Monday, February 21, 2011

In the words of Miley...'s a party in the USA.
Or for you old schoolers out in Blogville,
maybe you prefer the likes of this:
I don't wanna work, I just want to bang on the drums all day.

What I'm trying to say is that it's been all play and no work around here the past week and a half.

Party after party after party after party.
Here's the itinerary:

Avy's preschool Valentine's Day Party.

I was the snack mom for this.
I took Big Red to the store & she helped me pick out all things Valentine for the party:
Pink Lemonade
Red strawberries
Pink sprinkle heart cookies
Purple berry rice cakes

So I may or may not have gotten into it a bit with a fellow class mom who didn't agree with me that purple is a Valentine's Day color.
Hear me out.
She's from another country.
A country where heart day is not celebrated.
She told me she's never heard of purple being a V-day color.
I politely educated her on the colors of V-day (red, pink, with purple as an accent).
She continued to tell me she didn't agree with me that purple belongs.
This went on for several minutes.
The conversation ended with me saying,
"Listen, Lady. 
I happen to be the Valentine Queen, and purple does indeed belong with pink & red.
If you're going to continue to challenge me, I will swipe those purple berry rice cakes off your plate so fast you'll never know what hit ya."
Just kidding.
But I was so bugged by the conversation that I continued to poll people the rest of Valentine's week.
And, just as expected...I was right.

The rest of the party ran quite smoothly.
Kids made cute candy jars:
Avy gave Mrs. Vargas her handmade crafty card:
She had me write inside the smaller card attached to the bottom,
"To Mrs. Vargas.  From Avy and Avy's Mom.
Happy Valentine's Day and Happy New Year."
The class walked a few blocks to the nearest mail box to mail Valentine's cards:
I love this picture.  You see the girls in their lovely feminine party dresses spinning around, & then you see Avy and the boys in the background discussing the finer points of Buzz Lightyear & Woody-dom.
Kids took turns passing out Valentine's to one another:

The 6th Annual Atwood Valentine Shindig.
Always a fun time.
Lots of food.

Lots of lovers licorice racing to the heart.
Lots of awesome white elephant gifts.

Ashley was the winner with her Valentine's Card that Kaari is modeling:
She took home this booty:

Kids Valentine's Day Party.
Hold it.
This was NOT a party.
I made it very certain to classify this small gathering as a playdate.
Linc was struck by Cupid:
Avy REALLY wanted to have a Valentine's Day Party for her friends.
I can't say no.
Seriously, it would be blasphemy for me to deny a request for a party.
But I had to technically call it a playdate.
Here's why:
1- Tat-man would never have approved the budget for another party in February.
2- When I party, I like the guest-list big.  The more the merrier.
Not this time.  My house can only handle so much in one month, so I told her she could only invite a few little friends.
3- When I party, I want the food to be worth driving over for & the activities to be worth taking a seat for.
Classifying this one as a playdate,
a) left Tyler feeling very positive about the kids utilizing their social skills with other children
b) gave me no guilt in informally asking only a few friends to bring their kids over
c) let me feel that throwing pretzels & leftover weekend party treats out on my counter was totally substantial

The playdate-goers took the job of passing out Valentine's VERY seriously:

As per tradition at the Tatwood household, the Valentine's Fairy stopped by for her annual drop & run visit:

Lindsay's Baby Shower.
My friend LY is having her baby girl in a couple weeks!
Friend Whitney & I threw her a fondue shower.

Y to the U to the M.
We did a swiss/gruyere blend for the cheese
(thanks Kaari for manning this station all night)
& a peanut butter chocolate blend for the chocolate.
I was too busy stuffing my face with 30,000 calories all night to take any pics of the fondue itself.
Oh well.
Take my word for it that it was finger-licking good.
Here are the dipper tables:
What a fun night with great people.

So I guess it's back to work around these parts.
My kids need a detox from sugar.
My house needs a deep clean.
Tat wants to count pennies with me.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

In my life, I have never met a little person that can melt my heart one minute,
& then the next minute leave me thinking that
a visit to the looney-bin may be just the vacation I need.

