No Harm Done

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hoppity Hoppity Hop.

I spent a quiet afternoon recently watching Brogan play by himself in the backyard. I've come to realize that he is an introvert. He likes to be around others, but not necessarily involved with them. Last week, at a friend's house, a wild pack of 6 children raced, screamed, and played in their backyard. Brogan sat quietly off to the side of the mayhem and dug in the dirt. He was happy and content, imagining something exciting happening there in the dust with him. After awhile, one of the older kids came to dig too. She's 12, and something of an introvert herself. She walked over and sat beside Brogan, grabbed a nearby stick, and began digging. They never really spoke or even looked at each other, but just enjoyed working together in silence.

This Christmas Brogan was very sick. My sister had returned home from her study abroad experience in Hungary, and Brogan had really looked forward to seeing her. (Mallory's always been his favorite. Shhhhh! It's a secret!) When she was home, though, Brogan got sick and it was all he could do to simply stay awake. On her first day back, she sat on her bed playing with her new laptop computer, and Brogan lay next to her on the bed being feverish. I don't know if they talked much, or even if he was awake the whole time. But later he said he had fun with her. He was happy just being in her company. She gives off good vibes.

So often I assume that Brogan is just like the other two boys. Colson and Braden love the company and conversation of others, and I have often thought that Brogan was the same. But as he gets older I realize that he's just wired differently. It's not him who needs to change. It M. and I that need to shift our expectations a bit.

In our backyard, Brogan plays on the fringes: in the sand and silt deposit along the edge of the property, in the tall grass/weeds that border our yard on either side. He'll skip along the perimeter of our yard, stopping every now and then to check out a rock, or an odd bug.

Watching Brogan in the backyard makes me think of the poem by Milne:


Christopher Robin goes
Hoppity, hoppity,
Hoppity, hoppity, hop.
Whenever I tell him
Politely to stop it, he
Says he can't possibly stop.

If he stopped hopping,
He couldn't go anywhere,
Poor little Christopher
Couldn't go anywhere...
That's why he always goes
Hoppity, hoppity,

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Brogan sometimes reminds me of a quote from the book Curious George:

"George promised to be good.
But it is easy for little monkeys to forget."
 Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

Done!! It's Done! Now What Do I Do?

It took me over 2 weeks, and the rest of the house is in a state of chaos, but the boys' room and the bathroom are finally done, cleaned up, and put back together. Here are pictures of what they look like now.

With Braden's allergies, we have to keep all dust-catchers out of the room. (pictures, posters, etc.) With bare walls the room looked so unfriendly and cold. The stripes help liven it up. I had duvet covers made (The stripes match them...see?) for the big boys' beds. Now they don't have to mess with layers of blankets, top sheets, etc. Just one cover to straighten every morning. Once I get special dust-mite free blankets then this arrangement will cut down on the massive amounts of laundry we have to do.

For the boys' bath I went with a theme: rubber duckies. I kept the door closed all week and the bathroom was off-limits. Today we unveiled the new room. Colson kept saying, "My room? MY room?!!" and Brogan pronounced it , "Cool."

I'm just proud that it all came together. I was so worried as I painted. The white and yellow paints are nearly blinding. I was worried that anyone who walked into that room would have to shield their eyes.

My kitchen still looks as if it's been attacked by a leprechaun. There are patches of 3 different shades of green all over.

Why Has No One Ever Told Me Of This?

The boys and I watched the first episode of "The Waltons" on DVD today.

I've never seen an episode before, and took a chance on renting it. We all enjoyed it. Sweet, well-done, showcasing a large family that loves and respects each other. Things that are not often found on today's television listings.

I only wish we'd discovered this gem of a show before now.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day to You!

What a great Father's day today!

Colson's gift was to start the day with donuts. Colson had a hard time understanding that it wasn't his birthday. Once he *got it*, he said he wanted to get M. donuts. So bright and early we hit the local Dimple Donut shop for donuts and milk. We had a great time. I don't think we'd ever gone out for donuts before. The shop had a long counter like you see in diners in the movies. The boys hopped on the stools and started spinning as they waited. They were all in matching shirts, and they drew lots of smiles from the seasoned citizens down at the other end of the counter. The guys working the counter gave the boys free donut holes and asked them lots of questions.

After church we headed home for family nap/ baseball time. Colson and I napped and M. and the big boys played baseball outside. After putting together monster utility shelves in the basement, he grilled steaks for dinner, and the boys gave M. his Father's day gifts: a "Spaceballs" DVD (from Braden) and a music CD (from Brogan).

