Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Doctors, Shots and Whatnots

Today is a dentist appointment for me, Monday was a flu shot and tomorrow is the cardiologist. It's a week of Mommy taking care of Mommy, I guess! The boys are up for their flu shots next week and Music Man's is tomorrow. Since I have asthma, I decided a couple years ago to start getting the flu shot. It never really seemed all that pertinent until two years ago I got a flu that caused me to have almost nightly asthma attacks, for two solid months. It was no fun and I decided last year to take the plunge and get it done. No, it's not fun, but yes, I feel it's necessary. Just the thing I tell the boys when they balk at the idea.

When I sat down in the clinic to get the shot, I had the boys come over and sit with me so they could see that it was no big deal. Maestro is NO fan of needles and he was cowering and freaking out just a little bit. As the needle slid into my arm muscle, I wanted to flinch a bit, but I sat like a rock. Maestro said, "Doesn't that hurt, Mommy? Because it looks like it hurts!". I won't lie to my boys (okay except about Santa and the Tooth Fairy, and that is not without deep reservations), so I told him, "Yes, it hurts about as much as a mosquito bite". Well, the look on his face told me there's no way he was buying that. So, I told him, it makes my arm muscle hurt a little for a couple days, but that's what we need to do to stay healthy. I do believe it helped me somewhat last year as I got the flu in the spring, but it only last about 4 days and did not make it down into my lungs. Hallelujah for that little miracle.

So, next week is the boys shot. I learned a trick from Parents magazine that actually seems to help them. If you rub with some pressure on the spot where the needle will go in for about 15 seconds before they put the needle in, it doesn't hurt. I don't know if it's because the area becomes less sensitive to pain from the rubbing, or maybe it's all psychological, but it really does work. When the boys were having their shots as babies, I would do this after I learned about it and it did the trick. No more crying! Now, after the muscle starts to hurt the next day, that's another story altogether, but at the moment of injection, no sweat. When Maestro was a baby, Music Man had to come with me to the doctor's office to do the battery of shots he had to receive. I was unable to hold him while they stuck him with needle after needle, crying and in pain. It did not help that I was irrational with post partum depression, either, but I just couldn't do it. And the day he had to go to the eye doctor to remove a tiny piece of metal from his eye when he was just 3 months old was impossible. Music Man had to hold him while I wept in the corner, putting my little tiny baby through that misery. Anyways, by the time Little Red came along, I was old hat at the shot game and had learned the rubbing trick and it was ever so much better and I was able to take them by myself. It's funny as a new mother, the things that will torment you and by the time the second (or more!) come along, you're so over it. I still don't like to see my children in pain, but it doesn't cause me to lose control of my emotions the way it used to. Thank God for those small miracles as well.

Not much else to talk about today, you just never know where my mind will lead me when I sit down to write. I never think up a topic ahead of time, things just come as they do to my fevered little mind and I subject you to my stream of consciousness writing. Thanks for taking the time to read them, even if they are a bit strange at times!

Wishing you peace on this blustery NH day, ~Peacemom

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apples and Pears EVERYWHERE!

This was the last weekend for apple picking at our local orchard. I have also discovered that they sell pears as well. A 1/2 peck bag is $5.50, I don't know how many pounds that is, but it would not matter. I would buy them anyway. AMAZING fruit delicacies. I would have to challenge anyone that said they don't like fruit or vegetables to still feel that way after eating these wonders. I'm very happy that since I've started to pursue the "locavore" lifestyle, I've found some of the most delicious goodies right in my own backyard. I would love it if somehow, some way I was able to inspire more people to eat locally. Not only is this wonderful as your food is so much fresher, so many less nutrients are lost during the storage time, but it's also so much better for our planet and country. Not having to use the fossil fuel to transport food from great distances, which in turn pollutes the environment. Not having the factory farms mass produce your food, using poisons and chemicals to kill pests (did you ever wonder how it can kill other living creatures and not be expected to affect us?? We're all just flesh and blood after all). I think most people don't give a lot of thought to where their food comes from, I know in the past I did not. But with the degradation of our environment so quickly on the rise, how can we not care about this? Thousands of babies poisoned in China, so much toxic ways of life, we've got to change it or we won't have a planet to take care of.

