Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: From Wands to Ident Discs

Monday, March 25, 2013

You're Killing Me, Phil!

With Easter coming up I have been itching for the promise of Spring.

I have shorts, t-shirts, and my Birkenstocks waiting.  James has new outfits, and for Easter I have been told he is getting sandals with Spider-Man.

Last week's trip to DC was wonderful because I was able to enjoy the capital without having to wear a heavy jacket.

Then on Friday the weather reports changed.

Saturday we did our grocery shopping and I announced that it could snow or sleet or hail for all I cared.  We were stocked and ready to go.

Sunday at 11am it started.

It just kept snowing.  By 2pm we knew that we'd made the right move in doing our shopping on Saturday.

This morning I took this one from my office/guest room.

The groundhog lied.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sharing Leads to Learning

I love talking to my mom about the latest in James' world.

From his incessant need to turn on all the lights in a room, to having to close every drawer and door, or his latest animal noises. 

I say he has some OCD issues, my mom tells me he just has a need to be organized.

His need for organization can be a little trying, but we are working through it.

My latest favorite is that I learned about a Greek philosopher named Diogenes the other day.

Why would be discussing Greek philosophy on the phone?

Diogenes was apparently known for his stunts, and the one most talked about was his walking around with a lit lamp during the daytime and saying he was looking for an honest man.

You see, my son has discovered flashlights.  He likes to have one on, and he shines the light on the floor and walks with his eyes on that light.  It looks like he is walking in an attempt to "catch" the light.

Why do I say that?

Because when he holds the beam out a little further than the tips of his toes we noticed he would start to walk faster.  In what appeared to be an attempt to get to that beam of light before it escaped.

When I told my mom this story, and compared him to a little old caretaker, she laughed and immediately said there was a Greek philosopher that was known for walking with a lit lamp during the day.  I had no clue, and she couldn't remember the name immediately, but she found it for me later.

It would appear that our young Diogenes is in search of something.  We haven't quite figured out exactly what.

But I have to buy a large box of D batteries because if that light goes out we may all be in trouble.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Uh-Oh" Is Not a 4 Letter Word

You always here those stories.

You know the ones.

When you have a toddler in the house, and it's quiet, you should prepare for the worst.  Especially once they learn "uh-oh" and link it to something falling or spilling.

That isn't the case here.

In the continuing attempt to get James to talk more, he has developed his own way of communicating. 

There is his Jedi force pull motions that let us know he wants a drink.

He no longer throws things at us to fix them, but instead hands them to us.  That Jedi motion is still made, but the object is safely in our hands and it's obvious he needs help making it work.

There is also his way of indicating he is either done eating or needs more to eat.

We still need to work on how he shows that to us while in his high chair.  If not paying attention closely he will smack the spoon if you try to push another bite.

But if he is eating out of his bowl, either there or at his desk in the living room, he let's you know he is finished by turning the empty bowl upside down and walking away.

Don't know where that came from, but it works.

If food is still in the bowl he will walk away and just leave it behind.  Pushing him into eating more leads to him slowing pushing the bowl towards the edge, leaving you to decide whether to just take it away or let it come crashing to the ground, spilling food everywhere.

On the carpet, of course.  Cause his desk is in the living room so he has a place to sit.  So much fun.

Here is the one that makes us laugh every time.

You see, James learned "uh-oh" months ago.  It started out as something that was said when toys fell or were thrown to the ground.  Now it's become something else for him.

When James wants something he will come out to us and say "uh-oh mama" or "uh-oh papa".  That right there is the indicator to follow and see what he needs. 

If it's food, he will bring you his empty bowl if there is one around and then run to the kitchen and say his new phrase out loud.  When you walk in, he is standing and pointing at what he wants: animal crackers, drink, mini M&Ms, whatever is within view.

No bowl?  Not a problem!  He will still be wherever it is that needs you, saying "uh-oh mama/papa" and indicating his need.

Of course we were a little slow on picking this up at first.  Now that we know what he is trying to tell us, we follow and take care of things for him.  Whether it's the light in his room cause the sun is setting, or turning on a toy that he accidentally switched off, or just refilling his animal crackers.

The little man is growing too fast for my taste.  But I love that he is able to communicate, and he knows it.  There are less times when things are thrown lately.

Actually, that only happens when it's nap time and we haven't clued in on him being tired.

But that's a different post for another day.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Special Day

Being on the opposite side of the country from my family makes certain days of the year hard.

Christmas and Thanksgiving are the obvious ones.

Birthdays for all those I love are also hard.

My mother grows another year younger today.  She sacrificed a lot to raise the three of us after my dad left.  Working multiple jobs, we never went without food or a roof over our heads.  She'll say that she missed some things while my little brother was growing up, but we never felt that.

She always made time for us, took us on vacations, and there was never a time I didn't feel loved.

All my friends have called her mom or mama throughout the years, and she always welcomed them, even if she didn't necessarily like them all.  And in the end she was always right about the ones that stayed and the ones that passed through our lives.

Today, all I can think about is how much I love her, and that I hope she knows how much we all do really love her.  She's gone from a divorced woman struggling to raise 3 kids to a strong woman who can stand on her own.

