Saturday, August 25, 2007

Toys


This past week has been one to show us - or at least remind us - that the best toys very often aren't. Specifically toys, that is.


For awhile now, Guthrie has enjoyed playing with rulers. Just plain wooden rulers, which he turns into a million different things - tracks for his trains, roads for his cars, bridges across boxes, ramps up onto higher levels, a pogo stick as he holds it and jumps up and down, a knife to cut play food, a sword to fight dragons, a gate for his trains, he uses more than one to become a fence, or to mark off a parking space for a bigger car.


The other day, my mom reminded me that the space shuttle was going to land, and so Guthrie and I sat at the computer, pulled up one of the news websites, and watched it landing. This piqued his interest in space shuttles (at least momentarily) and we searched YouTube for videos of shuttles taking off and landing (but not blowing up - skipped the Challenger). Then he asked lots of questions about them, and a drumstick became the space shuttle, with a ruler serving as the boosters which fall off.


Another drumstick was an airplane, and he showed me the differences in how the two take off - space shuttles go straight up, while airplanes gradually ascend at an angle. But they both land (roughly) the same way.


We looked through my photo albums, and found a picture of me at the space center in Huntsville, Alabama, as a little girl, sitting in a model of an old space shuttle. He spent hours laying on his back, pretending he was in a shuttle taking off, flying all over the place.


Two cardboard boxes brought in from the garage have served as places to hide, a turtle shell when held on Guthrie's back, a cage, and a home for a Jack-in-the-Box, or I guess a Guthrie-in-the-Box.


Yesterday, I heard lots of giggling coming from the library, and found Eric and Guthrie sitting on opposite sides of the large low table, playing what Guthrie called "Bounce and Roll" with a new roll of scotch tape. For nearly an hour, Eric, then I, sat across from Guthrie sending this roll of tape back and forth, then putting it down and trying to blow it across, figuring out ways to make it roll on its side, roll in a boomerang that came back to us, using a doorstop as a ramp for it to roll down. It was delightful to see the joy and discovery in Guthrie's face.

We have been saving every cork from every wine bottle we use for some time now. (And since I am generally the only one who drinks wine, if you saw our collection, you would be convinced I am an alcoholic. I am not. It is a few years' worth of corks. And I can't recall the last time I was truly intoxicated - certainly before Turner was conceived.) When we visited a friend of ours a few years ago, he had corks, and his son and Samantha took a bunch to a creek and had "cork races." I took a bunch into the bathtub for the boys to play with, and said they were boats. Well, Guthrie put a couple in the "fish holding tank" part of his toy boat, and they were fish. He put a couple in his toy canoe, and they were people riding in the canoe. Another one went into the seat at the front of the boat, and was the person sitting up front fishing (and he reeled in a cork fish). There seems to be no end to what a little imagination can turn corks into. Thank you, Yellow Tail.


A large red plastic container, which up until now had housed extra sheets and towels (which we finally sorted through this week), was filled up with all the balls we could find in the house, and became an instant miniature ball pit. Both boys loved it. Guthrie then hid in the container, and insisted we put the lid on top for him to repeatedly kick off.
We have a house full (really, we have entirely too many toys, although most of them are variations on one theme - TRAINS!) of toys, and again, what the kids like the most are all the other things.



video

The Mouths of Babes

Great recent quotes from Guthrie:

At the post office the other day, after we'd been there roughly an hour or so, and everyone's patience (the line was huge) was worn thin, and we were quite possibly the only white people there, he looked at Eric and announced, loudly, "You are a Gringo!" Um, yes, Guthrie, you are correct. Thankfully, the reaction from customers and employees was loud laughter.

When things at home start to get really crazy, and I feel like my brain cells are disappearing too quickly, I jokingly threaten Eric that I am going to get a job. I said this the other day, and Guthrie protested, "Don't get a JOB! You are my teacher!" Melted my heart.

And on the phone with my mother today, when he asked what she was doing and she said she was watching TV, he told her she needed to give her TV to someone else (we recently gave our TV, that had been sitting unplugged in our garage for over a year, to some friends), because "it will make you fat again." (Not that my mother is fat, but she just announced that she had lost 7 pounds.)

I have no great quotes from Turner. He still doesn't talk much. Mostly he points to pictures of animals, plays with toy farm animals, and repeats "oof oof oof" over and over again. Because you know, cows, pigs, dogs, cats, elephants, birds, even dolphins all say "oof oof."

Friday, August 24, 2007

6 Legged Hell

The Six Legged Life here in the Valley leaves much to be desired. At least for me, at least right now.

