Friday, February 28, 2014

Right is right. Or is it left?

We were at a craft fair a while ago and saw a Left Handers Mug.

Isn't that just a mug where you turn the handle the other direction?  Yes, normally. But this was a mug made to curve your hand in, providing almost a glove type handle to keep your hands warm around your drink. So the creator had crafted two types - a leftie and rightie. (Nothing for those who like to keep both hands wrapped and warm, though.)

A nice little gift specifically for a left-handed person in a world that is definitely not.

Take something simple, for instance. A water fountain. Where is the handle or button to turn on the water? The right side. Imagine for a minute, right handers, if the push button was on the left side? Would we have the dexterity and strength in our left hands to hold that button down the same as we do on the right? I think this is why some water fountains now have a push bar in the front, too. (That, and so we can push it with our bellies when we are pregnant. Am I right, ladies?!)

We all know about left-handed scissors. If you were that right handed kid who accidentally got the left handed scissors in school, your hands became foreign objects and you had no idea what this contraption was and how to use it. Imagine left handers before those scissors came around. They had to learn how to do everything backward, flipped around, upside down.

Driving a stick shift? Use your right hand to change gears. Opening a door? Doorknobs are always on the right, closest to your right hand.

I know, I know - most lefties probably don't use their left hands to open doors anyways, so is that really a leftie or rightie thing?

Well.... is the reason they use their right hand to open the door because they were forced to, as no doors have knobs on the left, or because they truly are more comfortable opening with their right hands? Would it feel more comfortable to lefties to open a door with a knob on the left?

The old debate - nature vs. nurture.

Today, during craft time, my boy was coloring buttons on his snowman, and I noticed that he first drew a circle, starting at the bottom and circling around clockwise, and then he colored in the buttons. He did it three more times (one more button, and two eyes) the same way. Something about it struck me as different, so I tried it.

Without thinking, I draw my circles counter-clockwise. It takes effort to draw them clockwise, and the moment I stopped concentrating on the direction, I went back to my natural counter clockwise.

This isn't the only instance I have noticed the differences in his writing. Little "a"s start at the bottom right, curve around and up, then down when draws the line on the right. The number "7" starts at the bottom and then goes up and to the left. In fact, almost every letter and number - although they look exactly like what they are supposed to look like - are drawn differently that I make them. I have noticed it before and just thought - maybe this is toddler thing?

A few years ago, when Bjorn first picked up utensils and crayons and anything else he could put in his mouth, he used his left hand just as much as his right. The Hubs and I started thinking he might be left-handed, which is not surprising, considering that his Grandma and Uncle J are both lefties.

When he began throwing a baseball and playing hockey, he played on both sides, eventually switching to almost exclusive rightie. Except he still bats left. I can't wait until he starts baseball next month to see if he continues as batting left, or if he also starts to throw left again as well.

I wanted to do some research on writing left and right and the differences, and I wondered - could that "0" directionality be a left handed thing? So I did what any amateur psychologist in this social age would do, and I asked Facebook. (Not Facebook itself, because I'm pretty sure FB doesn't have hands, but just a whole bunch of wires and spy cameras and maybe a few rolls of duct tape, what I mean is I asked all of my Facebook friends.)

"Do you draw your "o"s clockwise or counterclockwise? Are you right or left handed?"

Out of 16 responses, not a single right handed person drew their "o"s clockwise. The lefties were split, with two writing CCW and two writing clockwise.

Are those two lefty's who wrote counter clockwise ones who had adjusted better to this right-dominant world? Not a single right hander (in my admittedly small research group) drew clockwise, but the lefties were split. Had they been forced to write and cut and sew and cook with their right hands and somehow that had created the difference? Or is it really all just a coincidence?

And all this came about because my son wanted to make a snowman.

Amazing sometimes what an afternoon can bring.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catchup

So I don't know what I have been doing the month of February, because I most definitely haven't been working or writing. Maybe I've been enjoying life? Playing with my kids? Going to the park?

Maybe. But I really don't remember doing more than the usual of that, either.

But I have some catch up to do on this blog.... or, as I call it, the kiddo's keepsake diary.

In January we signed Bjorn up for Kid First Hockey, a FREE (did you hear that?! FREE!) four week program for kids 4-12 to try out hockey. Bjorn was issued elbow pads and shoulder pads and shin pads and a helmet and jersey and this kid was in heaven. His very own (super over-sized) hockey gear.

