Sunday, December 26, 2010

Still Believes

After several days of celebrating a very merry Christmas, today was the day we lazed around and enjoyed the presents.  Santa came through with Matthew's socks and the much-desired vegetable peeler. "Uh, this isn't the right one," he announced as he opened it, but a test run with a carrot proved it worthy.  Despite the lack of written correspondance, Cameron's time on Santa's knee was apparently well-spent, as he scored an awesome Harry Potter Lego set AND the sushi set of his dreams.

Today, Cameron and I hit the store to pick up wasabi and soy sauce and sushi rice and, of course, fish.  As we made our selections, I saw a sushi set on display.  I pointed it out to Cameron who replied, "But mine's better."  I was pleased, but asked what made his better.  "Uh, because we didn't have to PAY for it?" he answered. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love this kid.

The other night, Cameron was still rustling around in his room after bed time.  I figured he was reading but a few minutes later he came running out.  "Look what I'm doing!"  He held up a sheet with row upon row of slash marks and his Science Explorer book.  "It says here that there are 'more than 1,500 pictures' in this book.  So, I'm finding out if it's true!  AND if it IS true," he held up one finger and cocked an eyebrow, "HOW MANY MORE?"  He's still counting but he's well into the thousands.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And so this is Christmas . . .

 Matthew is totally cool with Santa now.  So much so that when he returned from his turn on the big guy's lap and I said, "What did you tell Santa?" he replied, "I'm not telling YOU!"

I think Cameron is starting to question this whole Santa business, as he declined to write his letter to Santa this year.  "Uh, mom?  I'm kind of too old for that."  He wasn't quite confident enough, though, to completely skip giving Santa his wish list.  I mean, what if he refused to sit on Santa's lap and then on Christmas morning, Matthew was gleefully opening a vegetable peeler while Cameron was NOT opening his longed-for sushi set??? 

So Cameron decided to hedge his bets and figured that a chat with Santa was slightly less embarassing than having his picture in the local paper.  The local paper, however, is apparently unable to discern which child in the photo is the three-year-old and which is the seven-year-old as they published Matthew's letter and cropped him out of the photo, leaving a picture of Cameron next to "and please bring me Knuffle Bunny Free." Oh, the humiliation!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Earlier this week, I unpacked our bin of local produce.  In it was a large, white, tuberous vegetable.  I vaguely remembered that this week's bin was supposed to contain something I'd never cooked with before but . . . what was it again?  "What is this?"  I said, holding the daikon radish (for that is what it was) up to Matthew.

He studied it for a moment and then said, "Ohhhh!  I know!  It's a vegetable that's pretending to be a carrot!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

That's how I roll . . .

Have you ever turned on the car, only to be shocked by the volume of the radio?  And you think, It didn't seem that loud before!  Did I really have it turned up that high last time I drove?

Yesterday, I studied with some of my classmates for an upcoming exam.  It's stressing me out, along with various other life challenges at the moment.  So as I drove home, I turned on the radio and found that Vanilla Ice's classic Ice, Ice, Baby was playing.  I turned up the volume, instantly transported back to a time where my biggest concern was the unfairness of my bangs' lack of gravity-defying height.  I mean, no matter how much AquaNet I sprayed on, my bangs were flat and droopy by the time I reached the bus stop.  How, HOW did Anna Michelle Nicole McKlemounginton* get her bangs to stand straight up like that?!?!  And ALL day long!  Life was SO unfair in seventh grade.

The car needed gas, so I reluctantly turned off the car and Vanilla Ice's inspired lyrics.  When the tank was full, I got back in the car, turned the key and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer blasted from the speakers.  It is tough to look cool to Rudolph, even if you lean back in your seat and steer with one hand.  "They never let poor Rudolph," I sang, "play in any reindeer games!  Word to your mother!"

*  You may find this hard to believe, but I did not have a classmate who was actually named Anna Michelle Nicole McKlemounginton.  This is actually a clever pseudonym that I invented to represent multiple popular girls who were well-endowed in the bang department.

Santa's Stumble

My aunt sent me a link to have a personalized Santa message e-mailed to your children.  I did one for Matthew and it was super cute.  I called Cameron and Matthew into the room and they were delighted!  Until Santa said, "Matthew, I know you've been a good little boy this year."

