Saturday, February 26, 2011

Patron Saint of Water Fowl

My Mas has a tender heart. The colder it gets outside, the warmer his compassion fires. Passing the frozen golf course pond he cooed, "You know, I wish I could save one of those duckies from the golf course."

As a mother adverse to animal poo, I was reticent to ask how.

But he said, "I would just catch 'em and then ... ummm... wrap 'em up in my bed."

Oh lord, may I survive his charity.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photobooth Friday, The Thaw

We're ready for spring!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gymnast

The gymnastics experiment is wildly popular. I'm only wondering about what Mason thinks gymnastics is. He seems to be connecting with the skateboarders, snowboarders, freerunners, martial artists, and bmx dare devils on TV instead of the chipper, flippy, sparkling girls aspiring to stick a round off, back handspring into a full twisty thingy at the gym.

The good thing is, there is a local parkour group who practices at his gym. The bad thing is, there is a local parkour group who practices at his gym. If you're familiar with parkour and you are a mother, you understand my dilemma. Mason is obviously only permitted to observe these dynamos. But encouraging this type of sport is a little like encouraging your child to run with the bulls.

Parkour is sport. It's using your body, being fit, and doing what you think is cool -- not what others might value. A philosophy this mother can endorse. Parkour in some applications is jumping around in public spaces, bouncing off handrails, flying leaps across city scapes, dropping 20 feet or more and rascaling away into a handstand on an I-beam -- physically challenging moves which can look very showy, but also be hazardous. Something that arrests this mother's heart.
In reality, he's 4. He might forget about this when summer tennis starts.

Then again, he might not.

And just for fun... check out this photo. Taken directly after his first ride on the flying harness (picture up top). They unbuckled him and he fell back on the mat and said, "That was awesome!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

King of the World

M: What would you do differently if you were king?
Coop: King of what?

M: What would you want to be king of?
Coop: A castle

M: Where would your castle be?
Coop: I don't know.

M: What would it look like?
Coop: Just grey metal, and then some flags.

M: What color flags?
Coop: Any color with little castle pictures.

M: Would you have a queen?
Coop: I don't know. (Makes gross-out face.)

M: Would you have a bishop?
Coop: Yes, I would.

M: What would you do inside your castle?
Coop: I usually... ummm we just sit. Kings just sit down until the other team, the dark team, comes. Okay, I'm all done. Bye mommy.

Interview over.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Photobooth Friday, On Saturday

So, a day late, and you shouldn't be surprised. Because that is how I roll. Always late. And for the most part, unapologetic. But, it's photobooth Friday nonetheless...

bonus question: Any idea what is going on here?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trust Me

A day or two ago I was upstairs and the boys were somewhere else. Far enough away that I didn't know what they were doing, but I could hear them talking. Then I heard Cooper say, "No Mason, it won't really hurt. Trust me."

It's times like these that I think back to the times when I convinced some of my brothers to do some fairly hideous stuff. Like the time, well actually times, I dressed at least two of them up like WWF entertainers and curled their hair with an itty-bitty curling iron. Then I smeared their eyelids with Mimi Bobeck-esque blue eye shadow, and their lips with a Donatella Versace shade of orange lipstick that you could see from space.

Then they ran around our basement and pretended to be professional wrestlers. It was awesome. It would be even more awesome if I had photographed them. Then I could blackmail them. And I would. Because, as they say, it won't really hurt. Trust me.

PHOTO NOTE: Is Mason's face saying, "Trust you? You're kidding, right?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011


The struggle to keep Mason in swimming lessons is over. From the first day of mommy-and-me classes I knew it was going to be a long road. In fact, there were days I was ready to throw in the towel. But in this week I am grateful we have carried on and endured.

This week was the first week in more than 2 years that I didn't fight Mason to go to swimming lessons. When I mentioned he had swimming he said, "I have swimming?!?!? I love swimming!" I didn't quite know what to say. This from the boy that got me kicked out of mom-and-me because the instructors thought I was the reason he would scream and wail for the entire lesson.

