Monday, May 31, 2010

3rd Day at the Cape

Another gorgeous day at the Cape! The only weird thing, aside from me getting my butt to run 6.8 miles this morning at 5:15 gasp, is that the island was covered in a smokey haze. It smelled exactly like a campfire. I found out from a few fishermen that it is the smoke from a fire in, get this, Canada. WTF! Those winds are really a-blowing, let me tell you. The whole outer Cape smells of it. Visibility was really bad for awhile too. Then by afternoon, it all blew out to sea. I'm going to go look this up and see what's happening up there in Quebec.

Our day had a weird contrary feel to it, starting this morning. No matter what I said, the opposite answer was correct. Hm.

Jack: (last night before bed) And remember, tell Dad to be quiet tomorrow morning so that you "do not wake up the buffalo".
me: No problem. Does that mean you'll sleep past 5 a.m. tomorrow?
Jack: Oh yeah, I'll sleep allllll day when I'm a buffalo. They're very tired all the time.

(next morning at 5 a.m. on the dot!)
Jack: Mooommmmmmmm
me: Wha?
Jack: Nothing, I only have to go to the bathroom
me: (whew) Okay let's go
Jack: But...I could stay up if you wannnnttt?
me: Oh no you're a disgusting buffalo that needs sleep remember?
Jack: Oh yeah! Good night!
me: (hee hee I'm free)

(I went out for my run at 5:15. Got back and Jack was awake in his bed, visibly upset)
Jack: Why did you not tell us where you were going?
me: Because you were both asleep and you told me not to wake a sleeping buffalo, ever!
Jack: But you know you can wake me when you're going running!
me: How does that help either of us. You can't go with me.
Jack: I can run with you!
me: Sigh.

(Later we drove along the coast to Chatham and Harwich to check out the sights.)
Jack: I'd really like to stop at a playground Mommy.
me: Ok, if we see one we'll stop
Jack: Now I'm hungry!
me: Well, so is Daddy and it's lunchtime, so we'll probably have lunch before we stop to play anywhere.
Jack: But I want to go to the beach!!!
me: What about the playground?
Jack: Oh yeah, let's skip lunch for now and go play, okay?

(we stop to eat lunch and then start looking for a playground/beach combo)
me: Oh, there's a beach down here we can go take a look at?
Jack: Plaaayyyygrouuunnnndddd....
me: Or a playground.
Jack: I'm ready to go back to the house and play in the yard.
me: We're going to the beach first, remember?
Jack: Why don't I ever get to do ANYthing that I want to.
me: You know what, that's a good idea, I think we should head back if you're going to get upset about it. We'll find something fun to do there.
Jack: Noooo, but I want to go to the beeeeachhhhhh!
me: Sigh.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2nd Day at the Cape

(5:05 a.m.)  (!!!)

Jack: Moommmmmaaaayyyyyy.
me: Oh noooo. (I stumble into Jack's room) Hi sweetie, do you have to go pee?
Jack: Yeah, but then I would also like to stay awake. (gives me his most winning smile)
me: But it's soooo early. You need lots of rest to be able to play on the beach today won't you?
Jack: No. And even if you leave and go back to bed, I'm not even going to put my head down at all. I'm going to whistle. (starts a mindless tune)
me: You're going to wake Daddy, Jack. We need to be quiet.
Jack: Okay, then let's get up and go downstairs instead of all this talk! (he hops off the top bunk and races down the stairs)

Note: We did put him to bed at 7pm last night, but only because he was up at 5 a.m. yesterday morning too! He has been very excited to go on vacation. Today was all about wearing him out. Let's hope it worked. :) Hopefully he'll sleep a little later, because tomorrow morning I have a date with 5 miles of beach road and a pair of running shoes!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

1st Day at the Cape

We were up very early to pack the car and leave on our road trip to the Cape. Not early enough, I worried, but we didn't forget any essentials. Just my book. And Q-tips. And Jack's folding chair with umbrella. And the eggs. But hey, not too bad!

Jack: Yaayyyyy, we're leaving for Cape Cod!
Dennis: Lucky us.
me: We're late.

And so we pulled out of the driveway, each wrapped in our own thoughts. Me, of the things I forgot, Dennis wondering if I'll get over the fact that we left close to an hour later than planned, and Jack planning all the things we will do this week.

Jack: Uh, guys, I'm not buckled in!
Dennis: (muttering and pulling over for the first time) Why not?
Jack: I don't know, you just started driving!

We stopped briefly near Rhode Island for coffee and bagels. Dennis opened the back hatch for somthing before we started driving again.

Dennis: Someone's door is open! (noticing the little red light on the dash as we cruised back onto the highway.)
me: It's the hatch. You didn't close it hard enough.
Dennis: (muttering and pulling onto the shoulder, then trying not to get hit by the cars whizzing by.) Anything else I need to pull over for?
Jack: Why is Daddy getting out on the highway?

We stopped to meet my brother in Orleans, as he was coincidentally making a delivery to Nauset Beach. Then we went to a playground so we could kill time until the 2pm check-in at our rental house.

Jack: I have to pee!
me: (scoping out the disgusting porta-potty) Jack, let's just go behind that tree over there.
Jack: (hops the small fence and ducks behind the big pine tree)
me: Uh, OMG, this is all poisin ivy! (I can't even believe I let my little boy come within millimeters of a literal poisin ivy farm!) Jack get over here. Do not touch any of that!!
Dennis: Way to go. You know they have porta-potties?
me: (wiping every inch of Jack and his shoes with baby wipes) I don't really think he stepped in it...?
Jack: Nah, I'm fine. I don't itch at all! (runs off to the playground)

(Let's hope not. We won't find out until next week possibly.)

me: Sigh.

Friday, May 28, 2010


We're getting ready for our (a bit early) trip to the Cape tomorrow. We normally go in September but did not want to disrupt Jack's 2nd week of 1st grade. So, the only week we could grab was Memorial Day week. The weather is supposed to be great. I am so excited. So is Jack. He has been counting down the days and was really cooperative tonight while he was getting ready for bed. He can't wait to visit all of our favorite spots along the way!

