Thursday, February 25, 2010

Viva Las Vegas, babe!

We're back! We spent a glorious, relaxing 4 days in Las Vegas. Matt had to go to a conference during the day, so I divided my time between sleeping, reading, eating and shopping. My own little slice of heaven. Then at night we went to dinner, downtown Vegas (our favorite) and even to the movies--I highly recommend Valentine's Day.

While we were there, we did the math and figured out that it was Matt's 6th trip to LV, and my 8th. I know, ridiculous. What can I say? We love the place. There's something so fascinating about the hugeness of the buildings and the lengths at which companies go to get your attention. In Arkansas, a heated pool is considered a hot hotel commodity. In Vegas, you need a 40 acre lake that has a fountain show every 15 minutes, or a full-scale pirate battle with 50 actors and pyrotechnics. I love that grandmas with fanny packs walk next to showgirls, and guys at IT conferences eat lunch beside Elvis impersonators. Nothing and no one is out of place in Las Vegas.

Not too much out of the ordinary happened on this trip. We did witness 2 fairly amusing incidents, though:

- On the Dallas-Vegas plane, we sat in front of 3 60-something year old ladies who apparently travel together a lot. One was obviously the ringleader and yapped the whole time in a ridiculous Southern accent. They kept talking about all the trips she was planning for them--at one point she wondered aloud what kind of adapter she'd need for her blowdryer at their "London motel." At one point, one of the other ladies said, "Oh! If you ever plan a trip to China? I don't wanna go." The other lady immediately chimed in, "Me EITHER. Or Singapore?" First lady: "NO." For the next 5 minutes the two of them took turns naming places they WOULD NOT go, and the other would answer with a resounding "NO!" Apparently, anywhere in Asia's out, as well as Africa and Puerto Rico. Adventurers.

- On Tuesday night, Matt and I were standing in front of our hotel, waiting for the light to change so we could cross the street. We noticed a large group approaching, and as they got close it became clear that it was a large wedding party (again, a fairly normal thing to see in Vegas). The couple looked straight out of that New Jersey reality show. Once they got up to us, I realized that all was not well. The bride was BLAZIN mad. The groom had been walking a couple of paces behind her with his buddies, but when they stopped, he came up beside her and said in a booming, Joysey accent, "Ay! Babe! It waddn't my fawlt I was late! My ma needed ta tawlk ta me. What was I posed ta do? Huh?" I think if there had been anywhere in her dress where she could have hidden a weapon (and there was most certainly no such room) we'd have witnessed a murder then and there. I saw, in that moment, the realization in his eyes that he was not going to be able to laugh this one off. Matt and I guessed that within 10 minutes he'd be on his knees begging forgiveness while his friends writhed on the floor laughing. Great way to start a lifelong union.

As much fun as we had, we are so glad to be home. It was great to see the kids again, and I'm sure our parents were VERY glad to see us take them back. I'd love to go back again soon, but my schedule's a little full for a while with having a baby and all. I guess Vegas will have to keep being fabulous without me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beds are overrated

When Ethan was in his crib as a baby and toddler, he was the easiest kid to put to bed EVER. We changed his clothes, loved on him, plopped him in his bed and walked out the door. He didn't fuss, didn't play--just went right to sleep. We had had a rather difficult transition to a big bed with Abby, so I was a little apprehensive about moving him. Turns out there was no need for apprehension. Dread would have been more appropriate.

My longtime readers will recall our struggles with getting E to stay in bed. I posted about it frequently, including here, Two years later, and we're still going strong with the struggle. We've settled into an impasse of sorts, in which we leave his door open but put a baby gate up so that all he can do is stand at it and whine. We go on about our evening--works for us.

Anyway, even though he's contained Ethan is determined to prove his independence in some way. He's chosen to refuse to use his bed. Every night we tuck him in to his comfortable bed. We cover him with blankets. Every night before we go to bed, we check on him, and he has pulled all his blankets off the bed, dragged out any number of toys, and finally fallen asleep somewhere in his floor. He's not particular on this point--any old piece of floor will do. A couple of weeks ago I started taking a picture from the doorway after he settled every night. Below are the results:

He was really active on this night before he finally caved. Note the mess.

He loves to sleep with his ankles crossed like this. Can't be good for circulation.

It's like he was on his way to whine at the gate and just couldn't make it all the way. Note that he's turned his socks backwards.

On this night I looked for him for a good while before I realized that he was, of all places, in his bed! He must have not felt well.

The good news is that once he's asleep, we can pretty much do whatever we want and he won't wake up. So we go in and scoop him up and move him to his bed, where I think he stays the rest of the night. I only hope he grows out of this habit, or someday his poor wife will really get tired of stepping over him to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Bless her heart, though, that will probably be the least of her worries.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Walk this way

Tonight I was sitting at the dining room table and Matt was at the computer. He turned around and we were talking to each other--we could see each other but had the kitchen and about 20 feet between us for those of you who haven't seen our house. It was about 9:30 and the kids had been asleep for over an hour, thank you Lord. All of a sudden, Abby walked right past Matt and into our bedroom , holding her pillow. She's a serious sleepwalker.

