a wall on the tv, it was quiet. I asked Jason, "do we have children?"

When you have children, the silence is great......for about ten minutes. Then your mind starts to wander into all of the different deadly or destructive scenarios that could be taking place in silence and right under your nose, such as:
  • Jake has covered Harrison with a blanket and is holding him down, so he can't breathe.
  • Harrison has banged his head at just the right spot so he's passed out, unconscious.
  • Jake has opened the window screen and they both climbed out and are now lying, dead on the driveway from playing superman from the second story roof.
  • Harrison is contently stuffing an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, followed by an entire container of baby wipes, while Jake silently watches tv in the playroom.

Jason worries faster than I do, so he puts his paper down and heads upstairs to check on them. I am immediately summoned to see what they've been up to and I've been instructed to hurry. As I get closer to the playroom, I hear a child song, probably Pop Goes the Weasel (or something similar) playing from the Leap Frog music radio in the closet. Jake is lying on the ground, facing the open closet. I look in the closet and Harrison is sitting on top of some bookshelves, grooving to his music. I have no idea how he got up there and even less idea of how he was planning to get back down, but for the moment he was happy. Although we made it pretty clear he wasn't to climb up there again, I had to take a picture to give you (my readers) a visual.

Boys will be boys.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Lying Preserves

I found a very useful trait that the boys have inherited from Jason - their inability to lie without getting caught.

I learned early on with Jason that he couldn't even tell me the smallest white lie while looking me in the eye. He always looks away at the very moment the lie is being exposed OR he'll attempt to look me in the eye while smiling.

For example, a few years ago, shortly after I'd gotten a new car, I noticed a few small blue streaks on the corner of my back bumper. "Jason, did you scrape my car with the trashcan while you were trying to get it out of the garage?" "No, I don't know what you're talking about," said while looking down. As I got closer and repeated the question, Jason giggled while looking at me even before he tried to proclaim his innocence.

So far, it seems, the boys have inherited this very useful trait from their daddy and I'm hoping that, like their daddy, they don't outgrow it or practice overcoming it. It will come in very useful in their teenage years.

Harrison now: "Harrison, are you pooping in your pants?" "No," as he looks at the ceiling.
Harrison later: "Harrison, did you have three girls in your room last night?"

Jake now: "Jake, did you stuff the toilet with all of this toilet paper?" "No," as he tries to hide a smile and looks to the side.
Jake later: "Jake, did you put tire tracks with your truck in the neighbor's front yard?"

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Events in Pictures

Things have been crazy for me lately as soccer wrapped up for the season, my internship is half finished, another company is hot for me (as they all should be), I've been working on AMA events, writing the monthly newsletter for my former employer, Harrison's birthday is right around the corner, school is officially over in two days, Halloween is behind us now, Thanksgiving is coming, my parents are coming and graduation is at the end of the month. Whew! November is a blur already.
I don't have a lot of interesting (aka "funny") things to blog about these days....just busy. But I do have some pictures to share that will illustrate some of what we've been doing.
Saturday. October 27. 2007. Jake (6) and Ben (almost 4) walking to Kyle Field in College Station to watch the Texas A&M Aggies host the Kansas Jayhawks in a football game. I graduated from Texas A&M in 1999 and Ben is the son of my college roommate, Barbara.

We're considering making one game a year an annual tradition. Barbara's husband, Max, is an Aggie too, but with Jason a longhorn, I'm not sure how that will work out. I'm sure I'll have to share my college brainwashing with Jason at some point.


Sunday. October 28.2007. Jake (6) and Harrison (almost 3) at a pumpkin patch in Richardson, Texas.
The Lawrences, the Martins and the Domaleskis gathered to take the kids to the Owens farm pumpkin patch, which was closer to home and never before explored by this group. Upon arrival we found each person was $6 to get in, so Laura and I took Jake, Harrison, Bailey and Taylor (4) in for pictures, hay rides and goat feeding while the dads stayed in the parking lot.

Wednesday. October 31.2007. Jake (the Scream dude) and Harrison (a spider) ready to go trick or treating.


We have a neighborhood tradition of eating chili at the Martins'. Then the moms take the kids trick or treating while the dads stay home to pass out candy. We had five kids, Jake (6), Harrison (almost 3), Bailey (5, who was a cheetah girl), Braeden (5, who was a swat team dude) and Andrew (almost 3, who was optimus prime) and all did very well.















Friday, October 19, 2007

Bedtime Beatings

I realize two year olds are notorious for delaying their inevitable slumber after the sun goes down. Harrison is no different. Here's the screen play of our evening after I closed the boys' bedroom door (for the first time). (Jason had long since disappeared to play his piano with his earphones on.)

Cori (exiting the master bedroom sees Harrison's legs as he's crawling into the guest room): "Hey, what are you doing? (she picks him up and walks him back to bed) "I forgot to lock you in there." (closes the door and locks it from the outside)
Harrison: giggles (hot wheels truck in hand)

5 minutes later...

Harrison (banging on the door and screaming): "Mama! Maaaaama! Ma-ma!"
Cori (turns on the hall light and opens the door): "What do you want?"
Harrison: "I need go potty."
Cori: "No you don't."
Harrison: "Yes, I DO!"
Cori (leading him to the bathroom and stripping him from the waist down): "There, now you'd better go."
Harrison plays with the shower curtain and rolls his truck around the toilet seat.
Cori: "Stop playing with the shower curtain and focus!"
Harrison: "I no need go potty."
Cori (dresses Harrison): "I knew it. Let's go. Back to bed." (tucks him in) "Now go to SLEEP!"

2 minutes later.....

Harrison (banging on the door and screaming): "Mama! Maaaaama! Ma-ma!"
Cori (tries to ignore him for a bit, but he's banging harder, so she opens the door again): "What?"
Harrison: "I go time out."
Cori: "What?"
Harrison: "I go time out."
Cori: "No, nice try, but you're not going to time out. You can go to time out on your bed. Now good night."

2 minutes later.......

Harrison (banging on the door and screaming): "Mama! Maaaaama! Ma-ma!"
Cori (goes to the door for the third time): "This better be good."
Harrison: "I go poo poo."
Cori: "You really need to go poo poo?"
Harrison: "Yea, I go poo poo."
Cori walks Harrison to the bathroom and strips him again.
Harrison (plays with himself): "I no need go poo poo."
Cori (dressing Harrison): "Don't come out of bed again or I'm taking your truck away."
Harrison: "Oh."

30 seconds later.........

Harrison (banging on the door and screaming): "Mama! Maaaaama! Ma-ma!"
Cori (opens the door)
Harrison: "My need covers."
Cori (puts Harrison in bed and covers him)

3 minutes later............

Harrison (banging on the door and screaming): "Mama! Maaaaama! Ma-ma!"
Cori (opens the door ready to dispose of Harrison's truck)
Harrison (crying and pointing to his head): "Truck hurt my head."
Cori (walking Harrison back to bed): "Perhaps if you were in bed, the truck couldn't hurt your head. You're not bleeding, so I don't want to hear it. Get back into bed. Jake is asleep. You should join him."
Harrison: "Oh."

