Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Week's Review

Hanging Out
He wanted to get into this bin. After I put him in,
he sat contentedly like this for nearly half an hour.

Like his dad, he really gets into his work.
And sometimes can't get out.

United in a common goal: Get the M&M's

Bo, surrounded by several brand new toys, sits and read
the little paperback he got from his teachers.

Avee building an Igloo

How Danyo always looks if you look at him or talk to
him or do just about anything in his general direction.

Hungry Hungry Hippo
Happy Happy Hids

She got the makeup from Santa;
her makeup application skills from me.

Avee sledding with her "best fwiend Say-wuh"

Not wasting time playing with one gift at a time
Just made me laugh


End of 2007

Here it is, the end of 2007.

I'm sitting at my computer working on a digital scrapbook looking at pictures of a chubbier Bo, a balder Avee, sunnier outdoor pictures...

I'm listening to Shakira, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, and others on this device smaller and flatter than the palm of my hand which also contains 10 episodes of The Office for me to watch if I'm ever stuck in a doctor's office or on a treadmill...

As I'm looking through my files for pictures I come across ones of a bald Avery sprawled across my friend Amy's lap, or others of her curled up in Amy's husband's lap, just perfectly content to be there. There's one of Bo and Avee playing together in a hamper. Before I got after them and told them to get out and quit ruining the hamper, I snapped about 10 pictures. The kids got used to pausing for a picture before they were scolded.

I've stopped taking pictures of them being naughty because I just don't have time and don't seem to think it is as cute as I used to. Plus, a chubby 2-year-old scaling the cupboards naked, isn't as cute as a 4 1/2 year old mooning me because some stupid character on tv did it. I'm more concerned about him mooning his kindergarten teacher than I was about him climbing someone else's cupboards naked.

Music always takes me back and nearly me knocks me out with a heavy dose of nostalgia.

When I lived in Texas and Jay was traveling there were dozens of times I would just close my eyes, breath deeply, and talk myself through the next 10 minutes. I hated raising our kids alone. I hated the unpredictability of his schedule. Some days I hated the insane heat of the summers that kept us trapped inside. It felt so hard to do things with two small children. I know I felt this way.

And now I don't have to contend with that insane Texas heat. My husband is home every night. And he does just as much on the homefront as I do when he's home.

I want our two bedroom apartment in Texas. I want my friend to come over and sit on the dining chairs that I hate and hold my baby. I want to exclaim at 8 am when I'm taking the trash out, "It's ALREADY 90 degrees" and hear my less lean 3-year-old say, "It's a beautiful day today!" in response.

This isn't the first time I've done this. I always seem to want what I can't have. I have already met some really great people since we've moved here---people I know I will be friends with for a long time. Will there be a day when I'm lounging in a mansion in North Dakota (if it really exists) and wish for these days in Iowa? Will my 13 year old preparing for a camping trip only remind me of the sweet, sassy 4 year old who is driving me insane now but I'll long for then?

I try to seize the day and live in the moment, but I get caught up in everything that has to be done. And while I'm doing every thing that has to be done, my kids are losing hand dimples and baby fat and speech impediments.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Boom Chicka Booms

Avee has picked up some excellent parenting skills from yours truly. Should that be capitalized since I'm referring to myself, a person, a proper noun? I'm not so proper. But I am a noun.

One of the things she does, is to say, "Yeah Been" whenever she hears Bo's voice, regardless of what he's saying or who he's talking to. It's an agreeable, "what you are saying is important and meaningful to me" kind of response. Most of the time she does it when we can't even hear what he's saying.

I have an immense sensitivity to whining or exaggerated crying and so my solution, to preserve my delicate senses, is to send the offender to his or her room to finish up, and then come join us when the wailing exaggerated crying is done. I hated being told as a kid that I couldn't cry. As a dramatic and vocal child, I felt it was my right to express myself. So, I don't necessarily rob my children of that right. I just don't have to listen to it.

Well, this morning I sent Bo up to get some socks and he was yelling down that all he had were church socks, which is totally dumb in and of itself because I'm very on the ball with laundry so he is never without at least 24 pairs of crisp, clean, matched, sometimes ironed socks. Furthermore, what 4 year old has church socks? I mean, give me a break, you wear whatcha got boy! So, I was kind of ignoring him because I have told him all week that he can wear whatever socks are in his drawer, nothing is "church" or "play" or "lay around all day in pajamas" designated.