She's sleepwalked regularly since she was 3 or 4 years old. It doesn't happen often, maybe only once a month or so, and only when she's really tired. She's always been a very deep sleeper. I can go in her room, turn the lights on, and put laundry away at night and she never moves a muscle. So far the sleepwalking has been pretty unexciting. It usually involves her coming into the living room and wandering around until we guide her back to bed. We're pretty sure it always happens early, before we go to sleep, but I guess for all we know there are nights that she gets up and roams the house for hours.

It's really amusing to us, and it frequently results in some humorous situations. More than once I've seen her come out to the living room and then head back to her room. By the time I get in there, she's gone into her closet and is repeatedly walking into her shelves. I just turn her around and point her to her bed. Once she came out, walked to the side of the chair Matt was sitting in, bent over to put her head in his lap and fell fast asleep standing up. A lot of times she needs to go to the bathroom while she's up, so we take her but she falls asleep on the toilet so we have to hold her up and take care of all the mechanics for her. Super fun.

Abby never remembers sleepwalking the next day, and I think she suspects that we are making the entire thing up. Thankfully she's never tried to get out of our house or do anything dangerous (again, as far as we know--I suppose she could be going out to rave parties at 3AM and we'd have no clue).

Ethan does not sleepwalk (yet)(that we know of), but he has his own very strange nighttime ritual. I shall write about it tomorrow--and this story comes with visual aids. Ohhh, yeah.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Mario time. All the time.

I think some people are more predisposed to addiction than others. While I have been fortunate to avoid addiction to any seriously harmful things, I know I have addictive tendancies. Right now, my addictions run to the fairly benign: Diet Dr. Pepper, American Idol, Pop Tarts, Facebook.

It appears that I have passed this trait on to at least one of my children. Ethan is OBSESSED with Mario Brothers. I cannot stress this enough. Anyone who has been around him for 5 minutes can testify that I am not exaggerating. We have the new Super Mario Bros. for Wii, and the boy lives and dies by it. The first words out of his mouth every morning are "Can I play Mario?" The last words out of his mouth every night are "Can I play Mario in the morning?" If we are out somewhere, all we have to do is get in the car to begin the trip home and he starts up. If you are with him and need to occupy him for 20 minutes or so, just say "So Ethan, what happened in your last Mario game?" You will get a blow by blow account, punctuated every 10 seconds with "N'd'you know what?"

Abby likes it too, though her interest is not nearly at the level of Ethan's. We can't let them play together because they fight constantly. One day when it was her turn, I made the colossal mistake of going on YouTube and pulling up a video someone posted of their Mario game. I showed Ethan, and now if he can't PLAY Mario he wants to WATCH Mario.

It could be worse. He could be obsessed with toy guns or SpongeBob or something. And while Matt and I are careful to limit his Mario time, I think we're both a little prouder than we'd like to admit when he gets a 1Up or uses his Yoshi to eat a turtle. I can tell by Matt's face that even though his mouth is saying "Only 5 more minutes, Ethan!" his heart is saying, "That's my boy!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fine, fine

Here's the deal. I find (and I think any of you would agree) that I am at my blogging best when I am writing about the mundane, the unimportant, the irrelevant parts of life. Such is my lot in life--to focus on the worthless--and I am satisfied with it. Most of the time, this works beautifully for my blog, since there is a neverending stream of such things floating around in my head.

The glitch occurs when something important is going on. Big important things feel too monumental for me to write about, so I put it off. However, I feel like until I write about the big important stuff, I can't go and write about dumb stuff. So I procrastinate, and pretty soon it's been a month and I have people yelling at me and sending me smarty pants text messages (you know who you are) for being a poor blogger.

All right already! Here you go. BIG IMPORTANT THING: Matt and I are part of a group of people that started a new church in Springdale. It's called The Harbor. The experience has been a tremendous blessing. We've had two services so far, and both have been so much fun I can't believe I get to count them as "going to church." It's only going to get better, too. We have been running around like crazy people getting everything set up and in order, but we've had a ball. I can't wait to see what's in store for us.

Ahhhh. That's better. I covered the basics, but if you'd like details I'm happy to give them to you--just ask. Meanwhile, to make up for lost time, I promise to blog EVERY DAY from now until this coming Sunday, and which point Matt and I are escaping to Vegas for one last vacation before baby #3 (still unnamed--I don't want to talk about it) makes his appearance. So get ready! The mundane has been building up all this time, and it's ready to be unleashed!

PS. Spammers have found my little blog and have been sending bizarre comments in other languages. To stop this, comments will now require word verification, which is where you have to type the word you see in the funny font. I know this adds an extra 3 seconds to your committment, but I believe in you. You can handle it.