Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicken soup

The sweet, candy-like smell of our refrigerator's newest tenant, Amoxicillin.

A vague memory of the bedroom clock as I snuck back into bed at 1:30 a.m., again at 2:20 a.m., sometime during the 3 o'clock hour, and again at 4:27 a.m.

The groggy morning shuffle completed with a sobbing koala clinging to my weary and sleep-wanting neck.

Hot baby breath on my cheek as salty tears mix with kisses.

Big brother finding favorite books for the cranky crier.

Sammy's got an ear infection.

At least the snuggles and hugs are good for both of us.

Red leather chairs, penicillin, plaid pjs and the Summer Olympics.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bad mittens and diving towtrucks

There are days, many of them in fact, in which I feel that there should be some sort of medal given to the moms, dads, and caregivers who chase after, nurture, instruct, feed, and did I mention chase? young ones all day long. Its a marathon of its own kind, with a grueling training regime, very little coaching and no definitive "event". No awarding of medals, national anthems or bragging rights, no studio sessions with Bob Costas or Leonard Holt visiting your playgroup and interviewing small children who admire you and call you a hero.

Which is totally appropriate.

Of course, parenthood is an experience to which competition never adds value. We must each accept our own strengths, enjoy the journey and not focus on besting anyone on any day. Besides, it would be impossible to handicap appropriately, what with cultural differences and all.

Our family is really enjoying the 'Lympics this year. Mr. Wonderful and I were so impressed with the Opening Ceremonies that he even carried a half-asleep Max to the couch to snuggle with me and watch part of it. It was a beautiful moment and I will remember the '08 games differently because of it. Max will remember it because it was the first time he got to see prime time commercials (Hello, Budweiser? Or should I say Bon jour? Yeah, your beer and your commercials suck. Thanks, er, Merci non).

Last night they wanted to stay up to see 'Nastics. So I popped some popcorn, gave them pedicures and offered to braid their hair, but they didn't like that. Sigh. We watched synchronized platform diving and Sam squealed with delight when the men dove backwards, shouting "Bah-wood di-ing, Bah wood di-ing May-ER!" which translates into "Backwards diving, backwards diving..MATER!" over and over again. Max picked up on my vocabulary (a habit that's become quite dangerous) and morphed my "Holy Guacamole" (I'm trying to be good) into "Holy Cock-a-moly!", which takes a bizarre twist when you watch these men in very tight itty bitty Speedos showering together between synchronized dives. Maybe the generic cursing would have been a better choice.

After breakfast this morning the boys wanted to watch Curious George, and since our t.v. is generally only tuned into PBS, I didn't even bother to check the channel after I turned it on. As I was loading the dishwasher, Max yelled out, "Mom, I think the bad mittens are on again." I see color commentary in this kids future for sure.

I think I'll pass on Archery today.

Opening Ceremonies, Beijing Summer Olympics, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

You don't say?

In an effort to help Max turn the word "fro" into "throw", I showed him how fun it is to stick out your tongue while making a "th" sound. He tried over and over again, unsuccessfully, and then sighed and shrugged, "You know, Mom, we don't speak the same language. I think I like to say it my way."

Obviously, our discussion about the different languages spoken during the Olympics is really helping him grasp linguistic variation.

Max has also decided that he needs to wear a belt with every item of clothing, particularly over long shirts and outer wear. This was a look that I experimented with in the 1980's, (unsuccessfully, much like my attempt at speech pathology above), so I don't really feel like I'm qualified to critique his fashion choices. But I do question why it has to be cinched so tight that it feels like I'm dressing Scarlet O'Hara at Tara before Ashley Wilkes comes by for an Iced Julip.

Mr. Wonderful refers to Max's belt as an Obi and encourages him to "be wise". Because four year olds who can't master a "th" sound are so often capable of jedi-like wisdom.

Sam sees the belt more as a "Bob The Builder" functional fashion choice, calling out "WORK IT!, WORK IT!" to his brother, who begs for it to be pulled tighter, as if they're auditioning for America's Next Top Model.

Maybe it's time I fro away some of my own belts and share them with a jedi or worker. It would be far more entertaining and much more comfortable.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Random thoughts

1. Max wants an earring and not a pirate kind.

2. When we go to heaven, Max would like a white Volvo like Ellie's mom drives. How do I teach him that heaven is not a vacation destination from which we can return (or, hey, what do I know? Maybe we can???)?

3. Mr. Wonderful's grandma gave the boys a pocket poker game, because, you know, kids need to learn these skills and schools just aren't keeping the standards up. Four year olds need to learn patterns, shapes, numbers, chance, strategy and random order. I guess I should be happy it's not served with a side of second-hand smoke and Jack Daniels straight up.

4. Sam lovingly refers to our favorite toast topping, Apple Butter, as Apple Belly. He cheers for it over and over again until the pop appears on his high chair... "Apple belly, apple belly, apple belly!", building into a crescendo of giggles and lip smack. Truthfully, we're more pear shaped in our family.

5. Forget about the drama at Wrigley Field yesterday. Grandma was evacuated from her nursing home to the storm cellar due to high winds and a big storm. I want to put on my red ruby slippers, grab Glenda and Toto, and make sure she's okay. Not sure I really want to fly, though.

May 2004 - Max and Grandma

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brangelina's twins are SO last week

I know that the world is all a twitter about babies Knox and Vivienne, but there are lots of other awfully cute ones out there, too. Like this one:

Payzlee Aurora, born August 4th, 2008

"So, umm, Tess, how'd you get your baby out of your belly?" Dude, that was what the milkshake was for. Put the straw back in your mouth and don't ask questions.

Today we sang "Happy Birthday" to our 89 year old neighbor and said "Welcome" to 7 lbs, 4 ounces of 15 hour-old rooting, cooing cuteness.

I think August 4th is a great day. Happy Birthday Grandma Hearts and Baby Payzlee!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"A flush is better than a full house", or so says the septic inspector

As in most homes where two small boys reside, the arrival of large vehicles is generally met with great glee and excitement around here. UPS trucks (hey Sluggo!), Fed Ex trucks (shout out to Nick and Jeff!), Propane delivery, dump trucks, etc. are all worthy of a lawn chair, a cold one, and setting down for a spell to watch.

Imagine the getsitement when this one pulled into our driveway last week:

The big, giant truck o' poo. Also known as the septic inspector's rig.

Max and Sam immediately begged to go outside and watch. There are few things more frightening to me than the idea of my offspring falling into a hole of poo, so I superglued their bottoms to the front porch. OK, I really didn't need to do that, since the smell of raw sewage offered its own natural repellent and kept them a good ten feet or so away.

The boys watched in awe as the inspector stuck a large shovel! into the tank! and measured! the sludge! and scum!. It was all very getsiting and interesting and prompted Max to announce that when he grows up, that was what he wanted to do.

And I flashed back to the endless nights when I rocked, nurtured, fed and soothed my little babe, filled with all the hope and awe and wonder of new motherhood. Secure in the knowledge that all that sleep deprivation, weight gain, hormonal wack-a-doodle-ness was going to someday pay off as I presented this world with a great intellect, artist, scientist, peace negotiator or NY Times crossword puzzle solver.

Septic dredger; not so much.

But I understood where Max's drive was coming from, and although the interests were probably well aligned, I'd like to find something else that would meet my sons' sensory interests and not require them to stick their hands into Other People's Potty (OPP).

Enter Low Tide:

Marine biology, anyone?