Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012 ~ George

"George was a good little monkey and always very curious."

Nope, not that George.

Daddy took Billy to Build-a-Bear this morning. That would be the store where you get to make your own stuffed animal, with the cutest ones always being the most expensive. And, of course, they've got you over a barrel, since the kid picks out the animal and you can't disappoint your kid.

Here's a hint- the kids will always pick the cuter ones.

Billy picked a kitty.

They pulled out the skinned cat.

Have you done this before? Because it's actually kind of creepy. And no, I wasn't there this morning but yes I have done it before.

Then, you put a heart in your unstuffed animal and make a wish. Then they proceed to stuff the animal skin (not real animal, but it looks like a pelt anyway).

Now you have your animal. And now you get to walk through the aisle of exorbitantly prices clothes and accessories and dress your animal. I mean, you can't send them out into the world naked, can you?

Then you get to go to the computer and make the birth certificate for your animal and name it. Billy named his cat "George". Billy really liked the big orange button on the machine. That's the reset button. Daddy really didn't like the big orange button on the machine.

So, Billy came home with George in a box.

"No, Mommy. It's George's house."

Oh, right. The box has little windows cut out and pictures on it to make it look like a house. George had to stay in the box because that was his house.

It was naptime.

So, Billy went to bed with George, still in the box. Yes, my toddler it sleeping, cuddling with a cardboard box with a stuffed cat inside named George.

I think that about sums it up.

December 27, 2012 ~ The Visit



Here's Billy playing in the costume bin.

Why is the car there? Well, Billy has decided that our tv room is a drive-in movie theater. To watch a movie he has to sit in his car. It's terribly cute, and yes I tried to get a picture of him watching Cars in his Big Red Racecar but so far they don't really look like anything and if I get up to get a better angle he gets out to see what I'm up to.

Anyways, we had over A and J for dinner (and their parents of course).

Billy showed off his new toys. Ate the melon and prosciutto and other goodies I put out and had a merry old time.

Santa had left presents under the tree for A and J. They are Jewish, but just because Santa doesn't stop at their house, doesn't mean that Santa doesn't have presents for Jewish friends too. Billy wanted to open those two gifts on Christmas morning, but I explained that since they don't have a Christmas tree, Santa had to leave them at our house.

So they came over for a little post-holiday party and to open gifts. We were at their house for Hanukkah so we got to share traditions, which was lots of fun.

We all had a lovely time and the kids wore each other out so that by the time bedtime rolled around, all of the kids passed out. Now, that's my kind of party.

December 26, 2012 ~ The Vacuum From Hell

While I had made plans for the day after Christmas, Mother Nature decided to make other plans. A freak snow storm blew up, bringing ice and snow and hazardous conditions that the weathermen had not predicted. So, we stayed in.

This gave Billy an opportunity to play with his new toys- all except for the Big Red Racecar. That is really an outside toy, and while I let him run it back and forth for a few minutes inside, it really belongs out on the street.

So, we had to content ourselves with other toys and new movies from Santa.

Also, a little red vacuum cleaner given to him by my aunt. We had gone to her house for dinner the night before to see her and my uncle and all of their kids and grandkids. Billy had taken a shine to this little vacuum cleaner. Since all of her grandkids have outgrown it and he seemed to like it, she gave it to him. It was very nice and very thoughtful.

Only, I didn't know it was... the Vacuum From Hell!

Billy was pushing it around and all of a sudden it turned itself on for a moment. After further inspection it had an on/off button and a battery compartment.

"Mommy, fix it."

I don't do "fix it" unless I have to, so I called in the big guns. "Daddy!"

Daddy installed some new batteries and voile! It worked. Crap! It worked.

Billy proceeded to 'vacuum' (it's only a toy but man do I wish it did clean up the dirt, even a half-assed attempt to pick it up would be worth it.) He vacuumed the whole upstairs and downstairs. Twice. Oh and did I mention it's as loud as a real vacuum. Oh yeah, that loud. All. Day. Long.

Finally, I put the Vacuum From Hell in time out. Billy didn't understand. So, I explained it. Billy, you're not in time out. But Vacuum From Hell gave Mommy a headache- a booboo in the head- so it has to go in time out for doing that.

Remind me never again to "fix" the broken batteries.


(And yes, this is his favorite toy of all of his Christmas presents, besides the Big Red Racecar. It was very kind of my aunt to give it to him and he loves it. However, I will proceed to call it the Vacuum From Hell, because with batteries in it, it's as loud as Hell.)

Christmas 2012

 
We ran into Billy's room to wake him up (remember, he was up late) and tell him that Santa had been to the house. He jumped up, excited, and ran out of his room. But when he got to the hallway he tiptoed, slowly, quietly, hugging the wall. At the end of the hallway he peeked around the corner to see into the living room.
 
"Mommy, where Santa? Santa not stay?"
 
He was so disappointed that Santa wasn't standing in our living room with the bag of toys slung over his back. Poor guy, it's hard to understand why Santa would bring all of these toys but not stay for a visit. This, by the way, is what he saw:
 
 
 


Billy noticed the milk and cookies were gone. But no Santa. He nervously approached the car, but didn't want to touch it, not without Santa's permission. So Daddy ripped the bow off and put Billy in the car.

I have video but it continues and CONTINUES to process on Youtube. Please look on my youtube sidebar for the video of Billy driving the car for the first time. And yes, it's a real car. Gas pedal makes it go 1.2 miles per hour (I should say battery pedal, since it is electric).

Here's the youtube link, whenever they decide it can bacome active: http://youtu.be/xrsmpo3oHk0

He also got his requested frying pan (a toy one) and lots of other toys.


For the first time EVER in my life we didn't have anywhere to go after opening presents. Billy got to play with his play dough set, his car, he other toys and then head off to nap, all still in his pajamas. It was amazing. Not that I don't enjoy seeing family, but having never had a Christmas without driving all over the Mid-Atlantic it was very nice and very calm. And Billy got his cursory nap and was ready to go party once he woke up.

Party, did you say party? Why yes, yes I did.

Most Christmas nights we go to my aunt's house for dinner. It was lovely, as always. She and my Uncle have many kids and many more grandkids. Billy had a ton of fun playing with his cousins, even if they are all older. Dinner was fabulous.

And, of course, Billy got to sit at the big table until he is old enough to sit with the kiddos. So, he listened to the conversation and then asked if we could all sing happy birthday. (Remember, it's Jesus' birthday). So, a table full of adults broke into a chorus of "Happy Birthday!" for the baby Jesus.

Then he told us all about "Buddy poop snow!"

December 24, 2012 ~ "Buddy Poop Snow!"

Christmas Eve brought with it the first snow of the year and Billy's first white Christmas. He woke up from nap to the white stuff everywhere. When he went to sleep the world was green, and when he woke up the world was white and snow was falling from the sky.

We were watching out the back window and I had let Buddy go outside to do his business. Which, of course, being a dog, he did.

"Mommy, Buddy poop snow!" [toddler translation- Buddy pooped in the snow]

Yes, Billy. Buddy goes outside for the potty. We've had this talk many times and he repeated it once and thought nothing more of it.

Then it was time to run off to Church. Our Church has a Children's Mass on Christmas Eve in the late afternoon. This works out well to get the religious stuff done first. Then there's no rushing out the door Christmas morning and crying about new toys sitting there unopened. I don't know anything about that.

Well, I had been explaining to Billy that we were going to Jesus' birthday party. Close enough. We rarely go to Mass (I'll explain why in a moment) and he's too young to really get the meaning of Christmas. But he does know about birthday parties and giving presents to others for their birthday. And officially, Christmas is Jesus' birthday celebration (even if scholars now believe it was during the summer, this is when we celebrate).

Most importantly he wanted to see the baby Jesus.

Daddy hadn't finished his shopping so we were late to Mass. But we still made it. And honestly, 1.5 hours in Church with a toddler is a lot to ask of the toddler.

Twenty minutes in Church is a lot to ask of a toddler.

And so, right in the middle of the Consecration of the Gifts, Billy shouts, "Buddy poop snow!"

Yeah, that's my kid. Ash Wednesday he shouted that he wanted "Caca!" (cracker) and Christmas it's "Buddy poop snow!" Luckily, Daddy didn't understand what he said, so I'm hoping few others understood either.

That prompted a trip to the potty.

When we got back to the pew Billy refused to sit still. Daddy walked him around. Then me. We did the whole Eucharist bit and then went to see baby Jesus. One of the chapels has a nativity scene in it up on the altar.

I think Billy was disappointed that baby Jesus wasn't a real baby, but a statue. Still, it was dark, lit only by candles and lanterns and the sounds of the choir echoing in from the main part of the Cathedral. I asked him if he wanted to wish him a happy birthday.

