Monday, June 28, 2010

"My kisses and hugs flew away!"

-Tucker, at bedtime

A few months ago Tucker's hugs and kisses kept getting lost, necessitating more kisses and hugs being administered. We no longer have that problem, but despite my best efforts, Tucker's kisses and hugs keep flying away at bedtime. I painstakingly apply our best imaginary tape and glue all over Tucker and give him his hugs and kisses, but somehow when I leave the room, they tend to fly away (and he tends to scream about it).

Incidentally, Tucker seems to be in a tantrum phase these days and has a tendency to throw a fit over some pretty silly things (like kisses and hugs that fly away). On Sunday as we got ready for church, he had a tantrum over letting Austin brush his teeth. At the pool last week he had a tantrum because he wanted to snuggle with his towel rather than get dressed. The other night at 4:30 in the morning he had a screaming fit because he couldn't find the cars he wanted in bed (Austin had apparently moved them so that he would have room to read Tucker a bedtime story). The list could go on from there. I'm not sure I like this phase.

Quote of the weekend

"Daddy, can I kiss your toes?"

This weekend Tucker was suffering from a severe case of I-love-Daddy, needing to follow Austin everywhere and help him with everything he did. It culminated yesterday afternoon with Austin reading the paper in the recliner and Tucker playing by his feet, offering to help him rock in the recliner, and yes, to kiss Austin's toes (did he get this idea because they were up in the air on the recliner???)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recent pics

This is at our first McDonald's playland on our trip back from Annapolis with the trailer of bricks. Tucker enjoyed it, except for the other two year-old that came over and just started hitting him when he was playing inside the tunnel system (in a place where I could see). Sad.

Our native grass meadow after one year

We planted native grasses in the floodplain below our house last year, and here are some pics of how it looks now. I have to admit that I'm a bit fuzzy as to what are actually native grasses and what are annual weeds that have come up and are sheltering the grasses as they grow (Austin shows me, but I promptly forget). The grasses have such deep root systems that they spend most of their energy in the first couple years sending down their roots before they really get big and bushy. Austin mixed in some native wildflowers so we have some coreopsis, blanket flower and others down there now, too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crime of Passion

I paid for my first ever library book today, Axle Annie by Robin Pulver. Really, of course, I paid for Tucker's first destroyed book. Its destruction was a crime of passion during naptime last week, because Tucker adored that book. It's the story of an intrepid bus driver who makes it up the steepest hill in town through the worst winter can throw at her so that schools are never canceled. Two members of the local Grouch and Grump Club want schools to be canceled and set out to get Axle Annie's bus stuck on the hill.

Apparently, Tucker was looking at the book during his naptime, and he got so worked up over the two mean men that he just started ripping them up. When I went into his room after naptime, I find him still prone on a sea of ripped up pages. I asked what happened and he began sobbing uncontrollably, he was so sad about the state of his beloved Axle Annie.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bricks are heavy

Helen and David ripped up the bricks in their driveway and put in a nice new concrete one, freeing up more than 300 square feet of bricks. We've been thinking of making a patio, and decided the trip to Annapolis was worth the offer of free bricks.

So to celebrate Father's Day we rented a trailer and loaded it with 5000 lbs of bricks to take home. Austin and David managed to encase the bricks on the flatbed trailer with an impressive wooden box of sorts. Besides having to load 1000 bricks in the 95 degree heat on Saturday, the job wasn't too bad... until we hit the road on Father's day.

Thankfully we got an early start so there weren't a ton of cars on the highway when the trailer started violently swaying, shaking the truck. Thankfully Austin was able to remain in control of the truck and maneuver it gingerly over to the side of the road without any damage to any of us or the equipment. We were only about half an hour outside of Annapolis so we turned around and limped back to town on back roads, sick to our stomachs, hoping the trailer wouldn't try to turn us all over again. (It didn't.)

We weren't sure whether we would have to unload all the bricks back into the garage and leave for home with the trailer unloaded, or if we had other options. Thankfully, Austin was able to reach his boss and an excavator they work with who both routinely pull and load heavy trailers, who advised us to shift the weight on the trailer to get more tongue weight on the truck, and to shift some of the bricks to the back of the truck.

