Grub-A-Dub-Dub

Cooper and I spent a lovely day outside together today.   First, he rode his tricycle up to the coffee shop with me, and then went for a spin around the neighborhood.  When we got home, we decided we were going to pack up a few trucks and walk to our neighborhood park.

When we got there, Cooper wanted to go on the swings and as I was pushing him, a cute-as-ever girl came over to swing next to us.  She had a nanny pushing her as I pushed Cooper and before you know it, they were cracking each other up by yelling at the top of their lungs.  After awhile, Cooper decided he wanted to get out of the swing and he ran over to find a huge pink rubber ball.  He was bouncing it around when his new little friend decided she wanted to play, too.  Her name was Lizbet and she ran over and said “we can play together!”   Cooper nodded in agreement, and they took their ball and headed over to a huge soccer field for a rousing game for two.

They kicked the big pink ball as they ran giggling, the length of the soccer field and back, and then again, and again.  Lizbet’s nanny and I could not believe they were even still operating after this had gone on for probably over a half an hour.  When they would get to one end of the field they would collapse laughing hysterically until one of them would grab the ball, and with an overhand toss worthy of some much more advanced games of soccer, the ball would be back in play and off they’d go again!

What I didn’t realize was that this particular soccer field is filled with loose dirt.  It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, but the end result was hysterical.   I didn’t have my camera with, so the photos I have are after he was wiped up a bit on the way home, believe it or not.  He was so exhausted he asked me to carry him, which was no small task, and dressed head-to-toe in white, I was mortified, but did it anyway.  I don’t get many opportunities to carry my ‘baby” anymore, so although I was sweaty and dirty by the end of the four block hike, I wasn’t too sorry to have done it, either.

Anyway, here’s my little grubby boy once we got home. 

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Bet it’s not hard for you to guess that he was wearing flip flops, huh?

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I thought this next one would be the “after” of my before-and-after sequence and I’d take a shot of him all cleaned up.  Until I noticed his little dirt “stache”.

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Anyway, a little front porch cleanup action was well worth it.  He hasn’t napped for me in over a week and today I got a solid 2 hours out of him!  I wonder if Lizbet is available tomorrow?

Country Folk

Yesterday morning I was up early, as usual lately, thanks to a very early riser in our family…and I’m not talking about D.Jones!  I was messing around online when I found out there was a truck and tractor pull not too far away.   Well, if not too far is about a half an hour car ride.

I mentioned it to D.Jones, mostly in jest, and he said “Cooper would love that!”  Yeah…he surely would…but I wouldn’t!  Although, truth be told, I really didn’t know what it involved at all.

We did, eventually, decide that we would attempt to go after Cooper’s nap if the weather was still holding out.  It fluctuated between very dark clouds and scattered sprinkles all day, mixed with sun.

Cooper didn’t end up napping at all, so mid-afternoon off we went.  Wow.  What an experience.

We were sure we were lost when it seemed like we had been driving forever without seeing much, and then right before us, we saw a peeling, hand-painted sign that said “county fair parking straight ahead”.  This must be our place!  We follwed the sign, which led us to a bunch of people’s front yards with various pricing signs for parking on their lawns.  Since I had “the gambler” with me in the passenger seat, we ended up parking in some elderly guy’s front yard because his sign read “Roll a three, park for free.”  Yep.  It’s true.  D.Jones found a way to gamble even outside of a tractor pull.  We didn’t end up parking for free, by the way.

We entered the county fair and made our way to the uh…stadium(?) right away so as not to miss the action.  Folks were piling into the place, and anyone with kids also had ear plugs dangling from around their necks.  We took the hint, and D.Jones hit the beer garden seeking plugs for the boy.  Success.  He arrived back just in time for us to screw them into our boy’s ears before the trucks arrived.  Now…here’s where things become a blur.  I know there can’t be much more to this whole thing than meets the eye and yet…I still don’t get it.  Some weird, jacked up pickup truck drives out in front, revs it’s engine and the crowd goes wild.  Then it backs up, hooks itself to some long, orange trailer thing, and then guns it’s motor as it tries to pull the thing the length of the stadium.  It’s loud.  Very loud.  I was so glad Cooper had those plugs in, though he seemed as confused by it all as I did.  For the first truck, he sat in stunned silence, mostly looking in the wrong direction.  He mumbled something, then turned to look at Doug and I and said (quite loudly), “I can’t hear myself!!”  That had all of the spectators around us cracking up, which led me to notice that most of them had very few teeth.  Scary.

This whole scenario repeats itself a few more times…including Cooper’s announcement that he can’t hear himself.  Then the guy behind me spills beer down my back.  Of course, right!?  What would a tractor pull be without the stench of beer cooking in the sun?

