Tuesday, January 8, 2013

They're Sponges

(I typed that title and immediately thought of an episode of Seinfeld. If you know what I'm talking about, sorry. If you don't know what I'm talking about, sorry.)

Graham is like a sponge. He absorbs EVERYTHING. It's amazing and scary at the same time. He knows when Gangnam Style starts playing after hearing only a few notes. Today he said, "I want to dance." And then he requested Call Me Maybe. What? (Maybe a better question is, what are we letting him listen to???)

He is just learning new things all the time. The world is an exciting place. Sometimes I forget how many new things there are for me to learn each day. There's no time to be bored. I mean, I can just look out the window and try to identify all the different birds I see. Sure it may be nerdy, but it's still something new.

G and I have a book of children's poems that we read from time to time. There's a poem about a cow and one about trains. A poem about two lizards named Sally and Manda (so clever) and one about a black bug. We read the poem about the rabbit and the rain and bathtime. It's a great little book. There are a few poems that I have started reciting to him because I know them by heart, partly from my own childhood and partly from reading this book to him.

I recite:
I had a little turtle. He lived in a box.
He swam in the puddles and he climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me!

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Cute. Boyish. Easy to remember.

I recite:
Mix a pancake, stir a pancake, pop it in the pan!
Fry the pancake, toss the pancake, catch it if you can!

I chant this while making pancakes, which happens VERY regularly at our house since my son loves him some pancakes. Seriously. He can eat more than I can sometimes. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

And I recite:
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink.
That is the finest of suppers, I think.
When I grow up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these.

This one has another verse but that's all I know. Obviously this is the animal cracker poem for when you eat animal crackers. And since we have a canister of them, it's a regular occurrence.

G and his sister got some bath toys for Christmas and one of them is a sea turtle. He was playing with it while I was feeding Adele and began reciting the phrase, "I had a little turtle. He lived in a box," over and over and over. Awww...he really is listening when I read him books that I choose.

Well, that little sponge of mine surprised me again yesterday by reciting the whole animal cracker poem, unprompted, at snack time. It was adorable. Terribly hard to understand since a lot of the words were just mumbling, but adorable.

He's so stinkin' smart! (Says the completely unbiased and impartial mother.)

Moral of the story: Read poetry to your kids. They are sponges. They will absorb it and remember it. It will teach them about rhythm and rhyming and language and words. They'll begin to make connections between what they read and the world around them. That's comprehension. It's important. It's on college entrance exams.

*Sidenote: At our house, when you refuse both of the choices your mom gives you, you go shirtless in the winter. That's just how we roll around here.*

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make Something Monday: Christmas Canvas

I have all my Christmas decorations up except for the stockings. I have to whip out some adorable, homemade stockings for the whole fam in the next couple of days. You know, no big deal.

I did finish one of my Christmas projects, though. And since I hung them up today, and today just happens to be Monday, I thought it was a great time to revisit Make Something Monday!

This is a really easy project. I made a canvas for my SIL last year for Christmas, so I knew basically what I was doing. Last time I painted the canvas and then cut letters out of contact paper and painted over the whole thing a different color. The top color bled some and I ended up having to fix all the edges with a tiny paintbrush. There is a similar project floating around on pinterest that suggests using vinyl letters from a kit for science projects, etc. Doing the letters took forever last time, so I picked up a pack of the vinyl letters to try. The letters on the pinterest project bled too, which just bugs me, so I knew I needed to come up with a way to prevent that.

When I painted the stripe on the wall in Graham's room I painted over the tape with my base wall color first. That way anything that would bleed through the tape edge would be the base wall color. After that dried, I painted the stripe and the edge was perfectly sharp! I knew that concept would work here too. I painted the whole canvas white, taped off my star and stuck on my letters, painted over all edges white again, then spray painted the whole canvas blue. When it dried, I peeled off the tape/letters and voila!

