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.

dragons and other cool stuff

Our little Rockinrolla turned fourteen on May 18 (**sniff**) and we took him and his big brother out to eat and to The Flaming Lips concert. Which was totally the coolest concert I’ve EVER SEEN.

Confetti, balloons, a giant clear hamster ball bouncing around on the audience’s heads, the Ryman Auditorium… As an added HUGE bonus, Brad and Rockinrolla worked their way up to the stage and got to see the entire concert from, like, two feet away. Brad is elated that Wayne Coyne SHOOK HIS HAND.

(If you look closely, you might see Brad bouncing up and down in ecstasy and Rockinolla with his elbows on the stage.)

I have been cleaning like a madwoman while Rainbow’s at preschool (going most excellently, btw – he warbles happily about the teacher and going to play with his friends ALL THE TIME) because our weekly cleaning person failed to show up both this week AND last and we’re having Rockinrolla’s middle school lacrosse banquet here in, like, two hours, which is awesome except that I can’t stand having anyone in the house unless it’s clean and smells nice, dammit.

(gargrarrahhhgagghh curse spit gruh grumphhhh)

(and yes, yes, I’m totally spoiled to have a cleaning helper-person once a week (downstairs only), but I do work part-time and have an energetic little sugar-monkey at home the rest of the time, so I pretty much require it)

BUT! Wanted to also share the newest article up on Like Totally 80’s about Dungeons and Dragons. My older brother LOOOOOOVED it, and his affection for the game rubbed off on me but good.

What’s on your 80’s summer mix tape?

Here’s my dream summer mix tape from the 1980’s.

While you’re at it, take a few minutes to go revisit the awesomeness that that was A-ha’s Take On Me video. It’s so perfect in every way – the dreamy vocals, the amazing visuals. Why isn’t anyone from American Idol covering this song?

Side note: I just realized that the Take on Me video is a heckuva lot like the ending to Altered States. Which looks much scarier than I remember it being. However: the hallway, the painful birth from one state to another, the back to normalcy thing, the romantic hug.

Interesting, no? Although the A-ha guy was way cuter than William Hurt.

hot stuff

Day-um, check out that hottie lead singer in Speakeasy!

That Daddy J LOOOVES to rock out. 🙂

Rainbow and his new car

We gave Rainbow a Power Wheels jeep for his second birthday. I’m sure he’ll grow to love it, but for now it’s a leetle bit intimidating.

Also, is he not too crazy adorable in track suits?

laughing babies

Rainbow loves laughing babies, too. Who doesn’t?

The spurting milk laugh cracks us up.

Behind…

I totally had a scare with the spider bite thing a couple of days ago. It had gotten maybe 95% better, but then IT GOT WORSE AGAIN. The blisters all went away and there was a scab, and then that went away, so I was all relieved. But then more blisters showed up – itchy, big blisters in a wider area than the original spot. Daddy J went back on Spider Bite Observation Duty on Saturday. I’d whimper up to him that I wanted him to look because the bite was feeling hot and painful:

was it WORSE…?

At one point I sort of ha-haaaa-ed that I sure hoped it wasn’t Flesh Eating Bacteria, because that sure would be lousy. Like, if my rear end was being eaten away. HA HAAAA!! And then totally had to look up the symptoms of Flesh Eating Bacteria attacks. NO, I wasn’t dumb enough to google it this time, but I was dismayed that Wikipedia had a horrifying image right up there on the top of its entry. Don’t they know they need to be more sensitive to hypochondriacs???

Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s not Flesh Eating Bacteria, because it’s pretty much better now. Damn spiders. (Or scorpions, huh, Suzanne? Wish I’d seen the little booger.)

I’m kind of chasing my tail lately, what with the ball planning and the novel writing and the article submissions and test passage writing. Kinda crazy-busy when I’m not doing my momming duties. I did take Rainbow to class at the children’s museum today, and we did have to leave and hang out in the foyer for the last half of class. Apparently it’s impossible for him to sit through class just knowing that the fun stuff in the museum is right outside the door. We had fun after, though, and friend B brought her little man there (he was another Kindermusik hopeful a couple of weeks ago) so that was good.

We’re trying time-outs (Mac inspired me) and Rainbow doesn’t really get it yet. At all. It just baffles him. He’s all, Twucks? Twucks, pweeze? Down? Down, PWEEZE? But we’re trying… I am thinking that once he learns what a time-out is, and I have something to threaten him with, I’ll make some real headway with discipline around here.

