"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind." ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Naming Rights

Max & I have been talking a lot about babies lately. It seems everyone we know is expecting & they are all due in either January or June. Makes for some interesting conversations. Anyway, the other day, Max & I went to visit our good friends Jenn & Kris who are expecting twins. Max gets (kind of) the concept that a woman can have a baby in her tummy & that when it gets big enough it will come out since quite a few of his classmates have recently become big brothers or sisters. When we told him that Jenn had 2 babies in there, he was understandably full of questions. "How do they fit? What do they do in there all day? Do they have toys? Do they hafta share? How do they look at books?" Then he asked what their names were and the conversation went something like this:

Jenn: So far, we've picked Rachel for a girl & Matthew for a boy.
Max: No no no no, Auntie Jenn! That's not their names!
Jenn: Do you know their names, Max?
Max: They is Jorn & Jack. Can you say that? JORN... And JACK! (emphatically)

Its been a couple weeks & he is still insisting that the babies will be called Jorn & Jack. We'll have to wait & see it the parents to be take his advice

On a related note, no, I am not drinking the same water as all of my friends but may take a sip or two next July. So patience all you antsy people! (And you know who you are!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Turkey Day!

This year we went to our nephew Cristopher's new house for Thanksgiving. This was his first year to host & he did a great job! Chris recently moved in with 3 roommates, a cat & now 2 puppies. His dog, Pika, is a black Australian Shepard mix & Inuyasha, a cute little mutt that looks very beagle-ish, belongs to one of the other guys in the house. Needless to say, as soon as Max discovered the dogs we had a hard time getting him to pay attention to anything else.

Max & Pika

Inuyasha taking a rest from playing
We sat down to dinner & all was well. The turkeys were perfect, sweet potatos tasty, stuffing yummy & all the other dishes were quickly devoured as well. Max provided the entertainment by asking Chris's friend Daily why he had long hair & so many piercings. When Daily answered that he had them because "a pretty girl liked them" you could see the wheels turning in Max's little head. Uh-oh...
After dinner, we went downstairs to play a little Guitar Hero. Max had a great time playing against his cousin Sarah & kept us in stitches the entire time. He had such a serious expression & would jump around, playing like a rock star. He really wanted to take the guitars home & was only consoled by a promise to get out Daddy's guitar in the morning.

Firetrucks & Halloween

Its been awhile, I know! But now the computer is fixed & I should be able to get back on track. Keeping in mind that Holiday is in full swing for us poor retail saps, I have a final coming up & my habit of taking on more projects than I really should.
In July, the Monarch Fire Department celebrated their 100th (I think) anniversary with a huge party. Ian & Max met our friend Leslie there to help celebrate. Her stepdad, Ron, is a firefighter with the department & showed Max all around the fire station, including inside the firetrucks & ambulance, the previous Halloween. Max was very excited to see his firemen friends again & the possibility of seeing a helicopter up close didn't hurt either! Max got to see all kinds of different demonstrations & came home wanting to be a firefighter (or a horse) when he grows up.

Who wouldn't want to play on this firetruck?

Firefighter Max is on his way!

Take that, naughty fire!

Watching the firemen

This Halloween fell on a Wednesday which just happens to be a class night for me. And not just any class night. It was the night I had to give a presentation worth 25% of my grade so there was no getting out of it! Max's reply when I told him Leslie would be taking him Trick or Treating? "Yeah, I get to play with Bara". As an added treat, she also brought Lucas! So off I went to class!

Max insisted that he wear his costume backwards because it was more comfortable that way. Max, Lucas & Bara the Wonder Dog!

Backwards Buzz

Backwards Buzz showing us his laser

Max listening intently to Lucas explaining how to eat a lollipop.

Max & Lucas sharing the spoils.

Thank you to Leslie who took all these cute pics while hanging out with Max! You rock!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I know its been awhile since my last post but its been a little crazy here. We're gearing up for Holiday at work, my final is swiftly approaching at school & Ian has been traveling way to much. Top that all off with a busted desktop computer & you get a whole lotta nothin' on the blog. It is now on the road to recovery & hopefully by the end of the week I will post more pics of Max than you will know what to do with. Seriously, be prepared for multiple posts!

I recently discovered this comic strip & the past week has been drawn from reader emails. Since I write the schedules in my store, the 11/14/2007 strip is particularly rlevant. Read a few & take a peek into my work (*shudder*) life.


