Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Other Side of the Zoo

The weather has been so hot and humid here that I find myself constantly coming up with excuses to keep Niall inside. "It's so buggy out there," "but 2pm is the peak of the sun's dangerous rays," "we'll go out when the moon comes up."

So I knew that I really had to make it up to him this week, when the weatherman announced "Low Humidity through Friday!" on Monday. We went to the zoo, even though it was in the upper 80s. At least it wasn't so muggy.

But this time was different than all of our other trips to the zoo. Niall was more attentive to what was going on around him; more interested...

in the animals? No, not so much. In things like this:

A frog statue
Bugs and Mulch
More bugs!  Now, this is what you come to the zoo for ;)

But this really was our best trip to the zoo yet, because the petting area was finally open.  We missed the chance to actually go in when the gates are open, but we still got the experience.  Naturally, Niall didn't want to take no for an answer and tried to unlock the gates-- no hesitation about the 1,200 pound cow on the other side of the fence. 


Niall waving to the cow


Can we talk about how cool alpacas are?  They're like a lama crossed with a camel with a big Donald Trump toupee on top of their little bony heads.  And they love to stare at you.  Niall loves to stare back :)


By the end of our seriously 1 mile downhill trek to the very end of the zoo (where this petting area was), I was really dreading the uphill walk to get back to the car.  I would crowd around the other 5 year olds under the cool mist showers every few blocks and just plant myself there for minutes, gasping for breath.  But I'd say it was worth it, and we'll be back again.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mommy Confessions

No joke, it has been 2 weeks since I've attempted a vegetable with Niall.  Horrible.  I'm ashamed, I'm disgusted, but mostly defeated.  This little guy would eat anything I put in front of him from 6-12 months old.  I pureed all of my own baby food and squeezed a fruit or vegetable into every single meal or snack he ate.

Now, at 19 months of age, he will eat any of the following:

  • Cheese
  • Cheese flavored crackers
Are you wondering where the rest of the list is?  That's it.  He won't eat anything else.  Occasionally applesauce, yogurt and sweet potato fries.  But it's hit or miss from day to day.

From 12-18 months, I would put a fruit or vegetable in front of him for every meal, just hoping he might go back to his old healthy ways.  I would make crazy casseroles and sauces that hid chopped or blended veggies so that he wouldn't know they were there.  I would smother veggies in cheese, drown them in soup, or hide them in a quesadilla.  Nothing worked.

I threw away so much food that I finally gave up in the last couple of weeks.  I still try with fruit, but veggies require a lot more effort and cooking and steaming, so I just got lazy.  Operation "Please God, let Niall consume one nutritious meal this week" came to a halt.  And so did any energy I had put into it. 

When I told my doctor about the situation, he suggested that I give him a kid's gummy bear multi-vitamin.  The things looks like gummy bears, taste like gummy bears and smell like gummy bears.  They're candy.  What kid doesn't like candy?  This kid.  He wants nothing to do with them.

But this morning was a new day.  I said to myself, "What fruit is not too tart, not too sweet, and not too bland?  Which fruit do I actually enjoy eating and not just force myself to be healthy?"  And sure enough, the lightbulb went off: "grapes!" 

Sure, he could choke on the skins, sure he's not supposed to eat them until he's two.  But I'm desperate here, ok?  So I decided it was worth the risk and chopped those grapes into little quarters to keep tabs on the skins.  AND HE POPPED THEM LIKE CHEESE FLAVORED CRACKERS!



It was nothing short of a miracle.  Now I just have to convince him that all this other beautiful fruit is just as good ;)


And maybe, just maybe.... a vegetable.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Flashback Friday

This is a flash wayyyy back to the day Niall was born. No wait, typically this would be the photo taken a few hours after a baby is born. But I typically miss these important moments and have to re-create them by doing a fake version of what was really supposed to happen.  This was about 4 days after Niall was born.


I love this picture because I look really happy, somewhat put together, and you can see Niall's little face. But it makes me laugh when I think back to the real story behind the taking of this photo.

