Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Last Week of June


I was just sitting here thinking about what in the world to write (a picture, as they say, speaks 1,000 words), when I heard huge commotion through the baby monitor. Apparently, Tigger & Piglet (small plastic, totally unsafe characters that came -- randomly -- included with a large lego set and do NOT pass the "if it fits through a toilet paper role then it's not appropriate for children under 36 months" rule) both, at the same time, bolted out of JEB's bed, plummeting onto the hardwood floor with a 4th of July boom. He insisted upon taking them both to bed with him. Last night it was Big Doggie and Blue Teddy, both of which just came out of solitary confinement in the freezer, where they served 24 hours wrapped in garbage bags in an attempt to rid their hides of dust mites. There's always Arty Dog, a blanket, and a sippy cup of water in the crib, but the other bedmates vary. And through all of that commotion with those plastic characters' suicidal diving display, HE NEVER STIRRED, people. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Ah, the obsessions. Right now it's "meows" and "tracties" thank you very much Macy & Grandaddy. I can never decide if "G-Diddy" should have 3 or 4 "d's."

Even though my body is here in this WAITING FOR POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES TO RETURN YOUR CALLS ZONE, I am still on vacation there in that cabin built out underneath a pine tree canopy. If you look up, you see this:

Trees on the KCP Ponderosa

Tweenage pine trees in neat little rows, beckoning you to come take a leisurely stroll through their shade and get devoured by ticks and chiggers. Which brings me to my next point ...

I love DEET. I tried to go the au naturale way and use cedar oil mixed with geranium juice, citric acid, and lavender, but y'all: POISON WORKS. It keeps bugs away and if you've ever been attacked by an army of chiggers then trust me, you will even risk the dangers of 25% DEET. I didn't step foot off that back porch except for that one incident where the barbeque grill literally tipped over and spewed steaks all out into the yard and my entire first family along with my child were in its path. Then I ventured out there to take note of the damage (none, luckily), but never again. I get enough ticks, chiggers and what have you in my own back yard simply waterin' my 'maters.

Which, by the way, are about seven feet tall, not that I've measured.

Let's see, what else ...

The Goose did not cough even one time on this trip, which is why it seemed to me more like a vacation than any of our last escapades. We dutifully lugged the nebulizer, but it was not needed.

And, in other exciting news, there is hardly ever any yellow in The Goose's diaper because he, despite MANY "accidents," almost always prefers to use his potty chair for #1. Granted, there are lots of times when I hear, "Uh-oh ... no-no-no-no. Tee-tee." Which means "Go get a towel, I just peed on the floor again." And speaking of translation ...

  • "Meow" = "There's a cat."
  • "Tracty. Jah-Jah" = "John-John's Tractor"
  • "Bye B" = "See ya later, Dad"
  • "Dee Dee Dee!!!!!!!!!!" = "Look mother, there's a digger to your left."

I made the mistake of making up a digger song to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus" and Lord help me if I don't spend half my life singing about dogs, cats, wipers, babies, shushing mamas, and I don't know what all on that digger. And since we've gotten back from Newton, he wants me to say "tracty" instead of "digger." Of course tracties are SO much easier because, as everyone knows, you can hook up so many different attachments to the fronts and backs of them ... bushhogs, front loaders, etc., and then there are all the animals that the tracty passes by.

Bushhoggin'

Tracty.

The FAM

Here they all are ... each guy has his own rocker.

Otherwise, the trip involved massive amounts of blueberry eating -- picked directly off of back-yard bushes, eaten off of home-made non-vanilla ice cream, scooped up off the floor -- and lots of tracty riding, as I've already made clear.

There was also this photo op, which I love ... the pot belly, the serious expression, the sideways spoon.

Yo baby

I'll leave you with that. But you can click here for more.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

BREAKING NEWS


This just in from Reuters ...


***


Today at approximately 12:30 p.m. CST, one Goose "Big Boy" Becker performed what is commonly known as Number Two in his freestanding Safety 1st Potty Chair. This news is made more profound by eye witness accounts which say that the act was totally unprompted by his parental guidance team. Apparently the trick was inspired by his acquisition of a package of Monster Truck Big Boy Underwear, a gift from his paternal grandmother.

At a press conference held just hours after the incident occurred, The Mother had this to say: "His father and I were just standing in the kitchen cooking cashew chicken (without cashews) when we heard the pitter patter of little feet, followed by shrieking and exclamations of the word 'poop!' He has been going #1 in the potty pretty consistently for the last week, but the advent of #2 is just too good to be true. Despite our fervent belief in his ability to replicate achievements, we aren't holding our breaths for the end of diaper days."

