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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bedtime Routines

Today was the day of epic tired-cranky, post-Christmas meltdowns and made me re-think the kids' bedtimes routines. Maybe plying them with bon-bons and hot cocoa before throwing a crazy-dance party is not the best way to settle them for bed.

Well, obviously. But I thought the bath-book-bed trio was brilliantly efficient and effective when applied consistently. After all, kids are creatures of habit, so I'm told, and function best when they know what to expect which is why we have a picture-calendar for Henry detailing if he'll be at school or home that day and try to stick to consistent mealtimes, snack, naptime (for Kat) and bedtime for both of them.

Kat perked up well before sunrise today (thank you Dada for handling that this morning) so logically I thought she would crash early for her nap. Nooo...I missed that hairline perfect time to put her down and she was way overtired. She took 1 1/2 hours to finally fall asleep, just a few minutes before I was going to suck it up and admit today would be a no-nap day (ah!).

Then tonight, she had her bath, put her own PJs on and settled down for her night-night book, all right on schedule until I turned on her lullaby music and cracked the door so her moon/stars nightlight would show up on the ceiling.

Cue the drama and we had close to 2 hours of overwrought distressed Kat where I see-sawed between "she's just overtired" to "what's WRONG??" It was time for Henry to go to bed so we just laid down in their room all together so I could keep tabs on the babe.

I stopped thinking she was sick when she started demanding "Rees DEES!" (read, please) and reached through her crib-bars for 5 board books and a big picture book. After energetically turning the pages, she carefully arranged them on her pillow....and laid down.

OK, I love that she loves her books, but this is a bit extreme even for me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Is that a Lightbulb around your neck?

Henry noticed the pearl necklace I was wearing today. And by "noticed," I mean grabbed it and pulled it closer for a better look, nearly strangling me in the process.

Henry: Is this a LIGHTBULB?
Mama: No, it's a pearl.
Henry (face lights up): I know what PEARLS are! They live in CLAMS!

Kid knows what a pearl IS but not what it LOOKS like?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grab the Bull by the Horns

Henry's noisily stomping around the living room on hands & knees.

Henry: I'm a triceratops!
Mama: Where's your horn?
Henry (pause): No! No! I'm a BULL!

Yeah, okay. Horn question avoided?

Mama: So where's your horns?
Henry (not to be outdone): I'm a CALF bull!

Toesies and Owies

I was watching my 2 yr old change her own Pull-Up and get dressed this morning, quite the independent little girl who's even telling her body parts what to do.

 Kat: Me! On! Ahm IN! Owie IN!

She stubbed her toe months ago and ever since she thinks her toes are called "Owie."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween 2.0

Since we're well into November, seems like a good idea to catch up and write about the kids' Halloween before Christmas is upon us.
Usually Jim takes the kids around our neighborhood and I stay behind to dole out the candy. This year I insisted on a trade since I usually don't get to see their happy little faces as they gleefully accept their treats. I learned soon enough why Jim was so quick to take me up on that offer.
(On a side note, I get that parents with small kids want to start before it's pitch black outside, but we aren't trick-or-treat ready before 6:30 and even that is pushing it with our schedules).
So we had the lights off and ignored the doorbell which still chimed (lights OFF, people!) until it was time to wrangle Henry and Kat into their Superman and Dragon costumes, respectively. Naturally, Henry's Superman costume which he has worn a couple of times before the 31st was suddenly unacceptable and chafed his neck. Kat's dragon hood kept falling over her face, so that wasn't going to work either. Changed into Storm trooper and Pumpkin and headed out only to discover it had started raining somewhere between putting on Henry's Storm trooper mask and plopping on Kat's pumpkin hat. Perfect.
My brother and I headed out with the kids while Jim stayed behind in the nice warm house. It was cute at first to see them trot up and ring the doorbell, delighted with the people's responses to their costumes, but quickly became a tiresome routine of helping Kathryn up and down precarious porch steps, without tripping over my Renaissance dress, and keeping track of an increasingly hyper-Henry scampering around in the chilly rain. But they had fun and I loved how Kat would hold out her little hand, get two pieces of candy, then chase after Henry yelling "Ree-Ree!" to give him the other piece. She was so concerned that she was getting a treat and he wasn't. Love that.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


This totally made my night. I was putting the lid on Kathryn's cup of berry lemonade when it slipped out of my hand and tipped over, spilling the contents directly into the open silverware drawer. That sucked.
Then I was bustling around cleaning up the kitchen with Kat following me around (of course) occasionally tugging on the back of my pants. Turns out she was blowing her nose on tissue after tissue and jamming them, dripping snot, into my back pocket. Awesome.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Henry was running around tonight, swinging his foam sword yelling, "You're fired!"
Mama: Who are you? Donald Trump?
Henry: Who's Donald TRUNK?

