Monday, April 30, 2007 be almost two

On Sunday night, we had some friends over for dinner. We ate outside (thank you, cooperative weather). Connor and I made bread for the event. Seriously, he can knead dough! He really pushes down with all his might, and can seriously move the dough around. Only problem is, at some point he decided the dough ball was a PILLOW! Thankfully, I intervened before I had a kid with a head full of dough or a dough ball full of hair. He's not the most efficient baker, but what he lacks in efficiency, he makes up for in enthusiasm. And he certainly seemed to enjoy the many opportunities to sweep up flour that he provided himself.

Naturally, the meal was a bit lengthy for his taste, but he didn't seem to mind. As Ed was bringing out food for the main course, Connor got up, ran off the deck, dropped to the ground, and rolled in the grass with this huge grin. Only one other guest caught the experience. He and I shared a big laugh. This is surely the very best thing about being almost two.

If I had a photo, I would post it a million times, because it is moments like these that remind me being a mommy is the best thing in the world.


Sunday, April 29, 2007


Last weekend in Florida was great. I was hanging out with friends from college, and just like the old days, we decided to sneak into a club. Not so much a club with beer and boys and cheap food - as might have been the case a decade ago, but rather, a Disney resort pool.

Connor and Ginger had the best time splashing around, and playing in the sand, but not going down the slide (this thing was super steep, and didn't have a long enough landing spot so its victims get shot out right onto the cement. It hurts! And the other playground equipment at the resort was so hot, you couldn't go near it without getting an instant burn. But, I digress - we came there for the water, and we enjoyed the water!

And Ginger also has very nice toys that she was generous enough to share with Connor. Check out these wheels!

Connor tried to be a very helpful guest, letting the pussycat in and out the pussycat door. He even tested it himself on our final day. He fits!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Calling Poopie

Changing the subject in order to avoid something is a tried and tested practice of children (and adults, I suppose). I thought we had a few more years before we reached this stage with Connor, but as in many other cases throughout this parenting journey, I was wrong. Connor has learned that there is one word he can utter, certain to get my attention. In our house, we call it "calling poopie". For example, I might ask Connor to put some toy away so we can get ready to leave. If he wants to go on whatever mission I have planned for him, no problem. But, if he'd prefer to not be bothered, he will squat down, look up at me, sometimes even grab his bottom for that extra special effect and say "poopie". Even when I am certain it is not possible for him to have soiled a diaper, I will stop what I'm doing and check the diaper, which buys him a few moments to figure out what his resistance strategy will be. He might (a) drop to the floor and go limp the "baby passive resistance" move (b) say "Connor run" and take off down the hall the "baby can outrun mommy" move, or (c) just go back to doing whatever it was he was doing before he had to call poopie, as if he had never been interrupted in the first place the "if I ignore it, so will she" move. Calling poopie has also been tried when I am in the middle of my own task like cooking or folding laundry and Connor would prefer I be playing animals with him and extending the bedtime ritual a bit.

Tonight, Connor called poopie as Ed was putting him to bed. Ed smelled Connor's nether regions (truly the best part of parenting - NOT!) and declared there was no poopie. So, Connor looked at Ed and said "Frog Poopie" because apparently Ed had gotten it all wrong. The stuffed frog the two of them had diapered a few days ago had pooped - duh!

A few nights ago, some friends were over playing bridge. We suggested calling poopie was a pretty good strategy to get out of doing stuff, but my friend who works at a big-time law firm didn't think his boss would go for it. Neither Ed nor I have tried it at our worksites, but I'm definitely keeping the idea in my back pocket. I can see it now. I'm in the middle of a long meeting, I want to leave but don't feel I can just get up and leave without a reason, so I stand up and say "poopie". By the time anyone figures out what's going on, I should be safely out of the room. Who says you can't learn something from your toddler?


Friday, April 27, 2007

Catching up on some reading

One of my Mom's Group mates suggested a few parenting reads quite some time ago. And alas, my local public library has finally given me the opportunity to read "Unconditional Parenting". Apparently Connor knows something is up, because the day after I brought it home, he insisted we sit together and read the orange book.

