Sunday, May 29, 2005

Ma-ma, Da-da, Boop-Boop, Sha-wah-wah

Here's Big G just a swangin'. He had a grip on that swing like you wouldn't believe. At first he didn't seem to like it, but then I gave him a little extra push and discovered that he just wanted to be a daredevil. But don't take him anywhere near the slide ladies and gentlemen. It was so traumatic that we had to leave promptly after the encounter.

Before we hit the playground we took a walk around the park's trail system with Goose in the stroller. As I power-walked, he practiced his sound repertoire. Over and over he said, "Ma-ma, da-da, bah-bah. Da-da, bah-bah, ma-ma, yah-yah-yah." If he hadn't insisted upon mixing up the order of the consonants, he would've been so close to singing that Muppets' song, "Ma-ma, Da-da, Boop-boop, Sha-wah-wah" (from The Muppets Take Manhattan). And as an aside, I'd just like to say that B and I have recently rented several muppets movies and even a video of the old Muppets Show and have laughed until we nearly wet our pants.

But back to the park ...

As we strolled, people passed by us and smiled and I proudly announced to each passerby that my son was way ahead of his age group in pronunciation of bilabial stops and interdental fricatives. (In fact, he's not, but I think the word "dental" scares people so bad that they just believe anything you say. Plus, none of those sounds are interdental fricatives, but anyway ...)

See there, that master's degree wasn't for naught after all.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

How I Got a Busted Lip


CHICKENS 005.JPG...
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
This is what The Prince looks like when he climbs on top of your head (while you're serenely resting on the floor) and conks you in the mouth with a harmonica that the Easter Bunny brought.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Eggcelebration


POOL 001_EDITED.JPG
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
The Goose survived for over 5 hours without me yesterday, a world record. I was frantically running around town getting my haircut and trying to finish my midterm reports by using the computers at the library (which, by the way was a HUGE waste of time).

Lately I've been hating the online teaching job and have interviewed for another part-time job at the International English Institute (www.eslnashville.org). But how could I ever leave that little man up there in the striped shirt to go to work?

While I was gone yesterday, the chickens laid two eggs and then this morning I awoke to another one. That's three eggs in two days for you non-math majors. Cha-ching!

B had told me that after they laid yesterday they had a big celebration, but I didn't believe him. Then as I was brushing my teeth in the upstairs bathroom this morning with the window down, I heard them (that's a long way for those of you who don't know my house) and thought that a raccoon was assaulting them. I rushed downstairs and into their cooproom and lo and behold they really do celebrate their eggs.

I'm totally fascinated by this new little project of ours. Let's eggscelebrate!

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Arrival


JUANITA.JPG
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
Today at approximately 5:14 p.m., three laying hens previously of Williamson County moved north to the big city and into their new coop (complete with a ceiling fan, nesting box, roosting bar, and water/feed trough). Originally there were four, but there was an incident that I don't want to talk about.

Pictured here is one of "The Girls." Now I have The Goose (new name: The Prince), The Husband, and The Girls. The chickens look exactly alike and so have not been named yet. We can only get so far in one day.

After we got them settled in, we ate some pork roast and then went for a walk down to the lake at sunset. Gaw-juss. On the way back up the big hill, I was pushing the stroller and B was making silly faces and sounds at Goose and making him giggle hysterically. So I thought I'd try. We switched places so that B was pushing the stroller and I was walking alongside making the same faces and sounds that B had been making. The Goose suddenly stopped laughing and looked back at his father as if to say,

"Why is the servant making an attempt at humor?"

And that, folks, is why we call him The Prince.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pool Party


POOL 007.JPG
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
My summer dream has come true ... a pool in the backyard. This picture was taken just before I hyperventilated because a honeybee was investigating John's striped shirt. Thanks for the pool Grammy Jane.

Not much else to note. The chickens will be arriving tomorrow, I have a very casual job interview, and B has the next two days off, as usual.

