Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Terrible 1.5's?

One of the secret pleasures that Wendy and I share is to witness parents who are newer than us, and laugh at their comments about parenthood. We chuckle when someone mentions that their baby had a dirty diaper - and it leaked! We snicker when a couple says that they can't wait until their baby starts to crawl or walk. And the REASON we get such pleasure, is because we were once them - aghast at the thought of a blow-out, or wishing for Fiona to become mobile.

That being said, I'm risking the same sort of ridicule from parents who have already raised toddlers - but I think Fiona is starting those Terrible Twos a bit early. She hit the 17 month mark last week, and has recently developed some traits that, quite simply, drive us crazy. These include completely changing her food preferences - one day she could eat a whole avocado or pineapple. The next day - no, the next MEAL - she wants nothing to do with either. She also has this nasty habit of hitting or slapping. Wendy or I will be holding her and we'll try to give her a hug, but then she pushes back and takes a swing.

But of all her new tricks, the absolute worst, the one that we would LOVE to end, is her whining. And when I say whining, I mean an annoying, aggravating, makes-you-want-to-wear-Bose-Noise-Cancelling-headphones whine. Unfortunately, she uses this whine anytime she wants something. Food, milk, a toy, a book, to be picked up - you name it, out comes the whine. And God help us if it's something she can't have - like a box of Kleenex or the TV remote. She gets going with that whine and fussiness, and she nearly whines us into submission. Fortunately, we have held our ground thus far.

Despite this onset of the "Terrible 1.5's," she still has us wrapped around her little finger. Tonight, after being bombarded with whines and fussiness during and after dinner, I was ready to put her to bed. I sat on the floor to take off her shoes, and she walked over to me, gave me a BIG hug and said "ohhhhhh!"

After moments like that, what's the big deal with a little whining?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Swing low...

To all you loyal Boldischar Blog readers - remember my posting from July 26th? I mentioned that we had bought a bunch of outdoor toys, including a swing. Well, I FINALLY got around to installing the swing on Sunday. This may come as a surprise to some, but I'm not exactly a handyman around the house. As a result, I made 3 separate trips to home depot to buy different supplies and gear to hang this swing from the underside of our deck. Then, it only took me about 4 hours over the course of the weekend to get this thing installed.

To be honest, Wendy and I had half-joked that by the time this swing was usable, Fiona would've outgrown it. Thankfully that is not the case. She loved being in it for the first time on Sunday, as these pictures show. After pushing her for about 10 minutes I stopped, and as the swing began to slow she whined and made the sign for 'more.' Yes ma'am! This morning Wendy was out pushing her for over 45 minutes, and had to stop because Fiona started to doze off! Needless to say, it was a well-spent $19.99.




These big smiles aren't just due to the swing - Wendy was making Fiona laugh and giggle. She loves her mama!!!

The Burns Clan

Saturday night we visited my sister Natalie and her family. The weather outside was perfect, so we spent a lot of time in the backyard. Fiona saw her cousins' outdoor play area, pointed to it and said "park!" Compliments to my brother-in-law Mike: the brat and cheeseburger were great.

Here's a nice picture of the kids posing. Fiona with her cousins, and two of their cousins on the other side - got that?

L to R:
Grace, Bella, Ruby, Ryan, Emma, Fiona

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy Weekend Entertainment

The weather has been miserable this weekend - pretty much non stop rain since Saturday morning. This has also been Wendy's weekend to work, so I've been struggling to find Daddy-Daughter things to do while stuck indoors. There are only so many books you can read, and the Wiggles DVD can only be watched so many times. OK, I personally think the Wiggles don't get old, but it doesn't do much for Fiona if we dance to "Hot Potato" a dozen times a day.