Matthew was incensed.  "Santa called me a LITTLE boy!  I'm a BIG boy!"

Cameron hit replay and Matthew watched intently, apparently expecting that Santa would have heard his protest and appropriately modified his message.  But no.  Over and over and over again we watched and over and over and over again Matthew was outraged to hear Santa pair his name with the phrase "little boy."

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Tonight, Matthew and I were on our own while Cameron and David were at a birthday party.  We had a great time together, the highlight of which was jumping on the bed.  When it was time to GO to bed, Matthew was still interested in playing.  We had been tossing a small basketball back and forth, so I said, "OK, we can keep playing catch until you drop the ball.  When you drop the ball, then we'll go get ready for bed."  Matthew enthusiastically agreed.

One hundred and four tosses later, he headed to bed.

One hundred and four.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's complicated.

Today, I was driving with Cameron, Matthew and one of Cameron's friends in the car.  Matthew said what sounded like, "Frogs are made from gravity." 

"What?  Did you say FROGS are made from GRAVITY?" I said.

"Nooooo," replied Matthew.  "CLOUDS are made from GRAVITY."

This lead to an unexpected conversation about what frogs ARE made from, if not gravity.

"Frogs are made from wood," said Matthew authoritatively.

"No," countered the friend, "frogs are made from skin.  Or are they?  What ARE frogs made from?"
Cameron gave a heavy sigh.  "Oh, Mommy.  I think you'll have to explain it to them.  Because, guys, to explain what frogs are made of, I'd really have to start by explaining Phylum Chordata.  And that could take a while."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rootsman Drag?

Matthew loves to listen to the same CD over and over and over.  For the past month, minimum, it has been Putamayo Kids Reggae Playground.  We've recently progressed to listening to the whole CD, but the first song is his favorite and for several weeks we listened to it exclusively.  It's called "Rootsman Dread" and starts out, "Daddy, Daddy!  It's Rootsman Dread!"  Rootsman Dread is described as "a colorful character beloved by children."  Matthew agrees with the both the "beloved" and the "colorful" part.  Each morning he pleads, "Mommy, I want to listen to 'My Dress.'"  Then he sings his little heart out.  "Daddy, Daddy!  It's just my dress!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Give it to me straight.

I made this farm set using colored pencils and cardstock.  Matthew loved playing with it and added a few dinosaurs just to liven things up.  The ducks promptly fled the pond.

Then I decided to use the farm in a Montessori language assignment.  Cameron is my ever-ready volunteer.  He's super helpful, pointing out where I've made mistakes and saying things during my practice presentation like, "Um, Mommy?  My teachers always sat on THIS side of me when they showed me a work."  He also loves to review which of his old preprimary classmates would have loved or hated my idea.  "Andrew would choose this work all the time."  His favorite part is faking a mistake to see how I handle it.  "I really knew that was called a silo, but I don't know if every preprimary kid would, so I figured I'd pretend I didn't."

When he reviewed my farm lesson, he had this to say.  "You have to draw the chicken again.  Your chicken?  Well, it looks like a duck wearing underwear."

What can I say?  I'm training to be a Montessori teacher, not an artist.  It appears, however, that the two sometimes overlap.  Or should.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Best Friends

I overheard Matthew talking to Cameron this morning.  "Cameron, I am going to be your best friend, okay?  And I will not even kick you."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday Night

As our lives get busier and busier, we are finding it necessary to make a very conscious effort to find family time.  A couple of weeks ago, we decided to start a Friday night tradition of homemade pizza and a movie.  The boys LOVED it.  They were so thrilled with every moment, from making the dough to watching the pizza bake to eating it to watching a movie, ALL FOUR OF US!

This past week, Cameron and I started the pizza preparations on Thursday.  We roasted tomatoes, onions and peppers and then, we made fresh mozzarella cheese.  Seriously.  We did.  I can hardly believe it myself, but it was fun and it was easy and Cameron was soooooo excited about it.  The only not-so-fun part was keeping my milk-allergic preschooler away from the whole mess and very thoroughly cleaning up afterward.  But, the end result was totally worth it.

Here's Cameron, just a tiny bit excited about cheesemaking.

