And So I Cried

P'Dub says a lot of words. He talks all the time, communicates well, and is sometimes literally bossy. But, the kid won't give me a kiss for anything. If I ask for one, he'll walk over and stick his cheek out. Same goes for verbalizing anything affectionate. He's not the same with his Daddy, though. Nope, Daddy shits ice cream. Daddy gets kisses on the fly. Daddy is the bees knees.

But, today....today, Preston loved me for once! Jeremy was putting him down for his nap, while I was tending to some chores in the other room. I yelled out to Preston, "Have a good nap buddy. Love ya!" To which he replied, "LOVE YA!"

A couple minutes later Jeremy walked into the room I was working in to find me sitting on the floor, head down, crying my eyes out. Those were the sweetest words Preston has ever muttered.

He loves me! He really loves me!


Preston's Christmas Story

This Christmas, all the little dude really wanted was a bike! Which, as you'll see, he gets – amongst a plethora of other things!

Check out our December in pictures...from visits in Ohio with family and walking through holiday light displays, to making cookies and opening gobs and gobs of gifts, this Christmas had it all!

(Note from the author: This post has been back-dated and is written to reflect 'real' time. Due to the holidays and travel, I became significantly behind on updating the blog. So no, this post wasn't actually written on the date shown, you aren't crazy! As soon as I'm caught up, these little disclaimers will be removed!)


Ohhhhh, the Irony

This morning, pesky little P'Dub was his usual toddler-terror self, destroying everything in his path. When the 'quiet' filled the house, I knew he was up to something.

I tip-toed back the hallway and found him steadily destroying the souvenir bag he received in October at his girlfriend Bella's birthday party. One by one, Preston was peeling the letters of his name off the bag.

Instead of Preston, the bag now affectionately says 'PEST'!


(Note from the author: This post has been back-dated and is written to reflect 'real' time. Due to the holidays and travel, I became significantly behind on updating the blog. So no, this post wasn't actually written on the date shown, you aren't crazy! As soon as I'm caught up, these little disclaimers will be removed!)


Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your families all the best this season!

The 3.5 of us!


10 Reasons Why I've Sucked at Blogging Lately

  1. Started Christmas shopping the day after my last post and haven't stopped.
  2. I forgot my blogger.com password.
  3. We were visiting family in Ohio for a little over two weeks and had limited internet access.
  4. I'm preoccupied with thinking of a theme for Preston's big-boy room.
  5. I'm preoccupied with wondering if our new baby will be a girl or boy!
  6. Every time I sit down to post, I remember something important I forgot to do.
  7. Deaths in the family. :(
  8. My free time is now nap time.
  9. Been working on darn Christmas cards – and have sent out about 70!
  10. I'm pregnant. And being pregnant is an excuse for everything!


Daddy's New Job: Half-Naked Rainforest Cafe Dude

Today I took Preston to Rainforest Cafe for lunch. We'd been there once before, but P was a little too young to really get into it.

Walking into the restaurant, Preston's mouth dropped wide open and a plethora of "Wows" and "Neats" fell out. He was pointing and laughing and making all kinds of animal sounds. Just darling!

We were then seated by an aquarium, and P'Dub proceeded to pick out all the 'Mommy' fish. (He must know something I don't, because I have no idea how to tell if a fish is male or female.) From our table we had a great view of two elephants. They opened and closed their eyes, flapped their ears, and blew their trunks. Preston, in return, made his own trunk noise.

Preston then noticed the ceiling, with all the twinkling stars. But quickly turned his attention to the primates in the corner making a huge ruckus. P'Dub clapped and cheered. He LOVED it....

...until the lights started flashing, sounds of thunder and rain filled the restaurant, and all the animals started freaking out. Then, little P panicked. I moved his high chair next to me, and he buried his face in my arm, holding on for dear life. Fortunately the storm passed; but Preston seemed a bit traumatized...

...until he spotted Daddy. Yes, Daddy was there! He wasn't in Ohio working; he was standing knee deep in water, practically naked, holding up a sphere reminiscent of a globe, with the words "Rescue the Rainforest" across it. Uhh, huh...Preston thought this guy was his Daddy, and everything was all better!

Preston waved to Daddy. Blew kisses to Daddy. Held his arms out to Daddy and said, "Up!". Preston was really glad to see his Daddy, and it didn't even phase him one bit that Daddy had turned bronze and lifeless.

I am definitely in support of Daddy's new job. Just look at Daddy's abs! Daddy is lookin' good!


All I Wanted Was A Backrub

Gummy Baby* meet everyone. Everyone, meet Gummy Baby.

We couldn't be happier!

*Gummy Baby affectionately refers to the uncanny resemblance between our little bean and a Gummy Bear in the 4-D ultrasound.



Last evening, Jeremy and I let Preston stay up past his scheduled bedtime, so that we could all snuggle on the couch and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Since P'Dub is only 21 months old, we weren't even sure he'd sit through a half-hour show. But, he did!

Preston shouted, "PUNKIN!" and "DOGGIE!" whenever they appeared on-screen. He also enjoyed Schroeder tickling the ivories. And when the commercial breaks hit, he would yell "Mote!" (which is short for reMOTE); thinking that the channel got switched.

I, for one, would have loved to switch the channel. Don't get me wrong, I know this is a classic. But I probably haven't seen it in 20 years, and I don't recall EVER watching it as closely as I did last night.

Those kids are mean and rude. If they aren't calling another kid STUPID or BLOCK HEAD, they are yelling in one another's faces or writing on some poor dude's bald head. That Lucy chick is a real asshole. And Sally isn't far behind her.

And what about that weird Red Baron footage? What every little kid wants to see is their favorite little Snoopy shooting up the enemy and being shot at – bullet holes in the dog box included – until he gets shot down himself. It seems a bit violent, don't ya think?

Plus, there is the sad story of Charlie Brown himself. This kid gets bullied the entire show. He gets an invitation to a party, but is told he was accidentally invited as his name was on the 'NOT INVITED' list. He wants to be a ghost for Tricks-or-Treats, but his costume is full of holes as he had trouble with the scissors. Poor guy can't get a break. And on top of everything, all the kids get candy, gum, and popcorn balls when they go up to houses, and Charlie gets rocks every time. Why? Why all the Chuck haters?

