Monday, March 30, 2009

Life Lessons

One of the many things that I love about having my mom do Michael's daycare is how hands on she is. She enjoys teaching him new things and devotes time to special projects.

Last summer, Michael got to watch as sun flower seeds sprouted and grew on my mom's balcony. It was an accidental project, the sunflowers planted themselves in the pots as a result of messy birds, but my mom seized the opportunity to use them to teach Michael about seeds, plants, and how much mommies melt when their babies bring them flowers.

This year, she decided to try another type of plant. Pumpkins! I'm very excited by this project. How cool would it be for Michael to plant some seeds in the spring and be able to follow them all the way through carving Jack o' Lanterns?

While I was talking to her this morning, my Mom and Michael had their first pumpkin lesson. I could hear Michael talking about his pumpkin in the background. Then my mom started interjecting random comments into our conversation. Things like "well, I guess I need to get the vacuum out" and "be careful with that." I knew things were going downhill quickly when I heard, "oh well, since the floor is already a mess, I might as well..." Which was followed by an explanation of what roots are. Oops! Poor pumpkin.

It sounds like Michael got a good lesson on how plants grow and Gram got a good lesson on why almost three year olds should not be allowed to handle seedlings. At this point, I am not expecting to be carving any home grown pumpkins this Halloween.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Department of Redundancy Department

I stopped at Barnes & Noble on my way home from work yesterday and purchased $50 worth of children's books for Michael. While I am an avid reader, and I do want to encourage a love of reading in Michael, this had nothing to do with that...And everything to do with my sanity.

There was a very helpful woman working in the children's section and she asked if she could help me. Normally, I'd say no. I used to manage a bookstore and one of my sections was the children's section. I know my way around pretty well. However, this time I had some very specific criteria for the books I was choosing, and I really did need a little help.

"I'm looking for some books for my son. He's almost three and he insists that I read THE SAME BOOK OVER AND OVER AGAIN before bed. I need paperback books that don't have a lot of words in them. No board books, he won't tolerate those. Paperbacks. NOT MANY WORDS. And did I say NOT MANY WORDS!"

She was very kind and instead of laughing at my Green Eggs and Ham induced hysteria, she directed me to a number of books that were perfect. She cautioned me to stay way from the Berenstein Bears and I confessed that I've already hidden one of them because it has too many words. I ended up buying every book she recommended plus a few that looked interesting to me.

When I got home, I ran up to Michael's room and removed any book with lots of words and replaced them with the new books. Diggingest Dog? Gone. Green Eggs and Ham? Gone. Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt the Patriarchal Windbag? GONE!

The real test was at bedtime. Was Michael going to notice that I've taken away his most recent stalling tactics? Was he simply going to ask me to read more than three stories to make up for the shorter books? Was I going to have to spend what feels like FIVE FREAKING HOURS READING INANE CHILDREN"S BOOKS to get him to go to bed?

Nope. It worked. I read three short books and then he let me turn out the lights. Phew. The latest stalling attempt has been thwarted and my sanity is intact...for now at least.

If only I could convince him that Diego has other episodes to watch other than the Great Baby Jaguar Rescue.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Too Dumb to Know any Better

Michael came home with cat scratches yesterday. It's not the first time, nor the second. It's not even the third time.

My mom has two cats. The first is Charlie. He is a great, big, orange Maine Coon cat. He's very sweat, very fuzzy, and afraid of everything, including his shadow. It used to bother me that he was so frightened of everything. However, now that he spends all day in the same apartment as Michael, I can see the benefits of his extreme caution. He avoids Michael by slinking around the edges of each room. As soon as Michael notices him, Charlie bolts out of the room.

Smart cat.

My mom's other cat is Morgan. Morgan is a tiny domestic shorthair. She's a, um, special kitty. She is blind and deaf on her left side, and there appears to be some slight cognitive impairment as well. For the most part, she is a very lovey cat. She loves sitting on laps and having her chin rubbed. She even stills acts very kittenish at times, which is very endearing. But, like I said, she seems to have some slight cognitive impairment.