Since I took the ultimate leap of faith and had children after 9/11/01 happened, it's become more and more clear to me that preserving what we have left is the only choice we have. There is no other option, is there? Anyone with children wants a better world, one where their children can thrive. As it stands right now, I guess part of me hopes my children won't have children themselves because what will they be left with? What kind of world will they be inheriting, one that's poisoned and has such weather extremes that they can't survive anyway? Polar caps melting causing the temperatures to rise, less fresh water available and still the imperative to change NOW is not realized. It makes my heart very heavy and saddened to know that my boys, whom I love more then life, will have to deal with all this mess if we don't start to care.

So, besides recycling like a fiend, changing my buying to being basically most of what is only necessary and freecycling all our stuff we don't need, I decided to start to buy local. And, like I said earlier, besides having that wonderful benefit of much more delicious food, I also feel like I'm supporting the farmers in my town, the money stays in my community instead of going to Walmart or Shaw's or whomever else would get the profits. They don't live in my community, they don't care about my children, they won't say hello to the migrant workers that come here in the fall to harvest apples, none of this matters to "them" since they are only caring about the bottom line on their spreadsheet. No love, no caring and no grace are felt in my community from these conglomerates. I shop now where I get to meet the people growing my food. Where I can see the soil it's grown in, look into the eyes of the cows that will be my hamburger and see that they are humanely treated, watch the chickens whose eggs nourish my family happily picking bugs up around the farm where they roam freely. All these things make for a more sustainable life for all of us, not just the shareholders of some company thousands of miles away.

I hope I've caused you to think a moment about your local choices for food. Find that farmer's market or neighborhood farm stand. Make the commitment to buy at least one local meal's worth per week. Make the choice to support your own community, children and planet. It all starts with one choice and your dollar speeks volumes.

Thanks for reading my diatribe about local eating, it's a deep passion for me and I appreciate your taking the time to read it. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you treasure that's local to you.

Wishing you fresh local pears that are bits of heaven, ~Peacemom

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Garden Surprise

Hello All,
I'm currently down and out with a cold of mega proportions. I've been coughing so hard today that my head is splitting in half with a headache. Maestro had the same cold last week, but he's on the mend. Still wakes up coughing, but he's not so sniffly and gross now, so that's good anyways. I'm just waiting for the same grace to happen to me.

Today in our lovely town the weather was outstanding. Cool in the shade, but once you were in the sun it was warm and heavenly. It's a great feeling to have the sun on your face without it being the burning hot of summer. It was a glorious day for outdoor activities even with a cold.

So, the boys and I were emptying out the compost spinner that's next to the garden. I've not had a whole lot of luck making compost. It's not for lack of trying and this is not supposed to be all that complicated, but for whatever reason, I don't have a "black" compost thumb. I usually end up with either stuff that's way too wet or too dry. We've even gone so far as to ask our neighbor to drive his mower over with his bag full and dump it in our large compost pile. The compost spinner is reputed to make compost in 30 days. Yah, right. I've had the same batch of compost in there since the spring, diligently turning it every few days, and it's just starting to resemble something that is broken down into a soil like substance. Though, there are lots of larger bits of things left in there as well, so it's not a complete success. This spinner sits in the sun during the summer hours for about 14 hours a day as well, so it gets plenty hot and I would douse it with the hose from time to time if it looked like it needed some moisture. There is a catcher under it, a tank really, that will catch the compost "tea" which is supposed to be concentrated nutrients for the plants. You put this rich, fragrant juice in a watering can, dilute it a bit with water, and water the plants with it. Pretty cool idea, really. So, I did not empty it all summer and today we decided to empty it and wet down the beds to get them a little extra nutrients for their winter nap.