And last, but not least, the horrific ending to the show: THERE IS NO GREAT PUMPKIN. Are you kidding me? Could you imagine how upset your little one would be if they believed in something that much, and every year the pumpkin was a no-show. Linus waits every year in the patch, and every year he is let down. BUT, he never gives up. Go Linus!

The one and only nice thing in the story, is when that witch Lucy actually gets her brother out of the patch at 4:00am. He's shivering and tired, and she puts him to bed.

At any rate, I think I'll wait to watch this again with Preston when he's twelve.


Pop Quiz

Came across this 'warning' posted to playground equipment at a local park.

According to this statement, one could only conclude, that:

A) Canadian kids are more advanced than American kids.

B) American kids develop slower than Canadian kids.

C) Canadian parents aren't concerned about their children's safety, and let them do whatever they want despite their age.

D) Canada just wants to be first, so they grab at every chance they get.

E) I am a bad mother for letting Preston play on equipment he's
clearly too young for.

F) All of the above.

Hmmmmm....any other thoughts?


P'Dub is a 'Butt Man'

Bella's birthday marked a couple milestones for Preston. Not only was it the first time he'd been invited to a birthday party, but it was the first time his girlfriend (Bella) had a birthday!

Being a normal 20-month-old, Preston was unsure about what gift would be appropriate, what he should wear, and if he'd be the youngest chap at the party. After all, Bella is nearly four months his elder.

I tried to ease his fears. We picked out birthday gifts off the registry, so not to disappoint. Had his hair cut the day before the big event. And tried on a couple outfits, just to be sure he'd look as dapper as possible.

As we headed out the door, Preston was pumped and oozing cuteness – small bouquet of freshly picked flowers in-hand. The boy was ready to party! (But not too hard, I warned him of hangovers.)

Little did I know how much confidence the tot was sporting. Nearing the end of the party, I asked Bella to stand by Preston so I could get a picture of them together. Up until that point, Bella was busy entertaining guests, and Preston was solely interested in a toddler-sized car that was at his disposal.

Bella bashfully walked to Preston's side. It was instantly obvious how excited he was to see her – First he grinned, then ever-so-smoothly reached over and started rubbing her BUTT CHEEK. Nope, that's not a typo. P'Dub went out on limb, and boldly went where no 20-month-old has gone. He copped a feel. Watch the story unfold in the pictures below!

Image #1:
P'Dub going in for the kill, intently gazing into Bella's eyes.
Her eyes warning, "Boy, whatcha doin? My papa will hurt you!"

Image #2:
Bella's seeking reassurance, "Hey Mom, this is cool, right?"
Note that Preston's hand is blurry from the up/down/rubbing motion; and that his left hand is still on the wheel. (This kid will be a pro by 16!)

Image #3:
P'Dub pulled it off, and he's quite pleased with himself.
Bella's trying to play it cool, in case her papa is watching.


Does the Pacifier Cost Extra?

This is strikingly absurd and ticked me off the second I saw it. Seriously. Get another model.


I Want That!

Had I seen this costume last year, P wouldn't have been a turtle! Since it's bunting-style, he couldn't wear it now...UNLESS I cut out leg holes! ;)


Song Choice or Bad Pipes?

On the half-hour trip to P'Dubs pediatrician's office, he was in the best of spirits- pointing at passing trucks, waving at the drivers and drawing on his generic magna-doodle. As we turn off the interstate, I was less than displeased with the music selection, and started drifting through one preset to the next, finally landing on the theme song from Titanic.

I then took a mind trip back in time to college years spent at Ohio University. I actually saw Titanic at the old Athena Theater on Court Street. Yes, I wasted a couple hours of my life watching two people run around in water, but hey...I liked it.

Being that it's just me and Preston in the car, I start belting out a couple high notes- none of which sound good, but everyone knows you sing your best in the car. Verse after verse I realized I pretty much knew the entire song, without lyrical error. Oh man, the memories!

Nearing the end of the song I realize P'Dub is silent as a monk. So at the next red light I turned around to make sure he was okay. But he wasn't. My child was in pain and agony. His face covered in confusion. His brows furrowed. And both index fingers inserted into their respective ears.

Dang. Tough crowd.


The Need to Feed

For the last three weeks, my family and I have been on vacation. Faithful blog readers will know that we moved from Ohio to Seattle nearly a year and a half ago. This long vacay was well-spent with friends and family out East, and filled with a plethora of new memories. (So you see, I haven't literally been neglecting this blog...just "out of office" so to speak.)

While on this fabulous trip, one thing became blatantly clear, nearly everyone in my family is partaking in some sort of sugary, taste test experiment. A day didn't go by in which someone was 'trying out' a deliciously unhealthy food/snack/beverage on P'Dub. Sometimes the test administrator (i.e. aunts, grandparents, uncles) would ask for my permission, before offering the fare, but other times I wasn't awarded such a luxury. And sometimes I was asked, and then my response completely disregarded.

Tester 1: Hey little guy....Preston....Have you ever had fudge? I bet you'd like fudge. [Fudge now being inserted into babes mouth via testers hand] Mmmmmm. Yummmies. You like it don't you?."

Tester 2: Preston...Want to try some iced tea...Does your Mommy give you iced tea? Want some iced tea in your sippy?

Emmm, no and no.

Tester 3: Ooooooohhh....I know what he'd like. I bet Preston would LOVE a big piece of cake, or maybe an ice cream sandwich or some chips. Has Mommy ever given you walnut brownies...I bet you'd like them.

Me: He doesn't eat nuts. He's too small and can choke.

Tester 3: Well, we can just take those out now can't we! Get ready for nummies.

Tester 4: I think what he wants is a doughnut. That will make him feel better. Can he have a bite of doughnut?

Me: I don't think it's a good idea. His belly has been upset and I've just been giving him bland foods.

Tester 4: Well his belly isn't upset because of doughnuts. [Doughnut being inserted in Preston's mouth.]

This experiment must be nationwide, as I've seen it happen in restaurants, to my friends, and via word-of-mouth. Why do people (those who aren't a biological parent of the taste-test victim) feel the need to feed? What drives a person to think, "Hey, you know what would be fun? It would be crazy-fun to give this toddler a lot of sugar and salt and fat, and see if he likes it! Yeah! Let's see what we can find and fill the little guy up! Oh, I can't wait to see if he likes sugar!" When you think about this logically, isn't this odd?