 The next night, Matthew got his turn.  He loves to help make the dough, especially using the rolling pin.  Then, we all got to top our pizzas -- cheese was left off  until the pizza was done, Matthew's portion removed, and the remaining pizza returned to the oven to melt the cheese.

 The end result was so delicious that I was left thinking it isn't much of a sacrifice to live without Domino's or Papa John's.

We are all anxiously awaiting next Friday and loving our new family tradition!

Friday, November 12, 2010

When Santa Says No

As mentioned previously, I cook and bake.  A lot.  Matthew loves to help me and I think that this is a vital skill for him to learn.  With his food allergies, there's a reasonable likelihood that he'll be doing a lot of cooking and baking in his adult life.  That, or eating a pretty boring diet.

Currently, Matthew's specialty is licking spoons and bowls.  Stirring comes in a close second, probably followed by pouring which is, to be honest, sort of touch and go.  For a while, though, he's expressed an interest in having his own kitchen tools.  In particular, he is desparate for his own vegetable peeler.  "No problem," I told him.  "I bet that Santa could bring you a vegetable peeler and, if you're reaaalllyyy good, maybe a few measuring spoons and a bowl."

"Yes!" said Matthew.  "And, one of these."  And he held one hand flat, made the other hand into a fist and rubbed it over the flat hand.  ????

"A vegetable peeler?" I repeated.

"Nooooo!  One of those things."  He repeated the motion impatiently.  "Those things!  For . . . for . . . making little slicing?"

My 3-year-old wants Santa to bring him his very own mandoline slicer. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Uh, no.

Matthew's food allergies have spurred me to become a much better and much more creative cook and baker.  And lately, Matthew has presented me with many more challenges as his awareness of what other people get to eat grows. 

"Mommy?  Can you make me a safe brownie?"  No problem. 

"Mommy?  Can you make me a safe rootbeer float?"  Homemade vanilla bean sorbet saves the day, although it fails to produce that lovely rootbeer/ice cream foam. 

"Mommy?  Can I have a safe pizza?"  Homemade dough, no cheese, safe sauce and local veggies -- a huge success! 

But he got me the other day.  "Mommy?  Can you make me a safe egg?" 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The other day, I picked Matthew up from his Montessori preschool and asked him about his day as we drove home.  "Did you work with your teacher?" I asked.

"Yes!" he replied.  "We did I Spy!" 

I felt a thrill of excitement.  In my Montessori training class we are focusing on the Language area right now and we just did I Spy!!!  "Oh!" said.  "You did I Spy!  Did the teacher ask you to find something that began with mmmmm?"

"Not like THAT Mommy!"  Matthew protested.

"Sorry.  Did your teacher say, 'I spy, with my little eye, something that begins with mmmmm?'"

"Yes, like that!  And gueesssss what?  I TRICKED HER!" Matthew cackled with glee.

"You . . . tricked her?  How?"

"I was supposed to give her the mop, but I gave her the elephant!" he said.

"Ohhhhh," said I.  "And then . . . did you tell her it was a trick?"

"Nope!" said Matthew proudly.  "I reeeaaallllyyyy tricked her!  She thought elephant started with mmmm!"

Friday, November 5, 2010


Remember, faithful readers, when I used to post every day?  Or every other day if I was busy?  These days, juggling my own school work with my daily parenting duties is leaving me with exactly . . . no time for blogging.  Plus, we've been perpetually sick for the last month.  Here's hoping for a healthy November.

So, briefly.  Halloween.

Matthew was thrilled to bring homemade (allergen-free) sugar cookies to school for his Halloween party.  He's still talking about it.  "Cameron?  Remember when I took cookies to school?  Remember?  Remember that?  Mommy?  Do you remember that?  How I took those cookies to school?"

The highlight of Cameron's Halloween was his school dance.  The kids learned everything from the Hokey Pokey to the Macarena in gym class, then showed up in costume to get their groove on with a REAL DJ!  It was an incredible event.  Here's Cameron (aka Dumbledore) doing the Chicken Dance with Darth Vader.  Betcha didn't know Vader danced, huh?  He's actually surprisingly nimble on his feet.

