Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weekend Riot

With birthday celebrations, cuckoo clocks and a giant purple ball, we had an eventful weekend.
The family celebrated a cousin's first birthday on Saturday afternoon, which meant lots of visiting and lots of blue icing. Everyone enjoyed the chance to catch up and watch the little ones try to figure out how to mobilize themselves elsewhere - whether it be the littlest one trying to crawl away, Jackson trying to make out with the sweetest, oldest golden retriever I've ever known or the oldest (the 4-year-old) disappearing into the two-car garage.
That evening we spent with friends and their various children. All together it made for a wild good time. Mom noted that when we showed up for dinner at our friend's house it was neat and tidy and by the time we had left a Mardi Gras parade of children drenched in sparkling beads had tromped through.
Twice.
And as soon as the parade dwindled away into the hallway, Snow White appeared and tiny plastic cookies were being made in the playroom- over and over.
Jackson was thrilled with their kitchens, beads and barnyards.
Sunday was full of crispness and sunshine so just before heading off we chased dogs, balls and wheelbarrows in the backyard.
Squeals, barks and giggles - it was like Cul-de-sac Disney.
It was a non-stop riot. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Star is Born

I've been meaning to announce the birth of our new niece. She'll be quite a Star.
She arrived last week healthy and happy and is doing well.

Parenthood Is...

...singing the ABCs so many times that you actually start to forget the words.

Good Times

You know it was a good weekend with the family, when Monday morning your baby wakes up laughing and your hair still smells like fresh pancakes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fruity

So last night while untangling a load of wet laundry from the washer and chunking items into the dryer, something crumpled and bright red caught my eye.
This time it was a felt apple.
Ripe red for the stealing.
"Jackson, did you steal an apple from school this time?"
"Yes."
"Okay. Well. Are you trying to start your own produce counter?"
"Yes."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bon Jour! Plee Bloom!

There are several languages floating around our house.
Eric and I speak English.
We also speak Dog.
That's right- we are able to communicate with Elvis on nearly every level. Sometimes it is difficult to conjugate a verb or two but for the most part we speak clear and fluent Dog.
We do not however speak fluent Jack.
There was once a Friends episode where Pheobe tried to teach Joey a few French phrases for his audition.
His interpretation of her French lessons were hilariously off-the-wall.

It would go something like:
Phoebe: Repeat after me: Je m'appelle Claude.
Joey: Je de coop plow.
Phoebe: Let's try it again: Je m'appelle Claude.
Joey: Je de plee bloom.

Evidently, Joey does speak fluent Jack.

Jack does have the basics down and knows/says more than 100 words.
But as we work on the advanced stuff, I end up laughing until teary-eyed.
Daily, I will sit with Jackson at the table, on the deck, out in the yard and will ask him to try a more complicated word or phrase. He will always try and adds a smile after each effort. And nearly every time it will begin just like Pheobe's French lessons.
Even when we break it down.
It is still very reminiscent of the Friends' episode:
Phoebe: Je.
Joey:Je.
Phoebe: M'a.
Joey:M'a.
Phoebe:Pelle.
Joey:Pelle.
Phoebe:(delighted) Je M'Appele!
Joey: Pape flu!

Our conversations are similar. They go something like this:

"Jackson, how was school today?"
"Bee boop! Ticka. Ticka. Ticka."

Or maybe...
"Jackson, can you politely ask for help?"
"Do be ju ju. Hup, mama."

And also...
"Look Jackson, an elephant!"
"Jo be dup dup. Rock."

During his efforts, Jackson's added grin is part of his barter system of language. And it is, I must say, a good trade.

He smiles up at me and tilts his head to the side as if to say:
"See how I uttered three syllables and offered this sweet, toothy smile? Together it all makes your word, mama!"

And of course I always respond with:
"Plee Bloom!"

