Friday, April 30, 2010

So it begins...

There is a story in Spiff's family that is told again and again. When Spiff was a young child, he found the slots on the dishwasher (the vent) to be the perfect size for coins. He proceded to fill the front of the dishwasher with various pennies, nickels and quarters which then lived inside the dishwasher door for the rest of its existence. They never retrieved the cash.

This morning, while I was doing laundry, and going up and down the stairs to our treacherous unfinished basement, I noticed Gunner playing with the doorknob to the basement door. Months ago, before he knew how to descend stairs safely, I turned around from doing laundry downstairs, and I found him sitting as quiet as a mouse at the top of the stairs. We immediately put a doorknob cover on the door.

As he was playing with the doorknob this morning, I thought for sure that he was figuring how to open it with the cover on it. I imagined him tumbling down the stairs onto the concrete basement floor, and dread filled my heart until I took a closer look and found this:

It must be a boy thing. And cute or not, I fear for my dishwasher.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Hobbies

I've decided to take up speedskating. Why? Because there's spandex involved. Well, not really, but it does seem like all my other sports do involve an inordinate amount of lycra. Swimming-speedo, Cycling-shorts and jersey, rowing-unisuit (think modest wrestling suit), and now speedskating which involves essentially more cycling gear. Why speedskating you ask? Hmm, again, true to form it's a relatively obscure endurance sport rewarding technique and stamina and filled with lactic acide and pain. It's fast and graceful. My real wish is to do long-track speedskating like the olympics, but there are only a handful of 400m ovals in north america, and none of them are here in town. Short track can take place on any regulation hockey rink, so that is a possibility. There is a speedskating club here in town, but I'm not sure I can justify the club dues and the equipment on our student budget. So, that leaves us with off-ice speedskating, which is inline skating.

In the good ol' days of 8th and 9th grade, I used to skate frequently on my trusty Bravoblades by Rollerblade. Since I no longer sport a men's size 7 shoe, those skates are long gone. I have instead decided to work my way into speedskating from the ground up, using cheap-o recreational skates until my legs are ready for more advanced skates. Craigslist was good to me on thursday, and I got a pair of skates, pads, and a bag all for $60.

I tried them out in the park that evening and fell back in love with skating. It's like running only faster. I went to the larger park here in town and managed to skate the 5 mile circumference in about half an hour. At least now I have a baseline to compare myself with.

Since there don't seem to be any local inline clubs, I have been using Youtube for technique and tips, although I might have to spring for a book and maybe try to find some real people to work with as well. My current goal, pending a match at my #1 in Minnesota, is to to do the North Shore Inline Marathon near Duluth. We'll see...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Gunner has been doing some very cute new things that I don't want to forget about. Here's a small update of our almost-18-month-old.

He jumps. He can get both feet off the ground! He stops just about anywhere at any time of the day and jump, jump, jumps. He knows he's cool. And I'm pretty proud of my little athlete.

He started singing! I will say to him, "Can you sing, La La La?", and he will respond, with a curled up tongue, "daa, daa, daa", or stick his tongue way out and say "laaaa, laaa, laaaaaaaaa." And of course, he has to applaud for himself.

He nods his head when he wants something. For example, if he sees you with a cookie, he will come up to you with his head nodding, like he's saying, "Yes, you will give me some of that, please, now, thank you."

He likes to knock on doors. He likes it so much that he will start "knocking" as soon as we pull up to someone's house, while he's still in his car seat. And of course, he keeps on knocking all the way to the door.

He plays the piano with us. He sits next to us on the piano bench and adds his contemporary flavor to any piece we play. When he gets tired of me playing, he grabs my arm and hooks his around it...and holds me captive. It's so cute, but it sure makes it hard for me to get any real practicing done while he's around.

He loves balloons. We brought two helium balloons home from a party a couple weeks ago, and he loved them so much that he would not let go of the string they were attached to. We had to pry his hands open to get him dressed, which sent him into hysterics until his arm was through the sleeve and we could give the balloon right back. He even went to bed with them one night (don't worry, we took them away just after he went to sleep).

He also loves little cars. He clutches them almost as tightly as he clutched the balloons, and won't let go until he's asleep. He is also starting to play imaginatively with them. So fun!

He grabs my hand and takes me places. If he wants to go somewhere, he'll grab my hand and pull me along. He even does it when I'm holding him, although it doesn't work very well.

Some of his words:
Dad "Da"
Mom "mommy"
I Want That "mommymommymommymommy"
Car "car" (he said "car" about five times one day, but hasn't said it since.)
Usually car, truck, train, plain, helicopter, or any vehicle is "brmmm brrmmm"
Airplane and helicopter are "brmm brmm" with a flying hand motion.
Duck "duck duck duck duck" (always with a head bob)
Bird "bir"
Dog "doggie" or "dah"
Cat, a high pitched squeal
Fish "whish"
Ball "ba"
What is that? "Thisisthat"
No "nah no" (or when he's tired, it's a whiny, "Noooooooooooooo!" to everything.)
More, not a word, but a hand motion (think "milk" in baby sign)

I'm loving being his mommy. He's so cute and fun, and I love his happy personality and enthusiasm for live. He makes me happy every day.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Deepest Desires of My Heart

I am not a garage sale-er. I have been to a few yard sales, but I generally don't go out looking for them. I have friends who find amazing things at amazing deals at garage sales, and I sort of wish that I would do it. Apparently, my subconscious thinks so, too.

I have had my eyes on a few items for Gunner. I have looked in stores and online a bit, but haven't purchased anything since they seem like such a luxury. And what are these items? A tricycle and outdoor play equipment (namely a water table) for Gunner. I didn't realize how much I desire, want and covet these things until I had multiple dreams where I find happen upon a garage sale and find perfect deals on these toys. And then I wake up and realize that it wasn't real.

And Gunner is still without a bike. A bike which I thought I bought for him, but that he can't yet figure out how to ride.

I can't tell you how disappointed I have been when I wake up from these dreams. Or how strange I have felt to have dreamt them at all.

I guess I want these things so badly because my boy would love them so much. He loves loves loves other children's bicycles. He's not big enough to actually ride them, but he sure does love to climb on them, sit on them, scoot around on them, and it's an extra special treat if someone will actually push him around on them.

The water table is just an extra. We don't own our back yard, so I don't feel like I can put a kiddie pool out there. A water table sounds like a super fun and easily-storable Summer Fun option for us. I know he would love it.

It's funny that my apparently-very-deepest desires revolve around the potential commercial happiness of my son. I wonder why I'm not dreaming about a month-long vacation with Spiff, Hawaii...without Gunner. Imagine the sleep we'd get! That sounds like a better dream to be having. But I sure wouldn't see Gunner's amazing little smile and hear his contagious laugh if I left him with Grandma and went off to Hawaii without him.

I guess that's why I dream about garage sales.