Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Backyard Battles

The battle of wits has begun. And while I have been known to say absurdities like, "There is nothing you can tell me I do not already know." I clearly do not know the first thing about planting trees. Which my wise little sons took pleasure in pointing out to me today. I was digging and digging and digging with the peanut gallery heckling me and telling me I don't dig as well as daddy. Mind you, I don't think my children have ever seen their father dig a hole (except the kind that don't require shovels).

When the peanut gallery became quite bored of watching me sweat over the hole in the backyard they decided to help. Their help meant spraying red breeze granite from our walkway all over the house with the hose. Happy times, which I will fondly remember as I pick big, juicy peaches off my Elberta Peach tree in years to come.

Following the peach tree planting session the boys and I built a few small things out of their millions of LEGOs. They were very proud (of my engineering). See, I'm telling you, there are no words to contain all my wisdom.

PS -- It does look like a sad little tree, doesn't it?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Still Working On It

We're still working on goals. But in our defense, look how big the other teams are! (We're in white.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It Was Nice

I didn't really have a chance to hark back to how wonderful my birthday was. Directly following it Cooper started to have a flare up, so I hit the ground running from my little break. But phew, everyone's healthy -- except Steve and his fractured rib -- and I can report it was curiously delightful.

The boys planned a mini-surprise for me. Cooper came down (I was sewing, of course) and told me it was time for my birthday. I came upstairs to find balloons, a cake, and little horns. Mason camped out next to the cake and Cooper flitted about saying things like, "I'm so glad I was invited to your birthday party." and, "Mom, this is a great party."

Once you're a -- how shall I put it -- mature woman, birthdays are strange. On the one hand you are dreading the day and you don't really want to mention it to anyone. On the other hand, the child in me can't help but overtly talk about plans for the day and justifying little treats -- like a day of golf -- with a birthday. This year, however, was the first year that I realized my birthday is connected to a birth story. Maybe it was because my sweet sister-in-law was just bursting at the seams with baby no. 2. Maybe it was because I've had two babies of my own. Maybe it's because when you're this old you want to think about anything other than botox, weight gain, and crow's feet.

Truth is, I don't know what happened that day. Mother? It's your turn. After all, it was your big day. The first day you had your first baby. Was it bad? Were you in labor forever? Did it go smooth? Why didn't you ask for drugs (crazy martyr)?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Mason slipped four popcorn kernels up his nose on Sunday night. Yes, that's a nice place to begin. Four. Two in each nostril. They popped out pretty easily and I suspect I wouldn't have been in such a panic if he would have just held still long enough to see up his nose.

And that is where I hoped this story would end. This morning he woke up but couldn't open his eyes. His long lashes were shellacked in green goo. And so, I returned to the doctor. (Seriously, 1 month. I just want to make it 1 month with out going to the doctor.)

Turns out that while we were able to get all the kernels out, the oils, salt, and what-have-you that makes microwave popcorn taste so wonderful is a bit of an irritant. His little tear ducts became little pressure valves of scum. Not a biggie, not contagious conjunctivitis or anything like that, but pretty hideous.

When I took him to the park today I literally noticed mothers steering their kids away from him. So, we took flight and walked down by the pond and fed the geese our left-over snacks. In case you're wondering, Canadian Geese really like Scottish Shortbread.

PS -- In other funny kid-isms. I visited with a client today who has asked me to sew some draperies for the room where her parrots live. She also has an Indiana Jones pinball machine and she let the boys play it while we were measuring her windows. When we left, Mason waved to her and said, "Thanks me playing Indiana Jones buttons."

A Little of This, and a Little of That

My parents came to see me this past weekend. All I can say is they got to see two extremes of our Spring weather. First there was a little of this -- actually a lot.

Then there was a little of this.

PS -- That was the first and last snowman my kids built this season.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Down and Out

It's all quiet on this front. I'm blogging, not because I have time, but because you might need an update. Cooper is having a really hard time right now. He's coughing so persistently he can't sit still or even sleep. This has been going on for a few days, so he's fairly bushwhacked at this point. He's pictured here -- in a moment of reprieve from the cough -- sleeping so hard that he fell off the couch and didn't even wake up.