So, since I was ignoring him, Avee decided to take over. From her booster seat. In her diaper. Covered in syrup. "Yeah Been, yeah! That's right!" When her encouraging, supportive words weren't eliciting the agreeable response from Bo, she went another route and yelled sternly, "Yo can come down now. IF yo done cwying!"

And since we are on the subject of nothing in particular, I ask you, does "Fresh Caught" actually mean, "You're paying extra so we don't have to do anything to clean this up and make it presentable." Cuz uh, next time I'm saving my money and going with Farm-raised, processed, and you don't have to be reminded so blatantly where it came from and what exactly you are eating". They do still sell that, right?

On another tangent note, Avee is obsessed with my deodorant. I know some people probably wish I was a little more obsessed, but I can't be bothered. Earlier in the week I caught her swiping it across her lips. She walked around the rest of the night talking from Dove scented lips.

I told her it wasn't for lips and to please stop playing with my deodorant. She insisted it was for lips, even though she's seen me apply it dozens of times. I said that it wasn't for lips again, so she asked, "What's it fo?" I told her, "armpits." She looked at me for a second, trying to decide if I was being silly or not. She knows where deodorant goes, but what are these armpits of which I speak?

"You mean yo's booms?"
"Nope, armpits, right here."
"Ohhhhhhh. Okay."

Fast forward to today when I catch her in the bathroom again playing with my deodorant.
"That is not for you Avee, it's mommy's. Now put it away and stop touching it!"
"It's NOT for mommy. It's for boompits."

You can be SURE I'll be using that word for a long, long time, in whatever way I can manage.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Free At Last

Avee finally got her cast off. She has a cute little limp from habit. She's already jumped on it 563 times since she got it removed, so I'm pretty confident it's completely healed. None too soon. She had just started using it as a "crutch." We went to dinner at some friend's house and they have a couple of little "mommies" who loved doting on Avee. She recognized that immediately and I heard her telling one of them, "I haf a broken layg. I can't walk." And so she was carried like an infant to the dinner table.

We promised her when she had it off that we would take her swimming. So that night we went to the YMCA. As we were driving the 1/4 of a block from our house to the Y in 26 degree weather, it was not lost on me how much work it was to get out the door to go swimming with three kids. Almost ridiculous.

At the pool we swam for about 20 minutes when a lady gave us the boot because of a class. We weren't even technically supposed to be there. I thought maybe we could ride it out, but it was going to be 45 minutes before we could get back in the pool. I asked the lifeguard if we could go get in one of the lap lanes and leave if anyone came. She said no. So we made our way to the family shower/dressing room. It was FREEZING and I knew that a 20 minute swim wasn't going to satiate Avee. She's been waiting 2 months. We stood in the shower/dressing room while my mind raced thinking of a suitable solution.

I turned on the shower for the kids to stay warm. Then I decided to plead my case one more time to the lifeguard. There were 6 lap lanes and only one person swimming.

This time when I went out, it was a male lifeguard. I opened with, "My daughter just got a cast off her leg that she's had on for nearly 2 months and we promised her we'd take her swimming..." I didn't even have to try that angle. He couldn't have cared less if we swam in a lap lane.

I rushed back to the locker room to tell J and the kids the great news. J had pulled down the bench in the shower, drawn the curtain shut, and was sitting in the shower with both kids on his lap, keeping everyone warm while the kids happily played with the removable shower head. When I pulled back the curtain J looked up feigning surprise and in his best Michael Jackson impersonation said, "There's nothing going on here."

We made our way back to the pool and over to the furthest lane and had a grand ol' time in a space probably as big as Donald Trump's bathtub.

Yesterday I helped with the primary activity and another 4 year old boy whom I was helping make a snowflake informed me that my son was "cuuhraaaazy". When I asked him what that meant he said, "He doesn't really ever be hayve." Nice to get feedback from another 4 year old.

I told the kid to shut his mouth or I just might let him have it.

