Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sliding into home

I did it. 30 posts in 30 days, and it has just about ended me. I would really like to post more often, and if I got more organized, maybe I could save all those funny stories about my kids and post with some regularity.

But really, I'm just staying up too late at night. And after that Thanksgiving weekend o'family, I'm fresh out of stories.
I wish I had some beautiful description of how we played Christmas music today and decorated the house, the kids oohing and aahing as each ornament was unwrapped. Well, not really, but I wish I had taken a nap, done the decorating, and maybe figured out how we can get Christmas lights strung up with no outlet in the front yard.

But let's get real. I did vacuum, we finished the laundry, Pat took the Boy swimming, and we met a new cousin. My stepsister's 6 month old baby Mazie who is so adorable my kids couldn't keep their hands off her. The Boy wanted to hold her, and Bitty Girl wanted to boss her around. Luckily she's a happy, tolerant baby and her parents aren't neurotic first-timers like I was. They didn't hurt her, just a few extra-large hugs and one toppling over backward into the couch.
Now I'm just crossing my fingers that they weren't a vortex of infectious disease, silently infecting her with some nasty cold and cough that doesn't show up until Monday or Tuesday this week.

I should have plenty of blog fodder for December, given that it includes my 36th birthday (ouch), The Boy's 6th birthday, birthday party, family dinner, a couple of Christmas parties, a photo shoot, and 2 weeks off school. If I can just get some sleep.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post Turkey Day turkeys

Whew. The end of a long family Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of food, lots of family, lots of food.
Kids were amazing, as I reflect back upon the long stretches of time they played together with minimal screaming.
As they get older (cousins are 7, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, and 1) the bigger ones are more into board games, which keep them occupied longer.

Also introduced this year was the famous Magnavox Odyssey 2, which was Dad's first video game system from 1978. The in-laws still have it, and it was a huge hit! Either they're too young to be completely spoiled by the new games, or they were in awe that something so old still worked.
For a stroll down video game memory lane, go here.
Behold the Odyssey!

On the drive home, The Boy was asking when we can go back to play again...

But no matter their age, they still all love ice cream. Enjoy some photos of our favorite turkeys eating ice cream with their cousins at Friday night's dinner out.

Gobble, gobble....

Friday, November 28, 2008

The moment has arrived.

I just heard The Boy say, "Dad, can we watch football?"

And there's some discussion of which team has won the most games, have they won more than the Huskies, and could this college team beat our poor Seahawks.

Although right now I hear him doing some annoying play with his old Sesame Street cash register, pushing the keys over and over so it says, "seven, sev, sev, seven, sssssss, seven, sev, sev, seven."

I figured with such a sports fan for a father, he would eventually take an interest. He's always loved to throw balls, and "buh-ball" for basketball was his first big word. Last spring it was baseball, and he watched a little more of a few Mariners games than before. Then during soccer season, he was always asking to go outside and kick the ball, but not so much for watching soccer on tv.

But one day I called while I was out, and they were poring over the stats page in the newspaper, and according to The Boy, "figuring out who were the worst players on the Seahawks." He's been playing football at recess with his friends, and has spent a few evenings outside throwing the ball with Daddy.

But this is what I've been dreaming about... That one day, they might say, "Mom, shhhh and leave us alone. We're watching football."

And then I'll have three hours to myself.

Now to work on Bitty Girl's love of football. Maybe a purple and pink football in her stocking??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just call me Dr. Mama

Evidently my personal Thanksgiving prescription worked, and I didn't even have that much wine! The kids were fabulous - mostly - and I really didn't get stressed or worried.
No bleeding, no barfing (so far, keep your fingers crossed, because they did eat a lot), and nothing broken.
My sister-in-law called us at 7:30 am and invited us over early for breakfast. We had planned to get there around noon, but went about 10:30 am instead. It turned out to be perfect, because the kids got to play with cousins and settled down before most of the people arrived.
Besides getting slightly over-hungry before lunch and dinner, things went smoothly, kids played beautifully, the weather cooperated, food was delicious, and it was great to catch up with family.

There were -- gasp-- actually long stretches of time, like 20-30 minutes, where I wasn't directly supervising EITHER child. Or anyone else's child, for that matter. It has been a long time since I could say that about any family gathering.

They played inside, outside, watched a movie and shared an enormous bowl of popcorn,

which was gone in 10 minutes flat.

