Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Big girl rollercoaster

My daughter has always been secure. She was comfortable walking into a nursery in a strange church or spending the night with relatives since before she was 2. A La Leche League friend, who was my nursing role model, told me breastfeeding helps a child's sense of security. I guess it worked. Yesterday, as Faith was on her way to spend the night with a single friend of mine, she wanted to get on the phone with me at work to tell me how much she was going to miss me. She was feigning melancholy, but I knew better. Just a short time before, she could hardly contain her giddiness about her overnighter. When I saw her this morning she exclaimed, "Mommy!" as she opened the door. She proudly showed me her artwork she had drawn with my friend and again told me she missed me. Then she blurted out that she stayed up until midnight! "It wasn't a school night," was the excuse I got from her and my friend. What a grown up, my girl. Wrong. About the time the fatigue took over in the afternoon while I was at work, she started crying. The plea, "I want my mommy," was repeated over and over. It's amazing how fast my big girl became my little girl all over again.
- Liz

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

attention spans

I'm still adjusting to the variety of attention spans Daniel displays. For example, when he's engrossed in "Nemo," he might not even notice when dad walks in the room - and that's like ignoring an 800-pound gorilla: hard to do. But when we're painting in the greenhouse, I 'm just getting started when he's "all done, mama" and ready to move on to something else. Is it any wonder toymakers make a fortune every year and some kids have whole rooms of toys and still whine "I'm bored!"

Monday, June 26, 2006

Clean up your room!

Because Daniel is about as distractable as a kitten (oh, look - lint!), I have to closely supervise while he cleans up the disaster area he calls his room. I suspect this will be the case for - well, ever. By "closely supervise," I mean break out the drill-sergeant voice and remind him every seven seconds (funny, that's how long a fish's memory is) that he's not to be playing with the toys, he's to be putting them AWAY! The process is exhausting to both of us, but worth it when I can actually see enough carpet to make it worth getting out the vaccuum cleaner. Plus, he is pertty proud of himself "Daddy, I put ALL my toys away!" The heartbreaker came last night, though, when he'd just gotten the last of the Leggos put in their tub and Daniel misstepped and tipped the whole thing over. And if you've ever stepped on a Leggo with bare feet before you're fully alert in the morning, you know why we had to start all over and get every last one!

Friday, June 23, 2006

A weekend with trains!

If your young 'up - like mine - is so into Thomas and Friends he can rattle off all the names, numbers and colors of each character, give him a real thrill this weekend. The McGill building at the Perry fairgrounds is going to be whistling with G-scale trains. For us moms, that means they are scale-size models of the real thing. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults, kids are free!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

From travel trouble to triumph

We got caught off guard at the airport check-in last week. We were all flying to Canada for my husband's best friend's wedding. Not only did I not realize a passport is now required to fly to Canada, but we needed proof of Faith's citizenship. Luckily, Matt had the passports, but who knew we needed Faith's birth certificate? I sent him ahead because he had to be fitted for his best man tuxedo. Faith and I would have to travel the next day. But all's well that ends well. As my husband was getting ready to take off, the captain announced there was a problem with the engine. Matt phoned and we decided to make the mad dash to get the birth certificate and try to get back to the airport before the plane was repaired. The pilot said it would be at least a 90 minute delay. My friend agreed to go to our house in Macon, grab the certificate and start driving north. After our rendezvous at exit 197, I headed back toward Atlanta. We reached the airport just as my husband called and said they were making the final boarding call. We were too late. But God was smiling on us. Before the plane was about to take off again, the engine acted up again. This time, the plane would be grounded for repairs, and we would have to wait for a new plane. I turned the car around again and headed back to the airport. My husband was the only one on the flight who was happy about the delays. This time we had plenty of time to spare. We still had to wait a couple of hours for a new plane and a new crew. The airline ordered pizza for us all and we ate at the terminal. But we made our flight - seven hours later. I even ran into Kenny Rogers on the shuttle to the concourse. Just call me the "gambler."
- Liz Fabian

Love "one finity" times over

I'm not sure how it started, but Faith is always striving to love me more than I love her. I suppose it began when we'd stretch our arms out wide to show "we love you this much." Once she was able to stretch her arms completely backward to meet behind her back, she had to branch out to descriptions. Being the best mommy in the world was not enough. "You're the best mommy in all the planets," she said. She also says she loves me all the way to the sun and back. I'll often ask her: "Have I told you lately that I love you?" Now, when I tell her I love her, she always says she loves me more. My response is that she couldn't possibly. So, she's started using numbers. "I love you one hundred, one hundred," she said. So when she asked me how much I love her, my response was: "Infinity infinity." How could she top that? But she did. She told me she loved me "one finity times," and my heart melted into a puddle of her cuteness.
- Liz Fabian

