Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A letter to Disney

The other day when Noah was blathering on about Disneyworld, I’m not even sure of the specific topic of conversation, Mark made a half-muttered smart-ass statement (as he is want to do) “Write a letter to Walt Disney.” I remember it clearly because I found it both funny and inflammatory, but luckily Noah didn’t respond so I thought we were in the clear.

Yesterday morning we had this exchange:
“I want to write a letter to Walt Disney like Daddy said.”
“Oh… Really? What do you want it to say?”
“Dear Walt Disney, I don’t know why the Tiki birds talk. Your rides are the bestest. Love Noah.”
“That sounds like a very nice letter.”
I then called Mark and explained the situation. He asked if I told Noah that Walt Disney was dead. I confessed I did not. When I got off the phone with Mark it went something like this:
“Daddy says he thinks Walt Disney is dead.”
“Because Disneyworld was created a long time ago and Walt Disney was very old.”
“I don’t think he is. I think he just disappeared. Maybe he is on vacation.”
“Where do you think he went on vacation?”
“Maybe Lancaster.”
“Could be.”
And this evening Noah said “When we go to Disneyworld we will find out if Daddy is right about Walt Disney being dead.” To which I responded "Sure. I think someone might know there."

On the news front Ray’s lip is heeled but he gave himself a slight shiner when he fell this afternoon. I’d be pretty pissed off with all the injuries that boy inflicts on himself but he’s just as smiley and goofy as ever. I got a call from the pediatrician saying he was marginally anemic and then recommending I start inundating him with iron drops. I've decided to not heed their suggestion initially and instead try to increase my iron as well as Ray's via diet. Ray isn't being too helpful though since he refuses to eat any baby cereal which is the best source. Who told him he had a say in what he eats? Noah never realized he did.

On Saturday Noah started a swimming class and since then he’s been practicing floating in his bathtub. His teacher told him to pretend he was looking up at the stars. I took him to see Go, Dog, Go on Saturday afternoon and he really enjoyed it. On Sunday myself and the boys went to visit my Dad and Oma and Mark got to stay home and clean the bathroom. Today I hosted art group – every other week a handful of Moms switch off hosting and organizing a project. The kids typically create very briefly and then switch to play while Moms snack and chat. Today we painted large terra cotta pots. Noah typically stays interested in the art project the longest, as he did again today. Not only did he completely cover his whole pot in paint during art group but he also painted two more pots in the afternoon. My friend Janette was also able to come today with her son Jules and new baby boy Rendle. It hasn’t been THAT long since Ray was 6 weeks old – only 9 months. But it seems like a gazillion years ago. It’s so weird.

I was looking back at old blog posts the other night. I like to go back and look at what I said about Noah when he was as old as Ray is now and mull endlessly over how different and yet amazing they are. But what is so striking about looking at the old blog posts is how much and how often I blogged. Like over 400 posts a year! And not just a bunch of photos either. In depth information about what he was eating, how he was sleeping, what he was learning, how I was feeling. It’s crazy! Not only do I now have NO time to devote to journaling like that but I don’t even think I THINK about it all that much. And Ray is just growing so fast and I can barely take in what is going on with him let alone save it for posterity. It makes me feel a little sad. If I have a third I’d have to resort to one word posts once a month.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Poor Ray. He fell, led with his mouth and got himself a very bloody, mangled lip. With all the learning to walk bangs and bruises he has it's a miracle we don't have the authorities at our door. And the other photos are of the boys sitting in the hatch eating water ice. Ahhh - the joys of warm weather.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bigger every day

Here are some shots from our recent zoo and circus outings.
Ray had his 9 month checkup yesterday. Turns out he's actually lost a bit of bulk. Though he's still 90 percentile in length and 95 for head, he's now only 75 for weight. He weighed in at 21 pounds, 12 ounces and I'm sure I weighed him around 23/24 at some point in the last month or so. I guess all that wiggling around is taking off the pounds.
Another boy started in Noah's dance class this week. I don't think he really cared that he was with all girls, but it eased my mind just in case. I asked his teacher how he was doing and she said he was really focused - that all the other kids were running around willy-nilly and he was standing there, staring at her waiting for the next set of instructions.
Noah's current hit song goes like this: "He thinks he's a hero like Indiana Jones. Come on! Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah (tarzan yell)."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tiddly bits

I fell in love with the school we toured last week. Small class size. Smart, involved students. Humble classrooms, an admirable set of principles and a real family atmosphere. Though it’s relatively cheap for a private school it isn’t actually cheap – but I keep thinking about how this school seems like it would be an excellent partner in helping us raise our children like we want them to be raised and that seems priceless. But we have more school research to do.