Jack: First we leave here, then go by that big building with the bug (Providence, RI) then we see the bridges (Bourne, Sagamore), then we eat at Pancake Man (Yarmouth), then go to the beach store across the street, then the taffy store, then Willy World, then we see the fire tower (Wellfleet) then...
me: the drive in theater?
Jack: I thought that was in Trumbull?
me: Huh?
Jack: Oh yeah. The drive in theater...then Uncle Tim's bridge, then the house! Then sssnnniiifffffffffff! (Jack loves loves loves the smell of the Cape house). I can't wait to smell it!
me: You have a really good memory for all of those details.
Jack: Well, yeah, I've been going there since I was little!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buffalo Food

You never know what a day will bring. You can hope for a good day and have it turn to sh*t pretty fast. Or you can wake up in a foul mood and have some small thing make you smile and turn your day around. Likewise, you never know how your day will end. There are always routines, especially when you have kids. Pickup from school, head home to feed the cats and put away papers and lunchboxes, change clothes, perhaps play for a bit, then make dinner, then bath, stories and finally bedtime.

Today Jack decided to mix it up. I thought it was going to be a "bad" day based upon the night we had. Let's just say that the word tantrum could not even describe it. But those things happen. I kind of roll with it. Therefore I thought the residual mood from last night would carry over to today. But, that wasn't the case. Jack had a good day at school, he had a lot of fun being the teacher's helper and working with a friend on their reading (he was especially proud of this), and he had spectacular manners on the way home and at home.

It's been a beautiful day but alas, we are not outside. Jack wanted to change into clean clothes and be a buffalo. Which means, roll around in a furry blanket, mostly on the floor, and have me pet/feed/coddle him. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that Jack's pretending to be a buffalo actually coincides with him needing more attention and cuddling. Hm. Hadn't really thought of that.

Jack: Can you put pictures of buffaloes up on your computer so I can look at them first?
me: (google images) Ohhh, here's a big nasty looking one!
Jack: Cool! Now I need you to make me a buffalo pen. Can you bring the table and chairs (his small set) in here and make walls.
me: I'm on it... (I proceeded to feed him small bits of pretzel as snacks and pet him and say how ferocious he looked. He was loving it.)
Jack: What are we having for dinner? It should probably not be meat because buffaloes don't eat meat. So make something buffalo-y.
me: (slim pickings as I did not go grocery shopping) How about corn souffle? Your favorite!
Jack: Yayyy. Can you make it quick and then come back to play while it's in the oven?
me: Yep. I'll go hurry so we can play some more. Are you sure you don't want to go outside? Look how nice it is out there. (I look longingly out the window, which is tough after being cooped up all day in the office.)
Jack: No, this is EXACTLY what I want to be doing.
me: Be right back! (I start making the souffle and keep talking to Jack while he lays in the hallway. Pretty soon his answers are unintelligible. I pop the souffle in the oven and come back to find this waiting for me):

So much for not napping anymore. And what will tonight's sleep be like? Eh, it's fiiinnnneee. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For the Birds!

A few years ago, we received a chickadee house as a gift. We didn't think much of it, and one year I stuck it up on the garage between the 2 doors, on a nail that just happened to be there.

The box said "Chickadee House" and it came with some pine shavings to put in the bottom. Well, lo and behold, about a few days later, who comes scoping out the house? Mr. and Mrs. Chickadee! How did they know it was designed for them? I'm still baffled. They flew back and forth between the house and a nearby tree, checking out the area. I mean how could they do any better? Low rent, free food from the two birdhouses we filled constantly, and no dogs! They signed the lease and moved in. A few weeks later came the tiny peeps of many hungry mouths, and then finally, one day, all was quiet. The birds had all flown away. I took the house apart that year and discovered the remnants of a snug little nest neatly woven deep down inside.

Now, each year, I can hardly wait for the day that I see two birds zooming back and forth from the garage to the same nearby tree. There is always a small conference between the two birds, and then they go back and forth a few more times until we see them flying in with sticks in their mouth. I love the day that we get new tenants.

This year, same deal. Chickadees moved right in about a week after I hung the birdhouse at the beginning of April. And just this week, all of the chaos and peeping finally came to an end. I never got to see the baby birds leave the nest, but they are surely gone. No more Mom and Dad racing back and forth with dangly green grasshoppers in their beaks. They hardly ever took a break! We had also hung another decorative house (in the shape of a trailer!) very nearby, again, because there happened to be a nail in the right place. I doubted that we would get two families of birds, because of territorial reasons. I was right. The trailer remained empty. :(  I mentioned to Jack that the family of birds had moved out, and he was sad.

Jack: (as we pulled in the driveway after school) Awwww, no more chickadees! They would always fly right over my head and were never scared not even once!
me: I guess the babies got big enough and flew away this week, and we missed the whole thing. (another reason to get a bird cam!!)
Jack: Oh! There's Daddy! Let me tell him the good news and the bad news!
me: Huh?
Jack: Daddy Daddy, guess what, I have good news and bad news.
Dennis: Okaaayyyy?
Jack: Okay, the bad news first. The bad news is that the chickadees flew away! The babies grew up! And the good news...there are twigs sticking out of the other birdhouse!
me: Gasp! Really? (I ran over to take a look. Sure enough, as soon as the chickadee family decided to move out, another bird couple started moving in to the trailer house!)

