Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I know, I know . . . you've probably been checking the blog every half hour just hoping against hope that you'd finally get to see Matthew's costume. Well, the moment you've been waiting for has arrived! To complement Cameron's Buzz Lightyear costume, Matthew was one of the little 3-eyed aliens from the Claw game in Toy Story. Sadly, he was misidentified as a frog by many adults who are apparently unaware that frogs do not have three eyes. Or antennae. Matthew passed out candy with me, while Cameron and his good buddy Blake hit the streets in search of treats. They made out like bandits, finally returning home when they began to complain that their bags were to heavy to carry.

I also was able to go to Cameron's school Halloween party today. The highlight for Cameron was winning a mask playing cornhole -- a charming local game that others might call "Bean Bag Toss." Cameron insisted on wearing his lion mask pretty much all day and suggested that it may in fact go well with his Buzz Lightyear costume.
As the mask was not permitted on the playground, Cameron reluctantly removed it. He spent most of his playground time working at the gas station. As there is only one gas station on the playground, his services were much in demand. And check it out -- you don't find full service stations like this much anymore!Even the police stopped by.
Demand began to outstrip supply, and the customers grew increasingly impatient with the wait.
Cameron says the stress is killing him. He's considering selling the business to a kindergartener.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friends and Fall

Last night, we had our friends Megan and Brent over with their 2-year-old son. Cameron was full of anticipation and questions, as a 2-year-old is a rather abstract concept for him: "Is he bigger or smaller than me? Is he bigger or smaller than Matthew? Can he talk? Does he have teeth?" When the guests arrived, Cameron was not disappointed. The boys made fast friends and I think Cameron enjoyed the opportunity to be a role model! A highlight of the evening was building block towers which were knocked down as quickly as they were put up (and sometimes sooner!) Check out the technique here: Cameron builds with Brent while Owen waits, poised for take-off . . . then jump, kick and stomp the tower into oblivion!It was fun to see a 2-year-old in action and to imagine all the fun and trouble Cameron and Matthew will get in together in just a few years!

Megan has a real knack with babies and was able to soothe Matthew to sleep when I was unsuccessful. As you can see, Matthew was reaaalllyyy relaxed!
This morning, we awoke to a crisp fall day. The trees are at their peak colors, the sky is blue and the air has a bit of a nip to it. The kind of day that makes you long for cider and cinnamon donuts, preferably from a cider mill. (Aside: No one in these parts has even HEARD of a cider mill! There are apple orchards, but they don't compare to a real Michigan cider mill.) Look how darling Matthew is, all snug in his warm fleece!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Early Dismissal

Matthew wants his mama all the time. He wants me to hold him, to feed him, to cuddle him, to talk to him. This constant mama-needing is exhausting, but I'm trying to cherish every minute because I now know that it doesn't last forever. Cameron used to be the same way. Now, he still needs his mama time, but he is increasingly independent. Just how independent became clear to me this week. Here, imagine that hazy flashback effect.

As we approached Cameron's school, he asked if I would come to his class so he could show me some of his work. Hmmm. I don't really have anything pressing to get done. Why not? I thought. I bundled Matthew into his mai tei carrier, where he happily snuggled against me and promptly fell asleep. Into class we went! I proudly watched Cameron share news ("My mommy and I painted this morning. And my mommy painted a VAMPIRE!"), count the days on the calendar and learn a new work from his teacher. Finally, it was time for Cameron to choose his own work to do. We were disappointed to find that another child had already chosen the pumpkin scrubbing work, which had been high on Cameron's list of work to show me. Instead, we played a matching game and then Cameron demonstrated Playdough color mixing for me. This is great! I thought. Matthew's sound asleep, I may as well stay for the whole class! But just then Cameron piped up. "Well, I think I'll have snack time now. Soooo. See you in car line, Mommy." I suggested that I could join him for snack time and then we could do more work together, but Cameron looked at me with pity. "No, I don't think so," he said. "Bye!" And so, I was dismissed by my formerly mama-adoring boy. So, I cuddle Matthew a little closer and remember to enjoy that gummy smile only for Mommy, even if it is at 3am!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Show stopper

