Friday, July 24, 2015

Sir Parks-a-Lot

This morning, the boys and I went to the Waynesville Rec Park.

I was sitting on a park swing, watching the boys play, when Jones walked away from me to go to the other side of the park. About halfway to where he was heading, he turned around and said, "I need kees" and then he came back to get one from me. If he did this once, he did it twenty times, never getting more than twenty feet away from me before turning around and saying, "I need kees!" "Well, come and get one," I'd say. Jones would, and then he'd run off, saying, "Bye, Mama!" "Bye, Buddy. I love you!" "I ugh ooo!" Over and over and over again, we went through this exact exchange.

Freddie started following suit. I thought I'd gotten iPhone footage of it, but apparently, I pushed the wrong button, because it's not on my phone anymore, thus requiring this post.

At one point in our playing, Jones started calling me "Mom." I'm not sure where he's even HEARD "Mom," but toddlers calling their mamas "Mom" is an inexplicable pet peeve of mine. I don't know why. It just makes me crazy in the same way that words like "preggo," "hubs," and "darling" (as an adjective) do. So when he'd say it, I'd say, "I'm Mama." Standing 15 feet away, he pointed to himself and said, "I JoJo;  (pointing at Freddie who was 20 feet farther away) de Free-dee."

So long as we've got that straight.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Talking to JoJo

Here are a few quick little, cute exchanges with Jones from today and tonite (I know that the more that he starts talking, there more of these there will be, so just get ready).

ME: I like you, Jones Pressley.
JONES: I like you, Mama Peh-pees (sounds like the plural version of "Peppy Leppew").

(background info: Jones does NOT like to sleep with anything - not even his stuffed Tec. I'll periodically say, "Do you want {fill in the blank} to sleep with you?" and he never, ever does ... until a week or two ago, that is. He wanted to sleep with his "fi-uh toot," which is a Matchbox firetruck, so he did. 

Given how much he's been playing with Mack and Wahken lately, I thought he might like to sleep with Wahken, so as we cleaned up the playroom, I asked ...)

ME: Would you like for Lightnin' to sleep with you tonite?
JONES (looking at me like I'm CRAZY): He not sleepy.

Apparently, though Wahken wasn't sleepy, the Matchbox truck (yellow, like his fiuh toot) Jones got at Walmart today WAS. So the three of us - Jones, the truck, and me - cuckled up to sing before they went to bed. Typically, we sing three songs - two verses of "Jones," the Hym
n of the Month, and the encore he cons me into after he's in his crib.

Tonite, we made it through the first verse of our first song when Jones sat up from where he was laying on my chest and said:

JONES: Truck sleepy.
ME: Fire truck sleepy?
JONES: Truck sleepy (so he DOES know the difference between the truck and the fire truck, I thought to myself).
ME: Well, you two had better get in the bed, then.

He immediately walked to his crib; I loaded him into it, and we prayed. There was no single finger stuck in my face as he begged, "One more?" There was just my prayer followed by his "Amen."

I guess the two of them wanted to be left alone.

And this isn't about Jones, but it is a quick little, cute thing that Freddie did today. Tonite at dinner, Freddie asked for more dip (ketchup). I assumed he wanted it for his fish sticks. Turns out, he just wanted more ketchup. He proceeded to eat it, on its own, with his fingers.

From where he stood beside him, Jones pointed at Freddie's face and said, "Mees! Mees!"

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lake Days

I'm *trying* not to take so many pictures.

Believe it or not, the fact that I only kept 95 shots from this past weekend at Lake Chatuge is proof that I'm getting better, though I still have a long way to go. 

It's just that Jones and Freddie are so cute. There. I said it. I'm their mama, and I think they're so cute, and if that's tacky to say, then just call me tacky, because I can't get enough pictures of my babies. In fact, even when I'm away from them - sitting in a waiting room, laying in a bathtub, wherever - I most often pass the time by swiping through the thousands of pictures of them stored so conveniently on the Shutterfly app. 

That's why I'm posting about another weekend at the Lake. In many ways, it was just like any other weekend at the lake - the boys got up way too early, we rode the boat and went to church; lather.rinse.repeat. - but in many ways, it was unlike any other weekend at the lake, and if those differences (and the pictures of them) don't warrant a post of their own, then I don't know what does.

