Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who Invented Weekends? (and other such discussions)

Jack: (tonight before bed) Mom, who invented a weekend? Why is school only 5 days a week?
me: Ummm, well, it's because grown ups only work 5 days a week and they ---
Jack: (interrupting) No, I mean, who invented it for grown ups too?
me: Let's ask Daddy.
Dennis: (coming in the room) Wha?
me: Can you explain to Jack how we ended up with a 5-day work week?
Dennis: Well, it was started by the government because the workers were all getting sick and they needed a few days rest, so they decided to cut it to 5 days and make it pretty much standard...
Jack: Oh.

Jack: (when he was 4) Mom, why do they call it Dunkin Donuts, when all we get is bagels? It should be called Dunkin Bagels. Sheesh.

Jack: (when he was 3) Why is it called Walgreens? Ohhhh, I get it, because it has a wall and it's...Heeeyyyyy, the wall is brown! It should be called Walbrowns!

Jack: (back at 5 years old) Mom, who was the first Mother? I mean I know you have a mom, and SHE has a mom, and then SHE has a mom, but who was first?
me: God created Eve and she was the first woman.
Jack: But who was HER Mom?
me: Oh look, it's time for bed.

Jack: (when he was 3) Mom, how do you buy a house? It's too big to go through the register!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Today was a day that I couldn't wrap my head around. Everything was out of whack and it was like a domino effect. One thing forgotten by me meant that 2 or 3 other things could not get accomplished.

(Oh, like forgetting my cell phone and therefore being unable to make calls and set up babysitting, which will effect our social lives this Thursday. Forgetting Jack's swim clothes in my car and thereby dooming him to a hot day without water play. And there's me forgetting the $20 for his school's ice cream fund and feeling like a dope for the 3rd time when I walked into his school empty-handed. Someone paid for his treat, because he definitely came home with cherry-red drippings down his new shirt. The list really does go on and on. And it wasn't even 9:30 yet!!!)

By 10 a.m. I was done. I gave up trying and just went with the flow. Nothing got accomplished but at least I didn't stress about it. I give big SIGHHHHHHHHHH!

To compete with my general A.D.D. and the apparent randomness of my thought process, Jack decided to get into the game. This was an actual conversation on the way to school today. As best as I can remember, of course.

Jack: Dad said he was taking me to a Yankee game today so I don't know WHY we are driving to my school.
me: Sweetie, Daddy said he would look to see if a game was playing and that he MIGHT take you. I don't think they played today.
Jack: Yeah, well... Luckily Wednesday is a home day.
me: Huh? You mean, baseball?
Jack: Noooo, on my school calendar. It says Home Day, so we stay home.
me: Oh, sorry, but that means you don't have a field trip and you stay at school. They are calling it "home".
Jack: Well then why didn't they say "School Day"
me: No idea. (I interrupt this message to say that my cat just barfed on my desk. Right there. Point Point. Son of a... See what I mean about today? Can't fight it man.)
Jack: That doesn't make any sense. And, I don't want to go to school on Friday?
me: Why not?
Jack: Because the secret agent has a high-frequency laser beam that really cuts through rock and he's going to sneak in and put a big "X" on the moon. We have to spy on him and catch him.
me: Uh ... ?
Jack: Mom, what do you think he's going to do to us if he catches us spying on himmmmmm???!!!
me: Oh, I guess we're here! Hop out! (I didn't even have the brain power to process that question)

Now, here's the kicker to my morning. First, a little back story. Jack's class was going rollerskating today. Dennis and I decided to have Jack stay in school that day instead of going. 1) Because the bus was leaving at 8:30 and we had to be AT school by 8:15. Yeah, almost impossible. 2) Jack has a history of hurting himself. It's not a general "oh he's a 5-year-old" type of thing. He really cannot stop getting hurt. This afternoon he turned around, tripped on a hose in the neighbor's yard and almost gored his eye out on a tree branch. Really. And...3) Because we said so.

So what happens next? Jack and I walk into school, and his entire class is lining up to go on the field trip. Apparently the bus was really late.

Jack: (wide-eyed, gasps) Mommy, you said they were leaving really early and that we couldn't make it and now here everyone is. Why am I not going on the trip?!
me: Sigh. We didn't know the bus would be late. I don't have your camp shirt or a bag lunch. So you still have to go to another classroom instead. (the look of death I got was amazing.)
Jack: And this is exactly WHY I was supposed to BE at a YANKEE GAME today.
me: sorry. But at least you can play outside in the water today. (yeah, right, his bathing suit is sitting in my front seat right where I left it)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I only want Mommy!

How many times do we moms hear that. I want Mommy!!! When they get hurt, when they're tired, when they're upset, first thing in the morning, etc, etc. Sometimes Daddy has to have a turn! I tell this to Jack over and over. It's not as if he really doesn't want Dennis to do these things for him, because they do have a lot of fun together. It's just that he wants me "first".

(6 a.m.)
Jack: Moooommmmmmyyyyyyy-aahhhhhhhh!
me/Dennis: Groan.
me: You wanna get him?
Dennis: Grunt. (heads upstairs)
Jack: (as heard by me through the baby monitor) Nooooooo, I said I wanted Mommmmyyyy!
Dennis: (stomping back downstairs) He said he wants you. (flumps back into bed)
me: Yeah, I heard.

(12 p.m. Jack racing through the house with a punching balloon. For some reason he's kicking it, and misses, connecting with the end table.)
Jack: Wahhhhhhh! Ow Ow OWWWWWW! Mommmmyyyy!

(7:30 p.m.)
me: Okay Jack, one of us will help you brush teeth and get ready for bed, and the other will do stories. You can pick.
Jack: I pick Mommy for both.

(2 a.m.)
Jack: Mommmmmmm! Mama!
me: (breaking my neck to get upstairs) Whaaaattt????
Jack: Oh, I just had the weirdest dream that Cameren was a police officer and I was his partner, and we were both going in the police car...yawwwwnnnn... and ...
me: Honey, it's late. You need to go back to sleep now.
Jack: But I have more dream to tell you.
me: Can it wait until tomorrow morning? Because you may go back to sleep and dream some more. Then you can tell me all of it.
Jack: Well, if I have more of the dream, I'm going to wake up and call you again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Run in the Woods

(Jack resting on "Snack Rock" on April 9, 2009.)

I took a luxurious run in the woods near my house. It was great because I kept a slow pace, only saw a few people on the trail, and did the entire round trip with hardly a huff or a puff! It's about 5 1/2 miles, or a little more, so I'm actually quite proud of myself.

There was a time, not so long ago, that Jack would accompany my on my runs, sitting comfortably in the jogging stroller. I think we stopped doing that about a year ago, when he got too darn big. He has since come with me on a 2-mile run around the neighborhood, keeping up with me on his bike, sans training wheels! That was a lot of fun for us both and I know he'll be joining me on the trail with his bike in the very near future. As I think back to those stroller days, I realize that not only was I getting way more of a workout (hello, pushing a 45-pound child and a stroller!), but I was not able to zone out and relax the way I can do when I'm by myself. Here is a recap, to the best of my knowledge, of the last stroller run that we took last summer. I miss having a little boy to push around. In a stroller that is. Ha ha.

me: Hop in!
Jack: Do you have my snack and drink?
me: Yes I do. Plus I have Stripey, tissues and my water bottle and cell phone.
Jack: That's a lot of stuff!
me: Now we don't have to worry about anything and we can just go have some fun.
Jack: Can you run faster Mommy?
me: (huff puff) Sorry, this is as fast as I can go. Boy you are heavy today!
Jack: Mom, I have to pee!
me: (groan) Okay, hop out and go behind that tree. Watch out for those leaves! That might be poison ivy!
Jack: All done. I can clip myself back in!
me: Here we go! (I start jogging again)
Jack: Can you pick up that stick we just ran over?
me: Oy. Sure, here you go. Please don't wave it at me like that. Hold it in front of you please.
Jack: It's my magic stick. I can make us go faster! Whoosh!
me: (whew!) It's a hot day out, huh?
Jack: Yeah. I'm thirsty Mommy. Oh there's snack rock! We have to stop and have snacks!

This rock was dubbed Snack Rock by Jack about 2 1/2 years ago. It's the first big rock that you see on the trail, and we always stop to have a quick drink or snack. Unfortunately it's only 7 minutes from the trail head, so I didn't really get much of a workout yet.

me: Okay Jack, finish up and let's go!
Jack: I want to go to the playground now.
me: I haven't even done my run yet, so we have to go a little further and then turn around.
Jack: Well hurry up because I don't want to ride any longer!
me: (crap) Okay, let me just go up to the waterfall (Which is 7 minutes further along the trail. I try to distract Jack with talk of birds, etc)
Jack: I want to run too Mommy! Let me out!
me: Sigh. Okay, here you go. Run up to that fence over there and then I'll put you back in the stroller.
Jack: (trips and falls) Wahhhhh!
me: See? Good thing I brought tissues. You're okay. Climb back in.
Jack: Can you hold my stick for me? I don't want to drop it but I don't want to hold it anymore.
me: (now running with a giant stick across the back of the stroller roof) Okay, let me get going here.
Jack: Can't you go any faster?
me: (huffing hard again) Sorry Jack, but no.
Jack: Are we all done? I want to go to the park!
me: Yep, we are so done. I'm turning back right now. (Mentally had already given up)

Back at the car, Jack jumps out and stretches with me.