Cameron, as regular readers will know, loves nothing better than to put on a good superhero show. Occasionally, this calls for musical accompaniment. I have to admit, I'm pretty impressed with his musical tastes. No "Fruit Salad" or "Big Red Car" for this kid! At this show, his soundtrack of choice was some old school Medeski, Martin and Wood! And it turns out that superheroes are great dancers, too.And as for Matthew, he is all grins these days. He "talks" a lot, most amusingly to his own reflection in the baby-viewing mirror in the car. "Aaaaah! Gaaa-goooo!" he squeals happily. He must imagine that he and the "other" baby have a real connection, as that good looking baby squeals at exactly the same time.
I have zero modesty when it comes to Matthew -- I just think he's gorgeous!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spiderman and his diverse friends

A conversation with Cameron this morning:

Cameron: Let's do a super hero show!
Mommy: OK. Who should I be?
C: You will be Wonder Woman. And I will be African America!
M: What?
C: I want to be African America.
M: African American? Wondering if we should have another talk about the different skin colors in our family.
C: *exasperated sigh* Noooooo. African America. Points to picture of Captain America.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bath Time Blues

Cameron is complaining of a stuffy nose, so I filled the tub with nice, hot water -- nothing like a good hot bath when you are feeling under the weather! I always put in two capfuls of California Baby Calming bubble bath (hey, if there is ANY chance it actually calms, I'll try it!). Aww, poor kid doesn't feel good, I thought, and poured in an extra two capfuls. Oooh, tons of bubbles! He'll love this! Cameron hops in the tub, heavy sighs and says resignedly, "Boy, I've got a lot of work to do here, getting rid of all these bubbles!" Oh well, I tried.

A few minutes later, I begin to sing "You are My Sunshine." None too impressed with my singing voice but too tactful to say so, Cameron smiles condescendingly and says, "Oh, Mommy, I have a great idea! Why don't you sing that song to Matthew tomorrow. When I'm at school. Just not now."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"I tought I taw a puddy tat!"

Cameron's pronunciation of -th has varied from -f to -d depending on the word. For example, "Fank you God for my bruder Maffew." This past week, he came home from school and proudly demonstrated how he had learned to say his friend Ethan's name by pressing his tongue to his front teeth. Pretty great, huh? Except he's taken it one step further. All -f sounds are now -th. "Ooh, the leaves are so pretty in the thall!" "I have a brother, a mother and a thather!" *sigh*

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Fun

Yesterday, Cameron experienced a right of passage: the First Field Trip. Daddy accompanied Cameron and his classmates to a pumpkin farm where they ate popcorn, went on a hayride, picked out pumpkins and engaged in general merry-making."Who you callin' chicken? I'm a rooster, fool!"

Afterwards, they returned to school for a little playtime. This isn't the best photo, but check out what the kids are riding. Rickshaws! Seriously, tricycle-powered rickshaws! I thought we were investing in Cameron's education so he could become anything he wanted to be. Just didn't occur to me that that might be a rickshaw driver. Reach for the stars, kids! Although . . . it appears that rickshaw drivers (excuse me, pedicab tour guides) make a pretty penny in Central park. $40 for 40 minutes and you get your exercise to boot! "No, sweetie, you don't want to be a doctor. Remember? You want to be a rickshaw driver!"

In the evening, we all went to a nearby school's Halloween festival where Cameron put the big kids to shame winning three dollars in play money at the "throw a ping pong ball in the fishbowl" game. He came home with candy, a yo-yo and a really cool light up top. And you, lucky readers, get to see his Halloween costume in its entirety a week and a half before Halloween! Matthew was also dressed up for the evening, but I'll keep you in suspense as to his costume! (I know . . . you can't sleep at night for wondering what his costume is!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Matthew's fitness craze

Matthew had his two month check-up this week. When he heard the nurse say that he weighs 12 lbs. 6 oz., he immediately decided it was time to really commit to his exercise routine. "I thought those onesies were feeling a little tight," he mused to himself.