His game face


Isn't he just the cutest?!


Never have I seen him so motivated. For the entire 4 week course, all we had to do to get him to finish his dinner is to tell him that Shane Doan eats his entire dinner before he plays hockey.

He even carries his own gear...which is twice the size of him


Hockey is over now, and we start baseball in two weeks. We probably would have continued with hockey, but the only day its offered in February and March is Wednesdays at 5 pm. Who can do that?! The Hubs doesn't often get to leave work until after 5:30 and I fly most Wednesdays. So, hockey will just have to wait until practice is on Saturday mornings....or at least until 6 pm weekdays.

His biggest fan.


Peanut has been Bjorn's biggest fan during hockey, but she seemed to have very little interest in trying it herself. Which worked out well, as she was content to watch him and cheer him on. I DID win a $50 gift card to a local gymnastics studio, and am figuring out which class to start her in. Gymnastics? Dance? Cheer? She is very interested in all three of those, and I've also recently started to teach her yoga. She's a
natural.

Remember this? Planking at 6 months old

Most babies sit, she planks.

Still planking at 7 months old. Wish I had a pic of her doing this now - she still does it!

A few weeks ago, we threw a "Potty Party" for Peanut, complete with the musical potty song, pin the toilet paper on the potty and the TP toss around the living room. It was a blast to have some of Peanut and Bjorn's friends over for a day all about potty-ing.

Musical Potties

TP toss was their favorite

In case you're wondering, I threw the party because I was picked as a host from House Party.com and Pull-ups. But after perusing Pinterest and Google for party ideas, it is apparently a REAL thing that crazy people do even when someone hasn't given them coupons and free pull-ups. Some creative foodie genius even came up with a mini toilet snack: a mini white doughnut, topped with a marshmallow on back to create the toilet tank. I thought about making those and putting two brown m&ms in the middle of the doughnut.

If nothing else, the potty part was an excuse for a playdate on a Saturday morning. And an even better excuse to finally teach my son how to "roll" a tree in the front yard. He is now ready for junior high pranks. And my decorations for the Potty Party were the easiest ones ever. Did you know a 6 pack of one ply toilet paper is only a $1?!

Getting these kids to smile at a camera is like asking a crocodile to sing opera.

I'm sure there is much more to hear about soon. What's going on in your neck of town?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

She is Fierce

About a year and a half ago, Peanut became very opinionated.

Although it might have been there from the moment she was born, but we just missed it. Maybe she didn't really have acid reflux, she was just voicing her aversions to everything we were doing? I have the feeling this part of her, her temperament, was not created in nurture, but given to her through nature.**

She refused to sit in her high chair, but ate dinner in a chair like the rest of us. Not in a booster. In a big person chair at the big person table. She didn't so much throw a fit as...... told us what she wanted. Pick your battles, right?! Since sitting in a real chair let us get the big, clunky chair out of our small kitchen, it was a win-win.

She also decided she didn't like any clothes that didn't have kitties, Disney or Nick Jr characters and candy (polka dots) on it. All those cute clothes I bought in preparation for a cute, fun, little girl were bought in waste. I am pretty sure that the entire last year she rotated through the same four shirts.

Some will say - well, just make her do it. MAKE her. Some also don't have children and should keep their mouths shut.

Just sayin'.

When she doesn't want something, she lets you know. Sometimes it is with a simple refusal that, if you push the issue, becomes a pleading, horribly sad "No. no nonono  no  no no n o no n o" and it's so heartbreaking you have to forget that you wanted her to take off her rainboots because its 120 degrees outside, and just wrap her in a hug. Sometimes - like that one time I tried to force her into a Christmas dress that *GASP* didn't have a picture of Sofia the First on it - she becomes the Tasmanian Devil. 26 lbs and 30th percentile of ferociousness and kicking legs and scratching nails and judo.

But I never really know with this girl. She is one to keep me guessing.

She now refuses to sit anywhere BUT in her booster chair. It was brought out from the garage when a friend was over with her 9 month old and we needed a place for him to eat. Now, Peanut sits there for meals, or uses that seat to feed her little baby dolls.



