Friday, July 27, 2012

I Steal Them: The "Mommy's Boots" Edition

This is what you get when you have two boys sick with a summer cold who are in the throes of potty-learning*, a play kitchen moved to a more convenient location (read: not in the living room where there is furniture I don't want pees and poops on) and some ill-gotten "Mommy's boots".

Pardon the blur in most of the shots – they were moving rather fast for a couple of sickies and/or I may need to adjust my camera settings (if I ever figure out how to do that). 

- L. 

*3 weeks in and we're on day 2 of completely dry underwear all day. No one is willing to make a poop in the potty yet, but I think we've got the pee-pee part pretty much nailed. 

• • • • • • •

PS. I love how Seth managed to look like he has a bit of a tummy while his ribs are on full display and by all appearances he could shank you with one of his shoulder blades. He was also sporting an outie today which sometimes happens when he has a full tummy – otherwise it's mostly an innie. And when it's perfectly level (as is sometimes the case) it looks like a happy face for some reason. I didn't know belly buttons could be interchangeable like that until I met Seth.

Either way, you should probably still send sandwiches since that pretense-at-a-tummy fakery still results in plenty of real-life situations that look an awful lot like this.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Planted A Tree

My Gram was a pensioner when she died and gave most of what she had while she was still alive so it came as a complete surprise to me to receive $200 a month later. I knew right away I wanted to do something more with it than simply put it in my bank account.

At the time, the state of our backyard was dismal to say the least and something I really wanted to do in general (create some green space on our deck for the boys) was something we couldn't practically afford. More than that though, I wanted to use that money to make something meaningful for Gram.

And so I planted a tree. I took a long time choosing it too, but when I finally found it I knew it was just right:

Also planted: more than enough herbs, flowers* and plants to make our deck a fine green space this summer even if the landlord hadn't surprised us all two weeks later by finally making good on his promise for last summer (sort of) by at least putting down some grass in the backyard.

The balance came to $168.00 which left just enough for this: 

3 months today and I still can't believe she's not here.


*Nate and Seth have surprisingly left the tomato plants alone in favor of terrorizing the flowers I planted which is a sort-of victory I guess. Also my Gram? She would have loved every minute of the hijinks that have unfolded in our backyard this summer. I hope wherever she is, she's got a front row seat to it all. Those boys of mine would have made her laugh like nothing else.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh Poop.

Alternate Title: "Why I've Had To Alter My Vocabulary Forever And Will Likely Never Look At Chocolate Ice Cream Quite The Same Way Ever Again."

Obviously the first title won out for the sake of brevity, but the alternate title is certainly more accurate. We're still deep in the trenches when it comes to potty learning, but one thing my boys have learned (and learned well) is the power of a well-timed poop joke.

• • • • • • • 

Not my kids, but close. Oh, so close.

When we were still using diapers full-time, my boys would nearly always refer to a poopy diaper as a "surprise" (helpful hint: it was almost never a surprise). On occasion a particularly spectacular poop would be referred to as a "sheetcake" – my boys eat a lot and poop well, so use your imagination here (please). In either case, I often hear one or the other while in the throes of unfastening a diaper.

You might recall that M. and I bought the boys a water table as part of our Canada Day festivities, but in the interest of keeping our national holiday poop-free I'll admit I left out part of the story.

As M. was ushering the boys outside that day to see said water table for the first time he said, "Mommy and Daddy got you a surprise!". The news was met with a bit of a confused pause until Nate piped up in his sweetly inquisitive voice and guessed "sheetcake?".

Which basically means I now refer to any and all surprises as "a treat" because... well, I think the kids thought we were about to present them with poop. Possibly a really spectacular one, but er... that's even worse. Wow. Great fodder for later but I'm not sure where I went wrong on the concept of "surprises".

• • • • • • • 

As for why I will likely never look at chocolate ice cream quite the same way again...

... the answer can be found here. In the event that you are squeamish, the link does not contain poop of any kind, but rather my boys (inspired) musings over dessert last night.

I promised I wouldn't say (outright) who was responsible for this particular debacle so I won't, but it wasn't me this time. It might however be someone who thought teaching the boys this caper was "a very uncouth" sort of thing to do (see comments).

Oh, irony.

- L.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain(s)!

The laundry basket is not used so much these days for laundry as it is for setting sail. 

Unfortunately my boys don't fit in it quite as well as they once did

Which generally means someone ends up jumping ship (or in a less voluntary way is sometimes sent off to walk the plank). 

Looks like Captain Seth won this round.

- L.

