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Friday, May 31, 2013

Grocery shopping

Henry was my little helper yesterday when we went grocery shopping. And by "helper," I mean he constantly fought with me about pushing the cart because "Grammy let him do it." I'm sure Grammy didn't let him careen around the store like it was bumper cars. Always an adventure.
So after we had our little power struggle in which Henry learned (again) that I mean what I say and I want him to be safe, we had an uneventful trip to the checkout lane where he put up a token protest because I wouldn't buy the ginormous water gun. When we were done and on our way out, he asked if he could push the cart. There was no one between us and the door and I figured he could manage a few feet without wreaking havoc and destruction.
Henry's face lit up and he got behind the cart, stretching a bit to reach the handle. Then he hunkered down, bracing his feet in an oddly familiar pose before he took off. He didn't make it very far.

Mama: Stop! What are you doing, Henry???
Henry: I'm like HARRY POTTER pushing his cart at the train station!

Glad he didn't run into a wall trying to get on Platform 9 3/4.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wake-Up Call

This morning I awoke to Kat babbling away. Then I heard "Uh oh!"

Translation: Kat has stripped off her pajamas and diaper, left a HUGE #2 on her white blanket and did some sort of happy dance in it, judging by her feces-smeared feet.

Ugh, straight into the bath and then to shake out the blanket into the potty which gave me flashbacks to when Henry was in cloth diapers. Glad I wasn't rushing off to work.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Thinking about foods I craved with Henry and Kat and how my eating habits differed with each pregnancy. I took a Bradley method class with Henry and was intensely aware of anything I ate or drank down to counting the grams of protein and religiously taking my vanilla-flavored prenatal vitamins.
With Kat, I was much more lenient, maybe because I seemed to have a lot more going on with wrangling Henry, working and starting grad school. EXHAUSTED doesn't even begin to cover it and I didn't quite cut out all caffeine. One cup a day didn't seem like nearly enough, but it was something. I'm lucky I remembered my vitamins let alone counting protein grams.

Baby Henry was all about corn dogs with mustard and relish. Kat was cheese omelets with maple syrup and Arby's Beef n' Cheedars until the heartburn just about ate through my esophagus.

What did YOU crave?


Henry was helping me with the laundry this afternoon when he spotted a spider madly scrambling up into the rafters and he panicked.

Henry: Ahhh!! A SPIDER!
Mama: It's all right, Henry. It won't hurt you.
Henry: It's not gonna BITE me???
Mama: No, it's a Daddy Longlegs.
Henry: Only the MAMA Longlegs bite???
Mama: No. There's only Daddy Longlegs.
Henry: What about the BABY Longlegs? Do they bite?

OK, you got me there. Never thought about gender discrimination in naming spiders.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Potty Training the Princess

Explicit discussion of potty-training. Consider yourself warned.

I'm thinking it's time to start actively potty-training our little Princess Pumpkin Pants. She'll be 2 next month and it's starting to sink in that she's not a "baby" anymore.

She's already gone #1 and #2 once which is encouraging. She knows what the potty is for, just have to work on getting there on time.

I've been trying to remember how we trained Henry. He was just over 2 when we started and I have to give credit here to his daycare teacher. She was absolutely incredible and I cannot praise her enough. We had no clue what we were doing and there seems to be a thousand methods to teach your toddler to pee in a pot.

Should we let him run around half naked at home with a potty close by? No, it was January. Not the best time to be bare-bottomed and after peeing on the floor (and Dada's chair) a couple of times, it got old.

Should we keep the Pull-ups and watch him intently for signs of imminent excretion and hope we make it to the potty in time? Yeah, I was realistic and admitted I would not focus on his expressions and body language THAT closely. I was pregnant, working full-time and going to grad school.

We ended up having him wear underwear and gave rewards of "pee-pee" candy and lots of verbal praise. We bought a Thomas the Tank Engine See & Say as his prize for going #2.
We also did a bit of periodic sitting on the potty at first, regardless of whether he had to go, which ended up being a battle of wills. Then it was M&Ms when he told us he had to go, then only when he actually made it to the potty. By the time Kat was born, he only used Pull-ups at night and stopped soon after. He stills dramatically drops whatever he's doing and runs full-steam into the bathroom yelling, "I GOTTA GO POOPIE!" Our poor neighbors.

We're lucky now in that Kat worships Henry and wants to do whatever he's doing so it only took Henry peeing in the potty sitting down for her to grasp what it was for. She actually went after that and flooded the bathroom floor because she wasn't QUITE on there, but still....I'll take it. Then we had to remind Henry that he goes in the grown-up potty after I caught him using the potty chair.

A couple weeks ago Kat was in the tub and I recognized that sudden, inwardly tense facial expression. QUICK! Scoop her out and set her down on the potty. Made it just in time and she looked extraordinarily pleased with herself. She even happily clapped when she was done.

So I think she's ready. She surprises me with her awareness. This morning she needed a post-breakfast bath and after she was undressed, she picked up her clothes and padded out to the hamper to toss them in. By herself.

Wonder what it will be like to live in a diaper-free home?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Witch Hazel's Healthy Snacks

We were all sitting down to snacktime and having Nutella for the first time. Henry was a bit skeptical that Mama was encouraging him to dunk little crackers in chocolate for his "healthy" snack.

