Monday, January 26, 2009

And they say *I* don't understand technology.

Shawn and AJ are playing a computer game together. Sounds great, right? Some father-son bonding.  Who needs a campfire when you have a mission and a sword?

They are playing online- each playing on their own computer. Shawn is playing on his computer in his office at the front of the house. AJ is playing on the computer in the kitchen, in the back of the house. "How technologically advanced!", you may say.  Not so much. 

They have spent the last half hour screaming across the house at each other things like: "Where are you?", "I'm by the stone wall!" and "There is some gold over here, do you want it?"

They might as well be playing with dixie cups and string at this point. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fun With Math

AJ's #1 Fan . . .

until he is distracted by something bright and shiny.


Charlie and I took a walk today and here are some of the animals we saw. 

 I think the birds are quail, but I am not sure. They have a plume that sticks out on top of their heads. I have never seen them in a tree or in flight.  Usually, you are trying to avoid hitting them as they scamper across the road (a la Partridge Family), in front of your car. 

 Those of you who don't live here probably don't know how cool it is to get a picture of a jackrabbit. They are fast! I was amazed that he stayed still long enough for me to take a picture. Jackrabbits are everywhere here. If you take a walk at dusk, you can usually see over 20 in an hour. 

A few months ago, a small red fox was even in our neighbors yard. Other animals I have seen on my walks have been a coyote and a javelina. But I didn't stick around to try to get pictures. 

Friday, January 23, 2009


Lowered Expectations (Sung like the old SNL skit)

I learned to my horror last fall, that I had to take a lab science in order to graduate with my interior design degree. I had had a meeting with my advisor (a woman who I have the utmost respect for)  last October.  We were going over my transcripts from my first round of college, when she saw my grade in anatomy.  In a very understanding, motherly sort of way, she told me it was ok. Everyone goes a little crazy their freshman year.  It dawned on me that she thought  I got my bad grade because I was out partying. I wasn't. Ask my roommate. I studied for HOURS for that class. Daily. I was about to defend my work ethic, when I realized it might be better if she just thought I had been an irresponsible 18 year old instead of a complete idiot. 

Science and I have never really gotten along. I have tried. Really, I have. I watch the Discovery Channel all the time. That counts, right? I always liked dissecting the frog in biology, I just couldn't tell you what was INSIDE of the frog on the test. It is some type of block I have.  I even married a science guy in the hopes that some of it would rub off.  It hasn't.  

AJ - a third grader- has basically stopped asking me questions that involve any type of math or science. I think that after the third time I said: "Go ask your dad" he just assumed I thought the world was flat and didn't want to waste time talking to a luddite. 

So, here I sit taking biology 20 years later. On the internet. I would write more, but I have to go catch a cricket in my back yard for my first lab.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Transition of Power

Me: Did you get to watch the inauguration at school today?
AJ: Yeah, I saw Bush give Obama the keys to the White House.

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16 2009

Charlie walked for the first time today. I was doing dishes and when I looked over at him, he got up and took 4 tentative wobbly little steps. 

Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most sentimental person.  But I have to say that after the pride I felt for my little one, a part of me got sad that that milestone is no longer in the future. I quickly got over it. 

With AJ, I never understood the parents that got all sappy as their kids got more independent. I really didn't. Wasn't that our job? I was high-fiving myself as I got to check off each mile stone off the list.  Drink from a sippy cup- check.  Potty trained- check check.   Go to school- check check check.  Each time our children navigate the world on their own, make the right choice, or remember to say "Thank you", we have succeeded. 

Frankly, taking care of babies and toddlers is a royal pain in the butt. They are needy and squirmy. And they have copious  amounts of bodily fluid- most of which ends up on you right before you walk out the door to an important meeting. 

Of course there are positives; their fuzzy little heads and their toothless grins. They way they put their head on your shoulder when they are tired. The way they smell AFTER a bath. And you can't forget the footy pajamas. There is truly nothing cuter than a fuzzy-headed toothless baby in footy pajamas. 

I have to say though, that there are not enough footy pajamas in the would that would make me take on any more diapers, tantrums or unreasonableness a day longer than I had to. 

We all want our kids to be productive members of society. In an ideal world our kids would do honorable work, be attentive and loving parents, have healthy relationships with their spouses and leave the world a better place when they go. True, at times we will miss the days when we were the center of their universe. But isn't it great that their dreams and accomplishments will be so much bigger than us?

