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Father Knows Best

Jonas has gone through several hair-related trials over the past year or so. There was the infamous “page boy” cut that nearly resulted in us mohawking the kid and DID result in three visits to and my MIL opening a can on Fantastic Sam’s and a super short little boy haircut. OK, that was really the only trial. And it was really more of a trial for me because I love my little boy’s shaggy blond hair. It grew out again quite nicely and I got it trimmed a couple more times, this time at one of those fancy pants kid salon places who know what a “long surfer boy haircut” is. And oh, he was adorable:


This past weekend, however, my husband decided it was time to get the boy’s hair shorn again, due to some super gross cradle cap that won’t go away. He figured maybe the shorter cut would enable us to better attack The Gross with Tea Tree oil and expensive spray leave-in conditioner from the fancy pants kid salon. Plus, the kid’s been asking for a haircut for a while so I figure, y’know, it’s his hair. And really it’s par for the course with this kid and his needing to have a say in how he looks ways.

Matt: “Is that kid haircutting place over by Kid’s Rack?”

Me: “Yeah, why? Are you taking him in?”

Matt: (casually) “Yeah, maybe, I was thinking about it.”

Me: “Are you going to go short?”

Matt: “Oh yeah. Really short.”

Me: (uneasy) “Ok….”

Matt: “Hey, Jonas! You want to go get your hair cut today?”

Jonas: “YAY!!!!!” (much jumping up and down and running around) “I’m go get my haircut! YAY! I going to [preschool gibberish]!!”

Matt: (looks at me)

Me: “I’m going to sit in the fire truck and ring the bell.”

Matt: “Oh! OK. Well, let’s go buddy.”

Jonas insisted on bringing Squeaky Turtle along, wearing his Toy Story sneakers (with flashing lights!), and his golfer’s cap.

40 minutes or so later, the boys came home and I squealed and almost cried. “OH! LOOK AT YOU!! OH! YOU’RE SO HANDSOME! OH! IT’S SO SHORT!”

As you can see, it’s quite short but he wears it well. He looks so grown up now. Both kids have hit a growth spurt over the past month and they need to just stop it right now.


Saturday, I woke up from my nap and heard Matt saying, “Don’t just lick the peanut butter off, Jaden.” And Jaden responding, “I know.”


That evening I went into the freezer to get some ice and found this:

It would appear the knowledge is one thing and actions are a completely different matter.


Sunday we took the kids to the “dollar theater” –so called because it used to cost a dollar, now it’s $3 or $2.50 for matinees—and saw “Puss in Boots”. I would recommend it. Very cute and it stars Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek who are both just awesome. When we got home the kids asked to play outside and seeing as it’s been 40 degrees in JANUARY in MINNESOTA, we said sure and off they ran. Five minutes later, Matt threw open the patio door and yelled, “HEY! PUT YOUR COATS ON!” and then went out to lecture them:

“Just because it’s unseasonably warm, doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear your coats outside.”

Indistinct protest

“If you get warm, come inside!”

And I laughed a lot.

I love that man.

Back on track

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me after that last downer post. I’m happy to report that a combination of talking about it, remembering my meds, and hugs (both physical and virtual) has worked to bring me back to me. YAY! Also, I had a realization about this blog. I’ve become more concerned with being entertaining than with keeping a journal. Back to basics! It may not be exciting but, y’know, whatever. You don’t have to read it, right?

I’m back on the “calorie counting” kick in order to make sure I’m getting enough and gaining some weight. My goal is 10 pounds. I don’t care when I hit it, as long as I hit it. Yesterday I made a big mistake: for lunch I had a very yummy spinach salad followed by a medium sized Culver’s Oreo Concrete Mixer. While I knew that the mixer would help with the calories, I didn’t realize how much: 838 calories!! Needless to say I felt a little sick, both from the knowledge and from the actual “food”.

Last night saw me not feeling very well, sitting on one end of the couch reading comics on my nook while my children sat on the other end playing their DS and Mobigo (Oh, the evils of electronic entertainment!). Soon, I was rather drowsy and fell asleep. Jerking myself awake I asked the kids if they’d like to play their games in my room while I dosed. They jumped at the idea and we got all cozy in my bed with Jonas on my left and Jaden on my right. Of course, the 5-10 minutes I’d “slept” on the couch was just enough to re-energize me and I was no longer sleepy. I started reading again and the kids put down their games and asked me to read my comics to them. Feeling the need to educated my children on the fine art of vintage x-men comics via modern technology, I modulated my voice up and down in order to capture all the nuances of Magneto, Professor X, The Beast, Jean Grey, Iceman, The Angel, and Cyclops. Jaden was soon snoring next to me but Jonas wanted more and more until he, too, fell asleep and I was surrounded by two snoring, sweating children.