They turned out just as I had hoped. That doesn't always happen.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Year Ago Today

Exactly one year ago today the G-man started walking! Since I'm feeling nostalgic this morning, I'm going to link back to my post on November 8, 2011. Enjoy!

Graham starts walking (or dribbling, actually).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mud on Your Face


Graham: What on your chin, Daddy? It's brown. It's mud.
Adam: Where?
G: (Feeling Adam's chin) It's mud on face.
A: (Realizing G-man is talking about his unshaved face) Where?
G: It's mud, Daddy.
G: Wash. Wash.
A: (Washing his face) Is that better?
G: I want mud on face.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


**Disclaimer: There are no pictures in this post. If anyone reads the whole thing, I'll be surprised, but it's mostly for me to remember by so it doesn't matter if anyone else reads it.**

Graham is really chatty.

Surprise, surprise.

I'm sure no one thought Adam and I would have a kid who likes to talk.

The more he talks, the more he says weird and funny things. I don't want to forget them, so I better write them down.

Lately, he uses the word "hard" a lot. One night he ran in circles from the kitchen to the living room to the dining room for quite a while. I was feeding the baby on the couch and Adam wasn't home, so he was just running and running all by himself. After several minutes, he paused and said, "Mommy, I chasing HARD!" I don't know if he was doing the chasing or if he was being chased but either way he was doing it hard.

He's really into Thomas the Tank Engine right now. Really into it. We talk about the different trains like they are real people. "Where Edward go?" "Gordon puff hard on tracks." "Percy hiding." In fact, we've been known to walk around the house calling their names when different trains are missing. It's like we think they might answer back. Graham has started singing the theme song at random times. I love it! It's so cute to hear his little voice sing, "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight..." I overheard G say, "James coming 'round the bend." Gotta love what kids learn from theme songs.

Yesterday I was nursing Adele on the couch and Graham was sitting next to me reading a story. (Actually, I was making up a story while flipping through the pages of a Thomas catalogue that Graham asks me to "read" at least once a day. I've started hiding the "Thomas book" because, let's be honest, there's only so many times you can "read" a catalogue.) Adele chose this as a good time to fill her diaper. Graham got a really concerned look on his face and said, "What happening in BeeDel's pants?" I cracked up. He didn't get it and asked the question again, "What happening in BeeDel's pants?" I told him she was pooping and he said, "She pooping hard."

He's really sweet with his sister. Multiple times a day he says, "I kiss BeeDel."

Graham asks to watch shows a lot. The kid loves TV. Most of the time I tell him no and he's started asking, "Why not watch (insert show)?" Then he smiles because he's just trying to wear me down. Sometimes he succeeds.

There was a time when G cried and cried when we left him in the church nursery. It was so bad that he would start sobbing as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. During this time I began talking about all the fun things about Sunday School. Now Graham loves going to church and looks forward to playing with certain toys and friends when he goes. Our church has a James train (James is the red engine) and now any time church is mentioned I hear, "I go (something that sort of resembles Sunday school) and play James."

More than once I've caught Graham repeating word for word an entire conversation Adam and I are having while we are having it. He's just quietly repeating our conversation to himself. Recently I caught him doing this to the waitress who was serving us at a restaurant. Weird kid.

In addition to Thomas, he also really likes Cars. He discovered a stuffed Lightening McQueen from Christmas two years ago that I had packed away in a trunk and was smitten at first sight. He calls it "Lightening Car." It's a pretty large stuffed car so sometimes Monkey rides on it, or a cup of milk, or even Thomas. It's super cute when he talks about "Tow Maner" who is Lightening Car's best friend. He has a duplo firetruck that has become "Tow Maner." And like the Thomas catalogue, we also "read" the Cars DVD case. Lightening Car races against Blue Car and Green Mustache Car (because I couldn't remember their names). How is that interesting?

