Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some Like It Hot

Admittedly, my game was not on yesterday.

Thinking that Sam's shoes and socks were in the car, I took him to preschool in bare feet (it's the way we roll around here; it being the Season of Mud and little kicking feet). Alas, no brown sneakers, or any other pair of shoes for the boy were to be found in the nether region that is my rolling wardrobe, also known as the minivan. Another mom at preschool had my back with a spare pair of shoes in Sammy's size in the trunk of her car.


Except that they were pink Chuck Taylor's like this:

Adorable. Crazy Cute!

Sammy, not such a fan.

I really didn't think he'd notice or care about them being pink, but he knew they weren't his and he kept crying, untying them, and wailing "Take OFF! Take OFF!, NOOOOOOO. Not me shoe. Not me shoe".

I can't wait to take this kid bowling someday.

Sam managed to pull it together and suffer through the indignity of 1.5 hours in pink high tops and didn't ask for a Cher CD or request Birdcage in the Netflix queue.

Not that I would have a problem with either of those things, nor do I have a problem with boys loving the rose and purple hues and wanting to wear them. As for us, I think there is enough John Deere green and Caterpillar yellow around here to overwhelm any eclectic celebration of pink.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Garbage Day :: Pele style

The bane of my existence, the thorn in all my sides, and the straw that will eventually break this Mama's back just became eligible for the Euro league.

Max's new constant sidekick, the soccer ball, decided this week that it needed to be a participant on our weekly garbage retrieval mission. A very active participant.

With his trusty black and white sidekick at his feet, Max was running in lime green boots, jumping through muddy and rocky puddles, kicking his ball into landscaping, down ditches, and into every thorny briar patch while completely oblivious to the world around him. He aimed for the goal which would be his brother's "go cart" which was in constant motion as little Sam propelled it over the lunar-landing sized pot holes of our dirt/mud road.

Someday this won't be fun. Someday it will just be a chore that I do on a lonely morning as I head home from the bus stop with a cup of hot coffee that will still be hot when I get home. I'll miss the busy feet and bopping heads of these precious boys who do not yet grasp the efficiency of a straight line.

Though never fast, getting from Point A to Point B with these two monkey boys is always entertaining. I just need to convince David Beckham [and myself] be that the future of soccer depends on the joy of rainy Monday mornings and a full recycling bin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

F-Bomb Right on Target

Sammy dropped his first F-bomb yesterday.

Getting out of the car, he looked down at his feet, realized that his shoes were off, and said, "Fwuk".

Like he owned the word.

"What did you just say?" I asked with a cross of astonishment and incredulousness.

And again, "FWUK!", he repeated, this time louder.

Before I could say another word, he told me straight up,
"Me say like Daddy."

Of course you do, my son, of course you do. Because apples don't fall far from targets or trees.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Being four years old, Max's experience with symphony concerts is pretty much limited to the end credits of "Little Einsteins". So before taking him to the local youth symphony this weekend to hear "Peter And The Wolf", I had a chat with him about how it was a "sit down and listen" kind of place. His response was "Will there be CURTAINS?" and much getsitement over the drapery potential. Then he added that he might need to wear a button down shirt.

And then he told me about the portfolio he's putting together for next week's episode of Martha Stewart Living. Draperies and collars, sheesh.

While he was hardly able to sit still for like, um, a note, he really enjoyed seeing the instruments and watching the musicians, all the more intriguing because they were teens. Almost kids! With trumpets! Dreams really do come true!

There were two exceptional moments of the afternoon. The first occurred when the African American conductor came out to great applause in his tuxedo and acknowledged the crowd with a slight tip of his baton. As he turned to face his orchestra, and the concert hall hushed in anticipation, Max asked in a stage whisper, "Is THAT RockoBAHma?".'s us...from the sticks..don't get out to the CITY much over here. But truly, it made me smile, and not just from awkward embarrassment. When a small child sees a person of a different race whom he mistakes for the President of the United States, that tells me that trumpets and curtains aren't the only dreams that really do come true.

My favorite memory of the afternoon was watching Max and his buddy, Charlie, silently "conduct" Eine Klein Nachtmusik from their seats. The boys were too small to hold down the seat bottoms and their little legs kept folding up on them like manila envelopes. There they were, sunken down with knees at their chest, tennis shoes banging at the edge of their rising seats, grinning wildly to Mozart and sharing the joy of the violins. When the piece was over, Max told me he couldn't WAIT to tell to Sammy about it.

The violins weren't the only thing pulling on the [heart] strings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Under the Influence

Influenza. Nothing fun about it. My cells are hosting some sort of viral "Burning Man" festival in which there is much dividing and raging and kinesis going on. I'm the last person in our household to host such and event, and based upon my heightened state of whinyness, I'm thinking that I host quite the flu rager.

Note to self: Next time, try not to be so hospitable.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coffee Talk

Looking up from the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Wonderful comments with coffee cup in hand...

"He really does look like Hugh Hefner right now," directing his glance to the couch across the room.

Max, a mess of fever and bed head, has his flannel pajama top unbuttoned; all the better with which to prominently display his prized shark tooth necklace. The shark bathrobe adds a finishing touch to preschool's patriarch of the grotto.