Jack: Whew! That was a good workout right Mommy? Let's do our stretching. (leans way over and grunts)
me: Wow, we were only gone for 28 minutes, with 15 stops. Not bad. (um, can you say sarcastic?)
Jack: You're a good runner! Are you glad you got your exercise?
me: I guess it's better than nothing, right? Now let's go to the park.

When I think back on all that, I can't even believe I had the patience to go through with it. Yet we went through that same scenario about once a week or so. There's something to be said for Mom-tolerance. It's never ending.

Oh, and one more note about why Jack was so hard to push that day. When we got back to the car, I noticed that both back tires were just about flat. I just remembered that little tidbit. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Can't fool Jack!

Every parent remembers the day that their child could spell. It's like "Hey honey, would you like a piece of G-U-M"? And your child is like "Heyyyy, you just asked Daddy if he wanted gum!" (Uh-oh). Now you have to use code words. "Hey, do you want a piece of sugarfree"? Or something that sounds unappealing to a 5-year-old. Sugarfree always works. Jack is usually like "What? No sugar? Ewwwww." Or swear words. You bang your elbow and spell S-H-I-T! Only now, because you have a champion speller in the house, you have to say "S"!!! Damn it's hard not to swear! But, I've gotten really effen good at it. When I hurt myself I usually still need the satisfaction of starting the word I yell with an F, so it pretty much always turns out to be "FART"! I know that's not the nicest thing, but it's the best I can do when I draw blood or lose a hunk out of my shin.

As your child gets older, or smarter, (or both ?), you have to even watch HOW you say things. I unfortunately can't tell Dennis "Uh, really could you even POSSIBLY be ruder when you said that?", because Jack will turn around and use that same tone and inflection when talking to, oh I don't know, his teacher??? Yikes, that one can really bite a mom in the butt.

I even have to watch my end of a phone conversation, because my little smarty pants likes to fill in the blanks and figure out exactly what we're talking about. I do my best to throw him off the trail, but it's not always successful.

me: (into the phone) Really? I can't believe she said that. What a ... (Jack walks in) um ... AWFUL thing she is. Oh, yeah, I hope she gets what's coming to her, because that's not fair. ... Probably because she has no soul and likes to ... uh, hold on a sec.  Hey Jack, what's up?
Jack: Mommm, what are you talking about? Who doesn't have a soul? I thought we ALL had souls??
me: Oh no honey, I'm just saying it as a figure of speech. I don't really mean that. I'll explain when I hang up. (back into the phone) I should go because Jack's done playing and he's listening and...yeah, we'll have to keep an eye on that situation. Okay bye!
Jack: Well?
me: Well what?
Jack: Explain what you were talking about.
me: Ohhh, nothing, it was just a friend, heh heh.
Jack: But what's coming to her?
me: A present? (yikes)
Jack: Noooo, because you said "that's not fair" so it couldn't be a present because that doesn't sound nice.
me: I was talking about someone getting something, but it's not fair because I hope that I get something too! (I offer up a big cheesy smile)
Jack: That's not what it was about at all. (He walks away and doesn't ask me about it again.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Extreme Weather

Jack has always been a bit afraid of thunder and lightning. Not deathly afraid, but always warily checking the sky when dark clouds roll in, and very quick to head into the house if it looks at all like a storm is on it's way. Therefore it's surprising that he remained so calm yesterday during our tornado watch. The high winds and possible tornado touch down (right across the street here!) didn't seem to faze him (or Dennis for that matter). Hello! Tornado! Be appropriately fearful!

I came home from work only to find that our street had sustained some serious damage. It was blocked off by police caution tape and no one was getting in or out. Except me. I hoofed it down the street and up our driveway. Without my garage clicker (no power) and my door key (given to neighbor when they watched our cats during our trip to the Cape), I had no way to get in the house. I rang the doorbell, haha, remember, no power? And then pounded on the doors, and then stumbled around in the heat taking pictures of the damage. I really thought Dennis and Jack had been evacuated. Really I did.

Dennis: (finally coming out onto the deck looking a bit disheveled) What are you doing out in the driveway?
me: Gasp, pant, There you are! I had to walk like all the way from way over there because the police tape is up and they won't let any cars in and the wires are down and did you see the trees??? And Jack's picnic table was in the neighbor's yard...Why didn't you answer the phone and where were you!!!??? I thought you weren't home. Why didn't you answer your phone????
Dennis: We took a nap.
me: ?
Jack: I didn't sleep.
Dennis: Really? I put you in there at 2:45 and now it's 4:30.
Jack: Maybe I slept. Why are you all sweaty Mommy?
me: Because of the tornado!
Jack: Ohhhh, Daddy and I saw my picnic table go flying by. Well it wasn't actually in the air but it went all the way up the driveway across the grass!
me: Aaaannnnd, that didn't bother you at all?
Jack: And, we saw a cloud that was all twisty like a tornado up in the sky. (he made frantic swirly hand gestures here.)
Dennis: Yeah, we think we saw a funnel type cloud forming.
me: Sooo, you decided to nap. Upstairs. In a potential tornado.
Dennis: (shrugs) Eh.
Jack: We were really tired Mommy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Congratulations Graduate!

Jack graduated from Kindergarten today. Luckily his friend Madison's mom posted a pic already! Now that's dedication! I will post some pics soon, I promise. In the meantime, I just want to tell Jack how proud I am of him (Daddy is proud too!) and how far he's progressed this year at Tutor Time. He was very lucky to have a dedicated teacher (Ms. Sara) and two very nice assistants (Ms. Carmen and Ms. Iva). They have been great in all dealings with Jack. And there have been plenty of dealings! Ahem.

Jack, you are a very special boy who will always fill my eyes with happiness. Your smile and laughter are contagious and I hope you never lose that devilish little spark that you have. You are precious to me. I can't believe you've finished the first of many years of school! You have so much to learn. I can't wait to see what next year will bring. Congratulations my little handsome boy. I love you!

Love, Mommy

P.S. Because I don't want to break my ONE blogging rule (that each post will always contain at least one thing that Jack has actually said), I have to add in what Jack was saying before we left for graduation. Poor kid is very conflicted. :)

(7 am) I hate graduation and I'm not going!
(7:15) I'm bored of singing the same song every day in graduation practice.
(7:30) I'm NOT wearing my dressy clothes!
(7:45) Mommmm, where is MY TIE!!!!
(8:00) Oooohh I'm very excited for graduation. You think we'll have cake?
(8:15) I still can't find my TIE!!!! Will someone help me!
(8:30) When are we leaving? I want to go already!
(8:45) I can button it myself, don't touch!!! Sighhh...I need helpppppp!
(9:00) (all dressed up, hands in pockets, shuffling around the house) You're gonna take a picture of me aren't you? Sigh...
(9:15) Yayyyy, we're leaving for graduation! My neck is itchy. No, it's okay, I can deal with it for a little while! (itch itch)

We walk in the classroom and all the teachers and students see Jack dressed up to the max. They all scream "Awwwwww loook at Jaaaacccckkk!" And he just about bursts with embarrassed pride. It was priceless.

(Then Jack whispers to me) I don't think they would have been very excited if I came in wearing my track pants! heh heh!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jack Discovers Queen

I was wondering when he would start liking different types of music. Jack always gets into whatever we're listening to, but sometimes he gets sick of it quickly and goes back to the old standbys: Billy Joel, Kidz Bop, etc. Nothing earth shattering there.

However, my Dad got Jack into Another one bites the dust a few weeks ago and the love affair began. He graduated to Bohemian Rhapsody and has frankly settled on that song for a few weeks now. So much so that, when I got my new car last weekend, Jack requested that the first song I played guessd it...Bohemian Rhapsody. From a 5-year-old. Sheesh.

Jack: Can you bring this CD in the house?
me: How come?
Jack: I want to listen to it in the living room.
me: Okay, but if we forget to put it back in my car, you won't get to listen to it tomorrow on the way to school.
Jack: I won't forget! I promise! Mom?
me: Yeah?
Jack: Can you get my trumpet downstairs?
me: Okaaayyy? (I go grab his trumpet with 4 working buttons and realistically tuned notes!)
Jack: (climbing up on the ottoman and waving his trumpet around) Now turn it on. Loud!

Bohemian Rhapsody comes on. He starts mouthing what he believes are the words, and frankly I'm sure he'd be horrified to learn what he was actually saying.

