Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So, Will Your Nose Grow?

A few days ago, Joey had the honor of eating breakfast with Mr. O, the principal of his school. He sold the most items out of all the Kindergartners in a fundraiser for the PTA! He felt quite proud, and was excited to eat pancakes with bacon (and milk - plus you KNOW I fed him apples before school, knowing what he'd be eating!) from McDonald's while kicking back with the head of the school.

Of course, I reminded him of his manners, but didn't make a big fuss of things ... I didn't want to make him unnecessarily anxious. However, I did ask him to notice what color eyes Mr. O has. I had recently read to do that as a trick to get kids to look adults in the eye when talking. Joey normally doesn't have a problem with that, unless he is nervous or distracted. And he wouldn't normally be nervous in such a case (as I would have been at his age!), but I was covering the bases.

Naturally, Joey asked me why I would want to know what color eyes Mr. O has. And since Joey is the type who would be more apt to remember something more logical, I told him the real reason why.

He looked at me seriously and replied, "No, no ... I only have to do that if I tell him the truth."

PS> If you're reading this and you bought from Joey back in September, thank you again!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things Are Not Always As They Seem...

About six months ago, Joey was playing on the cul-de-sac with a friend, riding around on the friend's toy car. Another boy, who is actually better friends with the boy Joey was playing with, showed up and went over to Joey. He kind of sat on the front of the car Joey was riding on, blocking him from going further. This boy is a nice boy normally, but he just turned eight, and I thought maybe he was being territorial with his friend and intimidating Joey, who was then five. I was at a distance talking to our lawn mower (uh, a man - not the machine!) and I don't think the boy saw me.

I felt my nerves on end; my blood started to boil and I even felt almost sick - at the thought of someone picking on my little boy. I wanted to run over and save him. It took me back to when I was in grade school and an older boy from my school would come up and scare me with threats when he'd see me playing in our neighborhood. He terrorized me, and it was awful.

But I fought my urge, stayed back, and let Joey handle it himself. After a couple minutes, the boy got up and walked away. Joey started to ride around again when I casually called him over to ask him what the boy said. Joey answered, "Oh, he was just asking me if I would say the alphabet backwards for him again."

Ha! and whew! That was it? I didn't know the boy knew Joey could do that; he first surprised us by reciting it backwards out of the blue when he was two years old. I came to find out the boy asked him any time he saw Joey, ever since he first heard him say it.

I still have to deal with that first time I see or hear of my little boy getting bullied by another. But I have a feeling he'll hold his own pretty well. He didn't comply with the boy's request ... because he "didn't feel like it".

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Interrupt This Blog-Out For An Important Message...

It has been over two months since my last post. I didn't even post (yet!) about my son's first day of Kindergarten. I have been 'alphabetizing my sock drawer'. I refer to that when I have so much stuff to do (i.e., clutter and stuff to organize) and sadly, put off life to do it. I coined it that twelve years ago when we were first married and living in Charlotte (a 14-month venture). My husband was out of town and I was thrilled to have time alone to continue the organization of our new home. But our flippin' friends had a little get-together and wanted me to come. NO!!! I need to stay home and organize (I have a never-ending problem with this). But I went out of obligation and of course, had a great time.

I talked to the female part of said friends while there and told her my plight. She understood and said she's the same way (uh, if you're reading this and know who you are - you by now know you aren't close to the extent I am!) and she said jokingly that when she has free time, she'll need to "alphabetize her sock drawer". I don't think she realized that I mean it almost literally.

Anywho ... I have lots of posts to write - but my so VERY scattered brain affords (allows?) me little time to write them. Don't give up on me - (I think I'm really saying that to myself!) - and hopefully I'll make myself put down my 'socks' again soon. In fact, here's my challenge to myself ... PUT DOWN THE SOCKS WITHIN A WEEK! To you 3 people reading this: check back soon! :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Did You Watch? More Importantly, Did You Give?

If you didn't, consider this: In a radio broadcast in the 1930s, it was asked that each American contribute a dime -one dime- to help fund the fight against the seemingly insurmountable cure for Polio. Ten cents then is worth $1.50 today; please go to www.standup2cancer.org and donate $1.50 to the fight against cancer. That is one dollar and fifty cents.

