Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Library Time with Oma

Last week the kids and I hit the local library with my mom and, of course, there was much fun to be had.

Mollie channeled her inner tech geek and played on the computer a while.

And Baylor introduced me to the big alphabet/numbers rug at the back of the children's section.  First we counted up from one.

Then after going through some of the alphabet, we checked out the puppet theatre.

Mollie really got into carrying the puppets around.

Then we headed back to the stacks to find some books to check out ... and play with the toys over there.

We got a ton of books and the kids had a great time.  Thanks again, Mom, for joining us!

Mollie's First Carousel Ride

Mollie has guts.  She's the little daredevil of the family and will try just about anything (well, except most foods ... sigh).  So it was no surprise that, though her brother yet again was too scared to try the carousel at Rivertown, she was game to give it a go.

Oma was the lucky one to get to ride with her.  First, Mollie got strapped to the frog.

Then they posed for a smile before the ride began.

She started out okay, though she wouldn't hold onto the brass pole for support so my mom had to hold her up.

Then it all shifted to fear ...

Mom took it in stride while Mollie held on for dear life.

At least she wasn't screaming or crying.

Just terrified silence and desperate attempts to separate herself from the frog.

Eventually Mom was able to free her and they rode around the last couple times together.

When asked if she wanted to ride it again, Mollie shook her head vigorously.  Guess no one will be riding that for a while.  Oh well.

Ice Cream and the Ding-Dong Ditch Attempt

We recently made another trip to Rocky's.  The kids enjoyed their ice cream.

Then we went for a walk.

As we passed this closed AT&T shop, Baylor saw the door bell and felt the urge to play a little ding-dong ditch.  Aunt Christine tried to talk him out of it.

But when he thought she wasn't looking, he started his funny little creep toward the door.

Aaaaallllmost there!

Ah, thwarted again!

Aunt Christine couldn't help but laugh.

He's a funny one, that little man of mine!

Ms. Messy Face

Lately Mollie has become queen of the messy face.  Part of it is that she is trying new foods, and part of it is that she has developed an "I-can-do-it-myself" attitude about just about everything.


Pureed green beans:

Orange popsicle:

Chocolate ice cream cone:

(And yes, I got ALL the chocolate out of her adorable little dress!  Awesome, huh?)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Visit with the Smiths

A couple weekends ago, our good friends the Smiths came over for a visit and to introduce us to their newest member, Marley.  The kids quickly warmed up to each other and played pretty well while the adults caught up.

Tobin told Mollie all about the outside and various sports.

Then he and Baylor worked on the bead maze.

Isn't he adorable?!

Baylor entertained the younger kids by popping out of the tunnel.

Poor Miss Marley had a rough day.  But she was able to give us a few smiles there at the end ... isn't she wonderfully cute?!

We had a fantastic time with our dear friends, and hopefully we'll get to visit with our friends again soon!

Much thanks to the Smith family for making the trek to our house!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That's What He Said: The Late Night Edition

I could hear him over the monitor ... "Mommy!  Mommy!  Come here!"  So sad and upset.

I quickly, quietly trotted up the stairs and entered his room.  "What's the matter, bubba?"

"Oh, Mommy, I heard a noise when my sound machine was on.  Two noises."

"What were they, buddy?  What kind of noises?"  I hadn't heard anything outside or in the house, so I had no idea what he was talking about.

"The noises Pooh hears."

Ahhh.  "Oh, you mean the rumbly in his tummy?  Did you hear that?"


After a quick string cheese snack, and another brushing of the teeth, I got him back into bed.  We took his shirt off as he likes to be a little cold when he goes to sleep, and he snuggled right in.  And proceeded to pepper me with questions.

"Mom, what happens when if I hear the rumbly again?"

"You tell it that it's nighttime and he has to go to sleep."

"What happens if I hear it REALLY REALLY loud in the morning?"

"We'll get you breakfast as fast as we can."

"Mom, what happens when I suck him?"  Referring to his stuffed husky.

"Does he get crunchy and stiff?"  That's what she said.


"Okay, good night, buddy."

"Mom, what happens if a phone doesn't have an antenna?"  Seriously, this was the next question.

"Where did that question come from?"

"What does it doooo?  And what happens when a thing has two antennas?"

"Ah, well insects have two antennae on the top of their heads that they use to feel things. (I touched his arm with two fingers for effect.)  And cell phones have one antenna to send and receive signals."

