Thursday, December 29, 2005

Coughing & Cousins


We have returned from the Northland. What a hoilday! We almost had to rent a Uhaul to bring back all the stuff. Wow. Thanks everybody! And to think, Macy & Grandaddy are coming this weekend! Lord, help us.

We had such a Merry Christmas this year (other than my near nervous breakdown in the car on the way to The Northland because OUR VEHICLE KEPT GETTING SMALLER AND SMALLER and SMALLER AND THE FOG KEPT GETTING THICKER AND THE RAIN KEPT POUNDING HARDER AND THE BABY KEPT COUGHING LOUDER AND I seriously had to do some deep breathing). But we made it there and back and it was happy and that's all that matters.

There are two major developments in the life of The Goose. First, the bad news: he has another awful cough which is being attributed to a reactive airway. We are currently treating it with a nebulizer (scary electronic device which requires him to wear a mask which administers albuterol and invokes all manner of writhing and screaming). Additionally, he has fluid on his right ear and will be returning to the doctor on Saturday for a check to ensure antibiotics are not needed. Ugh. Mama does not like it when her Buddy Snickums Snickerdoodle Coochy Coodle is sick. In the above picture, he is mid-cough.

Today he had a chest x-ray just to ensure that there weren't any really scary abnormalities or pneumonia. This diagnostic imaging was done at our local and very prestigious children's hospital, a place I hope not to frequent. While there, I was bulldozed by the realization of our blessings. I watched in horror as tiny, bald cancer patients came skipping in for their treatments ... so mundanely ... and I just kept thinking how unfair it is that that has to be their normal. And I watched as listless babies were carried in by their horrified-looking parents. I simply can't let my heart and mind fathom what it must be like to have such a sick child. God bless them, every one.

In other, happier news, The Goose would like to send a shout-out to his only cousin:
Cousin

That, folks, is Baby Cousin Cornelius's boy parts. And since the mummy and daddy are keeping the name a secret, then I intend to call him Cornelius until his birth (on or around May 19th). We are all in shock that Cornelius is a boy since heretofore he was widely and strongly believed to be a girl named Lashondra. Lashondra Povondra, that is. I was dreaming of fat baby girls, but so much for my intuition. Cornelius has boy parts and that's all there is to it. YAY! I am so excited that I almost feel like it's ME who's having a baby! Except, thank the good LORD in heaven that I'm not because whoa! One is enough for now. Today when the x-ray technician was putting on my apron, she casually asked if there was any chance I could be pregnant. She was a little taken aback when I shouted, "NO THANK GOODNESS!" But y'all ... I know y'all know this, but WOW. They are serious work. My friends tried to tell me that babies are crazy work, but I just imagined all the kisses and hugs and milestones ... not the coughs and fevers and tantrums. Our pediatrician has four kids, bless her heart, and she once told me that the first is the biggest shock, the second is not twice the work, but TEN TIMES more, and the third and fourth ... well, she says, just make sure you have plenty of spaghetti on hand. I love that although I hope to never realize it. Two is a good number in my opinion. That way we're not outnumbered.

But for now, The Goose is the one who's outnumbered and we like it that way. Happy New Year y'all!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Phone Talkin'


A favorite pasttime around here is holding the phone up to your shoulder and then talkin' away in some unknown language. Conversations can range from 10 seconds to up to a minute. Usually whoever is on the other line wants to talk to everyone else in the room as well. Then we all say "bye-bye." Notice his surroundings: a box of veggie snackin' crackers, some milk, a truck, and a bear. What else could you want in life?

As a side note, I'd just like to take a minute and gloat about the fact that I made these delectable delights below:
HOLIDAY SNACKS
Really Mom! I made them! I know it's hard to believe. But I did it with my very own two hands and a lot of over-the-phone help from Nana, who, at one point said, "C'mon Kim, it's really not that hard."

HA! Easy for you to say, Betty Crocker.

I will NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.

EVER.

It took an ENTIRE day. A solid day. And then, on the way to deliver them to Husband's co-workers, I dropped them. Yes, yes, I used to be known as Grace Pace.

Luckily, only one of them broke, but I seriously thought that we were gonna have to call an ambulance because as I watched them falling, falling, falling, I nearly had a heart attack right there on the front doorstep.

And by the way, there are 43 more cookies that are either burned or so ugly that even the chickens wouldn't eat them.

Cheerio!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Angel


And I don't mean the one atop our Christmas tree (which, by the way, is out on the sunporch -- viewable but not touchable).

I mean THAT ANGEL RIGHT THERE TO YOUR LEFT AND IN MY FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM (click the photo to see more).

I mean Johnny Angel, aka Buddy Snickums.

