Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jackson's daycare had a big Thanksgiving feast on Friday and invited all the parents. Matt worked from home so that he could attend, and I baked a pumpkin pie (and by baked, I mean I opened the box, stuck the frozen pie in the oven, and left it in there for 65-75 minutes). Jackson was super excited about the special day. How cute does he look?
We've always sort of suspected that daycare was telling us tall tales when they marked the little box next to "I ate all my food" on his daily sheet, just because he really doesn't eat all that much at home. It turns out that they don't lie. Matt said that Jackson ate so much that he started to get worried that he would be sick. He was still eating when the rest of the class had gone back to get ready for their naps, and the three year olds started setting up for their feast.

We have many things to be thankful for, and one of them is his awesome daycare. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Maid

Ok, so if you've ever lived with me (I'm talking to you Mom), you know that neatness isn't exactly my thing. I drop my clothes on the floor when I take them off. I leave the cupboards open in the kitchen. I am incapable of pouring anything without spilling at least some of it. So I knew I hit the jackpot when I married Matt. If you've ever lived with Matt, you know that he is very, very neat - - in a good way - not a Sleeping with the Enemy or OCD kind of way. What I mean is that he washes the pots before we even eat dinner. He empties the dishwasher whenever it is clean. He rarely spills anything or leaves a mess. No, you can't have him. He's mine. Anyway, not to make anyone jealous, but it turns out that I hit the jackpot twice when I got my mini-Matt (AKA Jackson). He follows behind me and closes cabinets and doors while I cook. When I want to make him happy, I hand him a Clorox wipe and ask him to clean the counter. If he sees a spot on the floor, he'll go wet a paper towel and try to clean it. He even puts things away when he's done using them. Frankly, it's pretty awesome. So anyway, we took him to the park the other day, and he found this little house that he just loved. He kept putting pebbles on the table and then brushing them off. When I asked what he was doing, he said, "I cleaning Mommy!" Sweet!

We Don't Need No Education

Every day when we pick Jackson up from daycare, his folder is full of all kinds of drawings, worksheets, and projects for us to take home. I recently commented to Matt that his art seems to be getting worse and worse, and then we realized that they are probably actually letting him do more and more himself. Seriously, we have received art projects in which we really couldn't discern what part a two year old possibly could have contributed. The intricate cutting? The carefully drawn labels? The perfect glue job? Anyway, we go quite a surprise this Monday when we went to Jackson's folder and found a blank worksheet entitled "Homework". Not only a blank worksheet entitled "Homework", but one involving matching numbers of items that Jackson couldn't possibly be expected to do. We both chuckled over his first homework assignment and I dropped the "Homework" in the recycling bin along with the rest of his "art" and the junk mail.
But the laugh was on us the next day when we came to pick Jackson up. "Did Jackson do his homework?" his teacher asked. At first I panicked. I pasted a big smile on my face and looked at Jackson, "Jackson did you do your homework, honey?" Then I realized how incredibly mean and ridiculous it was for me to blame my parenting failure on Jackson; it sort of felt like telling the teacher that your dog ate your homework. So I confessed, "Um...I guess we didn't get to it last night. We'll do it tonight for sure." I may as well have worn a t-shirt that said, "I DON'T CARE ABOUT MY CHILD'S EDUCATION." I rushed home and dug the wretched worksheet out of the recycling bin. Over dinner, Matt and I tried to explain squirrel math (certainly 3 or even 4 year old work, right?) while Jackson yelled, "I don wan do HOMEWORK!!."

The next day, the three of us proudly turned in Jackson's homework. Matt and I chuckled about the whole thing again, and hoped that was the end of 2 year old homework. That afternoon, we found this waiting for us in Jackson's box:

I don't know what's funnier: the fact that they graded an assignment that he clearly never could have done on his own, or that fact that he got 100/100 as his grade.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Donner Party

When the weather is not brutally hot, our favorite weekend activity is "hiking" (AKA relatively short walks in wooded areas). The last 6 months have been a bit a of a challenge because Jackson no longer wants to be carried in a backpack, so our progress is incredibly slow. Every few feet he either trips and cries, stops to kick some moss, or, inexplicably, walks backward. Even when he does let us carry him, 29 pounds on your hip or shoulders gets heavy pretty quickly.
So today we decided to explore a "nature trail" that we had not done before. At the beginning, we lightheartedly noted that the trail was so covered in fall leaves that it was difficult to follow. But like the heroine in a horror movie that just can't resist going into the basement when she hears a spooky sound, we proceeded anyway. Predictably, we lost the trail within 20 minutes. We didn't really want to turn back because we doing so would mean a longer walk back to the bathrooms and car. So we plugged along, stopping frequently to say, "this sort of looks like a trail, doesn't it?" and "I'm pretty sure we're headed in the right direction anyway, aren't you?" Just when our jokes about cannibalism were starting to give way to real desperation (I had to go to the bathroom really badly), we came up on the paved trail and made our way home. Disaster averted. I would say "lesson learned" except this isn't the first time this has happened to us, so I'm guessing it won't be the last either. Some people never learn.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Election news

Well, you know when you've been overly consumed by the election when your husband asks, "Who's this?" (with a picture of Obama) and your son replies, "President O'Mama!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Slide Therapy

Jackson has always been amazingly un-afraid of slides. I say "amazingly" only because he tends not to be the most adventurously soul in most other aspects of his life (and really, I can't imagine where he got THAT from...), but he has always been willing to go down any slide no matter how tall or steep. So we were really surprised when we took him to the park this weekend and he was suddenly too scared to go down the tallest slide. I decided that this was a good sign - a sign that he recognized that it really IS tall and really IS a little dangerous. Matt disagreed and embarked on a 20 minute therapy session that involved doing the slide together, and then slowly fading himself out until Jackson could do it on his own. I swear he really misses doing therapy even though he says he doesn't.

