I did make it to Cooper's recital on Friday.
I was thirty-one minutes late thanks to traffic caused by the rain.
Hear me, people of Los Angeles...consider staying in when the big, bad water falls from the sky. Driving here is Hades.
There were no spots left anywhere near the school. I parked several blocks away and ran as fast as a gal my size can run in heels. Rain spat all over my hair, my dress and my camera. I came into the kids' school swearing. Then I saw my Ruby and I had to smile.
And there was my Cooper performing in his elfin garb.
When they told us via school memo that the kids would be dressing up as elves for the holiday concert, I thought, "This is a racket orchestrated by The Oriental Trading Co. to get me to buy a costume." But it was $12 well spent. The goofy pictures of my one and only boy in that get up are well worth the twelve-hundred cents.
He didn't see me at first. I was dancing with Ruby in my arms and beaming at him with unabashed holiday cheer. All the tension from the drizzly, accident strewn freeway disappeared and I enjoyed watching my kid.
WHAM's immortal 'Wake Me Up Before Yo9u Go Go." No holiday celebration is complete with it.
Check out the way Coop plays that bass. Oh, did you think that was a guitar? Well, you would be wrong.
After the show, I told Cooper that I liked his guitar playing. He gave an exasperated sigh and said, "No, that's not a guitar. That's a bass!" Oh, a thousand apologies, Mr. Entwistle.
The evening concluded with this festive folk dance. I wanted to ask the meaning behind the dance, but I didn't want to seem ignorant and my entire family is still sick with a cold that's been clingy on for the past eleven days. I thought it best that we do quick waves goodbye and head home for rest. But if anyone knows what this dance signifies besides, "Behold the young gents dancing with napkins and the lovely lady with a parasol," I'd love any info.
Cooper and I ran to the car in the rain. We talked all about the show. I told him I was so proud of him. He told me Christmas was his favorite holiday. I took him home the long way so we could see all the houses decorated with Christmas lights. And each time I heard him say with excitement from the backseat, "Oooo! There's more Christmas lights, Mommy!" I felt true Christmas magic.
I did make it to Cooper's recital on Friday.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:54 PM
Ruby was a little bat this year.
She was really using her upper register this evening, too, so it was like she was perfecting her bat screech!
She and I stayed behind in case we got any trick-or-treaters and daddy took Coop out through the neighborhood.
Cooper was Wall-E the robot. The whole family pitched in to make his costume. Well, Ruby didn't help much. She was more of a supervisor.
Daddy brought him to the UPS store to be fitted for a box.
When Cooper gets real mad at me, he screams, "I want my other mother!' So, I dressed up as The Other Mother from the film Coraline. Buttons for eyes.
Cooper got the candy he wanted (lollipops and fruit chews) and he gave me the chocolate candy rejects (Almond Joy and Butterfingers.) It was a happy, happy Halloween. Now I'm going to wash this black spray out of my hair and call it a night.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:18 PM
I've been working so hard at the new job that I nearly missed the month of October. I blinked and it was my birthday. I coughed and it was Halloween.
The pumpkin patch game has changed. Used to be just pumpkins and some places offered cider. Maybe some face painting.
The place we went to had Hover Tee Ball, a bounce house, a petting zoo and ponies!
I asked Cooper what his pony's name was. He say, "Boinkers. Boinkers the pony."
The crazy number of activities! The crazy number of kids! The crazy number of dollars these people were charging for pumpkins! It was all a bit much.
Ruby was less than impressed. It was damp and there was a chill in the air.
My girl prefers sunshine.
But no matter how gray a day, her daddy always makes her smile.
Ruby, Cooper and I decorated the front yard.
We added a cheesy Wolf Dude to our pumpkin display.
Look at Wolf Dude's tense expression. Must have been driving on the 405.
We also hung ghosts and put up spider webs.
Cooper really wanted me to cut holes in a sheet so her could be a ghost. He saw It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown on tv and it stuck in his mind.
I quickly cut the hole without any real measuring. He played in the costume for a good long while, but he couldn't see. Watching him try to navigate the backyard in fitted sheet was pretty hilarious. I caught some video.
