Friday, December 31, 2010
We had just passed a McDonald's.
Zeke: Old McDonald's does not kill me. It only kills Victor.
Victor: No it does not! There are no dead children in McDonald's!
They "discussed" this issue for the rest of the ride.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Victor was hungry.
Victor: Can we go to old McDonald's?
Aunt Liz: Ew, no! That will kill you!
Victor, visibly upset: Old McDonald's does NOT kill children! There are NOT dead children in Old McDonald's!
Victor, shouting, near tears: I will show YOU! I will show you there are no dead children in Old McDonald's!
Liz, to Grandma: I should not have said that.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
The thing that motivates Zeke is wearing underwear. The Batman is his favorite. He tells me that Batman is a bad guy until he takes off his mask. Then he is a good guy.
He only volunteers that he needs to go when we are out and about, trying to accomplish something. At home, he doesn't go into the bathroom on his own. Usually, I notice a tiny spot of wetness on his person and escort him to the toilet. If I don't notice in time . . . .
I check him frequently.
He wears Pull-Ups when we go out, and the most reliable hours for staying dry are while he either out or napping.
We're pretty square with #1. Number 2 is a different matter, even though Victor taught him the magic words: "Rrrrrrrrrrrr YAK!"
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I have asked him three times what he would like for his birthday.
"A present!" he replies.
"What kind of present?" I ask.
"A red present!"
Today's progress is that he thought of things that are red, such as remote-control Corvettes.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The music binder is where I put songs from the Friend and the "new" songs they learn in Primary each year. (I put new in "" because judging from their copyright notices, most of the songs have previously appeared somewhere.) With the exception of the builder song, I have loved the "new" songs for the past three years. Last year's song, "I Know That My Savior Loves Me" was Victor's favorite/only one he liked.
My friend Kari gave me the idea for a music binder. She has all sorts of fabulous binders.
Monday, December 6, 2010
(I am not in Primary right now. Having a Primary music binder is part my attempt to be an involved parent. I'm not sure it qualifies as fun, though.)
"Ah!" I thought. "This would be the perfect time to add the 2011 Primary Program feature/not-in-the-Children's-Songbook song." So I went to the Church website and discovered that it has undergone a makeover.
Despite the makeover, it still took several tries to find what I was looking for.
But once I located the 2011 Primary Sharing Time outline, I found it much improved. Each month has a two-page spread that tells what should be taught each week during Sharing Time and what song will be taught that month. Brilliant!
Now if I want to know what Victor learned in Sharing Time, I won't have to winkle it out of him. I can just look!
(The 2011 song, in case you are wondering, is a nice Sally deFord piece called "If I Listen with My Heart."
Sunday, December 5, 2010
He also plans to have three children: Gwendolyn, Evan, and a third who has sometimes been called James.
The family will live in a red brick house that has an upstairs.
Victor will drive a red pickup truck.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Then the toilet flushed.
As I thought it was unlikely that he had actually used the toilet, I sprang from my chair and rushed into the bathroom. Zeke was standing, proud as punch, next to the toilet.
"Mommy! I had an accident! I had an accident!" he cheerfully proclaimed. Then he proudly showed me how he had emptied his underwear into the toilet and washed it out in the sink. By some miracle, he had actually managed to clean up his mess.
He was very proud.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Today I read an interesting article in City Journal (thanks to The Weekly Standard for the link) about the Atlanta Housing Authority and its director, Renee Glover. It is called Atlanta's Public-Housing Revolution, by Howard Husock, and it is very interesting.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
It's time for potty training!
We started last week at Grandma Nancy's house and over her carpet.
It's not going badly, but it's not going especially well, either.
He's dry most of the day. But then, suddenly, he's wet.
And, at least once a day, this is what happens when he is supposed to be sitting on the pot.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Was it like a sexual assault? Let's put it this way: if my Beehives asked if a boy could touch them that way since he wasn't touching their actual girl parts, I'd say not on your life. No one is allowed to get that close with that kind of pushing and feeling--I don't care what side of the hand they are using. And no one should be feeling around inside the waistband of your jeans without a lot more evidence than "you set off a metal detector." Since I was wearing an undershirt, they didn't touch my skin. Most people would experience a TSA agent going under their clothes to touch their skin. Yuck. Can you say "unreasonable search"?
I did not request a private screening room. Why on earth would you want someone doing the patdown in private with no witnesses?
There is a theme among the pictures I've seen (Friday's WSJ front page, for example) and the people I observed getting the patdown.
It's mostly women who have set off the metal detectors, and for two apparent reasons:
1. A figure that requires supportive undergarments. Both TSA agents acknowledged this to me. The first even complimented the fit of my bra.
2. People with implanted medical devices. TSA agent #2 pushed too hard on my port and demanded to know what it was. She hadn't asked if I had a medical device, and since I don't normally think about it, I hadn't mentioned it. I had to pull down the neck of my shirt to show her my scar and the bump under my skin. It's about three fingers below my clavicle. I explained that it's for cancer, that mine is made of plastic, and that it doesn't have enough metal to harm an MRI machine.
So from my observations, we're scrutinizing curvy women and women with fake knees and port-o-caths. In other words, we're wasting most of our time searching people who are not remotely dangerous. And everybody knows it, including the TSA agents.
This has got to be the easiest screening ever for a would-be terrorist to avoid. Just don't put metal on your body.
We had a very nice time.
I shot a 44 Magnum and used a scope for the first time.
Victor decided he wants to live in Boron when he grows up because there is a lot of dirt to dig in.
And I got another patdown, this time at LAX. It was even more aggressive.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Unfortunately, when I arrived at Ulta this morning, no stylists were there. Apparently, Sarah, who cut my hair last time, "is not longer with us." And it further appears that she deleted her appointments from the system, leaving me high and dry and embarking on a trip to my in-laws sans style.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
I cleared the top of the fridge and cleaned everything. No scissors.
I moved the fridge. No scissors. But I knocked a pine-scented candle off the top and its glass shattered everywhere behind the fridge. That was fun to clean up.
I searched everywhere I could think. No scissors.
Two days ago I was doing a regular top-of-the-fridge cleaning, and there they were. Right on top. Slightly open. Very dusty.
It is 100% impossible they have been there the whole time. 100%.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It has come.
EIGHT of my twelve teaspoons have disappeared. Since they are not allowed out of the kitchen, let alone the house, I don't know how this happened. Zeke seems the most likely culprit because Victor has been responsibly using spoons for years.
