Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Mostly what I love the most is when Israel is incredibly cranky the entire forenoon because he has a cold and is teething and snotty and is muddling in the generalized irritation of a 18 month old who knows what he wants but is either physically incapable of reaching it or verbally incapable of communicating his desires, leading to lots of screaming and thrashing about on the ground in sheer frustration. And then what’s really great is when he only naps for one measly pathetic little hour instead of his normal 2 ½ or 3 for some unknown reason, virtually guaranteeing his continued crabbiness of for the looonng, loooong stretch of day remaining. Long stretch. Very long. And then what’s even better is when he poops multiple times of top of that. Love it. LOOOVE it.

Anybody want to come take over here and share in the generalized delight?


Last Tuesday we dyed Easter eggs. Gabe LOVED it. Here he is closely inspecting the fizzing dye.
Cups of dye.
Eager helper with his onlooking brother.
The onlooking brother.
The end result. Pretty. Gabe had a wonderful time finding the Easter eggs after I hid them. He also had a wonderful time screaming at the baby at the top of his lungs to get away from his eggs. The baby had a wonderful time squeezing the eggs until they cracked, and then carefully picking the shell off. Hmmm.
Gabe couldn't make it until bedtime after all that excitement, and conked out on the floor in his dinosaur blanket after supper. Sweetheart sugarpie.

On Friday my beloved friend Emily came to visit me. She now lives only two hours away instead of ten since I moved so handily close to Arlington. Happy sigh. I would request that you would all politely divert your eyes from the horrible picture of me and direct them to her. Or maybe she has differing opinions. I just had to have a picture of us together.
On Saturday night, Sonya the Excellent Babysitter came over to watch the chillin's, since Tim was working on his sermon for the next day, and Emily and I vamoosed it off to Salisbury to shop, eat Indian food and yap for hours. We had an absolutely wonderful time. Thanks SO MUCH, Sonya.

For Easter lunch, we feasted on pork roast, sour cream potatoes, and stir-fried sugar snap peas for lunch on new plates that Emily had brought us. The daffodils on the table were an Easter gift from someone at church and are so beautiful!
On Sunday afternoon, I gave the boys their Easter baskets, to their sheer delight.
The baskets contained some chocolate, some fruit snacks, rice krispie treats, Magic Wand lighted sticks that have both already broken, some Juicy Fruit gum, some V-8 juice (keeping the tradition alive, Mom), and a Car's watch for Gabe and some sunglasses for Israel.
And then my friend Emily left. Sadness. Thanks so much for coming, Emily. It's so great to have friends like you where you can always pick up where you left off. Come back very soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Sometimes little boys need flour to shovel with their construction machinery.

Gabe quotes of late:

"Why is the sky byoo (blue)?" Seriously. Is that hilariously the stereotypical kid question or what?

Mommy: "Gabe, it's time to go take your bath."
Gabe: (concentrating) "No, I can't go wite now, I'm doing my exercises." Apparently he was lifting his Big Book of Animals several times.

He uses "ak-chee" or "ak-cha-yee" (actually) a lot. He uses it appropriately, but I find it very amusing.

He likes to pray at meals. He will pray for all the things he sees around him. "And thank you for the counters, and the plates, and the chairs, and the grass, and the food. Amen!" Tonight he prayed "And p'ees po'cect (please protect) the baby and help him to never cry ever again!"

The other day he came up to Tim and I while we were talking about unrelated topics, looked rather wistfully at my stomach and said "I wan' a sister." Guess we'll see, Gabe baby, guess we'll see....


I wish I could adequately describe the absolute sweetheart that Israel is. He is SO. PRECIOUS. He is still in that innocent, beaming, toddling stage that just makes your heart swell with adoration and want to squeeze him tight tight tight and plant kisses all over his chubby cheeks as he giggles helplessly. I saw a phrase the other day "chubby bumblebee" that immediately made me think of Israel. He toddles around with that wide legged stance, diaper rustling, mop of hair rumpled on his head, catching your eye and breaking into a HUGE toothy grin, making his happy "tssss, ttssssss" sounds that indicate pure enjoyment of life, or "nnn-tsss, nnn-tssss" that indicates he wants something.

He understands more words than he uses. He uses gestures and needy sounds more than words still. He knows when we are talking about "outside" or "shoes". He loves to go outside with Gabe, and can hardly contain the overwhelming joy he feels to be outside playing with his brother. He also loves to walk around in Gabe's shoes, or any shoes for that matter, but clearly communicates his frustration when he is DONE.

He is a great sleeper. He is very reliant on his sleep, and takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon, and then is good and ready for bed at about 8:30 PM. He usually sleeps through the night, and wakes up around 7:30 or 8:00 AM. One thing he has been so cute on lately is when we are in his room and he is tired, he heads right over to the crib, his left forefinger pops right into his mouth as his rightt hand reaches in to clutch his blankets, and he leans against the rails tiredly, sucking away on his finger, shadows deepening under his eyes.
He LOVES his bed, and sometimes he asks to lay down just for a rest.
He is very responsive to "No"'s. The other day I was sitting on a chair in the living room, not even aware that Israel was venturing into territory that he shouldn't be in, until I noticed his unusual stillness out of the corner of my eye, and looked his way to find him gazing at me, big-eyed, one arm tentatively reaching towards the off-limits item, not going all the way, just waiting for the "no". When he hears a "no", he sometimes collapses on the floor in frustrated tears, but generally does not need many more reminders. A "no" from Mommy, followed by a stern "no" from Daddy is almost too much for his little heart to take, and his lip starts quivering and he will just cry and cry. I don't remember Gabe ever being that responsive to verbal admonition.