Jack: (runs upstairs and gets his magic wand, and then uses it like a conductor) Mom, you're the college class that I'm teaching music to. Sit over here and do what I do. (starts waving the stick around in time with ... what, I can't figure out... Oh, he's moving to the guitar music...pretty good ear!)
me: (copying his hand movements)
Jack: (sort of goes into a trance at the slow part of the song and waits for the fast rocking part) Toot-Toot (on the trumpet)
me: Now when the fast part starts, you gotta bang your head!
Jack: (starts hitting himself in the forehead) Why do we have to do this??
me: Ahahahahahaaa! Noooo, like this! (I start waving my hair around and sense a Wayne's World remake happening) That's head banging. Just copy me.
Jack: Ohhh, like you're on stage! (starts waving his head around and almost falls off the ottoman) Mom, enough, that's enough of your head. Go back to being a college student and just sit there and wait for me to teach you music. (Then he starts muttering to himself about having a disruptive student in his class.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A bit of Nok Hockey

Have you seen it, or even heard of it? Look it up. Nok's a classic floor game that uses a huge hockey-rink-type box, with 2 goals, a wooden puck and some plastic sticks. It's pretty big, but flat, and slides nicely under Jack's bed for storage.

Jack used to have a love/hate relationship with this game. We'd get all set up and start whacking the puck around.

Jack: Nooooo! You can't block your goal! Move your stick! I want to get it in there!!! Noooooo!!!
me:  We're trying to have fun here. I'm supposed to guard my goal and you're supposed to guard yours.
Jack: Noooooooo!!!!
me: Sometimes Mommy gets a point and sometimes you get a point. But, if you want to stop playing, let's put the game away.
Jack: NOOOO! I want to plaaaaaayyyyyyyy! Throws his stick at me.
me: (Ow) D-O-N-E, done. Let's go.

Now, Jack is way more competitive and he's actually VERY good at Nok Hockey. Just naturally. I work very hard to try and beat him and lose every time.

Jack: Go ahead and block your goal Mommy, so I don't get so many in.
me: I AM trying to block the goal. You just have very good aim!
Jack: (sinks another shot) One more point for MEEEEE! What do I have...7?
me: Dunno, lost count...
Jack: You should at least try to get it in Mommy.
me: Grrrrr!

Tonight Jack and Dennis had a high-intensity game going on while I cleaned up the kitchen. I DO love a good kitchen cleaning instead of a fun game...any day! Sigh. Anyway. I heard lots of thwacking, a few OW's from Dennis (Jack gets a bit nutty with his hits) and generally lots of mayhem.

Jack: Mom, MOM! Guess what???
me: No clue.
Jack: I won! And I got like 15 points, right Daddy?
Dennis: Yep, you won.
Jack: Oh I LOVE this game!

Oh how times have changed. Now we're the sore losers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

How a day gets away from you.

I had it all planned. No big deal. I would get out of work, pick Jack up at school, run to Target for a few things, be in there 5 minutes TOPS, then get home so we could go outside and (sweat) enjoy the sunshine for bit before I started making dinner. Well, let me just tell you, it never goes according to my plan. Why? WHY!!?? Why can't it just be easy? The good news is, there is a happy ending. We did get to Target, we did get home and had some time outside to play. We DID end up eating dinner and it was pretty good. But, I guess it was just the winding bumpy road I had to take to get to all of those places. As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to bed. I'm done.

(At Jack's school)
me: Hi Jack! Ready to go?
Jack: Mommmeeeee! (crashes into me) OOhhh OOHhhhhhh!!! I had a good day! But I got kicked in the neck and then they called me a baby!
me: Huh?? What happened? What did you do?
Jack: I didnt do anything. I ignored them like you said.
me: (bursting with pride) See? I knew you could do it. I'm really proud of you Jack? (Though, I was wondering why none of the teachers were making eye contact.)
Jack: Let's go!!
me: Wow, you're quick today! Usually I have to drag you out of here. :)
Jack: (in the hallway on the way out) Yeah, well, then I told him HE was a baby and then...
me: Wait, I thought you didn't do anything?
Jack: Yeah, well I lied.
me: Sigh. (lecture ensued)

(At Target)
Jack: Mom, can I spend my allowance and buy a toy?
me: Sure, if you can find something for $1.00.
Jack: Yayyyy!
me: I wouldn't get too excited...
Jack: Oh, I'm excited alright! Can I have a snack first? (starts rifling through the Goldfish assortment)

(After finishing my shopping)
me: Okay...I'm just about ready to go. Have you decided on something?
Jack: (mild panic) But, but, I can't find anything that I want to get? What about this? (holds up a Buzz Lightyear for $129) This starts with a "1"...
me: Nope, too much. It has to be a "1" with a period right after it.
Jack: Ohhhhh, there's nothing here!
me: I told you that you can save up your allowances and then get something that costs a little bit more?
Jack: Noooo, I want to get something.
me: You have one minute to look.
Jack: (full panic mode) Ahhhh! Noooooo!
me: If you start whining or getting loud, we'll leave right now.
Jack: (muffled) MMMMMmmmmmmm, noooooooooo. oh. oh. I'll find something. Here, I would really like these helicopter launch things.
me: Really?
Jack: Yes. Can I get them?
me: Sure...let's go. (whew, finally)

(At the register)
Jack: Can you open this now???
me: We have to pay for it first
Jack: Have her ring this up first. Here, can you do this one first? (grabs it as it comes down the conveyor belt) Mom, here open this!
me: Jack I'm bagging this stuff first. You'll have to wait a sec.
Jack: (doing an impatient jig at the end of the register aisle) Oh, Oh! Are you done. Can you open this NOW???? How about NOW????
me: One more question and it goes in the bag for later.
Jack: ----------- (hopping)
me: Okay, here, it's open.
Jack: I want to try it out once in the store! (Winds it up and pulls the trigger. The little launching disk flies about 2 feet and drops) Awwwww it doesn't work! I don't want this anymore.
me: ------- (see? I got nothing.)

(At home)
me: Jack, 5 more minutes on the swing and I have to go start dinner.
Jack: Okay, can you put me on the trapeze? (this involves me hoisting 50 pounds of bulk over my head and then holding him up there for approx. 1 minute until he gets bored) I'm done, take me down now.
me: I'm going to swing for a minute.
Jack: Noooo, can you pull me up really high and then keep pushing me?
me: You mean so that I can't ever sit down and relax even for a second?
Jack: I guess... anyway can you push me?

(In the kitchen. I have pasta boiling, shrimp and greens sizzling, the last steak kabobs grilling, and I'm doing a well-timed dance between all 3. Jack is mercifully playing by himself)
Ed the Cat: Meroooooowwwwww!
me: No. NO! Do not, NO!! (I grab a paper towel and race to get it under Ed's face. We're used to Ed's random pukes. But this time he yaks up his dinner with such force that it flies past the paper towel and onto my wrist. Hot soggy kibble. Yum.)
Kitchen timer: DING!
Microwave: Beep Beep Beep!
Jack: Mommmm, the stufffffssss donnnneeeee!!!
me: Sob!

Dennis walked in the door about 30 seconds after that. I'm not even sure if I had washed the kitty puke off my wrist yet. But I was flipping steak on the grill, adding pasta water to my saute pan, grating cheese, getting out bowls and silverware, and telling Jack to go wash up.

Jack: Nah, I'm good.
me: I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. Please go wash.
Jack: Ohhhhkkkaaaayyyy!
Dennis: Jack! Listen to Mom please and just wash up. Sheesh.

(At the table)
Jack: Mmmmmm, this is gooooodd! (He proceeded to eat a good portion of wheat penne, with shrimp and what turned out to be salad turnips, with a little parmesan on top.)
me: Jack, you're such a good boy. (Anyone that likes my cooking can be forgiven for just about anything!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day! (from the little boy that wants to be just like you!)

Jack made Father's Day very special for Dennis...with a little help from me. (Ahem, best little camera EVER!). Jack did a "daddy profile" complete with all of Dennis' stats...such as:

My Dad is _____ feet tall. Jack put "60"
My Dad weighs ____ lbs. Jack put 40. haha.
My Dad's favorite sport is? Jack answered...Soccer! (huh?)
But the best was "I love my Dad because he plays with me". Very sweet. Complete with 2 crayon people, one representing Jack, and one conspicuously wearing glasses, which looked eerily like Dennis. Maybe Jack will come over to the "art" side!

We let Dad sleep in a little, he opened some presents, then we went to see Toy Story 3 (awesome, and yes, bring your damn tissues.) Some of Jack's lines from today...

(Said while watching the previews at the theater) Now, this is a LONG movie right? Not a short one like on You Tube??

(During a scary part of the movie...I thought it was a bit dark, but I got over it.) No, I'm not scared Mom, it's a moovieeeee.

(While Dennis was opening presents) Oooohhh, you're gonna love this!!!  Uh, actually I have no idea what it is. Mom, what is it??? (in loud hoarse whisper)

(While playing Toy Story at home after the movie. Complete with Andy's fake accent) Will you choose death by monkeys??? (monkey noises here) Orrrrrr, death by...? (worried panic) Mom, I don't have anything else to do death by!
me: Orrrr, death by legos!!??
Jack: (whining) Mommm, that's not a real thing!