For starters, my parents came out! They spent Saturday with us, after visiting Jeremy's office earlier that morning. By the time they got there, the boys were just waking up from their naps. We immediately boated it to the Blue Otter for a late lunch. While there, we learned that Freddie loves fried pickles, and Jones learned how to give a thumbs up sign.

This came in VERY handy throughout the rest of his day and even the weekend. Daddy'd say, "You okay?" and Jones would say, "I okay" and flash a thumbs up. In fact, Sunday morning, 18 hours after Mom and Daddy had gone back to Greenville, Jones fell out of his chair and busted his bottom on the deck. He immediately stood up and gave me the sign, saying, "I okay."


Naturally, Mack made the trip with us. Wahken rode along, too (of course). Jones continued the fascination that started late last week, playing constantly with the two of them. At one point, Jones was in our room jumping on the bed (if you must know). I said, "Where's Mack?" Jones answered, "He be deen (den)." "Where's Wahken?" I followed up, to which Jones replied, "He be deen. He cuckle Mack."

Of course.

Here's a video of Jones playing with Mack and Wahken on Saturday morning. I can't make out everything he says (could you?!?), but I'll write out what I CAN decipher below the video.

It cracks me up that Jones has gotten so totally attached to the character of Mack. Ever since this phase started, I'd been thinking that maybe an actual Mack toy would be a good birthday present come October, but the more I thought about it, I decided against it. To Jones, this red hauler IS Mack, and I love that he's using his imagination to make it so.

Wahken: "Oh, ???. Oh, ???, Mack. I gotta ???, Mack."
Mack: "???. ???, Wahkeen. I got. ??? race car?"
W: "I not a race car, Mack. ??? Here you go. See you, Mack. ??? Bye. See you later, Mack."
M: "See you later, Wahkeen."
W: "Oh, I want a kiss, Mam(a) Mack." (SMACK)
M: "I wah oo (I love you), Wahkeen." (SMACK)
W: "I wah oo, Mack."

Another video I took on this morning has Thomas paying ole' Mack a visit - not Thomas the toy, just imaginary Thomas. He showed up in dialogue only. Ironically, though, when I later tried to put Thomas on Mack's riser, Jones would not hear of it. That's Wahken's place. Thank you very much.

Oh, and somehow, Jones pulled the two risers off of Mack while Jeremy was at work (we came out Friday after work, and he went back in for the Saturday shift). As I struggled to put it back together, Jones was so concerned. "Oh, no, Mack" and stroking his little cab. At nap time - long after Mack had been reconstructed - Jones gave him a nite-nite kiss.

This picture, y'all. As they say: "I can't even."
Also, when his Poppy left on Saturday afternoon, Jones pitched the kind of fit that Sissy and I used to pitch when we had to leave Mayme. When he FINALLY settled down, as we drove back to the house, I said, "You okay, Jonesie," trying to get him to give me the thumbs up and say, "I okay," just as Pop had taught him. Instead he said, "I miss Pop."

Another new addition to this weekend's trip was the boys' newfound love of jumping on the bed in the room where Jeremy and I sleep. Since we refuse to let them have a trampoline, I can't come up with a single reason why they shouldn't jump on the bed. What better place to practice the "SHEEEMY"?

Finally, after church and naps on Sunday, we took one of my favorite rides on the lake - the one to Boundary Waters where they have the cutest gift shop around. It took us two tries to get there. The first time, rain required we head back to the dock. We got there just before the deluge started, and when I say "just before," I mean as soon as we got under cover, the sky exploded. Between the wind and rain, we were all soaking wet. Jones was a little skittish at the start of the rainstorm but warmed up to it pretty quickly. Freddie loved it from the very beginning. He'd run to the front of the boat and let the wind blow his hair back for a few seconds before running to the back of the boat, laughing all the way. When it stopped a few minutes later, we resumed our trip and made it there and back, a snack of chips, M&Ms, and a Good Humor Birthday Cake Bar tiding us over until we ate what's becoming our traditional return-trip dinner at Vito's in Franklin. 

And that was that - another wonderful weekend at a really wonderful place.  

Freckle is not only great at hugs
but also kisses. Conversely, as
this picture proves, I am not so great
at putting on make up.

