Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little boy like you

(I know, I used the same title last year. It's a good title.)

First, Andy:

Happy birthday, dear. It's been 3 years now that I've known you. Wowzas. You have been my constant friend, and stood by my side through one of the hardest times in my life, for absolutely no good reason I can think of. But I'm lucky, and glad for it, and always grateful for your friendship and your Tron fetish and your links. You make me want to be a better writer, and a better woman, and a better mother, and most of all, the thing I ain't never gonna forgive you make me wish I lived in Thornton.

I wish you beers and smiles and trick-or-treats and all the happiness ever. I wish a little more I could do all of that with you. Maybe someday, maybe someday......

Second, Josh:

Today you turn 35, and I seriously cannot believe that you are actually 35 full years old. You were just a kid when I met you, all those years ago. I guess you're not a kid anymore. It's been 10 years, today, that we have been really, not so much on-again-off-again together (we're just not going to count last year) and though you have changed almost entirely and grown and learned and tripped and fell a few times, each time you get back up the core things are still there. The donut addiction, the love of all things shoe and eBay, the fact that you cannot not laugh at a fart, your taste in books and music, your obsession with Cholula and hair products....all that is still there and in a weird way defines you more than your role as a father, or someone's boss, or your demons ever will.

Your life thus-far has been some great ups, some big downs, and through it all you just keep trying to do it the best you can, to be a better man every day, to be graceful through it all. I am honored to have gone this far through it all with you, and I am more happy than I will ever find the words that my babies look like you and walk like you and burp like you. Thank you for sharing the past 12 years of your life with me.

I love you (both). Happy Birthowe'en!

Choose your poison

As I have said before, I am going to fail participate in NaNoWriMo as well as NaBloPoMo. That means that my laundry will fall sadly behind, my husband may finally catch me in the act of blogging, and you will have to sit through 30 days straight of bad, reaching posts. In the interest of consideration (and because I like this little gizmo), I thought I'd let you choose what I'm going to write about.

See, I crave structure. In my shirts, in my daily schedule, in my blog. I like to know what I'm doing, to have a central theme to write around. So far, that theme has been "Embarrassing myself and my children". Count your blessings, if you are a new-comer....the old blog's theme was "Pour my poor, broken heart out on the sidewalk and watch it ooze slowly into the cracks.

(Between you & me, I kinda liked that blog better.)

Anyway, we have 4 long weeks together, and so your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose 4 topics (one for each week) from the list below. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments. I'll totally consider them.

Decision '07

I need your help. I have to order school pictures by TOMORROW and I can't decide which ones to go with. We all know how serial-killer-esque beautiful my boys look in pictures. Please, vote. Today. Baby books and Gigi's are counting on you!

Your choices are 1:
2:3:And 4:

Choose one shot for each kid. Voting made easy here:

On footwear, or the lack thereof

These are all of the shoes I own:I know, you're waiting for the other pictures. There are no other pictures. That's it; just those. That would be totally fine if I were a beach-bum in college, but I am a mother of three in Vancouver, British Columbia where it rains like crazy. Britney Spears crazy. I need shoes.

Today, Josh took me out to fix this little issue, and bought me these:I paid more for those than I did for all over my other shoes. Combined. I'm dead serious; I did the math.

It's not that I couldn't have more shoes, it's just that I am a penny pinching cheap bastard and every time I think I could squeeze in a pair of shoes I then think about next stupid school fundraiser or the impending diaper purchase or replacing the area rug that I have had since I was single.

Anyway, now I have a decent pair of shoes and my husband totally has a crush on them. He's got a shoe thing. Someday I'll show you how many pairs of shoes he has.

Rate the Hate the two-part edition

First, breakfast.

The worlds' best french toast, ever. Add eggs, a hint of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a big ol' pincha brown sugar and a splash of vanilla. Whisk.Dip some Texas toast or sliced french bread in that and cook in a frying pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, whip up some heavy cream with a good, big splash of vanilla (almond extract is yummy, too, if you have it), a tiny little dash of cinnamon, and an equal mix of white sugar and powered sugar. Whip that up until it shows stiff peaks. Plop the whipped cream on top of the french toast and put a bottle of sprinkles in the middle of the table.Healthy? Hell no. Delicious? Oh yeah. Pictures of kids mid-bite crack me right up.

Second: Damage control.

Ingredients: one copy of Babe, one DVD player, one TV, one very, very large box of animal crackers, one potty chair, one naked toddler. Place the movie in the DVD player, turn TV on. Place cookie box next to potty chair. Place toddler near the ingredients. Walk away. Go have a smoke, fold some laundry, whatever. Return ten minutes later to find the ingredients nicely combined.

Warning: Subsequent attempts at this will, in all probability, not be as successful as the first try. Enjoy it while it lasts.