My Aunt. My Uncle. My Great Uncle. Three of my Great Aunts. Keith, the 1st-grader in my neighborhood when I was in 2nd grade. The other boy without hair in my neighborhood, when I was a teenager. My Mom's Step-Father. My Mom's young cousin. My Husband's Uncle. A girl I worked with 12 years ago. My mother-in-law's good friend's son-in-law. Joey's school-friend's Mom. A former colleague of my husband. Our very close friend's sister. A good friend of my mother and father-in-law. My best-friend-from-high-school's sister's husband. And on August 22nd of this year, Shannon, her oldest sister. These are the people in my family or in my life who have had, or have died from* (in the bold print), cancer. That isn't including people I know of, but have never met - like my neighbor's best friend, another neighbor's father, yet another neighbor's father, a neighbor's Aunt and close friend, my husband's employee's Father-in-law, my friend's best friend from childhood, her best friend's mother, and her same best friend's two sisters-in-law, my best friend's two Aunts, three Uncles, and three cousins; plus countless others.
*Doug - a friend I worked with at PageNet (added in 2009)

Think of how many you know, or know of personally, who has walked with cancer.

Please give $1.50. Please eat foods that help fight cancer. Please manage your stress. Please exercise. Please wear sunscreen. Please keep your lungs pink. Please get any tests to detect, as early detection can be key...

You may save your life. You may save the life of your loved one.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stop. Listen.

I am so lucky to be Joey's Mommy. My sweet, sensitive, funny, smart, red-haired boy ... my heart smiles every time I look at his little face. And most every time, my face smiles too!

For months now, I have been blessed with a little boy who sings, "I just LOVE my Mommy soooooooo muuuuuch," to me while he does a little dance. And he tells me, "You're the most beautifulest Mommy ... the most beautifulest woman ever!" I gush. My heart SWELLS and flutters. Who could ask for more?

Well, I could - and do - ask him ... to (ahem) shut up. No, not in those words! But bless their hearts; children ... they just don't know when to stop sometimes. And, well ... I have things to do! And things to tell him to do! And I sometimes just want to finish a thought in my head without interruption even if it is a song about his undying love for me!

But most the time - and I do mean MOST the time - I let him continue, and I give him my attention. We go back and forth with who loves who more ("I love you more than the size of all the planets, Mommy!" "Well, I love you more than all the planets and their moons, Joey!"), and he bursts into his love song. With so much around me calling for my attention ... laundry, dishes, this, that, other ... I'm so glad I make myself stop. I stop to "be here now" and listen to his little voice, saying words that are the most beautifulest music to my ears.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taking After His Mommy - But Please, Not So Fast

I was just sending an email when I heard Joey, now 6, turn on his music. He is playing Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. I guess you would classify the song as hard rock, possibly verging on heavy metal, although I'm not sure if that term is used anymore. He is making squealing guitar sounds with his voice, along with the music. It made me think back to when I was 6 years old, when my favorite music to listen to (over and over!) was every song on the album, Welcome to my Nightmare by Alice Cooper.

Back in 1975, this was considered HARD CORE - and I LOVED it. I knew all the words to all the songs. I didn't listen to much kiddie music, nor did I see many kiddie movies. In fact, I remember one day my Mom reading the paper and saying, "Guess what movie is coming out, Bean!" I replied in a put-out tone, "I know ... Cinderella." No. It was Alice Cooper's "Welcome to my Nightmare" movie! I was so excited. After the movie, my Mom and brother took me to Waterbeds-N-Stuff to pick out my very own Alice Cooper t-shirt. It was the image from the album cover on an orange shirt. I wore it all the time. I even had a crush on the man.

However, while I don't discourage my son from listening to the adult music he now fancies, I am not necessarily encouraging it. While I think it is cute and funny - this boy who just turned 6 displaying what we would think is more teen-like behavior with music - I don't want the behavior to go any further than that. He's my baby, and kids are growing up way too fast these days. I still encourage silly kiddie songs and practically beg him to let me take him to kiddie movies (he isn't much of a movie-theatre fan). Sometimes, when he's laughing at the words 'poop' or 'burps' or 'farts' I think, "Ugh! I can't wait until he's grows out of this phase!" But then I stop myself. That is normal for a 5 to 6 year old. I need and want to embrace each phase and age of his life and accept it. Keep up with the 'poopy' talk right now, Joey ... those teenage years will be here soon enough.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It Doesn't Happen This Way EVERY Month, But It's That Time Again...