Watermelon Thief

Last night, while stripping off sticky overalls and applesauce-stained socks, something odd caught my eye.
A small red item was sticking out of Jackson's red onesie.
It was a slice of watermelon.
I pulled it out from under his shirt and unfurled a floppy, felt slice of watermelon - green rind, black seeds and all.
"Jackson did you steal a slice of watermelon from school?"
"Yes."
"Well, don't forget to take it back to school in the morning, okay?"
"Kay."
Just goes to show you, that you never know what you'll find before bathtime.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clingy

While folding laundry this morning, I chuckled to myself when I saw that my socks have some how gotten a foothold on some of Jackson's tiny outfits.
All of his footed-sleepers had my socks wrapped around them, stuck to the back or even hidden inside the foot.
It makes me happy that even my nylons feel the need to cuddle the offspring.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Holy Guacamole You're on Fire!

Sedaris rocks it out.

I've been a big fan for quite some time now. While this one isn't my most favorite of his, it is his latest. And even though there are sometimes creepy, awkward, uncomfortable moments there are also some passages that made me laugh outloud - including his use of an ingenius new invention. (He actually read this passage on David Lettermen, you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdymtyXt8Y) My other favorites of his include Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
Enjoy.
And tell me what you think.
I expect your three-point book report with a well-developed thesis on my desk by April 1.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dictionary

I once wrote that every time I hear Jackson say the word "Mama" I hear an endearment, an "I love you." That remains true. Every time I hear it, the sound makes me happy to know that he can trust me, can call me for comfort, help or anything.
But these days the word itself has snowballed into entire paragraphs. Gathering meaning like a broom gathers dust bunnies, this word has become complete sentences, grand emotions, bossy orders and lengthy complaints.
So I thought I might jot down a few interpretations of the word "Mama" as currently used by a Mr. Jackie T.

Mama! MEANING: You have returned home! I am so happy to see you!
Mama? MEANING: Where is my (insert any item here)
Mama! MEANING: I have dropped my (item). I need you to promptly pick it up.
Mama! MEANING: I have officially completed my meal. Please dispose of this plate and leftover food.
Mama! MEANING: Let us commence with the reading of this text - ASAP
Mama! MEANING: This incredibly, teensy, tiny, practically invisible piece of trash is disturbing me. Please dispose of it immediately.
Mama! MEANING: Daddy is home.
Mama! MEANING: Did you see that crazy dog running around our living room? Oh it is so hilarious!
Mama! MEANING: I have drained this ridiculous sippy cup and no longer have a need for it.
Please, away with it.
Mama! MEANING: Hold my (pacifier, book, etc. ) while I take a moment to quench my thirst.
Mama! MEANING: Sit here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Foundation of Any Marriage

Last night, I came home from work running a temp and it was decided that I should avoid the boy and that Eric should take over dinner.
This means out comes the mac and cheese with a side of applesauce.
Really the perfect thing for a daddy-dinner.
Plus Jackson loves it.
Who doesn't?
I started to well up with a bit of anxiety because as a parent, when I start to feel sick, my first thought is: "Oh no! What if Jackson gets this? What if he gets the throw-ups?"
To which Eric replied, "That's ok. I can take care of that stuff."
Sense of relief. I immediately flash back to my father, holding me on his knee explaining that it was ok to throw up on him because "That's what daddies are for."
My second thought: "Oh no! What if I get the throw-ups?"
Eric shrugs his shoulders. A mouthful of mac and cheese."It's ok," he says. "We'll deal with it."
Sense of relief.
I know it sounds ridiculous, and I know no one enjoys being ... ahem ... "sick" but I have an EXTREME aversion to the ... uh ... process.
But, Eric as usual was so nonchalant about the whole possibility it made me relax.
Maybe it was the fever talking, but afterwards I launched into this whole speech about how grateful I was to have Eric and how sometimes I just couldn't do this without him, and thank you so much and yada yada.
Eric, who just kept sliding individual macaronis onto the four tongs of his fork, looked up and said: "Oh babe, you would find somebody else. Most guys don't mind throw-up."