Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Harry's Christmas Carols

I think Harry has a future as an editor. Below are his versions of some Christmas carols I attempted to use to get him to sleep.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose.
It wasn't shiny. It was just fine.
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows.
It doesn't GLOW, Mommy.

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names.
They called him Rudolph!
They never let poor Rudolph
He played games! They were up in the attic! I can get them!

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa had an emergency job and needed a jackhammer.
It went like this BRM-BRM-BRM-BRM!
What's a sleigh?

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee
Now another song, Mommy!

"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"
Marshmallows roasting on a nice closed fire.
Jack Frost keeping you nice and warm.
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
This one's too long, Mommy. Do another one.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas"

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
What's a pear tree? Is it in our yard? Can we grow one from a seed? Right away?
(By the fifth day of Christmas, he turns on the seahorse to drown me out.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Harry and the Chipmunks

It was a typical Saturday afternoon at our "Grey House", as Harry calls it. It was just after 3 and I was just home from grocery shopping and trying to appease the boys with snacks as we put the food away. Nathan was/is working on a new tooth, and was a cranky, clingy mess for most of the day. We had been up early and were now cruising downhill to our traditional "Make your own Pizza" night, followed by (hopefully!) early bath and bed. It was an unseasonably warm day, so the porch door was open, as was the door to the kitchen, making a clear path to the great outdoors. Therein, lies the root of all that was to come.

I was about to peel a clementine for Harry when I saw it. A chipmunk ran by us and into the living room. Mumu, our tortoise shell cat, has a habit of catching them to play with, and she had apparently chased one into the porch. To escape her clutches, it made for the open door and ran across the room and under the couch.

Our early attempts to solicit Mumu's help to catch it proved fruitless. She was bored by the chipmunk now and decided to nibble some cat food and pretend to be deaf. So, hubby asked me to prop open the front door so he could shoo it out. Harry was ready to "Help". He had me get his flashlight and some other "Tools" so he could "Help" Daddy. Nathan, uninterested in the quest, wandered out the open front door. I followed him and we went to play in my car, a favorite activity of his.

I don't know exactly what happened in the next few minutes, but very shortly after getting in the car with Nathan, I saw Harry standing at the front door with big eyes. I went over to him to see what was up and heard hubby swearing like a sailor. I ushered Harry into the car to play with Nate and went to see hubby. He had caught the chipmunk, he told me, but Harry asked to see it, and in his infinite wisdom, he had tried to show it to him in his hands. The chipmunk made a break for it and was now ensconced in the wall in the corner of our dining room. The only way to get it out was to break the wall apart, or wait for it to come out on its own.

Sensing a long standoff, I returned to the car to check on the boys. They were happily playing in each others car seats and Harry was requesting to take a drive. I thought a little break from the action seemed warranted, so I grabbed my keys and we headed over to the park. They love the park. It is all sand and there are lots of toy construction vehicles. It was about 3:30, so I figured we could stay about 45 minutes before it started getting cold. We had no jackets or diaper supplies, since this was an unplanned visit.

After about 30 minutes, I noticed that Nathan was a bit stinky. Upon inspection, bingo. Big old poopy diaper. With no diaper bag, we had to head home. I gave the boys the 5 minute warning and several 2 minute warnings, but Nathan is only 18 months. He does not care or understand about warnings. He DID. NOT. WANT. TO. LEAVE! Poop be damned! So, I gathered up Harry and a wiggling, squirming, SCREAMING Nathan and wrestled them back into the car.

At home, the standoff was still in progress. I changed Nathan and settled the boys in for some TV time. It was now after 4 and we were quickly heading into dinner territory. Pizza night is fun, but messy and I did not relish the thought of sharing my kitchen with a chipmunk. It is hard enough with Harry's "Help" to get the dough rolled out in any sort of orderly fashion.

By 4:45, I sucked it up and went to work on dinner, since Harry was safely engrossed in "Bob the Builder". I set the oven to 450 and rolled out one, plain pizza for the boys and was working on the second one when "BtB" ended and hubby announced he was going to run the boys' bath so as to buy some more distraction time.

The water for the bath was still running when I noticed the smoke. It started pouring out of the oven vent with a horrible chemical smell. I opened the door to find melted plastic and a small ball of some kind of dough. It turns out that, on Friday, Daddy had let Harry put leftover pie crust dough in the oven to make "chicken pot pie", like Mommy did on Thursday night. Then, Daddy forgot about it. (Side note: even though he was SO EXCITED to help me make chicken pot pie, excited enough to want to recreate it the next day, he WOULD NOT EAT IT!)