He whispered, "Happy Birthday, baby Jesus!"

~

We also attended a Christmas party after Church with Grandma in the treacherous snow. Billy had a grand time and was up well past his bedtime playing with the children of my oldest and dearest friend.

December 23, 2012 ~ Baking Cookies

It was my brilliant plan to make rolled sugar cookies to give to Santa. I thought Billy would enjoy the activity. Grandma has a kitchen better suited for baking with a toddler (we have a wall oven and limited counter space- she has a regular oven and a big table perfect for rolling out cookies).

So, while Billy napped I made the dough and chilled it. I have to say, that using the Joy of Cooking's basic rolled cookie recipe we got a bland dough. Usually I use Martha Stewart's recipe but tried something different this year. We'll be going back to Martha next year.

Anyways, I took him over to Grandma's and let him pick out his favorite cookie cutters from her stash. He, of course, wanted the plain circles. I insisted on making shaped cookies that didn't look store bought, so I made him pick out the standard Christmas fare and some of the more unusal ones (Like an axe. Who wants an axe-shaped cookie? Grandma says it's for Washington's birthday. I can't recall ever making cookies for that, but whatever floats you boat, right?)

Billy liked the part about getting flour everywhere. He also liked pressing into the dough with the cutters, but didn't have the strength to cut all the way through the dough. Mommy had to do that for him. And he got to watch them bake. But the best part, or course, was eating them.

My Apologies

It's been a week since you've gotten a new post, but Daddy got a new computer game last week, meaning that I have had zero access to the computer. He must beat a game and food, sleep and all other activities are pushed to the side until he beats it, including my blogging. He still hasn't beaten it, but he had to go out so... woohoo! blogger time!

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20, 2012 ~ Remote Control

You didn't think I'd leave you with only a moment of silence, did you?

Of course not!

Billy and I were hanging out watching tv after dinner. I've been avoiding the news, but given that a week has gone by since the horrific events, I decided to give the world news a try. I always turn it off if it's something I think Billy shouldn't see, but most of the time he doesn't pay attention to it anyway.

Well, he grabbed the remote from me and changed the channel.

"Mommy, no more talking man. I want ice skating."

Yeah, well... that's actually what he said. Poor Brian Williams, passed over for ice skating, which wasn't even on. So, we settled for PBS cartoons.

Yes, my 2 year old son wanted to watch ice skating.

Yes, my 2 year old son DOES know how to change the channel.

So much for the news.

December 21, 2012 ~ A Moment of Silence

Let us all take a moment of silence for the lives lost one week ago.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Drawn In Thursdays: Current Events #1

Click to Enlarge
A true story from Sunday when Billy accidentally saw some live coverage. If only that we possible, Billy. Some booboos are too big to heal with a kiss.

December 18, 2012 ~ Poor Charlie Brown

I let Billy stay up to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.

He wasn't getting it. There's a lot of dialogue and it's over his head, so I was explaining about how Charlie Brown is sad and can't find the Christmas Spirit. "Poor Charlie Brown."

So after that, any time Charlie Brown came on the screen Billy said "poor Charlie Brown."

Then Charlie Brown became the director of the school play. Billy felt this meant that he needed to fetch his camping chair, which actually is not far off from looking like a director's chair, especially a cartoon chair. He sat in his chair in front of the tv to watch about Charlie Brown.

During a commercial break he took an interlude to stand on his stool and sing "Animal Crackers in my Shoe!" just like Shirley Temple, mimicking her hand movements and everything. And yes, I know it's soup, but he thinks it's shoe. He even mimics what she does with her voice and cheeks. It's too cute.

Then it was back to Charlie Brown.

He likes the puppy (Snoopy) and wanted to see more ice skating. And continued to recite, "poor Charlie Brown" until the end.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Buddy Update

If you're a regular reader then you know that Buddy has cancer. Back in October he had emergency surgery to remove the invasive tumor. Because of it's location (on his boy bits) the doctor was unable to completely remove the tumor.

We investigated chemo and radiation, but since they are about the cost of a new car, opted for the only treatment option that didn't cost a new car, but only has a 30% success rate.

The oncologist predicted the tumor will grow back within 3-6 months at most, be more invasive and at that point, basically untreatable.

We are at 2.5 months and Buddy has no sign of growth at the tumor location. His wound has healed completely and he is left with only a white scar to mark where the tumor had been.

At this point we are getting ready to step down his medication as part of his treatment plan prescribed by his doctors. They are thrilled that there is no evidence yet of growth. It is a good sign.

But we're not out of the woods yet.

So keep praying for the Bud.


Santa 2012


December 17, 2012 ~ Hitting the Nog

We went to buy groceries, so while picking up milk for Billy, I picked up some egg nog as a treat for myself.

Now, when I saw egg nog, I mean the pasteurized, non-alcoholic kind from the grocery store. I'm not talking about the high-test variety I made two weeks ago from scratch. Nope, just plain egg nog, no booze.

So, we got home and I asked if he'd like to try it (remember, no booze).

"Yes!" he said emphatically.

So, I poured him a small big boy glass of it. He hated it immediately.

"Mommy, I no like that."

"Okay, more for me!" and I took the cup and took a sip.

Oh, wait. Mommy likes it? Mommy wants it? Then it must be good. I must want it too. I must have it.

So I gave him the cup back. He took another tentative sip. I didn't think he was going to warm to it. It's got a lot of nutmeg in it and is very thick.

That second sip he made a yuck face, but he wanted to hang onto the cup.

By the end of dinner he had consumed most of the small amount I gave him. "Mommy, I like it." He smiled.

Well, I guess it takes some getting used to. But now he likes it. That's fine. Mommy can share. :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16, 2012 ~ The Last Vestiges of Babyhood

In the past month Billy has cast off his diapers, put away his crib and grown about an inch. My little baby is too big to fit into the high chair any more. So, it has been put up in the attic, gone from our kitchen. Billy sits in a big boy chair now.

We're still working on potty training, and he's in a toddler bed, but Billy is growing up. "Mommy, I big boy," he tells me.

~

Saturday we went shopping- unsuccessfully.

Then, at dusk we joined Miss A and a fellow Scary Mommy (www.scarymommy.com) at the miracle on 34th Street. I'm not talking about the movie. If you're not from town, then please have a look at the awesomeness of the 34th Street:

the link

We walked around and looked at the lights and all things Christmas and Baltimore.





There are hub cap Christmas trees, Natty Boh can angels, crabs, Ravens, flamingos and a whole lotta 'hun'. If you don't know what I'm talking about there's only one way to find out- you have to see it for yourself.




Sunday was Santa's day.

We started out by heading to see Santa and the train displays. I have no pics of the train displays because someone had to wait in that long line. That would be me. Daddy and Billy went to look at the trains. Then Billy joined me in line while Daddy popped into the toy store.

Standing in line Billy made immediate friends with the little toddler boy behind us in line. They seem to be at the age where every toddler is automatically a friend. The little boy clearly was ill- not with a cold, but seriously ill. He had a drainage tube from his nose. But Billy didn't care and I'm so glad. Kids can be cruel to those that are different, even if the different kids are some of the most amazing people. They played while we waited for our turn to see Santa.

Then, in the middle of nap time, hours after we arrived, it was our turn. Billy clung to me in fear. I had been trying to talk up how nice Santa is, but he was still scared. The photographer was sure he was going to scream...

So, 1, 2, 3... I dropped him on Santa's lap and ran.

No screaming. No crying.

He wasn't sure about this old bearded guy sitting there in his big red chair. First photo- stunned fear. Second photo- not so sure. Third photo- dare I say it? He smiled! It wasn't a big happy, laughing grin, but he did smile. And after I picked him up he wished Santa a "Merry Christmas!"

As we walked away Billy whispered to me, "Mommy, I sat on Santa's lap. I saw Santa. I saw Santa."

Of course, I have the pics and don't have them on me so I will post them later.

Then we ran home and made it just in time to see Santa heading back to the North Pole on his red... fire truck?




Then we headed home for a post naptime nap. And yes, he went to sleep after he was supposed to be waking up. But he took a nice long nap.

Then Billy helped my make my Easy Peasy Holiday Bark. Stay tuned for the recipe and photos. (It's not finished, so you have to wait for the final result!)

Of course Daddy waited until it started raining to hang our lights on our house. In the dark. A week before Christmas. But he did. So, we went outside to watch and to see all of the luminaries lighting the way through the neighborhood, helping Santa find his way back to the North Pole to finish up all of the toys.

"Billy," I asked, "did you ask Santa for your big red race car?"

He thought about it for a moment, "NO!" he started to panic.

