Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That global warming thing

'Tis the week before Thanksgiving and it is still so hot here. Not just "unseasonably warm" but "record breaking heat" hot. It makes it hard to think holiday thoughts. I'm waiting for the eBay shipment of four footed pajamas that we need for the winter, but it's starting to seem like winter will never come. Like the Heat Miser has a grudge against us or we're living in the opposite of Narnia waiting for the White Witch to save us from the wildfires.

We've got the wading pool up in the backyard and the kids were playing with squirt guns today (or as non-weapons Mommy is trying to call them "water squirters." It is not catching on.)

I'm in the process of making the ever popular photo calendars, but there is a serious dearth of scenes autumnal or wintry.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A few more pictures because I'm new to Picasa and am figuring it out. Here's me and Mark at the best cupcake and coffee store in DC. There may be one better, but they're closed on Mondays so this one wins by default.
Here's the Newseum, one of the newer museums and not one of the free ones. It'll cost you $20 to see this view and a whole lot of news articles, pictures and films. We spent 4 hours here.
We practiced posing using everything I learned from watching Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model. Look for us next season as the older plus sized models.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New and old friends


I met these guys shortly after arriving in DC. They seemed friendly but a little stressed.

And these are my hosts and guides. They have a beautiful apartment with an amazing view of the Washington Monument in the Adams Morgan area. We've been walking a lot through the trees and museums and cupcake shops and cafes. We are in the midst of conducting an unscientific ranking of cupcakes and have a few more species to capture and catalog. But I can say already that the Baked and Wired latte is the best I've had since San Francisco.

We've visited the Portrait Gallery which has great exhibits including a collection of genre mixing hip hop portraits complete with family crests and an inner courtyard that had a Hogwarts like ceiling that reflects the current weather. And had amazing Peking duck (better than any duck I had when I lived in Peking) with other old friends whom I'm not sure I can name because they work for the government:












But the most amazing thing about being here is all of the things I've almost forgotten about life without little children. We use multiple pieces of breakable dishes and can leave them on the table. We can walk more than a block without one of us asking to be carried. We can wander through museums without anyone shrieking to see how well the echo carries or jumping off the couches or pretending to shoot the exhibits. We can linger in cafes and restaurants and have actual conversations. We can shop. I'm soaking it all up with the fall air.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The conspiracy against packing

I'm packing for a 5-day trip to Washington DC to visit a couple of old friends. It's a little tough to concentrate because I'm still getting over a cold and have that cottony head feeling. I keep hoping that another cup of tea will help.

And the dog goes off like an oversensitive car alarm every time her nemesis, the tightwrope walking squirrel goes by. The boys are entertaining themselves which is great/scary. I love that they can play together without something electronic but it can very easily devolve into small dangers. Like when Aldo sat on Owen's head because they were hiding under the covers on our bed. Or when Aldo refuses to believe that the Magic Grow transportation vehicles capsules aren't vitamins.

It sounds like this:

Harriet: Bark Bark Bark Whine Bark Woof Woof Woof
Me: It's just a squirrel. How many times do we have to go through this?
Harriet: Bark Bark (jump) Whine (run around in circles)
Aldo: Mouth closed, suspiciously quiet, one red capsule missing
Me: Spit it out! Not food! Spit it out!
Harriet: Bark Whine
Owen: Spit it out Aldo!

I guess that's why Magic Grow capsules are labeled 4+

I'm flying Virgin Air which is new for me. I studied their website to try to figure out what I was supposed to bring to fully take advantage of their in flight entertainment system. Isn't Linux Lucy's little brother on Peanuts?

And now that I've acquired a handbag, I want to be a handbag user and take it as my carry-on. But it won't fit my laptop, so...?

