Archive for Toddler

14 Jun 2011


6 Comments Toddler

Patience is something I do not have a lot of. I am not patient-rich. I never have been. As a matter of fact, you could probably call me “impatient” and I wouldn’t correct you.  It’s one of my many flaws.

God blessed me with a child who, up until this point has required very little of this patience. He’s good. He’s super good. He listens, he sits quietly in restaurants, he’s polite, he’s smart… You get it. You’ve read about it here. I have a really good kid. And he just came out of my womb that way. (I mean clearly there’s some stellar parenting going on, but for the most part he was born that way.) He has an incredible temperament. We’re very lucky.

But now he is starting to display some (completely appropriate) toddler-like behavior.

When I ask him if he wants cereal or french toast for breakfast, he stares straight ahead and mumbles something about Spongebob.

When I tell him it’s time to get ready for school, he has a mini fit and throws himself (ever-so-gently) to the ground.

When I’m getting him dressed, he pulls away to make muscles. “Look at how big I am!”

When we get to school, he needs several minutes to finish the masterpiece he’s drawing.

“Garrett? Garrett?”

“I need to finish this.”

“Buddy, we have to go.”

“Look at my muscles.”

“They’re very impressive. Can you show me more when you get home?”

“I don’t wanna go!”


All of this is typical, normal stuff. I know that. And it’s not even bad. Most of it is very cute, especially when I’m not in a rush to get somewhere.

But the thing is, I forgot to save up all of the patience I wasn’t spending over the last 3-and-three-quarter years, so I have none in the bank. And because I have none, I suck at being patient. I think I’ve been huffing and sighing a lot. And I don’t want G to have a huffer or a sigher for a mom.

So my newest goal is to try to be a bit more patient. I mean, he’s earned some vacation time from being perfect. So now I have to start picking up the slack. I just have to find out what works for me. It might be slow, deep breaths (but I’ll be careful not to make it sound like a sigh). It might be pirouettes in the middle of the living room. It might be a splash of cold water on my face. Or it might be making my husband get up to get him ready for school.

I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out. Just be patient with me. Thanks.

10 Jun 2011

No Grow Up

11 Comments Toddler

Was just having a conversation with G about getting older.

“Mom, I don’t want to get any older. I just want to stay myself.”

“But Garrett, you have to get older. And you’re still gonna stay yourself.”

“But I don’t want to get older.”

“But honey, remember your third birthday party? The dinosaur party?”


“Well that was because you turned three. And soon you’ll be four. Then five, then six…”

“Then seven?”


“But I’ll still just be me?”

“Yes! And think of all the stuff you’ll be able to do. When you were one, you couldn’t even walk or talk yet and now look at all the neat things you can do.”

“Will you make me and my friends chocolate chip cookies?”

“I promise.”

“Okay. I can get older.”

I’m going to be 40 in November. Can someone please bake me some chocolate chip cookies? Apparently that makes it less daunting. And, yes. I’d like to please just stay me. Thank you, Garrett. You make everything clearer.

01 Jun 2011


13 Comments Family, Toddler

Yesterday was our first family trip to an amusement park. Yes, I know. G-man will be four in September and he should have been to Disneyland three times already. But we don’t necessarily feel that way. We are more of the mindset that spending an exorbitant amount of money to take G somewhere before he’s old enough to appreciate it is just plain silly. So yesterday was our first foray into the amusement medium. We chose Knott’s Berry Farm and we went with our very good friends and their fantastic kids.

We bought the tickets on-line a few months ago and they just happened to expire today. Translation: We had to use them by yesterday! It was $99.00 for the three of us and it was well worth it. It was a great day to go. No ride was more than a 5 minute wait and it was a perfect 75 degrees.

I stressed the night before, looking up sites where I could get info on taking a toddler to an amusement park. I like to over-prepare. So in the morning, I packed up G’s Ironman backpack with a full change of clothes (warmer than what he had on), including socks and underwear, a long-sleeved shirt and sweater for me and a jacket for Russ. Oh, and a first aid kit. And three kinds of sunblock. And a hat for G. And tons of hand wipes. And clorox wipes in case anything needed a wipe-down. And tissues. I used about 5% of what I brought. But I COULD HAVE needed all of that stuff. You never know. G did don his sweatshirt for about an hour of the day, much to our dismay. It was quite warm and the train we were on made it even warmer. But he insisted on his sweatshirt on, hood up, and sunglasses. It was very unibomber-ish. Odd, no?