Jack: I'm glad we'll have another bird family living here. It makes me happy.
me: Me too.  :)

Follow up note: I took down the chickadee house today (5/27) and look what it was stuffed with. Notice how different it is from the first house at the top from 2 years ago!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reading outside

Jack and I decided to play out in the yard when we got home today. Beautiful day, and VERY warm. Perfect for swinging, spying, running, creating a fake car wash in the garage since Daddy's car isn't in there...etc, etc. I was getting pretty tired trying to keep up with Jack's whims, let me tell you. First it's get the helmet and knee pads and elbow pads on so he can ride his scooter, then it's take the pads off but leave the helmet ON so he can ride his bike, then just as I'm getting settled in a comfy lawn chair, he wants the helmet off and wants me to go find the walkie-talkies. I go in and get them, and we use them literally for 1 minute until we walk over to the swingset, where they immediately get discarded while Jack climbs up the rope ladder. But then, oh yes, did I get smart. :)

Jack: Mom, now what can we do?
me: Haven't we done it all?
Jack: (his equivalent to "I've only just begun") Nooooooo!
me: Sigh.
Jack: Maybe we can attach all of the lawn chairs together with this bungee cord and make a fort or a wall, so when Daddy comes home ---
me: (interrupting) You must be soooo tired from all the playing. How about I get some books and a little snack and we sit in the reclining lawn chairs together and read? (oh please oh please?)
Jack: Heyyyyyy, that's a really good idea Mommy. Yes I do need to rest. Whew!
me: (whew is right. I go to get him a pile of books and grab my latest book) Be right back!
Jack: (flipping through Andrew Henry's Meadow) This is SO much fun Mom. Great idea.
me: (halfway through my 4th or 5th read of A Walk in the Woods) Hell yeahhhh.
Jack: What?
me: Uh, hurray!
Jack: oh.

P.S. We read together for about an hour, Jack holding out his hand for a new book when he was finished with the last one, while the birds chirped — and our neighbor did not fire up his chainsaw, not even once!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Musical Interlude

Jack and music. Ahhh where to begin. He loves basically all musical instruments. The trumpet and guitar being two of his faves. He can belt out a mean tune on a pre-programmed keyboard (ala this past Mother's Day!) and is always ready for some freestyle dancing, twitchy butting, or general moshing if the right tune comes on the radio.

At first, he would only listen to HIS songs on CD...nursery rhymes, then Disney themes, then Kidz Bop (dear God some of them are actually better than the originals! Life is a Highway!) and finally some classics like Billy Joel, Queen, U2, of course Elvis, and even Bob Marley. The best is when I turn up the radio and Jack recognizes a song that is playing. Or, we are walking down the hall of his school, which has piped in radio music playing in the common areas.

Jack: Heeeyyyyyy, is that The Entertainer? That's Billy Joel! (to the bewilderment of the admin. staff and a few moms.)
me: Yeah, you recognized it? I can hardly hear it.
Jack: Oh, Oh this is the best part! (starts singing) "...played all kindsa palaces, played all kindsa girls..." (he swaps out the real lyrics "laid all kindsa girls" for my kid friendly lyrics "played...", that i just sing loudly whenever it gets to that part of the song. Come on, wouldn't you do that too?)
me: You have pretty good taste eh?
Jack: Yeah, yeah... once when we were in class I heard piano man and I told them "the microphone smells like a beer!" I mean, how gross, it actually SMELLS like a beer? Only Daddy smells like a beer I thought. heh heh.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beards 2.0

(Disclaimer: Typing this while watching LOST finale, so disregard any typos, tangents, or digressions that may or may not involve smoke. Or monsters. Or both.)

This afternoon Jack had me laughing so hard, that I was actually weeping out loud. I just have to relay the entire conversation. Now, mind you, this may definitely be a "had to be there" type of story, but I don't care. It was g-damn funny. (oh it's starting, it's STARTING!)

Okay, backstory...Jack loves beards. I mean Looovvveeessss. He can't even look directly at them for all the worshipping he does when he beholds one. He gets a giant grin, hides his face, pokes us mercilessly and points over to where the beard resides. Usually it's a dirty, homeless person in a scooter of some sort (like this), but still, Jack is enraptured! (wow, short commercial, brb!)

Sooo, where was I...Oh yes, for the love of beards. Jack can't wait to grow his own beard and I'm sure I've seen him checking out his chin in my magnifying mirror once or twice already!

Back to this afternoon...we were outside in the driveway and Jack decided to pull out his toy lawnmower. The "clackity clackity clack" kind that makes a huge racket when you push it. He decided to sit on top of it and go for short rides down our driveway. (Richard's not dead! Yipee! Stupid smokey.)

Jack: Mommy! I know I know! Pretend I have a beard and you're a little kid that doesn't know I have a beard and then you look over and then I turn and you see I have a beard, (pant pant), and then you laugh at me. (Really, where does he come up with this stuff?)
me: Okay, get ready!
Jack: (sits on the lawnmower at the top of the driveway and turns his head) Okayyyy...
me: (fake stage voice) Wow, I wonder if that guy over there has a beard! I'm pretty sure he doesn't...
Jack: (slowly turning his head towards me with a big grin, showing me that he does indeed have a beard!)
me: Woah, lookit that beard!
Jack: (loud whisper) Mommm, you have to start laughing at me and then I get mad and leave, remember?
me: (not really, but okay) hahahahaha (fake laughter)
Jack: (wipes the grin off his face, sits back on the lawnmower and raises his feet, so that it starts to approximately 1 inch per hour, and roll slowly down the driveway. Kind of a retarded getaway vehicle disguised as an old man's scooter.)
me: Fast getaway, eh? (and then I start to chuckle, and that turns into a loud giggle, and then a guffaw.)
Jack: Don't laugh at me! (is this the beard talking or Jack now? I'm confused)
me: hee Heeee!
Jack: Okay let's do that again! (so we repeat everything up until he hears me laugh at him and he tries to get away again, but this time he tips the lawnmower over and falls into the mulch behind him. It's here that I start laugh/crying. The mulch claims another victim! whooo hooo~!)

(Did you all just see the Target commercial? Awesome! And the John Locke voiceover on Haagen Dazs??)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sooo Tired!

We mulched all morning and then we put together a gigantic swingset/clubhouse thingy, and it took literally all day. 9am til 8pm. I am beat! Had practically the whole family over helping, so it all got done! Jack was being pawned off on everyone, especially his cousins, so I didn't have much interaction with him. And what I did have wasn't that great because he was trying to get my attention, but of course my attention was focused on part AZN which goes into part ABS but not THAT way, THIS way and oh no, we had it upside down, so let's unscrew all of THAT and redo it one more time. Whilst the mosquitoes had a fiesta on my face. Pics tomorrow!

