Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's Jack Into These Days?

So what's Jack into? Oh, the lazy susan. He literally got into the lazy susan. He was wrist deep in the potted plants, he got his stomach in Bean's water dish, he crawled under his crib when the side was down, and under Luke's bed. He napped quite a bit on Wednesday, which was good because when he was awake I could only work in 10 second intervals.

What is Luke really into though? Playing with his cousins! Yea! The cousins are here! Pictures to follow as the weekend progresses.

P.S. Jack had roseola last week - that was what caused the fever and the rash. Febrile seizures are a side effect of roseola, which I did not know until the danger had passed. But I did think that Jack felt hot, and immediately gave him tylenol. As he was swallowing the fever reducing nectar like a baby bird, I was remembering what a febrile seizure was like and hoping to never observe another one. Which reminds me! Happy half birthday to Luke! In six months he'll be too old for a febrile seizure. At 14 months, it was not at all a relief to hear that the seizures stop at 6 years. I am glad that there was just the one!

Mamas for Obama

I watched the speech tonight and it seemed different from any other political speech that I can remember. I felt a weird feeling that was hard to identify at first, but it turns out to be optimism!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kindergarten Day 5

"Do you know why I am playing with the Speak N' Spell so much? Because she hasn't taught us to read yet."


Also! Jack pulled himself up to standing on the Knights Castle and then pushed it across the floor, walking behind until he the whole thing ran into the wall.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Break From the Funny

Luke hates after school care. The reason: He has to sit on the floor and wait for the Y-Care teacher to come get him while every other kid says, "I see my mommy!", gives the teacher a high five and walks out the door.

It breaks my heart.

I know a second grader who loves after school care, and a first grader who begs his mom to sign him up. I know a family that says their kids love every minute and are sad to be picked up. I am sure this is a phase and that I am more upset than he is, but it's rough.

I am trying to remember how long it took from Luke to go from missing his mommy at pre-school to wishing I wouldn't come to get him so early. I'm not going to try too hard to remember though because I am afraid it might have been a couple months.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Settling Into the School Year

Sometimes I don't really feel like a mom, or like my idea of what a mom is. I remember when Luke was able to stand and play with the tupperware in the bottom drawer in the kitchen, that made me feel like a mom. Probably because I have memories of my sister playing in the bottom drawer in the kitchen. Kid playing in drawer while you work in the kitchen = quintessential mom. I hadn't had that, "weird I don't feel like a mom" feeling in a while - possibly because I have two children, and five and half years into the whole thing I am used to it. But last week when I was packing lunches (like the third of 3,960 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I will be making over the next 16 or so years) I had this "wow, I really am a mom" feeling.

The next feeling I had was, "wow, that's a lot of plastic baggies."

So I took a sandwich sized tupperware to Luke and said, "Can you open this?"

He tried and wasn't able to. He said, "Sorry Mom, you'll need to get Daddy to help you."

So I am investigating alternatives.

Also, Luke was very concerned about the homework situation before the school year started, and I really had no idea what to tell him to expect. So every day he has come home and said, "No homework!" But it's almost like he'll be relieved when he gets homework so the whole thing isn't a mystery anymore. He did come home with a little piece of paper that was a xerox of the type of paper that you use to practice your letters. His name was written on it in dotted lines. He said, "No homework! But look! I have this!" And I said, "Maybe you are supposed to trace over that with a pencil to practice your letters? Maybe that's your homework." He said, "I don't think so. I think that's optional."

Oh, one more thing. We were reading a bedtime story of Scooby Soo and the Alien Invaders and Luke was looking at the pictures. There was some graffiti on a wall and that said, "Aliens go home." He pointed out the "go" and I asked him how he knew what that word was. He said, "We have a calendar at school and it lists everything we do for the day and it says, "Go Home" at the end." I said, "What else is on it?" He said, "Recess." And I said, "What else?" And he said, "That's all I remember."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At Long Last: The Redneck Roadtrip

It's a beautiful Saturday, the weather is a perfect 75 degrees, the sun is shining. Jack is napping away his fever, Luke is playing in the basement, and I am working. I have two processes going, and there is no way I can start a third without getting confused and causing problems, so it's time to blog the Redneck Roadtrip of Late July/Early August.

