Hudson Jack is two

Up until a few days ago, people would ask me how old Hudson was, and I’d start to do some very complicated math. “Let’s see he’s 23 months, three weeks, five days…annnnd 13 hours.”

Now that he’s two I can finally cut it out with that month crap.

But I don’t know if I’m ready to let go of that babiness you get when you count each month. It’s as if you pat yourself on the back for surviving each arduous 30 day stretch. Each time you complete a new month you’re out of breath, two pounds heavier, and you discover a new piece of crap smeared somewhere on your clothing. A new month becomes synonymous with a gold medal.

But now everything is less new and Hudson is less of a baby.

He’s TWO. It’s like POOF! All of a sudden he’s a kid now.

I suppose if I wanted to, I can keep it up. You know, that whole counting the months business.

Oh, he’s so cute, how old is he?

Thanks, he’s 24 months.

So, two?

Um no, actually he’s 24 months.

***

True story, I was at a park and met a mother who told me her daughter was 33 months. What? What does that even mean? I looked at her like she was speaking creole and asked me if I wanted a bowl of snake soup.

Huh? So 12 goes into 33 um…two times with a remainder of who the hell cares.

I pretended like I got a phone call and then avoided eye contact with her for the rest of our park-time. It was the right thing to do.

I remember when I was pregnant with Hudson and I kept worrying that I wouldn’t love him nearly as much I as love Berlyn. Like we’d get a dog house and put it in the garage, and that’s where he’d sleep. I was so wrapped up with the fact that I had one child, much like I have one husband, and I didn’t think I had any more room in my heart.

Crazy thing about children, is your love capacity just gets bigger. I was thinking about it all wrong, I thought I just had one cup to fill up and because it was already brimming over with love for Berlyn, I couldn’t possibly fit more in, but instead I got a whole new cup to fill up. Cheers to that.

Or maybe you don’t like the cup analogy. Maybe you’re more of a tech person, so for you, I got another hard drive to fill up with data.

Well however you slice it, I got more. Like that guy on TLC that has 4 wives, except with him, instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy, you feel creepy and dirty.

Anyways…

Hudson is my squishy snuggler. He’s sweet and precious and always gives me a warm hug, except if I ask for it, then he says nope. And that’s cool. I appreciate his straightforwardness and honesty.

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All he wanted was a cukcape for his birthday, and when it was finally time to eat it, this was how he decided to take it down it.

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Happy birthday Hudson Jack. I love your sweet spirit, your gentle heart, and your patience. You are so loving. You’re funny, and helpful. I love to have a conversation with you, you listen attentively and say, “okay mommy.” You love to read books, play with your sister, and throw cars down the hallway. You have a love/hate relationship with the dog, and honestly we all do. You hate having your diaper changed, and wearing clothes, I can relate, because I think pants are the worst, unless they’re stretchy. You like to sit and paint, and I can already see your potential for the arts. I love your dazzling blue eyes and your adorable giggles. You are a joy and a dream come true. I love you more every day.

Happy birthday my sweet Hudson.

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A Very Royal Christmas

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This is the time when us Brumfields look back and congratulate ourselves on a pretty good year. Pretty good because no one contracted a life threatening disease, everyone’s limbs are still attached, and most of us still have our stunning good looks. If I had to give 2011 a letter grade, I’d give it a B+ with the comments: diligent, strong work ethic, but needs to be encouraged to listen and pay attention in class. But that last part is only because I’m kinda spacy.

We started out the year celebrating Berlyn’s 4th birthday on February 1st, with a all-princess-all-the-time day at Disneyland, and I was picking fake princess hair off my sweater for weeks.

Then a very shocking and somewhat appalling thing happened in our home that shook the fabric of our family to the very core: Pat moved his company, Normalcy, Inc. out of the spare bedroom and into an office in Old Town Irvine. Four years of having him home, helping me reach tall things, open jars of peanut butter, and “watch” our napping children while I ran out to the gym or to get my nails done were all over in a flash. At first I felt lonely and a bit betrayed, but after a week, I started to settle in to the adjustment, and, shhhh, just between you and me, I kind of like it.

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In March we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with loads of fattening food and intentional conversation.

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Then some other stuff happened, and then it was summer. Berlyn completed her first year of preschool and I feel like I should mention Hudson, because I’m like 4 paragraphs in and I haven’t mentioned him yet. He’s pretty awesome, and while I don’t have anything important to add per se, it would behoove you to know that most of the time Hudson just chills out like a boss.

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Berlyn took up swimming in the summer and was basically a modern Esther Williams in the water, only with more protective eyewear and less waterproof make-up.

