Thursday, February 23, 2006

Skinny Dippin'


Are y'all wondering why he's always nekkid? Well, let me tell you ...

Due to a consistent attempt to wage holy war during diaper change, we have started some early potty training. I say "early" because here in the U.S. it is common to wait until the kid is ready. However, in other parts of the world (and even in this country several decades ago) it is normal to potty train between 12 and 24 months. So, we're trying.

WITHOUT ANY SUCCESS.

But I will tell you one thing: It is much easier to just pick up the poop off the floor than to get him to lie down on the changing table.

Anyway, in this particular picture, The Goose is eating tortilla chips that I (Susie-Betty) had made (MADE!) ... he was dipping them in some Pace (of course) Picante sauce. Double dipping too. And triple and quadruple and quintuple dipping if I remember correctly. He's really into condiments. In a "would you like some French fries with your KETCHUP?" sorta way.

Tonight we hosted the end of term party for my day-job school HERE at our house. B did a nature walk and snakes program (NOT here at our house) and then about 20 students and teachers came here to play games and eat pizza. It was really fun and The Goose was in the middle of it all. During the pizza-eating time, he went round to all the guests plucking pizza slices off of their plates. He also grabbed orange slices and forbidden, frosting-covered cookies (which were immediately removed from his grimy little hands). Additionally, he attempted to swipe soda cans. Quite the thief we have.

In the middle of the party, one of the students opened the front door and a bassett hound burst through the door, tore through the house, and terrorized a visiting two-year old before finally ending up in the sunroom. The dog had been loose on the park for a couple days and so the rangers put it in the kennel. Apparently it dug under the fence and was wandering about until it saw an opportunity to run through my front door into PIZZA PARTY WORLD. It was quite an afternoon.

ION ...

We have developed an intense affinity for any fleece blanket. Or jacket. Or pajamas. The Goose carries around something that is at least 70% polyester at ALL times. This began back in January when I started working more. He has had a blanky for quite a while now, but the dragging-it-around-everywhere lifestyle started soon after the New Year arrived. If there's no blanky downstairs (we have two fleece blankies and we welcome any more that you may have laying around your house since recently the monogrammed one was dropped on one of the trails here at the park and spent a few days in limbo ... first in the hands of a park visitor and then at the visitor center in the receptionist's desk -- don't worry, we washed it), then he grabs whatever else is fleece and drags it around with his thumb in his mouth. He also has an incredible attachment to a Winnie the Pooh bear.

Anyway ... I have been reading this book about how to treat children with equality and be democratic about the whole parenting thing, and one of the things I've learned is that if you just let them make their own decisions about things then they will see firsthand the consequences and will choose NOT to do certain things because they will have learned through experience that the consequences are not so great. Like, for example, putting a blanky in the tub.

Bathtub Blanket

So he put it in there, and then he of course felt the need to suck the thumb ...

Wet blanket

Next, he got really sleepy ...

SO sleepy

Rubbed his eyes ...

Sleepy

And attempted to conk out in tub ...

Pretending to sleep in the tub with the blanket

He cracks me up!

I know this is getting long, but I have a lot to report so just sit back and relax.

Now he's only taking one nap per day, so he goes down around 11 a.m. and sleeps until about 2 p.m. During his waking time he alternates between a few favorite activities:

  1. Activating the paper shredder and then running from it laughing.
  2. Carrying around a picture of my mother's cat.
  3. Pushing around a truck making "vroom" noises.
  4. Bringing us books to read.

His favorite books are about animals and anything that moves ... planes, trains, automobiles, boats, dogs on roller skates, etc. Whenever there is a tractor, bulldozer, little digger, excavator, dump truck, speed boat, dog on roller skates, passenger train, or bus, he says, "VROOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!" Whenever there is a cat, teddy bear, polar bear, panda bear, or koala he makes a high-pitched sound and then leans over to touch his forehead to the page. I assume that this is some sort of affectionate body language, but I'm not really sure. Whenever there's an alligator he makes the snapping sign with his hand. Whenever there's a sea otter he waves (???), and whenever there's a mama and baby he says, "Da-Da" just to annoy me.

This da-da thing has really gone too far. He only says "mama" when he is hurt. Otherwise, he thinks my name is da-da. If he sees a picture of B he says, "da-da" ... if he sees a picture of me and B he says "da-da." If I point to myself and say, "What's my name?" he says, "Da-da." Today when my students were here and B was busy showing off his nature knowledge, The Goose kept running up to his dad to be picked up. When The Dad came to pick up the dog (in the middle of the party), The Goose RAN desperately too him as if to say, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?!" The students were starting to say things like, "Wow! He really likes his Dad!" and/or "Boy! He sure is a Daddy's boy." To the point where I was just like, "Well, he likes his mama too! REALLY! When no one is here he goes on and on about how I'm his favorite ... about how he loves the fact that I read books about child rearing and attempt to raise him democratically. Meanwhile The Dad just runs around making him laugh and teaching how to shoot baskets and kick a soccer ball and eat with a fork and look both ways before crossing the street. You know, the mundane stuff.

