Wednesday, April 22, 2009

the one where I write too much about poop

When Kate and the boys showed up to pick me up from work Finn had a new red truck and trailer in his hands and a huge smile on his face. The truck he had was a special one because it was the one the he got when he pooped in the potty for the first time. We had a close call the night before when Finn called for me but I got there too late. We have been doing the potty training thing for the last week now and Finn had not dropped the deuce yet. He had number one down and was even mixing it up with the kids potty and the big toilet but he was seriously scared of pooping. We talked about it a lot, going through all the people who poop, but he was not a fan. I think that the close call and the rewarding him for being close was the tipping point though because the next day he told Kate, reluctantly, that he needed to go while she was on the phone with Tom Tom. She rushed him to the throne and he sat there crying "I don't want to poop, I AM POOPING, I don't want to poop, I AM POOPING!" He was right there in the center of his fear dealing head on with the poop. He got through it with some help from Kate and Tom Tom and he couldn't have been prouder of himself. I have to admit that I was so happy and proud of him. It was one proudest moments of my life, I was fighting back tears as he showed me his new truck. I can't believe how much this process has effected me. I mean it's really not that big of deal but I was about to cry because I was so happy for my boy that he pooped in the potty. This parenting thing is crazy thing. Later that night I was down watching a basketball game and it was getting around bath time and Finn had been gone for a while. I went upstairs from the basement and met Finn halfway up the stairs. He had his Lightening McQueen Chonnies halfway up and another big smile on his face. "I pooped in the potty again!" While we were downstairs Finn went up to the bathroom, sat on his potty, pooped, pulled the bucket out and dumped it in the toliet and flushed it, all without us anywhere around him. I went in and saw the tell tale signs in his potty and the big one and helped him wipe up completely blown away. So this little mang mang who yesterday would not poop in the potty for anything, then reluctantly does, then does it on his own with no fan fare or help from mommy or daddy. Apparently he aged 3 years in day and we are now out of reward trucks. The good news is that we don't really need a reward any more because Finn apparently has got it under control. I know we still have some accidents in our future but our midget is growing up and I am as proud of him as Michael Phelp's mom before that whole weed thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the trouble with boys

Finn is a part time choonies, part time diaper kid these days and Henry is walking like a champ when ever he wants (not when we want mind you, when he does) and it has got me thinking about the boys growing up. We have been asked about Pre-school for the blond one and right now we aren't signing him up for anything. We are talking about it and doing some research here and there but we are in no hurry to start the whole school conditioning thing yet. I think I have written before about my dislike of school compared to Kate's enjoyment. While I was at the library there was a book on the new book pile called "The Trouble With Boys: A surprising report card on our sons, their problems at school, and what parents and educators must do" by Peg Tyler. This looked like it would be right up my alley, it could give me some good stuff to use when talking to Kate about school. The book is good and it rings true to me but it has had the effect of making me question it even more. I feel like these type of books are trying to convince you of one thing, and even if that is one thing I would be predisposed to agree with I immediately fight against it. Even with that push back there is a lot in here that resonates with me. i like this bit at the end of the chapter called Preschool Blues:

So if your thinking about preschool for your son, choose wisely. his earliest classroom experiences may shape the kind of learner he becomes. To get him ready for school, talk to him, rhyme with him, and sing with him. After kicking the soccer ball, take him to the library for story hour.... Make sure the school has some tolerance for "play violence" as long as classroom order is maintained. Make sure his daily schedule will include plenty of time and space for movement
I don't think I am one of those parents that needs his kid to start preparing for college before Kindergarten so a lot of the warnings in the book are lost on me. I want Finn to succeed but I want him to love to learn on his own and have that success come from a natural overflow of an already creative spirit. I wonder if I had that before school, like Finn does now. I am not sure what happened to me but over Easter we were looking through a box of old pictures and in it were some 2nd grade report cards where you could see I had already checked out. I was not trying and unmotivated. Not doing my homework and smart but didn't apply myself. The thing is I really do love to learn, I want to know more and explore and I am not sure that has just come later in my life. I think it was broken at one time and I don't want that to happen for Finn and Henry. I still don't have any real answers but we are thinking about this a lot right now, and really trying to think about in terms of Finn and not Finn and Henry. Maybe what will work for Henry will not work Finn and I think that as parents we want to be mindful of that. This parenting thing is super hard isn't it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

