Monday, February 25, 2008

Run. Run like the wind....

This kid just doesn't stop. Ever.


Photo by Dodi

Our day started with laps around our house this morning. I timed Max at each lap while I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, hoping to see if just some of his energy could be burned to the ground. (We're trying different approaches to see what can calm his excited little soul on a school day.)

Max is...Busy, yes. Fast, yes. Distractable, oh quite definitely.

He'd run and run and run and then stop and put his bike helmet on. Or he'd run and run and then bring me a worm.

"Am I so fast, Mommy?" he'd laugh as he ran by and tapped the recycling can before starting another lap.

I even tried shouting some coaching pointers, feeling a little like Bill Bowerman with stopwatch and coffee mug in hand. His run isn't exactly efficient, so I offered "Pump your arms", my breath steaming silently into the brisk morning. And what did I see? Max spreading his arms far out to his sides and flapping as if he were Icarus ready for flight. I nearly spit out my coffee at the sight of it.

And speaking of laughter...check out this video of the budding Bob Hope. Talk about Dinner Theater.

At the drive in, maybe.

video

Sunday, February 24, 2008

CARS is a four letter word

Pixar has ruined my life.

Not intentionally, I'm sure, but their movie of the superstar race car has turned my otherwise sweet, loving, and mild little boy into a toddler Nascar nightmare.

Observe this little video, I think it explains our dilemma better than any words I might have:

video

You see, I'm not getting the rest that my body needs, craves, and requires because there is an obsession, a compulsion, and a constant cry for Cars. "Cars!" "Cars!" "Cars!" accompanied with a koala-like leg hold that would merit high points in a wrestling match.

Any suggestions? Do I feed the beast and bring on more McQueen? Or try to redirect and distract? We went through this with Curious George aka "Joe Monkey" with Max, and we totally went with it. But I just can't get the same warm fuzzy for an egocentric race car and a redneck tow truck as I did for an illustrated little monkey who has charmed children and parents for generations. Oh, what I wouldn't give for the man in the yellow hat to visit Radiator Springs and ride off with Sally and the curious lil' monkey and leave McQueen in the dust.

Sigh.

But I'm not blaming Hollywood for this little problem. In fact, I'm embracing movies tonight, as well as the creative folks at Pixar. I'll watch the Oscars and cheer for all the movies, celebrities and talent that I did NOT see. (2007 was not a good year for the box office and moi)

Tonight I'm going to make dinner in honor of one of the two movies nominated that I DID see.

One-Pan Ratatouille
From Sunset Magazine



Photo by James Carrier

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced (1/2 in.)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
8 ounces Asian eggplant, rinsed and diced (3/4 in.)
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and diced (1/2 in.)
1 zucchini, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced (1/2 in.)
8 ounces yellow summer squash, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced (1/2 in.)
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Preparation

1. In a 12-inch frying pan with sides at least 2 inches tall, or a 5- to 6-quart pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir frequently until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes (with juice), eggplant, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pierced, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until squash is tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes longer.

4. Stir in basil and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

YIELD: 4 servings

CALORIES 215(46% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 1.5g); PROTEIN 5.6g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; SODIUM 634mg; FIBER 6.4g; CARBOHYDRATE 28g


Evening Wear on the Red Carpet

And although I'll be cursing the good folks at Pixar under my garlic breath, this is what we'll be wearing:



The foodie in me hopes that they do well tonight. The Nascar in me...well I guess there just isn't any left.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ponyboy meets Donkey at the park



We've been spending a lot of quality time at the park near our house. It's a magical place where neighbors congregate, catch up, and watch as the youngin's figure out life's great tragedies and joys by the sandbox.






Ziggy even comes by on occasion to help keep the grass down and entertain the crowd.





The only downside of a park outing is the inevitable tantrum that will erupt from either or both of the boys when it's time to go. No matter how coy or firm I am, or how good the reward or incentive to leave may be, there is always a tear shed when it's time to go.