Last night we went to a holiday party for children of prisoners (at the church I've been attending). We took The Goose even though we knew it would cause him to stay up past his bedtime. I think he had more fun than he's ever had in his life. There were balloons and chairs to push around, kids his age and older (and younger), lots of people to smile and wave at, and all of this with Mom & Dad right there to cheer him on.

He was fearless: foot races from one end of the gym to the other with 10-year olds -- he's in! Gymnastics with purple-clad, 4th-grade girls -- oh yes! Extreme curiosity in one of the guest's wheelchairs -- it was almost too much!

He came home and did his usual loop around the house, checking to make sure everything is where it should be, pooped on cue (he always poops immediately upon arrival home from an exciting event), and sacked out sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. And silly ol' mom thought that would mean he'd sleep in a little today.

WRONG. 6:30 a.m. he was raring to go.

However, by 8:00 a.m. he was fading.

First, he was in denial, preparing his outdoor gear and bringing me his shoes:

Let's Go ... I've got my shoes

Then, he got silly:

That's HILARIOUS, MOM!

Next, he started sucking his thumb and rubbing his pants leg:

Thumb Sucker

Finally, I found him in the kitchen, lying down on the floor with his truck:

Too pooped to push a truck
That's what you call "pooped & poopy."

Now it's 9:16 a.m. and he's down for the count upstairs ... didn't even want to read a story ... went straight to his crib and attempted to climb on in.

What a guy!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Crooked Smiles, Drinkin' Bathwater, & Clocks


Can y'all tell that I am not working right now and have a lot of free time on my hands?

Here's what we did today:

Played in the bathtub ...

Relaxin'

He's been laying back in the tub like this, without any fear at all.

DON'T BE DRINKING IT!!!!
I took the cups and other containers out of the tub, but he still finds a way to drink bathwater.

Clock 1

Clock Examination

Clock 2

More Clock Examination: This is the original discovery ... in his room.

And one more, just for funsies ...

Rear View

REAR VIEW.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The stockings were hung ...


By the chimney with care,

In hopes that Jay-Jay the Jet Plane

Would soon be there.

Today we watched Jay-Jay a lot. Have I written about Jay-Jay? He's our latest library video series. It's all about Jay-Jay and his friends down at Terrytown Airport. Terrytown is a lovely little place where there are rainbow waterfalls, snowy peaks, smiling meadows and lightning bug lakes ... all of which Jay-Jay, Tracy, Big Jake, Revvin' Evan, Snuffy and the gang fly over several times per episode. Then they go back to the Terrytown Airport to check in with Brenda Blue the mechanic, who is also the Solver of All of Life's Problems. It's a PBS show, and we only have three recorded episodes, so I've seen them a lot. It's not that we watch a lot of TV, really. It's just that if you watch JJtJP every day for even 15 minutes you start to get into it: "Never met another little guy like that! So much in love with the sky like that! Jay-Jay the Jet Plane!" (cue J-J to ZOOM over and say, "THAT'S ME!!!").

In the picture above, The Goose is in his J-J trance. And oh! Look at that lovely, decorated mantle in the background (art by Macy, vase from Nana, candlesticks from Lynn Wagner, magnolia leaves from the backyard, and stockings from Target. In case you were distracted by such a wonderful display of holiday spirit, I just wanted you to know the details.

And now ... BREAKING NEWS:

For the past few days, when we go to get The Goose in the morning and from each nap, he is standing in his crib pointing at his wall clock. We get him out and put him down and he immediately takes off into our bedroom where he points to the other wall clock. We go downstairs and he finds the third (and final) clock in our house. We're not sure where this clock obsession came from, but it's truly truly becoming something around which our days are centered. We started saying "clock" a lot, and so ...

Are you ready?

Now he's saying "clock"!

I went to Target today in search of a toy clock (NO LUCK) and instead came home with a Peek-a-Zoo, two shirts, and another bag of goldfish crackers. Since I couldn't find him a clock to play with, I opted for the "Let's Find a Clock" game, which involves searching through EVERY SINGLE BOOK YOU OWN looking for even ONE measly picture of a clock. And thank goodness for Goodnight Moon because none of our other books have clocks, but GM has TWO, count 'em, TWO CLOCKS (and some cows -- "MOO") and they are very, Very, VERY fun to point at. Tonight we read GM umpteen zillion times and each time we got to one of the green pages with the panoramic shots of the bunny's bedroom, The Goose pointed out both clocks, said, "CLOCK" and then pointed to his own clock. I just sat back in that rocking chair with my mouth agape, pride oozing out of my pores.

I have one of these moments every day now, it seems. And all of this just at the time when I have taken a five-day-a-week job (albeit only two hours per day) that starts in January. I am having MAJOR anxiety about this: what if MY spring break or other holidays don't coincide with The Goose's? What if The Dad has to work on one of his usual off days and can't keep The Goose? What if The Goose gets sick a lot this winter and I have to miss work? What if I miss another splendid episode like the discovery of clocks?

