Thursday, July 31, 2014

Married for 10 YEARS?!!?!!?

1st "test" of married life: feed the cake nicely or stuff it
Can I start by saying "I can't believe I missed the 7 yr itch!" without you thinking "That's a horrible thing to say!!" or "I can't believe she said that!" But seriously people, a decade has just gone by and I have no idea where it went...I mean I'm still mentally at least 26 - I might be younger...I don't feel like I'm old enough to have been married 10 yrs...I don't feel old enough to have a 2 1/2 yr old either! But wow...I guess I am on both counts. I guess it's flown by so quickly because, well hey - we have a lot of fun.
That's right, I stuffed it and I would do the same today.
Okay, and to be honest - Rusty has traveled for almost 1/2 of that time - which in turn means I've traveled for 1/2 the time, and when I say we've traveled I don't mean we've traveled together...nope he travels for work and I travel for fun. You see when you get married, you kinda designate things to each other...so I took it upon myself to designate the cooking, working, and worrying to Rusty, while I took on the cleaning, playing, child incubating/birthing, and more fun. It's kinda an even split when you think about it from my perspective...except for the child incubating/birthing - that's on a whole other level...


Speaking of the kid, this morning the monkey decided to jump out of his bed and come running out of his room to find me! That's right folks, today marks the day where he realized that he could release his "seat belt" in his car bed, "unlock and open the door", and get out of bed all on his own! It's only taken him 5 days to figure this out...you know what that means right? It means it might take him a little longer than some kids, but he'll get it...it also means his imagination is off the charts because for 5 days I had him convinced I could keep him in his bed!! Either that or my mind control is really strong with my 2 1/2 yr old! I knew at some point he'd "test" that out and discover that he could get out of bed without any help, I was just hoping I'd have a little more time. In addition to suddenly discovering this he continues to talk up a storm...for instance after we ate breakfast we heard a loud noise and the monkey told me all about what he thought it was and then he insisted he needed to go check it out and see...and it being morning, I was a little slow in grabbing the camera as he was explaining it, but I eventually got it together...
Then after we played, listened to music, did some laundry, and made some granola it was time to clean up his kitchen area. The other day we changed his room around - he now has a "big boy room", which he loves, but I decided we'd work through his kitchen area - not that we did much, but he did say "we need to organize mommy" so that's what we did! Once we got it picked up I decided that we'd make his huge box into something - because it's been used as a "toy box" which I can't stand because it looks horrible...so instead he now has this really cool train
Okay, so you might think "Um, Mel...it looks like a box that you've taped things to" and I admit technically you'd be correct...but if you use your imagination you would see that it is a train...the map on the side is the "route/gps" (old school sure, but sometimes technology is overrated), the paper opposite the map is the "train schedule", there are buttons to push, a "lever" to move, postcards from people, and a "poster" of "his team", there is a container for his train whistle, work necklace, and train ticket puncher, along with a couple extra tickets...and on the inside of the side with the "blue light" there is a clock so he can tell time and make sure the train is running on time. There is also a red light on the back on the train...and finally the " door frame" (that would be the two cardboard paper towel things) without a door (because a door would just get broken unless I cut it into the side of the box which I wasn't going to do today). Post it on Pinterest, I will not because it's so not up to the trains that other more talented people make, but you know what?! To my 2 1/2 yr old - it's a "pretty cool big box", and that's all that matters! Besides - I love fostering the imagination, if I made it look like a real train or car or whatever he wants it to be - where's the fun in that?! And in case you doubt his love of his "new, improved box" I do have proof...at the end of lunch he started talking to himself - he's started doing it a lot more - which is hilariously cute - he's  always done it when he puts himself to sleep, but now that's he's playing more independently he does it no matter where he is! Again, I'm slow to catching things right when they start, but I had to capture something to share with you...he made it even better when he made me "fresh orange juice!"
But back to us...Happy 1st Decade to us!! When we got married I told Rusty he was stuck with me for 50 yrs - so we've only got 4 more decades to go!! Or if that sounds too long, then we only have "2 score" to go (you're impressed I knew how many years "a score" was aren't you?!)...but no matter what - if the next 10 go as fast as the past 10 we're going to be creeping up on 50 in no time!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Giving a Beetle a Bath

