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Showing posts from 2010

Colorfully Carnivorous

Over the holiday, Jackson was introduced to barbecued ribs.
Normal toddler milestone?
In this family, yes.
My mother and my husband truly enjoy nothing more than attacking a plate of barbecued ribs. They are a rare treat at the dinner table.
I'm not a huge fan of the meal, so Eric took it as his great responsibility to ensure Jackson got a proper rib-eating education.

Eric began the lesson with this introduction:
"Jackson, here is your own rack of ribs. Enjoy it, son. It's like a rainbow of meat."

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Icy

Cuz

Mama? Davis is not letting me move this piece of train track. Can you take him away, please?

Gettin' The Band Back Together

Mama, Lucy said she didn't want to be my friend anymore.

Oh. Why? What happened?

She just said she wasn't my best friend anymore.

Why?

She just said.

Oh. Well....sometimes that happens. Not everyone will be your friend.

But now I don't have any friends.

You have no friends?

No. Not any.

Zero?

Not one friend.

What about Kelly?

Nope.

What about Sanders? You always play with him.

Well, we're rock stars but not friends.

I see.

Thankful

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Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. I know the Christmas season is heavy upon us and while I love all the festivities, family and fun, Thanksgiving sometimes seems a bit more meaningful to me.
That's why I loved one of the ideas I snagged from the Family Volley web site. She is always coming up with fun easy activities the whole family can get on board with.
I really liked her thankful chain idea.
We cut strips of paper and every night everyone wrote down something they were thankful for. Then we would tape them together and string it across the doorway into the living room, which got easier as the chain grew the closer we got to Thanksgiving.
We also had close friends and family that would stop by for a visit in the upcoming days before the holiday add their own slips of thankfulness.
Then, because we have family all over, we brought it with us over the holiday break.
The traveling chain of thanks was added to by even more family and after the big meal, when everyone was relaxing …

4 a.m.

Me: Ohmygoddidyouhearthat!?! Something is vomiting!

Eric: ....snore....

Me: The dog! The dog must be throwing up!

Eric: ....snore....

Me: (after seeing the dog sound asleep at the foot of the bed) Wait. Oh no. He's fine.

Eric: ....snore....

Me: Oh no, it must have been Jack! (I fling on my robe and dash into the hall to check)

Eric: ....snore....He's fine.

Me: Hmmmm, you're right. He is fine.

I crawl back into bed.

Me: I guess maybe we're being robbed and one of them was throwing up.

Eric: ....Hopefully...

Scent Specific

After setting a bowl of soup in front of Jack and myself, he asked:

Mama? What's that I smell?

Uh...maybe the soup?

Oh.... Could you eat it all up so that I don't smell it anymore?

Well, I'm working on it but you're going to have to eat up yours, too.

No, I just smell your soup. Not mine.

Brain Food

Be careful Jack, you're going to bonk your head again. Better watch out, your poor brain can't take it!

My brain isn't in there.

It's not in your head?

No. It is in my tummy.

Why is it in there?

I ate it.

Showtime - A Movie Review in Three Sentences or Less

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Really? Where doing the "almost dying" thing all over again? Didn't Pepper and Tony already make out? Oh hey! I didn't know this was also a sequel to The Wrestler? Bonus. We give this movie two out of five spoonfuls of palladium.

Anticipation

During a recent hair cut last week, Jackson sat under a black smock while the hair stylist finished trimming up some stray hairs.
"You look so cute," she told him.
"But, you haven't even seen my orange shirt underneath, yet!" he responded.

Talking Points

After asking Jackson to put his shoes on this afternoon:

"Mama? In the morning, we are going to have a discussion about you being so mean. We are going to talk after I'm done resting."

Magical

While packing up for the Thanksgiving trip to Gram and Grandaddy's, Jackson prepped his own back pack.
He never leaves for long periods of time without the following:
a microphone (for impromptu concerts)
a usb port (for hooking up the microphone, apparently)
a camera (it doesn't work but he still takes photos)
a backhoe
Elmo
and his phone (typically his "permission phone")

When Gram and Grandaddy arrived to pick him up, Grandaddy suggested Jackson climb in the car seat and put his tiny back pack in the backseat as well.
At the time, Jackson was enjoying the bells and whistles that go along with sitting in the drivers seat. So instead of getting out and loading up the car, Jackson tossed his backpack over the console to the back seat and as my father watched the backpack go whizzing past into the back seat Jackson declared:
"Watch this! It's magical!"

Authenticity

Me: Jackson! What do you say?

Jackson: Excuuuuse me!

Mam: Was that real?

Checking It Twice

Oh mom! We could get dad a snuggie!

No. He had one years ago.

I know! Wanna get him a new one? C'mon! Like a funny one?

No. He'll kill himself.

Lil' Surgeon General

During a kid-friendly, grown-up get together, we enjoyed a cozy fire pit out on the deck. Eventually, Jackson made his way from the kid's playroom to the grown-ups huddling around the toasty fire. Once outside, he noticed a few of the adults were smoking.
Without hesitation, Jackson glanced over at me and loudly announced:
"Mama! That lady is not making very good choices."

Heart Beat

Mama?

Yes.

Do you know what my heart is saying?

What?

It says 'I love mamas.'

Did you know that mine just stopped?

One Man Band

Just another laundry day musical.