So he's not as well-known as he thinks.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

To Play or Not to Play

I can't help but shake my head at this. I think my kids totally screw with me sometimes.
Last weekend I brought both of them straight to a football game after church to see Dada refereeing. I packed chairs, snacks, drinks, toys and more snacks. They spent most of the time wrestling around and tackling each other which usually would have been OK except they were both in their going-to-church clothes... and ended up with grass & dirt stains on their khakis and pretty white tights.
Today I thought I would be one step ahead of them (haha) and change them BEFORE we went to the field so I played octopus-Mom and changed both of them in the church bathroom as one would try to open the door and escape while I was wrangling the other into jeans or shoes.
They BOTH sat quietly on the blanket and ate their grapes and pretzels. In their play clothes. With permission to run around and be tumbly-kids.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Henry's Day when he gets his way

Feeling like Mom of the year right now. Henry told me all about his day after I left for work this morning.

Henry pitched a fit and REFUSED to put on a jacket which meant he ended up staying inside during recess.

He told his daycare teacher he ate breakfast so he didn't have to with the intention of eating at kindergarten because it's new and cool and then couldn't eat there without a note from home so he didn't have breakfast at all.

Then he "couldn't find" his take-home folder and told his teacher we didn't put it in his bookbag when all he had to do was LOOK better.

So he went to school on a chilly day with no jacket, no breakfast and no take-home folder and I have to come to terms with the fact that I can prepare and plan all I want, but I can't do everything for him.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bad Choices and Consequences

Henry's been stomping around, making all kinds of noise during Kat's naptime. Jim told him to settle down and be quieter and Henry ran right in and woke Kathryn up which landed him straight in the corner.

Henry: Dada's SO MEAN!
Mama: Your Dada was absolutely right, Henry and I support him a hundred percent. That was not a good choice and you're in the corner.
Henry: Well, I only support him EIGHTY percent!


Henry won while playing a game on the computer.

Henry: Mama! Lookit hot many diamonds I have! One-One-Three! How many is that?
Mama: One hundred thirteen.
Henry: No, it's not. It's FORTY-SEVEN!

Kid is stubborn to a fault.


I was writing up the grocery list this morning and I asked Henry if he wanted anything from the store.

Henry: Um um um....Water and Cantalope for me an' Kaffryn.
Mama: All right, my little Jack-a-Lope.
Henry: An' Kaffryn'd my little WATER-LOPE!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


A 4 year old's crisis tonight....

While helping Mama make meatloaf, Henry's enthusiastic stirring resulted in raw hamburger strewn all over the table, including on his beloved stuffed pony. I washed an extra load of laundry tonight to forestall a bedtime meltdown because he was missing it and Dada helpfully put the load in the dryer. Apparently he did not hang up the stuffed animal to air dry and "Pony" didn't do so well in the dryer, coming out with crazy-matted mane and tail.

Henry: Oh no! She looks EVIL!
(She did look a bit worse for wear, but I wouldn't call it "evil.")
Mama (thinking quickly): Look how her hair looks like it's almost braided close to her head. She's like a thoroughbred.
Henry: What's a thoroughbred?
Mama: A racehorse. The fastest horse in the world.
Henry: Yeah! An' I'm a THOROUGH-KID because I can keep up with her!

You sure do keep us busy, buddy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Breaking a Fall

While getting dressed this morning, Henry precariously balanced on one leg and flailed his arms wildly.

Henry: I have to hold onto something or I'll fall on my behind!

Then he re-thought this.

Henry: Oh! Just kidding! My behind is good to land on because it's bouncy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Parenting as a Team

Henry's been having some trouble listening and tonight Dada decided no lullaby song tonight as a consequence which sent Henry right over the edge because he lost a "privilege."
Henry: Mama, sing a song, PLEASE???
Mama: I'm sorry, Henry. Dada said no song tonight and Mama and Dada are a team.
Henry: You're the WORST TEAM EVER!