working the runway

always a big table

We had Easter lunch at my parents house for the second year in a row and Kate and I were talking on the way home about how we have had some holidays by ourselves like Thanksgiving in Indiana, and Christmas in Hawaii but we have always gone somewhere for Easter. When we were first dating we went on a great trip with Robin and Linsey to Linsey's house in Northern California. We played games with her family, enjoyed the outdoor shower and had a wonderful time with two dear friends that we both miss terribly. We have spent Easter in Arizona with my brother and the whole AZ crew, a couple of trips to Iowa to celebrate with Aunt Barb and family, and the last two with my parents in Clatskanie. We had a great lunch of ham, green beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, and all manner of desserts. We even had our first kids table! Henry was reaching across the table stealing everyones food, though few minded the help in clearing their plates so they could get dessert. Kate decorated the table with old pictures marking the place settings, including one of Bing in the bath with well placed hands. It was a nice meal and a great time spent with family in what has become the most family focused holiday for our new family. There a bunch of pictures up on Flickr to see, though sadly the bath photo has gone missing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

henry doing a little stroll

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

torture by decoration

Spring is here for sure and with it my allergies. I have been knocked out with medication or knocked out with itchy eyes, sneezing, and a faucet for a nose. I choose the drug induced stupor as the lesser of two evils. One of these days I'm gonna have a good job and get the good stuff that takes care of the symptoms without the whole nodding off at your desk situation. Kate has been real helpful with the allergies by keeping the stuff outside. Oh wait, no she hasn't. instead she makes a great big "Screw You" center piece from the tree I tried to kill when we moved in. As you can see by the flowering goodness the tree isn't dead yet. Though branches seem to be coming off of it and into our house at an alarming rate. We think the wind knocked this down but we wouldn't put it past Kate to help the wind along with some rope that she carries in her purse. Also thank you to Kris and Tom for the great easter swag and card. They sent along a number of treats for the boys that we have hidden in the easiest place to find. I wonder how sophisticated our hiding spots will get over the years. Right now the Dinning room cabinet works but soon it will have to up high. Once the boys start to figure out we are hiding things from them it will turn into a cold war game of cat and mouse. I remember being pretty good at finding the things that Mark and I weren't meant to find but we were home alone alot.

the house is half empty not half full

Our house mates have been gone for nearly two weeks now and we are starting to really miss them. It's not just because we are responsible for all the meals with them gone either. The house seems really big quiet and the benefits of naked walk back from the shower don't out weigh silence. There are no creaking floor boards or terrible new music and a little less vibrancy. Our boys are doing their best to fill the space and Henry can now climb and most importantly descend stairs so he has been hanging out at the top of the stairs waiting for them to come home. Finn asks if Santa Barbara has what ever it is that we are talking about to make sure J and C are not missing out.

Does Santa Barbara have trains to ride?
Does Santa Barbara have McDonalds?
Will they see a PT Cruiser in Santa Barbara?
We have a couple of days left and we will enjoy the bits that are to be enjoyed but mostly we will count down the days until they are back and our house is full again.

Monday, April 06, 2009

a lovely day

This past weekend was beautiful in Portland and we were able to take advantage of it nicely. We were up and out of the house early Saturday morning all bundled up and wondering how we were going to get from just above freezing to 70*. We walked over to Pistils Nursery to get our starts for the vegetable garden. Back at the house we cleaned out the back beds and planted our future harvest. Henry ate as much dirt as he could get before we moved him away. By the time we had the plants in the ground it was already warming up nicely. We made a late breakfast and opened up all the windows. After the afternoon naps we set out to find all the "Go By______" signs in Portland. Kate is redoing the boys room for the 97,145th time this month and these phots figure prominently. We took the train one stop down then walked across the Broadway bridge where we saw the Go By Train sign, then into the Pearl where the Go By Streetcar is. We took a streetcar towards NW 23rd where the Go By Cab sign is at the Cab depot. We walked back and got some Gelatto before walking back across the bridge and back home. We were sidetracked though by a fountain that Finn needed to play in. It was such a nice day in the midst of the cold winter and you can see the pictures of the day on the Flickr page.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

he's dancin with the man in the mirror

There is so much going on for me in this short video of the redheaded one. He sees his reflection in the mirror and gets so excited he needs to immediately get up and dance with himself. When he gets up we are treated to a massive diaper wedgie and his fantastic rooster tail hair. Henry is a train wreck of cuteness and I defy you not to at least smile if not laugh along with him.

A very fancy gentleman

Here is Finn in a bit of a blurry picture modeling the new sweater Beautiful made him from another sweater she got in a bag of clothes for $5. There are other pictures of this and other projects Kate has been working on up top under the Kate's Projects link. When they came to pick me up from work Finn had a red corduroy sport coat over this sweater and some kahkis that Beautiful had made as well. I told him he looked like a very fancy gentleman. He said "Daddy I'm not a smachy genda ram! I'm Finn!"