How am I ever going to get a half step ahead of him?


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If only they understood

Connor and I went to Florida this past weekend to visit a couple of friends I went to college with. The friend whose home we stayed at had two pussycats (Connor has decided that "cat" just isn't formal enough, I guess) including one that allowed Connor to chase it, poke it, attempt to carry it, etc., and didn't seem to mind. On our last day, Newton even came when called, so we got to bid him farewell. Connor would love a cat. Too bad his mommy would not love one.

When we got back, Ed picked us up at the airport. While Ed was loading my bag into the trunk, Connor promptly scrambled up to the front passenger seat, sat down, looked up at me and smiled. Clearly, he has decided that he would prefer to ride in the front seat. Nice try, Buster.

Yesterday, Ed and Connor went for a morning drive in the driveway, and out of the blue, Connor hopped in the carseat, requested to be buckled in, and then requested Ed take him to go see the gerbils. When Ed told him the store wasn't open yet, Connor looked at him and knew that Ed just didn't get what he wanted. So he brightly said "Fish?" because apparently, Connor realized that if Ed took him to the store with fish, Connor could show Ed where the gerbils across the aisle were located. Geez, Dad, don't you know anything?


Friday, April 20, 2007

Hangin' with the donkey at the zoo

Lucky day! The petting zoo was open at our local zoo, so Connor got a brush the donkey. Very cool.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy 20 Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

Today you turned 20 months old. And in the past month, life has slipped by so fast that I wonder if I can possibly remember all the new things you’ve done. For starters, you can correctly and consistently identify robins, cardinals, and blue jays in the yard. Once you have mourning dove down, you’ll pretty much have my birding knowledge exhausted, so we’ll have to turn to a book to further expand your repertoire. You know that a robin eats worms and birds go “twee twee twee” – except a crow which goes “cah cah cah”.

I’ve gone from being “mama” to “mommy”. Likewise, “dada” has become “daddy”. Shortly after the transition, your dad remarked that he was sort of sad about the passage of “dada” because it was such a concrete sign that you were growing up. We also weaned, which has been easier than I expected it to be though you still look up at me, get this huge grin, and say “nursin’?” on occasion.

Your favorite accessory this month is this little stretchy necklace with hearts on it. I pity the child that comes between you and that necklace. I think it is the one toy you would throw down over, and I think even with a size disadvantage, you might win. Typically, you are a pretty mild mannered child when it comes to toys. You get a bit annoyed when other children take your toys, but if you get a bit too excited and take something in use, you’ll almost always hand it back with the assurance that your turn is coming. Earlier this month we met the very nicest boy ever on the playground. He had two trucks and you walked right up to him and said “Connor truck” and smiled at him and apparently you said it with such authority or charm that this little boy was compelled to give you one of his trucks. I suggested you offer him one of your two tigers in return (which you did), but he didn’t realize how cool the tigers were so you got to keep both tigers AND the truck. Wow – what a deal. We also met a little girl who didn’t appreciate you caring for her doll, even though she had abandoned it in her stroller. The little girl about popped a gasket when she saw you head over to the abandoned baby in the stroller and give it a hug. Her nanny took the doll from you without much comment and put it back in the stroller, and rather than punching the nanny in the face, I tried to cover for her brash behavior and said that apparently it was the dolly’s naptime and she needed to sleep in the stroller. This seemed to be a satisfactory explanation to you about why you weren’t allowed to care for that lonely, unattended dolly. This child and nanny didn’t seem to get that at our park, unattended toys are fair game. Of course, when the mean girl started playing with one of your unused toys, we let her. Maybe next time she’ll be nicer.