As my mom said to me, at that point, the chipmunk would have been smart to get the heck out of the house. There was a lot of yelling and some tears. I hung out with the boys in the while they finished the bath, fuming, while hubby took the oven rack out and opened all the windows in the house. We got the boys dressed and I took a prolonged break in the locked bathroom to cool down. Meanwhile, hubby looked up humane traps and called the hardware store. They had them and he had 15 minutes until they closed. He took Harry and they left me (pinned under clingy, cranky Nathan) to pick one up.

While they were gone, I thought I heard some scratching noises, but I would be damned before I went and checked on it. Unless I saw the thing run past me, I was going to ignore it at all costs. Hubby and Harry came home with a trap. Harry was thrilled about the trap. I think he thought we were going to keep the imprisoned chipmunk as a pet. Before Hubby could even get the trap out of the box, he saw that the chipmunk was gone, no longer hiding in the wall. Harry gleefully asked, "Is it in Nathan's bedroom?!?" Oy vey. The hunt was on again.

We barricaded the family room with a baby gate so Nathan (and I) would be out of the way. Turns out, it was behind the living room couch again. This time, when hubby caught it, he did NOT try to show it to Harry. He let it go, a little worse for wear (Mumu had damaged its tail) out in the front yard. Harry was very sad he didn't trap it in the cage, so we let him set the cage up by the corner where it had hidden.

So, at 6:20 PM, the house, now smelling of burned plastic, was ours again. And what of dinner, you ask? We ordered pizza.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nathan's Dictionary

Nate just turned 16 months. He is communicating more clearly every day. It is astonishing to me, given that Harry didn't talk much until after he turned 2 (and had intensive speech therapy. Not to compare but, here's a comparison).

Nathan can say...

Ba: cup or dog (ie bark)
ball-ball: apple
Ber: Bert from Sesame Street
Mo-mo: mu-mu cat or lawnmower
Mimi: Mommy. His preferred name for me, even though he can say Mama.
Juice: sounds like dooce
Quack: duck
More (with sign, sometimes)
Na-Na: his name for himself. Also how he asks (ahem, DEMANDS) something. Also means nursies.
Door: for door and also means "George" for Curious George.
Pah: pop, like bubbles
Bee-bee: airplane
Whoa: Usually "whoa, whoa, whoa!" like when I catch him climbing something.
Beep: for nose


I know there are ones I'm forgetting. That is how fast he's adding vocabulary. His enunciation is still very babyish, of course, but in context it is very clear what he is saying. The other day, he was trying to tell me he wanted something to eat. On the table, there were Gerber, mixed berry yogurt bites. I offered them. He shook his head no. I offered other things, crackers, etc. All no. He took the Gerber package and pointed to the strawberry and said "more" while signing. I took him to the freezer and got out frozen berries. I said "more berries"? He said "berry" and happily sat down to eat frozen raspberries. When he ran out, he pointed to the picture again (blueberries, this time) and said "more" again and "berry" again. I got him some blueberries. More happy eating.

In Nathan's own words, "Whoa, whoa, whoa!"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Birthday Gifts

Now that Harry is old enough to understand birthdays, he gets excited for whoever is having one in the house. He gets to "help" open presents and blow out candles and eat cake and ice cream. (At least for Mommy and Daddy's birthdays. Nate will have a say in his own as he comes along.) It's a very important job, because, as Harry put it, "You are too old, Mommy."

Today, Harry and Daddy went on Very-Important Top-Secret Birthday Errands for my birthday tomorrow. (Little does Harry know that one of the gifts to me was the hour of quiet in the house while they were out.) And, since it was hot, we decided it would be good to have some ice cream cake today. Harry, ever the detail main, insisted that we do hats and candles, despite the date. Looks like we'll get a repeat tomorrow.

I don't mind turning 35 twice if I get more cake out of the deal.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Potato

Lest it be said that I don't blog much about Nathan, did I mention that he made page one of the local paper?

It's true that, since Nate came along, I haven't blogged much at all. Period. Oh, if I only knew, when I had but one child, how quickly time slips away when you have two! And, also, it is easier to write about the trials and tribulations of a 3 year old, who has so much to say and do. The joys and sorrows of a 1 year old are more, well, subtle, I guess. (Which is not to say that Nathan hasn't got ambitions! And woe be unto he who gets in the way of those ambitions, for there shall be much screaming and crying and throwing of oneself onto the floor in despair! Yea, ye have been warned.) But, it's hard for words to capture the sweetness of his little voice as he talks in his sleep or the excitement of his little face at the sight of a fire truck or the smell of his sweet baby breath in the morning, or the determination in his gait as he sets off to explore. Knowing that he is our last baby, I'm trying my best to just drink it all in.