Or, in other words, she's dumb. She doesn't like being manhandled by a rough toddler, and trust me, Michael manhandles her. But, she's too dumb to figure out that she should avoid him. I don't know how many times I've watched her walk right past him, or even come over and lay down next to him. You would think that eventually she would learn. But she doesn't.

I have a difficult time blaming her for scratching Michael. If I were a cat, and he treated me the way he treats Morgan, I'd scratch him too. And like I said, she is a special kitty. I don't think it's fair to ask more of her than she is capable.

Michael, on the other hand, should have caught on by know. My mom has been very active in trying to teach him to be nice to Mogran. She encourages good behavior, he goes on his bench for bad behavior. She has tried restricting to the living room. He won't leave the poor cat alone. The first time he got scratched, I'm sure it was a surprise. But, the second time, he should have started getting the clue. After getting his fourth scratch yesterday, I'm starting to think he's just too dumb to know better.

Between the two of them, I'm running out of ideas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three Down, One to Go

Michael started with the tummy bug on Sunday. It's not as bad as the one from this winter. He hasn't thrown up yet. Mostly, he's just been lethargic and his diapers have been grosser than normal. Andy woke up with it yesterday, and I think he's been hit harder than Michael. He's made it to work, but there was no way on earth that he was going to attempt to eat the black bean chili I had made in the crock pot yesterday. That would only be adding fuel to the fire.

My mom has this tendency to deny illness, so when we were talking about how Michael was doing yesterday, she suggested that maybe Michael was lactose intolerant. I pointed out that aside from the fact that Michael is a milk addict who has been guzzling milk since he was 12 months, he also gave it to Andy. Yes, I suppose it is possible to develop an intolerance at 3, but I doubt that lactose intolerance is contagious. She agreed with me.

If she had any doubt remaining that Michael's symptoms are due a stomach virus, it's gone this morning. When I called to check in with her this morning the first thing out of her mouth was "ugh...I've got it."

So, it looks like whatever it is, it's pretty contagious. Please excuse me while I go and disinfect myself...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There is More to the Story

The poopy diaper that gagged me the other day wasn't a normal diaper. I suspected at the time that his tummy was bothering him, but he was pretty lively on Sunday. Yesterday, not so much. When I got to my mom's I found Michael asleep on the floor. He had started on the sofa, but must have fallen off at some point. He managed to drag the blanket down with him, and was sprawled out with his legs tangled up.

I laid down on the sofa facing him and talked to him until he woke up. He finally got up, grabbed Shirt from me, and then climbed up on my back and laid down. It was very sweet. My mom reported that he had been like that all day. Poor baby.

We headed home without incident, which was a nice treat for me. He wanted me to carry him the whole way to the car, and rested his head on my shoulder. He wasn't running a fever, in fact, he was a little cool feeling. Maybe that's why he was so cuddly.

He was so pathetic when we got home. He took off his coat, walked down the hall, and then just laid down on the two steps that lead up to our living room. I came over to sit next to him, but ended up laying on the floor with him. He curled up next to me and we snuggled for about half an hour. I feel bad that he wasn't feeling well, but I loved cuddling up with him. It was worth laying on the floor for.

* * * * * * *

As far as the potty training comments. We haven't been having much luck with that. We have managed to get him to put his doll Jake on the potty, but that's it. If we even mention sitting on the potty he gets upset. We made the mistake of trying to bribe him to sit on the potty, which resulted in tears. That's not really the direction we want this to go.

So, for now we just talk about the potty, model using the potty, and put the doll on the potty. When Michael needs to do his business, he goes and hides in the basement closet. When he's done, we change his diaper. I'm hoping that with continued exposure and a little more maturity, he will start to take interest in using the potty. If not, we'll just install a potty in the basement closet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Men are Wimps about Diaper Changes

It seems to be a well established "fact" that men are wimps about diaper changes. America's funniest Home Videos often shows montages of men gagging over diaper changes. At Andy's work baby shower, he was given goggles and a face mask to be used during the dreaded diaper changes. Even Andy perpetuated the idea a few years before Michael was born. While we were discussing if we should have a child, Andy made the comment that he wasn't sure he could handle diaper changes.*

Women do not seem to have this same problem with diaper changes. We can break half way through dinner, change a poopy diaper, clean everything up, wash our hands and get back to our meal before the veggies get cold. It's just part of being a mom.

