Monday, January 31, 2011

Monkeying Around #1

Often when we are to embark on a trip (and by "trip," I mean something even as simple as going to the mall), P asks me what time we need to leave the house.  This may seem like a simple question.  If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, you would simply calculate how long it takes to get there, and subtract that number from the preferred arrival time, right?  Wrong.  Not if you have children.  In my 3.5 years of motherhood, I have learned that, even if things seem to going smoothly, it is always necessary to tack on a minimum of ten minutes to the estimated travel time to accommodate any unforeseen circumstances.  This amount of time may be augmented according to various factors, such as whether or not both children are coming (add additional five minutes), duration of the trip (add ten minutes to gather necessary child-related gear), and, among others, whether or not I care about their appearance (add additional ten minutes for a minimum of one complete wardrobe change per child).  Let me provide an example by relaying this morning's events:

J: "Mommy, can I take my green marker to school?"
Me: "No, please leave the marker here.  The markers are for coloring at home."
(silence from my dear offspring)
Me: "OK, are you ready to go?"
J: "Yes."
And when I turn around this is what I see:
What this picture doesn't capture are the additional green decorations on his hands.  Lovely.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dog Tricks #2

In the last post about Rusty, I described him as quirky, but did I mention he's also a ninja?  Or perhaps has  has mastered the skill of teleportation, at least as far as thwarting our efforts to keep him off the bed is concerned.  Rusty has the ability to appear to be resting peacefully under the couch, but when I go into the bedroom and sit on the bed, I am forced to spring back up again when I realize I've sat on him.  He is also blessed with superhuman--or shall I say supercanine--stealth speed as he has the ability to make it from his dog bed on the floor to curled up underneath the covers in the amount of time it takes me to get up and turn off the light.  And then he'll look up at me, mustering his most pathetic look, wagging his tail and acting like he's been there all night.  I must admit his tactics are working.  Lately, we've been allowing him to sleep in bed with us because whichever genius engineered the heating/cooling system in our house made it so that almost no air makes it to the master bedroom, so in the winter it's usually only a few degrees warmer in our bedroom than it is outside, and I worry that in the morning all we'll find is a little dachshund icicle on the floor (I was going to try and be original and combine the words "Rusty" and "icicle," but came up with "Rusticle," and that wasn't quite the image I was looking for).

Our little hotdog friend's abilities don't end there.  Despite the fact that is a mere tenth of my body weight and just about that amount of body mass, he has the ability to use every ounce of it to the fullest.  I often wake up at night only to find that I have been relegated to what amounts to about twelve square inches of bedspace while Rusty enjoys prime real estate in the middle of the bed.  And getting that prime real estate back is no mean feat.  If ever Míša is in the way, all it takes is a gentle nudge, and she politely makes room.  Fighting with Rusty for space reminds me of the wrestling matches my sister and I occasionally had over a spot on the couch.  It takes all of my strength to move him an inch, and as soon as I release pressure to get my wind back, he slithers back into place.  OK, my sister didn't slither, but you get the idea.  Later I get up for a drink of water, and come back to the bed, and there he is, cemented to the center of my half of the bed and it starts all over again.  But he's pretty darn cute doing it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monkey Maxims #6

My lovely brood can't take credit for this one, as it is courtesy of my adorable four-year-old nephew.  My sister was telling her husband about the conversation I had explaining P's doctor's checkup to J, which my nephew (also J) overheard:

J: "Are they going to put the blood in there?"
My sister: "Where?"
J: "In his butt."

And the obsession with bodily functions, butts, and other appendages begins....

I'm an Idiot #1

I am forgetful.  Most people know this.  Many have been a victim of it.  Particularly my mom.  She really hated the word "Oops!" accompanied by a surprised and fearful expression on my face minutes before leaving for school on a weekday morning.  This fateful combination often resulted in, for example, situations involving her having to drive me across town to Sabino Canyon (because I forgot we were supposed to be at school an hour early to board the bus for a field trip), then being forced to drive around Sabino Canyon  looking for my classmates in a golf cart with a strange old man missing several teeth and with questionable personal hygiene habits accompanied by his three mange-infested canine accomplices, and then having to drive twenty awkward minutes all the way back to her car with them by herself.  Alas, family members can't claim to be the sole unhappy victims.  The few remaining friends I have know this, have accepted it, and still love me despite this fact.  I have worked hard in my 31-year existence to remedy this fault, but despite my best efforts, it can't be eradicated completely.  I think it might be in my genetic code. 