We started it all off with a trip to the Boulder County Fair for the Demolition Derby. It was about 800 degrees, and we kicked things off be eating our dinner in line to get into the grandstands. Dave and Luke and I unanimously agreed that our dinner consisted of the best corn dogs we had ever had. The. Best. Poor Jack just got milk and baby food. I brought a bottle, because nursing a baby at the county fair just didn't seem quite right. Sure I would fit in... with the animals. And it was the Boulder County Fair. But it was also the demolition derby.

I took a lot of pictures.

Have you ever been? No? Enjoy - this video is mostly demolition anticipation.

Then we hit the rides - (note to self: next year purchase a wrist band for the rides.)

Or, for just slightly more money, buy a plane ticket, and go to Cedar Point.

Then, we left the fair at about 10pm with a sobbing child and an overstimulated baby and headed home in time to catch a few winks and head to Keystone for The Beer and Bluegrass festival.

We went with our good friends, our oldest Boulder friends, such good friends that we almost never get together because we now live 20 minutes away instead of in the same house.

We drank beer,

listened to bluegrass,

bounced in bounce houses,

swam in the pool,

played putt putt, drank beer,

mountain biked, danced,

and managed to cram it all in before 9pm when we all passed out.

I'd go into more details, but that is all that I remember.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Two Face Vs The Six Million Dollar Man

*** Alternate Post Title: Does your face hurt? ***
*** Alternate Post Subtitle: It's killing me! Wacka wacka Wacka ***

So Dave started off as Harvey Dent, progressed to Two Face, and is practically Col. Steve Austin less than a week later. And by that I mean his massive head/face wound seems to be almost healed. The face wound that was only visible if you looked at him from one side. Get it, two-face? And the fast healing part is like the 6 million dollar man. In case this doesn't make sense, it's because I am mildly delirious.

I told Dave to call his parents before I posted about his injury, and he did, but he just left a voice mail. A voice mail that probably said, "hey call me." Not, "we don't know exactly what happened but Megan found me on my back, passed out, snoring, and bleeding from three parts of the left side if my face. Rob tried to do mouth to mouth, which, based on the snoring was probably unnecessary, but Rob really wanted me to live, and possibly always wanted to kiss me. Megan panicked at first and then pulled it together to get me some ice, wrap me in a blanket and then put more wood on the fire. She also managed the four children in such a way that they view the whole experience as interesting and funny and not something that will scar them for life. We were camping and it was dark and we didn't seek immediate medical attention for those reasons. I still haven't been to the doctor because Megan hasn't scheduled me an appt because I haven't updated my google calendar so she doesn't know when I am free. I am almost totally healed now except for the chunk missing from my nose. Call me back when you get a chance, love ya!"

So new information has come to light that indicates maybe Dave was just a little under the weather and that is what caused him to faint. Here is what makes me think that: The green boogers coming out of both my children's noses, my sinus infection and general yucky feeling, and the fact that we were up all night with a feverish Jack. Luke leaning over the toilet and saying he was going to throw up on the first day of school may or may not support this theory. Anyway, I am a zombie today, but Dave is recovering nicely from his injury!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Son, My Son, The Younger One

Poor Jack, in all this excitement and stress about kindergarten, there has been nary a post about Jack and his many accomplishments.

He now eats crackers:

That's really such a short lived milestone because after one, you realize how disgusting they are.

He pulls up to standing, and as you can see, has three teeth on top:

He looks cute is his fall wardrobe:

But he hates last year's winter wardrobe because he's like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, combined with a turtle on it's back:

And the biggest news is this: He said Dada. Dave was playing peekaboo with him through the car window while we waited for our carry out pizza at the start of our camping trip (we camp in style) and when Dave disappeared Jack said, "Dada!" and looked for him out the window.

