Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Checking in

So, my new job is...a new job. There's a new building layout to learn and new procedures to learn and the hardest part for me, which is the meeting of new people and trying to remember their names the next time I see them, which I hardly ever do (and short of using the demonic voice that House Bunny uses, I'm not really sure how to remedy this.) and oh, having to ask for the day off on the Friday of my second week. (Which they actually were really cool about.)

Landon is LOVING being back at school, yesterday it took me 15 minutes to convince him that we had to leave. Everyone was excited to have him back and see that he was potty trained. So much so in fact, that today - I got off earlier and decided to come home and then I'll go pick him up. Next week, I'm considering working out during this time. (Go ahead and laugh, I did.)

Only issue I have right now is that I can't access the website where they have the cameras at his day care from work...which sucks, but it's not like I was looking at him a lot anyway, and also everytime I tried they were mostly somewhere else in the building that I couldn't see anyway.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No other guy

So much for my margarita buzz, Landon came in second in the ultimate toddler fighting challenge cage match that we put him in, and all I got was a bunch of blood to clean up.

Actually I think he has started his journey in life as a true boy. The one all boys go through where they do stupid stuff to impress girls.

We went out to dinner last night to a local Mexican restaurant that has a playground and seating outside, it's one of the best places to go in the area with a toddler for a decent dinner and also not have to listen to the whining and crying.

Landon was a little rambunctious yesterday, but not terribly so. We always let him play on the playground pretty much unsupervised, he can't get out without passing us, and he's never really been a daredevil. We do a visual check on him every couple minutes or so, to make sure he's still there and still ok, but otherwise, we kind of feel like he needs his space and he's entirely comfortable doing everything they have on the playground.

I had just finished eating and was doing a spot check on him, when I realized, all I saw was his shoe. His horizontal shoe. I was not facing the playground, so I asked Clint if he fell. Clint saw a white shirt standing and said no, he's right there. I said, no I think he fell. I got up to go investigate. Fully expecting to find out that he tripped and was just overreacting to the amount of mulch he was covered in.

When I got to him, about a foot to the side of the ladder of the playground equipment, the white shirt Clinton had seen was that of a little girl asking "where is your mommy?" I still didn't know what I was in for until he looked up at me. His face and mouth was covered in blood.

He was already getting up himself, so I knew he was mostly ok. I scooped him him and carried him through the restaurant to the bathroom. I faced him slightly away from me, partly to keep the blood off my shirt, but it served in my favor when the guy sitting at the table closest to the bathroom saw us coming and jumped up to open the door for me. Not to mention the deer in the headlight looks I got from everyone else.

I don't really know how long I was in the bathroom with him, I know that the guy who opened the door's wife came in to to what she could to help. We cleaned him off as best we could, we got his nose to stop bleeding and the blood in his mouth went away (not sure where it came from in the first place, we thought he might have bit his lip or tongue at first, but maybe he just sucked some blood in when he was crying.)

She went at one point to get him some ice, and at that point Clint had already paid the check and was standing outside the bathroom with my purse - I guess ready to drive to the hospital if needed. And she told him that everything was ok and that it looked at lot worse than it actually was. By the time we had come out, Clinton had made friends with the guy who opened the door.

Landon was actually a lot more upset by the fact that I wasn't willing to let him go back out and play on the playground some more in his bloody shirt.

We still don't really know what happened. He says he fell off the ladder. He says he was doing tricks to impress the girls on the playground. He says he hit is face on the ground, he says he hit his leg on the ladder, he says he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing. He says his head hurts, and when you ask where, he says it hurts on the playground. Which is NOT helpful information. As I type this, about 30 minutes after the fact, Clinton is still a nervous wreck and Landon is singing and telling stories to his bath toys. His nose is crusty bloody still, and he's going to have a small bruise on his forehead. He's going to be fine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Surfin' Safari

On Monday I headed down to the Swamp to pick up my mom and then we drove out to Quintana.

Landon really liked the sand, he was not happy about the water trying to get him, or the idea of crabs in general, and also, would rather pee in a potty than on the sand, thank you very much. Which, yay! Except, Boo - the potties are way too far away, why won't you just pee on this dune?

We tried to teach him a little about horseshoes, and he figured out it was just easier to walk over and plop it right down over the stick.