You Decide

Jackson woke up this morning singing Black Eyed Peas songs.

Good parent or bad parent?

Happy Halloween

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Jack-O-Lantern
P.S. Did you click the link near the top left to see Jackson's science project? It's worth it.

Persuasive

"Can we go on a walk? Please? I really love walks. I love to go on walks. Mama, can we go on a walk? Hurry! It is getting dark, family! I really like to go on walks. Hurry, family!"

Bilingual

You know, just because you are eating Mexican food does not mean you can speak Spanish.


Says you-o.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Jackson has discovered a whole new way to receive permission for just about anything.
I call it his "permission phone."
Sadly, my cell phone plan does not come with such upgrades. But Jackson's phone can work miracles.
For examples, earlier in the week I was making supper and I spied Jackson touching Eric's steak before I had set the plates on the table.

"Don't touch someone's food, Jack."

"It's ok, mama. It's ok. People like that."

"No, actually they don't. People don't like it when you touch their food with your hands."

At this point in the conversation, Jackson whipped out an imaginary phone and put it to his ear. Apparently, he had dialed Eric, who was on his way home from work at the time, and proceeded to ask imaginary-phone-Eric if it is indeed ok for Jackson to touch his food.
After a brief pretend-yet-private-conversation, Jackson hung up his phone (back in his pocket) and assured me all is well.

"Yes, mama. …

Smile

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After reading about Dora's visit to the dentist, and discussing it at great lengths, Jackson was finally ready for his very first dental appointment.
This was a big event.
There were new offices, lots of fancy equipment, strange sounds, machines and farm animals.



The hygienist made him a pink chicken and Jackson was thrilled. However this still did not convince him to lie back in the chair.
No, thank you.
He preferred to sit, if you don't mind.
The hygienist was wonderful and patiently answered all of his questions.
He had a lot.
And he did not take his eyes off of her.



She showed him the water spout, the vacuum and the "tooth counter." All were big hits.


Jackson has always been one to observe before jumping in. So going through all of the equipment and discussing how things work was right up his alley. He is very brave, but he always needs a minute to adjust before committing.
She and Jackson became fast friends. He enjoyed answering all of her various questions. I was so prou…

Greek Festival

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Jackson enjoyed his very first face-painting experience. After standing patiently in line forever,* he requested a pumpkin and a spider on his arms. He was so thrilled with the finished job, he didn't want to take a bath.







*side rant: the reason it took so long was because after a child got her face painting done her mother decided she wanted to have her face, neck and shoulders also painted. We waitied an hour while she requested this and that. Now I am all for expressing oneself but on a very hot afternoon with a line full of sweaty, tired, hungry children don't you think maybe she should just go get a tattoo?

It Even Had Solar Panel

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At Jackson's three-year check up they ask me the usual questions to assess his development.
Can he dress himself? Jump on one leg? Recite the pledge of allegiance with a spoon resting on his nose? And so forth. One question in particular stood out because I wasn't sure I had ever seen him accomplish it: Can he stack 8 or more blocks? First of all, I'm not sure I can stack that many blocks. I was never even very good at Jenga. And those start out stacked. Of course, I'm not sure I ever played it sober.... But as I sat in the exam room, while the nurse blinked at me for my response I realized I had no idea. I mean, surely? Have I ever counted them? So I chuckled an affirmative and made a mental note to further examine the patient. A few days later, while playing blocks I causally began a stacking contest to see if Jackson did yes indeed qualify to be a three-year-old. It's no fun to just stack, so instead he built this:



I know it's kind of blurry but it was hard to get a good…

Do I Have Pants On?

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You know how some things just all fall apart at once?
The other day I was in a rush. I collected Jackson from school and upon entering the house I ran to let the dog out, left the kid to his own amusement for a moment and dashed for my own potty break. Seconds later I hear Jackson having a lengthy conversation with someone. Did the phone ring? No. Hmmmm.
I hurry out into the sun room in the middle of switching from work clothes to at-home clothes when I realize he is talking to someone at the front door.
But the front door is locked. Is someone in the house? Eric's not due in for a while and by the way, where is the dog? Not in the backyard. I swear I just let him out. As I near the living room, I realize Jackson is talking to the next door neighbor. Oh crap. I check to make sure I have on pants. I wonder how they are chatting it up so casually in the living room. When I round the corner, Jackson and the neighbor are discussing how she has returned Elvis and would he open the door to let him i…

Cupid? Or Susan Lucci?

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Susan LucciWhen I would go out with friends, we would always give boys fake names. I would always pick Erica. I just liked it. Sounded sexy but not over the top and kind of rare. Plus a shout out to Susan Lucci. Who can resist an Erica? Things got wierd though when the man I married turned out to be named Eric.

Isn't that crazy? That's how powerful Susan Lucci is.

Three Years Ago

I found this compliation again. It was made by my good friend Amanda Anderson of Red Frame Photography. I meant to post during all the birthday celebrations but...well....here it is now!

Potent Quotables

After a long day repairing a doorbell:

"I'd rather be wealthy, than handy."

Details

This thing has a little thing to put on the thing...

Yeah, and?

Well, the thing just popped off.

Uh-oh.

Medic!

This morning Jackson was strolling through the house, a tow-truck-puzzle piece in hand, delivering vaccines:

Ok, mama it's time for your shot.

