4 years ago

Conversations With Lexington #3 (or thereabouts)

I’m linking to Grace’s site because it’s her hilarious Conversations with Julia which inspired me to regularly post my own.
Wouldn’t a link up be so fun? Ultimate bad mood lifter: reading the adorable/hilarious/absurd things that little language learners say always leaves me with beeeeg fat smilez. >>>

And begin:

Lexington: Ice pops!
Carolyn: No, they’re ice cubes.
Lexington: But why are they ice cubes of ice pops?
Carolyn: They’re just ice. cubes.
Lexington: Ice cube– pops!!
Carolyn: ice. cubes. ICE-CUBES!
Lexington:                                    …What about ice cubes, Mom?

Lexington: Emmett! Your Elmo shirt looks pretty and beautiful!
Carolyn: It’s handsome.
Lexington: That’s a nice thing to say, Mom!

Carolyn: This meat is frozen solid!
Lexington: RAISIN SALAD?!

Lexington counting the remaining bites on his plate while at the dinner table:  One …two …three …fourrrr –FIVE NIPPLES!

After explaining to Lexington that Nan (my mom) would be bringing a craft to our house to make a turkey out of a pinecone, comme ça:
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Lexington: We are going to eat a TURKEY PIE!?
Carolyn: No. You will make a turkey out of a pine cone.
Lexington: A Turkey sandwich and a pie?
Carolyn: No. You won’t be eating anything.  You will use a pinecone to make a statue that looks like a turkey.
Lexington: But will Nan make a pie, too?
Carolyn: There will be no pies. Only pineCONES. …and you will make the pinecone look like a turkey.
Lexington: Mom, pinecone sounds ezzac’ly like the word pie.
Carolyn: Yes, I see the confusion.

And STOP. Color time:
Lexington STOP

5 years ago

7 Quick Takes #21The Updates Edition

-1-

In the event that your children treat your sewing machine (Singer/White brand) with the same reverence they would a brand new coloring book, or, say, a box of cheerios, and your tension is thrown out of whack, and you break a knob while trying to fix the tension, and it happens to be an older sewing machine that was gifted to you, and you don’t have the owner’s manual to tell you you’re an idiot, go here and get it free, instead of buying it on Ebay for $10 and having to wait 5-10 business days for it to arrive. If your mom, who has mucho years sewing machine experience on you, is there to help, that’s a big bonus, too.

There’s that. Just nothing to do with the rest of the takes, but there you go.

-2-

We have entered into a period of insanity here at Bumpy Bridge. I– it’s just chaos. Nothing, NOTHING, goes smoothly. Not that I expect it to anymore, but not even the unexpected surprise of smoothness happens anymore. Even if I prepare the day BEFORE a simple, necessary excursion to the grocery store, three hours and a hurricane -A HURRICANE I TELL YOU- later, we are loading into the car.
This is why I don’t go out.
“Oh my gosh, we should totally go and get coffee some time! Maybe your mom can watch the kids!”
20130712-164258.jpg
haha… HAHAA! Yeah.
So how are my boys, you might ask?

-3-

Collin is finding his voice among our family. It’s loud. It’s shrill.
He crawls faster than my other two evercrawled.

He’s pulling, opening, tearing, climbing; things, drawers, cabinets, stairs.
I delight in the days I awake before he does, and I can sneak out of bed, unscathed.
I grumble at the mornings I am awoken with a head-butt to the nose, or a good old fashioned smack across the face, or awaking to the sound of *slurp, slurp, slurp*, and I crack my eyes open to see him sitting upright, sucking at the end of my phone charger.
He no longer peacefully nurses while I cradle and gaze into his calm little angel face. He stops just short of tap dancing on my head as he nurses- constantly distracted by the thunderous sniffle or slightly heavier huff of breath from one of his older, amazingly interesting brothers. *SCHLOCK!* the sudden suction breakage is a delight, I assure you.
He has amplified the torture of diaper changes with his increased heftiness and will to NOT be okay with wearing pants.

So that’s Collin right now.

-4-

Lexington, Mr. Well-Established-Voice. Enjoys playing 50 Questions. Only it’s 1,000,000 Questions. Hourly. And if he doesn’t reach the millionth before the hour is up, he catches up on the next hour.
So as we lumber through the hurricane of leaving the house, salt, pepper and guacamole that fiesta with Lexington’s personal fave.
My Aunt Carla gave me the best advice on how to handle the questioner: say “I don’t know”. It really works. For 5 minutes. But 5>0. I did math right there, see?