Wow, after typing all of that, I'm surprised I had as much patience with him as I did. Usually by visit two I would have killed his night light, taken his toy away and threatened to remove all of his stuffed animals too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Conversational Counting

Cori to Harrison this afternoon: "Harrison, are you tired?"
Harrison: "Yeah, I tired."
Cori: "Me too."
Harrison: "Me three."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

"When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"

Said by a woman in a Cadillac commercial. I love it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Never Thought it Could Happen: A Martini Letdown

I was washing my hands at the gym earlier this week, when I noticed a new flier taped to the bathroom mirror. Awesome! Now I don't have to count to 20 like a good sanitary girl, I can read something to pass the time. Even better it happens to be a picture of a martini with a recipe below it! I know its only 10:30am, but I was hot and it looked so cold, fruity and frothy, so I stared at it with pitiful longing until I focused and started reading.

It was called a "proteini" and there was not one bit of the good stuff in there at all. It was a fake! An imposter! I felt betrayed and suckered and the worst part was that a martini still sounded mighty tasty. I'm not one to drink alone and my only available drinking companion at 10:30am was all of the ripe age of two, so I grabbed my water and decided that no matter how scrumptious the picture looked, I could not drink a beverage called a "proteini", which was simply a smoothie in a martini glass. That's just wrong.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Parenting Manual: The Three Martini Playdate

Saturday as we hung Halloween decorations on the outside of the house due to Jake's persistent prompting, the boys were whipping us so much that we placed an impromptu phone call to Charlie and Kim (Jason's Dad and Dad's wife) to see what they were doing. Ninety minutes later, the boys were downtown at their condo while Jason and I enjoyed a leisurely meal and some light window shopping.

While at Z Gallerie, Jason suddenly grabs my hand and pulls me to a large table with various books and novelty games on it to show me a book called, The Three Martini Play Date, A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting by Christie Mellor. I read a short paragraph and was instantly hooked. This is my type of book! I finished the entire 150 page book that night in about two and a half hours while watching tv. If anyone ever questions the method to my parenting madness, I will instantly hand them this book and tell them to read it. Then they will understand. THIS WOMAN IS ME! SHE GETS IT! I'M NOT MEAN AND CRAZY - I'M SIMPLY NOT LETTING MY CHILDREN RUN MY HOUSEHOLD! The whole book is genius and basically my complete belief of how children should be raised, but I will share a few snippits with you here........

First as an ode to my former post, "My Hell Defined" (if you didn't read it, pause here, go read it and come back), I must share with you this sentence found on the very first page of the book.

"One wasn't required to transport the little children hither and thither, here to T-ball practice, there to a 'playdate,' may the chipper mommy who coined that particular term forever rot in hell of eternally colicky babies. " You would have thought I read this book first and then posted "My hell defined."

Saying No Like You Mean It:
"To what depths have we sunk as parents? We have become ineffectual lap dogs to our children, with all the power and authority of retired security guards. We are bigger than they are. We are supposed to be running things. If you don't start saying no to your children as if you mean it, and you don't start now, the fussing will only get worse...........Learn to say no to your children while they are still young and somewhat malleable, and it will be like money in the bank when they reach those really unbearable hormone-laden years."

On Bedtimes:
"Often parents think that letting their child fall asleep 'naturally' is more, well, 'natural,' although I find nothing natural about a six year old building a fortress out of the sofa pillows at ten o'clock at night."

At Social Events:
"On the other hand, there is the overly precocious 'little adult' who is eternally encouraged to join in with the grown ups, having been told too many times she is 'beautiful' or 'so funny' or 'exceedingly smart.' These tiny party crashers find it necessary to dominate the grown ups' attention with a desperate display of their banter."

Child Labor:
"If your child is older than say, four, there is no reason on earth why he shouldn't be getting his own breakfast, and picking the paper up off the front lawn while he's at it."

"A child who has never been given chores to do is a child who grows up with a skewed sense of entitlement. He shares your home, but strangely, things get picked up after him. The bedsheets are magically changed and laundered, the dinner table is miraculously set every night, and he rarely is told to lift a finger to clean up his messes.......It is time for you to get some much deserved help around the house, not only to lighten your work load but to save your child from growing into an arrogant and spoiled teenager and, ultimately, a helpless grown up." Amen sister!

On Adult Socializing During Playdates:
"I have discovered an easy and fun solution for quickly weeding out the types of parents with whom you would rather not share your afternoons. When forced into a playdate situation, invite the parents over around the cocktail hour........at which time I suggest you noisily and with much gusto mix up a cold batch of martinis. This is a surefire way of separating the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the nondairy soy alternative. If after you have offered drinks all around, the visiting parents quickly gather the child and run silently from your house, enjoy your martini with the knowledge that these people were not the sort with whom you would want to embark upon a long term playdate relationship."

Finally, I leave you with a list of activities called the "Do It Yourself After School Enrichment Program", which are suggestions as an alternative to overscheduling your children in 500 extracurricular sporting and cultural events during their waking hours:

1. Care and Cleaning of Barware
2. Fun Foot Rubs for Mom and Dad
3. Finding Neat Hiding Places to Build Forts and Hide from Parents for Hours on End
4. Skedaddling for Beginners
5. Emptying the Dishwasher
6. The Mediative Qualities of Furniture Polishing
7. Hospital corners and the Well Made Bed
8. Make Yourself Scarce
9. Weeding for Fun
10. Delicious Snacks for Mom and Dad
11. The Magic of Sock Sorting and Clothes Folding
12. The Art of Walking on Tiptoes
13. Chemistry in Action! The Gin Fizz
14. Letting Mommy Nap 101

I hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I have. Its like reading the book all over again - and I just might do that! I highly recommend it, although if you subscribe to the philosophy of parenting Christie is mocking, not only do I recommend it, I DEMAND that you read this book. Its never too late to take control, teach your children respect and above all else, how to make a very tasty martini. Its a character building trait that will serve them well for many years to come.

Friday, October 05, 2007

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Gotta brag on my big boy kindergartner (stop sighing in boredom - I can hear you) for what a great job he's been doing at school.

Last Friday he came home with a "Good Work Award" for doing "nice work". He stayed on green for good behavior all week and today at the school's Friday afternoon pep rally called "Coyote Call Out", Jake was recognized as one of three kids in the whole school to get a respect award.

During a conference with his teacher yesterday, Jake was commended for being one of the class' most respectful students as well as for taking exceptional pride and care in doing his work. He is starting to read and is at or above all of the skill sets the class has worked on so far the first six weeks.

He must get it from his mama.

Harrison's Quote of the Day

The four of us were sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast this morning. In the ongoing need to rub in that I am now 30, Jason asked Harrison, "Harrison, is Mama 30?"

Harrison's smile quickly turns into a little giggle as he says, "No, Mama is not dirty!"

With a different image of "dirty" in his head, Jason now decides that being 30 means I am also dirty. Super.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My First 30th Birthday


Today was notably the busiest day since I became unemployed in April and it began with an alarm clock wake up at 5:30 am. I was out the door at 6:30 before any of my boys knew it was a new day and headed to my first day as a part time intern at D Magazine.

Finished my "Dtention" (as the creative/design team calls their office) and was finally forced to make up with my step mother in law, Kim, from a heated discussion we had nearly a month ago as she was keeping Harrison for me while I worked. Thankfully she is still just as wonderful as I always thought she was and we parted back to normal, I believe. She and Charlie wished me Happy Birthday.

Harrison passed out in the car as it was 1:45, so to maximize his nap, I pulled up to Jake's school at 2:15 and sat in a running car for 30 minutes until school let out.