After prepping their rooms by turning on nightlights and fans,  I put both kids in their own beds, kissed them each good night and went back to my room to watch X-men cartoons on Netflix with Matt.

I’ve had worse Friday nights.

Right now it’s 11:35am on Saturday morning.  Already Jaden’s grumbled about doing her homework, Jonas fell off the couch and hit his elbow on the corner of the coffee table, I’ve picked up countless scraps of who knows what all over the house, and created the menu and grocery list for the week. Now Jonas is watching Toy Story 2 with his new Woody and Buzz dolls, Matt’s teaching Jaden how to play Chess, and we’re all still in our jammies. Later Jaden and I are going to do our nails, Jonas and I will take a nap, we’ll all play something together and end the day with dinner and Pirates of the Caribbean.

I’ve also had much worse Saturdays.

I hope this lasts forever

This morning, my MIL walked the kids to the bus stop as she does every weekday now. There’s my nephew, niece, Jaden and Jonas. I think the little ones are starting to miss not having their big siblings with them during the day. Jaden and Jonas are walking a little ahead of my MIL. MIL sees Jaden take her brother’s hand and kiss his palm. She catches up in time to hear Jaden tell her brother:

“That’s for later. If you miss me, put your hand on your cheek and I’ll be there.”

Cloud Gazing

Track Building

Protective Arm

So, yeah, I’m the mother of a first grader and a preschooler now:

Jonas is “homeschooling” at gramma’s and is rocking the connect the dots and colors and shapes. And we’re down to the last pullup from that first pack so he’ll be in just underpants soon.

Jaden is going back to her “magnet school” that focuses on math and environmental science. She doesn’t have any of her kindergarten friends in her class but she sees a couple at recess. According to yesterday’s report, there’s a bit of a power struggle as one of her old friends has a new friend who’s a bit bossy and Jaden doesn’t do well with bossy. She’s in the “let’s all agree on what to play together” camp.


Reading remains a thorn in Jaden’s side. She gets very frustrated and whines and just gives up. I tried something new last night: I told her I would read the book but before I read each page, she needed to pick five words she knew and one word she didn’t know but would try to read. It worked. By the end of the book she read a complete sentence all on her own without even realizing it. Baby steps. She’ll get there.

Looking at Jonas’ worksheets from yesterday, it looks like he has a long way to go before he’s an efficient writer of letters and numbers. But, dude, he’s three, I’m not worried. W all “mah baby is SOOO smrt!” looking at his work and how he circled the apple as his favorite red thing.


These four kids: my niece, my son, my nephew, and my daughter. God damn, but I am a lucky woman.

Good Night Good Night

Looking through my phone I realize that I take a lot of pictures of my kids sleeping:

And my pets, too.

Clockwise from left: Meena, Meena and Daisy (!), Daisy, Polly and Daisy

What’s up with that?


My Grampa

This is what you’d call a “Stream of Consciesness” post. A memory dump if you will. Please forgive the lack of transition and (many) run on sentences.

Yesterday was my grandfather’s 87th birthday. It’s funny how people stay a certain age in your mind. My grampa will always be 60 to me: going to work at this big-time photo-processing lab (which according to Google, doesn’t exist anymore.) carrying his lunch box that held the lunch his wife lovingly packed for him, coming back from his deer hunting trips and tickling my cheek with his hunter’s stubble, chasing his grandkids around the house and tickling us until we cried(in a good way), making us buckwheat pancake people (and a music note in my case since I was taking piano lessons), making bird houses in his incredibly crowded and sawdust covered workshop—to this day, the smell of sawdust makes me feel happy and warm—and always the man behind the giant camcorder recording all of our childhood memories. I still remember the smell of the new station wagon he bought when I was 8 or 9. I’ve never smelled another new car like it. He spray painted the wings of the two ducks we had to set free so that if we ever saw them again, we’d know they were ours. It took me decades to realize that birds molt and we probably would never see those silver tagged wings, but he knew we didn’t know that at the time.

He started a band about 20 years ago called “The Aluminum Strings”. They play traditional hymnals and Scandinavian and German songs. We used to dance in the diningroom while he practiced his accordion or auto-harp. The band is still performing in churches and nursing homes, though the members have changed through the years. That happens when the median age of a band is 80.

