Friday, September 28, 2007

saint joachim

A joke:
While flying him back to his homeland to visit his mother, Themios Papadopoulos' plane crashes in the sea. Themeos, the only survivor, washes up on the shores of a small deserted island. Thanking God for his life and seeing that he may be stranded for awhile, he sets to building a church for himself as well as procuring means of survival. He is stranded for quite a long time until one day a ship spots his distress fire and sends a rescuer to the island on a life raft. When the rescuer arrives he observes that there are two buildings on just back from the beach. He asks Themeos what they are.
"They are churches," the castaway replies. "Orthodox Churches."
"But why are there two of them?" the newcomer asks.
"Because," George says loudly, pointing at one of the buildings, "that is the Church I go to, and," thrusting his finger angrily at the other, "that is the Church I don't go to."
Maybe three people reading this will get that. Maybe fewer.

I have decided that we need to open a second Orthodox Church in Topeka. Then, David needs to go to that one. Our expectations of him are pretty minimal--try to be minimally disruptive. But sometimes, he is simply unable to do that. This is most apparent when both Jaime and I are with him. He jumps around, crawls around, dances around, plays around and generally does everything to get our attention.

But lately, I have been serving in the altar. We have developed a pattern like this. David and I go to church around 9:00. I serve in the altar and he is supervised by whomever might be closest until Sunday School starts. By the time Sunday School is over and Liturgy begins, Mom has arrived. For the time that he alone, is an angel. He is quiet and still.

This last Sunday, Jaime and Simon were under the weather, so it was just David and I. He went to Sunday school during matins and then was up in the nave by himself during all of liturgy. I expected this to be too much and was prepared come some stand in the nave with him. But during the first half of Liturgy, I observed him standing still and silent next to Sarah, his 13-year-old girlfriend who sings in the choir. During the latter half, he was not quite so perfect, but did better than one could reasonably expect of a 3.5-year-old on his own.

So, clearly, he is ready to take his place in society and Jaime and I are just distractions. We need to open a sister church and he can go there. This weekend, I'll say something good or bad about the Patriarch and plant the seeds for our division.

later, Greek fans.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

simon's birth

I was cleaning out some files on my computer when I came across a text document containing a blog post about Simon's birth that I never posted. So, I posted it to its proper spot back in August 06.

Go read "he's here!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

so, who are these boys that we live with nowadays?

So, who are these boys that we live with nowadays?

Well, David begins talking the moment he gets out of bed and stops sometime after he goes to sleep. He still loves cantaloupe, but won't each much more then that. I assume that, generally, he behaves like a three-year-old ought to, but I honestly don't know. He continually alternates between a cooperative, thoughtful, conversational little boy and a howling banshee. He is pretty much potty trained--we have to remind him to go, but he no longer goes to the bathroom anywhere other than the toilet.

While he loves nothing more then Buzz Lightyear and Lightening McQueen, he still has room in his heart for many good books including Where the Wild Things Are, pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss--especially How the Grinch Stole Christmas, anything about Church, and many others. semi-monthly visits to the library are a must.

He is jealous of Simon--more so now than before. But he also wants Simon to be someone with whom he can wrestle and play roughly (this is his primary way of playing) and so he ends up pestering his little brother until the baby screams and a time out is in order. Right now, Grandpa Gib is feeding Simon yogurt and David is loudly doing everything he can to distract them.

I've come to really cherish the few moments that David and I get alone. He is old enough now to be interested in exploring the world and he is delight to converse with on all manner of topics. He loves to run and play and wrestle and hit t-balls. He is turning into a boy and I am surprised how much I am looking forward to teaching him to be a boy.

Simon is tall and lean. Very suddenly, last week, be began babbling almost constantly (except when prompted to) while saying nothing. The only actual words he knows are "hi," "dada," "mama," "Nina." When I come home from work he smiles and says "Hi, dada!" and throws his arms open to me. He can, and will, walk four-or-five steps at a time. He loves exploring everything he can. He spent 15 solid quiet minutes the other day examining the straps on Davids booster seat.

