Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crayons, or why I should trust my instincts

During the big evening out, one of the other moms was talking about the art projects her 10 month old son brings home from day care. I asked, with incredulity, what kind of art projects a 10 month old can make. She told me about finger paints and paint blobs.

I though T was a little too young for paints and crayons and art projects, but then I thought, if a 10 month old can do it, certainly my 13 month old can too. I went to Target and bought these beginner crayons. The packaging says they're for 12 months and older. All the commercials show babies delightfully coloring away, chubby little hands grasping the fat end. I even asked Ry to bring home some big paper from work so we would have a large space to work on.

So this morning I opened the crayons and laid out the big paper in the middle of the kitchen floor. Now, here's where I should've trusted my first instinct.

It. Was. A. Disaster.

First off, T was far more interested in trying to bite the heads off the crayons than using them. I spent a good 7 or 8 minutes just getting him to hold the darn things the right way. Joy! He actually made a few marks on the paper ... with the paint on the sides of the crayon holder. Then he thought it would be great fun to run around the kitchen marking on everything except the giant paper in the middle of the floor. Dishwasher, walls, floor, it didn't matter as long as it wasn't paper. I finally had enough when he plopped his little butt right in the middle of the paper and proceeded to wriggle around in every way he could think of to wrinkle the paper. Maybe we'll try again when everything doesn't go directly into his mouth.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wii!! MarioKart!

Ry went and picked up his reserved copy of MarioKart for the Wii this morning. We've been playing ever since. This is probably the only video game that we own that I'm more excited about than him. We used to play this game for hours during the infamous summer. Tomorrow, back to being a grown up. We sure had fun today though.

Thoughts from cat

So, there I am, minding my own business on my favorite couch cushion. I've already been reduced to begging for the "food" to be refilled today. Then, I turn around and the big woman is coming at me with a hose attached to the giant sucking box. As if the daily humiliation I have to endure at the hands of the little one isn't enough. The next time she takes off her wedding ring, I'm eating it. I'm not giving it back until they take that vile thing back to the hospital.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Love currency

T really likes to feel our teeth. I assume this is because he's only got the 4 and they're new toys, so he wants to know how ours feel. Yesterday, we were sitting on the floor and he was feeling my teeth. I'm not sure how it got started ... I would let him feel my teeth and then when he started poking my gums, I'd close my mouth tight so he couldn't get his little fingers in. Then he'd grab my face and give me a big slobbery kiss. Then I'd let him feel the teeth again. This must've gone on for 15 or 20 minutes. Maybe it's wrong to barter for kisses, but I'd do it again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Feelings of inadequecy

I went out this evening with several of the mothers from my mom's group. For the most part, I had a great time. I left a little early so I could stop and get a pedicure and enjoyed the first part of the dinner very much. Then came the inevitable mommy comparisons. Keep in mind that these are driven women who are college educated (often at the master's or JD level). These are women who expect the best of themselves and those around them. Their juniors take gym class, attend daily library activities, do art projects and participate in music class.

Several of the moms actually discussed how it was unfair to kids not to attend preschool for several years before kindergarten because they'd be so far behind. I'm not sure if we can afford preschool in a few years. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I know we can't afford $165 for 10 weeks of music class.

Here I was thinking that it was enough that T was happy and healthy. I realize it does no good to compare, but I can't help wondering if T isn't talking yet because he's not getting the proper stimulation. I'm just not one of those mommies who can give running commentary all day like you're supposed to ("Look T, it's a truck. What color is the truck? The truck is red. Look T, there's a bug. What do you see? Do you see the rock? No, baby, we don't eat rocks.") Unfortunately, I think I'd truly be a babbling idiot by the end of the day. I tried it a couple of times, but it's just unnatural. We talk about things when they're relevant.