 For trick or treating, we headed out with some good friends.  Cameron found himself perpetually misidentified as Merlin, and once as a professor.  "A professor?" he said indignantly to me (after politely saying thank you to the candy-giver.)  "Does a PROFESSOR have a WAND!  Well, I guess he was kind of right.  Because Dumbledore WAS a professor at Hogwarts. But I don't think that guy even knew that!"

Matthew refused to keep his hood on, which left him pretty much wearing a feather-trimmed white sweater with wings.  And thus, Harry Potter and Tonks were left trick or treating with a professor and an angel.  At one house, a woman cooed, "Well aren't you just the sweetest angel?" to which Matthew replied, "Except I'm not." 

Despite the costume confusion, the boys had a great time running house to house with their friends and grumbled surprisingly little when I confiscated most of their loot -- the majority of Halloween candy is a food allergy nightmare.  A few homemade sugar cookies makes up for the lost Snickers any day though!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Soccer Stories

Story #1:
Matthew loves to play soccer, pretty much all day, every day.  We often play in our front yard, where our driveway and that of the neighbor act as goals.  There are a few rules:

1.  We must not be on the same team.
2. We must each choose a team color.  (Although once I was the "Blue Team" and Matthew was the "Blue Blue Blue Team."  Which was super confusing.)
3. The players are to be described by their team color and "guy." 
4. I must play and simultaneously act as announcer, describing each play and referring to the team by the correct color.  ("And a Blue guy kicks it, but a Blue Blue Blue guy blocks it!  And now the Blue Blue Blue guy is dribbling down the field.  Oh no!  The Blue Blue Blue guy is out of bounds!  So the Blue guy gets a throw in!")

So, the other day Matthew and I were playing in the front yard.  I was on the Red Team and Matthew was on the Black Team.  And just as a neighbor walked by, Matthew scored and I shouted, "And the Black guy gets a goal!"  Which makes perfect sense if you know our rules, but just . . . sort of . . . sounds wrong when you are walking by.

Story #2:
Today I took Matthew to the art museum, where he spent the entire time telling me how much more fun it would be to play soccer.  So, when we left, we got the ball from the car (we never leave home without it!) and kicked it around a nearby park.  Finally, Matthew was worn out.  "Carry me, mama, I'm so tired!" he whined.  I declined to lug him back to the car and he dramatically dragged along the path.  He picked up two huge leaves.  "They're brothers," he explained to me.  Then in a high little voice, he said, "Hi!" as he wiggled one leaf.  "Hi!" replied the other leaf.  "What do you want to do?" asked the first leaf.  "Let's play soccer!" And Matthew and the brother leaves were off running, kicking the ball towards the car.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not Sure How to Take This

I wear makeup -- just a little powder and blush 'cause I'm pasty -- most days.  This morning, as I was getting ready, Matthew said, "What are you doing?"

"I'm putting on my makeup," I replied.

"What's makeup?" he asked.

"It's . . . well, it's like colored powder that some women put on their faces."  Which makes it sound sort of ridiculous, doesn't it?


"Well . . . I guess because they think it makes them look pretty."  Ridiculous and faintly pathetic. Nothing like a three-year-old to give you a complex.

I put on a little powder.

"Uh oh," said Matthew.  "It didn't work."

I picked up my blush.  Matthew announced, "Last chance!"

I gave a few quick swipes and Matthew smiled at my reflection in the mirror.  "Still pretty."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

But Enough About You . . .

Overheard as Cameron and Matthew sat at the table eating foccacia together:

Matthew:  So, Cameron, how was my day?
Cameron:  You mean, how was MY day?
Matthew:  Nooooo, I mean, how was MY day?  Well, I did a pin punching work!  And I had a snack and I did tearing work and I played with Rachel and Rohan outside!

Past Tense Tricks

Cameron loves listening to audiobooks.  A few days ago, he paused his current selection and said to me, "There's no such word as 'writed,' is there?  You say 'wrote' not 'writed.'" 

"That's right," I replied.

"I knew it!" he crowed triumphantly.  "They made a mistake in this book!"

"They did?  They said 'writed' in your book?  Are you sure they weren't quoting someone speaking?"

"No," he replied.  "They said 'righted a wrong.'"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Among Other Reasons

This morning Matthew and I went to a soccer field and played a little one-on-one.  Midway through our game, some yappy little dogs came running towards us and Matthew froze.  The owner called the dogs back and I said to Matthew, "I think those doggies wanted to play soccer with us!"

