Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to 'Normal'

Laundry Update: 7 loads down, 9,461 to go.

OK, enough about our Greatest Vacation Ever. We have been back in the real world for three days now and someone (Yay, Matt! I love you!!) carried most of the camping stuff down to the basement, so I will return to the regularly scheduled programming; ie, blathering on about how adorable my boys are.

So! Here goes.

Do you want to play Post Office? Step 1: Throw all the sofa cushions onto the floor and bounce around for a minute. Then crumple, I mean fold, up your "letter" and scream at your mom when she tries to unwad it to write an address on the side. Realize the logic of her actions and apologize profusely for your outburst. (Ha ha kids, that was a joke. NEVER admit that your mom had a good idea. Rookie mistake.) However, allow her to flatten it out a little so you can put a sticker in the corner before carefully placing your letter in the corner of the post office. (Empty couch, remember? Did you think getting rid of the cushions was just for fun?) If your mother is on top of her game, she might actually get your letter in the real mailbox on it's way to your intended recipient, but more often than not it will get left on the floor and Evan will eat it. Fun for all ages!

Ethan is really starting to understand about the written word. One day he was looking at a book in his carseat. He turned a page and exclaimed "Hey Mom, dis says sumpsings!!" "Yes!" I agreed. "All those letters are put together to make words, and the words tell a story. What does it say?" "It says, 'Dear Widdle Fwoggy, You wike to eat flies. Here is a wady bug.' " He answered.
The stories he tells are getting more involved, too. I'm not sure where he heard it, but lately he begins a lot of statements with "one time". "One time, I stayed at Gamma's house." "One time, you got a shot. When Evan was born." "One time, I feed a calf." It's pretty cute, plus you never know what he's going to say so the the entertainment rating is usually at least an 8.

Unfortunately, his backtalk is becoming more advanced as well. Now instead of a simple 'no', he'll parrot back whatever we've just said with an emphatic 'not'. "It's time to brush our teeth," I'll tell him (reasonably!). "It's time to NOT brush our teeth" he'll shriek. "How 'bout we NOT share!" "I want to NOT go to bed." Two-year-olds are delightful.

So one night, after an attitude-filled day, Ethan and I were snuggling peacefully and I was flooded with love for him. "You know what, buddy?" I whispered. "I love you soo much." "Know what, Mom?" He looked up at me with a big smile and loving eyes. My heart melted as I waited expectantly for him to continue. "My tractor is BWOKEN. I left it outside. I need to fix it." Oh, that's sweet.

Evan continues to babble and throw in a recognizable word occasionally. He has some seriously distinctive sounds, such as an 'hehm hehm hehm' when he is annoyed and 'gah bah gah ah goo' when he is playing contentedly on the floor. His facial expressions are very, ah, expressive, as well. He'll scrunch up his nose with fury when I try to pry a choking hazard out of his fingers or grin and wriggle madly when he catches sight of Ethan. He has discovered that there are interesting things to mouth and new places to explore, but his favorite spot is still on my hip (or on the boob, but that could fill a whole 'nother post!).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Highlights Reel

Oh, did I not mention that my mother broke her arm? The first night? It made for a pretty crappy time for her and a lot more work for the rest of us. Evan was especially confused about why Gramma wouldn't rescue him from his evil mommy who obviously had no idea what he needed. But he survived, and my mom is a real trooper. Now she has to get ready for school and get to various appointments with the orthopedic doctor. It will be a long six weeks. (For me, obviously.)

Other highlights:

Sleeping in the tent was so cozy & entertaining. Usually, putting Ethan to bed is one of the tasks I find most irritating but it was actually enjoyable to have that snuggle time and sweet conversations at the end of the day. He and Matt would goof around for awhile, which always cracks me up. "You are a tiger and I am a WYYYY-ON!" Ethan would announce, and then the roaring would commence. After they were good and tired, Ethan would snuggle up next to me. "I wuv you so much," he would smile. "I wuv my Evan so much. Can I pat him? Can I kiss him?" (So who in their right mind would snap, "No! He is sleeping!" Me, that's who.)

