Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Foreman Cooper Under the Tree

People, we have a problem. Our family -- or quite specifically I -- got a wild hair a few years ago and bought a fake, pre-lit Christmas tree. That first year it was just plain pretty. I loved it, all sparkly and stuff. Now I've noticed a few problems.

1) Some of the lights don't light anymore
2) It looks like it lives 11/12vths of the year in a box

But never fear, we have Foreman Cooper to assist us in any fearful tree troubleshooting. Namely, as we were assembling the tree (no, it is not turned on, nor is it decorated) and assessing the damage that only storage can ravage, he sidled next to Steve and me under the tree and said, "What's seems to be the problem, guys?"

Can you stand it? He is so helpful. But seriously, what does seem to be the problem and someone please tell me how to fix it.

PS -- Spending hours with your head in a tree will give you such a case of static cling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Barefoot in November

There's always a day or two late in November when my kids can play barefoot in the grass. I patiently wait for it with my camera at the ready. This past week, it happened.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And to Think...

When I was pregnant with my second son I literally went into the hospital thinking I was going to give him the middle name of Adam. The times I had spend with that particular brother during the previous year were wonderful and I was wanting to remember that by naming my baby after him. Well, then Mason was born very early and was very small. When I looked at him I just couldn't imagine him being name after a man who more than 6 and a half feet tall.

Now Adam is expecting his first child. I am so excited for him and his sweet wife. Best of luck... and here's a little gift.

Where's Mason?

It starts with an eerie silence. I usually find myself wrapped up in NPR as I unload the dishwasher and then realize, I don't know where Mason is. I can't hear him playing. So, I start walking around the house calling, "Where's Mason?"

He responds with a stifled giggle.

Then I spot him. (Though I must say his hiding spots are pretty clever.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Caught Sugar-Handed

In the minutes it took me to make a bed upstairs, my boys found some really old candy. (Left over from toilet training Cooper almost 2 years ago!) When I started down the stairs, I could tell something was up. You see, there's a certain silence when you're about to find a colossal mess, an overflowed toilet, poop water in your basement, or little boys eating their weight in candy. A creak on the second to last step broke that silence and sent Cooper scurrying. In his haste he ran right into me.

I'm not sure if it's a gene that all children come equipped with, or not. But he immediately started to squirm his way out of trouble. "I only ate 13, but Mason is still eating. I bet he's going to eat 100. You should go see and send him to time out."

Go see is exactly what I proceeded to do. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they could have just asked for some nice, decently fresh Halloween candy. It was too fun watching their jaws strain under the pressure of, "Must eat this hardened candy before mom realizes how much is in my mouth."

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My mother tells a story of me as a child. I don't remember it exactly, but the relevant details are as follows. Not sure how old I was but my realm of experience didn't yet include watermelon. As the story goes on a trip to my great-grandmother's house I saw a big 'ol watermelon on the kitchen counter. In awe I exclaimed something to the effect of, "Would you look at the size of that pickle!?!?"

There are a million ways you can laugh about this. First that I'd never encountered a watermelon, or so remembered and recognized one. Then the double entendre of confirming the size of something so phallic. And lastly, and not at all funny nor obvious, I can't even eat watermelon on account of an allergy. Due to this allergy of watermelon I have adopted the humble cucumber (the raw ingredient of pickles) as my substitute watermelon. Huh?

Here's the deal, when you can't eat something and it's been so long that you can't remember what it tastes like your mind begins to play tricks on you. Eventually you decide that another unrelated food-- that you can have -- tastes like the food that you can't have. The substitute watermelon.

I told Cooper this story as I served him a gigantic cucumber and he found it really amusing... as shown here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

He's Beautiful

I find this picture perfect. In it's accidental setting -- a drapes hanging on the chair while the window contractors make a total mess of our house -- my little Mason is showing his true self. Bad haircut, bare feet, and mismatched PJs. This is the chair he often sits in while I peck away at the computer. He usually reclines just like this, relaxed to the max and hoping I won't notice him and send him to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I Read

I don't read to meet with other crotchety old women, drink wine, and argue the literary devices of the author du jour. I don't read to improve my intelligence. (OK, maybe sometimes I think I'm getting smarter.) I don't read so that I have things to talk about at parties.

I read because they ask me to.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Window, New World

Replacements. We should all order them from time to time. Perhaps you're looking for a new tooth, new garage door opener, new job. We were in the market for new windows and woke up to a whole new world.

Yesterday we could peer out the window at teacup sized Mexican primrose. Today it's covered in a quilt of heavy snow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

About a List

Here's the deal. I'm drowning in action items. Namely (but not limited to)...

1. Read the remaining 364 pages in Lace Reader before book club on Wednesday. Normally I would slack and just pretend I had finished the book, attend book club, and drink wine. But, ummmm, book club is at my house this month. Remind me, why do I read?

2. Find suitable Captain Hook costume for Mason to wear to Cooper's party as the bread hook is needed.

3. Decide if the mothers of 4 yols will care if temporary tattoos and BIG swords are the take-home prize from birthday party. Actually I've already decided I don't care. But I'm trying to decide if I'm going to apologize in advance or after.

4. Sew no less than 3 handbags, 2 adult size aprons, 2 child size aprons, 3 pairs of child size pajamas, 10 Christmas stockings, 3 baby blankets, 3 yoga mat totes, and 5 pencil rolls before Nov. 20.

5. Sew more of everything before Dec. 16.

6. Muster the courage to let at least one person read the 50,000 word novel I wrote. Decide who that person should be. Face the criticism.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Be Bountifully Ready

Ahoy me hearty!
I be bettin' a delightful doubloon that this buccanneer is ready to embark on a piratical cruise. No scallywags and scurvy dogs will be ruinin' our planned swashbucklin'. But this lass is plannin' to fly the Jolly Roger in honor of one special Gentleman o' fortune.

