Monday, December 26, 2011

Screwing up Santa

Our little guy was pretty pumped up about Santa this year -- probably more than he'll ever be again, and I may have taken it just a little too far.

Hamslice kept talking about hearing Santa's sleigh bells, and how he was looking forward to Christmas Eve when Santa would come. We made homemade cookies for Santa in the afternoon and left them out with some apples for the reindeer when we put Hamslice to bed.

And then I should have left it at that. But no, I remembered that we actually have a section of sleigh bells in the house, so Hambone muffled those in a blanket and brought them to the third floor, shaking his head and sighing the whole time.

At 5:00 am Christmas morning, I couldn't sleep anymore (unlike the boys) so I took the bells up on the roof and jangled them for all I was worth. And I stomped across the roof deck like a herd of deer. 5  minutes... nothing. 6 minutes... nothing.

I opened the door and called down to Jake that Santa was here, and a sleepy (and surprisingly crabby) little boy appeared at the bottom of the stairs. He said, "Go to bed Mom, I don't believe in Santa."

Not to be miffed right away, I asked if he wanted to open presents now or go back to bed. He opted for bed.

Completely deflated, I also returned to my bed. I would say "maybe next year" but I doubt it will work then either. *sigh*

Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Great K-9 Switcheroo

As you may recall, we rescued a puppy about a year ago. What you may not know is that Hamslice declared himself a sworn enemy of the puppy fairly early on. It was a very rough and unpleasant ride.

So... last weekend we brought Elwood the (now full grown) dog to an adoption event that was held by the rescue agency where we got him last year. There were many dogs and lots of people, but there was no taker for Elwood. I was a little worried that Hamslice would blow a gasket if we had to go home with his "mortal enemy" so I wandered off with the dog.

When I returned, I told Hamslice (now this was a joke, so remember that) that I'd traded Elwood for this new dog named Pete. For some reason Hamslice believed me.

Since returning from the adoption fair, Hamslice and Pete have been inseparable. They play together, cuddle on the sofa together, and Hamslice keeps telling me how much he loves Pete and how happy we traded Elwood in for such a better dog.

Hambone, meanwhile, is completely unamused.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Catching up... Birthday, Soccer and more

Hamslice's birthday came during a very active hurricane season this year. His original birthday party was cancelled because there was an actual hurricane that day. His new party date also came during a pretty good rain storm, and the rescheduled "opening day" of soccer for his team was the same day. It all worked together to create this party, where Hamslice had a marvelous time even though just three of his friends showed up. Avery, Ava and Olivia. I was so grateful to those parents for getting out of bed to join us on that raw, rainy day.

Note to self: don't pay for such an elaborate outdoor party next year -- hurricane season is every year, after all.

Our next adventure in parenting was Soccer. We put him on the local team, and Hamslice uniformly decided that he hated everything about it. See his teammates in red, whooping it up on the field while our boy just sulks?

We were finally able to get him to play by threatening to put him in bed for the whole day if he didn't get out there. Once he played a bit, he liked it.... but not too much.

We then vowed to get him some exercise through biking or hiking or something. Somehow this boy has to learn to enjoy himself while exercising.
 We took Hamslice to the firemen department's annual "Thrill Show" where everyone gets to ride in fire trucks and do fire stuff. We watched a car fire and saw how the firemen put it out. (Hambone noted the sergeant behind us turning the propane switch on and off, but I didn't believe him)

Hamslice got to sit in the police helicopter, and it really made his day. This is where we went right after soccer (see photo above) so I think we made it a decent day after all.
The next weekend we went hiking. Hamslice was in heaven. He asked us about moss and lichen and plants and birds, such a hunger for learning!