Another one?

Yep. This is a big one. Are you ready?

Yes.

You were brave, mama.

Thank you.

Ok. Here's another one.

Are you some kind of medical lunatic?

No! I'm a doctor!

September

September is hard on everyone, I know.
September offers many sad days.
My plan is to coast through and hope for crisper days.

I thought the missing might feel less as Jackson got older.
But really it doesn't.
In fact, it's worse because I know how much she would have loved him.
Just adored him.
They all would have. They all do.


Still my thoughts. Still my favorite picture of her.
http://houpley.blogspot.com/2009/09/missing.html

Rules Are Rules

Hey now. Be careful.

I am being careful.

I know but you can't poke me in the eye with your knee, ok?

Ok.

Flatware

Where's Jackson?

He's right there playing with a knife.

No, he is not!

Yes, I am!

You Think You Know Someone...

...and then they say this while cooking your breakfast:

"You know, I really don't see why everyone always gets so upset when they find a hair in their food. It's not like it's full of disease."

Science

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I have mentioned before about how much I love http://familyvolley.blogspot.com/ Fun Friday ideas. The majority of the games are big hits in our house. Last night I thought we would try her Oobleck recipe. I remembered making it as a child and knew Jackson would love getting super messy.
Here's proof:






A few other tips to extend Oobleck's entertainment value: giving the kid plastic silverware to manipulate Oobleck, hiding a penny in the bowl of Oobleck, saying Oobleck as much as possible.
In the past, Jackson has most enjoyed familyvolley games such as the cotton ball game and the Don't Eat Pete game. But his favorite is the Flour Tower game. Recently, we went to Eric's giant family reunion at Petit Jean mountain and I took some of the kids and tried out familyvolley games. They were a big hit. I'll have to find pics from the game session, but the Flour Tower was the most favorited.
Here is a pic of the kids doing another easy activity: FooDoodlers. Have you seen these? …

Semantics

"No honey, I'm not saying you can't say the word 'penis'. I'm just saying you can't run around yelling 'penis -unicycle'."

Musical

For Sylvie:

Kindling

You know it has been a rough week when you open the dryer door and wood chips fall out.

Tennessee Wrestlin'

The Jack Hammer


*No fathers were injured in the making of this video.

3 Is On a Roll

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T-ball stance. Get low.



The slip and slide crawl. Nice and safe.



Eric taking it up a notch.

3

Hello 3.
We've really only just met.
In fact, I've only known you a week and already I'm learning more and more about your personality quirks.
Just 7 days out of the gate and you're even more talkative than 2.
Something I didn't think possible.
It seems you've arrived with a pretty big voice, a bit more self-consciousness and even more awareness of the world happening around you.
While 2 did not want to come near the noisy hair dryer, 3 requested I fix its hair before picture day this morning. Upon waking yesterday, 3's first thought was concern that the night-before's party was over.
3 is also very interested in loudly describing all the wall decor at various groceries and restaurants. In great detail. 3 has become an even more voracious reader, requesting books be read non-stop some evenings.
3 will start music class today and there is also a sudden interest in t-ball. 3 loves to practice, is actually quite good at it and even runs the bases, which are a pink…

Showtime: Movie Review Round Up

It's been a while since I've posted any of our three-sentence movie reviews. So I thought I might make it even quicker and to the point. The following is a list of some of the movies we've seen this summer and our brief review.

Repo Men - Jude Law is hot, body parts not.
Book of Eli - The future is bleak which means only the blind can truly see.
Coco before Chanel - Oh la la dress patterns and horses.
Up In the Air - Slow and steady baggage with a twist. Sometimes that's how I like it checked.
How Tub Time Machine - Yeah. That's right. Embarrassing yet humorous.
Whip It - The girrlz rock it out almost as much as the awesome sound track.
Eclipse - I'm not proud about it.
Clash of the Titans - Bubo stuffed in a trunk? Not cool.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Hard to watch but worth the pay off.
Observe and Report - WTF Seth? Did not see that coming.
Day Breakers - Looks like reality does bite.
Avatar - Cinematically incredible.
Crazy Heart- Like The Wrestler but with music…

Name Game

So how has your day been?

I'm not Ben! I'm Jackson.

Spoiled

My parents recently came to help us out during a very rough time.
During their stay, my mother had delicious, healthy meals on the table at the end of each day.
The first evening she was no longer there, Jackson and I walked into the house together after a long day at work and school.
He stepped into the sun room, glanced at the kitchen table and looked up at my face.

"Mama?" he asked. "Why don't you have dinner on the table?"

Ouch!

Perspective

What's the matter, mama?

Oh, it's a long story.

Long? Like all the way to the ceiling and back?

Role Play

Jackson had a rough day at school yesterday. Apparently, a fellow classmate continued to pull on his chair and he took a rather dental approach to the argument.
That evening at home, we discussed "using our words" and if that didn't settle the dispute one should involve the teacher.
"Want to practice it?" I asked him.
He grinned and was game for a run through.
"Ok, I'll be Jackson, you can be Mary* and daddy will be the teacher over there," I outlined.
We acted out the scene and Jackson went through protocol expertly. But then he was ready to practice again. But this time he was Mary. Then we had to run through once more and now he was the teacher.
After several scenarios, Eric turned to me with a weary look and muttered...
"You've pretty much turned him into a D&D nerd."


