Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Reunion - Top 10

Top 10 Memories from our Family Reunion (2010) - by the Nugget

10. Preemptive screaming while I was waiting for my turn on the Tilt-a-Whirl. I enjoyed watching this ride and sitting between my cousin A and her friends M & J. But in my own words, "This ride goes too fast." That practice screaming sure was fun though!

9. Tickles! The adults at this reunion were a constant source of tickles. I happen to like tickles A LOT and will beg for more, "Again, please!" When someone got tired of tickling me, I could solicit any other grown-up for more. It. Was. Awesome.

8. Uncle A played this new game with me. He'd pick me up and pretend to drop me. He always caught me though, I knew he wouldn't let me fall. Uncles are good at that sort of thing.

7. Getting piggyback rides from my big cousins, B and A, and A's friend Z. Walking is so overrated.

6. Playing trains and blocks with cousin M.

5. Telling everyone about airplanes. And coloring airplane pictures for my aunt and cousins. And talking to my Uncle M, who is a real-life pilot! And riding 2 airplanes and "my blue bus" that took us to and from the airport parking lot.

4. Making Mommy and Daddy wade in the Pacific with me. Adults make really funny faces when the water is cold.

3. Playing in the sand. The beach is like a huge, giant sandbox, except there are cool rocks and shells everywhere, and birdies to chase.

2. Playing bullfighter with Papa. I was the bull, and I got to charge Papa's red jacket.

1. Giving goodnight hugs and kisses to my family before bed. There were so many people at the house, that I got to stay up way past by bedtime, just by saying goodnight to everyone!

Family Reunion - 2008 and 2010

We just returned from a wonderful stay on the Oregon Coast. The Nugget's Grandma's branch of the family has an annual reunion. We try to commit to alternate years. So the last time we took the Nugget, he had just turned 1 and was not yet walking. So I posted some pictures from both 2010 and 2008 so you can see the difference in our experience!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Under new management

Hello, Nugget here. I, your adorable despot, am planning to overthrow the parental units. Here is my list of new laws, effective immediately. More to follow, but right now I am working on an army of sand octopi (pictured) to help me with the coup.

1. Parents must not kiss, hug, touch, or look at each other.

2. I get full control over radio stations in the car. In anyone's car. So, driver of red truck next to us, if I say, "I don't like your music," you must change the station, stat.

3. I will receive a master pass to ride all buses, trains, airplanes, and tractors. I will also receive a license to operate all construction machinery.

4. My diet will consist mainly of caramel sauce.

5. Adult conversations will be banned from polite society. Every topic of conversation must pass my approval.

6. I will receive my own (working! real!) cell phone and laptop. I also reserve the right to snatch yours.

7. I will receive a sibling who will be entirely programmable. He/she will carry out my bidding, laugh at all my jokes, and not be at all interested in my toys.

8. I will be permitted to cram play-doh into any crevice of the house I see fit to receive it.

9. I will require my own pony to give me rides in the house. In lieu of pony, I may ride Daddy on demand.

10. Thou shalt not touch my hair or ears. I mean it!

On minions and eardrum assault

The Nugget told me the other day, "I want a real baby. I need a real one. A real baby." I told him that Mommy and Daddy would like that too. I think he assumes that a little sib is going to be an automatic minion. He's going to be unpleasantly surprised.

The Nugget has been bossing everything around from Doggie to Daddy, and it's trippy to hear my words coming out of his mouth. Stern voice, "Sit down on that chair RIGHT NOW." Oh boy. Kids are definitely a reflection of your best and worst, and I am definitely going to keep attempting to treat the Nugget with not only firmness but also respect.

At dinner, the Nugget stopped eating to look directly at Doggie. He turned to us and said, "Doggie has a tummy ache. Doggie has a stomachache." She looked normal to us, so I said, "Oh, I think she's ok. Maybe she's feeling better?" The Nugget shook his head and said, "No, she has stomachache." A few hours later, Hubby saw Doggie eating grass, a sure sign of tummy upset. Perhaps he is the reincarnation of Dr. Dolittle.

The Nugget's favorite video now (possible ever) is Puppytown Growing Up. Footage of real puppies and dogs doing various jobs and tricks, like Search and Rescue, Agility, and Herding. Each segment is accompanied by possibly the most annoying songs known to man (Jake the Firehouse Dog is probably the soundtrack playing in hell on a continuous loop). But the Nugget is enthralled, and I know if I'd had this video as a child, I would also have played it until my parents wanted to puncture their own eardrums. It's educational, non-violent, and age-appropriate, so I can't really complain.

A frequent phrase uttered by the Nugget is, "I'm doing that." It's very versatile, and used to describe anything from eating breakfast to building a block tower to attempting the monkey bars.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meet Little Cabbage

On the Nugget's 3rd birthday, Baby Manny made her debut! So the Nugget got a new cousin and a birthday buddy. Grammy and Grandpa are thrilled to have 2 grandchildren with the same birthday - what are the odds?!