(I overheard this while Dennis and Jack were cooking dinner) Oh yes, I would love to put the spices on. Can I use the mallet now??
me: (uh oh)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strawberry Picking with Chloe!

(and Nelson and Annie and Nancy and Mike and me and Dennis...but really it's all about Chloe!)  :)

So we had a fun day (read: busier than hell) strawberry picking, but unfortunately the picking was kind of a thing we had to do between so many other things today. I wish we could have lingered longer. We started with Jack's swimming lesson, then a trip to Home Depot to get some veggie plants (yay tomatoes!), then a quick visit with the friends mentioned above at our house, lunch out, strawberry picking and then we had to race off to pick up my new car. Yes it's finally here! Double yay! I just love it. Subaru's rock in general, and the new Forester is just great.

Jack: Today's the day we get the new car! Yayyyyyy! And go strawberry picking...yayyyyy!
me: Lots to do eh?
Jack: Yeah you always cram it all in. (sounds like he was coached by Dennis...ahem...)

So back to Chloe. We all drove to the farm. As soon as we got out of the cars, Jack insisted on holding Chloe's hand. They are so cute together. Jack is so big that he makes Chloe look all small and dainty and then she makes him look all massive and boyish. And white. ha ha. So Jack insisted on holding hands and helping her cross the parking lot.

Jack: (minor falsetto voice) Come on Chloe, hold my hand, I'll help you.
me: Awwww look how cute! Jack you still have to hold my hand.
Jack: (looking at me with daggers) I'm holding her hand, so why...?  (He looked at me returning the dagger look right back at him.) Sigh... . Alriiiighht!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Time to Eat!

Jack is an adventurous eater. No doubt. But he's still a 5-year-old. That means his favorite dishes of all times are 1) mac and cheese, 2) grilled cheese, 3) cheeseburgers. Notice a trend? The kid loves cheese. Cheese sticks, string cheese, laughing cow cheese, cream cheese on anything, cheesy broccoli, ham and cheese, even cheese doodles. So, you ask, what is his favorite mac and cheese of all time? Look no further than my friend's blog "sowhatareyoumakingfordinner". Yum with a capital YUM. Her blog always makes me hungry right before bed. Sighhhh. And, coincidentally, she mentioned this blog the other night!

Jack: What's for dinner?
me: Steak and veggie kabobs.
Jack: Ohhhhh, I HATE kabobs! Yuck! Can't we have mac and cheese?
me: That's not what I made tonight, so we're all having steak.
Jack: Well I'm not eating it. I'm eating mac and cheese.
me: That's going to be kinda hard, since I didn't make any.
Jack: Then you better get started.
me: Jack...!? (warning look in my eyes)
Jack: Sorrrryyyyy. But I really, really, really want baked mac and cheese! Can't you just do it really quick?
me: It's not a quick thing to make. We'll do it another night.
Jack: Then I'm not eating until that night.
me: Okay, no problem. But, if you're hungry later for a snack, your steak and veggies will be waiting for you.
Jack: Gasp! But I want a snack later! Not thaaaaatttttt!
me: If you eat the dinner that's in front of you then you can have a snack later. You just have to try it Jack. I'm not saying you have to eat the whole plate. A few bites of each thing is fine.
Jack: (Digs in to the steak first.) Mmmm. This is really good Mommy. I'll alternate between steak and squash okay? (tries the squash). Ummm maybe I'll just alternate from steak to steak. heh heh.
me: Thank you for trying it. That's very mature of you Jack.
Jack: (puffing his chest out) I know! Now can you let me know when the mac and cheese is ready for my snack?
me: I'm not making mac and cheese tonight Jack.
Jack: But I....? Awwwwwww!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where does Jack come from?

Jack is a unique and special little boy. When you pick him apart, bit by bit, you can definitely see traits and physical qualities from many members of our families. But the whole is definitely greater than the sum of it's parts in this instance. I'm amazed at what we've created.

Here is a synopsis of what I see in Jack, and which family member it reminds me of. 

Amazing blue eyes. These are definitely "Daddy's" eyes, in shape and almost in color. The true color comes from Jack's great-grandfather Adam, though. Dennis' Grandfather. The expression and focus, from his Grandmother Betty, Dennis' Mom.
Jack: (staring so closely at something, he goes cross-eyed) Oh, I can't see this close. I think I need glasses like Daddy!

General good looks. Well, of course everyone says that Jack is the spitting image of Dennis. And he is. But. Jack's baby pictures (oh from ages 1 to 5) can be easily mistaken for his Uncle John's baby pics. Plus, I know. I was there.
Jack: I want to grow up to be big and strong, just like...Uncle John!
me: Well, I'm pretty sure that's gonna happen.
Dennis: Great.

Curly hair. Jack's very first patch of hair was a tiny curly-Q pig's tail at the back of his neck. Precious! It's calmed down to crazily wavy now, but this of course could only remind me of Jack's Auntie Kim. Massive spiral curly hair. Makes anyone jealous immediately.
Jack: I'm lucky I don't even have to brush my hair in the morning. No one can even tell Mommy!

Grace. Or lack of. Jack may look more like Daddy (Though I see he has my lips and neck. Yes he does!) but his amazing forward motion definitely comes from me. Jack more bursts into a room Kramer-style than walks into it. He sees where he needs to be and makes a beeline, no mind to the obstacles in the way. He sometimes careens off in one direction while looking in the total opposite direction. That's my boy. Oh and we both also share the uncanny knack to hurt ourselves in unique and interesting ways.
Jack: It's funny that we're both hurt and need ice-puppies at the same time, huh Mommy? (Halloween night. I carried Jack up our driveway. He was 3. He smashed his head back into my front teeth. Lots of crying from both of us. Dennis found us on the kitchen floor, both holding cute character ice packs to our various boo-boos.) 
Dennis: Really? I left you alone for 5 minutes... 

Goofball sense of humor. I get partial credit for that one. Jack and I can and do laugh at just about anything. But the "bang/zing" humor that Jack favors, definitely comes from his Grandpa Louie. My Dad. Who loves to teach Jack the finest in physical comedy.
Jack: See my finger, see my thumb, see my fist you better run!
me: Sigh. (Haven't heard that one in 30 years. Thanks Dad.) 

Excellent learning and reading habits. Only one person stands out in my mind. Jack's cousin Victoria. They are both extremely studious, and excellent readers. They prefer a good book to playing outside sometimes. And, they both love stories about animals. Jack also loves to make lists for everything, just like Victoria. 

Massive independence. Can anyone say cousin Joey? These two are completely alike in their strive to do everything by themselves, perfectly, and will go into a fit of rage if anyone gets in their way. Really. Do not try to help them. Unless they ask. And even then, stand clear.

Sense of responsibility. This could be either me or Dennis, but the one person that always comes to mind is Grandma Alice, my Mom. There were never enough hours in the day for her to get everything, 4 kids, husband, pets, house, etc. But she diligently took care of everyone and everything. If you could only see the way that Jack handles his homework, taking care of the cats, putting his toys away, organizing his things, helping with the dishes and setting the table, why you too would think he reminded you of a housewife from the 70's. I mean that as a compliment Mom!
Jack: Oh, oh, I just can't get all of this done in time! (This said one night before we left for vacation, as he was rushing around and packing his suitcase, sounding just like a harried Mom.)

Compassion. Another point for Mom! Jack has inherited my inability to hurt a fly. Or flea. Or worm. It's tiresome and inconvenient, but we trap and release all buggies. It's the law in our house.
Jack: (high pitched falsetto) It's okay buggy, I won't hurt youuuuuu!

Long limbed lankyness. Definitely looks like Jack's Uncle Michael gets some credit for that. He's 6'5" and boy does Jack like being picked up by him! You'll learn to shop in the Tall store my little boy.
Jack: Pick me up again Uncle Michael! Weeeeeeeee!
Michael: (after the 10th "over the head" press) Okay last... time...whew...
Jack: Awwww do it againnnnnn!!!

Clueless innocence. And little boy voice. I am always reminded of Jack's cousin Jonathan, whenever Jack makes a cute innocent remark about something. Part of it is that Jack's voice completely reminds me of Jonathan's, in person, and especially on the phone.
Jack: (Leaving a voicemail for Daddy) So yeah, like, we're in the car??? Going to school?? And, um, like Mommy's driving and I had a good you bye!

