Saturday, September 27, 2008

Generation Gap

Today when I got home the kids were all hyped up. When I walked in the door they were immediately jumping all over me (yes, I loved it!). When I bent down to their level, Megan leaned in for what I thought was going to be a kiss on the cheek. Instead I got a big, wet lick!

Me: Megan! I don't want to be licked!
Meg: But you like Dante to lick you. (does she have to have an answer for everything??)
Me: But I don't want you to lick me. That's gross.
Meg: But I want to lick you.
Me: We don't lick people. What are some things we lick?
Megan: A lollipop!
Me: yeah, and an ice cream cone.
Megan: What else?
Me: We lick stamps.

Megan paused for a minute, gave me that "you are off your rocker!" look. "Nooo. We don't lick stamps!"

Then I stopped short. She was right, we don't lick stamps. At least not anymore and not in her lifetime. And I began to think of the mimeograph.

In kindergarten and first grade, I remember mimeographed handouts with their blue and blurry ink. By second grade the mimeograph was made obsolete in our town by the photocopier, with its crisp black letters. My siblings, who started school three and nine years behind me, never experienced the mimeograph world, just as Megan has no knowledge of the stamp-licking era.

Fortunately, we resolved the matter by agreeing that envelopes rightly belong in the Things-To-Be-Licked category. (yes, I know they already make peal and stick envelopes, but they haven't caught on the way sticker-stamps have and so most of our envelopes still get licked).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Blah

Today was my "6th annual 29th birthday" (ie. I turned 34) and the day was about as mediocre as they get. We had an interview candidate at work, which tied up most of my day, including dinner.

Megan's biggest concern was the gifts.
Meg: What do you want for a present for your birthday?
P: Oh, honey, I don't need any presents for my birthday. I just want to be with my kids.
Meg: But I still need presents for my birthday!

Actually, I have done such a good job at convincing people I don' t want gifts (and I don't), that the only thing I got this year was a spatula! But it was a very nice spatula and one of those well thought out gifts that had come up in conversation months ago - those are always the best gifts. But I did decide maybe I should get a gift for myself - something special and exactly what I wanted. I am not sure yet what that would be.

Another great gift cam from my grandfather who mentioned in his card that he not only read, but also liked, my 50k race report. I know most people can't relate, but it is nice to know of people who are supportive and interested. Thanks, Grandpa.

Megan summed up the day best:

"Mom are you 34 now?"
P: yep.
Meg: "now you're OLD!"

I can't deny it either. I found my first gray hair about two weeks ago - that was a blow to any semblance of youth that I had left! Here's to old age (and more gray hairs I am sure!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Megan has taken up crazy eights with a passion. The game is mostly luck, so it feels a bit better to lose to her in this than it did in her Memory card game phase!

Tonight, Megan and I were going to play before bed so I told her,"We'll play three games 'cause your three years old."

Megan's comeback:"Can we play 33 games because you are 33 years old?"

Megan's starting to get a bit more into the princess stuff, too. Tonight when looking at her unicorn puzzle she asked,"Do unicorns eat corn?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little Liam

Liam had his 18 month check-up Monday. The verdict: doing great but still a puny kid.

Height: 33 inches (75%)
Weight: 23.8 pounds (15%)

Liam got one shot (hepA). his response,"Ow!" and then he went back to reading his book.

As we are letting Liam feed himself more and more, we think Liam is developing into a lefty. He seems to prefer that for coloring, too. That's third generation left-handed on Mac's side. Mac was supposed to give me girls, I was supposed to give him lefties - 50/50 is not too bad! and I am pretty happy with my boy these days! (my other assignment was to produce blue eyed kids - I got a perfect score on that one!).

Mac is pretty psyched that Liam looks like he is going to be left-handed. "That's so much better for baseball!" Mac keeps telling me. Ummm, sorry Mac, but just how many baseball stars do you think weigh in the 15th percentile! But that would make a perfect runner's body, don't you think?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

McKenzie River

Our family spent the weekend in a little cabin on the Mckenzie River. At the cabin, the kids started pressing every button on the TV and DVD player; we had to unplug them. Then they were all over the microwave buttons since it was on a low cart; we had to unplug it, too. Liam open the microwave and started playing with the glass rotating tray; we had to put it high on the stove. We had to move the coffee pot, too. The glass coasters, fire starters, and guest log book (with pen) made their way onto the high mantle in short order. The carefully laid out magazines on the coffee table had to be collected. the kids started playing with the kitchen utensils, which we thought was ok, after I took the steak knife out of Liam's mouth and confiscated all the rest of the knives. Once we had the place more or less child-proof, it was a nice place!

Megan got to work on her photography a bit. Mostly, she takes crummy photos of chairs, and feet, and half of Liam's face, but this one she took was fairly impressive (our camera is pretty crappy so we let Megan wander around with it. I think Mac is secretly hoping she breaks it.) No parental input at all - even on composition!

