Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Parenting and Sarcasm Don't Mix

Last night, I was on my own with the boys and, once again, feeling under the weather with a bad cold. Things were not going well. It was past everyone's bedtime, Cameron still hadn't brushed his teeth and Matthew was screaming bloody murder in his crib. Frustrated, I plopped into a chair and said sarcastically, "That's it. I'm going to bed. Cameron, you're in charge." To my surprise, Cameron immediately began to sob and cling to me. "Cameron, what's wrong?" I asked over and over.

When he had finally calmed down he said, "Oh, mama, I was so scared! I thought you were going to make me take care of Matthew all by myself. And I don't know HOW!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Who Loves You, Baby?

Matthew is his own biggest fan. He claps for himself, he calls himself "Good boy," he staunchly refuses to be cast as a bad guy in any of Cameron's superhero shows, insisting that he is a "Gooo Giiii." Despite this, I thought it would be so cute if I could teach him to say "Mama!" when I say, "Who loves you?" Instead, each time I say "Who loves you?" Matthew raises his hand in the air and smiles broadly. Yep, he loves himself. ALOT. But that's OK -- babies are supposed to be self-centered, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Give Up

Apologies to my loyal fans for the lack of posts lately. We've all been sick and I just haven't been up to my usual witty banter. But, I'm back!

So, every year I have made Cameron a Halloween costume. It's not that I am particularly crafty but it just seems so maternal to make the costumes rather than buy some overpriced plastic robe and mask. Here I am, three weeks postpartum, with Cameron as a cow. Year two I made this really cute baby chick costume.
Year three, a monkey -- not my best work, many thought he was as teddy bear.
Year four, another let-down: Supposed to be a kitty, believed by most to be a bunny.
Last year, Buzz Lightyear and Matthew as a three-eyed alien.
So this year, Cameron requested a Jokey Smurf costume. I've spent hours searching the web, finally locating a medium blue, long-sleeved, turtleneck leotard with matching gloves, white sweatpants and a plan to make a Smurf hat from a pillowcase. Matthew would be Azrael, Gargamel's kitty. This morning, Cameron brought me an add from Halloween Express and showed me the "really cool Star Wars clone guy."

"But I was going to make you the Jokey Smurf costume, remember?"

"I know. But this is WAY cooler."

"But I bet tons of kids will have this costume. If I make you a Jokey Smurf costume, no one else will be Jokey Smurf!"

"Wellll, maybe next year, Mommy. Because this year? I reeeaallllyyy want you to buy me the Star Wars costume instead."

So, I'm wondering why I'm going to kill myself making a Jokey Smurf costume when Cameron wants a $20 costume I can buy. And I've decided . . . I give up. I'm buying the costume.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Power Outage

Today Cameron drew a picture, shown below. Can you guess what it is? I couldn't, but when he explained it I was impressed. The top shows people who have their power back. They are in the light, so you can see them. The bottom shows all the people who still don't have power back. They are in the dark and all you can see are their eyes!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big Plans

When I was a kid, I loved to draw floor plans of my dream house. Of note, I thought it was the height of hilarity to always include a very small room which I labeled "Servant's Quarters." "Here's your room," I would say to my parents, stifling my laughter. My house would sometimes have a roller rink, perhaps an indoor pool or even a room for my pet penguins. It was gonna be great.

I can see Cameron headed down this same path. This morning, he got out a ruler and a pencil and spent a long time drawing on construction paper. Finally, full of pride, he showed me his "plans." "See," he said as he pointed to a straight line across the paper. "This is the zip line! And it goes from the back door, right here, to my play set. So I can just go out the back door, get on the zip line and zooop! I'm at the swing set so fast!" You could just see that he totally expects me to make a stop at Home Depot this afternoon and get cracking on that zip line. He was so excited about the idea that he enlisted in my help to draw a second set of plans. A ladder will lead to our roof and, on the opposite side of the roof, a zip line will extend to the ground for a speedy descent. "Daddy can use it," he suggested. "Or workmen will see it and be like, 'Oh, look! That house has a zip line! Let's go on their roof!'" 'Cause you know how we're always looking for a way to attract random workmen to our roof . . .

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tricky or Picky?

I have been attempting to offer Matthew more variety in his diet, which is a bit of a challenge as he has multiple food allergies. In particular, I've been concerned about his protein intake and have been trying to add protein in some form to most of his meals. Matthew, however, is not about to be fooled.

Over the weekend, I simmered some apples, pears and raisins in apple juice. Matthew heartily approved and cleaned his tray, signing "more, more!" For the next serving, I mixed some diced tofu in, thinking that it would absorb the sweet juice and act as a tasty protein treat. I was thrilled to see that, once again, Matthew devoured everything on his tray! When Matthew signed "all done," I got him out of the high chair only to discover that each and every bit of tofu had been tossed to the floor or secreted in the seat cushion! So much for tofu . . . unless I blend it into his next meal.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We Heart Electricity

The past 24 hours have given me a whole new appreciation of the Ingalls family. Our power went out yesterday afternoon and we quickly began realizing how dependent we are upon electricity. That, and what a bad idea it is to keep the flashlights, batteries, candles and matches in a windowless room.

