Friday, February 27, 2009


Things you wanted to know about Wyoming, but were afraid to ask:

1. The wind is INSANE. Businesses keep the left door on their double doors locked at pretty much all times, due to wind. I have lost control of shopping carts. With 2 children in them at the time. I have not been able to open the van door carefully at times, and I am using all my strength, and when it blows open it hits the car next to me. Which is usually ok because Wyoming drivers have those nice padded wrap-around thingys on the front of their cars. The ones that don't have lots and lots and lots and lots of dings. Signs routinely say "caution: winds at 50+ miles per hour" on the highway, yet you really only need to worry when it gets higher than that and you start passing overturned semis. There is a garbage cyclone in front of the bookstore near my house...sounds kinda gross, but it's neat to watch and it pretty much never stops. When it's really cold and you walk outside, the wind whips right into your lungs and you can't speak. In other words: it's a bad hair year.

2. You can't buy liquor in the grocery stores, you have to go to a liquor store. This is not difficult as there is one on every corner. Kind of like Starbucks in Seattle. And they have drive-thrus (not kidding). And also margherita slushy machines. And they're open like, constantly, round the clock, even on Sundays. And even though you're supposed to be 21 or older, people bring in all their kids. Which begs the question, why exactly don't they just sell it in the grocery stores?

3. In spite of the foreward march of progress in the drive-thru alcohol consumption, you can't find a single coffee drive-thru. Cowboys like their coffee non-frou-frou, and I guess they prefer to get out of their trucks to purchase it.

4. It's the least populated state in America. So if you want to come visit me, I'm super easy to find.

5. Our airport is so small you can park right in front, literally. There are a few old chairs in the lobby you can sit in while you wait for your loved one to get off the puddle jumper he was just on, clinging to the edge of his seat in fear, while the "plane" puts-puts to safety. If you're going against the wind the ride from Denver is short, if you're with the wind, well, you barely have time to get yourself a ginger ale and you've landed. It's the general concensus that it's better to just drive yourself from Denver.

6. Jimmy Stewart made a movie called The Cheyenne Social Club about him buying a brothel. Good stuff. But I don't think we have brothels here anymore. Coicidently, (or maybe not) Jimmy Stewart was also in North By Northwest which takes place at Mt Rushmore, just one state and an afternoon's drive away. So if you like Jimmy Stewart (and if you don't you're no longer my friend) you should come see the places he liked to make movies at.

7. Antelope are frequent. I went garage saleing last summer and so did the antelope. I got better deals however because I can haggle and they can't, not really. They can stand there and look pretty, but most dealers aren't as impressed by that as they are by humans crossing their palms with some silver.

8. When I told anyone I was moving to Wyoming I was met with blank stares. Then they usually say, 'I broke down in Wyoming once. But I didn't know anyone actually lived there...' Then I would say, 'We're moving for my husband's job.' Then they look less baffled and say, 'Oooooh! You're military!' because that's the only reason they can think of that would explain things. Sometimes I just look agreeable at that assumption because I'm ready for the conversation to end. Similar to when the girls were tiny babies and people assumed they were boys, and they'd coo, 'Oh what a cute little man!' At first I'd correct them, but then I got to thinking, hey I'm never going to see these people again so what's the point in making them feel bad about themselves? So then I just started saying, 'Isn't he though?' And on we'd go on our separate ways. But I always kind of worried just a little that I would see those people again, and then I'd have to explain myself at some point and they'd think I was a nut and wouldn't understand at all.
9. The elevation here is around 9000 feet high. I don't have anything else to say about that; it's just a fact.
10. Last year we had a snowball fight in August.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"The cure for boredom is curiousity.
There is no cure for curiousity."
That quote was on my tea bag. I forget who said it but I thought it was apt for these little monkeys. Man, those tea bag writers are sage!

Cora's first swim meet! She took first in both her events: butterfly and free style!

