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4 kittens

Llama Sonatina

Posted on 2017.01.01 at 23:03
Happy new year. 2016 is SO yesterday. To celebrate we watched TV. Jammies was typing on his phone during the actual ten second countdown instead of sharing a moment. But then we kissed and it was 2017 either way.

Jammies took the kids to see this movie today:

Erm, that's "Rogue 1", Hawaii.  There is a new fancy theater nearby:

My song of 2016 is Bowie's Starman. It's very special to me right now.

My New Year's Resolutions are:
1. To get Fluffy cat to come cuddle in my lap.
2. To renew last year's resolution about keeping my clothes picked up off the floor 80% of the time. I successfully kept this up through roughly August or September, but the last few months really got out of hand.

A Boring Story

I never did finish telling you about my tooth. Two weeks ago, it was throbbing with increasing urgency. I speculated that my gum was infected, behind my last molar. I booked a Denver dentist appointment. Aggressively, I gargled and swished with saltwater. As a kid, gargling with saltwater was so repulsive that I'd gag and vomit. But now it doesn't seem so bad. It really goes to show you how bright and clunky and easily stimulated your taste buds are as a kid, and how dull (but discerning) they are as adults.

Anyway: I swished aggressively. My tooth felt incrementally better. The next day, the dentist couldn't find anything. Nothing was infected. There is a 6 mm pocket from a wisdom tooth, and flossing only reaches 3 mm, they told me, so I probably had some food stuck back there.  I vaguely remembered that the aggressive swishing had dislodged something, (a little speck of something white). They cleaned out the pocket thoroughly. The tooth went back to normal.

Ace and Rascal

1. "I'm Batgirl, you're Wonderwoman, and Rascal is Supergirl!" said Ace.
"I Baggirl, you Wonwhoa, an Moe-thy Soogir!" echoed Rascal. He's echoing really complicated things these days. He's also speaking in pretty complete sentences - "No I do it!" (the classic everytoddler), "where daddy go?", "No I wan THIS one", etc.

2. "If you're lost in the middle of a city, birds don't really take you home. They just take you to different islands." Another one from Ace. I stopped to write it down because I was so enchanted with the logic.

3. Here is a song I sing to Rascal, to the tune of Frere Jacques:
Chew and swallow,
chew and swallow

The food that's in your mouth,
the food that's in your mouth.

Don't put any more food in.
Don't put any more food in,

Until your mouth is empty.
Until your mouth is empty.

It doesn't scan whatsoever, but it serves an incredibly useful, self-explanatory function for Ol' Chipmonk Cheeks Rascal. The goal is to keep the entire mouthful of food from coming back out of his mouth and onto the table, which happens when Rascal decides he must bail on the situation.

I was reminded to sing the French version, and I got to the third line - morning bells are ringing - and it occurred to me that as an adult, I was still singing my childhood mumbo jumbo: soma loma tina. I went and looked up the French lyrics. It turns out that it is Sonnez les matines.  So my syllabic-word-mush was loosely tied to reality. (Conceptually, I always understood soma loma tina to mean llama sonatina even though I knew the English translation. Now I see that "Sonnez" is probably "sounds" and "les Matines" would be "morning bells". Something like that.)

4. Rascal has a crazy hard bowling ball head, and he lobs it around like a wrecking ball. We've all been headbutted in the mouth, nose, cheekbone, eye-socket, because of his careless disregard of his skull. His signature move is to sit in your lap, casually lean forward, and then wham back as hard as he can, wrecking-balling your face with his skull.

5. Pokey picked Return of the Jedi to watch on his turn, on the drive back from Dallas. Partway through, Ace asked, "Is this number 4?"
"No," we answered, "It's six."
"It looks like four," she said.
"Yeah," we said, "They do look alike. Same characters. But this is the one with the ewoks."
"NO!" she thundered, "MY LEGS! I'm making a four with my legs!"
I turned around, and lo, her legs were indeed bent into a numeral 4. But how on earth were we supposed to infer that from context, sweetie?

6. Rascal has some crazy static hair:

7. Ace is done with nighttime diapers!! We are down to ONE kid in diapers!

8. In the Dallas airport, mid-escalator maze, I ducked off to throw a tissue away. For some reason, Ace decided to try stepping on the escalator by herself, instead of waiting for me.

She stepped cleanly! Then the stair rose under her - the stair seam was right under her feet - and so she lost her balance and toppled backwards. But it's an escalator, so the stairs kept travelling up. She kept tumbling down the stairs, in place, in slow motion. I was heading back from the trash can - feeling motherly concern but also not immune to the slapstick humor, either.

Jammies abandoned Rascal at the base of the escalator, to go help Ace. He picked her up, and Ace and Jammies started travelling up the escalator. I pushed through the crowd to grab Pokey - there was now a bottleneck crowd of people amassed, waiting to go upstairs. I tried to get him to step on the escalator. He wouldn't, because he wanted Daddy to come back.

I forcibly picked him up and headed to the stairs. A nice grandmotherly lady offered to take his wheely suitcase, which he is obsessed with, and meet us at the top. He screamed and screamed at the idea of someone taking his suitcase. I thanked her, let the crowd surge die down, and we took the escalator up together.

At the top of the escalator, Jammies informed me that an entire flight crew had taken up with Pokey at the top of the escalator, concerned that he appeared to be abandoned because no adult had appeared for so long.

At a different point in our travels, Rascal decided to step on a moving sidewalk by himself. That same wheely suitcase did not come along, and he toppled backwards trying to hang on to it. There was no crowd and he didn't seem hurt or upset, and it was strictly funny.

