Monday, August 31, 2009

"S" is for...

"S" is for Starfall. As in

A friend just told me about it, and it's so cool! The website has lots of alphabet and learning games, engaging but simple graphics and pleasant sound effects. No obnoxious, on-my-last-nerve songs or voices...hooray!

"S" is for Sick.

So this is just the thing to help pass the time since Eli's been under the weather for two days now. Nothing serious- a fever, headache, and cough. To tell you the truth, it's not so bad because he's funny, sweet and really cooperative when he's sick. We don't know why- maybe he actually thinks he needs us a little.

Yesterday morning:

"Mama, something's wrong. Something's the matter with my head right here," he whined, pointing above his nose.

"Yeah, honey, you have a headache. I'm sorry that it hurts. We have medicine to help that feel better."

"What is it called again?"

"A head ache. It's when your body is sick and it makes your head hurt. But it will get better soon."


"Hey Daddy, guess what? I had a heddick and Mama gave me some medicine that tasted like Kool-Aid and now it's better!"

Then, last night, his way of saying the Tylenol had worn off:

In a sing-song voice, "I kno-ow...maaaybeee...I could put on my bike helmet, and it will help those pieces in my head stay together that are falling apart."

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night, Eli was quietly busy in the kitchen for several minutes while I visited with a friend in the family room. I let it go, without even checking on him.

"Hey Mama, come look what I did!" he proudly called from the kitchen.

I walked in, gazing around the room for evidence of his quiet creativity.

"Look, I put stickers here on the cabinet, and the drawer, and on the oven, and two on the refrigerator, and some on the freezer. I put the stars EVERYWHERE so I could make it pretty for you. That's pretty cool, huh?" He was smiling, and proud.

He'd used the left over foil stickers from his birthday party. Metallic red, shimmery silver, yellow gold were eagerly placed where ever his four-year-old arms could reach. Smiling, I told him it yes, it IS beautiful.

I meant it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday!

If three was The Year of the Bobcat, then four was The Year of Buzz Lightyear.

Eli is Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger, for several hours every day. He recites endless lines of movie dialogue, drains Joel's i-phone while watching Toy Story clips on YouTube (so he'll eagerly tell you about "Spanish Buzz Lightyear"), has worn head-to-toe polyester Buzz gear in 100+ degree heat, and often asks God to give him Buzz Lightyear dreams.

So when it came time to plan his 4th birthday party, there was no doubt about the theme:

"Calling all Space Rangers. Intergallactic emergency in sector 63119. Emporer Zurg has been sighted near Eli's house. Join the Universe Protection Unit to keep his sector safe. Space Rangers/Rangerettes will gather for training, fuel, and glucose boosters. Join us- the universe depends on it!"

He said, "For my birthday, I want a Buzz Lightyear cake. And real Buzz Lightyear wings, not pretend, so I can really fly."

With the help of some mmf (thanks for the tip, sis!) and some long unused play-dough molding skills, I was able to deliver on the Buzz cake.

The wings, well...not so much.

But that's okay, because when we talked about who would be at his party, he wanted to invite "my friend J.R.". J.R. is a St. Louis based national recording artist who sings one of Eli's favorite songs. The good news is that he and his wife Coco go to our church, so not only were we able to invite them, they came. (Days before, Eli happily prepared one of the goodie bags for him, selecting the Woody crayons, "because I bet J.R. likes Woody.")

And yes, we most definitely set him up for disappointment later in life when he learns that singers won't always come to your birthday party.

We are so grateful for the chance to celebrate with friends. The kids painted their wings and practiced their "falling with style".

This was the year Eli really "got" the whole present thing.

It was so cute to see all the kids excited to give gifts. You could really tell they picked them out with Eli in mind.

He asked me several times, "Do I really get to keep these and not give them back?"

We could not get over the beautiful breezy "San Diego" weather we enjoyed in the middle of summer. After the party, Team Lindsey relaxed in the backyard and the boyz played with some of the new toys. We feel blessed to have shared the day with so many wonderful friends, and are so grateful for our bright, funny, friendly four year old boy!

Happy 4th Birthday Eli! You are loved!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Movies

I don't get to the movies often. Partly, it's because I don't like spending the money on it when it's so much cheaper to wait two months and rent it. (Which is why it's a mystery that it takes me a 1/2 hour to choose a movie at Blockbuster- isn't it filled with new releases I haven't seen?) Mostly, it's that if I have three free hours with my husband, or some girlfriends, it just seems like staring at a screen together in silence is not the best way for us to spend it.

