Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fish Out of Water

The first year that we went to the beach with Austin he was about 7 months old. He enjoyed sitting in the sand and being dipped in the pool, but exercised his little lungs when we would take him down to the ocean.
Here he is staring at the water silently begging me not to get him any closer. When I did...
This was the result. So, the next day we tried again because Mark was determined that HIS son was not going to be scared of the water.
As he marched toward the water, Austin was screaming in protest and clinging to his daddy for dear life.
As you can see below, he was not the least bit happy about this introduction to the deep, blue sea.
But, nonetheless we made him pose for the camera in his fearful state. If you look closely, you can see a large tear running down his left cheek. (Sorry, but I have to take a minute and reflect on what an adorable little face that is, regardless of the tears.)
Anyway, we eventually realized that the problem was that he didn't like all the noise generated by the large waves crashing onto the beach.
Last year he was one and half and things were dramatically different. He just couldn't get enough of the beach. Here are a couple shots from last year.

It was a drastically different summer vacation, but we certainly had to keep our eye on him with his new love of the water.
That brings us to the most recent trip to the beach. He didn't really remember being there last year, but recalled an episode of a kids show he likes to watch where they went to the beach. So, when we talked about it he did know what we were referring to.
The first full day we were there, his grandma and aunt decided to take him and his cousins down to the beach for a walk. It was a cool day so they were only planning on walking. However, when I got Mia down for a nap and went down to meet them I immediately could see that Austin had his own plans for the morning. He was soaked, including his hair, and my mother-in-law had a look on her face that communicated it all. He had no fear and had made an immediate dash toward the waves. He didn't care that the water was cold, the air was cold and he occasionally got knocked down by the waves. It was all part of the fun. They had a VERY HARD time keeping a firm hold on him to keep him from getting into "trouble."
So, the next day I sent Daddy on the morning walk. They decided to take shovels and pails to encourage the kids to play in the sand not the water. But, just in case, this time they were dressed in their swimsuits not clothes.

Initially, Austin was having a great time playing with his cousin and collecting sand.
Then he and Daddy started looking for shells and putting those in his green bucket.
While they were down there looking for shells he decided that it would be fun to splash around in the water from the edge of the waves.
He then pulled Daddy a little closer to the water so he could do some better splashing. It was shortly after that that he looked at the water and he and the ocean had a conversation. It went something like this:

"Austin...pssst....Austin...over here. Look at me. Don't my waves look fun and inviting. Wouldn't you like to play with me?"
"Yes, I think I would."
"I will chase you up the beach and then you can chase me back down. It will be a lot of fun. I promise."
"Okay, sounds like a plan to me. Let me just escape from the grip my Daddy has on me right now."
So, that is when it began. The constant attempt at escaping from the tight hold of Daddy or anyone else, so that he could go play with Ocean.
He would run toward the waves and let them practically knock him over. Then he would run away from them as though they were chasing him.
His cousin saw him having so much fun that she decided to join in.

Then Grandma came to spend some time with Austin. She tried to encourage him to use his shovel and pail to play in the sand. I honestly don't think he could even hear her. As you can see, he only had eyes for Ocean.
Believe me when I tell you that he is a really strong kid. And he is solid and heavy. So, holding onto him when he is throwing his whole body toward the waves is quite a task.
Grandpa finally come over to lend a helping hand. Austin put up a little protest.

Then he made a great escape. You can see the joy of freedom on his little face.

Grandpa finally caught him and then decided that he would take care of the cousins and let Daddy deal with the fearlessness of Austin. The girls were a little less enthusiastic about the cold water.

But, they all had fun when the big waves would hit. Although the girls would generally try to stay above the water, while Austin would try his darndest to submerge himself.
Eventually the adults were worn out and tugged the children back to the house where they enjoyed sitting in the "not-too-hot" hot tub.
Shortly after that I came outside to sit by the pool. That luxury didn't last long because Mark went inside to eat or play video games or something, and Austin came down to the pool with me. There was a kiddie pool, but do you think Austin could manage to just play in that shallow water while I lounged on the patio nearby? No way!
The kid is a fish and wants to be in as much water as possible.
He would jump in without me hanging on to him, but at least I have managed to train him to hold my hands when he jumps in. I let him go under when he jumps but have a firm hold on him so I can pull him up quickly. He loves it!

