Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Overwhelmingly Anxious...

...about this upcoming trip to the in-laws. See there are a few things that make me dread this more than just about anything else in the world.

#1 -- I am a nervous freak when anything regarding the extended family comes up. Especially my inlaws. My mother-in-law has no concept of personal space (hello, she RAN down the street in Lahaina with her arm outreached like a football player to "attack" my barely pregnant belly) and she just pretty much drives me batty.

#2 -- I HATE flying on airplanes. Seriously, I think I grab Glenn's hand so hard my fingers (and his) are white from the pressure.

#3 -- Beanie has never been on a plane. I am nervous that she is going to HATE it, be that kid screaming her lungs out, etc etc. Not to mention she is quite, um, spirited and doesn't really like to sit still for 5 minutes, let alone 5 hours.

So, yea, the anxiety this all is causing me is a bit overwhelming. I'm trying to get over it because I know if I am anxious for/on/during the flight Beanie will be too. That is the last thing I want. And, while I may wish for some secret illness to creep up on us as the days approach, I really don't want that either.

So, the plan of attack is lots of snacks, toys and (maybe -- okay, definitely) a new portable DVD player that we can load up with oodles of cartoons. Maybe even a TV strike for a few days before hand so she's really itching for some cartoons? God, I don't know! Maybe a stiff drink for me?

Any other ideas?

I am hopeful that the plane ride will be uneventful and that maybe Beanie will be really cute and sweet to all the surrounding passengers. You know, like how she likes to wave and blow kisses to random people in restaurants. I'm hoping for that.

I'm also hoping that since both my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law's girlfriend are pregnant that I can escape some of the personal space invasions of my mother-in-law. Sorry gals, I love ya to death but I'm hoping they are the centers of attention and I can just fly under the radar.

So, HELP! Getting out of this really isn't an option, so getting over the anxiety surrounding it has to be.

Friday, June 26, 2009


In just a few hours our place will be overrun by toddlers. Thankfully, mother nature was kind to me and the weather is nice. A bit chilly, might have to find a back-up birthday outfit but, hey, its dry and I see some blue sky so I'm counting it as a win!

As for me, I think I need a double latte and some motivation to get the last few chores/errands done this morning....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"You too Mama."

Seeing that Beanie repeats nearly everything we say, I have been waiting for her to say I love you. Nothing yet. Nothing even close. Until this morning. I said I love you Beanie and she replied You too Mama.

Okay, I realize its not I love you, but my heart totally melted anyway. What a sweetie!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sleep Success.

Last night Beanie slept in her big girl bed by herself from 8:15 - 3:15. Then I nursed her and she slept until 4:30 when she woke so I went in and slept the rest of the morning with her. Progress!

The downside is she only napped for about 20min in the car yesterday and was in super-cranko mode most of the afternoon. Or at least teeter-tottering from super cranky to I'm-having-the-most-fun-ever.

But, hey, we can't win them all! She went down for a nap at 10:15 this morning (super early for her) so we'll see how tonight goes. I hope this early napping thing isn't a new trend since I scheduled her bday party for 10am so it would be before the tiredness set in.

Its quiet. Beanie is napping and Glenn went out for a bike ride. I should be taking a shower. Or cleaning. Or wrapping Beanie's presents. Or a multitude of other things. Alas, here I am....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Super Peeved.

Ugh! So a little bit ago we ordered a new carseat (a Britax Marathon) from this website that my friend told me about. They had great prices and she had gotten her seat 4 days after she ordered it. Sounded great!

Well, the carseat was supposed to arrive last Friday. I was waiting all day Friday for it to come as the tracking number I had indicated that it was "out for delivery." Late Friday night when I checked the tracker it stated that the delivery had been rescheduled for today, Monday. So here I am this morning, waiting. Again.

When we got home from running some errands I checked the tracking website again. This is what I see..


What the heck??? So basically what you're telling me is that between Friday night and Monday morning some UPS dude (or chick...not discriminating here) STOLE my carseat right out of the box? Classy.

So, yea, not only am I super peeved, I'm also pretty pissed off.

I called Traveling Tikes and they are calling UPS and then will get back to me....

Time flies.

At the end of the week my baby is going to be two. TWO!!! Where did the time go? Wasn't she just learning to crawl? Didn't I just give birth like two seconds ago?

