Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Funny Boy

I found these fairy wings at the dollar store a few months ago. I bought them because, hey, you never know when you'll need some fairy wings. When the boy found them a few days ago, Andy was upset at me that once again our little boy is dressing up in girly things and prancing around the house. Whatever. I think he's darling. Especially with his dinosaur camouflage pajamas and butterfly skirt. He asked me to take a picture of him, and did dozens of different poses.

Fun things about Calvin right now:
  • He loves to pretend he's different animals (tiny kitty is my least favorite because it involves him licking my face for cat kisses).
  • He thinks he is HILARIOUS. He tries to make us laugh all day every day. Pretending to laugh at every antic of a three year old gets exhausting.
  • He can dance like a madman. He has all kinds of rhythm and moves. He got his hip action from his father. He loves music.
  • He loves books. He would have us read him stories all day if we would, and tries to read the stories along with us. I'm proud of him for being so smart, and I try not to complain too much that it takes us FOREVER to get through every book we open. His favorite book right now:
He thinks it's called "Valentines No" and he quotes it all day long. Oh-nay. Negative. No way, Jose. Nein, nein, nein, nein.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hot Tubbing

Autumn is a quirky kid. One of these days I will devote a post to all of the little nuances that make her such an interesting child and so much fun to have around. Today though, I will focus on her love of toilets. I think most kids are fixated on them at some point. Calvin loved to splash in them, and there were of course many little toilet disasters that I'm trying to forget. But Autumn takes it to a new level. I will not tell you what she has eaten out of the toilet (I vomit a little just thinking about it), and I will not bore or repulse you with all of the details of her fixation. Let's just say, if ever it's too quiet in the house and she's not in my direct line of sight, the bathroom is the first place I look.

The other day I looked all over the house and couldn't find her anywhere. I checked the bathrooms first, but all of them had closed doors so I moved on. Finally when I couldn't find her anywhere, I went to the basement again and saw a light under the bathroom door. When I opened it, sure enough, there she was inside the toilet bowl leaning back with her arms on the seat like she was kicking back in a hot tub. Ingenious.

She had a huge grin on her face when I found her. She switched to the disgruntled look after I left her to run for the camera.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Today for naps I laid down with Calvin in my bed so that while he was sleeping I could work on organizing his closet.

I thought he was almost asleep, when he suddenly sat up and said loudly, "Ugh! I can NOT sleep like this Mom. Your bed smells like oatmeal!"

I really don't even know what to say about that.

University Library Day

Today I had to hand in my final assignment of the semester, so I took the kids with me to campus. After visiting my building and running around the halls, we went to the library with a list of books to check out.

Calvin's requests were David Shannon's books, or as he calls them, The Other No, David! Books. While I'm not sure that I like that every time we read them Calvin says, "Mom, he's a stinker just like me!" I do like that they are simple enough that he can read parts of them, and they also have a lot of punctuation marks that Calvin likes to discuss. He especially loves question marks and exclamation marks. The others on his list were those in the series of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Is it too early for my kid to be fascinated by angst ridden trouble makers?

First we looked at the library murals:
Then the boy pulled books off of the shelf while I found the ones we had come for as fast as I could:
We went home with a much bigger stack than we had come for.

Autumn would grab a book and run off as fast as she could:
And we would find her crouched in the little carrels looking at pictures:
Then I tried to keep up with them as I juggled the big stack of books while they would run ahead and hide in doorways or under stairs:
They had fun and I enjoyed the blissful freedom that comes with finishing up a semester. Too bad tomorrow morning I'm on a plane to a conference. 4/20

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life is But a Drink...

Tonight we were outside on the deck, soaking up the last bits of sunshine as the kids splashed in the water table, when Calvin started singing:

"Row row row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a drink."

I giggled and said, "it's not DRINK, it's DREAM"

He just looked at me like I was an idiot, and said, "no mom, life is like a DRINK."

I thought about it, and decided maybe drink is better after all. Lately the boy has been having a lot of nightmares. I think it's because his imagination has kicked into high gear, but it's been sad to see him so scared to go to bed at night, and have him wake up screaming. He used to go to bed with a pile of stuffed animals, but now he won't let anything with a face near his bed. He told me about a dream where the talking Nala was trying to get him, so his once beloved Simba and Nala stuffed animals have spent the last few weeks banished to the basement. Even pillows with cartoon characters are out.