Look at that face! Pure joy!
He loves to be in the water and really loves to spin in the water. The closer to going under, the better.
Believe me that pool water, though heated, was still cold from a rain the night before and I really would have preferred to sit in the sun and enjoy the warmth. But, who could say no to a face and pleasure like this? It was worth the sacrifice on my part. I love my little fish!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who You Love

Most nights Mark puts Austin to bed. Part of their nightly routine is to say a prayer for the people they love. Mark told me awhile back that when he would ask Austin who he loved and wanted to pray for, he would always mention monster trucks. So, being the good daddy that he is he would happily include monster trucks in the bedtime prayer.
Tonight I got Mia down to sleep before Mark was done putting Austin to bed so I headed in there to join in the bedtime routine. I only managed to make it in for the very end and it was time for bedtime prayers. Mark told Austin that it was time to say his bedtime prayer and asked him, "Austin who do you love and want to pray for tonight?"
Austin replied with his adorable little voice and total sincerity, "Chicken Little.... and monster trucks."
Fortunately, he also wanted to pray for Mommy, Daddy and Mia. But, according to Mark he always includes those other things he loves.
Oh, the workings of the toddler heart and mind!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rodanthe, NC

Last Monday Mark's brother was married down in the Outer Banks. The actual location was Rodanthe, NC where his sister and her husband own two beautiful homes right on the beach. Rodanthe is on Hatteras Island and is a quiet, beautiful place. We stayed in their house that technically sits one back from the beach, but has views of the ocean from every room. Below is the view from the deck outside the bedroom we stayed in.

Going to sleep and waking up to the soothing sound of the waves each day was so relaxing. If only I could have avoided having to wake up several times a night to feed Mia who had been sleeping through the night before the trip, it would have been the perfect.
Regardless, I love, love, love being at the beach. Having partly grown up in Florida it provides me with some great memories, peace like hardly any other place and of course a nice tan. If I didn't have so many pesky responsibilities I could just sit and relax listening and watching the waves all day long.
Here was another view of the ocean from the other end of the deck, looking down the beach.

Now seriously, can you blame me for staying down there a few days longer than we initially planned?

This is a picture from the deck of the house we were staying in, of their other house and the attached gazebo. As you can see, the railings were still adorned with the flowers and greenery from the wedding. The wedding party and of course, bride and groom, came through the gazebo as the made their way down to the beach for the ceremony.

The day of the wedding was a gorgeous day, the weather was perfect and it brought everyone to see this beautiful moment.

This was my first time attending a beach wedding and it was so special. The picturesque setting and music of the waves is a memory that will forever be cemented in my mind.

The only downfall was that there were some wedding crashers. The Tabanids were annoying, pesky and downright rude. They certainly were not invited and I think it is safe to say that everyone was wishing they hadn't shown up. I know you are probably sitting there shocked that anyone would do such a thing. Well, I must fess up that the wedding crashers weren't people, but insects. Tabanids is the scientific name for day-biting flies. These buggers were EXTREMELY persistent and were even biting the men through their socks. The poor bridesmaids were trying to stand there composed as they constantly had flies on their legs biting them. We are pretty sure that Mark's grandma who is 91 years old couldn't feel them on her stockinged feet. When the ceremony was over we noticed her toes were bleeding from the bites and we had to bury her feet in the sand to keep them from continuing to swarm on her feet. I have never experienced these horrible little creatures at the beach before, so I don't know if it was because of the time of year or time of day. But, fortunately the ceremony was short and that was the only hang-up.

We couldn't be happier to welcome our new sister-in-law to the family and were overjoyed to be present at the wedding.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Austin's Fascination

On the way to the wedding in the Outer Banks we were plugging along and eager to finally get there, when Austin spotted something that practically sent him into convulsions. We always pass this particular place and even stopped one time before, but Austin was too young to remember. Mark and I had agreed that we would make a stop there on the way home because Austin had been sleeping and we didn't want to wake him up. However, about 10 minutes before, he woke up and as we started to pass he caught a glimpse and said with a guttural growl, "monster truuuuuuucks." Mark and I cracked up laughing and knew that we would have to turn around and let the boy enjoy his own little wonderland.
So, what is this place. It is the "home" of the Grave Digger monster truck.

