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Month: March 2011

earth to oliver

earth to oliver

Child, you cannot walk down the stairs. You will get hurt. You will fall down and roll to the bottom of these very hard, un-carpeted stairs, and you might spill blood or you might break bones and I might have to take you to the hospital. Do you understand?

No? You’re going to do it anyway?

Sigh.

I’m sorry I wasn’t there to catch you. I’m sorry I couldn’t even get out the door to get to you first. I’m not sorry that you came out of it with only some minor scrapes and a goose egg. I am also not sorry that it only took one glimpse of a basketball to take your mind off your trauma and focus it on more important things, like why that ball is not in your hands.

Now, no more walking down the stairs by yourself. Not until you are 6 inches taller and can actually reach the railing. Please.

Oh, and you look like a street fighter when you have your hood on.

You little hoodlum.

nesting: him, not me

nesting: him, not me

The other day, Micah came home from work, as he normally does. What was less normal was the behavior he exhibited upon entering the apartment. I was gone, but Abby was here with the boys. As she tells it, Micah came in and started scanning the walls, knocking on them (Simon’s reaction: “Dad there’s nobody in there.”), deliberating over something or other. When she asked what he was doing he replied, “Planning.” He then walked her through the plans as far as he could imagine them, from where he would mount speakers on the wall to how we were going to rearrange our bedroom.

The fact of the matter is this: Micah is nesting. He is expecting his baby in a little over a month. This new addition to our family has been several years in coming, but the time is finally right and now we just have to wait for a few finishing touches before we bring our 27 inch iMac home. While we are waiting, Micah has been prepping the apartment for its arrival. Furniture is being rearranged, storage space is being reconsidered, and we have a big pile of stuff to donate to the Salvation Army. (Don’t we always have a big pile of stuff to donate?) On Saturday we made a trip to IKEA to get some materials to finish some of the projects that have been in the docket since we moved to this apartment nearly 7 months ago.

When I confronted Micah with the stark facts of the case, and my conclusion that he was exhibiting all the symptoms of a nesting mother making room in her home for a new member of the family, he scoffed. “I do this a lot. I’ve been building up to this for a while. I’m just at that point in my normal cycle.” I countered each point, leaving him virtually speechless. His final words: “I could see the humor in the situation a little bit better if it wasn’t me.”

I’m glad it is you, Micah. Because if it were me that was nesting, we’d be in trouble. That, at the very least, I think we can agree on.

4th annual peep show, coming right up!

4th annual peep show, coming right up!

Easter is coming up and all sorts of Peeps are popping up in the stores. I can’t think of much to do with them besides make them the center of attention in a ridiculous diorama, can you? I didn’t think so. I mean, I know they are kind of fun to blow up in the microwave, but we don’t have a microwave so that’s out. And I wouldn’t say no to roasting them over our gas stove flame and getting in on a little ‘smore action, either. Still, I think we should give them their day in the sun and let them live a little before they die very warm, gooey deaths.

So, are you ready to rumble?! No? Okay then, are you ready to peep-le? I think peep-le-ing sounds like more fun, too. Let’s do it, shall we?

Here are the rules:

1. The display must include those abominable sugar-coated marshmallows called Peeps.
2. The deadline is Saturday, April 23rd at midnight EST.
3. Submit a photograph of your entry to us via e-mail (heiselt at gmail (Micah) or heiseltea at gmail (Lizzie).
4. Blog readers will then have one week to vote for their favorites after we post the entries.

See here, here and here for past contests.

If you would like to donate a prize, let me know. If not, we’ll come up with some and let you know what they are a little later. :)

still the right thing

still the right thing

Every now and then I think about the fact that we spent a lot of money to get me a masters degree in something that you don’t really need a masters degree in to practice. I think about how I am not currently able to hold a steady, paying job. I think about how it may be years before I’m able to do such a thing. And even though we are just a few months from paying my education off entirely, and even though I am doing all I feel like I can to develop my writing, I wonder if we did the right thing.

But, truly, I know we did the right thing. Maybe not everybody needs to get an MA in Journalism, but I did. And we did it the best we could, saving for years to keep our debt to a minimum. I’m still excited by journalism. I’m doing my best to keep in the loop even while my loop also includes playgroups and potty breaks.

This weekend I listened to this forum discussion about long form journalism while Micah and Simon were away and Oliver was entertaining himself by tearing the covers off of books. It reaffirmed to me that school was worth it back then, that writing the Mother Runner is worth it right now, and that I can still have a future in more serious writing if I really want to. I think there might be others of you out there who are interested in listening to it. It features Ira Glass from This American Life, David Remnick from the New Yorker, Raney Aronson-Rath from Frontline, and Stephen Engelberg from ProPublica.

goodnight moon

goodnight moon

Did you know that the moon is as close to the earth as it will be all year? And that it is full? And that because I’m a fun mom, I made a point of taking my children out on the porch in their pajamas so they could see it?

It’s all true. Simon was a little surprised that it was possible to wear pajamas in the out of doors. Oliver was pretty focused on holding my keys and his biscuit, so I don’t think he even noticed that he was wearing a sleeper in public.

And in case it never happens again (you know, the moon being so close to the earth, and full, and the boys wearing their pajamas), I took some pictures.

