Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Mommy is a...

Loic & I were reading together today, and there's a book called "Animal Babies on the Farm," that goes something like this:

Oink! Oink! I have a curly pink tail? Who is my baby? (Turn the page.) My mommy is a pig. I am her piglet.

I was reading up to the "My mommy is a..." part, letting him complete the sentence. Then read, "I am her..." and again, let him complete the sentence. The book continues...

Baa! My coat is thick & wooly. Who is my mommy? My mommy is a...


I am her...

baby sheep! (The book says, "lamb," but that's ok.)

Moo! I live in a grassy field. Who is my mommy? My mommy is a...


I am her...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Bucket Runneth Over

Speaking of running over, yesterday I was out shopping with Loic & Alastair in tow and it got to be lunchtime, so we stopped for a bite to eat. Loic, who has been doing unbelievably well with his independent toileting needs since deciding he was done with diapers a few weeks back, says rather urgently, "I need to go to the bathroom!" So we quickly run to the back of the restaurant into the bathroom and as he's whipping down his pants he said, "Uh oh, I got some pee on my pants!" He was pretty concerned and as I glanced down I said, "Well, how much pee?" He said, "About 2 pounds." I tried not to chuckle, seeing how upset he was, and said, "Oh, that's ok. That's not much," to which he replied, "Then it's FOUR pounds!"

But that has nothing to do with the "bucket" I referred to in the title of this post. THAT bucket is shown to the left.

Usually I like to write about things that make me laugh, and this really didn't (ok, maybe it did just a little), but I wanted to preserve it here. How sweet is this? Apparently it was "Appreciation Day" at school, and the assignment was to fill someone's bucket with words telling them what you appreciate about them. Bill & I were both touched that he made a bucket for the two of us. To think that someone not only likes my cooking, but thinks it's "the best" is really something. Gives me the confidence I need heading into creating Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I only hope I have a little more to offer than just my culinary skills. Yikes, I can see my headstone now...

Anyway, this (and every) Thanksgiving my bucket runneth over. I have much to be thankful for, and think we should all start celebrating "Appreciation Day" every day. If you like someone's cooking, tell them. Thanks for the reminder, my Loveabal Laurence.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Overheard from the Bathroom Stall

Before I had kids I used to giggle uncontrollably at the conversations I'd often hear in the public bathroom stalls next to me -- you know the ones between a parent and a newly potty training or trained child. Then, about 3 years ago, it was my turn with Laurence. Suddenly those conversations were no longer funny. Strangers now giggled at us. I was downright humiliated. But then along came Loic. I'm sure partly because he's my second child, perhaps second BOY, and even more so because he's, well, LOIC, but these conversations no longer phase me. They make me laugh. Besides, they give me material for this here blog. Loic being potty trained is very recent news in our house, and here's a couple of snippets of what's gone down in some local and not-so-local public stalls lately...

Loic: Is this the girl bathroom or the boy bathroom?
Me: It's the girl bathroom -- you're not ready to go in the boy bathroom by yourself.
Loic: Why?
Me: Because you still need some help. (Somewhat under my breath...shuddering) And I don't want you to touch....things.
Loic: Oh me unbutton my pants, Mommo, I have to PEEEEEE!
Me: Right, well that's why we're here.
Loic: Hey, I hear someone coming! It must be a girl. She has to pee, too! Or maybe poop. Do you think she has to pee or poop?
Me: I don't know. It's none of my busin----DON'T TOUCH the toilet!
Loic: Why?
Me: Because it has germs. Try to touch as little as possible.
Loic: OK. Can I touch the wall?
Me: No.
Loic: Can I touch the floor?
Me: No.
Loic: Can I touch the door?
Me: No.
Loic: Can I touch that girl peeing?
Me: NO!
Loic: I pooped. (Singing now) Now you have to WIPE meeeee! Wait, Mommo! Don't touch the toilet paper! It has germs.

And so on. No, I don't make this stuff up. Those of you with kids can relate. Did you notice my name? Mommo. That's new news, too. I think it has a nice ring to it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recent Revelations

Each of the three boys have made some interesting and potentially life-altering discoveries about their respective worlds over the past week....

