Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Cup Runneth Over

Some people I know – and like very much – will sometimes say, “My cup runneth over.” They use this in place of a few endearing phrases when they don’t know what else to say. It’s kinda like saying, “I have so many emotions racing through my mind and heart it’s just spilling out of me.”

I know this feeling. But I say, “Oh, I gotta take a picture.”

Featured you will find some photos of Mason and Cooper – but pay particular attention to Mason – playing with the hose and spigot. Mason was letting it drip into his hands and them patting his mouth, head, hair with his wet hand. He thought this was hilarious. To watch it was.

Cooper was getting excited just for the sake of teaching Mason how to have fun.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A House for Hopper

First we caught the bug. Then we identified it. Then Cooper, in his utmost generosity, built a house for his newest catch. I’d like to say this is where the story ends.

But sadly Cooper decided to smash up Hopper in to a million bits with a plastic recorder. Then Steve flushed it down the toilet. At hearing this news Cooper burst into tears.

Very Bad Idea

Mason has his own way of getting things done. For instance, his first step down a flight of stairs is crazy wrong. But it's his way.

He approaches the ledge with enormous caution. Then he gets really low and reaches out. Then he backs up a couple times (he knows it's a bad idea, just won't admit it). Finally someone rushes in and flips him around so that he can back down the steps.

Friday, September 28, 2007


1. communicable by infection, as from one person to another or from one part of the body to another: infectious diseases.
2. causing or communicating infection.
3. tending to spread from one to another: infectious laughter.

Blech. Not a lot of laughter around here. Must be something else. Oh that's right. One sinus infection and one ear infection. Making for two super happy children.

Mason is still not 20 pounds. So, will be having to decide if we want to switch the car seat around, again. Or break the law for a while. Don't rat us out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sweet Mason James

Last night as I walked up to bed the thought popped into my mind that it was to be my little Mason’s birthday the following day. I had a moment of panic, “Ack, I’m not ready. I haven’t planned anything.” I felt as if I’d almost not realized it was that close.

But it’s appropriate, isn’t it. Because a year ago at that same hour I had no idea I was to have him the following day. As most of you know, he was a month and change early. I was expecting to have a little Halloweenie. Instead, I had a September baby.

Today wasn’t as emotional as I feared it would be. Perhaps because I was a bit of a woman on the edge. Both kids screamed for approximately 75 percent of the day. And my house is a mess. And the laundry’s no where near finished. But that’s not really what this is about, is it?

I did wish Mason my best before anything else was said to him today. Then once Steve had fed him the most enormous bowl of oatmeal and raisins I pulled out his mega gift. Rather than a bunch of punk kid toys we threw a bit of money at a tunnel/tent system from Costco. Frankly it was the one toy we didn’t already have some version of from Cooper. I genuinely wanted Mason to feel this day was his own and apart from anything we’d done for Cooper in the past.

The tunnels were a mild success. Mason acted a bit overwhelmed by it all. He must have sensed the pressure we were putting on him. We had the camcorder out and we were hollering like it was the fourth of July. No wonder he balked. But eventually he figured out it was fun and he and Coop spent the rest of the morning playing and arguing in turns.

Then Mason took a 3 hour nap. What? That is actually quite unusual for him. I took the time to print out 24 pictures that spanned the past year and put them together in a little book for the NICU nurses and doctors that cared for him during the first two weeks of his life. That was a refreshing experience.

So then, didn’t wake up until 1-ish. Then we fed him a big lunch of rice and beans. Mason absolutely loves rice and beans. Not sure which he likes the best, the rice or the beans. But the beans leave an impression on all of us, if you know what I mean.

He was such a mess following this late lunch that we decided to get on with the next planned birthday activity – cutting his fine, blonde hair for the first time. It was Cooper’s turn in the barber chair first (oh that would be a bar stool in the kitchen at the hands of mom). I’d hoped that Cooper would make it look fun and relaxing. But he promptly had a freak out and cried. Something about hair in his nose… and ears… and neck… and back. Such a complainer. Wink wink.

Then it was Mason’s turn. Oh boy, this was the only moment of the day I wanted to cry but didn’t. But just barely, just. In an instant his old man feathers… as I liked to call his wisps… were gone. Now he looks like a chemo-treated cancer patient. This was all followed by a bath.

Following the bath I got him all cuted up and we drove to Wendy’s. OK OK OK… I realize this isn’t super high-class. But, he’s 1! We brought our food back for a little picnic on the patio and Mason had yogurt with granola, a handful of fries, and some chili. Again with the beans. It’s a cry for help, really. There was a few hours of nonsense following dinner and then bedtime.