We have a bunch of presents crammed up at the top of a not very big coat closet. I asked Bo today if I pulled them down if he and Avee would leave them alone and not open any of them. He answered, "No, I'd rather you take them downstairs so I won't open them." Where did this kid come from? I can guarantee you Avee's eyes would have darted around rapidly, assessing the situation as quickly as possible and she would have answered,"Oh yes Mother Dear, put them down within our reach, we'll never touch them."

It's a good thing I married J. Something needs to balance out the tricky, manipulative, cuteness Avee and I bring to this family.

Here's a little footage of Avee's limp. It makes me laugh. Today she dropped a chair on her feet (don't even ask...) and it left a couple of marks on the top of both her feet. When the pain didn't subside immediately, she started asking for a cast again. I so get this girl.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Of My Favorite Subjects

I wrote this over a month ago, but since I've lately been suffering from near-fatal blogstipation, I figgered I'd publish something.

Avee pretty much fascinates me. She has for most of her life. As a newborn, she was colicky, so basically the first 5 months of her life are a blur for me. But as soon as she started sitting up and maneuvering herself, I have simply stood back and watched her go.

When she was 6 months old she started being able to pull herself up to the standing position. Within hours of discovering this ability, she was climbing.

At 6 and a half months we were staying at my mom's house and Avee, plunked in a booster seat that was attached to the table, figured out that by pulling on the table cloth, she could get all of the stuff I had put out of her reach, to come back. She only pulled on the cloth when she saw something on the table she wanted.

When she was 9 months old we moved to Texas. On the drive to there, I totalled our Jetta. We prolonged the inevitable a few weeks and then finally went to buy a new car.

At the dealership, I was sitting in the waiting area with Avee. At 10 months she was quite agile and almost walking. She was also very tiny. She didn't break 20 pounds until she was a year and a half.

I was looking at a form and she was standing at a chair next to me. Or so I thought. Suddenly I hear a man say, "Uh, ma'am, uhhhhhhh....your baby...." I looked up. Avee had pulled herself up the "trunk" of one of those decorative potted trees and was swinging from a limb. She was having the time of her life, but every other person in the waiting area was panicking. That is one scene of her life I wish I could have caught on film.

I started blogging on her first birthday so I've gotten to capture a lot over the last year and a half.

Yesterday, it just seemed like everywhere I turned, she was doing something that made me laugh or I felt like I had to capture on film to cherish forever.

J and I were working upstairs and J laid Danyo down in Avee's bed. When Avee discovered baby Danyo in her bed she was delighted. A little baby just her size... She covered him in her blanket and gave him her binkie.

After sweetly cuddling with Danyo, she moved on to jump on Bo's bed. That would be the very action that caused her to get a bright pink cast.

In my native tongue, we call this SLOW LEARNER.

A week ago I reorganized the kitchen. I put a new stand in there for storage and decided to put out a basket with "healthy" snacks that they kids could get to whenever they wanted. (ie, I decided I was tired of feeding my children regularly.) While the kids were sleeping, I filled the basket with rasin boxes and little bags of pretzels and granola bars and never said a word to either of them about it. Within an hour of being awake the next day, Avee had discovered the basket and all the treasures inside. During the day I kept finding the basket in random places throughout the house, as it had become her new best friend. Saturday she put in a movie to watch, and invited her best friend...

And lastly, her outfit: My sister knows what kids like and always gives the best gifts to my kids. When she came down to Texas to help me pack up for the move, she came bearing gifts. One of them was a darling little "princess" tutu for Avee. S was pretty excited to share the joy with Avee, but Avee took one look at it and ran back outside to throw dirt clods at our door. I heard S say, "hmm, I guess she hasn't discovered princesses yet."

Saturday she discovered them. She insisted on wearing the tutu the second she got up, then threw a huge fit when I tried to dress her in appropriate clothes for Bo's basketball game. We compromised and she wore it over her jeans and shirt. So, there you have it S, she's discovered princesses.

A more recent addition:
Yesterday I took Avee to the grocery store and she insisted on wearing a headband. No big deal, right?

She also insisted on putting it on herself.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Ability To Turn One Event Into A Novel

Today I took the kids to Read With Me. A venture that I end every week vowing I will never do again. It's in a corner of the library of the elementary school. We get to check out books at the end and for some reason that draws me back like---some bad drug simile I haven't the energy to think up.