I'm so behind in my work because I keep uploading pictures and trying to think of witty names for them and then I start shrinking and expanding and cropping and taking out red eyes and then it's midnight and nothing has been done about the cheerios smashed on the floor or the stain on the carpet from diaperless playtime. And that, folks, is a sentence that I would not allow my students to get away with.

Now I MUST work! Toodles.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Praise the Lord

(and pass the ammunition)

PRAISE THE LORD (AND PASS THE AMMUNITION).JPG...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tricks

Yesterday: Turning over the laundry hamper and climbing on top.

Today: Crawling over to mom, grabbing onto pajama bottoms and pulling up while bottoms get pulled down. We have a picture, but I'll spare you.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

DEE-LISH-USS

Yesterday we went to visit a former student of Mr. B who is home with a swollen leg/foot (in the middle of exams!). We took her banana bread and then were not ashamed to eat some while we were there. It was dee-lish-uss -- way to go B!

The girl's family has a foster child who is about Goose's age and the two of them had a blast. However, Goose did exhibit some disconcerting behavior. He continually crawled after Little Ricky and attempted to swipe his pacifier. The hilarious thing about this is that I tried to get Goose to take a pacifier for the first few months of his life (especially in the car) and he wouldn't have anything to do with it. And now he's become a binkie thief. Goose also bullied Little Ricky in other ways, including trying to knock him down (see photo below).

Goose & Ricky.JPG...

Shortly thereafter Goose got really nervous about there being another baby around and started being a mama's boy ... "kissing" me and giving lots of good hugs -- dee-lish-uss.

A KISS FOR MOM.JPG...
(yes I know I need to tweeze my eyebrows)

That was about the extent of yesterday's happenings other than me trying to get caught up on my work. At the end of this posting, I have pasted one of my student's how-to paragraphs which explains how to make a PBJ sandwich in excruciating detail.

Today we went to Walgreens and a bevy of little old ladies descended upon us in the shampoo aisle, oohing and ahhing over his two bottom teeth (and a top one is coming through now too!). I just stood there beaming while Goose put on his smiling matinee. Then he turned red in the face, grunted, and pooped the motherlode right there in the shopping cart. Thank goodness we're back to using the brand-name diapers or we may have had to hose down the cart.

B is working late tonight but spent the morning finishing up the coop. The chickens will be arriving on Monday. Look out.

Well, it's late and I should probably do my yoga and get to bed. Love to you all!

p.s. Here's the student's (7th grade) paragraph (I know it's a little long, but give it time because my favorite part is near the end in bold):

How to make a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich

First, you must go to the fridge, and open it. Next, you must find a loaf of
bread and bring it to the counter. Next, you have to untwist the wire that keeps the
bread-bag closed, and place it on the table. After that, you must carefully take two slices out of the bag, making sure that you do not squish any of the remaining slices in the bag. Then you put the two slices in the toaster oven. Make sure that you put the slices approximately in the center so that they will toast better. Next turn the dial at the bottom of the toaster-oven to select how well toasted you want your two slices of bread to be, I my self like my bread toasted at a medium setting. After you choose your setting, you close the door of the toaster-oven, making sure that you do not slam the door. Then, you press start and let the two pieces of bread toast. While they are toasting, tie the wire around your loaf of bread and place it back into the refrigerator. Also, get peanut butter, jelly, and a spreading knife, and place them on the same counter as the toaster oven is on. You should also get out a plate so that you could place the two slices on them after they are done toasting. After the toaster oven is done toasting, open the door of the oven and take out the two slices of bread. While you are taking out the bread, make sure
that you do not touch any metal near or on the oven, because if you do, you will be
burned. I suggest wearing some sort of layered gloves to do this. After you get the two slices of bread out of the toaster oven, place them on the plate. Then, unscrew the top of the peanut butter jar, and scoop out a large amount of peanut butter with your knife. Then place the knife covered with peanut butter on one slice of bread, and spread the peanut butter, so that it covers the total area of the bread. After you are done with that rescrew the top of the peanut butter jar. Next, unscrew the top of the jelly jar. Again, place your knife in the jar and scoop out a hearty amount of jelly. Then place the jelly on your bread and spread it over the entire area of the single slice of bread. After you have done that, place the dirty knife in the sink so that someone could wash it. After that, you must rescrew the top of the jelly jar. Finally, you put one slice of bread on top of the other. You have now made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Enjoy!

