No More Mr. Nice Monk


The Monk with his first “Me Too!” Farmers Market popsicle

Somewhere inside the sweet heart of our little Monkey, a switch has been thrown. That switch has a label reading “ME TOO!!!!!!”.

I can tell you the very moment it happened. The four of us made a trip to the mall (what else are you going to do on a rainy afternoon?) looking for something at the Container Store when Yogi talked us into making a stop for what he calls “cow milk”. This is the vanilla Horizon milk (cow on the label) that you drink with a straw and he thinks it is the nectar of the Gods. Never imagining that our baby would have any interest in such a thing and not eager to introduce him to the world of vanilla milk at 14 months, we bought only one and proceeded to go about our business.

Yogi, being the 2 year old that he is, handed me the milk after taking maybe one sip and declaring that he was “all done.” That is when the afternoon began to unravel. The Monk (no joke) charged me, grabbing at the milk for all he was worth. Somehow the little dude managed to wrestle it out of my grip and RUN through the Container Store sipping and sloshing milk everywhere. After a decent chase I grabbed his milky little self and we left the store in search of napkins at the Panera next door. The Panera where we did not buy the cow milk and never made a single purchase. When we got to the napkins, I handed the boy to my wife and thinking that I could just easily get the milk and wipe him off, I went for it.

That was when the alarm sounded. The Monkey alarm. The boy SCREAMED like nothing you have ever heard. And not only did he scream, he hung on to that milk as though his very life depended on it. Do you know what happens when you grip a box of milk with all of your might? Milk sprays everywhere. It sprays all over you and your wife and your shocked onlooker toddler and the poor guy next to you who was just stirring sugar into his coffee. In a store in which you have purchased not one single thing.

It was a low moment. But also funny. It’s good when funny can accompany low. That doesn’t happen often.

So, life is different post-milk incident. The Monk is no longer fooled. If Yogi gets a popsicle, then dammit he wants one too! The Monk will.not accept a banana as some kind of pathetic stand in. No sir. Not anymore.


Not Even his Bones

There is something about being a parent that makes you painfully aware of how fleeting it all is.  Probably having to do with the fact of having front row seats to the blink that every stage of development seems to be.  We snap pictures and jot things down and if you’re my wife and I you even break down and buy a Flip camera (we kept telling ourselves it was one more thing that we just really didn’t need), but none of that really changes anything at all.

Still it goes by way too fast.

My father-in-law was watching Yogi zoom Fro Sheep around the living room in a tiny truck this morning and he said, “Just think, there are probably only a few cells somewhere in his brain that will even still be there in a few years.  Not even his bones will be the same.”  I hadn’t made it to my second cup of coffee when he came out with that.  And good morning to you too, Grandpa!

The day has moved along, but that observation has hung around, ringing in my ears.  Yogi is napping, my wife is running in the woods somewhere and all I can think is, Not even his bones will be the same.  I haven’t decided if I find this radically liberating or soul-crushingly sad or both.  Probably both, but it’s still too early to tell.  It’s hasn’t really settled in yet, I’ve got some more marinading to do.

The Mountains Win Again

If it’s true that some people are mountain people and some people are beach people, I am very most definitely a mountain person.  When I imagine the perfect lazy vacation it is not summer or sand that comes to mind, but crisp fall air and leaves.

This weekend is one of those great mountain getaway weekends.  The weather is cool and the leaves are flames of yellow and orange and brightest red.  Perfect for all of my favorite things: slow, quiet hikes, lazy morning coffee, and early darkness ripe for cozy fireside conversations.

We woke up slowly (Yogi included) and stayed in pj’s until the last possible moment.  The boy spent the afternoon with Grandpa and Muzzie while we drove into one of my very favorite cities.  I am firmly convinced that a hippie mountain town is good for the soul.  At least my soul.  We ate a yummy lunch involving tempheh, hot tea and sweet potato fries and did lots and lots of wandering.  We might not do as much of it as we once did, but a long walk with my wife is still the absolute best.

So, how about you?  Are you a mountain person or a beach person?  Any idea about why?

