Eating out.

 

 
Last night we ended up going out for dinner, and I really enjoyed myself.  There are plenty of meals out (which I staunchly refuse to give up, because I like people watching, and food cooked for maximum flavor with the knowledge that the consumer will never know it contains 1/2 a cup of butter per serving) where about halfway through I ardently wish I was sitting on my own couch eating a slice of frozen pizza.
 
But last night, I felt very relaxed, and the whole thing was a positive experience.
 
I would like to share with you what a “good” meal out with my offspring involves:
 
– Payne was wearing his current favorite shirt, which optimizes his mood, creating an environment ripe for success.  This shirt is a Super Man logo tee, with a detachable cape.  As you can guess, the cape never actually allowed to be detached.  The hostess admired his get-up, and Payne shot her a look that indicated she should go get her own damn cape shirt and stop ogling his.
 
– We ordered queso. Always a good decision.  Payne ate his queso drizzled chips only after picking all minute green or tomato or onion looking things off of them.  Therefore, he was wearing queso gloves shortly.  Genevieve was eating crackers dipped in queso. Crackers that were offered by Payne after he had licked the peanut butter out from between them. Yep, I dipped saliva and peanut butter trace laden crackers into the communal queso.
 
– Payne hurt his leg climbing around on his chair. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth.
 
– Dan and I had cocktails.  Mine came with a watermelon wedge garnish.  I fed it to Genevieve, and may or may not have wondered if the trace amounts of tequila would help her sleep that night.  She loves watermelon, and was frantically looking for more, so I bit off the small bits of melon close to the rind, took them out of my mouth, and fed them to her.  Then I looked up from my task to find a man at a nearby table staring at me as if he might vomit into his margarita.  I wanted to tell him “This ain’t nothing.  I’ve scraped human excrement out from under my nails.” but I figured that wouldn’t help him salvage his dining experience.
 
– We didn’t buy a kid’s meal.  Instead, when our entrees came I scooped all of the cheese sauce off of mine and poured it over more chips for Payne, while dan mashed his beans and rice together to feed genevieve.  Then I hollowed out part of my enchilada to contribute some meat for the baby. It’s not a meal with kids until you’ve manhandled all of your food, you know.
 
– Genevieve threw most of her dinner on the floor.  Payne refused to eat his until we were almost finished, as is his custom.  The waitress came over to ask Payne what he was eating, and he told her, as he opened his mouth to display its contents.
 
– Right as we were finishing up, Dan got a work call.  Payne was already playing on the window sill and Genevieve was totally over the high chair, so I let her down to play near Payne.  She searched the floor for scraps. I put on a good show of pretending to care that she ate food off of the floor. Payne fell and hurt his butt on the window sill. More wailing and gnashing of teeth, which was cured with the application of a complimentary temporary tattoo while Genevieve wandered under Dan’s chair.
 
– Payne untied Dan’s shoe as he wrapped up his work call.  We hosed both kids down with baby wipes, and we got out of Dodge with NOT ONE DRINK SPILLED.
 
This is as relaxing as it gets, folks!

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School tiiiiiiime!

Sid the science kid? Anyone? No?
 
Disregard.
 
So Payne started preschool today! Yaaaaay!
 
We are psyched for school with our snazzy tiger back pack.
(and skateboarding hot dog shirt, because I live to make a good impression?)
 
“Ooh look. Dirt!”
 
And then we get there and this is the most enthusiastic he got:

I was the mom with the clingy screaming kid. The one who hung out in the hallway to make sure he was ok and got very nicely shoo’d away by the teacher’s aid.

Then I went to go pick him up and he was in a HORRIFIC mood.  He told me they had animal crackers for a snack, he was nice to the other kids, he didn’t listen, and the teacher was “bad” (i.e. didn’t take his crap). 

(Sigh)

Let’s hope the little rebel decides to play the game.  If not, he has a loooong 15 years ahead of him.

On a lighter note, this is Ethel’s “WTF, man.” face:

She’s pretty sure that robot puppy barked something obscene and offensive.
 
I wont be surprised when I find it reduced to tufts of synthetic fur evenly distributed about the house.
 
 AND ALSO,
 
I got Genevieve the best shoes ever…
(normally she is dressed, but it was lasagna night, and let’s all admit that her nakedness makes this all the cuter)
 
That’s right, baby moccassin booties, with double fringe, mind you.
Dan totally made fun of me and I’m not sorry.
 
