Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September favorites

Shh ... let's ignore the fact that I am fudging the post date on this by more than a week and focus on these photos of the kids. And I was off to such a strong start two weeks ago, right?

 [keep the streets safe]

[every Saturday she socializes plays soccer]

[one of those sweet moments I mentioned, minus the dead parents and orphaned children]

[that backpack means business]

[typically, this is the only time he isn't talking—except when he is]

[even Charlie is in disbelief of that business to his left]

[we dress are sporty]
 [it took us 20 minutes to make it two blocks]

 [half-day fun at the zoo]

[then there was the time Papa Thole showed up at the house with a piano]

[sheep, sheep, fun, fun at MoBot]
So, September definitely had its highlights. In pulling the pictures, I was struck by how many are school-focused now that Mary Clare is at Holy Redeemer five days a week. It feels like our special excursions have come to a screeching halt. It doesn't help matters that Charlie seemingly loves to run errands, and is the most pleasant (if talkative) copilot. Oh, well. As you can see by the dress-up photo, we still manage to make our own fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No Band-Aid, no problem

Yesterday evening when Chip and Charlie came in from work and school, I was upstairs getting changed. Charlie came trucking up the stairs, and as he launched himself at me, I realized he was wearing the back-up outfit we keep in his school cubby. I was kind of shocked, because while he initially resisted potty training, once it clicked, he was trained and staying dry through the night in what seemed like less than a week's time.

"Oh, buddy," I said. "Did you have an accident?"

He gave me an incredulous look.

"I no have an accident!"

"But you're wearing different clothes than you had on this morning. What happened?"

"I went pee pee all over my clothes and socks!" he proudly declared.

And then, in case there was any confusion, he added, "But I no have an accident."

File that one away for future reference, friends. Accidents in Charlie's world involve Band-Aids and bumps, not peeing all over yourself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One of the guys

Now that the weather is cooler, I can walk reasonably well again and the first freeze is looming, we are back to Mission: Reclaim Yard. And by we, I mean Chip. After killing off the ivy (a mere four rounds of Round-Up required), Chip started the painstaking process of pulling out the ivy, which is done by hand, on his hands and knees. In addition to the ivy, he has also discovered countless treasures, tree stumps, massive rocks and the like. It is not easy work, especially when it is done after a full day of doing the work that provides, you know, money.

Chip is, however, fortunate to have the assistance of his doting son. If Chip is working in the yard, you can rest assured that Charlie is there by his side, sporting his work gloves and hauling various tools about the yard. And when Chip can get a word in edgewise, he has found Charlie to even be somewhat helpful. Not too shabby for a three-year-old with selective listening skills and a lack of focus. 

Yesterday I coerced my dad into joining in the fun. (Only because I love him and worry about him getting bored in retirement, of course.) Anyway, after Charlie and I returned from my physical therapy appointment, Charlie donned his gloves, put on his work shoes (mud-caked tennis shoes) and joined them in the yard. They were pulling out tree stumps and fence posts, so whenever my dad would get into the truck, Charlie would join him to help drive. (This was genius thinking on my dad's part—not only did Charlie love it, it ensured my dad knew exactly where he was when the truck was running.) Sure, my dad ended up with muddy shoe prints all over his truck interior and he is probably deaf in one ear from the screams of delight and squeals of laughter, but that is the price you pay for free help.

All of this guy bonding must have really gone to Charlie's head, however, because on two different occasions that afternoon, we overheard him saying that he was "... helping Papa and Chip work." Apparently they're peers now. A few days of yard work made a man out of him. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These two

Lately, these two play so well together it kills me. We definitely have flare ups over sharing, people get hit and feelings get hurt, but for the most part, they play really well together. Trains, cars, Playmobil toys and the dollhouse can all hold their attention for quite some time, but it's when they go off on imaginary adventures that the magic happens. And by magic, I mean they collect random things in bags, drag said bags all over the house, huddle up under the pillows on our couch and cram countless treasures into these yellow lacquer boxes that normally hold coasters but are clearly meant to hold so. much. more.