After Music Man picked up the tank, and it's a bit heavy so I let him take care of that, he called me over to see something. I looked underneath where the tank had been sitting and there, under the tank, were 5 little furry gray bodies squirming around in the long blades of grass. They were deer mice. Now, I know you're thinking "ewwwww gross!", but if you've ever seen a deer mouse, they are sooooo cute with their big ears and eyes and they tend to sit on their hind legs a lot, so they have some of the cuteness factor in their favor. We had a challenge with them getting into the bird food in the shed last year until I caught one in the bin one day and relocated him up the street near a swampy area. Anyways, the little ones were obviously babies, probably the mamas 5th batch this summer, they do breed like crazy. We called the boys over to see them, and Little Red especially loved them. That child has a big soft spot for furry little animals, so he was excited and wanted to keep looking at them. But, we assured him they didn't feel safe out in the open like that, so Music Man replaced the tank over their little home. I know, perhaps we should have "taken care of them", but honestly, it gave me a sense of pride to know that my little garden is home to another family as well. That another family finds solace in that little plot of land and calls it home. I know I've gotten immeasureable peace from those 4 beds and am glad that they can be refuge for other mammals as well. As long as they don't eat me out of garden and home, that is!

Hoping for you a little refuge of your own, Peacemom

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Frost Is On The Pumpkin....

Good Morning Good Souls,

Yesterday was a day of work around here. I "put the garden to winter", which means I ripped up a good portion of the plants I spent all summer growing and put them in the BIG bucket for the compost pile. I take off what's left of the produce growing, yank, pull and shake the plants until the beds are just the old dirt showing with not many signs of life. This is a bittersweet task for a lot of reasons.

One is because the marigolds are still going strong. I spotted a bee on one of them. He was lazily making his way around the flowers and I felt a responsibility to leave the flowers for him. If he could still be at his task this late into the season, by gory, I should leave him some pollen to use for himself. The way he was moving was telling me his time was winding down and I felt I should leave him something to nourish his last days. Especially in light of the reduced bee problem going on right now, I felt I wanted to give him every last chance. So, I have left 5 of the marigold plants for him to use.

BUT we've also not had our first frost until last night. This is the reason that I didn't do this weeks ago, I was still hoping those last 5 green peppers were going to turn red on the vine. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be, so they are sitting in a bowl on my lovely granite countertops along with the jalapenos that were left. I actually got enough of those to get one more batch of canned peppers. SShhhhh, don't tell my brother-in-law, but I'm canning this batch especially for him. He is of Mexican descent and LOVES his peppers hot. Well, contrary to most belief, when jalapenos go red, they get HOTTER. So, I've left them on the plant until they are red and I'm going to make him a special Christmas mixture of red and green jalapenos to enjoy. We did not have them go red last year, so when I canned them, they were green. This year, they matured early and some of them went red. Well, I grow these for Music Man, because I don't really eat anything this hot. Somehow his Irish-German palate can stomach that. My Irish-German palate wants nothing whatsoever to do with them. It's a childhood nightmare from a cousin that tricked me into eating a VERY hot pepper as a 5 year old. Since then, no thanks!! But I digress, I was talking about the red jalapeno. Well, my limited pepper experience tells me that when the pepper goes red, it gets sweeter, like bell peppers do. So, when the jalapeno went red, I thought, oh, it will be sweeter. I grew them for making hot pepper jelly. Music Man asked how it would taste, I said I thought sweeter then a green one and so he took a big bite, seeds, ribs and all (that's the hottest part, in case you didn't know that) and he was in some serious pain. Ate a big bowl of yogurt to try to counteract the capsacin in the pepper that makes it so hot. I felt really badly that I was wrong about that heat factor. In any case, I hope my brother-in-law likes these goodies, it will be a nice surprise for him, I'm sure.

