Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smoking at 2 years old???!?!?!?! @#$%@#$^

This makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.

Ants Bite!

Despite my love for the outdoors, I despise insects.  Seriously, the definition of an insects is a "class within arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae."  What's not to love about creepy crawly exoskeletons and three part bulbous bodies?  Blech!

Now I have even more ammunition against my joint-legged friends.  Yesterday, Henry was happily playing on the ground by the garage when he started screaming bloody murder.  In the webbed skin between forefinger and thumb I found a giant ant.  I immediately flicked at it's butt, but it didn't budge.  It had burrowed its pincers into Henry's delicate skin.  I flicked and flicked and flicked.  The whole fiasco was a blur of frantic screaming on Henry's part and flicking on my part.  Finally, the battered exoskeleton fell limply to the ground.  Henry continued to scream.   I ran his hand under cold water, and he slowly calmed down.  I placed a wet tea bag on the wound.  According to the internet, which we know only tells the truth, black tea counteracts the ant bite and can alleviate pain.  One day later, a vampire bite remains, reminding me of why I despise insects.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lee DeWyze!

Thanks to AT&T Uverse, I missed half the season finale and Simon's last show.  Thanks to the internet, I easily found the winner.  Congrats Lee DeWyze from Mount Prospect, IL!

The parts I did see were lame attempts at bringing back AI contestants to perform famous songs with undeserved stature alongside the original fringe performers, who clearly would've preferred to perform the song solo, but accepted a duet out of desperation.  Song after song after song they paraded wrinkly counterparts.  Of course, I had to ask Chris "who is Alice Cooper?  Is he from Alice in Chains?"  And Chris responded eyes bugging, "I'm so embarrassed for you."  Next song, I said, "Is that Michael McDonald?  The only reason I recognize his voice is because I just saw 40 Year Old Virgin."  Then Chris said, "Is this the - bring back elevator music hits - show?"

Despite my waning interest in AI - I usually fast forward through most of the show - I was still impressed with Carrie Underwood and sad about Simon's last episode.  Ricky Gervais was his usual hilarious-self.  Dane Cook was his usual lame-self.  The best part of his routine was Ellen's flat and expressionless face.  At one point she looked at Randy as if to say, "are you actually laughing at this bigoted dude loser?"  Best thing Ellen has done all season.

Farewell to Simon and to AI.  *tear*  I won't be watching next season - or will I?

What's a Stay-At-Home Parent Worth?

According to, a year of stay-at-home-parenting is worth $117,856.  If nothing else, it's interesting.  Personally, I think caring for Henry is priceless, but I still think it's comforting for both Chris and me to see studies such as this one.  I'm NOT wasting my degree, damn it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trucks Trucks Trucks

The most common word that Henry utters each day is "please."  Aren't we lucky?  "Truck" is definitely the second most common word that passes through his lips.  He is obsessed, especially with the Hess trucks that Chris has been collecting for the past three years.  Henry spotted them on the top shelf of the closet the other day.  He desperately called out "pease, pease pease," as he signed "please."  I couldn't resist.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Making a Mess and Cleaning it Up

H-bomb loves to empty boxes, bins, drawers, etc.  Despite his love for chaos, he also appreciates putting things back where they belong.  I love it!  He might be neater than his parents.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Granite Dining Table

Note Correction:  Regarding my post yesterday, CSA stands for "community supported agriculture."  Apologies for the mistake!

Room and Board has a customizable dining table where you can choose the top and legs.  Quartz, granite and even a butcher's block are possible choices for the table top.  This is a genius idea.  Just like our kitchen counters, a granite dining table would be easy to clean, easy to maintain, and there's no need to worry about spills, etc.  This table seems baby proof to me - of course it's not the cheapest option for a dining table ... but  we can always dream.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chicagoans: Sign up for your CSA!

Simply Wisconsin is closing registration for 2010 summer shares this Friday, May 21.  So sign-up before it's too late!  We are doing a half-share.  I'm very excited for the local fresh fruits and veggies!  

CSA stands for community share agriculture.  In practice, you pick up a box of produce (eggs, meat and cheese are also options you can choose) every week or every other week.  All of the items come from local Wisconsin farms and all are organically grown.  It's a great adventure for active home cooks (you don't get to choose the items), and wonderful support for local farmers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mom the Builder! Yes We Can!

Henry and I built this bench all by ourselves!  It's funny how being a housewife has made me feel more masculine than ever!  I take out the garbage, build furniture, move heavy boxes, etc.  Who knew!?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken Thigh As Easy As Pie!

Henry has been refusing to eat meat lately.  He used to love fish, chicken, beef, etc.  Now he picks out all the unwanted proteins and gobbles up the carbs.  Last week I gave him cut up pieces of karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and he inhaled them and then asked for more ("pease pease pease").  It was so satisfying to see him eat chicken!  Although it is fried chicken, I do think that the fatty chicken thigh contributed to his affinity for the karaage.  Thigh meat is always juicy and tender due to the extra fat.

Now all the people who read my judgmental post last week about chocolate formula can turn the tables and judge me for feeding my son fried food just to get him some protein.  Perhaps my justification is that instead of feeding him fried chicken multiple times a day, I've given it to him once.  Just trying to defend myself.

Since the karaage feeding frenzy he's happily eaten grilled chicken and watermelon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Formula: Say Wha?