"And Mom ..."

"Baylor, any more questions you have should be directed to your husky or Mr. Bear."

"Mom ..."

"Buddy, can you just say, 'I love you, Mom'?"

In the sweetest voice ever ...

"I love you, Mom."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


For quite some time now, Baylor has been pretty attached to trash.  No, not just any trash, the trash he makes on a daily basis from pulling strings out of our terry cloth diaper changing covers.  Seriously.  Wish I was kidding.

See those bald spots and track lines?

When we change his diaper, he'll grab hold of a string, pull as hard as he can, and work on his ... wad.  If he works hard at picking up pieces he's previously pulled and dropped and pulling as much as he can with each diaper change, he gets a pretty good sized wad going.

They look like this ...

(Funny side note: the ones he pulls from our off-white changing cover he refers to as "white trash".)

And they are ALL OVER OUR HOUSE.  Oh, and he likes to take them with him wherever he goes.  (Sorry if you've found some at your house after we've visited.)

For a while he liked to chew and swallow them, making diaper changes even more exciting.  But we started putting him in time out for that, and it pretty much stopped.  The other day, though, my mom babysat while I went to an appointment, and when I came back she informed me in hushed tones that he may have stuck one up his nose.  I asked him about it, he said he did, but when I looked up there I couldn't find anything.

After he went down for his nap, I called the pediatrician's office to see what I should do.  I wasn't exactly ready for what the nurse told me.  She said that when he got up, I should lay him on the ground, pinch off the non-trashed nostril, put my mouth over his (a la CPR), and blow into his mouth, effectively blowing his nose for him.


So, upon his awakening, I did what she said.  Baylor seemed a little uneasy at what I was doing, but I guess he trusts me enough to let me do what I say is in his best interest (most of the time, anyway).  But he did start crying when his nose made a loud honking sound as I blew through his mouth; I guess it startled him a bit.  He said it didn't hurt, though, and nothing came out.  The nurse said if his nose started getting runny and green the next day that something was probably stuck and we'd need to go in.  The next day came and went with no nasal drainage so we were good.

You'd think this was where the story ends, but it isn't.

Saturday, as we were hanging out in the living room, Baylor, after complaining of a stuffy nose for a day or two, rubbed a lovely, giant booger out of his nose.  As it turns out, the booger was mostly comprised of a wad of his trash, encased in green.  Lovely, kiddo.

After a talk, he's no longer allowed to pull the string out of the changing pad covers, though we'll see how long that lasts.  He has been at it for so long, I barely even notice him doing it anymore.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chickens and Rabbits and Goats ... Oh My!

Remember last year when we went to Charlevoix?  Well, I apparently forgot to post about our little day trip to the Antrim County Fair, but let me just say, it had quite an effect on my little boy.  One sheep in particular, Fishie, scared the daylights out of him, scarring him for life and ruining farm animals for him forever.

So, being the kind and compassionate mother I am, I joined up with my mom and sister to take Baylor and Amalia to the Kent County Youth Fair.  I guess I was hoping it'd be a kind of cathartic, face-your-fears sort of experience.  Let's just see how it went, shall we?

Baylor was understandably apprehensive upon our arrival.  

(Though he was particularly interested in the fan atop the rabbit barn and talked about it the rest of the day.)

We saw some cute rabbits ...

... but, quiet as they were, he was pretty terrified of them.  From here on out I held him through every barn we went to.

When I pointed out that these rabbits had the same hair color as Daddy, he lightened up a bit.  But trust me, it was very short-lived.

The guinea pigs were difficult to see and were mostly sleeping, so he didn't have too much trouble with them.  But he didn't want to be put down either.

If there was something he was anxious about, I could feel his little body tense up in my arms.  Poor kiddo!

I thought he might actually like the horses; we see a lot on our way to my parents' house and he is always excited to see them.  But, alas, he was almost more terrified of them than he was the rabbits.  *sigh*

Thank goodness he can't read yet!

We watched a horse and a pony get a bath, and though he thought it was interesting he still didn't want to be put down.

These were the miniature horses they use for the kiddie horse ride.  Unfortunately (or fortunately in Baylor's case), that wasn't open yet.

Next we went to the chicken barn.  There were lots of roosters.  Needless to say, it was a bit noisy in there.

