Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Things I don't want to forget

There are so many things that I just don't want to forget about the kids and the things they do at this stage in their lives. Most of it involves how they say things - here are a few that I just really don't want to forget because they are so cute:

The boy:
  • tayel = towel
  • ayel = owl
  • shayer = shower
  • ... and everystuff
  • "What's that body doing?" (apparently he made the leap of logic between "anybody", "everybody", "somebody" to just calling a person a "body")
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10!
  • I'm so exciting!! = I'm so excited
  • My knee hurts. I need a van-ate! (bandaid)
  • caterpillar = calculator
  • I'm going biking, I need my headvan (headband)
  • The hair thing - well, this one is not so cute, as much as it is annoying, when he does it to me. Whenever he's tired, his hand goes up to the front of his hair and he starts playing with his hair. This is how he goes to sleep every night. Also, whenever I'm holding him, he continually plays with my hair. He usually ends up getting it twisted around his fingers and pulling out some of my hair, so I'm constantly telling him, "PLEASE don't pull on my hair."
The girl:
  • Since I have been so obsessed with making sure the boy is not color blind and asking him "what color is this?" all the time, the girl has begun to answer. But everything is yellow. It's her favorite thing to say. It comes out, "YYYYEEEELLLLLow!" We oblige her by only holding up things that are yellow and asking her what color it is. At 15 months, she seems to be a genius. :)
  • Whenever she gets excited about something, she flaps her arms up and down as if she's getting ready to take off. She has ALWAYS done this - ever since she was born.
  • Annoying habit of the girl - she's always trying to work her little hands down my shirt, up my sleeve, under my bra, into my armpit, anywhere she can wiggle them into.
I'm sure I have no one to blame but myself for their annoying "hand habits" - it no doubt stems from the fact that I can never keep my hands still. I'm always playing with pens, drumming my fingers, or finding something bumpy (like courderoy) to scratch. I even have a "scratchy thing" that I can sit and scratch for hours. (it's a bumpy strap off of an old backpack of mine)

So, I'm sure I'll think of some more cute things after I post this, but that's all I can come up with now. This may have to be a recurring post.

Oh, before I forget, baby girl finally got her 7th tooth last week - it's on the bottom. Still waiting for the corresponding 8th tooth to make an appearance.

Monday, January 30, 2006


I have two things to report that were actually successful - amazing for us, I know!

The first: We finished putting the table bed together! We actually finished most of it on Tuesday when the boy was busy throwing his clothes-less tantrum upstairs, but were unable to finish it completely because one of the screws they sent us was the wrong size. When hubby called them about it on Wednesday, they said they had had several people who had gotten the wrong screws and would send it to us immediately. They actually did! We got the screws on Thursday and finished it and it's actually complete. Ok, except for the mattress. We plan to put the mattress from our bed on the table bed and then get ourselves a new one, but haven't gotten around to that yet.

The second: We moved baby girl out of our room and into the room with her big brother. We only have two bedrooms on our third floor and have always planned on the kids sharing the second bedroom, but since it took so long for baby girl to consistently sleep through the night, it has taken until now for us to finally take the plunge and move her out. I was very nervous about it because I was just sure baby girl would wake up in the middle of the night, not know where she was, and start screaming like a banshee, which would then wake up baby boy. However, we all slept peacefully until 7:00 Sunday morning. I was (happily) amazed.

I was also hesitant about how the kids (or if the kids) would go to sleep in the same room. Saturday night was no problem because they were both tired, but last night, they were both a little wired when we turned off the light at 8:30. I listened to them for awhile after the lights were out and peeked around the corner to look in on them, too. They were talking back and forth, laughing, and giving "high fives". It was very cute. Then the boy actually said something that was both wonderous and amazing, "It's time to lay down and go night-night." And he laid down and started the process of trying to go to sleep. Baby girl still played by herself and squealed and laughed for awhile, apparently so happy to be with her big brother, whom she thinks is the coolest thing in the world. But by about 9:15, they were both asleep.

