Sunday, December 13, 2009

Levels of brightness

I actually had this conversation this weekend with a close friend who is going through a divorce:

Her: "We're dividing up weekends so they stay with him one night and all the next day and me the other night and day."
Me: "Ah. So, when they stay with him on Sunday nights do they then just stay with your in-laws all day on Monday while you work?"
Her: "Alina...they come to your house on Mondays."
Me: "Oh yeah!"

I laughed about it on the way home and said, "boy I am not very bright, huh?"
Pat said, "You're bright... just bright more like a strobe light."
I laughed and agreed.
But I'd say I'm bright more like a motion detector.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogger doesn't know "pulmonology" is a word

I know I can't stop talking about the things my boys like to eat, and this post will be no different. Fair warning.

Today was a rough one. No lie. We spent the morning at the Pediatric Pulmonology office to have them checked out regarding their long-term "smokers" coughs. There were two things that made this visit difficult--not even counting the bitterly cold weather we had today. 1. The appointment was 2 1/2 hours long. and 2. NO SNACKS IN THE EXAM ROOMS (this was for the safety of food allergic patients--something I totally respect.)! Now the second difficulty wouldn't have been so bad had I known beforehand, but I didn't so I'd loaded a small tote up to the gills with snacks--and in that tiny room I had no way to hide them. No way at all. And I learned, in no uncertain terms, that the most effective way to torture a 17 month old, is simply to refuse him access to snacks he can see...and see again...and then see SOME MORE!

At one point I was holding a bag of snacks out of toddler-reach, holding the door closed with one foot so Coen couldn't escape the exam room, and signing consent forms while explaining to my tearful 3 year old why we were actually going to get the H1N1 booster shot I'd promised him that morning we weren't going to get.

After the appointment I took the boys down to the cafeteria for a well deserved lunch. Coen's little onsie flaps were unsnapped and outside of his pants, his face was streaked with tears and he was doing that sad little huff that babies do when they've been denied snacks that they can see. People felt sorry for us and were kind. Thank goodness for kind people.

I got the boy's the lunch special: beef stroganoff with mushrooms and then loaded a to-go container from the salad bar. Fintan kept saying things like "Yummy, tomatoes!" and "Oooh, fruit! Can we get more olives than that?" Our helpful helpers got a big kick out of his excitement over the salad bar selection. Then I let Fintan pick out his "special treat" for being such a good boy for the doctor. He picked out a gigantic tub of chocolate pudding with cookie crumbles and whipped cream on top. The boys ate a great lunch. They demolished the beef stroganoff and made short work of the salad bar selection (Mommy unfortunately didn't get enough hard-boiled eggs to suit their taste). Finally it was time for dessert. Fintan got the chocolate pudding and Coen got the coveted 100 calorie pack of cookies he'd so desperately wanted in the exam room. Fintan loved his pudding, but he made me laugh out loud when he paused between spoonfuls of chocolaty goodness to pick up, and eat, the three remaining slices of cucumber from his salad dish.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A kale chip off the ol' block.

"What is this?" Fintan asked me this morning, his mouth full.
"They're called 'kale chips'," I answered.
"Mmmm, I like kale chips."
Through the monitor I heard Coen crying again, adamantly refusing his nap, and I gave up. I brought him down and asked them, "Would you guys like to go to the indoor playground today?"
"Yes!" Fintan said. "But first I want some more kale chips." He held out his empty bowl.
"That's all we had, Sweetie, they're all gone."
"But I want more!"
Well, would you rather go out to the greenhouse and harvest more kale for chips or go to the indoor playground?"
His pause was long and thoughtful as rain sheeted against the windows.
"Go to the indoor playground."

This evening I put on a hat, a puffy coat, wellies and a headlamp and went out into the freezing rain to harvest kale so Fintan could have kale chips in his preschool lunch tomorrow. He and his daddy watched me from the window while I worked and Fintan said, "I wish I was big so I could put on a headlamp and a big coat and go out all by myself when it's dark and harvest greens."

