Monday, March 22, 2010


...about Charlie.
Even tempered? Mild mannered? Sensitive not stubborn?

Not anymore. For the last three days in a row he has sat in his booster seat for over an hour...over an hour... before he would finally acquiesce to say "all done" (in sign language nonetheless, I didnt even ask him to do it in English...which he should be able to do).
I didn't think almost two year olds had that kind of attention span. Toddlers have the experts fooled. They can dole out patience like a trained sniper as long as it's in direct conflict with their parents.

He's also hidden one of his shoes somewhere.

This wouldn't be such a big problem if he owned more than one pair of shoes. Because the other thing that comes with the toddler territory (I had forgotten) is Charlie grows out of his shoes and clothes at lightening speed. That is of course if he doesn't rip/stain/maim/mutilate his wardrobe beyond recognition before he has a chance to outgrow them. A rare talent considering it takes mere months outgrow stuff.

His other new talent is the bitch slap. I wish I was kidding. He has mastered it with all the flair and drama of a 50's movie star. Pick him up when he doesn't want to be picked up? *Slap* Tell him it's time to go inside? *slap* Drag him out of the toilet? *slap*
Imagine my cheek with a tiny chubby handprint on it.

That habit is getting nipped in the bud. But much like his older brother was, he seems to content to keep testing boundaries instead of learning his lesson. At least this time I know I can win. I know it will pass. I know it just takes consistency and grace. With Jamie I wasn't so sure I'd survive.

We all went up to the desert on Saturday to look at the spring flowers. (all of us except Jim who had to go to some sort of training thing).

I'm happy to report we're back in cloth diapers here. I call this the Charlie Brown look.

We hiked up to some ruins (from the ancient days of 1930) and had lunch.

The most green I've ever seen in the desert. Hello Spring.

The lovebirds.

The rest of the pictures are on my photography blog.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will work for Jamie beer

The best way to get a kid to eat something is to give them the impression they can't have it. Case in point: Jamie and Charlie both scarf down miso soup like it's some sort of treat. That's right, a guilty snack of fermented bean paste, diced tofu and seaweed strips. Yum.

But it's not because they actually like miso soup, or cheesy broccoli soup, or creamy kale-potato-leek soup (are you noticing a soup theme here?). It's only because I have a minor soup addiction (I swear I could stop if I wanted to), and my kids are convinced that anything I'm eating must be elixir of the gods or something. Seriously, I feel like I will be sharing my meals for the rest of my life. I remember doing this to my mom (she always handled it with grace and patience). Her sandwich always looked better... tastier or something. This is probably why most of her children love weird things like sardines, okra and artichokes (because those were her guilty pleasures).

As much as I love being followed around everywhere by a couple of two legged creatures and one four legged one, it does have its problems when they want to have something of mine they can't have... like chocolate for the furry-four pawed one and something of the more alcoholic variety for the wispy blond haired ones. I'm pretty at peace with Christian liberty and moderation, but get bogged down as to how it relates to parenting and childraising. One day the news will share research that shows children raised in homes with moderate consumption have the lowest rate of alcoholism. (This pretty much falls in line with my own anecdotal observations). Then the next day I will read something that claims a mere taste will doom your children to addiction forever.
So which is it? Besides apparently not letting them have beer in their sippy cups (drat).
Also, rubbing whiskey on their teething gums is a big fat OUT, along with booster seats (how dare you put your child in anything less than a five point the research people!) and jarred babyfood (you don't even want to know what sort of nutrition-less scam that turned out to be).

And that leaves me juggling all kinds of worse case scenarios. Will they get malaria if they play in the mud? Or instead commit suicide because I never let the play outside? (vitamin D you know)

Am I killing them more with the poisoned gerber food that will give them cancer by 16 or the homemade spinach babyfood that might be laced with e.coli ?

Will I guarantee they become closet alcoholics if I throw all the wine down the drain and become a strict baptist? Or is going the other way worse?

We thought we brilliantly resolved the issue by letting Jamie have his own type of beer: Rootbeer or Sprite. It's perfect because it even allows him to learn self control and moderation at an early age.

Sometimes it backfires though when we're in the grocery store and he's hollering "Beer mom! I need Jamie-beer!"

In other news, tried my hand at the self timer again the other night. Really not a fan of the timer, but it does allow for some fun (read: interesting) family times.

So yeah, I let my kids read books AND play in the mud.
I'm sure the bookreading is more dangerous. (just ask my parents).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Daily Grind

Whoever wrote this either never had kids, or has a sick and twisted sense of humor. Probably both.
And what's up with the exclamation point?

And really? I must be happy? Or what... they're going to escort my bedraggled and depressed behind to the exit?

I'm happy way down deep, but all the surface levels of happiness are momentarily out on break.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Picking Up Chicks With Wobble Goggles

Jamie is on the search for a girlfriend. An unexpected turn of events, triggered by what seemed like a harmless conversation at the time (there is no rhyme or reason to what conversations he repeats to others and which ones he chooses to keep to himself). It started when he wanted to know why he had to shower alone. Sad, little grumpy boy. I'm not sure he'd want to share a showerhead... even if he did have the opportunity. Thus, it was with very little sympathy that Jim informed him he'd have to grow up and wait before he could shower with a girl.

We should have never told him that.

Ever since, he has been on the lookout, going up to random girls at the playground or speech therapy with a simple "Hi, I'm Jamie, will you be my girlfriend?". Shockingly, it works. He has a medical file that says he's "shy and reticent", but apparently that shyness does not extend to peers of the opposite sex (although in truth, he's not really shy with anybody but doctors). I'm working on instilling some manners in the child, but it doesn't help that little girls are apparently quite flattered to have curly headed little boys woo them. Even if it is with french fries and a rip-roaring game of who-can-climb-to-the-top-of-the-slide-fastest.

Jim came home after running errands with Jamie, to tell me a truck pulled up beside them at a stoplight with a little blond haired girl strapped in a carseat just like Jamie. She and Jamie were waving and grinning at each other, so her dad rolled down the window and before the light turned green Jamie had already claimed her as a girlfriend too. I hope he doesn't make it a habit to pick up chicks in trucks at stoplights.

It was all kinda cute, and while we try to navigate the waters of what's too much and too little information, it all backfired on us last night. We were invited to dinner at Curtis's parents house (Curtis being el fiance to Liz), and while I was naively enjoying a delicious plateful of lasagna, Jamie decides to tell Mr. and Mrs. C that he "needs a girlfriend so he can shower with her... like mom and dad do."

*crickets chirping*

I blame Jim. He was the one who brought up the whole thing.

Today he was out in the backyard with his wobble goggles, searching high and low... for a girlfriend.

I took a picture. It cracks me up. Apparently there's a good bit of Nerd mixed in with the Casanova.

Although sometimes he tries to be all badass like his dad.