1. Hi Ho Cherry O is, sadly, so very exciting that a certain small boy didn’t sleep well at all last night. Today it was all board game
s all the time. Yawn. So I’m sleepy, and wondering why I thought board games were such an awesome idea yesterday. Snort. No, it’s actually pretty fun watching him clap his hands with glee. He hasn’t quite figured out that winning is so much better than losing, which is ok, because both his father and I are ultra competitive about some things, though not so much about others. He’ll figure out the competitive thing faster than I’d like, I’m sure. In the meantime, there’s nothing like being consoled: “It’s ok, Mommy, don’t cry. You’ll get more cherries in your basket. I just know it!”
2. 3 hour nap today–his–saved my sanity and good will toward humanity.
3. We went to the library and scored a set of the first 27 Magic Treehouse books in the ‘for sale’ rack, as well as a few Disney movies on DVD (since our VHS player doesn’t seem to be working.) We’re probably at least a year away from Magic Treehouse, but I’ve never known a reading-kid who doesn’t love them, so I snapped them up, along with a ‘Boys Storybook’ which appears to be nothing more than a detailed construction vehicles site. Not. A. Problem. Cranes, earthmovers, cement trucks. Who cares if there’s no story? Hen’s in raptures.
4. As far as I can tell, the cat’s fully healed. Her fur’s still in the weird poodle-cut, growing back slowly, but the leg? Perfectly sound, and she’s using it without any favoring, or discomfort that I can see. I’m in awe.
5. I’m slowly slowly slowly building up a base of meals that we all like; that are quick/easy to make; that aren’t unhealthy. At a Crock Pot-luck I went to last week with some of the mommies from Playgroup, another woman brought the most amazing squash and kale soup. I hate kale. This was incredible. Better yet, The Boy tried it and agreed to eat it for dinner sometimes.
Gonna make a hippie, vegetarian out of my carnivorous darling yet!
1. Hen is so excited about going to Brooklyn to meet his sister’s (as of tonight, still unborn) baby that he has begun starting conversations with strangers like this: “Did you know that babies grow in mommies’ tummies?”
Awkward while standing in the checkout line? Yeah, a little. Adorable, since he really is just giddy with the idea of it? Yeah, a little. He’s been practicing being gentle an awful lot with Real these days, in the hope that the baby will want to play with him.
And I thought The Boy was looking forward to this. Grandpa is never going to get the chance to snuggle that kid when Hen’s around!
2. I decided that Hen was old enough for board games, so we went to Toys R Us. A few observations: it was really the first time Hen’s been to a toy store since he really got passionate about toys. Wow did he think he’d stumbled into heaven! Also, they’ve changed all the graphics on the kids games I remember from my childhood, which is disconcerting. Also, if you take Hen’s word for it, Hi Ho Cherry-O is the best game ever in the whole world.
3. Seems like every day he’s doing something to blow my mind. Today it was realizing that he really does know ‘right’ and ‘left’. That was actually what set off the board-game buying frenzy. At his grandparents’ house we’d played a simple dice game called ‘left right center’ but I didn’t realize he’d retained that knowledge. But he had.
Also, he was playing with one of those awful ‘learn to tell time’ book-things at the toy store and manipulated the clock hands. Then he showed it to me and walked me through it: “you know, Mommy, when the little hand is on the 7 and the big hand is on the 12, it’s seven o’clock–time for bed!”
Well, yeah, I do know that, but I didn’t really think that he did… Who is this grown up kid and where is my baby hiding? Yikes.
4. Real Bunny has gotten some very particular ideas about how he should be treated. Bun apparently needs to be nose up and ears down at all times. He likes playing board games and wishes we’d let Hen keep them in his room for some early morning play. Plus he needs to be entirely covered up by the blanket while asleep.
I was willing to play along with that last since I wasn’t about to budge on the games. “Won’t Bun get hot under all those covers? It’s awfully warm tonight.”
Witheringly: “Mommy, Real is a stuffed toy. He doesn’t mind being warm. He’s just pretend.”
5. We worked in the garden today and found a toad. We said “Blah” to it, but it never answered. It had golden eyes and was quite lovely in a warty brown way. Next project–toad house!
