How to entertain a toddler…

…with a baby on your lap.

Baby girl showed up in the early morning hours of her due date May 28th (punctual to a fault *grin*). ¬†She did manage to wait until Nerddad had been back from a business trip week across the country for a whole 60 hours ūüôā


So what do we do now that mom’s trapped under the wee bebe all. the. time?

Lots of car races:

photo (64) photo (63)

And letter hunts:


And even some of this:

photo (67)

And probably more of this than I’m willing to admit:

photo (68)

But we did manage to pull off an activity or two. I rolled some cotton balls in a flour/water/food coloring mix, and baked ’em to make BASHABLE COTTON BALLS (more¬†detailed directions here).

bash  BASH
BASHBASHBASH the long view - yes, my crockpot has its own chair. what? it's family!

(Yes, my crockpot has its own chair. What? It’s family!)

When I do this again, I’d probably use more water to make a thinner coating – these baked up as hard as little rocks! ¬†I would also not emphasize the word BASHABLE quite so much… I’m STILL hearing that one.

No buddy, baby sissy is NOT BASHABLE.  Oy vey.

Fun times ahead, eh?

The gals at #iPPP are not all trapped under babies, and doing all sorts of neat summer things. ¬†Check ’em out!


Playing in water – the best laid plans…

Nope, no baby yet. ¬†Although I scared the pants off of Nerddad last night with a rousing game of “is it a tummy bug or is it labor”… *grin*. (Spoiler alert – tummy bug. ¬†Blech.) ¬†Keeping things interesting around here, that’s my major function.

So it’s FINALLY warm enough here to get outside and play for real. ¬†I mean, really Nature? ¬†SNOW in MAY? South of the Mason-Dixon? ¬†Vom. It.

But this week was gor-GEOUS, so after helping our AWESOME babysitter construct baby furniture:

So SERIOUS. And So SCARY with a real screwdriver.  Who's idea was that, anyway?

So SERIOUS. And so SCARY with a real screwdriver. Who’s idea was that, anyway?

The Little Scientist and I raided the $5 and under toy aisle for water toys. ¬†Bags of toys later, we set up shop at home…. And proceeded to play with our favorite rocks. ¬†For an hour. ¬†Quite happily. ¬†So I’ll stash the bags away for another sunny day ūüôā

water1 water2 water3

Although I do have to admit, we pulled the Nemo water cannon out for a little while, and the peals of laughter over the bubbles (aka Nemo toot-toots) were quite funny. ¬†Ah, potty humor. ¬†NOW we’re in my wheelhouse, little man.

Not to be deterred, after nap (and yes, that’s a THIRD outfit for the day. ¬†Don’t judge.) I was determined to try to make these sponge balls. ¬†I got as far as cutting up my sponges, and, well…

water4 water5

So this week’s lesson, following the last one about slowing down to toddler speed, is about child-led activities. ¬†Because sometimes a rock is the BEST toy, and sometimes the craft project gets derailed in the middle for a building project – and that’s ok too.


Gratuitous shot of nerddad and LS – because *d’awwwww*!!

The #iPPP gals – they’re awesome. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Go. Read. Now.


Attention Deficit Dis-HEY! Let’s go play!

(I kid.  I kid.  I know that ADD is real and serious for many people… Truly.)

When I was going through teaching / child development classes a few *cough-ten-cough* years ago, the big debate was on childhood attention spans.  Were they getting shorter, was technology to blame, OHMYGOD was Sesame Street to blame, etc…

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently for one simple reason.  At 8.5 months pregnant, I just don’t move very fast.  (Unless he decides to take off sprinting towards the road.  Then I can still give Usain Bolt a run for his money.  True story.  I would TOTALLY be an Olympic-class sprinter in the “endangered toddler” category.)

So here recently if the Little Scientist wants to camp out on an activity for an unholy length of time, I’m all in.  And I’ve noticed that my internal “let’s do something else” alarm goes off WAAAY before he’s usually ready to do something else.  Which makes me wonder how often I rush him through things before he’s ready to be done…  So yesterday we went to the park with the drainage ditch… err… creek and tossed rocks in the creek for almost an hour.  And again today.

rock1 rock2
rock3 rock4

I don’t pretend I can stop the clock all the time (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE FIND YOUR SHOES CHILD!!!!), but maybe I need these last 6 weeks before baby girl to retrain myself.  I’ll be thinking about that over here on the comfy chair with my ice cream if you wanna discuss ūüôā

The ladies at iPPP are doing all sorts of things NOT in comfy chairs – go check ’em out!


Discovering the camera button on the iThingie

And so the narcissism begins, eh?

(It’s a link to a pdf so your browser doesn’t come beat me up for a 10-picture post. ¬†You’re welcome *grin*)

The LS finds the camera button

(You should see the 300 pics of the couch and ceiling that I deleted… Riveting.)

Pretty sure I’m skirting the rules a tad on the smart-phone pic thing – go check out some gals who know how to do this right!!!


We survived “roughing it”

On Saturday I talked about how me and the Little Scientist were doing a stint as live-in nannies for a friend while she was induced for kiddo #4.

We survived.  Wa-hoo.

Her kids were EXCEPTIONALLY well-behaved.  But I learned that adopting a 7, 5 and 1-year old is NOT in the cards for nerdfamilymathfun.  Oof.  There may have been a TAD much screen-time over the course of the three days.

iPad ftw - ironically in a pile watching the EXACT same thing they could be viewing on the big tv just out of frame.

iPad ftw – ironically in a pile watching the EXACT same thing they could be viewing on the big tv just out of frame.