At the end of the hike we were showing him different sized leaves and he said "Right. Grande y pequeño." And that blew our minds, because we haven't been teaching him Spanish. Way to go Montessori!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Our little family made a voyage to the wilds of northern Michigan for our summer break. We went up by Traverse City and caught the tail end of the Cherry festival, and then went up the mission peninsula to taste some very sweet wine. Below are photos of some of our other adventures:

This is Hamslice at Cousin Rick's house. We visited with AB and Melite/Muff and Lou and Kristy. It sure was great to see everyone again. We don't get to see that side of the family much anymore... In the family picture, Hamslice is pulling his brand new "funny face"

We also took a detour down to the Dublin General Store in some remote town in Michigan. It's known all over the place for having the largest variety of jerky in the world. I believe it

Hambone is in heaven.

This is also the Dublin store -- we thought it was terrific that they sell booze right next to the guns & ammo. "One stop shopping"

Here are some more shots of Hamslice's new funny faces, learned right there in Michigan.

Here's Hambone's imitation...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flattery will get you Everywhere, MISTER

Our exceptionally perceptive Hamslice has become a master of Damage Control. He can gauge the mood of whomever he's near, and then push them to whatever end result he wants to see.

Just yesterday, he was pushing me toward a major tizzy. He didn't want to go to school, and he was whining and crying about it, which is not usually a popular move with me.

As I was gearing up for a memorable confrontation, he looks at me and says quietly, "I really like your shirt, Mom."

Other popular phrases used to diffuse Mom:
1) You're the best Mom in the whole wide world
2) I Looove you Mom
3) You look beautiful!


That'll do Hamslice... That'll do.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ahoy Mateys -- the Pirate Cruise in Baltimore

I got a great deal with Living Social for the Urban Pirate Cruise in Baltimore, so for Memorial Day I gathered up the boys and headed to the Ann street pier. We were all quite excited about the trip, and didn't realize how much the weather would play into the trip.

When we arrived at the pier, it was just over 100 degrees with bright, oppressive sunshine. We went to the cruise masters and loaded up with pirate gear, including a head scarf, eye patch, and then (oh yes they really did this) a heavy pirate coat that was tied shut.

 We took off from the pier, and the pirate mates were engaging the kids, having them sing and dance and stomp their feet, which would have been a lot of fun except for the heat. Within three minutes, one of the kids  passed out from heat exhaustion and split her chin open.

As the boat sped back to the pier, the crew distributed ice cubes, but kept the singing and dancing going at a fever pitch. There was one lady who I believe was over 300 pounds who was dancing with the kids, I had her pegged to be next, but she was surprisingly resilient.

I tried to take Hamslice's pirate coat off, and he got so mad at me. He said, "I'm a pirate and you're trying to turn me back into a little boy!"  so certainly I can't argue with that. Instead I doused him with water and hoped for the best.

One of the activities on the boat was to shoot at other boats with water cannons -- everyone thought that was hilarious. And the mist from the cannons cooled us all off immediately. Such welcome relief!  I stood right in the most misty part, and then realized that the water was salty.. hm. Harbor Water??? Yikes.

But we made it through, and Hamslice had a pretty good time. You can see his hot little face below.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fed Hill Prep Family Day and Auction

On Saturday we went to the Federal Hill Prep school fundraiser/auction/family day. We are grappling with where to send Hamslice to school in a year or two, and this day served to further confuse us.

For a while we'd decided we were elitist private school people, but then we weren't sure that fit anymore, so we started looking at the local public schools. I have no idea what the right answer is, but we had fun on Saturday anyway...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mornings with Elwood

This is a funny one -- for some reason both Hamslice and Elwood know that when Hambone is in charge (and Mommy's not home) there is an open opportunity for chaos. I hear complaints about how the boy and the dog are always at odds and there's a lot of barking and shouting.

However, in the mornings when Mommy's at the helm... well... the pictures speak for themselves ;-)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Kinetic Sculptures Race, 2011

Rectangular Prisms?

Yesterday Hambone and I were trying to bribe Hamslice into reading some words for us. We had a black box in front of him with the words "Black Box" printed on it. After a few tries, Hamslice did read the words, and then I explained to him that the words 'black box' were describing the fact that what he was looking at was a black box.

Hamslice looks at me and says "You know what, it's also a rectangular prism."

We are in so much trouble.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Months of the Year

Hambone and Hamslice had a running joke during the entire month of April, where Hamslice would say something that was silly and then shout "APRIL FOOLS" to Hambone.

