Monday, June 28, 2010

Things no one told me- Part 4. Toddler Edition

You know what I didn't know?  Little boys bathing suits if left on too long while your child is playing in and out of the water can cause some SERIOUS CHAFFING.

See here exhibit one- The inside of Colins right leg :

and exhibit two- the inside of Colin's left leg:

This isn't the first time he has ever worn this bathing suit around for a while. So, I'm going to guess it also has something to do with the fact that he pooped in his swim diaper for the first time ever and we didn't see him do it so it didn't come right off. We were at a backyard BBQ with some friends and a couple of kiddie pools. Sean and I were tag teaming parental responsibilities. At one point I thought I should change Colin out of his swimsuit but as I was gathering him up (his diaper empty at this point , I checked) the other boys jumped back into the pool and Colin asked to go play with them. No problem. Sean was watching him, I was talking and having dessert.When Sean tagged me to take over Colin so he could have some cake, I grabbed Colin's  clothes and went to change him right away.That was when I found the load in his diaper. This is a re-usable swim diaper, not a disposable one so it was quite the mess. At this point there was absolutely no redness on Colin's legs at all. About an hour later that I noticed some angry hot spots while changing him into his pj's but it wasn't until this morning he looked like the above pictures. As you can imagine he is VERY uncomfortable. I'm keeping him naked as much as I can. Which I will say has been excellent for the potty training, not so excellent for my carpets (just one accident so far and he was mid freaking so he wasn't emotionally stable enough to tell me what was happening). I went to CVS and picked up some gauze and some baby powder so that will hopefully help. I tried over size band-aids early this morning and he pulled them off immediately so I don't have high hopes for the gauze.

I thought I was only worried about diaper rash by leaving him in the swimsuit, I had NO idea this was a possibility!!  Consider yourself warned.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Vacation Photo Log.

If you remember (or ever saw) our honeymoon pictures you'll know that the above photo is a re-do of the one I did in Ireland. (If you don't remember (or never saw) the photo I retroactively posted it here).  It wasn't planned to write in the sand on this anniversary but when I'm presented with sand  I tend to write in it...

...and draw hearts around things I write. Colin was less than impressed with my artistic talent. However, we were very impressed that he was even touching and walking in the sand so we let it slide that he messed up my picture.

He was less than enthusiastic about the ocean itself. That could be the waves, or the fact that the water was under 60 degrees, or a combination of the two. I should mention that we weren't planning on going to the beach this morning, we were walking on a path that was supposed to take us to Perkins Cove but when we saw the beach just down the stairs we changed our plans. I think we ended up eating lunch in the room that day because we spent so much time by the water.  (It is SO much easier to travel with a toddler when you have a kitchenette have I mentioned that?)

Colin did enjoy the tide pools.  They were warmer and not active. These tide pools were surprisingly void of life...I'm used to finding crabs, muscles, starfish etc.. maybe Maine is too cold??

The shorts, once wet, would not stay up, so we just removed them and Colin was happy enough to run around in his diaper. Had I thought this was a water day I would have been more prepared! I did have a beach ball in the diaper bag thanks to Dawn and Leo's recent vacation at the beach.

Running through the tide pool having a great time.  While Colin is the whitest child I've ever seen, he does have a layer of zinc oxide sunscreen on that makes him look even whiter. He actually got a little bit of a farmers tan on this trip, so he looks a little less ghostly now!

We ended up in Perkin's Cove for dinner instead, where I purchased Colin and I some souvenir sweatshirts (Sean had no interest). It got so chilly by the time we finished dinner that Colin was asking for a coat so I pulled out the sweatshirts.  While the bikes are not pictured, we rode them down to the cove and back, and used them to explore the town. We were very happy we brought them as traffic and parking was a bit of a problem.

Colin back at the hotel, running around in the grass as Sean got the bikes put away. He is into making silly faced for the camera now. Particularly if I put on the self timer so the light blinks before the picture gets taken.

Here we are the following morning attempting to walk the "Marginal Way" path again to Perkin's Cove. We didn't actually walk all the way to the cove since we didn't have any real reason to go back again, so we walked back and choose another beach to play on for a few hours.

