Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Child's Sense of Time

Let me introduce you to our newest family member, Anderson's Silber Hund Fraulein Eimer.  That'll be her official AKC name, the registration and the "Anderson" being required by the breeder.  We'll call her "Eimer."  As we poured through about 75 names, Bill suggested "Bucket."  It was definitely high on the list, but we wanted something German, thus "Eimer," German for bucket.  Anderson's Silver Dog Miss Bucket.  Has a nice ring, don't you think?  

Eimer is a Weimaraner.  She was 10 weeks old on Sunday, the day we brought her home.  She is slowly getting used to her new pack & surroundings.  She has warmed up to me quickly, but is still a bit nervous with Bill, and certainly with Laurence & Loic.  She's quite unsure about these little people!  I am impressed with how they've been with her, though.  Soon the 3 of them will be best of friends.

By yesterday afternoon I could sense Laurence's frustration with Eimer still being unsure about him.  At one point he said, "Is she EVER going to like me?  She's already been here 3 weeks!"  I think it had been 19 hours since we walked thru the door.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Teeth (and Tomatoes)

Time for another rewind.  For whatever reason, there's been no fresh material around here for a few days.  Perhaps it's because I've been coming down with a cold and just don't see the humor in everyday life as much as I normally do, or perhaps 3 days of dreary, cold, damp weather has gotten the best of my boys and they are just not themselves.  Anyway, I know I could use a good laugh, so what better way than to re-tell one of my favorite, yet most embarrassing, moments as a mom.

Let me start by saying that Laurence talks a lot.  Nearly non-stop, and to the point where it exhausts me, almost daily.  Those of you that know him will not disagree.  Anyway, this particular day we were at a local grocery store, at the check-out.  Laurence had just turned 4.  I was emptying the groceries onto the conveyer belt and was enjoying a few rare moments in my own little world.  Something had caught Laurence's attention and rendered him speechless.  As I approached the little debit card machine my moment was over when Laurence announced, "Hmm, looks like SOMEBODY lost some teeth."  I look at him, then slowly turn and there she is.  The checkout lady, smiling a sweet, yet nearly toothless smile.  Oh good lord, what do I do?  Do I say anything?  Ignore him and risk him repeating himself?  Maybe she didn't hear him.  Yep, I'm going with that.  By this time I'm sure I'm every bit as red as the tomatoes I'm about to purchase, but I keep my cool.  "Where are your teeth?" Laurence suddenly blurts out.  I turn even more red.  "You were right," she replies.  "I did lose them."  Apparently he's satisfied with that answer, and the conversation ends.  Phew.  "Have a nice day!" I say as she hands me my receipt and we're already in motion.  At least I think that's what I said.  Who knows?  We got out of there before she could even respond.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where Does He Learn These Things?

I had some left over supplies from a tissue paper flower craft I put together for our playgroup, and since Laurence doesn't get to participate very often in the things I plan (because of school), yesterday I asked him if he wanted to make one.  We worked together to create his masterpiece and then he said he wanted to make another one, just for Loic (awww, right?).  He did most of it on his own and then proudly presented it to his little brother.  Loic said "Dee do (thank you)" and walked around holding it for a while.  Then, like a normal almost-20-month-old, his curiosity got the best of him and Laurence caught him pulling off some of the tissue paper.  "Loic!" he exclaimed, "Don't do that!  I made that for you."  Sadder now, "Give it back to me...you don't even deserve it."  

Have I said that?  When did I say that?  Must have been someone else.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Man in a Grey Car

The boys & I were waiting for Bill to come home tonite so we could go out to dinner and Laurence decided to watch out the window for him.  When he got to the window he said, "Hmm...Mommy what's that grey car doing in front of our house?"  I called from the other room, "What grey car?"  "That one, RIGHT in front of our house."  (I assume he was pointing.)  I went into the living room and there was a car parked across the street (not RIGHT in front of our house) and a man with a briefcase and in business casual dress got out and headed up the driveway opposite ours.  "Who's THAT?" he asked.  (Man, what about this situation was causing him such great concern?)  "Oh, he must just be visiting the neighbors," I said.  "I know!" Laurence declared.  "Maybe he's the health inspector!"  

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crazy English Language!

I am so proud!  Laurence's reading is really taking off.  He has always loved being read to, and there have been days when we've done it for hours on end.  Now he's able to read quite a bit on his own, and will read anything and everything he can  -- books, greeting cards, cereal boxes, street signs...it's amazing to see.  As his reading ability improves, I'm finding myself having to rack my brain for those long lost rules of reading.  He's caught on really well to the silent e making the vowel long, vowel blends, that tricky letter "r," some of the silent letters, and so on.  Others rules are a little tougher for him, such as "c" being hard at the beginning of a word but soft inside a word (unless followed by "k," of course!).  He often confused "c" and "s," and "b" and "d" -- common mistakes, I have to assume.  I have no idea if I'm teaching him the rules in the right order, or if there even is a right order.  I used to tutor a 50-year-old man when we lived in Illinois who was reading on a first grade level, but I remember very little about what to teach when.  My friend who's a kindergarten teacher encourages me and helps me work thru the snags, and also says I'm on the right track, so I'm grateful for that (thanks, Gina!).  

