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    Strawberry fields

    July 11th, 2010

    We went to pick strawberries today. I’ve always wanted to go berry picking, and now that G is a bit older, and has an unreasonable obsession with strawberries and bananas, I thought it would be a fun week-end activity. My sister and L came by this afternoon and I dragged them to Swanton Berry Farm.

    I was pretty impressed with the place. Organic fruits, nice people, and as far as a place of dirt goes it was pretty clean! They were also pretty prepared for the ‘I don’t need anything more than a diaper bag, right?” non-planners such as me, and had boxes, carry handles, and even little wagons considerately provided.

    G napped on our drive over, and started getting his bearings while L was pulling him in our borrowed, little wagon. G loves little wagon rides so this was a good way to start off our adventure. We parked half-way up the strawberry aisles and waddled in. It took the little man a minute or so to realize that he was looking at his favorite red fruit and go “Oooh!” He then proceeded to pick and shove berries in his mouth. Sometimes double fisting. He learned the hard way what an un-ripe berry tastes like. I told him to only go for the red ones, but he spotted a big yellow one and insisted he try it. Well, a “Ewwwww!” sound later, I watched said yellow berry get hurled into the dirt. I warned you, Kid.

    Aunt P and L were very, very helpful. I will admit they picked almost all the berries today. G’s idea of helping was lightening the load by directing fruit straight to his belly. I helped best I could, but watching (and taking photos of)  G smear strawberry juice over his hands and mouth was a bit more fun.

    Here are some pics of our day.

    Arriving in style.

    Strawberries as far as the eye can see

    “Mamma said to pull hard”

    “This is mine, right?”


    Free labor!

    “Right hand, left hand… I can’t decide which one tastes better…”

    L’s Gremlin strawberry

    “Look, Mama! I found a rock.”

    “No! I said LOOK AT MY ROCK!”

    Strawberry vampire

    The fruits of our labor… well really the fruits of Auntie P and L’s labor

    Overall, it was a good trip. We’ll be back.

    Diaper changing woes

    July 10th, 2010

    It’s happened. G fights diaper changes now oh, roughly about 50% of the time. And by fights, I mean “battle-on, catch-me-if-you-can, scream-the-whole-time” fights. He squirms and flips over, and tries to slide down the dresser (where his changing pad is). It’s like trying to change a diaper on a cat… or what I imagine changing a diaper on a cat would be like.

    I know I’ve talked about this in the past, but now there’s no rhyme or reason to a diaper change. The battle begins the moment I interrupt his activity of the moment to change his diaper. Even giving him a heads up is problematic. Then the running away starts just to catch him to get him to a change. I’ve tried books, toys, different things to keep him happy, but they typically get hurled at me and I don’t think that wearing a helmet should be necessary for a simple diaper change.

    What’s really prompting this re-consideration is the planning for G’s new big(ger) boy room. I’m trying to decide if we should set up a diaper changing station for him, or let loose and go for the bed/floor option instead. Here’s the deal:

    – I REALLY like having the diapers, the wipes, the protective cover, the butt creme all in one place.We have this today on top of a dresser and it rocks. Floor changes just don’t offer the convenience of all my supplies in the same place.

    – I REALLY like that we have our diaper pail (well, really an automated kitchen trash can) about 1ft away from the changing table and I can literally dump dirties with the wave of a hand.

    – I really DON’T like the fact that G is squirmy so much these days. While I can manage to change him none-the-less, the fact that he flips over and tries to slide off the changing station is not cool. Diaper changes are becoming a 2-person job around here, which let’s face it, is just not realistic.

    – I really DON’T like that if I change him on the floor, he just crawls or runs away. While I’ve been lucky not to have to deal w/ a smeary, poopie butt yet, cleaning poop off the carpet if not my idea of a swell time.

    – I REALLY like that my changing station is my height, and I don’t have to bend over. My body is hurting through this pregnancy and anything that requires me to lean over, or even sit on the floor causes me notable pain in getting up and even ceases my back at times. Plus I just can’t crawl as fast as he does. When he’s running/crawling away on the floor I just can’t go after him fast, and a giggling kid while I swear under my breath in pain is not my idea of a good time. I feel like a 90yr old trying to change my 2yr old’s diaper.

    I’d love it if G would be ready to potty train, but he’s not. He’s far, far from it… at least for now, so I need to plan for more diaper changes in his future.

    We’re trying to play around with standing diaper changes. I’m working on this, but the diaper just feels kind of saggy and loose. Even though I tighten as best I can, it doesn’t feel as secure when applied in a horizontal position. Obviously I’ll get better with practice, but I haven’t even had to tackle a stinky diaper change with G standing up. Plus, even though he’s standing, it doesn’t keep him still. If anything it makes it easier to run away. Ugh… now the thought of a running, butt-naked child with poop drooping of his behind is really not sounding appealing.

    Advice is welcome.

