Sunday, May 31, 2009

Por Que?

I have a few brothers. In fact, more than most. But my point is a couple of them speak Spanish. The youngest of these has grown a sudden interest in teaching my children Spanish. Now let me qualify this statement. He's not actually speaking to them in Spanish. He is sending them a few Spanish flash cards in the mail every few days or so.

My boys think this is cool. But when the first package arrived Cooper simply said, "Why?"

Each stack of cards has been met with varying responses. Once they got over their bewilderment, the first stack was taken to a playdate and promptly forgotten about, and consequently left at said playdate.

The second stack got colored on.

The third stack has been organized, and organized, and organized. Here is another statement I have to qualify. My children like to tell me they are organizing. Seriously. I think they use it as an excuse to not clean. "Mom, I can't pick up my LEGOs, I'm organizing them." Big nightmare if you ask me.

But in the case of the cards, the most recent stack of them anyway, Mason has been organizing them -- which is to say lining them up -- around him.

The big question is, are they getting it? No. Could be because my Spanish is limited to one phrase that my dear friend Angenette (Netti) once told me, "No me moleste! Estoy Ocupada." I'm not really sure I'm spelling that right. And I'm also not sure I remember what it means. Something about don't bother me, I'm busy. The other big question, do they like the cards? Yes.

Except for the one for bebe. Someone really should have told Conan O'Brien it was a bad idea to pose for Spanish flash cards. It's downright creepy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Conversation I Never Want to Have Again

Big moment in history today. Cooper helped Steve mow the lawn, for the first time. He followed it up with plunging headlong into his first serious birds-and-the-bees question.

Coop: Mommy how did you get us?

Me: What do you mean? (Is that a hive I feel?)

Coop: How did you and Steve get me and Mason?

Me: Ummmmmmm. (It's hot in here. I'm hot, are you hot?) We grew you.

Mason: (Whips head around sharply.) What!?!??!

Me: Why are you asking me this? (Are my rings getting tight? Are the walls moving in?)

Coop: When are you going to grow some more boys?

Me: Oh! I'm not going to grow anymore boys. (Mason is still staring me down.)

Mason: Why?!?!!?

Me: Uhhhhh...

Coop: What is 1000 plus 1?

Me: 1001 (Phew! I got one right.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Kids Say Weird Stuff

At lunch Cooper abruptly grabbed his nose and said, "Ow ow ow ow!"

I asked, "What's wrong? Gotta a booger in there?"

He replied, "No! I think my heart is in my nose."

Please note, come back and visit because I got pictures of him grabbing him nose. Just haven't downloaded them off the camera, yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And then...

The only thing more excruciating than listening to my son tell a knock-knock joke is listening to him recount his dreams. Actually both boys do it. Mason with a brief but excited, "Mom I had a big dream." Usually he interjects something else about spiders and we're good to return to our breakfast.

But Cooper, well he's mastered the art of making the retelling of the dream last as long, if not longer, than the actual dream itself. Who knew the unimpressive literary device of, "and then" would have such an impact on my life.

Coop: Mom I had a dream.

Me: Really? Oh I can't wait to hear about it.?

Coop: It was a Wii dream. I was playing Wii and daddy didn't know and then...

Me: (Nod my head look interested.)

Coop: Mom, mom, mom, I was with darth malls and then...

Me: (Nod my head look interested.)

Coop: I could drive my bed and then...

Me: You could drive your bed? What do you mean? Like it was a car?

Coop: No I could drive it in the sky and then...

Me: (Nod my head look interested.)

Coop: I had a dream about our new gym in our state, is that cool?

Me: Absolutely cool.

Coop: And then Mason was in there (looks at Mason as if to say, "remember?") and then...

Me: (Nod my head look interested. Mason also nods his head and then looks at me, too.)

Coop: Mason was blinking his eyes like this (uses his hands to demonstrate) closes and then opens and then closes and then opens...

Me: You know Coop, I get the picture.

Coop: Well I can't remember the next part. But it was a really long dream. Isn't that cool?