As much as I'm loving this, it's also reminding me how frustrating and complicated the English language is.  Once I work through a rule with Laurence, we almost inevitably stumble upon a word that just doesn't obey.  And he catches them...and challenges me!  The past few days we've been working on the "gh" sound ("ff") at the end of a word.  You know, "rough," "tough," "cough," (which doesn't rhyme, by the way).  Just this morning he was reading and came across "through."  He worked the complicated "thr" consonant blend just fine, and proceeded to follow our new rule, thus uttering "thruff."  See?  I rest my case.  I had to correct him and watch the pride on his face disappear, but encourage him all at the same time.  For once "just because" really did seem like the best answer to the question, "But why?"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oooo, Bubbles!

I went into the bathroom this morning, followed closely behind by my 19-month-old shadow, Loic.  He kept himself busy while, I...kept MYSELF busy, when something suddenly caught his attention.  "Mommy!  Oooo, oooo, oooo!" he said enthusiastically, pointing at what seemed to me to be the wall just above the bathroom window.  "Oooo, oooo, oooo!" he continued, while I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was so fascinating.  "What do you see?" I asked.  "Oooo, oooo, oooo, bot moem lusg shomt....bubbles!"  He answered, clearly pleased that he'd gotten his point across.  Or had he?  Bubbles.  Hmm.  This was one of his first words, and has since carried multiple meanings.  For a while anything round was a "bubble," but for the last few months he has reserved the term exclusively for apples, pumpkins, and of course, bubbles.  I can honestly say there are no apples or pumpkins in our bathroom, nor anything that resembles either.  Bubbles are known to pop up from time to time, but certainly not this morning.  "Mommy, oooo, oooo, oooo -- bubbles!" again, this time waving his hand in the air like he was actually trying to catch or pop the bubbles.  I'm wondering if he's pretending.  That would be kind of cool!  Or hallucinating?  Not so cool.  When I stood up I looked one last time for the bubbles and then it happened!  I saw them, too.  They were teeny, tiny little things, but there they were, plain as the dust particles floating ever so bubble-like in the bright morning sunshine coming thru the window.  Thank you, little man, for helping me see dust in a whole new light.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, nuts!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "I'm hunnnngry!" a rich woman I would be.  (Side note:  I'm including the times I hear "Eee, eee, eee!" which translates from Loic language to "I'm hungry.")  Today was no exception.  Loic ate almost non-stop all day, and Laurence started in as soon as we got in the car to come home from school.  Honestly, it's amazing we have any food in this house at all.   In case you're wondering, this post is not simply about the bottomless pits living in our home and how I sometimes wonder if I serve any purpose other than attempting to fill them, but it does feel good to talk about it.  I don't want to disappoint and not include a daily chuckle.

Laurence could barely get in the house fast enough to have a much-anticipated snack.  Much to his surprise, his beloved little bro found some almond rusk-type cookies from Italy in the cupboard today (from Bill's last trip to Europe, probably a year ago!).  "Mommy!  What are THOSE?" he asked when he saw them on the kitchen counter.  "Some kind of almond cookies," I respond, half expecting him to turn up his nose, because I honestly don't think they look the least bit appetizing.  Oh no, "I LOVE almond cookies!" he exclaimed.  So, he eagerly bit into one then promptly handed it to me.  "I can't eat this," he said, "I don't like walnuts."  Snack time was over.  Appetite ruined, apparently.  How the walnuts got into the almond cookies, I'll never know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some Oldies but Goodies

Now that I'm off and running with this blog, and having so much fun with it, I really wish I had started this 5 years, 1 month and 11 days ago, when Laurence was born.  Or 18 months later when he started talking, perhaps.  Today I happened to stumble upon a few of things he has said in the past that I now remember jotting down in his baby book.  I believe my journaling was as a result of my sister-in-law's encouragement..."I sure hope you're writing these things down!" she's been known to say.  Apparently I followed her advice a few times (thanks, Mary!).  So, what better place to share them, but here.  

Let's back up to....November of '07.  Laurence would have been 2 months shy of 4 years old.  I'd made a trip to Victoria's Secret, THE only place to buy bras in my opinion.  OK, I know they're expensive, but totally worth it.  Like a really good pair of shoes.  I'm not one to splurge on clothing, unless it's for the feet or the girls.  Money is no obj -- oops, sorry, I digress.  Anyway, I must have been shopping without Laurence this particular day, which doesn't happen very often.  Later, at home, he saw the pretty pink bag and said, "What's in there, Mommy?"  "Just some clothes," I said.  Not satisfied he dipped into the bag when I was not looking and, pulling out my purchase, said, "Oh, I see you got some booby traps!"  Too good not to share, right?

Stay tuned for more re-runs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eat Up!