Gosh, I love that little boy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

He loves dagoons

Coen is learning a lot of new words. He is even putting a few words together like "see you". He has a hard time with his "B" sound, though. This has led to some adorable variations on words. For example, instead of saying "balloon" he says "dagoon". And that boy loves dagoons. Also, instead of saying "bye!" he says "DIE!" very very loudly--and then there is a delayed wave. It's fun to see the looks on people's faces at the grocery store when we're leaving.

Coen also loves songs. He can keep a tune pretty well, too! He makes sounds to go with the songs, but you can definitely pick out what he's singing when he does it. One of his favorites is "Old MacDonald had a Farm".

Today we were working on body parts a little bit and plurals. I pointed to my left eye and said "Eye", then pointed to my right eye and said, "Eye" then pointed to both of my eyes and said "Eyessss". Coen followed my lead. He pointed to my left eye and said "Eye" then pointed to my right eye and said "Eye" then pressed his sharp little fingers into both of my eyes and sang "Ohhhh!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween cuteness

We had a great Halloween, this year!

Fintan was an anteater, an idea he came up with all by himself, and he was so excited about it.  Here he is getting ready to march in his school's Halloween parade. 


And here he is waving to his adoring fans while parading.


Little Coen, was an ant.

Coen ant 

A really cute one!


Most people didn't get to oogle his adorableness, though, because he spent most of the evening like this:

Coen ant 2  Coen ant 3

having the time of his life.


He loved kickin' back in his wagon.  And behind him, so did his little pirate cousin, Logan.

Fintan had a great time walking and trick-or-treating with his cousins.  And they didn't mind being held up by his carefree pace--too much.


Here's a group photo that includes most of the cousins.  (To get Coen in it we had to strategically place him at the top of the hill and let the magnetic pull of the road draw him into the frame.)


My boys adore their cousins. Fintan's best (and most repeated) joke of the evening involved licking his cousin Shaun with his long anteater tongue and telling everyone "I'm eating a three amigo!"

All in all it was a wonderful night with loved ones, and I'm grateful.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't fall in any lakes, okay?

This morning Fintan has already made me laugh out loud three times with things he's said.

The first, when his daddy was leaving: "Drive careful, Daddy. Don't fall in any lakes."

The second while we were eating breakfast. He folded his hands together and said: "We're eating breftast now--but one of us is missing." I laughed and asked, "Who's missing?" and he told me, "My daddy".

The third was when "breftast" was finished and I was cleaning the grits off of his face and hands. I said, "You're a mess!" He pointed to the only grit-free spot on his shirt and said "I did a good job of keeping myself clean right here."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trouble with a capital tea

Fintan asked yesterday. "So, does a green stop sign mean go?"
"Hmmm, you'd think so, but no."

Tonight in the middle of playing Fintan went tearing off down the hallway and through the kitchen. I yelled after him to come back and he ignored me. He raced out onto the porch, with me following not-too-happily behind, and picked up a little metal kitchen pot he'd left out there earlier. He'd played with it in the water table this afternoon but I hadn't looked closely at it when he'd set it down after we finished. Now he brought the pan carefully to his lips, took a couple sips and said "Aaaah, I needed a little tea!" He set it back down and raced back into the house. I looked in the pot and saw that he had a lemon balm leaf floating in the water.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Twerps and castrators

No, not Fintan. He's not a twerp. Well, he sometimes is a twerp, I suppose, but I've never called him one! "Twerp" is what he calls the waistband of his pants. I don't know where this word came from. When we play tickle games and he's "trying" to get away, he'll yell "catch me by my twerp!" as he runs by. The first few times I said, "huh?" Now I find myself thinking: "Where's my belt? My twerp's riding a little low."

Whenever we play "store" Fintan tells me to wait while he goes and gets his "castrator". It's a small device with a door that dings open when you press "cash" and it has lots of little numbers on it. It looks like a cash register but apparently it has a little calculator buried somewhere in its ancestory--soooo, it's a castrator!

Wanna play, guys?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let there be beans

The snap-beans have arrived in bulk and I am glad. But...I don't know how to can them. I can freeze them but I don't really like frozen beans much. I'd rather eat them fresh while I have the chance, but how many ways can you eat snap beans?