Love of wrestling. I mean LOVE. Jack likes to wrestle. Well, loves anything that's violently physical. As much as any other 5-year-old. Way more than we can keep up with. Therefore, we love when we can visit Uncle Jeff and let them whup the pants off each other. Throw in a bit of cousin Joey and now that's a party. Thank goodness Jeff has the stamina to keep fighting the kids off. If only he lived closer.
Jack: Okay, I'm the bad guy and you're the policeman and you have to throw me in jail, but then I break out and then you have to---
Jeff: (cutting Jack off in mid-sentence by grabbing him and whomping him into the chair/jail) AH-HAHHHHH! Caught you!
Jack: (bewildered) Oh, wow, you're a good policeman!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Many Moods of Jack - Volume 2

Yeah, Jack has a lot of mood swings. They're not always rational, are always entertaining, and are always, always unexpected. I really think that all 5-year-olds go through this kind of thing, because they are learning how to handle their emotions, learning lots of big new words (and learning some not-so-nice words) and just trying to show their independence and test boundaries. Either way, some days are tough as sh*t. This was our night last night.

Jack: (5:00 pm) Can you come swing with me?
me: Sure. Let me just finish re-potting these few plants here.
Jack: Okayyyyy! (he runs back to the swing set)
Jack: (5:05 screeching from the back yard) Mooommmmmmmmm!!!!!!
me: (dropping everything and sprinting) Whaaattt?
Jack: (smiling sweetly) Are you ready to swing?
me: Sigh.

Jack: (5:30) That was fun. Now what do you want to do?
me: Well, we have to go eat dinner, take a bath and get cleaned up before we go to bed.
Jack: NOOOOOOO!!! I hate dinner and bath! I want to playyyyy!!!
me: How about we eat, play, take a bath, play some more, get ready for bed and then play again?
Jack: You're lying.

(7:30 - After dinner and bath and stories, all of which he thoroughly enjoyed...)
Jack: Goodnight!
me: Goodnight, I love you.
Jack: Yeah, well I hate you. (rolls over)
me: (sighing, I leave the room) Sorry to hear that.
Jack: (behind the shut door) Wahhhhhhhhhh!
me: (back in his room) What's up Jack? Why did you say that?
Jack: Because you don't take good care of me! Waaaaahhh!!!
me: What?? What in the world makes you think that?
Jack: Because you did gardening for like 5 extra minutes when I TOLD you to come swing with me. (then delivers a kick to my leg)
me: Okay, first we do not kick. Second, I take great care of you. Think of everything we did together today. Playing, dinner, fun bathtime, great stories, I rubbed your back and you were all clean and fluffy...that's how I take care of you. I hope you can say something nice before I leave.
Jack: (muffled) Sorry.
me: Okay goodnight. (I leave the room and shut the door)
Jack: Waaahhhhhhhhhh!
me: (back in the room) What now Jack? Are you okay? Are you feeling bad about what you said?
Jack: Noooo, you have my blanket on me wrongggggggg! And, I'm still not saying I love you.
(this time I fix the blanket and leave for good.)  :(

I know Jack is testing out some of the worst thoughts he has in his head, just to say them out loud and feel powerful, but I also see how those words can hurt, not only me, but him as well. Some things he will have to figure out for himself. Today, of course, he was very apologetic and said he loved me about a hundred times. All is well. For now. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And one more template update.

This seems to fit Jack's personality and his love of life. Colorful, fun, a bit crazy, and always exciting. I hope the new look makes you feel as dizzy as I do at home with a 5-year-old.  :)

Jack: ZZzzzzz!!

Jack and the Cats (Ed and Bella)

(Photo above: Bella on top, Ed peeking out)

Jack is only 5, but he has chores. There are certain things he MUST do each day, no ifs ands or buts. One of Jack's chores is giving the cats their breakfast and dinner, and changing their water. (speaking of cats...Ed is driving me bonkers! He's currently sitting in the chair right behind me while I perch on the edge, barely holding myself on the seat...sigh...)
Jack: (first thing in the morning...6 or 7am) Eddddddd, Bellllllaaaaa, Breakkkkkfffffrrrriiiiiiissssstttttt!!! (he does say it as if it's spelled Breakfrist and I can't convince him to stop)
cats: Meeeoooowww!!!!! (running circles around us until we practically break our necks)
Jack: Mom, I'll do everything, even measure. You don't have to help! No, nononononooooo I got it!!

He scoops the wet food into each of their bowls, and each cat waits patiently. Jack loves that he is in charge and that the cats wait for him to do his job.

Jack: The cats have to wait for me to feed them because they can't open up the can by themselves right?
me: That's right. And, that's why we have to feed them on time each day because their tummies tell them that it's breakfast time or dinner time. They don't have any way to get food by themselves.
Jack: What would happen if I didn't want to feed them anymore?
me: Well, the cats would be very hungry and then they would get sad and think that Jack doesn't love them anymore.
Jack: (eyes welling up) I would never never not feed them! Oh Belllaaaaa, who's a goooodd giiiirrrrllllllll? Ed you're a goooodddd booooyyyyyyyyyy!
cats: purrrrrr.
Jack: See? They love me too and they know I'll always take care of them until they're 100. I'll be 100 too, right?
me: (uh oh, now what do I say??)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Early Bed Time

Enjoy these years. Savor them. Every week, every month...because there will come a day when it all changes. How? Well let me tell you. Your child will be able to tell time. Gone will be the chances to pull a fast one with bedtime, or say "Gee honey, I guess the toy store is closed." Jack is just on the cusp of telling time. He knows the full hours like 8 o'clock, 2 o'clock, etc, and is starting to learn the 1/2 hours, but, and this is a big but (ha ha) he doesn't care enough to actually check the clock when we tell him it's "time" for something. This is awesome. For now.

me: Okay, after we play for a few minutes we'll go upstairs and get ready for bed. (It's about an hour earlier than usual, but this kid has been so tired, and does not nap, so I thought I would give it a try.)
Jack: Uh...? (looks around at the bright sunshine) Okay...yawnnnnn!
me: Let's read a few stories and then it's night-night.
Jack: Can you read me more of Ralph S. Mouse? I can't wait to see when he goes to school!
me: Sure, no problem.
Jack: Can we read some extra pages? Because I've been sooooo good?
me: Definitely (Now that I have an entire hour before his real bedtime, we can splurge on the stories instead of rushing through them.)

After we read a whole bunch of pages, Jack asks for 1 more page. The answer is usually NO, but tonight I say YES!
Jack: Yayyyy, this is great. But, yawwwnnnnn, I'm really tired Mommy.
me: I know sweetie. Have a good night.

Final time: 7:30 in bed, lights out! Sometimes Moms do know best.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When Mom Gets Sick

Now why would I waste this precious free time updating my blog!? Jack and Dennis are in the basement playing. I'm in bed feeling crappy. Jack is finally starting to feel a little better.

Okay, I'm going to take a nap. Post later!

(it's later now)
Took a bit of a nap and woke up to a quiet house. Guess the boys went out. You know, when you're a mom, you're not supposed to get sick. Ever. It's like a freak show if you ask for an hour to "rest" (read: stop the room from spinning and make the pounding in my head cease.) Therefore, I always get the same responses from these guys.

(Yesterday afternoon...)

me: Hey, Den, is it okay if I go lay down for a bit, I don't feel really well. (understatement of the week. I was beat!)
Dennis: Ummm, like to sleep?
me: Uh yeah, if it happens it happens??
Jack: (who is still all stuffed up and coughing a bit) Why do you need to sleep now?? You NEVER need to sleep! You're fiiinnnneee. Come on, let's go play!
Dennis: Come on Jack, Mommy needs to "rest". (I think I heard the quotes on that one, really.)

(Today after we went to a morning Christening...don't worry, we didn't go near the baby...)

me: Can you and Jack do something downstairs? I think I need to go lay down. (I was seeing double at that point and burning up with a fever.)
Dennis: Sigh...Jack, Mommy needs to "rest" again.
Jack: No she doesn't. Come on let's play again! I want to go to the park!
me: (I was already asleep before this conversation was over.) Zzzzzzzzz.

(after an hour or two I got up to get some Motrin)
Jack: Mom, Mom, we're going to the mall, hey you look fine! Want to go with us??? (jumping up and down)
me: (glancing in the mirror) BAH! (scared myself...dark circles, disheveled hair, weird droopy/glazed eyes) You think THIS looks good?
Jack: Of course! You look great! Well...okay, byeeee! Have a good nap!
me: :)  (somehow he managed to make me feel a tiny bit better) ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I could tell a story of my run this morning that involved a zit, a mosquito with amazing accuracy and a bloody mess...but I won't. Let's just say that the zit's gone. So is the mosquito.

Today I'll stick with gross Jack stories. Don't we all have tons of them? Those of us with boys in the house that is? Okay more on this later. Must tend to the sick child.

I'm back. Do we talk about the boogers, the poop, the volumes of ear wax, the bloody skinned elbows and knees, the bodily noises (that are frankly at the point where he actually practices them for volume and longevity!), or the potty mouth?

Ah where to begin. If at all. I'll keep it light.

Jack: Mooohhhmmm, Ma, maaaaaaaaa, MOM!
me: (breaking my neck to run into the kitchen) Whaaaattt!
Jack: I gohd da big boogah...helllp!

I look over at him and a giant green bubble is growing out of his nose. How can one kid produce volumes, VOLUMES I tell you, of snot. When he blows his nose, the poor tissue ends up looking like a water balloon for all that it holds. Gross right?