Me: Oh my gosh. Yes. Thanks for sharing. Make sure to remember tonights dream. I want to hear all about it tomorrow.

PS -- This is actually a dream Cooper told me about in the car. Because, you know, Wyoming isn't boring enough.

PHOTO NOTE: I feel that I should explain the picture. Cooper sleeping at his grandma's house, on the floor. We made a King-sized bed for them and Coop wedged himself against the pillows and Mason is up there in the corner (hard to see him) on the floor. Weird ducks.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Few Cookie Breaks and We're Home

Everyone (in this country, anyway) has their own way of celebrating Memorial Day. Did you do something fun? Here's what we did.

8:42 a.m.
On the road after sitting in Grandma's driveway for 15 minutes picking the "in-flight movies". The children are illogically chipper after a terrible night's sleep. Mason was up twice. First telling us his foot hurt -- he hurt the other one jumping off the bed. Then two hours later he had rolled underneath the bed. But anyway, where's the Starbucks.

Finally, 32 oz. of coffee! Seriously, 16 for him and 16 for me.

Cooper asks, "Why do we die forever?"
Ahhhhhh, Steve and I stare at each other and literally have no response. Cooper continues, "In my dreams police officers don't kill anyone on the bad side."
Ahhhhhhh, Let's have cookies!

First cookie break. For the record, none of us has had breakfast, yet.

Cooper and Mason experience their first "if a train leaves the station traveling" math problem. We speed alongside the train, we're obviously going faster. But the boys both think the train is going faster. Dear God, if it would be OK... Can you make sure my kids are better at math than I was?

Stop at Little America for brunch. For some reason Mason declares he has to go pee. This from the little man that I know wears diapers just so he doesn't have to stop playing to relieve himself. But, no time like the present to jump on the toilet training train. Once in the bathroom he starts to get a little nervous, much to the delight of our stall neighbors.

Mom: OK Mas, will you go pee if I lift you up (facing the toilet)?
Mas: No, that's scary.
Mom: Will you sit on the potty?
Mas: No, I want to go backwards.
Mom: But you can't reach.
Mas: This is scary. I don't want to.
Mom: Come on, it's not that big of a deal, I'm holding you. You won't fall in.
Mas: No. Too scary. I don't want to.

So, whatever. People are laughing at us. Let's wash our hands and eat, already. (You may notice an edge of impatience. Just ignore it.)

Over breakfast Cooper asks why they (he and Mason) are in pajamas but we (mom and dad) are in "play clothes". In a stroke of genius I explain to him that no one wants to see either my husband or me in pajamas. And Cooper says (to my husband), "Oh yeah, cuz when you wear your pajamas you're naked, right?" True statement.

We switch drivers and brace ourselves for the thrice accursed portion of the drive. While we're gassing up I point out a livestock truck and trailer to the boys and tell them it can carry cows or pigs. And Cooper -- in a panic I might add -- says, "But not dinosaurs!" Right. No dinosaurs, son.

It begins to rain. And I might add, the rest of this post is pretty boring because the drive was pretty boring. We didn't see anything -- except for the severed head of an antelope on the side of the road -- and Mason slept for about 2 1/2 hours. So, it was intervals of boredom, rain and heavy, heavy sighs from the backseat. Have I before mentioned that Cooper has a predilection for theatrics?

3:40 p.m.
Stop for gas and sanity in Laramie. We switch drivers and start chugging the Mountain Dew. It's evil, but necessary. The requests to get home are escalating.

Cooper asks, "Are we almost there?"
Both Steve and I give a stern, "No!"
But persistent little Cooper asks, "Do I need to count to 60? Two times? 1000 times? How many?"

Cooper falls asleep after eating his weight in goldfish. He misses our drive through beautiful downtown Denver.

Home, again. Home, again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Speed Ahead

We're home. I know, I'm grossly behind on updating every thing from my facebook page to my blog. I'll work on that tomorrow. But to give you a taste of some of the antics ahead...

Cooper piped up from the backseat, "Hey mom, when I grow up I think I want to be a motorcycle driver."

And there you go, another fine career choice. Remind me, why do we have 529s?

