Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quirk – noun: a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism

Nutmegg[mama] tagged me. I enjoyed reading her Quirks so much that I've decided to do my own. I tag anyone who is interested in completing their own - leave a comment so I can come and look at your list. It is actually a lot of fun, to consider little tidbits about oneself that others might not know.

Six Unspectacular Quirks:

Quirk #1:
My mother still buys my underwear. I am 30 years old, the mother of two, and have been married for almost 8 years; but aside from my pregnancy underwear, the only ones I've ever worn [and worn out, I might add] have come from my mother. I can't find comfortable underwear on my own. I've tried! My friends have tried!! It is impossible. Thanks Muver.

Quirk #2:
I don't feel completely clean unless I've brushed my teeth during a shower. I started brushing my teeth in the shower during my teenage years and have never looked back.

Quirk #3:
While reading to Diego, I often find myself wistfully wishing that children's books were, in fact, reality. The world is so beautiful, all the problems are resolved, and something interesting is always happening. I wish I could blur the lines between reality and children's fiction.

Quirk #4:
I can't watch too many compilations of music videos and/or live footage of certain bands without developing a major crush on one of them. Examples: The Cure - Robert Smith, The Beatles - Paul McCartney, Depeche Mode - Martin L. Gore, Led Zeppelin - Robert Plant, David Bowie, Spinal Tap - Nigel Tufnel. Oh dear.

Quirk #5:
I often just sit and stare at the books on our bookshelves, thinking mostly about their spines, pages, the feel of the paper, and how pretty they look in a line. I'll think about whether I've read them or not as well, but mostly just get a thrill out of their composition. I also get dreamy planning on either reading or re-reading them.

Quirk #6:
I get stuck on jags where I sing the same song everyday, all day. Sometime they can change from day-to-day, other times I will be singing them for a week. I sing them so much that Diego starts singing them with me. Recent examples: Wade in the Water, She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain, Carefully - Carefully - CAREFUL, L-Y, and Oranges Smoranges.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Third Birthday

September 2005

July 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kraftwerk for robot-crazed tots

Diego's current favorite song: We are zee rrrrro-bots!

Friday, July 25, 2008

More on Wee Fang

My poor little Pumpkin was so tired this afternoon that he fell asleep mid-twist during a diaper change. Right before sleep took him over, he was very calm and staring off into space so I took the opportunity to examine his mouth thoroughly - a first! My sweet little Wee Fang, so protective of his tiny hurtin' gums.

He is teething FOUR teeth. Both Cuspids are bulgy and white, but haven't broken through the gums yet. What has broken through, however, are his Lateral Incisors. We're going to have a Front-Toothless Double-Whammy Wee Fang! His Central Incisors look rounder than they have in the past, but I wouldn't describe them as bulging. Wow. That is going to look we-ird.

Learning the signs

Yesterday, Diego was standing at his Play Table. I was nursing the baby when I hear some loud juicy farts clapping from his direction. He instantly stopped what he was doing, laughed and said, "I'd better go poopy!" and made a bee-line to his potty chair.

Yes, my boy. Run!! That is called a Pre-Poo.

On a side note, he is really getting into building: for a couple of weeks now, he has been building "houses" with both his Duplo blocks and the wooden set I snagged for him at the thrift store. They are getting quite high and somewhat complex, comparatively. It is fun to see!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wee Fang, wolf-baby


Pumpkin has been in the throes of teething his canines. Besides days-on-end of clinging, crying, and fever (poor thing), the only kink in what seems to be a normal, albeit, horrible teething experience, is that he has no other upper teeth. Wee Fang will not be an overly-dramatic nickname for the little fella, because - well, he'll have fangs. [And you know me - I love stuff like this!!]

Wee. Fang.

It started Saturday, when he bawled his little eyes out if I even tried to set him down. This continued into Sunday. Because he already has his two bottom teeth, I kept on looking for bulging gums where the two front teeth should be growing in. Nothing. Strange, because Diego's bulged for weeks before anything popped through. But I kept faithfully looking and feeling, especially once he started refusing to sleep unless I was by his side (that was Monday). AND a fever started. Nary a swollen front toothy. Nothing.

Monday night, he was like a little furnace in bed - hot to the touch and nursing at least every hour, maybe more often than that. His temp that morning was 101.8 - poor thing. It was that afternoon that I started expanding my search, which led to the discovery of bulging canines. The cuspids!! I've read that they are the hardest to teeth [not sure why] so the last few days started making more sense. His fever subsided in the mid-afternoon, allowing him to act almost-normal throughout the evening - but came back again in the middle of the night. Yesterday morning his fever was 102.5, the poor little fiery babe. [I am so thankful for the pacifier-thermometer...what an ingenious device!]