And now I will close my laptop & read my psych chapter like I was going to do 3 hours ago!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

of naps & neighbors

Exhausted boy
Max has been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. Not at night, just during the day. When its time for a nap at school, he does everything possible to keep himself awake. He lies on his cot with one leg in the air until he physically can't hold it up any longer & he lets it drop only to raise the other leg and start all over again. He sings to himself (which, in a 3 yr old's voice, is not always to himself), tosses & turns & makes enough noise that the kids around him have a hard time sleeping too. At first his teachers would give him a book & let him read or he could go to the drawing table or the puzzle table as long as he let his friends rest. The problem is that he really needs that nap. When I would arrive around 4pm to pick him up, he would be exhausted (but still fighting sleep every step of the way). Only when I strapped him into his car seat would his fingers make their way to his mouth & invariably he would be out within 5 minutes. This would have been OK if it was just a little car nap but no, he was so tired he would sleep all the way home, continue to sleep on the couch while I made dinner, wake up to eat, then ASK to go to bed! At 6:30pm! So in order to get him to take a nap, one of his teachers helps Max wrap himself in his blanket (he thinks being a Max burrito is hysterical) and sits next to him & pats his back or if he's having a really hard time, she holds him & rocks. A couple of days ago, Max seemed to be having an extra hard time & started crying. When Heather explained that it was rest time & his actions were telling her he needed help falling asleep, he replied "You're turning me off & I don't like being turned off!" But he took a nap! For 2 hours!

Max loves to play in the dirt & our neighbor, Karolyn likes to garden. Her youngest is 24 so she likes to spend time with Max when she needs a little kid fix. A couple of weeks ago, Karolyn & Max made a friendship garden next to our mailbox. He had so much fun digging the holes for the plants and laying rocks for the border. Its so nice to have friendly neighbors!

Max digging holes for the new plants

Max & Karolyn loading rocks in to his wagon for the border

Almost done

Just a few more finishing touches

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Max loves pirates! He loves to tell you about Blackbeard & Henry Morgan, Ann Bonny & Mary Read. He even thinks privateers like Sir Francis Drake are pretty neat. (Can you tell Mommy's a history nerd?) So when I noticed a poster in the grocery store describing the STL Pirate Festival I knew we'd have to go. And Ian was home, so he got to go too!
Right off the bat, we had to stop & dig for buried treasure! Ian got to do most of the digging since Max was distracted by all the pirates roaming around. Next stop, the belly dancers! I don't have to tell you why he liked them.
After lunch, we headed to the Sword & Roses show which consisted of singing, sword fighting sisters who were followed by a sword swallower/fire eater. Max thought they were great. At one point, we could see the sword moving in time to her heartbeat. He kept asking how they did it & why the sword swallower had so many tattoos & why didn't I have more.

And so our next stop was the face painting booth, to get Max a tattoo, just like a proper pirate. I think that was the longest I've ever seen him sit still.

We roamed all over the fair, meeting a few of his favorite pirates. Some of them even gave him gold doubloons which he promptly pocketed. We evn saw some pirates who had been thown in jail for being wild & crazy! We listened to a harpist who played a Scottish tune for us then a pirate drinking song which Max thought was really nifty. We peeked into shops along the way to see what they had to offer. There were costumes & jewelry, knives & swords, lots of arts & crafts. Max decided on a wooden toy boat since everyone knows all pirates have to have their own boat and a wooden sword. Max tested out quite a few swords before he found one just his size. I think he may have been a pirate in another life since he tested the weight, length & how well it moved before he decided on the perfect one. After he asked the lady pirate how much it cost, he reached in his pocket and pulled out a couple of the gold doubloons & tried to pay with those. When that didn't work, I handed him the money. Then it was time to go.

As we started down the highway, Max chattered about how neat it was to meet all the pirates & how "(big yawn) I'm not tired, Mom. (bigger yawn)" About 5 minutes later, I looked back & saw him sleeping peacfully, sword in hand & pirates sailing through his dreams.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

What do you do in St. Louis when the temp drops to the mid 80s & the humidity is virtually non existent? What if all the schools in the area are in session while your child's has a professional development day? You go to the Zoo! Not only do the kids have a great time looking at all the animals, but the mommies get to chat & have a little exercise at the same time.

Max peeking at the elephant peeking at Max

We started our trip in the River's Edge part of the zoo which is home to the elephants, hippos, cheetahs and hyenas among others. Max always likes to visit the new baby elephant but alas, he was nowhere to be seen. Most of the elephants were playing hide 'n seek but a few of them just couldn't resist a peek at us.

Connor & Kristi looking at the elephant.

The Hippo habitat is really cool. The viewing area is a cross section of the pool so you can see the entire animal as its lounging in the water, not just its snout. But since the hippos decided to take their rest in a corner with their backs to the crowd, people felt the need to jam the available viewing space to watch them do nothing. Max found a nifty spot that had no hippos but lots of fish to watch.

Max in front of the Hippo habitat.

The River's Edge is set up to look more like the animals natural habitat than traditional zoos so around every corner is an exhibit worked into the surrounding foliage like a nest of newly hatched snakes in a hollow log or giant nest in the trees. The kids really like the log because it just big enough for them to run through but Max's favorite is the female cobra with her eggs.