Jack: (after we had the first two swingset poles up) Can I swing, can I can I can I????
me: Not yet. (swatting a mosquito)
Jack: (after I picked up the next screw) How about noooowwwwwww?
me: (swat) Sigh. (and so on and so forth for the next 6 hours.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Why I like Fridays

Work = done. School = done. Weekend is here! I like Fridays because there is no plan. We go with the flow. I picked Jack up from school and had to run a few errands. He was cool with that. We ended up going to the grocery store and Jack wanted to stop and watch a tae kwon do class that takes place right next door. So we watched about 10 minutes or so. He begged for lessons again. But I had to remind him that we tried that last year and he couldn't pay attention. All of the other kids in the class were standing at attention (at 3 and 4 years old!) and Jack literally says "Oh Mommy, Looookkk, a fly!" and started to chase it around the classroom. So he begged some more and I said I would think about it.
Jack: Please Please Please, I know I can concentrate so much better now.
me: I think you're right, and maybe we can try a class again sometime. But you know, this is different than the Karate you do in school. They don't count in Japanese here.
Jack: Well, then I'll learn whatever language I have to. It's not that hard. Sheesh. (Dismissive wave of the hand. Jack somehow wins that debate)

Then we headed home. On the way we saw the antique car show gearing up, so we decided to drop the groceries at home, eat out and then visit the "old-fashioned cars" as Jack calls them. We ate at Bill's, the little drive-in burger place close to home. Jack ordered his usual, cheeseburger with fries, and I ordered my usual, grilled chicken on whole wheat. Yeah I know, it's a burger place. But the chicken is really good!

Jack: Why do you never let me order chocolate milk?
me: Because it's not that good for you. Too much sugar.
Jack: But...I'm gonna have ice cream for dessert right? That has sugar in it.
me: See? You can't have both. Either it's chocolate milk OR ice cream. (whew)
Jack: Sighhh...I guess I'll have white milk.
me: (after we start eating) How's the burger?
Jack: Good! (giant mouthful he's chomping) Can I have a bite of your sandwich? you still have a coldsore?
me: Yeah a little bit.
Jack: Well then, since you started eating THAT half, then the other half will be mine. Can I try that other half?
me: (suddenly realizing exactly how hungry he is and realizing that it will translate into a lot less food for me) Sure, have a bite.
Jack: MMMMMMM!!! OOOhhhhh that is good! (chomping up a storm and rubbing his belly) We're having a really GOOD dinner aren't we Mommy!
me: (as the owner walks by quite pleased with Jack's reaction) Okay, but you need to eat your own dinner too.
Jack: Here, you can have some of my french fries (he tosses me a couple of scraps). But save that half of chicken. Do not touch it.
me: Sigh. (And again, Jack wins most of the food and also gets ice cream)

After eating, we went to see the classic cars. Jack made everyone smile as he walked up to each car with his hands folded behind his back and peered into the driver side windows, and then inspected the engines. (I told him absolutely no touching).
Jack: Wowww, this car has a little mini car just like it on the hood Mommy! And look, the engine is sticking right out of the hood. Gasp! There IS no hood! (this made him extremely happy)
me: These are really cool!
Jack: Mom, they are not cool they are hot. See all the flames painted on the sides? (Shakes his head and moves on to the next car.)

Final score: Jack = 3, Mommy = 0 (he was on a roll tonight)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bragging Rights

Yes my son is a genius. Isn't yours?? Well, let's face it, we all know he got his looks from me and his brains from Dennis. it the other way around? Maybe he got both of our brains? Mine does seem a bit slower these days.

Jack recently had some routine testing done in his K class. Of course he did an excellent job. He's a great tester. Probably because he has a fantastic memory for detail. I used to have a great... wait, what were we talking about? Anyway...

me: Hey Jack, I heard you did another set of tests at school today. How did you do?
Jack: Good. It was easy stuff that I already knew.
me: Ohhh, did they ask you the same things that they asked you last time?
Jack: Yeah, pretty much... We had to know our address and a bunch of other stuff.
me: And did they ask for your city and state, too?
Jack: Mom, we live in a town.
me: Yes, you're right! :)
Jack: I'd like to live in a city maybe? There are less trees right?
me: Like New York City? But that's a really big city.
Jack: Nahhh, I think I like living in the suburbs. (this is a 5 year old, remember)
me: Ha ha, you are one funny kid Jack. I love your stories.
Jack: That wasn't a story. I don't have ANY stories. And, if I did they wouldn't be funny ones.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


No, not the show, silly! Being lost. Getting lost. (Why would I want to write about the show...(I mean just because Jacob can erase 6 seasons of mystification by uttering "Really Kate, it's just a chalk line on a cave wall. It means Nothing!")  Grrrrr...But I digress...

Jack and I went up to see my family this past Saturday. Great weather, so much sunshine it almost, ALMOST, makes up for the crappy rainy windy cold (again with the digressions) weather that has been our Spring. We all went to one of my favorite parks from when I was a kid. It was very much a memory-making kind of day. Jack was playing on the playground, which was super crowded. He had made his new friends, as usual, and they were generally chasing each other around and playing superhero. I hung out with my brother John and my Dad on the sidelines.

me: He always has to hang around with older boys...sigh...
John: He's gotta learn!
me: Yeah, but they're always trouble, saying things and stuff... that are too... old... (I know my argument is weak). Oh wait, look what Jack's doing, let me get my camera. (I fumble around in my purse.)
John: Okay, if you're not actually gonna keep the camera out, can I hold it please because then I can actually take the pictures when something good happens?
me: Wait, where is Jack going??

(Jack started to wander off the playground, following the "older" boy, who was probably around 8.)
me: Let's go, he really is way over there now.

(I saw Jack walking off the playground and towards the parking area where my car was parked.)
me: (starting to jog a bit) JACK!!!!!
John: What's he doing? He looks mad or something.
me: I bet that kid is telling him to come with him. He KNOWS better than to leave the playground, what's gotten into him??!!

