Saturday, June 30, 2012

"I Steal Them!"

While I don't endorse stealing in general, I have to admit I've enthusiastically encouraged the "stealing" of my shoes at least. Lately, we've branched out into "Mommy's boots" and I get a laugh out of the boys clomping around the house in my winter boots while I'm fixing a meal shouting, "I steal them!".

Today my boys discovered the much coveted "Mommy's blue jean jacket!" was within arms reach, as was "Mommy's big jacket!". They needed a little help putting them on, but it was worth stepping away from the kitchen counter to assist. They even stood pretty still while I grabbed the camera, although Seth was looking a tad over it by the time I snapped the shutter. 

– Are you there God? Is me, Seth. 

Still, if you've seen anything cuter than this (at least today), I don't want to know. I'm not sure my eyeballs could take it.

- L.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Mommy Fix 'Dat!"

For at least the past month, whatever you call the strip of metal that sometimes separates two rooms where the floor surfaces are different had started to become increasingly loose in the boys' room. One by one as the screws kept falling out (always accompanied by one of my boys saying "Uh-oh, Mommy! Loose screw!" and then handing me said screw), we ended up with only 3 screws out of 6 still holding that piece of metal down.

In other screw-related mysteries (and around the same time), the screws that held one of the drawer inserts in place on the bookshelves in the boys' room had also found their way out. Upon closer inspection one of the screws was never connected to anything to begin with which might have accelerated things a little, but with both missing it had become a hazard since the boys could easily slip the whole insert out and use it to stand on to get at other things. Also, it's not exactly the safest thing to be standing on in the first place.

And since my boys DO like to challenge a secure room they also managed to loosen the joints on one side of their wardrobe drawer, so with just a bit of a tug it was pulling the whole thing apart.

Last week I decided it was time to take a page from the toddler handbook in the form of "I do it self!".

I fixed the loose metal strip, the drawer insert and the falling-apart drawer. It took me less than 30 minutes using a screwdriver, some wood glue (for the drawer joints) and a whole lot of elbow grease. I felt so good once it was done and even better to realize that I really did "do it self".

And my boys were at least a little impressed too as it turned out, even though I thought they'd lost interest 10 minutes into the venture. Of course, I didn't realize that until halfway through making their lunch and heard them saying "Screwdriver! Screwdriver!" from the next room. I went to investigate and found they had built this:

It's a Duplo screwdriver, and I think a Flathead judging from the well placed breadstick on top.

And since it's not obvious from just one pic, here's another: 

Because yes, it swivels.

As I'm sure you can imagine, it became THE coveted item of the day as my boys took turns using it on all the new screws while saying "Mommy fix 'dat!".

Which of course made me feel like a bit of a super-hero... at least for one day.

- L. 

PS. Nate said the "M" on the screwdriver was for "Nate's motorcycle", Seth said it was for "Mommy". Cue a thoughtful pause followed by "... and is for Mommy too!" from Nate. Toddlers are beyond awesome with their thinking and logic and even though this stage can be infuriating at times, it's also hands-down the most hilarious.

PS. My boys also put together a reasonable facsimile of a toothbrush the same day, which I'm taking as a positive sign that the toothbrushing wars are nearing an end:

... although most likely it's Raffi related – but that's a post for another day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It Would Be Easier To Get Mad At Them If They Would Stop Being So Cute

We've been through the food-flinging stage and back again and I thought we were mostly over it – and mostly we are, but every now and then when my back is turned and it's time to play "AAATS!" whatever is left on the plates tends to go airborne before I suspect a thing. 

Hence this:

And even though Seth was making some feeble effort to redeem himself here and even though Nate was making a silly face and had absconded with the evidence, I think they both knew they'd have to bring out the big guns: 

Because how can you ever be mad when they bring out the "fore, fore, fore...":

'Dis work every time, everyone!

It really does work every single time and they know it! 


• • • • • • • 

In unrelated news the next week (even though they're wearing the exact same outfits so it kind of looks like it's the same day), the cupcakes Grandma Leslie sent over were a big hit! 

– I chooses "villanen". Sounds a little like villain, but is tastier.
Tastes sort of like vanilla according to Mommy.

– I chooses chocolate, everyone and despite messy reputation and messiness of chocolate
in general, I appear tidier somehow. Unless you look under table that is.
- L.

PS. I did look under the table and it wasn't pretty.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Shocking Update*

– Something a little different here, everyone.

