Monday, November 1, 2010

Lilah and Collin with their birthday cards

Fall 2010 032
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Yes, it's official. They are seven.

So this post will be short. I am reporting something second-hand, for one thing. It has to do, tangentially, with those vampire fangs Collin is sporting here (look closely). Those fangs were part of a whole haul of Halloween-themed (ahem) junk that they brought home from school, including rubber rats, skeleton erasers, spider rings, etc.

So the twins are out on the porch playing quietly (uh-oh.) Daddy asks what, exactly, they are doing.

"Oh, you know, we're playing. It's like bow and arrow except with rats."

Daddy, wisely, didn't inquire further.

Ian reading

Ian reading
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
We were worried that Ian wouldn't be a reader, because up until about 6 weeks ago, he wasn't that into books. He liked to chew on them, but that was about it.

Silly us. Now he wakes up and we can hear him in his crib: "Book! Book!" He goes and gets books and hands them to you and then walks off and gets more books and hands them to someone else. He sits down and looks up at you expectantly. He gets them out of the bathroom and/or brings them into the bathroom. He climbs the stairs to get them and then tries to carry them downstairs with him. He pulls them out of his siblings' backpacks . . .

And as you can see, he likes to read them. Thank heavens.

Lady L and Sir Collin the Snaggletooth

Picture 513
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
So I promised (in the post just before this one) to tell some tales of Lilah at the Renaissance Festival. And now it's been two months since we were there and it's hard to remember . . .

Well, but not that hard. Because Lilah clearly was made for the SCA. For those of you who don't know, that's the acronym for the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is those people who work at Ren Fests or (more likely even) go to Ren Fests in full costume and with elaborate accents and backstories and who spend hundreds of dollars on real chain mail and bustiers and wear fairy wings at their weddings.

These are her people.

"Hallo! Are you a princess?" called the greeters to Lilah as we entered the Fair.

"No!" (exasperated.) "I'm a fairy lady-in-waiting."

The children had each earned money to spend at the Fest. Collin bought a wooden sword and has been very happy. He has only almost killed me once with it.

Lilah bought: a rose dipped in hot melted wax then rolled in glitter, a necklace with a cat pendant on it, a tiny teddy bear with bells sewn onto his feet and a peacock feather. She WANTED to buy a stuffed, flower-bedecked unicorn big enough to sit on, but the woman who ran the shop told her it wasn't for sale.

Just wait. In ten years, when YOU go to a Renaissance Festival, perhaps you'll be greeted by a girl wearing a dress made out of peacock feathers and glitter, sitting on a white horse with a "horn" on its head. You'll know who it is. Just do whatever she tells you to do.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lilah, a train, and a silly smile

So I have some great stories about Lilah and the Renaissance Festival, but I want to save those for the pictures of the festival, which we hope to upload soon. In the interim, I offer up the following rather random story.

We've been noticing that, while Collin has had crushes on girls (older girls, younger girls, Paris Hilton (sigh)) for several years, Lilah seems oblivious to the romantic potential of anyone. So I was surprised when she came downstairs clutching a book to her chest and blushing and giggling.

"Mommy," she said. "The prince in this book is SO CUTE!"

She has a large collection of beautifully-illustrated fairy tales, many of which have princes who are drawn to be, indeed, quite classically good looking. Who could she have settled on?

Click here to see.

Collin, minus tooth

Collin, minus tooth
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
(Note to the reader: the scene below is not related to the picture in any way, which is to say that Collin's relative toothlessness is not a result of his behavior. And in case you are interested, he has since lost the OTHER front top tooth and so now is really ready for his rendition of "All I Want for Christmas.")

Scene: Collin and Lilah are watching a movie. Mommy enters, holding spoon with chocolate chip cookie dough on it. Offers each child a taste, sits down between them and licks the rest of the spoon herself. They watch in relative silence. The movie ends. Collin leans over and punches Mommy in the mouth, smacking the spoon into her teeth and cheek.

Mommy: Oww!

Collin: The movie’s over!

Mommy: Collin, why did you punch me in the mouth?

Collin: I’m sorry. I was aiming for the spoon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ian, in a fairly good mood

Picture 365
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Okay, that's a joke. Because Ian is almost always in a VERY good mood, as you can see. And as testament to his general geniality, I offer up, his first five words:

Kitty--This was his very first word, used to describe his beloved cat Molly, all pictures of cats, all other real cats, stuffed cats, cats in books
. . . and me. "Ian," we say, "where's Mommy?" And he grins, points to me, and says, "Kitty!" (It could be worse. Collin has taken to calling me by the affectionate moniker "Chubby Legs.")

Dada--Second word, used to refer to, well, Daddy. Whom he LOVES. Whole face lights up, whole body leans yearningly towards the Daddy in question, small slimy hand grabs for nose or beard or baseball hat bill . . . yay, Daddy!

Rooarrrr--Metonymic word for dinosaur, in that the sound means the thing. He cannot see a dinosaur without making this sound, and trust me, there are a lot of dinosaurs in our house.

