Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009

I took a little break from blogging to enjoy what turned out to be one of our nicest Memorial Day Weekends in recent memory. We had such a bleak and endlessly miserable Winter, weather wise, that it has become unanimous that Mother Nature owes us big time with a decent Spring and Summer.

Friday was Grandma Trish day and as usual, they had a great day. We enjoyed the sunny evening with Ian's usual walks through the neighborhood. Of all the things I love about our little community, it's that we can head down the sidewalk (sometimes without even putting on shoes) and head in a new direction every time. We're a block away from the retail shops, we can throw rocks at the toddler park or the duck pond (although throwing rocks is a big no-no) and we're a 5 minute walk to Ian's new school. It's pretty awesome.

We also made a trip to REI to get me a new pair of hiking boots and ate dinner at our usual spot, Panera. Ian absolutely loved the tents, sleeping bags, and bicycles. I can tell he'll be a great camper when he gets just a little older. It'll be fun to stock up on gear and head out for a weekend under the stars.

Saturday, we headed out early to Grandma Trish & Grandpa Tom's house. The idea was to get there before naptime. We ended up driving down to the Farmer's Market and enjoyed lunch in the park. Later that evening, Ashleigh came over to watch Ian while us grown ups went out for Shawn's birthday dinner. We went to a great restaurant; the owner knows Tom & Trish and made a special ordered Ettouffee for Shawn since he was really wanting Cajun food. We had a great meal, drinks, dessert... It was wonderful. Happy Birthday, Shawn!

We stayed over and originally had planned to go to an early movie while Shawn visited a friend from high school, but planned changed and we headed out after breakfast. It was nice to get home and in the backyard. It was a perfect 75 and Ian was happy to be back to his routine a bit. We brought the tent and tunnel from his bedroom to the backyard and he and Polli hung out in there with their snacks.

Rinse and repeat for Sunday... We hung out in the backyard and played trains. Shawn let me loose for a few hours on my own, which I spent at the gym and at Target. I came home and made a giant pasta salad meant to stretch the week, and we ate on the patio, still enjoying the afternoon sun.

I thought ahead to take today off, which I'm very grateful for. Ian was also glad to get back to routine. He headed straight for his chair at the table in his classroom for breakfast, and gave me a quick peck before nonchalantly waving goodbye. There's no doubt he loves it when things are structured.

The pics below are from our weekend... a hodgepodge of rest and relaxation!

The weekend started with ice cream!

Going for a walk with daddy (without pants!)

Bug hunting with Grandpa Tom

Trying out his first hot dog. He was not a fan, which I am completely fine with!

Jamming with Grandpa and Daddy

Yay! Cousin Ashleigh is here!!! Sidewalk chalk and sunshine. How can it get any better than this?

A very rare couple's shot of us

Family Shot

Eating dinner with Ashleigh while we were out to dinner... I LOVE Tom & Trish's new kitchen table!

Home from Grandma & Grandpa's house... Carrying his own overnight bag

Checking out our neighbor Cory's scooter. Later, he said "Mommy, how bout you go get me a scooter now?".

Having a great afternoon in their tent in the backyard

Ian has his first Drumstick!

The weekend ended with ice cream, too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday to Ian's daddy! Shawn turns 39 today...holding on for dear life! I was super lazy and just took pictures of his card and envelope instead of scanning them. I cut part of the card off in order to show the picture better, but the caption says "Are We Having Fun Yet?".

I think it turned out pretty cute. The envelope is the ultimate in laziness... I just used stickers. It's a good idea not to try too hard when giving "artwork" to an artist!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Well, if I didn't scare everyone away (that is, if you actually read that entire last post), I wanted to report that there was light at the end of that very dark, damp, cherry stained tunnel. My Blackberry survived, Ian survived... and probably most importantly, I survived. Probably the only thing I still haven't gotten over is the exchange with the State Farm lady. I still want to claw her eyes out. But moving on....

