Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Teenage Preview

We have a set of Bob the Builder books from my mother (and no, Mom, it's not Builder Bob! How many times do I have to tell you?? Geez!!). The boys received this book set when they very young, like maybe before they had teeth - in fact, it had to have been before teeth because the books are incredibly mauled and sucked on. We never had a rule in our house about books not being handled by babies because I love books. And I wanted my children to love books. My husband likes books, but not like me. I HEART them.

The Bob the Builder books came in a little blue cardboard toolbox with a snap on the front and a little black handle on top (probably you all have this same set as I'm sure it came from Costco or Sam's or some such place). The toolbox, at this point, can hardly be called a "box" as it only has, more or less, three sides and the top doesn't really close. The books really had been retired from daily rotation by the boys who had kind of moved on from Bob the Builder (again, MOM, it's not Builder Bob! Seriously, quit saying that!). But a few nights ago, the Bob the Builder books made their way down from the bookcase and J&N spent several minutes reliving their childhood.

I forgot to mention that there are four of these books in the set and each book is shaped like a tool and the story in the book is a very simple, rhyming story about the tool. I was going to say that I had them memorized but now for the life of me I can't recall a single line from the stories. That is so weird. I must have forgotten them to make room for all the names of the monster trucks on the Monster Jam circuit and their drivers. Oh well.

And now we can finally come to the point of my story - one of those books is shaped like a screwdriver. (And you know it had to happen eventually.) N took the screwdriver to his father and said "I'm going to screw you, Dad!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007


As if you didn't notice already, but it snowed here in Missouri over the weekend. We had two "oh crap" snow moments - one where I got the truck stuck in the snow at 11pm on Saturday night (a snowplow kindly saved us) and one where we tried to shovel our gravel-y-driveway and realized we would be there for the rest of our lives (another snowplow kindly saved us). And two "oh crap" moments are not bad for January in Missouri, considering that part of my family had no power for 24 hours.

Needless to say, the boys LOVED the snow. And by loved, I mean that they wanted to spend every waking moment outside in it. I actually took them sledding BY MYSELF and anyone who knows me will tell you that is a major accomplishment because I don't like to be outside, period. I don't like to be cold. I don't like to be wet. I don't like to get sweaty walking back up long, snow/ice covered hills. I don't like to lug things, like children, up long snow/ice covered hills. But I'm a mommy. And I have two boys. And those two boys apparently like nature, so I have to go along with it. B has warned me that there is much camping in my future. But we'll just see about that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Recap for the Week

I haven't felt too much like posting lately (I have the blahs this week) but that doesn't mean there hasn't been anything going on. The boys continue doing funny, boyish things, continually entertaining us.

1 - Monster Jam was this past Saturday and was a big hit. Grave Digger was there and all the boys can talk about is how much fun they had with their cousins and Poppi at the show. On a side note, we've decided J only tolerates Monster Jam at this point to make N happy, which is probably a funny preview of what their relationship will be like in ten years. Yet, still, every time we watch Monster Jam, N still makes J answer his demanded/screeched question: "J! Are you ready for Monster Jam??!!! Right now??!!"

2 - I remembered last night - and was suddenly overcome with a cold anxiety - that N has had one more bath in his lifetime than J. When they were babies, we bathed them separately in the sink - I started with one baby, washed him all up, then handed him off to B, and started on the next baby. It was an assembly-line bath. One night I started with N, but for some reason, probably weariness, I didn't get to give J a bath that night. I felt so guilty about that for so long and I had thought maybe I would skip a bath for N one night on purpose to even them out. But then I thought that was unfair to N since it wasn't his fault in the first place. Stupid mommy guilt stuff. Then I finally forgot about it. Until last night at approximately 11:13pm. Now I'm back to figuring out how to even them up, lest one of them blame me in therapy years later for having a "favorite". Which is ridiculous because everyone knows my favorite is really my knitting.

3 - Swim lessons are awesome. I love seeing the boys interact with their teacher. It's so weird. They're out there in the world talking to other people and responding to their questions. Yesterday I watched as N sat on the steps in the water next to a little girl with a long ponytail tied up in back, which was wet and stiff with water (as we girls remember our ponytails were, of course). He was fascinated by the ponytail, probably wondering what in the world it was and how he could get hold of one. Then he took the final step and gently touched it. The little girl didn't notice but I saw he was slightly fascinated and yet oddly repulsed as it obviously wasn't what he thought it might be. I think he finally realized it was just wet hair.

4 - Big boy beds, or rather bed. We still don't have the second bed up yet. B said he would get the wood to build the other part for the second bed last week and I didn't laugh at him or anything. B is really, really busy with school and work and the other three people in his life that demand all the other time he has in this world, so I really don't know when he thought he would fix the bed. I'm hoping to give him some free time in October. But the boys persevere in their single-twin-bed-ironically-holding-two-boys-who-are-twins. They don't fight or anything, so that's good.

