it became a family tradition over the summer to go out for ice cream after dinner once or twice a week. technically, it was yogurt, or yoghurt if you feel fancy and want to use the kings english or perhaps fro-yo if you want me to punch you square in the mouth. once i figured out how to beat that newfangled tricky "pay per ounce" racket they've got going, it became a [semi]solid treat that got us out of the house on weeknights and made me no fatter than a bowl of cheerios would (TCBY white chocolate mousse....that's that only way to fly).
of course it may have also contributed to judah having a cavity at his first dentist appointment yesterday, but he rocked the laughing gas like a pro, got his filling, a pair of sunglasses, a fake mustache set, a telescopic wand, and naturally loved the whole experience (i mean, who wouldnt). so i am officially a fan of the kiddie dentist, yall. i do wonder how judah will feel on christmas morning when santa brings him a piece of paper that says "general anesthesia and a composite filling back in october were your BIG gifts! ho, ho ho!"
FTR: layla utterly punked out and refused to let anyone come near her. she was straight up J Edgar Hoover up in that joint, eyeing anyone who came within 4 meters of her with unadulterated suspicion. she would be squarely IN my lap but if her proximity klaxons were triggered she would try to climb UP me as if to be MORE in my lap, or possibly inside of me. it was like dealing with a baby lemur in a room full of wolves (?...what is the natural predator of a lemur?).
we did manage to get her to just open up for the tool-free dentist to have a looksee. he instantly pegged us as paci enablers. her bite is HORRIBLE. this is sad because neither jesse or i needed braces (though i had them because a family friend was an orthodontist and we got them for free just to fine tune me...thanks, buddy!) and were blessed with great spacing and bite. these attributes are the shining stars of our gene pool and we have managed to undo it by drugging our baby with a rubber nipple. luckily, it will self-correct if we get her clean (again!) before her next molars come in.
anyhow, since it has been awhile since the munchkins got any blog love, here's a smattering of pics from one ice cream outing we took in september and some of their quotes/interests/behavior from lately.
um, why did all the people who warned me about teenage girl drama neglect to mention a close rival: four year old boy drama! judah is hilariously sensitive, fashion-obsessed, and prone to soap-opera level outbursts of emotion.
he is so very particular about what he wears and it changes from week to week so you can never be sure what is a solid go-to and what is basically the equivalent of asking him to wear soiled toilet paper. one day i forced him to wear a button up shirt to church (i think jesse was preaching so i cared a little more). afterward we went to lunch where we ran into a friend of his. the friend was feeling very shy and wouldnt talk to judah at first. judah came running up to me and said, "logan ignored me. i KNEW i shouldn't have worn this outfit!" i about died.
this girl. um, there really just arent words for how freaking hilarious and sweet and sassy she is. she could play pretend for hoooooooooours. no toys necessary; just you and her and a million scenarios where she is a baby fox or you are a monster. god forbid you play with her in close confines before you've brushed your teeth, though. girlfriend wastes no time asking, "wha da tink? da yo breff?" why, yes layla it is. maybe if you werent one millimeter away from my face 2 seconds after i have woken up, it wouldnt be so TINKY.
she seems to have inherited her mommy's penchant for turning a beautiful phrase. the other night, completely serious, she told jesse in response to him telling her she couldnt have a marshmallow, "you a penis face." FIRST: let me assure you she has nevvvvvvvver heard us say this, and we only use the word penis in its correct anatomical sense. i had to turn and exit the room and let jesse try to keep a straight face and explain to her why we dont use words in that way.
all of a sudden this kid can write and name any letter that he sees. it's insane to watch a child becoming literate. he has always been a bit behind his classmates (late birthday, he's a boy, just because) in the fine motor skills used in writing and drawing, but just in the first two months of the school year, his penmanship has exploded and is really very nice and tidy, and he can spell any word that he sees so loud and proud and fast.
on sunday he wanted to go into big church with me for the music before going into his class. we were singing a song with the lyrics up on the screen as always. it was a quiet, slow song and i was simultaneously mortified and tickled when he started SCREAMING out the individual letters as the words flashed by on the screen during the oh so introspective "amazing grace." we had to high-tail it out of there at that point (i told him we were going to get a treat from daddy's office for his awesome spelling).
layla has picked up some funny syntax. if you tell her something we are going to do or something she needs to do, she likes to reply, "why not?" it's very jarring. she doesnt mean it like, "sure, why not!" so i will say, "lay, let's go brush your hair." and she will go "why not?" and i am just like, "what? no, um. huh? that question makes no sense." how do you explain to a 2 year old that that phrase can only fittingly go in response to a negative statement? i think she uses it now just to bring me up short. #winner
the thing about have kids 17 months apart? well, everyone says they'll be best buddies. but this didnt kick in for a looooong time. i would say 2.5 and 4 have been the magic ages where they're finally becoming playmates and equals. i am astounded every time i come upon a scene where they are having a conversation or doing the back and forth of real play together. i feel all Mr. Burns-like: "yes, it's finally working! exxxxxxcellent!"
