Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wrong Day to Swim

My neighbor Lisa has a little girl, Leah, who is a couple months younger than Topher. They play together really well, and we love watching the two of them and commenting on boy/girl differences. Today we took them over to Lisa's parent's house to play in the backyard and swim in the baby pool. The weather, even at 10am, was hot and muggy so we were all ready to cool off. As soon as we got the kids over there and into their swimsuits (literally, in the 60 seconds it took to change them), the sky clouded over and the wind picked up. Apparently a storm front was moving through that we thought wasn't coming for several hours yet. It never rained, but the wind was chilly and there was no sunshine. We let the kids play outside for awhile but only Leah was brave enough to get in the water.
Topher is a little sensitive about water temperature, apparently, but he still entertained himself with the rake and patio furniture.
It might have been the wrong day to swim, but it was the right day to play with friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

At the End of our Cold Ropes

What can you do for a baby who has a cold? The short answer is a pull-out-your-hair nothing. The long answer goes something like this: You drive to Target. You buy every product geared towards baby colds (there are only two so this isn't too difficult.) You go home and look at what you bought. You have Johnson's vapor baby bath and you have Boogie Wipes ("gentle saline wipes developed by moms tired of chasing runny noses.") Oh, and you also threw in some Kleenex with lotion because regular tissues just don't cut it on delicate baby nostrils now do they? So you look at your vapor bath, boogie wipes, and Kleenex and you feel a little frustrated because your baby is coughing, sneezing, glassy-eyed, and you know his throat probably hurts and no matter what you do he cannot sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time because of all the mucous. You give him a 40-minute bath with the vapor bubbles. You add a vaporizer to his room and even put that liquid menthol stuff in the little chamber but it doesn't seem to make much difference because he still wakes up more times than you care to count. You hold a bottle of Vick's directly in front of his nose while he's sleeping but he's so stuffy you can tell it's not even breaking through. You offer him a continual supply of orange juice, vitamin C-infused apple juice, and baby Tylenol. You give up trying to get him to eat because he obviously can't taste anything, his throat is too sore, and on top of everything he has several new teeth cutting angry red marks through his gums. And when he begs for Elmo at 2am, you give in and turn it on because it's the only thing that comforts him and you can't stand to hear him cry anymore. It's too heartbreaking. So as you begin watching the little red puppet you're so sleep deprived that right before you fall asleep on the couch with a wheezy little boy sweating all over you, you vaguely wonder how so many millions of people have survived so many millions of children. And they didn't even have all the vapory stuff. Or Elmo, for that matter. --KC

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't go, Brynlee!

Topher's friend Brynlee is moving away tomorrow, so he's been spending some extra time with her this week. After his big apology, Topher kept his promise to try and be nicer, and they've been playing together like little angels ever since. Yesterday, Brynlee was able to spend several hours over here, and Topher showed her the ropes. First he showed her how to go down the slide. She caught on right away.
Then Topher took her upstairs to his room (leave the door open, little mister!) and showed her all his toys.
They bounced on the bed together.
They saved money together.
And they took turns beautifully. First Brynlee pushed Topher in the Tonka truck.
Then Topher pushed Brynlee, amid many giggles.
Topher showed Brynlee how to work the flashlight...
and then he showed her how to move the light all over the ceiling.
Brynlee is an animal lover, and Sassy returned her affection without hesitation.
Finally, it was snack time and Topher (who won't touch fruit normally) delighted in feeding Brynlee her orange slices.
Oh little miss Brynlee, we're going to miss you. We hope you have a good move and that you come back and visit us sometime in the future.
If, that is, you can pry Topher's fingers off your shirt. He doesn't want you to go!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ready for my closeup!

