Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reggae Ernie

This has been stuck in my head for days, so I thought I would share. Watch it about 10 times and then see if you wake up tomorrow morning with it still in your head.

(For some reason, I can't get my computer to post You Tube stuff even though I have enabled it to do so). Doesn't the guy at the top of the door look like B?

Line of the week:

J: Daddy come home soon?

Me: Yes, Daddy should be home soon.

J: In a few minutes?

Me: Yes, he should be here in a few minutes.

J: Daddy take lots of few minutes.

Sometimes he is so insightful!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

We haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Things have just been a little out of sorts lately. For one, J has decided that two year olds do not need to sleep through the night anymore and has spent a good part of the week waking up at 1, 3, 5, 6. At first we thought he might have something, so we tended to it, but now it's a habit (hooray!) and we feel like we have a newborn again. Oddly, he woke up at 9:15 the other night yelling, "J kick feet! J kick feet! Poop! J kick feet! Poop" I think he adds the poop thing just to get us to come running, but there was no poop. He was kicking his legs in the air for fun. I'm sure this is just another fabulous phase.

Some good lines he's had lately are:
Me: Would you like some blueberries?
J: Yes. How-a-bout-raspberries-too?
(It cracks me up how he is turning into such a mini-me.)

J: Tweetle beetle puddle battle...That's-pretty-funny!
(After reading Fox in Socks, which if you don't remember, is one of the longest, silliest books created. And it's even longer when you have to read it slowly and after one reading, your kid knows when you've skipped a page...)

B: The steak is good. Do you like the steak, J?
J: Yeah. Mommy not good eater.
Me: Why?
J: Mommy not eating broccoli.
(I did eat my broccoli, but at that moment, I was chewing on some steak and we had just begged J to eat some of his broccoli, which he did.)

I've got some big fun lined up for this weekend. Tomorrow I have to spend the day taking some teaching tests. You know, tests for beginning teachers. Tests like the 4 I took in NY and the 8 I took in PA to teach there. Texas has decided that my 8 years of experience, and the tests taken in states with which they supposedly have reciprocal agreements, is not enough. I need to take 4 more tests to make them happy and get permanent certification here. I already had to shell out a bunch of cash to get a temporary certificate for this year (even though I am not using it, I wanted to have it just in case) and now I have to shell out about another $400 to make it all legal. Such fun. I know that licenses cost money and I guess that's okay, but what gets me is that these tests are for beginning teachers and even then they do not measure whether you can actually teach or not. I hate jumping through hoops and I am a little tired of jumping because this is my third time doing this. I know, I know, we moved here, so I have to reap what I sow, but it's such a pain. Oh well. 2 tests tomorrow and 2 in April, and hopefully that will be it.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Things Are Looking Up

After nearly a week of cupcake and Grandma therapy, twodom has been fitting J a little bit better. On Saturday we had J's birthday party, which was a larger affair than it had intended to be, but it was tons of fun. Last year we had a small party with maybe 4 kids and their moms. A lot of people were busy last year. This year we had close to 35 people! Turns out everyone was in the mood to party on Feb. 9. The sun gods gave us some glorious 75 degree weather, so we were able to have everything outdoors.
We borrowed a jumping thing from our friends, J and G. They got it off of craigslist and it will most likely be passed around for all the upcoming birthdays.

Some people ignored our suggestion of no gifts or just gently used books or toys. J was so excited to get a fire truck from Z.
On Sunday, my mom and I spent part of the day shopping at the outlets in San Marcos. They are enormous and you could spend a few days there if you wanted to, but we only had a couple of hours. I got some silicon baking pans (the pink ones were an extra 20% off for Valentine's Day), an easter cake pan ($7 at WS outlet), and two cast iron pots. I just love them. They're red, which I love, but the best part was they were a true outlet buy-- you know how sometimes things in outlets are just as expensive as buying at the mall--the color was considered slightly off, so they were marked down about 70%! I've been wanting a cast iron pot for a while and although I got a 5 quart and an 8 quart, I'm not sure about keeping two of them. I just want to take a chance to figure out which one will be used the most.

I did a little bit of baking for Valentine's Day. The fudge covered brownies are for B's office and the heart pressed cookies will be put into little bags for J's friends. We're meeting at the park for a little party if you can call it that. It will be the same old playing on the equipment with some special snacks.

Here's a picture of J busting a move at the library Valentine's Day party earlier in the week.
And I just saw on CNN while I was at the gym that UT Austin will be hosting the next Democratic debate, which should create some interesting buzz down here in the next few days.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Two with a Vengeance

Something happened to my child on Feb. 6. He turned two. It was in no way as emotional for me as it was last year, but it was definitely emotional for him. Unfortunately, for most of the day, it was not emotional in a good way. It was as if an alarm went off in his head Wednesday morning that said, "Today you are two. Now things change. Now you get pissed off."

