to your mother


Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Sweet Baboo

He mentioned that there weren't many pics of him on this here blog. I think he was actually trying to get a rise out of me (he didn't), but I thought I should pay a tribute to the father of these monkeys and the love of my life...

This boy loves his daddy.

Who wouldn't after a hundred rides like this?

He plays cars,

and helped Joe hold wee Julie for the first time.

He encouraged the sharing of soothies.

(Love it so much I put it twice)

He cooks,

he fixes chairs,

and leaky sinks.

He loves our family,

he's a dream come true...truly.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Safety First

At times when I'm in the rec room, lounging on the couch (or under the couch looking for ant apples...yyuuuuuck), I hear Joe holler "Mama? Joooolie!". In the past I have reassured myself that the bathroom and tool room (a cool place kids like to be) doors are closed and I go about my business (Did you know that Yo Gabba Gabba often has a variety of celebrities perform on the show? My fav rerun is the Jack Black episode, but I digress). Well, those lounging days are over.

is what I recently came upon after Joe hollered repeatedly with increasing angst
"Jooolie! "Stairs!"

And being the good big-bro that he is, Joe headed up to get her.

He made sure that she was safe on the top she tried to close the first is what I teach these monkeys.

Joe help Julie close the gate...ahhhhh....we are all safe on the top step!

And there was time to pose for a pic...until this Mama started to panic that someone was going to tumble down the full flight of stairs.
Now I get up when Joe calls "Jooolie!". I'm not installing another child restraint down there. Hauling overflowing laundry baskets through two gated stairs cases is enough for this Mama.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mom's Bday and ER trip

We celebrated Mom's 75th birthday at Mom and Dad's. Lots of smiles and laughter...a blessing.

Looking pretty young and spry for her age.

Cake made by Joanne, a German Baptist friend who keeps Mom and Dad going with her weekly cooking (and freezing ) of meals on Wednesdays...yum, yum, super yum.

Mom makes a wish, takes the candle off the cake, and blows. (foreshadowing)

Good friends.

Slinky-time with Uncle Paul (he was at the bottom of the stairs, pitching it back up for more fun). Note that RJ is showing JG where to slink the slinky...JG is just dropping it down and hoping for the best.

JB playing with the Birthday Girl.

The grand kids, Mom's delight.
You may be wondering what this nonsense is about an ER trip...the day of Mom's birthday celebration, she was not feeling well and began vomiting sometime during the day. As she continued to vomit whenever she ingested anything, Julie and I headed back up Sunday evening to check things out. I encouraged Mom to eat a little toast, drink a little H2O and she promptly threw it up. For Mom to request to go to the ER, you know she must have been feeling cruddy. I won't go on with details after details, but Mom followed up her ER trip with her primary care doctor who let her know that she didn't have the urinary track infection nor the pneumonia for which the ER had diagnosed and treated her. Looks like she had a bug, which held on for a few days and then took a couple more days from which to recover (as well as the lung xray may have been taken incorrectly and it took the urinary culture three days to cultivate to confirm no UTI). Dad took very good care of Mom; giving her Dramamine to help with the nausea so she could take and keep down her blood pressure meds ( a trick dad did with Paul when he was taking meds for Leukemia, a trick that the docs at Children's say is standard procedure today for kids on nauseating meds. That Dad, he's a thinker.)
Anywho, lesson learned, always take your birthday candles off the cake before blowing them out so as not to make your guests ill. Mom, always looking out for everyone else.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Layin' Low

"Done!" Joseph exclaimed as he pushed away his half full cup of milk.

"Yes!" I rejoiced in my head as I poured his dregs onto my dry cereal.

"Whoo-Hoo!" I thought with gathering elation as I poured the milk from my bowl into my black coffee.

It's 6:00 A.M.

We're outta milk. But I can do this. It's Thursday after all. One more day and Mike has 3 stay-home days. Don shared that he was layin' low. What great advice for a tired old Mama. No housework, no catching up, no web surfing. We still have clean clothes to wear and plenty of leftovers. I'm playing today.

And maybe going to the store for some milk.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Happy (75th) Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Mama's Nightmares

Just a quick list of some living nightmares in my life here in paradise...

The Slinky Nightmare
Santa brought both our monkeys plastic slinkys in their stockings. Joe enjoyed slinging his around, winging it here and there, no harm done. As I was on the computer, my back towards the monkey-slinky-slinger, I heard "mama?....mama?...necklace...necklace mama...look...mama...necklace...mama...Mama?...Mama?...MaMA!...MAMA!...MAMA!!....MAMA!!" (I usually wait for three MAMA's until I look). I turned to see Joe with the slinky wrapped around his neck, twice, pulling and making it squeeze tighter until the skin on his wee neck was being pinched, possibly ready to suffocate him if I didn't turn around after the third MAMA.