"Where go Jones?" "Shhh" "Boo!" "He not here."

"I okay!"

Jeremy gets a "Jones" call.

We went to the Waynesville Rec Park this morning. I wish I could say, "On the way home from the gym, we ...," but no. Though I was DRESSED for the gym, we didn't go to the gym, mostly because sitting and reading Facebook on my phone while the boys played sounded like so much more fun than doing time on a treadmill.

But that's a post for another blog.

Anyway, after we'd been there for about 25 minutes, Jones all of a sudden put his hand to his ear and started talking. Clearly, he was on a "phone" call. The conversation lasted several minutes, and when it was over, I said, "Whom were you talking to?"

"I talk Dada," was his matter-of-fact response.

Well, alrighty, then.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wah-ken strikes.

I am in the middle of folding a mountain of laundry so substantial that I almost need a ladder to reach the top of it, but if I don't sit down and write this out RIGHT NOW, I'll forget it. Plus, if the laundry has waited THIS long to be folded, ten more minutes just ain't gonna matter ...

I've written before about Jones re-enacting scenes from things he's seen. Most recently, I mentioned his playing out the scene in "Cars" where Mack (Lightnin's hauler) falls asleep at the wheel and inadvertently ditches Lightnin', which leads to the whole Radiator Springs adventure.

Well, today, the boys were in the playroom, while I was summiting Mount Laundry. I could hear Jones reciting the same dialogue as I'd heard at Sunday's dinner. He'd throw in some nonsense "improvisations," as well, to "flesh out" the conversation between Lightnin' and Mack. Like any good Southerner, he knows the importance of small talk. Since he doesn't HAVE a Mack figure, I assumed he was just pretending to have one, like he did at the table on Sunday.

And then I went into the playroom, and what I saw made me SO PROUD of his imagination that I might just explode. He had put Lightnin' ("Wah-ken," as he calls him. He also calls things that are red "wah-ken," even though he KNOWS the word - AND COLOR - red). inside of the hauler that Sissy's family gave him for Christmas one year.

If you've seen "Cars," or, like me, listened to it from the front seat while your sons watch it a million times in the back, you know that there's a scene where Wah-ken is riding inside Mack - just like the situation Jones had ingeniously rigged up in his non-actual-Mack transporter.

When I went into talk to Jones about it, I said to the truck, "Are you Mack?" and Jones leaned down beside it and whispered to the truck, "Say, 'yes.'"

I'm not even joking. I have never been so proud.

Now, I'm not saying my child's imagination is any more vibrant than that of any other two and a half year old on the planet. I totally GET that this is what they're SUPPOSED to be doing, developmentally, but to really see it taking root in MY two and a half year old ... well, let me just tell ya: it was WAY more exciting than folding the laundry.

And at one point, Jones just laid his
head down on make-believe Mack,
as if he was a teensy bit road weary.

Monday, July 13, 2015

yet another Lake Break

After Jeremy closed the office at noon on Saturday, the boys and I loaded up the van and headed to Lake Chatuge for the day. It was a quick trip - just one nite - as Jeremy's keeping the office open on Saturday mornings, at least for his first year with AllState.  I'd assumed they'd sleep in the van on the way to Hayesville. I was wrong. They didn't, which meant naps ninety minutes later than usual when we got there around 2 p.m. After they woke up (4:30-ish), we got on the boat and rode to dinner at the Blue Otter, which is the PERFECT spot for eating with toddlers, because they have outdoor seating - and corn hole boards to occupy them while you wait for your food, which, at the Blue Otter, can sometimes take awhile. 

Cruising to dinner is one of my favorite things to do at the lake. The boys love the boat, and this time, instead of just sitting in Daddy's lap while he drove the boat, both seemed to want to stand with their hands on the steering wheel when it was their turn to man the ship. 

Dinner went well - corn hole held its usual sway over Jones, as did Rocky the Rooster, who randomly strutted around on the patio where we ate (is that legal?). At one point, Rocky crowed several times in a row, which just about blew Jones's excited mind. Almost as exciting was the fishing "bobber" he found on the boat, as we headed home. He danced around with it on our intermittently-rainy ride, proudly showing it off to his daddy and me. When he aimed it at the water, I said, "Don't throw it, or it'll be gone for good." Almost on cue, he threw it and learned the all-important life lesson that your mama is almost always right.

