Monday, August 24, 2009

This one's about the Twins

Remember when your daughter was little, and she had a cute little friend over, and they played really nicely some of the time, but most of the time they just fought over toys and screamed a lot, and you thought to yourself, "Is this play date really worth it?" and just couldn't wait for the little friend to leave so you could get back to normal? OK, well take that scenario, and imagine that the friend never leaves, and you have what it's like to have 2-year-old twin girls.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I want one of my girls to leave, or that one is more my daughter and one is the friend. They're both the daughter and they're both the friend. The point is, it's a never-ending play date from you know where. Having said that, it could be a lot worse. They could be two 2-year-old boys and spend all day playing in the dirt and mud in the empty lot next door. At least, that's what Ethan and his bestie did when they were two. Wait. Maybe that IS better. I'll get back to you on that. (Unrelated question: You know when your son and his gang of friends storm into your house and they all reek? What IS that smell and where does it come from? And should a 6-year-old start wearing deodorant?)

A lot of the time, Lane will give in and give Lucy whatever it is she wants. The problem is, Lucy wants EVERYTHING. She sees herself as the sole proprietor of everything in our entire house, and I bet she would kick all of us out, if she could. The girl shares NO thing. Just this morning, I caught her screaming about Lane being in "MY ROOM," and so I had to remind her that there were two cribs and two names hanging over the cribs. She was not happy about that, that's for sure. Lucy is grumpy a lot. I'm allowed to say that, because I'm the mom. If someone else starts calling her "Lucy the grump," we might not be friends.

Lane spends most of her day walking around the house, saying that the blue towels are "beautiful," and her breakfast is "perfect," and that I am "so pretty." She is a super-princess-diva who still refers to herself as "Honey." She will not pray, though. Lucy folds her arms right away and bows her head and everything. Lane just says, "No! I NOT pray!" and keeps on eating. Sometimes, I suspect that Lane takes things away from Lucy just to see her have a meltdown, which is super uncool.

After everyone screams long enough, and we can't come to any solution, we put on Dora, and then everyone wins. How do you think I'm writing this right now?

Also, both girls are super shy (anti-social), and get very upset when I dare to take them in public. Just last week, we went to a free hot dog party for mayoral candidate Steve Clark, and Lucy spent the entire time sitting on the grass hunched over, with her hands over her eyes. Occasionally, she would peek up at me and give me the evil eye, then go back to hiding. They don't really want to play with other kids and mostly tell them to "Go away!" Although, if you think about it, the novelty of having another person around that's your age has LONG worn off. They are so over it.

There ARE the times when they kiss and hug each other, or hold hands at the gym, or walk around the house calling for each other, and that makes up for pretty much everything. I would endure ten tantrums a day just to see one tender sisterly moment, and so it is definitely worth it.

Maybe this is all sort of a disclaimer for my family, before we have our family reunion in less than two weeks. At that time, we will have seven two and three-year-olds together in the same house, and mine are the only girls. And since I am not really big on apologizing for a child's inherent nature, I probably won't be giving them time-outs for being loud. If my child hits another child, they will get a time-out. If they rip something out of their hands, I will make them give it back. But my children have inherited the Cannon-Jones lungs, and there ain't nothing to be done about it. I guess what I'm trying to say is: bring earplugs! There WILL be screaming! The trade-off? Mila, one of the loudest toddlers in the history of time, is now quite the little belter.

A Hug

The beach in Massachusetts


Don't you dare take our picture while we're camping!

This video of them dancing on the 4th of July shows their personalities quite well. Lucy is in white, and is very Mia Michaels with her emotional writhing from her center. Lane is more Sonya Tayeh with her arms extended and her quirky twirling. I have to apologize for my voice when it's recorded, which automatically becomes Ms. Utah Supreme. Please tell me it doesn't sound like that in real life. Please. Also, notice the reaction to the gunshot at the end.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's WAY Too Quiet Around Here (I Love It!)

I should totally be doing Thrillionaires contracts or something boring like that, but today is my first REAL quiet time since May and so I am taking it all in. I got to eat leftover Massaman curry with my friend Tivo and it was magical. Except for the part when the show I was watching made me uncomfortable. But that's another story. Anyway, so yes, my kids started school today. Here they are:

Mila is wearing pretty much the only two new things that I let her pick out: her pink Converse and that Old Navy t-shirt. You may think I'm a mean mom, but the girl doesn't grow, bless her heart, and so I'm not buying new clothes when she has 400 shirts in her drawer that fit her, size 6x or no. And Ethan has nothing new on--he could care less and he has more clothes than anyone in the house due to hand-me-downs from my friend's son and my brother. Call me crazy, but I call me practical.