These are fully awesome.  She is going to be cooler than me this winter.
 
 
 

My little savants of destruction…

There is a scene from a movie that pops into my head almost daily.
 
In the film “Lord of War” (which is a fascinating and incredibly depressing couple of hours) there is a scene in which the main character (an illegal arms dealer) is mid air with a cargo plane full of weapons that he needs to ditch a.s.a.p. His colleague suggests they just land the plane in the middle of a third world country embroiled in civil war that they happen to be flying over and walk away.  The “hero” of the story thinks leaving behind all of this evidence is nuts, but has little choice, so they land.
 
The plane is abandoned in a field, still full of weapons.  Then a time lapse video follows in which a village discovers, empties, and dissassembles the plane for scrap….overnight.  It’s completely mesmerizing to watch.  By morning it’s as if the cargo plane and the guns had never been there.
 
I sort of feel like I live with a couple of those villagers.
 
Both of my small human charges seem to have a particular passion and skill for dissasembly.  I put things together, and they take them apart, with complete relish.
 
-If I open the fridge, Payne runs and Genevieve crawls (with an ominous “slap slap slap” of little hands on tile) towards the kitchen.  They swarm the opening and take as many condiment bottles out of the door shelves as possible before I shoo them away. Taking all of the fridge magnets down is another delightful past time, as is ripping the bottom front grate off and running around the house with it.
 
-Payne loves to open his full toy box and pitch objects out one by one until his room is carpeted with every variety of molded plastic animal/action figure/vehicle possible. Genevieve does the same with her sock drawer.
 
-If I happen to forget and leave the baby gate to the office door open, Payne runs in to systematically pull out anything breakable or dangerous while the baby rips all of the books off of the shelves.
 
-If I fold laundry and leave it below hip level I will return to find a pile of wrinkled clothes.
 
-If I fill a cardboard box with objects for storage and (stupidly) walk away, I will find it turned upside down with its former contents strewn about the house.
 
-Payne sneaks into the pantry constantly to reorganize the shelves and try to make off with a grinder of pepper or something.
 
-Both of them want nothing more than access to the shoe rack in my closet, which results in every shoe I own being a component of a mid-closet shoe pyramid.
 
-Genevieve sneaks into the bathroom and empties the garbage can, single object by single object.
 
– I left the pack and play folded up in the family room and when I returned Payne had it completely pulled apart with the mattress laid out on the floor and was gamely trying to set up the frame by himself.
 
-And most recently, Dan had been working on the inner components of the toilets but wasn’t finished yet.  I left the tank cover to the toilet in a plastic garbage can leaning against the bathroom wall.  I forgot it was there and allowed Payne to go to the bathroom unaccompanied ONCE.
 
This was the result:
 
 
I’d give them, oh, 36 hours with a cargo plane in the family room, instead of 12. I mean they aren’t professionals, and I refuse to give them tools that were manufactured by anyone other than Fisher Price.
 
 
 
 
 

I don’t ask questions. I just take pictures.

Payne has recently taken on the role of Mama Bird:


He even yanks the food back when she tries to grab it and corrects her with “Uh-uh! Let my do it. D’ere you go.”

Last night I got back from half a day to myself, and Payne met me at the door exclaiming “Mommy, you’re back! I was so worried ’bout you, and then I ate pizza!”.

Sometimes I worry about stuff too, son, and then I eat pizza. Mmm, pizza; the true opiate of the masses.

Yep. That’s an ice cream sandwich, so he’s probably ripe for canonization now.


(note that ice cream is apparently worth the effort of going en pointe. I have a feeling most ballerinas agree)

I have no idea:

I’m having deja-vu:

Also, she is going through a huge verbal developmental phase.  She says “Uh-oh” in context, and will wave and say “Bah” when we leave somewhere.  If you say “No” to her she often grins and shakes her head back and forth, and last night I was trying to teach her “yes” and she was smiling ear to ear while saying “esh”.  Babies learning to speak are pretty much the cutest thing on the planet.

Payne ate his lunch in the car after going to the pool the other day.

I snuck a look back on the way home, hoping he’d fallen asleep.

I found this instead:

They have so many toys.

Trains.

Cars.

Blocks.

Tools.

Dinosaurs.

Books.

Kitchen utensils.

Baby dolls.

Trucks.

