Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Christmas Surprise!

This year, without any kind of planning, The Hubs and I wound up giving our parents exactly what they wanted.

A New Baby!!
Of course, I had some cute, elaborate way to tell them we were pregnant. I wrapped the sonogram in a picture frame and wrote on it, "The Newest Baby: Coming August 2011".

To which The Hubs' and my parents both said "Oh, that's nice. An old sonogram picture of Bjorn. Cute."

Me: "Noooooo. That's not Bjorn."

Them: "Then who is it?" Pause. Face changes. "Ooooooooooooooh."

Me: "That's right. Bjorn is going to be a big brother!"

My mom: "Omigosh, it's a boy?!"

Gotta love surprises. They throw everyone off a little bit!!

So far, we've named this kidlet 'Peanut'. Which then makes me want to change all the names in the blog to ones like Lucy, Linus and Snoopy. And it makes me a little hungry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keeping up with the Jones. . . whoever they are

We all know how much I hate Heidi of the What to Expect When Everything You Do Could Hurt Your Unborn Child books, but when my little boy hit the stage of Terror that is an Almost Two, I ran crying "Help me! Help me!" all the way to the bookstore.

Well, actually, to my computer. Because it turns out that my health care plan provides me with free copies of What To Expect when Expecting, the First Year and the Toddler Years. Our health care tax dollars at work. (And how can I get my soon-to-be-written book sent out free with a health care plan? What an advertising ploy that would be!!)

So I ordered those dang books and spent many a night skimming questions like "I think my son is ADHD and my wife thinks he is just a normal toddler. Who is right?" (Seriously - this was in there!!!) Followed by ten pages of how to tell if your child could have ADHD.

Although most of the information seems useless to me ("I thought toddlers were supposed to be active, but mine just sits and plays. Is something wrong with him?" No, lady, you just have a quiet kid. Take advantage of it and TAKE A NAP!), I still skim to make sure I'm covering all the bases in discipline and sleeping and healthy eating habits. By far the most interesting tidbit so far is this:

At Nineteen Months your child will probably be able to use 6 words.
At Twenty Months your child may possibly be able to use 50+ words.

Wow. That's a BIIIIIIG difference in wordage. From 6 to 50 words in ONE MONTH.

Still not sure that my almost 19 month old kid is the over-achiever his grandparents and parents think he is, I put the kid on the spot, and while he understands alot more words, these are the words he can actually use (in the proper context), whether in toddler speak or adult speak.

Aga (Hansa)
Fooball (Football)
Nani (blanket)
Nana (banana)
Ide (outside)
Vroom Vroom (car)
Cuk (He clicks his mouth together. It means Snack)
Wee Wee (TV)
Nigh Nigh (Night Night)
Papee (Pasta)
Ish (Fish)
Bop (Hop)
Bee (Bird)
Bie (Bite)
No-nose (nose)

So that's 32 words he says and about twenty dozen more he understands. He follows directions very well - throwing away trash, getting a diaper, climbing into his car seat. I guess he is the Super Genius we all think he is!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I never thought it would happen, but my kid has turned into a Blanket Kid.

Or, as he calls them, a "Nani" Kid.

He has to have his Nani's with him everywhere. In the car. On the couch. While he's eating.

We have set limits - no blankets brought into daycare, no blankets in restaurants.

And I won't let him drag the blanket around in public either. Not because I'm afraid of germs. Pssshaw. The kid eats dirt. I don't worry much about germs. No, I won't let him because I know he has the attention span of an 18 month old and, as much as he loves that blanket, he's going to see a bird or a dog or a baby and drop it like it's hot. And then we're in real trouble if I can't find it.

I found that out the hard way tonight.

See, his two favorite blankets were D-I-R-T-Y. Oh, horribly dirty. So I did what any normal person would do and threw the blankets in the washer.

An hour before bedtime. 