After two hours of agonizing in the 95 degree heat and the sun playing stack the bricks again, we hit the road again... this time, the back road back to our house so we wouldn't need to drive at highway speeds and could make a quick pull-off if necessary. It turned out not to be necessary, thankfully. It was a long, slow trip home (Austin is proud to say we passed two vehicles that were going slower than us, the whole four and half hour trip!). And then when we got home we had 5000 lbs of bricks to unload (which takes a little more than an hour and a half in 90 degree heat with two people working).

In case you were wondering, I'm not sure this was Austin's idea of a relaxing Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's a girl!

Can't you tell from the pics?? :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bathroom Wall Art

This is my experiment with putting vinyl wall decals into the upstairs hall bathroom. That bathroom has some sort of solid, corian-type shower surround. I've never seen a shower surround like it, and am not sure what era it's from (was it put in when the addition went up in the 1930's? Is it from the 60s or 70s?). It's in good shape, but it just looks a bit dingy. I've toyed around with painting it, or at least painting a stripe to try to jazz it up, but the permanence of epoxy has dissuaded me.

Instead, I found some vinyl wall decals that are waterproof and removable and I made a little underwater scene with them. I'll be interested to see if they really last in such a wet location. I ordered the polka dots and the whales from two different sellers on and neither of the sellers' colors came as I thought they would. (The whale was supposed to be the same color as the dots, and there was a whole additional set of polka dots that were yellow that I had to ditch because they came in a really bad shade of yellowish orange.) After my initial disappointment with the colors, I decided that since I already had bought everything, I might as well see if the vinyl decals work... and be glad that I chose something that I can remove when I get tired of them!

Regardless, I think Tucker will like them.

Quote of the Day

"Daddy, don't be silly. This is not a game!" -Tucker to Austin at dinnertime. (Austin was fixing his own supper and not actually being silly at all, which made our two year-old's comment even funnier.)


Tucker is a fruitivore. One of the most common things I hear in the kitchen now is, "Does Tucker want a mango?" (Tucker likes posing rhetorical questions.) One day last week I went to the store solo and bought some mangoes unbeknownst to Tucker. Tucker woke up from his rest time, came downstairs and he was like a bloodhound, he instantly knew there were mangoes in the house, even though they were completely out of sight (waiting to get ripe). We finally convinced him that they were not ripe and that we would have to wait for them to ripen... he ceased and desisted from his militant campaigning for one, but magically sensed the exact day (several days later) when they would be just barely soft enough to be able to convince us to give him one.

Recently Tucker went missing outside for a couple of minutes while Austin was working out. Austin found him behind the garden, picking raspberries on the outside of the garden fence. He has a knack for picking a berry and then holding it up to ask if it's ripe (by then, of course, the only answer we can give is "sure, why don't you eat it?"). Not that Tucker is super concerned with whether something is ripe or not. He definitely would eat all of the (still green) blueberries on the bushes in our garden if given the opportunity.

The lesson behind all this is that it's not possible to grow too much fruit, especially berries. The raspberries are on their way out, but the blackberries are about to start and it looks like it's a bumper crop. Unfortunately, Ben has learned that he has access to some of the berries if he peruses the garden fence near the berry patch... he may not be the smartest dog in the gene pool, but he is very committed to his causes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oil Slick in...

...Tucker's hair!

Tucker has been really commiserating with the situation in the Gulf recently. One night at bedtime I decided his eczema wasn't bad enough that night to need the hydrocortisone prescription ointment we have. But Tucker saw me with it and thought he needed it, so he popped up after I left the room and got the tube of ointment.

I'm not sure what prompted Austin to go into the room a few minutes later but Tucker was swimming in the ointment--on his hair, on the sheets, and on his feet which he had propped up on the wall thereby slathering the wall with it. Austin asked Tucker what he was doing and he said "putting lotion on Ducky."

This is Tucker the next morning (he chose the outfit himself). We now have oil stains on his sheets, a distinct sheen on the wall (even after washing it down)... and I am much better about putting all lotions out of reach.


