Bite Me

It’s Stake Conference ( a meeting about the local goings-on for grown-ups at our church) here this weekend, so we otped out and we’re having a nice, quiet Sunday here at home. Well, it was nice and quiet until Beanie bit the snot out of Abby.

She has the perfect oval impression of her big brother’s cuspids on her shoulder. What garnered her such a jem? Oh, she was in the way of the slide, and he wanted her to move. *sigh*

Never in favor of the “bite them back” method, I put him on a time-out and calmed little Sister down. When she was happy again (an m&m helped) I went upstairs to discuss Beanie’s punishment.

Tomorrow he will be four. I think he might be approaching the age when he can both understand that biting is very wrong, and that there will be consequences. For the first time with one of my children, I calmly told him that if he bit anyone again, I would bite him back. I think he got it. I think, by the way he looked at me, it sunk in, and I don’t expect him to ever bit anyone again.

At least I hope so. I really don’t want to bite my kid.

Eight Years and Counting

tiffany.jpg Normally, I couldn’t care less what brand anything is; as long as it’s quality and hopefully not made by children in China, I’m good. Usually. Not today.

I’ve waited 20+ years to get one of these on my pillow, since I was a girl and first saw Audrey staring in that window with those divine sunglasses on…  DH came home from work and called me upstairs. Wrapped in tissue was the unmistakable blue box, tied, just like in the movies, with the requisite thick satin ribon. It’s actually prettier than in the picture- almost luscious. My heart quickened, and I just sat looking at it for a few minutes. No rushing this moment, thank you very much!

I took a picture of it sitting daintily on my pillow.

The ribbon is even tied in a special way, to make it extra pretty- inside was a suede buttoned envelope, dyed the same inimitable blue with the Tiffany logo embossed in the leather. There was thick cotton-paper card with a serial number and verification that this is, in fact, a genuine piece of Tiffany jewelry.

Other than the fact it was a necklace, I won’t tell anything more about what was in the treasure box. I don’t hold too many cards close to the chest, but some things a woman has to keep to herself. But just opening it was such a fantastic thrill. Every girl needs to get a box from Tiffany at least once in her life…

Happy Anniversary Honey. I love it, and I love you. I love that you know how much I wanted something so silly, and you indulged that silliness anyway. I love that you know me better than I know myself, and that you love me anyway. I love that I have learned what love really looks like from you. To infinity, and beyond.

Sign of the Times

My husband just called me from the airport. He’s on his way home from a business trip, and stopped in the airport gift shop and picked up a snowglobe from that city for each of the boys, then headed to his gate.

Going through the security checkpoint, they confiscated both snowglobes. They have liquid, don’t you know, sir?

He bought them IN THE TERMINAL at the AIRPORT.  I am so stinkin’ mad, I’ve got steam blowing out my ears. What a circus. What a scam.

The kids are each getting a nice, glossy postcard.

Tempus Fugit

Sometimes life really takes me by surprise. All summer I have been looking forward to school starting, to having both boys in school, part time for Beanie, all day for Jeffrey. I was thinking of all the free time I would have, and of the one-on-one I would be able to get in with each of the younger kids. Yeah.

Turns out I was wrong.

I miss my kids. Gah! Did I just say that? Yes, I did. It’s true. Six hours is a lot of time for a six-year-old boy to be away everyday. Beanie misses his brother, and while he’s at school for six hours a week, Abby is a lost little girl- she walks around the house, pulling on doors, calling out in cute little girl squeeles, looking for her brothers. She’ll play with me, but she still wanders around wondering where her fun antagonizers have diappeared to.

It makes me in not-so-much of a hurry to get on with things. Makes me appreciate the messes and noise and chaos of a house full of glommy little hands, maybe a little more.  Missing Jeffrey, and realizing how very, very fast he became a school-age boy, makes me want to slow the clock down, gather my babies in my arms, and sit rocking on the porch-swing a little while longer.

Mamas, it’s true. Babies don’t last. The days may seem to take forever sometimes, but the years- well, don’t blink- because the years fly on swift wings. Now go hug your babies.

Sept 11, 2007

Can you beleive it’s been six years already? The memories are still as vivid as the deep blue of the New York sky. How does one commemorate such a day? There was no one I  knew in the Towers or on a plane that day, but that doesn’t matter- any one of them could have been a friend, a loved one- and in fact, they all were, to someone. It seems inappropriate to let the day pass without acknowledging the loss. The loss of life- and the loss of innocence.

