Showing posts from December, 2013

Max's Poetry Corner

Oh, hello friends.  Welcome to Max's Poetry Corner, a time for me to share my preternatural poetic talents.  Here is today's offering.  Please hold your snaps and applause until the end.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
by Dylan Thomas Max-Pascal James Cook
Do not go gentle into that good night, young age should scream and rage at close of day; rage, rage against the dimming of the lights.
Do not go gentle into that new diaper without a fight, when insolent mothers try your bottom thus to clean. Rage, rage against the hand that tries to wipe.
Do not go gentle into your car seat right, be cat-like in your wailing and the arching of your back; rage, rage against the seatbelt oh-so-tight.
Deep, isn't it?  And it's all based on a true story.  

7 Quick Takes: Photo Recollections of 2013

This may have to be a two-parter, because there are so many I like. Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...
--- 1 --- Remember the helmet? Max had to wear a helmet for a few months to help round out the plagiocephaly (flat spots on his skull) caused by his torticollis (tilted neck). The helmet and the physical therapy must have helped, though, because looking at him now, I don't think you'd ever know he had to have all of that! Thank God for Max's great doctors (Dr. Don Helper, his orthotist, and Rachel Wachter, his physical therapist at Oregon Neurotherapeutics) and for his excellent insurance coverage.
--- 2 --- Thanks to my excellent FB stalking skills, I discovered that my friend from college Rhonda Ortiz (AKA the Naptime Novelist) was in town in January, so we got our kids together for a playdate at Discovery Village in Salem. Her son Benedict is pretty close in age to Ruby, and they enjoyed all of the fun things the Village has …

Christmas in the Cookie Jar

Where to begin?  I guess I should start with Christmas Eve.  Boy, was it busy!  I was working feverishly to get all of my last minute gifting accomplished.  You see, the Christmas tradition on Allen's side of the family is for everyone to gather at his grandparents' house and eat dinner and exchange gifts on Christmas day. The other Mrs. Cook (that is, my brother-in-law's wife) and I decided to make boxes of cookies (something her mom used to do) together to hand out as a joint gift.  I had been saving some cereal boxes for some craft project yet unknown, and now I had the perfect excuse to use them.
First, I undid the seam along the long edge of the cereal box.  Then I used spray glue to coat the printed side of the box (I sprayed it outside, of course, because that stuff reeks).  I chose to use wrapping paper, which worked well because it was relatively thin and pliable but was still thick enough that you couldn't see the original design of the cereal box underneath…

Pinterest Fail, Christmas Morning Edition

I promise to have a nice long post with lots of cheery pictures soon, but I can't help myself.  I just have to show you all my latest hilarious Pinterest fail.
Allen suggested we have donuts for a special Christmas breakfast.  It immediately brought to mind this cute pin I'd seen:
How sweet is that: using mini chocolate and powdered donuts and some other edibles to make snowmen and Rudolph faces!  Once again, the Winco bulk bins were my friends so that I could buy tiny amounts of M&Ms, orange and red jelly beans, and pretzels.
But once I got my mitts on the project, this is how it turned out: Allen was disturbed by the reindeer in particular.  "It looks a little…satanic," I believe were his exact words.  Was it the yellow eyes?
But you know what?  The kids scarfed 'em down in the morning and thought they were cute.  And since neither of them knows anything about Rudolph anyway, I'm pretty sure they just thought Mom had gotten a bit carried away with dec…

Christmas is Near...

For some reason I feel even more behind schedule this year than ever before, even though it was my first Advent as a grown up where I wasn't working full time or even part time. I guess having three little ones will do that to you. So, as the picture above shows, I'm linking up with Haley for her challenge to unplug during Advent. I had my good days where I was only on the computer during naps and then my not-so-good days where it was out in the main room and I felt, as she described, as though my kids were distractions rather than the main event. But there have still been plenty of precious moments during this Advent season to treasure. Although I haven't yet gotten a good picture of it, Ben has definitely gotten the hang of smiling and does lots of cooing, too. It is very adorable. Today is Ruby's first day of a 2+ week Christmas break, so she and Max will have lots of playtime together. This morning they decided to transfer all of the toys from their room (…