Dancing is a favorite pastime at our house, especially in the last week. More than once I've overheard him say, "I want dance Daddy." I LOVE IT! His favorite dance to do--Gangam Style. Yes, he recognizes the song and does the dance surprisingly well. In fact, he's requested it a few times.

The kid loves rainbows. I bought a prism to hang in his window so the evening sun will make rainbows on his walls and ceiling. He calls them "name-o's." At first we thought he was referring to "Dingo was his name-o," which is a popular song at our house (yes, he says Dingo instead of Bingo--the Dingo got the baby!), but then we realized it was rainbow. A couple days ago we lay down on his floor to look at the rainbows on the ceiling and he said, "Name-o pretty, Mama." I died. Then I got sad because he's going to grow up and be a stinky teenager who will be too cool to comment on the beauty of rainbows on his ceiling while lying on the floor with his mom. (Oh gosh, now I'm tearing up. This mom stuff can be emotional.)

My picky eater is doing a little bit better. Now that he can communicate more, I can ask what he wants and this has led to much better eating at mealtime. He still won't eat veggies or casseroles or mac and cheese but he's more willing to let me put things on his plate. Usually if I ask him to try it, he responds with, "Bite it, Mom." I've tried telling him to bite things, but he just laughs and says, "No, no, no!"

A couple days ago we came home from the store and Adele was desperate to eat. It was beautiful day, but since I had to feed the baby, we couldn't play outside. Graham wouldn't be deterred and headed straight to the back yard. When I told him we had to come in right now he said, "I want shuck corn, Mama. I want shuck corn."

I decided Graham needed to experience finger painting. I was feeling guilty that I didn't do regular art  projects with him, so we tackled a canvas for Adele's room. I poured paint on a paper plate and told him to use his hands. Of course, he only used one hand and quickly concluded that finger painting was NOT for him. I kept urging him to try more, but he just stuck out his hand and begged me to "wipe." He's so much like his Dad when it comes to being messy.

Our summer was so hot that sometimes we went for walks at the mall just to get out of the house. As a result, our two year old son regularly asks, "I go mall?" Of course, he just wants to push buttons in the arcade and throw a penny in the fountain.

When he doesn't want to go to sleep he yells, "Wake up, Mama!" Then when you go into his room, he says, "I need medicine." Then he gets medicine in the form of a drink of water. Sometimes he points to the bird mobile hanging above the changing pad and says, "Anky bud." Can you guess what that means? Yep, Angry Birds. In addition to the angry birds, the light from the hallway shines onto the wall above the mobile in one spot. Apparently to a two year old boy it looks like fire. It took us weeks and weeks to figure out why he kept pointing and saying "fire."

My mom and I took the kids on a road trip to Iowa a few weeks ago. We stayed with my Aunt Ann and Uncle Denny. Graham immediately called Uncle Denny "Papa" and then "Papa Denny." It's adorable. If you ask him what Papa Denny does, he says, "Papa Denny watch the news."

G has just started asking "Can I go outside?" I love that his language is progressing so much, but I'm also a little sad that my boy is growing up so fast.

And last but not least, this afternoon he sat beside me on the couch, leaned over and said, "I yuh (love) you, Mama."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

To the Fair!

We ventured out in the cold this morning to check out the Tulsa State Fair. It was an adventure.

Here is a list of things that happened and things I learned at the fair:

1. Adele pretty much screamed for the whole first part. We were those people with the screaming baby. On the plus side, she still has that newborn-ish cry that isn't so loud. On the other hand, people get really nervous when a little baby is crying non-stop. They like to make comments. A knowing smile from someone who's been there is appreciated. A comment like, "You better stop pinching that baby," "I think someone's hungry," "Whoa, that baby's really crying," makes me want to hit the commenter in the face. I've been told to stop pinching my crying baby more than once. Who says that? And why? I know they're joking, but it's super annoying. Usually only older women make this comment and then hover around saying more annoying things. Once a lady said this to me and then asked to hold my crying infant. I wanted to yell at her, "Are you kidding me? I don't know you? Why in the world would I hand you my crying baby who you just accused me of pinching? Do you really think you could make this situation better?" Instead I just weakly smiled and said, "no thank you" before quickly walking away. Some people.