And I know those are his favorite blankets, but, I mean, c'mon, the kid has like 50 blankets, he can just use another two for bedtime tonight, right?!

Wrong. Oops.

At 7:15, he started searching the house for his Nani's. Even showing him the stack of thirty other blankets in the living room, and the drawer of a million and a half in his room didn't deter him. He searched everywhere (his room, our room, under the couch) for those two special blankets.

He tried to go to bed once, but when we got to the doorway of his room, he started sobbing "Nani nani nani nani" and wouldn't take any other blankets and didn't want to go into his crib.

It was the world's longest wash cycle. But finally it was done, I threw these two blankets into the dryer and five minutes later they were dry.

I handed them to the kid, he hugged them, smiled and walked right into his room, up to his crib and said "Nigh nigh." 

The kid knows what he wants. And what he wants are those blankets. Guess I've learned my lesson.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Arizona Christmas

As you may have noticed, I am not in the Christmas spirit lately. But I'm trying, so I hauled out the decor and waded through the millions of old cards. (Seriously, who needs to save those things?! Toss 'em!!)

But amidst the madness, I came across the Christmas card The Hubs and I sent in 2007, our first year in Arizona. I had composed my own Christmas poem - a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, AZ style. enjoy!

An Arizona Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and the weather's just great.
It still hasn't dropped below sixty-eight.
The stockings were hung on the cactus with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas knows we moved there.
We lounge in our swimsuits, just to keep cool
And lay outside to sun at the pool.

When just out front there arose such a howl
I jumped from my lawn chair to see what was afoul
Pushed up the window and turned off the fan
(For I try not to waste AC when I can).

I put on sunglasses and what did I see?
But a miniature sleigh pulled by eight coyote.
With a little old driver, so tan and so fit
I knew in a moment, it must be St. Nick!

As eager as horses, his coyotes pawed
The ground at their feet, as St. nick then called,
"To Tombstone, to Tempe, and to the Grand Canyon.
To Sedona, To Crown King and then up to Payson.
To the top of South Mountain, all the way to Prescott.
It's hot, but we're going and we just won't stop!"

With a tornado of dust and a slight flash of sun
The coyotes leapt to have them some fun.
For then, in an instant, I heard in the pool
The sound of eight coyotes there keeping cool.

I looked over my shades to see it and laugh
When St Nick too jumped in with one great big splash!
He was dressed in large swim trunks, Hawaiian they looked.
So tan was he that he seemed almost cooked.
His eyes - how they twinkled, his dimples - how merry!
His skin was like leather, his sunburn red cherry.

I smiled when I saw him, for he had found the right place
To put some of that color back into his face.
Then with a belly flop off of the side
He must have decided that it was now time.
And he smiled so sweetly and climbed out still dripping
To drink some Corona that I had been sipping.

He filled up our stockings, he finished our beer
And said that he had to "Git on out of here".
He still had some gifts for some good girls and boys
A few water guns and a slide as some toys.

So the coyotes they shook water from their backs
And climbed back in front of the sleigh with some packs
Of toys and good tidings and fun little things
That throughout this season they always would bring.

The sun was quite blinding, so I couldn't see
Just how they flew with those eight coyote.
But I heard him exclaim as he left with some kicks
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all of Phoenix!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Poop-y Day

My day started out with a Terror of an Almost Two.

He didn't want to be held. Didn't want to walk on his own. Didn't want to play or sleep or sit. He wasn't hungry. Or thirsty.

He just wanted to whine and throw temper tantrums.

The kind where he throws himself on the floor and when I try to pick him up, he goes completely limp. And we all know it's impossible to pick up wet spaghetti.

When I finally do get him up, he goes from limp to stiff as a board, straightening out, arched back, pointed feet and all, to make it impossible for me to hold him close and contain him.

When this happens in our house, fine. I try to ignore temper tantrums. Not so easy to ignore when this happens as we are walking through a parking lot and I need to get him out of the street because there is a car waiting to park and Bjorn has collapsed on the ground, screaming and limp limbed.

