Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog, the Tale of 3 Little Dachshunds

S3 is what the extended family calls them, but we just call them our furry babies. If you get a holiday or birthday card from us, you will get some paw prints along with the usual salutations. If you come within a hundred feet of our property, even if you are just driving by on your way to somewhere else, they will alert us. If a squirrel or (Heaven forbid) a rabbit shows themselves on our lawn, their chorus of woof woofery will echo. They are our constant soundtrack. 

They can tell you what time it is by the urgency of their bark (time to EAT). They are smart when needed and lazy the rest of the time. I swear they are a cat/dog cross-species breed. They love to spoon and dig in the yard (not fun if they find a mole or grubs) depending on their mood. 
They let me put silly costumes on them for Halloween and I give them frosty paws doggie ice cream treats on their birthday (yes, complete with party hats!). 

We are in love with each other, for better or for worse (sometimes the oldest one eats poop-blech!!) and we wouldn't want it any other way.

The Buffet BOMB!!

You would think a "buffet" would be a good choice for a family with a toddler to grab something quick while away from home and on the way to somewhere else. My main priorities when dining out are loud backgrounds so my toddler isn't the loudest one there and quick service because his attention span and willingness to sit still wither and DIE within twenty minutes (MAX). A buffet answers those two priorities in spades, so it should've been was, how do you say "effin horrible!!??". 

Globs of brown and fried everything and no known origin of the food or recent health inspections left me with little options for B. Of course he wanted "soda" which we've told him is an "adult" beverage (horrible, I know) because you can self- serve and mix concoctions (as taught to him by my neighbors heathen child) he thinks it's a-friggin-maaaazing!! Plus, there are lots of interesting people to look at and talk about in a loud toddler voice "why does that lady have a beard?"  for example (yikes) and rows of food he can just grab on a whim. It was a total flop!

We all had severe "cow tongue" for the next twelve hours, clearly from consuming a months worth of sodium. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Toddler Sick Day

Waiting patiently to see the doctor is very  difficult. "Can I take my shoes off?"

Let's look at the pretty mural of a tree frog. Say "ribbit!" 

Can mommy make a balloon out of the rubber gloves in the patient room like you did at the dentist? Why are the gloves blue? 

B woke the house up at 1:00am with a wheezing barking cough. It was scary and I'm sure painful for him. Poor little guy. We calmed him and the cough and settled back to sleep (after an hour) and B woke up this morning with just a runny nose. I had already made up my mind to call our pediatrician when the office opened, even though B seemed miraculously better by morning.

I felt almost as if I was telling a tale instead of reenacting our nightmare scare, until the doc literally mimicked the exact cough / wheeze combo B had displayed in the wee hours. The diagnosis: croup. I was not making up tales, it was primarily a nighttime ailment and a simple one dose steroid in the doctors office would be the only thing B needed to get well. That sounded like a magic trick to me, but, a few hours later B happily laid down for his nap and there wasn't a cough in sight. 

Has your toddler had any ailments this season that required a doctors office visit?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Water Bead Sensory Play

Squish, squeeze, smoosh and pour. Water beads from the local craft store entertained B for over thirty minutes, that's like hours of entertainment on an adult scale. I bought purple because they were on sale, but they had a rainbow of colors including clear. 

A mixing bowl and some kitchen tools laid out on a towel for B and I was free to cut and prep dinner. It was one if the best/easiest/ cheapest evenings we've had in awhile. Thank you water beads!

Oh, and they are pretty too! I dare you not to try your own sensory play in the mixing bowl. It's something we will definity be doing again!

What screen-free "dinner prep" activities do you do with your toddler?

Toddler putt-putt

Open your stance, check your grip, tap it with your putter slowly aaaaand score!!! Yippee!! We kept adding levels of difficulty to his putt-putt course. Through chair and table legs, across train tracks, over a stuffed animal. We had fun just playing and making things up in our basement play room. The weather has not been conducive to outdoor play lately so we've really had to put our thinking caps on. Developing gross motor skills, creativity and strengthening our relationship are always in season.

Putt-putt anyone?

Are there any games you've played with your toddler that you had fun with too?

Sea Glass Memory Jar

We spent a perfect weather day on the beach of Lake Erie. It was very therapeutic to feel the sand, sea glass and stones beneath weary feet. The swishing, washing and rhythmic back and forth of the waves was mesmerizing.  It all started out with a rock skipping lesson from father to son (VERY serious work) and bloomed into the beginning of a "collection". 

This was the final product: 

There was the cleaning, sorting and the selecting process, all happily done by B when we got home. This meaningful work gave him the chance to be useful and creative simultaneously, it was a perfect end to our family beach day.




Have you started any collections with your toddler?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Toddler Soup

I've been told that, as parents, we are building a brain for the first five years. So, on this rainy afternoon we made "toddler soup". I had bagged up four different herbs: dill, oregano, Italian parsley and mint. I brought out a simmer pot and lid, a measuring cup with water, then laid it all out on the kitchen counter on top of a towel. 

