Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Noah's Crackers

Gentle, patient, obedient, timid, and thin are all words I would never use to describe Noah. As he has now reached the 18 month mark, his little personality is becoming very apparent and quite amusing.

Noah- or as Calvin calls him, "the little chubby bubba"- is obsessed with anything on wheels. He loves playing catch and "kick" with RB. He prefers to go shirtless whenever possible and hates nothing more than long sleeves. He's a self made vegetarian and his favorite dishes are straight humus, sauteed tofu, and anything with sugar. He's hungry, always. He enjoys dancing and all animals. Since he's great at pointing, verbal communication is meaningless to him. I've yet to find anything that he's afraid of, except nursery. Oh, and then there's the temper...

Whenever I make the monthly trip to Costco, I'm always sure to pick up a big container of animal crackers. Not only are these Noah's absolute favorite things, but RB has also been know to eat half of them in one sitting. This particular time it just happened to be the last half that he finished off and he wasn't smart enough to hide the evidence. Little Noah came upon the empty container and immediately voiced his dismay,"Ma!" He then proceeded to pick up the container, which is almost as big as himself, and walk around protesting, "Ma!Ma!" He finally came to rest in front of RB and me at the table and shoved the container in my lap. Although he could tell by looking through the clear plastic that, indeed, all of his precious crackers were gone, I pulled off the lid just so he could be doubly sure.

After having his fears confirmed, Noah lost it. He threw the container down and started screaming. This was not crying, but the no tears, bright red face, clenched fat fists screaming. He then grabbed the lid out of my hands, threw it to the ground, and just to make sure he got his point across went to his little wooden table, grabbed the nearest chair and threw it to the ground as well (to his credit, this last toss did enhance the drama of it all). He then stared defiantly as he waited to see how we would reconcile the situation.

RB and I both found ourselves once again biting our lips to keep from encouraging this behavior. Who knew an 18 month old was capable of such rage?

This doesn't bode well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monster Trucks!!!

Calvin has been obsessed with monster trucks since he discovered the cartoon version of Bigfoot a few months ago. When I heard that the monster truck circuit was coming through our town I would have felt like a negligent father if I had not indulged my son in this finer-culture event. Not to mention, since I have such little time proportionally with the boys compared to Carolee I have to try to
jam as much testosterone into their activities as possible.

Suffice it to say, expectations were more than met. There were enough wrecks, wheelies, fires, and demolished junkers to make everyone happy. I was additionally entertained counting the number of mohawks, mullets, and moms in 3-xl carhartt jackets and wranglers in our section.

It made me realize again just how easy it is to make the little guys happy (Carolee spent the time with Noah at the science museum - we didn't think Bubba was quite ready for Gravedigger and co.). I have to earn my brownie points now before he gets more demanding.

Editor's note: these events are apparently really, really loud. The best dollar I spent all day went to an enterprising teen outside the stadium selling foam earplugs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Holidays part II

Along with all of the fun holiday festivities, while in Florida we managed to use our annual pass to Sea World one last time. Calvin and Noah absolutely love all of the beautiful animals there, especially Shamu.

Although my siblings were forced into going again- they're more into the roller coaster theme parks- and tried to act unimpressed all day...
I still managed to catch them enjoying themselves:
Besides the animals, Sea World has also introduced Calvin and Noah to cotton candy- a life changing experience for them.
Calvin made a huge step forward in facing his fears and actually rode on the merry-go-round this time. (In the past we've waited in line for thirty minutes, only to leave once it's finally our turn with a sobbing Calvin- so this was a pretty big deal.) You can see the pride in his accomplishment.

While Noah would be all too willing to ride on anything he could waddle his way onto, he was left to just amuse the passersby with his few, fail-proof crowd pleasers...

the one-handed peek-a-bubba

and the "I know where my nose is"
And besides all these great times, one of my favorite things was getting to meet my dear friend's new baby girl. Here is beautiful Isabelle and a very happy Calvin. Don't you think he needs a little sister? :)

Calvin's Bacon

Calvin absolutely loves bacon. If I'd let him, he would eat an entire pound of it by himself in one sitting. Because of his intense craving, I've had to severely limit how much of the stuff I make. Yesterday, as we were out of milk for cereal, I broke down and cooked a breakfast of french toast and bacon, much to Calvin's delight.

My plan was to allow him three pieces, but of course he some how managed to get a hold of twice that many. The rest, I informed him, were for daddy and therefore off limits. RB has averaged four hours of sleep a day for the past week on his surgery rotation and this was his one chance to sleep in. Calvin knew that he wasn't to disturb his sleeping father until he awoke.
A few minutes into cleaning up the kitchen, I noticed a strange and unfamiliar quietness about the house. It was then that I saw the plate of bacon on the table- completely empty. I found Noah and asked him where his brother was since Calvin always hides whenever he's "made a bad choice." Noah waddled to the coffee table and pointed his chubby finger underneath it. There was the culprit covered in turkey-bacon-bits. Assuming he had finished off all the remaining pieces, I explained to poor little Calvin about how disappointed daddy was going to be when he woke up to no bacon left for him and how important it is to share. I could tell the thought of having no bacon was a very serious one in his little mind and that he understood that he had done something wrong. He said that he would try to do better next time and then went off towards his room - I thought to play.

RB said he was fast asleep in bed when he heard a rustling noise close to his head. As he opened his eyes, he said he could just make out the form of Calvin dropping flat to the ground, trying to hide. It was then that his eyes focused on what was laying on top of the pillow next to his face... a single greasy piece of bacon.
I'm pretty sure it's the sweetest thing Calvin has ever done for someone. I'm so proud.

Another proud moment for me came today in Calvin's singing time. Our very kind and talented friend was directing the music in primary and started off with "Singing a song is fun to do". He asked the children if they had other ideas of what is fun to do and received mostly the typical, expected responses until Calvin shouted out his idea... "Riding a really fast duck."
"Oh," said our friend, "Yes, riding a fast truck is fun to do."
"No, no," Calvin corrected, " Riding a really fast DUCK."
Aaah, yes there were the chuckles from the teachers and as they looked back behind the piano at me, all I could do was smile and shrug. Yes, I'm so proud.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Our Happy Holidays

We were lucky enough to get a break from the cold Ohio winter and went down to sunny and warm Florida for our Christmas.

As with all good trips, ours started off by waking up early to catch a flight. The boys were dazed and confused but willing to obey because Mommy kept mentioning the words "ride on a plane".

After the flying was over, the trip was nothing but fun and relaxing with family. We managed to play a little tennis everyday... and night. (Here's uncle Trevor showing off his graceful style.)

Calvin and Noah loved picking oranges from the backyard with grandpa and making them into juice. They also learned how to feed and chase Grandpa's newest additions to the family. (There are five more chickens as well.) And yes, it crows every morning at the first glimpse of sunlight and keeps crowing until it is sure everyone is awake and stirring inside the house.

Calvin was in heaven when Grandpa brought his plane home for repairs.

Grammy always has the house decorated beautifully for the holidays and Noah loved it all, especially the nativity animals.

The boys were of course spoiled by Grammy and Grandpa.

All of the fun new toys and goodies made it especially hard on Calvin's sharing abilities.

I was very excited to surprise RB with my gift to him this year. For the past few years/ ever since we were married, we've had issues about the number of t-shirts he has and insists on keeping. (He has actually gone through the trash to save them.) So I found a way to preserve his precious memories and intramural championships t's and make them functional as well...

... and he was only slightly upset that he wouldn't be wearing some of them anymore.