At 3:30, pink roses (that I was told later were supposed to be purple - my favorite color) were delivered by one of my most wonderful friends, Kinsey. I called her to thank her and she always makes me laugh so we had a great visit.

Jake had a 6:00 soccer game, so after inhaling a dinner of hot dogs, yogurt and cheetos, we rushed to the game. At 7:30 I was serenaded "Happy Birthday" by my boys in a dark kitchen with only the flicker of two candles, a "3" and a "0" side by side. Harrison couldn't wait to get to the cake and actually had poked several holes in the side to taste the purple frosting Jason created.


My mother in law sent a gift home with Jason. So thoughtful and my parents called to hear about my day. It was a nice birthday. Quiet, but busy, so I didn't have too much time to mope about how old I feel now. The first of many 30th birthdays to come.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leaf peeping

My mother always said Virginia was her favorite place to live. She would know. Throughout Dad's military career they spent the better part of their time there, off and on. She really loved their proximity to the DC area as it always made for easy and inexpensive entertainment for out of town visiting guests and family. I can only hope when the boys are old enough to appreciate all of the museums and history, that everything will still be free to tour.

Anyway, another reason she loved the north east (although Virginians think they are in the South) was the defined four seasons that existed, spring, summer, fall and winter, specifically the fall where the leaves turned colors and made a vivid transition from summer to winter.

It wasn't until I received an email today from a former client (and now friend) who is traveling throughout the north east, that I was exposed to the term "leaf peeping". Like the word "'shrooms", I got a little chuckle out of the phrase "leaf peeping" and had to do some quick research to see what its truly all about. Wikipedia provided the following insights:

Leaf peeping is an autumn activity in areas where foliage changes colors. 'Leaf peepers' are those who participate in photographing and viewing the fall foliage.

"Leafing" is a tricky prospect because in numerous areas, the leaves are only visible for a limited number of weeks. Arizona's displays, though stunning, are only in their prime for a three-week period, on average.

The term "leaf peeping" made an appearance in "And It's Surely To Their Credit," an episode of The West Wing which originally aired on November 1, 2000. President Bartlet, during one of many attempts at recording his weekly radio address says, "This month, as autumn is in full bloom in much of the nation, the weekends will be devoted by many of you to leaf peeping and foot....Leaf peeping? Is that something we do now?"


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More work for no pay

I guess I can't stand the thought of being labeled a "stay at home soccer mom" so much that I must prove my self worth through work of some sort......even if it is unpaid.

Today I was offered and accepted a part time internship position with D Magazine, THE magazine of Dallas, in their custom publishing department. Not quite sure what I'll be doing yet, but I will be circulating among account managers, sales and the branding strategy departments.

Its twelve hours a week and I can set my own hours. Luckily I have a fabulous and supportive neighbor who has agreed to keep Harrison for me......gotta give props to Laura. Much love to you Laura (beats fist on chest and throws the peace sign).

I'm so excited about it! Its freaking D Magazine! Awesome! I should be intimidated by the whole Devil Wears Prada appearance of all of the staff I saw walking the halls (everyone is hot), but I haven't let that hit me just yet.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jason's Quote of the Day

"I'm a simple man. I just want beer and some sex."

Enough said.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Eeewwwww, Pink Ponies

Jake shared his birthday party at Bounce Town in Wylie, TX with his great friend and our neighbor, Bailey, who turned 5 just six days before Jake celebrated turning 6. There's not a lot to say except the party was fantastic. We had 18 kids, evenly split between Jake and Bailey and everyone had a great time! Even Laura and I took turns bouncing with the kids and I had nearly all of them pulling at me at one time in a very powerful attempt at trying to make me fall down. They followed me everywhere until I had to remind them that they were there to bounce and not wrestle with me.

The present opening was my favorite part because as Bailey held center stage, opening pink box after pink box the boys started chanting "ewwwwws" and "gross, more pink ponies!" Jake had his turn and upon opening a box of matchbox cars, one boy yelled at the girls, "matchbox cars, beat that!" Ah, I love boys! They make things so lively.

Lots of pictures were taken, but this one is one of my favorites.


Jake and almost all of his buddies (Harrison was throwing a fit and wouldn't participate). Some are from soccer and some are from school and some are from the gym day care where he spent many summer mornings while I worked my buns into an acceptable bathing suit appearance.

'Shroom Gallery

Lately when it rains, we've noticed large mushrooms pop up in the yards of some of our neighbors. A week ago, an excessively large "shroom" blossomed in our next door neighbor, Jon's, yard. When I finally made the effort to grab my camera for a 'shroom picture, someone had hacked the head off. It made me sad. I thought it was kind of pretty. (Remember I'm not a girlie girl.)

More recently, after a rain, I found I had a second chance! More 'shrooms (I just love saying 'shrooms) appeared and I didn't wait around this time. Seizing my camera, Harrison and the moment, we went to inspect the fungi beauties. Luckily I caught some close ups before Harrison whacked the heads off with all of the grace of a high powered weed eater. I almost shed a tear. I still wonder just how big they would have gotten.......

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

Jason and I were wrestling in the kitchen (not in a kinky way) and he accused me of going too low which is why he couldn't weaken me. I told him football players go low, they go for the legs. Jason tried to go low and when he didn't succeed he started tickling me. I told Jason, "football players don't tickle." That's when he said,

"Football players should tickle."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Babo vs. The Sharpie


About a week ago, I woke up to find that Harrison had obtained my black sharpie permanent marker. Immediately I took it away and figured whatever artwork he had created would surface quickly, so I didn't frantically search the house for the damage.

I was right. Before the morning was over, Harrison handed me his newly tattooed best friend, Babo. Appeared Harrison was applying for the latest episode of "Miami Ink" and I doubt Babo had much of a say in the location or size of his tats, which in my opinion, look like Babo now has a mustache and hairy chest. Get in a fight with a sharpie and it'll put hair on your chest. Harrharrharr.

"Babo dirty. Babo need bath." Harrison demanded. Hard to explain the permanence of what he had done considering every other time Babo was dirty, I could give him a washing machine spin and he'd be an acceptable sleeping companion again. Not this time. Jason even tried to wipe him with a baby wipe, which only succeeded in smearing the ink into a dark grey tint all around the original markings. He looks worse. Either Jason did not anticipate the wipe would do that or he was attempting to show Harrison that Babo could not be fixed this time. I'll assume it was the latter. Harrison has continued to declare Babo dirty, but has accepted him nonetheless into bed. His markings do disappear in the dark.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Harrison's Happy Place

Harrison has already lost interest in going "potty." Most of the time I catch him grunting before I grab him, legs dangling, to rush him to the bathroom, strip him of his drawers and sit him down. All the while he is yelling, "no, no, no go potty" and I am lecturing him about his (my?) need for him to use the toilet.

Since most of the time I am in the middle of something while we're going through this ritual, once he's seated, I leave him for a few minutes to attend to my existing work in progress. When I've come back to get Harrison, to check on him, here's what I've walked into the last three times:

Time 1: Harrison has unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper and it is now in a very large cloud like mound on the floor. I spend 5 minutes of my life (wasted) rerolling the toilet paper and yelling at Harrison.

Time 2: Harrison has taken only a couple of toilet paper squares (good boy - who says yelling doesn't help?) and has apparently hand dunked it in the toilet water and is now wiping his penis clean. "You just had a bath," I whine in frustration to him.