Enter the Eden Prairie Center Mall. Fiona and I went there yesterday to shop a little, but mainly to visit their Children's Soft Play Area. This is basically a big play yard for kids to romp around while their parents sit and watch. It's supposed to be for kids 42" and under, but I swear there are always fifth and sixth graders there, hopping around like a pack of spider monkeys. Also, with all of those kids - most of them barefoot - you have to imagine that there's about a zillion germs floating around. At least outdoor playgrounds get a little rain every once in a while to rinse off the kid germs. No such luck for your indoor mall playground - those germs stick around. Personally, I can't think about that too much, otherwise I'll get OCD and bust out the hand sanitizer every time we're in public. I say, if it doesn't kill your kid, it only makes 'em stronger - right?



After romping around the play area, I plopped Fiona in one of those kid's rides - like the merry-go-round or horse that they used to have outside of Kmart? In this case it was some sort of Clown Cab. And it wasn't a quarter like when I was a kid - more like THREE quarters. That's a 200% increase over the past 25 years - brutal.


Fiona and an over-dressed playmate




Where's Fiona? What a zoo. Note the arrow
pointing out one of the 6th graders that should
be kicked out.



$.75 for 60 seconds of "fun." I want my money back.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stick 'em up!

Last night we went to the "Touch a Truck" event in nearby Chaska. Basically, there were about a dozen different trucks and vehicles parked at the community center - fire trucks, snowplows, construction vehicles, etc. - and kids could get in them, honk horns, all that fun stuff. Plus there was face painting, ice cream, blah blah blah.

Wendy and I thought this would be a fun thing to attend, push Fiona around in the stroller for a while, see some other kids. We were not the only parents who thought so, because when we pulled up there were around a thousand cars - or so it seemed. People were parking on side streets, in neighborhoods blocks away, it looked awful - like the State Fair. The worst part was, as we were driving around the parking lot, and the overflow parking lot, all of these mommies and daddies were driving like complete bastards! I was cut off like twice, no one would even give a courtesy wave after cutting me off. All in the name of getting a parking spot and taking little Timmy or Susie to some stupid Truck thing. Well, after a few turns around the parking lots, Wendy and I decided to just leave. Until, that is, a car pulled out of its spot - right next to the entrance! I mean, this should have been a handicapped spot it was so close. Like a sly fox, I pulled our car into the spot, and I felt like giving the finger to all the other parents who were still desperately looking for spots. I decided against it, though, since at least 3 dozen kids - including my own - would've witnessed it.


We strolled around the Touch A Truck event for about 20 minutes. Got some photos, but otherwise were not impressed. Probably a great thing for a 6 year old boy to go to, but not so much for our 16 month old daughter. Hopefully this is as close as Fiona will get to the back of a squad car.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monkey Girl

Fiona has begun her exploration phase and it has her parents little nervous. While it is exciting to see her try to do new things, we find ourselves holding our breath a lot more these days. For example, she loves to climb up on the couch and STAND and WALK on it (thats a tumble waiting to happen).
Here is a picture of when she climbed onto a carton of diapers and tried to walk across to the toliet paper.


She also loves her clothes hamper:



We just got back from the park where she learned to climb up the stairs on her feet (not her knees) and went down the big slide alone. So far, she has proven to be a strong girl who doesn't cry for bruises, bumps, or scrapes. We are so proud!

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Popsicle

Here's Fiona's first popsicle - a monumental event. She was getting over a cold, so we thought this would be a nice treat - and it was! Unfortunately, she didn't finish it. About 20 seconds after I took these photos, the popsicle began melting and started to drip down her hand. When I saw the red drips in our carpet, I grabbed a paper towel and put it around the popsicle stick - so that it would catch the drips. Well, Miss Particular here didn't like that, and whined and fussed unless she could hold on to the wooden stick handle. Well, I said 'all done' and tossed it in the garbage. She wasn't too crazy about that move, and let me know it. I told her "Fiona, as Benjamin Disraeli said, 'There is no education like adversity.'" She immediately stopped crying, gave me a thoughtful look, and nodded. "That's a good point, Dad. Thanks for putting things in perspective." She then proceeded to read a Dora the Explorer book.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Hate Safety Locks