Sounds of the Season

Right about now in St. Louis there are many concert-goers enjoying the beautiful music of the St. Louis Chamber Chorus's annual Christmas concert.  From the time I was a teen on through my coming-home-for-Christmas-break years it was a Christmas tradition on par with getting and decorating the Christmas tree that on the 3rd or 4th Sunday of Advent we would go to hear the Chamber Chorus.  I'm not there for the concert today, obviously, but I always pull out my SLCC Christmas CDs during the Christmas seasons.  There are three Christmas recordings, but my favorite are A Spanish Christmas and A Chamber Christmas.  The Spanish Christmas CD features most of the Missa O Magnum Mysterium by Tomas Luis de Victoria, and is so sublime.  I enjoy all the traditional holiday music, both sacred and secular, but after even a day or so of listening to the radio station playlists, I find myself tiring of hearing the same few well-known carols over and over, albeit done with slightly different i…

7 Quick Takes on Influential Books

For this Friday's 7 quick takes, I want to reflect on some books that have influenced, challenged, changed, and shaped my thinking at various points in my adolescent/adult life. Now, I went to St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, which is a Great Books College, so choosing only 7 books is really not going to do justice to my undergraduate career, let alone my life since then or prior to then. So, I'm going to have to be choosy. Just for the sake of variety, I'm not going to include the Bible on this list…not because it hasn't been influential (it obviously has) but because it kind of goes without saying. Everyone who has decided to put their faith in Jesus is going to have been influenced by the Bible. I'm leaving it off the list, but no fair making comments that I obviously have my priorities backwards! Another point: when I say that these books have influenced me, that is not the same as calling them books that I liked or are my "favorites…

Don't Watch This Movie (and Watch "The Snowman" Instead!)

Look, y'all, I'm no Grinch, but I really don't appreciate bad Christmas/holiday movies, which are to good Christmas movies what Xmas-Muzak is to Christmas carols.  Now, many a classic holiday movie is plenty cheesy, but I'm drawing a distinction between cheesy and bad.  Cheesy movies may cause you to roll your eyes a few times but you still enjoy them overall.  Bad movies make you want the moviemakers to reimburse you for minutes and braincells lost while watching their product.  I'm afraid that we unwittingly subjected ourselves to about twenty minutes of bad movie this weekend, and I am writing to you so that you can avoid the same fate.
The hubs and I decided that since we had not done anything remotely Christmasy yet (like get and decorate a tree), we ought to do something fun and in the Christmas spirit with the kiddos.  Allen remembered going to the Alpenrose Christmas Village as a kid and enjoying it, and when we discovered that it was cheap as free, we de…

Appearance: Big Deal or Little Deal? Or Both?

There was an ad that used to play on the radio in St. Louis for a certain well-to-do kid's clothing boutique (I no longer remember the name…it was not a franchise, though).  The ad went something like this: "We know that how your children look reflects on you.  Your children are part of your image. At [name of store] you'll find adorable outfits…" and so on.  The first bit was what caught my attention, even as a teen.  Your children are part of your image, and how they appear is a reflection of you.  I found the ad to be very snobby (it didn't help that I knew the store to be located in a very ritzy suburb) and I thought to myself, When I'm a mom, I'm not going to be obsessed with what my kids are wearing.  There are more important things.  I still think that, and still believe that there are far more important things than what my kids are wearing.  But today, I had to ask myself if I have been in fact PRIDING myself on not caring what they look like--to …

When Energy Efficiency is NOT Your Friend

I'm not a really crunchy mom.  In fact, on the Mohs scale, I'm probably just at talc.  While I do my best to recycle and turn off the heat and lights when we leave the house, that's about the extent of my energy-saving ways.  But I don't object to energy-saving efforts made by others, except for two things.
1. Automatic faucets in public restrooms.   I get that it is a valuable thing not to waste water, and having automatic faucets help with this.  They also make it next to impossible to make a bottle of formula, though.  They almost never stay on long enough to heat up to make anything warmer than a brisk milkshake (or formula shake, as the case may be).  Also, when you're trying to wash the hands of little people, and you have to hoist them up to reach the sink in the first place, their hands usually don't extend far enough to keep the automatic sensor triggered.  
2. Having only air dryers in public restrooms. I'm guessing that studies have shown that m…

Max speaks!

That's the excitement around here today.  Max has been saying "no" with great relish and frequency, but today was his first two word phrase, "ah gah" (all gone) and of course, "wu-ah" (Ruby).  Yay! I'd say he started saying "no" at about 20 months…5 months later than Ruby said her first word (which was "up").
In other news, I came upon this scene earlier today:

I'm still unclear as to how Max got himself stuck in the chair in this position: did Ruby put him in it or did he get into it himself?  One thing is clear: once he was stuck, Ruby seized the opportunity and busied herself with "cutting his hair."  Thankfully no real scissors were involved in the operation, but I'm sure that day is coming. Poor Max...