Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ruminations on Raising Boys - Christmas Edition

I remember the very second that the doctor told me I was having a baby boy - I wasn't surprised. I knew I'd have a boy first. Strangely, the first thought that actually crossed my mind was, "Oh my god. I'm going to have three boys." I don't know why I thought that in that moment. But so far, I'm 2/3 of the way to fulfilling that destiny.

I love having boys. I love it - in a way and for reasons I can't quite explain. But, as a woman, looking in on them... I find raising boys, my future men,as fascinating as it is unfamiliar. As much as I love them and as much as I see myself in them, they are so different from me. We are so close - they were made from my body - but it is undeniable that woman and man can never fully know one another. So, I watch. I watch and I learn. I watch them find joy in balls, cars, trucks and trains. I watch them climb (on everything!) and run (to nowhere at all) and scream (for no purpose but to be loud) and laugh (at farts and burps). And I hope that - though ignorant to the way a man's mind truly works - I hope that I am serving them well on this path through life. I hope that they know that even though I don't know the rules to sports, that my hand-eye coordination for video games is non-existant, that I see no nutritional value in fried foods... I hope that they can feel love from a mother who sees beauty in all the things I don't understand.

And so, I present the beauty in raising boys... Christmas 2010...

Gingerbread Houses are for girls. We make Gingerbread Trains. Rock n' Roll!!!

And... by the way... who needs clothes when you've got a Santa hat and cartoons to keep you warm?

A handsome little man-to-be:

With Christmas only two days away, I envisioned the day spent making lots of Christmas cookies together with my boys. But, as always, Charlie saw things differently. As we made a ball of perfectly seasoned gingerbread dough... Charlie found alternative potential - a monster truck tunnel. Brilliant.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Boxes Make the Best Presents

Dear Unky Bunky and Auntie Sarsie,

Thank you for the first birthday presents, but my brother and I prefer the box.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It's the safest chemical reaction that a six-year may encounter:

Baking soda + vinegar + upside-down-plastic-soda-bottle/rocket = flight

Here's Charlie's first attempt at space travel...

Our fuel:

In goes the vinegar...

In goes the baking soda...

The countdown begins... 10, 9, 8...

7, 6, 5...

4, 3, 2, 1... Blast off!!!

Kind of...


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First haircut. No, Sir. I don't like it.

Henry's hair had gotten out of control. And I like babies' hair to be a little long and shaggy, but it was too much even for me. So, I made a special appointment at a real salon (mostly because we can't go back to the children's salon because of something Charlie said, but that's another story). I made sure that Daddy would be home so he could go with us and take pictures of the special moment...

But, Henry did not appreciate my efforts. Even as all the ladies in the salon gathered around him "oohing" and "ahhing" at how adorable he is, he screamed. Even as we offered him a sucker, he screamed. Even as I cuddled him close and loved on him, he screamed. He stopped crying momentarily when our stylist walked away to find a clip to give him for amusement, but then he saw her approaching again and he screamed.

My precious little guy. I find such sweetness in his protest. He just likes things on his own terms. I wonder where he gets that from...

Back home. Happy and Handsome.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


There is so much that I love about Charlie. He makes me laugh every single day. And sometimes that laughter comes from him being absolutely hilarious with his off-the-cuff kidspeak. Like tonight at the grocery store... We were waiting for our lunch meat to be sliced at the deli counter and sparked up a conversation with another family. The other mom and I were chatting about our kids and Charlie burst into the middle with his energy and started hamming it up for her two little girls (this happens quite often). And, out of nowhere, he stopped making the silly faces, goofy noises and punching himself in the face. He got very serious. He tapped the woman on her hip and said, "We don't really ever go to church." Ha! Busted.

And then there are things that make me laugh on the inside because my adoration for him is so immense... because I think he's the most creative, amazing thing in the world... and because he just makes my heart happy. This drawing he did in art class at school this week was just one of the many things that make me the proudest mama in the world.

