The rooster cries at dawn

7;15 AM Human Rights Day and I was exercising my right to lie in my cozy bed rather than face the cold floor and bustle children off to school.  What’s better than a warm cocoon of sweet smelling flannel sheets?

That’s when it started.

The rooster next door let out a good long crow.   And then another. The crowing was relentless. I don’t normally mind the rooster. I can easily sleep through his best efforts at ruckus and he does me a service most nights. See, when I wake up to go potty I like to know whether I’m in the uphill or down hill half of the night, but my bedroom does not currently have an actual clock in it. If I go the trouble of checking my phone then I’m that much closer awake than I’d like to be during what is hopefully the middle of the night.

The rooster makes it easy.  If he’s making himself known then daylight must be within a few hours distance of arrival.  If he’s quiet, then maybe I had a big glass of water before bed. Or maybe I’m just pregnant.

This morning he was really enjoying the sound of his own voice.  I started counting crows (heh heh) and gave up around 200. “What is going on out there?” I wondered.  It was much too late in the morning for coyotes.  Besides, by this time any coyote worth his salt should either have A) been home free with his feathery breakfast or B) realized the futility of the attempt and run away.  But on crew (crew?) the rooster.

Honestly how was that bird still alive?  He wasn’t even stopping for breath.  Realistically, he should have dropped dead minutes earlier.

At this point the dog was awake so I faced the cold world to let him out.

The strangest thing though, as I moved to a different part of the room it seemed that the rooster’s cries were actually coming from inside my own house. (have you checked the children?) More specifically, from Zizza’s room.

Girlfriend, it seemed, didn’t want to miss out on a chance to watch a little early morning T.V. so she set her alarm lest she inadvertently choose this morning to sleep in for the first time in her life.  However, a few minutes before it went off my alarm (read; Roxy and Duke) woke her and the three of them were off to exercise the right (granted them by their sleepy mother) to equal opportunity viewing of Ninjago and My Little Ponie.

The moral of the story, I suppose, is that if your child is in possession of a device with a rooster alarm try to be aware of the fact. Either that or “Be sure to acquaint yourself with the timbre of the voices of any and all neighborhood roosters such that impostors will not have the chance to play you for a fool when you’d rather be sleeping.”

I think I’ll needle point that last one on a pillow.

Be the chair

A mother has many roles. We all know this, I won’t bore you with the list.

Currently my most important role in Duke’s mind is that of furniture.

He cannot reasonably be expected to sit on a surface that is not me. He insists this is true.  He wants me, or at least some physical portion of me, available for his sitting needs in every circumstance.

Meal times he considers to be lap times, play time also falls under the lap time category, as do reading time, coloring time…and dancing time.

“The ground is cold and hard mother,” he seems to say,

“Come here and place yourself beneath me that I may have something warm and soft on which to deposit my adorable person.”

He still prefers his cozy bed for nap times so that’s something. Though yesterday he did try using my face as a pillow.

This situation will become more difficult as weeks pass and my lap gradually vanishes from existence.

He was suffering from a miserable cold last weekend and spent the bulk of his time cradled by one parent or the other. I could blame it on that but I’m not convinced it started there.  No, I’m pretty sure the previous week’s abundance of snuggle time merely fanned an already burning flame.

I’m writing to report not to complain. This furniture job, though difficult at times is not all bad.  Yesterday as I knelt next to his bed, one cheek resting on his pillow, the other smooshed beneath his, I found myself wondering; “Is this sublime or just sublimely uncomfortable?”

Friend, I didn’t have an answer

What?

Yes, it’s true I’m posting.

Hello?

Anyone there?

Yeah I thought not.  I’l go ahead with it anyway.

It turns out that being pregnant is like to becoming a zombie only without the appetite.  Though to be fair I’ll bet brains taste about the same coming up as they do going down. So I dunno, maybe it’s worth a try?

Think about it though; Death pallor? Check!

Shuffling steps? Yes.

Indecipherable moaning? We’ve got that too!

