Friday, June 29, 2012

Jack Thinks Your Music Is Terrible

Part 1
The posting around here has been sporadic.  I'm not sure if there's a real reason, or if I care.  Or if you care.  Or if you care that I don't care.  Or something.

But the quality has been poor, and I apologize for that.  In the way of an explanation, I feebly offer... well, this:

I have, as I think I always have, about 2,356 different directions that my mind wants to go.  At once.  This is not unique; everybody feels this.  But I happen to have more interests than I have neurons, and that gets complicated.  Drives (and has always driven) Majesty plum crazy.  No, the other crazy.  The bad one.

And it's not that I can't write, it's that I can't decide what to write.  Which is much, much worse.  When you have The Block you go and do something else.  You read a lot.  You go get a coffee.  Take a walk.  A vacation.  Whatever.

But when you most certainly can write, but need 35 clones of yourself to tackle the 35 topics jostling and elbowing each other in your head, that's a big problem.

Part 2
Caroline and Jack are fine these days.  Just slogging through the oppressive rice paddy heat and dipping in the pool when we can.  We have to go out and put 8 Sacajawea dollars in the A/C unit outside every 15 minutes.  It's annoying.  But as I frequently tell people, if Houstonistan had perfect weather, we'd be bigger than Mexico City.  Seriously, there'd be 25 million people here.  LA would be deserted.

No, the appalling climate keeps out the riff raff.  It's like invisible concertina wire.  (Incidentally, our punji sticks and tripwires are mosquitoes and incredibly large cockroaches, respectively.)

One quick story and I've gotta run.  Majesty told me this a while back, and I've forgotten to share.  It needs a little bit of setup.

As we've documented here on CJMP many times before, Jack is a musical kind of dude.  He adores music, and can identify a lot of what he hears on the radio.  If he can't, and he likes the song, he'll shout up to the driver's seat, "MOMMY/DADDY, WHO IS... WHO IS SINGING?"

He can usually tell you if it's Zeppelin or the Counting Crows or Rolling Stones or Robert Earl Keen.  It's quite amazing.  And his questions really test my memory banks (Uh, I think this is Deep Purple).  If he's into a song, he'll ask who's singing specifically, and who's on lead guitar.  Really.  I can get most lead vocalists, and I do okay on the guitarists, but with the bass/rhythm/drum guys, I'm out, mostly.

So Majesty goes on her roadtrip to Alabama with the sprogs a few weeks back.  They eventually have to stop at some gritty truckstop or other that time forgot.  They burn through a lot of CDs and DVDs on the way, and the radio is all out of whack because you're in the middle of the swaaawmp or bayou or slew or who knows what.

Majestad cranks up the truck, and she's not paying attention to what's playing.  After a bit, Jack asks, "MOMMY, WHO'S SINGING?"

She has no clue, so she looks down at the clunky old radio text display thing to find out.

"It says it's Miley Cyrus."

Jack digests that over the next few moments.


I have never been so proud.  This reminds me of Kung Fu:
"Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand." The young Caine tries and fails. "When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave."

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Sartorial Busybody

So the picture quality on this one is awful, but it's the content I find appealing.  This is who walked into the kitchen this morning.  He had previously been wearing long (winter) jammies.  Originally, I had put him to bed in altogether different jammies.  Note the wool peacoat, mongrammed shirt for Sundays, fuzzy fleece pants, and rubber camo galoshes.

This is almost an exact recreation of my gig's formal dresscode.  Really keeps the chill off when the heat index gets north of 110 degrees around here.  (Incidentally the galoshes are useful in pooling all that sweat running down your legs, and the monogramming helps the medical examiner identify you after the inevitable heatstroke.)

That's really par for the course with Jack these days.  He's completely obsessed - no that's not it - consumed with changing clothes.  And clothes themselves.  And asking about clothes.  And shoes.  Belts.  Bandanas.  Hats.  And buttons, don't get me started on the buttons.  We're thiiiiis close to cutting all the buttons off the entirety of his wardrobe.  I mean it.

He'll abruptly walk in to the bathroom while I'm shaving and announce, more than pose the question, "DADDY AWH YOU... AWH YOU... AWH YOU WEAHWING YOUWH BLUE... SHUWHT?  DADDY, IS THAT A POLO SHUWHT?  DO WE THE TOHP BUTTON ON A POLO... SHUWHT?"

