Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The intrigue

I may be putting his top secret cover at risk but I have to inform you that Noah is a spy. He’s constantly up to some sort of intrigue. And while I don’t mind the adventure of it all I am a bit concerned about how sneaky, secretive and borderline dishonest he can be when he’s on a mission. He’s always lurking about, hiding things, ducking behind objects, writing observations in a notebook and informing me “You can’t see me!”

It may have been the spy in Noah that coerced him to steal a pack of Trident at the grocery store last weekend. He didn’t even realize what it was – just somehow liked the size and shape of it. He said something to me on the way home about having something secret in his pocket but I was too busy driving. When we got home he went right up to his bedroom, which is unusual but I didn’t think too much of it. The next morning when Mark got him out of bed Noah told him to walk ahead because he had a secret he didn’t want seen. When he got to our room he slipped the pack of gum under the pillow and Mark spotted it. He knew what happened instantly since he stole a pack of gum when he was five. What bothered me wasn’t that he stole it but he showed very little remorse. But I guess remorse isn’t a big thing for four year olds. When I took the gum away from him and put it on top of our armoire he cried and said “I just want to hold it. I like how it feels in my hand. It makes me feel lucky.” When I was making breakfast Mark found him up in our room trying to retrieve the gum. He hauled two plastic chairs up the stairs to our room – one to place on each side of the safety gate – and a broom handle to knock the gum down from the armoire. Talk about sneaky and resourceful. Later that afternoon he humbled up and got scared when I took him to the store to return the gum and apologize. I was a tad pissed when the girl behind the customer service counter started going “Awwwwww” when I told her why we were there but with a dirty look and prompting (“What usually happens to people who shoplift?”) I think I got the message across. If he steals something again I’m going to take him to the police department to scare him straight.

The past two weekends I took Noah with me to do some volunteering for the families in the Ronald McDonald House at St. Chistopher’s Hospital. One week made valentines for the kids and on Valentine’s Day we made breakfast for the families at the House. Noah wasn’t a huge asset in accomplishing things but I really want to instill in him both the appreciation for all our good health and good fortune, and also the impulse to help others.

In the last few weeks I’ve noticed a huge change in Noah at school. He’s been at his current preschool program for a year and a half and while he didn’t have much difficulty adjusting, he did go into the program with some friends and he’s always played mostly with them and talked only about them. All of a sudden Noah is coming home talking about several of his classmates and tells me he’s playing with them at school. He’s always taken awhile to warm up in group social situations so it shouldn’t be a surprise but I am very excited for him to finally make new friends on his own.

Have I mentioned that Ray is an artist? He draws. He loves it. He loves markers, crayons, pens, stamps and paint. He’ll start doodling and tell you about the things he is drawing (“Meow” – cat, “Bo Bo” – monkey, “Fra-tee” – snowman) or hand you the pen and ask you to draw something (“Choo choo”). But at the moment his absolute favorite thing is his Magnadoodles. I don’t exaggerate when I tell you that he has spent a solid forty minutes on that thing, that he’s thrown fits when we try to get him to do something else like eat lunch or go to bed, and that he will go to great measures to drag the large one from room to room.

He also is very much into books. Especially when Noah isn’t around. He’ll bring me a book, back into my lap, help me read and then get up and get another. I read him eleven books in a row last Friday afternoon. He loves pointing to the pictures and telling you what they are. Right now “Good Night Moon,” “Curious George Rides,” “Rainbow Fish” and “Danny and the Dinosaur” are in heavy rotation.

Me? I’ve given up wine for a month. I wasn’t drinking too much necessarily, just too often. Almost nightly. And those empty calories are not needed right before bed. It has been taking it’s toll. I also need to stop having the occasional cigarette. I don’t like the taste, the smell or the feeling but still I want one. That’s addiction for ya. But it’s not healthy or fair to my kids and it needs to stop. I need to see my sister Jessica. It’s been a year. She’s gone from a confused little girl to a frustrated young woman. Last time she visited she seemed really bored and inconvenienced. But I guess she is thirteen going on fourteen and they all act that way so I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. Unfortunately any attempts I have made in the last year to keep in touch with her have been totally one way. But I need to make more of an effort. I’m so angry with myself. I also have to send Christmas presents to my sister Elisha and my adorable nephew. I need to go on a diet. I need to get a haircut. I need to get more sleep. I need to get off the damn computer.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Bits and baubles

I honestly haven’t much to report but feel I am overdue. Can't promise exciting.

