Friday, August 31, 2007

Big enough crib

Holden - my sweet. Today when I went into your room after your nap, you peered up at me with such innocence and sweetness. You were snuggling your bear and giggling quietly, your eyes as bright and as wide as stars. Your dimple visible, even in the semi-darkness. My son, I can tell you that all I wanted to do was crawl into the tiny little crib with you and snuggle close to you. If it were big enough I would have. I can promise you that. But instead, of course, I lifted you out and held you to me. I breathed in your soft, baby smell. You ran your fingers through my tangled hair and reached with a big, toothy mouth to kiss me. The world was quiet, just you and me, and you made my heart melt (as you so often do). I so wish that crib were big enough for us both, my sweet.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Big Boys Don't Cry!

Three is really starting to rock. Seriously. We had a lot of frustrations in the early months leading up to and after Jackson's third birthday, but I'm starting to see a lot of signs of growth, maturity and most of all, FUN! Jackson is a blast to hang out with lately. He says the funniest things (including commenting on the size of his poop -- which is always in the potty, by the way!). And he does the funniest things (like shaking his hiney like he's an original member of The Village People). It's almost like watching a science experiment as he changes and grows daily. Pants that didn't fit him a month ago are now a perfect fit. I'm buying him size 4s instead of 3Ts. He wears a size 10/11 shoe! He goes to the potty by himself. He knows how the water/ice dispenser on the fridge works. He brushes his own teeth!

Which brings me to the title of my post today. Big Boys Don't Cry. My big boy went to his first dentist appointment today and didn't cry! He was a great patient. He introduced himself and listened attentively to the hygienist. He smiled and nodded his head when she asked him questions. He opened his mouth for the brushing and flossing. He did try and bite Dr. Fox a couple of times (blush) but I am sure it was just reflexive. I mean who wouldn't chomp down if some stranger was sticking their rubbery fingers in their mouth?? I'm just proud as punch that he didn't cry -- and slightly shocked I must admit. I mean, this is the kid who has to be strapped down screaming and crying for a simple haircut! So getting through a dentist appointment this smoothly was a huge shocker. We even met up with Daddy for lunch afterwards and Jackson proclaimed how much fun he had at the dentist. Fun? At the dentist? Well, why not!

Ahh, and not to be missed -- Jackson can also now officially ride his tricycle. Watch out world, here he comes! He's had that trike for over a year now and never had much interest in peddling. He preferred to either have us push him or to push himself along with his feet. It wore the heck out of his Crocs. But about a week ago he got it in his head that he was ready to peddle, and within a day he was pretty proficient with it.
I love watching his diligence and perseverance. He will not use his feet to push the trike, even if it is a steep hill or bump. He gets frustrated but he works it out. And the pride on his face when he accomplishes a feat is just priceless. He is so proud of himself. Me thinks Santa might need to have real bike added to Jackson's Christmas list this year! Considering his daddy is a former BMX champion rider (sorry honey, I've outed you again!) we may have quite a bike riding future ahead of us!

And finally, on the Jackson front, last night was Jackson's preschool open house. The kids all wore their pajamas and enjoyed milk and cookies and meeting their teacher, Mrs Lisa. She read them all a story as well. I will say that the letter inviting us to the open house was sent to the parents and asked that we wear pajamas as well. Hmmmm...now, the quandary was -- would the other parents actually don jammies for the event? I had my doubts. But I also didn't want to be a party pooper and disappoint Jackson's new teacher before he even begins the school year. So I carefully selected some pseudo-jammies that were more yoga-gear than sleep-gear for myself. That way if few other wore their jammies, maybe I'd just fool them that I was a workout fiend. ha ha. Shawn wore his typical workout shirts and shorts, so he would blend in as well. Jackson wore brand new jammies with a basketball on them. Holden wore brand new polka-dot jammies (and a very sleepy expression since it was his bedtime).
Well low and behold out of at least 3 dozen parents Shawn and I were the ONLY ones in anything close to resembling pajamas! WHAT???? I read the note again and again to be certain that the parents were in fact instructed to wear their pajamas as well and I'm positive that is what the intention was. The teachers were in their pajamas even. Argh. I didn't feel foolish, though, just slightly annoyed that no one else could follow simple instructions. And that I was wearing pseudo jammies while everyone else was in shorts or jeans. One parent even mistook me as the teacher! Oh well, so it goes. I've been in much more awkward situations. (like in the 2nd grade when I accidentally tucked my twirly navy and white skirt into my tights and a boy in my center pointed it out to me -- embarrassing!) The important thing was how excited Jackson was in his new classroom and how much fun he had. His teachers seem really enthusiastic and sweet. And the kids were all very excited. I know come next Tuesday when school actually starts I'm going to be a bit emotional about sending my "baby" off to his first day of school. But one thing I know for sure - I won't be wearing pajamas.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dear Aunt Kimi