The kids loved the circus. Noah stared at all in complete concentration and awe. Ray, who is now a pointing, clapping fool, found much to point and clap about. We also had a great time at the zoo on Friday. We organized a group outing with some of our neighborhood Mommy network. It was nice to see the kids romping around together and also great to hand them off to each other for bathroom breaks, etc. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – networking with other Moms makes my job much more doable and enjoyable. I’m so thankful to have met so many women at home with kids of like ages in my neighborhood, at the playground, and at playgroup. I now have about 10 other mothers that I regularly make playdates with. Meeting people easily in public spaces is one of the very best things about the city.

We spent the bulk of this weekend in our “yard.” A friend gave me some of her plants and in doing so also gave me the motivation to actually plant flowers in pots again this year. And once we got back there and started poking around we remembered that we needed a new table set and FINALLY a gas grill. Though I haven’t had the time and peace of mind to put the grill together yet (80 freakin pieces!) we have been eating meals at our new outdoor table. The only problem is that the boys get filthy every time I take them out there – covered in sand and sidewalk chalk – and then they track it all over the house. When is the damn cleaning service coming?

I was very excited to get out and see a grand performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Saturday. I was a fan of the movie (did you know my Oma's name is Hedwig) and a fan of the local actor so it was a necessity that I go. And of course Dito rocked it. Ah… how I miss the theater.

And as is always the case when the kids are in bed – I should be sleeping. Adieu.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The power of sound

For the last week I have been thinking of the Oscars. Right before they announce the Oscars for best song they have someone come out and give a big spiel about how important music is to the movies. To illustrate it they show two movie clips of the same scene, one without music and one with. Of course the clip without the backing track is ho hum while the other one is STUNNING. They illustrate the power of music to stir up the drama, bring on the emotion and make it memorable.

I took out a few CDs from the library a couple of weeks ago. I just grabbed a few off the shelf because keeping up with Ray doesn’t really allow me to browse. One of the CDs I got had to do with Disney’s 50th anniversary. I had assumed it was like a greatest Disney hits CD. This was more for me than Noah as he hasn’t seen any Disney movies. (I’m saving them for when he’s older.) But I grabbed the disc feeling a bit nostalgic for my own childhood. But when I played the Disney 50 disc I soon realized it was songs from Disney RIDES not movies. And though I have been to Disneyworld quite a few times (it really was the closest thing to a regular vacation my Mom took me on – she really loves it and my great Grandparents lived nearby) I was sort of like “Oh well this stinks. But at least I can sing along to ‘It’s a small world.” However Noah was HOOKED. And not just on the disc, which we have listened to like 100 times. He is hooked on Disney. Just like that. With no movie exposure whatsoever. He’s constantly asking anyone who will listen what each ride is like (“Tell me about the Tiki birds,” “What do you remember about Space Mountain?” or “What do they sing at the Country Bear Jamboree?”), asking to see clips of the rides on Youtube and of course inquiring “WHEN ARE WE GOING?” What really got him were the "scary ghosty songs" namely the drama and intrigue of the music for the Indiana Jones ride, Pirates of the Carribbean and the Haunted Mansion. The power of thrilling audio has openned the Disney floodgates. Mark is a bit besides himself because he thinks Disney is the evil empire (you have to admit the marketing is INSANE) though I’m sure part of that is about being bitter that he never went to the Disney parks when he was a kid. But I’m sure he’ll be going some day. Chin up, little Mark. All Noah’s talk probably has Grandma planning her next visit and ours in 2013. To prep Mark I sent him to this Disneyworld article in Slate that I enjoyed courtesy of The Cleaner Plate Club.

Speaking of Grandma (because who isn’t?), Noah enjoyed his first overnight away from home at her place this weekend. I’ve been told he was very well behaved and I know he had an absolute blast. Two of my Mom’s husband’s granddaughters also slept over and the three of them played outside with the grandparents all evening (tag, kickball, glowsticks) before enjoying some Wii. Sounds like a fun night, right? And I only got a little weepy… it’s just the house was so very quiet. But Noah didn’t miss me in the least. “I was too busy having fun” he explained.

Noah’s also been hanging out a lot with his imaginary friend Annie again. And now she has a posse. Their names are Mister, Cotton, and Dinosaur. Today Noah packed them an imaginary picnic lunch while I readied our actual picnic lunch before spending three glorious hours in perfect park weather. Also sparking the imagination of Master Noah is the idea of actually hanging out with the characters of his favorite shows. “Mama, tell me a story about the Backyardigans, Curious George, Me and Ray going to the beach.” Or to Lancaster, the zoo, or even just grocery shopping. Oh and Noah started his dance class this week. I signed him up for a Movement to Music class and he’s already loving it. They played different styles of music - classic, rock, world and talked about different kinds of movement. They danced with hula hoops and moved like different animals. Or so he tells me - Ray and I went to get an iced coffee. Noah didn't blink once when I left him there, he was so excited. It's going to be a lot of fun for him. And hopefully he’ll learn some more moves for his “acrobatter” routines. The old ones are getting a little played out. I’m having a harder time feigning astonishment after seeing them endlessly.

