Friday, September 29, 2006

got caught

Daniel's lack of sleep caught up with him during dinner. Serves him right.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pay-back time is funny

I'm usually not weird about my age. I would never lie about how old I am - but that doesn't mean I can't be a little sensitive. On Mother's Day, Faith presented me with a laminated crayon drawing of the two of us with a computer-printed list about "my mom." It was a precious picture with the two of us wearing purple dresses and holding hands. But I couldn't get past the first line - "My mom is 56 years old. FIFTY-SIX? I know we are older parents, but FIFTY-SIX??? Although the gift was appreciated, the first line still stung. My husband laughed, but my mind was troubled. Did the teacher really think I was 56? Do I look 56? Do I act 56? Not that there's anything wrong with being 56, mind you. I will be there in little more than a decade. The picture is hanging in the kitchen, but it's been out of my mind until now. Faith just found the one she made for Father's Day that she stashed but forgot to give him in June. In crayon, there's an adorable drawing of Faith and her dad watching television. "My dad is 60 years old," it started. Now, that's funny.


Per my earlier post about Daniel getting up earlier and earlier: This morning it was 3:30. After going to bed at 8:30. Mom's about at her wits' end.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bus stop safety - one more time

Two weeks in a row now we have told the sad story of a child who dies while waiting for a school bus. So perhaps it's time we all sat down with our kids and reviewed the bus stop safety rules.
1. Bus stops are not playgrounds. No running, playing, bouncing balls, throwing things, or other horseplay so close to moving traffic.
2. Cars are bigger than kids and don't stop on a dime. If you get hit, you're going to get hurt.
3. Drivers can't always see you. Foggy windows, bright morning sunshine, other traffic, all require extra focus on the part of a driver. Not to mention cell phones, breakfast and passenger distractions. So it's up to kids to watch for cars, not the other way around.
4. Stay five or six giant steps away from the curb until a bus pulls up right in front of you. Do not move until all the traffic stops.
5. Look both ways before stepping off the curb. Even if the bus is right in front of you, check traffic.
Moms - it might be a good idea to take turns waiting at the bus stop with the kids. And bring your phone. Even if you can't prevent an accident, you can call for help and administer first aid until help arrives.
Let's have a safer rest of the year.

grown-up babies

Sometimes I think we forget that everyone was once someone's baby. And whether they are 2 or 42, no child should pass before their parent.
I am sad to report that our former managing editor and former wine blogger, Mike McQueen, lost his adult son this week. In the time I've been here, that makes three grown children of coworkers who have died. And each time, my heart breaks a little for the parents left behind.
We are confronted often in the media with children who pass. Illness, accident, or even intentional death is tragic when it happens to a child. But we don't always stop to think when an adult passes, that somewhere a mother is mourning.
Say a little prayer for the McQueen family today.

the crabbies

Most mornings, Daniel is up, ready to go and hopping out the door without so much as a whimper. But every now and then...
He didn't want milk in his cereal (after I'd poured it). He wanted to watch a movie. He didn't want to wear that shirt momma. And then it's just a downhill slide into tears and frustration.
And his teacher says it comes in little batches: the mornings he's cranky, so are three or four others. What gives?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

sleeping sweetly - I wish!

Daniel has never been big on sleep. Or as I call it, "recharging."
When he was a baby, he'd catnap - 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there - regardless of the "routine" I enforced, the soothing baths and lullabys, the crib-side ocean waves. More often than not, I'd find him playing happily with his toes or his teddy bear.
As a toddler, he rarely took the usual nap. He might lay down with me, but 30 minutes later, he'd be up again - just as I was finally dozing off. And he was still waking at 1 a.m.! No longer for a feeding, but many a night I'd come home from work and he'd be playing in his room, or he'd have slipped out into the living room in search of toys.
When he was three, he decided to make eggs at one in the morning, and proceeded to turn on all the lights he could reach, get out a pan, and crack two eggs on the living room carpet before I woke up and caught him! I was mostly glad he hadn't decided to go for a drive - once I got over my shock and got him tucked back into bed.
We've finally broken the 1 a.m. wandering - for the most part. Now, he will wake up, talk to himself for a while, then fall back asleep. But he's making up for it by getting me up earlier and earlier!
Most of the summer, it was 7 a.m. Then, 6:30. Lately, it's been 5:30! And no amount of "Daniel, it's still dark out," or "It's the middle of the night, little boy," will get him to snuggle up with me and go back to sleep. Saturday or Tuesday, it doesn't make a difference to him! Bedtime is 9 - not too early, I thought, especially since he doesn't fall asleep without a fight. So I'm at a loss.
Any advice?