TJ's parents were inspired this year for Mother's day. Their gift to me was to have Topher professionally photographed. I'm ashamed to say that for whatever reason, we have never done this with him. Although he has thousands upon thousands of beautiful pictures, none of them were created in a studio with real backdrops and a top-of-the-line camera. I was a little worried that he would be too active to get any really amazing pictures, but when I saw the final shots on the computer screen, my jaw dropped. They were stunning. It was expensive, yes, but I realize that I will treasure these pictures my entire life. Because it was too hard to pick out the shots we liked, we ordered a CD of all the pictures taken. Here are a few of my favorites (Tina, being a photographer I think you're going to love these!)
A huge thanks to Terry and Kathy for such a wonderful present. I knew my little man was beautiful, but having someone capture that beauty in every detail was just incredible. Topher, when you're grown and married, pictures like these will be all I have left of your babyhood. But they will help me remember your little voice and your chubby belly and your crazy hair, and the way you smile at me. They will bring back memories of dancing and laughing and chasing you around. They will remind me of how you will always be my little baby, no matter how old you get. I'm so glad you're mine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

Who me? Yes you. Couldn't be. Then who? --KC

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Yesterday a three great things happened. First of all, it was my second Mother's day and my heart was very full because I am so grateful to be raising Topher. I'm grateful that I am able to stay home with him and for all the kisses he gives me and for all the times a day he makes me laugh. I'm thankful that he gave my life a new dimension and that he transformed me--ready or not--into a mommy. And just in case my heart wasn't full enough yesterday, the second thing that happened was that TJ spoke in church for the first time. His words were funny and heartfelt and I was so proud to be his wife I could have burst. I am so in love with him. The third thing that happened was that Topher went into the nursery for the first time at church. Kids are able to go to nursery when they turn 18 months old, but we were out-of-town last weekend so this was his first opportunity. I wasn't able to be there because I have a class of my own to teach, but TJ went with him and took lots of pictures and videos for me. Topher did great, from snack time to singing time to play time. He even brought home a colored picture that is now proudly displayed on my fridge. (This officially makes me a mom, by the way, and every time I see that picture I just think it's the sweetest thing I've ever seen.) He even remembered the lesson that I've been working hard to instill in him all week. It goes something like this: Me: Topher, do we ever push a baby? Topher: Nono da baby. I was happy to learn that he played well and left Brynlee unscathed for once. From his videos, it seems to me that he was just kind of in awe the whole time, watching the other kids and trying to figure it all out. But it kept his attention and he came home tired enough for a nap, so I couldn't be any happier. Here are a couple snippets from my baby's first day as a "big boy" (his friend Brynlee is the cutie patootie in the ruffly pink dress.)

I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's day. --KC

Friday, May 7, 2010

Check This Out!

My mom is an amazing woman, one who is constantly coming up with new ideas. She could make Einstein dizzy. Well this one is her latest brainchild and I have to say, it's pretty cool. So I'm going to give it a plug here because I'm proud of my mom! It's called Match It RIGHT (note that the box is made to resemble a match box) and it's a little color coordination kit. It has 600 color swatches (with peek-a-boo holes so it's easy to hold the color over an object and see if it's a good match), a little notepad and pencil for jotting down colors, and a tape measure. Literally, it's like having a teeny tiny interior designer in a box. The Match It RIGHT box Contents of box Color wheel, spread out Flip side of the color wheel And of course one of the perks of being an inventor's daughter is that I got a sample Match It RIGHT to try out. Hats off, mom, I'm having fun with it! I was just holding up colors to my walls yesterday to see what paint colors inspired me. It would work great for quilters who want to match colors without dragging an entire quilt into the store. And I'm kind of sad that I didn't have this when I was planning my wedding reception. I could have just matched the color of my table linens, for example, and used that to coordinate the centerpieces. Or if I want to buy Topher some bedding that matches his walls, I can just match his wall to the color wheel, throw it in my purse, and go shopping (which beats chipping off a piece of the paint in a nondescript section of his room, lol.) You could use the color wheel to match shirts to pants, towels to tiles, throw pillows to accessories...anything! Plus, if two people had it in totally different cities, they could match gifts or coordinate clothing over the phone. This is me matching Topher's new slide to the color wheel Seriously, I give my mom two thumbs up here. It's like having hundreds of paint swatches at my fingertips in a very organized way. And she took pains to have every piece of the kit made in the USA, which wasn't easy as I understand. Plus I absolutely love that the company number is my home phone number, the one I grew up with. Really, if you call the number, the phone will be ringing in my childhood underground home. (Mole Girl, that's what the kids on the bus used to call me...but that might be another post for another time.) Mom, I'm happy to endorse your product on my blog, for whatever it may be worth! I'm very proud of you and I love you! Happy Mother's day to an amazing woman with endless energy, an allergy to convention, and a humongous heart. --KC