"Don't worry, Billy," I said. "When we saw Santa I told him you wanted that big red race car. He knows. Santa won't forget."

He wasn't sure, but I really did tell Santa for him when we were there. So, I think we're covered.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Unopened Gift

Hanging in my closet at my mother's is a flannel nightgown, the tags still on it. The colors are ugly, and the fabric rough from many years of hanging untouched in a closet.

It is the unopened gift.

My grandmother died just before Christmas. All of the presents wrapped and under the tree, Christmas dinner cooked and in the fridge. But she wasn't there. She was suddenly gone.

My post about my grandmother

My grandfather had purchased this nightgown for her all those many years ago. He hung it in her closet and it stayed there until his death, unable to part with the last thing that he had bought for her. When we moved, I took it with me rather than give it away, a nod of sentiment to a lady I never met and to my grandfather's undying love for her.

I was reading on the Mommy blogs about the shooting. Someone mentioned all of the gifts that will go unopened this Christmas.

There is a hollowness in my heart. Those families will wake up Christmas morning and their children's gifts, brought by Santa, will go unopened. The laughter and joy of those little kids on Christmas morning will only be an echo in their memory. No trying out a new trike for the first time or opening a new doll. And I wonder, thirty years from now, if some new toy will lay buried in a closet just like my grandmother's nightgown.

As you go about your last minute holiday preparations, hold your family close and give sentiment as much as stuff.

And as you open your gifts on Christmas morning, enjoy it. Celebrate. But this year, as the last gift is opened, take a moment and remember... the unopened gift.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Connecticut Catastophe ~ Now Is the Time to Act

If you haven't been following the news, then you probably live under a rock, but here's is what has happened today.

CNN

Twenty little lives, precious gifts, have gone to God's arms today. So have six other adults at the school.

Twenty sets of parents dropped their kids off today, saying "have a good day at school!" and kissed them goodbye, never knowing that they would never see them again. Twenty sets of parents frantically drove to that school today to find their children and their open arms were left empty.

My heart goes out to them.

There is an epidemic of shootings in our nation. It doesn't matter whether you support gun control or don't, now is the time to act. We cannot send our babies to a place that is supposed to be safe and bring them home in a box. We can't go to the theater and see our family murdered, or to college and see our friends hunted by gunmen. This is not about guns. It is so much more.

Whatever you believe in- stand up, act, speak out.

But I ask this of you; I charge you with a task: Don't mention the gunman's name. Don't gossip about his motives or his life. Don't read his writings. Doing so only gives credence to his actions.

His is a name that should be obliterated from history, along with those that do the same. Don't let the shooters have their victory by gaining infamy. No. Let their memory be erased from human history instead. For, no person willing to commit these acts belongs to humanity.

Drawn In Thursdays: Postponed

I was just about to post the cartoon and I know I'm late by a day, but I've been super busy. However, in light of today's news, it would be poor taste to post the funnies on a blog devoted to kids and parents.

I will post the cartoon on Monday, along with my normal posting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 11, 2012 ~ Wild Child

I don't have much to report. Billy was out of control wild last night. The funniest bit was him running in circles screaming, "yay for baby Jesus!" (And we don't talk about Jesus at home very often, so this makes it all the more silly).

But Billy was wild and spent a majority of the evening in time out for one ridiculously bad behavior after the next. He's in the "do it because I know I will get in trouble and I don't care" phase. He's even taking to doing something and then putting himself in time out for his bad behavior.

Fortunately, he turned in at a reasonable hour. He didn't go to sleep, but tonight there was no screaming for Mommy. I think he finally fell asleep around 9-9:30. Well past his bedtime, but at least he was mostly quiet. I could hear him playing in his crib until about then, but not screaming for me.

Phew!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10, 2012 ~ Trials with a Tireless Toddler

Despite being exhausted and behind on his sleep, Billy seems determined to remain exhausted. He is refusing to sleep.

It's a game. What can I do to get Mommy's attention? Thank God for the extra baby gate which goes across his door during sleeping hours. It is the only thing that keeps him in. And eventually, boredom from a lack of response on my end causes him to give up and go to sleep.

But there is fall out from this behavior and it's not just a temperamental toddler.

Any Mommy sighting from his door encourages the continued calling of "Mommy!" and renews whatever efforts he is making to get my attention. This makes me a veritable prisoner downstairs as I attempt to remain out of sight and out of earshot (although I can hear him through the monitor).

When it takes him three hours to give up and finally go to bed, that means it's my bedtime too and nothing has gotten done. No chores. No laundry, no dishes. That means things like, I forgot that dinner was still in the oven (it was off) and found it this morning. All that effort gone plus a sink full of dishes and a piles of peed on clothes in the hamper.

At some point he's going to have to suck it up and go to sleep, because I've got to get things done.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9, 2012 ~ Mommy Fails and Holiday Tales

The child that would not sleep woke up Saturday intent with putting the "terror" in the "terrible twos". If he knew it was wrong, he did it. If he knew he wasn't supposed to touch it, he did. If it would make Mommy mad, he did it twice, just for good measure. I believe Billy was attempting to set a world record for time outs in one day. Yes, Saturday was that kind of day.

I tried to take him out, but he refused. "No, thanks, Mommy." Seriously? I offered to take him to get an ice cream, but that meant being good and he refused. He would not put on a coat. He would not wear shoes. He was miserable and tired and wanted me to be tired from his misery.

I'm fairly certain that the reason kids are so cute is so parents overlook days like today.

Sunday we went out for portraits. I assure you, Billy is a ham. He flirted with the camera and said "Cheese!" every time he was asked. Mostly, because he wanted to see more pictures of Billy on the monitor. (Digital photography... it's the wave of the future).

So later that afternoon, there I am watching the Ravens lose, reading a book and suddenly realizing that it's well past the time Billy should be waking up. Then I realize that I completely forgot to put a diaper on him before naptime. Uh oh! Mommy fail.

Just then, a little voice squeaked, "Mommy, I need to pee-pee in the potty!" It sounded urgent.

I bounded off the sofa and to him room, ripping the gate out of the door and dragging him toward the bathroom. He made it into the bathroom before he couldn't hold it anymore. We were standing right in front of the potty.

He was so upset.

I kept hugging him and telling him it was Mommy's fault. It was... he should have been in a diaper.

After I got him changed and cleaned up I check out the bed. Not a drop. He took a 4 hour nap and not a drop. Still, a Mommy Fail for lack of diaper on a boy during nap. We're not still fully potty-trained yet. He refuses to poop on the potty. He'll hold it and wait for his night-night diaper.

Well, after we were redressed it was off to a Hannukah party. Billy was so excited to see his friends. He even learned how to say, "Happy hann-u-kah!" Too bad he got shy and wouldn't say it at the party.

But he enjoyed eating the traditional food and hanging out with friends. He liked playing dreidel and especially loved the chocolate coins. Who wouldn't?

I'm so glad we went and we hope to make it a tradition. We want Billy to have a rounded perspective on culture and customs. Experience is the best way to really be open to it. No matter the reason for the season, let's all celebrate and be happy. Besides, it's a great way to hang out with some cool friends.

The Sunday Post ~ Dumbo

Have you ever rewatched a movie that you saw as a kid but haven't seen since?

This weekend I treated Billy to his first viewing of Dumbo. What's not to love? It's got the circus, elephants and a train. This is going to be awesome!

Well, while I remembered the story, I remembered it from a child's point of view. I associated with Dumbo, the "baby" in the story. I found the pink elephants terrifying. And the other elephants I recalled as being completely mean.

Then we watched it this weekend. And now I have a mother's perspective. This is a heart-wrenching movie. Tear your guts out heart wrenching. The poor Mrs. Jumbo who's wanted a baby more than anything finally has her little baby boy. He may be a little different, but she loves him. And in an act to protect her baby from the mean kids, the circus locks her up away from her baby.

The scene where she can't even see her child, but holds him in her trunk anyway is perhaps the saddest moment, even if this is a triumphant story.

Unfortunately, while Disney does such a fabulous job of making timeless tales, this one really falls down and I couldn't help admonishing myself for judging it against today's standards.

For one, new mothers and their babies aren't put on display where the viewers can actually touch the animals. Not any more, at least. Mother's instincts are to protect their young. Keepers wouldn't expose the public to that danger, nor the animals to that stress. But that's modern thinking.

Okay, okay. I'll stop judging an old film. It may be a classic, but I don't think this one will make it into the regular circuit at our house. Not without some perspective.

December 7, 2012 ~ Behind on My Posting

Yep. I'm behind. Why?

