Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holiday Memories

Well, with my USB cable located, I am now looking through the photos I took over the course of our multi-day Christmas celebrations. Ahhh, memories . . . shimmering haze, flashback effect

Grandpa Frank is convinced that Matthew doesn't like him. It all started when Grandpa Frank said hello in a deep, gruff voice. It was meant to be funny but, well, Matthew found it more like terrifying. From then on, Grandpa Frank would hold Matthew, Matthew would start to fuss and Grandpa would say, "See, he doesn't like me!"

We always begin Christmas with a reading of the Christmas story. This year, Grandma Linda read. As you can see, Cameron was fascinated. What can I say? He was up late on Christmas Eve!

With time off of work, David wanted to spend some one on one time with Cameron. Ever appreciative, Cameron threw a huge tantrum and screamed that he wanted mommy to go to the museum, too. When Daddy and Cameron got to the museum, however, any distress over mommy's absence was quickly forgotten. How cool is it to pretend you are a bee?!?!?

Matthew was so taken with the cute little boy he met at Grandma T's house. The little boy was soooo smiley. In fact, every time Matthew smiled, the boy smiled right back! Overwhelmed with affection for this new friend, Matthew leaned in for a little smooch. And on the subject of smooching, Jameson thought Matthew was a pretty cute baby himself! Golly, I love Christmas!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This is what happens when my parents are in charge

My parents have kindly watched the boys several times this week, allowing David and I to go out to dinner and to see TWO movies! However, my mother documented her time with the boys with her camera. It all starts innocently enough. Cute photos of Cameron hanging out with Matthew. Aww, a kiss for Matthew!
Then it gets a little sketchy. Hmmm. Matthew sitting in an arm chair?
And then . . . who actually takes a PHOTO of the baby screaming in the aforementioned arm chair? Pick the kid up already, Grandma!
But seriously, thanks to my folks for the free childcare!

Note to self: Invest in nanny-cam.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Me, I want a hula hoop

As always, we've had a wonderful Christmas -- every moment packed with family, friends, excess calories and endless gifts! I'm limited to photos taken by my mom at the moment, as I can't find the USB cord for my camera and I don't have Stacy's photos yet. So, more to post in the future!

We began slow, enjoying a Christmas Eve's Eve dinner with my parents and David's parents. Matthew apparently felt a bit jealous that everyone was enjoying food and drink. "Do they have to rub it in my face? Milk, milk, milk . . . let's liven things up a little, huh people? It's the HOLIDAYS!"Or could it be some sort of weird "put everything in my mouth" phase? Nahhhh.Matthew also debuted his new ability to ride in a hip carry, which is a big relief for my aching arms.

Christmas Eve included the traditional shushing of a preschooler at Mass, followed by delicious food, the company of family and plenty of Wii play. When the party had died down, Cameron plated some cookies and dictated a note of welcome to Santa.

Bedtime, to no one's surprise, was a lengthy affair as Cameron was literally jumping up and down on the bed in anticipation. However, the next morning I was the first one to wake up -- I'm finding that a mommy's anticipation of her children's excitement exceeds even that childhood excitement. Evidently daddies don't have that same instinct, as David was roused from sleep quite some time later.

We all received a ridiculous amount of gifts, including lots and lots of toys. Here's mine!!!

That's right! A ROOMBA! A vacuuming robot! This was a completely unexpected surprise from David and I don't think I could ask for a better gift than clean floors with no effort. I actually had a dream about my Roomba last night. I like it that much.

We gave Matthew a super cute baby doll, of whom he appears to be fond.

Cameron, as you may have guessed, was deluged with superhero gifts and our superhero play has now improved ten-fold.

And, since he was shirtless and he has a Y-chromosome, Cameron decided to experiment with his stomp rockets in a way not described in the directions . . .

More to come . . . Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hectic Holiday Fun

Today was like a marathon of feeding, clothing and diapering in the midst of rushing from home to tumbling to a school holiday party and home again. *phew*

As I was prodding Cameron to get ready this morning, he said, "Hold on, Mommy, I'm in the middle of this game. I'm the red team and I'm trying to beat the blue team." When I looked, he was holding his Etch-a-Sketch and turning the dials frantically, pretending that it was a video game! He played for quite a while, occasionally showing me the score and yelling out exclamations like, "Whoa! That was close!"

