Monday, March 26, 2007

The Invisible Screen

Most of us know (or are) someone who at one point or another has walked through a screen door because they didn't realize it was closed.

I might have the only son who fell through a door because he thought the screen was there, but it wasn't.

Last night Brian and the dog went out on the deck, and Brian neglected to close the screen behind him. Ben wandered over to the doorway, and leaned forward with his hands up so he could lean on the screen and look outside. However, there was no screen, so he fell right on his cute little face through the doorway and onto the deck. Poor little man. Fortunately he only cried for a few minutes, and then was back to his normally cheerful self.

Friday, March 23, 2007


This is my first time playing SPF. For more information, you can go to Random and Odd, she's been running this for several years.

Today's theme was two, so here are my two cuties last night before bed.

Don't you just wish they made cozy footie pajamas like that for grownups? I sure do.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Welcome Spring!

Though fall is definitely my favorite season, spring certainly has its charm.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Introducing Lucky

In a temporary fit of insanity, I thought it was a good idea to look at PetFinder the other day. I found two young beagles in our area, that needed a good home, so I showed them to Brian. Long story short, Saturday we headed to PetSmart, hoping to meet two beagles. One had been adopted the night before. We came home with Lucky.

What we know about him? Not very much. He appears to be housetrained (yippee!) and between 1 and 2 years old. He is very gentle with the kids, and his favorite thing to do is sleep.

Claire is totally in love.

Ben is thrilled that there is a bowl of water on the floor of the kitchen all day every day.

Ivy's reaction is yet to be determined.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


My husband, the one who gets to leave the house for 9 hours everyday, decided that it would be a good idea to take the doorknob guard off of Claire's bedroom door so that when she wanted to she could open her door herself, and let herself out. Needless to say, she didn't nap for five consecutive days. She spent time in our bed, in our closet, in "Nonno and Nonni's bed", emptying the drawers of my desk, playing with soap and light bulbs in the linen closet, having tea parties with all of her friends in the hallway. Anything but napping.

Brian kept saying, "you just have to be consistent, and she'll learn that she has to stay in her room." But he wasn't here to go back up the stairs after five minutes, and then 3 minutes after that, and then 2 minutes after nauseum. So eventually, every day I would think to myself, "what harm can she get into? and she's not waking Ben up, so..." And then I would find her playing with light bulbs. Or crumpling photographs. Ugh.

And then this morning. At 5:30. She crawled into our bed. And wiggled. And squirmed. And talked. And wiggled some more. And then at 6:04 Ben woke up, and Claire "helped" me get him to settle back down. So I put her in her bed, and told her it was still night-time. Four minutes later she was back in our room. And shortly thereafter she was up on my side of the bed, reading books, and staring at me while I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. And there was a lot more wiggling, squirming, and talking. And at 6:22 Ben woke up again and really meant it, and by that time I knew I was not going to get anymore sleep. So our day started early. And my kids were a lot on the whiny side.

Naptime was late so they could enjoy a brief visit with Grandma. And after the fifth time putting her back in her room, I gave up. I put the doo-hickey back on the doorknob. And she cried, and wailed, and gnashed her teeth. She probably would have rent her clothes, if she knew what that meant. And within about 3 1/2 minutes she was fast asleep. Granted, she slept on the floor just in front of the door, but she slept. And oh, it was glorious.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I tell Claire all the time that she is a very smart girl. It may have gone to her head a bit. She seems to think that she is smarter than - well - everyone.

She has a little electronic game that she got as a gift. It shows a mommy animal, and asks her to push the button of the appropriate baby animal. Lately as she plays with it, I can hear her talking back to it:

game: can you help the mommy horse find her baby?
Claire presses the wrong button.
game: Can you find the colt?
Claire: Actually, it's a horse!
game: Old McDonald Had a Farm E-I-E-I-O. Great! You helped the mommy horse, find her baby colt!
Claire: Actually, it's a horse!

If only there was a font option that would adequately illustrate the completely condescending tone of her voice when she says the word "actually".

And another example, from Saturday at lunch. She had a grilled cheese that was served with a fruit salad. I gave her some canteloupe, and the following conversation ensued:

Claire: I no like watermelon.
me: This is canteloupe.
Claire: Actually, it's watermelon. (duh, Mom, don't you know anything?!?)

I can hardly wait until she's a teenager.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tips from the Toddler Trenches

So we're still working on the potty-training thing. Claire is doing great, really. Though everytime I say that aloud we have a small setback. Here is one of the most important things that I learned:

1. When you go to buy your toddler underwear, buy as many as you could possibly ever need at the same time, and make sure that they all look alike. Because if you don't? You probably won't ever be able to find the same ones again.