The Boy learned how to play Monopoly, and actually sat, completely focused on it, for an hour. With his dad. Without me. Do you even understand how exciting that "without me" part was to type? Because not only was I off the supervision hook for one kid, but I didn't have to deal with his creative interpretation of Monopoly rules.

So far, one happy, successful Thanksgiving - check.
Two more big family dinners to go....

Oh, and I figured out where The Boy gets his "silly face in pictures" gene..
like father.....

like son.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Keeping our eyes on the prize

I am trying to start the thankfulness early, and remember that's what tomorrow is about. We have a big family Thanksgiving, and at least I'm not cooking!

We are thankful...
for beautiful healthy babies
for enough food on our table
for family and friends
for healthy bodies
for our jobs
for beautiful sunny days in November
for having all that we need and more
for laughter

So my personal prescription for Turkey Day Weekend is more wine, less worry. If they're not bleeding or barfing, I'm going to try to ignore all child-related conflict, whining, arguing, and focus on what's important. Like filling up my wine glass. And writing down all the funny stories for future blog posts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big Three-O

Bitty Girl, you are 2 1/2 today. Thirty months old.

Thinking (or reading, since who can remember that long ago?) back to your
birthday seems like ages ago, but you are still doing all those things I listed. Just more of them.

More picnics with your dollies sleeping under blankets
More adamant and bossy and independent
More beautiful and spunky and funny and delightful
More entertaining, as you try to tell jokes and then say, "I just teasing!"
More shrieking and screeching at your brother's transgressions, real or imagined
More of a need to be the center of attention
More interested in Mommy holding you, Mommy putting you to bed
More delighted with potty talk, especially our reaction to it
More silly at the dinner table
More dramatic play, telling stories about monsters and school and your family

You drop the beginning "s" off words starting with "sp" or "st" just like your cousin: (s)Pider, (s)tar, and your favorite.... (s)pit
You say "franwich" for sandwich, and "Auntie Caff-erine" for Catherine
Pink and purple are somehow your favorite colors, and you remind us of this daily. Many times.
If you don't like the clothes I choose, you say, "I don't match!"

You might have more of a sweet tooth than your brother and me - oops!
You repeat everything we say, including your brother's less-than-appropriate items
You are very independent, like to try to get yourself dressed and undressed, gave up the highchair long ago, and barely tolerate the stroller
But you go along with our craziness, don't mind being woken up from your nap to pick up your brother at school, or missing a nap on a busy day.

Our favorite funnies this week include:

You want a piece of me?

I freezing cold

Wrap me around (wrap a blanket around me)

Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me (when you want to be picked up)

Happy Half Birthday, Bitty Girl! We love you!

And the Boss goes on....

Tonight at bedtime, after stories and brushing teeth

"I want a song."
"How do you ask for a song with polite words?"
"Song, please, Mommy." (complete with smirky smile and head tilt for emphasis)
"Which song should we sing? The Boat song?"
I start singing, only to be interrupted...
"No, Mommy, don't sing. I SING!"


Monday, November 24, 2008

Skater Boy

The Boy's school has a roller skating party practically every month. Yes, I know you're jealous, wishing you, too, could spend two hours on a Monday evening sitting on the same red carpeted mushroom benches that have been there since "Grease" was a new hit movie, watching shaggy-haired sweaty 12-year old boys try to do skateboarding tricks on their inline skates.

Green with envy - I see you.

But the Boy, who begged for rollerblades last year and dutifully practiced, can really skate by himself. He hardly falls, and he gets right back up.

And they play YMCA, Journey, Queen, and tonight - Corey Hart songs. (Mom, remember taking me to the concert in 8th grade? Thanks again)
So basically, I love it, except for the newer music, which scares me. Also, the big kids scare me. I seriously have to avert my eyes so that I don't imagine The Boy's face under one of those shaggy greasy hairdos, with those saggy pants and "I wish I was a real tough guy" look. Don't even get me started on the 3rd grade girls with the tight jeans and inappropriate t-shirts.

I wish I had pictures, but I would definitely be "that mom who embarrasses her kid" if I took any photos. Who am I kidding, I'm going to be her anyway. Next month - PHOTOS!