The kids sit on a set of carpeted steps that wrap around one corner of the library. Avee spends the entire time gathering up stuffed animal/characters (Clifford, Shrek, life-size Donkey) and hauling them to her own little corner of her own little world and singing to them or tossing them in the air to catch. OR incessantly traipsing across the stairs and over kids and moms and back again and managing to get herself in the most dense concentration of bodies and books and bags and coats so that I can't get to her, while she smiles smugly at me stuck across the stairs with Daniel in his banana trap sling strapped to me. And Bo likes to correct the story-teller. As he has done since he was two. Now it's not so much correcting as it is continuing to answer her questions, long after she's moved on. He's very in to synonyms and that makes for very long answers to simple questions like, "What does the man up in the tree have on his head."

Today before we left I wanted to remind him of the talk we'd had last week. We discussed only answering when he's called on and only giving one answer, maybe two, and to not talk when the story time lady is talking. So I said, "Bo, remember what rules we need to follow at story time?" He promptly answered, "Yes, don't play with fie-yoh sings." Wha? Fire? Really? Whatever.

Today was different. For me. The kids were exactly the same as described above. But today, one of my friends there mentioned that the neighboring town was having an opening for their Romney Campaign office and that Mitt might be there.

I didn't have my cell phone to call J and I knew he'd want to be there and I started the "I don't have my cell phone, I can't breathe without my cell phone" panic. You know you've seen it. I think my other friend recognized it, but she stayed calm and said, "Shall we leave?"

So we did. 15 minutes, 3 coats, 2 craft projects, and 1 hiding child later.

I called J as soon as I got home and told him about the meeting and told him that Mitt was "supposed to show up." And although J works across the river, in another state, and even though at night when I'm calling him and asking him where he is and he's "just leaving" and shows up 40-95 minutes later, he called me 8 minutes later and he was right there at the office.
I could hear the adrenaline pulsing through his veins, over the phone.

I thought it a shame to be so close and not get a chance to meet the Govanuh. So I totally harassed my friend who's daughter I was watching and agreed to watch several days ago. "Are you done yet? How about now? Now? Are you leaving the store yet? How about now?" Not unlike Bo 20 minutes into our 6 hour roadtrips to Missouri. Her errand was fairly brief so, after farming Bo off at his friend's house, I met her at the store, gave her back her daughter, and zipped over to the meeting.

I threw Danyo into the sling because he was sleeping, yelled at Avee for taking off her cast sock, grabbed her and ran into the small office with standing room only. People were pushed back even into the cold entry way. I was late and felt it only fair that I stay there. Put these Iowans are kind. Most of them started motioning or nudging me into the room where it was warmer. You know, for the kids.

The room was small and there were probably only 100 people, if that, in the whole room, but I could NOT find J. So I let go of Avee's hand and said, "Go find Daddy." And she did. The girl amazes me. She clearly has no problem traipsing across rooms crowded with people (see above) and I really just think her stepping on toes and falling in laps is way more acceptable than me doing it.

2 seconds after I found J, in the complete opposite side of the room, by the cookies, Avee had found her way to him. I was impressed.

I got to hear the tail end of Romney's speech and then a handful of questions that people asked.

Now, Romney has been a household name in this household for well over a year. And now that we live in Iowa and our opinion and action really matters, and the caucuses are just around the corner....holy moly. He's a household name fo' sho.

So, this was a happy day for J and it was really fun for me to go and watch it be a happy day for him. I was just going to get a picture of him with Mitt, but somehow an little old lady got in the mix and she started telling me what to do and suddenly I was next to Mitt with the giant banana holding Danyo and it was all so very unpleasant. Well, that's not true. Meeting Mitt was very enjoyable. He's a nice man. He comes across very genuine and very...I don't know the exact word, real. He was approachable. I know that because I approached him.

Anyway, you will not be seeing much of me in the photo with Mitt because it was entirely unpleasant for me to see. Some redhaired sumo wrestler stood in front of me so you can't really see me, and I just don't want that published on the internets.
I jokingly said to Mr. Romney, "This is the happiest day of my husband's life" and without it taking from me one single bit, I'm quite sure it's very close to the truth. Governor Romney laughed and said, "I sure hope not!"