(John and I jog around the playground and down towards the parking area, yelling for Jack to come back. He turns around. His arms are crossed and he looks... mad? upset?)
John: He looks mad. Is he crying?

(we finally reach him)

me: Jack! (I say a bit harshly) Where do you think you're going!? (then I see that he's crying) What's wrong? What happened? Did that boy say something to you?
Jack: (sobbing uncontrollably) He- h-h- he said that you left me! (Oh the stupid 8-year-old little shit)
me: Whaaatttt??? (I pick Jack up and he collapses onto my shoulder in a wet heap) Tell me what you were doing? Why would he say that?
Jack: I couldn't fiiiiind you and, and he said that you probably left or went to the bathroom so I was looking for the carrrrrr! (more crying)
me: Why were you following him off the playground? Oh honey you know we were right on the bench watching you the whole time.
Jack: Then why didn't you come get me sooner?
me: I didn't really see that you needed me until I saw you walking away. I thought you were following the other boy and were leaving the playground.
Jack: I thought you leffffffttt meeeeeeee! And I didn't know what to doooooo! (sobbing)
me: okay, okay, it's alright, we're right here.
John: Jack, we had our eyes on you the whole time.
me: Did that boy ask you to follow him off the playground?
Jack: Noooo, his Mom said he had to go so I was looking for you. Then I was glad that the car was still there because then I knew you didn't leave me.
me: (Of course my eyes start tearing up) Well, it's okay now. Next time I'll make sure you know exactly where we are sitting so you can find us. I'm so sorry!

(I then told him about time when I was 5 and I got lost at an amusement park)
Jack: Really? Grandpa let you go in the ladies room all by yourself?
me: Yep, and when I came out I went one way and he went the other and we kept missing each other until I found a policeman that helped me.
Jack: Good thing the policeman didn't arrest Grandpa for being bad.
(clearly this is all the parent's fault in Jack's mind!)

Anyway, it was an awful feeling when I realized what Jack had been going through. I mean, in his mind, we had left him. He totally believed he was all alone. That thought makes me feel a bit sick. Mostly because I had been there once. I had been 5 and lost. I knew exactly how bad those couple of minutes really felt. :(

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some of our Faves!

Once in awhile I think I will recap some of our favorite moments with Jack, prior to him turning 5. I wish I had started this blog much much sooner than I did. But that's what journals were for, eh? Though these stories may be familiar to some of you reading this, they are always entertaining. Enjoy!

(Photo above is Jack at 3 1/2 years old)
This one takes place in an outdoor bathroom stall in Wellfleet, MA, at a seafood restaurant by the ocean. Jack is in the stall with me. I think he was 3 1/2 at the time. There were two people waiting outside the door to the bathroom and the entire outdoor restaurant was right behind THEM!
me: (trying to pee quickly!) Jack! What are you doing? Don't get too close to me please... (he was bent over and trying to peer at my butt)
Jack: It's okay Mommy, I'm just checking for ticks.
(cue the loud laughter from outside the door)

(Photo above is Jack at 2 1/2 years old)
Okay, this one also involves bathroom humor. I guess that goes hand in hand with having a boy in the house! Jack was two and a half and was standing in front of the toilet finishing his potty break.
Jack: (looking from me to the potty and back to me...pondering...) Why Mommy no got da peanuts? (translation: Why doesn't Mommy have a penis?). I laughed so hard I almost pulled something.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Things to Savor

This morning was just a regular Monday morning. However, I felt memories being etched into my mind as we got ready to start our day, and it's not often that you are actually conscious of this happening. I will always savor these little snapshots because I know they are fleeting...

Jack: (awake at 6:20) Mooommmm! I'm ready to stay awaaaaakkke now!
me: Oh, but it's so early honey...
Jack: Well, I guess I'll stay in bed and read some books? Can you get me some?
me: Of course! Let me open the curtain so you can see. Here you go...enjoy! (I leave his room and glance back. He's snuggled under his Wall-E blanket, thumb in, flipping through a book, the first morning light filtering in. A camera shutter clicks in my mind.)

Later as I'm in the shower, I look out through the steam. Jack is standing next to Dennis at the sink. Dennis is shaving and I notice that Jack has his little shaver out also. They're both going through the up and down motions of removing shaving cream. Dennis places his hand on Jack's back. CLICK!

Jack and I are at Jack's school, and as usual he wants to exit the vehicle from the front seat and hop out my door. I watch him writhe and twist around the steering wheel, half upside down, until he is standing on my seat.
me: Jack, your sneakers look loose. Let me tighten the laces.
Jack: Well, okay, but they're comfy that way. You don't really have to, but if you want to then that's fiiiine with me. (He grins, and I look up and notice that he's wearing the same shirt he slept in. There's a tiny stain on one shoulder from where he most likely turned his head and wiped his mouth at breakfast this morning. His hair is all messy. CLICK again!)

And lastly, I walk Jack to his classroom and put his things away in his cubby. Jack is signing in on the clipboard... Two of his good friends run up to him to say hi. Jack holds up his hands. He's wearing black knitted winter gloves, with red Darth Vaders on the palms. He had me cut the fingers and thumbs off so he can wear them with his fingers sticking out. "Because they're cool Mom!" He holds them up for his friends to examine. I'm standing behind him realizing how big he's gotten right before my very eyes. He's so proud to show off his gloves and his friends are amazed by them. Ahhh, 5 year old boys. And CLICK again.

Those 3 snapshots came back to me vividly as I was sitting at my desk doing my usual flood of work. I'm glad I was able to stop and write this down, and that I have the freedom to take 5 minutes and make a few of my special memories available in words.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


The giant pile of mulch arrived on Friday. It now sits there, watching our every move. Come on over, it says. Dig in. I'm not going aaaaanywhere...

Jack and I did just that on Friday afternoon, and then again today. Dennis helped us out also. We got a few small flower beds looking pretty. We're saving the heavy work for next weekend when my two brothers, two nephews and my Dad all come over to help. Oh the mayhem that will ensue.

