Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Set up by a 2-year-old!

Having now been a mom for nearly eight years (where does the time go, and when did I get so old?), I have mastered the art of mechanical answers. After listening to kids chatter for extended periods of time, it gets positively easy to answer their many queries without much thought. I have found that without much effort, I can drive the car, answer questions related to complex theories of physics or molecular chemistry, and mentally make a grocery list. Those of you who know my eldest will realize I'm not joking. He really enjoys science. Anyway, I'd been doing this mechanical answering for many years...then along came Timothy!

The first set up actually happened to Chris a few months ago. Timothy is a master of asking the same question repetitively, and increasingly louder, until he gets an answer. One night, as we were cooking dinner (OK, Chris was cooking dinner and I was getting out and putting away ingredients!), Timothy was hopping around underfoot yelling "Can-I-have-a-drink-can-I-have-a-drink-can-I-have-a-drink..." and so forth. Chris finally stopped our conversation mid-sentence and said, "Yes, you can have a drink!!!", to which Timothy promptly replied, "No, he may have a drink!" You have to keep in mind that Timothy always refers to himself in the third person. We laughed over this set up, and went on, never knowing how often this was going to happen.

Shortly after this, Timothy was on my lap with Bear and Duck one evening, chattering happily. He kept sticking his hand through a hole in Duck's lining and saying, "Look, Mama, I'm Santa!" This puzzled me a bit. At some point, he forced Duck over my hand and I asked, "Why does having a Duck on your hand make you Santa?" He stared at me thoughtfully, then replied condescendingly, "No, Mama, I don't have a duck on my hand, you have a duck on your hand!" And so I did.

Yet again one evening, as dinner was being prepared, Timothy was hopping around underfoot. Although I was standing in the kitchen with no intention of leaving, he was yelling loudly, "Bye, Mama!". Not just loudly, but repetitively, in fact. Finally, in an effort to pacify him so Chris and I could continue our conversation, I replied, "Bye, Timothy!" Without missing a beat, he asked, "Where you goin', Mama?" I seem to recall Chris rolling on the floor and roaring with laughter.

Finally, last night we were driving to my parents' house to celebrate my brother's birthday. Timothy had been silent for some time, and then he asked, "What you doin', Mama?" I replied, "Riding." He came back with, "Ridin' in Daddy's car?" Mechanically (although I should've known better!) I replied, "Yes, I'm riding in Daddy's car." There was a pause, then "Daddy doesn't have a car. He has a truck!" Of course he does. How could I have forgotten?

It is fairly humbling to note that I am so often set up by my 2-year-old son. I can only hope to do better in the future, and think through my replies more carefully. If I don't, I'm sure Timothy will be happy to correct me.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cheerful flowers for a dreary day

It's a cold and dreary day in January. The sky is a depressing shade of gray and the trees are bare. There are still a lot of weeks before the weather starts to improve and the landscape starts to turn green. For this reason, I am thankful that my kitchen is blooming so cheerfully! After five years of taking up space on the counters, my African violets burst into full bloom for the first time ever in November. They're blooming still. And words cannot describe this brilliant amaryllis, which has thus far escaped being knocked off the china cabinet by rogue cats. They make doing the dishes a pleasure of the senses. Ok, that's taking it a bit far, but I am enjoying my flowers, if not the dishes!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sick baby

The last two days, Timothy spent with a severe stomach bug. Apart from the incredible, disgusting mess that a projectile-vomiting toddler can make, I've spent the days strangely still. There were no toys to pick up off the floor eight times a day. There were no toddler tantrums. There was no singing. Only one very sick and lethargic Timothy.

This is how he spent most of yesterday. I brought his Tigger fold-out couch into the living room so he could watch movies and so I could watch him. He and Daddy watched some UFC. Then they fell asleep.
Poor little man-cub! At any rate, he must've slept it off because this morning he woke up and trashed the house before I even made it home from teaching my 6 am Pilates class. Toys were EVERYWHERE. He was bouncing off the walls. And I must admit, I was glad to see it. Sitting in a clean house watching a quiet baby was just creepy. If any of you remind me of this the next time I'm on a tirade about how he wears me to a frazzle, I'll immediately delete this blog and deny that it ever existed!

Our New Addition...

