Archives for category: kids

As some may know… our six month old daughter Greta is a bit of diva when it comes to sleeping. She has demands which include having me lay with her in my arms on my left side with a bottle until she falls asleep and spills large amounts of formula all over our sheets. She then allows me to transfer her to the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play in which she sleeps for two hour intervals. The cycle repeats through out the night, unless I try to put her in the arms reach co-sleeper, in which she immediately throws her legs straight up in the air when placed on her back and wakes from a deep sleep to cry for her mother to again assume the position of falling back to sleep with her nose in my armpit.

I know it’s my own fault. And that I should have not gotten into the habit of pulling her into bed with me, letting her sleep in the rock n’ play. Blah blah blah. I followed all the rules with Nolan. He was in his crib at 2 weeks. Emmitt, was in a crib at 4 months. And here we are with Greta. She was the fussiest of babies for the first two months. I didn’t care what I had to do as long as she slept. Then I just got into the routine. And I honestly didn’t mind the snuggle time at night, because the poor girl doesn’t get enough attention during the day when I have more pressing needs like a 2 year old playing in the toilet and a 4 year old climbing up shelves.

So, I had to find a way to get her to sleep by herself in a crib (or co-sleeper with the mattress lowered like a pack n’ play). I decided I was going to sleep train her while Steve was away on business last weekend. And then I saw an article posted on facebook by a friend from high school about Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. She raved about it and then after reading the article I thought I would give it a try. The inventor of a product was just a regular mom who was trying to improve her own child’s habits…and I love supporting the regular mom!

The suit was available at Isis for $40. And I thought, hmmmm $40 to get my kid to sleep. It’s worth it. Well, worth it if it actually works. I got her ready for a nap that afternoon by changing her diaper, putting her in a onsie and then zipping her up in the suit. She looked like the kid from a Christmas Story. (reminds me of the best description from that movie of Randy in his snowsuit “My brother looked like a tick about to pop”) I gave her a bottle. She dozed off and I gingerly put her in down in the co-sleeper, just waiting for her to flail and wake up like she always does. But. She. Didn’t. She slept for 2 hours. First time she has ever slept flat on her back. First time alone in a crib-type setting.

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When it came time for bedtime she slept from 8-10 pm then woke up screaming. I knew she wasn’t hungry because she had only eaten 2 hours ago. So, I comforted her, then made her cry it out. And then she slept until 5 am! Woot. Woot. Basically tells me that she can sleep through the night if need be, since she didn’t need to eat from 8-5. (sadly, Emmitt still wakes up between 3 – 4 am every morning looking to eat… but that is another story for another day, let’s focus on the small victories with Greta).

Since then she has slept every night in her co-sleeper. She still wakes up 1,2, sometimes 3 or 4 times a night. But, she is sleeping on her own. And I have more room in bed! Yay! Now, if we can just feberize Franny, get Emmitt to sleep through the night, have Nolan sleep past 6 am… I just might get a normal nights sleep. (honestly, I don’t think my body would know what to do with a full night’s sleep. I have completely adjusted to this routine. And I don’t feel tired?)

Alright, I am exhausted. I’m going to bed : )

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Here are some recent conversations with my kids.

For the third time in one day…
Me – “Emmitt, did you poop?”
Emmitt – “No, I no poopy.”
Me – “Are you lying?”
Emmitt – “I lyin’. Rooooarrr!”

After discussing peanut allergies while making cupcakes for a class party…
Me – “Nolan, you can’t bring your walkie talkies to preschool”
Nolan “Why, are kids ‘llergic to them?”
Me – “yes.”

Nolan wearing a pair of rosary beads around his neck
Steve – “What are you wearing?”
Nolan – “My church necklace from when Emmitt & Greta got married.” (or baptized… whatevs.)

Getting ready for bed
Me – “Emmitt lets put on your pajamas!”
Emmitt – “Daddy frowed them away.”
Me – “Are you lying?
Emmitt – “I lying… Roaarrr!”

On taco tuesday…
Nolan – “Emmitt I’ll show you how to make a taco. First you put the circle thing on a flat surface.” (love hearing new vocabulary that you wouldn’t expect from him!)

While Nolan’s favorite adjective is “soaking”, Emmitt has some new slang himself. He suddenly uses the word “Heavy” for anything that is big.

While feeding him yogurt because I don’t feel like changing his clothes one more time today…
Emmitt – “I want a heavy bite.”