Well, super-exhausted-needs-to-sleep-like-Rip-Van-Winkle child refused to go to bed. Not even the threat of Santa could talk him into going to sleep Friday night. Long past his bedtime when Daddy got home he was still awake, still screaming.

These are the Billy tricks I no longer fall for:

1.) I'm hungry. No you're not. You ate dinner. Go to bed.

2.) I need a binky. No, you have 2 already. You only have one mouth. Go to bed.

3.) I need to pee-pee on the potty. Hmm... do I bite? He's wearing a diaper. Nope. No potty. Go to bed.

4.) Where's my ...? Your ... is in your hand. Now, go to sleep.

5.) Mommy, I miss you! I miss you too. Now, go miss me i bed, please.

6.) I need a hug. You've already had 7 hugs. You can have another hug in the morning. Go to bed.

7.) Mommy, I already sleep and I wake up! That's great. Go back to sleep until the sun gets up. THEN you can get up too.

8.) Chucking something like a binky, blanket or favorite luvey over the baby gate and then screaming for it once it's out of reach.

After a long battle and taking 4 hours to watch a 2 hours movie, he finally went to sleep.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6, 2012 ~ How Did It Come To This?

Today I got roped into hosting the neighborhood Christmas party. I actually enjoy hosting parties. Scratch that- I used to enjoy hosting parties.

But in my fancy clothes, scrubbing pee, crushed peas and an errant cheerio from the bathroom floor around the training potty just moments before guests started to arrive, I asked myself, "how did it come to this?"

Three years ago my house would have been impeccable. I would have had a full spread of delectable holiday treats on the table. Custom Christmas music playlist crooning from my stereo, and every decoration in just the right spot. I would have been dressed up, with makeup on, jewelry, freshly showered and hair coiffed.

That's not how this went down.

I never made it to vacuuming, so the dirt got swept under the rug- literally, hoping that no one would notice. I windexed the coffee table, but realized there was a huge streak. Oh well, it's as good as it's going to get. The office is a mess. It's Daddy's stuff and I refuse to bother. He was told to clean it up. He didn't. So, it's a wreck. Whatever. The best I've got on the music front is a radio station playing Christmas music between commercial breaks. My appetizers are nuts and gummi bears. At least, I roasted the nuts myself- a month ago. I'm dressed, but not showered, no make-up, no jewelry, and my hair is pulled back into a no-fuss ponytail. And as I look around at all of the things that didn't get done but should have, I shrug.

How did it come to this? Motherhood.

Between working and being a Mom, there's no time for the things I would have done. I can't make there be more hours in the day. I can't keep up like I used to. It's just a simple fact. Canapes and santa hat appetizers simply aren't going to happen.

And try as hard as I do... I wonder how those perfectly coiffed Moms throw those big, fancy parties with all of the trimmings. They must have elves on speed dial...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An article to read from CNN

Just down the street from where I am sitting, a little boy is recovering from a terrible trauma. It's worth reading about the horrible attack, an awful practice, and his miracle recovery.

From horror to hope: Boy's miracle recovery from brutal attack

Drawn In Thursdays: Things Kids Do #18

Click to Enlarge
A true story from yesterday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4, 2012 ~ Look! It's Baby Jesus!

So, a few days ago we went to see Santa's magical flying alpacas. And I was telling Billy all about the baby Jesus, who was in there with the magical alpacas. Okay, not the real Jesus, but a giant wooden cutout nativity scene- in with the magical alpacas. Let's just process that for a moment...

And at home I'm getting ready to put out the creche. I showed Billy the little figurine of baby Jesus sleeping in the manger.

Bring on Grandma's house.

Billy was looking at a framed picture of a baby at Grandma's house. Three guesses who the baby was and the first two don't count.

But Billy saw it and shouted, "it's baby Jesus!"

"No, honey. That's you. That's baby Billy."

"No, Mommy. It's baby Jesus!"

And then Grandma looked at me and replied, "guess that makes you Mary."

And now we're working on the concept that not all babies are Jesus...

December 3, 2012 ~ Go See AB

First off, I don't mention other kids by name on my blog for their own protection. It's my choice to talk about Billy online, but other parents may not want to see their kids' names appear on the web. So, for that reason I will be referring to Billy's friend as AB.

We went over to AB's house for dinner to celebrate her Daddy's birthday. Her Daddy is a dear friend of mine from long before we had kids or were married. As fate would have it, AB and Billy are only 3 weeks apart in age. Perfect playmates. Unfortunately, busy parenting lives mean we never see each other. But, we've decided to work on that. I'll let you know how that goes.

We walked into their house and Billy was absolutely terrified. Not sure why. But he wouldn't talk and he wouldn't get down. Every time I tried to put him down he clung to me like a little monkey.

But, finally, he realized there were girl toys all over the place, so he got down and started to play with AB's toys. That worked out well and the adults got to visit.

Then it was kids' dinner time. Billy sat with AB and her older brother at the table. The siblings quarreled a bit, and Billy sat there in what I would call stunned silence. I know he's seen kids have arguments at school. But he only sees kids either in large groups or one on one. He's not used to siblings close in age and the standard "that's mine!" fight.

After dinner he managed to catch on to the routine, though. The kids played, the adults ate and talked.

Billy was having so much fun that he pooped his pants. I wish that were just a phrase, but in his case, that would be literal. Fortunately, I came prepared with extra clothes.

Then we toured the house. Billy got to climb up into a bunk bed. When it was time to leave he didn't want to go. He told me he was going to sleep in the bunk bed instead. But, alas, it was bedtime.

"We go back to AB's?" he asked on the car ride home. Why, yes. Yes we will.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 2, 2012 ~ A Big Holiday Weekend






Billy had a holiday-packed weekend.

Saturday we were supposed to go to the Lighted Boat Parade. It was great weather, but unfortunately Daddy got hung up out of town so we weren't able to go. Billy was really looking forward to it, so I took him to Watson's to see Santa's reindeer instead.

Apparently, Rudolf and his reindeer friends are on strike this year. No worries! Santa was able to find some magical flying baby alpacas to get presents there on time.




Billy checking out the magical flying alpacas.

"No, Mommy. They're llamas," he says. Well, not to pick a nit, but those are alpacas. As Grandma said, "you've seen llamas next to alpacas, so you would know." It's true. Daddy and I went to Peru, home of the llama and the alpaca. Also home to their wild cousin the vicuna (v-eye-coon-yah). Easy way to tell is that if it's cute, it's an alpaca.These are extra cute, since they are just babies.

After this I got to go out with the ladies for the evening and had a wonderful time. Thank you JB for the ticket. You're awesome!

On Sunday I promised to take Billy to the store to buy his very own ornament for the tree. He didn't get to help me decorate. I vacillated between having him help, or not, but given the number of important breakable ornaments, I decided to wait until next year. But I want him to feel included, so we went to the store to buy an ornament for him. He got to pick out whatever he wanted (within reason).

He chose this:




By the way, that's plastic, so he can pull it off of the tree and I don't have to worry. He also has some other favorites on the tree. The top is a little old car that used to belong to his namesake. Then my ladybug and then Scooby-Do's Mystery Van (it talks).

I also introduced him to some more classic music. His new favorite song is "See You Later, Alligator". It's also, coincidentally (and the reason I played the song for him) his current favorite phrase.


The Sunday Post ~ Flip 'n' Tip Fred Recycling Truck Review

Buy it here.

Grandpop bought this toy for Billy's birthday. We were really excited about it. This truck has moving parts, moves on its own and requires no batteries. Nope. No batteries! What an amazing concept. We could be without power or batteries and this toy would still work!

Go ahead and click on the link and see how cool this toy is.

It comes with three trash cans (okay, they are recycling cans, but let's get real here. This is a trash truck.)

It has an arm that dumps the cans into the back of the truck. Or the back gate lifts the cans into the truck. Then you open the door and the cans shoot out the side. Plus two little trash people to help get all that trash into the truck to cart it off.

On the top is a handle so the child can grab it and push it around. What's cool here is that once you give it a push, the energy from the push gets the mechanism going and the truck moves on its on volition, making lots of sound.

Wait.

And here's the downside to this fabulous toy.

It makes too much sound. It is the loudest toy that we own. So loud, in fact, that it is louder than the vacuum cleaner. It might possibly be the loudest item we own, power tools included. It is ear-shattering loud. Like, lawsuit for permanent hearing loss loud.

The sound is tolerable if you use it on a carpet, but then the go-on-its-own action doesn't work nearly as well. So, it ends up being pushed around on the wood floor, giving everyone in the house a headache.

In principle I love this toy. But I can't take the batteries out to reduce the noise, since there are no batteries. And you can't tell a little boy not to push a truck around.

We also own a smaller truck by the same company with the same sound/motor mechanism in it and that one isn't nearly as loud. But it is also smaller.