– Although I not sure what it could be.

– So maybe I just sit here a spell...

– ... until I figures out what it is.

*It turns out the slide on our new Nickel Fortress came with hidden feature in the form of a Van de Graff generator – at least if you happen to have inherited Mommy's fine hair.

Nate's hair is not affected, but he sure does love giving me a "shock-kiss!" when we're playing outside. In fact, he seemed a bit miffed this morning when he gave me a kiss and it turned out to be just the regular kind.

- L.

I Teach Them Things

Mostly good things, but on occasion I've been known to help out with a shenanigan or at least look the other way when shenanigans are afoot.

Other times it's a rainy, miserable day and I decide to make bean soup for lunch – and on a such a day when we're all going a bit stir crazy in the house I get ideas. This one hasn't come back to haunt me yet, but I'm sure it will. 


– Look on my face say what you all about to be thinking everyone.
I just don't know 'bout that Mommy sometimes!
- L.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Most nights my boys fall asleep in a fairly normal fashion despite two in a bed. Other nights things get a little bit awkward. 

I'm never quite sure whether to rearrange them or leave them as is, but so far I've always chosen to err on the side of caution and gone with the rearranging option. Sometimes it backfires, but tonight it (mercifully) did not.

The one thing I do know however is that it's always a good idea to take a picture first if you happen upon this much cute.

- L.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...

Ever wondered what you are?

If so, my boys will tell you. It started over breakfast Wednesday morning when Seth declared "Mommy is a raisin toast!" and Nate said "Daddy is a raspberry!" and things kind of snowballed after that. Eventually I grabbed a pen and started writing things down when it was clear they were just going to keep going. At the time I was pretty impressed with the things they came up with to ascribe to the people we know. I was planning to blog about it that night – especially since my computer was ailing and a text post was about (maybe) all she could have handled – and because I wanted to make sure I'd have that list handy when evening fell I made sure to put it in a very safe place.

And then I forgot where I put it (which is the nature of putting things in safe places after all). Fortunately I happened to stumble across it while looking for something completely unrelated today.

All's well that ends well.

For my own personal amusement today I asked them if they remembered what everyone was and to my great surprise they actually did. They even embellished on a few of them and only wavered on one.

Without further ado, here is what you all are according to Nate and Seth:

• Mommy is a raisin toast.
• Daddy is a raspberry.
• Grandma Leslie is a cantaloupe.
• Gamma Rita is a banana.
• Uncle Brent is a vaseline.
• Auntie Karen is a diaper.
• Maxine is an orange.
• Simone was a cucumber salad but is now an "itchy nose" (this is the one they wavered on).
• Grandpa David is a cheese-ball.

• Nanny Devon is a delightful football.
• Nanny Kaytee is a story.

• *landlord's name* is a machine (Nate and Seth have been under the impression that our landlord is a machine for a long time now so this one didn't surprise me really, but it does make me laugh).
• Peter (his son) is a cloud. 

• Padrin is peas. 
• Robyn is a bird. "A bird with a red breast! A very red breast!"
• Troy is a beard.
• Janice is a ham and a strawberry jam.
• Neil is "all done!".

And last, but by no means least since it's one of my favorites:

• Malcolm is "a you're welcome"... "and a thank you too!"

- L.

PS. I personally felt better about being a "raisin toast" after Seth self-identified as a "raisin toast" also. Good company and all. Nate is a Magna-Tile™, which is also a fine thing to be.

• • • • • • •

It's my sincerest hope that no one is offended by their assigned titles. For the record, Grandpa David is not a cheese ball (at least not to the best of my knowledge) but he did make the boys some cheese balls once and they were a hit. Similarly, I'm sure there are perfectly reasonable explanations behind most of these. Nanny Devon is "delightful" because she taught them that word (the football part is a bit of a mystery though). I have no idea why Maxine is an orange or Gamma Rita is a banana or why poor Neil is "all done!".

If you didn't happen to be on this super-fantastic list, but would like to know what you are (according to two toddlers with a fine sense of humor) leave your name in the comments – I'll be happy to ask them and get back to you.

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned, But This Is What A Nickel Can Do

Or rather this is what a nickel can do if you're an incredibly industrious type of person whose apple didn't fall too far from the tree where it grew – and you happen to live in a part of the country that charges a deposit on pop-cans and refunds you 5 cents if you collect said pop-cans and return them to the depot.

