Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

A Good Start

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Parenting — Amy @ 9:14 pm

Today I brought home one of these.   Kaelin’s a little young, but she’s been announcing recently when she has to poo, so I thought maybe we’d give the whole potty training thing a try just for the heck of it.

The first two times I had her sit on the potty were entertaining, but less than productive.   Not that I was really expecting anything.   My goal today was really just to get her to SIT on it.

After the third attempt, I left her sitting on the potty and told her to stay there while I grabbed a fresh diaper.   When I returned, she was standing next to the potty, peering into the bowl with utmost curiosity at a small yellow puddle in the basin.

That’s my girl 🙂

Tiny Voices

Filed under: Kaelin,Kid Quotes,Parenting,Undeniable Cuteness — Amy @ 11:08 pm

Kaelin, after nearly losing her balance in the bathtub:

“Whoa, Dude.   WHOA.”

Back to Real Life

Filed under: Parenting — Amy @ 11:23 pm

Over the past few days I have spent an embarrassing amount of time on the internet…because I could.   I could spend a few hours at a time surfing, playing, reading, whatever, and not feel guilty about it because my time was MINE.   Today I enjoyed a good part of the day outside – walking, reading, playing softball.   It was a great day.

Tomorrow we become parents again.   At approximately 5:30am our Kaelin and her grandparents arrive from Seattle.   We’ve missed her a lot, but it helps to know that she’s had the time of her life each and every day with them and has gotten all kinds of experiences like the beach, the woods, the zoo, etc.   Every time we talk to her on the phone she sounds as happy as she’s ever been.

The time has been really nice for us (me) too, as I was really needing a break.   There are definitely some parts of being footloose and carefree that I miss…like sleeping in and being able to leave the house at any given time.

But mostly, we’re really looking forward to seeing a certain set of dimples again, because things around here just aren’t the same without her.

Though the house remains remarkably less cluttered.

Letters From Our Outbound Journey

Filed under: Just Shoot Me,Parenting,Travel — Amy @ 3:29 pm

Dear Guy In Front of Me on the Plane Who My Daughter Affectionately Dubbed “Bee-bo Head,”

Apparently your cowlick reminds her of a belly button, and as we all know, belly buttons have no other purpose than to be poked. Repeatedly.Thank you for being a hard sleeper.

Sincerely,
I swear I didn’t know she was going to do that.

Dear Man in the Airport Who Tripped Over My Daughter,

The short people in the world request that you refrain from walking backwards through a crowded building without watching where you are going. Thank you.

Sincerely,
She’s fine. But what were you thinking?

Dear Everybody on the Plane Who Sat Up and Turned Around to Stare When My Daughter Screamed Bloody Murder From the Back of the Plane,

We didn’t drop her. It’s 2 hours past her bedtime and J was trying to give me a break with the “standing up and holding her” shift. Obviously it didn’t go over very well.

Sincerely,
That Parent. The one wishing she could melt into the floor right now.

Dear Old Woman on the Plane Who Kept Distracting My Child From Her Tantrum by Making Faces and Telling Her She Was Too Sweet to be Making That Kind of a Fuss,

Bless you.

Sincerely,
This Close to a Nervous Breakdown

I'm Back!

Filed under: Childcare,Confessions,Family,Film,Parenting,Travel — Amy @ 1:14 pm

I know.   You didn’t know I was gone.   Because I didn’t tell you.   Because I’m busy and negligent like that.

We took a weekend trip to Seattle to see the inlaws and grandparents.   The trip was great fun.   The plane rides were not.   More on that later.

But the best part is that we are childless for the week!   That sounds terrible.   Like we couldn’t wait to get rid of her.   But I will confess to jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store when I finally got out of bed this morning (at 10:30!!!) and realized that my day was entirely at my disposal – MUWHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Kaelin is staying with her grandparents for the week and though we will miss her terribly, I think I really did need a break.   She’s been waking up entirely too early and been very MAMA-MAMA-MAMA-MAMA and sort of whiny lately and I HATE The Whiny.   It is beyond my parenting faculties to put up with The Whiny.   There is nothing about parenting that makes me want to walk off the nearest cliff like The Whiny.