9. Ace has a tendency to say things like, "I can't remember what our house is like," when we're on vacation, or "I can't remember what our minivan looks like," or "I can't remember what it was like when we got ice cream," a few hours after we ate ice cream.

I sort of know what she means. I used to freak myself out by trying to remember my mother's face, and not being able to retrieve it besides specific images from photographs.  (I know some people can't visualize anything, but that's not this.) Eventually I lived long enough that all the photographs and all of the repetition smeared together into a single coherent idea of my mother's face, but it takes brain development, I think. (And actually, it's not a single coherent idea anymore: there's my image of my mom in her 40s and 50s, long dark braided hair, in a bun.  And then my current idea of my 70 year old, white-haired, post-cancer, frail elderly mother.  She stopped dyeing her hair after cancer, which meant that along with the physical frailty, her hair went from dark brown directly to snow white.)

With Ace, I usually just ask her a few questions and she retrieves details just fine, and that seems to comfort her.

10. This is how Ace looks any time we go anywhere social, lately:

ie glued to my leg. She's gotten intensely shy recently.

Pokey and Hawaii

1. Pokey has his first loose tooth! He's very excited. Our babies teeth late, and our kids lose their teeth late. (Oh god, Rascal is drooling like a faucet, presumably due to his two year molars.)

Unintentional Still Life of Found Objects, by Pokey Geebie.

2. Hawaii told a long story called, "The Mum Zom Vam Man Story," and everyone in the car was rapt. It was a man who became a vampire, ("The Vam Man") and then a zombie, ("The Zom Vam Man") and then a mummy, hence the whole thing.

She is not clear on the details of her lore. He became a vampire by eating something gross off the ground. He became a zombie just by dying. He became a mummy by inadvertently letting a bit of toilet paper stick to his heel, so that the roll unrolled and trailed behind him as he went to the playground, and then he rode a merry-go-round and got all wrapped up. Then he injured his feet and walked stiff-legged, and then had a few minor adventures.

3. Because of the spacing of the kids, I am always coexisting with a shadow memory from exactly four years earlier, when Hawaii and Pokey were exactly the ages of Ace and Rascal.

Four years ago, when Pokey was two, was the height of his Mommy phase. I used to joke that no one has ever loved me like Pokey loved me. It was so sweet and dear and intimate, and I remember it so vividly right now. Currently Pokey is very independent.  He is still my Mama's boy, and still sweet and cuddly, but I'm having a bit of an ache that he isn't my two year old anymore.

Ugh, baby Pokey, you need a haircut, a napkin, and a hug.

That was in Madison. We were supposed to take a bus to a train to Montana, but there was a blizzard coming. So a night in advance, my uncle drove us to a hotel, two hours away, on the general premise that buses get cancelled but trains don't. The hotel was two miles from the train station.

We had no plan of how we would get from the hotel to the train in a blizzard. Pokey was two, Hawaii was three, and I was six months pregnant. It was something out of a Victorian diary. In the end, we befriended an old lady with a pick up truck, who was also going to the train station. She said she'd be happy to take us, but she wanted Jammies to drive her truck. Which he did.

Then we spent hours and hours in a tiny, wooden train station. We used up all our kiddie entertainment before we ever got on the train. Then we rode the train for two days to Montana. It's a fond memory.

One Last Boring Story

I swore off desserts until my birthday. Ugh, I'm sorry, what an insufferable thing to discuss.  I have a personal reason for going into detail here.

In Denver and Dallas, I was locked in the stupidest, most common sugar-wrestling-clinch-hold all vacation long. If there is a self-refilling platter of cake balls and toffee bark, brownies and cookies, cheesecake and coffee cake, do you nibble and graze all day everyday? or do you devote an outsized amount of effort into constructing and fortifying a barrier between you and the platter? Or do you magically self-regulate? Like almost everybody, I do not have one weird trick. I nibbled and grazed on uncut sugar for two weeks. As we pulled out of my cousin's driveway on Thursday, I declared a cease-fire of sorts - no desserts until my birthday, on February 3rd. So the sugar hiatus began on December 28th, not New Year's Day, if you must know.

(From July 2005 to July 2006, I did not eat desserts. I thought it would reset my sweettooth, but it didn't. I thought I wouldn't miss sugar after the first month, but I did. After six or seven months I wanted to quit, but by then I was closer to the end than the beginning. So I finished it and nothing happened.)(Jammies and I started dating on my birthday, February 3rd, in 2006. On Valentine's day, he stopped by my apartment on his way to work and brought me some muffins and coffee. It struck the perfect note - we'd only been dating two weeks, so this was cheap but thoughtful. I was smitten. As soon as he left, I threw both muffins away. Whenever I tell that story, Jammies says, "That's why I brought two different kinds of muffins. I figured one was a dessert, but the other one was a healthy muffin." Then I say, "I wasn't taking any chances. But I thought it was incredibly sweet of you to bring them by.")

We got back home from vacation. Almost immediately I regretted my decision to swear off desserts.  That is my personal reason, the reason why I'm boring you to death: to keep track of the desserts that I can seek out in one month.

This is the first installment of the series, Desserts I May Eat In February:

these powdered chocolate things.

not the cake, but the cream cheese and jalapeno jelly spead.

these little fudge balls on that atrociously ugly granite. That is basically the same granite that I removed from our kitchen, feeling like a materialistic bitch, but what can you do. If the shoe fits.

these yogurt pretzels.

and these cupcakes with brown crystal sugar sprinkled on top.

And right now I really want some ice cream.

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