Bathroom Humor

31 05 2009

We were at QFC yesterday when Alex asked, “Do they have a potty here?” The answer to this question is always, “Yes, and let’s go find it.”

We made it to the bathroom in time. Alex is pretty good about using the potty on his own, but he frequently needs some poking and prodding when done. This time was no exception. I had to keep saying, with slight tones of exasperation, “Alex, come on, hurry up. Alex, pull up your underwear and shorts and then we’ll wash your hands. Alex, hurry up.”

As Alex was drying his hands, a college kid came out of the other bathroom stall with a big smile on his face. “My name is Alex, too,” he said. “Boy, that was confusing and stressful for a second!”

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Homebase D Picnic

28 05 2009

I finally got around to posting the pictures from the Homebase D picnic from two weeks ago. One of the parents in Alex’s classroom organized this trip to a nearby park. In spite of the gloomy weather, all the kids and parents had a great time. (It was pouring rain when we left, but we managed to stay dry while we were there!) They do a school-wide picnic at the end of the summer, but I really liked the smaller and more intimate group.

Speaking of Homebase D, this is Alex’s last month there. He’s going to transition to one of the preschool rooms in June (Homebase F). He’s excited, and he’s ready. There are a lot more kids, a lot more toys, and a lot more activities that will depend on the kids being responsible, like “field trips” around University Village.





Contrary

27 05 2009

A typical conversation in the car ride home from daycare.

Alex: Is tomorrow Friday?

Me: No, tomorrow’s Thursday.

Alex: No! Tomorrow’s not Thursday!

Me: The sky is blue.

Alex pauses just a moment.

Alex: The sky is not blue!





A Pretty Good Month So Far…

26 05 2009

I know I’m going to jinx things by writing this, but it’s been a pretty good month so far. In spite of what you hear about H1N1, the cold and flu season is in remission and we’ve had a few solid weeks of healthy, happy children. (Although for the past two days we’ve had some runny noses and coughs in the house.) On top of that, we’ve had some great weather.

Memorial Day weekend, in particular, stands out as one of the absolute all-time best three-day weekends, ever. Everybody was happy, healthy, and we had nothing but sunshine and 70 degree weather. Every day was action-packed. Saturday was Asher & TJ’s birthday party. Sunday we had a fun outing at Ravenna Park with our parenting group, and then a trip to feed the ducks at the arboretum. Monday we met our friends at the zoo.

Patrick plays with toys at Asher & TJ’s party.

Molly & I have both decided that Patrick’s hit a new milestone: He says something kind of like a word. If you show him a ball, he gets really excited and says “Ba!” repeatedly. It seems more reproducible than the syllables that Alex said at this age. I really don’t recall thinking that Alex was saying things that were clearly meant to be words until much later, like 18-20 months. On the other hand, by this age, Alex had been free-standing for almost two months and was on the verge of walking. Not so Patrick. So, at the risk of forever stunting their future development and by shoving them into my preconceived stereotypes, I’ll call Patrick “The smart one” and Alex “The jock.”





April iPhone Wallpaper

11 05 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my iPhone Wallpaper gallery. I just went through my photos from April and made nine new wallpapers. Lots of cherry blossoms and tulips, with a few Easter eggs thrown in for good measure. Don’t forget, from Windows Live you can download the entire wallpaper collection as a single .ZIP file, or pick and choose your favorites.





Shh! Our secret.

10 05 2009

I can write this here because I know Molly doesn’t read this blog. Keep this between us, OK?

Yesterday was Patrick’s 11-month birthday. (Holy cow! I can’t believe there’s a real birthday to start planning!) He & I & Alex spent a good part of the day together yesterday. I wanted to start Mother’s Day a little early and give Molly as much time as possible on her own. Alex & I spent Saturday morning at the University District Farmer’s Market while Patrick slept. In the afternoon, the three of us went to neighborhood playground for an hour and a half so Mama could take a nap.

Alex at the farmer's market

Alex at the University District Farmer’s Market.

This was Patrick’s first extended outing at a playground. Overall, it worked out quite well. We were the only ones there, which was strange: it was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for playing outside. The solitude worked in our favor. I let Patrick crawl around next to me all over the play structure while Alex ran around on his own. There was no danger of other kids trampling over Patrick.

Patrick at the Playground

Patrick crawling at the playground.

There are two small slides at this playground. This gave me one of my Great Parenting Ideas. (For other Great Parenting Ideas, see: Theo Chocolate). My idea: Patrick’s 11 months old today! Shouldn’t he go down the slide on his own?

To my credit, I realized that Patrick’s not that steady sitting up. I knew if I sent him down the slide in an upright position, he’d probably tip over backwards and bonk his head. So I applied creative problem solving: I’d send Patrick down the slide on his belly.

Face-first.

That seemed to be the most stable way to slide, with no chance of falling over. Sure, there was the minor bit about what would happen at the bottom of the slide, but I had a solution to that. I’d ask Alex to catch him at the bottom. Alex seems really strong for a three-year-old. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, to give myself some more credit, this plan did not end in tears. Alex was able to keep Patrick from crashing full-force into the ground. Instead, there was just a minor face-plant. That’s when I realized what I’d overlooked. When you have an 11-month old, who’s natural state consists of a face full of drool and snot, landing face-first into a pile of wood chips at the bottom of a slide… well, let’s just say that drool and snot act kind of like superglue to wood chips. It took quite a while to get all of the wood chips off from his face.

Luckily for me, there were no parents there to witness this. And since I brought Patrick back to the house all cleaned up, Molly doesn’t know, either. Let’s keep it our secret, shall we?





Changed My Mind on the Children’s Museum

5 05 2009

So far, I’ve taken Alex to the Seattle Children’s Museum twice. The first time, he was about a year and a half old. It was a wet, cold,  winter weekend day. And – no surprise! – the Children’s Museum was packed on a wet weekend day. Alex was also too young to participate in many of the activities there. It left a bit of an icky taste in my mouth.

We had our second exposure to the Children’s Museum when my mom was in town. One of Alex’s classmates had her birthday party there. Unlike our last visit, it was a sunny day outside. One of the first sunny days of spring, in fact, so the crowds stayed away. And now that he’s three years old, Alex could do a lot more of the activites at the museum.

On my first trip there, I didn’t even realize that there was an arts & crafts room at the museum that has all sorts of cool things that are too big or make too much of a mess in the house: An easel and paints, a light table, real clay (not Play-Doh), markers/scissors/paper… Alex had a great time painting and exploring all of the items there.

The arts & crafts room is what really changed my mind about the Children’s Museum. I now think it’s a great place to go if you’ve got a kid old enough and you can avoid the worst of the crowds. I don’t know of another place that has so many hands-on, creative activities. It’s quite a different experience from going to a playground or to one of our standard kid places (the zoo, the aquarium, or the science center).

Here are some photos from the party. You’ll get an idea of the hands-on activities that exist for the kids there. (Plus what a great place it is to have a birthday party!)