Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Joining the music bandwagon

I wasn't officially tagged for the "music I'm listening to" meme, but I'll throw mine into the mix anyway. First let me confess, I have VERY eclectic taste in music.

1. Jonathan Stockstill is very high on my list right now. We have been working on quite a bit of his stuff in choir, and I just love it.

2. Anything by Lou Bega is fine with me. He's fun and makes you want to dance.

3. The soundtrack and libretto to "Phantom of the Opera". Andrew Lloyd Weber is truly a genius.

4. Brian Setzer Orchestra - What can I say? I just love me some swing music, old or new.

5. Trace Adkins - his baritone voice is just awesome, and he also sings some really fun songs.

6. Harry Connick, Jr. - yum

7. The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney. I love Allison Kraus' version of "Baby Mine". I like to cuddle with AJ and sing it to him. It always makes me want to cry.

Okay, I know I was only supposed to list seven things, but I couldn't leave out the magic that is Jean Michel Jarre "Rendez-vous". I got hooked on his stuff when I was in college and they held the first "Power of Houston" event downtown. That was 1986. Cool stuff.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I miss my itty-bitty

AJ is a such a big boy now. I kind of miss my little squirt who smeared food everywhere and liked to sleep on me (no, wait, he still does those things). It's different now. He doesn't like to cuddle quite as much anymore; he's much too independent.

I came across some pictures today that made me miss my itty bitty boy...

And, yes, he still likes to read a lot...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Truths About Real Moms

Stephanie over at MamaDrama has tagged me for a meme to disclose the truths about real moms. So, here goes. (Even though Stephanie must be sharing half of my brain, because she said EXACTLY what I was thinking..)

1. In response to "Real moms feel guilty most of the time" - I DO feel guilty that AJ spends so much time at school. But I feel guilty that sometimes I just need a "time out" from my own child. I feel guilty that I am so tired and overwhelmed most of the time that there is nothing left for my husband.

2. Real moms take care of everyone but themselves. Oh yeah, we talk a big game about going on diets and exercising more, but honestly there just aren't enough hours in the day. And we feel guilty if we take time for ourselves, because our family or our jobs seem to need constant attention. (See #1)

3. Real moms have clutter in their lives, dirty clothes in the hamper, and dust bunnies multiplying in the dark corners of the furniture. And honestly, most of the time, we are okay with that. We spend so little time with our children that, given the choice, we will choose having a tickle-fest over scrubbing the toilet anyday.

4. We have a tendency to judge other mothers. (Ok, maybe that's just me) We look at the people around us talking on the phone while trying to play with their babies, and we think how horrible that she won't just focus on her precious baby....or overweight kids stuffing themselves on junk while lying around in front of the TV.....I'll stop now before I really make myself look catty.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Question of the day

Why is it, with hundreds and hundreds of dollars of toys, my son gets the most enjoyment out of an empty laundry basket, an old T-shirt, and a pair of nail clippers?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Open letter to the vandal(s) in my neighborhood

Dear hoodlum:

I'm not sure why you decided to get your jollies by spray painting profanity on the back of our car while it was sitting in our driveway on Saturday night. Thank you, though, for only getting the paint on the window and not on the car itself. That made it much easier for my husband to waste his Sunday afternoon scraping paint off instead of spending quality time with our son. And by not damaging our paint job, you have only committed a Class C Misdemeanor. Congratulations on that achievement. I'm sure you'll do better next time.

Really...I know since I live at the end of a dead end street that makes me more of a target. What with less traffic and possibility of getting caught...When I move in a couple of years I will try to move onto a major thoroughfare. I apologize for leading you into temptation.

P.S. Might I suggest you get a dictionary? If you are going to paint profanity on a stranger's car, you could at least SPELL IT RIGHT! Geez....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Okay, so my kid is normal after all

Here is a reprint of an article I just found. Considering my two year old does each of these (sometimes all in the same day!), I found a little comfort...

Problem Child? Probably not.

Kenneth N. Condrell, Ph.D.Child Psychologist
I frequently run into new parents who are so distressed about something their toddler or preschooler has done that they become convinced that it’s the first sign of a serious problem. Again and again I find myself reassuring these fretful parents that their little one is normal. They sigh with relief, but they still seem puzzled about how such “odd” behavior can be par for the course.The fact of the matter is that perfectly normal 2- and 3-year-olds display a lot of seemingly strange behavior. To an inexperienced parent, this behavior often becomes cause for concern. “Do you think she’s becoming a brat?” I’m often asked. “Maybe my son is developing an obsessive-compulsive disorder,” another parent wonders. If a child has temper tantrums, her parents worry that he’ll become violent down the road. Parents of a bossy little girl may fear that she’s getting out of control.To help ease new parents’ concerns, I have compiled a list of typical behavior for 2- and 3-year-olds. As you read this I hope it reassures you that you’re not lacking as a parent—and that you’re not raising a future delinquent!Children this age throw their parents for a loop when they:

(1) Melt down when you deny an unreasonable request, like eating ice cream before dinner, taking home a puppy from the pet store or putting spaghetti in their milk.

