Sunday, August 31, 2008

Snake in the House!

At risk of the possibility that this may reflect poorly upon my housekeeping abilities, let me tell you about our adventures today. I made it a goal to freshen and tidy up our guest rooms. Just a bit of dusting and re-making beds. Imagine my surprise though when I went into one of the guest rooms and noticed something suspicious on the floor...I went in for a better look and much to my horror it slithered into the corner.
I did what any reasonable housewife would do...I ran just as fast as I could hollering for Peter to come quickly. "There's a snake in the house! There's a snake in the house!" And he did what any reasonable husband would do. He came and rescued his family from the imminent danger.
I realize there may be those of you out there who will point out that this must be the smallest snake known to man. I'll just tell you right now, I'm not listening to that nonsense. There was a SNAKE slithering in my guest room today, and in my mind Peter retains his well earned role as master and protector of our clan after his incredible heroics today.

Soren thought the whole thing was fabulous. He was actually petting the snake. He kept talking really gently to it and talking about how much the snake liked him and how he kept sticking his tongue out. Definitely his father's son.

I do still have one really teeny tiny concern. This looks like a baby snake, right? Don't baby snakes usually come in a bunch? Ok, I'm going to stop thinking about that now. And check my sheets very well before I climb in tonight.

p.s. One more thing...Soren is indeed dressed up like a bumble bee in these photos. It is pretty much Halloween in our house whenever we want it to be.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to the Oregon State Fair

We headed back to the Oregon State Fair again today. This time we sort of let Daddy do the guiding... We ended up in the craftsman area...
And the plants and garden area (of course)...
and still managed a few rides...
But we spent the most time in a small little 4-H barn at the back of the fair huddled around a huge table of Legos! Soren hasn't really gotten into Legos yet, and he didn't get into them too much today either. Mostly he spent his time digging through the piles to see what he could find in the bin.
Daddy however constructed a cool jet plane space shuttle thing. It was pretty cool. And Soren was immensely impressed.
Especially when he finally got to play with it himself.

I don't think we're quite ready to book a trip to Legoland, but it was a really fun afternoon.
Judge for yourself how much Soren liked it. On the way to bed, as I was carrying him all snuggled up to me he sighed "You are a really great mama to me. I'm really glad I'm in your family."
Aw, those are the best kinds of bedtimes.

Guess Who Packed My Lunch Today?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Greased Lightening

So, how do you think Soren would look with dreadlocks?

Hair washing has become a nightmare in our household. Maybe I should clarify...Peter and I are still freshening up our locks with a bit of shampoo now and then. It is the three-year old member of our family who has become a bit more reluctant.

He's never been a big fan of having water dumped over his head. (And, really, who can blame him?) But still, he'd let us do it. But lately he's been completely panicked about the idea. I've found a decent workaround - while he's in the shower with me and getting his hair wet just by virtue of playing in the shower I can slip in a good washing around the sides of his head. And then he gets his hair rinsed while he continues to play in the shower. But that doesn't really work for the top of his head.

I had some friends recommend a special gadget that supposedly makes hair rinsing easier. I bought it, loathe as I am to purchase yet another random specialized tool that serves one small purpose (Let me digress just one second and say that that is one thing that drives me crazy about Martha Stewart. I mean seriously, lemon zesters, garlic peelers, olive pitters...and the list goes on. Me, I'd pretty much just use a knife for all those purposes. But then again, that is probably why I don't have a zillion dollars, my own magazine, satellite radio station and television show. Yep, the only difference between Martha Stewart and me is a lemon zester and olive pitter.)

Ok, so I bought the specialized child hair rinser.

Last night I thought I'd warm Soren up to the idea. So even before we got to the bath I told him how it would work. I let him hold a wash cloth up to his eyes and then I used the empty rinser thingy to do a dry practice run. All was well and good.

So, then he was happily playing in the tub and I got an even better idea...I let him take the rinser thingy in the tub to play with it with it. I'm a genius! Systematic deconditioning, right? (That probably isn't the real psychological term, but Peter isn't handy at the moment so it will have to suffice.)

So, he splashes around loving the new rinser. And then, I take it even one step further in the practicing of the upcoming hair rinse. I tell him that I wanted to rinse his body off. Let me tell you, that kid was out of the tub faster than I've seen anything move in the Kentucky Derby. He literally flew out of the tub. He was so wet and slippery I didn't even have a chance of catching him. So, there I sat, rinser thingy in hand, just wondering where he'd run to.

I did eventually track him down. He was in a panic over the idea of getting rinsed. Poor kid. No matter how much I told him that I wouldn't do his hair, that it was going to be warm and nice and that it wouldn't go in his eyes, he just wasn't buying it. I finally had to just pick him up screaming and kicking back to the bath tub. (Let me tell you holding that writhing slippery bundle of energy was not easy!)