I even asked Jeremy if he has been cooking methamphetamines or crack or something, which I hear requires spoons, just in case.
He said no.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Two books are on desert habitats, in preparation for our trip to Boron. One even has Joshua Trees on the cover. Which is highly appropriate.
One book is on wolves, a subject of great interest since we started watching Beauty and the Beast every day. (Today's question: can wolves swim?)
One book is about nocturnal animals, which Victor studied in school last week.
And finally, a book about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, just in case they don't cover that in school any more.
My final thought about the library is this: do librarians take courses in Grouchiness and Unfriendliness? I mean, come on. If you don't want common folk wandering into your place of work and touching everything, library science may not be for you.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Here is the gig:
1. Go find your YW Medallion.
2. Show it to your husband/father/brother/male friend. This will not work if the male is not Mormon.
3. Say, "Hey, look what I found," and act as if he should know what the Medallion is without revealing its identity.
4. Using cleverness, determine whether or not the male person knows what it is.
5. Report back.
Results Preview: Jeremy had no idea what it was. No idea.
For example, we went to a pumpkin patch and took a hay ride. Or, to be more precise, we looked at a lot of expensive pumpkins on a church lawn and then rode around the church parking lot behind an old blue tractor. During this trip I realized the TAMN was right. My point-and-shoot is lame, and I didn't even know it. Oh, well. At least I didn't annoy a wagon-full of people by draping my child over the hay bales while knocking other people's elbows in pursuit of the perfectly staged hayride shot.
The truly fun part of Halloween was a visit from Peter and Candice and cousin Laura!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I am proud to report that I accomplished my goal of finishing in less than one hour. My time was 39 minutes, or, 21 minutes faster than my previous personal best. I guess it's easier to run when you are not pushing a stroller. Also, when your doctor is right behind you, loping along with her kids at "Gee isn't this fun" speed.
The most fun part was running the second half with my mom. She was awesome. We even sprinted to the end.
Victor was the only casualty. He fell and jabbed a teal ribbon mini-flag into his throat. He's at the doctor's right now.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The sweetest moment was after the program ended and he rejoined us on our pew. Zeke was hopping up and down in front of him, saying, "Victor, you did a great job! Victor, you did a GREAT job! Victor, you did a great job!" Then Victor said, "Thanks, Zeke. You are a great brother."
And then they hugged.
No, I am not making this up.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
We took turns pushing the BOB (we only had two kids between us that day), and I had to walk for a minute or so a couple of times, especially early on. But we reflected on how far we have come since we started two months ago, when we were truly pathetic. Now, we've graduated from "pathetic" to "very, very slow."
For me, though, it's a triumph over last summer and fall when I could barely limp along at 1 mile per hour and I didn't have the strength to do anything but shower and rest.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The sneaker has an odor such that I cannot allow it near the house.
And the tongue has been ripped to shreds.
And I don't think the lights work any more.
It is currently submerged in baking soda in an old GAP bag, hanging from the mailbox post.
And you can smell it from several feet away.
And, as I write this, I realize THIS IS THE SOLUTION to our "animals-eat-our-garden" problem. With that scent, no rabbit, groundhog or deer will get within 100 yards of our squash. Hooray!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
We've never gone to spirit night. I'm just not that fun.
But it seemed to matter to Victor this time, so I told the boys that if they ate their dinners, which they had approached with some skepticism, they would earn dessert at Chick-fil-A.
Victor dove right in to his fajitas. "Wow, Mom. This is actually good!"
I put three little pieces of chicken on his plate, but he did not eat it. Not as I tempted him with milkshakes. Not as we walked out the door. Not as I sat with him in the Chick-fil-A parking lot while Victor was inside, enjoying his milkshake with Jeremy.
Instead, he proposed that I eat his chicken for him. And he pleaded, "Please, Mom? Please can I go inside?"
It did not work. We were unmoved.
No chicken, no ice cream.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Rain, it turned out.
Zeke and I ran just under 2 miles before deciding that we were wet enough to call it quits. It was a landmark day, though, because I RAN up the BIG hill on the big-hill loop.
In short, no.
One of the animals has carried it off and hidden it.
This makes perfect sense when you consider that the shoe flashes blue and white lights when dropped or nudged. What maned wolf (or anteater) wouldn't like a toy like that?
Also, Victor attended school in his cheap-o clay-stained play shoes today. The boots, as observed by our commentators, would have been too much fun.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
1. Your mother tells you DON'T DO THAT because YOUR SHOE WILL FALL.
2. Indeed, your shoe falls into the maned wolf/anteater enclosure.
3. Your mother becomes upset. And then she says I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT.
4. You are very upset because (a) now you have only one school shoe, (b) it was a cool shoe, (c) you are in big trouble with your mother.
5. You have to walk back to the car with one shoe.
6. Your friend, who was obedient during the whole outing, points out that SHE was obedient and still has TWO shoes.
7. You must now depend upon the anteater's keeper to *maybe* retrieve your cool shoe and bring it to the front desk this evening.
8. You will have to discuss the situation with your father when he gets home. Wait. Jeremy doesn't care about shoes. Scratch that.
8. You will wear rain boots to school tomorrow.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
If you are worried about being the slowest, never fear. Jeremy will be pushing a 30-something pound BOB with about 85 pounds of Victor and Zeke in it, so he will not be terribly speedy.
When you register (just Google "Athena's Run" and you'll find it), please note that we have, by far, the coolest team name.
If you find registration too difficult (and I totally understand difficult-registration overload), I will be happy to do it for you.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
We also saw the 5 Little Monkeys ladies again. The last time I saw them was at the big-hill park, chanting 5 Little Monkeys at top volume and then jumping around like monkeys while hooting to their stroller-bound offspring. Today half were chanting Old MacDonald at the babies while the other half sprinted in a small loop while talking smack.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Today, I planned to walk three miles at the loop with big hills. Instead, I added some running (yes, real running!) on the less-big hills. I did two five-minute runs and one ten-minute run.
However, it took me about an hour to do all three miles.
That is way too slow. I used to be able to walk it in 50 minutes.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday morning, pre-conference: Victor puts a toy truck through a screen. Jeremy takes the boys to the hardware store. I cannot convince myself to go jogging, so I use the elliptical machine instead.
Saturday morning session: Victor starts to cry when President Monson talks about missionaries. I push "Record" on the DVR. Massive drama ensues. Jeremy fixes the screen. I clean the kitchen.