But the biggest roadblock for me is not being able to picture the weather. Low 60's during the day and 40's at night. That sounds cold to me in San Diego, but is it long sleeve cold, sweatshirt cold, jacket cold or hat and everything cold. In the midst of Santa Ana's, it's hard to even imagine wanting to wear socks. I think I have a pretty good imagination, but I really have no concept of cold when it's hot. I may be borrowing a lot of clothes from Janet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Balloons and Bubbles

We've survived another birthday party. The water table filled with bubble liquid and bubble wands worked great with the slight wind. I had one party crasher (friend of a friend) who "earned her keep" as she said by face painting. Green kitty cat faces, ladybugs and spiders were the most requested. The balloons got tangled up, but the kids liked them anyhow.
I think we had about 25 adults and 28 kids, so Aldo has a car full of gifts. We've let him open the two giant ones from his grandma and uncle so far and that's about all the excitement and newness we need for a while. Oh, and Aunt Chloe gave Aldo a clucking chicken flashlight that they both love.

Aldo had a great time and totally knew it was his party. But he melted down before we could get to his cake. He cried and I had to ask Owen and the rest of the kids to help blow out the candle. One kid threw up on the grass (cousin Ryan) and now I think the kids and I have a cold. But overall, a successful party. We gave the leftover sandwiches to the homeless guys in the park "Thanks man, tell your kid happy birthday," and I've cooked most of the vegetable plate into last night's chicken stew. I think I'll make broccoli potato cheddar soup with the broccoli. I'd have to say that without wind, a helium balloon tied to a mini vial of bubble liquid is a good favor for a 2-year-old party. Oh, and it turns out that you really can make workable bubble liquid from dish soap, water and glycerin and it's almost as good.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2 hours to party

The big party for the two-year-old is starting in 2 hours. I thought there might be a traffic problem because 3,500 people are walking for the frogs starting half an hour ago about three blocks from party central. But Greg says it's fine.

The weather was looking like it was going to be way too hot. And then it changed to way too cold (for San Diego, that's about 65 degrees) but now it's looking perfect.

Our refrigerator looks like a clown car packed with two fruit and vegetable platters, a sandwich tray, a wrap tray and a cake. My car truck is stuffed with 10 helium balloons struggling to be free.

We're missing our cake decorator who moved to Mississippi last year, so we have a simple CostCo cake. I'm sure it'll be tasty, but nothing like the spectacular jungle scene we had last year.

Time to get the guest of honor ready to go. He's very excited about "Me party."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aldo has been experimenting in the bathroom

He loves brushing his teeth, okay, well, sucking the tasty blue gel off of the brush is what he loves, but close enough. And we recently found evidence that he's branching out trying to find new "flavors." His tooth brush was covered in my undereye concealer and his brother's smelled distinctly of my Curls Rock! hair gel. Ugh.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yearbook Yourself


says this is my yearbook portrait from 1960. I am amused.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch with the toddler playgroup, which is always hot, dusty, exhausting and exciting. Okay, pumpkin patch is kind of grand considering we just lifted up an already picked pumpkin from a pile that I saw them pour out of a box. There were lots of living things there--too many, actually. I could do without the biting emus, the butting goats and the spitting llamas.The "train ride" was driven by a small tractor that couldn't carry the weight of the three adult and multiple kid passengers. So, they kicked off a dad and made some of the farm hands push the train. The kids love the bouncy slide and bounce house and the ride on the two sickly-looking ponies.
And then they got to choose their own pumpkin and lug it all the way to the cash register. The best thing at the pumpkin patch (besides our friends) is all of the photo op's.

Product raves

I could write some more about what it's like to stay home with sick kids, but it'd be mostly muttered swear words and besides, now they're well. Did you even know Scarlet Fever still existed? It's not just a drag queen name, it's the rash that comes with a strep infection. Owen looked like he was sunburned and then it got a little bit blistered.

Anyhow, I wanted to write about a few products I am happy about right now:

Poopourri.
I know it's odd, but it works, which is a nice thing if you have a lot of houseguests and one bathroom or if you are potty training a toddler who wants you to sit next to them reading stories in a small bathroom concentrated with the smell that spells potty success.

And Mexican Cokes are a hit in our house. In real glass bottles made with real cane sugar. Our CostCo just started stocking these, so we got a case. A case that is disappearing quickly.

