Saturday, February 28, 2009

Watcha Doin'

Every famous pair has a yin and yang. The set at our house is quiet and loquacious. Coop's reserve caused us concern when he was Mason's age. He had barely 20 words. He didn't even babble. As he's grown he talk when is necessary. But doesn't really exert energy for conversation beyond that.

But Mason, he's a loose-lipped spokesman. At 2+ he expresses himself easily and for the most part has clear expressive language skills (considering his age, education, and experience). Lately we've delighted in his responses to the age old question, "Watcha doin'?"

Steve broke up a quarrel between the boys with a loud and blustery, "Watcha doin'?" Mason looked up and sternly answered, "We're just fighting."

I often come into a far too quiet room and say, "Watcha doin'?" And hear responses like, "We're playing, " or "We're building [LEGOs]," or "We're hiding," or "I don't know."

But last night I was taken by surprise when I found Mason up against a wall. When I asked, "Watcha doin'," he ran to me and shouted, "I'm farting!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Pack

Just far enough ahead of mom that she cannot hear our plotting and planning. Daring enough to ignore her requests for caution. Warm enough that we remember Spring has not forgotten us and will return for a joyous season of park playdates. Small enough to see the adventure that a dry creekbed can bring. Smelly enough for our moms to upturn their noses when we come in for hugs and kisses at the end of the day. Curious enough to question our shadows' persistence. Young enough to get your feelings hurt -- a little too easily. Old enough to have a pack of friends to pal around with.

PHOTO NOTE: First picture (of Coop in tube) courtesy Anita Isernhagen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Too Much Time

It's a relief at the end of the night to finally get your boys -- who smell like dirty little dogs -- bathed, dressed in pajamas, and watching a movie to wind down. It's so nice that it actually seems like a perfect time to get in the shower. And what a joy it is to get out of the shower and find your 2 yol sporting something that at first glance looks like Vernix Caseosa. And within seconds you realize its copious amounts of lotion smeared all over his face and head. I guess I shouldn't leave him alone, ever.

Because I had just bathed him, I elected to try to rub it off with a towel, and thus the new do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stalling for Time

It occurs to me far too often -- and somewhat after the fact -- that my children repeat what I say. These days it is somewhat funny, balancing on a hire wire stretched taut between humor and humiliation. I waffle on my opinion about this, thinking things like, "Oh my gosh, is that really what I say to them?" and, "Now that's a great use of that word!" They don't realize it right now, but there will be a day when they will utter something -- a phrase, or a threat -- and stop not me, but themselves realizing that they sound exactly like me. Oh the horror!

I hear the very best samples of my own work when I spy on my children. Sometimes it's subconcious. I'm actually doing something else... making dinner, putting away dishes, blogging... and I realize one of them has said something to the other one that is both recycled and hysterical. Case in point:

In a heated adverse possession debate, Mason and Cooper were bickering over the rightful ownership of a particular LEGO guy. At this point I've been privy to so many of these negotiations that I don't even try to mediate. And while most of these debates end in pushing, shoving, name calling, even tears -- tonight's debate came to a screeching and wildly peaceful standstill when Cooper said (in all seriousness, folks), "Hmmmmm... Let me think about it."

Hmmmmmm..... Let me think about it. Which is to say, let me take so long to think about this, that eventually you will forget how much you want it and I will win out by virtue of the statute of limitations. Let's see, the last time I put this tactic to use was, oh yeah, this morning when Cooper asked me if he could have peanut M&Ms for breakfast. I thought about it all the way until 6:16 p.m. when he had at last eaten three bites of chicken and a few spoonfuls of couscous.

Gratefully Mason is tolerant of these remarks and even takes the bait -- waiting out Cooper's mental deliberation. Just to give you an idea how fun loving he can be (when he wants to be)... When he found dog poop in our yard the other day he exclaimed, "Whucca Heck!"

PS -- If you let your dog poop in my yard let me issue a warning. I can only choose to be happy about this for so long. Someday the tide will turn. I don't know what I'm likely to do. I'm just saying.

PHOTO NOTE: Cooper is actually eating peanut M&Ms in this photo. And he's wearing pajamas. Come to your own conclusion.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Perfect 10

We have 10 nieces and nephews (actually, 8 nieces and 2 nephews to be exact). I have finally met the sweet 10th -- Claire Elizabeth.

Today I am home, safe and sound, after a quick trip to meet and greet this precious lump of lovely. I was smitten as soon as I saw her shiny, black hair and wide eyes. She smelled of a dream and just squished into my arms with chunky pleasure. Remarkable.

Thank you to my brother and his wife for hosting me at their home in Portland. (I love that city and can't wait to go back!) My cup runneth over.

If you'd like to know more about this quilt; visit my sewing blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


For a few days I've noticed the boys have a shiny quality about their faces. It's all glow-y and glisten-y, very fresh looking. They smell good, I almost want to bite their cheeks. And I've just figured out why.

They've been giving themselves butter facials. Or rather, a butter facial is one of the byproducts of their toast eating technique. As pictured, they start in the middle and nibble around in ever increasing concentric circles. As the hole grows they play various games including peek-a-boo and Batman face mask guys. Once done they look up from their chewed toast with luscious luminosity.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Runnin' On Empty

Every time I look at my kids these days I see they are exhausted. They are playing hard and wearing themselves out. I acknowledge I've done my part to run them ragged, too. And so next week we are declaring some cozy days at home.

Every time they sit still they fall asleep or assume a position of maximum relaxation.

PS -- I find it amazing that Cooper can fall asleep during his nebulizer. One of the drugs it delivers makes his heart beat a little faster and can make you feel like you've just had a shot of espresso. You have to be pretty tired to fall asleep during it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


So I don't know about the rest of the world, but I don't get anything done when my kids are sick. They've been sick. I won't go into the gooey details, but there's been a lot of sleeping, laying around, and watching Tom and Jerry cartoons. I apologize for our absence from the blog.

Before I forget let me broadcast my most recent parenting embarassment. Cooper touched his own foot after getting out of the bathtub and said, "Ewww gross, my feet are just like mommy's." It is my lot in life to wait for my children to point out the very worst in them and liken it to me. What goes around, comes around, I guess.

I am absolutely certain a phrase or two like this has been uttered by myself. Not concerning feet, however, my feet are more like my father's (which is a little gross). More often I have said things as I gazed over my shoulder at my backside in the mirror.

For the record, Cooper does not have a case of cottage cheese feet. But they are incredibly dry and rough -- just like his mommy's.

In other interesting kid-isms. Mason is starting to have a few of his own. Over the past few days he's seen the business end of a bulb syringe. To put it lightly the mere mention of the "booger sucker outer" and he gets pissed. So I had to laugh when he cuddled up to me on the couch only to shove one up my nose and tersely mutter, "Get mommy's bugs!"

He also ran to the computer tonight and jumped on the desk chair waiting to Skype someone. Then he said, "Me skype." When I asked him who he wanted to Skype he said, "Umpa." So, for the record this is the FIRST time he has attempted to say Grandpa. (Not sure which of his four he had in mind.)