See? practically the same.

So what’s new with you?

 

 

 

Birthday wish

I have half an hour before preschool pick up. I spent my morning with paint and dust (not at the same time obvs) as my companions so I decided I’d put this time to use checking in here.

Moo’s birthday came and went during the crazy.  I’ll have to get back to that another time.  Right now I’d like to share with you Zizza’s  birthday wish list.  Here’s what happened; I was trying to make a plan for birthday shopping but every time I thought I had a handle on it she’d come forth with another declaration of what she wanted more than anything in the world (name that show) and back in to birthday shopping limbo I’d go.  Finally I asked her for an itemized wish list. She took the assignment very seriously and soon after proffered forth the following;

1-$20.00 Target gift card (with which to buy clothes) OR a sleep over with her bestie

2-Cookie dough

3-Catty Noir (the newest Monster High doll)

4-Color me Creepy Monster High Set

5-Ulta gift card (no recommended amount this time)

6-Shopping trip to the mall

7-Playdate (she’s been sad about the infrequency of these since the move)

8-Bop it 

9-American Girl haircut chair and polk-a-dot robe

10-Monster High movie “3 in one”

11- A pet Chinchilla

Her list was rather enlightening for me. I knew about all the Monster High stuff.  (We’d been on a browsing trip in Target’s toy department earlier that day) I was surprised though that cookie dough ranked #2 and that she’s desperate enough for a play date that she’s willing to count it as a birthday gift.  Also, the chinchilla was a surprise.

My favorite thing happening with Ziz right now is her newly acquired appreciation for fashion.  Girlfriend actually wants to go clothes shopping! Also, she likes cute stuff! It’s a dream come true

 

Manual Labor

The other day I was doing some kind of hard manual labor and inflicted this blood blister upon myself.  Lame.

Since then every time I’ve changed a poopy diaper I’ve caught sight of that dark speck and momentarily freaked out that I mis-wiped and have poo on my hand.  Seriously. It happens every time. 

When I was in forth grade, as a getting to know you exercise during the first week of school we traced our bodies on sheets of butcher paper and then colored ourselves (I know it was forth grade because I remember the outfit I was wearing)  There was a boy named Michael in my group.  He had a blood blister on one of his fingers and made a point of representing it on his paper twin. He was very proud of his blood blister and talked of it quite frequently.

Now, after every mini “there’s poo on my hand” panic attack I see Michael’s face in my mind.  In these visions he’s smiling and holding out his blistered paw for all to admire.

“But Eva,” I know you’re asking, “What was the hard manual labor that inflicted this grievous poop splatter mimicking injury?” ( how’s that for a segway?)

I’ll tell you: We bought a new house, and when I say “new” what I mean is old.  Old, and smelly and caked in dog hair/pee. I’m going to tell you something now and I want you to know that this is no exaggeration.  After prizing the baseboards from the walls in the living room area the visual impression left was that rather than simply removing those boards I’d actually replaced them.  Replaced them with boards made of fur.

Think about that.

Now, If you’ll excuse me, there’s a shop vac I need to purchase.

 

My young Chef

I’m happy to be one of the first stops on the blog tour for the super new book Teaching Young Chefs by the one and only Christina Dymock. Do you cook with your kids?  Do you want to?  Check out the links above.   

Duke loves to cook.

I mean he LOVES it.

Anytime he finds me in the kitchen he rushes to get the step stool asking “My turn? My Turn? Mama, My turn?” He’ll just keep on asking until he gets an answer. He slides the stool from counter to counter as I work and is inevitably heart broken when the time comes for me to turn on the stove.  That’s the time when the stool must be locked in the closet as a two year old on a step stool plus a hot stove do not add up to happy things.

He’s learned to recognize the signs that the oven will be open soon.  When he sees a dough laden cookie sheet or a pair of mitts in my hand he backs slowly away from the oven, watching.  Always watching as I open the door and deposit/remove what ever culinary delight we’ve been working on.  I sing to him as we go “Back it up, back it up, Cuz yo mama taught ya good,” and he asks for reinforcement “Backup?” (it’s only one word for him) and “We-we ‘ott?” he needs to know I know he’s doing the right thing.