Gamma Rita isn't a soda consumer, but she does an excellent job locating discarded pop-cans. Along the way she's recruited some excellent helpers also. By now, everyone in my mom's building knows she collects cans and other bottles that are refundable and will either drop them by or give her a call for pick-up. In turn, my mom has taken those cans and bottles in for collection (sometimes bags and bags of them, sometimes more than one run in a day), and every single one of those nickels goes into something she calls the "Pop Bottle Fund".

One and five and twenty-five cans at a time – this is the house that Gamma Rita built.

Just look at what a nickel (or 5000 of them) can do: 

– 'Dis our nickel fortress, everyone!

– Thank you Gamma Rita and everyone who help!
We give you nickel tour now, so to speak.

– First, 'dis thing has groovy climbing wall so we show you how that work.

– Also platform to levitate jump on.

– And handy spy scope to look out for cuties.

– Or to look at self.

– Is also great place to show off miraculous bebo.

– Or tease the cuties with promises of bebo.

– Did we mention it has secret bunker?

– We also get some fun new outdoor toys from Grandma Leslie
and 'dis is good place to hide them.

– Is also more spacious than it look. There's room for two...

– ... and some cuties too! I be on lookout in case any happen by.
If 'dis fortress had a sign I think it say "girls allowed".

– Fort and climbing is all kinds of fun, but 'dis thing also has slide.
Also I like to point at logo and say "Little Tikes!" sometimes before I slide.

– Slide also fun thing to climb up as it turn out.

– And top of slide is great meet-up place for some impromptu "FORE-STAINS!".

– At least until it isn't.

– Also we get ideas that manufacturer probably not intend.
Like sliding down climbing wall for example.

– As it turn out, 'dis not such a great idea but we both do it anyway a half dozen times
before we stop trying to make it work. At least for today.

• • • • • • • 

Unrelated to the nickel fortress, but this post wouldn't be complete without the following: 

This is Seth discovering a dandelion gone to seed. I was attempting to show him how to blow on it and trying to take pictures at the same time. It didn't go so well and he ended up with a mouthful of dandelion fluff. No pics of that unfortunately since I put the camera down to assist him. 

I did get this picture a few minutes later though:

– Something not right here, everyone.
... and even though I didn't know it at the time, that look on his face is because I missed one of those dandelion fluff-bits.

- L.

PS. Gamma Rita – you have no idea how much fun the boys have had playing in their nickel fortress, and I can't wait for you to come and see for yourself. Thank you for working so hard to give your grandsons something so wonderful, but mostly just thank you for being my Mommy. 10 more sleeps. Hope you enjoy the pics in the meantime.

Friday, June 22, 2012

And Just Like That, We Did Write Back!

After a bit of an unexpected absence at the OP due to technical difficulties, I thought it would be good to get things back on track with a nice messy post and a poll to boot.

My boys making some art for their Daddy on Father's Day...

– Oh, hi everyone. Is me, Seth. I is making art on paper and have
mastered technique of using both hands in paint pots.

– Oh, hi everyone also. Is me, Nate. I also master double-paint-pot technique,
but I make art on face as well as paper.
'Dis how having two hands really work to one's advantage sometimes. 

– I still lookin' pretty clean everyone!
Paint be (mostly) on paper and all is well!

– Er... no one explain 'dis paint-on-paper-ONLY policy to me,
and I is OK with that lack of information because...

– 'Dis! 

• • • • • • • 

So, here we are once again. For some reason, I have a feeling this isn't going to end well, but I leave the voting up to you on how art is best served. Poll is open for the next week in the left-hand column.

- L.

PS. The "art" mostly wiped off after things were all said and done, but since we used blues and greens Nate had an unfortunate sickly pallor for the rest of the day, which made me thankful that most of our activities took place around the house.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Be Writin' Back!

We're having some technical difficulties at the OP, but as Nate would say "I be writin' back!".*

- L.

*Or as I would say, and often do (perhaps a little too often?), "I'll be right back".

And I will – and we will – and the show will go on. For now (unfortunately) it's an unexpected hiatus.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Good Times!

There's likely a much longer post coming regarding my boys and their skills at spelling and "big numbers!" at some point. In the meantime, all you really need to know to appreciate this dialog is that Seth is keen on spelling words right now far more than his brother is. 

• • • • • • •

Me: How do you spell "Seth"?

S: S!... E!... T!... H!

Me: Wow – that's great! You know how to spell your name! Nate, do you know how to spell your name? How do you spell "Nate"?