Time 3: Harrison is off the toilet, but has gotten a hold of my clorox cleaning wipes and is yanking them out of the container and dropping them in the toilet, one by one. I could only thank him for insisting on following through with his project so I had time to catch him BEFORE he attempted to flush them.

Yes, I've learned my lesson. He cannot be left alone on the potty. Who knew such an everyday task could be so entertaining?

The Teacher Knows Too Much About The Lawrence Family


Its 10:46 and I had to get my pictures from my camera to document Jake's first day as a Kindergartner at Cheri Cox Elementary School.

He had a great day! Made new friends. Reconnected with a couple of familiar faces from his days at Bearfoot Lodge. He got to see the biggest gym he ever saw and use his brand new lunch box, wear his new shoes and clothes and show off his brain skills to his new teacher, Mrs. Frame.

Mrs. Frame, it turns out, lives right behind us. I was pretty eager to share with her that we are closer than "just in the neighborhood", but didn't think about our affinity for late night/early morning pool parties that may have pissed her and her family off from time to time. Yikes! She was nice enough to only acknowledge seeing our tiki torches. Perhaps I should have cleared the slate by thanking her for not calling Sachse PD on us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jason's Quote of the Day

"Honey, I like you. You're a pain in the ass, but I kind of like that. You're not boring."

-The last thing Jason said to me before bed last night. I almost cried.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Retail Pet Peeve

I'm in marketing. I am fairly educated about layout, placement and retail tricks when it comes to selling merchandise. For the most part it all makes sense.

For example, grocery stores put the milk and eggs (staples) at the BACK of the store. Why? Because then you have to walk through the store to get to them and it makes you more inclined to make other impromptu purchases. Genius.

What doesn't make sense to me is this: at womens' clothing stores, shirts on mannequins are pinned at the back, making them appear to have a form fitting cut. Why? Women do not pin their shirts at the back when they wear them. You don't even need to try the shirt on to find out it doesn't fit on you the way it does on the mannequin. All you need to do is carefully (so as not to piss the employee off who is standing there glaring at you with her cart as she neatly re-folds the destroyed stacks of shirts) remove said shirt and hold it up to determine the mannequin is LYING!

Why? Why? Why do they do that? Does it really work to sell clothes? Doesn't work on me. It just pisses me off. If the retailer wants the shirt to fit that way, it should be designed and created that way, shouldn't it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is Daddy A Calvin Klein Model?

Sunday at 4:00, Laura and I braved the herd at the Allen Outlet Mall during the last three hours of the tax free weekend. Mostly shopping for ourselves, we quickly scanned the GAP, Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole, Nine West, Guess, a couple of kids' clothing stores and Calvin Klein.

Laura found some $50 jeans that she had to have after trying them on in front of what she called a "skinny mirror" in the fitting room. Since I verified they did, in fact, make her look skinny (she's not fat to begin with), she splurged on a purchase she said she hadn't made since Bailey was born five years ago.

I wasn't in the mood to splurge, but did find a 3 pack of tighty whities for Jason, packaged all nice and neat in a plastic package with a frontside (from the chin down) and backside (from the neck down) picture of a very muscular and tanned model, almost seeming to say, "if you buy these underwear, you will look like me." Its the same psychological crap that occurs when I'm looking through a Victoria's Secret catalog. If I buy these string bikinis, I will look just like her. It worked. I bought two of them and to my disappointment, I still look like me.

Anyway, that night as we were standing in the kitchen while the boys ate their yogurt at the bar, Jason pulled the underwear package out of the bag. He looks at it and then showing the backside picture of the model to the boys, he says, "Hey, guys, does this look like Daddy?" They swallow their yogurt and while looking at each other agree that sure, that looks like Daddy.


Then Jason flips the package over and in a repeat performance, says, "Ok, guys, does this look like Daddy?" This time they hesitate, look at each other and while Jake shakes his head "no", Harrison says, "It looks like Luke."

Jason's shoulder's dropped, he rolled his eyes and quickly stuffed the package back in the bag.

Side note: Luke is our single Marine neighbor who lives across the street and while we're certain he's in great shape from his Iraq training, he does not moonlight as an underwear model.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Victoria's Secret

Got a Victoria's Secret catalog in the mail the other day.

Side Note: Incidentally, I got one today, too. VS apparently hasn't caught onto the "green" movement of conserving trees, paper, recycling and all of that. But who can think about recycling when there are pages after pages of hot girls in their underwear? I suppose I need to put a deadline of about five years from now to stop ordering from their website and catalog or my sons will begin to intercept the mail and I'll find my catalogs ragged and dog eared while changing their sheets on Saturday mornings.

Ok, I've digressed. Back to the subject at hand. VS has their "pink" line. Most of you know what that is - sweats, cotton skivvies, t-shirts, that sort of thing. For the most part, I prefer the comfort of the cotton, so I dig this line. Like most men, Jason prefers whatever is most uncomfortable......which usually includes lace, mesh, strings and/or thongs. Yuck. Honestly, some of you may shudder to read this, but I don't dress "under there" for Jason. I dress for comfort and will even wear things I know he will hate just to get a disappointed rise out of him. Oh, the games we play. :)

While perusing the latest catalog, (before the one I got today), I found the perfect underwear......boy underwear! Woo-hoo! Boy/Men's underwear is soooooo comfortable. Its thick and roomy and almost feels like sweats for your buns. Yum. The best part is they are part of VS' pink line so they come in super cute colors and patterns AND they are low rise, so they'll fit perfectly under all of my low rise pants/jeans without peeking through the top everytime I sit down. I showed them to Jason and shockingly he did his crotch grab while bouncing up and down and whining "oh dear", so I knew he approved. (They won't be fun for my "torchure Jason with ugly underwear game" though.) When I told them they looked like little boy underwear, he composed himself and suddenly decided he didn't like them so much. Liking little boy underwear, even on a girl, he decided, made him sound like a perv. Woo-hoo - the game is back on!

Excited to make purchase at 5 for $25, I went the next day to the VS down the road only to find they had every stinking style of the pink line EXCEPT my "extreme low rise boy brief"! So sad. Now I have to order them and wait for super cottony softness on my bum for two more weeks.

Monday, August 13, 2007

To Work or Not To Work, That is The Question

When I left FFSS, I knew three things: (1) I was going to have the boys all day (which was terrifying, to say the least-would we survive?), (2) I was going to continue my involvement with the American Marketing Association (AMA) and (3) I was going to finish school.

What I didn't know was when I would consider going back to work.

When I'm home with the boys I am happy to play with them, do a few domestic chores and can wear jammies, sweats, shorts or whatever. I have no schedule. Don't particularly have anywhere to be and I enjoy being moderately lazy.....or as lazy as one CAN be with two small children.

Then I get invited to a lunch meeting or attend a networking event through the AMA and I am quickly drawn back into the corporate America mode that makes me crave stylish suits, strategy conversations and scheduled meetings.

You would think its the paycheck I miss most, but similar to my fanatical desire to go back to school, I actually miss working. I do not miss where I was. I miss the possibility of where I could go. New atmospheres, new people, new potential, new challenges and all with the hope that new = fun, motivational and inspiring. (Not to mention flexible with the whole work/life balance situation.)

The question still remains, "when will I be ready to go back to work", but I doubt it is so much a question of "when will I be ready" as it is a question of "when will the right job come along?"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Is there a pill for this?