For me, I will never forget. I will tell my oldest son, who was 13 days old that morning, how I sat on the couch in the pre-dawn light, holding him at my breast and trembling with fear and astonishment. The tears rolled down my face and dropped into his red newborn hair, and I wondered into what kind of world had I brought this child.

This morning, again in the pre-dawn light, as I put my husband on an airplane for a business meeting- we made uneasy jokes about flying today. We kissed goodbye at the curbside check-in; in my rearview mirror, I watched him enter the terminal- and went home to wait for his call to tell me had safely landed.

How the world has changed.

I grieve and offer my prayers, especially today, for all the families, all the souls, that were forever changed by the actions of that day.  I also offer a special prayer for the soldiers, whatever your politics, who daily bear out the consequences and fall-out of that day. God be with all of you.

And the Winner IS-

With her guess of 8.33 hours, the very last comment, by Heathen! Our actually time was 8 hours 23 minutes, and we set the exact time before we checked the guesses. My legs are still achey from all the bending, kneeling, and picking-up of large pieces of wood. But, it’s done. AND it looks just like the pictures. Jeffrey already tried to ride his bike down the slide. *sigh* I see some trips to the ER in our future…

Thanks for guessing, everyone. Heathen, you can e-mail me at dandelion_dot_mama at gmail_dot_com. The winner gets to chose between a mini diaper bag, or a painting of your family’s name on a rustic barn-board. Thanks!

DM Giveaway: Guess the Time

153874.jpg

Yes, we are assembling this beautiful monstrosity in our backyard. It was delivered yesterday- and lays waiting… DH thinks we should be able to do it in three hours. Anyone else want to laugh with me? Now taking bids on how long it actually takes us… Winning guess wins…? Well, something made by me!

UPDATE: Guessing is still open… it’s dark now, and we are exhausted! I’ll announce the winning guess on Monday afternoon, and the winner will get a homemade Dandelion Mama surprise. (I promise it will be good!)

Most Awful Name EVER

Reading around the blogs today, I came upon this: Qatar and Cenneigdigh. The boy is Qatar, pronounced to rhyme with “Butter”. And the girl is… whatever that says above, pronounced “Kennedy”. Yes, the dad swears, with pride, that he is serious.

Why? WHY? WHY WHY WHY do some parents DO this????

Jeffrey: First Grade

Dearest Jeffrey,

Today was the first day of first grade. You got up early, plopped on the couch, and proceeded to try and convince me you did not need to go to school “all day” today, nor tomorrow, nor on any following day. You fiddled with your Transformer that Matthew gave you yesterday, and burst into tears when you couldn’t make it work.

You had a bad case of butterflies, baby. A full tummy and some fabulous new blue racing shoes seemed to help bunches, and by the time we were loading in the car, you were all smiles and happiness.

There was no hand-holding like last year– but I knew that was fleeing when it happened. There was a boisterous boy who knew his way around the campus, and eagerly waved and greeted friends- and gently and sweetly helped his little brother onto a swing. You pushed him for all of recess. That melted my heart, my son. Seeing you, surrounded by your friends, friends who were racing to and fro to see whose shoes were “fastest”, instead pushing your little brother on a swing, was a gift to my heart.

Watching you grow up is bittersweet- on one hand, I am so proud of the boy are becomming. I relish your accomplishments, yet I mourn the tiniest bit for the sweet haystack of a boy who would nuzzle under my chin. Maybe this just part and parcel of being a mama- trying to make sense of the dance between holding on and letting go.

Abby and I waited by the fence until the recess-lady blew her whistle, and you ran towards class. You saw me by the fence, and quickly turned and ran to give me and Abby a hurculean hug, then whizzed off to join your classmates.

I’m set to pick you up in about an hour- and I know you’ll be a cauldron of excited news and tidbits about friends and new things you’ve already learned. You are such a bright, wonderful boy- your energy and drive are an inspiration to your family. This year is going to be full of goodness for you, my sweet boy.