I always think of insects as being dirty...I mean they crawl around in dirt, leaves, and whatnot all day long. When it comes down to it though, they're probably clean...or maybe they're cleaner than what I give them credit for, but just in case they're just as dirty as I think they are - the monkey decided to give one a bath. Okay, to be honest it might not really be "a bath" and I never passed on my thoughts of insects being dirty - except to say "Don't eat it." and "Don't squish it between your fingers and then eat your food, that's gross." but apparently that's all I had to say to get the monkey to spray a beetle with his spray bottle!
Of course, he currently only knows a few "bugs" and the one he's most fascinated with are spiders...I mean they have their own song - so they're obviously the "coolest"...(He also can identify a lady bug, bumble bee, fly, daddy long legs, and grasshopper - in real life...I'm sure there are more "bugs" but those are the ones he see's and correctly identifies all the time.) He'll learn about "beetles" soon as we're seeing more and more of them...
Sadly, we have hurt insects before...or we've discovered injured ones around...the other day we had an injured grasshopper who couldn't hop away... If you're 2 1/2 you know what needs to be done if something gets hurts - you kiss it!
That's right - he seriously wanted to kiss the beetle and make it better so it could, once again, walk! Thankfully that didn't actually need to be done because he wasn't really injured, he was just a little waterlogged...once we moved him from the water he was back to moving!
Unfortunately for the monkey, once the beetle was able to move again he took off!! Smart beetle, but the monkey was a little sad, or was he... 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Boy Bed!

When your kid's head hits the top slats of the crib and his feet have to go through the slats at the bottom of the crib in order for him to stretch out - it might be time to move him from a crib to a "big boy bed". OR when you're sleeping at night and hear your kid kicking his crib with his feet, arms, and head as he moves from position to position - it might be time to move him from a crib to a "big boy bed". OR when you happen to agree to check a book out from the library called "Big Enough For a Bed" and you read it at least twice a day because your toddler loves the book and asks for a "Big boy bed" - it might be time to move him from a crib to a "big boy bed"...SO when all 3 of these things occur - it's probably a sign that YOU NEED TO MOVE YOUR CHILD OUT OF HIS CRIB AND INTO A BIG BOY BED or at least that's what your spouse will say as you (me) continue to think "But he's not complaining about his crib...he hasn't tried to climb out of his crib...he's cozy in it...I can keep him contained 1st thing in the morning when I take my shower and he's waking up, and during those nap times where he refuses to take a nap...bedtime and nap time are a breeze...he's only 2 1/2 - he's still my little boy, he's not ready for a big boy bed yet..." But I gave in because I know he needs more space in his bed and hey, to be honest - I'm never going to be ready for him to move to a big boy bed, so we might as well do it now, right?

