Archive for 2013

Dec 23 2013


Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

There were two incidents today that really drove home to me that The Boy understands a lot more than he can articulate…and also a lot more than he generally lets on. Which means I may have been too easy on him in certain ways, thinking that he doesn’t understand.

The first:

The Man went outside to snowblow, and The Boy wanted to watch from a window. However, the dining room window he chose happened to have an electric candle in it, and he was monkeying around with the candle. I told him he couldn’t be at the window anymore, and led him away. A few minutes later, he was laying forlornly on his trampoline in the living room. I said to him, “Boy, if you want to look out that window there, you can. Get up, go behind the tree (the Christmas tree) and look out the window.” And he immediately stood up, went to the proper window, moved the curtain, and looked out.

The second:

We were in his bedroom, getting ready for bed. I changed his diapers, said his prayers, and The Man said, “OK, time for bed.” Well, The Boy was not ready for bed. He made quite a screech. So I said “OK. I’m setting a timer. When this alarm goes off, you’re going to bed. Go ahead and play. But when the alarm goes, it’s bed time.” I set the timer for five minutes, and we played. When the timer went off, he jumped up, grabbed his lovey, and went right to his crib to be lifted into bed.


He’s just over 22 months. There are some kids who are speaking better than he is, but I’m not worried about that. He knows so much. It astonishes me. He knows a lot of the alphabet. He knows numbers, mostly 1-10 but occasionally he’ll count as high as 15. He knows his colors and many shapes. He can’t say all of them, but if I say “Where’s the square?” he can point to it. Or if I ask him which is the yellow one, he’ll point to it.

Sometimes, he’ll save something up and break out with it at random times, and it’s funny. Today, we were sitting on the couch in the living room, and he said “Spooky!” Now, I know he got that from the Halloween episode of Bubble Guppies, but we haven’t watched that one in a week or more. So, he’s been saving “Spooky” until the time felt right.

I have to make sure I’m telling him more things, especially with transitions. I think he’d be happier if he knew what was coming next, and what we are going to be doing. I have to remember than just because he doesn’t say a lot doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot going on inside.

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Dec 11 2013

Googaro Box – December 2013

Published by under Products/Shopping,The Boy

Here it is, our first and last Googaro box! Once I opened it and looked at what we’d gotten, I decided that children’s subscription boxes are not for us. I will probably, when The Boy is older, subscribe to one of the monthly boxes that provide craft projects, or maybe Little Passports, but he’s too young for that stuff right now. I should also mention that the Googaro subscription is $10 more per month than Citrus Lane, which make this box even more of a let down. I paid more for this, folks. Yes, I did.

Anyway, let’s commence with the disappointment, shall we?



Thanks for the well wishes, Googaro, now someone get Santa out of that bag before he suffocates!!!! One thing I do like about Googaro is that on the info card they send, they do put the suggested retail price of the item. It’s nice to have an idea of how much was spent where. Of course, I look this stuff up on Amazon, but I’m sure most people don’t bother. And now, it’s time for a breakdown:

Sophie La Girafe Janod Toy (I’m not sure why it’s called by its French name. In the US, you’ll find this as “Sophie the Giraffe Looping Bead Toy”)
Amazon price: $19.99 (Googaro suggested retail price: $19.99)
Dear sir or madame: Please note that this toy is recommended for ages 12 months+, and that the child on the front looks pretty much like a 12 month old. When I signed up for this service, I was asked to input my child’s age, and I did so, accurately. He is, in fact, nearly two years old. I assume that you believe the + on the 12 months+ means that children of any age over 12 months would enjoy this toy, but that is not the case. My son looked at it, pushed the beads around for a minute, and said “Done. No.” That’s because this is a boring toy for someone who is nearly two years old and neurotypical.

Bearington Plush (aka Suffocatin’ Santa up there)
Couldn’t find on Amazon (Googaro suggested retail price: $7.00)
A stuffed toy. Like I don’t have enough of these that he never, ever looks at. At least it’s a Santa so that I can use it as a home decor object. And I will do that, because it’s pretty cute. However, my child will not enjoy it.