1. *Sniff* A day of transitions, of glimpsing the little boy he’s becoming. Had his ‘classroom day’ at the school he’ll start attending in September, so we could all meet his teachers, and so he could start to see all the cool things they have for him to do at school. He did pretty good, but wasn’t crazy about being separated from us, even just while story time was going on. “Sit with me, Mama. Hold me, please?” This is an exciting time for him–he’s eager to go to school–but he’s also just starting to really understand that he’ll be there without mommy or daddy. For a kid who’s lived most of his life with both of us within shouting distance, this is going to be a huge change.
2. Since he’s been getting more and more adventurous with the climbing of inappropriate things, and since I was summoned too early this morning by wails and rushed into his room to find his foot twisted all weird in his toddler-bed/crib while he was outside the bed–he’d apparently tried to climb one of the rails, got his foot stuck between the posts, and fell–I decided it was time to move to a big kid bed.
We’ve had the bed in his room since we moved here, so it was just a matter of disassembling and moving his crib out and his big boy bed over to the same place (which also strategically blocks the low windows with the headboard!)
He’s so happy with his handed-down-with-the-bed giant pink fuzzy blanket pulled up to his chin and covering up his toes and his bunny and even the edges of the mattress so much better than his crib-sized bedding ever did. He seems a little concerned about what we’ll do with his old crib (store it in a closet for grandbaby visits!) and seems relieved that it’s not leaving the house. We talked about what color he’d like for a big boy quilt I’ll be making him sometime this year. Weirdly, he said he wanted a black and grey and yellow quilt. Not sure where the idea for that color scheme came from, but I’m seeing outer space, yes? Either that or Batman, (and all in all, I’d prefer planets to superheroes.)
His room looks so big now, with one huge piece of furniture missing, and he looks so small in that big bed. I’m reminded of the first time I put him to bed in his crib, instead of in the bedside bassinet, and the feeling is the same. Some milestones, I’m delighted to reach (yeah, potty training! Woohoo for LESS handling of excrement!) but others?
We’re both gonna miss that crib a little bit.
3. The cat continues to heal and to try to escape the cruel bounds of the house to go chipmunk hunting. The dog is–I swear–attempting to assist her. As is the baby. Apparently, Henry snuck downstairs a couple of nights ago to let her out, and happily, she decided she’d rather come up to visit us than go outside. Thank you, rainstorm! It’s probably a really good thing that her fur is growing back slowly–otherwise I’d be hard-pressed to remember there’s anything wrong with her. She’s not limping. She’s leaping everywhere. I wish I’d gotten a photo of her initial xray. The results from this surgery are truly amazing.
4. “ABC–SING WITH ME!!!” has apparently opened the floodgates of music for Henry. While the ABC song is still, hands down, his favorite, he’s getting really interested in other music. ‘Tyrone the mailman’ is still a winner, which I get, because, hey, who can resist tapping their feet to Nortena music? But also he’s getting a little obsessed with the rather bland pop-tune-y song at the end of “Chuck and Friends”? I don’t know what it is about it–it’s maybe only a minute long, and nothing special to my ears, but when I try to turn off the tv before it’s done playing, he begs me to leave the ‘lovely music’ on. And he dances. Oh, my how he dances. And when he sees kids on TV or in books playing music, he immediately wants to go sit at the piano with me to play duets. And in the bathtub, his recorder is being used as an instrument (rather than a water bubbler) for the first time ever.
All of which is awesome. I love music. My husband loves music. Henry has been sung to every day of his life, and I would be extremely happy for him to develop a love of music, as well.
But here’s something: I have a very average singing voice, but a good sense of tone. I’d say my husband is the same. Meaning–no one would ever pay to hear us sing, but we can carry a tune accurately without accompaniment. Hen does not seem to have this ability. At all. His tunes are only recognizable because of the words he’s singing. Is this an age/development thing, or is he tone deaf? I have no idea, and The Boy doesn’t really remember if his daughters were tuneful when they first started singing. Any thoughts?
