Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Turning Tides

We babysat Ethan's BFF, Brayden, yesterday. It is fascinating to watch these little guys interact. Occasionally they'll revert to toddler behavior- not sharing, pushing, etc.- but most of the time now they play and talk on a completely new level. Evan and I sat on the deck and eavesdropped while they climbed on the lawnmower. "Do you have any gas for your mower?" Brayden asked. "Yeah, there's a can in the shed," Ethan replied. (Seriously- that is a direct quote!) They dug some holes in the dirt and played with the baby calf. I nursed Evan and enjoyed the sunshine. It is odd to realize that Ethan rarely needs me to help navigate social situations with his peers anymore. It's one step closer to independence, which brings the same combination of pride and wistfulness that has accompanied each rung of this developmental ladder. For so many months, I was a vital part of his entertainment: building the block towers, breaking up fights over tractors, translating his words for others. Now it is both a reprieve and a rejection to be designated to the sidelines. (What is my problem? Playing tractors is SO frickin' boring!) And he's only two... I can't even imagine what the teenage years are going to be like. Ahh, the glorious, heartbreaking dichotomy of parenthood.

I was trying to get a picture of Evan's new tooth. See the little white spot on the bottom left? Trust me, it's there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


You would not believe how much more efficient it is to hoe the garden with two hands. Or, maybe you would.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things I Never In a Million Years Thought I Would Need to Say Out Loud

Here are just a few phrases I have uttered recently:

1) Don't lick the trash can.

2) You have to wear underwear while we eat dinner.

3) I said, stop bouncing that ball off Evan's head!

4) [Peering into a diaper] Wow, honey, look at this!

5) No, the kitty doesn't want to take a bath with you.

6) Seriously, put some underwear on NOW.

7) Please stop licking my face.

8) You can't drive the 4-wheeler unless Mommy or Daddy is with you.

9) Score! This is my favorite episode of Curious George!

10) I am not even kidding, you cannot eat dinner until you PUT ON YOUR UNDERWEAR.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Is Daddy Home Yet?

We played at the park today after running errands. It was both delightful and soul-crushing, which is how our days are right now. Ethan is incredibly stubborn and energetic and defiant and sweet and logical and illogical and affectionate and psycho and thoughtful and... ugh, I'm worn out just writing about him. Evan is at a particularly charming stage, except when his teeth are hurting, which is most of the time. One finally came through last weekend but another one is just barely poking through his gum and seems determined to stay there. However, once he's drugged up a little, he is really fun to be around. He has a lot of new sounds, which I would tell you but I have no idea how to spell them. (I have got to find the cord to transfer videos to this thing.) He is always so happy to see me that I can forget, momentarily, that last night I offered him eleven bajillion dollars to just go to sleep already, and when that didn't work threatened to make him sleep outside with the dog. (Didn't work either, and I didn't follow through. Damn! Consistency is everything. Maybe next time.) (Just kidding.) (Maybe.)

Yesterday we went for a walk. When we started out, it was cool and breezy and both boys were settled in the stroller. Ethan and I talked pleasantly about what we saw/heard/were going to do/etc. Ten minutes later, I was gritting my teeth to keep from telling him to put a sock in it. By the time we got home, it was hot and muggy and each boy was asleep on one of my shoulders and I was trying to push the stroller with my knees. I abandoned it at the end of the lane and was sorely tempted to leave one of the boys, too, but I restrained myself. Super Mom, that's me.

Now I just want to crash on the couch and read the paper but obviously that is not an option.

Could you please pass me the Zoloft?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


He is the most loving, patient, generous father around. "My Daddy! My Matt!" Ethan exclaims delightedly when he walks in the door. Evan does his whole-body happy wriggle and Ethan runs around in circles, then throws himself to the ground laughing in anticipation. No matter how exhausted he is or how much he needs to do, Matt packs up Ethan and takes him along to help with various projects. They are a team, and I love to eavesdrop on the easy back-and-forth of their conversations. One evening Matt was weed-whacking and I glanced out to see Ethan waving a stick around a clump of weeds, too. Matt stopped to untangle something and restarted it. Ethan pull-started his stick with exactly the same motions as his daddy. What a great man to learn from.

Happy Father's Day, babe. This family is blessed to have you as a daddy.

P.S. These guys are pretty incredible, too!

Saturday, Matt & I went on a date -no kids!!!!!- for the first time since New Year's Eve. It was great to laugh and talk and drive without listening to E-I-E-I-O. My parents & Kirk were here this weekend and babysat the boys. I think the ratio of adults to babies was just about right. Our 5-year anniversary was last weekend. It is amazing to think about how far we've come together. I couldn't imagine being any more in love with him than I was on our wedding day, but watching him with our children makes me fall more in love with him every day. Like the Grinch, my heart has grown with love for this little family until sometimes I worry it will burst right out of my chest. Then I cry some happy tears, hug my boys, kiss my husband, and say a grateful prayer of thanks. We are so blessed. Happy birthday, hon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sargent Fair and World's Only Chokecherry Jamboree

Yes, that is seriously the name of the carnival, etc. we went to this week. I feel mildly guilty that the rest of the world's population is deprived of the fun that is the Chokecherry Jamboree. We had an awesome time at the parade, BBQ, activities, and midway. I love small towns in the summer: the kids running around, the vast array of choices of greasy and/or sugar-laden snacks, the lights, and the relaxed time with friends.

The Men In Red:

The 3-Legged Race is a confusing concept for 2-year-olds.

Some sugary goodness: Mmm...red dye #5936! And other flavors not found in nature!

"I feel like we're going in circles. Why won't you stop and ask for directions already?!"

Evan and Eve (cute, huh?) spent some quality time together, too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sweetest Prayer Ever

Last night Ethan said his first complete, unprompted prayer:

Dear Jesus, I love my Jen. Amen

I'm teary again just thinking about it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer Days

The rain finally stopped and the sun came out long enough for us to set up the little pool this weekend. It was AWESOME. Summer is finally, finally here. We splashed and ran through the sprinkler and played on the swing. Occasionally we helped Matt with something or did a load of laundry but those productive moments were few and far between.

Ethan last year:

Ethan today:

It is really hard to keep clothes on that kid!

Evan liked the water, too. He crawled around on his tip-toes and fingertips to keep his head up. Genius! I will need several extra assistants, though, before I can attempt to handle the camera and that slippery baby at the same time. He didn't get a poppa-sikkle afterwards, either. What an unjust world.


The generous spirit of a two-year-old:

A nasty, burned chunk of sausage had been sitting in the scrap bowl for a couple days. "Can I eat dis sausage?" Ethan asked. "No, it's old and yucky,"I explained. "We'll give it to the cats. Or the dog." He thought for a second. "Or Daddy!"