Thursday, February 28, 2008

Half Way To Belize

I do wish we were literally half way there, but, alas, we are only half way to getting the paperwork to get there. Ruth's passport expired in January and, of course, Max hasn't previously had one, so today was "Passport Day." In four to six weeks, we should be all set to go just about anywhere. Unfortunately, we don't have anything official planned until this summer, when we will be off to Belize. I. Can't. Wait.

I got my first passport when I was seventeen and couldn't believe I was getting one so young. But then I had kids. Ruth got her first passport when she was 7 months old, Weston got his when he was less then two months, and Max will have his by the time he's three months old. Amazing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weeping may endure for a night...

...But joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5
We have certainly had a fair amount of weepy nights, but Max has been working really hard this week on his smiles. And I finally captured one of those priceless jewels on camera. So cute I could die! This smiling-on-purpose stage is a stage I really love!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I would be blogging now

but my baby is crying and I have a headache. Catch you tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Magic 6-Week Mark

I have officially been released from my OB/GYN's care with regard to my pregnancy with Max. That means, I now have no excuse not to exercise and get back into healthier eating habits--which is kind of a bummer because I have been enjoying my junk food free-for-all. I went to work out tonight and, frankly, I was huffing a bit. But, I'm really motivated to get back into my regular size clothes and to be in pretty good shape for a big tropical vacation this summer. So, I guess I'll try to discipline myself and stave off temptations...But I think I'll start tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Slow-Moving Vehicle

Jeff and I have always prided ourselves on being very punctual. And I have to tell you, we still live under the delusion that punctuality is attainable--even after being parents for almost 6 years. It isn't. And we need to just accept this as a fact. As a unit, we just move A LOT slower than we used to. And each kid adds another level of slowness, making us one slow-moving vehicle. Slow and steady may win the race, but it's maddening to parents who want to live life in the fast lane.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weston, Weston, Weston

It doesn't get much cuter than two. This one's all about Weston.

  • First of all, the way he says "yellow." It sounds like "llello," and it's adorable. It's like that word is just a little too big for his mouth.
  • Secondly, whenever Jeff leaves the house, Weston has taken to saying, "Thanks for coming, Dad."
  • He sings "Uncle Alan had a farm. E-I-O." Now we know what Uncle Alan has really been up to, I guess. At least in Weston's mind.
  • And finally, the following conversation took place with my mom yesterday:
Weston: I have a bug in my eye.
Nana: Come here and let me take a look.
Nana: I don't see a bug in your eye.
Weston: No. It's a tarantula.
Everything this kid says (and does) is stinkin' hilarious!! No "laugh track" necessary!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sounds Like Five O' Clock

I can tell you what time it is--within half an hour--and I don't even need to look at the clock. I am attempting to put something together for dinner, and at least two of my children have burst into spontaneous tears. It's five o' clock. Easily the most stressful time of day for me. Every. Day. I have not figured out what causes this phenomenon, but you can bet on it: sometime between 5:00 and 5:30 at our house it's going to be loud and it's going to be chaotic. So, please, whatever you do, don't call me at that time of the day. I won't be able to hear you, and I probably won't be very nice either!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Pants

Every other month or so we do what we call "The Big Shopping Trip" at Costco. Today was that day. The boys were with me, of course, and they were doing great. We got down to just about five more items on the list, when Weston announced that he needed to go potty. I waffled momentarily between finishing the shopping and getting home for his nap or actually trying to go forward with this potty training business. The latter choice won out. So, I found a parking place for the over-flowing shopping cart, unloaded both kids and headed off to the bathroom. As we entered the stall, I realized that what Weston meant by "I need to go potty" was actually "I just went potty," for his jeans were wet in all the right places. Of course, I had no extra clothes, and he staunchly refused to put back on the wet pants. So, finally I gave in and took him back out in the store with no pants--just his wild fish-patterned shirt, a Cars pull-up, white athletic socks and his new brown tennis shoes. It was a sight to behold, and I wish I had thought to take a picture. He was perfectly happy with his new situation, and I was thoroughly amused with his chubby little white legs swinging freely from the shopping cart. Who needs pants, anyway?!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A New Way To Exfoliate

I am in the process of building a business around the idea of exfoliation. I've done a lot of experimentation, but today's experiment may take the cake. And what's even better is, I'm going to share it with you for free.