Yesterday, Michael disappeared and took care of business while Andy and I were in the middle of a conversation. He was very agreeable about letting me change his diaper, so Andy and I continued to chat as I got everything ready and took off Michael's pants. I was mid-sentence when I opened up his diaper. GACK! My gag reflex kicked in and it was all I could do to hold it together while I finished things up.

So, after almost three years, I did exactly what I've been scoffing about with all those wimpy men. I gagged over a diaper change. I have to hang my head in shame at my failure.

I still intend to scoff at wimpy men who can't change a poopy diaper. I mean, it was only one diaper out of almost 3 years worth of them. I soldiered through and never tossed my cookies. I didn't have to call my wife in to finish it up either. I still think my diaper changing credibility is still intact. Right? RIGHT?!

As for the men who do solider through them, they pretty much rock.

*To which I responded something along the lines of "If we have a baby, you damn well better change diapers" which ended the baby conversation for several years. I'm subtle like that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Difference Between Moms and Dads

We are still having problems with Michael’s napping. He clearly doesn’t need a nap everyday, but there are a good number of days when it’s clear he would benefit from one. But, he won’t do it. You can lead a child to a bed, but you can’t make him sleep.

Yesterday, my mom took him to the zoo and he ran around for several hours. She was hoping that he would fall asleep on the way back to her apartment, but he didn’t. Once they got home, she could tell he needed a nap, and she spent an hour trying to get him to sleep with no luck. When it was time to bring him home, she placed him in the car and he was out like a light.

When I went out to get him, he was zonked. I picked him up and he was limp in my arms. I spoke to my mom for about 5 minutes with my mouth right next to his ear. Nothing. I finally carried him into the living room and propped him on the sofa.

Even though this screws up bedtime, I love when he sleeps so soundly. I love listening to him breathe. He has a mild cold, so yesterday he had this sweet little snore. It’s like music to my ears. His cheeks get pink and his face relaxes and it’s like he’s a little baby all over again. Because he’s a little stuffy, he had his mouth opened slightly and I watched, captivated, while a little bubble formed between his lips and pulsed in and out with his breathing. Watching him sleep reminds me of just how tender and sweet he can be.

I decided to let him sleep for a little while. He was clearly exhausted and needed the sleep.

After dinner, I was in the kitchen cleaning things up a little (okay, I was eating a Cadbury mini egg) when Andy called in from the living room.

“Do we have any blank tapes for the video camera?”

“I don’t think so.” I said. “Why?”

“I was thinking of getting some shaving cream to put on his hand, and I wanted to catch it on tape to send into America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

And that’s the difference between mom’s and dads.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

That's You Mommy

My sister scanned some of my dad's old photos and posted them to her Facebook account. As I was looking them over, I realized that when it comes to looks, my mom's genes overruled my dad's. My sister looks just like my mom and I look just like my mom's mom.

I never met my mom's my, but I grew up being told that I look just like her. Pretty much anyone who had ever meet her would comment on how much I looked like her, except for my grandfather. I don't know why he was so opposed to the idea that I might look like his wife. Maybe it was because she was his wife and what he saw in her was so much more than just her looks. Maybe it was because I never lived up to his "ideal" notion of a respectful little granddaughter. How knows.

Well, a few weeks ago, the question was accidentally put to the test. My mom has scanned in a number of her old pictures and she has them on slide show on her screen saver. When I came to pick up Michael, this picture popped up on the screen.


It's my grandmother's graduation photo. As soon as Michael saw the picture he happily exclaimed "Mommy"! Now there is an unbiased opinion if I've ever heard one. He had no idea that it wasn't a picture of me.

I wish I had a better picture of myself to show you. There is one from my college graduation that looks almost like my grandmother's picture. However, after searching the pictures on my hard drive at work, I discovered that most of the pictures of me either show the back of my head, or my butt. Here's the best comparison I could find. Just try and picture me about 20 years younger and without bangs.

I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but Michael sure can.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Snippets of Insanity

That’s how I’m going to describe my weekend. Overall, it was a nice weekend, but things sure do get crazy fast when you have an almost three year old.

