Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The many faces of Joey

Joey. Our 2 year old. Our little boy with a big voice. He gives great hugs, throws great fits, sings songs with a great loud voice, he dances like robot, he adores his siblings and can't get enough of Eli.

Joey is following in his sibs footsteps, climbing everything. If he sees his brother or sister do it, he can do it. This is what I found looking out the window. As soon as Joey saw me he yelled "I did it!!" We hear that often, which is usually great.

Happy Joe.

Joey found some old underwear of E's and wants to wear them over his diaper, and preferably only his big boys and diaper. And he doesn't want his picture taken.

~~~let me add a fantastic story about Joey that happened yesterday at Target. Joey has perfected selected hearing. So Target is not a great experience. Either his is furious at me containing him to a cart or people can hear me cajoling him with "Joey, Joe Joe, Joseph, JOSEPH!!!" Today, within in minutes of us being here he had given himself a bloody nose. Luckily we were in the school supplies section and they had little tissue packets, so I cleaned him up best I could but still he had smeared blood all over. Then he found some oreos and opened them, ate some, then spilled them. I took them away. We walked away and I *gasp* gave him one that had been on the floor because he wouldn't quit complaining. Did I mention he is LOUD? Then, I wouldn't give him any more. He them grabbed Caroline's face, trying to conjure one out of her mouth, he is screaming MO MO MO MO (NO NO NO NO) at the top of his lungs, Caroline is crying, Joey is rubbing his bloody, oreo crusted face on her dress which infuriates her even more and then I grab him out of the cart, a little less than gently, and I hold him close (actually gently) and speak right into his ear, "joey, quit yelling at me, quit yelling at Caroline, quit yelling. Enough, done, stop now. He calmed down, but during this whole episode, a sorority sister of mine, one that I know fairly well, pretended she a) didn't know me and b) didn't hear us. EVERYONE HEARD US!!! JOEY IS HEARD, or else. My face was red, my heart was pounding and I just wanted to walk away - from everyone. But in the end, he just held me. He had a rough day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Peas please

Funny thing about peas. There are many different kinds and apparently Joey loves them all. Before we get started, let me tell you about my first call to Poison Control. We grow the kind of peas that are edible, but near them we also grow Sweet Peas, the non-edible beautiful type that have flowers and then non-edible pods grow after the bloom has faded. It has been a week or so since I pulled out all the edible peas and I was pruning the sweet peas. Joey got a hold of the pruned pods and started eating the non-edible peas out of them. Get the picture? Apparently, when eaten (in a larger quantity I hope, but you know Joey and his love of hospitals) they can cause muscle weakness, irritability, and other not so great things. We checked it out with poison control, who checked with us an hour later, and all is well. But I have to be extra good at pruning away the poisonous pods. And Joey just kept saying "peas pleeease, peas pleeeease".

Above is the aftermath of my kids' feeding frenzy. For the month of June, we eat a lot of peas. They never make it past the swingset club house which is about 3 feet from the crop, and we can't wait each day to eat more and more. I'm going to replant for a possible fall crop.

Caroline, running out to check for new ones.

Eli and Caroline know all the tricks to finding some new edibles.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

About Eli... he's 7

E's birthday was a few weeks ago. Why is summer so crazy that I can't even blog about it? Anyway, this year was the no friend party year. We only do friend parties every year, which is kind of wonderful. I think Eli was more than thrilled to be 7 but it was an off day for him. I hope it isn't indicative of what this year will be. He was delighted with his toys and gifts. There is no better boy for sincerely being excited about gifts or the people who give them. He is a lover. He was delighted with the plans for the day and with seeing his Oma and Opa and phone calls from Papa and Grandma (wish they were here!).

The kid is great at smiling and being excited.

He wanted cupcakes. Really big ones, super decorated, super sugary. Happy boy.

Eli obviously got his skills from his daddy. Not me. And apparently his Oma bowls a mean game too, she beat Dave. Eli bowled a strike. A legitimate strike. No bumpers, straight down the middle, STRIKE!!! He was a little upset though because he thought it was the last one he would ever get. Okay.

Oma, putting on the Ritz bowl.

Caroline is terribly cute when she bowls. She taps her feet and wiggles her hips and then jumps gleefully where ever the ball falls. Very entertaining.

And this is how the day ended up. Mario Galaxy Trading Cards (thanks Josh's Aunt Jane for introducing us to yet another thing to collect, how can I repay you?) in hand, falling asleep mid-look. Sweet boy. He is wonderful. He tries hard, helps other, is sensitive, kind, loves to wrestle, give hugs, smile big, play with friends, loves competition, kills the soccer ball, eats chicken, hates loose teeth, loves his family, wrestles with Joey and plays with Caroline. Best big brother and first son I could hope for. Love you like crazy E.

Test Sewers

Hi all, my mom and I are looking for test sewers for our new nursing apron pattern. If you would like to do one, or know someone who would email me at piccalillitoo@gmail.com. Come on, it will be fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Agents and Roberts

Caroline and I just finished watching last night's SYTYCD. She calls the dances fashion dances, fancy dances or comtempo dances when she doesn't know the names. The one that won her over for the night was Brandon and Janette's Wade Robson number. I told her they were robbers and she insisted that they were agents because it was definitely agent music. They must be looking for the "roberts". So all you roberts out there, watch out.

On another note, I had Eli's portrait taken last week for a gal's photo project. Stacy is turning 28 this year and as a spin-off of Justin's 30 strangers dealio is doing a portrait a day of age 1 - 28. I love it. Eli was her age 7. How lucky for us he just had his birthday! Check out the photos here. I highly recommend Stacy and her photog abilities.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Haps

