What's happening with the Hill family!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Walking Tra-Vest-Y

Oh the black vest. Where do I even begin. The black vest came into our lives innocently enough. It was part of a super adorable Christmas outfit. Connor looked so handsome and grown up wearing his red tie and black velvet vest. He picked that outfit out and just felt awesome in it. After the holidays ended, the tie and vest were retired to the back of the closet, but somehow that little vest kept showing up in the most random places. Matt and I came to the conclusion that our son had fallen in love with the vest.

The vest appeared anytime C felt like it was a special occasion. That could include a UPS delivery, a random visit from a friend or when his brother managed to actually pee in the potty. You know, the most special moments in the fabric of our family. The vest was automatically part of his stage costume whenever he and his brother decided to perform one of their shows featuring self written songs and elaborately choreographed dance numbers. What occasion could be fancier than that? You probably can't expect this out of most items of clothing, but that darn vest went with everything. It worked with t-shirts of sleeve both long and short. It also adorned t-ball uniforms and pajamas. And let's not forget the most unnatural of all vest pairings, black velvet vest and no shirt. I can't even type into words the classiness of that particular jersey shore combo.

So what's the problem? Matt and I try really hard as the parents of two ridiculously creative and sometimes pretty far out there kids to let them have some space to do their own thing. Even though my natural instinct was to steal the vest while he slept, set it on fire, then lie about it for the rest of my life (seriously, that would have been the most natural thing I had done all week). But obviously ripping the vest out of his life would be traumatic. We tried to reason with him that perhaps summer isn't really the most logical "season of vest". But he was so sincerely intent on impressing the general public with this vest and I could tell his heart was really in it. He felt so proud whenever he had that crazy vest on, it made me want to cry. So, back to the problem. We are now just mere weeks away from starting Kindergarten. I had to break the news earlier this month that his particular school wears uniforms. I might as well have murdered a puppy right in front of him. I never thought when we went through the process of testing and applying for kindergarten programs that standardized dress would have such a devastating impact on my weird kid. Out of all the kindergarten things I have worried about, and I have worried about a lot, this wasn't even on the list. The first words out of his mouth were, "But Mommy, I can't look like everyone else. That isn't me." Crap. After a minute of deep thinking on both our parts I then heard, "Oh my gosh. What about my vest?" Double crap. Now even though you and I know that even if he went to a school with free dress, there was no chance I was going to let the vest make an appearance at school. I think we have enough little eccentricities on our own without having to be "that kid with the vest" that others might be hesitant to make friends with. But he thought he was going to roll into that school with all the confidence in the world because he was wearing "his vest." As smart and tall and ready as my five year old seems to be, there is still a little guy who feels unsure hiding behind the vest.

So we have been slowly phasing out the vest. I think it might have been easier to get him off cigarettes. Connor, who loves to make lists more than he likes to breathe, has been hard at work on a list of occasions that would truly be appropriate for a vest. We are also working on a list of ways that he can show his awesomeness while still dressed like 600 other kids. This is hard for me, because I would have loved nothing more in elementary school than to blend in. But that isn't my sweet, slightly odd little boy. So we are working on it. Matt and I have talked about how that ridiculous vest is obviously part of all three of our journeys to get ready for the big wide world. It's funny the things that God uses to help us along the way. I can tell you that while my son was born ready for school, my heart hasn't been ready yet. But each day without the vest is getting us all a little closer.

Who knew black velvet was so versatile?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Super H turns 3!

Last week we celebrated Hud's third birthday. I cannot believe my baby is already three! We decided to have a superhero theme because, well, H is a superhero. In his mind, there is no doubt that he has superpowers and is destined to save the world. Or maybe destroy it. I thought when Hud was younger that he and his big brother were total opposites and that they didn't really have a lot in common. That is partially true, but their main commonality is really starting to stand out to their parents. Here is the bottom line: they are both weird. I mean that lovingly, but let's face it they totally are. They both live in a world where the unusual is the norm and I am proud to say that five and a half years into motherhood, I am pretty okay with this. While Connor is likely to costume himself, pack a suitcase and head to space in his bedroom, armed with lots of facts and hand drawn maps, Hudson is more into the constant battle of good versus evil. In an instant, anytime, anywhere, he can be drawn into a life or death duel with one of a myriad of "bad guys." It's weird.

