Thursday, December 28, 2006


There are lots of stories, but I'll just show you the pictures for the sake of getting to bed by midnight.

We started out by opening our presents to each other on Christmas Eve (before The Dad went to work). I got a new pair of red boots (all weather!) and a new red vest. The Dad got a Yoga for Sports Conditioning Set and a new jacket, and The Goose, well ...

He got trains.


Trains with simple circular tracks.


Trains with larger circular tracks and helicopters hovering over the tracks with the capability to pick up cargo if one has just enough hand-eye coordination.


And then we went to Macy & Grandaddy's. Where there were not only gifts and tractors, but Mama's old rocking chair ("with spy-dahs" -- spiders). Here are the highlights ...

Two Guys Eatin' Goldfish on a Tractor

Farm hands need their nourishment.

Playing Money with Macy

"Playing money" with Macy on his new table and chairs was a big hit. That cash register was my toy in the early 80s. Notice that there's also a John Deere cell phone, some playdoh with a landshark cutout, and whole plethora of other gifts spread out on the table.

Ready for Mud

One of the biggest hits of all, however, was the pair of rainboots. Above he is heading out for a day on the tractor with stops at all of the local mud puddles for splashing. It's kinda like when you go on a cruise to the Bahamas, and you get to stop at lots of little islands and other attractions along the way.

That Little Chair:  I sit.

And this (above) is my favorite picture ... he fell in love with my old rocking chair and each time he sat down in it, he had to tell the story of how Macy had to clean out the "spy-dahs" from underneath it.

Chillin' with G-Diddy

Finally, he was super excited to find out that his Toddler Memory game included a set of TRACTOR cards, and that they seemed to be John Deere, of course.

I hope you all had a very happy holiday and that the new year brings you luck, health and wealth. To enhance your chances of acquiring the latter three things, you might consider having some cabbage and blackeyed peas on New Year's Day. It's helped us tremendously. Except maybe in the wealth category. Though wealth can be measured in numerous ways ...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Peekaboo with a Diaper (while covered in ginger)

Well I have now made enough Christmas cookies and pumpkin bread to kill a man. I have probably used an entire wheat field and enough crisco that even just making the cookies (not eating them, mind you) might have blocked some of my arteries. Oh and did I mention the Chocolate Chip Star Bars? Every year when I finish my grading at the end of the fall semester, I always have about a week to burn a whole bunch of baked goods and/or drop them en route to delivery. But this year ... this must be my year (despite the two root canals). I only burned one batch and successfully delivered all of the other ones via stroller to all of B's coworkers and via Subaru to all of mine.

Meanwhile ... see this does have a Goose-related sidenote ... as I bake, The Goose busies himself with various tasks such as taking out the chicken bouillon cubes and putting them back in and/or dumping out ginger into his special pink bowl and getting it all over his new shirt (see above). He does participate in some of the cookie making, but since he's never really all that clean, I try to keep him away from the give aways. He's really into the snowflake cookies with blue icing but don't get him anywhere near the Santa Claus cookies with a marshmallow hat tassle, coconut shavings for a beard, chocolate chip eyes, and a red hot nose. Unh-uh. He also likes the snowman cookies, because he's completely enamored by Frosty the Snowman these days since Great Aunt Myrtle sent him a Frosty snow globe which was broken within 10 minutes of opening. She also sent a Frosty book, and now everytime we read (excuse me, "SING!!!") the book, we have to re-hash the story of how the snowman got broken and we were all so sad (especially Mama, who was down on her hands and knees digging out broken glass from under the refrigerator while the dad looked on and consoled The Goose (not that I'm bitter at all, but doesn't it seem like men always get the easy jobs?). It's so good that I'm never bitter about those kinds of things, because otherwise my life would be just miserable, you know?

Goose is really into the skill of narration now, and will often repeat various key words until I finally understand and recite the story (with his help). For example, recently we were in the bathroom preparing for our toothbrushing ritual when we noticed that there was a fly perched atop his Beaver Toothbrush. Apparently this was extremely memorable, because now we have to tell the story each time we brush. It goes something like this ...

Goose: FIE! FIE!! FIE!!!

Mama: Yes, one time a fly got on your toothbrush.

Goose: YUCKY!

Mama: Yes, it was yucky.

Goose: Had to get new one.

Mama: Yep, we had to get a new toothbrush.

Goose: Sing it FIE!!!

Mama: And then we sang that song, "Shew fly, don't bother me, shew fly don't bother me, shew fly don't bother me 'cuz I belong to ..."


The most bizarre things stick in his head. Like the time we went camping and he had hot apple cider. Now everytime we say a prayer he thanks God for apple cider. He also thanks God for Seiya and Mana, two of my former students who babysat for him twice.

