Thursday, December 22, 2011

Genes are weird

I put off dentist appointments for the boys and I until after my semester ended. Thus, this week was a lot of dentist. Gummy Bear has an underbite that the dentist assures me will need orthodontia. Hurrah! He also had his first set of x-rays, which were super cool. I could see all his permanent teeth overlapping in his hard palate, just waiting to emerge.

I also took Cheeky Monkey in for his first dentist appointment. He took a tumble into a fence about 6 weeks ago, and one of his teeth is looking a bit grey as a result. While the dentist didn't seem overly concerned about that tooth, she did discover a few congenital abnormalities.

I wasn't super surprised to hear that he had teeth weirdness. I have a baby tooth that never fell out. I have no permanent tooth to replace it. The dentist said the root looks good and unless it starts to give me problems we'll just leave it alone. Her oldest patient with a baby tooth was 88.

As it turns out, Monkey is not only missing a tooth on the top, he has two canine teeth on the lower left. Seriously? How did I never notice this? Our dentist said this may or may not be replicated in his permanent teeth. She also said it may or may not be a problem. In the meantime, it's not bothering him right now and so she's not going to do anything about it right now.

This evening I took a good look at his mouth. Sure enough, he has two canine teeth. Genes are weird.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A furry Christmas to you!

We ended up back at Sesame Place on Friday. This time, we skipped all the "seasonal" shows, parades and photo ops and just went on the rides. Since everyone was busy doing the seasonal stuff, we walked right onto all the rides.  We had a great time again. I am not sure if Sesame is actually making money, based on the crowds I saw the last two weeks, but hey, I was a fan of the empty park and short lines! With temperatures in the 40s, it was actually the perfect outing.

We decided to have the kids go see Santa, since we kind of stumbled on no line for him too. I was afraid that Cheeky Monkey was going to scream his little head off. Surprisingly, he was very chill. He just stuck his hands in his pockets and watched us all, with a half-smirk on his face.
Look at me, not screaming.

This was the kids' only shot to see Santa this year. Since he's not really a big deal in our Christmas celebrations, I was so not waiting for an hour in some hot mall for the kids to see some kid in a crappy wig and beard. This Santa, however, was good ... real beard and everything. He also took a few minutes after the picture to talk with the kids. I was the one hurrying them off, afraid to incur the wrath of the line growing behind us.

Anyway, Furry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

So much cute

Firstly ... my semester is over!! Let there be much rejoicing!!! Ok, technically I still have to take a practice NCLEX exam tomorrow, but the the grade-getting portion of my semester is over! And now I have 5 weeks with which to focus on my family, celebrate Christmas, make a trip halfway across the country and clean my house.

One of the unintended consequences of my chosen career is that my kids play a little differently than most kids. See this pile of toys? Do you know what they have in common? They all have eyes. And the Monkey checked every one of them for pupillary response with his flashlight.

Then he decided he wanted to "ride" the trucks in the book we were reading. So he climbed on and rode ... with kitty of course.

But wait, there's more cuteness! The boys had their Christmas programs at school yesterday. Who was a penguin? That's right. Gummy Bear was a penguin! He was very attached to that belly, by the way. He wore it all evening.

I don't know this little man, but he was cracking me up. He has a serious future in theatre if this little performance was any example. He was so intensely singing about Frosty, and Rudolf, and Hanukkah that I laughed every time I looked at him.

Before the end, of course, Bear started getting bored. So he started balancing on one leg. But hey, at least he was still singing.

Cheeky Monkey's program was a little less performance and a little more fashion show. The kids walked the  red carpet and brought presents to their mom's. So. Stinking. Cute. His teacher announced him as "Cheeky Monkey ... and Kitty!" I'm so glad we've found this school. I didn't get a great picture because he took one step out from the curtain and froze, so I spent the rest of the time coaxing him into my lap, where he buried his head on my shoulder for the rest of the performance.

Anyhoo, I'm off to grab my little men.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In which I break my Christmas rules

Ry and I always swore we wouldn't buy a fake tree for Christmas. For our nearly 8 years of marriage, we bought a real tree. While they varied in size and beauty, every year there was a real, sap dripping, water sucking, formerly living tree in our living room. And this year? Not only did we buy a fake tree, we bought a 4 foot tall fake tree. 

We decided that since we were going to be in Illinois for a significant portion of time right after Christmas, it made sense to have a small tree that would be easily taken down and not turn into a fire hazard during our trip. We briefly considered not having a tree at all, but Gummy Bear is so into Christmas this year that it just wouldn't have been right.