"But they CAN'T, right?"  said Matthew.  "They CAN'T play soccer with us.  They don't even have shin guards."

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The other day, Matthew came into the kitchen and said, "Mommy!  I want to show you what I made!   Look!" He had stacked cardboard blocks in the living room.  "It's a tower!"

"Wow, Matthew!" I said.  "That is a very tall tower!  How did you get that block all the way on the top?"

Matthew answered, "I concentrated."

A Laughing Matter

I've been struggling with Matthew lately, who has started saying, "I can't," "I don't want to," and "It's too hard" to everything.  Go to school?  "I don't want to."  Soccer class?  "It's too hard."  Use the potty?  "I can't." 

So a few days ago, we had a Big Serious Talk about trying.  The above phrases were added to "It's not fair"  and "This is yucky" on the list of Things We Don't Say.  I told Matthew that even if something was hard, I wanted him to try because trying helps you learn. 

I wasn't sure if he got it or not until I was laying on the couch watching Survivor late one night.  Suddenly, Matthew appeared at the end of the couch.  He had padded silently down the hall and was watching an Immunity Challenge intently.  He turned to me and solemnly announced, "I don't think I can do that.  It's too hard."  Then he broke into a wide grin and laughed, "I'm just being silly, Mama!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yesterday, I made apple and butternut squash turnovers for dinner, using homemade dough and local, organic produce.  We ate on our back porch, enjoying blue skies and fresh air.  "Ahhh," I said, leaning back in my chair and sipping my wine.  "This is wonderful.  There is no place I'd rather be!" I beamed at my three boys.

David said, "Hawaii would be nice."

Cameron said, "I'd rather be in Legoland."

Matthew said, "I don't wanna eat this."

Not Matthew

The other day, Matthew came home with this in his backpack.

"Matthew!" I said.  "Did you do name tracing work today?"

He looked at me quizzically.  "No."

I held up the piece of paper with his name on it.  "Did you do this?"


"Wow!  Matthew, you traced your name!"

Matthew replied, "Noooo, mama.  That's not my name.  That's called scribbling."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dora the Bully

Matthew has developed a sudden and unexpected fondness for Dora the Explorer.  He chose a Dora DVD from the library today and is now parked on the couch singing "I'm the Map, I'm the Map."

But Dora is apparently in need of some sensitivity training.

Dora:  Do you want to come with me to find the Tallest Trophy?
Matthew:  Um, no thanks.
Dora:  GREAT!  Let's go find the Taaallllest Trophy!
Matthew:  Hey!  I said no!  I don't want to find the Tallest Trophy!
Dora:  Leeettt's GO!
Matthew:  But wait!  I don't think I want to . . .
Dora:   But how do we get there?  What do we use to find our way?
Matthew (defeated):  The Map.

Cue music. I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm THE MAP!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camping with Kids

We took the boys tent camping this weekend -- our first family camping trip.  We had our fair share of grumbles throughout the weekend.  Matthew woke up in the middle of the first night and emphatically demanded that we go home.  The first words out of his mouth in the morning were, "I want to watch a TV show."  But altogether I'd say it was a rousing success.

The boys delighted in the tent and enthusiastically proposed that they share the retro sleeping bag.  Two brothers who can't sit next to each other on the couch without, "Mooom!  He touched me!" and they want to sleep in the same crowded sleeping bag?  Riiiigghhtt.  That lasted about as long as it took to snap a photo.
The boys learned that EVERYTHING tastes better when it's cooked over a fire outside.  Well, turns out that Matthew believes that holds true for jar cakes and s'mores, but not hot dogs.  "It smells yucky," he said contemptuously.  "And it's dirty."