And at dinner tonight he made something that vaguely resembled the sign for "more". He hasn't been too keen on learning the signs because he has found that screaming at the top of his lungs is an easier and very effective way to get more food.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day

I had everything perfectly organized. But I should have known it would all go horribly awry when Jack woke up (again) at 5:30. He was supposed to wake up at 6:30: after I had done my knee exercises, but in time to be changed, fed, and dressed before Luke got up. So I made Dave go in and get Jack to sleep again, which he did. (Now if only that would occur to me at 1:30 am.)

The next problem was that Dave set Luke's alarm to radio instead of beeps. Then Luke bumped his knee, then he became aware that he had a cough. All things that would be cause for angst on a normal day, but today culminated with him pulling up a chair to the toilet and preparing to barf. Poor boy, the thought of school didn't give me stomachaches until at least 3rd grade.

He didn't want to eat the pancakes that I made, but he managed to choke one down. Then I remembered about the wee one. Jack! By now it was 7:15 or so and I still needed to get Jack fed, and dressed in his coordinated madras plaid shorts that I had ironed in anticipation of the front porch picture. So I woke Jack up, fed him, took off his pajamas and realized we were within minutes of inaugural arrival of the school bus. Cancel the group shot, hand the baby over to Dad. Run out the door with the shoes and wait on the porch with the camera for Luke to cross the threshold. Snap photo of frowning boy, only to notice later that Dad was in the background, shirtless, in bike shorts. Plan to put photo in baby book anyway.

I was literally dragging Luke down the driveway until it occurred to me to offer a piggy back. We piggy backed down the driveway and turned towards the bus stop where Luke saw all the kids and slid off my back and started walking. We got to the bus stop at 7:29, the exact time the bus was supposed to arrive. I confessed to the parents there that I planned to bike to school to meet Luke when he got off the bus and the other parents said they planned to do the same, or already had a spouse on the way. We waited. And waited. Finally the bus arrived at 7:45. Great, what if we were the last stop? Hopped on bikes and pedaled away hoping to beat the bus, which we did, easily.

From there it was no big deal. Luke got off the bus and got a bracelet that marked him as a bus rider so the teachers would know where to send him at the end of the day, and we walked to the playground. Luke was pretty stoic and he just stood next to me, not letting me take his picture until it was time to go in.

We said our good byes and he walked in the door.

Another mom hugged me and asked how I was doing and I teared up a little, but pulled it together.

After school he was all smiles and full of "You know what? Guess what!" which was good because I quickly wasted two of my five questions:

"How was it?" "Good."
"Did you eat your lunch?" "Yes."

Information gleaned:

* We went on a search for the gingerbread man! And we went in the office, to the gym, the music room, the library, and back to our room! And I think the search for the gingerbread man was just a way to give us a tour of the school.
* We went to see Coach L. He's the teacher of maybe P.T.? Yeah, P.E.
* I had to go to the bathroom and I didn't say anything, but then the teacher said, "Bathroom time!" And the same thing happened right when I felt thirsty! It was time for a drink of water!
* Everyone colored on the gingerbread man, but I didn't color anything I just wrote my name.
* Mikey took the rocket I was playing with, and then I started playing with his, and I put a guy in it, but then Mikey took that one back. I guess he wanted a rocket that had a guy in it.
* There is a girl named Clara in my class.
* I had lunch with Kobie and Kaj and I played with Elsa on the playground a little.
* The kids that didn't bring their lunch had pizza!
* We had nap time, and I took a green mat, but when I laid down on it it was so tiny! Only my body and arms fit. And we didn't nap, it was just quiet time
* The teacher has a disco ball, but it doesn't hang from the ceiling, it sits on the floor and that's the light we use during quiet time
* I rode on the bus!
* When I say "guess what" you always say "what" but you are supposed to guess!

We retook the first day of school picture at the end of the day, and that worked out well.

So we survived, but considering the amount of effort that went into that one day, I'm not quite sure how we'll pull it off on a daily basis. I supposed I can skip the pancakes, and the photo ops.

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Dreams?

You know that feeling, when the alarm, or the sunshine, or something in the night is slowly waking you up, but you are in the middle of a dream, and you know you'd be so frustrated if it was interrupted? The outside world is seeping in, but you try to block it out and sink further into your subconscious towards the dream resolution that is right around the corner. Maybe you are about to win the 100 meter dash, or set a record in the butterfly. Or maybe your Olympic dream is more along the lines of rhythmic gymnastics with Michael Phelps.