Honestly, I think the testers were solely thinking with their hearts. They just wanted to make the little guy smile and say "Mmmmm", which most often is what Preston did. And in return, the testers were giddy and happy. And in return, Preston was bloated with diarrhea.

For the most part, I wimped out. I failed as a parent. I let P'Dub down, and allowed him to be stuffed with all kinds of crap. Not to say he didn't eat a lot of fruits and veggies as well, but this isn't my focus.

So I'm putting all you readers on notice. Forward this to your friends and family members. Get the word out that some of us mothers don't want our children to be taste-testers. And perhaps 'testers' should be more respectful of the parent, and abide by their wishes. Ask the parent if it's okay before pushing the food in the toddlers mouth. And if the parent declines your request, don't ridicule or give attitude, get over it. The world won't end because a 'tester' can't give a child apple juice- it's full of sugar, don't ya know! Us parents have our plates full with what to teach our children, and healthy eating habits is one. If a child is on the right path, let's keep them there.

If you must, liken this scenario to potty training. Let's say little Johnny was in the midst of going sans diapers. His training is going well. He's happy and likes that he's using the potty. And then a tester comes along and says, "Hey Johnny, wouldn't it be fun if you peed in your pants. I mean, just once. What will it hurt? Come on, why not? It's not like you are peeing in your pants all the time. Besides, who wants to waste their time going to the potty when you can keep playing and just pee in your pants right now!"

See what I'm saying? HELLO?!!! Readers, you are on notice.



Quickly, I just took a virtual stroll back in time via this blog. And wow! Things sure have changed.

The first thing I noticed is that I'm turning into one of those 'photo-bloggers'. I don't nearly post as often as I once did, and when I do, I simply upload a cute pic with supporting text, then publish. Yucky. I never intended the blog to turn out this way. Hmmmm. Looks like I need better blog fodder. Perhaps I should get knocked up again? YES! That's the ticket! Jeremy...are ya with me? (Yeah, didn't think so!)

The second thing I noticed is just how damn fast Preston is growing up. Yes, everyone always says it. Heck, I bet I hear it once a week from a fellow parent, or family member. But now I'm seriously taking notice, and just where did the time go? Where did Preston's massive cheeks go? And his chubby hands? And his baby face? And his tiny, baby cry? And his chins...he has only one now? And why doesn't he want to cuddle anymore? When did all this happen?????

The third thing I noticed is the birthday ticker. P'Dub is now closer to being TWO years old, than 1. HUH? In five months, our little tiger will be TWO! Is anyone listening??? TWO. I can't even deal. I want my baby back!

And last, but not least, I noticed how much I miss actually writing. (This kind of ties into my first paragraph.) I used to write about ME. Good ol' me. My feelings. My musings. I used to go deep inside of myself, and yank out the good stuff. But now I mainly write about Preston. And I get that, considering he is my day and night. But I wonder...Is it that I don't have the time OR when I do have the time, I'd rather sit on the couch with a beer? Probably a little bit of both. Maybe the days of well-written, thought-out posts are gone?

Hhhhmmmm. So much to ponder.


1-800-DNA-TEST Not Necessary

It's official. Jeremy IS the father of little P'Dub. :)

In addition to looking alike, both get equally excited about penguins!

(Click image to enlarge.)



as there are so many options floating around inside my melon, and I just can't narrow it down to one.

Here are a few I've been considering:

A. Shit Happens!
B. P'Dub Blamed It On The Monkey
C. Stay-at-Home Moms Can Have A Bad Monday, Too!
D. What's Wrong With This Picture?
E. But I Don't Have a Pooper Scooper
F. They Don't Mention THIS in Parenting Books!
G. I'd Like A Monday Morning Mulligan Please
H. At Least They Are Solid
I. P'Dub Really Does Give Two Shits About His Crib
J. Diapers Need Combination Locks
K. After Seeing This, Calling P'DUB 'You Little Shit' Is No Longer Appropriate. DANG!
L. Jeremy Will Be Soo Proud
M. I thought "Well, Shit The Bed!" Was Just A Saying
N. Why?


"Uh, Oooooo!"

Ya know, I knew this day would come. I saw it coming a mile away. And yet I was still shocked as hell when I stumbled upon shit tickets strung out into the hallway.

Time to ban P'Dub from the bathroom.


"Well, We Both Know He's Not the Tallest 1.5 Year-Old!"

...said Preston's pediatrician, Dr. Fox.

Weighing in at an even 24 lbs. and a vertically challenged height of 30.5", Preston has broken into the solid 5th percentile.

Woo Hoo! Go little man!


You Know It's Time to Hire a New Babysitter When...

1: You call the sitter 30 minutes after leaving to check on your son, and the sitter doesn't recognize who you are.

Me: Hi, I was calling to see how Preston is doing?
Sitter: {silence}
Me: This is Kate, how is Preston?
Sitter: Oh, hi!

2: The sitter lets the 17-month-old call the shots.
(Conversation continued from above.)

Me: So, how are things going? Has Preston calmed down?
Sitter: Well, he's back in his crib right now. That's where he wants to be.
Me: He's in his crib???? It's 5:30?
Sitter: After he ate he went into his bedroom and wanted in. If I take him out he cries.
Me: Well take him out and play with him. He can't stay in there.
Sitter: Okay.

3: The sitter shows signs of amnesia.
(Follow-up conversation 15 minutes later.)

Me: Hi, this is Kate. (Throwing her a bone here.) Is Preston okay?
Sitter: Oh yeah! He's fine. We're just playing on the floor.
Me: Okay? (Thinking she might elaborate.)
Sitter: {silence}
Me: Alright. Well I just wanted to check back in. I'll see you soon.
Sitter: {silence}
Me: Bye.

4: Upon returning home, sitter once again, confuses the hell out of me.

Me: Hey! I'm back...you aren't watching tv or reading,
what have you been doing to pass the time?
Sitter: Texting with friends.
Me: Oh, cool.
Sitter: Hey I wanted to apologize for earlier when you texted me
to see how Preston was doing.
Sitter: I couldn't text you back because my phone went dead. But he's okay.
Me: Um, actually I did get your text. {And didn't you just say you'd been texting?}
Sitter: Oh. You did?
Me: And for future reference. If Preston wants to stay in his crib, don't let him.
Me: He also likes to play in the toilet, but we don't let him do that, either.
Sitter: {awkward giggle} I ate one of your tangerines.



Two Reasons to NOT let Your Child Play with Your Car Keys While Grocery Shopping

1: You may walk out of the grocery store, only to find your trunk lid up, panic feature blaring, and people staring at your vehicle. (Not that this happened to me or anything...this morning, at Safeway, around 9:20am.)

2: Car keys are dirty, gross, yucky. (This is just common sense.)


Suction, We Have A Problem

Hey Mimi (P'Dubs grandmother)...remember that fancy-schmancy bowl you bought for Preston at Easter...the one with the suction cup bottom? You know, the toddler-proof bowl with the suction cup, on the bottom? Ringing a bell?

Well, I just wanted to tell you...the bowl works REALLY well.


Learning to Jump is Hard

P'Dub accidentally jumped this morning...catching about a half inch of air! Realizing he had done something new and cool, he 'tried' to re-create the jump.

Little dude jumped his heart out, but alas, he still wasn't jumping. The effort was there...he SOUNDED like he could jump five feet; and looked as though he could throw his back out!

'A' for effort little Tiger!

(Jeremy is off to the side jumping, trying to help P'Dub along.)


Preston and Bell Sittin' in the Tree....


Technically this is Preston's second kiss. His first kiss, also given by the sweet and lovely Bell, was given nearly one minute prior to this picture. The first kiss was awkward and messy...Bell's mouth was practically inside Preston's, as Preston's mouth was wide open while letting out one heck of a scream. At least he's tolerating it the second time around!


Congrats 2009 Graduates!

Today fellow readers, marks the end of a 9-week journey for three energetic toddlers. Preston, Kylee and Abby have taken preschool tumbling to a new level.

The three musketeers started out cautious, timid, and with little or no attention spans. Today Preston is quick on the balance beam and no longer fears the dreaded tunnel! Kylee does a killer bear crawl on the even bars and can work the parachute like no other. And Abby laughs in the face of a forward somersault over the mail box.

Preston, Kylee and Abby are now stronger, more coordinated, flexible and confident. They are little gymnasts!

Today I'm proud to introduce the graduating class of the 2009 Parent & Me Tumbling Class, spring quarter.

Congratulations grads! Well done.


Bathtime Not-So-Fun(nel)

Yesterday while giving Preston a bath he kept insisting on standing up - which isn't unusual. I think I sternly said "Preston, sit down!" about fifty gazillion times.

Preston would start to squat then stand back up. Squat. Stand. Squat. Stand.

Finally I realized the CLEAR funnel he plays with in the tub, was directly below him under the sudsy water...and the pointy part was sticking straight up.

Clear tub toys...so not the way to go.



So I've been in a mom-funk. Clearly, as this is the second blog post this month and it's already the 20th.

I've been slacking on the laundry - Preston wore size 2T pjs the other night because all his others were dirty. Sometimes he doesn't get bathed every other day, and I stretch it to the morning of day three - like today - where I caught a hint of ol' bum pits again.

I don't even feel like I'm teaching him adequately. Yes, we've been reading books, and he did learn 'arm' and 'leg' this evening. But I'm not 'into it' like I should be. So I declare, mom-funk.

Perhaps it's because I just turned an ugly 33. Or, the fact that I'm a bit homesick. And maybe it's because I can't find the motivation to get back on the eating healthier and exercising bandwagon. And it's spring and I'm out of shape and pasty white.

Uggh. Alas, I know this is mom-funk is temporary.

And of course, the little one isn't about to throw his mamma a bone. Nope, Preston's been testing my spirits and trying to break me down with consistent naughty behavior and unbelievably strong will. Yesterday I nearly lost it...you could have found me rocking back and forth in the corner humming a Raffi song.

Besides touching things he shouldn't (like electrical outlets) and throwing toddler-style tantrums, he's also been boycotting veggies. To which I thought I'd one-up him and serve ravioli Mini-Bites from Chef Boyardee for dinner.

Apparently those little bites have a full serving of veggies. This doesn't compare to steamed zucchini or baked potatoes, but like I said, Preston won't eat those right now.

At first reserved, Preston dug right into the pasta. Yes, with his hands...as he's also anti-mom-feeding-me-anything. Within minutes he'd devoured a healthy serving. And within minutes his tray, hands, ears, and face were stained an orange only an Oompa Loompa could appreciate.

Into the tub he went. After 15 minutes of scrubbing, his orange skin had faded to a lovely shade of jaundice. And a distinct oily ring was left around the tub.

I couldn't believe this??!! Can this orange stuff really be good to ingest? Shouldn't there be a warning on the label? Some sort of disclaimer to let the consumer know this crap is going to stain everything it comes in contact with?

So in my fragile mom-funk state, I thought I'd outsmart the boy. But giving him a canned meal only turned into an unexpected bath AND the cleaning of the tub itself. Ugh.

All I can do is sigh, and take a shot of whiskey. Shut my eyes, fall asleep, wake and do it all over again. Except without the ravioli, of course.


Surprise! Surprise!

I don't think a day goes by when Preston doesn't surprise me in one way or another. He's soo witty and smart...and ornery and sneaky! I never know what's next.

Why just last week I was surprised to find out he had TEN teeth...two of which were top molars he'd been hiding. And then there was the day he started putting the star shape in the star hole in his shape-sorting toy; usually he just goes for the circle. He also recently learned how to jump on the trampoline in his tumbling class - he doesn't get any air, but he's got the knee bending down!

This past Monday morning, when I 'thought' he was awake and ready to get up for the day as he'd been talking to himself for at least ten minutes, he surprised me once again. Upon walking into the room he became instantly silent. There Preston was, lying on his side with his monkey in-arm. Eyes shut, quiet as can be. Then all of the sudden his arm went straight up in the air - eyes still shut - and he started waving. Then he burst into laughter and so did I. Quite the little jokester!

The biggest surprise yet came this morning during bath time. My kid dropped the loaf of his lifetime in the water. Was I more surprised by the actual size and shape of the turd or the fact that he did it in the tub...I don't know?

Ahhh, good ol' surprises. Sometimes they are welcomed. Sometimes they are not.


15 Months Old...

22 pounds and a little over 29 inches long. Since birth, Preston's gained 15 pounds and grown about 10.25 inches. He's still kickin' it in the 5th percentile as far as height; and his head is still going strong in the 90th percentile. My boy has got the body of a lollipop!