During a temper tantrum at Nolan’s preschool pick up…
Emmitt – “I want a heavy cracker”
Me – “Here is a graham cracker.”
Emmitt – (throws cracker in my face) No! A HEAVY CRACKER!
Me – “This is the heaviest cracker I have.
(other parents staring)

While I was at Tedeschi’s buying a 9 volt battery for the new walkie talkies, Steve texted to say that Emmitt told him that he swallowed one of the balls to the Hungry Hungry Hippos game. When I got home I asked him…
Me – “Emmitt did you eat the red ball?”
Emmitt – “No!”
Me – “Are you lying?!”
Emmitt – “I lyin’ ROAR!”

I usually can’t stand when people write stuff like this as facebook statuses… because I secretly don’t think their kids actually say stuff that funny. But, now that my kids are getting older, it’s like every other sentence is hysterical. If anything, I am writing this stuff here so I can look back on it someday and laugh!

Imagine what some of our favorite TV shows from childhood would be like if they were set in modern times? Here is how different would things be…

The Waltons

Good Night John-Boy

It took the Walton family about an hour to say goodnight to each other at the end of each episode. In this day and age, Daddy would have invested in a good family plan and each kid would have their own iPhone. They could just send out a group text…

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Punky Brewster
Back in the day Punky Brewster was considered to have pretty far out style. Her choice of attire and unique individuality wouldn’t even be considered unique these days! Punky would be “Normal Brewster”

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Little House on the Prairie

First Carrie would have been wearing a helmet while playing on the hill… Preventing any brain damage that occurred in filming the opening credits.

Little House Intro

Nellie Oleson, the biggest brat in the history of television, would have been in some sort of sensitivity training by the end of season one based on the new bullying laws.

Nellie would have no basis for her snobbery, because the Oleson’s general store would have gone under as soon as the new Target went up in Walnut Grove. On the other hand, Harriet Olson would surely have her own reality TV show similar to Dance Moms or something.

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What were your favorite TV shows growing up? How would they be different today?

police

I thought it would be an awesome idea to bring the kids to the Hingham playground this morning. I had it all planned out. I got everybody fed, dressed, and even packed lunches so we could eat there and then come right home for naps. All week we have been telling Nolan that he had to take a nap today (he hasn’t napped in a year) if he wanted to go the SHS Football game under the lights tonight. He agreed and was totally on board. I figured I should wear them out at the playground so he would actually be tired enough to nap. This sounds like a perfect plan, right? Well, the best laid plans of mice & men often go astray…

We got to the Hingham Playground and the entire lot was full. I had to pull around the loop and park on the dirt road behind the fire station. No big deal. Since we were going to walk a little longer than usual and there would probably be a temper tantrum by Emmitt when it was time to leave the playground, I thought it would be best to put Emmitt & Greta in the double stroller. Nolan unbuckled himself from his booster and ran up to the front seat and started pulling on the rearview mirror, to which I told him to stop. I got the 60 pound double stroller out of the trunk and buckled Emmitt into it. Then I walked around to the other side of the car to get Greta who was sleeping in her bucket seat in the back. As I was walking around I heard the door slam and Nolan was now out of the car waiting next to the stroller. I went to open Greta’s door and it was locked. Hmmmm, I must not have hit the unlock button when I got out. But, I already got one kid out of the car. Hmmm. Then I asked Nolan – “Did you lock the car?” And he replied “Yes” and my keys, along with Greta were both still inside. I grabbed my cell phone and called the police to come help me unlock the car and retrieve my 5 month old baby inside. Nolan was in a panic when he heard me on the phone with the police and was crying hysterically because he thought they were going to arrest him. Once, I explained they were going to talk to him about not playing with the lock and that they would help us get the door unlocked he calmed down.

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Look at Nolan’s poor face… He is thinking “what did I just do?”

The first officer on the scene was my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law… confusing? I knew him, which made it easier. Then another officer arrived. Then the fire department. They were able to shimmy the lock and get Greta out. Yay! Now it was time to get everyone over to the playground. Just as the police & fire leave, bee’s started swarming Nolan and he got stung on the back of the head. He was crying in pain and the bee was relentless. It would not get away. I picked him up and had to run with him down the road and at one point pull the bee off his face. He had never been stung before, so I was just praying he wasn’t allergic. I kept a close eye on him and he was fine. He just insisted on keeping his hood on at the playground to protect him from any other bees that my come flying his way. I think that little sting was karma. But, I probably should have been stung too for leaving my keys in the car with my kids in there.