He loves to play with his brother, who alternates between wanting to play with him, and not wanting to share his items. He loves to copy whatever Gabe is doing, even if it is too dangerous for his Mommy's liking.

We love him to pieces, that kid. What would life be like without him? He is a blessing, a joy and a delight.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


My cravings with this pregnancy have been different than those when I was pregnant with the boys. With both Gabe and Israel, I craved coffee, black tea, and jalapeños. With this one, the thought or smell of coffee makes me feel nauseous, and I feel highly ambivalent about black tea and jalapeños. Cilantro still makes me have a slight nose wrinkle.

I have, on the other hand, been wolfing down pasta. WalMart's "Shells and Cheese" has a new avidly drooling admirer. I have also been craving hard salami recently. My eyes lit up tonight when I saw hard salami sandwiches with mayonnaise, cheese and lettuce at the fellowship finger foods we had tonight after church (dreamy sigh...I could speak here of my obsessive love for all things fellowship meals and finger foods, especially from Mennonite cooks, but I shall save that for another lengthy post), and I was fleet of foot as I dove in for the sandwich salvage. It slid down the gullet right well. Right now I would pay a WHOLE lot of money for another one. And I do mean a WHOLE lot. Audible swallow. Swipe of saliva.

Or maybe some Vienna Sausages.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


"Mommy!" he says. "Tell me a story abou'...abou'...abou'....abou'...abou'...abou'...(I kid you not, here)...abou'....abou'...(his hands wave in the air as his eyes search his thoughts)...abou'...abou'...abou'...abou' the Rack Pack Snack Bunny!!" Or "Abou' when I was in the grass and I looked down and there were mashed potatoes in the grass!!" Or "Abou' when you and me and Ty'yer (Tyler) were driving our cars around and mine was blue and yours was red and Ty'yer's was gween and we SMASHED them together." (Hands clap together in explanation.)

"Mommy!" he says. "Can you give me a hug?" Little arms wrap tightly around my neck as he clutches his mommy close.

"Mommy!" he says. "Can you s'eep (sleep) wif me?" I give him the stern eyeball.

"Gabriel", I say. "If Mommy lays with you, then you may not fuss when she gets up." He nods his assent. He knows the routine. We lay quietly for a few seconds, me on my stomach at the edge of the bed, facing away.

"Mommy!" he says. "Can you yay (lay) yike this?" I roll over and look at him. He lays on his back, arms open. With a maximum of effort, I heave myself over in the bed. Won't be too many more months where he'll be able to fit on my stomach. I wonder if by the time he can fit again he will still remember that he likes to cuddle like this. He creeps into my arms, giving me a sideways glance out of the corner of his eye, pressing his head to my shoulder, his fuzzy hair to my cheek. He rolls over, relaxed, waving his arms in the air, gesticulating a story that continues in his head that breaks through his lips now and then in quiet whispers. He rolls over again, and presses his face to mine. Over again, and his head is on my shoulder, contentedly.

I savor his weight, his stretching limbs, the fuzz of his buzzed haircut against my face, his soft skin, his limbs in constant motion, even here at the end of the day, the way he tucks his face into my neck. Today he talks in complete sentences, with adjectives and exclamatory remarks, and use of the word "necessary". Today he is grown into his 3T clothes, and careens around, limbs in full boy motion. Today he still needs his mommy.

So I lay. And cuddle. And snug. And press a kiss to his fuzz head. For tomorrow comes so quickly.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Good Boy

Gabriel did a very good job in church today. We only had to go out one time. He happily played with his markers, his notepad, his trucks, etc. up until it was time for the sermon, then he decided that he was done and was going to go to the nursery. :) We went our for a little "reminder" session, and got a book from the library, and he did very well for the remainder of the service, especially when a compassionate grandma from the row ahead of us discreetly passed us a cool little magnet set.

Ahhh...I will be glad when this adjustment phase is over for him. It's just stressful - his learning, our learning...

I had some cute moments with the boys last week. Thursday evening, Tim was gone, and Israel was still recovering from being sick, and was very cranky and tired around 8 PM, so I laid him down, then sat on the couch with Gabe to read some books. When we got done, I said "Now it's time to go brush teeth!" Gabe turned sideways in my lap and laid his head on my chest.

"I need you to hold me," he said, and snuggled up.

"Hold you to go brush your teeth?" I asked.

He nodded and said yes, and then a few seconds later I took a closer look and he was fast asleep. :) He fell asleep so fast!! :) I carried him back to his bed and tucked him under his blankets and he didn't even stir.

Then, Cranky Dude Israel had decided that he wasn't ready for bed after all. So I lugged him back up (with a sigh and a roll of my eyes), and he fussed and puttered around for another half hour, laid him down again, still wouldn't go to sleep. I got him up, plopped him on the couch in front of his Steve Green DVD with a cheese stick and some clementine slices - and he had a GREAT time. :) He always seems to sense when he is up past his bedtime, and is obviously thrilled. He made me laugh out loud, watching him with his fuzzy hair and shadowed eyes, swinging his legs back and forth off the end of the couch, chewing his cheese stick, scooping up his orange slices, and giving me these delighted little cheesy grins and happy noises. ADORABLE.

Later, after he finally went down, I puttered around doing things like fixing their makeshift curtains, figuring out the right lights to leave on, adjusting the heaters in their rooms, and felt a great swell of satisfaction. It reminded me of the same feeling some people must have looking at their well tended garden. I am a happy baby tender. :)