Keegan on the way home from dinner Sunday night.
Momma the moon is following us home. It will go to bed to when it gets home. It rests behind the clouds.
Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.
Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.
Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)
Keegan on the way home from dinner Sunday night.
Momma the moon is following us home. It will go to bed to when it gets home. It rests behind the clouds.
Keegan is three today. There are 33 cupcakes at his school to celebrate. I am going over for snack time and then we'll hangout the rest of the afternoon. When Jeff comes home we'll take Keegan out for dinner. He picked the restaurant this morning. I guessed correctly which one he would choose. He is also wearing his "Mom Rules" t-shirt in honor of the woman who gave birth to him.
This is Keegan's day. My amazing magic boy. My hero.
And this day belongs to my mom. She was part of my birthing team at the hospital and she caught him as he came out. She is a great nana and they have a wonderful relationship.
This day also belongs to Erika. She spent three days with me in the hospital making sure I was comfortable, entertained and well fed. And during it all she stood by to help me relax and focus. How she made it through four hours of watching me push I will never know. And her hands help dry him off as he took his first breath.
This day belongs to Tom. He went through all of the infertility treatments, the disappointments and the all encompassing joy when we saw we were pregnant. And I will never forget the day we found out we were having a healthy baby boy. We couldn't believe our luck. And on the day Keegan arrived he made it through despite being convinced he would pass out. And he even cut the cord although convinced he wouldn't be able to do that either. And those big hands gving that tiny baby a bath. Just one of thousands of scenes that I play in my head. Today I miss him more than ever.
If your child suddenly claims his boot is too tight, believe him. And then check for the super ball that inevitably bounced into the boot.
Don't waste your time buying fancy gadgets and toys. My kid will delight for hours playing with his COLOSSAL BARREL OF CRAFTS without actually constructing any crafts. Beware of the feathers and craft sticks he will strew about the house. No wonder it was an Oppenheim winner.
Get a car with a leather interior. Make friends with the local detailing place. It will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Resist the urge to feed your kid junk (not including birthday parties, etc.). Besides the obvious health benefits for the child it will make your life easier too. I don't have to put up with the begging for candy at the grocery store or the demanding of soda, candy or other junk. My kid is thrilled with strawberries, dried fruit or the occasional scoop of sorbet.
Similarly, resist the urge to give your kid too much screen time. Kids who rely on their own imaginations are able to self entertain and are also not obsessed with over marketed characters. Just like above for avoiding the begging for junk in stores.
Keep reminding yourself that they are individuals. Every kid is different and so you have to constantly be on your toes to meet their needs as a parent.
Right before you start whatever part of your day is most stressful as a parent (mine is evenings). Breathe. Relax. If you walk in hyped up it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Every once in a while stop and really look at your child. Sometimes you miss things because they grow so fast and life is happening. And even though you know how amazing they are, you will be surprised all over again.
Keegan moments from this week.
Sunday at Erika's:
K:Mom these grapes have seeds
K:They're freaking me out.
Tuesday during swimming at school he asked to get out and use the potty.
K:Happy birthday mommy!
Me: Thank you lovey!
Walks a few paces and then turns back
K: Will there be cake?
Thursday while helping me with dinner:
He asked me what a utensil was and I told him. The he asked me if it was daddy's. I couldn't figure it out until I realized when I said "tongs," he heard "Tom's."
This morning his teacher described him as 2 1/2 going on 4.
Right now I become one of those mothers who talks about her child's bowel movements. Keegan has gifted us with a diaper free household since last Fri. He has had one accident at school (couldn't tear himself away from circle time) and one here (sleeping too hard to wake up to pee). He has been telling the world about his underwear. It's Elmo. Because you can't find any that is just plain. At least with Elmo we are supporting PBS. I was nervous because he hadn't had a BM since switching over and I figured he was holding out. Last night on the big potty he was successful. We celebrated with a conga style victory dance, stopping every few feet to say "raise your hand if you pooped in the potty!" We did two laps. And this morning he went again on the little potty. He turned to observe his work and declared, "Mommy! I made a pinecone!" Gross but cute. Last year one of his teachers told me she thought he was the kind of kid who would train over a weekend. I told her today that she was right. Keegan's other phase is "The policeman says 'No! Don't pee in your underwear.'" So for now at least he respects authority.
