Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh Deer...

While Jonathan and I were in West Virginia for Thanksgiving, my dad participated in his favorite pastime--deer hunting. Mom and Dad live on two wooded acres, allowing my father to enjoy his hobby literally in his backyard. I'm obviously not a hunting chick and I don't really get the attraction to the sport, but Dad loves it. Since the moment we told Dad that the ultrasound revealed that we were having a boy, Dad started dreaming of the day when he would finally have a hunting buddy.

Well, all that time he patiently raised my sisters and me has paid off. Jonathan at two years old has already expressed a love of fishing and, as of Saturday, an interest in dead deer as well. He had his first encounter on Saturday morning when Dad killed an eight-point buck and brought it back to the house. He wanted to take Jonathan to see it and Jonathan was nothing short of fascinated, walking right up to it and sticking his finger in its eye. He enjoyed the dangling tongue, too. I was a bit grossed out but it was already dead and he IS all boy when it comes to this sort of thing, so I just went with it.

So, pursuant to Dad's request, here are the pictures. In case it was not clear already, there is a dead animal in them in case anyone reading this is squeamish about that type of thing:

I may have a little outdoors man on my hands. I suppose before I send him off in the woods, however, he may need something other than a Ralph Lauren sweatsuit. I suspect, however, that my dad will take care of all of the details.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bye, Bye Binky

I hope I am not speaking too soon but the days of this:

may be over! Jonathan is almost two and a half years old and, before tonight, Bryan and I were fearful of the day that we would take the binky away. Jonathan gave up the binky fourteen months ago at school. Embarrassingly, we have not taken it away completely at home, although its usage has been limited to naps and bed time. I was talking to Bryan last night about moving Jonathan to a "big boy" bed after the holidays and that I thought it would be best to break Jonathan of the pacifier habit first. So, Bryan, who normally puts Jonathan to bed, said he would just tell him he couldn't find the binky and see how it went. I was not aware, however, until I actually heard Bryan say the words, he decided to try it tonight. Jonathan has, as I type this, been in bed an hour and a half and not a peep. I am afraid to say that it worked, but maybe...

Seriously, though, if it was this easy, I am totally going to kick myself in the you-know-what for not doing this sooner! If it IS successful, though, we just may be making a trip to Build-A-Bear this weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

At Long Last...Another Cake!

I took a hiatus of sorts from cake decorating. I really enjoyed the first Wilton's class but it was a lot of work to get everything ready for each of the classes. However, I decided to take the second course this month. It's a bit easier to prepare for class; since the focus is on flowers, we only have a make a cake for the final week. However, we are supposed to practice the flowers we learn, so I volunteered to make the birthday cake for one of the girls at work. Last week's featured flowers were apple blossoms and violets:

If nothing else, it will really stand out amongst the pumpkin and pecan pies that people are bringing for tomorrow's Thanksgiving lunch!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


First off, everyone must check out this website. It allows you to generate a whole array of fun things--alphabet soup, fortune cookies, etc.

The point of this blog, though, is biting. I need some input. Here is the situation: Jonathan is by far the smallest kid in his class. The fact that neither Bryan nor I break the 5'4" mark obviously was the cause of that. It does not seem to bother him in the least. For the past three consecutive school days (Friday, Monday and Tuesday), his teachers have reported to me that he bit a kid in his class. Each time, it was while they were playing in the block "station." This concerned me because I thought he outgrew the biting phase long ago. Each time, I talked to him about it, as did Bryan. We explained that he needed to tell the other kid to stop or that he didn't like it and, if that didn't work, to tell Darla or Deborah. He understood and repeated it back to me.

This did not seem to work in practice, however. Yesterday, Debra stopped me on the way out to tell me that it happened again. But this time she told me it was the same kid all three days, which we did not know, and that Jonathan was, in fact, using his words to tell the other kid to stop. He even told Ms. Debra after that was not successful. But then she reported that as soon as he went back to the area, the same kid started bothering him again and so he bit him. Bitten kid apparently screamed bloody murder but then returned to the same thing--pestering Jonathan. Debra told me this other kid just would not leave Jonathan alone.

The reason I need input is that I felt oddly comforted by the knowledge that my son was not the instigator but rather was trying to defend himself. I obviously do not want him to bite, but I likewise do not want him to be the whiny, crying kid when some other child pesters him. My dad, when told of this scenario, seemed quite proud of Jonathan's self-defense mechanisms. I am not really proud, but I am also not as bothered by the situation as I was before I knew all the facts.

So, do any of you have any thoughts on this?? Any opinions or tips will be appreciated!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


As some of you already know, Bryan and I are geocachers. Shanna-Lynn did such a good job of explaining what geocaching is HERE. The only think I would add is that anyone interested in learning more should check out the official geocaching website. I have not gone nearly as much in the past two years for obvious reasons, but it is an activity Bryan and enjoyed pre-parenthood and one that I have anxiously awaited Jonathan being old enough to enjoy as well.

We had a nice (at least for November) day today and decided to head out to E.P. Tom Sawyer park with Jonathan to introduce him to the activity. It was the perfect place to start as there were several easy caches hidden in the park a few weeks ago for a sort of introduction to geocaching event that was held there. The terrain was pretty easy, too, and Jonathan was fascinated with the leaves everywhere.

