Thursday, April 27, 2006

Another Rearview


It's late (as usual), and I don't have much steam, but here are some pictures you can't live without:
Throwing RocksNow this particular incident that I'm about to report didn't happen on the orange-pants-and-camouflage-shirt day, but it did happen right there where he is standing: Earlier this week while The Dad was watching The Goose, he overzealously threw a rock into the lake and took a plunge headfirst into the duckweed-ridden shore. I didn't see any of it, unfortunately, but apparently there was a lot of duckweed in a lot of places and then I did see the pre-cleanup state of the bathroom. There was a lot of duckweed there as well.

Maybe next time he'll heed the warning on these pants:

Caution

It's nearly midnight and I've gotta work tomorrow, but I cannot resist posting just one more update since it is related to language development:

Tonight, while I was running his bathwater and he was buttnaked in my bedroom trying everything to avoid getting a bath (because that precedes bedtime), I heard him say the following independent clause with an intransitive verb:

"I tee-teed."

I left the bathroom in a FEMA kind of rush and found him standing over a wet spot on the carpet in our bedroom. Indeed he hath spoken the truth.

And that, dear readers, is what you call PROGRESS, or BRILLIANCE, or even GENIUS. His sense of filial responsibility compelled him to inform me of his accident. I tried to react neutrally even though I was just a teensy bit annoyed about having to clean it up since only yesterday I had to strip our ENTIRE bed of its contents (including -- not that I'm counting -- four regular pillowcases, one body-sized pillowcase, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, the handmade quilt, AND a $50 waterproof, hypoallergenic mattress pad) because he had, while undiapered, climbed up there pre-bath to look at a book called Big Yellow Trucks & Diggers and peed on the bed. ADVICE TO EXPECTANT PARENTS: Buy more than one $50 waterproof, hypoallergenic mattress pad.

Next week there should be some really good pictures since I'll be reporting from the exciting NORTHWEST ANNIVERSARY VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned.

I'll leave you with a few more irresistible photos ...

This one's for G-Diddy:

The Many Faces

This next one's for all the family baldies (and is it just me, or is The Goose's head almost as big as The Dad's???):

Two Heads: Notice any difference?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Back & Front


It was a Sunday. It was almost dark. It almost got stuck in the mud, but the cheering squad wouldn't allow that to happen.

From the back, it looked like this:
And from the front, this:

From the Front

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Things that sneak up on you


Snickum Diddles.

Where do they come from, these growth spurts and these mental leaps from like tee-niny newborn to solid-foods eater to half-rational toddler? We were out chasing chickens earlier tonight and I was going on and on about how the trees were just budding and flowering YESTERDAY and how TODAY they are fully clothed in all their summer leafdom, and then I realized that right there in front of me, squatting down behind his cart and tweeting while checking out a female cardinal with a broken wing, was my own little sneaker. I mean, one day he's lying prostrate on the linoleum in a demonic fit about the refrigerator door closing without his prior approval, and the next day he's responding positively to requests such as, "Here, go put these socks in your dirty clothes hamper." As for the cardinal, I'm afraid he may have been responsible for her injuries. I was in the kitchen cooking a delicious, low-fat meal while he was out in the backyard. Then I heard the tweeting (his) and went to investigate. He was just about to pick her up when I called a halt to all the fun and games and we took a break and came inside. He's been really into "catching" things lately ... like pre-monarch butterflies in their fuzzy caterpillar state and what I think are box elder bugs. It's the pointing that kills them. It's not intentional. It's really not. It's just pointing ... another case for "everything in moderation."

Sweets.

That's another thing that sneaks up on you. From behind ... if you know what I mean. My seester (the one who's 8 months pregnant) was telling me the other day about how she's been finding all of these really delicious sweettreats in various places. Like she'll just be driving down the road and there! in the median! is something sweet. One day she was just driving along and found an Oreo McFlurry. And then another day she found some Hostess cupcakes. (God works in mysterious ways.) But then tonight when Husband came in for dinner, he had a cake in his hands. He said he found it on the doorstep. And this was actually believable because one time we found a cake on top of Suzie Q. Subaru. We know who it is, this mystery cake baker, but still! It's a miracle every time. It really is. And tonight the manna from heaven came in the flavor of lemon pound cake. Moist yet light and fluffy lemon pound cake. And it just fit so nicely with our delicious yet low-fat meal of baked chicken legs sans skins with brown rice pilaf and asparagus, and so even though we aren't eating sweets until our five-year anniversary trip (coming up at the end of the month), we went ahead and tried some because the cake baker had requested feedback and we felt bad not obliging. But things quickly escalated and pretty soon there was only point seven five of a cake left on the table. And then the bottom part of the cake started disappearing. You know the part with the really squishy stuff that is so very delectable? Vanishing. And pretty soon after that there was a lot of what can only be described as "cakeshell" lying around. Husband came over and asked what I was doing eating out the middle part and it was at that moment that I realized: cake is like chicken! It's just the skin that's fattening. The inside part is really good for you.