All in all I think Cooper screamed the song, Happy Birthday, to Mason about 471 times. And to recap all that he can do right now:

1. He has 3 ½ teeth. Since the breakthrough of tooth no. 4 there’s been much grinding and gnashing. It’s gross.
2. He won’t be getting immunizations tomorrow, as planned, on account of a runny nose.
3. I think he’s saying “see” and “ick”. I do know he points at stuff then looks at us and utters something that sounds like “see.”
4. Current favorite book is, “Funny Face.” A sweet tale that has illustrations of various faces a baby could make from naughty to mad to happy. At the end there is a mirror. Mason always kisses his reflection about seven times before we read the book over, again.
5. Still loves to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and wave good bye.
6. He’s fascinated by bowls and cups. Likes to put things in and take things out. Will even pick up individual crackers or cheerios that he’s spilled out of a cup and put them back in the cup for a second before popping them in his mouth.
7. Laughs when he toots. (Hey, it’s gross but he’s a boy and I expect that it will get worse before it gets better.)
8. Loves playing peek-a-boo and his version of hide-and-seek.
9. We can’t keep him off the stairs. Really loves climbing up, not so sure how to turn around to come down once he’s at the top. But if you stop him in the middle he will back down the steps like a pro.
10. Drives trucks, trains, cars, motorcycles and anything with wheels everywhere. He drives them up the pillars, the walls, along the baseboards, etc. etc. etc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

10 Random Facts About Me

Saved from coming up with something for today's post! I've been tagged. Here are 10 entirely random facts about me. I'm not going to tag anyone specifically... but if you're reading and you live in Utah or London... you're tagged. Will give you something to practice posting to your blog.

10. I try too hard to sound smarter than I am.
9. I can categorically say that I have no close friends from elementary school and junior high. I moved a lot and didn’t really invest in anyone until high school and college. I will forever regret it and it shapes nearly every decision I make as an adult, including but certainly not limited to the home I live in and the children I introduce my children to.
8. I feel immense worry when I can see someone in a crowd who is clearly embarrassed, uncomfortable, or feeling out of place. In any group setting .– be it classrooms, mass transit trains, the mall bathroom -- I always try to strike up conversation with those around me and to make sure everyone feels like they have at least one person to talk to. This excludes family functions. For some reason I figure my fam can fend for themselves.
7. I love pink. I didn’t until about 3 years ago. Until then you could pretty much categorize it as my nemesis.
6. Travel is my unrequited love. Sadly, I probably will always feel that I have never been enough places, nor seen enough things. When I travel – even when it’s somewhere as banal as Idaho Falls – I fall desperately in love with the surroundings and try to look and see as much as possible. Then I come home and talk about the trip WAY too much, much to the chagrin of my adoring husband and friends.
5. Hate homework, love to teach. Don’t know how I’ll get there, but I truly feel that I’ll someday find my way to formal teaching. Until then, my poor kids have to tolerate me and my arts and crafts moments.
4. On a daily basis I tell my husband, children, and anyone else who will listen (sometimes I just tell myself) that I love the flowers and vines hanging on my porch. They are my Summer 2007 greatest achievement.
3. It’s my life’s dream to single-handedly resurrect the French braid from the universal fashion faux-pas list. It was just so damn useful. Also rooted in my afternoons pretending that I was “Half-Pint” from Little House on the Prairie.
2. Every word in every journal I wrote in – until the age of 19 – was absolutely fabricated. Budding novelist or pathological liar? You decide.
1. I am eternally grateful for my sisters-in-law.

Well, that's it. Do you feel informed? I'll be checking your blogs to see if you divulge as much about yourselves.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Plastic Pumpkins

Are my neighbors trying to tell me something? Perhaps that it's high time to take down the 4th of July decorations?

Our sweet neighbor gave us two plastic pumpkins today. I'm sure her only motivation is kindness. But I can't ignore the fact that our door decorations are screaming, "You're living in denial! Summer is over."

PS--- potty training was mildly successful today. I let Coop pick out new underpants at Target today.
Ironically enough, he was wearing a pair of underpants. When we ran into one of his schoolmates it was the first bit of news he blurted out. Accompanied by pointing to his butt.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cereal Killer

Funny story.
Mason loves cold cereal. Cheerios to All-Bran, the boy will eat it up. We’ve tried to keep the sugar-coated stuff away from him. And chocolate is a big no-no. Well, today he pulled himself within reach of a small bowl of Cocoa Puffs. These are a special treat that I was letting Cooper have for some toilet-training success.

I moved the bowl to the back of the side table that Mason had pulled himself up to. I thought this would distract him and he would forget about the cereal. Then we all started watching Charlotte’s Web and playing with toys. Then I heard a munch-munch at my elbow. I looked back to find that Mason had decided he wanted those Cocoa Puffs and had actually crawled a great distance to get to them.