Ooh, and Disney Kids' mini ice cream cones. They're the perfect size for toddlers because they only hold about 2 tablespoons and that's all I really want them to eat. They're the cake kind and we got them at Ralph's. I may serve these at Aldo's birthday party.

And although we lack the home decor tendency, I was tempted by these:

It says MOTHER is terribly stressed but compared to Dad she still KNOWS BEST




and HAPPINESS IS knowing that eventually the kids will go off to college and then you'll have A CLEAN HOUSE.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall is here. Time for the pumpkin.

Is today the first day of Fall? I know it's around now because it's always around the 21st and I saw a Fall Foliage map on the weather report.

In Fall's honor, or perhaps more becaue they sound good, I'm making pumpkin muffins today. Rather, I just made chicken fried rice with my Chinese vegetable stash from a previous post and I'm going to make pumpkin muffins with Owen when he wakes up from his nap.

Did you catch it? The tell tale sign that all is not well? Owen has a little fever (100 degrees) and is napping. It's strangely quiet in the house because both boys are sleeping.

I made a pumpkin pie last week, but that was because we saw them in Cost Co. The boys and I ate the whole thing because my husband is not a pie-eater. I justified every slice by thinking "two servings of orange vegetable."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And I've never even read The Secret










I've been table shopping because our warm September nights are perfect for dining outdoors. The kids love to see Harriet running around the table (and then sidling up to it to see what she can snag.) It also cuts down on the food droppings in the dining room. We've been using a fold up camping table, but it wasn't made for this much use and the seats are breaking one by one. Usually the ones Greg or I sit on since the kids' behinds don't make a dent.


So, I 've been looking on Craig's List at picnic tables but couldn't figure out how to get it home in my Toyota. Greg doesn't want to buy outdoor furniture until the new patio is done (expected date: never.) And then our neighbors down the street said they had a table to give us because their kids have outgrown it. It's waterproof and weatherproof and perfect.



Harriet is our busser. And floor show.




Finally, here's how much fun two tubes can be.





video

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I need a time out!

Alternate title: Why won't they nap?!


Yesterday, I cleaned the heck out of the livingroom looking for Greg's lost stylus. The stylus is still lost, but I found a lot of heck.

And then when Aldo lost it from being inside for that long, we went to one of his favorite places on earth, the Model Train museum in Balboa park. He was so excited, he pointed and exclaimed at the parking lot, "There, Mommy, train!" And as we walked toward the museum he got more and more excited and vocal. Until we got there and realized (once again) that it is closed on Mondays. Oh, the sad refrain of "train, train, traaaaaaaaaain," all the way back to the car.

Today, we set out for the Mission Valley library storytime. Sure, there are other storytimes, but this one has singing and bubbles and dancing and lots of kids under 2. We stopped for a few groceries and got there just a few minutes late. I was a bit surprised to see so many parking spaces, but never imagined that it was CLOSED (gasp, muttered swear words,) for carpet repair. For the next month. Ungh.

Is noon too early to start drinking?

Fortunately, Owen got out the playdough and they're both playing with the playdough cookie cutters and such. It's a handmade batch, so it's color is muddy mold color. I was aiming for fuschia.

Greg mentioned last night that he really wants to go on an overnight fishing trip again. Soon. I told him he could go as soon as my overnight trip to the spa was booked. He said, "Tell me when," and I said "tomorrow." But maybe it'll be next week. I want a weekday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Asian supermarket field trip

I went to the Asian supermarket last Friday with a friend and her kids and ended up with the usual cartful of interesting edibles. (Do I capitalize "Asian"? Why? It's not a country?)

My main mission was more Curing pills and Po Chai pills for happy stomachs. And jars of premade Lee Kum Kee sauces. A bunch of greens that you rarely find in the regular markets--Chinese broccoli, baby bok choi, Napa cabbage, (ok, you can find Napa cabbage in most markets around here, but this Napa cabbage was fresher and crisper. )

And the weird label stuff like the Pocari sweat. My friend got a can of fried baby clams for her husband. She says he asks her if she's trying to kill him when he gets stuff like that. I brought my husband home some Panky chocolate for the name and it's surprisingly delicious. I love me some Panky.