Water Currents.

Very sneaky. Yesterday, on Family Wednesday, we took our first kayaking trip of the year! The Goose did much better this year than last year. In other words, there was a lot less screaming. None, to be exact. This time, he only fell in a couple times and once he even had on his life jacket. Just kidding. Sorta. We took a leisurely five-mile float down a local slow-moving river and then went to a pizza joint where there were lots of video games and teenagers. All in all it was a delightful afternoon/evening. Here's a smattering:

The Guys

Click any photo to see more.

Wild

He does this thing now when he sees something cool (like turkeys in the front yard or big trucks or half-dead female cardinals) where he goes "oooohhhh" -- only it's more "oh" than "ooh" and there's sort of a "ha" in there at the same time. Almost like a "wow," but not really. It's a sound that indicates a state of total awe. He did it a lot as we were floating.

This river is really nice because it's a loop and so you don't hitch a ride from the put-in point to the take-out point (or vice versa). The Dad dropped us off with the boats, went and parked, and was back in 10 minutes. While he was gone, I decided that it might be a nice time to take a potty break behind some bushes since there was no bathroom anywhere in an umpteen-mile radius. When I finished, The Goose said, "tee-tee." I said, "Yes, Mama had an emergency and had to go potty outside." He kept saying it. "Tee-tee." Ha ha ha ha. "Tee-tee." Finally, The Dad arrived and of course we can't keep any secrets. The Goose made the "ssss-ssss" sound that I make while he's sitting on the potty and I'm trying to get HIM to go tee-tee. Then he pointed directly at me and said, "tee-tee." Lord help us all if he ever learns to say, "Mama used the credit card again at Steinmart." I've really got to start watching myself.

11:00 p.m.

Seriously! It's like one minute it's dinnertime and then all of a sudden it's way past my bedtime. Especially on Thursdays. Maybe if it didn't take me so long to cook delicious, low-fat meals, then clean the kitchen (including using baking soda to scour the sink and Simple Green to mop the linoleum -- a Thursday night favorite chore!), and finally bathe and put the Goose down, then I could get more done. Luckily, I only work part-time.

Tah-tah (which is not at all like tee-tee) till next time.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

19

Dear JEB,

POST NAP HAPPINESS 005_EDITED.JPG
Today you are 19 months old and it is a holiday too! Two big events and yet you managed to get neither an Easter nor a birthday present from us. Please don't think that we disregard these holidays: It's just that you are so content to play with dirt, toothbrush holders, and laminated photos of cats and tractors that we feel it unnecessary to spend the extra money at this point in your life. I was going to take you out for a milkshake after your nap today, but we have just started to suspect that you may be allergic to milk, so that's out too. Sorry. I really hope that you are not allergic to milk, but ever since you started drinking it -- which was relatively recently (despite fervent attempts for the last six months) thanks to the novelty of your new personalized cup from Great Auntie "M" -- you can't seem to have a solid poop. Additionally you have developed a recurring diaper rash which is extremely painful (for everyone) and which kept us up for awhile last night. I don't remember exactly how long it was that we were up and not sleeping during the time when people are supposed to sleep, but the numbers 12:08 - 1:27 a.m. just popped into my head. So anyway, happy 19 months ... maybe we can go to Kroger later on this afternoon and let you run loose in the condiments section or something fun like that.