Besides her 3 brats, she now has 4 grandchildren, a son-in-law, a grandson-in-law, and has been adopted by my brother's girlfriend as well.  Just look at our handsome group!

Happy birthday, Mom!  I love you and miss you and hope to talk to you soon!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Along Again, Naturally

James is allowing us to bathe him.  Alone.  In the big tub.  With no one else in it but him.

There was maybe 3 inches of water in there.  And I had to blow bubbles for 20 minutes to distract him.



He's clean! 

And there was no crying!

I love when he smells clean and fresh from the bath.  I need to set up a routine for him and specific bath days.  I know this.  And I need to get Daddy involved more as well.

In other news, I am in the market for something that will blow bubbles at the tub so he can play.  I think he will be getting that for Easter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Still Getting Organized

We are still unpacking things and slowly getting completely settled.  I've set a deadline of Easter, which happens to be the 31st of this month.

Luckily we have a storage space.

While the new place is more room, we don't have enough shelves for everything we would like to have out.  There are some sacrifices being made, and some shelving we will be putting up, but overall we are quite content.

My next project is my office/guest room.  The youngest of my twin niecese will be moving in on April 19th, so I need to clear the room of boxes, get a bed, and have it prepared before that.

Then we need to replace our couch, and finally a television and stand for our room so we can all watch our programs happily.

All these changes take place between 2-5 pm each day.

There is no unpacking while a certain toddler is awake.  He likes to "help" and what would take a few minutes turns into 20 minutes of trying to stop someone from rearranging things.

His sense of style is rather interesting.  But not what I had in mind.

Especially for my cookbooks.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Superman

I always call James by super hero names.



Iron Man.

Captain America.



So the fact that this song is the one that he loves in the car and at home is appropriate.

That it's the one song he dances to at home and in the car as well is pretty perfect.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I call this phase one. From here I am thinking more red to the tint. Next appointment is already booked for 6 weeks from today.

Any thoughts?

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Haven't Been Dressed This Early In Years

Today there are a couple of milestones for me.

My MIL and I are taking a day trip with the local rec center to Washington, DC.  It will be my first trip to our nation's capitol, so I'm excited.  The camera is loaded, so hopefully there are pics to share.

The second part of this is the major one.

Today will be the first day that James and I are apart.  Ever.

He's still sleeping.  I leave in about 20 minutes.  And depending on his day, I may not see him before bedtime.

It's interesting to be here and thinking about not spending a day with him. 

And what he will do to his daddy.

The only bright side to this is that he ate like a horse yesterday and I won't see any of those diapers.

Happy belated birthday present to me!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mutant And Proud!

Okay, not really.

But you have to admit that that is one catchy title on so many levels.

Today I turn 39.  So maybe it should have been "39 And Proud!".

I mean that is 1 less than 40.

I've never stressed about age for the most part.  During the trying to get pregnant phase it felt like there was a clock ticking.  But now it's just another year with James, so it's not as crazy as one would think.

Except for the gray hairs.  I see them and want to color my hair.  Which I think will be done as a present to me this year. 

I'm also thinking I want to be a red head for a little while.

We'll see if that happens.

This last year has been a roller coaster.  We filed bankruptcy, dealt with James' cleft palate surgery, and just recently moved to a bigger place.  The lease here is for 2 years, so there is knowing that we have stability for now.

I'm looking forward to this last year of my 30s and to see what 40 will bring.  Who knows, right?  Maybe we'll finally win the Lotto!


I can't stop thinking about the gray hairs.  Sorry.

Definitely a red head.  Not Emma Stone red, but red of some kind.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Raising A Chocoholic

Going into my pregnancy I was already diabetic and had to watch everything I ate a little more closely.

That being said, I love chocolate, and need it to survive.

Yes, I said need.

I opted for peanut M&Ms early on, and each day I had 1 serving.  Read the bag.  I actually weighed out enough of those suckers for 1 exact serving, figured out what cup we had that would hold it exactly, and every afternoon for 37 weeks I filled it and enjoyed it.

I never said I didn't have issues.

Somewhere in one of the books with old wives tales I read that eating chocolate during pregnancy resulted in an early smiler.

Well, yes, James did smile early.  And often.  And I don't think all of it was gas.

What the book didn't warn me about was that another result would be an apparent chocoholic in the household that isn't me.

I am serious when I say that if you dip anything in chocolate that my son will eat it.  Or at least use his teeth to scrape the chocolate off of it.

He did that to a mini Twix until he got a taste of the caramel and cookie.  Then he decided he could bite it.

The great grandparents keep snacks for him at their place, and decided to buy him Chocolate Lucky Charms.  Which he loved so much that we bought for us to have on hand as well.

At least until last week when he walked up to me whimpering about his hand.  And I saw the melted blue marshmallow and tufts of carpet stuck to it.

You know, carpet from the place we had JUST moved in to.


Once that box was finished we moved him to Cheerios.  The chocolate ones.

I'm hoping this bodes well for potty training in the end.  I mean, what kid wouldn't do something for a mini Milky Way or 3 Musketeers as a reward?

Am I bad mother?