More pics including ones of Keegan with his beloved purple flower in the gallery under June 2006.
Amazing that a month ago I had Keegan at the doctor because I was worried about his eating. I couldn't believe that a living thing could exist on so little food. In the past few weeks his appetite has improved considerably. Tonight he put away an impressive amount of mac and cheese, a piece of string cheese and a drinkable yogurt. Later on the couch he ate all the rest of the blueberries and then asked to finish off the grapes. If only I could find a vegetable he liked so well.
After work we went to exchange his shoes since it turns out his feet are bigger than I remembered. Unlike his mother he is not a good shoe shopper which is why I usually leave him out of the loop. But I wanted to get back before the sales were over. As expected he disappeared behind the racks while I fished out the right size. He indulged me as I measured his foot but would not try on the sneakers. "Sandal shoe! Sandal shoe!" So he wore a new pair of brown sandals out of the store and I was surprised when he actually agreed to remove them at home. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of them this summer.
There was something about yesterday that made me very proud. While at the birthday party the kids were all very well behaved. I don't mean just my kid. All the kids beyond the usual mild tantrums and reminders to share were just so good. At pizza and cake time the tables were filled with seated toddlers using napkins and eating their slices mostly without parental intervention. I credit the parents. It is a reflection of good parenting and appropriate expectations for their ages. I was of course happy when several friends commented on how nice of an eater that Keegan is. He is slow but he is neat most of the time. And polite. Please, thank you, excuse me, asking to get down from the table. There is something to be said for manners. And role modeling is key. Kids have a right to have nice meal times surrounded by people who treat each other with respect. I'm sure my residential kids never got why we stressed this so much but then again they hadn't been raised that way. Once it becomes a habit for kids it just isn't that hard to enforce.
I inadvertently got a four day weekend. Friday morning Keegan woke up with a horrible rash. Welts, redness, itchy, burning, the works. After momentarily freaking out I did some investigating and it appeared only on exposed areas of his body. So not a virus. And suspiciously only on the parts of his body to which you would apply sunscreen. I made an appointment with the pediatrician with this in mind. So despite the fact that I had bought a brand new bottle of wat*er babies, labeled it with his name, dropped it at daycare where they slathered him before heading to the playground, everyone did everything right, the poor kid was doomed. He has never had a reaction before but then again he is my son. So the doctor recommended the most hypo-allergenic brand he could find. Titanium dioxide is the key here. Master Keegan will be using an Australian brand, Blue Lizard, which probably costs a fortune. And at first I could not find a retailer within 30 miles but it turns out they carry it at all CVS pharmacies. I used the sample packs the doctor gave me and he did much better over the weekend although his arms are still healing from the rash. So obviously money is no object. This also lead me to the conclusion that the reaction I had in St. Croix was probably also an allergy to sunscreen. Nevermind that I have used Copp*ertone Sport for years with no problem. But I had used Aveeno on my face and it was fine. So I might try Aveeno for body or Neutrogena. Apparently every time the manufacturer changes the chemicals in the cream or lotion base you run the risk of discovering a new allergy. When I do get skin reactions it is always something rare. Looks like Keegan may be stuck with that legacy.
I am hoping it gives him the ability to sleep like a dream again. I can not wait until it is delivered.
Pictures from our nature walk and playdate with Olivia are in the gallery under May 2006 (after the vacation pics).
From Bright Horizons:
Memorial Day and Children: More than a Day Off
Memorial Day is one of those of those holidays that has lost its meaning for many of us. It has become a three-day weekend and a day of sales and shopping, sporting events, and family picnics. Perhaps as is true of the other national holidays where stores stay open, commerce trumps reflection. Or maybe it is the distance in time from a popular war like World War II. In any event, most of us dont take the time to make the day meaningful for children.
Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who died in military service for their country. It was established to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War and was later expanded to include all those who died in service to their country. For some, Memorial Day is an occasion to honor family members who have died.
Why honor the original intent of Memorial Day and celebrate with children? Because children are part of America and grow up to be citizens. They are also members of families that go back generations. And, Memorial Day is an educational opportunity.
