Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Sunday Post ~ Carter's Safari Friends Reclining High Chair

Buy it here

If you read my blog then you'll probably see this chair in half of the photos I post here. It's that integral in our lives.

We originally bought it to match a dining room set we intended to purchase. Of course, we don't own it and the chair doesn't match our current set. But it still looks great and is more dressed up than the plastic high chairs. Here's what we love about it and what we don't:

We love the 2 tray design. Honestly, when I'm really lazy and the top piece isn't clean, it's awesome to have the secondary tray underneath. And I run the top piece through the dishwasher every time I run that machine. So, that function is great. However, a lot of chairs have this feature- not all, but a lot.

We love how heavy and sturdy it is. Now, for some that might not be a plus. But we almost never move the chair, except to clean. And the sturdiness is a major plus with a toddler around. He can hang off of it and not tip it over. This is great because he's often trying to climb into the chair by himself.

We love the small profile. It doesn't collapse, like many of the plastic chairs, but it requires less space when set up than the standard plastic high chair. And let's face it, the high chair is always up. So, the ability to collapse it is not a function we need.

What we don't love: There's not a lot to NOT love about this chair, but there is one major design flaw. The chair pad slips down and falls out. Now, it's not an issue if you strap your child into the chair, but I don't strap him in and haven't since he could properly sit up. I should but I don't. And the straps are the only thing properly holding the pad in place. I reverse engineered the pad and now it works great. I had some bias tape (that's fabric if you don't sew) in an accent color and so I cut some strips and tied them through the velcro loops of the pad and up over the back of the chair. It works great now.

We also didn't love the the reclining feature of the chair. It never worked right for us with our son strapped into the chair and reclined. It was awkward for us and we ended up using a smaller seat until he could properly sit in his high chair.

All in all, we love this chair. It's not for everyone, but if you need a sturdy chair, this is a great one.

August 24, 2012 ~ This Is The Day That Never Ends...

...and it goes on and on my friends...

Yes. It's true. Your day probably ended some time on Friday night. It's Saturday night and my Friday goes on...

It was a brilliant plan, based on past experience and entirely fool-proof. Enter toddler.

Grandpop lives at the beach. And if you're going "downy ocean" (to the ocean) and you're from the area, then you know that summertime traffic is hell headed to the beach, and the worst part is the Bay Bridge. I know this. I'm used to it. Daddy and I used to either eat out in town and then drive down, or wait until late and eat at an Applebees half-way down and get in around midnight. I've even left town at midnight and arrived in the early a.m. just to avoid traffic. It works. Who wants to drive that late? Me.

Enter my fool-hardy  fool-proof plan. Billy sleeps in the car. Easily. I actually plan around it because if it's close to bedtime or naptime he'll pass out in the car. So, I planned for Billy to sleep in the car on the way to Grandpop's. Fool-proof. Really. We left right at bedtime.

I might have over-estimated the fool-proofness a little. Okay. A lot.

He cried for the first two hours. Yep. Cried. "I don't want it/I want it". That old argument with anything I tried to give him. Then he decided he wanted some of his toys that either were not in reach without causing a massive traffic accident or were back at home. Useless! Why didn't I bring ALL of his toys? Mommy fail.

So, in an effort to curb the crying I started to talk up all of the wonderful points about going to visit Grandpop. First, there's Grandpop. And Grandpop has flowers. Well, they're Nana's flowers, but they're at the house. And then there's  the beach and the ocean. Ooh, and puppies.

Well, the crying stopped. Bonus. But, unfortunately, Billy didn't going to sleep. I made a rookie mistake. I got him excited about going to Grandpop's and so, instead of sleeping, he was woofing and meowing in the backseat in anticipation. Damn.

So, at 11:30pm when I pulled into the driveway at Grandpop's, Billy was still awake. Well, okay. At least he got to say hello to Grandpop and meet the dogs. So, we visited to two minutes and then I whisked him off to bed. He went down no problem.

That was great because I could visit for a few minutes before heading off to bed.

Boy did that boy have me fooled. He wasn't sleeping. He was waiting for me. See, here's the problem with sleeping in the same room with him- he can bug me and he's got a captive audience.

He cried and cried.until finally I started giving him some new toys that were my old toys that live at Grandpop's. Specifically bunnies. So, I gave him the bunnies. You would think after making one rookie mistake tonight that I wouldn't repeat the same mistake. And that would be where you're mistaken.

He settled for awhile and then started crying again, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" The pitch getting higher and higher until it cracked over and over again. And so I relented and cuddled him into bed with me with all of the bunnies that he refused to put down while screeching loud enough to wake all of the real rabbits in the county.

And there we are lying in bed and he tells me he asks me to sit up and then sits up himself. I remind him we're sleeping. But he sits up and starts bouncing the bunnies up and down "hop, hop, hop!"