Anyway ...

I can just QUIT if it's too much, so I shouldn't worry, but of course I am worrying. I am learning that with kids, there is ALWAYS something to worry about. How do we deal with this worry?

Like, for instance, our recent ordeal with getting FOUR SHOTS in one day. The Goose got these shots on Thursday and finally today (Saturday) his leg is not as swollen or painful. He literally couldn't walk at all on Thursday. Yesterday he limped around pitifully and stayed up half the night crying, and today I was prepared to march back into that doctor's office to confront that needle-wielding, so-called "NURSE." But he woke up this morning in much better shape, so I put off the nurse whoopin'. Because y'all: I can whoop any old nurse any old day when it comes to that Buddy Snickums. No matter that she weighs approximately 200 pounds more than me. Anyway, she probably doesn't work on Saturdays.

Don't get me wrong ... I love our pediatrician ... the other staff members, however, leave a lot to be desired. For one thing, the other doctor that works there has a real problem with repeating the phrase "and whatnot" at totally inappropriate points in any given conversation. It's so bad that The Husband and I cannot even look at each other when we're in her presence for fear of dissolving into disrespectful snickers. And then one day Husband heard Dr. Whatnot (notice I said "heard," not "saw") yelling at her kids in Kroger from about two aisles over.

And then there's the receptionist who is SO condescending over the phone. I called the office twice yesterday to report that he was still in pain and that there was a knot on his leg and the like, and she continually called me "Mom" ... as in "Mom, this is a normal reaction to vaccinations" or "OK, Mom, let me pull his chart to see which particular shots he got" or "Don't worry Mom, just give him a little Tylenol." I don't need that.

At our 18-month checkup I think I am going to request that we only get a couple of shots and then we'll just come back later for the others. There is no reason to give a child so many injections that he cannot walk and is pain for TWO DAYS. I refuse to put my Buddy Snickums through that again just to save somebody some time.

Hmmm ... I may be in need of some Christmas spirit.

So that's about it from this neck of the woods. You should be getting your holiday cards any day now, so GET EXCITED!

Until next time, this is Mother Goose, signing off.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

15 Months


Dear JEB,

Look at you! In that stripey sweater! Posing by that wicker chair! Such a big, big kid now! This post is a day early, but TRUST ME, nothing else in my life is ahead of schedule (or even ON schedule), so don't get used to it.

Today we went for your 15-month checkup and next time we will be sure to schedule it on one of your dad's off days. This is on account of the fact that I am not strong enough (physically or emotionally) to hold you down while that nurse jabs needle after needle after needle after needle (did you get that? FOUR needles) into your legs and then tries to distract you with a measly old spiderman bandaid. During the third of those needles, you squirmed loose from my grip and nearly ripped it right out of your leg. The nurse said, annoyedly, "Can you PUH-LEEZE hold his hands?"

I really was trying my best ... I'm not sure people realize how strong you are. I mean, you can lift a five-pound weight almost up over your head (not that we let you practice that or anything) -- how am I supposed to handle that kind of strength backed by a will of iron?

It's that iron will that I am starting to love most about you (notice I said "starting" -- there are just too many other things about you to love -- iron will is in competition with thinkgs like those big slobbery kisses that you plant on my nose). So I am just starting to appreciate that drive to get what you want NO MATTER WHAT. That curiosity and inquisitiveness that cannot be satiated. It's just pure wonder at all of life's, well, everything.

For a long time now I have had a love-hate relationship with this will of yours. I love it when your determination helps you accomplish your goals. I hate it when it deters you from reaching them. Like, for instance, that goal you have about spending 101% of your time outside the house splashing in rain puddles and checking out rocks. You see, I think this is a fantastic goal, but in order to accomplish it we must always get your socks, shoes, hat, coat, and mittens on and then Mama must also put on all of her winter garb (and have some coffee and be wearing something more appropriate than pajama pants and have on chapstick and sunblock). And clearly all of these preparations get in the way of your need to be instantly gratified by the great outdoors. I guess I haven't yet convinced you that there are certain stepping stones, because when you get "bye-bye" in your head then that means war. I try so hard to be understanding. I start preparing you for the donning of these items a LONG time in advance of the actual opening of the door. I say things like, "First, shoes and socks, next, go bye-bye outside." To no avail. I have heard and read that in about three more months you'll be a little more rational. But for now I have to just tell myself to be patient and enjoy your Everything Wonder because as you age it will fade, I'm sure.

