Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Nice Cold Chardonnay

David and I are often less than enthusiastic participants in Cameron's imaginative play. Imaginative play is one of those things that sounds really great in theory, but is actually a bit tiresome in real life. I mean, I admire Cameron's enthusiasm and creativity, but he has a long way to go in character development and plot.

So, Cameron's imaginary spy master apparently instructed him to teach me some spy language today. "Okay," said Cameron. "Repeat after me. Woo-foo-ahhh-do."

"Woo-foo-ahhh-do," I said.

"Nooooo, listen. It's like this. Woooo-foo-ahhh-DO."


"Argh! Okay, woo-ooo-foo-ahhh-DO."


"Finally, you got in Mommy! Okay, that means, 'I want to say good-bye because you must stay on this planet.'"

"That's the first spy phrase I need to learn? Weird. Okay, what's next?"


"I can definitely do that. Waaa-waa-WAAAA. What's that one mean, Cameron?"

"It means, 'Can I have some more wine?' Oh, and it also means 'baby.'"

That's right folks. In spy language, the SAME word is used to say 'baby' and to request wine. Which, I must confess, makes a lot of sense to me. After all, after a rough bed time with the waaa-waa-WAAAA I often find myself saying to David, "Hey, while you're in the kitchen, waaa-waa-WAAA?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Now that he can S-P-E-L-L

Yesterday, the boys and I visited the local pool with our friends. Cameron and his pal were a little nervous about going down the waterslide, so the friend's mother said, "Watch! It's fun! I'll do it." As she walked up the steps of the slide she yelled to me, "Hey Sharon! I actually H-A-T-E the waterslide!"

Cameron turned to his friend and said, "Your mom just spelled that she hates the waterslide."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are you in Ohio?

If you know me at all, you know I love to read. And if you read this blog at all, you probably know how much my family loves the library. Every single day we benefit from the library -- we read books from the library, we listen to books on CD from the library, we watch movies from the library, we participate in the library's Summer Reading program and we attend library story time. So I was disheartened to learn that Ohio's governor, Ted Strickland, is proposed a 50% cut in library funding. This would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs and the closing of many library branches. In addition to what this would mean to my family, I'm concerned about what this means for the many families who have no other access to books, computer access and summer educational programs. I've written to the governor and the state legislators of Ohio expressing my support for our libraries. If you live in Ohio, you can, too!

Click here to read more and to find sample letters.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gotta get me one of those

I just picked Cameron up from his first day of safety camp which was, and I quote, "awesome."

"So what did you learn?" I asked.

"Well, the police officer showed us all of his equipment. And on his belt, he has this GUN! Only it's not a regular gun. It's a gun that shoots these little darts that are electric. And if someone is kicking and fighting and being mean . . . guess what?"


"Well, the darts shoot him and they make him NICE!"

Best best best best Daddy

Matthew often describes us as "best best best best," a sweet expression of affection that he picked up from Cameron. Cameron has now progressed from loving us the best best best best to loving us "infinity." I mean, he is going to be in kindergarten.

Matthew and Cameron are both right, though. David is the best best best best Daddy and we love him infinity.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

If I Had a Hammer . . .

If you don't have a toddler, let me tell you a few things about them. They are determined. And clever. And a lot stronger than they look. If you ever need a demonstration of these skills, just try to put one in a carseat when they don't want to sit. They will wriggle and turn and brace their feet on the end of the seat, effectively making it impossible for you to buckle them in. If you continue to test them, they will scream and they just might take a swing at you.

I've wrangled more than one toddler into a carseat now, so I know a few tricks. So, should you ever find yourself, red-faced and panting, wondering if you will ever get out of the driveway because a toddler will not sit down, try distraction. Give them a toy, a snack, a sippie cup. But take it from me. Do not, ever, under any circumstances, give them a toy hammer. Don't ask me how I know, just trust me.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Once, I was shopping in the produce section when some apples caught my eye. They were called "Grapples" and, though they looked like ordinary apples, they smelled like grapes. "What a feat of cross-breeding!" I marveled and threw them in my basket. (This, obviously, was before having a food allergic child and reading every label obsessively.) When I got home and began unpacking, I was shocked to learn that Grapples are actually artificially flavored apples. How gross is that? Who in the world was eating an apple and thought, "You know what would make this even tastier? Artifical flavoring!"
Cameron, though he's never tried a Grapple, apparently sees the appeal in a grape-apple taste combination. He, at least, chose a natural approach. He claims that his creations are delicious, although time consuming to make. Look for them soon in the produce section!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Repent, Sinners

We go to the library a lot. It's less than a mile away so, unless it's snowing or sweltering, we walk. A few days ago, Cameron could hardly wait to walk to the library because he had completed level four -- FOUR! -- of the summer reading contest. And at level four, you get to choose your OWN book.

At the library, Cameron quickly chose his book and then, to my surprise, the librarian said, "And, at level four, you get THIS!" And produced from behind the counter a huge lawn sign reading "A LIBRARY SUPERSTAR LIVES HERE." Cameron beamed, while I looked with dismay at the gigantic sign with its menacing metal prongs.

"I'll carry it!" said Cameron cheerfully. And so, we walked down the sidewalk on a well-traveled street, me pushing Matthew in the stroller and Cameron marching along side holding his sign in the air. At best, he looked like he might be advertising "OIL CHANGE, NO WAIT." But I fear that the passing drivers more likely thought I was some crazy mom forcing her child to carry a sign warning something like "IF YOU GIVE SATAN AN INCH, HE WILL BECOME A RULER." (*wink* to Monday night writers here)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camping for Cameron

Cameron and David went on their first overnight camping trip together. In just 24 hours, they packed in campfires, hiking, swimming, boating and, for David, water skiing. This, apparently, was a lot of fun for the kids, who cheered and laughed uproariously each time David fell.