Monday, September 25, 2006

I can't hear you

Daniel has taken to speaking very, very softly. The lips are moving, but if sound is coming out, I can't tell it. So I have trained him to speak up.
When he mumbles or whispers, I reply, "I can't hear you, speak louder please." And he does.
I don't know what brought this on, or whether it's a phase he'll snap out of. But it was a quick trip from "use your indoor voice" to "speak up."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Morning time = mommy time

I like that it's just me and Daniel in the mornings. We have our little routine, and we each have our jobs to do. Roll out of bed, he feeds the dog while I prep our breakfasts. I walk the dog and get the paper while he starts eating. I come in and we split the paper between us; he gets any page with cars on it. I polish off my cereal and go load his toothbrush. He's brushing his teeth while I dress and then I supervise his dressing process while I put my makeup on. Then out the door we go. The whole thing runs like a clock and takes less than 45 minutes. Because mom's like that: smooth, efficient and no playing around. Of course, if dad's home, the morning starts with a 30-minute snuggle, so never let it be said there aren't perks to chaos.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My "homey" girl

Move over Martha Stewart. Watch out Mark Ballard. Faith is creating something beautiful - at least in her eyes. I love to have fresh flowers in the house and when the garden is bare, grocery store bunches do nicely. Since putting my old furniture into Faith's room, I've tried to put flowers in her room, too. Well, she's started doing a little decorating of her own. She wants to make her room more "homey," she said. The other night I noticed she'd placed a flowered headband around the base of her lamp. Then she moved the vase of flowers from her bureau to the little chest that doubles as a coffee table in front of her love seat. She needed a cover for that table, she said. Later, I found an old eyelit doily that used to grace the top of my dresser and put it on her table while she was at school. Not to be outdone, she upstaged me. When I went into her room last night, I discovered a book covered in a flowered shirt that was placed on top of the doily as a base for the vase. Around the vase, she fashioned a thin elastic head band that had every hair clip from her drawer attached to it. What will she come up with next?
— Liz

A derby for the clothes horse

Just when Faith's closet is bursting at the seams, there's another big consignment sale this weekend. The Mothers of Preschoolers at Martha Bowman Memorial United Methodist Church kick off their big sale Friday at the Hephzibah Children's Home on Zebulon Road across from Lake Wildwood. One of the organizers, Laura Stewart, tells me they have nearly 300 consigners this year.
You'll be able to pick up great buys on fall and winter children's and maternity clothing, plus all kinds of accessories and toys. It's perfect for grandmas looking for play things to keep at her house. The brochure says to bring a large shopping bag or laundry basket for shopping. The sale runs Friday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon when most items are half-price. Such a deal on such a deal.
— Liz

Monday, September 18, 2006

life lessons part II

I'm secretly thrilled whenever someone calls me a good mom. Especially if they do so behind my back.
I overheard Daniel's pediatrician talking to his intern one time and he called me a good mom. I floated for a week. And Friday, Daniel's pre-K teacher said to me I had done something she wished "more parents would do." Here's the story:
Daniel was a real handful Thursday night. Whined and wailed and generally threw a fit until 10:30. Would not be consoled, cajoled or threatened into going to bed quietly. And when he woke up Friday, it was more of the same.
Well, as we all know by now, Firday is show and tell day. So when he came out of his room clutching something with wheels to take to school with him, I cut him off at the pass. "You ahve been a very bad boy last night and this morning. Mommy will pick the toy you take to school today."
You should have seen his face.
But he was good in school and good that night at home. So life lesson learned: bad behavior will likely come back to bite you in the butt.

life lessons taught gently

Whenever possible, I try to teach Daniel the realities of life before "life" does. What am I talking about? For example: "You can't have everything."
Between his dad and myself, Daniel got three new toys last week. He had been so good on his field trip, then while I took him grocery shopping, that I let him pick out a new toy. "Lighning McQueen!" he cried.
But on our way to the car aisle, we passed the Thomas trains. "I want James!" he said.
"If you get James, you can't have Lighning McQueen," I replied in my best mommy voice.
"I want James!" he insisted.
"Okay." So we got James. But knowing my child as I do, I also slipped a Lightning McQueen into the cart and managed to smuggle it home without him seeing it. Because sure enough, two hours after we were home, "I want Lightning McQueen!"
We had a talk about how he had made a choice between James and Lightning at the store and now he had to live with it. And so we made it through the night.
But the next morning, Lightning resurfaced in his little heart's desire. I calmly said, "If you want Lightning McQueen, you have to give James back." So he brought me the little red train. And I handed him the racecar.
Throughout the day, he'd periodically "swap" with me. But he understands that if he wants the one I have, he has to give up the one he has.
Like I said, Life Lessons in baby steps.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Scared of the "Skeleton Man"