And I'm done.

So, I put him back in the crib and climb in the bed, pull the sheet up and close my eyes and pretend to sleep. I laid there listening him howl, pretending to be asleep and silently begging him to go to bed. It was after 2 when he settled enough that I dared to move enough to look at the clock. And much later when his breathing finally calmed and I was sure he was out.

I hate the sun. Well, not usually, but this morning I truly hated the sun. He was up at first light, stirring, hopping bunnies, and crying. I tried futilely again to move him into bed with me to get him to settle, but that hopelessly failed again and I stuck him back into his crib. He cried and cried and cried. And after he settled, it was close to 6:30 but then Grandpop popped his head in to check on us and Billy started screaming again. He didn't go back to sleep until well after seven and by then I was awake.

I think now that Saturday is almost at a close that I'm ready for my Friday to end.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 23, 2012 ~ A Booboo On Daddy's Heart

Daddy and I have differing views on this subject. He doesn't want me to tell Billy anything. But Daddy is upset and Billy doesn't know why. He's apologizing, thinking Daddy is being short because it's something he did.

So, I explained to Billy that Daddy has a booboo on his heart. Grief and loss. Those are things a toddler can't understand. But he knows what a booboo is. And he knows where his heart is. He gave Daddy a big hug to make it better.

Uncle Charles

After a long battle, may you finally find peace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Drawn In Thursdays: Things Kids Do #11

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A true story from last week...

August 11, 2012 ~ I Want It I Don't Want It

Billy has a new tantrum. I want it, I don't want it. It goes like this:

I hand him a plate of awfuls (waffles). He takes a few bites.

"Mommy, I don't want it." So I take the plate away.

"Mommy, I want it." So I bring the plate back.

Picking up in whiny-ness, "I don't want it."

And back and forth.

Works with toys too. He has it, he doesn't want it. He can't just sit it down, he has to whine and make me take it from him, only to realize he wants it back, but doesn't really want it back.

I asked around the mommy bloggers and it's official. He's tired. So, even though he barely touched his dinner (I don't want it!) I packed him off to bed early. I got no complaints for the lil guy department. But, I also told him that Puppy Dog and Toby Dog were tired and needed a nap and he had to show them how to nap. So he tucked them into his crib, each with a MeMe and then cuddled up and fell fast asleep.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 ~ Ode to Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time in a strip mall not far away, was a land full of enchantment and magic. Its impressive gate loomed by a deli and was guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. And deep within its walls the characters straight from storybooks built there homes and lived on in imagination.

Now, that land lives on only in memory. For in that strip mall the gates stand barren and empty, guarding nothing.

This place was called: the Enchanted Forest.

It's funny how the places that inspired us as kids change or disappear. Enchanted Forest was one of those places to inspire kids. Enough so, that locals of my vintage still talk about it with longing. It's too bad our kids will never get to know the joy that was Enchanted Forest (I guess we'll have to take them to Disney...) So, in honor of that memory... here's to the Enchanted Forest.

For S&A...we're not old!

August 19, 2012 ~ Flower Child in Big Boy Pants


It was chilly, but after a long nap I took Billy outside to have some italian ice. It's been awhile since he's had any and he had totally forgotten about it. Just to make things easy I called it "ice cream" (close enough!) He pronounced it "I geam".

But soon enough, the ice started to melt and was dripping everywhere. I snatched it up and whisked it away to the freezer. This prompted a head banging on the floor feet kicking screaming at the top of his lungs tantrum.

Briefly I thought, "you scream, I scream... we all scream for ice cream?" (inward chuckles in the middle of a tantrum).

Okay, this requires breaking out the big guns. How to end the screaming for ice cream tantrum? Distraction!

"Want to go look at the flowers out front?"

Who? What? Flowers? Flowers! Out front? Out front! Walk! Woohoo! (I'm pretty sure this was the thought process).

So we headed out front to check out the only flowers still doing well in my gardens thanks to those damn slugs. Yes. Damn. Slugs.

He loves the bright pink flowers out front. They were mislabeled "impatiens" so I have no idea what they are other than healthy. And he loves them. He immediately picked one. "Ear?" (asking me to put it behind his ear). Then another and another. Mommy needs flowers behind her ears too, apparently. So, we both had a flower behind each ear.

And this brings us to the point where he wanted to go to the playground. So, prettied up with our flowers, we headed over to the pirate ship to play on the slide and gang plank. (amazingly, no swings!) I'm sure we were quite the pair with our flowers.

When we got back home it was time for dinner and Billy wanted to wear some of his new clothes (tax free shopping week!). He wanted to wear his new underwear- on his head.

Excellent choice, but he ended up with it on his butt where it belongs- sans diaper. He walked around all evening after dinner with just underpants and no diaper AND... no mess! Now, he didn't use the potty, but he didn't mess either. Woohoo!