Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big boy goodbyes

Matthew started going to his new preschool about a week ago.  He's loving it and has happily said goodbye to me every morning.  This morning, as usual, I bent down to give him a hug before I left.  He glanced around uncomfortably and, from a few feet away, gave me a little wave.  "Bye Mom."
"Can I have my hug?" I said.

"Moooommmm," he muttered as I knelt with my arms spread foolishly.

"So . . . can I have a high five?"  He reluctantly high fived me and hurried off to join his friends.

Tonight, he told me that I can hug him anytime.  At home.  Not at school.  But, if I would like to give him a fist bump and say, "Blow it up!" when I drop him off at school, that would be acceptable.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Today, I was driving along, listening to NPR while Matthew sat in the backseat playing with an Etch-a-Sketch.  I didn't realize Matthew was also listening to the radio until the interviewee said of his teenage years, "Oh, I was completely inept.  I didn't know anything about women."

From the back I heard Matthew's gravelly little voice, "He didn't know ANYTHING about women?  I know about women.  I KNOW about women."  And then he began to sing a little tune, "I know women, I know women, I know women."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Questions and Answers

The start of the school year is approaching and that means that Matthew and I are doing a lot of rehearsing.  There are lots of questions that Matthew needs to be ready to answer that most kids don't, and we want him to be prepared.  Here's how this morning went:

Me:  Matthew, what would you say if your friend said, 'Do you want to try my cookies?'"
Matthew:  No. 

Me:  Why not?
Matthew:  Because I have food allergies.

Me:  What if you accidentally ate something you shouldn't and you were getting bumps?
Matthew:  Tell the teacher!  Tell the teacher I need my Benadryl!

Me:  What if someone says, "That can't be your mommy, she doesn't look like you!"
Matthew:  Don't have to look alike to be a family.  Love makes a family.

At this point, I'm feeling pretty good.

Me:  What if they say, "But WHY don't you look like your mommy?"
Matthew:  Well . . . because some people are from Chicago!  And some people grow in another mommy that makes them different!

Note that Matthew is not from Chicago.  We'll be working on this answer!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stage 4, Trip 2

To break up the endlessly long drive home, we spent some time in South Bend, Indiana, at the College Football Hall of Fame.  There was a lot to see there . . .

And even more to do there.

The boys loved it.  A lot.  Matthew lost it both in the gift shop when we cruelly declined to purchase him his own helmet and out on the practice field when we cruelly insisted that we get back in the car as we still had approximately eleventy nine hours of driving left. 

As always, a long car ride with kids becomes an even longer car ride, so about twelvty nine hours later we finally arrived at our home.  Trip 2 complete.

Stage 3, Trip 2

Same lake, different beach.  Next stop was Ludington, Michigan.  We spent our first evening enjoying the beach and watching the sunset.

Again, David's willingness to take a goofy photo is one of the things I find most endearing about him.
 The next day, we went to the sand dunes.  The hike to the lake was awesome and exciting!  The hike back . . . sorta long.

That's Cameron up there.  He was the only family member willing to go to the top of this mammoth dune!

The next day was the big day -- the day one of my best friends in the world would get married!  After spending hours washing sand off of two boys, we were ready.  The setting, on Lake Michigan, was gorgeous.  The weather was gorgeous.  The boys looked gorgeous.  Then Cameron looked at the wedding program.  Readings, vows, rings . . . wait.  The Kiss?!?!
"Matthew, there's kissing!"
It was these two.  They kissed.  For real.  I won't make you look at that photo . . . ewww!

Think about something else, think about something else . . . the reception!
Matthew slept.
Cameron danced.
Then, the bride and groom arrived and the party really got started!

Stage 2, Trip 2

The next stage of our trip was Chicago, where the fun began at the Adler Planetarium.
 This was awesome, as there were loads of opportunities to take funny photos.  And isn't that what vacation is all about?