I need help. Its only been 8 hours, but I can see the signs. I didn't get out of my jammies until 1:30 this afternoon. No one has to ask where I am because they go straight to the computer. There are three empty glasses sitting on my desk with an abandoned toy and both of the telephone handsets.

My name is Cori and I am addicted to LinkedIn. Just by adding 17 of the right people to my first level network, I now have more than 40,000. Wow! Its going to take me a while to get through those people, send my personal "welcome" email and request recommendations. So, I can't stop. I'm just getting started.

Anyone else addicted? Want to create a support group? I'll add you to my network.

Linked In

I received an invitation to join someone's network today and decided to go ahead and not only accept the invitation, but also dig deep in my archived emails for the other invitations I received and ignored. Sorry.

So I'm caught up and even went in and updated my profile, gave my profile a snazzy URL address and attempted to put the button to my profile on my blog homepage. As you can see the button is there, but its not linking up properly to my profile.

So, I know you're biting your fingernails in anticipation, but I'm going to label it "under construction" for now until the Linked In people can straighten me out.

In the meantime, if you have gotten down to your nubs and just can't take it any longer, the following link should work to Cori's LinkedIn Profile.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Up Up and Away

The time 6pm. Jason just got home from work. I am in the back yard watching the boys while they swim. Occasionally they get out of the pool, grab their inflatable donut shaped tubes, pull them up around their waist and jump in together from the side. I love having the pool. Makes 104 degree heat indexes not worth complaining about.

Jason puts some weenies on the grill. Inside I've got mac and cheese and broccoli ready to join the hot dogs on a plate. We eat al fresco while Jason grumbles about the bills that arrived today. (Why couldn't he wait until later to do that?)

Harrison finishes his dinner first and says he wants to go swimming again. I get him out of his seat and grab his life vest. Jason gets up to pull the vacuum out of the pool. Harrison is in front of me by about 18 inches and close to the edge. He looks like he's going to jump, but surely he won't because he doesn't have his life vest on and he's just being naughty, but "splash", oh yes, he jumped. I fell to the ground to reach in after him in an attempt to grab him before he sunk too low. Jason, fully clothed from work including his shoes, jumped in after him and immediately pulled him out. Harrison didn't even cough, but the look on his face said he knew he did something he shouldn't have. Could have been that his daddy holding him was still wearing his jeans and shoes was an indicator that perhaps big H shouldn't have taken that leap.

Jason handed Harrison to me, I wrapped him in a towel, knelt down in front of him and calmly told him he scared me and that he should never jump in the pool without his life jacket on. With his big brown, sad puppy dog eyes he said, "ok" and gave me a hug. Then I kissed him and put his life jacket on.

What's Wrong With Boys?

I would say about twice a week now I run into someone who, in casual conversation, asks me if I'm going to try to have a girl.

Heaven help the next person who asks me that question.

I am perfectly happy, no, let me say, thrilled, with having two boys. Here's my list, as if I have to justify my feelings on the subject:

  1. I am not a girlie girl to begin with.
  2. I don't have to pretend to be a lady and set a good example for how my daughter should behave.
  3. I can burb and fart, even at the dinner table, and not get mad when the boys do.
  4. Boys are cheaper.
  5. Boys don't have to be dressed in shoes that match their shorts that match their hair bows that match their earrings, etc.
  6. Two boys can share toys and clothes.
  7. Boys aren't as emotional (usually).
  8. I'm a pretty hard disciplinarian. Don't know how a girl would handle that.
  9. Boys can share a room and the bath tub.
  10. I can only tolerate pink in very small quantities.
  11. I don't like to do my own hair, let alone a little girl's. Sometimes I don't brush the boys' hair for days and you'd never know.
  12. I would rather play cars, dinosaurs and rough house any day of the week than play ponies, barbies or house.
I'm sure I'll come up with more reasons later and maybe then I'll add to the list, but for now, I think this will do. I love having boys. They suit my personality better and they are great brothers. Wouldn't trade them or add to them for a thing.

My Hell Defined

I've been home with the boys for nearly 4 months now, and honestly, I'm still digging it. Especially to be home with them in the summer where we spend most of our time in the pool. I'm in better shape from my daily gym visits. Harrison's speech has improved greatly and although I wouldn't say the house has benefited much from my increased time at home, Jason doesn't gripe at me when things aren't perfect or he's run out of underwear. We're having fun and I'm looking forward to Jake's first day of school in less than three weeks.

What I have noticed the past 4 months is how everytime I take the boys somewhere where there are other kids playing, its obviously like a huge "Mommy and Me" hang out. Some moms alone watching their kids. Some moms in groups gossiping or comparing notes about who's kid did blah blah blah. Inevitably a mom will try to strike up conversation with me, which almost always starts out with, "which one is yours?" Ten minutes later I'm itching for a graceful exit, like, "oh, I think Harrison has shit his pants again, so I gotta run." I don't dig the mommy and me thing. I'm not there to build my mommy network and although I'm sure they are very very nice ladies and their kids perfect angels, I actually almost prefer to hang out with adults who don't have kids. Because, get this, I don't like to talk about my kids all day long. I love them and I think that's what I have my own Mother for. She's supposed to hear about the kids and act like she cares how many times Harrison pooped in the potty today. I have no interest boring my friends with that stuff and for the most part I don't want to pretend I care about a stranger's kids and their personality quirks or how old they are or trying to organize a play date.

Who came up with the term "play date?" Two completely fun words put together are now ruined with images of diapered toddlers with cracker crumbs on their face screaming for the toy they weren't playing with, but were looking at and someone else grabbed, while mommies are gabbing and mentally comparing how fantastic their own kid looks, smells, behaves, whatever next to all of the other kids in the group.

Mommy and Me. Play dates. That is my hell.

This staying home thing is a temporary pit stop on my way to the next stage in my career. At the latest when Harrison starts school, I will be suiting it back up and out the door with the other commuters, their coffee mugs and bluetooth conference calls at 8am.

I am lucky to have this option available to me, however temporary it might be.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hey, what did you mean by that?

Laura and I had the kids at a public pool last weekend. We found two chaise lounges, side by side, got life jackets on the kids, unloaded toys and settled in with a magazine to peruse while the kids played.
The kids played great, each jumped off the side pretending it was a diving board, they played squirt guns. Well, Bailey and Jake played squirt guns while I calmed Harrison down assuring him he would get a turn since there were only two guns for three kids. Occasionally Laura or I would have to remind the kids not to run, but for the most part it was enjoyable.
After about 30 minutes a lady and her companion walked by us as she said, "we were just noticing how calm you both are." Immediately defensive, I said, "is that a good or a bad thing?" She continued to walk away as she said, "I just don't know how calm I would be with such little ones around the pool." I wanted to chase her, pin her down and while performing the chinese water torchure on her forehead, demand to know how she could dare call us "calm"! We are just as high strung as the next parent. Dammit. I can worry about my kids too. Hover over them and wipe their faces with a dry cloth every time they reemerged from the water. Hold their hands as they walk from one end of the pool to the other. Put five layers of towels all along the edge of the pool in case they banged their heads. She probably invented that vinyl padding you can buy for the edges of your coffee table to cushion "little headie weadies from getting hurtie wurtie."
Laura and I stewed over that comment all the way home, since she probably didn't mean it as a compliment, but we justified our "calmness" by knowing that our kids swim nearly every day and we're quite comfortable with their pool playing abilities.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My house is a mess because this book is great!

