Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fenced In

This is a boring post, unless you're just here to see pictures of my backyard. :)

Last weekend we put a temporary fence up around our backyard, a fact which is causing me some sadness...I liked my yard the way it was, liked the little bit of wildness to it...

Monkey doesn't listen, doesn't stop when I ask him to, doesn't understand about streets and traffic. And this summer they are tearing up our street in front, widening it and such. Traffic in our alley will be heavier because people will all be parking in their garages. There will be lots of opportunities for danger to befall an unruly two-year-old with a general tendency toward monkey-business.

So we put up a cheap fence, just enough to keep the kids a bit contained. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get some flowers to grow around the gate and maybe I'll actually like it when I can read a book while the kids hang out in the sandbox or whatever. Anyway, here are pictures of the building process...

Here they are digging holes for the gate, and I'm looking down at them from the back deck.

Here's Monkey helping Papa with the string.
Jabber drew up some blueprints for the construction project, and he is consulting them on the stairs.

Monkey runs some stakes to Granny along the string.

And here are the boys after their baths last night, showing off the new backyard where they got nice and dirty.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mood Enhancer

I used to color with crayons all the time. In college, David and I exchanged letters and pictures we drew with crayons (back when people exchanged most of their correspondence via paper and stamps and such...), and David even wrote me a poem that compared me to a box of crayons. (The big kind, with lots of was cute. He wrote it in crayon on the back of a packet of poetry from a class of his...)
I played around a lot with crayons and watercolor paints--decorating most of my apartments with my own cheaply procured artwork...crayons on freezer paper and such.

I can still remember the first time Jabber drew with crayons; I was kind of crazily thrilled by it, to be honest. I remember watching him stand there with a crayon in his fist, standing there barely able to pull himself up on that blue foot locker that served as our coffee table. I remember watching him select a certain color, draw on a certain part of the page, and I thought, "Oh my god, my child just made an artistic choice. He just looked at the page and made a choice and created art."

I know, it's not really all that magical. He picked up a crayon and scribbled with it. But watching him make the connection in his mind between moving his hand and making colors appear on the page...and deciding between different colors and making those was just an amazing reminder that he was this whole person--an individual with his own will, his own ability to create beauty. It was so cool!

So tonight the Monkey, Jabberwock, and I all spent about an hour coloring. We spend a lot of time drawing, a process which is sort of stressful at times for Jabber, as he is a perfectionist. But coloring in pictures from a coloring book--how can you go wrong?

All of my stress from the day is gone. Crayon therapy.

Here are the space pictures Jabber and I colored, and below are the boys coloring and cutting out their pictures.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

jabber jabbers

Me: Good morning Jabber! How did you sleep?
J: Good…
Me: Awesome! Did you have any good dreams?
J: Noooo…I didn’t have any dreams at all.
Me: Oh, yeah?
J: Yeah, ‘cause you know. Sleep just snuck up on me. And when sleep sneaks up on you, you don’t dream.
Me: Oh, really?
J: Yeah, because sleep, you know. It wants to sneak up on you. And if you dreamed, then you would know you were sleeping. So that’s not really all that sneaky.

Friday, May 1, 2009


5:45 a.m.: alarm sounds. Elissa struggles out of bed and hits snooze.

5:46 a.m.: Elissa has figured out that today is Friday and that yes, on Fridays she has a meeting at 7:30, which means she has to leave the house before 7:00 to get the kids to daycare.

5:47 a.m.: Elissa does complicated math problem in her head to determine how many snoozes she can afford before she will be late for the meeting, like usual. Goes back to sleep.

6:20 a.m.: Elissa leaves Monkey sleeping in the bed and stumbles in for shower and dressing.

6:45 a.m.: Elissa is finished getting ready for work and nagging the Jabberwock to get ready. Jabber is lying on bedroom floor, still in pajamas, driving a small toy car around on the rug and insisting that he "IS getting dressed!" and "IS NOT playing!"

6:50 a.m.: Elissa gathers clothes and diaper and goes in to wake the Monkey.

6:55 a.m.: Elissa takes Monkey's temperature.

7:00 a.m.: Elissa calls in to work. Surprise! Sick day. Elissa panics about lesson plans.


So you know? Normally there is a very good possibility that I would give him a good dose of Tylenol, call David at work and let him know that the sooner he can get off work and pick up the boys the better, and bring him to daycare anyway. But with this whole swine flu business that has us cleaning our doorknobs and wash wash washing our hands, I guess I just feel like I should keep him home. He has a bad cough, a snotty nose, and a fever, and now he has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the television.

And I have a chance to update my blog? ha.