10 Things Jack & Casey Said Today

1.  “That’s Duncan!  That’s Duncan!” – Jack, after seeing a train friend of Thomas on the internet that I’ve never heard of, but apparently must have been on one of those videos from the library.  

2.  “Hi!” – Casey, smiling so cute, when I went to get her out of her crib after her nap.
3.  “I have a boo boo still on my knee.  Maybe my bum will help.”  – Jack, making no sense whatsoever.  But he does have a boo boo on his knee.
4.  “I want to eat dinner in the water.”  – Jack, pretending that the driveway is the beach/ocean, and not wanting to come inside for dinner. 
5.  “Uh oh.”  – Casey, after spilling the yogurt all over herself while trying to learn the mechanics of the spoon.
6.  “I love her.” – Jack, talking about a friend we met at the park today.
7.  “Jack and Daddy like the Phillies.  Mommy and Casey like the Red Sox.”  – Jack, after being asked if he cheers for the Red Sox.
8.  “Dad – dee!  Dad – dee!” – Casey, when Pat got home today, after a 4 day underway.
9.  “I don’t want to go outside until Taylor is done with her nap.”  – Jack, talking about our neighbor’s daughter and our new Friday afternoon playdate with her.
10.  “I am the Easter Bunny.” – Jack, getting down on his belly and pretending to eat the grass like a bunny. 


I’ve always been pretty happy with my decision to stay at home with the kids.  Lately, it seems to be getting better and better because as Jack’s language skills improve, he gets funnier and funnier.  Certainly, there are days when bedtime can’t come soon enough and days when that little well of patience seems to have dried up.  But, for the most part, I enjoy spending the days with my children.

Lately, one of the best things about motherhood has been the silliness.  In Jack’s perspective, most things are either silly or they’re not.  He’s starting to realize that silly can be a lot of fun and so am I.  
Today we ran around the house with paintbrushes in our hands, making crazy noises, adding a little fancy footwork and just laughing.  Tugger got all riled up and was nipping at my feet like she hasn’t done since she was a puppy.  Casey followed us around and wanted a paintbrush to hold too.  Unfortunately the dishes are still waiting for me in the kitchen because of this but it was worth it to hear Jack laughing and saying, “Follow me, Mommy.  Jump over this with me, Mommy!”
I can make the most ridiculous faces, say the silliest things, make the weirdest noises and Jack and Casey love it.  I would never do this in front of anyone else, or even in the mirror without turning a few shades redder.  But when I get them to laugh, it is priceless.  They probably won’t remember the specifics of all the silliness at this age, but hopefully they’ll remember that they were happy.  And that makes me happy.  
And on a totally different topic –
The weather is supposed to be sunny and between 75 and 80 for the next 5 days or so.  After the weatherman finished putting out all the details last night, the anchor said, “Finally, spring is here!”  Did she really just say that?  Sunny and 80 is spring?  Really?  Also, it’s still April.  What does she expect?  Maybe it’s just my Maine upbringing, but anything above 50 is spring for me.  

An Elmo Kind of Night

I have been sitting on the couch for about 2 1/2 hours tonight, watching tv and reading.  Pat went up to bed early and a little bit after he went up, I thought I heard my stomach growl.  Only it sounded just like Elmo laughing.  I looked around me, trying to think of anything that would make an Elmo noise.  Tugger hadn’t stepped on any toys.  Jack was asleep.  Casey was asleep.  So, I just started laughing at how funny it was that my stomach growl sounded like Elmo.

Well now I am laughing even harder because I finally got off the couch and I heard another funny noise.  I was actually sitting on the Sesame Street remote and sadly, my stomach really doesn’t make an Elmo growling noise.  But it was fun to think it did for a couple hours.  Even funnier that I was able to convince myself that I made that noise.  
I haven’t seen Jack or Casey playing with that remote at all lately and somehow it just happened to be hidden on the couch tonight.  And Jack has barely mentioned Elmo in recent weeks except for today when we watched 2 episodes of it.  I think maybe Elmo felt a little left out lately and sent me some signs today!

Thank you to Jack for calling me back up to his bedroom five minutes after I put him to bed.  I didn’t think I had much of a story and then he gave me one.  He wanted me to sing him another song and then chat about his adventure at the beach today.