Part II of Skater Boy will deal with the slight heartbreak I experience watching him try to navigate sliding onto the bench from a full skate, to keep up with a faster 1st grade friend, and being disappointed that most of his friends weren't there tonight because they had basketball practice. The basketball team that we decided NOT to have him join.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Intergenerational Bossy

Bitty Girl entertaining one of her biggest fans, Great-Grandma "NuNu."

We spent the weekend at Nanny and Papa's house, where evidently it was the Bossy Girl Show. She comes from a loooooong line of bossy.
The Boy was outside playing most of today, far away from the camera.

She ran Nanny, NuNu, and Auntie Catherine through the ranks of many thrilling games. Highlights included:
1. Very Bossy Daycare, where we strongly suggest you take a nap - look how fun it is!

Serious naptime discussions were had by all.

2. Very Bossy Edible Video game, where you better eat what she gives you, and maybe hand over your jewelry too,

3. Very Bossy Cookie Decorating--watch out for the pre-licked ones,

I wouldn't recommend the one in the lower left of the photo...

4. Very Bossy Movie watching, where you hand over your computer to indulge the Queen because her brother is upstairs watching something she doesn't like.
Considering that she comes from a mother who insisted on being in charge of her sister's birthday parties and a great-grandmother famous for her declaration of "I MUST TAKE CHARGE!" is anyone really that surprised??

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Move over Bitty Girl...

Your cousin is pulling ahead of you in the audition line for Funniest 2 yr old.

Part II of Guest Comedian Cousin...

According to my sister, her 2 1/2 year old has an equal passion for the Madagascar theme song. She watches the 3-minute music video they found on the On Demand cable channel, to quote my sister, "I don't know....15 times in a row each time."

She says "Move it, move it" and dances and shakes her booty.

Even better... Take that, Sleeping Judy!
Guest Comedian Cousin calls Sleeping Beauty "Shakin' Booty" and she doesn't know she's being funny. Not yet, anyway.

Her latest favorite game? PAY IT! An imaginary shopping game where she is the "worker girl" and you are the customer. I would fly to the East Coast just to play Pay It and meet Shakin' Booty...

We miss you, Guest Comedian Cousin!
And your mom and brother too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adding to the list

Presenting #24 on the list of
"There's just something slightly wrong about a 2 1/2 year old saying...."

"I like to move it, move it!" (complete with hip shaking) Yes, she really says it...

If you don't follow the latest over-hyped animated movie press, I offer you...
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

We never saw the first Madagascar movie, but in a desperate, futile attempt to avoid the Plague of 1,000,000 Questions, it's waiting for us at the library. We'd like to get the story straight with The Boy before we find ourselves in the movie theater woefully unprepared for the onslaught of questions..

Never underestimate the power of a catchy tune and McDonald's Happy Meal Toys.

I have to admit it's catchy.

P.S. I already looked up the lyrics, and I think it's fairly harmless. I think there's a big hippo in the movie, and there's supposed to be some message about how she loves herself just how she is. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't some REALLY nasty song with just a catchy chorus.

Lunch conversation - wish you had been here

I don't know how she managed to eat anything, what with all the WORDS coming out of her mouth...

Overheard during Bitty Girl's lunch yesterday, over a 15 minute timespan:

"The chicken go through the gate!" She made a gate out of the pieces of her sandwich and lined up the little pieces of chicken to go through the gate. "I'm sorry! Chicken look like a boot! I need another boot!"

"You have to go poo poo, Mommy? (No, I don't, I reply) I give you a sticker. I read you a story. You have to go pee on the potty? (Again, no) Come on, just try."

(While using her fork) launches into a story about her fork. "The fork got lost in the FOREST. Fork went in the woods, saw my Mommy! My mommy hid in the forest. Then I saw my Daddy! My daddy hid in the forest. (and on and on and on)

She also repossessed my noodles, asked me to peel her grapes (which were already cut into little circles), and refused to eat chicken with any skin or seasoning on it.

Hollywood, look out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A milestone.....almost

When we take The Boy to school, we park and walk him right up to the classroom door, where the kids are waiting. We are not in the majority; many kids ride the bus or get dropped off on the sidewalk, so they walk in themselves. My opinion is that kindergarten is too young for this--their school is the "doors open right to the outside" kind with breezeways, not one building with classrooms inside. There's a lot that could happen between the car and the classroom door, and we often see that on our walks in.