Kitchen play is a big deal for Duke.  Show that baby boy a toy kitchen and all you’ll hear from him will be a periodic “Mmm, Dee-ner!” as he cooks. Until his birthday last month the best we had to offer him by way of kitchen toys here at home was an itty bitty doll house set.  He carried the tiny kitchen sink around in his hand using it’s lower cabinet space as an oven for days and days.  He also found a skillet from the same set, and used it to cook endless tiny dee-ners for himself. He’s a very conscientious cook and never forgets to caution onlookers that his dishes are indeed “We-we ‘ott,” Eventually his sisters reclaimed their doll house goods but that didn’t stop him.  A generously sized book as a baking sheet and two slips of paper for hot pads had him outfitted perfectly to bake cookies in a piano bench oven. As I’m sure you can imagine these were also, “We-we ‘ott,”

But what can such a small kitchen assistant really do in the kitchen? You know he’s not just standing there contentedly watching the whole time he’s on that step stool. Any time I measure something in a spoon he gets to dump it.  Measuring cups are still up to my discretion as they constitute a much larger mess should they go astray in little hands, and a full cup is heavy enough for a 2 year old that it will most likely go astray. On days when he’s chill enough to let me guide his hand as he dumps, he gets to work with those higher volume measurements.

All things considered, Duke’s favorite thing to do in the kitchen, hands down, is spread peanut butter on bread.

If The Duke needs a snack he’ll go straight for the pantry, unfold the step stool, climb for the peanut butter, climb back down with the peanut butter, walk it over to the counter, return to the pantry to get the stool, push that to the counter, climb up again and take the lid off the jar.  If by that time I haven’t come along and either provided a piece of bread and a butter knife or put the kibosh on the whole endeavor, he’ll be eating handfuls of peanut butter.  So far I’ve always caught him (knock on wood) but some times only just. Lucky for me it takes his tiny hands a good long time to loosen the lid from the jar so I have a pretty respectable warning time.

He’s really great at transporting a gob of peanut butter from the jar to the bread but some assistance is required to spread the gob over the bread’s surface.  If left to his own devices on this step, the pile of peanut butter gobs would grow and grow.  Indefinitely I imagine.

Exhibit A- while taking pictures for this post I let him scoop and gob as I snapped away. (he was having regular butter that day as opposed to peanut) the following is the last of these photos.  Look at the amount of butter he piled up there during those few minutes, and he wasn’t even close to done. He’d have continued on until every speck of butter was transferred to that slice of bread if I’d left him to it.

One thing Duke knows about cooking; yummy is better if you made it yourself.

 

 

Stinky Feet

One of the hard things about coming back to blogging is that after it’s been sooo long is it feels like I need a monumental post to jump in with.

I don’t have a monumental post.

Duke’s birthday could have been monumental but I’ll be honest;  Monumental is a lot of work.  Plus we were kind of low key with the birthday so making the post monumental would have been that much more difficult.

Guess what happened though.  I was sitting here with my computer in my lap.  I got the computer out so I could log in to my library account and reserve a book that was recommended to me but the name of the book is in a text message and my phone is across the room so I was sitting here doing this and that on the computer psyching myself up to cross the room and get my phone when something happened…

I felt like blogging.

Wha???

It’s been ages since I actually felt like blogging.  I mean really. AGES!

I still get ideas and construct interesting sentences in my brain while I do things like clean pee of the floor (What percentage of a person’s life is spent cleaning pee off of floors? I expect this varies from person to person based on number of children, girl to boy ratios, number of pets and probably a few other things. I’d still like to see some numbers) but following through with those ideas just hasn’t been happening. (obvs)

So, anyway.  I was sitting here being all lazy and not walking across the room and looking up the shoes Enzo is wishing for.