He will eat only yogurt voluntarily. He will eat other baby foods if we put them in a bowl and give him a spoon of his own and then feed him with a second spoon while he also feeds himself. But when he is done, he is DONE and don't question it. He goes from zero to furious in an blink. I do not look forward to his stubborn temper when he is three.

What he still will not eat is real solid food. Anything with more texture than applesauce is of no interest. Until a few weeks ago he would frequently gag on solids. Now, he just sucks on them and spits them out. We are going to have a specialist examine him to see if there is really a problem or if he is just putting it off until he gets something really good.

Climbing is his true love. I put him in his high chair yesterday, walked across the kitchen and looked back to find him on all fours on top of his tray. He climbs up the couch, up the stairs up David's recliner. He can climb the plastic "rock wall" step/ladder toy in Holliday Park. He watches David constantly and imitates him. If David leaves one of his toys laying about and Simon gets a hold of it, he will begin playing with it exactly as David does.

I cherish the few moments alone I get with Simon. He laughs and snuggles and chases. Every so often he will just reach his arms across me and lay his head on my shoulder. Sometimes, while crawling, he will suddenly stop and lay down flat on his tummy with his head turned and his arms outspread.

I also cherish the moments the three of us can just be together playing. I can usually coerce both boys into a cooperative game of rolling a ball from one to the other. Or we'll go for a walk with David on his trike and Simon in the stroller watching David and giggling as he zooms by, a blur of red and feet and energy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

simmons' summer fun

Mom and Alex took some great photos of the kiddos this summer and sent them to me. View them as a set here.



defective yeti links to this manifesto and heated discussion against the use of nuts in certain foods. It is hilarious and when I mentioned it to Jaime, she suggested I compose my own manifesto against fruit and chocolate. Great idea. Here it goes:

"Don't combine fruit and chocolate. It's disgusting."


Need some clarification? Don't dip fruits in chocolate. Don't put fruit in chocolate candy or cake. Don't combine fruit-flavored things with chocolate flavored things.

Don't get me wrong (well, you can if you want, I don't care), I love fruit and I'm so into chocolate that I may have to have estrogen therapy in my post-middle-age years. But the two of them together are gross. The best analogue I can think of is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Both are good actors who have done some lovely work separately. Together, they are a disaster--three movies that should be purged from our collective cultural consciousness. The one exception I can think of is the banana. Bananas are tolerable with chocolate--especially if ice cream is involved. Bananas and chocolate are like "Joe Versus the Volcano--" Acceptable in certain circumstances.

But that is it.

I love nuts in just about anything, though. I'll eat nuts with fruit, nuts with chocolate, but not fruit, nuts, and chocolate--unless the fruit is a banana, and there is ice cream involved. I know what you are thinking--"what do you do with the fudge and fruit toppings in a banana split?" Well, I haven't had a banana split in about 25 years, but I recall it takes some work to avoid the parts where the fruit and fudge toppings mix. Frankly, if I ordered one now, I would simply forgo the fudge altogether. Ice cream, strawberries, pineapple, and the cherry (not to mention, the nuts) are reward enough to put off chocolate until I'm done and have cleansed my palate.

Friday, September 14, 2007

not yet

David on a bike that is too big David is pictured on a bicycle given to us by a friend of Jaime. Unfortunately, he is simply too small for it right now. This is compounded by the fact that he cannot, in a pinch, remember how to brake. So we find him careening down a hill on a bike that is too heavy for him to control, which he cannot stop. There is a smaller-sized bike for tots, but I see general problems with that as well. Three-year-olds don't have a great sense of balance so anything that perches them a couple of feet above the ground is going to have to have training wheels, which seem to make the whole thing pointless. Riders can't lean in to a curve with them giving them the turning radius of a Mack truck. Also, if the rider does lean, the training wheel causes the rear wheel to lift off of the ground. If he is leaning because he is trying to get up a hill, then the whole thng stops.

When did the preschool set move to bicycles? What happened to the Big Wheel? This was my ride of choice until I was old enought to balance on a bike unaided by training wheels. It was fast, cool, and didn't tip over unless I really really wanted it to. I don't see the kids these days riding them, but I think it is what David needs if he wants to roll.