Friday, March 29, 2013


We were getting ready for quiet time the other day and Wiggle asked to snuggle in my bed with me. I said no because he does not calm down and relax at all if he gets into bed with me at quiet time. He said he didn't think he could go to sleep without snuggles, and he thought my bed was so much warmer than mine, and that's why he wanted to get into my bed. (His comforter is plenty warm and I often find him with his covers half off and shirt pulled way up, so I am not worried that he is too cold in his room.) I told him he needed to go into his room and sleep in his own bed by himself.

He tried telling me that he loves snuggling me, to which I replied that I loved snuggling him too. To tease him, I asked if he loved snuggling me the best of all, to which he replied, "No. I love snuggling Daddy the best." I feigned disappointment and said that snuggling Daddy was yucky and he didn't give good snuggles at all. Wiggle earnestly told me that he loved snuggling both of us the same. I felt bad that he had taken me so seriously and said "Honey, I was just kidding! I think Daddy gives great snuggles. I love snuggling him. In fact, I get snuggles from him every night!"

Do you see my mistake?

"Why do you get to snuggle with Daddy every night and I have to sleep by myself?"

Totally caught me off-guard. I changed the subject and tried to re-direct because I honestly didn't really have a good answer. This boy is quick, I tell you. He's already trouble; I dread the teenage years.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where Da Cousins At?

I always imagined I would have a large family. Not necessarily a lot of kids of my own, but being one of four kids myself, I assumed that as I got older my life and my kids' lives would be full of cousins, large family dinners, and vacations that involved words like "the compound."

Now that I have kids though, I realize that is probably never going to be the case for more than a few reasons. But a large, connected family is still something that I yearn for, and it's something that I want for my kids. So how can I get that without growing my own and becoming my own version of Octo-mom?

But then again, I am one of four kids myself, and my kids will not have cousins of similar ages with whom to run around in the yard together. Let me be clear, I am not trying to call out my sister or brothers for either not having more kids or not having kids yet. I just mean when I imagined my adult life, I imagined my kids having this network of extended family to draw on that in my current reality does not exist, at least not yet.

My husband is the older sibling too, and while I don't think he ever envisioned the same flush flag-football teams at Thanksgiving that I did, I still thought that his younger brother was at least another cousin-making relative in the mix.

Plus, we waited to have kids. Statistically, I mean, even though I am older, because I waited, there was a good chance my sibs wouldn't be far behind. Except that my sister was way ahead of me with her son. And while Wiggle adores the X-man, and Buster will too (as soon as he has the ability to recognize who he is), he is enough older and separated by distance to be more like an uncle than a contemporary cousin. A kick-ass uncle/cousin for sure, and when they are in their thirties, it will all even out, but until then, my boys make their own cohort at family gatherings.

Grumble, grumble. Grouse, grouse.

Can you tell that I miss my family?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring is Springing

Well, besides the positively schizophrenic cold-warm, snow-balmy days we've been having, that is. 
I love all the seasons here in Virginia. I mean just having four totally demarcated seasons is awesome. Spring may be my favorite though. I love watching everything come to life, walking outside to truly perfect weather, the days getting longer, and eating meals outdoors. More than anything though, I love to spend time doing yard work. Not even gardening per se, but hard, physical, tool-weilding yard work. 

We have a slight hill in our backyard along the far back edge which is one big, wild tangled mess of volunteer plants/weeds. In the summer, clematis,  English ivy, and some very thorny greenbrier seem to take over the entire 8 foot swath. Except for the part with the entrenched black raspberry bramble where they only seem to cover about half of it. I also have a lot of couple of magnolia, a dogwood, some juniper, a couple of different hollies, and some Rose of Sharon hibiscus trees/shrubs that multiply faster than anything I've seen. 

Eventually almost everything will probably come out, but because it's a slope I don't just want to tear things out until I have things to plant in place of what I remove. Otherwise our entire lawn will become a soggy, muddy mess. But it's going to be awhile before I start planting the hill myself; it's a large enough space that I want a landscape designer to look at it. In my mind, there are terraced garden beds with herbs and flowers, built-in benches, lighting, and maybe a slide with a knotted climbing rope to get to the top. Of course, my plans may be scaled back once budget enters the equation, but for now, my "vision" keeps me motivated to at least tame the wild that's there now. 

So a couple of times a week, I wrestle the rake through long grasses and various vines to try and get the layer of old leaves off of the ground. I prune the black raspberry so that it and its thorns only take over one area of the slope. I'm hoping to stake some of the canes so we get more fruit and it's easier to prune them in the future. I've been clearing off the English ivy that has climbed our back fence and invaded the neighbor's yard, and I'm trying to clear some paths through the vegetation so I can keep the pokeweed at bay when they start to turn into the overnight-eight-foot-high-monsters that they inevitably do. At some point there will be actual gardening too. I have loads of wild daffodils that need thinning after they bloom, same with the tiger lilies, and I'm at least going to replant the gladiolas. I also would like to encourage the peonies that I literally mowed over half of last year before they had bloomed and I knew what they were.

Plus, there's the vegetables. I always have big plans for vegetables, but I end up with mostly herbs and tomatoes. We had really good luck with squash in our community garden, but it was kind of a bust in our backyard last year. Plus the vegetables require more deer, squirrel, bird prevention which involves extra money, effort, and generally ends up being an eyesore, so I haven't bee super-excited about that part yet. Maybe I'll start expanding in the fall with cold weather veggies. Mmmm, kale, cauliflower, spinach.

The hacking and carting away, though, those things excite me enough to get out there every time the weather and the boyos have coordinated cooperation. C has gotten a little guff for my love of yardwork though. Today, one of our elderly neighbors commented to him that he had me "up working on the bushes again." He was playing soccer with Wiggle at the time. He told her that I liked to do it, that  I wouldn't let him do it until I tired out, but you could tell she wasn't convinced. Luckily, C's masculinity cannot be threatened by such a trivial thing. Plus, he helped me clean-up, so you won't hear any complaints from me.

Tonight, I go to bed tired, a little sore, and covered in scratches, but I'll be hoping for nice weather again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sneaky Pete

So, what does a four-year-old do when he wakes up at five in the morning and sneaks into your room and silently takes your cellphone into his room? This video, that's what.

After dinner and bath each night, we have what we call "wind-down time." Wiggle gets to choose an activity like playing Legos, a couple of games of Uno or Cootie, or doing a puzzle. Then we brush teeth and pick stories to read in bed. It's a way to break-up the bedtime routine which we instituted after we encountered a lot of resistance at bedtime when we were doing the whole routine in one sitting.

So tonight during wind-down time, Wiggle, C, and I were working on our second puzzle and trying to keep Buster from taking pieces and squirreling them away around Wiggle's room. After much redirection, Buster comes to the table with a little wind-up Santa Wiggle got in his advent calendar. So I wind it up and place it on the table so Buster can watch the little guy waddle around. Without looking up, still engrossed in fitting some pieces together, Wiggle says "I thought it was supposed to be wind-down time." That boy doesn't miss a beat, I tell you.