The week really did get better daily and ultimately, we had the best weekend. Anticipating beautiful weather, we planned to head out to Alki Beach. It's a very popular sandy beach area of Seattle that has a gorgeous view of the city, but also the Olympic Mountains and the Peninsula (for those out of state, think Forks, WA...aka Twilight).

It was Ian's first real trip to "the ocean" and he loved it... that is, until he got water and sand in his shoes. It took a little coaxing to convince him that he should keep his shoes on and no, he didn't need to change his clothes. Next, he announced that he needed to go potty. Well, the bathrooms were very far away and Shawn didn't want him whipping it out there in front of everyone. We told him it was OK to use his pull up, but he was not happy at all. What a great thing. Tells me he's really ready to be trained, but just needs a little time before he's really good at it.

After playing in the sand for a while and checking out shells, drift wood, and answering lots of "what's that?" questions, we wandered across the street to get lunch. Ian ate his first fish & chips (likes the chips, but not so much the fish...at least the breading part). We had so much fun people watching from the restaurant and imagining that we lived right there on the water. I'd give anything to live right on the water so Ian could spend his days building sand castles and playing in the sun... a little like Shawn lived at that age in Pensacola, Florida. Alas, it can't be that way, so for now we'll settle for a 30 minute drive to the water (not bad considering we practically live in the mountains) and trips like September's 2 weeks in Maui!

After lunch, we played in the sand for a while longer before heading back to the truck. The idea was to get some pics of the city skyline before heading home, but the vantage point was too crowded, so we headed back home and stopped on the way for ice cream cones.

While there, we ran into a childhood friend of my brother, only 20+ years since I've seen him last... He had his daughter with him who is almost as old as I was the last time I saw him. How time flies!

We got home in time for nap, well before the grumpy side of Ian surfaced, and once he was down, I headed out to have some quiet time. I did some window shopping and sat outside at Bellevue Park reading with a frappacino. So relaxing. So so so relaxing. Tuesday seemed a million years ago.

Sunday was simply a day of going for walks to different neighborhood parks and then a trip to the grocery store in the afternoon. We ate BBQ pizza and hung out in the backyard. Another perfect day.

The weather has turned, but it's supposed to be another nice weekend coming up...just in time for a 3 day weekend (or 4 for me... I'm taking Tuesday off). Also this week: Ian has his second dentist appointment on Wednesday and then Thursday is Shawn's 39th birthday. Friday is Grandma Trish's day, and then Saturday, we head south to spend the night at their house and go out for Shawn's birthday dinner. For the first time ever, someone other than Trish will be babysitting Ian! His cousin Ashleigh will be watching him while we go out to dinner. I have complete faith in her. Ian loves to spend time with her and I know they'll do just fine.

Below are some pics from Alki. I have several great pics from a walk Friday with Grandma Trish, but I'll reserve those for another post. No reason to write another novel.

I just had to start out with this picture. Amidst the chaos, Polli finds a moment of pure bliss in the sun.

My little man getting his "beach" on. We're thinking about growing his hair out into a shaggy mess like this for Hawaii. Why fight nature?

Hanging with Daddy on a big piece of driftwood

Me and my shadow

Learning about the ocean

He had something important to say
I had to include these scenery shots. My camera's not that great on super zooms, but I forget sometimes that not everyone who reads this is from here. We take it for granted since this is pretty much a daily sight from any given vantage point.

Our little family (minus Polli... no dogs allowed on this beach).

Taking it all in

It looks much smaller than it really was, but there's a small spec in the sky, which is a C-141 aircraft flying maneuvers... We were telling him all about how Grandpa Tom and Uncle Matt fly those big airplanes.
Taking a walk

Ian digs this. Ha.

Getting down and dirty
Checking out a crab shell
It's never a bad day when it ends like this!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bad Day

I have to admit I've almost written a post several times this week and just couldn't bring myself to do it. Why? Well, I had a really rough day on Tuesday and wanted to put several days between me and the horrible memories before talking about it. I'm already forgetting exactly how painful it was, so this is probably a good time to recap.