And if he says that he sees something en route to Target (we've been to Target a lot lately), then don't you dare doubt it, because in a few seconds you will realize that, yes, indeed, there is a yellow jeep and a big 18-wheeler at the "RED LIGHT STOP." As a side note, I taught him to say, "Red light -- stop, green light -- go, yellow light -- SPEED UP!" His Dad wasn't all that amused.

ION ...

We are almost ready for Christmas, which we will spend this year with Macy & Grandaddy in Mississippi. Tonight I spent 10 minutes decoding the following Goosese: "Grandaddy's tractor. Mississippi. Pulls a bullfrog." I kept saying, "Bullfrog"? What bullfrog? And then I remembered, Grandaddy's tractor pulls a "bush-hog." Amphibians, tractor implements, it's all just details. Details schmetails ... it's the main ideas that matter.

In Kimmy news, we have now set up a Kim Laden Color-Coded Terror Alert System in order to warn friends and family members about my moods on any given day. I think maybe my mental dilemmas are going to get better once I resolve all my dental dilemmas, but lately I have been a piece of work. Last week I finished up my second root canal and today I went back to my regular dentist to have them put on my temporary crowns while I lay there in a valium-induced haze. Unlike the endodontist, my regular dentist won't give the nitrous oxide gas on account of the "liability," so I talked him into giving me a prescription for some valium. Not as good as the gas, but much better than me attempting to survive that drill by using my yoga breathing. Now don't get me wrong, yoga breathing can do some serious good. It's how I endured 8 hours of labor. But that drill ... it must have been created by The Devil Himself. My poor sweet 12-year old dentist didn't know what to think as I staggered into the exam room and said, "If you get that drill stuck in my lip I'm taking you to small claims court just like I did with Northwest Airlines. And this time, I won't lose."

So the trip today was relatively painless other than the part where I decided (while Husband was having his teeth cleaned and I was all done) that I needed my bottom tooth (#18) filed down a little more and that it would be OK if The Goose accompanied me back to the exam room (two valium tend to impair your mothering skills). The dental assistant warned him that the drill was going to "make a noise like a motorcycle," but that clearly was not a good preface and a really loud meltdown occurred. All day he kept whimpering and whispering the word "motorcycle." We're training him early in Anti-Dentite Dogma.

Ever since my first root canal (which must've been at least two months ago), I have been wanting to tell y'all the story about that first root canal. But I also wanted to wait to tell it out of fear that making fun of the dental assistant might jinx me for the second one. The first two-hour Torture Period wherein I got whiplash from all the jerking and whatnot was definitely worse. Seriously, I think Sedation Dentistry is so brilliant (but since it's not covered by our insurance, it is completely unaffordable). During my two visits to the endodontist (who has two of his children working with him as endodontists), I had two different dental assistants, both of whom were extremely interesting characters. Despite the fact that I brought headphones and made it perfectly clear by closing my eyes that I was happy in my nitrous haze, they both felt the need to indulge me with conversation. The first one, whose boyfriend owned a chain of those all-in-one video store tanning beds, kept telling me how her first husband had really done her wrong and left her with a lot of debt. A musician. And now her motto is "WITHOUT FINANCE, THERE WILL BE NO ROMANCE."

Or how about the second dental assistant I got who told me all about every single Lifetime movie she had ever watched. In particular, there was one about a little boy with polio whose best friend was trying to save him by saving up his money and collecting donations. But then he lost the ALL the money -- a grand total of $10 and she just kept thinking, "Why didn't he just put it in his sock!?!?!!??" and it was so, so sad and she just sat there and squalled and boo-hood herself into a tizzy. Thank goodness the doctor came in before I had to hear about the happy ending.

And aren't you glad that I have now relayed that same innane plot to you?

I think that's enough of this.

Merry Christmas to all!

p.s. Click the picture above to see some recent shots of our lives.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Would you believe I have not taken one picture this week? Me of the 30 per day only a year ago. Oh well, the semester is almost over and then I'll get back into the swing. This photo was taken one year ago at Nana & Gampy's house. He's a lot bigger now. And sassier.

I don't have much steam tonight after having spent the day finishing up my application for the Procrastinator of the Year Award. I have now completed my Database of Names/Addresses of Family/Friends and have successfully merged it into a Word document with an Avery labels template to create address labels for our Christmas cards, which arrived today. That's part of my application too. Anything for an award. Anything to avoid grading 25 argumentative research papers with titles such as, "To Spank or Not to Spank" or "Pre-Arranged Marriage: The Bane of Civilization" or "It's Not Your Credit Card That's Bad, It's YOU: The Upside of Easy Credit." On the one hand I am thrilled not to be reading about the same old same old topics of abortion, legalization of marijuana, and the like (all of which I banned this year), but on the other hand it just seems wrong not to be doing more baking or shopping or tree trimming.

Meanwhile, in Gooseland ...