Alastair (if he could talk): Army crawling is the way to get from here to there. The faster I go, the more ground I can cover & the more stuff I can get into. Also, mom's a great cook. I love her mac 'n cheese, lasagna, Chicken a la King, and Cheesy Pasta with Tomato & Artichoke.

Laurence (after spending several minutes studying a map of the world in a library book): Mom, I've noticed that the continents are a lot like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. I think they all used to be hooked together, but then they broke apart. (Wow...)

Loic (this morning at breakfast): Butter is good. I like it on toast with cinnamon. And I like it on pasta with cheese. And I like it on bagels...but cream cheese is the butter I like the BEST!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trail Diary

I woke up this morning knowing it was just right for a you-ride, I'll-walk jaunt with the two younger boys. We had nothing on our agenda except grocery shopping, so I piled Loic's trike and Alastair's stroller in the back of the Acadia and we made our way to the East River Trail. During the short drive I could almost feel the crisp air, slight breeze, and warm sun on my back; longed for the smell of fall in the air, the sound of leaves crunching under our feet & wheels...along with a little exercise and time alone with my thoughts. We get to the trail, get everything & everyone unloaded, and set out. The air was crisp, there was a slight breeze, the sun felt warm on my back; I breathed in the smell of fall in the air, gazed at the leaves that are well on their way to peak color, and spent the next hour alone with....LOIC'S thoughts. HO-LEE-COW can that boy talk. I remember Laurence at this age and thinking 3 was utterly exhausting. Loic has been 3 for just a little over two months and has put Laurence to shame. Here's just a small sample of our conversation along the trail...

(Just as we approach the main path from the trailhead, it begins.)
Loic: Is this the path? Where I can ride my bike?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Why is this the path?
Me: Because this is where people walk and ride their bikes.
Loic: Is that a bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Are we going under that bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Does the path go under the bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Why does the path go under the bridge?
(I pretend not to hear works.)
Loic: What if I go in the lake mom? I don't want to go in the lake.
Me: It's a river, and you won't go in it. Just stay on the path.
Loic: Why should I stay on the path?
Me: So you don't go in the lake...I mean river.
Loic: Oh. You said lake, Mom!
(We are all of 25 yards into our walk by now.)
Loic: Hey, now we're going into the woods! Why are the woods like a jungle?
Me: Well, it's not really a jungle. I'd call it the woods. Jungle's are a lot more--
Loic: YES it IS a jungle!
(Why do I even bother?)
Loic: Are there animals in the woods?
Me: Yes, some small animals & lots of birds.
Loic: I don't see any animals.
Me: Maybe if we're really quiet, we won't scare them and you can see some!
(It didn't work.)
Loic: What's that quacking?
Me: Oh! There are some ducks swimming in the river. See?
Loic: Yes! Why are they ALL quacking?
Me: That's how ducks talk to each other.
Loic: Why are they ducks?
(Seriously, kid?)
Loic: Hey, why is that boy on a bike?
(I guess we're done with the ducks. I look and there's a boy on a bike with his mom.)
Me: For the same reason you are. It's fun & good exercise.
Loic: I like taking exercise. Does that boy like taking exercise?
Me: Yes, I suppose he does.
Loic: Who's that man?
(Trying not to think about the mystery I'm reading about this serial killer who watches his prey from the woods, I glance away from the boy and breathe a sigh of relief when I see a man on a tractor as we're approaching a clearing.)
Me: I don't know him, but it looks like he's working here.
Loic: Why's he working here?
Me: He's spraying something...probably to keep bugs away.
(The man stops because he's gotten a phone call.)
Loic: Why did he stop?
Me: He's on the phone.
Loic: With who?
Me: I don't know, maybe someone from work.
Loic: Where does he work?
(Now a man approaches on a bike.)
Me: OK, here's comes a person on a bike, move to the right to let him by.
Loic (as the man passes): But that's a MAN. You said person.
Me: Men are people.
Loic: Are ladies people? And babies? And moms & dads?
Me: Yes, we are all people.
Loic: But not animals. Why do animals live in the woods?
Me: Because they don't build the kind of houses we do. They have houses made of sticks & leaves & grass, some even live in trees.
Loic: Oh, they live in the woods. They don't live in the zoo, like we do.
(What? I just let that one slide.)
(We walked for almost an hour and there was never a lull in the conversation. NEVER. We walked on the path, came to a park, made a loop around the park and headed back the way we came. As we approached the little bridge just before the trailhead I had a moment of déjà vu...)
Loic: Is that a bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Are we going under that bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Does the path go under the bridge?
Me: Yes.
Loic: Why does the path go under the bridge?

