Monday, November 29, 2010

Etymology and I remembered...

If you've ever been to my house you've probably either heard of or seen a Za-Za.  A Za-Za is a blue bear head with a blanket body.  Originally we called it Lovey.  My manly and mature brother informed me that Lovey was not an acceptable name for a boy's stuffed animal.  At the time, David's book of choice was There's a Wocket in My Pocket.  In the book, there is a "zillow on my pillow who helps me go to sleep".  Zillow morphed into Za-Za or sometimes Za-zie.  Bryan's (blue) Za-Za is called Purple Za-zie.  He went through a Brown Bear, Brown Bear stage and "purple cat, purple cat" was his favorite page.  Thus, Purple Za-Zie.  Yes, his is really blue, but thus far no one has accused Bryan of being a feather in the wind on any of convictions.

I Remembered
At some point Jacob lost all confidence in us in a pretty fundamental way.  Each of our boys has a Za-Za.  For David and Bryan, if their Za-Zas are unaccounted for at bedtime, we would almost always conduct Za-Za search and rescue, albeit with a lot of parental muttering and complaining.  Still, it was less annoying to search the house than to try to put them to bed without them.  Jacob only ever seemed mildly sad if he didn't have his Za-Za at bedtime.  Hence, less annoying to just say, "Sorry Jakey Bear.  We'll find him in the morning."  This had been going on for a couple of years.  Several months ago, Jacob was either sick or particularly tired...
Me:  Do you want me to go get your Za-Zie?
Jacob:  (emphatically)No.
Me:  Why not?
Jacob:  If I take my Za-Zie downstairs, then I don't get to sleep with him.
Me:  I'll take him back upstairs for you.
Jacob:  (emphatically and near panic)  I want him to stay in my bed.
A few weeks ago, he was particularly sad (see light saber battle gone awry here) and we let him start off in our bed.  It was only with a lot of concern on his side and reassurance on mine that I convinced him he should take his Za-Zie to our bed.
Jacob:  (furrowed brow)  What if you forget?
Me:  (with the face of one dealing in matters of survival)  I PROMISE.  I will not forget.
So Jacob, if you end up in a therapist's office discussing that blue stuffed animal as the personification of the neglect of being an easy going middle child, I want you to know that I remembered.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I saw the light...

My dental complacency has finally bitten me in the butt.  I haven't had any cavities since I was a kid, so I typically floss the day I go to the dentist and for about three days after my semi-annual cleaning until the guilt wears off.  I figured that I served my time when I was little - lots of fillings, jaw surgery, braces for half my childhood - and could now brush off the nagging hygienists because I'm just not one of those people who has to worry about crowns and root canals.  It turns out that I just wasn't one of those people yet.  After many consequence-free years, I left the dentist a few weeks ago in shock - 2 fillings, 2 crowns and a possible root canal.  It's expensive enough that I actually wasn't worried about the pain until I saw the syringe.  Holy crap that thing is huge.  I think people who would have been torturers in another age wield the Novocaine shot and the epidural.   I know, they're both meant to relieve pain, but they look really scary and in our day psychological torture is the only socially acceptable form.

Where guilt has failed, hopefully pain and cash will succeed.  Wait a minute, I'm feeling a parenting truth here.  If you just nag your kids, they hear, "Blah, blah, blah."  If you make the experience painful in some way, financial or otherwise, your concern becomes their problem.

In other news, Rand and I went to the grocery store.  I got to the store and realized he had bare feet.  Really, it wasn't that cold and he would have been fine, but I was embarrassed to take him in like that.  It's the kind of thing dads can get away with - we just smile at the sweet, if slightly clueless man graciously picking up groceries for his family.  Negligent moms get hostility - "What is she thinking?  It's November!"  So, I put my socks on him - not for his comfort but for my pride. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Disney day 8...

Because their daddy is a rock star, each of the boys got to choose one last ride at any park. This morning we loaded up the car and then did each of the favorite rides.