A few months ago, when Fiona was mobile enough to make it into the kitchen, I installed about 2 dozen cabinet and drawer locks. If you haven't had the pleasure yet, here's what this installation entails:

First, you line up the plastic lock so that it catches the underside of the cabinet or drawer frame. Once you have that marked, you take 2 screws that are about the size of a grain of rice. Then you drill in the locks using your rice-sized screws and - voila - your child is locked out. It's a little tedious, but with cabinet doors it is manageable. Drawers, however, are a little trickier. Basically, you have to contort your arms so that you screw the lock onto the inside of the drawer. This may be easy for people who are double jointed, but I don't have that luxury.

So picture me a few months ago, furiously screwing in locks all around the kitchen to make sure my daughter doesn't get a hold of a frying pan, or the electric knife, or a bottle of Mr. Clean. I get to the LAST drawer - the one that holds all of our tupperware - and apparently I cut a corner and didn't line up my lock very well. Turns out that this drawer can be opened by a gentle pull. Yes, even the gentle pull of a 16-month old. Since then, Fiona has found great joy in yanking open the drawer, tossing out the tupperware containers and tops one at a time, and running out of the kitchen. It's all fun and games until someone slips on one of those tops and breaks an arm! Wendy has given me plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle hints to fix the lock, and I really should. But I just can't find it in myself to deprive little Fiona of that pure, unadulterated joy! Plus I have a habit of procrastinating. ONE of these days I'll get that lock fixed...




Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Junk

Let me describe what our basement looks like. First of all, it is unfinished, so imagine concrete and insulated walls around you. There's a washer and dryer in a corner, a weight bench gathering dust in another corner. We have a bunch of boxes along one wall. It's pretty typical. Except we have a 'growth' down in the basement. It began to appear about a year ago, and has been growing ever since. You see, this 'growth' is our collection of baby stuff - aka JUNK.

Junk may not be the best word, since that conjures up images of used or useless stuff. Really it is our baby items that we no longer use or never did use. Some of these 'retired' items were great in their day: the baby swing, bounce-a-roo, baby bath, etc. Oh, how we long for the days when we could put Fiona in her bounce-a-roo and make dinner. But there's also some things in the basement that, in retrospect, were wastes of money. For example, the baby wipes warmer. We registered for this (if the purchaser of this gift is reading, we do appreciate it), but never got around to using it. And guess what - Fiona has survived with room-temperature baby wipes!

We also have a fair number of piece of crap items in the basement, things that we should've never bought or at least returned. Like this Eddie Bauer rear-view mirror attachment - you supposedly attach it to your rear-view mirror and you can see the car seat in the back. Well, that thing is absolute garbage - it doesn't fit on our car mirrors. In fact, all of that Eddie Bauer branded stuff at Target seems to be terrible. Eddie Bauer, if he exists, is making millions by licensing his name, but the quality of those products is terrible. The worst part is, we never return any of these things. I mean NEVER. Partly because I am lazy, but also because we always forget to bring the stupid things the next time we go to Target. Either that or Fiona has found the receipt and shredded it into a few dozen pieces.

Our girl is all grown up!

Why, you ask? Well, take a look at these pictures I snapped of her while she was playing.
Booze:


(Her Dad would say "Well, at least she has good imported taste")


AND shoes:


(And her Mom says "Oh Darling, let me show you the many joys of having a shoe collection")

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pudding is good!

I made some vanilla pudding for dessert last night and it was a hit! Fiona is really working hard at using her fork and spoon at mealtimes and loved the messy pudding. I'm pretty sure most of it made it in her mouth.





Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wendy's First Post


I have finally been granted posting-status on our family blog!

Now, I don't pretend to be the witty writer that Jim is, so bear with me. What I do have over Jim, however, is more free time to take pictures of our crazy toddler! Here are some random pictures I took of Fiona this week: