Monday, March 29, 2010

The morning after Rosie's 3-year-old birthday party, we all sat down for a breakfast of eggs, bacon, orange juice, and cinnamon rolls. (What else do you do when you've run out of milk, oatmeal, and you've had pancakes for the past three days running?) So after a busy meal with all the typical mouth noises, messes, and random games one expects at such affairs, Daddy announces: "I haven't been this full in a long time." The reigning birthday princess, on the strength of her newly-acquired font of far-reaching 3-year-old wisdom replies, "Well, you have to change your diaper, Daddy!" This is going to be one wild ride.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Highs and the Lows

Highpoint of the day:
Getting some totally awesome shelving and antique children's reading desks at a live library auction (those auctioneers actually do sound like that).

Lowpoint of the day:
Listening to the Passion narrative for Palm Sunday with the narrator referring to Herod as HAROLD the whole way through.

On second thought, I think that was the highpoint.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3.5 months old

The "counting chins" edition (just for you auntie):

Also known as the Bumbo-age.

Excuse me if all the pictures involve the Bumbo, I just give the child what she wants and this is what she wants.
Cecilia Noel at three and half months:
smiles and coos to all
takes fabulously long naps when swaddled in her swing
SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT (someone upstairs must love me)
Is finally fairly content when she's awake
fits 6 month clothes in length but not in girth
continues to reinfect me (or I her) with thrush (boo and hiss)
is nicknamed "worry wort" because she has a perpetually concerned look on her face. I'm pretty sure this is due to Thomas "loving her"
Is a big fan of the Baby Hawk but not so much the Ergo
That is my sweet, soft, pink girl.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Spring Thought I'm Sharing

The Muddy Puddle, by Dennis Lee

I am sitting
In the middle
Of a rather Muddy
With my bottom
Full of bubbles
And my rubbers
Full of Mud,

While my jacket
And my sweater
Go on slowly
Getting wetter
As I very
Slowly settle
To the Bottom
Of the Mud.

And I find that
What a person
With a puddle
Round his middle
Thinks of mostly
In the muddle
Is the Muddi-
Ness of Mud.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm so proud...

This week I spent several afternoon naps working on transforming the shed (oh yes, the famous shed from the Poop Chronicles, vol. 1) into the playhouse of my dreams. For the kids. Right...

Here's the raw material we had to work with. A shed that barely fit the lawnmower, and shovels that you see there...LOT of spiders, old wasps nests, some rotting wood and years worth of mud. The sweeping and mopping out of the place took 2 days. I stopped when the water running out the doorway was just dirty instead of being pure mud.

VERY rough first coat of paint. It was supposed to be teal but most of the color seems soaked out into the raw wood. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might never get around to a 2nd coat...

Moving Day. "I'm sure I never gave her leave to borrow my wheel-barrow!" Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the classic children's tale that is from (no Googling, now!)

Rosie is taking her role has house mother quite seriously. While I was trying to take this picture she kept yelling, "Stop! I'm cooking!!!" Hmmm...look in the mirror lately?

The always present "reading corner", no home is complete without it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Homeshooling Follies

We have been reading through the Childcraft book "The Green Kingdom" and discovering why leaves turn red in the fall, why bark is rough, how seeds grow, and other fascinating kindergarten-level science facts. I'm thoroughly enjoying my spring this way and I think that Anthony is too.

So yesterday we were doing our daily visiting with the crocuses and daffies in the garden (we are now up to 3 colors, yellow, purple and white) and I start to point out the anatomy of the flowers to Anthony which we had just read about the day before.
"Look buddy! Remember, these are the anthers and this is the stigma?!"
That's OK, I think - it's a bit complicated for a 5-year-old, we have lots of years to drill this into his head. At least he's interested in the different colors of flowers we have.
"Hey, mommy? Is that the pollen? And the bees will fly around from flower to flower and get the nectar and the pollen will stick to their legs and they will fly to the next flower and that flower will start to make new flowers?"
"Yes, Anthony! VERY GOOD! I'm so excited that you remembered all that!" I'm now swelling with pride. Homeschooling is the greatest! Where else would he learn all of this at the age of five?
"Yes, mommy. I learned all that on Dinosaur Train."
"Oh," I said, deflated. "And we read about it in a book, right?" I ask hopefully.
"Um. I don't know but it was definitely on Dinosaur Train."
Pride goeth before the fall.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brilliant Father Moment

One of the smarter things my man has thought of recently is worth sharing with the wider toddler-having world. Possibly even with the mischievous-puppy-having world. We had taken to keeping our kitchen trash-can up on a counter. It was pretty gross, really. We were driven to this because Thomas works like a flash. The second you would put the trash-can on the floor he would dart through one door of the kitchen, through the kitchen, and out the other door, grabing the trash-can on his way through, dragging it behind him and strewing trash all over the floor. Often disgusting combinations of coffeegroundssmashedbananacoldoatmeal(because we do not have a garbage disposal). Hence the counter trash.
John came up with this brilliant counter-offensive:
put 20 lbs of handweights at the bottom of the trash-can, under the bag. Since implementing this measure we have had zero coffeegroundssmashedbananacoldoatmeal on the floor incidents. God bless thinking men. May this help you in your own toddler and/or puppy wars.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poop Chronicles, vol. 1

I can honestly say that I deal with crap all day long. When you have three children in diapers at once you are going to end up with some tales to share. I've been thinking that I was above sharing such juvenile humor in so public a forum as a blog but, I was wrong. I am so that juvenile.