Nana & Grampy just left this morning after another whirlwind weekend visit. This time they actually didn't bring any gifts for you (they sent them through the mail before they knew they were coming), but they did take you and I to Target where you got a new bike helmet and I got a new coffee maker! You tried on two different helmets, both marked "toddler boy" and both blue with various boy-like pictures on them (tractors, trucks, etc.). I couldn't decide which fit you better, so I asked you which you wanted. You promptly walked over to the pink and purple Dora Explorer one made for 5+ girls. I think this is great that you like pink so much (although we still went home with the blue one). I have been in a pink phase too after nearly a lifetime of abhorring the color, so I can understand the sudden attraction. It may not be good for our fair-skin tones and reddish hair, but it is a nice color for things like house-slippers with pearls on them and bike helmets.

You did a similar thing the other day in the Goodwill store's toy department. I let you get down from the cart and asked if you'd like to pick out a toy for $0.50 or less, and you went straight to the pink Barbie convertible with open-shut doors, bucket seats, and a set of keys. You yanked out the half-bald Barbie, carefully placed her back on the shelf, put the keys in the ignition and headed straight for the glassware section where we met an elderly woman complaining that the candy bowls had gone up from $1.25 to $1.75: "And they call THIS 'goodwill'!?!" I guess she won't be able to complete her set. Luckily, I was able to divert you back into the toy section before anything got broken, where you became distracted by a deflated basketball while I quickly stashed the Barbie convertible behind a large assortment of fire chief hats. But just in case you ever wonder ... We didn't NOT buy the car because it was pink. We didn't buy it because it was more than $0.50 and that was the rule. And you know what a stickler I am about rules. Especially budgetary rules. Total stickler, just ask your dad.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn't bring up my financial management skills with your Dad. You and I spend a good deal of time together shopping (HEY! it's a learning experience -- vocabulary enrichment, math skills, socialization, etc.) and I am not looking forward to the days when you can actually tell him what all we bought and snuck into the house: "Oh that old thing? What do you mean, 'is it new?' -- of course it's not new ... we've had that thing forever." Not that you and I ever do much damage. For one thing, you can't sit still long enough for me to actually get any shopping done and for another, we aren't exactly rolling in a lot of extra money to spend on, oh, say a new baker's rack for the kitchen or some of those cool embroidered cowgirl boots that I saw at a boutique near my school.

In fact, I am in the process of trying to find you a new school to attend so that I can get a better/more lucrative teaching setup, but it's really hard to find part-time childcare. And anyway, summer is coming up and I can't bear to think of actually working more and missing out on any of those long summer days where you spend hours squashing bugs, licking popsicles, and getting those sweaty, humidity-induced ringlets all over your head.

Today we spent about a half hour throwing rocks into the lake and pointing really hard at dragonflies. Afterwards we watched a mama goose sitting on her nest of eggs. Last year not one single baby goose made it because of predators, so this year you and I are going to be cheerleaders for those little eggs we saw today. I know that every mother just wants the best for her kids (and clearly getting eaten by a snapping turtle is not the best scenario for a baby gosling), so we are going to root for the home team.

Happy 19th Baby Goose!

Love,
Mama

p.s. Stay away from snapping turtles.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Zen and the Art of (nekkid) Bike Maintenance


Yesterday I came home from a walk and found this:
Now say this in your best Wisconsin accent: "Hold her still there Pops, I'll just be a sec here adjusting this spoke."

Apparently there was a REALLY bad diaper rash and The Dad felt that "airing it out" was the best approach. And as if that wasn't shocking enough ...

I went inside to cook a delicious, healthy, & low-fat meal, came back out, and found this:

He sorta ate some dirt

A little dirt never hurt anybody, right? (This is your cue to say, "RIGHT" very emphatically and then wink at your significant other. Don't you think that I have already had the good sense to google, "diseases caught from eating dirt" and know good and well about pinworms?)

It is 9:05 p.m. right now and even though I put him down an hour ago, The Goose is up there in his bed talking and singing. As far as I can tell, he is about halfway through "Old MacDonald" (as evidenced by the ee-eye-ee-eye-oh) and has, by the light of his monitor, been looking at the clock (as evidenced by the "tee-tock, tee-tock"). I'm guessing he's probably also taken off his socks and possibly even his diaper, but since he's got that rash still, I can justify my failure to go and check on the situation.

ION ...

Tomorrow is a holiday and The Goose & I couldn't be happier for a day off. This was one of those weeks where I have looked at my fingernails approximately 27 times and thought, "Maybe I'll paint them tonight," only to sack out on the couch before 9:00 p.m. Under a pile of laundry. I used to be so OCD about things. Now I don't even color-code my dayplanner or circle the typos I find in novels.