I could tell that my temper was shortening by the end of our trip when we couldn’t have a dinner out without her throwing food everywhere and squealing at the top of her lungs, and then throwing a fit when she had to sit in the highchair and then sliding down and getting stuck in the highchair and then having a nervous breakdown because she was stuck in the highchair and we couldn’t get her out fast enough.   There’s only so much I can take and my fuse was cut pretty short.

Tonight we’re going to go this place called a “Theater” and we’re going to watch this thing called a “movie.”   It’s where you sit in these big chairs and watch a huge television that plays something other than Bob the Builder or Veggie Tales.   Did you know they made those?   And they bring you food and drinks (God bless Studio Movie Grill) whenever you want.   And there are no children around.   And you can get in for free with COUPONS which we happen to have a ton of and which expire this month so this will officially be Movie Marathon Week.

Honestly, I don’t know what we did all the time before we had Kaelin.   I worked a lot more, and we saw a lot more movies.   But that still doesn’t seem like it would fill all the time.

Anyway, now I’m working on catching up with emails and comments and templates and blog reading.

BECAUSE I CAN…

Maybe J Should Take Her Next Time

Filed under: Confessions,Just Shoot Me,Milestones,Parenting — Amy @ 10:54 pm

Yesterday we had The Visit… Kaelin’s 18-Month checkup at the doctor.

Actually, I should just start using the phrase “Nurse’s Visit” because I can’t remember the last time my child was actually seen by her doctor. Unlike some people, whose pediatricians have obviously spent enough time with their kids to recognize BOTH parents (!!!) in a non-office-type setting in which the child is absent, our pediatrician wouldn’t know my child from Winnie the Pooh, with the possible exception that my daughter is slightly less fuzzy.

So as other moms have so accurately detailed, there’s something strange that happens when an ordinary mom takes her ordinary child into the ordinary pediatrician’s nurse’s office. I don’t know the name for this phenomenon, but I think it falls somewhere between pensive insecurity and psycho-ree!-ree!-ree!

The first thing you have to do when you go in is answer a bunch of questions about your child’s development. The questions are yes/no answers and those are the only choices. Once you hit 3 “no’s” then you have to stop, signaling the end of your child’s developmental progress.

But it’s not like an internet quiz where you get results at the end. Nobody ever tells you WHAT the questions are FOR, or what they mean, or at what point it’s normal and OK that you have to stop.

Which makes it all the more nerve-wracking. All you know is that “yes” is good, and “no” is bad.

And here’s the kicker… if you don’t know the answer, or the child has not had the opportunity to try the skill mentioned – you have to answer “no.”

This is a problem for me because I’m not good at tests. Especially when I didn’t study. Because really they’re not testing HER. They’re testing ME.

YOU HAVEN’T HANDED YOUR KID 5 BLOCKS TO STACK? FAIL! YOU FAIL!

Now, most of the questions we breezed through pretty easily.

Can your child pick up a ball and throw it overhand?

One of her favorite hobbies is to remove the dog’s chew toy from his mouth, run away giggling while he tries to get it back, and then throw it at him. So I felt pretty confident in answering Yes to this one.

Without being guided by you, can your child scribble with a pencil or crayon?

Um…have you seen my bathtub?

Can your child recognize and point to objects in a book when they are named?

And tell you what it’s called and what noise it makes and what color it is and whether there are one! or two! butterflies.

Does your child know her body parts, like facial features?

Yes. She can name and point to hers, and mine, and her stuffed animals’ and Dora’s. …Ok, she can’t decide whether a shin is her knee or her foot, and she tells me her mouth is hot when her throat hurts…but she totally knows everything else.

Can your child string two or more words together to communicate?

If you planted a tape recorder in our house, you would hear a never-ending stream of “poopy butt!” and “owie arm, kiss!” and “open O’s please Mama” and “outside please!” and “go away puppy!” and “thank you thank you thank you” and “up stairs, open (the gate) please”? Yeah.

