Friday, June 26, 2009

A Slinky Approach to History

Earlier today I heard an expert talking about today's youth being illiterate and unlearned. This he said was in spite of all the information they had at their fingertips. This is a ridiculous thesis. When the printing press first came out, the elder generation wailed at the fact that oratory history was lost. They felt that the next generation was ignorant, stupid, and the caretakers of the future were squandering away all that their predecessors had laid out for them. They tried to understand past, present, and future in a linear fashion, like going from point A to point B in a straight line. Their children were dumber because they could not recite Homer's Odyssey from memory. When will we learn?

The previously mentioned expert challenged his class to research obituaries on a few different literary giants. He then challenged them to do this without the use of the internet and marveled at their discomfort. That was his proof, these kids cannot research without Google. Really? I would love to see that same professor recite an obit from memory, without the aid of any written text... at the tender age of let's say....sixteen. Or do a research paper without entering any library.

Just because the next generation does not do something as well as the previous does not mean they are worse. The word one needs to keep in mind is 'obsolete', as in 'you are way before you want to be.'

We use social media to rekindle past relationships, where today's youth uses it to establish relationships. Members of the general public know how to use the Dewey System and Google, but few are master's of either. History is not a straight line, but a spiral. A Slinky going up and down, left and right on the most random staircase M. C. Escher ever created.

Pass the torch, and quit wondering if Ali would have beaten Tyson.

Jackson will one day laugh at my ineptitude on any given future digital device.

That's okay, I will kick his ass at Mario Bros.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alphabet Plumbing

Ending the day watching your toddler delicately place the letter Q over the number 6 while using the letter T to softly hammer the pair onto the drain's lever is a pretty good clue the boy is ready for some tools.
Number 7 also displayed excellent "hamamering" abilities.

Eight Monkeys

Mama: You are such a little monkey.
Jackson: No, mama. No monkey.
Mama: You're not a monkey? I thought you liked being a monkey.
Jackson: No.
Mama: Then what are you?
Jackson: Eight.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Best Father's Day Ever!!! Started the day with my lowest score ever in golf (any golfer knows this is rare), short side job that went perfectly (any electrician knows this is very rare), had a good steak and watched Fanboys which turned out to be pretty funny (again a rare find when it comes to spoofs [Wayan's brothers kiss my ass]). The correct punctuation is a shout out to my hot wife trained in the ways of AP style.
On a serious note Amanda's Father's Day card pretty much brought me to tears. I hope this blog gives the reader a glimpse into how wonderful she is. If I am a good father it is only because I have such a great partner to lean on. Jack is on his third antibiotic in six weeks, he inherited my Eustachian tubes, and you can hardly notice. Amanda's consistent love and guidance matched with his inherent good nature makes my job easy. These are the good times and all too soon I will miss them.
Jack will one day be a good man and I am already proud of him. It's funny...being proud of a person less than two years of age but that is exactly how it feels. When he hugs the dog, says please, manipulates his parents with a timely "sorry" or "okay daddy," you can tell his heart is in the right place(or is extremely smart...hmmm the force is strong with this one). I feel like I am a part of that. I had something to do with that.
Fanboys had a line that said, "Everyone needs a Deathstar." That one great achievement that you can ride out the rest of your life on. Happiness and pride can be by themselves hollow and fleeting. You can get happy from a roller coaster ride or a drink at the bar. I get a sense of pride at the seven pars and one birdie I got today. But the kind of happiness and pride that comes from being a father carries you. It is day in and day out and it never goes away. It makes you walk taller and with purpose.
The ancient Greeks thought this kind of happiness came from leading the virtuous life. I think it comes from feeling your son nuzzle you with barbeque sauce on his face knowing that one day he will be a good husband and father.


11:30 a.m.
Lunch time small talk:

A siren whines in the background.

Jackson: Siren, mama. Siren.
Mama: Oh, do you hear a siren?
Jackson: Yup.
Mama: Whose siren is that? An ambulance?
Jackson: No, mama. Jack's siren.
Mama: Oh. That's your siren?
Jackson: Yup.

7:30 p.m.
After bath conversations:

Eric: Look out mama! Here comes naked baby!
Mama: Oh no! Naked baby!

Jackson runs down the hallway, squealing with naked-baby joy.
He hops up on to the couch to sit by me.

Mama: Hello, there! Are you a naked baby?
Jackson: No, mama. I'm Jack.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keep It Spicy

Just as I was dozing off last night, Eric climbed into bed with a bag of Hot Nuts to snack on.
Let's be clear.
A bag of peanuts.
In the bed.
There was much cracking, shelling, chewing, etc.
But the real kicker was when my totally naked husband called over to my side of the bed to announce:
"Hey babe. Check it out. There's a hot peanut in my belly button!"

And, indeed....
...there was.

Welcome to my marriage.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

About Last Night. It Was Incredible!

For the past two nights it appears Jackson has returned to getting his full 11 hours of sleep.

We are elated he has gone back to his schedule.

I'm still not sure if all of this is due to the time changes on our trip but if it is we are never leaving the Central Standard Time Zone again.

Of course it could be from all that mocha.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

About Last Night. It Wasn't Pretty.