So the boys and I were supposed to meet friends at Central Market at 11:00. That is precisely the time I was just getting jackets on everyone. In my haste to get us moving out the door, I flung open the closet door to retrieve my jacket, sending the door smashing into the bookcase, which led to all manor of things falling. This I saw happening from the corner of my eye and reached out to catch a small glass container. And I did catch it, too, just as it bounced off the second shelf and shattered into a hundred pieces. I will tell you, several layers of skin--dead and alive--were removed and a few thousand blood cells were also liberated.

I have decided, in the name of Body Dulce, not to encourage this type of exfoliation. But rather, I will promote the more traditional, if less dramatic, sugar scrub. However, if you all are intrigued by this experiment, please feel free to try it for yourself. Just know that Body Dulce refuses to accept any responsibility for injuries incurred.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Sound of Silence

You don't realize how loud it is, until it's not. The big kids stayed the night with their grandparents last night and an almost eerie, but very pleasant, silence descended upon our house. We enjoyed every moment, but were glad to have our little chatterboxes home this evening.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vacation Envy

Well, I find myself a little green tonight. Jeff's aunt and uncle have set sail for Cozumel, and his parents are off to Carlsbad/Coronado Island for the weekend. And, (whine) I want to go somewhere. Anywhere. Preferably somewhere warm and beachy. But really, anywhere would be fine. But alas, I am here, with no plans to go anywhere more exotic for the moment. Just as well, I guess. I haven't really got my swimsuit body back yet--not that I ever really have a swimsuit body. Perhaps in my dreams I will have the body and the beach. That's not too much to hope for, is it?!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Please DON'T Be Mine!

Well, this post isn't likely to make me very popular, but I'm not that popular anyway, so I'm going to go ahead with it.

I admit it: I am definitely a Valentine curmudgeon. I just can't get behind a Hallmark holiday whose focus is to show a little love to those we love. I mean, shouldn't we be doing that everyday?! Do we need an occasion for that?! And is it really a true expression of love if we're doing it from some national social obligation?! I just don't get it. And I especially don't get it in the context of public school. You go to the store and buy these pre-made cards with some character or other expressing general cheesy fondness for the reader. You stick a sucker (or some other sugar-laden treat) on it. And then you pop one in every single (this is a rule) homemade bag without even bothering to put a name on them (also a rule), because that makes the process too inefficient. What's not to love? When I read the rules, I was tempted to take Ruth out of school today, but then I realized that she genuinely does love all her classmates and teachers and wants to give them things anyway. She does this all the time, without needing a special day for it. So, I did not attempt to transfer my feelings for this holiday to her in any way. And at least she, of her own initiative, made cards for all her classmates herself-- although she was quite put out when I told her she couldn't put individual names on them. And, she wanted to know why she had to give one to every kid. I told her honestly that I didn't know.

If there is one positive thing about this forced holiday, it's that GAC is devoting an hour to love song music videos, which are always fun to watch, even when everything isn't bathed in pink and red.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Heard At The Watts' House

"You sound blurry when you talk through the door." ~Ruth
"Weston, I want you to keep your jacket on so you don't get sick."
"No. I'm two. And Ruth is five." ~Weston
"Have you been wiping boogers on the side of your bed?! Don't wipe boogers on the side of your bed!" ~Jeff
"I am only going to give the puppy one more kiss." ~Mandi
"Ah-Goo." ~Max

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mandi M. Watts, Mother of Three

Well, all my helpers have gone and today was my first day to really and truly be a mother of three...all by myself. We did not burn down the house or take a trip to the ER, and I was able to focus individual attention on each kid at some point during the day, so, I think we're going to be o.k. Today also happened to be my half-birthday, so Jeff and I made a conscious decision to go out in public out-numbered. It couldn't have gone better. The kids were perfect and we all had a great time. I'm so very thankful that I have the opportunity to be the mother of (in my obviously unbiased opinion) the three greatest kids on the planet.

