Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Good Stuff

Random Thoughts, Observations, Stories and Ianisms

Hard Core - Not everyone can pull it off.

- okay, so here is my lame christmas shopping story that i know you have all been waiting for. originally andrew and i weren't going to give each other gifts this year - but we (or i rather) changed our minds. i got him some cologne in new york a few years ago and it is almost out. so, i thought i would get him something new. i sample smelled several of the higher end ones; dolce and gabbana, armani, cartier, jean paul gaultier, etc... and they were pleasant. the guy at the mens' fragrance counter was doing his best to sell me on something, anything. he even told me some stories about how fabulous this one or that one smelled on his male "friend". i don't know why he didn't just say boyfriend...but whatevs. so anyway, i told him i was going to look around. he then stuck his nose in the air and practically ran away from me. okay, here comes the lame and embarrassing part. i had one fragrance and one fragrance only in my"woods" from abercrombie and fitch. now, i realize that in middle school you could smell a cloud of this when the guys sat together in the cafeteria or walked by in a cluster and it is a bit lame that i miss that smell. all i know is i loved "woods"! and "cool water" for that matter. they melted me then, so why not now? and so, i ventured into abercrombie...pushing my new baby in a stroller and trying to act like i went in there alllll the time. (as if i could even probably fit in anything in there - okay sure, maybe some of the guys stuff...). so i pushed little owen all the way to the back and starting looking for "woods"...and looking...and looking. then i went up front and started a conversation with the sales man - or boy rather.
-"hey", i said, "do you guys not sell woods anymore?"
-blank stare. "you know, woods? the cologne? it was like abercrombie's signature fragrance.."
-blank stare. "uh...i've never heard of that."
-"oh." awkward pause "well it was HUGE when i was in middle school and high school". awkward silence. "i feel old".
and out i walked, went to a few cool teenager places; hollister, american eagle, etc... and smelled their colognes. went to american eagle twice - their cologne was okay and i was considering buying, but af seemed cooler than ae to me. anyway, started talking to the guy in american eagle. -"oh my gosh!" says i, "i feel soo old! i was just in abercrombie and was asking them about woods and they don't even carry it anymore! and not only that, the kid didn't even KNOW what i was talking about!" and then i laughed out loud. and then i received yet another blank stare. followed by an awkward laugh from salesboy number 2.
-"umm...i've never heard of it either."
and then i realized that while american eagle sales boy was much taller than me and had a football players physique, that was probably because he played high school. you see people, tall does not equal older in case you didn't know. and so, i awkwardly laughed my way out of the store. and realized that while i may feel 17 or 19 or even 21 inside, i am in fact inching ever closer to 30. yikes - that's scary to write. and so back to a&f i went, with my shoulders slumped in an i'm-30-in-2-years' kind of way. and bought "fierce", which - fyi - smells very similar to woods. andrew is wearing it today and i want to bury my face in his neck. then ian asked me to smell his little skinny neck - apparently he is now sporting "fierce" as well, which makes it waaaayyyy less sexy let me tell you.

Andrew Stapf and Brittany Krallis Stapf Christmas Day - Idaho - 2008

- so, thank you to jen and fam for our christmas gifts. ian has taken over owen's caterpillar book and every time we turn the page - makes me turn it back again and again and again to see where the caterpillar went... most of all, thank you for the best truffles i have ever had. magic truffles, i like to call them. a christmas miracle if you will. i forgive her for addressing that particular box "to the whole family" and ask you to please send those only "to brittany" the next time around. that's right, i'm putting in an order. i have never had better chocolate. andrew totally stole one of the bags and i may have called his work and told whoever answered to please tell my husband that i know he is a thief and i want "my" chocolates back. you would think a 5 pound bag for each of us would suffice. you would be wrong.

Owen Marshall the night before Christmas.

And Christmas morning.

That's right, he goes through two sets of pj's in that time.

- yesterday andrew and ian were wrestling and andrew pinned down ian and yelled, "who do you work for??!!" which i thought was pretty funny since he's never said that to ian before. ian didn't miss a beat and yelled, "I WORK FOR BOB KWALLIS - BEEF JEWKY! i guess while we were in nc he heard my dad answer his phone one too many time, "Bob Krallis"...