Saturday afternoon, pre-conference: Jeremy takes the boys for haircuts. I go out to buy some hand soap.
Saturday afternoon session: I go to a friend's house and watch in peace and quiet. Jeremy and the boys tape the screen-material tubes together and run cars through them.
Saturday evening: Jeremy picks up pizza and goes to Priesthood session. The boys play outside and then take an hour-long bath. After they go to bed I read The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. When Jeremy gets home, he orders me a pizza and we watch the recorded morning session.
Sunday morning, pre-conference: Victor and Zeke break a library DVD in half and rip a page out of a library book and detach the pull-cord from the ceiling fan.
Sunday morning session: Jeremy and I watch in the living room. The boys watch Veggie Tales on Netflix.
Sunday between sessions: Lunch with friends. Neither boy breaks anything or falls into the koi pond.
Sunday afternoon session: Jeremy and I finish the morning session on DVR and watch the last session. Victor and Zeke watch Pingu until Zeke becomes bored and comes into the living room. We turn up the volume. Then we see my beautiful friend Allison on the Kiev Temple special.
Post conference: a family walk and a late dinner.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
He is famous for many screen roles, but to me (and most of my maternal cousins, I would guess) he is best known as The Great Leslie, whose hair is always combed and whose car is always clean.
I shall now watch The Great Race on streaming Netflix in his honor.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
It was 91 degrees outside. My goal was 2.25 miles.
I jogged most of two miles but had to spell myself with a minute of walking here or there after the first half mile. But I did the two miles two minutes faster than last time, so yay.
The last quarter mile was only accomplished after a breather during which I recalled that the last time I jogged two miles it had been unseasonably cool.
It was really hot outside.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Happily, I met and even exceeded my goal. Not only did I make the appointment, I kept the appointment!
Many thanks to Sarah at Ulta. Because of her efforts, I no longer look like a shaggy 12-year-old boy.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Thanks to our new ability to jog, we were in and out in EIGHT MINUTES, which is a world record.
Today's schedule called for a 1.5 mile run. We attempted the loop with big hills again today, and did not manage to run up them. My calf muscles are killing me, but perhaps following Tuesday's jog with Tuesday night's dance class was not a good strategy.
|Victor, Zeke, and BOB in January 2008. Only BOB is unchanged.|
Today was such a day, and we spent 10 minutes or so looking at this month's edition on temples. We looked at the pictures and read some captions and sidebars.
One side bar referred to "children of God." I asked Victor if he knew who was a child of God.
"ME!" he said.
I asked, "Am I a child of God?"
"No," he said. "You are a grown-up like God."
|Victor, age 16 months, at the Washington, DC Temple on July 7, 2007|
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Day 11 was today. Day 10 was so bad I almost skipped Day 11 in preemptory despair. But we went!
I ran all of laps 1 and 4 (minus 10 seconds to look at an unusual caterpillar with Zeke), most of lap 5, and almost most of laps 2 and 3. Also, I did about 1/4 mile of lap 4 actually running. It was kind of like flying, and I liked it.
There were no other people on the loop, so Victor had free range on his bike. I love that he can go off on his own, but that I am still very close by. He's getting stronger, too. He can power up some of the hills now.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
We went our two miles, but barely, and we did NOT run up the hills. Or on all the flat parts.
On a positive note, my legs are getting a lot stronger. I can tell when I clean the house.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sans Zeke-in-B.O.B. I ran TWO MILES. In a row. Without stopping.
It took 34 minutes. But I was still mighty impressed with myself.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I had the job of staying with Victor while he struggled up hills and booked down them. It would have been fine had there not been eight bazillion people also using the road. Victor was always interested in the grown-up cyclists, but his bike follows his sight lines (which I understand because I used to drive like that, terrifying my parents) and he kept veering towards the aforementioned zippy cyclists despite my yells of "Victor! Stay to the side! The side! THE SIDE!"
By the end of our outing I was a crazy person.
Day 6 was much better as we had the park mostly to ourselves. The few other patrons smiled indulgently at Victor as he rode, as if remembering what it was like to be small and experiencing the freedom of a first bicycle.
Jogging-wise, I got the idea from a running magazine (thanks, Jen) to try and run for 10 minutes straight. Last week, that was impossible. I could not even run for two minutes straight. But on Day 6, I did it!
On Day 7, I jogged with a friend at yet another park. AND WE JOGGED THE ENTIRE FIRST LOOP! Let me say WE ARE VERY IMPRESSED WITH OURSELVES. Further, WE JOGGED UP and down THE HILLS. Did you catch that? WE RAN UP THE HILLS.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday was a revelation. Jeremy and Victor rode their bikes and I pushed Zeke. And I could even jog* most of the loop.
I almost couldn't believe it.
I actually improved between Monday and Saturday.
*By "jog" I mean the motion of jogging. I make no representation as to speed.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Naturally, Victor wanted a french fry. So he asked "Zeke, can I have a french fry."
Zeke said something like "Um, yes," and selected a fry.
Zeke then broke the fry in two, and then in two again.
"Here Victor!" he said, offering him a stub of french fry.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Nevertheless, off we went. Zeke rode in the BOB, Victor rode his bike, and I jogged down gentle slopes and walked everywhere else.
It didn't go very well. It was kind of like I had asked my arms to fly. My legs didn't burn or seize up or shake. They just didn't run.
Except down gentle slopes.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
So we went past The Home Depot and shopped at Lowe's instead.
Unfortunately, it was just like The Home Depot.
So much for just around the river bend.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Happy Birthday, Liz!
So we called her on the webcam to watch her open her present. At some point, Victor explained to her (and to Alex, who was also there) that tonight he wanted chocolate carrots as a treat.
"You put jelly and chocolate and carrots together and put them in the oven. Then it gets real flat and about this (gesturing about eight inches) long."
I can usually figure out where his ideas come from, but this one has me stumped unless he's simply combining two of his favorite snacks with jelly.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
For example, today I was asking him not to yank on my arm while I was trying to hold a book we were reading.
"STINKY NUTS AND POOP!" he burst out.
Apparently Zeke got it because he started cackling and yelling "POOP!"
[More boy laughter.]
[No mom laughter.]
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
It was kind of like exercise at the gym, and I should have worn my sneakers.