So, as most of you know, I ended up with an unexpected c-section after 40 hours of induced labor. The result of that c-section was about 18 hours of complete fog. I honestly don't remember much of anything from that first day with Niall. And I had to stay in the hospital for about 5 days to recover from the surgery (and since Niall had a little jaundice).

As we're packing up to go home, with less than 24 hours until Thanksgiving, I realize "I don't have my mommy and baby picture!!!" But I'm already dressed and ready to leave. So I quickly slip back into my hospital gown, jump back under the covers and force Matt to take a picture of us.

While I'm trying to get myself situated and recreate that brand new mommy emotion, the nurse comes in the room and kicks us out. She tells us that they really need to move the next mother in to the "suite." Matt is naturally mortified that we're taking up anyone's precious time and tries to bag the whole snapshot operation.

But this lady wasn't having it. I earned my cute new baby picture, dangit! I had my stomach torn open with my arms pinned to a cross and couldn't walk for 5 days, thank you very much. WE'RE TAKING THE PICTURE! So I told the nurse we'd be finished in a minute and tried to wipe the frustration from my face as I grimaced a threatening "Take the stupid picture, Matt!!" through pursed lips.

And guess what? I got my special moment captured perfectly. And I don't regret one minute of the way it went down. This picture brings back wonderful memories of how we got off to a bit of a rocky start; things didn't go as planned by any means, but it was all just the way it was meant to be :)





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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday + Giveaway

Little Table Monkey



**And hey, it's my first giveaway!

Just leave a comment below and I'll select someone to receive a free copy of this really cute board book from www.wonderdads.com.  It's called "Goodnight, Dad."


Good luck!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bugs

I never thought I'd see the day.  We've discovered something that has captured Niall's interest as much as trains.


Bugs have officially taken over.  We still play with trains, of course, but the second we set foot outside, Niall drops all of his trains and starts screaming "BUG!!" 

Bugs are now the prime focus of sidewalk chalk, we stop and squat every 2 seconds on the way to the car to see if there might be one, we look on the windows, the tree stumps.  We don't let a bug go unnoticed around here ;)



There might not even be a bug there, but he's just expecting it now.  Ever since he saw ants crawling in the cracks of the sidewalk, he just assumes that is where they will always be. 




He saw a potato bug crawl under the door of our shed one day and he still runs up to that door and eagerly points, hoping that I will open it and that same potato bug will be sitting there.  Obviously, that's where he has to be, right?

It's really cute watching him get so excited about it.  I can't wait to show him a lightning bug when it starts getting dark earlier.  He is going to go nuts.  It has really been fun watching him take on favorites and learning what interests him.  He's really becoming his own little person now!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!



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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Social Media

An Ode to Social Media

Oh, social networking....
you are the bane of my existence.
Nobody cares that I'm making a PB&J sandwich.
Nobody cares that I'm cleaning up another wad of crusty baked beans of the wall.
Nobody cares that I'm LOL'ing or OMG'ing what my BFF just tweeted.

But you have somehow managed to weasel your way into my daily routine and are now sucking the life out of me.

I don't have time to think of witty status updates, ok?
I don't have the energy to post interesting links and comments 10-20 times per day.
I don't feel like copying and pasting my blog content on 50 different networking sites every time I write something.
I don't want to sign up for services that allow me to manage 50 different social media sites at the same time.

Just leave me alone, ok?

Can I just blog and not network?
Can I just say I'm not into tweeting, facebooking, flickring, digging, deliciousing, linking in, pinging, and whatever else is out there?
Can't I just continue quietly stalking other people on Facebook and not take part in the conversation?
Does that make me a bad person?
Doesn't the 1-2 hours of brain juice I spill each day trying to write an interesting post count for something?
Does the fact that I don't have a smart phone mean that I'm not smart?

Well, guess what, social media?  You're not outsmarting me.  I'm just not that into you.  So there.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chasing Shadows






**Father's Day Contest**

I am a big fan of the Make-a-Wish foundation, so I wanted to jump at this easy way to help:

Get WonderDads to donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation on your behalf! Simply register for our free weekly email featuring the best dad/child activities in your city at www.WonderDads.com. Whatever city has the most sign-ups, WonderDads will donate $1 for each person that signed up from that city to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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