So, back to dismanteling my hard work. The boys thoroughly enjoyed being able to pull up plants, stomp through the beds and run around the garden like crazy men. The taking apart for them was a lot of fun, especially helping to pull the beans and vines off the chicken wire trellis. They were very excited when they could pull a big bean off and the browner and squishier, the better. They are boys, after all. For me the experience makes me a bit sad because this is the end of growing our food myself for the season, of fresh veggies for a meal that I can walk out and harvest myself. Of knowing that I grew that healthy, nutritious, organic food to nourish my family, and that's one less factory farmed piece of produce they sell in the conglomerate grocery stores. Plus, heck, it's just a whole lot of fun to grow your own food. To take a plant from a seed and grow it to something that's cut up in your salad bowl is a truly powerful feeling. I still have some lettuce and spinach out there and a few herbs that I'll need to get dried, but all in all, it's the end of the season for us. From here, for local food, I'll need to stock up on butternut squash. This will join the potatoes (of which there aren't many left, they were very good and we chowed down on them!!) I grew myself in the bulkhead. Little Red loves squash, this is his very favorite vegetable and he'll eat it like nothing else, it's his healthy candy, I guess.

I also stocked up on some wonderful cheese I bought from a local cheese producer. This is by far the best cheese I've ever tasted, so creamy and good. Seriously, if you love cheese, you'll want to get some of this. It's so nice with a few crackers and a cup of tea (or wine or beer if you're so inclined) on a chilly day. Perfection on a cracker, I'm telling ya. You won't be disappointed if you try some of this. And they ship for those of you not near Walpole, NH. I don't normally advocate for shipping food, but if you eat everything else in your life local, make this the one thing you get from away. The farm stand where I purchase this cheese calls me "the cheese lady". Made me laugh when the clerk told me this, because they don't know my name, but since I buy cheese every time I go there (3 last time since they are closing for the season soon, wanted to stock up for winter), they gave me the knickname. And I rave about the cheese to whomever is in line with me, the clerks, everyone. The clerk even told me that the man who makes the cheese came there to check out where his product is stocked and all that good stuff. They told him about me and he was psyched to hear about me, so I sent him an email telling him who I was and that I really think that being able to get such wonderful cheese local is a great treat and blessing. I thanked him for his hard work and making such a high quality food to nourish so many others, and told him how much I appreciate his offering this for my family. It's his herd of cows that give the milk, so he does the whole sheebang. Plus, as a side benefit, it's lower in fat and sodium then most other cheeses, has no preservatives and is aged over 60 days before it is even sold. Just a little miracle, that creamy goodness!

So, after seeing the frost on the grass this morning, or as Little Red calls it-frosting, I am ready to hunker down and set my sites on flannel pants and sweaters and wool socks. I've got a couple good books in mind at the library for long, cold winter days and I'm planning on a few Christmas presents to make. This year is going to be a mostly homemade holiday here since money is tight. We'll buy for the kids, but everyone else is getting what my little hands can create. I prefer this for Christmas anyways, more on that in a later post. It's feeling like the time to reflect and create, just what autumn and winter are all about for me. That and leaf jumping and snowmen on the lawn anyways.

Fresh butternut and local cheese wishes to you, ~Peacemom

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gaa Gaa Gaa, it's Peaceable Wild Kingdom!

Good Morning, Friends and Family,
We have turkeys. They are wild and really cool. The neighborhood mascots have become quite fun to watch as they've grown. We first discovered them in the spring when we heard the tell tale "gaagaagaa" in the woods. These turkeys don't actually gobble, they more make a "gaa" sound in rapid succession when they are talking to each other. It's pretty funny to hear. They have become the main attraction when they are outside doing what turkeys do and that is eat. They spend most of their day pecking in the neighbor's lawns. The neighbor across the street is like us, he does not use any chemical fertilizers on his lawn and has an abundance of weeds. Now, on the surface this may not seem like what you'd want for a lawn, but it's really a very healthy environment for lots of critters, including whatever bug or grub it is that these turkeys find delectable. They have scratched some patches in his lawn bare to dirt.

Originally when we spotted them, there were two adults and 6 babies. The babies were so cute and we would always stop what we were doing to watch them. Now, as the summer and autumn have progressed, it's tough to tell the babies from the adults as they are just about the same size. And all six of the babies made it. I cheer for the mama whenever I see them because I know how hard that feat was to accomplish. We actually do have some wild dogs living in the woods adjoinging our properties, so that is even more amazing in light of that fact. Good mama and daddy!!

