Translation: “Sorry, Jesus, that you got shooted by humans.” (Repeat x 4)
On Thursday, the boys made Welcome Home signs for our newest little friend, Baby Davy. Simon’s picture was of Jake (on the left/bottom), Baby Davy (in the middle), and Joie (on the right) dressed as “injas” [ninjas], hiding under a giant tree.
I snapped this shot as he was almost finished. He added a few more details and signed his name, and then I took the dictation of what he wanted the sign to say: “Welcome home, Jake and Joie, and especially welcome home, Baby Davy.” (Ian’s sign, which you can see a corner of at the top of this photo, had a similar theme—he loves to be like his big brother—and said, “Welcome home, Baby Davy. Happy having a new baby.” I’m not sure what all ended up in his final draft, but in one version he was drawing multiple circles, and when I asked him what they were, he gleefully explained, “I’m making Baby Davys!”)
What I found incredibly interesting—besides the fact that drawing a family of ninjas seems like such a quintessentially “boy” thing to do—was that Simon didn’t paint the ninjas from the start. He first painted the people as he normally would (stick figures with giant heads) and then added the ninja costumes later: “Okay, now I have to camouflage Joie.” “Why?” “Remember? They are ninjas!” I love his four-year-old logic.
In other news, I have been quilting again. My friend Kerri came over the other morning to talk quilting, and I have been rather obsessively reading about quilts (specifically about modern quilts), thinking about quilts, and, yes, even working on a quilt ever since.
I started this one almost eight years ago, shortly after Jason and I got engaged. The goal, of course, was for it to be done by our wedding. And, yeah, so seven + years later, it’s not done. And, actually, I am kind of glad because I am going to change it up and make it truly unique. I suppose it might be more dramatic to blog about it when it is all finished, but, let’s face it, even though I’m on the quilting kick now, it still might not get done (not trying to be pessimistic, just sayin’), and then even if I do actually finish it, who knows when/if I’ll get around to blogging about it. So I’m doing it now while it’s on my mind.
Someday I will tell the story of how my friend Erin and her mom, Judy, taught me to quilt. It’s definitely been a stable interest/desire of mine to keep quilting, but I generally lack time and gumption to actually do, rather than just dream. Also, I love to start projects; this is a well-known fact about me. Following through is harder.
So this particular quilt, my unfinished wedding quilt, was intended to be a Double Irish Chain. I have all the blocks made (81 of them, in fact), and all that was really left was to sew them together to create the top. But as I’ve been inspired by more modern quilts, I started thinking about how I could make these traditional blocks into something a little more reflective of my current tastes. I also wanted to come up with something that had meaning for our family, something that was unique to us. The result ended up being a collaboration with Jason, which in itself adds meaning. We played with a couple of different layouts, but this was the one that I was most pleased with.
The two crosses at the top represent Jason and me, and the three across the lower half represent the kids. I really like all the negative space, but, good grief, quilting math is hard, and I won’t be sure I got it all right until I sew it all up. I’ll also need to add a border (or three) of the neutral fabric to make it bed-quilt size. I haven’t planned the back exactly yet, but I do have 41 minus 13 of the darker squares and 40 minus 12 of the lighter squares plus many dark and medium would-have-been-border strips and various measures of the neutral fabric. I’m thinking I will do a nod to the traditional layout of the double chain but also incorporate some modern elements. It’s a work in progress for sure.
Ever since “A” week at his preschool, Simon has taken a special interest in acorns (we collected a few to take for Show and Tell that Monday). A few days ago, he found that a couple of his treasures had cracked open a bit, and he wondered if maybe that meant they were ready to grow. So to test his hypothesis (thank you, Dinosaur Train), he and Jason (with Ian tagging along, if I remember correctly) headed out to plant the seeds.
The next day as we were shuffling kids out the door and into the van to get to church, Jason and Simon took a quick detour to water the acorns. As Simon headed back toward me and climbed into his carseat, I could tell something was wrong.
“Did you water your acorns, buddy?”
“They were dug up. The sqwooowuhs [squirrels] stole them.”
(And I just have to pause here a moment to laugh at how quick my temper flared and how incensed I was at those darn squirrels. What right did they have? Those were NOT! THEIR! NUTS! A fierce and swift mother love is triggered at the slightest injustice—perceived or actual—done to my child).
“Well, silly squirrels. How do you think they knew they were even there?”
He paused just long enough for me to know that he was really considering the question, and said, “Well, maybe they hear-ed me and Daddy talking yesterday when we planted them. . . . Or maybe they smelled them.”