Today's departure went like this:

Me: "Boys, two more minutes."
Max: "No, five more minutes." Seeing that he wasn't getting anywhere with that, "I know, how about ten?" he offers optimistically.
Me: "How about you finish that dig and we're leaving."
A few minutes later
Me: "Okay, time to head out guys."
Max: "Bawwwww, awwwwwww. No Mommy, NO!"

And then, with all the drama of Ponyboy in SE Hinton's The Outsiders, "You're WRECKING MY HEART!"

I'm sure at some point in this journey of parenthood he'll accuse me and/or his father of ruining his life.

But wrecking his heart?

Geesh, where does he get all the drama?




I'm Married to the Pointer Sisters' Muse

He's so shy. And so good lookin'. And I will love him until the day I die. But Mr. Wonderful does not love the blogosphere. See, here's the link to his blog. Hmmm? You can't open it? Oh, wait. That's because he doesn't have one, won't ever have one, and probably thinks this is a very enormous waste of time. But we're okay with that. He's a very private person, and I, well I'm not.

I like to talk. Especially during certain times of the month, and a full moon, and a lunar eclipse. Honey, you'd better just bring out the baked goods, pull up a chair, pour yourself a drink and turn down the volume on that Lifetime movie of the week that I've been watching where Merideth Baxter Birney plays the woman who is DWB (dying while beautiful) and yeah I know how it's going to end because I've seen in before, but what does that matter? 'Cuz babe, I need to emote. And ruminate. And say the same thing over and over and over again until neither one of us can take it anymore. And then, when you think it's all settled and done with and you can relax, I'll bring it up again. Just as you're about to fall asleep.

And even though I've kept you up beyond your bedtime and exhausted your very last nerve, you'll still get up with the kiddos in the morning and make waffles. "Fresh waffles" as Max likes to call them (as opposed to the frozen babies I toss in the toaster while my coffee is brewin') and you let the boy crack the egg and stir the batter even though it makes something twitch inside of you to see the shell go into the batter. You still say "Good job" and remind him not to lick the spoon due to the uncooked egg (BTW, I saw him lick it when you turned your back, but he seems fine).

Which is why I love you, my Mr. Wonderful. And I will respect your wishes to remain anonymous and mysterious.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Moon...It Melted.


Max was discussing his lunar experience with his dad this morning over coffee and hot cocoa. He rattled on that he and Sammy got to go OUTSIDE at NIGHTTIME and it was AFTER DINNER and there were PEOPLE OUT.

"Did you see the moon?" Daddy asked.

"Yeah. It melted."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Night, Moon



We got a call tonight from our friend Dorian who was heading home from the grocery store with two hungry kids during the dinner hour...brave and hearty soul that she is.. reminding us about tonight's lunar eclipse. I'd been looking forward to observing it AFTER the kids were asleep, preferably with some warm fleece and red wine, but I also realized that this was a marvelous opportunity for celestial encounter, astronomy/astrology and outdoor science fun. Plus, I just COULD NOT play one more round of Animal Farm with my kids. I love their imaginations, but really, there are only so many times in one day that a grown woman can quack, oink, moo etc. while having lego pieces thrown at her that are supposed to be bacon, chocolate chip cookies or blueberries. It's like bad performance art at the preschool playhouse.

There truly is no better sound than a ringing phone or dinging timer at those moments.

"Quick! Grab your jackets and help me find the moon!"

I've never seen these guys so perplexed in their lives; quacking like little ducks and racing around the living room as if the wolf was after them and their lives depended on finding a coat and shoes before Mommy regained her sanity and sent them to brush their teeth instead of go outside. In the dark. At night. This was just too much! Fun!

This is how we rolled...