They are smart little birds with bb sized brains. They know where the good grub is and where the best places to avoid are. Unfortunately, they seem to avoid our yard as one big party they don't want to be invited to. This is understandable with two boys running around outside most of the day, making noise (and oh, do they make noise), laughing, fighting, playing with toys (which are strewn everywhere no matter how many times we clean it all up during the day). Like I said, these are not dumb birds. They also won't let me get close enough to them on foot to get a reasonably good picture of them, so above is what I was able to manage. I was trying for the cool Thanksgiving card shot with my neighbor's lovely door decoration and the turkey in the foreground. Unfortunately, I could not get close enough, even with my big lens, to capture the shot I really wanted. But this one is cool, anyways.

I really wish these little harbingers of fall would come over to our yard and scratch away. We could definitely use a decrease in the grub population in our yard and goodness knows the soil is packed hard from kiddos running around on it all the time, so they could come over and do a little tilling for us while they forage for grublets. I've not been able to convince them just yet, but don't be surprised if you spot some cracked corn on the lawn...I won't know how it got there, but I just hope the little fairy that spreads it actually attracts them.

Wishing you the blessings of turkeys in your lawn, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Humble Morning Musings

Bon Jour!

Hmmm, not really sure what's a fitting topic for today, we'll see how it goes. Mostly, I feel like writing and the cherubs are otherwise occupied, so I'm going to take this chance to pen (or key!) a few thoughts.

1. I'm completely and totally sick of political ads. I only hear adult tv very rarely, and I listen to the 5:00 news on the radio in the kitchen as I prepare dinner every night. It is in this 30 minutes that I am so inundated with negative, smearing ads that I've taken to not listening to the news. It's local news, so we get a lot of local ads and some of them are so obnoxious, it's honestly caused me to turn off the idiots. I've made my decision for my candidates, as I'm sure you all have, and we just don't care about these silly, lying ads anymore. Enough is enough. That's my political soapbox, and I'll step down now.

2. The colors have been just GLORIOUS this autumn season. I got a chance to take a few more photos while we were out apple picking this past weekend. Just stunning colors, sometimes you even catch your breath if you are driving and come around a corner to sunshine just right in one of those golden or orange beauties. It's hard not to believe New England is the best place in the world when you see that. Amazing grace in physical form if I've ever seen it.

3. Apples fresh from the tree (especially Honeycrisp!) are one of the other reasons to believe in that whole "New England is king" thing. There is not a better tasting bit of food on the planet then those little red orbs. You bite, get an initial tart taste, juice running down your chin, as you chew it becomes so sweet in your mouth and you thank the lord for this perfection. How can you describe this accurately for someone who's never had this experience, I'm not sure. But once you taste an apple freshly picked by your own hands, you just never go back to those mealy, soft, grocery store quality apples ever again. I will wait until the fall to have an apple. We are very lucky in that our local orchard sells apples through January, and last year into March, so that we only have about 5 months without the chance to have apples. They cold store them, and though they are not the same in March as they are in October, you can rest assured they are still a far site better then anything that's traveled 3,000 miles to get here (how far is New Zealand from New Hampshire, anyways?). Just positively the best fruit on earth right here in our own backyard, truly great.

4. Woke up to a little chill in the air this morning and a lovely harvest moon on the western horizon. It made me want to get out the sweater and head to the woods for a hike. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle (again, that's at least 35 times in my life so far), and I'm laid up, so I'm going to have to enjoy the scenes from the seat of the car or the Adirondack chair in the yard. This is not all bad, however since it gives me a reason to just sit and be. Music Man disdains that since he's stuck in a building all day, with people who refuse to open the shades, he misses the outdoors. I feel for him, I really do. Especially on a day when I can take a moment to sit in the chairs on the lawn, listen to the boys playing happily in the leaves and drink my Pumpkin Spice Tea while I watch the leaves flutter then fall in the chilly autumn breeze. These are the moments that I will remember forever, those little bits of perfect that make my heart happy to be alive and happy to be a stay at home mother. And wishing that we could figure out a way to have a rural life and still make a living and be more connected to the outside world. I get to live it more then Music Man does, and I feel for him because his true heart is always up the side of a mountain somewhere or paddling through the ocean blue. It's not stuck behind a desk in a cubicle working so hard for people that don't appreciate the wonderful man that he is. I understand his sadness at going there every day, it's just not his heart.