Tuesday started a little like any other day. I was up and ready before Ian woke, catching up with all my Facebooky friends before venturing in to get his day started. With his new schedule, I wake him up at 6:30 and want him in class by 7:15. That gives us about 30 minutes before we need to be starting toward the car. In retrospect, probably not enough time. I can feel the rush setting in if we start "coloring outside the lines" even a little bit. S'pose I need to push back that wake up a little.

Here's a little run down of where it all started to unravel:

Battle 1: Sock it to Me

Mommy: I need to run upstairs and get socks. I'll be right back
Ian: I want to come with you!
Mommy: No, I'll be back in 1 minute. Keep playing.
Ian: {panic whine kicking in} No! I go with mommy to the closet. Please!
Mommy: OK, hurry. We need to hurry.
Ian: I want to bring toys. {beginning to rummage through the toybox}
Mommy: Ian, let's go now or I'm going by myself.

5 toys in hand, Ian starts up the stairs, but one toy drops and falls three steps back. He goes back for that toy, but drops another, which falls to the bottom of the staircase. I ran back down to get it, but he said "I get it! I get it!" We start back up the stairs and the same thing happens to varying degrees twice more. Next, Polli ran past us up the stairs. She is now sitting at the top of the stairs waiting.

Ian: {whiny voice mode} I want Polli to walk with me! Get her!
Mommy: She's OK. She's waiting for us. Let's hurry and catch up.
Ian: {whine dial cranked up a few notches} No! Polli walks with Ian now!

Forgoing the "say please" lecture, I walked up the stairs and led Polli back down, who was looking at me like "what is going on here?". We eventually make it up the stairs as a group.

I grabbed my socks, but Ian wanted to stay behind and "play trains" in the closet. A few fake attempts at tears later, I finally got him out of the closet and heading back downstairs. One trip to his bedroom to swap out a toy that has now grown stale for a different one...and we were ready to head out the door. Whew. All that for socks. Moral: Be fully dressed and ready to head out the door before he's even out of bed.

Battle 2: The Accident

So, with lunchbox in hand, we're finally ready to head out the door. We're only 10 minutes behind schedule, so not too much harm done at this point. I am exhausted after the sock incident though and was already thinking an "at home day" might be nice. Right as we're at the door, Ian announced that he needs to go potty. Great! Time is of the essence when he announces it, so we ran to the bathroom and got pullup down just in time... for the stream to hit my shirt & pants. He got soaked too.

Mommy: Ian, why didn't you wait until we were sitting down?
Ian: I didn't know! I not in trouble, huh?
Mommy: {exasperated} No, you're not in trouble, but we need to hurry and clean up so we can go to school. Next time, hold it inside until you're on the potty OK?

So, we headed upstairs to change. Just repeat the first half of the "socks incident" here. Seriously. When we got to the halfway point of the stairs, I sat down and put my face in my hands and cried. Cried hard! Ian didn't like it and was saying "mommy, don't cry OK?", with little tears in his voice. I don't know what the protocol is for crying in front of your child, but I just lost it. I cried and cried for a few minutes...really getting it all out. We hugged and kissed, and we continued up the stairs, both crying and holding hands. At this point he actually let me change him pretty quickly. I changed too, and we were back down the stairs to head to school. FINALLY!

Getting back downstairs, we found that Polli had thrown up on the carpet. Sigh. Got the enzyme spray and towels...cleaned that up while Ian went off to play puzzles... Polli was just as upset as we were. She's so sensitive...just like her mama.
Battle 3: Stranded

We got to the car and buckled in, at which time Ian announced he was hungry and needed a snack. I didn't have a snack, only a sippy of juice, to which he responded with a newly mastered fake cry that should go up for Emmy awards. To the untrained ear, it might sound like he's really crying. I know better. At this point I told him he'd have to wait and get a snack at school, shut his door and went around to my side. I vividly remember at this point, thinking to myself how nice it would be to work from home, but had lots to do in the office, so I dismissed the thought.

