Friday, February 20, 2009

Gaffes and Laughs

Isaac has undertaken one of life's great challenges. (This only after much resistance. Finally this week, no one (meaning his mother) would put a diaper back on him one night. Avoiding the diaper-in-hand-Isaac for a moment, I went to get the mail. Isaac decided to chase after me down the sidewalk and he then did a naked jig--covered by a T-shirt--in front of Stewart our neighbor to continue his protest. Apparently, that made him cold enough to finally agree to underwear. He's been a champ about the learning curve since).

We are all cheering him on.

He has a brother that put on 14 pairs of underwear--just for him.

And another that laughs with glee at every flush.

With this kind of support, we are sure he will succeed--at just about everything! We should also mention that Isaac should be glad to only have to don one pair of underwear. According to Benjamin it is very difficult to move while wearing fourteen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

We're out and about and there's a bit of a bite to the air and a cold wind blowing at us. As Benjamin and I are walking to the car he says, "I really love warm. I love warm better than...(Pause as he thinks)Dad...more than playing ball with Dad in the yard!"

Let's just say that he likes playing ball a lot, so he must REALLY like it to be warm. Good thing considering our travel plans.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love and Isaac

Isaac doesn't lack for people loving him--no surprise with his eyes, hair and silly ways. When we were at the park the other day and he was playing "train" in the playground equipment when three little girls came on his train. He decided to go to a different "train." But they followed him. Soon he realized that where ever he was going, they would go too. So he started running and giggling and they started chasing him and giggling even more. All around the playground. This went on for awhile. I sat down on a bench and watched the sun glint off his golden hair flying in the wind and enjoyed his glee. His little legs finally wore out and out of breath, he plopped down beside me, "I need a break!"

On the way home our conversation was about friends and love. I would say something like, "Do you love Dylan?" He would answer yes or no. Now according to Isaac who is NOT at all a reliable source of information since he is quite a tease, these are the three people whom he loves. I must have listed over thirty, but he stuck with these three. (Don't be offended anyone).

Sarah ("big" Sarah--every time we see her or he gets to play at her house, he tells me over and over again how much he loves Sarah and he has taken lately to giving her some good hugs and smooches too! He quite enjoyed his "date" at the circus.)

Daniel Wyatt--his cousin ("I like it when he drives the tractor")

Emma Roosa (My friend)

Before bed he did add Mom and Dad to his list. And now you may ask, so whom did he craft this lovely Valentine??? I know his secret and it's also the reason why he insists on pink oatmeal and a pink spoon every morning out of sheer admiration...let's just say that there is someone else on his list because he made his Valentine for her. Starts with the letter "M." Maybe he likes to keep it a secret because it's also a known fact that this particular sweetie has quite a following as well--for very good reason!

So young and already so wily. He is ever my boy who will give you a great big kiss while trying to poke your eye with a very mean finger.

Dedicated to Aunt Susan and Her Goats

Dear Aunt Susan
I drew this today. It is a picture of a goat like yours. The goat has grass and a big lake for when it gets thirsty. This is the goat's barn where it can go in at night. The door is like a cat flap so that it can go in and out whenever it wants. The sun is going down. That's why it is yellow, orange and pink. There is pink in the sky for the sunset. I'm going to put this in my book of animals.


Dear Benjamin,
I LOVE your picture of our goat! You included everything a goat needs as
well as gave them such a beautiful sunset : ) We have two baby goats now
that think we are their moms. They follow us everywhere. They lived in our
house for awhile in a box by the kitchen stove because it was so cold and
they needed a warmer place than outside. We feed them with a bottle three
times a day. They are getting big now and love to jump and run all over the
barn yard.

I'm glad you got to visit our farm and see the goats this last summer.

I love you!
Aunt Susan

To the Rescue

Benjamin has a thing for catastrophes--storms, power outages, tornadoes or terrible things. The only difficulty is that he likes things to be so bad that there is no way to fix the problem. For example this is what happened today before church. I wouldn't mind, except for when I'm supposed to offer some kind of solution and then he rejects my solutions repeatedly. I'm sure that's part of the game. He is the son of Mr. Worst Case Scenario.

"Policeman (that was assigned to me!) The power's out. There is no electricity. All the cars are broken down."
(I'm washing dishes) "Call the power company. They're the ones to fix it."
"They can't. They don't have any fuel for their vehicles."
"Policeman, (Isaac talking now) help!"
"Why don't you go get a bulldozer?"
"No. No one can help. It's dark and there's no power. There was a storm. It took all the power out. What will we do?"