Well, when my baby was trying to wake me around 1:30 am, I resisted. I just couldn't bring myself to comfort or nourish my little child because I had something in my dream that I needed to finish. See, I was dreaming about emptying the dishwasher, and I didn't want to be interrupted until it was done.

Monday, August 18, 2008

How About 5?

Alarm is set, clothes are laid out, pancakes are pre-made to be heated up in the morning, lunch is packed, backpack labeled, lunch box labeled.

Still on the to to list: Fill out Parent/Student worksheet, charge camera, get after school care (oops), label shoes?

At bedtime I said, "Try to remember some stuff that happens tomorrow because I am sure I'll have a million questions."

Luke replied, "A million? A thousand? A hundred? Ten? Five? Two? How about five? Can you try to only ask me five questions tomorrow?"

I guess I should be lucky he was so generous. I may have ended up only being allowed two questions.

Friday, August 15, 2008

As The Worm Turns

In college we had a few different and hilarious (to us) voice mail messages. For a while, our voice mail said:

You have reached 1-900-909-WORM.
If you'd like to talk to a worm, press 1.
To listen to worms talk, press 2.

This is when I was a hippie granola botany major and learning all about vermiculture. We planned to open a microbrewery, and we'd have a bunch of benches with places for people to sit, and the benches would be worm bins where we composted all the hops and barley. Our first beer was going to be called The Great Wide Chasm Worm Stout. Ah, Tony's Tavern, so many plans were hatched there. Well, I gave all those plans up for an exciting career in administering databases, but I did just purchase a big bucket of worms from the Colorado Worm Man.

We had a worm bin for the first year after college, and it was great. Worms ate all our leftovers. But then we moved into a really small place, and then a slightly bigger place, and then a much bigger place, and as of yesterday, I can cross "start worm composting again" off my list of things I have been meaning to do for the last 12 years.

Love to cross stuff off that list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Congratulations Class of 2008

Graduation was today, and I found myself simultaneously getting teary-eyed and scoffing at the concept of getting teary-eyed at a preschool graduation. But, you know what? Luke spent longer at this school/daycare than he will in high school. All the major baby milestones were shared with the staff there and, well, they have helped us raise Luke. I have trusted them with my first born. I didn't read the card from the director yet, because I knew it would get me. So tears were shed, but not by me. Poor Luke split his lip right before the ceremony, and I think he had a harder time recovering than he normally would, because he was a little emotional too.

As much as we love our crunchy granola daycare, I could do a whole post about how to survive the potlucks. In a nutshell, I get the fried chicken from king soopers, some sort of pre-washed delicious fruit from the produce section, and this year I splurged on all natural chips and really unnatural french onion dip. It's important to get the right mix of all natural/organic foods and really unhealthy food that people will wish they were eating too. Oh, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Back to the party: These three go way back. Way, way back. It seems like just last summer that they were throwing down in front of the outdoor screening of Karate Kid. Yeah, it was last summer. I taught them this oldie, but goodie, courtesy of my good friend Krista: Cheers Big Ears, Here's the to Good Years!

And I fear that if I blink, we'll be at the Congratulations Preschool Class of 2013.

Kindergarten Assessment

Luke had his assessment today at the kindergarten and we found out he is in the afternoon class with the new teacher. No daycare kids, but two neighbors are in his class. He didn't share to much about the assessment, but he did say, "She asked me to count and I counted to 20. I thought about counting to 30 but then I figured it would take too long."

Tonight is the pre-school graduation - so I am sure I will have pictures to share later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kindergarten Anxiety

I remember your first day of kindergarten. We walked all the way there, and I had John in the stroller. Wait, was John born yet? No, it must have been Beth in the stroller. And we walked, walked, walked all those blocks and as we got within a block of the school you just put your hand on the stroller. And I thought, "Oh, she just needs a little reassurance." And that was all, just a hand on the stroller and then everything was fine.