And how sweet it is.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Secret blogging

I never, repeat, NEVER get to use my fancy new laptop. My iPod is my only refuge when I am home. The boys, Hubby included, urgently need me as soon as I even think about getting near it. I have tested this many times. It always ends in tears (sometimes just mine). Even the P O D (I have to spell in front of Harry) has to be hidden most of the time. Daddy, on the other hand is free to use any and all electric media, whether or not Mommy is home/busy/etc. (Don't get me started.)

So, I am typing this on the ipod with two fingers, in the dark, lying next to a sleeping baby, who needs me touching him in order to remain asleep. I only hope Blogger will load it and there won't be too many typos.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Memories are Made of This

We just got back from an impromptu trip to the mall. Not our usual outing, but a nice break in all this heat. As we wandered back to the exit after doing the rounds, we saw there was a Disney store. I should preface this by saying that Harry is OBSESSED with Toy Story. We showed him the first movie a few weeks ago and it's been a daily feature ever since. He quotes the dialogue, laughs in all the right spots and can sing the "Buzz & Woody Song" (You've Got a Friend in Me).

Since the third Toy Story movie just came out last month, you can guess what the Disney store had prominently displayed. I thought Harry's head would explode. If he could have filled a shopping cart, he would have. We looked around a bit, putting things back on the shelf that he took down, and decided to let him pick out one thing for his birthday (next week), with the money from his CA grandparents. He pulled down both Buzz and Woody dolls. When I asked him which one, Buzz or Woody, he said, "Buzz and Woody!" It went like that for a few minutes before he finally settled on Woody. We brought him home and Harry gathered up all his "guys" (Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Piggy Bank) and got down to business.

Hubby and I talked on the way home about how we both remembered picking out our third birthday gifts. Mine was a Fozzie Bear doll and his was a Fisher Price truck. We realized that Harry, being of elephantine memory, would likely remember picking out his Sheriff Woody doll. It's amazing how much he's changed, not only in the last three years, but in the last few months. He's such a real boy. So big, but still so little. Starting school on Monday, but still wanting someone to snuggle him to sleep. It's so much fun to watch him turn more and more into himself. Happy (early) birthday, Pumpkin Bear!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Harry's Angel Cat

I should preface this with the fact that we have a 12 year old black cat named Carmen. She is very shy around the boys. Our other cat, Mumu, age 9, is a grey tortoise shell and more friendly. In fact, she often sleeps with Harry. This story from Harry came out of nowhere. I wanted to preserve it so we can tell him when he's older.

One morning last week, Harry asked me, "Mommy? Where's my white Carmen?" I told him Carmen was outside and he said "No, my white one." I asked if he meant my stuffed kitty, Mimi. Nope. He kept asking every now and then, so I asked him who was white Carmen. Here is what he told me, over the course of the day (we had a few conversations about this, all very consistent).

"My white Carmen is hiding in the bushes. He makes that boo-boo (points to leg) all better when we driving in Mommy's blue car. Mommy driving and my leg bleeding. White Carmen came and licked my boo-boo in the car. My black one (Carmen) can scare me. Not my white one. I can hold him. "

None of this actually happened. He has not had a cut on his leg while I was driving. This had to have been a dream, but he's been talking about it for days. I think it's kind of nice to dream about a cat who heals boo-boos, though. I'd let white Carmen move in any day.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I know this blog has been silent. I can't use Blogger at work anymore (new Firewall) and that is usually my only uninterrupted computer time. I can safely bet that I don't have much time right now either, so here's some tidbits.

Harry spent most of today outside and just at 5 pancakes (and counting...). I think he's going to sleep well tonight! He is putting 4-5 word sentences together and has had 4 ear infections this season. He's been diagnosed with mild hearing loss and we may be looking at tubes. His sensory seeking behavior ramps WAAAYYY up when he doesn't feel well and it has made for a long winter.

Nathan is learning how to clap, has his top two teeth just breaking through and is cruising all over the place. He says Mama and Dada and lots of other sounds. He has a laugh and smile that are bigger than he is. He's enormous, however. Some of his 18 month sleepers are getting hard to zip. I think he and Harry will be sharing a lot of clothes.

They are really starting to play more together. Bath time is hilarious, as is seeing Harry make Nathan laugh. I'm so glad we are getting some nice weather. I think a little relief from this cabin fever will do us all some good!