Moral of the story: Buy at your own hearing risk.

Monday, December 3, 2012

November 30, 2012 ~ O, Christmas Tree

Billy has no memory of having a Christmas tree, so when he woke up and found a fully decorated tree in the living room it was, well, like Christmas.

"Mommy, toys on the tree!"

He wanted to play with the 'toys' on the tree, but obviously he's not allowed to play with tree ornaments, especially the breakable ones.

So, he instead decided to hand his toys in the tree to. I guess if Mommy gets to put her toys in the tree, so should Billy.

Here's Billy's paper basket hanging in the tree.

Oh yeah, and I was totally late to work because I couldn't drag him away from the tree of toys.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 29, 2012 ~ Potty Training Champ

Day 3 of a diaper-free bum. Yup. He has now been fully out of diapers since Tuesday. Now we only use 'night night' diapers.

So, I bet you're going to ask me "how's that going?"

In the potty, of course!

Well, we've had some accidents. It's the playground. It's very cold out and he gets all busy playing and doesn't realize he's really got to go. I mean shoes soaked through go. But he's good at home. We haven't had any accidents at home. He does the little pee dance and we run off to the potty before I have to clean the floor.

Aim?

Well, we'll work on that...
 
Yeah, okay... what about #2?

Well, that's an interesting story. Because he holds it until we stick a diaper on him. He wants to "go poopy on the potty" and we had that one little success. But nothing since. He'll get there.

What I do know is that everyone told me "too soon!" But he hates being dirty, which I'm pretty sure is a phase, and he wants to use the potty, also a phase. We're going all in. That's a combo in a toddler I can't pass up.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27, 2012 ~ Hear It, That Noise?

"Mommy, hear it, that noise?"

"Yes, Billy. That's the radio playing 'Little Drummer Boy.'"

"Yup." Pause. "Mommy, hear it, that noise?"

"Yes, Billy. That's the sound of the drum. The Little Drummer Boy is playing a drum."

"Yup." Pause. "Mommy, hear it, that noise?"

"That's a bell. It's on the radio. It's part of the song."

"Yup." Pause. "Mommy, hear it, that noise?"

"Do you mean the car engine?"

"Yup."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 26, 2012 ~ I Ask Santa Claus

Yes, Billy is still asking for the red car. It's true. He wants it, and he thinks Santa is going to get it. But I don't think he gets what Santa does.

~
"Mommy, I have it? [insert dangerous or breakable object]

"No, you can't play with that."

"I ask Santa Claus."
~

~
"Mommy, I eat more hot dog?"

"No, you can't have any more."

"I ask Santa Claus."
~

~
"Mommy, I go outside?"

"No, it's cold and dark."

"I ask Santa Claus."
~

He seems to think any time I say no, he can circumvent Mommy by asking Santa Claus. But... he does get that being naughty means he's not going to get that red car from Santa. So now, when he's acting up, I play the Santa card. Like putting him to bed tonight.

"You better get back in bed or I will tell Santa that you're being naughty. You have to be a good boy if you want Santa to bring you that red car."

"Mommy, I good boy. I go sleep now." And he runs off to bed.

And, no, I'm not going to tell him that Santa already bought him that red car and he'll be getting it on Christmas morning, regardless of his being naughty or nice. I'm milking the Santa card for all it's worth!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Big Ole Thanksgiving Post

I've been off for a few days. Hope you don't mind me taking a bit of a holiday. Here's what happened over our break.

Wednesday we headed to Grandpop's. Billy refused to sleep in the car, despite being past his bedtime. Nope. It was just too exciting to be heading to Grandpop's house. We haven't been down since the summer. But finally he passed out. Some time before the bridge, but well, that was still way past his bedtime.

When we pulled into Grandpop's drive late, Billy woke up. Even if he had still been sleeping, the canine contingent would have woken him up upon entering the house.

Billy briefly came in and said hi to the family that was still awake, but we quickly packed him off to bed. I wasn't sure how that was going to go. He's sleeping in a big boy bed at home, but only has a porta-crib at Grandpop's. We didn't know if he would accept sleeping in a crib. Also, there's the house. But he went right to sleep.

Screech! Let's pause right here and I'll explain the house- which is important for later. Grandpop, Nana and Uncle Alex live in a big Victorian. It's been in the family since it was built in 1905 by my great great grandfather. It has a wrap around porch that's lovely to sit on in the summer. A grand staircase in the front foyer and a servant stair in the back hall. It has a gracious parlor with a fireplace. A living room with the family initial carved into the fireplace. A large dining room with yet another fireplace. And lots of other rooms to explore, a third floor full of heirlooms, which is actually not the attic- that's above the third floor. And all of the rooms are NOT BABY PROOF. Yeah, very much not baby proof. Breakable antiques everywhere. Hot radiators. Two staircases with no baby gates. Long staircases. The house has 12 ft ceilings. Long staircases.

So, with a fully mobile and very curious toddler, it's a veritable playground and a parent's nightmare.

Enter Thursday.

We started the morning with Billy shouting at us. The porta-crib was in our room. Daddy woke up and poked me in the belly. Mind out of the gutter. The bed is much smaller than ours at home, being an antique. So there wasn't much room. And Daddy moved me over by giving me a sound poke to the belly. "Ouch!" To which Billy responded by standing up in teh crib and shouting, "Daddy... STOP HURTING MOMMY!"

"SHHHH!!!!"

One, it was not even 7am and the house was full of family. Two, I really, really don't want family thinking that either Daddy is hurting me or that Billy saw canoodling (which is absolutely did not).

So, Daddy rolled over and put his arm over me to cuddle and go back to sleep. Well, here's hoping. Not likely. But hoping.

"Daddy! DADDY! STOP HURTING MOMMY!"

Ok, ok I'm up.

We had breakfast with the family that was awake and headed into the living room to watch the Macy's Parade. I wanted Billy to see the balloons and Santa. Billy was chasing Molly around the house. Molly is Nana's Pomeranian. I kept calling Billy in to see the TV for the balloons. But they were only showing the balloons for the briefest period, and by the time he ran right into the room, the balloons were already gone and the announcers were back talking about random boring stuff. Show the balloons! But he did get to see Santa and waved to him as he waved back from the tv screen.

And now it's nap time. Oh dear.

The room is too bright, the crib too small, the house unfamiliar, the family too loud, and the toddler too excited. After trying for two hours we were finally able to get him to go to sleep by Daddy strong arming him into the big bed and holding him there until he slept. Daddy might have fallen asleep too.

Then it was turkey time. I had been selling turkey to Billy all week. "What do we eat on Thanksgiving?" "Turkey!" "What does a turkey say?" "Gobble, gobble!" "Who cuts the turkey?" "Grandpop!"

Well, we all gathered around the table for the meal and first came out the soup course. I didn't think Billy would eat it and he didn't. But he was starving. And tired.

Next Grandpop brought out the turkey and started carving it.

"Grandpop, turkey!!!"

He was hungry and he wanted his turkey now. We sent his plate down to be fixed first and he had all of his food in front of him before anyone else. And before we even said Grace he had eaten all of his turkey. "Grandpop, more turkey!" He shoved the plate away with all of the other fixings on it. He only wanted turkey. (In hindsight, I might have oversold that turkey).



He had three helpings of turkey and refused the other foods. In the middle of the meal we tried to get him to eat one of his favorite foods- sweet potato. Only, it didn't look like normal. He wasn't convinced. Daddy put a spoonful of it in Billy's mouth and you would have thought it was dog poop or rotting worms or dead fish. He let out a loud wail. Uh, oh. Epic Meltdown!

Daddy and I took turns eating and playing with Billy in the other room. Later, when the table was clearing and after he was settled down, I brought him back to the table to finish his food. He was still hungry. He took a few bites and then his head sank lower and lower. I put my hand out and caught his head before it fell into the plate. And... he's done. We gathered him up and put him to bed. The turkey wore him out. (Also the short and late nap didn't help).

Friday

We started the morning early with Grandpop making breakfast.

It's all about the bacon. Billy ate lots of bacon, two eggs and chowed down on trail mix afterwards. We played quietly in the morning and took a long nap. He was extra tired.

The, we rode down to the ocean to see the lights. The line was out the door, around the corner and down the street. You wouldn't believe it. We waited over an hour to see the lights.

But finally, we loaded onto the train and got to ride through the wonderland of Christmas lights on the water. Billy was more excited about the train ride than the lights. And if you ask him what lights he saw he'll skip the holiday related stuff and say, "Dinosaurs! And a rocky horsey!"

We got back so late that we had to put him straight to bed and stay the night. We had planned to go home sooner, but well, who knew the lights would be so busy?