When the power was still out this morning and radio reports indicated that it might take as long as a week to restore, we started packing our bags to head to MI. Then we realized that our car was low on gas and all the area gas stations were also without power. Uh-oh. As we pondered what to do, miracle of miracles, the power was restored!!! We all celebrated, except Cameron, who said he had been excited to "go on vacation and get McDonalds."

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Great G&Gs

If I tried to list all I'm grateful for, this post would go on for pages. But there are two really special people that I'm so lucky to have in my life -- my granma and my granpa. And I'm so happy that Cameron and Matthew were able to visit great G&G while in MI!

My granma is quite possibly the most generous woman alive. In college, I was deluged with care packages filled with pajamas, coupons, homemade banana bread, books and other treats. Now, my kids find Highlights magazine, letters addressed to THEM and all sorts of surprises from granma, even though she's far away. She forgives me for being busy with the boys and not calling often enough. She remembers birthdays, anniversaries, random things she heard you liked or wanted. When she lived in MI, she grew chives in her yard and let us eat them. She played Anne Murray's "Animal Crackers in My Soup" and gave us Cheez-Its. She had the most beautiful couch, that then became my mom's and then became mine! She's made wonderful scrapbooks for me and for the kids. She brags about all her grandkids and great-grandkids without playing favorites.
My granpa is really, REALLY the funniest man you could ever meet. He once drenched me with water when he told me the weird opening in the fridge was a tiny camera (waaayyy back when water came from the sink, not the freezer door). He convinced me that M&Ms (and many other things!) were named after him. He sent Cameron a fake rat, a chain and lock and, for Matthew, a diaper cream called Butt Paste. The best part of my birthday each and every year is hearing my granpa sing "Happy Birthday to You" over the phone or on the answering machine or wherever I might be! In MI, he walked slowly toward the boat calling out, "Faster than a speeding bullet . . ." He knows hilarious card tricks and teaches his tricks to Cameron and David. He reads my blog and thinks its the best one around!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This morning, Cameron was unhappy with me because I was being completely unreasonable. Asking him to do all sorts of ridiculous things like eating his lunch, brushing his teeth . . . crazy! In frustation he ranted, "Mommy, you are out of control! You are unpredictable! AND predictable!"

Later, I heard him talking and Matthew babbling. "Mommy," said Cameron, "Matthew and I were just talking about you."

"Oh really? What were you saying?"

"Well, Matthew was saying that you are really nice and I said, 'Yes, she is pretty nice.'"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Warning: Gross, Not Cute

Just moments ago, Cameron called to me. "Mommy? Mommy! I need you to come here!" I walked into the living room and he said, "I just sneezed a reaaalllyyy big AHHH-CHOOO! And a bunch of boogers came out. But don't worry, I got them all back in." Eww.

To counteract this story, I am including a cute photo of Cameron.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Too Many to Choose

We just got back the photos of the boys taken by the phenomenal Steph Carson. There are simply to many good ones to choose a favorite! Here's a sample.

The Responsible Parent

Cameron's teacher tells me that earlier this week he reported to her that we had gone grocery shopping. "With my mommy," he said. "But she only buys healthy stuff. Sometimes I go grocery shopping with my daddy. Then we get fruit snacks and treats!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

No Self-Esteem Problems Here

At the swimming pool recently, Cameron showed off his freestyle. His arms flailed and his legs slapped the water with big, inefficient kicks. Every few feet he'd pause to lift his face out of the water, pant a few times and then continue. When he reached me, triumphant, I said, "Cameron, you are getting better and better at swimming each time we come here!"

"I know!" he responded. "I'm so good, I feel like Michael Phelps!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kudos to the Marketing Department

One of Cameron's favorite parts of our recent vacation was that we spent a lot of time in the car and, thus, he experienced the rare treat of getting Happy Meals at McDonalds more than once. Since then, he has been pointing out each and every McDonalds (you know, every other block or so) and whining, "I'm huuunnngggrry! I want McDonalds!" Today, when he pointed out the Golden Arches yet again and I reminded him, yet again, that McDonalds is only for long car trips he fessed up. "Well, Mommy, the thing is, I got three of the Star Wars toys on our trip. And I want to collect them all! So, well, I really need to get a Happy Meal."

"Cameron," I replied, "do you know what that is? It's called marketing. Basically, it's a trick. McDonalds tries to trick you into wanting to give them money so you can get a toy. Even if their food isn't very healthy or very tasty, you want a toy so you buy a Happy Meal."

"Ohhhhh," said Cameron. Then there was a lengthy pause. Finally, from the backseat I heard, "Wow. That's a pretty good idea that McDonalds had."

For My Mother

I spoke to my mother today and she informed me that, although my recent posts on the blog have amused her, she has been disappointed in the lack of photos. So, here's to you Mom!

Matthew's first trip in the bike trailer

Matthew playing "Does This Fit On My Head?"

Cameron at a local fair

More to Say

Yesterday, I lay Matthew down for a diaper change. As I pulled up his shirt, he began to grin and signed "more, more!" Confused, I said, "More what?" He continued signing, insistent that he wanted more of something. I was pretty sure it wasn't more diaper changing, as that ranks pretty low on his list of favorite activities. At a loss, I asked again. "What do you want more of Matthew?" Finally, he responded by signing "Eat, thank you." Sure enough, when I leaned down and blew on his chubby little tummy he laughed out loud and urged me on, "More, more, more!"