Further solidifying your roll as “old man”, you have taken to begging your dad and I to play “car” which means you sit in the front seat, play with the stick shift and whatever knobs and dials you can get your hands on. I still do not fully comprehend why your dad allowed this in the first place, but when I don’t feel like playing the most boring game in the world, I simply tell you that you have to wait until Daddy comes home and then you dutifully beg him to play when you next see him and more often than not, the two of you go on a Sunday drive right in the driveway. Perhaps you should talk to your Aunt Linda about driving before you’re legally able to do so. I don’t know all the details, but suffice it to say, I was a baby – and she decided to take us cruising, which fortunately ended with nothing more tragic than the bending of a street sign. I will admit I allowed you to play your boring game one day when I drove to a neighbor’s house to pick up a roto-tiller. I knew it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to wheel the thing around to the front yard and load it into the car with you running in all directions, so I simply rolled down the windows so I could hear you if you hollered loud enough, locked the doors, and left you unattended for a few minutes while I found the small machine and then loaded it into the car. No child protective agencies were involved, thankfully.

Your dad has proclaimed that you desperately need a haircut (he even suggested a “summer buzz cut”) but I think using a comb would go a long way, and I’d like to try that strategy first. I suspect you will be a bit hostile towards both. But, even if we do go to a professional to trim some of your curls, unless something goes terribly awry - you need not worry about the summer buzz cut your dad spoke about. It is definitely not your style.

About the only sound that still trips you up is an “l” sound in the middle of the word as in “Kellee” or “stroller”. But, even words with this characteristic can be understood by trained ears. You have jumped from two word phrases to three word phrases, which means now you can say “Mommy carry you” instead of just “carry you”. Pronouns are not working out for you just yet.

You took over the basement officially when your dad and I took down the pool table, though I suspect you’ll miss walking around the pool table and trying to frighten me by launching pool balls off it. You’ve added a couple of letters to the ones you’ve already known, and now you’re willing to admit that some letters can be shared by more than one person. When we went to Colorado, Grandma tried to convince you the “Mama” and “Michael” shared the same letter – but you would make her draw two “Ms” each time, insisting that one was Mama (the first one) and the other one could be for Michael if she insisted. This morning, I asked you whose letter “R” was and you said “Rani” and then “Ruth”. The letters you recognize are: C – Connor; D – Daddy; I – Isabella; M – Mommy / Michael; R – Rani / Ruth; Z – Zoe and sometimes T – Tiger and A – Alice / Amanda. Wow!


PS: Making it just under the wire for 20 months, you said what I believe is your first complete sentence this evening while Daddy was cooking dinner. It was a command, surprise. "Daddy, turn the mixer off." He complied.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Bike!

My friend Vickie turned me onto the like-a-bike . But, the like-a-bike is rather expensive, and I am rather cheap. But, then Vickie told me that my beloved Target sold a knock-off, so of course, Ed rushed out to buy it (along with two other completely unauthorized purchases). Unfortunately, Connor is still a little too short for the new bike, so this not quite assembled version was as good as it got for Connor. But maybe by the end of summer he’ll be cruising along on his pedal-free wooden bike

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Easter

I was planning to let Easter pass the same way most holidays pass in my home – without much notice except for some cool presents from Aunt Linda, Anna, and Emily and my parents. After all, I won’t be able to slack on this stuff forever, so I should take advantage of the fact that Connor doesn’t know about things like the Easter bunny now. But, a few weeks ago my mom was talking about how it would be fun to visit Connor next year and see him hunt for eggs, and it was then that I remembered the annual egg hunts my mom hosted in our backyard when my sister and I were growing up. So, I floated the idea with a couple of friends, and the first annual Easter egg hunt was planned – complete with a bunny cake from of our friends Elsa, Ceci, and Elaine.

It was supposed to be sunny outside. The twelve children I invited (8 of whom were able to attend) were supposed to join Connor in merriment outside on my deck and in my backyard. But, thanks to completely freaky weather (it SNOWED the day before the party), all plans had to be moved inside. This meant two things.