- a few days ago ian, owen and i were hanging out on my bed. ian needed to go get something and said, "mom, you keep owen happy - i'll be wight... back." good thing i have him around to tell me what to do.

Cheryl Gerzine and I
About to have Christmas Dinner at their house.
If we look extra happy,
it's because we were about to eat!

By the way guys, I totally dig your Elk-plates.
Mmm...yams on scenic elk-ware.
Can you beat it?

Cheryl and Lily and Lily and Owen
please compare the thighs...

Seriously, Owen doesn't stand a chance against this girl! She's only a month older, but she is about to flatten him in a 'steamroll' - See him smiling? That's because he has no idea the crushing weight he is about to feel..
No offense Lily-pad.
Ian was given two Harley Davidsons. Todd definitely knows the way to Ian's heart. Two toy motorcycles and a couple of gas sounds and Ian considers you a friend for life.

A picture of Todd, Cheryl and Lily Gerzine I took in our back yard.
They are nauseatingly cute.

This was also taken in our yard. I think it is awesome and that I should win some sort of award for this picture. It helps having such a photogenic subject as well. About 60 seconds later Lily totally ate it - as in - faceplanted in the snow.
But we all feel her sacrifice was worth it.

Ian eating an Octopus. This kid will seriously do ANYTHING that Todd does. It almost ruined me and Andrew's meals. What 3 year old eats octopus???!! Oh he also ate SEVERAL crawfish - like fully in their shell with their little eyes begging for mercy. Ian said (and i quote), "they almost look like animals". Oh sweet boy, if only you knew...

- lately i have been worrying about my child outsmarting me sooner than anticipated. for example, he asked how when i order a movie on the computer (pay per view) - how it gets to the tv. i think i said something about satellites and technology. he totally bought it - phew. then that night he we were lying next to each other in his bed and as i was kissing him goodnight he said, "mommy", (and started touching above my eyebrow and around my forehead) how do dreams get right here?" "uhhh..", i said - "well, close your eyes. do you see the grinch? do you see the christmas tree? (the last movie we had watched) do you see mommy? well, that's in your brain. and even when you close your eyes and go to sleep, your brain keeps working." i was pretty impressed with my answer i must say. i should probably write a book entitled, "how junk works: explaining the complexities of life with a three year old mind...i mean, TO a three year old mind" so, here's my concern. he's three and i'm having a hard time answering his questions. what happens when he's 8? or 13? maybe i will use the, "how do YOU think it works?" answering his question with a question. then i will appear wise while encouraging a 'seek-your-own-answers' facade. yes, i totally have this mothering thing down.
Andrew and I. You don't know this, but he threw up approximately three times before we took this picture. What a good sport!
(Now you know why we aren't kissing in it).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"i want to go to there" - who's with me?!

When you're poor you hang a blanket over the piano
and borrow your dad's camera for a photo shoot.
Just way too cute.

Ian and his Papa. Boy do they love eachother.
Ian has called our neighbor "Papa" by accident exactly three times since we've been home.

I love that hair swirl on the back of his head. Not crazy about the bald patch.

Brittany Krallis Stapf and Owen Marshall Stapf

Ian, Mommy and Owen

Me and the boys - "all the boys are here" - as Ian says.
Sometimes he tells me about when Mommy was a little boy.
Ian Robert Stapf and Brittany Krallis Stapf back home in good ol' NC.

So cute it's a little disgusting.

I never got around to taking a foot print - but I'm crazy about this picture.
i should finish cleaning. the house looks pretty fantastic - my room on the other hand looks like a clothes-bomb went off. in my desperation to find a migraine pill, i MAY have dumped a few perfectly packed and folded suitcases. never did find the pills - i think i left them in nc. not to worry. the pharmacy took mercy on me once and my doctor took mercy on me today. small town living does have it's benefits.

so, rather than try to connect my random thoughts and stories i'm going to number them so that i will not have to segue from one thing to the next.