As soon as I clicked the "submit for grade" button during my final exam last Saturday, I was itching to find a book to read that was just for fun. Preferably something light, easy to read and with some humor thrown in here and there for added brainless entertainment.

While perusing the paperback book section of my local Target Supercenter*, I found Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. Augusten Burroughs is the same author of the book and movie, Running With Scissors, which I thought was kind of a dark comedy, but still had comedy in it, so going for familiarity, I chose this latest novel, created from Augusten's memoirs. "Memoirs" sounds somewhat literatureish and less mindless, so I took an $11 risk and have loved the book. It is actually pretty laugh out loud funny and I have to wonder how he remembers these life events with such clarity and detail or does he draw a mental outline and use made up details as filler? Real or filler, I've enjoyed it and highly recommend it if you want to be entertained when you read without needing your brain to be turned on at all.


*I prefer Target 100% for book shopping to Barnes and Noble, Borders or Half Price Books because the selection is limiting and I can find something without spinning in circles, arguing with myself over the price and usually can avoid banging my head in frustration over all of the choices. I hate having too many choices for things. I prefer the "one size fits all" category. Easy. Mindless.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Grocery Getter

At the risk of appearing like a complete spoiled brat, I am finally getting around to showing you my new toy (because so many people have been hounding me for a picture). Yes, I am unemployed. Yes, I now spend my days at the gym, playing in the pool with the boys and on occasion doing a little cooking and cleaning. Yes, I am so much happier than I was just a few months ago and it really, honestly has nothing to do with this:

In my defense, Jason wanted it too and even calls it therapy when he drives it. How could you not feel better after slamming a five speed with the windows rolled down, a throaty V-8 roaring and the latest favorite on the ipod blaring (thanks to auxiliary input - no more crappy transmitter)? It is a fun car to drive and also one of the stupidest to have with the boys, but Jason calls it the "grocery getter" because the only places it goes to on a daily basis is to the gym or the store.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bad Babo!


Today at naptime, I grabbed Harrison and we searched for his favorite bedtime friend, Babo, who had been lovingly carried downstairs to play this morning during breakfast.

"Ba-bo!" Harrison and I both called out, somehow expecting an answer from his stuffed companion. Harrison knew exactly where he was though as he pointed toward the front room of our house. Harrison started to giggle as I walked past Babo, who was sitting on the floor in Harrison's "time out" corner. I bent over, still holding Harrison, and he reached out to pick Babo up off of the floor. Due to the arrival of naptime, we let Babo out of time out on good behavior. Time served!

Upstairs we marched, the three of us, toward Harrison's bed. As I tucked Harrison in bed, gave him kisses and told him good night, he held his friend close to his face, gave him a kiss and said,

"I love you, Babo."

Two minutes later Babo was accused of picking Harrison's nose and making it bleed. Bad Babo!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Great Picture Day

Saturday was just a fantastic picture day for both of my boys. Jake is so hard to get a good picture out of these days (fake smiles are the norm), so I was ecstatic when these showed up. So sweet and handsome. I love his bright eyes and pink cheeks in the one on the right.
Harrison sporting gel is looking very GQ in his summer duds.










My Pumpkin Head

I took this picture of Harrison on Saturday at the country club pool. I'm sorry in advance - some of you reading this will probably see more of this picture - in my house, on stationary of some sort and maybe in my Christmas newsletter, because I just love it. How happy and sweet he is.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poop is Kewlist in the Potty

I woke up at 6:45 to a toddler, naked from the waist down. "Mama, I go potty." Not certain if that meant he went already and wanted to show me the fruits of his abdominal labor or if he needed to go and needed assistance, I followed him to the boys' bathroom. I place him on the potty and immediately he started the red headed squeeze to pinch off some morning poo. Half awake, I cheered and congratulated him, wiped him, dressed him and rolled back to bed.

Its now 1:15 and Harrison is napping in a pull up. He hasn't had one accident today and even pooped in the potty once more since this morning!

We're not there yet, but who would have thought Harrison would be so much easier than Jake at this?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Poop is Cool

Harrison has been asking to go to the potty a lot recently and for the most part I've obliged him, but I haven't been ready to enter the hell that is transitioning a defiant toddler from diapers to underwear. It was hard enough with Jake (and he's so easy going) even though his babysitter, Teri, did most of the work. We just reinforced at home and on the weekends. So, I guess I should admit I have never really potty trained a kid yet.

What's the big deal with pooping in the potty anyway? Besides the whole societal disdain for odor and lack of cleanliness, it seems to me that using the toilet is merely a detour from the ultimate diaper destination. You start out your life and first 2-3 years in diapers. Everything is cool. You can play, eat, run, sleep and watch tv all while marinating in your own stew and the best part is someone else gets to clean it up for you. Then the potty gets introduced and for about 70-80 years or so you're on a very long sidestreet that ultimately winds you back to diaperville, where you're back to letting someone else manage your stew cleanup. Only this time, if you have your mind about you, you have the shame associated with it.

So to avoid the societal shame of smelling like poo wherever you go, potty training is unfortunately necessary. Today, Harrison and I began a new ritual toward improving his personal hygiene. He wore and soiled three new pairs of underwear within two hours, but he did pee twice and even pooped once in the potty while I read "The Three Little Pigs" to him.

Fortunately for me he keeps his peter down when he's peeing and I don't have to clap and encourage him while getting piss in my eye. Jake wasn't so nice in that regard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm Rich Bee-ach

I finally got around to rolling over my 401k into an IRA rollover yesterday at Fidelity. It was easy as pie, but once it moves it'll be sitting in money market until I do something with it.

My measly account balance is not going to turn into $5 million sitting in money market for 40 years, so here's where I need your help. I know there are people out there reading my blog who know something about this topic, so I appeal to you, my free financial advisers, to send me some sweet stock tips.

Obviously, I'm out for growth. I'm still in my twenties and have a long way to go so I can ride out the ups and downs without freaking out too much. And I'm not afraid of actual stocks. Honestly, I don't really want mutual funds. Those are boring and can be expensive and I don't want to be locked into keeping them for like five years without paying a huge back end load.

So, there's my situation. Now, make me rich bee-ach!

Monday, July 09, 2007

You Can't See Me!

I've been meaning to share this with you for a couple of weeks now, but am just now getting the pictures off of my camera, so its a bit dated, but I'd be willing to guess that this would play out exactly the same way today, so its still sort of fresh.

Jake and Harrison were playing hide and seek a couple of weeks ago. Jake hid first and had Harrison count as high as he could (these days, to ten). Harrison spent about ten minutes looking for Jake before he solicited my assistance with "Where's Jake" combined with a shoulder shrug. Accepting the mission, I took Harrison by the hand as we called out "Where is Jake" only to be answered by slight giggles coming from my bedroom. Harrison and I followed the sound to curtains that were abnormally bowed and Harrison surprised Jake with a rapid fling of the curtain panel. Jake jumped out and they both giggled briefly. Harrison decided it was his turn, so he demanded that Jake count so he could hide.

Inventively, here is where Harrison chose to hide.
I wonder where Harrison is?

777 - Part 2

The 7/7/7 pool party at 7:00 literally lasted about 7 hours. There isn't a thing about it we would change - everything went GREAT!

