Friday, June 30, 2006

I'd like to make a dedication... my friend JJ, who says he checks my blog everyday. If we took a poll of people who know J, my guess is that over half would say he is the funniest person they know; he's also one of the kindest. I know that he makes ME funnier when we're together and he makes me laugh harder than just about anyone else. Throw in Lyda, our partner in crime, a road trip, a long line ad Disneyland, some cat puke, and there's nothing stopping the tears-in-your-eyes, pain-in-your-gut, can't-catch-your-breath laughing. Please let me be the first to claim you as my oldest friend BEFORE you become famous. Don't forget the little people.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

There's a brain in there! Part 2

As I was cruising around some blogs of friends, friends of friends and strangers ( you know the "link" trail) I was admiring the deep thoughts expressed regarding faith, friendship, careers, heroes, entertainment, etc. Although I never had notions of having my blog be anything more than stream of consciousness and bragging on the babe, it did make me wonder what people think when they stumble upon my blog. I'm dividing my readership into two categories: family/close friends/friends with kids who will read the blog and think "Oh, pictures of her kid! How cute." That group might scroll down and see more. The other group would be strangers and aquaintances without kids who would think "Oh, pictures of her kid. How boring." Click to next blog. So, does that bother me? To be honest, it does a little. Although I have chosen to surrender to my new identity as doting mother, I still want to retain my identity as scholar, wife, writer, funny girl and savvy culture commentator. (Or am I flattering myself to include those?!) There are seasons in life when one aspect of our identity has to dominate, and right now my mommy personae is on the front burner. And I guess there are venues in life when we can exercise and express different aspects of our identity. I'll probably continue to use this venue as I have been (mainly because of time), but I like to remind myself to excercise the other parts of my identity that make Quick, someone ask me a really controversial question so I can write a witty joke as a response and connect it in someway to pop culture. :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

There's a brain in there!

A few weeks ago, when I stuck my tongue out at Carson, he smiled and stuck his tongue out back at me. While you may be dismayed that I am teaching him (with special tutoring from others) this trick, for me it was such a milestone. He's becoming a little person who responds to me with a purposeful action! There's a little brain in there! Smiling is obviously wonderful and melts your heart, but that is a reflexive response. Now we are getting to the part where he has to work at his responses. Two nights ago, after at least a month of coaching, Carson used his first sign language to sign "more" during dinner. You would have thought he had just spouted off multiplication tables the way we were rejoicing. We even gave him the ultimate reward in his eyes: pedialyte pop. Then last night he waved goodbye when Grandpa Tompkins was waving to him. It was a big deal! How funny that these little feats that were only mildly amusing when they happened to someone else's child now seem like newsflashes worthy of announcing to the world. What's really fun to think is that we are just at the beginning of so many firsts.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Making Friends

This weekend we had a great time at the beach, staying in a cabin near Camp WiNeMa. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. It was also a good time for Carson to get some social exercise interacting with some friends: I know it looks like he's about to pull her ear, which is not nice to do to a new friend, but it was actually quite fun watching these two, who are only about two weeks apart in age. They were both chatting and practicing their "sharing." Her name is Katie, daughter of our friends Emily and Peter, who are visiting family in the states from Denmark for a few months.I can't tell if Carson is using Becky for balance or it he's getting ready to push off of her and dive onto Ethan. The boys in their semi-matching PJ's were so funny to watch. Carson is working on petting the doggies and used the same motion on Ethan's head. It worked pretty well until Carson decided he needed some leverage to stand, so he used Ethan's head, pushing it into the carpet. Ethan is so laid-back he hardly put up a fuss.

The dog whisperer. With a wedgie. He already got that one dog at his feet to "play dead."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Picnic and Play at the Park

The other day we slathered (real word?) on the sunblock and went for a picnic at the park. It was Carson's first time there to try out some of the play equipment, rather than just sit in the stroller for a walk. He seemed to like it pretty well, even though all he could really do was sit there. A little girl came down this slide next to him and they chatted to each other in gibberish for a bit...pretty cute.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Where I'm From

A while back, I came across a template for a poem that was really cool. It took me a while to find bits of time to work on it, but here it is. I'll probably think of a ton of things to add and change, but here is my first draft. It may be obvious, but this is dedicated to where I came from: Mom, Dad and Mike. If you read this without getting a little choked up, then I recant it all--I must not be related to you.

Where I Came From--Jennifer Bunch Tompkins

I am from Douglas firs and Super Mario Brothers. I'm from Psalty, Five Mile Creek and Ramona Quimby.

I am from the fourth house on the left, the cul-de-sac, from rooms kept cool in the summer by fans and closed blinds. I am from a true wood-burning fireplace.

I am from the roses and hydrangeas, from Veda, Trillium and Mirror.

I am from year-by-year collages in the hallway and toothbrushes in the kitchen; from Carters and Mulkeys and Helphensteins.

I am from quick to laugh and easy to cry, smart and smart-aleck; from photographs as a second religion. From hanging on and letting go. I'm from "obnoxiously functional."

I am from road trips and hiking trips and “we’ll take as many breaks as you want but we’re not carrying you.” I’m from “TV coins” in the jar for every hour I’ve read.

I am from Winkie and Jesus, Sunday school and VBS; from faith as a lifestyle, not just a label. From Turner and WiNeMa and PCCofHIU. I'm from education as a value and an honor, not an obligation.

I'm from the incomparable Pacific Northwest and Southern California perfection; from Minestrone soup and home-made caramel corn. I’m from McDonald’s as a treat, not a routine.

I’m from a plastic cup flushed down the toilet, a moon drawn on the bathroom door and a knee injury in racquetball. I’m from tole-painting and hand-sewn dresses, from chocolate pudding as finger paint. I'm from Q-tips as a daily delight!

I am from scrapbooks, from nostalgia and movies. I am from expressive and unconditional love, and vocal pride and unhesitating forgiveness. I'm from a place that shapes my history and my future. How could I ask for more?