I know, we need to feed her some cheeseburgers, right?
Gianni got his stitches out this morning. He seems a little bummed probably due to the fact that those bright blue threads in his head got him a lot of attention from pretty girls! Daddy tried to tell him chicks dig scars and it was a shame it was on the back of his head where his (invisible) hair will someday cover it. But at the rate this little gremlin is going, he will have plenty of scars to impress the ladies.
He's also quite the bookworm lately. His two faves are "Goodnight, Gorilla" and "Moo, Baa, LaLaLa." The latter was also Cora's favorite at this age although she prefered the 'sheep says baa' page as opposed to his favorite, 'cats and kittens say meow.' All the animals in Luigi's opinion should say 'meow' in a long, drawn out, high pitched squeal. We have also perfected Pavlov's theory: everytime you say the word 'gorilla' he lets out a snore because that's how the last page of "Goodnight, Gorilla" ends. You could hide it in a sentence like, "Will you go put (Gorilla) your napkin in the trash" and he will interrupt you to snort a "Zzzzzz" sound. Very cute. What's not so cute was trying to sneak in a shower this morning with him pulling away the curtain and trying to crawl in with me, completely clothed. Silly me thinking I could do that with anything less than the aftermath of a small hurricane to clean up afterwards. Didn't even get to wash my locks (once a week whether I need it or not). Remember those days, Mommies everywhere, when we used to deep condition our hair for 5 - 10 minutes, exfoliate with apricot scrub, shave our legs without leaving behind a racing stripe accidently because of being in a hurry, and just, imagine that, stay in until the water gets cold? Now the water is cold to begin with because we're the last to shower in the house and you had to run the dishwasher that's overflowing with filth and you streaked through the house in your skivvies to the washing machine to dump in a load of much needed under-roos because you just realized your children are bare-tushed and possibly enjoying it too much and your spouse is resorting to turning his inside out for another day of wear and let's face it, you have to launder those in Hot so there goes the last of the water, and the hubby got his shower first because he snuck to it faster, and by the time you get there, it's like, lunch time and you haven't had breakfast yet, and you're wondering if microwaving the same cup of coffee 6-8 times per cup, per morning, for the past 8 (insert your eldest child's age here) years will give you some form of hideous cancer. And now the toddler won't stop flushing the toilet over and over and the last sliver of soap squished down the drain when you dropped it and you're thinking those people from a few hundred years ago knew what they were doing when they only bathed once a year, obviously they had children and weren't as stupid as us modern americans. Or is this just me?
Cora's first swim meet was lots of fun, both for her and for her 'stage parents.' I don't know what to call the swim equivelent to the 'stage mother' I always dealt with in my 20+ years of ballet. At least we aren't screaming at the coach and threatening our daughter with bodily harm for anything less than first place. Which she totally got. Oh yeah. Didn't even have to threaten. She smoked 'em. This is good, because the only way she's getting to college is through some neat form of scholarship. Or a sponser. Anyone? The other two rugrats need to find a hobby/talent also and stat: their college fund wouldn't fund The Tooth Fairy Fund at this sad, sad point. I guess I don't need to think so pessimistically though. Maybe they won't be college material! Problem solved.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

owie, mom

Guess who spent the morning getting five stitches in his head?
Poor little dude had a skermish with a wooden chair, and the chair won. He was remarkably brave, so much so that the doc was concerned he had a concussion because he was so laid back and just snuggled on my lap while they sewed him back together.
My poor little Franken-Baby!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So the big guy has learned to climb this week. As you can see from the photo, sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. I guess it wasn't everything he had hoped and dreamed and plotted for. His problem seems to be getting high centered on the root beer belly. *

Lately, the Youngster has left his days of piracy behind him and when I say that, I merely mean that he has less hiding spots for his treasures. In fact, there are only three in existence now: the first and most hygenic is the bathtub. This morning I found Daddy's laptop in there. The second is the toilet. We won't mention what I've found in there. The last is the trash can. I had to fish out, one by one, the entire contents of my purse/diaper bag the other day. Check nicely coated with a protective sealent of squashed banana and the remnants of a spaghetti lunch.