I made whole wheat crepes in honor of Ethan starting the French immersion program today. Well, I actually didn't do that on purpose at all, I made crepes because my kids love them and I was out of white flour so I had to use whole wheat. I just remembered halfway through eating them about the French thing. Whatev. Still counts in hindsight.

Ethan was super nervous about only hearing French for half the day and so I tried to role play what it might be like. "Prenez votre papier et ecrivez un A," I said, and then I asked him if he wanted some "jus d'orange." He was not amused one bit. I think I made it worse. Why did I sign him up for this French thing again? I don't know, I'll give you an update in about eight months. Or maybe 20 minutes, when I go to pick him up and he yells at me.

Mila was super excited for school, of course. That girl is a ball of sunshine and joy and I told her teacher that very thing at back to school night. Best student ever. So, I'm expecting glowing girl and fuming boy, and in the meantime, enjoy this awesome picture of Ethan and the twins at the Squaw Peak overlook after our camping adventure last Saturday. Note to self: toddlers are very, very bad at sleeping in tents. Must not repeat.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feels Like the Homecoming Queen Days All Over Again

Except this time, I think I have a shot! My improv troupe, the Thrillionaires, have been nominated for a Salt Lake City Weekly ARTY award for best improv troupe. It is the first time we've been nominated for anything, and we are thrilled!

So, if you live in Utah, please vote for us here. You have to register, but it doesn't take long, and then you have to vote in at least three categories to make it count. Since I hadn't seen any of the other nominees, I wrote in "As You Like It" for best play and "Brett Merritt" in "As You Like It" for best performance. Feel free to copy me. And yes, shameless to vote for a play I was in, but I couldn't think of any other show I enjoyed watching more. You have until August 25th to vote!

And after you vote, reward yourself for your good deed by going to see this:

It's funny, it's smart, it's real, it's well-acted, and it has awesome music. What more could you want? Best movie I've seen this year and certainly the best I've seen in the indie-love story genre since this:


Thursday, August 06, 2009

I want to eat those babies!

Just came across this and almost died. Those toes! Those cheeks! Somebody get me a time machine STAT!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Christa and Lovies by Bubbie Blue!

Once upon a time, I started my freshman year in high school in Claremont, CA, and I didn't know anyone because I had just moved there from Winnetka, IL (incidentally, the movie Home Alone was shot in Winnetka while I lived there and the snow is fake, but that's neither here nor there.)

Not too far into the year, I met a girl named Christa. Christa was wearing the same black and white houndstooth Esprit pants that I owned, and she loved to perform, and she was the skinniest person in the world. Fast forward eighteen years, and Christa has an adorable, curly-haired baby boy and her own business, called Bubbie Blue. Because today is Christa's birthday, and because I adore her so, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about Christa's handmade lovies.

The following is from the Bubbie Blue website, where Christa describes how she came up with her idea:

"After our son was born in 2007, I started paying closer attention to the kinds of products and materials that came into our home, and began “greening” our family as much as possible.

As "the Bub" grew older, we decided that something had to be done about our continued lack of sleep.

I read almost every book on the market, and with my husband's help, set to work sleep-training our little guy. For us, the trick was in what the experts called a “transitional object” and experienced moms called a “lovie”.

I searched boutiques, bargain stores, and the Internet for a lovie that we felt comfortable leaving in our guy's crib, but the products I found were bulky, difficult to wash, and inevitably, made of synthetic materials. Frustrated, I decided to take matters into my own hands. A friend offered a
lightweight, organic swaddling blanket, which I cut into two small squares and hemmed, adding a border of ribbons… and they were a hit! They were just the right size and our baby loved playing with the ribbons. Plus, we were relieved that the materials that were so often pressed up against that little face were free of any yucky synthetics!"

Christa and "the Bub"

I think it's a fabulous idea and I only wish I hadn't had a million kids already when she came up with this! Ethan and the twins have all had stuffed animal lovies but they are difficult to replace and get kind of gross, so a little blankie would have been perfect! And Mila was obsessed with the tag on her blanket so the little ribbon tags are ingenious!

