the high kind of medium

Seamus turned six yesterday. I have a summer birthday too, and always found it kind of a letdown to not be in school with my friends for my big day. So I was determined to make his day special. I prepared him exactly what he requested for breakfast– scrambled egg whites, ham, and a Thomas’ corn-muffin-flavored Toast-R-Cake. (We can go through a pack of those a day in our house.) Then he opened two presents. Then, off to day camp he went, where his counselors presented him with a cake at lunchtime, and all the Cayugas sang to him while he stood on the table. After camp, we were off to the candy store and an excellent magic show which made lots of Harry Potter-esque references without actual copyright infringement. Then we went out to dinner and had ice cream. Then we came home and he got ready for bed. Now THAT, I thought to myself, was one cool birthday. 


I helped Seamus rinse off his toothbrush. “Wasn’t that an amazing day?” I asked him. 


He said nothing.


“Did you have an awesome birthday, Shea?” I prompted.


“Yes,” he murmured, in a dead-eyed, zombie, totally overstimulated and overtired sort of way.


Seamus is an under-reactor in the extreme, so I knew he wasn’t going to turn cartwheels, but the thing about my now not-so-little boy is that it is sometimes hard to tell if he is enjoying himself, or not. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get more excitement out of him. But in the last six years, I have often forgotten that his state of calm content is his version of perfectly happy, and that he doesn’t really need much to get there. In planning his birthday day, I had probably gone far beyond what was required– or even desired.


This morning, I cut up some peaches that were going bad anyway, threw them in the blender with some orange juice and yogurt, and made a smoothie. I poured Seamus a big glass, and he finished every drop.


“Fanks, Mommy, dat was delicious,” he said politely.


Finally! The approbation I had sought.


“You really liked it?” I said, fishing for more.


“I did,” Seamus nodded. “I would say it was the high kind of medium.”

Maggie and her Ferocious Peeps, Part Three

We’re on about week seventeen of potty training at our house.  Maggie is much closer to three than she is to two, perfectly capable of big girl underwear, and we really should be done already. But to paraphrase and slightly blaspheme the words of Jesus Christ: her flesh is perfectly willing, but her spirit says, No freaking way. 


I’ve been trying everything, sometimes all at once, which is probably part of the problem. I’ve proffered M&M’s just for sitting on the potty (with diaper on), read books and screened videos on the topic (the “Bear in the Big Blue House” potty episode is a favorite), promised a “swimming Barbie” (her request), had her brothers sing her a song of celebration improvised just for the occasion- all to no avail. 


Maggie is my third child, and most third-time parents know well enough to wait until their kids are good and ready. But Nursery School is less than eight weeks away, and patience is not my strong suit, so this week I forced the issue a bit. It was time for the big guns: stickers.


MOMMY: Look, Maggie! This is your new potty chart!
MAGGIE: Why you call dem “chart”? Dem just paper.


As you can see, she is a tough sell. But once the chart was taped to Maggie’s wall, proved irresistible enough that she sat on the potty and WENT, once on Saturday, once on Sunday. Behold!



The “poop” on there is from back in April, when Maggie announced she would sit on the potty one day, did her business, and then completely stonewalled on the entire notion for the next three months.


But now, we were ready. “It just goes to show you,” I told my husband. “When they’re ready, it’s a total breeze.”


48 hours have passed. The chart has lost all power of persuasion. Maggie is back to refusing any potty conversation whatsoever. 


But the chart idea has caught on with another member of our family.



As you can see by his “Spotty Chart,” Seamus has given himself stickers for eight peeps and one poop since Sunday. He will be six tomorrow. He hasn’t worn a Pull-Up since mid-2007. My God, I’m so proud.



baby bunnies update

Thanks to all who posted about the baby bunnies and the likelihood that they had survived, and not been eaten, when their nest suddenly disappeared from under the side of our house. I am happy to report that three baby bunnies have been spotted in our yard, once they were chased out of their hiding place by some hyperactive neighborhood children. I barely restrained my rage at that one, but I was very happy to see the baby bunnies were still with us. 


My first takeaway on the whole baby bunny saga was that I had been way overthinking the absence of the mama bunny– and that of course all was well, since she had things under control, as mothers do.


Now I think my takeaway has become, you can never stop worrying about your children, even when (especially when) they are grown. So I’ve seen three baby bunnies– let’s assume they were Joe, Twigs, and Rory– but then, where are Jenna, John, and Super Carrot Guy? Now that they don’t have a nest to come home to, how will I ever keep track of them? 


If I’m up at night wondering about them, just imagine how their mama must feel. 



As you can see, she is a total nervous wreck.

baby bunnies update

Just yesterday morning, I posted (over at The Marketing Mama) about the six baby bunnies living under the side of our house. I have been obsessed with worry over them, since I have never seen their mother in the nest with them, but as I visited them each day, I could see them growing quickly, and clearly thriving.  I felt as proud of them as their own furry mama must have been.

Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for the boys’ camp bus to drop them off, I thought I’d check on Joe, John, Jenna, Rory, Twigs, and Super Carrot Guy. I went around to the side of the house. I peeked behind the bushes.

They weren’t there.

The bunnies are GONE, completely gone, as is their nest. There’s not a bit of straw or fluff left. There is no sign that they were ever there at all.

I am trying not to panic about this. If the raccoon that (I think) is getting into our garbage got to them, I don’t think he’d be so utterly neat about it. Although he did leave a half-eaten bagel on top of a little paper plate on top of our garbage can. Whatever’s foraging in our trash knows how to do a proper place setting.

On the other hand, did the mother bunny really come take her six kids, one at a time, and move them somewhere else? Did they hop away? And who cleaned up the nest? Do bunnies, like Boy Scouts, have “No Trace Awareness,” and leave their campsites cleaner than they found them? Heck, they haven’t even left any rabbit footprints behind. 

But then I go the other way.  “If a cweature ate dem,” as Seamus delicately put it, “dere would be some bones.”

I’m afraid to know the truth, but seriously, I was up last night wondering. Any baby bunny experts out there? 

guest post on Marketing Mama: Where is Their Mother?

I have a guest post up today on The Marketing Mama about a family of baby bunnies who are living in a nest under the side of our house. My kids are kind of whatevs about the whole thing. I am obsessed.

You can read more about (from left to right) Joe, John, Jenna, Rory, Twigs, and Super Carrot Guy by clicking here and heading on over to Marketing Mama. (Yes there are six bunnies squished in there.) Please check out my post, because like I said, I’m obsessed, and I’ll probably be talking about them a lot. 


Also, Marketing Mama is a very cool blog on life as a single and working mom, a household with severe food allergies, and (as the title may indicate) marketing to and about us mamas. Missy’s blog really runs the gamut and I always have fun reading it. Enjoy!