Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gwoss Motor Woom

The Nugget's new thoughtful pose is hands on hips, head tilted, and a little lip smack.
"*smack* Giraffe, we can do puzzles now, ok? Ok."
Sometimes, he sashays a little with his hands on his hips, his eyes intent on his craft supplies or bookshelf. Hubby says he looks exactly the way I do when I'm searching the pantry or fridge for an ingredient.
Lately, the Nugget has been demanding more personal space, especially from Doggie. If she is a yard away, he will insist that she, "Back up, back up, back up!" Sometimes he doesn't even want her in the same room. Now the good thing is that he now orders her around with his words instead of bodily contact (most of the time), but we've started trying to teach him that she is a part of our family and we like having her around. Inexplicably, once she is out of sight, he becomes immediately concerned about her whereabouts and wants her to come...until she actually does, then he starts the process all over again.
The Nugget's preschool keeps the kids indoors when the temperature falls below 25 degrees (including the windchill factor). So they'll be mostly inside until April. In lieu of the playground, they have a "gross motor room" for indoor play. It is a large open space with rocking horses, giant foam blocks and mats, a chalkboard, and a closet full of supplies like scooters, balls, etc. Last week, the Nugget got to try stilt cups for the first time. His teachers reported that he did not even wait to be shown how to use them, he just grabbed a pair and immediately starting clomping around like a pro, much to their surprise and amazement. How incredible that he would instinctively know what they were for and how to use them!
Pictured is the Nugget gleefully reaching out for, "Another present, please." Yeah, we need to work on gratitude a little bit, but at least he was polite about the greed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Top 10 Memories Christmas 2010

10. Watching video of Kitty Miles with Aunt E.

9. Grammy giving the squirrels a cob of corn. "Cob of corn is a funny word! Hahahahah!"

8. Helping Grammy with the laundry.

7. Learning about the laundry. "Is it agitating now?" Grammy even found me a video of a washing machine in action.

6. Asking Uncle J what he do's with that thing (the barometer-thermometer-humidity measure).

5. The annual M family gift raffle. I got to deliver presents, open presents, and pick numbers. I shouted, "The first gift of Christmas!" over and over again. There was so much laughing and shouting over funny presents like an extension cord. I got a big rainbow feather duster, and I think it's the best thing ever.

4. Playing with my new toys, including a ride-on horse that munches carrots, a recycling truck that dumps, my very own electric train set, and lots of super cool puzzles and books!

3. Helping everyone open their presents.

2. I asked Santa for chocolate for Christmas and he delivered!

1. Getting to hold and help feed baby Cabbage! She is starting to smile and laugh now. She likes to watch me dance.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Before and After

In yet another chapter of "My thoughts on parenting before/after actually becoming a parent"....

I would overhear children exclaiming over an animal but incorrectly identifying it. No biggie. But then their parents would reinforce their wrong-ness instead of correcting it. For example, at the polar bear exhibit a 3yo would say, "Look it's a doggie!" And the mom would say, "Yes, look at the cute big doggie." And it would make me absolutely nuts! Not that the parent needs to totally shoot down the kid, but couldn't they say, "It has a black nose like a doggie. He is called a polar bear!" But no, they'd all be standing there talking about the doggie, and my brain would liquify and drip slowly out my ear.

Sometimes the Nugget puts his foot down and insists that x is definitely y, and he's not going have you suggest anything different. Usually, it's Monday morning and he insists loudly that Daddy is NOT at work, he IS home. When I gently remind him that although we both like when Daddy is home, Daddy goes to work on M-F and he'll be home at dinner time, he will just scream louder that DADDY. IS. HOME! He's in the shower, or he's sleeping, or he's outside. So either I can choose to keep arguing with a 3yo and let the day begin with tears and tantrums or I can play along or change the subject. So now, I can totally relate to the moms all agreeing with their kids that the polar bears are dogs. Sorry for giving you dirty looks.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Maybe it's just because it's Christmas time, or maybe it actually does get "easier" with repetition, but today I woke up and felt hope stirring in my soul. Is it foolishness or a prompting from a merciful God?
Very off-topic (or maybe not, because the Nugget is like a sunbeam), I forget every year that the Nugget's cheeks get chapped every winter here. It's the combination of the cold windy air outside plus the dry heated air inside, that no amount of lotion nor sunscreen can help. It took me a few weeks to remember what I did for it last year, and it was Burt's Bees Apricot Baby Oil. I picked up a bottle today and set it near the kitchen table (but up out of reach), so I'll remember to oil him up after each meal. The apricot scent is subtle, and unlike a balm or stick, it glides on without tugging at his sensitive skin. I called him my oily beau-hunk (Sixteen Candles), and the Nugget spent the rest of the day referring to himself as an oily beau-hunk in the third person. "Oily beau-hunk is eating blackberries. Oily beau-hunk is dancing!" It was basically the best thing ever.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hat trick

"The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it's going to be a lot better and a lot bigger." ~Elisabeth Elliot

The thing we didn't want to happen has happened. We've lost the chance to parent this child, thus completing a really sucky hat trick of disruptions.

We are wishing only the very best to mama and baby. Her change of heart seems to have been the right choice for her, and we respect and honor that, as we have twice before. We are giving ourselves the permission to grieve our loss too, while acknowledging that we are a very blessed family of 3.

I don't know yet what the future holds, whether we'll be able to get back on the horse, try a different route, or simply adjust our expectations.

Today will be filled with unpacking our bags and returning tiny baby clothes. There will be tears, but there will be smiles and hugs too.

Tonight I will hug the Nugget a little tighter, thank his Tummy Mummy for the gift of parenthood, and ask God for more grace and perhaps a road map.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meeting Santa 2010

We took the Nugget to meet Santa this weekend. Some local businesses sponsor a free downtown Christmas celebration, including DIY photos with Santa in a...well, it's a shed, a chocolate at the candy shop, cookie decorating at a museum, and a trolley ride. Here is the Nugget, enjoying the outing.

You can see that he is much more interested in the trolley and the free junk food than in Santa. We try to downplay the material aspect of Christmas, so I think the Nugget still doesn't quite understand the whole aura surrounding the big guy. However, he was game to go give Santa a quick hug and a half-smile for the camera. When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, he said, "Chocolate." I think he was remembering the pattern from the previous two years we've attended. Santa was very pleased to give him the gold sticker that you show to redeem your chocolate; I imagine it was a thrill to grant a wish immediately! The Nugget is lurching out of the photo, because he's spotted the trolley pulling up to the station and is ready to ride! He is also sporting the ubiquitous winter booger, even though I'd wiped his nose just seconds before. Awesome.

Giraffe came with us, and she has been bragging about recapping her adventures to all the other stuffed animals. It's so much fun to hear him make his plushies speak.