Sunday, October 31, 2010


My mom made Henry's lion costume, isn't it great?!
I made Willa's parrot costume. Dear 2011 Jim: please don't forget our pact that you'll take me directly to a store if you see me heading to the sewing machine.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fifth Year

Five years ago, Jim and I promised each other - in front of friends and family and God and everyone - to love each other forever. To celebrate each other, and encourage each other, and just be...
And since then, there's been nothing but big ole hearts dancing in our eyes. This one goes out to you, sweetie.

defines precocious

Henry and I were hanging out, and making small talk at the Meijer Gardens turtle tank earlier this week.
"I think he poked his head outta his shell. He wants to see us, mama?"
A volunteer came out of one of the classrooms to talk to him.
"Hi, sweet little boy. Are you here to see the turtles?"
He rolled his eyes and gave her the teeniest of nods.
"How old are you?"
He laid down on his belly on the step in front of the tank.
"What's your name?"
He covered his eyes.
"Are you shy, sweetie?"
"No," he replied, "I. don't. want. to. talk. to. you."

I blushed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Photos

Jim took these today. Great photos, sweetie.
Feeling a little teeny bit guilty for sharing the last post. Even though he's still laughing.

Night and Day

I'm in the kitchen, frosting the cakes for today's co-birthday party for Henry and his cousin, Kenzie. I'm listening to my James Brown channel on Pandora* and Ray Charles' "Night Time is the Right Time" comes up.
Jim is in the living room, wrapping Kenzie's present, and singing along. The "BABY" part of the song happens and my darling husband says, "is that little Michael Jackson you're listening to?"
Pals, Jim is normally very musically astute,** so my eyebrows flew up and then right past my hairline. "WHAT?!"
He repeated his question.
"No, dude. The "BABY" woman was the one Ray was sleeping with in the movie, remember?"
And then said, "huh, I thought I saw Michael Jackson do that on tv once with Ray Charles."
"Uh... I think you're thinking of Rudy Huxtable."
Yup, he sure was.
We're still laughing.
Just because it's an awesome moment in my television history memory, go ahead and take 2 minutes to watch Rudy and the Huxtables .

*Pandora, an internet based "do-it-yourself" music site. Totally cool.
** Except for once when we were dating and he quoted the Paul Simon lyric as, "she brushed her hair back, and farted."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two years old

I call him Buddy and Righty and little Fella. Yesterday I called him the birthday boy.
It is such a joy to spend my days with Henry. He is such a joyful child. Everything is "awesome" or "beautiful" or "great!!" He tells jokes and loves dance parties at home. He loves singing along with Van Morrison when he sings "Domino." He counts to 23, and is quite happy surrounded by a stack of books (the Harold and the Purple Crayon books and Frog and Toad are his favorites right now). He has a temper but (lately) is willing to let us talk him down. He remembers everything, and calls the kid in his church nursery "Uncle Sam." He is a marvel.
He loves his dogs, and his sister, and his daddy.
It's been a strange year for me: not working, looking for a job, and making the most of the time I have with the kids right now. Spending that year with Henry has been a gift to me. I haven't figured out if he's my sidekick or if I'm his...
ps - note the blue guitar birthday cake: his request and the green drum set behind it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

hot and cold

Most sinks these days have one faucet. Water pressure and temperature is controlled by knobs, or a lever, or motion detection magic, but it all comes out of the same faucet.

I don't know if most sinks in the "olden days" were made like this, or if there was just one really dumb sink manufacturer a long time ago, but there are some sinks with both hot and cold knobs. And separate faucets too. Got that? Here's a visual for you:

I've found myself at one of these sinks before. I stood before it, befuddled. "How can I comfortably wash my hands here?!" Because "hot" is melt-my-skin-hot, and "cold" is ice-cubes-in-my-bloodstream cold. I kind of moved my soapy hands all over the place, sending my nervous system into input overload.

Living with a (near) two year old is much like this experience. There is no middle ground; there is no ability to mix hot and cold. The extreme nature of the two year old takes the sink metaphor and knocks it off of the wall, creating high pressured jets of water, aimed right at your face. And, yup, you've called the emergency plumber, but he can only seem to get one stream turned off at a time, and he can't help which one:
" You're the best mama. Ever." said with fluttery eyelashes, a smile, and a hug.
"I do NOT love you anymore," screamed at ear piercing volume and pitch.

... and can you live like this for oh, say... 6 or so months? Or maybe a few more years?

Thanks to Maribeth and Mia for inspiring this post. Ms. Mia just turned 2 yesterday, and her mom shared a honest and sweet little testimony of Mia's personality that got me thinking about this. Thanks also to my own crazy sink. And thanks to Microsoft Paint for allowing me to encourage the graphic artist in me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I am you...

Late Night hosts, editorials, and media outlets are having fun with Christine O'Donnell. And yes! This TV ad is odd. Um... really odd. "I'm not a witch, and no one is perfect" doesn't seem like a really winning campaign slogan, does it?
It seems that this isn't a relevant point to make in O'Donnell's case, but, Wicca is a religion, and I'm pretty sure part of the Rules of America is that people can practice whatever dang nab religion they wish. You know... if she were in fact a witch.
O'Donnell, it seems, has lost the Wiccan vote. Look at this. (Damned if you witch, damnded if you don't, eh, Christine?).
In the end, I hope O'Donnell is just a footnote is political campaign weirdness. Because I don't want our Country to have a Senator who doesn't pay her taxes, and threatens women's rights and advancement in science and medicine. O'Donnell swears she'll follow the Constitution and not her beliefs, if elected. Hm.
Also, I'd like someone who can talk for 30 seconds and make sense. I'm not a witch... I'm you. Haven't we hand enough of the wink, smile politicians?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Spiders and oranges

This was our craft o' the week at Camp Sinki. Thanks JoAnn Fabrics for the 40% off kit. The finished spiders are cute, and the kids love 'em.
This is very locally grown produce. My little orange tree is in production mode. The orange is the size of ornamental orange sized hail. Actually, the only thing I can think of is that it's the size of an eyeball. But that's not very appealing. Oh no! That was an unintended pun, but I'm leaving it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Escape from the crib

Henry has learned how to climb out of his crib.
This has little impact on us at night or in the morning. He goes down for the night just fine, and doesn't get out of bed until he wakes up for the morning.
But naptime - the time that used to be the hour or sometimes 3 hours that I could count on for some quieter time - doesn't exist right now. Yesterday I scooped him and and put him in his bed approximately 482 times. It lasted 90 minutes. As a last resort, I spanked him (I am not a spanker, and was affirmed in this belief when after I spanked, he looked at me and hit me back. I had it coming). I tried snuggling, I tried firmness, I tried ignoring. There was some yelling....
Finally, he spent some quite time in mom and dad's bed watching Bear in the Big Blue house.
In the meantime, Willa was waiting for some quality mom time. I promised her I would play princesses with her after Henry was asleep. We never played.
Today we were on track for a repeat when I chose to not let it get to me. Instead, after 20 minutes, I closed his door and put both of our baby gates up on his door, one stacked on top of the other. I had essentially created a non-opening screen door for him. And then I went to do dishes.
After he played on the floor for about 10 minutes, I heard him open his door. He yelled, "NOOOOOOOOO!"
I stood at the sink giggling. Victory(ish).
He stayed in his room quietly, and I got some chores done.
I'm hoping the excitement of his new trick wears off soon, and he's back to his nap.