Yeah, I'm not happy about this either. We sing 3 worship songs and then Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's become our routine. I feel out of sorts now and I SO wanted to be like, "Forget what Dada said. We're singing our songs tonight" but that would have completely shattered any sort of authority/solidarity and totally screw us when he gets to be a teenager. So yes. We're a team and we suck.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


My grandfather used to say if you hold a buttercup under your chin and it shines yellow, it means you like butter. We went to the playground this morning and Henry picked a buttercup. He didn't quite remember how it worked.

Henry: Lookit Mama! This means you like PEANUT BUTTER!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Grocery shopping

Henry was my little helper yesterday when we went grocery shopping. And by "helper," I mean he constantly fought with me about pushing the cart because "Grammy let him do it." I'm sure Grammy didn't let him careen around the store like it was bumper cars. Always an adventure.
So after we had our little power struggle in which Henry learned (again) that I mean what I say and I want him to be safe, we had an uneventful trip to the checkout lane where he put up a token protest because I wouldn't buy the ginormous water gun. When we were done and on our way out, he asked if he could push the cart. There was no one between us and the door and I figured he could manage a few feet without wreaking havoc and destruction.
Henry's face lit up and he got behind the cart, stretching a bit to reach the handle. Then he hunkered down, bracing his feet in an oddly familiar pose before he took off. He didn't make it very far.

Mama: Stop! What are you doing, Henry???
Henry: I'm like HARRY POTTER pushing his cart at the train station!

Glad he didn't run into a wall trying to get on Platform 9 3/4.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wake-Up Call

This morning I awoke to Kat babbling away. Then I heard "Uh oh!"

Translation: Kat has stripped off her pajamas and diaper, left a HUGE #2 on her white blanket and did some sort of happy dance in it, judging by her feces-smeared feet.

Ugh, straight into the bath and then to shake out the blanket into the potty which gave me flashbacks to when Henry was in cloth diapers. Glad I wasn't rushing off to work.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Thinking about foods I craved with Henry and Kat and how my eating habits differed with each pregnancy. I took a Bradley method class with Henry and was intensely aware of anything I ate or drank down to counting the grams of protein and religiously taking my vanilla-flavored prenatal vitamins.
With Kat, I was much more lenient, maybe because I seemed to have a lot more going on with wrangling Henry, working and starting grad school. EXHAUSTED doesn't even begin to cover it and I didn't quite cut out all caffeine. One cup a day didn't seem like nearly enough, but it was something. I'm lucky I remembered my vitamins let alone counting protein grams.

Baby Henry was all about corn dogs with mustard and relish. Kat was cheese omelets with maple syrup and Arby's Beef n' Cheedars until the heartburn just about ate through my esophagus.

What did YOU crave?


Henry was helping me with the laundry this afternoon when he spotted a spider madly scrambling up into the rafters and he panicked.

Henry: Ahhh!! A SPIDER!
Mama: It's all right, Henry. It won't hurt you.
Henry: It's not gonna BITE me???
Mama: No, it's a Daddy Longlegs.
Henry: Only the MAMA Longlegs bite???
Mama: No. There's only Daddy Longlegs.
Henry: What about the BABY Longlegs? Do they bite?

OK, you got me there. Never thought about gender discrimination in naming spiders.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Potty Training the Princess

Explicit discussion of potty-training. Consider yourself warned.

I'm thinking it's time to start actively potty-training our little Princess Pumpkin Pants. She'll be 2 next month and it's starting to sink in that she's not a "baby" anymore.

She's already gone #1 and #2 once which is encouraging. She knows what the potty is for, just have to work on getting there on time.

I've been trying to remember how we trained Henry. He was just over 2 when we started and I have to give credit here to his daycare teacher. She was absolutely incredible and I cannot praise her enough. We had no clue what we were doing and there seems to be a thousand methods to teach your toddler to pee in a pot.

Should we let him run around half naked at home with a potty close by? No, it was January. Not the best time to be bare-bottomed and after peeing on the floor (and Dada's chair) a couple of times, it got old.