-5-

Tender Emmett is saying new words each day. Craig said it perfectly when he shared with me, “Every single, little word that comes out of Emmett’s mouth is like a gift.”
Each word he says is as fresh as when he said it for the first time: it is a golden balm to my soul. And I mean that.
My heart starves for the sound of his voice. For the words “I love you” and “Mommy”. It’s selfish of me to crave affirmation from him in the way that his older brother delivers. They are different people. We took Emmett to the doctor and we are being referred to the Children’s Hospital for further examination and possible therapy for placing him on the spectrum that is Autism. His pediatrician assures us that even if Emmett is given an official diagnosis of “autistic” that there’s nothing special to be done with him that we are not already doing. We have been encouraged to continue parenting Emmett in the way that we are, and to encourage Emmett to develop his strengths.

He loves music, knows his letters, numbers (he is delving into counting past 10 now), is learning colors, and things MUST be completed, closed, or buckled.

-6-

Craig brought dinner home a few nights ago with a couple Cokes for himself and I. (I know I just wrote a thing about not injecting my body with cancerbeans or malnutritious-ness within my own reasonable means, with the exception of Kenra #25 hairspray. Coke’s on the exception list, too. Sorry. MMM!) We don’t, however, allow our boys to drink caffeinated drinks, and we cut juice with water.
I glanced over and caught Emmett slurping my coke.
In reaction to the carbonation fizzing in his mouth, he stumbled backward, eyes wide and watery, mouth open, Coke dribbling down his front.
Staggering across the living room in surprise, I saw something familiar happen to his face.
Actually, I’ve never seen it in the flesh, I’ve only experienced it within my own being.

If I were to personify what happens to me when I drink an ice cold Coca-Cola, it would be the “Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds” experience Emmett had in the following few seconds:

His eyes grew wider, he cocked his head to the side, gazing at the ceiling, hands and palms held out and open from his sides, and he started a slow, dazed twirl.

“Who can take a sun rise
sprinkle it in dew
cover it in chocolate
and make a miracle or two…”

Coc-a-cola can. Coc-a-cola can, man.

-7-

That’s it. My boys are awake and Lexington is swimming in his blankets, shouting, “TREASURE! TREASURRRRRRE!”
I gotta go feed the starving minions.
Love and peace to you all this weekend!
GO visit Jen & Co for their Quick Takes. Congrats to Jen for turning in her BOOK with Ignatius Press! FANCY!

5 years ago

7 QT Friday #20 Poop of Fame edition + Writing Insecuri...

It’s Friday! Hooray! I am SO excited to… be sick. Deflating balloon sound.
7 Quick Takes here with Jen at Conversiondiary.

-1-

Tonsilitis. S’what I’ve got. I’ve never had’er before. I took a gander at my throat a few nights ago and, mmm! Charming.

-2-

As a child, getting sick would be a vacation of movies, books, and Sprite, while laying in bed for a few days, while Mom brought me soup, meds, and a cool washcloth for my head.
Now I have kids.
No pity.
This is one of the reasons why being a mom is the hardest and most sanctifying job in the world. A mom is required, even in her sickness, to serve.  As my sister cried out to the heavens one day as we were commiserating  delighting in the joys of motherhood over coffee, “Moms do not have the immense pleasure of being sick!”
But, for a cause for sainthood, I’ll wipe another rear-end (or three) while my head throbs.
Bigger picture, there, yawl.

-3-

Along with feeling like I’ve been hit by a musician’s tour bus and then run over by the caravan of groupies, we had an out-of-diaper experience, similar to Mandi’s poop excursion earlier this week. Read: THE ULTIMATE CAUSE FOR SAINTHOOD.

There I was, clumsily slicing an apple for my two apparently starving boys (who both polished off pb&js not ten minutes before), and I catch a familiar whiff of soiled diaper.

The weathered mother learns to be able to determine the catastrophic magnitude of this natural disaster simply by the varying degrees and notes of the aroma that impact the olfactory bulb. …perhaps I should be working as un nez in a parfumerie…

I knew it was bad before I even looked at the boy.
The X factor I’m leaving out?
Nothing too bad, I was only wearing a light-sleeping 9 month old across my front in a baby carrier.
As I gingerly laid Sir Poopsalot upon the carpet to face the music -boy, WHAT a symphony-, I realized too late that the poo had defied gravity (as these phenomenons always do), snuck up his back, and was now smashed into the carpet.