We are having a birthday playdate at the house on Friday with eight of Beanie's little friends. I am crossing fingers and toes that the weather will be nice so I can have a yard full of toddlers opposed to a house full of toddlers. On Saturday we are having a few (and I emphasize few) people over for her actual birthday. Turns out its only going to my sister, dad & stepmom. My stepbrother and his wife are going out for their anniversary and my other stepsister is watching the kids that day. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are moving, working an insane amount of hours, and pregnant. Yea, people are busy. I'm a little bummed there won't be too many people there, but, after having the toddler party the day before, I might end up being pretty darn glad!

It just seems unreal that she is going to be 2. Unreal and amazing at the same time! Its unbelievable how much my life has changed in the last two years. I truly believe I have become a much better person being a mom. And I have Beanie to thank for all of that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The month is halfway over...

...well more than halfway now, but I added up our spending on groceries for the first 15 days of June. I was all jazzed to see the total because we haven't been going to the store every day, have been eating more of what we already had at home, etc etc. Well, I was jazzed until I saw the total. Over $450??!?!?! What the heck! Here I was feeling like we were doing great and we've been bleeding money on the groceries. Sure, I know our fridge went out so we had to restock. The first 15 days also included not one, but two, trips to Costco where we stocked up on things that we will likely (hopefully) use longer than just this month. That's how Costco works, right? At least when you're a family of 3? The first 15 days also included 2 trips to Trader Joes, a store which I love to death, but, let's face it, its impulse shopping central.

So, yea, I about crapped myself when I added it up. Darnit!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Super Exhausted.

So this probably won't be as thorough as it could be ;)

I've been sleeping in the master for short bits at night. Mostly for the start of the night. Beanie has been waking up more than she was when we were cosleeping. I'm not surprised. The first night I actually fell asleep in the master (yay!) but the damn cat was racing around the house and startled me awake (like seriously startled, you know the feeling when you get woken up just as you've drifted off to sleep) and woke up Beanie too. I went in to cuddle her back to sleep and fell asleep with her. Night two Beanie put up a terrible fight going to bed. I was exhausted and fell asleep next to her. I woke up an hour or so later and went into the master. I think I fell asleep, but not really sure. I may have just been daydreaming, staring at the ceiling when she woke up. Tonight she put up another incredible fight going to bed. I'm not sure if its the change in sleeping arrangements, the fact that I think she's getting her 2 year molars in or what but I am so over the whole yes-mama-I'm-overly-tired-but-no-way-am-I-going-to-sleep thing.

Tonight I was in tears because I was just so exhausted. She said "Mama" and started rubbing and patting my back. Then promptly went to sleep. Sweet girl. I love her so much. It was a long evening so I don't think that helped. She was cuckoo-baby-nuts and Glenn was all upset because he couldn't watch the news without her making noise. He wanted her to sit still and watch the news with him. Hello??!?! She's 2. I don't think she's really into the national news. And so he got all snappy with me, like why can't I take her into another room so he can have some peace and quiet and watch the news. Yea, because I have like no interest in peace and quiet or the news. You know, sometimes it just happens you don't get to watch the show you want to watch. That's part of having a toddler!

Anyway, quite a tangent there...sorry! She is sleeping now and I should be too. While she hasn't been nursing at night she has been waking a lot (teething again?? I wonder) and wanting to play with my boobs. I try to nip it in the bud (pun intended...lol) because it sort of drives me batty. I don't mind her using me as a pillow, but I do mind her little baby fingers all over my boobs. I don't know what exactly is going on, but I'm just trying to take it one night at a time.

So, consider yourself updated! For now I'm going to try to go to sleep. Or at least stare at the ceiling in the master until I'm really super exhausted enough to crash out.

And, in other news for you die-hard Beanie fans, she pooped on the potty today. That's right...#2! She got a whole bunch of M&Ms for that :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Transitioning ME to independent sleep

That's right, I said me not Beanie. Everyone always talks about transitioning your child to independent sleeping, but I've come to the realization that its just as hard (maybe harder) for the parent. In our case I'm absolutely certain it is harder for me than for Beanie.

