Monday, January 12, 2009

Can you see why we think he's a 42-year-old man trapped in a 9-year-old boy's body?

Mom: What book are you reading?

Calvin: Eldest.

Thomas: Wait, haven't you already read that?

Calvin: Well, haven't YOU already read The 39 Clues?

Thomas: Touche.

Sherise turns the big 4-0

I have to start by saying that Paul really stepped it up this year. He really did. A few months ago, I asked if he wanted to talk about how we were going to celebrate my birthday this year. (I don't usually care about making a big fuss, big hey, this one has a zero at the end of it, and I wanted to make sure I greeted it in style.) Paul just smiled and said, "Don't worry, I've got you covered." Honestly, I had my doubts about whether he truly realized the significance of his wife beginning a new decade and whether he would put sufficient thought and planning into whatever he was smiling about. I should never have doubted him. (Sorry, honey!)

On New Year's Eve, I came down with the bug that had been running through our family. Nothing serious, just a little achiness and a low level overall crummy feeling, but it was enough that I came home early from the neighbors' party and spent the rest of the evening and the next day in bed. For some strange reason, Paul seemed irritated that I was sick. Which, of course, made me irritated in return--why was he getting upset about something that was clearly Not My Fault and that I Would Much Rather Have Avoided? Well, it's because he had plans to take me somewhere really cool that night, and I was obviously not going to be up for it. He finally fessed up that he had arranged for my mom to stay overnight with the kids so he could surprise me with a trip for my birthday. Aww, isn't he sweet? (I STILL don't think he should have been mad about my getting sick, but I'll let that one slide.) I asked if he couldn't just reschedule everything for the next day, and he said he wasn't sure, but he'd try.

So perhaps I wasn't 100% surprised to be whisked off to the Homestead Resort the next night after a lovely dinner out with my husband, but he did manage to maintain a little mystery by not telling me whether he'd actually managed to get new reservations, and then not telling me where we were going once we were on our way. And the snowmobiling trip the next morning? TOTAL surprise, and the most fun I've had in a long time. Check out these pictures:

Don't we look like we're having fun? (Paul did have his own snowmobile, BTW. He just hopped on mine for the picture.) My smile probably would have been bigger, but my face muscles were too cold to move any further.

Good job, Paul, right? But wait, there's more! (This is like the infomercial of birthdays.) Monday, my actual birthday, he booked a massage for me at a local spa. He planned to pick up some takeout on his way home from work while I was getting fluffed and buffed so I wouldn't have to cook on my birthday. So after Haylie the massage therapist had worked her magic and I'd hung out in the sauna and steam room for a while, I sauntered on home, only to find the final birthday surprise: a party! A roomful of family and friends singing "Happy Birthday," pizza, two kinds of cake (oh, he knows me well), and a general feeling of being fussed over. Yeah, I'd say it was a pretty good birthday. Now I've got until April of next year to plan something great for Paul's 40th. I'm taking suggestions.

(NOTE: If you are a friend who didn't get an invite to the party, please accept my and Paul's apologies. Obviously, he couldn't exactly ask me who all I wanted there without letting the cat out of the bag. And if you're a friend/family member who did get invited and RSVPed that you were coming, but lives in Utah Valley, thank you for NOT coming, so we didn't have to worry about you driving home in that massive snowstorm.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why our children love it when Uncle Brandon comes to visit

Life Lesson

This weekend, I learned that even if one has been a diligent Weight Watchers member for the past month and a half, and one has lost 12 pounds, and one's jeans are sliding off of one's rapidly shrinking hips, one should not pull an old pair of pants that one hasn't worn in five years and two kids out of the closet just to see how close one is to one's former self. One is likely to be unpleasantly surprised, and realize just how much weight one still has to lose, and spend the rest of the weekend wondering how one let oneself get so stinking fat in the first place.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another bad parenting moment

The set-up: We're at Chipotle yesterday and Calvin dares Thomas to eat a lemon wedge. Thinking he won't be able do it, Calvin offers Thomas $5 if he can eat the whole thing. Thomas promptly eats the whole thing and collects his $5.


Calvin then decides to go double-or-nothing with Thomas. This time, it's a lime wedge, again, Calvin thinks Thomas can't do it. Wrong.

Kaching. Thomas now has $10 for eating two pieces of citrus.

Calvin, now out $10, is trying to make some of his money back. At this point, as a responsible parents, we should have intervened. Instead, we joined the frenzy. I offered Calvin $5 if he could eat five chips smothered in Chipotle's hottest salsa.

After the first three, Calvin thought he had it in the bag. By chip four, his mouth was on fire and his eyes were watering. After chip five he guzzled an entire soda and said "that wasn't worth it."

Then Thomas piped up. He wanted to try the same challenge. We let him.

He starts out well.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but Thomas is beginning to look injured (he has a low threshold for pain).

Much to everyone's surprise, he did it. He ate all five smothered chips.

Kaching. That's good money for a few minutes work. Thomas got the last laugh on all of us.

Or so he thought.

10 minutes later while shopping in a nearby store, Thomas says he thought he was going to throw up. So we found a restroom ASAP. Sure enough, the boy hurled three times. A few minutes later, he says "I think it's coming out the other side now!" Back into the bathroom.

So he didn't get the last laugh after all. But we let him keep the money. Today, he went to the pet store and spent some of his hard-earned cash on a black and red newt (or is it a salamander? It looks cool in any case).