Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Mother's Curse.

Surely you've heard of the Mother's Curse...  that the mothers of crazy children curse those children, saying, "I hope you have a child just like you."

I don't remember my mother ever saying that to me.  So, it seems that I didn't get cursed with a child just like me.  A seems to be his father's child; in fact, today I asked him if he was Daddy's child or Mommy's child and his reply was that he is Daddy's child, and not BOTH of ours.  Sometimes, though, I really have no idea where parts of his personality come from.

E does not seem to have Daddy's personality.  I think he's going to be just like my father.
Of course I have no examples to support this; if this was a paper I was grading it, it would get a low grade for not supporting the thesis.  There's just something there that reminds me of my dad.

Maybe it's how much and how fast he eats....

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I struggle with, as I'm sure many families do, the idea of eating organic food versus conventional ones.  Our bank account says conventional all the way--in many cases, it's much cheaper, though I've found that if I buy 3lb bags of organic apples, it's cheaper than the loose conventional... though you then don't get to select your individual pieces.

But a quick search will show you the benefits of organic foods.  In terms of produce, you're looking at foods grown without pesticides.  In terms of eggs, the chickens are free range, given no hormones, and eat vegetarian feed.

I've also found that, in my experience, organic produce and milk tends to last longer, so you get more value for your money.

I thought I was doing a good thing by replacing chicken nuggets for A with chick'n nuggets, a meatless alternative, but studies on soy range from the bad to the awful (GM soy destroying children).

I've also read some things about the harm caused by organic foods.  This  is the most reputable and more recent source I could find, and it's not that recent at all. 

Of course there's no right answer, and every family has to decide for itself.  I do my best to buy organic food from the "Dirty Dozen," as identified by EWG, though I don't think organic bell peppers have ever been in our budget.  We tried joining an organic produce co-op, but found that we were throwing so much away because the amounts were huge and there was always something we weren't eating--it's particularly tough with those who "know what they like".  Additionally, we couldn't say, "Hey, we love bananas, could we have more?" so had to go to the store for those anyway.  A great concept, and I really loved having farm fresh produce practically delivered to my door.

All the research I've done shows that locally produced, conventionally grown stuff is even better than organic stuff from far away.  So, I plan to take lots and lots of trips to the strawberry and raspberry fields this summer, and a few trips to get apples... I wonder if we can find pears too?

Handsome devil

This kid, I tell you.  He's so full of charm.  There's also some mischief lurking in there too, though he's mostly sweet. 

Amazing how much his face has changed since the spring 2010 portraits...

Definitely not a baby anymore!


Most days, dropping A off at daycare is a breeze.  We go into the room, do hugs and kisses, maybe E will play a little while.  Then we leave, we have to stop at the window to wave goodbye (one day M didn't do this, and as soon as he got home, he got a call that A was still waiting at the window for him to wave), and he runs off to play.

Today, however, A reacted in a way that he hasn't since... gosh I can't remember.  I don't think he was walking.

I left the room and he was playing.  Drove around to the window, and he was there in absolute tears.  He was so upset, I pulled over and got out to talk to him through the window.  "I want to go hooooome," he screamed.  His teacher and I were telling him about all the fun things they're going to do today, but he was inconsolable.  I decided to go with the Band-Aid tear off and just walk away.  By this point, his teacher had picked him up, but he was practically out of her arms reaching through the window, screaming "Mommy, Mommy."

We ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things, came home and put E to his nap, and then I called.  Luckily, his teacher answered, and said he's totally fine, that he was coloring and playing, about an hour later.

I know I need to start getting my not heartbreak armor on, since I'll be getting a ton of it in September from Little Brother.  I just was totally not prepared for it from the Big One.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who knows what you'll forget

Bedtime routine around here goes like this:

When he starts getting tired/cranky (usually set off by something or another, but usually by 7pm), I take E up to bed.  I change his diaper and put on his jammies, nurse him, brush his teeth while singing a song, read him a story, and put him to bed.  The funny thing is that he will only sit still to listen to a story while we are in THAT chair.  I can read him a full length Dr. Seuss book there, but he won't even sit for a board book anywhere else. 

Now that A's bedtime is moved back to 7:30, I then come downstairs and cuddle with him or read while he watches tv (tonight we held hands doing just that; so sweet!).  At 7:30, he "jumps up to [us]," which consists of him bouncing on the couch into our arms, and if it's Daddy who's catching him, he then gets thrown into the air as close as possible to the ceiling.  We go upstairs, he uses the bathroom, brushes his teeth, picks out his clothes and gets changed.  We then read him a story, he picks a song, and then usually allows whomever didn't sing that song to pick and sing the next song.

For the longest time, he only wanted to hear "Baa Baa Black Sheep."  Except that, for whatever reason, it HAD to be "Baa Baa BLUE Sheep."  I know this was after E had been born, so it was probably last summer/fall.