    My thoughts for now is to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s not great, but it still works even though changes take twice as long. At least my back hurts twice as less 🙂

    I think what I’ll do for now is plan for another diaper changing pad. I want to get a dresser for G’s new room regardless, so the furniture piece won’t be a wasted purchase. Worst case, I end up getting a changing pad I won’t need and will resell/donate it. I’ll investigate getting a little diaper supply caddy too for those changes “on the run”.

    I really thought that changing should be getting easier now, not harder. I mean… why would you want a wet or stinky diaper on you?

    Guess who likes registering for baby stuff?

    July 5th, 2010

    That would be G.

    S and I have started planning out G’s room, and with all the things he’ll be taking with him (from the nursery), we’re putting together a list of things we’ll need for S2. At first our list only had 2-3 items on it (hey, having a same-gender sibling is really helping out here), but the more we thought of things, the more we realized we’ll need some duplicates (2 white-noise machines, 2 humidifiers, 2 small space heaters). So we’re trying to “save” some money and take advantage of registry completion coupons.

    So G and I went yesterday afternoon and created a registry for his baby brother. I genuinely think he enjoyed it more. He took the scanner and wouldn’t let go.

    Actually it was kind of fun. I held onto items, and he had to point, keep the laser steady and hold down the scanner button. Yes, it took maybe 3x longer than if I did it on my own, but he was happy, and S got some stuff done at home.

    My only concern? G was pointing at things all over the place and clicking on that yellow button all the time. I only wondered what was going to end up on the registry when we got home. Luckily, he didn’t manage to scan anything other than what we did together. Of course, he did try to scan himself a few times too. Maybe when S and I told him we were going to shop for babies he took it seriously…

    PS. If you want a good week-end past-time, when a local store has a baby sale, go in and ask a sales-person for a baby. Preferably one that looks like you. It’s most effective when you keep a straight face. You get some really great looks. S and I really enjoyed this one.

    Hand, foot & Mouth strikes again

    July 1st, 2010

    This has not been my week!

    – 1 generally cranky toddler (4 tantrums by 10am and a very short nap made for a loooong Sunday)

    – 1 flat tire. Miss 1/2 a work day resolving it

    – 1 stripped lug-nut/bolt discovered because of flat tire. Miss another 1/2 a work day resolving that

    – 1 kid diagnosed with HFMD. Again. Miss likely 2 days of work

    – oh, and one dad who got shipped out of state on Sunday for a work trade show

    The tire situation, while not terrible seemed to go down-hill fast, but it made me absent from work at a pretty sensitive time. The lug nut I tried to fix on my own, but once I realized it was the bolt that was also stripped I faced the music and went to the repair shop.

    Then yesterday on my way to daycare, Ms. S called to let me know that G, and a few other kids in his room, had white bumps on their tongue. So off to the pediatrician we went, and he was diagnosed with Hand, Foot & Mouth. My favorite!!! Since G just had it in April, there’s a good chance it’s a mild case. Also, the doc couldn’t tell if G was at the start of it, or at the tail end of it. Pretty much we’re home today on spot watch. If the spots don’t get any worse, then he’s free to go back to daycare tomorrow. Otherwise, it looks like a fun-filled week-end, cooped up at home, with a worsening toddler. I am NOT looking forward to this! Last time G was a pitiful mess. Fussy, in pain. I felt SO terrible for him, especially since there was nothing I could do to help. There are no meds and the yuckies just have to run their course. However, I foresee lots of Jamba Juice visits over the next few days. He likes the oatmeal, and smoothies are soft. They will hopefully not irritate the mouth sores, and the cold smoothie could also numb them a bit.

    The part that’s made this harder is the fact that S has been out of town too. It makes me really, REALLY admire parents who care for their children often unsupported.

    At the end of the day though, I’ll admit I’m pretty grateful. While all these things were a hassle to deal with, they worked out, or will work out , fine in the end. The tire repair all ended up being free. I’m grateful for Costco’s tire policy and accountability in stripping my nut&bolt. I’m also grateful, that even if it wasn’t free, and I had to replace all 4 tires again, S and I are in a good place that this sort of emergency doesn’t stress us financially. While dealing with the car, I realized that even minor car issues are a big deal to some, and I felt very fortunate. I also feel grateful that as far as emergency calls from school go, G wasn’t physically injured and we were spared a trip to the ER. While HFMD is a royal pain, it will be over by next week and we’ll go on. S is also not gone often, and I’m just spoiled by his support, and in the grand scheme of things, everything I could handle. Even though I’ll whine about it 🙂

    22 months

    June 29th, 2010

    We’re 2 months away from the big 0-2. Time’s moving on and not at all taking into account that Mommy has no plans for a birthday party as of yet. Yeah, yeah, I need to get a move on. It’s almost feels a bit harder this time around. Mostly because G now has likes and preferences, and given our guest list none of them are feasible in our home.

    Now onto the G accomplishments for the month.

    Dad taught G how to shake his finger when he says “No!”. This typically goes like this: “No! No! No! No! No”, with a finger wag. Amusingly enough, however, so far he only does the finger wag when No’ing my dad… or Neko.

