Friday, June 29, 2007

The End Of The Health Food Era (I.e., The 9-Month Checkup)

Our pediatrician is a perky blonde cheerleader-type. She's very nice and encouraging. At Sophie's last appointment, she told me Sophie was getting somewhere around 1/2 of the recommended milk intake for babies her age. She then informed me cheerily that I could now discontinue baby food and feed Sophie exclusively table food.


I think Dr. Morel needs to spend a few days at our house, and then let me know what she thinks about feeding poor, pure little Sophie our table food.

Our food pyramid looks something like this (from bottom to top, forgive me for not having the design skill, talent or software to show this graphically):

1) Base: Breads and french fries.

2) Then, pizza (oops, that's kind of a bread) and burgers (oh yeah... the bun is bread).

3) Tacos, nachos, and other Mexican cuisine (um, I think there's actually a lot of bread in those too) .

4) Steaks.

5) Ice cream, microwave popcorn, salads with Bacos, cheese, croutons and honey mustard or ranch dressing...

6) And at the itsy bitsy top of the period, veggies and fruits. You know, carrots, green beans, squash, apples and bananas? All the stuff they make baby food out of? (Sometimes, we've found that restaurants sneak this kind of stuff into the dishes you order. We've also found that when cooked in butter and brown sugar or fried, a lot of it tastes pretty decent, especially served with a ribeye.)

So Dr. Morel will have to forgive me if I continue to shove baby food into Sophie for as long she will possibly allow it. If she's a true Flanigan baby, her contents will be 90% hot dogs and french fries soon enough as it is.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Do we live in a zoo???

With two small children at home, frequent houseguests, a dog and two working parents, I think we all often feel like our house can be a bit of a zoo. And apparently, my children are so used to this atmosphere, they feel right at home at the real zoo, to the point they find it the environment familiar and possibly even a little boring.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's Belisha's

Will was enjoying a FatBoy's ice cream sandwich today and stated that it was Belisha's. Since we don't know anyone by that name, I was confused for a moment before I figured out how to translate this from Willese to English. So, a test for those who know and love him: Can YOU translate?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Will's Sixth Sense

Back in November (06) we bought a new TV. The box was immediately reincarnated as a playhouse (as all TV boxes should be). Because my husband is a builder by trade, the playhouse featured a pitched roof with dormers. Now, nearly nine months later, we quietly decided that the house's useful life had expired. It is, after all, flippin' HUGE and conveniently located right in the middle of our dining room. Will, who has ignored the house for about six months, showcased his previously unknown but highly developed psychic powers by immediately taking a renewed interest in the house. He now realizes that it can be a drive-thru window and alternately, he can eat in it. He requested that I join him there today. As with any house that has been vacant for several months, a pest inspection (using Andy's trouble light) was in order. After ascertaining that the only squatter was a dead ladybug, Sophie and I crawled on in and joined him. So the TV box lives on.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A First Word (Sort Of)

You know the scene in Shrek II where Puss In Boots, to avoid harm, looks up at Shrek with huge eyes, the picture of innocence? I see those eyes frequently. They are on the face of a little brunette, peering down from the high chair at her milk cup, now rolling across the floor. Never mind that the milk cup was hurled violently off the edge of the tray. A sweet, barely audible little voice intonates "Uh-oh"!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Injured Hero Crawl

You're watching a suspenseful movie, and the end is near. There's a fight between the hero and villain. The bad guy knocks away the hero's gun and disables him, leaving him for dead. The villain turns to the heroine and points a gun at her. There is dramatic, stalling dialogue. Behind the villain's head you see the hero crawl, using only arm strength and sheer determination, to reach for the gun. You feel his pain and empathize with his struggle. At the last minute, he obtains the gun and dispenses with the villain. Everyone lives happily ever after.

You know the crawl that consists of only arm strength and sheer determination. You've seen the desperate look in the eyes of the crawler. But what, you ask, does this have to do with my blog?

It's the Injured Hero Crawl, and it's Sophie's preferred method of transport these days. She also has a zero turning radius that would be the envy of even a Mini Cooper!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

What's so wrong with being a numismatist?

I'm all for collecting. I collected stickers in elementary school. I collected charms on those awful plastic charm necklaces in fourth grade. At various times, I've started coin, stamp and baseball card collections.

But apparently, I've been too limited in the types of collections I've considered.

Apparently, some people aren't fazed by expense, rarity, size or weight.

Apparently, I'm married to one of these crazies.

My husband has no interest in collecting books, stamps, postcards or even beanie babies. My husband has the following collections:

1) Houses

2) Cars (This is more of an aspiration at this point. However, in view of #1 above, I just realized that we have a total of nine garage spaces, so I live in constant danger that this collection will be launched. Thankfully, most of the spaces are leased to others.)

3) Arcade games, not to be confused with video games. We're talking about the full-size, cabinet models.

4) Jukeboxes. It turns out that this obsession encompasses, to a lesser degree, old radios and other music-playing devices, including Victrolas. No table-top versions, though - it's just huge floor models for us!