The pediatrician said Preston's melon is large because his brain is growing nicely - this is a good thing, by the way - means he has 'smarts'. It makes total sense though. After all, Preston just recently discovered his left nostril. And while eating dinner, he likes to hold his left index finger up it; eating with his right hand only. Preston doesn't pick his nose, he just rests his finger there...during dinner...yep, big brain.


Preston: He's Gymnastic!

Today was the second week of Mommy & Me Tumbling class, but it was the first day I felt a pride I'm not familiar with. Everyone knows I think Preston is the cutest, smartest, orneriest, smartest, cutest, smartest, cutest, and shortest nearly-15-month-old I know. And yes, I love it when people at the grocery store comment on how cute he is, or the ladies at the dentist office think his teeth are darling. All this makes me proud to be his mother, not necessarily proud of him. There is a difference!

At the end of class today, as Preston and I were standing in line to get his "Wonderful" stamp from Mrs. Moss (his teacher), she commented that Preston had greatly improved since last week and that she could really tell a difference. And there I was, and here I am, a PROUD PARENT.

If there was a Proud-O-Meter above my head, it would have been full tilt, far right...it would have been off-the-charts-registering PROUD! My boy?! Improved in just a week?! WOW!!! Now that I think about it, he did walk the balance beam THREE times, and last week just once. He also did the bug crawl down the ramp like a pro. He still cried at the somersault attempt. But he wove in and out of the cones like an agility dog. HE HAD IMPROVED! In fact, I think he needed two 'Wonderful' stamps!!!

He's on his way to the Olympics folks. You heard it here first.


Some Bunny Get Me Outta Here!

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny started out well. P'Dub even gave the hare a high five...but that was before we placed him on the rabbit's lap.

So I'd say this went slightly better than the Santa saga.


I'll Tumble For You

This week Preston and I attended our first 'Mommy & Me' tumbling class at the local community center. Every Tuesday for the next eight weeks we are committed to learning the fundamentals of basic tumbling: trampoline, balance beam, log rolls, somersaults, crawling through tubes and over obstacles, and singing action-songs.

Our first class was both fun and exhausting. For the most part, Preston enjoyed himself. It was all new to him and I was amazed at his confidence - I thought for sure he'd cling to my leg the entire time. But since he needs my help, hence the 'Mommy & Me' part, I was never out of arms reach. He preferred crawling through the short tunnel and would only peek in the long tunnel. The balance beam was only fun the first time around. Somersaults and log rolls only brought on tears. And the parachute games and warm-up songs brought huge smiles.

I think this class is going to be great for both of us. Preston will learn more about how his body moves and works, and gain better control of it. He will become more social and develop flexibility. For me, I'm just going to work on stamina. I should be ashamed to admit this (and I am, but am also an open book), but I had sweat pouring down my back and butt cheeks. And mind you, the class in only 40 minutes short.

At the end of class Preston received a "Wonderful" stamp from the instructor. P'Dub was truly fascinated by it and kept showing it to me. However, in this picture I think he was over it. The vibe I'm getting is, "Okay Mom. This is the last time I'm pointing to this stamp. Yes, I'm cool. But we already know this. Let's not blow this out of proportion. It's a stamp. I'm sure I'll get one next week. Now can I please just finish my snack in peace already."

Boys. They have 'tudes too.


We've Collected Our Winnings

This past Sunday Jeremy, Preston and I finally suited up (not literally in suits) and drove to Sammamish - I love saying that name - to Just Because Studios in an effort to get our first family pictures taken.

I'd been so uptight about everything - the perfect outfits, making sure Preston didn't fall and bust his lip open again, being careful not to break a nail, or break out for that matter- that Jeremy said we were never going to do this again if I continued to behave in such a manner. And I'm like, "Hi, did we just meet? No." This is just how I operate.

Besides a few squabbles (one because I stupidly forgot the dang sippy cup) on the forty-five minute drive to the studio, we were in fairly good spirits. I was nervous, but figured I'd done everything I could to prepare us. We were all in check. All I had to do now was to make sure none of us tripped and fell in mud on the way into the studio. :)

We landed safely, put on our shirts (we wore our tees on the way over so not to wrinkle our outfits), and the shoot began. Melanie, the photographer and owner of Just Because, was great! She had our pre-determined shot list out, gave specific and clear direction, and had a number of fuzzy animals and quirky noises to aid in helping Preston show off his pearly whites.

He wasn't in a bad mood, he just wasn't in a good one. It's as if he was completely deaf and his attention span had dwindled into nothing. He was looking at the lights, the stuffed animals, outside, the doorway...everywhere but at Melanie. He also didn't like the sound of the background paper we were sitting on - I think it reminded him of the stuff at the pediatrician's office. To make the situation even more difficult, Preston decided he only wanted to be with Daddy. He didn't want me to touch him or hold him. Brilliant!

Despite the challenging 14-month-old, we moved rather quickly through the set list. Before I knew it it was time for Preston's wardrobe change and a snack of Cheerios. After the much-needed break, and a mysterious grouping of scratches and welts under his left eye, we continued.

Melanie, being a mother of two herself, didn't even break a sweat. She just went with whatever Preston wanted to do. She was totally calm. Jeremy was a little concerned. And you know me, I was nearly in freak-out mode. Preston, he decided to cry.

We moved 'Operation Family Pictures' to a nearby park. A change of scenery, a change of pace, and yes, still sporting the uncooperative baby. He still wants Dad. He wants to eat his snacks. He doesn't want to look at the camera. He doesn't want to smile. He wants to be P'Dub...ruler of all situations, the center of our worlds. And, he succeeds. And there was Melanie, chasing around P'Dub as he zig-zagged throughout the park...kind of like when you drop an important paper in a wind storm. And she thought nothing of it.

Yesterday I received an email from Melanie, allowing me a sneak peak of three shots from the shoot. Admittedly I was anxious, but couldn't stand not to look. And I couldn't have been more pleased. They were ahhhh-mazing. The pictures of Preston were adorable. Like I said, he was pretty much a busy body. But Melanie captured him at creative angles. P'Dub never was a straight-on, centered kind of baby anyhow! :)

The family picture brought tears to my eyes. It was the first time I actually 'looked' at us as a family. We don't have many pictures of the three of us, as I'm generally the one taking them. Plus, I wasn't all that comfortable in front the camera when still carrying a lot of baby weight. But here we were. All polished and pretty. My family.

