Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our First Trip To The Dentist

I put off taking Will to the dentist like the slacker-type Mom that I am sometimes. I blew it off when the doctor told me, at his three-year appointment, that it was time for him to start going. I figured I had the whole year to schedule a visit. It's not like his teeth bothered him or seemed abnormal or anything.

Right before he turned four, I looked into pediatric dentists. I was afraid I'd be asked at his four-year doctor's visit if I'd taken him yet. (I figured there's probably some secret Parental Assessment page in his medical file - after all, I'd have a page like that if I were a pediatrician. I was fairly sure nothing had been recorded thusfar in the Crazy or Negligent column, and I didn't want to raise any red flags now.)

Even after I picked a dentist, I still neglected to call and actually schedule an appointment until after his 4th birthday, and the first appointment that worked for everyone was this Wednesday.

So we trekked into Caldwell Pediatric Dentistry (http://www.caldwellpediatricdentistry.com/)Wednesday morning, and found it to be a very nice, kid-friendly place. There was a little miscommunication about whether Sophie was supposed to see the dentist (she wasn't, according to me), but I assuaged my guilt by letting them see her too. (That way, see, if you AVERAGE their ages, they saw the dentist at age 3.)

Will was a fantastic patient. He sat in the chair and did everything they asked perfectly. I was very proud of him and almost teared up when I thought about what an independent little man he is turning into.

Sophie did not want to sit in the chair, but she let them clean her teeth with a toothbrush while she sat in my lap. She did not want the dentist to look at her teeth and clamped her lips together firmly. (I'm not sure if this works with all kids, but I've discovered if you turn her upside down, she opens her mouth, similar to the way a doll closes its eyes if you lay it down. This provided the dentist with a quick glimpse of her chompers.) I figure this visit was more or less a practice run, so no worries.

I was pleased with the visit. I thought it was basically going to be a PR campaign to make them like the dentist, but they really did clean the kids' teeth, especially Will's. They flossed and even took X-rays on Will. Everyone was very sweet and patient, especially Christen, our hygienist.

The dentist and hygienist reported that neither child had cavities and all of their teeth looked fine.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nightie Nites

The other night, as we were driving home from church, a commercial came on the radio for Nightie Nites (http://nightienites.com/) Plus Size Lingerie (Tagline: Curves are beautiful at Nightie Nites). It sounds like a pretty tasteful store and nothing about the commercial was objectionable. There was silence from the back seat. I should've known to be suspicious. During the next commercial, the following conversation began:

Will: Mom, why don't we EVER go to Nightie Nites?

Mom: Well, why would we?

Will: I want to go there.

Mom: Why?

Will: I want to see what they have there.

Mom: Honey, all they have there are ladies pajamas.


Mom: No.

Will: Why don't you go there, since you're a lady?

Mom: Well, their "pajamas" won't fit me. They're made for ladies who are just a little bigger than me.

Will: Oh.

The end, or so I thought. Then today, as we are eating lunch...

Will: Mom, if you got just a LITTLE bigger, then would you go to Nightie Nites?

Mom: Maybe.

Will: Mom, why do you have to be BIG and BEAUTIFUL to go to Nightie Nites?

I wondered which of my qualifications he was worried about. But I just laughed and changed the subject.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Please Remove The Pin From The Voodoo Doll

OK, whoever out there put the hex on me and Sophie after my post gloating about her potty training, your talents are extraordinary. Now please lift the spell.

After Sophie's first remarkable week or two, she has now been, for several weeks:

1) using the potty consistently when she is taken, and

2) NEVER telling us she needs to go unless she has already had an accident

And since I'm not exactly always Mrs. On Top Of Everything, this means lots of accidents, typically about one each day.

This puts us in the uncomfortable position of being:

1) way too far along to go back to diapers

2) not quite "finished", and

3) owners of lots of smelly laundry

So please, please remove the pin from the little brunette voodoo doll's abdomen.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Douglas Fir

Sophie has Douglas Fir, The Talking Christmas Tree, in her room. He also sings. Some of you might assume that he sings Christmas standards. Sophie disagrees.

"My Christmas tree sings Tinker Bell All The Way!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mother Goose, Mary and Directives to Parents

One night recently we hung out in Will's room before bed. Sophie was on the top bunk "reading" a Mother Goose book.

Sophie sung like (I imagine) a late-nineteenth century slave woman, "One for my masser... one for my masser..."

(Apparently this is the only line she knows of Baa Baa Black Sheep.)

(...and I never thought of the racial implications of this nursery rhyme until that moment.)

In the meantime, Sophie moved on to another page to sing, "Mary had a little sheep... Mary had a little sheep..."