Spiderman is his favorite hero. He has spent the entire summer introducing himself as Peter Parker. Some people get it, others don't and some just ignore the weirdness. He has built up quite the repertoire of alter egos. We can now distinctly tell when he is being Peter and when he has switched to Spiderman. With Peter there is a lot of faux picture taking and mild mannerness and of course, with Spiderman he is constantly shooting his webs. He has shot just about everyone in the city with his imaginary webs, including the mailman, the cleaning lady (who totally freaked when he chased her around the living room pointing his wrists at her while saying, chooo chooo) and every cashier we have encountered at a grocery store. You never can tell who is going to be a bad guy, he subscribes to the web first, ask questions later philosophy of superhero-ing. In case you are wondering how his transformation from Peter Parker to Spiderman takes place, I have included a video of him putting on his spider suit. He does this roughly 27 times a day. As soon as he gets out of his carseat, it comes on. If we stop to look at produce, he suits up. Before he jumps in the pool.......the reasons for needing an invisible spider suit are endless. I can never understand why said suit requires armpit length gloves, but he never forgets them.

Spiderman is just a favorite in his collection of heroes. He also spends quite a bit of time as Peter Pan (maybe we should have named him Peter). This one you have to be careful with because he will cast you as Captain James Hook (he always uses the full name and title) without alerting you, so you can be loading the dishwasher and then turn around to find a tiny boy climbing the counter to cut your hand off with a foam sword. After the amputation, while you are still stunned into silence because you didn't see it coming, he will sheath his sword in his underwear, put his hands on his hips and announce,"Ha ha Captain James Hook! I cut you hand off, bad man. Come on Wendy! Come on boys! I love you mommy." Aww, what I always pictured when I dreamed of being a mother :)

So life is busy here with a newly minted three year old. There is a lot of world to save and he can't rest until it's done. He is a sweet little boy, stubborn as a mule and possible suffering from some sort of Napolean complex. There is a lot of cape wearing, swaggering around and shouting orders to invisible people. Connor eats it up with a spoon. They are quite the team. Connor is the facts man, he has checked out just about every non fiction kids book from the library. Hudson is in charge of making it movie worthy. While brother makes a beeline for the book shelves, Hud hits up the movie section. Or as he calls them moobies (which when he gets really excited sounds like he is calling out joyfully for boobies. As in "I need new boobies Mommy!"). Needless to say we are well known in the public library. Obviously God knew Connor's heart and gave him baby brother with an imagination big enough to match his own. As a team they are equal parts amazing and terrifying.

We couldn't love anything more.

Since this is Hud's birthday post, I put in lots of pictures of the man, some new and some old. It does my heart good to see how far he's come. Enjoy! I am headed up to start a pirate boobie for my little boy :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Matt's Ears Revisit Childhood and We All Pay the Price

This past week was chaotic. We were getting ready for Hud's big birthday, Matt was starting a new project at work that was ultra time consuming and Connor was just busy being himself. In the midst of all this, we had a minor medical crisis. Wednesday night, Matt woke up with screaming ear pain. I am not exaggerating when I say screaming either, so I assumed it was genuinely painful. Since it was the middle of the night and we had all been sound asleep, I was thrown into a tizzy of confusion. Connor can sleep through a hurricane, so he wasn't bothered, but it had the little man up and asking for breakfast. He requested eggs. Fantastic. Since this ear pain was so sudden and he wasn't having any other symptoms, I immediately diagnosed swimmers ear. Matt, who under the healthiest of circumstances questions my self-awarded medical degree, doubted my swift diagnosis. This was surprising since as a child he could never recall having swimmers ear while I could remember the pain so vividly, it might has well have been yesterday. I am obviously an expert, but whatever. I humored him since neither one of us had ever met an adult who had been afflicted with swimmers ear; and I took to google to gather evidence to convince him I was right.