I plopped him in the tub, filled up the bucket and poured it gently down his back. The weird thing? He LOVED it? "Ahhhh," he said (between sniffles) "That feels really nice."

So, the hair went unwashed last night, but hopefully we've taken one small step towards de-terrorizing the idea of getting rinsed. But after that ordeal I'm not very optimistic about my chances of catching him again if he knows that a real hair rinsing is on offer.

If any of you know how to do dreadlocks, please feel free to drop me a note.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Count to Three...

Last week Peter and Soren were playing hide and seek. Soren would count and Peter would go hide. But, as usual with Peter, he had to create a new twist on the game. While Soren was searching, Peter would occasionally pop up and surprise Soren. Even if Peter would hide in the exact same spot every time he'd pop up and Soren would still be surprised. It wasn't a big scare, but Soren told Peter that he didn't like it.

So Peter said that he'd tell Soren when he was going to scare him...he'd count to three and then shout. What was hiliarious was that it made the situation MUCH worse. Soren was absolutely, completely, totally terrified knowing that on the count of three Peter was going to scare him. One - Two - Three - Boo! Not a big scary noise, just a Boo! Somehow the anticipation and knowing that he was going to be surprised made it much scarier!

The poor child was sobbing because he was so scared. Peter had to pick him up to calm him down and tell him that he wouldn't scare him anymore.

The Naked Breakfast

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Oregon State Fair

Yippee! The Oregon State Fair started this weekend. We love that it lasts long enough to cover two whole weekends!Soren, of course, loves the rides...

He really liked having his own private canoe...
And all the tasty treats...
He really thought it was neccessary to wash off these model horses with handfuls of water from the fountain. He was trying to get the spots off this appaloosa!
Yum! Sweet corn with parmesan cheese!

The only thing I don't like about the fair is how expensive it is. Somehow I have in my mind that the fair should be good, cheap fun. But $10 admission for adults (at least it is free for Soren), $20 for 6 rides, and then whatever we spend on food...which really adds up quickly. Sigh. But I know we'll go at least one more time. I guess sometimes money can buy happiness!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bruce Springsteen is Corrupting My Family

Alright, while we're in the post-spank confessional mode I may as well admit to one of my other baby mommy habits. Soren and I like to sing together. A lot. Most of the time it is itsy bitsy spider, a Sound of Music song, or something by Barney. You know, totally child-appropriate. But then sometimes I'm walking around the house singing some random song and Soren picks up on it.

Which is exactly what happened with Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire. My musical tastes aren't very complicated. Mostly, if I know the words then I like the song. And this one is particularly fun because there are plenty of places to get your voice all gravely and rock star-ish. It's just a fun song to sing.

Hey, little girl is your daddy home, did he go and leave you all alone?
mmm mmm I got a bad desire,
oh oh oh, I'm on fire.
Tell me now baby is he good to you,
can he do to you the things that I wanna do?
mmm mmm I can take you higher,
oh oh oh, I'm on fire.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul.
At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head,
only you can cool my desire,
oh, I'm on fire. Oh, I’m on fire. Oh, I’m on fire.

Well, now Soren knows all the words to this song. Sheesh. I just hope he doesn't start talking about a knife, edgy and dull carving a valley through the middle of his soul while we are at Target.

I think I need to expand my Barney repertoire to avoid such egregious mommy moments in the future.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Too Much Man Time?

As I mentioned, I just came back from a business trip to New Orleans. While I was gone, Peter and Soren were on their own. Lots of late night carousing, I'm sure.

This morning, Soren made me wonder if in my absence he'd been supplied with an over abundance of manly information. We were laying in bed, reading a book and he stopped me.

"Excuse me, mama. Do you have hairy armpits?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Tantrum

Oh, wow, somehow a week has elapsed since our last post! I've been in New Orleans for work for the past few days. Worked really hard, but also managed to have a lot of fun too. But it is always nice to be home again.

I thought I'd post the story of Soren's plane tantrum on our way to Michigan. Ooooo-eeee, that one was a doozy. He's generally a pretty laid back and happy kid, but he's also a three year old and well, sometimes isn't fully able to get a full grip on his emotions. Which is exactly what happened on this flight.

When I looked online before we left, the plane didn't look totally full. So, I booked us in a window and an aisle seat in hopes that the seat between us would stay empty. So, we got on board and I sat on the aisle and Soren sat by the window. He was looking around at all the airport happenings. Keep in mind too that I'd had to wake him up really early for the 7 a.m. flight, and we hadn't yet eaten breakfast. I brought it with us expecting to eat it on the long flight. Tired + hungry = not a good combination.