Cameron began the trip at an energy disadvantage, as he had bronchitis. It's amazing what antibiotics can do, however, and the doctor cleared him for camping. If he was a little tired at the start, he was exhausted when he came home. He slept during the hour long drive home, he took a three hour nap and then slept until 9am this morning. (If you don't have kids, let me explain: 9am is SUPER late.) Unfortunately for me, Matthew did NOT sleep until 9am. Guess I'll have to send him along on the next camping trip!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Or perhaps a latte?

It was a long night. David and Cameron were camping and I was home with Matthew, who was very sick. I won't go into the details; suffice it to say that I did a lot of laundry. In the morning, Matthew was up bright and early and, groggily, I started a pot of coffee. "I have coffee," suggested Matthew.

"Sorry, no coffee for babies," I replied.

"I have coffee," he reiterated.

"No coffee."

Seeing that I was steadfast in my denial, he decided a strategy change was in order. "I have cappuccino."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who's dat?

So, Matthew got his first hair cut. Which makes it sound soooooo simple. In actuality, I spent a few weeks stressing over it. Where should I take him? Clippers or scissors? Does he have to have a shaved head? And . . . well . . . I loved his curls. And I didn't really want to cut them off. And moms are supposed to know stuff like where and how their kid's hair should be cut.

Eventually, a friend gave me the name of the woman who cuts her son's hair. I called and said, "Ummm, my friend said that you know how to cut black hair. Is that true?" I know, I'm sooooo smooth.

Matthew began the adventure as clueless as his clueless mommy, dancing to Bob the Builder and honking the horn of his car/seat. But once the combing and clipping and cutting began, he could have cared less about Bob. "Stop it! No! Mamaaaa!" he sobbed. Fortunately, the stylist was unphased by the drama.Matthew continued to fuss even when the hair cut was finished, but recovered with the aid of some fruit snacks and a visit to the slide. He looks very cute and still has some curl left. I think he's still a little unsure of the new look, however, as he promptly donned this bucket after a look in the mirror.
He actually pointed at our reflections in the mirror and said, "Mama, daddy, and . . . who's dat?"
He did tell Cameron about his hair cut though, saying, "Nice lady cut da hair." Typical boy, trying to act all tough and never mentioning the tears and trauma!

Biker boys

Cameron, despite having bronchitis (!), decided that he'd gotten so proficient at his balance bike that he was ready to try out a real two wheeler. One or two runs down the sidewalk with him and he was off! He is so proud.

He can't wait to tell his classmates the news in the fall. This has become a common theme -- we do something fun and Cameron says that he will share the event at "news time" in kindergarten. Thus far we have his biking prowess, the emergence of his first permanent molar, a camping overnight with Daddy and seeing UP in 3D. Kindergarteners get to share news three days a week, whereas the younger kids have two chances each week to share news. It's a lot of pressure. "Wow," said Cameron, "we're going to have to do lots of fun stuff when I'm in kindergarten!"

Matthew, of course, is not about to be left in the dust. Even if his feet don't reach the pedals, he is GOING to ride a bike.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Rainy Day

"Matthew, what should we do this afternoon?"

"Mmmm . . . shake-a booty and dance, mama?"

Monday, June 8, 2009

That's why

Matthew has entered that torturous verbal stage of asking "Why?" in response to everything.

"Sit in your car seat Matthew."


"So I can strap you in."


"Because we're driving to the swimming pool."


"Because it's too far to walk."


And so on.

Today at the pool, Matthew noticed the lifeguard use her whistle to signal the end of adult swim. "I blow da whistle," he suggested.

"No, you can't blow the whistle," I answered.


"Because you aren't a lifeguard."


At this, I was silent. Where to begin? "Because you can't swim."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Always Ruining the Ending

Tops among "things I want to teach my kids" has always been a love of reading. I've loved to read since I learned how and just can't imagine anything more satisfying than a good book. Except perhaps a good book read, uninterrupted by small children, and perhaps accompanied by a glass of Gewurtztraminer. But I digress.

I've read to both of the boys daily since they were newborns and now that Cameron has learned to read it has opened up a whole new chapter (ha!) in our reading adventures. We've also discovered the delight of a book on CD, listening to the Harry Potter series, the Little House on the Prairie series, many a Roald Dahl book and most recently Nancy Drew. As we've listened to nail-biters such as "The Secret of the Old Clock" and "The Hidden Staircase," I've realized that Cameron is a bit more perceptive than I was at his age. Several times, when Nancy has found herself in a pickle, as she is wont to do, I've expressed concern for her well-being. "How many more CDs are left?" Cameron will ask.

I check the case and answer, "Two" or "One" or whatever.

"More CDs, still lives," announces Cameron seriously. And he's been right every time.

Once, when I answered, "This is the last CD," he responded, "Well, are there any more Nancy Drew stories at the library."

"Yes," I said.

"Well then, more books, still lives," he answered with a shrug.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Life with Two Boys

So, it's been forever since I posted . . . sorry mom. Last week was crazy -- David had several late evenings, meaning I was on my own with the kids and exhausted by the time I got everyone in bed. Then I had a killer headache over the weekend and suddenly here it is, Monday, and I haven't posted in ages.

So, today is our first official day of summer vacation. After a fun morning with friends, we spent some time this afternoon reading. Cameron was reading "Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog" by Mo Willems to Matthew and me. Suddenly, a noise interrupted the story. "Toot!" crowed Matthew in recognition.

"Someone needs to say excuse me," I reminded.

"Pigeon," said Matthew, pointing at the book. "Pigeon tooted."