One night last week I was going to sleep in the master with Glenn. I laid there. Couldn't sleep. My mind was racing. After Glenn fell asleep I broke down and went into Beanie's room and laid with her. So, the plan of attack was to try on Glenn's night off because my other worry was that she would wake a lot and he wouldn't get any sleep before work. That would've meant Saturday was the night. Well, turns out Saturday is my night to get a good night's sleep because I have to work on Sundays. So, yea, my totally anxious behind went and slept with Beanie. Then there was last night. Beanie took a super long (and late) nap for Glenn while I was at work and she didn't fall asleep until about 10pm. I fell asleep lying down with her. (And, sidenote here, but why is it that when Beanie goes to sleep at 8pm she sleeps until 7am, but when she goes to bed at 10pm she's up at 6???)

So, that brings us to tonight. I know I just need to bite the bullet and sleep in the master. But its hard. I've slept with Beanie every night since she was born. And, while I'm ready to move on from the cosleeping, I've enjoyed sleep sharing with her and am sort of sad to see it go too.

I am convinced she is more ready for this transition than I am. Who knows, maybe I'll be happily surprised and she'll sleep like a gem tonight. I know I won't, but, hey, no one said this whole parenting thing was easy, right?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day Three

...of potty training. Or, not so much training as just giving it a whirl. Yesterday we bought a glass jar and some M&Ms. We filled up the jar in front of Beanie and told her they were special and just for when she went peepee on the potty. So now we have special star stickers and M&Ms.

This morning was day three of pee on the potty. Yesterday we only caught a tiny bit. This morning she did really well. I gave her the sticker and the M&M. She's never had a M&M before and she really liked it!

A little later (maybe ten minutes) she comes over into the kitchen, signs more, sticks out her tongue & points at it, and points at the M&Ms. I felt her diaper and it was big and wet so then I was left trying to explain that we only get M&Ms when we pee in the potty, not in our diapers.

I guess tomorrow I'll have to try and get her to sit on the potty for a bit longer in the morning. She kept getting up this morning and I kept sitting her back down. We have a potty book that's she been reading, but maybe I need to get another book for the bathroom?

I'm glad we waited until now to potty train because she really seems ready. Maybe more ready than I'd like her to be, haha! Like I said before, I'd really like to wait until after we get back from Georgia to really go with potty training. We could always wait until we get back to really try and get big girl panties and all.

Anyway, I'm so proud of her and absolutely dying over the fact that she was sticking out her tongue and pointing at it for more M&Ms. I hope my explanation was two-year-old friendly!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just in case you ever considered getting Clearwire for your ISP...


Because they suck. Seriously suck. And, because they rope you in with an early termination clause, you are pretty much stuck with them unless you want to pay it out the behind to cancel your contract.

I mean, seriously Clearwire, how does my fancy pants little modem thing that plugs into a regular ol' electrical outlet (opposed to through your phone or cable line like other internet service providers) go from four strength bars to one to three to absolutely no connectivity while its sitting in the same damn place? Really, how? And you try to pass yourself off as "high speed internet?" Laughable. My dial-up from ten years ago was faster than this!

Its no wonder there's a website devoted to how incredibly horrible you are. And a pending class action lawsuit against you for "false advertising, unfair business practices, and for reimbursement of early termination fees."

You see, back when the only phone calls I got on my residential phone line were from telemarketers (or my mom, who face it could just as easily call my cell phone), Glenn and I decided it would be a good idea to cancel our home phone service. At the time my brother-in-law worked for Clearwire and it seemed like a great option. So we signed up. And signed up for the 2 year contract so we could get the cheaper price or whatever. Well, come to find out my brother-in-law quickly quit Clearwire, probably because they are just as crappy of a company to work for as they are a crappy ISP.

Well, let me tell you I am counting the months until this silly contract is up. Right now we're at the point where we would basically be buying out the rest of our contract to cancel. Not too incredibly bad, but I'm not yet sure its worth it. I guess I could hope to get reimbursed if/when the lawsuit is resolved but I'm not banking on that. For now I'll just tell everyone I know never to get Clearwire for their ISP.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Review -- Super Baby Food

Well, I really liked writing that last book review so I think I will keep it going. Sort of makes me feel like I'm using my brain & adds a little depth to the blog :)

So, onward and upward with Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron.