Turnaround, Every now then I know you'll always be the only boy who
wanted me the way that I am
Turnaround, Every now and then I know there's no one in the universe as
magical and wonderous as you
Turnaround, Every now and then I know there's nothing any better and there's
nothing that I just wouldn't do
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart
Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity for an '80's power ballad using a lunar eclipse as metaphor. Now, let's compose ourselves, shall we? and get on with the blog...

Unfortunately, the trees were blocking our view from our house, so into the rennievan we went and drove to a clearing over the water. It was beautiful, hypnotic, and primal to watch the moon disappear in front of our eyes. There were others out watching it too, and we couldn't help but think of what early societies must have thought during these experiences, and how surreal it must have been to see it without any CNN coverage or internet lead.

What did the budding astronomers think?

"Helicopter!"
"Dog!"
"Airplane!"

Max wanted to know if the moon was going to come back before dinner tomorrow night.

And Sammy, for the first time, said "Moooon. Mooooon. Moooon." It was kind of a Helen Keller/Annie Sullivan moment, being out in the cold night air, pointing at the moon that was disappearing and wondering just what the hell was going through their minds and if they are getting any of this (you try explaining earth's shadow to a not-yet-four year old who wants to know which side of the atmosphere the sky is on).

We hung out for about half an hour and then went home. And this is what happened:



Good night stars. Good night air. Good night noises everywhere.
- Margaret Wise Brown



Do we really have to wait another three years for a night like this again?


Monday, February 18, 2008

I don't heart Mondays

I wanted to post some pics of my boys with their matching black eyes and bulging purple temples, but the thought of Child Protective Services taking away my computer (okay, I'd miss my kids, too) forced me to show some restraint. That, and if my mom saw the bumps, you'd be able to hear the intake shriek from three states away.

The boys look like they've each taken a couple of rounds with Iron Mike. Sam's been doing his usual toddler tumbles while breaking the fall with his forehead. He has a perpetual olive green lump above his left eye that just seems like it's a part of him. Max went about 20 mph into a kitchen stool below his left eye and barely missed making this a very tragic blog entry. His eye looks like he's spent an hour or so at the MAC counter and is ready to head to the disco, it's such a pretty blend of ice blue to purple. He was already recovering from taking a toy Airbus 330 into the forehead, so that side of his face is looking pretty rough.

Last night Max asked if he could do "Naked Baby" as he got out of the tub, and before I could finish saying "Let me dry you off so you don't sli..." I heard the rumble and then the splat as forehead met hardwood floor. A giant lump (to match his brother's) soon appeared above his previously unblemished eye. And if that weren't enough to put me on prozac, or speed dial to 911, Sammy decided to practice his Spidey Skills and fall out of the crib last night. Now he's got a bruise on top of a bruise and a very jumpy mama.

Which is why I ran into his room when he woke up at 4:20 a.m. to soothe him back to sleep, rather than let him figure it out like I usually might do. Later, once my eyeballs were officially open, there was the garbage to contend with, this being Monday and all. Two cans, two kids, a ride-on tractor toy and a go-kart later, we were heading down the road. Max got a wild hair up his rocket booster and decided to take off full speed ahead toward our busy road, despite my loud, louder and loudest shouts of "STOP!" etc. So loud was I that I soon found two neighbors helping me, including the one who works nights and is usually asleep until noon. I think I need to bake someone some brownies. And take away go-kart privileges.

We were back in the rennievan and on the road by 8:40 a.m. to take Max to his new "Music and Motion" class at the YMCA, only to arrive and find that there was no class due to a mid-winter break. Funny, since EVERY piece of information I'd received from them had said that classes started today. Especially HILARIOUS since I had specifically asked about it being mid-winter break. And down right SIDE SPLITTING since I'd hauled two kids all the way there and was NOT WEARING A BRA and therefore could not go for a run myself.