Once May arrived, Hamslice stopped abruptly. So Hambone asked what comes after April Fool's. Hamslice replied "Spanish."

Further probing revealed that Hamslice's current understanding of the months of the year looks like this:


So much to learn yet...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter at the Zoo

Hamslice's school is closed for Good Friday, and that happened to correspond with the opening day of Easter at the Maryland Zoo, so what a natural fit.

Mommy, the typical airhead, got the time wrong for the Easter Egg hunt, and we wound up arriving over an hour early (but miraculously on the correct date). So never fear, we went to Golden West, a hip diner in Hamden, and got pancakes with chocolate chips AND bananas for Hamslice. The pancake was so big that it served as breakfast and lunch, and may well be dinner also.

Then we headed to the zoo for some fun in the windy, cloudy, 45 degree weather. To our extreme delight and surprise, the zoo was offering Face Painting!  This time we got in line right away so Hamslice would be sure to have a turn.

The theme of the face painting was, of course, zoo animals and Easter bunnies. When Hamslice got into the chair, the lady asked him what he'd like to be, he answered without even pausing that he wanted to be 
a green DRAGON. With glitter. 

And... voila...

 I explained to Hamslice that the lady had drawn yellow dragon eyeballs on his eyelids, so when he closes his eyes it looks like a real dragon. From that point on, Hamslice tried to go the rest of the day with his eyes closed. You'll see in the rest of the pictures from the day that he is fully "in character"

 And here's Dragon Hamslice with his Easter eggs after collecting them in the all-city egg hunt. He turned these in for TWO chocolate covered peanut butter eggs.
The zoo also offered some nature activities like planting wildflower seeds in a Dixie cup. This is one of Hamslice's all time favorite things to do -- must be those latent farmer genes from his daddy. He scared most of the other kids in line with his dragon makeup. We drew comments and finger points from children and adults alike. Hamslice was in heaven.

He was enjoying the attention so much that by the end of the day he decided to wear his Easter basket on his head. It's all about the audience, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stuff my Kid Says

Oh we are getting into the phase where Hamslice is figuring things out, and the moment of comprehension comes out statements that make me do a "double take":

"Mommy, be sure to put on your socks and makeup; otherwise you won't be beautiful."

H:  Why are there these things on my rug?
Me: Those are baseballs and footballs... you know... SPORTS.
H: What are splorts?

"Pythons kiss by eating your head" (pronounced as "Pypethons")

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Ahoy Hamslice

Last night we headed out to Chick-Fil-A because Wednesday is "kids eat free" night. Hambone and I are never opposed to getting a deal like that.

To further celebrate Kids' Night, the restaurant had hired a face painter for the kids -- again at no charge, so we sent Hamslice over to get some makeup. But our poor baby was the first kid in line after the line was closed, and the face painter let him stand around for 20 minutes before she told him that.

I had to take him out of the line while he cried like his heart was broken.  Other patrons were giving us sad faces and sympathetic 'Tsks" and it was too much for our little man.

When we got home he was still upset, so he and I went upstairs and I put on some of my own makeup to transform him into "Pirate Hamslice." We even put an earring on (resting it over the top of his ear) He liked the pirate get-up quite a bit. I think we made it all better.

This morning he wanted the pirate makeup on again for school. I told him to save it for when Uncle C. comes this weekend =)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thanks for the New Sweater AB!!

Hamslice had a wonderful surprise on Friday -- his dear Aunt B sent a sweater in the mail, and it is so lovely!

We put it on for school today, and got compliments as we were walking up to the building.  Hamslice is as proud as can be. Good thing the weather is still in the '30s, right?  Ung.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hamslice and "the power of the finger"

So when we were in the airport, Hamslice came across this billboard. You can see he's a child of technology: the APPLE GENERATION

Monday, March 14, 2011

Too Young for Culture?

