Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween from my little DOGGIE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Today is little man's first Halloween party! His preschool is having a party this afternoon and it was fun seeing all of the fellow kiddos arrive this morning with their treats and costumes. Chloe, little man's friend, proudly showed me her lady bug costume this morning. In turn, little man proudly proclaimed to his class that his mommy had brought jello jigglers for everyone. (I guess the way to a man's heart really is through his stomach.)

This is the first year little man has really been excited and/or "gets" Halloween. The first year he was just 10 months old. He had a habit of sitting hunched over and playing with his hands, almost like he was wringing them. This, in addition to his small size and lack of hair, quickly gave my husband and I the idea for his FIRST Halloween costume:

It was just too easy.

And too cute.

For the second Halloween my husband and I thought for sure little man would be more into it. He was now walking, talking and eating candy. He was almost 2 and we couldn't wait to take him around trick-or-treating. His costume of choice:

A dragon. Since he couldn't quite say the words "tick-or-treat," we taught him to instead say "Rawrrrrrrrrr!"

He was quite the hit. Until he would inevitably try to then take all of the candy out of the bowl and/or run inside their house to say "hi" to their "doggie."

And yes, that really did happen.

Thank goodness for understanding neighbors.

This year, however, is different. Little man knows Halloween is coming up and is very, very excited. Today's costume party is the first, with a second to follow at my office on Friday afternoon. Then, of course, the BIG night on Friday.

And this year, little man is most excited about his costume. A costume that he picked out all by himself. A costume that if we did not leave Target with would crush little man's heart and soul. A costume he begs to wear every night ... be continued.

{I know, the fierceness of this dragon probably has you shaking in your boots}

{Onward Ho!}

{I hope they have the good candy at this house}


As I mentioned on Monday, little man and I spent the weekend at my parent's house. My brother, Ryan (or as we call him, Lambo) and his wife, Kara (or Aunt KK), were in town to visit. My brother, a good K-Stater and Kara, a Sooner, call Texas home, but made the trip up to Kansas to visit family and catch the K-State vs. OU game.

Ryan and Kara are very much that couple. You know the ones - the ones that you know will some day be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Although they don't have any children of their own yet, they were also made to be parents and love children. And little man adores them, as well.

My brother has always been the athletic one of the family. He tried in vain for many years to instill some kind of athletic ability in me, but it was to no avail. Today I justify it as saying that at least my parents had the best of both worlds: not only did they have a son and a daughter, but they also had one athletic golden child and one artsy, creative, definitely not athletic child.

In my baseball game post I briefly touched on this by mentioning that my brother was a great baseball player. However, although I'm sure he must have at least liked baseball to have played it all those years, his true love was always football.

For many, many years Ryan taught high school science classes and coached high school football. Which is how he met Kara, a high school Special Education teacher.

Little man just recently became interested in playing ball. Knowing that this trip was on the horizon I told him all about how his Uncle Lambo could teach him to catch that football just right.

Then that day came. The day when we would see Uncle Lambo and little man would take to the field in what was sure to be an ultimate pigskin match-up.

Lambo vs. Little Man.

But mommy forgot to pack a football.

Fortunately, she and Grammy Jo needed to go to the grocery store anyway. Good thing they also had Nerf footballs.

THEN the moment came. Little man's first football lesson.

{First came the introduction to the football}

{Then the basics of throwing and catching the football}

{And the art of the hand-off}

{Then impatience, an unfortunate by-product of being 2. So, little man simply stole the ball.}

{Game On!}

{Uh-oh. What do I do now? Maybe I should have gotten more lessons, after all.}

{I'll just hide behind this tree then}

{And if that doesn't work, I'll hit him with a stick. Football is a full-contact sport, isn't it?}

{And when I prove too much for Uncle Lambo, he'll send in Aunt KK!}

{She likes to tickle me}

{But I'm a gentleman. So I won't hit her with my stick. Instead I'll kill her with my cuteness.}

{And in the end, there was just one left standing victorious. It was a good game for all.}

Monday, October 27, 2008


We had a big fun weekend with my extended family. My husband was in Canada for business, so it was just little man and I and the open road as we trekked to my hometown for the weekend. It was fun to get away for the weekend and spend some time with my parents, brother and his wife, all whom little man adores... more on that later.

Just a quick story for now. As we were winding down last night from our big weekend, little man was enjoying a warm bubble bath before bed. We were splashing and giggling and playing all of the usual bath time games when little man suddenly looked up at me, grinned and said "You happy mommy?

"Oh yes, of course I'm happy," I replied.

"Because you have ME!" little man said, grinning even bigger.

"Yes, because I have you," I said, also grinning.

And while the warm bath warmed little man, this little exchange definitely warmed my heart. Somewhere in between all of the time-outs and no's, little man has still learned just how much he is loved and how proud of him we are.