From the morning J woke up, nothing was right. He didn't want to eat breakfast. He wanted to go to child care at the gym instead of stay at home with Grandma (Grandma wasn't upset; it meant she got to take a shower.) He started to cry after he finished eating his banana after I picked him up from child care.

As we were riding in the car after running an errand to the grocery store to get cream cheese to make frosting for his carrot cake cupcakes, he announced, "No caddot cupcakes. No caddot cupcakes." Honestly this didn't bother me; I just thought, "More for me!" I had planned on taking him to his favorite Mexican restaurant (you ask if a 2 year old can have a favorite place to eat? Oh yes!) but he was just so unhappy I didn't want to subject anyone else to his unpleasantness. I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he told me, "Mac and cheese. Not cupcakes."

As we went home to make the mac and cheese, he just began crying and carrying on in the kitchen for no reason at all. He went outside to play a bit while the noodles cooked, but then he came back in and picked up right where he left off. When lunch was finally ready and was placed in front of him, he ate two spoonfuls and decided that wasn't good either. He saw me making the frosting and decided that maybe having a cupcake might be a good idea after all. Given his state, I didn't insist that he eat any more lunch and we sang to him and he licked off all of the frosting. At first it was slow and deliberate, but after awhile, he couldn't stop himself. Once the sugar from the frosting hit his system, he was a changed toddler. I hereby declare cream cheese frosting the cure all to any problem. If you are feeling down, add some powdered sugar to a block of cream cheese and go to town.

We lingered on that cupcake for nearly a half an hour before it accidentally fell on the floor and we had to take a break.

Poor cupcake gets the brunt of it all

After some dancing and a nap, it was time for Take 2 of birthday number 2. Unfortunately it wasn't much better. We opened a few presents, but little things kept happening that upset him-- such as the stacking blocks falling on his head, the new tricycle not steering perfectly, and of course, Daddy not being there (Daddy was home for cupcakes, so that was cool). So, we put J to bed a little earlier and hoped that he would enjoy his second day of being two better than the first.

A tricycle from Mommy and Daddy. I just love Craigslist! (Despite pointing out every tricycle he'd see for the last two months, this only held his attention for about 10 minutes.)

A fancy new drum from Nummi. Not sure if Daddy or J likes it better...

A florist delivered balloons to our house. They were from Auntie L and Cousin L and W. When the florist said, these are for JS, J exclaimed, "Balloons for J!" and ripped them out of the man's hand. Then they almost carried him away. It was pretty funny.

You probably think I'm lying about the day given all of the happy shots posted here. I had one good "I just want to cry all day!" picture, but it's too dark to show up here. Believe me when I tell you that our first day of being two was just a bit on the rough side.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Almost 1 Toddler Year Down...

J hits the two year mark tomorrow. Here are some things I have learned from our first year of toddlerhood:

  • It goes by much faster than the first year, which leads me to believe that the next year will go even faster, and so on. That's pretty scary.
  • Just because a kid likes peas or lima beans during their first year of life does not mean they will ever like them again. And that's okay.
  • He loves spending time with Mommy, but the world stops when Daddy walks through the door. And that's pretty cool.
  • Temper tantrums can last a really long time.
  • Hysterics can emerge from a temper tantrum.
  • Sometimes making yourself sound as upset as he is makes him feel better (it's called the caveman effect).
  • There is a hierarchy amongst various chicken forms. It goes something like this from best to worst... chicken tenders, chicken fingers, chicken nuggets (not from the place with arches), wheat germ chicken tenders. Well, who can blame him?
  • Golf can be played indoors with a mop. Baseball can be played outdoors with an ice scraper.
  • Once a child learns to talk, he will tell you everything on his mind.
  • Watching your child learn to verbally communicate is both a joyous and trying occasion.
  • Even though he is not a baby, he still likes to cuddle.
  • Jumping around and clapping your hands is good therapy for anyone.
  • Never give your child broccoli and cheese when he thinks you've said Mac and Cheese.
  • Separation anxiety feels like it lasts for a long time, but one day, he walks off and doesn't look back to see if you are still there.
  • You can successfully get him to eat something new and perhaps not so tasty if you eat it first and then pronounce it is the most fabulous thing in the world, but this will not work a second time on the same thing.
  • Earlier bedtimes usually help fix a sleep problem.
  • My kid notices everything I do even when I don't think he does.
  • He is still excited by books more than any other activity and I hope that lasts.
  • Even though I worry, he always goes to bed when the babysitter puts him to sleep.
  • You still need to pack that extra outfit in the diaper bag.
  • Even when I don't think he can, he can often roll with the punches and is extremely flexible.
  • Your kid will not die if he eats dirt.
  • Sometimes kids this age have better manners and more tenderness than many adults.
  • We still haven't broken him.
  • There is still so much more to learn.

Last picture taken before I am two.

(Sorry for the flower bullets, but I have no idea how to change that)