He had gone to the other side of the sectional sofa, crawled behind it, then shimmied his way along the back of the L-shaped sofa all the way to the side that I had placed the Cocoa puffs on. Then pulled himself up and, “Voila!” Smarty pants.

I let him have a few, just for his clever resolve.

photo note:
Don't mind the mess... Steve's out of town and it gets a little crazy right before bed (two against one and all), but I really wanted you to see how far Mason had to crawl to get these things. See him hiding on the right? He crawled to the pillar on the left to get behind the sofa.

2 for 4: Potty Training Practice

Today Cooper started down the road to actual mastery of the toilet. He peed 4 times today, twice in the toilet, and twice… elsewhere. I was really proud of him. But no prouder than he was of himself. He even said to me, “I told you I could do it!”

Pretty major if you ask me. He wore underwear all day long. Like I said, only two accidents. He even woke up from his 3-hour nap with dry pants. Fantastic. Now, I can just stay motivated to finish this project out.

PS – Cooper is super sick; thus the shellacked booger goatee.

A Moment of Silence

My Bernina 1008 is broken.

And I am broken hearted.

My dear husband keeps telling me to just let it play out (at the repair shop) but I've got such a nervous stomach about it I can barely function.

The next two weeks can't go by fast enough. I am just hoping they will call to tell me they've found the problem. But I've got a bad, bad feeling about this one...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Wonder Where He Gets It

Cooper -- as some of you know -- has a love for machines. His own little engine is always puttering along and he "zooms" everywhere he goes.

Sometimes I feel like I can't figure out where his gearhead came from. But on a recent trip to visit my grandfather I was reminded that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Here are some pictures of Cooper with his great grandfather.

I have some more -- will post more tomorrow.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Why We Love Autumn Weather

It was like 80 degrees today and it'll be 80 degrees tomorrow. Perfect!

We're a fair-weather family. Everyone gets a little snarly if it's hotter than 100 or colder than 60.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Mother Finishes Her Work

I don’t have an exact memory of the year I read the first Harry Potter book. But, I do remember I was immediately smitten. I was newly married; no children, and I think we had just moved to Denver. I faithfully read each book as it came along. But there were changes in my life that came along, too. Now, I am a mother of two boys and because of that I recognize something in the author of the Harry Potter series that I never saw before.

The mother.

JKR is obviously someone who has held her child’s hand through the rails of a crib. Someone who sent her child to school in hand-me-downs and hoped they were strong enough to survive it. Perhaps she has consoled a fellow mother as they faced the death or terminal illness of a child. She is also a mother who has learned the ultimate lesson that all mothers must learn. We’re not raising children. We’re raising adults. And if we’ve done our job right, that’s what they will become.

When we ask our children to read the Harry Potter series, we are inviting them to think of fantastical scenarios, stretch their vocabularies, keep young eyes open to the architecture of our worlds, learn a little history (yes, she laces it throughout her imagined country), and even learn to identify and embrace emotional range.

But when we ask a mother to read the Harry Potter series, we invite them to remember that when a child is scared – truly scared – they ask for their mothers. We invite them to realize that parents aren’t the only influence – thank God – and that inspiration can come from some of the most unexpected sources.

The most salient lesson I have learned and have come to accept is that all good things must come to an end. And yet, “a circle has no beginning.” And thus, no end.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What We Missed The Most

Hello folks!

As many of you know we've been taking a lot of vacations lately. Vacations that took us away from the things we love the most. So, this past week we plunged our efforts directly into getting reacquainted.

First hurdle, a few days of rain. The boys good-naturedly waited out the storms – we even saved a mom and son from the downpour. It was sad to watch them sitting at the windows and looking out at their playland.

But we staved off the boredom with movies, playing toys, building train tracks, and crafts.

When sunshine first broke our first stop was the Zoo. After the rain, our little suburb emerged as the gorgeous city of autumnal wonder. Not kidding. I love this area at this time of year. And so do the animals at the zoo. It was virtually vacant of people and we felt like we had the entire zoo to ourselves. But the animals were out in full force.

We even got to glimpse the new giraffe that was born on Aug. 31. Also, heard the male lions roar while we were up close. Scary. That’s not something I’d want to witness without the thick glass between us. Whoa!

And today we ventured out to the Museum of Nature and Science. We were the only people in the Botswana, Africa exhibit. The boys got all crazy.

Please note the picture of Cooper trying to look into the Aardvark diorama. It is created in a dark cave. He could not see what was in the cave. But now that we see the pictures (the flash illuminated the creepiness) I’m pretty sure Cooper would not have ventured nose to nose.

It’s good to be back.