 Matthew had little interest in the activities actually designed to teach you about space, aside from pumping this rocket launcher.
 This display was awesome.  Paper and pencils were provided so that you could post your own response to "I want to be the first ____ on the moon." 
 I swear, I did not write this response.
 But Maxine totally stole my answer.  I  have always hoped to be the first author to write a memoir about my experience as a fashion-designing dolphin trainer on the moon.
And who could resist an opportunity to write 'fart' and stick it up on the wall of a planetarium?  I mean, the Adler was practically begging for that answer when they created this display.
Cameron got to experience what it would be like to walk on the moon while Matthew stood nearby and bemoaned the fact that he was not tall enough.  "But I AM!  I AM big enough!"
 It was fun.
 The next day, we went to the Field Museum.  We walked in and Matthew said, "I want to go home."  Cameron enjoyed it, though.

 We took the water taxi that day, ferry about from museums to Navy Pier to Michigan Ave to the Willis Tower.  It was a super fun way to travel!

 That night, we stayed up late so we could go on the Navy Pier ferris wheel at night.  You can't tell, but we are on the ferris wheel.  Really.
 For our last day in Chicago, we went to the beach.  The boys loved jumping in the waves, insisting on swimming even when they were chattering with cold.
 Finally, they took a break from the water to build a few sand castles.
The next day, we would leave the shores of Lake Michigan to . . . drive along the shore of Lake Michigan and . . . spend some time on the beach and in the sand.

Stage 1, Trip 2

So, I realize that I haven't even blogged about our first multi-stage trip of the summer (Saugatuck-Metro Detroit-NYC-Poconos trip), but we are on to trip number 2.  Our first stop was Lafayette, Indiana, simply because it was a convenient stopping point and it had a water park.  As we drove there, the weather was beautiful.  When we pulled into the parking lot, we noted a concerning mass of dark clouds on the horizon.  And shortly thereafter, we found ourselves huddled in the covered entrance of the local zoo, waiting out a huge downpour.  Good times.

Once the weather cleared, however, Cameron and David spent their time on the huge water slide.

Matthew had a blast on the water slide, too.  I realize it looks a bit ridiculous for him to be wearing a life jacket in ankle deep water but he loved it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


While in Chicago, Cameron pointed out a pair of pigeons.  "Those two pigeons were just pecking at each other with their beaks!" he said.  And as he said this, one of the pigeons hopped onto the other's back.  A short pigeon fight ensued, with much pecking and flapping before the victor snagged the piece of bread that apparently inspired the melee.  "Ahhh," said Cameron, "they must be brothers like me and Matthew."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Not my hobby

"What do teachers do during the summer?" asked Cameron.
"Well," I answered, "some of them probably have a different job in the summer.  And some of them probably are taking care of their kids.  Maybe some of them travel, or enjoy hobbies that they don't have time for during the school year . . . "

"Like what kind of hobbies?"

"Well," I replied, "maybe biking or writing or painting . . ."

"Or doing math problems!"  said Cameron.


Matthew has been going to a half-day camp this week and Cameron and I have been revelling in our ability to do things without an almost-four-year-old in tow.  Mostly this has involved exciting outings such as dropping books off at the library and grocery shopping.  However, we also had lunch together at a restaurant where Cameron fingered the cloth napkin and mouthed to me across the table, "This is really fancy!"  And we went bowling with a friend.  And one morning, thanks to a power outage, we went to the mall.  We just needed someplace that 1) had power and 2) had coffee.  Because we had neither.  Fully caffeinated, we began to walk through the mall, enjoying the opportunity to talk to each other without a certain someone shouting, "I was talking first!"  As we passed one of the mall kiosk places, a man called out, "Excuse me, miss?  What do you use to style your hair?" 
I politely declined to talk to him and, as Cameron and I walked away, I said to Cameron, "Little does he know that I'm happy if I just get to wash my hair let alone style it!"

Cameron laughed and said, "Yeah, you should have said, 'Sir, you are mistaken!  This hair is not styled!'"

Note to Megan S.:  Cameron totally reminded me of you when he said, "Sir!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mixed Feelings about Missouri

"So, I have really mixed feelings about magic sometimes," said Cameron.  "Like, I know that Harry Potter and wands and wizards aren't real.  But then sometimes I think about things like leprechauns and tooth fairies and I have really, really mixed feelings.  Like, on one hand, it seems like it's not real.  But then on the other hand, I think, 'Could it be?  Does that make sense?  Maybe it could be?'  Like stuff like Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas."

"Right," agreed Matthew.  "Like Saint Louis."