Monday, September 29, 2008

Two and a half today...

Don't let this innocent-looking, lollipop-gooped sticky face fool you.

When Peanut, his older brother, was turning three, I remember thinking, "Wow....The 'terrible twos' weren't so bad. Whew! We made it through unscathed!" When I voiced my relief to a girlfriend, she quickly shot me down. "Oh, 'the twos' are nothing. It's 'the threes' that are the worst for a boy!" So, while at the time I truly did not appreciate her candor, "the threes" actually were a bit more tantrum-filled for Peanut. (Although I really have to wonder sometimes why moms constantly feel the need to "one-up" each other. Can't you just allow me to enjoy my ignorant bliss once in a while?!?)

Anyway, let's hope the same does not prove true for little Pumpkin up there. Because, in all honesty, if his "threes" are worse than his "twos," we may need to call for backup. At times, my precious silly boy is the most loving little toddler on the planet. And then, with virtually no warning, he morphs into a flailing, shrieking, throwing maniac whom we barely recognize.

And today, Pumpkin is officially 2 1/2. I could look at that two ways: 1) I am in the throes of the total tantrum stage, and I had better just accept it and pray, or 2) I only have six months left of the "terrible twos," and the threes have just got to be better, right? Just don't tell my aforementioned friend that second philosophy. I'd prefer to remain in my happy place right now and keep hoping that Pumpkin is just mature for his age and that my kindhearted second-born will reemerge without his evil twin someday very soon.

Until then...if you need me, you can probably find me presiding over the third time-out before dinner. Happy 2 1/2, Pumpkin! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Sailboat Sandwich

Update: No one really guessed, but I have to share that my husband did not learn this trick from his mom, either of his aunts, or from reading one of my many parenting magazines. No, my husband learned this from....his college fraternity. One of his tasks when he was pledging was to make this sandwich for a frat brother. Just visualize that for a second. Other guys had to do goodness-knows-what, and he had to make a sailboat sandwich. Just when you think you have guys all figured out, they do something unexpectedly cute like this. :)

When Peanut was old enough to begin eating sandwiches on a regular basis, my husband began a staple in our household known as "the sailboat sandwich." While making one recently, I thought I would share this fun tradition with my nice blog readers. So, here are the easy steps:

1) Make whatever type of sandwich your little one desires (Peanut --no shock here -- prefers the classic PB & J, but most sandwiches will work. I don't think I would recommend it for hot sandwiches like grilled cheese, though.)

2) Cut off the rounded part of the sandwich to make the boat, like this:

3) Then cut the leftover rectangle to make two triangles, seen here:

4) Flip the triangles so that they form two sails, like this:

5) Add Goldfish crackers (or whatever your kiddo likes) and enjoy!

Do any of you other moms out there do this? And do any of you have any sandwich or lunch tricks up your sleeves that you haven't divulged yet? I would love to hear them!

P.S. You may be as surprised as I was to hear that, no, my husband did not learn to make this adorable sandwich from his mom. Bonus points to anyone who correctly guesses who taught him this toddler trick. :) (And stop right there, Honey; you are ineligible.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Kindergarten Kid

(Alternately titled Better Late than Never...)

Peanut is a kindergartner. It's hard to believe, especially since it seems we just took these first day of school pictures....

Preschool, Age 3

Preschool, Age 4

Kindergarten, Age 5

But here he is going off to kindergarten, and pictures don't lie. I guess it is also now an obvious fact that Mommy associates green and navy blue with the first day of school. I had no idea I even did that until now, but my excuse is that Peanut's favorite color is green. I'll have to remember to continue the tradition next year. I am also continuing the tradition of taking Peanut's picture by the front door as I remember my mom doing. It's easy to see how much he has grown just in two years based on the door panels; I hope we don't throw all of that off by eventually buying a new front door as we intend to do in the semi-near future. Anyway, I'm off to say a little prayer for my peanut that he doesn't have to "go sit at the table" tomorrow at school. Apparently, the transition into kindergarten has caused much discussion with my son (i.e. he talks too much). His teacher was very encouraging about his adjustment and reassured me that most all of the children have been sent to the table at some point. But since neither my husband nor I were talkers in school, my mother-in-law has offered to take credit for this trait. Whew! Thanks, Gemma. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bug Me, Please

Another tradition around our house this summer was bug hunting. I think I have made my feelings on this topic explicitly clear, but we have had many bug excursions in the backyard in the past few months. My boys are such bug enthusiasts that we even got them these shirts which tout their love of many-legged creatures (Peanut's says "Insect Inspector" and Pumpkin's says "I dig bugs").

The boys enjoy searching for little critters together.

Those poor bugs never have a chance when they meet this one. He has been known on several occasions to come running at me with one dangling from his just-slimed hand: "Wook, Mommy! A worm/swug/centipede!" In case you were wondering, slug goo requires many minutes of heavy-duty soap washing to be fully removed from the hand of a toddler.

Peanut is quite serious about his bug treasures.

Do any of you have these all over your trees like we do? My boys can't get enough of them. They are exoskeletons of a cicadas (but we call them locust shells). I guess I should be thankful that they aren't still creeping and crawling; seriously, I am itchy just writing about them. But what a talented Houdini-like feat for these insects to escape the "shell" and leave it all intact! Peanut has recently learned that you can hook one right back on a tree (where Mommy prefers) or to someone's shirt. My apologies in advance to the first innocent little girl whom he tries this trick on in the future.

Friday, September 5, 2008

How I Spent My First Week of School

Okay, class...raise your hands if you remember this post. Yeah, I thought so.

I guess my appendages had rested long enough. And not to be outdone by their sister, the right baby toe, they decided to act out and rebel.

First, it was my right index finger. You know, the one you do everything with.

It was my first teacher day back to school. (No, I am really not kidding.) When the summer rolls around, the school custodians wax the classroom floors. As a result, the desks, file cabinets, tables, and everything that comes in contact with the floor sticks. I decided my first order of business was to move the furniture back where I wanted all of it. I attempted to move my desk first, and it refused to budge. Just then, I spied a friend walking down the hall and asked for his assistance. He helped me move it and reminded me that I was not actually a complete weakling; the wax just makes everything difficult to move. So when he left, I thought myself quite capable of moving my many student desks alone. But desk after desk was stuck to the floor, and it became frustrating. So, a little more elbow grease couldn't hurt, right?

Wrong. It did hurt. Badly.

I managed to push so hard on that desk that it practically flew backwards...into the one behind it. Except my index finger was still stuck there in between them. Yeah.

And then I went for a double feature. The very next night, I stubbed my fourth toe on our cat's scratching pad. The thing is made of cardboard, so it couldn't have been that bad, right?

Ahhh...wrong again. It hurt pretty badly. Again.

The good news is that, while I managed to bang up my finger and toe in two days flat, neither of them could hold a candle to this debacle of a toe injury. And since I know you are dying to know, that little piggy has not been normal since. While obviously no longer discolored, it now no longer resembles a piggy, either, and looks rather like a little sausage.

I'll try not to injure myself again for a few more months. Apparently changes bring on severe cases of klutziness for me. And while I would love to change back to my summer schedule again, I don't think my fingers and toes could take it.