Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Stitch, Two Stitch, Red Fish, Blue Fish

I'll admit that I've been enjoying sewing recently, but I really wasn't a big fan of yesterday's new stitch.

On the back of Max's head.

Thankfully, Grandpa Tom was able to take us to Urgent Care where he gave us some moral support and even some bonus commentary on Le Tour de France.

He also snapped a photo while we waited for the analgesic to take effect.

Nothing like a little bump in the road (or head) to make me realize how fast it can all go downhill, and how grateful I am for my pit crew. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Now, where did we put that helmet?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Great Balls of Fire

Once again, our home is buzzing with getsitement in anticipation of a summertime visit from my folks who are estimated to arrive tomorrow. Max and Sam are bouncing off the newly painted walls (thank you, Mr. "Mellow Yellow" Wonderful). The boys are digging out all the toys that they CAN'T WAIT to show Bubbi and speculating on how much fun they'll have watching "Cars" with Grandpa Tom.

The total self-absorption that defines this stage of child development matches perfectly with my parents' cross-generational adoration and delight in playing with their grandchildren; even if it's the same toy/movie/book played/watched/read a thousand times before on previous visits. Fresh and new is not what it's about.

It's not about scheduling an itinerary of activities to keep us busy and connected through similar experience; those days will come when we have teenagers with acne and ipods and attitude. Right now we have two little snuggle bunnies who want nothing more than to jump and run and show new tricks to an adoring audience. They can't wait to find a loving lap to snuggle on and someone who will read to them about sharks, or dinosaurs or Tow Mater without saying "Ok, I gotta get moving here guys, times up..."

This is what it's all about.

After having lost my own grandmother this Spring, I am especially nostalgic for that remarkable, unconditional grandparental love. I know how lucky our kids are to have this unique and rewarding relationship; and also how lucky I am to have the support of two sets of parents who think their grandkids are pretty special. This kind of love will build us up and stand long after the seeds we sow have been harvested, long after the lego towers have been knocked down or the sand castles washed away.


So, here's our itinerary for the next week: Lots of snuggles and books and playing trains and racecars. Lots of walks in the woods, along the beach, and down the dirt road. And, of course, a bit of dirt digging and planting seeds with Grandpa.

Dirt under the fingernails and hugs around the knees. THAT's what summertime is all about. Ooooh, and some of these great seedballs, too...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bed shmed

Big boy beds are highly over-rated; the floor works just fine and is actually Sammy's preferred locale for catching some zzzzzzs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Piston (the) Cup

Sam has been a diligent and dedicated potty learner (Oh Lord, yes, I am really posting about this) who tolerates our eager Getsitement over his voiding accomplishments with mild disdain. Giving what is clearly the toddler equivalent of an adolescent eye roll, he waves me away from the bathroom after I place him on his thrown with a request for "Primacy, please". We are admonished to "No clapping" and there is a great deal of modesty about the accomplishments and newly acquired undergarments. He doesn't quite have the hang of anticipating how the plumbing all works - which I'm sure will come later - but he's doing a great job of making regular pit stops.

Right now we're staying focused on the fundamentals..keeping the race car dry and being reassured that life does indeed go on when we have to stop the fun and run to the bathroom. In order to keep things dry and happy we've been setting the timer for every 30 minutes to remind him (and me) to take a trip into the bathroom.

Consequently, we are a house full of interruption and crazy energy as I madly try to wrap things up in tidy 30 minute windows before the kitchen timer forces us to huddle in the powder room. This has resulted in dry underpants (yay!), constant interruption (boo!) and keeping our eyes on the independence of diapers (yay yay!). It has also resulted in some veeeerrrryyyy loooooonnnnggg days as we hang out around the house rinsing out odorous, wet underwear while waiting for the timer to ding! This rhythmic shift of constantly having our self-imposed exile and total boredom interrupted by the kitchen timer calling us to the bathroom is aggravating for all members of the household. Much to Max's disappointment, there are never freshly baked cookies when that dinger goes off...just a fast dash to the home of the poopy prize.

Fortunately, Sam's a lot like his dad and is pretty easy to reward with small amounts of chocolate. We're big fans of the miniature M&M's, which he has affectionately termed "Chocowit baby gum" as a reward for making a show at the porcelain racetrack. Today I even looked up to see if I could order some Cars M&Ms and was delighted to find that yes, you can get everything ever imagined off of these here internets.

When placing the photo on here to share with all of you, I noticed the photo's title: DISNEY_CAR_lentils.jpg

With those colors, I can see why the good people in Bangalore who are working diligently on the website for Mars North America might be confused and assume that us crazy Americans are buying lentils with pictures of a rusty tow-truck on them.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beach Boys

We celebrated the 4th at a friend's beach house and enjoyed an amazing afternoon that transformed into a mystical full moon evening. The boys played in the sand, moved water from buckets, built sand castles, snuck cookies and paddled in the frigid waters of Puget Sound.

Sam demonstrates his patience and determination by delivering water via net. Once again - despite my suggestions to use a bucket - I learn from Sammy that the joy is in the process and not the finished product. This little guy has so much to teach me.

Sam practices sand dives while his Daddy and Max paddle out to the water slide.

Later, as the hot blazes of a glaring mid-Summer sun began to set, we took a magic boat ride. This gave me ample opportunity to cuddle and nuzzle with pudgy arms and thighs that were slippery with SPF and smelled of salt and sun and sandy goodness.

Sam's cheers of "Faster! Faster!" were surprising and delightful to all of us.

Summer...I adore you!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Operation Queen Car Underwear is officially underway at the Monkey Ranch.

While at the park with a friend yesterday, Sam decided that he was done with this messy diaper business and snuck into the woods, removed his diaper from beneath his pants, and handed me his diaper while proclaiming that he wants to wear underwear. Always.

Fire up the washing machine, load up on poopy prizes, and here we go! Here's to independence!

Real Live Nephew of Uncle Sam

Happy Fourth of July!

Max, age 3 months
What a firecracker!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Song Always Ends Too Soon

Words I will *never* tire of hearing...

"Mommy...come dance with us!"

Why yes, Freddy Mercury, you are correct. It most certainly is a Crazy Little Thing Called Love.


On Max's last day of preschool, his teacher led the class out to the school's Friendship Garden to release little butterflies that had transformed in the weeks before the school year ended. It was magical to witness the little insects fly for the first time after being caged in net. The children and parents had followed their amazing transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly inside of a classroom full of screaming and curious banshees.

Max was mesmerized and quiet during the entire process, and in this rare opportunity for stillness, one even landed on his red shirt. He stayed very calm until it flew off, and then he cheered that little butterfly's journey as if it's soaring arches were powered by the sheer getsitement of Max's jumps.