Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Shearing

We both knew that a haircut was coming soon. Doug was getting rather shaggy on the back and sides. Jeff declared that Doug was getting a mullet. It was time to act. We'd been debating about how to best go about separating Doug from his hair. A barber shop would probably do the best job, but it would probably be a blood bath for all involved. Doug doesn't like loud noises and we thought the shaver near his ears would be a little too traumatic for him. And us. We thought that having him watch Jeff get his cut first would be a good idea. Unfortunately, being a toddler, Doug's attention span is only so long, so I wasn't sure how effective that would be.

Last night though, Doug presented us with the opportunity to do it. He'd just finished his bath and I was putting lotion on him (he has patchy dry skin again) and he was sitting quite still and quiet. So I called for Jeff to bring the scissors. Doug held still for the front of his hair being trimmed. I died a slow death watching the pointy, sharp scissors so close to his eyes (totally buying blunted scissors TODAY), but he did well. It wasn't until Jeff started cutting the hair over his ear that Doug started to get upset. I'm pretty sure it's about only 1/3 of the amount of meltdown we would have seen at a barber shop though.

The haircut is a little rough in some places. But we all survived, and hair does grow back.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Second Verse, Not The Same As The First

Doug is now into his second year of life. The good news is that we pretty much got the hang of parenting an infant. The bad news is, Doug is now a toddler. So, we begin learning all over again!

Our pediatrician warned us that tantrums are now on the horizon. I remember laughing at that, because earlier that day we'd had our first toy store melt down. We'd been checking out wagons, and Jeff took Doug out of one, after taking him up and down a few aisles. Well, Doug wasn't ready to get out, and promptly sat on the floor and screamed. It was kind of funny. We were glad to see that he liked the wagon and we decided to get it. The tantrums are interesting. Sometimes they're due to the communication barrier. Doug only says 'hi!', and I've been very lax on signing. He does know 'all done' and 'bird'. He also invented one for lotion -rubbing his hands together, like I do when I put lotion on my hands. Other tantrums I think are due to simple crankiness or just toddler stubbornness (he gets that from his father). It's been a rather interesting experience navigating tantrums, and I think my work experience has been useful. I sometimes see parents bombard their child with language during a tantrum, and I've learned that sometimes the best thing to do is to just step back and give him some space and some simple language. I stumbled onto this series of books at the library, one is called 'Teeth Are Not For Biting', there's also another one called 'Hands Are Not For Hitting'. I think they're great and I like the use of a simple easy to remember phrase. I think simple language and repetition are key. I wish I'd seen these books when I was working!

Doug constantly surprises us. He's very bright and doesn't seem to miss a thing. Every night before we read Doug a story, Jeff puts our bird up for the night. He changes his water and food and then puts two towels over his cage. Well, for the past week, Doug has been jumping up and bring Jeff a towel at a time to help put Hermes away! After he did so last night, Doug was flipping his hands over. Jeff noticed that and asked me what that meant. I told him that's how Doug signs 'all done'. So, I guess the bird was all done for the night!

The other day we took Doug to the Play Ground Super Store* in Columbia. We put Doug down a couple of slides and then we let him down. He walked around and then ran over to a baby swing and then proceeded to put his arms up. I was struck by the very purposeful way he communicated that he wanted to swing. Now! I ended up pushing him on the swing most of the time we were there and totally missed the salesman's pitch. Doug highly recommends the swings though!

I'm sure I could blather on and on about Doug, so I'll stop here :)

*On Mondays and Thursdays they have open play on all their equipment from 10-1, I think. If you're in the Columbia area, it looks awesome!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


That was the theme sound of our weekend. Things just fizzled out.

Friday night was the birthday dinner of one of my grade school girl friends. She planned a nice evening at a restaurant in Glen Burnie, the Bone Fish Grill. Jeff and I had actually been there recently and had a very nice time, so I was excited to go again. The catch was that the place doesn't take reservations for prime time dining on Friday, and there were twelve people in the party. So, my friend got there an hour before hand to get us on the list with the hopes that we'd be seated by about 7, 7:30, that is about what the hostess said, so we had high hopes.

Now, Glen Burnie is about 40ish minutes from my house and I'd only been there a couple of times with Jeff. Since I'd never driven there myself, I didn't feel too comfortable doing it by myself. Then you add to the fact that the fibro screws with my night vision and it was raining and then suddenly I'm your 65 year old relative who has to leave your house before dark. My parents weren't available to watch Doug, and we didn't have another sitter lined up. I really wanted to go, and Jeff very generously offered to drive me. We need a new washer and dryer, so he planned to have dinner with Doug in the area and then do some comparison shopping at the stores in the area while I had dinner with the girls.

This plan sounded good. When I got to the restaurant, my friends were in the bar, so I joined them. We chatted and had drinks and caught up on life. At about 8 or so (half an hour to an hour after we expected to be seated) the bar tender (who totally looked like Frodo Baggins, and oddly had a black eye) closed out our tabs saying that our table was going to be ready soon. We waited and waited and were starting to get restless. At about 8:45 we went to stand in the front of the restaurant, hoping to be seated soon. It was almost 9, and this meant that we'd probably eat dinner closer to 10. It was just too late. I couldn't let Jeff and Doug wait out all night for me. I decided I needed to leave, so Jeff and Doug came and picked me up. I was very disappointed, but it was really going to be a much later evening that I'd planned. For what it's worth, Doug had a very nice time at Chik-fila. He had a yummy dinner and a lot of fun in the play area. The Glen Burnie Chik-Fila has a much more awesome play place than ours. When we got home, the power was out. I wondered if we'd suddenly been relocated into Montgomery County. According to BG&E, one of the arms of a pole had to be replaced and our power would be on by 11:30, 1, then 3. Luckily it came back by 2, or else Jeff would have been sleeping in the basement*. And that was Friday.