This went on for some time. Isaac and Benjamin ran around the downstairs dealing with the problems of the city while I did my dishes. Every so often, they would pop in to confer with "Policeman."

Finally, "Policeman, can we use your ambulance?"

Then I had to shower. When I came back from the shower, this is what I found.

I was told that they were the rescue train on a mission to help all the people who had lost their power. Now I want to live in THAT city!

What I really love about this is how somewhere underneath it all is the influence of Virgina Lee Burton and her stories. I am so thankful for her creativity and books. She wrote Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow while watching her boys play with their trucks in the sandbox. I love how she puts a story into what her little boys were doing. My boys and I love reading her stories and we love how the little guy can save the day. As the mother of ALL boys, I'm very grateful for books about trucks and diggers and steam shovels that have some flair beyond the facts and parts.

Mr. Tippy Top's Birthday Party

Mr. Tippy Top has many friends in Topsy Turvy Town. He wanted to invite all of them to his birthday party, but they wouldn't fit in his tower. So he decided to have a big party in the park. He invited the dragon, Red Rita, and all the puppies. Blue Puppy couldn't come because he was tied to the railroad tracks. Just when the train was about to come, Husky dog saved him. Then they were able to come to the party. That made Husky dog a hero and everyone was happy. There were lights and decorations in all of the trees and everyone had fun dancing. Mr. Tippy Top had a problem. He wanted to have ice cream for everyone. How would he get enough ice cream? Well he thought, if a dragon can make things hot, then there must be something or someone that can make things cold. He decided to go catch a cloud. He made a special balloon with a rope to go up into the sky to get a cloud. He brought the cloud to earth and then dumped all the ingredients for ice cream into it. The cloud shook it all together and then he was able to serve everyone from his ice cream truck. At the end of the party there were fireworks. The fireworks even spelled "Happy Birthday Mr. Tippy Top" and "Horray for Husky Dog for saving the day!"

Collaborative bedtime story by Benjamin and Renee

On Second Thought

Renee's Decisions that May Have Needed to Have Been Vetoed.

1. The adoption of Miss Eliza Doolittle, the cat.
2. A kitchen cabinet redo throughout two pregnancies and diapered children.
3. Glitter.

It's like the Cat in the Hat came to our house. We did it OUTSIDE and still...Glitter, glitter everywhere. It was pretty on the circus horses, but it's bugging my eyes out in my house.

Yes. It's good not to have real problems. And I'm not going to think much more about this lest my list becomes LONGER!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Beautiful Sunshine!

It was a perfect day for letting fresh breezes blow through the house and for letting boys play in the sandbox. Thank you SUN!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Puppy's New Job

This is CDC designed by Benjamin for his puppies. This is the story he had me write down for him.

I didn't need Puppy anymore, so he had to find a new job. Blue Puppy likes working at CDC. He likes working there because there's a special moving stair elevator that takes him to his office. He likes working on mosquitoes. That's the best thing he likes on the second day. Puppy walks to work because he doesn't have a car yet. Never mind. He takes a train.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I prefer Isaac's deep belly laughs, but I have to admit he has this incredible sad face look. He'll stop where he is, stand very still and then sadness will flow slowly over his entire face. His chin will quiver a little, he'll point his chin down and then he'll gaze up at you with the saddest eyes ever. That look is worse than any tears. That's the look I was getting this morning. This picture comes close. I had a baby doll that had tears embroidered on the face. That doll really bothered me. I hated that there was no way that I could make the doll happy. Fortunately, it is very possible to make Isaac happy. And he likes to announce it, "I HAPPY NOW!"

Conversation with Isaac

Sad face at breakfast.
"I have school today?"
"I don't want to go to school."
"Well, don't go to school today."

Later in the car.
"Benjamin go to school today?"
"Yes, but you don't need to go to school today."
"I starving."
A minute later.
"I not starving anymore."

Dropping Benjamin off at school today.
"I want to go to school."
"No. Don't go to school Isaac."
"I WANT to go to school."
"OK. Let's go!"

The New Economy

Benjamin has developed an taste for interior decorating. Namely, he'd like a new bed. Not just any bed. He'd like THAT bed from Ikea with the tent and the light that attaches to it. It would make it so much easier to stay up late reading his books if he had THAT light on his bed. Plus, it would be his OWN bed. When I tried to dissuade him, there were quite a few tears of disapointment. Somehow moving to Tahiti does not quite make up for us NOT getting him a bed right now. I am a bit sorry about that. I think it would be a great bed too and his current sleeping arrangements are not that ideal.