Next it was off to the Big cats where everyone was asleep except for the jaguar. He must have been having an awful bout of insomnia since he was pacing furiously. I couldn't get a decent picture of him & the kids (they're kind of wiggly too) so I settled for getting both kids in the shot.

Max & Connor watching the jaguar pace.

We saw quite a few more animals but there was no way to get more pictures. Kristi was pushing Connor in Max's stroller, I was pushing Chase in her stroller with Max riding on my shoulders. (I told you I got some exercise!) The we passed the mist fan. The zoo has big fans that blow a nice cool mist set up at various points to combat the nasty St. Louis summers. The boys had a great time running back and forth in front of it. By the time they were done, their hair was soaked.How cool is that fan!
Did I mention that the zoo is free? Yup!
Bring a picnic lunch (and park at the Art Museum) & you don't have to spend a dime. Unless, of course, you get sucked into one of the many gift shops scattered around.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Best sprinkler ever!

I found this great sprinkler at Target & I thought the kids might like to run through it at Max's birthday party. I did not foresee the awesome power exerted by the Spiderman pool which caused everything else to go unnoticed. (At least until it was time for cake.) So it sat unused & lonely in a corner of the back yard. Until now.
It has been so hot in St. Louis that we haven't gotten too much outdoor playtime & for Max's energy level (and my sanity), that is not a good thing! 107 degrees is just to hot for him to be running around all wild & crazy. So after it had cooled off to about 100 one evening we decided to take advantage of the brief period before the mosquitoes really get stirred up to go out & play in the sprinkler. It can be used as either a stationary sprinkler by filling the reservoir in the bottom with water or can be rolled around all over the yard thanks to a nifty hose attachment. At first Max just ran around it, getting soaked & stopping for a drink now and then.
Then he discovered that it would roll. And roll it he did! Back & forth across the yard. Then he noticed that he could roll back toward the front porch. Where we were sitting. Sneaky little munchie!
When he finally got tired, Max decided he would just sit down on it, take a little rest & still keep cool. But the sprinkler had other ideas. Max would ease back & try to put his full weight on it just like a beanbag, but the sprinkler would just roll him right off.
After a few bumps he figured out a position that worked. For a little while, anyway. He just kept wanting to put his feet up.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end & with dusk falling fast, the mosquitoes took care of the outside play. Max didn't want to go in, insisting that he didn't have any blood for the mosquitoes to drink & only cooperated when we turned the sprinkler off.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Vacation (of a sort)

Lots has been happening in our little corner of St. Louis & most of it in our back yard! Mom & Dad came up for Max's birthday & stayed for a week. Max had a great time hanging out with Mum-mum & Pop-pop. Every morning Max would charge downstairs with strict instructions not to follow, he would wake up Mum-mum all by himself. He & Pop-pop would walk to the store to get a newspaper & look at all the cars & trucks & play in the gazebo in the park for awhile.
Later he would play outside with Mum-mum.
Followed by nice cold watermelon from their farm.
But it wasn't all fun and games! Ian & Dad were hard at work fixing our deck. I say fixing, it was more like rebuilding. We had replaced boards here & there since we bought the house 2 years ago but the people who built it never sealed it & replacing the whole floor was inevitable. I was pretty nervous walking across it. Then we discovered the posts needed to be replaced as well. And parts of the rail. And I wanted steps on the east side of the deck since Max's swing set is on that end of the house & the only steps were on the west side. So after Max's party, we got to work. Yes, I did say we. While Ian & Dad were pulling up boards & I got the fun task of helping move them to the ever growing pile of rotten planks. ( And boy, were they rotten!) Then I followed behind them, yanking nails & screws out of the joists. Luckily none of those needed to be replaced! Dad & Ian worked their tails off & got it most of it done by the time Mom & Dad had to leave on Sunday. Ian finished up a few remaining items & next week it will get a nice coat of water seal! Too bad its too hot to enjoy it! 105 degrees! Yikes!
Posts replaced, rail removed for steps & floor demolition in progress!
Look at that nice new floor! No body's gonna fall through that!
Look at those steps! Three cheers for Dad & Ian!
Now that the deck is finished I can finally start planning for spring planting! I know its early but I have some interesting plans for flowers & veggies!
And now you know why I posted everything at once!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Max is 3!

Mommy said that since I'm a big boy I could tell everyone about my party. My friends Connor & Kassie came & played in my new pool! It was so much fun going underwater & then jumping up to splash my friends.

Diver Max


The frosting tasted so good, I didn't want any cake! Mommy had other ideas!

We had cupcakes with spiderwebs & lots of snacks for all my friends! My Mimi & Grandpa were there with all my St. Louis aunts & uncles. Mum-mum & Pop-pop & Uncle Mark came all the way from Arkansas. I was so glad everyone got to come play!

I almost forgot! Here's a picture of my friend Finn showing us his angry face! He's guarding his cupcake because he thought the frosting was the best part too! Go away, Cupcake Snatchers!