Paul Frank Only in Dreams book
Amazon price: $6.29 (Googaro suggested retail price: $7.00)
Books are always good. I find Paul Frank’s Julius character (the monkey who is the star of this book) to be somewhat creepy and off-putting, but he seems to be everywhere these days, so I’m guessing that’s not a common thing. I won’t hold it against anyone. So, a nice book. OK.

Oogaa Silicone Placemat
Amazon price: $8.99 (Googaro suggested retail price: $8.99)
I see eating accoutrements as the epitome of the “We don’t know what to do for the 18 month to 2 year old set” syndrome. It’s like a bunch of people were sitting around in a brainstorming session, trying to figure out what to do with these kids, and someone said “Screw it, they have to eat, right? Give them a plate or something.”

Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm
Amazon price: $7.00 (Googaro suggested retail price: $7.00)
More lip balm? Not to mention, another stupid mom gift? Is there an epidemic of moms out there with dry lips and who just can’t stand not getting a token present for themselves? I hate mom gifts. I sincerely expect the craft boxes that I may order in the future to have a mom gift of a hot glue gun that shoots lip balm or something, because apparently these box people all picture us scrabbling madly in our child’s monthly gift box going “What, there’s nothing for me? There has to be something for me! I’m the mom!”

So, the overall retail value of the box, leaving out the derpy mom gift, is $42.98. I spent $35 on this box. I will use one item (the book) for my son, one item (the Santa) for my home, and that’s it. I’m drowning in lip balms, so I doubt this rose-mint concoction will ever get play, plus it’s in a stupid tin, which means I have to get my finger gunky to put it on. That makes my actual use value is $14. Not great. I would be willing to give this another month, but at $35/month, I’m not willing to hang in there when the first box was so terrible. I will be taking that $35 and heading out into the wilds of actual brick-and-mortar stores next month to see what I can find on my own. If I remember, I might even blog about it.

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Nov 19 2013

Citrus Lane – November 2013 box

Published by under Products/Shopping,The Boy

This will be our last Citrus Lane box, at least for awhile and possibly forever. Out of the three boxes we’ve gotten, one has been good, one has been “meh” and this one was like “That’s it?” The box arrived while I was out with Mackers, and The Man tore right into it, so I didn’t get a picture this time. But, here’s what was inside:

Bumkins Reusable Snack Bags, Two-Count
Amazon price: $6.95 for two
I guess I’m not a normal mom, because I don’t pack snacks that need to be distributed into smaller bags. Maybe I’ll use these more as he gets older, but right now the snacks that come out traveling with us are things like yogurt and string cheese. I would never have bought these and I probably won’t use them.

Green Toys Chef Set
Amazon price: $14.12
The Green Toys Chef Set is four pieces: a lidded pot, a pan, a ladle, and a spatula. They’re nice enough, and he’s getting a kitchen for Christmas, so they will probably get some use. They are recycled plastic, which is fine. I prefer wood, especially since we’re getting him Melissa and Doug kitchen stuff, but they are nice and plain and don’t have cartoon characters all over them, so they pass muster. Since I didn’t open this, I’m not sure if we didn’t get the pan or if it’s lost somewhere in the house. I’ve never seen it, so it’s hard to say. When The Man comes home, I’ll ask him if I remember and edit appropriately. I am currently using the pot as a snack holder to try and drum up some interest in it. It’s a nice place to put animal crackers.
Edited to add: I asked The Man, and we did not receive the pan. So, either we got the shaft, or Green Toys inexplicably decided to remove one piece from their normal four-piece set before sending the product to Citrus Lane.

Good Boy Organics Organicsaurus Baked Organic Corn Snack, Cheddar Cheese
Amazon price: $41.99 for 24 (approx. $1.75 each)
They looked cute – 3D dinosaur shaped treats. But The Boy spit them out. I don’t know if he didn’t like the taste or the texture.