He was playing at the edge of the cold, cold water while Pat was playing fetch in the water with Tugger and I was trying to keep Casey from getting any wetter than she already was.  (As if two kids didn’t already require a truckful of beach paraphernalia and at least 4 hands, we added an extra element of difficulty by bringing the crazy Boxer dog.)  At one point, the water knocked Jack off balance.  All I could do was watch, while he got knocked one way, tried to get up, got knocked another way, tried to get up and then took a little mouthful of seawater.  I kept thinking he was going to catch his balance and be fine.  Pat got to him and brought him up to the beach and he started getting hysterical…until we went and rescued his shovel too.  The crying stopped almost automatically.  The only problem seemed to be that he was now shivering uncontrollably.  I went and got a towel and wrapped him up like a little cocoon.  He went to sit down and basically just fell on his face because his arms were all wrapped up too.  Our little weeble did fall down.  I set him up right and he was fine.
Until we started talking about it a few minutes ago.  He started talking about how he almost lost his shovel and he got very upset again and tears started streaming down his face.  I had to reassure him that we saved his shovel and we could play with it whenever he wanted.  And then he went to sleep.  Well, not really but that would be the better end of the story.  In all honesty, he’s over tired and keeps asking me to come sing songs, but I am refusing so he is crying up there but I imagine he’ll pass out in a few minutes.  He obviously doesn’t know I have a set of vampire books that are requiring my attention right now.  And that obsession is a post for another time.
Overall, it was a beautiful day in suburbia…bike rides, lawn mowing, grocery store, flower sales, the beach, running into old friends, Target, and Home Depot all topped off by burgers and potato salad for dinner.  And Jack went on every one of those adventures, so no wonder he’s a bit tired.  Our day couldn’t really get much better than that.  Well, I guess we could have taken in a yard sale or two, but there is plenty of summer left for that.            

Some Quick Updates

One – Jack’s foot is fine.  I still don’t know what the original problem was.  He limped around yesterday but didn’t require me to carry him anywhere.  He was back to himself today.  

Two – Yesterday I went to the commissary and they had a huge display of pistachios.  Of course they did.  I bought a bag just to have “on hand” for any future pistachio emergencies.  This bag happened to be in the produce section.  Later on, in the nuts and chips aisle there was a big sign that said all pistachios had been recalled.  I should probably check out the recall online to see what was actually recalled.  I bought them anyway.  And I’m probably not going to write another update about that.

Easter Tuesday

I thought we would dye some eggs on Easter.  I know most people usually do it before Easter but I figured we would have some spare time on Easter to do that.  But Jack was so mesmerized by all his new Easter gear (read sandbox) that we didn’t get to the eggs.  
They were all boiled and ready to go…just sitting in the fridge.
Today we had a little afternoon lull, so I asked Jack if he wanted to dye eggs.  “Yup I do.  Let’s do it Mommy!” was the eager response I got.  
We started with dropping the color tablets into the vinegar.  The first cup got two tablets…and then he figured out one tablet per cup.  I only had 4 cups set out anyway.
I put the first couple eggs in and then let him drop one.  Maybe he held it up a little high and I heard a slight cracking as he dropped it, but he had fun doing it.  
We got all the eggs dyed and we were waiting for them to dry to put stickers on.  I had to redirect my attention to making dinner and just let Jack do what he wanted.  
I love it when he totally entertains himself and doesn’t even remember that I’m there.  It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I am so impressed.  I love to see his creativity and what his little mind leads him to do.  He was so content playing with those eggs.  He dropped them in and out of the different colors and just completely enjoyed the experience.  I thought the results were impressive.  I can’t remember the last time I dyed an egg but my 2 1/2 year old made some pretty cool eggs. 

I’m pretty much a rule follower.  I like to stay in the crosswalk when crossing the street and read & follow all rules posted on signs.  But I try not to tell my kids how to play with a toy the “right” way.  I like to let them figure out how they want to play with things.  Obviously there are exceptions to this and I do provide guidance.  But the most amazing thing for me is to see their imaginations at work. 
I would never have re-dipped those eggs into the colors the way Jack did.  But I love that he did and I love the result.