I decided that Saturday we'd do something as a family. We decided on Thai for lunch and a movie, Hop. I didn't want to see Hop in particular, I just wanted to see a movie. We had a very nice lunch, the waitresses at the Tara Thai in Rio hadn't seen Doug since he was about 6 months old, so they made a big fuss over him, which he loved. We got to the movie, got some soda for us, chocolate milk for Doug and some snow caps and Reece's pieces. We decided to try Doug in his own seat in the theater and got a booster for his chair. We settled him between us and gave him some of the candy and milk. He was happy during the previews, he occasionally had to get up and stand on his chair and see all the people sitting behind us. When the movie started, he began to get restless. He wanted to walk around in front of us and say 'hi' to the people sitting near us. We tried to get him to sit in our laps, but he would have none of it and screamed each time. Jeff had finally had enough and took Doug to the entrance way and let Doug run around there. Every so often he'd try to sit down with Doug, but he'd scream again. This went on for at least 40 minutes and was miserable for all three of us. I decided that it was time to go. It wasn't Doug's fault. I think the problem was that he was too tired and our environment was too interesting for him to settle down and take a nap. Lesson learned, no more movies for a while.

Sunday was kind of a wash. I was too tired, drained and sore to get up in the morning, so we missed out on church. Most of the day was spent around the house. I watched a Hallmark movie I'd dvr'd a few weeks ago, 'Time After Time'. It was about a 55 year old man who accidentally went back in time and went to save his 30 year old self and marry his high school sweet heart. At one point, the events of the man's life had changed because of a choice he'd made with his second chance. The older version of the man had no memory of the events and they'd had no idea why. I felt they needed the Doc there with a chalk board showing the diverging time lines. It was a cute movie as long as you didn't think about it. Sunday was a very lazy day.

This weekend has made it painfully obvious that we need to think about an alternate baby-sitter. It's kind of a difficult time for Doug now because he has separation anxiety. I also don't want to subject anyone to a screaming toddler for a few hours.

No electricity means that Jeff's CPAP machine doesn't work, which means that I don't sleep due to the monstrous snoring.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday's Misadventures

Wednesday is story time day, so to ensure that we make it on time, we start the day a little earlier. It was about 9:30 when I got out of shower when I heard the door bell ring. I knew that it must be FexEx delivering my new Vera Bradley diaper bag/purse hybrid. I was so excited about it that I nearly ran to the door in my towel! It was very difficult to take the time to get dressed because I was so excited and relieved it came. Anyway, so I got dressed and got Doug dressed and situated with breakfast and I began to load up my new bag. I love it! It's perfect for us, all my stuff fits on the outside and all Doug's paraphernalia fits on the inside. I'd been looking for something like it for a while and hadn't found anything satisfactory and this bag came rather highly recommended. I wasn't pleased with the price tag, but it is both a purse AND a diaper bag (also, I opted for, gasp! last season's colors, which are decently discounted). Best of all, I only needed to take one trip to the car when we left for story time.

It is a bit of a behemoth of a bag. My mother told Doug that it looked like I had a suitcase. I don't disagree.

Unlike previous weeks, this week story time was rather uneventful. I brought my bag in with us and had everything with us except Doug's sippy cup. I don't know, maybe I'm old school, but I don't think drinking in the library is really appropriate, even if it's in a separate room. Because I left Doug's juice in the car, every other child of course had a sippy cup. Naturally, Doug wanted one too. He tried to deprive several children of theirs. So, lesson learned, no more story time without a sippy cup.

After story time, he was totally exhausted. I waited, with him asleep in the backseat of my car, for my mom to come over so we could go shopping. My favorite pair of sandals died an untimely death the other day when I tripped and ripped the thong out of the sole. I also had a gift card to use at the Croc store, and wanted to check Old Navy out for more jackets in the next size up for Doug. So to Arundel Mills we went! I was out of luck at Old Navy for the jacket, but scored big with a Star Wars onesie for ten bucks! Next we went to to Off Broadway shoes where I got a new pair of Sketcher's Tone Ups* for $10 less than the Sketcher store halfway up the mall. Doug was a bit finicky at the Croc store, and I was glad I had my mom there to help out. He didn't like the price tags attached to the shoes and was so distracted by them that all he did was squat down and pull on them. My mom finally found a pair in his size (the sizes are vague) and we got him to walk by chasing her around the store. I decided to get them and rather than take them off, put his socks and shoes back on, we just ripped off the tag and let him wear them home. I'm lazy and it was easy. I did see some some adorable Star Wars charms for the shoes, but I thought there was a strong likelihood of Doug pulling them off and popping them in his mouth. So maybe next summer.

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of toddler feet? They're constantly moving!

My mom and I expected Doug to pass out in the car, but he was awake the whole way home, and awake when Jeff got home half an hour later. Since it was still light out and warm, the three of us set out for the park. We had a nice time there, but left after a while when some older, rowdier kids showed up (Doug is easily mowed over, being short and all). We decided on Chipotle for dinner and by the time we got home from dinner, Doug had finally passed out. We put him down in his crib for a late nap and settled on the couch with The Empire Strikes Back. All in all, not a bad Wednesday.

*I don't think the shoes tone at all. But they're very comfy on my knees and feet and I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of running this Summer....