Should we keep the Pull-ups and watch him intently for signs of imminent excretion and hope we make it to the potty in time? Yeah, I was realistic and admitted I would not focus on his expressions and body language THAT closely. I was pregnant, working full-time and going to grad school.

We ended up having him wear underwear and gave rewards of "pee-pee" candy and lots of verbal praise. We bought a Thomas the Tank Engine See & Say as his prize for going #2.
We also did a bit of periodic sitting on the potty at first, regardless of whether he had to go, which ended up being a battle of wills. Then it was M&Ms when he told us he had to go, then only when he actually made it to the potty. By the time Kat was born, he only used Pull-ups at night and stopped soon after. He stills dramatically drops whatever he's doing and runs full-steam into the bathroom yelling, "I GOTTA GO POOPIE!" Our poor neighbors.

We're lucky now in that Kat worships Henry and wants to do whatever he's doing so it only took Henry peeing in the potty sitting down for her to grasp what it was for. She actually went after that and flooded the bathroom floor because she wasn't QUITE on there, but still....I'll take it. Then we had to remind Henry that he goes in the grown-up potty after I caught him using the potty chair.

A couple weeks ago Kat was in the tub and I recognized that sudden, inwardly tense facial expression. QUICK! Scoop her out and set her down on the potty. Made it just in time and she looked extraordinarily pleased with herself. She even happily clapped when she was done.

So I think she's ready. She surprises me with her awareness. This morning she needed a post-breakfast bath and after she was undressed, she picked up her clothes and padded out to the hamper to toss them in. By herself.

Wonder what it will be like to live in a diaper-free home?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Witch Hazel's Healthy Snacks

We were all sitting down to snacktime and having Nutella for the first time. Henry was a bit skeptical that Mama was encouraging him to dunk little crackers in chocolate for his "healthy" snack.

Henry: Mama, what IS this? Chocolate????
Mama: Nutella. It has hazelnuts in it too.
Henry: HAZEL? Like WITCH HAZEL?? Did she MAKE this???

(Great, now I'll NEVER get him to try this since he thinks it's a witch's brew).

Mama: No, it was made in Germany. People read about you in Germany on Mama's blog, Henry.
Henry: Oh, OK. (tries a TINY bite): This is GOOD!

He ends up LICKING the snack container clean.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Julia Child's chest

Henry has discovered "The French Chef" cooking show. He calls it "Bon Appetit."
We were watching the first episode (in black-and-white) where Julia Child makes French beef stew with red wine. He was intently watching the chopping and sautéing, taking it all in.

Henry: Mama, what are those? Olives?
Mama: No, those are onions.
(Abrupt subject change, or so I thought)
Henry: Mama, do girls have hair on their chests?
Mama: No.
Henry: Is Julia Child a girl?
Mama: Yes.
Henry: Well, if she eats those onions, she WILL get hair on her chest!

We will never know.


Henry was eating breakfast while I was sitting on the living room floor as Kat happily meows and tangles a brush in my hair. No idea what game we're playing but she seems content. Henry, however, has noticed not all eyes are on him.

Henry: MAMA! How come you're in there wit' Kaffryn an' you're not giving me GOOD ATTENTION? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Mama: I'm RIGHT here, Henry! You have my attention too.

Henry: Yeah, but it's not A LOT!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Whole Flock of Birds

Henry left for school trying to stuff a blue wooden block into his fleece pocket.

Henry: Help Mama! I have to take my Baby Bluebird with me an' he's too FAT to fit in my pocket! He has to stay with his MAMA!

Then on the way out the door, I heard him discussing Baby Bluebird's family in detail with Dada. Apparently he has a sister, Baby Redbird and there are 4 sisters, 5 brothers and 6 Mamas.
That's a lot of birds.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Henry's BORED stream of consciousness

Since the kiddies and I have been together a lot lately (I lost my job recently during a mass layoff), I've had lots more material to write about, but subsequently less time to actually write.
Henry just lost interest in his latest activity and charged over to me while I was posting. He's taken an interest in my blog since he's discovered it's largely dedicated to him and loves to hear the stories.
Reminds me a bit of Peter Pan listening to Wendy's stories.

Henry: Mama! Whatcha doing? Writing about me? I HATE posts-es. Let's play a fun game on the computer together! How about you get me a cold and yummy treat because I'm a FRIDGERATOR!

