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Wednesday, 7 June 2006
The Graduate
Mood:  special
Topic: Noah

My firstborn is now a preschool graduate. We celebrated with chicken nuggets and chocolate milkshakes. I just know that I'm going to blink my eyes and there he'll be, walking across a stage to accept his high school diploma. Something tells me he won't be cruising through McDonald's to celebrate that one. Damn passage of time. It goes way too fast.

Congratulations sweet boy. I'm so proud of you!

Posted by catherino at 12:35 PM PDT
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Monday, 10 April 2006
How To Charm Me
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Noah

We have one lone camelia bush in our backyard. Shortly after we moved into this house in January, Noah came up to me with both hands full of tightly closed buds that he'd pulled off the bush, asking "Mommy, what are these?". I admit I was pretty ticked off that it looked as if he'd managed to pick every single bud off that big bush.

Yesterday he found an absolutely perfect deep salmon-colored blossom that managed to escape his notice up till now. When I saw him walking toward the back door holding this flower, I thought GRRR! I will never be able to have flowers in this yard!

Then he held it out towards me in both hands and said, "Mommy, will you marry me?".

And then I melted into a puddle on the floor.

Posted by catherino at 3:25 PM PDT
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Tuesday, 7 February 2006
And I Thought He Was "Swee'pea"
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Noah

Noah comes into the den and says, "Mom, I'm hungry. Can I have a snack?" - which, by the way, I can already sense what massive quantities of groceries I'll have to buy on a daily basis once these boys of mine become teenagers. But I digress.

Me: Sure. Why don't you get a piece of cheese out of the fridge.

Noah: Okay! (runs to get a slice of Kraft American and brings it back to me so I can peel away the cellophane)

Me: There you go buddy.

Noah: Mmmmm, cheese. (as he holds his hands out to take it from me) Come to Popeye!

I'm still laughing.

Posted by catherino at 4:43 PM PST
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Tuesday, 24 January 2006
And Daddy Beams with Pride
Mood:  flirty
Topic: Noah

For about a year now, Noah has taken to pointing and remarking aloud every time he says an attractive female, "MOMMY - I LIKE THAT GIRL!!" with no regard to volume control or discretion. I suppose it could be more embarassing - like today in the supermarket when he said, "Mommy - I saw a really old man!", just as this 75-ish gentleman walked past us.

After a year or so of hearing him proclaim his 'like' for every pretty face he sees, it has gotten a little old. I've tried telling him that just because someone looks pretty, it doesn't mean that they're a nice person. But to be honest, I'm not sure that one is reaching him yet. Thankfully, he hasn't yet come into contact with anyone who hasn't been nice to him (aside from his little brother) so I think the concept is totally foreign to him.

A few days ago, as he's telling me for the umpteenth time how much he likes the weather girl and the traffic girl on the news, he surprised me with a new one.

"Mommy? Am I a girl-liker?"
"A what?"
"Am I a girl-liker?"
"Yeah buddy, I think you are definitely a girl-liker"

Posted by catherino at 4:52 PM PST
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Friday, 16 December 2005
Mood:  cool
Topic: Noah
When I look at my firstborn son, I see him growing before my very eyes. Every single day brings new interests (or maybe obsessions) and new discoveries. Lately he's all about drawing. I bet he's used an entire ream of paper in the past month. And every day, I see a change in the images his mind puts to paper.

Not so long ago, his drawings were...abstract to say the least. Now I can recognize people and characters and objects with ease. It's amazing. Last week his interest had turned to writing letters. He would fill a page with random letters, then run to the closest parent and ask, "What does this say?!?". "Uh, well...that says NNAHOOPCAH, I think." "Is that a word?", he'd ask. "Well, not really babe, but you did a great job on all the letters", we'd reply.

This week, he's all about numbers. Pages and pages of numbers. And the great thing about numbers is that you can put a whole string of random ones in a row - and it makes an actual number. The joy on his face and in his voice would have melted the coldest heart when he ran to me yesterday and asked, "Mommy! What did I write?". "You've got a 4 and a 2, so that number is forty-two". "REALLY?!?! WOW! I MADE A FORTY-TWO!".

You better believe I'll be buying more paper.

Posted by catherino at 9:18 AM PST
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Thursday, 8 December 2005
The Real Meaning of Christmas
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Noah

Talk of our upcoming move into the new house has been on Noah's mind a LOT lately. He asks nearly every day, "Will we take my bed to the new house? Will we take my toys to the new house? Will we take my toothbrush to the new house?" infinitum. I understand that it's a major deal to a 4 year old. I understand that change can be scary and that he needs reassurance. I'm trying my best to give it to him, but I guess the subject still weighs on his sensitive mind.

Last night I was performing the nightly tucking-in ritual with him. I'm sort of the closer, if you will, after Mike's starting duties. I asked him if he'd said his prayer with daddy. He hadn't yet, so he closed his eyes and said, "I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me. Amen. And God bless you too mommy."

I said, "Thank you Noah. Maybe since it's almost Christmas, we should say thank you to God for sending us his son Jesus. You know that's the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Because it's Jesus' birthday."