They are just starting to push their way through his gums, so I don't have any photographic evidence to offer. This is aside the fact that I am hard-pressed to even get a good look at them - he will hardly let me lift his lip to see. My poor wolfie.

In happier days

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Growing pains [for mama]

December 2007
2 months old

Pulling himself to a stand at the play table today

My sweet Pumpkin is almost 9 months old. Crawling, putting himself back to a sitting position from his hands and knees, pulling himself up to his knees, and now, just today, pulling himself up to a standing position (all for the love of T-O-Y-S, of course).

How does this happen?! Weren't you just born? Wasn't it just last week that you were just a sweet lump of newborn? Pumpkin's first year seems to be speeding by so much more quickly that Starbeans'. He'll be standing by himself soon, then walking, then saying his first word, then and then and then and then. Amazing.

He loves cats, his mama [he is obsessed with me], watching his brother's antics, rolling rocks around in his mouth, licking on his brother's freezer pop [all the rage around here this summer, I might add], be-bopping to music, and displaying massively enthusiastic wiggles when Squeeze walks in the door each evening. We lauvf dis baby!

His sweet-ness is my weak-ness

[with due respect to MC Hammer]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

Squeeze and I have an old joke from years back about bountiful harvests: before kids, when we had time, we enjoyed setting up postcard-like shots of autumn scenes in our Minneapolis backyard and title them, "Bountiful Harvest". It always made us laugh (and was lovely and always made me feel very cozy).

But really, this IS a bountiful harvest! We've been eating high off the hog recently: chard egg bake [from Simply in Season], roasts accompanied by buttery beets, salads galore, turnip and beet greens in soup, spinach with butter and salt, and dynamite omelets with basil or spinach. It has been absolutely delicious.

Now, feast your eyes:

5 Color Silver-beet Chard


Gorgeous and delicious:
golden beets, lettuce, peas, red beets, turnips, garlic scapes

Golden beets in butter:
We've been fighting over them!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The smell of dirt and garden carrots makes me think of him

My rough-and-tumble grandfather died this past weekend. He had been ailing for months, recovering only enough to take another fall or get hit by another UTI or some other bacterial infection. It has been difficult grieving from a distance, only being able to connect with my family via the telephone; but the most difficult part, by far, is knowing the depth of sorrow that my mother and her sisters are feeling.

He was a beautiful lug of a man: strong-jawed, stout, slow-but-steady, and with an undercurrent of wit that you could miss if one didn't slow down to notice. I will always remember his scent: B.O. mixed with cigarette smoke and earth. His death has brought new understanding to the reality of what it means to grieve.

The end was bittersweet: we will miss him dearly, but it is a relief to know he is no longer living in discomfort and misery. My mom and her sisters were able to have him home for the end, surrounded by family. This was very important to them - to all of us. He had been in the hospital but when they realized that he was dying, they made the decision to bring him home. He died on the same piece of land that he was born onto.

I am so proud of his my mom and her sisters' loving diligence in caring for him all these months, and for the of servant-love the provided for both him and my grandmother. They honored his life and love by their selfless caregiving and constant hard work. I look to them with heartfelt admiration.

My mom wrote a beautiful obituary for him.

Here is a fragment:

Lester A. Christiansen, master of the one liner, passed from his earthly body July 6, 2008. He was surrounded by his family in the home he loved. We will miss the humor he brought to our lives.

Lester was born March 29, 1919 in Stanwood to Henry and Laura Christiansen. He spent the beginning and the end of his life on Laura’s family homestead. He enjoyed the hunting and fishing the area offered. He had a favorite dog, his Chesapeake Bay retriever, Pat, that accompanied him on many excursions that ended with a good meal!

Lester served his country during World War II in the 507 parachute infantry, Company H. He joined May 6, 1939 and was honorably discharged in September 1945. He received a Bronze Star for service in Europe and was a Purple Heart recipient for injuries sustained during that time. While on leave before his European deployment, he was introduced to Lea Gundersen by his sister, Hazel. They were married Oct. 8, 1945.

We will miss you, Grandpa. We will miss you.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I can't tell

I am thirty years old, turning thirty-one this fall. As I get a bit older, it seems like my faults and short-comings are amplified. I can't tell if this is because 1) I'm actually getting worse, or 2) I am mature enough to recognize my issues much more quickly. That aside, I still feel like I am floundering in my own short-falls. Creating change is hard; but I suppose recognizing the problem is the first step.

Has anyone else noticed this?