Update October 2015

We've been living overseas since about the time this blog petered out. There are lots of funny Mo-and-Curly-abroad stories to share -- I'm exploring the best way to do that.

Thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Freaking out for naught

A couple times recently, I've found myself freaking out for naught. (In this house, my freak-outs are usually well warranted!)

1. Playing hide-n-seek with Mo. He always hides in the same spot - crunched down in an old car seat in the storage room.

Yet, this time, he wasn't there. Then I turned to see the small basement fridge we'd just gotten. It was just his size.

I freaked.

I screamed his name and ran to the fridge. His little head popped up. He was crouched down behind it. He later told Daddy, "Mom screamed and got all scared. But I know not to hide in the fridge."

2. It was our anniversary recently. After work, I ran upstairs to throw on a dress before whisking the kids to a friend's house so we could have an adults-only dinner. The kids watched cartoons contently while I got ready.

When I came down a few minutes later, Mo had locked himself in the downstairs bathroom. When I asked what he was up to, he said the second scariest thing (the first being, "Nothing!"). He said, "I'm painting my nails!"

I had visions of nail polish all over the bamboo floors, wall and counter tops. Remember the Peanut Butter Incident?

Well, he was painting his nails, true. But just like I always do, he had gotten a big square of paper towel to put under his feet/hands. Sure there were a few splatters, but they all landed on the paper towel.

Oh, my little Mo. He's growing up!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Of love, tradition and hotels

When I was a little girl, my great-grandmother used to tell me, "I love you more than tongue can tell."

My mom and I keep the tradition alive by signing off our e-mails "LYMTTCT."

The other day, Mo was snuggling with me in my bed and whispering secrets that I couldn't understand. So I whispered, "I have a secret for you."

"What?" he asked.

"I love you more than tongue can tell."

He thought for a minute than nodded.

He whispered back to me, "I love you more than a hotel, too."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Unfortunate Peanut Butter Incident of 2010


This weekend we had a rather unfortunate incident.

I'll preface this by saying that Curly loves to take things from the pantry and walk around with them. It's not unusual to find him carrying around a can of black beans or rolling a tin of water chestnuts along the floor.

So all week Mo was anxiously awaking a birthday party at a place where they have all sorts of inflatables, including a giant slide. We haven't been there in six months or more, so this was a real treat. We had already picked out and wrapped the gift.

The morning before the birthday party, the boys were playing upstairs, and Dad and I were cleaning downstairs. Because too much quiet is a scary thing in our house, I got a funny feeling and went to check on the boys.

And, well, Curly apparently brought a full jar of peanut butter upstairs. They proceeded to empty it by painting their clothes, bodies and hair - and then they moved on to the walls. The smell was so strong that I detected the peanutty destruction from the stairs.


They made hand prints on the walls. They covered the door knobs. Our clean-up effort was so intense that we lightened or in some cases scrubbed the paint right off the wall. I washed Curly's hair five times, and it's still unnaturally oily.

As we chiseled at the peanut butter disaster, us two grown-ups looked at each other and concluded there was no way we could - after this! - bring Mo to a fun-filled birthday party at the bouncy place. He knew better, and he had done it anyway. We had to be firm in letting him know that's not acceptable, and a four-minute time out wasn't going to be enough.

He was heartbroken, of course. And it was hard on us too.

I delivered the birthday gift and an apology.

Man, it sucks being a parent sometimes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NOT awesome

After gymnastics today, Mo showed me his sticker - he gets one at the end of every class.

Mo: It says "Awesome."

Me: Great!

Mo: Not great. Class wasn't awesome today. So I wanted one that said "NOT Awesome."

Me: I don't think they make stickers that say "NOT Awesome."

[He thought about this for a minute.]

Mo: Then I would have liked one that said, "Kinda Crunchy." Or "I love candy."

Me: I see.

Mo: But they didn't have those either. So I just got "Awesome."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Curly drinks a Capri-Sun

Drink it nicely through the straw. Until Mom turns away.

Lay the juice bag on the ground.

Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!

Lay on belly.

Lick up the little puddles of juice off the floor....

Until Mommy catches you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mo's pot o' gold

In preschool they've been doing St. Patty's Day related activities - drawing shamrocks, drinking green milk and reading Irish storybooks.

Along this theme, a teacher was telling them about rainbows and the idea that a pot of gold can be found at the end. The she asked, "What would you buy with a pot of gold?"

Now here, I should include a side note. Mo loves older women. Well, actually little girls who are a couple years older - like the kindergarten through third-grade set. There are a couple girls at day care he'll follow around like a baby duck. He's obsessed with the six-year-old down the street, and after their recent play date, he was on Cloud Nine for about 48 hours.

So the key message here: He's been hanging out with some slightly older girls lately. That's my only explanation...

Now back to my story, teacher asks, "What would you buy with a pot of gold?"

Mo politely raises his hand, and she calls on him.

He replies, "I would get a boyfriend!"

He says all the kids laughed. Not the teachers though.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Carnival disaster has a bright spot

Tonight I took the boys to the little family carnival at the YMCA.