I was a helper at the holiday party, aided by Matthew. I don't think I was quite as helpful as other volunteers, as they were not incessantly bouncing and saying "Shhh shhh shhhh shhh shhhh." Nor were they sporadically dashing from the room for a diaper change or fishing in their bag for a binky. Despite the distractions, Cameron and his classmates all seemed to enjoy themselves. The hit of the party was this paper bag reindeer craft project, which inexplicably caused raucous laughter and barely contained hysteria when shown to the class.
Cameron was also eager to demonstrate for me several Montessori works and I actually had to tell him several times to stop choosing work and start decorating his cookie!So, a fun day but I am glad to be home! I'm sure the holidays will bring more chaos and celebration!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brotherly love

Cameron requested that I take some photos of him and his brother today. It's hard to tell, but Cameron is holding Matthew's hand in this first photo. Awww, they are so sweet! Here, Cameron amuses Matthew with some silly faces.
And finally, Cameron gives Matthew kisses.
Cameron is such a big help. Often, if Matthew is fussing, we will ask Cameron to amuse him. Cameron is usually happy to oblige with a song or funny face. Today, I was cleaning up the kitchen and I heard David ask Cameron if he could distract Matthew. Cameron broke into an original song that went like this: "Matthew, Matthew. MatthEWWWW, I'm a different color than YOUUUU. Matthew, Matthew, I'm a different color than you."
Speaking of cleaning the kitchen, I've heard mothers whose children are grown say things like, "They are only little once! You'll have plenty of time to clean the house later!" or "They don't remember is the laundry was folded, they remember the time you spent with them!" I sure hope that's true because my house perpetually looks as if it has been ransacked. Ransacked by a homemade playdough-making, cookie-baking, arts and crafts-loving burglar.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Big Boys

I tried to get a photo without Matthew's hand in his mouth but, well, his hand is always in his mouth. Today, Matthew dressed in his big boy clothes. No onesies for him! Check it out -- a truck shirt, jeans and SHOES! His shoes are Robeez which I adore. Cameron wore only Robeez until he was about 2 years old. I have some of Cameron's old Robeez, and am trying to resist buying the adorable turtle Robeez! Are they cute or what? Here's Cameron at age 1 year wearing red monkey Robeez.
Speaking of big boys, when I asked Cameron what he wanted for lunch today he replied, "A peanut butter and jelly sandwich." Now, that may seem like a pretty typical preschool lunch to you, reader, but I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Cameron has been vehemently anti-peanut butter his whole life. When I confirmed that he had actually requested a PB&J he responded, "Mm-hmm. I decided I like peanut butter now." And went on to actually eat one!

Now, it should be noted that our nephew Marcus eats little other than peanut butter sandwiches, yet rejected mine. "YUCK!" he said. "It tastes like PEANUTS!" Yes, folks, we eat the organic valencia peanut butter which, unlike Skippy, tastes like peanuts not sugar. Crazy, huh?

And lastly, if you are bored, Cameron recommends the game Ballistic Biscuit. Here he is cracking up at the silly sound effects.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cameron's Camera

Cameron is the proud owner of a Fisher-Price camera and can be a real shutterbug at times. He seems to have a knack for capturing everyday scenes with a modern flair. You know, like focusing the photo only on the subject's nose or aiming the camera straight up at the subject so they look oddly disproportionate -- very avant garde. Here is a sampling of his private collection.

The one of David is my favorite -- he doesn't know I'm posting it here (yet!)

And, some Cameronisms:

- Cameron (gazing lovingly upon his afternoon snack): Ohhhh, Fruitabu, I'm going to eat you all up.

- Cameron and a four-year-old friend
Friend (pointing at Little People Nativity): Hey! Let's play with your God toys!
Cameron (with exasperation): They aren't GOD toys! They're JESUS toys!

- Cameron discussing babies
We should go to the hospital some day! We can go look in the window at the babies! But let's not take one home this time. Points at Matthew He cried ALOT when he was a little baby! But I love him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Intellectual Property Law

Cameron received the excellent Mo Willems' book "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" from my friend Tara recently. We were thrilled and Cameron even chose to bring it to school for his news. Cameron also expressed an interest in writing his own book which, by necessity, he would dictate to me. I am concerned, however, that if these books ever make it to publication, Mo Willems may take issue with the similarity to his own works. What do you think? "Don't Let the Turkey Ride the Helicopter" and "Don't Let the Turtle Drive the Space Ship."