For those of you who don't know, I made all of Beanie's baby food. It is so easy! Seriously, if someone who dislikes cooking as much as I do and who procrastinates to no end can do it then anyone can. It doesn't take much time at all. I know people who take one weekend day and make a ton of food and freeze it. I was more the type to make one thing at a time and freeze and then do another a few days later. Worked out well for me. And, OMG, have you ever tasted commercial baby food? Yuck! The homemade stuff tastes so much better! In addition to wholesomebabyfood.com Ruth Yaron's book was my guide to homemade baby food.

By far the best part of Yaron's book is Appendix A which contains just about everything you could want to know on specific fruits and veggies, from acorn squash to zucchini. She tells you how old your child should be before trying the fruit or veggie, when they're in season, how to choose the best produce, and how to prepare and store the babyfood. This portion of the book I used over and over again.

Yaron doesn't quit with baby food recipes though. She has a whole section on healthy toddler and adult recipes too, including recipes for healthier birthday cakes. She also discusses how to make homemade yogurt (I haven't tried to do this, but I'd really like to someday), talks about baby safe cleaning products and has lots of arts & crafts ideas.

Overall its a good reference book and that is mostly what I used it for. In my opinion, Yaron pushes solid foods (and too much solid food) over breastmilk and formula, both of which are recommended to be a child's primary source of nutrition for their first year of life. The portions she recommends seem quite large for a pre-toddler, especially Beanie when she was that young. Heck, Beanie wasn't even really too interested in solid foods until after her 1st birthday so the portion sizes seemed enormous to me. And maybe the previous is my bias against the book. Seeing as how I became very pro-breastfeeding, Yaron's pushing of solid food at such a young age rubbed me the wrong way.

I would recommend the book to my friends though. I would suggest using it hand-in-hand with the Wholesome Babyfood site. I actually ended up using the website more than the book, but I was always glad when I had the book close by while I was steaming some fruits or vegetables for Beanie.

Okay, this review turned out a little less review-ish and a little more talk about me and talk about the book. Hmmm...we'll let it slide this time ;)

She peed on the potty!

And I, her loving mother, have posted it as my facebook status ;) Hey, if they're my "friends" they'll care too, right? And think its totally awesome!

Anyway, this morning Beanie was sort of putting off sitting on the potty. Then I told her we needed to get a new diaper and she said "no." I asked her if she needed to go potty and she replied yes, so we went back into the bathroom. I took off her pj shorts and diaper and she exclaimed "help" as she was trying to take off her shirt (because in case you didn't know, its a prerequisite for Beanie to be entirely naked to be on the potty...lol) so I helped her with that too.

She sat there. I asked her if she wanted a book and, just as I turned around to head out and quickly grab a book, she peed on the potty! Like full-on peed on the potty, no silly little droplets like last time.

I said "Yay! You peed on the potty!" and she said "Yea" in a tone that made me think that if she was ten years older she'd also be rolling her eyes and have her hand on one hip. Like duh mom, what do you think the potty is for?

I've been pretty ambivalent about even really trying with potty training as we are headed to Georgia next month. Diapers just seem a lot easier on a plane, in the car for a long time, at a new house, etc etc. I guess we'll just see how it goes. The trip is only for a few days anyway and she does seem very ready for potty training so I'd hate to put it off just for that, but I don't know. I'm so anxious about this silly trip anyways (I'll write about that later) that adding potty training to the mix just seems more anxiety-producing.

So Yay Beanie for peeing on the potty!! I wish I could tell everyone (oh wait, I just did...on my blog & on facebook...lol)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A new day!

Well, its a new day...a fresh start...what have you.

I set the timer this morning so I just had a 1/2 hour to spend online while I drank my coffee. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and switched the laundry. Beanie ate a big breakfast. It is a gorgeous day out and we are getting ready to head out for a walk and park playdate with my mom's group. Glenn has tonight off so hopefully he can nap while we're gone and then we can do something fun as a family.

