Tuesday, June 20, 2006

For the Love of Books

I’m slaving over a hot stove, when a very excited Ian comes bouncing into the kitchen. He holds up a ragged, but very loved book and says, “Mama, Crack in the Track.” (The title actually being, Thomas the Tank Engine and the Crack in the Track.)

His sweet face is just one big, happy smile. I desperately want to do his bidding, but with chicken frying in a pan, this is not the best time for me to cuddle up with Ian and read a book. Having high hopes he will grow up a voracious reader, I don’t want to discourage him.

“Ian, read Thomas to Laurel.”

He looks down at his book, obviously thinking about his next action. I am half expecting him to repeat his request, but then to my surprise, he dashes out of the kitchen towards his baby sister lying on the living room floor.

To my delight, I hear soft words coming from Ian and Laurel’s direction. I have to check out what is going on. I walk into the living room and find Ian sitting next to Laurel, gingerly turning the pages of his book as he “reads” it to her. Laurel is absolutely transfixed upon Ian’s face, kicking her legs in excitement.

I can’t help myself; I have to kiss my kids. Oh, how I hope these moments are numerous!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

And The Father of the Year Award Goes To...


I love to watch Paul interact with our children. Each of his actions clearly demonstrates how dedicated a father he is. Usually I am in the mix with the three of them, but on occasion, I get an opportunity to just observe and admire the man that I love. In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to list a few of the things I love watching Paul do with our kids.

1. Tickling – using hands and toes, Paul sends our kids into giggling fits of laughter. At times, he holds Ian in his lap with one arm, jerkily swings his other arm around like a machine (sounds effects used for emphasis), suspends it above Ian’s body and then drops it for a tickling siege. Laurel delights in having her daddy raspberry her tummy.

2. Chasing – fun is being chased by a daddy monster. A crazed, wild-eyed look, hooked arms, and grunts signal to Ian that he is about to be chased. Once captured, Paul flips Ian upside down and either tickles him or gives him a pink belly.

3. Comforting – cradling an inconsolable Laurel, Paul softly sings and walks her about until she falls asleep. No one else can do this, not even me.

4. Doctoring – making numerous trips to the doctor and pharmacy for a sick Ian while I was recovering from the C-Section with Laurel, had to be a daunting task. Many a night Paul was up, giving breathing treatments and medicine to Ian, or cleaning up a vomit soaked child and changing sheets. Never a complaint was heard, only concern.

5. Relaxing – Paul knows how to relax. He loves to take the opportunity to cradle a sleeping baby on his chest and lay down to take a nap. These moments are few and fleeting, so go for it honey.

6. Disciplining – Paul is extremely patient. When I’m at the point of losing it to a persistent misbehaving toddler, he takes over and calmly reinforces our expectations (a.k.a. the rules).

7. Playing – A boy at heart, Paul loves to get down on the floor and play with the kids. Whether it’s peek-a-boo with Laurel, or trucks and Legos with Ian, he’s enjoying and savoring each precious moment.

8. Adoring – Right now, at this time of his life, Paul’s hobby is his kids. Everything he does is with them in mind. He is amazed at how they grow and learn. With each new development, Paul is right there cheering his children on, encouraging them to try again or continue their discovery. He takes time to read up on child development and parenting techniques, and talks with me about how to best help our children succeed.

9. Enduring – Paul knows at least a dozen of Ian’s books by heart. “Again, again,” insists our boy. (Thanks, Teletubbies!) I can’t count the number of times Paul has pretended to be a garbage truck in order to pick up and flip Ian, the human trash barrel, upside-down.

10. Modeling – I can’t think of a better role model for my children than Paul. As our children grow and learn, they will observe their father’s actions and hopefully internalize some of his wonderful traits.

I am so grateful Paul is on this exciting adventure of parenting with me. It’s a lot of hard work, but with Paul as my partner in crime, it becomes incredibly fun and rewarding.

Happy Father’s Day PAUL, I LOVE YOU!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dressing My Baby Doll

My mom is a packrat. She managed to hang onto many a toy from my childhood. This was no surprise to me since I've seen my nieces and nephews playing with them throughout the years. What did surprise me, was when she gave me some outfits from when I was wee baby, no older than Laurel is now.

I had to see Laurel in the very same outfits I wore back some thirty years ago. It's interesting to see how the fashions have changed. I think my favorite outfit is the green and yellow plaid dress.

Thanks mom for saving the outfits. It was a lot of fun to dress my doll.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Iceman Cometh

I go to get a drink of water. Of course, ice is needed, so I place my glass into the ice/water dispenser, pressing the button to release a few "cubes". Ice spills into the glass. Some escape and fall to the floor. The sound of ice plummeting onto hard tile brings Ian running.

"Ice, mama. Ice."

He quickly searches for clear cresent shapes. To his delight, he finds one and tries to pick it up. His pudgy hand tries to grasp the cube, but the cold, watery mass slips between his fingers and slides across the floor. Ian stands and locates his prey. Once spotted, he runs over to it and squats. Again, he tries to pick up the ice, this time successfully.

He holds out his hand in my direction and proudly proclaims, "Mama, ice!"

Happy about his acquisition, Ian walks over to the sink, eyes glued to his hand, making sure the contents don't escape again. No matter how tight his grip, water drips between his fingers, leaving a trail across the kitchen floor.