When it was finally time to leave the playground Emmitt cried and cried the whole way home. I got everyone settled in for naps after one episode of Paw Patrol and they surprisingly all slept at the same time. (It took Emmitt an hour to fall asleep, but I won the battle of wills because I knew he needed that nap more than anyone). Just as everyone was quiet, a knock was at the door…

It was my neighbor who noticed our dog was roaming the neighborhood. I let Frances out, but forgot to put on her wireless fence collar so she took off. My neighbor couldn’t get Frances to follow her back to our house, so I would have to go find her. I wasn’t about to wake up all three kids to hall them around the block looking for the dog. I left them inside as I walked two houses away yelling “FRANNY! DO YOU WANT YOUR DINNER?!” which she can’t resist because she is food obsessed. Thankfully, she responded and came home.

And now it is 3 o’clock on a Friday and I am counting down the minutes until Steve gets home from school so the weekend can begin! Yay. As crazy as my morning was… I am still happy to be home with these kids. There is never a dull moment.

 

 
Critical Analysis of Children’s Programing 
 

I occasionally let my children watch TV. *cough, occasionally* And if I have to sit through these 22 minute episodes, you better believe I’m going to  critique the plot lines, characters & themes… Do these shows producers think the parents don’t watch the shows with their kids? Because I do…

 
I think the biggest question on everyone’s mind when watching Max & Ruby is where are their parents? It’s like Ruby is the original Teen Mom having to take care of Max all by herself at such a young age. She is constantly trying to juggle work earning bunny scout badges while caring  for a mischevious younger brother all at the same time. Not to mention the fact that she is no where near equipped to handle a bunny like Max. For starters she should probably get Max a speech eval, since it appears he is three or four years old and still unable to form sentences. He repeats the same word for the entire episode and makes Ruby’s life a living hell. Then Grandma swoops in at the end of it all and praises him for being the perfect grandson. While Ruby just continues to work harder to impress her (& her bunny scout leader). I’m really worried about the amount of stress this bunny takes on and how it is going to impact her later I’m life. She is bound to unravel at some point or turn to drugs… I can picture her pouring out her heart to Dr. Drew on Celebrity Rehab 15 years from now.

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Stan and Jan Berenstein must have really regretted naming the Bears Brother & Sister once they ran out of story ideas and needed the third kid to arrive on the scene to rejuvinate the series.  I would have gone with the name baby bear, but they had to change the whole name theme and call her “honey.” And the characterization of mama & papa is just irritating. Papa is a complete doofus, while mama is all-knowing and completely condescending in her tone of voice. They are totally headed for splitsville, then will there be a stepbrother & stepsister bear?The side characters are completely unrealistic… Especially Queenie Bear. First time I saw her on the screen I thought she was a middle aged gym teacher not sister bears best friend.  Even my sister’s agreed that Queenie bear was a characatire of Ms.Wolfe the Gates School gym teacher.Oh and Ted the bus driver also owns a summer camp in which he serves as director, counselor, cook, swim instructor, teaches archery, canoeing and serves as bus driver. It couldn’t meet American Camping Association standards.  I will say… I absolutely love their theme song, so they got that going for them.

Berenstain+Bears

 

Speaking of theme songs, we cannot watch Curious George without singing the theme song as “Bi-curious George” It’s to the point where I don’t think my kids know the real song because Steve & I are always slipping Bi-Curious in there. And if my kids ever sing it in public that way, people will just think we are really progressive or perverted. Either way… It’s a nice show. No big issues with the man with the yellow hat.

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Another PBS favorite is Sid the Science Kid. First of all, I would love to see a spin off featuring just Gerald & Sid’s grandma. Both those characters are just plain weird and it would be wicked entertaining. I can’t believe Sid’s parents allow Sid to ride home from school with Grandma everyday. I don’t think she’s all there. And Gerald is straight up hysterical, I love that boy. As an educator, I really struggle with teacher Suzy and her favoritism. You see, everyday Sid wakes up and has a question about his surroundings… Like why are my shoes too small or where is that ant going? And suddenly teacher Suzy has a perfectly tailored lesson plan that answers all Sid’s questions with an experiment and song and dance. It’s like his mother emails Suzy every morning and she just whips up a lesson plan for Sid. But what about the rest of the kids in his class… It’s so not fair.
 
Doc McStuffin’s is blatantly the Obama family.  I don’t know how the president of the United States has the time to do voice overs for the Disney Channel when we have way bigger issues facing our country today. I just hope it isn’t impacting his ability to lead our nation…

DAD, DOC MCSTUFFINS

 

 
 
Poor Calliou. Everybody hates on that boy. He is a critical part of the Maguire family nap routine. So, I’m not gonna hate. Plus, anybody that talks trash about a bald Canadian preschooler with a lisp has issues of their own. I have no problem hating on Rosie or  the grandparents… They are wicked annoying. Oh, and will someone please help his neighbor Sarah with her bangs? She cut them herself, right? Because if they paid a hairstylist for that… I’d ask for a refund. 