Its a good day already :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A crazy long update about everything (and nothing at the same time)

Well, here I am. Everyone is asleep again and I had so many plans for the evening. Fold laundry? Drink a vodka cran? Get on the Wii fit? Re-read Gone with the Wind (or at least start)? Message my friends? Clean? Yet here I am. Blogging. And I don't even have a vodka cran to my left. I have been depressed, anxious, crabby, you name it. Beanie is testing my patience. I have little patience left it seems. Glenn is getting on my nerves. At times our relationship seems to be better than ever and other times I just feel like he isn't hearing me, listening to me, whatever. Like today when I asked Are you putting the cabinet back up above the fridge or do I need to find a new home for the cookbooks? and his answer was Yes. Yes to what? Then he got all mad that I wasn't listening. Ummm...you can't answer an either/or question with yes. It isn't an answer for crying out loud. And, for the record, he meant yes he was putting the cabinet back above the fridge. Anyways its just little things, but all these little things seem to be piling up on me. So, yea, maybe I should have a vodka cran to my left???


Beanie has been going down for bed in her own bed each night. We are still cosleeping. I go into her room after I wind down and am ready for bed. I have a feeling that in the next few days I'll be starting off the night in the master with Glenn. Will be nice. She is seemingly ready. Nurses to sleep and then hasn't been waking again to nurse until about 4 or 4:30am. Who knows how it will go when I'm not sleeping next to her, but I am ready to find out.


I feel like I'm living in someone else's home. There, I said it. I'm not happy here right now. That's right, I am unhappy in my nice shiny new home. I feel (know) that things will get better. Right now I am stressed because there are still boxes to be sorted through, there are rooms to be painted, I can't find the peanut butter in the kitchen cabinets or the deoderant in the bathroom, the stupid hot water in the bathroom trickles out and it takes 20minutes+ to get enough water to cover Beanie's belly button for a bath. Every room is brown, or so it seems they will be. We bought way too much paint for the living room and exercise room so now our brown is everywhere. I think I'm going to head out and buy a gallon of yellow paint for the playroom. I just can't have more brown!! I am mad that the sellers didn't complete all the work they said they would. I am more mad at myself for signing the papers before the work was completed (and letting our realtor "take their word for it" that they would finish everything). I am mad at the way our realtor handled things. But, you know what, hindsight is 20/20. I've already had at least 4 people ask if I'd recommend our realtor and the answer has always been a resounding no. I am trying to develop a plan to make things better here. They start with me getting off my butt and taking care of things. I think I'll start tomorrow. Really.


Glenn went out and did some forms in the backyard today. He said he forgot parts of them. Glenn forgot! I know I've forgotten which makes me even more nervous to train again. I know its just the backyard, but still. I guess you have to start somewhere. I think it rattled Glenn to have forgotten some. He is an amazing martial artist though (seriously, you should see him!) so I know he'll remember quickly. I just hope its the same for me. (And Bri, I've started writing the kung fu post for you -- it'll just take awhile to get it all written)


My iPod seems to be working! Its a miracle, at least the kind I believe in....haha! I am listening to it right now. See we've had about 5 computers that we've purchased and uploaded music on. Seems like we could never get them all to play/transfer/etc once we had the new desktop. I finally got it fixed so all my music was on the external hard drive and would play on the computer, but the last time I checked it wouldn't all play on the actual iPod. Well, I charged it up the other day and started tinkering with it today and waaalaa it seems to be working. Hmmm....

I am so happy because I really miss listening to lots and lots of music!


Beanie's 2nd bday is in less than 3 weeks. I can't believe it. She's going to be 2!! I'm having a playdate with her friends and the house and then a family BBQ on her actual bday. Cross your fingers for good weather for the playdate because the playroom would be a little (okay, a lot) cramped with a bunch of toddlers running around! But, I always work better with a goal in mind so I'm happy we're having people over...the house has to be done in 3 weeks, right???

Have a good evening everyone!

Friday, June 5, 2009


That's how much we spent on groceries last month. You don't even have to tell me how ridiculous that it because I already know. Sure I take into account that we were moving, flip-flopping back and forth between two houses and had a fridge go out, but STILL!! Over seven hundred bucks for 2 adults and a toddler (who I should mention doesn't really eat that much to begin with). Then add in that we spent almost $500 going out to eat and over $100 getting coffee (add in pastries, sandwiches, whatever) and I almost had a heart attack. And don't forget that I have a fancy pants espresso machine that just needs to be cleaned and a husband that can make a mocha that kicks Starbucks behind any day. Yea. Ridiculous!