Tickle--We tickle Ian at breakfast, he tickles his pears. Everyone is happy. Well, maybe not the pears.

Baa--Meaning ball, and also bat, which is used to (enthusiastically) hit the ball.

So, as I said above, his vocabulary seems indicative of his personality, which is loud, happy, and enthusiastic about other loud (dinosaurs, Daddy) and happy-making (kitties, balls, tickling, Daddy) things. Stay-tuned for the next words, one of which sounds like it is going to be the immortal "Collilah." Who knows, maybe the twins will even answer to it. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Picture 230
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Collin (pictured here looking lovingly at his little brother): Mommy, I have to tell you a secret. Duck down. (pulls until I do, then whispers.) Most all the girls in my class have crushes on me. Except maybe three, or two. I don't know. But mostly all the girls do.

Me: Wow. How do you know?

Collin: (shrugging) I just do.

Me: Well, do you like any of them.

Collin: (a bit loftily) No. I'm still in love with my girlfriend. (Macy Hekl, if you're reading this, you can rest easy.)

So should I be proud of my son for being a one-woman man at 6, or should I smack him upside the head for being a little punk? At least we needn't worry about HIS self-esteem.


Picture 263
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Here is what comes next: Ian falls forward on his face on the chair (deliberately) and allows gravity to pull him into a slow fall OFF the chair head-first, knowing that Daddy will not only catch him but propel him into a mid-air flip and set him gently on his feet, during which time he will both drool incessantly and giggle maniacally. When the flip is done he will attempt to climb BACK onto the chair to . . . you guessed it, do it all again.

The only thing that could possibly interrupt this game is the arrival of Molly the cat, partly because this is her favorite chair and partly because every time Ian sees her he feels the need to shriek like a very happy banshee and literally tackle her with his whole body, pulling out great hanks of fur and grinning.

Molly, who is heavily into masochism, apparently, permits this.

And just think, some day soon he's going to be walking. God help us all.

Ribbon Dance

Picture 257
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
There are better pictures of Lilah up on Flickr right now, including several that suggest, erroneously, that she is an energetic and enthusiastic soccer player. (She's actually more like Garbo on the field, very languishing.) But this picture is true Lilah, because of the narrative that accompanies it.

See, she's a girl here, and a famous ribbon dancer gave these ribbons to her mother (whom she calls "Mother," in a very British accent during this game) and then her mother put them in a bag and gave the ribbons to her as a birthday present and she opened it and it was EXACTLY WHAT SHE'D ALWAYS WANTED--RIBBONS! and so she began to dance and even though she'd never done a ribbon dance before she was just lovely and did a wonderful ribbon dance and her mother--"Mommy! Stop feeding Ian and pay attention!"--was just amazed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beware cuteness

Picture 014
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
This is Ian. Go to Flickr to see MANY more cute pictures of him. He is wildly ticklish, always hungry, recently recovered from a scary case of RSV (respiratory virus), and a man on the move. He loves to crawl and eat anything in sight, especially student papers, sibling lego, and cat fur (yum!)

And now (as of yesterday, February 1) he has a tooth!!!

Wonder Woman--don't trust her

Picture 029
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
There are more recent pictures of Lilah as "Bad Kitty" up on flickr, but here we see her power revealed. This story to illustrate:

We often find ourselves long on kids and short on time/attention/energy on the weekends. So last Saturday I took the twins to the library while baby slept and Daddy showered. We got many Magic Treehouse books (Ninjas at Night!) and as we walked home the only way I could resuscitate flagging energy levels (we need a snack! Snack!!!) was to read aloud the back covers of all the books so we could pick which one to read first. As we crossed the pedestrian bridge to our house, an older couple walking in the other direction stopped and stared. The woman burst out laughing.

"Boy, are you lucky kids!" she said, "to have your mom walking and reading to you! She must love you!"

I smiled. Lilah looked from the woman to me, back to the woman, then back to me.

"Mommy!" she said, as if talking to a not-very-bright toddler. "Ummm, Mommy? Read!"

Future Captain Blood

Picture 026
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
You remember, that's Errol Flynn's OTHER iconic role, as the swashbuckling, romantic hero who made women swoon. So while there are better pictures of Collin on our Flickr pages, this one is perfect for the story I am about to tell. As some readers may know, Collin is romantically inclined towards the daughter of one of my closest friends, a 5-year-old charmer with big brown eyes and curls. He has been calling her his girlfriend for over a year now and keeps asking when he can go visit her (sadly, she lives on the West Coast).

So when I swept up the Christmas cards we received this year to discard/store them, I offered Collin this family's card to put in his room along with a picture he keeps of his best friend. He was thrilled and immediately began to examine it closely. A moment of silence followed. Then:

Collin: Mommy, is that C----? (younger sister of the girlfriend)

Me: Yes, buddy. She's four now.

Collin: Wow. She looks like she's growing up.

Me: !!!!!!!!

Later, I found the picture under his pillow. Who was he dreaming of? We'll never know (because frankly, I don't want to!)