Come, Mommy

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bits and Pieces of Post-Christmas Randomness

Santa was very kind to a certain young camel this year. He came down the chimney, left this crane (plus accessories), this parking garage, and then replaced the wire thingy before any birds could enter the house. Charley has remarked several times, "I love Santa!"

Santa also left some toys for Casey and a tin of raisins for the ferrets, so everyone is very happy this year.

It has been so warm this year that pansies and forsythia are in bloom here, I kid you not. I'd really love some snow, but there's no sign of that happening for at least the next two weeks. On the other hand, not having to struggle with hats, boots, and mittens is an unexpected plus.

I've come down with a cold. Kevin is off this week, so I'm getting lots of rest, but I also feel guilty since he's doing more than his fair share of kid duty.

I strongly suspect this cold has actually become a sinus infection, but since I'm not quite sure, I'm reluctant to start antibiotics. However, if they become needed, I wish my body would declare that sometime before my doctor's office closes for the holiday weekend, as trips to the urgent care center are really not my idea of a good time, ya know?

See that ticker? Time's starting to speed by. I think when we put the Christmas stuff away this weekend, we'll bring down all of Liam's old baby stuff and start sorting through it. I know we need some baby hats and receiving blankets, but I'm not sure what else we need in terms of clothing and diapers. And we need to get a dresser for the baby at some point. Also, I need to call and order the medical supplies for the homebirth - everything is still on track for that!

Basically, I need to start getting organized around here.

From the news: this makes me nervous. On all sorts of levels beyond some basic vegetarian "Ewww!" reaction.

Even if it turns out that animal products from cloned critters are safe to eat, I think having a large portion of the food chain sharing the same genes is inherently a bad idea. I'd say it's time for all of us to become vegan, except a lot of our essential plant crops are already genetically identical and thus highly vulnerable to disease (Irish Potato Famine, anyone?)

Yeah, I know, there's no easy answer on this topic.

Also from the news (because we're all about camels around here): an intoxicated camel! Woulda thunk it???

That it is for up-to-the-moment Menagerie House news. More to follow soon. Or in a day or two. Or when something of note happens around here.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bits and Pieces of Pre-Christmas Randomness

It seems our neighborhood has been invaded by those inflatable lawn decorations. I'm not super-fond of them myself, but I thought for sure they would appeal to the preschool set. Liam and I took a short walk this week, and it turns out he is a decided critic of this school of Christmas decor.

We passed a snow globe with a snowman inside, which caused Liam to ask, "Why is that snowman stuck inside that container?"

Then we passed a huge snowman whose bottom "snowball" was a clear globe with a Rudolph inside. "Mommy, why is Rudolph in that snowman's tummy? Did the snowman eat Rudolph? I think we should rescue Rudolph so he can go help Santa fly."

We saw Santa riding on a fire truck last night. Liam was more impressed with the light display the firefighters had rigged up on the truck than by the presence of Santa himself. I guess he's assuming that the firefighters are giving Santa a ride since we have no snow for Santa's sleigh this year.

(I'm including this anecdote for Rebecca and Chichimama, who both appreciate the traffic nightmare that is north Jersey.)

Due to a confluence of various factors, Liam and I found ourselves at the Short Hills Mall four days before Christmas. (I have never before in my life pulled out of my parking space to find a Jaguar, a Porsche, and another Jaguar waiting to take occupancy. Kevin says I should have auctioned the space off to the highest bidder.)

Traffic was snarled all around the mall and I couldn't find my way back south. I ended up who-knows-where fighting traffic all the way. I know for sure I went through West Orange at one point, but that's really all I know for sure. I finally decided just to turn east and keep driving no matter what, as eventually I had to find either the Hudson River or the New Jersey Turnpike. Either one would have been a useful landmark. Ultimately I found both the Turnpike and the Newark Airport, so I knew how to get home after that.

It occurred to me that my son may not be experiencing the rural upbringing of my Midwestern youth, but even so, central Jersey is pretty empty by north Jersey standards. Liam heard me mumbling about wishing I knew which road we were on, and ever the helpful soul, kept piping up "Look at the big traffic jam, Mommy. This is Route 1!"

No matter where we turned,we were on Route 1. If only it had truly been that simple. But it's good to know that now that we are back in central Jersey, I only have to fight traffic on Route 1.