Camp Snoopy has every toddler ride you can think of: planes, race cars, hot air balloons and trains. It took G a little while to warm up. His friends have already been to these types of places and they were ready to go. G chose to watch them on the first couple rides. Then we decided to just go for it and get on the log ride. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how he would react but, as we tend to do as parents, I pretended I was nothing but excited about getting in one of the logs.

Our little guy was NOT happy in the pitch-black tunnel part of the ride, but he loved the rest of it and was clearly full of adrenaline when we got to the bottom of the water slide. And just like that, he was no longer an amusement park newbie. After that came the race cars, the giant merry-go-round, the pricey lunch, lots of walking around, snacks, Icees, lollipops, the hot-air balloon ride, the coal mine ride (this did not go over well. It was mostly pitch black with a loud announcer you couldn’t understand and creepy mannequin-like coal miners. not good. not good at all.), a train around the park that bandits jump on to (G liked this only after one of the bandits gave him several high-fives.), a stagecoach ride, more race cars and hot air balloons, and finally, after eight hours in the park… A fried chicken dinner.

Right around 1:30, smack-dab in the middle of Garrett’s normal nap time, he was ready to pack it in and come home. He could’ve curled into a ball in the middle of the park and gone to sleep. But we knew we had to rally on, and we encouraged him to do so. For the next half hour he kept asking if we could go home but with a little sugar and a lot more rides, he got his second, third, and fourth winds.

G fell asleep about twenty minutes from home, but still insisted on a shower before going to bed. The first thing he said to me this morning, when he woke up at 6:15 even though he partied for 12 hours yesterday and had no nap, was, “I had a really fun time at Knott’s Berry Farm, Mom.” I think that might have been one of the best parts of the whole thing. And we had a damn good time, too.



17 May 2011

Smarty Pants

4 Comments Toddler

G-Man is writing his name. He really is. He’s doing it over and over again. And he’s writing Russ’ name, and mine. And drawing. Not stop draw fest in this house now. A month ago I couldn’t get him to draw a thing. Now he’s drawing Wii Sports boxers, Batman and Robin, Iron Man, and every character on Spongebob. Constantly. And they’re good, his drawings. They are. I’m not just saying that. You’d want to buy one if you saw it. I’ll take cash.

He’s even mastering the fine art of sarcasm. At three-and-a-half years old.  Russ and I are willing to take full responsibility for that.

He’s brave. Yesterday at the doctor, he wiped away tears, refusing to say he was crying. He was a brave boy as the doctor swabbed the back of his throat. Then he cried into my shoulder a bit, and let me hug him hard.

He’s funny. He quotes lines from his favorite shows. He does voices. He makes up jokes.

He sings lullabies that he makes up himself!

His imagination is mind-boggling. Driving yesterday he said, “Let’s pretend your car is a submarine and all the other cars are sea creatures!” Then all the way home he pointed out the sharks, squid, starfish, dolphins and crabs.

All this, but he refuses to sleep one second later than 6:30AM.

They say genius never sleeps.

I guess that’s why I need at least nine hours a night.  Plus naps.

06 May 2011


10 Comments Family, Personal Crap, Toddler

Tonight, we traced letters. I did the big ones, holding his finger in my hand and making silly sound effects.

Schoom! Scronk! Flink! That’s a K!
Zip! Meow! That’s a Q!

He did the lower-cases on his own, perfectly imitating the sound effects.

Watching one of his shows, he asked me what a megaphone is. I explained and showed him a picture.

Thanks for explaining that to me.
You’re so welcome, bud.

It was that kind of night.

I took out this part of the post because I feel like I’m getting thoughts & sympathy that belong to my friend’s family, not mine. It’s her experience, and one that I haven’t even been close to… They have been in my thoughts and prayers and they have kept me updated. I will ask her if she’d like to guest-post her experience at a later date.

03 May 2011


14 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler

I spend a lot of time talking and writing about how joyous all of my moments are and how much I love, ABSOLUTELY LOVE, being a mommy.

It’s all true. Every word.

And so is this:

I’ve been back to work lately and I’m tired. I’m always tired but now I’m more tired than usual.

Garrett has been waking up at 6:00 again.

Waking up at 6:00 today sucked. It sucked really hard. I was exhausted and impatient and bitchy.

When G wanted me to change the color of his shorts on Wii Sports I told him I couldn’t do it. When he told me Daddy did it yesterday I told him he was mistaken. And I kind of shouted a little. When I finally listened and went to the menu and changed his color to red… I apologized for shouting. And he said, “That’s okay, Mommy!”