I don't know if it's just me or if my children are seriously more clutzy than the norm. We all know, and love, little Anna and all her misc. (yes, I am abbreviating it cause I can't spell it) bruises and battle scars. Now we have Gianni, who bless his pea picking heart, seems to be every bit as graceful. This morning at church, while NOT in child care, he found endless and hilarious entertainment with a glass door and window. He seemed to think that running behind it he could see me but perhaps I couldn't see him. Or maybe he knew I could see him but he thought I wouldn't be able to cross over to that side and get him. Who knows what goes on in the minds of toddlers? Anyway, this game went on for quite a while, as he charmed little old grandmas and cackled his evil laugh at me through the door (all the while blowing blow fish and licking said door). Well, those windows and door were darn shiny and clean. Poor kid. We don't wash windows at my house. He was mesmorized by the clear sparkles, made even clearer and sparklier by the snow right outside. Have you guessed the outcome yet? He ran smack dab into the door, going full speed. Lest you feel guilty for snorting a bit, don't: he's a tough little guy (when not fainting) and he picked himself up and dusted himself off and didn't even really look too embarrassed. He did sport a nice pink forehead and nose for the rest of the morning. It reminded me of when Anna had not one, but two black eyes. At the same time. From two seperate incidents. Try explaining that to nosy women in the grocery stores who stare at you like you probably boil kittens in your spare time and mutter under their breath about child abuse. The first shiner came from falling over in the shower. The second, well, the second was my fault and I still periodically and randomly apologize for it. We had locked ourselves out of the house and Anna, bitty little munchkin that she is, was the best bet for squirming her way through the only unlocked window. This window was a bit high up, and I'm not exactly tall (I am pretty tall for a short person though) so I had to climb up a stepladder with her. You know how you can lift a good amount of weight as long as it's held close to your body? But you can't really give it the ol' heave hoe and lift above your head and outstretch your arms? No? Well, trust me, it's really difficult, or maybe I have spaghetti arms with the strength of gnats. So, yes, I dropped her and yes, she got another black eye. Yes, I will stop typing and apologize again.

I also feel the need to apologize for the way my paragraphs don't always come through and the way the captions to my photos aren't always symmetrical. When I am writing these posts, everything is perfectly lined up and exactly even. Then when I publish it, due to some evil genius at blogger twirling his handlebar mustache, they get all weird. This bothers me. And now that you probably never noticed, you will now and will judge me.

* no, I don't feed my 1 year old root beer.

Monday, February 9, 2009

that's why we call it three kid adventures

-not sure if Gianni is blessing his friend, Quinn, petting him like he does Milo, admiring his coiffure, or elevating him to the status of knight-

-cousins at Christmas time-

-Gianni resorts to surrender and torture by tickling after a game of chase with Mommy-

You may notice that the photo of the girls isn't the most recent, but strangely enough there are lots of new pictures of the youngest monster and none at all of the Firstborn or the Middler. This is strange because, as anyone with more than 1 child knows, the first is spoiled rotten, the next is spoiled but not excessively, the third is lost a bit in the shuffle, and so on and so forth. With Cora we took photo after photo, lovingly recording every feeding, smile, burp, laugh, haircut, holidays, vacations, change of clothes, bathtimes, mealtimes, sleeptimes, rolling over times, colorful bowel movements, well, you get the idea. Now, Anna was born a scant 18 months later and we were a bit more forgetful about things like putting batteries in the camera or remembering where we left the camera last, or actually owning a camera. But here and there we hastily scribbled cute things in her baby book and if there are a few pictures that may be Cora and not in fact, Anna, well, everyone says they look alike so who's gonna argue with the name on the back of the snapshot? Now the only thing that is saving Gianni from complete and total lack of personalized memorabilia, it's that he was born 6 years later to parents who had forgotten how fun babies could be. So yes, there are photos of him at most every stage. No video however and the baby book has a thick, protective layer of dust, but we mostly know where he is at all times, his middle name, and if we have to think real hard about birthdates, well, attribute it to old age on our part.