She also has become the girliest of girlie girls. When I said that I wasted cute clothes on her last year, I mean the camo and pink pants that she wouldn't wear, the casual tank tops that went unworn. Now she wants to wear nothing but princess dresses, and pink pink pink pink.



Have I mentioned that I hate pink?

Ok, well.... not hate the color, exactly. But I hate that all girls stuff has to be pink. Before Peanut was even born - before we knew we were having a girl - I was dead set against anything being pink. We painted the nursery blue. I bought green curtains. PINK was a four letter word.

Pink is now my world.

She asked to get ice cream tonight saying, "I going to have pink ice cream with pink sprinkles. Mmmm mmm." That's my girl, all right. Pink sprinkles. Her favorite color, she told me last week, is "princess".

Now she shuns all character shirts for dresses she can twirl in, shirts with ruffles and stripes and flowers. She wants "two ponies" (pigtails) with bows....every bow she owns. She wears them all at once.

She is a stubborn, obstinate little girl and I love every bit of it.

Well, mostly. I wish I could figure out how to get her to do what I want her to do, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. Yelling doesn't work. Nor does explaining or describing. Bribery doesn't work either.

All I know is, it is going to be one heck of a ride of a life with her beside me. The quotes I bought for her wall totally sum it up.




Be fierce, my little one. You've got some mountains to move.

** In fact, I am reading "The temperament God gave your spouse" and have found a version for kids. I plan to check it out soon.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Progress

A few weeks ago, I posted my 101 in 1001 list. At first (and I mean in the first few days!), I was gung-ho about crossing stuff off my list, but as it usually goes with any kind of resolution or to-do, the days went by and I became lazier and lazier.

Still, I was able to cross a few things off my enourmous, long, how-am-I-ever-going-to-do-this list.

#26. Run a 5k.

I ran (yes RAN the entire thing!) The Color Run in Tempe with my BF and a few other friends. It was an early morning wake up (YAWN!) to drive halfway across town, but totally worth it. My BF flew in from CO to run the Color Run in support of her hubby's new charity, SPARElife.

I kind of forgot to train for the 5k. Either that, or it was just too dang early to wake up every day to run, but I still did alright. It would have been a lot easier if I had ran more than three times that month, but whatever - I did it. In 40, actually. Not a time I am proud of, except.....I strangely am. Fast or slow, I finished and that in itself is enough. And I had such a good time that I have already signed up for two more 5ks and am contemplating a 10K and 1/2 marathon (my #25.)

#50. Updo my guest bathroom.


Before. Well, after the non-framed mirror was taken down...But Before.

After. HUGE improvement, IMO.
After two months of no mirror and fixtures waiting patiently on the floor to be hung, the bathroom is now "updone". Builder grade mirror is gone, fresh texture and paint is up on baseboards and walls. New caulk is around tub sink. The old fixtures are gone. On the new ones are new towels and a shower curtain perfect for a kids bathroom. The mirror was purchased yesterday, on a fabulous deal and I love it. It's perfect.

# 73. Declutter my junk email.

I don't know when it happened, but sometime over the last five years, I began accumulating emails like they were candy.

When I check my email in the morning, I would have 400+ junk emails. EVERY DAY. I don't have a job that requires people to send me email, so there is NO reason I should be receiving this amount.

Not to mention, I read a budgeting book recently that gave another good reason to unsubscribe to emails. The more "Fantastic deal!" and "You have to buy this NOW" emails you get, the more likely you are to spend your money on unnecessary splurge items. If I really need or want an item, I can research the best deal on it myself, instead of buying it just because a spam email told me I should.

I spent two hours (TWO HOURS!) this morning unsubscribing. I hope that takes care of it, but I have the feeling this is a long process. Something tells me these emails are going to be a little more persistent than just accepting the "opt out".

#85. Submit articles to 10 magazines.

This isn't done, but I submitted article #1 and #2 to a magazine this week. I'll let you know if they are ever printed. It's a good start, at least!

The more you write, the more you grow.


3 1/4 out of 101. If I continue on this pace, there is a good chance I might actually finish most of my list. 3 a month, 12 months a year at just under 3 years, comes to.....well, I wasn't a math major, but it comes pretty close.