So, my goal for June is to cut our grocery bill 1/3 (we'll start there, especially since we need to restock the stupid fridge again). To cut our espresso bill by 2/3. And the eating out thing just has to stop! It needs to be a treat, not something for every day. Or when we don't feel like cooking (almost every day *wink*).

We ended up not getting a new fridge and having a repairman come out and fix the one we have. Saved a lot of money there. Once the temp gets regulated (its taking some tinkering with) then I'll head out to the store and stock up on some good food (we're trying to eat healthier too...and why is it that healthy food costs so much more than crappy processed food???).

So, wish me luck! And share some money saving tips. I really liked the idea from Sandy on this post of planning out our meals. I don't know how you planned for all summer already Sandy, but I think I'll start with planning for a week :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bad Mommy Alert.

a.k.a Beanie peed on the potty and I didn't even notice!!

So, a couple weeks ago Glenn picked up a potty for Beanie. A few nights ago he unpacked it and set it up in the bathroom. For the last couple nights Beanie has shown interest in it and has been sitting on it. No pee pee though. She hasn't shown any interest in the mornings, probably the best time for actually peeing on the potty. That is until today.

This morning when we woke up and I went into the bathroom she took off her diaper and sat on the potty. I thought Yay! We might actually get some pee on the potty as its first thing in the morning. We sat. And sat. And sat. See the thing is Beanie only really wants to stay sitting on her potty if I'm on "Mommy's potty" too. So we sat. And sat some more. She went over and got some of her bath toys from the tub. Then sat on the potty some more. And some more. I thought she looked like she was going to pee pee, but nothing. Then, all of the sudden, she gets up, grabs her diaper and says "all done." I figured better progress than nothing. She actually sat on the potty first thing in the morning and, surely, if we keep up this routine we'll catch a morning pee.

So, fast forward a few hours and I tell her I need to go potty. She follows me into the bathroom and takes off her diaper to sit on her potty. But wait...what do I see??? Two little droplets of pee in the potty. Crap!! She did pee on the potty this morning and I didn't even notice?!?!? WTH! I would've liked to reward her with a sticker, a high five, or (for crap's sake) at least say Yay Beanie!!! You peed on the potty!!! But, what did she get? Nothing. Nada. Nil.

And the bad mommy award goes to...dadadida.....Kristen!!!

Guess we'll try again tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Damn refrigerators.

Ugh! After we had closed on our house but we were still living at the rental the fridge there went out. Glenn had thought it was having problems and I opened up the freezer to get some chicken nuggets out for Beanie and they were soggy gross yuckyness. I opened the refrigerator door to find that both compartments were at a balmy 53 degrees. Bleh.

I contacted the landlord, but told her not to rush too much (she is currently living in Sweden) because we had starting moving to our new house and we would just keep our food there. It became quite a pain-in-the-ass over time, but, hey, it worked. Glenn and I joked that the nice thing about being in a rental was that you didn't have to replace the fridge when it broke.

Fast forward a couple weeks to now. We are in our house and have been tinkering with both the fridge and freezer temps. They both seem to be off and the wonderful (dripping sarcasm) fridge we currently have doesn't read temps but rather has a number system. The manual says that 9 (it goes from 1-9) is the coldest, however this doesn't concur with the results we've gotten when tinkering with the dial. The freezer is produces rock hard everything at a setting of 1. The fridge we couldn't figure out at all. So yesterday we bought a thermometer and stuck it in the fridge. Came out at a balmy 60 degrees. Sigh. Here we go again. And, for what its worth, the freezer is about at -20 degrees!! Tinkered with the dial some more and decided to head out and buy a new fridge today.

We actually got a screaming deal, but I am still bummed we had to go out and buy an appliance so darn soon. Sure we want to remodel the kitchen someday, we just weren't planning on starting so soon. We did get a nice stainless steel model so when we do finally remodel the kitchen we will already have a really nice fridge.

On the upside, since things have still been a bit hectic around here I really hadn't filled the fridge up yet. We still had to throw a good amount of food out, but nothing like at the rental. Looks like it'll be a big grocery shopping trip on Friday...

Monday, June 1, 2009


THIS post I wrote about the Jardine crib recall is the #11 result (that's right...page 2) on google.com when searching for Jardine Enterprises cribs.

Um yea, how cool is that???