Got in my side, only to realize my keys were in the ignition. In all the chaos back in the house, I never once looked for my keys (since I don't need them to lock the back door). Why were my keys in the ignition? Well, the night before, I was listening to a news story on the radio when I pulled in, and turned the key to that "kind of on, kind of off" position and sat to listen to the rest. While doing that, my phone rang and I turned the radio off to answer. While talking, I started gathering my things and headed toward the house. I guess I should be glad my car wasn't idling the entire time. I should also be glad that we have low/no crime in our neighborhood and my car was still in the driveway!

Turned the key and nothing. Not even a glimmer of hope. The battery was dead. Well, I got my wish. I would not be going in to the office. Meanwhile, the theatrics over the "treat that wasn't" was still going on in the backseat. I was ignoring him with every fiber of my being, not even at a place where I was the sane mom on the block. At this point, I absolutely understood how people can just go bonkers and run their car off a cliff. If only my battery weren't dead.
The other saving grace here is that Ian's school is now within walking distance. I was not at all in the state of mind to be stuck with him all day. Post negatively about that if you like, but I think we've all been there. I absolutely wanted to be as far from him as possible, even if just for a few minutes.

We got out and started walking. This is great in Ian's book since he loves to go for walks. It's a 5 minute walk at a grown up pace, but anywhere from 10-30+ with Ian depending on what there is to see and do along the way. Besides wanting to find rocks to throw in drains and splash in mudpuddles with his non-muddpuddle splashing shoes... It was a fairly uneventful walk.

We arrived almost 40 minutes later than usual, and then began the drop off hysterics. His teacher is great about diverting his attention and she allowed me to say my goodbyes and get out of there while she took a crying Ian to "go on a special toy mission". For such a young girl (early 20's), she's great at what she does...better than his last teacher and better than I could do, especially when she and her assistant have other kids to give that same attention to.

I left and walked to Starbucks for coffee, then headed home to email my boss to let him know I would be working from home, like it or not. So glad he's an easy going guy! In fact, his suggestion was that I take a break and go to the Ridge shoe store to treat myself. My boss told me to, so if I do it during business hours, I guess it's OK, right? Ha.

Although frazzled and emotionally wrung out, I worked all the way through to 3:30pm. Of course, I had to walk to pick Ian up, so I headed out with a calmer state of mind. Picked him up to hear that he had a rough day too, would not eat much, and refused to go on the potty all day. Looked like he and I were feeding off each other's bad mojo.

From school, we headed toward the grocery store with the intent of picking up a few things for dinner before walking home. He was in a pretty good mood, so I was looking forward to an easy evening in comparison to the earier part of the day.
Battle 4: The Bait & Switch

On the way, we passed part of our neighborhood's retail area, which includes an insurance office. In the window, they've cleverly parked a wagon filled with stuffed animals and balls. He naturally stopped to look in the window, which was the cue to the bored insurance salesperson inside to open the door and ask Ian if he would like a free ball or bear. Sure. Why not. He walked in to pick a ball, but around the corner was a much more enticing assortment of toys... a play area with old cars and trains. Of course Ian wanted those toys, not the boring ball or bear.

Insurance Lady to Ian: Maybe you can play with those toys while your mommy and I talk about insurance.
Mommy: {Really PO'd because this was a dirty trick} We're not interested in changing insurance, thanks. Ian, let's get going before it starts raining.
Ian: {Instant tantrum!} No, I want to stay, please! {Death grip on the woman's toys}.
Insurance Lady: {Smug expression} Oops!
Mommy: {Sarcasm, with a touch of "I'm going to rip your face off"} Ya think? Not a good idea.

So, I carried out a kicking and screaming 3 year old and continued down the block. Thanks lady. Thanks for ruining what might have been a salvaged day. You can bet we won't be using their services any time soon.