Here's looking at you, October 2, 2016!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The moments like this

Conversation during yesterday's naptime (which actually consisted of me trying to nap, Bjorn and Peanut rolling around on my bed, playing games on their tablet, wrestling and generally NOT napping).

Bjorn and Peanut are lying next to each other, Peanut playing puzzles on the tablet.

"I love you, Bjorn." (Not Ya-ya, her baby nickname for him. She says his real name now.)
"I love you too, Peanut."
"Bjorn, you are my favorite boy in the wold. The whole wold."
"And you're my favorite girl in the whole big wide world, Peanut."

A few moments of silence.

"I love you, Bjorn. You're the bestest boy EV-AH!"
"I love you too, Peanut. You're my bestest girl in the whole world. Can I play the tablet now?"

"NO!" shouts Peanut.

Moment of silence.

"I love you, Bjorn."
He sighs. "I KNOW! I love you too, Peanut. Now can I play?"

Another few beats of silence.

"Yes, your turn, Bjorn. You're the bestest brotha evah."

She hands the tablet to him.

The joys of parenting are moments like this. It really does make up for all 6 hours of fighting before that.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

101 in 1001

It is cool now to not make New Years Resolutions. To throw the towel in the face of life, smarting off that you don't 'need a January 1st to start your resolutions' and 'I make resolutions all year long'.

I do it. I've done it every year.

And then nothing gets done.

Because without a timeline, without a deadline, I turn into a Master Procrastinator. Top notch putter-offer. Best of the best at doing nothing and dragging that nothing out a looooooong time.

So I stole an idea from a friend this year.

101 in 1001.

101 things in 1001 days. A deadline that is easy to follow - a little less than 3 years. I can do anything in three years. Hell, in the last three years I've had a kid and STILL been able to continue raising the first one. Three years ago, I did not know how I was going to do it,  and while it isn't easy, I have done it. If I can raise two kids, I can do anything!

I started writing my 101 in 1001 a while ago, but it's not as easy as I thought. The first twenty or so were, but after that,  it started to become a To Do list. Fold laundry, pay bills, get oil change. Of course, this was a much more interesting To Do list, but a To Do list all the same.

Then I realized that of course it felt like a To Do list. It IS. It IS a To Do list -  for the next three years. A huge, gigantic Honey Do List for myself. Sort of like a Bucket List (because, really, isn't a bucket list just a To Do list before you go?!) except I don't plan on going anywhere in the next three years. I plan on doing what my fellow 101-er did and, in 1001 days, I plan on making another one of these lists. I foresee a lot of seeing and doing and living in the next 1001 days and I am looking forward to it greatly.

Want to join me? Post your 101 in 1001 below or email it to me. Let's keep ourselves on deadline!
(Note: a few of these I did borrow from my friend.....101 things to come up with was hard! And her ideas were so  good!)