Would someone PLEASE tell this kid why the path goes under the bridge?!?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Patent Pending

The soon-to-be-first-grader and I have had some very interesting conversations lately. From tidal waves (and his concern over whether one will ever engulf our friends' cottage on Shawano Lake, about 50 miles northwest of Green Bay) to nightmares about the Gum Monster (?), he has definitely kept me on my toes today.

Just over dinner he asked me why daddies can't feed their babies milk. Before I could respond, he said, "Oh wait! They can. They can give them bottles. With formula. Or......." He paused briefly. "I was going to say they could put the mommy's milk in a bottle, but I don't know HOW they would do that." Seemed like a great time to bring up his visit to his Great Uncle Tom's farm this summer, so I did. That was all he needed and he proceeded to tell me how Uncle Tom milks his cows, right down to the "vitamin" he gives each one to let the cow's brain know it's time to make the milk come out. "Do mommies get that, too?" he wanted to know. "Maybe some mommies..." I said. Satisfied with figuring out the milking process (both bovine & human), he went on to tell Loic, "Babies drink milk when they're born. My whole family was born. Alastair was born. You were born. Mom was born. And Dad was born." I said, "What about you, Laurence? Weren't you born?" "Nope," he answered. "I was INVENTED!" Sometimes I wonder...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goin' Green...or Not

I can't say we're an incredibly environmentally conscious family, but we try to do our best. OK, so maybe our "best" simply means we recycle, but at least it's something, right? (Oh, and we also have some of those fancy light bulbs, too.) Anyway, watching as my kids have caught on to the recycling craze is kind of neat -- I can't even remember when recycling really took off, but as a kid, I certainly never thought twice before throwing something in the garbage can. It makes me feel good that the boys can identify, for the most part, what gets recycled and what doesn't. And I think they even know what recycling means (sort of). We are well on our way to raising good little citizens.

Or so I thought...

The other day we were walking at the park and Loic finished a bottle of water (oops -- bottled water. Certainly NOT environmentally friendly.) He dropped the bottle and kept walking. I asked, "Did you just drop that bottle on the ground?" "Yesss!" he replied enthusiastically. "Why would you do that? You should put it in the trash, recycling," I said. Then he replies, singing a little song, "Nope, I can throw it on the ground, because the world is one biiiiiig trash cannnnn!" So much for my eco-friendly little guy. I have no idea where he came up with that, but it seems we've got a ways to go!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fuzzy Genealogy Lines

Laurence has taken an interest in his genealogy lately, and I do believe he has it all figured out. Here was our conversation this morning...

Laurence: How much Irish am I again?
Me: One-eighth. Your great-grandfather on dad's side was 100% Irish.
Laurence: How much French am I?
Me: Also one-eighth. Baka's dad's family was from France.
Laurence: OH! Then I must be A LOT Maryland!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Would You Describe It?

I'm sure I've blogged about this before, and if you know me well you probably know this -- I absolutely LOVE watching language skills develop. This is perhaps my favorite part of seeing my kids grow & learn. Loic is at the prime age now -- he's still mispronouncing many things, and is at that point where he can really describe things well, to get his point across even if he can't come up with the appropriate word.

I'm going to pause for a moment to mention a few of my favorite mispronunciations - I haven't done it in about a year and unfortunately I'm sure I've missed many!

Remokadoke -- remote control
Bayduhder -- refrigerator
Cinderella Cheese -- mozzerella cheese
Owter Ellwurst -- Alastair Ellsworth (He's actually saying this one a bit better now, but this was my favorite version.)

I only have one example to share as far as his ability to describe something -- he often gives great visuals, but the others are escaping me just now. Just this morning he was watching Sesame Street and the skit had several animals in it. He adores animals of all kinds, but that's a lot of names to know, you know? He says, "Hey mom, look! What's that animal? The one with the...little hill?" It was none other than a camel, of course!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In My Expert Opinion...