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I had a few blogging wins this year. I was in a GM commercial that is on their website, and because I really needed to get into character they let to drive a fancy Cadillac CTS-V coupe around for a week. I was featured in an Orange County magazine called Parenting OC, and I went to BlogHer’11 in San Diego. Which is this huge blogging conference where I made new friends, danced like a rock star, and didn’t apply any of the new stuff I learned in the conference into my blog. I did, however, score 4 giant tote bags full of free stuff which may or may not have included a loaf a bread…jealous??

I also went on a New England cruise with my wacky family, but I left my husband and children at home. I was gone a little over a week soaking up my Canadian heritage in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and when I say soaking up, I mean living off a diet of pale ale and maple syrup. We also stayed in Maine, Boston, and New York City.

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Plus in the summer I worked in a Newport Beach salon as an assistant for a few months. Whaaa?! Working mother? Crazy, I know, but It was one day a week, so basically it was perfect.

We went to Disneyland 464 times, which is weird because a year is only 365 days, but believe me, the math all adds up to we were there a lot.

And when we weren’t at Disneyland we were at the beach, and we went CAMPING for the first time as a family! We got bit by bugs, roasted marshmallows, and sang Kumbayah ’round the campfire.

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Berlyn started her second year of Montessori preschool in the Fall, and this is the point where I feel like I should mention Hudson again. He’s still an awesome dude, and he wants you to know that he enjoys coming with me when we take Berlyn to school and pick her up. He especially likes picking her up, and always has a happy hug waiting for her. It’s precious really. They genuinely like being together, and I’m so glad I have two kids, because they watch each other. Yeah, it’s like that old math equation you did in school where two kids equal one babysitter. They’re always playing, and most of the time they are playing together so well that I’ll sneak off to take a shower and when I get out, I find them curled up on the couch and Berlyn is reading Hudson a story. I mean, can my heart swell any more?

For Halloween they both wanted to be some form of Lightening McQueen. Which is a character from Cars, this Disney movie that has taken all of my money and dreams of having my children form a Von Trapp-like band.

So they dressed as the Lightening McQueen pit crew.

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The week of Thanksgiving we rented an RV and jaunted up the California and Oregon coast with our friends, the Moens (who had their own separate RV). We were in search of the perfect beer. We call it our Brew-cation, and it was epic. Tons of breweries, good friends, and amazing sights. Everyone in the world should go on a Brew-cation. Like right now, go. You’ll love it. Promise.

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And then we had our Mattson Creative/Normalcy Christmas party in VEGAS. Which should legally be changed into all-caps and two (or more, depending on your level of excitement) exclamation points. VEGAS!! Like that. It’s like you say it like a 22 year-old frat boy who’s had one too many jager shots. We, however abstained from jagermeister, but had an amazing time and left feeling grateful for the incredible friends we have in our lives. Oh, and we also got married again.

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Today, the 21st of December, we celebrate Hudson’s 2nd birthday. And I think he’s pretty excited about it. It’s a day that will combine all his favorite things, cake, ripping stuff, and being the center of attention.

And 8 crazy days after that, Pat turns 30!!

Don’t even try to throw him a surprise party because I’m taking him up to Big Sur for a few days. Plus I think he kind of likes feeling left out of the birthday fanfare. Everyone still has a mean case of the ham-burps, and they’re still a bit chubby from eating too much of Aunt Jacky’s fudge to get off the couch that Pat goes overlooked every year, but he reaps his reward during the rest of the year when people are so racked with guilt he can sucker them into almost anything. So it’s a win-win.

Well I hope your year was a win-win too.

Take care, we like you all a lot, and beware of the ham-burps this Christmas.

Peace, love and joy,

The Brumfields

Party like a (responsible adult)

So I went to Las Vegas last weekend. I know people go to Vegas all the time, so I’m sure you’re thinking, meh, it’s really not that big a deal, my grandma is in Vegas right now betting on some horse races and knocking down shots, so really, it’s no big deal.

But for me it totally is because I haven’t been there since I was mere fledgling, barely legal, and navigating this big crazy world of sin, alcohol, and gambling. I remember getting separated from my friends one night, and then I got directions and unsolicited fashion advice from a Marilyn Monroe drag queen named Marilyn MANrow.

I remember walking down the strip barefoot because I was dancing in heels and my feet hurt so bad, I remember fearing that I was going to catch an STD from using a toilet, and I remember all the adverstisments for sex that men tried to hand to me as I walked.

Gross.

Well…I amended my vow because this time I’m an adult, and going to Vegas as an adult is so very different than going as a 21-year old. No McDonald chicken nuggets at 3 am, no sleeping on the ground in your friend’s hotel room, no dancing on bar tops…Wait…I might have a picture of that. Hang on.

(shuffles papers)

(knocks over boxes)

(Opens a jar)

(Starts making a sandwich)

Wait…what was I doing?

