Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pressing Buttons

Buttons.

He likes to press them, both literally (I can often get him to go somewhere just by the promise of pushing an elevator button) and figuratively.

Of the latter, his latest technique is screaming "Ellllmoooooo!!" at me with attitude whenever I say anything that constitutes the concept of 'no'. Elmo is his choice word because he knows I don't like him to watch more than an hour every couple of days; so if he yells "Ellllmooooooo!!" at me he knows it pushes my buttons.

He's 20 months old. And just like his mommy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Extreme Toddlering

It's been a crazy few weeks around here and it is only shaping up to be busier and crazier right through the summer!

Little G and I headed to Drumlin Farm and Wildlife Reserve about a month ago. Most of our activities that week had been canceled because it was school vacation week, and I refused to go to the Children's Museum that week, so we headed out of the city to this really great farm. A veteran mommy gave me the best advice...she had me put Little G in snowpants. BRILLIANT!! There was LOTS of mud and it was his first time exploring such a fun walking surface, so I was extraordinarily glad to have the snowpants!

We saw lots of farm animals, but since I was on my own, I didn't get a lot of pictures. We did get a picture of this SUPER HUGE PIG!!!


And a fun one of Little G staring at some cute baby goats. He would see an animal and point and exclaim the animal's name loudly over and over. Tooooootally worth going just to see his amazement that there are animals that really live outside of his books!

Another fun activity we did that week was making a rice bucket. Theoretically, he can play with the rice in the bucket much like sand and it is a great tactile, indoor activity.

Of course, nothing could trump the fun of pouring the rice out onto the wood floors and hearing each and every grain bounce away!



We headed to Central PA to visit with Gram and Cousin W. There is a place there called Monkey Joe's, which is a playspace in a large warehouse that has HUGE inflatable bouncy houses with all sorts of crazy mazes and slides.

When we got there, Little G was none too impressed with the toddler bouncy house that we were in. He wanted nothing to do with it until I showed him that he could push me over and I would just bounce. THEN he decided it was the coolest thing ever!!

He did a couple of the small toddler slides, and then we took him on the BIG ones...the following three videos are shot on the two tallest slides. The first one my mom took of us...the second and third one I took from inside the slide once I had climbed up the stairs....and let me tell you THAT is a work out!! Seriously...imagine carrying thirty pounds up a ladder that isn't stable because it's really just air! There's a reason I am completely out of breath in every video!







When we got back from PA we headed out the next day to Rochester to visit our new cousin, H. We wen't to the children's museum there and it was totally awesome. Little G had a blast in a 'sand pit' filled with a plastic medium...he would have his dad fill a bucket and then Little G would pour it all over himself. Needless to say, this has encouraged some new ideas for him with his little rice bucket!




Not too long after we got back from Rochester, our neighbors came over and gifted Little G with this refurbished tricycle. Our neighbors are both mail carriers and Mr J found a rusted out tricycle on his route when Little G was only two weeks old and has been refurbishing it ever since!! It is GORGEOUS!! And so incredibly thoughtful. We'll have to put some blocks on the pedals so Little G can reach them, but he already loves it.



The winter has been so cold and dreary and loooooooong and we are all getting very restless, so it has been hard to keep Little G entertained all day. He really wants to move and get around, and there just isn't that much to do in our house. A few weeks ago, my husband had Little G on the guest bed and he stood right up next to the headboard, grabbed on and started jumping. He thought it was the coolest thing ever...so we gave in and got him his own mini-trampoline.

This video is from the very first time he got on it...even just a day later, he has figured out how to get air on the thing!!


Spring and warm weather can NOT come soon enough in this house!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daycare Dilemma

Before I had a child, I THOUGHT the issues people had with choosing to send their kids to daycare stemmed from wanting to be at home, but not being able to afford it or not wanting someone else to raise their child. I THOUGHT that daycare was an option that no one really wanted, and thus we all tried to make up excuses for why it was a good thing.

I was wrong. And though this is a potentially controversial topic, I think it is important for me to state I was wrong with the hope that maybe it will enlighten someone else who might have the same misunderstanding.

Yes, there are many parents out there who would much rather be with their children and raise them at home without the use of daycare, who potentially can't because they can't afford it. And yes, there are people who think that carting your kid to daycare every day is akin to having someone else raise your child.

But daycare can be so much more to your child. We send Little G to daycare because he has a more social experience there than I can provide for him at home. When we get to daycare, I help him clamber up the steps, reach to ring the bell, and then wave when he slightly turns back after the door has opened to wave goodbye to me before running to meet his friends.

