Wednesday, June 30, 2010


If you're not a parent, this may not be so funny. It made us laugh out loud. My favorite moment is at 1:36. Ry's is at 2:06.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A preview

I have not fallen off the side of the planet. We were in Niagara Falls last week (see preview shot of the gorgeousness from our hotel room). We got home Saturday evening, and spent Sunday unpacking and settling back into home. I also had to scramble to finish an assignment for my online class and T promptly decided to get sick. For the past two days, he’s had a fever up to 102 F, headache and sore throat. The pediatrician says it is a virus that should pass in a few days. Still, T alternates between sleepy and cuddly at the end of his ibuprofen and fairly normal when he’s medicated. I’m hopeful that normal life (and blogging) will resume tomorrow. Until then.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Family lore

We are headed up to Niagara Falls bright and early tomorrow morning, where we will meet my Dad and Lala. They are making a crazy circuit, IL to Alabama to pick up my grandmother. Then they are driving to upstate New York, where they are dropping Grandma for her 60th high school reunion. Finally, they'll head up to Niagara Falls to spend a few days before making the circuit in reverse.

When Dad told me about their big road trip, he told me that they were going to "Podunk" to drop Grandma. It made me smile. You see, when I was about 15, my family took a road trip to visit my grandmother in the sleepy town in upstate New York where she lived. To hear my Dad tell it, as we rolled in, he heard me say "Welcome to Podunk" in the way that only a teenager can. To this day, that story gets retold, and we all still refer to the town as Podunk.

I love family lore. I love the stories that get retold, the phrases that get reused and the pictures that capture a fleeting moment. When my sister was 4 or 5, my Mom was making her a sandwich for lunch. What did she want? "Ham," my sister replied. Did she want cheese? "No, Ham." How about lettuce, mustard, mayo? "Ham," my sister replied, until finally (and now famously) she said, "Ham, I just want HAM!"

I wonder what those stories will be for our little family? What stories do you retell?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A big man update

I gave you the F update a few days ago. Today it's T's turn. My big man is 3 and a quarter years old. What's he up to these days? Let me tell you.He melts my heart on a daily basis. Last night during prayers he told me that Jesus slept in his ribs. He also tries to throw himself into my lap many times during the day. He's a big hugger and a mouth kisser (I guess someday we'll have to get him out of that habit ... but not today).

He is having a hard time sharing us with his baby brother. Even though I make it a point to spend some mommy and T time everyday, he still just doesn't like having to share. Swimming lessons have actually been very nice, because it's just been about him.

And speaking of swimming lessons, T was the only kid in his class to go down the 6 foot water slide today. Most of the kids were anxious or sad. Not T. Nope, he climbed right up, slid down, swam to the edge of the pool and said "Again, Mommy!" He's a daredevil, my big guy. We're working on channeling his energy, enthusiasm and intelligence for good.

He's bossy. I know you're shocked by that, given who his mother is. I have to tell him to mind his own business or "let their mommy be in charge of them" several times a day. It's funny and a little strange to hear myself parroted by a 3 year old, "Rocks are not toys!"

He's an eater. Breakfast is usually a yogurt, piece of fruit, toast or waffle and lately, a piece of cheese. Most mornings he's "stiiiilllll huuuuunnnngggggrrryyyy" after all that and eats more. Sometimes I think he just wants more to eat because it tastes good, so I'll say something like "well, if you're still hungry, you can have some veggies." Then he shocks me and eats the veggies. Of course, sometimes he doesn't. We had a conversation the other day that went a little something like this:

T: I'm still hungry. I'd like a treat!
Me: No treats, you didn't finish your lunch.
T: Oh. I guess I'm full then.
He tries really hard to be a good big brother. He likes to push F in the swing, make him laugh in the car and bring him toys. Of course, he also likes to get in his face, take away his toys and irritate him in the car. Baby steps.

He still wants to be just like daddy. Ry is unequivocally his favorite person on the planet. He wants to ride with Daddy, sit with Daddy, change the cat box with Daddy, mow with Daddy. You name it, he wants to do it with Daddy.

He and I have reached a really good place in our relationship though. I think we're going to emerge from the terrible twos (and new brother period) with grace. The other day he got up from his nap and chose to cuddle on my lap instead of Ry's!

He loves to play "I Spy." Here's how he plays: "I spy, with my little eye ... the TV!" It's kind of the same way he plays hide and seek. "Mommy, where am I? I'm in the closet! Hahahahah."