DEE-LISH-USS!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Go West, Young Man

Do you want to hear The Goose laugh out loud? Just tell him that Mom & Dad need a vacation and wouldn’t it be nice if we all went to Arizona for a wedding and visited with friends. Ha!

Biggest lesson learned: Babies don’t understand time zones.

Other discoveries made on the trip include …

Geese love to fly (of course) and can even sleep while flying!
sacked out in the plane

Geese love to swim (of course),
Swimming

Geese even love rental cars,
EXCITEMENT IN THE RENTAL CAR.JPG...

and dogs,
The Goose & Edie

and their choke chains.
gotta love a good choke chain

While in Flagstaff, we visited with Chris and his family,
Sherry, Ceanna, Angela, Chris, Husband, & The Goose.JPG...

and hiked at our favorite spot.
sacked out in Sandys Canyon

Here are some shots from the wedding in the Grand Canyon:

a grand family in the grand canyon

Kim Laden & the Bride

As you can see in this last picture, the wedding was basically on a cliff overlooking the canyon. It’s called Shoshone Point, and is so high and steep that the flower girl was leashed:

leashed flower girl

Other fun tidbits about the wedding include the following:

Mother Goose leaves directions to Shoshone point in desk drawer in Nashville and park ranger at Grand Canyon entrance gives bad directions. The Goose Family then drives to the general area of the trailhead, can’t find it, and Mother Goose ends up harassing some local campers in order to use their Grand Canyon guidebook—luckily a nice British family was willing to share their book.

Mother Goose is forced to make the one-mile hike in to Shoshone Point in 3-inch heels because we were running late and she left her hiking boots in the lodge.

Mother Goose almost leaps off the side of the cliff because of wasp invasion during ceremony (don’t worry there were other near disasters too … several people were hyperventilating because of acrophobia – including a bridesmaid).

Mother Goose nearly makes the flower girl cry because she says that maybe the guitarist knows the Little Mermaid song and then he doesn’t. Luckily, flower girl’s mother knew the song and the crisis was averted.


Otherwise, we spent our time trying to entertain The Goose and keep him to some form of a schedule. Here’s some evidence of our desperation:

The Goose's version of a bustle

In all seriousness though, it was fun for at least part of the time and we got some other great photos of the canyon and the mountains that I’ll have to just email.

I’ll leave you with a shot of B & J sitting on a rock overlooking the point. We’re glad to be back!

Dad & Goose enjoy the view

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

G & G Visit


CANOEING 028.JPG
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
The Goose's paternal grandparents are in town and he is putting on a show as usual -- big hugs, lots of playtime on the floor with Grammy, and laptime with Grampy. In the picture above we are at a Japanese restaurant where The Goose was able to indulge his pyromania like a champ.

Sadly enough, the blog may be ignored for a few days, since we are leaving tomorrow for Arizona. Wish us luck on Goose's first plane ride and trip to the Grand Canyon.

Lots of love to everyone!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother’s Day from The Goose!

Oh my goodness! Another holiday where I can receive gifts! I never thought about that when we were discussing whether or not to have a child. That's major. It's right up there with the tax breaks.

My gift was a home-made beaded bracelet and a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, grits, and biscuits. Dee-lish. I also got a burlap chicken purse from my mom! I took it in with me to Steinmart the other day and the saleslady said, “Oh, I love your purse! Is it a D&G?” I didn’t know what to say (or what D&G was), so I just scoffed and said, “Ummm, no, it’s a handmade original by a Mississippi folk artist.”