I am slow but steady. Between editing patterns and all the other necessary things to do around here to keep the house at least looking as though it is running I have been working on more plaques.

New nursing apron pattern in our etsy shop.

I try to not like birds but it just isn't working. I like them. They are quirky little lovelies. Are they so last year? And something is wrong with my camera. See the blurriness in all the pics? What is wrong and how do I fix it?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The good ol' days

Dave and I were conversing tonight about (in my interpretation) whether or not I get too involved in my parenting when it comes my children and their friendships. Dave was reminiscing of days gone by when we all just roamed the neighborhoods from breakfast until lunch and then back out until dinner and then back out until bedtime. Days full of exploration, sandboxes, and Jets vs. Sharks type neighborhood cahooting. Days when it was safe to play with hypodermic needles found at the park. His mom knew he was somewhere, but could not pinpoint. His mom did not set up play dates. The whole day was a play date, with whatever kids were around.

I grew up in these days too, although many years later. We ran around. We were bouncing from one backyard to the next, from one part of the creek to another. We had alliances. We said and did things that make me cringe now as a mother. We had adventures. We walked from our house to Kenny's grandma's a few blocks away (pause with me as I remember vividly being 20 feet from Mrs. Anderson's back door but Kenny couldn't wait to get a tissue. So instead he used his tshirt and it looked like strawberry jelly... do you have a mental picture?) to play in her awesome playhouse, to explore her eerie basement full of wonder, to play with the skeeter bugs in her front stream. We played night games non-stop. We would play tricks on some kids and then run like mad for Brooke and Tommy's house and tear into the basement until it was clear to come out. Once Megan E. and I got in a fight and she challenged me to a bike race down our newly graveled road (have I told this story?). We road to the top of our street, started our pedaling and then she (on purpose, truly) got her pedal too close to my spokes or chain or something and I ended up with forehead, hands and knees full of little rocks. Megan road on home without a second look and was not seen the rest of the day, while Joe Anderson picked rocks out of my skull. Fancy.

I digress. The conversation went over these nostalgic things, and since Dave and I still have not perfected our conversation skills with one another, got a little heated. I asked him to not blame me for the state of the world. He apparently wasn't but wishes it was the same for our kids. That they could run and play and be lost for hours. But people, it is different. What's being thrown at us is different, so the gameplan has to change.

You know when you have that feeling in your heart that tells you "this is not a good situation for your child"? A few years ago we had a new family move into our neighborhood and this feeling shouted from my chest. Dave thought I was being ridiculous, but I requested that E or CW was never left alone with these kids or their mom. My kids weren't aware of how I felt, but I just kept an extra eye on the situation. A couple years later we found out that the son (who is 9 now) had sexually abused a boy 1 year younger than Eli that lived near us. It would be a safe assumption that the 9 year old (7 at the time) had been or was being abused also. It also turned out that all sorts of inappropriate, sad stuff was happening over there. Dave is grateful now, but at the time did not understand what the heck I was so worried about.

I think that as their mom, it is my job to protect them from things and guide them through situations. If this means that if I think one kid's influence on my child is not great, then we limit time with them. If I see that my kid is not nice to someone, then we chill out for a while and give it a break. There have been times when I see that certain relationships that my kids are having with others are not beneficial at that time. There was a boy that E used to play with. Each time they played (and I am sure that I have mentioned this before) Eli came home about 2 inches shorter. I don't think that boy is a bad kid, I just don't think that the dynamics were ideal at that time. There are also friends that use language and behave in a way that I find inappropriate. Eli and I talk about it and I am sure Eli has said or done these things when I am not around. These are good learning situations. Caroline has a friend that she fights with frequently. The mother and I know this happens and if they are having a bad day we agree it does no one any good to prolong the play date. There are also houses where the rules are not the same as ours. And although Eli does a good job of letting a parent or friend know that he doesn't watch a certain show, I can't expect my 7 year old to always stand up for himself. Once I sent him over to a friend's house and he told me later that they had watched an action movie that, in my opinion, is rated PG-13 for a reason. He had nightmares. It is that parent's choice to let their kids watch that show if they choose, but it is up to me to let Eli know that it is not a great choice for him. He doesn't need to be exposed to violence and sexuality already. Yeah, I'm protective. I'm doing what I think is best for my kids.

Unfortunately we don't live in an age where I feel it is safe to send the kids out the front door and tell him to find someone to play with. The world is different. It isn't even always safe inside our own house. Technology has brought up many fantastic things, but with that also comes more responsibility to put safeguards in place for our children. Yes, there are wonderful people everywhere I look, but there are scary ones too. And just because Eli, Caroline and Joey will inevitably encounter situations that are not ideal, that does not mean I can't do all in my power to provide the ideal ones too. The stick is finding the balance between sheltering them too much and exposing them to things that their little hearts and minds aren't ready for. Each day I learn a little more about parenting, each day I find that I was right or maybe even wrong about a choice I made. It is a constant learning process. It's kicking my mothering tail.