Christmas Cleanup

So, the cleanup begins! The tree needs to come down, the halls need to be un-decked and all the serving-ware needs to go back to it's's this time of year I'm thankful for older kids who are home on Winter Break to help! Of course the teenager grumbles about this significantly, but I remind him that he can enjoy the time working on the cleanup project while using his new ipod! Speaking of small music making devices, the baby got one, too! Just this year Playskool came out with an MP3 player for the little ones; the Playskool Made for Me digital music player --the unit sits inside a larger animal shaped sturdy thing and allows the baby to push a button and hear the songs we've installed for him as well as others it comes with. Why the ipod folks didn't think of this is beyond me-- (they passed on the opportunity for a babypod? crazy!) and frankly the good folks at Hasbro / Playskool should be paying me for blogging about this! (but sadly, they're not). Anyway, the kids are quite happy with their gifts though I can't say the same for daddy. (let's just say that a pair of cords looked like a nice blue color online and in real life they are apparently "periwinkle".) In addition, my hubby thought my feet are smaller than they are so my new slippers don't fit. So after the cleanup, let the exchanges begin!

Sometimes you have to improvise!

This December is flying by and we found ourselves with a packed weekend of Christmas preparations, get-togethers and general merriment—i.e., trying to cram as much as we can into the last free pre-Christmas days. We spent all day Sunday enjoying an old fashioned Christmas Faire. Lots of fun, though a long day for baby in the stroller. This was our first “trip” more than an hour away with the little guy and I thought I had all the necessary gear for our adventure. Sadly, I realized one small but important baby item: the binky holder. Without this thing the binky would simply end up being hurled out of the stroller onto the floor. Well, as it turns out, I cleverly fashioned a makeshift binky holder out of a silicone hand sanitizer dispenser holder! No, really! This thing actually worked, complete with being able to tether one end to the stroller harness while holding the binky on the other end! [and yes, I remembered to remove the bottle of hand sanitizer first!] I was so proud of myself- I had a MacGyver moment! I have to admit here that it wasn’t that long ago that when hearing others refer to making something like MacGyver would I had no idea what/who they were talking about—I actually never saw that show. After hearing several comments about this and finally seeing a couple of tv spoofs (MacGyver getting himself out of a jam with duck tape, a rubber hose and a bobby pin) I finally got this reference and always thought to myself; “hey, I want to do a MacGyver thing!” so, there you have it- I’m a MacGyver mommy!

Holiday mishaps

I couldn't let this holiday season go by without first taking a glance back a few weeks ago to our event filled Thanksgiving. (Since apparently the entire month of November got by me without any blog entries I have to try to make up for that with this story.) This year, since we didn't have any family coming to visit or any family to go visit we decided to go out to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving. It seemed silly to cook for just us and we thought it might be fun for a change. Well, we chose a nice place that we'd been to before and made reservations. We all got dressed up including the baby and off we went. The place was packed (apparently plenty of other folks thought the idea of going out for Thanksgiving was fun, too). The baby was pretty content in his highchair and we had finished our appetizers and were starting on our salads when all of a sudden the baby threw up...all over the table! Yes, apparently he had a stomach flu type thing and it hit him at this particular moment. I immediately jumped to my feet, started cleaning up the mess while hubby informed the waiter we'd like our meals "to go" and we made a hasty exit. Once home we got the baby cleaned up and in bed. In a couple days he was over the virus and then the rest of the family, one by one, got the same thing. Fun times. I figure this makes an exciting holiday memory to tell many years from now at future Thanksgivings. Interestingly, this is not the first time we've had a nice-restaurant-baby-explosion-incident. When the baby was just a few months old and still exclusively breastfed we all went out to a nice Asian place for dinner. Since we don't often get to do such things this was a special event. It was made even more special when hubby, who was holding baby on his lap, all of a sudden heard a rumble and looked down to see a diaper explosion of biblical proportions--said explosion went up the back of the diaper to the top of baby's pants and down hubby's sweater and his pants and onto the floor! I quickly grabbed the baby, wrapped him in a blanket and headed for the restroom (which thankfully did have a changing table--amazing how many places don't) and cleaned him up the best I could. When I got back to the table I looked at the rest of the family and just started laughing and said; "you know, times like this all you can do is laugh!" Fortunately, we had been able to eat our meals for the most part before this event occurred. Another exciting story to share for years to come!

I guess anything can offend someone...

An interesting thing happened while listing a few of the baby’s item’s for sale on ebay. Apparently, the standard comment I have on my auction listings about being a stay at home mom and trying to make a few extra bucks on ebay offended someone who took it upon herself to verbally blast me in an e-mail. For entertainment, feel free to read the ebay auction listing here, complete with the nasty comment in the Q & A section and my response for all the ebay world to see. (No longer available since it's past the 90 days ebay leaves listings up.) I was not about to respond directly to the person who made the comment, but since she so conveniently provided me with a writing topic I could not resist taking that opportunity!

It amazes me what ruffles some people’s feather’s. When being a stay at home mom selling a few things on ebay can offend someone, then truly anything can.

It's a good thing boys are so tough!