Baby Manny needs a new nickname on the blog - after all, she won't be a baby forever. I've been gazing at her photos but couldn't come up with something on my own. Apropos since my brother and sister-in-law took over 9 months to name her. Luckily, my sister posted the perfect moniker for her, so now I can welcome....Little Cabbage (the baby formerly known as Baby Manny). Nugget and Cabbage...doesn't that sound like a hipster boutique?

We are so tickled to add Little Cabbage to our family tree. I am so jealous of my sister who lives just minutes away - it will be another long month and a half before I can cuddle the Cabbage. Isn't she beautiful? (And lest you think me sexist, also smart, funny, athletic, strong, kind, etc. But for now, she's mostly working on getting that cute thing down. And eating/pooping.)

Also, my little brother - the one who used to fart on my pillow - is a daddy now, and a great one at that. Weird.

Monday, July 19, 2010

3 years old

Dear Nugget,

This Saturday, you turned 3. I am loving this phase. You are strong-willed, wiley, verbal, forceful, exuberant, affectionate, clingy, boisterous, bossy, smart, and quick. You keep us on our toes, and I never thought outwitting a 3 year old would take so much energy. "No" and "mine" are your favorite words, yet you are quick to ask for a hand to hold or to plant a surprise kiss.

I feel more confident in my abilities to handle your public freak-outs with grace and calm goodwill instead of horror and embarrassment. You want the world to go exactly the way you have it planned in your head, and I can relate. You can tell me what you love, what you hate, you can take me on the adventures inside your mind and make them real. You love to have jobs and feel important...really, who doesn't?

You are sprouting up before our eyes, and we love the person you were, the person you are, and the person you are becoming.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Feet

My socks make toes feel good. Look, they are wiggling. Mommy, wanna wiggle toes? We wiggle toes together. Ooo, shoes are giving feet hugs. Awww! My feet feel happy. Shoes make feet and toes happy!

The Nugget loves The Good Humor Man and frequently plays ice cream man. When we actually go out for ice cream or give him a homemade popsicle, we like call it one of the flavors from the book, like Raspberry Rockets or Pineapple Pockets, because his eyes light up and he starts giggling. The Nugget chose strawberry custard at our local stand, so we told him it was Strawberry Swirl. He got super giggly right away and kept exclaiming, "I eating strawberry squirrel! Strawberry squirrel so yummy. It's a tasty treat. Mmm, strawberry squirrel." Another time, he just eyed us with a jaded sigh and said, "It's not Nutty Nougat Neat, it's just vanilla with caramel sauce." We don't eat a lot of desserts but ice cream is definitely our family weakness.

A recent development is that the Nugget wants to smell everything. Not just flowers and fruit, but strange things like eyebrows, books, boxes, sand, clothes (dirty or clean), the dog, and I even caught him sniffing dog poop in the yard. We had a long talk about germs, although I can't claim that any of it stuck. He claims that everything, "smells like apples."

The Nugget likes to scat. Although he has the ability to form full sentences and 95% of his words are easily understandable to the general public, sometimes he just likes to let loose a strand of random syllables: "Ablooo-bizz-dizz-doobie-doot. Aka-pizz-yah." If you ask him what he said, he'll just look at you blankly, because clearly the scat has no meaning. It's just happiness and music pouring out of him.

One thing I didn't know about parenthood is that you can't just tell a young child that violence is unacceptable in any form. You have to go through each little act of violence and victim separately - sigh. That means it takes about 3 months to teach them not to hit you. Then 3 more months to teach them they can't hit Daddy either. Then 3 more months to teach them not to hit Friend A. Repeat. Next you go through the same thing with kicking, scratching, throwing blunt objects, biting, elbowing, etc. Because the Nugget remains an only child, Doggie is his sibling stand-in (playmate and competitor for parental attention) and is thus a frequent victim. Today, the Nugget experimented with poking Doggie with a stick. After acts of violence, the Nugget gets "Nugget time" to cool off and reflect, then he tells me what he did wrong, then he "makes it right". He apologized to Doggie today by saying comfortingly and lovingly, "It's ok Dog, it's ok. I just poked you with a stick." Here is our valiant pooch, recovering from too much Nugget love.

Our little mechanic

The Nugget announces every time we hear the gentle click and whir of our central air, and runs over to the nearest vent to "feel the cooling". Sometimes he is so intent on the race to a vent that he trips over his toys. Grammy noted that the first time she observed the run to the vent, she couldn't believe that a 3 year old would even notice a/c, not to mention be so interested in it. I had just figured that every toddler was inherently obsessed with "lots and lots of cooling".

The Nugget has started adding "too-day" into his vocabulary. I think he has a vague understanding of what it means, but he'll tack it onto the end of all his sentences.
"Mommy wanna ride in Mommy's car too-day?"
"I am playing with dump truck too-day."
"I am climbing this ladder too-day!"