Good genes

Every time my son smiles at me, I thank God for his father's genes. Because while everyone in my family has needed braces, Daniel and his father have beautiful, straight, strong teeth.
And it doesn't stop with the teeth. If I set a foot out in my back yard, even with a solid coating of Deep Woods Off!, I return to the house with no fewer than six mosquito bites. Daniel and his dad, however, can spend all day and half the evening outside without so much as a nip.
I usually get one or two colds a year, and they hang on and on. Daniel (and his dad) can sleep in the same room with me while I'm at my sickest and never get a single cough. And since Daniel has been in day care and preschool, I've been exceedingly grateful for that little blessing!
However, like father, like son does have one drawback: Chris' childhood emergency room file was two folders thick. He's broken more bones and bears more scars than you can shake a stick at. And Daniel is headed in the same direction. He always looks like he's been rolled downhill in a barrel: all bruises and scratches. My pediatrician calls them "signs of activity." I call them "all boy."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The path not taken

So Daniel got a bike for his birhtday. Now he wants to ride it - all the time. And we live in a neighborhood with a bunch of hills, so he is having some trouble. Just in time, the parking lot and trail extension that winds through Shirley Hills is opening. Now we can pop over to the Corder Road lot, start riding there, and spend as long as we want riding, exploring, burning off that endless energy! Thanks, Warner Robins.

Sweet & Sassy

When your moppet starts to look more l;ike a mop head, do you dread taking the little darling for a haircut? Schedule visits when the least number of customers are likely to be present to witness the meltdown? Well, Sweet and Sassy has come to the rescue with a salon just for kids. The stylists are trained to deal with little ones, and make older kids feel like part of their own styling process. Best of all: for your little princesses, they offer group parties and mini-mani/mini pedis. How cool is that? With all the Barbification of girls, it's good, I think, to occasionally indulge and let your princess get all dolled up. And it will be a birthday party the girls at school will be talking about for weeks. "Thanks, mom!"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Scrapbook heaven

I was indulging in a little retail therapy at the Byron outlet shops and - lo and behold - Scrappin' On My Mind has moved in! Apparently, it's been longer than I thought since I last shopped, because the owner says they've been there for a year now!
But I digress. Not only does this shop carry some really neat books, they have accessories for whatever your kid is into - from Winnie-the-Pooh (even classic pooh!) to Thomas and Friends. Nemo, Toy Story, Blue's Clues, bugs, The Little Mermaid, Coca Cola, NASCAR, you name it.
And everyone is welcome in this shop - from toddlers (they have a play space all set up for the kids of shoppers and workshop attendees) to purse puppies (one of whom was being fussed over while I was there!).
So check it out, and drop in on a crop. They'll love having you.

little lies

Some things, I thought, were surely learned, not instinct. But here comes Daniel, whenever his dad tells him "no" to something, asking mom the same thing! And now, when I tell him "no," he replies: "but my daddy said...."
Don't you know what happens to liars, little man? They go to Washington!
So we've tried time-outs. And we've definitely removed privileges. And we've used the bar-of-soap-on-the-tongue. On a scale of one to ten, I've decided "Lava" is the worst, "Dove" is the mildest, and "Irish Spring" is just about right to get the message across.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sibling stories

When Daniel was born, there were a few brave souls who dared ask me "So, when are you going to give him a little brother/sistter?" My emphatic response ranged from "never" to "that's not really your business, is it?" (I've never been accused of being polite for the sake of being polite) to "when we feel we need another child, we'll adopt."
When he was two, they tried again: "You know, two years apart is a great age spread for siblings!" My response was an exhausted, icy glare.
Now that he's four, there's even more pressure because "any farther apart is TOO far apart." And honestly, I wouldn't mind - if I could have another four-year-old.
Because while some friends are going through the whole up-all-night, dirty diapers thing, I'm thinking "Oh, God, could I really go through all that again?" Because I'm not that good with babies. But I loved Daniel's third year. And four is turning out pretty fascinating, too. I can set rules, and expect them to be followed. I am teaching morals and consequences. I love having him help around the house and yard. He's old enough to be left to his own devices while I cook dinner, but young enough that each day is still exciting to him. He has his own preferences and opinions, but still relies on mom and dad for comfort through new experiences. I love this age - and I'm excited to see him develop through the future. But starting over with a new baby just because "only children" tell me how lonely they were growing up? I just don't know about that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I screen, you screen