Anyway, he has casually mentioned that some kids walk in by themselves, but hasn't expressed a desire to do it himself. He actually still holds my hand most of the time, which I keep waiting for him to give up. But I have to admit I secretly love it, knowing that it won't last.

So as we're driving in this morning, he says that one of his friends comes for school breakfast and walks in by himself. I ask if he wants me to drop him off, because I can. (As my heart breaks a little, silently)
He says yes, and then asks if I can park and just walk him up to the sidewalk.
I agree.
We park and walk up to the sidewalk, where I kiss him goodbye and he starts to walk down the breezeway.
I resist the temptation to pull out my phone and take a picture of my little boy growing up.
I also resist the temptation to cry.

About 15 feet away, he turns around, crying.

Evidently he's not quite ready to walk in by himself either. Whew.
We dried tears and walked in together. He recovered just fine, and once again, I managed not to cry.

Sometimes you're ready to walk right up to that milestone, look it in the eye, and say, "Maybe next time."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guilty lists

I was, okay, I'll admit it, COMPULSIVE about keeping lists of milestones when The Boy was a baby. His first words, journal entries about what he was doing every single month. (Note to self: get a life!!!)

And as a result, he's a completely typical first baby who thinks the world revolves around him.

But I never should have done the lists, because I should have known I could never keep them up with Baby #2.
I just found, in the pile o'crap that is my office, a list of words that I was keeping as Bitty Girl's "latest," I think from about April-Sept 2008. Of course it's not dated, and she says so much more now, so I really have no idea what time period it covers. Something around 2 years old..

Here it is:
  • own juice!
  • NOW
  • pick
  • Audee (saying her name)
  • please
  • right here
  • thank you
  • sorry
  • I lub you (love you)
  • healthy lunch
  • cookie after dinner (this was proudly her first 3 word sentence, I think)
  • popcorn (pop-o-door)
  • sandwich (tranwich)
  • lollipop (pop or loblie)

I guess I should be happy that I wrote anything down?? I tell myself that she'll be a better person for it--better adjusted, more adaptable. Living out of the glare of the Mommy Microscope has to have some benefits, right? Just say yes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time Warp

Inspired by a dig through my old picture files...
August 2004 with Nanny and NuNu- He was not quite 2

Same people, fast forward 4 years.

September 2008 - not quite 6...

Family resemblance?
Bitty Girl not quite 2
The Boy not quite 2

Monday, November 17, 2008

At least he's not afraid of mascots

We had a tough day today. Lots of arguing and rushing around in the morning, arguing this evening, but somehow he had a good day at school in between. We'll try harder tomorrow.

The only comic relief I have is some pictures from this weekend, at an event for work... Here he is with the Sound Transit mascot, Zap Gridlock,

and the Seattle Storm mascot, Doppler.

With all his frustrating qualities, at least he doesn't run screaming from those weird mascot costumes...

And on a growing up note, he VOLUNTARILY made two tiles to be part of a picnic table art project. They were encouraging kids to use stencils of nature-related things, but he stubbornly refused, and said he'd draw his own nature scene. This is not a boy who usually gravitates toward art projects (unless it involves drawing robots or aliens) or who chooses to sit still and quietly focus on something requiring delicate fine motor skills, so I said GO FOR IT!

Not sure how it will come out after kiln firing, but it was all him. Behold the flowers--pencil outline, glaze, and all.

Then he wanted to make another one, and used the butterfly stencil. I only helped encourage him to add a second coat of glaze. This is progress in the art project world, people..

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Art and grammar and DRAMA lessons

Heard today in the House O'Drama:

The Boy: My favorite color is red now instead of green. I want my favorite color to be a primary color, not a secondary color.

Bitty Girl: (upon returning to the room): I BACK!!!

and later, after she had been in bed for 30+ minutes, chatting away and I went in to settle her down...
Mom: Time for sleep now.
BG: I need some water. (I got her a drink of water)
(with a smile on her face)
My tummy feel like...I feel like I barf.
(she meant 'I feel like I'm going to barf' except she forgot she was smiling and looked fine otherwise)

I watched her for a minute, but didn't believe a word of her stalling tactic. She's been sleeping since then, no sign of barfing. (knock on wood)

If she barfs tonight, I will come back and edit this post with a full bad-Mommy apology. But I think it's all an act. A well-polished act, starring parents who should know better but are charmed by her big brown eyes and big smile.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Silver lining

I'm still tired, but owe the story.

