ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump…

That’s the sound of the holidays galloping up on me. Holy cow, time flies around here. We are in full-blown fall, and it’s already time for CRAFT FAIR again.

Sheesh. We’re avoided the obnoxious bra salesman so far, so that’s good, and I have a new crop of vendors setting up in the yard. Also, a food booth for the first time! We’ll see how that goes.

(side note: I just read a little of that post that I linked to above, and am wondering if I’m the only one who is slightly embarrassed to read stuff I wrote in the past. It’s how I imagine I’d feel if I were listening to a tape of myself rambling when I was twenty-two. Like, I’m sure I’d sound (and BE) sincere and all, but the passage of time would make me also sound somewhat ridiculous.)

I actually like craft fair, for all my grousing about the preparation for it. I’m just a poor organizer, so it’s stressful for me. I dread it when some of the vendors in my yard inevitably don’t make money; anxious little dark clouds grow over their booths and I feel compelled to smile brightly and hurry past. Also, I kind of hate talking on the phone and having the same conversations over and over with potential vendors. There’s that, too.

But! I enjoy walking around and shopping for presents and self-gifts and such. It’s fun to take the dogs out on leashes and let dog-lovers pet them and praise them. Friends pop over; we visit on the porch and compare our shopping loot. I bought some impulse purchase Italian lemon liqueur at the store today and I can’t wait to have a tangy afternoonish adult bev with a friend or two this weekend.

Cousins from Knoxville are coming in, which is always a blast for both grown-ups and kids. A good family/friend is having a party on Saturday night, too.

The galloping-horse part of it, though, is that this sort of heralds the beginning of the Holiday Season. Like, summer is officially over and The Holidays are here. After craft fair comes Ward’s birthday and then Halloween and then Brad’s birthday and Thanksgiving and my birthday and BAM IT’S CHRISTMAS. Which I am entirely unprepared for.

Totally unrelatedly, I had found Rainbow’s favorite binky in Brad’s room (apparently he dropped it during an upstairs wandering session) and stowed it in my jewelry armoire to, like, give Rainbow when he went to college or something. Inevitably, Rainbow found it yesterday. I tried to be all casual, but got really alarmed when Rainbow pulled it out and shouted, all gleeful, IT’S MY BINKY!! MY BINKY!!! MWAH-HA-HAAAA!!!

(aw, shit, here we go again…)

He popped it in his mouth and smacked it a couple of times, then yanked it out with a blecchhh and tossed it away.

(and yes, I stowed it away again for posterity.)

and then there were none…

It appears that Rainbow is now binky-free.

I had been giving him a gradual binkyotomy, which was going quite well, actually. Here’s the bink in question after snip #3, before it scampered off on the Binky World Tour:

He didn’t even comment any more on the binky’s reduction, so I figured I’d just keep snipping until it was pointless for him to put it in his mouth any more. However, when we had friends over for dinner on Saturday, we couldn’t find it. Of course.

He was just inconsolable. It was so pitiful: Mama, where’s my binky? I want binky? *sob sob sob* We were fortunate, in a way, that he had skipped his nap that day and was ridiculously tired. We did look earnestly, enlisting our friends’ help, but No Binky. I lay down with him after he quit flailing and finally, finally, finally, he fell asleep.

No nap yesterday either (it looks like maybe we’re done with naps, bummer) and he did ask for Binky a few times at bedtime. I suggested that Binky was on an adventure and having fun. He woke at 3:00 this morning, wanting Binky, but I quieted him down fairly easily.

This morning, he was all sunshine and giggles. He asked for Binky some more, then got with the adventure idea. Binky’s gone to Discovery Center! Binky’s gone to play park! Binky’s on a train ride and is GOING THROUGH A TUNNEL!!!

It’s a sad milestone, really: his first love is gone forever. (MUST make sure he doesn’t come upon Binky anywhere, at least in the next few weeks, and cancel out our progress.) But: HIGH FIVE, I think we are finally done with the pacifier.