N: *thoughtful pause*... Good times!

• • • • • • • 

I laugh every time he says that, at least partly because it actually makes sense – "Good times!" would be a perfectly acceptable way to spell Nate if you know him even a little bit. 

- L. 

PS. Nate pretty much thinks every word spells "Nate" which will also make sense to you if you know him even a little bit.

Fore-Stains: The Video

It exists! My boys were a little short on declaring fore-stains last night, but I think it was mostly because they were busy doing fore-stains.

Our latest video presentation is brought to you by an impromptu cat-nap:

And a silly face: 

Both of which I'm sure were fuel for additional suppertime silliness in the form of fore-fore-fore-stains!


- L.

PS. About the "teasing" business...

This one came about around the same time as the infamous "Fix the Nate!". Seth would often get into bed on the "wrong" side, Nate would get frustrated and Seth would end up asking me to "Fix the Nate!". Once I caught on I would say, "Stop teasing your brother - he doesn't like that".

When they get into bed now, Seth will still sometimes do a fake-out on stealing Nate's spot but then giggle and say "Teasing! Teasing brother!". Not sure how this one turned up in the video, but then again I'm still half in the dark over what a "fore-stain" is* aside from what I took a video of.

*Dipping one's toast in egg-yolk is also considered fore-stains. Really, I fully get Anasahnize and even though it took awhile to decode, I also know full well what a Tse-Tse is by now. Jury is still out on fore-stains if I were pressed to define it. At this point maybe it just implies something that covers something else?


Your guess is as good as mine.

Uh-Oh Mommy!

The day after this post, I once again felt the buttery soft hand of Seth tentatively pawing at my scaly elbow – and since I was in the middle of changing Nate's diaper at the time he more or less had free reign to do so.

I was fully expecting another "chewnits" comment, but instead got the following stated in a very concerned voice:

"Uh-oh Mommy.... is very dry!"

So thanks to my son, the budding dermatologist/concerned citizen we stopped in at the pharmacy to pick this up today: 

It promises "intense relief" and suggests it will "repair/restore" things in smaller print. Also it was on sale and came in a huge tub format which means it must be good, right? Let's hope it works. I'm not sure I can manage an entire summer feeling this self-conscious about my elbows and/or wearing long sleeved shirts to hide them from Seth's inquisitive/judging hands if it doesn't.

- L.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Although I'm mostly pointing the finger at everyone who voted in the infamous "Stalemate" poll and declared it a good thing, you all aren't entirely to blame.

95% to blame, yes – because as we all know the boys not only read this blog, but post polls in their spare time (polls that are easily swayed by readers who appreciate hijinks, I might add).


The other 5% I'll take credit for, as follows:

  • My boys are aware that Mommy wears "make-up". 
  • They are also aware that Mommy sometimes makes "hair-do". 
  • They aren't especially aware of the difference between the two, but I'll admit I do encourage moments like these by taking pictures because it's too funny not to share. 

And now my boys putting on their "make-up" over dinner the other night...

While it's evident they were actually making "hair-do", they kept saying "Make-up! Make-up!" while giggling up a storm and any attempts to correct them were summarily ignored. Seth is looking rather proud of himself here, but he always was one for a bit of flair when it comes to "foodstuffs in the hair":

No, that's not a barrette by the way – it's a carrot.

Nate also had a fine time applying his "make-up!":

And since he has a lot more hair than his brother at this point, I nearly missed one of the tomatoes he had stuck in there:

Seth's hair was also pretty much a disaster zone by the time all was said and done:

I picked out what I could and did my best to wipe off the rest (the rest mainly being salad dressing) since it had been a long and weary day and I just didn't have the energy to throw them in the bath like I should have.*

I told them they both smelled like salad bar as I tucked them in to bed that night, which strangely enough pleased them to no end.**

And just in case you were wondering if a meal at the OP is ever complete without some of whatever this is:

... the answer is still a resounding "no".

We still love this game very, very much as it turns out. And yes, that would be Nate once again attempting the under-the-shirt feeding manoeuvre.

Equally popular? A good old-fashioned "Fore-stains!" of course:


I really wish those sippies hadn't been in the way while my boys were busy hamming it up, but I think you get the idea.

- L.

*No worries – a very thorough scrubbing ensued the next morning. 

**I figure if Seth can comment on my scabby elbows with such candor, the least I can do is return the favor occasionally.