Victor didn't really understand the "walk for me" part of shoe shopping, so instead of just walking six feet and then walking back, he half-danced, half-shuffled, making it impossible to determine if the shoes were slipping on his heels. This left him as the sole arbiter of whether the shoes fit. In the end, he declared that all of the shoes except the size 13.5 light-up Sketchers were simultaneously too tight and too big. So now I'm a mom who buys trendy shoes for her preschooler.
Then we went to buy some jeans. This led to our first encounter with a dressing room, and it was an unmitigated disaster. Wait! It was not an unmitigated disaster because somehow several pairs of jeans were tried. Since some were discarded and some selected based on fit, I'll just call it a tearful and sweaty experience.
Other highlights of the trip included testing the light-up sneakers in a bathroom, crying under a clothes rack, banging an elbow, and apologizing to a very understanding lady.
Zeke quietly enjoyed the shopping trip from the Maclaren.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Yesterday I got the jackpot political survey: Obama's approval rating measured by likely voters and which candidates I would select for US House and Senate if the election were held tomorrow. I also got to rate how important various issues are to me and how likely they would be to influence my voting in November.
Of course, it's possible that the survey was really measuring how people selected numbers when asked to rate things on a scale from 1 to 100. But I sure hope not.
Despite my best and most consistent efforts, we were still having this conversation every meal at the table.
Zeke: Milk. Milk! MILK, MOMMY, MILK!!!
Me: How do you ask nicely?
Me: Zeke, say, "Mom,"
Me: "May I"
Zeke: May I
Me: "Please have"
Zeke: Please have
Me: "Some milk."
Zeke: Some milk.
Me: Yes, you may.
Yesterday, however, after having the above conversation one time at dinner, we had the following, triumphant exchange.
Zeke: Chicken. More chicken! MORE CHICKEN!!!
Me: Zeke, how do you ask nicely?
Zeke thinks for a while. Then, as the Brazilians say, "a ficha caiu."
Zeke, with a smile: Mom, may I please have some more chicken?
Me, with a big smile: Yes, yes you may certainly have more chicken you sweet, sweet boy who knows how to ask nicely for more at the table!!!
Like I said, a triumph! And it only took a year.
Monday, August 2, 2010
We like it.
1. Jeremy does not have to leave for a meeting before the rest of us even get up.
2. I do not have to get the kids up, fed, dressed, and in the car by 8 a.m., the time we usually rise in the morning.
3. We have a whole morning of family time when everyone is well rested instead of aching for a post-church nap.
4. We don't have to bring any food to church because everyone has eaten. (As a cancer patient, I excused myself from the No Food in Sacrament Meeting rule this year.)
5. We can play games until late on Saturday night.
6. We can eat bacon on Sunday morning.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
For example, right now, a red Beetle, a white VW, and an huge old red boat of a Cadillac are conversing. Imagine screeching noises and "ert"s every sentence or so: "Oh Cadillac, I think my engine is broken. Let's try again. Whoa, how'd you do that, Cadillac? Engine little fire things. I'm mistaking my wheels and some tall things and the little tiny windows and the shiny muffler and another one and another window and one fire machine and one piggy engine and one small buffer that's looong. How'd you do that? Watch.
[More screechy vrooming noises than usual.]
"Here I go. Go as fast as we do. Watch! On your mark, get set, go. [Racing noises.] Go! This is the most spectacular place I could ever see the white car. I'm too short. There you go. [nosies] Great, guys! Here's what to do. Do you think you guys could try? Come on, Cadillac, you haven't even tried. What is that guy doing? I think he's going to his home for the rest of the day. Or for a nap.
"Oh, crazy! That's what you have to do. I'm a little long. Uh, wow. That's pretty darn cool. Now you try. Whoa. Pret-ty crazy. What is wrong? I'm stuck behind this big bump. This big bump is hard. That is why you jump. Hey guys, look at this! Cadillac, I mean, fire car, how did you get that high. It's in this cozy warm thing. Oh. Is there anywhere for us to sit? Yes, over here. Come on, fire car. Come on Cadillac. There are two ways.
"It's scary to go over and try again there. Oh, right. I have my own place that is darker. (He's now playing with a rolled up sleeping bag.) That is the darkest thing I've ever heard, Cadillac. It's too dark in here. Let's scare him. Boo. He can't hear us. It keeps its eyes open. Boo. Almost there. Almost. Almost there. Boo! Aaaah! I only have a motor. Boo, I said. Boo. Aim close to his friends. Aim close. Almost there. Is he really hiding?
"Excuse me. Excuse me, I thought you were a monster. This is our house. This is OUR house. Knock knock. Come it. It's a monster. It's me, Mr. Blackie Car. Where is Cadillac going? He's afraid. Where did he go? A-ha! Nope. Not in there. Where's the rest? I could try to dig in to there.
Whew. Those are some busy cars. I just realized that he won't play like this with me in the room as he gets older. That will be sad, because I love hearing what his cars are up to.
Also, today he added time phrases while his cars played in the sink. I kept hearing, "some time later" and "not long after" and such things.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Their boys have a power wheels truck, which filled the Swindle boys with joy. They were even happier than the kids in Fisher Price commercials.
And Victor surprised us all with his remarkably adept driving skills, including perfectly executed three-point turns.
Zeke did not surprise us with his exuberant but alarming driving skills, which landed him in the neighbors (thankfully fallow) field.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Victor's participation was much the same as on Mother's Day.
He mournfully trudged to the front of the chapel and onto the stand. His face reddened and tears appeared as he faced the congregation.
Then he sat down on the steps, completely out of sight, for the duration of the song.
At the end he trudged back to our row.
"I just sat down and did not do anything," he confessed (loudly).
That's okay. I praised his excellent walking to and from.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
"No," I replied. "I have not put them on yet."
"I will choose them for you!!!" he said. And he dashed off.
(Normally, my jewelry box is off limits, but oh well.)
He came back with a favorite gold pair that has small dangling baubles.
"Oh, Victor," I said. "These are very nice. Dad gave them to me when you were just a baby in Mommy's belly."
He nodded. "When I was a baby in your belly, I said that I liked them. What sound do the ding dongs make?"
A faint tinkling sound, it turns out.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
"The wolf liked to eat little girls," I said.
"But not boys," Victor interjected.
"No, not boys," risk-averse me replied.
Victor then explained that a wolf would not eat him because he would throw a stick and the wolf would chase it. Then the wolf would be wherever the stick was, i.e. not near Victor.