He knew he was getting a big boy bed, because he was with us when we bought it and he was forced to sit with his legs crossed in his car seat because of the mattress having to be where his feet normally would be (luckily the mattress fit in the backseat). But we didn't put it together until he went down for his nap...which means of course, when he woke up he knew his big boy bed was waiting...
He was just a little excited...Thankfully he was so excited he let us move it from the kitchen to his room without too much "helping" (he attempted to push it down the hall by himself because we weren't fast enough...we were moving his crib out of his room).
Yeah, he was just a little excited and proud of getting his own bed!
He couldn't stop moving - getting up on it, getting off, walking around it, getting on it to lay down, relaxing...
But really - having all that space...
I think he was a little mind blown at first...
He was ready to go to sleep immediately! And remember he had just gotten up from his nap...but he was so excited he had to try it out!
He decided that he didn't really want me to leave, so he let me stay while he tested his bed out...And then there was a moment where he saw his crib and decided he wanted that back to sleep in...but we talked about how he could now put all of his stuffed animals in bed with him (so much space) and he wouldn't be crowded...and how if after a couple of days he still wanted his crib back we could switch back - but we needed to at least give it a try...
6 pm rolled around and he begged to go to bed...7 pm and he decided his bedtime stories would be read in bed not on the couch! 7:20 pm climbed in bed and pulled the covers on saying "No cuddle mommy" - so his music went on, we said prayers, and I "closed" the car door and sent him on a ride telling him that in the morning - just like every morning - he was to call for mommy and I would come unlock the car and let him out. 7:25 pm I shut his room door and the talking began (his talking - he talks and sings himself to sleep). 8:05 pm silence. 7:50 am "Mommy, open the door!" That's right folks - he didn't get out of his bed at all...even this morning (when he slept in!) he called so I would open the "car door" so he could get out!! Is it because it's a new novelty? Is it that I'm just so convincing that he is really in a car? Or is it that Rusty's genes are beating out mine (I would sneek out of bed all the time) and so he stayed in bed? I have no clue, but hey, I'll take it! And he is currently taking his nap without any issues either! I have to say I was prepared to lead him back to bed multiple times last night...and I probably will be for the next 2 weeks, but I'm really hoping we won't have to do that - I really do like this easy to put to bed kid! I will say, in his defense, when he's tired, he's tired and he wants to go to sleep. I guess we're now on to the next thing - working on potty training some more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HOT...

So we've had a couple of days that have been really hot, of course not as hot as some places, but when you don't have air conditioning and your place is on the top floor and has a bazillion windows to let all the sunshine in, and there is no breeze outside - it makes the low 90's and upper 80's seem really hot because there really wasn't any difference between the indoor and outdoor temp, except indoors you had a bit more shade but stifling air, while outside less shade but the air wasn't as stifling... Thankfully we had prepared for a few days of hot weather so we had a few fans for the rooms - and we basically sat in front of the fans when we were inside. We also drank water, ate watermelon, other melons, pineapple, peaches, apricots, nectarines, water, cucumbers, tomatoes, popsicles...do you see the pattern...we ate everything we could that didn't include any cooking, could be eaten really cold, and was filled with water...because really not much else actually sounded good. It took me back to when my older brother and I would visit my grandparents in KY - their house was a big old colonial house with no air conditioning - so at night we'd sleep next to the window (or out on the balcony) with a cold wet washcloth on our necks and heads...fun times!

Even though it was hot, we still spent most of the time outside on the deck - because since their wasn't a breeze our big sun umbrellas could be used...and the monkey could play in water as much as he wanted... I gave him a container with water that he could play in and with...he decided it was fun to use it as a puddle and splash...
And then he decided it would be the smallest "swimming pool/bath" and he sat in it...a lot...
Our back deck, as you can see, doesn't get direct sun until the afternoon...so in the morning it was the "coolest" place to be. Now you might be wondering, if it was so hot why he was fully dressed in shorts and a shirt, and it's because I apparently have a modest little guy who hates not having clothes on (I'm sure that will change)...but for now I have to actually trick him into taking his shirt off to play inside or outside - and I trick him by wearing a tank-top, which he then thinks I don't have a shirt on and then it's okay for him to not wear a shirt! (Don't worry he's a toddler - not a lot of things make sense!)
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Then I got the spray bottle!!
He had so much fun spraying the windows and house - he was "cleaning" everything...and then when his spray bottle stopped spraying and I had to fix it for him I had fun spraying him!
A fun, cheap entertaining toy...especially on a hot day!
And he will tell you how to use a spray bottle...in case you weren't sure what you had to do to get it to spray
Yes, I've raised him to have a love of Elvis!
Of course when it sticks and stops spraying he's not quite sure what to do...but never fear I can fix it!! Then we're back up and running for getting some delicious water to drink. (The good water from the water machine apparently isn't as good as the sink water from the spray bottle!)
He finally was ready to sit down for lunch, where he proceeded to tell me all the colors he saw...all of them...and this was the 2nd round of telling me all the colors he saw...and then he told me about his chicken...You see he gets a rotisserie chicken every week from "the chicken guy" - it's the best chicken...we sometimes get a chicken for us as well - but the monkey gets one that he eats off of for the week (along with whatever we're having - so usually it's his lunch). Rusty cooks chicken sometimes too, but sometimes it's a little spicier than what the monkey likes and so he's now decided he doesn't like daddy's chicken, he only likes the chicken guys' chicken...and he now tells the chicken guy this every Tues when we get a chicken! LOL But I got it on video - not him telling the chicken guy...but it is hilarious when he tells him.
Now I know you might be wondering why I'm not sitting with him at his table for his picnic lunch and it's actually quite simple: we don't eat very good together. There are days when we can sit and eat a meal together and it doesn't take 2 hrs, but the majority of the meals where he and I sit together - whether we're both eating or he's eating by himself, he gets so distracted that a meal takes at least 1 1/2 hrs and it ends with him not being able to feed himself and he has to be fed by me. SO I've decided when it's just him and I - I set him up with his food and leave him alone...of course on this particular day he randomly ate his food for about 45 min before he asked me to sit on the deck with him and I went out which helped him focus on eating. I tell ya, Rusty can sit and have him eat a meal in 30 min...me, nope. (which is also the monkey's new word: "Nope..." I guess it's better than the straight out "NO!")
Thankfully the high heat departed, and it left in a blaze of glory!
At least the sunsets were pretty...