It was rough.
Not only did Jackson wake up a brazillion times last night but once while I was rocking and calming in the nursery I hear a plethora of sounds coming from our bedroom.
First, as always, is the soft rumble of Eric's snores. This sound makes me boil because it is evidence of his remarkable skill.
He can fall asleep anywhere at anytime and can do it within seconds.
After I tend to a crying baby and return to the bed, I lie awake fretting over how many hours are left in the night to sleep and will he wake up again? and did he feel warm?
All tasks that only keep one awake longer.
But Eric? He returns from soothing a toddler only to drift into dreamland before his head even hits the pillow.
So while I was softly singing to Jackson and enduring Eric's boastful snores that might as well shout "I AM ASLEEP AND YOU ARE NOT!" I hear Elvis join the evening's songs.
By throwing up three times.
Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that ... distinct ... unattractive sound.
All my life, I have been trained to detect when this deed goes down. My mother took me under her wing and honed my dog-puking-detecting abilities. Just like a superhero always fine tuning her skills, I am at all times alert to the sound. I have an uncanny ability to detect when an animal is vomiting in the house. I could be sipping wine on the back porch and I will pick up the noise coming from the other end of the guest room.
24/7 I am ready to drop everything, shout "DOG PUKING," rush through the house, collect the animal and safely deposit it outside - all before anything touches the new carpet.
Not to brag, but it is an amazing trait.
So you can imagine Jackson's surprise when in the middle of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star I threw him to the floor and dashed across the hall to swiftly toss Elvis out in to the 3 a.m. night....

It was instinct....superheroes can't fight instinct.

Yes. We can.

No, I did not toss my toddler aside to save the carpet. Yes, I had to fight the urge while singing lullabies through gritted teeth as Elvis wreaked havoc. But toddlers reshape one's priorities.

Priority No. 1: Getting Jackson back to sleep.
Priority No. 2: Make Eric clean up dog puke.

And as for Jackson's sleepless nights?
Not a mammoth to be found. Just wakefulness.
For which I am grateful.
But grateful.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Mornings

Dark skies promising buckets of rain, Jackson still in his pjs passing out hugs and the smell of brown sugar and baked pears fill the kitchen - a perfect Sunday morning.


You know you are the parent of a nearly-two-year-old when... pull two macaronis and one gold fish out of a shirt pocket.


The very first night we returned from our trip, Jackson achieved another milestone.
Moments after I had gently placed him in his crib, we heard a sickening thud. One glance toward the nursery and there he was walking out of his room, into the hall and complaining about a bump on his head.
Slight chuckling.
These were the emotions swirling our faces as Eric and I continued to stare at each other with disbelief.
We knew it was bound to happen.
Of course it would.
But...but...I guess we just weren't ready.
Denial was the second stage.
Taking immediate action we removed the bumper pad thinking the few inches it provided was giving him the height to fling a leg over.
Toddler exiting his room.
My mind was shuffling through pages of baby books trying to dig up a solution. Should I break out the conversion piece of the crib? Dig it out of the attic right now? Does he sleep with us tonight?
After all of our jetlag from the day, it was not a pleasent moment.
Eric was still in denial. How could this kid cirque-de-solei it out of the crib?
So, we placed him once again in the crib and Eric peeks in to witness the feat.
I will tell you it is something you should see if you ever get the chance.
A wobbly toddler, mimicking a bank robber hopping out of the window with no fear on his face - just determination.
He pulls up and leans forward, then flings his torso back and to the left just enough to get a leg over. Then the other. The rest he just banks on luck as he lets go and free falls to the floor landing on his bottom.
Then he hops up and out the door.
We were filled with a mixture of fear for his green bones, pride for his skills and hilarity at this awkward acrobat.
Eventually, Jackson relaxed after being away from home and settled into sleep.
In his crib.
In the meantime, Eric and I are living on borrowed time.

First Love

Jackson met the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
The moment his bare feet hit the sand, he fell hard.
In love.
Oregon was wonderful.
Even the icy waves couldn't keep Jackson away.
He did so well during the trip. Smoothly managing planes, layovers, delays, time changes, etc.
However, warm mochas, scoops of mango ice cream, sweet kitties, taffy and more entertainment than he could possible imagine didn't hurt either.
See his adventures here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

They're At My House

I know I still have a few months until Jack's second birthday but I have been toying with a theme for a while:

Where the Wild Things Are

Eric loved this book. I loved this book, and now Jack loves it. Only he calls it "Max Book."

Anyway, I have a few decorations for the theme, then found out about the movie.

Check it out. It looks fantastic:

And then I stumbled across this entry on one of my favorite blogs.

Had to share with you.

I also saw this link where one mom went a little nutso. But that costume is just adorable:

I really love her idea of basing birthday parties on favorite children's books in the future especially because Jackson's room is book-themed already.

What birthday themes have you enjoyed in the past?

Reach For the Stars

"yesterday's moon"
by free to go (

Upon arriving home after school, I scooped Jackson up and out of the car.
He suddenly gasped.
Pointing toward the sky, he declared: "Moon! Mama! Moon!"
I agreed.
"Yes, it is the moon."
He stared back at the half moon barely visible in the blue sky.
"Hug?" he asked of the moon, his arms spread wide to embrace the Earth's satellite.
The boy knows no bounds.
"One day, when you are an astronaut, you can land on the moon and give it a big hug," I responded.
He giggled.
I giggled.
It was funny because everyone knows there's no way mama's ever going to let you be an astronaut. Silly boy!