Tonight is Trick-Or-Treating. I know Cooper will come back and hold up each piece of candy and ask, "Is this chocolate?" He hates chocolate. He only wants fruity candy. And then we'll watch Scooby Doo. And then we'll read the book Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. And then another October will be over, done with and gone.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 1:05 PM
Like the necklace? Well, my friends, soak up the tale of this treasure hanging 'round my neck. You'll find a suitable moral at the end.
(In an attempt to be delicate, the words "yummy candy," will be substituted for the word 'vomit.')
Cooper was supposed to get a haircut today, but he woke up this morning covered in yummy candy. There was yummy candy in his bed, yummy candy on the floor, and yummy candy in the hallway.
I washed off all the yummy candy and put Coop on the couch with a blanket. He was a bit warm. I pushed fluids and made him rest. We watched cartoons. He eventually fell asleep watching Phineas and Ferb--a new favorite in this house.
Then, Ruby started to fuss. I fed her and played with her as I watched over Cooper. There are moments when nothing else matters but being a mom to your kids. This was one of those.
By the afternoon, Cooper was awake and trying to convince me that he was fit as a fiddle. I made him drink water and eat plain macaroni.
"What are we going to do?" he asked.
"Rest," I said.
"Can we rest outside?" he pleaded.
"Oh, rats!" he complained, "I want to DO something!"
His eyes scanned the room.
"Hey, we could make something with those," he said pointing to the newly opened box of macaroni. A grin filled his face. He was in love with his suggestion.
"You want to make a necklace?" I asked.
"Yes! Yes!" he rejoiced.
I handed him the box of pasta (a mistake) and went to get string. Next to the string was a bag of beads so I snagged those, too. That's when I heard the entire box of macaroni being dumped onto the table.
"I'm ready to make the necklace, Mommy," he cheered. I was annoyed with the mess, but I couldn't yell a him because he was a.) sick and b.) so thrilled to be doing an activity with me.
"Here," I said, "We can use these beads, too."
"OOOOoooooooo," he cooed with approval.
He was stringing beads and macaroni and talking about colors.
"I like orange. I like pink. You know what red and white make? They make pink! And you know what happens when you mix all the colors together, Mommy? It turns black!"
While we were discussing color theory, Ruby started to cry. She needed to be changed. I guess that's why she was complaining earlier. Something was brewing.
"Coop, I'll be right back. I gotta changed your sister," I said leaving the table. (second mistake.)
I finished changing Ruby and was singing the alphabet song. I was at "K" when I heard Cooper scream. He ran into my room in a panic. He cried out, "MY NOSE!"
I rushed to him. I looked in his nose and saw a green bead stuck in the right nostril. I pressed on the outside of his nose to tried and free the bead.
"Blow out, Cooper!" I commanded. It wasn't moving.
He was hysterical. "It's stuck! It's staaaaaa-haaaaaa-huuuuuck!" he cried.
I could feel where it was. It wasn't past the point of no return, but I thought I might have to load both kids in the car and head for the emergency room.
"Cooper, look at me. Calm down. Mommy's gonna try and fix it."
I gently pushed down until the bead emerged like a turtle from his nostril and fell on the floor.
"Mommy got it!"
We hugged. I teared up thinking about how he had come to me immediately. What if he had decided to try and fish it out on his own? This could have gone way worse.
"Cooper. Don't ever put anything up your nose again! Ok?"
His sickly face held onto the fear that was just coursing through him.
I saw my chance to nip something in the bud.
"That goes for fingers, too. NOTHING up the nose. Got it?"
"Got it," he whined. Perhaps this near tragedy will put an end to his rampant nose-picking.
I asked if his nose hurt. He shook his head. I asked if he was ok. He nodded. Crisis averted.
After a beat, I asked him to come and help me pick up.
"No, Mommy. I want to finish the necklace for you!"
I could see that this was very important to him. We scooped up Ruby and headed back to the table to finish the necklace. I will wear it with pride. It's a valuable gift from my son. And I just love jewelry that comes with a story.
