Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids say the darndest things


Yesterday, while I was at an appointment, B.A.R. took the kids to run a couple of errands. When he came to get me he told me that the Tiger "quote of the day" happened while they were at the Apple store. He had the boys in the parking lot and Tiger says (at full Tiger volume): "Hey! Check it out! There is a hook stuck on the front of that Jeep!" This was in reference to the winch on the front of a Hummer.

Possibly funnier to me, was while B.A.R. is trying to remain calm and not laugh hysterically at his own son, there was a woman getting into her own car close by and she was laughing uncontrollably at what my son said.
When I heard the story it made me laugh uncontrollably too.

Not 5 minutes later we stopped to get some dinner and Tiger says, "Hey! Check it out!" and points to the flashing "OPEN" sign at the restaurant.

Where did he learn it anyway?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas memory

This is a story that I think of every year at Christmas. I happened to witness it. I wish I could have an experience like this one every year. Names have been changed.

When I was in 5th grade my teacher had us all participate in a "white elephant" type gift exchange. We all drew names: girls chose girls, boys chose boys. With 30+ kids in the class there was a very low likelihood that two people would give gifts to each other, however in this case it did happen. Adam and Billy drew each other's names.

Adam and Billy were very different. Adam's father owned his own business and did very well. His mother stayed home with their children and volunteered in our classroom regularly. Adam had an extensive collection of Micro Machines and always had new, trendy clothes. Adam was out-going, a good student, well-liked and could pick his friends. Billy was none of those things.

Billy was near the end of a family of boys. His single mother worked long hours and was rarely home. His brothers were often in trouble. The house he lived in was very run-down. Billy's clothes were probably not new when his brothers wore them, and they were not always clean. He was an introvert and somewhat outcast, but Billy was always kind to everyone. He did his best in school, but he wasn't "smart" and he didn't get into trouble.

I'm sure Billy didn't bother asking his mother for money to buy Adam a gift. He just picked out the best toy he had that he thought Adam might like and wrapped it in newspaper. When he brought it to school and placed it on the gift table it was obvious to the rest of us what it was--an old tennis ball missing it's fuzz and color.

Adam came in and placed his gift with the rest. It was the biggest thing on the table--a big box wrapped in bright blue paper with a nice bow. I could see Billy gazing at it and wondering what wonderful thing it contained. He didn't know it was for him.

Our teacher began having us unwrap gifts in an orderly fashion. She had Billy give his gift to Adam, and before he could open it, Adam gave his gift to Billy. Billy's eyes lit up at the sheer size of the box placed in front of him. I'm sure he had never been given a box that big with a gift for him in it. He carefully opened the box and pulled out a brand-new Nerf football ready to be thrown. Billy could hardly believe this was actually for him: he was almost speechless. I am sure he felt his gift inferior, especially since he had just given it to someone who obviously didn't need it. Quietly, Adam slipped the newspaper off the tennis ball and thanked Billy for the gift. Billy thanked him for the football. I knew Adam didn't care about the tennis ball. He got a better gift from Billy--the true joy of giving.

I have thought about that day often over the last 20+ years and each time I am moved to tears. To me it embodies the true spirit of giving on behalf of both Billy and Adam.



Friday, November 20, 2009

The Serenity Prayer

I have never been involved in a 12 step program, but I find that more than 20 years after I first read the Serenity Prayer I have come to understand it in a way I never thought I would. I think it was written backwards.
First, a few definitions.
  • Serenity-the state or quality of being serene, calm, undisturbed, at peace.
  • Courage-motivation to action despite having a fear of doing so.
  • Wisdom-understanding that comes from applying reason to knowledge.
With the changes going on in my life there has come much stress, fear, and some feeling of loss of control. For a few weeks, I was feeling somewhat helpless. I kept having to remind myself that there were only certain things about my situation that I could control, and the rest I just had to let go and trust that God is in control of those. During this time my friend (who is aware of what is going on) asked me how I was doing. I responded "What will be will be, and I can't change that." She remarked how calm I seemed given the circumstances. I realized that I had been granted the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. But this wasn't what I was given first. It came last.

I think the first thing I was granted was wisdom. Wisdom that there are things in our lives we can change, control, or even influence. Wisdom that, despite what we want, there are a few things we have no control over. Thanks to the gift of agency we can act and make choices for ourselves forever and about almost everything in our lives. The only things we cannot choose are God's choices for us and others' use of agency. That seems like a lot of things in our lives we can control.

I think the second thing I was granted was courage. Courage to change the things I can. In other words: the courage to be responsible. To accept responsibility for the great many things in my life I do control. I control (among other things) my attitude, what I eat, how much I exercise, my spirituality, my reaction to others' choices, etc. Courage, to me, is using agency effectively despite our fear of the outcome. I think a lack of courage leads to inaction rather than to bad choices. I wrote this post about how I used to let fear (a lack of courage) dominate my life. I am thankful I have been granted courage to change the things I can.