This time we were smart enough to put Colin in a bathing suit and bring some more beach toys. Those are rocks on shore, not oil balls. No oil in Maine yet.
Even I got had to loosen up and play in the sand with Colin. My hair was pulled back moments after this photo because transferring sand from my fingers to my hair is just too gross!  This sand wasn't blowing around since it was mostly wet so I didn't do too poorly.
Seeing the sand on the ball and on his face still makes me cringe a little. Everyone has their quirks, mine is a dislike for sand.  I also found out on this trip that eating sand in New England Clam Chowder is normal and that is how you know it is 'real'. YUCK YUCK YUCK.

After my sand art the day before Sean also got in on the action.. He is very proud of the cat he drew in the sand... Although after I took the picture I had him draw on some whiskers.

Colin made a new little friend for a few minutes. Turns out this boys birthday is 9 days before Colin's. Colin is just starting to understand that is it more fun to play together and willingly tossed the ball back and forth.
The sand castle concept was a little lost on him. He kept piling the sand on the outside of the bucket instead of the inside. It was a good first try!
After checking out on our last day we went and played mini-golf. Since traveling with Colin is best done around his sleeping times, leaving at 11am didn't seem like a good idea. So we played some golf, ate some lunch and then set off.  In case your curious, I won the game I think I'm about 25-1 against Sean in this game. He however is about 45-0 against me in chess so it all works out.

After driving for three hours, of which Colin slept for two, we stopped at the Mystic Aquarium in CT and hung out for a few hours.  Here Colin is checking out the beluga whales.
Colin and Sean check out a Sea Lion. To be honest, I was under-whelmed by this aquarium. I had heard it was pretty good and with a $28 price tag figured it must be. But after going to the aquarium in KY and the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta a few years ago, this one was disappointing.
We made the most of what we had. Colin really enjoyed the penguins, which were uncharacteristically active because the trainers were around.  They seemed very interested in Colin as well because the would swim right by and then thrash around right below him splashing him to his sheer delight. It was pretty cute.

Colin also really enjoyed the touch tank with the sting rays.  Once again, they seemed very interested in him in well. We were standing in a group of people but they always seemed to surface for a pet right by Colin.  I didn't test this theory by moving to another location, I'm just going ahead and assuming that Colin has 'a way with animals'

After leaving the aquarium, we had dinner at Friendly's (which you saw already) and then drove the rest of the way home to NYC.  A wonderful time was had by all.

The End!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Making Memories.

On the last meal of our vacation we ended up at Friendly's. We did really well on this vacation with eating properly, mainly because we had a kitchenette in our room so we didn't have to eat out for every meal.  Because of this, we let Colin go all-out-crazy for this last meal (well dessert was the crazy part). He got mac and cheese (which I'm sure was the kind that comes in a plastic bag and they submerged in hot water to warm it up, yuk!) and corn and then for dessert we ordered him a 'cone head'. Both Sean and I remember eating cone heads as kids so we thought it would be a good time to introduce our old friend to Colin.

Colin was very excited about this! He was quite suspicious of the Reece's pieces and almost wouldn't eat them (which honestly would have been okay with me) but he decided to put it in his mouth and was a bit disturbed by how hard they were but seemed to enjoy it in the end. This was also his first real introduction to chocolate, something I've been trying to avoid as long as possible. He absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough of that hot fudge covered cone.

As you would expect he could not finish the ice cream, but he also could not fall asleep on the 2 hr drive home. He was still wide awake when we unloaded him at 9:00pm. This has been a growing trend with him now that it is still light outside so late at night so it probably wasn't solely the fault of the ice cream and chocolate.

I was glad I had my camera on hand to capture this memory. Even food rules are meant to be broken on occasion.

Twitter is good for something.

A lot of people ask me occasionally what twitter is good for, I don't usually have a good answer but today I do.

At 1:51 pm while I'm watching the coverage of the Pres Obama/ McChrystal issue on CNN my sister sends me a text saying she just had an earthquake.  So I did a Google search and came up completely empty. At 1:55 I typed "earthquake" into twitter and found information that a 5.5 earthquake hit near Ottawa Canada from various sources. 