But the real reason for our trip was the McKenzie River Trail Race, my first 50K race (No, I don't have a brain tumor!). Fortunately, Megan was there to help me with all my uniform details:
Meg: Are you wearing underwear?
P: Yeah, hun.
Meg: Are they going to get all sweaty?
P: yeah, probably, but I have new ones for after the race.
Meg: Are you going to wear a bra?
P: Yeah, a running bra.
Meg: Is it going to get all sweaty?

On the drive to the start, I was a bit nervous. I told Mac,"oh my God I am freaking out!" Megan chimed right in,"Mom, you're a freak! you're a freak!" Mac and I both denied teaching her that one!

The race went well - I am now a 50K veteran! After 31 miles, I was only 8 minutes behind the women's winner, taking 5th in the women's race. If you want the details (be warned - this is way more tha you ever wanted to know!), you can read about it here.

I spent the rest of Saturday lounging around, trying not to move, which is hard with two kids, even with Mac doing the lion's share!

Sunday, we headed home fairly early, at Megan's urging, which was fine with us since we didn't have any real plans. Plus, I am thinking we'll be headed back next year - I've got 8 minute to shave off my time!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Up, Up and Away!

Today, my friend Sarah and I celebrated Mother's Day. Actually, we were cashing in on our Mother's day gift: a hot air balloon ride and brunch.

Because of some lousy directions and lack of street signs due to construction, we got there a bit late, but we thought it was perfect timing. We saw them finish filling the balloon, but didn't have to stand around in the cold too long. And then it was up, up and away!

I have only been in a hot air balloon once before, but that was when I was ten so it has been quite some time. It was a fun thing to experience again. The coolest part was that we landed the balloon on the Willamette River, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we were hovering with the basket touching the water because the weight of the balloon was not actually on the river.

The sister ship goes for a water touch-down.

Afterward, we had to help get the balloon put away.

Sarah demonstrates proper balloon folding technique.

And then it was a short van ride back to our champagne brunch! A very lovely (and peaceful) way to spend the morning!

Big Day

Yesterday we hit an important milestone in our construction project: They took away the port-a-potty!

There are few last check-list kind of items, but for the most part everything is done. Too bad for Liam - he really liked having all the tools around and he had a bit of a man-crush on our contractor Adam.

Of course, I still have to get everything inside put back together. I am going through all of our stuff before putting in back in the closets. So far, there's been 5 bags to the good will, a big suitcase of baby stuff packed for my sister (never to return to our house!), and a garbage bag of clothes to charity!! We still have some furniture to move and decorating to do, but it is nice to feel at home again in our house.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to School

Today Megan had a re-introduction to Little Red School House, the same pre-school she went to last year. This year she'll be going to the four year old class three mornings a week. The whole family hung out with Megan today. We stepped inside and Megan immediately withdrew into her shell, not talking to anybody around her, even when spoken to. Gotta love when your kid is the shiest one in class - arrrg! Fortunately, there was a huge stack of puzzles and Megan LOVES puzzles. Mostly she repeatedly pointed out "that one was an easy one!" Time for the four year old class to get some 24 and 48 piece puzzles to keep up with Megan's level!

Megan insisted on wearing these new pants, but she wouldn't stand still for a picture. She's informed me she'll be wearing these to school on Monday, too - hope her teacher likes polk-a-dots.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Well, they aren't exactly playing together, but almost! At least I know where they both are (especially Liam!) and there is only one mess.

Megan mostly builds and cooks with her Playdough. Liam mostly destroys, ripping a big blog into smaller ones. And there is some purposeful dropping, too. See how half of Liam's Playdough is on the floor in the lower left. There's another blob of Liam's Playdough that you can't see, but that's because he ate it. It is non-toxic, right?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Perspective

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.

For a couple of months now, I have been contemplating an entry about Liam, stemming from the above quote. I thought Liam was so different from Megan. Liam NEVER sits still, he is always on the move, and he is into everything.

But for the last five days its been just me and Liam; Megan and Mac went down to Southern California to visit his family. Suddenly, Liam doesn't seem so unmanageable. Yes, he is still quite active and he is still into everything. He has creative ways of rearranging my stuff (like my shoes, below) and has a unnatural attraction to the toilet. But when it was just me and him, I could keep up. And I realized he wasn't SO different from Megan when she was 18 months, but just that they are SO different now. But he did sit still - he's developed a love of books and we hadn't even noticed. And he is a sweet cuddly guy. Parenting an 18 month old isn't so hard, it's just hard when you have to do it with a 3 year old, too.

It's nice to have this perspective. I've tried to stop calling Liam a "holy terror." I realized I spend more time focusing on Megan's activities than Liam's, because hers are more interesting to me. But I am trying to change this, too. For the last few days, I have been reading books with Liam, just looking at the pictures and letting him name things and then adding my own encouragement,"Right, Liam it is a cow! and what does the cow say?" Sure, I am bored to tears but at least he seems manageable.