Oh yes, this:

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At the time I thought I was the coolest person in the universe, especially having my stomach exposed. Can I get a “Whoo-hoo!” ? Yes, that’s me, with the short hair and navel piercing. Hot stuff. But looking back over the photo again, I see some momish ladies on the left and one of them looks like a 3rd grade teacher and the other one looks like my aunt, so apparently they let anyone dance on the bar. Ugh.

Cut to 10 years later, and I’m back, and ready for some responsible fun.

And clearly I’m having fun already with my saucy flight attendant, and we haven’t even left Orange County yet.

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Zing! We're here.

 

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Our first order of business was to learn to gamble. We played roulette and craps, and I'm pretty sure it's illegal to take this picture, so shh don't tell anybody, mmmkay?

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We saw Le Reve which was this dazzling acrobatic water show.

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I hung out with some sexy ladies.

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And Pat and I even got into the Christmas spirit. Potential Christmas card? I think so. We can always just photo shop our children in.

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I'm sad to leave

 

 

Magazines and Boobs

One of the great joys of going to an appointment is looking through magazines.

A dentist appointment where I have to get a cavity filled suddenly becomes my hidden sanctuary; my kids are being watched by my mom, I’m 8 minutes early, and there’s a recent copy of Vogue on the coffee table: Cue bliss.

This is what life as a mother has become. I now look forward to my annual Pap smear because I know my doctor’s office subscribes W Magazine, and if I get out early I might just swing by Mother’s Market and do some child-free shopping to pick up a homeopathic allergy medicine and chia seed snacks. Winning!

Yup. Life as a mother is very glamorous.

But I totally judge a waiting room by their magazine selection. And if they have a crappy selection, I may just consider going elsewhere.

My Dermatologist has a bad selection of magazines, but they have a flat screen mounted in the corner, and usually the Food Network on. So I don’t mind that they only have Business Consumer magazine and Good Housekeeping.

My childrens’ pediatrician has really dumb magazines, but they always have Travel and Leisure, so that makes up for all the messy stacks of Highlights and free copies of WebMD strewn around the room. I pride myself on the fact that I can usually thumb through a magazine while my kids are bouncing around because once they’re locked in that exam room I figure whatever they play with is fair game. I mean, they locked is in here for 23 minutes, what the hell do they expect me to do with my unruly kids, sit quietly and read a sticky copy of Highlights? No thank you. First my children usually go straight for the mini blinds, then the drawers filled with gauze squares, and finally they take turns pushing each other around on that wheeled stool, all while I hum to myself and dog ear pages of whimsical vacations. Ahhh, Prague is so magical this time a year.

I had a physical yesterday with a new doctor. She’s my mom’s GP, and since she does acupuncture, I thought I’d give her a go. Plus my mom had been nagging me for 3 months straight about going to the doctor.

Have you had your thyroid checked? You’re looking thin.

You know, high blood pressure is in our family, you should have a blood test.

It doesn’t hurt just to get things checked out. You’re a mom, so you need to take care of yourself.

Apparently she thinks I’m going to suddenly stop living. And then she’ll just shake her head and say, “I told her she needed to get a check up.”

My approach to medicine is to do nothing and wait.

Apparently my approach to medicine isn’t her favorite. And apparently even though I’m 31, I still need to be mothered.

BLAH.

But I obliged. Mainly because she used extortion to get me to go. “I’m not going to watch your kids until you make a doctor’s appointment.” She told me.

My mom is a crafty one.

The waiting room was average. Nothing too exceptional. There were a lot of Cosmopolitans, and those are basically one step above a porno mag, but I shifted around and found a GQ. And once I was inside the exam room I found a Harper’s Bazaar, so things were looking up.

Then the doctor came in and we chatted lightly about my health, and then she wanted to check my lungs and whatnot. So first I sat forward and she checked my breathing with her stethoscope from my back, then she came around towards the front.

And this is the part in the story where I tell you that I was wearing my “chicken cutlets.”

Perhaps a photo might help?

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My top was tight and my boobs looked unshapely, so I stuck some extra business down my bra. And I was moments away from my doctor feeling me up and discovering my Target boobies. I took a deep breath in and averted my eyes.

Yup, there she was. Her stethoscope was resting, a direct hit, on my cutlet. I tried to act natural, but how could I when everything about this situation was so unnatural. I let out an uncomfortable laugh, but it came off more like a whimper.

She knew I stuffed my bra and now our relationship had to end. Much like when a high school boyfriend feels you up only to find crumpled up tissues.

I know our relationship had only just begun, but now it was over. I blame my search for finding a newer doctor on her lackluster assortment of magazines, but we all know the truth.

The dirty chickeny truth.