Oh what a fun day.

After a desperate text to my fellow Terror of an Almost Two Mom (OMG this kid is driving me bonkers) I took a 10 minute breather. I kept an eye on Bjorn, to watch for safety and health hazards he could create, but I made myself deaf and immune to whining and prodding. 

After my much needed Mommy break it was now 4:30 and while we usually don't eat until 6:30 or later, I needed a break this evening too, so if we ate now. . . . well, I could probably convince Bjorn about 7 that it was bed time. Conniving Mommy, yes. Smart Mommy desperately in need of some quiet, very.

I made his favorite dinner. Spaghetti, meatballs, carrots, peas and lots and lots of sauce. Usually I scrimp on the sauce because I don't like the humongous mess to clean up. Today, that mess would lead to a nice, long, warm bath. All part of the plan, my pretty.

Dinner was as expected. Mess, messy and messier. Then bath time, where I sat on the toilet, flipping through an old Life & Style while Bjorn splashed and blew bubbles.

I heard the bubbles and looked over to see him pushing. Yeah, those bubbles I heard were coming from his butt.

Well, I thought, at least it's just farts and he didn't poop in the water.

Or so I thought.

That ain't no Baby Ruth in the water, people.
You might think after my day with The Terror (the baby formerly known as Bjorn) I would have been frustrated and annoyed at having to pick up a huge piece of poop from the tub (how the hell do I get this our of the tub?), drain the water, clean all his bath toys (including his toothbrush, yech) and start the whole bath thing all over again.

But this big ol' piece of poop made my day. I have never laughed so hard in my entire laugh and as I write this I keep breaking down in giggles. I'm like a seven year old boy telling poop jokes.

See, this bath time poop reminded me that while he may whine and throw tantrums and be genuinely a Terror, he is only a baby. A baby who poops the worlds biggest poop in his bath tub and just laughs and continues splashing. It is my job to teach him how to handle situations in life and I have decided that from hereafter, we handle situations with humor and laughter.

Lesson of the day, Dear Bjorn. When life hands you poop, turn it into a blog post for friends. (Or spaceship fuel. Whatever works for you.)

Hi. My Name is Scrooge and I am Christmased out. Already.

Oh, friends, I am Bah-Humbugging big time.

I can't figure out why. This year the weather in Phoenix has actually reached almost-record lows, hovering in the 20's and 30's overnight, so I should be feeling more Christmas-y than last year's no-need-for-a-coat December.

But I'm not.

I don't want to take Bjorn to sit on Santa's lap. Why wait in a three hour line so I can get a $20 picture of my kid screaming as he sits on some fat guy's lap when he doesn't even know who Santa is yet? I'll have plenty of years ahead where I smile patiently and wait so he can desperately ask Santa for his red rider BB gun, but for now, I opt out of the whole deal.

I pushed and prodded and cajoled until I got the Hubs to take a Christmas card picture even though we decided not to take pictures this year, but I got free cards from Shutterfly so we have to because it's free. . . . . and then decided that the picture was not the right picture and we have to do it all over again. But I haven't told him yet. Not looking forward to that, either.

I blame retailers for selling Christmas ornaments before Halloween, completely skipping a whole fun month of food, festivity and holidays.

Could I be Christmased out before the season even begins?

Yesterday I grudgingly began holiday decorating. Every other item I took from our 7 boxes of decorations made me cringe. Did I really think that puffy paint personalized stockings would stand the test of time? And sparkles? Wow. I immediately started a box to donate.

And today? I'm going to brave the stores with a kid who has just gotten over being sick since Sunday. A kid who wants to run and play after sleeping and whining away the last four days. But I need something (red and purple ornaments, fruitcake, the dreaded tinsel, anything) to make it begin to look alot like Christmas.

Maybe Santa can bring me some Christmas spirit this year. Otherwise, thy name is Scrooge.