Friday, April 30, 2010


If you've been wondering about the fate of Daddy's iPhone, this post is for you. 
It is written in the style of Remy Charlip's clever children's book, Fortunately

Unfortunately, Mommy gave Daddy's iPhone a good washing last week.
Fortunately, after scouring the internet for ways to remedy this problem, Daddy discovered that lots of water-loving iPhone users have found that a tub of rice dries their phones up.

Unfortunately, Daddy's phone showed no signs of life after three days of rice drying.

Fortunately, Daddy just happened to have an appointment at the Apple store Monday morning for an issue he was having with his work computer.

Unfortunately, the issue turned out to be a very pricey one that Daddy was not prepared to undertake.

Fortunately, as the the Mac Genius was shutting down Daddy's computer, he asked if there was anything else he could help Daddy with.

"Unfortunately", Daddy said, "there is.  My wife washed my iPhone last week.  Do you have any suggestions?"

Fortunately, the Genius had compassion on Daddy.  He asked Daddy if the phone was with him.

Unfortunately, it wasn't.  It was sitting in a tub of rice in Daddy's office.

Fortunately, the Genius told Daddy to bring it back in the afternoon and he would "take care of him."

So Daddy did (take the phone in) and the Genius did (take care of him).  Daddy walked out of the Apple store with a new(ish), working iPhone.

Which is fortunate for Mommy.  Because now she doesn't feel so bad.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How We Save Money

Since Mommy has been staying at home with me this year, our family has had to come up with lots of creative ways to save money.  These are the 6 tips at the top of our list:

1.  When shopping at the grocery store, buy the store brand.  Even if you have a coupon for a national/regional brand, the store brand is almost always a better deal.  Occassionally you'll find a store brand product that is truly inferior in taste or quality (toilet paper, for example), but most of the time you won't even notice a difference.

2.  If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are needing baby gear for any other reason, try to purchase big items at the beginning of the year.  That's when many companies debut their new lines, and you can often find last year's model at a great discount. When Mommy was shopping for my convertible carseat this January/February, for example, there were many 2009 models on sale for 30% off.
If you're planning to give this tip a try, you'll probably find that it applies more to online retailers than brick and mortar stores.

3.  Sell your kiddo's gently used, quality brand clothes to a children's resale shop!  Mommy and I like the Kid to Kid franchise.  Most resale shops will give you more for your items if you choose store credit over cash (which we always do).
In case you're wondering, Mommy and I only sell trendy clothes that don't hold sentimental value.  We save the classic and sentimental pieces for the baby sister I may have some day.

4.  Shop children's resale shops for clothes, shoes, toys, and even baby gear.  Some of the cutest clothes I own have come from Kid to Kid.  We always look for BabyGap, Gymboree, and boutique brands first.  Those give us the most bang for our buck.  Last month, we bought a pair of "like new" Pediped boots (for the fall) for $20.  They would have cost $57 if they were brand new.

5.  Don't Go Shopping!
This may be the biggest money saving tip Mommy has learned this year.  If you're really serious about curbing your spending, do not go shopping unless you truly need something. 
Otherwise, your mommy is bound to find the most adorable pair of Robeez shoes for only $14 while the two of you are "just looking" at Marshalls.  And she will feel like she can't afford not to buy them.  So she will.  And then your daddy will remind her that she didn't save money if she didn't intend to spend money.  And he will be right.*

6.  This last tip is offered by Daddy.
Don't put electronics in the washing machine.**

Want more tips?  Head on over to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

*Since I'm sure you're wondering, please believe me when I say that these exact events did not take place in our home this year. 
It was not a pair of Robeez shoes.

**Unfortunately, this event did happen in our home.


I know Mommy loves me
because she gives me lots of sweet kisses.

I know Daddy loves me
because he brought me roses.
(11 for Mommy. 1 for me, actually.)

And I know Mommy's former students love me
because they draw pictures of me when Mommy subs for their teachers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Bookworms

Yesterday afternoon, Mommy and I met up with Cooper and Kelly for a little Baby Bookworm time.  Cooper's listening skills really put me to shame.  He was so intent on each story the librarian read.  I, on the other hand, was more inclined to roam around the auditiorium, try to drink other kids sippy cups, and say "no" to Mommy.

Thankfully, the other BB participants didn't seem to mind too much.  They understand that toddlers need to explore.  Here are a few pictures of my exciting explorations.

These shaker eggs were a new treat!  I had never seen them at BB before, but I sure did love them right away.  Do you think Daddy will let me play them on the worship team?

Ribbon streamers are fun!
(For about 5 seconds)

Magic Bear was my favorite BB (re)discovery this week.  He provided the perfect pre-nap cuddle spot.

Mommy had a sad moment last night when she realized I will be too old for Baby Bookworms in just three months.  Time sure does fly when you're having fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes: Anniversary Edition

Sunday marked my one year anniversary as a blogger!