So we're in Toys R Us buying a birthday present for a party on Saturday. The Boy is obsessed with Bakugan lately, so of course that's what he wants to get for his friend. But of course, wily creature that he is, he has also figured out that he has enough in his saved allowance to buy one for himself. One small $6 one. And while I really want him to be able to buy a birthday present for a friend WITHOUT also getting something for himself, I agree--it is his allowance, after all.

Toys R Us is one of the worst places on Earth, first of all. If you don't have to go in, I recommend total avoidance. It's floor to ceiling crap that no one needs, but the minute my kids hit the doorway, they suddenly!!! I have seen more tantrums and screaming in TRU than any other place.

But we agreed on 10 minutes in the Bakugan aisle, a quick visit to the baby doll aisle for Bitty Girl, and then home. Oh, I think I forgot to mention that this trip is Friday after a full day of school and after a trip to Fred Meyer where they had no Bakugans. Key detail omission, sorry.

We find the Bakguan aisle, scan the shelves, letting our eyes fall upon the completely empty racks of $6 Bakugan toys. Of course they have the $11 big Bakugan balls, the $23 set, and the $16 Bakubelt, as well as the $15 Bakugan shooter. Lots of lovely things for a birthday present, or for a holiday/birthday wish list, but nothing that you can afford when you only have $7-8 of your allowance money saved.

And your mean Grinch of a mom won't let you spend money you don't have. Doing you a favor kid, trying to make you follow in your father's financial footsteps rather than your mother's, but that doesn't matter in the aisle at Toys R Us.

He was heartbroken. Real tears and real sobs. Not a greedy tantrum, but seriously sad. He had his heart set on the Bakugan, he had saved his money, and he was so excited to buy one. He knows his birthday and Christmas are in 4 and 6 weeks, but that's like eternity when you're 5.
Luckily, I stayed calm and Bitty Girl behaved herself in the cart. We looked at the prices, explained what he could and couldn't buy, and talked about being disappointed. He kept crying, but picked out the present for his friend. Many other people came into the Bakugan aisle, commented on the lack of stock and the high prices, causing me to realize that this is the hot item of 2008 for young school-age boys.

I explained that he had $7-8 and he could choose to a) save it until we found a Bakugan or b) buy another toy that he liked. Here's where I was so proud. He dried his tears, with only a slight underlying sniffle, and found a Ben 10 action figure that he liked. He had trouble deciding, but agreed to get it. I explained that if he bought this one, he wouldn't have enough money to buy a Bakugan until after his birthday. Now he had to think. I said he could hold onto it while we went to see the baby dolls (little sister's choice). As we were walking over there, he said, "No, I decided I'm going to put it back and save my money for what I really want."

My heart skipped a beat. Seriously. At the age of almost-6, in the whole pre-holiday crush of nasty old Toys R Us, he managed to show restraint, prevent an impulse buy, and focus on what he really wanted. Granted, what he really wants is a $6 piece of crap plastic ball that opens when it touches a magnet, but we all have priorities.

So although he can be greedy and always wants more, even though he has far too much already, I was proud of him yesterday. He continued to cry all the way home, slightly eroding my pride, but I'll take it where I can get it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Battle Begins

We have accidentally stumbled upon what may be the hot toy for boys this year. The Boy has been enthralled with this trading card game called Bakugan, another one of the Japanese anime Pokemon-like games. Bakugan (aka Bakugan Battle Brawlers) has plastic marble toys that pop open when they roll onto magnetic cards. It's like Pokemon, in that it's a card game where the cards have certain characters with one power or another, blah, blah, blah, and until he can read on his own, it's just a pain in my neck.

Some older kids at school had them, he traded someone a Star Wars figure for one of the balls and some cards, and he's hooked. (The trading toys at school is a separate post/issue) Bakugan is definitely topping his birthday/Christmas list, and he's not alone. The toy stores can't keep these things stocked.

But today we waged the Bakugan battle right in Toys R Us, and he learned a valuable lesson.

To be continued tomorrow, with photos, when I'm not so tired....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moments like these

make it all worthwhile.

By moments like these, I mean when I sneak into her room while she's napping because I have to wake her up to go pick up her brother at school, and she looks so heartbreakingly beautiful that I have to run and get the camera. Then when I take a few pictures, even the flash doesn't wake her up, and I feel guilty about interrupting her nap.