Easter Aftermath

Yesterday was a really great day for us and I am really grateful for all of the “Easter Bunnies” who helped out.  Jack was extremely happy with all that the Easter Bunny brought for him, including a sandbox with new toys, some new socks, new sticker books and candy.  Casey was a trooper through church (which fell during naptime) and looked pretty darn cute in her Easter outfit.  
Dinner turned out great despite the fact that my pistachio-encrusted lamb turned into macadamia-encrusted pork tenderloin.  Apparently, it wasn’t that everyone else in the area was making pistachio-encrusted items, but actually a recall that emptied the shelves of pistachios.  So glad I didn’t accost any store associates to find out why they couldn’t keep their shelves stocked with this obviously high-demand Easter cooking ingredient.  Fortunately, the macadamias held up well as a replacement.  And the ultimate compliment to my dessert was that Pat wanted to eat the whole tart in one sitting.  

But as for today…I’m pretty much done with today.

I’m done with bumping my head on the swingset after crawling out of the new sandbox.  I’m done with getting kicked in the face by Jack while he lays in bed.  I’m done with Casey biting me when she’s tired or hungry.
I’m done with leftover Easter candy.  I’m done with stickers all over the flat surfaces of my house.  I’m done with plastic Easter eggs that keep getting redistributed around the house.  I’m done with Easter grass that thankfully, has found its way to the garbage can.  I’m done with finding Easter decorations in diapers…I was pretty sure those letters were supposed to spell Happy Easter, not P A P T E A E.
I’m done with Jack not needing any covers (blankets) on because he has socks…”Jack has socks.  No covers.”  And then going back upstairs 2 minutes after he’s in bed because he wants covers.  
And I’m done with mysterious foot injuries.  Not mine this time.  
Moving on to the less whiny portion of this post.
This morning, I put Casey down for a nap and settled Jack at the kitchen table with 12 new tubs of Play-Doh and headed upstairs to shower.  I even made a few pieces of Play-Doh fruit for him before I left…pears in 4 different colors.  (We have a bunch of molds for picnic items.)  Midway through my shower I heard a lot of thumping and knew that Jack had abandoned the Play-Doh and was coming up to interrupt my once-peaceful shower.  He kind of peeked in at me and smiled, then disappeared again.  
After I was done with the shower, I could hear him saying, “Jack only has one leg.  Jack only has one leg!”  I played along, asking what happened to the other leg.  He didn’t have much of a response and I didn’t think any more of it.  Most likely there was an attack of pirates downstairs in the middle of his Play-Doh picnic.  
He was sitting in front of the window and asked me to go get something for him across the room.  He’s been working on his boundaries lately and seeing how good a servant I can be to him, asking me to go get all manner of things all over the house.  Mostly I tell him that if he wants something he can go get it.  So, I repeated the mantra this time.  “Jack only has one leg.  Jack can’t walk.”  I suggested that maybe he could hop over and get it.  Eventually he crawled over and got it, but I still didn’t think much of it.
When Casey woke up, he crawled to her room and then was upset because he couldn’t reach her doorknob while on his hands and knees.  Then I started to wonder if something was really wrong with him.  He told me he couldn’t walk and his foot hurt.  I kept asking which foot to see if he was just playing and would switch up feet.  I asked what happened to his foot but he didn’t have any answer to that.  I looked at his feet and there was no visible problem.  And he didn’t act like he was in any pain. 
At the gym, he hobbled across the street and into the play area and then went back to crawling.  He seemed pretty happy so I figured this might work itself out while I was gone.  Instead, he took his socks off at the gym and was insistent that the childcare lady kiss it for him and that would fix his foot.  (We discussed the fact that Mommies are the only people who want to kiss children’s feet.)  
I told him we could put some ice on his foot at home.  He thought there was a special ice for this purpose – “Not water ice.  Foot ice!”  That lasted all of two seconds and then he decided a kiss would help.  He was able to hobble out to the sandbox after lunch.  I shouldn’t laugh, but watching a 2 1/2 year limp was kind of funny.
He thought he would be able to walk after he took a nap, but it still wasn’t better.  I looked at his foot from all angles…no swelling, no bruises, nothing that looked abnormal.  I poked at it and pulled at it and applied pressure and he kept telling me nothing hurt.  The only area that he would point out that hurts was his baby toe.  And when I squeezed it, he said it didn’t hurt.  But he still couldn’t walk on it.
By bedtime, he was at least done with crawling and had mastered limping a little better.  I still don’t know what’s wrong with it, if anything.  It’s totally bizarre.  He shows no sign of being in pain other than that he limps.  He either has a really high pain tolerance or there isn’t any.  I’m assuming the thumping I heard while he was in the shower had something to do with it, but I have no idea what he did.  Hopefully tomorrow it will be better.   Stay tuned.
And now, I’m going to go have some leftover double-citrus tart.  And I’m not going to mop my floors.