And all those dreams start with that first wobbly step. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking for work

With the economy so bad, Charlie is now looking for work to help support our Lego addiction. The first picture is from is audition to be The Flock of Seagulls new front man. The second picture is from his audition tape to be a hide and seek coach. 

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Forget Paris

This isn't the real Eiffel Tower. (Just in case the recessed cans didn't give it away.) 

Shawn and AJ spent the last THREE days building the Eiffel Tower out of Legos. Hours were spent bent over the kitchen table finding pieces, reading directions and building. There were thousands of pieces. They built while eating breakfast. They built while eating lunch. No other chores were done or thought about.

 They are both really proud of their accomplishment, as they should be.  It came out great. There was no swearing during the building process, and they both still like each other.  A success all around!

AJ suggested that we place the tower on display in the family room so that everyone can admire it- all day, every day. I will get back to you on that. 

AJ, the ever problem solving optimist, even suggested that now I didn't need to actually GO to Paris. Phew, what a relief! Who knew Legos could be such a time saver?

Monday, January 12, 2009


I glanced out the window this morning and saw this. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009


After 5 years of soccer, AJ decided he wanted to give basketball a try. So we signed him  up for the league.  Our friend E.R. thad taken him to a game when he was about 3. The story goes that the breastbone-splitting buzzer went off, and that was the end AJ's career as a basketball fan. So it occurred to Shawn and me that AJ has never actually seen a game from start to finish. 

Shawn plays basketball every Saturday morning. So, he took AJ along with him to watch a "real game". (And when I say "real game", I mean a bunch of 40 year olds running up and down a middle school gym with no ref, no scoreboard and no foam fingers.)

Despite the questionable methods, it seemed to have worked. AJ took to basketball like a fish to water. He even scored two baskets. He loved every minute of it. And for the record, AJ's game had a ref (complete with striped shirt) a real scoreboard, and half time music. But I forgot my foam finger. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gene Pool

You will notice that Charlie has a scrape on his head. I was going to make up some great elaborate story about how he got it. It was going to involve him climbing on something and then falling from some great height, etc. But, no he didn't hit his head on anything. He didn't run into anything. And, he didn't fall from anywhere. He got it . . . crawling. Yup. That's it. He was CRAWLING and did a face plant onto the carpet. I guess it was too much to ask for that BOTH kids got Shawn's athletic ability. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Small victories

I bet you thought that I was going to tell you that Charlie used a spoon. He did - for the first time.  Yeah!! But that is not what I am really excited about.

 He ate a piece of the pot pie I made- every bite of it. I know that this stage, where he eats everything I put in front of him, will not last. So, I am enjoying it while I can.  Because shortly I will have to start cutting his sandwiches into triangles (or some other geometric shape) and making pretty pictures with the food on his plate just so he will eat it. 

But for now he is happy eating what I give him and then using the spoon to play the drums. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This is Charlie gnawing on the parenting dvds the hospital gave us when he was born. They are obviously unopened. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009


We went to Legoland after Christmas for a little vacation. All the boys (even the big one) loved it.  The rides were fun and the we did some serious damage at the Lego store. 

Shawn and I took turns going on rides with AJ. I did all the ones that had any type of spinning component, and he took all the rides that had sharp drops. 

We also went to the Aquarium where we learned things like starfish eat with their stomachs on the outside and turned inside out. And fish don't appreciate flash photography. 

First Christmas

This was Charlie's first Christmas. I am pretty sure the whole thing was lost on him. But that may be because we didn't let him touch the tree, the ornaments, the decorations or eat any of the food. Who knows. 

He ended up going to bed without opening most of his gifts. (And when I say open, I mean his brother opened them for him.) But I think he liked the lights and the all his new toys that lit up. . . and made noise. Lots and lots of noise.

Having a second child has made me appreciate my first child even more. I let AJ decorate the tree pretty much by himself. And even though I sat in the corner, in the fetal position repeating "I don't have control issues. I don't have control issues", I let him do it.  And the tree was beautiful because an 8 year old thought it was beautiful. And that is kind of the point. 

I am sure there will come a day when I can have the "perfect tree".  It will be color coordinated, perfectly balanced, properly proportioned, and be hung with hundreds of hand blown glass ornaments. But I am guessing I will miss this tree- where the tinsel was hung so tightly the tree looked like it was being held hostage.