#1. Connor and his friends had a hostile takeover of the basement. The pool table that once thrived in Grateful Ed’s but has most recently been used as a place to store clutter gathered in other parts of the house was taken apart and will be taken away in the next few days – because even I am not insane enough to dye Easter eggs on the main floor of my house. And nearly every person in attendance remarked how the egg dyeing wasn’t nearly as messy as they thought it would be! Most importantly, Ed did not divorce me.

#2. After the egg dyeing, all of the children were released – at once – to roam around the upstairs uncovering over 100 hidden eggs. Wow! Talk about chaos. But it was fun! Afterwards, Ed and I told Connor his friends were messier than a bunch of drunks, which frankly Ed and I have a lot more experience dealing with.

I didn’t get any photos of the actual event. I was too busy making sure the house didn’t fall down. But this morning, after Ed had mercifully taken morning duty (this makes FOUR weekend days in a row!), Connor and I played egg hunt for another hour – and he would’ve played longer if I didn’t need to get in the shower because we were having a play date.

Next year, I’m considering switching out the egg dyeing event with a cookie decorating event, but only if it’s outside.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

How to dye an Easter egg

Step 1. Set out cups for dye.

Step 2. Taste dye tablet to make certain Mom was telling the truth when she said it wasn’t candy.
Step 3. Spit dye tablet out and mix with water and vinegar.
Step 4. Throw hard boiled egg into dye as quickly as possible. Do this many times so Mom can’t keep up with you.
Step 5. Take egg out of dye. Do not bother using egg dippers and special spoons to remove the egg. Bare hands work fine. Throw egg in new color. Repeat until Mom says that's enough.
Step 6. Resemble the Incredible Hulk with cool green hands.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The Farm!

Last weekend, we went to a petting farm. This is the second visit we’ve made, but the first visit Connor was unable to feed the animals himself, which left Ed carrying him around and me allowing goats to lick my hands. I announced on that visit that the next time we ventured to the farm, my hand was not going to be licked by goats. Ick!

This trip was even better. For one, Connor can feed the animals – though I helped a bit, and it didn’t gross me out as much before. Perhaps I’m becoming a mother after all. Most amazing, my little man, who typically does not like strange experiences OR experiences that involve strangers, actually got on a pony and rode it around with someone else guiding the pony and making sure he didn’t topple off. We weren’t planning to get him a ticket to ride the pony, but the friends we met there had gotten a ticket for their daughter, and while we watched others ride the pony waiting for Zoe’s turn, Connor announced “Connor pony”, which we took to meant he’d like a turn. We dutifully purchased him a ticket, though I think both Ed and I were quite certain we had just tossed the few bucks it cost down the drain. Much to our surprise, at the end of the ride when I told Connor we were all done, he told me “more” – but, there was a big line of other children waiting to ride, so I convinced him that a hug and a pat would have to do for now.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Little dogs and Connor

Connor has always loved dogs. A few nights ago, we went to a friend's house to watch OSU beat Georgetown. We opted to travel instead of invite our friend over because he was dogsitting a dachsund - "Beemer".

Only trouble was, Beemer does not like men he doesn't already know. This meant that Ed had to sit across the room and watch the game to keep Beemer from barking. But every time Ed moved, Beemer let us know he was aware of Ed's daring nature.

In spite of the noise, Connor still liked Beemer, though he was a bit nervous about getting too close. He did, however, enjoy playing in Beemer's water dish, figuring out that his head was too small to make it through Beemer's doggie door leading to the balcony, lying in Beemer's bed, and wearing Beemer's tiger print cape.

For the last two nights, before Connor has fallen asleep, he's brought up Beemer. Apparently that little dog made quite an impression!


Monday, April 2, 2007

Hope springs eternal in April

Ed pointed out last night that our household might be rooting for the two worst teams in baseball this year. I told him I could take it, but frankly, as a recovering Yankees fan, I'm not sure he has what it takes. Time will tell, I suppose.

But regardless of who your loyalties lie with...

Let's play ball! Or toss pandas. Whatever you prefer!


PS: Outfit credit goes to Aunt Linda, Anna, and Emily - organizing credit goes to me since I held onto it since Connor's birth!