Saturday

We traveled. Up and out in the morning. Home in time for a nap. He slept much longer than expected and needed it too. We were supposed to go to another party, but he was just too tired. We also were going to go to the festival of trees, but again, too tired.

Sunday

Christmas! The tree is up, but not decorated. The house is decorated, though. And he spent the whole day without a diaper and without an accident. He spent the whole time at home on Saturday without a diaper too and had no accidents.

And that was our holiday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Drawn In Thursdays: Things Kids Do #17

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A true story from this week.

November 20, 2012 ~ Bean Soup Surpise

Billy doesn't like soup. Not a fan. I've tried. But nope. The high chair ends up wearing more soup than Billy actually eats and then he's hungry again in a few minutes. So, I don't serve him soup.

We sing about soup EVERY day. "Animal crackers in my soup..." Yup. He loves that little ditty. He sings it to me almost every morning. But will he put animal crackers in his soup? No. Actually, that sounds kinda gross, so I'm not going to push it.

Grandma knows Billy's feelings on soup, so she made a big ole pot of bean soup for us and fixed him a separate dinner. She put it in front of him and he started eating up the yummy food in front of him.

But then I fixed a mug of soup for myself and sat down to the table.

"Mommy, have it? Mommy try it?"

Well, it's worth a shot. Always up for expanding his horizons.

So Grandma got out my baby cup and fixed him up a cup of bean soup. Minutes later it was all gone. "Grandma, more?"

Surprise! Billy likes Grandma's homemade bean soup.


~

You know that red car from a few posts ago?

He said to me today, "Mommy, I gonna ask Santa Claus big red car. Isha my car. I ask Santa Claus. Yeah."

I'm in trouble now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 19, 2012 ~ Said Red Car

Leave it to Tuesday Morning to have a Billy-sized red Mercedes convertible.

We walked into the store, and even though it was way down an aisle, he zeroed in on it immediately.

"Mommy, have it?"

So, I'm looking at this car sitting there out for display but partially up out of his reach. It's a power wheels style ride on/in vehicle for a small person. Bright red. Chrome details. Looks like a very flashy, very expensive convertible. And yes, it has a little engine in it. Not Fred Flintstone style power, but the real deal.

"Mommy, have it?"

It's got the Mercedes brand logo all over the damn thing. And he wants it. And it's expensive.


"Why don't we ask Santa Claus to bring it to you for Christmas?" I'm thinking, well, I could get it later, or maybe he will forget about it by Christmas and then I won't have this ginormous expensive car in my house...

"Now?"

"No, we have to go see Santa Claus?"

"Mommy, buy it?" Really? Did my two year old ask me to buy him a car?

"We have to wait to go see Santa Claus".

[Insert epic meltdown over said red car]

"Let's ask Santa Claus when we see him."

Eventually, he agrees to this plan, reluctantly, and not happily.

But then we exit the store. "Mommy, have it! Mommy, buy it! Isha MY red car!!!"

Oh, dear God. Really? The whole ride home I got to hear about how mean I was for not buying him the red car. I'm debating whether Santa would put him on the Naughty list for that...

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 18, 2012 ~ My Little Equestrian

Okay, so I forgot to do the Sunday Post this week. I could try to whip something together, but... oh well, you'll live.

Well, this weekend began with a pony party. Yup. A bonafide party at a farm with horses and a pony and a donkey. What more could you ask for?

(Well, it was in the middle of nap time, but other kids can't plan their parties around our nap time).

I told Billy all about it and he was SO excited. "Horsey Rides!" However, I think he was thinking we were going to the fair to ride the Merry-Go-Round. When we arrived at the farm full of real horses, he wouldn't let go of my hand.

I put him in line to ride anyway. At first, Billy wasn't so sure about riding a horse. There were two big horses for him to ride on, one white, one brown. He had to put on a helmet and stand in line behind all of the other kids.

Most of the other kids were older, since it was a party for an awesome girl who hit the big 8 this year. Happy Birthday!

Billy got up on the horse and took his turn, with me walking beside him. He was nervous, I could tell. I asked, "Do you want to go again?" A very strong "no."


So we walked around. There were swings and a bonfire and pens with other horses and the pen with the "minis". So we went over to check out the minis. That would be the pony Sassy and the donkey Norman.

Norman the Donkey looked hungry. So I pulled a blade of grass and offered for Billy to feed it to Norman. Nope. Too afraid. That's okay. I fed Norman. Norman greedily asked for more grass. So I got him more. And then some more. Okay, now Billy was ready to try. But then he changed his mind and had me feed Norman Billy's blade of grass.

I said to Billy, "What does a donkey say?"

He knows this one but wasn't sure.

"Hee-haw!" I said.

Just then Norman let out a loud "HEEEEEEEEEE-HAWWWWWWWWW!!!!!"





Yeah, okay Norman. You can say it better than I can.

Then we went to check out Sassy the Pony. Rule of Thumb- ponies bite. So, we didn't get too close. My aunt put it best last night about the family pony of long ago. She said, "They had him neutered and then he spent the rest of his life being pissed about it."

Well, after we had cake and a pinata (Billy had the program this time. He didn't know what to do at his own party, but I totally got it this time). Then it was time to meet and greet the minis.

The kids got to feed carrots to Norman and Sassy. And pet them. And decorate them with ribbons and plastic hair bows. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the bucket 'o' glitter. Look in the picture of Norman...see the green? That's glitter in his fur. (hair? what do you call donkey fur?)

Turns out, Norman and Sassy are both very friendly and don't bite. I'd put extremely patient in there too, with a ton of kids around pasting them with bows and glitter.

Billy then wanted to go sit by the bonfire. He had found a walking stick and carried it around all day.


So then it was time for more horse rides. And this time they brought out Sassy for rides too. She's not used to riding as much, but they brought her out. Billy declared that Sassy was his and insisted on a ride. Then another. He even cut the line when I turned for a moment and tried to hop on using the steps all by himself. He's got the horse bug. Uh oh!

Billy on a pony



Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 16, 2012 ~ Free Range Toddler: Day 6

Ding! Ding!

Let the games begin:

Round 1: Mommy vs. Billy. Put him in bed. Doesn't want to go to bed. Can't find his meme. Wants a story. Needs a new diaper. Uh huh.

Billy wins Round 1.

Round 2: Billy attempts to change his own diaper. This time he actually needed a new one. After big stinky diaper change it's back to bed.

Billy wins Round 2

Round 3: Billy starts screaming that there's a problem. The problem is that he wants the ipod to play Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys and can't figure out how to open it. He got to the internet- he just couldn't find YouTube. *Fear* No music. I take the stereo out of his room and put him back into bed.

Billy wins Round 3

Round 4: Billy is in the kitchen looking for a lost toy. Starts screaming when he can't find it. Find toy. Put him back to bed.

Billy wins Round 4

Round 5: Billy starts screaming. He wants to sleep with his big boy underwear. 3 pairs. I can only find 2 (the others are in the wash). Insists I put on one pair and then cuddles with the other.

Billy wins Round 5

Round 6: Billy tosses toys and clothes over the gate in an attempt to get me to come to his room. Starts screaming. I gather toys and clothes and put them in another room out of sight, then close the door to his room. Don't put him back to bed, just close the door.

Billy wins Round 6

Round 7: Billy screams for me because he's bored. I ignore him. He is NOT in bed. Daddy calls. I explain the situation. And idea occurs to me.

Billy wins Round 7

Round 8: Billy starts pulling books from his shelf. I go up to investigate loud thunks. I tell Billy that Daddy is VERY disappointed in him for not being a good boy and going to bed. Put him in bed. 20 minutes, Billy is sound asleep without any more fuss.

The match is over. Mommy wins!

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 15, 2012 ~ Free Range Toddler: Day 5

I knew things were going too easy.

Straight to bed without any issues? What a dream child. My dream child! Minus that first nap on the first day, he's been doing swimmingly with the toddler bed.

Enter Thursday.

When he got home from school he was extra grumpy. I mean, intolerable to be around grumpy. We all have those days. I think I'm going to start calling it 'toddler pms'.

And he was miserable. Cried over everything. Tantrums over everything. Even goldfish made him cry. Poor goldfish, all they ever did was be yummy. But sometimes being that yummy makes Billy sad.

Well, after struggling through dinner I decided he needed sleep. He was fed and still grumpy. Leading to the other main source of toddler bad moods- exhaustion.

I read him some stories to calm him down and then tucked him into bed, about 45 minutes earlier than his usual bedtime, but only 15 minutes earlier than his "I'm tired" bedtime.

Maybe I should have waited. Here's how my night went:


8:01 Doorbell rings with salesman. Wakes Billy up. Put him back to bed.