“Well, shoot, buddy. That’s disappointing, huh?”
And I thought that was probably the end of it.
[A few minutes later, from the back of the van] “Mommy? I think we can build a remote control robot, and then from inside the house you can just push a few buttons and the robot will make a really loud noise to scare the sqwooowuhs: a Real Dinosaur Roar!”
Jason and I laughed and told him that sounded like a good idea and that maybe he could invent that kind of remote control robot. Then Simon and Ian happily spent the rest of the ride to church plotting their revenge on the poor squirrels with ever-more-imaginative devices. By the time we arrived, they had thought up some kind of remote control (of course) knight/volcano that runs on “gas and water and pizza, but not fuel” and that swings its sword at the squirrels and pours hot lava out of its mouth.
I think the real takeaway here is that I have a lot to learn about boys.
As we were getting in the van, buckling in, and preparing to
drive blast off:
Simon: Calling all astronauts!
Ian: Aaasstronauts, where aaarrreee you?
Simon: Come in, astronauts!
Ian: Aaasstronauts! Where aaaarrreee you?
Simon: Okay, let’s go!
Ian: Let’s fly this thing!
Later, after many exchanges on our “radios” (baby monitor/remote control/phone), including fixing the landing gear, brakes, and flat tires several times and bouncing kisses and hugs off of the rearview mirror:
Simon: Astronaut Mommy! Come in, Astronaut Mommy!
Me: Astronaut Mommy here. What do you need, Astronaut Simon?
Simon: Watch out for the bad spaceship flyers!
Me: Okay, I see them. I’m going to try to lose them.
Simon: Don’t worry. The bad guys can’t see me. I’m covered in hugs.
Ian: No worry, Mommy Astronaut, I covered in [unintelligible].
Me: You’re covered in what, Ian?
Ian: In [unintelligible]!
Me: You’re covered in *ideas*? [Because that would be awesome].
Ian: No! [Unintelligible]!
Simon: He says he’s covered in trees.
Ian: Yeah, trees.
On our way to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo this morning, Ian and I had fun talking about what animals we might see and what they do and say:
Ian: A monkey say, “Oooh ooh! Aaah aah!”
Me: What does a wallaby do?
Ian: Hop! Hop! Hop!
Me: Can you think of another animal that hops?
Ian: Ummmm . . . frog!
Me: What does a frog say?
Ian: [With a uncharacteristically menacing growl] Riiiiibbbiiiiit! Riiiibbbbiiiiiiit!
[Several more rounds of sounds and questions]
Me: What does a lion say?
Ian: Paper! Paper! I love paper!
A sampling from the last week . . .
From Simon (4 years old):
How strong is God? Is he bigger than a tornado? Could he pick up a tornado and put it back down? What if the tornado’s only this big [makes a little fist]? We could let it in the house, and all the people would say, “Oh, what a cute little tornado!”
What does it look like inside our tummies? Is it light or dark?
How does the plane tell the pilot where to go? Is there a mouth in there?
From Ian (2 years old):
[After trying urgently to get Jason’s attention in the car]: Dad! Dad! Dad! Do people have wings?
Are you going to be a daddy, Mommy?
I have a poopy diaper. Jesus can help me?
Me: I’m thinking of something green.
Simon: A tree!
Me: That’s right! Your turn.
Simon: I’m thinking of something yellow.
Me: Is it something you drive?
Me: Is it something you play with?
[Several more questions, all answered with “no.”]
Simon: It’s corn!
Me: Okay, Ian, it’s your turn buddy.
Ian: My turn! I’m thinking ‘bout ants. . . .
Me: Okay. I’m thinking of something red.
Simon: That’s my favorite color!
Me: I know, buddy.
Simon: Is it my lawnmower?
Simon: My lawnmower is red.
Me: Yep, but that’s not what I’m thinking of.
[Several more rounds until he guesses correctly.]
Simon: I’m thinking of something brown and bushy. . . .
Ian: My turn! I’m thinking ‘bout my faaavorite color. Broooowwwn.
Simon: I’m thinking of something brown.
Me: [After narrowing it down.] Is it a train?
Simon: It’s not the train, but it’s close. It’s what the train runs on [without waiting for me to guess]: the tracks!
Ian: My turn! I’m thinking ‘bout brown. My faaavorite color. I’m thinking ‘bout brown trains.
My name is Renae, and The Grand is where I keep thoughts, observations, and photos from my life.