How much of a leg up do these activities really provide? Am I stunting him in some way? My kid really likes to eat mulch right now. We're working on identifying his legs and telling his ears and head apart. How much better will he develop in "separation class" (seriously, you do an activity with your child and then leave halfway through to get them ready for preschool)? Just when I was finally feeling like I had this mommy thing under control I realize that there's always something new to worry about.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dirt and a 13 month old

It doesn't seem to matter how often I wipe his hands and face. Nor does it matter if we aren't even in a dirty place. T will find the dirtiest thing around, put his hands in it, and likely try to eat it. I can't tell you how many times I've said "No baby, we don't eat rocks" today. He can be sitting completely still (a rare occurrence), and the dirt will leap onto him. Dirt hides in every little baby crevice, behind each ear, and under his fingernails. Dirt: thy home is baby.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


After many weeks of craigslist stalking, I finally secured a large climber for T. We were doing yard work outside and I came in and happened to refresh the craigslist page and the listing for this little beauty was the first on the list. The woman we bought it from said she had at least 3 other emails shortly after I emailed (15 minutes after the listing posted). Anyhow, we picked it up for a quarter of the retail price. Wahoo!!!!

There is also a picture of it loaded into the Pathfinder last night. Ry had a lot of pride in this load in. Yeah for an engineering degree.

Also, a picture of T "helping" us to clean it up. He had a blast. We had to strip him down to his diaper for naptime, he was soaked.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Diet Strawberry Limeade

1 Can Diet Sprite, Sierra Mist or generic clear soda
1 Teaspoon strawberry jam or preserves (not jelly)
1/6 Lime

Put ice in large cup (with lid works best). Put jam and lime juice in cup, followed by soda. Stir or shake until everything is, well, shaken. Enjoy. Yummy

Monday, April 14, 2008


Three days before T's 13 month birthday, we dropped the final (nighttime) nursing. I find I am having two distinct and distinctly conflicting responses to this:

1. Joy. For the first time in almost two years, there is no one living in my body or drawing complete or supplemental nutrition from me. I can eat what I want, drink what I want and stop wearing the hideous nursing bras the fashion industry has left behind.

2. Melancholy. For me, this signals the end of my son's babyhood, even more so than walking. Also, I find that I'm really missing the baby snuggle time I had with him in the mornings and before bed. Ry has been putting him to bed for the last 3 nights. Last night, it only took 2 minutes, so even after I take over again, I won't have the delicious sleepy snuggle time before bed.

T, on the other hand, seems to be handling it pretty well. The first night Ry said he seemed confused, but ultimately drank the milk from the sippy cup and went right to bed. The second night, as he was getting sleepy, he kept trying to turn toward Ry, as if to nurse. (Hearing this later about broke my heart). He got a bit fussy, like "this isn't right." Last night, it took all of 2 minutes to put him down. He drank some from the sippy cup, looked up at Ry with heavy eyes and feel asleep in his crib 30 seconds later.

All in all, weaning T was nowhere near as bad as I feared (and heard) it was going to be. Granted, it was a 3 month process, but it was worth it to go so slowly.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

T Tricks

Yesterday, T's Tantie was asking what new tricks he was doing these days. I gave her a few examples. He gets up from the floor on his own now, he tells us when he's all done at dinner, he practically climbs into the bathtub on his own. This might be my new favorite though. He'll empty his toy bucket and climb in. Then he'll spend a good 15-20 minutes hanging out in the bucket, climbing out and climbing back in.

I love the spring

We bought a counter-height table this month after 3 years of shopping. It's never just a table though. We realized that T's highchair was now too short for the table. He's going to be ready for a booster chair pretty soon, so we got him this one, that converts to a booster seat by removing the tray and the seat back. A happy consequence is that it's really easy to strap to our patio chairs. Here we are (well, here T is) in our first cookout of the season.


So I finally got a climber on craigslist yesterday. It's one of the little ones, but I figure I'll keep looking for a big one and in the meantime, T won't outgrow this one this summer anyhow. For 20 bucks, it's totally worth it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

You know what makes you feel old?

Going to register for classes at a community college. I realized that not only am I hopelessly uncool (and how cool can you be in flat shoes toting around your toddler?), but I am also much nearer the age of the instructors than the majority of the students. On the bright side, I may be able to find a babysitter in one of my classes!

For the moment, I'm registered for only one class. The evening classes appear to fill faster than the daytime classes and I'm a little late to the game for the fall semester. I also have to wait for my transcripts from high school and WIU to arrive before I know for sure how many classes I have to complete prior to the core nursing curriculum. Apparently, it takes about a month for credits to be applied, so it's looking like I'll only be taking one class this fall. It'll be good to break us into my going to school again.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Seriously cute

T has those little snap together beads that he mostly uses as chew toys. Today he would put his finger in the opening and pull it out. This made a little popping noise as the vacuum was broken. Then, he'd throw his head back and laugh. Again and again.