*names have been changed

Tomay-to Tomaa-to

What are you doing?

I'm ironing my skirt because it has wrinkles in it.

Why?

Because it has wrinkles in it.

But why does it have schmuckles in it?

Uh ... it has schmuckles in it because it was packed in my suitcase.

Oh.

Humour Me

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Every Friday, Heather at the site Family Volley posts a great, easy-to-do family game.
We are fans, because typically each game requires items you already have around the house and they can be easily altered for whatever age group may be participating.

As you can see below, we have all ages participating in our game night.



Be Specific

After a long weekend of traveling, Jackson and I spent a day puttering around the house. After his nap, we were snuggling on the bed and talking about our recent trip to New York, when he suddenly said, "Stop, mama!"
"Stop what?"
"Stop cuddlin' me."
My heart shattered into a million pieces.
But just before the tiny pieces of my heart sprinkled onto the floor, I thought to clarify, "Stop cuddling and stop smooching you? Or just stop cuddling?"
"Just stop cuddling," he said. "You can keep on smoochin.'"
Whew. That was a close one.

Douse

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What may be the greatest summer photo of all time:

Does Broccoli Have A Fan Page?

While cruising through the produce section at the grocery store, I handed Jackson a clump of broccoli to place in the cart.

"Do you think we should add broccoli to the meal?"

"No. I'm not a fan."

Dress Code

Summer is officially here in our part of the world. With temperatures rising, we've enjoyed running through the sprinklers, heading to the pool and generally enjoying the outdoors.
With the season, comes some classic kid moments like enjoying a popsicle on the deck after supper.
This works out well because who cares if there's any spillage on the deck?
I also ask Jackson to take off his shirt before handling his orange popsicle. A typical parent-precaution that allows you to just hose off the kid after the popsicle has been devoured.
He had no problem with this and was sitting at the patio table enjoying his icy snack when he turned to me and offered me a taste.

"Mama, would you like a bite?"

"Sure," I said leaning over for a taste when he stopped me and snatched back the popsicle.

"Wait! Take off your shirt, first."

Tactics

You know how a kid always finds your weak link? That little chink in your armor that can help them wiggle on out of trouble?
For example, my best friend used to always tell stories about how her mother would be on the warpath chasing her around the base of the staircase, but if she could make her mom laugh she knew she might be able to squeeze out of the jam.
Looking back, my folks were the same way. If you could slip in a relevant joke to the situation, you might diffuse your punishment. Our whole family has always been one to appreciate and respect a witty comeback.
Well, it seems Jackson has discovered my weak link.
When things are not going according to his plan, like let's say he wants to jump into the pool just "one more time" even after it's time to go, he'll break out the stand-up. He's got a fairly expansive repertoire of material. He might make a crazy face, use this ridiculous silly voice that cracks me up or start to flip-flop his head left and right …

The Heat Is On

Parenting Tip: Good Eats

I'm always researching magazines, web sites and other mothers to find out fun, easy, helpful parenting tips.
I thought I might share one tiny tip that we do to ensure Jackson continues to eat healthy meals. Maybe everybody already does this?
But I thought I was so clever when I stumbled upon the idea.

My tip: Baby Food
Carrot Soup, Pearsauce, or Mango Surprise?
When Jackson moved from baby food to solid foods, it got a bit harder to make sure everything he was eating was healthy. So every now and then I still purchase DHA, vitamin packed, organic baby food and dress it up as an addition to a meal.
I'll heat up the carrots, pour into a bowl and sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and he devours it.* Sometimes, in the fall, I dress the soups up with a bit of milk and some small pieces of ham. Baby food pears? A tasty breakfast. And Mango Surprise? Add a few strawberries and voila: Dessert! Of course, he gets real fruit and veggies, too. But I like to think of it as a way to fortify the gro…

Smarty Pants

Jack is getting himself dressed these mornings. Which is a very nice addition to the early morning routine. But sometimes he dawdles and then we have conversations that I feel are small glimpses into our future living-with-a-preteen years. All that's missing is a little eye-rolling:

Ok, Jack. Good job. Now pull your pants on.

No, mama. Those are not pants. They're shorts.

Knot Tied (Updated with working links!)

Hey did you hear Emily and Justin got married?
It's true.

I've uploaded tons of video on youtube.

Here is the link to the first video at the rehearsal:
http://www.youtube.com/user/houpley#p/u/3/aNoYGUOaHI0

I've put up several videos of the night before.

Also pics on flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73102019@N00/sets/72157624080214635/


Enjoy!

You Decide

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Digging in the dirt with tiny pocket knives. Prior to this, they were trimming individual blades of monkey grass with the set's miniature scissors. Landscapers or The Jets? Good parent or bad parent?

You Decide

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Promising a tootsie roll if you carry the pillow all the way down the aisle.

Good parent or bad parent?

Bringing It

Long in the Tooth

We had finished our book, turned off the lights, pulled the quilt up to his chin.
I snuggled in beside him for our nightly bedtime discussion and to deliver a few kisses.
Sometimes it's a game where I say something like, "ok, now I need to get some of that forehead" and then plant a kiss and then "better get a bit of that cheek" or "the chin" etc.
After a bit Jackson takes my face in his hands and ask to take a look at my teeth.
"Better kiss your teeth, mama."
"No! Don't kiss my teeth!"
He giggles but continues to investigate my teeth.
He finally looks up and declares, "Mama, we need to trim those teeth."