Well, that's my pontificating for today. Little Red is waking, I hear the "MMMOOOMMMYYY!!!" being bellowed at me from the little den that is their room. Maestro went downstairs to work on his masterpiece for an upcoming art show that he's participating in. Something with snow and houses and trees and the moon...more on that later.

Wishing you pumpkin spice tea and the time to sit and watch the world go by, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

campfires, crisp nights and chickens, oh my!

Hello All,
We had a wonderful weekend adventure to tell you about last weekend. We bought a pop up camper last year, thinking we would do so much camping, and what a wonderful time to spend as a family and the boys will get to experience nature, etc...this summer, with gas prices being what they are, and the price of everything else going up in general, we just didn't have the money to do as much camping as we'd like to do for sure. Music Man and I are campers from way back, so it's definitely a strong desire to get the boys out there in the woods.

But, this past weekend, we broke open the camper and took a well deserved retreat up to Freeport, Maine for a long weekend. Music Man found this wonderful campground online called Recompence. It is smack dab in the middle of a working farm, they raise Wolfe's Neck Farm beef. It is free range and organic and wonderful. I completely fell in love with the farm and the campground in general. You will not find freer ranged meat then this, the cows had endless acres to roam around on, happy, happy cows. We got to walk dirt roads while the kids rode their bikes to their heart's content, saw the most beautiful scenery, visited the animals at the farm, enjoyed endless Casco Bay views, and slept in the chill of Maine autumn nights. The boys got to eat as many s'mores as they wanted and we just had a lovely, restful time. Music Man has been working long hours to accomplish some new duties he's been given at work and it's been stressful, and we just thoroughly enjoyed so much time together as a family with no tv, no phone, no stress. We shopped at L.L. Bean's "flagship" store, though this was not in fact the boys favorite time the whole weekend and we didn't buy anything. They DO NOT like to shop if they can help it. And, since everyone but me was recovering from a cold, there was a little more whining then we'd have liked, but it was all in all a great trip.

There were so many highlights of the trip, but for me the two best involved fowl. When we took a walk to the farm the first day, we were greeted by 4 guinnea hens. They were amusing and followed us around the whole time. But, then, they continued to follow us as we went down to the washed out bridge to throw some rocks in the bay (a very favorite pasttime for my guys) and these silly birds followed us very intently, we ended up dubbing them "psycho guinnea hens" because they followed us until they were too scared to make the trip over the foot bridge at the bay. Then, they perched on the top railing of the side and watched us the whole time until we came back and then followed us back to the farm. They then left us to our own devices. You have to realize that the whole time they were making a crazy noise at us, very urgently. This was kind of funny to start with but then became annoying somewhat. Enough so that I asked Music Man, "do you think they are trying to tell us something? Like Lassie did? Maybe Timmy fell down the well or something?". It was amusing and caused me more then once to laugh fairly heartily.

The other favorite thing was some chickens that visited our campsite. Remembering this is a working farm, and these animals are free range, the chickens came to our site to check out the bug situation and peck and scratch about a bit. Well, Maestro just thought this was great fun to watch and followed these chickens around for a LONG time as they checked out our site and the ones adjoining ours (which were empty, we were the only ones in our area most of the trip) and the woods across the street. He really loved those chickens and I loved that he was getting a good education about them and such enjoyment and entertainment out of another living creature. We don't have any pets, and it makes me sad that they've not had that growing up. We've just not lived in the right situation for a dog yet, but when we do, we'll get one for them. At one point in my childhood, I helped a woman with her farm animals and in return got to keep my horse on their property for free. This was a wonderful education for me and I really wish the boys could have something similar.