Here's one. Green bean soup. It's every bit as good as the author says it is. I made it with real potatoes, though. Two baking sized potatoes, peeled and diced and simmered in the broth (six cups) and water until they became soft and I could mash them with the potato masher. I just kept going back and mashing until they had "disappeared" to thicken the broth. Potato flakes (as in the recipe) would make this a super quick meal, though.

I'm actually going to copy and paste the recipe here, just in case the other page ever disappears. I don't want to lost this one!

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water or milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart fresh green beans, snapped into bite size pieces
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, bring the stock and water to a simmering boil. While waiting for it to heat up, start snapping the beans. Add the potato flakes and pepper. Stir occasionally as the potatoes dissolve to make a thickened soup base. Add the prepared snap beans and continue simmering the soup. Meanwhile, make the dough for the dumplings. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork, then stir in the cheese and the flour. You should have a sticky dough that's just solid enough to pull away from the edges of your bowl into a big lump as you stir. If in doubt, add a bit more flour. When the beans are tender-crisp (nearly done), it's time to add the dumplings. Use two spoons to dip up and scrape off lumps of dough into the bubbling soup. The dumplings cook quickly, in just a few minutes. When they bob back up to the surface, they need just another minute or two until they're cooked through.

The hungry-boys both loved it! And snap beans from the grocery would serve just fine, too--except for missing out on watching the purple ones turn green in the hot broth. That's all sorts of scientific fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Growing in the garden

My boys are always hungry. Always. Especially the little one. And finding a snack in the garden is a fun way to keep his bitty belly full.

This is quite easy to do because he thinks mulberries are tasty.


This tasty!


And tomatoes are good. Very very good.


P7130027 P7130045

But he has to share the mulberries with the birds and the cherry tomatoes have been slow to blush--we get only a few a day, much to his dismay.


So Coen has to be resilient and move on to the next thing that's as tall as he is. Squash. Mmmmm.


While Coen is eating, Fintan is harvesting. His favorite phrase in the garden is "Holy cow, look at the size of this one! It's enormous!" Whether he's talking about a toad, a tomato, or an overripe zucchini.


Here's a picture of a recent harvest. We love to harvest. Harvesting is fun.


And even though we've grown our fair share of weird veggies in the garden,


we sure grow some cute boys out there!



Monday, July 13, 2009

A very good question

Fintan was sitting on my lap out on the porch this evening, blowing bubbles towards me and asking me where they popped.

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my shoulder."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my cheek."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my tummy."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my forearm."

"Where's your ten arm?"

*pause* (reflect)

"That's a good question."

Oh dear

I'm sick with a cold today.

And Coen, while nursing, will not stop trying to stick his fingers up my nose...

Sunday, July 12, 2009


So Coen is a one year old. He's huge. He's walking. He's so not a baby anymore. But he will always be my itty bitty baby.

His first birthday party was a blast. The weather was perfect. Everyone was happy and the day couldn't have been better.

Since Coen didn't seem to have a preference about cake decorations I turned to his older brother for suggestions. Fintan was sure Coen needed a toad cake, but we settled on a frog cake and lily pad cupcakes.

P6270009 P6270010

Coen loved his squishy frog cake.

P6270021 P6270020

Just loved it.


Doesn't he look like he loved it?


Flash forward a few years and he'll be saving Scotland.


But he will still be my itty bitty baby.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Coen!

Coen is 1 year old today!

He's more of a walker than a talker but he says "Dada", "Daddy", and "hiss" when you ask him what a snake says.

Tonight he had a cupcake for the first time. We lit a candle on it and then Pat said it was time to sing for Coen. So Fintan started: "This land is your land! This land is my land...!"

Happy Birthday from all of us sweet boy! We love you!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yoo hoo--it's Memorial Day

I've been a busy little garden bee lately. I'm dividing, planting, watering, sowing seeds, weeding, creating paths and so on and so forth. I went to a plant swap a couple of weeks ago where I learned about a new Yahoo group that facilitates year round plant-swapping in central Indiana. Of course, I joined. And I needed to divide some irises and ferns so I offered the extras up to the group. Today four people came to pick up plants.

