Sunday, March 29, 2009

The singing bee. . .

This afternoon my son was getting up from his nap and his mother was changing his diaper. She was playing around and started singing "the Isty Bitsy Spider" to him. . . but there was a twist. She'd sing "the itsy bitsy spider" at normal or maybe slower than normal speed, then she's speed up for "went up the water spout." Skippy Jr. laughed. So she continued and with each stanza he laughed harder.

Throughout the afternoon and evening we kept the same going. We'd sign songs and change tempo. What is shown below is the climax of laughing, screaming and squealing after his bath. . .

Believe it or not right after this he did calm down and went to sleep.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Growth spurt. . .

The rice cakes the other night seem to be a symptom of a growth spurt. Skippy Jr. ate all day long yesterday. By my rough count a "snack" for him was 300 calories. . . a cup of yogurt, 10 teddy grahams, some grapes, and 5 mini rice cakes. And an hour later he was hungry again.

I dread when he's a teenager.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Before I forget. . .

This morning I was dressing the Monkey and he said "dada," I responded "Monkey," to which he pointed at my with both hands and went "Aaahhhh haha."

It reminded me of the "Whazuup" commercials.

Bloated rice belly. . .

The MonkeyBear's new favorite snack is cheddar cheese flavored, mini rice cakes. We got them when we were all sick. Tonight he ate about 10. His belly is so full and bloated right now it's not even funny. You rub it and it's this rock solid mass of a belly. It was even throwing his balance off.

It makes my tummy hurt just thinking about it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good little worker bee. . .

I've said before I believe parents—myself included—are the worst thing that can happen to a kid. Parents screw up a good portion of what they do when raising their kids. I know my own actions are to blame for some of my son's already formed bad habits. But we have done at least one thing right.

At the beginning of winter we started making our barely one-year-old start taking off his coat when he got in the house and handing it to one of us to hang up. He fell into the pattern quickly. We still put him down, unzip his coat and let him remove it and hand it to us. He also learned to take off his hat and put it in it's place.

But winter is almost over so his one chore is going away. Our solution? A new chore. We started last week. While his bath fills we take off his clothes one at a time and give them to him to throw into the hamper. Two days later he was in the pattern already.

I hope we can keep it up.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Return to the mother ship. . .

So the stomach ick lasted until Tuesday, my wife and I finally ate something on Tuesday night. Then Wednesday morning we had a new garage door installed. So by Wednesday afternoon we were chomping at the bit to get out somewhere. Being in St. Louis we decided to visit our wonderful zoo.

Let me preface the rest of this story by explaining that we made a terrible mistake a month or so ago. . . we taught our son the sign for "finished" or as we say it "all done." He doesn't do it correctly instead he looks like he's trying to touch his hand to his elbow (on the same side, try it). Since then he uses it for everything, food, TV shows he doesn't like, toys, car trips, sleep, everything. It has quickly become the bane of my existence.

We saw the elephants (one really up close) and he made his elephant noise by touching his nose, tilting his head back and humming. We saw the hippos who pooped in the water while we were pressed up near the glass. He said "waddle, waddle" to the penguins. Then it went downhill. . .

The first misstep was taking him on the carousel. My wife watched us as we went around. His first time around he was excited, the second time he was unsure, the third time he was crying and saying and signing (in his way) "all done!" Of course they don't stop the carousel for one crying toddler, so I moved him back to a non-moving bench on the merry-go-round. . . you know, the seat saved for the old people trying to feel like kids again. He was still miserable and every time he passed the operator or his mom he'd yell "all done!"

Hopefully our next trip will go better.

Then my wife wanted him to ride the train, she thought it'd be so cool and he'd love it. Haven't I told this story before? Anyway, he had seen the train a bunch of times and went "choo choo" whenever he did. He got on the train and started to ride it around the zoo. He was OK with the first 5 minutes then again, "all done." This time the "all done" was interspersed with "choo choo." When we went around curves we'd point out the train engine and say look the train. Then when it was out of sight he'd ask for the "choo choo." We insisted he was on the "choo choo" but he wouldn't listen to reason.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stomach bug update. . .

I have been out of commission almost all day. You know how they say that it's harder to have chicken pox as an adult than it is as a kid. . . I'm guessing the same it true for any illness.

Oh and my wife is heading down the same path. . . and this week is her spring break. . . and tomorrow is her birthday.

One quick note on our little man unleashing hell in a restaurant: If he had done it earlier it would have been on the slide at the playground (how do you clean that up or abandon it) or in a furniture store. . . that's was carpeted. We're lucky it happened in a high chair over tile floor where the only real victim was his pants and his floppy seat.

EDIT: One more thing, Pedialyte tastes like Kool-Aid with Salt dumped in it. Gross.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bleeeeaaaack. . . .

So we're sitting in McCalister's Deli and our food arrives. We were splitting a club sandwich, macaroni and cheese and a fruit salad (mainly for the MonkeyBear, he loves him some fruit). I pick up a macaroni on a fork and try to feed it to the little guy. He shakes his head "no" which is odd for him when it comes to mac and cheese. I try again, he insists "no."

Then the vomiting started. Four gushing waves of everything he'd eaten in the past 8 hours parading rapidly down his front. I run for help from behind the counter, informing a teen-aged boy that I need a box and some bags and he needs a mop because my son just wrecked the area around the table where we were sitting.

Despite the giant mess they still hadn't come out to clean up by the time we were packed up to leave. My wife said she felt bad just leaving I responded, "I can't go back and get a mop myself." We had told 3 people by this time and a couple other customers had almost stepped in it.

So we left.