*** My first day of kindergarten as told by my mom ***

All I remember was that my mom had made my name tag and that it was much more beautiful than anyone else's name tag. And that when I walked out at the end of the day I had no idea where I was supposed to go. I just sort of looked around and thought, "huh." Then the tide swept me to the other side of the circular drive where all the moms, including my mom, were waiting. And I must have said something about not knowing where to go because I remember my mom saying, "I told you I'd be right here." And thinking, "I am sure that is right, but I don't remember that at all."

Luke seems ready, and not worried about school, but you can all thank me for sparing you the details about the stress I have been experiencing on his behalf. Or maybe not, it could be a future blog post once school has started and I can look back and laugh about it all!

And I'm too tired for the redneck roadtrip post tonight, but here is a teaser:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grandma Takes a Fall

My mom plays hard. I think she and Luke were playing non-stop for 3 days in our basement. They played pickle in the middle with Jack, some wii bowling, pretend restaurant, and I really have no idea what else. Since I was working and missing out on all the fun, I decided to take Wednesday afternoon off to play, and to take them to the pool. And not just any pool, but the fed-by-artesian-springs, since 1905, Eldorado Springs Pool. Here is the thing, my mom does not come to Colorado for the scenery, she comes to see her grandchildren. She doesn't even pretend that she is here to see me, so the fact that I was making Luke and Grandma stop playing and go to the pool was really just something they tolerated.

Luke and Jack and Grandma and I put on our swimsuits and headed to the pool while Grandpa settled down for a nice summer's nap. It was a hot day, but brrr, that water was cold. Way too cold for baby Jack. So I took one for the team and sat in the shade and held baby Jack while Grandma got in the pool with Luke. In the shallow end there is a little corner with a little metal fence around it. They call that the baby pool. On the other side of the fence is a ledge for sitting or jumping into the slightly deeper water. Apparently, the baby pool side is a different depth than the ledge side. At least that is what Grandma said after she tried to go from the ledge to the baby pool, and tripped and fell, landing with an "AAAAAHHHH!" and a little splash. A mom and dad were trying to help her out while Luke and I stared with our mouths gaping open, and the life guard was saying, "NO Splashing IN THE BABY POOL." And my mother was laughing and telling the bystanders that she was OK, and turning the life guard and saying, "Are you talking to me? I wasn't splashing, I fell in! I'm a grandma!" He was not, in fact, talking to her.

I finally decided to be a good daughter and let her get out and hold the baby and warm up while I got in. I'm not a "just jump in" type of person. More of a "eeeh" "oooh" "brrr" "eeek" person who gets in 1 inch at a time, suffering all the while. But that day, I thought, "what the heck? I'll do a cannonball off the diving board." As I was walking to the diving board I was thinking, "Huh, how long since I've been on a diving board? 19 years? 20?" I almost chickened out until I noticed the kid in front of me in line had only one leg. OK, I can do this. And at the end of the board as I was jumping, I sort of remembered that I have a knee injury, shoulder pain, back issues, and various and sundry other problems that maybe make the quick cannonball movement, and powerful cannonball landing an ill advised maneuver. But I was already in the air, so I did a half-hearted attempt at a cannon ball and then swam to the side to confer with the judge. And Luke said, "That was the worst cannonball I have ever seen." (Ironically, I am watching Olympic Swimming as I type this.)

After a while, we left, and crossed the little bridge over the tiny creek from the pool to the parking lot. Grandma declared the view magnificent and if I had just agreed and walked to the car, I would be $7.00 richer, and Grandma wouldn't have those two new gray hairs. But I thought, "Hey! Let's drive through Eldorado Canyon State Park! And maybe go for a hike!" My mom doesn't like heights, or curvy roads, so what could be better than a canyon? You are at bottom, so no heights to worry about! The road through the park is about a mile long, so no time to get car sick! The speed limit is 15 mph. I drove 5 mph, which apparently still made it seem like we were careening towards the little creek. Let's just say we didn't make it to the visitors center. As soon as I could turn around I did, because Grandma was curled into the fetal position saying, "No, go on! I'm fine! You just spent $7.00! I'm fineohmygodanothercariscominghowwillitevergetpastusturnaroundturnaround. No, I'm fine. Keep going." I turned around without crashing into the creek. Of course, on the way back, I did make everyone go on a little hike with me. And everyone was happy when I went to work the next day.