"But what about Santa Claus?"

"Well, Santa Claus is a part of Christmas too. But he's kind of just the 'fun' side of Christmas. We need to remember the real meaning of Christmas - and that's the day Jesus was born. Do you know why we give each other gifts on Christmas?"

"No, why?"

"Because when Jesus was born, the wise men brought him gifts to celebrate his birth. So now we give gifts to the people we love on that day too."

"Oh. Okay. How big will the truck be?"

What the hell is he talking about?!?

"Truck? What do you mean?"

"The truck that moves all our stuff to the new house."

"Oh, um, pretty big I think."


At least we've got that straight now. We'll deal with baby Jesus later I guess.

Posted by catherino at 9:35 AM PST
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Sunday, 30 October 2005
Child's Play
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Noah
Oh my God it was just as terrifying as I thought it would be. Maybe more. I'm still shaking! Hold me please. I mean, I knew it would be bad, but I really wasn't prepared. It's one of those things that's been around forever and I'm probably like, the LAST person on earth to go see it - but was truly awful.

For the first time yesterday afternoon, I took my son to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. (shudder) Along with about 1000 other people it seemed. And the scariest part of all was that HE LOVED IT. He is head over heels in love with Chuck E. Cheese. He scampered about like a little squirrel. He must have logged a good 2 miles in the giant kiddie habitrail that covers the entire ceiling. He played arcade games and video games. Not very well, but enthusiastically. He scarfed down 2 big pieces of disgusting pizza - which he'll hardly touch anywhere else. The saving grace which let me know that I haven't totally lost him to the dark side was that he BEGGED for milk. The only drinks on our party table were Sprite, Coke and orange soda. He never drinks any of those things, but I gave him some orange drink because that was the one most likely to appeal to him. He took one miniscule sip and declared that it was "too spicy".

You know, the place really wouldn't have been that bad if not for the mass of humanity we had to share it with. It would be a fairly awesome place to take the kids if we had it all to ourselves. But when I find myself wondering if the fire marshall's stopped by lately, that tells me it's too damned crowded! And it's not just that there are a million kids. It's all the teenaged parents who bring them and then clamor for their turn at the "toss a ping pong ball in a bucket" game. Gah.

As we left I told Noah that I was so happy he had a great time.
"When can we come back again Mom?!"
"Well, I don't know sweetie. This is sort of a special occasion place."
"Can we have my birthday party here too?"
Uh oh. I knew this was coming. I better be honest with him and nip this in the bud.
"Well babe, there are some other fun places we can have your birthday party, like the bounce house place with the big slide or the gym. And we can have those places just for you and your friends and not have to share it with so many other people. Doesn't that sound good?"
"Yeah, that sounds good. But I still love Chuck E. Cheese. They have great pizza!"
"I'm glad you liked it honey. Now hold still while I wipe down every inch of exposed skin with this antibacterial wet wipe, okay?"

Posted by catherino at 10:00 AM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005 1:16 PM PDT
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Monday, 14 March 2005
Thanks for clarifying
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Noah
Noah has just about perfected the art of driving his little brother C.R.A.Z.Y. And when little brother is driven to this point, he responds by yelling at the very tip top of his lungs and then beaning his big brother in the head with the nearest hard object. Can't say that I blame him because it's what I'd do too if I had the self-control of a 2 year old.

So today I announced, in my very best stern mother voice, that I was NOT PUTTING UP WITH IT!

Self: I am NOT putting up with this today! Leave your brother ALONE!
Noah: (blatantly ignores me)
Self: I mean it! If I have to tell you one more time, you're losing some toys.
Noah: No I'm not.
Self: Oh yes you are mister and if you don't believe me, you just try it!
Noah: (clearly unimpressed)
Self: You are pushing your luck buddy.
Noah: No I'm not. I'm pulling it.
Self: (head explodes - traces of a smile detected where my mouth used to be - realize with last functioning braincells that son is just as big a smartass as his mother - feel bizarre sense of pride)

Posted by catherino at 10:39 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 14 March 2005 10:46 AM PST
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Tuesday, 1 February 2005
My son, the artiste
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Noah
Noah, who just turned 4, goes to pre-school 2 days a week. Pre-school has been a fabulous experience for him. He loves it and as parents, we love what it's doing for him.

It costs us $137.50 a month to send him to this school. I'm now convinced that $100 of that sum must go to cover art supplies. Four year olds can crank out some art. Mostly it's very, very abstract blobs of fingerpaint on a piece of butcher paper. Or bits of construction paper glued to a bigger piece of construction paper. But there's the occasional thing that actually looks like something you can identify - like the paper turkey he brought home before Thanksgiving. (I'm guessing he had some help on that one.)

But today I found something really intriguing in his cubby. If I had to put a label on it, I'd say it was a sculpture. It's a small white paper plate with a layer of green play-doh on it. Embedded in the play-doh are two "Vita-bones". As in dog bones. Yeah.

And in the 4 hours since we've been home from school, he's only asked me 8 times if he can eat them.

Posted by catherino at 4:34 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 February 2005 4:56 PM PST
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