Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nine months

It is no coincidence that I waited until today to post this. He achieved his nine month status on the 20th but it wasn't until today the 29th that he'd been out as long as he was in.

Yes, I'm still harping about that. Those were the longest nine days of my life.

This month he had no interest in the truck. This month it was all about mama's camera.  That I got a photo including the truck at all was lucky.

Another memorable thing about this months picture? I didn't wash his face before hand. Hence the booger and the dried squash on his nose. Class. That's what that is.

 At nine months my Duke has had enough of table food. A while back he was rejoicing in matchstick apple slices he could feed himself, in bananas and green beans and crackers and all kinds of things he could pick up and put in his own mouth.


 Now he wants mush. High volumes of mush shoveled as rapidly as possible into his open, waiting mouth. Any food delivered in solid form without aid of a spoon will be examined and thrown on the floor. My feelings about this differ dramatically from those of the dog.

 Months ago we endeavored to teach him to wave. He was big enough to conceivably grasp the concept and so we all began to wave hello to him when we entered a room. This got dull rather fast though, and we all wound up quitting before he caught on.

 Sometime in the neighborhood of two weeks ago the previous month's labor paid off, and as I entered a room I observed his little hand open and close in accompaniment to the welcoming smile he offered me. What is cuter, I ask you, that watching mini fingers curl in greeting?  Not a lot.  I can answer that much.  Not a lot.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A cautionary lunch time tale

Lunch is a joy when there are yummy leftovers waiting in the fridge.  For example today there was fresh roasted tomato soup.  Man, I love that stuff.

As I'm sure you know, tomato soup can't possibly live up to it's potential without a grilled cheese sandwich by it's side. With this truth in my heart I set out to assemble my soup's accompaniment. I popped the sandwich into a hot pan on the stove top and moved on to another task while the heat worked it's magic.  That one task turned into another and another and by the time I remembered my little sandwich it's underside was as black as night.

Such a sad story.

Some time later, the exhaust fan and an open window, between them had cleared the burn from the air and  Zizza arrived home from school.  What do you think she wanted for lunch?

I started her sandwich, nestled it the pan at a carefully modified temperature and then I moved on to another task...

I am done with multitasking. it sounds like such a good idea, but clearly it leads to nothing but putrid crumbles where delectable melting crispness should be.

I think I need some time to heal.    

Monday, February 20, 2012


Ziz spread her polka dot table cloth over the dress up box, carefully placed the sofa's throw pillows to function as chairs, set her flowered tea set in the center of it all and called the other's to join her.  Then she took Duke into her lap and with her arm wrapped securely about his round-ish middle she poured out the tea.

"I would like raspberry tea," said Enzo.  "Yes, that's what I made," she assured him as she passed his cup.

When everyone was served she picked up one of two cups in front of her, tipped it toward Duke's little mouth and supplied the necessary sipping sound before picking up her own cup and "sipping" for herself.  Meanwhile, Duke sat in her lap resting comfortably against her and watched the game unfold around him perfectly content.


With the kitchen table moved out to the garage for it's makeover the six of us are forced to crowd around the wobbly card table.

Working on valentine projects nearly fried my brain.  With approximately four square inches of table space to work with I was doing my best to cut out hearts and draw elephants.  An orange circle here, a green rectangle there.

Moo is applying a layer of glue over the top of what had been a completed card.  "I want the BLUE!" she yells when the stick is anywhere other than in her hand.

Every move, every shift in a chair, every reach for the scissors, every energy spasm running through every child sends tremors through the flimsy table.  "I'm drawing elephants here people!" I tell them, "don't touch the table!"  Uh-oh, I may have shifted into scary voice.  Nothing says family togetherness like art projects on a small and unstable surface.


Duke has a new trick.  He pulls himself to stand next to Zizza's cello stool and he pushes it around the room. When he pauses to take a break he amuses himself by drumming on the stool's top until he's ready to be on his way again.  The wailing groan of the four wooden legs moving over the floor is hard to take but excusable when  you stop to consider its source and look into his dear little face, ecstatic with his accomplishment. 

