Sunday, September 24, 2006

Turn, turn, turn

Even though it was 80 degrees when I went outside last week, it smelled like fall. I think it was the leaves, but it just wasn’t summer anymore. I think I’ll miss it this time around. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t; but this one was nice (mild, even). I’m sad to see it go. And as the leaves start changing, I’ll no longer be able to see the contrast of the green leaves against the blue sky. You know how it is when something strikes you that never did before? For example, one spring I really noticed the buds and new leaves on the trees. I mean I REALLY noticed them. I couldn’t stop looking at them and thinking that they were just more remarkable than usual. That’s how it was all summer long with the trees and sky. I frequently thought to myself, “Wow. That is a really good color combination.” Strangely, it sometimes calmed me when I was stressed, or allowed me to notice the beauty in the moment when I felt completely bored.

Of course, this summer was also memorable in other ways—it wasn’t just the green and blue. Renée was born. Joseph turned into a true toddler. Our lives became just a little more chaotic. I know that it will never be like this again. Next summer will be different. Joseph will probably not be as excited about pushing around his lawnmower. And although he may still enjoy planting flowers, he won’t call the mums in the back yard “mum-mums,” and he might also give up the phrase “garden patch.” And even though it will be exciting to watch Renée grow and change, I couldn’t help but get a little teary when I put away her first batch of clothing that became too small. As fall officially begins, Renée will no longer be a newborn; she’ll be a regular baby. I think next time around I won’t be as amazed by the trees against the sky.

Maybe some changes won’t be so sad. Although the kids will have changed, there will be new things to take in. Renée may end up pushing around the lawnmower. And maybe I’ll be able to handle evenings without Tony a little more skillfully. Or perhaps sometimes I’ll be able to have more dinners where Renée is not screaming to be held while Joseph is yelling for attention while smearing avocado in his hair that he refuses to let us wash. But if not, it’s okay, because I know it will never be like this again.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nuts and berries

People talk about the phenomenon called “mommy brain.” You know, the thing that happens to your head when you have a child, making you unable to form coherent thoughts or speak intelligibly. Well, I have that; I definitely have that. I’ve been known to search for a correct word, only to finally come up with “vacuum cleaner,” when that’s not at all what I meant to say. What’s worse is that I continue on with the conversation, not bothering to substitute the correct word because Tony will undoubtedly understand using context clues that I really meant to say “garage door opener.” Who needs all of those nouns and verbs when grunting and pointing work so well? I’m not sure though that I can blame it on hormonal changes or lack of sleep. I think that the real problem is that after having children I have to spend so much time and energy on food. I sometimes feel like all we are doing is eating food, or preparing food, or thinking about what food to make next that it hardly leaves any time for grocery shopping or cleaning up the mess left over after eating the food. I’m not sure we’ve changed very much from a hunter-gatherer society.

I even check out food-related websites (See this one. Or this one.) in my spare time. I need to watch a movie or something. Which reminds me, I’d better add Fast Food Nation to my queue.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Our little one is getting so big!

And no, I don’t mean Renée. (Although she is getting big. She's in the 75th percentile for weight and height—something I’m not used to in a baby. She also gives us a lot of adorable smiles and cute little baby sounds. She really is an amazing little thing.) No, it’s not Renée, it’s my little spider friend that has been living next to/in our fireplace for some time now. Every time I’m walking around holding one of my two babies, either early in the morning or later in the evening, I see this spider. I keep meaning to kill it, but I can never get around to it with a kid in my hands. And whenever I don’t have a kid in my hands (which is not very often—I do even now), the spider has retreated into his home, and I can’t get to him. I have now known this spider for much of its life. He was small, but not so much anymore. They grow up so fast! (I would post a picture, but like all promised pictures of our little ones, I don’t always get the free time to do it.) Sometimes this spider even builds an addition on his house, and it spreads out much farther than I would like. I take care of that when it happens, but not the spider himself. Sometimes I walk by it and think maybe I don’t care. How much longer will it live anyway? And for those of you who know me, you know that by reading that last statement, it is clear that my children have either helped me relax a little, or have completely made me nuts.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bob the Pessimist

You may remember my previous rammblings about Bob the Builder and creativity. You may have also read some of the comments about playing with this particular toy as well as other “boys’ toys”. I think Bob the Builder is supposed to be positive, or a good role model, or at least a nice guy. I really have no idea what these cartoons are supposed to be doing. Besides, we only have the toy; we’ve never seen the actual show. What I do know is that there is a reoccurring line: “Can we fix it? YES, WE CAN!” We saw that in a Bob the Builder book and have used that line from time to time around the house. However, the other day Joseph decided to give us his own “toddler” version.

Me: Can we fix it?
Joseph: Nope. (pause) We can’t.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to school

Last week was Tony’s first week back to work. It was hard to coordinate, but I somehow made it through without anyone needing a trip to the emergency room. Sure, when I decided to let Joseph help me make granola (while Renée was NOT napping), he ended up spilling instead of stirring, covering the floor, his pants, his feet, and his hands in honey-coated oats. And when I tried to quickly clean up, he decided it would be fun to stomp through the sticky pile on the floor. But I somehow managed to keep things under control considering the circumstances. Now that the Labor Day holiday is over, Tony will start his second week of work. Please wish me luck.