In addition to Cameron's desire to be an author, he has also decided that he will become an astronaut when he grows up. He correctly deduced that, prior to his trip to Saturn, he would need to go to space school. When I told him how exciting this sounded he said, "Oh, don't worry Mommy. You'll be coming with me!" *sigh* I really thought I was done with school.

It all seems so normal now . . .

As I was cleaning pee out of Matthew's ear . . . STOP. Did that phrase get your attention? If so, I would bet that you are not the parent of a small boy. A parent of a small boy would find cleaning pee out of an ear a pretty mundane event, I dare say.

So, anyway, as I was cleaning pee out of Matthew's ear, I was thinking how different life is pre- and post-babies. Before having kids, I can say with great certainty that I had never cleaned pee out of anyone's ear. Other things that seem normal now, but were not pre-kiddos:

- realizing in the middle of an adult function that I am wearing a noodle necklace
- hearing the mail arrive and thinking, "Ooooh, I hope it is the Happi Tummi gas relief band!"
- responding to the call "Come see what I did!" from the bathroom

Worth it? 100%.

Oh, and by the way, chocolate pudding is really yummy and really fun!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Matthew Meets Santa

At David's company holiday party, Santa showed up along with two elves who happened to be skilled in face painting and balloon art. Cameron quickly headed to Santa to make sure that his letter had been received and that his request for a Batman action figure was clearly understood. As the line was long and I had forgotten my camera, I didn't bother to take Matthew to meet the big guy. But a little while later, Santa came over and asked to hold Matthew! Miranda kindly snapped some photos of Matthew and his first encounter with good St. Nick.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


We recently attended David's company's annual holiday party. We've gone in past years and this year I was particularly looking forward to a meal made by someone other than me or Papa John. However, when my meatless lasagna arrived it looked suspiciously meaty. David stopped a waiter and asked, "Excuse me. Is the vegetarian lasagna meatless?" (Which is really a laughable question if you think about it.) The waiter hesitated and then said, "Wellllll, not completely meatless." Ahhh. Because, as we all know, vegetarians just like a little LESS meat in their lasagna . . . I was just being too literal in taking "meatless" to mean "completely meatless."

Speaking of times when you can't take something literally, we were watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" earlier today. This is, I would boldly claim, not ACTUALLY America's Funniest. It would perhaps be more fitting to name it something like "Head and Groin Injuries are Sometimes Amusing" or "Small Children and Drunks are Frequently Clumsy." Watching AFV is not one of our usual family activities (or one of our activities in general!) but I am under the weather with a cold and it seemed as good as any other Sunday evening options while lying on the couch. Cameron laughed uproariously throughout the show and we, in turn, laughed at him laughing and at his comments including, "Ingenious!" and "At least the tractor didn't get hurt!"

And, finally, here are the goofballs.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

101st post

This is my 101st post! I would have noted the 100th post had I realized it . . .

Here is a drawing that Cameron did today. I asked him to explain it to me and was pleasantly surprised by his answer. The leggy pink guy is Cameron. Matthew is the small smiley face. Why is Matthew surrounded by a blue line? Well, this is a drawing of Cameron meeting Matthew for the first time at the hospital nursery! "Remember, Mommy? I had to look at him through a window and kids couldn't go in?" And, no, Cameron is not wearing skis. That is the hallway!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Star light, star bright

Cameron has developed a recent fascination with wishing on a star. I have no idea where he learned the "Star light, star bright" poem, but he is using it on a frequent basis even in the complete absence of stars. It's actually quite cute. He recites the poem, closes his eyes and then whispers, "Stars? Ummm, I wanted to wish for . . . " He told me two of his wishes. The first was for "a new telephone that really works." He clarified for me that he has a play telephone but it is sadly inoperable. I asked why he would need a working telephone and he told me he would use it "to call people. I would call you! Like if you were on vacation and left me with a kid sitter I could call you!" I find this interesting as we have never gone on vacation without him and very rarely leave him with a baby sitter (excuse me, kid sitter). His second wish was for "some girl toys that mommy could play with and one boy's toy so I could play with her!" Awwww.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Okay, ONE cute story

When I observed Cameron's classroom earlier this week, I watched his teacher introduce him to bank work (a type of math work). She showed him a bead, told him this was called "one unit" and placed it in his hand. "What does it feel like?" she asked. "Small," he replied. Next, she showed him ten beads strung together on a wire. "This is called a ten bar," she stated and again placed it in his hand. "Ooooh," Cameron said appreciatively. "It feels soooo ten-y!"