Skip Hop Zoo Divided Plate – Dino
Skip Hop price: $6.00
It’s. A. PLATE. A nice plate, but still a plate. As my husband said, “If you need a plate, you’re not waiting around, hoping one shows up in your Citrus Lane box.” Also, there’s not a lot of innovation in tableware. It’s basically what design is on it, and by the time your kid is eating solids, you probably have a collection of tableware already.

Some coupon for address labels
The Man threw it out, but told me it was a coupon that we could only redeem if we spent $100 on product. He thinks it was for a site like Shutterfly or Snapfish.

Mom Gift: Purlisse Pur-Lip Comfort Daily Lip Nourisher, 0.38 oz
Amazon price: $7.00 for 0.5 oz
It’s fine. The last thing I needed was more lip stuff, though. And I’m annoyed that they threw in a mom gift.

Anyway, I’m sure this would have been a fine box for some other family whose child isn’t a picky eater and who likes snack bags and where the mom was excited to get a token present of her own, but that’s not us, so we were not pleased that this is what we got for $25. I subscribed to Citrus Lane hoping to be introduced to products that I wouldn’t find on my own or wouldn’t think to buy. I’ve been disappointed overall in our three months of boxes. We’re going to cancel Citrus Lane for now and try out one of the other subscription services. Next up is Googaro, which is $35/month, so we’ll see if we feel like we’re seeing the additional value.


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Nov 01 2013

First Trick or Treat

Published by under Holiday Magic,Photos,The Boy,The Man

It rained all the ding-dong day on Halloween this year. Fortunately, The Man’s place of employment (which is where I used to work) does indoor trick-or-treat. If an employee wants to participate, he or she puts a balloon on their cubicle or office, and the kids can go trick or treating. It’s nice. So, we took The Boy there.

He dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I got his costume off Amazon and it was a nice, lightweight job that he wore over a set of pajamas. I tried to keep him dressed lightly, but his face was still rosy red by the time he was done. That might be because he went full blast from the time we started until we finished. He didn’t care about the candy, he was just glad there were so many people he could talk to and a nice big place to run around in.

When people tried to give him candy, he would often take a piece out of his bucket to give back to them. I guess he thought he was working on the barter system. He wanted to carry around a box of Nerds the whole time. And he didn’t say “Trick or Treat”, possibly because I had never taught him to say “Trick or Treat”. Instead, he ran up to everyone and greeted them with a very enthusiastic “Hey, man!” This was a big hit, as you can imagine.

We got a lot of compliments on his cuteness. He IS pretty cute, if I do say so myself.




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Oct 25 2013

His mouth asplode.

Published by under The Boy

The Boy has had a language explosion lately. He parrots nearly everything we say, which of course means we are starting to watch our mouths a little more carefully. But, the things he picks up on are hilarious to me. I don’t even to set out to teach him certain things, but he learns anyway and surprises me with what will come out of his mouth. Some examples:

  • I walked into his room to get him up from a nap. He was standing in his crib, and when he saw me, he said “Poopy.” And so he was. The other day, he was standing next to the recliner, looking deep in thought, and he looked at me and again said “Poopy.” Yep, again he needed a diaper change. And that’s another phrase he says pretty well: “Diaper change”. You can infer from this paragraph what a lot of our talk centers around.
  • He has started greeting people with “Hey, man!” His dad walked in from work the other day and was cheerfully greeted this way.
  • One of his new favorite things is for us to put him in the swivel desk chair and spin him around until he’s dizzy. This morning when I set him in it he grabbed the arm rests and said “Hang on!”
  • Sometimes when he does something well, I’ll say “Nice!” He often repeats that back in this way: And, as a side note, when he heard that video start playing he cracked up and said “NICE!” I guess it was hilarious.
  • He can identify most letters and at least one shape: See-earl! (Circle) He has trouble with words over two syllables, so when I taught him to say W, I really enunciated it. As a result, he now says DUH! BULL! YOU!

I think every parent thinks their child is genius and I’m no exception. Sometimes when he’s babbling I’ll tell him “You’re the genius voice of a generation!” I hope that’s one phrase he doesn’t take to kindergarten with him. Nothing like a little inflated ego to really start a kid off on the right foot.

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