Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Ready

We carved our pumpkins last night (obviously). Ethan thought the whole thing was great; Evan was bitter because no one would let him use the knife. We roasted the seeds and Ethan pronounced them "grossting," his own special hybrid of gross and disgusting. I can't tell if he's being funny, a la ginormus, or if he thinks it's an actual word.

Ethan is still undecided about his costume. His choices are ghost, football player, clown, or Bob the Builder. So what does he say when people ask what he wants to be? Usually, dinosaur. When the librarian asked him on Monday, he said butterfly. ("That's unique," she smiled.) Then in the car on the way home, he suggested "Mom, you can be a butterfwy and I will be a fruit bat." What?!

Here is a picture of the pumpkin we carved last year. Granted, it was in November (bed rest is so inconvenient that way). I remember that whole day so fondly. I was off bed rest and getting ready for the baby, but treasuring those last few days of solo time with Ethan. We carved that pumpkin and made pumpkin cookies and pie. We talked and I marveled at how grown-up he seemed. We had had a lot of fun together that summer, he and I, and I worried about how we were going to incorporate another person into our little team. Now our family is whole, and I am treasuring (most of) these days with two boys.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Is Tessa coming today? Anyone?

It has been 76 hours (but who's counting?) since Tessa left but we finally seem to have found our rhythm again. It was so fun to have her around, and so satisfying to be able to get some projects done. I don't know why she doesn't just move here- Sargent isn't THAT different from Omaha, right? "Is Tessa coming today?" Ethan asks 59723 times a day. "Is she coming on Saturday? Is today Saturday?"

Evan is a really funny little mimic these days. It cracks me up to watch him 'work' with such complete concentration- whether he is putting (dirty) clothes in the dryer, wiping the walls (after days of scraping the wallpaper), or using a screwdriver on the bottom of a tractor. He helps put the toys away, but quickly remembers that it's much more fun to dump them out and sit in the basket.

Ethan is... Ethan. He alternates between charming little boy and hellish preadolescent. ("I don't know what you're talking about," Tessa remarked one day. "This child is a delight." Grrr.) He is very nuturing to his baby animals and he's really into dress-up right now. He is also into torturing me, using the time-tested techniques of manipulation and excessive whining.
Pop Quiz: A cowboy hat is to cowboy as giant plastic bowl on your head is to _______.
Pirate, DUH.
Gotta go. Here comes my plastic bowl, complete with spatula for 'chiing!ing' (otherwise known as a swordfight).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So Big!


Apparently autumn has come and gone. It was fun while it lasted. Ethan refused to wear a coat, explaining "Diego will keep me warm." Imaginary friends are so useful.
This afternoon we are going to make Halloween cupcakes but it feels like we should put on some Christmas music and start making spritz.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Word for Word

Ethan: I would wike some scwambled eggs, pweeze.
Jenny (lovingly prepares and serves eggs): OK, here you go.
E: Aaah! Not deese eggs! NONONONONONONO! I don't wike deese scwambled eggs! Get me some ceweal!
J: You can't talk to me that way.
E: You can't talk to ME dat way.


E: I hear an animal in twouble! I need to wescue him.
Wook, it's a widdle moose. He's so tiny. Cradles tiny invisible moose in his arms, then lifts it to his cheek. Here is his mommy! He wants to nuss. Mommy! Do you want to hold my widdle moose? What a nice widdle moose. I will take care of him.
E: Hi, Evan. Do you want to help me wif my work? Let's build somefing. Oh, thank you Evan! You are such a nice bwother.
I am okay with the fact that Ethan prefers Evan's company to mine, but the tiny invisible moose outranks me, too?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Healthcare Info

Here is an article with good information about both candidate's healthcare plans.

Check it out, and vote!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Picture This

I am too tired and crabby to write anything but looking at these gives me a little hope.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have I mentioned that I love fall? The last few days have been very cold and rainy, but the sun was shining today. We put on jackets and boots and headed out to dig in the mud, climb on logs, and pull the animals' tails.

Kirk and my parents came this weekend. It is always wonderful to spend time with them, and such a relief to have some extra adults to absorb all that baby/toddler mania around here.

Mania, I tell you.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We found a centipede (also known as a wormy) yesterday. I was about to squish him with my shoe when Ethan saw it and wanted to examine it. So we found a container and put a leaf inside with it and talked about all the legs centipedes have. We read about them online- did you know they eat flies and other insects? I'm never going to squish one again. Then we got distracted and later I noticed that it had curled up and died. Ooops. I bailed on the teachable moment about death by just throwing it out when no one was looking. I'm sure we'll have another chance for that. All in all, it was very exciting (for about 15 minutes).

Evan is more interested in finding a vein, apparently...