The first order of business was getting some stylin' work-out clothes. Babylegs were just the ticket. Seriously, get this kid a headband and he could put Richard Simmons to shame!

For day one, Matthew focused on strength building exercises using free weights. Exhausted, he slept a full four hours that night. Day two, Matthew really meant business. Look at his tough guy mug as he does his push-ups.
But he couldn't keep the smile off his face during the aerobics work-out. "FAME! I'm gonna live forever! I'm gonna learn how to FLY!" he sang.
He's also on a strict, liquid diet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cleaning his plate

The things we resort to to get Cameron to eat a well-balanced meal!
I was rewarded for my efforts, however, when Cameron asked yesterday if he could "have a snack of snap peas, green beans or another vegetable?" Wellllllll, if you clean up your toys and ask really, really nicely . . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What else do we need?

As my blogging prowess increases, it seems befitting that the blog get a fresh new look. So . . . drumroll please . . . I give you "What else do we need?" Since this phrase leaves my lips and flits through my mind 14,207,498 plus or minus 142 times per day, I figured it was appropriate.

Never fear, my devoted fans - everything is still here. Cute photos, laugh out loud anecdotes, hold your breath suspense, hair-raising adventures . . . yep, this blog's got it all.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Super Wonderful Weekend

Cameron had a Super Why birthday party this weekend. Grandma Linda and Grandpa Frank came to join in the fun (and to give us a much needed hand!). The party was a rousing success. For completing a challenging obstacle course, boys got a Super Why cape with their initial and girls got a Wonder Red cape with their initial. Here are the little Super Readers.
William made me laugh when he noted that it was "lucky" that he got the W cape, as his name in fact begins with a W. What are the chances?
The boys quickly discovered that when wearing the capes, they were endowed with Super Speed.
They also searched for Super letters to solve Cameron's Super Problem: "What can I eat for my birthday treat?" Here is Blake finding a Super Letter. And here is the Super Answer! I was so relieved that it was cake and ice cream, not roast beef and mashed potatoes or something! Another twist on an old classic: Pin the Letter on Super Why.
Here is the end result!
Cameron had a fantastic time with his friends!
In other news, Matthew is full of smiles these days. He is enthralled with his mobile, rattles and other baby toys. Here he is celebrating a U-Michigan victory.
It is tough to be a Wolverines fan in these parts, but we start 'em early!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Name that tune . . .

Every day as Matthew cries, I have wondered, "What do his different cries mean?" Well, I finally figured it out. Seems that Matthew is an 80's rock fan. Specifically Quiet Riot. Last night, I am pretty sure he was singing his own version of "Feel the Noize." It went something like this:

Come on feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy (and bounce and sway and bop)
I'll get wild, wild, wild!
Wild, wild, wild!

So you think I got an innocent mind,
I'll tell you mommy
I don't know why
I don't know why

So you think I'm crying at the wrong time,
it gets me attention,
I don't know why
I don't know why, anymore
Oh no

So come on, feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy
I'll get wild, wild, wild
Wild, wild, wild

So you see I got a funny face,
I made some poopy,
And don't know why
I don't know why

Oh I gotta cry at such a pace,
I'm always in a hurry
And I don't know why
I don't know why, anymore
no, no, no

Come on, feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy
I'll get wild, wild, wild,
wild, wild, wild

Come on, feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy
I'll get wild, wild, wild,
get wild
Come on

Well you think I'll have a nap this time,
You should know better
I don't know why
I don't know why

So you say I got up too many times,
I'm a milk go getter
I don't know why
I don't know why, anymore
Oh no

Come on feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy
I'll get wild, wild, wild,
Wild, wild, wild

Come on, feel the noise
Mama, rock your boy
I'll get wild, wild, wild
Get wild
Come on (come on) feel it

Mama, rock your boy (mama rock me)
I'll get wild, wild, wild
I'm gonna get wild (wild,wild,wild)
I'm gonna get rocked tonight (come on feel the noise)
Rock it tonight (mama rock your boy)
I'll get wild, wild, wild OH YEAH!!