It was like those Sunday School lessons that urge you to decide now how you'll respond to temptation, but more focused on physical safety.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Fail: The Locked Garden, a depressing youth novel that doesn't go anywhere or accomplish anything. It's like the author read the first chapters of Jane Eyre and thought, "I'd like to duplicate this feeling of hopelessness."
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
- Whatever Victor learned about in Sunbeams yesterday;
- Shaking Hands;
- Our last name is SwindleFun;
- How to sit when the home teachers visit;
- Answering the telephone;
- These are scriptures.
The game is called "I Like," and I invented it myself.
You play by asking each person in your family, "Person, what do you like?" And then the person says "I like X." Repeat as necessary or until interest wanes.
Zeke likes cars, monster trucks, sandwiches, and barbeque.
Victor likes heavy trucks (but not the exhaust), dump trucks, birds that turn red, and Dad's Beard (boo).
Jeremy likes hot dogs, swimming, going to church, and birds.
I like birds that sing, crepe myrtles, and zucchini.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
He says he didn't know it was a computer and that sometimes he doesn't know what a pen is. We've discussed it, and I'm sure he knows now.
But now I need an ammonia-free and alcohol-free cleaner, and nothing in my house at the moment (Pledge multi surface, Windex with vinegar, eyeglass cleaner) fits the bill.
Will vinegar work? What's the water:vinegar ratio?
If you know of such a product, please help!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson
Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades, by Jonathan Phillips
Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices, by Mosab Hassan Yousef with Ron Brakin
(The principle author of this last one was the subject of a fascinating immigration or homeland security hearing this week. Fortunately, he prevailed.)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Yesterday he told me that when he had a family, he would have two children. "Ethan, and Gwendolyn. That way we will have a girl Gwendolyn and a wife Gwendolyn. That's two Gwendoylns."
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
But Toy Story 3 was lots of fun. So was sending Jeremy to the grocery store with the boys and taking Victor to the mountain bike area at the park. He had lots of fun acquiring bumps and scrapes.
Letting Zeke ride his tricycle around the walking trail (another experiment) was fun except for the last 20 minutes.
Spending three whole days with Jeremy was the most fun of all.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
After some vigorous play, I decided the children ought to watch a movie. So I ushered them to the back room and turned on the streaming Netflix.
"Now, children," I said. "You must not touch the screen. That's the rule."
Little Friend replied, "My mom sometimes says 'don't lick the screen,' so I wont' lick the screen, either."
"Wonderful," I said. And it appears that the screen was not licked.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
1. Do a fun, ostensibly educational activity that requires a membership, such as going to the Science Center. This shows you care a lot about enriching your children.
2. Let your children play freely while you read a smart-sounding new novel. This shows your breadth of mind and your devotion to your children's opportunities for self-learning.
3. When one of your children hits the other with a train, smile beatifically and put down your book. Rise with alacrity and move smoothly but swiftly to your howling children. This shows you are unruffled by "the small stuff" we all hear tell about in annoying church lessons and talks.
4. Put the naughty party in a chair firmly but kindly so he can "calm down," but do not look irritated or ruffled. Cuddle the other one while murmuring "you'll feel better soon" in a soothing whisper. Continue to smile beatifically. You will appear unflappable.
5. When your tykes recover their happiness and run off to play/discover learning again (which happens quickly because they are as fun as you are), smile a private satisfied smile and resume your reading.
If you follow these simple steps, you will look like the most awesome mother on the planet and everyone will be jealous of you. Guaranteed.
Monday, June 21, 2010
2. Victor made his first spontaneous rhyme: "Mom, worm rhymes with germ."
3. We have a new computer, retiring our 2002 laptop with the broken screen and the other laptop that randomly quits because it can't detect a power source, and not a moment too soon. This one is very sensible, very reliable, and, best of all, completely quiet.
4. I discovered a new FUN ACTIVITY for hot days. It's called Wash the Car, and it's almost as fun as Wash the Windows.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thanks to Netflix, we also have a wide array of streaming programs to occupy the hour between 6 and 7 when I watch the news.
The favorite TV shows at our house are Phineas and Ferb, Super Why, Curious George, and Clifford. The favorite Netflix shows are Kipper (Puppy Love is my favorite), Thomas (awesome because the trains get in trouble and have to make it right) and now Pingu, a delightful Swiss claymation penguin who lives in Antarctica with his family. Victor stumbled up on Pingu this week, and he's a hit. I highly recommend him.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
1. I re-hemmed some shorts that were a smidge too short. They are now seriously kosher.
2. I repaired a two-inch split seam in a small stuffed duckling. Zeke was delighted.
3. I replaced a button on some hand-me-down Winnie the Pooh pajamas with a button I found in a baggie stamped Casual Corner (where I last shopped in 1997).
4. I re-affixed the button on the newly kosher shorts.
Many thanks to my Grandma, who gave me some needles in college; the proprietor of Catch the Window, who showed me a nifty way to put a knot at the end of my thread back in 2001; my mother, who tried many times to teach me proper sewing; and Liz, whose 2006 wedding occasioned the purchase of the Stitch-Witchery.
No photographs or Etsy shop will be forthcoming.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
It was very good. If you have a lot of time, get the audiobook (mine was read by Davina Porter). Having a professional read all those Russian names make it a breeze to keep track of who's who. If you don't have a lot of time, I think an abridged version would serve you perfectly well. I can think of whole chapters that could easily be omitted (Levin goes hunting, or Vronsky and Levin attend the elections, for example).
I have to say that I was not moved to tears, as an unrelated article I read today suggested that most people are, by Anna's fate. What I really thought about was how relevant her actions are to understanding the breakdown of families in any era. The effects of infidelity are timeless, really.
Also, I realized that I don't usually care for philosophical discussions because I don't find philosophy reliably illuminating. I feel the same way about allegories. If I want an allegory, I'll refer to a scriptural one.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Last night, Peter and Liz were admiring Victor's stature and strength.
"Let me see your muscles," said Peter admiringly.
Victor just looked at Peter and shook his head.
"They are inside," he informed us, indicating his arm.
(He also informed us that Dog's birthday is the 4th of the month of Gentral.)
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
For example, he took two crayons and stuck them in his ears.
"Look!" he said, "I'm a doctor!"
Stethoscope, crayons, whatever.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It was a new computer monitor. A wide-screen, HD, flat computer monitor. It replaced the old-TV style monitor we got for free when the Wake Forest Law School was replacing all of their monitors four or so years ago.