I've been waffling back and forth about putting him back in Day Care this week. I've landed on keeping him home. I don't think I'll get anything done anyway, and I probably won't have another chance like this for a while. One of the things I have been working with him on is talking about his day with his Daddy when he gets home, a kind of day in review. And this was the first day when he volunteered information! I hope he'll tell me about his days at school now.
When I told him we wold be going to the beach he requested that we have a picnic, so here he is eating a (probably sandy) apple - this was a major highlight of the day apparently.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm just too tired to stretch this out any longer

So, when last we left off, we were at a baseball game on Wednesday the 8th. I'm going to try to catch up to semi-real time this week, so bear with me if it goes too fast.
That Friday we went down to LJ - or The Swamp as some so lovingly refer to it. We met up with my sister who has every other Friday off and we took advantage of the things that they have to offer that are free (except the Sea Center, because we ran out of time and the kids needed naps.)
Anyway - we played in the fountains, which Landon is STILL referring to as The Mountains.

He acquired someone else's bucket and then tried to also acquire their watering can, and was told he had to give up one or the other and he was lucky they didn't make him give back both, because really neither was his. This has led to the need to announce that every bucket we own is a good bucket to take to The Mountains next time. Got it, I was not prepared, moving on.
We went back to Grandma's to dry off and then headed out to the museum. Because my life has become trying to live up to the life of Caillou. And one time, he went to a museum and there were dinosaurs.
He was actually pretty afraid of the dinosaurs despite the fact they they have the glass case surrounding them so they can't get out (that wasn't always there, but I suspect they got tired of picking up the mulch that the kids would pick up from the display and throw on the floor.)

They had a small kids touch and learn something or other section and Landon and Zoey spent probably 60% of their time there. I don't really blame them.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Poor Landon. We should have dedicated a single day to his first baseball game. Instead we spent the morning in the time warp that was the zoo and arrived at the ball park with an overly tired toddler and two adults with low blood sugar.

We were in the second level, in the 3rd base outfield area. Right by a guy who thought he was the S$%& and was heckling Jones from the Pirates. Luckily the people on either side were mesmerized by our delicious toddler, and laughed heartily at the heckler guy.

The game was really fast - since the Pirates couldn't seem to even get on base. Which is not a complaint by the way - I prefer a fast game, and even so much better when the Astros win. 5-0.

Despite the full on tiredness of the afternoon, Landon was all happy and giggling, until I made him take a potty break. And also until he found out that we were not going to go down after the game and play baseball ourselves on the field. He told us probably 20 times, "but I wanted to go down and play." We told him we knew and we were sorry that we couldn't, but that if he REALLY wanted to play there he'd have to practice really hard, and be really really good at it and he might get a chance to play there one day.

After the game he was in no mood to stand by a giant baseball, or near Biggio or anything. We were simply the most terrible parents for not allowing him to go down on the field and play.
But if you ask him now, what we did that day, he will tell you we went to a baseball game and caught baseballs and then threw them. Even if that's not entirely true.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Train Ride

I haven't been on this train since I was a kid. It's so much bigger than it used to be. And the ride seemed longer. And I learned a lot about what's in Hermann Park. And it has like stops and stuff.

Apparently there are some Japanese Gardens you can go to for free, there's a splashy water park area and play ground. The new train station is nice and we showed up with no one in line practically and when our ride was over there was quite the crowd.

Landon was a bit confused because we had told him that after the zoo we were going to a baseball game, and since the train makes 3 or 4 stops, at each one he asked "We're at the baseball game?" And then I made him stand by the engine and pose and he was tired and we were CLEARLY not at the baseball game, but back where we started.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Offer made, offer accepted

I will start work on the 27th.



Do you know where to go when you want time to stand still?

As it turns out, when it's 100° outside, and 400% humidity, the Houston Zoo is where time stops.

Clinton took off work on Wednesday so that we could take Landon to the zoo and we also got tickets to a 1:05 Astros game. So the entire time we were sweating our hineys off at the zoo, we kept thinking, man, the game's gonna start in a few minutes and we're going to be really late, and ...oh, nope, it's only been 10 minutes. Well, surely by now it's getting close to lunch time. Oh, just 10:30, you say? Hmmmm. The ENTIRE TIME we were there, felt like that. Only worse.

I didn't get any really good pictures because even the animals were having a terrible day. This bird happens to be in a 8x8 pen and that's the only reason it was close enough for this shot.

This is some kind of piggy...birdie bank.

And here's a kid who is trying really hard to a) not go out to the car yet because he's afraid he might fall asleep if he's still for 10 seconds and b) not go to the potty even though it's been 2 hours and his mother is insisting that it's time for a freaking potty break already - if not for him then for her!

