Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cow Milk and Ice Cream

When the teenagers were little and the toddlers not even thought of, our main transportation was the city bus. Well, time goes how it goes and our one car became two and the bus riding stopped.

We were on the way to dinner last Friday with my mom and her husband when a bus passed by. The little toddlers looked at it with amazement as they always do. Such an exciting and mysterious contraption for them. They talked about it like it was the most wonderful thing.

And then it hit me. That's what we need, a bus adventure.

Saturday morning we set up and headed out. Holy Terror and Super Wy were like human atoms, boucning around with excitement. The teenagers didn't quite get it, but were having fun and getting into the spirit.

There we stood waiting at the bus stop, Billy standing on the tree stump to keep watch. Within 5 minutes, he called, "Here it comes."

The big bus rumbled to a stop and shoosh the doors folded open. The little boys are shaking and making weird hyper squeaking noises. They stepped up behind me, holding their big sibling's hands. Of course, that is, long enough to get by me and zip to the back of the bus.

I had so much fun watching them look out the big windows and say hello to everyone who came on and off the bus during our 30 minute ride to downtown. Then we transferred to go from downtown to the other side of town, where we surprised Daddy at work and joined him for lunch at Foster Freeze.

Now, at this point you're probably wondering about the title of this post. "What does cow milk and ice cream have to do with the bus ride?"

Let me go on here. We finished our meals and started in on our ice cream dessert when Daddy asked Super Wy, "What is ice cream made of?"

"Milk," he responded, taking another lick.

"Where does milk come from?" Scarlet asked.

"Cows...they pee it out," he said in his most serious tone and took another lick.

...and now you know...I bet you thought I was going to have another emotional mommy moment pouring onto the screen, huh?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Norris Polar Bear Club

After the unusually hot March days we had last week, Hubby and I decided to get the pool and set it up Saturday afternoon. The teenagers helped clear the ground, lay the sand, and set up the frame. Then we filled it (yay for the upcoming high water bill...not). The whole thing was done by 11 pm.

Waking up Sunday, the kids were all about swimming. Only problem? It was your regular overcast March morning with 50 degree temperatures. Did this stop my crew?

Of course not, Silly.

They ate breakfast with gusto. They bickered over which float toys each were going to get. And they waited for the sun to break through the mid morning clouds. I kept warning them is was going to be too cold. But each time their response was more defensive and sure.

Ka-blam! An itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie ray of light burst through the cloudy day and shone on a 4 inch patch of the backyard. They were off like race horses, running out the backdoor, around to the back part of the yard. The teenagers ripped the cover off and all four jumped in.

All all four jumped right back out with a squeal.

I stood on the back porch laughing my you-know-what off. Super Wy and Parkour Boy (of course it would be our old souls) were smart enough to call it a swim day. Drama Queen and Holy Terror braved the ice water and jumped back in like the cute little fools they are.

They put up a front...though an unbelievable one.

"T-t-t-t-this is gr-gr-great, Mom. Y-y-you sh-sh-sh-should jump in!" Drama Queen chattered from the edge of the pool. Holy Terror piped in with agreement, his lips already turning a purpley blue.

"Not if you paid me a million dollars," I hollered back from the comfort of our backyard steps. I bundled my sweater tighter and went in to enjoy the warmth of the house.

Five minutes later I heard them jumping out. I peaked out the kitchen window and spotted my little Norris Polar Bears wrapping up in a comforter in the backyard.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Godzilla Whisperer

Holy Terror finishes of the last of his Alfredo shell pasta and pinches his face at the green beans. He looks around at the other family member's dishes and stops at Super Wy's. On Super Wy's plate is a nice, untouched serving of Alfredo shell pasta.

Sitting and admiring the wonderful treasure that Super Wy currently possesses, he rolls his lips. His eyes flash like a salesman about to deal.

"Super Wy, you want your noodles?" He puts on his biggest, best, big brother smile.

Super Wy crouches forward a bit, his eyes barely above the plate and snarls. He grabs a piece of tri-tip, dips it in his ketchup-mustard-A1 concoction (I know, gross), and chomps it down.

"Come on. You want to give me your noodles?" Holy Terror's trying to be patient and keep the facade of a loving and supportive brother on...but it's wearing by the glint growing in his eyes.

Super Wy growls and twirls his head clock-wise. He turns to me and curls his lip. "I Godzilla."

"Oh," I say with some respectful exaggeration. "Well, Godzilla. You think Holy Terror could get your pasta?"

He growls.

"I don't speak monster lizard, Honey. Nod your answer so I'll know."

He growls and snarls again while he nods. Holy Terror smiles and wiggles in his seat. I dish over the goods and all is happy.

Just call me the Godzilla Whisperer...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dinosaur Woods. Log Entry...

Okay, okay. I know you're glad I didn't complete the Star Trek reference. I'll just jump into the Dinosaur Woods trip.

The hiking trail on the outskirts of town is not really called the Dinosaur Woods, but it's our name for it. I'd almost forgotten until the little boys were watching a dinosaur movie and people were running through a forest. Holy Terror piped in with, "It's Dinosaur Forest".

Memories flooded in where Parkour Boy and Drama Queen were the little boy's ages. We'd packed a lunch then too, and worked our way up and down the valley hills to the trail mound and looked out at the entire valley.