He was in Germany during WWII as an engineer, working on tanks and other war machines. I showed him pictures of our trip to Berlin last year and he said, “It’s looked a little different when I was there.” That’s all I know about his army years. He’s not one to talk about The War.

He took care of my grandmother in the house he bought back in 1957 and lived in their entire marriage and raised two daughters in for as long as he could, probably longer than he should have. He then visited her in the nursing home every day when her Alzheimer’s became too much for him. She smiled whenever he came and he liked to think it was because some part of her remembered who he was. The picture of him standing by her grave while we all gave him some time alone will never leave me.

He gives everything he has to his children and asks for nothing in return. He is quite possibly the least-selfish man I’ve ever known.

When he met his first great-grandchild, my daughter, he had such a serene look of pride on his face when he said, “She has a beautiful complexion. Most babies are a little blotchy when they’re born but she’s perfect.” He tells me what a nice and handsome boy I have.

I showed this picture to my co-workers and my boss said I look a lot like my grandfather. I never saw it before but yes, I do. The oval face, the defined and high cheek apples. I always knew I got my sense of humor from my mom but she got it from her dad and oh, my grampa has a fantastically dry sense of humor. On our picture thing that we had at our wedding where people signed happy messages to the happy couple, my grandfather wrote: “Better late than never!” I laughed so hard when I read that the next day because, it’s so my grampa.

Yesterday he said, “I used to tell people that I’m getting older every year. I don’t say that anymore. I’ve arrived: I’m old!”

I left him a voice mail last night as I drove back home because I’ve never been good about expressing myself in the spoken word. I hope the simple and multiple “I love yous” conveyed everything I hold dear about this wonderful man I’m lucky enough to call my one and only grampa.

Sibling equality (in the form of a poop story)

Have I mentioned here that Jonas is fully and certifiably POTTY TRAINED? WHOOO! HAZZAH!! ETC!! There was one morning in the last three weeks where his pull up was wet and that was  because someone (*ahem*daddy*cough*) forgot to have him go potty before bed. We probably could get rid of the pullups all together but how was I supposed to know the minute we bought a pack of the durn things, he’d stop needing them? In short: we got ’em, let’s use ’em.

Point: things are going great and I feel like I’m tempting the fates here but with Jonas’ history, I also feel that we’re good to go. Once he’s ready and has figured something out, that’s it. No more work required. We are DIAPER FREE and adorable Mickey Mouse Underpants abundant.

With that said…

Last night Matt was on his was out the door to take Jonas to the doctor for a routine check up. Shoes on, squeaky turtle in hand, Jonas says, “Let’s go, daddy!” Which is great and all except for the fact that he’s holding his butt with his other hand.

“Jonas, do you need to go potty?”

“No, I don’t need go potty,” he replies earnestly. Only now he’s starting to walk around in circles with a concerned look on his face which is his “I have to poop” dance. Minus the “my butt hurts” chorus.

“Let’s go sit on the potty just to be safe, ok?”

“Ok,” he quickly relents, still holding his butt and looking worried. We go into the bathroom and sure enough, he’d had a little accident. Not much and he did the rest of his nasty dirty sinful business (and it was a LOT let me tell you) in the potty itself. I reassured him that it was ok, he wasn’t in trouble and accidents happen. Then I rinsed out his underpants and got him a clean pair which he happily put on. I tried to put his shorts back on him but he protested: “No, mommy, der’s poop in der!” And I reassured him (much like I did his sister just over 3 years ago in a Target bathroom stall) that there wasn’t any poop in them, it was in his underpants which were being cleaned now. His shorts were all clean. He was happy and put them on then washed his hands because…yeah I don’t know how IT got on them but…well, he washed his hands really well.

I told Matt what happened and my theory around why it happened, which is this:

Jonas says his “butt hurts” when he has to go potty because he’s usually constipated so he’s associating the urge to go with the pain that comes with constipation. Now, usually, when his butt hurts, he’s got some time before the show starts, so to speak, and this time it caught him completely off guard because, for once, he wasn’t constipated. I give him mad props for holding the rest in (did I mention it was a TON) until we got to the bathroom.

So, in reference to the post a couple back when I lamented not writing about Jonas as much as I did Jaden, well now he has a poop story all his own on the internet for all the world to read. He can take comfort that his took place BEFORE he left the house and that no one stepped in it.

Good job, buddy, and you’re welcome!