Whoever thought up the idea of Chocolate Formula is hanging his toes wildly close to the flames of hell.   Enfagrow argues that formula containing essential vitamins - chocolate or not - is better than nothing at all, but the fact is that babies are fickle and their food preferences change day to day.  It doesn't take a genius to know that it's a terrible idea to actively feed sugar and chocolate as a daily staple to a 1 year old.  Furthermore, Enfagrow's chocolate formula is a "premium" product.  The company has pushed the limits on taking advantage of desperate parents.  The thought of bleary eyed chocolate formula drunk toddlers stumbling around makes me sad.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1 Nap Transition = A Success!

We've finally transitioned to one nap per day!  It only took 15 1/2 months to get there.  Most children transition to one nap between 12-15 months.  Just like walking, Henry decided to catch the later train.  Although, that was A-OK with me.  I kept waiting for the "signs" that he was ready to drop his nap:  inconsistent napping; playing during nap time; crying during naptime; avoidance of the crib at nap time; etc.  But every time he exhibited those behaviors he wasn't able to last two consecutive days on one nap.  I kept asking other moms how they transitioned to one nap.  They would either say "she just did it on her own," or "the nap transition was really hard and took a month."  I decided to wait and hope he would "do it on his own."  I think my patience paid off. 

Once we moved, I started putting him down for a 10:30 nap.  He would sleep until 12:30, and then stay up for the rest of the day.  This schedule worked just fine for him, although I had to move his bedtime earlier (7 instead of 7:30).  Then I started gradually moving his nap time later over the next month.  For a while I thought he would permanently go down for his nap around 11 and sleep for about 2 hours, but now he goes down for his nap around 12 and sleeps for about 3 hours.  

Life these days is definitely less consistent, but he's learning so much so quickly.  He learned to say "pls" this weekend - thanks to his Aunt, Uncle and 3 cousins!  Sounds like "pease."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bye Bye Poo Poo

Pictured:  Graco Soft Seat Potty Trainer

I've started taking Henry and his poo diaper to the toilet and dumping the terd in the pot.  Henry waves bye bye and I flush.  I then wrap up the wipes and diaper and toss them in the diaper pail.  This tactic is our first step towards potty training!  It also happens to drastically dissipate the stench of the diaper pail.

Next, I'm going to place him on a fake baby potty when he shows poo signs, which include red face, obvious pushing noises and even gas.  Even if he's already gone a little in his diaper, there is a chance there will be more.  We're going to start with poo and wait on the pee until he's better at communicating.  I'm not looking forward to cleaning the baby potty.  Unfortunately, Target doesn't sell the potty pictured above, and I was too lazy to drive to Babies R 'Us, so we go a Fischer Price model that plays music.  Hmmmmm.

Speaking of potty, congrats to our friends LP and JA on their wedding.  It was a doozy.  Unfortunately, Chris spent a majority of the weekend on the adult potty.  Pobrecito.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Redfin is Da Bomb

For our condo sale, we used Ed Jelinek, who was awesome and amazing.  But for the buy side (seller pays realtor costs for both sides), which is much simpler, we used REDFIN.  You've probably used Redfin to search real estate if you're at all into that sort of thing.  Redfin is similar to, but it also tells you when and for how much the property sold for previously.  My favorite redfin feature allows you to view houses SOLD in the past 3 years (and some even farther back), at what price, the pictures, etc.  To do so, type in your search criteria, and then click "more options."  The far left column has check boxes, check the blue house for "Sale Records."  This is a great way to understand what the market is doing in the neighborhoods you are perusing.  In the past 3 years, there has only been 1 house sold on our entire block - OURS.

And of course, the BEST thing about, is that redfin pays the client half of the commission.  For example, currently in the Chicago area, the buyer's and seller's agents each receive 2.5% commission.  Redfin will pay 1.25% of the sale price to YOU.  This rebate practice is actually illegal in some states - those realtor lobbies are powerful - but we think it's a great way to keep realtors competing.  

We thought our Redfin realtor would be totally clueless.  After all, as a Redfin user, it is your job to select the houses to view, and they set up the appointments and send an agent along with you.  We had a great agent, who knew what to look for, was very responsive on email, and we were lucky to get the same guy, David Yochum, everytime.  Redfin worked out really well for us.

Note: if you're going to use Redfin, you might want to avoid talking about it with your realtor friends.  Apologies to my realtor friends.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Learning About Our New Home

We're getting settled.  Henry was very helpful in the unpacking process: taking things out of boxes; walking glasses from one end of the kitchen to the cabinet; etc.  Since moving in a week ago, our fence fell down and we fixed it, our power went out twice, our AT&T Uverse internet refused to work properly, we've gone to bed with the garage door open and car trunk open, returned home to find the back french door open, and yesterday we discovered that the previous owners of our house were burglarized last fall.  Yahoo!!  I had ADT reactivated yesterday and plan to be vigilant in using it.  Let's hope I can keep it up.  Otherwise, we love our new home and neighborhood.  Henry gets to see his cousins almost every day!  No regrets on the move.    

Henry is starting to respond to questions, which is freaky.
Q:  Henry do you want to go to sleep?
A:  He shakes his head, "no"
Q:  Henry do you want to have a snack?
A:  No response.
Q:  Say please.
A:  He signs "please," and smiles.

His new words include ball, cuckoo, and bye.  *tear* *sigh* *gulp*

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl Recall

As I'm sure everyone already knows, on April 30, 2010, McNeil Consumer Healthcare initiated a voluntary recall for TylenolMotrin, Benadryl, etc. because some of the products may not meet required quality standards.  I kept hearing there was a recall, but no one knew why or what to do.  

As a precautionary measure, McNeil cautioned parents and caregivers not to administer Infant's or Children's Tylenol,  Motrin, Zyrtec or Benadryl to their children, because "some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles."  While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.

Click the following link to receive a coupon/refund for your recalled products.

For more information see:
McNeil Press Release