    G’s found a few more bed-time friends. In addition to Nubs, he loves his blanket and bed-time bears. Occasionally even his fuzzy jammies. He caries them around during the day and lays his head saying “Nigh nigh”. Picture a Charlie Brown blanket drag and toddler waddle. Too stinkin’ cute.

    You can tell he is really, really frustrated when he clenches his fists and stiffens up his whole body. S and I joke that he’s making us a diamond. Sadly none of his nappies have provided this as of yet.

    G started off this month calling both my parent Gamma. Dad was surprisingly very defensive of his title and whenever my mom pointed out the difference, he corrected her himself by calling himself Gamma. I was trying to introduce a distinction by naming him “Hairy Gamma”. Sadly by the end of our European excursion, G was properly calling Dad Gappa. The two of them really bonded on that trip and G gets really excited about Skype sessions with him.

    He is super excited about big vehicles. He loves buses, airplanes, trucks and trains… although things are either Buss, Tuck, or Ai-pine. Trains get grouped with Buses. I’m not asking why.

    This month he’s a big fan of dogs and rabbits. The dog part is a good way to keep him entertained or distracted in the car by pointing out “Doggies”. The “Bunny” obsession is courtesy of Curious George. S’ iPad has been assaulted by little toddler lips who like to kiss and point to the bunnies on the screen. This of course is accompanied by the cutest “Oooooh, Bunny!” sounds you can ever hear.

    He’s becoming really good with names. I was actually a little surprised to have him point to the pics of his daycare friends on the wall in the classroom and call them by name. He calls S and I by name occasionally too (when he gets bored of Mama and Dada).

    He adjusted to PST like a champ. I couldn’t have asked for a better or easier transition. I am so, SO grateful! Since we came home we went back to our old (old) sleep routine. No more waiting in the room with him until he falls asleep. Yes, there is some crying involved, but it typically lasts 2 minutes (I’ve timed this) and 5-10 on a bad night.

    Weight: 23lb 15oz

    Height: 31.25″

    Number of teeth: No new ones have sprouted, but I know those 2yr molars are on their way. He’s partial to soft foods (stage 3 baby food jars are huge around here come this time of the “month”) and shoving anything long enough to reach the back of his mouth in sight. A dentist appointment really is in order very, very soon. At least he’s pretty keen on having his teeth brushed, and in the last couple of weeks has gone from tolerating a tooth brushing to actually cooperating and having a good time.

    Words & Phrases: 40+ (bringing up the total tally to around 120). This month was huge on the language scale. While in Europe he was popping out a word/two a day. It was almost hard to keep track. I know I’m missing some, but here’s the list of what we tracked. He’s continuing on his trend of making simple phrases of stringing words together

    * bus
    * sip
    * stair
    * zipper
    * gasses (glasses)
    * I want
    * all right
    * pigeon
    * fountain
    * coming
    * night gamma
    * bear
    * tuck (truck)
    * kids
    * sit down mama
    * sack (snack)
    * daway (that way)
    * off
    * tank you (thank you)
    * knuckles
    * ouside (outside)
    * fifin / fifindoh (Griffin)
    * sake (snake)
    * nine
    * ten
    * sowee (sorry)
    * tucker (sticker)
    * come-ea (come here)
    * towel
    * oea
    * cap (clap)
    * booger
    * jacket
    * buggies (ants)
    * phone
    * pocket
    * Ta-Da!
    * garbage
    * bike
    * tickle
    * fork
    * poon (spoon)
    * hug
    * baby hug daddy

    Favorite food: Luitenitsa, although around our house I call it “red stuff” for both S’ and G’s benefit (mostly S’ because if I use the actual word, he’ll just ask “Huh?”). It’s a Bulgarian response to catchup. Much healthier too, might I add. It’s made with roasted peppers, and tomatoes blended really, really finely. While there is some sugar added for a touch of flavor, it’s actual sugar, not corn syrup. G was eating this stuff by the spoonful and when not sufficiently supplied just would go for it straight with his hands, scooping globs with his finger. I’d say that’s a win!

    Favorite activity: Having Mom chase me around the house yelling “No!” while I run with sharp objects. I jest. But not really. This whole terrible two’s thing is really kicking in. He loves to be read to. Blocks and balls still rule the toy bin otherwise.

    My hopes for next month: More words. I’m enjoying our “talks”

    Potty trained?: No-where close. I’m impressed with parents of children of close/younger age that are already potty training. G won’t even acknowledge what’s in his diaper, let alone indicate a forewarning of what’s to come. Instead, he’s becoming a monster while being changed and it’s become a two-person job. I’m not in a rush to potty train too much, but it would be simply awesome if I only had one child in diapers at a time.

    Naughtiest moment of the month: Yeah, the running w/ sharp objects thing. While, yes, it is our fault for accidentally forgetting to put stuff away, G’s reaction to “No! This is not a toy.” is not to drop what he’s holding, but to run off with it instead. Emphasis on the run. Then throw a major tantrum when you take it away.

    Sweetest moment of the month: Random run-by leg hugs.

    Temper tantrum meter: These last few days? Medium->high