If I asked Andy about his other collecting ambitions, I'm sure the list could continue. But without further ado, the unveiling of his latest addition: Jukebox #5, a Seeburg 100J from 1955.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Best Invention I Never Came Up With

CLARIFICATION: Andy saw this post and said he thought I implied that we watch Baby Einstein all the time, which we don't. Sophie's probably seen it about five times. I was just remarking on its ability to captivate children of various ages and its profitability!

The Baby Einstein series has got to be the best invention since sliced bread. It's also a multi-million dollar company. How can such simple, low-budget videos entrance an entire generation? I don't know, but I'm glad it's here. Call it TV-as-a-babysitter, call it a substitute for interaction, call it mind-numbing if you want. It has its place (hopefully a small one) in a modern family. I salute you, Julie Clark.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just want to say that vacations with kids (especially multiple ones) have a totally different flavor from adult vacations and for many reasons can border on the insane. Reason #586: Most recently, we were at the beach for TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS! Depicted above are our condo's fridge and pantry. Mind you, there was much more food not pictured, on the floor of the pantry, the kitchen countertops and the freezer. Now, the Cokes are ours, and I've expounded upon Shelly's domestic talents in a previous post. They are partly responsible for the cornucopia of edibles you see here, but the kids deserve the brunt of the "credit" for this collection. It seems packing light, for now at least, is a thing of the past.

Friday, June 8, 2007

I really think this photo stands alone and says it all. No explanation necessary.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Pottywatch, Installment #2 (Subtitle: I Love POTTYTRAIN YOUR CHILD IN LESS THAN A DAY)

OK, I am writing this Saturday after the big Wednesday training session. I think I may have spoken too soon in criticism of the book. Although it didn't deliver as promised, I think it has been a huge help to us. Will hasn't been in a diaper except at night since the initial training. He spent Thursday and Friday at Mrs. Debbie's with only a few accidents. Mrs. Debbie is a Godsend in many ways, not the least of which is her patience and willingness to let me send an untrained child to her house in underwear! Today it is 3:00 pm and he has had only one accident. He is getting reminders to go, but I still think this is great progress.

Update: As I am posting this on Wednesday night, things are still going well. Will is still needing some reminders and having some accidents, but he still hasn't been in a diaper other than at night! Things are going well enough that I don't foresee us backtracking at this point.

If you talk to him, please congratulate him on his new skill!


Monday, June 4, 2007


Will and Sophie have a very good relationship. Will is quite loving, if sometimes overly enthusiastic, and Sophie thinks Will is fascinating and funny. Last night, Will was eating a grilled cheese sandwich while Sophie sat in the bumbo chair and ate squash and cereal in her typical messy fashion. When Will requested a refill of milk and I suspended her feeding to comply, Sophie, already in a delicate mental state due to fatigue, became hysterical.

Above her wails of protest, I heard Will ask clearly, "Are you crying, Vegetable Face?"

Will's also heard at least one, and probably multiple, family members use the word "stupid" - I'm not going to divulge any names as to the culprit (( MOM M! )). As anyone who knows our dog Ransom might guess, it's almost always in reference to her. So the other day Will, Sophie and I were in Kohl's when I hear Will sweetly singing to Soph to the tune of Frere Jacques, "Stupid Sophie, Stupid Sophie... Stupid Sophie, Stupid Sophie..." He obviously had no idea this was an insult, but I had to have my first "that is not a word we need to use" conversation.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Pottywatch, Installment #1

You know the saying about when something sounds too good to be true... The following was written back on Wednesday night.

I had my doubts about the 3-hour potty training exercise, but figured it was worth a shot. This morning was the chosen day, and I had all my tools assembled and my positive attitude resolutely in place. I had read the most relevant parts of the "Potty Train Your Child In Less Than A Day (Two Million Copies Sold!)" book multiple times and had it on hand for reference, and I even dropped Little Soph off at Mrs. Debbie's so all my attention would be on the task at hand.

We started strong with a productive visit to the potty. Unfortunately, after that we had trouble moving forward. According to the book, once your child successfully uses the potty, he should be so excited and take such pride in his new skill that he will begin to go at the mere suggestion that a potty visit might be helpful. From there, just bringing the potty up in conversation should be a good enough reminder, and after that, no reminder at all should be necessary. Now, I'm no expert on toddlers, but to accomplish this progression in half a day seemed a bit unrealistic to me. And let me say after experiencing today's events, in our case I believe it was an irrationally exurberant goal, as Alan Greenspan might put it. Just because Will CAN use the potty, it turns out, means neither A) that he will enjoy it nor B) that he will realize he needs to go prior to seeing a puddle at his feet. So that's where we stand now. If the typical child is trained in three hours using "the system", then rest assured that my child is not typical!

That said, I have a feeling for certain children at certain ages (and without a prior attempt at training to muck things up), this method might work quickly. For us, I don't think it was a waste. I hope I will look back in a few weeks and confirm that this was the jumpstart we needed. Although the day was not a smashing success, at least for now, Will is not in diapers. I think that would just confuse things further. He's asleep now wearing a pull-up but I plan to keep him in real undies as much as possible. We'll see if we're able to stick to that!

Wish us luck in this continuing endeavor.