We loved Freeport before we stayed there from our numerous trips into LL Bean before this. But, we became completely smitten when we realized that they have bike lanes, and sidewalks everywhere and quaintness that's lacking in Southern NH these days. There were lots of people walking, jogging (we saw Joan Benoit running on the side of the road!), and there are endless opportunities for kayaking and fishing just minutes from where ever you are in Freeport. We are totally smitten and want to find a way to move our lives there. Music Man and I have made it a newfound goal to get our lives there, we've been wanting Maine for a long time, but just couldn't figure out how to make it work and hadn't found the right community. We've done that now, so the adventure is on!

Now, we just have to wait for the housing market to agree with our decision so we don't lose too much on this joint!

Quaint villages and chickens at your campsite to you, ~Peacemom

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interior Brain Noise

Good Day, Friends and Family,

Ahhh, the first day of October, what a treat! I've noticed in the last 4-5 days that the leaves have been putting on a glorious show. I hijacked Little Red yesterday for an hour and made him drive around our town and the next one to do some photography. SOOOO beautiful out there. Since he has a cold, he was not too disagreeable about this, but I knew I could not get away with him sitting in the car while I took pictures otherwise.

He's a very active, on his feet and running kinda kid. Even with a completely stuffy head, he still wants to be out riding his bike and making "Rooster Tails" in the puddles. Come on now, you know what rooster tails are, don't you? My boys made this expression up one day when they were repeatedly riding their bikes through the puddles. They don't make the bikes with the cover over the rear tires anymore, at least not for kids. So, the water will spray up in back of them like a "rooster tail". Is this not totally clever or what? I am not sure which one of them thought that metaphor up, but it cracks me up. And they use it like it's every day language. Here's an example:

Me to Little Red yesterday: "If you're going to ride your bike, I don't want you to get all dirty because we have to go somewhere in a couple of minutes."
Little Red: "But Mommy, I'm just going to make a few rooster tails", or

Me: "Maestro, why is your back soaking wet and filthy?"
Maestro: "It was just rooster tails"

You get the picture. I'm telling you, some of the things that these two come out with just make my day. And hearing them in a conversation with each other about something that is completely grown up also is something for me to listen to. Maestro just could not WAIT for Little Red to get to talking when he was learning so he could have someone small to talk to. Little Red was in speech therapy for a year because he was not much of a talker at first. He only had about 10 words by the time he was 20 months, so at the recommendation of his pediatrician, we started him in speech therapy. His therapist would come here once a week and work with him on talking. Now, my personal theory is that he didn't talk because A) he wasn't ready and B) he couldn't get a word in edgewise with Maestro on the scene. That child just does not stop talking and NOW Little Red follows suit. Once that flood gate opened at about 2 1/2, he hasn't looked back. When he is alone with me after Maestro is off to pursue higher learning, he does not stop chattering. I've gotten so that I just tune it out unless it's something urgent, crying or he's in pain. These conversations go something like this:

Little Red, as we're driving down the road...very excitedly..."Mommy, see that Toyota (Chevy, Ford, Infinity, etc whatever he's spotted) over there!"
Me: "Yes, the blue one?" meanwhile, to be honest, I'm tuned into the noise inside my head, making a list of stuff to get at the grocery store, figuring out the best way to fit in one more volunteer thing, organizing bills to be paid, etc. I'm rarely tuned into these conversations...
Little Red: "Mommy, that's a Ford, followed by a Toyota, followed by a Chevrolet, followed by another Ford..." this goes on almost the whole time you're driving Little Red anywhere, he's completely obsessed with cars, and is convinced that everyone else must be as well.
Me: "I see the Ford, yep, oh a Toyota?..." You get the visual, and I know if you're a parent, you've totally done this before. I know you have, admit it, and if you're little one isn't old enough yet, and you're still doting on every word, believe me you WILL get to this stage of the game. You can't stay sane otherwise. The overwhelming constant chatter takes over any space in your brain where you used to form cognitive sentences.

Well, I hear that it's time for me to get the breakfast bell on for the little men. Hope it's gonna be a peaceful one, but I'm not holding my breath. We tell them all the time, "good thing you're cute".

Wishing you chatter to fill your days, ~Peacemom