Whatever our politics and beliefs about war in general or particular wars, Memorial Day is a time to talk to our children about service, war, sacrifice, loss, memories, and family. Car racing, baseball, golf, burgers and hot dogs on the grill, and sales at the mall are fun, but they dont have to entirely eclipse the true meaning of the holiday. There's still time to help children discuss and understand larger issues and learn more about family members who have served in the military or simply lived before them and passed away. Even young children can look over old pictures and talk about deceased relatives who passed away recently or long ago.
Helping Children Honor and Support Those in the Armed Services
If you wish to help children make connections to those serving in the military today, the following websites are good resources:
Care packages: United Service Organization http://www.usocares.org/
Cash and supplies: American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html
General e-mails and thank-you notes http://www.operationdearabby.net
Individual pen pal letters: http://www.operationsoldiersupport.org
I needed to go to the store today and so I asked Keegan if he wanted to come along. He said, "No." I should have listened to him. I figured after I let him haul his firetruck with us we'd be fine. Everything went wrong from the minute we entered the store. He wanted one of those oversized carts that looks like a racecar. I never use those. Jeff drives them when we have both kids but I don't have the patience. I reminded Master Keegan of this fact. He responded by crying through the produce department and then freaking out when I had the nerve to stop and pick out kiwis. The horror.
He was getting better by the time we approached free cookie territory. I was picking out the cookie when he spied something much more attractive. Basically anything else in the bakery department. I am driving away and he is screaming, "Cream, cake, I need that." Um no you don't. He cried all the way through most of the store changing his mind every aisle on what he must have. Wine, ice from around the raw fish, wanting me to pick him up. I stopped once and attempted to find out if there was anything going on I could actually do something about. No. I pushed along with him crying, red-faced clutching that fire truck. And of course I got the obligatory stares and looks. He stopped crying long enough to pick out some cheese and then ask for every other yogurt except the one I prefer him to have. He even passed on helping me pick out my cryo diet meals for lunches. That's usually his favorite because he gets to open the freezer doors. Some where down that aisle he decided the fan above his head was fascinating. And he stopped crying and he started pointing things out to me. Finally after a few minutes he looked at me and said, "I stop crying." It was matter of fact. And so I thanked him. He was fine after that. All cute and inquistive and patient while waiting in the pharmacy line. I wish I knew what changed his mind. He was adorable all the way home, through the bike ride, dinner and bedtime. Maybe he was just having a moment and needed to cry it out. I've been there.
Keegan has this tool bench he got for his birthday. It's really cute and has different levels so he can keep playing with it as he develops. It has different modes according to whether you want directed or self-directed play. In every mode it narrates whatever you are doing or touching. Here are the three things about it that drive me crazy:
1. It has only one volume. Loud.
2. When you press the self-directed play button it tells your child, "Do whatever you want!"
3. When you use the wrench it calls out, "Big circle screw!"
Maybe Jeff and I shouldn't find that last one so amusing but we can't help ourselves.
Last night when heading to brush his teeth Keegan asked to take his potty out of the box. So we took it out and assembled it and then he played with the lid for while. This morning he spent some more quality time playing with it. I figured, "Great. At least he wants anything to do with it." I conveyed this to Tom in an email today. Tonight at Tom's house Keegan asked to take the potty out of the box and Tom assembled and put it in his bathroom. When Tom went in to use the toilet himself Keegan followed and asked to use his potty. Lo and behold he sat down and peed. I know this because Tom called me immediately afterwards and I could hear Keegan in the background yelling, "I peed! I peed!" So we celebrated this together and talked about not rushing him and we'll still let him call the shots. I know my son and he will definitely be the type to make this about control if we force it. But still it is pretty cool.
Master Keegan did well at the doctor's today. He is very proportional for a toddler she said. Which means he is exactly the same percentile for height and weight. He's long and lean, like his dad not his mom (I'm 5'3"). Still only 28 pounds and 34 inches long. But like everyone else she commented on how big his hands are. We're all hoping he growns into them like a puppy. We talked about potty training and she said most boys aren't potty trained until they are 38 months. Also it is key that he feels in control. I had asked him this morning if he would like to poop in the potty and he firmly replied, "No." So that is what I am sticking with until he asks to go. No hurry, he's only 25 months old. And honestly I have never minded diapers. I dropped him at daycare just in time to join his class and walk to the park so that will definitely make him happy.