It was while I was busy trying to affect (read control) every possible thing in my life that I was eventually granted serenity. I got upset and stressed out worrying about how something was going to turn out. Not knowing the end from the beginning and not being able to control many things about it gave me great stress, frustration, and worry. It's like making some great recipe, but you don't have all the directions. You do your part, you mix what you can mix , add what ingredients you have, follow the part of the recipe you have, all the while knowing that you don't have everything and can't control everything. When it is time to serve it, you have to trust the other cook to have done their part: added their ingredients, cooked appropriately, etc. and left you something wonderful. Serenity is about learning to trust. Trust that God controls what you can't. That God will do His part if you use your courage and do yours. I was granted serenity last because I had to understand and then act and then trust.


Serenity is not about having my life be stress-free, or without hardship. Serenity is about understanding that there are certain things I am not responsible for, and then not trying to be responsible for them anyway.
Courage is about agency. Making choices to act and being responsible for those actions. Understanding that choosing inaction is making a choice and I am responsible for that choice.
Wisdom is about applying my ability to reason to the knowledge that I have and gaining understanding about agency, responsibility and trust.

God,
Grant me the Wisdom to understand what I can change, and what I can't;
The Courage to be responsible for what I can;
and the Serenity to trust You will be responsible for everything else.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

And they call it puppy love. . .

So here is Blanket and his BFF. Snoopy or "Noopy" was a gift from B.A.R.'s parents when they came out for his blessing. Noopy sings the alphabet song (though I am not sure for how much longer). Noopy really became a fixture in Blanket's life after B.A.R took away the pacifiers. Before the Great Pacifier Theft, Blanket needed a "plug," and Wa-Wa to go to bed. Noopy was good too, but not necessary. After the theft, Noopy travelled everywhere the plugs used to go for a while. Now Noopy serves as comfort in all the situations that the plug used to.

Noopy has been fed mac and cheese, juice, milk, and cereal. After each we have a discussion about Noopy not being real, and not eating real food. But Blanket insists that he is, and does. We now have rules about Noopy sitting at the dinner table.
Noopy is not able to be washed in the washer, but I have cleaned chocolate, dry erase marker, general dirt, urine, vomit, and many other things off his white fur. He really needs a bath, but don't tell Blanket because he will probably put him in the tub.
In Blanket's empty Halloween bucket he also has Wa-Wa but you can't see it. It is now a tangled mess of 3 pieces tied together. Wa-Wa is important to Noopy too--Noopy can't take a nap without Wa-Wa. Blanket can't take a nap without either. In the photo Blanket was pushing Noopy down the hall in his "bed" but I don't know why he thought this was more convenient than carrying the bucket by the handle.
There are sure to be other posts about Snoopy. Each day Noopy becomes a more important part of Blanket's life and incurs more rules about places he is not allowed to go (i.e. church, the store, etc.) I am afraid I will one day have to post about Snoopy's demise and all the weeping and wailing that is sure to accompany that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I guess some things never get old.

Last year I did this great post about Tiger and his love of shoes. At some point after that Tiger just got too grown-up for the whole thing until a couple of weeks ago. When he showed Blanket how to wear Daddy's shoes:Here they stand posed so that I could get a good picture of both of them. Tiger can walk around in big shoes, but he has big feet for his size. Blanket still has very small feet and is very small for his age so he has difficulty walking around in adult shoes. One day I even caught Tiger wearing Blanket's shoes. Now if only I could get him to put on his own shoes!
Yes, they are both holding Snoopy dogs. I will post about Snoopy at a later date.
Tiger is wearing 1 of 3 pairs of pajamas I made for him. They weren't hard. In fact I just made another set for someone else this last weekend. I got them done in 4 hours or so including the time it took to cut them out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A funny picture.

About a month and a half ago I had some friends that were moving and needed to spend the night at my house. It was very fun and most of us wished it could have lasted longer, it was very short and very crazy. We were all up early. They were trying to leave and we were doing our very best to make 9 am church. A few pictures of the craziness were snapped by my friend's sister. One is WAY too good not to share.

Blanket was begging for Rabbit's breakfast, and Rabbit was obliging. She is about 3 months younger than he is.

My friend's blog about life, homeschooling, cooking, and other assorted, related items is here and on my checklist over there

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Staying busy

While I took a break from blog posting for a while I did take some time in August and September to finish this quilt I started for Tiger back in the spring. I had done everything but hide all my threads. It sat around as a UFO (unfinished object) for many moons until I got motivated to get it finished and up on the wall.

I made it from a pattern called Around Town published by The Country Quilter. I like using patterns (instead of kits) because then I can customize it and use fabrics that I like. I did add a few personal touches to the quilt that weren't included in the instructions.
  • I made the flower delivery truck into a FedEx truck.
  • I made the gas pump a diesel pump
  • I changed two of the yellow signs. One I put on a U-turn and the other I put a tractor on. Both of these are legitimate signs that I did find on the internet. (Where do you think I got the picture for the tractor from?)
  • The two white signs say "DO NOT PASS" and "RIGHT LANE MUST TURN LEFT." The former being a legitimate sign and the latter a little bit of humor all tucked up in my quilt.
The border/sashing fabric has roads with all sorts of cars and trucks on it. I bought it at Great American Quilt Factory but I also saw it at High Prairie Quilts. I also used it for the backing fabric. I machine appliqued all the cars and signs. I used Sulky Totally Stable iron-0n tear-away stabilizer during the applique process. I fused it to the back of the fabric at the same time I fused the appliques to the front using Steam-a-Seam 2. This worked well for 2 reasons: 1) I fused both in one easy step and 2) because I had to move each piece in and out of the machine many times and the stabilizer didn't become separated from the fabric. This is my favorite stabilizer for working with iron-on appliques. I quilted in the ditch around each block and then added some lines in the borders. I used a blue/green varigated thread for this and for the back when I quilted around each car/sign individually in clear monofilament thread.