He'll be touring next spring. Here's his publicity photo with his drummer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Random updates

Whoa, have I really gone almost a week without posting???

We had our first relaxing weekend in ages! A chance to catch up on sleep, housework, yardwork and family time. For the first time since Matthew's arrival, I did a little work on the Buzz Lightyear costume, although I must admit that I bought the gloves and a "jetpack." Just a few more finishing touches and then it is on to Matthew's costume!

On Saturday, we went to a local "Harvest Moon Festival." Somehow, it is hard to get into s'mores and pumpkin painting when it is 80 degrees at 8pm! Cameron gave it his all though.Sunday, we went to church where the choir sang a hymn with verses such as "Lord, make me more faithful," and "Lord, make me more righteous." I'm pretty sure this is awful of me, but I all I could think of was how funny it would be if there was a verse "Lord, make me more smarter." Get it? More smarter?

Another big event was Cameron's birthday! He had asked (repeatedly) for the Black Spiderman action figure and was ecstatic when he opened it. I am ecstatic that, although Black Spiderman was an exciting gift, the bamboo Creata building set I got him has gotten more play time!And here are my boys in a photo series depicting how boys really are. "Look how peaceful we are! Quiet. Serene. Perhaps we shall fall asleep right here." "Agggghhhhhh! Let's roll and scream and wave our arms like we're being attacked by fire ants!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Of Challenges and Achievements

I finally captured Matthew's sweet little smile on camera! Here he is, happy. And happier yet!He must have been feeling excited about being 7 weeks old!Cameron is our little artist in residence. Earlier this week, he brought home this masterpiece which he had created for his daddy. Side one is Daddy (represented by the large red circle, if it isn't obvious) "looking at Cameron" (the small red smiling circle).The other side is a moose (brown scribbles) with an apple (red circle). The piece is creatively signed with a C for Cameron and a backwards D for Daddy.Emboldened by the warm reception this work received, Cameron endeavored to extend his skills to watercolors. He felt the paper was too confining, however, and branched out to body art.
And, just a funny story to share. Cameron tried hot chocolate for the first time yesterday and thoughtfully declared it "challenging but tasty." While this may seem a strage remark, I think it accurately reflects the complexity of the beverage. You see, it wasn't just any hot chocolate. It was my prized European Drinking Chocolate. Challenging indeed!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Going to the chapel

My little sister, Stephanie, married Bryan this past weekend! The whole weekend was wonderful -- Stephanie looked absolutely gorgeous, the ceremony was beautiful, the weather was perfect and the reception was amazing! I am so happy for Stephanie and Bryan and it was an honor to be a part of their big day. It was also such a treat to see so many friends and family. At the rehearsal, Matthew met his Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Bryan for the first time, as well as his Uncle Zack, Aunt Beth and Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa!

During the ceremony, Matthew was cared for by his grandma, who has been a real lifesaver for us in the past few weeks!

Zack and I were both in the wedding party, and my mom joined us after the wedding party bus didn't agree with my sensitive stomach ): Here I am with my baby brother.I hope my boys love me this much when they are grown up!After a little nap and some food, I was all recovered for the reception. And after giving my toast, I could finally relax and enjoy the huge party! Cameron, who did a bang up job as ringbearer, was a maniac on the dance floor.

He wasn't the only one gettin' jiggy with it, though! Here are Kendall, Tara and Zack.

As at every wedding, some people don't know when to say when. Here is a tired and dishevelled Cameron making another trip up to the bar. The candy bar, that is!

Congrats to the happy couple!