Friday, February 29, 2008


I think that somewhere embedded in the Y chromosome there is a car gene. Shane called home from his work trip this week to tell me about his most amazing, wonderful day. Over the phone I could hear the pure elation in his voice. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever heard the man so excited "kid in a candy store" does not describe it well enough it was more like "kid in a candy store, at Disney land, on Christmas eve." He was thrilled. Why you ask? Well he was scheduled to go to a conference in Southern California, and had had to arrive a day early. So while standing in line for his rental car he contemplated what he would do...You know perfect weather, a whole day ahead of him with nothing planned...Hmmm there are lots of things that I would have suggested had I been there, but I wasn't (I was home trying to stay sane with the children, but that's another post entirely) he was there instead with a co-worker who also happens to be a car lover like my husband. SO what does he do...He upgrades...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh the fun...

If necessity is the mother of invention, then little boys are the big brothers inventing fun out of just about anything. We have a new game in our house its called "Tato Jumping" it works like this.

First one stands in front of the sofa on our little ottoman

Then you jump...

Then the you lay there and laugh and laugh until you've recovered enough to do it again.

Playing the Tato Game often leads to a build up of static electricity which has also led to the invention of the very fun "Finger Shock" game.

In case you were wondering the "Tato" (pronounced tay-toe) is in fact not a large potato, but actually a big bean bag thing that just happens to be the same color and shape as the well known tubers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pay Attention Mom!

Sometimes I think that communicating with me must be such a lot of work for Little Man. Especially when he clearly explains things and I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

Tonight in the continuing quest to get my child to consume more calories I ask him if he wants butter on his bread, at first he declines then after a thoughtful moment he gets really excited and exclaims that he wants butter, but not just any butter he wants yellow cupcake butter. I look at him confused, because I know I went along with the Cheetos thing, but there is no way he is having cupcakes for dinner, besides that we don't have any. Little Man gets all flustered and maintains that we DO have yellow cupcake butter. I tell him to show me and what do ya know we do...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mommies leave your personal space at the door...

Sometime I feel like raising small children is like walking into a den of raccoons with a pocket full of crackers. I feel like I am constantly getting pawed at. Whether its Baby Bug needing my breasts for his food and general pacification, or Little Man who insists he must be touching me in some way All. The. Time. I admit there are days that I just want to scream out rules about personal space to my little ones, and I admit I often have to remind myself that my kids only want to be near me and that there will come a time when they don't and I will really wish for this time back, so I must not ruin it by being grumpy. And even then I still sometimes get a little selfish with my body and firmly suggest that Little Man keep his hand/foot/mouth away from my face/ear/arm/leg/hair. So Little Man decided to give me a little reminder a few days ago...

As I was walking around the kitchen cleaning up the lunch aftermath Little Man took to putting a hand in each of my back pockets and "following me" as I worked. After a few seconds of this fun, I asked him, "why are you doing this me?" Not understanding sarcasm yet Little Man piped right up with his answer, "Because I love you mom."
Ok Little Man proceed...and I love you too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Great Potato Escape

I opened my box of potatoes for dinner tonight and found that my potatoes had been hatching a plan during their weeks in the pantry.

Note to self: Use the potatoes before they have time to grow scary arms and hash out plans of rebellion.

To give credit where its due I must say that although I often personify my foods and other inanimate things in my little world, I have never thought to share it with the rest of you until I read this post. If you don't know her already go check out that Pioneer Woman, she is hilarious, takes lovely pictures, and her recipes are oh so good.

On another side note:Some of you may remember this post and well those water bottles are in fact the very dishes I was referencing, and yes they have been left exactly twelve inches from the sink.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Potty Training: Another Learning Experience

So in November I declared that it was time to start potty training little man. I now I stand here three months later the mother of a big boy, who hardly ever has accidents, and I can say that it has been a harrowing journey and as a recovering parenting know-it-all I can say with humility that I have learned much. I have learned that...

1. You can lead a toddler to the toilet, but you can't make him pee. Seriously! There is no amount of pleading, bribing, threatening, or bargaining that will make a two year old go pee if he doesn't want to. This is the most important piece of knowledge I can share with my fellow mommies because...

2. As soon as your toddler learns the above he will become giddy with power and well you will have to give up and try again in a few weeks (or months).

3. You must wait until they are darn good and ready. I picked a convenient time for us to start potty training. That is to say that after I thought Baby Bug was fully integrated into the household, but we were still in that new baby stay home all the time mode, I thought it would be a great time to potty train as we were home anyway...Little Man not so much (refer to #1 and 2).

4. Even when they are darn good and ready you will have to convince them that the potty is AWESOME, because diapers are so much easier. You must act like he is peeing rainbows and pooping gold stars. Think Pollyanna on steroids.

5. Finding the right reward for your child is key because see #1. For us it was some good old fashioned verbal praise (see #4), a sticker chart, the occasional marshmallow, and this potty chair playing a royal fanfare every time he peed on it.

6. After he is fully potty trained, you deserve a serious vacation. Of course it isn't going to happen, but let's all close our eyes and dream about it for just a minute.