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Toddler's Basic Food Groups

James is a pretty good eater.

He will generally try anything on my plate, and if he likes it he will ask for more.

He hates juice for some reason.  I love that he drinks water all day long, and the occasional glass of milk.  The milk is usually chocolate or strawberry, and once flavored he will drink an 8 ounce glass in one quick sitting.

Last month he was Patient Zero, contracting some type of stomach bug that knocked both of us, his great grandparents, 1 aunt, and now his grandfather out.  I think it's hit everyone in the family it could, so here's hoping that that is it.

As a result of this illness, James has become a little more finicky about his dining.  He was reverted back from self feeding of anything that isn't dry.  That is to say that unless it's cereal, a grilled cheese sandwich, or M&Ms the boy will not pick it up and put it in his mouth.

He also has decided that chicken is not to his liking in any form.  He will eat a beef hot dog, and if presented with almost any form of fried shredded potato he doesn't stop eating.  Well, not just shredded.  He will down an order of fries, tater tots, or hash rounds so fast it's a little scary.

We had these high hopes of raising a real foodie, and we had that for a brief period.  But now it's more about what HE wants as opposed to what we are offering.

So we are down to oatmeal in the morning (he seriously eats 2 pouches in 1 sitting), then cereal snacking until his first official snack.  For that he gets a Greek yogurt.  We figured as long as he liked yogurt that we should be finding the one with the most nutritional benefits, so Greek yogurt with fruit it is!  Thank you, Oikos!

After that, his cereal snacking continues, right up until what I guess would be considered lunch.  From lunch it's nap time, then dinner, and more snacking.

He eats all day, but only will eat the following for lunch and dinner:

Ramen Soup
Macaroni and Cheese
Beef Hot Dog
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Yeah, he has a limited appetite most days.

I've read this is a phase, that he is exerting his will and testing his boundaries.  At first we fought and there tears at feedings.

But I don't want to fight him.

So he eats what he wants.  We buy the healthiest options we can.

And when he pounds on the refrigerator door after dinner until we open, then looks around and points at his yogurts, we smile.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The One Where Bath Time May Never Be The Same

So, Day 14 in the new place was yesterday.  And I officially moved ahead with bath time.

I know, I know.  I procrastinated 2 extra days.  Life happens.

I purposely snuck in and filled the tub and threw in 3 toys while James was distracted with something in his room.  Once it was all ready, I picked him up and took him in to show him.

He stood by the tub as I removed his shirt and was about to do his pants when he bolted.

That was the first sign that this was not going to be easy.

I caught up with him in his room and managed to get his pants off, and then carried his diapered bottom back to the bathroom.  Once again, he stood near the tub as I removed that, and then began to whimper.

That was the second sign.

He began to reach for his tub toys, so I lifted him up and stood him in the water.

James has his days where he cries about nothing.  He's bumped his head and been hurt.  But neither of us have ever heard the noise he made when he stood in the tub and then reached for me and cried "mama".

Internets, I almost called it quits and declared he could wait until Summer to use the pool.


Daddy heard that noise and cry and came right into the room.  Again, we'd never heard this cry, which sounded as if we were beginning a slow torture process.  He doesn't cry when he's left with family or when we leave.  This was the sound of total abandonment and begging to please not leave him.

I was kneeling by the side of the tub as he stood in the water and clutched at me.

So Daddy did what needed to be done.

Last night, James took a bath with his Daddy.

James let me bathe him and played and laughed.  He had no issues as long as he could feel Daddy in the water next to him.

Daddy says he'll be doing this with him until we can get past this phase.

I'm going to look into foam toys to stick on the tub, or maybe water paints that he can play with, in the hopes that it will distract him into enjoying baths again.

Meantime, Daddy will be showering and bathing twice a day every 3-4 days. 

Cause that's what Daddy does for his little Stinksopotamus.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Only Hiccup

We are on day 10 of the new place and I have only one issue.

Or, I should say, James has only 1 issue.

The bath tub.

My boy is what my MIL calls a water baby.  He loves to sit in the tub with toys and play until he is resembling a prune.  We actually wait until he is gesturing to get out of the water to remove him to avoid the fight. 

I tend to bring the Kindle into the bathroom and play solitaire while he plays.  Everyone wins this way.

We've completed 1 bath since the move, and it wasn't fun.

Before anyone comments on the 1 bath: my son doesn't stink.  He doesn't play with food and get it everywhere.  He eats and plays and gets wiped down, but the bathing thing has never been a regular thing, especially in the Winter.  Come Summer that will change as he gets to go out more.  So, he had a bath the night before we left, then last Tuesday night, and then things were nutso with unpacking, so nothing since.

And that bath was more like him wading in water because he refused to sit down.

Yes, he played for 20 minutes with his toys, in the water, while standing.  The water came to mid shin, he was completely naked, and he refused to sit.

Even when I was rinsing shampoo out of his hair.

He stood there.

We've since found all his tub toys, so I'm gathering those this afternoon and trying again after he has dinner.

This keeps up, James will be taking showers instead of baths in order to save water and time.

We'll have to get him a water table for the back porch so his tub toys aren't left out.