Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From the mouths of a parent...

On a recent airplane trip with Jason, Marin and Lindsay, I handed Marin her pacifier as we were about to land and said very matter-of-factly, "Marin, suck on this on the way down."

Lindsay cracked up. I hadn't even realized how that may have sounded to someone not paying attention to me handing Marin the pacifier. Goodness knows how it may have sounded to someone who has never flown with a child. I was intending to avoid having her ears pop from the pressure of the decent, not shooting the opening scene of a porno.

But it got me thinking... There are a lot of crazy things that we say as a part of our daily lives that otherwise sound totally ridiculous. Many are of the "that's what she said" variety, some are just plain odd. Here are some of those very things, as actually spoken in our house.

"You may eat that after you use the potty!"
"Don't put your hand in there."
"On your bottom, Marin."
"No, no; don't touch. That's Daddy's."
"Keep your hands out of the toilet."
"Sweetheart, we don't eat garbage."
"Ride the horsey like a lady!" "Now how does the cowboy ride?!"
"Grab the ball. You may each have one."
"Can you say, 'ba-na-na'?"
"Open wide"
"Doesn't it feel good to be clean and dry?"
"Looks like you have a couple poking through" (regarding teeth)
"Does that make your bottom feel better"
"Not so much in your mouth at once, honey."

No one said that parenting is glamorous, but it sure is funny!

What are somethings that you've said in your house that have made you think twice?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Numbers 7, 8 and 32

It was another great weekend filled with celebrations, good friends, and laughter enough to have the cops called on us twice, marking visits seven and eight this summer. Per usual, the police were apologetic and embarrassed; they confirmed that we aren't doing anything wrong, and encouraged us to continue doing just what we are doing. Honestly, it really doesn't bother us. All of our other neighbors are so fantastic that we just can't worry about this one set of boringtons. This weekend our friends in blue told us that they are really more concerned with the neighbor calling for no good reason than they are with us. Apparently that neighbor has a bit of a history of being a cop caller for every. little. thing. And so the fun went on. And boy did we have a lot of it!

Friday night we celebrated Jason's birthday and kicked off the celebrations early, with a late afternoon happy hour. Jon took the train to our house after work, and Lindsay met us shortly after. A few of our neighbors came by, as did my parents. We picked up our babysitter and walked to dinner for a table of seven at our absolute favorite restaurant in town, Bien Trucha. The food is so good I can still taste it. We all shared taco tapas and enjoyed some delicious margaritas, and then headed home to relieve the babysitter. Marin had a great time with Caleigh again, and this time we remembered to give her a key so no one got locked out. We had a great night, stayed up wayyyyy past our bedtimes, and celebrated Jason's 32 great years.

Jon spent the night and Lindsay was spending the weekend, so Saturday we walked to Nosh for breakfast, and that afternoon I headed into the city to celebrate with Dana at her bachelorette party. I was only able to stay for a quick visit, because Mike, Becky and their son Joel were on their way from Indianapolis. Still, it was a great visit with my friends and such a welcome change from having to chat with each other with our kids in tow. We sipped champagne from a suite at the top of The Wit Hotel downtown overlooking the lake, and chatted about Dana's upcoming Louisville wedding!

Back at home, Joel and Marin were having a BLAST playing together in the sand, taking turns on their bikes, feeding each other applesauce, playing basketball, giving lots of hugs and kisses and speaking each others language the entire time. When I arrived back home, they were each covered head to toe in sand, and chatting together like they had spent their entire lives doing just that. After dinner, they took a bath together. They loved splashing and playing in the bubbles together and passed toy animals back and forth as they told each other what sound it made. After they were both dressed for bed, they piled in my lap and we read one of Marin's favorite stories. They both went to sleep in record time. Mike and Becky spent the night and we stayed up late talking, but called it a night in time for a great nights sleep.

Sunday we loaded Marin and Joel in the wagon and headed to breakfast at another great spot by us. The kids were both well behaved at breakfast and were sad when we got home and they had to say their goodbyes. But the fun didn't end there! Molly and Brian stopped over late in the afternoon so Marin got to love on them for a quick visit and then we headed to my parents house for a family celebration for Jason's birthday. We topped the whole weekend off with a walk to Graham's for ice cream.