Whoa Nelly

The picture you see above is evidence that my son is not a brute.  Note the way he is clearly capable of placing one object on top of another object. 
Somehow during the last few days he has lost that ability.  Suddenly he knows how to do only one thing – throw. 
That is something of an exaggeration.  He doesn’t actually throw everything, but he does only move things with great force.  There is no placing or setting or heaven forbid carefully arranging.  There is only tossing and chucking and thrusting and well, throwing. 
And when there is no object movement involved, there is also banging and crashing.
I imagine that the impact of all of this is heightened by the fact that is suddenly cold and dark and I have a cold.  Still.
Good thing he’s cute.

Really Monday? That All You Got?

It’s Monday, in the truest sense of the word.  If you are a regular reader, you will not be surprised to find out that I am actually one of those obnoxious people who enjoys a Monday. 

Not today.

Today began at the hour of very early when I woke up to the feeling that my face had been pumped up with a bicycle pump.  This is (almost) not an exaggeration.  Both my wife and Yogi have been sniffling and draining for the last week and just the day before I had been marveling about how I hadn’t gotten sick, even going so far as to pat myself on the back for all that spinach smoothie drinking.  Go me!  Outsmarting the common cold.  I’m sure that’s what did it too, the arrogance.  Well, however it happened I’ve got it now.  The headache, the stuffy head, the sore throat. 

In addition to those things, I also have a wildly spirited Yogi (when did he decide that every object must be thrown?), an increasingly demanding dog (anyone in the market for an 8 year old Viszla? Seriously.  I’m not kidding) and an aggressive daily word count goal.  Happily, I also have a fabulous wife and it is for that reason that you are reading this post.  When she got home from work today she shooed me out the door and told me to get writing.  No more Yogi/house tasks for me.  Now, I’m huddled in my favorite coffee shop with some decaf and I’m writing.  That is a Go Me for sure!

Peas and Thank You

My head is spinning from trying to keep my NaNoWriMo word count up (as of this moment I’m at 9,110 words!) so I’m relying on a prompt for today’s post.  The topic?  Meal Time.
What’s your families’ current favorite meal?
Absolutely anything (and I do mean anything) from this cookbook.  I was entirely ignorant of her blog until a few months ago when a friend sent me the cookbook in the mail and now I’m hooked.  Sarah Matheny is my new BFF and I bet you’ll like her too.  She’s got everything you’re looking for in a food/Mommy blogger.  Smart? Check. Funny? Check. Into healthy, yummy food?  Super check.  Also her little girls are adorable and she takes lots of pictures of them.   
To give you a flavor for what you can find, here is a list of all of the dishes we have made (and loved) from Peas and Thank You so far.
  • Chocolate Almond Cherry smoothie
  • Baked Oatmeal Squares (perfect for breakfast on the go)
  • Pumpkin Cream Pie Oat Bran
  • Spicy African Peanut soup
  • Panzanella salad
  • Skinny Elvis sandwiches (strawberries, cinnamon and almond butter-yum!)
  • My Kind of bar (just like Kind bars and WAY cheaper)
  • Better than Ever Black Bean burgers
  • Thai Veggie burgers
  • Pea Daddy’s Jambalaya (My people are Cajun and I thought this was great)
  • Double Chocolate/Single Chin brownies
  • PB&J-filled cupcakes (I haven’t made these yet, but yum!!!)

Toddler Signs

Although the title certainly suggests it, this is not a post about baby sign language.  It is a post about our son’s new ability to leave small Yogi was Here signs all over our house.  Now that he is mobile (read: EVERYWHERE) life is getting much more interesting.  And messy.  Much, much more messy.  It is also the case that when one of us can’t find something that we need (phone, hairbrush, tube of toothpaste) it is most helpful to ask “What Would Yogi Do?”  Luckily there is usually only one answer to the WWYD question.  That answer?  Cram it in the farm silo.  If he can get it through the opening, it’s going in.  Simple as that.
What follows is a list of some of the recent signs that Yogi was Here:
  • My Playaway (library rental) of Bossypants nestled safely in the blender (no blade).
  • Small plastic sheep (sans fro, he would never part with Fro Sheep) in the Taxes 2010 hanging file.  I noticed this when I was filing a medical receipt and thought “That folder looks really chunky.”
  • My mouse (it’s wireless) discovered (thankfully pre-wash) in the washing machine.
  • Yogi’s copy of Snuggle Puppy piled (not on top-weird?) in the stack of books by my side of the bed.
  • Brightly colored (and terribly painful when stepped on) golf ball sized plastic hazards anywhere and everywhere

You get the idea.  The boy is a blast, but things are definitely getting messy around here!