The setup was easy and it looks great. I bet it will look even better when the new computer arrives and we can set the resolution properly. Our dear old Dell does not offer 1900 x 1080 pixels.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
1. Wide aisles allow other shoppers to avoid the mess, even if the mess is in the middle of the walkway;
2. Sample-giving employees are stocked with paper towels;
3. The normally annoying ride-on squeegee floor-cleaner (or indoor street sweeper, as Victor calls it) is likely to be close by and can clean up the mess in a jiffy without being summoned;
4. General noise masks your child's whimpering as you race around gathering your foodstuffs.
I also discovered that when Zeke repeatedly complains that his head hurts, he could mean that his stomach hurts.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
A white Pegasus, spreading its wings.
It was a hand-painted play figurine from the display of dragons and orcs and knights. It was magical, but I did not buy it because I am not seven years old any more. But maybe I should have, and tied a ribbon around it, and called it a Christmas tree ornament.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Thanks to a fun dad who (1) bought a bike just for fun about a year ago and (2) took off the training wheels just for fun about a month ago, and thanks to a fun mom who turned off Lark Rise to Candleford in order to help her boy try to ride his bike this afternoon, we have had the following development.
Victor can ride a two wheeler! Without training wheels!
This is a giant leap forward for fun.
He is often willing to try something new. Like a glass of honey.
Or better, chocolate chips in milk.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
It is not immediately clear from the article which agency is responsible for this, but I'm pretty sure its director was not a tall person who had 9 and 10 pound babies and a sore back who was healing from a c-section, who was also good at assembling things.
If the problem is truly flimsy materials or faulty mechanisms, for goodness sake require better materials or a specific kind of mechanism.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Zeke loves swings. He has since he was an infant. He loves to swing high, and he can do a baby swing or a big boy swing.
Except that today, after quite a long time of successful big boy swinging, he toppled backwards at the apex of his swing forward, went heels over head, and crashed onto his face and the back of his neck at the same time. Don't ask how. He just did.
He's fine now. He was not fine then.
(And I'd like to thank the Eagle Scout whose project included the new picnic table, which was perfect for cuddling and assessing damage.)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Then, I had a FUN FLASH. What if we made cupcakes and celebrated not our anniversary, but our birthday as a family?
So we had yummy dinner and cupcakes. We put in the birthday candles and sang Happy Birthday Swindlefun Family.
We even had a teaching moment (for super-Sabbath fun): our family began eight years ago when we were married in the temple. We observed that eight is greater than four (Victor's age) because a mom and a dad must (should, technically, but for V and Z's purposes, MUST) be married before they have kids.
We asked each person what he likes about our family. Zeke likes "Camping. In a tent."
In short, the family birthday party was way more fun than just celebrating an anniversary. And as a bonus, I used the rest of the neon red frosting from Victor's birthday cake.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"Was Zeke up at all last night? He is having a hard day--won't eat, fusses, only wants to sit on my lap, says his tummy hurts, etc."
"Poor Zeke! He fussed a while last night, but we had both doors shut and a humidifier on in each room, so who knows? He’s a kid; it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to get sicky.
"However, I note for the record that he ate only chocolate milk and cupcakes last night; he sat in front of his food but didn’t really touch it. So, a combo of tired and sugary-tummy ache could have done it."
Jeremy further noted that Zeke was offered and refused a healthy meal.
But since he was given cupcakes after refusing his healthy meal, it is clear that no one was in charge last night.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
In fact, it was downright fun. I went to my mother's group in the morning and shocked myself by allowing a stranger to cut my hair. For free. And it's super cute. Wow. Then I had a delightful lunch, spent all afternoon on the phone with an assortment of family members, and went to a movie with Jeremy. (Iron Man. High marks.)
One of the highlights was the surprise cake that Jeremy had made for me. He knows that my family does home-made cakes, which are high on every mark but one: no frosting roses. The bakery cake he ordered for me was especially girly: pink lemonade cake with light yellow frosting, white piping, and a tasteful sprinkling of light pink roses.
And written on the top (in light green): Thanks for Not Dying!
He had to explain the caption to the bakery lady. He asked if it was in bad taste. "I don't know, Sir," she said. Since this is the south, who knows how strongly that translates. But "No Dying" is Rule #2 of being married for us. So I understood what he meant.
This year's cake is now one of my Favorite Cakes Ever, joining the Strawberry Shortcake cake my mom made when I was about 5 and the Barbie-in-a-cake-like-a-skirt cake my grandma made when I was about 8 (which was also pink).
Sometimes the dog family has conversations, with each other and with me. Yesterday, Dog described to me what Mom Dog does: she helps Dog all day long, because he doesn't know how to do things yet.
Monday, May 10, 2010
It was my first time packing for someone else's camping trip, and I made a few errors.
1. I should have packed three sleeping bags, i.e. one for each person, instead of two sleeping bags. I figured that Zeke was too small for a whole sleeping bag, but that turned out to be incorrect.
2. Relying on the bonfire to cook dinner was a mistake. A bonfire is much bigger than a campfire, and is not suited to roasting hot dogs or marshmallows.
3. Jeremy does not care for barbecue-flavored chips. I didn't know that. It's only been eleven years.
4. One package of Hebrew Nationals is not enough for three people. If two hot dogs get dropped in the bonfire and each son eats three hot dogs, there are no more hot dogs for Dad.
5. Generic hot dog buns are always a mistake. I should have known that.
6. Five bagels are not enough. If Dad has no hot dogs and no chips and is left with cookies and marshmallows for dinner, he'll want (reasonably, I think) to eat one of the breakfast bagels.
7. Lanterns are great for INSIDE the tent, but not outside because they attract bugs like crazy. I should have included at least one ordinary flashlight.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
When it was time to sing, Victor exited the pew and walked toward the front with the other children. The closer he got to the front, the lower he hung his head and the further his little shoulders slumped. I could hear the Charlie Brown Dejection music in my head.
His sweet Sunbeam teacher shepherded him up the stairs with his classmates. He stood as far to the right as he could.
The music started, but Victor did not sing. Instead, tears welled up in his eyes. He had the biggest frown I'd ever seen. Until the next moment, when the frown was even deeper.
I smiled and waved encouragingly, but after the first verse, Victor slowly turned and faced the side wall. His profile was to the audience.
At the end, the song leader kindly took his hand and led him down the stairs (because he wasn't moving), and he Charlie Browned back to our row.
I put out my arm to welcome him and he said (very audibly), "I just could not do it."