Faith might not have been frightend, but I'm scared. Last night she was sitting at the foot of my mother's bed watching "Wheel of Fortune." Great. She's bonding with her ailing grandmother and getting some alphabet reinforcement, I thought. I went to the kitchen to fix a late supper without a worry. As Matt and I were eating, I realized it was past 8 p.m. and the program would have changed. My mother has a tendency to watch super gory cop shows, man-hating Lifetime movies and lurid soap operas - so I thought I'd better check it out. "What are you watching?" I asked. Faith's reply was a shrug of the shoulders. A commercial was on, so I really couldn't tell. "I hope you're not watching anything too grown-up," I told Faith. My mother raised her head off the pillow and said: "There's been a lot of shooting, but I don't know what it is." By the time the program resumed with the Sci-Fi channel logo, I found the Teletime and started looking at the Saturday night line-up. Sci-Fi channel - what's on the Sci-Fi channel? "The Skeleton Man," I exclaimed. "Yup, that's it," Faith said enthusiastically as I reached for the remote. This morning she said she wasn't scared, but I am. I'll be monitoring mother's TV a lot more.
- Liz Fabian

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm tired, momma

Me, too, kid.
But on the big day of Daniel's first field trip, I had to drag us both out of the bed to get to school on time.
Which means, of course, that I haven't hit the Trading Treasures sale yet. I'm aiming for after the gym this afternoon. If you beat me there, save me a Thomas the Tank Engine shirt!
911 Bay Laurel Circle, Warner Robins.
See you there.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

new resource

There's a new magazine out from the editors of Family Fun magazine. It's called Wonder Time, and it's only $10 for two years (ten issues). And here's why I'm recommending it even though it is definitely written by yankees (maybe even a Canadian or two):
The articles cover kids of all ages. If there's a recommendation for a pre-schooler, there's a suggestion for a pre-teen as well.
The articles are easy to read. No complicated jargon or medical-speak.
The topics are ones we all have in common. Your kids' friendships, dealing with teasing, getting your kid to want to go to school, easy scrapbooking to preserve those precious moments.
The writers seem to have common sense as well as kid-sense. My favorite article in the premier issue was about what kids really need to know before starting preschool. (How to dress themselves, use the bathroom unsupervised, etc. How to sit still through the lenth of storytime. How to share and play well with others.) The rest will come - after all, it's PREschool!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

plan your week(end)

Here are a few things coming up on the calendar:
For those of you who missed Disney's Cars in theaters the first time around, it's playing now at the $1.99 theater on Russell Parkway. Dad took Daniel while mom was at work Saturday evening and he's still running around the house yelling "I'm the McQueen!" (Daniel, not dad.)
This Thursday, Friday and (half price!) Saturday is the Trading Treasures consignment sale. The only one I know of here in Warner Robins, it will be at 911 Bay Laurell Circle. So look it up on the map and head on out there. I'll try to drop in and let you know how it is later this week.
Saturday - if you're a new parent or grandparent (or will be soon), make time for the Rainbow House Baby Safety shower. What is it? It's a learning party where activities teach you about common household hazards and how to keep babies safe in your home. If you haven't thought about childproofing beyond getting some cabinet locks - this is a must for your weekend plans. It will be at the Toys R Us on Watson from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be refreshments and free gifts. I wonder if they'd have any tips on Daniel-proofing the universe?

Friday, September 08, 2006

instilling anticipation early

I realized this morning that Friday is the only day I don't have to hustle Daniel through his morning cereal and into the car to get to school on time. In fact, he's usually up early, dressed and inhales his breakfast with time to spare. Why? It's show and tell day.
It might be a coincidence, but as I think about the anticipation with which my 4-year-old looks toward Friday, then the anticipation with which my co-workers look toward Friday, I can only think "boy, we teach that one early on!"