Kindness of strangers

No cute stories or photos today, just some nice stuff that happened to me!

Today was snowy, cold and dreary. After dropping Cameron off at school, I bundled Matthew into his mei tai carrier and went grocery shopping. As I approached the check-out lane, the cashier motioned for me to stop. He walked around to me, pushed the cart in and unloaded all the groceries for me! How nice! I headed out to the parking lot and began to put the bags in the trunk when a woman stopped, helped me put everything in the car and then walked my cart back to the store for me! How heartwarming and unexpected to have two strangers help me!

With a smile on my face, I got in the car. It was too early to pick Cameron up from school but too late to head back home, so I decided to stop at Panera and get a coffee. Matthew and I sat at a booth while I sipped my coffee and played with him. When it was time to go, I stood up and started to put him in his car seat. As I did, a woman walked over and said, "I hope you don't mind me asking, but did you adopt your baby?" This is not an entirely uncommon experience for me -- it is frequently asked just out of curiosity and even more often by other adoptive parents or their family members. I was guessing that this woman had a grandchild by adoption when I told her that, yes, Matthew is adopted. To my great surprise, she told me that she was a birthmother who had made an adoption plan for her daughter in the 1960's! We spoke for about 10 minutes about her experience as well as mine. I was so happy to have met her and impressed that she had approached me. She said I had made her day, but really she made mine!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Nativity: 2007

Cameron has a Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set which we brought up from the basement this weekend. While he, in general, prefers Batman to Little People these days, the Nativity set reawakened his interest in his other Little People toys. This morning, two worlds collided as Mary and Joseph joined forces with their more modern counterparts. Here are some photos of their exploits. To give you some background, after the stable "was zapped by thunder," Mary and Joseph decided to "drive to Bethlehem." Finding that Matthew's Little People bus was too full, Mary gently placed Jesus in his swaddling clothes in a . . . trailer and set off in her truck.
Soon, Mary tired of toting baby Jesus around, she asked Joseph to pull the trailer with his motorcycle instead.The story gets MUCH more exciting including a run-in with pirates, but the photos didn't turn out. I guess you'll just have to wait for "The Nativity: 2007" to hit your local movie theater as it most surely will.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A random assortment of thoughts

I've posted this photo of Matthew before, but I just came across a similar photo of Cameron at the same age. I remember, of course, that Cameron was bald and Matthew quite clearly is not bald. But, wow, what a difference in these photos! I think Matthew's hair gives him an additional inch of height! I mean, Cameron really had NO hair. And check out those cheeks! Yowza! I've heard the camera adds ten pounds, but all in one place?
What a couple of cutie pies we have!
So, earlier this week I was up before Cameron and I turned on the Today Show. They were doing a segment on organizing your purse and they began by suggesting that you pare down the contents of your purse to "necessities." So, let's think here. If I wasn't lugging about diapers, pacifiers, changes of clothing and snacks, what would I consider purse necessities? Well, first off, money of course. Then I suppose some photos of my boys, chapstick, Purell and my cell phone. Watching the Today Show, though, I began to think that I am hopelessly out of touch. I mean, I would NEVER have thought that perfume was a purse necessity. Do I just naturally smell better than most people and thus do not need to carry perfume? Or are people routinely commenting after I pass, "Whew! Somebody pass her the perfume!"

As I write this, Cameron and David are playing a game creatively called "Santa." In this game, Cameron pretends to be Santa. The other player (namely, David or myself) pretends to be a little boy or girl. The scene usually opens on the child sleeping soundly while Santa tip toes into the room. Santa quietly leaves a toy and then, upon leaving the room (here comes my favorite part) he crows like a rooster. What? You didn't know that Santa is an accomplished rooster impersonator? Why, yes, this is how he rouses sleeping children on Christmas morning so they might find the gifts he has left! Upon awakening, the little child finds the toy Santa has left and exclaims over it. Santa, unable to resist, often returns sheepishly to the room to confess that it was he that left the toy. It is a GREAT game which can be enthusiastically played about 47 times in a row.
Occasionally, Santa confides in the little child some tidbit about his past. This has included the fact that he no longer lives at the North Pole as it is too cold and, interestingly, that he has two daddies -- a nice daddy and a "mean daddy who says I can only bring you three presents, not four." I became concerned that Santa did not have a mommy, but, to my relief, he tells me that he has THREE and they are all nice! I had no idea that Santa had such a troubled past. . .