The progress has been slow and never steady. Plenty of setbacks would push him right back at square one. Like the one time a substitute teacher thought the kids would like if he threw them up in the air and let them fall into the water cannonball style. The other kids loved it; it scared Mason terribly. Took him a month before he'd get in the water, again.

But it appears if those exhausting and burdensome times are behind us. Mason has decided he can swim and that he likes it. I knew he'd had a breakthrough when through the windows of the parent observation lobby I noticed ALL the lifeguards cheering and clapping and then waving me in.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've Grown

Mason is bigger...

and he's not happy about it.
And when the same thing happened to Cooper he almost got stuck in the museum's space suit...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I have a tremendous respect for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Really, I do. That's why I have waited until know to share this picture with you.

While I'd like to think that all dreams are on the order of nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, I am now humble enough to realize most 6-year-olds are dying to loose their teeth. We can dream, can't we?

Photo note: This rainbow revelation was posted in the school FOR. ALL. TO. SEE. in January.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Few Things I've Learned

This week has presented itself with some wisdom. Thought I'd share.

1. If snacks ending in ...tos are involved, everything will have to be washed.

2. You better hope the first kid has narrow feet, otherwise the hand-me-down scheme doesn't work. The reverse is true of "slim" pants. In my case, non-compliant in every way.

3. "Cheese!" is the universal code word for stick out your tongue, hit your brother, and/or pick your nose.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family: Survival Mode

"Family: A unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold." -- Ogden Nash

Our family, this past week anyhow, has been composed of my own children -- well and otherwise, some extra children -- attended to and otherwise, a few school-cancellations due to sub-zero temperatures, and a blog absence. That's right, I took an unintentional sabbatical from my blog. But little really changed in seven days and here we are, a family still trying to get dinner on the table, a daily workout in, and to school on time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Home Economics

It's a lazy Saturday, the snow is pounding down, and thanks to back-to-back gym classes on Thursday and Friday every muscle group in my body hates me. Every.

So, for lack of anything better to do I've read a lot of Facebook statuses today. One in particular jumps out at me, "I'm going to take strategies of Texas Hold'em for women...anybody want to take it with me???" Tempting. Really. But wouldn't it be great if you -- you being any person, not the person wanting to take Texas Hold'em for Women -- could take a Home Economics class that was actually called Shit You Want to be Able to Do After You Don't Live With Your Parents Anymore?

Before I dive into this let me just say that when I last checked with my mother, she felt pretty strongly that my generation and every one after that is ill-prepared for life. Specifically she thinks we can't sew, cook, or clean for ourselves. She's probably right. But who's at fault? I have parents who are hard-working folk, mechanically inclined, tremendously talented in domestic matters and yet, I can categorically claim to have taught myself most of the domestic arts I now have any (if little) skill in. I even took Home Economics of various flavors in high school and college. But still I moved into my first place not knowing the first thing about maintaining a home, my own wardrobe, or the shitbox that was my car. (Someday I'm going to share with the world how I drove this car wearing oven mitts, but not today.)

According to my calculations, here's a rough list of the Shit You Want to be Able to Do After You Don't Live With Your Parents Anymore:

1. Bake an exceptional cookie. Whatever your favorite flavor... learn it... and practice often. Knowing a good cookie recipe is essential to your mental health.

2. Know how to plan a meal off the back of a can. Have you ever been on the freeway barreling home from work, or carpool, or the gym and gotten that random call from your significant other that starts with, "What's for dinner?" and ends with, "I don't know, I'll stop at the store on the way home." This is when you pick up a can, look at the back, and proceed to shop for the ingredients needed. In my opinion the most effective recipes are on the back of enchilada sauce cans. I'm just saying.

3. Iron a pair of pants, and a set of synthetic curtains. Don't ask questions, just learn it.

4. How to read a permission slip. I had recent occasion to hunt down a notary at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night because I had neglected to properly read a permission slip. (Also, the permission slips of my day are now referred to as release forms and exculpatory clause contracts.)

5. How to unclog a drain, a toilet, and a gutter. If I have to explain no. 5 you need to move back in with your parents.

This, my friends, is one of the best ideas I've ever had. I may propose this to my local community college. What do you wish you had learned before you moved away from your parents?