Friday, September 7, 2012

Red Sky at Night...

In 2012 it seems like we have seen more rainbows than in the past lotsa years combined, and tonite's was the most brilliant yet.  All eyes in our car were on the sky, and we noticed that the sunset wasn't too shabby either.  Loic was asking his usual questions...What makes a rainbow?  Why is it raining when the sun is out?  Why can't we see all of the rainbow?  Are we almost to Culver's?  Why is the sunset so red?...and here's where Laurence stepped in to help.  It went something like this "You see, Loic, when the sun is low in the sky it's rays (insert rather intelligent explanation here with words like reflection, scatter, atmosphere, etc)....and that's why the sunset makes the sky look red."  He went on to say, "The atmosphere is really like a big pair of sunglasses for the earth and helps scatter the light so it's not so intense....but the light is still really strong, which is why you should never look directly at the sun with your naked eye."  Bill & I glanced at each other, wondering where & how he absorbs all that stuff, and I start to respond, "Great answer, Laurence, you really--" when I was interrupted a giggling Loic, "Laurence said 'naked eye!'"  And then we all had ice cream.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things that Go "Bump..."

I had my annual physical this morning and certainly never would have imagined that I'd be blogging about it this afternoon, but I've just gotta.  It started as a routine visit -- exchanging "how have you been's?" with the nurse while she took my blood pressure, reviewed medical history, and so on.  Then she asked if it was ok for the doctor's medical student to assist, and I agreed.  I've seen lots of medical students before, and figure if they can learn something from my annual necessary evil, why not?

So, the nurse leaves and a few minutes later in walks Kevin, the medical student, who looks like he's all of 16.  He says he's just going to ask me a few questions and listen to my heart & lungs until the doctor is available.  Again, fine with me.  Kevin wants to know about my pregnancies, medical history, menstrual cycle (does he even know what this is at his age?), and what have you.  Then he says, "So, you're 39..." (sure, rub it in) "...the doctor will want you to have your first mammogram within the next year..." (did he just glance down at my chest?  Probably not...but now this is getting a little awkward.  For the the sake of medicine, though, I suck it up and act like a grown woman).  He pauses and says, "So it says here there's a bump..." and my heart stops.  "Ummm...bump?" I reply.  "What bump?  I'm not aware of a bump."  Dead silence.  Say something, Kevin.  SOMETHING.  He's studying my chart with intensity.  "Wait...this could be referring to a schedule bump," he looks up and continues, "Was your appointment rescheduled?"  "YES!" I blurted.  "It was!  Phew, you scared me." And I laughed a hearty (and unusually squeaky) sigh of relief.  "They called me a week or so ago to say the doctor had another commitment--" Kevin interrupts, "So they bumped your appointment!" Now he sounds squeaky, too, and continues, "But you know, most often those bumps are benign and nothing to worry about..."  Enough, Kevin.  Stop now!  There is no bump.  With that he got up and moved on to listening to my heart & lungs.  No more questions.

Kevin left the exam room and came back a couple of minutes later with the doctor, who says, "So, Kevin tells me things are going well & you have no concerns?"  "Nope, everything's great," I said, and then, before I could stop myself, "Well, except for the bump!"  Her eyes widened then, clearly taken aback, and I turned to the young medical student, and said, "Kevin, you didn't tell the doctor about the bump?"  (Kevin, forgive me, but the look on your rapidly reddening face was priceless.)  He stammered, "Well...see, what happened was...I saw this note about a 'bump...'" and then I came to his rescue.  I told the doctor what happened and she somehow contained herself and I said, "Probably safe to say Kevin will never forget me!"  We all laughed, and I think Kevin almost threw up.  Call it a 39-year-old woman's intuition, but I'm guessing young Kevin has crossed OB-GYN off of his list of possible specialties...

Monday, March 19, 2012

He Speaks!

As a parent you hear it, you read it, you even say it to others -- don't compare your kid to other kids.  Each child develops differently.  There is a wide range of "normal."  But as a parent, do you listen?  Absolutely not.  If it's your first kid, you're bound to feel a twinge when so-and-so's what's-his-name rolls over first.  Or says, "Mama."  Or takes his first steps.  But when your kid reaches a milestone before any other the same age, how can you not think you're kid is the smartest, most advanced out there?  Then if kid number two comes along, perhaps they take longer to sleep thru the night...they master the cup sooner...they weigh 5 pounds more than number one at that age...and so on.  Comparing is human nature.  And fun.  It gives us something to talk about.  And we learn (and are encouraged) to do it at a pretty young age.  But don't do it.

I thought Alastair was going to be my least chatty of the 3 boys.  Nope, not true.  He just took longer to get chatty.  Makes sense, right?  He didn't walk until he was 18 months old, after all, even though they other two did at 13 months.  (But man, can that kid throw a ball!  Accuracy and distance go far beyond the other two at age 2...)  So, all of the sudden Alastair is stringing words together in little sentences and makes every effort to be a part of every conversation.  Suddenly he seems to just "get" a lot of things, too.  I've said it many times, and blogged about it plenty, but there's something so thrilling about witnessing language develop.

I can't let another day go by without listing some of my favorite words & phrases that Alastair is using consistently:

hanny = hand
dorndoor = door
balala = banana
bagel = bracelet (also used for anything that goes around a wrist or neck...even the car seat straps are "bagels!")
football game = football (used for both the game & the actual ball.  Both used to be "upball game," but his f's are coming along nicely now, dangit.)
booyay = blueberries (also grapes & cherry tomatoes)
Ankiss = Angus (our yellow lab pup)
Oic = Loic
Laurly = Laurence (Loic called him this, too.  I don't think we influenced Alastair to call him this...but I suppose there's a chance we did.)
Nurny = milk (I know for a fact he can say "milk," but it remains "nurny" to him.)

I know there are more, but they are escaping me for the moment.  There are couple of other recent language favorites I want to share, though.  Alastair has become a master imitator!  It's so funny to hear him utter certain things the rest of us say.  He now says, "Well, hiiii," when he sees me, something I've said to him almost every day, twice a day, when I go into his room when he wakes up in the morning and after his nap.  His tone of voice & inflection is spot on, too.  It's a simple thing, but I never get tired of hearing him say it and I hope he never stops.

Finally, he has learned the power of language.  He's giving commands (very appropriately) to our newest addition, Angus, our yellow lab pup, and is delighted when Angus obeys.   He is also clearly catching on that praise goes a long way.  And if it works with the dog, why not with me?  The past few days, when he asks for something and I comply, he enthusiastically exclaims, "GOOD boy, Mom!"  You know, I gotta admit, those words of affirmation don't hurt...and I'm sure the other boys didn't know how to use them at this age.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Found Love...

There's a pretty popular song right now called "We Found Love," by Rihanna.  Everyone in my family loves it.  In fact, we've been known to play it over and over and over again, really loudly, then play it many, many times more, singing & dancing to exhaustion.  I'm quite sure we get many of the lyrics wrong, but we've got "We found love in a hopeless place" down pat.

In other news, we got a puppy!  No, we did not name it Rihanna, and yes, her hit song is relevant in this story.  Angus, a 10-week-old yellow lab has been welcomed into our family with 10 open arms.  He is laid back, calm, affectionate and incredibly handsome.  Seems rather smart, too.  The moment we saw him we knew the breeder made a good pick for us.  We've been waiting for the right guy to come along for a few months, and Angus is definitely it.  So, now we've got 4 boys and that seems just right.

The breeder is located near Hayward, so we left Friday afternoon to head up there, ate at a great pizza place, then swam & played in the hotel pool until time for bed.  We were all up early on Saturday (not sure I really slept at all, actually!), picked up the pup, and were on the way back to GB before 10 a.m.  We'd been on the road for about 20 minutes when Loic says with a sigh, "Hayward is a hopeless place.  That's where that girl must be singing about, because we found love there."  Not sure Rihanna would agree, but this makes perfect sense to me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three Little Words

I'm sure Loic has told Laurence that he loves him before.  At least I think I'm sure.  Yes, I know I'm sure.  Then again...

I was putting the boys to bed tonite and as I leaned down to kiss Loic he said to me, "Bring me your ear really close, Mommy."  He doesn't ever use the word "secret" for some reason, and that's fine with me.  I stuck my head further into his little cave on the bottom bunk and he whispered, "Don't ever tell Laurence...but I love him."  I said, in what I thought was a whisper, "OK, I won't tell him, but if you want to, you could tell him yourself."  A little almost 8-year-old head suddenly peeks over the side of the top bunk, "Tell me what?"  Loic hesitated, then, "I can't tell you," and exploded with giggles.  Nervous ones.  I said, "It would be nice to tell him, Loic, and I bet you'd hear something nice back."  More giggles.  Laurence, laying back down, said, "You tell me, Mom," to which I replied, "No, Loic told me not to.  He'll tell you if he wants to.  Maybe tomorrow."  And I stood up to go.  But Loic, thru his giggles, pipes up with, "OK, I'll tell you, but you can't laugh at me."  Laurence said, seriously, "I won't laugh at you."  Loic again, "And you can't say 'awwwww.'"  "OK, I won't say, 'awwwww."  Lots more giggling.  By now I was standing in the doorway watching this all play out.  It was like the scene of a movie or something, and I got little butterflies in my stomach.   I could see Loic in the dim light shining in from the hallway and his face was all scrunched up and his mouth was twisting just so...and he was still giggling.  The suspense was about too much for me to bear, but he finally took a breath, stopped giggling, and said, "I love you, Laurence."  A quick glance up at Laurence and I saw a sweet smile spread on his face and he said, "Thank you, Loic.  I love you, too."  I quietly closed the door, my heart swelling, my eyes tearing up...amazing.

Did you ever notice how those three little words can be so hard to say when you really mean it?  It's true. Even when you're four.
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