8:15 Loud bang. Investigate and find Billy dragging out the yoga mat in the dark. Put him back in bed.

8:32 Loud bang. Investigate and find Billy attempting to change his own diaper by getting into the unopened boxes of diapers and wipes in the closet. Change his poopy diaper and put him back to bed.

8:42 Loud bang. Investigate and find he has gotten books out to read in the dark. Put them away and put him back to bed.

9:00 All is quiet so I start a movie

9:24 Loud bang. Go to investigate. He has attempted to put on big boy underwear and has tossed his blankets and animals from the bed. Insists that I give him a toy from the high shelf. Settles and goes back to bed.

9:45 "Mommy!" Run upstairs. He has turned on the radio to the top hits station and is having a dance party in his room. Wants to know where the iPod is so that he can listen to classical music instead. (omg, really?) Hook up the iPod and get the music going. Put him back in bed.

9:52 "Mommy, planets missing!" He has futzed with his nightlight and now the planets aren't on. Fix the nightlight and put him back to bed.

9:57 He decides to start mowing.

10:04 He wants a drink of water.

10:12 He misses me.

10:16 He wants to know where Daddy is.

10:24 He can't find his binky. I bribe him with the promise of chocolate in the morning.

10:45 He wants another drink of water. And chocolate.

10:46 I give up!

10:47 I bring him downstairs to watch the movie with me.

Luckily I had chosen the most recent new release on Netflix, which happened to be only PG and a fantasy, so a little too old for him but not by much. He watches the movie with me, with the understanding that he can either sit on the sofa quietly and watch the movie or he can go back to bed.

11:32 The movie ends and it's now MY bedtime.

I have no illusions on how this is going to go. He's awake, he wants to play. I go about my bedtime routine, turn out the lights, and tuck him into bed with me. He tries to play in bed, but I refuse, even when he pokes me in the eye (lil bugger).

11:49 He finally falls asleep.

3:36 Get woken up by being kicked in the belly by a snoring Billy. Contemplate moving him to his bed...nope. Too tired.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 13, 2012 ~ It's Murky Up There!

Out there in the sky there is a planet. I have no idea which one. I guess I should hop on the interwebs and look it up. But, when we were getting out of the car and Billy saw it in the sky, I decided it would be Jupiter. It's probably not. But, well, I wanted to sound confident. So, today it's Jupiter.

Billy has a picture of the planets projected on his ceiling. Sometimes at night we name them:

"Mercury, Venus, Earth- that's where we live!, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto- shh! Don't tell him he's not a planet."

We point to the planets as we name each one. He loves pointing to the planets. He'll ask me to play the planet naming game, "Mommy, more Mars?" Well, that's what he means when he asks that.

Today, though, he decided to actually 'name' the planets for the first time. (aka say out loud).

"Murky, Venus, Err, Mars, Jupter!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12, 2012 ~ Free Range Toddler: Day 2

What's that jingling sound I hear? are Santa's elves early?

Nope.

Those would be the tinkling of little bells attached to some toys in Billy's room. Huh. It's WAY past bedtime. Why are the toys moving around of their own accord?

Maybe because a sneaky little toddler brought a bunch of toys into bed with him and was up late playing with them. Yep, that's probably why.

At least bedtime hasn't been an issue like naptime. *Fear*

This morning? He forgot he was in a big boy bed and cried and cried for me to come and get him. Daddy fetched him, since I'm all sickly and stuff (thank you daycare plague- yet again).

So far, not too bad. But what will today bring???

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 11, 21012 ~ Free Range Toddler: Day 1

It's official. Billy is sleeping in a toddler bed now. And that means... free range toddler.

Saturday night was our first trial. He was up late and went down without any issue. Actually, let's look at some photos from Saturday...





We were all over at Grandma's cutting down a tree. Billy was bored. So I broke out the My Little Ponies. Yes, mine from when I was a girl. There is a limited supply of toys at Grandma's. And when Billy is bored he tries to play with anything dangerous within a twenty mile radius, like razors and lighters and prescription medications.

Well, the pony set I found was a dress-up kit with a pony. He was THRILLED. And then he wanted to put on his own hat and his own earrings, just like the pony. Lucky for Billy, Grandma had a box of costume jewelry floating around. He insisted on putting the earrings on. Only the fish would do. He wore this for over an hour.

So, he ate dinner and went straight to bed and slept like a baby in his big boy bed. In the morning he waited (and cried) for me to come get him. Okay, this whole free range thing is going to work out!

Wrong!

Bring on nap time. Or rather, I-refuse-to-nap-time.

First, I found him in the dark with a feather duster, dusting his room. He thought I couldn't hear him. Next, he was playing with the door, again thinking I couldn't hear him. And then there was the falling out of the rocking chair and crying for Mommy incident. Let's not forget the part where I came in and found all of his diapers on the floor. He wanted to change his own diaper. So, He made a pillow pile under the dresser so he could get to the drawer with the diapers to get them all out. He got out the wipes too. He got everything onto the floor. Then, he got out all of his big boy underwear and tried to put them over the diaper first. When I found him he had both legs in one leg hole of the underwear. To be fair, he did have a stinky diaper.

Eventually, I gave up.

He joined me for watching some stellar Ravens football. Here he is enjoying a snack during the game:




That little box of fries is worth the price of admission. Daddy bought him a happy meal for lunch. These are the fries. Think about how small Billy is. The fry box may look proportional in the photo, but he is only 2.

Okay, so what's going to happen at bedtime?




He got into his toddler bed with no trouble and went straight to sleep. He did get up- I found evidence in his room, but it must have been brief and he went right back to bed.

This morning, however...

I found him hiding in his closet trying to dress himself. He still had on his jammies, but had put on a pair of shorts- on his arms, and a onesie- also on his arms. I think he was hoping to get dressed before I saw him, but he was hopelessly stuck.

What will Day 2 bring?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Sunday Post ~ Toddler Rail Review

First, what the hell is a toddler rail?

It's an accessory to the crib. You remove the front panel of the crib and replace it with the toddler rail. It's similar to the front panel, only shorter and has a section of bars cut away so that the toddler can climb in and out on their own. They also make toddler rails for adult sized beds. The idea being that they can get in and out on their own, but the rail part of it helps keep them from falling out of bed at night.

I don't know about you, but I grew up without one and turned out just fine. (Minus a few ticks and the fact that I'm nuts... juuuuuuuuuuuust kidding!).

But there we were in the expensive baby store (no, actually, it was not Babys'R'Us) looking around at all of the beautiful baby furniture. Daddy and I had differing opinions on cribs. He wanted a black sleigh bed crib. I wanted a white anything-but-a-sleigh-bed crib. We compromised and bought a white sleigh bed crib.

Once the crib was picked out then there were the options of matching furniture. We passed on that, opting to look for other pieces elsewhere. The nice thing about white furniture is that it matches other white furniture. So, you don't have to buy the set. That worked out because we found some awesome other pieces later.

Back to the crib. Then we had to decide if we wanted the toddler rail and the bed converter kit (converts the crib into a double bed). What to do?

And there I was, bulbous, glowing like the shine on new baby toys, needing to pee, sit down, eat something and pee again. And trying to decide what's best for baby on the way. There we were paying lots of money for a beautiful crib, and the idea of getting to keep the little bundle of joy in it longer seemed like such a wonderful notion. How could be not? And, we're being safe and neurotic parents by having the rail to prevent falls, right?

(By the way, we did not buy the converter kit. Daddy said no son of his would sleep in a white bed. I was thinking more along the lines of preparing for baby number 2- and no, Sheila, I'm not pregnant. I figured by the time Billy was ready for a bigger bed, we'd need the crib for number 2.)

Well, we just installed the toddler rail on the crib. It was easy to install, at least on our model of crib. I'm not a fan of how it looks. They cheaped out on making it (the manufacturer) and the rail does not go to the top of the sides or all the way to the floor. So, it looks like it's just jammed on the front. But Billy likes it so far. He slept like a baby in his new "big boy" bed.

Is this better than a toddler bed? Probably about the same. Better than a twin mattress on the floor? Maybe a little nicer looking. I think it just depends on your taste. At least, he's comfortable with sleeping in it, since it's still his old crib, just converted to a bed now. And since we don't have baby on the way, we need some place to store the crib. Storing only the front panel is much easier than the whole thing. So, there's that.

Now, without the stars of pregnancy in my eyes, I'm not entirely sold on the toddler rail, except that we already bought it so we'll use it. More than anything, I'm not so sure about this free-range toddler concept. Billy on the loose? I'm going to have to sleep with one eye open!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 9, 2012 ~ A Sh*tty Day and That's Okay!