In other news, I was trying to figure out what to get for his Halloween costume this year. I figured I’d try the size 4T/5T costume that I bought for him when he was an infant from the clearance rack at Gymboree. I had chalked it up to mama-purchase-dumbness and figured it was bound for Goodwill, because no 5 year old wants to wear a velvety lion costume, right?

But yes, it totally fits my big boy. RRRRAWRRR!


So, I sort of knew this, but it still seems weird:

Rainbow is now bigger than Ward ever was.


He’s now a few days shy of 31 months old, and Wardie was 33 months when he had his accident. But Rainbow’s a really big 31 month old. I pulled out the ridiculously huge toddler clothes of Wardie’s that I’d put in the top of the closet back in February 2009. It seemed like the day would never come when our teeny little dreamed-of infant would ever fit into these big boy jeans and jackets and turtlenecks, but now it seems I’ve almost waited too long.

With laundry piling up ominously (groan…) I needed to put Rainbow in long pants for school this morning, and was totally out of clean ones. I remembered that box of Wardie clothes, the one that I’ve always thought of digging into when Rainbow got much, MUCH older. And, yeah, they fit perfectly, and are sort-of-almost-too small. Like, the moss colored jeans I put on him today are just long enough and are have no room to spare around the waist. This will probably be their only wearing.

And it’s weird, a little bit heart-lurchy, but also oddly relieving. I feel like Rainbow hitting 34 months will be a big emotional milestone for me, but it’s also a milestone that he’s just bigger that Ward got to be. I’m probably doing a poor job describing it, and I know I’m almost certainly doomed to be a fretful mother for my entire life, but there is a certain deep exhalation that I’m counting on having when Rainbow lives longer than his brother.


As far as the debinking goes, I think I made some major headway last night. I had clipped off the tips of two of his binkies a couple of days ago and offered them to him at bedtime. Of course he tossed them and insisted on the “fresh” binky. I wasn’t up for a battle, so I let him have the unclipped one.

BUT: at about 4 am, he woke up and had lost his binky. I searched for that thing and it was nowhere to be found, so I presented the two clipped ones. A FRESH binky! he begged. I want a FRESH binky… *sniff* And I mentally steeled myself for a miserable and sleepless early morning.

AND YET: he gave up pretty quickly and used one of the snipped binkies for the rest of the night. It couldn’t have been that satisfying, but he slept with it and had it in his mouth when he woke up this morning. I’m thinking that Gradual Binky Depletion may be the answer here. Shearing off slivers every day seems like the least dramatic option, if he’s willing to use a binky that’s been cut at all, don’t you think? And yes, it doesn’t seem like the silicone is going to rip into chunks with a straight cut across the pacifier tip. It seems to be made of pretty tough stuff.

choo choo

So there’s this train museum that turned out to be really awesome. At first, I thought it was a weird, dusty, primed-for-a-horror-movie space, but no. One had to get past the weird collections and just accept that some people collect, like, a lot of stuff that might otherwise be discarded.

And build doll-houses of famous structures.

And create elfin railways around sheds of rusty farm equipment, weedy jungles, and wavy-bricked, yard-arted patios. That, too.

It was totally great, and we will totally be back, if only for the deliriously addictive way that Rainbow gripped my hands as we went around the doll railroad track.

It’s pretty much the best feeling ever.


We’re changing preschools.

I’ve been waking up at night and fretting about whether it’s the right call, worrying that I will upset his happy little life for my own preferences, wondering if I’ll regret it.

But I’m pretty sure I won’t. His current preschool has been great; very nurturing and loving and stimulating. There is no drama here. I just found a place that suits a little better, driving convenience-wise, and there are a few other things I prefer a bit about it. He’s just now reached the age to move into a new age-bracket class, so I’m doing it. We are LOCKED IN. It’s happening, fo shizzle, in a week or two.

(grips roiling stomach)

Here is his school photo, taken at his current (soon to be former) preschool, where they magically got him to hold still, smile, and pose like a forty-year old:

At two-and-a-half, he just dazzles me. He acts perfectly two-ish (e.g. today I took him for a playdate to the bouncy inflatable place, got thoroughly exhausted chasing him around on all the equipment, and was totally ready for a nap, when he pulled a big H to the NO on me and proceeded to dump out all the toy bins and drawers he could get his hands on, in between flailing on the floor in nap-deprived misery) but he acts perfect, for a two-year old.