Look, Ma, ferret cookies!

(Don't worry, we also made some of the requisite bell and star shapes as well.)


And finally, Merry Christmas from "Charley the Jingle Camel Who Loves Cookies." And from his parents also!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I've Been Tagged

I loved the game of "tag" as a kid, so when Kevin over at Blogschmog tagged me for this game, I had to play along.

Also? The rules are simple, which is good after all the complicated questions that have been flying around this place all weekend.

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book and author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
5. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
6. Tag three more people.

Ahem. Simple turns out to be ever so complicated in this case, as the only books within reach belong to Charley the Camel, and thus do not run longer than 25 pages or so. Furthermore, I doubt they have five sentences on a page. What to do?

Watch as I carefully bend the rules to fit the book. Here goes...

We have in hand the classic seasonal tale Santa Mouse by Michael Brown. The first three sentences after the fifth sentence of the book are as follows:

"Now, through the year, this little mouse
Had saved one special thing:
A piece of cheese!
The kind that makes an angel want to sing.
On Christmas Eve, he brushed his teeth,
And as he washed his paws,
He thought, "My goodness! No one ever gives
A gift to Santa Claus!"

This was one of my favorite stories as a kid, and it really is fun to read it to Liam, who has become a big fan of the lonely mouse who gives his one true treasure to Santa Claus. Also, the pictures are as sweet as I remember from childhood.

So there you have it - a recommendation for some kid lit next time you venture out to the library. As it's getting late and I need to get some sleep, I'm not going to tag anyone specifically. If you're interested in the game and would like to play, go for it - just let me know you're participating so I can follow along.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This Christmas Stuff is Complicated

Liam and I were in our driveway this week when something caught his eye. It turns out he was looking at the wire thingy that keeps birds from nesting in the chimney.

Liam: "What's that thing on top of the chimney?"

Me: "It's a wire thingamajigger that keeps the birds from building their nests in our chimney."

(Notice we are all about accurate terminology in our house. Ahem.)

Liam: "Oh. Mommy, I'm worried because that wire thingy is a problem for Santa. How will he get down the chimney?"

Me: "Well, honey, Santa's a smart guy and he's been doing his job for a long time. He carries every tool he could possibly need when he flies his sleigh. He can take the thingamajigger down if he needs to."

Liam (looking relieved): "Oh!"

We started walking into the house.

Liam (pointing up): "Mommy, I'm worried again. Are those the birds we're keeping out of the chimney??"

I realized he was pointing to a flock of extra-large, swooping turkey vultures. They roost in our neighbors' evergreens.

Liam: "Mommy, can you check and make sure Santa puts the wire thingy back on? I don't want those birds in our house. They might be bitey. Or nippy, you see. I'm worried about the vultures."

Me: "Sure thing, kiddo."

Liam (clearly not reassured): "Actually, maybe you should just tell Santa to use the front door."

Later that day, Liam was looking out the front door.

Liam: "Mommy, where's the snow? For Santa's sleigh, you remember?"

Me: "Honey, we don't always have snow here for Christmas. But Santa always manages to come anyway. You don't have to worry about that."

Liam: "Mommy, did you talk to Santa about the wire thingy yet?"

Me: "Um, no, not yet, but I will."

Liam: "Can you tell him to bring a truck? It might not snow, you see. And his sleigh might not work."

Me (all seriousness, of course): "Absolutely, honey. I will make sure Santa plans for all contingencies."

Liam: "Mommy?"

Me: "Yes?"

Liam: "Can you tell Santa that reindeer don't have wings? So it's not so easy for them to fly? So he really needs that truck?"

Me: "Absolutely, son."

We've been having conversations like this all week long.

Shipping presents to various friends and family members across the country? No problem.

Sending several dozen Christmas cards? No problem.

Arranging a class gift for Liam's teacher? No problem.

Answering all my 3-year-old's questions? Has left me with both a spinning head and a ribcage that aches from laughing.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Liam, on the phone with Gran-Gran:

Liam: "I bumped my head!"

Gran-Gran: "What did you bump your head on?"

Liam: "The sidewalk!"