Charlie drew a beehive with bees flying all around it. He gave each bee their own identity... and each bee is 100% Charlie.

The Whole Picture

In the bottom right corner, Charlie drew two spiders. The left blue spider is "dreaming about his vacation" (See the thought bubble with the beach, sand castle and palm tree in it) and the other spider is telling him to "Go!!!!"

In this top right corner, we have several bees... and one wasp, who is very clearly "not a bee." Starting in the middle at 12 o'clock, you see WALL-E bee, then clockwise, you see Sonic the Hedgehog/Bee, then below him is Smart Bee as evidenced by his glasses and pencil and calculator in his hands. At 7 o'clock, there is Mad Bee and then Train Bee.

In the top middle of the page, you can see Fire Bee just to the right of the beehive and the name of the Beehive (written by the art teacher). Charlie named it "Honey Nut Cheerios."

In the top left of the page, we see the Super Mario Brothers theme. There is a Mario Bee (with the M hat) and a Luigi Bee (with the L hat). Bowser Bee is in the high left position. There is a Princess Bee. And there also seems to be some sort of other creepy crawler critter who is thinking about a carrot.

In the bottom left hand corner, there are four bees in a row. Left to right, the first bee is Toad Bee (this is a Super Mario Brothers character), then there is Mickey Mouse Bee, a Mack Truck Bee, and the last bee has a hat.

In the middle of the bottom of the page, there are two bees, who are in some sort of battle for honey. The first bee says "DO NOT GET MY HONEY" and the second, mischeivious bee says, "I will!!!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Charlie Pollack

I needed some art for a blank spot on my wall. I enlisted Charlie to be my artist. We picked some colors that coordinate with my decor and then Charlie made a masterpiece!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A few chuckles a la Chuck:

Charlie is playing baseball again this spring. And yet again, he is the littlest guy on the team. But, he's improved alot since last year. He knows to stop at Home plate opposed to running another lap around the bases. He can spend most of the time in the outfield watching the game and chasing balls instead of twirling in circles. And He's much better at throwing and catching and has made it through several games without playing in the dirt when tending to third base.

This year's challenge, however, is the the step up to coach pitch. Coach Kevin does his best to throw pitches that the kids can hit, but Charlie swings a weak bat that is almost always too late for the pitch.

At last week's game, Charlie had a swing and a miss, a swing and a miss, a swing and a miss...

So he yells out to the pitcher's mound, "Hey, Coach! Aim for the bat!"


Car rides always seem to get Charlie to thinkin'. Last night, Mike was working shift, so I packed up the boys to drive through Chick-fil-a. On the way there, Charlie asks, "Mom, what's a girlfriend?"

And I reply, "Well, it's a girl that a little boy likes alot and wants to do fun things with."

Charlie thinks about this for a minute and says, "Mommy, you're my girlfriend."

A Letter to My Little Henry (Finally)

Dearest Henry,

I bought you a beautiful book of lined paper months ago. I had the greatest of intentions to write you letters about our pregnancy together, your birth, about how much Daddy and I love you, and about your first year of life... just as I had done for Charlie.

But, my precious baby boy... you are my second child. And that means I love you more than anything in this world (My god!! How much I love you!) and will give to you all that I have to give... but, it's a hard fact of life that you have fallen prey to "Second Child Syndrome". Being the second child myself, I'm all too familiar. Mom and Dad, who once had hours upon hours of time to devote all their attention to their first born, must now figure out how to find time for two kiddos. Second Child Syndrome in no way means that you're loved less because you came second. It just means that there may not be as much evidence of how much you are loved. I've accepted that there just aren't as many baby pictures of me as there are of my big brother and that my baby book stops at my fifth month whereas my brother's goes through the toddler stage. And for you, my sweet Henry, the second child syndrome means that while Charlie got a bound book with hand written love letters from Mom... you're getting a blog.