I did cut out all the pieces individually. So each time you see a fabric change it is a different piece of fabric. The only things I did "color" myself were the checkerboard on the taxi, the lines on the RR crossing sign and the lettering on the diesel pump, stop sign, RR crossing sign, "DO NOT PASS,"and "RIGHT LANE MUST TURN LEFT" signs. In some cases there is thread painting of detail lines on the vehicles.

I have since completed 2 other sewing projects. The Halloween costumes and pajamas for Tiger. I think I will post pictures of the pajamas at a later date.

I'm glad I don't live in Provo.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not a horrible place. I grew up there after all. Lots of my friends and family still live there or close to there. And living there has its advantages (including being close to family) and disadvantages (possibly including living close to family). I am glad that I have had the chance to live away from there. For the most part I am happy not living there (we do visit somewhat regularly). I miss my friends and family who live there, but I'm not in a hurry to move back (or anywhere else for that matter). I like where I live, I like the people I live by and I'm generally happy with the condition of my address right now.

That said, I ran across this post at passiveagressivenotes.com and it helped me remember some of the reasons I am happy not living there. If you went to BYU or ever lived in student housing there in Provo you should get a real kick out of this note!
http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2009/11/01/piece-out-our-imperfections-with-your-thoughts/

I like reading this particular blog. I love to see how other people vent thier anger/frustration/bad mood without having to do it in person.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The haul.

Well, the first part.
Here's the boys enjoying the one piece of candy I let them have from their buckets after the trunk or treat. After I wouldn't let them have another piece they insisted on taking the buckets to bed with them (I did put lids on them). We will see what happens when they get limited tomorrow to only one piece.

Getting all dressed up

for candy, that is.
Cookie Monster and Elmo were a big hit at the ward trunk or treat. And they did stand still for a moment. As you can see the photo shoot went downhill fast:
Though they still looked really cute at the end of the party. They didn't wear those head pieces for very long though.



And here's the proof!

Proof for those of you not of my state that is, in fact, beginning to look a lot like Christmas even if the calendar still reads October.


FYI: I took both pictures w/o going outside. B.A.R. was kind enough to go out and use the snowblower to clean up the sidewalks, etc. It also snowed another 2+ inches after these were taken. Today it was nice and slushy and warm and about half of it melted. The roads were even starting to dry out in spots. Looking forward to a soupy/slushy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . .

and it's not yet Halloween.
I see the snow as it fell
and now on the ground as well
And it's coverin' up all the leaves.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and not like Halloween.

I mean, with this weather what are you supposed to do to make Halloween an enjoyable holiday? I have some suggestions for surviving this year's Colorado Halloween

  • Make a snowman and dress him up as a ghost.
  • Use your jack-o-lantern for the head of you snowman.
  • Use snow for the fake graves in your yard instead of leaves.
  • Break out your thermal underwear to wear under your costume.
  • Dress up as the old neighbor from Home Alone and walk around with a snow shovel and a trash can full of deicer.
  • Dress up as Santa Clause, 'cause you'll fit right in.
  • Be happy that your kids will get tired of being cold before their candy bags get very full.
  • Smile and exclaim, "We should have icicles on Halloween every year."
  • Put out your lawn Christmas decorations so that they see some snow this year.
  • Organize a neighborhood candy swap. Everybody shows up in one location and you do all the candy swapping in 5 minutes and then you all go home.
  • Put on your favorite Halloween (or Christmas) movie and boycott the weather entirely.
Just some suggestions to make your holiday a little more enjoyable.

Maybe we should celebrate Christmas this weekend, since the weather doesn't match the holiday, maybe the holiday should be made to match the weather.



Friday, October 23, 2009

With apologies to Bing

I'm dreaming of a fall-colored Halloween
Where the trees tops still cling tightly to the last few leaves
and children go trick or treating without parkas.

I'm dreaming of a cool Halloween
like the one we had last year. (minus the stitches in my finger)
Where the trunk or treat does not involve heaters
and the costumes are not hidden under coats.

Really, since we relocated to the great state of CO Halloween has felt more like January. With the exception of last year.

The first year B.A.R. was here by himself and watching it snow.
The second year it was 26 degrees or so for trick or treating.
The third year it was 15 degrees or so for trick or treating.
The forth year the weather was a pleasant 50 something and while I sat outside and passed out candy and B.A.R worked to remove a fuel pump.
This year is leaving little hope for a snow-free holiday.

Wednesday we had snow all day. Yesterday the 3-4 inches began melting and revealing all the ungathered leaves underneath. I have no doubt that the snow will all be gone by Saturday, but I am also sure it will snow again before next Saturday. Since when is Halloween supposed to remind you of Christmas?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dirty Money

Today, I offered to make the kids sandwiches for a snack. They both got really excited.