He’s funny and handsome and strapping, cuddly and squirmy, and again and again I get that weirdly comforting swoon when I play with him that tells me LORD but I’d do anything in my power for this child.

Rainbow at 30 months

is fabulous.

He’s still a picky discriminating eater. He has his faves and that’s about it, although his preschool teacher reports that he eats things like carrots and corn and meatballs and turkey for him. I’ve yet to see it. For me, he’ll eat French toast, monkey cheese (mac’n cheese), grilled cheese sandwiches (especially those cut into shapes), raisins, bananas, watermelon, yogurt with wheat germ and strawberry puree spread, graham crackers, string cheese, and… ummm…

He’ll taste veggies for us at the dinner table, which is good. He’ll eat a teeny bite of green bean or broccoli in order to earn some more grilled cheese, so I count that as progress. Also, this child is healthy as a horse, so I’m not so worried about his diet. A varied palate will come.

He has now mastered the getting into stuff aspect of two-ishness. His latest trick is to hide himself in the toilet closet in my bathroom. I’ll track him down there and find him standing at the closed toilet with an array of forbidden items on the toilet lid: cuticle cream, essential oil, shampoo, shave gel. He’ll look up, irritated: Go ‘way, Mama. Shut de door.

Suuuuure, buddy, I’ll just slip away and leave you to your work.

I found him the other day with Nair wiped on his chest in a Zorro stripe and the nozzles off of two cans of hairspray, aggressively trying to open a bottle of nail polish.

So, there’s that, but he’s also so damn cute while he’s at it that it sort of balances out.

The sleep thing might be on the upswing. Maybe. I made a huge effort last night to entertain and coddle him during evening hours. We got a cookie after preschool at the coffee shop, played and ran all over the house, had an on-time family dinner, took a nice bath, had a prolonged bedtime routine.

He did the flip-out trick again as I left – going from fully cozy and sleepy-content to raving DON’T LEAVE ME!! lunatic – and Daddy J stepped in as I was trying to shut the door on him and calmly insist that he go to bed BECAUSE CUDDLE TIME IS OVER UNTIL THE SUN COMES UP I MEAN IT.

Daddy gave him one more song and left him crying, but within one little minute he gave up and got quiet. I checked on him after we watched an episode of the Tudors (oh, that wicked, tormented Henry the Eighth!) and he was totally snuggled in bed with Puppy and Binky, sleeping deeply. And slept til 6:45 this morning.

On one hand, it makes me sad for him to learn to settle himself, because I want him to want me, you know? It feels like a sad, albeit positive and necessary, little milestone.

He’s growing up.

It’s good.


Rainbow’s New Thing is to wake up and call for us, then insist that we lay down with him until he is 100% asleep. It’s sort of sweet and snuggly, but also a bummer at 4:30 in the morning when you really just want to stay in your own bed.

He’s done it more of the last few days than not. It’s like he’s afraid to sleep alone. I feel for him: I acutely remember becoming aware of the unfairness of the whole thing as a little kid. It dawned on me that my parents got to sleep together every night, but I had to sleep all alone. I did sleep with my dog (a Shih Tzu) and if Rainbow were older and Scarlett were fully housebroken, I’d totally go with that. Doggies are super comforting to little kids at night, and no doubt the doggies love sleeping in a human bed. But at this point, I’m pretty sure Rainbow wouldn’t snuggle calmly with the wiener dog. Also, she’d pee on the floor. So that’s out.

This morning I lay down with him for a good half an hour, feeling very virtuous and patient and SURE he was fully asleep. The room was so calm and serene as I left him breathing deeply and slowly. Then when I started to push his door shut, he realized he’d been left. AND FREAKED OUT. Just weepily insisting I lay down with him. Growing more frantic. Grabbing my hand and BEGGING. I tried rocking him in lieu of laying down with him, wanting to stick to my guns when I told him that Mama was all done sleeping in his bed. But, no. Just, no. Full-on freak out, big wet tears, and a final result of two parents and two year old up at 5:00 am.