The best part? For the month of August, all lovies are 20% off! I'm planning on getting some for the new and upcoming babies in my life (not my own, mind you)--I think it's the perfect gift! And no guilt, because it's GREEN!

And now, because I've got Christa on my mind, I'd like to continue waxing sentimental...

During our four years at Claremont High, we had all sorts of adventures together. Fortunately Unfortunately, I couldn't find many pictures of those awkward, early high school days, so here are a few from our senior year:

This was before a Preference Dance. Christa is in silver, I am in pink (I was going for Veronica Lake hair, but it was pouring rain, so my finger waves lasted 3.5 seconds.) The other people, l-r, are Eddie, Heidi, Richard, Mark, Puja, and Brandon. We were in Puja's mansion.

This was when Christa starred in the Dinner Theater show. She was the cutest flapper EVER. Also pictured, Ben and Joel.

Our Choir Awards Party. Now you know that my efforts to be THE whitest person on the planet began years ago. Also pictured, Mario and Heidi.

Graduation Day. It poured rain again. And I chopped off my hair a couple of days before.

After high school, we continued to live it up, 90's style. And I mean, 90's style:

I think somebody watched Clueless a few too many times. Not you, Christa, you look cute.

In the fall, poor Christa went to live in this awful place called Malibu so that she could attend Pepperdine, while I headed off to Utah. After that, we saw each other at holidays and over summer break.

Then, the summer after our sophomore year at college, we actually decided to live together in my step-dad's house. Don't worry, my step-dad, Bret, didn't live there--he lived with my mom, of course! But he just happened to not want to give up his cute little house (with no A/C) in South Pasadena, so Christa and I moved right in! I have a lot of good memories of that summer. We shared a room and went shopping for groceries, and bought a couch together, and did chores, like putting Bret's dogs out in the morning and sweeping up the dog hair before breakfast, you know, stuff like that!

We made a list of all of the fun things we wanted to do that summer, which I believe we called "Hailey and Christa's List of Fun." It listed activities such as, "Go to the beach," and "Go to Disneyland," and "Be awesome!" Probably not that last one, but you know that's the kind of list it was, us being 20 and all. We got jobs as waitresses at The Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena. "Oh, is that the country club famous for starting the Rose Parade?" you ask. Why, yes, yes it is, now don't be jealous that you didn't get to wear a horrific forest green waitress dress (we lovingly called the "green meanie) and serve marmalade to old rich men by the name of Guglielmo. We had some good times at the VHC, but mostly we enjoyed smuggling home VHC chocolates in our green meanie pockets. They were to die for. (Christa, I could not find the picture of you in the green meanie anywhere!)

In the afternoon, if we didn't have to work, we had "nap time" in our room, and if it was 114 degrees outside, we had nap time all day long. We listened to music and sat on our front porch and played with my cat, "Kitty." We also spent part of the summer trying to think of things to say to the cute boys that lived next door to and behind our house. One night, we heard them outside and we casually walked by and said, "Hey... how's it going?" and nothing else, and kept walking. It was not our proudest flirting moment. By the end of the summer, we had become friends with them and we'd walk to Trader Joe's and watch "Strange Brew," and one of them was in love with Christa, and she went back to Malibu and broke his heart, so I'd say our job was done there.

Here is proof that I am not making all of this up:

This is our little house, while some skinny guy is roofing it. I ended up having that guy's four children. I guess I liked that roof job. Just kidding, I knew him before he roofed my house.

Christa actually worked at Disneyland at one point, so we sneaked in for free.

This is when we dressed up and went to the Renaissance Festival. We ate meat and we liked it!

After the Renaissance festival, Christa's parents took us to dinner. We had no normal clothes with us, so we borrowed some from Christa's brother.

Christa and Kitty, on our couch that we bought.

One of our beach trips, this time to our friend Ben's beach house. Not the roofer Ben.

Like I said, it was an amazing summer. The next summer, I got married and stayed in Utah permanently, and Christa graduated from college and taught school, and stayed awesome. This is when I got to fly down to go to Christa's beautiful wedding to Mike:

Happy Birthday, Christa! You are still one of the sweetest, most adorable people I have ever met and I love you!