I have decided to start with the oft-repeated story of Anthony's first poop on the toilet.

It was at the end of 2 years of potty training. We were at the point where he would pee in the toilet with no problem, thanks to my little brother David who first inspired Anthony to pee on every tree in the apartment complex and transferred this exciting new habit indoors to a toilet after a couple weeks.

So here we are. Just moved to the new house and Anthony is 4 1/2. Anthony does not wear diapers anymore until he has to poo and then he asks for, and receives, a diaper. I have moved from feeling embarrassed to relaxed to frustrated to resigned to desperate and now I'm at the hopeless point. When you are having trouble potty-training a kid people will often tell you, "Don't worry about it. I've never met a 15 year old who doesn't go on the toilet." I would smile and nod but my mental response was becoming, "Yes. But there's a first time for everything."

One day I reached the end of my rope and told him that there were no more diapers for him and he HAD to poo on the pot. There was a lot of crying and since I could see from his a face that he was genuinely afraid (of what I could not conceive, but he was, and is, a very reserved child). I reneged and declared that I would help him overcome his fear of pooping on the toilet. He then surprised me by offering, "Mommy, I might have an idea. Maybe if everyone goes outside and doesn't hear me. " He followed up with a stern admonition that no one was to laugh at him or cheer for him.

"Of course! No problem. I'll just wake Rosie up from her nap, just hold on one minute."

So I get Rosie (just turned 2) out of her crib and haul her outside onto the front porch. I immediately hear a small voice at the top of the stairs. "Mommy, is the door shut?"

"Oh, you want me to shut the front door? Sure!"

I sit on the front porch for about a minute holding a confused and drowsy daughter. I have a faint glimmer of hope that this might be THE ONE.

Tap tap tap. I turn around and there he is staring through window behind me.

"Mommy, maybe you could go into the backyard..."

"Um, sure buddy. Just go back upstairs and poop in the toilet, OK?"

By this time Thomas (about 6 months old) has been awakened by all the activity and I am now carrying two sleepy babies around to the back of the house and we plop down in the chairs around our patio table. I'm returning to my former hopeless state because this is starting to look like it's just another series of stall tactics employed by all children, but I can't possibly pass up any step down the road to independent elimination, so we wait.

About a minute after I've sat down I see his little blond head pop over the picket fence gate to our backyard.

"Hi Mommy. Do you think you could go back next to the shed?"

"The shed?" The shed is at the extreme back of our fairly long back yard. I'm now more convinced then ever that this is just a rouse to make me look like a fool. But I'm just desperate enough to do it. This has gone on long enough and I'll do whatEVER he asks, just to keep the hope alive.

So we trudge through the backyard. I call John since he's on his way home from work and I warn him NOT to go into the house, just come to the shed. Anthony might be pooping. I can explain later, just come to the shed. Oh, I've got to go - Anthony's calling me.

He has been inside long enough that I'm thinking that this could be the moment of truth. My boy, MY BOY, may be calling me inside to wipe his bottom for him. But he opens the second floor window and bellows out across the neighborhood, "THE HOLE'S TOO BIG FOR MY BUTT!" (This from the child afraid of anyone "hearing me poop.") So I call up, saying that if he can just hold it for a few minutes I'll get the potty seat to put onto the toilet. I call John to pick up the potty seat from the old rental house which we are only half moved out of - AND HURRY!

So John gets home, runs the potty seat up to the little man and then joins the vigil at the shed.

We did eventually get a call that day for a bottom wipe and celebrated the First Toilet Poop with the First Trip to Chucky Cheese's. It was a good day for all, if not a bit ridiculous.

Monday, March 15, 2010

conversation over pancakes

Rosie: Jesus is God and I remember Jesus is God. And Jesus is my friend. And he is Anthony's friend.
Anthony: You don't know who my friend is.
Rosie (knowingly): YOU know...Jesus is your friend. And he died on the cross and Mary is sad. That's bad for Mary, he just died on the cross. Isn't that bad? He rose from the dead and I'm going to see the rose-from-the-dead of God-Jesus. And Jesus rose from the dead of the whale, I mean fish. And that's bad, and soft. Jonah and the whale, we have that movie but we don't have the Jesus rose from the dead movie.
Mommy, Jesus died on the cross and Mary, I mean, Jesus, is now God. G-G-God.
Sorry for spitting on your computer, mommy.

[this was a direct transcription. From their mouths to your eyes]