Wednesday, August 31, 2005

But Not Really

In the story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, the tree incrementally throughout the tale gives everything she has to the little boy she loves (e.g., first her shade, then her apples, then her branches, etc). Every time she gives him something that makes him happy, the story reads, "And the tree was happy." After she gives him her trunk and has nothing left to give, though, "And the tree was happy" is followed by "but not really." But just that one time.

The kids don't get that this phrase only appears once in the story and instead have collectively decided to insert it every single time we read "And the tree was happy" [hear in unison, "But not weeeeally"].

And then at the end when the tree realizes that it'll be enough to offer him her stump to rest upon to make him happy, she's once again happy herself. Period. The End. But OUR kids have inserted their own revised ending, which they kind of sing-song at the top of their voices and won't let me close the book until it's said: "BUT YES WEEEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLYYYY".

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

When I'm A Boy...

"When I'm a boy," she begins as she clambers up the step stool, sets up the potty seat, pulls down her shorts and her Dora the Explorer panties, and scoots herself up onto the cushion, "I will stand up, turn around, hold my jalapeno and go wee-wee's."

Monday, August 29, 2005


"So Horton sat on the egg, and he sat and he sat and he sat," I read to them before tucking them in for the night. "And when the hunters put him in the cage to take him to the circus, it made Horton very unhappy." "Do you know what unhappy means?" [blank stares]

"Well..." I begin. "Mama?" "Yes, son?" "What is un?" "That's a really great question, Bubba. Un means not. So, if someone is not happy, then they're..."

"In timeout," says Saia.

Well, yes, there is that.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Elise!
Happy Belated Birthday, Cousin Lisa!

Friday, August 26, 2005


Decided to try something new with my hair this morning -- just some little outward flips on the side -- nothing major, but definitely a different look. Went to say my goodbye's at the breakfast table and Saia just gives me this sideways look. "What is it, baby?" I ask. "Do you like Mama's earrings?"

She slowly begins to grin, but it's more like a smirk, almost like she's been caught doing something. So I continue, "Is it my barrette?" But she continues to stare, not even blinking, and tilts her head even further, beginning to smile even wider, her cheeks even turning a little pink before finally blurting out "Mama? What happened to your hair?"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Seagull Pilot

He's told this story 3 times already. Very consistently, I might add. But it's completely invented -- at least as far as we can tell. We haven't found anything to link it to (e.g., a book or video), and he's even gone so far as to tell me that it all started from a dream. Yesterday, he even repeated it to his Tio Donny. Didn't leave out a single detail. And I just find it absolutely incredible that he's already a storyteller -- already -- at 2 1/2!!! He even uses his hands when he talks, for crissakes!

So, apparently, he was riding in this "big enormous" airplane with a seagull. And the seagull wanted to fly the plane, but couldn't hold the steering wheel because, obviously, he has no hands. So he opened the door and let the seagull fly away, but before it got too far he reached out and pulled it back in by the tail. Recognizing the seagull was now injured, he bandaged it up himself because, of course, he's the doctor in this tale. Once the seagull was all better, he decided that since he did have hands, he would just fly the plane himself. And he flew it all the way to Texas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Gargantuan Misunderstanding

Last night as we were getting ready for bed and the kids were saying their respective goodnights to Mema, Chago says excitedly, "Mema, it was immense!" She looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders. He couldn't have just said immense, we both thought. "What was that, Chago?" she asks kneeling in front of him, "Mema didn't understand."

"I said that was IMMENSE!" he yells into her face [because apparently they both now think she's becoming a little hard of hearing]. "Oh, okay," says Mema a little astounded, "and what was immense, Chago?" So then Saia steps in front of Chago, looks Mema right in the eye, and very matter of factly explains, "Enormous...Big, Mema."

[Wow. They must really think we're all just a bunch of idiots.]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

B is for Bubble

Seriously can't believe how old they are. Sitting on the bed yesterday morning having their warm milk, Chago says out of the blue, "buh...buh...buh...B is for bubble." I turn around a little stunned by the sudden phonetic interest, and say, "That's right, son, and what about dog?" "duh...duh...duh...D is for dog," he says smiling. So now I'm getting all excited, of course, and press on, "And what about pig?" He pulls away from his sippy cup, beginning to look a little annoyed with me, and very casually says, "puh...puh...puh...P is for pig, Mama." Really just in awe of his sheer brilliance at this point, I just can't help but push a teensy bit farther, "So, cat starts with the letter C, right?" But now he looks up at me -- thoroughly frustrated -- gets up on all fours and crawls over to me so that I can really get what he's about to say: "No, Mom, sss...sss...sss..." he hisses at me glaringly, "C is for Saia. Kuh is for cat." [duh!]

Monday, August 22, 2005

Introducing...Chago Houdini!!!

Well, it finally happened. In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday we heard a faint "Mama, it's time to get up?" And when we didn't respond -- because it was 5:45 and still dark outside -- he got a little louder (which, of course, we expected). "MOMMY! It's 6-O-O!!"