And purple toast. I forgot that I like taro toast. It's purple and a little sweet and sticky inside.

I need to go back for some soda crackers that I saw called, "Magic Flakes." I think I need some more magic about now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dark chocolate, Brown Widows and Caca

Chocolate Midnight is a dark chocolate cake with two frosted cookies on the top--a white one in the shape of a moon (with facial features) and a chocolate frosted star. The kids took one apiece as Greg blew out his candles. It turns out that the cake is so dark chocolatey that it's too much for us. Greg has abandoned it for the brownies I made the day before and the kids say, "No thanks," when it's offered. Guess who's going to finish the cake. Yep, me and the diabetic babysitter are splitting it over the next couple of days. Unless I can get a neighbor to eat a piece.

Trouble is, my dessert-splitting neighbor Sarah has gone back to work. Her youngest (and only) has turned and is in full-time preschool and heading for kindergarten. It's beginning to be a trend. Moms are disappearing off the stay-at-home radar and are taking up jobs, gym memberships, hobbies or second and third babies. And when Aldo starts preschool (if?) who knows what will happen.

Owen's already been in full day preschool (8:30-12:30) for a while, which has allowed me to take Aldo to his toddler class. It is a place he can indulge his love of the parachute, which like many of his favorite things (bears, strawberries and blueberries) he calls "bear.

And having one kid has allowed me to further my pursuit of a whole new wardrobe through the thrift shops. I started with replacement t-shirts, then dresses, and now I'm up to prints, shoes, and belts. I was looking at a bracelet and I'd consider a new bag. Something purselike.

And the kids' clothes. So cute and so cheap.

It's nap time now. Owen still has a slight fever, so it might be a good nap.

Did I tell you he was sent home yesterday for fighting? A kid wanted him to do something at lunch, he didn't do it, the kid said, "Caca." At three years old, thems fighting words. So, Owen shoved him and the sippie cup cut his mouth and then Owen would not apologize. This is a write-uppable offense. Mom was called. Owen eventually apologized and went home.

So, we were a little relieved when he turned out to be sick. "See, it's the fever fighting, not Owen." Owen still got a lot of talking to.

Another wildlife story: Have you heard of the Brown Widow? It's like it's darker more famous cousin, but browner, slightly shyer and more poisonous. They're easiest to identify by their spiky egg sacs that look like old sea mines. If you get the right angle, they have the little red hourglass on the belly. They're also breeding in our backyard. Yikes! Under the playthings. Greg showed me a few before he torched them with the lighter. And then I found another one today along with 3 egg sacs under the wagon where Aldo was putting his little bare foot. All this while Owen got his hair trimmed at the hair salon.

Non-stop excitement around here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The zoo

This is going to be quick because, as usual, I can only dedicate to this blog about the time and attention of the average teenage text message. I'm trying to get this in while they're still using their new zoo clearance-priced battery-powered fan to vibrate tunes out of the thrift store xylophone.

And I still haven't written anything about Seattle, which my tastebud miss dearly, because I'm waiting to upload pictures and that could take a while.

But today was a baby book moment--when the giant tusked pig ate Aldo's shoe. He was kicking his little foot over the bridge to the pigs (from flamingos to the monkeys) and I thought I had better stop that before... and there it went into the muck. By the time the keeper fished it out, it was covered in something dark and mudlike and was missing part of the heel. Chomp.

In other news, Aldo is potty training himself (who is this kid?) and has peed on the potty several times. He is now in pull ups and is ready to start preschool next month when he turns 2. In a terrifying and frustrating change of events, the school just told me it's full. So, they'll find a space or we'll find a new school. Harumph.

And today is Greg's 41st birthday. We gave him his kid-wrapped Goodwill presents--frisbees and a microwave egg cooker! And his photo mug of the kids in a tree. I've made barbecued chicken and potato salad for dinner (how domestic!) And we'll have chocolate cake from Whole Foods for dessert.

I was trying to duplicate the birthday cake I had in Seattle (Black Magic) but they have different cakes in different locations. So we have a Chocolate Midnight cake with a star and a moon on the top. I'll let you know if it's worth staying up for.

