Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Warfare

Little man has a new item in his I don't want to go to bed arsenal.

"Mommy, I need big kiss."

Followed by ...

"Mommy, I need little kiss."

Followed by ...

"Mommy, I need big hug."

And then the whole manipulative - but incredibly sweet - cycle begins again.

Little man has always had his little tricks to get out of going to bed. In the past this has included items such as "read more books" or the common "I need more water" or "I need to go pee-pee."

However, we have one by one systematically conquered them by limiting the book reading to two bedtime stories and always making sure little man has a full sippy cup of water at his side and a trip to the potty just before bed (even though I do admit we do take him to the bathroom every time he asks, even if he just went, because I am horribly afraid of taking two steps backward in this whole potty training adventure).

But I don't think I can overcome this new trick. He may have won.

My cunning little man has found a way to overcome the "it's time for bed now" rule. While I do limit the big kiss, little kiss, big hug excuse to just one cycle now, I cannot say no. It's like mommy kryptonite. It defeats me every time.

And what's worse, is I'm sure little man knows it. And he triumphs in it.

I try to tell myself that he's won this battle, but not the war. While bedtime is now delayed, he does still go to bed.

And I get a chance for more little man kisses and hugs.

Bedtime isn't that important is it?

So much for maintaining my authority ... again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just Like Daddy

Everyone warned me about the "terrible twos." I was actually afraid of them. I was more afraid of them than I was of bringing home a newborn. I knew I could handle getting up every three hours to feed him, thus living my life in a constant state of exhaustion ... but could I survive an all-out, nuclear temper tantrum?

And then little man turned 2.

And in just a few short months, when little man celebrates his third birthday, I will be sad to see 2 go.

This year has been, quite possibly, the best year yet. Now that little man has learned the art of communication through words, I love my little conversations with him.

His excitement and curiosity never cease to amaze me. I love seeing the world through his eyes.

Little man's new phrase as of late is "just like daddy."

Everything - and I do mean everything - must now be done "just like daddy."

From sitting at the table eating dinner ...

"I take big bite ... just like daddy."

To making sure he gets his fill of milk for the day ...

"Daddy drink milk? I drink just like daddy."

Unfortunately, little man has also picked up some of daddy's bad habits. Daddy has a penchant for sitting on the couch at the end of the day, flopping off his shoes and then pulling his dirty socks off one by one and throwing them across the room. Why? I have no idea, I choose to blame his mom on this one.

It was a habit that - God love him - I was determined my husband was not to teach little man.

But ... alas ... little man is a sponge. A giant, mimicking, sponge.

And so there was little man the other night. Sitting on the couch after dinner.

"Mommy! Shoes OFF !"

{insert mommy glare here}


After finally receiving my requisite "please," I helped little man untie his double-knotted Nikes and put them on the floor.

Then, my once well-mannered little boy proceeded to pull his socks of one by one and throw them.

"Just like daddy!" Little man proclaimed, so proud of himself.

And there sat two pairs of socks on my living room floor - one a size 13 adult, the other a size 9.5 toddler.

And just as I opened my mouth to correct little man, and tell him that we don't throw our socks onto the floor (all the while cussing my husband in my mind), something stopped me.

It was little man's big blue eyes, gleaming with pride. And his little voice echoed "just like daddy" in my mind.

And I smiled.

As much as I hate the prospect of dirty socks on my living room floor, the moment wasn't about socks - it was about a little boy and his love for his daddy.

And so I held my tongue, knowing that this silence would also sentence me to a life of now picking up two pairs of socks from the living room floor each night.

But what can I say? It was cute and I may have had a moment of mommy weakness. But, I love the little man ... socks and all ... just like daddy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Generation Gap

This weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday. The celebration of my third decade of life left me feeling a bit nostalgic all week.

However, I can honestly say that turning 30 didn't get me down, instead I mostly reflected back on what a great life it has been thus far and made me realize that 30 really is the new 20.

That is, until we decided to treat little man to a Happy Meal.

And then, I felt old.

I remember growing up my own mother lamenting about how Happy Meal toys were strange little things that didn't make much sense. She wondered what was so alluring about them to little kids.

I also remember wondering what exactly did she mean? Happy Meal toys were the best!

Then ... I became a mom.

Let me begin this post first and foremost by saying that Happy Meals are a treat at our house ... although I do admit it is an easy dinner for little man, we do our best to keep Happy Meals a fun, exciting treat rather than just dinner. Perhaps that, in and of itself, is what makes Happy Meal toys so fun.

And that's what it was last Friday night ... feeling cheerful and upbeat by the anticipation of the weekend's birthday celebration, we decided to treat little man to a Happy Meal while we ate something more grown-up later that night.

While happily dining on his chicken nuggets, fries and chocolate milk, I rummaged through his sack to dig out his Happy Meal toy. Only to find myself suddenly feeling as if the past 30 years of life had caught up to me.

"How strange," I thought to myself. "What is it?"

Enter: The Generation Gap

"Yay!" Little man proclaimed as he snatched up the toy from my hands and began playing with it.

I sat in a daze ... wondering, quite frankly, what in the world I had just pulled out from that bag.

And then I remembered my mother lamenting about Happy Meal toys - and then I understood what exactly she had meant. And I felt for her. And I felt old ... again.