Today Laurence was a bit distraught to discover a "white thing" on the underside of his big toe. "It's not sore...but it feels funny. And it looks sort of like a little jellyfish. What is it, Mom?" he asked. I knew from his description it had to be a blister, of course, but I was busy with Alastair and told him I'd look at it in a few minutes. Just then Loic walks in the room and went right over to examine the toe, too. Though he generally has a queasy stomach when it comes to skin and related conditions, Laurence convinced him to feel it. "Do YOU know what it is Loic?" Laurence asked him. "Yes, Laurly. I do. It's a squishy polka dot."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tour de Lance

Yesterday we turned the Tour de France on briefly, and caught repeat footage of one of Lance Armstrong's falls. The announcers then spoke about his race for a bit, as the camera followed him as he continued on the ascent. Laurence pipes up and says, "They keep talking about Lance Armstrong, but where is he?" I said, "He's right there, in the red & black jersey with the number 21 on it." He said, "That's not Lance Armstrong." "Yes, it is. See the rider with the ripped jersey? That's because he fell -- it's Lance." "Are you sure, Mom?" "Yes, I'm positive." He quieted, and I thought he was satisfied, but apparently not. "No, Mom. That's definitely not him. He always wears yellow."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sistah K's Take

Sistah M, Sistah A and their kids stayed with us for 3 days earlier this week. Sistah A had never met Loic before, and hadn't seen Laurence in 3 years. Just prior to their visit, they also spent 2 days with Sistah K, who had the pleasure of spending an entire week with the boys last summer. Sistah M recounted this conversation that took place between Sistah A and Sistah K...

Sistah A: So, I've never met Loic before...and I haven't seen Laurence in a long time. How would you describe them?

Sistah K: They are completely different.

Sistah A: What do you mean?

Sistah K: Well...Laurence prefers to read about the world...and Loic would rather LICK it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Georgie Porgie

Loic has been singing about Georgie Porgie for well over a week now. Apparently he's tired of the same old lyrics, because this morning he made up some of his own. Not only did Georgie Porgie kiss the girls and make them cry, but he has a yard, and a house with a fire place. He has a dad, who put some wood to burn in the fire place, which made Georgie Porgie run away. (Poor Georgie...he seems to fear not only boys playing, but a nice crackling fire, too.) I asked Loic to tell me more about Georgie Porgie, but he just shook his head and said, "No mom, I can't." When I asked him why he said, "Because he's gone!"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Laurence finished kindergarten on Tuesday and he was asking if he would get to see any of his friends over the summer. I assured him we'd get to see at least one or two, whose moms I know, but the others I wasn't sure. He asked, "Well....what about my girlfriend?" I knew he had a "girlfriend" because he'd mentioned her a few times, so this came as no surprise to me. I said I didn't think so, unless we happened to run into her somewhere, because I don't even know her mom's name, phone number, or where they live. Then I said, "Come to think of it, I don't even remember your girlfriend's name. What is it again?" (I actually did, but wanted to see if he & the same girl were still an item!) He hesitated, then said slowly, "Catherine*...WHY?! Are you going to put it on Facebook?" I chuckled, but the look on his face told me this was no laughing matter, so I straightened up and said, "No, of course not." Funny that he's six and uses the word 'Facebook' and (thinks he) understands what Facebook is. Good thing he never mentioned NOT putting it on my blog...

*Note: Name has been changed to protect Laurence & "Catherine's" privacy! (Plus I remembered once I published this post that this blog is linked to Facebook, and my conscious got the best of me.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rest in Peace, Paul

Last night we were eating dinner and Loic had 3 helpings of salad, complete with "that white sauce," aka Newman's Own Ranch Dressing. As I was pouring some on, he looks thoughtfully at the bottle and says, "The man from Imagination Movers!" See for yourself...not a bad comparison, really. See Paul Newman (as featured on the bottle of Ranch) here, and Smitty here. Loic is definitely observant. But poor Paul. He's gotta be rolling over in his grave.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Teeth

Loic smiles at Alastair and he smiles back.

Loic asks, "Laurly, why Alastair have no teeth?"