Tiger said, "I want a sandwich with butter and money on it."

Lucky for them I made a sandwich with peanut butter and honey.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Preschool learning

So I didn't send Tiger to preschool this year for various reasons; none of them had to do with his mental readiness. He will definitely go next year. We have been teaching him important things:
  • We are teaching him to subtract since he figured out how to add all by himself.
  • The difference between a "prop job" and a jet. Since we live close to an airport this learning happens whenever we are outside.
  • Logo recognition for all sorts of different shops and companies.
  • Vehicle recognition. Tiger can now tell the difference between a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Jeep, Hummer and Fake (Toyota) truck. He knows the Honda logo and we are working on recognizing cars by logo too.
While we were outside this morning an Audi Allroad drove by and Tiger asked, "Mommy, is that a Jeep?"
"No, that's and Audi car."
"An owwee car?"
"Audi car."
"Mommy, thats an owwee car."

Conversation over.

-------------------------------------------------

What's the advantage of an Audi?
No Lint. Just ask Blanket.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunday Funnies Dictionary

Dancing Monkey- aka Monkey- Desitin.

One day Tiger picked up an almost empty tube of Desitin and said, "Look Mom, its a dancing monkey." He then danced the tube on the top of the counter as if it really was a dancing monkey. After that I would ask him to bring me the tube and he would only understand if I asked for the "monkey." So now it is called "monkey" and is universally understood in this house to mean Desitin.

I guess I will have to call hooligan-type behavior "being a gibbon" or "being a lemur." "Monkey" is out.

Tiger speaks his mind.

A few weeks ago Tiger asked me: "Mom, how do you buy a sister?"

I had no good response then, and I still don't.
How much does a 3 year-old really need to know on that subject anyway?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mistaken Identity.

4 times in the last week I have had long moments where I mistook Blanket for Tiger. These often happen in the half-light of morning or at other less-than-fully-awake moments.
The first time I thought they had switched beds, but then I remembered that Blanket was wearing red pjs and Tiger was wearing shorts. The body in Blanket's bed definitely had on red pjs, I just thought that it couldn't be him, he looked oh, so grown-up.
The second time Blanket came into the bedroom to wake me up and I saw his head as he came into the room. When did he get taller than the top of the mattress? Oh, right. Tiger's WHOLE face is visible above the mattress, not just his crown.
The third time the boys were goofing off in their room instead of going to bed and I heard Tiger scream like he had been really hurt. When I get in there Blanket is attempting (with his limited vocabulary and lots of hand motions) to tell me why he is crying. Tiger says "I shut drawer on Blanket's hand." OK, but why does Blanket's crying have to sound so much like Tiger?
The fourth time I was snoozing through a football game. B.A.R. and Tiger are all curled up on the other couch and Tiger was napping. I open my eyes and see a belly and an arm holding Wa-Wa. I think, "Why is Tiger holding Blanket's Wa-Wa?" and then I realize that this is Blanket in his not-so-little-anymore body.
Everyday he looks more and more like a boy and not so much like a baby. Maybe it has to do with the fact he finally moved into 18 month clothes, or that he weighs 24 pounds, or that he says so many words everyday. Maybe he is just so grown up that I am seeing him the way I remember Tiger being.

Is this just a personal phenomenon, or does this happen to all moms whose first two kids are so similar? Landee? Standsmom?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Out with the old...in with the GOLD

Make new friends,

and sell the old.
one is silver,
and the other (Pueblo) gold.
Or, as B.A.R. calls the color, "baby poop brown."

Meet the newest member of the family:

  • It weighs twice as much as the Jetta
  • It has 3 times the power.
  • It seats 8 comfortably instead of 5 uncomfortably.
  • It gets 1/3 the gas milage.
  • "Mama new truck" is the topic of conversation around here with the little ones.
  • It is 2 years newer and sports 3 times the milage of the Jetta.
  • It barely fits in the garage.

One of many changes to come.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Change in Life

No, not the Change of Life just changes in life. You know, when things happen to change the direction your life is going. Things that change some of the choices you make on a day to day basis. Changes can be good, but nonetheless mean you have adjustments to make and new things to get used to. These changes have been taking up much of my time and most of my attention these last few days since I got back from vacation and found my routine again (sort of). Thus, I have not been blogging. As my life changes I am sure I will disclose more about my changes, but for now it is just change.

Note: This is not Hope for Change, nor Change for the sake of Change. Both of those topics belong on my other blog.

Friday, June 12, 2009

T-R-O-U-B-L-E

I know I have been missing lately. My life has been crazy. So crazy that I haven't had time to think of great things or even mundane things to post about. I have been busy with this and that and cleaning my house and playing with company and getting ready to go out of town and. . .

In the midst of my craziness, I have managed to take a couple of pictures of Blanket and the trouble he has been up to while I have been doing other necessary activities.
Here is is coloring my kitchen floor with sidewalk chalk while I am busy shampooing my carpets.
At least it wiped off easily.
Note to self: make sure lid is securely on sidewalk chalk at all times.
Then Tiger shut him in his room, and before I noticed he pulled 30 wipes out of a brand new container. I spent the next 5 minutes reinserting the wipes in the container.

