Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seven

Seven has arrived and it has brought with it a new and deep love for Legos. I had been told this Lego love would show up eventually. But I was not prepared for the extreme fascination, the stories, the characters, the details or the commitment. It seems the medieval times Lego scenarios are the most appealing with a little Star Wars tossed in. I’m sure R2D2 doesn’t mind fighting knights and red dragons storming the castle.

Which brings us to the intergalactic phenomenon that is Lucas Films. Many moons ago in a galaxy far, far away we told Jackson he couldn’t watch Star Wars until he turned 7. So for the seventh birthday there were light sabers, Jedi apparel, intergalactic cupcakes and even Darth Vader appearances. We’ve have entered full-on boyhood.
Seven has also become more serious about traveling on two wheels. Ready for a new bike, the larger Red Rocket bicycle looks less kid-bike and more grown-up. A striking scene to see the boy wheeling around.  With each birthday we create a significant milestone for Jackson to mark. For example, at 5 he could chew gum, at 6 he could stay up to 8:30 and now at 7 he can ride his bike to Mam and Granddad’s house – alone.
It was a very big deal. Of course, I watch him wheel to the stop sign and Mam is already on alert of his arrival and texts me the moment he has arrived at her house approximately five seconds later. This is also very handy when one house might need a cup of sugar, a stick of butter or a banana. He loves the tiny taste of independence and takes it very seriously. There is much looking back over the shoulder to ensure I am watching and always a solemn wave or two as if it might be a few weeks before he returns.
Seven continues to be a good big brother. As an only child observing our boys, I am fascinated daily by their relationship. Of course there is bickering, but the majority of the time is filled with them playing games only Jackson and Eli know the secret rules to. Currently they act out a game where Jackson pretends to be an old man with an imaginary cane and calls Eli “Sonny.” He teeters around saying things like “Where are ya, Sonny?” I have no idea how this originated but it’s a regular in the game line-up.  Eli’s part is to just say “Yes?” every time Jackson calls for Sonny and then they both giggle into puddles on the floor. Repeat.
Another favorite game is whatever they imagine with the belt to Eli’s robe might be. Mam made Eli a Clifford the Big Red Dog robe with a hood and Eli loves it. But the matching belt is his favorite. Sometimes it is a lasso and other times it is a way to trip Jackson. Mostly Jackson will wrap it around his ankles and stand up. Then Eli or Jackson will say something like “I am walking out in the rain” and then on cue Jackson will drop to the floor and they burst into laughter.  They will also fall to the floor and flip-flop the belt around until someone will touch the end of the belt to “save” them.  It’s a joy to hear their giggles and conversations.
However, seven has also arrived with much more fragile toys. It’s really quite interesting to see how much learning goes on during actual Lego-ing. The following of directions, the organization of tiny parts, etc. are all impressive to witness. A new obsession with Pokemon or football cards has also blossomed. Granddad made Jackson a binder and he has card holders in which he regularly organizes and rearranges again and again into his binder. But those Lego creations and Pokemon or football collector cards can’t take the love of a three-year-old.  So we are working on Jackson’s room becoming a bit more off limits and teaching Eli to respect Jackson’s things. We practice knocking on Jackson’s door before entering. And regularly explain medieval knights are off-limits. So at times I see them becoming closer as Eli becomes more of a playmate and then I see them need stronger boundaries as Jackson requires privacy and respect. Sometimes it happens all in the same day.
Seven is busier than ever.  Jackson hip-hopped his way through spring performing at his first dance recital. It was amazing. He was a member of an all-boy hip hop group. There he was on stage doing twists, turns, handstands, coffee-grinders, slides, cartwheels and more. I was in the front row filming and crying. The child was born without any stage fright. Not one drop. He is totally at ease on stage. He was thrilled to attend a summer church music camp at Nonnie and Paw-Paw’s. We drove up to see the final performance and there he was with an angelic singing solo and dance moves. No fear and no mistakes.
The last six months have been filled with t-ball, swim team, soccer and now church choir. It’s a lot but he is learning so much about being a team player, setting individual goals, listening to coaches and practicing.
And finally, seven has been about losing. Jackson finally lost two teeth. The bottoms were loose and I thought we could give it some time while he worked on them. But then one day I glanced in his mouth to see he had shark teeth – two rows of teeth as his permanents were no longer waiting for the babys to leave.  I made a dental appointment and told Jackson he had one week to get those teeth out. After serious wiggling he was able to get one out. Eric was scrubbing up for a quick pull, when Jackson reached in and came out with the tooth. His first visit from the tooth fairy left a very special silver dollar. But the second tooth was not budging so the dentist had to pull it. Either way, Jackson was thrilled.
Every phase is tinged with a sadness of time passing but then I realize that the next phase quickly becomes my favorite.