PS. This post would not be complete without a video, so here it is. In keeping with our strict "no singing!" policy, there is no singing – but if you've ever yearned to hear "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" barked out in semi-army-sergeant-style fashion, then you're in luck. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dogs On The Table

"Dogs off the table!" is a game we've been playing for awhile now. My boys love this game since they think they're getting away with something, and in some ways I suppose they are, but I'm not too fussy about feet on the table as it turns out. Far from being a hill to die on, it's more or less Mommy-approved mischief – except for the part where I pretend to give them a hard time about it. I guess it's just part of my Mommy arsenal – let them get away with something that doesn't bother me so much so I can crack the whip a little harder on the things that DO matter. 

I've had at least a hundred opportunities to take pics of "dogs on the table", but haven't until this morning. The new slippers Gamma Rita bought for them a couple of days ago finally made it a fitting occasion.

My boys, having one over on Mommy this morning:

I realize the slippers look huge, but Nate has some rather serious boats so they actually fit him quite well. Seth needs to grow into his a little, but you wouldn't know it from how much he loves wearing them. Watching them race around in their new slippers ("sah-lippers!") is a hoot. I think the only things missing are some toddler-sized smoking jackets, a faithful dog to fetch the slippers and maybe one of those bubble pipes.

More pics from this morning:

Yep. I think we're pretty pleased with ourselves – at least if the expression on Nate's face in the last pic is any indictation.

- L. 

PS. "Dogs on/off the table" was an expression I thought was well understood until more than a few people gave me a blank look over it. It likely became a part of my vernacular from growing up watching All In The Family but for all the whippersnappers out there – feet as dogs is legit.

And suddenly I feel very old for some reason.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Full Serving Of "BONK!" (Hold The Itchy Nose)

Seth had a run-in with the butcher block table yesterday afternoon and while I'd like to say "but you should have seen the table!", unfortunately this time Seth took the blows when he collided with the metal bar at the bottom after a full-speed wipe out.

As is typical of a true injury, "itchy nose" is never part of the equation (also, real injuries are more easily ministered to than the fake kind which is a big part of the litmus test for serious vs. fake). Seth was up and having a good time once again in short order. I on the other hand was simultaneously wondering why Seth (or misfortune) has it in for that eye in particular and marveling that the goose-egg on his head had diminished as much as it had by the time I took some pics (approximately 90 minutes later when my boys were finishing up dessert).

Nate has unexpectedly turned out to be my daredevil wild-child and I guess he must be very good at it as I haven't reported any Nate-related injuries since the toe incident, despite many heart-stopping moments. Seth on the other hand is still my little bulldozer (skip to the 1:30 mark to see what I mean) and if there's the possibility of a way through something he's probably going to try to take it ("over" is not the preferred route in case you were wondering, but he did eventually settle for it in that instance at least). Also, he's a little bit clumsy as it turns out*.

I think I'm going to let the boys take it from here...

– Oh hi everyone! Is me, Seth. I attempt to move through table today and
it not go so well. 'Dis photo not show it off to best advantage though.

– I not asked to be in 'dis photo, but I decides to be in it anyway. Hi everyone!

– Mommy say 'dis photo reasonable interpretation of my spectacular "BONK!", but it not really since 'dis is only half of what it look like an hour before.
Good thing I is tough guy and not let it hold me back.
We is dueling for after-dinner raspberries and I more than holding my own.

– I not care about being is 'dis pic so much. Mostly just trying to keep from losing
spoon right now in epic raspberry battle.

- L.

*Seth inherited the clumsy from his Gamma Rita. Gamma Rita also prefers a route through things. Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Potty Learning: The Try, Try, Try Again Edition

Gamma Rita arrived last Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning we hit the ground running with Operation Potty Learning: Third Time's The Charm. Today was Day 5 of our venture and while not much has been happening in the potties per se, we're encouraged nonetheless.

My boys have typically been enthusiastic potty sitters for the most part, especially if there are books involved and most especially if stories are being read aloud. On the third day of our venture into Potty-Learning-Or-Bust, we visited the library and came across a great find.

Ian's New Potty was an instant hit and Nate and Seth love hearing all about Ian and his big-boy adventures. It was a timely find too since this time around we decided to skip the Pull-Ups and went straight for the big-boy underpants. Coincidentally, Ian also wears big-boy underpants while learning to use the potty and by a stroke of complete luck he also has a red potty.

I've easily read the story at least 15 times by now, but my boys are always eager to hear what Ian will be doing next (hint: we've learned more from this book than just potty-related things).

In the past 5 days (but especially the last 3) we've learned:

• Big-boy underpants are awesome.

• Accidents happen, but wet underpants don't feel very nice.

• How to hold it until Mommy nearly starts to worry.