Bonus video: He did let me take his shirt off (finally), and he sat in the kitchen in front of the fan, eating cold watermelon...and I got him to say "Kellogg's" - which I think the way he says it is really cute...although it's slowly sounding more like "Kellogg's" and less like the original "Cole logg's"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Random Ramblings...

If you've ever met my parents you'll be happy to know I am the best of both of them...or is it the worst? Let me explain...I am my mother's daughter:
we look alike
we act alike (in just normal everyday things)
we sneeze alike (which that's only been the case since I was pregnant and had the monkey...when I was younger I was a much quieter sneezer...now I bring the house down)
we love adventures (jumping on trains at the last minute - sure!)
we love meeting people
we laugh at ourselves a lot
we are open books - what you see is what you get, and feel free to ask anything.
I am my father's daughter:
we have the same piercing eyes (you know the ones that be used against you or can be as excited as you), we like things to be clean (although not as much, since I'm not as big on dusting as he is)
we like surfaces without any clutter (doesn't mean either of our houses is actually like this, but in a perfect world they would)
we will deal with a lot but when pushed over the edge and the fuse is ignited it's not steam that we let off - we blow and then move on
we don't hold grudges
when trust is broken we don't give trust as easily but we will give it.
And then are the qualities that I got from both of them: stubborn, hard-headed, determined, confident, honest, loyal, the love of entertaining as well as being entertaining (in their own way they are both extremely entertaining), proud, happy...(these lists are not complete)...
Learning to use a spray bottle...for fun not to clean with or is it?!
When I was younger I thought I was much more like my mom than my dad, but as I've gotten older I've realized that I have just as many qualities from my dad as I do from my mom...for instance today when I was cleaning the house...seriously, no story of my mom's would start with "Today when I was cleaning the house..." (Mom's story's always start out "Today when I was standing in line at the checkout counter..." or "Today when a random stranger knocked on the door...") But today when I was cleaning the house (the monkey was helping - he loves cleaning and helping) - we did laundry, then cleaned the bathrooms, then the floors, and then I moved into the kitchen to clean the sinks and counters (notice we didn't dust) - and as I was cleaning I thought to myself "WOW! Look how great everything looks...no salt deposits on the sinks anymore...everything is neat..." and then I thought "OH CRAP! I sound just like dad!!" Now I have no idea why it hit me that it was bad to think all of that...I mean it's not bad to be clean or have a clean house (it's actually something people like, even if they hate doing it), it's not bad to be proud of and admire what you've accomplished (even if it's something "dull" like cleaning)...and it's not that the house was so dirty (like my room growing up) where if someone entered they would say "WOW! Look at all this work you've done!" Nope, most of what we did today wouldn't be noticed because I do it every week (and the floors I do daily) so it won't build up, just like my dad taught me. But today I realized that what my dad taught me about having a clean house and having order is something I want to pass on to my kids, and that they (whoever they end up being) should take pride in it. (And when I say "having order" - I don't have everything in a specific place and everything looks perfect - many of the things I have "in order" are in a pile...but I know where in the pile things are...really it's "ordered chaos" - which is a mixture of my parents.) But it's also something that's really appeared in me once the monkey came...before the monkey I would go on "cleaning purges" where I'd all of a sudden get "the itch" to do a deep clean (every 4-6mo) ...but after the monkey I felt like I needed a clean house since he was crawling everywhere, putting everything in his mouth, touching everything and then eating, or touching everything and then attempting to feed me, or touching everything and then touching me (and the thought of him touching the toilet and then touching food or my face really creeped me out). But cleaning doesn't run my life and it doesn't mean we don't have fun - we have fun every day - especially when he lets us leave the house and go places!

