Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three reasons.

My son, there are about a million reasons why I love you, but today let me tell you three.

First, you are so super cute in your underwear. I know I can't stand to see you grow up, and that means out of diapers, but those little buns in Toy Story underwear are irresisitable.

Second, if you look closely, you are using an orange calculator to talk on the phone, to Vacuum Vic of course. You are the only two-year-old in the world who knows what a vactor is, pretends to be one in the summer, and pretends to call one in the winter.

Third - and I do not have a picture of this but I am guessing you can paint one for yourself as we go along here - today you stuck a piece of turkey burger in your nose. Nope, that's not reason number three. In fact, that alone might actually count against you. The chunk was placed there at lunchtime and after many attempts with the sucker and lots of crying from you - "I guess it's lost forever" - we just let it be until Daddy came home and discovered it was STILL there! But, in a very serious and polite manner, while Daddy was extracting it, you said, "And then may I eat it?"

I love you, Buddy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo-a-day, Part II.

January 10. We left the tree up longer this year so we could have our celebration with Mom and Bob, but the next day I went into a de-Christmasing frenzy and took all of the ornaments off, put them in boxes, hauled that tree right on out to the driveway, and vacuumed up the needles. Done!
January 11. Sometimes when we get home from school, there is a bit of snow to shovel, and of course I have Fisher to help out with that. He did not get the memo about not playing in the snow, that we were just going to shovel the driveway, and by the time we got inside his pants and school shoes, as he calls them, were full of snow. This is the pile of snow on one side of our driveway. January 12. We got to the library this Wednesday afternoon, I think we ended up with 38 items in our bag, and the kids could not wait to get their shoes off, hands washed so they could just dump the bag and check out all the treasures.
January 13. Happy thirty-four years to me! The best part of this day was having Mom and Bob to join our celebration: crockpot carnitas tacos with all the fixins, and then a hot-milk sponge cake with fresh whipped cream, raspberry sauce and white chocolate to end the day! I haven't spent a birthday with Mom since I turned seventeen (yay, Acapulco!), and I hope this is the beginning of a new tradition.
January 14. I can't take enough pictures of them sleeping, and really it's mostly him sleeping now, since she doesn't nap anymore. This particular day, I turned the lights on and the water off, opened the windows and still he slept. So I had plenty of time to run for my camera.
January 15. Hair washing day! I only wash my hair once a week, and it's followed by blow-drying. It is a lot of work, hence the once-a-week. So here's what it looks like that day and for a few days after. Then the grease comes to stay until it's washed again, so the ponytails and buns come out.
January 16. Yay, date night! I'm hoping to get used to date nights with Mom and Bob living closer. We actually got to go to dinner and a movie tonight! We had a quick but yummy meal at Orchid and then saw True Grit. The secret is a good, quick restaurant in the same parking lot as the theater. We'll have to seek out more of those.
January 17. We started potty training December 27, and here we are twenty-two days later and you are potty trained. I'm kind of amazed, very proud. I'm so glad Daddy believed you were ready and pushed you and had the strength to keep on going when I wanted to throw in the towel. And I'm actually glad it's winter, because I don't feel like we can't go out in case you have to pee and I can't find a potty. We're home anyway, it being arctic and all. It's good timing all around.
January 18. You asked me to take this picture of you and your fairies, Silvermist and Natalie. You got a whole set of these fairies from Nana and Pappi and you've played with them everyday since, telling the best stories. You truly believe in fairies, and you know which other kids do, and who doesn't. You're hoping these fairies will invite more to stay with us this summer.
January 19. Thirty-four months. You are why I do not wish winter away, because at its tail end, you celebrate another birthday, and though I am happy that you grow stronger and bigger and smarter, I am your mother and mothers in their true hearts wish to keep their babies as, yes, babies. I love you at thirty-four months like I loved you at four months or four days or four hours: fiercely, completely.
January 20. You sleep like a crazy person, so I'm not sure why I'm surprised each morning when you get out of bed, that your hair looks like this. Every night at ten, we go in and kiss you guys and every night we find you completely beneath the covers. When we pull back the covers, your a sweaty mess, your wet hair plastered to your face. When we wake you in the morning, you are in turtle position, your whole head under the pillow. I know you'll kill me one day for this, but I just wanted you to see for yourself, since you surely won't believe me, what you look like when you wake up in the morning, beautiful girl!
January 21. Good morning, fifteen below. We hibernated all day, and then met Daddy at his work for a movie tonight (Shrek the 4), which everyone enjoyed. At some point you bottom out and that's it for winter, just a slow climb up to the 30s and then it's spring (two months!) and daylight and we're making our summer list. It's just a matter of time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I've been looking at my Goodreads to-read list, and now have a virtual stack of books I'd love to read this year.

2. After I finish The Passage, which by the way, I'm not yet half way through, I'm going to have to read either juvenile or young adult fiction, because The Passage is very heavy (literally) and suspenseful.

3. Fisher and Alla both learned the same song in school today, something about a muffin in a bakery shop, you know the kind with the honey and the nuts on top. The mom-of-a-nut-allergic-child in me, however, immediately wanted to get to work on changing that up a bit, something like the kind with the zucchini and the oats on top. Ha!

