March 30, 2008

Loan officer?

I think Bright is going to be a loan officer. How do I now? Well, for starters, he talks about interest rates. Yeah, like just today he said, "Mom, I don't think Zion is very interest-rated in that."

On second thought, maybe he was trying to say interested...nope, I'm pretty sure he's a banking prodigy.

March 29, 2008

GOOD acting isn't easy

previously published with the music - West Coast by Coconut Records...

The meat and potatoes

Here you see Daniel feeding Zion his first meat, which was, like his brother before him, venison from the sweat of Daniel's own brow (or rather the snap of Daniel's own bow). I suppose it has become a tradition in our house. In fact, I had to literally pick the meat out of the food for Zion before I got around to preparing venison. The mush you see in the bowl is actually a very delicious shepherd's pie put through the KidCo food mill. Zion won't eat baby food, and he doesn't much like sweets (neither cereal nor fruit). He wants something savory! If it's full-flavored and rich, he'll put away as much as his brother. Tonight he ate steak cooked in hot pepper sauce, buttered mashed potatoes, and roasted butternut squash. The kid's got good taste!

March 25, 2008

The apprentice

What can I say, maybe I'm just lazy, but I hate dragging out paints for Bright. He slaps the paint brush over the paper a few times, getting more paint on my kitchen table than the paper, and then off he goes to play with his matchbox cars again, leaving me with a huge mess to clean up and hardly anything to show for it. I mean, if he LOVED painting, I would let him cover the living room rug with shades of reds and blues, but truth be told, he'd rather drag the bike lock around the front yard and pretend it is his pet snake named "C." His creativity, though very present, is not triggered by a box of crayons. And I, and my living room rug, are OK with that.

But there is one thing he and I both LOVE to do, and that is cook. He ties on one of my aprons and stands on a chair, ready to measure, level, dump, pour, and stir. He's very patient with it, and he loves tasting his creations. The way I see it, I'm in the kitchen anyway, making the mess anyway, and we have to eat after all, so it is the perfect messy activity to do with my son. The other day, when these pictures were taken, we were making poppy seed muffins. It was his idea to wear the John Deere hat. I guess it helped him feel more manly in the flowery apron. I just really enjoy my little helper!

March 19, 2008

Where does my strength come from?

Yesterday we were watching a Thomas movie, in which a song was being sung about strength. The words went something like, "You need strength to get to the top, strength to keep going when things get rough," etc., etc. I didn't like my son being infiltrated with this message of relying on our own strength. But then I thought it wouldn't be so bad if he knew WHERE that strength comes from. So I thought I'd teach him. It turns out he already knew.

"Bright," I asked, interupting the movie, "where does our strength come from?"

"J - ," was his one-word reply, and he kept watching the movie. Fears scattered, and feeling humbled, I settled back in beside him. I realized at that moment that even though I can't keep Bright from the world and it's messages, I can give him the context with which to perceive them. And it appears we are well on our way. Thank you, Dad.

March 14, 2008

Biting those bullets

So I finally bit the bullet on Saturday night and let Zion cry it out. The first few bouts were tolerable, lasting only 20 minutes or so. But then from 3:30 a.m. until I went in to get him at 7:00, he screamed. Two and a half hours, people!!! It was one of the worst nights of my life. Did it work???

Also this week, I bit the bullet and put Bright in a big boy bed, giving Zion the crib.

Also this week, I bit the bullet and put Zion in cloth diapers. We needed to do it before moving over seas, since Huggies are a wee bit hard to come by where we are going.

RESULTS: After just two nights of waking up, our almost-ten-month old started sleeping through the night! It actually worked. He has slept from 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m., without making a peep, for the past three nights in a row. Mind you, this is a baby who until Saturday night, had been waking up EVERY THREE HOURS, all night long. My night of @%$# paid off, big time. Not only that, but Bright was TOTALLY ready for his big boy bed, and we have had no problems. He doesn't get up out of it until we come to get him (he knows he'll get in trouble if he does). And the novelty has worn off enough now that his afternoon nap has returned. And the cloth diapers? THEY'RE AWESOME! (Thanks, Korrie Harper, for the tip). I can't believe I didn't start using them years ago. If you're interested, see the One-size bumGenius diaper on

LIFE LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes, ya just gotta bite the bullet.

March 11, 2008

Accurate worldview

This evening, while I cooked dinner, the boys played with Daddy, as they usually do, on Bright's new big boy bed. As Daniel tossed the blanket over Bright, our almost three-year old exclaimed, "HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE."

What a treat to witness our son making such connections. Thank you, Dad, that you are teaching him through, and in spite of, us.

March 10, 2008

Residual self image

I've had many faces over the years, but they've all had one thing in common - outside of the box.

In fifth grade, I wanted to be a cowgirl. I loved western clothes and idolized the already outdated Loretta Lynn. When the other girls were collecting Bryan Adams tapes, I was listening to Hank Williams Jr. on my pink cassette player in my back yard.

Then in high school, when other girls were wearing Abercrombie and Fitch, I was wearing flowing skirts and mismatched shirts. I would drive around in my worn out Ford Tempo and listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn. I've always had a thing for the electric guitar. Next to rain falling on a tent, it is my favorite sound.

For the past two years I've been a p-st-r's wife. For the first time in my life, I had to conform. Anything else may have made folks stumble, and Dad's fame is too important for that.

But now, alas, I am free to be me again. M's can be as weird as they want to be! So, when I picked out new glasses the other day, I chose a pair that sparkled. Daniel thinks they bring out the sparkle in my new nose ring. It sure is good so be back on the outside of the box.

March 06, 2008

banana-fana fo fright

Bright will be three next month. It is hard to believe, but impossible to deny. Every day I see in my toddler glimpses of the little boy that is coming. Watching a child grow up is fascinating.

His newest thing is the name game song. He heard the original recording the other day on an old record player at Miss Allison's house. To refresh your memory, the name Mama would be sung, "Mama, Mama, bo-bama, banana-fana fo fama, fee-fy mo 'ama, Mama." His name game skills are flawless. He can do any name, and has become quite addicted. It's like he can't stop himself. For example, the other day he wanted me to get something for him and he asked, "Mom, will you get it...get it, bo-bet it?"

Along with having fun with linguistics and music, he is really beginning to flex his imagination muscle. He spends the whole day being either a dinosaur, a frog, or a monkey. He and I have made up two imaginary characters, Wiggly the big purple lion and Herman, his pet fish. Wiggly lives in a doughnut-shaped house that is covered in T-shirts. When Bright is sad, I hold him close and tell him stories about Wiggly and Herman. Life with an almost three-year-old is most wonderful.

And so tonight, as I tucked him in to bed, I stroked my son's soft, blond bangs in the dark and told the story of when magical pink rain fell on Herman, under the water, and it made him very sleepy. Minutes later, as I began to clean up the kitchen, I heard Bright singing himself to sleep, crooning, "Marsha, Marsha, bo-barsha..."

March 01, 2008

Lost and found

So today, the day after we got Sea Horse, we lost him. I looked into his dish and he was gone.

We launched a search through our extremely cluttered apartment. He could have been anywhere. All I could think was, 'How are we going to tell Bright that his new turtle was lost?'

So we chatted that Dad would bring him back to us. And He did. Daniel found him under the lamp on the bathroom countertop. I guess he was cold after all.