And to see him so confident and so sure of himself because he knows mommy and daddy love him so, definitely makes me happy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Upping the Ante

As I wrote about in a previous post, my little man is constantly finding new ways to scheme and con his way out of bedtime.

When the "I need big kiss" ... "I need hug" scheme began to wear off on mommy, little man upped the ante.

For a while now little man has melted the hearts of all within earshot by uttering "I want to howd you," (Translation: I want to hold you) whenever he was upset, bored, tired, not feeling well or just wanted out of the grocery cart at the store. And sometimes when he really means business he whips out the big guns:

"I want to schnugellu." (Translation: I want to snuggle you.)

I know. It has that effect on me, too.

However, I thought for sure this time little man had peaked. That there was no surpassing the magic lure and heart-melting effects of the "I want to schnugellu." That there could not be anything more he could say that could possibly be more heart-wrenching, mommy-melting or hypnotizing than that.

But, alas, I was wrong. Proving - once again - that little man is always one step ahead of mommy and her ability to (in time) become immune to such warfare.

Last night little man was having a particularly hard time falling asleep. I don't know if he was just overtired, didn't feel well, couldn't get comfortable or what. Just as we thought he was down we would hear him cry from his room for one of us.

Sometimes it was that he couldn't find his "lovey" (a small blue blanket) in his bed. Sometimes he thought he needed to be tucked in again. Other times it was that he needed a drink of water or that he needed to go to the bathroom.

And other times it was the dreaded "I want to howd you" or "I want to schnugellu."

And of course he always said it in the saddest, cutest little way, complete with a little whimper and big, sad blue eyes.

And of course, I would then immediately crawl into bed with him.

I know, the parenting experts, books and magazines will tell you to never do that. That, if done even once, your child will then never learn to fall asleep on their own. That they will forever more think you need to be with them in order for them to fall asleep.

To those experts I say: You've never heard the "I want to schnugellu," have you?

As I snuggled little man in his bed he finally began to doze off. I quietly snuck out of his room and closed the door.

Or so I thought.

Just as I made it back to my bedroom he began calling out again.

I thought for sure he would fall back asleep soon, so I decided to just wait it out, rather than run back into his room.

Then it came. The be-all-and-end-all mommy kryptonite. Worse than the "I want to howd you" and even worse than the "I want to schnugellu."

"Mommy come back!"

At first I didn't understand what he was saying. So I listened again.

"Mommy come back!"

I froze.

"Mommy come back!"

Then it was all like a big blur. When I finally came to I found myself warmly snuggled with little man in his bed, his little hand holding mine as he snuggled in closer.

And I was waving a white flag of surrender ...

... or is that a white flag of defeat?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Out of Control ...

As I've written about before, little man is a clean freak. He's also very assertive when it comes to things he deems serious business.

And apparently cleanliness is serious business.

This tale isn't one that I experienced directly, although it did give me a good laugh.

Tonight little man decided he needed a muffin after dinner. No biggie. I almost always have a batch of freshly baked mini-muffins on hand as they make a tasty and healthy breakfast and snack for the fam.

However, as all 2-year-olds, when little man eats a muffin, even a mini-muffin, there is always an almost constant cascade of crumbs that fall out of his mouth and onto the floor (much to our dog's chagrin).

Only tonight the coffee table caught most of the brunt. When little man looked down to see the crumbs all over the table he immediately went into clean-freak mode. I was upstairs changing my clothes, so little man alerted daddy to the pile of lemon poppyseed crumbs adorning our coffee table.

My husband then reached down to brush the crumbs off of the table and into his other hand to dispose of them.

But for little man, that was all wrong.

"No DADDY!" He yelled.

Little man then blocked daddy in what can be described as a quick, ninja-like reflex. He shielded the crumbs from the atrocity daddy was about to commit.

"No daddy," little man asserted. "You get DOOM!" (**if unfamiliar with the doom, read here)

Amazed at having just been schooled by a 2-year-old, my husband went and retrieved the Dustbuster.

My husband then doomed up the crumbs and began to walk away.

"Daddy, crumb HERE," little man said pointing to a missed crumb.

Again, my husband clicked on the Dustbuster and turned to walk away.

"Daddy. HERE! Crumb!" Little man said again, pointing to another crumb.

After dooming up the errant crumb my husband finally caught on.

"Is that good? Are there any more crumbs?" He asked little man.

Little man looked around.

"No. It's good."

And then all was well again in little man's world.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the Moment

As I wrote about in one of my first posts, my pregnancy was very difficult. Although everything did end up being OK in the end, those 12 weeks of hospitals/bedrest were the worst 12 weeks of my life. I'm so very, very thankful that things did turn out as they did, however I do not sugarcoat my feelings when it comes to my pregnancy story. It is now three years later and although I know that if I want another baby, we should probably at least be thinking about it (as I'm definitely not getting any younger), I am still terrified of being pregnant again.