The weather was perfect. The pool was plenty warm. The kids were well behaved (upstairs). The food was great. There was plenty of seating. The sangria was tasty. The keg was drained. Girls actually got into the pool and overall we counted 24 people showed up. One person had to spend the night. A couple said it was the best party they had been to in years and no one looked bored. The best part for me was that I didn't have a hangover in the morning - I needed my strength for the morning after clean up inside and out. We're thinking about doing it again next month (smaller scale) to send off Luke and we're already looking forward to it.

I did take a few pictures and they may disappear in the near future if anyone objects to having them up. This photo album almost looks like a singles post - I didn't realize until I sorted through the pictures that most of them are of the single people at the party, so see someone you like? Let me know, I might be able to hook a "brotha" or "sista" up.

This is Brett Sands, aka Sands. He and Jason have known each other since college where they sealed their friendship through Mustang (Sands' 5.0) vs. Camero (Jason's V8) races at Abilene Christian University.

Brett does Karate, plays in an ice hockey league and is very active in his church.

Once you get to know him, he does a great alien impression.




This is Dave, the Aussie pilot. I don't know a lot about Dave - he's a friend of Jon's, but his accent is nice to listen to.













This is Erin. She's Kristen Worley's sister and is very very sweet. She dressed up as Punky Brewser at the Worley's 2006 Halloween party and she makes a great addition to our driveway get togethers.

This is Chris and Matt in my kitchen. They have been friends since they were children and contrary to the appearance of this picture they are not gay. Chris and Jason went to high school and Abilene Christian University together. He does like women and Matt is married. I caught them wearing their matching towels and had to preserve the image.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

777

I couldn't let today (July 7, 2007) go by without at least a slight nod of acknowledgement to the day. I mean, this happens once every 100 years people!

People are getting married all over the place today (Vegas must be crazy!) and I'd be willing to bet its the guys who picked the date. Insurance for the future when remembering the exact date might otherwise prove difficult. Jason had it good for a while. We had friends who got married on the exact same date and same year, so all Jason had to do was call them. That crutch is no longer available to him, but seriously, remembering your exact wedding date can be tricky (in our case its on September 29th) and if you spent your wedding date completely hammered, you're doomed. So congrats to all of the new marrieds today - I hope 7/7/7 is your lucky day.

Jay and Sanja (Jay is Jason's childhood friend) were trying their best to keep their baby daughter from being born yesterday so they could have a 7/7/7 birthday. Sanja went into labor early on the morning of 7/6, but the toughest Kegel exercises could not keep that baby in (Jay, she's defiant already - are you ready?). She was born less than four hours too early. So close, but we're happy for their 7/6/7 baby anyway.

The Lawrences are celebrating 7/7/7 with a pool party at 7:00, of course (and might last 7 hours). Food, fifteen (plus) friends and fun are expected and we're all crossing our fingers hoping the rain will remain at bay through the day to allow the sun to warm the pool. Cold pool = the need for a lot more alcohol (for the guys to be willing to get in despite inevitable "shrinkage" and for the girls to be willing to get in the pool and overlook said "shrinkage"). I might sneak a picture in tomorrow - not of the shrinkage, eh - but of something memorable from the party. Consider this part one of a potentially two part series.

Happy 7/7/7 day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"Lucker Plee"

Harrison finished his lunch today with the image of a sucker/lollipop emblazoned in his mind upon making a "happy plate" (eating all of his food, for my non child rearing friends) and once the happy plate was established, he happily said, "lucker plee."

I fought through the child safety wrapper some machine had fastened to his strawberry sucker and even needed scissors, yes scissors! to get the damn thing open. Teased him a bit by pretending to lick it and proclaiming it to be mine, but with a big grin and a "no", he knew better. I handed him the sucker and the ear to ear grin on his face when he received his prize was priceless. No, I wasn't crying over this moment, but damn, I wish I was two again. To have all the happiness in the world created by a generic quarter sized strawberry sucker that didn't spin, light up or make noise......I want that level of innocence and joy again.

Yes, two year olds have their own sets of problems. You know, the shitting in your pants while you eat thing isn't particularly cool. And not having all the right words can be a bit frustrating (even adults have that problem), but he does call a sucker a "lucker" and please is "plee". "Ss" don't exist in Harrison's version of the ABCs. Perhaps its not all that great to require a bath nearly everytime you eat either. I had to change his sticky drool infested shirt when he was done. Harrison is too small to reach anything in the kitchen, so he can't get his own snacks, drinks and whatever. Maybe that's more my problem. Lazy bitch.

But to be two again and find pure bliss wrapped up in sugar and artificial sweeteners and flavors presented neatly on a stick. That kind of happiness doesn't last very long. (Its already gone by Jake's age. He devours his suckers with no display of appreciation.)

Actually, I might find bliss in a sucker right now........haven't had any real sugar in ten days. Maybe I was drooling over Harrison's sucker more than he was........

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ratatouille

Jake, Bailey, Laura and I took a Sunday afternoon to see Disney/Pixar's new movie, Ratatouille while Harrison napped at home under Jason's care.

I don't have much to say about this movie as I have high expectations for adult humor in kids' movies. I mean, if you're going to get the parents to take the kids, shouldn't the parents enjoy their own subtle form of entertainment?

With that said, this movie has NO adult humor and I'd be hard pressed to say there are really any funny parts in the movie at all. The kids seemed to like it, which is why we went, but I don't think this is one we'll be purchasing for our video collection.

Cute? Yes. Funny? No. Entertaining on a rainy Sunday afternoon? Sure. To spend $22 for Jake and me alone, this wasn't worth it. Should have taken Jonelle's suggestion and seen Surf's Up.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shoes in the Budget?

Jason kicked me out after dinner tonight to get out of the house (the rain has kept me in with the boys and cabin fever has set in) and go shopping. He took the boys for the evening. Ahhhh, so nice.....

I grabbed my $10 DSW coupon, just in case and went 4 miles up the road to Firewheel mall. Victoria's Secret had a nice sale on some skivvies. Jason wasn't impressed with my purchase there - black, white and covers everything. Then Ann Taylor had a lovely bathing suit cover up on sale that I couldn't resist. From there, DSW.

Those of you who know me, know I'm not a "typical" girl. I'm not emotional or overly sensitive and tend to be pretty "man like" when it comes to emotions.

But, when I walk into DSW shoes, the smell of leather and the big colorful sale signs intoxicate me into submitting to the girl in me who does appreciate a new pair of shoes.

Today was day one of DSW's 80% off sale and armed with my coupon I headed to the clearance rack. It didn't take me long to find love in a pair of black patent leather Nine West low wedges with a super cute ankle strap. (Maybe I'll share a picture later). Full price......$69. Mark down price $49......today 80% off that.

My cost at checkout with my coupon......$0.01. Yep, that's right.....one shiny copper penny. Woo-hoo! Jason is so proud of me, although I did hide the receipts from Victoria's Secret and Ann Taylor.

But shoes FOR A PENNY! Be prepared, if you see me wearing them, you will hear about my deal......shoes FOR A PENNY!!!!

Did I mention, shoes FOR A PENNY?!!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Men, Listen Up

No, this is not Jason (although I will no longer give him hell for his hairiness). This picture was part of a group titled "Why Women Stay Single" forwarded to me in an email by a former friend. (I cannot remain friends with people who burn my eyes with images like this. Sorry, my motorboating companion. It's been fun. With a tear in my eye, I say goodbye.)