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We're on the road, so quick updates for now...

In a busy moment of getting ready for our roadtrip Mason asked me to find one of his LEGO guys. I apologized told him I didn't know where it was.

He stomped his foot, stuck out his lip, dropped his chin to his chest and said, "Don't just give up, Mom!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Broke My Kid

Correction. I didn't break him actually, just a sprain. Here's a few things that crossed my brainwaves when I considered the idea that Mason might be hurt seriously.

1. But I just took him to the doctor 1 week ago.
2. I'm probably overreacting.
3. He could be overreacting.
4. I'm going to miss golf.

It takes a certain kind of person to forge ahead. Namely, I knew that I had endured 2 hours of interrogation the week before. The circumstances were pretty straightforward. While changing Mason's diaper this past Wednesday I noticed what I thought was a rash on his abdomen. After a chat with the nurse she urged me to come in right away.

So here's something I learned -- and you should know it, too -- the skin rash that is associated with meningitis does not fade under pressure. It kind of looks like a hickie. It might begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.

So we rushed in thinking that he had a skin rash, not fresh bruises. Uh hmmmm... this is a poor attempt at foreshadowing.

Turns out the rash was fresh bruises. Bad bruises caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. Seriously. Do you know what happens when you bring your baby to a doctor with buises this bad that cover his abdomen? The doctors and nurses and physicians assistants go into child-advocate-overdrive. I was --in all honesty -- asked the following questions.

1. Do you have a ping pong table? Could he have been hit with a ping pong paddle?
2. Does he spend any time with babysitters or in a daycare? Do you trust them?
3. Has he been crying a lot? How are you feeling?
4. Can we check your other kids ears? (This after checking Mason's ears and I presume wanting to check to see if I or anyone else had hit them hard enough to knock their brains into the ear canals.)
5. How long has he had that scar on his cheek? How did it happen?
6. Is this a burn (pointing to a small bump on his arm that he has seen a dermatologist for)? (In retrospect it looks exactly like a cigarette burn.)

Oh wait up, before I get ahead of myself. Did I mention that on the way to this appointment Cooper (the other kid) got such a horrendous bloody nose that I used every diaper and ever baby wipe in my car and walked into the office with him dripping blood? Yeah, that happened. So let's keep track here.

1. One child walks into office sputtering blood all over the place.
2. The other child has petechiae bruising.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Does she beat her kids? For the record, I have no idea how Mason got the bruise. I think he got it at the gym playroom. But I have no idea. Cooper gets bloody noses because he has talons for nails and he does pick his nose. And I should also mention that during the process of checking Cooper's (the other kid) ears his nose started to bleed, again. This time so bad that every member of the nursing staff was attending to him, blood splattered on the wall, the carpet, the nurses, and me, AND they had to spray Afrin up his nose then plugged it with a tampon. (You can see evidence of some of the bloody noses he's had since here.) The whole office looked like a C.S.I. scene. No joke.

Seven days later Mason falls off the climbing wall at the local park. And I am certain he is hurt but I have absolutely no desire to take him to the doctor. First the bleeding, then the bruising, now a broken leg? Not a formula I wanted to be a value in. So I pretended it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. The next morning was golf league day so I scrubbed up my kids and took them to the babysitter.

I got only 1 hole of golf in before the dreaded call from the babysitter. "Ummmm, I'm sorry to bother you but Mason is rolling around on the ground saying his foot hurts. I think you should come and get him." Fun stuff.

Now, let's face it. He's not hurt very badly. Turns out it's hard to break an ankle, very easy to sprain it. And that is probably exactly what he did (the doctor didn't even feel it should be x-rayed). It also turns out that even when you bring your kids to the doctor more often than the doctor works they don't arrest you. Thank goodness for those child advocates, though. Because sometimes the bloody nose plus the bruised abdomen plus the broken foot do equal child abuse. Keep up the good work, doc (and nurse, and PA, and teacher).