5. Oh, the little boy’s been sweet today. For the last week or so, really. All he wants to do is laugh and “make up funny jokes”. His funny jokes mostly consist of pure silliness–ie: “I’m going to learn to use chopsticks today so I can pinch your nose, Mommy!”–but they make him laugh and laugh. He begs to be tickled. He asks how my nap was (I wish!) and how my dinner is. He jumps into my arms when he’s done eating and just wants to talk. (Actually, he just wants to monopolize my attention, because he finds it frustrating when his dad & I talk about something other than–well–him, during dinner. After dinner he knows he can get away with demanding my complete attention until it’s time to go upstairs to read books before bed.)
He just wants to be cuddled close all the time, and even though it’s sometimes frustrating that I can’t so much as go upstairs to fetch a hair-tie without my little shadow accompanying me at a snail’s pace, I can’t sweep a floor without a helper getting in the way, and I can’t pee without an audience and cheerleader (“Good JOB, Mommy! You had a lot of pee in there that needed to come out! I wish you could have a little treat like I get sometimes!”) it’s also rather heart-stoppingly wonderful to be so loved by such a delightful little person.
Being the center of someone’s life has changed my world entirely. School will alter this dynamic, as it should; but the memories from this time of his life are ones I will treasure forever. As he informed me when I left his room after I thought he was asleep this afternoon: “I love you to infifitee” (Which either means to ’50′ or to ‘infinity’) I’ll take either one.
1. These are insanely beautiful. Wow. This woman takes the ‘make adorable lunches’ concept to a whole new level. Not the lunch per se, but she sends her sons to school each day with handpainted napkins. Let me reiterate: these are painted on paper napkins. Every school day. She runs a blog. I want to learn to draw. And paint. Seriously. Wow.
2. I made a rhubarb tapioca pudding & a warm sauce for same that was good enough that The Boy, who dislikes rhubarb but loves pudding, ate it happily. Yay. A good use for our one measly Rhubarb plant that I haven’t the heart to uproot, but don’t really enjoy eating!
3. I need to admit that “Little Mama Kitten” is my favorite nickname, like, ever.
4. Hearing my own, and others’ favorite expressions & turns of phrase come out of Hen’s mouth continues to astonish and amuse me. While loving on his bunny and narrating his life to me, as he likes to do, he explained that he was “clutching Real to his breast”. Well, yeah, he was actually. But that’s not how I’d've expected a two-year-old to describe it! I have no idea which book he pulled that phrase from, but it was too funny to hear him. He does stuff like that all the time, and often I can recognize my own idiosyncratic turns of phrase, but sometimes–like this time–I haven’t the faintest idea.
And of course, there’s ‘little mama kitten’ which he only uses when he’s in a really good mood. (It’s ‘Susan’ when he’s cranky and wants me to come get him in the morning. Still haven’t squelched that habit. Ugh!) He’s started giving me ‘I love you to the moon and back’ declarations out of the blue, along with strangling-tight hugs around the neck. He rubs his chin like an old bearded Gamfer when he’s mock-puzzling over anything–ie: “I wonder what I should do today?” He’ll answer ‘yes way!’ to my ‘no way!’. He lives to snuggle under the covers with his bunny and a mommy or daddy. (The critters are all going to want to sleep with him when we finally decide to let them in there at night.) He memorizes books eerily fast. Books we got at the library on Tuesday, he’s got the wording perfect by Thursday, and if I pause to scratch my nose or turn the page, he’s off & running with the text. The only song he’ll sing is the ABC song; what he lacks in musicality, he makes up for in volume. (If you were in the grocery store with us this week, I do apologize. “SING WITH ME!!!”) He’s been excited about going to the beach all week. Every time the topic comes up he asks if maybe this time we can just stay, without ever coming home. As far as I can tell, he’s completely serious.
It is so endlessly fun to watch him absorb the world around him and make it his own. I am so lucky to have this little person in my life that I still can’t believe this is my life. How did I get so lucky?
5. Garden’s looking great. The fence is up, the bench is in place, the beds are planted. Whew! The Boy took Hen to an indoor gym this morning so I could get some work done–and did I ever! Planted corn, watermelon, zucchini and summer squash. Fertilized the tomatoes. Weeded like mad. Put down another 50 square feet or so of gravel/sand. Planted some sunflowers. Pounded in posts to use to twine up the asparagus plants which have already toppled over. Nothing wrong with that, save that I like the tidier look of them upright.