My girl scout cookies came today. From Virginia. My oldest niece is a brownie and my brother Bret is a skilled cookie pimp. This is not new for him. I was a brownie and girl scout and when ever we lived in the US I participated in the cookie sales. Since my dad was in the Army he couldn't sell them at work for me. So I did it the old fashioned way, by foot door to door. Bret went with me since he was five years older and when it came time to deliver them he loaded up our big red wagon and we covered the neighborhood again. I should have won that year but Jenny E. did because her dad owned his company and he sold them at work. But I'm not bitter. ;) My mom was the troop leader and all of the cookies came to our house before being picked up by the individual brownies. There were literally walls of cookies in every room. Ah memories...All done!
All winter I have missed talking walks with Keegan. Well I walk and he rides his bike which I steer with the pushbar. I cannot wait until it is warm enough to do our treks around the neighborhood. Apparently neither can he. Yesterday when I opened the garage to put the trashcan away he ran to the back for his bike. He saddled up and rode that thing right down the driveway. He paused looked over his shoulder at me and shouted, "Come on!" I had no choice but take him for a spin around the block. It is still very chilly up here so we didn't go as far as we used to go.
Are kids genetically programmed to love ketchup? All of the sudden he is obsessed with it. So obsessed that he forgets to dip his fish sticks and just spoons up ketchup which inevitably makes him gag. So he coughs, takes a sip of water looks and me and states, "I'm okay." I drew the line when he wanted ketchup for his strawberries.
This week's new game is "tent." After supper we snuggle on the couch under a blanket and watch the news. Now he pulls it up over his head and says, "tent." I guess this is a game from Tom's house because Keegan calls it "daddy's tent." I like to see the influence his dad has on him, well, as long as it is positive. ;) This week's random item to sleep with is also from Tom's house. It is a clear plexi-glass cube with a boat inside with blue water that you can swish around. An aquatic snowglobe if you will. Tom said that it was a freebie for some project completion at work. Keegan loves boats. So he brought this cube back to my house Sunday and he has been sleeping with, eating with and even bathing with it ever since.
Tomorrow morning is his two year checkup. I am anxious to see how much he weighs and how long (tall?) he is. I am also curious to see how far his ear tubes have grown and if they are ready to pop out. It would be great to swim this year without fighting to put in the ear plugs.
I got the good news today that Keegan is going to be moved up to the next classroom next week. This is perfect timing because I was almost going to have to write one of my infamous letters. So since he will be spending more time with kids who are learning to use the potty we'd better get cracking here. I am not going to pressure him but I would like to at least make it available for him here and at his dad's. So my beloved breeders I need some help. What kind of potty have you used with great success and why? What kind would you stay away from? Should I have one on each floor or just keep it downstairs where we spend the most time and then move it up at bedtime? That's all I want to know for now. I will solicit more advice in the coming months as we see how it goes. Much love and thanks.
So I'm one of those people who is anti-TV/screen time for young children. I guess I feel like how can you avoid all of the research? Obesity being the number health problem in children and TV linked directly to it. Plus it freaks me out when kids go all "zombie like" in front of a screen. Jeff calls it the submission box as a joke. Don't get me wrong, if I was SAHM I would have specific TV time laid out in order to maintain sanity. But I feel like I spend so little time (relatively) with Keegan that I want it to be interactive time. Every once in a while I have the TV on to a kid's show and Keegan will watch portions of it. And at daycare he has learned who all the sesame street characters are and some other mass marketed characters. But he was perfectly content to have a generic dog theme for his party and so was I. Fortunately this is something Tom and I agree on. This morning on the phone we were marveling at how much Keegan picks up without even watching TV regularly. Tom mentioned that they watch Higglytown Hereos and that Keegan loves the songs and Tom thinks that it is a pretty good show. We had whole discussion about it and I realized that I was thinking of a completely different show. Shows you how much I know about children's TV. I have to admit that last Friday when Keegan was home sick we watched the last ten minutes of Barney. I hate him. I almost reported myself for child abuse. But it was a show about dogs and caring for pets and how to interact with other people's pets when you encounter them. Very topical for Keegan. Tom said he'll let it slide this time but not to let it happen again. ;)
I just want to raise a child who can self entertain and knows more about the world than what the marketing departments have decided is what he should know. I want him to have a mommy who is active and creative and not have memories of us vegging on the couch together. This is my personal belief and I recognize everyone makes their own choices. And I also think that I feel a little extra pressure as a single mom to be even more on top of things. It is purely imagined scrutiny I'm sure, but I feel it none the less. I don't think the divorce guilt around that every really goes away.