And it just gets funnier and funnier as I ask Max repeatedly if he had to use the potty, only to be told after leaving the YMCA, and the gas station, that yes, in fact, there was a urine emergency. Into Starbucks for a clean potty and a skinny latte. Few things make me happier than the smell of coffee, but my oldest offspring told me that the bathroom at Starbucks "smelled good in here". Ugh, I worry about boys. And as I'm waiting for my desperately-needed coffee and corraling the bucking broncos who are taking down displays left and right, I wished to be anyone but me.

A little trick I've learned while mothering these boys: shut the garage door before opening the car door, lest the little ones spy a speck of sunshine and run madly for the great, muddy outdoors. But during our car ride, Max had told me that he'd pooped in the yard yesterday (lovely) and since I was concerned that he'd also been in the neighbor's yard, I wanted to make sure that I didn't need to make a DOUBLE batch of brownies. So poop was properly inspected, acknowledged, and then consensus was made to replicate the experience INSIDE the house today. Preferably on the potty.

I could write an entire blog about poop. Really and seriously. But I'm not there. Yet. Needless to say, victory was achieved, calls were made to Daddy, and pasta was boiled. Ahhhh.

And just think, I still have garbage can retrieval to look forward to today.

Boomtown rats, you sing my soundtrack.

If it hadn't been such an unbelievably tragic week/month, I'd post their video here. But I still have a small modicum of decency in me, despite it being a Monday.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Head 'em up, Load 'em out...

Parenthood is full mysteries.

Many are profound, soul-searching, life-affirming and truly unanswerable perplexities. For example, I still cannot fully wrap my head around the miracle of birthing a child from my womb (even though I was there twice, have pictures I'll never show to anyone ever, said things to my husband he'll never let me forget, bless his heart, etc....). From the very beginning, motherhood has presented itself as perhaps life's most beautiful mystery, and I am in awe.

I work really hard to try hard to find and treasure that same sense of wonder while parenting our boys. It keeps me going, charges the battery, and reminds me that this hard, hard, hard work is in itself it's own reward. These little guys are learning, absorbing, discovering and working at solving life's mysteries every day. I suppose we all are, to a certain degree, but it is just SO INTENSE with small children.

I took this picture of Max on our way home from the park earlier this week. It was a gray day with a tease of sunshine here and there. The clouds broke and the sun opened up right above us; a warm and natural beacon. Max and Sam didn't say anything, but their heads turned to the light (okay, that sounds creepy and ominous) and Max let out a sigh. A little breath that took in the wonder of the light. And as he let out that little gasp, he took my breath away, too.




I'm not always good at this mothering gig, and this winter it's been a true test. We've been sick, not sleeping well (or long), stuck inside the house way too much, and basically shuffling through challenges and decisions that have worn us down. There are decisions about finances, healthcare, getting time to complete the never-ending chore list, blah blah blah. It's exhausting and when run with the soundtrack of monkey tackles and foreign objects being flushed down the toilet, just plain old unnerving.

And in addition to the mysteries and complexities, decisions and choices, there are the mundane and utilitarian conundroms of parenting.

Such as: why do I need FIVE strollers for two children? When one of whom is really too heavy for me to push, and the other is so getsited to finally be vertically motating that he refuses to sit for a long haul. I consider getting rid of one (stroller, not child), and then, like the fourteen pairs of black shoes in my closet, I rationalize a reason to hang on to each and every one.

Take for example, the double jogging stroller. How else could I haul two kids, a soccer ball, two buckets, a shovel, a rake AND a hoe to the park?

See, I need this:




And how does hair smell like mud? Even if it's not muddy, but it still speaks of wet dirt, and why is that such a delicious smell on a little boy and not so attractive on grown men?

And how cute and happy is this little guy to be able to finally play with the big dogs at the park?



________________________________________

Speaking of crazy cute...On Thursday, I made cute little heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine's Day breakfast. That's chocolate sprinkled on top, and that made them very, very happy.



But not NEARLY as happy as Max was when he got to talk to Donald Duck on the phone:


Thanks, Grandpa Tom.

Why is such a ridiculous, spit-splattering, duckie dialect SO HILARIOUS to kids?

