Friday, February 25, 2011


One of the pine trees on our property got Marie Antoinette'd (or John the Baptized if you have a more masculine view of the forest) by the storm last night.  As soon as we heard the snap and crash Scott and I took off - him to survey the damage to our property and me to grab Owen and head for the basement like I was starring in Places in the Heart.  

You can decide which of us has our priorities straight.

Other than the obvious casualty, the felling only damaged a little Japanese maple in the side yard.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not just any photo

We're going to Italy in a few months, so Owen needs a passport.  These are my attempts to do the photo myself (can you tell I told him not to smile?), but in the end, I decided it would be easier to just run by Walgreen's and let them do it since I was nervous about messing up all the requirements.  Plus every time I looked at his crooked hair in these pics I started to get twitches, so he got a trim before the re-shoot.

We've started talking to him about the trip, and so far he knows he's going to fly, fly, fly for a long time- even while he sleeps (please let him sleep).  Then he's going to show his passpote to the special police officers when we get off the plane.  And after that we're going to eat the best pizza and olives and tomatoes EVER.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Car Nasty

I don't consider myself an extremely clean or terribly messy person.  I can definitely be compulsive about being organized, but what that usually means is that if I find myself on the wrong end of the sanitation spectrum I'm apt to just give up.  Hence the state of my car near the end of last week:

I know exactly how it happened.  

Say it's a random Tuesday morning and our pantry is bare.  The grocery store isn't necessarily Owen's favorite place, so I throw him a bone and tell him to grab a few of his favorite toys to liven up the experience.  We get ten steps toward the car, and that's when Owen decides he really does want to finish his breakfast after all, but I'm already too far into mission mode to shut things down and take him back to the breakfast table, so I tell him to just bring his toast with us in the car.  But of course he needs his sippy cup too.

When we finally make it to the car, I get so focused on the back spasms I now have from of the way I just twisted to get Owen into his car seat that I don't realize I've left my shoulder bag within arms reach of him.  

En route to the store he helps himself to its contents.  

Once we arrive, I manage to locate my grocery list in the pile of rubble that was once my purse, and we head inside, where I buy at least twice as much as I originally thought I needed, including about 37 pounds of various liquids (regular milk, soy milk, regular Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi...).  And as we check out, the nice man who suffers through the excessive wad of reusable grocery bags I've just handed him decides to win brownie points with Owen by giving him a coloring book and a pack of crayons.

We arrive at the car, and the same nice man unloads the cart for me, which includes a seemingly unreduced wad of empty reusable grocery bags.  When I go around to put Owen in, we discover that he's left his sippy cup upside down in his car seat and there's been significant leakage.  So I use a combination of items at hand- Kleenex and old receipts that used to be in my purse- to swab the puddle of lukewarm soy milk.  But Owen is still afraid his pants will get wet so I absentmindedly grab one of those black plastic rectangles that's supposed to be reinforcing the bottom of one of my grocery bags and slide it under him.  

We have an uneventful trip home, but I later realize that's only because Owen has been quietly consumed by the task of stripping all his new crayons naked. 

If you're still with me, here's a summary of what I will now need to remove from my car:

32 pound boy, 37 pounds of liquid + other groceries, the disassembled contents of my purse, toys, sippy cup, toast crust and crumbs, soy soaked receipts and Kleenex, coloring book, crayons, 19 various sized pieces of crayon wrapper, and this weird random piece of black plastic

But the sad truth is that I often just grab the boy and whichever groceries require refrigeration.  There have been a few times when I forgot the groceries completely.  Fortunately, I've never forgotten the boy.


The only way to fix a mess this bad is to just take everything out.  And, yes, I learned that from Peter Walsh.  Owen thought I was the coolest thing ever when I put him in the back of the car and told him to start chunking stuff.

Here's just a portion of the pile.  Makes you want to play a game of I Spy doesn't it?  Feel free to start one up in the comments section.

When Owen went up to his room to rest, I got to work vacuuming and scrubbing.  And it only took about 1.5 hours to get it to this point:

I am happy to announce that should any of my friends or family members find themselves stranded on the side of the road, I will now gladly pull over and invite them into my clean car haven.  Last week I would have totally driven on by.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend report

We spent the weekend drunk on sunshine.  Owen even has a few new freckles on his pink cheeks because I forgot to put sunscreen on him. Don't fret though; my negligence ended there.  I did manage to remember to protect myself, so I personally don't have any new sun spots or wrinkles to report.  Phew!

It was Big Machines Day at the McWane Center on Saturday, and Owen enjoyed "driving" the forklift and backhoe.  Then the crowds got too big and he wigged out so we had to skip the crane and the excavator.  Seems he's inherited some of my stellar social skills.