And what “toy” do they fall in love with?

(sigh)

Dan really "wrote" this post.

So we went to the beach last week. My parents very generously rented a condo in Florida and invited lots of family to come:

Dan took every photo we have from the trip, so it appears that he doesn’t exist in this post.  I really need to get on the project of recording him for posterity.
Genevieve relentlessly pursues my father. He might want to look into a restraining order soon.
Keeping her happy at the beach involved lots and lots of crackers. Sandy, sandy crackers.
“Wanna play some “touch” football?”
We had a really terrible view and lighting.
Which Dan used to take some pretty ok photos.
Ok, I lied. They were baby bubble beach sunset freaking magic.
“Dude! Pelicans!”

Payne begged me to “firate pight” with bubble wand “swords” continuously.

Pirate? Fencer? Jedi? Who knows.
Sunset bubble magic became a nightly ritual.
I feel like he needs somebody to knight.
Payne pursued playmates on the lawn with a sort of predatory focus.  At one point he walked up to the open back door of the neighboring condo and yelled “Hey guys! You come play wit me!” at the kids inside…who I’m pretty sure were in the middle of breakfast.
Genevieve and her slave.
Truer words were never appliqued…
Our last beach morning.
“Hey Ma. Old guy in speedo at twelve o’clock.”
Thank you wonderful husband, for recording our babies while they’re still babies, and doing it so beautifully.

A few things from a few days.

Just another Sunday afternoon…
Payne has been really into dress up lately, and Genevieve recieved a kind of awesome purple explosion from a friend for her birthday.
Well, Payne found it in the dress up box and it had to be put on her RIGHT THAT SECOND.
He was sooooo pleased with the result.
She’s worse than a dachshund:
Homegirl can eat.  Like, she regularly eats two eggs with cheese, and milk, and half a banana or something for breakfast.  It’s kind of alarming.  And then when its time for me to eat (I just can’t do pancakes and sausage at 6 am like some people insist upon) she begs under the table…in the manner of a really coordinated puppy.
She is also a babble machine these days. Today she has been crawling around the house chattering “wd-w-wd-w-wd-w”. So freaking cute!
Payne runs everywhere.  This isn’t news.
However, in this case he was running back to his seat from the splashpad at a baseball game. He was completely soaked.  His cargo shorts were flinging little arcs of water at innocent bystanders, and he was SO HAPPY.  I want to be one of my own kids when I grow up.
Oh, and Payne sniffs out.  Like, if you ask him to smell something he will go over to it and blow air from his nose AT it.  You can guess that there is a sort of inherent hazard involved for the subject of the “sniffing”. For some reason both Dan and I find this hilarious, and you can safely bet I’ve asked Payne to go smell Daddy just for kicks. 
Awww, look at the pretty baby in the pretty dre….. 
(eyes bug out of head)
I can promise that no babies were harmed in making of this post.
I cannot promise the same about big brothers.

My heart grew three sizes this day.

We just got back from vacation, and while it was a great trip, and my family was a huge help, I was feeling the strain of parenting a bit.

Between having to plan and prepare snacks for every beachy occasion, plan trips outside according to weather, nap schedule, and the particular sun and sand tolerances of each child, and dealing with a teething baby that just. wanted. her. crib….let’s just say that I was fantasizing about Dan catching a non life threatening yet convenient sterilizing side effect carrying case of mumps.

I also maybe thought about leaving the kids with the condo as a sort of farewell gift to the complex manager. There, I said it.

Then this morning, on the way to the airport, Payne addressed a fussy Genevieve with “Dohn cry Gen-veev! We bee d’ere soon”. He also told her to “stop being cwazy”. Plus.

And then Genevieve was that screaming baby on the airplane that the childless people thought “Why don’t they just make that baby shut up. They’re such lazy parents. My kids will be well behaved in public!” about. Minus.

And then we taught the baby to say “uh oh”, so now she drops something, we say it, and she squeaks out “Dut-ohhhh”. There is nothing more adorable than this. I don’t care how many kitten photos you’ve seen on Facebook. Plus.

And the kicker, right before bed we were asking Genevieve where Daddy/Mommy/Payne was, and she would turn and look at the right person. Her most enthusiastic response by far was to Payne’s name. Plus.

I’m officially glad I didn’t give them away.

They may be 23 and 26 years old respectively before I consent to another family vacation, though.