The house and yard projects continue. Yesterday I finished the chest of drawers and B has started extending the patio out back (see pictures below).
pictures

pictures

The Goose is now drinking from his sippy cup really well and loves his Cheerios (see below). I’m not sure whose idea it was to give him small crunchy objects to play with in the kitchen. Now I spend half of my day picking up either mushed-up cheerios or crumbs from the ones he’s dropped which I promptly step on.

pictures

pictures

As B was working on the patio the other day, we set him outside in his Exersaucer. He was cracking up at B shoveling dirt … we’re not sure exactly which part was so funny, but he was guffawing and banging his hand down on the Exersaucer in hilarity. If he gets any cuter I’m going to have to take a big bite out of him.

Love to all!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Peas & Perties


KIMPOSSIBLE 003.JPG...
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
I came to a conclusion just now about this little project (and I know it's early to be drawing conclusions, but just after you read this, you will think, "yep, she's right"): An everyday update is entirely too time-consuming to write and outright boring to read.

To provide evidence for this conclusion, I am going to go ahead and post the mind-numbing update about our day today:

The Dirty Circus Tent is busy, busy, busy these days what with me working part-time, B claiming to have a full-time job even though I think he would do his work for free, and The Goose crawling around all over the place. B and I try to limit our projects (so as not to become disillusioned), but there is so much we want to do to the house and yard. Currently, we are trying to refinish a chest of drawers and get our yard looking decent---all during Goose's naptimes. The front yard (and back yard for that matter) is not grass, just weeds. The back yard is respectable (covered in clover and other yard-like stuff), but the front has a layer of pine straw through which weeds pop up. Up to now the rangers have just been dousing it in herbicide to keep them down, so that's what we've done too. We'll see how that goes before we start breaking our backs trying to weed everything by hand.

In Radnor Lake news, the captive barred owl has come up missing and B's boss seems to think that someone stole it to take to a ballgame. I think it is totally preposterous that someone would steal an owl to take to a ballgame, but one of the other rangers knows someone who is a psychic who says that the owl is still alive somewhere. To prove how much she believes in the psychic, the ranger spent four hours scouring the area for the missing bird. Apparently this psychic was right several years ago when one of the other birds went missing. I am not making this up, believe me, I am not that creative.

As for The Goose, he has been nothing but a joy lately despite his growing curiosity and mobility. He is giving big hugs now and laughs so much (often without prompting from us, which is new---his toys now crack him up and of course the Baby Beethoven video). He is turning into a little boy and not being so much of a baby. I have mixed feelings about this: I like that he is becoming more independent, but I actually miss those long hours of nursing that I used to complain about (even though mostly it is just because that was easier than running around chasing him or picking up after him). He only nurses about four or five times per day now since he is eating solids and starting to learn to drink from a sippy cup. A typical day looks like ...

7:00 a.m. awake and ready to go; nurses
7:30 a.m. breakfast
8:00 a.m. playtime (this usually consists of gumming objects and/or wrestling with B)
9:00 a.m. naptime
10:00 a.m. nurses and has brunch
10:30 a.m. playtime and running errands with mom time
1:00 p.m. naptime
3:00 p.m. nurses and has a snack
3:30 p.m. playtime
6:00 p.m. dinner
6:45 p.m. bath and story time
7:15 p.m. nurses
7:30 p.m. lights out

His favorite foods are carrots, sweet peas (see above picture), and any kind of cereal mixed with breast milk. Yesterday we gave him a "biter biscuit" and he acted like a dog who has just received a good bone to gnaw on. He got really quiet and sat on the floor alternately chewing on it and holding it out to admire it.