Laurly answers, "Because teeth need strong roots before they can grow. Right now Alastair only has seeds."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Machine Wash Cold

Laurence found a dryer sheet sticking out from between the sofa cushions today. He thought it was a Color Catcher that didn't catch any color. My explanation of what it really was and what it was for sparked quite a conversation about laundry. Woo hoo. Anyway, at one point he said he'd heard that if you wash clothes with hot water, or dry them with hot air, they can shrink, and wanted to know if that was true. Who else does he discuss laundry with? Anyway, I told him it was, and explained that certain fabrics shrink easily, some not so easily, and some not at all. He said, "So clothes really CAN shrink? Are you sure?" (He's really been questioning my knowledge on a variety of topics....ok ALL topics, lately. He's 6 and already thinks he knows it all. Great.) I assured him that yes, shrinkage happens. He said, "But does it happen to REAL people?" Apparently it must happen to the fake people he knows? They must be the ones telling him this stuff. Next time he questions me, perhaps I'll send him to them for the answers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trick Question?

Laurence was packing his backpack for school this morning, and paused to read the label on his envelope that comes home from the office every Tuesday...

Laurence: "O'Neil. Laurence Emmerson. Grade 5K." A short pause... "Mom, do you know Mrs. Winter's last name?"
Me: "Winter."
Laurence: "Oh, right! Then her first name must be Advisor."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beginners Lesson in Camera Parts

If you've come here for a lesson is DSLR photography, stick around, you might actually learn a thing or two. I've just begun the journey myself with this fine Nikon D40 beauty you see pictured here. We were thrilled to have the chance to purchase this camera from a friend, who recently upgraded to go pro. She's quite fact, it would be well worth your time to give her website look, after you're done here, of course. By the way, if you know me you'll notice we share the same last name, which is totally coincidence. I do, however, think she chose me as the new owner to keep her baby in the "family." (She really did call it her "baby!" Oh, the pressure....)

Anway, we've had some fun with the camera and have gotten some pretty decent shots, for beginners. We also purchased a new lens this past weekend and it came with a hood, which you can see in the picture - it's the slightly flared cylinder that surrounds the end of the lens (and lens cap, in this case). This hood is the reason for this post and the picture, actually, so look very, very closely... As Bill was putting it on, Laurence was watching very intently and said, "I know what that's for..." Not really surprised based on the information the kid absorbs, we both turn to him just as he says, "It's so the camera can't bite its stitches!"

That's the extent of your photography lesson folks. (Now go back and check out that link.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Do You See? I See a...

"Mommy, read 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear,'" is music to my ears. Of the hundreds of kids' books we have in our house, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" has got to be the most requested of all. It was always a favorite of Laurence's, and one of the first books he "read" (memorized). In case you're not familiar with this well known book, written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle, each page introduces a new animal and a new color, in the repetitive format "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me. Red bird, red bird, what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me." and so on. Laurence worked very hard to learn every animal and every color, and once he mastered that, he'd guess the animal on the next page before turning it, and quickly memorized the order, eventually being able to recite the book without having to turn a single page. This is very telling of his learning style & personality. And then there's Loic. He's also loved this book for quite some time, and has moved on from the boring old memorization of a few months back. We, or I should say, he, read the book last night, and here's how it went:

Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?
I see a red bird, with a black eye, and a beak, and brown feet looking at me.
Red bird, red bird, what do you see?
I see a yellow duck with purple feet looking at me.
Yellow duck with purple feet, yellow duck with purple feet, what do you see?
I see a blue horse with sharp teeth that says "neigh" looking at me.
Blue horse with sharp teeth, blue horse with sharp teeth, what do you see?
I see a green frog, with a purple tongue, blue eyes, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, a toe, and another a toe looking at me.

Can you picture it? He pointed to each of the frog's sixteen toes as he "read," and on he went, observing details I'm not even sure I've noticed in the 36,263 times I've read the book.

Ah yes, our boys. Laurence the regimented, self-challenging intellect, and Loic the creative, detail-oriented free-spirit. What will Alastair be like? Only time, and a few more thousand readings of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear," will tell.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fido Has a...

Spring has sprung! We've learned over the past couple of weeks that all of neighbors are still alive and well after the 6-month hibernation. The birds are singing, the days are getting longer, and we've fired up the grill. And finally we can play in our back yard once again. We stayed out until almost dark tonite and the sights and sounds made for some interesting conversation. The following, in particular, I think is worth sharing...

Me: Oh, there's Fido. Hello, Fido! (Yes, I often talk to dogs, even Fido, the old, overweight, annoying hound-type mix next door.)