Take a look at the picture that graced my first ever blog post.
And here's what I look like today.

Big difference, huh?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ian's Birthday Party

Saturday afternoon, my family went to a big first birthday party for my friend, Ian.  It was lots of fun!

Ian and his big brother, Preston, have some really great play equipment in their backyard.  In the 15 minutes I was back there, I munched on my first fistful of sandbox grit, practiced my climbing skills on their "climbing wall", and made sure their baby swing was in working order.
When it was time to open presents, Mr. Ian was all smiles. 
When was the last time you saw a guy this excited about vacuuming?

After Ian cleaned the rug, everyone headed back outside for a battle with the pinata.
Ian gave it all he's got...

but I was a little more hesitant.  I didn't get much closer to that colorful donkey than this.

As you can see, Ian and I needed a little help from the big kids to get the candy out of the pinata.  Not that it mattered, though...Mommy took every piece of candy out of my hands as soon as I picked it up.
(Don't worry.  Daddy promised to give me some chocolate when Mommy wasn't looking.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Washed Away

After dinner last night, Mommy, Daddy, Auntie, and I went to a local outdoor shopping/dining/entertainment area.  We hit up a yummy frozen yogurt shop called Pinkberry, then found a lovely grassy area with ground fountains where we could enjoy our tasty treats al fresco.

Daddy used his iPhone to snap the cutest picture of me admiring the aqua show.

But I can't post it here.

Because Mommy sent that iPhone through the washing machine one hour later.

She is currently praying for a miraculous recovery.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day and Birthday

Happy Earth Day! 

Earth Day was one of Mommy's favorite science units to teach.  One year, she even had parents "complaining" that in the weeks following ED their children were insisting that no paper plates or napkins be used in their home.  Apparently, those same children were not insisting on helping with the dishes! 
This year, though, Mommy has been trying to make greener decisions for our own household.  We've traded plastic bags in for reusable ones at the grocery store (which actually makes loading an unloading with a toddler much easier), swapped most of our chemical laden cleaners out for a vinegar/water solution, and started using cloth rags to clean instead of paper towels.  We have also increased our recycling efforts by at least 75%.

Our next step?  Composting. 
Mommy is really interested in giving this a try...but it's going to require a good deal of research before she jumps head first into it!

Earth Day also means it's time to say "Happy Birthday" to "Auntie" Jasmine!
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, "Auntie" J.  I can't wait to see you again in June so we can get an updated picture!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cabin Fever

For the past 6 days, I've been sequestered to the not-so-great indoors because the pollen count around here has been "Very High".  It really wasn't too bad at first, but now Mommy and I are starting to run out of indoor entertainment ideas.

We've read lots and lots of books,

tried out crayons for the first time (I wasn't impressed),

perfected the toddler headstand,

and even discovered a new pet (Daddy said I can keep him).

We're longing for the day the pollen count drops back down to bearable levels, so we can get back to activities like this:
(Which, incidentally, is the very activity that pushed my histamine levels over the edge.  An hour and a half of bike riding on a "Very High" day will do that to ya'.)

In the meantime, I will gratefully be accepting any and all indoor young toddler activities you may have to share!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Best

Can you guess why I was so excited today?

It's because I don't look or feel like this anymore!

Over the last few days, my body has made it abundantly clear that tree pollen is my enemy.  The evidence: red eyes, a running (sprinting, really) nose, sneeziness, and yucko cough.  Mommy and Daddy have kept me indoors this weekend, though, and it appears that I am over the worst of it.

All of the gunk being discharged from my body made it necessary for Mommy to keep me out of the nursery this morning...which you know I didn't mind one bit!  I spent the first part of the service in the sanctuary, but once the song portion was finished my toddler squirminess took over.  At that point, Mommy decided that she and I needed to chill in the "cry room" for the remainder of the service.

I did a pretty good job of entertaining myself in there while Mommy listened in on the sermon through the cry room speaker.

By the time I ate lunch and took a (super short) nap I was feeling good enough to help the rest of my family clean house for Small Group.

Mommy says sweeping is now on my list of future chores.  Hmmm, maybe I should rethink my interest in imitating all the things I see Mommy doing around the house!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Micah!

Today is the first birthday of my cousin, Micah.  

When Micah entered the world, he turned me into a cousin, Daddy into an uncle, and Mommy into an aunt. 

We had been expecting his arrival for several days (although we didn't know if we were expecting his arrival or her arrival), and Mommy was on pins and needles as she awaited word of his entrance while teaching at school.  Her students understood that she would be checking her email and cell phone throughout the day.  They were almost as excited as she was. 

When Mommy finally got the "It's a boy!" text, she turned to her students with tears in her eyes and shouted, "I have a nephew!".  Her students celebrated by jumping up and down, clapping their hands, and cheering loudly.  I'm sure the teacher next door wondered what in the world was going on!