5 - Potty training isn't going as badly as I keep telling myself it is. I thought we were no where near being potty trained. And then I talked to several other moms at work over the last few days who casually asked me, "How's potty training?" or "Those guys must be potty trained by now!" or some variation thereof. And I sadly shook my head and said "Don't ask..." But then they countered with this: "Oh, my precious sweetheart darling was potty-trained by three. But this weekend he had four accidents." So now I'm thinking, maybe they are potty-trained. I mean, what does that mean, "he's potty-trained but he has accidents"? So is he potty-trained or not? By that standard, yes, my boys are potty-trained. They just don't always use the potty. Mostly, but not always. Sometimes (like this morning) they scream at me that they want me to put them in a diaper so they can poop. At this point, I would say they go on the potty about 90% of the time. So that's good, right? I'm counting it as a victory. Here's how I confident I am about their potty-trained-ness: I'm going to let them stop wearing swim diapers during their swimming lessons. Now that's confidence for you, when you are 90% sure you won't be embarrassed in front of the entire YMCA over the intercom by this message: "Attention Platte County South members and staff, would LM please report to the swimming pool to fish her sons' poop out of the water? Thank you!"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sweet Gherkin

Last night at bedtime, as the four of us read books on the big boy bed (built for two), I said to J, "I love you." And he said "I love you too, mommy. You're the best sweetheart I ever had!"

It melted my heart. But am I also a pickle?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wise Words

So this weekend, major transition in our house. First, brace yourself for a shocker. Our boys were still, yes, at more than three years old, sleeping in their cribs. We had every intention of changing them over to official "toddler beds" (which is just code for we-took-off-the-side-rail) but we, being as always lazy, never got around to it. Besides, I reasoned with myself (as I often do), it's better to just leave the side rail down since they could roll out of the toddler bed and hit their little heads on the floor.

So back to the major transition. We finally decided it was rather ridiculous for two 38-pound children to sleep in cribs, let alone accounting for the times when they actually sleep together (nearly every night until we separate them, whether due to sleep or just hitting each other in an annoying fashion), bringing the weight combination to well past the recommended limit. I won't even mention the time when B climbed into the crib himself while playing hide-and-go-seek. (The boys loved it while I worried about the bed's resell value.)

How do I keep getting off track here? Back to the transition! So we put up a big boy bed this weekend! We meant for there to be two beds, one twin sized for each (how perfect is that?! They're twins too, after all. Now it makes sense.) but we were missing several parts for the second bed (ahem, my mom and stepdad had them hidden away, even though they tried blaming us initially). The boys each picked out a comforter set - construction for N, sports for J (my mom panicked - now we'll have to redecorate with half the room in each theme! I had to talk her down from that one). We set up the bed and told them they would be sharing the bed this week until grandma and grandpa brought the parts for J's bed this weekend. And wouldn't you know that every morning, N tells me, "Grandma D is bringing the parts for J's bed this weekend!" (I'm guessing he wants J out of his bed.)

So that was our major transition - and the boys are very happy in their big boy bed. Me, however, I was a little sad. B was sad too but not as sad as me. I don't have babies anymore. Sigh. So I was sitting on the bed, being sad, thinking about how sad it was, sigh, and J asked what was wrong with me. I told him I was sad. And then J said, "Don't be sad, mommy. It's just a big boy bed."

And, as always, he was right.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Recap

Ah the holidays. Spent a ton of time with my two darling boys (or three rather, including B) over the holidays, even though I didn't have much time off work. The boys really understood the whole meaning of Christmas this year - and by that I mean, they ripped the paper of each gift, exclaimed in excitement and then greedily clamored for the next gift. And when they had no more gifts to open, they ripped our gifts out of our hands to open for themselves. All in all, they loved the gift-opening this year and can recite quite a list of their most favorite presents. As was to be expected, their "most favorite of all" was a big box in which they have spent much time, including watching TV, driving their monster trucks and storing many, many toys:

We took the boys to church service on Christmas Eve, where we convinced them they were attending "church school for mommy and daddy up in the big classroom", this being the place we disappear to when we force them to endure Sunday school by themselves. It turned out not to have as much mystique as they had originally hoped and approximately five minutes into the service (designed for children, by the way), they both continually asked, "Is it over?" Somehow they were cajoled into staying and only had to be pacified with one bag of fruit snacks each.

We took them up for communion - this was a first for us at this church, so we weren't quite sure of how it worked. I had J - B had N - and we ended up in separate lines when we got to the front. The lady in front had a big loaf of bread from which she tore a piece to give to me and to J. J held it in his hand with undisguised disdain, being an superior connoisseur of all things bread and instinctively knew this one wasn't going to be up to his standards. I knew it was only seconds until he threw it to the floor so I hustled him to the next lady who was holding a goblet of grape juice into which we were to dunk our bread. I guided J's hand to dip his bread and then tried to get him to eat it - a big mistake as I could see from his face that a scream was fast ensuing, so I quickly swallowed it instead and whispered "Candy!" to get him to go back to our pew.

At that moment, I looked over and saw my dear husband fishing a completely juice-saturated piece of bread out of the goblet in his line and briefly wondered why he had gone to such extremes with the juice. Did he really love grape juice that much? I mean, hello, it's supposed to be a holy ritual. Turns out when N's turn to dunk his bread came up, N chucked the whole thing in the cup, forcing B to dig it out quickly, hoping no one noticed his whole-hand-ed immersion into the cup. He was then also forced to swallow the grape-juice-soaked-bread-chunk as only a devoted parent who is positive they will die from mortification on the spot can.

And that was our Christmas. We enjoyed time with our families but of course, never enough. The boys love their cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents to the extreme and would love to simply move in with all of their letting-the-boys-do-whatever-thought-comes-into-their-heads loving selves. And we love them all too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
(A little late but then again, you know me...)