They were still asleep when I left for work this morning at 6:30 and apparently, they slept until about 7:00, when the boy woke up and started asking the girl, "Are you awake yet? Are you awake yet?! Are you awake yet?!!!!" Yeah, she finally woke up.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

How to REALLY Make Your Parents Feel Bad: a Guide for the Two-Year-Old

Here it is, how to REALLY make your parents feel bad, if you're a two-year-old (almost three-year-old).

First of all, you must actually start this process when you are very young. By the time you read this, it will probably be too late, but on the off chance you think you can swing this, here is the process.

Step 1: From the beginning of your existence, you must make it a point to have a very hard time going to sleep unless someone is holding you. This is usually not a problem for most children, so skip straight to the next step.

Step 2: Once your parents tire of this approach, or feel the need to make you "go to sleep on your own", possibly due to the impending arrival of a baby sister, they will begin to try to lay you down while sleepy in order to make you fall asleep on your own. Under no circumstances allow this to happen! Fight the urge to go to sleep with all your body and soul. Give in only after a full hour of kicking, screaming, and crying, eventually making them literally hold down all appendages to prevent movement and thus allow the inevitable (and hated) sleep to come.

Step 3: The parents will eventually decide that they must not actually hold you down to make you fall asleep, but will still be determined to try to make you go to sleep on your own. They may attempt to only sit in the room with you until you fall asleep. Do not allow this to happen. Scream and cry if they are unwilling to hold you or be touching you in some way.

Step 4: Inevitably this is when the baby/toddler resolve will falter. After months of forcing the parents to be in the room with you while falling asleep, you will eventually get used to falling asleep without the touch of your parent. This will cause them to think that they should take the next step of actually (and you won't believe this) leaving the room while you're still awake.

Step 5: Express your deep, deep dissatisfaction with this situation by jumping up and down in your bed, screaming, howling, crying, shaking your crib rails, and generally creating as much noise as possible for at least 30 minutes to an hour every night. Other people will tell your parents that the screaming and crying will lessen after a few nights. Prove your stubbornness by continuing with this ritual for at least 6 months.

Step 6: To punish your parents for these transgressions, begin to lay down in your bed and go to sleep without the temper tantrums for awhile. This may sound counterintuitive, however, the actual punishment comes later. Be patient.

Step 7: Approximately once every three to four days, revert to Step 5. Move on to Step 6 for the next three days. Repeat. Begin accumulating "attachment objects" which you must keep in your crib with you. Ideally, by Step 10, you must have at least two pillows, four blankets, a baby doll, five stuffed animals, a couple of books, and a washcloth in the shape of a duck (don't ask).

Step 8: Begin skipping your naps occasionally. Revert to Step 5 for the four days following said nap-skippage. You should have at least half of your attachment objects by this point. If you haven't begun collecting, be quick about it.

Step 9: Really begin to lull the parents into a false sense of security. Sweetly tell them "night-night" and go to sleep nicely for one full week. Throw in one night per week of unsustained crying, just for laughs, but generally work the parents into believing that you may someday, in fact, be capable of sleeping in a big-boy-bed.

Step 10: You've finally made it! The time has come: it's punishment time!!! Choose a day - a day that seems to be completely normal, typical - a nothing special kind of day. Skip your nap that day so that you are in a very bad mood that night. When your parents put you to bed and leave the room, go back to Step 5, only 10 times worse (you're bigger now - you can make more noise!). Scream for your Daddy. Scream for your Mommy. Scream, scream, scream!!!! Begin hitting your crib rails, hit them some more, start throwing things. Throw everything out of your crib onto a big pile on the floor. Remove your PJ shirt. Throw it on the floor. Remove your PJ pants. Throw them on the floor. After 30 minutes of tantrum, fall asleep curled up into the fetal position, where your parents, on their way to bed, will find you three hours later. In a bare crib. With no clothes on. Curled up, trying to stay warm in a room with the ceiling fan blowing. And a gigantic pile of your most adored posessions in a pile on the floor out of your reach.

And THAT is how to make your parents feel really, really bad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stubborn, I mean... Determined!

The boy's birthday is exactly one week after mine and since they both fall in the last part of April, that makes us both "Taurus'". Supposedly, one of the characteristics of people who fall under the Taurus astrological sign is stubbornness. This is definitely true of my son, but not of me - and you'll never convince me differently.