A pirate's birthday will be sure to shiver his timbers. Yo-ho-ho the virgin-grog will be flowing and the little Jacks will be digging for swaggy. Mark my words.

By the Powers! Don't know what I'm enjoyin' more. Finding the booty or planning what they be doin'.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Black Eye?

I just got home from a little art market thingy and found that Mason got a black eye (or something) while the babysitter was here. Hmmmmm. I can't decide if I'm worried about it, or not.

It's Halloween for Infinity and Beyond

The main difference between adults and children is that adults permit the rest of the world to see their alter egos just one day a year -- Halloween. (Perhaps one other time or two under the influence.) This brings about some scary phenomena during October. Namely that women tend to dress like vulgar promiscuous sexpots who flout the goods, and men tend to dress like women. Walking the costume aisle for adult women goes something like this... slutty nurse, sexy kitten, hot cop, trampy vampire, prematurely mature cheerleader, tart tigress, saucy prisoner... you get the idea.

Children, on the other hand, let it all hang out EVERY day of the year. Especially my children. So, imagine my joy when I found some costumes at Target for 75-percent off the original price. At the post-Halloween clearance we found an adorable Buzz Lightyear costume for Mason. By adorable I actually mean a cheap, poorly made, looks nothing like Buzz, polyester jumpsuit that he LOVES. He has worn it ever since and is wearing it now.

We also picked up something for Coop -- and that's a BIG surprise. But let me just say I found the party idea to top his cooking party.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vintage, II

I have a sweet neighbor who for some cracked and batty reason decided it would be a really good idea to trade the use of our leaf blower with a vintage set of pirates with castle. That's right folks. She offered to give the boys a castle set with actual medival soldiers in exchange for borrowing our leaf blower.

Trusting my rule to believe what people say, I took her up on the deal. Now some balanced person might say, "You don't need to do that. You're my neighbor, just take it." But I'm not balanced, you can take my word for it.

So, while my neighbor spent a crazed afternoon blowing leaves around her yard my boys adored and appreciated the castle. (It is reportedly 14 years old.)
So, if you're a cuckoo with some great toys... please keep me in mind -- I'm open to trade and barter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Rocks

We should all adore November's fabulous balance of crisp air and warm sun. Our family finds it easier to entertain itself with the activities that we are truly fond of. It pleases me to walk behind my boys and watch them wobble (either on bike or foot) down the sidewalk toward a delightfully crunchy pile of leaves that has collected in the void of a retaining wall, or especially large frost-heaving sidewalks. We dote on the hangers-on of summer, a browned rose or frost tinged poppy.

Drinking it in and eating it up we wander along past old places and toward familiar haunts, our very favorite is the community library. It's more than having a good time. It is simply loving what we have and luxuriating in the idea that it will continue to be ours for just a little longer.
Today our county voted on a measure that -- if it were to pass -- would close the library that is just a few blocks away from our front porch to make way for a bigger one that is much farther away. While we're still waiting the final results, there is hope that our little library might be saved for a few more years. Keep your fingers crossed.

The BIG Payoff

I helped set a goal this past year. I felt that hit was a stretch but realistic. I asked that he improve his counting. I honestly thought it would take him somewhere in the neighborhood of a year. Guess what, he did it less than 60 days. So, we bought a really big LEGO thingy.

Here, than, is the question. If you only have to count to 100 (the original goal) why does it take a master's degree to put thedang thing together? Steve and I worked together -- furiously -- and finished it in about four hours.

This was a good exercise for us, however. We learned something about the orchestration of Christmas. Very valuable.

PS -- The comment of the day was when we were at the store, perusing the aisles Cooper asked, "Now, do I have to share this?"

Monday, November 3, 2008


We recently hosted Cooper's first friend-sleepover. It was SO fun. I'm serious. I was having as much fun as Cooper. But one thing I noticed is that our vintage toys were THE most popular. We have a set of Duplo blocks that are a heap of garage sale finds and donations (from my neighbor's mom). With them the boys can create an entire city with a train (and working train), an airport with a control tower and jumbo jet, and an ambulance. Add to that the new Duplo we have and it's a mega fun playdate. I've decided to keep my eyes out for more vintage Duplo. It genuinely is the best.

One of my favorite features of the vintage blocks is that one of them has a sticker on it to resemble an old fashioned phone booth. Cooper calls it the phone fort.

PHOTO NOTE: What the boys made during the slumber party and a picture of Mason with "da jet."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zoo Me

Earlier this year I decided our family was going to break up with the zoo. We have a membership and can go anytime our little hearts desire. But it turns out the little hearts that matter never desired to go to the zoo. I was over it, sick of paying for it, and was done.

But then someone spelled z-o-o in my ear and I thought, "hmmmm, we got nothing going on." And that's all it took. I'm in love with the zoo, again. (I guess by now you've figured out that it's a good thing I'm married because I should not date people. I'm always wanting to break up, then get back together again. It's a sick, sick cycle.)

I only took a few pictures I love that day. But my friend took lots of really cute ones. Go check out her adorable blog to see more.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No. 1 Spectator

The plight of the younger sibling is one of hand-me-downs, exhausted parents, and spectatorial vocation. Mason has accepted this role better than can be expected.

Sidelined during Coop's soccer games:

Inside looking out during the leaf blowing incident:

In the shadows at the pumpkin carving party:

Watching the kids take a spin on the carousel at the zoo:
Coop's swimming session will be over when?????