I think I’ll eventually put in some stepping stones–perhaps painted! stepping stones, but for now, the gravel/sand is working just fine. Anything that makes my garden a tick-free zone is good by me, but I rather like the look of the clean pale gravel between the dark earth & bright green beds. Gardens are fun. This has been a spring of way too much hardscaping, but I love the results so far. Next year will be easier. I’ll put all my work into getting a permanent drip system in, but the tough stuff’s already there. Yay.
Oh, and the painted cat litter plastic pail? Best garden box ever. The interior stays totally dry but it’s easy to open, even with gloves on. The paint hasn’t chipped or bubbled or anything. For the first time pretty much ever, my clippers are unrusted. My stapler (for landscape fabric) isn’t even damp. My gloves stay dry overnight. I’m going to paint another one for storing seeds in, and maybe another for the accumulation of handtools that Hen keeps making off with. (Out of sight, out of mind.)
1. We’ve been watching Game of Thrones about two seasons behind the rest of the world because we Netflix everything. Remember, we’re both long-time fantasy geeks so we’d read the books long before there was any notion of televising them. I have enjoyed the books (so far) and The Boy hates them. But we’re watching the series because, well, The Boy loves me, (and because I’m willing to watch his lame-o-rama WWII movies so turnabout’s fair play). I enjoy the theatricality (and if ever a fantasy series was meant for HBO it’s this one). But see, because I read the books years ago, I do know what happened in the episode that just aired on HBO & I’ve been watching the internet kerfluffle that followed with something like amusement.
See, I assume that when a person finds a show/movie/whatever that they enjoy, that if that thing was based on a book–or better yet, a huge series of books–they’d go out and read it. At once. So the angst, shock, horror evidenced by some people when they finally figured out how dark this storyline really is strikes me as both funny and somehow weird. You mean people don’t go read books just because they, well, love a story? Really? How is it that every GoT fan didn’t know what was coming?
Every so often it’s driven home to me that my worldview isn’t the same as other people’s. Not complaining, just have to keep reminding myself that this is one of those times.
2. Planted out the winter’s sweet potato starts & about 30 basil seedlings. Tomatoes have survived the heat wave and last night’s deluge, and it’s supposed to be nicely-without-being-awfully-too-much-warm this next week. Maybe I’ll get a garden out of this crazy spring after all!
3. God, I love summer fruit. We’re drowning in the stuff over here, and it’s lovely. Apricots, cherries, black grapes, peaches, oh my!
4. The cat is thriving. No really noticeable limping left, though her butt sort of sways from side to side when she walks. I only notice it because of her tail, I think. But she’s jumping and climbing and attacking the dog and so blessed happy to be out of the dog-kennel & allowed free run of the house that she hasn’t bolted for the open door the two times I’ve forgotten to close one (or Henry’s opened one of the interior doors?) So that’s good.
5. Most spectacularly, and really worthy of a post all its own, is that my nephew was born healthy & happy just after 11am this morning. 8#1oz & cute as all get-out, just like all my brother’s kids. Little Z.A.J.’s mom is doing great, and my mother is over-the-moon happy (as are my brother and his wife, obv.)
We all are, really. So very very happy!
(Now, on to Step-Grandbaby!!!)
1. OMG. I know it probably makes me a bad, bad mommy, but when Henry gets so tired that he’s crying, rubbing his eyes, and yawning hugely–all while trying to say, “But I’m not tired enough to take a nap, Mommy!” I can’t help but laugh right at him.
2. After Eight Mints–success!!! Weirdly, I was able to find them at the cheapest grocery store in town. Cheap. Now, if Hen’s tastes run true to form, he’ll lose his taste for them and we’ll be stuck with four boxes of them. Today, however, I feel like a shopping success. Yay for me!
3. So it’s hot now. Like 97* worth of hot. WHAT??? Last week it was in the low forties for a few nights and we had to use the furnace. And now it’s in the mid-nineties, and where the hell did spring go? It’s ok. I was starting to think that my tomatoes would never get a drop of sunshine, and it’s supposed to be rainy for the next few days, but really: Climate, a bit of moderation, please?
