Friday, February 27, 2009

A Forehead is a Blank Canvas

This has been a pretty slow Friday. No MOPS today, and Anthony is working. Plus, it's below 40 degrees outside and barely snowing. So Tessa was only outside playing for about 10 nose-reddening minutes. She came in and peeled off her layers. She carefully stepped out of the pile of clothing around her on the floor and gave a long-suffering sigh as if to let me know she does the lion's share of work around here. I watched her walk into the living room with the shuffling steps of someone heading towards an unwelcome chore. Oh the drama! She was the epitome of boredom. Words from the lips of my own mother came unbidden to my mind : "You're bored? I have some things you can do if you can't come up with anything yourself." We (Trisha and I) always knew those "things" involved dishes or a vacuum cleaner.

I was washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen when I heard a scream. I glanced around the corner and saw Cinderella running with Prince Phillip (pronounced "Prince Pillip" by Tessa) from the scary dragon. I went back to the dishes only to return to the corner again a short time later to see if I could spy the cause of paroxysms of laughter. Apparently, Pillip had said something very funny to Cinderella. This imaginary play put me in a more relaxed state so I didn't notice the silence right away. But silence is never a good thing when it involves Tessa. Back to the corner again, and this time...
And Jack never even woke up. Thank goodness for washable markers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today is Tessa's 3rd birthday. It is mind boggling. We opened presents last night before dinner. Tessa would hold up the present and cock her head to side and say, "Hey mom, what's in here?" How she could hold off ripping into the gift to find out is beyond me. She loved all of her presents. She would open each one and say, "OHHH! I love it!!!". Even before she really knew what it was.
I tried to capture the moment by asking Tessa to smile.
OK. Honey, that really looked like you were scared to death of something. That was just creepy. Let's try again, OK? This time I want you to smile really pretty!
Never mind.

Yesterday was Jack's 2 month appointment. Here are his stats:
Height (or is it length when you can't stand up?) : 23.6 inches--76%
Weight : 12 lbs 15.1 oz -- 79%
Head Circ: 16.3 inches -- 85% (that must mean he's smart)
Vaccines: hates them--even the "sugar water" one they put in his mouth
So he cried most of the afternoon. All of this crying happened while I was trying to put together Tessa's birthday cake. I bought this kit online. It came with instructions that were obviously written for a professional cake decorator with all the "lingo" only they would know. Words like "pipe" and "score" and "#9" . So I tried (unsuccessfully) to pull this thing together to a symphony of wails and screams. It was like an exercise in sticking to a task amidst distractions. It turned out OK. Here is is a picture of what it should have looked like:

And here is what it actually looked like:

I thought the Cinderella balloon was the coolest part. It might have been more work than the cake. Because getting it to my car in 35+ mph wind was a little bit like being dragged by a spooked horse. OK, pony. You should have seen me. I had the big balloon and four smaller ones whipping around my head (while I'm carrying the car seat, no less). They kept blowing back and hitting me in the head. It was ridiculous. Someone actually stopped and offered to help me get my baby in the car. HA! Jennifer ask for help?? In your dreams, baby. So I sat the car seat down next to the car and opened the door and began shoving the balloons inside. It was like each of them had a mind of their own. I would get one in and as I would shove another in, the first would scream, "It's a trap! Run away!!", and they would all go whipping back out into my face making those funny bonking sounds on my head at 100 beats a second.
Here is a clip of the end of the Happy Birthday Song. Tessa was pretty happy to get to blow out her candles. She also loves to tell people she is six instead of three. And sometimes "six" sounds like "sick" when Tessa says it, which I'm sure you could have figured out on your own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Power of Words

We can be caught off guard by the power of the spoken word at times. I know I was completely weak in the knees when Anthony said the words "will you marry me". I still love hearing the words "I love you" from him or from family and friends. Words have the ability to stick in your head for the rest of you life. Like the phrase "you are like an old backpack" has been burned in my brain (it's a long story). Some words have become trivial due to overuse : awesome, amazing, totally, just to name a few. Sometimes what's not said speaks loud words that reverberate inside your head. Like the time, when I was dating Anthony, and I called him after returning from a weekend away. I asked him if he missed me and there was a long pause. That precipitated one of our breakups. The tone and volume of words can expand them into huge letters in our mind's eye like someone changed the font size to 32. For instance, tonight Tessa was trying to brush Anthony's hair. She was being rather rough and he asked her to be gentle more than once. Finally, on a particularly bad stroke, he yelled, "OW! Tessa stop that! It hurts!" She sat back from him and stared as if physically struck. After a minute or so, she pulled her knees up to her chin and looked away from Anthony. Her arms were crossed and her brows were drawn together in a concentrated silence. Anthony, sensing he may have hurt her feelings, said he was sorry for yelling at her. She didn't move--didn't blink even. He reached out to touch her hand and she jerked away saying, "Leave me alone! Daddy, don't touch me!". He looked questioningly at me. I asked her if she would like to sit with me and look at a book for a minute. She did, and about three pages into a Finding Nemo board book she looked up and said, "Sorry Daddy." Anthony told her that he was the sorry one. She just repeated her apology--not quite aware of the nuances of the situation. It was sweet and kind of sad.

And since words have such power, I thought it only fitting to include a short video here of Jack's first attempts:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crockin' It in My Jinnaps

I have been in the mood to make dinners this week in the crock pot. I love throwing frozen chicken in there and then dumping stuff on top of it only to pull it out as something yummy at dinner time. I love to cook, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I like to NOT cook. Know what I mean? Anyway, this morning, I loaded up the crock pot with the ingredients for beef stew in my pajamas. Or as Tessa calls them: my jinnaps.

Tessa loves to try saying words correctly. Most of the time. But every now and then, she sticks on something and doesn't care how many times you try to tell her the right way to say it--she's going to do it her way. Case in point--jinnaps. And then there's ee-tee-tee (elephant), calicopper (helicopter), checkups (ketchup), pitter pets (wonder pets), and nana (banana). And those are just the ones I can think of right now. Considering my short term memory bank is about as large as a note card...

And I have been having the strangest dreams lately. OK. Yes, I have always had strange dreams, but these take the cake. Like the other night when I had my cigarette dream. Now, I know that some of you are going to wrinkle your little foreheads and purse your lips over this one. But I have a recurring dream where I am smoking a cigarette. And I mean s-m-o-k-i-n-g it. Like, really dragging on it. And I am just loving the taste and feel of it. I have been having this dream off and on since I was preggers with Tessa. And no, I have never smoked--never wanted to! Weird, huh? What's even weirder is a conversation I had with my mom a few days ago:

Me: Did you hear that Obama's brother was arrested in Africa (I think)?

Mom: No, what for?

Me: Well, they aren't sure, but they found a joint on him so they're saying that's why.

Mom: Like a marijuana joint?

Me: Yes. Well, you know how Obama admitted to trying pot in college...

Mom: No. I hadn't heard that.

Me: Oh, well he said he did.

Mom: I've never done that myself. Have you?

Me: What, smoked pot?

Mom: Yeah.

Me: No!!!! I've never even smoked a cigarette! Except in my cigarette dream.

I don't know. I just looked back at it and realized my mom was ready to accept the fact that I had tried pot, but was much more weirded out by my cigarette dream.

Last night I dreamt I was Norman/Nick from American Idol. You know, the guy with the shiny shirt and matching red head and wrist bands. Yep. I dreamed I was him--swimming in the ocean. In a black wetsuit.

OooooKaaaay. Now that you all think I'm crazy...