It wasn't a SUPER bad time or anything, but we definitely learned our lesson about when you go to the zoo. As in - not during the summer. Our next Zoo trip will be in the fall or next Spring, because I remember our May 2008 trip being so much more fun than this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Does anyone know what this plant is?

It was at the Zoo. It was a bush. Clint was intrigued.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Children's Museum, Part B

So, last Monday I decided, with news of my impending employment, that our time was better spent playing with each other and spending money while we could instead of frugally trying to stay home all day or just go to the park and the library and swim in the back yard.

I have to preface this by saying that the only memory I have of the Houston Children's Museum was a faux grocery store, and so I kind of balked at the fact that it was going to cost me $7 for each of us to get in and $7 to park (assuming I stayed more than 3 hours, which at $7 a head I was going to.)

But holy moly was that place great.

I made the initial mistake of allowing him to turn off at the first exhibit instead of going to the one that reaches capacity first, and in doing so, we never did get into that exhibit - since you can't pull a 2 1/2 year old away from something fun to stand in line. Or, I guess you can, but you and all the other people in line will regret it. So we still have a pretty good section that we didn't even get to see.

One of the first things he found was a maze thing where you use 2 cranks to move a wooden square holding a ping pong ball over holes in a board to drop to deliver the ball to any given hole. Actually I think the goal is NOT to have the ball drop through the holes, but for a 2 year old I think dropping it in the holes is a better goal. Whatever, I'm making up my own rules here, who's gonna call me on it?

We probably could have spent the entire 5 hours there. But we moved on.

The water area was neat - if very wet.

They had this part where they have pipes like the PVC pipes he has at home, except when you make a pipe structure and stick it on the one in the water it will actually spit water out the end of your pipe- which is way cool. Or at least I thought so, he thought the balls that floated and the boats were more interesting.

There were several places set up to give puppet shows, and he did just that at each one.

There were some awesome building blocks that I should have taken a picture of the name of because I totally want some. For him, you know, not that I need a fort or anything, but I know exactly where I...I mean, he could build one in the guest room, you know...for him.

In the invention area we made a rocket, a race car, and a paper airplane. Here he is seriously setting off our rocket.

We stopped for lunch, um who eats their corn dog this way?
And we spent some time in the toddler area, which was pretty boring and we decided to go back to get as wet as we possibly could before we left. Or at least that was his plan, it sure wasn't mine.
Our only issue came when I tried to make him use the potty every 90 minutes. So it might not be the best place to go while potty training, but it was still fun none the less, and the bathrooms had electrical plugs that a person could recharge her camera battery for the 3 or 4 minutes she was in there if that person had forgotten to charge it before leaving the house and if it kept dying on her...if you know anyone like that. Ahem.
All in all, I give the Children's Museum of Houston 2 thumbs up. And I think the $7 entry fee for everyone over 1 is totally worth it. Although - I think a person needs to be 2 1/2 or so to actually enjoy the exhibits just because they do take some fine motor skills, otherwise you might as well go to the mall and play on the indoor playground.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Children's Museum, Part I

They have a line of these giant children on each post down the side of the museum.
Me: Hey go stand in front of your favorit kid and I'll take a picture of you.

Him: Ok [I'll show her, I'm just going to stand in front of the very first one, because I'm a teenager in a 2 year old's body.]

Me: Raise your hands up like the kid.

Him: No

Me: Please? It'll be a cute picture.

Him: I'll raise my shirt.

Me: No, not your shirt, your arms.

Him: I will give no cute picture moments to you, lady!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Public Toilet Tour 2009

We started our quest to visit every public toilet in he Houston area a couple weeks ago.

So far we've seen 8,534. And we even peed in most of them.

So as not to jinx anything, I don't want to tell you about how great it's going or anything.

The hardest part is breaking away from what we're doing every 90 minutes or so to take a potty break. We're just busy, ok?

I am not confident enough to let him just wait until he has to pee yet, so we do try to pee every hour and a half or so. And while he will generally tell me when he does have to pee, if he's into something interesting he may not mention it until it's, you know, like already coming out!

I may have also created a small monster when we left the rec center on day 2 and he told me he had to pee. So I let him pee in the parking lot. And now, he wants to hold his pee until we're in a parking lot so that he can pee in the parking lot again.

And admittedly, I have allowed him to pee in the parking lot, on the back porch, in the grass, and various other places. Not because I want to create a habit of this, but because he steadfastly refuses to stand in front of the potty to pee. He wants to sit. So I think if he stands to pee enough, he'll discover that standing to pee is awesome and may be ok with doing it in the potty that way.