Combatting rising anxiety levels and proceeding to scrape the first, most dangerous layer  of poop from my toddler’s rear so that I could carry him to the bath tub, the slumbering 9 month old snapped awake, throwing his head and arms back, wailing in frustration of being suspended in such a way: his pacifier flung from his mouth and landed in the poopy coated carpet.
Don’t leave that there.

I couldn’t remove Collin from the carrier because wise mommies know: what can go wrong, most absolutely WILL go wrong.
What more tempting than a moist patch of poopy coated carpet to play about? Ooooh! A new texture!

So Collin continued to squirm as I labored to scrub my Poo-year-old.
Rattling tonsillitis breath, sweat dropping from my brow, I single-handedly seized my now clean toddler from the tub, patted him dry, and released him so that I might tackle cleaning the dirty carpet, baby still wailing in the carrier.
As I’m filling a bowl with hot water, I look up in just enough time to catch a streak of Emmett fully inaugurating himself into the Poo of Fame as he picks up the poopy pacifier and pops it into his mouth.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Collin renewed his wailing-in-my-face efforts.

-4-

Does that story top last week’s discovery of Collin proudly standing at the toilet (in which my oldest had just relieved himself), happily sucking on some pee-soaked toilet paper?
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!”
I don’t know, I’ll let you decide.

-5-

What in the world were you DOING, Carolyn, while your baby was feeding himself from the toilet bowl?
Heck, I don’t know. Maybe trying to not let the house sink further into a state of derelict,

A microcosm is all I have the courage to give you.
A microcosm is all I have the courage to give you.

maybe feed the other two human food inhalers, or bark at them to GET OFF THE TABLE, or maybe just simply feed myself…

-6-

OR, maybe I was hacking away on my oldest pair of jeans in desperate attempts to acquire a pair of long-enough shorts. I don’t like the feeling of my legs -which are as likely to be freshly shaved as the laundry in my house is to be folded- chafing together throughout the day.
I saw Princess Sister-in-law last weekend and she let me try on her designer light-wash, slightly torn (I guess that’s coming back?), long boyfriend shorts and I WANTED THEM NOW.
But I’m a nappy-haired momma whose children roll in the deep, while I hack away at high school grade jeans. Jealous of Princess Sis-in-law, much? Nah.  … .. .

knees. ew. Definitely cut off my sick upper-half for this photo.
 Definitely cut off my sickly, nappy-haired upper-half for this photo.

They turned out well, no? –really, someone tell me, “CAROLYN. STOP.” if necessary. I’m blind (as you’ll see in Take 7).
For the record: the poopy/pee incidents occurred separately from my fashion designing attempt. DO note, however, the unfolded laundry in the back. That’s as close to my legs as you’re getting, so don’t ask.

-7-

Fine Linen and Purple featured a blog post written by moi. My vey first guest post!

I literally felt like a 13 year old. After I submitted it, I kept having thoughts like:
“Why did you just contribute to a fashion-y blog?!
You are not a fashion-anything.
My writing style is too spastic for a blog like this.
I’m too abrasive.
It’s not going to get posted.
Your writing style confuses people.
Maybe no one gets Frenchy humor.
Maybe no one likes having to work out how to read dialect.
Your writing style is elementary.
Why are you even writing right now?
And then I had a 6th grade flashback: My very first school dance. As the oldest sibling in the house and one of the oldest cousins in the family, I’d had no prior instruction on how to dance. No cool, older sister or cousin who I could mimic.

God, bless us. That's my cousin, Steph, with the rapunzle hair. Doesn't she look adorable, and completely prophetic to 2013!?
God, bless us. That’s my cousin, Steph, with the rapunzle hair. Doesn’t she look adorable, and completely hip to 2013!?

So insert me, in my Kohl’s overalls, carefully chosen shiny black shirt underneath and brown clogs: a 6th grader, dancing in a way that I thought was acceptable to everyone else, bewildered by the macarena, hoping to get asked by my crush to SLOW dance along to a Backstreet Boys ballad and—- “CAROLYN. stop. STOP. IT.”
My best friend had grabbed my hands (which were doing something similar to Seinfield’s Elaine dance), and she was staring me in the face most seriously.

Snapback!
CAROLYN. STOP IT. STOP blogging.

Then it got posted. At 9pm.
And the next morning, a new, different post was up already.

WHY I NO BE FAMOUS FASHIONISTA FOR MY VERY FIRST, POINT 2 SECOND-LIVED VERY WITTY AND HILARIOUS GUEST POST!?

