Thursday, May 29, 2008

"When I grow up"

Today, Cameron brought home a little booklet that lists all the preschoolers and what they want to be when they grow up. Cameron, it turns out, wants to be a soccer coach. He won't have much competition -- no other aspiring soccer coaches in the school apparently. There were a fair number of your usual "I want to be a doctor" or "I want to be an astronaut" replies. And, among the girls, there were several would-be princesses, cowgirls and one fairy. A few boys who planned to be pirates or race car drivers. But a few of the responses had me laughing out loud!

Several wanted to grow up to be a fictional character.

"I want to be a Bionicle."
"I want to be Sonic the Hedgehog."

Some thought it was juvenille to want to be a fictional character. But another species? TOTALLY reasonable.

"I want to be a kitty cat. A gray one."
"I want to be a catepillar."

Some planned to remain human, but grown up? No way.

"I want to be a three-year-old."
"I want to be a teenager."
"I want to be a kindergartener . . . or a princess."
"I want to be a grandmother." (This wouldn't be so funny if it weren't from a little boy!)

And some, well, they were scarily accurate in their visions of the future.

"I want to show everyone else how to work." (Would have been easier to just say "manager," wouldn't it?)
"I just want to be a regular person."
"I want to be a Chinese restaurant person."

And my favorite: "I want to be a doctor. Or actually, I want to do regular work, when you do projects and be done with work on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Sundays. And Fridays. I am experimental." (I think this is called "working from home.")

The kids also listed their favorite activities. Playing outside and playing with friends were popular answer. Since it is Montessori, however, there were some more interesting works mentioned including baby washing and bean feeling. Hey, if there is a responsible preschooler interested in a summer job of baby washing, send 'em my way!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That's his name, don't wear it out!

The scene: Driving in the car, listening to the news on NPR

Radio: And today Hillary Clinton . . .
Cameron: HILLARY CLINTON! She wants to be president, right Mommy?
Me: Yes, that's right.
Cameron: She's a GIRL right?
Me: Right.
Cameron: And there's a boy who wants to be president, too, right?
Me: Yep.
Cameron: And HIS name is OBAMA CAMPAIGN!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Practice makes perfect

Are you ever so consumed with something that you have frantic, feverish dreams about it? I remember dreaming about derivatives and integrals before a calculus exam or spending a night tossing and turning as visions of physics formulas danced in my head. Evidently, this phenomenon afflicts even the very young. Last night, I heard Matthew crying pitifully. I went in to check on him and found him, eyes closed, crying and clapping in his sleep. Actually clapping. I guess that acquiring this new skill has been more stressful than I realized.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Too much noise

Continuing our musical weekend, we headed to the local parade this morning. The highlight of these parades for the kids is the throwing of candy to the crowd. Now, to me it seems like a bad idea to have a man driving a firetruck down a crowded street throwing candy out the window, enticing small children to run pell mell towards those very large wheels but apparently the city does not share this concern. We got off to a rough start when Cameron darted towards the first candy-throwing vehicle, causing me to shriek "STOP" just as Cameron tripped and fell hard on the street. Empty handed and tearful from his fall, he retreated back to the sidewalk where a very kind older boy took pity on him. "Here you go!" he said, dumping a handful of candy in Cameron's bucket. "You don't have to run for the candy. I will and I'll give you half of everything I get!" And he did! Cameron was thrilled both with the candy and with his new friend.
Matthew was unimpressed with the parade, possibly because no one was throwing Cheerios. But when the marching bands began to pass by, he had HAD it. "Enough with the noise!" he seemed to be saying. So, Matthew and I walked home leaving Cameron and David to enjoy the clowns and mini cars. Maybe by next year Matthew will have developed an appreciation of candy-tossing politicians!

He's got the beat!

We've been enjoying the long weekend by attending every musical event we can find. We began yesterday with a performance by a children's choir visiting the US from Africa. They sang and performed traditional dance, which was fabulous.