the other day i was getting ready for a party while jesse went to pick up the babysitter. i had tried on a dress and needed to take it off. in some freakish MC Escher turn of events, i somehow physically could not unzip myself, despite having just zipped myself in. my shoulders would not bend the right way or something. so i went to judah and asked him to unzip me. he gave it a tug (with only one hand and no supporting other hand beside the zipper) and declared that it was too hard. i coached him a bit, telling him it was a tricky zipper (one of those invisible ones that are hard to pull anyway) but that he could definitely do it. he tried one more time and then shook his head, "i just cant do it, mommy. this is a mighty one."
ah, so mighty.
ah, so mighty.
cuhmote: remote control
pin-cess wahna: princess wand
tu-tu: any skirt
cocoa pops: any cereal
carly and lo-lo "charlie and lola"
this kid has suuuuuuuch the tender heart. one morning i was sorting laundry and judah randomly told me that he "didnt really like me". i told him that that was kind of hurtful to say to someone out of the blue and that i loved him so much but that my heart was a little sad. i decided to just move on though, and a few minutes later i noticed him kneeling on the rug a few feet away from me with his head down against the carpet. i asked him what he was doing and he said, "i'm just sittin' here and trying to think of how to cheer you up." it was really eye-opening since i hadnt been trying to put a guilt trip of any kind on him and had truly moved on after telling him about my initial feelings. the fact that he took it upon himself to make me feel better told me a lot about his heart and how readily he would take responsibility for someone else's emotions. i feel like i learned a really important lesson in how to parent this particular child in that moment. note to self: do NOT try to manipulate judah's behavior with guilt trips!
i, too, am a very serious grapeviner
we may have a master manipulator on our hands with little ladypie. if i tell her no she cant have/do something, she almost invariably says, "my daddy said i could" (ironically, THIS would be the perfect time for her to drop a "why not?"). she does the opposite thing when its jesse telling her no "mah mommy said yes". if claiming permission from the non-present parent doesnt work, or if we have to discipline her for something, she will go outside the immediate family. her favorite names to invoke as she wails for justice are "I WANT......" grandaddy, garrett (her beloved bruncle), caleb (a fellow two year old and her best friend), and waffle (a deceased cat). the only one of those who WOULD take her side is caleb...so we're good.
one morning while he was freaking out about not being able to wear the same shirt he had worn to school the day before, we had a heartbreaking peek into how satan is already trying to lie to judah. we had told him his mickey shirt was dirty and he'd have to chose something else. this devolved so quickly in his head and suddenly he said, "this is my number one nightmare! i wont wear something cool to school and all the kids will call me a silly ballerina boy!" jesse and i were flabbergasted. we asked if he had seen that situation happen on a show or if anyone he knew had ever called him names. he said no, that had never happened in real life, but he was insistent that this was his "#1 nightmare." it was heartbreaking to hear the fear he had for this kind of cruelty or ostracizing ever happening to him, even in the hypothetical.
note to self: build up this kids inner worth and never, even playfully, mock his appearance or masculinity.
layla does this heart-warming thing lately where when i sing her her bedtime song (usually L-A-Y-L-A to the tune of bingo was his name-o) and i am resting over her propped up on my elbows, she reaches up, grabs my neck, and pulls me ohsoclose to her until i am smothered in pillow-fluffand in love. smushed cheek to cheek with her. this is all the more touching because she went through a phase there where she really didnt like to show affection to me. getting her to hug or kiss me or even say i love you was hard and it was taking a toll on my heart. rather than getting upset or forcing it, i just decided to ignore it and pour more of my love into her. it totally worked gangbusters on my little spitfire and i am getting 200% more snuggle output these days.
yum. three scoops, please!
we went to a fall family festival at our church last weekend (i was giddy with glee because fall festivals are my favorite!). within 3 minutes of arriving, the kids had had popcorn, cotton candy, and played a game where they eat a powdered donut and then get a candy reward once they eat it successfully. it was loco junk food heaven. after a few hours judah came over to sit by me and was rubbing his tummy. he said "i think i had too many goodies, mommy." and i was like, yeah, that sounds about right. and he goes, "why am i talking so slowly?" like a drugged little zombie. well, probably because you are super close to barfing, buddy.
there are two horses that live in a pasture on our road. layla wanted to name them chocolate and vanilla (one is brown and one is white). judah wanted to name them thunder and lightning. so we compromised and now we greet Chocolate Lightning and Vanilla Thunder several times each day. i soon after decided that Vanilla Thunder would be my alias if i ever became a spy...or a stripper.
yup. that's about right.
re: his fashion sense, when judah dresses himself, he will always first go check himself out in the full length mirror, and then he asks, "do i look totally awesome, mommy?" and just this morning, he was not excited about having to wear a jacket so he told me, "i dont think this jacket and these shoes go." um, has he been sneaking in to watch what not to wear reruns at night?
note to self: these kids are mind-boggling little treasures and i refuse to wish any of this stage away.