We all scream for sunscreen!
As you're slathering SPF 50 on your little darlings before they jump in the pool, spare a thought for your own tender skin. After all, it's not 8, or even 18, anymore. And in truth, mom's sunscreen ritual should begin before she even steps out of the bathroom in the mornings. There are a whole line of excellent moisturizers with sunscreen added that will start your skin's day off just right - no matter how many times you change clothes. (Get that chocolate ice cream away from mommy's white t-shirt! Too late.)
From least to most expensive, here are some I love:
Neutrogena'a Dry-Touch sunblock, SPF 45: It really does leave my skin feeling moisurized, but not moist. No greasy residue, no Coppertone smell. The high SPF is what I put on my face and neck, and since it's from the same company that makes my cleansers, I have no fear about putting it on my sensitive skin.
Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 45: I was in a panic when the store was out of Neutrogena, and picked this up. It boasted a lot of complicated protections I don't understand (five types of sun screen?) but it has a really nice scent and was as gentle on my skin as my usual brand.
Clinique Sun Care Body Sun Block SPF 25: Sunscreen and moisturizer suited for arms, hands, chest and legs. Since I love Clinique's moisturizers, I knew it would make my hands and feet feel great. But it was really creamy and took a while to rub all the way in. Of course, it contaons Zinc, so I should have expected that. On the plus side, I can go all morning without needing to reapply, and a lunchtime application lasted most of the afternoon. SPF 25 lets me get a little glow, without turning into a tomato. And since it is Clinique, I get some little freebie from the cosmetic counter when I go buy a bottle. Whoopie.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ply 'em with popsicles

Growing up, we were stationed in Hawaii for six years. My mom became something of an expert at making popsicles. She had one of those Tupperware kits where you pour the juice into a tray of puddin' pop shaped cups, then insert the sticks (reusable plastic - she got mad when we chewed 'em) and freeze. I remember getting most of the flavors of Kool-aid, banana pudding, and a cool variety of others.
Now I just buy the 250-pack of ice-pops for less than $2 at Wal-Mart and on hot weekends like this one, Daniel gets as many as he wants. But can you imagine, if I can get my hands on one of those old Tupperware kits, sweet-tea popsicles? Or coffee made just the way I like it? Or margarita popsicles? Now that's what I call a frozen treat!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Summer-time living easy

After hearing the call for "Mom" about a thousand times on Faith's first few days of summer vacation, I was happy to see the return of some summer lifesavers. First of all, the libraries in Macon have wonderful summer reading programs that include story times at local branches. While the children are entransed in the puppet show or fairy tale, mom can generally peruse the shelves or read without interruption. To find out more about the Summer Reading Program and scheduling at local libraries, log onto Plus, the local movie theatres offer special summer films for free or reduced costs. The AmStar Theatre on Zebulon Road shows family films every Wednesday at 10 a.m. A $3.00 admission charge gets you a ticket, popcorn and a drink. Schedules are available at, just click on the "theatres" tab at the top, select the Macon location and scroll down. Regal Cinema on Tom Hill Senior Boulevard shows free summer movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. To check schedules, log onto and look for "REG free family film festival" in the green box on the left of the screen. It's first come, first served, so prepare accordingly. When I passed the parking lot Wednesday morning there were plenty of daycare busses, so you might want to arrive a little early. Kids' meal packs are available for purchase during the films. It's a great way to chill out in the summer. Last year, Faith and I saw "Polar Express" on a really hot day. Both theatres offer the summer movies through August 2. What a great way to escape!
- Liz Fabian

Tick Tock Tricks

Can someone please tell me how to reset my daughter's internal clock?Obviously there's a malfunction somewhere. On school days, I had to practically pry her out of bed every morning by 7:30 a.m. Give her a weekend when we don't have to get up, and she comes bounding into our
room before 7 a.m. I've tried lowering her window shades, but that's no guarantee she'll sleep in. During school, I would raise her shades and turn on the light hoping she'd awaken naturally, but again no guarantees. She's always in a much better mood when she wakes up by herself as opposed to me waking her up.Now that summer's here, we've been letting her stay up later so she's finally sleeping later. But now it's time for vacation Bible school and I'm back where I started. Of course she's been on a no-school-night schedule recently and has been up really late. Last night we resumed the school-night schedule and she was up with the sun all cheery and bright - a full hour before we had to get up!
- Liz Fabian