But look at her red cheeks, and the sweet way she's snuggling with her baby. The big purple thing is my pillow. She has been doing this blanket folding thing lately to make herself a "pullow" but she wasn't happy with my folding, so I offered my real pillow. She loved it, and promptly fell asleep. The baby has a blanket and a "pullow" too.

Such a second baby - always a good sport when I have to wake her up, and doesn't even fuss when we have to get right in the car. Thank goodness someone in our family can go with the flow, because most of us are not known for that quality.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So you're asking yourself, what is "samily?"
Allow me to explain.

Bitty Girl has an elaborate bedtime ritual and she likes to put her trained monkeys (that's us) through each and every step.

Pjs, Stories and milk, flossing and brushing teeth, the usual... But once she gets in bed, the fun begins.

Kiss through the bars! (of her crib)
Fishie! (make a fish lips face through the bars)
Kiss on the bars (so your lips aren't actually touching)
Eskimo kiss (rub noses)
Then, for the finale........
That involves calling big brother from wherever he is, and the non-putting to bed parent for a group hug. Or a Family hug. or Flamily, like her brother used to say, or just plain samily.

I think the world could use more samily hugs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Them's fightin' words

The latest snort-causing antics around here... While it wouldn't be appropriate at preschool, it's hilarious to watch...

Bitty Girl (hands on hips, sassiest look on face): You want a piece of me?
The Boy: No, I want HALF. Chop, chop! (makes karate chop motion to chop her in half)

I laugh every time. Must get it on video for the full effect of the sweet, high little voice trying to sound so tough.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I would have settled for 20 questions

After two croupy nights, we kept the Boy home from school today. And it was one of those "I made the right call" decisions, not the "Oh God it's 10 am and he's obviously totally fine, what have I done" kind.

I threw away my "To Do" list and snuggled up to watch a movie. We recently bought E.T. and he's been begging to watch it. I realized that the scary space-suit trespassing FBI guys are no scarier than Star Wars, and we found ourselves with the time, so we watched it. I felt myself transported back to the summer of 1982, when I won a trip to see E.T. in the library summer reading program.
And when I had a screen printed E.T. tshirt. I wish I still had mine, but unfortunately, I stole the picture off ebay.

The Boy cannot stand NOT to know something, so he asks more questions than my mom watching tv (which is a lot, ask my husband). I talked him through things, and paused the movie liberally to explain.

I had warned him about the part where Elliot calls his brother "penis breath" and threatened him mightily about what will happen if I EVER hear this uttered. There were a couple of other mild swear words mixed in there, but I think he missed them. He laughed at all the funny parts, cried when he thought E.T. was dying, and generally loved it.

But the minute it was over, HOLY QUESTIONS, Batman! He seriously asked me nonstop questions for an hour, trying to sort the whole good alien, bad scientists thing out in his brain.
A sampler...
  • Why couldn't E.T. talk at the beginning?
  • Why was E.T. so short?
  • Why did the scientists wear those suits?
  • Why did they put E.T. in the bathroom when they brought him home from the forest?
  • Why did E.T. and Elliot feel the same things? How did that work?
  • Why did E.T. get sicker and Elliot get better at the end?
  • Why did their bicycles fly? Or maybe HOW?
  • Why was Elliot yelling "You're killing him" when E.T. was dying
  • How did Elliot get into that tube into the van
  • Why did Gertie get to go to the forest herself? (lots of questions around this one, with the stellar 1982 parenting, kids left home alone on sick days, little kids trick or treating unchaperoned, and little sister sent out to the woods by herself)
And, after we watched the Bonus material "E.T. Reunion, 20 years later" and saw all the actors 20 years older....
  • Why do they look like that? (You mean old??)
  • Which one is E.T.?
He could not get over Drew Barrymore as an adult. Me either, because if she's that old, then I'm at least five years older.
We finally took Mom's favorite--a question break, but I'm sure he'll be back at it in the morning. Good thing Daddy's home and I have to work!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On the Y

Chromosome. The Y chromosome. Certain things about The Boy just mystify me. I often find myself shaking my head and thinking, "WHAT?"

Examples, please, you ask? Ok, but remember you asked for them... (and I wouldn't recommend reading this over lunch)

Example 1: At dinner tonight, as I am about to put a piece of chicken in my mouth, he leans over, waves his fingers at me, and says, "Do my fingers smell like poop? Because I just wiped."