After that he was fine. We fed him some crackers and water and sent him to bed. He slept for a good 3 hours and then as we were getting in bed and about to fall asleep we heard a sound. He had done it again and got it all over his head and pajamas. So we had an 11 p.m. shower and rocking session (in which he threw-up again). I made a Pedialite run and called the 24-hour nurse hotline to be safe.

So we survived our first stomach bug. . . so far. I'm really impressed by my wife's involvement in all this. She normally isn't good with bodily fluids, especially of this variety. But from the start she even picked the little guy up in the restaurant to comfort him knowing full well she's get it on her. And she's cleaned him up a few more times since. She's an amazing mother.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You still can't make a rice castle. . .

We went to a parents as teachers function tonight. It was all about the senses. They had things to look through (colored glasses and such) for sight, textured balls to touch, musical instruments to hear, containers with spices to smell, and a kiddie swimming pool filled with rice. . . for taste? I guess there wasn't a taste. It was like a sandbox, only little girls can play in it without getting sand in their hoo-has.

Anyway, the little MonkeyBear was playing with the rice with a scoop, attempting to scoop it up and dump it back in. . . he missed most of the time. Then somehow he was able to master scooping up rice, carrying the scoop to a corner of the room and dumping it in a pile.

The little girl he was playing beside liked that he was doing this. She clearly wanted to do it but she can't walk yet so she couldn't transport the rice on her own.

"Hey baby, want me to scoop some rice for you."

The girls will swoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's LazyTown bitches. . .

I ran across this on Digg a few months ago, it wasn't as funny then as it is now that we've watched LazyTown for real.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Screw the children's menu. . .

Eating at a restaurant with a toddler is hard. 1) restaurant food isn't always conducive to toddlers, 2) the speed with which the food is served doesn't match a toddlers need to eat NOW, 3) when your toddler needs to get up they need to get up. . . some restaurant patrons don't enjoy a toddler walking by eyeing their food (most do, but not all). I feel like we're walking by and he's saying "you gonna eat that?"

Recently we went to one restaurant and behind us was a man who showed obvious signs of disgust when he saw he was being seated behind Skippy Jr., as if sitting behind him would cause him much trouble. In his defense, toward the end of the meal Skippy Jr. did turn around and try and touch him.

Then there's the subject of food. Mostly he gets bits of fries and bread and whatever we thought to bring along with us. Some restaurants are better than others. Places with a salad bar (like Ruby Tuesday's which is conveniently located about a mile from our house) are perfect, you can load up a plate from the salad bar with everything from fruits and veggies to ham and eggs. We also steal crackers to keep in the diaper bag from everywhere we go. Single serving to go.

Children's menus bug us. Spending money on a meal he's barely gonna touch doesn't seems right. So normally we skip that and just give him some of our food. Of course that means we need to keep him in mind when we order.

Tonight I had a stroke of genius. We were at a local Mexican place. . . and I ordered fajitas. When my dinner came out it was the usual sizzling cast iron skillet on a piece of wood, a plate of cold fixings and a container with flour tortillas. I took half a tortilla (I sliced it with my knife), filled if halfway with cheese, folded it, used my fork to pry up the cast iron skillet and placed the tortilla under it. Two minutes later I had a fully melted cheese quesadilla.

He loved it, especially dipped in sour cream. I was so proud of myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'd like to buy a vowel. . .

I mentioned briefly that we leave on games shows while we're all playing before bed. My wife stole an idea from a video like this one and we decided to teach Skippy Jr. to clap when the wheel is spun. He took to it pretty quickly with one problem. . . he doesn't just clap when the wheel is spun. He claps if he sees the puzzle, the wheel, Pat Vanna—doesn't matter, if he sees any sign of the show he claps.

And we laugh, which only encourages the behavior and make him more of a little ham.

Were these the good ole days, he would have totally bought the ceramic Dalmatian.

UPDATE: My wife brought up this blog post while Skippy Jr. was eating breakfast. Just seeing the illustration of the game board he started clapping.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mike TV. . .

Most nights, while I make dinner, my wife watches the MonkeyBear. Normally he leaves her in the living room to try and climb up me while I'm cooking to get at whatever it is that I'm making for dinner that night.

Monday night my wife was gone at her weekly master's class so it was just me and the MonkeyBear for dinner. First we spent some time wrestling and playing with his trucks. Then we started an episode of Sesame Street and sat on the couch. Once he was enjoying watching "How many hats can you wear on your head day" I slipped into the kitchen to make dinner (sneaking back to check on him).

I'm going to stop for a second and say I am not a parent to let the TV babysit while I get to do other things. But I'm also not a TV nazi, forbidding more than 30 minutes of TV a day. Normally if the TV is on Skippy Jr. is not sitting there zombiefied while I surf the internet for funny videos on youtube. Nor is the TV on adult programming for me to watch while he plays in a corner. That being said, yes, the TV is on a decent amount on the time in our house. I often try to change that by playing music instead of watching TV, but normally we leave the TV on either children's TV, news, or game shows when Skippy Jr. is in the room.

OK so he's on the couch watching "the Street" while I start making dinner in the kitchen. He sat for 5 minutes on the couch watching Elmo and crew laughing, clapping and squealing when the dreamy Abby Cadabby came on the screen.

Then I said something to him and broke the spell. He came in signing "eat" so I gave him his snack trap and he went back in, sat in the floor and watched 5 more minutes of the show while I finished making dinner. Then we sat and ate while listening to music and dancing in our chairs in the kitchen. No crying, no whining to be picked up, no burned food.

Who says TV is bad?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I poo. . .

Now I wasn't there, but this is how it was told to me.

This morning when dropping off the MonkeyBear was playing around at Grandma's and suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and stood still for a moment and then said "ut-oh, I poo."

My wife swears this is true.