Ian slowly reaches up, water now dripping down his arm, and releases his prize into the sink. He turns to face me, an earnest look sweeps across his face. "Mama, ice."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ian's TWO

"How old are you?"

Ian smiles at this question and replies, "Two years OLD!"

Ian, I can't believe you are two years old. How is that possible? I told you when you were 4 months old to stop growing and learning. And now look at you, you're a giant! But you're our giant, and mama and dada love you very much. Alright, go ahead and grow, but could you at least slow down a bit?

2 months
3 months
5 months
9 months
12 months
15 months
20 months
22 months

My 2 year old, all grown up. He even has a mustache and a beard!

Friday, June 09, 2006


I think I need to force myself to take a nap.

Yesterday, I shaved one leg twice (boy was it smooth!), leaving the other one, well, ummm, stubbly would be putting in nice.

Today, I opened the pantry to find a gallon of milk. I quickly decided it hadn't been out of the fridge too long (hopefully), and put it back. Maybe I better double check to see if the milk actually made it back into the fridge.

I've tried putting Ian's enormous diapers on poor little Laurel. I swear the look on her face said, "Are you crazy woman?"

I looked her squarely in the eyes and replied back, "Why yes, yes I AM! See what happens when you wake up Mama twice in the night."

Too many times today, I've gone into another room to do something and forgotten what it was. I hate that! Then I'm in a daze trying to figure out what I'm suppose to be doing.

Look out Laurel, as soon as Ian goes down for his nap, you and I have a date with the sofa.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Whoo-hoo, Let's Party

Ian had his two year birthday party last weekend. The morning of the party, he came down the stairs and saw BALLOONS. Oh boy, was he ever excited!

"Mama, red balloon! Dada, red balloon! Mama, blue balloon! Dada, blue balloon!"

Then he noticed the table where the cake would go.

"Mama, Thomas! Dada, Thomas!"

Obviously, we had a Thomas the Tank Engine theme. Before I had kids, I thought people were kind of crazy buying all that party themed stuff. Now that I have two kids of my own, I completely understand.

Ian ran/danced/flew (literally) through the house, pointing out all the decorations. He just could not contain his excitement. I don't think his feet ever touched the ground as he bounced from one area to the next.

Once people started arriving, Ian transformed from hyperactive boy, to coy and shy. He likes to run up to the window by the door to see who's there, and then run away as soon as the door opens. He'll come back nice and slow, sidling the whole way, head cocked to one side and a big grin spread across his face. That's just his way of trying to look so cool. Good luck with that one little man!

Paul helped Ian open presents while I took pictures. There was some kewl stuff to be had, but the all-time favorite was the GARBAGE TRUCK! Ah yes, Papa and Grandma did awesome with that gift. It even had a trash barrel on the side that the truck hoists up and dumps its contents into the back. As soon as the garbage truck was out of the package, (kudos, by the way, to Mom and Dad for having the truck already unwired and untaped so it would slide right out of the box!) all the kids, girls included, swamped around Ian hoping to play with it. It took some doing to get the mob to break up and to pry the truck out of Ian's hands in order to open the last gift.

Then we made the mistake of wanting to light candles on the cake and sing Happy Birthday to Ian too soon after the presents were unwrapped. Now that I think about it, maybe we should have reversed the order of the activities. At any rate, Ian didn't want to stop playing with his newly acquired toys. Who could blame him, they are all so kewl! When Paul and I dragged him over to the cake, he was extremely upset and crying. Thanks to our camcorder, we now have footage of a very unhappy Ian on the very day he should be happiest. Not that I feel guilty or anything.

But wait, the best is yet to come. Paul and I had noticed earlier that Ian's eyes were red. His nose had been running nonstop, along with an occasional cough. We thought his allergies had kicked into high gear and gave him some Benadryl thinking that would do the trick. The day after the party, Ian woke up with his eyes so crusted over he couldn't open them. I rushed him to the doctor to see what was going on. You guessed it: PINK EYE! Ah yes, the birthday gift that keeps on giving. We warned our party guests about what could possibly be in store for them. Oh so sorry, to anyone suffering. Hopefully everyone will luck out and not get it.

As for Ian, his eyes are already looking better, and he happily plays with his new toys every chance he gets. I just have to convince him that it is necessary to eat once in a while.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bonka Head

Ian is a silly, silly little guy. He loves to smile and laugh, and make others smile and laugh. He is at that age where his mind is a sponge and quickly absorbs every little thing. But when something is actually taught, well, there's no stopping him.

Ian recently learned a new trick. He likes to bat the top of our heads with his pudgy paws and giggle, "Bonka head, bonka head." As long as he doesn't hit hard, this is fine with me, it's just a game he's playing. Then again, what two year old can tell when they finally reached that fine line of hitting too hard?

So, I'm going out on a limb and say I think one of Ian's wonderful uncles taught him this bonka skill. In fact, I'm going to go even further and state who I think did it. We were curious and thought maybe Ian would be able to tell us who his bonka head master was. We asked him, "Who taught you bonka head?"

Ian slyly smiled and happily stated, "Jason bonka head."

I can't wait to find out if I'm right or not. I may owe Jason an apology. But, if I'm right, then look out, Ian is becoming quite the snitch.