[roll over, pull pillow over ears, will the sandman to come back and spend some quality time with our insomniac son]

And then we hear it...scramble, scramble, thump!...pitter, patter, creaking door. "Mama?" from the foot of our bed.
"Mama, I got out of my bed all by myself for the first time," he says beaming from ear to ear.

"Oh, job?" [Read: AHHHHHHH!!!!!]

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tug, Tug, Tug of War

So, Saia's latest thing is ignoring us when we call her. All of us. Particularly when she's being summoned because she's in trouble. Wednesday night we had a huge blow out. I asked them both to climb into bed. She flat out ignored me. After negotiating with her for a good 10 minutes, she finally climbed in, but then wouldn't lay down. Another 5 minutes talking to the brick wall and then she wouldn't keep her covers on. A couple more minutes of reasoning and then I was done. "If you want the colcha back on, you're going to have to do it yourself, Saia. It's time for you to go to sleep now. No more talking please," and I turned out the light and closed the door. Not two minutes later she's screaming bloody murder. "What is it, Saia?" I ask knowing full well what this is about. "PUT MY COLCHA ON ME, MAMA!" "No, ma'm. I'd already asked you several times if you wanted it and you told me 'no'. I put it on you once and you kicked it off. Now if you want it, you'll have to do it yourself." "Please don't say no ma'm, Mama." "I'm sorry, Saia. Go to sleep." "NO, MAMA! [wild screaming ensues] "Saia," I say when I come back in for the 3rd time, "if Mama has to come back in once more to quiet you down, one of your babies is going in the garbage." "NO, MAMA!!! NOT MY BABIES!!!" [screaming for 15 minutes...alternating between 'put my colcha on' and ' don't take my babies']

Eventually, she loses a baby, covers herself, sleeps through the night, and earns a sticker the next day. But how am I going to do this for 16 more years?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Wonderful Idea

"I have a wonderful idea!" he says. And Mommy and I look at each other not exactly certain if we heard that correctly. "I have a wonderful idea for Mufasa!" he says again -- which is something he tends to do until he's acknowledged [not sure where he got that one from]. So, this time it was pretty clear. "Uh...okay, son, what's your wonderful idea for Mufasa [his little plastic lion named after the Lion King]?"

"I will catch all the cats and put them in a cage and put Nena in there with them and they can only come out if they are good and get a sticker," he says amazingly all in one breath.

And while, of course, we're absolutely floored by his brilliant little mind and how well he's able to articulate his thoughts and enunciate his consonants, we're both more than a little disturbed by the image of piling psychotherapy bills somewhere down the road when he begins to delve deeper and deeper into why he can't form meaningful relationships without some sort of discipline/reward system in place.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

On Being Thankful

"Okay, kiddos, let's say goodnight to Mema," I instruct them as we're changing into jammies last night. "What do you want to thank Mema for today?" I prompt them.

"Thank you for making me pudding, Mema!" Saia yells. Well, at least she's got her priorities in tact. "Okay, what about you, Chago?" I continue.

"Um..." says Chago, "thank you for dinner...aaaaaannnnddd...thank you for taking me outside...aaaaannnnndddd...thank you for my milk...aaaaannnnnddd...And thank you for hitting me on the head."

Mema's jaw dropped. Chago started laughing. Saia kept saying Mema hit Chago on the head. I couldn't get them to calm down for fifteen minutes -- or at least until he finally acknowledged that no, he really didn't want his nose to grow, so he decided to tell the truth and let Mema off the hook. This time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Gift

"MAMA!" he yells from the bedroom window as I'm walking up the sidewalk. Then I hear squeals of delight from the kitchen and the pitter patter of her not quite so little feet as she sprints to the door to greet me.

"My babies," I say as I get down on one knee and they race into my outstretched arms. It's such an amazing feeling. There's nothing quite like it. It fills me up and I can't imagine anything else nearly as uplifting, and then...

"Mama, you have presents?"

Ah...the beginning of the end.

Monday, August 15, 2005

One Dirty Apple...

This past Saturday was our big shopping day. And with Mommy working all day again and Mema taking a badly needed break, it was up to Mama and the kiddos to fill the pantry this time. So, off we went to Costco, Wal-Mart, and Albertsons. And yes, all before noon. But just as we were leaving a pretty successful Costco run (i.e., no melt downs, no accidents, no crying), and Mama was loading the goods into the Durango, the apple bag busted open and out across the parking lot floated a sea of red delicious.

"Uh-oh, Mama," says Saia. [She's really observant that way.] Trying not to curse (audibly), I scramble to salvage as many as I can. That is until my brilliant children decide to lecture me on the finer points of hygiene and food preservation.

"Mama," calls Chago, "if they fell on the floor then they're dirty." "Yes, Chago, that's true." "Mama," interjects Saia, "you throw them all in the trash now?" "Um...well...I thought I would try to wash these few..."

"They're dirty, Mama," they say in unison. "Throw them away!"