Well, duty calls.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monsters under the Bed

Ever since Henry watched that episode of "Berenstain Bears" about jealousy and the Green-Eyed Monster, he's been TERRIFIED to go into another room by himself. Tonight was especially trying and I remembered some parenting tip about helping kids deal with irrational fears by handing them a baseball bat and telling them to aim for the family jewels.

I did not have a baseball bat but we do have a kid-sized rolling pin. Tucked Henry into bed tonight with the rolling pin and repeated the old "there's nothing to be afraid of" line and that he could sleep with this if it made him feel better. A few minutes later I heard "CRASH!" and ran into Henry's room to find him standing in his doorway, rolling pin in hand.

Henry: I heard something an' it scared me so I hit the floor wit' THIS!

Green-eyed monster beware

I'll Cry if I want to

We took the kids on a little adventure after church and we pushed it a bit with Kat's naptime.

 It was actually Henry that started the chaos on the way home when we turned instead of going up a hill, which was apparently where he wanted to go, regardless of the fact that it was NOT the way home.

Henry starts that dramatic tearless cry when Kathryn shows her support for Big Brother by joining in too.

Henry (crying abruptly stops): KAFFRYN! You're NOT sad! You want sad? I'll GIVE you sad!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Bother Blogging

Feeling a bit discouraged with blogging.

I love to write about parenthood and the wonderfully spontaneous ways of my children but sometimes I feel like, "Why should I bother? Why not just jot these moments down in a personal journal and not post them for the entire world to see?"

When I first started this, I wanted a creative outlet which quickly centered on the role which largely defines me nowadays- parenthood. I didn't really want to join online forums to discuss hot topics like cloth diapers and breastfeeding because frequent bouts of sleep deprivation has taught me to reserve my patience and diplomacy for other times, like the perfectly timed meltdown in public (the kids, not me)......or for Facebook drama.
Anything remotely related to parenting also seems to be controversial in some way to someone and someone always ends up being offended. Luckily, I have not encountered offended persons firsthand with my blog venture but who knows. Maybe somewhere out there in Russia or Germany, someone was extremely revolted by my detailed descriptions of Baby Kat's blowout diaper and immediately resolved to never read another post. Oh well. Parenting is messy and frustrating to the breaking point. But it's also heartbreakingly precious and sometimes you just have to laugh.

So I sought advice from my friends and fellow-parents and saved my writing-time for those moments when I wanted to record some crazy-random conversation or a moment of frustration where nothing seems to be working out.

Does anyone actually READ this?

Tough Day

Henry had a rough day today- lots of temper tantrums complete with cranky, crocodile tears. During our night-night kiss/hug/cuddle, we talked a bit about it.

Mama: Henry, Mama will love you forever. You know that. You had a pretty tough day today. Lots of not listening and talking back. You all right?

Henry: Yeah, my allergies showed me how to do that and so I did so they didn't make me sleepy.

Well, I wasn't prepared for that response.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spoken word

Kathryn's been working on her words and can say "Moo, More, Out, Dada, Mama and Uh-Oh."
Tonight she added a new word to her repertoire. "Author."
Dada was showing her a book and she spotted the picture on the dust jacket.
That's my girl!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finders Keepers

Henry has been asserting a desire for more independence lately and has taken to playing in his room instead of participating in the daily ritual of rendering the living room uninhabitable. Works for me but occasionally it does push the envelope a bit to let him out of sight, unsupervised, even if it is in the next room.

The other day he wandered out from his room past the living room and I caught sight of him chewing. It clicked that there was no recent snacktime or mealtime so this chewing should naturally be viewed with suspicion.

Mama: Henry, what are you eating?

Henry: Nuffin'

Mama (not fooled): WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR MOUTH??

Henry: Cracker

(Dada brought home a package of Combos that Henry immediately ripped into so I assumed that was what he meant by "cracker." Still thought it wise to verify that assumption though).

Mama: Are you eating the little cheese-filled crackers that Dada left on the counter?

Henry: Nope! I'm eating the cracker I found in my toybox! It was a circle cracker an' it was broke in half!!

PLEASE be half a Ritz cracker.


Henry amused himself tonight by picking handfuls of violets in our backyard.
I thought about reigning him in but then figured once the lawn gets mowed, they're gone anyway. As long as he stays away from the daffodils and tulips. 