It was a hot day and you could see the sweat glinting on their foreheads as they danced. Taking shelter in the shade, I was amazed that these kids had the energy to be out in the blazing sun drumming and shouting! The crowd, whether due to heat or bad manners, was disappointingly unenthusiastic. No one dancing, no one clapping along, no standing ovations. Well, I guess I shouldn't say "no one." Matthew was gettin' down to the beat! In the evening, we went to see a military stage band perform. Seated next to another family, I was left thanking my lucky stars that we will never have a 14-year-old girl! I don't know that teenage boys are necessarily much more pleasant, but, wow, can a teenage girl put a damper on your evening! This particular girl was sulking, apparently because her mother had not specified to her that the military band would not be a bunch of hot guys in camo playing rock music. It's so hard to be fourteen!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

When Mommy Says "No" to a Puppy

Cameron is now the proud owner of two catepillars, named Twiggy and Joey. After finding the catepillars roaming our yard, clearly in need of a home, he sprang into action. Dashing inside, he grabbed a Tupperware container to convert into a lavish catepillar mansion. Furnished with grass and twigs, the abode features a skylight and floor-to-ceiling windows. The catepillars were noted to excitedly (some might say frantically) explore every inch of their new home. Cameron has also provided the duo with plenty of attention and opportunity for socialization, as shown here. Apparently exhausted from their adventures, Twiggy and Joey were later noted to rest for a long period of time, occcasionally giving a listless wiggle. Although we suggested, several times, that Twiggy and Joey might be happier in our yard, he is certain that they wish to remain with him. Furthermore, he relays that the pair are interested in coming to school with him on Tuesday. I'm not certain, but this seems to me to be analagous to me stating that I wish to visit Mars in 2152. Perhaps the catepillars have more stamina than I assume.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Four years, two tired brothers, one floppy hat

Matthew, 9 months

Cameron, 8 months

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Teacher of the Year

Matthew has a favorite teacher. He's young, hip, laid-back. The type that makes learning fun. He doesn't mind getting right down on the ground with you to show you how it's done.

Yesterday this teaching wunderkind worked with Matthew on his clapping skills. Matthew had the basics down and was enthusiastic about perfecting the technique. A short tutorial, and Matthew was a clapping pro!

Today, Matthew got his first sippy cup -- an intriguing by mysterious object. Once again, the teacher stepped up to offer his assistance. This time, step-by-step demonstration was required -- hold, tip, sip. It's gonna take some practice, but Matthew got an A for effort!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A good point

This morning, Cameron and I were playing Cariboo -- one of the few children's games I truly enjoy. Essentially, the players take turns choosing a card and then open a corresponding box in the hopes of finding a hidden ball. Cameron, upon finding one of the balls, commented cheerfully, "I knew it was in there because I peeked!"

"Cameron," I said, "when you peek you are cheating. It's not nice to cheat when you are playing a game."

"Well, Mommm-eeee," he whined in reply, "it's hard to uncheat!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Caring for a cat, according to Cameron

Cameron: Mommy, I want a cat.
Me: Well, I'm sorry, but we're not getting a cat.
C: Why not?
M: (channeling my mother) Two boys are enough work for me! I don't need a cat to take care of too!
C: (channeling a 4-year-old me) But I'LL take care of it!
M: Will you feed it?
M: Will you fill it's water bowl?
M: Will you scoop the poop out of it's litter box?
Lengthy pause
C: (dejected) No. I guess we'll get a cat when Matthew is four. And then he can help me take care of the cat! I'll feed it and give it water, and he can take care of the litter box!


We do change his clothes

I just noticed that the last few times I've posted a photo of Matthew, he is always in the same outfit. Seriously, we DO change his clothes. Daily, in fact! And sometimes more!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oooh, we are in for trouble

Matthew is sooooo close to crawling. You can almost see him thinking, There has GOT to be something I'm missing here. It seems like there should be someway to move forward . . . He repeatedly pushes up onto his hands and knees, rocks hopefully back and forth and then, stymied, drops to his belly and rolls to his intended target. One part of me is so proud. That's my baby! Almost crawling! And then there's the part of me that cries Noooo! All the trouble he'll get into! I think back to a crawling Cameron, bonking his head on tables, finding dust bunnies in corners and promptly popping them in his mouth, zipping towards any and every hazard with me chasing, endlessly, after him. And then the walking. Oh, the walking. Don't even get me started!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tacky in khaki

Yesterday, Cameron wore a pair of light tan pants to school. Nothing fancy, but a decent pair of pants for a preschooler in my opinion. On our drive home, he told me with excitement how he was singled out for good behavior during news. "And the teacher said, 'Someone is sitting still and being a good listener. Can anyone guess who it is? His name starts with C and he is wearing tacky pants!' and it was ME!" It was bad enough when they were teaching him evil work. Now they are lobbing personal insults? The NERVE!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A mystery