All was well and good until this college student got on and said that he was in the middle seat. I offered to switch so that he could have the window instead, thinking that it would be better for us to have the aisle so that we could get up and down during the flight. He happily accepted and I moved Soren to the middle. Soren was furious. He wanted that window seat! So he proceeded to shout ("I WANT TO SEE! I WANT TO SIT BY THE WINDOW") and squirm and cry. Totaly causing a scene. Oy.

I tried to hard to calm him down. Rationalizing with him about how we could walk around. The poor college kid kept saying "Really, he can have the window seat!" And things pretty much spiraled louder and louder.

Thinking that I could distract Soren with some food, I pulled out some yogurt. He insisted not only on feeding himself but also holding the full yogurt container and reached over to grab the yogurt-laden spoon in my hand. Oh great, I was so ready to not only have the screaming child, but also to let loose a spoonful of yogurt flinging across the plane. When I wouldn't give him the yogurt he yelled and cried louder.

Passengers were still boarding at this point, all walking by us with that "am I really stuck in here for the next few hours with that kid?" look. And Soren just wouldn't be consoled.

I tried ignorning him for awhile. But he wasn't quieting down. And there really is only so long you can let your kid carry on inside a crowded airplane. So, as a last resort, I unbuckled his seat belt pulled him over my knee and swatted him twice on the behind.

I was probably as shocked as he was. We're not spankers. Just hasn't ever seemed like our type of discipline. But nothing else was working. So I gave it a try. And you know what? It totally worked. He stopped carrying on immediately and just sat sniffling in his seat.

Still not sure what I think of that spank. Looking back I see that I could have taken him just outside the plane door to let him shout outside. But I didn't see that option then. I don't like giving the message that it is ok to hit people, ever. So I'm not too happy about that. But I have to say the effectiveness was pretty impressive. And it was probably so effective because we don't normally do it.

There is a funny ending to the story. Once he calmed down he turned back into the sweet boy we all know and love. And he ended up really having fun with the guy sitting next to him. They talked about all sorts of different things. But here's the best conversation. Keep in mind that this was a few hours after the tantrum...

They were looking out the window and saw another plane going by.
College guy: Hey, check out that plane over there. Where do you think it is going?
Soren: Hm, maybe it is going to San Diego.
College guy: San Diego, that would be cool. I like San Diego.
Soren: We go to San Diego too. Do you want to go with us?
College guy: Yeah, sure. That would be fun.
Soren: But when we go to San Diego I get that seat!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bumped Again!

I know that our luck has to run out one of these days. I mean, how long can this family really plan on flying to Michigan for free? Well, it appears that it will happen for awhile longer...we got bumped again yesterday!

We love United Airlines! We got bumped out of Chicago O'hare yet again. They put us on the next flight out, so we had a three hour wait at the airport and left with two more ticket vouchers in hand! Hurrah!

We passed the time by running around the trash cans:
and watching DVDs:
But we did finally make it home. It is great to be back! (And planning the Christmas trip to Michigan that these vouchers are going to get for us! Yippee!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Haircut: the Verdict

After fast and furious blog voting, we reached a nearly unanimous decision: time for a minor trim. (Grandpa monitored the results too and said that he was grateful to those of you who were looking out for his feelings!)

How many barber shops do you know of where you can step out for a bit of fishing if your subject becomes too wiggly?
My Dad has been accused of styling all his subjects to look exactly like himself. I think we finally have proof that that accusation may have some merit.
The end result:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last Day in Michigan

Our last full day in Michigan! We made a big day of it...first to Luke's house for a few hours playing with trains. Then to the park!

Soren loved holding little Riley.
No summer trip to Michigan would be complete without some time at the lake. It was so awesome to watch Soren and Luke run, jump, splash, and play.

Soren has already announced that he doesn't want to go home. He says he wants to live in Michigan. I can't say that I blame him. It has been pretty much non-stop excitement since our plane touched down. But tomorrow morning we're heading back home again. Definitely looking forward to seeing Daddy!!!

Oh, and about the haircut...I know you are all wondering did they or didn't they...stay posted. I'll have pics of that tomorrow...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And the Fun Goes On!

Still more fun to be had today! We started out with a fun, long ride throughout the neighborhood with Rosie pulling us in Grandpa's cart:

Even between all the thrilling stuff we still take time to listen to our favorite stories. Sometimes with Grandma...
And sometimes with Luke and Grandpa...
Tomorrow is our last full day here. Sigh. We need to cram as much fun as possible in the remaining daylight hours! Hopefully that will include a trip to the beach.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Few Reasons Why Michigan in the Summer is So Great

Oh, who am I kidding? We haven't even seen "Michigan" yet...these are a few reasons Grandpa and Grandma's place is so great. We haven't even left their house yet!