(2) Suddenly disappear in a store for an impromptu game of hide-and-seek, sending you on a frantic search.

(3) Insist on wearing a particular outfit that’s not appropriate for the weather or so mismatched that it looks ridiculous.

(4) Have to have everything just so. This child repeatedly and meticulously lines up toys, making parents concerned that he or she has an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

(5) Experience unpredictable mood swings. One minute he’s happy and cooperative; the next he’s belligerent and uncooperative.

(6) Start using bad words despite the fact that neither parent swears.

(7) Break rules they followed the day before.

(8) Start defying you with a smile. For example, you ask your child to stay close at the mall and she runs away while you frantically chase her.

(9) Don’t anticipate the danger of walking into the street, climbing up on the cupboard or leaning back on a chair.

(10) Hit a playmate for no apparent reason.

(11) Become fearful and hysterical at the sight of a tiny bug, for example, or the prospect of getting in the bathtub.

(12) Ignore you and seem to go deaf when you give an order.

(13) Start crying hysterically over nothing and can’t be consoled—even after having a very pleasant, uneventful day.

(14) Become a very finicky eater, rejecting all but a select few foods at mealtime.

Does anything sound familiar on this list? It probably does, as many young children behave like this. Of course, when it’s your child, you tend to feel like a failure, as if you’ve done something wrong as a parent. Or, you worry that something’s wrong with your child.In all likelihood, neither scenario is true. At this age children exhibit a lot of unreasonable behavior, and it’s almost never a reflection on their parents’ parenting skills or some aberration in the child. If you’re a new parent, remember that your child is going through a phase that will soon pass. In the meantime, try not to become frustrated—and keep a cool head!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

One Track Mind

Sometimes I wonder whether being a toddler is similar to having mild OCD. AJ just gets to fixated on one thing (or word) and just beats it to death. Repeating it over, and over, and over, and over, and OVER...

It's Wednesday. We have had a new phrase or word of the day every day so far.
Monday we went out to Katy Mills. We did not know that there was a carnival set up in the parking lot. We spent over an hour hearing nothing but, "I 'na see da ferr weel, I 'na see da ferr weel, I'na see da ferr weel, I 'NA SEE DA FERR WEEL..." You get the idea?It got so bad that I had to trick him as we were driving home. We went out the back side of the parking lot so we didn't have to pass the carnival again. However, it was still going to be visible from the entrance ramp. I sat in the back seat next to him, picked up a toy, and distracted him by making him look my direction instead of out the window....I'm so mean!

Tuesday after school we stayed outside to do some yardwork. The garbage collectors were running late yesterday, and didn't come down our street until about 5pm. AJ had never seen a garbage truck before and somewhat freaked out over the beeping noise it made while backing up. After a couple of minutes, he got used to the truck. New phrase for the next hour -- "I 'na garbig tuck...I 'na garbig tuck...I 'na garbig tuck....."

This morning for the entire way to school we hear THIS from the back seat, "hi...hi...hi...hi...hi...hi...hi...hi...hi..."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Not the outdoors type

Those of you who know me and my husband, know quite well that neither of us is very outdoorsy or athletic. AJ has been sent to us from above apparently to break us of that habit. One of his favorite things to do on these warmer afternoons is to drag Mommy and Daddy outside to chase him around the yard, play ball, toss the frisbee, or go for a walk. Yesterday we played in the sprinkler. Here's AJ peeking around the corner of the house waiting for the water to come back to him.

The water was a little chilly...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Oh, I'm a Lumberjack and I'm okay...

Well, last weekend we went to East Texas to help my parents cut down some trees. This was going to require either my Dad in the front bucket of the tractor being raised up with a chainsaw, or my (sometimes less than outdoorsy) husband. Seeing a recipe for disaster?

Well, after my dad was almost dumped out of the tractor from about 20 feet in the air, Hubby decided he'd better get in the bucket with the chainsaw and let my Dad drive the tractor. Nothing was cut off that wasn't supposed to be cut off, so I'd say it was a success.

AJ even got into the spirit of things by offering to pick up downed limbs and rake the yard.
And he REALLY wanted to drive the tractor!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Walk for a Good Cause

On April 29th, Team AJ will be participating again this year in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. This is a 5k fun walk to raise money to fight prematurity and to search for the causes.

Today in the U.S., 1 in every 8 babies will be born prematurely. In Texas, that rate jumps to 1 in 5. Some of them won't survive, and others will have health problems that could last a lifetime. The funds we raise in WalkAmerica support research that saves babies' lives. AJ has been one of the lucky ones. Born 14 weeks early, he weighed only 18 ounces at birth. Today he is a growing 2 1/2 year old boy who loves to climb and sing. Many of the babies who shared the NICU experience with AJ will have long-term or even permanent physical disabilities and developmental delays.

We have chosen to support the March of Dimes to help research ways to prevent prematurity. Please help our family's mission by donating or walking with us on April 29th.

Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. If you would like to join us for this great exercise or donate to Team AJ, please consider visiting my fund-raising website at: http://www.walkamerica.org/ajs_mom