The rest of the morning went smoothly, but I was definitely shorter than usual with him, less patient, and less engaged. I hate those kinds of mornings. But they do remind me that I can’t be perfect. I’m human and he’s going to see that more and more as he grows up.

I will always do my best to be the best Mom I can be. But some mornings, that mom ain’t too great.

On the way to school we talked and laughed. When we got to class he asked how many errands I was doing today. I said four. He said, “How about three?” I told him I’d figure out which one I could cut out and that I’d see him after nap. The teachers, G and I shared a giggle. Then I went directly to Trader Joes and felt a bit accomplished.

When I pick him up in a few hours, I will take deep breaths. I will hug him and play and get him a snack. I will do my best. But every day can’t be as perfect as I want it to be. And I guess that’s a good thing, because it makes me appreciate all the perfect days even more.



On my way to my 3rd errand, after lunch with my brother, I turned the car around and came home. Had I continued on to Target, I would’ve brought home my groceries and been done putting them away just in time to pick G up from school… And I would’ve still been exhausted.

So, I came home and slept for an hour and a half instead.

When I picked G up, he ran to me and gave me a huge hug. And, because I was rested, I reciprocated by picking him up and hugging him hard. We hung out for ten minutes and then he came with me to Target. We had a blast. He helped me get the things we needed, and even reminded me where we parked.

The point is, I think we moms tend to try to do everything all the time. And that often results in us starting to do things poorly, or at least having way less fun doing them. But taking 90 minutes for myself today, instead of making sure I crammed everything in, made the rest of my day (and probably my family’s) much better.

Now, making dinner sounds a whole lot less daunting, too! Whether or not that’s good for my family is a whole other discussion. 😉

25 Apr 2011

Cat Woman and the Missing Jacket

18 Comments Family, Toddler

We’d made it all the way out to the car in the mall’s parking lot, upstairs outside of the food court, when I realized we didn’t have his jacket.


I was running late to get home to get ready for a thing I had to get to.

“Come on, buddy. We have to go find your jacket.”

“We lost it?”, he asked.

“Well, I’m sure it’s either in the playground or the burger place.”

“Cat Woman?”

“Yes, Robin?”

Lately I’ve been Cat Woman, Russ has been Batman and G has been Robin. I find it fascinating that he chooses to be the sidekick even when Russ isn’t with us. My son is nothing if not consistent.

“Will you pick me up?”

“Of course! Meow.”

G is big. He’s about 40 pounds, but I think every one of his pounds weighs a pound and a half. He’s solid. It’s getting harder to hold him for long.

I speed-walked through the mall, holding him in my arms, smelling his hair. I know it’s cliche’, but I honestly can’t help but do it when I’m holding him. I put him down to get on the escalator.

“Thank you, Cat Woman.”

“You’re welcome, Robin.”

“Cat Woman”?

“Yes, Robin”?

“Are we going to get in the Bat Mobile when we find my dressed?”

Sometimes G refers to clothes as “dressed”.

“Yes, Robin. We will.”

“Am I driving, or are you?”, he asked.

“I’ll drive this time and you can fight the bad guys from the backseat.”

“But all the bad guys are good now!”

“Oh! Then you can just tell me which way to go!”

“That’s a great idea!”

The jacket wasn’t in the playground so we walked to the other end of the mall to get to the burger joint. Again, he wanted me to carry him and I obliged. My arms were hurting pretty badly and I put him down once to rest them. But these moments are fleeting. And, just like breast-feeding and lullabies and baths in the sink… soon carrying my son will be a thing of the past. He’ll keep growing, and I’ll stay the same. Those physics just don’t add up to me being able to lift him for more than another year or three.

We found his jacket at the restaurant, and we ran side by side toward the Bat Mobile. Half way through the mall he asked once again to be picked up. I scooped him into my arms, continued to run, and got us into the car.

It is in these moments of “nothing special” that I find the most joy and melancholy. I am so hyper-aware of my good fortune, getting to spend time with this amazing child. And I am so aware of him speed-walking toward becoming a big kid, a young man, and then a man. I hold him in my arms, and he holds my heart in his. He always will. Even when he’s too big to pick up.

05 Apr 2011

Pick Your Friends

10 Comments Toddler

G is three and has a nose-picking problem. Or maybe the problem is that he’s three. Either way, his nose is not being neglected when it comes to picking.

Russ did the old, “You can pick your friends” bit the other night. You know…

You can pick your friends.

You can pick your nose.

But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.

The humor was sort of lost on G, but Russ kept saying it every time he saw G with his finger in his honker. Then he just shortened it to, “You can pick your friends.”

