Spacemen don't wear clothes!

And neither does Max. It has been taking a full wrestling session (with screams) to get him dressed lately. Afterward each of us is in a really bad mood. So yesterday, after one such session, I figured.....what the heck? He seems so willing to fight for this right, maybe we should let him explore this feeling? As he ran around gleeful and squealing (albeit without clothes), I kept asking him "Are you cold? Do you want clothes?"
"No Way!" was his answer.
OK, then.

Of course, the one thing he did want to put on was a Buzz Lightyear backpack. (Cloth diapering friends: We were "stripping" our diapers at this moment.)

Those clothes were slowing down my rocketship!
Max loves to play space. Wants to be called "Pi-yot." At bedtime tonight he told me "Rocket. Pi-yot. Mars." Big plans he has!

But he will set aside everything, even outer space travels, for......CHOCOLATE! He found an empty brownie mix box in our recycling bin in the back hall and brought it to me chanting "CHOC-LAT! CHOC-LAT!" He was very frustrated that I could not just pull the brownies out of the box.

Sleepy court-jester dreaming of space.

No Way

When I picture what Max will do in the future, I could see him taking on the challenge of ultramarathons, or maybe setting records mountain climbing or being the first person in the world to do something really hard. Because the type of person who does these things never gives up, and Max NEVER, EVER, EVER gives up.

While I think this perserverance (stubborness), strength (bossiness) and dedication (one-track mindedness) will benefit him in the future, it is now creating some parenting challenges.

Recent example: His brother hates most sweets, (save for M&Ms) and cries if offered a birthday cake at his own party.

Max LOVES sweets, especially cookies and M & M's. Yesterday at dinner, Harry asked if he could have the Valentine M&Ms from his school party after he finished dinner.

Max heard the word M&Ms and decided that it would be better to have the candy instead of dinner. Wow. He did not give up. He gave us hell. He tried many different approaches: Tantrums. Politeness ("Peeze? Peeze?"). Grabbing my face in his hands and staring into my eyes while saying "Mmmmsss. Mmmmmsss" as if the problem was that I just didn't understand the word. He finally collapsed 1.5 hours past his bedtime, but woke up hours later, half asleep, mumbling about M&Ms.

So no surprise really that his new phrase of the week is "No Way!"

Mommy: "Maxwell, come here!"
Max: "No Way!"

Daddy: "Max, finish your dinner."
Max: "No Way!"

Hard not to smile. Here Mr. Cutie Pie is reading a book to himself. He is grunting and pretending to open the door that's in the picture. :) If anyone could do it, he could.

And some thing's never change. Nearing 4, Harry still stands by his belief that this is the best way to play with cars.

And at age 1.


Max's first time down the hill! The video isn't that great, but note the giggles. After it was over, he said "More. More."
And here's big brother Harry's first SOLO sled:

Our Blizzard 2011 Story -- It was Epic!

Hi everyone! You may be sick of looking at snow pictures, but I wanted to record our blizzard story for posterity's sake, and for our out-of-town readers (All 5 of you. Love you guys! ;)

A few days before snOMG! Harry asked me if he could help clear the car of snow. Turns out this is wimpy snow. But he did a good job, and what an amazing feeling for the child to start helping you instead of adding to your to-do list!

BLIZZARD 2011! Nice to meet you!

11:00 PM -- Hearty souls determined to push their van out of SNOWPOCALYPSE! They were doing this until 0:100 hours, and only made it down our block.

11:30 PM Taxi driver stuck in the middle of the street. We see him get out and push and walk around and there are helpers around him. His presence creates a giant drift in the middle of the street that will not be easily overcome.

06:58 hours, next day. Harry's still feeling a little under the weather. What better remedy than to cuddle up with Daddy and Max on the couch? Are they not the coziest?

07:33 hours of Snow Day 1. Let's make pancakes! Daddy's museum is closed, which is a very rare event. Boys are balancing/fighting on the stool to assist Daddy with the process.

07:39 hours. "These are going to be so great!" says Harry! Daddy is thinking about how much extra work is involved in having two little helpers!

08:02 hours. Our street!

08:26 hours. BLIZZARD 2011 breakfast! Note the whiteout behind us!

09:24 hours. Note figure on right-hand side. That is Rob digging out the taxi driver. The driver spent the night in his cab! The car looked abandoned, and we saw him walking away from the car, so when we learned this, it was a big lesson to CHECK! Some neighbors brought him food during the night, so he wouldn't necessarily have moved during the night, but this scared us to death. He was not even working, only helping an elderly couple who begged him to get them home, and then he got stuck trying to get out of our neighborhood of all one-way streets. Rob brought him a hat and gloves and money so he could walk to the bus. Our downstairs neighbor brought him inside to warm up. I will ALWAYS ALWAYS check in the future, and so should everyone. Craziness!

10:04 hours. Our street. Our car is between the garage and the apartment building, completely covered in snow. Can you even see it?

10:41 hours. Our street.

10:43 hours. Our sidewalk.

10:44 hours. A path?

12:33 hours. Fire truck responding to a call gets stuck on our street! Police SUV arrives and plows up the street behind the truck. It looks like the ambulance gets out OK. Firefighters arrive on snowmobile! At this point, we get everyone suited up to go check out the action!

13:01 hours. Oh yes, it takes that long to suit up two toddlers in snowsuits. Max is a hit with the Chicago firefighters and police officers on the scene. They tickle him and say "You gotta get a picture of him in the snow! You'll show him Blizzard 2011 when he's old and say it was historic!" We are all very impressed when five Chicago firefighters lift a car up out of the snow and then push it out to free the fire truck. We are mad later when people are saying emergency personnel didn't respond fast enough.

13:04 hours. Look at 'em all! (As Harry would say.) From our window four stories above, we saw as the fire truck struggling to get out in an emergency slid into our neighbors car. Oh darn! It just happened to hit the car of the biggest jackass in the building! Shoot! He tried to be his usual bully self, and as Rob put it, they gave him "the what for." He was put in his place and soon started helping to get his car out of the way so the EMERGENCY CREWS could move! I'm sure he'll be compensated as CPD was on the scene to take a report. All Max and Harry cared about was having a frozen fire truck that they could stare at, and firefighters and police officers talking to them!

13:15 hours. Harry busting into some fresh, untouched snow. Nothing like making your mark, you know?
13:17 hours. The boys in BLIZZARD 2011!
13:21 hours. Are those my feet? I can't really move.

13:22 hours. Please don't leave me here. The snow is as tall as me!
13:25 hours. Rescued by Mama. Everytime the wind blew, he would giggle, kick like crazy, and yell "COOOOOLLLD!"
13:26 hours. Daddy talking to the cop about the fire truck accident while Harry is amazed by the snow up to his chest.

16:24 hours, Day 2 of the storm. 24 hours later, this is our street. Giant mounds of snow. We have been thoroughly entertained watching the small Nissans with rear-wheel drive trying to get over the snow mountain that paralyzed a FIRE TRUCK! And a four-wheel drive pick-up truck. And about 11 other cars that attempted to get over. But each one has flattened about an inch of road, so people are inching closer to getting out, but they're still not getting anywhere! Steph and Joe came over on Wednesday afternoon and we ended up watching the action for a couple hours, realizing that people were creating bigger problems than if they would just sit still for FOUR seconds after the storm. For example, a city front loader arrived Thursday morning to dig out our street and did a beautiful job for half our block. But then he hit the idiot Chevy Cabriolet that thought he could drive over 6 feet of snow but surprisingly got stuck. Front loader turned around and disappeared and we've not seen him again. Seriously, people, where do you need to go on the day of a blizzard?