Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Just Like Brad Pitt

Is Brad Pitt still a thing? Do the paparazzi still stalk him? Or is it now someone like Justin Bieber?

Hell if I know. I have three kids under six. I'm pretty much the definition of unhip.


Charlie is not down with the photos these days. If I sneak up on him, I might get a couple before he realizes I'm there with the dreaded camera, but then . . .

Rowing his ship.

Captain Charlie at the controls.

"NOOOO! No pictures!"

I expect to hear from his lawyer any day now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Magic of Five Years Old

When a foam build-your-own-superhero-mask from the local library and a floral pillowcase clothespinned to your shirt have transformative powers.

"Mom, wearing this mask and cape really makes me feel like a superhero."

Love it. And him.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Moving Ahead

Jack had his eight-month birthday this past Tuesday. I may have made more than one joke about the giant, non-crawling, toothless infant.

It was funny because he's the size of a toddler--like, literally the size of a year-and-a-half-old walking child we encountered the other day--but distinctly baby in his lack of other development.

He must have taken the jokes to heart, because he decided to do something about it this week. Specifically, the very edge of his first tooth poked through yesterday, the same day he finally got up on his hands and knees and started rocking in that soon-to-be-crawling kind of way.

He is also starting to drink water from a cup and try very hard to pick up small pieces of bread and egg and so on from his tray. Although that last one mostly devolves into examining the small pieces closely before smashing them cruelly in his giant fists, a la Lennie in Of Mice and Men.

He's trying, though. He's growing, and progressing, and getting less baby every day.

I will savor the Beet Face as long as I can, because I will miss it when he's too old to decorate his face with pureed beets that look hilariously like smeared lipstick.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

No-Regrets A/C

Some of you may remember that when Charlie was born three years ago, A. purchased a window-unit air conditioner to put upstairs in our house. It was the first-ever cooling device at Blackrock, and there was no small amount of guilt about putting it in. The indulgence! The energy waste!

The bliss.

We have discovered that this particular energy-smart unit is enough to cool all the bedrooms we sleep in upstairs, as well as the parlor downstairs. Thanks to the many, many doors in our home, we can control where the cool air goes quite easily. This means that not only can we sleep now when the weather is unbearable, but I have a refuge during the day. When it's really hot, I leave the air conditioner on (on a higher temperature setting) so we can go into the parlor to play or read in relative comfort.

Having that one room downstairs to escape to when I've spent the rest of the day cooking and sweating, or doing laundry and sweating, or chasing children and sweating, or just sweating and sweating and sweating some more, is an immeasurable relief. I would even go so far as to say it makes me a better person.

Plus, the air conditioner actually uses about the same amount of electricity as the numerous fans we used to run in every room to make the house bearable.

If I could beatify my air conditioner, I would. Instead, I'll just give it a hearty thank you. And maybe a hug, because I can get more cold air that way.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ugh Again

Our weather forecast for the next few days looks like this: 87 degrees for a high, 68 for a low; 83 high, 69 low; 83 high, 71 low.

Lemme translate that into my personal forecast: Sweaty with a 99 percent chance of severe crankiness.

And lots of this:

Out-of-focus iced coffee will be my salvation.

Stay cool, my lovelies. Winter will be here before you know it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

When the Stars Align

If Jack goes to sleep at 6:45 p.m. . .

And Cubby and Charlie go to sleep at 7:30 p.m. . .

And the MiL is at a concert . . .

And A. is at a bonfire with his high school buddies . . .

Then I get one night with just me, a bar of extra-dark chocolate, and Can't Buy Me Love on Netflix.

And that, my friends, is my idea of perfection.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Three Boys and a Bench

A few months ago, I decided I wanted a bench in between the beds in Cubby and Charlie's room. So I e-mailed my dad, the (not amateur) carpenter extraordinaire, and asked if he could make me one. Because I can do that, because he is awesome.

Yesterday, this arrived.

Ta da! It's like magic. And it didn't get broken into a dozen pieces this time by FedEx. Hooray.

I unpacked it outside initially, so I wouldn't have to haul the box and everything back down the stairs. Cubby and Charlie discovered that Nana had packed those nifty cubbies with a few surprises for them.

Firemen hats and police vehicles, specifically. We've got all our emergency responder needs covered.

Then I hauled it upstairs and put it under the window between the beds, where it fit perfectly. Because that is the beauty of custom-built furniture.

Another beautiful part of custom-built furniture? It can be built sturdy enough to withstand the climbing of two small boys. One of whom appears to be trying to pet the baby on the head. With his foot. Nice, Charlie.

My dad also included a very amusing letter for Cubby and Charlie explaining that this particular bench was built with wood A. scavenged from a torn-down dairy barn, so it smelled like cow poop. Cubby and Charlie loved this, of course, because they are small boys and the idea of a poop bench is hilarious to small boys.

Baca wins again.