On the plus side, due to the outrageously hot weather, we said, “to hell with everything we were going to accomplish this weekend” and just went to the beach this morning, unsure if Hen would like it (he wasn’t entirely sure what to do with himself last year at the beach, not liking water, sand, heat, or really anything beachy.) This year? Oh yeah. “This is the most fun I have ever had in my whole entire life!” Well, yeah, so you want to come here again? “Let’s just stay here, Mommy! I am not hungry! I am not tired!” His lips were blue (despite the hot air, Maine water is cold!) But he played with sand and tide pools crabs and seaweed and bits of driftwood and lunged for the water–whenever we weren’t gripping his slimy-little sun-screened arm tightly enough–not caring that he can’t swim. And he even took off his baseball hat (which hasn’t happened voluntarily in months.) and walked around barefoot (which also has pretty much never happened since he started walking and realized how much he liked sneakers or slippers or at the very least socks on his feet.) Ok, three cheers for Maine beach life then. I guess we’re going to be making the drive up to Ogunquit regularly this year.
4. I saw a garter snake on the road today during my jog. Little tiny thing, maybe six inches long, just basking (not dead, I checked!) in the sun. Glad someone’s enjoying the heat.
5. The cat is desperate to get outside and kill something. The nasty little chipmunks have come back since she’s been in kitty jail, as have the songbirds. (I don’t think she was ever really catching any, just scaring them off.) SO now when I let her out of jail for a few hours to walk around and stretch, she just sits in the window, threatening the critters with mayhem and retribution when she’s allowed outside again. Which will be never if I can figure a way to keep her in. The electronic doors won’t work for a variety of reasons, and I’m not entirely sure we can retrain the dog to actually wait to be let out. But we’ll see. I’ve got a few weeks’ grace before it really becomes an issue since even if she were back to 100% already (which she’s not) her fur is still too short & she’d get sunburned like crazy.
And says the woman who just spent 5 hours at the beach, “And sunburn just aint no fun.”
1. Roast Beef Monster continues to make appearances. So, see, I heard Hen talking about it again when he woke up, and then when we went outside to romp in the garden, he told me very urgently, “We should hurry up and run to the trees so the Roast Beef doesn’t get us!” The next time we were being quiet and calm, I asked him casually if he could tell me all about Roast Beef so that I could ID it on sight, know when to run away from it, etc. I figured I could use his description of his fears to figure out how to talk him down from this monster straight out of bizarro-land, since my repeated, “roast beef is just a food. we eat it” explanations weren’t sinking into his brain.
Very seriously the child looks up at me and says slowly, “You know, Mommy, roast beef is just a food. You eat it.”
And then he went back to telling Bunny to be careful going up the stairs so the Roast Beef wouldn’t get him. *insert hand smacking into forehead right here* Kid’s been laughing up his sleeve at me the whole time.
2. Hen’s After Eight mint allegiance seems to be converting to a yogurt covered raisin obsession. Which is good since they’re much easier to come by in New Hampshire. But also? Apparently there are good yogurt covered raisins and utterly wrong yogurt covered raisins. The difference being whether or not one can see little raisin-colored lines of raisin-wrinkles through the white yogurt covering. Oi. Tired of bribing a weirdly-picky-where-his-potty-treats-are-concerned child!
3. At the local indoor gym place this morning, Hen “helped” two mommies who were assisting their babies up stairs inside one of the mazes. “Be careful” he apparently begged them. “You have to be really careful on the stairs when there are little babies around. I will help you.” He is all about the helping these days…
4. We’re really missing Nick Jr. shows on Netflix. Backyardigans, Blue’s Clues, Even the stupid Wonder Pets were better than any of the other shows out there. Going to have to go on a used DVD hunt, because really, there’s only so much Bob the Builder I can take.
5. Garden is coming along nicely. Plants have all survived the deluge of the last few weeks, paths are going down easily (though in tiny bursts of effort, because if Hen’s in the garden these days, he wants to be digging for worms. With me as his worm-catchin’ assistant. Which, granted, is a lot of fun. But not so productive as moving barrows-ful of gravel.) Now if the fence people ever get around to putting up the new fence, we’ll be all set. Of course, I still need to figure out where I’m planting the corn next week, and whether sweet potatoes are going in garden plots or back yard. Ugh. Too many decisions, too much planting, not enough time. I MISS my free time at noon!
1. Today it occurred to me that Henry’s most recent spate of irritability coincided rather tidily with the M&M bribes he was receiving. Or rather thst the crankiness pretty much entirely went away when we stopped beibing him with m&ms.