Jack was an excellent helper, similar to his performance this past Friday. He was willing to dig, haul, sweep, smooth and generally give orders!

(first 15 minutes of mulching) I'll help you Mommy! Let me fill the cart! Yayy this is fun, we're gonna work so hard!
(10 minutes later...) Well, let me go help Daddy. You're doing SUCH a good job Mommy. Dad needs my help. Dad! Let me help you! Here I can fill your cart too!
(10 minutes later...) Daaaaaad, I want to use that shovel. It's mine!
(5 minutes later...) Mom, how about YOU fill the cart and I just push it where you need it and YOU dump it? Boy this is hard work.
(5 minutes later) Let me go check on Dad again...
(3 minutes later) Whew, I'm getting hungry for a snack. Mom, how about I go see where you need to dump the mulch and then I tell you where you should put it? Like, I'll be the boss of the mulch.
(2 minutes later) Ehhh, I guess you can figure out where to dump it. Just put it over there. (waves his hand in general area of the flower bed.) Want to play now???

me: Jack I only have two more carts to fill and then I'll be done.
Jack: (1 minute later) You should only dump one more pile because I said so. How about that? Really, you're on your last pile now? That must be because I'm such a great boss. I'm in charge so of course I know you're on the last pile. heh heh. Even if you weren't, you would have to stop because I said so.

Jack: Okay is everyone done? Time to play? Good job! I did such hard work today right Mommy?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Jack and I stopped at a Subway on the way home from our road trip to Massachusetts today.

Jack: ooh ooohhh I want a meatball sub (hops up and down in place)
me: Okay, we'll take one kids meal with a meatball---
kid behind counter: Uh, sorry, but we only serve ham, turkey or roast beef with the kids meals.
Jack: Yeah yeah, I'll take the roast beast (waving his hand dismissively)
me: Okayy, one kids meal with Roast Beef and----
girl behind the counter: Oh, we also serve Tuna on the kids sandwiches.
me: Sigh.
Jack: Yes yes I want the tuna!!! Yummmm. And it's not an animal!
me: (not even going there). Then I guess we'll have the Tuna kids meal, with --- what did you want on it Jack?
Jack: Everything! (walks away)
me: Uh, no, he'll have lettuce, tomato, cheese, and---
Jack: (yelling from over where the chips are) I want banana peppers. Lots of em!
me: ...and banana peppers
Jack: (walks back over to me holding 3 bags of opened chips). I tried these, but they were too spicy, so I tried THESE and they were too plain, so then I just got the regular Sun Chips.
me: Jack, it's not a chip buffet. You can't just open them all and sample them. What are you going to do with 3 open bags of chips?
Jack: I don't know. You'll pay for them?
me: How does that help me? I don't want 3 bags of chips?
Jack: Let's give them to Uncle John. He eats anything.

(Later, while we were eating)

Jack: (takes a bite of sandwich) Mmmmmmm! Chomp chomp. Heyyy where's the tomato??? (takes another bite and the entire tomato slice comes out and whaps him in the chin). What the...?!!! Mommy!!! My sandwich just slapped me in the face!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Many Moods of Jack - Volume 1

(4:20pm. My car. On the way home from school with Jack)
Jack: I did NOT even think about you today and I did NOT miss you!! (thumb goes in)
me: Sigh...

(4:30pm. Still in car. I reach back and try to hold Jack's hand and tell him it's okay to be angry)
Jack: (slaps my hand)
me: Jack you're really hurting my feelings with this behavior. If you want to sit quietly by yourself just say so please.
Jack: (starts to cry) Hold my haaaannnnnndddd!
me: Sigh...

(4:40pm. At home. Giant mulch pile had arrived in our driveway)
Jack: Yayyyy! I'm going to be the best helper ever! (grabs a shovel and literally works for an hour)
me: (?) Wow. Good work!

(5:40pm. In house. Cleaning up to go over a friend's house.)
Jack: And I don't even want to go to a STUPID party with no other kids going.
me: (hauling him into a time out) Sigh...

(5:45pm. Time out is over)
me: Okay Jack, your time out is over. I put you here because you were talking back to me and using bad language. I would like an apology please.
Jack: (gets up and gives me a dagger-eyed look and walks right past me)
me: Sigh... (another time out for Jack)

(5:50pm. 2nd time out is over)
me: I would like an apology please or else it's another time out.
Jack: Sorrrrrryyyyyyyy...
me: Okay let's get cleaned up please. We're late!
Jack: How long are we staying?
me: Maybe at least an hour, until Daddy gets home
Jack: I want to say longer than that! That's too short of a time to be at a party!
me: (uh oh) We'll see...

(6:15pm. At friend's house. Lots of little munchies around)
Jack: (shoveling in food) Mmmmmmm! (shovel, shovel)
Some ladies at the party: Wow, you have SUCH a well-behaved little boy! He is Sooo cute!
me: Sigh.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blue-Eyed Ghost vs. Ed the Cat

It was 3 a.m., and I didn't mean to, but I had fallen asleep on the couch. This never happens. Never. I woke up when I felt the pitter-patter of little paws as they made their way over my head and onto my chest. Ed was awake and wanted ME to be awake. I sat up and saw that Ed was acting very distressed. I calmed him down for a minute (of course Bella was still sleeping and could not be bothered to get up and say hello) and then started to get off the couch, when I heard Jack's cry. Ed must have ESP!

Jack: Moooommmmaaaaayyyyyy! (he didn't sound very happy!)
me: (stairs 2 at a time) Hey, are you okay?
Jack: I had a bad dream!
me: Oh honey it's okay, come here. (I rocked him in my lap for a bit while I sat on the edge of his bed) Do you want to tell me what happened?
Jack: I had a dream that someone was knocking on my door and when I went to open it, it was Ed and then I shut the door but it shut on Ed's paw and he was crying and I felt bad that I hurt him.
me: It's was just a dream...
Jack: But then after I shut the door again I heard another knock so I thought it was Ed again, so I opened the door and it was a GHOST! And he had blue eyes that glowed in the dark. And he looked at me. And said "BOO!"
me: You don't have to worry, it's over now...
Jack: But it was sooooo scary and I was afraid!