I mentioned that I thought perhaps we’d seen enough, and Doug quickly agreed.

We also checked out some livestock barns and saw some chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, horses, pigs, and cows.  Since this place was clearly much smaller than the MN State Fair, which is huge, Cooper got to get right up front with the animals, which he loved!

At one of the barns, Cooper sprinted ahead to see the animals while he yelled “Mommy, what are these!?”  I said “Um…those are sheep, I guess”, as Doug laughed and pointed to a sign drawn in crayon above the pen.  It said “We are NOT sheep.  We are goats!”  At least I wasn’t the only clueless one in attendance, I guess.

We hit the midway area to see if Coops wanted to go on any rides, but he seemed as frightened as we were.  Not by the rides, but by the other people wandering around.   Honestly….this place was like no other.  Boy did we see some strange things throughout our day!

After a few hours, we determined that was more than enough time spent at the county fair, and we headed out to find somewhere to have dinner.  We decided on a pizza place that a friend recommended.  I’ll talk more about that over at www.jonesinforfood.wordpress.com if you feel like checking it out.

If anyone doesn’t believe that K.Jones hit a tractor pull just for fun, I included a short vid of us as country folk.  It includes the truck/tractor pull, some other stuff from the county fair, and then a few pics from when my brother-in-law Tom went to a different festival with us a weekend ago.  There, I got Coops up on a pony, but it only lasted for a few seconds.  You can see him clinging to me for dear life and trying to exit stage left.  He also spectated at a dunk tank with his new friend Henry, and then they each got a turn to dunk some pre-teen boys, which had them in hysterics! 

Last, for your viewing amusement, there was some sort of attack cow at yesterday’s county fair.  First it started eating a chair, which I rescued from it.  Then, it totally tried to ingest my shirt.  You’ll see.  I somehow snapped a pic mid-attack…it’s the last one.

I’ve had my fill of the country fun for awhile.  It was all good times, don’t get me wrong.  But for like, a minute.

A Healthy Self-Esteem

Over the past few days, I have been amazed and somewhat scared by my child’s self-assuredness.  Perhaps more frightened than anything else.

I first noticed this um, phase (please tell me that it is), about a week ago when he would ask me a question and then, when I would respond, he would correct me.

For example…

Cooper:  Mommy….what kind of car is that?

Me:  Oh, that’s an Infinity.

Cooper:  No it’s not.  It’s a Mercedes.

Me:  Nope.  That’s an Infinity, sweetie.  Do you think it looks like a Mercedes?

Cooper:  No it’s not, Mommy!  It’s not an Infinity!  It’s a Mercedes.  Now don’t give me any more lip.

I swear to you…that conversation happened.  Unfortunately.

He also arrives at school every day like he is a celebrity arriving on the red carpet.  Today, he stood poised in the doorway of his classroom while he announced “Hey everybody!  I’m here….so, um, what’s going on in here?”  Thank God there were no paparazzi in the immediate area.  Surely they would have noticed Cooper Jones’ arrival and swarmed us in a frenzied mob, right?

I think by now everyone has also heard of the big “going to bed fiasco” of last week while I was away at my Thursday night class.  D.Jones had been tested by Cooper at every angle, as he jerked his legs away while Doug tried to get pjs on the boy.  He wrestled away from the teeth brushing routine, and also caught D.Jones with a swift kick to the side while he was attempting to get him in to his bed.  Doug had finally had enough and leaned over Cooper as he tried to look as angry as possible and said “You listen.  I’m the boss around here and when I tell you to do something, you do it!”

Cooper was not phased, though, and grinned at Doug as he said “Okay Daddy.  Sure.  You can be the boss.  But I’m the chief.”

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Weekend Update

D.Jones, Cooper and I had a terrific weekend that involved me completing a 12 page take home mid-term for my Theories of Personality class, and then..  Oh wait.  That wasn’t the fun part.

What I was saying was that we had a super fun weekend that included a trip to Minnehaha Falls for dinner and then a crazy surrey-bike ride with friends, a college grad party for a neighbor, trips to the park,  and a most enjoyable Sunday morning stroll around the neighborhood after hitting our local coffee shop.

I did complete that test too, and boy am I glad that’s over!  D.Jones was kind enough to take over child care for a few hours so I could escape to a coffee shop patio and focus, focus, focus…and I really needed to, too.  But it’s over.  At least for a couple of weeks until that final gets handed out.  What did I get myself in to!?

In other news, though I blew off my food blog because I was going back to sch0ol, I can’t stay away and I’m going to revisit my good old “Jonesin for Food” blog and begin updating regularly again.