You are tall and slim and right on track with everything physical and developmental. Your favorite toys are --hands down -- your teddy bears (or anything stuffed and soft) and your trucks (or anything with wheels). You also like to play with cups while you bathe. You fill them up with water and then pour out the water ever-so-carefully and always toward your belly. Sometimes you stick your mouth under the cup and pretend to drink the water because you think it's really funny when I say, "DON'T BE DRINKING THAT NASTY BATHWATER!!!"

Note to readers other than The Goose: Please do not go and google the phrase "diseases caught from drinking bathwater" ... I would rather not know.

Buddy, I am fascinated by your language development. You can say "bye" and "Dad" and "Mama" and "moo." The latter of these words is always the response to the question, "What does X say?" (where X = cow, duck, Dad, etc.). Otherwise you speak your own version of what seems to resemble a mix between German, Mandarin Chinese, and that African tribal language with the tongue-click noises.

Despite the fact that you hear a whole lot of English and a decent amount of Spanish, you prefer your own system. You make these really hard Germanickish consonant sounds like "ocht" combined with these guttural noises like "urt" all mixed together with an Asian kinda beat. This Goose language is so real that it kills me not to be able to at least understand a bit of it. But I guess that's too much to ask since I am the one attempting to teach you Spanish without having even remote speaking or listening competentency in that language myself. Heck, half the time I can't even understand English.

Your lingusitic repertoire is uncanny. It has all the requisite components: pauses and inflection, both word- and sentence-level stress, and rising and falling intonation to indicate questions or statements, respectively. For example, if someone new is around (like the man who fixes heating units that are acting funny), you'll ask, "ooozZATT?" Likewise, if there's something new in the house (like Christmas cookie tins posing precariously on the ledge of the crown molding in the kitchen) you'll say, "uhzZATT?" And I always answer to the best of my ability.

Every night after dinner we go into your playroom (which is the size of our entire last official domicile) and have family wrestling time. This consists of you pushing your cart around trying to run over me and your dad while we roll around on the floor trying to dodge you and all your obstacles (e.g., toy trucks, gobbling snails, giant teddy bears, remote control cars, books, a fake dashboard of a car that sings and makes siren noises, etc.). Sometimes when I collapse on the floor, you run over and blow on my stomach to make that fart noise that you find so hilarious. Other times I'll go tackle dad and then you'll come jump on top of the heap, so wanting to be right in the middle of it all.

And when I really sat down tonight to type this and think about it, I realized that in the middle of it all is just where I want you to be. As much as I get annoyed at you squeezing yourself in between me and the kitchen cabinets while I attempt to prepare meals ... as much as I complain when you use your spaghetti-encrusted hands to hang onto my dry-clean-only pants ... as much as I cringe when you are begging and begging to go outside and at the same time boycotting the application of your pint-sized outterwear ... even though all of that happens almost daily, I love it when you are right there in the middle of it all, because really, what better place is there to be?

I love you,

Mama

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

WARNING


Big boy on board. Click this photo to see more shots of our trip to the park, an encounter with play-doh, and more!

LPL,
Mother Goose

p.s. Duh. LPL stands for Longer Post Later. Duh.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

One Goose (in heavy rain gear) & 30 Turkeys


Today it rained all day and was cold and windy. But do you think it is humanly possible to keep that boy in the house? (Hint: The answer starts with an "N" and ends with an emphatic "O.") We both got filthy muddy after jumping in every available mud puddle and then we ruined the carpet in the foyer. Hopefully the state can afford to clean our carpet because it is disgusting (and none of it is from The Goose; rather, The Mom and Dad are clutzes and are always either spilling things or tracking in mud).

Today was one of those he's-growing-up-right-in-front-of-my-eyes days when I just want to slow down the clock and soak in all his delicious Gooseness. Let's see, where to start ... his kisses, his ability to retrieve any object as long as I point long and hard enough, his imitation of phone talking ... yes, let's start there.

The Dad and The Goose have this ritual where they pretend the phone is ringing and then The Dad answers and says something like, "HELLO? YEAH? I CAN'T HEAR YA BECAUSE WE'RE AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE AND IT'S REALLY LOUD. CAN YA TALK A LITTLE LOUDER? WHAT? OH, OK, YOU WANNA TALK TO THE FOREMAN? OK, HERE HE IS" and then hands the phone to The Goose. The Goose takes the phone, puts it to his ear, and proceeds to continue YELLING into the receiver in a language we have yet to decode. It is heartstealing.

Now, back to the other stuff ...