PS -- We have another niece, this makes no. 11. Welcome to the world Finley.

PHOTO NOTE: A few funnies from Easter morning when everyone was feeling a lot better.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Do-Overs

This is the first quilt I ever made. Please, feel free to look closely and judge me. It's -- as some quilters might say -- a train wreck. I've missed corners, sewn seams that have come undone, messed up some of the blocks so badly entire parts of the pattern disappear. A real botch job. And while it is true I didn't intend to screw up, I knew I would. It was my first quilt. I intentionally tried as many block patterns as I could. I was teaching myself to quilt and I wanted to try my hand at everything. In the back of my mind I told myself it was a practice run and no one would have to see it. I also told myself I would make another one, a real one that I would show people and be proud of. With those notions, I forged ahead with confidence.

Then I had my first kid. For sake of parallel construction you could say, this is the first kid I ever made. I found it was a little harder to find time to sew. And though I wanted to make the perfect baby quilt for him, I still haven't (he'll be starting school this fall). I dreamed he would carry that perfect quilt around with him, love it, be tucked in under it at night, tie it around his neck when he was short a superhero cape. I still dream it, but I know it won't happen.

And here's the thing, as I was making his bed yesterday (with the quilt) I realized I didn't want to make him another quilt. My first quilt, for my first boy -- it is meaningful to me. Turns out, quilting is not unlike parenting. You try a little bit of everything and sometimes you really screw it up. But you don't get to start, again. You can't bring yourself to scrap the project and try again. Surrounded by colossal mess, you just keep trying to do things to make it presentable. You could order a cuter, more fashion-forward one from Pottery Barn; but you want yours to be ... yours. Most of all, you LOVE it dearly for all the imperfections you've made.

I love my quilt, my first quilt, for all it's eccentricities, missing corners, lumps and bumps, and the way I cobbled it together with creative abandon. Perhaps I will parent with creative abandon and confidence, perhaps not.

Quilting forgives. I only hope children do, as well. Or at least, when the time comes I will remember (I hope) to ask for it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If You Make Them...

When I set about sewing some draperies for my dining room I never dreamed they would become the favored hideout spot of my boys. But perhaps it's the fact that I didn't dream it that makes it so appealing to them. It's such a popular spot with Mason that I often find small piles of food, toys and shoes from days and days of him doing the same thing in the same spot.

I'm not exactly sure what he's doing in there. But I know that from time to time it involves bugs. I just hope he never decides to eat them. i also wish he'd back up just a little bit. He's getting a flat spot on his forehead. (Just kidding about that last part.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spikey Balls

Remember my quest to introduce my kiddies to some adventure during Spring Break? Specifically we ventured to Japan -- and promptly came home to chicken nuggets and apple slices. On the heels of that colossal failure I was cruising Costco and Cooper screamed, "Wait stop! What's that spikey ball?"

That spikey ball, my friends, was a pineapple. Genius. Cooper loved it. So, we'll be buying those again. And maybe I can parlay this learning experience into a trip to Costa Rica. Do you think the Chief Financial Officer will go for that?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Birthday Follies, Cont. (The Pictures)

Just as I snapped this picture I was being lectured on the Match Made in Heaven by Disney -- of course -- between Cinderella and Mr. Prince Charming. She literally thought his first name was Prince, his surname... Charming.

Here's a picture of Cooper sharing a chair with a girl. Please note I took the liberty to just edit her out. I only wish it was going to be that easy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We Know Our Parties

The reigning princesses of my children's hearts had a birthday. While I was having a fine time ignoring most of the play of the kids, I did notice Cooper holding hands with a girl! An older girl. Please tell me, what's next? At one point, I crawled under the buffet table to find Mason pigging out and Cooper surrounded by tittering girls. Girls!
It seems my boys have their priorities. Not the same priorities. But priorities nonetheless.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dear Cupcake

Oh cupcake, how I love thee. If we had no sugar, no frosting, no butter, the brussels sprouts wouldn't be so pleasant. For surely if we did not on occasion taste the truly sweet we would not know how wonderful the savory can be. And sprinkles on top, they comfort like a warm fluffy towel after a bath.