Monday, November 28, 2005

The Gratitude Continues

Other things I'm thankful for:

Charming cabins in the mountains and the gorgeous scenery of Big Bear Lake

Leftovers

Hunting for pinecones for Finney's preschool class so the kids can turn them into mini Christmas trees, replete with gaudy, gilded decorations--and their parents can treasure them for years

Candy Land

The boundless energy that comes prepackaged in three-year-old boys

Coffee, that sweet, redemptive elixir

A crackling fireplace on a chilly night

Naps

Bacon--as much and as often as possible

Walks around the neighborhood during the last hour of daylight

Bundling beautiful babies in blue buntings


Johnny Cash's bass lines and June Carter's unapologetic warmth

The company (and generous help) of good friends and family

Digital cameras and rechargable batteries

Fruity drinks with little umbrellas while on "date night" with my hunky husband




Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Giving Thanks

Living in Southern California, there are a handful of days each year when we're forced to chuck all our lofty plans of housecleaning, car washing, and preparing big dinners, and instead race down to the beach for a game of catch and the chance to watch the sun magnificently drop behind the edge of the Pacific.


Days when the surroundings there are so breathtaking that you
stand in awe of being able to experience them firsthand.


Days when you count yourself lucky to be counting your blessings.


Sunday was one of those days.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Weebles Wobble

Another Fascinating Baby Milestone:
Shea's sitting up (mostly) on her own now!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

If This Is Three, Four Should Be A Riot

Memorable Things To Come Out Of Finn Yesterday:

Memorable Comment:
"Mom, you're Darth Mom."

Memorable Observation:
During a sudden bout of diarrhea, Finn exclaimed,
"Mom, my poop's making castles in the toilet!"

Memorable Idea:
While killing time on the potty, take almost an entire roll of
toilet paper off its cardboard spindle and swirl it into one big ball.



Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"F" Is For Faker


Last night at the dinner table, just moments after Grandma Emely's departure:

Finn: WAAAAAAA!!!! (Sob, Sob) I want Graaaaaaaaaaaaandma! I want Graaaaaaaaaaaaandma!

Karin: It's ok, Finney. You'll see Grandma tomorrow.

Finn: WAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't want Graaaaaaaaaaaandma to go home! I want Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaandma to stay here! (Tremble, Tremble, Sob, Sob)

Karin: Grandma had to go home to take care of her house. Let's have some dinner now. You'll feel better after you eat.

Finn: WWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! I want Graaaaaaaaaaandma! (Dramatic, tortured breathing, more sobbing)

Shea: (Now picking up on the general tone of the room and wanting to be a full participant) Wwwwwwaaaaaaaaaa!

Karin: Here, Finney, try some of these mini corn dogs. But be careful, they're a little hot still. Eat your apple slices first.

Finn: IIIIIIIIIIII.......WAAAAAAAAAAAAANT..........MY......... GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDMA.............. (Takes his first bites of food)

Shea: (A little louder than before) WWWWAaaaaaaaaaa!

Finn: I want my Graaaaaaaaaaandma. (Nibble, nibble) I want my Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaandma. (Whimper, whimper) I want my Graaaaaaaaaaaandma.

Shea: (Full volume) WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!


Finn: (Spoken as clear, calm and sober as a church mouse moments after Sunday service, I shit you not) You know, Mom, these little corn dogs are just warm now. They're really not too hot to eat.

Karin: (Slack-jawed and speechless)

Finn: (As he continues to eat his corndogs, literally seconds after he uttered this pronouncement with full composure and clarity, he returns to his litany of grief and abandonment) Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandma! I want my Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandma! WWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Something's Fishy

Ever give a child a present and find that they're more enthralled with the packaging than the product? This was the reaction we got from the kids when we took them to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point this weekend.

I mean, could Finn look any more non-plussed? Swirling tanks of silvery fish? This white chain-link guard rope is much cooler. Baby sharks? I'd really rather go outside and climb on the rocks some more, if you want to know the truth. Jellyfish slowly spinning in a hypnotic orbit? Can't I just chew on my sock here in peace?

So John and I got to be the giddy, awe-struck, look-at-that! kids for the afternoon, marveling at the leopard sharks, sea stars, and IMAX footage of life in the deep, while the kids glanced furtively at their watches and tapped their feet, wondering just when their parents would be done with all this kids' stuff, already.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Generation Tech

I heard somewhere that most teens today don't know what a Walkman is/was, which made me wonder:

Will Finn's generation wax nostalgic for the simpler days of yore when they had to watch their movies on portable DVD players in the car?