I did not have a good day at work on Friday. It happens sometimes and normally it’s not a big deal. But, I pick Michael up on Fridays. He was in a good mood when I got there. In fact, you could probably call it a playful mood. It was cute while I sat down and chatted with my mom for a few minutes, but not so cute once it was time to leave.

For a purpose driven adult, to get from my mom’s apartment to my car, one walks down a hall, rides down an elevator, and then walks a short distance to the parking lot. On Friday, Michael’s trip involved going limp and laying on the hall floor, a side trip into the trash chute room, running passed the elevator to the laundry room, missing the elevator when it arrived at our floor, having mommy pick him up and carry him screaming to the elevator, mommy fighting him into the car seat, and finally smacking mommy in the face.

He managed to push me right up to my limit. Then, he stopped. Once we got home he was cute and cuddly and sweet as can be.

Saturday morning Andy accidentally surfed past the Spanish channel while the Go Diego Dinosaur Rescue was on. We spent the next 20 minutes watching Go Diego in Spanish, and then the following 20 minutes explaining that Diego was over. We finally convinced Michael to go for a walk in the park by telling him we would go buy Diego after the park.

The park was nice, but buying Diego was not. We could have driven over to Best Buy, but in order to save time, we went to the Malmartz instead because it was closer. We will not do that again.

As we are approaching the store, a white VW came barreling through the crosswalk that several people were about to enter. I silently cursed the driver in my head like most polite people do. The big dude in the camouflage jacket, on the other hand, cleared his throat and launched a big wad of spit onto the side of the car. OH MY GOD! It was disgusting. I was appalled. That kind of thing just does not happen at Target. (I was also secretly overjoyed, that driver really did deserve that.)

The only thing worse than going to Wallyworld to buy Diego, was coming home with Diego. Why do almost three year olds need to watch the same thing over and over and over again? Is the Great Baby Jaguar Rescue so good it must be watched 5 times? I don’t get it. I also don’t understand why Diego is so freaking screechy.

After watching Diego for way too long, my eye was finally starting to twitch. Andy couldn’t take it anymore either, so we just turned the damn thing off. Michael retaliated by screaming. That did wonders for the eye twitch. I was just about to reach that point again, when Michael perked up and got cute again.

He started chasing me around the house. We do this a lot, and it’s a lot of fun. Michael was playing T Rex, and wanted to catch me and get me. Being twice as tall as he is, I do have somewhat of an advantage. I thought I was getting too far ahead of him when he yelled for me to slow down. I stopped short to give him a chance to catch me. He was closer than I thought, so instead of catching me, he ran face first into my butt. I had to hide the fact that I was laughing at him while I tried to comfort him.

The entire weekend was like this. Crazy stubborn behavior that resulted in tears and screaming one minute, and then sweet and funny behavior the next. It’s like living with a little Dr Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. I know this is “normal” behavior for a child this age, but it doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting and frustrating. Any time I feel like I can let my guard down and relax, WHAM, the loony kicks back in.

It’s a good thing that Loony is so darn cute.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

21 Questions

I've really enjoyed reading all of the 21 questions posts that people have been doing. I'm amazed at how astute children are, and also how self centered they can be. I finally decided to see what Michael would say. To get him to participate, I let him play with water in the sink while I asked him the questions.

1. What is something Mom always says to you?
Huh? What? What do you say?

2. What makes Mom happy?
Sorry makes you happy. (In other words, he just confessed to saying sorry after he hits me to make me happy. Little stinker.)

3. What makes Mom sad?

4. How does your Mom make you laugh?
Burp me

5. What was your Mom like as a child?
Stop! Then he put his hand over my mouth

6. How old is your Mom?
3 alive

7. How tall is your Mom?
I counted grandma is three feet long...

8. What is Mom's favorite thing to do?
You know your numbers and letters

9. What does your Mom do when you're not around?
You hit grandma right on the face with water

10. If your Mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

11. What is your Mom really good at?

12. What is your Mom not very good at?
You wouldn't play on the floor with dinosaurs...(this went on for several minutes. I guess he was still mad at me for not playing with puzzle pieces he had thrown on the floor the night before.)