But then they got harder…

“Can your child dress/undress herself, other than socks, shoes, hats, accessories?”

Um…is she supposed to be doing that? I can’t remember if she’s ever tried, but I know if she had I would have discouraged the behavior. The last thing I need is my kid doing a strip tease in the middle of Target.

“Can your child hold and drink from a cup without a lid or spout, without spilling?”

Um…what? Do you know how much carpet we have in our house??? Why on earth would I voluntarily hand a 1-year-old a cup that doesn’t have a sippy top on it?

I’ll tell you why. Because this stupid question stumped me at the nurse’s office and was “no” #3. The end, you’re dead, thanks for playing. So naturally I had to go home and try it.

I handed her a glass of water in the form of a sippy cup without the handles and lid. And by golly – she did it! I mean, eventually she got some up her nose and down her shirt, but that was after I let her carry it around the house.

Which is all fine and good, but the nurse’s office didn’t know that she could do it …I had answered “NO” on the questionnaire. They think my child is inept at the holding and the drinking.

“Should I call the office and tell them to change the answer to that question? To say YES, she can hold and drink from a cup?”

“Are you serious? You’re still worried about that?”

“But she can do it. And I said she couldn’t.”

“So?”

The nurse had told me that most kids her age couldn’t do the holding and the drinking thing. The nurse had also told me that most 18-month olds threw tantrums during their checkups.

So why was I so horrified that Kaelin had thrown a tantrum about half-way through the visit?

Because it wasn’t like her. The nurse was getting the wrong impression of my daughter. She had woken up 2 hours early that morning and had not had a nap, in addition to just getting over a fever and sore throat. Under normal circumstances she would have been happy through the entire visit. At least until the rounds of immunizations.

Dear Nurse,

My daughter can hold and drink from a cup. Without a lid. Just so you know. And today she took her pants off all by herself. And normally she’s a very happy child but she was sick and tired at the visit.

I just thought you should know about that in case you were thinking about recommending that we hold her back from the first grade 3 years from now based on those questions. I also think you need to add an option after each question that says “If NO, please explain…” …or at least have “n/a” as one of the answer choices. You really should consider that.

Sincerely,
Does my kid get a gold star?

Dear Kaelin,

I’m sorry your mother is such a spazz.

Love,
Mama

PS: One day I fully expect you to start telling people we’re not actually related and that you found me in the park somewhere and decided to bring me home and now I just follow you around wagging my tail and begging for treats. Unfortunately, nobody will believe you because you inherited all my facial expressions.

False Advertising

Filed under: Parenting — Amy @ 10:18 am

There’s a certain brand of bath crayons sold by a certain children’s superstore that may or may not rhyme with “Rabies-R-Bus.”

Evidently this crayon manufacturer believes terms such as “washable” and “water soluble” are open to interpretation.

Interpretation such as “permanent,” or “will stain your tub irreversibly and then go forward in time to stain your children’s tubs and their children’s tubs, you gullible fool, what were you thinking when you handed your child a stick made of wax and DYE?

Even Clorox Radioactive Nuclear Waste Clean-Up* has met its match. I’m not sure what’s worse…my purple tub or having my hands smell like bleach for a week.

I believe I have finally gotten rid of all the stains. The key is just to fill the tub with Clorox and let it sit there for an entire day. But now I’m a little afraid that putting my child back into the tub tomorrow will be comparable to bathing her in uranium.

If she suddenly starts sprouting a 3rd eye, we’ll know it was the Clorox.

* By the way, the Clorox Clean-Up label now boasts that it “Kills the Flu Virus!”     Ya think? That stuff could kill a rainforest, but they don’t put THAT on the label. Ah, marketing…

Having His Cake and Eating it Too

Filed under: Family,Parenting — Amy @ 9:29 pm

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This last week was my great uncle’s 100th birthday.   In addition to the family party that nearly drove my mom off the edge, the children’s hospital where he volunteers each week threw him a semi-surprise party.   They had a huge cake and 100 balloons and 100 Beanie Babies and a tub of 100 toys, all to give away to the kids in his honor.