Dear Aunt Kimi
Thank you for coming to visit us and having so much fun! I loved going to the park with you, and playing in the water, and having a picnic, and swimming in the pool, and jumping at the bounce house and letting me try my hand at the "Claw" game at Red Robin, and reading me stories and eating a huge caramel apple with Mommy (why wasn't I invited???) and chasing me, and making (and eating) cookies, and also playing with Holden, and not being mad this is a huge long run on sentence 'cause I know you are a teacher and I'd get an automatic 20 points deducted just for this run on sentence alone, but I'm only 3 so I don't even really know what a run on sentence is...yet. You are a cool aunt and we love you!

xox
Jackson (and Mommy, Daddy and Baby Holden)

ps - next time bring Uncle Bob and Bubba









Thursday, August 23, 2007

Looking for a Punk Rock Girl

Holden, just waiting for a punk rock girl to call his own...

Punk Rock Girl
The Dead Milkmen - 1988

One Saturday I took a walk to Zipperhead
I met a girl there and she almost knocked me dead
Punk rock girl
Please look at me
Punk rock girl
What do you see?
Let's travel round the world
Just you and me punk rock girl

I tapped her on the shoulder
And said do you have a beau?
She looked at me and smiled and said she did not know
Punk rock girl
Give me a chance
Punk rock girl
Let's go slam dance
We'll dress like Minnie Pearl
Just you and me punk rock girl

We went to the Philly Pizza Company
And ordered some hot tea
The waitress said well no, we only have it iced
So we jumped up on the table and shouted anarchy
And someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox
It it was "California Dreamin"So we started screamin
On such a winter's day

She took me to her parents for a Sunday meal
Her father took one look at me and he began to squeal
Punk rock girl
It makes no sense
Punk rock girl
Your dad is vice president
Just like the Duke of Earl
Yeah you're for me punk rock girl

We went to a shopping mall
And laughed at all the shoppers
And security guards trailed us to a record shop
We asked for Mojo Nixon
They said he don't work here
We said if you don't got Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin

We got into her car away we started rollin
I said how much you pay for this
Said nothin man it's stolen
Punk rock girl
You look so wild
Punk rock girl
Let's have a child
We'll name her Minnie Pearl
Just you and me
Eat fudge banana swirl
Just you and me
We'll travel round the world
Just you and me
Punk rock girl

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baby Signs

Holden's communication skills just took a giant leap forward. As of yesterday he is officially signing "all done!" at the end of meals. His little hands sort of fly up in the air and do a little mad shake. It's precious. I couldn't be prouder of him. He is also clapping for "more" but I'm not positive that he truly gets that one. He may just be imitating me - but it is a great first step. I know that soon he will explode with his signs and life will become just a tad easier. Well, as easy as it gets with two small children. Jackson has been an awesome assistant in the signing. He will sign the words while I'm feeding Holden. I'm amazed that at the age of 3 he still remembers his signs so fluently. But he does. It makes me proud of both of them. And reaffirms my choice to be a stay at home mom to my boys for a few years during their infancy and toddlerhood. I know that if we had continued with the daycare route, they would both be as bright and fun as they are under my care. But I would be missing out on it, and that's what keeps me going. Knowing I'm not missing a thing with them. "more! more!" indeed.


PS - A recent shot of the boys. Bath time at our house... yes, you will both hate me for this in a few years...



Woo-hoo Will!

This is totally off topic, but most of my friends and family know that I, and about a few dozen of my college friends, have all been furiously voting for Will Bigham on the Fox reality show "On the Lot." Will and his wife Cat are friends from my Texas Tech days. Will made it onto the director-for-hire based show and as the weeks whittled down, Will continued to be voted among the best of the best. Last night Will took home the grand prize - a million dollar directorial movie deal with Stephen Spielberg and Dreamworks Pictures. I just had to give Will and Cat a huge congrats and shout out. And thanks to all my friends and family who put up with my weekly annoying emails begging them to vote for Will. It's been over 10 years since I last saw Will or Cat, but I know Will's talent and genuine kindness have stayed with him over the years. He totally deserves this prize, and all the success that is sure to come. Congrats my friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why?