Sunday we started out about an hour before lunch. There are dozens of paths to choose from and each led you through a vastly different scenery on the way towards the top. I let the kids choose the paths we took and allowed them to stop and explore, play, or rest whenever.

Super Wy and Holy Terror were on the look out for real dinosaurs, but just in case, Super Wy brought his own. We have good documentation of his activities throughout our journey.

The whole trip was so wonderful and all the kids had fun. There were our normal mishaps and chaos, but it wouldn't be the Norris' without them. Super Wy's stumble, Scarlet's infamous eye rolls, Parkour Boy's vanity of picture taking, and Holy Terror's ritual meltdown.

Minor stuff in our world.

As we rose to the top and looked out, I watched all the kids connect the big picture of their presence. This is their home; a place that will always be a part of them.

Yet, for the older kids, I saw a bit more. They took that moment to validate their place, then looked further out. Just beyond is the adventure that they will be taking in a few short years. Parkour, I could sense, felt it the most. And to my little sadness, I saw the mental gnawing at the bits to get started.

Ugh, every Mom moment these days seems to be bittersweet. Time's just flying by faster each year. I pushed it aside, like I do ALL the other Mom moments and focused on picture taking - or "Momarrazi", as the kids call it - and enjoying the moment before it was gone.

The trip back was a bit slower, and the kids passed out once we got home. Any trip that ends in my little boys dropping to sleep in the middle of day is a great trip.

Hope you all enjoyed the post, and are busy making your own moments!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Annnnnd....We're Back!

Yes, the Norris Ranch is finally back on its feet. All kids are healthy. Both parents are healthy. Dogs and cat are...well...okay, they were never sick.


Last night was the first night things were back to routine and let me tell you...Phew! Our lives are so normally chaotic, loud, and crazy but there's a pattern and ritual to it. It's a positive chaotic, loud, crazy.

Ash and I knew something was off when, during the sick, the house was quiet, lights were dim and/or off, and no one was arguing or laughing.

But, like I was saying, it's all back. There's monsters and dinosaurs growling and eating action figures. Kitty is getting Super Wy into trouble (so Super Wy claims), Parkour Boy and Holy Terror are wrestling in the front room. Drama Queen's mouth and eye rolls are in full gear.

This weekend we're going to celebrate our health with a nice hike in the Valley.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Paper Bag Warfare

It all started so innocently. Daddy brings home groceries and the little boys get the two paper bags. They're bright, new paper bags with wonderful handles. The little boys giggle and jump with the happiness of a new treasure.

Many thoughts cross their minds with these amazing contraptions. They start simple, carrying small toys. Next they pretend to be shoppers, then put them on their heads, then go back to carrying toys.

One little misstep and glint of war...Holy Terror, in his excitement, twirls a little too fast and the bag hits Super Wy's side.

Super Wy glares. "You hit me!"

Holy Terror's pride kicks in. "So?"

As Mommy, I try to let them learn to work it out on their own. It's a tricky balance, I realize as I sit on the sidelines and watch, ready to step in if needed.

Super Wy whops Holy Terror on the arm and smirks. Holy Terror growls and smacks Super Wy in the leg. A tirade of paper bag flying and toddler howls ensue. I prepare to intercede, but as I walk over they slow down and drop to the floor. Both look unhappy, exhausted, and ready to cry.

"Let's go play with cars," Holy Terror offers in the way of a truce.

"Kay," Super Wy whimpers in assent.

They both head off together, the paper bags left in ruins on the front room floor.

...and the moment of insanity ends...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Worthy Foes

Stepping out of the kitchen I am confronted with two worthy foes. They are ready with fighting stances and hands ready for karate-choppin.

Toddler Fung Fu is on!

I jump twirl with a low kick to the Mighty Holy Terror and he goes down. I land with a tickle chop to the Super Wy, who runs to gather defense.

Holy Terror rolls and rises, rocking from foot-to-foot, his hands slowly circling. It's a distraction technique and works. Super Wy has snuck up and slaps my rear with the dangerous ninja sword of plastic. Holy Terror jumps and kicks my lower leg and does some quick punches to my belly.

I down. I am defeated. The two ninjas fly into the mists of the Eastern Norris Land...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stinkin' Line

I hurry through the sliding entry doors of CVS and start looking for the items on my mental list. Parkour's holding Super Wy's hand and I've got a tight grip on Holy Terror.

(Holy Terror + Store = Potential Time Bomb Waiting to Happen)

"Oh man, Mom. There's a huge stinkin' line. Check out will take forever," Parkour Boy says under his breath to me.

I nod agreement as my hopes of a quick trip are crushed.

We are passing the incontinence aisle when Holy Terror pipes in with, "What are those?"

Now, anyone who knows Holy Terror knows he was not born with volume control. So, everything he says is one notch away from a yell.

"They look like diapers, but why are old people on them?"

"Shh, Honey. Don't worry about those...and keep your voice down," I say, tightening my grip a bit to ensure he doesn't leap over for a better look.

We go through and pick up everything and I prepare for the wait in line with one teenager and two crazy toddlers.

We stand behind about eight people with full carts and baskets.

Holy Terror tosses a big sigh and groans, "Man, this is a stinky line."

Holy Terror and his loud voice rides again...