When his siblings follow his lead (as all three of them are apt to do) the noise generated is absolutely unforgivable. once you know how to walk you have no business generating that kind of racket just to slide a stool around the living room.  Also, I guess the bigger the kid leaning on the stool the louder the whine against the floor.

One of the resounding unfairnesses of child hood.  Babies get away with everything.

I'm still waiting for the day one of them  grouches "How come Duke doesn't have to help clean up?"   I'll bet it's coming any day now.


At dinner tonight I looked over and saw Enzo with the salt shaker fully inverted over his chicken.  "AACK!" I screamed as I quickly snatched up the shaker interrupting the stream of salt.  "what?" he wanted to know "You've just ruined your chicken!" I told him, looking at the drift on his plate.

To his credit he ate that chicken, and without being told to do so.  The only sign he made that it was anything but delicious was a soft sort of a coughing-throat clearing noise he made after he'd swallowed.

I answered by pouring him a glass of water.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ride it

I stumbled upon some amazing truth about learning to ride a bike.  It was quite a while ago, I happened upon this video.  Balance bikes!  Wow!  So much better than training wheels.  Who's idea were training wheels anyway?

I wanted to implement what I'd learned immediately but Enzo was too little to reach the ground on his little 12inch bike.  The search was on for a 10 inch bike to hack the pedals off of.  All the while wondering why manufactured balance bikes were so darn pricey.  Long story short, we eventually found a bike at good will for a few bucks and made the modifications. For a long time he preferred to stick with a scooter during bike time, but after some cajoling he tried it and he's been zooming around the neighborhood on his balance bike for months now.  He said he would make the switch to a bike with pedals on his birthday but last week the Mr suggested he give it a try and what do you know?  He got on and pedaled away!

 Once he was riding with pedals it became clear that his bike was too small. His knees were up to the handlebars and the wheel base was so short he was practically on top of the back wheel. The plan was a bigger bike for his birthday, but we couldn't wait.

 Yesterday we were out pulling weeds, riding bikes and generally having a good old time. The new bike had been purchased and was waiting in the back of the Mr's car. After watching him ride his tiny bike for a while, we told ourselves and each other that there would be no let down in giving it to him early since he's got some other presents to open on his actual birthday. We called him over, asked him if he wanted an early preset (duh) and told him "The car's the wrapping paper, open it up and see what's inside!"

He had to wait a minute for the training wheels to come off, but then he was off tearin' it up down the street and back. That boy can haul. The stroller and I had trouble keeping up with him even on the balance bike, we have no hope now.

He's been talking excitedly ever since about his "two wheeler" as though the smaller bike he was riding before was something other.  His constant desire is to go out and ride.  I'm trying my best to oblige his as often as possible.

 In a related story, I finally found a balance bike small enough for a 3 year old at a price I was willing to pay. Moo is the proud owner (or rider anyway we bought it as much for Duke as for her. He'll get that big soon enough) of a itty bitty balance bike. She hasn't caught on to the idea of pushing and coasting yet. She holds the handle bars, stands over the seat and takes tiny shuffling steps. I haven't figured out how to convey to her the concept of coasting. Demonstrating has no effect, I tried moving her legs for her but once I convince her to actually sit on the seat and I take hold of her ankles to demonstrate the motion she stands up and we're back at square one. I think I'm just going to have to practice patience until she figures it out on her own. It's going to be hard, she's really painfully slow and Enzo's only getting harder to keep up with, but I think I can do it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Yesterday was our anniversary.

Ten years.

We've been married for one third of our lives.  

Maybe I should wax poetic about what a catch I made a decade ago or try to identify and recount the happiest moments we've known or something.

As per my M.O. I don't have much to share.

I can blather on about the inconsequential but real things leave me mute.