One hour until the babysitter gets here. The kids have abandoned the fans and xylophone and have taken the dog outside. Gotta run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cute things Owen has been saying

1. It's sunny o'clock. (when he woke up and saw that it was sunny.)
2. I peed really bad. (because he heard his dad say that he had to pee really bad.)
3. When I'm big, I'm going to drive my own car/my own truck/my own airplane and go really fast. He also has plans to have a little mouse in his truck and a bed for the little mouse.

Owen wants to be a skeleton pirate for Halloween. Or maybe a bat.

I don't know what Aldo wants to be. Would it be too much to ask for him to dress in one of the two hand-me-down costumes we have from Owen?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Olympics and the second child



So, I just sent out my almost monthly photo album to the family and there's something new--pictures of Aldo with his friends. Aldo has friends. He has interests. He has a scrunchy little scowl that resembles none of us, but looks a little like Elvis. He has favorite books and trains (Everybody Poops and Gordon, respectively.) It's reassuring and expected, but still a little surprising. He requests a napkin (towel) at the table to wipe his hands. And he brings me my shoes when he's decided he'd like to go out. Who is this kid?

In an attempt to avoid the second child guilt, I've joined a second playgroup for Aldo's age and am making the effort to learn names and make playdates. The names is the hard part. In fact we're on our way to meet um, Gemma and Alex(?) and someone else at the model railroad museum in less than an hour.
What else is new?

I'm freaked out by the idea of child predators. I know, everyone is, but I mistakenly clicked on a link to a news story about a torture murder of a child (and I'm not going to link it) and it keeps creeping around my head. I'm thinking that we did the wrong kind of dog training with Harriet, you know, the no biting strangers kind, when we should have enrolled in junk yard dog vocation school. Not sleeping enough is probably not helping. Or rather the sleep in three hour increments that I'm getting because Aldo would like a little company when he wakes up in the middle of the night is affecting my ability to think straight.
I'm still going to the gym. I think it helps. Yesterday, we had a substitute "Power Core" teacher named Olga. She is from the Ukraine and I think it was the accent, but I felt like we were going for the gold, which brings me to:
The Olympics--why do I think the Olympics is better viewing for the kids than kiddie programs? I guess I want them to soak up the internationalism and the idea that working hard to be the best is valuable. Plus, it almost always puts Owen to sleep if we watch the events in the afternoons.
And lastly, this month's preschool topic is "Community Helpers" and today is "Dress as a Community Helper Day." Owen is dressed as a police officer. He loves his whistle. And his hat. It's just adorable.






Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lower standards

Moms who are also expecting often say, "I don't know how I'm going to do it with two."

My answer is: with a little more shrillness in your voice and with lower standards.

I think we've got a better rhythm now and it's not as hard or desperate as Aldo's first year, but after sleepless nights like last night it's like we go back in time.

Today is a day of lower standards. For example, right now, the kids are watching Little Einsteins so Mommy can pack a snack and talk to the Internet. The 5 second rule has turned into If Harriet hasn't Licked it rule. I think dinner is going to be something from the freezer (tamales?) with a side of something from a can (green beans?). And I'll be taking chocolate, caffeine and ibuprofen every 4 hours.

Thursday morning 3 am

It's now 3:30 am and Aldo and I have been up for over half an hour now. Greg's away for the night on business, so it's always my turn to get him. Aldo didn't go to sleep until after 9:30 then he woke up at midnight and then at 3. This pattern has been going on for a while, so I think it's become a habit, rather than molars or nightmares or just needing a cuddle. So, he's crying (sobbing) and it's awful.

Aldo throws the pillows and blankets out of the bed in protest. And his stuffed dogs which are supposed to be his loveys who help him sleep. If he's particulary pissed, he throws his blankets and pillow out, takes off his pajama shorts and diaper and then pees on the mattress.