Bryan picked Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom. We were the only people on the ride.

Jacob chose Mission Space at Epcot.

David picked The Sum of all Thrills at Epcot. This was one of my favorite rides when I was a kid. You design your own roller coaster and then do a simulated ride. Twenty years ago, the simulation was just a computer screen. Now you actually ride in a seat connected to a robotic arm with a screen in front of you. Very cool.

In a classic but unfortunate baby move, Rand had a massive blowout in the middle of our parkhop, the only day I was traveling light and had no extra clothes for him. The bathroom attendant fussed at me for bathing him (after wiping him off) in the bathroom sink. Seriously? Isn't that where we wash our hands after we poop?

Further evidence that Chris is a rock star - he carried Jacob a lot today because we remembered that he's still little even though he has two little brothers who take up all the stroller space.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Disney day 7...

Jacob at lunch today...

I think it's time to go home.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Disney day 6...

If any of us are still standing at the end of this trip, it won't be my fault.

Someone is missing from this picture. Now he's too grown up for the characters. He's been good natured about doing all the little people rides, but he said It's a Small World should be in Baby Kingdom instead of Magic Kingdom :(. The first time we took him to Disney World we thought he might get banned from the park for excessive affection towards the characters. Four years is an eternity in kid time.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disney day 4...

Coolest great grandmother and sweetest baby ever...

She's ridden Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain... And has kept up with all of the little ones. He has been happy hanging in the stroller, riding in the baby carrier, clapping in the shows (it's his one trick).

Love this picture

The Tower of Terror was way too terrifying, so they baled. They want to try again when they're 19.

We now have 4 trained Jedis. Vader tried to turn Bella to the dark side. The Jedi trainer said, "I don't think anyone dressed like that is turning to the dark side. Mom almost turned to the dark side when a woman tried to push her kid in front of us.

The rockin roller coaster is my favorite.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Disney day 3...

Her first trip to Disney World...

Conversation in David and Bryan's room last night.

Bryan: (excited) Tomorrow we're going to see Mickey Mouse.
David: (with condescension) You know he's not real, right.
Bryan: (with confidence) Yes he is.
David: (with all the wisdom of his 7 years). No he's just a robot or something.
Bryan: (completely undisturbed and giggling at how ridiculous David can be) David, you're wrong.

Conversation in Jacob and Bella's room on the heels of a couple rides that were too scary (Everest and Dinosaur).

Bella: I'm scared I'm going to have nightmares about monsters.
Jacob: (serious) Bella, if you think there's a real monster, don't scream cause then the monster will know where you are.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Disney day 2...

This is what I looked like right after the river rapid ride at Animal Kingdom. It was my first time to ride a water ride at an amusement park in about five years. Anytime it was possible to get soaked, I got soaked.

This is what I looked like 20 minutes later. I almost just bought the shirt. Then I decided that this should be a more expensive lesson for Chris. If you want to take me on a water ride, it may be amusing to see me uncomfortable, but it will also be pricey.

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Disney day 1...

We're spending the week at Disney with my parents, grandmother and niece.

Last night at 10:30 when we pulled up to the hotel.

Bryan: How am I going to know which ride I want to go on if it's dark.

This morning at 5:45

Bryan: (poking Jacobs's face)
Jacob: (irate) Stop touching me.

Repeat until 6:00, then

Bryan: Guys, guys, I'm going to turn their light on so we can go to Disney World.

Repeat until we no longer think it's funny.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayerful warrior...

During breakfast I noticed some workers in the backyard burying a line.  Thinking it would be nice for the boys to bring them drinks, I pointed out the men and asked if they could think of anything nice we could do for them.  David suggested we pray for them.  I was taken aback, mainly because as regards prayer, he believes what I tell him - in a way that affects his behavior - more than I do.  We prayed for the men, and with enough leading, Jacob suggested drinks.
Me:  Who wants to take the lemonade to them?
Jacob and Bryan:  (with gusto) Me, me, me.  I'll do it!
Me:  David, do you want to take some lemonade to them also? 