4. Speaking of muffins, it's been awhile since I made any. Might be time for me to work on a gluten-free sunshine muffin recipe.

5. By two and a half, Alla was already in a big-kid bed. Fisher has in no way outgrown his crib, but I'm starting to wonder if this is the year.

6. I want to get rid of the queen bed in the playroom so.very.much. It takes up way too much play space. Valuable play space.

7. Ron and I went on a date Sunday evening and got to eat out PLUS a movie! We saw True Grit, which we thought was completely enjoyable. Thanks, Mom and Bob!

8. I got to talk to one of my oldest and best friends today. Wonderful.

9. Today my older brother Josh celebrates his birthday. It doesn't really matter how old he is, just that he's older than me. Happy Birthday!

10. Thanks to my sister-in-law I am now the proud owner of a ginormous cast iron skillet. I am at just the age to be able to handle a responsibility like this (though not strong enough to pick it up with one hand). I am taking incredible care of it, and just know that one day Alla will be the proud owner of the cast iron skillet Mama got for her 34th birthday. She'll boast about her 50-year-old skillet!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday.

1. We have created a Poop Monster around here. When we started potty training two weeks ago, Daddy promised two shows to Fisher for a poop. We didn't think he was ever going to poop. The kid is now pooping 4 times a day.

2. Luckily with school today, and nap, and wanting to play in the snow, somehow I got away with just two shows: Cat in the Hat and Dora, the "Stuck Truck" episode.

3. When he realized on Sunday that he could poop more than once, or even every hour or so if he really tried (yes, rabbit turds count when you're potty training), I think he watched "Stuck Truck" about seven times.

4. That's all I'm going to say about poop. For today.

5. Two days til I turn thirty-four.

6. Guess who's coming for birthday dinner? Mom and Bob! Don't remember the last time I spent a birthday with my mom. Seventeen?

7. After watching Wordplay this weekend, Ron is on a crazy crossword kick.

8. Went for a run this evening in 22 degrees, and boy does that feel warm. I could have run a few more miles, but, sadly, it was dinner time. Tortilla soup, a favorite for three of us. The boy tends to turn his nose up at soup. He signs that he's full and wants "different else," and it's no use explaining that if he's still hungry there's a perfectly good bowl of soup right in front of you, mister.

9. Tonight's bedtime stories: S is for School (the Elmo school book, Fisher says), The Pink Refrigerator by Tim Egan, and then I snuck one more in, and Alla read half of it: A Visitor for Bear. Oh we love Bear and Mouse.

10. Alla told us tonight that for her birthday she'd really like to go get ice cream. Way to plan ahead, sweetheart.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Photo-a-day, Part I.

For several years now, I've done a photo-a-day project for the month of January. It's refreshing, to have this to focus on after the hurriedness of the holidays. Come February 1st I'm usually ready to give the camera a few days' rest; there is just no way I could commit to taking one picture a day for the entire year. Not yet, at least. Every year I try to simplify a little more, because it really is about the photos and words together, and I want to hold them together, not have them trapped in my computer. I've been successful at making mini-albums of these, and goodness it is so fun to look back at a whole month, always January, at a time, each year.

So, without further ado...January 2011!
January 1. Happy New Year, kids! I am supremely grateful that Daddy and I are feeling better today, and that the plague seems to be on its way out of the house. May we continue to love each other, listen to each other, help each other, and make each other laugh this year. I wish I could say we had some lovely celebratory dinner, but due to the aforementioned illness, we are having hodge-podge tonight.
January 2. Daddy's last day home. It's been so nice to have him home for a whole week. You kids just LOVE your Daddy, and boy does he love you, loves playing your games. Like doctor check and dentist appointment.
January 3. Monday, back to school. I was very glad to get back to "normal" around here, and by "normal" I mean please no one be sick. But. I was not glad for you to go back to school because I miss you when you're gone, and I worry about you, and I wonder what you're doing at school and on the bus. Michele brought you home safe and sound, with tons to tell me, in your Christmas dress.
January 4. I hadn't had my hair cut and colored since September, so this Tuesday evening hair appointment was much needed. Finding Sharon was the luckiest thing for me. I look forward to my quarterly hair appointments because she has become a dear friend. And, funny thing, our daughters were born on the exact same date!
January 5. If only I had a macro! If only I could have captured. We were waiting for the no-show bus alternating between inside and out when we noticed the snow on my vest, star-shaped, six points, and with my almost-34-year-old eyes I could guess that the teensy star had all the icy glinting lines of the snowflakes in books. You saw one on my vest. I saw one in your hair. It was beautiful, but here, just a washed-out speck.
January 6. Fisher, you don't nearly look old enough to be getting dropped off for your first day of First Friends, but here you are waiting by Ben and there's Jane getting all of you into coats and hats and mittens. I am so proud of you, buddy. You did it! You had a fun day, you peed in the potty, you ate your snack, and you even brought home some new art for Mama. I love you.