But all of this makes me wonder who the monkey will be when he grows up. There are things I see that are definitely Rusty, and there are things that are definitely me, and then there are the traits he gets from both of us...it'll be interesting to see who he becomes as he grows...because just because he's like one of us now doesn't mean in 30+ yrs he'll be the same...because growing up I hated cleaning, and now look at me - I wrote a whole post about it! I know both of my parents are now thinking "Hey, in a few years she might be writing about her love of gardening!!" Think again folks, think again...I might have 2 potted plants that I have now kept alive for 6 mo, but it's all for the monkey and I'm not working in the dirt...

Tea Time!

Who knew that the monkey would love having tea so much! It's the whole pouring liquid from one thing (ie teapot) to another thing (ie cup) that he loves...of course once it's in the cup he doesn't always drink it or offer it to someone else, nope, sometimes the tea apparently needs to be poured more than once...so he does. It goes from pot to cup, cup to pot, pot to cup, cup to pot - until it is finally ready to be enjoyed (or it's been spilled all over the table and floor).
So today when he came to me with his teapot and cup - we set up his "tea station" in the kitchen and he went to town! After he drank a few cups himself, he decided to offer me some tea - in the fashion of "Mommy drink tea!" So being the thoughtful mommy I am, I waited patiently as he poured the tea...
and it did take a little bit of time simply because he was trying to get to the right angle to pour - everyone knows if you pour your tea at an incorrect angle to the table, the tea never tastes as good, right?! And then he patiently waited (okay, not so patiently) to see if I liked it - with a big grin on his face because he knew I was going to think it was delicious. (Although sometimes I do tell him his coffee is horrible and has grounds in it - and he thinks that's hilarious!) But today the tea was excellent!
THEN he realized I was taking pictures...and his new thing is, whenever he sees my phone or camera and realizes I'm taking pictures - he has to "push the button mommy!!" and take some pictures...so he did.
He's not very good at taking selfies yet...but I'm sure in a few months he'll be a pro! Right now he's more interested in looking at the picture he sees and the button he pushes...not too crazy about looking at the camera part...
But he did sit back and we were able to get a picture together...
After taking pictures we got thirsty - so it was back to pouring tea!
Um, yep - I caught him when he started to do the "re-pouring"...after a couple different pours he brought me the tea - and yes, he sampled as he brought it to me...I mean he had to make sure it tasted good and was safe...and then he went back to his table, and since he didn't have another cup out he did this...
But hey, when you're thirsty, you're thirsty! I gave him back his cup so he could continue to pour tea...
And pour it...
And pour it...
Sure there were a few spills along the way - but hey, we got to drink tea, laugh, and share a few snacks before sitting down to lunch...Did I mention how much fun we've had today?! Days like this make me say "I have the best kid in the world and I feel so lucky to be able to be home and play, explore, learn, and overall have fun with him!"

Bonus Story: Sitting down to lunch today (we had a picnic in the kitchen at his green table), we suddenly heard noises outside (one of our neighbors was doing some yard work). The monkey suddenly put his hand on my shoulder, looked me straight in the eyes and said "I will protect you mommy. I will protect you." Yep, I now have my very own little knight protecting me! Of course, in true monkey (toddler) fashion, the next time we heard the same noise he looked at me and said "They're coming to get you mommy!"