Not the Higglytown Heroes, actually the Koala Brothers. Doesn't Higglytown sound like a place in Australia?
The actual Higglytown Heroes. Tom says it freaks him out when they nest inside eachother to ride in the car.
So two years ago at 10:30 am after four hours of pushing Master Keegan arrived on the scene. Relive the magic here. I just did. Apparently it took me two and half weeks to find the time to write about it.
So the first year of his life seemed really long. This second year flew by. Based on what they tell you about terrible twos I expect this one will seem endless. ;) And it's weird because before I had him I couldn't really picture myself as a mother. But now it is such a huge part of my identity. And I think in a good way, not an out of balance way. Once you parent a child you can never go back.
We brought in cupcakes today to share with his school friends and tonight he is with Tom. He knows that it is his birthday but doesn't obviously really understand what that means. Now I know what my mom was talking about all those years when she said we should have given her presents on our birthdays. I had no clue what sacrifices my parents made for us. And I had no concept of how much they love us.
This morning Keegan came in while I was brushing my hair and said, "Give momma kiss." And I bent down as he planted one on my lips. He has never done that before today. He has also been very evocative this last week. Lots of I love you and singing my name. How do you know that you are hook, line and sinker? When you are playing "Ants In the Pants" for the first time and you want so desperately for him to land an ant. So you ask a higher power to intervene and five seconds later an ant shoots right into the pants. I had tears in my eyes. Can you imagine? I was just so happy that he got to feel successful. I'm completely gone for him.
But don't be fooled we are definitely having our challenges too. His personality shines through and boy is he stubborn. As happy as I am that he is exercising free will and learning independence, we are spending a lot of quality time in time out. I think part of it is that now that he is two some behaviors just aren't going to fly any more. I don't want one of those kids at three that no one likes to be around because their manners are atrocious and they are out of control. Plus I think some of it is him testing me. That is one of the many things kids do at every age, keep checking to see if you are consistent and willing to provide structure. But I can tell you that along with all the negative stuff you hear about two, it's fun. Two is fun and I am guessing it only gets better from here.
After all the planning and nerves on my part, Keegan's party went off without a hitch. I mean for a townhouse filled with six toddlers and fourteen adults it was surprisingly smooth. Of course you'd have to ask my guests how they felt as I was flitting about the whole time. Jeff was wonderful leading the activities and of course helping me all the night before to get ready. He made puppy ears with the kids by having them trace their own feet and guided them through pin the tail on the puppy (which he drew using an over head projector) and he drew and cut out the paw prints that lead up the stairs. In case you haven't figured it out the theme was puppies! Keegan loves all animals but there is a special place in his heart for puppies and dogs. Once I had the theme everything else fell into place (dog bone and puppy cookies and all).
By the time the party wound down I think everyone was ready for a nap. Every woman there of child bearing age was pregnant except for me and another mom. After the crowd left and I shooed my parents out we put Isabelle and Keegan down for naps. We ended up splitting them up because they were still pretty wound up. Keegan never went to sleep but he let me lie down and watch him play quietly. Then I let Isabelle and Jeff sleep while I went to take him to Tom's. I think it was the perfect day for him. he had a fun party with all these people who are so important in his world. And then he got to go and hang out with daddy. Tom gave me a CD so I burned a copy of the party photos for him.
What do you do with leftover veggie and fruit platters? You have stirfry for dinner, strawberry waffles for breakfast the next day and chicken salad for lunch (used grapes and celery). I still have three pieces of cake, a bucket of ice cream and a big bag of chex mix if anyone wants to pop over for a snack. All in all there wasn't too much food leftover so I seemed to have gauged that right.