And pretty as many of them were, Baylor was upset and begging to leave the entire time we were in there.  Yes, I felt like a bad mom, but I also felt like he should see that there is nothing to be afraid of.

In an outside tent, we encountered this gigantic, beautiful, puffed-up turkey.  His name is Handsome.  He was AWESOME!

We saw some sleeping ducks, which I'm sure Baylor would have ordinarily enjoyed had he not been traumatized by all the cock-a-doodle-dooing in the barn.

This turkey was much less beautiful than the one we saw previously, and when he lunged at us, I thought Baylor was going to pass out or bolt from the fright!

Next up was the goat barn, which luckily wasn't as noisy as I thought it was going to be.  There were lots of goats on leashes milling about with their owners, though, and that put Baylor on edge.

We somehow timed our next barn visit perfectly and visited the pig barn at nap time.  It was wonderfully quiet in there, and I think Baylor almost enjoyed seeing the pigs sleeping.

That is, until this one's leg, seen sticking out of the gate, twitched a little bit and scared the bejeezus out of the little man.

Next up was the beefy cattle barn.  They were HUGE!

And, by and large, quite sleepy.  Mollie was pretty unsettled by the giant animals ...

... to say the least.

As we walked through the barn, we saw a girl asleep on her cow.  No, seriously!

Just next door was the milk cow barn.  They seemed much more docile and were actually quite beautiful.

We finally made it to a non-animal barn, and Baylor was delighted to be free from anxiety for a while.

We bought a couple t-shirts for the kids, then we headed over to the concession stands to grab a bite of lunch.

Not knowing what would be available, I brought lunch for the kiddos; nothing beats a good pbh&j (peanut butter, honey, and jelly), some grapes, and string cheese!  Mollie got the typical veggie and "gruel" (a.k.a., baby oatmeal and milk), with a side of grapes and Kraft American Cheese.  Both kids were satisfied, and I was happy I didn't have to feed them horribly unhealthy fair food.

Baylor did get to try a little bit of an elephant ear, though, and I think he enjoyed it.  It was quite different than the ones we get at Festival, but it was still very good.

We hurried through the last of lunch so we could make it over to another barn for a goat milking contest.  Yes, apparently such things exist.  First they put the goats into these little guillotine-looking contraptions ...

Then the kids sat down and milked them as fast as they could for 1 minute.  It was interesting to see the different techniques and speculate who was going to win.

As it turns out, longer strokes won the race over the short quick movements, and the tall kid (whose head I apparently cut off in the picture) won by a long shot.

Baylor was apprehensive of the whole event ...

... and Mollie mostly just wanted to get down and run around.  Being cooped up all morning is tough on a little girl!

We were going to stay for the next event - some sort of "speed" grooming competition - but it was supposed to last for 45 minutes, so we left before it got started.  Baylor initially walked around ...

... and stopped to have his picture taken in the cut-out board ...

... but the next tent was the sheep tent.  (Cue the ominous music.)  Sweet as they may have looked to most people ...

... they apparently terrified my children.

Especially Baylor ...

... oh, Baylor!

Not even the sight of newly-sheared sheep in turtlenecks could cheer him up!

Though, through his tears, he was able to laugh at these sheep eating their friend's red t-shirt.

I'll admit, some of them looked a little freaky.  Like this one with the bizarre face poof and leg warmers.

With the terror of the sheep tent over with, we headed over to the petting zoo tent.  Quite delightfully, we ran into some adorable baby animals!  Like piglets ...

... a calf ...

... a miniature horse ... (yes, I know it's not necessarily a baby, but it looked like one to the kids)

... a couple of lambs ...

... and some chicks!  Now, I'm not saying the kids weren't scared of the baby animals, but they were much more intrigued by the babies than any other animals they'd seen.

After being in the petting zoo, we stopped to wash our hands.  Baylor wanted to wash his even though he hadn't touched any animals.

He was surprisingly upset to leave given how upset he had been to simply be there in the first place, but we were able to pry him away.  On our way to the car, we saw this little tent and had to snap a picture.  Doesn't it just sound like something you'd do in fourth grade?  "Ooh, take this test and find out if you're going to hell!  I'll give you the answers in algebra, okay?  My cootie catcher is in my other book."

I hated putting Baylor and Mollie through the "torture" of seeing animals at the fair (?!?!?!), but I think it was good for them in the long run.  Hopefully, with increased exposure, they won't be so afraid of farm animals.  We shall see!