I feel compelled to share a bit of unsolicited advice here: if you are a man and are this hairy, this is not acceptable. If you are a woman and are this hairy, NO ONE should know about it except you and your waxing professional. Back to the men, yes, a women should love you for your personality, who you are inside, blah blah blah, but she's never going to get to the loving you part if you're rounding second base and you can't tell where the hair on her head ends and your hair begins.

I am not ruthless. I am a bit more accepting of excessive follicle production in certain areas than other women I know. I certainly don't want my man visiting the salon more often than I do for fur control, but let this picture be your guide. If you get clubbed by your neighbors during an evening stroll, don't say I didn't warn you. Bears aren't welcome in residential areas.

Quote of the Day

"Boogers are not snacks."

-Cori to Harrison as he placed a booger on his tongue

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Note: Jake, at Harrison's age, preferred to strategically place his nasal treasures on his bedroom wall, which Jason and I named "The Booger Gallery." The Booger Gallery still exists and is available for viewing for all of our overnight guests just above the bed in the guest room.

Note #2: Stop complaining about only having "quotes" to read. I've not been inspired by much lately to post something that doesn't suck, so suck it up and deal. So for now you get boogers. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jason's Quote of the Day

"Feet are meant to be strong. You pumice them, you make them weak."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Abs, Where Are You?

If you're here to read about the Disney cruise, see the "Ahoy Mateys" post. I just got inspired to blog something new, so either keep reading or click on the cruise link. The power is yours!

So, my neighbor Laura and I signed up for a 3 year commitment to a local women's fitness club literally the first Monday after I quit my job. So that was April 16th.....nearly two months ago and honestly I'm starting to get frustrated.

Perhaps I shouldn't be blogging about such a "personal" issue such as my body ("she just likes me for ma body" - Mater from Cars), but this is my latest frustration (and my effort to procrastinate from doing school work).

Day one I weighed in at (holding my breath while I type this) 130 pounds. I'm 5'8" and have been at that weight since I was 22 (obviously except for when I was cooking two strapping boys in my oven), regardless of what I eat, drink or smoke (so I don't smoke, but I felt a third item was necessary there). My thinking was that by working out I'd set a personal goal of a measly 5 pounds. I'd really like to be at 125 - that would be lovely. Healthy, but not too skinny. Damn, I could never be too skinny, my ass is too big.....in a pretty good way, I think (at least in the right pair of jeans).

Now that we're at nearly two months of this routine five days a week, I'm losing motivation. I'm thinking either my scale needs new batteries or I'm going to have to change some shit up. The damn thing said 135.

I know, I know, muscle weighs more than fat, blah blah blah, (and that's probably it, cause my clothes don't fit any tighter), but I've been working hard on these abs someone told me I have, but I can't see them in all of their ripply glory. Damn flab has Harrison's name written all over it like a tattoo you can't get rid of without surgery.

I think I have accepted the fact that I'm heading into my 30s (still 29 though) and I just can't eat, drink or smoke (no, haven't started smoking since I said that earlier) whatever I want to and expect the exercise alone will pull its own weight. I'm going to have to make drastic changes.

I'm buying V-8 (the original, not the splash version that's all sugar and coloring) and water in bulk and I've cut out coffee and sodas. That's phase one - the easy part. I just like my sweets way too much and pasta and bread and chips and fries and ice cream and alcohol. Sniff sniff......

I didn't think when I signed up for this that two months into it I would be setting a new goal to get back to my preworkout weight.

"Hello Cori. Thank you for joining me for this personal training session. What is your weight goal?"

"Uh, yes, thanks for squeezing me in. I'm desperate to lose five pounds to get back to the weight I was before I started working out."

The battle of the bulge is kicking my ass.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ahoy Mateys!

Its been a week since we returned, tissues in hand, from our four night Disney cruise to the Bahamas and it was fantastic! If you have children and the means, you have to do this cruiseline! Although I have no basis for comparison, I did verbally survey several people during our trip and the results are unanimous - Disney knows what they're doing!

I won't bore you with every detail of our journey, but I will say the food was "wow", the entertainment was incredible, Disney's private island Castaway Cay was awesome and the whole journey from beginning to end was choreographed with perfection by Disney. Amazing!

We only took Jake this time (we wanted a vacation out of it too), so big H stayed home with Oma and Opa, but we will definitely take both boys again in three years!

Here are some pictures to document our excursion:

On the bus from the Orlando airport to the port in Florida, Jake sees the ship for the first time through the bus window while sitting on Daddy's lap.







In our cabin waiting for the evacuation drill on the first day. The evacuation drill is mandatory by maritime law and it was interesting to wave at the Royal Caribbean guests across the port doing the same drill at the same time. This drill of nearly 4,000 guests and crew took about 15 minutes. Disney has got it down! (Luckily we didn't need these orange duds again during our trip.)


Jake at breakfast the first morning eating a banana and a Mickey Mouse waffle, of course! The harbor at Nassau, Bahamas is through the window behind him. (Note the Longhorns jersey. How did that get in his suitcase?)

A little trivia: 5,000 eggs are consumed daily on the Disney Wonder.


My first picture of the full ship while we walked to the Nassau port. Incidentally, while this is not nearly the largest cruiseliner out there, it does weigh a paltry 90 million tons.




Jake digging in the sand on the public beach at Nassau. Jason is in the background "catching some waves."
One of those waves caught Jason and with humanlike precision, yanked off his hat and sunglasses and depants him. He claims he barely recovered his shorts, managed to find his hat floating nearby, but lost the sunglasses. The beach visits were Jake's favorite part of the cruise (next to foosball on deck 9 of the boat).


Yes, I did exist on this trip. Jason snapped this one (among others that will not be shown) after I played with Jake in Nassau.






I couldn't resist taking this postcardish picture from our stateroom balcony as we left Nassau. A real live lighthouse!






The playground in the water for the kids at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay! Jake ventured up the ladder and across the bridges, but wouldn't follow the big kids to the monkey barlike ropes. "Falling in the water is too scary," he said.
Cori especially liked the lifeguard variety that stood apost at the top.


Jason and Jake watch the fireworks on deck 9 during the Pirate Party that were shot from the ship at sea on our third night. Disney claims they are the only cruiseline in the world that still does fireworks at sea.




This is Das. He is from India and was our server every night (during our rotations through 3 different restaurants) and at the final breakfast before we departed. He was incredible as our server delivering Jason as many entrees as he wanted and when we finally got to visit with him personally, Cori found him to be extremely smart and interesting. Das' wife was from Brazil and she also worked as a server on the ship. Das has been with Disney for five years.

Jake and Cori on an inside ship balcony overlooking the main atrium. We were waiting for all of the characters to arrive for the "till we meet again" party. (Note the Texas A&M shirt. Jason wouldn't pose with Jake while he wore this. Ok, not really.....)









THE CHARACTERS JAKE MET
(This was a Disney cruise, after all. Oh, and Jake did meet princesses too and Minnie Mouse, but those are GIRLS!)













Jake would pose with everyone alone except Captain Hook, who he said was scary.

By the way, Jake did NOT wear his A&M shirt the whole time. We caught the characters mostly on the last night. Hope you enjoyed this little electronic scrapbook of our trip. The great thing about the boat is that even though its Disney, the focus is not on Disney crap, so shockingly I am not completely sick of Disney. I fear I will not return from Disney World with the same feeling.