At least it's something

Yesterday, the NJ Senate passed a bill allowing for up to 6 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or sick relative. Employees would receive 2/3 pay up to $524 per week. This makes NJ one of only 3 states in the country that have any version of paid family leave. The estimated cost to taxpayers is $33 per year. It's certainly not everything it could be, but it makes me proud to live in NJ and gives working mothers a chance to stay home for at least a little while with their newborns or families to care for each other without bankrupting themselves. Bravo NJ.

Monday, April 07, 2008

And the adventure begins

Today I finally got some of my questions answered about the admissions process for the nursing program. Turns out, they won't be needing my SAT scores (good thing, since they're 13 years old). The transcript from my undergrad and the application is all they need. I asked about my master's classes and the woman from the admissions office said something about them being "not applicable." Yeah, I'm going to be a big old waste of a master's degree.

Anyhow, I'll be admitted to a pre-nursing curriculum prior to the actual nursing program. They do this primarily because admission into the program is quite competitive and they want people to have finished all their prereqs before taking one of the available slots. Admission in the fall is for more traditional students. Classes are in the daytime. I'll be looking for admission in the spring, which offers evening and weekend classes. It looks like the earliest I'll be admitted to the actual nursing curriculum is spring 2010. Yikes. I should be able to start taking my prereq science classes this fall. All in all, it looks like it will take me almost as long to complete this AS program as my BA took. Guess that's what happens when you have other responsibilities.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Colonel must have been thirsty

We were out running a few errands today when Ryan realized he was thirsty. The nearest fast food restaurant was KFC, so we drove through. I ordered a large soda for us to split and then rethought my choice and ordered an extra large. The girl at the drive through asked if I wanted a large or a mega jug. I am not a KFC frequenter. I thought mega jug was their way of saying extra large. This is what we received: a Mega Jug. This thing was not measured in ounces. No. Stamped proudly on the side was "Half Gallon." It comes with a handle. When the poor woman at the window handed it to me, I actually laughed in her face. Here's the saddest thing of all: over the afternoon we finished the damn thing.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Competition is fierce!

I've been trying to buy a used outdoor climber for several months now. I never realized how fierce the competition could be for these things. Almost as soon as one is posted on craigslist, someone has bought it. I guess no one else thinks a big cube of molded plastic is worth $200 either.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Things I've learned today

1. Grating 2 cups of carrots takes a lot more time than you might think.
2. My baby has seen me take his temperature enough times with the ear thermometer that he will now pretend to take his own temperature. This is absolutely adorable and keeps his hands away from his neither region while I change his diaper.
3. As bad as poopy diapers can be, I prefer them to changing the cat box.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The First of April

It just occurred to me that it's April Fool's Day. This is one of those holidays only celebrated by kids, the media and overgrown boys. Anyway, happy (merry, joyous?) April Fool's Day!

In other news, Ry is still out of town. I'm going to dinner with some friends tonight, which will help the week not suck. The mall where we're meeting has an extensive indoor kid's play area. It's been super rainy here the past couple of days, so aside from the big Target trip yesterday, T and I have been stuck inside. I think we're going to go to the mall early so he has time to blow off some steam. For some reason he has been ridiculously clingy the past 2 days. He wanted my attention every one of his waking hours yesterday. How do I keep this from becoming a habit? He's generally a pretty independent player, so I can only hope he's feeling a little clingy and will get over in a few days.

I just had a thought. We quit the morning nursing a few days ago. Perhaps this is the cause of his newfound insecurity? He didn't seem to miss it at all, but maybe this is the manifestation? I really expected to feel only relief at getting rid of the final 2 nursings per day. I'm finding that I miss my baby snuggle time in the morning (although not enough to start nursing again). I've been snatching him up for hugs and kisses more often to try and make up for it. This he enjoys not so much. It reminds me of the Jack Johnson song "I always have to steal my kisses from you." He'll kiss me back when he's in the mood.

I hope to have stopped the nighttime nursing by the time he's 13 months. I'm afraid this one will prove the most difficult. He's usually in a state close to coma by the time he's done nursing at night. I'm afraid the sippy cup just isn't going to cut it.

Well, I'm using my precious baby nap time to blog. I need to go do fun things like laundry. Happy April!
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