"You did a great job standing there with the kids," I said.
"I did not sing a single word," he told me tearfully.
Later that night I asked Jeremy's mother if Jeremy had participated in special music as a small boy.
"He stood at the front facing away from the other children and did not sing," she recalled.
But what's a Primary musical number--in any generation--without a recalcitrant Sunbeam?
Friday, May 7, 2010
I am curious to know how Jeremy's night is going. Since he's trying to sleep outside in a tent with two boys and no Dog, no Blankie, and no Wuzz (that's Zeke's pacifier) after an evening of hot dogs and cookies, I have a guess.
I bet they're having a marvelous time.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
So today, Victor and I played a new afternoon game (after our obligatory three rounds of Candyland, which I was so desperate to get through that I cheated to let Victor win more quickly).
The game is called Tell a Story, and I got the idea from Einstein Never Used Flash Cards. You play by starting a story and handing off key plot elements to the child. In this case, I provided the structure and Victor provided the specific facts and details. Here is our story:
Once upon a time there was a boy named John Doe. He could do lots of things. He could fly. He could run faster than a speeding train. And he could jump over tall trees.
John Doe had a problem. He didn't have any money to buy food. He wanted to buy some celery, so he asked his mom if he could earn money by helping her bake cookies. She said yes.
First, Mom asked John Doe to get out the eggs. John Doe went to the refrigerator and got the eggs. "Good job, John Doe," said Mom.
Then Mom asked John Doe to get the mixer. John Doe got the mixer and put it on the counter. "Good job, John Doe," said Mom.
Then Mom asked John Doe to get the butter. John Doe got the butter out of the refrigerator. "Good job, John Doe," said Mom.
Then Mom asked John Doe to get the black stuff from the cupboard. John Doe got the vanilla. "Good job, John Doe," said Mom.
Them Mom mixed up the cookies. Last of all, John Doe put in the chocolate chips. Then John Doe got out two cookie sheets and Mom baked the cookies.
"John Doe, you earned your money by working hard," said Mom. And she paid him $3.27.
John Doe went straightaway to the grocery store and bought some celery. He brought it home and put it in the refrigerator.
The moral of the story is that if you work hard you can earn things.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The teacher asked the class what made their mommies special. "Kisses!" "She makes me breakfast!" "She helps me feel better when I'm sick!"
Victor said, "When my mom calls me, I come quickly the first time I am called! That makes her happy."
Which wasn't actually the question, but he is correct.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Zeke now weighs 31 pounds and is 37 inches tall. That bumps him down to the 90th percentile for height and up to the 75th percentile for weight.
(By comparison, Victor was 32.8 pounds and 39.5 inches tall when he was four months younger than Zeke is now.)
Victor gained a stunning five inches and six pounds in the past year. He is now 46.5 inches tall, which is off the charts for a four year old and puts him in the 50th percentile for six-and-a-half year olds. He weighs 48.5 pounds, which is about 97th percentile for four year olds.
Victor also had a question for the doctor: I want to know about my cough. Answer: adenoids.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
This has never happened to me before. I find it intolerable. Everything in the house that is below waist height is a mess. For example, the bed is made and the clothes are put away, but the toys are everywhere and the dishwasher has not been unloaded.
Empathy for people with back problems: CHECK.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Yesterday, our hot water heater marked the anniversary by gushing its entire contents into the hall and bathroom.
The dishwasher breaking turned out to be the one bad thing last year that was actually good. Why? Because the old dishwasher was horrible and the new dishwasher is amazing. I'm hoping for a similar outcome with the new hot water heater.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
So being fun is healthy!
The pictures showed grown women doing cartwheels.
That does not sound healthy. But one of the points of the article was that women tend to say "Nope, too dangerous" and thereby avoid fun play. (Or in my case, thereby leaving all fun play to more courageous/non-risk-averse members of the family. Which is everyone else.)
Play with husbands was also encouraged. Like tennis, I guess. But one woman's "game" of seeing whether she or her husband could fit more peas into his mouth was just gross.
Luckily, the article concluded that your should only play things that are fun to you. So I will be able to skip the cartwheels and pea-face-stuffing in my quest to be a fun mom and wife.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Zeke: "Hi Mom."
Me (remembering I'm fun, and closing my book): Hi Zekie. What would you like to talk about?
Me: Oh. Do you like flowers?
Zeke: Yes. Pretty.
Me: Which flowers do you like?
Zeke (pointing): Those flowers. Pick flowers!
He ran off and found a clover.
Zeke (sniffing): Smell flower.
He offered me a flower, and I dutifully smelled it. And it smelled good!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I'm fun. I went outside. I asked him to explain the rules.
"First, you climb up on something."
He climbed on top of a cozy coupe. I "climbed" on top of my lawn chair.
"Now, you run around in the street."
He ran down the driveway and ran in circles in the street. I stayed in my lawn chair.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
He also uses the word VERY instead of REALLY. For example, "Zeke very wants an orange" or "I very very don't want to eat any chicken."
Monday, April 19, 2010
It was such a safe environment that I admitted to becoming increasingly put out with the profusion of pink ribbons during breast cancer awareness month. (Honestly, on FOOD packaging?)
I'm very glad people know to check for breast cancer. But we rare cancer folks have ribbons, too! They're teal, the color of gangrene.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Actually, most of his nicknames involve the sound "ink," such as Tinker Tot, Zinky Tink, and Tinky.
I also call him Bingy Baby and Binger Boy (with a hard g).
He has retaliated by being, from time to time, a Stinker Tot.
Here is a fair representation of his evening prayers:
Me: Heavenly Father
Zeke: NO Heavenly Father
Me: I thank thee
Zeke: NO thank thee
Me: for my food
Zeke: NO food
Me: my house
Zeke: NO house
Me: my mom and dad
Zeke: NO mom, (with smile) Dad
Me: I ask thee
Zeke: NO ask thee
Me: to help me sleep
Zeke: NO sleep
Me: to be obedient
You get the idea.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
(During the religious songs at preschool, he curls in on himself and does not participate.)
But he does like to invent his own songs.
About a year and half ago he invented a "Thomas Movie" that he "watched" in bed at night. It had a theme song, too. The chorus went, "Thomas and the train, whoo whoo whoo, Thomas and the train."
Once, when my cousins were visiting, he stood on an ottoman and treated us to a two minute song of his own invention that had several verses and a recurring chorus.