The "Why's" have started. Jackson says "Why?" to every thing that comes out of my mouth. I heard this would happen, but I never expected it to be as exhausting and as exhilarating as it is. On the one hand, it is awesome to hear the vocabulary explosion that comes from my little man's mouth every day. On the other hand, it gets tiring having an answer to every thing. And every answer is usually followed by another "why?!"

Example conversation from our drive earlier today:

J - Why are there train tracks?
Me - So the train has something to ride on?
J - Why?
Me - So it can get to the next town.
J - Why?
Me - Because that's where it is driving to.
J - Why?
Me - So the train can deliver the goods to all the boys and girls.
J - Why?
Me - Because they like to have things
J - Why?
Me - Because little boys and girls like to get presents
J - Cool!

My goal is to try and stump him. When I get a resolution to the questions, such as "cool!" then I feel a small little victory on my behalf. Like somehow I won some sort of contest over my 3 year old son. Oh boy, I gotta get a hobby.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainbow connection

First, I'm ticked off because my scanner is giving me hell and I can't get it to scan. Shawn sneaked out of the house to see a movie so my technical support is unavailable. I have the most adorable picture to scan that Jackson drew. But I'll just have to describe it instead. If the help desk (aka Shawn) gets home at a decent hour I'll update with the scanned picture.

Tonight we had a deluge of rain come down. It was weird. We were all hanging outside in the early evening. Shawn was mowing and Jackson was "helping." (interjection - Shawn is so sweet. Our neighbors, Tyler and Lisa, had their baby girl yesterday so Shawn mowed their lawn as well. Congrats guys!! And yes, my husband is a very sweet man!). I went upstairs to nurse Holden for bedtime. I came out of his room a few minutes later, and there had been a torrential downpour of rain in the 13 minutes I was upstairs. It came and went. Bizarre. Obviously Shawn had stopped mowing during the deluge and he was helping Jackson color a picture. Jackson had drawn 3 curved lines on a sheet of paper. A red line. A yellow line. And a purple line. Apparently after the brief storm there were two beautiful rainbows just above our house. Upon seeing them Jackson started jumping up a down and exclaimed:

"I'm trying to jump up and grab the rainbow and put it in my room! But it's too high!!!"

So he opted to draw the rainbow instead. I'm in awe of this kid more and more every day. And I wish to heck the scanner was working 'cause the drawing that accompanies this quote is the highlight of my day. I wish you could have reached that rainbow little man. But your drawing is as close to gold as it comes. bumper kisses.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Penis Envy

The boys were taking a bath together the other day. Actually, this is pretty common now, which is a great time saver for us. And offers a lot of cute photo ops (sorry boys, when you are 15 and 17 you will both hate us for this). Anyway, Jackson points to Holden's penis and giggles and says "Ahhh, it's sooooo cute! So cute and small!" Then he points to his penis and says "And mine's so BIG!"

Ah yes, it starts early doesn't it?! Heaven help us.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

GIGANTIC J

Yesterday I took the boys on a big adventure...to JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. Woopee, I know! But I wanted to get some fun art supplies for Jackson. He has crayons, markers and cheapie paints, but I wanted something a little more "artistic." You see, the day before we had gone with our playgroup to the Sir Bouncealots Bounce house. You can pay an extra $3 and your child can make any craft they want. He picked out and painted a darling wooden helicopter. He's never really been into crafts that much, but he loved painting that helicopter. He was so proud of it. So I figured if he had really cool supplies (like that helicopter) he might be more into it.

So off we went to the craft store. We walked around for about an hour (yes, an hour with both kids in an enclosed space and nobody left screaming!) looking at various crafts and supplies. We finally settled on a container of paints (really cool artistic kind that you have to pour onto a pallet), a thick pad of painting paper, 5 mini-birdhouses...and then, we hit the letters. I thought it would be fun for him to paint his initials and hang them in his room. They had a variety of sizes. I pointed to a mid-sized stack of letters. He wanted the letter "W." I had to explain that the "W" didn't stand for his name and he needed to get a "J" or an "S." He didn't like that much so we argued for a few minutes. Then his eyes got WIDE as saucers. I looked up and he was eyeing GIGANTIC letters, about two feet big. Ah-ha! They were so cute. Immediately I put the enormous, cardboard letter "J" into the cart and Jackson cradled it the rest of the time we were in the store. Then he carried it out and held it all the way home. As soon as we got home he was ready to paint his masterpiece! We spent most of the afternoon painting. It was so much fun.