We've been trying to teach him sign language since that's what everyone is doing these days. They say it's like teaching them a second language. Currently we are working on "milk," "eat," and "more." Whenever I say, "Do you want to EAT?" (while making the sign), he goes, "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" and bangs his hands on the high chair tray. Whenever I say, "Do you want MORE?" (while making the sign), he goes, "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" and bangs his hands on the high chair tray. Whenever I say, "Look, there's Dad," he goes, "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" and bangs his hands on the high chair tray. Thus, it's not clear whether we are making progress.

And speaking of language learning, I want to teach you all a new vocabulary word. During our recent trip to Mississippi, I was reminded of a word to use when speaking about the things that Goose likes to play with: "perties." I assume this is derived from the noun phrase, "play pretty," which is "play perty" in southern-speak and can be further reduced to simply "perty." The usefulness of this noun lies in its ability to refer to any object of desire, rather than the much vaguer term, "toy." Because of The Goose's interest in kitchen utensils, handcuffs, and other everyday Dirty Circus Tent items, the term "perty" is much better than "toy." Here it is used in context:

Picture The Goose, Kimpossible, & Macy (Kim's mom) out for stroll. The Goose is holding a green "link-a-doo" (definition: small plastic ring which is capable of attaching objects to strollers and car seats; also, a desirable object in and of itself). We pass a neighbor's house (neighbor is also Macy's cousin) and they, of course, want to ooh and ahh over The Goose. We comply and as we approach, cousin says,

"Oh look, he's got him a perty."

I wonder who's going to post all these updates for me while we are in Arizona without a computer? Any volunteers?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cheese: It's not just for mice


cheese
Originally uploaded by Kim Laden.
Well here it is folks, a blog of US. Here I hope to provide updates for family members near and far while satisfying my need to hear myself talk. And don't worry, it contains no personal information (like address, phone, SSNs, etc.); it's just an online journal about our daily lives.

Let's just jump right in ...

Today The Goose enjoyed a typical fun-at-home-with-no-car-rides day since B had to spend the better part of the afternoon taking Suzie Q. Subaru back to the dealership for a checkup. All is well, by the way. While he was gone, I had to actually work at my online teaching job (the nerve of these people called "supervisors" who want you to work when there is perfectly good internet shopping to be done) while simultaneously entertaining The Goose.

The entertainment today consisted of the following items, in order of importance:
(1) a scrap piece of tortilla (I assume he covertly plucked it from the table) -- when this item was taken away, a crying fit ensued, which prompted me to hand him ...
(2) the everpopular wire whisk -- when fascination with this waned, he got ...
(3) the remote control (without the batteries so that he cannot reconfigure our TV to display everything in French)

Things I prevented him from grabbing today:
(1) a dead Box Elder bug
(2) the handle of the garbage can
(3) a handful of cut-up jalapeno peppers

Jane, are you OK? Just breathe, he made it through the day without a scratch. (Except for his allergic reaction to the Kroger brand diapers, which, by the way, are a lot cheaper than Huggies. But of course I would have a baby who, like me, prefers the expensive kind of pretty much anything.)

Whenever things get really bad and the fuss meter is off the charts, we sit him in his swing in front of a Baby Einstein video. His favorite used to be Baby Mozart, but now he likes Baby Beethoven: 25 minutes of Beethoven's music (and also "My Country 'Tis of Thee," -- not sure how that one made the repertoire) with pictures and videos of toys and kids throughout. As an aside, I'd just like to say that the founder of the Baby Einstein Company (maker of miraculous DVDs and other products for babies) is brilliant and I aspire to invent something so simple and make millions like her. Any ideas?

Anyway ...

I usually just put the video on repeat play but have learned from experience that he can only make it through the second repeat up to the part where they show the pictures of babies from around the world before he loses it and I have to actually attend to him. His favorite part of the video is the aforementioned global babies slideshow. By the time the Laotian baby is shown at the end, he is all but hysterical with laughter.

The picture above is what B calls his "school picture shot" where I swear he is actually saying "CHEESE."

Isn't he fantastic?