The house is quiet today. I love when it is full of laughter and good friends and family. Is there anything better? I had the post weekend blues BAD last night. It was such a great weekend seeing so many of our family and friends that we feel so blessed to have in our lives. Luckily, there are only four days until the next weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A reflection on our family?

I can remember clearly my mom saying to me as I headed out the door (particularly in high school), "Johanna, what you do and the way you behave is a reflection on our family." I didn't ever really understand why. Until now.

Marin and I went to our friends Kelly and Ryan's today to meet Ryan's new baby brother, Matthew. Marin and Ryan have known each other since they were just weeks old, and since Kelly and I saw each other frequently when we were both on maternity leave together, so did Marin and Ryan. However, now that they are both 18 months old, they don't seem to be showing the love of two people who have known each other their whole lives. To the right here, are Marin and Ryan as babies; just weeks old.

Today there was a whole lot of "mines" and pushing and stealing of toys. I know that it is age appropriate- Ryan is a darling, sweet little boy, and Marin is actually getting very good with sharing- but let's just hope that, as Marin screams "MINE" and then throws a feet stomping fit until I divert her attention with something she can play with until it is her turn, no stranger thinks that behavior is a reflection on our family.

Here's another thought: What is it about learning to share that is so hard? I guess I'm glad that Marin is assertive. And she really does bring children, Ryan included today, toys to play with as well. But boy it is a mother's embarrassed apologetic nightmare in the meantime.

Today was still a great day and we all had fun. Baby Matthew is a tiny, wrinkly, adorable little guy with the innocence of the three week old that he is. Kelly and I still manged to get through a few adult conversations- even if they were interrupted by managing toddlers expectations and growing lessons on who's turn it is to ride/ push the tractor. I always love seeing dear friends like Kelly. There is something refreshing about friendships that sustain too many late night pizzas in college and comes to playdates in the living room surrounded by children's singing toys. I think it likely that we will survive this toddler phase together as well.

Thank you Kelly, for the fun morning. We'll try it again, and eventually they'll be old enough for us to sit with our coffee at the table and have them run around us playing nicely. I promise.

In the meantime, if Marin is truly going to grow to be a reflection on our family, I better work overtime on making sure she minds her p's and q's. For now, I guess I'll just embrace this age and take it for what it is. And hey, at least as she tried to rip the toy out of his hand she said please. That's gotta count for something. (Please tell me it does.)

Just Like Daddy!

A few disclaimers:
- Although Jason is in fact sitting next to Marin on the real toilet (it encourages Marin to sit there longer) he is merely sitting on the lid and is fully clothed.
- Marin, if you are reading this when you are 16, all I can say is, you better be really nice to your dad and me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet Me At The Fair!

Jason and I took Marin to the State Fair in Springfield this weekend. But first, we stopping in to see Marin's Great Grandpa Hinrichs, Great Aunt Vee and Great Uncle Bob and even caught a moment with Neal and Nicole.

First stop: Jason's Grandpa's. Marin was grateful for Great Grandpa and Daddy's August birthdays, because that meant that one of the first orders of business after we arrived in central Illinois, was cake and ice cream!! Marin wasted no time digging into her share, dribbling some down the front of her dress in the process. Then she ran off her excess energy in the courtyard. Other highlights included a ride on Great Grandpa's fancy walker, becoming reacquainted with his tupperware cabinet, visiting with the neighbors and drinking from Great Grandpa's small cups just her size!

From there we headed to the farm for a sleepover at Great Aunt Vee and Great Uncle Bob's house! We had dinner together, Marin ran and ran and ran in the big yard, ate more cake and ice cream, and watched Marin play with Neal and Natalie's old toys that brought us all back. The next day Marin played the piano, helped Great Aunt Vee make homemade muffins, met their kitties, sat in all kinds of tractors and took a ride with Great Uncle Bob and Daddy on the gator.

We were sad to leave the farm, but excited to meet Jon and Ben at the State Fair. After a quick stop to visit with Neal and Nicole for a minute, we hit the road for Springfield. Once we arrived, we had lots of fun. We saw a cow made out of butter, met a Llama named Queen Bee, oinked like the pigs, pet baby goats and a donkey, milked a cow, caught an up-close look at the Stanley Cup and danced in the beer tents.