I threw the slinkys away at nap time.

Monkey + Running Truck = Nightmare
I was out with Joe, cleaning 24 inches of snow off the truck (Mike had whacked his back and was inside, he seems to act upon his common sense better than I; this nightmare would have never happened had his back not been whacked). I started the truck to help defrost some of the snow on the windshield (tall truck + short Mama = nightmare). I was getting ready to move the truck out of the parking space and put Joe in the driver's side. I started to climb in behind him and realized that the windshield was covered in snow. Remembering Mike mentioning that the doors can lock automatically, I took extra care to ensure that the doors were not locked (you've heard the nightmares of kids being locked inside running vehicles...that wasn't gonna happen to this Mama). I closed the door, quickly wiped off the windshield, then tried to open the door...Joe sat waving at me, pretending to drive, and I glanced down to see the door was locked. I'm sure Joe was thinking safety first when he pushed the lock down and good for him. Luckily the neighbors cleaning off their vehicles watched Joe while I ran inside to retrieve the spare key and all was well.

Since then, the neighbors haven't asked me to watch their kids.

Mercury Thermometer
I think the title gives this one away. I entered the master bath after hearing a tiny crash, like a champagne glass for a mouse breaking upon the tile floor. Joe is standing there, broken end of a mercury thermometer going towards his mouth in slow motion...he still talks about that day when we are in the master bath, he relives this nightmare too. "mometer...break...Mama...'aaaahhhhhhh'" as he mimicks my scream.

We use digital exclusively now.

Ant Apple Nightmare
Julie likes gnawing on whole apples (like her big bro). I was on the computer, my back to the wee monkey (you would think I would have learned, I'm an old dog), and then I realized that it had been strangely quiet for too long. I turned to discover what is going on.

Dramatic pause.
I have saved the best nightmare for last.

We have an ant issue when we leave fresh food in the rec room.

A half-eaten apple from the day before is what the ants consider fresh food.

I saw the back of Julie's head bobbing up and down, as if she was gnawing on an apple.

As I caught sight of her from above, I saw the apple she was holding in her two chubby hands, the apple upon which she was vigorously gnawing.

It looked as if the apple was in motion; tiny black ants were crawling about it.

And crawling on Julie's sweet chubby fingers.

And crawling on her face

and in her mouth.

She smiled up at me as I gasped, grabbing the apple from her. I swiped some ants off her while I fumbled to open the sliding glass door to pitch the ant apple out into the world beyond.

I returned to the wee monkey. She only had a couple ants left crawling on her face. As I brushed them off, I scooped her up and held her close. She laughed and snuggled at the attention. "Maybe I should eat ant apples more often?" was what she may have been thinking. I was grossed out by the thought of ants crawling on me. She was happy. I put her down. I brushed myself off to rid myself of any ants that may have transfered to me. I danced a little bit and said "EEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!"

I don't know if I am making myself clear.

This was truly a nightmare, one that I am horribly reliving as I write these words. At unexpected moments I see Julie clearly in my mind...ants crawling upon her smiling, two-toothed grin. I need to go now.

No apples allowed in the rec room. That's the new rule.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas in Review

Here goes, pretty much in order (I out-smarted Mr Blogger this time!):

Christmas Eve A.M., Joe is ready to go to Mom and Dad's. He is straight out of the hood.
Julie is following in her bro's footsteps.

Depriving wee ones of a breakfast at the table makes for a quiet van ride (for the first 15 minutes, don't think it was a miracle cure).
We decided to have nibblies for our Christmas Eve family meal. This way, we didn't have to cook and Joe could race around and graze off the table, with no expectations of sitting down to a meal. Paul mentioned that it was the first time he had seen Joe sit quietly for such a long period of time.

Mom and Julie shared their nibblie time.

Just look at the pure joy on Paul's face (he's the Godfather ya know).

He certainly loves lovin on that little monkey!

Dad is on the edge of his seat, anticipating the action that will take place as we begin to open gifts. See the look on Joe's face as he approaches the tree. Take cover.

Dad on the edge again, anticipating Joe's ripping of wrapping paper (along with whatever is inside).

Dad is able to relax and breathe a little, Joe is gentle (as he opens Mom's gift, that's okay though, he's two).