Whatever.
There you have it. My writing insecurities, la.  Though, in all seriousness, it was fun to do!  If you’re interested in something that’s a little bristly compared to the other very moving and inspirational contributions, go take a gander. Do pause to read Katie’s entry about accepting the mom body after giving birth. I struggled with my body image from start to… Ehh. Well. I need to work out, some day. Her words are compassionate and so loving. Go. Get thee yonder!

Have a beautiful summer weekend, everyone!  Come back and see me in a few days for a quick tuto on DIY coffee face scrub. READ: Flattering photos of me with a beard. Yes.

5 years ago

Heartbreak in the Education Store, And It Isn’t W...

Although Craig and I tend to crack under the pressure of materialism, we try to steer our children opposite of it, knowing how it hampers our living and wishing our children to have better self discipline in their adulthood.  Obviously, being a living example is the best way to teach our children.  We’ve matured immensely over the last few years, but there is still much more room for improvement.

When Lexington became old enough to be frustrated over a toy, I would remove the toy from sight and direct his attention elsewhere, sufficiently diffusing the tantrum. When he became old enough to understand, I told him that:

  1. Throwing fits do nothing to help him get what he wants and, in fact, result in the opposite of his wishes.
  2. Most of all, we never throw fits over toys.

This has served as a dual purpose.  In addition to helping him understand that no material object should hold power over his sense of peace, it has also helped him to be able to verbally express his emotions, as opposed to a show of “violent” temper tantrums.
Has it worked? For the most part, yes.  Do we still experience tantrums? Yes.  It is a habitual, repetitive teaching that I remind him of daily. Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Without a doubt.

More often than not, Lexington comes to me with a toy that isn’t doing what he wants and says (on the brink of tears) “This is difficult, Mom.”  or “these pieces won’t fit together.”
Emmett, the middle child, on the other hand, has to be handled differently.  He doesn’t know how to communicate his frustrations verbally, so he expresses them the only way he can: fall-upon-the-floor-writhing-and-wailing.

So when we go out in public, Craig and I anticipate some amount of bellowing from Emmett.
But Lexington, no.

He will be 4 in June and has never had an in-store public fit over anything.
Until Saturday.
My younger sister told me about a teacher’s supply store in which she’d found some good educational materials. With Emmett’s interest in the alphabet, I’ve been looking for some fun activities- something other than what Walmart and Target offer. We stay away from the mall (it is our downfall, of course.) and refuse the cesspit of Toys R Us. So Saturday, my husband and I made a field trip out of it.

Upon entering the overwhelming store, Lexington immediately latched onto the two large train tables.

An hour later, giving Lexington a time limit (which he knows I do not extend) before we would be leaving, I watched his little hands scramble anxiously to play quickly, fumbling and knocking over pieces he was trying to make right.

My soul welled up and I wanted to sit down on the floor and play with him. Just 5 more minutes. But it was raining, and the store was closing. Actually, I wanted to buy the whole train table and its accoutrements. But I walked over, blinking back tears, helped him set the trains on the tracks just so, held his hand, and led him out. No, no crying from him. He immediately began talking of visiting the store again very soon. It broke my heart. But constant, instant gratification cannot help a toddler who needs to learn that we are not entitled to things just because we like them a lot, and that sometimes waiting makes the gift more valuable. I suggested he ask for it as a birthday present in June, and we walked away, the train table lauding no power over Lexington, nor I, the parent who wants the world for my babies.

Lexington’s “fit” occurred when my husband and I demanded that he walk with us to the back of the store, abandoning the train tables for a few minutes. He came running down an aisle, in tears, crying to me (the fast walker who’d marched ahead) that he wanted to keep playing.

I reminded him what he knows very well: that crying isn’t going to make Daddy let him play. So he gulped back some sobs, and with the most self mastery an almost 4 year old can muster, he stammered, “D-dad, can we ple-e-ase stay at the trains while -while- Mom looks back h-here? Please?” And he almost lost it again, trying to control great, heaving sobs.

My loving, compassionate husband scooped Lexington up and said, “Mister. You know you’re not behaving very well. You know we don’t throw fits over toys. Thank you for asking me the right way.”

We all walked back to the front to let him play for the last few minutes I described above. I looked down at Lexington and noticed him walking in a funny, jerky way which indicated that he wanted to run so very badly but was exercising self control. My heart welled up and I said, “let’s RUN!!”
And we did, Collin jostling against me inside his sling.

lexington trains