So we went to Target and bought a tiny little tree (for less than we would have spent on a real tree, by the way), brought it home and decorated. 

As with so many things with young children, it looks like we had a lot more fun than we actually did. This is mostly due to the fact that Cheeky Monkey took the opportunity to rip apart an ornament every time one of us had our back turned. In the end, I removed anything remotely break or tear-able and anything of sentimental value. I was impressed by the sheer destructiveness of a 2-year-old on a mission. He destroyed a wooden ornament by ripping off her arms, and two Hallmark ornaments by pulling off the Grinch and snowman, respectively. We had a tree the year Gummy was almost 2, and he never showed such disdain for  ornaments. Clearly, I underestimated the possibilities.
Which one can I mangle before I get caught?

Still, I'm glad we have a tree. Gummy Bear had fun making the Angel tree topper and Monkey seems to have decided the remaining ornaments can live. So, Merry Christmas!

And Bah Humbug.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This was neat

Last night we went to A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place. We weren't going to go, because it was an extra fee. We already bought our season passes, and it seemed silly to spend an extra $15 a person to go at Christmas. As it turns out, I'm really glad I didn't follow my first instinct. I was sincerely impressed with the Christmas-ness of it all.

Walking in, we were greeted with dozens of sets of these lighted trees

There was a ginormous tree in the center, complete with a light show timed to Christmas music.

We met a few of the kids' favorites. Cheeky Monkey was pretty wary of them, and wouldn't get close unless I came with him.

After we visited with the Count, we got Monkey saying "One ... Two ... Ahhhh."

He was absolutely fascinated at the Elmo show. Every time Elmo left the stage, Monkey got very concerned. "Elmo?" He looked around and called for Elmo until we reassured him that Elmo was coming back.

It was even a holiday-themed show, complete with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa bits.

Gummy Bear was really interested in the set afterwards. He was sad that the piano didn't actually play, though.

There were lots of themed tableaus, and Bear took advantage of every one.

I was truly impressed by the lights, lights, lights everywhere we went. I'd be curious to know how many lights they used throughout the park.

We even, you know, went on some rides. Somehow, they seemed secondary though.


The tickets we bought yesterday are good for the rest of the Christmas season. I think there is a very real possibility that we'll be going again. Hurrah for schmaltzy Christmas revelry!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Creative misbehavior

My in-laws were here for about a month during October and November. It was wonderful. We laughed, we talked, and we played. Perhaps the coolest thing about them being here is that for a month, I didn't have to take my kids to school in the mornings. It was like being childless again. I would get up, take a shower, have a cup of coffee, make breakfast, and then I would kiss them on their little pumpkin heads and go to school. I know that the kids made it to daycare, because they were there when I went to pick them up. The kids got to take their time eating, getting dressed, playing.

As a direct consequence of this, the week after they left was ... unpleasant. The 3 mornings I had to take them to school before going to school myself generally ended with me yelling, Gummy Bear crying, Cheeky Monkey confused, and all of us grumpy and unpleasant by the time we got to school.

And so, I went and bought this:
Because Gummy Bear gets up freakishly early, he usually sits on the couch and quietly plays with the DS or iPad until we get up. We generally find him, still in his PJs, cuddled up and enjoying some digital entertainment. Now, he has to get up, go potty, get dressed, and brush his teeth before he can play games in the morning. He can earn additional video game/TV time if he can get through to after dinner without whining and/or he cleans up his toys. You may have noticed there aren't a lot of "no whining" stars.

This worked beautifully for the first week. This morning when I got up, I was surprised that Bear wasn't up yet. It was nearly 7 am, and he's usually up between 6 and 6:30. I went into the bathroom to start my morning routine when I saw Raffe on the floor of the bathroom. I opened his door to find the lights out, him sitting on a chair with the DS and headphones, still in pajamas. Trying not to chuckle out loud, I told him that if he got up right now and did his morning chores, he could still play a few minutes of DS before breakfast.

And then the hysterics started. "I waaaannnnttt to play!!!" he cried. I reminded him that he had things to do before he played. So he started to pull on his shirt. Then he looked up at me and said, "There are games on my camera. I'll just play those." "No you won't, if you want to play any games or watch any TV today", I said.

Thinking it was finished, I went back into the bathroom, only to hear him say "I'll just hide it where you can't find it." And so, I walked back into his room and said, "OK, then I'll just start taking toys out of your room until I find it."


And thus, the boy was toileted, dressed and teeth brushed. He dragged his feet so much that there were no video games this morning before breakfast. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
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