a word about fundraisers

You've all seen it: the note coming home attached to a slick booklet and order form. Here we go - it's the fall fundraiser. From $10 wrapping paper to reasonably-priced cookie dough to $20 cases of Coke products (the only one I've flat-out refused so far), you know that as a parent, you're duty-bound to peddle these products to your friends, co-workers, and neighbors. And then when they hit you up, you know you're duty-bound to return the favor. It's a vicious cycle, especially when every kid seems to be selling the same stuff. Candy, wrapping paper, and junk you really don't need.
What if you could find a fundraiser that peddles stuff you WANT? Stuff you already BUY? Let's talk about a fundraiser that sells pens, pencils, notebook paper and those folders your kid has to have anyway. Let's find a fundraiser that sells books - kid's books, teen mystery series, heck, even romance novels and sci fi. Now there's where I could make some sales! And did you know that AVON has fund-raising capability? So does Krispy Kreme - although they usually only sell the plain glazed in their events. So c'mon. Think like the Girl Scouts and make your fundraiser one people wait anxiously for each year. 'Cause I'm out of Thin Mints and jonesing for some Samoas. And I still have to wait all winter. I wonder if they've considered going to twice a year? hmmm.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Kidz Replay rocks

I crashed Grandparents' day at the Kidz Replay consignment sale today. Located in the shopping center behind Wendy's on Riverside Drive, they have a huge selection! These women are also some of the most organized I have seen at any consignment special to date. The clothes were easy to look through, all hanging on store racks. And there was a large selection for 4 and over, which is unusual! Some lucky moms are going to get a steal on some great toys, too. You know all those big plastic sets - kitchens, tool tables, houses and so on? They have a great selection. Also, hard-to-find items like tents, bikes, easels, and so on. Of course, the usual strollers, play mats, rockers and all are very present, but get there early and come prepared to shop!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sonny Bubba, you'd speed too

So on our way home from Alabama, I took a wrong turn. And if you've ever driven some of Georgia's back roads, you know civilization (and gas stations) can be few and far between. So when a voice piped up from the rocket seat in the back: "mom, I gotta go potty!" I started looking for a place to stop.
20 miles pass.
"Mom, I gotta poop!"
I press the gas a little harder.
"Mom, I gotta go!"
About the time I spot a gas station and pull in, I see flashing blue lights behind me. *sigh*
"Mom, can I go potty now?"
"Ma'am, do you know how fast you were going?"
"Well, I really wasn't paying attention. My son has to go to the bathroom."
"Ma'am, are you aware of our window-tint laws in Georgia?"
"Mommy, can I go potty?"
"Sir, I don't care about the tint laws. My son has to go to the bathroom right now."
"Well, in Georgia your tint has to be above 32. Can you roll your window up some for me?"
*AAAUGH* "I bought the car in Georgia, it came this way, I'd assume it's regulation."
"Well, it's at 34, so that's legal."
"MOM, I gotta go NOW!"
"You can take your son to the bathroom and I'll wait for you."
Yeah, I just bet. Dear Sheriff Sonny Bubba Junebug Johnson, if your kid was threatening to poo all over your leather seats, you'd speed too. Either that, or put some outhouses along Ga. 26 between the Alabama state line and I-75.

Sure-fire cure for little fingerprints

Daniel likes to play "blocks" (tetris) on the computer, and as a result, I'm frequently wiping down the monitor. Well, I finally found someone to do it for me:
And yes, I checked for cookies and viruses before recommending you click.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

C.S.I. and the not so big bang theory

When confronting the suspect about clumps of what appeared to be human hair next to her bed and in the hall, my suspicions were confirmed. It was not Barbie hair, as my husband suspected. It came from our daughter's head and it was neatly sheared with some sort of cutting instrument - most likely scissors. As I stared at her head, she wanted to know why. "I'm trying to see where your hair has been cut," I said with a no-nonsense attitude I'd seen on "Dragnet." (Detectives often act like they know more than they do to draw out a confession.) Faith looked up with wide eyes and pointed to the front side of her head. "Why did you cut your hair," I asked. She just shrugged. Obtaining the motive would be more difficult. She knows anything she says can be used against her in this blog. So, after growing out her bangs for about a year, she's set us back several months. We had just gotten to the point where most of her hair fastened in a pony tail. Now we're back to clips. Yesterday over lunch, a couple of days since the confession, she fessed up about the motive. A pony tail holder had become hopelessly tangled in her hair, she said. She reached for the scissors to cut it out. My partner and I told her she never had to resort to violence. Just come to us. Because we could find no evidence she ran with the scissors, we dismissed the case.
- Liz Fabian

Friday, September 01, 2006

Consignmnet sale time

We are lucky to have so many consignment shops and sales in our area. Here's another one coming up next week!

Kidz Replay will hold its consignment sale of children's items and home decor Wednesday from 9am-7pm; Thursday 9am-6pm, Friday 9am-1pm, and Saturday (Half Price Day) 8am-12noon. A portion of proceeds will be given to Covenant Care Services, a local Christian adoption agency. Riverstreet Corners Shopping Center, Riverside Drive, next to Lipson Fabrics. For more information call 746-4948.