When we handed out root beer, they rejoiced so loudly that David warned that the whole campground was going to come to our site and ask for some.  "And I'll say, 'Hey!  No root beer for you buddies!'" warned Matthew.
There was much retrieving of balls kicked into forest and undergrowth, as well as an uncanny reenactment of the classic Caps for Sale.
I surprised the boys with a giant magnifying glass, which I envisioned them using to explore the beauty of the natural world around them.  Like this caterpillar.
What I didn't envision was David helpfully showing the boys how to focus the sunlight through the magnifying glass to set stuff on fire.  Which was all Cameron wanted to do the rest of the weekend.  "I just love setting fires," he sighed wistfully, like something out of a Lifetime movie.
But when we weren't scorching napkins, we hiked.  Cameron was a trooper, never complaining and enthusiastically running ahead of his exhausted parents.
Matthew had his moments of unbridled energy as well.
But he spent a lot of time on the trail sleeping.  On my aching back.
In my aching arms.
And when he awoke, he'd instantly whine, "Not mama.  I want Daddy to carry me." 

No complaints from me.
Cameron commiserated with me that I must be very tired from carrying Matthew all over and was shocked when I told him that the last time we camped here, he made me carry him the WHOLE time.

Poor Planning

This morning Matthew asked me if I would buy him a skateboard.  "Probably I would be really good at it," he suggested temptingly.

And probably he would be.

I replied as I do to most every request for a purchase.  "[Insert name of desired object] cost money.  If you want a [insert name of desired object], you can put it on a list and ask for it at Christmas or for your birthday."

"Oh," said Matthew mournfully.  "Okay."

Then, a moment later, "Uh-oh!  I accidentally had my birthday already!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Weeks or So

Matthew started preschool this week.  He has been anxiously awaiting this moment ever since we toured his school over six months ago.  We drive past it every day on the way to Cameron's school and every day Matthew would say, "Am I going to my school today?" 

It was exciting to finally answer, "Yes!"

Matthew marched into school like an old pro, giving me a quick thumbs up.  Slightly taken aback by his confidence, I lingered a moment and then made my retreat.  I secretly snuck back in after Matthew was settled in his classroom and spent the next few hours observing him through the Top Secret One-Way Mirror (TSOWM). 

Only parents are supposed to know about the TSOWM.  Cameron didn't know about the TSOWM in his school for years, finally figuring it out in kindergarten.  But on the drive to school that morning, Cameron helpfully said to Matthew, "Matthew, when you get to your class, look and see if there is a mirror.  Then go up to it and wave, because Mommy is probably on the other side of it."  So much for Top Secret!

It was so much fun to watch Matthew at work.  After the teacher demonstrated unrolling a rug, Matthew got his own and attempted to unroll it.  He placed it the wrong way though, so each time he pushed it the whole roll just moved along instead of unrolling.  After several attempts he corrected his error and patted his rug contentedly.  I watched him draw a picture ("A butterfly and a target," he later explained to me), do a tearing paper work with intense concentration, do a matching work with the teacher, and work on the sandpaper numbers with another teacher ("This is three," he said pointing to the three.  "And here's another three!" as he pointed to the eight.) 

I stayed long enough to ensure that the food allergy rules we had set in place were followed at snack time, then used my remaining hour to run an errand and put gas in the car.  It. Was. Amazing.  Running errands with no kids is SO much easier!

I picked Matthew up and as soon as he got in the car he said, "I can't WAIT to tell Cameron that I went to school!" Followed by, "How long was I there?  Two weeks?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Soccer star

When Matthew was a baby, Cameron took a soccer class.  Matthew would crawl to the window, pull himself up and smoosh his face against the glass.  He'd watch the action with clear envy written on his face and sign "ball, ball."

So today was a long time coming.

Matthew started soccer class.

He could hardly wait to get out on the field and kept saying to me, "Do you think I'm going to be goalie?  I'm going to say to the coach, 'Hey coach.  Can I be goalie?  'Cause I want to be goalie.'"  He wasn't goalie since there is no goaltending in 3 year old soccer class.  He was happy to run around, practice his dribbling (and stealing the ball, which was not part of the drill but whatever . . . he's advanced!) and make some impressive shots on goal.

When we left he said, "When's my next soccer class?"

"Next week," I answered.


"No.  Next week."


"You already had soccer class today."

"Today again?"

He loved it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Full Circle

In August 2007, I had one little boy.  And that little boy wanted to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween, so I started working on his costume.
And then, we got a phone call and suddenly, I had TWO little boys to make costumes for!
And then, the other day, my little baby was all of a sudden a little boy and he was posing in the kitchen, decked out in Buzz Lightyear, just like his brother had done three years earlier!