Some of the city firemen were there too.  Owen and Scott got a (pre-wig-out) tutorial on how water comes in from the hydrant, gets pressurized, and goes back out through the hoses onto a fire.  But I'm pretty sure Owen still thinks fire comes out of fire hoses. Understandable.  It is a misnomer.  What I don't get is why he idolizes firemen when he actually suspects they're a bunch of arsonists.

(Personal note to Scott:  You make a nice accessory to the fender of that fire truck.)

On Sunday we went to Homewood Park with our congregation after church .  We cooked out, rode bikes, spilled milk, played kick ball and "fished" in the creek.

Owen didn't really play in the game.  He was mostly concerned about the gash in first base.  (No I didn't mistype.  That's not home plate. Everyone knows you use a frisbee for home plate and a home plate for first base when you play church kick ball.)

So how was your weekend?  Did you have nice weather in your part of the country?  A cold front is coming through here tonight so it looks like Owen's going to have to start wearing his shoes again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bubble Buddy

One week ago today it looked like this, and so far today we've been outside riding bikes, playing soccer, blowing bubbles, throwing frisbee, chalking the sidewalk, feeding the birds, having a picnic, playing at the park and chunking rocks in the creek.  Is it really going to be an early spring or is this a cruel joke?

(You can tell I have a lot more to learn on my camera.  All that beautiful sunshine wreaked havoc on my exposures.  Good news is I get more practice tomorrow because the weather will be just as beautiful!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Name on the board

Owen went through a huge growth spurt in early January, which brought with it middle-of-the-night leg aches, clean-out-the-pantry hunger binges and a make-his-mother-scream-into-a-pillow defiant attitude.  But (hear me take a deep breath and let out a relieved sigh) I think we are finally on the other side of this one.

Owen has emerged 1 inch taller with some newfound skills - one of them writing.  It's still primitive, but he can now write his name.  Double-u's are his favorite.  Sometimes he gets going and just makes a whole mountain range of them.  E's are the hardest for him.  And he doesn't always pay attention to the order of the letters, so there are times when reading his name is like reading manga.  But today he only got a wee bit creative and put the n on top when he ran out of room.

Okay all you kindergarten principals and teachers and therapists and veteran parents out there.  How is he doing?

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day!  Owen is off at MDO right now partying and exchanging valentines.  I know I said this last year about not making homemade cards anymore, but I'm a liar.  I can't keep myself away from the glue and pretty paper and heart-shaped punches.  Can you tell which part Owen was able to help with this year?  And the idea for the card was not mine; I found it here.

Owen finally noticed last week that the Thomas the Train he's been playing with for 2 years is just a cheap decoration off a birthday cake, and he asked if he could have a "real wood Thomas" to replace his "real plastic" one.   So we got an official Thomas for him, wrapped it in Valentine's Day paper and had it waiting for him on the breakfast table.  When he saw the package he said, "It's kinda flat.  So, soooo dat means it's pwobabwy jus some clothes."

Owen this morning before school with his valentine box full of notes for his friends and his new Thomas.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

2-D Snowman

It started snowing around dinner time Thursday Wednesday night, so we had dinner in the dark and watched the snow come down.  Simple magic.

Owen was itching to get out and make a snowman the next morning, but the inch of pure powder we'd gotten just wouldn't cooperate.  So we took shovels and made a pile, stuck in a few acorns, a stick and a bite size carrot and called it done.  Frosty the Snow Tortilla.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Can't post pictures b/c Google says I'm over my limit.  I "bought" more file storage space from them, but it will take at least 24 hours for my account to be updated.  If this blog is going to cost me money, maybe I'd better start looking for ad sponsors.  What exactly is my target market here?  And twenty hits a day is enough to attract revenue, right?

Back soon with snow pictures from last night and today!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


You'll have to look fast and maybe even replay it a few times, but the look on Owen's face before he runs off cracks me up.  
And there's something comic about his footsteps pattering away too.  But it may just be me...

I haven't done any updates on Owen's vocab in a while, so here goes:

  • Dark Vader:  The bad guy from Star Wars  
"Dark Vader is a bad guy he hits people wif his wite sabo."
  • omlick:  A common brunch item made from eggs
"Mommy can I have wots and wots of cheese in my omlick?"
  • pook:  vomit, regurgitation, that which has been hurled
"Dat's pook.  Coby pooked.  He got pook awl over the bafroom flo."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hook 'em!

I briefly considered finding the real thing, you know Boss Hogg style, but I just don't have it in me to do taxidermy.  And yeah, I'll still eat a cheeseburger so I'm a flaming hypocrite.

As soon as I figure out how to drill into mortar I'll post pics of it hanging over the fireplace.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What am I up to?

Once assembled, I think it's going above the fireplace to pay homage to my home state.