I think the take-home lesson here is what the pediatrician has said multiple times: Whatever gets the most people the most sleep most nights wins.

Yeah. I think I’ll just sleep with him from waking time on the next time this happens. Like, tonight. And worry about getting him used to sleeping on his own sometime in the future.

Because we’ve GOT to get more sleep than this.


Big boy bed: CHECK
All settled in to preschool: CHECK
Pretty much potty trained: CHECK

There’s really no excuse any more; that binky’s got to go.

It’s not so much a big deal orthodontically, I don’t think, since he just uses it while he’s in bed. The main bummer is that he wakes up and demands help finding it during the night. We’ll go in his room and it will be folded up in his blanket, wedged next to the mattress (which is on the floor), or fully disappeared into another plane of existence, at which point we pull out a spare. The other night Daddy J found it on Rainbow’s CHEST, completely visible while he was laying there begging for it. He popped it in his mouth and went straight to sleep.

So, yeah, that part’s annoying.

Also, he’s two and a half, and an awfully big two and a half, at that. He just seems enormous to be still using a binky. And yes, his size isn’t his fault or anything. Inside, he’s still a toddler. Who wears size four or even five kid clothes.

Anyway, we’re ready to retire it.


1. Cold Turkey. We tried this once and it was a colossal failure. You’d think he’d get exhausted and give up on the idea after a while and just succumb to sleep, but NO. He got whipped into a frantic, despairing frenzy: WHERE’S BINKY??? Just went nuts. Obviously, if we don’t let him have binky at all, ever again, he won’t have it. But I think we’d lose our sanity in the process.

2. The Paci Fairy. Sigh. Sure, he loves the book. I mean, Duh, it’s all about binkies. It has grown-ups with binkies, babies with binkies, and fairies holding binkies. Rainbow thinks it’s a hoot to have me read it to him while he has a binky in his mouth, occasionally popping it out to examine it, then popping it back in. However, the whole give up binky = gift for the boy thing is totally lost on him.

3. Surgery on the binky.
I’ve heard of two strategies here: cutting off the business end in a swift beheading and just nipping off a wee bit every night until there’s nothing left. It seems that the sudden lopping off would yield the same result as Option #1, and I’m concerned about structural integrity with the gradual nipping. Wouldn’t the silicone tear and become a chokie while he sucked on it?

4. Piercing the binky with a pin or nail. Might work? Apparently it messes up the proper suckability of the pacifier, although I’m still a little concerned about the silicone tearing. But surely it could tolerate a pinhole without tearing…?

5. Befouling the binky. Douse the binky with something yucky tasting before bedtime. I’ve heard of hot sauce, but I don’t want to, like, hurt him, you know? I’m leaning toward vinegar, I think, or maybe lemon juice. Maybe he’d just taste it and toss it aside without falling totally apart?

If you have a terrific idea, please do share it. Have I left out an option?

Also, if you could help me figure out how to get a 30 month old to nap in a big boy bed, that would be AWESOME.


***warning: injury photos follow, if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. The toe one is especially cringe-inducing.

I don’t know if it’s an inevitable consequence of being a Mama or just the fact that I’m no longer a spring chicken, but regardless, I’ve been mangling the fire out of my body lately. It’s a bummer, because I hate pain, and also because boo-boo’s slow me down. You know, the hobbling and all. I fell on the stairs with Rainbow on top of me a few weeks ago (and am monumentally grateful that he was unscathed) but now have this yucky, weird scar on my arm. It’s like the muscle or ligament or whatever got severed or crushed; when you run your hand across that area of my arm, beneath my skin it’s all: raw chicken, raw chicken, DEEPLY GROOVED IMMOVABLE STRIP OF BEEF JERKY, raw chicken…


It also has this Nike-swoosh sort of scar, which maybe I could make some coin off of in some way, if I started running or something and got in shape.