See, Boy-o isn’t into flip flops.  I bought him his summer flip flops a while back but he doesn’t like to wear them.  I’ll say “Hey guys get your flops on it’s time to go,” and five minutes later after everyone else is flopped up and in the car I’m still tapping my foot while he gets his socks just right and ties his shoes. So I thought “fine, he doesn’t have to wear flip flops, there are other quick sock-less options.” and began to explore.

My heart swelled at the thought of how stylin’ he’d be in a little pair of TOMS but I couldn’t bring myself to invest.  Even after giving myself the pep-talk about how this was not only a shoe purchase but also a charitable contribution I still couldn’t do it. I’ll have to leave the charitable contribution shoe purchases for people who will appreciate it.  Like myself.

He and I talked it over and decided to go with a basic canvas shoe that will doubtless get very stinky but hopefully, with a few basic deodorizing tricks will last through the summer.  He chose theseHe loved them so much that he crammed his foot into a size 11 just to prove to me that it would fit.  (The display was rather step sister-ish is we’re being candid.) There was no size 12 at our Target and 12 is as big as they go.  I had him try on a 12 in the Avengers themed shoe and that fit nicely so I thought it would be as simple as going home and ordering online.  Sadly though, they are sold out online as well so finding a pair is going to take some leg work. Drat.

At this juncture I’d like to relate that Enzo does not consider these to be “Star Wars shoes,” if you ask him he’ll say they are “Lego Star Wars shoes,”  To his mind Lego Star Wars on the WII is the ultimate. After observing that it was his favorite game we gave him opportunity to watch “A New Hope,” and he liked it but for him the authentic film was lacking when compared to his favorite game.  What can be said about the tastes of a six year old?

Now I have a decision before me.  How dedicated am I to the Star Wars ,excuse me, Lego Star Wars foot wear dreams of my boy?

These are dilemmas one must face as a mother.

 

It’s unclear to me how this came to pass

Two years.

Two years of sweet baby perfection. He really can’t possibly be two.  I’m positive there’s been some kind of mix-up.

I sneaked in and took his birthday minute picture at 4:59 I wasn’t expecting anything great out of a picture snapped with my phone in the dark but I was still underwhelmed with the picture I got.  I shifted mid-snap (hence the blur)  Sadly, the flash disturbed him and it was all I could do to sneak out of there without a wide awake baby on my hands at five AM so a second try was out of the question.

When I look back on the day my Duke turned two I’ll see the above blur and remember how he considers his pillow a mattress.  He’s not concerned with having his head on the pillow but he likes the rest of himself to be.

I’ll also remember his second birthday as the day he discovered “Goodnight Moon” He found it on the bookshelf last night at bedtime and asked Mr to read it to him.  This morning after breakfast he picked it up and read it to himself again and again until it was time for us to leave the house.  As I went about my business this morning his little voice rung through the house from the family room where he sat repeating “goo-nite bush,” (page turn) “goo-nite bush,” (page turn) “goo-nite bush,” At length he took notice of the little house and then he left the brush behind and said “goo-nite haws” on each page during subsequent readings.

It’s amazing isn’t it? How entrancing these little people are? I could sit and watch him eat oatmeal every morning and be completely entertained.

The same goes for cookies.  It’s fun to watch him eat those too.

Babies are magic.

Enzo: sweet six

I don’t really know what I want to say about Enzo and his six year oldness.

Here’s something.  He’s recently come into his own on the music front.  He started the Let’s Play Music program last fall.  The year previous he took the initiative to get himself some piano lessons but despite his interest he wasn’t quite ready and we decided to wait and put him in LPM once he was four (that’s the minimum age for the program)

He liked music class ok and he learned things but he wasn’t super thrilled about it and by the end of his first semester he stopped wanting to go all together.  Finally he admitted “I just wish my sister could come with me,” That made all kind of sense since his class was made up of 2 sibling groups who were already friends…and then Enz. All by himself.  We got special permission for Zizza to join the class with him for the second semester and that solved the problem. Once she joined he went back to enjoying class. He never loved it, but he liked it and he practiced when I initiated practice time as long as I did the bulk of the singing.