Last night we took our old babysitter (one of B's former students) out for pizza since she came home from her first semester of college with a 4.0! While there The Goose entertained himself with a section of pizza dough and an empty salad dressing bowl. Put in a piece of dough. Take out the dough. Put in the dough violently. Take out the dough violently. Listen to Mama remind you about being gentle at the table. Put in the dough gently. Take out the dough violently.

Finally -- since we were seated in the PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN section -- another family came with a kid his age. Little girl, pink jacket, baby brother, they brought crayons. The next thing we knew he was "ALL DONE!" and "Wanna get down go see that girl." So off he goes. Pulls out a chair, climbs up, grabs a crayon. I go over, clear it with the mom. Five minutes later, I'm engrossed in conversation, basking in the bliss of his being entertained by something other than me singing "Jingle Bells" or the "Bob the Builder" theme song repeatedly. Then I hear Brian say, "Uh, Kim, I think he just ate one of their chicken wings."

Verdict: "It's HOT. Too hot. Nose run! Eyes. Hurt eyes."

What will he be if not a politician?

That's all I've got for now. Tune in next week for the recap of all our various last-minute Christmas parties and possibly a description of my two root canals which are now OVER and that's all that matters. For two hours on two separate days I was in a nitrous oxide haze and you know some good stories can come out of that.

Check your mailboxes!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Making Cookies

Click the picture for more shots of a flour- (and love-) covered kitchen.

And sprinkles.

Did I mention sprinkles?

Everywhere, just like the love.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

If there's gonna be any shootin' ...

I'd best be gettin' my sleep.

Three months after he received the cowboy hat as a gift from Aunty Amy, he develops an interest in wearing it. But ONLY while we read bedtime stories.


Tonight I actually said, "If you don't get in that bed then I'm gonna go jump in the lake." And he replied, "Mama go jump in that lake. It's code (cold)." And then he said, "More green toothpaste pease."

It's the preferences that get me.

Today it was 25 degrees after he woke up from his nap and the only thing I could think of to do was go to Target. So off we went. Two hours we were there. We stuck to my schedule: "First we have to shop and you can drink strawberry milk (Horizon Organic -- there's a Starbucks @ Target), then we can go look at toys."

"I look at toe-ees. Toe-eees. Go go Mama."

I always spend $80 at Target. No matter what, I spend $80. Which is why I am only allowed to go there once in a while.


And so while he was there, I made a mental to-do list, which went something like this:

  • Make a computer database of family/friends names/addresses so it won't be necessary to address holiday cards by hand anymore.
  • Take The Goose to a soup kitchen to give him the gift of Perspective.
  • Buy at least one Christmas gift before December 15.
  • Remember to comment on Nujhat Jabeen's argumentative research paper about WHY PARENTS SHOULD NEVER SPANK THEIR CHILDREN.
  • Research "herbal cures for eczema" on the Internet.

Meanwhile, The Goose entertained himself by checking out every tractor, dump truck, bulldozer, and steam engine. He also ate goldfish crackers out of someone else's cart while I was trying to decide whether 1% hydrocortisone is too much for a toddler's eczema problem. Wouldn't .5% be better? Yes, but they don't carry it anymore.

"Look it, Mama. A godefish."

"What goldfish?"

"It's right here."

Right here in this cart beside the nice mom of five children including two-year old twins and a pre-teen wearing a spiked dog collar. Just when you need to feel better about your life, the good Lord provides.

I made him say "thank you" -- what else can you do? Thief.

Actually, that comment about wanting to jump in the lake had nothing to do with today's thievery, cowboy hat preferences, the green toothpaste incident, or the insistence upon reading Dump It by Darice Bailer (starring Dave the foreman of a dump truck crew) fourteen times in a row. It was because half of my life I spend trying to figure out who I should be mad at: the rest of the world, or myself.

He's had a runny nose for the past coupla days. So, in order to prevent the clear stream from turning yellow-green, I douse him with "Little Noses" saline spray before naps and bedtime and then suction it out with a nasal aspirator. He hates this process, and gets back at me by making a habit of -- on his way to bed -- finding the USED nasal aspirator on the bedside table ...

WARNING: If you have a thing about snot or germs, skip down a coupla paragraphs.

... putting it in his mouth and sucking on it. Every time. WHY CAN'T I JUST REMEMBER TO PUT IT OUT OF HIS REACH?

So then I'm all in a tizzy, running around saying, "Don't put it in your mouth!!! It's NASTY!!!!!"

"Is nah-uh-stee," he mimics.

I give up.

And one more relatively positive, holidayish thing before I give up on this night. I LOVE this Santa Claus thing. It is the world's best threat. So whenever I get a glimpse of even the Prelude to a Misbehavior Sonata, I whip out the Santa Claus speech. Brilliant. Works every time.

And the best part about it all is that this is what he would tell you about S.C.:

"Come down a chimmey. Bring chock-it (chocolate)."

Sweet! Chocolate is SO much cheaper than TMX Elmo.