The poor guy took a spill on the sidewalk this morning. He's fine in that he doesn't have a concussion, but he's got quite a headache. I'm figuring the week can only go uphill from here after such an inauspicious start.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Most Desperate Inspired Parenting Moment to Date

5:30 AM, 12/09/2006

Liam: "Mommy, wake up. I need some soy milk."

Me: "It's too early for soy milk. How 'bout we go back to sleep for a bit?"

Liam: "OK."

6:00 AM, 12/09/2006

Liam: "Mommy, wake up. I need some soy milk."

Me: "It's too early for soy milk. How 'bout we go back to sleep for a bit?"

Liam: "OK."

6:30 AM, 12/09/2006

Liam: "Mommy, wake up. I need some soy milk."

Me: "It's too early for soy milk. How 'bout we go back to sleep for a bit?"

Liam: "OK."

6:45 AM, 12/09/2006

Liam: "Mommy, wake up. I need some soy milk."

Me (inspiration strikes): "It's too early for Mommy to get up. How 'bout you wake up your Daddy and ask him for some soy milk?"

Liam: "Oh! I could wake him up and we could have soy milk and play trains together! Bye, Mommy! Take your time getting up - I'll just go wake up my Daddy, you see."

I got to sleep until 8:30 this morning. I am truly a genius.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Miscellaneous Funny Stuff

I was in the kitchen, and I heard Liam banging on his bongo drums and singing to himself...

"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw it.....oh, um.
And if you never saw it.....well,
You'd ask Santa to guide your, no, no!

Oh my heavens, what next???

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose.
And if Santa never saw it,
He could even say.....

Oh, dang it!

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very slimy nose....

No, no, no!!!!!

Mommy! I need help! Rudolph is much too complicated!!!"


Speaking of slimy noses, Liam's got a beauty of one with his cold. For some reason that I can no longer recall, we refer to a runny nose as a "schnorpy nose." He wanted me to read him a bedtime book tonight, and I realized his nose needed wiping. I asked him to hand me a tissue. Instead, he leaned over and wiped his nose on my pajama leg.

"Don't worry, Mommy. I already deschnorped my nose. On your pajamas."

Thanks a bunch, son.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Birthday Party 3 - the Pictures!

As Charley the Camel would say, "Yike-a roni's!!!" I really didn't mean to go a week between posts, it's just that last week we were fighting off colds, and getting ready for a birthday party for a certain camel. Good thing I didn't sign up for NoBloPoMo or whatever that activity was called, eh?

But then, it's not November anymore, so I'd be off the hook on that account anyway.

As for the cold, it's not amounting to much more than some minor crankiness and a whole lot of ooze. As for the party, we planned to keep it simple, with just three other kids and their parents, plus Gran-Gran and Gi-Gi (Charley's great-grandmother, the lovely lady you see holding him as newborn in the previous post.) Still, though, we ended up running lots of errands and putting together toys late at night. I can't figure out how parents who have these parties with 20 or more kids, clowns, moon walks, etc., manage to pull that off. They are quite obviously made of sterner stuff than I.

Liam had three days to spend with his Gran-Gran and Gi-Gi, a fun party, and then yesterday we took him into New York to see the tree and skaters at Rockefeller Center. And Kevin and I managed to go out to dinner and a movie on Friday night. So we are all very happy and very, very tired.

Some party pictures:

Liam got this sweet little guitar from his Aunt Janet, Uncle Sean, and cousins Ethan and Alexa. He prefers to use it like a dulcimer, and he loves it!

And here he is with one of my favorite childhood toys, Lincoln Logs. Thank you, Kaz, Marcus, and Kotoko!

(Also, note the completely exhausted Great Doggler in the background.)

The Birthday Boy blowing out his candles.

The cake! It was a chocolate chip cake with custard filling from an amazing local bakery, and Bonus! We've got leftovers!

Wanna guess what the theme of Birthday Number 3 was???

Our friends Lisa, Eric, Isaac, and Violet gave Liam a gorgeous wooden firetruck and accessories, and Gran-Gran gave him a fire station to go with the trucks. We have very happy little boy here. I predict he will be calling himself Fire Chief Charley the Camel by later today.

So that's the week's rundown - lots of fun, and lots of activity. I'm hoping we can have a quiet few days ahead...and I've probably jinxed myself by committing those words to the Internet.