Tonight he invented a new song. It had a piano accompaniment and included the lyrics, "I love you, I love you."
When he had finished, he asked me if I had heard his "beautiful song." I said I had, and that I like the "I love you" lyrics.
Yes, he said. "It's a song about parents."
He says he'll play it for me again tomorrow.
Friday, April 9, 2010
But wait! I'm fun!
So we went to Walmart and bought 24 super discounted Easter eggs and a bag of Starburst.
We were a few minutes late to the event because we'd been on a walk that morning. (Walks are fun.)
We got there in time for some games. First was Pin the Tail on the Bunny. Victor looked horrified and retreated to the other side of the lawn. Zeke gave it a whirl, but had to take a first try without a blindfold (in which he mostly put the tail in the right spot).
Then we played Duck Duck Goose. Zeke was baffled.
Then we played Ring around the Rosie and London Bridges. Actually, I played these games with the other children after Victor and Zeke wandered off to dig in the dirt.
Then we did the actual Easter Egg Hunt. I was momentarily mortified that everyone else had darling Easter baskets while we had Walmart bags (not fun!), but then one other family asked to borrow some bags from us, so I felt better.
The under-3s got a 20-second head start, and the whole thing was over in about 4 minutes. It was tremendous fun.
The fun did not last, as I made the mistake of telling the boys they had to eat their apples before they could eat candy and cupcakes. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Victor complied, but Zeke went bananas. I didn't give in (parenting fun!), but decided to pacify him by going to the drive-thru teller instead of the ATM at the bank on the way home. Green lollipops from a vaccuum-powered tube are super fun.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So today, I attempted to combine outdoor fun with sweeping out the shed. It did not work. There is no fun way to involve small boys in working around yard poisons, fertilizers, and sharp tools. The shed was swept, but we did not have much fun.
Fortunately, after Zeke went down for his nap, Victor was bamboozled into thinking that a game where we matched numbers to pictures of things (i.e. the number 18 with a picture of 18 frogs) was fun. It was also exhausting, and shortly following our "game," he joined his brother in slumber.
With my new knowledge about yard and housework being no fun, I filled the sink with lemony Lysol and scrubbed the kitchen table, chairs, cabinets, counters and floor. I also discovered the trick to my double-hung windows and washed them inside and out. Oh yeah. Then I washed the panes in the back door and fixed a broken curtain. And reorganized part of my closet. And vacuumed. And washed some clothes.
We are now fully prepared for fun tomorrow.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Instead of eating Peeps and chocolate bunnies, we decided to cook the Tur-Duck-Hen that Jeremy's Grandma June sent us for Christmas.
It was very easy to cook (350 for 2 1/2 hours), and the drippings made a delicious gravy. Victor and Zeke ate some, and Victor even ate mashed potatoes for the first time. (Zeke refused.) I'm not certain I would ever purchase another turducken, but if someone sent me one, I would cook it again. But I would remember to cover it with tin foil.
Our big family tradition is the bunny cake. It is usually white, and covered with coconut. Last year I branched out and made a chocolate bunny. This year, I decided to use the leftover neon red frosting from Victor's birthday cake. I figured that it would turn a lovely pink if I mixed in half a recipe of white buttercream. Instead, it turned hot pink.
So we had a hot pink bunny this year with glittery silver whiskers. (Great idea, K!) Zeke called it
"Mom Bunny." Then he scraped frosting off its side with his plate while no one was looking.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
That being the case, we went to the zoo today. It was just us and the rest of humanity.
Highlights: the giant turtles in the water under the bridge at you walk in; the sea lions that set Zeke to shrieking "A SEAL" every time one swam by; the bus ride from one zoo entrance back to our car at the other entrance; going with another family and having someone to (a) talk to and (b) watch Zeke while I tried to find Victor, who had wandered off in the aviary.
Next time we go, I will make a few adjustments, such as bringing water and snacks, putting sunscreen on my neck (short hair memory blip), tethering the boys to the stroller in some fashion, and choosing a cold or rainy day.
As we drove home, Victor said, "That sure was a fun walk with our friends."
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
First, we spent part of the morning at the Children's Museum. (It's more of a giant play place than a museum, but whatever.) As it was especially crowded and as I am especially fun (i.e. helping Victor on the climbing wall and attentively watching Zeke play airplane), I managed to lose each boy.
I am happy to report that the museum's "Code Adam" child-finding procedure works very well. But using it twice in the space of an hour and a half is keenly embarrassing.
Fun Thing Two was making milkshakes after Family Home Evening instead of just eating vanilla ice cream. I generally avoid using more kitchen items than are strictly necessary, but Jeremy suggested milkshakes, and I thought, "Hey--I'm fun now. Why not?"
Why not? Because poor Zeke could not figure out how to eat his. It was too thick to suck through a straw, but thin enough to splatter his face when he blew INTO the straw. It was too complicated to eat with the too-big spoon Victor provided him (which is saying something because Zeke, if I may say so, is an excellent spoon-user). Glops of it fell onto his clothing. A puddle of it pooled under his chair. And he had the sad but universal experience of getting a face-full of cold shake when he tipped up his cup.
Fun Thing Three was a three-player Candy Land game. Jeremy was our third. Victor was able to strengthen his sportsmanship muscles when victory was once again snatched from him by Grandma Nut.
Our day was not all fun. I did not allow Victor to work on digging his hole this afternoon owing to the extraordinary mud created by yesterday's rainfall.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Yesterday, after we dropped Grandma at the far-away airport (sad), we drove to the temple. Going there seemed like a good idea despite my general rule that one must travel home from a far-away destination as quickly as possible. The only people there were groundskeepers, so I didn't feel like we were disturbing anyone. Victor was very interested to know if the temple is hard or soft. We decided the walls were hard. He insisted that the (unseen) carpet was very soft. He wanted to know what Angel Moroni was doing, and who he was warning.
Today we went to Jump N Fun, which is a large cinder block room full of blow-up slides and jumping pens like you see at carnivals. Going there broke my general policy of avoiding loud, hot, crowded, or smelly places. Turns out that the owners put a limit on the number of patrons, and the smell was not too bad, so I was able to enjoy the intense vertigo induced by going down/around/in/up/out the bouncy palaces.
Yesterday I beat Victor in Candyland and taught him about sportsmanship.
Today, we colored with Crayons.
Next week, I intend to take the children to the zoo. (See above prohibitions on long car rides, heat, noise, smell, crowds.)
Fun, here we come!