And somehow I didn't look like a linebacker? It's no secret I have broad shoulders. Usually I look like I could tackle and kick ass in pictures, but here I just look like a Mom. And that makes me very happy.

[Pretend I'm standing up on a grand stage in a beautiful gown]
And I have all of you to thank for this moment of happiness. For the 'aha-this-is-my-family' moment. First I must thank my readers, family and friends for their loyalty and persistent voting, which enabled us to win the cutest photo contest. I must also thank Melanie of Just Because Studios, for being an outstanding and patient photographer; and for not wanting to kill me as I sent numerous emails prior to the sitting about clothing, poses, styles, etc. And last, but not least, Jeremy and Preston - thanks guys for not blinking.

Being a family rocks.


5 Mommy Must-Haves for Young Toddlers

Have a young tot? Yeah, so do I. And I think I'd go nuts without the conveniences of the following items.

1. PIZZA CUTTER. Quicker than a fork and knife, and can cut nearly anything. Except for grapes, really. Waffles, pancakes, slices of bread, beans, cheese, hot dogs, bananas, tomatoes...you name it, cuts your time in half.

2. PILLOWS. These work great to cover your face while you are laughing hysterically at your child, who just did something unruly or inappropriate, and you don't want him to see. For example, Preston knows he isn't supposed to get behind the curtains in our living room. I hide the cords to our floor lamp there. When he attempts to fool around with the curtains, I give him a stern "No touch." and a slap on the hand. Yesterday he started walking the direction of the curtains, with mischief written all over his face. Before he could even grab them, I said, "Preston. No Touch." The boy turns around, walks over to me, and starts slapping my arm. Here is where the pillow came in handy.

3.BIKE HELMET WITH VISOR. Aids in softening the blow of face plants. Also reduces their reach into cabinets, lazy susans, etc.

4. THE SNACK TRAP. Got Cheerios? The Snack Trap is an ingenious cup with a unique soft lid with slits in it. Kids can reach in for a little handful of grub and the cup automatically closes when they remove their hand. Reduces mess! (Thanks mbeans.com!)

5. ALCOHOL. Lots of it and different kinds. You never know how far your kid is going to push you. Some days it might be a "glass of wine day", others may be "a six pack day", or "a glass of scotch night."


Happy Bloody St. Patrick's Day

This morning Preston slept in until 8:30. I should have known something was up. He was cranky and whiny. Not his usual self.

After breakfast we played on the living room floor- puzzles, books, Little People, Curious George- the usual. He finally seemed like 'Preston' and started toddling around this way and that. Walking over and banging on the sliding kitchen door. Taking measuring spoons and spatulas out of the drawers. Typical P. Except he kept falling.

Stand. Step. Fall. Repeat. Which is completely odd, since he's pretty stable in his sock-feet. He was all wobbly and weak-kneed. Kind of like a newborn foal. Take two steps....man down. Get up...fall backwards...man down. Call me crazy, but I know it's because of his terrible haircut (see previous post). I can only equate this situation to that of a cat whose whiskers have been cut. Preston's equilibrium is off.

As expected, one of Preston's falls ended with a whimper. He looked up at me and there was blood streaming from his mouth. UNEXPECTED. His mouth, by the way, had a plastic water bottle lid sticking out of it. Not the kind off of a disposable water bottle, but a reusable water bottle...the ones with the spouts that pop up and down. Just great.

There weren't any tears. He wasn't crying. He just wiggled himself out from underneath the kitchen table, spat out the lid, and smiled. Have you ever seen a baby smile with a bloody mouth? It's not right. It's eerie on many levels, none of which I can explain.

It took nearly five attempts before I could actually see what was going on - the piece of skin between his front teeth (which are gapped slightly) was dangling. He'd ripped it AND tore back some of the gum on his front right tooth. Ugh.

I called the pediatrician's office and they told me not to worry. They rarely suture any mouth tear and explained why: "It's the worst place for a wound due to the all the blood flow in the mouth, making everything look a hundred times worse than it is. And because you use your mouth to eat and talk, it's also difficult to keep the wound from bleeding. But it's the best place for wound because it heals so quickly." The nurse also told me that if his teeth were lose, they would stabilize. Good gravy!

Can you say, freaked out?! I already have deep-seeded fears of Preston falling and knocking his teeth out. I have nightmares about my own teeth falling out. I'm just teeth-sensitive. And him being so unstable on his feet right now is not helping. I think it's time to put a bicycle helmet on the kid, and fit him for a mouth guard.

You are thinking I'm paranoid, right? But this is rational fear. And I must say it's warranted. After all, it's been nearly six hours since 'the incident', and Preston now has a scrape on his forehead, and a red bump over and under his right eye. All from falling. It won't be long before he smashes his mouth again.

Maybe I should put Preston in a bubble? It's the only way as far as I'm concerned. Either that or feed me green beer to calm my nerves.


Worst. Haircut. Ever. All. Mommy's. Fault.

I went slumming this afternoon and bought Preston a $9.00 (including tax) bargain haircut. This is the second haircut of his life, and the worst.

His first haircut, as most of you know, was at a swanky, kid-friendly salon. Jeremy and I threw down nearly thirty bones for the perfect cut, a lock of hair, and picture. But it was a milestone, and our first kid...yada, yada, yada. We had to do it. You all know the drill.

Anyhow, I've driven by this "family hair care" joint many times, and decided to pop in to see if they had any openings. Upon walking in I knew I had made a mistake, but wasn't quick enough to think of an immediate exit plan. The place was half nail salon, half hair salon and everybody was Asian (except for P'Dub and I). Even the music playing was Asian.

I sit down on the chair and place P'Dub on my lap. The stylist - and I'm using this term loosely - covers Preston up with a cape, but not me. Weird. I tell her Preston needs a TRIM, and with my fingers show her how much...which was about 1/4" to 1/2". I tell her I like it longer, just want his hair tidied up.

The stylist didn't say anything and started trimming away. Hair is flying in every direction. She's going fast. Really fast. Clipping. Clipping. Clipping. And she didn't even water his hair down???!!!