101 in 1001
By: Me

1. Take my kids to the roller rink
2. Read the Bible
3. Go on a marriage encounter weekend/seminar with The Hubs
4. Take an overnight NON-KID vacation with The Hubs
5. Go to a mystery dinner theatre
6. Visit Canada
7. Visit Mexico
8. Write novel
9. Send novel off for publication
10. Eat beignets in New Orleans
11. Camp in Yosemite
12. Go to Pikes Market in Seattle
13. Visit The Hubs' grandparents on the East Coast
14. Go to an NBA game
15. Plant a vegetable garden
16. Actually remember to reap the veggies from vegetable garden
17. Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens
18. Go skiing in Colorado
19. Take a vacation with The L's (The Hubs' best friend)
20. Visit KM and her kids in Texas
21. Go to a TTU Football Game
22. Pray the rosary every day for 30 days
23. Blog three days a week for a month
24. Write 500 words a day, 5 days a week for a month
25. Run a half marathon
26. Run a 5k
27. Run a survivor or mud run
28. Play on an adult softball team
29. Reread five classics from junior high/high school
30. Take a community college/online course
31. Color my hair red
32. Donate using the tax credit to AZ schools
33. Organize pictures into albums
34. Finish Peanut's baby album
35. Finish Bjorn's baby album (yikes!)
36. Print off and bind blog pages for posterity
37. Print pictures from last two years (again, yikes!)
38. Donate $10 for every item on the list not done
39. Make 12 blessings bags and pass them out to the homeless
40. Have one non-technology day a week, for four
41. Go horseback riding
42. Make wills
43. Pay for the car behind me at the drive-thru
44. Learn how to shoot a gun
45. Learn how to drive a motorcycle
46. Run 3 days a week for a month (ugh)
47. Sell/donate any clothes (besides wedding dress!) not worn in five years
48. Mail 5 friends hand-written letters JUST BECAUSE
49. Reconnect with 3 friends I've lost touch with but haven't forgotten
50. Updo my guest bathroom
51. Updo my laundry room
52. Quit biting my nails
52. Do 100 ab exercises and 50 pushups/arm exercises 5 days a week for a month.
53. Make my bed every day for a month.
54. Learn to play piano.
55. Reteach myself ASL, enough to be able to converse with a deaf person.
56. No spending for two weeks. NONE.
57. Take my kids to White Sands in New Mexico.
58. Visit Graceland.
59. Visit Dollyworld.
60. Double my savings account.
61. Go paragliding.
62. Go ziplining.
63. See a (off) Broadway musical
64. Visit the New York Christmas tree in Times Square
65. Go to a Smithsonian Museum
66. Go to an actual auction house for an auction
67. 10 year vow renewal/anniversary trip
68. Hike the Grand Canyon again
69. Get glasses with the proper prescription
70. Add pieces to my wedding china
71. Visit Sweet Salvage in Phoenix
72. Visit the last two spring training facilities where I haven't seen games (Scottsdale Stadium and Salt River Fields)
73. Unclutter my junk email
74. Do the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
75. Buy stock
76. Buy myself a nice pair of earrings
77.  Tip 100%
78. Cook dinner at home for two weeks
79. Take my girl for her first pedicure
80. Donate blood
81. Watch ten movies where I read the book first
82. Fly in a helicopter
83. Go sledding
84. Organize photos on my computer
85. Submit articles to 10 magazines
86. The love dare
87. Karaoke
88. Have a game night
89. Learn how to grill
90. Hike camelback mountain
91. Go on a family bike ride
92. Golf the full 18 holes with The Hubs
93. Learn to crochet
94. Meet someone at the airport with a sign and maybe a song
95. Visit a hot springs
96. Take surfing lessons
97. Try paddle boarding
98. Take a self defense class
99. Send/deliver 5 surprise packages
100. Gamble on a riverboat
101. Call 5 companies to thank them for good service


I can't wait to start on my list!!! Who's with me? Let's do this together.  Share your list with me and let's make our dreams happen together! !

Diary of a Big Girl Bed

Tonight, for no reason other than that we could, we turned Peanut's crib into a toddler bed.

She hasn't started climbing out. She sleeps super late (we sometimes have to wake her to get Bjorn to preschool by 9:30!) and still takes 2+ hour naps a day. She loves her bed.

So why now?

She started wearing Pull-Ups yesterday, and she pooped in the potty twice this week. If she keeps this up, we might have her housebroken by Super Bowl! But when she is in her crib, she can't get out to go potty, and sometimes it does take us a few minutes to get to her. This way she can leave her room if she needs to potty.

We had some pretty disastrous times with Bjorn. It started out bad and continued worse and worse.  I'll be honest - he still is a pretty horrible sleeper. It has nothing to do with his bed; it's just the way he is. And always has been. It's utterly exhausting, but that's Bjorn for you!

We were prepared for the same for Peanut.

We played a little bit in her bed today, but she really showed very little interest in it. Bjorn brought her some pillows for her new bed - since he has 30 and she has none. She loved the attention, lying her head down on the pillows and pretending to sleep. That lasted for about three minutes until she was all, "Oh, I have this new bed. That's nice, now let's go play in my princess castle!"

We even gave her a new Princess Belle dress because she is SUCH a big girl and she deserves a BIG GIRL dress and a BIG GIRL bed and because we have been waiting for an excuse to give her the dress.... and she loved the dress. So much so that she wouldn't stay still to take a picture. She still could care less about the bed.

Twirly girl

Tonight is Take One in the Big Girl Bed.

So far, so good.

She walked to bed, no fighting (as usual). Rocked for 5 minutes or so. When I asked her if she wanted to go to bed, she said "Yes" (as usual). She lay down, said good night and closed her eyes. I walked out, closing the door behind me.

My independent girl. She can handle this.

Easy peasy.