He's wise to risk/reward. He generally gets asked/warned once. The second him, he gets asked/warned with a consequence (I will take the toy away if you don't stop using it to brush the cat). The third time, he gets the consequence. Lately he's started asking "What will happen if I don't?" So far, the consequence has been a big enough motivator. I'm just waiting for the day when he'll ask, consider, and then say, "Worth it!"

The long and short of it is that we have an interesting, creative, high energy little boy. He's a joy. And a pain. Mostly a joy. And I love him more than I can say.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Popsicles fix everything!

This week T is taking swimming lessons. Every evening for an hour, he and I are donning our swimsuits and taking instruction from a crazy old lady, who frankly, reminds me a lot of my grandmother. She is a no-kidding kind of swimming instructor who had us dunk our dear ones under the water dozens of times the first day. There was much crying and shrieking and pleading to leave the pool. To be honest, I almost took T and left about halfway through yesterday's lesson.

I'm glad I didn't. Toward the end of the lesson, Crazy Patty noticed that T kept his eyes screwed shut every time he went into the water. She suggested goggles. Goggles were procured and the change was almost instantaneous. While he still wasn't a huge fan, it didn't take two people to pry his fingers from my bathing suit. After our lesson was over, Crazy Patty and her assistants passed out popsicles. Well. All of a sudden, all was forgotten. When we talked to Ry on the phone later (he's out of town again), T raved about how much fun he had.

I kept pumping T up for the rest of the evening and all day today. "Remember how brave you were to go under the water?" "Want to practice humming with me?" Humming helps the kiddos to keep their mouths closed and air coming out their noses. "Are you excited to go swimming again today?" And I prayed. I prayed that I hadn't made one of those huge parenting mistakes. You know the ones I'm talking about? The ones that leave your child forever afraid of the pool. Then I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound.

And so back we went. We had a rough start again, but goggles in place, T soon realized he could go under the water, see everyone swimming around and come up sans water in his nose. Fifteen minutes in, he was asking to go underwater with me. He swam under water and grabbed rings from the bottom. He jumped off the edge of the pool. And jumped and jumped and jumped. To be honest, he's a jumping-off-the-edge-of-the-pool junkie. We laughed. We giggled. And T didn't want to leave. Until Crazy Patty brought out the popsicles, of course. Apparently, popsicles fix everything.

And thank God for that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Do you see it?

Do you see it? Do you see it?It is F's one and only tooth! He's gummy no more. He's also so cute I could just eat him.

What's he doing these days? Well I'm glad you asked. He's sort of scooting backwards. That makes him pretty mad, because he's desperately trying to go forwards and put whatever delectable looking toy he can find into his mouth.

He's also making a lot of "ma ma ma ma" sounds. It makes my heart sing, even though I know he doesn't know what he's saying.

He's finding his big brother to be hilarious.

He's a jumping fool in the jumperoo.

He's not afraid of a little water in his face, which is a good thing when he takes a bath with his big brother. I'm hopeful that having a little water poured over his head isn't going to be the tragedy it so often is with T.

He's sleeping through the night! Most nights he sleeps from 8 pm to 6 am. Then he's usually up for the day, but sometimes he'll go back to sleep and let me get another delicious 45 minutes of sleep.

He's doing OK with a sippy cup. We're getting there, but he's still a lot more interested in using it as a teether than actually drinking anything. That said ...
He's eating like a champ. This is the remnants of lasagna dinner the other night. He'll eat just about anything I put in front of him. That includes lasagna, green bean, tortilla, cucumber, and chicken.

He's pretty perfect.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Window Display

Window Display

This made me laugh so hard. I'm totally duct taping our kids to the windows.

Long long summer

It just hit me this week that I have a whole summer ahead of me with no preschool in sight. Granted, we're traveling a lot and we'll have Ry's mom and Cathy here for most of July, but there is still a lot of summer left. I have to figure out what to do with two boys for 5 days a week. T's preschool wasn't long; only 2 hours twice a week. Still, those hours preserved my sanity some weeks.

The good news is that it's summer and I can always default to the park. I also have good friends who also have kids T's age. (Aside: For whatever reason, I hate referring to them as mom friends or mommy friends. It makes it seem like they are defined by being a mommy. Anyway. I digress).