Later I noticed that he had actually unplugged the phone modem (VOIP) too and I had been missing phone calls. Note to self: make absolute sure Blanket is not shut in his room, ever.

Blanket has just figured out how to get on the furniture. It happened behind my back, literally. He discovered how to get on chairs. His favorite chairs are the chairs in front of the computers, because then he can punch all the buttons. I caught him at this twice before I thought it might be a problem. B.A.R. caught him using a pencil to write on the laptop. I have removed the chair from the computer in his room. Note to self: always fold up the chair by the laptop and/or close the office.
As I wrote this post I stopped to change the laundry over, and came back to find Blanket on the chair, and my sunglasses broken (not irreparably because they are Oakley).
I shant know what to do when this kid learns to open doors (silently I am sure).

Dress-up


Growing up I never really liked to play dress-up. I didn't understand it. Tiger isn't much for dress up either. Today Blanket swiped a clean pair of Tiger's underwear and tried to put them on.

Sometimes all you need for dress-up is your brother's BVD's.

Maybe he is practicing for when he becomes a superhero.

Maybe I should stop folding laundry when my children are awake.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Phenomenon

We are experiencing an interesting phenomenon at our house. Words randomly spell themselves on horizontal surfaces. Here look:






Friday, May 29, 2009

An sculptor in the making?


That's a rock balanced on ball wedged in a tree.  Tiger is a budding artist.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Discovering Yummy and Becoming Truly Coloradan

A couple of weeks ago we (the whole family) went up to Evergreen, Colorado to return a meat grinder we had borrowed.  Since we were that far from home, and that close to Idaho Springs we decided to head on up to Beau Jo's for lunch.  I was going to order kid food for the kids, but Tiger was sure that he wanted pizza, so we just ordered the Motherlode to share.   Beau Jo's is good pizza and good whole wheat crust.  They actually have a bottle of honey on every table to top your crust.  It was good lunch.  Just ask the boys.
I gave Blanket a crust to munch on, and he had a bite or two before he demanded honey for his crust.  Yes, he wouldn't touch the crust until I had duly dabbed each piece with a touch of "yummy."   Then Tiger got in on the action and asked for "yummy" on his whole pizza. 
My kids are now truly Coloradan, they love Beau Jo's and they have to eat it with honey.

There is another benefit to this discovery: they want "peanut butter and yummy" for lunch everyday.  I used to make PB 3 times a week or so.  I usually left out the jam because it made a mess, and didn't increase sandwich consumption.  Now, PBH is eaten without complaint day after day.  In Tiger's words, "With yummy please."  At least now my honey won't get crystallized before I use it all up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tiger Discovers His Namesake.

When I told B.A.R. about Tiger using his Tonka truck as an amusement ride, he told me I should have seen this coming.










video video

Monday, May 11, 2009

Now I know my Z-Y-X's

When I was on my mission there was an Elder who could sing the alphabet backwards and forwards. I was almost jealous, but vowed to teach myself how to do it when I wasn't trying to master a foreign language and alphabet (BTW I went to Russia).

I worked on it off and on until Tiger was born. I really wanted him to be able to have this great, unique skill. I started singing the alphabet backwards to him just as early as I started singing forwards. He has heard the song forwards many more times than backwards, but I continue to sing backwards for him.

With his learning to read skills coming along I noticed him doing this monologue for me: "A. What comes after a? B. What comes after b? C. What comes after c? D." He could do this all afternoon. He also sings the alphabet forwards in stressful situations like getting his hair washed in the tub or other times he needs to keep himself calm.

I wondered if his Z-Y-X skills were as good as his A-B-C skills so I asked him to sing "The Z-Y-X song" yesterday. He sang and sang all afternoon. I even got him to reproduce it here for you.

He does say all the letters, he just breathes in as he says "H-G." Feel free to teach your own children this wonderful song.

video

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Subcapul hematoma

You and I usually call it a "goose egg."  It's the best kind of hematoma to have.  This picture does not do it true justice.  I took this photo about 22 hours after Blanket fell off a chair and bonked his head on the step. It looks about 90% better than it did 30 minutes after it happened.
In the 5 seconds between when it happened and when I picked him up it had ballooned to something the size of a 3 quarters stacked on top of one another.  I basically ran and put him in the car while I am screaming at Tiger to just get in the car so we can go.  It was 4 o'clock and that means "rush hour" traffic around here.  It took me 10 minutes of speeding to get to the urgent care.  Blanket stopped crying about halfway there and I got scared that he had passed out.  I was a little too emotional to have been driving.  We got there just fine and I was so relieved to see him happily awake in his car seat when I went to get him out.  He totally acted as though nothing was wrong despite the now golf-ball sized bump on his forehead.
He played happily in the waiting room while I freak out filling out the paperwork and forget the date.  I'm sure he had a headache, but didn't want anything to do with the ice pack they gave him.  That's so his personality.  Really, Mom, I'm fine.  
Then yesterday,  I was carrying him at the park when I sprained my ankle.  He got lucky and I dropped him over the concrete curb and into the wood chips.  His face is covered in lots of tiny scratches.  Again,  just fine 5 minutes later.  
Some days I wish my Tiger was as calm and collected as his brother.  Maybe I should be happy he isn't: it helps me appreciate Blanket's emotional range all the more.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

This conversation just happened in regards to my sprained ankle:

Tiger: "Mom, where is you other sock and other shoe?"