When we arrived, I only bought three dollars worth of tickets, because I wasn't sure how many activities would be geared toward 1- and/or 4-year-olds. For a quarter a game, they both played the dock pond. Mo knocked over plastic bowling pins and threw ping pong balls into buckets and tossed beanbags - excitedly winning a balloon, pencil and paddle ball.

Then we headed to the gym to bounce on some inflatables. And that's when the trouble happened.

Curly tripped on the gym floor and bonked himself really hard. Now, his little nose is already bruised pretty bad after colliding with the sidewalk a week ago - from the same thing, trying to walk/run too fast and tripping.

So tonight at the Y, he fell down, and began screaming. He's got a huge tolerance for pain - not surprising with all he's been through - so I knew the little guy was really hurting. I scooped him up and held him tight against my chest and swayed with him for a several minutes, while he gradually calmed down.

Then I realized his nose was bleeding. Like, really bleeding. His face was a mess and I later noticed I was covered in blood, too, from holding him so close.

I grabbed Mo from his beloved bounce house, and somehow accounted for all the shoes and coats. The lovely Y staff helped me manage the stroller, got us some first aid supplies and led us into a private office away from the carnival crowd. Curly was fussy and upset, but at least he cooperated as I cleaned him up. Mo stuck by my side and didn't complain.

The whole ordeal was chaotic and stressful.

Once I got Curly under control, I just wanted to get home as fast as possible.

I told Mo to forget the crafts or face painting, it was time to leave. I still had a dollar's worth of tickets, so we got two popcorns to go. Only the lady dishing it out - one of those who helped us recover from Curly's incident - wouldn't take our money/tickets. (We must have looked pretty pathetic, Curly with his banged-up face, me with my blood-covered shirt, Mo quietly disappointed over leaving early.)

So I handed our unused tickets off to volunteer ticket takers - and they tried to give me my buck back, which was very sweet, but I told them to keep it. I felt bad only spending three dollars at their fundraising carnival as it was!

Anyway - so we get home and Mo runs in to report to Daddy about our adventures. Do you think he mentioned the games? Prizes? Bouncy house? Gushing blood, screaming brother, frantic Mommy? Or being forced to leave without getting his face painted?

Nope.

He ran into the house and excitedly told Dad: "Guess what? We got free popcorn tonight!"

Ah, the perspective of a 4-year-old: Priceless.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More deep thoughts from Mo

  • "Mom, the bigger the mess is, the more it wasn't me."

  • "Mom, I saw a baby the other day. And the baby was way cuter than [Curly]. Actually, I've seen a lot of babies that were cuter than our baby."

  • "Dad, if you dye your hair it stops growing." [No it doesn't, kiddo.] "Oh. So when you're dead, your hair just keeps growing then? It just grows forever and ever?"

  • "I better not do that or I'll get in big, honkin' hairy trouble!"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Buried treasure, right in our living room

Mo had the idea today to dump out all of the contents of the large wooden chest we use for toys. It hasn't been completely emptied since I don't know when. And boy did we find some treasure:
  • Tupperware lids
  • Measuring cups
  • The garage door opener that we replaced two years ago after concluding it would never reappear again
  • A full container of tic-tacs (dumped out and now colorless)
  • Lots of baby toys we'll be donating to Goodwill or the hospital
  • Lots of broken and junky stuff that went right to the trash
  • A Build-A-Bear outfit I never knew existed ("Rocky has jamies!?")
  • Missing game and puzzle pieces galore
  • A sufficient number of bouncy balls and toy cars for eight years worth of birthday party goodie bags
  • Enough forgotten-but-treasured toys to keep the boys entertained all afternoon

I'll try to remember this the next time I'm contemplating buying yet another new toy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One thing about Kindergarten

The boys (and that includes Dad) have made some amazing forts lately, moving lots of furniture and even disassembling the bunk beds. I'd show you but Curly finally gave my camera it's fatal whack last weekend.

So in lieu of that, I'll talk about Kindergarten.

Last night I registered Mo for Kindergarten. It was surreal to walk those halls and imagine my baby boy in there within a matter of months.

I filled out crazy amounts of paperwork, and signed him up for a Kindergarten screening spot. I was telling him about it last night, and our conversation took an interesting turn.

Mo: Is that my school, the one with the really cool playground?

Me: Yep. That's where you'll be going to school every day.

Mo: Great. I already know one thing about Kindergarten.

Me: Oh yeah, what's that?

[I'm thinking he's going to tell me about his neighborhood friends who'll also be attending. Or that he knows he'll be walking to school everyday. Or that you don't nap or watch PBS Kids when you're in Kindergarten. But no.]

Mo: Well, I know that in Kindergarten I'm not allowed to say "What the hell?!"

Me: Um, yeah, I guess that's true.

[I'm thinking, "Oh man, this is going to be an interesting year."]

Mo: But at home I can say, "What the hell," right?

Me: No. I don't want you saying that at all.

[He sighs loudly and slumps his shoulders.]