Another piece that I wrote just went live on Like Totally 80’s. It’s about my experience with aerobics at a health club when I was a teenager.

And Rainbow has a new favorite song:

(In other youtube news, apparently my video of Rockinrolla singing a Superbowl commercial (the Boost Mobile Shuffle) constituted copyright infringement and my youtube account has been frozen. AAAAAHHHHH!!! None of my videos will play! And I’ve deleted them from the Flip camera! I keep hoping that it’s some sort of temporary punishment and that my account will just start working again, but I guess I will have to contact youtube and apologize for besmirching the name of Boost Mobile and their commercial with my talented and funny teenager’s reenactment.)

(eyeroll)

Rainbow’s latest tricks

Daddy J created this video of Rainbow doing some kissy faces that we thin-lipped Jamzes can only dream of:

And here’s the disco version of the video I posted on Facebook earlier. This little boy loves him some Twinkle, Twinkle.

He just makes me smile.

He also came up with one of the cutest grandmother nicknames I’ve ever heard this morning. I told him he was going to go visit Grandma L, and he started shouting Grandpa R’s name with excited delight. I said that Yes, we are going to see R, but we’re also going to see Grandma. He considered this, and then exclaimed his other Grandma’s name. I said, Yes, I love Grandma J, too, but we’re going to see Granny L today.

His little wheels turned and he finally realized who I was talking about.

GOONIE! he squealed.

Goonie! Goonie! Goonie!

HOW CUTE is that name for pretty and sweet Grandma L? We’re totally running with it.

a class-free social system

As I listen to Rainbow “falling “asleep” for his nap (which entails kicking the walls of his crib, clapping, and calling out OOOOOH, GABBA GABBA! repeatedly) I think I’ll share a couple of pieces of video evidence that show Rainbow in his natural state.

We have here a boy who does not like to sit still often or for long periods of time.

Example #1

Playing The Run Game with Mama

Example #2

Rocking out to ABBA
(he starts in with the clapping at around 37 seconds)

ghosses

I walked with Rainbow down to Daddy J’s grandma’s house. It’s mostly emptied out and is pretty messy inside. It makes me very sad to be in it.

In the last months of Great-Grandma’s life, Rainbow was very uncomfortable in it. Grandma was unwell and the atmosphere was, at best, subdued and, at worst, pretty bleak. The last few times he saw her, he was took a long time to warm up to her aged and shrunken appearance, and, a couple of times, he flat-out refused to go in. Halloween was kind of a bad scene; he wouldn’t stop crying and making for the door when I took him in to see her.

Anyway, that made me all the more surprised when he wanted to hang out in her house today. Cousin R was over from Knoxville to pick up some items, but by the time we got down there he was about ready to go. Rainbow, on the other hand, wanted to go upstairs and explore. He wanted to build with the bin of Mega Blocks that she kept behind the sofa for toddlers. He did not want to leave.

We visited outside for a while with Grandma’s neighbor, M, whom we’ve known since the big boys were babies. (Back in the day, we used to live right across the street from Great-Grandma. And before, that, we knew M because she has worked at our alma mater in town for I-don’t-know-how-long.) She had her dog with her, a black Pomeranian named Charlie who was literally almost as wide as he was long, due to excessive fluff and fat. Rainbow was totally smitten with Charlie and buried his face in that black fluffy stuff, giggling.

I had already been feeling reflective and sad about Ward in the last couple of days. Nothing earth-shattering or new, just sad and missing him. I was thinking about how my memories of him are fading; they are moving away from me like little boats on the ocean. Sometimes it seems that all I have left is the feel of his silky blond curls around my fingers, and the amazement I felt that someone so beautiful had come from my body.

Just sad.

I remember how he loved the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. I had been afraid that it might scare him, but he loved it. Afterward, for weeks he’d ask, “Do ya member those green ghosses? They would say ooo-ooo-ooo!” and just crack himself up.

I want to not feel sad about the ghosts. The messy house, soon to be sold, the lives that seem far too short. I want to see the ghosts for what they are: just memories of people who have moved on and are right where they need to be. I want to laugh at the idea of sad or scary ghosts – oooo-ooo-ooo! – and know that the people we love are laughing with us.

***The part Ward loved best was around 6:00, when the ghosts are in the graveyard.

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