So here goes...

You're amazing!!! You're absolutely, unbelievably, 100% amazing! I adore every single inch of you. I am so, so, so in love with you. And the love runs deep. Very, very deep. I love that you're here. I love that you're mine. And I thank God every day that I get to spend my life with you.

You are ten months old now. But here's a little bit of backstory of how you came to be:

I found out about you on March 23, 2009. I took a pregnancy test right after Daddy left for work early that Monday morning, suspecting, but not really convinced, you might be there. Oh... but you were! That line turned blue so fast! I was so excited that I ran across the street right away to tell my best friend!

You spent the next nine months growing in my belly. And man, did you grow. My belly was so big that strangers would stop me to ask how soon I was due! By the end, you were so packed in there that we were both so uncomfortable! Your little tushy and tucked-up legs were pressed into my right rib cage. Man, did we battle over possession of that rib cage!! Every time you'd kick, I'd have to push your little legs back down.

You were born on Tuesday November 17, 2009 at 10:08pm. We went in for a Dr's appt that morning and were sent over to the hospital at 11:00am to get things started. Eleven hours later (some very painful hours), you made your great entrance into the world.

Dr. Sherman put you right on my chest. You were blue and screaming. Daddy cut the umbilical cord and they took you over to get cleaned up.

I couldn't see you from where I was, but your grandma, who we call Blah, was with you and she said that the second they put you down in the bassinet to get cleaned up, you tucked your legs in close to your body. Just like how you were all those months in my belly. Except this was the first time you did it on your own, without my ribs to stand in your way. (I bet that was pretty nice!) You weighed 6lbs. 13oz. and measured 20" long!

After the nurses cleaned you up, they brought you to me. I couldn't stop looking at you. You had these long, light eyelashes that stuck straight out - just like mine do. I couldn't believe it. When your big brother was born, every single trait he had came from Daddy. But I knew that you were going to look like me because of those eyelashes. And I was so right.

The next day, you met your big brother for the first time. And we were finally all together - the four of us. Our family.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Son, The Enlightened

Charlie spends most days surprising me. When he was 14 months old, he surprised me by counting to 3 in the bathtub. When he was a few months shy of 2, he surprised me by asking "Are we going to Daddy's work?" when he recognized the roads we were taking. I've always known that my child was sharp but he's managed to think things that I was not aware children ever consider.

And today was no exception.

Since having Henry, Mike and I fight. Alot. We fight about everything. Well, not everything. Mostly just about the really stupid, meaningless things. We're both exhausted. Henry is a handful. And I, personally, have lost every ounce of patience. 15 straight weeks without a single stretch of sleep longer than 4 hours will do that to you.

Today, we had it out. In the morning, we had decided to clean the house. Mike was vaccuuming the kids' rooms which bothered me because I think vaccumming should be the last task in the cleaning process, not the first. (And I'm pretty sure all women agree with me on that) And since I have no patience, I laid into him that he was doing it wrong (I should probably add in here that I have expressed my 'vaccumm last' policy to him many times before this) and then he got all upset that he didn't think it mattered and then I got even more angry that I have said several times before why it matters -- and the next thing you know, I can't stand him and he can't stand me.

Fast forward eight hours and we, of course, had gotten over it. I had picked up some yummy Italien for dinner and was unpacking it in the kitchen. I had set Charlie up with his dinner and he was munching away at the table as I prepared plates for Mike and I. For some reason, I found something to pick on Mike about and Charlie interjects with the most amazing child-wisdom I've ever heard:

"Mommy, you know that Daddy makes the same rules as you so if you both make the rules then you shouldn't fight. You should just be nice to each other and not argue. Don't you remember the Golden Rule?"

I've never been handed an ass-kicking quite so poetically.

I took a picture of my little man helping me clean today. He loved spraying and wiping and walked around saying "Whatcha need cleanin' next, ma'am?"