Due to the rain (we assume) our backyard is again covered in fire ant nests. Two nights ago they weren't there, we were all running around playing and having a blast. Yesterday it rained off and on all day, and just a while ago we were outside again, and there are a ton of nests. A couple of them are really big, and one in the front yard is HUGE! Eric spread some poison, and so for the short term I don't feel terribly comfortable taking the boys out there to play - either they get eaten by fire ants or they eat the poison. Neither is a good option.

There was an enormous black bee on our mango tree, but I think he's just doing his job, and has never even attempted to bother us, so as much as I didn't like looking at him, we let him be.

There are bees everywhere (which I guess I should be happy about, given how freaked out I was at the reports of honeybee dieoffs all over the world a few months ago). One kept me from going outside for a few minutes. (I'm not about to open the door when there is a bee looking at me on the other side) And for some reason, lately, every few days I have a bee in my bathroom window. Eric kills it, everything is fine, and then a couple days later, there's another bee. Today there were several. Now, bees, I know, big deal, I'm not allergic, they sting and that's all.

Except ...

We live in Hidalgo County, where the first Killer Bees were found in the US in 1990. And occasionally, we do hear of people being killed by bee attacks. So I do admit to being a little irrational when it comes to bees, here.

The mosquitoes are gone, though, at least for now. And although today I found a goodness-knows-how-old half-eaten apple cinnamon rice cake buried in my closet, there were no bugs of any kind in there, thank goodness.

Shoes

Do all kids go through a shoe stage? I don't remember this with Samantha. Both of my boys, though, have gone through a stage - at about the same age (Turner is in it now) where they became obsessed with shoes. Have to wear them, even at home, doing nothing. Must try on any shoes they see on the floor. Love nothing more than to stand in Daddy's cowboy boots.

Turner is currently walking around with one shoe on. He brought it to me, and I put it on him, and he seems to think it's the greatest thing ever. Don't know where his other shoe is, but he seems to be having fun this way.

The shoes, btw, are red Crocs knock-offs. Guthrie thought Turner needed pink ones, but I talked him into getting red ones so that they both matched.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fun

We currently have a plumber here. Why? you ask. Oh, just because yesterday, right as Guthrie was flushing the toilet, Turner decided to throw a Weeble into it. And I couldn't catch it fast enough. And it went down.

Turner threw another one in, but I caught it in time. Guthrie was absolutely hysterical. I thought it was all the way down, gone for good, too, and so after trying to calm him down, calling Eric, figuring out just exactly which Weeble it was that went for a swim (Baby Bear, from the Goldilocks playset), I did what any good mother would do - I took them to Wal-Mart. To try to find a new Weeble house, to replace the way which I thought was then on its way to the sewage treatment plant.

No luck. Not a Weeble to be found in the entire store.

So I looked on eBay. If the Weeble is indeed gone for good, then I will be ordering a replacement on eBay. I'm guessing it's going to be around $100 for the plumber, plus another $30-ish for a new Weeble house. Very expensive toilet flush. Thank you, Turner.

To get a little work done while Turner is napping, I let Guthrie watch some Looney Tunes on his DVD player. He only watched for a few minutes, and is now running around saying, "Beep Beep," like the Roadrunner.

And we are currently under an Inland Tropical Storm Warning, whatever precisely that means. I think it means a lot of rain, some wind. Good times. It's bright and sunny and HOT right now. But more rain means ... more MOSQUITOES!!!! Oh, YEAH!!!

Oh, fun fun times these are, fun times.

UPDATE: Baby Bear is safe! The plumbers are Guthrie's Heroes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Advice

to moms of young boys:

Don't let them share an iPod earphone set with a 16 year old girl on road trips. If you do, they will, as Guthrie has just done, walk into the room singing "My humps, my humps, my little lady lumps," followed by an emotional proclamation of, "Baby Got Back!"

He announced he likes the "Big butt song" (Baby Got Back) and "Barbie World."

He was singing the Chattanooga Choo Choo and other Glenn Miller. Now it's Fergie, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Aqua. What have I done?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

41 months

I missed World Breastfeeding Week. I've been busy, with Samantha and Stacia (my niece, who will be 16 on Saturday) here, going to the beach, to Mexico, to the zoo, and generally having fun to take any time to sit here and write a blog.

I realized last night that I have now been breastfeeding, continuously, for 41 months.

Add in pregnancy, and I've been giving part of my body over to another (or two other) human being(s) for over 4 years now.

It's become so normal, so routine, that I don't know what I'll do when (if) Turner ever weans. Maybe sleep, and have a really, really, really big margarita.