It wasn't until 2:20 that CNN mentioned it.

That doesn't seem like a long time, but since I have tons of family and friends living near my sister I was worried.  25 minutes would have been a long time to wait for further information! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Colin is 23 months old.

I've been spending some time lately attempting to mentally process how nearly 2 years have gone by since Colin was born. Colin's first year of life was certainly more challenging than his second, but I expect the next year will present some new (and likely more difficult) parenting challenges. The little guy seems to have jumped into the so called 'terrible twos' with both feet in the last month. Not that he is all that "terrible" but he is certainly more opinionated and more strong willed than he was just last month. We've had a few instances of rather minor tantrums (which for me,are honestly more eyebrow raising at this point than anything, I'm often left thinking: 'Really? You're going to throw yourself on the floor because I can't find the exact ball you want? Well, let me know how that works out for ya, I'll just be over here in the kitchen') Overall, he is still a very well behaved boy with a sweet disposition.

Colin swimming with his Daddy at 23 months and 1 day old. (his mommy and daddy's five year wedding anniversary)

So what is Colin up to this month?
Sleeping: Great! Naps still averaging around 2.5 hrs. I'm loving that! Colin has learned how to stall bedtime this month and we had a bit of a tricky situation when he got used to us holding his hand for a few minutes before we walked out. When he first asked it seemed like no big deal, until a week or two later he was freaking out if we pulled away before he was ready (going on five minutes!). A few nights of short CIO sessions cured him, but he still asks for random things (I need a ball, fix the blanket, where is my water etc) to attempt to delay the inevitable.

  • Sports. In addition to baseball (still his first love), Colin has also discovered tennis and soccer this month. Soccer bores him a little but he seems very interested in tennis. After watching maybe 10 minutes of some men's game that Sean had turned on (can you tell I don't follow tennis), he kept asking for tennis for days afterward. We also caught him running back and forth in front of the TV (watching his reflection) swinging his bat to one side then the other in a very tennis like motion. It was pretty cute.
  • Traveling.  Sean booked us a long weekend getaway for our anniversary and Colin was very excited about traveling to a new hotel and potentially a new playground. He didn't sleep as well in the car asd he normally does because he kept waking up to ask if we were going to a playground now. He is really very adaptable to new situations and has no problems sleeping where ever we put him...and we thought we wouldn't travel as much with a child! HA!
  • Sleeping with 'friends' (stuffed animals).  On our way home from a Mother's Day trip upstate with left his beloved Coco Monkey at my sisters. He had been sleeping with this monkey preferentially for a couple of months and we had no idea how he would react if it wasn't an option. In order to glaze over the missing friend we allowed him to take whatever he wanted into the crib (previously he was allowed the just two things).. you can guess what happened...Now he sleeps with quite the menagerie of toys, including large balls, tennis balls, and about 5 or 6 stuffed animals. We have a few things that aren't allowed in (anything he can bite into, or otherwise put into his mouth are definite no-gos) but he seems to enjoy this new development, particularly when he wakes up and makes me pick up every last friend and carry everything, including him out to the living room.
  • Keys. Colin has discovered the joy of unlocking doors. This makes getting into our building take 100x as long as it used to because he wants to unlock and open the door himself but he is not nearly coordinated enough to do so without help. Helping however will seriously piss him off so it is a difficult line to walk. Fun for Colin, no fun for Mommy and Daddy who just want to be in the house already.  I think this age will test our patience in a whole new way.
  • Pizza. This is without a doubt his favorite food right now. I suppose it could be worse.