PS -- My favorite moment of the day was when the doctor actually wrote on a prescription pad that I should carry him whenever he asks. Thirty. Two. Pounds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chalk It Up

Before you get grossed out, let me just say I know that Cooper's nose is bleeding in these pictures. But actually this was an improvement. I was afraid to wipe it for fear of making it start all over, again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seasonally Appropriate

There comes a moment before the summer starts when you pull out all half-used bottles of sunscreen and take stock. Do we need more? Can we throw this out? Is it too old to use? I'm pretty sure we should throw some of ours out. It expires, doesn't it? I schmeared some on the kids to go to the park only to find that it would not rub in to their skin. Ick. (Please note Mason's absolute and resolute disdain for the stuff.)

Just a friendly reminder, USE SUNSCREEN!

PS -- Happy Mother's Day (and yes, I looked it up, AP says it's Mother's... not Mothers'... which is stupid because it is a day for ALL mothers, but what do I know).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Miluju Fotbal (I Love Soccer)

We played today (these pictures are not from today). We're going to play tomorrow. I think we'll play this fall.

Cooper in the "sub" seat.

Cooper gets to kick off (is that what it's called in soccer?).

Great shot of The Twins trying to kick the ball in two different directions.

My no. 1 spectator.

Cooper's sole goal (notice it is during warm up).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Right Back At Cha

You may have heard this story recently. But for those who I don't get to talk to on the phone -- here's a little recap of Cooper's latest kid-ism.

After swimming lessons I teased him because his goggles had created a dark red circle all the way around his eyes. And then he said -- while pointing directly at my face, "You have circles, too."

Followed a couple of days later with a decidedly worried (and completely unsolicited) declaration, "Your eyes have spiderwebs in them."

I'll just shut up now, and learn how to use photoshop.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Get Your Golf On

When Steve woke up with pink eye -- yes, just about everyone in the family has had it at this point -- I decided we would quarantine him by leaving the house. First there was soccer, followed by some grocery shopping (Frank the tank would be proud). Then the real fun began. I asked the kids to go with me to the driving range.

Woot woot, people.

I'm just saying, it is a scream watching two little kids march into the clubhouse and ask for a bucket of balls. They get lots of attention and, "Oh how cute." comments. Won.der.ful.

Needless to say, I was terrified. Hand a toddler a weapon -- club -- and I get a little jumpy. But they were both avidly attentive and remarkable sweet. I even got to hit a few. For at least an hour they were the only ones on the deck and they had a great time trying to hit the ball-picker-upper.

I nearly cried when after I would hit Mason would say, "So cool, Mom!" Also wanted to cry when I whiffed it (you try hitting the ball without hitting your kids) and Mason consolingly said, "Almost."

As the afternoon progressed it started raining on them. But they were not deterred. It took me bribing them with hot cocoa and chips in the clubhouse for them to stop. Also, imagine the disappointment when they found out what a clubhouse really is. Pretty sure they were expecting to see Mickey Mouse or at the very least a crazy roller-coaster slide.

During snack I asked Cooper what his favorite part of the day had been (mind you he had also played soccer) and he said, "Chipping." They are already begging to go back. After a full day of quarantine, Cooper came home and promptly sacked out on the floor.

PS -- They LOVED the ladies' locker room.

PSS -- Video on facebook... if you're interested.

Friday, May 1, 2009

6 Minutes and Counting

I heart the Timex Ironman watch for ladies. I donned my first Ironman in February of '04. Against my better judgement I took a hiatus from them in '08 and now I'm wearing Ironman, again. The best features of this watch don't help me train for marathons or triathlons, or even track practice. I use them exclusively to discipline my children.

It all started with nursing. Not a discipline, per se, but one with confusing intervals and schedules that my little head couldn't keep track of without a little help, and a beep from the watch. Then there was potty training. I set the watch to alarm me ever 20 minutes. Then I would put my kid on the pot. Simple.

Now we're in the height of time out. I have two timers on it (the watch). One for Mason (preset for 2 minutes) and one for Cooper (set for 4). But this morning, a fairly tearful morning, I realized I could keep a cumulative history of the minutes the two children were spending in time out for the day. Scary thought.

We're at 6 minutes and counting -- which is already like 1.2 % of of their waking day.