Traffic

Walking into school this morning, I patted the top of Jackson's head and asked him if he would like to hold my hand.
He considered the offer for a moment and then looked up at me and said:
"No, mama. This isn't a parking lot."

Kilo-WHATT?

Who knew I was such a fan of wrestling?

Are you ready, World?

Introducing: Kilo-What! The Electrician!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/user/houpley#p/u/4/55lnhqYAcmA

(warning: videographer may or may not have been totally sober)


A luchadore never reveals his/her true identity.
I hope I get to meet him one day.

Mad Scientist

Every night after putting Jackson to bed, Eric and I are always amazed at the odd noises that drift from under the nursery door and into the hallway.
There is always whispering, tapping, singing, reading, some thumping and occasional raucous laughter.
Last night, it was as though some great engineering project was underway.
"It always sounds like there's a science project going on in there," Eric noted after putting his ear to the door.
As long as Jackson is in bed and keeping things somewhat quiet, we don't mind what projects he's taking on, because eventually they all lead to sleep.
However, on one particular night there was a lot of whispered discussion going on, some scuffling and some excessive rattling.
Finally, we both got up and poked our heads in expecting to find a miniature volcano replication in the middle of the room or multiple lab tests being conducted on Elmo.
Instead, there was Jackson in bed pulling a pair of Eric's smelly socks on and up past his …

Flight Requirements

We are scheduled for a trip to the East Coast this summer and I have been prepping Jackson for the flight.
Some kids like to have a lot of pre-event discussion and some kids can't deal with the build up. What kid of tactics do/did you use?

Jackson has always been the kind who prefers a lot of prep time and discussion about upcoming events. He has flown several times before, but I think it's fun to get excited about any trip. Not that we spend a whole lot of time on it, but for example, last night when he put on his New York Yankees ball cap he asked me where it came from and I mentioned his New York relatives and how we will soon be on our way to visit them.
He has a few pre-flight concerns:

We'll go on an airplane?

Yes.

Not mama's car?

No. Not in my car.

Will I get a seat belt?

Yes. Your very own seat belt. Sometimes you can sit on my lap. But you will have your own seat and tray and everything! And we can color, have snacks, read books and play with stickers...

Who will fly t…

For Whom The Bell Calls

During a recent rush to get everyone into the car, Eric blurted out, "Damn it!"
It wasn't even that loud or noticeable, and I probably wouldn't have even realized he had said anything at all if it hadn't been for the two-year-old with the superb hearing in the back seat.

We don't say 'damn it,' Daddy.

You're right. We don't. I shouldn't have said it.

If you say 'damn it' at the park, the church bells will call you and say 'no-no.'

Uh...

We don't say 'damn it,' Daddy. Nonnie doesn't say it, and Mama doesn't say it. I doesn't say it, and Mam doesn't say it. Grandad doesn't say it. Phillip doesn't say it and Paw-Paw doesn't say it.

Eric contemplated this list of such pious friends and relatives.

Actually, Jackson, I think you may have just named the people that Daddy learned it from.

You Decide

Homemade guacamole for breakfast!

Good parent or bad parent?

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Don't you hate it when you've finally gotten around to switching out all the winter clothes for the summer ones and just as you've finally gotten everything back in its drawer you realize the dryer is done so you go in to fold the laundry and there, lying in a warm heap of colors are three more sweaters, one more long sleeve tee and a sweatshirt?

Me too.

Mother's Day

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with his might
that his arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so he loves also the bow that is stable.

-Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Fashion Designer

This morning, Jackson was getting upset as he was putting on his new Toy Story underwear. The set was a gift so he was very exited to wear them. But when he went to put on a pair he was concerned about the overall design:

Oh no Daddy! It doesn't go that way!

Yes, they do. Buzz goes in the back.

No! But then I can't see him!

Well ... I guess you're going to have to talk to the manufacturers about that. Tell him Buzz should be on the front so can see him.

Ok.

Postal

Mama! Look, it's the P-U-S man!

Big Man On Campus

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Jackson attended his first college class this week.
That's right. His SAT scores were off the charts! Actually, his school's director asked if she could use him for a class project she was conducting regarding potty training. She needed a verbal kid that wouldn't mind preforming and answering questions, etc. She selected him and another sweet little girl to assist.
During the class, Jackson really hammed it up and wowed the crowd. At one point the other mother mentioned, "He is very entertaining!" And I would have to agree. To us, he is always the most fun thing around. Every day Eric and I end up laughing at his antics and observations. One such moment happened on our way to the class.
Unfamiliar with the area I used our GPS to guide me. She was instructing me to take a slip road here or a left over there when Jackson asked for more details.
"What is she telling you, mama?" "She is giving me directions so I don't get lost." "Oh." He processe…

Brainstorm

Where are YOU going?

I'm going outside to move the cars.

Can I come with you?

Do you have shoes on?

No.

Well, you have to have shoes on to come outside.

Wait! You could just carry me!

Ticklish

Mama, Mr. Tim was picking me up and you shouldn't pick people up because some people don't like that.

True, but Mr. Tim was picking you up because you guys were tickling each other, remember?

Yes.