Since Monday - it is now Friday evening - I personally have eaten, in addition to my regular diet, the following: more than one and a half large containers of Turkey Hill Raspberry Chocolate Chunk ice cream, one and a half jars of hot fudge sauce, six regular-sized Reese's cups, various handfuls of dark chocolate chips, various spoonfuls of peanut butter, half a box of Fiber One Honey Clusters cereal (in one sitting), 3/4 bag of French Onion flavored Sun Chips, one and a half 2 oz-sized jars of green olives, and ... that's just what I can remember.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Joey Hunting

A couple months ago, Joey had his first encounter of wanting to "go see about a girl". He and several other boys were riding bikes on our cul-de-sac while the Moms talked and watched. The boys were pretending to shoot each other while riding or some boyish thing like that. Suddenly, Joey stopped riding and got his pogo stick. Since he was the only one to stop in the group and play solo, and now the boys were off bikes and running around the yards playing their equivalent of 'cops and robbers', I encouraged him to re-join the gang. He wouldn't. He continued on, but now was abandoning the pogo stick for another toy he brought out of our garage. Then another. Then he was back on the pogo stick again, having brought it to the end of the driveway, closer to where we all were sitting.

After a short time, Joey said, "Mommy, I know how we can get 'M' to come back." It all hit me. His face was anxious. I then realized that 'M', a fairly new neighbor the next street over, had been on our cul de sac with her mom, talking to the Dad of one of the boys. I was in conversation when M's mom yelled over to another as they were walking away that M decided not to stay with all the boys. I realized just after she appeared on our street, is when Joey went solo. He was making himself available. I hadn't put the two together. But now, my little boy wanted her to come back. His plan was to have his imaginary "kids", being Wizzy and Wig from The Zula Patrol (Who his "kids" are varies, but that's another post!), lure her back to have fun together. But ... it was 8pm! Most kids this age, Joey included, weren't always out this late, as it was still late Spring and they were getting used to later hours now that school was out. I decided to take a chance on the late time; at least she would know of his interest.

As I walked my 5 year old little boy down the street toward M's house, one of the boys noticed and ran after us. "Hey Joey, where are you going?!" Joey said, "I'm going to go see about M playing," and kept walking ... determined.

He was hesitant once we arrived at her house; she was outside with her Dad and sister. My outspoken child, who 'can talk to anyone', was now quiet and pushing me to go up ahead of him. We asked together. She smiled.

M and Joey played at our house that evening until after 8:30. :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Maybe We Should Start Putting Our Beer In Coffee Mugs

Last week, our local newspaper interviewed some kindergartners in light of upcoming high school graduations, to remind this year's graduating class what life was like when they were starting school. Without letting Joey read any of the answers the kids gave, I asked Joey the questions myself, since he'll be starting kindergarten as a 6 year old this Fall. Here are his answers.

What do you think you will be like when you graduate from high school?
"I will like space and science."

How will you celebrate graduating from high school?
"I'd have a party at Supergames."
(A place with moon-bounces and rock-climbing wall.)

What will you know by the time you graduate that you don't know now?
"I'll know how to open a beer cap and how to cook."

What do you think you'll be allowed to do by the time you graduate from high school that you aren't allowed to do now?
"Get snacks whenever I want, without asking - and drink beer."

What gifts do you hope you'll get when you graduate?
"Money to buy plants." (At least he didn't say beer!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rock and Roll

My husband, like many, reads in the bathroom. Last week he was running to the restroom, searching for reading material on the way. The front page of the Sunday paper was nearby, and the main story was about Lead Poisoning - something he wouldn't normally care to read, but I would want him to do so since he longs to move back to his childhood neighborhood, where the houses are very old. I said quickly, "Here, you want to read about lead?", and was a tad curious at his eagerness to do so as he grabbed the paper and ran with it into the bathroom and closed the door.

About thirty seconds later, he yelled out,
"Aw man! I thought you meant
Led Zeppelin!!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Reality Checks

Yesterday, I was reading Bossy's post for the day (Momo got me hooked on her!) when five year old Joey walked up. He looked at the picture on the screen and said, "Uh, Mommy, you know they aren't real, right??"
"Yeah. I can tell because (click on Bossy's name above for full effect) he doesn't have a head."

