Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Suzy Chapstick in Action...

To please my handful of readers....

View this montage created at One True Media
Suzy Chapstick

Monday, October 20, 2008

There is a Balm...

Have you ever taken your two-year-old out to eat at a restaurant? If your answer is yes, you will immediately know what I mean when I say there are certain behaviors that you will do almost anything to stop in a restaurant environment: nose picking, fighting, kicking, throwing food, and using non-indoor voices are some of my kids' favorites. Liam HAS to be strapped in. So much so, that if a restaurant doesn't have an appropriate tether on its high chair, I have been known to whip off my belt, sweatshirt or sock to tie him to his seat. He is really pretty good when restrained, when not restrained, all bets are off.

Last night, at our local burger joint he was restrained and actually fairly well behaved. He was loud, but so was the place. He was crazy, but so were all of the other kids in the frenetic atmostphere. He was not using his indoor voice, but neither were most of the men watching the Jets game. We sort of blended in. It was nice.

We had to wait forty minutes or so for a table and used up most of our energy running around on the outside patio in the cold. I had taken the kids hiking earlier in the day, also serving to tire them out. This worked well for my daughter who calmly colored her horse-themed placemat. Liam, however, is like me. When he gets more and more tired, he gets more and more hyper.

It wasn't until our meal came (WAYYYY after the kids had eaten most of and grown tired of their chicken tenders) that I realized we were going to have to come up with a new diversion for (now) shrieking Liam. I rummaged in my purse to see if I had anything of interest. I noticed Liam's lips looked a bit chapped and figured I could donate a fruit-flavored Chapstick to the cause. I pulled out the tube, took off the cap, cranked it up a teensy bit (without him seeing how I did it) and handed it to him.

He gave it a sniff. He gave it a lick. He started applying the stick. It was a bit of a tinted variety, so within a minute or two, he was sporting rosy cheeks, lips and chin. He wasn't exactly able to keep within the lines, nor did he want to. What he DID want to do was NEVER EVER let that tube of Chapstick go. For, I kid you not, the next half hour, he was silent. Silently applying his balm. He had the most serious face on, like it was his job. Fish lips, tongue and teeth all got into the act. We left the restaurant happy and without indigestion and Liam without a hint of chapped skin anywhere on the top half of his body and a fruity-smelling, waxy, pink clown face.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Quick Halloween Funny

Elena spent yesterday morning working on a little "project" with a napkin, a stuffed zebra and some scotch tape. This was, coincidentally, right after we had been talking about her fawn costume and how we were going to make it for Halloween. Apparently, this conversation inspired her. She produced this:

So, this morning she asked me if I saw how her zebra was dressed up for trick-or-treating. I said yes. She smiled. Realizing her mood was right for me to ask, and yes I have to take a mood reading often with her, I asked her, "What is the zebra's costume?" She looked at me like I had two and a half heads and said condescendingly, "Mommmmmmmmmmmmm!! A napkin!" (which, to make it even cuter she pronouced nakkin).

I just love how literal she is. I mean, the zebra was clearly covered in pasted on napkin pieces...Mom, how dumb are you that you don't know a napkin costume when you see one?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Christmas Card Season

I have to confess to being a weirdo on many counts. This particular fall season I have created is no exception. Starting as soon as the leaves begin to fall off their branches, it becomes Christmas Card Season around here. Since Elena was born, I have started planning outfits and backdrops at the very instant the weather changes. Since I now have two subjects, I have to take hundreds of photos before I catch the ONE.

The ONE where everyone is not looking away, running away or fighting. The ONE where all the photographic elements are balanced: composition, contrast, focus and color. The ONE where the lighting is just right, smiles dawn across both angelic faces and the venue, well, perfect. Perhaps I aim too high...Below are the actual cards over the years and some outakes of the, literally, HUNDREDS of photos dedicated to this cause.

And here are some of my favorites from the kick off of the 2008 season:

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Diet Coke

My son has a new love. I regret the day I ever gave him a tiny sip of my Diet Coke, because now no one within a ten mile radius opening a soda is safe. He will come running, tongue wagging to beg like a dog at your side, "Diet Coke! Diet Coke! Diet Coke! Sip! Sip! Sip!" The first few sips seemed harmless enough. And then there were the times when we were travelling in the car and had no other toy, but a near empty Diet Coke can. Did you know this is a great toy for a two-year-old? They love to eat the pull tab, cut their lip on the opening and spill soda all over's really great.
The obsession has started to pervade all aspects of our life. He often rejects water, sobbing for Diet Coke. When we go walking we pass numerous streams and brooks that have dark-looking guessed it, he thinks these are streams of Diet Coke. Just yesterday, he woke me up in the morning by calling Diet Coke pathetically (and loudly) over the monitor. Guess he was thirsty. Weird kid...