David:  (holding toy knives and staring out the back window)  No.  (to Jacob and Bryan)  I'll watch you, and if they try to hurt you, I'll cut them with my knives.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Introspective and the steady march of time...

As part of his spelling lesson last week David was asked to write a poem about trees.  The subsequent panic and shock that someone could ask him to do something so completely outside his area of comfort was unnervingly similar to the reaction I get from another person in my house when I ask him anything introspective.*  After some searching questions about trees as related to his life, he came up with this masterpiece...
I like to play swords with branches.
I like to fight the trunk.

Another sign that time is marching steadily on - this is what laundry day looked like in January

In March

And now, I can't take a picture of it because I'm basically playing fetch with Rand in an occasionally successful attempt to keep him from knocking over my stacks.  I can't remember where I heard this but it's true - "The days crawl by and the years fly by."

*It used to piss me off.  Now it's entertaining as least as often.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Unrecognized opportunity...

David and Jacob learned about a spider that can eat a chicken.  The subsequent conversation:
Me:  If a spider that could eat a chicken was trying to eat me, would you wrestle it?
Jacob:  No.
Me:  (Confused - too smart to touch it maybe?)  Would you shoot it with a gun?
Jacob:  No.
Me:  (Deeply concerned - maybe he's upset with me about something?)  Would you just let it eat me?
Jacob:  (My mom is so dumb sometimes.)  No.  I would let it bite you so you could turn into Spidergirl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Near death experiences...

One variation on a scene played out in our house again and again and again ...  Sounds of a light saber fight drift up the stairs.  Ear-killing screams.  The overly aggressive child follows the screaming child up the stairs offering excuse after excuse with a token apology in the mix somewhere.  The sensitive screaming child still loves sword fights even though half the battles end in a way that he feels is very nearly life-ending.  After he's asked for and obtained an Elmo bandaid to bind up the wound dealt to him on the field of manly battle, he screams:

Monday, November 1, 2010


Things I Learned About Vegas in Vegas
  • Don't look at flyers - ever.
  • People will try to hand you prostitute cards even if you are a woman.
  • People will try to hand you prostitute cards even if you are a man walking with a woman who looks self-righteous and angry.
  • Poker is a man's game.  There were more women giving back rubs than playing in the poker room.
  • You don't have to stay some place fancy to feel decadent - you just need to take a cab there - "Take me to the Bellagio."
  • A casino feels like Chuck E Cheese for adults.
Things I (Re)Learned About Life in Vegas
  • Eventually, I prefer raising my kids to life as a woman of leisure.
  • There is such a thing as enough time to read.
  • Generally speaking, the less time I have, the more time I spend in prayer.
  • It's hard to see the mountains when there are a lot of skyscrapers in the way.
  • Mainly because I'm 34, I don't agree with the specifics of the rule, but What Not To Wear is so right that there is an age after which mini-skirts are sad, no matter how trim the figure.
  • (Proof by counterexample)  There is such a thing as aging gracefully.
  • Even though I don't want to be, deep in my soul I'm a shopper.
  • I love to wear a pretty dress.  If Chris and others tell me I look pretty, I feel like a five year old girl in a twirly dress.
  • People pay for really stupid stuff 
    • Oxygen.  In outer space, I get it.  On our home planet, not so much.
    • Family photos captured in cut glass.
    • Venetian boat rides in a swimming pool.
  • Fabulously wealthy men are allowed to wear bright pants.*
  • I will not pay $7 for a beer or $4 for an individual bag of chips.  I will pay $4 for a brownie. -> Sugar is my problem.

*I tried to convince Chris to give fate a nudge at the poker table by wearing hot pink pants.  No dice.

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