Jack: Mooommmmmaaaayyyyy!
me: Yeeesssssssss?
Jack: I'm donnnnnnnnnneeeee.
(this of course only means that he has finished pooping. I walk into the bathroom, he's on the floor, face pressed to the rug, butt in the air, and well, gross stuff is being pointed in my direction.)
Jack: Wipe please!
me: First you have to wipe yourself. Gross Jack. Don't point it at me like that.
Jack: Ohhhkaaaayyyyy. (Makes a half hearted attempt to wipe his own bum)
me: Here, lemme check. (One must always check this area after business has been conducted. Until what age I ask??? Someone tell me when they can officially wipe their own ass!)
Jack: See? It's much better when you do it. I get it all over everything.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Well, it has been two months...

Jack is home from school today with another colossal fever/cough/sorethroat. He's actually taking a much needed nap right now, considering he was awake at around 5:10 this morning for good. Ugh. Sooo tired right now. I guess I could take a nap too, but there are just too many things to do.

Jack: Mommy, I feel the very worst ever! Than ever before! Do I have swine flu??? Wahhhhhhhhhh!
me: (feeling his hot forehead) Time for some Motrin sweetie. You'll feel better soon, I promise.
Jack: You know you're not supposed to break promises.
me: I won't. (He holds out his pinky for a pinky swear...his new thing...and I grasp his with mine.)

This probably explains his mood this past week...a little tired and cranky overall, with low tolerance to most anything out of the ordinary. This morning after the motrin kicked in, we watched a few of his Clifford cartoons, played with play dough, watched Simon's Cat (all of them) on You Tube (good for him! have to watch the interview), played "office", ate some lunch and then played Trouble. All very low key. Which, if you know Jack, is highly out of the ordinary and completely proves that he is definitely not feeling well. Compare this to a day when he's feeling just ducky:

Jack: Mom, hey Mom! Can you put up the cones in the driveway so I can ride around them?
me: Jack, I know you're just going to kick them over and I'm not going to keep putting them back up.
Jack: Ohhhhkaaayyyy. Just set them up once. (he starts pedaling to the top of the driveway.)
me: All set.
Jack: (races around the cones in spectacular figure 8's and then proceeds to lean precariously off his bike as he rounds each turn and punt the cones in the air as high as he can.)
me: Sigh. Take it easy, ok?
Jack: I am! I'm not holding the big stick, am I? (then wonders out loud if he can turn his handle bars around and ride backwards)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mastering. Everything. Instantly.

Jack learned to tie his shoes today. All at once. By himself. Not that we haven't tried to teach him...
me: Make the bunny ears honey! Look, no, like this...

And that's pretty much how it went. I gave up. The hell with it. That's why we have velcro. But, somewhere in his mind, he was tying those bunny ears together. He never practiced at all...that I ever saw. So what happens today? He comes into the bathroom, wearing his new "dressy" shoes (brown leather Sketchers), proud as anything, face beaming! I look down and gasp. Two perfect bows, one on each foot.

me: Did we leave those shoes tied and you just slipped them on this morning? (way to be encouraging huh?)
Jack: Noooooo, I tied them all by myself! These laces are easier and they stick together better.
me: (who knew?) OMG That's so awesome, look at you my big boy!!!! :)

I was this proud when he got his first tooth, and also when he rode his bike without training wheels, and graduated from preschool and had to recite things in English and Spanish AND sign language. (sob)

Jack has a high level of expectation for himself. He has to master, literally MASTER something before he will give up. When he realized he could almost snap his fingers (end of last year maybe?) he practiced day and night until he could make the loudest, most startling pops with his fingers. Whistling was the same thing.

Jack: But HOWWWWWW are you DOING iiiiiitttttttt!!???
me: Pucker and blow. What can I tell you. It just hast to happen one day.
Jack: PFFFFBBBBBBBB! Wahhhhhhh!
(then he practiced for maybe couple of days, maybe a week, until we heard a short peep come out.)
Jack: Gasp! I think I whistled!!! peep.
me: Yep I think that's it! Now get some power behind it!

He's become a mad whistler now, sort of a mindless tune blower, in the car, while riding his bike, generally all the time. He's really good at it too.

Jack: (on 3/19/10) Now, today I do NOT want training wheels on my bike. Take them off NOW please!
me:'s almost dark and we really don't have anywhere for you to practice...
Jack: I'll practice right here, right now!
("right here" being our 45 degree 150 foot long driveway of course)
me: Jaaaaack, there's hardly room at the top here...
Jack: Let's go, gimme a hand here. ( I held him for a second, then let go and he really did ride for 5 feet without help, before the flat part of the driveway ran out)
me: I think you've got it! We'll take your bike to Grandpa's and let you learn on the street that I learned on.
Jack: Yayyyyy!

Sure enough, on the first day of Spring, (and his cousin's birthday) within 15, no, 10 minutes, Jack was flying solo up and down my Dad's street, freaking me out! And then he learned to start the bike from a stopped position by moving the pedal to the top and pushing off on it. Oh the screaming fits until he mastered that. But again it took him about 5 minutes.

I'm not sure what this means for Jack's future, but he does not give up. He sees a challenge and has to face it head on and conquer it completely. Now if I could only get him to really, really want to have the most excellently clean teeth of all time, I'd be all set.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Growing Up

Today Jack and I visited his new elementary school. We had another mini orientation, and then Jack and the other kids got to ride a school bus, without parents! Jack had already taken his first bus ride last year as part of a field trip to the zoo (with me following behind in my car, as a chaperone, weeping uncontrollably), so he was okay with the whole experience of going alone. He held hands with one of his friends as he climbed on board. (so cute!) And then they were gone for about 15 minutes or so.

Jack: Mom! The bus driver, which could be a man or a lady they said, told us how to cross the street safely. They said to look at the driver when we get off the bus and then the arm...they call it an arm...goes out and has a stop sign on it, then the driver gives us a nod and we can cross! It's like a secret signal!
me: That sounds so cool!
Jack: We get to ride with 5th graders! Let me see...there's 1st grade, then 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th right? Why is there no 13th?
me: Well 13th would actually be college I guess.
Jack: Do they really call it grade 13?
me: No.
Jack: After 12th grade are you an actual grown up??
me: Pretty much. You get to decide where to go to college and buy a motorcycle and all that fun stuff.
Jack: No wayyyyyy!!!! (far off dreamy look comes over him)
me: Yep, just like Uncle John's motorcycle. Remember?
Jack: Nooo. He never had one!
me: Well, you were little, I'm not sure you would remember.
Jack: But he IS a grownup right?
me: Ummmm... I guessss sooo. (hard to admit that still. haha)
Jack: Then I'm gonna be a grown up just like him. I can't wait! Then I get to do what I want, instead of all...(waves his hand around)...
me: What?? Instead of what?
Jack: Ehhh, nothing. (whispers) I can't wait!
me: Uh-oh

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An afternoon at (trying to get to) the Farm

I recently purchased a weekly veggie box from a local farm. We paid for the season, and then pick up a box of fresh produce once a week. Sometimes the box includes herb plants in soil, or a dozen fresh eggs! It's very exciting not knowing what you'll get each week. And you have to be creative to use up all the exotics (as I call them), such as kale, garlic scapes and kohlrabi. If all else fails...veggie stew!

I picked up Jack's friend Gavin, so that he could join us at the farm and have a little time with Jack. They are totally nuts for each other in the only way that boys know how. (Can you say "pew, pew, pew!!" lasers, and guns and shooting? I mean really, even if you don't let them have or play with guns of any kind, they will use sticks and straws and legos and fashion every type of firearm known to man.)

I offered to pick up my neighbor's box also, to save her a trip. She informed me that she had ordered two chickens and I would have to pay cash to get them. No not live chickens, dummy, cooked! We all made that same mistake. :)

me: Guys, hey, guys! Listen, I have to stop at the ATM to get some cash before we go to the farm.
guys: AWWW! We don't want to stop!!!
me: How about, no choice?
Gavin: Yayyy, we can shoot at other people in the bank.
Jack: Yeahhhh! pew pew pew!
me: No, keep your hands in the car, and you can only shoot at trees. Don't aim at people's faces like that! (the poor woman in the car next to me trying to do her drive-up banking...really feared for her life I think!)
Jack: Look, cool! You drive up and it gives you money!
me: Ummm, why is my PIN not working on this?? GRRRR. (I try another ATM, and same deal). Both are not working?? How am I supposed to ... oh the heck with it... maybe it's broken and the farm will take a credit card.

We drive to the farm and with all the noise coming from the backseat, I fail to notice that I sailed right by the farm entrance. We bounce down a dirt road into unfamiliar territory.

me: Uhhh, I think we missed the turn. Did you guys see a sign or something?
guys: Pew Pew Pew!!!
me: Sigh. (I notice a guy driving a tractor and have to flag him down) Hi, is the farm entrance near here?
tractor guy: You drove right by it, heh heh.
me: Yeah I know. I have 2 knuckleheads in the back that are very distracting. haha.
guys: Heeyyyyyyyy...
me: okay thanks. Guys, we have to turn around.
guys: AWWWWW! We don't want to turn around!
me: Sigh.