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sweet Somethings

In March 2006, when Joey was 3, I decided that at bedtime I would tell Joey what he did that day that I appreciated. Each night I'd tell him, and he always told me what he appreciated that I did also. Here's a sampling from 2 years ago (because that is when I was writing them down):
Mommy: "Joey, I appreciated that you went in to go potty right away when we came up to get ready for bed."
Joey: "I'm happy 'for that' you played with me today."

Joey: "You read me stories."


Joey: "You washed my blanket."


Joey: "You took my plate into the kitchen for me.


Mommy: "When I said it was time to leave the park, you came right away."

Joey: "You buckled my seat belt."


Mommy: "I liked that you noticed I had cleaned up your room and that you made a point to tell me and to thank me."

Joey: "I liked that you made me pick up the purple grass."
(He had strewn Easter grass all over the house)


Mommy: "I liked the way you crawled on the carpet on your hands and knees with your muddy feet up in the air (without me even knowing they were muddy) when you came in the house, so to not get mud on the floor."
(How did he know to do that??)

Joey: "I liked that you put a sign with my name on my bed."


Mommy: "I liked the way you got right back up and tried again when you fell on your roller skates today."

Joey: "I liked the way you gave me hugs today."

Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way of what really matters. We have dropped this routine and picked it back up again several times in the last 25 months - having just picked it up again recently. It feels so good to know about little things you did or said that didn't go unnoticed - and on the flip side, it feels even better to express appreciation for someone. Especially when they are things that might normally be left unsaid. Sometimes I have to rack my brain to think of something to tell him I appreciated, and other days I say 2 or 3 different things. On those days when I have to really think hard of something to come up with - either due to a bad day or a rushed, non-connecting day - I feel so good to have made myself realize something I appreciated in him ... to bring myself back to what really matters.

It's our sunshine at night.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Heart Overflowing

Last Thursday was my birthday. My mother-in-law sent me a birthday email, featuring part of an old email I had sent my husband months ago; he must have forwarded it to her:
On November 14, 2007 you wrote:

…is such a boy – full of wonder and imagination. He is running around the back yard, pretending something that requires him to pick up mulch, dig like a dog, put his foot in the pool of sand/water, fling sand in the grass (I put a stop to that), and sing the Snow/Heat Miser songs. And in the middle of it all, he yelled to me, “Mommy!!” “Yes, Buggy?” “I LOVE YOU!!” That was after we each did the ‘splendid’ sign.

My heart is full.


And that's what this motherhood thing is all about.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Five Year Old Teenager

My first post about my little buggy is, unfortunately, mentioning some negative behavior. Joey was very, very, very upset about something yesterday that caused him to behave in a less than desirable manner (and to get lots of consequences as a result). He was crying and rocking (If you don't know, rocking is his way of self-soothing. He sits in a big chair in the living room and 'bounces' his upper half on the back of the chair over and over.) while I was in the kitchen, after his big blow-out. After a couple minutes I hear "The Pretender" by The Foo Fighters come on. My little boy was rocking out - singing quite loud in a wobbly, I've-been-crying voice, "So who are YOU? Yeah, who are YOU??" along with the song. My mind fast-forwarded to him as a teenager for a second. But only for a second ... I want to cherish every single moment of these younger years. And, when he can always make me smile even when I'm upset with him.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Beginning This Blog

And so, I begin.

I want a place to share little snippets and stories about Joey, my five year old little boy, with family. My BF, Momofali, started a blog nearly a year ago and is awesome (for any Momo fans who may happen to end up seeing this, I'm "Bean"). I never really had the desire or time to put the effort into what it would take for me to write clever and funny blogs like Momo does. Yet, one day it hit me that I could easily share things about Joey (and whatever else strikes me) in a blog!! My family (and friends?) can check it for Joey updates, and I'll have a journal!

I have been called Pickle for as long as I can remember. I loved pickles, and since my first name rhymes with "dill", my family and their friends started calling me "Jill Pickle". After a while my Dad would say, when I was still really little, "One sing, two sing, three sing, Pickle sing!" I don't know what the 'sing' is; I never thought to ask! I guess it is kind of a baby-talk type way of saying 'thing'. And still today, part of my family calls me Picklesing or Pickle at times ... even my husband and Joey call me Pickle sometimes! So I'm Pickle; read what I 'sing' about.