Let's face it: I am second choice.

How did my life come to this?

But Goosey, here's a secret: Your dad IS more fun than me. That's why I married him.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Breaking the Rules


Two inches of snow definitely calls for me to break my self-imposed Thursday-night only rule. And here I was thinking that The Groundhog must've been confused ... I guess he was right after all.

The Goose does NOT like the snow. It's difficult to drive in (cart or trike), it's difficult to walk in, and it's cold. After less than an hour outside, he went to the door and pointed inside longingly. We came in, ate lunch, and then he conked out for three hours, exhausted. We stayed inside the rest of the day.

There are more pictures in my Flickr account, but one demands to be posted here:

May we present yet another Olympic event ... preferably in the summer games, but shown here in the smack-dab middle of the worst winter weather we've had this season is ultra-athlete Buddy Snickums competing in ...

Nekkid Cart Pushing in Black Socks with a Dog

Nekkid Cart Pushing ...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

17 ...


"My favorite smiles"
Click here for more photos.

MONTHS that is! Happy Birthday Goosey Guy! You are 17 months old today and every bit of it. Do you know what that means?: "every bit of it"? It means that you have every characteristic -- good and, 'er, not so good, 'er, challenging, I'll say -- that a goose your age should have. Translation: You're giving me a run for my money.

To celebrate your special day, we visited the zoo. As a result of your Everyone Poops book ("An elephant makes a BIIIIIGGGG poop"), you have developed a little bit of an elephant infatuation, so we thought it appropriate to indulge you with REAL elephants. Aren't we accomodating? Whenever you see anything remotely resembling a pachyderm, you purse your lips together and blow out, attempting to make the trumpeting noise that an elephant makes (and that mama makes everytime we talk/read about elephants). In the picture above, you and Dad have just finished speaking in Elephant, and it was real funny.

Actually, animal sound games are all real funny (which is drastically different from "really funny"), and your dad and I get as big a kick out of it as you do. My personal favorite is your imitation of a duck, which involves the longest, loudest, hardest "qu" sound in the history of the planet. The "qu" portion of your "quack" goes on and on and gets louder and louder until you finally punctuate it with a very short "a" sound and then a moderately long "ck" on the end. In fact, it's not all that different from your pronunciation of the word "clock" -- which, by the way, has mostly been replaced by the phrase (yes, I said PHRASE, not just word -- pure genius), "tick tock."

And speaking of phrases ...

Today as Dad was leaving for work, you said, "See ya later." You also said, "Push it!" about your trike and "I don't know" about my persistent question: "Why are you coughing?" (Side note: WHY ARE YOU COUGHING???)

There have been some changes made in our daily routine of late due to the findings of some not-so-recent research about the damage that can be caused by videos -- yes, even educational videos. Up to now we had allowed you to watch ONE educational video per day OR to play ONE computer game per day. However, it seems that pediatric researchers believe this MIGHT cause you to have ADD or ADHD and so we have done away with all of it for now. This development has opened up a whole new world for both you and me. For me, it means that I have to come up with something new and completely engrossing for you to do while I cook delicious, low-fat meals. For you it means that you get to watch me clamber around desperately stuffing new objects into your hands as I to-and-fro throughout the kitchen attempting to cook delicious, low-fat meals for my beloved family. In fact, this has been much more difficult for ME than for YOU, because it is now up to me to find something to entertain you during the 20 minutes it takes me to cook up those delicious low-fat meals (EVERY night -- I should really change my name to Susie or Betty). So far the experience has been nothing short of HAIRY. When Dad is around, this is not a problem ... one of us cooks and the other entertains you. But when it's just me and you then LOOK OUT. In the last week I have entertained you with the following items: play-doh (see my Flickr photostream for evidence), a salad spinner, and an almost-empty bottle of French's mustard.

Truth be told, you never really watched those videos anyway. You'd look up during your favorite parts, but for the most part, you'd just sit in the living room listening -- jamming out to the classical music and simultaneously ripping CDs off the shelf, or playing the piano, or climbing onto the back of the recliner, or snatching ink pens from my desk, or flipping through the pages of your favorite books, or pushing trucks around all over the floor (and up the walls and across the furniture), or opening and closing DVD cases, or any number of other 17-month-old Big Boy activities. And don't worry ... all that research ... it only says that it's bad for children who are under 24 months of age ... so in seven months you can watch whatever you want baby!

Just kidding.

Happy 17 Little Buddy,
Mama

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking


Since your voice has left the building. Yes, we survived The Goose's pinkeyes, ear infection, and molar growing, and now The Mama is Pitiful with a capital "P."