Monday, August 30, 2010


This year, Matthew was clear that he was going to have A Birthday Party with Friends.  So, this weekend, he did.  There were cupcakes, there were activities, there were presents and best of all, there were friends. 
We even were joined by cousin Ella, who is adored by Cameron and Matthew.  In her presence, Matthew is magically transformed.  There's no more, "I'm a big boy" talk.  Suddenly, it's "Mama, hold me.  I'm a baby.  I want my binky.  I want a bottle." 
But today, Matthew was back to all big boy, all the time.  I mean, he is THREE.

All's Fair in Our House

Recently, I enacted a new rule at our house.  No one is allowed to say, "It's not fair."  Despite the fact that many of my rules are routinely ignored, as evidence by the underwear on the bathroom floor and the Lego-shaped bruise on my foot, the boys took this one very seriously.  If anyone should dare utter, "It's not fair" -- or the alternative "It's no fair," -- they are swiftly corrected.  Usually by Matthew.

The other night, I was reading Matthew a Charlie and Lola book (his new most utterly favoritest and best book series).  Lola said, "But Charlie, it's not fair!"  Matthew gasped, horror-struck.  "Mama!" he whispered in a shocked tone, "LOLA just said, 'It's not fair!'"

Cameron has come up with a more creative solution.  He recently witnessed a word being bleeped out on TV and asked what that *beeeep* noise meant.  "Well," I answered, "sometimes people use words they shouldn't use.  Words that aren't very nice.  When that happens on TV, they cover up the bad word with that beep sound."

So now Cameron says, "It's not beeeeeppp!"  Which is technically not covered by the rule.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Age 3

Matthew is now officially three years old.  This was the first year that he seemed really aware of his birthday -- he informed me that he WOULD me having a party with friends, and that we'd be eating baseball cupcakes and that he'd be THREE.  Or . . . was it six?  seven?  It's so hard to keep track when you're . . . wait?  how old again?  Oh, right!  THREE!

I could hardly wait until Matthew's birthday morning, when we planned to surprise him with a basketball hoop.  He spotted it in the basement a few days early though and then repeatedly asked, "When do I get my basketball hoop?"

It was still exciting to see him playing with it, so happy to be a big boy.
After playing hoops for a while, he asked if we could go bowling.  He got his ball stuck between the bumper and the gutter twice, but he had a blast and looked so cute in his bowling shoes.  And, he nearly beat me.  What can I say?  My hand-eye coordination has never been much to brag about . . . as opposed to my ultra-athletic toddler!

For his birthday dinner, he requested "Grilled corn and scallops, with strawberry shortcake for dessert." Pretty sophisticated palate for a 3-year-old! We topped off the shortcake with some homemade vanilla bean sorbet and I'm pretty confident it's the best kid birthday meal I've ever eaten.

So suddenly, I'm the mom of two big boys!  And I'm looking forward to all the fun we'll have together this year!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Louisville Visit

This week, we took a little trip to Louisville.  We were mainly inspired to go by Matthew's obsession with all things sports and our discovery that the Louisville Slugger Factory gives tours.  When we found out that there is an ongoing exhibit about the Negro League with Kadir Nelson artwork, we knew we HAD to get Matthew there. 

The factory tour was fascinating and the boys loved the exhibits, although Matthew was more interested in hitting balls than looking at Satchel Paige's mitt.

Cameron reminded me powerfully of David, who is known for his inventive and goofy poses.

After the Slugger factory, we ate a picnic lunch and then hit the local children's museum.  'Cause that's how we roll.  We don't think of going to a city without visiting their children's museum -- Matthew would go to a museum every day if he could and, thanks to reciprocity, sometimes we do go to the museum every day.  Louisville's museum proved to be up to Matthew's standards and both of the boys delighted in the water area.  My brain was overflowing with Montessori reading and I kept saying to David, "Watch how Matthew is drawn to this work.  See how he repeats it over and over?  See his need for movement?  For order?"  I know, I'm super interesting to hang out with these days. 

Cameron, meanwhile, kept us entertained with more creative poses.

I'm telling you, he comes by it honestly. 
We ended the day with a sushi dinner.  Cameron's new favorite food is sushi and I cannot tell you the joy it brings me.  "We really should go out for sushi," I say.  "I mean, since Cameron likes it so much!"