The Goose doesn't really say any words consistently other than "bye," "Dah," and "Mama," but occasionally he'll let a few things slip. Like tonight in the bathtub, when Dad walked in and he said, "HEY!" just as clear as day. Or earlier today when we were walking by the lake in the rain and I was saying "DUCK, QUACK QUACK QUACK" one million times in an attempt to get him to say it and he finally DID! He just said, "Duck," like, "Will you please just leave me alone?" Then he said it again and I was like, WOW! He's got it! But then I realized that he was pointing to a red berry on an Asian Bush Honeysuckle plant (an obsession I haven't written about). This plant is non-native and the rangers here are attempting to eradicate it, but still it's everywhere and boy do those tiny little poisonous berries get his attention. So now I think that he thinks that Asian Bush Honeysuckle berries are called ducks. Oh well. I'll do better with my second child.

But before all of that, while he was napping and I was chit-chatting on the phone with Macy, I looked out the window and noticed a few turkeys in my front yard. Then I noticed a few more. Then I started counting them. I was like, "I think there are WHOA! TEN! turkeys in my yard!" and then I went into the playroom and looked out the big picture window and kept counting. And y'all ...

There. Were. 30+. Turkeys. Out. There.

And here's proof:

30 TURKEYS & SUZIE Q SUBARU

Yeah.

And The Goose missed it all. He would've had so much fun screaming "Dah-eee, dah-eee, dah-eee," in his high-pitched, reserved-only-for-animals voice. He does that everytime he notices the chickens out back. And speaking of ...

Regrettably, we had to put one of the chickens down. She was about 43% bald and had started walking backwards and banging her beak into the ground. One of the other rangers suggested that she might have some sort of internal parasite, and we just don't have the time or money to be taking chickens to the vet. So, sadly, B put her out of her misery. Now we are in the market for two more because LORDY is it cold and those two poor, scared chickens (they cower now when we go out back) must be FREEZING. We have a heater in their coop, but really we just think it would be better for everyone involved if they had some company. So if know of any available poultry, give us a jingle.

That's about all the news around here. Be looking for The Goose's Christmas card in the mail soon. I got his school pictures back and WOW! I am shocked and appalled that the photography company hasn't called to ask if they can use his picture in their ads. They're that good. But you'll just have to wait ...

Good night!

Monday, December 05, 2005

UNdecorating


This year I spent much time getting the tree up (during naptime and after he's in bed for the night). The strand of fat lights (my favorite part of our tree) blew out, so I spent quite some time transferring each bulb, individually I say, into a strand I got at The Goodwill Store for $1.99. Come to find out, the Goodwill lights were cheap because the bulbs were not already screwed into the strand ... so it actually worked out quite nicely.

Then I carefully placed all of our hand-me-down ornaments at even intervals throughout the tree, committed to ensuring that each section of the tree was evenly adorned with many different types of decorations. That really just means that I interspersed our four types of ornaments as good as I could so that there are apples, icicles, candy canes, and baby's first Christmas on each quadrant. Nevermind that bald spot that faces the wall.

Enter JEB.

First, he picked off a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament and smashed it into one million pieces on the floor. Next, he picked off all of the candy canes and broke them. Then, he unscrewed several of the fat lights and poked around at the skinny lights in such a way that now half of the strand blinks randomly. Finally, he meticulously identified and plucked all of the icicles and brought them to me one by one.

At first it was cute, and then I needed to go make dinner and I started getting annoyed. I tried some distraction techniques. Then a couple of handswats. Finally I discovered that if the lights are unplugged and all of the ornaments are in the top half, then he is not nearly as interested in it. So now we have an unlit, half-decorated tree.

Deck the halls.

But who could resist this?

Bath Robe

Duck bathrobe (handcrafted by Nana).

Delicious.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Events


See my Flickr photostream for photos of the following recent events:

1. Driving Dad's truck
2. Bustin' up asphalt
3. Naked corn popping
4. Making pizza
5. Learning to use the computer

Hope y'all are having a good weekend!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Too much WHINE, but also some RUNNING & READING


Yesterday as I was leaving for work amidst a chorus of whining and smearing food on my dry-clean-only work clothes, I believe I muttered something about driving west on I-40 right past the college and all the way to a nice hotel in Memphis. Getting a hotel room sounded really really fun at the time. Wednesdays are hard. The Goose comes home from school and is very clingy and The Dad is tired from working all day and The Mom is trying to get dressed for work and eat and get out the door in time to miss the afternoon traffic. This picture is sort of what it's like.

In the spring we will be trying a new schedule due to the fact that The Mom has secured a new part-time set up at a different school. I will be working five days a week (from 10 a.m. to noon) teaching two classes at the International English Institute. Goose will go to "school" on Wednesdays and on Fridays and The Dad is able to stay with him on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. We're hoping this will give us more family time and less mom's-headed-to-Memphis-for-a-motel moments.