When I started my journey I read Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro I thought it was very helpful, although as has been well documented potty training in a day was just not in the cards for us, but it did have some good reminders on being more positive, patient, and making the whole experience more fun and less painful. The potty party that the author suggests was a great way to introduce the whole concept to Little Man. I also invested in a "Potty Time Elmo" which was a huge hit, Little Man got a kick out of Elmo's shrill little voice saying "Elmo has to go potty!" although late at night when I hear that same thing randomly coming from the toy box it is a tad bit creepy. He and Elmo both had charts and Little Man was so very proud of his progress

And I have to say that I am so very proud of him.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Parenting 101: Sometimes cheetos are a part of a balanced breakfast

Or lunch or dinner...

This week in my house I have been learning another parenting lesson that I didn't learn in all my years of parenting education. Let me tell you this is significant, because I spent many years of my professional career BEFORE I had children teaching parenting. I'm not saying that I didn't have some good information to share with my students and clients, but I am saying that there was a lot that I thought I knew before I had kids, but I found out that there was so much more that I didn't know I didn't know. That being said, I think that my husband will agree that I am still usually the parenting expert in our house, which I admit has given me a bit of a professional mommy ego. So you can imagine my reaction this week when I saw my husband make great progress in a parenting battle we have been fighting since my sons babyhood by giving him Cheetos.

Since our Little Man was old enough to eat foods he has been a picky eater. Now this was a parenting lesson in and of itself, because I had silently judged all of those parents of picky eaters in my childless days. Knowing that that was a learned behavior that those parents had allowed their children to acquire. Oh yes my friends my horse was high and the fall has been considerable. Even as a baby the kid had a natural ability to forcefully eject any unwanted food from his mouth, and did. He REFUSES to try new foods, he eats only from what we call the beige food group, this food group consists of exactly three foods: bread, milk, and occasionally cheese. The kid won't even eat ice cream. Anyway all along I have been taking my own well meant parenting advice that was this, "You can't make him eat, so don't turn it into a control battle you can't win," and "He won't let himself starve, so don't stress over it." Lately that last bit has been hard to believe, because honestly when you can fit everything that your child eats in a day into a tablespoon, and count all of his little tiny ribs you start to worry, and you to start to doubt the know-it-all childless you. You start to wonder if your child is so used to feeling hungry, that he doesn't know when he's really hungry. Then the first piece of advice starts to haunt you because you know that it is true (at least you were right about something) and you start to feel trapped, and worried.

Finally with my son's hunger strike reaching frightening proportions this weekend Shane decided any food was better than no food and took Little Man to the grocery store where he picked out his own family size bag of Cheetos, a food that momma with her large parenting ego had banned. Knowing that my plan of passive insistence wasn't working however I did not argue, but I must admit I did not think that it would work.

Little Man was soooo excited about his Cheetos and Shane put a little pile on his plate next to three dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Little Man ate his Cheetos with gusto and then wanted more, Shane gently told him that he would be happy to get him some more as soon as he ate some dinos, I sat back waiting to be right, and then what should my eyes behold, but a little boy eating three WHOLE chicken nuggets, an entire string cheese, and a granola bar, with Cheetos mixed in. It was like Thanksgiving dinner for a preschooler, it was a miracle. Since then almost every meal has included Cheetos...this morning Little Man came to me and told me he wanted breakfast, I don't remember the last time he told me he wanted a meal, and do you know what he had for breakfast yes Cheetos, AND oatmeal! The kid wanted to try oatmeal! I don't think that this boy has had oatmeal since he was a baby (and even then he spit it right back out at me). Seriously I'm dabbing at little mommy tears right now.

So I learned that sometimes a few Cheetos can get you a long way and that dads do things differently from moms and sometimes different is just what the Little Man needs.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What will they think of next? and the week in pictures

These things come with demo babies now?

I call this one "Dad You Missed a Spot"

And really I can say that this one probably deserves a post of its own, but its not getting it, because I'm busy like that. This is just another example of how this boy loves his dad. Everything that dad does is magic, and cool, and exciting. Little Man followed Shane around for half an hour helping him paint the walls. When I asked him what he was doing he said with pride, "I'm learning to help dad!." How sweet is that?

We tried solid foods this week,
and I think that if Baby bug could talk he would have said, "Oh man! Where has this stuff been hiding my whole life?" He loved it.

And last, but not least...I call this one "Mom I'm Tired of Blogging"

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The mall, not just for shoppers anymore

Holy schmoley! Can you say cabin fever? We can.

With our recent bout with illness and it being a balmy 2 degrees outside, all.the.time. I can say that the kids and I have not left the house in what feels like weeks although its probably only been a week. So we ventured out for our first outing on Wednesday. Where do you go when its cold out and you live in our town? Well I'll be honest there aren't a lot of options. In fact I could only think of one...The mall.

Can I say that the mall is no longer just a place for old ladies and juvenile delinquents the mall is a happenin' place for three year olds and their desperate mommies everywhere. I don't know why nobody told me sooner.

The mall has rides...

And snacks...
And a play area, where if you go before three p.m. your kid won't get clobbered by any big kids that are definitely over the height resriction (yeah you know who you are).

There is also a great fountain that you can throw pennies into. Little Man LOVES to throw his money in the fountain.

Even a Baby Bug enjoys having new things to look at.

And if your a lucky mommy when you leave this magical retail emporium this...

and this...

will be the result, and may you just have to drive around the block a few extra times to revel in the quiet (that you know will be over the minute the car turns off) before going home.