Yes, it's been quite a sh*tty day. And that's okay. You know what? It's more than okay. It's good. It's great. It's awesome!

Call it whatever you will. Sh*t. Crap. POOP. We've got it.

It just all depends on where you've got it. When the sh*t hits the fan, well... you know. But when the sh*t hits the toilet... that's a whole other story.

And that's where we've got it. Yep. It's official. There's poop in the potty. POOP!

Leave it to me to write a whole story about the stinky stuff, but here goes:

It was bedtime. As part of the bedtime routine, Billy has to use the potty. We've been successful so far. When I ask him to go, that is. We're not so successful with him knowing when he needs to go. So, off to the potty.

We achieved the standard pee. I told me he was going for poop this time. There's a promised chocolate cookie if he can make poop in the potty. So far, no success. He scrunched up his face in the "poop face" and made his best poop grunt.

Sad face. "No poop, Mommy."

But then he stood up. And... voile! POOP!

He was so excited that he did a little poop dance. He got to flush it away with more cheers. (Flushing is his favorite part).

"More poop, Mommy!" So he sat back down and popped out another. This required more flushing. We repeated the process so that in the matter of 10 minutes the toilet had been flushed 8 times. Well, the price of success.

We did have a little accident on the floor in all the excitement, but can you blame him? There were high fives and chocolate rocks and chocolate cookies all around. All because of poop.

He announced to me that, "Mommy, now Billy big boy. I poop potty." It's all about the poop.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 8, 2012 ~ First Trip to the Dentist

Okay, so actually he went to the dentist on Wednesday, but that's the Drawn In post, so here's the story from the dentist...

We picked a dentist just for kids. I wasn't sure about this. I go to a dentist in an old house with living room furniture from some grandmother's house in the waiting room. It's typical to hear the sounds of drills wafting into the waiting room from the back. No screaming. Just drills. And it's eerily quiet.Too quiet. Helps get that blood pressure up to be just an extra bit nervous about having all of your teeth ripped from your head. You know, the typical trip to the dentist.

So we walk in and they have a two story castle built into the waiting room, with activity tables, books, monitors with Nintendo games, and TVs mounted up onto the walls playing Stuart Little. Awe. Some. Is Billy impressed? YES.

Then we go into another play room for the initial consult. Here's where the hygienist asks me questions about his dental health. And he gets to watch more of Stuart Little (playing simul-cast throughout the multiple rooms of the office) and play with toys.

Next, it's sticker time!

Wait...what? Where are the sounds of drills and the smell of anesthesia? Stickers? Too friendly. Elmo stickers? Ooh, breaking out the big guns.

Then it's time for the actual examination.

Billy gets to sit in my lap on a chair and lay back so his head is in the hygienist's lap. First she shows off her extra special "tissue" that goes over her face because she's "sneezy". Then she shows him her pink gloves that reek of strawberries. Apparently, they are flavored too. I'm too chicken to lick them to find out.

Billy's not fooled. He knows gloves and he knows masks. These people are silly. They've been playing in the costume bin. (Yep. We've got one of those at home).

Still, no sounds of drills. This is getting out of hand.

Then she brushes his teeth, singing. He's nervous there in my lap and holds onto my hands. But he doesn't cry, doesn't make a sound, and sits perfectly still.

He's rewarded for his effort with five more stickers. Okay. Where's the fear? The high blood pressure? I think we've walked into the wrong office. Clearly, this is not a dentist's office.

Now it's time for the dentist to come over. She too has been digging in the costume bin, but she has come up with purple gloves that smell and taste like grapes. Let's not forget that mask.

She sings the special dentist song while poking at his teeth with the dental pick- you know that standard instrument of torture. No pain here. No screams of horror. Just a gentle check of his teeth. Billy sits calmly while she goes over his mouth, checks him out, and then polishes up those pearly whites.

As a reward the dentist gives him a giant sticker and two dinosaurs- that he got to pick out himself from the bucket 'o' toys. He also got his little bag to take home with a toothbrush and flossing sticks.

He liked the stickers and the dinosaurs (who wouldn't?) but the sparkly green toothbrush put it over the top. That's his favorite thing from the dentist.

Whoa! What... Was this visit- dare I say it- pleasant? How is that possible?

There has to be a catch somewhere. Yep. Here it comes. The dentist slaps a giant "super mom" sticker on me. Apparently, I did a good job getting Billy comfortable and interested in dental hygiene. Normally (according to the dentist) the first visit involves tears, tantrums, and ear-splitting screams. Not Billy.

Nope. His was a pleasant visit. This might be a first ever in the history of dentistry. Could be. Just saying. (My how dentistry has changed.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012 ~ Everyone's Doing It...Voting!

Everyone's doing it...voting!

And Billy voted too. Well, he helped Mommy. We went up to our local polling place with Daddy first thing this morning and stood in line for our opportunity to participate in democracy.

I tried to explain to Billy about how we're going to pick between two men to be our next leader. Then Daddy told him we were picking between Elmo and Mickey Mouse. Which did he prefer? Billy chose to remain silent on that question. It's a tough choice, and neither one is wrong, it's just a matter of preference.

He was very patient waiting. It was a big day- a big opportunity. And there were lions. Roar! Yep. The lobby of the polling place was decorated with lions. That helped with the boredom.

It's never too early to take an interest in politics. In fact, this isn't Billy's first time voting. He voted two years ago. I have proof:

(Billy, voting, at 4 weeks old)

And here's the proof from today:



And now it's like Christmas Eve, waiting to find out what we'll unwrap tomorrow. Billy won't care, but at least he gets participation points!

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 ~ Why I bought an iphone

First, I've gotten a lot of comments about yesterday's post and about pulling Billy from daycare. We absolutely love our daycare, except for this one class. Keeping in mind that he will likely be bumped in 4 months, we're going to first go to the director about this, before moving to another school.

The iphone- it's not for me. Nope. I hardly use it, except to play sudoku (bit of a numbers junkie over here). Nope. Not me. "Is Billy's phone!" he tells me.

"Mommy, Gandpa tv?" That would be him asking for me to face time with Grandpop. Which I get asked- a lot.

"Mommy, picture Billy?" That would be him asking me to take pictures of him. He's a ham, what can I say?

"Mommy, Lolli? Ba Ba?"

Ah, yes. The newest obsession.

I made the mistake of introducing Billy to youtube. First, there was the video if the Chordettes singing Lollipop. That's the Lolli song. Then we moved on to the Beach Boys and Barbara Ann. That would be Ba Ba. And today, having listened to Lollipop for the 1,397,574,392,999 time this week (and counting) I introduced him to the Byrds.

We were playing with his musical instruments and I picked up the tambourine. This, of course, called for me singing (loudly and off-key) "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, lala lala I forget the words, la la la la...!" Wait, there's a jingle-jangle in there somewhere, right? Let's ask youtube!

So, I pulled up a video (black and white of course) of the Byrds singing Tambourine Man. As Grandma pointed out, all of these black and white videos of bands performing famous songs are probably from the Ed Sullivan Show. Sure, Grandma... little before my time. But I'll run with it.

Now Billy loves the Tambourine Man and banged along with the Byrds on his little tambourine. "More, tamba Mommy!" He wanted the video to show more of the guy playing the tambourine.

But inevitably, he grew bored of that song and asked for, "Lolli, Mommy?"

Not again!

November 4, 2012 ~ Daycare Tribulations

Friday morning I took Billy into daycare and the teacher says to me. "You know, your son has a real problem with hitting people in the face."

I know this. He was in time out in the parking lot for that very reason. It's his favorite way of letting me he's unhappy about not getting his way. I don't like it. He goes in time out.

Then she says (and I quote), "None of the other children in my class have EVER seen that. He's clearly learning it at home."

Wait. What? Did she just accuse me of violence at home. Is she accusing me of hitting my child? And she just dropped this bomb in front of ALL 12 kids sitting around the table eating breakfast, including my own? And they were all quiet, so they all heard it. And you're going to tell me that no child in your class has ever, EVER smacked another in the face. Really?

If there hadn't been a captive audience of children I might have had some choice words. But I said (which is the truth) we don't hit at home and I don't know where he learned it.

What I do know is it started about a week after he started in her class. And that before they moved him up to this room he loved school. But now it's a fight to go to school. He kicks and screams and begs me not to take him. They moved him up too early and he's the youngest kid in the room. He's not ready to be in there, but always getting in trouble for things like not listening and not sitting still. I have LOVED all of the other teachers at this school. They are awesome. I don't like this one though. She sends home snarky notes every week to me and finds ways to criticize Billy to me in front of him every week as well. It's downright mean.

And yes, I'll be addressing this issue with the director.