So, we've now got a nearly-three-year-old with a burning desire to express his will in any way possible and a 34-year-old who... well, let's just say, "isn't going to take it", living under the same roof.

This puts my husband in a kind of sticky situation most of the time. On the one hand, you've got me setting silly rules that I then feel obligated to make the boy comply with because "I'm the mommy, that's why!" and the little boy on the other hand throwing screaming temper tantrums, which I have no problem stubbornly ignoring.

Last night was one of those times we came to an impass. We were all upstairs "helping me change clothes" after I got home from work and then it was time to head downstairs to cook and eat dinner. We all headed down the stairs, but wait! The boy decides he's, in fact, not going downstairs. At this point, baby girl has already slithered her way most of the way down the stairs while I spotted her and gave her lots of encouragement about going down the stairs safely and properly.

So, the girls make it downstairs to the kitchen, while the boys are still stuck upstairs. At this point, I think my husband came downstairs for awhile, hoping the lack of company upstairs would force the boy to decide to come downstairs. Of course, this didn't work.

"Mommy, come get me!!!"
"You can come downstairs when you're ready."
"Mommy, I want you!!!"
"We're downstairs, come on down when you're ready."
"Mommy, come get me! Mommy, come get me! Mommy... Mommy.... MOMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!"

After about 5 minutes of this, my husband, sensing a complete standoff and wondering what kind of damage might be wrought by a frustrated 2.5-year-old upstairs by himself, decided it might be best to go up and talk to the boy.

Eventually, several minutes later, the boy comes running down the stairs and bursts into the kitchen yelling, "Surprise!!!" and gives me a big hug.

I exclaimed my delight at him showing up in the kitchen, hugged him back, and marveled at the husband's ability to make this scene play out. I sure hope he survives the both of us.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Table Bed

Well, as of Thursday last week, hubby's company actually owns some working interest in a few oil and gas properties! He's totally stressed out now. I was thinking that he would be all happy and excited about this prospect and now that it's done, he's turning psycho! I guess that's what owning a business does to you. :)

As a part of starting his own company, he's slowly turning our guest bedroom into his office and part of that process involved buying a table bed. The husband has always wanted a murphy bed and I'm now convinced the whole reason he wanted to start his own company was just so that he would have an excuse to convert the downstairs room and get one like this!

Anyway, the table bed showed up (in 7 flat boxes) on Friday, so we spent our free time (naptime and after-bedtime) attempting to put the thing together. There are 17 steps in the assembly of said bed and each step comes with a separate bag of hardware required for the assembly. The instructions actually say to PLEASE follow the directions. "Even if you're the type of person who likes to figure things out on your own, please follow these directions. The assembly is NOT intuitive."

So, armed with the checklist and the 400 pages of instructions, we set about putting it together. It really isn't that bad - it's very well-presented and easy to follow. The problem is that the thing weighs about 56,000 pounds, making the individual pieces of the bed around 3,000 pounds each. And as you can see from the picture, it's also quite a formidable sized piece of furniture, so trying to get all those individual pieces wrestled around in our room has been kind of challenging.

We managed to get the thing about halfway done yesterday - we made it to step number 8, I think.

Best quote of the day came from hubby: "They probably don't really have to be that tight (referring to the set of screws we were working on). I'm sure they're overkill, anyway." and as I started laughing, he added, "I mean, don't you think they probably could have gotten by with 20 screws for this part instead of 26?"

Good logic. We build strong table bed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Test Results!

Well, if we can trust the pages that we printed on our inkjet printer last night, the boy doesn't seem to be color-deficient. It took him a little while to see one of the "faint brown" shapes, but he seems to have seen them all. So, it's not that he can't see the colors, he just gets them mixed up. I guess that's better. ???

We then spent the rest of the night testing him with different things, too. "What color is the truck?" "Which book is green?" Poor little boy - if he didn't think we were crazy, he surely does now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Red or Green?

So, I'm worried that baby boy may be red/green color-blind. My husband tells me that the boy doesn't have a problem and that he only messes up those colors when I'm around. But it just continues to happen, so I'm beginning to really wonder.