Don't let the headline fool you! Any new addition to this family is FAR more likely to be feline than human. Here he is, folks. Moses the Cat. He's been wandering our neighborhood and stealing our cat food for a couple of weeks. We felt sorry for him and let him in...as you can see by this next shot, the rest is history! He immediately made himself at home. Very, very at home. His interests include lying on his back in very immodest (but cute) positions, terrorizing the other cats with his youthful charm, and going to any lengths to steal food, even if it means leaping over you as you eat and gracefully snatching it from your fork.
He and Chris bonded instantly. They both enjoy football games and lying on the couch. Moses will eat absolutely anything except pickles, and Chris has had fun testing just how extreme his eating habits are. So far, he's munched on green beans, raw carrots, chicken strips, pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, salsa...I could go on and on. So could he.
Lastly, he is gradually integrating himself into cat society around here by being such a cuddle bum that he's irresistible. I like to call this one "Bookends". He can't replace our beloved and dearly departed Mo, but- what am I saying? He is totally replacing Mo. He even looks like him. If we catch him sneaking fiery hot Cheetos, we'll know he's actually the same cat in a (slightly) different coat.

Cute Mary Janes (or is it Sophie Janes?)

At long last, I've started taking pictures of my knitting and crochet projects. These booties were made for Baby Sophie (Brooke's baby Sophie, not Halcyon's!), and for once, I snapped a couple of shots before I wrapped them. Please excuse the sad, decrepit coffee table underneath them. It has now seen seven years of hard wear and boys who have never heard of coasters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is everyone celebrating?

I hope that all of you will join with me in celebrating an important holiday. According to a calender of useless celebrations that I recently discovered online, today is "Answer Your Cat's Questions Day". For many of you, this is a quick process. For me, it is an all-day event. There are currently 11 cats under my care, and as it turns out, they had a lot more questions than you might think. The most common question seemed to be "Are you going to feed us again soon?", closely followed by "Why on EARTH would you submerge yourself in water?" This last one was asked by Miss Mouse and Jack, who take turns playing lifeguard as I bathe. The appear to be convinced that I'm drowning each time I take a bath. So, have a safe and happy "Answer Your Cat's Questions Day", and try not to overindulge in catnip. Remember those New Year's resolutions, everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eulogy for my brown tunic top...

This is a completely pointless thing to write about, and I feel that I should warn you of that from the start. Marley was dead, as dead as a doornail...sorry, that was the wrong warning. Warning: Stupid, completely pointless and arbitrary blog to follow! (That was for all you CPaPs from Ravelry, if there are any reading!) Here goes!

My mother bought me the most adorable brown tunic top a few weeks before Christmas. It is (was) long-sleeved with a satin bow, and long enough to wear as a very short dress. Note that I did NOT wear it as a very short dress, but it looked excellent over jeans. I wore it for the first time last week.

I should stop and say, for those who don't already know, that proper laundry etiquette is practically an obsession with me. Loads are sorter by material, color and ability to hold onto cat hair. All stains MUST be pretreated, then checked after washing but before drying to ensure proper stain removal. All tags MUST be read. This being said, last week I committed a laundry faux pas of epic proportion. I sorted laundry one day, but didn't finish until the next. Because of this, I forgot that my brown tunic top was in a load with Chris' dress shirts. As a result of my forgetfulness, I failed to take the top out of the washer and "lay flat to dry" as instructed. Instead, I dried it with the dress shirts. When I took out the load, I was dismayed to find that my brown tunic top is now only long-sleeved and dress-length if a munchkin is going to be wearing it. It is now half-sleeved and hip length.

Oh, poor brown tunic top! How I will mourn you! How I enjoyed the day I wore you! How I wish I hadn't forgotten and dried you like a common dress shirt!

There, that's enough eulogizing, if that's a word. Hmm...spell-check recognized it, so I guess it is. There's a lesson to be learned here. Never dry rayon! (Unless of course, you have some munchkins you need to clothe!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Timothy Joins the Blue Man Group

We've had a busy weekend around here. Some of the things that we worked on included washing the car seat liner and cleaning out my mom-mobile, finishing up the plaster Christmas village we've been working on for the last eight years so it can be packed away, going through pictures and organizing them...and Gabe and Chris have been working hard on their entry for this year's Pinewood Derby. What does all this have to do with Timothy joining the Blue Man Group? Good question!