I dunno.

It's all a mystery to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Jerk the beagle!"

In doggy heaven, there are lots of little beagles howling with delight over Uno's victory last night at the Westminster Kennel Club. http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/




If you have a high tolerance for pain, you might enjoy this video to demonstrate what those poochie partiers might be doing.

There's a soft spot in my heart for one of those little revelers in particular.

Daisy J. (1985-2000)

Sweet, confused, neurotic Daisy was a beloved pet who joined our family when I was a teenager and lived the most cat-like existence of any dog I know. Daisy dodged many figurative bullets in her fifteen or so years, not the least of which included her beagle-driven propensity to flee from the confines her ample and safe yard to play in traffic. Living near a busy street, we had lost another cherished pet, Molly (1980-1984) when she darted out into traffic. It was traumatic (we saw it happen); it was tragic (she was hit by a classmate of mine that I'd known since kindergarten whose identity I will protect since I wouldn't want any schipperke vigilantes on his tail); and it made us very protective.

Which just made "The Escape" all the more amusing for Daisy.

On a very regular basis, Daisy would escape the yard and run. And run. And run. I have vivid memories of being a teenager searching for my dog with, gasp/shudder...a parent nearby. A parent who was yelling. Loudly. Like, as if, they WANTED to call attention to us and our disobedient canine. Needless to say, it was embarrassing. It was frustrating. It was repetitive. And for Daisy, it was sure happiness.

She'd hear us, she'd recognize us, she'd wag her tail excitedly, and then she'd run...in the opposite direction. Hours and hours and hours of my life - even well into adulthood - were spent chasing this neurotic beast. I'm getting irritated just writing about it.

Solution=Obedience School.

I'd like to think that I was trying to fix a problem or help Daisy, but in reality, I was probably just looking for an excuse to drive my mom's car after school. At age sixteen, I took Daisy to obedience school held in the same building where I later took aerobics (can't believe I did sit-ups on that floor). Led by an older, married couple who drove a camper to class and seemed as if they'd spent their entire adult life around dogs, the class was filled with dog owners seeking answers from the oracles. The instructors knew the quirks of the labs, the poodles, the schnauzerdoodles, and rescued mutts. They told each pet's owner things that they otherwise would never know about their dog, the breed, and whether or not they'd made a good choice in selecting their pet.

Needless to say, beagles were not their prized students. Yeah yeah yeah, all creatures great and small, yeah yeah yeah, loved all doggies, yeah yeah yeah. Whatever. Daisy was the class clown, unruly, unable to stay in line, and I'm pretty sure they thought I was amateur. Or immature. Both were correct, for sure, and being Daisy's owner just got more and more humiliating.

One evening, early in the six week program, we were parading our pooches in a circle practicing the proper "lead". The instructor, with his big belly and combover, was up on a stage giving instruction like a square dance caller, while his wife (whom I'm now picturing in a square dance pennifore and lots of ruffles), was working the floor and demonstrating proper technique. "Walk! German shepard," square dance caller would say, or "Left arm, dalmation," and then he SHOUTED. I didn't even see it coming, but it was directed right at me. Loudly, forcefully, with harsh quickness that sounded like he was spitting, he shouted, "JERK the BEAGLE! JERK the BEAGLE!"

"Jerk the beagle??" Oh. My. God. You have SO GOT to be kidding me.

Needless to say, obedience school didn't turn out to be very effective.

Daisy had lots of interaction with medical personnel. I'm not going to say veterinarians, because Daisy wasn't that selective. Take, for example, the time she ate bushels of cherries that had fallen in our orchard and her belly became so distended from the pits lodged in it that she appeared to have softball sized tumor. I think she got x-rays at the dentist. Or was her time spent in the dental chair when she was diagnosed with the life-threatening mouth tumor? And my dear, sweet parents drove over an hour and half to take her to a vet school where they would confirm the worst. This dog has only a limited time. Weeks. Maybe months at best.