13. What does your Mom do for her job?
Why? (He actually knows the answer to this and wouldn't give it to me.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food?)
Chicken noodle letter dinosaur

15. What makes you proud of your Mom?
No angry

16. If your Mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Mommy, your mommy

17. What do you and your Mom do together?
No. Started eating styrofoam packaging

18. How are you and your Mom the same?
Your hiding. Then he covered my face with his shirt

19. How are you and your Mom different?
Mommy, be quiet. Shirt over my face again

20. How do you know your Mom loves you?

21. Where is your Mom's favorite place to go?
He blatantly ignored me than glared at me.

I added one more question. Does mommy talk to much?


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A New Meaning Behind Wordless Wednesday

If you were to apply the adage If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all to 2.75 year olds, sometimes this is all you would hear...


Today is one of those days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hot and Spicy V8 Juice

Michael was a bit of a handful last night. He started off well when I picked him up from my mom’s, but the time dinner was over (which he refused to eat) he started slipping into contrary control freak mode. We had a nice fight about him taking of his sneakers, which resulted in me giving in and putting the stupid things back on, only to have them take them off five minutes later so he could climb on the sofa. I was ready to pull my hair out.

After the shoe incident, he decided to head into the kitchen and play in the fridge. He normally grabs a yogurt smoothie to drink, and that’s that. Last night he decided he wanted a can on my Hot and Spicy V-8 juice. I made the mistake of telling him he couldn’t have it, and the battle was on. He decided that he MUST have the V-8 juice.

I stopped and thought about it for a minute. I’d love if he would drink V-8 juice, so why not let him have it? Who knows, he might even like it. If not, can you imagine the look on his face after taking a swig of Hot and Spicy V-8 juice? Either way, it was a win/win situation for me. So I told him that he could have it and popped open the can.

Within five seconds, he managed to spill some down his shirt and onto the floor. I got a rag and cleaned it up. I made sure to keep my eye on him. I really wanted to see his face when he took a sip. He didn’t.

Next, he headed into the living room with it. He placed it on a coaster and walked away. Thinking he had lost interest, I decided to goad him on. I picked it up and took a sip. He did not like that. He walked over, took it from my hand and placed it back on the coaster. I took another sip. He took it from me and held onto it.

He spent the next 15 minutes walking around the living room with the can while I followed him with the rag. Several times I thought he was going to take a sip, but he would put the can back down. I was desperate to see his reaction to drinking the Hot and Spicy V-8, but he never did drink it. He finally gave up and took it back to the refrigerator.

I was disappointed.

So, let’s replay this from Michael’s perspective.

Hmm, I managed to drive mommy crazy with the whole sneaker thing. What should I do next? I know, the refrigerator!

“Michael, do you want some yogurt?”

Darn, that’s not the reaction I wanted. Hey, what’s this? It looks like those soda cans I’m not allowed to have.

“I don’t think you are going to like that.”

Oh, there we go, that’s the reaction I was looking for.
“Let me open that for you.”

Yeah, go ahead, you do that. Let’s see what she’ll do if I spill some. Sweet! She had to get a rag. I should twist a little to make it harder for her to clean me up.

Dude, why am I standing in the kitchen? Mommy get’s much twitchier if I go in the living room where there is carpet.

Ha, watch this. I’ll put it on the coaster and make her think I’m being good. Oh Score! She just drank some of that crap! Let’s see if I can get her to do it again. Yes!

Hmm, keeping it on the coaster isn’t making her squirm as much. I’ll pick it up and carry it around over the carpet. Yeah, there we go. Look at mommy move.

OK, she’s watching now, I’ll hold it up to my mouth and see what she does. Dude, she’s totally watching me waiting to see me drink this stuff. What a loon. Let’s try that again. Sweet, she really thinks I’m going to do it. Will it work again?

Darn, she’s starting to look a little too twitchy. Time to change tactics. I’ll put this back in the fridge and see what else I can drive her batty with.

Is it crazy to think I had just been played by my 2.75 year old?

Little Stinker.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Glorious Weekend

The first thing I noticed when I step outside on Saturday was that it was so warm I didn’t need a jacket. The second thing I noticed was that my crocuses were in bloom. After the long, cold winter we have had, I didn’t even care that it was mostly cloudy. We were free!