More often than not their imaginary adventures take them to Michigan. Sometimes they go camping. Sometimes Chip and I are dead and they are all on their own. Sometimes daddy is dead and mommy is on a date. Sometimes they are baby bears. You never really know what you are going to get, but dang, is it ever good stuff.

This past Friday afternoon they decided to dress for their imaginary travels and raided the bin of Halloween costumes. While Charlie was content to stick to pirate garb, Mary Clare went whole hog and whipped off her school jumper, replaced it with bunny ears, wire rim glasses and a tiger costume I estimate to be size 2T at best. I didn't ask questions. Because, really, would you want to know the method to that madness? Instead, I just took pictures because hey, mommy's blogging again, kids.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HIPPA violator

Now that Mary Clare is in school five days a week and I only have Charlie with me on Mondays and Fridays, I am able to volunteer at her school on a more regular basis. It works well—I love being able to sneak peeks of Mary Clare during the school day (and being of service, natch) and the grandparents are only too happy to take Charlie on the days where the volunteer commitments are a bit or longer, or Charlie's assistance is not required. 

Yesterday was my first shift in the first-aid room. When I told Chip that I was volunteering for a monthly shift as the school nurse, he looked alarmed. "Don't you have to be certified? Don't you need training?" 

"Um, pretty sure I will be applying ice and band-aids," I said. "The mom in charge told me you don't get to set bones and do stitches until your second year."

So, my first shift rolled around yesterday, and oh my word, was Mary Clare ever excited to see me walking into her school. She greeted me with a "Mommy!" and a huge hug. After lunch, she spotted me talking to the secretary in the front of the office, so I went onto the playground to say hello.

"Mom!" she said. "Have you nursed a lot of people today? How many people did you nurse?" 

The inquisition continued on our way home from school. "How many kids did you nurse? What was wrong with them? What were their names? Did they know you are my mom?"

She then recounted her schoolmates' headaches, bloody noses and scraped limbs (it was a light day) to Chip and Charlie at dinner that night. After she finished, Chip told me that I better hope the Holy Redeemer volunteer nurse doesn't have to be HIPPA compliant.

It was worth the privacy violation, however, when I put Mary Clare to bed that night. As I went to stand up, she rocketed off of her pillow, latched her arms around me and said, "Mom. I am so glad you were the nurse at my school today."

I'm not going to lie. It's nice to be appreciated for your Band-Aid application skills. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sartorially challenged

I cannot make this stuff up. 

This morning as I was doing Mary Clare's hair, she looked down at my dress and asked, "Are you going to work today?" 

"I am," I said. "I'm going into the office again today."

"Well, why are you dressed like an Indian?"


"An Indian. Why are you dressed like an Indian?" 

I looked down at my dress. It's red, with a kind of swirly paisley, medallion-ish kind of pattern in navy, white, aqua and the like. 

"So, I guess you don't like this dress? Is that what you're saying?"

She thought for a minute. 

"No, I like it," she said, and then paused. "But you do look like an Indian."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My office is super casual

Usually when I come home from work, the first thing I do is wash my face and change into a T-shirt and shorts. Because I am fancy. Tonight, however, Mary Clare had to be at a soccer camp by 5:30 p.m. and I wanted to feed her a little something first, so  it was go, go, go, the second we walked in the door. Chip took Mary Clare to her camp, so that left me and Charlie. Charlie who had to use the potty three times in 10 minutes, because heaven forbid you sit still long enough to take care of your business all at once. 

Anyway, as I helped him down from the sink for the third (and thankfully final) time, he suddenly leaned over and hugged my leg. 

"I love you, mama," he said. 

"Aw, buddy, I love you, too. You're such a big boy."

And then he looked me up and down and said, "But I don't like your pajamas. Don't wear those anymore."