Friday, August 28, 2009

BumFest 2009

While walking downtown after lunch, my husband and I passed a large man bellowing words from the gospel at passersby. He wore a black suit, had a large white cross standing beside him. A worn bible was in one hand while the other was in a fist being shaken at downtown employees scurrying for grub on their too-short lunch break.
He was unstoppable, passionate and very loud.
His booming shouts were echoing off of downtown's skyscrapers.
Eric kept glancing his way as we neared and I noticed how he made other folks a bit uncomfortable.

"I kind of like it," I said gesturing toward the corner preacher.

"Really?" Eric was a bit surprised.

"Yeah," I said. "I like to hear stuff like that on the street. I think it's cool. It's like America. It's like I live in a big city."

Eric paused and took a sip of his soda while considering my reasoning.
I continued.

"It's like one time I walked back from lunch and passed one guy playing a guitar, then one guy playing a sax and another playing the flute," I offered. "All within a three-block radius and it wasn't even Mayfest!"

"No," he replied. "It was BumFest."

Alligators

It occurred to me that when Jack moved from being a Penguin to a Monkey I wrote a bit about his transition, new class and teachers. Last week he made yet another transition into the Alligator room.
It seems like every transition is a very big deal. Last time it was stressful for me because he was moving up to toddler level meaning no longer on the infant floor.
This transition is once again all about becoming more independent.
Fortunately many of the independent behaviors they will be developing he already enjoys doing.
Such as..,
-using utensils
-drinking from a cup
-taking his dishes to the sink
-washing his hands
-using a napkin

These are all things he has been doing at home on and off again for quite some time.
While nervous about Jack becoming such a big kid, I am excited about his teacher’s curriculum plans.
They will begin a daily preschool session and by the end of the year are expected to know colors, shapes and more in Spanish. I'm thrilled about that because the majority of the Spanish I remember came from my kindergarten lessons. Gotta get it in the brain early.
They will also help begin potty training in this class and have a very rigorous plan to back up whatever you are doing at home to encourage the process.
It's only been about a week. So far I like his new teacher.
She has a very direct and down-to-earth personality yet is light hearted and fun with the kids. I very much like the tone she takes with the children. She speaks to them like they are adults - something I think most kids benefit greatly from.
While I am looking forward to his new lesson plan, Jack is thrilled about the two slides, red piano and various transportation devices that are in the room.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Saw Tuesday

While cooking supper...

Jackson: I saw mama.

Mama: Oh. You did? Ok.

Jackson: I saw daddy.

Mama: Oh, yeah? I did too. Where did he go?

Jackson: I saw Elvis.

Mama: Did he go with daddy?

(I finally look up and see Jack headed toward the dog with the green-handled SAW from his tiny toolbox.)

Mama: Hang on, now! Don't saw Elvis.


After supper...

Jackson: Mama, where trash cans go?

Mama: I don't know. Where did they go?

Jackson: Garbage man came, Mama. It's Tuesday.

Watch Out Tom

Me: I had a terrible dream last night.

Eric: Really?

Me: I dreamed you cheated on me.

Eric: Awwww, baby.

Me: With Katie Holmes.

Eric: Oh wow! Great job, Eric!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Literary Offensives

It's hard to write about this topic without coming off like an arrogant, pompous kind of mom (you know the type.) But after noticing this a few times and even discussing it with a few relatives who have noticed it too, I've decided something must be said.
I am so irritated and disappointed with the incorrect grammar and punctuation slipping into children's literature.
There.
It's out.
Is this the part where I yell at those kids to get off my lawn?
Now that I have set myself up for scrutiny - as I'm sure my posts are riddled with misspellings and grammar whatnots - I would like to point out these posts are causal and not meant for teaching children to read.
On the contrary, Jackson's latest favorite, Speedy the Fire Truck, is a great Wheelie book he thoroughly enjoys.
Meaning we've read it a brazillian times.
It's got everything.
Plenty of fiery action, handsome firemen, rhyming phrases, large spinning wheels, a cat, etc.
And it all ends with a giant, glaring error.
The big finish:
"There's no one speedier than me!"
Nice.
Thanks, Speedy. For teaching my kid how to speak incorrectly while saving lives.
I decided to put out the grammatical fire by dousing it with my big, black sharpie.
I've got a few more kid-lit issues.
Securely holding its place in Jackson's top 5 faves, is the book Jack Truck:

You can clearly see why it ranks so highly with the boy.
However, as the book goes on to describe Jack Truck's pals, it mentions the merits of Dump Truck Dan, Cement Mixer Melvin, Monster Truck Max and Pay Loader Pete.
However (and here's where I really start to sound obnoxious) the only real female character is a pink garbage truck named Gabriella.
And the only trait she happens to have?
Talking. She talks a lot.
The book goes on:
"Gabriella loves talking ... She is still talking."
I feel like the author was going through a rough divorce when he penned this tome.
It just so happens, I leave that little gem out when reading the bedtime tale and sprinkle in some of Gabby's finer traits.
So, can you handle one more kid-lit concern before you ride your bike through my prize-winning begonias?
In a similar vein, Jack also enjoys Baby on the Go, which describes a variety of transportation. At the end of the tale, there are photos of those in various trades such as: police, fire, construction and space travel.
All men.
Every single one of them.
Now I am no fool and I realize that the majority of these fields employ mostly men.
But how about just one?
Can't I have just one little space lady?
A cute fire chick so that the boy grows up with just maybe one less stereotype?
Something besides a female-oriented garbage truck?