Saturday was the annual Boy Scout pancake breakfast. It’s a family tradition that my brother, sister and I always attend. My dad is one of the pancake chefs, and he makes sure to buy us tickets each year. (In return, we write checks to support the troop and tell them not to tell our dad. Hey, any organization that keeps my 70+ father climbing rocks and off the street is worthy in my book.)

I prepped Michael before hand with Curious George and the Pancake Breakfast so he was looking forward to it. It did not disappoint. He loved seeing Aunt Bubbles, Uncle Eric and Uncle Tom (my future brother in law). He loved watching Grand Pop make pancakes. He was so thrilled by the experience that he ate an entire pancake.

He was not excited enough to eat sausage, but that was to be expected.

In the afternoon, every parent in the neighbor decided to bring their children out to play in the warmth. Yes, there were still snow piles in places. Yes, the ground was wet and muddy. But not one of us cared. We have had enough of cabin fever so muddy shoes be damned. I have never seen a happier bunch of children in my life. They were muddy and wet, and grinning from ear to ear.

I had a particularly nice time too. I got to catch up with the other moms and hold one of the adorable little six month old babies. I had forgotten how nice it is to get laughter simply for saying “Ahdadadada”. He kept laughing and smiling and would lean forward to chew on the collar of my shirt. Could life be any better? Yep. The whole time I was doing that, Andy was in the house cleaning and one of the other dad’s was playing with Michael. Sweet!

Sunday wasn’t as nice, but it was still warm enough to get outside. Since Michael is back to not napping, I decided to take him into the park during that tedious time in the afternoon when he should be asleep. He has been such a handful recently that I was concerned about taking him to the creek to throw rocks. I expected him to run head first into the water. Instead, he sat down next to me and calmly threw rocks in the creek. Once he got bored, he picked up a stick and started digging for dinosaurs in the dirt. We sat for an hour and listen to birds and talked about dinosaurs. There were no battles over what to do, no whining about things that don’t matter, it was just the two of us enjoying each other’s company. It was a much needed reprieve from a long winter spent inside.

It’s supposed to get cold again, but this weekend reminded me that the end of winter is in sight. I’m hoping for some more glorious weekends in the months to come.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Perfect Candy

I'm not a big chocolate person, in fact I'll take caramel over chocolate any day. When I do eat chocolate, I love Lindt and Ghirardelli. "Cheap" candy like Hershey's and M&Ms have never really been my thing.

But let me just tell you, now that I'm a mom, I love M&Ms. I rarely even eat them, yet I make sure we always have some in the house. Before I go shopping each week I check on milk, toilet paper, and M&Ms because of the potential consequences of running out of any of them. They are the perfect candy.

I think the main thing that I love about them is just how powerful a bribe they are. OK, I know I shouldn't rely on bribes, but sometimes I just don't feel like battling a child with a poopy diaper. Really, what would you rather do, chase a small stinky child around with threats of time-out or offer a few small pieces of candy to buy compliance? If I'm up to it, I'll do the chase, but some days I just don't have it in me.

In addition to the bribe factor, I love the size of M&M's. Just a few M&M's can satisfy the candy desire of a small child without ruining dinner or adding lots of junk into his already questionable diet. Sometimes I can't help but pat myself on the back for successfully bribing Michael with just a few measly M&Ms. Seriously kid, you should hold out for a Hershey's Kiss or two.

And the best thing about M&Ms? The low mess factor. Granted, they aren't mess free, but anything that only looks like this after spending 20 minutes in the hot, sweaty palm of a toddler works for me.




Can you imagine what he, and my carpet, would look like if I had given him Hershey's Kisses?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dinosaur Museum

Even though I live near a city, I'm really not a city girl. I much prefer hiking in the woods to the amazing social scene in Philadelphia. However, there are some advantages to living so close to the city. One of them is that we can take spontaneous trips to the museums in the city.