The baby, 14 months old now, is already quite a rough and tumble little boy. He bangs things, hits things, throws things and frequently bonks his baby head on furniture stopping only briefly to rub it a little and keep on going. It amazes me. We even hear frequent "thuds" over the baby monitor when he bonks his head against his crib! We probably should get the kid a little helmet. Speaking of which, I’m reminded of a story my mom tells from my childhood. When I was a little girl (around 4 in this story) we had an unfinished backyard with a dirt mound that I loved to play in. I would dig in the dirt with a little shovel, make “dirt castles” and play for hours just having fun in the dirt. (As a mom now, just thinking of the laundry makes me cringe!) Anyway, the little neighbor boy would come over and of course, being a boy, he’d also love to play in the dirt. My mom will apparently never forget the day that he came over wearing some sort of helmet. We were out back digging in the dirt playing as usual and then for some unknown reason I bonked the poor kid over the head with my little shovel! The dialogue to follow went something like this:

Boy: Oww!! You hit me ..what did you do that for?
Me: Ummm, well, I don’t know, what are you wearing the helmet for?

I guess that logic is hard to argue with!

Isn’t that what Scarecrows are for?

So it’s Halloween around here alright. A few days ago Hubby hauled out the large scarecrow we decorate with every year and decided to put it out in front up against the garage. So as I head out the front door and turn the corner…there it is. As previously mentioned I startle easily- so, the darn thing scared me! The pathetic part is after the first time this happend I forgot about it and it got me again a couple days later (I only make it out of the house every couple days or so thanks to baby cranky pants.) Then hubby decides this isn’t the best location for our scarecrow friend and moves him to another location, closer to where I turn the corner when coming out the front door! And again—I get startled by the darn thing!

Being the only female in a household full of males is never more apparent than at Halloween. The other day while looking around at all the neat Halloween d├ęcor at Target I catch both “boys” (that would be hubby and teenager) attempting to “surprise” the baby with one of those candy dishes with the hand that reaches out for you. They continued to put it in front of him to see his little baby suprised reaction --they thought it was just hysterical! Poor baby, Mommy will save you from your big brother and Daddy!

So onto more mischief and mayhem. We are the proud owners of an infa-red/automatic opening trash can. I love this thing! There are many opportunities to rejoice in not needing to have my hands free to open a trash can since I am frequently “icked” by something or other as a mommy trying to dispose of the mess of the hour. Well, apparently the thing needed more than just changing the trash bag because after announcing; “Hey honey, the trash can smells” to the hubby who graciously took out the trash, I noticed it still smelled. Eww! So, we took the thing outside and sprayed it down with some disinfectant. While it was laying in two parts on the patio, the can and the automatic opening lid, both hubby and I were standing in the kitchen looking outside at it waiting for the cat to walk by the right place, trigger the automatic sensor and jump a mile high when the lid suddenly opened up….much to our disappointment we kept watching her walk by and it never happened-darn! Of course it was then I realized that when the possibility of scaring the heck out of the cat is the highlight of our evening perhaps we need to get out more often.

That’s roughly 3 years…

Way back when I always thought it was odd that mothers used months to state their kids ages…."little Emily is 38 months and Sam is 56 months"… Now I understand! I think there is something just a little bit sad in acknowledging that your baby is getting older—after all, my baby, who for all intents and purposes is still a baby, is technically a year old, but I cannot bring myself to say that! So, he’s 13 months—much better. Ah, sweet denial! Of course my other “baby” is 179 months old!

Speaking of getting out of the baby age, now that my dear little one is past the year mark we are transitioning out of bottles. Thank heavens! You see, being fairly health conscious about things when we did have a need for bottles we chose to use glass instead of plastic. Thanks to this choice my baby’s “WANTED” poster has gone up all over town due to hurling his bottle out his stroller and onto the floor…. CRASH! Now there’s a coffee shop and a baby store I cannot show my face in. The last time he did this the bottle was aimed directly at some poor woman’s feet. She was very good natured about it and made a comment about how she didn’t know they even made glass bottles anymore. Thank goodness she was wearing tennis shoes and not flip flops!

I guess it’s the time of year for this sort of thing….

So the other day I am minding my own business sitting at the kitchen table checking e-mail when from the other room I hear my baby’s little talking house go off all by itself! "Doo deedle doo da doo: seven", "Doo deedle doo da doo: nine" and it keeps doing it! Spooky! I decided to just go with it and start writing down the numbers in case they are lottery winners!

Speaking of spookiness, I am known for being easily startled. My husband will frequently sneak up behind me (though he claims he’s just walking normally) and out of the blue will appear around a corner and I’ll scream! Growing up, my oldest son thought this was hysterical once he learned mommy got scared and screamed if you snuck up on her so this was something he enjoyed the heck out of when he was little. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the new little guy starts this fun-filled activity! The other day was the kicker though. We had just finished breakfast and hubby mumbled something and disappeared into another part of the house. A few moments later I head back to the master bedroom, open the door to the bathroom and..... scream! There’s dear hubby on the potty! Apparently I scared him as much as he scared me! Next he just bursts into uncontrollable laughter! {I just wasn’t expecting to see anyone in there!}

Well, I must say other than being scared I do enjoy this time of year; Halloween, the onset of cooler weather, Thanksgiving, crisp, cool nights, crunchy leaves, having dinner when it’s actually dark instead of brighter than the noon-day sun. I guess I must be an Autumn person. It’s this time of year when I look forward to scenic Fall drives, going to a pumpkin patch, wearing sweaters and other Fall clothing, and getting holiday shopping started and hopefully finished long before the holiday season hits!