Monday, March 28, 2011


Eating with kids is funny. Both of my boys are pretty good eaters. Cheeky Monkey will try pretty much anything you put in front of him, although he did spit the orange fruit Cheerios onto my pants during church on Sunday (but not the purple or white). Gummy Bear is a bit more selective. I've seen other 4-year-olds eat, though, so I can't complain too much.

Recently, Gummy Bear has taken to gagging on food he has decided that he doesn't like, even when it's food he ate previously (think roasted potatoes, zucchini and mashed potatoes). I think we're pulling out of the gagging phase though. He's realized that it doesn't garner much sympathy from me.

Do you remember that as a kid? I distinctly remember the sensation of gagging on something my folks made me try. Looking back, I realize that it was as much mental as sensory. Still, there is one food that to this day can activate my gag reflex with one sniff: cooked spinach. I remember my Mom putting a big bowl of cooked spinach in the microwave and eating it like a rare delicacy. To her credit, I only had to try it a few times. I'm pretty sure my Dad feels the same way about Lima beans. Green beans are my sister's arch-nemesis.

How about you? What makes you gag?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Someone got a bike!

My mom got Gummy Bear his very first bicycle for his 4th birthday. He was a tiny bit excited.

Lately, I can't get him to give me a real smile. All I get are these silly school-picture smiles. He was really excited though, let me tell you.

What we realized when we started doing the research for the bike, was that Gummy Bear would now be much much faster. So we had to tune up my trusty old bicycle, find a bike for Ry and a bike seat for Cheeky Monkey. Hurrah Craigslist!
Cheeky Monkey seems to enjoy his new bike seat too. It wasn't naptime, but I guess the air, movement and comfort was just too much for him. As an aside, I have no idea why we didn't do this when Gummy Bear was small. Riding with a tiny human aboard really isn't too different. We're looking forward to lots of bike rides this summer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I guess I deserved that

I had just dried and lotioned Gummy Bear and sent him out to Daddy to get dressed. The water had drained from the tub, and Cheeky Monkey sat, playing with bathtub toys. I was paying about half attention to him and half to a book that I nearly finished.

Cheeky Monkey disappeared behind the shower curtain for a moment and then reappeared. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was handing me something, so I put my hand out to get it. It took me about 3 seconds to realize that he just handed me a nugget of poo. Oh. Dear. Lord. I quickly dumped it into the toilet and turned back, only for Cheeky Monkey to hand me another poo nugget. This time, I peeked around the curtain to see a third nugget, waiting for me on the bathtub floor. I couldn't get to it before Cheeky Monkey, and so was handed a third poo nugget.

Life as a mother is glamorous.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's Marching time again

I am Marching for Babies again this year.  The walk is at the end of April, and I've upped my goal to $350 this year.  If you feel so inclined, please donate to this very important cause.

Gummy Bear was born almost 4 weeks early. He was tiny, but perfect. Lots of babies are not so lucky. The March of Dimes help to prevent premature birth and birth defects.

If the March of Dimes is not your bag, baby, please consider making a donation of your time or money to a worth organization of your choice. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This is my 1001st blog post. Holy cow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

He's 4 and he's HUGE!

Gummy Bear turned 4 Sunday. It's a little surreal to me that he's that old already. Next year at this time, we'll be registering him for Kindergarten! Gummy Bear is my proverbial bull in a china shop. He's all impulse. Fearless. Lives in the moment. You always know just how he's feeling. Just ask him, he'll tell you. He'll also give you a running monologue of his day, thoughts and observations.

He has such a sweet and open heart. He'll do you favors, pick up his brother's dropped milk cup, "help" make coffee, and herd his brother away from open gates and stairs. He's not always so gentle in the doing, but his heart is almost always in the right place. I'm beginning to see the start of a great friendship between him and his brother. I'm afraid they're going gang up on me ... but at least they keep each other entertained for a few minutes every day now.

Gummy Bear is tall and thin. At his physical yesterday, he was 42 inches tall and weighed 40 pounds. That puts him in the 90th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. How we got a tall, slender kid I'll never know. I'm also hoping he keeps those gorgeous blond curls. He looks like an angel, even if there's some devilment in his eyes.

Gummy Bear is what I'll lovingly call independent. We butt heads a fair amount, but we're starting to learn the give and take that makes life peaceful. And if he wears the same pair of shoes everyday and insists on putting the toothpaste on his own toothbrush? So be it. I'm learning to pick my battles.

I'm so proud of my big man. I'm so proud to be his mommy. I love you, Gummy Bear.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gummy Bear's Super Mario Party

Gummy Bear is turning 4 tomorrow. We decided to have a Super Mario Brothers party, since they are currently his most favorite-est characters in the whole wide world. The party prep started off well.
A few of the kids invited to the party have egg allergies, so I thought, "I'll just make an egg-free cake!" Here it is.

Thankfully, Ry manages me well. He pulled me out of my downward spiral, and helped me design the One-Up cupcakes. They turned out pretty cute.

Today was his party, which we hosted at the gym where Gummy Bear takes gymnastics lessons every week. He loves it there, and enjoyed showing all his friends the ropes.

Cheeky Monkey and the other younger siblings kind of made their own fun.

As the guest of honor, Gummy Bear got the first parachute ride, the first jump in the foam pit, and the first go on the obstacle course. He was in heaven.

There is nothing quite as fun as a rope over a giant foam pit.

Some of the big kids had a good time in the pit too.

Cheeky Monkey couldn't get out.

This was fun. They were playing "popcorn". The teacher bounced their little bums half across the trampoline.

Don't feed the animals!