Sox: "Remember when I fell down at the park and I was sad?"

Tiger: "Yeah."

Sox: "Well,  now my foot is owwee.  My foot is broken."(not literally)

Tiger: "Mom, then you need a new one."

Another funny thing Tiger said today.  

"G-O, Mom, go."
He was holding the G and the O from his alphabet puzzle. He had chosen those two and made a word out of  them.   And he carried these around the house all morning telling me "G-O. Go."
This makes me happy.  He has known all his capital letters for more than a year.  I just got him some learning to read videos and his reading skills have really taken off.   I would love to teach him to read without the videos, but he has no patience for me teaching him.  Give him a video he can watch over and over and he will master any subject.   That's what I learned when I tried to teach him colors.  No amount of instruction from me helped him learn more than blue.  One video, twice a day, one week: color mastery.  Not my preferred method, but I will teach him any way he will learn.

The poll has closed

Now I realize that the poll closed over a week ago, but I am just getting around to posting about the outcome.  When I first put up the poll I thought there was an equal chance for each selection.  My son had other ideas.  It seems the poll compelled him somehow.  Less than a week after I put it up he walked.  Yes, walked.  Stood up one fine day and walked.  First, he walked 5 or so steps to a chair.  Then he walked eight or ten steps, fell down and then did it again.  By the end of the day he walked 27 steps for me down the hallway all by himself without any encouragement.  

The next day he tried to run.  

I will try and get video of him walking up soon, but I haven't gotten any yet.  For the record it happened April 2nd,  no foolin'.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm so excited

I can't even focus.  That's right.  I can't seem to want to do anything because I am soooo excited.  What has me this crazy?  Telepathy.  Well, maybe not telepathy, but something close to it. 

A few years back I worked a summer job packaging Windows 95.  (I told you it was a few years back.)  The job was nothing to be excited about.  Mostly I spent my days chatting with my fellow employees while doing relatively mindless work.  I met lots of interesting people (most of us worked for the same temp agency) that I would never have met any other way.  The pay was depressing, and the work was mind-numbing.  The people made going to work worth it.   I worked that job for almost 2 months before heading off to college.  I was sad to leave my friends, one particularly.

More than two years later I ran into this person at my new job selling auto parts.  She came in late one night and sold her some much-needed wiper blades.  Exciting, I know.  The best part for me, was that she remembered who I was.  That really made my day.   I haven't forgotten that day, or that person.

For most of the next 3 years my life was in constant motion.  I was on my mission, or working overseas, or going to school and dating DH long-distance.  I was difficult to keep track of.  Life happened and I lost touch with this friend. 

For the last couple of months I have had this nagging to reconnect with this friend.  The  internet is great, but not omniscient. Especially when the person you are seeking has a very common name.   I asked people I knew that may know her or her friends to help me find her.  I just couldn't let it go.  Recently, every couple of weeks I would get this intense drive to find her.  Always, I couldn't find the right way to find her.  It was really frustrating.  

I hadn't thought about finding her for a month or so, and then I got this nagging feeling I needed to try again.  I put it off for a day or two because I was sure that I had exhausted my resources in trying to find this person (short of a private investigator).  Then I sat down at my computer and I had the distinct impression to search using a specific piece of information.    So I did, and that led to more information that I searched.  Eventually, I found her address, and webpage.  I was overjoyed, but crestfallen.  I had no email address, no phone number, no means of immediate contact that I have come to demand in this post-modern world. 

I was sure that I had found the right person, and yet I sat on this information for 3 days, unsure what to do next (while knowing the best way to proceed).  Monday, I finally sat down and wrote a brief letter.  I put it in the mailbox in the late morning.  Every hour I kept thinking, "does she have it yet?"  And then I would remember that I sent snail mail, not email, and that my instant gratification would not be satiated.

Yesterday, I was trying to figure out what day the USPS would deliver my message, and then I concluded that it was reasonable to assume it wouldn't arrive until today.  I put off my need for validation one more day, and went on to an afternoon of mommy tasks.

I wrote the letter timidly.  I wanted to reconnect with my friend from long ago, but my greatest fear was that she had forgotten who I was.  It had been 11 years since we last saw each other, and 14 since we last had a long discussion. 

I got an email last night from this friend.  She got my letter. (I'm picturing her tearing it open, anticipating its contents) She writes to say that she's been trying to find ME! but hadn't been able to.  Since she'd failed to find me, she tried telepathy to get me to find her.  I had tried to find her many times over the last 4 or 5 years, and one day the right search came to me.  I found her.  I'm so excited.  

Now all I want to do is talk to her on the phone.  Email just can't give me the fix that I'm looking for.  It's like tasting a dish or treat from your childhood that you loved, but haven't had in a long time.  Somebody says they will get you some more, but you aren't sure when.  You still have that wonderful taste in your mouth, and you want more of it.  There you sit unable to control this intense desire for something so wonderful, and unable to do anything to satisfy it.