Here we are headed out:

Jonathan immediately took to a stick:

Daddy and Jonathan find their first cache. It was a nice moment:

Daddy was nice enough to let Jonathan carry his super-expensive GPS as we walked. He kept checking back every so often to be sure that Jonathan hadn't decided to pitch it into a pile of leaves:

I just love watching the two of them together:

All that walking makes short legs very tired:

I think I may use this one on Christmas cards:

Our first experience as a threesome was great so I know we will be full-on come spring time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dinner Date

Saturday night we had a dinner date, but not the romantic kind. It was more of a play date with dinner thrown in as a bonus. One of Bryan's high school friends, Julie, and her family recently moved back to town after living in Indiana. They have two lovely children, Emma, who is five and Gael, who is two, just a few months older than Jonathan. Another of Bryan's friends from high school, Sean, came, too, along with his adorable kiddos, Cate, four, and Henry, who is a mere eleven days younger than Jonathan. It was really nice to see them play together! Jonathan was particularly happy that there was a train table involved, validating my Jonathan-needs-a-train-table-from-Santa obsessiveness.

The three amigos:

Jonathan and Emma riding around on a semi truck. I am sure it wasn't designed for this purpose, but they enjoyed it nonetheless:

Jonathan pretending to eat dinner while actually holding out for dessert:

Jonathan and Henry watching what I think was Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. At least I HOPE that is what it was as I am a huge Snoopy fan and Jonathan really seems to be enjoying it:

And here is how you get five children under six to sit still while five adults try to eat dinner--mass quantities of cookies!!

We had a great time and hope that Julie and Leonel will be kind enough to invite us again! Thanks guys!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What the ????

For some reason, although it is four a.m., I cannot sleep so I am doing a double post. This one is more of the venting variety so please bear with me!

As most everyone who reads this blog knows, Jonathan is in daycare. Before he was born, I laboriously chose a child care center where, I hoped, he could stay through preschool and until he started kindergarten. But for a few glitches along the way, I have been completely happy with my choice, although I have recently considered looking around at other preschool programs just to see what else is available.

All that was true until yesterday when I picked Jonathan up at school. They have little mailboxes in each classroom where you pick you your child's stuff at the end of the day--care sheets, artwork, announcements, etc. Yesterday in Jonathan's mailbox was a simple typed letter from the school director wherein it was announced that, starting April 1, 2008, they would require tuition paid in monthly installments due on the first of each month. Accompanying this letter was a list of tuition rates for 2008 which, like every year since we started at the center, have gone up, this time to the tune of $8.00 a week.

I was floored. I know it's not PC to talk about money, but I am going to be honest with everyone here and tell you that we do not have $836 a month just to throw out in a lump sum starting April 1. I know it is the same amount of money as paying it in weekly installments but since we each get two paychecks a month, it is at least manageable. I almost started crying. I wanted to go and talk to the director who, shockingly, was not there. I called Bryan and then my mom to vent and I have been stewing about it ever since.

First, I think it is pretty crappy to announce this on a Friday afternoon via a slip of paper tucked into a mailbox. Second, I think the director should have been there to talk to myself and other parents for whom I am certain this is going to cause financial difficulties. And last, I just do not get why this change is being made except for, perhaps, accounting purposes. Overall, I am left with with feeling that the center is too corporate oriented such that it just may not be the right place for our family.

So, starting Monday, I am going to start looking for a new place. I do not want to overreact and say we are moving, but this is definitely motivating me to look around. There are a couple of places I have in mind that are particularly attractive as the have two no-pay weeks a year (where we go currently, you pay the same tuition every week regardless of school closure, vacations, etc). If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest and I'm going to try to go back to bed now ;)

Trick or Treat

We met up with our friends Joe and Cindy this week for trick or treating as their neighborhood is the perfect locale for this event. Another couple and their three children came too so we had six kids total, ranging in age from five to sixteen months. A bit chaotic, but a lot of fun!

Jonathan and I practiced beforehand and he really seemed to have it down. But then, for some reason, the day of the event, he regressed to "candy, please" instead of "trick or treat" and "open it, please" instead of "thank you" after he actually received the candy. Luckily he's little and cute, so no one really minded...

Before we headed out, Cindy had a water bottle sitting around to use to fix her girls' hair. Jonathan, being a huge fan of anything that squirts water, was immediately entranced. Real postmen carry mace so I considered this a child-friendly version (I should note here that that the photos on this post are courtesy of Cindy and her Cannon Rebel, which is why they are much better than my typical feeble photography attempts!!):

Here is everyone in front of the house before the candy-gathering began. Needless to say, it is nearly impossible to get six children under the age of six to stand still for a photograph; one of the children is actually missing from this picture. Oh well:

And here we are at our very first house. Jonathan was unsure of the situation at first but he quickly warmed up to the whole walk-up-to-a-house-and-get-candy idea:

Walking to all those houses makes a kid tired, so Jonathan needed to kick back and chill in the wagon for a bit. No, that is not his wine...

Most of the time, he wanted to hold my hand, but when he walked with Daddy, it was entirely too cute:

In true Jonathan fashion, once it got close to eight and past his bedtime, he announced he was tired and ready to go home. We knew it was coming when he insisted on being carried. So, just like that, Halloween was over and we came home and he went right to bed. Onward to Thanksgiving...