This weekend's weather was pretty terrific, so our family made an intrepid trip to Mt. Vernon via our free bus, the Charm City Circulator, on St. Patrick's day. Per the norm, we didn't plan ahead so we arrived at the staging grounds for the St. Patrick's day parade a full 2 1/2 hours early. After a nice brunch at the Midtown Yacht Club, we went to the Walter's Museum to kill some time before the parade.

We didn't really account for how Hamslice would respond to fine art from the 1600s. Probably should have thought that through a little more before we went in there.

Here's the big deal -- every time Hamslice saw a partially disrobed female in a statue or painting, he'd point at it and shout "Look Mommy!  BOOOBS!"

And his Baltimore accent made it sound like this "Beeeyoobs"

Hambone was completely mortified. This, of course, made me start pointing out the boobs to Hamslice so he'd do more shouting. This spiraled out of control until Hambone dragged both of us out of there.

We wound up missing the parade altogether, but that's ok. This was more fun anyway.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Quickie update...

Hamslice & Elwood... inseperable

Hamslice at Gradma Todtz's funeral. Such a sharp dresser.

Elwood, maxin' at home...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hamslice Movie Star

Hamslice went on a video shoot with me yesterday, courtesy of the snow-induced school closures. The studio owner was nice enough to take some photos of Hamslice and me as part of the shoot. We had a blast, although Hamslice was a little shy at first.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So... it's not all coasting until he's a teenager

I'm sure you all remember my optimistic post a few ago that said "Now that he's potty trained, it's all coasting until he's in junior high."

Many of you commented with laughter that I still had a ways to go, and you're right. But we're having sort of a Yin Yang experience now, with the good mixed in with the naughty so it's a little easier to take.

The Yin:  Our little Hamslice is a fountain of sage wisdom. He's a thoughtful little guy who's piecing the world together one concept at a time. He gives us advice such as, "It's not a good idea to put poop in your hair.... or your eyes." and "If you kill somebody, you'll go to JAIL, you KNOW"

He likes to use the phrase "you KNOW" for emphasis on the very, very important bits. It helps us know when he's quite serious.

The Yang: We have got one stinker of a liar on our hands. And you can tell when he's lying because he uses the word "well" as a verbal pause. So the dialogue goes like this: "Hamslice, did you just step on the dog?"  "Well, well, well, well, well, well, I was just stepping on him so I could get onto the sofa." 

One of my colleagues mentioned that liar kids are actually more intelligent than truthful kids, because they're able to understand their reality and the consequences of their actions more completely. I replied that we must have the most brilliant kid in the world.

But so far, no harm has been done, and we are enjoying the new view of the world through his eyes. I wonder what's next.

New fun with Electric Kitty

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Christmas Wrap up

As many of you know, we spent our Christmas holiday in Key West, Florida thanks to a generous friend of ours who let us stay in his house for two weeks. We greatly enjoyed the break from winter temperatures and made sure to be obnoxious by driving in his convertible with the top down every chance we could. The heated pool was pretty awesome too, so even if the weather was only 75 (boo hoo) we could still swim in 90 degree water.


We opened our gifts on New Years day back in Maryland, and that was a bit of a challenge to explain to Hamslice on Christmas morning. We told him that Santa didn't have our address in Florida, and had delivered his presents to our house in Baltimore by mistake. With a single tear standing in each eye, he agreed that this was probably the case. Poor baby.

Below are copious amounts of pictures from the trip, and our holiday. Enjoy!

 Walking the southernmost beach in Key West. It's a tiny little beach, but you get the picture.
We didn't have a swim suit for Hamslice, so he paraded up and down the beach in his Buzz Lightyear underpants.
 Hamslice at the Butterfly Gardens in Key West

 Christmas on New Year's Day. Here's his Chuck the Truck present.
 Crafting presents
 And this here is Hambone's special present from me. His only comment was, "You realize... this means war"
 Hambone's present to me and Hamslice -- Awwwww. our little cutie Elwood
 Hambone macking in Key West

 Brand new PJs for Hamslice
 Sunset on our first night in Key West. Hamslice was having a great time.
 New PJs from Uncle Keith & Aunt Susan
 Still a little bit shy around Santa. Maybe next year...