Greetings

"Well hello there, Sir!"
This is currently Eli's favorite way to greet you so I thought I would start with that. It is always accompanied with his hand on his hip, his head tilted slightly to the side and a giant grin.
The disarming greeting melts you every time.
He combines it with silly voices. I was just telling mom the other day that I'm not 100% sure what Eli's real voice is.
He has an "old man" voice, a monster voice, a British voice - the list goes on.
He knows he is quite charming and uses his powers irresponsibly.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Bedtime

Mama, whas dat fweakin?

The glider.

No! Whas dat fweakin?

The glider.

NO! Whas dat fweakin?

You mean, why is it squeaking?

Yeeeeeaaaah.

I guess becuase it's old.

No.

Oh, well then why is it squeaking?

Becaaaause ... it's ... dirty.

Oh. Why is it dirty?

Becuase it got dirt on it. Got mulch on it.

Oh, so it's squeaking becuase it got dirt on it? Got mulch on it?

No.

Well then, why is it squeaking?

Because it's old.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bird

Mam! Mam! Mam!

Yes, Eli?

Mam, a bird!

Where?

A bird!

Where?

A bird!

Where?

You...I...You... I see it with my ears!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fatherly

Honey, you can't always do it for him when the game gets tricky. You have to let him play the Paper Mario game and try to figure it out.

Right. I know, babe.

So you have to let him figure out the clues.

I got it, babe.

Jackson: Yay, daddy! You got the dragon!

Eric, give him back the controller and let him try to figure it out.

One sec, hon...

He has to learn!

Not on my watch!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Get Smart


Jackson, while reading his book:

Eli, would you please be quiet? I am trying to get smart over here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sky Mail

You'll need to say thank you to Emmy for the gift, Jackson.

I will. I just did.

You did.

Yes, I said "thank you to Emmy" to the sky so she can hear me across the world.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Whiz


Elvis Speaks



Elvis thinks you are a stupid sheep:

Hello! Yes, I am pleased to be a part of this pack that provides, but generally speaking you are kind of dumb and need so much work and direction. In the morning, it takes hours of soft, high pitch whining to finally get you out of bed. True, it is still dark and cold out but really why do you waste so much time in that bed, stupid sheep? Are you worried that you might forget to feed me? 
I know I am. 
Now that you are standing and starting to wobble toward the hallway, I shall have to prance and dart and spin you toward the kitchen. True, you might trip over me and break your neck but it must be done. This way you will know where to go. Without my circling and darting you might end up in the bathroom robotically and repetitively banging your against a random corner. I always have to provide you such positive reinforcement when I can see that you are getting closer to the end goal: the garage food source. Once there, I must dance frantically in the general direction of the food source so that you understand it is now time to feed me:

“This way! This way! You’re doing really well sheep! Closer! Cloooooser! Yes! Here is the food! Hooray!”