And yeah, not the most scientific or impartial of experiments and it might just be coincidence, but the difference between this past week and the week before that has been striking. Also, it turns out that the FDA is actually investigating a link between the red and yellow dyes and ADHD-like symptoms/exacerbations.
Which is great to know except I’m having a hard time finding the imported mints he’s moved on to, locally. Guess we’re going to be buying them by the gross online and I’m going to be smacking The Boy’s hand away from the remaining boxes ctil we find a new source.
2. The dreaded roast beef monster is still getting plenty of airtime in Hen’s fears/fantasies. No matter how many times I think I’ve explained that rb is a food, not a monster, I’m still overhearing him reassuring Bunny that “we can run into the woods where the Roast Beef will not find us!”
Damn, I’m going to miss the Roast Beef Monster when it finally goes away.
3. The cat’s staples are out, she’s barely limping, and she leapt over a Dutch door trying to follow us outside. Then she launched herself at the dog and tried to ride Nellie. I think she was just gleeful at being let out of the cone collar. And Nellie was just confused. And the vet doesn’t need to see her again, so it’s official: Mattie-catty is going to be just fine.
4. It’s been a long couple of weeks here, with the Boy out of the house, helping a friend every day til about six. This is how normal SAHMs do it? Damn, this is hard! Seriously, I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to just cook pasta for dinner. Like, every night. Oi, am I ever spoiled!
5. Of course, this has also wreaked havoc with my new exercise plan–which sort of hinged on The Boy committing to stay in the house at noontime while Hen napped and I was outside, running like the wind.
I find myself really missing those noontime jogs for many reasons–not least of which is because I know I should just get up early to run before my fellows wake up but I cannot seem to bring myself to do it. So I feel unfit and guilty. Ugh.
1. After buying toddler potties for Hen to use, we realized that part of the problem we were having was his size–he’s just too darned big for those cute little seats to be comfy for him. So we found a toilet seat
with a pull-down kid-sized seat right on it, and it’s been wonderful. A magnet holds the kid seat up against the lid, so it works just like a regular seat–except when Hen wants to go, then we pull down the kid seat. Pretty much perfect since he’s plenty tall enough to get up onto an adult seat, just a bit too narrow to balance there happily while he does his business.
Except the magnet’s held on by a sticker. Which, well–toddler boy. Aiming issues. Damp sticker. Which (apparently) fell off and (we assume) got flushed down the toilet. So then the kid seat was always down instead of up–no big deal, except if you repeatedly sit down on the kid seat accidentally first thing in the morning. Which doesn’t really work. No big deal, but not ideal.
So I emailed the company, explaining how much I love the seats & asking if I could buy some replacement magnets. I got back an email that read like a standard form letter asking for the details of my seats, color, shape, etc. & I gave them that info, figuring maybe they were trying to track some quality issues or something, but reiterated how I lovelovelove the seats, just wanted to buy a replacement magnet & where should I send my money?
What shows up in the mail today? A new seat. Free of charge. With a heavy-duty non-sticker magnet. Way to go, Bemis!
2. Oh, also? We’re past another hurdle in the potty training, and this time, instead of peer pressure it was rank bribery with deliciousness that did the trick. I forgot to pack Hen’s M&M bribes on our weekend away, so asked his grandmother if she had a small piece of chocolate around I could give Hen. It was a safe bet because Hen’s Grandpa loves chocolate more than any person I’ve ever known, including myself. I figured Hershey’s kiss, but she offered an ‘After Eight’ mint. Very thin, in this cute little paper sleeve.
Hen says they are, “the very best thing I have ever had in my mouth.”
Mint ‘cookies’ are, apparently, worth telling mommy when he might possibly be able to produce pee in order to earn a reward. These mints are, sadly, also hard to find, so when we do locate a local source we’ll be stocking up–happily, his grandmother bought a few boxes for him to bring home, so we’re still golden.
And apparently, the love of mint now extends to all things mint. Mint leaves are about the only thing we can pick yet in my garden, so I’ve been letting Hen nibble on leaves while we’re out there. Today, I was looking for him and saw him crouched by a pot, pretty much denuding my mint plants. Pretty scraggly looking now, but I always have more mint than I can use. (Well, maybe not this year.) Pretty funny.