Just like how you kept tickling Ms. Niki's feet?

Yes, I tickled her feet and she laughed and laughed and laughed.

Rank

My mother was putting Jackson to bed this past Saturday night and during the good-night routine he was filled in on the chain of command:

Mam, you are not the boss of me.

No, your mama is the boss of you.

Oh.

But I am the boss of your mama.

If You Sell It, He Will Eat It

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During his very first baseball game ever, Jackson consumed the following:

1 granola bar
1 ice cream sandwhich
1 corn dog
1 chocolate milk
1 bite of hamburger
1 bowl of birthday cake flavored dippin' dots (of course he had some ... ahem ... assistance with this one)




He also got a taste of some Orange Fanta, Diet Coke and maybe some beer.
We're not sure about that last one.
I did however, pop open his jaw and stick my nose in there for a few whiffs and returned with no evidence.
So, I think we're still good parents.





I think his ride home pretty much sums it up.




Baseball been berry, berry good to him.

Illiterate

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Jackson, it is time to go to sleep.

But Mama, will you read Manny to me?

No, we have already read your book and now it is time to go to sleep.

But Mama!

You may keep it with you in bed, and read it to yourself if you like.

At this he wrinkled his brow, raised both hands into the air as if I was crazy to have forgotten and shouted:But Mama! I can't read!

The Texts They Are A-Changing

I always get a kick out of http://queserasera.org/ regular posts about text messages saved in her phone. And then I got to thinking about how much the text messages in my own phone have changed since we bought a house and had a child. And then they changed again once other friends joined the house/kid bandwagon. While the players may have stayed the same, the content has taken a decidedly different turn.
Texts from her phone are always hilarious and good indicators a fun time was being had somewhere and late into the night.
My saved texts indicate while it may have been late in the night, it wasn't always a good time.

A recent sampling:

Maybe. Pretty crabby and starting to pull his ear a little. I took them all to the park bc we are having an open house today. I'll take him in tomorrow.

Feel free to bring Jack. Place is a mess and still waiting on couch and table and chairs.

Fever broke!!

38

11 lunch then play or something else?

Still has fever - going home drsappt at 4. Update later!

G…

Environmentalist

Hey Mama, we don't poach animals.

Uh...ok.

We don't poach animals.

Right.

We only poach Elvis when he is out of his crate.

Ahhh! Right. We don't approach animals when they have gone into their crate. Correct.

Mama, we don't poach dogs.

Got it.

Spring Fling

Young love.

First-World Problems

You know that if you change out of your giant excavator shirt and into your train t-shirt, we don't have time to pick up donut holes for your friends, ok?

Ok.

WWE

Ok so, Pop and Dearie are coming to see you today, Jack.

Pop and Dearie?

Yes, so that we means we need to be extra sweet and very polite to them, ok?

Ok.

Thank you.

I will be sweet to them, Mama.

Ok, good.

I'm not gonna kick them. I won't bite them. I won't push them and I'm not gonna wrestle them.

Right. Good. Please don't wrestle Dearie.

Prise!

Love Is...

This morning was madness.
We were all rushing around getting ready for work, getting Jackson ready for school, picking up for company coming right after work today - it was a whirlwind of curling irons, tiny buttons, cups of coffee, trash bags and velcroed sneakers.
Eric had risen a bit early to make breakfast. His favorite: biscuits and sausage with gravy.
I'm not a fan and generally don't eat breakfast but as I was trying to clasp a necklace, Eric asked from kitchen if I wanted to take a biscuit to work.
So sweet.
So when I finally landed at my desk and reached in my purse to pull out my makeshift biscuit breakfast, I saw that not only had he prepared a biscuit and sausage, but he thought to put the tiny patty in its own tiny snack Ziploc bag inside the main bag.
He didn't want my biscuit to get soggy on the way to work.
That's love, people.

Stop Leaf!

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Ever since we began reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit from Sylvie's childhood book, Jackson has been hooked.
Shortly after he was born, Sylvie, my mother's cousin, sent this book, that had been hers as a little girl. I kept the worn, red book in the nursery for when the right moment came along.
Late last year, we started to read it.
I wanted him to be ready because the book is delicate with age. Each page is fragile and the spine is weak. But the story is as vivid to him as if it were hot of the press.
He fell so deeply in love with the story, we read it each night before bed.
Every.
Single.
Night.
And then someone sent him a tiny, abridged, board book of Peter Rabbit's story and not only would we have to read the board book, but then we would have to follow it up with the original.
There was a lot of Beatrix Potter in our house during those months.
But he devoured it. He memorized nearly every word. Finishing sentences, counting currant buns, shouting phrases and adding sound effect…

Positive Reinforcement

"Mama?"

"Yes."

"Look at my face."

"Yes?"

"You did a good job at church today."

Minute Man

Ok, Jack. It's just about night-night time. Are you ready to go to bed?

Nope. Not yet. But I will be. In a minute.

Super Bowl

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Is it wrong to take pictures in church?
Surely, I get a free pass when its Easter, both boys are donning sweater vests and Jackson is mesmerized by the choir's horns.
Yes, surely.
Happy Easter.