The Father declined to be interviewed.

Currently, The Goose is sleeping off the thrill of such a monumental accomplishment. For up to the minute coverage, stay tuned to this website.

***

Can you tell that I am in between teaching terms (and bored)? Click the photo above to see another huge set of pictures from the past week.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Milwaukee Shots


Photos courtesy of Nana.

CrackCrack.

Rearview.

Cheetah ShirtCheetah.

People Magazine shot

People magazine would love to get their hands on that one above. All I need is a coffee in my hands, some clothes that didn't come from Goodwill, and a ridiculously expensive Rodeo Drive boutique in the background.

Early in the a.m.Early morning.

fill 'er upFill 'er up.

The ParentsParents?

Sacked out on Grampy

World Cup Weary.

Thanks for taking care of us Nana & Grampy! Now whenever The Goose sees a picture of his great Grandma he says, "Mimi."

Melt.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TWO a DAYS


It's popsicle season. And really, is one ever enough?

Today has not been the best day in terms of my ability to handle clinginess and whining, screaming fits and biting. The approach of the terrific twos. Isn't that the phrase? "Terrific" twos?

So in light of my current mood, I think I'll let the pictures do the talking. But you have to actually click once to see them. Click that picture and you'll see several more of our trip to the paternal grandparents and some back-at-home frolicking.

I'd better go nurse my mood ... happy weekend.

Friday, June 16, 2006

21 months


Happy 21 Mr. Man!

21 months is long enough to have earned the equivalent of an associate's degree in YOU. By the time you're four, I'll have my bachelor's and by the time you're six I'll have a master's. Maybe by the time you've graduated from high school I can say I've earned a Ph.D., but since that implies an extremely high understanding of something, I'm not quite sure it's even possible given the subject matter. I'll likely live my entire life categorized as ABD in JEB (ABD = all but dissertation). At least I love school.

Thistle

And of course I love YOU!
Diggin in the spice cabinet

Big Hugs,
Mama

Thursday, June 08, 2006

'Maters & Marigolds


Well, if summer is measured by the frequency of itch sessions, 'mater waterin', and trips to the swimming pool, then I'd say it is officially here.

Besides the itching issue, I love the lazy days with all-too-infrequent cool breezes. Tonight The Goose and I walked down to the lake to have a rock-throwing party and it was like there were box fans blowing through the trees. I remember when I was little ... during the summer we would put box fans in the house (not sure why since we had AC) and I'd play babies in the breeze. That's why I love box fans. We'd also eat lots of 'mater samwiches. I planted 'maters for that reason. If you know something that is better than a 'mater samwich with mayonnaise, salt & pepper on white bread, then keep it to yourself, 'cause that may be the one area of my life in which I am 100% completely and totally satisfied.

One thing I did NOT eat growing up was pumpkin pie, which is such a favorite with The Dad that we eat it approximately once a week ... usually for breakfast. Traditionally, I, of course, make a delicious home-made pie crust (it's not low fat, but the vitamin A content in the pumpkin makes up for the lard content in the crust, trust me, I've researched). This week, however, I was lazy and we had to resort to freezer crap. In case you don't know the secret: Pumpkin Pie is better if you sneak up on it.

First, ease over to it when no one's looking:

punkin pie #1

Next, ever-so-gingerly grab the fork:

punkin pie #2

Then, get you a scoop:

Punkin Pie #3

Last, stuff your piehole:

PP #4

And speaking of HIM ...

The Goose and I take these long walks down to the lake or hiking on trails or up to the gourmet popsicle stand (Las Paletas!) by the park. They're not long because of distance. They're long because of Curiosity Level. Every stick, every rock, every drop of poop must be examined. HO HO HO.JPG

Every hole dug by egg-heavy Turtle Mamas, every flower -- especially those big purple thistles -- all of it requires the stop, drop, examine routine. Usually the routine involves Mama walking ahead, Goose following behind saying, "Teek!" (stick) or "Poop-pop!" (coyote poop) or, occasionally, "Wuzzat?" (What's that?). Mama then stops, goes back to see, and explains.

Apple & Tree

If I could get enough then I would, but I can't, so I won't.

There are lots of BEDS in our lives these days ...

Flower beds ...

Bed by Dad

Notice the all NATIVE plant species ... except for the temporary azalea bush which we are fostering ... coneflowers, coreopsis, violet, oops, how did those zinnias get in there? Eat your heart out, Mamabird.