After all of that craziness, this morning I got up and found a poem in my desk drawer. In order for you to fully appreciate it, I must first tell you about one of The Goose's favorite books, Is Your Mama a Llama? This book features Lloyd the Llama, who asks various animals if there mamas are llamas and then learns all about animal behavior through the other animals' answers to his question. For example, the opening lines are as follows:

"Is your mama a llama?" I asked my friend Dave. "No she is not," is the answer Dave gave. "She hangs by her feet and she lives in a cave. I do not believe that's how llamas behave!"

"Oh!" I said. "You are right about that. I think that your mama must be a BAT!"

The first joke that came from this book was my nickname: Kim Laden. The Husband would ask The Goose, "Is your mama Kim Laden?" (get it? It sounds kinda like "Is your mama a llama?") But now the joke has gone even further and has inspired Husband to become a poet. Here is what I found in my desk drawer:

"Is your mama a llama?" I asked my son Goose.

"No, she is not," The Goose let loose. "She holds me, scolds me, and plays with me all day. A llama you ask? NO WAY JOSE!"

"Mmmmm ... after hearing your list, I'd say your mama's a perfectionIST!"

ION ...

There are major developments going on around here. I think The Goose is saying, "Truck!" I think. I have thought that he was saying LOTS of other things as well but nothing is consistent besides "mama," da-da" and "bye." The "bye," however, has changed from a Scarlet O'Hara-like version to a more valley-girl style. Now it's like "bah-eee."

The second major development is the enjoyment (FINALLY!) of reading books (particularly, Sheep in a Jeep (on a hill that's steep), and Moo, Baa, La La La). I have been waiting and waiting for him to discover the fun of books and YAY! it has finally clicked. He has very certain preferences for the ones that I read and very certain preferences for the ones that The Dad reads. The aforementioned books are the ones that he always wants me to read (over and over and over) but when Dad is around, he wants Fix-It Duck. There's a specific page that he thinks is really funny (it's the page just after Fix-It Duck has gone to Sheep's house to borrow a ladder and then smashes Sheep's window and then gets a flat tire) and we have no idea what he's laughing at. But he very consistently laughs. I LOVE this whole reading thing. Seriously, I have been concerned up to now that something was wrong because he was so disinterested in books. Now we sit and read them over one zillion times in a row and I'm so happy about this development.

The third and final development is physical: RUNNING.

RUNNING

And basically that means that I do not have to go on a post-Thanksgiving diet because I, too, am running everywhere.

There are a few more pictures to view, which include shots of him holding his truck, him playing with the train set at the library, him holding his pink cup in the bathtub (which I try, unsuccessfully, not to let him drink bathwater out of), and him knocking down his new toy: 10 stackable buckets).

I love that Buddy, whiney or not. This weekend: Up goes the tree. And based on events of late, I'm expecting the tree to come down shortly after.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Big Boy Likes Parmesan


He's a big boy ...


And he likes parmesan ...
Big Boy Likes Parmesan

'nuf said.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Life of Late

In the last week, there has been one of each of the following: a birthday, a holiday, and a funeral. I haven't wanted to write at all. But life must go on, and with a Goose to take care of, it IS going on right in front of me all the time (usually starting before 5:00 a.m.) and so I feel compelled to post this in an attempt to get back to normal ... whatever that is.

I have just uploaded many, many photos into my Flickr account, so for a full update, click on any of the pictures below (including the fantastic ones from Nana's fancy dancy camera). For the short of it, here's just a taste of our life of late:

First, there was a visit from Mama & Baby Bird (for more on this family, check out MB's super cool website -- of which I'm not at all jealous -- at www.deltabirds.blogspot.com). Baby Bird & The Goose couldn't seem to time their naps so that we could actually leave the house together AT ALL (except for a fun trip to Pancake Pantry), so we mostly stayed at home and played outside. Each time The Goose would wake up from one of his naps, The Bird would be down. And then as soon as Bird was up, Goose was down again. Argh. But it was still a fantastic visit and I now have a new boyfriend:

The Bird

In the middle of the Bird visit, we got the news of Pappaw's passing, so we headed to Newton for the funeral. I am tempted to wax sentimental here and post a bunch of stories about my Pappaw, but where would I even start? I have so many good, sweet memories of him. But I do want to write that I was most touched at the funeral by how many people came up to me and said what a kind man he was and how much he loved me. I actually learned a lot about Pappaw during this trip home. I learned that he was a FOUNDING member of the Red Hat Deer Club, where on the wall there hangs a trophy in his honor: the rear-end of a deer. Many of the deer club members were at the funeral and a couple were pallbearers. Although I didn't see it, I heard tell that as the funeral procession passed down the highway on the way to the cemetary, there was a big buck standing just off to the side of the road. I don't think Pappaw ever killed a deer, but obviously they are still taunting him.

While we were in Mississippi for the funeral (and subsequently for Thanksgiving), The Goose enjoyed all manner of large farm equipment (including the grave-digging tractor at the cemetary). I mean really, what could be better than a large, loud tractor with enormous wheels?