Before allowing myself to appreciate the time it gave me to do what I needed to do to work from home, I used to beat myself up about not being a good enough mom to be able to keep him as entertained as daycare can. But I'm not a troupe of 5 kids, and I can't provide them at home, so if he's going to get that experience, it is going to be at daycare.

So I openly apologize to me for judging myself for needing daycare to get through my weeks. Now if only I could adopt the same attitude about Elmo.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Well, Lay Me Down and Call Me Edna!

Both the hubs and I are working from home today. We are both sick as dogs so thankfully, Little G is at daycare. I was upstairs when the mailman came, so my husband brought up the mail.

Tucked away in between a Land of Nod catalogue and a West Elm was a catalog for old lady clothes.


Dear universe - I know I am no where near as stylish as this fun mommy blogger; nor as sassy as this lady. But do I really deserve the old lady catalog just yet?

I know I love jeans that sit at the waist...but do I need acid wash, elastic waistbands and front stitching as well?


I know I would prefer to stay in my jammies...but do I really need a lounger?


I know I had hangnails on my toes that were 1000% more painful than giving birth to a 10 lb baby naturally...but can't I wait on the ortho-shoes for just a few more years?

Please, oh please, tell me I have time?!

Oh wait...the front of the catalog is proclaiming that someone else can get free shipping and handling with a minimum purchase. Someone else who lives two blocks over.

Phew!

Ok...back to my canasta game.

Monday, March 07, 2011

What would you say?

I know no less than 11 women who are pregnant right now with their first babies. Crazy, huh? It makes sense. I 'met' many of them through a wedding blogging site, so it only makes sense that they would be moving forward into the next stage of life.

When I was pregnant with Little G, I researched the heck out of everything. I once likened it to having to cram for the biggest test of my life.

In the end, what I discovered was that I could have saved myself all of the research and headaches and long nights looking up the pros and cons of pacifier usage since it is really very, very hard to fail at parenting.

I would say the number one thing I learned since having a kid is that there is no tried and true, black and white, way to do anything.

If you want to cloth diaper but can't figure out what you want to do because you have no idea how to even regularly diaper a kid...wait until you have one and then try it out...no one ever said you had to do it from day one without fail.

If you want to feed your kid from the table but he's too hungry to be patient enough to do it himself, than feed him mush until you take off the edge of the hunger and then give him a slab of pork-chop...no one ever said there was no happy medium between baby-led and parent-led weaning.

If you need your kid to go to sleep but can't stand the thought of Ferberizing, than let him be rocked to sleep and figure out what you want to do the next night...no one ever said there was only one way to put a kid to sleep.

Take parenthood one day at a time; trust your gut...you will be able to do this from day one, and even if you can't, it will come soon enough; and leave room for interpretation. That's the advice I give to all those new mommies out there and it is the advice I would remind myself of when we someday have a second baby.

What would you say?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Phoning this one in

It's been a week of travel so posting has been light. I've also have a head cold that has apparently manifested itself into Bronchitis.

Yay.

So I figured I'd post another oldie-but-goodie for 'ya. This one's from back in 2005 and is yet another example of a gaffe typical to me.

---

I am friends with a couple, Roberta and Chris. They are SUPER smart and trendy, and a little obnoxious about it. (Of course, that last part is really only in my head…they would be much easier to not like if they weren’t so darn nice.) They live in a penthouse condo with smart and trendy d├ęcor, in a smart and trendy area, on a smart and trendy street, with a smart and trendy roof deck. She is a professor and he does something incredibly important with math and I think they BOTH write text books. I have no idea why these people are friends with someone like me who is only
“S-M-R-T Smart”.

So it happened to pass that the boy and I ended up at their home, sitting in their trendy living room and eating trendy snacks while playing Trivial Pursuit with some other friends. Trivial Pursuit is not something that I excel in, or even care about that much for that matter, but for this game we decided to up the ante and substitute Cranium questions in place of rolling-again. I may have no patience for Trivial Pursuit, but I can mold clay and draw pictures with the best of them.

Game on!

Throughout the evening there was a lion’s share of literary, historical and mathematical references tossed about above my head. Finally, during a lull in the game, Roberta announced that she was going to go into the kitchen and frosticate. At this point, my frustration with everything smart and trendy came to a head with my exclaiming, “$&^%…I’m done with this…if you’re going to use ‘big’ words like ‘Frosticate’, I’m gonna need you to make sure us little people know what the hell it means!” To which Roberta calmly replied, “Frost the cake, Girl…I’m going into the kitchen to Frost the cake.”

Huh.

Game over.