It's Time

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Season Opener

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Toe Pick

We've got a climber.
I was not a climber.
But, I've heard stories of a tiny Eric making his way up refrigerators and garage shelves, so we knew this might be an inherited skill.
This evening, after Jackson had specifically opened the drawers of his changing table just a tiny bit so as to use them as steps to reach the top, it was only a few seconds before the middle drawer began to pinch his tiny toes.
He hopped down and came running over to show me the damage.
"Well, that's why you shouldn't climb your changing table," I said.
His toes were fine but he still needed to find a place for the blame.
He shook a tiny finger at the toe-pinching drawer.
"We say 'no! no' changing table! I need my toe back," was Jackson's response.
Then he promptly marched right over to that vicious piece of furniture, reached in to the middle drawer, retrieved an invisible toe and placed it back on to his tiny toe.

Easter

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Jackson's teacher always has the most wonderful art projects for the kids. We display them all over the house - on the fridge, on our blackboard, under the coffee table glass or suspended on his mobile in his room.

But this one really takes the prize.



His Easter basket is so cute - heads or tails.*




*the red wine was not part of his art project ... it was however part of mine

First Born

April Fools*

Never have I ever "been gotten" so many times on this practical-joke of a holiday. We are truly a gullible bunch as all were believed, if only for a few seconds.
Between the members of my family and my coworkers, here are a few of the pranks given and received today:

A pregnant relative (this was done twice)
A co-worker resigning (this was done twice)
Accidental swallowing of a tiny "knick-knack"
An impromptu presentation to the president of the company
Someone (Elvis? Jax?) had pooped in the middle of our bed (this one had me screaming while running down the hall to find Eric clutching his sides with laughter)
A canceled party
Google versus Topeka on planet Mars
Sweaty mouse click technology
Starbucks size changes

What have we learned today? I will believe anything.

What did you believe?


*happy birthday, cookie!


Armpit

The wrestling match ends with Eric putting Jack in a bear-hug-head-lock.
Very close to end-of-day-armpit-country.
From the depths of Eric's underarm we hear:
"No daddy! I can't live in there!"

A note about my wife on this our eight year anniversary

Here are some of the different things that I love, adore, or cherish about my wife.

Waking up to just the right amount of light.
Always being needed for directions and percentages.
Agreeing that farming out the house and yard work was a good Valentines/Anniversary gift.
Finding a mint chocolate chip shake in the freezer for no reason at all.
Finding little notes that says miss you any time she takes off for the weekend.
Never eating the same meal twice...even if she tries to.
Hearing her laugh....

That last one is the real reason that she is the best. Her laughter can be heard across a crowded auditorium and it is side splitting. I feel like I am the funniest man on earth on any given night. I hope this blog gives you guys a little bit of insight into how witty, funny, and sweet Amanda is- because I consider myself uber lucky to see it all the time.

Car Wash

Franz

After a long day, we finally crawl into bed exhausted.
Eric breaks out his nightly crossword and I start to drift off.
It's a glamorous life we live.

"Good night."

"Night, babe."

"Love you."

"Love you, too." ... (long pause ...) "But, I will love you even more if you know the guy who wrote Metamorphosis?"

"Kafka."

"Yes!"

Happy anniversary to us.

Work Out

"Jackson, it's time to hop up and get dressed for school."

"Wait, mama. I've got to do my squeezes first."

"Your squeezes?"

"Yeah."

He gets down on all fours and proceeds to do 10 of the most adorable push ups I've ever seen. After his set, he stands back up and walks toward me.

"You're ready to get dressed now that you've finished your squeezes?"

"Yeah."

This kid's got discipline.

Sweet Cheeks

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Delicious!

Spring Has Sprung

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Look out world.

Fashionable

Standing outside of his closet, Jackson reaches his hand up to examine an article of clothing.

"Mama? I want to wear this jean jacket."

"Actually, that's not your jean jacket. Those are your overalls."

"Can I put them on?"

"Sure."

I take the overalls off of the hanger and begin to unbuckle the straps. Without taking his saucer-sized eyes off of those dark denim overalls, he asks,

"What are they going to do do to me?"

"They are going to make you adorable."

Eight

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Eric and I are nearing our eighth wedding anniversary (March 31st) and he still warms my heart every day.
~

For the last two weeks, I have been recovering from pneumonia. At first I thought it was just a cold and it is so hard to admit defeat, schedule an appointment, go to the doctor, miss work, blah, blah, blah. But eventually, my mom made me go and I was surprised to find myself in an exam room prepping for an x-ray. Looking for some sympathy, I text Eric that I'm about to go in for a chest x-ray. His response? "Can I get a copy?"

~
I've been out of commission and basically am of no use, so Eric has been doing his best to handle house, work, kid, etc. After supper, Eric is cleaning up the kitchen when Jackson flies into the room and this is Eric's instant and rushed response: "Whoa! What is that? Can you play with that? Wait. Does mama know you have that? I don't know, buddy. Hang on. Mama!"
~
"Let me lay some wisdom on you, boy."
Eric regula…

Everyone Accounted For?

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Night-night, party of five?
Each night Jax goes to sleep with all of his "friends."
This particular evening consisted of:
the multi-tasking Lencho the Lion (from Emmy that converts to a pillow or blanket)
Elmo (he is the irreplaceable constant)
Jackson (the cruise director)
Cookie Monster (the chatter-box from Sylvie)
Lumpy (she's Winnie-the-Pooh's pal from Omi that has been in his crib from day one)

Some nights we switch out a few companions and add Baby Doll (a Tennessee cheerleader from Sylvie) or Teddy Bear and Hillsboro the dog (both from Aunty Debbie).
Does this kid ever get any sleep?