We identified, smelled and plucked each herb one by one into our "soup". We put it over low heat and let it simmer. It made the house smell like an Asian apothecary but it was worth it as we poured it into bowls and pretended to slurp it down, picture a soup "tea party". 

Time elapsed: seventy minutes. It filled the time between dinner and bath with something new and interesting for B.

What are some activities you do with your toddler on rainy afternoons?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Family Vacations (and other things I hate about summer)

Whack! Right in the eye!! OWWWWW! Was that a TOE?? Jeez! These are sounds I hear in the night as we co-sleep with our toddler on "vacation". I put that in quotations because I really don't think driving to visit family qualifies as a vacation. It's more of a summer task. Yes, I love my parents (in small doses) and my siblings, but I don't like getting the queen (which felt like a twin) bed to share with our child, in the guest room decorated by Aunt Rita in 1979. I don't like the squish of pink carpet between my toes. I abhor fabric softener that smells like a mix of eau de toilet and fertilizer. Are those mothballs on the Laura Ashley comforter?

My brother, who's also visiting with his wife and children pokes his head into the bathroom (still no privacy) asking if I want orange juice with my pancakes. I nod in a sort of a stupor, hadn't I left all of this behind in high school, and then I yell through the closing door "with VODKA!"

Bon Voyage!

Sequins... (and other things that don't flush)

It was a hot and steamy summer morning. I needed to entertain B while I got ready for the day. I thought I was being so swift with my "Pinterest-esque" idea of having him play with shaving cream, sequins and "mouse-ka-tools". I figured he would smell "fresh and clean" once we washed it all off.

My perfect plan went down the shitter, well, almost. As we are in FULL potty training mode I have been leaving our main floor toilet open and accessible for B to use. When I came to investigate a banging sound, I found him emptying the last few bits of "glitter" into the toilet with the "sprinkler" (a.k.a recycled Parmesan cheese shaker). When our eyes met, he quickly flushed and threw down the shaker like a college co-ed throws the weed in the toilet when the RA walks in (or so I've seen on TV). As the toilet water rushed down the drain, the pee followed, but a few seconds later, bloop bloop bloop, a little shimmering rainbow reappeared. Oh joy. At least it wasn't poop mixed with sequins, right? 

What's your favorite toddler toilet tale?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Start a Children's Book Club!

What are your favorite books to read (and re-read) to your toddler?

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: Children's Book Week - Share Your Favorite Childre...: Did you know this week is Children's Book Week ? It is & I have a fun book filled week in store for you! Today, I am g...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Carousels (and other things that make my head spin)

Round and round we go, will the whining stop, nobody knows!?! What is it about a toddlers apparent deep seeded desire to sabotage their parents every effort to create "fun family memories"?? 

Someone once told me that everywhere you go with your kids until age twelve is for them to make memories, usually at the expense of the parents sanity. Of course, I thought, "not me, I love doing childish things like going to Disney World and riding carousels", oh how wrong I was. I loved doing those things when I wasn't compelled to deal with nap schedules, potty training and apply zinc sunscreen (read white goop everywhere) to a slimy octopod. 

So, why do we do it? Why do we pay good money, or should I say overpay, for park entrances, crappy fried food and mediocre entertainment? Why can't I be happy in my own back yard all summer? It's perfectly nice, lots of toys, the bathroom is clean (most of the time) and I can trust the food. Are we sadists? 

What's been your favorite place to spend family time this summer?

Happy 4th of July!!

I wish my toddler and my animals knew it was a holiday, then they may have let the house sleep in, but noooooo, not gonna happen! Up early and crabby, B wanted to "go on an adventure" but every step of the way in getting to our adventure he dug his heels in. Brushing teeth, nooo! Putting clothes on, nooooo! (He would prefer to be naked 24/7) Getting in his car seat, heck no! By the time we were packed and in the car I was already exhausted!! Thank God for Starbucks and a shady spot. Big Daddy played with B while mommy took a break...daydreaming of a custard swirl on a cake cone, or a margarita, whichever comes first :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sand & Water (and other tales of toddler terrorism)

Let me paint the picture for you: a beautiful hot July day, sprinkler going, kiddie pool with a slide, lots of pouring containers, a sandbox and friends. It should have been a fun-filled, joyful day, not a tearful discipline-riddled one.

B has known these children since before he could walk. They have played together nearly once a week for two years. They always play so well together. Not today. B decided today would be the day to test his limits. He persisted in testing his limits about every twenty minutes for three hours straight. 

Throwing sand at one friend, pushing another down the kiddie slide, pouring a bucket of water over another and clapping his hands around the cheeks of his littler friends. This move looked straight out of a scene from the WWF Smack Down (World Wrestling Federation) although I'm positive he's never seen that series or this type of behavior displayed. Is it just in the DNA of all little boys? Is it a phase? Am I raising a demon? 

Share your tales of toddler terrorism...