We had a lasagna in the oven, and while it was cooking, Chris had gone outside to reassemble the car seat and put it back in my car. I left the kitchen to take Chris the car seat's cup holder, which I had just washed, and decided to stay out and put the final coat of clear spray on the Christmas village. In the approximately two minutes I was outside, disaster struck. When I returned to the kitchen, I found Timothy standing in a kitchen chair, covered head to toe in bright blue paint. He had opened the little can of latex enamel that Chris and Gabe had been using on the derby car, and had apparently decided to see how he would look in a nice shade of blue. The only thing that stopped me from running for the camera before trying to clean him up was the idea that if he saw me taking his picture, he might try a stunt like this again. And even so, I almost regret not doing it anyway. The sight of his little guilty face, with blue paint dripping everywhere, left me at a loss for words. I truly wish you could have seen it.

In the long run, I now know that wet latex enamel paint will mostly wash out of clothing (and one sad bear) so long as you jump on it and get it right into the sink. Further, I find that dry latex paint does not scrub off of a two-year-old boy very easily, and he has now gone from blue to bright pink from all the scrubbing. He endured it fairly patiently, which is good because I didn't want to have to explain that one to his preschool teachers tomorrow.

I am thankful to God for granting me the patience to find this slightly amusing, to my eldest for his ability to run quickly and get his father before the blue paint spread, and to Chris for being the best teammate in the world in these situations. Now I must be going. Chris and I have decided that opening a bottle of wine with dinner will do us both a world of good!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Try as I might, I couldn't resist the mighty mind of the Betherson. I tried to get up from the computer and go do something useful, but she kept willing me back. The force is very strong in this one! (Also, she seems to be causing me to channel Yoda!)

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments. What is it?
1. Produce: Vine ripe tomatoes. The expensive ones. Hey, it's your money!
2. Bakery: French bread.
3. Meat: Not a big fan. Can I save that money for the checkout line and buy some dark chocolate instead?
4. Frozen: Tortellini?
5. Dry goods: Going to have to go with Beth and say kitty litter. The rest of my shopping could result in dinner, but litter is what we're usually out of, so there you have it.

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of CLOTHING with you. So, what's in your bag?
1. Jeans
2. Hoodie
3. A good bra. (This is seasonal. If it were summer I'd say shorts, a tank top and my swimsuit.)

1 task you wish you were better at doing?
1. Cleaning the house.

1 Celebrity you wish you looked like (silly, I know:)
1. Hmm...Katie Holmes? That was the first one that came to mind.

If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. Timothy, do you need a spank? (To which he invariably answers yes!)
2. Put the work in your abs!
3. Get off the counter, ______! (Insert any cat's name in blank.)
4. Honey, would you please get me a drink of water while you're up?
5. Where did all this laundry come from??

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you probably wouldn't be in the best mood?
1. Morning cup 'o joe!
2. Read, knit, crochet, something with a little down time for me!
3. have a bit of chocolate (Beth's answer was perfect, so I'll leave it as it is!)

What 5 places do you visit roughly every week?
1. Kids' schools.
2. Nichole's house.
3. Sam's.
4. Pilates studio (ok, not lately, but normally!)
5. My parents' house.

If you were to shop at three stores for a whole year to supply your wardrobe and money was not an issue, which 3 would it be?
1. This is hard because I've never shopped anyplace expensive...I'd say Kohl's first...
2. JC Penney
3. Nine West (You can see where my priorities are! The only place I'd spend more than I usually do is Nine West!)

You just scored tickets to the taping of any show that comes on t.v. of your choice. You can pick between 4, so what are you deciding between?
I know this is cheating, but I have no desire to see any show live. I prefer DVR!

You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Chocolate Therapy. Ben and Jerry's stopped making it two years ago, and I'm still in mourning.
2. Sweet cream from Marble Slab.
3. Bunny Tracks. You're going to have to do a lot of running around to make this cone!

Somebody stole your purse… in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?
1. Giant blue wallet that used to match a giant blue diaper bag.
2. At least seven different lip glosses.
3. A notebook that substitutes for my brain.
4. Crunched up goldfish (or some other kid snack) in a ziplock bag.
5. Cat hair.

If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school, and inform yourself of 4 things, what would you say?
1. Pay attention to that guy in your college freshman psych class. You're going to marry him someday!
2. A lot of really bad stuff is going to happen. Don't worry, you'll survive it.
3. The glass is NOT always half empty.
4. Your parents are not nearly as dumb as you think they are. At least, they're about to get a whole lot smarter in coming years!