Sure enough, his symptoms matched up with swimmers ear (and also a multitude of other ear problems) but since I wanted to be right and I was the only one not completely incapacitated by shooting ear pain, I presented the evidence and started on my home remedies with the help of one particularly tiny physicians assistant. There are an unbelievable amount of home remedies for swimmers ear out there on the internet ranging from the common to the freaky, so we started with common. Since I am such a well prepared mother, I had lots of the "ingredients" handy. Hud and I raided the kitchen and poured a whole bunch of junk in Matt's ear while he was curled up in a fetal position in bed. It was all quite sad, although Hud had the time of his life. He kept up a running commentary about being the doctor and what spiderman might do if he was sick. There was a lot of gentle petting of Matt's head and leaning over and talking directly into the afflicted ear so his daddy could hear him better. Matt wasn't really entertained by all the chit chat since he was having such intense ear pain, but I secretly thought it was adorable. We had reached the point in our ear ache science experiment when Hud suggested that he might cut off his Daddy's ear with his foam sword and Matt seriously considered taking him up on it. With that I decided to step up and make a trip to the 24 hour pharmacy.

Ah, the 24 hour pharmacy. I consider myself lucky that in 5 plus years of being a mother, I have never made a trip to this strange mecca of middle of the night weirdness. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I loaded up Hudson since Matt was not in any condition to care for him and whisked us off to find some kind of relief. Again, the excitement was almost too much for Hud to handle. This particular pharmacy is about 15 minutes away from our house in a neighborhood that might be considered "past it's prime". And I don't mean like Cher past it's prime, it's more like a Lindsey Lohan past it's prime. We turned into the parking lot and discovered the all night pharmacy is a hot spot of nighttime activity. There were a wide range of people in the parking lot, there for a wide variety of reasons, many of not them not necessarily pharmaceutical in nature. But I couldn't worry about that because I was a good wife on a mission. I scooped a pajama clad H out of his car seat and realized that in our haste that we had forgotten his shoes. No big deal because earlier in the evening he had gotten a hold of a sharpie and had markered all over his legs and feet. See, we were fitting in already.

I took my marker shoed child in and discovered an enormously long line of desperate and wild eyed people waiting to see the pharmacist. Feeling a little desperate and wild eyed myself, I decided to hit up the cashier for some advice because, after all, they have probably scanned every over the counter medicine in the joint. Marker Feet and I schlepped our way up to the cashier and I quickly explained our situation. "Hi, we are looking for swimmers ear treatment and/or ear numbing drops. Do you know where they would be located?" After he studied me for a very awkward feeling 45 seconds, he replied "For a boy or girl?" Automatically I said, "Boy. Wait. What? Does that matter?" He just shrugged his shoulders. Okaaaay. Hudson took advantage of the weird silence to pipe up in a semi-aggressive way, "I a boy. I no baby, I big big boy." Thanks for that update Hud, we definitely needed a dash more crazy in this conversation. Ignoring my highly offended child, I faced down the cashier's blank stare and decided that this future member of Mensa was probably just trying to mess with the deranged woman clutching the mouthy toddler and stormed off to try my luck going solo. The line for the pharmacist was still 10 people deep so H and I combed every stupid aisle of that place and didn't find those drops in any of the logical places. Since in my mind this was clearly an infant problem, I thought surely they would be in the baby aisle. Nope. Children's medication? Nope. Finally when I had reached the point of giving up I stumbled across them in the eyeglass section where Hud was trying on all the readers. Yes, in the eye glass section. I whooped out loud and started laughing hysterically. We headed to the checkout where I thrust our selection of drops in front of the spaced out cashier and shared with him what they were and where they were located so he could be informed whenever the next customer asked. I also felt the need to share that ears are not body parts that differentiate due to gender. He remained unimpressed. With a final dirty look from Hud, we took our sad sack of drops and left. We got home and frankly, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Good and more than a little haggard. We rushed upstairs to save the day and found Matt snoring away. Apparently all my home remedies worked (Lord knows which one since I did them all at once), and he was out like a light and pain free. My victorious return home wasn't even acknowledged by the patient. Oh well, Hudson and I know what we went through to get those drops and then we had another two hours to chat about it before I could get him back to sleep. We had to wait until he felt ready for a nap since he still believed it to be morning. I also spent some of that time googling the most effective ear plugs for a 30 year old man to wear while he swims. I'm sure the sexiness will overwhelm me, considering that he also prefers to swim in a full face mask to prevent water from going up his nose (but that is probably a blog post in itself).

Sorry ladies, he, and his baby ears, are taken.