Who were the must haves in your "night" life?



We'll Open Up A Restaurant In Sante Fe

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The Joke's On You

Jackson has a new joke.
I use the word "joke" loosely.
The bit goes like this.
Were all three sitting together, maybe playing or enjoying a meal and Jackson tries to get your attention.
"Mama! Mama! Mama!"
"Yes, Jackson?"
... and the joke is that once he gets your attention he screws his mouth over to one side, juts out his chin, raises his eyebrows and makes a face as though he just didn't quite catch what you were saying and responds:
"Hmm? Hmm?"
and then he bursts into giggles.
Get it? He's called you ... but now ... he can't hear you.
That's the joke.
Every time.
He finds it even funnier when you play the joke on him as well.

Isn't It A Little Early?

Mama, what is Santa doing right now?

He is feeding his reindeer.

Sleep Cycle

Jackson has always been a good sleeper.
At exactly 6 weeks he slept through the night. I remember it in vivid detail.
We were visiting family at Petit Jean Mountain Resort during Labor Day weekend. Eric and I woke at 5:30 a.m. and silently shrieked that we had just enjoyed a good night's sleep.
However, as everyone knows when the kid is sick, all bets are off.
All previous behavior is moot.
Last night, Jackson woke at 2 a.m. with a terrible ear ache.
After rounds of pain relievers and comfort, it always ends with everyone in the same bed.
Which means on my left I get to hear Eric softly snore the night away, while on my right Jackson steals every inch of my pillow.
The only other one awake is the dog, who stares at me in the dark wondering if I might be interested in preparing him a 3 a.m. snack. He's game.
Eventually everyone passes out and all is much better in the morning light.
However, and I'm thinking most parents will agree here? The sleep cycle is ruined.
Once they get a tast…

What's Your Dream?

Mama, when I get big can I ...

... have pajama pants like yours?
... go with you on date night?
... have a big tool box?
... have daddy's tools?
... wear your shirt?
... drive?
... chew gum?
... be a zebra?
... have a car?

Everybody has a dream.

Measured

Eric's measuring tape from work is a huge source of entertainment for a two-year-old. Jack loves to take it out and measure just about anything from the furniture to your upper arm. It can also make for interesting conversations.

So, when he was hovering near the front door I asked ...

"Jack, what are you doing?"
"I'm measuring the front door."
"Oh."
"It's 408 pounds."
"Oh, ok."

And later, when the unruly measuring tape was wobbling out of control he furrowed his brow and noted ...

"Mama, this measuring tape is just not behaving."

Icy

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Perspective





Jackson's recent class project involved taking milk cartons and building a giant igloo.





That's a lot of 2%.

Popular

On the walk down the hall to Jackson's classroom, several students, parents and teachers from various rooms always say hello to him. They all know his name. And he returns the greeting. Kinda.
Me: Man, you're very popular today. Jackson: Yes, and I always say, 'What?'

Oldies

There's a new radio station in town that plays music from the mid to late 90s. On the way to school Jackson asked me:

Mama, what music is this?

This is supposed to be GenX music.

Oh. Where does it live?

It lives in Barton Coliseum.

Ghostly

Living with a two-year-old is like living with a ghost. Items throughout the house have been hidden, replaced, moved, etc. We live in a house of magic where things pop in and out of existence.
Anything from CDs to hairbrushes to a tiny orange shark to a harmonica can be lost forever or discovered inside your shoe weeks after you gave it to the kid so you could finish your phone conversation.
Living with a pet can be this way, too.
Many times I would come home from work and find a stray sock in the middle of the floor and Elvis staring at me as if he'd never even laid eyes on that partly-chewed sock. Sometimes, a shoe and its partner would be in separate rooms and again Elvis would deny any involvement. However, with a two-year-old all bets are off.
Last week, I was wondering why my printer kept jamming only to open it and discover a CD tucked inside. Another time Elmo's creepy, bulbous, white eyes stared back at me when I opened my dresser drawer. Eric has been in the process of putt…

Absorbant

So what's worse than finding a pull-up in your washing machine?

Finding TWO pull ups!

Apparently, when Jackson had been taking off his pjs and putting them in the hamper, the pull-up sometimes goes with the pants. And when I dumped the clothes in the laundry, it didn't occur to me to de-pull-up the pjs.

Now, the pull-ups are just a night-time precaution and are totally dry going in to the hamper. But by the time they go through the rinse cycle, there is a pull-up-explosion in there. I opened up the washing machine lid, and my heart sank to see pull-up guts all over the clothes. I thought I could just get through it when about a third of the way in... BOOM! Another pull-up!

Please tell me you have done this before, too?

*Putting the hassle of cleaning up this ridiculous mess aside, I think those things could be used for the next national flood emergency. Seriously.

Creative Writing Project

Jackson's story:

Once upon a time there was a little rabbit named Little Jackie-Bo. And one day he got a piece of chocolate! And he was so happy. And Jackie was soooo happy. The End


(I think he's trying to tell me something...)

Overheard This Morning

Daddy?

Yes?

You need to shave your tummy. There's a lot of hairs.

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