G'Daddy & Goose on the Tractor

And then there was the lawnmower love affair:

Lawnmower Love Affair

The Goose's newest thing is to take a set of keys, pick out a good one, and then look for a key hole (any key hole -- on doors of houses, cars, lawnmowers, or vacuum cleaners ... what's that? You didn't know vacuum cleaners had key holes? Whatever.) to stick the key into. As you can see from the above lawnmower picture, he is leaning down as if he's going to start her up, in just exactly the right place.

There was one other favorite four-wheeled device at the farm, my old Red Flyer Wagon:

Headin' Out

As a child, I used to stick all manner of baby dolls, Barbies, stuffed, and real animals into this wagon and pull them all over the yard. Once I even hitched a dog named Fluffy Elaine to the front of the wagon in an effort to have her pull me around in the yard. Now I have a real baby doll to pull. Luckily, however, I do not attempt to cut this baby doll's hair.

That job is left to Husband. And although I know many of you will scoff at our decision to chop off his long, curly locks, it was deemed necessary after my mom's cousin Johnnie Mae asked what her name was. Here's a before picture:

Curls

And here's an aftershot:

HAIRCUT

I know, I know, I know. I loved his curls too. But here's the thing: They only looked like that first picture RIGHT AFTER A BATH. Then they just fell into a mangy mop sort of thing and it did sorta give him a feminine edge. We loved him with curls and we love him with his big boy haircut and anyway it's just hair and it grows back, people.

As a final note, I encourage you to please click on any of the above pictures to see more, especially those from Nana's camera, which span pages 1-3 of my photostream (that means that you have to actually click on the number "2" which is located in a box at the bottom of the first page ... and then you have to actually click the number "3" as well). Of course I'm not implying that some of you really would need directions to do something so simple, I'm just trying to cover all the bases. These photos are just too good to miss, as is all of life with a Goose.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Precious Memories

Precious memories, how they linger!

How they ever flood my soul!

In the stillness of the midnight,

Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

14 Months


Dear John Boy,

Things I love about your 14-month self:

  1. You don't care if your clothes match. I do care if your clothes match, but sometimes (just sometimes, not all that much, really) your desire to go outside is so urgent that I throw the first warm thing I can find onto your little body. Then I open the door and get out of the way because LOOK OUT, you are on a mission.
  2. Already you are a much better artist than me. While I struggle to sketch out stick figures, you clearly have a full range of advanced crayon techniques at your disposal. It's obvious from this picture (which came home with you from school today) that you've got a above-average command of color, form, texture, line, and value. Art from school
  3. You already know how to use a broom. Now THIS is really something that I can appreciate. And today at school, while we were waiting in line to get your picture taken, you tried to help the custodian do a little vacuuming. And also, today, in order to get you to hold still while I tied your shoes, I gave you the dustbuster. This kept you occupied for the entire 39 seconds that it took me to put on both socks and shoes. sweeping (And back to school picture day ... I was a little worried about the photo shoot because of your wiggle worminess and also because in front of us in the line was a two-year old and her little eight-week old brother. The brother was doing fine (despite the fact that they had stuck him in a fake manger with only one pillow and some sad-looking hay made out of brown and tan construction paper). It was the two-year old that was having trouble. She screamed and stomped around the manger and refused to "kiss the pretend baby Jesus" or give high (or low) fives to the photographer. And so I, as usual, stood there in line underestimating you in my mind. I was wondering how in the world to get you to sit or stand still and smile at the same time and not eat the beautifully wrapped, empty shoebox that was to be your prop. But you rose to the occasion, as usual, sat there perfectly still holding the box, and all but said CHEESE. You did so well with the holiday theme that they asked if I'd allow you to pose for the "classic elegance" theme as well. Of course I acquiesced, and in this one you stood by a tiny, brown wicker chair, propped up one arm on the back, and again, all but said CHEESE. It was phenomenal. You wore your new striped sweater from Nana, your navy blue slacks from Macy, and your brown shoes (hopefully they can airbrush away the scuffs). Behind you in line was Emma, from your class, wearing a striped dress in three different shades of pink, a pink hairbow, and PINK cowgirl boots which her mother said were the latest must-have from Wal-Mart.)
  4. You can make an old pair of sweats look like a million bucks.
    warm ups

Happy 14 months!

Love,

Mama

Monday, November 14, 2005

An Update on the Recent Visit of the Paternal Grandparents


It was short, but it was sweet. And I'm sure The Paternal Grandma would tell you that the best part was that she was donned with a name: Nana. The Paternal Grandpa, well, we still just call him plain old Grampa or Gramps or Grampy or Grumpy. But clearly The Goose prefers "Nana" to "Grammy." He now has two new pairs of shoes, some new clothes, and an entire set of His Own Tools. Oh, the joy.