Sadly, my faults don't end there.  I am also hopelessly disorganized.  The combination of my forgetfulness and my disorganization can be fantastically frustrating, and often results in me losing things--fault #3, if you're counting.  This is where we get to the subject of this post.  In the past four days, I have lost the one remaining car key (the other having met its fate many months ago), the dogs' collars (not completely my fault), and my cell phone, all in the comfort of my own home.  The car key and dogs' collars incidents both happened (on separate days, thankfully, or I'd be writing this from a mental hospital) (fault #4: overuse of parentheses) as I was to leave the house to pick up J from school, where we get fined something like $5 for every minute we're late in picking them up.  My phone, on the other hand, was missing all yesterday afternoon, and I shamefully admit that I felt completely naked without it.  What if someone needed me?  What if I needed someone?  I'm sure you'll be relieved to learn that life went on around me even without my input, and, upon reflection, it seems a little ridiculous to accept the norm that anyone can contact me, or I them, at any moment.

Anyway, we now have two dogs named Misha because I have yet to find Rusty's collar, but I did find both of Míša's.  Why does Míša have two collars, you ask?  Because two days after I bought her a new collar ($7.99), made a new ID tag at the local pet store ($11.99), and ordered a new license from the animal control center ($10.50), I found her old one, attached to a toy car, nestled comfortably in J's ride-on tractor.  At least that one wasn't my fault.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monkey Maxims #5

Well, just as promised, more language mayhem on the preschooler front.  This morning when J asked who was going to take him to school today, I said that I was.  Normally P takes him, but I explained to him that daddy has to go to the doctor for a checkup. 

J: "Is daddy sick?"
Me: "No, daddy's just going so the doctor can look at him and see if he is healthy."
J: "The doctor is going to look at his butt?"
Me: "No, he's not going to look at daddy's butt.  The doctor going to take some blood to look at it."
J: "Daddy's bleeding?"
Me: "No, they're just going to take a small amount to look at."
J: "Oh, OK."

I subscribe to the belief that children should be told the truth as much as possible, but, as is evident from this conversation, sometimes less is more.  I still have no idea where he got the notion of the doctor looking at daddy's butt since we've never discussed proctology before, but who knows what J talks about with his friends at school.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monkey Maxims #4

From first words from the mouths of babes to the fantastical stories woven by toddlers and preschoolers, experiencing your child's attempts at language is an eternal spring of amusement.  I would say this is even doubly so for parents of bilingual children, because two languages = twice the fun.  One thing I did not expect with J was the fact that he would have a foreign accent in English, even though he is learning it from native (or pretty much native) speakers.  I suppose Czech can be considered his "first" language, because it is what we speak at home and it's what he hears a majority of the time, so it is no surprise he is far more fluent in Czech than in English.  But let me tell you that there is nothing cuter than hearing a three-year-old speak English with a Czech accent.  I'm assuming that since I don't have an accent in English, nor do any of my other friends or relatives who learned English at a young age, his will eventually disappear, but for now we can rejoice in the mirth this causes.

Perhaps the following examples cannot be attributed to J's accent in English, perhaps they are just one of those mispronunciations that can be attributed to learning a language in general, but they're pretty darn funny any way you see it (or at least I think so):

About a year ago, J built a masterwork of Lego Duplo, and was scooting it across the table saying "My fireshit!  My fireshit!"  After asking him to repeat what he was saying and numerous more attempts at edification, he insisted that "My fireshit!" was the correct  pronunciation.  When someone becomes a mom, they also inherit an uncanny ability to be able to decipher what to others may sound like complete babble, but I had to admit defeat in this case.  It wasn't until later when I was relaying the story to P that he enlightened me.  Apparently, "Fireshit" is the correct pronunciation for "Pirate Ship" in J-language.

These mispronunciations are becoming more rare as J gets older (fear not, there are many more oppotunities for language mayhem on the preschooler front!), but just a few days ago, I witnessed J running through the house saying "Let's get a tumor."  I was unable to get clarification on this one, so I'm offering a prize to the first person to decipher this code.  And by "prize," I mean that you'll feel really cool if you figure it out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Monkey Maxims #3

This post will be familiar to all of you who read my Facebook updates, but I've had a request by my good friend Allison for a reprise.  I should probably begin by explaining that J has had an ongoing fascination with everything I keep on my nightstand, such as chapstick, various hair accoutrements, deodorant (hey, it gets hot here in the summer), kleenex, among other seemingly uninteresting objects.  I'll often find one or more of these objects in strange places or missing altogether, or I'll see J attempting to be inconspicuous about having greased up the entire lower portion of his face with chapstick.  However, perhaps the most tempting item for my three year old monkey is my lavender aromatherapy spray.  He has gotten into trouble countless times for spraying himself as well as other inanimate (and animate) objects with it, so he knows it's off limits.  One day, I came upon J sitting on the bed, holding the lavender spray in his hand:

J: "Look mommy, I'm not spraying it."
Me: "Thank you, honey, I'm glad."
J (quietly, as an afterthought): "I only spray it when I'm by myself."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monkey Maxims #2

Here's another oldie but goodie from about a year ago when we were potty training J.

