Sunday, October 12, 2008


Tonight Nate was stalling on going to bed, as usual. Nothing major, just dallying. He needed a second trip to the bathroom, and I walked him through it without getting up from my desk. He happily wandered back to bed and I smiled when I heard him tucking himself into his blankets under his tent (where he's slept for months).

A few minutes later he calls "Mommy?" a few times, but I ignore to see how urgent the matter is. I don't hear from him again for a while so I don't even think about it. Then he calls me again, so I meander in and he's lying under the tent, which is completely flat collapsed on him. He says, and I quote, "This is not up."

I'm still laughing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Three Years One Month

Dear Nate,

The "terrible twos" have their reputation, but it's the private opinion of Mamas that the threes are worse. You've managed to evade both phases so far, and I'm counting my blessings. I'm trying to enjoy you at this age as much as possible because I have strong suspicious that you are about to turn into a classicly obnoxious little boy soon. A few days ago, you said to Daddy: "You silly bad guy, why'd you pop my balloon?" Your first name-calling, and I suspect poop-jokes aren't far behind. Poop, poop, poop.

You're still sassy as hell sometimes and I guess I wouldn't change it. Sometimes at night you get a bee in your bonnet about not liking one of your animal friends and you decide you don't want it anymore. You call out for me to take it away and I call back "If you don't want it, just don't play with it!" A few minutes later you'll come stalking out of your room, throw the toy on the floor of my room, and march back to bed.

You're sleeping in your tent most of the time now, on a bedroll that Grandma and Grandmpa gave you. When I tuck you in, you like me to give everyone a kiss: Bumper, Woody, then you. After that come the animals in your tent: Whale, Mama Monkey, Baby Monkey, Giraffe, and Elephant. You've gotten a little manipulative: if you're trying to stall bedtime, you ask for another kiss, or for me to give the animals another kiss. Nice try, buddy.

A few days ago I left Jack at home with Grandma and came to pick you up at school alone. I know it's important to spend time with each of you alone, and I really enjoy the chance to talk with you without interruption. I stood there waiting for you, and you noticed me and ran to me with you usual "Mommy!!!!" But halfway through your run you slowed down, stopped, and demanded to know where Jack was. You walked all the way home in a funk.

You're loving preschool, and I'm so glad. You leave the house happily, don't fuss at all when I leave you, and you're happy and content when I pick you up. The kids are all different ages and nationalities, and though you're still a loner a lot of the time, you definitely have a fan following. Nikola is a few months older than you and adores you - he's always trying to hug you, drag you along, or wrestle with you. You put up with all the hands-on stuff for a little while, and then you just walk away. I'm so grateful that you haven't picked up on his physical play, and it's funny to see you being so haughty about who you choose to play with. Because you're so content to walk away and play by yourself, you've got nothing to lose!

You are a caring, sweet boy, especially when it comes to Jack. If I accidentally leave the gate to the upstairs open, you always stop Jack from climbing and slam the door shut. You cover him with kisses and hugs, maybe a bit too much. When he's crying, you run across the room to dance for him or tickle him to make him laugh again. You're giddy with glee when you guys roll around on the floor like kittens, rubbing your heads against each other and grinning.

One night at the beach, you picked the movie "Born Free" to watch. I forgot about the guy stalking around with a gun the whole time, and you picked up on him right away. You told me you didn't like him and wanted to know what he was doing, why he had the gun. I told you that sometimes people just felt like they needed to have a gun, and you nodded knowingly and said "Yeah, so they can squirt things."

I could wish you could always be so innocent, Natey, but I know it's not to be. I'll wish instead that you keep your good kind heart and always use it to guide you forward.

I love you,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My first bento!

I've been totally inspired by Lunch in a Box. Preparing meals in Bento boxes appeals to my anal side, my artsy-food-prep-side, and my desire to feed my kids healthy, fun meals. And since I'm trying to make our house more vegan, there's a lot of pre-prepped healthy food around (since I can't just grab a hot dog for lunch!)

I ordered a bunch of Bento boxes from Ichiban Kan, but they haven't come yet. Today I had my first good opportunity to use a Bento - we have a dentist appointment for Nate at 11:45. He'll definitely be hungry, so I needed to pack a lunch to take with us (especially since we're walking the 30 minutes each way).

Thus, my first Bento. I just used a lunch-sized Gladware and some ceramic dishes inside. To keep the almonds from moving around, I wadded up a small piece of tin foil and put it on top - the lid of the Gladware keeps it pressed in place and no almonds escape. Grapes, red pepper slices, celery, raw almonds, and hummus/cucumber "sandwiches." Fun!