He enthusiastically crawled around, snipping up the tiny bits and stuffing handfuls of the delicate purple flowers into his pockets (and mine). We later sprinkled them in their bathwater. Quite Romanesque, if I do say so myself.

Surprisingly delightful scent and even if Kat decided to taste one, they're edible. They didn't do their usual clamor for the bath toys and were  both fascinated with the floating flowers. When Kat stood up to get out, random violets stuck to her and she looked adorably cherubic.

Violets remind me of my childhood best friend, Kat and the little mossy patch of violets that we found while walking in the woods. She talked about how it would be a wonderful place to scatter your ashes, it was so peaceful and perfect. Little did I know her ashes would be scattered a few short years after that in a redwood forest in California.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Family Moment

Jim & Henry played catch in the backyard tonight while Kat doggedly climbed up and went down the slide.
My favorite moments?
Henry not even AIMING for Jim, just throwing it past him so he would "fetch" the ball until Jim caught on.
Kat going down the slide, landing in the soft grass and holding up her "dirty" hands to me with a disgusted/expectant look. "Yuck! I am dirty and it DISPLEASES me! You may clean me up. Now!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Haircut time, Rapunzel

I told Henry he needs a haircut soon since it's starting to stick out around his ears. He objected, but not for the reasons I expected.

Henry: "No, Mama! I DON'T want a haircut! I want my hair to grow an' grow so it's as long as yours and I look like Emily!"

We know several Emilys, including a couple in his school and I asked him which one he wants to look like. He didn't quite understand what I was asking.
Henry: "EMILY! That's her name, Mama!"

Yep, thanks for clarifying that.

*Update: Since I posted this, we took Henry out for a "Spoiled Kid" night which involved buying a balloon. His choice? "Tangled" for him and 'Strawberry Shortcake" for Kat. Yeah, I'm not letting his hair grow THAT long!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Manly hair

I was helping Henry get dressed this morning and noticed a long strand of my hair trailing off his shirt.
When I started to pull it off, I realized it must have been washed with the shirt because it had somehow stubbornly woven itself into the fabric.
Henry thought it was something else entirely.

Henry: Don't pull that, Mama! That's a BOY HAIR! It's SUPPOSED to be there!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Line of Questioning

I was talking with Grammy on the phone tonight when she asked me to ask Henry where he hid her slippers when he was playing with them this afternoon.
I should have known better. Obtaining useful information from a 4 year old is all about the approach. I wish I had better creative names for the various methodologies, but I'm too tired.

Method 1: Be General and Vague
Mama: Where are Grammy's slippers, Henry?
Response: I dunno.
Translation: Doesn't immediately impact me and involves remembering uninteresting information which happened more than 5 seconds ago.

Method 2: Be Direct and Assertive
Mama: Did you hide Grammy's slippers, Henry?
Response: NO!
Translation: I'm a good boy and deserve obscene amounts of candy and toys.

Method 3: Casual Inquiry
Mama: Where did you hide Grammy's slippers, Henry?
Response: Where the buried treasure is!
Translation: (Aside from too much "Peter Pan") You have asked an open-ended, playful question and I TOTALLY answered it. Proceed with the obscene amounts of candy and toys because I'm a good boy.

End result: He FINALLY divulged that they were under "Kaffryn's sleeping place" which makes it sound more like an animal's den than her pretty pastel crib.

Treasure located and secured. Over and Out

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nice deer, Good deer

Henry and I saw a herd of deer grazing as we were leaving his school. Since no one was behind us, I slowed down so he could count them. He got all excited when one perked up to look at us slowing to a crawl to gawk at them like city-people.
Henry was concerned that deer were "mean" and wanted to know why some people hunt them.

Mama: Some people eat deer.
Henry: Yuck! I don't like deer meat!
Mama; You've never had deer meat. It's called venison.
Mama: No, VENISON!

What followed was an exhaustive discussion on various meats and "why are cows called beef and pigs are pork but chicken is just chicken and turkey is just turkey... huh? huh? why? WHY??!!"

Henry still insists he doesn't like deer meat. Good, don't eat Bambi. I'm OK with that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bellyaches, Gas and Little Boys

This post is not going to be a starry-eyed, gushingly detailed story of something acutely cute. This one is for the parents who have endured the jarring reality of raising children.