Then came bedtime. I'd expected they'd sleep GREAT, each having his own room this trip. Well, Jones slept great. Freddie, not so much. My prevailing theories of the boys' horrific lake sleeping troubles have been that, first, they typically share a room there (which they're not used to), so they keep each other / wake each other up, like they did our first few nites at Pawleys Island (before I moved Freddie's crib into the bathroom ... no. I'm serious. He slept in there last year, too),
and secondly, they may wake up a little earlier than usual, but where I'd just let them play in their cribs for awhile until Jeremy and I are ready to get up at home, I jump up right away at the lake so as not to wake up my in-laws, who are in the next room. Well, this trip my in-laws weren't there, so letting them play in their cribs was totally the plan ... until Freddie violently cried out at 10 p.m., again at 11 p.m., and, finally, at 5 a.m. That to say, the Mystery of Freddie's Lake Chatuge Sleeping Habits remains puzzling, frustrating, and very much unsolved. 

Anyway, Sunday dawned bright and all too early. The boys ate outside, as has become their lake custom, and then we went to church at Mount Pleasant Baptist, as has become our lake custom. Then lunch - then naps - then another boat ride - then home, by way of Vito's Pizza in Franklin. 

Jeremy and I ate there on one of the lake trips we took while we were dating and have talked about going back ever since. It did not disappoint - Jones, in particular, LOVED it, downing two New York-sized slices and polishing off what I can only assume was several ounces of grated parmesan. He'd shake some onto his plate - and then shake some more - and then some more - and then he'd slide a bite through this powdery "dip" on the way to his mouth. I probably should've intervened and given him a good lesson on how it's so important that we not be wasteful. But, at the moment, being wasteful was keeping him blessedly quiet, so ...

What kept him quiet before the pizza came was playing with Lightnin'. Remember how I wrote about his starting to quote along with movie lines? Well, he was reciting lines sitting at our table. He was "driving" Lightnin' across the table and "reenacting" the scene when Mack starts to drift off to sleep on their way to the big race. "Mack, MACK, MAAAAAACCCCCCKKKK!" Jones started. That's how I knew what he was doing. It was a great - and sobering - reminder of what tiny little sponges their amazing brains are!

When we got home - the boys immediately went to bed ... and had to be woken up to take Jeremy to work at 8 this morning. 



Jones's new fish face; he's started making it all the time.
On our ride to dinner Saturday, Jones parked in
this little perch.

Then he started to reach out to try to catch the waves.
He'd laugh and say, "It got me!" anytime he got splashed.
I know Freddie gets all the "oohs"
for his eyes, but I'll be honest:
I've got mad love for Jones's, too!
Hazel-y brown they may be,
but they're every bit the amazing
shape of Jeremy's, which I love
as much as his color! 
Lightnin' and the "Fire Toot"
in what appears to be
a pretty dangerous face-off
He heard a plane. Do you see it?! 
This happy dance inspired by
Rocky Rooster's crow. 

Just relax. He's got it all under control.

Here's Jones with the bobber I mentioned.
Here's Jones immediately after throwing the bobber
immediately after I told him not to throw it.
Because I don't want to relive it,
I deleted the pics of the fit that ensued.

Here's Jones with the sinker that he
found in an attempt to ease
the pain of the lost bobber.

Here's Freddie wearing his daddy's
hat when it started to sprinkle.

Freddie kept looking up at the hat's giant brim,
and when he did, his left eye would cross.
It was so funny.
I think he looks like cousin Ellery here.
Both boys LOVE wearing sunglasses.
A fight over custody of their shared pair
led to breaking them, so I've ordered two
pairs that were on clearance from Children's Place.
In the meantime, they're borrowing mine.

Because of his rough nite, Freddie
took a nap before church.
Note that he's still in his shoes,
because I wasn't expecting him
to fall asleep when I put him in there
for a little rest.

This is very probably my favorite
outfit Fred Pressley has ever worn.
As I told a Rebel-fan friend, I think he looks like he's ready
for an early September game at the Grove.

Jones tried to escape from his jacket.
One way he passes the time on the boat
is by latching and unlatching those straps.
Over and over again.

All I can do is pray that Jones
uses his amazing influence over Freddie
for good and not evil!