Tucker's Favorite Playmate

Tucker loves helping and playing with his dad, and I hear the phrase "Daddy tackle Tucker" approximately 100 times a day. But when the contest goes out for favorite playmate, I think Pa Pa is the winner. When Tucker gets his hands on Pa Pa, he knows he has an absolutely captive audience.

Case in point: last night we were finishing up dinner, when Tucker discovered that underneath the dining room table is the perfect hideout. Tucker popped up to convince everyone to come in with him. After Henny had put in a minute down there, Tucker started working on Pa Pa to get him to join in the fun.

Tucker: Come under the table!
Pa Pa: What's under there?
Tucker: ME!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another recent vignette

The other day I was cleaning up a bit and Tucker was on the porch. He came running in, terrified, urgently shouting "Somebody's daddy is on the porch!" This is how Tucker refers to a man--he doesn't say "man," he says "that daddy" or "somebody's daddy"--so it was a bit perplexing that a strange man was on the porch at 9 am or so (and that it scared him so much--he likes the delivery men that visit our house).

I took him out to investigate, and finally figured out what was bothering him: a Daddy long legs (spider).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"I don't want to go home!"

It feels like this is a nice honeymoon period before the baby comes this fall. Tucker doesn't nap anymore so we have a more flexible schedule, and he is just so interested and communicative. We have full mornings doing various outings -- anything from strawberry picking, swimming, a local kids' museum, parks, playdates, a local moon bounce center, and of course, various errands. (Incidentally, Tucker even likes the errands--he often asks if we can go to another store....) Tucker has gotten into a habit of asking where we're going next, and if the answer is "home," he invariably yells, "I don't want to go home!" It's pretty funny; I mean, the kid has it pretty good at home with raspberries and snow peas to feast on in the garden, chickens and eggs to gather, lots of tools and projects to help Daddy with, walks with the dog, fun videos, and enough trucks of every shape and size that he could happily organize them till kingdom come. I guess I should be flattered about how fun I make our morning outings. :)

Other notable things lately:
*Tucker has taken to searching around his room after I leave him for rest time and finding and bringing his tools into bed with him. His hammer sounds particularly realistic, and is often a sound track to his rest time. He also enjoys sing-songing "Happy Birthday" during his rest time.
*Every morning when he wakes up (after I tell him it's okay to come out of his room) he snuggles in our bed. I ask him what he dreamed about and he says, invariably, that he dreamed about buses, especially school buses and trolley buses. He tells me who rode on the buses in his "dream," if the bus got stuck or needed to get fixed, and who was the driver (usually Tucker). I don't think he really knows what a dream is, nor that he is actually having recurrent bus dreams, but I don't really know.
*Speaking of buses, every bus, mail truck, or UPS truck that we see gets a vigorous shout-and-point from Tucker. He is very into questions. "Is that my mail truck?" "Is that my bus?" "Is that bus going to Tucker's house?" (Of course, all these questions are rhetorical: the only proper answer is yes.)
*Some of my favorite Tucker-isms right now is his knack for making "Thank you" into a three syllable word: "thank-a-you," a few choice words like "hamba-gam-ba" rather than "hamburger," and his habit of using "be" as the verb in just about any sentence ("I be do that," "You be go there" "I be want ____")--I know you're supposed to correct grammatical errors, but I do tend to parrot back these particular constructions because I find them so amusing.
*He has persisted with his no-napping, and will stay awake for his entire hour and a half rest time... this means, of course, that he is in bed for the night by 6 pm because he's so tired. It's a bit ridiculous. I mean, it's tough fitting dinner, bath and bedtime reading in BEFORE 6 pm. And I thought I went to bed early.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A couple videos

My mom noted the dearth of videos on here lately, so here are a couple for her.

The first video is Tucker watering some plants with the hose in a steady rain. He doesn't sense the irony of it yet.

The first one wasn't able to capture the scene as well as real life. Tucker was dropping every spice and kitchen utensil he could find down the sink of his kitchen and yelling "INTO THE BANK!!!" but of course when I turned the video on, he quieted down. It was still pretty funny.

More Memorial Day Pictures