Henry ate something recently that definitely didn't agree with him. We will most likely never know for sure but it was memorable. As in creating smells that revolted me and I grew up on a farm. Henry thought it was awesome, like he had some magical power (to do what, clear a room?)

Parents will sympathize, I'm sure, with the challenges of teaching polite manners to a gassy preschooler. I'm hoping it gets better with age, but based on the behavior of my now-adult brothers, I doubt it.

When he was an infant, Mylicon was a good ol' standby for his baby bellyaches and I diligently avoided the caffeine, broccoli, etc that breastfeeding mother should. Now that he's older, of course we encourage him to try new foods with the occasional unpleasant results.

To his credit, Henry has taken his flatulence manners to hearts and thinks each expulsion needs to be accompanied by "Excuse me" which is adorable, at first. Then it's accompanied by giggling which often escalates into those wonderful child-belly laughs. I'm hoping he'll tell us if he has a tummy-ache but of course I cannot resist my Mama-impulse to hover & mother.

Mama: Henry, are you feeling all right?
Henry: MAMA! I'm NOT Henry! I'm a STINKBOMB!

Yes honey, you certainly were.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Preschooler Nightmares

Henry was sound asleep in bed this morning while I was getting ready for work when he yelled "Mama!" I rushed in to find him still blissfully asleep (?)

Mama: Are you OK? What happened?

Henry: I had a nightmare.
Mama:What was it about?

Henry: Grammy bought the WRONG juicebox an' I didn't LIKE them!

I couldn't help it and I laughed.

Henry (frowning, eyes still closed): Mama! It's not a very funny nightmare!

Duly noted. Don't mess with the juiceboxes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Caterpillars and Frogs

During Henry's bedtime snuggle tonight, he reached out a small hand and ran it through my hair. I've been meaning to get it cut but even my bangs have grown out and it's well past my shoulders now.

I should probably also add some context to this. We recently watched a cartoon about a caterpiller and tadpole growing up into a butterfly and frog and Henry's been speculating on what he's going to change into. He's moved on from "I'm going to spin a cocoon and change into a butterfly" to some rather interesting ideas.

Henry: Mama, how come you got long hair? Does your hair grow an' grow? Can my hair grow that long?

Mama: Yes, Henry. If we don't cut your hair, it will grow and grow too.

Henry: I want my hair to grow and grow so it's as long as yours. When I grow up, I want to be a girl.

Mama: You mean like you want to change like a caterpiller?

Henry: Yeah! Like the caterpiller turns into a butterfly an' the EEL turns into a FROG!

That would be a tadpole, sweetie.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Save Me a Cookie

Henry was snuggled on the sofa with a pile of pillows and blankets, talking to Dada on the phone this morning about what he's going to do today at Grammy-camp.

Henry: Dada! We're baking COOKIES today!
Dada:Cookies?! Make sure you save me one.
Henry: But Dada! Those cookies are REALLY good an' Grammy an' I might EAT them all!

So if he's willing to save you a cookie, beware. It must not be that good.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chocolate Chuckles

As we were finishing up dinner, I was thinking what sweet treat wouldn't be too sticky/ messy to clean up and decided on a few of the Lindt truffles that someone had kindly given me.
I handed one brightly wrapped ball to Henry and broke apart one for our anxious Kat.

Henry: What's this, Mama?
Mama: Chocolate.
Henry: What kind of chocolate?
Mama: Truffle. Try it, it's good.

Henry takes a cautious bite and his face lights up.

Henry: Yay! I LOVE chuckles!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Eyes of an Angel, Nose of a Bloodhound

I should have known better than to think I could get away with sneaking a snack with Henry still awake. Kathryn will toddle around obliviously but Henry has the frustratingly acute sense of a pre-schooler denied candy.
But I thought all I had to do was not chew when he was looking. Yeah, right.

Henry: What're eating Mama? Mama! What do you have in your mouf?? MAMA!!

Mama (shaking head & shrugging shoulders)
Henry gets up close to my tightly closed mouth and sniffs twice.

Henry: TWIZZLER!! Can I have one? Huh? Huh? HUH???

Mama (defeated, but prepared) presents him with a small bit set aside just in case.