Love, Mama

Pseudo Psychoanalysis

My children are different. Well, I suppose most evey mother could make that statement- but, with confidence, I can say that mine are like oil and water. And nitro-glycerine. A case-study:

Riding in the Car:

Jeffrey– did ok in the car, but would often projectile barf without reason or warning. Would frequently fall asleep and be amendable to being moved to his bed, thus continueing his nap in the house.

Beanie– Hated riding in the car, starting with the ride home from the hospital, and never ending. Buckle baby in carseat, commence screaming. And screaming, and screaming, and screaming. He NEVER stopped, as long as he was in his seat. Forward, backward, moving, still- didn’t matter.  Never, ever fell asleep.

Abby– Likes her carseat just fine. Cooperates with buckles, and claps happily and coos to self. Enjoys looking out window, and watching her brothers. I can’t think of even one time where she has cried in her seat- although she did barf once.

Eating:

Jeffrey– voracious appetite- would drink 40oz. of breasmilk a day, had I let him- but had a sensitive tummy. Barfed a lot. Daily- until he was over two. Loves food- much like a goldfish, will eat until he is stuffed and Goldfish are coming out his nose.

Beanie– Hated eating. Refused to nurse. Cried. Would not eat babyfood, and formula made him sick. Would not even taste new things, cried some more. Now, almost four, he eats PBJ’s for all three meals, and milk. Occasionally some butter.

Abby– nursed great- accepted me or a bottle, loves to try new foods. She likes spicy things and ethnic foods and loves fruit and veggies and fish and just about anything we put on her plate. Tummy tolerates everything.

Sleeping:

Jeffrey– co-slept with us until he was nine-months old. Still likes nothing better than to be nestled under my arm sharing my pillow.  Sleeps like a rock once he is asleep. Quit napping when he was 18 months old, and hasn’t napped since.

Beanie– would only sleep swaddled t-i-g-h-t-l-y. Wakes up at the slightest noise- even if I check on him before I go to bed, the whisper of the door sliding over the carpet wakes him. When he woke, he screamed. And screamed. Then he screamed some more. Now days, is an insomniac, and finds every reason under the moon to get up. Does not, and has never, napped.

 Abby– toss her in bed with her favorite blankie, close the blinds and the door, and she’s out. No fussing, no crying no special tricks, just a peaceful sleeping baby. She may chortle and talk to herself for a while, but that’s it. When she wakes, she chats and plays quietly until someone comes to get her.

Playing:

Jeffrey– Hordes his toys. Collects random things, like “Blue”. Meticulously catalogs his belongings, and subscribes to the “tyrant” method of playing with others. Has a wild imagination and loves to take things apart.

Beanie– Loves to have friends over, but quickly becomes overwhelmed if there is too much chaos. Finds quiet places and plays by himself or with mama. Loves to be naked and run around in the rain or wind storms. At the same time. Elemental child.

Abby– turns the pages of a paper book, even as a one-year old, without eating or tearing them. Will content herself with following her brothers, but is just as happy playing with her toys by herself. Loves water and being outside, but doesn’t fret when brought inside.

 Temperment:

Jeffrey– Stubborn streak a mile wide. If he can’t win, he doesn’t want to play. A very tender hearted boy who really watches out for younger kids. Has a strong sense of justice and fairness, and isn’t afraid, sometimes to his detriment, of speaking out. Loves the mythos of the Hero, and intends on being one.

Beanie– A stubborn streak a mile wider than Jeff’s- coupled with a strong desire to be independant. He wants to do things beyond his abilities and gets frustrated when he can’t.  At the same time, he has great capacity for tenderness and really wants to be snuggled with and loved. He needs lots of physical affection- even though he shrugs it off.

Abby– just goes with the flow. She doesn’t push herself all that hard, and lacks the insane drive both her brother’s share. It has manifested in later walking, talking and general accomplishments. She just doesn’t seem to mind waiting, which is a whole new ballgame in this house. Small things make her happy, and ready laughter is always near the surface.

So how much of any of this is nurturing, and how much is nature? Is Abby the laid back babe she is because of the tidal waves that are her brothers? Is Beanie full of will and force in order to survive having such a strong older brother? Is Jeff just the natural first-born bossy boy?

The thing is, no matter how much you try and sell the “nurture” card to me- I KNOW these kids all came out of my body with these personalities intact. Yes, they’ve manifested in our home and in the environment of our family, but they were not, and never have been, blank slates.

What’s the deal in your families?