The other day I was wearing a red shirt and asked him what color it was. "Green!!" Are you sure? "Yes!" Hmmmm.....

So, I found these tests online that I'm going to try to print out tonight and see if he can see the shapes. I hope so, but I just don't know.

I've been reading information about color-deficiencies and it's not really that big of a deal, but right now, if he's actually color deficient, I wonder if he thinks we're just messing with his mind, telling him that the same color has 5 different names!

I wonder what the Christmas tree looked like to him...

Friday, January 13, 2006

The stats

Ok, here are the stats from baby girl's visit to the doctor:

Height: 30.75" (60th percentile)
Weight: 20 lbs, 11 oz (15th percentile)

But husband swears that she's actually a little taller than that - they didn't do a good job of stretching her out. :) (I wasn't able to go to the check-up)

So, it looks like she's still kind of tall and skinny. Although last night she looked like she had the biggest beer belly sticking out over her pants. And when I commented on it to her, she grabbed and rubbed her belly - it was so funny!

She got three vaccinations, including the chicken pox one. I still think that's silly - I think kids should just get the chicken pox and be done with it - but the doctor swears there's a higher and higher incidence of bacterial infections in the sores, including the flesh-eating bacteria, and they don't want to take those risks. Ok, whatever.

In other news about baby girl, she now says several words very clearly. Including "airplane!" And she will always very deliberately put down her fork/spoon and make the sign for "more" when I ask her if she wants more of something she's eating. Now, don't ever try to get her to actually say or do any of this on demand, however. She seems to suffer from acute perfomance anxiety and I don't like to put her through that. :)

Actually, I always feel like I'm trying to convince people we own a talking cat (or similar) whenever we try to get her to do something. "Really, the cat talks - I'm not crazy!!! Just wait a few minutes. She'll do it right when you turn away. There - did you hear that?! No? Wait for it...." And she just sits there with a completely blank stare.

Anyway, it's just about the weekend and it couldn't come any more quickly. Too bad I'm going to have to take work home to do over the weekend. But at least I get paid for it...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Yellow Curry and Naptime

I just ate some yellow curry from Thai Spice for lunch (leftovers), so I estimate that I have about an hour before I get the hated garlic-breath. Anyone want to kiss me real quick before that?... Anyone? Anyone?...

Also, I have never seen (or heard, for that matter) so many people sleeping at their desks as I have in the last 4 months.

That is all.

Fever Update

Luckily, we did not end up (pun intented) attempting to give the boy a suppository for his fever. We finally decided that since he was acting fine and still drinking fluids that maybe it wasn't really necessary to reduce his fever. And it went away on its own. Yesterday there was no fever and he started eating a little bit again. Hopefully today, he'll be hungry again and back to his usual big-portion-eating self.

The nanny called in sick yesterday, so hubby and the kids actually came to my office for lunch and general work-disruption on my floor. After we ate our lunch down in the cafeteria, we came up to my office so that baby boy could help me feed my fish. He was really mad when I came back to work last June and brought one of the fish tanks back with me, so he always asks me about them when I talk about the office. "You have your fish there?" It's very cute.

Anyway, it's always fun to bring the kids up here and cause a little mayhem to break up everyone's workday. Aside from one screaming fit by baby boy when I took away the choking hazard, I mean, hard candy someone gave him, we managed to not cause too much of a scene, and it's always fun then to have everyone tell you how cute your kids are afterwards. :)

Today we have to take baby girl for her 15-month checkup and shots. Should be fun.

Monday, January 09, 2006


The boy is now sick. He has a fever, but it doesn't seem to be slowing him down much. He obviously felt bad last night at 10:30 when he woke up, but I forced some medicine into him (by holding him down and shoving it into his mouth, making him gag and choke, and causing me to wonder if this proves that I'm a horrible mother for making him do this, or actually a caring mother who only wants to make her little boy feel better...) and then he felt well enough to keep his father in his room with him until 1:00 when he FINALLY gave up the ghost and went to sleep for good.