Sorry I haven't called, Mom, but I haven't been able to speak at all since Tuesday night. Finally today I have the ability to make throaty, grunting noises. I came down with a cold-like thing on Saturday -- I thought it was whatever The Goose had, but it morphed into a bacterial ear infection and laryngitis. I actually thought I was better on Tuesday, so I taught on Tuesday night and after three hours of subject/verb agreement, I was without the ability to utter sounds. I had already missed Monday's classes in order to rest. Tuesday I didn't have a sitter (B was away at training), so I stayed home to keep the Goose, and then Wednesday and Thursday I couldn't talk at all. I went to the doctor, who gave the above diagnosis, and now I'm popping antibiotics again. This is the third time this winter that I've been sick. Frankly, it's getting old. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back at work, even though my voice is barely audible and my ear is really painful.

But this blog isn't about ME now is it? I hear you laughing; stop it. When he can type and comment on his own life then I will gladly give up my right to preface his updates with my own troubles. Plus, it is KILLING me not to be able to talk. I just like to talk and it's very debilitating to lose your ability to communicate. OK, enough.

In Goose news, all is well. He is fully into Climbing On Everything Mode. Today we went to the library to play with the Thomas the Train set and I, being still a little puny, lay down on the floor for a minute right beside the train set (the library was practically empty and so this seemed appropriate). When I sat up again, I found The Goose sitting smack dab in the middle of the train track, which is on top of a toddler-sized table. He did it without even one grunt of effort -- silently, stealthily, just like a pro. Then, on the way out of the library, he fell and smacked his forehead on the concrete and has yet another Goose Bump.

He's really into walking long distances these days, and we frequently walk all around the park without the stroller. He sometimes takes his trike, but usually he prefers that $3 cart. He still prefers the cart over pretty much any other toy. In the picture above, he is looking at Otter Creek from the side of the road. He knows to stay behind the white line, but he likes to get as close as possible anyway and throw things in. He is obsessed with bridges (small, walking path bridges) and will run back and forth over the bridges until he collapses in exhaustion. He's taking only one nap a day now, and if he goes goes goes until lunch and then we go upstairs to read stories before sleeping, he will fall dead asleep in my lap and not wake up for three hours. He is an active, active guy.

We have moved him into a booster chair at the table, although in the last couple days he has refused to eat without the tray on the booster seat. The table is still a little high for him, I guess. If he sees the tray (like on the floor beside the chair, which is usually where we keep it), he'll point and whine until I put the tray on his seat. Then he moves everything from the table onto the tray and begins his meal. Picky, you say. Au contraire (is that how you spell that?). He will eat just about anything you put in front of him ... broccoli, peas, carrots, penne pasta with basil and green beans, hummus, spinach, TOFU ... you name it. I love that about him. And he LOVES orange Gatorade. He takes big gulps and then leans back and says, "AHHHHHH," like thirst quenched, thank you very much. The only thing he really just will not eat is meat. We haven't found a chicken and/or beef dish that he likes. I suspect it's because he still lacks molars, but who knows, maybe we have a little vegetarian.

It's late and I should get some rest. While I'm at work tomorrow, The Goose and The Dad have a work/playdate. Their goal is to finish the flower bed. On account of The Dad's training schedule this week, he has strange off days. So tomorrow The Goose gets to stay home from school and party.

Party on.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Adventures of ...


Click here to see more.

Colander Man!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Workin in the yard is FUN!


Especially when it's a Goose and a Dad doing all the work while the mom snaps photos and whines about how tired she is. Seriously, I do not know how people work full time and have kids and still get it all done. They must have housekeepers. They must. But OH NO, I decided to try to save the world and be a teacher and as we ALL know: teachers cannot afford housekeepers. Do I sound a little cranky? Maybe it's because I'm so tired. Did I mention that I'm tired?

Well, without further ado or Mama Whining, The Goose would like to wish a VERY happy birthday to The Dad of the family, who even now is out keeping the squirrels safe and overseeing the monthly meeting of the Tennessee Ornithological Association. Last week he gave a $192 fine to a 29-year old Floridian who was throwing rocks at turtles. The guy's excuse: He's from Florida. What? You don't get it? We don't either. Anyway, he'll have to pay for his turtle target practice. Tomorrow, Nana & Grampy will arrive to surprise The Dad with a weekend visit and a special lamb & beans dinner.

In other news, I'm tired.

There are lots of new photos posted, but here are a few of the best:

Cat Photo Obsession

Above is The Goose with his new, laminated photo of Clementine Cat. Macy found out that he was carrying around a framed photo of said feline and promptly made and laminated a few recent photos to ensure The Goose's safety. Picture frames can be incredibly dangerous you know.

BIRDS!  Tweet tweet!

The discovery of up-close wildlife with Great Grandpa Mainwaring's binoculars.

In other news, I am tired.

On the language development front, the following words have entered his vocabulary:

  • moon
  • ornithology
  • megrim
  • literacy

Just kidding. He does say "moon" though.

Right now I am in a terrible panic because I cannot think of anything to write. And is it really because I'm so tired or is it because I have now started working more and don't hang out with my Buddy Snickums as much and thus don't know what to say. Who knows? We'll see.

Happy Thursday & Happy Birthday to The Groundhog Guy.