Next thing I know she's got the ol' electric trimmer out. Holy Hell! I panic and can't say a word (just like the time I rubbed shoulders with Jasper Parnevick at The Memorial). She's trimming around his left ear and his right ear. Whew, it's over. Nope, not so fast...she's shaving his neck. His poor little baby neck!

Okay, now we're done. Breathe deep breaths. Preston seemed freakishly stunned, but who wasn't?

Before I could finish buckling Preston in his car seat, the stylist already had her coat on and waiting at the register. I paid her, nothing was said, and she walked out and sped off in her car before we even left the building.

Which by the way, on my way out, I noticed a large poster on the wall with pictures of twelve kids. All the kids had different, outdated hair cuts and were assigned a number. This was so that you could tell the stylist which hair cut you wanted. And no, I'm not even kidding.

You know the ol' saying, "What ya get is what ya pay for". Well, we got ourselves a $9.00 haircut alright. It's uneven. Choppy. His neckline is a mess. His neck is a mess. Some hair is cut, some isn't. It's like he has mange.

And we have two weeks until family pictures. Brilliant.


My Hot Dog Has a First Name, it's S-C-A-R-Y

I don't care much for hot dogs. About 20 years ago I was told they were made from earthworms (ingredient listed as erythorbate). Since then I learned they were actually made from the lips and a##holes of pigs. Which is the real truth? I don't know...and furthermore, I don't want to.

History proves that hot dogs are pretty much a staple for young children. I pride myself on buying only 'turkey' dogs for Preston. Turkey just 'sounds' like the better option, plus they contain less sodium. And, my little guys loves them. I protest they are evil.

The dogs have a defense mechanism like no other meat I've seen. These dogs want to live, they don't want to be eaten! And once put in the microwave, will lite up as if they were made of foil (not worms or icky animal parts). The little meat pieces spark and crackle and are downright SCARY!

The first couple times I cut up the dogs, put them in the microwave, and sparks flew...I thought I was losing it. Sparking meat (or meat-like stuff)? Yeah right. But then Jeremy became witness to the sparking dogs and my sanity was once again redeemed. Hastily, I wanted to call up Jennie-O and give them a piece of my mind. Now I really did want to know what was in these dogs! My cool-natured husband, however, went to Google.

The sparking dog phenomenon is called 'arcing'. These dogs aren't angry, these dogs are made up of an uneven mixture of salt and additives that produce a charge when in close proximity to one another. The charge 'arcs' to meet the next closest dog chunk, usually causing the edges to burn. And this isn't good for the dog or the microwave.

So for all you new mothers out there, getting ready to feed your child his/her first dog, be advised. Either heat up the entire dog in the microwave, boil it or put it in the oven. Or, cook them on a grill. You choose, but keep the evil dogs out of the microwave.


Without Further Ado...

The Cute Photo Contest Winner is P'Dub!!!

We are soo excited and would like to extend a SINCERE thanks to everyone who voted. Without your votes this win wouldn't have been possible; and we wouldn't be getting FREE one-year photos of Preston and/or family portraits! And of course, we'll share the photos as soon as we get them!

You can check out the official contest page here.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
-Jeremy, Kate & P'Dub


Vote For Preston in The Cutest Baby Contest!

Calling all readers, and your friends, and their friends! I entered Preston in a local photographer's cutest baby contest and he is in the top 5!!! In order to win the contest he needs as many votes as he can get through end of day Friday, the 20th. Each person can vote once a day per email address (so if you have two email addresses, vote from both addresses)- and vote daily!

Please email your vote for kid #1 to melanie@just-because.com. And vote every day, once a day. And please let all your friends and family know as well!

To see Preston and the other cuties, click here.

Grand prize winner will receive a free sitting (a $100 value) and a photo package (including prints of two favorite poses) worth over $100! We haven't had his 1 year pics taken- so vote for Preston now!

So please, vote today, and vote every day until Saturday. Just email kid #1 to melanie@just-because.com now!


This Wig is Busted

No more baby mullet. No more baby flock of seagulls. No more "hippie"- that's directed toward you Pappy! Preston's wig is busted!

We went to swanky 'The Salon at Kid's Club' for P'Dubs first haircut, two days after his birthday. Check this place out! The salon is all decked out in a jungle theme, with fun seats - like a fire truck or a yellow cab - to preoccupy your child while his stylist works on his new do.

The fire truck wasn't enough of a distraction for P'Dub, nor was the unactivated cell phone the stylist gave him to play with. Nope. It was all panic and tears. So I held him.

Within five minutes it was all over. The stylist asked if she could put 'product' in his hair and I agreed. He looked so dashing, and I looked like a sashquatch covered in all his hair.

As a keepsake we were given a pre-cut picture (which the stylist took when we arrived), a lock of hair, and a personalized card with the date.

The BEFORE pics: (click to enlarge any photo)

The DURING pics:

The AFTER pics:


Top 25 Questions I'd Ask P'Dub...

if we were able to converse.

25. Will you really stop eating when you aren't hungry anymore?

Could you sleep or take naps without your monkeys?

Why don't you like cottage cheese? Is it the texture?

22. Have your ears ever bothered you when we've flown?

21. What's with all the grunting; and does it hurt your throat?

20. How is it that you are at peace with sitting in your own feces?

19. If you aren't really tired, why do you rub your eyes and yawn?

18. Which is more comfortable, cloth or disposable diapers?

17. Do you really think Daddy is cooler than Mommy?

16. Do you refrain from saying 'Mama' just to frustrate me?

15. Are you sick of the lullaby cd we play for you, every day, three times a day, since you were born? Do you need it mixed up or you are okay with the monotony?

14. Are there any outfits I put on you that you think are ugly?

13. What are your thoughts on the new babysitter?

12. Why do you throw your sippy cup on the floor, over and over, when in your highchair?

11. Do you dream at night? If so, about what?

10. Why won't you hold still when I try to cut your nails?

9. Do I ever make your bath water too warm?

8. And your diaper, do I ever put it on too tightly?

7. What are your thoughts on a sibling?

6. When it's time to potty train, would you be willing to go above and beyond, give it your all, and become successfully trained within a month?

5. And would you be willing to be potty trained by the end of this year?

4. Why is it you only respond to "No" half the time?

3. Regarding your reflux, does your tummy or throat hurt before you puke; and is it scary for you?

2. Why do you constantly take your socks off?

1. Do you think I'm a good mom?

BONUS QUESTION: When you are going #2, your head turning purple from pushing, and staring intently at me...what are you thinking? Am I just a focal point? Or are you saying with your eyes, "Mom, lay off the cheese for a couple days."