Henry: Mama, what IS this? Chocolate????
Mama: Nutella. It has hazelnuts in it too.
Henry: HAZEL? Like WITCH HAZEL?? Did she MAKE this???

(Great, now I'll NEVER get him to try this since he thinks it's a witch's brew).

Mama: No, it was made in Germany. People read about you in Germany on Mama's blog, Henry.
Henry: Oh, OK. (tries a TINY bite): This is GOOD!

He ends up LICKING the snack container clean.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Julia Child's chest

Henry has discovered "The French Chef" cooking show. He calls it "Bon Appetit."
We were watching the first episode (in black-and-white) where Julia Child makes French beef stew with red wine. He was intently watching the chopping and sautéing, taking it all in.

Henry: Mama, what are those? Olives?
Mama: No, those are onions.
(Abrupt subject change, or so I thought)
Henry: Mama, do girls have hair on their chests?
Mama: No.
Henry: Is Julia Child a girl?
Mama: Yes.
Henry: Well, if she eats those onions, she WILL get hair on her chest!

We will never know.


Henry was eating breakfast while I was sitting on the living room floor as Kat happily meows and tangles a brush in my hair. No idea what game we're playing but she seems content. Henry, however, has noticed not all eyes are on him.

Henry: MAMA! How come you're in there wit' Kaffryn an' you're not giving me GOOD ATTENTION? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Mama: I'm RIGHT here, Henry! You have my attention too.

Henry: Yeah, but it's not A LOT!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Whole Flock of Birds

Henry left for school trying to stuff a blue wooden block into his fleece pocket.

Henry: Help Mama! I have to take my Baby Bluebird with me an' he's too FAT to fit in my pocket! He has to stay with his MAMA!

Then on the way out the door, I heard him discussing Baby Bluebird's family in detail with Dada. Apparently he has a sister, Baby Redbird and there are 4 sisters, 5 brothers and 6 Mamas.
That's a lot of birds.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Henry's BORED stream of consciousness

Since the kiddies and I have been together a lot lately (I lost my job recently during a mass layoff), I've had lots more material to write about, but subsequently less time to actually write.
Henry just lost interest in his latest activity and charged over to me while I was posting. He's taken an interest in my blog since he's discovered it's largely dedicated to him and loves to hear the stories.
Reminds me a bit of Peter Pan listening to Wendy's stories.

Henry: Mama! Whatcha doing? Writing about me? I HATE posts-es. Let's play a fun game on the computer together! How about you get me a cold and yummy treat because I'm a FRIDGERATOR!

Well, duty calls.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monsters under the Bed

Ever since Henry watched that episode of "Berenstain Bears" about jealousy and the Green-Eyed Monster, he's been TERRIFIED to go into another room by himself. Tonight was especially trying and I remembered some parenting tip about helping kids deal with irrational fears by handing them a baseball bat and telling them to aim for the family jewels.

I did not have a baseball bat but we do have a kid-sized rolling pin. Tucked Henry into bed tonight with the rolling pin and repeated the old "there's nothing to be afraid of" line and that he could sleep with this if it made him feel better. A few minutes later I heard "CRASH!" and ran into Henry's room to find him standing in his doorway, rolling pin in hand.

Henry: I heard something an' it scared me so I hit the floor wit' THIS!

Green-eyed monster beware

I'll Cry if I want to

We took the kids on a little adventure after church and we pushed it a bit with Kat's naptime.

 It was actually Henry that started the chaos on the way home when we turned instead of going up a hill, which was apparently where he wanted to go, regardless of the fact that it was NOT the way home.

Henry starts that dramatic tearless cry when Kathryn shows her support for Big Brother by joining in too.

Henry (crying abruptly stops): KAFFRYN! You're NOT sad! You want sad? I'll GIVE you sad!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why Bother Blogging

Feeling a bit discouraged with blogging.

I love to write about parenthood and the wonderfully spontaneous ways of my children but sometimes I feel like, "Why should I bother? Why not just jot these moments down in a personal journal and not post them for the entire world to see?"

When I first started this, I wanted a creative outlet which quickly centered on the role which largely defines me nowadays- parenthood. I didn't really want to join online forums to discuss hot topics like cloth diapers and breastfeeding because frequent bouts of sleep deprivation has taught me to reserve my patience and diplomacy for other times, like the perfectly timed meltdown in public (the kids, not me)......or for Facebook drama.
Anything remotely related to parenting also seems to be controversial in some way to someone and someone always ends up being offended. Luckily, I have not encountered offended persons firsthand with my blog venture but who knows. Maybe somewhere out there in Russia or Germany, someone was extremely revolted by my detailed descriptions of Baby Kat's blowout diaper and immediately resolved to never read another post. Oh well. Parenting is messy and frustrating to the breaking point. But it's also heartbreakingly precious and sometimes you just have to laugh.

So I sought advice from my friends and fellow-parents and saved my writing-time for those moments when I wanted to record some crazy-random conversation or a moment of frustration where nothing seems to be working out.

Does anyone actually READ this?

Tough Day

Henry had a rough day today- lots of temper tantrums complete with cranky, crocodile tears. During our night-night kiss/hug/cuddle, we talked a bit about it.

Mama: Henry, Mama will love you forever. You know that. You had a pretty tough day today. Lots of not listening and talking back. You all right?

Henry: Yeah, my allergies showed me how to do that and so I did so they didn't make me sleepy.

Well, I wasn't prepared for that response.