We turn him immediately around (usually preempting the sartorial conversation) and march him out of the room.  He can come back in only with a proper (and loud) "GOOD MOWNING!"

If you leave him to his own devices for more than 27 seconds, it's an absolute certainty to see a different outfit come out of that room.  Either way, there is a constant stream of painfully obvious clothing questions.  "DADDY?  DADDY?  WHY DO YOU WEAWH A... BEWLT?"  "MOMMY, YOUWH EAWHWINGS ARE TOO BIG."

And it makes los padres crazy.  I mean loco.
The Other One is still a sweet little baby gal (okay, kind of little, she's ridiculously tall/long) with a gentle, happy personality.  And she's just starting to interact with her world.  A quick story from a few weeks ago in, where else, church:

We sit on the frontish-right of the auditorium.  It wasn't really a conscious choice, it just happened to be the most deserted place to sit when we showed up a couple of years back.  But the point is, most of the people in worship can see over there if they want to.  As I did with Jacques, I draw baby holding duty in church.

SuperDuper Preacher sits right there across from us.  And this particular night is when Caroline decided a few things for herself.  She decided that (1) she did not like being up on my shoulder, (2) she didn't enjoy being cradled in my arm like a football, and that (3) she'd like to try her hand at singing.

So I prop her up on my knee, rocking her from port to starboard as I hold her up and we stare deeply into the other one's eyes trying not to smile first.  Hey, it's cheap entertainment, but it's what we've got.

The singing was really going great, as it usually does, when she decides to pipe up LOUDLY with the cute baby sounds amplified about 1,000 times over.  The squeaking and the screeching and the trailing, happy cries just crack me up.  Just kills me.  The times when you shouldn't laugh are the times best at inducing laughter.  After a bit, I get hold of myself and notice something.  Everyone else around us is cackling with laughter, too. Including SuperDuper Preach.  Yes, we're the family that distracts a full quarter of the congregation.  That's us.

It got so ridiculous that we earned ourselves a mention in the sermon's intro.  Naming and shaming really, really works.  We've learned our lesson.  I think.

I tried to duck behind Caroline.  Didn't work.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Postcards from the Edge (of the Water)

Some people have all the fun while other people get to work and install new potties (really) and privacy fences and clean up after huge storms and arrange for massive (fallen) trees to be removed.  I guess that's just the way of things, but it's a stone cold bummer, man.  Observe:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Our First Guest Post!

Majesty here.  El Comodoro needed a few days to recover from some big happenings at work so I am filling in this week.  Here are the top headlines for the week:

We had our first night out since the little one was born!  El Comodoro had a big fancy dinner thingy downtown and I got to tag along and watch him in action.   My poor brain is mostly mush now from nursing and lack of sleep so unfortunately I couldn’t tell you what the presentations were about to save my life- but he sure did look nice!  It was nice to be out for a little while, but I was happy to get back home.  And I came home to the sweetest little girl waiting up for me- with a big smile on her face!  So happy she did so well without me!  Jack was sound asleep when I checked on him… so he decided to welcome us home sometime around 2:30am- oh but he’s sweet in the middle of the night… “Mommy, I want to sleep with you and daddy, in the middle of your bed”.

In other news,  JACK CAN SWIM!!!! After about 4 lessons with Miss Casey, Jack is paddling around and even picking up beads on the floor of the shallow end!  He moves so fast he looks like a little baby dolphin!  Miss Casey was extremely impressed and said she wouldn’t normally even think about teaching the backstroke to a three year old- but Jack is ready!  We are so pumped that he worked so hard and got it!   I was watching him swim today and he is obsessed with going underwater.  How he doesn’t choke I’ll never know.  He goes under with a big smile and comes up with a big smile too.  And, he has of course, figured out how to talk underwater. 

Other random things I don’t want to forget:

Caroline moved into a size 3 diaper last week- she’s 3 months old!!  I am not a big person - I don’t know how I have such giant babies.  She also sat up in the Bumbo last week.  I could have put her in it 2-3 weeks earlier but I hate that this time is going by so fast.  It was killing me to see her sitting up in that seat like a big girl, and her just smiling away.  Before I know it she’s going to be as big as Jack (don’t even get me started on him turning 4 this summer!)

Today was my birthday- it was one of my best ever.  I got to sleep late, taken to lunch by my sweet hubby, Jack sang “Happy Birfday” to me all day long and Caroline smiled at me all day long, I got lots of birthday wishes, my mom did my laundry for me and we had pizza for supper… it was a good day!