And Big Boy Beds ...

BIG BOY BED

There's no mattress on it yet, but this is The Goose's next bed.

BIG BOY BED.JPG...

We found it on a treasure hunt at our local Goodwill store, where B got a new wardrobe all for $15. The man who helped us get it out to the car said that some man brought it in and said his little girl wouldn't sleep on it. So, we figure if we paint it blue and stencil in a yellow moon and stars -- not that we've planned it all out or anything -- then it'll be much a more desirable sleep destination.

NOT THAT WE'RE IN A HURRY TO TRANSITION TO A BIG BOY BED. We just like to think ahead. Currently, everyone is perfectly happy with the TOTAL confinement of the crib, so until he learns to crawl out (or we move -- whichever comes first), he's staying in the crib.

ION ...

Cousin Jack is doing just fine and we have all breathed a sigh of relief. You can read all about him on his Mama's blog, which is inappropriately named www.pgpovondra.blogspot.com. Not that it matters.

Happy weekend to all, and to all a goodnight ... clickety click any photo for more exciting picture commentary on our not-be-missed lives.

p.s. Why does NOBODY (hardly) ever comment on this site? I dutifully comment on all of y'all's and yet it is so rare for me to get feedback. Y'all know how sensitive I am about what other people think ... why is it that NONE of the grandparents or other close relatives -- not to mention so-called FRIENDS -- ever drop a note? Not that I'm fishing ...

Friday, June 02, 2006

You & Me (& the baby makes 3)


Geese mate for life. And so far these geese have made it five years and have just recently signed another five-year contract. We went out tonight in celebration of usness and ended up soaking wet.

I guess you want to know why. Well ok, I'll tell it, you don't have to twist my arm.

This is what the car-ride home looked like. Notice that The Goose is without clothing.

Neckid in the car seat

But let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start):


You see it all began at a local independent bookstore where they have this heavenly Thomas the Train set (similar to the one at our favorite library). So mama kicked back with a coffee while Goose choo-chooed away with various and sundry toddler types. While they snatched trains from one another, the other moms and I guzzled caffeinated beverages and kvetched about the painfulness of toddler whining. (But actually, in public, The Goose is always so very well behaved and is usually in a sharing state of mind and often gets compliments. I always just say that his dad is a good teacher because frankly I feel conceited saying "thank you" for something over which I have NO control and which could change at any given nanosecond.) While there, I met a mom who became a fast friend after she uttered the following words: "I called the doctor today because that much whining must indicate sickness." We've already arranged a playdate for next Thursday.

We left the bookstore and went to a Greek and Italian restaurant. We ordered, ate, and while The Dad waited on the check, The Goose and I wandered outside to a local mud puddle. I figured it wasn't really as deep as it looked. Stop. Go back and re-read that last sentence. The one that says, "I figured it wasn't really as deep as it looked."

Because now's the part of the story where a new character shows up. She's one of my favorite friends in parenthood, and she goes by the name "You Are Wrong Again." ("YAWA" for short.)

First his boots got wet; then his pants. Then my pants. And then there was the running start but tripping just at the edge of the puddle and going face first into the deepest section of the stagnant rainwater. You know, the part with those automobile-oil watercolors floating in it? And then he needed some consolation, so Mama got soaked. And then he demanded in no uncertain (though wordless) terms that his clothes be removed. Further, he requested that the diaper be removed too, but Mama drew the line there and we exited the restaurant with a baby clad in a "For Maximum Value" (read: cheaper than the Kroger brand) diaper and some white socks, tiny particles of sand and rock from the mud puddle glistening in his wet, greasy hair. If there had been a "No shirt, no shoes, no service" sign, a photo would've been a must, but there wasn't, so here's what we got:

Five Years of Mother & Father Goose

5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY 007_EDITED.JPG

Happy Anniversary to us! In keeping with the Sound of Music theme, I'll end with a quote and one more picture:

"For here you are, standing there, loving me ... Whether or not you should ...So somewhere in my youth or childhood ... I must have done something good."

You gotta love Rogers & Hammerstein. Besides cosmetics named after verb tenses, Absorbine, Jr., and red skittles, I think The Sound of Music is right up there on my list of all-time favorites.

CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This picture, appropriately titled "CHEESE!!!!!" reflects both The Goose's smile and his Mama's penchant for incorporating cheesy broadway musical lyrics into her blog posts.