Fido: (Nothing. Not even a glance in our direction. Maybe his hearing is going...)

Loic: Fido has a butt!

Me: Yes, he does. All dogs have butts, in fact.

Laurence: Yep, and all dogs have penises.

Me: No, not girl dogs.

Laurence (with a puzzled look of misunderstanding): What? Not bull dogs? Bull dogs don't have penises?

What seems like minute goes by, me laughing until my face hurt and unable to get the words out, until finally...

Me: I said, "Not GIRL dogs."

Laurence: Ohhhh! Right. Girl dogs have loo-la-las.

The rest of the conversation went in one ear and out the other. I could barely get past this. Who calls them that? Some girl in his class, apparently. The kid is in kindergarten. What's he going to come home with next?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'll Have an Order of Chicken Lo Mein & a New Pair of Sneaks, Please

Loic is featured in this post. That kid has quite a natural sense of humor, and appears to be developing a memory to rival his older brother's. Backing up to about a year ago, the family was making our weekly visit to our favorite chinese restaurant, the Panda House. I can't say enough about the place -- amazing food, fast service, and the friendliest of owners. In fact, let me digress by saying that just a few weeks after Alastair was born, Bill came home with carry out and handed me a little red envelope, from the owners, he said. Inside was a crisp ten dollar bill! It's a gift for the baby, she'd told him, and on our next visit explained to me that you give money when a new baby is born to friends or family, to bring the child good luck. Honestly, I was blown away by the gesture. And this wasn't the first of it's kind...

Back to our visit a year ago...that evening the owner came to our table carrying a pair of sandals and asked if we thought they would fit Laurence. I said I thought so, and she explained that her father brought them from China for her son, but they were much too small, so she thought of us. Laurence was so proud and couldn't wait for warmer weather to wear his new treasures. Once summer came he would tell everyone he encountered that his sandals were from the Panda House. Eventually he wore the straps right off. But what a special gift -- sandals from China! Anyway, I said this was to be about Loic and it on!

Sunday night we went to eat once again at the Panda House. Loic & I shared Chicken Lo Mein, which isn't at all relevant, but let me tell you, theirs is amazing! Afterwards we headed next door to Target to get a few things, including a new pair of sneakers for Loic. (He has a fine pair, but needed a 2nd since he seems to be able to find every mud puddle within a 200 yard radius of wherever we are, constantly leaving him with wet shoes. So the old pair will become his romping sneaks.) The next day we were getting ready to go to the grocery store and Loic asked if he could wear his new sneakers. Assuming we'd be puddle-free from here to there, I agreed. As I was tying them he said, "Are these my shoes from the Panda House?" I burst out laughing and looked up -- he was giving me that sly Loic look that he's perfected. Before I could answer he laughed and said, "No, they're from Target!" Oh, it felt good to laugh together like that, and I have his sense of humor and incredible memory to thank. Keep those moments coming, kid!

Friday, March 5, 2010

February 29

Laurence is really trying to understand time these days. From how long 3 hours is, to how many months until Christmas, etc. Yesterday he asked how many days until Loic's birthday, which is July 31st. I was explaining that we can estimate, because we know it's about 5 months away, and months have about 30 days...and there's where I got interrupted. I should have know that Laurence is NOT about estimating. "Well," he says, "some months DO have 30 days, but some have 31, and February has 28...except when it's a hopping year, because then it has 29."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Good Stuff from the Table

A few of the recent conversations in our household....

This one over dinner tonite, which was meatball lasagna --
Laurence: Do meatballs come from cows?
Me: Yes, if they're beef meatballs they are made from meat from cows.
Laurence: But I thought cows only made milk.
Me: Well, dairy cows give us milk, beef cows give us meat.
Laurence: But why don't we get milk from all cows, since they all have those pink things that hang down?
Me: Umm....

And this one out of the blue the other day, no particular setting --
Laurence: All people in Oklahoma have mustaches.
Me: Really?
Laurence: Yes. I know they do. And some have cowboy hats.
Me: I see.