So tonight, when I caught him bare bottomed at midnight, I put him in a new diaper and overalls which he can't unsnap--yet. And after 10 minutes of crying after 3 am, I told him if he didn't stop crying, I'd take away Owen. So, now Owen's sleeping on Greg's side of the bed. That made him cry more, but it didn't make him sleep. It did make me feel like a bit of a monster, but if Owen wakes up, it doubles my problem.

It's 3:39 now. The house is quiet. I'm going back to sleep. I bet I get until 5 am.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Not interesting and terrifying


I got my haircut short--really short for me. So far everyone has told me that it looks cute or cool and no one has said it looks "interesting" so I think that's a good sign.

I got Aldo's hair cut today too. I'm on a roll. Aldo had to sit on my lap because he doesn't feel brave enough to do it on his own yet. He cried for the the beginning, but he likes the buzz of the clippers. But now I have hair in my bra. Itchy. Owen's next. I'm aiming for tomorrow.

Aldo is in that stage where he runs through stores under the radar and racks of clothes and ends up at something he finds interesting. It's been once in Ross where I found him with help from a salesperson. We all three ended up with dirty hands and knees from crawling around after him. And today in Babies R Us.

Babies R Us was worse because I could hear babies calling for "Mommy" but it wasn't mine. Mine was happily lookng at a bench he found with Thomas the Tank Engine on it.

Rica, if you're reading this, leave a comment so I know you're there!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Skunked!

Harriet was itching to get outside around midnight. We'd been smelling skunks and she was doing the crazy huntress dance, so I refused to let her out. But we'd also recently gotten burgled (fishing poles, tricycle,) and Greg is charmed by the fact that she wants to protect the family so he let the maniac out. After a couple of seconds, Harriet yelped and came running back smelling like burning rubber with garlic. Not the perfume of the season in case you were perfume shopping. It actually hurts your nose.

Internet, you have saved us once again. Turns out there's a peroxide, baking soda, dish soap mixture that detoxes the dog, and ground coffee and candles are helping with the residual smell in the house. It also turns out that a lot of people have worse skunk stories than us--where the dogs got sprayed in the garage or the dog immediately ran in and rubbed itself on the living room carpet. Did you know skunk smell can last for years?

Aldo woke up to the sounds of the dog being bathed against her will. And then Owen woke up to see what was going on too. Owen seemed bemused by the idea of Harriet meeting a skunk. Harriet did not go blonde, despite her two applications of peroxide. She's still her naturally orangey brown.

I'm going to get some coffee ground for next to my bed and then try sleeping again. What a night.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Online Mommyverse

I check 3 online mommy boards throughout the day.

I've got the San Diego Toddler's Playgroup which is Owen's primary playgroup. We meet up with them about once a week and all the kids are friends. I even go when Owen's in school (at his office) so Aldo can play and Mommy can catch up. We have Mom's Night's Out, though not enough, and our kids have the best times together--birthday parties, Sea World, zoo trips, water play, and dress-up playdates.

Another is the newest one, Aldo's playgroup, a massive group of 500 moms called Moms and Tots. Theirs is an active message board where there's always someone asking for advice and a lot of answers or at least commiseration. We sometimes make it to their Monday music class where Owen and Aldo get to race around, wear mardi gras beads, and pound on the piano.

And the last one goes all the way back to pregnancy. It used to be called December Expecting Club because we all joined through iVillage as soon as the pink stripe appeared to compare weight gain and other symptoms together--and then have big debates about circumcision and formula vs. breastfeeding and then have big "Can't we all get along" make up threads. Not everyone got along so we've moved to a different site and are now called the Hot Mamas.

All the kids are three and a half and we're more secure in our parenting, so it's less about feeding and sleep issues and more about extended families, getting back in shape at the gym or in our heads, going back to work, considering a second or third baby, discussing our menfolk (though not nearly as much as they would guess,) and exchanging recipes and fashion ideas. It's pretty cool.

One Hot Mama lives in San Diego, so we've met at a Chuck E Cheese. She works during the week and we try to reserve the weekends for Daddy adventures, so we haven't seen very much of her. But our kids are friends now. Yesterday I met my second Hot Mama. She came with her husband on a business trip, so we met for lunch at Seaport Village. It was fun and so unlikely. It's like meeting your penpal.