A few minutes later, Will whined a little when Andy and I teased him while helping him get ready for bed. "Oh Will," I told him, "We are just playing with you!"

"I am a person," he announced, "I am not a toy, I am a person and I do not want anyone playing with me!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sophie's Wedding Photos

By the time we got to the reception, Sophie knew she had finished a job well done and could rest easy...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vic and Charlotte's Rehearsal

Just thought I'd share a few shots from the wedding rehearsal. Wedding pictures are coming soon!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Will-Bear and Sophie-Bear

I hate long children's books. I have tried to make a pile to hide stealthily away, deep in the storage closet, but somehow the pile never makes it deep enough, fast enough, and the books get put away again in Will's room.

The Berenstain Bears are a particular thorn in my side. I like the ones that rhyme, but the non-rhyming ones are forever long. I also think the series portrays fathers in a particularly negative and somewhat disrespectful light.

So tonight, I was saddened to see "The Berenstain Bears Get The Gimmies" at the top of the reading pile. A few pages in, I realized I could amuse myself by substituting "Will-Bear" for "Brother" and "Sophie-Bear" for "Sister".

Will didn't like this at all, since the cubs act quite bratty in the book. In fact, he thought I was jeopardizing the opinion of someone of superior importance to him right now.

With alarm, he cried, "Mom, stop!!! SANTA CLAUS IS GOING TO HEAR YOU!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I completely spoil my kids at naptime. We read five books and then lounge around in bed together. Sometimes I fall asleep along with them. I always feel guilty during my nap and afterward, because naptime is the only time I have to get things done without the kids. Accomplishing financial (computer) tasks and work check-ins is particularly crucial during naptime.

The other day, I was feeling guilty while lying on the top bunk with Will snoring softly beside me while Sophie slept peacefully on the bottom bunk. As usual, there was not only a whole house to clean, but also lots of smaller jobs waiting for me.

In my semiconscious state, I started to realize that this nap was possibly the best use of my time available. Sometimes, moms need to recharge along with their kids. More importantly, for once I felt deeply the swift passing of time and wanted to soak up this hour, so close to these two little sweet souls that I love so deeply. That moment is the closest I've ever come to understanding the wistful way older parents tell us to enjoy these "little years".

So here's to living guilt-free in the moment... and sometimes sleeping in it that way too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Interpreter

I'm sure Will thinks he is being helpful.

Occasionally, Sophie stumps me and for the life of me I can't understand what she is trying to say. I usually understand everything but one or two vital words.

Sophie: I need to get my slurpee ballow! I need to get my slurpee ballow!

Mom: What, honey? You need to get what?

Sophie: I need to get my slurpee ballow!

Will (supremely confident, speaking to me as if I am either mentally slow or non-English speaking): MOM! She is saying She Needs To Get Her SLURPEE BALLOW!

Mom: What's a slurpee ballow? Do you know what that is?

Will (as if I am crazy, with "of course not!" intonation): No!

Great. Thanks, Sweetheart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How "Bout Them Cowgirls?

Sophie loves her pink, western-style boots a whole, whole lot. I couldn't resist sharing this picture.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pottywatch: The Sequel

Since I carefully documented Will's pottytraining in a series of posts, I figure I should record my experience with Sophie as well. All too quickly, the memories seemed to run together when you have multiple kids.

In the last couple months, I saw a couple of signs that Sophie was ready to pottytrain, mainly 1) good communication skills and 2) requests to be changed. Additionally, she has always had Will's example, so I didn't think the toilet would be too intimidating for her.

I put it off for a few weeks, since we have so few days at home and we try to get out of the house most days.

Last Monday, Maddox was sick so I was unexpectedly at home with the kids. Since I'd made no plans, it seemed like as good a day as any to try to train her.

I couldn't locate "Toilet Training In Less Than A Day", but I thought I remembered the basics and what parts had worked best with Will. (We adapted the book's instructions as we saw what worked - and didn't - for us.) I located the wetting doll and her bottle and we got started.

Sophie had a few accidents on the first day, but always told me as soon as she had them. She loved her "un-na-na" (she really does speak clearly but she's gotten stuck on the "un-na-na" pronunciation) and she got lots of stickers for "dry pants checks" and those were a hit. (I used candy for Will, but Sophie is finicky and with Halloween so recent, candy is not such a special reward right now.)

I was impressed that when she was dry, she was very dry, and could stay that way for a long time. I was unable to get her to drink much, which would've been helpful so that she had more opportunities for success. The hardest part was that when Sophie didn't want to sit on the potty, *SHE DIDN'T WANT TO SIT ON THE POTTY!!!* There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Long-term readers, friends and family remember that she's been quite opinionated since birth and this doesn't seem to be easing.) Overall, I was pleased with the day.

