Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Cat Named "Meow"

The cat (who the boy has named "Meow") has made himself very much at home. He seems to love Calvin - he follows him everywhere anytime he gets the chance.

Last night Andy was out fixing the sprinklers and the cat kept jumping on his back and laying down. Calvin was happy to take care of "his" cat. I know that that is way too many pictures of a boy and a cat, but I think they're cute. He adores the little fur ball.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Front Loader Ride

Today we went to order some mulch and top soil for our yard and the lady driving the front loader caught Calvin staring at her. She offered him a ride and he jumped at the chance. She drove him around for a few minutes, and then he wanted to pick up dirt so she would haul it up as high as it would go and then drop it again. He was in heaven. She was so great with him and he sobbed when we finally pulled him down. We'll go there again just because they were so good to our kid.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writing & Rhetoric

In April I interviewed for a position as a graduate instructor for a writing/composition class at BYU. I have wanted to teach English at a university level as long as I can remember. I found out yesterday that I got the job. I'm equally thrilled and terrified. I'm sure I'll have a lot of stories about embarrassingly bad freshmen writing, and embarrassingly bad teaching by someone who doesn't have a clue what they're doing. Should be fun!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

4 months Old

Dear Autumn,

At four months old you are still sweet and happy and growing bigger every day.

At your 4 month check up, the doctor was thrilled with your progress. She sat down and talked with you, said you have a million hair follicles and would have tons of thick hair, and said that besides sitting up on your own, you pass every milestone on the six month checklist. Then she tried you sitting up and when you leaned on your knees but didn't fall over, she actually clapped and squealed, saying excitedly "oh my gosh she can already tripod!" A new term in my mom dictionary.

Also I asked her about the line down your bottom lip. At first she thought it was a scar, but then when I told her you'd never had a split lip, she said it was kind of like a cleft lip - that your face develops in a seam and for some babies it just doesn't close over all the way. On you I think it's adorable.. You have big pouty lips and the line down the middle gives them character. You'll be a heart breaker. Here are your four month stats:

Weight: 14.09 lbs (56th percentile)
Height: 24.2 in (65th percentile)
Head: 15.75 in (20th percentile)

A few other things about you right now:

You can officially roll over both ways. You love to lay on the floor and move yourself all over the place.
You are so affectionate. You put your hands on our faces and pull us in for big slobbery kisses or just to hold us while you talk and stare at our face. You also nuzzle down into my neck and rest your head or wrap your arms around me. I love that you love to be close to me. Except at nights when you can't sleep without pushing your body into mine. That drives me crazy.

Your laugh is funny. Once in a while something will hit your funny bone and you'll randomly giggle. But when I try to make you laugh, it's like it's very uncomfortable and you're not sure exactly what the sound is being forced out of your chest. Your ribs and thighs are very ticklish.

You are great at playing quietly by yourself for long periods of time. You enjoy spastically shaking anything that makes noises or fits in your mouth.

You're already a t.v. junkie. If it's on, you're watching it. You react to most things you see, but you really seem to enjoy songs and big bright colorful things (like Yo Gabba Gabba). I am a terrible mother for even knowing this about you at four months old.

Autumn, you are a doll. You wake up smiling and have such a genuinely happy little personality. We all adore you.

Love, Mom

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

These Days...

As Calvin is a complex and ever changing character who is both bratty, stubborn two year old and brilliant, hilarious little boy, I thought I'd highlight a few things about him these days.

Favorite bedtime book-

Calvin usually takes a book to bed with him. Lately he's really into Der Struwwelpeter, a book I brought home from Germany. In true German fashion these children's stories include stories about kids who won't eat so they starve to death, a boy who sucks his thumbs so the scary tailor comes and cuts them off, and a little girl who plays with matches and burns herself to ashes. This is complete with illustrations (like cats crying over the girl's ashes and bloody hands with missing thumbs). It disturbs me that Calvin likes it so much, but then I think hey, German kids always turn out okay, right?