I've been trying to figure out if I should get some of those children's Tylenol meltaways, but I'm fairly certain he wouldn't allow those to pass through his lips, either. I checked all kinds of medical websites regarding fever and they all say that if the fever is "moderate" (for kids ~102F) - which is what his has been - and it doesn't seem to be bothering the child, then you should just watch it for a couple of days and then go to the doctor if it doesn't go away.

I called our doctor, however, and talked to his nurse and she said, "Oh no - you should try to get his fever down. Go get some fever reducing suppositories. They're over-the-counter."

I'm not so sure I want to find out how those will go over. If we actually decide to attempt that, I'll let you know how it went - that is, if I'm still alive after that struggle...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two questions

Ok, I've got two questions for you today:

Q1 - What is the most important kitchen appliance to you? The one you just can't do without?

A1 - Allright, you got me - it's the refrigerator. But second and only slightly less important is the microwave. Ours broke on us today. It's amazing to think about all the things you can't do when you don't have a microwave. Like heat up water to warm a bottle, or melt cheese on a sandwich for the kiddos, or heat anything else they might have for lunch or supper.

Can you imagine what it must have been like before the microwave was invented?! I can - when I was growing up, I vividly remember my mother having to re-heat macaroni and cheese in a pot with extra milk in it so that it wouldn't burn to the bottom of the pot. Talk about the dark ages...

I guess we'll get it fixed instead of buying a new microwave, which would then make us have to buy all new appliances because what would be the point of buying a not-in-fashion, non-stainless steel microwave if we were going to buy a new microwave? Then if we had a stainless steel microwave, then we'd need to buy a new oven (they're installed right next to each other, afterall) and then we couldn't have just an oasis of stainless steel in our kitchen, we'd have to re-do the whole thing. So, it makes perfect sense to get the thing fixed for $200 instead of spending thousands to get all new appliances, right? Ugh.

Q2 - Is it worse to get caught a) surfing the internet or b) sleeping when you're supposed to be working?

A2 - I'm not sure, but since I never get caught sleeping at my desk, I'm going to say that's the worse evil. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cicero was born today in 106 B.C.

According to my Half Price Books 2006 calendar, it's Cicero's birthday today! (and also JRR Tolkein, but I thought that wasn't quite as interesting.)

Finally - my first post of 2006. I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seat waiting for this!

Well, a lot has happened since the last time I posted anything. Christmas came and went, New Year's came and went, and still everything is pretty much the same. Isn't that depressing every year?...

Anyway, Christmas was a good time. Baby Boy got his blue bike and absolutely loves it. He even rode it about 4 miles on the second day he had it! (On the weekends, we go eat bagels at a local bagel shop, so we let him ride his bike to and from the bagel shop - about 4 miles roundtrip!) Since then, he's gotten a little less adament about eating every meal on it, however. I think it must have been a little too much for him!

During the week between Christmas and New Year's, Baby Girl got sick and we ended up getting antibiotics for her. This is actually the first time either of the kids have had to have antibiotics in their lifetime - it was bound to happen sometime! She got better almost immediately after taking the medicine, so that was pretty cool. I can't imagine what it must have been like for parents before the discovery of antibiotics!

And then my parents came down to celebrate Christmas and New Year's on Wednesday last week. The visit started off with the Huskers winning their game and it just got better from there! We exchanged gifts on Thursday and Baby Boy got a pair of bicycling gloves from grandma and grandpa, which have now become part of his standard clothing every day.

Both the kids loved having their grandma and grandpa there. They finally had enough people around them to give them enough attention that there really wasn't anything to complain about. It was soooo nice. Every morning started off with Baby Boy asking me, "Where's Grandma? Let's go find her!!" He stopped asking about his bicycle each morning after grandma and grandpa arrived. Now that must be love. :)

Grandma and Grandpa left on Sunday, but I still had one more day off from work. The big question was: should we have the nanny come so that we could have a day off to spend cleaning up the house, or should we just hang out with the kids for one more day? Luckily, we came to our senses and decided that we should spend the time with the kids - life is too short to waste it cleaning the house, right?!!

All in all, it was a good vacation. I hope it was good for everyone else, too!!