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse would be the bomb if they didn’t count so freaking slow, eliminated Martian Mickey from all episodes, & integrated even more They Might Be Giants songs into their programming. I am also really concerned about the message they are sending young children with constant references to Goofy’s pineapple underpants.
 
Can all problems in life really be solved in three special steps? Special Agent Oso’s creators seem to think so. But, unfortunately life is more complex and we are setting up our children for failure if they really think learning to fold laundry can be done in three special steps. Also, all of the episode names are a parody of James Bond movies or novels and with 60 different episodes it is a total stretch for most of the episode titles… Like coldfingers, carousel royale, & thunder berries. It’s just stupid.
 
Okay. It’s 11 pm and I need to stop… I could go on forever. People already must think I am insane for devoting this much thought and energy to these shows. But if you have a second, in the comment section tell me your favorite or least favorite kids show… And then go visit www.peggottyprints.com browse awhile! 

 

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With age and children, I’ve become a bit more sentimental or should I say emotional. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always been a very sentimental person. I love to reminess about the glory days, but they didn’t get me all teary eyed like they do now. It’s probably just hormones or something, but in the last few years I’ve become a crier at the most unusual things.

 
Everyone knows that women are emotional basket cases after childbirth and I could be a hormonal  case study. After Nolan was born I cried when I would put him in his crib at night because I didn’t want him to grow up. And then one night I was up late feeding him and cried watching an episode of Hogan Knows Best. Yes, the Hulk Hogan reality show… I cried during the episode when Brooke heard her first single on the radio. Because I so was so happy for her and deep down inside knew that was probably going to be the pinnacle of her singing career, right then and there. As years went on and I found more quality television programming, I started crying at most episodes of the Kardashians.
 
Here is the weird thing… I don’t cry during the typical girl things like while watching The Notebook or because my favorite purse got ruined. (How dumb was that example? Here is how ungirly I am… I just tried to think of girly things and all I could come up with is purses. I  don’t own a purse, so I don’t even know if people cry about them? I just felt like I needed two good examples of girly crying incidents.)  Here is what I really do cry about.  I cry when watching the Little League World Series every single year. I don’t know what it is about those little kids… I just cry my eyes out whenever there is a big play like a homerun or amazing out. Same thing goes for flash mobs / lip dubs. I can’t stop myself from crying even if it is the dumbest YouTube video of a flash mob to Call Me Maybe. Oh, and Mama Steph songs. I can’t sit in the basement of the Scituate public library listening to Doogie & Finn without secretly wiping my eyes with my sleeves. The announcement of the Royal Baby’s birth… Totally shed a tear. 
 
 
The reason behind it all, is that something changes when you become a parent. The love for your child becomes the touchstone for everything you experience. Watching the little league World Series and seeing those kids accomplish something so cool, makes me think of my own kids and how I hope they accomplish whatever they put their mind to… It doesn’t have to be baseball. I’m so proud of my kids for doing the most basic of things. Like so proud that Emmitt slept thru the night and he’s almost two, proud of Greta for rolling over,  proud of Nolan being potty trained. These are the most basic of life skills… I’m proud of my kid for sleeping? Rolling? Peeing? I can’t imagine the sense of overwhelming emotion I’ll have if they  hit a home run,  graduate college or get married and have kids of their own. It is going to be insane! I might explode with pride  if  this happens… And I’ll probably cry a little bit too.
 
So, what makes you cry? 

 

The Greenbush Post Office: This post office is hidden away on Ford Place. There is never a line and it has a Mayberry feel to it. The screen on the debit card machine is broken, so it’s always a guessing game if you typed in the right pin… but it’s worth the minor inconvenience. 

The Village Market Clothing Section: I know, I know, I just talked about this place in my last blog post. But, it bears repeating. This place has the best Scituate clothes, hats, sweatshirts, jackets, & baby clothes of any store in town. Hands down the best. 

The Christmas Lights on Hollet Street: There is a house on Hollet Street that decorates the trees in their back yard. It is totally hidden from the street. You have to park your car and walk along a path behind someone’s house. It is a winter wonderland out there that not many people know about.