I was able to get Ian focused on a man trimming shrubs with a chain saw type trimmer, and we were able to continue to the store. Riding in the "car cart" seemed to redeem the situation and I was momentarily relieved.

Battle 5: Rainy Days and Bullies

As we stood in line to pay, I glanced outside to see a torrential downpour. Absolutely raining cats and dogs out there... and we were on foot with no umbrella. Great. This is lovely!

We went to Starbucks to kill some time, but it looked like every other mom in the area had the same idea and Ian gravitated toward a group of kids with puzzles while I paid for our drinks. Of course these girls did not think it was cute to have a little "baby" touching their things and one girl forcefully retrieved a taken toy from Ian's hand and told him to go away. MAJOR "she just pulled my hand from the socket" meltdown while the gal behind the counter slowly completed my transaction. Oh my. The day was apparently not over yet.

Got our drinks and headed for home. Fine for Ian who had a hood and cared about nothing but splashing in puddles... Not so great for mom who carried everything, including his lunch bag, groceries, both drinks, and my purse...and no hood. Sigh. This was bound to be the final straw, right?


Battle 6: The Juicy Blackberry

We made it home in one piece, dried out a bit and proceeded to start dinner. Ian asked for a drink and I vaguely remembered a sippy I had stowed in my purse for the walk. I opened my purse and immediately knew something was wrong. A pool of cherry juice...nice concentrated, red, stainy cherry juice... sat in the bottom of my purse, covering my wallet, several receipts, some work notes, a sheet of stamps, money, and oh yeah... my Blackberry. My phone. My expensive little lifeline that makes all things mobile-y possible. Drowning in cherry juice. Lifted the purse and a nice stain was forming on our raw oak table. Nice. REALLY REALLY nice. The good news is that the table didn't get stained and I was able to dry out the battery and SIM card for my phone. After about 12 hours, it appeared to be OK. Still not completely sure.

That's the end of it. We were both pretty darn exhausted and went straight to bath after dinner. I had decided that if Shawn came home and even so much looked at me sideways, used a sarcastic tone, asked for a favor, made a comment about a purchase or the laundry, or ANYTHING shy of an Edward Cullen caliber response (a Twilight reference)... I was going to pack my bags. Maybe wait until after the Maui trip, but I was definitely packing my bags. I'd take Ian of course. And Polli... but I'd pack my bags. I wouldn't go far because I like my commute. And I'm not giving up my house. But I'd pack my bags. Maybe. I'd think about it.

Well, when Shawn came home I told him about my battery and told him that if he didn't want to sit quietly through a full blown vent, he'd better not ask about my day. I think he could tell it was really bad. I'm happy to report I didn't pack my bags. Didn't threaten with papers. Whew. I'd say he's lucky, but I think he was probably just petrified. Whatever look I had in my eyes, it said "Don't f'ing mess with me right now or you'll regret it".

So that was my day Tuesday. You can probably see why I needed to let a few days pass before talking about it. For those still around after this epic autobiography, I apologize if anything I said or did was offensive or against your opinion...but I think it either has or will happen to all of us at one point or another. I realized that this was probably not going to be my only bad day and there would be lots of good days, too. I also realized that a good majority of what happened during the day was completely out of my control. More than anything, I realized that working to prevent the tantrums (aka, inviting him up the stairs to get socks) made things worse and the tantrums will (and did) end, so letting him cry for a minute isn't going to kill him (or me, even though I hate to see him sad, angry, scared, mad, etc.).

It reminds me so much of my helplessness when we first arrived home because he wouldn't let me put him down... and many people told me "he won't die if you put him on the floor for a few minutes" and... knock me over with a feather... they were right. Now, I can't even BEGIN to imagine carrying him around all day (sort of physically impossible now, 18 months later). He lived then and he'll live now. My Blackberry on the other hand can't handle much more of that treatment.