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Craigslist: My Favorite Frenemy

It's genius, a website for selling and buying used things, especially when it comes to baby supplies. But when there is one specific thing that you want, it can drive you mad. After playing with our neighbor's castle slide, I knew Topher needed one. Not only because it's fun for him, but also because it's a way to wear him out without having to exert any extra energy myself (this turns the slide from "fun" to "lifesaver".) But finding the one I wanted meant checking new Craigslist listings every 5 minutes or so, and then if by some miracle the castle slide did show up, I would email immediately only to be told that the owner had just sold it 5 minutes ago. This is when Craig got on MY list. Finally I turned the tables and listed an "item wanted" ad and got a few responses for similar slides. And then the magic email came. A woman had the slide I wanted, and she would sell it for $25. This is the exact same slide that we just saw in Walmart last week for over $70. So we bought it and picked it up last night and now Craig and I are best friends again.
I used to be appalled by large pieces of kiddie equipment in people's homes, by the way. I found it tacky to say the least. I have reformed. I understand that when something makes your child squeal and laugh and wears him out, you just don't care that there's an enormous molded castle slide smack dab in the middle of your living room. In fact, it made me wonder why I'm always trying to make my house look as though we don't have a toddler. We DO have a toddler, and he's awesome, so we're just going to go with it.
I also used Craigslist to feed Topher's newest addiction: Elmo's World. Instead of buying the DVD's at $13 a piece, I found a listing for FIVE Elmo DVD's for $12. Pure bliss.
My advice? Get on Craig's good side and he'll treat you right.

Fun in Kansas City

I haven't been home since Thanksgiving so we thought we'd take the weekend to visit my family. Unfortunately, we have the worst timing ever and chose the weekend that my Dad is out of the country, my sister is out of the state, and my brother is working. However, we still got to see my other brother and my mom, and we had a lot of fun. At my mom's house, Topher was introduced to the marble track and he got a kick out of that. Then he got to play with the ribbon kite and he thought that was pretty exciting. Finally, worn out from playing so hard, he got a little confused playing with Noah's Ark. At Jon & Katie's house, Topher latched onto my niece Aubrey, the most natural (and beautiful)baby-sitter I've ever met. He also had fun talking to his cousin, Ammon... learning all about Webkinz... And watching Anders blow bubbles on the deck.
Jon and Katie, thank you for being such great hosts. Your kids are wonderful people and great with Topher. We know they learned that from you and we love you guys. Mom, we love you and thanks for the great dinner and for loving our little boy almost as much as we do. :) We hate living so far away from everyone but hope one day that we might be able to remedy that. To the rest of my family, sorry for our bad timing but we're so excited to see you in a couple weeks in Nauvoo!

Topher's First Apology

Today Topher is learning how to say he's sorry. Yesterday at the park, Topher and I ran into my friend from church, Laura, and her daughter Brynlee, who's just a month older than Topher. They also live on the same street as us, just a few doors down. Brynlee is so petite and adorable, and she's very advanced for her age. We were all standing near the water fountain and out of nowhere Topher just came up behind Brynlee and shoved her with both of his hands. This caused her to fall forward and hit her face on the water fountain. Now I know kids will be kids but I REFUSE to be the mother of a bully. Even if Topher was not acting maliciously (and he obviously wasn't) he needs to understand that pushing is never okay, and it is never okay to make your friend cry. So after several apologies from me to Brynlee's mom (who was so nice about it and said it was fine) we all walked home together and Brynlee really did seem okay, except for a couple red marks on her face. Well, this morning I could tell that Topher was still feeling bad about what he did to Brynlee so we went out and Topher helped me choose a few gifts for his friend. Then came the most important part: the actual apology. I helped Topher say the things he wanted to say, but he was adamant about signing the card himself. After dropping the gift off at Brynlee's house, Topher felt a lot better.
I know he's only a year and a half, but I believe it's never too early to learn how to be a gentleman. Topher, everybody makes mistakes but I'm so proud of you when you say you're sorry. That's what a little gentleman would do.