We get to the farm and I go grab the two farm boxes. Gavin and Jack run around, so I have to keep a sharp eye on them. I fail to notice the sign that says you have to go inside to get your eggs and herb plants. Meanwhile I'm calling Dennis on my phone to ask him if the PIN numbers have changed on our two accounts. I barely get reception and the phone keeps hanging up. Oh well.

me: Excuse me, I need to pick up 2 chickens for my neighbor and...
farm lady: Name?
me: Mine? Oh, you mean... ha ha, HER last name?
farm lady: Hey Toby! Can you go grab the chickens!!!!!???? (she screeches in my face, and a 12-year old boy scurries off)
me: Here's the deal, I don't have cash, heh heh, on me because...well it's a long story but my ATMs weren't working
farm lady: More than one?
me: Yeah, well I tried two cards and... (my phone rings) Excuse me a sec... Hello? What? Did you talk to the bank? Hello? (I hang up)... So as I was saying, I don't have any cash on me per se, but I can charge the chickens or leave my credit card number and come back tomorrow with cash?

( I really didn't want my neighbor to have to drive all the way back out here when I was already here! )

farm lady: We would need a check or cash please.
me: (muttering) Dammit! (I fumble through my purse and notice that Dennis has taken my checkbook to pay some bills). Well I don't have a checkbook on me but...
farm lady: Um sorry?
me: (phone rings again) Hello?
Dennis: Why the heck aren't you answering your phone?
me: Really? I'm in a valley of death right here... Gavin! Jack! Come back over here please!
Dennis: The bank says everything is fine and they saw that you tried two cards and had two bad transactions. Maybe you punched in the wrong numbers?
me: On BOTH cards??? Impossible! (phone dies again...) Hello?? Sigh...

(I give up and call my neighbor apologizing profusely for my uselessness. She asks me to see if she can pick the chickens up tomorrow. I check with farm lady and she says ok. So we all get in the car to leave.)

Jack: Pew Pew Pew! (shooting his finger at a guy heading into the farm.)
me: Jack, stop! Don't point like that!
Jack: Why, do they think they'll really get hurt? Cool!
me: Sigh.

(We drive back to Gavin's and drop him off. It is then that I realize that I was supposed to pick up a dozen eggs and the potted herb plants. I want to weep.)

me: Um, Jack? We have to take a quick drive back to the farm...I forgot the eggs...
Jack: Waaahhhhhh, I don't WANT to go baaaaccckkkkkk...
me: Oh forget it.

(We head back to my neighbor's, drop off the box and explain the situation)
me: Sooo, if you could... pick up both sets of herbs and eggs AND your chickens? heh heh? (Really, did I save anyone an ounce of time today?)

The best part of the story is that I noticed that my ATM cards had been switched in my wallet. They look amazingly similar I tell you! Therefore I HAD been punching in the wrong PIN number for each card. Heh, heh...Ahem.

Jack: That was fun! Can we do it again??? I love farm boxes and I'm gonna help you cook all the vegetables!
me: More fun next week Jack. More fun next week...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Figure of Speech

I realized today that Jack is really picking up on "figures of speech" and trying to use them appropriately in his conversations. Some of them are quite funny, and as always, I'm astounded at his use of language at such a young age.

Jack: Mom, I just heard that song say "head over heels". That's sooo funny! I mean who could put their head over their heels??
me: You know, that's just a funny way of saying that you're in love or have a crush on someone.
Jack: Huh? Why does your head have to go over your heels?
me: (demonstrating by rotating my hands in front of me) Nooo, it means that your doing flips for someone, because you really like them. Like wooooaaaahhhhhh!
Jack: Well, I'll tell you who my head will not go over my heels for...(leans in for a whisper, and names a boy in his class)
me: You would really say that when you like a girl.
Jack: Yeah, well that's never gonna happen.
( quickly he's forgotten his crushes: Madison, Elena (both girls in his K class), Marcia (our former cleaning girl), Mabeth (the teacher in his 2-year-old preschool class), Natalie Portman...yes he loved her in "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium".)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Template Update!

Okay, I don't know about you, but the black background with white text was killing my eyes! Someday I will have to customize my background properly, but for now...standard templates abound!

Jack: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Kids say the darndest things!

Aww, remember that show? Bill Cosby fans, I know you're out there. Okay, that just shows how old I really am.

Jack has been constantly reading his newest favorite book ever, called The Best Way to Play, by none other than Bill himself! He's read it about 10 or so times already and then requests that I read it to him at bedtime. It is a very cute story about some kids that really, really want a video game, and when they get it they realize it's pretty boring and that playing with their friends and pretending is a lot more fun. Good message.

Tonight Jack asked me to read him some of his Emperor Strikes Back kid's book. The parts that contain Chewbacca are of course his favorite. We read a few pages and then Jack jumped into bed.

Jack: Remember who I am tonight!
me: Chewbacca?
Jack: Yes! (starts removing his pants)
me: Um, what are you doing?
Jack: Getting fluffy?
me: Gotcha.
Jack: I want you to say the part where you say "I'd rather kiss a Wookie" like Han Solo and then I'll growl at you okay?
me: (quite sure I've never said this before) I'd rather kiss a Wookie!
Jack: Grrrrrrrrrr (wookie style of course)
me: Goodnight. (I lean over for a kiss)
Jack: You don't WANT to kiss me remember:
me: Uh, well I said I'd RATHER kiss a wookie, so that means I would like to kiss you goodnight.
Jack: Oh. Just kiss my cheek. I'm all filthy and disgusting.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Final Day at the Cape

No wi-fi connection last night, so this will be a compilation of yesterday and today.

It was sad to see the week come to an end. But, all good things must end some time. We tried to pack as much into our last vacation day as possible. Starting with another trip to P-Town. There are so many things to see and do there, that we never fit it all in during one trip. This 2nd trip involved climbing the Pilgrim Monument, visiting the Wydah Pirate Museum (really do check this out as it's the ONLY pirate treasure that's been successfully recovered in North America! Who knew?), and then hitting the Lobster Pot for lunch (best lobster bisque ever). Though, I do have to say that the best clam chowder I've had on the Cape comes from Captain Parker's in Yarmouth (scary theme song on their site though). We also spent time searching for beach glass, which we actually found, for once! Turns out that the best beach glass can be found directly in Provincetown, right off Commercial Street, or on our very own Mayo Beach in Wellfleet. Who knew??

This morning, it was the bustle of packing everything into an already full car, and heading out. It literally started pouring, with thunder and lightning, as soon as we finished loading up the car. What luck! A quick stop at the Pancake Man (again with the crazy webstie theme song!) on our way home, and the trip was complete. 

(9 a.m.) Awwwww, I don't want to leave the Cape house!
(9:15) Are we at Yarmouth yet??? I want pancakes!
(9:20) How about now??
(9:45) Yayyyy we're here! I'm going to eat 600 chocolate chip pancakes!
(10:30) My tummy hurts!
(10:45) How long until we get home??? I don't want to drive for 6 hours! (it's really only 3, but he likes numbers that begin with 6)
(11:00) NOW how long will it be??? (do this every 5 minutes for 3 more hours and you'll feel like you were in the car with us)

And we're home. Cats are happy to see us, my windowsill herbs have grown a foot and have started trellising the blinds, and it's still raining. I'm glad we had a great sunny week and now it can rain all it likes!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

6th Day at the Cape

(Photo above shows Jack at ages 2, 3, 4 and 5 in front of the "Pirate" at Pirate's Cove. WTF happened in 2009 by the way??)

It was an overcast, though warm, day today, and I started out with a (gasp again) 7 mile run all the way to Great Island. It's not that great, but it's kinda big, so that's probably where the name came from. Lots and lots of hills, let me tell you. But, the one good thing about this morning, aside from my workout, was that Jack did not make a peep at 5:01 or 5:02 or even 5:03. I actually slept a little later until 5:45! Yes, the cycle is broken! It must have been that damn Korean-war-era alarm clock that I confiscated from the closet. I just bet it was set to go off at 5:01 each day. OR it was the crazy bird waking Jack up. Because today, as soon as I heard it flap/bang against my window, I jumped up and did breathy screams at it while flapping my hands. I know, not a great visual, but the bird left after one head whomp and didn't come back. I was able to do the run, come back home, stretch and then come into the house to find complete and utter silence. It was about 7:30 and ... nothing. It was a good start to the day.

Needless to say, Jack woke up happy, smiling and full of wit.

Today I will give you a rundown of the top "Jack-isms", in top 10 format, that I've heard so far this week. Only because some of them are great and I don't want to forget them. Enjoy!