That's all I have time for right now...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Overheard at the Dinner Table

While I love taking the time to write my usual 2 to 3 paragraph posts, the additional person in this house, though small, has made using the computer beyond a few minutes at a time rather difficult these days. I feel like I've let so many questions and comments slip by that would normally appear here. So, here is my first of probably many short yet thought-provoking "overheard at the dinner table" (actually it's a dinner counter at our house) posts:

Mom, why do grandpas and grandmas seem to have skin that is too big for their bones? Mine is tanner than my grandpa's, and it seems to fit me a lot better.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

State your Name & Age, Please

If you've seen Loic recently you've undoubtedly been asked the all-important question, "What your name?" He asks everyone he encounters, regardless of whether he knows their name or not. Strangers, friends, people on TV...they all get interrogated until they answer. And even then, he may ask again, just to be sure. In fact, though he knows BOTH of my names, Mommy & Jan, he asks me this very question at least 15 times a day. Life is all about names right now.

Last night as the boys were heading upstairs Bill says, "Goodnight Laurence. Goodnight Loic. Goodnight Cooper!" (My maiden name, by which he calls me frequently. Sometimes Cooper, sometimes Coop. No, I wasn't really going to bed, but this has become a cruel little joke between us since the baby was born and I have no true bedtime. Funny. Ha, ha.) Loic stops mid-stairway and says, "Mommy, Dad said, 'Goodnight Cooper.'" Though he's heard him call me this thousands of times, it was understandably puzzling him because of his recent obsession with names. Laurence chimes in before I have a chance, "Cooper was Mommy's last name before she married Daddy." "Oh!" was all Loic said. He was satisfied.

The conversation with Laurence took an unexpected turn, however. As he climbed into bed he said, "When I find someone I want to marry, how will I find out how old they are?" I told him this is something you usually discuss early on when you meet someone, but of course I had to ask him why this was on his mind. "Well," he said, "I DEFINITELY want to marry a girl younger than me. So, I will need to ask her how old she is first." Still not following, I said, "OK, but why?" Silly of me not to know...."BECAUSE I want her to have MY last name after we get married." What? But, I didn't pursue it any further. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation....nah, this is just life thru the eyes of a six-year-old.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's a...

BOY! And BOY, do I feel remiss for not posting sooner to introduce our new family member, who is now 2 weeks and 1 day old! Hopefully you can forgive me...but after the backlash we received for not posting on Facebook until several hours after he was born, it seems doubtful. Anyway, I certainly have been intending to make my re-entry into the blogging world, but things have been a wee bit busy at our house. What prompted me to do so today is that a friend of a friend has apparently been missing my posts, which makes me feel pretty dern good! People I don't even know actually read my stuff. Thanks!

Without further delay, please help me welcome to this wild & crazy world, ALASTAIR ELLSWORTH O'NEIL, born on Wednesday, December 30, 2009, at 7:49 a.m. He weighed a whopping 9 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long. Though I've been living in a fog since, I do realize now would be an appropriate time to post a picture. Here he is the day he was born:

No doubt there is some wonder about his name. 'Tis a mouthful, hey? We truly struggled with names this time around, especially boy names. Up until 2 days before he was born, we only had one boy first name we could agree on, and neither one of us was crazy about it. So, Bill had the brilliant idea of scouring his e-mail address book for work, 5000-some names from all over the world. Our top two boy names therefore surfaced just a day or so before he arrived.

Alastair is the name of a consultant Bill's company contracts with, who he first met when they traveled together to South Korea six years ago. He liked his name immediately, but we never considered using it until now. And I'm so glad we did! It's Scottish, and for those who need to know, means "Man's defender..."

Ellsworth was my paternal grandfather's middle name, but it's what most people called him. I've wanted to use it as a middle name since we started having kids, but it never seemed to fit just right. This time it definitely did.

We've certainly gotten plenty of comments on the name, and a few people have even said they like it. Some of the responses from people who learned of his name by phone the day he was born: "Oh...Wow!" "That's a mouthful!" "Huh." Other comments since: "Oh...Wow!" "That's a mouthful!" "Huh." Don't get me wrong, there have been some positive reactions, too. A few people have said it sounds regal, important, it's a name to live up to, etc. People had to expect a unique name from us, and unique is what they got. By far the most noteworthy response so far was that of one of Bill's co-workers. He wasn't holding his opinion back at all when he said, "Oh no! Why would you do THAT to him?" To us his name is just like him -- perfect.