1. went to the creche (or for those of us who are not awesome enough to use "creche" in our everyday language would say), the LIVE NATIVITY at the church in raleigh. apparently the night before we went, 2,000 people came thru. way to go raleigh. more people filtered thru the stake center there than live in my whole county. so the live nativity was outside and the million little nativity scenes were set up in the cultural hall and the primary room had some cute stuff set up too. tried to get ian to dress up like joseph or a shepherd or an angel and have his picture taken, but he was not feeling it. anyway, in the center of the gym was one really big nativity scene - almost life sized. i bent down next to ian and said, "see ian, that's joseph and mary and baby jesus"...then i explained about the wise men and gifts and why we give gifts on christmas. i knew he had a pretty good grasp about what was going on so i thought i would test him. "see the one in the back ian? do you know who that is?" "yeah", he said very confidently, "it's the tooth fairy". as you can see, i'm doing a bang-up job on my eldest child. i relayed the story to some people at the "creche" and scott moore said it well when he confirmed that, "ahh..yes, the tooth fairy was there to usher in the birth of Christ". so i guess ian wasn't totally off.

2. ian and i did some decorating with our meager christmas decorations today. if ian doesn't become a professional wrestler i think he may have a future in decorating. we hung our dollar store bells from the tree and he kept saying, "okay mommy, stand back and look"...we would then step back to make sure they were balanced. i told him gold bells on the tree and silver ones in a bowl. next time i went in the living room he had put two gold christmas trees on the wood burning (not burning at the time) stove. symmetrically. then later moved them to the dining room windows. again, symmetrically. then he came in the kitchen and said he needed a bowl for the silver bells. gave him a christmas bowl (another dollar store find - because that is how we roll).. and forgot about it. later i was walking around the living room looking for it - and thinking "there is no telling where he put that bowl and the bells" - and was surprised to come across it on our kitchen table, which i had set with our christmas dishes earlier. it was perfectly centered. i was pretty impressed and may have gushed over him a wee bit. but just so you know, he is well-rounded, he can catch, throw and kick a ball better than almost any kid his age. i'm just sayin'...

3. went to my friend kim's house yesterday. you remember kim - the one who i was in the "band" with and also the one whose son cade came over my house only to have his feet mildly burned in our fire pit... anyway, you know what they say about payback.. so, kim has this beautiful house that she and her husband built. it has an amazing view and the yard is pretty much a boy's paradise. tire swing. big hills for sledding. dirt bikes and motorcycles, a dog that looks exactly like a wold, and all the fun toys a boy could have. now cade is roughly ian's age but the kid is tough. like fall-on-your-face-onto-the-concrete-off-a-tall-trampoline-and-not-shed-a-tear tough. so he and ian and another little boy went outside to play in the light dusting of snow we had. (don't worry, we're due for a blizzard this weekend). anyway, i was hoping they would just run around. but cade had bigger plans. he decided they needed to go sledding. down a very big hill in the yard. oh and did i mention the ramp? yeah, there was a plywood ramp - because sledding down a huge hill at three years old without catching so cade goes a few times. and he is good. his first run he gets a running start and belly flops onto the sled. he knows how to kind of steer it and he always hits the ramp dead center and if something gets in his a tree orr...let's say... a parked car, he bails. and so ian decided he will go too. i was nervous. i tried to tell him to start half way up the hill (brittany-style as i call it) and work his way closer to the top. he didn't agree with my method. apparently he is a "jump into the pool all at once" kind of kid. little did i realize that the sled ian was hauling up the hill was waaay heavier and thicker and faster than cade's sled. so ian starts at the very top and comes FLYING down the hill and hits the ramp - fast - and literally and i do mean literally, takes flight. he landed it - thank heavens!! - and eventually came to a stop with a slightly panicked look on his face. (even now as i think about it i can't stop giggling out loud. it was soooo awesome and scary). "okay", i thought - "that was good, let's call it day" - but i really didn't want to be THAT mom. you know, the kind of mom with tissues in her coat pocket so she can wipe her child's runny nose? he needs to do these boy things - i convinced myself. and so he goes again. same sled. flying down the hill at lightning speed. and i was standing with this little two year old kim was watching at the bottom of the hill to make sure he didn't get in the way. ian hit's the ramp again - but this time at a slightly different angle - and instead of going past us towards the left, he is going right. "right" toward my parked jeep and kim's beast of an suv. as i turn to see him blow by, i realize there is NO WAY he is going to stop before he gets to the car. and he has no concept of bailing. so he goes under the back left side of the car and comes to a jarring stop when the sled rams into the tire. i was running towards him - and he was sitting very still. i was sure his face was broken. his nose broken and bloody, his teeth gone, his cheekbones shattered. and by some MIRACLE and had cocked his head far enough to the side that somehow his face didn't ram into the bumper. i took the fast sled away after that. his first run on the slow sled he came to a stop on the wooden ramp - a very slow stop and he very gently rolled off the sled and onto the ramp. for some reason that brought the tears. a little bit later i went inside to check on owen and not a minute later i hear ian bawling. he had run into the cars again, but this time bumped his head. it was on the slow sled, but he had a little marble sized bump sprouting up. we went in the bathroom while he cried and cried and finally pulled it together. and shortly after, we left. "i am torn", i told kim as we left. "part of me wants to come over here all winter and hang out with you and let ian play with the boys and do fun winter things. and part of me wants to keep his arms and legs in one piece". it's a tough call.. ps. just for a description of kim's family...three boys and one girl. they are all like little action heros. they should have their own reality show. they take the kids rock climbing and white water rafting with them and the five year old is apparently amazing on a motercycle. oh and did i mention they are all beautiful and obviously super-fit? needless to say i feel spectacularely awesome about my chubby, clumsy coolness when i'm with them.