When he's not occupied by biting, Evan is taking steps! On Wednesday, he took his first one towards Matt, then crashed. Later he took one to me, then crashed. Then he tried one to see where this is going. Yesterday and today, though, he is taking three or four at a time. He holds his hands out and grins from ear to ear. I love this age!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Still Smilin'

We got a load of rock for our driveway. Apparently a big pile of rocks is what we needed to restore some inner peace around here. There has been lots of bulldozing, building, and gnawing. Ethan has had more pleasant moments than not. The atmosphere has changed ever since his sweet little declaration. Suddenly I can face the defiance and testing again without lying down in exhaustion and letting those boys trod all over my worn, defeated body. I keep thinking about this and wondering if I could have diffused the tension earlier with a similar verbal gift to him. Would he have been able to cope with his life better if, days ago, I had surprised him with some kind words out of the blue? Or is that kind of power only held by little hands?

I feel pretty awful about this, actually. (Mommy guilt, even during the good times. You can't win.) These past weeks have just made me question so much about my parenting abilities. But I didn't beat him or lock him in the attic, no matter how tempted I was. When he wasn't in time-out, I hugged him and told him I loved him and we painted together and washed dishes together and played with kitties, etc etc etc. I'm pretty sure I didn't ruin him. I would feel worse if I didn't correct any of this behavior and he grew up to be a serial killer, or at the least a major drain on society. I don't know why I can't shake this funk. I know that parenting is the ultimate roller coaster of good times and hanging-upside-down, screaming-your-head-off times. None of the phases, sweet or evil, last for long. So why am I so whiny and melodramatic about this one?

I wonder if there is any leftover Zoloft around here. Maybe I'll just go climb around on the rock pile.

Friday, October 3, 2008

OK, I officially forgive him for everything...

As Ethan was getting ready for his nap this afternoon, he pulled my head down to his face. "Mom, you're my best fwiend," he told me as he kissed my cheek. My heart, and all the rage and tears, melted. "I love you so much, Buddy," I whispered as I tucked him in. "I wuv you so much, too," he replied with a smile. Oh yeahhh, my sweet little boy is still in there somewhere, buried inside that toddler tyrant. It is comforting to know that he doesn't hold all the recent punishments and tense moments against me, and equally comforting for me to let go of the resentment towards him and feel that familiar swelling of love.

Evan makes kissing sounds right before he slobbers all over my face. I guess I won't put them up for sale on ebay, after all.

Slice of Life

Here is Ethan reading a story to Evan. Often, now, when he's reading, he'll talk about what's actually on the page or recite part of the book from memory. I'm not sure what he's shouting at the end, or why he seems so confused. Did he forget what book he had? We've only read it 11,745,394 times. And Evan is significantly more excited about the empty Go-Gurt wrapper he scored than the story. At least I caught a few minutes without anyone screaming or biting.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

May Day, Code Blue, Calling for Backup

Here are just a few of the things Ethan got mad at me for today:

1.) Carrying him in from the truck since he didn't have shoes on.

2.) NOT carrying him in from the truck.

3.) Asking him to shut the refrigerator door.

4.) Not letting him shut the 'widdle door' of the salt container.

5.) Breaking his orange into sections.

So you'd think that we are grating on each other's nerves and he would be just as ready for a break as I am, and excited to spend some time with his dad in the evenings, right? WRONG, of course. "I want to stay in here wif you and make stuff." Ethan tells us, more evenings than not, when Matt is ready to head out to the pasture. Grrr. The divide-and-conquer approach usually works so well in the evenings. It's not like I just kick up my feet with a cocktail (well, not every night) when Matt and Ethan leave, but at least I get a short break from all the mental hoops that little drill sergeant runs me through every day.


Last night as we were getting ready for bed, Evan laid his head down on a pillow and said "Nite-nite!" He grinned and popped right back up but it was very cute.


Happy birthday, Grampa!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Vicious

Obviously, the GOOD. How cute are these kids? They can't possibly be the same little monsters that leave me wild-eyed and incoherent at the end of the day, my fingers clutching a bottle of Mike's finest and counting the seconds til Matt pulls into the driveway. Well, all I can say is don't be fooled or they'll get you, too.

The BAD: I think I summed up the bad in that first paragraph. Let's just say that Ethan is at a somewhat challenging age.

The VICIOUS: Have I mentioned that Evan bites me, a lot? It never seemed to be for any apparent reason and until today I was his only victim. Today he decided to branch out and use those bad boys as weapons of mass destruction. He stole a tractor from Ethan, Ethan grabbed it back, and Evan sank his little daggers into Ethan's arm. Is 10 months too young for time-out? Then he did it again, three minutes later.

Awww, kitties.

Photography by Ethan

Ethan has been bogarting my camera lately. Interesting perspective, but the pictures make me a little seasick.