Then yesterday morning, I popped in to the pantry, failing to take in to consideration that Daddy J had installed these racks for pot lids, and slammed my shoulder into the edge of one. Owie.

And then, I was moving Rainbow’s tent on the front porch and knocked one of the boys’ bikes over. The pedal totally crushed my stay-home piggie. It’s all mangled and bruised and swollen, also cut in two places.

(taken right after the incident, pre-swelling)


I called Goonie, who’s an RN, and she suggested I go to a doctor when she saw the picture that I tearfully messaged to her. But, phhehh… I hate waiting at the doctor’s office. She guessed that the toe is broken, and that the doctor would immobilize it by gauzing and taping it to the unhurt toe next door.

So that’s where we are today, scarred and taped and limpy.

Everything else (other than the economy, HAHAHAHA. I’m now reading Super Sad True Love Story and finding it awesome and addictive and terrifying) is going great. It is such a huge bonus that Rainbow uses the potty, I can’t even tell you. He still has occasional #2 accidents, but this morning, all by himself (Mama, SHUT THE DOOR!!) he had a big ol’ substantial b.m. And forget the froggy potty; he’s a grown-up toilet guy now.

Also a huge bonus that he loves his preschool. He has this little gang of pals there who greet him joyfully. It’s Rainbow! Hi, Rainbow! I play dinosaurs or cars for a few minutes with him and his little posse, and then leave my contented 2.5 year old to play.

We generally do preschool 4 times a week now, which is more than I ever did with the other boys, but he LOVES IT. Rainbow’s such a social butterfly that he insists on pouncing on all visitors and coercing them to play kitchen. He’ll wake up and beg to go to Chuck E. Cheese or Discovery Center, to go see our weekly playdate pal, to go see cousins, to go to school. To “go see some guys.”

So, yes, hallelujah for a safe, affordable preschool that he loves.

Brad has a part in Much Ado About Nothing (Barachio, I think) and Rockinrolla’s 8-man football season is in full swing. First game is tonight! I’ve been working quite a bit with test writing and articles for Like Totally 80’s, both of which I enjoy tremendously. It looks like I’ll have another article published in Adoptive Families magazine, too, as soon as I get some hi-def pictures taken.

Salad days, mangled body and all.

talking it up

I think it was in Adoptive Families magazine where I first read this excellent advice (and I really wish I could remember where, so I could credit the writer) about talking with your little ones about adoption. It’s a given, nowadays, that adopted kids should know they’re adopted. Social workers advise adoptive parents to make adoption a fact of their adopted kids’ lives that’s there from the get-go, so there’s no dramatic “breaking it to them” moment or anything like that.

However, this was a little tidbit that I thought was so great: planting the seeds from a very young age that adoption is entirely positive. So, every time adoption comes up, adopted kids will naturally think: Yeah, man, adoption is terrific! and know that their family structure is awesome. The idea being that their knee-jerk reaction when they hear the word “adoption” is that their origins are GOOD.

And yes, yes, adoption has grief and loss intrinsic to it, and I am not trying to negate or deny those realities. But obviously, we all want our kids to feel good about how they came to exist and join their families, right?

The adoption talk with Rainbow is going great. I love his enthusiasm. This conversation is generally part of every bedtime and morning cuddle session:

Mama: Hey, do you know what ADOPTION is?
Rainbow: Doption is GREAT! Is bsrkljkdzzer FAMILY!
Mama: Yes! Adoption is great because it’s how we became a family. It’s how I got to be your Mama!
Rainbow: Miss Noelle brzoiudghhcphr TUMMY!
Mama: Yes! Miss Noelle had you in her tummy when you were teeny-tiny. She loved you SO much, and she knew she couldn’t take care of a baby. She thought about it really hard and looked for a long time. She picked Mama and Daddy to be your parents. She thought we would be the very best parents for you.
Rainbow: Mama!
Mama: Yes! Lucky, lucky Mama. So lucky because I get to be Rainbow’s Mama. I love you.
Rainbow: Awwww. (plants a mushy kiss on me) So sweet.

Previous Older Entries