Let's review. I bought Claire some Dora underwear, hoping it would get her excited about the possibility of wearing "big-girl" underwear. It didn't. I bought 9 pairs, thinking that would be plenty. When she finally started wearing underwear she liked the Dora ones, so score one for mom. Then I realized that I needed to keep two extra pairs at school, and one in the diaper bag, so we needed more. I went back to Target, but lo, they did not have the same Dora underwear. They had ones with a new design. I thought, "cool, variety." Claire thought, "cool, I can make Mommy's life more difficult." And thus began the many mornings of, "not these Dora ones, want the Dora ice cream ones," and other similar comments. Joy.

And then we started having trouble with not pooping on the potty. Which meant more accidents, which meant we were going through more underwear every day. So I decided we needed another package of underwear. I went to my usual Target, and they had no Dora underwear. I momentarily contemplated buying some Curious George ones, since Claire currently loves George, but I thought better of it.

Then I made another mistake. Today Claire was at Target with me. We'd just picked out her new bathing suit (Dora). Then I decided to check this particular store for Dora underwear. And Claire saw all the variety that there was in the world of big-girl underwear. They had Dora ones, but in another even newer design. Did she want the new Dora ones? No. She wanted George. Fortunately, she'd picked up a pair of size 4T which are too big for her. So I could honestly tell her that the George ones wouldn't fit, but that we would get them when she was bigger. We did buy a package of Dora ones, which made her quite upset. The whole way to the registers she told me that she felt "bigger" now. Then in the car on the way home, she discovered she had Dora underwear. Which matched her Dora bathing suit! And her Dora shoes! And her Dora book! And her Dora placemat! "It matches!" And life was good.

For the moment.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

the will to wean?

I never thought that I would be nursing past Ben's one year birthday. With Claire it wasn't a choice that I made, she weaned herself at about 11 months. Ben didn't. We did start giving him whole milk a few weeks before his birthday, since he was nursing less, and seemed thirsty. And I don't nurse him a lot anymore - probably a maximum of twice a day, and usually only once.

But when I'm holding him, and he's sleepily holding my finger so that my palm cups his cheek, or when he stares up at me until I pay attention and look down and then he gives me a big grin, or when he reaches up and pats me on the cheek. How can I just stop and give up those moments? Or better yet, why should I stop? Sometimes whole days (or two) go by with no nursing. And then the next day it just feels right. So we are. At least for the moment, while his teething is causing him some pain, and he needs/wants the extra comfort. I'm ok with that. And when he decides to stop? I'll probably be ok with that, too. But for now? I'll enjoy the cuddles while they come.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

post nap fashion

This is how Claire emerged from her room after her "nap" yesterday. And I use the term nap very, very loosely.

Some notes. The "gloves" on her hands? Those are what most of us would call socks. She wears the overalls everyday for naps to prevent her from playing in her diaper. She obviously decided yesterday that one diaper was just not enough protection. She was quite proud of her ensemble, as you can tell from the totally fake "cheeeeeeeez" smile.

Monday, March 05, 2007

the mystery lime

After dropping Claire off at school today Ben and I headed to the grocery store. I jotted a quick list of meals in the car before we went in, and put asterisks next to what needed to be purchased. We went in and got our shopping done fairly quickly without buying too many things that weren't on the list. Headed outside and took Ben to the car, then drove to the curb to pick up the groceries. When I got home and was unloading the groceries I was startled to see a lime in one of the bags. It was loose, not in one of the plastic produce bags. And I hadn't bought any limes. At first I thought that maybe Ben grabbed one, and dropped it into the cart, but then I would have noticed it when I had to put it on the belt, right? I even checked my receipt. No lime. I have absolutely no idea where this lime came from. And I can't stop thinking about it, and trying to come up with a reasonable explanation.

Is there a citrus fairy living in our car? If so, some grapefruit would be nice!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

More Claire funnies

I don't remember if I posted last fall about Claire's use of the word "many". (And right now I'm just too lazy to look it up.) One day we were walking through a parking lot, and she spotted some gravel. So she pointed out the "Rocks. Many rocks!" I was very impressed that she knew the word many, and had used it appropriately. Until a few days later when she was counting my eyes, and told me I had, "one, two...many eyes." Still needs some work.

Last night it was the word "probably". We got into the car after dinner, and it was dark because it was 8:30. She said it was "probably bedtime". Yep. We agreed. She decided everyone in the car was tired, and we would all go to bed when we got home, "Ben go to bed. Claire go to bed. Mommy go to bed. Daddy go to bed." During the ride home she kept repeating that it was "Probably nighttime. It's probably bedtime." Then we pulled into the driveway, and into the garage. At which point she told us, "It's probably my house." Umm, I certainly hope so. Next on the list of words to teach her? Definitely.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

just a helpful tip

When you're having fun wrestling on the floor with your kids, you just might want to check to make sure there isn't a random fork hiding down there.


In other news, Claire is learning the art of watercolors, and I'm listening to her narrate to herself over at the table:
"dip dip dip"
"swirl swirl around"
"that looks better"
"brown brown brown"
"dip dip dip"
"swirl swirl"
"a little brown, I got to get a little brown, got to get a little brown"
"that looks done"
"I got to get other colors. I like breen, some breen. I like breen"