Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday News & Notes

- I felt incredibly guilty yesterday morning when Jacob asked to wear big boy underwear and I had to tell him no.  He was an amazingly sweet and wonderful child when I came in to get him and he had managed to stay dry in underwear for hours the night before.  If we were hanging out at home all day, I would have certainly said yes.  However, I talked to his teacher at daycare about trying out big boy underwear with the plastic pants, and got a hesitant "no".  The teacher said that if it were just her, she'd be fine with it.  But if the "daycare police" come through and anything smells like urine (i.e., the carpet in his classroom), that would be a problem.  Even though I think he's making progress (knock on wood--hopefully I didn't just jinx it), I still think the pull-ups don't remind him that he's wet.  He knows pretty darn quickly in underwear, though, and I think that might be the key to all of this.  Even still, he's doing pretty decently at keeping his pull-up dry when he's at daycare, and it breaks my heart that we can't keep up the process all day with big boy underwear there.  He wants it so bad, and I think mentally he's getting there.  He did come to me in a panic shortly after I got him up because he had to poop, and he did fantastically.  It doesn't work that way all the time, but the steps seem to be generally moving in the right direction. 

- I have about a million things on my to do list for Saturday's birthday party.  I finally wrapped gifts last night and bought a couple more food items off the list, but I really need to strategize how I'm going to cook all of this pulled pork, bake two layers of cake, and make the rice krispie treats that will form the lacrosse stick on the top of the cake.  Oh, and the cake will need time to cool so I can frost and decorate it, which will probably all need to wait until Saturday morning...which leaves little time for error.  There are a handful of food items that need to wait until the last minute, so I can't even tackle that until at least Friday night.  I'm also planning on putting together a simple salad and trying to cook salt potatoes for the first time...also both Saturday morning escapades.  I want to get out and do some trimming in the backyard, buy balloons to decorate the patio, and will probably have to delegate pool toy inflation/cleaning to Craig, who is already busy with vacuuming and maintaining the pool's crystal clear water (yes!), among other things.  We also need to buy and wrap gifts for our niece and nephew, whose party is Sunday...in Buffalo.  And I need to figure out how I'm going to make a little extra cake (from a fun recipe!) for Jacob's little portion of their party on Sunday once we arrive in Buffalo.  See, there's a graduation party in Craig's family on Saturday as well, so rather than try to find another date that worked for everyone (impossible!) we just figured we'd tag along with the twins' party.  Not ideal, but it works.  I just want to make sure everyone gets a chance to celebrate Jacob, too.  It's not his fault we live far away or that his parents don't plan far enough in advance to beat out the other invites.  It's a lot to do, and as a result I spend my days at my desk staring down my to do list and freaking out.  My boss is off Friday and working from another office on Monday, so it doesn't look like there's too much hope for taking off either day to prepare before or rest after.  Ugh.

- In the midst of this weekend's activities, I'm trying to figure out what I should do for Jacob's birthday at daycare.  He shares a birthday with one of his classmates, and another has a birthday the next day.  A third turns three over the following weekend, so it's going to be a busy week or so in his classroom.  Last year I just did cupcakes with a light icing (so as to conform to the "not a lot of frosting" request from his teachers), but since then a lot of kids have gone the goodie bag route.  Also, peanuts have been banned from the building so it makes treats a little trickier.  Lori suggested I make some rice krispie treats, which isn't a half bad idea.  I'd like to do one little takeaway item, too, but with 10 kids I don't want to be spending a ton.  He's only almost-three and doesn't really get the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" thing yet, so it probably doesn't matter.  But if there's an easy, cheap way to do what I want, I'm willing to try.  Ultimately I'm thinking rice krispie treats for in class and maybe a little token toy and one of the Wegmans fruit strips for a take-home treat.  Jacob loves them, they're all natural, and they'd be easy to tie to the toy with curly ribbon.  We'll see.