Photos are up at our gallery (email if you need a login).
Here's one of Miss Erika mesmerizing the kids with her rendition of "Spot."
PS A year and a half ago I was stirring pudding on the stove and I had a vision of Erika at Keegan's birthday party and she was really pregnant. When I told her she laughed and when his first party rolled around we laughed about it again. Looks like this is the year I was finally right.All done!
Master Keegan had his very first haircut today. Not at home, because he's my child. So he went to my stylist at my salon. Tom drove up and met us for the occasion. He guessed right. Keegan hated it. Totally freaked out. She was able to do a few snips and at least trim the fluff behind his ears. So if nothing else he no longer looks like Krusty the Clown. She didn't even charge us because it was hardly anything. We had planned on taking him out to celebrate. But there was a 25 minute wait at the mexican restaurant we wanted to go to and it was already 6pm. So Tom walked us back to the car. While he was saying goodbye to Keegan a firetruck roared past us and pulled up right in front of the mexican restaurant. So maybe that worked out for the best. Keegan really likes vacuums so maybe I should just get my hands on a Flo-bee.
Want to see pictures of his haircut and more? Send me an email or comment and I will give you the link and password to our brand spanking new gallery.
Because I have been here a year I will be receiving a small raise. Remember I work for the State so I actually mean small. Every little bit helps though. I really wanted to spend the extra money each month on a cleaning lady. I can hear you laughing. I know it was ridiculous but a girl can dream right? So after dismissing the silly ideas I got down to serious thinking. I have at least a nice base of retirement accounts and although you can always do more, I should probable start planning for Keegan's future. So I opened a 529 plan for when he goes to college (I am assuming). Over the next 16 years I should be able to put away something to help him defray the costs. And as with all deductions that automatically come out of my account (ie. pension, flexible dependent care spending account), I hopefully won't ever know what I'm missing. Being a parent makes you feel like being all responsible. Being a mom who is single makes me feel even more so.
I was making supper tonight and Keegan was busy emptying out the kitchen cabinets. He has recently discovered the magical drawer full of wooden spoons and other cooking implements. Just as I was ready for him to sit at the table he brought the big round ball (supermarket special) into the kitchen. I almost took it away and insisted on him sitting at the table. But I stopped and watched him instead. We ended up playing a new game whacking the ball back and forth. He with his spatula and I with my whisk. Who cares about the fish sticks getting cold on his plate?
Eventually we did finish up the game and head to the table. And after dinner he made trips back and forth from the kitchen to the living room bringing me every utensil in the drawer and then taking them all back to the drawer. Twice. Before bed we snuggled on the couch and he ate yogurt covered raisins. But not before removing every lego and wearing the bucket on his head. Dragging out every ball in the house and counting one, two, three and leaping on the couch.
I am tired and I have a headache and usually I would have enforced a quieter evening routine. But his toothy grin, musical giggles and obvious delight were worth it. It's good to be the fun mommy too.
I am slammed at work right now. Part of it is due to only working one day last week and I am trying to get things done before leaving for Thanksgiving next week. Nothing refreshes me like cuddle time on the couch with Keegan. He likes to curl up under "mommy's blanket" and draw on his magnetic doodle pad. I'm not an artist but last night he correctly identified a moose I drew. And he knows the difference between a sailboat and "bumpa's" (my dad) motor boat.
Other Keegan milestones:
First sentence on Monday, "The moon is in the sky."
Calling it "mommy's house" and "daddy's house."
Using pronouns, "I sit" and "I stuck."
Singing the ABC song.
Helping to get himself dressed and undressed.
Added in two new books to the bedtime rotation, "Goodnight Moon" and "Everybody Poops." Two subjects he is interested in lately.
Saying Erika's name, "Aunt Ek ka ka."
Asking for foods and beverages by their proper name without me having to list everything until he indicates a preference.
Calling out the names of people in photographs.
Voluntarily wearing a hat.
Starting to name colors.