After diagnosed with the two hairline fractures in my foot they gave a behemoth walking boot. I tired of the inconvenience of it after a few days. The doctor told me the purpose of the boot was to inhibit my movement so that I would not overextend myself and to protect my foot from getting hurt worse if someone were to bump into, step on it. But since I had to take it off to drive and it was a danger to get up and down the stairs of our row home I gave up on it. The foot should be heeling by itself and I have a follow-up Xray in the beginning of March. It’s feeling much better moment to moment though it still hurts to step on uneven ground and I can’t move my three smaller toes.

On the resolutions list the dieting and exercise flew way out the window after the foot injury. Actually, I am sure I’ve gained weight since then which is depressing. But I hope as soon as I have a healthy foot I can get down to some business. However I am reading a lot more, making more plans to get out by myself and working toward producing less trash (significantly decreased use of plastic water bottles, now need to work on paper towels), looking forward to attending some sort of compost and planting workshop in the spring (will let you know what I find out, Becca) and doing some volunteer work the next two weekends with hopes that it is just the start. Still need a bit of a restart that will most likely come with consistent warmer weather. Need to be warmer to be fuzzier. And still really need to reorganize everything but not willing to waste time to accomplish it when the organization is so very fleeting.

Noah is working on learning to read. A couple of days a week we work on early reader books and he very much enjoys them. And the feeling of excitement that he is learning to read. However I am a bit concerned by how easily he can memorize the story and yet not actually recognize the words out of context. Natural, yes but still a bit frustrating. If he was only memorizing the phonics as quickly as the books. And dang – that boy is chatty. Sometimes I feel like he never takes a breath. What with all the talk of spies and shows and kung fu and adventures. He is amazing but he’s wearing me out a bit. All that exuberance.

Not only is Ray developing verbally, he is also developing physically. He is a jumping maniac. He climbs on top of tables and couches and beds and jumps off – landing on his two feet. We went to a dance birthday party for one of Noah’s friends and Ray was following a lot of the dance instruction with the big kids. The woman next to me told me I better put him in lessons soon. And he gets in to everything – pulling chairs over to get into cabinets, turning toys on their sides so he can use them to climb on. And once he has his hands on that bag of cookies, jar of paint, sharp utensil there is HELL to pay when you take it away. He yells, he swats, he throws stuff. I ignore him which makes him even more hysterical until I scoop him up to calm him down. And then he remembers what he wants again and starts over. Don’t get me wrong - Ray is overall insanely good natured and sweet. People always remark on how good natured, outgoing and affectionate he is – doling out kisses to strangers. But he is a demanding little man. And I know I have made that point a hundred times – but though constant the kids continue to astound me. Hell – you observe something 12 hours a day, every day and try to not constantly remark on it, even at the most obvious. YOU CAN’T.

We just joined a winter harvest buying club that now has us getting weekly shipments of local produce, dairy and baked goods. We got our first delivery last night and YUM. Yogurt, cheddar, bread, potatoes, carrots, spinach, pink lady apples, beets, squash and kale. With this club you can order what you want (meat, soap and coffee, even) which is in some ways nicer than our summer CSA but in others less exciting. Been meaning to do a blog grocery list comparison like we did eons ago - curious again about what everyone eats - but need to allot time to type out my grocery receipt.

My vacation bug has now got me dreaming of Germany. My Oma made a comment last week about wanting to visit her family one more time before she is too old to travel and next thing you know I was mentally packing our bags. It would be nice to finally get over there and spend some time with family, and I always had hoped to go with Oma to serve as a translator and a link between the families, but it would be a BIG trip. One that won’t be too easy with two small children (Ray actually, Noah would be cake) and that might be impossible to take given my Oma’s medical issues and inability to find her green card and passport. And the time is such that we would have to go end of April or not at all. There is only a very, very slight possibility it could happen. But who knows. Might not be a total pipe dream.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Long lines at the sto

And YES that is a bag of cheese curls in my cart. So sue me. Will blog soon. I swear.