Babe In Arms

One thing about our little Max, he does like to be held. He is always happiest when someone is craddling him in their arms. He loves to study faces up close and to be lulled to sleep by human movement. He can be in, what seems to be, the deepest sleep while being held, but the moment the holder even thinks of putting him down--even with the intention of giving him a more restful sleep elsewhere--he begins a 5-minute long process of sniffing and snorting and generally working himself up into a tizzy. And with the release of the child also comes the release of tiny, yet powerful, protests. They say you can't spoil a baby for at least six months, but Max seems determined to prove them wrong. He's got us all wrapped around his teeny, tiny finger--and his killer set of lungs. And who can blame him, really? Since the moment he was born there has always been some willing arms, ready to receive him. And with the constant stream of visitors, when one set of arms tires, another is there to take over. I don't truly believe he is spoiled; just a normal, needy newborn. But certain things--eatting dinner, reading a book, typing a blog post--are just a lot more difficult to do with an armful of baby, and I, for one, will be glad when the demand to hold is not quite so all-consuming.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A New Bit Of Bling

Some of you long-time readers may recall the ear-piercing incident Ruth and I shared a while back. I was pretty sure the experience had left us both scarred for life and completley unwilling to attempt a repeat performance. But Ruth's need for bling finally overcame her all-consuming fear, so today we braved the mall--much scarier than the piercing--and Ruth came home with two perfectly pierced ears! She climbed up in the chair like the Queen of the World, and she didn't cry or even flinch! The ladies who did the piercing said they had never seen anyone be so brave. This evening I asked her how her ears were feeling, and she said, "Now they just feel like regular ears. They don't hurt at all." And here she is, in all her pierced-ear glory:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Refrigerator Swap

A few weeks ago we heard a CRACK! as we opened one of the drawers in the bottom of the refrigerator and the track broke on one side. A little later we heard another CRACK! as the track busted on the other side. It was at that point that we silently acknowledged that we might have the drawer a tad too full. However, we refused to do anything about it. We could still make the drawer go in and out, and it just didn't seem worth it to unload the whole fridge just because of a little cracking. Well, two days ago the whole shelf unit to which the drawer is attached came crashing down. We were suddenly forced to deal with the situation without further delay. Fortunately, we happened to have an almost-new, completely-unused extra fridge out in the garage. Unfortunately, some of the rats apparently took up residence there when they were living with us back in the Fall. Yuck! Undaunted by the scene, my mother-in-law (read: "Hero of the day") stepped in and cleaned the whole thing up while I was at Storytime with Weston this morning. We moved the new one in; we moved the old one out, and bada-bing, we're back in the cooling business. Plus, it was a great opportunity to get rid of all those unrecognizables. And, we think we like the new one even better than the old one. All around, it worked out kind of *cool*.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Good Read, Good Reader

Good Read

I finished this book this morning, and it is just amazing! It reads like the book of Acts, and it reminded me that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. His project has always been salvation, and He has been busy accomplishing that purpose in many ways all over the world since the beginning of time, up to and including the time we are living. He accomplishes that purpose through the lives of men and women who are willing to give themselves completely to Him, to be used in the way that He desires, and who are willing to listen to and obey His voice no matter what. This book is at once convicting and encouraging; challenging and inspiring. I would say it's a must-read for every believer. I am certain I will read it again and again.


Good Reader
Ruth finished her Swiss Family Robinson book tonight to much cheering and applause from some of her biggest fans! She started the 238-page, 16-chapter book on Jan. 17 and steadily and quickly worked her way through it without much trouble. She started out reading half of a chapter at a time and then worked her way up to a chapter a day. Today, however, in her enthusiasm to finish, she read 3 1/2 chapters! We are so proud of her and are, quite frankly, somewhat amazed! She has already picked out her next book, which will be Black Beauty.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Smiles On Monday

  • Our house was full to the brim with visitors this weekend!

  • Our Super Bowl party was loads of fun!

  • Max has gained a pound!

  • Jeff seems to have secured another consulting gig!

  • I found a quarter while doing the laundry!

  • Yummy food abounds at Casa de la Watts!

  • I'm reading an excellent book!

  • Sunny days and 80 degree temps!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Building A Better Life

Most parents want a "better life" for their children than what they themselves have had. That means something different to each individual, but tonight, through the following conversation, we found out what it means to Ruth.

Ruth: Why do parents get to make all the decisions?

Mandi: Well, that's just a one of the responsibilities of being a parent. When you are a parent, you will get to make all the decisions.

Ruth: Well, I know one thing: I want my kids to go to daycare.

Mandi: Oh really. Why is that?

Ruth: Well, I just think it would be a lot of fun for them. And one other thing...I want my kids to go to Jollyville, but I want them to ride the bus!