- The big boy bed experiment has been going well.  He hasn't fallen out since those original two instances I mentioned, and he hasn't been attempting to escape at night.  He has had a couple more excuse-laden evenings, but I suppose with the opportunity for added mobility comes the desire to test out the theory.  Incidentally, I've decided that one of the biggest conundrums of parenthood happens when your kid has to pee at bedtime.  On one hand, you want to squash any attempts at pushing back bedtime.  It usually seems like just another thing to add on to the request for water or help with blankets or comforting from the scary shadows, but what if it's not?  At this point he's still in a diaper so part of me wants to be like, you've been peeing in your diaper this long, do it again now.  But on the other hand, we're working hard on potty training, so that's not really the right response.  Also, when he is in big boy underwear at night, we won't really have a choice but to let him, for fear he'll pee the bed.  And no one wants that.  You can force them to go right before bed, but there's no guarantee that they won't truly have to go again.  I've been trying to say no to water requests at bedtime, too, in working toward those dry nights, but again, can you really deny your kid water when they might be genuinely thirsty?  Tough call.  I know a dry mouth can bug me at night, so why not him?  I suppose I can leverage the water against the big boy underwear at some point--"Are you sure you want that water?  If so, you'll have to wear a pull-up because it'll make you pee the bed."--but for now that's a pretty empty threat since he's wearing a diaper anyway. 

- The other day I made the mistake of explaining a little too much about Jacob's big boy bed and his big boy room.  I said that he'd get a bigger big boy bed and move into the "green room" (his future room has green carpet at the moment) when he was going to get a brother or sister.  Somehow we got on the topic of toys, and how he could share some of his baby toys with the baby.  At first he sounded okay with it, and then a day or two later he decided he didn't want to share.  He also started talking about "the baby that's coming to our house" and I had to assure him that it wasn't happening for a long time. The last thing I need him doing is running around telling people about a baby coming to our house because I can see that setting off a whole lot of confusion.  I can only imagine the amount of stuff that daycare teachers have to filter out before they decide that something is worth asking the parents about.  If Jacob is any indication, there must be hundreds of stories they hear over any given week that sound like a whole lotta craziness.

- Have I mentioned that Jacob is loving the homemade popsicles I created?  Ever since last summer he's enjoyed smoothies for breakfast on the weekends.  I give him a smoothie in a fun cup with a fun straw, along with a bowl of cereal, and he's a happy camper.  The smoothies are usually strawberries, bananas, yogurt, milk, and maybe a little honey, along with some ice if none of the fruit is frozen.  He loves them.  I make them in a little mini-blender, similar to the Silver Bullet one that made the infomercial rounds and is now available everywhere.  I love mine, one I got at JC Penney for a fraction of the list price, though I do think I need to sharpen the blades a bit as we're getting a few more chunks of unblended fruit these days.  Anyway, I came across a couple popsicle recipes from the blogs I read, and the last time we were up in Toronto I picked up a set of popsicle molds for a couple bucks.  They're actually perfect for what we need--about 1/4 cup each, and the sticks have holes in them so the popsicle adheres well.  I just blend up a 1-1/4 cup of whatever I want, pour it in, and freeze.  My first batch was similar to our usual smoothies.  I gave Jacob one for dessert one night after he ate well at dinner, and ever since he's been hooked.  Our first batch ran out and I made another with some leftover melon and berries I had frozen, so I'm excited to see how those turn out, as I hear melon freezes well due to its high water content.  I didn't have quite enough to fill all six, though, so I experimented with yogurt, chocolate syrup and a little milk in the last one.  I'm interested to see if it comes out tasting like a jello pudding pop or a fudgsicle or something like that.  I plan on doing a full batch with banana added to the mix at some point.  It's really fun and the possibilities are endless.  Yes, there's some sugar from the yogurt (low-fat vanilla, can't do plain) and honey if I add it (plus the natural fruit sugars), but most of what's going in them is natural and healthy.  It's a win-win for both of us!

So...yeah, lots going on in our world.  Should be an interesting few days...

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