What's happening with the Hill family!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

525,600 minutes

How do you measure a year? Lyrics to one of my favorite songs and really fitting for our family this year. This has been a year of change for our family, our little boys are trying so hard to turn into little men and have worried, challenged and entertained the daylights out of us in 2010. It has been a year of a lot of big decisions and probably the biggest is that we decided to get the heck out of dodge! Well, not literally, but a plan has been ever so slowly set into motion for us to move away from all the hustle and bustle and take our particular brand of crazy to the country.

That's right, I said the country :) Don't we look like the type? In all actuality, I consider the country to mean I have to travel an hour to get to things I love the most like Super Target and Ross. We won't be nearly that far, more like 20 minutes, Matt assures me that I will still be able to get Bravo out there in the sticks and he better not be lying to me. We are headed to a little place called Poetry. Eventually. We casually have our house for sale and I say casually because no one seems to want to buy it, which isn't a big deal because we aren't in a huge hurry to sell it. We kind of just think that it will fall into place whenever it is meant to be. In the meantime, I am trying to live with two boys and a husband in a house that has to, for all intents and purposes, be ready to be seen by strangers at the drop of a hat. It is all very low stress as you can imagine. I won't even get into how totally freaked out Matt gets when strangers come "creeping" around our house. He acts like they are all the future stars (for lack of a better word) of "To Catch a Predator."

I guess it will sell eventually. In the meantime, we are getting really excited about building our "dream house." As you might imagine all four of us have very different opinions on what our dream house should look like. It is really fun to talk about and imagine all the things we want to do, whenever we eventually break free from this haggard, city life. Matt wants a house that is totally powered by a windmill. That is a little weird for me. I am more of an "on the grid" type of girl. So we will see. There has also been talk of having our faces mosaic-ed in the front entry way of our home. I won't mention whose idea that was, but I think we all know. I mean, don't you all want to walk into our new beautiful home and look down to see you are standing on my face? Matt does.

Connor has his own list of ideas for our new house and they include the world's biggest fort (do-able) and an area of the yard to build his own space shuttle (not so much). I am sure we can put that right next to the windmill. Crazy, hillbilly decor aside (which we are absolutely not having, by the way), we can't wait to spend the summer hitting up open houses and stealing as many great ideas as possible. We are so ready to have some real room to breathe and some space for our boys to spread out and grow up as creative and adventurous as possible. And while we still have a ways to go before we settle down, green acres style into our dream house, we sure are excited about what this New Year is already bringing to our family.
Oh and I forgot to mention what might be the best part! Matt's parents are going to be our neighbors! Doesn't that sound like a million blog posts just ready to write themselves? I told Matt that we are going to wake up one morning to see a twelve foot high privacy fence has erected itself overnight after Connor's 50th visit in two days to his Gammie and Gampie. Doesn't it sound like heaven?

So, anyone want to buy a house?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gun Control

Lately I have been noticing that many of my posts have been Hudson centered. They usually veer into the "Good Lord, I don't know what to do with this kid" category. This would be another to add to that list. I love him more than I could ever explain, but often his behavior is beyond explanation.

Backstory 1: This family owns a single cap gun. I can't even really remember why it was acquired to begin with, but I am pretty sure that it was mainly as an accessory to Connor's rodeo outfit (You know we are all about the costumes in this house). We are not gun people. We are dull samurai sword people. It has never really served a function, it has never fired a cap and has been languishing away in the toy box for years. Or so I thought. I now know that it wasn't simply hidden away like a forgotten toy, it was waiting for it's true master to claim it. Much like in Harry Potter, where a wand has a way of choosing it's owner, the gun has chosen Hudson.

Instantly upon discovering his love for the gun, Hudson expanded his vocabulary to include the word "soot." As in, " I soot you." Lovely. He also has a very specific, slightly aggressive gun stance. Legs spread, brow furrowed, eyes afire. I can't say that I love it. This has been going on for a while and we have been working our tails off reprimanding him for threatening to shoot people. As sneaky as he is, he seamlessly transitioned into shooting everything else. The walls, planes in the sky and one nightmarish afternoon, his own son, Big Baby an act for which he at least showed instant remorse. But back to this in a moment.

Backstory 2: On a whim, I bought the boys the movie Hook for Christmas. Connor isn't a huge movie watcher and didn't really care. Hudson, being a second child and therefore an avid fan of the cinema, became hooked. He watched it every day, at least once during Christmas vacation. Sometimes twice. I know that admitting that here makes me sound like the laziest mother in the world, but when my choices boil down to 90 minutes of Hook or a 90 minute set on the drums.....don't judge me. Here is the thing though, Hook is not a cartoon and it kind of scares him. So he came up with the genius idea of watching the movie with his gun poised at the ready, hammer cocked, just in case he needed to protect himself. (Please see Exhibit A)). Whatever. He wasn't threatening to shoot any of us and he was happy. But as this odd gun, Hook, Hudson love triangle continued some more interesting details started to emerge. First of all, although it was truly Captain James Hook that Hudson is scared of, it is in fact, the mild mannered, middle aged Peter Pan played by Robin Williams that Hudson preferred to shoot. AKA the good guy and there was no talking him out of it. So Hudson had cast himself as a henchman. Fantastic. And not at all weird.

Now, fast forward to last weekend. Connor had the great idea of mounting a stage production of Captain Hook and Peter Pan in our living room. I knew in my heart of hearts that this was a bad idea, but they were both so gung ho that I just had to let the disaster play itself out. It was all going quite well, Peter came out in some of his little brother's pants in order to look the part (whatever that means) and Hudson came ready with his gun. There was a lot of chasing and "arghhing" and laughing so I decided that this might not be so bad after all. As soon as I mentally commended myself for having two bright and imaginative boys, the screaming started. James Hook decided it was time to cut to the battle scene and attempt to lop off Peter Pan's hand in retribution for his own hook. Sigh. I had to stop Hudson as he attempted to perform Connor's de-handing with his gun. Yes, you read that right, my youngest son tried to pistol whip his brother's hand off with a buck ninety-nine six shooter.