However, I do still try to see the good things from that chapter of my life. Aside from the obvious (that despite everything, we did make it through that time and today have a spunky, adorable and absolutely loved almost 3-year-old) I think my pregnancy did give me unique perspective on some things - that is, not to take any moment with little man for granted.

There are definitely moments as a mother that still take my breath away. Sometimes it is just snuggling with little man at night when the house is dark and quiet, or splashing water around in the tub with him and hearing him laugh. It is during these moments when an alarm will sound in my head, and suddenly I will just know that I should just enjoy that moment for what it is and forget about the dishes, the dog, etc. I'm suddenly reminded just how close we were to not having little man with us. I'm thankful that if anything, my pregnancy taught me to see these moments for what they are and to recognize that I am in one of those moments in life that little man and I will treasure even when he is a grown man with children himself.

I had one of these moments Saturday morning. My husband had gotten up early to run some errands, leaving little man and I snoozing. As usual, little man woke up before I did, and thus began our usual weekend ritual:

"MAAAAAMMMMEEEEEEEE!" He yells from his bedroom.


I then always open his bedroom door and am greeted by a giggle and a smile, and then a big hug as I pick him up off of his bed.

Only this morning, as I was enjoying my morning bear hug, little man pointed to my bedroom and said "I go sit in Mommy's bed. Watch catoooooons."

I thought that sounded like quite the deal.

So we piled back into my bed. Little man gladly slipped under the comforter and snuggled into a pillow next to me.

And so we sat there on a quiet Saturday morning, just little man and I snuggling in my bed, watching cartoons. I was surprised little man was so content to just snuggle. Usually on the weekends he is awake and ready to play once his feet hit the floor. But not that morning. I knew that this was one of those moments, and so I took in every snuggle and giggle.

But, just as all things in life, good things must come to an end. Which brings to me to an explanation of the strange little picture up above. As little man and I were finishing an episode of Mickey Mouse Playhouse, I decided to do a bit of channel surfing to see what other cartoons were on. As little man and I flipped through the channels, he suddenly said "I watch that."

It was a cartoon that at first I thought looked cute. It had little animals running around, not Army commandos shooting each other or strange scary alien creatures, so I figured it was OK to stop channel surfing.

But then I realized the little animals were somewhat strange. They did not have fur. They had little bits of paper. They were piñatas. Strange, talking, piñatas.

Yes. Piñatas.

And then a giant bull piñata attacked another piñata. It was like I was watching an episode of WWF - with piñatas.

Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who was confused.

I looked over at little man and he had the same look of confusion. He also didn't know whether to laugh, cry or be deeply, deeply disturbed.

And with that, I knew our moment had ended.

"Want to go make some waffles?" I asked little man.

"Yeah, I want awwwfull," he said, grinning as he jumped out of my bed.

Friday, October 10, 2008


No real fun story to go along with these, but if pictures really do speak a thousand words, then hopefully these will bring a smile and a chuckle to you for your Friday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

An Intermission ...

I normally try to keep this blog related to all things little man and our adventures together, however I've had a great many inquiries into how our patio project (as referenced in several previous posts) came out.

So, without further adieu, our new patio:


Sunday, October 5, 2008


As a general rule, I always try to support little man and his interests. I think taking an interest in your children's interests in not only a good way to maintain a good relationship with your child, but it can also serve as a good teaching tool.

Little man's latest obsession is Mater. For those of you who haven't seen Disney Pixar's Cars, Mater is the lovable tow truck from Radiator Springs, where the majority of the story takes place. He befriends the movie's main character, Lightening McQueen, and the two become good friends.

And when I say obsession, I do mean obsession.

When at home, all we want to do is watch Cars. When in the car, all we want to do is watch Cars. He even has a toy Mater, which we carry around with us constantly and even have to have it to sleep. If someone takes Mater from him to play with it, there is a nuclear meltdown. Little man loves his Mater.

Perhaps it is because I've now had to sit through at least 1,000 showings of Cars, but I do have to admit I'm perplexed as to why Mater is little man's new favorite.

He isn't cute. He doesn't have manners. And I'm not even sure he speaks English. But little man loves him. I'm not sure why, but he does.

Why can't he love Lightening McQueen, the super-fast racecar? Or Doc Hudson, the insightful retired racing hero? Or even The King, the racing legend?

Nope, little man loves the rusty, clunky, awkward and socially backward Mater.

So, I play along and laugh with little man each time Mater comes on the screen. I'll even hit "play" once again to play Mater and the Ghostlight, a 10-minute bonus cartoon on the DVD that, quite frankly, gives mommy a headache each time it comes on. I've even made it my personal mission to find little man a Mater birthday cake for his birthday in a few short months.

And as much as that movie now makes me want to pull my hair out, I do admit it does have a nice story and many good lessons to be learned. I take it as my opportunity to teach little man about the importance of sportsmanship, friendship and that winning isn't everything.

And Mater? I'm still not sure what little man learns from him.

Except to laugh.

And that's all that mommy needs to muster the strength to bend over and push "play" once again.