  •  Diaper changes, getting dressed. He goes through phases where this is more or less of a struggle. Right now he just doesn't want to miss a minute of play time so having to change a diaper or get dressed for the day is a bit of a challenge. He still fights a g-diaper if he is paying attention while I put it on. Once it is on he doesn't notice. 
  • Trying new food. Neo-phobia (fear of new things) has kicked in. I was hoping we would have more time but it is what it is... That being said, I think I may have won the egg battle, he has happily eaten a 'jelly omelet' (actually a flat empty omelet with raspberry preserves on top) twice now, and the second time he actually requested it. Now that he is more used to the texture and taste of the egg, the jelly will start to disappear. I'm pretty sure I threw out about a dozen eggs before he accepted it. So we will continue to keep trying problem foods until he accepts those too.
  • Bare feet, his own or anyone else's:  I don't really get this at all but Colin does not like to not wear socks and he gets upset if other people aren't wearing socks, particularly if you have socks on then take them off. I generally don't walk around in socks so he will say a few times a day "mommy socks on?" I tell him no I don't wear socks and he moves on. If he isn't wearing socks, he doesn't move on until you put socks on his feet. I have been trying to work with him on this but it really isn't such a big deal, I have to figure peer pressure will eventually make him take his socks off while wearing sandals. Hopefully it doesn't get to that.

New or Notable:
  • "Maybe next time" this is Colin's new favorite phrase. He is quite the optimistic kid all of a sudden. For example: he will ask to go the the playground (still his favorite place) and when I say no he will say "maybe next time." Apparently Sean and/or I must have been saying this to him but neither one of us really remembers doing it. Another favorite phrase is "Get some more" and what he means is we are out of something he likes and we should get some more at the store. The 'at the store' part of the sentence is somehow buried in the way he says 'some more' if that makes sense. It almost sounds like 'st-um more'.
  • Chatty Cathy. Colin pretty much says anything and everything now. If you say something to him more than likely he will repeat it. I would say I understand about 80% of what comes out of his mouth, Sean does a little worse at probably 60% and everyone else can probably get about 40%.  It is a tricky stage because he really wants you to understand him (he is very good about repeating himself over and over again) but sometimes there is just no way of knowing what he is saying and he gets pretty upset about it.
  • Back on the Potty. With some hand stamps delivered from Grandma Jo, Colin is back at peeing on the potty. It is still an 'on demand' attempt rather than actually telling us he needs to go but we will take what we can get at this point. 
  • Indecisiveness. This is surely a two year old thing, but man is it frustrating. Colin will often ask for something and then not want it, or ask me to take something only to pull his hand back at the last second because he still wants it. He isn't teasing, he is just testing out the limits of his own control over his environment.  
  • Teeth: One of his 2 yr molars is finally through the gums!! It is his lower right one and I was happy to finally see some progress be made with all the crankiness we have been enduring..sometimes I'm not so sure his attitude is caused by the 'terrible twos' so much as teething. Three more to go!

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Overnight Oatmeal

    I recently looked up the copyright laws and leaned that individual recipes in cookbooks aren't protected by the copyright and so I can't be sued for posting one. I have modified this recipe slightly from the original, but the source is Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two: For the Small Slow Cooker.

    This recipe is supposed to work best in a 1.5 quart slow cooker. I do it in my 4 quart, and generally prefer to double it.

    3/4 cup steel-cut oats
    1/2 t apple pie spice
    pinch of salt
    2 3/4 cups water
    1/2 cup half and half (or evaporated skim milk if you prefer)
    6-8 rings of dried apple, chopped (Sean prefers it with one whole granny smith apple chopped, but I think its better with dried, if you don't have dried, use a regular one)
    a handful of raisins.

    Combine everything in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hrs or high for 3-4. My slow cooker only needs 4.5 hours on low and if I do it on high it doesn't cook the oats all the way. If you have a normal slow cooker you can do this overnight and have yummy oatmeal in the morning.

    I like to add more half and half (I'm crazy like that) and some brown sugar..mmmmm yum.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    It didn't occur to me...

    I must confess that it never occurred to me that part of Colin's eating deficiencies (mainly the fact that he doesn't seem to eat as much as other kids his age) was likely caused by this juice consumption. Since juice stopped being a part of his daily diet, his food consumption has gone up significantly. To the point that he will run to the kitchen and ask to be put in his booster seat to eat (getting him to sit and eat previously was almost always a battle). At first I just thought this was one of his short term eating spurts that he has occasionally gone through, but since it has been over a week and it hasn't changed I think it might be the juice. While reading How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much the author mentioned that toddlers sometimes prefer to drink their calories and the light bulb went off. Of course! I was filling up on drinkable calories, why wouldn't I consider that he was doing it as well?