So friend, call me 'cause I miss you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morning Accomplishments

So I am going to take a moment and pat myself on the back for all that I managed to do today.

1. Avoid getting up with the kids at 6:30 (B.A.R. handled it nicely before he went back to bed)
2. Get locked in Tiger's room while dressing Blanket and Tiger.  (B.A.R. rescued me)
3. Feed my children and myself breakfast.
4. Read my email/blogs/facebook while watching SportsCenter.
5. Shave legs and get dressed.
6. Allow Tiger outside to play while I load the dishwasher.
7. Clean up the cereal/milk Blanket has spilled while trying to poach Tiger's half-eaten breakfast and make off with the spoon.
8. Allow Blanket to go outside and play in the back yard with Tiger while I do things in the house in peace.
9. Put off doing laundry until tomorrow.
10. Renew library books online.
11. Take Tiger potty and change him into clean pants/underwear.
12. Deep clean my stove.  This  includes: lifting the top off and removing 10 year old grease-coated former foods and making my range hood sparkle on the outside and be 50% cleaner on the inside.
13. Clean my counters twice.  Once before I cleaned my stove and once after.
14. Vacuum my kitchen (this is sooooooo much better than sweeping).
15. Lock my children out while I Cinderella scrub the kitchen floor to make sure I get all of the messes/stickies/goo/sand off the floor.
16. Notice that it took Tiger 15 minutes to tear the clean pants he has on.  Big tear, not sure if I will patch them or put them in the recycle pile.
17. Put all the toys back in the sandbox.
18. Apprehend Tiger for going into the kitchen before being decontaminated from the sand.
19. Decontaminate Tiger.
20. Use 4 baby wipes to decontaminate Blanket of sand.  It should be understood here that he has a runny nose, so he had boogers, and sand in his boogers.  
21.  Use 2 baby wipes to get all the loose sand out of Blanket's hair.  
22. Feed boys and myself lunch.
23. Vacuum the kitchen again.
24. Remove Blanket's shoes/clothes in the bathroom to ensure that all remaining loose sand stays contained in the bathroom.
25. Wash Blanket's hair for 5 minutes to make sure there is no more sand, thus ensuring his bed will remain uncontaminated.
26. Put Blanket down for a nap.
27. Put on movie for Tiger so that I can check out for a few minutes.
28. Enjoy not being productive for 90 minutes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tough subjects

I've been wondering how to tell my kids about tough subjects.  You know, the ones that are really important, but hard for me to talk about.  I've been wondering how to tell my kids that they have an older sister.  How to tell  them that the grandpa they know is not my father.  I don't think that they are in a "need to know" place in their lives. But, then, where is that "need to know" place?  When will they be old enough to get it?  And when will meeting someone in photographs become meaningful?  When will I be ready to tackle those subjects with them?  Honestly, this scares me more than the birds and the bees!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You know you're a mom when. . .

. . . you find Hot Wheels cars on the cookie sheet when you go to make cookies, and magnetic letters under it when you take it out.

. . . keeping interested parties out of the kitchen while you cook is for safety reasons, and not because help wouldn't be appreciated.

. . . you measure time in laundry units. For example.  I need to stop at home between this and this so I can change the laundry over, or I can be at the park until the dryer is done, or I can watch (show x) while I fold the laundry.

. . . your toddler unpots a plant 4 times in 4 days, and all  you do about it is repot the plant, vacuum the floor, and exhort your preschooler to leave the plant OUTSIDE!!!

. . .you're in love with the warm weather and your kids love of the sandbox.  You're just not in love with the entropy of sand.

. . . dry underwear is worth celebrating. 

. . . you feel a great milestone is reached when your preschooler turns off the light before he falls asleep, instead of falling asleep with it on.

. . . you look forward to having your VT over so that your kids will make a huge mess and have fun while you are having adult conversation. Meanwhile you have a  great excuse to ignore the mess that is being made.

. . . you tell yourself that a slow 20 minute walk with your kids is "exercise."

. . . you have to remove cars (or dolls) from your sewing table before you can sew.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yes - Man

So Blanket is becoming quite the talker. His favorite word is "yesss." This is funny because Tiger rarely says "yes" (see the post below). Blanket used to do this thing where if you asked him to say "yes" he would, and then if you asked him to say "no" he would say "yesss." I tried to get him to say that on the video, but it didn't quite work that way. He has too much of a mind of his own now. He says whatever he wants. He will repeat you if he wants, or he will try and predict what you will ask him to say next so he doesn't always say what you want him to. He spent much of this video trying to touch the camera, he is so fascinated with it that movies are never quite what it is like without the camera.
video

A transcript of Blanket's part of the movie:

"Uh. Oh. Down. Uh, Oh. Please. Please. Jesus. Jesus. Yes. Yes. Moo. Dog. Book. Mau (meow). Yes. Dad." That covers about 30% of his vocal vocabulary. Other things he can say well : guck (truck), car, quack, cat, woof, ba (with a sign that means airplane), ball, more, done, up, go, out, mom, bye, buzz, wa-wa, waa (walk), woo-woo (train), tractor, cracker, cookie, lo (hello), hi, shoes, socks, eyes, nose, bath, and a few others. He also signs (without words): eat, sleep, music, phone, and maybe one or two more.