I had Matt take a picture of the crime scene (exhibit B). Connor is convalescing with his bag of ice and shorty pants and James Hook is sitting in time out bearing witness to his brother's pain. You can see who looks more upset. So, the gun is gone. I thought that might help dial down the anxiety I feel about being a victim of a cap gun drive by in my own house, but it hasn't. Although he has been denied access to the offending weapon, he has resorted to finding alternate guns. To date, they have included a wooden spoon, a baby carrot and a rather intimidating stick he found today on a walk (exhibit C and please note the stance). I am scared that he is going to start biting his bread into the shape of a gun. I can just picture myself in a school counselor's office saying, "Well, I'm not positive but I think it all started with a single cap gun...." Matt said I should worry more about a potential vitamin D deficiency as result of the inordinate amount of his life that kid spends in time out. I just don't know anymore.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010

Another Christmas has come and gone in a whirlwind of excitement and noise. Noise being the key word there because Santa was kind enough to deliver a drumset to this house. For months whenever anyone asked my boys what they wanted for Christmas, they both would say drums. Or dums. No matter how hard we tried to shift their yearnings subliminally with advertisements and sometimes downright begging, it was still at the top of their list. It was actually the only thing on Hudson's list, Connor's was rather lengthy and included a real space shuttle and an actual star. Since his list tended to veer toward the completely unattainable we decided to get the drums because we wanted Santa to get the credit for coming through in as big of a way as possible.

We also decided to get Connor a Wii, as we are undoubtedly the last family in America to get one. He always likes to play it at my dad's house and since he is about to turn five we thought he would be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Plus Matt is determined to beat me in Wii tennis but frankly that is just not going to happen. So Christmas morning Matt got up super early to turn on the tv and wii and make a fire and before 6:00 Connor hopped out of bed and raced in ready to greet his gifts. He encountered his first problem, his sleeping lump of a baby brother. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and trying to acquaint myself with the fact that it was 5:45 in the morning, when I came out and saw Connor literally laying on his brother and prying his eye lids open. The Mush did not so much enjoy that. While Connor was filled with the magic of Christmas, Hudson was filled with the two helpings of Santa's milk and cookies he had stolen the night before and was in no mood for early morning shenanigans. After a lot of cajoling we finally managed to get them both downstairs.

They were so excited, they didn't see the drums at first. When Hudson finally noticed, it was like a spotlight shown down from heaven illuminating the tiny set while a chorus of angels broke out into hallelujahs. To sum up, he was excited. There was a minor setback when we discovered that even in it's lowest short boy setting, the stool was still to high for our vertically challenged son to mount on his own, but we didn't let that put a damper on the excitement of our sons owning their very own drumset. Oh no, not when there was so much joyful noise to be made!Granted, he also could not reach the bass pedal, but who cares? We will just hit that with our sticks too! Also in the wee hours of the chilly Christmas morn, we discovered that our two year old had some pretty intense showmanship on the drums. He had an elaborate routine of counting off the beat while hitting his sticks together. A very loud high pitched voice shouting, " A one, do, free!" He would then proceed to play the crap out of those drums only pausing to stick them behind his back and twist them around. That move was strictly to make him look cool. Listen. I don't know where he learned all that but I am going to really have to monitor his netflix queue more closely.

After about five minutes I started to hate Santa. I mean, really, do we hate ourselves? And honestly that question has been posed to me on several occasions by well meaning friends who wondered why we would ever allow our family to live with a drumset! It really isn't like me. I am much more the, "here is a stocking full of books and a new sweater vest" kind of mom because all of those things are peaceful and quiet and I am a nerd that loves books. But I also want to be the mom whose kids know that she wants them to be as weird and creative as they want to be and if my Mush wants to express himself on a drumset, than who am I to hold him back? Oh. That was even hard to type. By the way, they also did get stockings full of books. We haven't completely lost our minds here people.

At approximately 6:14 a.m. once the fury of unwrapping and drumming had settled down to a dull roar, Matt and I collapsed on the couch in exhaustion to watch the boys play. Connor kept spontaneously announcing that this was the best Christmas he had ever had and that he was so glad it was Jesus' birthday. That really made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The mention of Jesus also reminded Hudson that life isn't just drums and ketchup and he ran into our breakfast nook. I was just gathering the energy from deep within to follow him when he galloped back into the living room yelling, "Yeehaw! Yeehaw!" I asked Matt why he was running and holding his crotch at the same time (those are questions I feel like Matt should always have the answer for) and upon closer inspection we discovered that he had ever so carefully plucked the donkey out of our nativity scene and was pretending to ride that tiny mule around our living room. As Matt reached for him in order to save the donkey from his inevitable fate, Hudson froze mid gallop, arms outstretched and shhh'd us as loud as he could. We all also froze, because frankly he is unpredictable and unpredictable people are dangerous (I learned that on the Real Housewives FYI). He stood there for about twenty seconds with that donkey clutched in his hand and then said, "Shh, baby seeping." "My baby seep." We followed him back over to the nativity and saw that he had placed a kitchen towel over the baby Jesus. Isn't that sweet (assuming he was tucking him in and not trying to smother him)? Ignoring the fact that touching my nativity is an offense punishable by death, it was absolutely precious. Ahh, a small glimpse into the real meaning of Christmas.
It almost made the drumming bearable. Almost.