January 7. When you were littler, and the only one, we'd spend our afternoon hours lazing on my bed, reading, listening to you telling stories, snuggling, nursing. Now we bring library books and see if we can read them all before Fisher wakes up. I'm so glad you still love snuggling.January 8. You are doing amazingly well on the potty, mister. Some accidents here and there, but I think you might actually be getting it. And it doesn't hurt that Daddy has promised you TWO shows for pooping on the potty. Whatever it takes, he says. We are so proud of you, and impressed, and also think we've created a Monster.January 9. Christmas part two! Yesterday Nana officially moved to Minnesota, joining Pappi, and we couldn't be happier. Today we celebrated our Christmas with them, which was lovely because we all got to watch you open your gifts from them and enjoy them all day. Alla you are just smitten with your fairy collection! We are just so so happy they moved here to be with us.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

He did great.

In case you were wondering, he did super-awesome today. No tears (I didn't expect any). Ate his snack. Peed on the potty when the whole class marched to the bathroom. The nurse came to check his blood sugar. To be honest, I think he just figured it was another day and didn't really get what the big deal was. It's you, buddy.

He asked me to take his picture once he realized I'd brought my camera. I love it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Shout-out to 2010.

There are over 2800 files in my 2010 folder, and some of those are edited duplicates, of course, but it goes without saying that I take a lot of pictures. So it's pretty hard to nail down a favorite from each month. I think these fairly represent favorite moments, favorite images, and what our family was about in 2010.

1. Alla started kindergarten - whoa. 2. Goofball parents cooking turkey dinner. 3. Big sister leading little kangaroo on his first trick or treating adventure. 4. Christmas aftermath. 5. The pink car, 'nuff said. 6. Dusty. (Why do I have a picture of a street sweeper on our 2010 collage? Because it was the story of summer, chasing that lovely machine around our neighborhood on bike, with stroller, whatever.) 7. Dear Freshly Painted House, Happy Four Year Anniversary! 8. The tractor makes its outside debut. 9. Bathtime fun. 10. Soaking up sun in California in March. 11. Celebrating 8 years. 12. My little helpers at the kitchen counter.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Last week for some reason we decided to start potty training. Oh, joy. So, yesterday he earned an A+ for pee and an F- for poop. Like I said: Oh, joy.

2. We have been getting the kids in bed around 7:30. For this one I really do mean OH JOY!

3. Ron thought Christmas vacation was going to be about sitting around reading books. He thought I might come close to finishing The Passage. Ha! I'm on page 100. Of like seven million pages.

4. Alla does not like brown rice. I don't know what you can possibly have against brown rice.

5. We have our second Christmas this Sunday, when Nana and Pappi arrive! But when I say 'arrive,' I actually mean LIVE, so really that's about all the Christmas I need. My own mom, going to live half an hour away from us! I sorta can't believe it!

6. I am so glad to be back to "normal" this week.

7. Fisher ate his snack today at school! It is literally the first time this entire school year that he has sat down and had snack. I don't know what the kid has against snacktime at school, but I'm hoping he's realized it's a fun part.

8. Fisher peed on the potty at school today!

9. One more big Fisher deal - Thursday is his first day of school by himself! We will go together on Tuesdays and he gets to go by himself on Thursdays. This is huge. It was probably the biggest factor in how confident Alla felt going into preschool, and seeing as how Fisher has some obstacles that she didn't, I'm glad we're at this point and that he's excited about it!

10. So that means that on Thursday, when I drop him off, I will be officially kid-less for the first time since those few weeks when Alla was 2 doing this pre-preschool program, getting dropped off, and I was hauling my pregnant self all over town trying to finish baby stuff. That was three years ago. My plan for these Thursdays is volunteering in Alla's classroom. I can't wait! She's so excited to have me there!

Christmas 2010.

I am just now getting to the Christmas pictures. It wasn't the most stellar week in our home, with the plague running around catching everyone, and it wasn't the most stellar month with Fisher's new pump and our having to work through proper dosing, which means lots of lost sleep. But the bright day in the month was most definitely Christmas, so here is what I got of it, in between shouting Who's that from? and fending off Ron's requests for me to open stuff, too. For the record I like to pile up my gifts and save them for very last. The kids gave Daddy some snow pants. It's like our fifth winter here and we're still not properly dressed.
Alla's gift to Fisher - she made him a geoboard!
Fisher made her rainbow crayons.
This is how Alla spent much of the crazy morning, digging for something, anything with her name on it.
Ah! There's one. Whew.
Santa brought Fisher his beloved CAT machines book. And a crane, but I think the camera was buried by that point.
I know he was tired of pictures, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that my two-year-old son isn't flipping me off.
My mom always made the kiddos get back in the wrapping paper at the end and smile, so I've adopted the tradition. This year they both smiled, yippee! I should note Alla is smiling in spite of Santa not bringing her beloved pink guitar, that one she talked about for months and asked Santa for, and then kind of never talked about again until Christmas Eve when she all of a sudden stated that she was worried that Santa might not have known that she wanted it to be a real pink guitar, not a fake. She did get a cool keyboard and her first pair of ice skates, so I guess it wasn't a complete loss.
Once again Ron surprised me on Christmas Eve, too, with jammies that match the kids'! Now I have two actual pairs of jammies! He is swell.