Austin could hardly wait for us to unbuckle him from his car seat. He darted out to see the trucks and in particular the huge wheels.
As you can see, the wheel well is big enough for him to comfortably sit inside.

Which of course, he thought was awesome. Don't be fooled by this calm looking face. The kid was taking it all in and stared in wonder at each detail of the trucks.

I don't know enough about trucks to tell you what part he is examining under this monster, but he was fascinated by all the cool, easily observable parts.

The view from the top of the truck wheels was great, but being up there was a little scary.

But, jumping down was a lot of fun. In fact I am pretty sure he wanted to do it "again."

So, he and Daddy decided to get up there together. Actually they were hoping to get into the truck bed, but it turned out that was a little more diffucult than it looked.

The one thing that was a little confusing and frustrating to Austin was why he couldn't push the monster truck like he pushes his trucks around at home. He tried quite a few times and we even encouraged him along with some other passersby, but it wouldn't budge.

For those of you who have never seen one of these beasts up close, Austin is 3 feet tall so that should give you an idea of just how large those tires really are.

Finally, I leave you with the monster truck world's version of a "hybrid."

Are they kidding??? This was not on display, but I was able to capture it with my zoom lens.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, after a 10 hour trip yesterday, we are home. It actually only takes about 7-8 hours to get to the Outer Banks from where we are, but having little kids no longer allows us to stop for fifteen minutes along the way and manage to eat, go to the bathroom and get gas all in one quick stop. My brother-in-law says that each child you have traveling with you adds one hour to the trip. Turns out he was right!
The kids did really well considering they had to spend the better part of the day in a car seat. Austin watched his current favorite movie "Chicken Little" and Mia slept and played with her car seat toys. We got home about 9:30 and both kids continued to sleep in the car while we unloaded and got their bedrooms ready with nightlights and such so they could go to sleep. We wondered what the night and morning would entail with Austin potentially trying to escape from his crib and Mia having averaged two to three wake-ups a night while we were away after having been sleeping through the night before we left.
I was hopeful but firmly planted in reality. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised.
Austin slept in until 8:15 and didn't even try to get out of his crib. He was happily playing, singing and talking to his stuffed animals in his bed for at least 30 minutes when Mark went in to get him.
Mia slept until 6:15 this morning and then went back to sleep until nearly 9. Now, what is funny about that is that Mark's mom had said a few weeks ago that she was sure that Mia knew when she wasn't at home. She had noticed that when we are at her house she looks around and is generally more fussy and naps less because she knows she isn't where she "belongs." So, go figure that while we were away she was waking up in the night several (agonizing for Mommy) times and napping here and there. First night back and she sleeps basically until morning and is now working on the second hour of her morning nap. She will probably be the kid who has to be picked up from sleepovers at midnight because she can't manage to sleep away from home. Though we are hoping she will eventually outgrow some of her high maintenance ways, she is continuing to prove to us that they are just part of who she is. Oh boy are we in trouble!!
Well, it is a beautiful day here and we are planning on taking the kids to the park and then coming home and making some cheeseburgers for dinner. Though we miss the sound of the waves and the beautiful view of the ocean, we are so happy to be home and back to some semblance of normalcy.
Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Great Escape