And speaking of OCD ... the other day I found more evidence that we have a little Type A on our hands:

Lined Up

This lovely wooden object is a potato bin (note the sprouting potatoes inside) and on top of it, parked in a perfectly symmetrical diagonal row, are the "J," "H," and "N" letters of a magnetic train set that Nana & Grampy brought several months ago (we do still have the "O," but unfortunately the wheels keep popping off due to reckless driving and one too many "hopping the tracks" scenarios and anyway they are choking hazards, so it had to be banished to the top of the fridge). If you'll remember correctly, he also parks his trucks in a similar fashion on the back of a chair in the living room. It's all very neat and orderly you see ... trains in one room, trucks in the other.

The other proof I have of his likeness to me thus far is his meticulous habit of bringing me all unwanted yet previously chewed food items. One time ... ONE time ... I told him to please not leave chewed-up apple peal on the carpet but to please give it to mama instead, and as a result I am bestowed with all sorts of discounted food items. Of particular disregard are the hulls in oatmeal (and all the other mixed-in ingredients), fruit skins of any type, and the last bite of the bottom of bananas -- you know, the part that has the yucky brown vein thingy. I mean really, who DOES eat that part? Today he and I made it halfway through a box of Garden Veggie Snackin' Crackers before I thought to examine the sodium content. Let's not tell The Dad (or The Nana) about that one, shall we? He didn't spit any of those out, but he did carry one around for at least half an hour while we jammed out to Laurie Berkner.

If y'all know anybody who has toddlers and doesn't know about Laurie, then berate them openly. You can see all of her stuff at www.twotomatoes.com. Our newest CD has songs about chickens and airplanes and doodlebugs and seriously, if I knew where she lived then I would go shoot out her tires because these songs keep me up at night. She's got this round all about what you eat at Thanksgiving and The Goose loves it and demands that it be set on "repeat" in the car and all night I'm like, "turkey with stuffing and cran-berr-ies ... sweet potatoes and corn and peas ... when I'm done my tummy's so full ... down I lie ... but before you can count to 1-2-3, I'm up for the pumpkin pie!" All night, people. The doodlebugs song is about these flyin' doodlebugs with the same names as all the Seinfeld characters. What is it about children's music that won't just leave me alone??? I really have a problem. I heard once that if you sing "The Girl from Eepanema (I realize that that is the wrong spelling, but it's the closest phonetical approximation I could make at this hour) that it would clear your mind of all other tunes. So all night I'm alternating between doodlebugs named Kramer and that Eepanama stuff. It's killing me.

The Dad just came home from leading a night hike and announced that they heard frogs and toads, beaver tails slapping the water, and four barred owls (which he called in -- he's been honing his owl-calling abilities). They pay him to do this. All day I'm explaining the proximity rule in subject verb agreement with double subjects joined by correlative conjunctions all while he's out there hooting. And then both of us come home and spend countless hours raising and cleaning up after that Goose.

And as if that weren't enough, in addition to a Goose, we still have a couple chickens to keep up with. The other day while JEB was napping and The Dad and I were both home from work (at the same time!!!), I heard a commotion in the backyard and woke B up from a nap to go and check it out. I would’ve gone myself, but it is the season of wasps, bees, and other predators which I simply cannot abide, and my spheksophobia often confines me to the house. So The Dad dutifully went out to investigate and this was the report from the only eyewitness: "I saw a chicken going one way and a wasp going another." Meanwhile, I was in the coop checking the laying box to see if a raccoon was camped out waiting for nightfall. It's all so exciting, this life of ours. And frankly that whole story was just a good lead-in for this, the PHOTO OF THE WEEK, which I'll leave you with:

Nekkid Chicken Chasin'

Nekkid Chicken Chasin' in the front yard. It just don't get any better than this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scratch Your Itch


Scratch Your Itch
Originally uploaded by Kimmy Crack Corn.
It's not Thursday, but I just can't stand not posting these pictures from Itch Day, Kite Day, & Salad Spinner Day. Click on the photo to see them all.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

That Chin


It kills me.

And the neon orange Kroger sticker.

It's April, y'all! We have sprung forward and now The Goose is fully capable of staying OUTSIDE until 7 p.m. (gasp) or after.