What have we learned, kids?
Don't stick stuff up your nose!!!
What have we learned, adults?
Moms do it all. They change dipes. They clean up yummy candies. They cook hundreds of meals. They even remove foreign objects from your body from time to time. Show your mom some love today. It will mean the world to her.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 1:20 PM
One look at Ruby and my attitude goes from Wha Whaaaa to TA DAH!
Hey Ruby, we have a few minutes to ourselves today. Do you wanna watch Classical Baby and be lulled by the sweet sounds of Bach while mommy cleans? Or would you rather say blow to housework and watch Kill Bill Vol. 1?
Yeah. Beatrix Kiddo does kick butt.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 3:07 PM
It was an outing for the boys, so I don't have much to write about the game.
I do know that Cooper was REALLY excited to eat peanuts and throw the shells on the ground.
He looked at me, smiled and said, "When you eat peanuts at the ballgame, the GROUND is the TRASH!"
I asked him who won the game and he just kept talking about the food. He ate a hot dog and had ice cream. Those were the highlights for him.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 10:02 PM
Ruby: "I like that picture of me lying on the poop-colored carpet from the Tujunga house."
Cooper: "Yep. I'm looking down at you and I'm wearing my French Fry shirt. I love that picture."
That's a conversation I imagined them having in 2021. Just for fun, You can vote on what the next line might end up being:
a. "That's back when dad had a beard."
b. "The Tujunga house had lizards, fruit trees and a fireplace!"
c. "I don't even remember the Tujunga house.
d. "Mom's a cuckoo."
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 8:33 PM
Dear Ruby Zuzu,
First things first...rawk is actually spelled R-O-C-K and gurl is actually spelled G-I-R-L. Sorry. It's a habit I picked up last decade. I wonder how your generation will talk and spell. I wonder how the language will adapt/erode. I'm sure I won't "get it," because I'll be, "elderlier." (That's how kids in the future say "old.")
The other day I was looking at you and I thought to myself, "My goodness...she's beautiful." In fact I started singing, "You Are So Beautiful (To Me)."
It wasn't so much the Joe Cocker version. It was more like the version from The Simpsons when Homer has hair and an assistant named Carl voiced by Harvey Fierstein and he hires a guy to sing it to Marge on her anniversary. Remember? Yes, everything CAN be categorized in Simpsonese!
And then my next thought was, "My goodness...before I know it she'll have a purse and a phone."
You see, now that your brother is four, I realize how fast this all goes by. You'll be talking, walking, eating real food, and zipping around in L.A. traffic before I can say, "I don't care that nobody else on the planet has a curfew, YOU HAVE A CURFEW."
I'm trying to enjoy these little moment while you're still little. After all, you'll never be this small again.
You've made it through month number two! You're smiling. You're sleeping through the night. You're growing. You're moving all around. I can see how eager you are to get up and run. Honestly, it fills me with both joy and worry. I always want to keep you safe.
And yes, you still have cranky fits and atrocious gas. But every now and then you look at me with this expression that seems to say, "It's ok, Mom."
And that makes me feel better.
And so thank you.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 4:34 PM
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 2:32 PM
Cooper has been waiting for Toy Story 3 to come out since he started seeing the billboards in late April. It was his first, "I-can't-wait-for-that-to-be-released-in-the-theater!" cinema anticipation experience.
So...why not do it right and go to the INSANE SUPER CRAZY FUN ZONE area that they have constructed by the El Capitain in Hollywood.
Disney took over the football field of Hollywood High and turned it into a hyperactive preschooler's paradise.
There was a playground, a bounce house and games.
There was also a LIVE SHOW!
Coop made himself very comfortable in a bean bag chair and watched the "Dancing with the Toys" program in its entirety.
And got to MEET THE STARS THEMSELVES.
Can you believe it? He met THE Woody and THE Buzz.
I wish I could go to a fun zone and meet my heroes. Please tell me if David Lynch, Tim Burton and Julie Taymor come together to make a fun zone. I'm there! I'm a little terrified, but I'm there.
Posted by Nicole Charbonneau White at 4:48 PM