Well, it finally happened.
Tonight we put Austin to bed in his pack n' play (because we are on vacation) and left the room. He has always been really good about going to bed and just cozies up with his blanket and in time falls asleep. However, tonight as we sat relaxing in the living room, which is right off our bedroom in the beach house, we soon heard a strange noise. Mark looked over and saw the handle on the door jiggling. He got my attention and said, "Look at that!" I immediately started laughing...not sure why...because I knew what had happened. The kid had finally figured out that his confinement was not very confining and had hopped out. He asked me to handle it but I couldn't because I was laughing so hard. Again, I am not sure why I found it so funny because this is surely going to change our lives.
He finally managed to open the bedroom door and came out with a look of "I know this is wrong but I am two and I just figured out how to prolong or avoid going to bed. Oh...and I had a second helping of courage for dinner tonight."
So Mark got up and carried the little protesting toddler back to bed. However, on the way in he woke up his sleeping sister. Now it was a family affair.
I guess I should explain that for separation (and better sleeping for all) purposes we have Austin's bed in the large master bathroom. If we don't do that he wakes us up when the sun rises just after 5 am. So, for those of you who may think we are bad parents or at least have bad judgement in making our child sleep in the bathroom, sorry but sleep is critical to daily functioning and if that is the only way to get it then so be it.
Now back to the story.
So while I got Mia back to sleep, Mark put Austin back to bed and closed the bathroom door. When I got her settled I put my ear to the door and was certain I heard little feet on the tile. I opened the door and there he stood with his head bowed in shame, partially looking up at me. I told him it was time to go to bed and he said, "No way!" and started pointing to the light coming through the blinds and saying, "Light, Mommy." I put him in the bed, trying with everything in me to be stern and not laugh hysterically at the situation, and he immediately started getting out. I had no idea what time it was so I went out to the living room to find out. Of course Austin followed me and Mark gave me a "what is going on" look. I asked what time it was and he said it was 7:30. I said, "No wonder." I convinced Mark that the problem was that is was just too early for him and he needed to have some story time. Mark read him a couple of his favorite books and then I went over to take him to bed. Yeah right! He was not going to give in that easy.
So before going back into the bedroom and waking Mia up again, Austin and I went to a private corner of the room and had a "discussion" about what would happen if he didn't walk quietly into the room and STAY in his bed. He understood that I was no longer on the verge of laughter and did as asked. I reiterated the consequences after he got in the bed and amazingly he stayed there.
Now, the question is, "Will this new sense of adventure present a problem when we get home and he is in his crib?" He has always loved his crib and even gets upset when I lower the rail. We enjoy the confinement it offers so that he is not wandering in our room at horribly early hours of the morning or walking around the house unsupervised. I REALLY hope this is not a new chapter in our lives, but only a small blip on the radar because we are on vacation and the pack n' play does not offer a dangerous fall like the crib.
I guess we will find out in a couple days. Tomorrow's naptime ought to be interesting!!!

5:45 am - Little feet hit the bathroom floor and soon there is a little hand touching me saying, "Mommy, movie...tooee (Ratatouille)." I tell him it is still night night time and he needs to stay in his bed, but no such luck. I fear that he will wake Mia up and my day will start at 5:45 am, so I encourage him to get in the bed with me and go to sleep. (Up to that point Mark is sleeping through all of this...or at least pretending to sleep.) Austin then begins to squirm, play, talk and generally refuse to go to back to sleep though at times he just lays there because Mark threatens him. I finally give up on getting any more sleep at about 6:55.
My eyes are burning and my brain is reeling with thoughts of what this is going to mean when we get home. I feel like life as I know it is over!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Away From Home

Those of you who check this daily have probably wondered if I have dropped off the face of the earth or sustained some sort of injury to my hands leaving me unable to post, which by the way is one of my favorite things to do. I seriously have trouble falling asleep some nights thinking about what to write and how I will creatively write it.
Anyway, I am still on the earth and haven't injured myself, though I do have some nasty mosquito and fly bites on my ankles. You see, Mark's brother got married on Monday and it was a destination wedding. The destination being the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was a perfectly beautiful day for a beach wedding and I will share some pictures when I get home and can play around with them a little bit first.
We are having a great time, though the weather is not exactly summer beach weather. Today it was 68 degrees, but sunny and gorgeous and Austin and his cousins enjoyed running on the beach, getting wet in the cold water and then hopping in the hot tub. Last night we were under a tornado warning for most of the night and as the thunderstorms rolled through we enjoyed the light show displayed by the enormous bolts of lightning that cracked the horizon. We had planned to leave tomorrow, but have decided to extend our trip and stay into the weekend. It is nice to get away and Austin is really enjoying playing with his cousins. I have to admit that I am not getting much sleep because Mia, who was sleeping through the night at home, has decided to wake up several times a night (the girl is a such a homebody). However, though I am tired, the constant sound of the waves and that wonderful, salty sea air bring joy to my soul.
Tomorrow makes four years that Mark and I are married. We won't actually get to go out and celebrate our anniversary because we would have to take Mia and that would not make for a romantic, relaxing evening. But, we will celebrate where these four years have brought us and how blessed we are to be so in love and have two beautiful, healthy children.
When I get home I will fill you all in on the events of this week and also begin to tell you how Mark and I met and fell in love. So, if your romantic side needs a good story...stay tuned because though I am biased, I think our story is pretty remarkable.
I will try to post at least one more time before we go home, but the connection here is spotty so I may not have a chance. I checked my email this morning after nearly a week and had 137 new messages. Woah!
Hope this post finds all of you well and enjoying beautiful May weather!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Useless Space???