I know that y'all really like the pictures and simply TOLERATE the jibber jabber, so I'll give you what you want first and save my riff raff for the end.

Here's what we spent nearly half an hour doing tonight (between 6:30 and 7:00 -- which is usually bathtime):

Start at the top of a hill.

1

Then, barrel down the hill at full speed:


2345

Then, crash into Mama.

Photos cannot convey how fast he was going. Luckily, I got away with only a minor elbow injury. He went home completely unscathed.

Every week is a whirlwind now. I hate Tuesdays and I won't even go into why. Then I hear about the famine in sub-Saharan Africa and I feel so silly for whining about my life. But Thursdays are always good because Tuesdays are farther away than yesterday and The Goose and I get to spend the whole afternoon/evening together and then I get to upload, crop, and comment on all the pictures I have taken throughout the week. While The Dad works. At least SOMEBODY works around here. Mostly the other two people who live in this house just eat and whine.

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT.

And in the between times we do some signing ... like "please," which is supposed to be one hand moving in a circular pattern on the chest, but ends up being two hands caressing the entire chest/abdominal area:

please

"More" is pretty standard:

more

And in case anyone is getting ready to write a sign language book and needs models, we'll take $100 per pose.

In other news ...

We not only SIGN but also SING.

All. The. Time. We sing all the time. ALL THE TIME! Did you get that? We sing when we get up in the morning (to the tune of the happy b/d song: Good morning to you/Good morning to you/You look like a monkey/And you smell like one too!), we sing when we're eating cheerios (to the tune of "Physical" by Olivia Newton John: Do you wanna eat CHEERIOS? CHEERIOS? I bet you wanna eat some CHEERIO-O-Ose ... let's get into CHEERIOS ... let me hear your body talk ...), we sing in the car to one of our THREE Laurie Berkner albums (our new favorite: "The Cat Came Back" and "I Love My Rooster"), we sing all the time. And we clap (TO THE BEAT, mind you) and we DEMAND quality tunes by first making loud whining noises and then, after mama prompting, making the "please" sign, which means, "Would you please select a new song since this one is clearly unacceptable."

And we READ ... we have very clear favorites:

  • Truckmice by Wong Herbert Yee
  • Tractors (no author)
  • Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough
  • The Midnight Farm by Reeve Lindbergh (of course)
  • Truckmice by Wong Herbert Yee
  • Tractors (no author)
  • Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough
  • The Midnight Farm by Reeve Lindbergh (of course)
  • Truckmice by Wong Herbert Yee
  • Tractors (no author)
  • Fix-It Duck by Jez Alborough
  • The Midnight Farm by Reeve Lindbergh (of course)

Oh my goodness! Would you look at that repetitive list? Well, that's how life is these days. Random obsessions and repetitiveness.

Here's a list of our current obsessions:

  • helicopters (twirl your finger in circle and make a "chop chop chop" noise)
  • tractors
  • trucks
  • keys to trucks
  • toothbrushes
  • toothbrush cases (like for travelling)
  • spice containers with poptops
  • Oreo Blasts from Sonic
  • Whoops! How did that slip in there?
  • Going to bed with full sip cup of water
  • Book bindings (yes, you read that right ... when we get to the middle of the book, we have to pause and examine the binding)
  • flowers ... specifically, pointing at them, making the "flower" sign, picking them, and hauling them around with us for hours until they are completely wilted and begging for mercy OR (alternately) screaming in protest while Dad attempts to explain how "flowers in the yard" are different from "flowers on the trail" and why we cannot pick the latter (despite valiant attempts)

There are more, but it is, as always, very late and I'm running out of steam. Do I say that a lot? That I'm out of energy? Depleted? Tired beyond description?

One time Parker Blue's Mama wrote on her blog that she just "wasn't that tired." Huh? Are you sure? Check yourself again, girl.

Oh, but there I go again, whining. When really what I want to conclude with is this: Every night at dinner we say a little prayer of gratitude for the food and the "hands that prepared it." And tonight, for the first time, The Goose participated by holding hands with us and taking a break from his face-stuffing/mess-making spectacle. And I will never forget that little snippet of sweetness.

As always: Happy Friday (or is it still Thursday?). And remember: There are more photos by clicking on any of the above images.