What's a mom to do? I lied. And then I quickly buckled them into their seats so they couldn't see what I was doing, shoved the now half-emtpy bag of slightly bruised apples into the back seat, and headed off to Wal-Mart.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Mama?" she asks. "Yes, baby?" "The water comes back?" "Yes, Saia, the waves will come back over and over again." "Why?" she wonders. "Well, because the currents push the waves toward the shore." "Why?" she continues. "Well, because everything gets pushed toward something and only bounces back when it hits something harder than itself." "Why?" she delves. "Well, because if everthing just kept going with nothing to stop it then everything would just fall away into nothing, wouldn't it? And if we all fell away into nothing then there would be no Saia and Chago, no Mama and Mommy, no Mema, no Ryce and Nena. And if none of us were here, there wouldn't be a here to talk about, really, so it's not so much a matter of why, but how, don't you think?"

"Yes, Saia?"
"How do the waves come back?"
"Beats me, babe. But isn't it beautiful?"
"Yes, Mama, it's bootyfoo."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Birthday, KC!!! We miss you and love you lots and lots. Come see us soon!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"I don't want to," he whines. "But, Bubba, if you just get this next ball in the hole then we can go on to number four," I pleaded. "I don't want to, Mama. I want to see the dragons." So I kneel beside him, "But the dragons are at number five, Chago. Can you wait just a little bit longer?" He hands me his club. "No, Mama. I want to see the dragons now." "But, son, there are four of us playing, and Saia's not done yet. I need you to..."

[cut to Chago walking over to his ball on the green, plucking it from it's perch, plopping it into the hole, and oh-so-casually strolling on over to the damn dragons]

Monday, August 08, 2005

Going away on business to North Carolina for 3 days. So, Saia says to me this morning, "Peas don't go to Duwam, Mama." And stretching out her arms and pouting her little rosy lips she continues, "I need to hug you and kiss you."

Definitely a memory I'll be frantically recalling when she's 13, I've no doubt.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Look out comes Saia! Man, you should've seen her. She was a natural. Poised. Confident. Strong. Okay, so it took her 40 strokes, but let me tell you, this little girl did not give up until that damn ball went into the hole. She even picked it up in complete and utter frustration a couple of times, and all 3 of us were prepared to hit the deck to duck her deadly throw, but (most times) she would calmly place it back on the green (typically 3-4 ft closer) and continue to work at it until it went in. She was amazing. Her Mommy couldn't have been prouder.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Text message from Mema this morning says 'Chago was on pot waiting 2 poop when I hear Mema, Mema. I meet him in hall -- no pants and potty seat hanging around his neck.'

I'm thinking we're not going to be providing a photo for this entry, folks.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Last Friday was Mama's company picnic at the beach. The kiddos were prepped all week for it, and by Friday they didn't even want to take their nap, they were so excited. Once there, we could hardly keep them on the shore. Both of them ran towards the water immediately. They dug in the sand and collected crab carcasses and sea gull feathers (yes, we used lots and lots of hand sanitizer). They were soaked up to their chests and even refused their snack. They dug their toes down deep into the sand and drank more than their share of salt water. They saw pelicans and harbor seals. They strolled and sprinted and jumped. They sat down only long enough to inhale a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and were off again. But after much coaxing, we were finally able to get Chago to agree to go to the potty with Mommy. On their way back from the germ breeding port-a-potties, our poor exhuasted little boy was so thoroughly drenched and filled with sand that his shorts just fell in a clump to his ankles from the weight of it all. With the water in his sight and Mema inching her way just a little too close to his crab skeletons, he just stepped right out of them and kept on truckin'.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Went with Mommy to pick out her new black convertible mustang this weekend, and while she was off signing papers, the kids began to get a little...well, let's just say animated after 3 hours at the dealership. So, the nice (read: thoroughly annoyed) salesman brought over 2 great big helium balloons and slipped them on Saia's & Chago's wrists.

Two minutes later (yes, TWO), Chago has expertly disentangled himself from the stranglehold of the evil balloon string and released it back into the wild to run free with all the other gaseous beasts.

And then he screamed. Like he'd lost an appendage, he screamed. Pointing and gasping, hands to his face, stomping his foot. The nice (read: downright irritated) salesman brought over a replacement balloon, which I allowed him to have against my better judgment because we don't reward tantrums.

"Mama, do you know that is my balloon up there?" he asks - and curiously without a single tear in his eye. "Yes, Chago, I know," replies Mama incredulously. "Mema, did you know that was my balloon?" he continues. "Yes, Chago, I knew that, too," replies Mema, attempting to hide her smirk. Then he turns away from us, towards the sea of people walking by hoping they won't be approached by a nice salesman, and he says to anyone within earshot, "PEOPLE! DID YOU KNOW THAT WAS MY BALLOON?"

Monday, August 01, 2005

In case you were wondering...

He did get his 3rd sticker on Friday and got back his favorite tiger.

Beach, putt-putt, and balloon stories still to come.