25 February 2009

Stall Tactics

On any given day I am amazed by my son. He is developing so rapidly now that I can't even keep up. I'm not sure how many words he says any more. He seems to come up with a new one at least every day. And it's been wonderful to watch him learn sign language. He picks up signs almost as fast as he picks up spoken words. His newest sign: "open."

However, with the ability to communicate comes the ability to manipulate. Not in a bad way, obviously. But Benny has taken to using his communicative tools to stall going to bed. It started with requests for milk AND water before bed. Lately he's been double-fisting when he goes to bed. Tonight he realized that if he asks for food, he actually gets to stay up later and piddle around while he eats. And based on his sly grin, he knows exactly what he's doing.

20 February 2009


It took residence in our house for a week. The three of us have been sick with the flu this week. Benny caught it this weekend. Then Nate was down for the count on Monday and Tuesday. I thought, maybe, just maybe I'd be spared. No such luck. It hit me like a pile of bricks on Wednesday. Yesterday I was nearly nonfunctional by about 5 p.m. Since this was the first time that we've had a "family sickness," I took observed a few key points:

1. Nate, although sometimes incredibly stubborn and occasionally lazy when it comes to housework, can really pull through when he needs to. He did all he could to take care of me and even cleaned the house last night after I went to bed. It was in shambles after a week of sickness.

2. I still use the tricks my mom used when I was younger and sick. There is no better cure than a glass of Sprite on ice. It can take care of sore throats, stomach aches, and many other maladies.

3. It can be difficult and downright frustrating to take care of a toddler while sick. Benny is starting his tantrum phase. While the tantrums can be hard to deal with while I am well, they are nearly impossible to deal with while ill.

4. I am incredibly lucky to have a healthy family and to be healthy myself. I dealt with sickness for a week. Some people deal with it for a lifetime. I should appreciate that more often.

14 February 2009

Progress (on a Few Subjects)

Progress. I like writing about it. First and foremost, Benny's screaming-while-going-to-sleep phase seems to have been a short phase. After about five days, he is going to bed without screaming. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm glad that the phase didn't last any longer. He doesn't seem so attached to me any more either. We'll see what happens on Monday when I drop him off at the nanny's.

Progress on my dissertation is even better. I'm happy to report that I have drafts of six out of the seven total chapters written. I'm working on editing some chapters now. My adviser and I will touch base this week to discuss the two analysis chapters (I'm worried about these). The good news is that I should have a "working" draft of all of the chapters finished by the end of this month. I've been writing quite a bit lately...

BUT, there's progress on another subject - the brother-in-law experiment. Matt found a job. It's lightened the mood around here quite a bit. He still doesn't have a car, but he's not borrowing ours much anymore (his "alternative" form of transportation is still his girlfriend's car). That also means that when he starts this job on Monday he won't be watching Benny for me. It's been fantastic to have three hours to work during the day. I'm worried that without those chunks of time I'll be frantically working at night - not my idea of fun.

And that's all the news I have of progress for now. All outta progress at this point.

Stay tuned in the next few weeks. I'll post some very exciting news. Until then, I'll work on more progress!

10 February 2009

Separation Anxiety

Somehow we escaped the separation anxiety phase ... until now. I know that kids experience separation anxiety at different ages, but Benny has always been pretty laid back about having me around. About two weeks ago, he turned 180 degrees.

He hangs out with a friend's nanny on Monday mornings. He really likes Letty and enjoys playing with the little boy she takes care of. However, the past three mornings have been torturous. Now he understands what is happening before we even knock on the door. He clings to me and screams as soon as I put him down. It's especially heartbreaking when he says "mama" through his tears.

Though I'm not a big fan of this phase, it is nice to feel needed sometimes. Nice until Benny decided to cry for an hour before going to bed - at naptime and at bedtime. Nate and I have marveled at how lucky we are to have a kid who sleeps well and doesn't fight sleep time. That is until this weekend. I'm hoping that this recent development has something to do with the separation anxiety he's experiencing. We are at a loss as to what to do. Do we let him cry it out or help him out? It's a tough call - especially when he's screaming "mama" from the edge of his crib.

08 February 2009

Phat Pat Drives to Denver

And stayed for less than 24 hours. Not surprising. I'm not sure if my parents drove straight home or stopped off in Sterling for the night. (I won't go into a long explanation about this here. See my post from July 25ish.)

I'm not writing to discuss my parents' visit. Rather, a great Phat Pat story came up while they were here. A friend of ours was in town to go skiing. She has met my parents and knows a little about the eccentricities of my dad. Nate asked if I had posted the Patism that had occurred on Thanksgiving. I had not. So here it is. It's a classic.

Nate makes fantastic mashed potatoes. Knowing this, my mom asked him to make them for Thanksgiving. Nate was finishing up the potatoes and was ready to transfer them to a large bowl. My mom gave him a plastic bowl. Just then, my dad entered the room and decided to "help" out. He suggested that Nate needed a metal bowl rather than a plastic bowl. My mom told him that she didn't have a metal bowl. To that, my dad answered: "Mashed potatoes taste better out of a metal bowl. Find the metal bowl, Jean." My mom left the room and Nate stifled his laughter. Although I wasn't there to witness this Patism, I have no doubt it occurred. It sounds just like my dad.