Needless to say, I did not smell them. But we had a second washing of the hands, just in case.

Example 2: While taking a shower tonight, he spent most of time singing about his bottom. "I'm washing my bum, shaking my bum, rinsing my bum," and so on. At least it's a clean bum.

Example 3: "Mom, want to see something cool that (boy in his class) taught me?" He proceeds to stick his finger in his nose, then in his ear, and then lick the finger.

Yum. And he's going to be THAT BOY. You know the one, the one who picked his nose and ate it and there's some girl who grows up to be like my mother, who, 55 years later, can still tell you his name.

Example 4: His fingernails. I do not understand how he gets them so dirty, even when he didn't play outside today. I try to keep them cut short, and STILL. The dirty fingernails. Oy.

Example 5: The constant touching of everything. Walls, windows, fragile store displays, his sister, my personal space. He honestly cannot help himself sometimes.

Example 6: The interjection of "stupid" into most popular songs and phrases. You know, "The Itsy Bitsy STUPID Spider" and "Row, Row, Row your STUPID Boat?"

Example 7: Potty talk. This crosses gender lines, but I just don't get why it's so funny to talk about going to the bathroom. Maybe I'll ask his father--the originator of most of the fart jokes in our house, and the man who proudly taught both kids to "Pull my finger!" Guess I just answered my own question on that one. Note the Y chromosome, though...

There are many, many more, but I'm just too tired for any more male mystery. I'm sure Bitty Girl will be even more challenging in many ways, but at least I'll understand the brain behind all that drama and eye-rolling. This Y chromosome has me stumped.

At least he's cute. Since I have such a pathetic lack of pictures lately, here's one of him enjoying the 30 minute rain squall during his last soccer game.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Sometimes I can muster it up and sometimes it pays off.

To be honest, today I was just too lazy and tired to deal with Bitty Girl during the time she should have been napping, but it worked.

Timeline of Events:
1. I put her down for a nap around 12:45 pm. She chatted, arranged her dollies and chatted some more.
2. I give her one reminder around 1:15 pm that she needed to go to sleep, rearrange her blankets.
3. About 1:45 pm, I go in with more milk, read her another story, and did some wishful snuggling, and remove all but 2 dollies and blankets.
4. She is still chatting and wiggling at about 2:15 pm, and I'm convinced she won't nap, but am too tired and busy to go get her. Plus she's not crying and I haven't heard any sounds of Velcro diaper tabs opening which would indicate nakedness.
5. At 2:30 pm: All is quiet. Silent cheer!!
6. At 2:45 pm: I go in to peek and make sure it's not just a very quiet naked girl, and she's ASLEEP! All blankets and dollies thrown in the laundry basket, but she's asleep. I cover her up and tiptoed out, proud of my perseverance.

P.S. I may have to kill the neighbor who is daring to drill something LOUDLY outside as I'm typing this..

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better.

I wish today was one of those days where I was glad The Boy had another day off school, so we could spend some quality time together.

But it wasn't. Instead it was a day where the highlights consisted of the Kids Zone at the YMCA and a few good block-building sessions, and the lowlights featured me losing my temper more than once, several timeouts for both kids, and one embarrassing moment of quiet defiance right at the YMCA exit gate in front of the staff and his friend's grandparents.

So I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread after the kids went to bed (a mix from Trader Joe's, don't get too excited..) and I felt slightly better. At least it smells good so far.

During one of the brief peaceful interludes of sibling harmony today, Bitty Girl did have a funny moment.
I came upon a huge explosion of toys in the dining room corner and asked her to clean it up. She said, "It's for Nanny!" Quick thinking Mama said, "Let's take a picture, send it to Nanny, and then you can clean it up!"

Mess for Nanny

In another harmonious moment, her big brother actually helped clean it up.
Let's hear it for the weekend--our first with no soccer games since August!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Almost 6

As the big 6th birthday approaches (ok, it's in 5 weeks, but we celebrate long around here), I introduce you to the first of several lists.

Things that concern/perturb/frustrate/infuriate our "Almost 6"
  • The seemingly arbitrary time change back to Standard Time
  • Being wrong
  • Anyone who even remotely suggests that he might be slightly wrong
  • Losing. At anything.
  • Too much attention being given to his little sister
  • Missing out on anything
  • Not having or doing something that someone else has or does or might have or do
  • Being (or thinking he is) the fastest, oldest, tallest, strongest, and general all-around BEST OF ALL
  • When Mom goes somewhere BY HERSELF. Or worse, with HER OWN FRIENDS.