As for his giant letter J, well, whatya think??:




And a pic of Holden playing with pots and pans while Jack and I painted...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Seattle kind of feeling

Most of anyone who reads my blog (I think there are at least 3) know how very much Shawn and I loved living in Seattle, and how much we miss it. The reasons we moved to Colorado 2 years ago are also well known - closer to family, slower pace of life for our boys, my ability to be home with the kids, cost of living, etc. But just because we have lived in Colorado for over 2 years now, and have found things we do love about Colorado, doesn't mean I'm not allowed to still miss that beautiful city on a daily basis, and mourn that time in our lives when we called it "home." The past few days here Colorado have been very "Seattle-ish" -- overcast, damp grass, afternoon showers, and a fresh clean smell. I miss all of that very much. When people ask me what I liked so much about Seattle I almost don't know what to tell them...um...everything?? OK, maybe not everything, but almost. I don't miss the crazy traffic and trying to map myself around all the bodies of water every time I try to drive anywhere. I don't miss that swimming isn't a part of the summer ritual in Seattle. I don't miss wearing jackets every day of the year. I don't miss the rain...oh wait, yes I do. I actually miss the rain quite a bit. So alas, there is very little I don't miss about that town. And I still wonder, on almost a daily basis, if/when we will be drawn back there. I think Shawn and I both want that on some level. But finding out how we could get back there is a whole other dilemma. It's an ongoing quandary that I'm not sure we'll figure out anytime soon.



As a side note, yesterday as the boys and I were driving home from errands, we passed by the Outlet Mall by our house. It is a very well known shopping destination in our fare state. But we pass by it on a daily basis because it is just before our housing subdivision. Easily we've driven past it 1,000 times or more. But yesterday Jackson looks over at it and says "Mommy - is that Seattle?"

Huh??

I had to ask him what he meant by that. He just kept asking me if the Outlet Mall was Seattle. I said "No, it's a shopping center. Seattle is far away. Does it look like Seattle to you?" He replied "Yes." Hmmm.... Now Jack was a year when we moved. He was two when we went back for a visit. But other than that, the only reference he has to Seattle is our incessant talking about it, and "The Little Einsteins" episode in which they fly by the Space Needle. My guess is that he must have seen something at the Outlet Mall that looked like the Space Needle. But for the life of me I can't figure out what. Or maybe he's just like his Dad and me and he misses it as well. Perhaps.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Kiss'n Cousins

The Crites clan (my sister Debbie and her 3 girls - Allison, Micaela, and Emily) and my Mom came up for a visit last week. It was brief but we had so much fun. I can't say enough how awesome my three nieces are. Allison (age 11) is so bright, funny and talented (she's a very accomplished gymnast who just returned from competing at Nationals). She was a wonderful help while she was here and kept Holden entertained for hours. Micaela (age 7.5) is a middle child like me, so I feel a bond with her. She is so sweet and thoughtful and kept Jackson in line! Emily...ah my sweet Emily. Em is three like Jackson. Those two kiddos had a ball together. Sure they squabbled like siblings, but Em is tough and definitely can hold her own with Jackson. And she always wanted to know where Holden was. My sister Debbie and I managed to slip away for a dinner by ourselves one night, which was a blast. And Mom was an amazing help with all the kids. We even had my cousin Nancy and her husband and children over for a BBQ one night. It was a crazy busy few days (The Aquarium, The Zoo, and a day at our pool) but a total blast! We love you guys!

Five little Monkeys at the Zoo: Jackson, Emily, Micaela, Allison and Holden


Allison, playing in the sprinkler with the little kiddos
The whole brood (sans Holden) having a ball -- Jack and Em are actually tickling each other!
Gorgeous girl
Sweet Micaela, keeping cool
Jack and Em jumping on the blow up mattress and having a ball
Slipped in a pic of Shawn and I heading out for our anniversary dinner
Jackson, wearing my shoes

Good times!
My sweet, handsome boy




Friday, August 03, 2007

Crawling!

At last! It is official - Holden is crawling. He's a little behind the curve on this one, but no worries, he's on fire and ready to go now. After about a month of false starts, half-crawls, and downward facing dogs, today he has really taken off! I'll have to have Shawn put the gate up at the top of the stairs as soon as he gets home.


Congrats baby boy. This is a huge milestone. And I think I see my last moments of calm within your babyhood slipping away as well.


Here we go sweet boy, here we go!


I stand corrected

Yesterday Jackson and I were playing with some flashcards I made him when he was a baby. We were showing them to Holden and then telling him what the cards were. You know - horse, baby, flowers, etc. Pretty easy stuff. "Look Holden, " I said, "a boat!" To which my eldest son looked at me strangely and responded, "no Mommy, that is a Gondola."

Ahem. Excuse me. I stand corrected.