It was really sweet and you could tell that all the staff there just loves him.   They even picked him up from his house and dropped him off each week before he figured out the bus system.   But they had to drop him off a few houses away because his ex-wife, who he still lives with, would get really jealous and make him miserable if she saw a couple of “young” women (as in late 40’s) hugging him goodbye.

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A Channel 8 News man was there and he interviewed my great uncle briefly, so we got to see a little excerpt on the local news that evening.   I tried to get a few pictures of Kaelin with him, but she was far too interested in the “CAKE!” and “COOKIES!” and “PUNCH!” and “CANDY!” and “TOYS!”   She operated on a total sugar high for a while and then crashed just as we were leaving.

And then she got her finger pinched pretty hard in the stroller on the way out, which led to a total freak-out session for my mom.

But that’s a story for another post.   My mom can flip out with the best of them…though I will give her kudos this time for not screaming and jumping up and down and drawing the attention of every onlooker within a 5-mile radius.   She displayed an unusual amount of self restraint, unlike the time a great dane attacked our dog and I happened to be standing within the danger radius when she started screaming and flailing.   I think I still have a dent in my head from that casualty.

Good Timing

Filed under: Are You Kidding Me?,Parenting — Amy @ 8:07 pm

So I’m one day into single motherhood and Kaelin has come down with a fever.

Fabulous.

Darn the church nursery.

Yogurt: Not for Sissies

Filed under: Parenting,Photography,Undeniable Cuteness — Amy @ 4:05 pm

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Kaelin on Flatulence

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Parenting — Amy @ 7:49 am

When Mama farts:   (between giggles) “Toot!   …Toot toot!”

When Daddo farts:Ewwww!

Of Bunnies and Flowers and Things

Filed under: Parenting,Such is Life,Undeniable Cuteness — Amy @ 10:55 pm

This past weekend Kaelin participated in an Easter Egg Hunt in my parents’ neighborhood.   Yes, I know, but apparently nobody informed the coordinators that the majority of America is currently operating on the 2007 calendar.

I was surprised at how quickly Kaelin picked up the concept.   Find an egg, put it in the basket, go get another one.   Her progress was slowed only by the fact that she refused to use more than two fingers to touch the eggs.

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I believe I’ve mentioned my daughter’s phobia of any and all things “dirty.”   Egg hunting was no exception…after all, they had been on the ground for more than 3 seconds.

Most of the egg hunt was complete madness.   There were LOTS of kids there.   And for every kid there were two or more parents, grandparents, siblings and dogs.

And once the coordinators yelled “GO!” the competitive natures of these adults were let loose with reckless abandon.   Kids were being steered, coached and carried to the nearest egg and GO GO GO LET’S GO THERE’S NO TIME FOR OBSERVATION BILLY LEAVE THAT FLOWER ALONE HURRY WHILE THERE ARE STILL EGGS TO BE HAD!   When Billy wasn’t fast enough to get to the eggs around him, he was plucked up and rushed to a patch that had not yet been discovered by the swarm of frenzied kids and parents.

Madness.

But Kaelin was having the time of her life.   She drank in all the chaos around her and adored running around on the lawn.   She pulled in a pretty nice haul, and afterward made short work of the cookies and punch – stopping only briefly to examine her “dirty!” hand.   Such sacrifice.

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And while the other kids were frantically delving into their eggs ( and disappointment because said eggs were not filled candy, but with zoo stickers and tiny bubble bottles), Kaelin managed to find a true treasure that captivated her attention – one that was so obviously special that she simply couldn’t fathom how it had been neglected by the other hundreds of kids.

A treasure so unique, so fascinating, that it is no wonder that it overshadowed all the other events and shenanigans and eggs and cookies and giant bunnies and hundreds of screaming, running children.   I mean, what child wouldn’t be awestruck with delight upon coming face to face with none other than…

a flower.

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But such is life and the mind of a child.   I hope she is always able to find such joy in the simplest of things.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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