The three of them wrestled on the floor and snapped photos and went to the park to SLIDE and sang "Old McDonald" in Spanish with the Baby Einstein DVD and just plain had fun. There was lots of horsin' around, as evidenced by the photos in my Flickr account (click the above photo to view them all).

Also, while under all-male supervision, The Goose had an encounter with a bowl of oatmeal, which caused a slight abrasion under his left eye:

Notice the LEFT eye

Luckily, no stitches were deemed necessary.

On a different note, there are more cute pictures of our visit to Austin a couple weeks ago if you click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amycbecker

That's about it from us. Hopefully Nana will send some of her pictures soon. She has a Fancy Dancy Camera and she's pretty good with it.

Happy Monday!


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Big Boy Cup, Potty Chair, & Lasagna


Not at the same time, of course.

We have finally found a way to get him to drink cow's milk: a big boy cup (glass ... former jelly jar ... whatever).

And also, he now has a potty chair. It's dry, but I'm just insane enough to believe that he can be potty trained by 17 months. That's the goal. Stop being negative. Look at that smile and BELIEVE.
POTTY CHAIR & LASAGNA (NOT AT THE SAME TIME) 010.JPG...


And also, he LOVES Dad's lasagna (as does his mother).
POTTY CHAIR & LASAGNA (NOT AT THE SAME TIME) 010.JPG...


We're happy.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yet Another Future Olympic Sport ...


Naked Running in Light Blue Socks with Fire Engines on Them.

Just when you thought there was NO POSSIBLE WAY for the Olympic Steering Committee to add another event to the roster of Summer sports, The Goose comes along and ups the ante. And it's not even summer! Or an Olympic year! His prolific additions to the list of popular sports can only be attributed to the fact that during the last trimester of my pregnancy with him, I watched approximately 9 hours of Olympic coverage per day from a hotel room in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, while alternately painting my toenails and preparing meals on a hot plate. Ah, how I long for the good ole days.

And folks, there is other sports news as well: The Goose is now even more into soccer. Information about last night from The Dad include reports that there was LOTS of kicking going on. Down hallways. Through doors. Into bathrooms. Kicking a big soccer ball! My baby! A star! Already! I mean, of course he was BORN a star, but now he's like a SUPERNOVA!

Stuffing in a cookie (or three)

Here he is stuffing a handful of organic oatmeal cinnamon alphabet toddler cookies into his mouth. Don't even think about trying to hand him one at a time. He only eats them if you allow him to to stick his hand down into the box, root around for awhile, pull out a fistful, examine them (while dropping several on the floor), and then stuff as many as possible into his mouth. We have no idea how he learned this. No idea.

It's for you!

And the phone is still a hot item. Whenever he hears it ringing, he goes looking for it. He usually can't find it (and neither can I), but I'm sure that if it was findable, then he would bring it right to me and say, "It's for you, Mama" or, "bye-bye!" or, "Dat. Za-za."

Delicious Diddums

Finally, I'll leave you with this little snapshot. Look at that disheveled hair and the long drip of drool. Get yourself down to a bookstore and look at the newest edition of Webster's ... I dare you! Go to the "D" section and let me know if what I suspect is true: He is redefining the word DELICIOUS.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mother & Goose: On Easy Street


Today was one of those Really Good Days where you're really happy at the end of it and you wonder WHY Why why can't this just happen all the time?

The Goose & The Dad got up before 6:00 a.m. (WILLINGLY!) while I stayed in bed murmuring incomprehensible English. I think it was English.

Then The Goose napped, I graded papers and guzzled coffee, and The Dad read and drank green tea. Next, we all went to the park where there was sweet Sophie of about 12-months. Now if you think that my child goes to bed early, think again. Meet Sophie. Down at 6 p.m. Up at 7 a.m. Wow.

Finally, there was a lengthy afternoon nap (sans coughing, thank goodness), a photo shoot (see below), dinner, and finally bath and bed time. And of course I couldn't let Sophie's mom one-up me. Goose went down at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

This parenting stuff is nothing. A piece of cake! Why have I ever complained before about how hard it is?

You know what this means, right?

I will pay tomorrow.


Photos from today follow:


J.S. Bach: Watch Out Bro!

Piano Lessons with Mom. I tried to get him to use the J.S. Bach anthology and learn a few Inventions or Fugues or something. But his style is more like rock-n-roll.

Dirty Face

I was actually trying to get a picture of him rocking the horse back and forth violently while holding one hand up in the air, just like a rodeo king. And here all this time I've been saying, "NO football! It's just too dangerous and violent and all of that." And here he is wanting to just go 8 seconds on the rocking horse. They dream big, don't they?