Sunday, March 3, 2013

Volume IX, issue i, January/February 2013

Eric picked me up from class one snow-blown day in January and reported that Charlie had been happily playing by himself for several minutes in a row (which, for our loving [aka clingy] Charlie, is quite a feat). Eric discovered him in the toy-room sporting a black top-hat and carefully spoon-feeding a plastic princess like some well-groomed baby butler.

Eric said, "Do you remember that claymation New Year's Baby with the big blue eyes and curly blonde hair? Charlie looked exactly like him!"

Grandpa Charlie
Some of the most meaningful questions find their voice on the road, between drop-offs and pick-ups for lessons, meetings, and practices of all kinds. Perhaps it is because it is in that carpool movement that I am finally still. My ears and my answers are open and ripe for the plucking. The childlike voices rise from the back of the car and I am constantly cheered and surprised by the subjects that come up as they sit, surrounded by deep thoughts and the detritus of car-trips long past--the crumbs, the wrappers, the toys.

A few weeks ago, Peter's backseat question was "Mom, what is Charlie's middle name?"

Following the tradition of my own socratically sensitive mother, I responded to his question with a question : "Well, he's named after Grandpa Hafen, so what would his middle name be?"

Peter paused and then his deliciously deep giggles bounced around the suburban as he cried, "Charlie's name is Charlie Grandpa d'Evegnee?!?"

For the next few minutes, Peter and Marie took turns staring hard at Charlie and yelling, "Grandpa Charlie!" to unleash a whole new set of giggles.

Call Me Charlie

Charlie loves my phone, and like the mother of seven that I am, I let him play with it even though the residual mother of 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 in me certainly doesn't approve. I paid the consequences of my lax mothering when I couldn't find my phone for days and ended up having to get a new one, assuming that Charlie had chucked it (haha) in the garbage can (which he had done with several other items ranging from utensils to toys to brushes) and it had gone out with the trash. After enjoying my new and improved phone for a couple of months, I was getting ready for a party and got out my favorite punch bowl from one of the lower cupboards in the kitchen. My old phone was sitting inside the punchbowl, looking a little lonely and dusty. It could no longer make calls, but still worked enough to keep Charlie entertained for minutes on end (he doesn't work in hours).

I love that we've captured four of my favorite current Charlie-isms in this clip:
1) The cheesy I'm-on-camera grin
2) One of his first words: "Hell-o?"
3) One of his first sentences: "What do?"
4) The way he shakes uncontrollably from his pointed toes all the way up to his gritted teeth when he gets really excited.

Not long after this, I received this e-mail from my friend Kimberly: 

I had this great voice mail on my phone.  It was AWESOME!!  I had no idea that Eric had such a great singing voice and, WOW, what amazing whistling skills! AND, he did all that while looking for a pacifier.  I feel like I should have a Playbill for my journal ... or at least his signature.  

Silly, Charlie....he could at least say hello when he calls :D

Valentine's Day 2013
Reeling with the intoxication of having EIGHT Valentines this year, I wish I could somehow transport myself, Dr Who-like, into the past and tell my acne-speckled, perm-inflicted teenage self that the future would be this disgustingly wonderful!

Jell-o. . . is it Me You're Looking For?
As I rounded up our troops to head over to the church for a Boy Scout Sponsored dinner, I told Eve that we were going to the Blue and Gold Banquet. She grinned with anticipation and said, "Is that the one with all of the jell-o?"
A few minutes later as we joined the throngs of hungry scout families waiting in line for the feast, one of my friends asked Peter if she could help him get food on his plate. He looked at her soberly and responded, "I'm just here for the jell-o."

* * * 

I was the hostess for our discussion of JoAnna Brooks' Book of Mormon Girl for my Book Group last week, and ever-loyal to my penchant for theme-based refreshments, I swallowed hard and went looking for "Mormon Recipes." I cringed as I filled my cart with jell-o, cool whip, cream of (gag) chicken soup, and other pseudo-food items. I could feel myself blushing as the cashier scanned each carton, can, and box and I eerily discovered that I felt that exact bizarre shame that creeps over me when I purchase. . . hu-hum. . . "family-planning-related accessories" (how is that for a euphemism?). I found my eyes darting from right to left to make sure a former student or ward member wasn't around. I couldn't make eye-contact with the cashier for fear of seeing the judgment in her eyes . I wanted to cry out, "I can explain! There's a REASON I'm buying these!

I served my guests funeral potatoes as well as fruit-filled, non-dairy-product-topped gelatin with. . . (brace yourself) cheese on top.  I've heard that a apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze, but this was like. . . kissing someone who has recently lost their lunch who is trying to squeeze your lunch out of you. It was a real recipe I had heard about from a friend, but could scarcely believe until I saw it with my own eyes. I kept having to do Lamaze breathing because of the dry-heaves that surfaced as I scraped and slopped and stirred my way through the recipes. 

Eve's Ninth
What kind of girl requests boeuf bourguignon, crepes, her own bag of pistachios and "whatever books you think I might like" as part of her ideal birthday? That would be MY GIRL right there!
I was in tears as I tremblingly picked out her own hardbacked copies of The Little Princess and Anne of Green Gables, hardly believing what a lucky Mom I am. I love the random moments when she leans in close and says quietly, "Mom. . . I love ya! I just do!" What a girl. . . what a girl!

Caleb's Viola Festival

  Caleb has been taking viola lessons for about eighteen months and has been cheerfully and steadily marching musically forward. His festival was the same weekend as my Hafen Girls' Retreat (much to my maternal dismay), so my friend, Kimberly graciously subbed for me as his accompanist (which also means she has been mentioned TWICE in one installment of The Review! Go Kimber!). 


Steph said...

I love your posts. What a wonderful life. It makes for some good, happy reading. I can chuckle and contemplate all in one post. Charlie deserves a phone (but maybe a toy one next time?) And happy birthday to Eve-who-has-great-taste. If I ever attempted to sew matching clothing for my kids you'd have to unwind me from the sewing machine, if I even made it that far, which I wouldn't so I guess it's a non-issue. I'm impressed, as always!

Daniel and Lindsey said...

I love Charlie's phone call. It makes me wonder how many phone calls Quin has made as she runs around with our phone. The refrain, "Mom! Quin's calling China again!" has become quite commonplace in our house. The Jello stories cracked me up - but, seriously? You cringe when you make Jello? I make Jello all the time and embrace the full "disgrace" of the stuff with the joy and jiggliness in my heart. Come on! We just had rainbow jello for St. Patty's Day! The pic of Quinny was adorable. Good job being Wonder Mom!

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