Easter Eve

The really cute Easter dress is ironed, the shoes that go with them are nearby with hope that they fit, the eggs are hidden and the Easter bunny is asleep in his bed.  Actually, I think he was a “cooker” just before he went to sleep.  But then he was crying from his bedroom because he wanted his “ears” so he could be the Easter bunny.

We went to the Chesapeake “Eggstravaganza” today at the city park.  There were a lot of people and there were not quite as many bouncy houses, pony rides or train rides to prevent long lines.  Jack enjoyed a few minutes in the bouncy house and then we went over to stand in line for the train.  It was getting close to egg hunt time and people were leaving the line to wait for the egg hunt to begin.  Pat decided that Jack would enjoy the train ride more than the egg hunt, so we held our ground.  Had it been only me, I probably would have caved in to peer pressure and joined the throngs of people waiting to run into the field and find candy.  As it was, the train took us right over to the egg hunt and dropped us off.  Unfortunately, it only takes 2 minutes for all of the candy to be found and put into Easter baskets and we were about 5 minutes late.  We walked the whole field and found not a single piece.  Some nice little girl came running over to Jack and gave him a couple of pieces and he never knew that at one time the whole field was covered with candy.  He was pretty happy with just 2 pieces and even gave away one of them to his friend Emily.
While we were at the park, we got some bunny ears and Jack was very proud to wear them and hop around in them.  Except when I wanted to get a picture.  He wore them while we played outside this afternoon and he was pretty funny.  He hopped, he pretended to eat grass and carrots and he tried to twitch his nose, all while calling himself the Easter Bunny.  If I called him Jack, he said, “No!  Not Jack.  Easter Bunny!”  
After naptime, Jack said something that made me laugh and I said, “You’re so cute.”  In response, he said, “No, not cute.  Jack’s funny!”  
Casey had a pretty good time today too.  Her current hobby is running away to wherever she can get.  She just wants to show how well she can walk now but she hasn’t quite learned any sense of boundaries.  Tonight, she also learned how to blow bubbles in the water with her mouth.  A pretty good skill to add to her repertoire.

Words of Encouragement

I think it’s time to make a few changes around here.  Like Jack should be putting his own toys away.  The problem is that I know it only takes me 5 minutes and then it’s done and I don’t have to deal with whining child.  I might even encourage him in his endeavors the way he encouraged me today.

For some reason, Jack likes when I vacuum.  He gets kind of crazy and runs around jumping on furniture and singing.  And now, he actually asks me to vacuum.  Maybe he has some innate sense that the carpet is dirty and it’s time to vacuum…or maybe he just wants to jump on furniture.  Either way, I usually oblige because it’s likely time to vacuum.  
Today I told him that we couldn’t vacuum until we picked up some of the toys and got them out of the way.  I tried to get him to help me, figuring if he wanted me to vacuum so much then he would help clean up.  I started picking up a few toys and he went and sat on the chair.  I asked him to help me again and he responded with, “Good job, Mommy…Way to go Mommy…It looks good Mommy…Good job Mommy!”
And because it was so darn cute and frankly, I appreciated the encouragement, I finished picking up the toys and then went on to suck up all the dirt and dog hair.     

Potty Talk

We’re slowly starting the process of potty training. So far, Jack likes to sit on the potty for about half an hour and talk the whole time.  

Jack: Jack is going on the potty.

Me: Mmmhmm.

Jack: Jack no get pee on the floor.

Me: Nope, no pee on the floor.

Jack: Tugger clean it up on the floor?

Me: I don’t think Tugger would clean up your pee.

Jack: No, too spicy for Tugger.