Since my friend Jenni talked me in to attempting the Quantum Wellness cleanse again a few weeks ago, I actually chose to stick with the vegan diet portion of the cleanse.  I have been eating a strictly vegan diet for about oh, three weeks now, and I’ve gotta say, I feel great!  Now if only I could cut back on that coffee again.  Eh…c’est la vie! 

Cooper begins his fourth and final week of summer school this week, but today we had a gorgeous 80 degree day all to ourselves since he only goes Tues-Thurs.  We went for an hour long stroller ride, stopped at a grocery store, had breakfast, went to a park and then went to a craft store where we picked up some things to begin this…

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Now, we just started so clearly this is a work in progress, but I already got a totally Minnesotan “Oh, for cute!” from our mail lady.  Next on our painting hit list after we complete the table are those two unsuspecting adirondack chairs in the background.

El Destructo Strikes Again. And Again. And Again.

I am convinced that every woman who births a son should be given the following immediately after the delivery.

1.  Ear plugs

2.  Shin guards

3.  A lifetime of “fix it” products from Home Depot

4.  A large file of pre-written letters of apology to teachers, other parents, coaches, neighbors, and anyone else they may come in contact with between birth and oh, age 30.

5.  Valium.  Lots of valium.

Mr. Cooper got in trouble in school again today.  This time for spitting.  Seems another boy started it by spitting on boy #3.  Cooper decided to retaliate even though he wasn’t involved to begin with, and spit on Boy #1.  Then Cooper and Boy #1 ganged up on Boy #3 and next thing ya know, spit was flying everywhere.  Gross with a capital G.  Nothing grosses me out much faster than spit.  Well, puke, but that’s a whole ‘nuther level.  Ick.

Anyway, this week they were coloring carnations by placing white flowers in water with food coloring, and watching the white flowers turn color over a period of 3 days to illustrate how the flower drinks up the water.  As we walked from school to the car today, I was reprimanding him for the spit incident when he grins at me from ear to ear, disregards that I’ve just verbally lashed him, and holds his flower out to me as he says “Mommy…I love you so much…here.  You can have my flower.  You’re not mad are you?”  Sheister all the way.  I’m telling you, this child was created with a salesman gene in him like I’ve never encountered.  Watch out world….

We got home and while I began to make lunch in the kitchen, I hear him doing something in the living room and then I hear him screaming “MMA!” at the top of his lungs.  For anyone who doesn’t understand the reference, that would mean “mixed martial arts”, as in, those guys who beat the tar out of each other on t.v. 

I come into the living room to see what he is doing,  only to find that he has moved an ottoman to the middle of the room and is taking flying leaps from it onto the couch as he yells “MMA, all the way!”  Not wanting him to crack his head open on the hardwood floors, or the wall, or a table, I tell him to knock it off.  He doesn’t, of course, which results in me bringing him to his time out chair in his bedroom.

When we arrive at his room, I glance at his window treatments and notice something a little “off”.  I ask him “Cooper, why are all of your levolor blinds snapped in half?” to which he replies with a smirk “because it’s fun, Mommy.”

Lordy, lordy, lordy.  I’ll have a healthy dose of #5 from my list, please….

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Honest Scrap Award

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So, I was given this “award” by my good friend Jess.  Along with it comes the requirement that I list 10 things about myself.   These are always hard for me, but I’m going to do it.  Jess is in school plus taking care of 2 boys, so I know there’s no way I can get away with lying and saying I’m too busy.  Plus, I’m thankful that she thought of me and passed along the award, so here goes~

1.  I really want to dress more like a hippy, have a pierced nose, more tattoos and be more of a free spirit, but I don’t have the guts to do it.  I worry way too much about what other people think.

2.  I have been eating a vegan diet for over 2 weeks now and feel great, but don’t think I can commit to a vegan way of life because I’d have to give up leather shoes.  And I love shoes.

3.  I am the yougest of four kids, by a lot.  My next closest sibling is 8 years older than I am.

4.  I love change.  I mean, I don’t just embrace it, I require it.  My husband says I am the opposite of most human nature in that, most people avoid change and I can’t function without it.  Whether its changing the paint colors in the house, changing my hair color, our actual address, or whatever…I must have some change in my life most of the time.

5.  I desire to be more religious in some way, but haven’t yet found my path.  Or else I’m just plain too lazy to go to church.  Not sure which.

6.  Each year that I get older I’m happier with me.

7.  I wish I was more artistic and could draw, paint, sing or do something.  Then again, there’s that whole “too lazy to do anything about it” part.