And that little old lady, she was adorable. She got me to take a picture of her and Mitt, with my camera. When we were all done with the posing and smiling and handshaking, she was bent over a chair writing her address. Afraid that I would walk off before she could give it to me, without stopping writing, she reached back and grabbed my pant leg. And held on. I laughed out loud. Not that I'm not VERY used to my pant legs being grabbed, this was quite different.

The only other presidential candidate/hopeful I have "met" was also Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis. He came to my hometown when I was in 8th grade. I was involved in setting up for his speech since it was taking place right next to my junior high. There were only about 5 of us involved, so we got to meet him and stay for the speech. I remember being swept up in his fist pumping and shouts of victory. There was a lot of energy in the room and even though in real life I didn't understand, care, or even believe much of what he said, in the moment, I did.

With Mitt, it was quite different. Being married to J has made me care and understand much more. So, listening to Romney speak was an interesting contrast. He spoke as if he were speaking to us one on one. It wasn't a crowd pleasing, get your emotions going, kind of talk. He was articulate. He knew what he was talking about and there was an almost tangible feeling of conviction in some of the things he said. I wish he would have said just once, "Can I get a whoop whooooooop!?" but he didn't. Not even once. Booooooooooooooring. :)

It was a good day. I bet if we had Pho tonight for dinner, this could be the most perfectest day EVOH for J. I'm the kind of woman that can do that for her man.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Winds of Change

I chose that post title because it popped into my head 2 seconds before my blank template popped up for me to type on.

And I am whimsical.

I think about 5 times a day, "that would be a great post" and shortly thereafter the thought flutters from my mind. Things like how when people say "expecially" it bugs me. Or how when grownups who take care of kids talk to me like I'm a kid. I dropped off Bo at school one day and a woman I had never seen before came to the van to get him and said, "Good morning Bo!" I was really surprised since it's his 4th month of school and I know nothing of this woman and have never seen her before. I said in disbelief, "You know his name!?" and she said, "Yes, Ms Penny has been here a few times, enough that Ms Penny has learned a lot of names."

Penny for your grownup thoughts, Ms. Penny.

See, wouldn't that have been a scintillating blogpost? I thought so.

The truth is, I'm tired. I'm distracted. I'm stressed. I worry about the big bad world my four year old is entering. I worry that I'm not doing enough. I worry that with 3 kids' needs pulling on me, in addition to all the other daily activities I need to manage, that not one kid gets enough from me. I worry that I'm not seizing the day enough, because I'm spending so much time just trying to get through.

And the first year with a new baby is always sort of hard and stressful for us. I bet it is for a lot of people, but I won't make any assumptions. I get frustrated when even the simplest activities become difficult tasks. And solid, uninterrupted, non-comatose time with my husband is nonexistent. And has been for so long, I wonder if it ever really existed. It always gets better, but the road to better always feels really long, right about now.

I feel like I'm in uncharted waters with Bo and the changes he is experiencing. I never have before, but now I worry that I might not be doing it right.

My oldest sister always gives me great advice and if she can't make me feel better about where I'm at, she gives me great ideas of where I need to go. That's a good big sister. When I "give" "advice" it always tends to sound more like, "You'll find out someday" or "My baby is cuter than your baby" and I never mean it to come out that way.

I really have been unnaturally concerned with Bo the last few months. I am not a worry wart, so this new obsession is both disconcerting and annoying for me. I worry that he's not happy at school, but there aren't any big or overt clues. The main problem is, I don't know what are normal phases. I don't know what the normal progression from "mama's sweet baby at home" to "big preschooler who knows how to nark on his classmates" is. It has been hard for me to be dumb. I'm ever so smart.

My sister said something that led me to say, "I need to stop trying to control his environment so much and focus on giving him a soft place to land." When did I turn into a control freak? Your mother's a control freak. Heh. Just kidding man. Don't get mad.

Today Avee told me she was "too busy" to get her cast cut off again (she did have to get another cast, by the way) and that the "loud vacuum made her MAD." This was moments after I watched her in the rearview mirror as she had a conversation in her head, I saw her eyes dancing and then she threw her head back and laughed. I wouldn't trade being able to see things like that for the world. And I LOVE this age. I don't want her to change an ounce. I love hearing her say, "awwww MAN" like her brother does when I tell her she can't have something. I love hearing her say things like, "Now looking whatcher making me doing!" for the first time.