He had his 15 month check-up yesterday.
The report is that he is one of the most active, determined 15 month olds Dr. Kandel has seen in a long time.
He won her over when he frantically scoured her cabinet drawers looking for her lollipops.
When he found them, he first let out one of his famous shrieks
(you know, the one you hear every Sunday in Sacrament meeting & are left thinking,
"Who is the lameski mom that can't control her kid!?!?!")
but then he quickly changed his tune, started smacking himself silly with his "Please" baby sign & excitedly yelled, "PEE! PEE! PEE!" over & over until she gave him a sucker.

She then told me that the 2 goose-eggs & black & blue legs of his let her know that I'm a good mom.
That was proof enough that I don't let him live in a bubble or padded room.
I challenge anyone to put him in a padded room.  I guarantee he will gnaw his way out.

& last but not least, she was very impressed with his accuracy and strength.  She dodged toys he threw at her.  Her pen somehow got swpied out of her hand & hurled to the other side of the room.
Here he is a few days ago.
He shoots:

He scores.

 And that concludes my bragging session of Linc.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Anniversary

What are we celebrating?

It's been 1 year since our sweet little buddy Cooper passed away.

Yes, it's been sad.
And at times it's been hard, confusing, & even scary.
But overall, Cooper's death and reflecting on the one year mark brings me happiness.

First & foremost, I am happy for my beliefs, nay, knowledge, on this life and the next.
I love that thanks to a loving Heavenly Father, Pat & Lindsay are promised an eternity with Cooper when their Earthly life is over.

I am happy that I got to be a part of his life & have him in our life.
Happy I got to host his baby shower & celebrate his life even before he was on Earth.

Happy I got to visit him in the hospital when he was born.
I had to fight a couple g-mas, but I finally got to hold him.

Happy I was in his presence for so many moments of his short life.

Happy I got to be present for his first meeting with Santa George.
"Remember, Santa George loves you."

Happy I got to meet up with him & Linds at least once a week for our Rancho hikes when he was a wee-babe. 
It didn't take him long to learn that someone else's snacks will always be better than yours.
I quickly learned to pack 2 of everything.

Happy I got to see him right after his return from 4 months in Germany.
He was no longer a baby, but a toddling toddler who was in heaven with all of Avy's toys in our backyard.

Happy we got to celebrate special holidays together.

Happy my last memories of him are watching him sneak behind Linc's bouncey chair, pull the music toy, then, with a very serious face, bounce up and down while the music played. 
He then ran off to play with the Dora kitchen & would eventually make his way back to Linc's bouncey for the music. 

Honored and happy that Tyler & I had the opportunity to attend his Burial.
As heartbreaking as it was, it was also one of the most peaceful, spiritual moments in my life.
I hope to never forget those feelings.

Blessed & happy that I got to spend time with Lindsay the day after Cooper passed away.
We were getting pedicures, looking out the window, & rather than a complaint or frustration, she said,
"Cooper would have loved this sunshine today.  I wish it were sunny rather than rainy the past few days so he & I could have enjoyed them at the park together."

Happy his mom was crazy enough to agree to train for a 1/2 marathon right after he passed away.
Her doing this is what got me into running.
Honestly, I didn't want to run at first.
I just wanted to drink up every opportunity to spend time with her & learn from her.
I decided to run the 1/2 marathon literally at the last minute, only because I knew Lindsay was doing it for Coop & I wanted to be a part of that.
When I crossed the finish line & saw my kids & Tyler there, I cried.
I knew Cooper was there celebrating Lindsay too.

I'm happy these 2 have chosen to be positive & impact so many lives.

I'm so happy for the upcoming arrival of Cooper's baby sister!

I'm happy I get to have such good times with this crazy lady:

But most of all, I'm happy these 2 are happy. 

(they will cringe when they see that i've publicly announced how much they secretly LOVE singing karaoke & dancing)

       Happy Anniversary, Cooper.
Thanks for touching our lives!

Check out Lindsay's blog for more awesome pics & info about Mr. Coop.