However, a picture speaks a thousand words, so before I unveil to you all what is, quite possibly, the most disturbing Happy Meal toy of all time, I dug through little man's toy box to show you a countdown of my Top Three Most Disturbing Happy Meal Toys:

No. 3: American Idol or American Psycho?

I'm not exactly sure what this is supposed to be ... but my investigative skills tell me it must have something to do with American Idol due to the "American Idol" on its shirt. If you twist its arm it sings a strange little song reminiscent of bad early 90s techno. Not to mention the outfit is definitely a throwback to the 80s. But what exactly does that have to do with American Idol? And why was it in my son's Happy Meal? Perhaps we shouldn't ask questions we don't want the answer to ....

No. 2: Rooster or WWF Superstar?

Unlike the previous item, there were no tell-tale signs on this prize as to what exactly it is. I think it looks like a rooster. However, if you pull its arm up, it will slam it back down, making me think more WWF wrestler. Either way it is definitely disturbing ... my only solace it that it appears little man also doesn't know exactly what this is either... so at least I'm not alone in my Happy Meal ponderings.

And finally, the No. 1 most disturbing Happy Meal toy ...

It's a plane ... it's a head ... it's ....

I really don't know what it is. But, it bobbles.

It's a big-headed, jet fighter bobble-head.

And yes, that's all it does. It bobbles.

Maybe the Happy Meal toy makers had a bunch of extra Star Wars toys and some Ken heads with no bodies?

Maybe it's some kind of new superhero? BobbleMan?


Maybe I'm just old.

Maybe I now understand the meaning of "generation gap."

Maybe I should stop pondering the meaning of bobble-heads.


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Two weekends ago we went camping with some good friends of ours and their two little ones.

Or, according to little man, we went "tampin'."

Before you give me that "are you crazy?" look, let me begin by saying that our friends had a camper, which meant we did have running water, a bathroom and air conditioning. Although it was a bit cramped with seven of us in one camper, if you've ever been to Kansas in August, you'll understand why we did not do tents.

Like the baseball game, I was definitely worried about how well little man would do tampin'. I was worried little man was still too little. But, once again, mommy was wrong.

Little man loved it. Every minute of it.

We spent our days out on the boat, fishing and swimming and playing in the mud. It was a welcome relief from the hot August sun. And when the day got hotter, we simply found a little shady cove near our campsite, where little man spent the afternoon swimming and squeezing mud between his little fingers.

At night, little man loved dining on "torn" (aka corn on the cob fresh from the campfire) as well as all of the other camping delicacies. My only regret is that little man did not get to enjoy smores, as he fell asleep before the first marshmallow finished roasting.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Even though I'm still cleaning all of the mud out from underneath little man's fingernails.

{looking at the stars from the middle of the lake}

{love this}


{seven people cramped into one camper often find humor in strange things}


{fishin' with daddy}

{in the wilderness with mommy}

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...

A few weekends ago, we mustered up our courage and decided it was time to take little man to his first real baseball game.

Fortunately, we had reinforcements -- Nana and Grandpa. Which, for the record, is the only reason I agreed to such an adventure. I figured with four grown adults, we could surely wrangle a 2 1/2 year old.

Hopefully. Surely. Maybe.

I must admit, I did not have faith in little man's ability to sit through a baseball game. While I do like to think of him as my perfect little angel ... well, I guess I'll just refer you back to my previous blog about little man's spunk.

However, this was definitely one of the rare instances where mommy was wrong. (Yes, I said it.) It soon became apparent that little man is indeed a true-blue little boy. While the large crowd did leave him a little unsure, he put on a brave face and was soon wildly pointing around asking mommy "What's that?"

When we arrived at our seats, little man was even more enamored.

And when the boys took to the field and the first pitch was thrown, little man's eyes kept getting wider and wider.

Then ... my spunky little boy had an epiphany.

"Mommy, I go there."

"Where do you want to go little man?"

"Down there ... there mommy, down."

As I followed little man's gaze and saw where his little finger was pointing I realized where "down there" was ... little man wanted to go down to the field.

"I play baseball."

{mommy's heart melts}

"No, buddy, you can't play ball down there."

"Mommy, I go down therrrrrrrrre."

All I could do was give him a hug and reassure him.

"Maybe in a few years ... maybe when you grow up you can play down there."

And although it was a last-ditch effort to cheer him up after quashing his baseball dreams, I told him all about his Uncle "Lambo" and how he was once a great baseball player. He could teach little man all he needed to know about baseball.

But, instead little man just looked on with his big blue eyes, longing to go "play baseball down there."

After a few hot dogs, ice cream and all the other culinary delights the stadium had to offer, little man finally accepted that he could not go "down there."

And then, in typical Kansas summertime fashion, these rolled in:

And we moved up ... waaaayyy up as the rain came pouring down.

We attempted to wait it out, however the night hour was continuing to tick by and little man's big blue eyes slowly got heavier and heavier.

When we got home, little man was tuckered out from his big day and gladly went to bed. Later, when I went to check on him, I found little man snoring away with his baseball glove on, surely dreaming about the day when he can play "down there."

{baseball dreams}

{Getting a toddler to look at the camera and smile is often a difficult feat. But, you take what you can get}

{Did I mention getting a toddler to look at the camera and smile is a difficult feat? Hey, we tried.}

{little man and grandpa}

{down there}