I also got to take a nap in the hammock with Evan one afternoon. I hope I never forget how peaceful and grateful I felt in those moments. His warm body, the sweet baby smell, the gentle rocking in the perfect mountain breeze...I have been trying and trying to describe it but I can't think of enough words to adequately capture that amazing time. I attempt to channnel that bliss when one of them is driving me crazy. Sometimes it even works.

Fun With Words X 2

Evan said "Dad", "Gah-ma", and "Mom" (yes, in that order) during the week. So precious.

Ethan also made some verbal advances: I heard him muttering something while trying to put on his sandals. I bent down to help him and asked what he had said. (Note to self, never ask that again.) "Fuckit, fuckit, fuckit!" he replied. "Dang it, dang it, dang it," I suggested, trying not to laugh. "No," he looked me in the eye. "FUCK!" I almost died but luckily he hasn't said it since. His arguments have also gotten more logical. One evening Matt told him he couldn't have any more candy so he headed into the camper to work on Gramma. "Daddy said I could NOT have more fwuit. Daddy said I COULD have more candy bars." I can't believe he is already trying to play us against one another! We are in deep, deep trouble.

If I was a rock star like Deidre, these would be in a slideshow set to kickass music, but I'm not so here:

Eight is NOT Enough: Days 1 & 2

So obviously, we had a great vacation. We (Matt, Jenny, Ethan, Evan, Bruce, Ellen, Kirk, Tessa, and Grandpa Joe) pulled out of the driveway at the crack of 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. Of course I left the sprinkler on in my garden, which my dear friend Laura came out to turn off after she returned from the ER with her husband who broke his arm after rolling a tractor. (Not to worry, their whole family worked together to do our chores all week. Guilt!) She also shut a bunch of windows in the house. (I am so lame.)

Q: How many adults does it take to adequately prepare and pack up a small family for a week-long vacation in the mountains?
A: Beats the crap outta me.

Ethan started out riding with the grandparents, then came into the Excursion for awhile, then screamed "I want my gwamma! I want to see Gwampa!" until we stopped, threw the carseat back into the truck, and drove away as fast as we could. Evan was a pretty happy passenger since there were enough young adults to make googly eyes at him without dozing off mid-tickle.

11,479 potty stops later, we arrived at my great-aunt and uncle's home near Riverton, WY. We love, love, LOVE Liz, Paul, and their family. These are the same toys I played with as a child:

We headed up the mountain on Sunday afternoon...I think I'll need another post for that because it's time for a nap. Yes, I know there is a huge pile of laundry to do, and no, I have not ventured out to the garden yet but hello! this blog is not going to update itself. Stay tuned (if you think you can handle the cuteness).

Too Tired to Write...


We're off to get the dog...more later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Sounds

Yesterday, Evan squealed "Dye-Dye" and dove into Matt's arms as he walked in the door. It is his first officially confirmed word. For a few weeks he has whimpered "Mum-mum-mum" as he crawls around looking for me while I neglect him, i.e. take a shower by myself, and Matt swears he said "Hi Da-da" once, but admittedly those sounds could have gone either way. ("Does that count?" I kept asking my mom about the mom-mom sounds. "Sure," she would smile, "If you want it to.")


"Errnt!" Ethan trumpets into a socket. "Mom! I ERRNT'ed you!" I've also been 'chiiinged' with a stick and 'deeeped' with a spatula. Weird? Extremely. Entertaining? Abso-frickin'-lutely.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Ethan is home! "My mom! My Jen!" he yelled as he ran into my arms. Everyone he had been with last week kept going on and on about how well-behaved and charming he was. He's been in time-out hundreds (maybe thousands) of times since Sunday, and has thrown fit after eardrum-rendering, mind-numbing, soul-crushing fit at bedtimes. Obviously I have brought home the wrong kid.