Once I have taken 15 seconds to eat every last piece of food in my bowl, I must dash around the yard to the back door because you have forgotten I exist and have left me outside for approximately six minutes. I have to bark as if it is my last day on earth for you to let me back in. 
Six minutes! 
The cruelty I must endure.
Once inside, there is much work to be done in the kitchen: stray waffle crumbs, remnants from last night’s dinner I overlooked, etc.  Busy, busy, busy. After dunking my face in my water bowl, I have a sudden need to sneeze and you are nowhere to be seen, stupid sheep! Where are you? I typically find you in your closet just as you have put on your pants, or as I refer to them: my handkerchief. I always find your pant leg just in time for my violent sneezing fit. It’s always a close race, but I never fail to locate you just in the nick of time. 
Now, I must hurry after the shortest sheep and try to steal his cookie before he leaves the house for the day. He is always such a whiner about it, too.  
Finally the little sheeps are bustled out and the only one left is the one who regularly sprays that hideous scent that as it falls to the floor I must extensively roll around in on the carpet to mask and protect myself from any predators. 
After a once over for stray cookie crumbs in the little sheep’s room, I am exhausted. I retire to my crate and slump into a deep sleep. As the last sheep says good bye, I grumble. Such an irritating flock. So much work and always with the chatting.
All day I try to catch up on my 22 hours of sleep. I mean I was outside for six minutes this morning! That trauma alone requires 17 hours of sleep to recover.
Later in the day, the flock returns and I must convince them to feed me yet AGAIN! When will they learn? After once again directing you to the food source in the garage, I must flee to the back door and beg mercifully to be let in after being outside for 4 minutes. 
FOUR!
I have to push that lady sheep into the kitchen and convince her to start dinner. What would they do without me? I must get that perfumed one into the kitchen pronto. Get out some pots and pans, lady sheep! 
Ooo old turkey scraps! Crusty bread! Carrot! 
She really does come in handy with the scraps tossed but I swear if I didn’t circle her ankles and try to trip her repeatedly the minute she walked in the door, dinner would never happen. 
YOU’RE WELCOME, FLOCK!
While the sheep eat, I visit my standard posts collecting what the short sheep throws into the air and what the little bit taller sheep sneaks me. Once they have finished their meal, and the short sheep is whisked into what must be torturous punishment into the bathtub, I detail his high chair. Truly an artistic endeavor.
Finally, it’s time for the main event. The flock has gathered in the living room, again with the chatting, and I have to first convince these sheep to let me back outside for my final excursion. I’m sure while I am in the yard they are preparing for my celebratory dance that I know they are waiting for. A few panic-stricken barks later they open the door, and I zip through the living room and around the dining room two to three times as fast I can go in an effort to announce my recent and healthy bowel movement! 
Yes, another artistic endeavor.
But sheep can’t appreciate culture.
So after the evening routine, I tire of this flock.
 I must return to the kitchen to ensure the leftovers have been properly stored. If any food is left on the counter, I simply cannot rest. So much work - I am exhausted. 
I finally retire to my crate for the evening asking only for silence from these noisy sheep.
Oh wait, belly scratch? Yeah, I can stick around for that.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time Space Continuum

Over the weekend Eric took Jackson on his first hike.
They trekked up Pinnacle Mountain and enjoyed the view. Both loved the adventure and plan to do more hiking.
In the meantime, when Jackson was regaling his weekend adventure to the quarterly bug guy visiting our home some of the details got a bit beefed up such as the 70 mph winds, etc.
The exterminator asked, "When did you go to Pinnacle?"
After giving it some thought Jackson replied:
"Um...it was tomorrow from Friday."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Olympic

Daaaaddy, can we watch Chicken Run?

No, Eli. We can't watch Chicken Run.

K. Can we watch snowboarding?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pick A Side

...in the middle of a conversation about a family member...

He is your great uncle on your mother's side.

Ok. Mama?

Yes, Jack.

Who's side am I on, yours or daddy's?

My side.

Mama! I'm also on daddy's side, right?

Hmmm. Nah.

Mama!

Ok, a little bit buuuut mostly mine.

Mama!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Extensive


Mama! Mama!

Yes, Eli? What's wrong?

Jackson's telling me all about it!

Oh, okay. Is that the same as "giving you the what for?"

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bouquet


After seeing our wedding photo for the first time:




'Dat's my mama and daddy! And mama's GOTTA TREE!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Self-Love



Owww.

What happened, Eli?

I  hurt me.

Oh, well don’t do that.

 Oh, okay. I won't hurt me again.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Groceries

Jackson, how did the doctor's appointment go with Mam?

Good.

What happened? What all did they say?

I don't know. You know I never understand what grown ups are saying.

That's not true. You're understanding me right now.

Yes, but I don't even know what PRODUCE means!