While Jack was describing his dream, Ed came upstairs and prowled around Jack's bedroom peering into all the corners. Hmmmm.

me: Would you like me to leave your door open so that Ed can come out when he's ready? You might feel better if he was in the room with you?
Jack: Nahhhhh, it's fine. The ghost is gone. I think he's afraid of Ed.

Only after checking every corner of Jack's room did Ed finally go back downstairs and get back up on the couch.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just another manic Wednesday

Last night we had some freaky weather...heavy rain, wind, lightning, etc, so apparently the power went out for a bit. Needless to say, the alarm clock flashed "12:00" and any hope of getting to work on time was lost.

I woke up on my own in a leisurely fashion, and glanced over at the clock. "CRAP!!!!!!!" It was 8:06 a.m. and NOT 6:30, which I had expected to see. We didn't have our backup alarm clock (Dennis) with us this week because he's in DC. So, I ran upstairs to wake up sleeping beauty, who decided to sleep in also! When is he ever still in bed after 7 a.m., never mind 8 a.m.!

me: Jaaaaack, time to get up sweetie....
Jack: Mmmmrrrffffff? It sounds like a frying pan, what's cooking?
me: That's just the rain on the roof.
Jack: But I want eggs in a frying pan.
me: Well, we woke up late today, so I guess it's Dunkin Donuts for breakfast...
Jack: I'll just be a buffalo for awhile while you get ready okay? (he snuggles down into his fluffy Wall-E blanket and rolls around.)  Wait! buffaloes don't eat donuts!
me: Neither do you. You can get a bagel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Learning A New Word

Ever since Jack was little, whenever he would hear us use a new word, he would ask what it meant and then use it in a sentence. It was his way of committing the definition to memory I guess, or he just wanted to be a smarty pants! Either way.

One day Jack and I saw a woman smoking a cigarette. (He HATES the "nasty little CGs"... as he calls them.) He won't even look at people who smoke, and he shrieks in horror if I accidentally step on a discarded cigarette butt on the ground.

Jack: Why do people smoke nasty CG's?
me: Well, people start smoking when they are very young, because they think it's cool, and they don't realize that cigarettes are so bad for them.
Jack: Then why don't they just stop after their Mom tells them they are bad for them.
me: Because people become addicted and it's really, really hard to stop.
Jack: What does "addicted" mean?
me: It's when you do something even though you know you should stop, but you can't. Your body has learned a very bad habit.
Jack: Oh. Like I am addicted to choking on your pasta?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Jack is notoriously sweet and very sensitive (under that rough exterior!). And...he loves his Mommy! Yesterday we were in the house alone and I heard all this racket. He was pulling out his keyboard, his toy trumpet and a microphone. The next thing I knew, he was serenading me. Opera style. I even have the video to prove it and if I can figure out how to post it I will.

So picture this. A fast-paced keyboard beat (pre-programmed of course). And Jack, holding a microphone in one hand and a trumpet in the other, while doing his famous "twitchy butt" dance. I had to zoom in on that while I recorded, of course.

me: Jack this is great. Now why are you doing all of this?? (me fishing for I Love You's)
Jack: (ignoring me dancing around and singing jibberish)
me: Haha! What a good performance! What do you want to say to your Mom??
Jack: (adjusts the beat on the keyboard and starts dancing with both the microphone and trumpet shoved in his mouth) GaaaoooooooHHHHHHHH!!!!!
me: Okayyyyy, now that it's almost OVER, what do you want to say to Mommy?

Jack: (Deep opera-sounding voice at the grand finish) Iiiiiiiii Looooooovveeee Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
me: Jack, you just made my day. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


We all know that Jack is a talker. Hence the blog. But the funny thing is, he didn't start really talking until he was almost 2. That's sort of late. What we think happened was that Jack was really really absorbing our conversations and then one day decided to blurt out a full sentence.

When he was about 1 he was making sounds for different things. My favorite was when he called the Christmas Tree "K". Now, don't pronounce the letter "Kay", just say the sound the K makes. That was it. Banana was Ba, Cookie was Coo and Cracker was Ca. Etc. This went on until the November before Jack was 2. At that time the only words he strung together was "couple more pieces" when in reference to snacks...Jack's favorite meal of the day!

Then on Christmas morning, a month before he turned 2, Jack was opening his presents. We realized that the ride-on excavator that we got him...Ahem, I mean that Santa got him, did not come with batteries. Jack looked at us both and said "Daddy runna Walgreens and get the C badarees!" O. M. G. The best part is we have proof, because we happened to be videotaping him opening his presents. From that point on, Jack could not be stopped.

This past Saturday, at breakfast, I was reading an old NY Times book section. Jack glanced over.

Jack: Mom, does that say "Explanation"?
me: Yes it does! Nice reading Jack.
Jack: And that "Impossible"?
me: You got it.
Jack: I think it's okay if I go into first grade next year. "You know who" can't even spell his own name.

(I'm not mentioning any names!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Power of Thought

The other day Jack and I were on our way home from school. Jack was in deep thought. I was wondering what he was thinking.

Jack: How come parents get to tell us EVERYthing to do all the time?
me: Well, we are in charge of keeping you safe until you get old enough to take care of yourself.
Jack: I can take care of myself. I buckled my own seat belt. Remember?
me: There's a lot more to learn even on top of seatbelts.
Jack: But how come you're the boss of everything??
me: I'm not actually the boss of everything. You're the boss of your own mind.
Jack: (silence while he ponders this with a furrowed brow.) How is that even possible!
me: I can't stop you from thinking anything you want to think.
Jack: huh?
me: Here let's try. I do NOT want you to think about a furry brown dog. Do NOT think about that. Okay, are you thinking about it?
Jack: (giggling) Yes! I can still think that even though you're telling me not to. Cool!
me: And, if you are thinking about misbehaving, you can just think about it instead of doing it. Then you won't get in trouble.
Jack: Here let me try it. Do not think about that white house over there! Don't do it!
me: See? I am thinking about it. It's fun!