In truth I'm not a sharer.  I only manage to do what I do here because I got used to it back when nobody was reading and now even if I know there are a few of you there I don't have to look you in the face while I type so it works.

Anyway, ten years.

That's a long time.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A message for you

I think I've mentioned before that Valentines day is a favorite of mine.  In the memory of my childhood it glows red and pink against February's greyscape.  

Valentine's day for me means glue on my hands and candy in my mouth.  It's not about romance, it's about art projects and paper lace, heart shapes and red lipstick. 

Happy Valentine's day friends! If you haven't been the recipient of any corny messages today, please allow me the privilege of delivering this one:

Valentine, you're the grill on my cheese!  

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm feeling sublimely happy this evening.  I was just standing in the kitchen frying up some italian sausage to put on a pizza and I noticed.

I noticed the swell in my chest.  Goodness, contentedness expanding from my heart and bursting forth.

Maybe it came from hearing my kids play all afternoon with no fighting. Maybe it was how the Mr is home from work and it's not even dark yet.  Certainly a new contributor is that I was just called outside to see Enzo cruising down the street on his bike for the first time, pedaling hard and looking like a pro.

It could be all of that, or none of it. I'm just happy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


A few weeks ago I was inundated with references to Downton Abbey.  They came from every side.  Bloggers, friends, siblings, television shows.  From what I could gather I was the only person in the world not watching.  So I let the peer pressure take me.  I put Downton on my Netflix instant play list and within about a week I was all caught up.

If you haven't been watching, please know I recommend it. Also, if you haven't watched you should know for context in this post; it's set during WWI


Lately I've been reading the "Children Of the Promise" series by Dean Hughes.  These books tell the story of one (fictitious)  Mormon family's journey through WWII. 

Thursday afternoon I found myself humming "Where have all the flowers gone," I made it through a whole verse before I realized.  I hadn't thought of that song in years. I'd guess it's been upwards of a decade.

Conclusion-  I am amazed by the subconscious mind. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A post about capes and things

If you're ever on a walk with Moo and she runs off to stick her nose to a stop sign, there's something you should know; contact with stop signs turns her invisible. Something you might notice in the below photo (were she not touching a stop sign in it thus rendering her invisible) is that she's wearing a cape. I think this invisibility thing might have something to do with her alter-ego "To the Rescue Girl!" (The name does double duty as her battle cry)

To the Rescue Girl came along with Duke and me to fetch Enzo from preschool a few days ago.  She disappeared at nearly every corner. Don't you see the question in his little face?  "Mama, where did she go?" 

I made her cape for her birthday. She was constantly borrowing the previously forgotten capes of her older siblings which inspired renewed cape love in the two of them and resulted in conflict. Clearly it was time the girl had a cape of her own. Butterflies and Gingham seemed just the thing.

Whew, I finally found a picture without any stop signs so she's fully visible.  Have you ever tried to take a picture of an invisible child? Tricky business, that.

The action upped once we'd collected Enzo and were on our way home.  There was a lot less invisibility on this end of the journey. To the Rescue Girl was too busy keeping up to bother with parlor tricks.

Enz apparently had a big day at preschool that day.  His exhaustion break down started in the middle of the bike ride home.

The honest truth about this next picture is I took about five trying to get a good mid-wail shot.  Some times tantrums are nerve wracking, sometimes they are unbearable and sometimes they are amusing.  This one fit in the third category.
I think he was upset about having to wait at the corner for me to catch up and then he decided he was too tired to continue to he slumped over his handle bars and demonstrated his displeasure with it all.

I wish I'd caught a shot of his mouth at it's widest, most dramatic point but I missed it every time and he just wasn't taking direction from his photographer.  Go figure.

Then To the Rescue Girl got tired so she hopped in and took it easy the rest of the way home.

I've only just realized that I seem to be the horsepower behind her super hero vehicle. I'm going to have to start working on my speed if I'm going to be in league with invisible jets and Batmobiles and things.