I’m not sure what made the change but during the last few weeks his interest has piqued.  The other day he asked me if he could practice. Then he insisted on doing everything three times.  Instead of prodding him to sing with me, I have to bite my tongue because I have strict instructions not to sing with him.  (It’s hard, I really like to sing)

Do you have any idea how sweet it is to hear his boyish little voice singing “lullaby and good night, with roses bedight,” do you? I’ll tell you. It’s ridiculously sweet.

Also, did you have any idea that “bedight” is an actual word?  I thought it was a typo and they must have meant “delight.” Not that delight made any sense but lullabies are often rather nonsensical aren’t they? I looked it up though, and bedight is an adjective meaning “adorned” which makes perfect sense in the context of the song. Who would have guessed?

In addition to the singing his fingers have come a long way.  And timing. Dear me the boy can keep tempo! No pausing to switch chords!  I’m so proud.

Another thing new with Enz is that he’s playing Tee Ball which makes him feel pretty cool.

Most importantly he finally has somewhere to wear the cleats he got as hand-me-downs from his cousin.  He was pretty cut up about not being allowed to wear those bad boys to school.  He worked through the disappointment by wearing them to play outside every time the thought occurred to him.

Practice is after music class so he brings the cleats in the car and changes as soon as class is over. Well, he didn’t do that last week.

Last week he went to class completely barefoot.

He was in the back yard when it was time to leave.  I noted that he had shoes on, looked him in the face and asked him to go get in the car.  He was clamoring out of the car to head in to class when I noticed his bare feet.  ”Enz, get back in here and put your shoes on,” I instructed but he assured me that he had brought none. “Whaaa!?” I said.  ”But I saw shoes on your feet when I told you it was time to go!” “Yeah, but they were dirty from the back yard,so…”

Enzo has been wishing for roller-blades for the past year. Mr heard his cries and he got them for his birthday.  Roller-blades and a crossbow because who’s gonna mess with that?

Finally, here’s the to the minute picture of six-year-old Enzo. Sleeping with his hands behind his head is new this year also. I wonder if it will be a permanent sort of a sleeping habit.

Anniversary

Our eleventh wedding anniversary was last week. We’ve been celebrating by clearing large amounts of junk out of the house.  Also, today Mr took the day off, friends watched the non-school going kids and we went out and about all morning long. We got home when school got out and spent the afternoon getting rid of still more junk.  Junk that included but was not limited to all of Mr’s giant high school dance pictures. Who doesn’t want a stack 20 8×10′s of one’s self (or one’s husband) decked out is semi-formal attire with various companions none of whom you’ve spoken to in nearly fifteen years?

My high school dance pictures are still up in that closet somewhere, but mine are only 5×7 so that’s totally different.

Anyway.  We all enjoyed one last perusal of the giant photos before sending them off to meet their collective fate.  Ziz fretted and fretted over Roxie’s careless handling of the photos. I decided it was good practice for her so I didn’t tell her that the photos were headed for the trash.  For her part, Rox could not understand why I wasn’t in a single photo.  Every brown haired girl in the stack was put under scrutiny, “Is this you?” “No,” “This one’s you?” “Nope,” She really didn’t want to give up. She was sure she’d find me if she looked hard enough.

My favorite part was noting the awesome power ballads chosen as themes for each dance. Thanks to those commemorative photos and their black cardboard frames I spent my evening belting  ”Hold on to the ni-hite. Hold on to the memory! I wish that I could giiiiive you mo-hore,” and so on.

Friends, if I had the proper recording equipment you would be in for a treat.  And just so we’re clear, when I say “treat” I mean awesomely bad videos of myself killing it on some eighties classics.   Sadly, only my family and my neighbors (thanks to the nice weather and consequently open windows) were able to enjoy my performance today. It’s a shame, a real shame.