As M. grilled, we looked at Colson's hair. It's curly and frizzes in the back where he sleeps on it. The hair he's got is sure getting longer, but isn't really thickening up. He's starting to look like Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein." (We watched this last night, by the way.)

Sometimes his hair looks like this:

And other times he's more like this:

It'll be interesting to see what happens as he grows. Hopefully he won't be destined to a lifetime of bad hair.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

He's Got a Condo Made of Stone-uh.

Someone at the Well Trained Mind board found a clip of Steve Martin's "King Tut" performance on Saturday Night Live. I'd never actually seen it, as I wasn't old enough to stay up late and watch SNL, but I remember listening to it in music class in 3rd or 4th grade.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Crazy Frog. Look at his eyes. You can tell he's unbalanced. Posted by Hello

Crazy Frog

The number one song in the UK is based on a ringtone. Someone in Sweden made an audioclip imitating his friends' souped-up mopeds. From there it was used as audio on a few websites, and then was made into a ringtone. Now it's set to music, has a video, and is apparently hugely popular in Britain.

I heard it last week and was astonished that this would be played on the radio on a show that was not hosted by Dr. Demento. If you thought "Numa Numa" would get stuck in your head, consider yourself warned. This will circle in your brain for days. Braden likes it. He says it's "catchy." :)

When I heard there was a video, I knew I had to Google and find it.

So here is the link to Crazy Frog. It takes a few minutes to load, so you'll have to endure a blank screen until it's done and starts on its own. Other than the obvious fact that Crazy Frog is a boy, it's fine for kids to watch.

I've been griping for a long time now about the volume of movies being made that are sequels to beloved films ("Lady and the Tramp 2"), remakes of beloved films ("Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" - c'mon! Is it really necessary to remake this?), remakes or updates of beloved television shows ("Brady bunch", "Honeymooners," etc.), or sequels to movies simply because they can make them ("The Ring 2", "Saw 2"). Hollywood has run out of ideas, and is simply resorting to serving up retreads.

Have we begun to resort to the same thing in music? When my sister returned home from Hungary for Christmas I listened to her CD of dance music she brought home. Many of the current popular songs were remakes of older songs set to a dance beat. (Did you know there's a dance club remix of "Age of Aquarius?") The Crazy Frog uses "Axel F." from "Beverly Hills Cop." Do we really need a remake of "MacArthur Park", "(You're) Havin' My Baby?", or "Muskrat Love?"

Friday, June 10, 2005

He's Like Trump, But With MUCH Better Hair.

Braden has been drooling over Star Wars toys and lego sets he sees in the magazines that arrive at our house every other month. I quickly tired of him asking repeatedly whether or not I had a job for him, so I suggested he go set up a lemonade stand for the construction workers across the street. A little light bulb went off over his head (I swear I saw it) and he said," I could sell them soda or water on really hot days!'

So we went to Sam's Club and he picked out water, Gatorade, and Coke. For every can he sells, he pays me the cost, and pockets the profit. HE's been biding his time, waiting for the perfect weather to arrive before he started selling.

This week the weather has been in the upper 80s to 90s. I wondered how he'd do, because it's pretty hot and muggy. For the past 3 days he has set up his stand just before the construction workers' break. He hauls out a card table, a chair, a sign with prices listed, and the cooler filled with drinks. He'll sit out in the sun for 45 minutes to an hour, and hasn't complained yet. So far he's made nearly $9.00 in profit, and he's very proud of himself.

He's saving for his first purchase: a Star Wars 3 Wookie ray gun.........for Brogan.

A customer! Posted by Hello

Despite the 90+ degreee heat, Braden sat outside selling cold drinks to the construction workers in our neighborhood. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Colson shows off his baby T-Rex. Posted by Hello

Before the thunderstorm the temperature hit 94 degrees, but it's not the's the humidity. Whatever it was, it was enough to compell us to set up the wading pool for the boys. Posted by Hello

We've had several days of thunderstorms recently. Scary, but they can provide beautiful cloud formations. This picture was taken from our front door. From our back porch the sky was boiling with dark clouds and lightning. From our front step was this sunset. Posted by Hello

Keeping Cool Under Stress

Tonight Colson was helping me set out sprinklers to water our mud yard. I turned my back on him to turn on the water when I hear him whimper and then yell, " Bug!!"

I turned around, but wasn't really looking at him, and said, "Oh? Did you see a bug?"

"Yeth!" he says, in a slightly more panicked voice. "BIG bug!"

