Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Cameron just came up to me, gave me a hug and said, "You're the best mom in the whole world.  Well, actually, I don't KNOW that.  But I bet you are."

Living it up in the mitten

We just returned from a long and multi-phase vacation which began with David and I celebrating our anniversary in Saugatuck, Michigan.  We spent two blissful days there WITHOUT the kids!  (Thanks Mom and Dad!)  As usual, this meant indulging in every food we can't eat in our home thanks to food allergies.  Here's David with a smile that says, "Helloooo mustard!"

I think the best part of the weekend was seeing Chicago at the Mason Street Warehouse.  We snapped this shot outside before taking our FRONT ROW AND CENTER seats! 
And here we are on the porch of the B&B, being goofy.

One of my favorite things about David is that he loves to take goofy photos.  As we walked along Lake Michigan, he spotted a fire pit surrounded by discarded beer cans.  He immediately dove face first into the sand, laughing and saying, "Take a photo!  Take a photo!"  So I did.

 This is his face afterwards.
 David bravely ventured into Lake Michigan, which was frigid despite the scorching temperatures on land.
 This is how far I was willing to go!


Just got home from a very long vacation!  One short story as I unpack . . .

Matthew recently took a few golf lessons (which he loved) and the teacher repeatedly called him "Matt."  We have never, ever, never called Matthew "Matt," so he had no idea the teacher was talking to him!  When I later explained that this is a nickname for his name, it led to a discussion of people's nicknames.  "Daddy's name is David, but some people call him Dave," I said.  "Cameron, I call you 'Cam' sometimes.  Do you like that nickname?"

"Hmmm,"  replied Cameron, "I like when you call me Cam but not when other people do.  What's your nickname Mom?"

"I don't have a nickname," I answered.

"Yes, you do!" piped up Matthew.

"I do?" I said.  "What my nickname?"


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A tip

It's so easy to know the right thing to do when you are not the parent.

Yesterday, we were at the pool when nearby mother informed her son that it was time to go home.  In a scene that was all too familiar to me, he began to scream and cry and shout. "You're not FAIR!  Why do we have to leave THIS MINUTE!" 

Ohhhh, have I been there. As anyone who was present at our local park one evening in June can attest to.  Yeah, that was me with the small, thrashing, screaming three-year-old.

But back to THIS small, thrashing, screaming three-year-old who was NOT mine.  I sat in my lounge chair and tried to pretend I couldn't hear as the mother restrained the boy and whispered through gritted teeth, "You are really making a scene.  Look at everyone looking at you."

"I'm sorry," he whimpered.

"Well, thank you for saying sorry," she said and, foolishly, relaxed her grip.

The ploy had worked!  The boy took off at a sprint, sobbing and hiccuping with rage at the unfairness of it all. 

But now he really had his mom in a tough spot.  (Again.  Been there.)  Now he had managed to get the baby pool between them and whichever direction she went, he darted in the other.  I tried to send empathy and support vibes to the poor mom as she attempted to catch him.  I know how ridiculous you feel when your preschooler is publicly mocking you, faking in one direction and then dashing in the other while you are panting and holding back tears.

And at this moment, Cameron leaned over and whispered to me, "This is really weird.  I mean, isn't it weird to see ANOTHER kid act like that?  I feel like I should go over to that mom and give her a tip.  'Hey, if you just pretend you're leaving, he'll follow you.  Just start walking away.'"

Thankfully, the mom had friends with her and together they closed off the escape routes and helped her get him to the car.  But I am saving this for the day that Cameron tells me about his own child's temper tantrum in public.

Friday, July 8, 2011


A very long story, but here's the short version:

Earlier this week we had some work done on our meters.  I had been told when the appointment was scheduled that the repairman would need access to our house because our gas would be shut off and, upon restoration, the pilot lights would need to be manually lit.  So the boys and I sat at home, waiting for the repairman who, of course, arrive in the last hour of the four hour window.  He went to work outside.  About an hour later, I discovered that he had left without a word!  I was irritated but, whatever. 

A couple of hours later, it occurred to me that maybe in addition to 'irritated' I should be 'concerned.'  I mean, what about those pilot lights he was supposed to relight?  I hurried to the basement to check and found that all of the pilot lights were light and there was no smell of gas.  Phew!

When I came back upstairs, though, I realized that Cameron had been scared by the episode and had taken up post at the front door in case he needed to flee an inferno.  In his hand, he held a bag.  In the bag?  The contents of his piggy bank.  Just in case.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All mixed up

Recently, we went to a large farmer's market -- we bought some fresh produce, enjoyed a cup of coffee and frantically searched for the bathroom since Matthew thinks that it is unnecessary to visit one except when you urgently, urgently need to. Thankfully, we located it in time. 

At one point, David and Matthew were walking a few paces ahead of Cameron and me.  Matthew's pants were on backwards, with the ties hanging behind him like a tail.  (What?  Like you've never gone out with your pants on backwards?  His shoes were on the right feet, which is pretty much never the case.)

As Cameron and I walked along, two women next to us pointed.  "Look!" said one. "His PANTS are on backwards!"

And, for a moment, I forgot that these women would probably never have guessed that the white woman walking next to them was the mother of the little black boy with the backwards pants.  For that moment, I don't know why, I just thought that they were talking to me and I answered with a laugh, "I know! He dresses himself in the mornings and he's so proud, I don't point out the backwards pants!"

It was only when I saw the stunned embarassment on their faces that I realized the misunderstanding.  So I smiled and Cameron and I went on to join my boy in his backwards pants!