...Well, I'm off to shake my grumpy cane at some suspicious hoodlums selling lemonade on the corner....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Photo Recap

Birthday photos are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73102019@N00/sets/72157621914997225/

and here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50981739@N00/sets/72157621819517849/


(hope these links work. otherwise, you may have to cut and paste.)

Fish

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tools

While playing with his new tool set...

Jackson: Mama, I hamammering!
Me: I see that.
Jackson: I hamammer Elvis, mama?
Me: Uh...no. Don't hammer Elvis.

Silence.

Jackson: I hamammer Jackson, mama?
Me: Uh.... Sure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So Much Birthday

To top off our birthday-week-extravaganza, Jack was invited to his first little kid birthday party the Sunday after his party.
His classmate, Sawyer's birthday party was held at The Little Gym.
At first, I thought it would be just another giant, loud kid place riddled with pink eye.
But when we arrived, it was a lovely place that the group of kids got to enjoy all to themselves.
Jackson loved the gymnastic equipment and was a pro at the open-jupiter-jump-thing.
Mama however, not so much.
He did the parallel bars, walked the balance beam and climbed the rock wall.
After much running, climbing and flinging of tiny bodies on to colorful, odd shaped items, the staff corralled the kids in line for a little pre-cake Purel.

That was the moment I fell in love with The Little Gym.

The staff Purelled each and every one of their little grubby fingers prior to them smashing Elmo cupcakes into their faces.
My heart soared and I nearly made out with her. But I didn't want to embarrass the boy... or the husband.

They entertain the kids in a professional, low-key manner. They served the food, cleaned up and even handled ending the party with favors while politely sending guests on their way.
Very efficient, yet fun.

Here is a link to their site. The video was exactly like the party.
http://www.thelittlegym.com/Pages/kids-birthday.aspx

I didn't bring our camera because I thought it might be weird to photograph your kid at another kid's party.
But evidently I was wrong.
It was like birthday paparazzi. Jackson had a bit of an entourage and as the little ladies followed him around, so did their mothers snapping pics.
So we took a few with the phone.

He sat with his girls as they patiently waited for cake.

...and then not-so-patiently ate it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday Season

Birthday celebrations are over.
Bits of wrapping paper have been vacuumed. Laundry is done. New outfits are ready for school tomorrow, new colorful trucks are being broken in while shiny new books are being memorized.
And while everyone has returned home and the work week has already begun to drag by, Jack is still riding the birthday train.
In fact, he is the conductor of the birthday train.
All day at school, he sang "Happy Birthday." Apparently to anyone who will listen.
This continued through dinner, at which point he asked for my strawberry and when I gave it to him he said "Happy-birthday-to-YOU!" like it was one word.
A polite, proper, mannerly way to really show someone how thankful you for the bit of fruit.
He's weaning himself from the fountain of birthday.
Evidently, every day is a "Happy Birthday" kind of day.

He may or may not get this birthday-continuation trait from me...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rumpus


So here we are the morning of Jackson's (and Eric's) birthday celebration.
Just this moment I hear Jackson eating breakfast with all the family that is slowly filling up our tiny house.
That's how I prefer it- family bustling all around, chatting and laughing.
Coffee is brewing and breakfast is warming up.
It is a luxury we don't get to relish in very often. Well, not as often as we'd prefer.
With family scattered across the world, it is always a treat when they drop in by car, by plane or even by Skype.
When family arrives to take part, it makes my emotions swell even more. I take a step back and lose my breath for a second when I realize they are all here for him.
Because they love him just as much as I do.
Because they can't wait to see how this life unfolds.
And mostly because they can't wait to see his face when he discovers there is frozen custard in his cake.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pledge

When company is on the way, cleaning is always at the top of the "get ready" list. Yesterday, we were cleaning for company and the upcoming birthday party.
I heard Eric wander into the kitchen and rummage for a snack while I was buzzing like a bee dusting every surface in the house.
He comes wandering over to the bedroom where I am threatening numerous dust bunnies with my industrial size can of Pledge.
"Is it snack time?" I muse out loud, hand on my hip.
"No." he says with a hang dog face.
"What time is it?" I ask, smiling in my mama-voice.
"Cleaning time," he mumbles. But as he turns to walk away he promptly moons me from the doorway.
Of course, I promptly spray the "moon" with some lemon scented Pledge.
What?
The moon is dusty.