He is much more of a problem-solver than his brother. He won't really ask for help until he is in trouble. All of this at 16 months. Now if we could just get him walking!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How to jump when you can't walk yet

First: your brother takes the cushions off the couch so that you can get on.
Second: he hands you your sucker left over from Valentine's candy.
Third: he unwraps it for you.
Fourth: You watch him jump until you figure out how to "jump" on your own.
Fifth: wait for mommy to start making movies.
video video

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Random happenings about the house.

Tiger has a new word for "yes."  This goes very well with his "not really" and "maybe not" instead of "no."  He says "of course."  I asked him the other day if he wanted his breakfast and he answered, "Not Really."  B.A.R. asked him a few minutes later and he said, "Of course!"   "Yes was a word he did not want to learn.  He rarely says it, even now.  Usually it is "Ok," "that's great," or some other phrase of agreement.

Blanket failed to take a nap the other day and so was extremely tired at 4 o'clock.  I figured I would give him dinner and put his pajamas on that way he could go to bed on a full stomach as soon as he was ready.  He ate about half his dinner and then fell asleep in his highchair.  (Sorry there is no photo.)  He had one hand hanging over the bowl and his other grasped a spoon.  His head flopped to one side and he snored quietly.  After about half an hour he stirred and lifted his head. He then put his hand in the bowl and continued eating.  I was reminded of the scene in Disney's Sleeping Beauty when the spell is broken and the king wakes up and continues his meal and conversation right where it left off.  I WISH I had it on video it was priceless.

Complements

So I am out running errands today and I get two complements on my new sidekick.  TWO! in less than one hour.  I do always give credit to the Vera Bradley company for making such a cute article.   But I am not the kind of person who loves compliments.   I only give them out when I am really impressed.  Maybe you could say that I am stingy with them, but that is who I am.  I bought Sprite the Satchel (Thanks Lisa and Landee for naming it) so that I could have a functional accessory in a color that I liked; not so that it would get noticed every time I went out in public.   I want to be given complements the same way I give them: moderately stingy.  I guess if I assume people took the time to tell me they must really like Sprite.  I don't care if other people like it: I like it and that's enough for me. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shameless plug.

Now, I try not to plug my other blog at this website.  I figure if you want to know about my politics and musings you will go over there all by yourself.  I figure you could follow it, or at least notice it down there in my checklist and look for the updates.  I am going to tell you that I posted over there yesterday and I feel really strongly on the topic I posted about.  I know many of you feel the same way, even if you are not ready to take action on your feelings.  Please take a minute to jump over there and learn about a community gathering.  I will be attending in Colorado Springs if you are interested.  

Look out, there is another post shortly coming over there that I am sorely tempted to post here.  Or maybe just a link to it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A purse by any other name.

For most of my readers this won't come as a shock: I am not a purse person. I don't like them. They just don't fit my style of being me.  I have lived my life to this point with my wallet in my back pocket and my keys and cell phone in my front pockets.  

If I thought I needed a bag I would graduate from being relatively unprepared (keys, money, cell phone) to overly prepared for every possible contingency.  I would put a few things in a backpack, and then a few more, and then even more.  

Over the last few years I have misplaced my wallet on a few occasions due to the fact it slips out of my back pocket. Women's jeans are just not meant for wallet people. This happened a couple of weeks ago and B.A.R. joked with me about needing a bag of some kind.
I was starting to warm up to the idea because I was tired of always carrying my planner around (this is meaningful when you realize I still carry my 15 month old around too) along with anything else that was "necessary" for my outing. A backpack was more than I wanted. I really just wanted a wallet I could wear that would hold my planner. I actually spent two whole days at the end of February searching for the right bag for me.

I found many I liked, most were the right bag, but they wouldn't hold my planner (or much more than a diaper and sunglasses). Or I they would hold my planner, and my laptop, and every toy my child owns. Really. I just wanted a smallish bag.
I happened upon a store at Park Meadows that I had never seen before. and I went in for a look. The first bag I pulled off the shelf was too big, but the second one was soooooo good I knew I was in love. I tried really hard to find a bag I liked almost as much for less money, but I could not. I did buy this one on ebay for about $10 off MSRP, but it is still a hefty price tag. But it's ok, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag, and I only got it in the mail yesterday.

It's a Vera Bradley Mailbag in Cupcakes Green.  It may seem funny, but I had never even heard of Vera Bradley before I walked into that store and fell in love (with a bag).

There is only one problem. It's not my "purse" because I am not a purse person. My new bag needs a name. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Check out my new 'do.

I sat Blanket down for a haircut and he cried more than I wished, and wiggled a lot. But he did get the standard haircut around here. I am happy that I now won't spend all of church trying to make his hair cooperate and lay down.

No more turkey feathers. *sniff* *sniff*



In other barbershop news: Tiger acquiesced to having his hair cut. He whimpered and cried a little, but he never made me have to get dad involved in the haircut. That is the best he has EVER done with the whole buzzers process.