So, to keep this from being the longest blog rant in history, I'll stop there. I will say that every day since has been incrementally better than the one before. Our weather is shaping up to be perfect for the weekend, so I'm expecting more good days ahead.

I'll post some pics from our week, despite the bad Tuesday... and then I'll post about our adventurous Friday with Grandma Trish today.

A definite highlight amongst all the chaos was the gorgeous potted Orchid I received by special express delivery from my brother, Rex. I hope I don't kill it, but it is SO gorgeous!

Practicing "say cheese" for school pictures on Thursday

I love those eyebrows

Chillin in "daddy's spot" (where Shawn eats dinner).

Mommy needs a drink. The Starbucks rival store in our neighborhood makes great drinks and they always add impressive "flair" to their drinks. You don't get this at Starbucks! This drink is called the "Comfort Latte". You can imagine why I ordered it... and no comfort does mean there's Southern Comfort in it... One could only wish.

Relaxing at the coffee shop

Pondering his next chess move

Clearing out my pawns. He actually said the Rook looked sad.

I was thinking of sending him to the pokie, but changed my mind at the last second.

We passed this condo and he wanted to sit on their porch and pet their cat. No, we don't know them... and the cat may look friendly, but he ran off as soon as Ian made his move. It was hard to explain that cats aren't always quite as eager to be petted as dogs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pre-Mother's Day Festivities

First thing's first....Ian had a great first week at his new preschool. He was full day by the second day, which is thanks in part to the "soft launch" visits every Friday. By his start day, he was fully familiar with the teachers and classroom.

Friday, his Grandma Trish day, started great. We watched the garbage trucks go by and then packed for a sleepover at Grandma Trish & Grandpa Tom's house. He was very excited about going to their house. I told him that we were going to his school for breakfast first, then would drive to meet Grandma. He said "no school today, it's Friday" and looked at me like I'd gone crazy. Well, when we arrived at his school for his Mother's Day Tea, it got ugly. I told him we would have some breakfast and he could give me his Mother's Day gift, then we would leave. He was in full blown panic stricken meltdown mode and all but refused to go inside. He thought I'd double crossed him. I took him to a quiet corner and forced him to look me in the eye while I calmly explained that I would NOT be leaving him and after the party, we'd leave TOGETHER to go see Grandma.

Once we were eating with all the other moms, he had started to settle down, although he would not let go of my hand...as though I would disappear as soon as he let go. When it came time to hand out his gift, he was in a great mood again. He was very proud of the flower pot he had decorated. I love it. It will be one of those things I will keep and cherish forever.

They did a great job on this shindig. Beyond the food, there were craft stations set up throughout his room, allowing mom/child to do fun projects together. We painted each other's hands and made handprint art, made handprint cutout flowers, and had our picture taken. He proudly showed me all his favorite toys and books...then took me by the hand and showed me the bathroom, where he said "mommy, this is where I pee pee all the time". He then showed me how the soap and sinks work and how he can wash/dry his hands "all by myself!".

We stayed a bit longer to meet some of the moms, then said our goodbyes to his teachers and left to meet Grandma Trish. Whew. MAJOR crisis averted.

I handed him over to Grandma at Starbucks and was off to do a major gear switch mid-day and attempt to get some work done. It was only sort of successful!

For our free night, Shawn and I went to dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy, then saw Star Trek, which alone, was worth a night without Ian. It will probably rank right up there as one of my favorite movies for a long time. I could have easily turned right back around and bought another ticket. Several scenes must be seen on the big screen and the casting was right on. I'm sure all but the most devout original Star Trek purists will enjoy it. Even the casual Sci Fi or action watcher will agree it's worth a full price ticket (which is now $10 in my neck of the woods. When did that happen?).

Even with dinner and a movie, we were home and in our sweats by 9pm, which was great. If I can get through a movie and dinner and still not be drop dead tired, I'm happy!