Just now, the Nugget is playing on the floor behind me. I let him play with the spare buttons that come attached to clothing, and he's enjoying taking them in and out of their tiny plastic baggies. I heard him say, "I am doing machines too-day," and felt my chair vibrate slightly. I turned around to see the Nugget depositing the buttons into the swiveling office chair, in a place that will require me to take apart the entire chair. Fantastic. I have said since he was about 12 months that someday we are going to come home to find our toaster, fridge, or car totally disassembled so that he can learn how it works. Hubby has already noted that the Nugget loves tools and "fixing" in a way that he never did, and as a person who didn't understand how a dishwasher worked in high school (much to the entertainment of my family), I sure hope his school has shop class or something to meet his desire to build and destroy. And he can pay us back for the childhood destruction by being our handyman when he gets older. I'm hoping he can redo our kitchen.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fair Fun

We took the Nugget to the 4H fair this weekend. After living near the Puyallup Fairgrounds, our local fair is very modest and small, but it's just right for the Nugget. Easily walkable and plenty of wonders to see and experience.

The Nugget is a sizeable 41 inches, according to the midway measurements, which meant that he could ride all the "kiddy" rides solo this year. And unlike last year, we could actually trust him to stay seated with his seatbelt fastened. Fair rides are ridiculously overpriced - I am tempted to launch into a diatribe about how "back in my day they cost a quarter", but I'll refrain. Oops, too late. Anyway, the fair comes but once a year, so I felt like it was money well spent. I mean, would you look at that grin?!

One really funny thing was a booth full of yard spinny things (second picture from the top). I'm sure they have a technical name that I don't know. The booth was HUGE and they had about 150 spinners staked into the ground for display. The Nugget was pulled as if by a magnetic field, slack-jawed and zombie-like into his very own Mecca. If you know this kid at all, you know he is entranced by anything and everything that spins or twirls. He went from spinner to spinner, oohing reverently, and coaxing the stalled spinners back into fantastic motion. I asked him if he wanted to pick one out to take home, and bafflingly, he refused. I guess he didn't want to ruin the 8th wonder of the world by plucking a single spinner.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

XL Diapers

Having a bigger-than-your-average-bear child has thrown me more curve balls than I ever could have expected! The latest obstacle is that since the Nugget is now the size of an average 5 year old, diapers are much harder to find. I used to joke when he was a (giant) newborn that if he kept growing like a weed, he would have to either wear Depends or potty train early. Well, that joke basically came true. He is on the potty learning road and checking out every detour, so we still need a diaper supply to tide us over until the Nugget really "gets it". The Thirsties covers that we loved so much were popping open under his pants. The Huggies Overnites still fit, but he'd wake up drenched from sternum to toe at 5am, cold and complaining, "Eh-eh-eh...Mommy..."

While I think the internet sometimes is a problem for us parents (way too much conflicting advice!), this is one case where it was a huge help. I located 2 cloth diaper companies, FuzziBunz and Green Acre Designs, that carry an XL. Then I went on diaperswappers armed with the right search terms and found 6 secondhand XL GADs, which are working great! Easy to put on and off my active boy, absorbent, cute, and comfy. That's our daytime solution for now.

Our nighttime salvation came from bedwetter pants. We tried both the Huggies Goodnites and the Pampers Underjams. They are pull-up style, slim-fitting, stretchy, and soft. Best of all, they hold a whole night's worth of liquid output, so the 5am wakeup calls are a thing of the past. Whew! Both brands seem to work equally well, so we'll probably just buy whatever is on sale that week. And I can get them discounted through OR find them at Target if I don't stay on top of my inventory. Whew! This means underpants are still optional - Hooray!

Stinkies be-gone!

This is an unpaid product review, just because I like to share what works!

Hubby has some STINKY workout clothes. He loves the new artificial fabrics that reduce chafing and wick moisture. I'm so glad they are working for him, but I was afraid I was going to have to replace them every 3 months, because they have been coming out of the laundry just so stinky. If he hangs them up to dry, the whole room reeks. We tried BumGenius diapers for the Nugget when he was smaller, and they too, were an artificial fiber fleece that wicked moisture away. And after about 3 months, I gave them to charity, because I could NOT get the odor out. The new XL pocket dipes I got for the Nugget also include microfiber inserts, so I was determined to find a solution.

I heard a significant buzz in the cloth diapering world about this new natural detergent specifically made to get the stinkies out of artificial fibers. It's called Rockin' Green, and they have 3 formulas - classic, hard water, and soft water. I ordered a sample, and with shipping, it was only $1.78. I "rocked a soak" by filling the bathtub with hot water and the sample packet of Classic Rock, Bare Naked Babies (unscented), and I swirled Hubby's workout clothes in the tub, then left them there overnight. I immediately smelled the stink when the clothes hit the water, but the smell dissipated within 2 hours. The next morning, the bathroom smelled totally neutral. I gave the clothes a quick rinse, then washed them like usual, with our regular detergent (Charlie's), and they were completely odor-free and soft coming out of the drier.

Rockin' Green costs about twice as much as Charlie's, so I am ordering a full bag (and some scented samples!) but will save it to strip the odor out of the clothes and inserts when needed and stick to Charlie's for our regular laundry. Still, a single bag with shipping is cheaper than replacing even 1 of those workout shirts, so I am so very pleased!