4. ian saw santa at k-mart while we were home. for $2 you can take a picture with a polaroid camera of your kid with santa and $1 goes to st. jude's childrens' hospital. ian sat with santa - who incidently has NO idea how to talk to children and smells like cigarette smoke and may have been on case you were wondering. he asked ian what he wanted and ian asked santa if he could buy a transformer. as in, he asked santa's permission for ian to buy a transformer. he really does not get the santa concept. everytime he asks for something i say, "let's ask santa for it and see if he brings it" - ian counters with, "no. lets just go buy it at the store".

5. FINALLY get to see andrew tomorrow after 5 weeks apart!! i missed that guy. i am making a very special ribs and sweet potato dinner for him. and since my culinary skills rarely please him, i'm hoping very much to hit a homerun.

6. just checked on owen - who has been VERY fussy lately with an ear infection and not eating much. never kiss a sleeping baby. even though you think you want to. even though your lips start itching to kiss that little cheek or forehead or lips, DON'T DO IT. because then they stir and moan and change positions and you back out of the room tiptoeing, but it is often too late.

7. today dr. gustafson checked owen's ears and he started bawling, his hurt/mad cry. a few minutes later we heard a loud grunt/pouty sound and looked over at ian who was sitting in a chair with his arms folded across his chest, and clearly sulking. "ian! what's wrong?" i asked - in a you-are-being-rude kind of way. "doctor hurt my brober and i don't - like that!!" i love that kid. he is awesome.

8. almost this whole thing is about ian. i swear i have my own stories. my own life. really i do. as soon as i can think of something from it, i will share.

9. thank you again to annie hardison moody for our books from ghana. love the "fly, eagle, fly" book. it's a great story and the best part about it is that ian has fallen asleep three out of the four nights we've read it before i get to the end. does it make me a nerdy that i continue to read it all the way through so i can see how it ends?

10. while i was home i read "the invisible wall" - LOVED it! and the one that came after that. can't remember what it's called. "the dream" or something like that. this guy wrote them at 92 years old! his memoirs from england and then as an american immigrant. i highly recommend them. also started the 1000plus page "world without end" in nc and finished it today. i really like the stories and reading about the lives of these medieval peasants and royals and priors, etc... but follett's writing is kind of juvenile at times. every once in a while he throws in a big word for you, but his descriptions make me roll my eyes sometimes. still, i really did enjoy it. not every book has to be ayn rand i guess.

11. have a christmas shopping story i am looking forward to sharing. but as it will ruin andrew's present, i will wait. let's just say - i realized my age while out buying him a present. and it is not 17 my friends.
brittany. out.

Another FAV!!