10. Ehhh, skip the hotdog, I'll have eel sushi instead. (Out at a local restaurant)

9. (Dennis was driving, and said "Oops, we can't go in this way, it's a one way") Jack says: Go that way anyway Daddy, heh heh, the sign can't make you do anything.

8. Pretend I'm a buffalo in a zoo and I'm pooping. Wait, I have to get into the position that it would be in first...

7. (Telling his uncle John about the bird show that we saw earlier) And then there was this, um, hawk that was hurt in his head by a car so he didn't see very well, and he was captured, and there were seagulls that pooped right on the ground in front of us and they had a boogie board to ride and the bird on the other side of the water hit the ball back and forth and it was like water with a fake building, but one of the doors really opened to a fish market even though it was fake and the squirrel...what was his name Mom??... Oh, Rocky, he was trying to be put in the cage with his friend but he was blind and I got a toy skateboard, a finger skateboard, ... what? ...yeah I know what ollie is's when you jump...ohhh it's when you jump and spin?? Ohhhh! Okay hold on, I'll go try...Mommmm! where's my skateboard!? oh thanks...Ok, byeeeee!

6. This was the best food I EVER had, I mean really ever, like better than any lunch eh-eh-verrrrr! (Eating at a fish market in Harwich. He had a burger.)

5. And what is that smell??? I'm not eating anything that smells like thaaaattttt! (The smell of low tide as we headed over to a restaurant)

4. Am I being really good right now? (then whispers) I'm acting just like Pepito. He's 10 and in 5th grade you know.

3. I looooovvveee just resting on a beach towel in the sun. Lu-huh-huuuhhove!

2. Awwww I don't wanna walk around town. I'd rather just stay home and be a buffalo!!!

1. Here's what we're gonna do. You're gonna pull over at the top of the street here, and I'm gonna get out. You're not coming with me. Then you drive home and I'll meet you down at the bottom of the driveway. Okay? Why are you getting out too? Awwww, okay fine, let's both walk home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

5th Day at the Cape

And no I can't come up with better post titles this week, so :P.

Jack was up guessed it, 5:01 a.m.

Jack: But I can't hellllp it. I'm just awake!
me: Are you sure there is no noise waking you up? Is it too bright? You really need to get some more sleep.
Jack: I'll take a nap. I promissssseeeee!
me: Sigh. Get up, we're hitting the road. (And we did. We found a secluded beach in Truro that was just beautiful! I hope to get pics up when I get back home this weekend.)

Jack getting up this early on the 5th consecutive day led me to do some thinking. (okay, 2 crows are murdering each other in the back yard as I write this. wtf.) Either there is a hidden alarm clock that is going off in his room, or the light is getting him up, or the crazy bird that bangs his head against OUR window around 5 a.m. has a dingbat brother on the other side of the house doing the same thing to Jack's window.

1. Cover windows with towels and pushpins. Check. It took 6 beach towels and 12 pushpins to do the trick. I actually found pushpins!! hee hee! They do not have curtains in this house. Creeeeepy.
2. Check all drawers and closet shelves for clock radio. Check. And I did find one! Hmmmm, though it was unplugged and looked like something out of M.A.S.H., it did say "iPod" on one of the hole/plug thingys, so it's at least from this decade. I'm not sure if it even works, but I removed it post haste!
3. Do something about the bird...oh well, he's on his own. I can't control that.

So let's see what happens tomorrow morning. Though, I do have a date with a lovely beach road, so Dennis will have to be on duty after 5:15 a.m.

Today we went to Provincetown. Ahhhh. Love going back there. It was cloudy at first and then cranked up the bright sun around 12:30ish. Jack loves climbing on the anchor and seeing all of the usual sights. And then I wanted to go hunting for beach glass. We were tipped off that the place to go for "mermaid tears" is Herring Cove, in P-town. Yeah, that was a load of crap. Thanks mister.

Jack: I am sooo hungry!
me: I'm not that hungry, but let's get you something to eat. (we step up to a take-out seafood place right near the pier)
Jack: I would like a grilled cheese AND onion rings.
me: (ordered the food) So much for me not being hungry. I just ordered fried clams.
Jack: Did you order the onion rings?
me: Yes.
Jack: I didn't hear you order them.
me: Because you were singing "I'm 5 and 3/8 years old" over and over.
Jack: But you promise that you ordered them?
me: Yes! Why would I lie about onion rings?
Jack: Welll, I really didn't hear you say "onion rings".
me: Let's just wait and see then.
Jack: Where is the food?
me: They have to cook it.
Jack (5 seconds later) How about now? Is it ready? I really don't see onion rings up there. (cranes his neck to see the warming counter in front of the cooks)
me: Jack they aren't magic. They don't twinkle their nose and "presto" food appears. They have to open the packages, cook the food, put it on the plates...
Jack: Well, if I had my magic wand I would make this speed up that's for sure.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

4th Day at the Cape

Subheader: Defiance

(Up at 5:01 a.m. again...  Must be the strange bedroom, and the sun rising at like 4:20 a.m. or something, but I cannot get Jack to sleep in.)

You know it's bad when you really really think you're doing everything wrong, though you know you are doing everything right. :) That's life with a 5-year old. As you've noticed in my previous posts, Jack is very "my way or the highway" sometimes. Though he's a really sweet and sensitive kid, he really wants to be in control. Mostly of himself. At all times. Even when danger is involved. So it's very hard to (excuse me while I interrupt myself...Jack is trying to use the Cape house computer and is screaming "Go already, why don't you just go already!!!!" because of course I'm sucking bandwidth by wirelessly blogging while he is trying to use the iMac.)  Where was I? Oh yeah, it's very hard to balance the freedom he needs with the discipline he also very surely needs. Some days you need a little help. Luckily I found this site which had a great article on how to deal with Defiance. :)

More on this later!

...okay I'm back... and here's why:

I truly agree with most of the tactics discussed in the mini article and try to use them daily. Sometimes, as we all do, I lose my way, and then have to regroup and start fresh. Today is one of those days.

We decided to take a leisurely walk around town. We're literally .25 miles from Main St.

Jack: Why are we NOT taking the car.
me: Because we're taking a nice family walk.
Dennis: Get out of the road, Jack.
Jack: I am NOT walking in poison ivy.
me: Get over to the side before a car comes whizzing by please.
Jack: (grudgingly) Well, I'm first in line, everyone else get behind me.
me: Actually I'm walking next to you because this is a busy road. (no sidewalks at this point)
Jack: Well, then why do YOU get to walk in the road when I said I wanted to and you said NO and then...
me: Because I'm in charge and I'm protecting you. End of story.
Jack: (muttering)
me: Jack, I gave you 3 strikes today. You wanted to watch Toy Story, and I said you had to have good behavior and no talking back. You've already gotten two strikes and it's only 10:30. Any more back talk and you'll get your third strike.
Jack: WHATever.
me: Okay, third strike. No video today.
Jack: (panicked) But, but I was being so gooooddddd, really I promise I will be good.
me: I'm glad you're promising because if you keep talking back, you'll have to sit in a time out, and that's no fun.
Jack: (sighs heavily, but no more backtalk!)

As it turns out, getting up at 5 a.m. for the last 3 days is wearing this kid out. He won't nap and really runs hard all day. Today, after our walk, we played "buffalo" again. I got him all comfy in his "pen" (bed) and covered him in "fur" (blankets).

Jack: I am NOT taking a nap, I already said I'm not tired. Yaawwwwwnnnnn!
me: No problem. What a nice buffalo you are! Can I come up and brush your fur?
Jack: Okay, but it's filthy, you'll have to wash your hands after.
me: That's fine. (I climb up and lay down with him and start brushing his back with my hand).
Jack: (after 5 minutes of that) Enough with the fur brushing. I think you're trying to get me to sleep.
me: I'll rub your buffalo ears then... (I rub his hair for like 30 seconds and he crashes hard asleep)

Just try and creep out of a plastic-encased top bunk while wrapped up in blankets and pinned to the wall. It took me 5 minutes to get to the edge of the bed! I'm glad Jack is happily snoozing now. He'll thank me for this later, someday...maybe...

Now I get a few minutes to myself. Dennis is picking up lunch and Jack will probably be alseep for an hour or two. He very much needed that sleep! Hopefully he wakes up on the right side of his cage. :)

(Update: 9:11 p.m.)
After Jack woke up from his nap, he was hysterically funny. All smiles and chuckles. Total good mood. Amen to my determination to have him sleep.

Jack: Ahhh you tricked me again and left the room while I was sleeping, didn't ya? heh heh.
me: You were out cold, snoring like a Yak.
Jack: I was pretty bad on our walk before wasn't I. (very smart kid)
me: Yes, you were horrible. But, you were tired and it's up to me and Daddy to help you out when you need it. Aren't you glad I sort of insisted that you get some extra sleep?
Jack: (sheepish) Yeah.
me: Are you going to sleep a little later tomorrow then, so you don't have to take another nap?
Jack: Uh, I don't know about that. I really like waking up early. It makes me think like we're going someplace special.