Saturday, January 31, 2009

I think I had a miscommunication with the hairstylist today...but I guess it doesn't look that bad even though I almost cried.

fixed smile



And we have a special message for Grandpa! Friday was his last day as Director of the Central Kansas Library System and Administrator of the Great Bend Public Library!



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa

To Grandma and Grandpa Swan, these two are especially for you:

This morning, James had 2 little friends come over to play. One of the little boys started stepping on a doll that Ben's mom had made for him when he was little. I asked him not to step on it, "...because James' grandma made that doll." James looked at me all amazed and said, "My grandma made that doll?" I answered him and they went off to play again. At snack time the guys were sitting around the table, each eating a packet of fruit snacks. James stopped, looked at the one little boy and SNOTTILY said, "My grandma made these fruit snacks." It was too funny!

And for Grandpa Swan:

James was terrorizing us Sunday night, just generally being a 2 year old. I told him he was being naughty and to calm down. A few minutes later this dialog happened:


Me: Yeah, Se nota.

James: NOTA!

Friday, January 23, 2009

For any of you that were worried, James survived the week. Just barely.

On MLK day, I woke up and saw a posting on Freecycle for a twin size captain's bed. (You know, the kind of bed with drawers underneath.) In my half asleep state, I stumbled into the living room and asked Ben if he thought I should try and get it. "Sure" he shrugged. We've been thinking about getting James out of the ol' crib, but haven't done anything about it. I sent an email to the owner and she picked us to have it. Yeah! But then all of a sudden I realized everything that would have to happen that day--there is no room in the apartment to store a bed of that size so that meant getting James into that bed that night.

We started having abnormally excited and enthusiastic conversations about beds in front of James. After the trap was set, we asked James if he wanted a big boy bed. (Heretofore known as the BBB.) He was excited at first, but when we told him we would go to the store and buy him new sheets and then go to Sam's club to buy a mattress he was running around the house in circles. (I'm sure that the thought of new domestic items was exciting for him but he was probably equally excited about getting a pretzel from Sam's.)

We went to Target and let him pick out sheets. He picked Spiderman. He's never seen Spiderman. We've never talked to him about Spiderman. He doesn't know who Spiderman is, but he picked Spiderman. (We might send him to live with you, Karla.) I was hoping to soften the blow (to me) of moving him to a BBB by swaddling him in some kind of baby-ish sheets, but no way. He never called it a BBB, he calls it his "Spiderman Bed."

We went to Walmart and got a rail and all the appropriate mattress coverings. Not very exciting.

We went to Sam's and before we could go get the mattress we had to have lunch at the cafe. (I use that word very loosely.) But, all of us getting lunch for $7.00 is fun and exciting. We picked out the mattress and wedged it into the minivan. All very exciting.

This story is getting too long, but if you're getting bored, just go back to facebook.

At home, James was DEVASTATED that he had to take a nap in his crib. Apparently all of our very enthusiastic brainwashing talk about BBBs should have been saved for after nap time. After naptime, Ben and James took down the crib and put it in the storeroom, sigh. (I do miss his crib, but I do NOT miss hefting the kid over the rail.)

A nice friend of ours and Ben went to pick up the bed (conveniently located on campus.) Apparently it was very heavy and could not be taken apart. Anyway, they got the bed in the room, I wiped it down ('cause I'm paranoid about things like that) and we set everything up. When it was time for bedtime, I think James was a wee bit apprehensive, but he fell asleep after a little while. I worried about him falling out of bed all night! I checked on him probably every hour on the hour all night long. Ridiculous, I know. He slept happily and beautifully, I didn't sleep at all. All week long he has done well in his new bed. My checking on him has been reduced to about 2x a night.

All in all, its been a great transition. Although he can get himself in and out of the bed, he doesn't get out until we come for him. I am DREADING the day when I feel someone watching me in my sleep and wake to find James standing at the edge of the bed staring at me. That will probably send me over the edge.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's wrong to beat your children, right?

(For any potential CPS people out there, it's an empty, sarcastic comment, ok?)

James may not survive the week. After the special 'keys' incident we had Sunday, he follows up with this:

This morning I had a ton of dishes to wash so I asked if he wanted to watch a DVD. I set him up with Blues Clues, a snack and milk.

I washed and washed--all the while hearing him talk to the video. I knew he was safe and out of trouble.

Oh, if it were only that easy.

I finished the last dish, dried my hands and went into the living room to play a game with him. When I walked in, I saw JAMES' LIFE flash before my eyes. It's a good thing I saw the cute and cuddly parts, because that, and that alone, saved him from his first spanking.

He had taken his sippy cup of milk (without the stopper), turned it upside down, and shook it all over just about every surface in the living room.

Couch? Check.
Chair? Check.
Ottoman? Check.
Pillows? Check, Check, Check and Check.
Large area of the carpet? CHECK.

I yelled, "WHAT DID YOU DO IN HERE?!?!?!"

(Looks at me with the "oh man, she found out what I did" look.)

Me: Go to your room RIGHT NOW!

Waaah, Waah, waaah.

I put the pillows in the washing machine, I wiped down the (thank-heavens-they're leather) couch, chair and ottoman. (At this point, I called Ben and told him to come home NOW instead of an hour later. The whole incident was going to make me late to work.) Then I hand scrubbed the carpet once with wet rags and then again with carpet cleaner.

Ben and I had a brief conference on discipline. We have always said we would try to stick to 'natural consequences' as much as possible. Ben got James out of his room and supervised him scrubbing the carpet for 20 minutes or so while constantly reminding him that he has to clean up the messes he makes. We also revoked the privilege of having drinks in the living room.

I was exhausted and frustrated before I ever got to work. I had my students (all mothers of babies and young children) journal about the things their kids do that frustrate them. I felt better after hearing the other tales of toddlers gone bad.

