Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas

Last night, after putting the kids to bed and planning our Christmas Eve, we all sat down to watch a movie before turning in. About 20 minutes into the movie, Noah woke up crying, an uncommon occurrence these days. He wouldn't go back to sleep, so Joy and I abandoned the movie and brought him to bed with us.

An hour later, he began to vomit. And not just a little bit, but everything he had eaten, including a McDonald's strawberry shake. As Joy comforted him, I started cleaning up the bed, and the trail into the bathroom, and the bathroom itself, and all Noah's and Joy's clothes (said strawberry milkshake? Majorly stain-inducing.) Joy's sister Shelly was helping get things into the washing machine when she slammed her finger in the sliding door that goes into the laundry room. Joy and I deposited sleepy Noah and bandaged Shelly on the couch to recover for a bit and got Shelly a drink, which she promptly dropped out of her hurt hand onto the tile floor where it shattered, throwing bits of glass all over Sam's train track left out for early morning play. We finally finished cleaning around 1:00 this morning, only to have Noah continue to throw up about every hour until morning.

Needless to say, we're now planning a low key Christmas Eve. Hopefully Santa will bring us some deep sleep and Shout stain remover for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Video Games

Last night the grandparents took the grandkids to Chuck E. Cheese and the parents got to tag along. The pizza was as bad as you'd expect (really, does even pizza sauce need to be sugared so kids will gobble it down?) The building was so overstimulating that you needed to step outside just to avoid a seizure. And the kids were in heaven.

At one end of Chuck E. Cheese was a stage full of animatronic anthropomorphic creatures all playing instruments and singing "Feliz Navidad" and "The Dreidel Song" and "We Wish you a Merry Christmas." Noah and Ana, our neice, were entranced and watched and danced for most of the night.

Sam? He couldn't care less about dancing animals. Not when there were video games to play. Last year when we took Sam, he thought the moving trains and cars like those outside grocery stores were the best thing in the world. This year, he wanted to try every single video game that you drove or flew. So we drove big rigs, batmobile-like off road vehicles, race cars, wave jumpers, fighter planes, and even go carts. Most of these games moved so much they had seat belts, and Sam was in heaven. I operated the pedals while he steered and once he discovered that most of the rides had turbo buttons, we never went below 150 mph and never missed an opportunity to crash into other cars.

Noah, who wants to be like Sam in everything, tried the snow mobile game with Joy driving him, but one seat vibration and he was done. That was fine with Joy, who was getting motion sick from the games, but it won't be long until I'm hoping from game to game with two little boys who want to drive. I see many sugar-laden pizzas in my near future.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sam Loves His Alphabet

Yesterday, as we drove to visit grandparents, the boys were being restless so I decided to engage Sam in the alphabet game. We started spotting letters on signs, finding A and then B. When I mentioned we needed to start looking for C, Sam declared from the back seat, "C is my favorite letter!"

We had never heard this before, so I innocently asked, "Why is C your favorite letter?"

Sam paid me no attention and continued, "And T. T is also my favorite letter. Oh, and R too. My favorite letters are C, T, and R."

Completely flummoxed, I asked again, "why are those your favorite letters?"

With more than a hint of incredulity in his voice, Sam responded, "Because all my favorite things start with those letters - Cars, Trains, and Railroads!"

Of course. How could I have been so silly.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What I Saw When I Opened Facebook This Morning

I'm still trying to figure out if this is some deep statement on the precariousness of marriage with two small children demanding constant time and energy or simply Facebook being weird.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

We drove home last night through gently falling snow, listening to Christmas music and Sam exclaim over every snow plow we passed. Although we only got about 1/4 of a inch on the ground, the powdery snow was irresistible to Sam. He could barely eat breakfast for looking out the window and longing to do this:Unfortunately, Noah, who experienced snow for the first time in his memory this morning, wasn't so sure about it:He especially wasn't sure after Sam (who spent his entire time outside running around, making snowballs, and throwing snow everywhere) tossed a bit of snow on him. Ok, Sam threw snow in Noah's face. Thus ended this morning's adventure, but with temperatures hovering around 15 today, you can bet we'll be back in the snow this afternoon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Future of Ensembles?

My dean directed my attention to this phenomenon yesterday:

I'm sure that the ensemble does more than play drones and theme songs from Zelda, but I haven't found any full length videos of performances other than this one at Michigan last month. I think harnessing new musical instruments is a great idea (and can you imagine how they would sound using Bloom:)

So what do you think? The future of musical ensembles? Or catchy gimmick?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sam's Assignments

The other night, we had all had it with each other. With getting back in our normal routine after Thanksgiving, getting our house decorated for Christmas, and the boys both having small colds, we were snapping at each other left and right. So as we piled in the car to go to a friend's house, Joy came to our family's rescue:

"I have an assignment for everyone," she announced. "We each have to say one thing that we love and appreciate about each other member of the family." Joy went first and proceeded to refocus us on why we enjoy each other's company. I started to follow Joy when Sam piped up, "No, it's my turn!" His list was on how much he likes to play with us all (and how much he enjoy's Noah's words like "Mehmo" for "Elmo.") I followed with my list, and afterwards, we each felt a little calmer, a little more peaceful towards one another.

But Sam wasn't finished. "Are you ready for your next assignment?" he hollered from the back seat. "Sure," Joy and I tentatively responded. "Ok, now you have to tell what you love and appreciate about....the highway!"

Joy and I played along as one assignment followed another. We had to tell what we appreciated about the airport, about cars, about Union Station, about the interstate - basically anything that crossed Sam's mind was fodder for his assignments. It was a hilarious trip through Sam's imaginative mind. And as we arrived at our friends' house I realized that as exasperating as it can be, I'm truly appreciative of that imagination.