Recently, a classmate of Cameron's approached us, pointed to Matthew and said, "He's adopted!" Later, I asked Cameron, "How do you think she knew that Matthew was adopted?" Cameron looked at me, wide-eyed, and responded, "I have NO idea! Maybe I told her one time?"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Peek-a-blocks baby

I recently came to the realization that Matthew was ready for some more challenging toys. The old rattles just weren't cutting it anymore. I dragged up Cameron's old Peek-a-blocks and wagon and Matthew has been going to town with them! I've been amazed by his coordination -- picking up blocks, placing them in the wagon to make the lights and music play, and even getting up on one knee so he can reach across the wagon and grab a block!
Along with this new found agility, though, come new hazards. Suddenly, Matthew is exceptionally adept at picking up small objects and popping them into his mouth. Earlier this week I did my first "dive and swipe" maneuver, retrieving what turned out to be a raisin from his mouth. Hey, it could be worse! We've separated baby-safe toys and big boy toys and have taught Cameron to identify choking hazards. Cameron actually seems to relish the role of policing Matthew. "Choking hazard!" he'll shriek, yanking a big boy toy from Matthew's hand. And if I'm not mistaken, the fun is just beginning -- we have a good couple of years left of mouth swipes and probably a few "guess what gross thing Matthew put in his mouth" posts to come!

Mother's Day

Cameron has been excited for about a week over the Mother's Day gift he made for me at school. He was tight-lipped at first. "I made something at school today, but I can't tell you what. ONLY Daddy."

A few days later, he couldn't take it anymore. "I can't tell you, but it's funny! It's a picture of you. And it's a funny picture. Because I couldn't remember what you looked like. But I can't tell you!"

And after a few more days passed, he confessed, "I told the teacher why I love you. But I can't tell you!"

Finally, he brought home a large envelope festooned with pink marker. "To Mom. Love Cameron" When I opened it, I found this sweet little surprise.

The stick figure, if you haven't guessed, is me. I actually do have two legs and two arms in the drawing, but they are yellow and the scanner doesn't seem to pick up the color.

When I admired the drawing, Cameron giggled madly. "Isn't it FUNNY?"

"Why is it funny?" I asked.

"Well, see that red circle? Know what that is?" he replied.


"It's your big belly!" he crowed.

"My big belly?" I said, confused. I'll admit that I don't have washboard abs, but no one has asked me when the baby is due or anything like that!

Cameron reached over and gave me a loving pat on my belly. "See?" he said. "Your big belly. Right there."

Awww. How sweet. A Mother's Day dream come true. And now I'm off to do some sit-ups.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm a priceless gift

Update: NBC just updated their website. The category is now Adopting Moms. Evidently I was not the only one insulted! Now, "Adopting Moms" is a step up from "Non-Moms" I suppose but I'm still irked. Why are adoptive moms in a separate category at all? I would think that an adoptive mother could fit into any of the other AFM categories -- a working mom who has adopted, a single mom who has adopted, a military mom who has adopted. But, apparently, which uterus a baby grew in is THE most defining factor. *grr*

So, apparently I am Cameron's mom and Matthew's non-mom mom. Says who? NBC, Redbook, Kraft, Teleflora and myspace -- the sponsors of "America's Favorite Mom." "AFM" will be airing on Mother's Day when they will crown the winner of the contest. Right now, you can vote for semi-finalists who are featured on the Web site. The semi-finalists are divided into categories including "The Non-Mom mom" who is described as "grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody." How sweet, that even though I'm a "non-mom" I am still a "priceless gift." Well, this non-mom has better things to do on Mother's Day than watch "AFM." Like, maybe write a letter . . .

Contact information:
11444 W. Olympic Blvd.
10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Fax: 310-966-5758

or make some phone calls and send a few e-mails. . .

America’s Favorite Mom 1-800-225-7435

Email for Donny and Marie Osmond

Teleflora 1-800-835-3356
(310) 231-9199 (main corporate headquarters)

Redbook 1-800-888-0008

Kraft Foods 800-323-0768

Should've taken a photo

I should have taken a photo, but I didn't think of it. Cameron just emerged from the bathroom, where he had been instructed to brush his teeth before school. With a big grin on his face, he pointed to his head which was crowned with a mass of wet, spiky hair. "Look what I did!" he crowed.

"Oh Cameron!" I said, not amused but not particularly concerned either. Wet, spiky hair can be combed down. But then, I saw the bubbles. "What did you put in your hair?"