Who's in the mood for a potty story? (You know you are!) Today Ethan has decided that he will only stand up to pee "like Daddy and Grandpa". Without a stool, of course. "What are you DOING?" he yelled when he barged in on me this afternoon. Did he think I missed the memo on the new, approved potty usage system? I explained a little more about the process. Motherhood is sooo glamorous. By the way, at what point are parents no longer compelled to share these stories? I really can't stop myself. Is there a pill for that?

Evan is adorable, in case you haven't heard. He is nursing right now, humming and playing with his toes. His eyes are so beautiful. I haven't ever gotten a good picture of them. He always ends up with red eyes, then I try to fix it and they look black. Hopefully someone with less craptacular photography and/or technical skills can get on that. Anyway, for the record: there is a thin, deep-blue circle around each iris, then a wide light-blue circle, then a really thin circle right around the pupil that is slightly darker than the middle circle. Swoon.

So I spent all morning trying to get Ethan to pick up his toys. We played music, we had a race, we did teamwork (what's gonna work? TEAMWORK), he sat in timeout, he couldn't have a posicle/go outside/etc. They finally got picked up, and I vacumned, and 15 minutes later he dumps out the baskets. "Mom! I'm looking for treassssssssure!" he howled as I stormed in. Well, who am I to stand in the way of a treasure hunt. He'll need it when he is supporting me in my old age.

Anyway! I know you're not really here to read these ramblings so I present these for your viewing pleasure:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

My parents and my cousin Nick were here this weekend so of course Ethan had the time of his life. And I must have been smoking crack because when they left, I packed him up and let him go home with them. I've called Mom several times and they are all having a blast. Ethan is probably missing me but trying to keep his emotions inside so he doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. :) Today they went to Morrill Hall but I don't have any pictures to post because, ya know, I WASN'T THERE. Apparently the dinosaurs were ok but the water fountains were fascinating. There is a long list of tasks I plan on accomplishing while I only have one small human demanding things from me but today I was so lonesome that Evan and I just moped around (and slept a lot, which was so awesome I don't even know how to describe it and almost makes up for the knot I've had in my stomach ever since that Excursion pulled out of the driveway). Tomorrow I will either kick into gear and get this place organized or... I will be on the road to Crete to scoop up that boy and squeeze him til his gorgeous little eyeballs pop out.
Evan is enjoying having all the toys to himself. He's also never had the experience of nursing, napping, and playing uninterrupted so that's been pleasant, too. I think pretty soon he'll start to get bored, though. He gets so excited when he sees Ethan and loves to follow him around the house. People keep telling me they'll have fun together when they are older but they are already enjoying each other so much! It was worth all the hurling and hospitalizations and being gutted to get that baby here, I GUESS.

So- it's been 24 hours since Ethan left and I have only cried three times. Stay tuned for further updates.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nakey Boys

Does anyone have any tips for how to keep clothes on little kids? Seriously, the nakedness around here is out of control. Our friends and their toddler Lane were here to visit yesterday and the boys stripped out of their clothes within minutes. Today Ethan played at a friend's house and when I picked him up, he and Lissy were pantsless. At least I don't have to worry about feeling like a slacker mom because we have friends with the same low standards we have adopted! And I'm not gonna lie, they are all adorable in their naked glory: the miniature shoulders, chubby bellies, strong legs, and sweet little toes. I'm a big fan.

On a related note, why does a two-year-old need complete and utter privacy while going potty ("No, Mom! Just Efan! Shut the doh!") but refuse to give me one minute of alone time in there? Me: "Ethan, go play with Daddy and Evan. Can you please shut the door?"
Ethan: "But Mommy, I need to see you."
When he first started using the potty last year, he required everyone and their dog to gather in the bathroom and applaud his, uh, efforts. Where did he get this constant need for attention and validation? Hmm...