I put Keegan in timeout yesterday morning for the first time. Frankly I can't believe he actually stayed where I put him. But I just won't tolerate hitting. He whacked me on the head when I wouldn't let him play with chemicals. I'm mean like that. Never too early to teach that violence is not the answer. And we need something a little more than redirecting and saying "no." He stood for almost a minute and then we processed the incident. I fell back to my residential care days. So I talked and he looked at me solemnly. Then we hugged and moved on with our day.
I am going to try to get to bed early tonight. I have a sore throat, I'm feeling rundown and I definitely don't want to get sick. Thankfully my beloved Ti*vo will take care of "My Name is Earl" for me.
Halloween was kind of hectic. But only because I had a late meeting so pickup and getting home was in hyper mode. Then I had to get dinner in Master Keegan before going out to trick or treat. Tom came to join us and helped Keegan into his costume. We only did a little of the neighborhood. We collected money for UNICEF but many people insisted on giving us candy too. So Keegan collected the treats and Tom stored them in his sweatshirt pouch. I remember carrying the box around for UNICEF donations when I was a kid but apparently it's not that common around here. One woman told me she doesn't support UNICEF because they opposed international adoptions (I don't know what the story is, let me know if you do.) But I think they are doing a 50% donation to Katrina victims with the US donations. Anyway Keegan was very polite and thanked everyone and was totally hooked on the idea of getting free stuff. I will go by a c*oinstar machine to see what we collected. Tom hung out for a while longer and then left before bathtime taking his pouch full of candy with him. I'm taking the rest of the bowl into work because noone in this house needs candy. All in all a successful Halloween I think.
My finance workshop was yesterday and it is a load off to have that done. I've been planning it forever and the last minute neediness from the presenters was driving me nuts. But it went well and my clients seemed to value the experience.
Keegan also had his six month ear tube check and everything looks good. The doctor said that he should make it through the winter before they grow out. Hopefully that is one less illness we'll have to contend with. Keegan has been very chatty lately. The most dramatic thing about his verbal skills is not so much the words he uses but that he is repeating everything we say now. He seems to want to know what everything is called. And he loves to know what sound it makes. Partially due to our recent addition to our bedtime selections, "What do you say?" Another new favorite is "The Napping House." Now when I carry on my usual chatter in the car, at the store and on our walks I hear his tiny voice pipe up repeating things I've said.
School pictures were yesterday so I sent in his ensemble separately. He managed to get yogurt all over it at lunchtime but pictures were done by then so who cares? I guess he was nervous with all the setup but hopefully they got a little smile out of him.
The food front is going okay too. I tried feeding him hummus and cottage cheese and he was not going for it. He physically reached inside his mouth to wipe the food out. He is crazy about veggie chicken patties, spinach tortellini stuffed with cheese, yogurt covered raisins, cereal bars (Health Valley are yummy), veggie booty, chicken quesadillas and bananas. So we're making progress on many fronts but still not loving the vegetables.
I did learn that he is quite the ambassador of dreamland. Apparently at naptime he goes around to all the other kids and tells them "night-night." Then he retires to his cot since he is the only one not sleeping in a pack and play. This only confirms my theory that if I could get a bunch of other kids to come over we'd have no problem with naps on the weekend.
Master Keegan has been giving us a preview of coming "terrible twos"attractions these past two weeks. Little moments of open defiance and light temper tantrums. What happened to my mellow guy? I keep reminding myself that he is exercising his free will and asserting his independence. But sometimes that's hard to keep in the forefront as your trying to wrestle him into whatever it is he is rebelling against. I always knew that being a boy he'd be covered in bumps and scrapes but I didn't think that would happen until later. He plays hard now and has no fear on the playground.
Fortunately most of the time he is still his wonderful self. Last night I watched him try to pry open a childproof cabinet using a piece of uncooked bucatelli. He really worked at it until the noodle had broken into tiny bits. Keegan is also in the boo-boo phase. The one where every time he perceives that he is hurt he runs around yelling "ouchie" until you kiss the boo-boo. He also now insists on carrying his own lunchbox which weighs a lot because of the ice pack, so it's a little awkward but manageable. Keegan does seem to have my penchant for cleanliness. He loves to wash his hands and brush his teeth and will remind me if I forget. He also likes to help put things in the trash. And whenever we come home he plops down on the second step to remove his shoes and we place them by mine on the shoe rack. And he is still so darn cuddly.