One of the nights that my family members were visiting Mark slow cooked some delicious chicken on the grill, and to accompany it we had corn on the cob. Austin LOVES corn on the cob and has even been known to snatch uncooked corn off the counter and dig in...though he usually returns the marred cob when he realizes it isn't cooked yet.
So, needless to say he was really excited about that night's dinner. He was running around the house doing a little dance and chanting, "corn, corn, corn."
When it was finally time to eat, he devoured his entire cob and began begging for more. We encouraged him to eat some of his chicken. He quickly began eyeing up the remaining corn on Grandpa's plate.
When he thought he wasn't looking he quietly reached over and tried to swipe Grandpa's corn. My dad caught him and Austin started to laugh. He said, "Austin, do you want the rest of my corn?"
So, being the loving and generous Grandpa that he is, he let Austin have the rest of his corn. However, I think that Austin soon began to realize that when he finished Grandpa's corn on the cob, there would be none left. It was at that point that he began to think about how he could make this wonderful corn experience last just a little bit longer. And the plan he came up with in his little toddler brain was that he needed a good place to hide a few morsels of corn for later. Good plan, but the choice of hiding spots was less than ideal.
Most of us would consider his choice of hiding place a completely useless space, but he found value in it. So, where was this interesting location?

That's right! His belly button. And he was diligent in trying to get as much corn in that little hole as possible. When one piece would fall out, he would carefully and patiently replace it.

It is safe to say that he managed to get at least four or five pieces tucked away. I really do believe that had we all not paid so much attention to him and his little plan, he would have pulled his shirt down and truly tried to save some for later.

But, ultimately he decided that he really wanted to savor it while it was still warm and he dug the buttery corn out of his belly button and finished eating it.

I can't wait to see what other lovely things he decides to save in his belly button. I guess at least for the next couple weeks I will have to do random belly button checks to make sure that he isn't "growing" anything in there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Strange Harmony

This past weekend my dad, stepmom, grandparents and sister were here visiting and meeting Mia for the first time. I will be posting several highlights of the visit this week.

Austin was thoroughly enjoying having all the extra people around and the first day he was here he was so excited he wouldn't take a nap. I went up to his room three times over the course of an hour and half and each time he just said, "Out...swing with Grandpa." I told him that he could swing after his nap but he just couldn't relax enough to fall asleep. Eventually I sprung him from his crib and told him he could go downstairs and swing. Although, on the way downstairs I explained to him that Grandpa was taking a nap and he would have to wake him up. Actually, Grandpa, Papi (his great grandpa), and Abuela (his great grandma) were all napping in the living room.

As we began to walk down the stairs he stopped and looked at me with a quizzical look on his face. I knew what he was confused about, but let him keep going down to see his reaction. You see, not only were they all napping in the living room, they were also all snoring LOUDLY. When Austin hit the last four steps he could actually see them snoring and turned around to go back upstairs. I said, "Come on. I thought you wanted to go swing with Grandpa."

"No, Mommy!"

I convinced him to stay there and he just stared at them with a combination worried/curious/shocked look on his face. He had never actually heard someone snoring before even though he and Mark play a game where Mark pretends to be sleeping and snoring and then Austin wakes him up by jumping on him. So this was fascinating, though somewhat frightening. You see my family tends to have rather boisterous snorers. When my sisters and I were young and we would spend the night at my grandparent's house, we would sleep on twin mattresses on their bedroom floor. When it would near time for bed, we would happily volunteer to get our pajamas on and go lay down so that hopefully we could fall asleep before they did. Because if not, it became a very lengthy battle trying to go to sleep with the endless, earsplitting snores coming from my sweet grandparents. (I truly wish I had a digital recording for you to hear it!) As Austin sat on the steps he became fully focused on my grandmother. Within seconds her head bobbed backward and she let off a loud, roar of a snore. He backed up a few steps and it took everything in me not to crack up laughing. Then my dad let off a louder than before series of snores and he looked at me with a look of utter astonishment at the harmony of noises emanating from the room. I finally couldn't help myself and I started to giggle. That sent Austin into giggling himself.