It’s Date Night at My House

We have an actual babysitter and everything!  When my wife gets home from work we’ll be heading to dinner and then on to a movie.  This will be the third movie we have seen in a theater since Yogi was born.  The first was Black Swan and the second was Bridesmaids.  Yes, we have wide ranging tastes.  Tonight it will be Moneyball.  I can’t say that I’m thrilled about this, but it seems to be the best of the options we have and the folks at Rotten Tomatoes loved it.  I’m sure it will be a fun night.
I think about things like date night quite a bit because in spite of my “parent of a young child” sleep deprivation and my general fuddy-duddyness, I know that carving out adult time for me and my wife is important.  But in addition to rest of it, I’m also cheap (I’m quite a catch!) and the going rate for babysitters in our area is $12 an hour.  Some of them even have four hour minimums!  These are not the babysitters we use of course because really, four hours?!!  That’s practically 11 o’clock and I like to have been sleeping a few hours by 11 o’clock.  But even without the hour minimum, babysitters are expensive and then you have to actually DO something with the evening which also costs money.  So, alas it’s something we don’t do a whole lot of.  
I imagine “Mommy and Mama time” will become more necessary and less possible when Monkey comes along.  So, I’m thinking ahead.  Even pre-Yogi my wife and I are pretty happy homebodies, so perhaps we could make the weekly stay-at-home date night work for us.  Kind of like a “stay-cation”.  We can call it the “st-ate night”.  It’s hardly catchy, but you get my drift.  We could even hand off planning responsibilities from week to week and surprise each other.
  • Picnics in  the backyard (with the baby monitor)
  • Fancy dinner prepared together
  • Take-out from a favorite restaurant
  • Movie and desert on the couch

Anyone else have ideas?  I’m not that creative, so help me out.  What do you do to make parent time at your house?

NaBloPoMo and Let’s Play Pretend

It is entirely possibly (likely?) that I am losing my mind, but I’m doing NaBloPoMo this month.  Yes, you read that right.  I am doing NaNoWriMo AND NaBloPoMo during the month of November, a month which also features nine days of travel (two separate trips), the arrival of babies for two of my closest friends, and not a babysitting grandparent in sight.  I said I wanted to focus on writing, didn’t I?  I’m thinking it’s put-up-or-shut-up time.

So, in case you haven’t heard of these events, here’s a little information:

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) – encourages bloggers to post new content during each day in November.  The BlogHer site (link embedded above) provides prompts each day to keep you motivated. 

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – challenges writers to write 50,000 original words in 30 days.  This is a HUGE event with a recently updated website that offers resources like message boards, the occasional emailed pep talk and local in-your-neighborhood groups that organize for events like write-ins.  I did this for the first time last year and it was a fabulous experience.  I can’t recommend it enough.

If you need a little more encouragement to jump on the NaBloPoMo train, there are other fun folks who are taking this challenge with me.  You can look forward to a post a day from:

Lesbian Dad
Reproducing Genuis

If you’re participating and you’re not one of the folks I’ve linked to, please leave your blog in the comments and I’ll add you in. The more the merrier!

Perhaps I’ve been influenced by the magic of the Blog Carnival, but I would be even more excited about this event if we could get together a little sub group of lesbian Mommy bloggers and post on topics that matter to us.  I’m pretty sure I’ve waited too late on this one, but if anyone is game and wants to get together a list of prompts send me an email ( and we can work on it together.

***You may notice that this post is NOT dated November 2.  What can I say except “Damn the draft folder!”.  I could have sworn I hit “publish” last night before doing the dinner dishes, but Blogger is pretty insistent that I didn’t.  So, looks like I’m off to a great start!  I’ve decided that the solution is to just play pretend.  I don’t see any November 3 up there, looks like November 2 to me!***