If it weren't for the 45 decibels of Go, Diego Go! blaring from the t.v., I might be mistaken, too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Birthday To You...

Virtual hugs, virtual kisses and virtual birthday wishes. May the year ahead bring great happiness, health and humor. Thanks for all that you are.

I love you, Mom.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stawberry Sharkcake

Our kids really love hearing stories about me and Mr. Wonderful as children. I imagine it's because they can't believe that their Mommy in child-form ever existed. Apparently the thought of me in pig tails on a Big Wheel is not unlike imagining a dinosaur...alluring, intangible and well, extinct.

This Christmas, Max really wanted to hear about what Santa brought me as a child. I know that I obsessed over presents like any kid, and I remember the utter delight and thrill of Christmas mornings on Oak Street. I also remember my parents drinking lots of coffee and looking really bed-heady while my brother and I jumped around and shrieked and had all kinds of discovery fun. But upon reflection, I couldn't easily remember what I got when I was four. And naturally, that's what Max was curious about... what I got when I was precisely four, five and six, etc. I'll admit, I faked my way through most of his questions, but I did remember one year with distinct clarity.

My mother made me a beautiful dark blue dress with tiny red strawberries and a white collar that I affectionately and cleverly termed my "strawberry dress." I loved it. I loved it because it was adorable and pretty, but also because it was made especially for me. Even at the age of five I knew that no one else would have one like it. Later, in my teen years when I just wanted to blend in with the crowd and be EXACTLY like everyone else, that would be a huge detraction. But as a little one with straight bangs and red mary janes, I really dug my unique strawberry dress.

This year I decided to borrow a tip from my mother's playbook and make adorable, matching fruit-themed dresses with Peter Pan collars for the boys for Christmas.


Instead, I made these bathrobes. I chose something that wouldn't have to be worn in public because my handywork is less than handy. However, I prefer to view a crooked seam as a sign that it's handmade by someone who cares about you and doesn't happen to work in a Chinese prison camp. Max loves his robe and calls it his "snuggly" and wants it on as soon as he gets out of the bath and first thing in the morning. I love how he is a 75 year old lady who is ready for a re-run of Murder, She Wrote and a side of Metamucil while being trapped in an active shark-obsessed preschooler's body. Sam, on the other hand, screams and cries whenever the plush straight jacket comes near him. Even hanging on the towel hook, the vintage race car fleece makes him upset and elicits long wails of "Nooooooo! Me no wear it!"

I'm totally not taking it personally, but you know, if Santa forgets to fill his stocking next year I won't be demanding a recount. Maybe I'll take him to the mall next year and make him get his picture taken in it on Santa's lap. I'm totally not petty.

I think I will title this photo "Ironic Moment of Christmas Morning 2008".

This was taken during the only three seconds of Sam's entire life in which he will smile and wear a bathrobe simultaneously. Caught on film ... brilliant. I think Max was pouting because I asked him to put down his Orca Whale Rescue Helicopter. In addition to petty, I'm also mean.

It was our nephew who really stole the fashion show later and showed how to wear a robe like you own it. This kid's got style.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Giggle, Giggle, Read

I especially enjoy reading books to the boys that does not involve things that (a) destroy the earth, (b) eat other members of their species, or (c) make me queasy trying to sound out the 45 syllables that only a paleontologist would find pronounceable.

Aside from its obvious developmental and "intellectual" benefits, reading gives me that fleetingly rare opportunity to snuggle and cuddle my very busy boys, while also getting me in close proximity to gently pull their fingers out of their noses without having to actually say the most oft repeated words of motherhood..."fingers out of noses".

Much to our collective delight, Santa brought some great books this year. This one is a huge hit:

We've been huge fans of they whacky antics of Duck since we first laughed together in Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type. Other than by enjoying an ice cream cone or being hungry for change, the boys have learned almost everything that they know about the US electoral process -- other than that Mommy and Daddy disagree about it a lot -- from Duck For President.

Thump, Quack, Moo hit the nail on the head again and had the boys giggling and begging for me to read it again. And again. And again. When we read this book together they lean forward, one on each side of me, and look at each other to share the joy of hysterical laughter. Sammy won't do it until he gets the cue from Max, and then he's a mess of lumpy laughter. Max just giggles until he can't hear a word without laughing.

Of course it's contagious, and since laughter is the one thing I will never complain about catching from my kids, I love this book.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now (although, still got the rain)

While going to pick up my new eye glasses today, Max wanted to know why he and Sammy weren't getting them and Daddy and Mommy were (ever the egalitarian). I explained to him about how our eyes age and we start to see differently etc., and that we have to take good care of our eyes to keep them healthy and strong. We do that by eating our vegetables and not watching too much t.v. and reading lots of books with good lighting. Admittedly, I had a minor agenda to share, but it's a parental right, er, obligation.

Taking it all in, Max asked...

"Does planting things make your eyes healthy?"

"Hmmm", I replied, "I think planting is always a good choice, Max."

"Good. Because that's what I love to do most!"

Healthy choices for 2009.

May we all see things so clearly in the year ahead.

Bloggers note: my prescription sunglasses were not correct and had to be sent back. The optometrist apologized and asked if a week would be okay or if I'd need them sooner? Dude, you know where I live. No, I don't think I'll be seeing the sun until April, so next week should be just fine.