8.  At various points in my life I had social anxiety to the point that I would drive to a salon to get my hair cut, but not be able to get out of the vehicle and go in. 

9.  My favorite book on earth is Gone with the Wind and I’ve read it too many times to count.  It’s the only book that I read repetitively.

10.  One thing that causes me stress is that I won’t be able to do and experience all of the things I want to during my lifetime.  It’s way too little time!

Done.  Now I tag:

 Teenie’sTidbits

 Mom911

and

 UpDownAllAround

Blog backlog – Two Entries for the Price of One

Our Fourth

I’ve missed a little time here.  One reason is due to the fact that last weekend, Friday through Sunday, I purposefully left my laptop at home when D.Jones, Cooper and I headed north for our annual Fourth of July hoopla at my parent’s cabin.

This year, my brother was able to come with his two kids, too, so that was awesome.  A fantastic weekend was had by all, and D.Jones, Cooper and I even pitched a tent and slept in the great outdoors for the first time in our lives together.  Cooper loved it, and D.Jones, from the sound of his ridiculously loud snoring, also had no problem sleeping.  Suffice to say, as usual, I was the one who didn’t get much shut-eye.  However, if there’s anything that I’ve learned during my 3 years as a mom, it’s that sleep is not as important as I once thought, and you just get through you day, have fun, and sleep will come the next night.  Or the next.  Or the next. 

A few highlights were the big Pleasant Lake boat parade, which this year had around 36 boats participating!  It was so much fun.  Some of the adults enjoyed a little early morning coffee and Bailey’s…

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Cooper manned the steering of the boat with Papa

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Jack, Grace and I were in charge of waving to the parade watchers on land

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And my brother Greg?  Well…I think he stood around trying to look cool.  But when doesn’t he do that?  Here’s the whole boat parade crew….img_5089

After the big parade, we started getting ready for my parent’s annual Fourth party.  Neighbors and family all gather for a huge feast, some games, and an annual Baggo competition, which this year took on a new life when our neighbor created an actual trophy.  Man, that got the competition heated, and we ended up with an actual scoreboard, and a double-elimination order of participants.  It got intense.  Seriously.  Turns out that the Iverson-Jones crew didn’t take any trophy home this year…but next year it’s on!

Here are my brothers manning the grill

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Cooper enjoying a Fourth of July cupcake

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My Mom playing in the first heat of the Baggo tourney, and the spectator crowd

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My niece Caitlin and her friend watching the action

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And my nephew KC and his girlfriend Rachel, who went all the way to the end and almost took the trophy home for the Iverson clan, but lost out in the last round.  Almost, you guys…almost.

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I love the annual Fourth celebration and it gets me itching (literally…man, the mosquito bites!) to get back up to the cabin to just relax and enjoy the summer that northern Minnesota has to offer.  The lake, the sunshine, the shopping, the walks in the woods…I love it!  I don’t so much love the mosquitos and the creepy bugs, but hey, what can ya do?

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Cooper’s School and a Word of Thanks

Cooper started his second round of summer school this week.  He has a new teacher who may be his teacher for the school year in the Fall, but we don’t know yet.  Her name is Miss Ann and she is sweet and enthusiastic, just like you’d expect a 3 year old’s teacher to be.  I am still new to this whole school thing, so the great convergence of mini vans and SUVs that come rolling through the parking lot, and then again show up for the great exodus at noon still cracks me up.  Cooper loves it, though, and this 2 weeks focuses on outdoor stuff, which is awesome.  They are decorating their bikes and going over bike safety, they are planting grass seeds and digging for worms, they have a swimming day, a fishing day…it’s crazy all of the stuff these awesome teachers come up with!

Cooper happens to attend school in one of the most affluent areas of Minnesota.  It’s a first-ring suburb that is the home to the CEO of Best Buy, and the owner of the Minnesota Twins.    There is a wonderful shopping district there that I adore and try to stay away from because there are lovely places like Anthropoligie, Sur la Table, Ann Taylor Loft, etc.  This morning after I dropped him off, though, I ventured over, picked up a soy vanilla latte, and headed to a salon to get a manicure.   As I spoke to my technician, she told me that it’s been crazy slow in there this summer because of the current state of the economy, and I guess the local ladies are cutting out some of their trips to the salon for their manis & pedis.  It wasn’t lost on me that because of D.Jones’ hard work, I am able to do such things and not have to worry about the basics when even some of the richest people in the state are cutting back.  I am grateful.  I am thankful.  He’s the best~  On the way home I called him to tell him so, and he said it made his morning.  Such a simple word of thanks.  I’ll have to remember to do it more often…..