Oh by the way, if you get a phone call from someone with a high squeaky voice asking you if you ordered a large garlic and pepperoni pizza... it's Anna. And she will be grounded.
In other news, we have decided to quit tormenting the child care workers at both our church and the YMCA. Those poor people do not get paid enough (and in the case of the former, their reward is in heaven, and hopefully a long way off) to watch our grumpy little gnome. The wailing is hard on their ears and the turning blue/passing out is hard on their nervous systems so we're letting them off the hook. He can sit in service with us, sticking pencils in our shoes, flirting with the preacher's wife, scooting under pews, contributing loudly with the sermon, and in general forcing us all to patiently recall the scriptures about letting little children come to Jesus. As far as the YMCA goes, there will be no more sneaking out of the house without the moppets (yeah, yeah, I heard ya, Dad) so I guess I'll just get fat. We'll try the whole tough love thing again in a month or two, but in the meantime G. can party to his little heart's content and so can the babysitters.
Oh, and if anyone has a surefire way to memorize the times tables, please let me know. Cora knows a lot of fun and interesting and little known facts, but the pluttification tables (shout out to Pippi there!) is not one of them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

happy groundhog day to everyone!

Another year of football has come and gone! You can't see me, but imagine the happy, happy, joy, joy dance being performed in front of my computer screen. I sat in front of a large tv through a never-ending super bowl game last night, and I still couldn't tell you who was playing, much less who won. But the chicken wings were tasty (thanks, Kohler!) so all in all it wasn't a bad way to spend an evening. You'd think with two football loving parents, a football obsessed spouse, a football adoring best friend, and two out of three children who enjoy and can follow the game with a minimum of knowledge, that I would really learn to appreciate the sport. Alas, no. No matter how many well meaning people have tried to teach me the rules and point of this game, I simply stare at the screen and daydream in spite of really trying to pay attention. I think I have football ADD. I'm just thrilled no one will try to convert me again for another few months.

Speaking of football (sheesh, who would have ever thought I could write a whole post on that?!), I have been attempting to record Gianni and Milo in a rousing game of fetch, but every single time I sneak out the camera and press the button, they completely stop and stare at me. They refuse to even look cute. Milo won't pick up the ball and instead starts dragging his rump on the carpet, and Gianni wanders off in sudden search of nourishment while digging for gold up his nose. So I give up. But trust me, it really is adorable when they get going and when the papparazi isn't stalking them.

The girls have rigged up hammocks in their bed. They tied sheets to the bottom of the top bunk by their four corners, and then snuggle up inside with their books and flashlights and snacks. It was one of those great kid ideas that their know-it-all parents told them wouldn't work. Normally those know-it-all parents are correct: "No, you can't climb a tree and pull your sister, baby brother, dog, food, television, etc, up in a basket," "No, you can't dry your hair in the clothes dryer," "No, you can't drive the car even if the policeman isn't looking," "No, you can't sell your rock collection in a stand in the driveway," "No, you can't get a motorcycle," etc etc etc.

Mike is in Texas for the week, training. I took him to the airport at 5 am this morning and since we didn't want to wake all the kids for a very short car drive, we snuck out and then I snuck back (and back to bed). At 7:45 when I woke back up, Gianni, who is normally a very early riser was still silent from his bedroom. As I'm making coffee and blowing on his oatmeal I'm thinking "Oh man, what if someone was watching the house? What if they came in right behind me and took him? What if he's been gone for like, two hours, and I've been snoozing the whole time? " I was plagued with awful scenarios of what could have happened the ten minutes I left them. Maybe someone heard Mike and I mention this plan and they were waiting for us to pull out of the garage? There were visions of Mission: Impossible looking men scaling down my roof and ransom notes cut from newspaper letters arriving in the mail. Or do they just call with ransom demands these days? Or text? Or put something up on your Facebook page? 'You have been poked by a kidnapper! Poke back?' Anyway, I panicked and had to rush into his room and he looked at me from his crib all befuddled and sleep eyed. So, disaster averted. It's hard giving your children a little extra responsibility! Mike and I also snuck out the other day when G was napping and the girls were watching a movie. We ran down to the YMCA and worked out together for a quick 25 minutes and left Cora in charge. We panicked a bit then, too, thinking we'd come home to find the house surrounded by crime scene tape, a fire engine parked in the driveway, and employees from Health and Welfare sitting on our couch. "Hello, Mr and Mrs. Williams, nice of you to come home at last. Would you like your children to go to the same foster home, or should we split them up forever?" In reality, nothing had changed in the time we were gone. Baby was still snoring, Anna was jumping off the walls, and Cora was mastering Wii in the exact same spot we left her. Anxiety attack for nothing! In the immortal words of Cora/SpongeBob,

"Oh, tarter sauce!"