Thursday, November 10, 2005

This Little Piggy Just Kills Me

Now that the weather’s cooling down, it means that, sadly, I have to cover up ten of my most favorite things in the world: Shea’s toes. Nevermind that they're just so cute and chubby that I regularly want to eat them like dim sum. They're also informative.

Aside from their faces, you see, babies’ feet have to be the most expressive parts of their bodies. In the realm of body language, if you will, a baby's feet provide the punctuation. Mellow? They wiggle gently. Excited? They curl up like fists of fury. Pooping? Most likely pointed. Screaming like a banshee on fire caught in a bear trap while being skinned? Toes spread W I D E apart.

Good thing Shea’s got a proclivity for taking off her right sock to gnaw on her right foot—all the while throwing her left leg up and down against her buzzy chair like she’s keeping time at a hoedown—so I can catch a surprise nibble, um, ... I mean glimpse ... every now and then.

One And Two: Green And Blue

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

He Learns So Quickly

Karin: "C'mon, Finn. Time for lunch."

No answer

Karin: "Finney? Come and have something to eat."

No answer

Karin: "Finn! Please put down your toys so you and Papa can have your lunch!"

Finn: "But Mom, we have to play. We're GUYS!"

Monday, November 07, 2005

His Baby And Her Baby

Something about this photo charms me every time I look at it. It's almost got a vintage, 1950s feel to it with John's white t-shirt and old-man glasses, Shea's baby blue jammies, and the stiff, fiercely Caucasian doll.

But mostly I think it's because it's clearly the image Shea will be able to point to when she's 15, after having spent the entire afternoon convincing John why she should be able to car date six months before her 16th birthday, and say, "See, I've had him eating out of the palm of my hand since the minute I got here."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Things To Remember Next Time Around, Part 1

Today's entry marks the first in what I imagine will become a series of entries based on revelations I have about what to do/not to do with the next kid. As my first child, you see, Finn is charged with the occasionally ominous task of trekking through the virgin terrain that is childhood development with a mother who's never had a child before.

Most days, he shows me that he's become bigger and more mature than I realize--what do you mean you want to check your e-mail?--and is ready to try new activities. (You want to help vacuum, too? Great! Can you go over that corner over there again?) Sometimes though, like today, I fall victim to his strong mastery of the language and authoritative posturing and allow him certain privileges prematurely.

Rule #1 To Remember When Shea Is Three: No matter how comfortable she seems or how convincing her argument is, do not leave her alone at the kitchen table with a jet black ink pad and rubber stamps. Trust me.

Rule #2 To Remember When Shea Is Three: (In the event you forget to follow Rule #1) Unless the room is on fire or someone is injured, when Shea destroys the tile dining room floor by deciding to color it--and herself--with the open jet black ink pad, be sure to take a photograph of the carnage before cleaning everything up in a harried, muttering frenzy. It will make a great visual to accompany your subsequent blog entry.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bleak House

As if the time change wasn't hard enough to get used to, and as if the sudden and oppressive heat wave isn't hard enough to accept in November, we've all got colds, too. Yup--runny noses, achy bodies, fevers that come and go, and all that other muck that makes for cranky babies, whiny little boys, and impatient Mommies. We haven't left the house much, so I don't have any funny stories for today, so I thought I'd post some of my favorite old photos from the days before I had a blog. Back in the days when we had our health. (OK, you can see that this particular cold brings with it a nasty case of melodrama, too. And they say that boys are babies when they're sick....)

Finn and John on the beach in July 2003, a few weeks after Finn learned how to walk.

Finn and me at the park in January 2005. I'm five months' pregnant with Shea here.

Baby Shea with her grandparents just hours after her birth on April 30, 2005.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Not A Babe, Not Yet A Big Boy

Ever since the very first moment Shea could grasp her rattle, Finn has taken a distinct interest in her baby toys, baby seat, feeding chair, baby bath, baby food, crib--and especially her stroller. If she's playing with or using something, it suddenly becomes the most desperately desired item in the house simply because it's unavailable.
Grandma Emely captured this rare moment when, after Finn had climbed into the stroller typically used to lull baby Shea to sleep, he got his stroller wish fulfilled and soon found himself swept into a satisfied slumber--the kind once reserved for the baby in the house that used to be him.