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Video Catch Up.

    I finally took the time to upload all the videos from my video camera, so I am sharing the "Video of the Month" from March April and May in one post.  I may eventually archive these in the appropriate month but for now I'll make them all new so you can see them without having to search the archives.


    Bless you juice from Rebecca Berry on Vimeo.

    Colin almost always says "Bless you" when someone sneezes. To him, the release of pressure from the valve on his cup must sound like a sneeze. All on his own he started saying "Bless you juice" whenever the cup made that noise. I was able to catch it on video before the cups got worn in enough to stop making the sound.


    Tastes like ice cream from Rebecca Berry on Vimeo.
    This is a game Colin and I were playing, he says "Tastes like ice cream" and I reply in a silly voice that "its yogurt" and he apparently thinks it is hysterical. If only everyone found me this funny.


    Boys wearing high heels from Rebecca Berry on Vimeo.
    The evening after Erin's graduation Ben started parading around in the high heels she wore to the ceremony. Colin decided to get in on the game as well so I of course pulled out the video camera. =) Sam had no interest in the game at that particular time. Erin will have to report if he ever wants to walk in 'mommy's shoes'

    I just took June's video this evening so that didn't get uploaded yet. I will make a concerted effort to get it up before the end of June.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    For the love of Peanut Butter...

    Let me start off by saying, I'm not a huge Peanut Butter lover. PB&J is not my favorite sandwich and I trade peanut butter cup eggs for snickers or milky way eggs every Easter. However, I do delight in cooking and baking with peanut butter and for one reason or another this week was 'peanut butter for dinner week' (ok I guess it was just Monday and Tuesday but I'm taking artistic license). Good friends Julie, Matt and Annabelle stayed with us on Memorial Day and after racking my brain to decide what to serve them for dinner I came up with a recipe I had made once before from A Year of Slow Cooking called Asian Peanut Butter Pork.  You can click through the link to get the whole recipe but essentially a pork tenderloin is cooked with onions, peanut butter and brown sugar, with pretty scrumptious results. I served ours with egg noodles and a green salad but I think it would be better suited for a stir fry (I didn't feel like stir frying and I'm not a huge fan of the stir fry, but if you are go for it!)
    Then on Tuesday Erin, Sam and Bed (I promise I will post pictures of these visits soon) came down to spend the day and I found myself scratching my head at dinner time about what I would serve the adults.  Since I had most of a tenderloin of pork leftover from the night before I re-purposed it  by cutting it up and stirring it into some peanut butter noddles along with some of the leftover 'sauce' from the crock pot.  This recipe I've hacked from a source on to make it work for us and I've made it often since it is a super quick meal.

    1/4 cup natural peanut butter ( I assume regular would work, but I don't know)
    2 Tbsp white sugar
    2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I use low sodium)
    1Tbsp Sesame oil

    Stir it together, it will look odd and at first but keep stirring it will come together nicely (if the PB wont stir give it 30 secs in the microwave) and mix with noodles, I prefer thick rice noodles myself.  It makes about two servings, more if you are pairing it with the recipe above as the sauce/drippings from that helps stretch it.

    While the adults enjoyed it, I think Sam and Ben may have enjoyed it more. Colin was insanely jealous that I was feeding it to them (I pulled out the scraps to try to keep them off Erin's plate so she could eat in peace) but refused to open his mouth to try it (yep we are there now).

    Then yesterday I saw a dip recipe on another blog called Fix Me a Snack that mixes 1Tbsp of natural peanut butter and 2 Tbsp of plain yogurt. When Colin finished his first two courses of lunch and was looking for something else I remembered this and gave it a whirl. It is REALLY good. I had to make more and cut up another apple because Colin literally put his arms around his dishes and wouldn't share with me anymore (he has never done that before).  (Now that I look at the blog I can't find the original recipe, so I may be giving credit to the wrong person... oh well its a good read anyway.)

    Since both Erin and Julie asked for the recipes I figured more people would be interested in this too. If you are looking for a peanut butter fix this week, try one of these recipes you won't be sorry.