(I’m just kidding. We do fun stuff like this all the time. Every day. Just not in our pajamas.)

a day in the life

a day in the life

Simon says really good prayers most of the time. He is thoughtful and thorough, even if he does bless “a good afternoon” two or three times in one sitting. I’m still not sure how much he understands about who he is talking to or about faith or any of that. But I do know that he is not afraid to say things like, “and bless that we will go to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan tomorrow.” When I heard that the other night, I took a breath and said to myself, “It is usually through someone else that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. I guess I am that ‘someone else.'”

And so we went to the children’s museum in Manhattan yesterday after school. We had a great time. Oliver went down the little slide about 20 times, each time was funnier than the last because each time he knew he needed to be sitting, and yet he still attempted to stand up anyway. If he wasn’t so cute when he knows he’s being a punk, he would have driven me crazy. He only almost fell on his head three times. I’m not even kidding.

Both boys fell asleep on the train ride home. I felt like such a good mom. Especially the part when I shoved a couple of people out of the way as I dragged my semi-conscious 3-year-old off the train and up the stairs.

I love New York City. I really do.

pi(e) day 2011

pi(e) day 2011

It’s pi(e) day. I made two pies. We had friends over. We ate them (the pies, not the friends). We listened to a math joke (just one). It was great. I enjoyed it.

I forgot to take pictures.

This poor, sad, neglected little blog. It gets no loving these days. If it had gotten some real love today, you would be looking at a deliciously goopy mess of a salted caramel-chocolate pie and a light and fluffy lemon cheese pie.

But I guess it’s probably for the best, since I just posted a picture of a cake last week. This isn’t a food blog, after all. Then again, I hardly know what it is anymore.

Someone help me, please.

no school

no school

After months and months of weighing pros and cons, making plans, scratching plans, making different plans, and eventually just telling myself that I would figure it out eventually, I’ve come to a decision: I’m not sending Simon to pre-k. I can’t even tell you how silly and how important this all feels. It is so silly. But it’s really important, too. It’s silly that pre-k is so competitive to get into here. It’s silly that people get so wound up about it. It’s silly that I’ve been worrying about it for so long. And then it isn’t. Because nearly all of Simon’s friends will be in pre-k. And because he will be suddenly going to school for 6 hours a day when he starts kindergarten.

Pre-k applications became available just this week. Before Monday, I had told myself more than once that I wanted a half-day program for him. I wanted it to be within walking distance. I wanted to feel good about the school. And then I would consider it. On Monday, I looked at the offerings: 1 half day program in our district, another that is closer, but still way out of walking range. I went over the list again and again and again and thought, Maybe a full day wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe I should just apply to a few and if he doesn’t like it, if it doesn’t work, I’ll pull him out. It’s not mandatory. But then I realized that I didn’t want to even check out any schools. I had no desire to schedule tours and walk through schools. None. And it was decided. I was too lazy, and that was that. Simon’s not going to pre-k.

Next year we’ll go to all the museums we can. We’ll play Hungry Hungry Hippos until I get so tired of it that I clandestinely throw it on the trash. He will teach Oliver to talk, and maybe to read and write his name and tell time, and maybe even do long division. He’ll play with his friends here and there. I’ll try to enjoy my time with him, and prep him as best I can to go to kindergarten. But really, we’re just going to have a lot of fun. Because really, it’s no big deal. Really.

we do fun things, too

we do fun things, too

Yeah, we’ve become food nazis, but not without good reason. We just want our kid to be well balanced. And that means chores need to be done before he helps make cake. Healthy food needs to be eaten before he eats it.

This was a “red” velvet cake I made for Dr. Seuss’s birthday last week. I thought it would be fun because red cake with white frosting is almost sort of kind of like the Cat in the Hat’s hat. But then I didn’t have nearly enough red food coloring, so it was more of a “brown” velvet cake. Still tasted good, though. And it’s all gone, so you can’t have any. Sorry.

food fights

food fights

Simon must think that he’s been abandoned by his real parents and left, like Coraline, with creepy impostors. I say this because not only is he required to put away his clothes, toys, and books before he is allowed to watch Charlie and Lola, or have a special treat, or play a game, he is also required to eat his dinner. All of it. Preferably with his own hand guiding the spoon/fork. And he cannot leave the table until he is done.

This dinner thing has been more than a little painful for all of us. Last night it took him nearly an hour to eat less than 10 bites of food that he readily admitted was full of things he liked. Tonight, heaven help us, it took over an hour and several fits of tears before I finally broke down and fed his dinner to him. I do not know why he couldn’t do it himself. He just wouldn’t. I caved not because I couldn’t stand to hear him cry, but because I didn’t want him to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to set the table for breakfast because he was so hungry. (Yes, he’s done that before.) And also, he has school tomorrow and I didn’t want him to be both tired and hungry because tired+hungry=crankycrankycranky.

I assume we’ve brought this on ourselves by not being as consistent with chores as we should be. And by not being as strict with our dining policies as we could be. But it is what it is, and we figure now is as good a time to start as any. Perhaps we just feel like we’re ready to fight this battle right now, and perhaps it is just dawning on us that he’s perfectly capable of pulling his weight around here and that includes learning to eat what he’s served. Anybody else dealing with this? How do you get your kid to feed himself? Please tell me there is a magic bullet . . . or maybe that it is like weaning from the pacifier: he cries a lot the first few naps without it, then doesn’t ever mention it again.