Here are some photos from the "slide therapy" session:

And here are some photos documenting treatment success:


When we picked Jackson up at daycare today, we were greeted with a roomful of not-so-subtle reminders to do our civic duty. Even in a state where the election is all but decided before the polls even open, there was a lot of excitement this year. Matt and I waited two hours to vote, but it was worth it since Jackson's daycare teacher demanded we show our "I VOTED!" stickers when we came to pick him up. We're both a little scared of her, so we were relieved that we could comply. Happy election day, everyone!

PS Yes, that IS a bowlful of miniature sherbet scoops. Our little pollster is still demanding daily rewards for potty training and we are more than happy to comply.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Jackson really go into Trick-or-Treating this year. Despite some early protests regarding his costume, when the time came he put it on proudly and couldn't wait to go to the neighbors for candy. We did a lot of practicing with the whole "Trick or Treat!" and "Thank you!" thing, but he still had trouble getting it right. Matt says that the person would open the door and Jackson would proudly announce, "Thank you!" to them. Ah well. Here are a few pictures from the big event.

Halloween Carnival

They had a cute little Halloween Carnival in our neighborhood last weekend. All the kids dressed up in costumes and they had jump castles (which Jackson calls "jump casicles"), face painters, balloon animals, firetrucks to climb on, and more. Jackson wasn't too keen on wearing his costume, even though he was supposed to be a fire truck, and fire trucks are pretty much his favorite thing in the world. I told him that he wouldn't get any candy at the Halloween Carnival if he wasn't dressed up, so he grudgingly put his costume on. Let me ask you this: Would you ever considering having a Halloween carnival WITHOUT candy? Apparently someone would, because this was a candy free zone. Nary a Candy Corn nor a Sweetart could be found anywhere. Jackson wandered through the crowds of princesses and scarecrows and spidermen saying sadly, "Where candy? Where candy?" I finally gave in and let him have a bag of popcorn (choking hazard) because I felt so bad. As a consolation, we went home and carved a pumpkin together (and by we, I mean Matt).

Jackson was pretty excited about the "Scary" pumpkin

He was even more excited when we showed him how it can light up

Jackson giving the scary pumpkin a kiss

Potty Training Part 3

Jackson has had the "front end" of potty training down for a while. He stayed dry for two weeks straight to earn Rocket from Little Einsteins, which he was so excited about, and continues to remind us, "I EARNED that!" This is the cute little sticker chart I made for him with the picture of Rocket.

Anyway, despite our "front end" success, the "back end" part continued to give him trouble. We bribed him, cajoled him, reasoned with him (which involved way too much frank discussion of bodily functions for anyone's comfort), and even threatened him, but nothing seemed to do any good. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that it dawned on me that he didn't just not want to poop on the potty - he didn't want to poop AT ALL - anywhere or at any time. It's ironic because I work with stool withholders all the time at work, but it never crossed my mind that this could be Jackson's problem. Anyway, after a little trial and error and TLC (AKA regular doses of prune juice), he finally started pooping on the potty! After months of trying to get him to do this, we had pretty much promised him a pony and a BMW for pooping on the potty, so he started cashing in on all his promised rewards at a rapid rate. Ice cream? Sure! A big mylar balloon? Here you go!

So on Thursday we picked him up at school and he came running up to us announcing, "I poo poo on the potty! I get ice cream! I get ice cream now!" We tried to shush him so his teachers wouldn't figure out that we parent through bribery, and shuttled him home. He had been settled into his seat at the table with a big bowl of rainbow sherbet for only a few minutes, when his eyes fell on a giant orange pumpkin sitting on the counter and filled with awesome Halloween candy (no cheapies around here!). He immediately demanded, "I want candy! I want that candy! I want that candy now!" "Well honey," I said sweetly, "Maybe the next time you poo poo on the potty, you can earn a special piece of candy from the pumpkin!" I then sat back quietly and marvelled at my brilliant parenting. He sat back quietly too. Then he announced suddenly, "I have go poo poo! I have go poo poo on the potty!" and ran off to the bathroom. About 10 minutes later, Matt walked in the front door to discover his son sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of ice cream and munching on a "fun size" bag of M&Ms (which hold way more candy then you would ever think). The truth is, however, that we were both SO EXCITED to be done with diapers that we almost didn't care when he didn't eat his dinner that night. Yay for no more diapers!

Sorry for the intermission!

Ok Advanced Psychology fans - I took a little intermission from posting due to some problems with my photo program, but I am back in business now!