His current favorite choices are:  Itsy Bitsy Spider (I think that has to do more with the tickling than the song itself), Batman, ABCs, and "Delaware," aka The Fight Song.

Friday, May 20, 2011

13 months

I now know why I stopped taking monthly pictures of A after his 1st birthday.

We tried holding him down.



He wouldn't put his tongue away.

He played peekaboo over the chair with his brother,


who encouraged him...


I really wanted a picture of the damned stickers I'd bought for him

and a smile would be nice too

He's called Wiggle Worm for a reason.

Following up on A

Yesterday, A woke with what looked like big bites across his face.  Last night, he had a 102 degree temperature in the armpit, which I think translates to 0.9 degrees lower than "actual" temperature.  We figured we'd play the wait and see game.

This morning, he had a 98.8 degree temperature, and when I asked him how he felt and if he hurt, he said yes, his head hurt, his heel hurt, and pointed to the three "bites."  So I kept him home from school and called the doctor.

At the appointment today, she first looked at his foot.  I'd seen some redness where he pointed, but nothing like what was on his face.  She said she thought she saw a splinter, took it out, and he said he was better.  (As an aside, before she took it out, she asked if it hurt here, here, here, and over here on his other foot, to which he said yes to all.  Hmpf.)

She then said that it's likely he has Fifth's Disease, aka "hand slap."  When I asked about the "bite marks,"  she said it's not likely because they're so symmetrically placed, but that she couldn't rule it out completely.  I showed her the picture I took of A yesterday morning, and she said it looked totally different than it did today.

The good news is that he doesn't seem bothered by it, other than a little bit more cranky than normal.  Kiddo's still eating like a horse, playing, and the doctor remarked that he seemed to be in good spirits.

Nonetheless, I washed every stitch of bedding on A's bed, including the mattress cover and pillow tick.  I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't the doing of a spider or some other icky buggy, but I guess the spiders have a respite from my fumigating the whole house.


E has taken to giving kisses.  They're open mouthed, Os, and they're usually given to A.  It's so cute.

Affection around here is just too much.  This morning, E was fighting on the changing table.  Then A came in, and he was all smiles.  A said, "We love each other so much!"

Too darn cute, these boys!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


A friend of mine has recently posted a few pictures of her older son sleeping, usually around 9pm.  I'm not sure how she does it, but getting sleeping pictures has been on my mind lately.  Reading the heart warming Love You Forever made me want to try even more.

E has been changing his sleep schedule up a little bit; I'm not quite sure what's going on or how to predict, so we're in a roll-with-the-punches holding pattern.  Today, I went to the gym, which got us home later than our usual daycare run time.  And we had lunch plans.  So, he went to sleep around 945 and I had to wake him around noon so we could meet our friends.  I went in and turned on his light, and was able to get some pictures of him sleeping.

Sicky Boy.

Today when A woke up, I noticed two spots on his face--one on each cheek.  I then saw he had something in/on his nostril.

He said they weren't itchy, but at first said it hurt, then said it didn't.  He wasn't scratching or even touching them.   I asked his teacher to keep an eye on them, and she said they didn't seem to be bothering him at all.

Then, after dinner, M noticed that he felt very warm, despite wearing shorts.  We took his temperature, and he was at 102.  When he went up to bed, he said his neck hurt.

No idea if they're at all related, and we'll see how things are in the morning, but now I'm sort of worried that something might be wrong.  If the spots are still there or if he still has a temp, I'll keep him home but also ease my worrying with a call to the ped...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This?  Is Xander.

Xander is a bear wearing a Superman costume.  It was given to M by a student several years ago for being awesome.  He's lived on a shelf in our room since we moved in in 2007, and on the same shelf in our room for a few years in our previous apartment.

Last night, M did some work on said shelf, and A finally noticed this Superman bear.  He asked M if he could have it.  The answer was no.

Today, we were doing stuff while M was tutoring, and A asked if he could play with "that Superman bear" while Daddy wasn't home.  I said no, because we don't play with other people's things unless they say we can.  Well, M came home and said A could play with it any time he wants.

Sooo, Xander came to dinner.  He ate all his dinner, and drank all his water too.  He is currently sleeping with A.

Think M will ever get Xander back?

Birthday Party Madness!

We held off on E's birthday party in order to wait for G & G's return from Florida.  I found a party website that used the idea of "One Year in a Flash," since baby's first year (and frankly, baby's whole life it seems!) go by in such a seemingly quick time.  I ran with the idea, and had a good amount of fun doing it.

The first site on which I saw the idea was here.  I also took the color palette from this site, for a different party altogether.  One of my favorite ideas came from here, how to build your own photobooth.

I started with the invitation,

The favors didn't quite tie into the theme, but I made sugar cookies in the shape of a cupcake....

I had plans to buy a personalized birthday shirt for E, but it just wasn't in the budget.  Instead, I found this onesie at Target.

We set up the photobooth using items I picked up on freecycle as props, using the free program in the link above.

We didn't get EVERYONE in front of the camera, but those who did seemed to have had a good time!