"Soap!" Hand soap, more specifically. And generous amounts, by the looks of it.

"Oh geez, Cameron! Get your step stool and bring it to the kitchen sink. I'm going to have to wash your hair out and we've got to leave for school in just a few minutes!"

"Nooooo! It'll dry! It's fine!"

With much protestation, Cameron leaned his head over the sink where I squirted him down and then quickly blew his hair dry.

Just moments ago, Cameron looked in the mirror and said, "Alright! Thanks, Mom, for giving me the uh-oh."

"The what?"

"The uh-oh! Look! My hair is dried, sticking all uh-oh!"

I didn't think boys were supposed to care about their hair until they were about twelve. But my four year old is thrilled that the back of his hair is dried into a messy cowlick.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Conversation between two brothers

The Scene: Driving home after picking up Cameron from school. Both boys are in their car seats, side by side. Matthew is rear-facing and Cameron is forward-facing. Thus, they essentially face each other. It is raining, and Matthew is looking out the window.

Cameron: Mommy, I'm going to see if Matthew knows his name. Matthew!
Matthew: Turning head quickly to face Cameron. Da!
Cameron: He knows his name! Okay, let's try it again Matthew. Look the other way!
Matthew: Noncompliant, staring at Cameron.
Cameron: No, out the window. Look out the window!
Matthew: Slowly turning head to window. Ga, ga, ga.
Cameron: Don. Don!
Matthew: Continuing to observe rain.
Cameron: Okay. Bob. Bob!
Matthew: No response.

Author's note: What has the conversation thus far proven? Matthew knows his name is Matthew. He also knows that he is not a middle-aged white man.

Cameron: Amy! Aaaammmyyy!
Matthew: Turning head quickly towards Cameron, perhaps expecting to see a perky brunette has joined us in the car. Turning head back to window, disappointed.
Cameron: Ha! Got you, Matthew! Mommy, Matthew thinks he's a GIRL!
Matthew: Showing maturity beyond his months, ignores brother's taunting.
Cameron: Avocado!
Matthew: Losing patience, turns head again. GGGAAAA da da da.
Cameron: Hooo-hoo! Matthew! You're not an AVOCADO! Oh my gosh. I can't believe Matthew thought he was an avocado!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Down on the farm

Today, Cameron and David went on a field trip to a farm. They had a fabulous time and Cameron even got to milk a goat!

He came home full of new, fun facts. For example, wool comes from a sheep and some underwear are made of wool. And, WE are ANIMALS!

"What?!?!?" I said to Cameron in mock disbelief. "We are NOT animals!"

"YES! We ARE animals!" replied Cameron. "We're TALKING animals!"

"Whoa. That's amazing."

"Yep. And you know what kind of animals we are?"

"What kind?"

"We're human beams."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekend update

I've been a blogging slacker lately, but it's only because we've been having so much fun!
On Friday, David was off of work. While Cameron was at school, David and I took a walk with Matthew in the stroller. Nearly every evening, our whole family goes on a walk but it was such a treat to take a walk during which David and I could converse uninterrupted and walk at a consistent pace rather than the typical preschool-style "run like your pants are on fire" or "stop every two feet to examine a piece of litter, an ant or a leaf." Better yet, instead of walking around the block we walked to a coffee shop and sipped our lattes while chatting on the way home!
On Saturday, my mom made the long drive down here so she could join me at a special adoption event to celebrate mothers -- both birth mothers and adoptive mothers. It was lovely and meant so much to me that my mom came along! After the adoption event, we enjoyed some time outside playing on the swings.

Cameron was also excited to find an inch worm -- difficult to see in this photo but, believe me, he's holding an inch worm.Today, we spent a little more time with Grandma Linda before she headed back north. Matthew is really into the Peek-a-Blocks these days and showed off his fine motor skills for Grandma.I also spent some time this weekend on my latest hobby -- baking bread. I started with a simple boule, then tried a delicious Parmesan and Sundried Tomato bread and finally pizza dough. This evening, Cameron asked if he could help me bake some bread and suggested we make it with mozzarella cheese. I complied and referred to it as "an experiment." A few minutes ago, Cameron burst into the room I was in, declared triumphantly, "Your experimental bread WORKED! I ate two pieces!" And indeed it had -- yummmm.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Cameron: Mommy? What holiday comes next?
Me: Mother's Day is next!
Cameron: Uhhh, Mommy? I meant the next holiday where you get candy.