I know it shouldn't be a burden to take care of my own children blah blah blah blah. But you know what? Sometimes it is! Sometimes I just need an hour or two without someone asking me a question every 10 seconds or kneeling over a 3-year-old's naked bum pointed to the sky (That's enough flushing, T). Sometimes I need to feel like my life isn't all about cleaning the house, preparing meals, pushing endless swings and grocery carts while trying to inject a little learning into the day (Is Daddy a he or a she? How many pears are in our bag?).

Alas and alack. Alack and alas. (Aside: Did you know alack is actually a word? I always assumed it was just like "bah" or some other nonsense word. It's not, alack is an interjection used to express sorrow.) Anyway, I was alacking. And alasing. And generally hoping for Mary Poppins to fly through my window a few times a week. Well, that would be sort of creepy. I hope Mary Poppins comes knocking on my door a few times a week.

Alack. No knock.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Trying desperately not to laugh

Today T was sitting on a footstool chatting with me as I nursed F. When he left to pursue another adventure, I put my feet on the footstool. A few minutes later he came in and told me to move my feet. I told him that he left and now it was my turn to use the footstool. Plus, he hadn't asked me to move in a polite way. He turned to hit my feet, thought better of it and then said "I'm going to saw you in pieces!" He "sawed" my legs to bits and left the room. A few moments later he came back in the room and said "Mommy, may I please use the chair?" After he sat down, he fixed my legs "fix fix fix fix", and all was once again right with the world.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

You can't make this stuff up

Tonight I was upstairs putting F to bed. I heard T start to cry downstairs. I gave it a minute, since sometimes he decides to crank up the drama before bed. When it didn't stop immediately, I started worrying that he got sick or hurt himself. I put F in his crib and ran downstairs. This is the conversation that followed:

Me: What's wrong baby?
T: I want my booger back!
Me: ...
T: I waaaaannnttt my booooooooger back!
Me: Are you kidding me?
T: No.
Me: You're crying over a booger?
T: Yes, I want my booger back!
Me: That is a ridiculous reason to cry. Why in the world would you want your booger back?
T: I want to put it back in my nose!
Me: Babe, once it's gone, it's gone. You can't put a booger back in your nose.
T: Oh.

To teach or not to teach

If you've spent any time around T, you know he loves to talk. I always joke that it took him two years to start talking, and we haven't been able to get him to shut up since.

Since he's only 3, he has only a loose grasp on lots of grammar and semantics rules. He has a particularly tough time with gendered pronouns. Basically everything is a he or him or boy for T. For a long time I ignored it, figuring he'd eventually catch on. Recently however, he's gotten some startled looks from people when he asks what that boy is doing or refers to a woman as "he". I know that it's just because he doesn't know any better, but I started worrying that he was giving people a complex.

As much as I hate the idea of teaching him about gender, I have started working with him on men/women, girls/boys/, her/him, and she/he. It's made for some interesting conversations with friends lately. T walked up to a friend of mine the other day and said "You're a she, cause you're a girl." Yes, yes she is.

He also started correcting me recently when I talked about Finley's tooth. "No mommy! Finley has a teeth!" And so I told him that if you have only one, you have a tooth, but if you have more than one you have teeth. Today, that gem came out as "Tooth is one, but lots is teeth!"

I don't know enough about childhood development to know if he'll eventually get it without overt teaching, but the results of our lessons have been amusing at least.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Zoo me, zoo me

A girlfriend and I decided to take all four of our kids to the Philadelphia Zoo this week. We were perhaps a little overambitious and certainly a little crazy, but we had fun anyway.Here are T and Q at the beginning of the day.
T as a monkey? Perfect!
This gorilla was pointing and playing with T until I got out the camera. Anyhow, it was a giant gorilla and T thought it was pretty cool.
No paparazzi!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's starting already

I am in the process of trying to find swim lessons for T this summer. A lot of people out here have pools or are close to large bodies of water. I think it's about time T learns to float and whatnot. My problem is that we're going to be gone a lot this summer. I refuse to pay for 10 weeks of lessons when T will only get to 5 or 6 of them. The Y and another area group offer condensed lessons, 2 weeks of lessons every day. This seems like a good solution for us. Does anyone have experience with this type of lesson? It is more or less effective than a typical once-a-week schedule?

I can't believe I'm already dealing with scheduling difficulties. In 5 years we'll have school, extracurriculars and work to manage. Fun times.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's a shame he's so malnourished

Sad but true

This morning Ry came into our bedroom around 6:45 am to tell me goodbye. F had just woken up and T was still asleep (he woke just before 7). "Wow," he said, "Everyone is really sleeping in this morning!"
Designed by Lena