Well-played, Henry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whatcha got cooking

Henry was snuggled into my bed sleeping in while I was getting ready for work. Then I heard him yelling, "Mama!" so I rushed in, only to find him still sound asleep, burrowed under the blankets. 

Mama: Did you call me, Henry? Are you all right?
Henry (eyes still closed): Yeah! I don't like what you're cooking, Mama!
Mama: What? You don't like what I'm cooking?
Henry: Yeah! That's what I said!

OK, then. Not sure how to take this. Needless to say, I was NOT cooking a nutritious, hot breakfast before 7am. More like barely awake, shuffling around in my bathrobe wondering what to wear today.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scribbles and Scribes

Henry was busily scribbling away on his Magna Doodle tonight writing letters and drawing shapes, keeping up a running commentary of his awesomeness.
He's getting pretty good at the letters K,A, H, E, N, R, Y and O and will scribble all over any available piece of paper. We had a "talk" when he scrawled all over an outgoing bill.
So I'm impressed (and not the least bit prejudice). Well, he is barely four and he can legibly write his name. Scribble away, buddy. Just stay away from the mail.

Henry: I'm writing a letter, Mama. It says. 'I love Dada so much! Even Mama an' Kathryn an' Maggie!'

(I feel special. At least I ranked above the dog).

Henry: I'm drawing shapes! I made a triangle! I made a square! I made a circle! What shape should I make next, Mama?

Mean Mama (mwhaa-haha): How about an octagon?

Henry bends over his work, flourishing this line and that. He holds up a roughly circular shape with squiggles radiating out.

Henry: I made a TALKING OCTAGON!

Well played, Henry.


Henry & Kathryn are still so adorable with each other. Each night before she goes to bed, Kat toddles over to Henry and they both enthusiastically embrace, her chubby little hands patting him on the back, him squeezing her around the middle. Adorable. We're getting the occasional sqwawk over a toy but it's still pretty rare and they usually play well together.
Last night Kathryn was giggling like crazy with Henry as they were tumbling around.

Henry: Mama! I tickled her and she laughed!
Mama: Yep.
Henry: An' I put my finger in her mouth! *Pause* Is that wierd?

Only if you did it on purpose and then don't expect a whole lot of sympathy when she bites.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Kathryn was fussing on the way home tonight (mainly because Mean Mama covered her lap with a blanket and she was unable to perform her favorite car-ride trick: remove her shoes & socks before we reach our destination).
I asked Henry if her legs were still covered or if she managed to kick off the blanket.

Henry: Mmm-mmmm-mmm
Mama: What do you have in your mouth, Henry???

(He had finished the Goldfish snacks we had packed that morning and I couldn't think of anything else edible within reach so this concerned me)

Henry: Mmmm-mmm
Henry (gulp): DROOL!
OK, then.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fish Meat

Henry likes to listen to music before he falls asleep and I've taken to playing a mix CD since I never know what they will be talking about on the radio. Learned that one the hard way.
Anyway, he's latched onto a particular song and wants it on repeat "all night" (AKA until he's asleep and no longer aware that Mama turned off the music. Mean Mama). So we've been listening to alot of Uncle Kracker's "Follow Me" because Henry likes the rhythm. He calls it "Everything Will Be Alright."  He picked up on the "swim through your veins like a fish in the sea" and went off on a tangent that I'm going to record here because I've already let far too many of these little tidbits slip away.

Henry: Mama! He said "fish in the sea!" What are fish? Are fish meat?
Mama: Yes, fish are meat.
Henry: I like fish meat.  What is fish meat?
Mama: (uhhhhh???) Like hamburger. Tuna fish & salmon.
Henry: I like hamburger. How come we never have fish meat?

Just waiting for him to put "Finding Nemo" together with the tunafish in his grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crochet buddy

Henry likes to help me crochet. He'll snuggle up next to me and unwind the ball of yarn. Meanwhile, I try like crazy to keep up with him because he has a frustrating habit of clutching a handful of loose yarn and holding it up for me to see, invariably leading to an hour of untangling. But he likes to help and I'm not going to dissuade his interest in yarn crafts. :o) 

 Henry: Can I pull yarn for you, Mama?
Me: Sure sweetie.
Henry: Cuz I'm the BEST PULL YARNER?
Me: Yes, you're the best YARN PULLER!