• Sometimes how to say "Potty!" in time, even if a trip to the potty doesn't actually result in anything before we're "All done!" with said potty (usually followed by an accident and some wet underpants that don't feel very nice).

• How to eat a big-boy sandwich! Not potty-related, but Ian eats a big-boy sandwich in the book (because he is a big boy of course) and if nothing else comes of this venture I think the days of cubing up a sandwich into pieces are finally over – to which I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I'm taking all of the above as positive signs and I think all we need at this point is a break-through in production.

Gamma Rita made an excellent observation today while we were both feeling a little discouraged over 5 days of no one actually doing anything in the potties:

"If we knew in advance that there'd be a breakthrough 3 weeks from now – even though it would be 3 weeks from now – we'd keep going and not even give this a second thought."

And aside from being perfectly true, I have a feeling it's what's going to keep us going. I'm 100% sure my boys are at least having a good time and at least 95% sure that they are really and truly ready to give up the diapers. Also, I have a good feeling about things this time around.

Maybe it's the summer weather or maybe it's that Gamma Rita showed up with a plan and so far it's not been a complete disaster at least.

Or maybe it's as simple as those big-boy underpants. I did mention they were a hit after all.

Of course, I might have left out a few details about why they're such a hit. 

And once again, I find myself with yet another post that would not be complete without a little of this: 


Really and truly, I can't believe I never saw that one coming, but I sure did make a mad dash for the camera this morning.

- L.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The OP Presents: Canada Day 2012

– Happy Canada Day, everyone!

– I is also wishing you a Happy Canada Day, everyone!
Please overlook upside-down flag. Is not subversive action; I just
not quite have the hang of 'dis yet.

Before the flags came out, I took a few pics of the boys in their Canada Day T-shirts. Nate looked a little bored:

– Mommy say there be big party, but I don't see big party.

Seth, on the other hand appeared prepared to make his own fun, judging from the mischievous look on his face:

– I brings my own party everyone!

– I sure hope someone remembered to invite some cuties.

– I sit here and strike pose just in case.

I, on the other hand, was hoping to get a shot of the three of us so I handed the camera over to M. Unfortunately this is about as good as it got:

So I called it quits on the group shot and went with individual ones instead. Judging from the look on Nate's face, he's not exactly into it here:

But he did get into it eventually:

Seth, on the other hand, was still keeping an eye out for the cuties:

Sorry buddy, I hate to disappoint but this is about as close as you're going to get to a cutie today:

– No offense Mommy, but I keep eye out just in case.

Finally we brought out the flags:

Which turned out to be a pretty big hit, especially with Nate:

And speaking of mischievous looks, Seth doesn't exactly have the market cornered. Check out this face:

– I's about to be up to things, everyone!

The source of that look had to do with making a run for some bushes at the back of the yard that I'm forever pulling someone (mostly Nate) out of: 

– Hey, looks like you drop your flag!

– Well, well... things really be looking up around here now!

Fortunately we had a few spares so Nate didn't have to go without, and a piggy-back ride from Daddy took his mind off the hijinks:

– I think I run into those bushes more often everyone! Whee!!!

After a wardrobe change, it was time to kick off our pool party. Seth wasn't too wild about the pool: 

– Give me a warm bath any day, but 'dis pool business is stinkeroo.
What kind of stunt Mommy trying to pull anyway?

Nate however was sporting about it:

At least until they decided to check out their new water table and toys. The boys pretty much played with this non-stop for the rest of the afternoon:

At least until it was time for more piggy-back rides:

And a short-break to rehydrate and make some sticker art:

– Stickers is fun, but have you checked out my tattoo everyone?
Is like sticker, but is on me instead of paper. Very cool.

Nate before he got derailed by his tattoo. I love this picture:

The boys had a bit more time to run around and then it was time for dinner. BBQ chicken, caesar salad and garlic bread – the last two are always a hit with Nate and Seth, but they did a pretty good job with the chicken too:

Of course, I'm sure the only reason they ate dinner at all was because they hadn't seen the desserts at that point. Grandpa David baked up some amazing Canada Day cupcakes, which were a big hit and tasted as good as they looked:

I made some Canada Day cookies. I prefer them plain, but you know which ones the boys picked:

– Why choose when you can have both?

– I also try both, but I think you can tell where my heart lie on 'dis one. Yum!

Despite the sugar load at the end, the boys actually went to sleep on time last night (or a reasonable approximation anyway). They were pretty tuckered out after our busy, but very fun day.

Probably not as tired as the grown-ups though. I know I slept well last night!

Once again, Happy Canada Day everyone!

- L.