On another marathon potty session, J on his potty chair, me sitting on the floor across from him:

J (gesturing to potty chair): "Mommy sit here?"
Me: "No, honey, it's too small for mommy."
J (patting my leg consolingly): "Mommy too big, like airplane."

Kids certainly keep you humble.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

Those of you who know me have most likely heard this story, but it's so good it bears repeating.

I was pretty uncomfortable during the end of my pregnancy with J, due the fact that it was 2,000 degrees for the last few months of it, no kidding.  OK, kidding just a little, but not much.  Plus, my joints ached so much I could barely walk, so I was eternally grateful that our family friends allowed me to use their pool at my pleasure, and I spent at least an hour a day marinating in it.  Well, on one of these occasions, my husband, P joined me:

Me: "Wow, I feel so great, I feel so light in the water."
P (completely serious): "Isn't that why they say hippopotamuses spend 95% of their lives in the water?"

I don't know what's funnier, the fact that those words actually passed his lips, or the fact that he didn't actually intend it as a joke.  You can't make this stuff up.

Dog Tricks #1

Well, we're off to a searing start.  Two posts in five days, woo hoo!  I've decided to create entries in themes, and, for those of you who need the obvious to be stated, "Dog Tricks" involves the various shenanigans of our children of the canine species.

Rusty, the dachshund, is the newest member of our family.  Despite the opinion that many of my family members hold that shelter dogs are "damaged goods," I knew I wanted to adopt a dog, and we found our little guy at a small rescue organization that consists of one very devoted woman and truckload of wiener dogs.  Think crazy cat lady, but with dogs.  And not so crazy.  Actually she's quite delightful and it's wonderful to see someone so devoted to the well being of animals.  But I digress.  From the moment we brought him home, it was like Rusty had always been here, like he belonged with us.  Do not be fooled by the noble pose in the photo to the right.  Rusty is just as much of a fruitcake as the rest of us. 

In getting to know the personality of a new family member, there are many things you learn about a dog that has had history with other owners, and it can often be entertaining (and/or exasperating) discovering his various quirks.  Number one: Rusty has a fetish for dryer balls.  No matter what other new, dog-appropriate ball or toy was introduced to him, there was only one object of his desire, dryer balls.  If he was ever so lucky as to abscond with one of them, he would disappear under the couch to administer his loving affections (those of you with minds in the gutter, not THOSE affections).  After about a week, I gave up on trying to keep him from taking them, and he was in seventh heaven, carrying them around with him all day long: around the house, outside in the yard, back inside, back outside, back inside, to bed with him, etc.  Sadly, neither of the heavenly objects were not made to endure his  ardent attentions, and have since been reduced to small blue nubs that I now have to pry from M's fingers and mouth.  However, Rusty has not given up hope, and every time I do laundry, he stands steadfastly by the dryer door, most likely thinking it is a shrine of unlimited dryer balls.

Monkey Maxims #1

Early morning, I'm sitting in a still partially-dark room nursing M when J walks in, still in his pyjamas, and asks sternly:
"Mommy, why aren't you cooking?!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First post

OK, now that I've got you hooked by the title of my first ever post, let me explain the purpose of this blog.  Before I begin, however, let me also state my disclaimer: to the hapless souls that have stumbled upon this blog: first of all, I apologize for tormenting you with yet another site that discusses the daily trials and tribulations that are a matter of course in the life of a parent.  However, if you do find at least some things herein mildly interesting or entertaining, let me introduce myself as a mom of two spirited (read: impish) but absolutely loveable boys, owner of our first baby, a Parson Russell Terrier, our fourth baby, a dachshund, and wife of one loving, and occassionally lovingly infuriating, husband.

This whole blog thing is actually an experiment on my part, because I have no idea whether or not I'm actually going to be updating on a regular basis.  This is a huge commitment, you know, keeping their friends and relatives up to date with our activities.  I mean, I'd hate to get your hopes up with my first few scintillating posts, and then crush your hearts by not keeping up.  But, I've had many requests on Facebook by friends to start a blog of my childrens' adventures (and misadventures) either because these friends particularly enjoy hearing these stories, or because they secretly hope that if I start posting them somewhere else, I'll stop annoying them on FB.  So, here goes nothing!