Sorry Mom!

I shouldn't tease, but I can't help it. That is how I was raised. In fact, before my parents showed up, Luke said to me, "Mom, when Grandma and Grandpa are here, I don't want you to tease me. Because Grandpa is going to be teasing me a lot. So I don't want you to tease me. But it's OK if Grandpa teases me." So, basically, I was forced to tease my mom. So blame Grandpa!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summertime and the Livin's Easy

Summer is going by too quickly, but at least we have been enjoying every minute.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Credit Where Credit is Due

I need to clarify that Dave actually composed the Spanglish Luke song. Just had to get that out there.

And I have to post this picture now because it is too cute to languish away while I find time to write the redneck road trip weekend post; here is Luke with his friends, Scarlett and Stella.

Touché, Voodoo Doll. Touché

After Jack slept through 27 glorious nights in a row, we have had two nights of waking at least 3 times. Is it the three to four teeth he is getting? The fact that the book says nine month olds have consciously realized that crying gets people to appear in front of them? The fact that I lowered his crib mattress finally and now he is disoriented? The non stop fun of grandparents? Did I jinx myself by being so happy about sleep, or is it the voodoo doll?

I have a big backlog of posts in my head and pictures on my camera and videos that need to be uploaded so stay tuned for such potential topics as:
Redneck Roadtrip
Grandma Falls in the Pool and then has a panic attack at Eldorado Springs Canyon
And many more.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

La Sagrada de Will Vill

Being a mind reader is an important skill to have as a mother. When you see a baby take off at lightning speed, it's good to be able to anticipate where they might be headed. I presume that with teenagers a little mind reading might help out too.

With five year olds, being a mind reader can often be annoying. For example, when I hear, "I'm hungry." I know that means, "Mommy, may I please have a snack? I think I'd like a banana and a glass of milk." But since that isn't what was said, I have to find unique and creative ways of saying, "Please rephrase that in the form of a polite question." I am torn on that one because as a hostess, I think I should always be anticipating peoples' hungers and thirsts. But as a mother, I require polite requests. And I know, "Mommy, what can I do?" means, "Mommy, I want to play wii, but I know you are going to say no, so I am just going pretend I can't think of anything else to do until you come up with the idea yourself out of desperation." Probably the best/worst one is, "My ears are popped." Everyone knows that one, right? No? Well, at least two or two and half years ago we were either in a plane or driving into the mountains and Luke said, "Wah, wah, wah, my ears hurt!" And we said, "Your ears must be popped. Would you like a piece of gum, that might help." And ever since, Luke has always said, "My ears are popped" when he wants gum. Once we bought gum at a gas station. The next ten times we pulled into a gas station he immediately said, "My ears are popped." What is so hard about, "May I please have a piece of gum?"

Other times when he may ask a question in a round-about way, or casually make a reference to some offhand comment that someone made, I appreciate my mind reading skills because I can tell he has a concern, a fear, or needs some reassurance. But probably my favorite mind reading incident has to do with what I like to call La Sagrada de Will Vill.

There was a very brief, maybe two day phase between pirates and star wars obsessions and that obsession was with knights. As I savored the break from shivering me timbers, I shared our photo album from our pre-kid trip to Spain and showed Luke all the pictures, specifically the knights and castles in Toledo. But I guess the whole album made an impression. Because several months later, when we drove by the Williams Village dorms at CU, Luke said ,

"Hey, that's that building!"

And I said, "No, that is Williams Village. The building you are thinking of is in Spain."

And Luke said, "Haven't you and Daddy walked on that bridge from one building to another?"

And I said, "You are thinking of La Sagrada Familia. And we did walk from one building to another, but that was in Spain. Different building."

And he said, "Oh."

You can see how he'd be confused, and how I would know exactly what he was talking about.

Photo from wikipedia.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pearl Street Flirt

Jack was flirting with a photographer on the Pearl Street Mall on Wednesday while I was shopping for books. She kindly sent Grandad this collage.