Things that do NOT concern/frustrate/even raise the consciousness of "Almost 6"
  • Nose picking - his own or other people
  • Dirty fingernails
  • Clothes matching
  • Bad table manners
  • That broccoli and carrots are the only two vegetables he will eat
  • Socks pulled up almost to his knees (thank god for long-pants weather)
  • Teasing his sister
  • Making a mess
  • If his jokes aren't funny (he thinks they're all funny)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still snickering

This really isn't funny. Not if you're trying to rein in some 2 yr old "testing the limits" behavior and if you're a tired Daddy giving a slippery girl a bath.

And it's not helpful for Mommy to laugh about it. But sometimes it just slips out.

When I arrived home after work today, Bitty Girl was upstairs getting a bath. I went in to say hello, she smiled and announced that she was getting clean. The funny part is what she said next. To her Daddy, who had just, dealt with less-than-stellar dinner behavior from her. (Read: throwing noodles, spitting, and other things that warrant losing your chance for a cookie for dessert). So she was harboring a little animosity.

She looks him right in the eye, smiles sweetly, and says, "You HIDEOUS!"

I'll admit it. I laughed. I couldn't help it, and The Boy was on my lap so I couldn't exit quickly.
So she said it again.... "You HIDEOUS Daddy!"

If you're going to be rude and sassy, at least use a good adjective!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A night he will remember forever

In the last few days, he's been very interested in the whole red/blue states, and Daddy tried to explain the basic electoral votes thing to him.

He knows who we wanted to win, but he's been saying "I think McCain is going to win," mostly just to annoy us. But tonight he was all about Obama. It just became a "counting of the points," and since so much happened before bedtime, he was able to see much of it.

I did not stage this photo. He really went to sleep, Star Wars sheets and all, with the map. After he was half asleep and we dragged him out of bed to see all the people celebrating in Chicago.

For his sake and for her sake, I am extra thankful.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things to embarrass his future girlfriends

Since I'm trying to post every day, I'm going to have to dig up all the little pieces of paper where I document the funny little stories.

Recently, I was teling The Boy why I was tired. I had been up sick during the night, and was explaining that Daddy was tired too, because he was awake while I was getting sick.

Him: "Did he have to help you like you helped me when I was sick?"
Me: "No, I didn't need help. But he was still awake because he knew I was up. When people sleep together in the same bed for a long time, they...
(and then I paused, trying to think how to say something like "they get used to each other's sleep patterns" or "they can tell when the other person is restless,") but The Boy had a better idea..

Him: "They get kind of sick of it?"

I laughed out loud, as did his father when I retold the story later.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


The whole "Fall Back" thing about getting an extra hour of sleep is kind of a trick when you have kids, because they just wake up early and defeat the whole purpose.

Bitty Girl woke up this morning at 7 am-which-had-magically-become-6am, but since she can't tell time and it was still dark, I tried to trick her. I snuggled her with a blanket and put her back down, saying everyone was sleeping. She was sleepily agreeable, but whispered something to me. I had to ask her to repeat it a few times--she was asking for a doll, "Judy." I didn't know of any dolls named Judy, but I was hoping it wasn't something downstairs that I'd have to retrieve. Luckily, as she got back into her crib, she found "Judy" sound asleep on her blanket.

Meet Judy. Sleeping Judy that is. Or as she's more commonly known in the world of Disney, Sleeping BEAUTY.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dora over the top

I saw an ad for the new Dora the Explorer movie, "Dora Saves the Snow Princess," and while I like Dora as much as the next preschool mom, it was a bit over the top.
Cue dramatic, action/adventure music, which is what caught my attention in the first place.
Every Dora story has some "crisis," which leads to her adventure--always successful, and the "We Did It" song and dance at the end.
But the announcer scaring us with his dramatic voice, saying Dora is in danger from the mean witch who threatens to melt the snowy forest FOREVER, and asking if Dora can get there in time to save the Snow Princess? A bit much. Everyone knows she's going to save her. This is Dora, not Shakespeare.

Of course I'm going to record the dumb thing on Tuesday. Drama is right up our alley around here.