The “roughing it” part? ¬†NO MICROWAVE. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I never noticed that I use ours fifty bazillion times a day until I kept catching myself wandering aimlessly around the kitchen with a cold cup of coffee or plate of lukewarm food.

Related – dear Dominos. ¬†I could smooch you on the mouth for delivering a house full of pizza via iPad app. ¬†*MWAH* ¬†(Not the least because the warm-up meals I brought for the LS and I were, um…. microwave meals. ¬†Dammit.)

She uneventfully delivered an almost 7-pound healthy baby girl Рwhole family home and comfy.  Win.

And pass the Tylenol.

(Funny part Рthe night we headed up to help I got a call from my only other remaining pregnant friend, wondering if we could watch her 18-month old, because she seemed to be in labor.  She got it covered Рand ended up 2 doors down from the microwave-free mama! Babies for all!)

Squeaking in under the wire to link up with the #iPPP gals this week – check ’em out!


Odds and Ends (a Saturday brain dump)

All over the place these last few weeks…

  • Took the Little Scientist into the doctor for some help with the whole 2-years-old and eating thing. ¬†Good news: kid’s growing like a damn weed. ¬†Jumped from 70 & 70 percentile weight / height most of his life to 85 & 90 percentile respectively. ¬†Bad news: he seems to have inherited Nerddad’s blood sugar crashing issues. ¬†Our very patient pediatrician did a GREAT job of taking me seriously and offering me some tips and strategies while letting me know that we were still within the bounds of “normal things he sees”. ¬†Funny part: all those articles I’ve seen / been reading these last few months about kids oversnacking are hurting our cause. ¬†Turns out our little guy needs a few hundred calories every 2 or 3 hours. ¬†It’s making a big difference – I’m SO relieved.
  • Random other good news: both of his ear tubes have fallen out (a while ago it seems), and we’ve avoided any ear infections this WINTER OF THE PLAGUE. ¬†(DAMMIT!! Someone knock on wood for me. ¬†‘Cause I know I just jinxed it.) ¬†Would be great if we didn’t have to go back in for another round of those.
  • I currently have peanut M&Ms, orange M&Ms, and CARROT CAKE M&Ms in the house. ¬†But no peanut butter or regular ones. ¬†How did this happen?
  • Yeah, I’m rocking the banana hair clip today. ¬†So what?
  • I miss gluten.
  • I have a friend that has had a really hard pregnancy – not ¬†that there’s been issues with the baby, more that she’s been immobilized with discomfort. ¬†She’s being induced on Tuesday – and I’m so excited for her. ¬†Both for the new baby and so she can get to feeling better. ¬† Slightly less exciting – LS and I will be watching her other 3 kids at her house for 3 days. ¬†That sound you hear? ¬†That’s my anxiety level. ¬†Woof.
  • Related: don’t ever assume that your husband’s crazy rotating-shift job couldn’t POSSIBLY have him working the 4 days in a row where it would be nice to have him around for one of them. ¬†Because it will. *ANXIETY*
  • Also related: if I’m being honest, there’s a tiny part of me that’s glad she’s having her kid b/c the last few months have been pretty emotionally high maintenance… It’ll be nice to have some mental space to think about my own labor / delivery / general baby plans over the next three months or so.
  • (The bullet before last makes me feel like a bad friend.)
  • I still miss gluten.
  • The LS has been getting up several times a night since Thanksgiving – I’m pretty sure he’s conspiring with his sister to prep me for newborn schedules. ¬†Thanks kids. ¬†A few nights a week I grit my teeth and rockROCKrockROCKrock because dammit! ¬†Mama needs sleep (occasionally) too! ¬†Most nights, though, I’m able to just rock and snuggle and appreciate this little baby remnant in my big boy. ¬†I had a friend visit yesterday afternoon and the kiddo would only nap if he was curled up in my lap at the kitchen table while we talked. ¬†It was actually pretty nice *sniff*.
  • Why can’t I find plain men’s long-sleeved t-shirts (like Hanes Beefy T’s, but long-sleeved) ANYWHERE? Not Wally world, not Target, not Kohls… I know they exist, I’m WEARING one, gosh durn it!
  • I’m really glad jellybeans are gluten-free. ¬†Nomnomnom.

And, because I know no-one actually comes here for my scintillating story-telling abilities…

Mom!! Can't you see I'm working here?

Mom!! Can’t you see I’m working here?

now THAT's not a dish...

now THAT’s not a dish…

Big and little and one MELL of a hess.

You think I’d learn.  I already talked about the lentils and their ridiculousness.  Here.

But we’ve been working on big and little.  Daddy has big shoes (no really – size 14/15, dude), LS has little shoes.  Big steps, little steps.  Big bellies, little bellies. (I’ll let you guess who gets to serve as the example of big for THAT one *sigh*. I get no regard, no regard atall.)

I made a matching game that I (surprise, surprise) tape to things.  I printed it on cardstock – he gets the little shapes, and has to find the big partners taped around the house.  No pics – but the pdf is big & little.

A natural extension in my addled brain was measuring cups.  Big and little and pouring and WIN!!

The mistake?  I filled the bowl with a lentil-oats mix for the pouring.  Kid was in LURVE and the concentration was E-P-I-C.

pouring1 pouring2
pouring3 pouring4

I’ll be sweeping lentils from the kitchen floor for the rest of eternity.  Especially because now he asks for his “bowl” at least once a day.

To our darling and patient weekly babysitter – I’m so very, very sorry.

(I’ve heard rumored – thanks mom – that little pastas with a few big pastas mixed in are just as scoopable, and much easier to clean…)

The gals over at #iPPP – they rock. YOU should go check them out. For reals.