Anyway, back to the fair. Adele screamed a lot. Adam, who was pushing her in the stroller while I went into the petting zoo with G-man, took her out to hold her and found poopy leakage on her new pants. Yep, we had a major blowout. Lovely. I carried my screaming child through the rows of rabbit hutches to the bathroom, stripped off her pants and found that her diaper had leaked all the way down both legs AND up her back. After giving her a wipes-bath, changing her clothes, and trying to ward off the pinching accuser, Adele stopped crying. Whew!

2. I learned that I ALWAYS need to pack a plastic bag for dirty, blow-out clothes. Thankfully, Adam stuck one in at the last minute.

3. Adele refuses to take a bottle. We've tried and tried and tried with basically no success. Consequently, I've become much more willing to nurse her in public. It's not really my first choice, but sometimes you just have to pretend like you don't feel awkward. I learned to feign confidence when I was teaching. It's a skill that has served me well. So, I nursed my baby at a picnic table in the kid building at the Tulsa State Fair. The stroller served as a "shield" and, even though I was burning up, I left my jacket on in order to be more discreet. I probably should have ditched the jacket and covered up with a blanket, but then Adele gets sweaty and hot and doesn't want to eat. No one seemed to notice (hello, it was the kid zone and everyone else was pushing strollers and trying to wrangle their own kids), except for the random volunteer who felt the need to show me an email forward on her phone about breastfeeding in public. It was a funny (I use this term loosely) picture of a pig. I think she was being supportive, but maybe not. Apparently it was "make annoying comments" day at the fair.

4. I am thankful that Adele is a fast eater.

5. Graham is not scared of animals. I'm glad. He loved the petting zoo. I wish there had been a calf in there, but he had fun petting (and brushing) goats, pot-bellied pigs, an alpaca, a llama (who he almost poked directly in the eye), sheep, a few fawns (who has ever heard of deer in a petting zoo?), a donkey, and a wallaby (you know, like a mini-kangaroo). He was really gentle too. Having a sister has been good for G.

6. There was a mama and a baby wallaby. At one point the baby hopped over, crawled into his mama's pouch and totally disappeared. All you could see were his two, little front paws sticking out. It was a super cool animal moment.

7. I learned that my fair experience and Adam's fair experience growing up are totally different.

8. We briefly stopped into the hog barn where Graham watched some pigs coming down the main aisle on their way to the show ring. He called them horses. We need to spend a little more time looking at live animals instead of just pictures in our books. I'm a little distressed by this.

9. Fried oreos are, let's say, interesting. The taste is kind of good but the texture is a little too mushy for me. And yes, I could feel the years ticking off my life as I ingested a fried oreo.

10. Lots of people must buy hot tubs at fairs. I saw more hot tubs today than I have ever seen in my life.

11. The huge sandbox in the kid building is super fun for kiddos and super not-fun for parents. We opted out of that activity.

12. Graham really needs a pair of boots. The last time we tried some on he said "too tight" over and over. Maybe someday he'll want to wear a pair.

13. After the blow-out and public nursing, Adele was super happy and then fell asleep in the stroller. She slept the whole rest of our time at the fair. That made the fair a lot more fun.

14. I would much rather be at the fair when it's cold than when it's hot. Bundling up is so much easier than having sweaty kids to deal with.

15. Whoever decided to put a hand-washing station outside the petting zoo building was a genius!

16. I really like spending time with my family. Even though chasing a two year old can be exhausting and dealing with a screaming baby can be stressful, making family memories is worth it.

*Sorry there are no pics in this post. I brought my camera but it did not make it out of my purse. And I don't have an iphone, so no quick pics with that either.