My grandparents woke up, but my dad continued to snore away. I finally coaxed Austin down from the steps and told him to go wake Grandpa up. As eager as he is to wake Mark up when they are playing the snoring game, he was less enthusiastic with my dad. He stood there whispering for him to wake up and gently tapping on his hand. Then my dad practically growled during his snores and Austin quietly said, "no" while shaking his head. My grandparents started to laugh and that finally woke Grandpa up.

Austin got his shoes on and went outside to swing for awhile. I remained in the house and got dinner ready while the other snorers resumed their chorus. It was a great reminder of some really wonderful childhood memories and though it is a silly thing, it made me so thankful that my kids get to experience the snores of not only their grandparents but their great grandparents too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Binky Update

Since the day after my previous post on the binky dilemma, we decided to be very firm and strictly limit the binky usage to bedtime. We also have only been keeping one binky around so that it is harder for him to "find" one when he wants it. And believe me...he is a sneaky little booger when it comes to trying to get a binky. He hasn't been able to have them in the car or any other place but in his crib at night. There were many tears initially and it was rough for maybe two days.
As I suspected, he has been talking a lot more lately and has found other ways to be soothed when he gets upset about something. In fact, there have even been a couple times in the last few days where he has told Mark or me that he doesn't want his binky at bedtime. (Hooray...a breakthrough!)
Today while I was showering I put him on my bed to watch a show. I came out of the bathroom and he was happily watching TV and sucking on...

his big, dirty toe! Let's hope that was out of boredom and not the desire to have a replacement for his binky.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So Sweet!

Now that Mia can interact with Austin a little more he enjoys that interaction and is making the most of it.
The other day I was changing her diaper and he came over and started kissing her on the head. She cooed and smiled at her brother. Then he said, "Law you Mia." Gosh that can make a Mommy's heart melt!

Austin loves it when Mia reaches out and touches him, so he will put his hand or face down near her. After this moment he said, "Hold hands Mia." Yet another super sweet moment.

Here she is touching his face which he loves. He usually starts giggling and then she really smiles. He can make her smile like no one else.

