"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Friday, August 26, 2011

Conversations with a Stranger

Before you read the following blog post, know this: Avery is an amazing husband. Amazing. There are so many things he does to keep the household running that I shudder to think of what would fall through the cracks if he weren't around. Taking out the recycling, weed-whacking the lawn, paying the bills, getting the oil changed in the car, basically anything related to the inner workings of the television or computer-- these are all things that I have little to no hand in doing. Avery is helpful, thoughtful and articulate, and I can only assume that during the night he leaves his family, puts on a cape and fights crime on the streets of Yakima, because he certainly isn't in bed with me. No, during the night I share my bed with a complete stranger. Read on...

A few nights ago our family was camped out on the sandy shores of Third Beach near La Push. The four of us-- Avery, Geneva, Lavender and I-- were all squished into our tent, sardine style, with the girls between the grown-ups. As you would expect from a seven-week-old baby, Lavender was awake frequently during the night for various input and output functions (i.e. nursing and peeing). Once she woke me in darkness so complete that I had to feed her entirely by feel; there was simply no light to speak of. Having fed her, and finding that she was still fussy, I determined that she needed to be changed. I forgot where we had stashed the diapers, and rather than awaken Geneva by groping around the crowded tent in pitch blackness I decided to ask Avery where they were.
   "Avery," I whispered softly. No answer. "Avery. Avery. Avery. Avery!" Unable to reach him to deliver my customary firm nudge, I whispered his name progressively louder over the course of about a minute. Finally, he stirred.
   "Avery, where are the diapers?"
   "Where are the diapers? Do you remember where we put them?"
   "Rrrp dur cruuuun." This sounded more like words. Excellent! Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. I asked him to repeat himself.
   "Up the canyon."

There was a long and confused pause. I considered the possibility that I had not asked the question that I thought I had. After all, I was tired and groggy, too. Shaking it off, I tried again, enunciating with over-the-top clarity.
   "What? Ave, where... are... the... diapers?"
   "Up the canyon." There was a definite tone of irritation in his voice. He rolled over as if this concluded the matter and began snoring lightly.
   "Ave?" Silence. Now I was starting to get a little grumpy, too, as I held my fussing infant and listened to my tentmate spout nonsense with an air of impatience. Oh, hell no. No way was he going back to sleep now. "The diapers, Avery! The diapers! Where are the diapers?" I was hissing the word so loudly that I really don't know how Geneva didn't wake up. I think a little spit flew out of my mouth. Avery rolled back over.
   "The ones we made probably all have meat on them anyway."

Meat? There was another long pause while I let that gem sink in. My mouth hung open but no words came out. A few seconds ticked by, and then the tent was filled with my baffled laughter. I was weeping, drooling, struggling to contain my giggles. Who knew homemade meat-diapers could be so amusing in those early morning hours? At least I didn't wake Geneva up that night. To be completely honest, I'm not sure I woke up anyone at all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pajama Party

For weeks Geneva has been begging for a slumber party. I don't know where she got the idea, exactly, but all of the classic slumber party elements were there: she would ask that Maya to come over and watch TV, eat cookies, and sleep in her bunk bed. And once I thought about it, I realized this was actually a really cool idea. Why not have a toddler sleepover? So, last night the Zoglmans were joined by Maya and her mama Ali for dinner, baking and a movie, followed by a (not so great) night's sleep and a pancake breakfast. It was chaos, and tons of fun.

Oh, those girls. I think sometimes that they relate to one another more like siblings than buddies. Geneva, for as much as she adores Maya, seeks every opportunity to push her buttons. I don't understand it, and it's something we're working on, but it does kind of make me laugh (you know, after I'm done being mortified that my kid just floored Maya with a mighty shove). It reminds me of the time my brother Jordan and I got into a fight that ended with him sitting on my head. There's no excuse for pushing, or head-sitting for that matter, but I wish I could explain to little Maya that somehow it all comes from a place of love. Meanwhile I'm trying my best to reign in my happy-go-lucky monster and longing for the day when Maya finally hauls off and shoves her back.

But like I said, last night was a lot of fun, and not the bloodbath that last paragraph may have led you to believe. Maya and Geneva ate their dinners from matching plates (and utterly neglected their matching forks), and Lavender even let me eat a hot meal, too! Afterward the girls very sweetly took turns dumping cookie ingredients into the mixing bowl, then settled in on the couch to watch what Geneva calls The Nice Monster and the Little Girl-- that's Monsters, Inc. to the rest of you. By 9:15 the kitchen was a disaster but the house was quiet. Honestly, the mess and the noise and the anxiety over Geneva's behavior were all worth it just to have my good friend and Geneva's sibling-buddy with us for the whole evening. I really would do it again tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Best Worst Song Ever

When I am shopping for produce I often break out in song. More specifically, I like to belt out the Valderi parody "broccoli, broccola, broccoli, broccola-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha..." As if this song weren't goofy enough, Geneva has created a parody song of my parody song that goes a little something like this: "Broccoli, brocco-locks, brocco-honk-honk-honk-honk." It's complete and utter nonsense, and she nearly chokes on her own laughter every time she sings it.

So, a few days after the creation of the brocco-honk song I was cuddling with Geneva during naptime and singing James Taylor's Sweet Baby James. Geneva stopped me in mid-verse and told me no, that was Daddy's song and only Daddy was supposed to sing it. "Okay," I replied, "what does Mommy sing then?" She grinned. "Broccoli, brocco-locks, brocco-honk-honk-honk-honk!"

Seriously, kid?? You're giving me Brocco-honk???

The upside is she probably meant it as a compliment.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Pictures

In the yard...

Visiting Auntie Jen...

Weekend with Nana...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bear Necessities

Every day I learn something new. Last week, for instance, I learned that it is possible to create a bear costume for a kid in under fifteen minutes. It felt like I was in one of those Mastercard commercials.

Big hand-me-down sweater: $0
Brown construction paper: $1
String: $3
Watching your kid get absurdly excited about bears: priceless

On a side note, whoever came up with that Mastercard ad is a marketing genius, and I don't usually say that like it's a good thing. But back to my afternoon with the Bear Cub. Basically, I slapped this homemade costume on Geneva and she was instantly in character, and eager to play the part correctly. So, I taught her that:

1. Bears are strong.

2. Bears roar

3. Bears like trees. 

4. Bears walk on four feet.

5. Bears leave tracks.

6. Bears like berries (or berry popsicles).

7. And oh yes, if their mothers help them, bears have fun on the swing.