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Daniel turns 4 today, and it's fun to make the day "all about him." When he got up this morning he talked to dad on the phone, then pop pop. His class wished him a loud and boisterous "Happy Birthday" when we walked in the door, and daddy's taking him to lunch. Then, I brought the class ice cream for snack. Later, we'll go pick up his new bike! My baby's 4 years old - going on 14. But that's another blog.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why I love ParentCenter, BabyCenter and my pediatrician

Shortly after Daniel was born, I discovered BabyCenter, the Web site with the answers to every mom's most common question: "is that normal?" We've graduated from BabyCenter; the site has categories for preschoolers and big kids. But the best part graduated with us: I can type in Daniel's birthdate and come up with a list of milestones and things I should expect to see at his age. For example, at age four, the site says Daniel should: be making friends at preschool (yes! It's Trevor this, and Trevor that), be able to dress himself (yes! half the time we even land the right shoes on the right feet), want to help around the house (oh yeah, you've heard all about it), have mastered toilet training (hallelujah!), and be able to speak clearly enough for strangers to understand him (yep!). Further, the site lists things to work on with him: tying his shoes, zipping zippers and buttoning buttons. And Daniel's pediatrician puts the boy even further through his paces: jump on one foot, name these shapes, take off (and put back on) your shirt. And I always come away from the Web site and the doctor's office with the same feeling: my kid is right on target! He's just like all the other kids his age (okay, maybe a tiny bit ahead)! Therefore, I must not be messing him up too bad!

Monday, June 05, 2006

What's Saturday?

Daniel doesn't understand weekends. He wakes up every morning and asks, "Are we going to stay here, mommy?" That's code for "Do I have to go to school?" - don't think I don't expect some variation on this question for the next fourteen years! Anyway, if the answer is "yes," he's likely to hang arouynd in his pajamas until he wants to go outside and I make him put on clothes (I can't say I blame him, I'd do the same if I could). But if it's a weekday, and the answer is "no, we're going to see your teacher today," he seems just as content. He takes an hour to eat a bowl of cereal either way (he gets that from me, too).

so happy to see daddy

At the end of a long day, it's hard to tell who's happier to see Chris come through the door - Daniel or me. Of course, Daniel's the obvious choice - after all, he's the one dancing around the living room in joy and clinging to Chris' side like a shadow. But I'm dancing on the inside, and it's a relief to have someone else handle the twenty five questions Daniel comes up with every minute. Plus, we get to tell dad about all the things we did while he was gone. "We cleaned up the yard, and went grocery shopping, and drew on the wall (outside - with chalk) and visited..." I know Chris just wants to eat his dinner in peace, but hey, qat least I cooked!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

trade ya!

Anyone have a good recommendation for glass-replacement services? We lost two windshields in last night's storm. Plus, I'm sure the info will come in handy once Daniel gets his hands on a bat and baseball! I'll trade for a good recommendation on lawn service: Total Lawn Care; contact

Friday, June 02, 2006

naptime anyone?

Daniel's never been one to take a nap. He'll play and amuse himself throughout the daycare's set naptime - now. You might recall that we had some trouble getting to this point! Well, now it turns out he's sleeping at naptime! At least for the last couple of weeks, his teachers have reported quiet slumber during the daily lie-down. At first, I was afraid this would mean nighttime drama getting him to bed. And there was some trouble at first. But we adjusted his bedtime back an hour, and I've accepted him getting me up earlier than usual. So while it's taken us four years, we've finally achieved naptime happiness.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

swimming lessons

We had a swim party for Daniel's birthday. For weeks, all he could talk about was "going to Grandma's and going in the BIG pool!" Of course, then he got a look at the big pool. And came to a screaming halt. As in, clung to the doorway and refused to move. So it took some coaxing, and a little trickery by mom to get him in the water. Thirty minutes later, he finally eased his death grip on my neck. We tried a paddleboard, then a ball, then a noodle. Once he caught on to floating with the noodle, he'd toss it to me and jump for it. I'd step back a little each time, until he had to paddle to get to it - and me. Finally, I was walking around the pool with Daniel in paddling pursuit of that noodle - swimming success!