Don't you just love the Internet?

Grandma Phyllis teaches Owen African dance

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Owen's favorite story

Um, can you tell me the story about get married?

Owen loves to hear about how we got married. Actually, he doesn't like too many details about the wedding itself, flower arrangements or monogrammed chocolates, but he likes to hear that people he knows were there. And then we get to the good part--when we had a baby and it was Owen.

And I was little?

Owen was very little and we took him home from the hospital. And then 2 years later we went to the hospital because it was time for Aldo to come out. And Grandma Doris came to take care of Owen. And then Owen went to the hospital to meet Aldo for the first time and gave him a hug.

And that's the end of that story.

But now Owen's asking about the future. He asked if we were going to go away. Where did this come from? Was it a mistake to let him watch Star Wars and Wall-E?

I told him that he will be going to summer camps when he's bigger and then he'll come back home. And then after he graduates high school, he'll choose a college and we'll drive him there with all of his clothes and he'll come back home for vacations. And then when he graduates college, he'll find his own house and we'll help him move in and we'll still visit just like his grandparents visit us.

So far, that's satisfied him. I wonder what question are going on in there, what fears or ambitions I could help with.

I've asked him if he wants to have kids when he grows up. He says he wants 5 kids and 5 dogs. I think he'll be wanting us to visit a lot.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

C is for Crazy

My sons are so helpful, it's incredible. Right now, for example, Aldo is bringing me one panty liner at a time from the storage closet (which he has recently learned to open )and is carefully putting each one in a different place in the dining room. I know I should stop him, but it's keeping him quiet.

Okay, I draw the line at chewing on tampons. Why are these things so darn interesting? I've heard of one mom whose kid was super excited when he found the tampons because she paid for the brand that put them in shiny colored plastic wraps and he was sure they were POPSICLES!

I was reading about the 10 healthiest foods you're not eating and I'm pleased to say we have 7 in the house. Momdom is full of these little quizzes. Maybe because we're desperate to know that we're doing okay. Nobody gives you performance reviews unless you really mess up and then you talk to CPS (or so I'm told.) There are quizzes to tell you what kind of mom you are--are you a Helicopter parent? Are you a bitch? Is your child above or below average for milestones, height and weight, or is s/he gifted?

I don't really take quizzes because I know what kind of parent I am--not so much helicopter as shuttle bus driver and only bitchy if we run out of chocolate. And my kids are great, smaller than average, but charismatic climbers. But I do feel the need to try to get a report card from my husband. You know, subtle things like, "I cleaned the cabinet doors today. Look how clear they are. I used a cloth diaper. Those things make the best glass cleaner."

Greg plays along, "It looks like we have new cabinets," but I know he doesn't really care. Why should he?

The truth is I'll never win an award for housecleaning because I don't care enough, but I'll tell you what the current braggable prize is: Owen tells me at least once a day of his own volition, "Mommy, I soooooo love you."

Monday, June 23, 2008

The golfish years

Ooh, a blog. I tried for the title "Yet another blog," but apparently someone's already taken that.

I was also going to call it "Better than Housework," because everything is, and because most of this motherhood thing isn't housework. It's the opposite--watching or even helping your kids tear the house apart in pursuit of fun and learning or just making the time go by until it's dinner. Maybe that's still a better title.

Anyhow, here we are in the goldfish years. We are surrounded by the snack that smiles back: there are goldfish on my younger son's plate at the moment, stale (but apparently still edible) goldfish in the crack of his carseat, and goldfish crumbs in the crease of the sofa. Goldfish crackers are our default snack, mostly because they come in a really big carton at CostCo and they take a while to become too stale to nibble on.

I've also been thinking about Goldfish because I recommended Laurie Berkner's song "The Goldfish" to the Tuesday storytime librarians. It's perfect for little kid miming because it has lyrics about swimming, brushing teeth, taking a shower, riding bicycles and sleeping. And a catchy little tune. Unfortunately, I told them it was called, "Let's Go Swimming!" so I hope they figure it out.