Tomorrow is busy. We have an open house for a school we might like to send Noah to in 2010 (yes, it’s ridiculous that we have to already research this stuff), an art group meeting, a long overdue Mama haircut, and then a night at the circus. And yes- sad, sad elephants. Also sad chickens, cows, and pigs for that matter – but unless you’re a vegan (like Lonna) it seems really weird to be deciding which animals to be outraged about while not others. That's just my humble opinion. And my boy likes circuses DAMMIT. I did explain to him that some people are concerned about the elephants and as a result won't go to the circus. At least I am keeping him fully informed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Can't get enough

Noah writes what he knows. And Ray tries to make it a collaborative effort.

I recorded three other songs and posted them to youtube. If you are a glutton you can hit the Family Videos on Youtube link on the right of the page and see them as well as a few others that I didn't post to the blog.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Ray is making great strides in the race to become a fully mobile boy. But it isn't all just about standing and cruising. Balance is key and Ray has taken to experimenting. From a sitting position he will lean slightly back until he feels his balance shift and he's about to topple over. And then for some reason he turns himself around and does it again. He thinks it's great fun. And it makes Mark and I hysterical. Of course Noah couldn't possibly miss out on the acrobatic action.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wastin my down time. As usual.

Mark and Noah just left on an adventure to go see Nana and Pop Pop. Ray just went down for a nap. If the napping gods are good to me I might have two whole hours to myself. I am going to try to not waste it all on the computer. I have laundry to do (YIPPY!) and a book to read. So I’ll try and make this brief. I have a million videos and pictures I could post but feel like I’m overdoing that.

Aside from when I was in the hospital after giving birth to Ray, this is only the second time Noah has been away from me for the day. And he’s never been away from me overnight. Kind of insane, right? I know. I’m getting better at letting go – I need to. He’s ready and I’m tired. And my Noah-free time isn’t exactly vacation. I’ve still got Ray to attend to. And I probably won’t be away from him for more than a few hours for at least another six months. It’s hard work being a clingy bitch.

Ray is in a developmental whirlwind. He’s getting his sixth tooth. He’s clapping. He’s signing for milk and all done. He’s really steady on his feet and cruising. He’s discovering sand and dirt – and how they taste. And he is hysterical. I really do love this age. So much learning. And it’s amazing just watching his little personality bloom. He’s such a fun-loving little daredevil. Already at this age you could tell how smart Noah was – the way he would really play and analyze toys. But you could also tell how cautious he was, especially socially. However Ray is all about motoring around and sticking things in his mouth. He doesn’t have much interest in toys otherwise. Except to use them as drums. He loves making noise with things. And he is a lot more social with adults, children and other babies. He’s very good natured and easy going. But he’s also stubborn and not as easily steered out of trouble like Noah was. I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed at how different they are. And yet both so unbelievably awesome. Not that I’m biased.

I don’t know what else to say about Noah that I haven’t said a million times before. He’s so smart, so imaginative, so musical, so affectionate. He’s just learning constantly and loving life. And yet he’s also three and very emotional at times. He can get angry or start freaking out about the smallest thing. And he’s at that stage where he gets so frustrated being told what to do all the time. Of not being in control. He’ll say “Things aren’t the way I want them to be.” And he’s such a restrained well-behaved little boy that you can see him wrestling with demons. I can tell when he’s angry how bad he wants to lash out and hit or push but he knows he shouldn’t so he’ll knock something over or grunt and push into me without using his hands. Or drop to the floor crying. I’m happy to say he is usually easily coaxed out of these little fits and even happier to say that they really only happen with us and at home. He wouldn’t dare act out where others could see him. But GOD this stage can be taxing. It’s wearing me out. Every day I hit a point where I’m tired of managing him through his little emotional breakdowns – especially while trying to tend to Ray. I don’t know how people who have kids with real behavior issues hold it together. My guess is that they probably get more breaks.

And that is why Noah and Mark are on an adventure. Oh… and I’m wasting all Ray’s napping time on the computer. Bye.

Here comes the sun!

FINALLY! We are able to spend some time outdoors. Here are some snaps of the boys playing in the back "yard" with weeds and sand, lovin the swings, swashbuckling with friends after "Pirate Day" at school, and about to go out for a walk.