Monday, October 31, 2011

It's a little late

Do you all have a Halloween candy policy? It occurred to me, at our 3rd trick-or-treating stop, that perhaps we should have discussed this in advance.

Last year Ells didn't really notice what happened to the candy ... she liked to sort it all out, and had a few bites, but didn't really notice when it went into the cabinet and never came back out.

This year? Never gonna work. She literally told her grandfather, "Don't even think about it!" when he playfully tried to take some of her candy. She has a definite mental inventory of every piece in her bag. (She grudgingly allowed me to take away the worst offender in the 'choking hazard' category and she told her grandfather that the green candies 'weren't vegetables.')

She generally responds well to lots of priming ... if we talk about things for a few days in advance she behaves well and/or complies. Pretty much. Can I spring a new Halloween candy rule at this point?

Our nephew trades his candy in for a toy of his choosing, which I think works really well for them. I don't think it will work well for us after the fact, but maybe next year.

I've read about kids who get to eat as much as they want for a day, then no more. I think that is just pretty disgusting for an almost-3-year-old.

A three day rule? Toss it all after that? Might work ... if I hide it, she will forget sooner or later.

Keep it all and dole it out tiny piece by piece? I usually only give her 1-2 Skittles or M&Ms at a time anyway. (She did ask me tonight if she could eat her Snickers in the spring-time. Sure! Why not?)

We also live in a great new neighborhood and she got the motherload of full-size candy bars. Hmmmm. My hips don't need those, either.

Tell me your approach to this ... please!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Big 3

Any advice on good gifts for the 3-year-old set? Miss Priss has both a birthday AND Christmas coming up and I'm very short on ideas for gifts.

She really doesn't NEED anything, but there has to be something to open and something for the Santa list. We are at capacity on books and the most popular books lately seem to come from the library anyway. She has a play kitchen that she loves, but there are already enough accessories for a small nation. The new playroom does not have any more floor space for a 'big' gift. I was thinking about a balance bike, but it seems cruel to gift that in December when it can't be used for months.

Further, it seems that most toys are baby toys, for ages 1-2, or for 4 and up. She plays with plenty of things that are choking hazards (hooray for great parenting!), so that's not the issue, but I'm just not sure she would be interested in some of the board games and such. What age does the dress-up obsession start? I was kind of thinking of stalking the post-Halloween sales for some dress-up goodies.

I'm at a loss ....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do

Do you all have your bookcases and dressers and such tethered to the wall? I must admit that we missed that step in our baby-proofing. Even if we had done it before, we are in a new house now and need to do it all over again.

I have commented to friends that I have had to do MORE baby proofing in the new house, which doesn't make sense, except that the house is bigger and the almost-3-year-old is sneakier and she gets into things and I can't hear or see her. Chewing on a big button because it's "gum"? Yep. Playing with big scissors? Yep. Pushing chairs over to bookshelves and reaching to get things? Yep.

In the new play room we have a tall bookcase that is VERY tippy. It makes me nervous every time I reach for something off the top shelf. Ellen always asks for help and we are always close by, but still ... something bad could happen in a second. Even worse, another child playing at our house might not be so cautious.

Read this link on The Creative Mama if you are up for it. I find that I do sad things at work and it is hard for me to read sad things in my free time, but none the less, it's a powerful reminder that accidents happen to the best families with the best of intentions. Locally, a little boy died not that many years ago in a similar accident. I even have the wall tethers packed away somewhere in the house ... no excuses.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stick a fork in me

I'm done.

Day 4 of no-nap over here. Not for me, of course, but for the 3-foot-tall terrorist that lives in our house. Nap for me? Ha!

Why did I need her to nap so badly today? Well, there are the 3 days of sleep deprivation, of course. Also, though, the plumber is here to auger our basement main drain because our basement has standing water and floating sewage.


Kill me now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Get in the picture!

I've been working on a 2010 family photo book with My Publisher. (Yes, I'm a year behind. I'm over it). As I looked through hundreds and hundreds of pictures, I realize that I'm in only a very few. Thank goodness my sister is a good photographer, because I know she has some, but it makes me sad not to have pictures of myself interacting with Ellen, because she is the person I spend the most time with in the world!

I think I've posted a link similar to this before, but check out these tips:
Because You Were There, Too: Thirteen Tips for Family Self Portraits

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Worth repeating

Though I posted this on our family blog, I consider it a public service announcement.

I made a serious error in judgement this week. I took Ells to get some new colors and she picked the Crayola Twistables Slick Stix.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy these for your child. Or husband. Or self. I even knew better - I had tried to purchase them before at the Crayola store and the sales gal talked me out of it. That really sums it all up right there. They are like coloring with lipstick that stains permanently and doesn't dry. Awesome - right?

Well, I tried to talk Ellen out of it at the store and just couldn't without a scene. I let her color with permanent markers (I know - crazytown), so I thought this couldn't be worse. She has never colored on anything that she wasn't supposed to and I always supervise. Well ... the royal purple color stick slowly catapulted itself off the table and, in slow motion, I screamed NOOOOOOOO! as it hit the carpet.

I think you can guess what happened. And, it was totally my fault. After a whole lot of Googling (news flash: the Crayola "stain tips" don't really cut it), I thought I would try the good ol' Magic Eraser first. It totally worked!!

Mr. Clean, I think I love you.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I haven't heard anything about this documentary, but it sounds intriguing ...

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (click this to watch the trailer - worth the 2 minutes. Seriously.)

I guess it has won lots of awards - seems like a great story of sticking with your dreams.

(This culture today courtesy of The Observer's Very Short List. It is a daily email, if you want to sign up, of something fresh/new/undiscovered on the internets. I have found a few jems through them, things I doubt I would have stumbled upon otherwise. Doesn't everyone need MORE things to look at online??)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh, I get it

We had a rough week last week with Ells.

Fever for 4 days, no school all week, 3 days with grandparents (thank you!!) ... all this adds up to a girl that was whiny with a capital WHINE. Mostly just with me, of course, but it was/is maddening none the less.

My 'behavior modification' skills were seriously lacking ....

So, Monday begins - new week, new attitude?

At the end of the day, my mom asked me how the day went? It was surprisingly smooth - nothing special or different, but home all day. I did my thing and Ells did her thing, but we talked and spent time together and didn't run any errands or have to race anywhere (for the first time in 3 months)...

Oh - best behavior in 10+ days? I get it, thanks.