Favorite Story -
I love this book. It has fantastic illustrations and a fun picture story. I think the boy likes it so much because it doesn't have many words and the story changes every time we read it. I've been trying to be a better mother by reading him a story before bed every night. We go in spurts.

Favorite shows -
Team UmiZoomi. They're all about counting and patterns and shapes - all of which he loves and is good at. It's also good for me because I generally get a 20 minute work out every day because he insists on me dancing to the shows upbeat songs. We do some serious bonding.

Max and Ruby. Two bunnies whose parents always seem to be missing. Max is curious and naughty. Ruby is a bit patronizing but always very patient. Of all the kids shows, I like this one best. Perhaps it's that my mental capacity is diminishing in my old age, but I love the little stories and can't wait to see how the episodes turn out.

Things he says:

Some of the ladies at church told me they get a kick out of Calvin in nursery. His teacher insists on the kids calling her Sister Groberg. Calvin calls her his closest interpretation, Mister Yogurt.

He's such a context kid. I've mentioned that he calls carpet grass, hallways are tunnels, sand is beach, etc. He never calls cheese just cheese. He always calls it "cheese stands alone" from farmer in the dell. A couple of weeks ago Andy and I were eating turkey sandwiches. I offered Calvin some turkey and he said "no, thank you." I ripped some off, put it on his plate, and said "here's some, just in case." He immediately picked it up and ate it and said, "ummm, yummy just in case!" I also rolled up some tortillas with melted cheese once and now he always wants me to do it. He says "Mommy rock and roll my cheese stands alone." Don't know where he heard rock and roll, but it's never just roll.

When he does something I've told him not to do he says, "Mom, no problem!"

The other day Andy and I were walking around the yard pointing out projects we wanted to get started on. Calvin ran up behind us and grabbed my hand and Andy's hand and put them in each other. He sweetly said "together!"and then ran off.

Every time we put him in bed he says "be a ghost!" meaning he wants us to cover him from head to toe with his blankets.

He calls eyebrows hair wings.

The other day he passed gas and said "Uh oh Mom, I burped in my diaper."

On top of play ground equipment he'll throw up his arms and yell "I the king!"

He's a handful. But lots of fun.

Sneaky Cat

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an indoor animal person. (I won't go into all of the reasons - I've learned that people who have house pets and those who don't will never understand each other. They're from different planets. Planets even further away from each other than Venus and Mars.) So it was quite surprising today when I walked into Calvin's playroom and he was sitting on his chair nonchalantly holding a cat. I went to check the front door which I always keep locked because he has a habit of escaping and trying to find his way to the park if I don't. It was not locked. He giggled and squealed as the cat rubbed itself all over him and ran around the room. As this cat is a particularly nice cat that I really like, I decided it couldn't hurt anything to let her stay for a few minutes. Calvin picked her up and hugged her often, practically strangling the poor animal, but she was very easy going and didn't react to the rough treatment. I stayed in there and made sure he was nice to her, and then I gave her a bowl of tuna for her troubles. She was there for about an hour.

That was before naps. After naps Calvin wandered up the stairs with his new best friend. I checked the front door and sure enough, it was unlocked again. She stuck around for a while before we took her out in the yard to play, and then we went on with our day.

Tonight when it was dark and late I saw Calvin trying to sneak to the front door. I stopped him and said, "Calvin, don't open that door. You're not allowed to open the door without Mommy." He just said "Cat" and then opened the door. She immediately ran in.

I gave her the rest of the can of tuna, put Autumn in her chair so that she wasn't on the floor with the cat, and then let Calvin play with her while I did some dishes. When I looked over the cat had jumped on the table and was rubbing sideways against the baby's face. I put the cat outside and told Calvin to tell her goodnight.

Despite my feelings about animals in the house, I felt like I was trying to be a good mom. After spending the evening pulling cat hairs out of Autumn's mouth I was feeling much less accommodating.