Cheeky Monkey was so bummed when they deflated the bouncy castle.

And here's the whole food set up.


Do you see the look on his face? He was mad because I put the little 4 candle on the cupcake instead of the big one. He recovered nicely, but the face was priceless.

Blowing out the candles.

Mmmmm. Cupcakes.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Elmer Fudd couldn't be a politician

As I was driving to school today, NPR was doing a story about the Congress' hearings on the radicalization of Muslims. A man called in to weigh in on the story. While I'm sure he had some valid points, I couldn't get over the fact that he sounded just like Elmer Fudd. When he started talking about the "Wight Wing wiling up theiw base," I actually laughed out loud. This brings me to the conclusion that Elmer Fudd wouldn't stand a chance in politics. Good thing he was a wabbit hunter instead.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Vacations on my mind

I've really been jonesing for a vacation lately. I don't know if it's the never-ending winter or the fact that we haven't had a vacation in almost a year, but I'm dying for some adventure. Requirements? It has to be cheap, close to home, and something we can do with the kiddos.

Realistically, we're not going anywhere until my break begins in May, but I've already started looking at our options. We want to take the boys camping this summer. Right now, this is my hands-on favorite. While we'll still be tent camping, it will be like camping-lite, with plenty of distractions and bathroom and shower facilities. It's also only 90 minutes from home, so if we get down there and realize we've made a horrible, horrible mistake, it'll be easy to pack up and head home. We're thinking that if Ry takes a half day of vacation, we can have a long weekend there.

I also really, really want to do this. Of course, it's a lot more expensive, and we couldn't take the kiddos, so I guess that one will have to wait a bit.

We're also planning on taking the kiddos to the PA Renaissance Faire this year. I think Gummy Bear will get a huge kick out of it. Cheeky Monkey just likes activity and color, so he should be good too. We may combine this one with a day in Amish country or Hershey.

After a long chat with a good friend the other day, I think I'm also ready to take the boys skiing at the end of the year. Ry and I used to go to Elk Mountain pretty regularly. It's close to home and also very family friendly.   The last time we went, we stayed at a charming little B&B that had a suite with a kitchen and fridge. We could bring and cook our own breakfasts and dinners. Perfect!

So, there my vacation map for the next year. Have any suggestions? Where are you going this year?

Friday, March 04, 2011

First Cone

Cheeky Monkey got his first ice cream cone today. He dug it.

Every couple minutes I took it to lick the drips away. Do you think he could look more put out?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I always thought it would be Gummy Bear

Everyone is OK.

Today we made our first family trip to the ER. We were walking around a bike shop, Cheeky Monkey's hand in mine, when he suddenly jerked his arm away and fell on the ground. He made a sound I don't often hear, and when I picked him up, he didn't stop crying. Then I notice that he wasn't moving his right arm. At all.

We were going to the doctor's office or the ER, I just didn't know which one. I had Ry on the phone to the Pediatrician. Verdict? Take him to the ER. And to the ER we went.

We checked in and were triaged within 30 minutes. As I told the triage nurse what happened, she nodded her head and said "Yep, that's very common." Then we went back into an ER room where Nurse Practitioner Cathy walked in. She also listened to what happened, and without even touching Monkey, said, "This is called Nursemaid's Elbow." She walked over, twisted his arm, he screamed, and then I heard a very soft click as his radius popped back into place. He was no longer a fan of Nurse Practitioner Cathy, but she was my Shining Knight. In about 2 minutes, Cheeky Monkey looked up at me, and with his right arm signed "all done." In and out of the ER in less than an hour. Not bad.

It'll be the most expensive click ever. As Ry said though, it's not the click that you're paying for, it's the knowing how to click.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

6 Things: The Kids Edition

1. Gummy Bear got a progress report from school today. The "grades" were P for Progressing and M for Mastered. Not surprisingly, he got mostly Ms for things learned, skills mastered and fine motor skills. He got a lot of Ps for sharing, playing nicely with others and following directions. I've been told that my kindergarten progress report looked a lot the same. Tree --- Apple.
2. He continues to show remarkable creativity with bending the rules. Tonight at dinner, he was having apples with caramel dip. I looked over to see that he was using the apple simply as a caramel-conveyance system. I told him that he had to actually eat the apple, not just lick the caramel off. A few minutes later, I looked over to see him holding the apple, dripping with caramel over his finger. Then he licked it off his finger.
3. We're going to start transitioning Cheeky Monkey to the toddler room at daycare. One of the teachers in the infant room took him to visit today, and he apparently loved it. He even took an hour-long nap over there! That rivals his longest nap ever at school. Since he apparently spends his day in the infant room patting crying babies' backs and popping pacifiers back in mouths, it seems like good timing. Still, I hate admitting that he's not a baby anymore.
4. Cheeky Monkey recently added "Bu-Bye," "Hi," and "Emma" to his word repertoire. Why Emma? A crush, I think.
5. Today is National Dr. Seuss Day. In honor of that, Gummy Bear named our family Thing 1 (himself), Thing 2 (me), Thing 3 (Cheeky Monkey), Thing 4 (Ry), Thing 5 (Neena) and Thing 6 (G-Pa). Then I think he got bored.
6. If you haven't read The Cat in the Hat recently, there is an illustration where the little boy is catching Thing 1 and Thing 2 in his net. His sister is looking on, grinning. Gummy Bear asked Ry the other night why the little girl was smiling. "I don't know," he replied, "maybe she's touched." Then he gave a more appropriate answer. Tonight of course, when he got to that point in the book, Gummy Bear said, "She's smiling because she got touched." Lesson? Be very careful what you say around (almost) 4-year-olds.
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