But y'all, to get these guys, I must've done SOMETHING good.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Doot Doot Doo Lookin' Out My Back Door


It's been raining. And you know what that means: mud puddles.

Mud puddles filled with ticks, apparently. All three of us have found ticks on us this week. Apparently, they like the panty/boxer/diaper-line area. The chickens, apparently, are not doing their job. Apparently, we should've gotten guinea hens instead. They are solely carnivores and can consume more ticks than your average ol' egg layer. Apparently.

Unfortunately, all things in life are not so apparent. Kinda like George the Lizard when he's green and sitting in a pencil cactus outside the back door. Or like knowing what to do when you're faced with major life decisions. Doot doot doo, lookin' out my back door.

It is important to note that George (aka Jorge) was given the option of escape last weekend. At first he opted for residence in the pencil cactus, but eventually he ventured farther and farther away from the succulent, and we fear that he may have made his way into the chicken coop where he likely became Anole du jour.

But back to mud puddles ...

Ankle Deep

They're so much fun! One just can't get enough of a good mud puddle. And actually, if one should choose to spend 10 or so minutes splashing around and getting mud (and ticks) all over one's lower half, then one is not all that difficult to clean up ... as long as one's Mama simply dips one's guilty half into a bucket of rainwater.

Now, why was there a bucket of rainwater, one might ask? Well, indeed it is a pressing question.

You see, it all started on a Wednesday. It was laundry day in the Goosenest and Mama had been noticing that the spin cycle on the washing machine wasn't exactly in good working order. But on this particular Wednesday, not only were the clothes sopping wet (as usual -- no problemo, just crank up the dryer heat a little and don't worry if you're pants come out too short), but also they were still powdery. As in washing-detergent powdery. So Sears was called and then a cheaper repair center was called and then they got lost trying to find us, and finally a nice man in a navy blue jumpsuit came out and walked away with $100 in his pocket and a tick on his ankle. What is it with us and ticks?

So during the time that the washer was broken, The Dad and The Macy washed out clothes by hand. Hence, the bucket in the yard. Hence, a rainwater bath used to cleanse A Goose's Lower Half. Doot doot doo, lookin' out my back door.

And speaking of the Grandparental visit ...

Grandaddy with Doggie & Big Teddy

That photo is the only proof thereof. Mama forgot to take pictures. Mama's been a little stressed out lately and she forgets things easily. Could it be the job search? The rabies outbreak in the local skunk population? The ticks? The unexplained 104 degree fever last Sunday, followed by the abdominal rash, followed by the head injury (involving a cart, mama's heel, and blacktop), followed by the red raccoon eye circles? And all accompanied by an incessant whining sound?

Doot doot doo, lookin' out my back door.

The years are short, but the moments are long. Sometimes.

And sometimes they're so fleeting. Like earlier today when the three of us were playing indoor basketball and then The Dad and I started asking for kisses and then The Goose started going back and forth between us doling out smooches as if they were high fives, or "cheers" toasts with glasses of milk, or any other everyday, mundane activity. As if tears weren't rolling down my cheeks.

Macy & Grandaddy got a good little taste of this when they were here last weekend. On Friday night, The Dad and I went to a wedding and Macy & G-diddy fed, bathed, and put down The Goose. During their spaghetti dinner (specially made by Mama with Laura's lean ground beef and a jar of Paul Newman's spaghetti sauce -- another delicious, and relatively healthy/low-fat meal (not that anyone's counting)), The Goose reached out his hands to both of them in an attempt to get The Heathen Grandparents to at least thank the Good Lord for the rations. It's been reported that they agreed to this endeavor and said "God is great, God is good ... " I know Macy, for one, won't forget that.

Let's see ... what else ...

  • Did I once say that he was peeing in the potty 50% of the time? Hmm. That may have been a bit of an overstatement. But today he did stand up on the toilet seat and pee (mostly) into the bowl. Who needs percentages anyway?
  • Did you hear? There's a new way to reply negatively to any question: raise up one shoulder, tilt your head sideways toward the lifted shoulder, and emit a clipped "ah" sound with a short "a" vowel as in the word "cat."
  • Did someone really name the age around the 24-month mark "Terrible Twos"? And did it really catch on? Because I just can't figure it out. It seems easy enough to me, except for the uncontrollable curiosity, the iron-ore will, and the preference to either be neckid or always have on fire truck pajama bottoms.

Doot doot doo, lookin' out my back door.

A big one

Click a photo for more, and have a great weekend.