This morning as I was making G’s breakfast he picked a lovely buggar. I happened to see it as he was making it stretch between his thumb and forefinger. I ran to get a tissue and wiped it from his hand.

“NO!”, he yelled, “I picked my FRIEND! And she was really cute, too.”

I threw his friend and the napkin away and wiped off the remaining “friend” with an anti-bacterial wipe.

Poor thing. She never saw it coming.

04 Mar 2011

Good to Give

4 Comments Toddler

Back in December, I posted about how we were trying to get Garrett to get rid of some things to make room for the toys that Santa was bringing. At the time I wasn’t sure how to get him to part with things, and asking him to do it wasn’t working.

Last night G-Man had the opportunity to give some of his baby things to a one-year-old in my sis-in-law’s family. I showed him the bag of clothing I had already assembled, and sent him back to his room with his dad to see what he could come up with. Five minutes later, they emerged with an activity table, talking robot and grocery cart. I was so happy!!  I knew it was a better idea for Russ to try to convince him, because he takes all of the drama out of the things I tend to inject drama into.

Garrett couldn’t have been more pleased as he handed over his things to Baby Alex and his parents. He didn’t even ask if he was going to see the stuff again. I told him how incredibly proud of him we were, and that giving things to people is a wonderful and important part of life. And, as a reward, I let him watch one Word Girl episode even though it was way past his bedtime by the time we got home.

It’s only been three months since the initial begging-fest that went on when I was asking him to get rid of those things. But in those three months a lot has changed. G’s grown about an inch, grown his hair about three inches, gotten out of his crib, found out he loves the alphabet, and has learned that giving feels pretty good.

I’m beaming with pride. And I’m going to see how far we can take this thing. Maybe by next week we’ll have enough room to move his action figures, dinosaurs, and god-knows-what out of the living room and into his ROOM! Not holding my breath. But I’m still beaming.

25 Feb 2011

I’m Not Making Dough, So I Made Cookies Instead

6 Comments Career, Cooking/Baking, Toddler

This is one of those times where I wish I could talk about my career completely openly and honestly and tell you exactly what happened these last couple days.  It’s been very frustrating. Essentially, I was offered a couple weeks of work and then the offer was taken back. The work was un-offered. De-offered? It was ripped away from me.

Now, keep in mind I was just at home minding my own business when I got the call about work. And it’s not like I was jumping up and down and screaming, “YAY!”, but I was looking very forward to it. When it was taken away the following day, I was nothing if not frustrated and confused.

Of course, there’s nothing I can do about work being taken from me, especially when I wasn’t expecting it in the first place, and especially when there’s been no contract signed or formal agreement made.  I think what was angering me most was that I was very happy NOT working until I heard I WOULD be working and then that I WOULDN’T be working… And all of a sudden I was in a terrible mood. I don’t like being unhappy, but it was very difficult to get out of my pissy mood.

So what did I do, you ask? I love how curious you are. I made cookies! That’s right. I made Crispy Oatmeal Cookies. And I loved doing it. And I was making them for people who deserved them who DIDN’T live in this house. BUT, my curious friends, do you know what happened?

Well, as soon as I was done making the batter and I had the first batch in the oven, I gave a beater to Russ and the other to Garrett so they could eat the cookie dough. (I use pasteurized egg whites, so it’s totally safe to eat the batter. I know, I’m no fun.) I watched Garrett loving every last lick of that dough, and it made everything bad go away.

When I was pregnant I dreamed of moments like this. I used to tell Russ how much I hoped our kid would like the way I cooked and would want to eat the cookies and breads I made.  I told him I couldn’t wait to share moments in the kitchen, as well as in other rooms of the house, of course. When all the cookies were made (and I had entered the recipe into my LoseIt program, finding out that each one was 108 calories), I bagged up the ones that were going to other houses and kept 10 for us.

Today when Garrett got home from school he asked for a cookie. Tonight he asked for one for dessert, and then he wanted one more. I’m not big on sweets in the middle of the day, or giving more than one cookie for dessert… But somehow G-Man had three Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies today. It just seemed right.

My goodness, that kid makes me happy.

And here’s the link to the recipe:

So, I just read this over to make sure I didn’t make any huge spelling or grammatical errors, and I realized that you might not know that I also enjoyed watching Russ eat that dough. And that whenever I go through crappy stuff he’s there for me, making it all better and supporting me. And that is why crappy stuff never seems so crappy, and why I always feel incredibly, stupidly lucky. I have an amazing son, and an equally amazing husband. Mushy part over.