Michael has been dying to visit the dinosaur museum for months. He sees the one on Curious George all the time, and thinks it's the coolest thing in the world. We have been planning to take him, but the weather has been rough this winter. Saturday turned out to be pretty nice, so we decided to give it a try. We threw on some clothes, loaded up the car, and headed off to the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Michael had a great time. He loved the dinosaurs. He also really enjoyed some of the hands on aspects of the museum as well.

Here he is digging for fossils. It was a little hard for him, but it was still fun.


Here his is playing in the sand with a little girl that he managed to charm.


I really hope it was okay for him to climb on this turtle. It was outside the kid's hands on center so I thought it was ok.


He's a huge T Rex fan, so touching one was really exciting for him.


The only thing better than touching it was actually going into the skull. We must have returned to this display 20 times while we were there. I'm pretty sure this is Michael's idea of heaven.


I couldn't let Michael have all the fun.


I will say that the experience was not exactly what I expected it to be. I was expecting Michael to stand there in awe of the massive dinosaurs. What I got was an overly enthusiastic child that ran from display to display like a maniac. The dinosaur exhibit is two stories with a staircase in the middle. We went up and down those stairs more times than I can count. Michael loved it. Me, not so much.

Here's how I spent the entire trip. Pose for a moment...


Michael would see something that interested him...


Michael would fight to get down...


Michael would get down and then he was off...with me trying to keep up.

After two hours of wrestling with him, I pretty much felt like this


All in all, it was a good trip. Andy and I were exhausted by the time we left, but it was worth it. Michael had a blast.

However, to add insult to injury, when Andy was reviewing the pictures from the trip I heard him snickering. I glanced over to see what was so amusing and he was looking at this.


I asked him what was so funny about a dinosaur skull.

He zoomed in on this...



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The milestones they don't put on lists

Andy bought me Photoshop Elements for my birthday and I've actually had some time to start playing with it in the past few days. I 've started by organizing all of the photos on my hard drive, which has resulted in me spending large amounts of time looking through the old photos going, "Aww, what a cute baby." Not very productive, but worth every minute.

It's bringing back memories of Michael reaching some of his first milestones.

His first smile

His first laugh


His first attempt at Transcendental Meditation


Oh, they were such sweet, wonderful days. But, they were also a time of worry too. I remember worrying about each milestone, hoping that Michael would reach each one on time. It seems like the first 18 months are filled with a race to reach so many important steps in deveolpment.

But, after about 18 months, you stop worrying so much. The milestones go from smiling and saying mama to "throwing overhand while standing on one leg and touching his nose with his free hand." Not so much a precious moment kind of thing.

While reading Bridget's Blog Equilibrium I was reminded of the milestone that no one talks about. The "I've figured out multiple ways to control you and plan on using eery one I can" milestone. Yeah, that's a fun one. Michael will go through tears, anger, smiles, you name it all in an attempt to get what he wants. And, much like Bridget, I've been duped by my two year old more times than I want to admit.

Tonight, we encountered another one of the unlisted milestones.

Michael decided that he didn't want to join us for dinner, so Andy and I sat down to a quiet meal together. In retrospect, I should have been concerned about just how quiet it was. I admit, sometimes I get lulled into a false sense of security simply because I want to believe there is such a thing as a quiet dinner. I know they exist somewhere, maybe tonight t just happens to be my house.

Part way through the meal I hear the TV go to static and Michael proudly announce that he put his movie on. Oh no. I switched into that pretend calm voice that parents use when we want to find out just how bad things have gotten without scaring the child into silence. "Did you? Well sweetie, why don't you show mommy what you did?"

I calmly walked into the living room to discover that while Andy and I were eating, Michael had found a dinosaur book that he had looked at once. He somehow remembered that there was a DVD attachted to the book and hunted it down. Once he found it, he opened the entertainment center, turned on the DVD player, removed the DVD that was in the tray, replaced it with the DVD from the book, and pressed play. HIs only problem was that he couldn't figure out how to switch the TV to Video. And most amazing, he did this all without making a sound.

So, I have a new milestone to check off the list. It's the "I can almost work the very expenisve media equipment without making a sound" milestone. I'm really hoping that it is quickly followed by the "I can work the expensive media equipment WITHOUT DAMAGING it" stage. Unfortunetaly, it's more likely to be followed by the "steal the remote control" stage that his daddy has mastered.