Through tears and treatments, my parents indulged the beloved pet in McDonalds drive-thru. "Yeah, can I have a quarter pounder without cheese or pickles? And can you hold the lettuce, tomato, mustard? It's for my dog. Yep. That's right. Thank you."

Are you kidding me? Daisy had been waiting her whole life for this. She wasn't going to go out now. Seven years and many mcnuggets later, that dog was still kicking. And running. And running. And running.

Ultimately, Daisy the cat, er dog, did find her final resting spot. Our world is a little quieter without her yowling, and it's nice for my folks to be able to leave the gate open for a few minutes without fear of having to run a 5K after bringing in the garbage can.

But this morning, when I read about Champion Uno, my heart pulled a little for Daisy J. And I truly hope she sang one hell of a song with all her little beagle buddies last night.

And that she ran and ran and ran and ran.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Raucous Caucus



Just got back from attending my first electoral caucus. I knew all that time in Junior State http://www.jsa.org in high school, memorizing Robert's Rules of Orders, would come back to haunt me someday. It was a spectacular turnout and I was proud that our 'hood had an especially large representation.



Intelligent debate from both Obama and Clinton supporters, and it was interesting to see my neighbors engaged in something outside of their usual context.


I was surprised at how ardent some folks were, given that this was a primary and not the actual presidential election. And also given how small this community is, but I guess that speaks more to how passionately people feel about what's going on in this country right now.



I brought the junior statesman to experience democracy in action. He much preferred the hot cocoa stop afterward but did well considering this was his first political experience outside of a polling booth or the dinner table debates at home. For the record, Max says he likes the Donkey better.




Thursday, February 7, 2008

Look out, Donald Trump

While building a lego tower yesterday, Max complained "Whammy's doing it wrong. He's building an apartment not a hotel."

"Okay," I replied, amused by my little developer, "maybe you should help Sammy understand the difference and show him what you want the hotel to look like."

Max considered this and gave various "constructions" (his word for instruction) to his little builder brother regarding the garage, the pool, where his room is located, etc. Then Max grabs a lego shrub and said, like a true visionary developer,

"And this will be a tree so that the people have a place to go pee."

I can't WAIT to stay at that hotel!

The miracle of antibiotics is performing like a little PBS documentary right here in our living room. Sam is feeling so much better and so am I. Thanks for all the good, healing wishes!



Click on the video below to catch Sammy with his favorite medical professional, Doc Hudson.

video

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plague Upon Us

Just a fair warning to those in the 'hood that we seem to have IT. That being the "bug" that's going around that everyone's been talking about...it's here in my crib. Sam's got an ear infection with high fever (thank you, dear antibiotics..now go forth and multiply and kill that pesky bacteria on the far side of his bulging eustacian tube). I, too, have succumbed to the fever (oooh, how very Bronte that sounds) and feel like crap. Achy, chillish, hotish, and in general, not good. Not even strong coffee gave me a cure this morning. Max is developing symptoms, but seems in remarkably good spirits. He told me this morning that he likes spending time with me. Pretty emotive for an under-the-weather almost four year old. He also said that he liked staying up late last night. For the record, it was a very early bedtime, but I told him that I could only read him one story because Mommy needed to get to bed, too. I was yawning, cranky and ready to collapse. I think he thought that since it was my bedtime it must be pretty late. I was conked out before 8:15 pm. So maybe his reality isn't accurate in an empirical sense, but hey, he likes to spend time with me. I like spending time with him, too. Most of the time. Right now I'd like to be in bed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Just Another Manic (Garbage) Monday

Monday at our house means GARBAGE DAY! It's a very exciting thing, anticipating the garbage truck. At least it's exciting for the younger set in our house. Max is a very discerning future sanitation engineer. He can tell me, from several hundred feet away, whether a garbage vehicle is a front loader, rear loader or side loader; if it's a recycler vs. straight refuse; and if there's room on the back for a kid to hang on or not. (Suffice it to say, Max's dream ride would be to hitch up with a really stinky front loader). For moi, Mondays mean gathering up all the stinky, putrid future landfill and trying to shove it into one garbage can. This is my ambition; to consolidate the weekly waste of a family of four into one small garbage can.