Being Memorial Day, I was already thinking of my mom more than usual. Her name was Carol. She passed away in 2003. The first woman who came to pick up plants today was also named Carol. I thought that was a crazy coincidence seeing as how I can't even remember the last time I met someone named Carol. Then two other nice ladies came by for plants. And then the fourth showed up and it turned out that her name was Carol as well. So 50% of the people who came to my house today were named Carol. I think it was my mom's way of reminding me to remember her today.

Then, after all the swapping was over, I emailed the first Carol to thank her for the plants she'd given me, and for some toys she'd added to the mix, and mentioned the crazy coincidence of the names. She emailed back to say that the coincidence went even further. She and her mom shared a favorite flower: the iris, specifically a type they grew when she was a young girl. She also lost her mom in 2003 and always wanted to go back to the house where she grew up to ask for some of the irises there to remember her by, but she never got up the nerve to do so. Since they're an old-fashioned iris variety they aren't available in garden centers anymore. But it turns out that the type I gave her today was identical to the irises in her childhood garden. So when she looks at them she'll be reminded of her mom.

So both of us got to be reminded of our moms in such appropriate ways. It's JUST like my mom to wave her ethereal fingers and say "Yoo hoo! Remember me? Carol? Your loving mother? *tap tap* Is this thing on?"

I remember you, Mom. I think about you often. I'm going to be sure to pass on your pearls of wisdom to my boys, too. Things like: "Don't eat with your fingers--eat with your thumbs." and "If life were fair we'd all have our turn in Ethiopia." I miss you. I love you. So, so much.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Explaining myself

I know I don't have to explain myself. We all have busy lives. But I want to share a little of what's been going on over here. The truth is, I'm happy. After the longest time of not being able to really say that. To really FEEL happy, I'm happy. For a while I thought I'd never be able to feel joy again. I loved my kids, I loved my husband, I loved my home and my life, but I just could not seem to make myself smile. So I started taking an antidepressant about a month ago and the difference it's made is astounding. I have energy. I can smile. I can play. I can do work--even housework--and not feel like I'm drowning in it. It's a good feeling. I've been reveling in it. That's where I've been lately. Reveling.

If you feel like your drowning in your life, please give antidepressants a try. Your loved ones will thank you for it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We're alive and well. Very.

Helping Daddy build a fence


He's happiest when he's eating

So is he

The bunny on the other hand...

Fintan ate five of these at Purdue's Bug Bowl
The video of that didn't work out, so instead I give you meal worms:

He loved this duckling

He really really

Loved this duckling

If you dare to pick him up while he is doing this he will scream until his feet once again touch the ground.

Puppy strength

Puppy love

He loves his daddy

And so does he

Mommy portrait

Self portrait

I'll say it again, he's happiest when he's eating!

(Sorry I dropped off the face of the blogosphere! We're all doing great!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Duck and a Madman

We haven't had two healthy days to rub together at our house for a long time. Every time someone gets well, someone else goes down. When I complained to Pat that it had been a month of constant battles with illness he corrected me that it had been more than a month. He's the optimist of the family so I know he's just being honest. I'm dragging myself back to health at the moment and I'm going to do my darnedest to keep us all there for a while. Anyway, about the boys: Here's a little Fintan funny that Pat and I keep cracking up over:

For months now whenever I call Fintan a "silly goose" he says, "I'm not a goose I'm a duck!" It's a standing joke at our house.

A few days ago Fintan was being naughty. I pulled him onto my lap and said "You are such a weasel!" He immediately responded"I am such a duck!"

Coen is a little crazy man. The kid cannot be stopped. He's already climbing OVER things and UP things and THROUGH things. If you ask him to please be careful when he's standing somewhere that looks a bit tenuous he'll just let go with one hand and start bouncing up and down. He's a madman. The two easiest ways to tick him off are 1. Remove your fingers from his teeny-tiny fists so that he can no longer stride purposefully around the room (up the rollercoaster, over the trampoline, through the gate, down the long dark hallway to touch the door at the end, back to the kitchen....and on and on and on) and 2. Put his food BACK in the microwave after he's watched you to remove it to stir it. His wrath is something worth seeing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!