Housekeeping notes:

I am still technically unemployed. However, all those good vibes you sent out did work in my favor. The company is in the works of making me an offer, but the president, who approves all offers is travelling, and so their approval process is being greatly slowed by this fact.

My stress level has gotten much lower and I have taken a new approach to being home since I know that an offer is on the way, so where I had shuddered at the idea of spending any extraneous money previously, we have done a lot this week that did actually cost a small chunk of change. I do assume that I will accept this offer.

We went to the Children's Museum on Monday, and the zoo and an Astros game (Landon's first) on Wednesday. (Posts with pictures to come, but I have limited time as, Clifford is only on for so long and then we have to get ready to go to the library)

And now, the dogs need out, so they can bark at the neighbor's roofers.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monthly Newsletter #33

Dear Landon,

This month has been an eye opener for me in so many ways. You are truly growing up to be a full size person. Complete with thoughts about the way the world operates and how things should be organized.

I got laid off this month, so the very first project I decided to tackle was potty training. Probably not the best choice, but it was my choice none the less. It’s taken about a week, but you do like your underwear better than your diapers. I’m actually having to fight you about putting a diaper on for naps – which is fine, except, that whole thing where you take naps on my bed and I don’t really want you peeing in it.

Your thoughts on underwear in general are interesting to say the least. You have a couple pair of boxer briefs, and every time you put them on you tell me. “Not babing soup, Mommy, unner-wears, not babing soup.” And nearly every time you put on certain underwear, you have to be reminded that the big picture does indeed go on the back – it makes you sad despite the fact that even if it was on the front, it’s not like you’d be able to see it after you put your pants on anyway. Logic is not your forte.

Being home with you this week has been an adventure to say the least. It started out pretty bumpy, I was extremely nervous about being home alone with you, I was afraid that since you were doing so well in day care that taking you out, only to have to put you back in would only cause problems. I decided that since I didn’t know how long I’d be out of work, I’d plan for a couple months worth of stuff to do. I tried replicating the day care’s system of one letter, one number, one color, and one shape each week. And also one big activity each day. Well as it turns out, you don’t so much care what starts with the letter L (except Landon, of course) and the color red bores you and can’t we just move on from this, you silly woman? So I dropped the more structured learning approach in favor of pointing out a few things here and there that you can tell me about.

One of my favorite things you do right now is to just stop what you’re doing and say “It’s time to dance.” And then you dance, a white boy side step, bouncing dance. Or you just start singing. Mostly you sing your “ABCDs.” And you call them that too. Even in the song “Now I know my ABCDs, next time won’t you sing with me?” Also, that last part isn’t an actual invitation to sing, because when I tried to join in, I got a resounding “Not you, Mommy, me.”

One of the things we’ve done this week is go to the public library. A bunch. As in, more than we’ve been since you were born, I’m pretty sure. We went on Tuesday to get the lay of the land. We checked out a few books, played with a few toys and headed out. At the check out line, you noticed a bunch of kids standing around a yellow funnel that you put your money in and watch it spin, on of those make a donation to the library kind of thingies. You were content to watch the other kids put their money in and watch it spin. On Wednesday we had story time and before we even went in you were already asking for money to put in the funnel thing. We checked out a few more books, and you were terribly upset by the fact that there were only 6 computers for children and 17,000 kids and I wasn’t willing to wait patiently while each one was allotted 60 minutes to play on the computer. By Thursday, you had given up on the books, it was all about those computers and the yellow funnel. Knowing that, I timed our outing differently and you did get to play on the computer.

This has been an awfully stressful week for me, and here’s hoping that it gets a lot less stressful in the coming weeks. You have been testing your limits with me, and I’m already on my last nerve, it’s probably not the best combination out there. SO I guess this month I’m just asking for you to have patience with me, and I will try to have patience with you.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A New Kind of Torture

No nap today. None. None at all.

We went to story time at the library. The theme of the day was buttons. And holy moly were there a thousand little kids there. And holy moly are 2 years olds the most non-compliant people on earth. Except maybe teenagers, and at least they have the decency to just sulk and give dirty looks. It was the loudest gathering with a speaker that I have ever experienced.

Landon was actually complimented on his behavior, which I can actually only attribute to the school thing, since I have next to nothing to do with it.

We did finally acquire a snow cone. Landon specifically asked for an orange one. They didn't have orange, so I asked if the mango was orange or yellow - and they guy told me orange. And he must be color blind, is all I can figure. But Landon loved it, so we're cool with it being the "wrong" color.

Aside from the nap and unwillingness to put on any clothes at the end of the day, I'd say we're making progress.