At this I look and see a giant, green grasshopper perched on his right shoulder like a parrot. Colson knows the monstrosity is there, but has no idea what it is or what to do. So he holds very still (which is a very impressive feat for a two year-old, especially one who's terrified of the creature on his shoulder), and calls for help.

He may not be a budding entymologist, but at least he kept his cool under pressure. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This is a Cry For Help

I would be so very bad if I had to substitute as a designer for "Trading Spaces". Now, I could do "Clean Sweep" with my eyes closed. (The decluttering and organizing part, that is.) But this decorating thing has me stumped.

I posted earlier about our painting dilemma in the kitchen and living rooms. Because both rooms are connected and are high traffic rooms, I wanted them to blend a bit. I'm willing to be a bit bolder with color in the dining room, but in the living room I was hoping for more neutral colors. (Off of the living room are also 2 hallways and the entry foyer.) My pictures for the living room and kitchen are nature pictures, mostly; lots of greens and a bit of purple.

I thought this sage-y color looked pretty, so tried it out. Braden walked in and said: "I was hoping for a bright, cheery yellow." That would be nice, but I just don't see it working in the kitchen. As I thought about it, the kitchen should be bright and cheery! Sage isn't bright and cheery.

So now I'm stuck. I think I'm overthinking this. I would love, love, love some feedback, please. All opinions are welcome.

Here are photos of how thing look right now. If you click on each individual photo you'll get a larger picture with a bit more detail.

Here's a closeup of the colors. Light green for kitchen, off-white for living room, and the archway a light purple. Posted by Hello

I have all white appliances and the ceiling would be white. The floor looks an odd yellowy color here too. It's a tan color, though. Hmmm... Maybe the green wall with a tan floor wouldn't be a good choice. Posted by Hello

This is a test section I painted to get a feel of how the color looked against the cabinets and counter. The counter looks yellowy, but it's that faux-granite type countertop. Next to the green are the color swatches I brought home. The off-white color would go in the living room area, the green in the dining room, and I'd paint the arch a VERY light purple. Posted by Hello

The vehicle that entertained the boys for a good 30 minutes. Posted by Hello

Life in a Construction Zone

It just keeps getting more and more excitng for the boys.

One morning recently Braden came racing into the house. "Mom! there's a backhoe in our yard!!"


"No! Really! Come see!"

Well, there really was a backhoe in our yard. After discovering why the backhoe was there, there was nothing for the boys to do but sit back and watch him work his magic.

The backhoe was just beginning his job in this shot. It was an all day project, digging down to the gas line, then hand digging and working on the line, then filling the hole and sodding the lawn. This neighborhood is a little boy's dream!

The boys were excited to see the backhoe digging up our front yard. Mom, Colson is holding Cindy, the puppy you sent a couple of years ago. Colson sleeps with it, and carries her around the house after he wakes up. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

Wow! What're the odds of That?

While playing softball last week, a mother walked past us calling, "Brogan! Come back here!"

I stopped her to ask if I'd heard her correctly, and she explained that her *daughter's* name was Brogan! She 's a cutie, and will be starting kindergarten this year. The mom explained that she met a high school wrsetler named Brogan several years ago. "I always thought 'Brogan' was a better girl's name," she said.

Well, I don't know if I'd agree with that, but it was exciting to meet another Brogan in person. Both Brogans (mine and hers) were very shy. It was cute to watch them sneak peeks at each other, but they refused to talk. I'm sure they wondered why the grownups were so animated about their names. :)

Here's Brogan, by the way. I happen to think it's a lovely, masculine, name. And it suits him perfectly.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Domo Arigato SCA.

Busy, busy day. We ran errands all day, and ate breakfast and lunch away from home because I haven't had a chance to run to the store since we got back from our trip. The best aprt of the day, though, was the time spent at the library.

To kick off it's summer reading program, our library asked volunteers from the Society for Creative Anachronism to come demonstrate combat. There were samurais, celts, and a "simple highway robber." They fought, and answered questions, and let the kids handle their weaponry. Brogan picked out his favorites and "clapped" them on. (He's too shy to actually cheer.) Even Colson cheered the winners.

Braden's favorite was the samurai. Before the event, Braden approached the guy who was standing in front of the library looking intimidating. Braden surprised the guy by recognizing his samurai status (as opposed to thinking he was acharacter out of, say, Robin Hood.) and surprised me by his recall of all things samurai that we studied in history this year. Good to know he's paying attention.

This is not the actual samurai we saw, but he looked an awful lot like this.