So I guess since he has negative feelings about dreams these days, and since he knows that everyone likes a good drink, it makes total sense. Plus dreams aren't always within our power to control, but what we drink definitely is. Yeah, I think I like his take on it. Life is but a drink.

When we came inside, the boy and the girl sat on the counter contentedly eating chips and salsa.

And the girl has a new found fixation with Calvin's underwear. She can be seen on a daily basis looking like this:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day I had fairly low expectations. Andy had to leave town early in the day, and I was in charge of peeling about a million potatoes for the family dinner we were having for my mom (she is completely against any of her daughters being involved in the preparations since it should be our day too, but that's an entirely different story).

So after going to afternoon church with my mom, getting my husband out the door and my kids down for naps, I was running behind. I peeled fast, but they still weren't cooked by the time I was supposed to be at my parents' house. I left the pot boiling while I ran to get Autumn up from her nap. I changed her diaper and got her dressed, and ran back to the kitchen to find 12 inch flames coming from the counter. I had left the oven mitt too close to the gas burner, and it had ignited at some point while I was out of the room. I grabbed a towel and stamped out the flames, throwing the towel and the mitt into the sink and dousing them with water. I got everything ready and loaded in the car, and just as I was heading out, I checked the sink. The towel was good, but the mitt was still smoldering, so I threw it into a metal colander in the sink and ran out the door.

I lingered longer than usual since I had nothing really to come home to, so by the time I got home, this is what was left of the oven mitt:

It's hard to tell, but the mitt had been a big puffy one that my sister gave me for Christmas, and all that was left of it was about two square inches and some ashes. It had smoldered the whole time I was gone, and the house was full of smoke. I opened all of the windows and turned on all of the fans, but by the time I went to put the kids in bed, they were coughing and my throat was raw. I called my mom and we ended up staying the night at her house because I was worried about smoke inhalation.

I came back the next morning without the kids and opened all of the windows again. I let them air out for about an hour, but then when I went to close them, two of the bedrooms were soaking wet from the rain that had blown in. I'm feeling fairly brilliant after all of the drama.

On the up side, Calvin's preschool teacher brought me this:

Cutest card ever, and a vase made with colored salt glued to the side. She said the mother's day flowers didn't keep while I was out of town, but I told her that the branch with blossoms was much more my style anyway. Calvin felt the need to cover his face for some reason.

Not the best day ever, but I'm incredibly grateful to be a mother and for all of the great women I know who are making a difference in the world. I am also blessed to have an amazing mother, and a wonderful mother-in-law. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

San Diego Day 5

Calvin and Autumn love to sit outside on the veranda at nights watching the pool below. Last night I snapped a couple of pictures of them.

Hanging out before bedtime:

(she lodges herself in between the bed and the back of the couch. Calvin calls her a puppet. She likes it for a minute, and then freaks out when she can't get out.)

The views from our two windows. I'll miss them:
The morning out at the pool:

Calvin is so proud that he can stand by himself in the 3ft water:

After we played in the pool and packed up the hotel room, we headed out to Point Loma. We were sad that we hadn't checked it out sooner because it's by far the coolest thing we've done so far in San Diego. I'm glad we at least found it on our last day.

Point Loma National Cemetery:
It looks a lot like Arlington National Cemetery, but it sits on both sides of the road, with the ocean behind it as far as you can see. It is an incredible sight, and not a bad last resting place if you ask me.

Tidal Pools:

Point Loma Lighthouse:

The lighthouse wasn't in operation as long as most because it was often too foggy for boats to see the light. It was really neat though. They had it set up as the family who had last lived there, and showed the solitary life that they lived as well as the rigorous schedule a lighthouse keeper must stick to in order to ensure that his job is done properly. Also, the house was incredibly muggy and hot.

Cabrillo National Monument:
Marks the first time that a European expedition landed on the west coast.

The whole area was breathtaking. I wish we'd had more time to spend there, and I can't wait to go back.

After spending some time playing in the tidal pools, we raced to the airport and made it just in time for our flight. It was a great trip. We had a lot of fun together, and I'm glad I was finally able to experience some of San Diego. Soon we'll start planning our next adventure, but for now, it's good to be home.