But there are exceptions. Here are mine:

1) You gotta see it on the BIG screen. Those scenic, beautiful movies that take your breath away- those are for the theater. I can't imagine being so awestruck by "Slumdog Millionaire" on our flatscreen at home.
2) They are the dinner conversation. The characters are unique, the story is fresh, and there are decisions to ponder. One of Joel and my favorite dates was going to see "Once", then discussing it over dinner. (Ok, so borrowing our friend's little convertible on that gorgeous night didn't hurt it either.)
3) The anticipation is killing me, and I don't want to wait another few months until it comes out on dvd. If it's as good as I'm hoping, I want to see it now. If it's not, I'd rather know and not build it up even more.

So, I've been waiting for months to see Julie & Julia. I was looking forward to seeing it with two close friends, who both happen to be amazing cooks with a gift for hospitality. One is moving out of the state soon, so we've been on this sad sort of countdown and this seemed like the perfect "up" thing to do together. I hoped it would be a feel good, laugh together, be inspired, soul-search-in-a-not-too-serious way kind of movie.

It was.

And so was the wine and left-over chicken salad and zuchinni bread we shared at her house after, gathered around the kitchen island, laughing amidst the boxes of her half-packed house. I'm glad to have this movie as a sort of bookmark- a time with these two precious friends with a gift for weaving together food and laughter and friendship.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Boy

Eli will be four in two weeks. Lately, it's like his brain and body are having a little contest each day to see who can get there faster. Daily, Joel and I are updating and asking, "Have you seen him do that before? Guess what he asked me today? Did you know he could do that?"

He is a boy.

He climbs trees. In our backyard. He's a monkey you know, like Curious George. Which means sometimes, he will go an entire 30 minute without saying an actual word, while I decipher from his pointing, waving arms, smiling face, gestures, and "ooh-ooh-ah-ha"s as he communicates that he would like a drink, a banana, and a graham cracker. And then back to climbing. I may be taking him to the ER someday soon for a broken limb, but I'm okay with it. I think.

He is scared of things. He especially does not like going upstairs to go to the bathroom if no one else is up there. Today, he paused on the first stair, turned, and asked, "Are any sharks up there?" "Nope, they only live in the ocean." "Gorillas?" "Nope, gorillas are not allowed in the house." "Burglers?" "Nope, our house is safe." "Our house is safe?" "Yes, our house is safe."

He colors. Finally. For years, every marker or coloring crayon was nothing more than a drumstick. His preschool drawings were just scribbles, and he wasn't interested in writing letters other than his name. And then, one morning, after watching Blues Clues, something clicked, and he drew The Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George and Huntleigh and they all had heads, eyes, noses, mouthes and arms. The man had legs. It was amazing.

His pull-up is dry more mornings than not.

He prays. On his bed last night, it went like this: "God, could I have a dream with two things in it? Little Einsteins and Curious George. And I want to be in it, not watching it, and ride in the rocket. And Curious George could ride in the rocket too. Amen." (He reported with some disappointment this morning that he did have a dream last night and got to ride in the rocket, but Curious George was not in it too.)

He jumps. Alot. When it's from the third step onto the sidewalk, it makes my heart do a little jump too. So far, he's been sticking the landing, but we just stocked up on Diego Band-Aids for those scrapes that come with being a boy.

He counts. Everything. And he prefers five. Like five more minutes please. And five chocolate chips please. And soon I will be four years old, and then I will be five.

But not yet mister. Right now, your just turning four, and that's big enough.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Our porch steps are half painted. Our dining room is beige, with test patches of silver sage and celery green on four walls. The kitchen mostly green. I'm getting kind of used to the boxes marked "office-fragile" sitting at my feet under desk. The weeds are half pulled in the flower bed in the front yard. None of this should surprise me.

As I took in my half done projects throughout the house today, I thought of Mr. Wrobel. My high school art teach. He was quirky, as any art teacher should be, but normal enough to be univerally loved. And he taught some life lessons in a setting where most kids didn't have their guard up.

Some days, he just sat at his desk, reading, sipping coffee, and helping each student that came up with questions. Other days, he made his way around the room, glasses perched on the end of nose, pausing a few minutes with each person to talk over their work together.

We were in the sketching stage of a week long project. It was a walk around day. It wasn't the kind of thing we dreaded, because he was always kind and always matter of fact, so it didn't feel too personal. But there was still a part of me that hoped for a thumbs up. He stood over my shoulder, looking for several seconds.

"Hmmm. I like it. But what are you doin' there?"pointing to the beginnings of a cowboy's leather glove.

"Drawing the glove," I said. I didn't know what else to say.

"Yeah, but what's this stuff you got in there? It looks like frosting."

"What?" I asked, confused.


"What do you mean?"

"You're frosting the cake before you bake it. You gotta finish sketching out the outline before you go in there shading and filling it in."

"But adding the details is more fun, " I explained, "It helps me know what it's gonna look like."

"You don't even know yet if that's where the hand should be and you're adding in all the details. That'll make it harder to move if you need to. Don't put the frosting on till you bake the cake."


"Keep up the good work."


Twenty years later, and I'm still fighting the urge to frost first.