Man, I wish I had a lovely bathtub to soak in.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I know little kids will lie. I didn't think that James was old enough to do it.

First: While we were at my parent's house we left James with Granny and Papa and we ran off to Houston for the day. While we were gone, James walked up to granny in the kitchen and said, "I cut my finger." He had a little bit of blood, so she cleaned it up and bandaid-ed him. When she asked how he did it he said, "I used my nail clippers." Granny went with him to find the nail clippers and instead found a lamp he had knocked down with a broken lightbulb. Mmmhmm. Nail clippers. Right. When she asked if he cut himself on the lamp he fessed up to it.

Today: I brought him home from church and as we were walking in the door he asked if he could hold my keys. Sure, whatever. I used the bathroom and then left the door open as I went to my room to change. I heard him go into the bathroom, slam down the toilet lid and flush. He then walked into my bedroom--without the keys. I asked him, "where did you put my keys?" He walked me into the bathroom and said, "In the potty."



"YOU ARE IN SOOO MUCH TROUBLE. You are going to time out RIGHT NOW!"

waah waahh waah

I went through various attempts to find my keys in the toilet. NO luck. I asked him again where my keys were.

"In my room." "In your room" "At church" "With daddy" etc etc etc

I sent him to his room. I kept looking around the apartment and finally found the keys stuffed inbetween couch cushions. I brought him out and showed him the keys in the couch and told him he needed to tell me the keys were there and not make up a story.

"Ok, mama."

Oh, please somebody tell me I'm not raising Cain here.


When I saw these two things today I just kept thinking, "It's soooo wrong!"

First, when James saw Ben put on a tie for church this morning he all of a sudden decided that he must have one too. We dug out the two little ties that Ben's mom had made for him when he was a toddler. We don't have any solid color dress shirts for James, so Ben just tied this BROWN FLOWERED 25 year old tie over James BLUE STRIPED button up. Good grief. The guys at church loved it though.

Second: When I was ready to hand this over to James for dinner, I had to snap a pic. Can you believe it? He didn't want the fish we were having, but he LOVES asparagus. So here you go, a cheesy hot dog and asparagus for dinner. FINE DINING.

Friday, January 09, 2009

There are two things that made me smile a lot today:

Ben chose the red ones, James picked the yellow ones. Thanks, guys!

Oh, and I have the funniest story ever about James...but I'm not posting it here for the whole world to see b/c it mentions certain body parts that some may not want to read about. If you want to know about it, just email me :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


I haven't blogged in a wa-ay long time. I kept thinking about things I should write about, but I just wasn't feeling it while out of town. (One is worth mentioning. We were sitting around at my parents house and the phone rang. Ben looked at the phone to see who it was and the caller id said, "Jesus C". When he told us who was calling, everyone froze and looked at each other with the "I'm not answering it" look. I would like to talk to Him, but not via Comcast, you know? My mom finally answered it and it turns out that it was coming from "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." It was the Bishop. Maybe still a good option to avoid those phone calls.

Here is my Mom's beautiful tree with my beautiful boy on Christmas morning.

I'm not sure if our holidays were more like this:

Or this:

Yes, yes, we had lovely times. But James' holiday went a bit like this: Cold, Croup, Cold, Ear infection, Croup, Broken lamp, Time out Chair X 1,000, naughty, sassy, disobey, disobey, disobey, breathing treatments, ear drops, nose spray, allergy meds, cough meds, rash meds... But we're home now and he's not so demanding--in many ways. I shouldn't complain, he was healthy throughout the whole fall until right before we left for Christmas break.

While in TX, there was a lot of movie theater activity. Ben and I saw "Bedtime Stories" and thought it was great. The guys saw "Valkyrie" and dug it. The girls saw "Yes Man" and one raunchy scene ruined the whole thing. I saw "Marley and Me" with my mom and really liked it and really cried. We still want to see "Seven Pounds"--we heard it was awe-some from a lot of people. We also had lots of good food--both from home cooking and gulf coast goodness. Hello seafood and barbeque!
The best part was all the family we got to see. We saw everyone there was to see in Texas-on my side and Ben's. James was in cousin HEAVEN! He loved every last cousin and Aunt and Uncle! He loved having so many people to play with and so many people catering to his whims. He had tons of fun with the older cousins and all their nice gadgets. And once again, he was totally smitten with Elizabeth. He looked across the dinner table at her and said in his best charming voice, "Elizabeth, you soooo pretty." I just about died it was so adorable.
You know how it's always the random presents that people like? Well, I got Ben a plug and play "Deal or No Deal" game for his stocking and that thing got played a lot. James loves it and when he opens any case he yells, "Whoo hoo! $50!" Ben got me "The Price is Right" DVD game and we wrangled granny and papa into playing that with us while James yelled "Come on down!" continually. Our family present was a Wii system with extra controllers and games that Ben got at Sam's at 4am on Black Friday. I told Ben we couldn't open it until he had finished his Dissertation Proposal. He sighed and agreed. We haven't opened it yet.

Meanwhile, the water main behind our apartment broke last night. The R.A. pounded on our door at 10pm at told us that any minute they would be shutting the water off..."for a long time." We started filling up any and all large containers with water for the toilet, washing hands, cleaning up, etc. We didn't really need much during the night and thank heavens they turned it on briefly this morning and we all raced through showers and filled up the tub for James and then it was off again. We made it through the day and tonight I think the problem is solved. I'm not pouring out any of our water reserves until I'm sure.
I went back to work today. It was good, but I wasn't jumping for joy or anything. It's hard overcoming holiday laziness. My students must feel the same, because only half of them showed up.
Now, if all those people who owe me pictures (ahem, granny, David, Melodie) would send them my way, I could show ya'll some pics.