(later we were in the kitchen and I brought it up again)
me: Remember, you're the boss of your own thoughts and no one can ever stop you from thinking what you want. You can pretend to be anything you want at any time. No one even has to know that you're thinking anything. They might just think that you're ---
Jack: (interrupts me) Guess what? I'm thinking something right now!
me: what?
Jack: (spells it out) S-H-U-T U-P. (then walks out of the room)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Jack has a new favorite hobby. Spying. On anyone and anything. He has more spy gear than the CIA and KGB combined. And a lot of it really works! Most evenings as I'm cooking dinner I will hear lots of muted shuffling and quick little footsteps somewhere behind me, and as I turn around there will be a flurry of activity as the "spy" tries to hide. He'll get better at it I'm sure.

Jack has even invented his own code, such as: two blinks means, let's get out of here and one blink means duck down, etc. And therefore he needs a "co-spy" to help him out. Otherwise, why all the code? Jack and his friends usually spend a lot of time blinking at each other and then having loud whisper conversations about what the heck the other one is trying to say...I mean, blink. His one friend, Gavin, was over the other day and they really went at it with disguises, weapons, spy gear and of course, lots of time out for snacks.

Jack: (loud whisper from the other room) Gavin, she's right in the kitchen, you have to go through the dining room and get her. (Assume that "her" = "me".)
Gavin: (not paying any attention to Jack) She's a monster, let's get her!
Jack: Nooooo, we're SPYing, you have to be quiet! (as he yells this out loud)
Gavin: (whispering) Ohhh, okay, let's spy on her and THEN capture her like she's a monster or a bad guy. (Really, are there no bad girls?)
Jack: Gavinnnn, fix your spy helmet and--- Oh no she sees us!
(I happened to turn around to put something in the fridge)
Jack: Runnn! (and in his hurry he slips and crashes into Gavin)
Gavin: Owwww! Get off me, let's go!
(mad scramble to the stairs, which is called "base")
Jack and Gavin: (mad blinking at each other)
Jack: Oh, Yeah, I got it, let's go back and finish spying
Gavin: (now sneaking up on me) Aha! Got her! (slaps handcuffs on me)
me: Okay, once you catch me you have to take a break and have a drink and snack
Jack: Oh, good idea! He sidles up to the counter and starts munching on snacks.
Gavin: Yeah, I like this idea of spying and snacking. (munch munch!)
Jack: Ahh, good. Okay let's go spy some more.

And so on and so forth for the next hour and a half. Bonus: I did manage to get a few small chores done in the kitchen while this was going on!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


We all know her. We all love her. Especially Jack. If you don't know Jack's little striped gray cat, that he's had since he was two, well then you're missing out! Jack takes her everywhere. She is especially present when he is tired and needs to suck his thumb. Her ears are worn smooth from the rubbing.

Jack is getting to be at the age where he knows he should stop sucking his thumb (omg how did we get here so fast?) but is finding it hard to do that on a daily basis. He has taken to leaving Stripey in the car instead of bringing her into school, so he won't be "tempted", as he says. Now I come out to the car from work and see the forlorn kitty sitting upside down on Jack's booster seat. He still sleeps with her...and I wonder if that will ever end. :)

me: (as I tuck Jack into bed) How about wearing your thumb buster to bed tonight Jack? (a blue cloth velcro thingy that goes over his thumb to prevent sucking)
Jack: I hate that! (fumbles around for Stripey, thumb goes into mouth)
me: But you could at least try it and then take it off if you want? (I'm secretly hoping he'll fall asleep before he remembers to take it off!)
Jack: Ohhkaaayyyyyy... (we put TB on his thumb)
me: See? Not too bad...hey wait, did you take it off already?? Sighhh...
Jack: (sucking noises like Maggie from the Simpsons)
me: How about you count to 20 then stop and give it a break?
Jack: (takes thumb out and takes a deep breath...uh oh) I don't want to stop. I'm never going to stop! I don't care if I get braces and they don't cost too much! I'm going to suck my thumb and drive my car like that lady from the restaurant (that's another story altogether!) and I like it and I'm not going to stop.
me: Wellll, if you're Chewbacca or a giant dirty buffalo, THEY don't suck their thu-- I mean, paws or hooves, do they?
Jack: (pondering) Noooo.
me: So there. Be a buffalo tonight.
Jack: Well, I've never been around a baby buffalo so I don't really know if he would suck his hoof or not. (Thumb goes back in, Stripey gets gripped tighter, and I give up for the evening)
me: Okay, work it out however you need to. Good night!
Jack: Goordth Nighddth!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh Baby!

Jack and I took an after-dinner walk tonight and passed a house with a massive new-baby announcement on the front lawn. Full name, birth weight, etc, spelled out with 2-foot high letters. Can't miss it. Anyway, Jack starts to read the words.

Jack: 7... elbows...
me: No, that's "lbs.", a short way to say "pounds". 7 pounds...
Jack: 14 Ozzes...
me: That's another abbreviation for "ounces". It's "oz."
Jack: the baby weighed...7 pounds...Whaaaattt????!!! 7 pounds AND 14 whole ounces??!!! That's just craaaazzyyyyy. No baby was ever THAT big!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jack's week of babysitters

This was a new thing. Actually going out. More than once. In one week! Dennis and I haven't had this track record in over 5 years. Okay, one of the nights out was me with friends. But still! The 2nd night out we went to dinner. And the 3rd time we went out, it was (gasp) overnight to NYC! It was the weekend of fun for Jack.

me: Okay, now remember, Grandma's coming over tomorrow night, so we have to get everything ready.
Jack: Yaaaayyy! (then suddenly remembers...) Hey, wait a minute. That's 3 babysitters in 3 days!
me: (ahem) Well, actually four days...
Jack: Yeah, yeah, what's with the babysitters?
me: Because Mommy and Daddy need to have some alone time.
Jack: No you don't. Why don't I go with you AND the babysitters?