Friday, September 30, 2011
Ben is recovering after having an adventure with one of Austin's socks this week. Namely, Ben ATE one of Austin's sock, and unlike Tucker's or Molly's socks (which he routinely eat), Austin's socks are large and it got stuck.
But, rest assured, with a one night stay at the vet, the sock passed through our valiant dog without surgery. The vet also took a picture of the amount of grass that Ben threw up after he arrived, apparently it was about 8 cups worth and completely astounding. You gotta give a dog kudos for being able to impress a vet with something like that, because usually they've seen it all.
The minute Ben got into the car on our way home, he grabbed a plastic bag and started eating it.
Will he never learn?
Monday, September 26, 2011
According to Tucker clowns, pogo sticks and pillow fights are NOT real.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Tucker turned four yesterday. We celebrated with a fun party with friends on Saturday, a family party on Sunday, green and yellow cupcakes, a Mickey Mouse cake and a homemade pinata (which incidentally is not a great craft to do with a four year-old).
It is unbelievable how big Tucker has gotten; he is definitely a little boy now, and his toddler-ness is long gone. It is bittersweet for me to see him grow out of the cute baby stage into such a fun, fast-moving, independent boy. I love that he still is a snuggler so I can still get short moments of holding my oldest baby tight!
It has been fun to see Tucker’s personality continue to emerge and flourish this year; especially with Molly in the picture I feel like I now have a little bit more of a reference point about what is Tucker and what is a developmental stage.
When I think of Tucker, I think:
Kind. He is so gentle hearted and truly thinks and cares for others. When he hears Molly cry, he runs to her saying, “I’m coming, my baby!”
Sensitive. His eyes frequently well up with tears at a sharp word. Oh, how I wish I had more patience!
Talkative. He literally talks non-stop. He can talk even the (second) most talkative person I know into the ground!
Focused. When I see him with other kids his age, Tucker is definitely on the serious end of things, and he has a level of focus for things that interest him beyond his years.
Outdoorsy. He knows more about what’s going on outside our house—the chickens, the garden, etc.—than I do. He’s like the postal service: neither sleet nor slow nor rain nor anything can keep him from going outside.
Reserved. Tucker isn’t truly shy, but it takes him a little bit of time to warm up to a new situation.
Creative. Tucker marches to the beat of a different drummer. He loves getting dressed up in crazy outfits, he loves crafts and making things—but he wants to do it HIS way, which is more interesting. He is beginning to show interest in sports, but he has little interest in rules and organized games.
A few other odds and ends:
Tucker’s favorite color is green. Yellow is second, but no longer tied for first. Tucker frequently checks what Austin’s wearing before he picks what he will wear for the day. Tucker’s favorite toys are his ride-on truck and his Magna Doodle. He especially loves to attach the shopping cart to the truck so that he can tow a trailer.
Tucker loves to play hide and seek, make caves, play the tackle-wrestle game with Daddy, hold hands with Molly in the car, pick anything in the garden, check on the chickens, help Austin with projects, read in his room. He has left his obsession with cars and trucks behind and I rarely see him playing with them anymore. He prefers art and music and puzzles.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Molly does not like to be fed anymore. She is irritated by the idea that she can’t do everything by herself. But… she loves yogurt. What’s a mama to do?
A: Make yogurt balls.
If you mix yogurt with enough rice cereal it goes from a liquid into a solid, and becomes a finger food. I have felt pretty smart for my mad mama skills… until this morning when Molly set out to prove to me that she can turn solid yogurt into liquid yogurt again if she rubs it on her tray enough.
As you can tell from the pictures, she was pretty pleased with herself.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tucker has been talking endlessly about pillow wipes lately. It took me a long time to figure out what he was talking about. He told me pillow wipes were not real. He told me they were like diapers getting all strewn about the living room floor. That was about as much description as I could get out of him.
So… take a guess… what ARE pillow wipes?
PILLOW FIGHTS! Apparently he misheard the word on a Winnie the Pooh cartoon and thought they were an item, like a baby wipe. That item, I think in his mind was the pillow disintegrating into bunches of feathers all over the room.
Austin and Tucker had a pillow fight before nap time, but Tucker is still not convinced that they are anything other than pillow wipes. And that they are not real.
Incidentally, I also learned from Tucker that pogo sticks are not real because Tigger used one in the mud. No amount of convincing could change that opinion either.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tucker loves to play Hide and Seek. Playing with him is a unique experience.
First, his counting is always different every time. Today he counted to 10 three different ways!
He also likes to tell me where to hide. Then he counts and goes looking for me, and pretends to be shocked when he finds me. He also likes to tell me where he is going to hide, and is similarly delighted when I (shockingly) find him.
Usually Molly hides with me, and thinks the game is the best too and squeals wherever we hide, which tends to take away any remaining suspense.
P.S. Here are my Redskins twins. Tucker discovered that Molly has a Redskins jersey that fits and has wanted both of them to wear their jerseys and match most days this week.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Last night I led a discussion at my book group about Alice in Wonderland. I vaguely remember reading it as a child, and after several years of picking bad books to lead, I’ve decided to stick with classic kids lit. At least it will 1) be short and 2) not be racy. (Yes, one year I picked a Kingsolver book that involved a lot of fecundity that really wasn’t what I was hoping to discuss with lots of friends from church.)
I actually did not enjoy the book. I kept wanting to find the point, the plot, the action, the logic. And that’s the problem, the book has no plot. It’s entirely character driven, which is a bit hard for this Type-A person to appreciate. The characters are crazy, and fascinating, but there’s also this somnolent air of boredom.
It is definitely the best book I’ve ever read in recreating what a dream feels like, with the crazy nonsensical scenes coming one after the other with only vague connection. There are other fantastical dream-like children’s books (Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz) but both are still more more plot driven. The feeling of the book, the disconnected-bored-slightly crazy-disjointed dream-like state actually reminds me of the feeling I got from reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
But, the beauty of book group was that I left having an appreciation for the book. I went in wondering how in the world this could have been the most popular children’s book in England for years and years and remain popular worldwide even today, and I emerged with the answer: the book approximates how a child thinks. A child experiences the world as a succession of scenes, with little framework to connect them all, little understanding of why X is happening or past/future. Instead the child is essentially in an eternal present, enjoying each experience as it comes along without connection to anything else.
I also realized that the Alice stories also are somewhat similar to stories I make up with Tucker. We like to play a game with his sticker book, where he picks a scene and I start to tell a story about the scene. One by one he puts down random stickers and I have to include them all in the story. This delights Tucker to no end, and it IS possible to connect almost any disparate random sticker but it does produce a certain Alice-like quality.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
How did my boy get so big? It is amazing. This is him on his first day of school yesterday, totally excited, after having a fabulous day. This next picture makes Tucker look like he’s about 8. I can’t believe how big he is.
We tried on clothes the other day, to make sure things still fit, and I discovered his new shoe size: size 13. What? Here’s a picture of how big his shoe is compared to mine. I’m getting nostalgic….
And here’s his first day of school art work:
He even got a “Terrific Ticket” (for doing something terrific that his teachers saw) on the first day and has been going around showing it to me ever since. Aw.