My 19-month-old is not a picky eater.  He'll eat anything you put in front of him, and then some. Well, except for Oreo Pudding, of course.  Why eat it when you can do this?

No, apparently he prefers to tempt his palate with more exotic flavors.  A bowl of New England Clam Chowder, for instance.  Chili's chips and salsa.  Perhaps some garlic pretzel crisps to dip in spicy queso dip - mmm, good.  Oh, and I can't forget last night when he insisted on trying some sauerkraut with his kielbasa and spaetzle.  His plate was empty and there wasn't a speck left on his face.  All this and fruits & veggies, too - if only all moms could be this lucky.  Bon appetit!

Poultry, or...?

I love misunderstandings.  Anytime, anywhere....take 7:30 this morning in my kitchen, for instance.  We were finishing up breakfast and Laurence says, "What's cock?"  My mind first went...oh, you know.  Anyway, I kept my composure and thought (hoped) this must be another "poultry" question (see my very first post - February 7th).  "A cock," I began, "is a man chick..." but was interrupted by Laurence, "Like glue or something?"  "Oh!" said I, "you mean 'caulk!'"  "Yeessss, caulk.  They said putting it on can be pretty messy, but you can buy 3 tools to keep it neat when you use it, AND you get a 4th tool to remove the old caulk....for free!"  Ah, yes.  The miracle 3-in-one caulk tool currently being advertised on the DIY network.  Have you seen the thing?  Every handyman should have one.  It's incredible.  Even Laurence thinks so.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More about our President

Imagine my surprise when my sister-in-law informed me today that my niece asked her the very same question about Barack Obama that I posted yesterday!  (Well, except she said "Orock Obama", which is just too cute not to mention.)  My surprise quickly turned to disappointment -- clearly my boy did not come up with this question on his own.  Said sister-in-law explained that she believes the kids had both seen a segment on TV about this very topic.  Shoot.  And this after I asked him yesterday what made him think to ask about Obama's snoring, to which he responded, "I don't know, I was just wondering," in my eyes deeming his inquiry blog-worthy.  So, I asked Laurence again today, when I picked him up from school, and sure enough he managed to remember seeing some little ditty on Nick Jr. between Diego and some other show -- "The president in pajama's, what a sight!" and so on, concluding with the bit about snoring.  Oh well.  

In effort to take advantage of a teaching moment, and to test him as I've been known to do now and again, I asked, "Who is Barack Obama, Laurence?" and he says, matter-of-factly, "The President of the United States."  Onward we go, "And when did he become president?"  "On U-nauguration day....AND my birthday!"  (Yes, it's true!)  After a brief lull he asks, "What does that mean, 'President of the United States?'"  "Well, he is chosen to make very important decisions about all kinds of things, and he is the most powerful man in our country's government."  Laurence pondered this and rebutted, "But I thought God was the most powerful man in the government?"  Whew, now look what I started.  I think I'll wait until tomorrow to visit separation of church and state.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Key to a Successful Presidency?

I was heading up the stairs this morning, when Laurence says, "Wait, Mom......when Barack Obama sleeps does he snore?"  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

According to Laurence

I found this little exercise floating around Facebook, and decided to post it here.  About halfway through me asking him the questions, Laurence says, "Mom, are you typing this on the website so everyone can see?"  I asked if that was ok with him, and he enthusiastically said, "YESSS!"  So, here goes....

1.  What is something mom always says to you?  I love you, too.
2.  What makes mom happy?  When I don't teach Loic bad stuff.
3.  What makes mom sad?  When I teach Loic bad stuff.
4.  How does your mom make you laugh?  By tickling me on my ticklish parts.
5.  What was your mom like as a child?  That's a hard question.  I wasn't even born then...I can't answer that question.
6.  How old is your mom?  37.
7.  How tall is your mom?  Can you stand up?  Ummm...(counting....)....14.
8.  What is her favorite thing to do?  Play games with me.
9.  What does your mom do when you're not around?  Plays with my brother.
10.  If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?  A famous cook.
11.  What is your mom really good at?  Typing.
12.  What is your mom not very good at?  Can YOU tell me something you're not good at?
13.  What does your mom do for a job?  You take care of me & Loic.
14.  What is your mom's favorite food?  Dumplings.
15.  What makes you proud of your mom?  Everything.
16.  If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?   The princess Shrek turned into an ogre.  Don't worry, she looked like an ogre, but she still had the crown & stuff.  I think everyone was afraid of Shrek and he felt alone, so he turned her into an ogre so he'd have a friend.
17.  What do you and your mom do together?  Lots of stuff, like sometimes we clean the house together and put away blankets.
18.  How are you and your mom the same?  Well, we're the same right now because we're both wearing blue & white Penn State shirts.
19.  How are you and your mom different?  God made us different.
20.  How do you know your mom loves you?  Because she just does.
21.  What does your mom like most about your dad?  That sometimes he cooks dinner.
22.  What is your mom's favorite place to go?  Target.