Book Review -- The Happiest Toddler on the Block

I've been thinking I should review the parenting books I read (and maybe others eventually) on the blog, so here goes nothing!

So the first book I'll review is The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.

In the beginning of the book Karp describes toddlers as little cave people. He says that we, as parents, often assume toddlers are little adults but they are far from it. In fact, they are far from being even little children. I really liked the metaphor of toddlers as cave people and Beanie totally seems to fit the bill!

Since I have a big interest in psychology and neuropsychology I really enjoyed (read -- devoured) the section describing how toddler's brains are out of balance. Karp discusses how toddlers are slave to their right brains and how, due to the fight or flight response all of us experience, when they are upset the left half of the brain basically shuts down and the already dominant right half takes complete control. Karp describes the right half of the brain as "distractible, impulsive, and emotional." Yup, sounds like a toddler to me.

Karp focuses a lot on learning to communicate with your little cave dweller. When we, as parents, talk to our toddler as though they are little adults, or even little children, their primitive brains can't understand. We use too many words. Karp introduces the fast food rule and Toddler-ese. The fast food rule is "before telling an upset person your point of view, first repeat back how he's feeling." You know, like when you go through the drive thru at McDonalds and order the employee repeats back your order and then tells you the cost and to pull through to the first window. Toddler-ese is "a special language that's supereffective with upset toddlers made up of 3 simple steps: short phrases, lots of repetition and mirroring a bit of the child's feelings." And, yes, Toddler-ese does feel like a foreign language to me! It does make sense though so I am continuing to try.

Since the beginning of Karp's book was so interesting to me, I was really excited to see how he proposed dealing with what he calls green -, yellow -, and red-light behaviors. I was, however, sort of disappointed with his techniques, especially for yellow- and red-light behaviors.

I'll start with the green-light (or good) behaviors though, because I did think he had some pretty good ideas there. To promote green-light behaviors, Karp talks about time-ins. I really liked his ideas of star charts (a plus since Beanie is a huge fan of stickers and stamps). And what better way to promote good behavior than to reward it with a little time-in of play, praise and extra attention? He talks about giving options, playing the boob (basically acting like a dork...nothing to do with boobies for real!), teaching patience, creating routines, and planting seeds of kindness. I really enjoyed the green-light chapter of the book and thought there were plenty good ideas to take away from it.

But what do parents really want to know? How to curb bothersome or bad behavior, right? So, like any parent, I was pretty excited to move on to the yellow- and red-light chapters. This is where I got pretty disappointed though. I liked Karp's ideas for curbing yellow-light behaviors before they even start but his approaches to dealing with them when they do occur didn't sit too well with me. The first is the clap-growl. The clap-growl is "several loud claps followed by a low growl that is both a warning and a mild consequence that all cave-kids understand." The funny thing is that Glenn had been clap - no- ing to Beanie and it rubbed me the wrong way. After reading about it in Karp's book I asked him if he had too. He said no, so I guess clap-growl is instinctual to some extent, just not for me?! I guess the clapping doesn't bother me as much as the growling. It just gives me the wrong feeling in the pit of my stomach. The second technique is kind ingnoring. I agree that sometimes kiddos are doing annoying behaviors just because it is grabbing your attention, but turning your back and ignoring them gives me the idea that you are letting them think they are bad not that the behavior is bad. I did really like when Karp talked about forging win-win compromises with your toddler. He states that, in a toddler's mind, "fair" is not them winning 50% of the time, not even 60 or 70% of the time, but more like 90%. So, if you give in on the smaller things (like Beanie wanting to wear her water shoes all the time), then you can "win" on the bigger issues.

Red-light behaviors are dangerous behaviors that need to be stopped immediately. Dangerous or just breaking some important rules you have set as a family. Karps' techniques for dealing with red-light behaviors are time outs or giving a fine. As you can imagine from my "issues" with kind ignoring I don't really like the whole time-out idea. Giving a fine sits a little better with me, but Karp does say it works best for toddlers over age 3. I did like Karp's section on toddlers and saying "I'm sorry." He says that you should ask your toddler to say they're sorry, but not to insist on it.

Overall, I think it was a worthwhile read. You take some, you leave some...like with any parenting advice, right? I'm still on the hunt for some better techiniques for curbing bothersome and bad behaviors....