Hope these sweet pictures of my little ones make your day!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Yesterday was a beautiful day here and we took the kids out to go to the playground and run some errands. When dinnertime rolled around we decided to head to On The Border and get some yummy Mexican food. Austin is a big fan of ALL types of Latin food (his favorite being Cuban...of course). The great thing about On the Border is they have great children's meal options. Austin's favorite is a marinated, grilled chicken breast with black beans and grilled vegetables. This is by no means the size of a normal kids meal. It is usually enough to feed him at least twice. However, last night he was especially hungry for some reason.
After downing a generous portion of chip and salsa (yes, he eats spicy salsa), he consumed nearly an entire large chicken breast, half a cup or more of black beans, grilled vegetables, two cups of milk, and THEN most of an ice cream sundae. I honestly don't know how the kid didn't explode. And yes, the thought did enter my mind that consuming so much food could cause some kind of problem lately. But, hey, I chalked it up to a growth spurt and we headed home.
When we got home at nearly 8:30, I told Mark that I was going to go upstairs and give Mia a bath. Austin overheard me and begged to take a bath too. Mark didn't want to deal with him taking a bath, but I convinced him to just let Austin play in the water for 10 minutes while I bathed Mia. So, Austin was playing in the tub. I was bathing Mia. And, Mark was trying on some new jogging attire we got that day. I had just finished bathing Mia and was about to lay her down and get her dressed when Austin said, "cook fow you Mommy."
I said, "What are you going to cook for me?"
"Hot shocklit."
"Mmmmm, that sounds delicious."
I laid Mia down and started to dry her off. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Austin was standing up and had a cup and spoon from his bath cooking set. He set it on the side of the tub and was stirring vigorously and saying, "mix shocklit, mix shocklit Mommy." I told him it looked like it was going to be delicious.
I started to put Mia's diaper on her and I heard Austin say, "Uh-oh! Poopie in there." I explained that there was no poopie because I was putting a clean diaper on Mia, but he kept insisting, "uh-oh...poopie in there." So, finally I said, while not looking because I was attending to Mia, "Poopie in where?" And out of the corner of my eye I see him pointing toward the water and saying, "In there!"
I peered into the tub and began yelling for Mark. "Mark, get in here NOW!" He came running in saying, "Sorry I didn't hear you the first time." I explained that that was the first time. "What's wrong?" he asked. LOOK in the tub. (Then I started cracking up because I just couldn't help laughing at the situation.) There, floating in the tub, was an enormous turd. Mark shockingly said, "Where did that come from?"
"What do you mean, where did that come from? It came from your son."
"No way! That is a man sized turd."
"That may be, but nonetheless it came out of Austin."
Mark stood there staring at it until I startled him by saying, "Stop staring at it and get that thing out of there before it touches him or he starts to cry." Meanwhile, Austin was also staring at it in shock and wondering how he should react.
Mark started to scramble trying to figure out how to get it out. He finally decided to use a large tupperware container that we typically use to fill Mia's baby bath. Once that was accomplished he fished out all the toys and placed them in the sink for a thorough dishwashing cycle. He then had to rinse the tub, wash Austin, and finish getting, a now lighter child, ready for bed.
And what did I do you ask? I finished getting Mia dressed and retreated to the basement to watch TV and give Mia her last feeding. Boy was I glad that Daddy was in town!

Friday, May 2, 2008


One of my favorite things lately is listening to Austin on the monitor when he firsts wakes up from his nap. There is certainly no doubt that he retains A LOT of what he hears.
The other day he was reprimanding one of these innocent looking characters in his bed.
The "conversation" went something like this.

"No, no!! "
"Sit down."
"Don't tush! Don't tush! DON'T TUSH!" (I wish I had a recording so you could hear the way he says that. Don't touch in case you couldn't figure out the translation.)
"Good boy."
"La You" (love you)

I don't know what the culprit did, but he was reprimanded and then shown the appropriate amount of love.
It is amazing how when Austin is talking to his toys he can sound like two adults I know really well. I guess we have officially gotten to a point where we must watch EVERYTHING we say around him because he IS listening...though sometimes that listening is very selective. Before we know it, he will be telling complete strangers embarrassing things we would rather he not share with the world. I bet some of you can't wait for that!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Binky Dilemma

We have ourselves in a bit of a pickle with Austin. You see he has always had a special place in his heart for his binky. We knew the time would come when we would need to end this love affair, but it never seemed to be a good time. Two seemed to be a good time to "wean" him, but since Mia was about to be born and that would be a lot of change at once, we let it go. However, now we are getting closer and closer to two and a half and there are really no more excuses.
Especially since he shamelessly walks around with it as much as possible. Here he is displaying his favorite pink one. He used to be very agreeable to the terms of the binky which were to only have it while sleeping or in the car (resulting in sleeping). But, since Mia was born he has become outright defiant and wants it in his mouth all the time. He will walk up three flights of stairs to his room to find one when the mood strikes him. He wants to be a big boy and do big boy things, but not without his precious binky. Here you can see that he wants to wear Mommy's flip flops, but the fashion statement wouldn't be complete without the pink binky as an accessory.
Frankly, we are tired of keeping up with the binkies. Looking for binkies, washing binkies, retrieving binkies in the middle of the night, enough is enough. The tug of war must end! But how to go about removing them is the question.
We have heard people puncture the binky or cut the tip off, so it doesn't feel the same and provides less comfort. Then there are the poor kids in Africa who need binkies (well that is the story anyway), but he is too young to understand the whole logical reasoning route. The pediatrician suggested going cold turkey, but warned that it would likely be up to a week of "hell". But it does need to end because it may interfere with his speech, teeth, etc. Not to mention that he is so much cuter without one of those things in his mouth.
So, I ask you....any suggestions or opinions on this matter?