The State Fair seems to specialize in all things fried, and as the saying goes; when in rome... We threw Marin's normal mostly organic healthy diet to the wind and decided to act as the romans do. Jon came up with a little adult entertainment of State Fair Bingo where squares named items like "tramp stamp", "NASCAR t-shirt", "mullet", "male with shirt sleeves ripped off", and you ticked them off out loud when you spotted them. We might be going straight to hell, but it sure was funny! I wouldn't have done the Fair any other way.

When we were all thoroughly greasified and had stepped in enough manure to fertilize a football field, we headed to Ben's house. Ben and his girlfriend, Marissa live in Springfield so it was a quick trip. Marin was thrilled that they had a kitten, and a neighbor who was just about her size. She chased him around the back yard for a little while and after a bath, was asleep in about 30 seconds. What a long day!

After Marin was asleep the adults enjoyed a delicious dinner featuring grilled steaks and rice crispy treats for dessert (I almost ate the entire pan). The next morning we had breakfast at a Springfield favorite, Charlie Parker's. Charlie Parker's was features on The Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and is known for the locals favorite "horseshoe" (basically the whole menu on one plate on top of each other) and pancakes as big as a pizza. Delicious.

After yet another feast we drove home with stomach aches from the collective gluttony that we willingly engaged in over the course of the weekend. We invited Grandma and Grandpa over for salads that night.

Another great weekend with friends, family and "moooooo" cows.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Playdates, Petting Zoo and the Potty!

We've had an exciting week!

Tuesday, Mika and Tess and Sarah and Logan came over for a playdate! Marin was so excited to see baby Tess and baby Logan again, that she and I waited out front for them to arrive. I had a great time playing and snuggling with the babies, and Marin just played at our feet the entire time. She may be taking this sharing thing a bit too far though; she tried to feed three month old Tess a scone.

Tuesday night I had my own playdate with my mom and her friends. We went to go to Eat, Pray, Love. I hadn't seen a movie in the theater since Frost Nixon, before Marin was born, so it was a real treat for me! I Eat, Pray, LOVED IT, by the way.

Wednesday Marin and I met our friends Caroline and Tommy at the Petting Zoo, just a short drive away. Marin loved seeing all of the animals, and even feeding a few. She proudly told everyone in earshot that the cow says "MOOOOOOOOO", that the sheep says "BAAAAA" and that the duck says "duck duck". We'll have to work on that last one. She got so excited to feed the deer that she got her bag too close to their mouths and they snatched the entire food bag from her hands. Lucky for us, Caroline and Tommy graciously shared their food bag with Marin. She loved watching the animals up close.

We couldn't leave the park with a trip to the playground, and Marin loved swinging on the swings and sliding down the slide. We finished the afternoon with lunch at a cute little spot near by, and Marin slept the whole way home.

Wednesday night we met our neighbors a the ballpark for Jason's last softball game of the season. Marin loved cheering, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" to Jason as he ran the bases.

Today we hit the road again to go visit our friends Susan and Rachel. Marin made herself right at home in about 2 seconds, choosing a baby for Rachel and one for herself so they could play babies together. Marin especially loved lounging in Rachel's big bean bag chair as she tapped on her computer, and she loved playing with Rachel's play kitchen. We had a quick walk to the park and played there for a while before we walked back and had lunch together.

We've had a great week and lot of fun, but the REAL excitement of the week in our house is that Marin went to the bathroom on the potty!! She has sat on the potty plenty of times before, and even has gone in it twice. But those other times she went weren't really on purpose. I sorta threw here there as she was going in an attempt to show her what you do there. But today, after she woke up, I set her on the potty and said, "Go potty, Marin." And sure enough, she did it! The little horn sound on her potty rang and I rewarded her like she was splitting atoms. We made a VERY big deal about this. Marin has learned that the potty makes the horn noise when the button at the bottom of the potty is "activated". Today after the horns sounded, Marin got so excited she danced to them. Then she stuck her finger right in the full potty and pushed the button to make the horns sound again. I quickly said, "oh yucky, yucky... but YAYYY you went potty!!" How's that for a mixed signal.

I don't expect her to be fully potty trained next week or even next month, but she has been interested in her potty for a while now, so I figured I might as well teach her about its intended purpose. If we can keep this up, we might be on to something!