But I'm still tired. And scatterbrained. And wishing I could have a raise or a performance review or use up some of the vacation days I've SURELY acquired.

So, there you have it. Sort of. This isn't a poor me, so hope that's not what you read. This is hell, I have no idea what this is. But I'm still going to push publish. Because I can. I have a hard time with inconsistencies and while my kids can make me laugh every day and I am not depressed in the least, I felt like I've been putting a mask over me and it's resulting in either no posts or little ditties. About Avee and Bo. Two redhaired kids growin' up, in the heartland...

And since I'm being real and all, I think you should know, those pants make your butt look big.

For My True Love

Dear Texas,

I am sorry. Please take me back. I never meant to leave you. You are the only one I've ever really loved. I am sorry I got distracted by the bright lights and the big.......
okay, the...........well, by the appealing lack of visits to your monstrous DFW airport to drop off my baby daddy.

Babies Daddy?

Baby's daddies?

I don't care that sometimes I went to the store in shorts and upon returning had to rush inside and put on a sweater. Or vice versa.

I don't care that we could and did fry eggs on the sidewalk in April.

I don't care that your infestation of fireants gave my babies welts when we were new to you and didn't know what they were capable of.
Nothing matters to me anymore besides returning to your ever-lovin' arms. Back to your warmth and the absence of ice scrapers and snowsuits in our Texas home.

We want nothing more to do with this stinging wind. The numb toes just from walking from our house to the car; the ever present fear of falling flat on our rears everytime we step outside.

My children wail for you from the back of our van every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning when we have to take Bo to school. They don't have the words to express the pain they feel, but it sounds like this, "TONE ON THE HHHHHEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAATOOOOOHHHHHHH!!!" and "AAAAAGHHHHHHH MY CHEEKS HOTE!" and the likes.

It's only December 7th and I've already said, three times more than I have ever wanted to say, "Not in the face! Do not throw snowballs in the face" and of course, one time is too many times in life to say, "What made you think putting snow in my pants was a good idea?"

I want to laugh again Texas. I want to laugh at the Texans who had seat warmers in their cars. I want to laugh at people shivering in 50 degree weather.

Whatever it takes baby, let's work this out. You are my #1 priority from here on out. No more trips out of state, no more cursing your insane heat index, no more taking you for granted. I won't even swear about the ridiculous deregulated electric companies who swindle serve your great stateness.

And uh, since we are on the subject of working things out, could you get my baby daddy a job there?

Nobody In Iowa

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

With A Name Like This...

I think he has a future in the music industry.

Ben G men

Bo is only required to learn to write the three letter version of his name. I found this paper in his school bag, he's being a hotshot and spelled his name phoenetically.

The funniest part for me was, it was written this way on the page where he is learning to write the letter "J".

Now if he could just learn to dance like Braxja Boy...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

6 Months

Dear Danyo,
All sorts of cliches pop up in my mind when I think of how I feel about you. I can't believe you are already six months. I can't imagine my life, our family, without your sweet presence. Your smile, your sweetness, your tiny voice forcing out "words", your hard-to-earn laugh is music in my ears. I love you in the nearly inexpressible way that so many mothers in the world have loved their little babies.

I love you bigger than the state where you were born.

I love you deeper than Johnny Cash's voice. Your dad has been listening to or singing his songs for weeks on end now, and I'm certain I'm an expert on just how deep his voice is. I love you deeper.

I love you more than all the new stretch marks you made me get and the insane number of pounds I have gained since I innocently started this venture into motherhood.

I love you more than the hours and hours of lost sleep I have acquired in the last 5 years

I love you more than the freedom I could have.

I love you more and more every day.

I love you more than the caffeine and broccoli I've had to give up for you. You have no idea how deep of a love that is my boy.

I love you when you wake up in the morning and lift your little bald head up with a big smile to see what great adventures await you; what great objects there are for your chewing, sucking, and slobbering pleasure.

I love the ever-present drip of drool waiting to drop from your chin.

I love your gasping intake of air let out in a squeal when you get excited.

I love how your sister loves you.

