Monday, June 29, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

I adore this weather. For some, it's been a little cool, but for me the ideal temps are between 68 and 72 degrees, sunshine, cool nights . . . oh man. Heaven.

Last weekend, we had that scenario (for one day at least, the other was considerably warmer), and we spent the weekend at my parents' cabin. What a blast! Caleb was totally undone by all the sunshine, fresh air, time with both Mommy and Daddy, and we, likewise, had a great time—rested, played hard, and came home happy.

In my mind, my childhood was idillic. I grew up in the country, had a horse, and lived by a lake. Everyday was spent in the woods or in the water, and nothing can compete with the memories I have of my childhood summers. Last weekend was like reliving those days. What a blessing.

To the Dog Days of Summer. May they never end.

Bedtime Blues . . .

So, rather than writing a synopsis for my most recent project (really overwhelming), I am blogging . . . and procrastinating. :)

Oh my word. Where to start. You know when you hear horror stories from your mom about that one particular thing you did over and over (generally something naughty), and that thing categorized you as a tough—(fill in the blank: eater, sleeper, etc.) Well, I was not an easy to-bed-we-go child. Seriously. I wrote the book on things-you-can-do-to-extend-the-bedtime-process.

Woh. See, I've always been a procrastinator!

Anyway, that gift I gave my parents has now been returned to me. Tenfold. My son, my sweet-natured, easy-to-bed, will-sleep-anywhere child has become a changeling. Some sinister creature has replaced him and now the bedtime routine has become AT LEAST an hour-and-a-half long process.

Right now, Caleb's bedroom is FINALLY quiet, and I am exhausted from trying to get him to sleep.

The scenario goes something like this:

Me: "Hey Caleb, time for bed in five minutes, Ok bud?": (like it's an option. *drips sarcasm*)
Caleb: (*totally continues whatever he's doing like he didn't hear*).
Me: (*Repeat self several times until response from red-headed boy is evoked*).
Caleb: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (*heart-wrenching wail*)
Me: "Yep. Five minutes."
Caleb: (*Back to playing and ignoring*).
Me: (*begin the mental countdown*).
Me: "Ok Bud, bedtime!" (*cheerful loving mother voice*)
Caleb: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (*another heart-wrenching wail*)
Me: "Yep."
Caleb: "Two mintues."
Me: "Nope. Bedtime!" (*cheerful loving mother voice, again*)
Caleb: "I need a snack for the road."
Me: "No Caleb, you had dinner and we already brushed teeth. It's bedtime."
Caleb: (Much wailing about denied snack).
Me: "Up the stairs, Caleb. It's bedtime."
Caleb: "I need a . . .(fill in the blank et. infinite).
Me: (*Not so loving mother voice*). "Caleb, up the stairs. Now." (Sometimes he complies at this point, but more often than not he insists on picking up his toys, which never happens otherwise, or some other equally helpful task. Often, I end up carrying screaming, fighting boy up the stairs to his room. Once we have arrived in the room the process begins all over again).
Caleb: "I need a drink. . . . I need my animals (stuffed), . . . I need my cars . . . I need . . . need . . . " (et. infinite)
Me: "Bed. Now."
Caleb: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (* heart-wrenching wail, throws himself from bed to floor*)
Me: "In bed now or Mommy will have to spank you."
Caleb: "Hard?"
Me: "Hard."
Caleb: (*considers options*) "Spank me."
Me: "Ok." (*spanking ensues* back to the bedroom with semi-remorseful child).
Caleb: "Sing to me Mommy?" (This is another procrastination technique, but I can't resist this one, which he knows. I comply.)
Me: "I love you Caleb. Goodnight."
Caleb: "I need a drink."
Me: (*sigh*) "No Bud, you already had a drink." (*cue wailing*)
Caleb: "I need to go Potty."
Me: (*Deep breath*) "Do you really have to go potty?" (This is last-resort material on Caleb's part).
Caleb: "Yes."
Me: "Go."
Caleb: (*bright smile*) "I go quick!" (*goes potty and dawdles severely on the way back until I am forced to carry him*)
Me: "Now Caleb. Bedtime. I love you."
Caleb: "NOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (*another heart-wrenching wail*)
Me: "Do you need another spank?"
Caleb (*considers options*) "No." (sometimes he says 'yes' and we have to do that routine again.)
Me: "Bedtime."
Caleb: (*FINALLY climbs under covers*) "I have a question . . ."
Me: "No questions. Goodnight." (*makes way to door way*)
Caleb: "Mommy! Mommy!" (*very urgent*)
Me: (*sigh*) "Yes Caleb?"
Caleb: "You my best girl in the whole world."
Me: (*melts in a big puddle on the floor*) "I love you Buddy."
Caleb: "Love you Mommy."
Me: "Goodnight." (*exits door and steps out closing it behind me.*)
Me: (*sigh*)

At least I know where he gets his procrastination tendencies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Caleb and Ice Cream

Have I ever mentioned how much Caleb loves ice cream? He really loves it, I'm talking serious devotion. He can spot a DQ logo from miles away and obtained this skill very early on in life. Now that summer has arrived, my son is back in his ice-cream-element. A few pictures to demonstrate.

And because I can't resist her cuteness . . . there are a couple photos of Ella from this afternoon as well. 3.5 months old already!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My babies are growing!
Yesterday Ella started actually playing with her little jungle-gym toys—pulling and batting at them, grabbing them and putting them in her mouth. Wow. I am astonished at how fast the past three months have gone!
Caleb graduated from "friendly-frogs" to "busy-bears" at school (daycare), which means: he can go potty on his own, can communicate reasonably and follow complex instructions, use scissors, and focus his attention for a significant amount of time. What a man! We are still working on potty training, but he is doing great and we are so proud of him!
Here's a few pics from this week . . . enjoy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Importance of Reading

Obviously, words are pretty important around the RedHouse—what with RedHouseMedia ( being a pretty important part of our lives, me being a writer, and our overall appreciation of the power of language, rhetoric, and words. That said, we, as do many parents of little people, depend on books!
I am so thankful that Caleb enjoys being read to—I love sharing story, especially aloud to a captive audience . . . if he didn't like listening, I'd probably have to sit in the bathroom and read aloud to myself or something, just to get my regular fix.
Last weekend, we spent the day at the Cabin with Grandma and Grandpa. Story time that evening as the Caleb and his cousin Joshua settled down, was a highlight. As the pictures demonstrate.
Seriously, the look on those boys' faces! They are into it!
The power of the written word—read on . . . and on . . . and on.

Typical Morning

So, I realize that I've been rather negligent in my blogging this week—and last— and figured it was time for some updates.
As you can imagine, things around the RedHouse are still abiding in the typical realm of chaos, and we love it. Most days.

Morning dawns at 6 am, with Caleb passionately crying our names—"I'M AWAKE NOW!" Seriously, who needs an alarm?

Ella still greets me several times a night, so though she does not sleep as consistently as I would like—she keeps getting cuter, which helps me weather the morning hours . . . that, and coffee. Copious amounts of coffee.

This morning, before I pulled Caleb out of bed, I stumbled into his room and curled up next to him, thinking, maybe maybe, he would settle back down and go to sleep. (ha). Instead he patted my cheek with his chubby little boy hand:

Caleb: "you tired Mommy?"
Me: "Mmmm."
Caleb" "Ok. I'll go downstairs."
Me: "No bud, you have to wait for Mommy."
Caleb: "Ok Mommy. Get up. You need Coffee."

Ah, he knows me well.