On Day Two, I had to go to work. My parents had arrived Monday evening and received the thrilling news that they would be helping to pottytrain my child. By the evening, my mom was a little discouraged. Sophie had three accidents and again fussed about sitting on the potty. I really didn't think three accidents was a bad record at all, except that she didn't really use the potty until that evening.

Wednesday was a terrific day. Sophie had one very small accident and began to tell us when she needed to go. She went before and after class Wednesday night at church.

Thursday was accident-free. She was telling us when she needed to go and was able to go much more quickly once there. We were still having some false alarms, where she changed her mind about needing to go, but those seemed to decrease as the day continued.

Although I know we will still face challenges and have accidents, I am deeming her potty-trained until further notice!! I am thrilled at how easy this went. I hope it is not too good to be true.

UPDATE: One more week has passed, and Sophie is still doing great. She has had maybe two accidents all week, I think. I still can't believe how easy this went!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Does Mimi Laugh So Much?

The above was Will's question for me a couple of weeks ago when Mimi visited. I thought it was very sweet and am glad we all get to enjoy Mimi's sunny personality. I love to watch her "soak up" the kids while she is here, since we don't get to see each other as often as we might like.

We love you, Mimi!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sophie speaks clearly for a young two-year-old. Still, she is not without her idiosyncracies.

Recently I realized that she is nothing if not consistent. Hence, words that rhyme still rhyme when she says them, only with a reinvented sound. For instance, "cah-yahr", "stah-yahr", "guitah-yahr". Car, star, guitar - with added Sophie pizazz.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Typical Conversation With A Four-Year-Old With Perfect Hearing, According To His Pediatrician

I am looking at Amy's blog.

Will: Who is that? Is that Keaton?

Mom: No, that's Luke.

Will: Luke who? Luke Skywalker from Star Wars?

Mom: Does that *look* like Luke Skywalker?

Will: No.

Mom: It's my friend Amy's little boy.

Will: Whose little boy? Sara W*****'s little boy?

(Yes, Sara - he actually called you Sara W***** instead of Sarah Palin!)

Mom: No, Amy's little boy. Sara's little boy is named Camden...

Will: Sara's little boy is named what? Sandra?

Mom: No, Camden, and her baby's name is Scott.

Will: Oh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will on politics

"Mama, I am SO SAD that my President didn't win!" - Will Flanigan

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Due to the fact that she managed to both pee AND drool on her "BaowlerEENa", Sophie got to wear two different costumes this year. Early in the day, we took "Hippie Mimi" to the zoo and had a great morning. But by dusk, Sophie's costume was unsalvagable. Thanks to a consignment sale, we had a ladybug ready in the wings.

By the way...

Please note my Google ads to the right. Not so you can click through, but because they are unintentionally quite amusing, at least to me. A few days ago, my post regarding Will's fascination with Scotch tape resulted in an ad for tapewarehouse.com (or something similar).

I most recently saw an ad for bedinabox.com. I got a brief, big kick out of thinking this was related to my Halloween post above about Sophie peeing, but then I realized there was an earlier post about the kids' new beds.

Monday, November 3, 2008

2nd Annual Ring Farm Expedition

A few weeks ago, we visited the Ring Farm with a bunch of friends. Unfortunately it got dark before I took a group photo, but I believe there were 33 of us, about half kids and half adults. We had a great time and enjoyed the corn maze, pumpkin patch, firepit and particularly their new 40-foot slides (also known as drainage pipes)! Thank you to all of our friends who came with us!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Making Beds... and Lying In Them

For Will's birthday, we moved in a set of bunkbeds for him (thanks Craigslist!). We had an ulterior motive: we were hoping that the more plush mattress would be more comfortable for our little prince, and he would stop his nocturnal travels that inevitably end smack dab in the middle of OUR bed, his feet pressed relentlessly into my back as I cling to the edge of the bed, my head slowly pushed off the pillow.

As excited as Will was about his beds - and he tried to lure people up to his room for a week or two by saying, "Don't you want to come upstairs and climb my ladder???" - I think Rofie was more excited about her receipt of Will's old Ikea bed. We figured we might as well put the crib away since she was climbing out of it every morning anyway. The bed allows for a safer exit.

Note the 80's Barbie sleeping beside her.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Will's Birthday

For the second year in a row, we celebrated Will's birthday at the beach. We had a big party with eight adults and nine kids. I have more pictures from the party I may post later.

This year, I got smart and bought the cake in Destin instead of baking on vacation!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Caught In The Act (and Other Fun Shots)

These were taken on one of our first cooler fall evenings... Will and I had a lot of fun taking action shots while he jumped off the wall in front of our house.