I love your scootin' and rollin' around the living room "ring" like a boxer waiting to land the next big blow. A boxer who can't walk. Or punch. Or chew food. Or get untangled from the Nintendo cords.

I love the double dimples on one side of your face.

I love the endless possibilities of who you will become.

I love who you are already.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Gettin' Larned

Mmmmmmmm aaaaaaaaa f....mmmmaaaaf...maf! That spells maf!! Hey mom, M-A-F spells maf!

Good reading Bo. Maf isn't a word that means anything, but that is exactly what m-a-f spells.

It is too a word.

Uh, no, not really.

Well, then what do you call what you do at school with numbers, the alphabet!?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pink Stuff

Monday night, within 12 minutes of the pediatrician's office closing, Bo informed me that his ear hurt. He had developed a cough and his eyes were all red and cruddy, and I'd kept him home from school so it didn't come as a big surprise. I looked over at him and both of his ears were bright red. I figured 20 hours would make all the difference in getting him on antibiotics, so I took him to the urgent care. He had an ear infection and a fever and THEN the doctor said, "And I'll give him drops for his eyes because he has pink eye."

Now, I'm like a pink eye veteran. I got pink eye several times in my youth. Because I never was sick when I got it, I always thought of pink eye as it's own little disease, not any random eye infection that came along when the rest of your head was snotty and infected. So, when the doctor said that, I said, "Pink eye? Really? That's what that is?!" And the nice little doctor who was talking so gently and bustling around the little exam room sweetly, turned on me and bared his fangs. I guess he thought I was questioning his doctor knowledge; which, I'm totally allowed to do without getting bitten, but I wasn't.

"What!? What do you call an eye that is pink!? I mean, it's an adjective and a noun. Pink. Eye."

Oh, oh did you say adjective and noun? Mama don't know nuthin' about thems adj'tives and nowns. Excuse me while I get back to my very important job of letting my eyeballs roll back in my head and slobbering uncontrollably.

It really bugged me. It's not like the treatment would be any different, I was just axing about the terminology. Note to self, do not "question" sweet looking vampire doctor about nouns and adjectives.

Yesterday Avee got her cast removed, so I was off again spending my precious internets time schlepping ungrateful kids to doctor appointments. Oh just kidding, Bo even said, "Hey mom, sanks fo getting me liquid for my ee-yah when I said my ee-yah hote." (The doctor asked if he was okay with "liquid" for the antibiotics and Bo grabbed the term and ran with it).

We were prepared for her cast to be removed by blue scissors. I'm kind of a bad mom that I didn't suggest beforehand that it was probably not going to be scissors but rather a VERY LOUD SAW. But she was just so cute saying "buhlue sih-ssors" and making the motion with her two, sometimes three, very tiny fingers.

When the lady came at Avee with the saw, she was not a happy girl. I meant to be
soothing and comforting, but I was busy taking pictures.

The cast came off and the enticing aroma of hyperactive toddler's 3 weeks of foot sweat filled the room. It was really gross. And I deal with gross almost daily.

The cast-cutter lady stuck Avee's cast in a brown paper bag and sent us off to wait for x-rays.

Back in the waiting area, the small room had filled up. Avee limp-pranced around holding her brown bagged cast. A lady asked her what she had in her bag. Avee said, "My casth. It stinks in the bag." The lady (probably not having heard or understand when Avee said cast) said, "Oh it stinks in there?" And Avee explained, "Yes, there's poop in here." The lady sort of jumped back in her seat. Another couple with children around Avee's age burst out laughing. Clearly they were familiar with toddler logic. Smell-that-mom-complains-about=Poop.

After the x-ray they could see exactly where the fracture was. When the orthopaedist came in, he sat down and had Avee walk for him and then turned to me and said, "Well, I'm just not sure if I want to put her in another cast for 10-14 days or if it's healed enough and she can be done with the cast, what do you think?" At which point I let my eyes lull back and I started to slobber. It was such a stark contrast to my experience with a doctor less than 24 hours before.

We decided on no cast but if she's till limping in a few days I have to take her back. I'm worried that another cast may be in store because today I was painting her toenails and grabbed her leg to pull up on my lap and she cried out in pain. I didn't think it would still be sore, I thought the limping would be from the muscles having to get strong again. But what do I know?