 As far as food, we chose to fire up the grill.  We made hamburgers and hotdogs, as well as grilled vegetable skewers.  My mom made a green salad and a broccoli salad, M's aunt brought cole slaw, and Mom Mom brought a crockpot of meatballs and sausage.  I really wanted to keep it simple, especially since it wasn't a huge gathering (we expected about 20, including us), so didn't serve appetizers.  For dessert, we served ice cream cake for Grampy's birthday, and Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes, which were an even bigger hit than the Cherry Coke cupcakes I made for A's third birthday party!

Since the day was so lovely, the kids really weren't interested in the craft I had for them to do.  I picked up these foam picture frames for them to decorate with foam stickers and letters, with the intent of using it for their photobooth printout.  So I sent them home with the kids in zip bags.

E and Grammi played a fun game of peekaboo...

Playing with the bean bag toss with Grammi, and E stood completely unsupported for the first time (and, yeah, I haven't been able to get him to do it since...)

The last "little touch" I did for the party was to make a photo banner of pictures of E.  I chose one from each month, matted it on colored cardstock, and hung them using clothespins on pretty ribbon.  Picture of that coming soon.  I also made photo confetti of E's monthly pictures, but couldn't think of a use since the entire party was outdoors.

Hopefully everyone had a great time.  We had such a gorgeous day and it was so nice to have all our family together to celebrate our special E Boy!!

1 year stats

Slacker Mommy.  That's me.  E had his 1 year appointment on April 27.  At that time, we discovered E had an ear infection!

As far as his stats, he weighed 19.58lbs and was 28.35" long.  In both areas, he is in the 5th percentile, so he's just a really small kid.  Except for his head.  His noggin is 46cm, or 35th percentile!!

At A's first year appointment, he was 18.92lbs and 18.5".  Though he weighed less, he was ALSO 5th percentile for weight, and also shorter, but was 25th percentile.  Weird.

Monday, May 9, 2011

So! Many! Posts!

 posts in my head, at least.

So, here's what's been happening since Easter... I can't believe I haven't written a word since then!

On the ERS front:
  • Turning ONE!  Holy cannoli.  
  • To mark the occasion, E started crawling with his chest up, and while he still goes into the army crawl, he much prefers regular crawling.
  • A first birthday party!
  • To celebrate the occasion, he decided to stand without support for a few seconds.
  • Tooth number three is out for certain, and tooth number four is not far behind.
  • Babble.  It's OUT of CONTROL.  Lots of mamamamamaam, dadadadada, but you can hear him echoing what we sound like--uh oh is almost there, and in correct usage.  You can hear him imitating the sounds for his brother's name.  Hi is almost there.  
  • Definitely loves Daddy, who for a long time said E thought him a poor substitute.  His face lights up when he sees Daddy for the first time of the day, and today, he was reaching for him while I was holding him.
  • Food.  The way this kid screams for food, you'd think I never fed him.
Mr A:

  • We've been struggling to get him into the pool this session.  The Easter Bunny brought him goggles, and it's made a big difference.  On Mother's Day, we were running late (why is it this kid needs to go in the bathroom as we're walking out the door?), and he went over to go swimming then threw an absolute tantrum that he wanted to go.  I got so upset at this poor kid and he wouldn't stop screaming.  It finally came out that he didn't want to go in because someone had pooped in the pool.  I told him if he'd told me that then, I'd have said that's gross, let's get out of here!!
  • Batman.  Everything is Batman.  Nonetheless, he's stuck to his choice from August 2010 to have a Cars birthday party.
  • Imagination.  Listening to him play is one of the best parts of my day.  One of E's birthday presents was a Little People fire truck, and A has been playing with it way more than E has.  He took it to the breakfast table, and was using the cord of my cell phone charger to fill it up with gas. 
    Mommy, I'm a Rock Star!
  • He continues to be a hesitant kid.  Not that he's shy, but he's not the kid who's barreling around anywhere.  I wouldn't say he's timid, but hesitant.  I really can't explain it.  This surprises me; I thought as he got older he'd come out of it, but it looks like, for now at least, this is his personality.
  • Sharing.  Sometimes, he's such a great sharer with his brother.  Other times, not so much.  He's starting to realize it's to his benefit to give E something else to play with when E has something he wants.  Of course, I don't know for how much longer that trick will work as far as Mr. E is concerned! 
  • Jumping.  Despite my earlier characterization of him as hesitant, he's starting to take careful risks.  Jumping stairs has been one of them, particularly the stairs from the family room to the mudroom, taking two or three at a time.  As long as he doesn't follow in his Mommy's footsteps, and try to jump a whole flight of stairs!  (my stairs were carpeted but had a landing, while his stairs are straight but hardwood.)
  • Bugs.  DOES NOT LIKE THEM.  There was a fly in G & G's house.  He screamed and wouldn't stop until the fly was dead or out of the house.  Hijinks ensued when three or four more flies appeared.