This picture warms my heart. The look on Mom's face reminds me of times when I would talk with Mom over the dishes from a lunch we had together at the dining room table. Although now our talks are mostly one-side, it's nice to know that she is still here to listen to me prattle on. This picture also shows how shaggy the back of my hair is, that's a downer.

Joe played and played some more with the toys he received.

I spy a truck in the tree. That's one way to use a digger. Note the life-like kitty curled under the tree (I'm afraid that Joe now thinks that cats are flat on the bottom and like to be thrown around...just a word of caution if you have pets. Next to the kitty is a book Paul got for me Making Children Mind So You Don't Loose Yours. I highly recommend it. I think I received it just in time to recoup some of the damage already inflicted to my brain.

A cowboy came to play.

And a bad-ass Santa showed up on his tractor. Don't mess around with this ole St. Nick.

Paul has revived Mom's tradition of making baked Alaska for Christmas dessert. He has changed a few things to make the concoction egg-less for Dad and I must say his version is delectable.
Dad asked Paul: Are you broiling those?
Paul (matter-of-factness in his voice): Sure Dad. That's why they call it BAKED Alaska.
Dad kind-of shrugged his shoulders in his "well-that-didn't-answer-my-question-but-I'm-not-going-to-pursue-it-anymore-cause-I-think-I-may-have-pissed-Paul-off" way. (I'm not sure if Dad would really say pissed off, but I have heard him use the s.h-word while upstairs watching a race muted on the T.V....I think he has it in him.)
About 5 minutes later
Dad (giggling): Oh ho! I just got it! Ha ha! It's called BAKED Alaska, why would you broil it?
Paul (shaking his head): Jeez Dad.
This is why I love my family.
Always bake this dessert on pine boards, that's what Mom always said. Can you smell the warm pine boards coming out of the oven? THAT is Christmas.

I tried to get artistic here, Mom's hand raising her beloved dessert to her mouth with a perfectly formed Alaskan mound in the background. Then I am brought back to reality by Dad's orange ball cap he wears everywhere (that way people remember me), Dad's carefully organized tax stuff stuffin everywhere and the batteries and razor blades that Joe enjoys playing with behind Dad's chair. It's good to be home for the holidays.

Joe and Julie enjoyed their treat as well. Thanks Paul!

Mama and the monkeys Christmas morning (the date on the camera is wrong, so be it.) Just another day in paradise!
Hope your holiday was blessed and somewhat peaceful!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Okay, it's late (9:15 P.M.) and I just want to get these pics out and I had a story all arranged to go in order with the pics from top to bottom and my best friend Blogger has decided to arrange the pics in reverse order so I give up, I'll write my captions as the pics come and you sort it out. Someday I'll figure out how to move pics in a post...

Here goes...

One may think that
I'm Super-Early-Childhood-Education-Mama
for bringing in some snow from the huge snow storm for Joe to play. Nah. Mike was still in bed and there was no way I was taking this kid out by myself. Tame the beast is my philosophy.

Muppet Hands

Good Golly Miss Molly that is a heck of a-lotta snow (See our red van up the sidewalk from Joe?). Joe is ready for action.

Mike and I braved it and got both the kids out. Luckily, Julie just sat around in the snow, we only had one to chase.

Mama catching flakes with the boy. (Note the snow is up to his wee crotch...goodness that's enough snow to give someone (Mama) a panic attack.)

Mama and the girl.

"No don't eat tha....shoot, who cares?"

Julie got herself into the Lego table, Joe is checking out how she did it.

Went to Mom and Dad's to assist with Mom's wrapping (ie: do the wrapping while she played around). Dad tried to come in to see the presents and Mom shooed him out. She rolled over to the pocket door of the living room and swiftly rolled it shut...then we laughed at the french-ness of said door. A few minutes later, along came Dad...he ain't no dummy.

Mom wrapping presents.

Mom taking a break from wrapping presents.

Joe was so excited to see Mom and Dad's house all decorated for Christmas. He swiftly went from tree to snowman to only fiber-optic wonderment to check it all out. Then he went and found Mom, literally dragged her from the kitchen, and proceeded to give her a tour of her own home. He gestured towards each item saying"Tree" "Nowman" (working on s sound) "Tree" "Cat" "Cat" "Cat"
Mom lovin' on her granddaughter.
What joy.
Actually this was a nice way to end, I think. More about the actual holiday some other time...It's 9:30 P.M. and as Mike would say "These dogs are barkin' ".