Breakfast at Widow’s Walk: Oro has a great brunch, Riva is good too. But, for a quick, casual and really good breakfast try the pub at Widow’s Walk on weekend mornings. My kids love it because Jamie the owner sometimes let’s them put cartoons on one of the TV’s and then when they are finished with their breakfast they can go pretend to drive the golf carts down in the cart shed. 

Bassin Lane for Storm Chasing: Whenever a big storm hits in Scituate everyone runs to the lighthouse to see the waves and the Channels 4, 5 & 7 news teams. But, for the coolest view of the biggest waves you have to go down a dirt road off of Gilson Road. Bassin’s Lane is high on third cliff overlooking Peggotty Beach. It is by far the best place to do a little storm chasing without the crowds.

Kukstis Woodcarving Lessons: Looking for a new hobby… Woodcarving Lessons at Paul Kukstis’ Carving Studio in Scituate harbor is the BEST! Paul is the most patient teacher. He has good taste in music. People bring food and chat while they whittle away on their projects. You are guaranteed to laugh the whole night long with the cast of regulars that show up for these weekly lessons. He guides you through carving a quarterboard from start to finish and the end result is always amazing. He helps you accomplish what you didn’t think you could do. It’s also a cool little hobby to mention during job interviews, dinner parties, first dates, police interrogations… visit http://www.kukstis.com for more information about lessons.

The Creek behind Peggotty Beach: The perfect place to go paddle boarding, kayaking or just for a swim. Ride the outgoing current all the way to the bridge and into the harbor or just jump in for a quick swim at high tide. This place is central to many of my childhood memories. There is even a paddle board/surf board rental right out of the Peggotty parking lot if you don’t own a board. 

The Glades: I know, I know… most people know the Glades. But most people only sneak out there in the summer. If you visit the Glades in the winter you have a chance at seeing two cool things. First, if you walk all the way to the end at low tide there are always TONS of seals sunning on the rocks off the point. Second if you climb the rocks on the right as you walk in, and take some binoculars to check out the surf, you might just see one of my favorite birds, the Harlequin Duck. 

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I told you it was a cool duck! 

 

3 kids and counting...

The only thing that is stopping me from having 20 kids like Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar is that I don’t think I have the energy to make sure that 20 kids brushed their teeth each night. Like, I can barely get myself motivated to brush my own teeth. Never mind brush 8 different sets of toddler teeth and then check in with 12 other older kids to nag/see if they brushed their teeth. And then to manage those bangs on top of it all… I don’t know how Michelle does it.

Little Brothers

Nolan came down with a high fever yesterday and we were trying to figure out what was wrong with him. He just wanted to lay on the couch all day, which is so unusual. We asked if his nose was stuffy or he had a headache. And he kept saying no I feel fine!

We finally made a doctors appointment for 5:30, and as I was getting him ready to go, I decided to “coach” him a little before the appointment. Here is our conversation.

Me: Nolan, what are you going to tell Dr. Lane when he asks you what’s bothering you?
Nolan: Um, Emmitt?

I was cracking up. Little brothers can be a bother! Turns out Emmitt was not the cause of the fever, he had a double ear infection. Unfortunately, the antibiotics prescribed do not treat bothersome little brothers.

Many of the blogs I read share healthy recipes with their readers. While the recipes always look really tasty and so good for the children, I can’t help but think of the reality of preparing lunch for three kids on a normal busy afternoon. So, I thought I would share one of my son’s favorite things for lunch. I refer to them as “Super Fancy Nachos,” while he calls them “Cheese Chips” for short. 

First open a large bag of Tostitos tortilla chips (this is not a sponsored post… I received no money for this product endorsement) and scatter a handful of the chips on a plate. Make sure this plate is microwave safe, you’ll understand why in a few moments.

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Once there is an even layer of chips on your plate, take out your land o’ lakes american cheese. I prefer white, but yellow works just as well too. But, please know if you eat yellow land o’ lakes american cheese you are a freak.

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Next, tear small pieces of cheese off and place the cheese atop the tostitos. This can be like a puzzle at times trying to match the shape and size of the cheese to the appropriate chip, but it’s worth the trouble.

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Once all the chips have a piece of cheese on them. Place the plate in the microwave and cook for approximately 25 seconds or until the cheese is warm and bubbly.

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These Super Fancy Nachos taste best when eaten NOT at a table. My kids prefer the couch or the window sill behind the couch. Just don’t forget to grab the plate from back there after they are done…. it’s not the most visible spot and can be forgotten about easily until you notice your dog standing up there making snorting noises.

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I hope you liked this edition of Recipe for Reality. Please feel free to tell me about some of your “Real” favorite recipes in the comment section.