We were up, showered and dressed before 7am this morning (why?) and sitting in the parking lot of my favorite breakfast spot by 7:45 waiting for them to open. One amazing order of French Toast a'Orange later, I was one happy girl and ready for my day...without a child in tow. We headed out to my favorite local nursery to peruse their gift shop, then on to the outlet mall, where we were again there before any of the stores opened. It's amazing what you can accomplish before 10am on a Saturday!

My next mission was cleaning out Ian's closet, where I finally purged everything that is stained to it's limit or getting too small. The amount of kids clothes/PJ's going to charity this season is startling. How did he accumulate so much and why does it no longer fit him? He must be growing or something. ;-)

Some of my best news of the day is that I am finally caught up on laundry! I know. Very exciting... But it's one of the things I really struggle at getting a handle on. Since Ian started potty training, it has really started multiplying, but even our own grown up laundry piles up fast and I can't figure out why. None the less, I got caught up, including sheets and towels, so I feel amazingly accomplished today.

I ended my afternoon by napping on a lounge chair in the sun with my pup for about 30 minutes before heading out to pick up my little rug rat. I was even able to tack a trip to Pier One and Starbucks to that commute south to Tom/Trish's place...bonus!

Tomorrow is the real thing, but I actually feel like I've already had my Mother's Day... Ian's school Tea was the best and then time out to see a movie, have dinner, and then out again for breakfast, followed by a consented shopping trip and a nap outside...those are the things that would have all made for a great day tomorrow if they had occurred a day or two later.

I have no idea what is on tap for tomorrow. We'll see. Maybe nothing and maybe a big surprise. I'm trying not to get my hopes up since Shawn is leaving at 5:30am for a dive excursion. Between a Bachelor Party tonight and an early outing tomorrow, I doubt he'll have time to do anything. If he surprises me with a gift card to Underwater Sports, I might not be so understanding.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mommy friends, all my friends (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of their kids (either biologically or through adoption), and most of all a huge Happy Mother's Day to my own Mom and my Mother in Law. Mom, it's hard not celebrating this day at a distance. I hope it is a fun and special day for you and we'll toast a drink to motherhood in exactly 4 months, in Maui! Mom-in-law, Trish, if you've hung around to read this far (usually she just skips ahead to the pictures), you mean so very much to me... always treating me like your very own daughter and being a phenomenal Grandma to Ian. On a daily basis, I thank God for you and all you do for us.

When I get a smile like this, I have to take the shot. He is one tough cookie to get to look at the camera long enough (and still enough) for a good photo op.

This was one of the craft stations. We painted each other's hands and made hand prints on either side of a Mother's Day poem. I didn't get Ian to spread his fingers before he made the hand print...but it still turned out precious. A real keeper.

He just HAD to show me how the soap and sink work... he acted like it was revolutionary... unlike anything he's seen before. I guess that means we don't wash our hands at home enough. Guilty!

Finally coming around. He was making the rounds in his classroom.

Pretending to be a choo choo train...which is appropriate for a Mother's Day Tea, right?

He loves this statue in the parking lot of his school... the boy and girl reading. I think of my mom every time I see it.

Each day this week, he's stopped me and asked to "see the babies". This window looks in on one of the "ones" toddler rooms. Probably where he would have started out if he had begun daycare here just a little over a year ago.

A not so great picture of my Mother's Day presents... a hand decorated flower pot and a bouquet of lilies made from Ian & his classmates' hand prints. I can't wait to do this craft at home. So cute.

The cover of the fabulous card Ian made for me with Grandma Trish's help. I especially love that Ian is spelled "NIA" and mom is spelled "MOW (or WOM, depending on how you're reading it)".

Just a couple of pics of me with my other little one... Polli is as much my child as Ian. I couldn't live without her, either!

By the way, I'm not winding up to punch Shawn. I'm not sure what I was doing with my left hand there...

Ian sends a big "Happy Mother's Day" out to all the Mommies out there, including his Grama Pat and Grandma Trish!