Halfway to the end of the road. Sam is pointing at one of the endless distractions along the route. It might be a puddle, a bird, an airplane. Or simply an excuse to stop and further prolong the morning's garbage event.

Our garbage can(s) are collected down to the end of our road, which is about a two minute walk. WITHOUT small children.

But when I have to take the kids, this can literally take half the morning. There's the motivating them out the door, away from their best friend, the good little monkey who was sometimes very curious. Then, there's the bundling up. Into many layers. And boots, and rain gear, and hats. All this, knowing that when we return to the house, I will have to strip the above layers in order to get to their muddy clothes which I will remove and replace with some other fresh laundry that, too, will be muddy within a matter of moments.

If it's a good day, meaning that I've composted, recycled, and not made any poor consumer choices for the week, than I'm working on a 1:2 ratio. As in one garbage can to two kids. On a bad day, I'm wrangling two kids and two garbage cans, and that's hard. But on a RECYCLING DAY (every other Monday), the days I really dread, it can be a 3:2 ratio. Three garbage cans, two kids. And let me remind you, dear gentle readers, that this mom only has two arms. Two not so very long arms.

So there I am, loaded up with stinky poop heading down the pot marked, uneven, and did I mention...Muddy?road with my two future sanitation engineers. Who jump in every puddle. Who stop to slay every prickly blackberry bush. And, in the case of Sam, often fall down face first into the wet sticky mud and then need to be hugged, dusted off, reassured, and soothed. And motivated to continue down the road so that I can pawn off this putrid stink to some poor, unsuspecting sanitation engineer who will have to remove the lid and empty our garbage stink into the toddler dream truck.

Did I mention that it rains here? Often?

There are often howls, tears, or bribery involved in order to turn us around after the garbage cans have been delivered. Some people want to stay and wait for the garbage trucks. Other's want to continue to Georgia's house or the park. But turn around we do. And we make the long, uphill trip back home.

And that's when the challenge really settles in. Transitioning the mud babies into the next activity. Either to go back inside or get in the rennievan so we can start the next adventure. Today I just couldn't fight that battle. There were places to go, things that needed to get done (sorry, babe, I'll pick up the dry cleaning tomorrow), etc., but the boys just wanted to play outside. It was a balmy 37 degrees, they were already muddy, and it wasn't raining TOO hard.

So dig away, my boys. Dig and dig and dig. Maybe we can dig a hole big enough for a garbage dump.


video

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Throwing Rocks at Clouds

We took the boys to the boat launch yesterday for some much-needed stink blowing, mud diggin', sand in your boots fun. It was colder than a well-diggers you-know-what, but well, these boys are diggers!









Needless to say, there is much fleece in our wardrobe these days.

Popsicle Baf and Halftime Madness




We watched a wee bit of the Superbowl today. Max was most intrigued by the flashlights used during the Tom Petty concert. I was mostly intrigued by how Tom Petty used a flat iron on his hair. What's up with that? Anywho, Max thought the flashlights were really cool and so he turned off all the lights and tried to find his flashlight with which to dance and rock out like all the cool cats in Phoenix. Did I mention that the lights were off while he was trying to find his flashlight? Sequential reasoning not being his strength, he managed to find the cool disco ring from his Christmas stocking and danced like a superstar. Sammy's got some mad moves, too.

Popsicle Bath
It started about two years ago from the shear desperation when I was in need of an early bedtime, as well an attempt to let Max enjoy a popsicle without a gazillion papertowels. So I shoved dessert in with bath time and "voila", the invention of the popsicle bath! The boys love, love, love this special treat and I do, too!