A few weeks later, my parents took me on my very first road trip so that we could meet my new baby cousin.  Can you believe we were this little just a year ago?
As you can see, Micah was born with a head full of dark brown hair and a beautiful smile.

The smile is still the same, but that hair sure has lightened up!

Happy Birthday, Micah! I'm sad that I missed your birthday party, but I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Teacher Gifts

Mommy knows a thing or two about teacher gifts. During the 6 years she spent in the classroom, she received her fair share of heartfelt presents. In her opinion, the best gift you can give your child's teacher (or your own teacher) is a letter of thanks. Not just a thank you card with your name signed on the bottom (although those are nice, too), but a real letter. Teachers save these letters to reread when the going gets tough. Promise.

And if you're just itching to include something of material value with that letter, consider one of these.

But whatever you do, don't even think about giving one of these to your child's teacher.
It's just not something that should be found on a teacher's desk.

No, Mommy never received a Grand Assortment like this from a student...but her friend, Kelly sure did!


You may question why this post is full of mostly unrelated photos.
Well, I have an answer.

My friends, it is all due to the simple fact that Mommy is a genius.

After nearly a year of blogging (10 days shy, in fact), Mommy just learned that Blogger allows users to upload 5 photos at a time.

I cannot tell you how many times in the past 355 days I have heard Mommy mumble the words, "There must be an easier way".

She was right.

But it took her a while to realize it.

And all this time, the answer was sitting right before her eyes.

Add another image. That phrase is Mommy's new friend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Auntie, the OT

You've probably already figured out that Auntie lives with my family. She moved in with us about 7 months ago, and we love having her around!
Over the last few weeks, Auntie's professional knowledge has come in quite handy. Auntie is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist...and no, that doesn't mean she helps kids figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

It means she helps kids with developmental delays, Autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injuries, sensory integration dysfuntion, and a host of other difficulties. Auntie works with these kiddos to overcome obstacles that are interfering with their participation in everyday activities.
Auntie has recently taken on a new patient...and she's doing it pro bono! Can you guess who that patient is? Here's a hint:

It's me!

Okay, so maybe I'm not really an OT patient. Auntie has been helping Mommy and Daddy figure out some of my quirkier habits, though. Like the teeth grinding problem from last month (which I still do on occasion). And this month's issue with pulling small fistfuls of hair out of my head.

I know. I'm a strange duck.

Basically, OT Auntie says both of these behaviors can be boiled down to my need for more proprioceptive input. Proprioceptive input=pressure on muscles and joints. Apparently, it's something I crave.

Auntie has taught Mommy and Daddy a few different strategies to employ when they see PI seeking behaviors, as well as a few "games" to play with me throughout the day to fulfill my proprioceptive needs.

The funny thing is, many of the activities are things I was already doing. Mommy and Daddy just didn't know to look at them as fulfilling a craving. So far, here's what I like best:
Pushing Auntie's laundry cart around the house.
Jumping in my crib.
Being tossed into a pile of pillows. We call this "Crash".
Chewing on straws.
Auntie, Mommy, or Daddy putting firm pressure on my shoulders and the sides of my head.
Doing the toddler version of a headstand.

Mommy and Daddy are very thankful that Auntie has been able to help them figure me out. And Mommy has been especially thankful for Auntie's constant reassurance that my prorioceptive cravings are most likely not an indication of a deeper problem.

Thank you, Auntie, for using your professional knowledge on me! You are a fabulous OT, and all of your patients are lucky to have you. I ought to know.

Playtime with Preston

Mommy and I got to hang out with 3-year old Preston today while his mommy took Ian to the pediatrician. I had a great time hanging out with this cool big kid!

Preston has the most stylish sneaker wardrobe of any preschooler I know. He's got his own Chucks and Pumas!
Preston's Chucks look just like this grown up version my Daddy left hanging out in the living room.

Preston and I talked Mommy into giving the two of us a backyard wagon ride. That little ride ended up being the best workout Mommy's had in a loooong time! She's not used to hauling around 55(ish) pounds, you know!

You'd think that by now Mommy would have figured out that it's just not possible for an amateur to take a picture with two kids looking at the camera at the same time. I guess she hasn't learned her lesson yet, though. All her sing-songy pleas of "Katie Bug, look at Mama" couldn't pull my attention away from the bird (or piece of grass, or spilled bubble solution, or fluttering butterfly) that had my rapt attention at this moment.

As soon as Mommy snapped the above photo, Preston said, "Wadel. She wadn't wooking." Nothing gets by that boy!

Thanks for playing with me today, Preston! You are a good friend.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Uncle Brian!

My Uncle Brian turns 31 today! Here's a picture of Brian and Micah from their joint birthday party this weekend. Isn't that cake clever? Mommy has never seen anything like it...and she is a Googler of cakes, let me tell ya'!

Happy birthday, Uncle Brian! I wish I could have celebrated with you this weekend.