Benjamin has also discovered money. This means money actually means something to him now. Up until now, he's not really cared one way or the other. The man at the U-Haul store gave the boys each a cardboard truck bank. Benjamin has since begun to devise schemes to get coins to put in his new bank. "If I don't have to sit on Misery Mountain, then can I have a penny?" "If I'm really brave when you put the medicine on my hands, then can I have a penny?" "Can I keep any coins I find in the house?"

Later "I can save my money and buy a surprise!" I ask, "What kind of a surprise are you saving your pennies for?" "It's a secret." "Moms need to know these things." "I'll whisper it to you." He whispers in my ear, "I don't know yet. But it's a surprise."

This morning. "I know what I want. I want that bed at Ikea with the tent over it that has the light that attaches to it. I can save all my money to get that."


If you know Benjamin, then you know that he loves his blue "Shaggy Dog" puppy/pup-pup. His first word was pu-pu for this little dog. He won his stuffed dog playing BINGO in Hawaii at the Family Reunion. He doesn't actually remember this and he wasn't actually playing because he was only 4 months old. They've been inseparable ever since. They've been very cute together and have had many wonderful adventures. When he was a baby, we would know that Benjamin was awake because he would lay in his crib shaking his puppy. We would hear puppy's rattle and know to go get our snuggly, smiling cherub. We had to do surgery last year to replace the rattle. The Giraffe donated his. Benjamin and his puppy love to travel together and pretend the day away with all kinds of activities and games from puppy shows and circuses to all kinds of different puppy adventures. Puppy even gets birthday parties and Christmas presents and he has a special "viewcam" to keep an eye on Benjamin when they're apart.

In the last little bit though, we've been trying to solve a problem. In Benjamin's words, "Puppy makes me suck my thumb!" The thumb issue is a difficult one. I sucked my thumb too. I stopped doing it in public long before I ever gave it up to go to sleep. I remember all the effort my family put into to trying to tease me out of doing it, the things they put on my thumb to keep me from putting it in my mouth and the general troubles. Benjamin's dentist said, he needed to give it up or he would need orthodontics. The pediatrician said to in a sense not make an issue of it, but to make him keep his puppy in his room. If he needs puppy then he can go to his room. He will either rest or return to be with everyone else and that he would naturally give up the habit. This sounded like good advise. If you ask Benjamin the "rule", he can tell you where puppy is supposed to be, but following it...not as easy as the pediatrician proposed. I constantly battle with myself about the whole thing. I think the relationship he has with his dog is very important. He's his absolute best imaginary (practically) real friend and advocate. And ultimately you can't take a thumb away from a child. It has to be a choice. I've never wanted him to give up his puppy, just the habit connected to him.

Then suddenly last night, my little boy decided to grow up. As a result of the cold his hands and thumb in particular are sore and cracked. Lanolin is the only thing that doesn't sting, but he hates the greasy feeling. I think something about turning five and conversations or interactions with his friends may have influenced him as well. So at bedtime Benjamin tells me, "Put puppy up there really high. If I don't have him I won't suck my thumb. I'll sleep with husky dog instead." Just like that. His decision. I told him that he didn't have to do this, but that I was really proud of him (I told him this many, many times because I was). He stuck to it. He was very calm about it. Eventually he decided that mittens would help him too. So my strong little boy went to bed without his puppy by his own choice wearing mittens.

He did ask for some extra snuggling time with mom. Easy! He talked the whole time. "Now I'm done with puppy, he needs to go to work. He works at the CDC. We need to make him a box that will be his work. Do you think we can do that? When I'm done with my puppies then they will go to work. It's hard to go to sleep without my thumb. It's the only way I know how to go to sleep. You can have my puppy now, NeeMom."

So Benjamin did it!

I was proud and sad all at the same time. I'm glad for him, but I feel like I kissed my baby good-bye last night. I have the mother pang of wanting a child to become their everything yet wishing we could fly to Neverland to stop time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Benjamin: "NeeMom, where is the treasure chest?"
NeeMom: "I don't know. Why do you need it?"
Benjamin: "I'm looking for God's Treasure. It's going to be God's Treasure."
NeeMom: "What is God's treasure?"
Benjamin: "I don't know. I'm looking for it."