3. It’s taken me a while to figure out this parenting thing, and just when I think I’m there, everything changes again. I don’t know how many times things have to be demonstrated to me before I figure them out, but things do go much more smoothly once I do ‘get it.’ So what have I got?
Henry does not like to be told what to do. He gets stubborn, digs in his heels and mules up.
If I rephrase things just a little. Make it a team effort instead of him being forced to give in to me? Everything’s easy-peasy.
So several times a day, if it’s been a while since potty-time, I smack my forehead and say out loud, “I wish I could remember what time it is. I know we were going to do something right about now, but I just can’t remember what it was…”
Like. A. Charm. No tears, no fussing, no whining, and he’s so pleased to be the smart one that he doesn’t even ask for a mint half the time.
4. Cat gets her staples out tomorrow. Cone of shame will be burned in a ceremonial bonfire, following…
5. Garden’s coming up gangbusters despite nights in the low 40s. After a hellacious time trying to order landscape fabric, getting the wrong size delivered, getting too much of the right size delivered (oi!) it is here, the garden is ready for its gravel paths (to be delivered tomorrow, I hope!) and everything is falling into place. I will hardly know what to do with myself next spring without all this hardscaping to do!
1. Mattie Catty is healing up amazingly well. It’s scary how quickly cats heal. She is not, however, the brightest bulb in the house. There was much vocalization yesterday, so I went in to see if she just needed a cuddle. Oh no. She just needed her entire, poo-smeared kennel & self cleaned up. Best I can tell, she got some on her foot, then tried to lick it off (which obv. wasn’t working because of the cone-of-shame) so then she just tried to rub it off on every available surface.
Fortunately, I had already broken down and bought paper towels, which we don’t usually use. Between the cat & the toddler, the laundry was kicking my ass.
2. Youngest step-daughter got a good job she’s (we’re all) excited about, and is coming for a visit. Both of which are really excellent things!
3. Hen’s been in a good place the last few days, which is a nice change. It’s been a rough few months, but something clicked back into place in his brain, and he’s my sun-shiny child again (for a while!) Kisses and hugs, cuddles to help him sleep, and directing my actions (usually remembering to ask nicely) to keep me as nearby as I can be without actually sitting on him. I’ve been told that I’m his little kitty mommy (he may be a smidge jealous of all the cuddles the cat is getting these days) and that he and Real Bunny are my kitty babies (he’s the sister, RB is the brother). He meows an awful lot these days, and that is, apparently, how RB speaks to him–through meows.
Species, schmiecies. We’re all one big kitty family here.
4. New shoes are amazing. Internet shopping for shoes has truly changed my life. I’ve never liked wearing shoes because I have hobbit feet. Seriously, they’re like a EEEE width. Which–as you might assume–means that I have had very few shoes fit me well in my life and when I find some (hello, old sloppy converse!) I wear them to death. But online, a person can find oddball sizes that no shoe store hoping to turn a profit will carry. And they’ll ship them to me. And I can send them back if they don’t happen to fit. But I don’t need to, because they do, and maybe now my knees won’t hurt so much, so that I can keep remembering how to Run Like The Wind.
Also? They’re this spectacularly ugly shade of pinkish orange. Shockingly ugly. I adore them.
5. Extrafloral nectaries. Beyond cool. My new cherry trees are doing great, but I check on them every day waiting for their nemeses, the Japanese Beetles, to make their first appearance. No beetles yet, but I did notice that the tree–though looking vibrantly healthy–is simply overrun by ants, gnats, etc. Also, there are these little reddish-pink nodes at the base of most leaves that I’ve never seen before. Aphids? What?
Turns out that cherry trees–clever little things that they are–have these nifty glands at the base of new leaves called ‘extrafloral nectaries’. They’re basically full o’ sweet, so that ants will swarm the tree and go all aggressive on any caterpillars, moth larvae, etc. they find getting between themselves and the next little red node o’ nectar.
Isn’t that just about the coolest thing ever? My prone-to-insect-damage cherries are actively recruiting other insects to help them withstand insect predation. Bugs are awesome; and plants are awesome; but healthy functioning ecosystems? Waaaaay awesome.