Pink. Eye.

Monday, November 26, 2007

You May Wish For More Regular, Succinct, and Having-a-point Posts

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack.
Sorry for the long absence. I didn't plan it, but I really did think tales of saggy pecs would keep you for a week or two. Guess I was wrong.

We went to Missouri for Thanksgiving and we had a great time. I may make it well into my 50's without ever having made a turkey or hosted Thanksgiving. My sister is a superb hostess and amazing cook and with my mom 3 blocks away, my perfect role is that of eater and feeder. I did a lot of both.

Some highlights: On Thanksgiving day, Bo's cousin introduced him to the wishbone and together they pulled one apart. Bo got the bigger end. With which he promptly sliced his finger. I guess he didn't wish for the winning piece to not hurt him. Is it irony to be in love with Spiderman, break apart a wishbone, wish that there be no spiders, and promptly get cut by the wishbone? I'm not really clear on the definition of irony, but that seems like it should be.

My sister's mashed potatoes.

My sister-in-law's cheesecake. J, in his very J-esque way, walked past it and took a small sampling and kept walking. As the taste hit his buds, he spun around and went right back to the pan, while loudly exclaiming in what could have been insulting surprise, "WOW! THAT is good cheesecake!"

Thanksgiving Day was Bo's half birthday. He heard the word "cake" in reference to cheesecake and he was sure that the cheesecake was for his birthday. I did not correct him. Less work for me, right? Typically, while I think it's a cute idea, we haven't ever really acknowledged half birthdays. Less work for me, right? But, Bo has been obsessed with being 4 and a half. Since he was born in the 3rd week of May, I just told him (months ago) that he would be 4 and a half at Thanksgiving. We were both delighted to learn that it was actually on Thanksgiving Day. I don't know why I was delighted too. I just was.

On Friday we got to go to a Blue Man Group concert. It was really good. I wasn't sure how enjoyable grown men dressed in blue who won't talk would be. It was so good. We left the kids with my mom and went with a few of my siblings. I was so excited about leaving my kids I even put lipstick on and combed my hair. I think one of the blue men totally noticed me.

On Saturday just before we headed out of town we went to this little Greek restaurant where the food was UH-mazing. I realized I was way more into the food than is socially acceptable when the waitress started clearing plates but didn't touch anything within the radius of my arm's reach. I think she was afraid she'd get bitten. As she should have been.

Today we're back and I keep finding my nose pressed to a cold round stone that keeps turning. Very unpleasant.

Bo is sick and home from school. Danyo has only woken up to eat and periodically scoot around the living room since we got home. He is catching up on a week of missed sleep because he was more interested in crying and being held. Wide awake.

Avee is still in diapers and a pink cast. My sister has hardwood floors so Avee had to modify her prance in order to stay upright. It was pretty funny, a rhythmic chink-clunk-BOB. She had to get a grip with her toes that stuck out from her cast, but couldn't resist the clunk her cast makes on the ground, so she fit it all in and managed to make her gimpy bobbing up and down look completely adorable.

There is nothing adorable about the way I walk. Ever. When I was in high school I performed at a piano recital that got video taped. I watched myself walk right up to the camera and then veer left. I was horrified when I saw the footage. I had on a pretty cute dress, I had a great figure, my hair was long and luscious, without stating the obvious, I was pretty stunning. And then there was the walk. My feet both just pointed out in opposite directions. If ducks were 5'11", wore blue dresses and had long red hair, that is what they would look like. It was very sad for me to see this about myself. I tried to correct it, but much like thinking a stiff back and butt sticking out was the key to beauty making myself walk pigeon-toed didn't fix anything. I have a hard life guys. Well, I saw a snippet of footage my brother took after the BMG concert and saw myself walking. Picture, no sexy blue dress, a short-not-so-red-anymore haired woman who looks like she ate the hot 16 year old me, STILL walking like a duck.

Yeah, as soon as I finish this pint of Phish Food, I'm totally going on a diet. And learning how to walk...unduckish.

p.s. these pictures were taken by my SIL Cyndi who is an amazing (self-taught, no lessons, thank you very much DAD) photographer. She also reads this blog, so you can tell her what a great photographer she is if you think so too. I've already told her like, infinity times.