Even a SAHM Can Have a Crappy Monday

Let me just start off my saying I COULD had had the best night's sleep ever, had it not been for Preston actually waking up on time today, at 7a.m. sharp. Usually I have to wake him up, because the little guy has been known to sleep until 8:30 - but this really throws a wrench in our day. But today, he woke me up. And I was in a deep, precious sleep.

Half-asleep I go into his room to snag him out of his crib. He's all smiling and happy. The stench was horrendous. And the warm mist humidifier somehow thickened the unpleasantness in the room. THIS will wake you up quicker than coffee my friends.

Breakfast went well. P'Dub ate an entire Eggo Low Fat Nutri-Grain waffle with a wee bit of low sugar raspberry preserves. He drank his entire cup of milk, and shockingly was done.

So we weren't off to that bad of a start.

Fast forward... Upon waking Preston from his morning nap, I was once again welcomed with an I-Now-Eat-Big-People-Food diaper. Freakin' sick. Preston is none the wiser, although he really likes to flush his poo down the toilet. I welcome this activity though. I want him to think the shitter is really cool. Maybe this way he'll potty train easier.

After I changed him, I stopped in the bathroom to wash my hands. Preston is sitting in the hallway watching me. No, I take that back. There is splashing. Preston is playing in the toilet water. Back to the bedroom for a shirt change.

Finally I get in the shower. I feel icky just from being around all the poo-ness. Ugh. I wash my hair. Rinse. Condition my hair. Rinse. Body wash my hair. What the heck am I doing? Rinse.

And it's not even noon yet.


Noodling: Not Just for Hillbillys and Catfish

For those of you unfamiliar, 'Noodling' is the southern US practice of catching flathead catfish using only bare hands. A noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet, placing his hand inside a discovered catfish hole. If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver in order to try to escape the hole. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Here in the Pacific Northwest, I've got my own take on noodling. I noodle daily - each and every time I dare to give Preston a bite of food with my bare hand, I noodle.

Unlike catfish noodlers, I'm not trying to 'catch' my son, nor am I wanting to get bitten. I'm careful. I think I'm quick. But sometimes the darn kid chomps down with his baby bear jaws and my fingers get the brunt of it.

Another difference is that I don't run the risk of drowning or losing a finger. So I guess my kind of noodling is a lot safer.

Either way, I consider myself a noodler. Me and those crazy rednecks.


The 12 Month Reality Check

If you read my last post, you know about my emotional reservations regarding Preston getting physically bigger. As it turns out, I don't have much to worry about. Since birth, he's gained a mere 13 pounds and has grown only 9 inches. According to the pediatrician, P'Dub is in the 10th percentile. This means, height and weight-wise, he's only bigger than 1 in 10 kids. But he's thriving otherwise – and his melon is topping the charts in the 75th to 90th percentile. Go brain!

So for now, he's little and cute. When Preston gets older and kids start picking him last in gym class and stuffing him in lockers in the hallway, it won't be so cute. There's nothing to worry about medically; he's little just as I was at his age. And you all know that currently I'm nowhere near the 10th percentile!

The pediatrician also alerted me to a couple other things. For instance, out with the formula and in with the whole milk. And not in a bottle...only in a cup. In fact, there should be no more bottles, except at night. And even the night bottles need eliminated by 15 months.

Holy crackers! Am I ready for this? Am I ready for no bottles? P'Dub is currently on the three bottle plan: morning, afternoon and bedtime (with solid foods inbetween). Knocking out the first two bottles won't be a problem. The night bottle will be the issue – at least for me anyhow.

I love rocking Preston in his nursery, listening to his Baby Einstein lullaby cd, cuddling, talking softly and giving him his bottle. It's soothing for both parties involved. But within the next three months I have to wean both of us. This is going to suck.

Another eye opener from the pediatrician: Out with the baby food. Say what? I'm solely responsible for his nutrition? I kind of liked it when Similac and Gerber took care of it. Besides, I can barely come up with dinner ideas for Jeremy, and now I've got three square meals and two snacks to provide daily!!! I'm doomed. Or, rather Preston is doomed.

The reality of Preston growing up is hitting me hard. It's truly bitter-sweet. It seems to me that as P'Dub gets older, there is always going to be something he'll grow out of that I'll miss (and I don't mean an outfit), and always something he's growing into that will be exciting. Like the bottles. I'll miss them. But I'm looking forward to the day he uses his own spoon.


Little Monkeys for My Little Monkey

One year ago today, at 8:45 a.m., my little monkey was born. He was tiny and pink (not unlike a newborn hamster, but bigger and his eyes were open). He was wrinkly and wiggly. And his movements were in somewhat slow-motion. He was the cutest little dude I'd ever laid eyes on.

*Tears* Yes, I've been a crying mess all week. It's not that don't want him to advance. I love it that he's social, learns new things every day, dances, gives hugs and kisses, and that he gives me that ornery smile when he knows he's doing something unruly. But I like it that he's little. I like his little socks and his little pants. His tiny tee's and small jackets. Physically, I like him little. Besides, calling him Mommy's Big Monkey just doesn't sound appropriate.

But even though he's little, he's still grown a lot. There is no way he could fit in his newborn clothes (although that would make for a great snapshot). He doesn't fit in his swing. And he doesn't want to play in his Exersaucer anymore...but that's just because he thinks he's too big!

So although this birthday is bitter sweet, it is his first birthday none the less and we celebrated. This time, the event was much smaller, with only Preston's friend Max, and his parents in attendance. There wasn't a theme, per say – although we had monkey cupcakes, and his gifts were wrapped in monkey paper. And we had one decoration, a "Happy Birthday" banner which hung from the exposed beam in the kitchen.

His birthday party was low-key. The kids played. The parents chatted. We ate. Opened gifts – Max got Preston a book and Jeremy and I got him cool sneakers with skulls, a piggy bank, and onesies...he didn't need any more toys). We had cake. Our guests left. We put Preston to bed. And then watched the hospital video from the day he was born.

*More Tears*

Cheers to Preston and to the next year of this parenting journey!

P'Dub is the Big 0-1!

Then and now...WOW! (Nostalgic post to come.)