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Archive for May, 2009

Strange Choices and Bribery

May 28, 2009 12:57 pm

Lately the best way to get Jace to lie down for his nap is to let him know what will happen after his nap. “Hey Jace, if you lie down and take a nap, we will go to the playground when you get up”. Some might see this as bribing our child to nap, I see it as teaching him about scheduling. This trick has had an amazing success rate for me but sometimes when he wakes up he makes some strange choices. I had to pick him up early from daycare a couple of weeks ago and to get him to nap, I told him we would go play in the playground when he woke up. After nap I asked him if he wanted to go to the playground or to Target. I was pretty confident on what his choice would be but I threw Target out there anyways since I needed to go in the next day or two to pick up a birthday gift. He was very decisive…”Targit Targit Targit”. Who would have thought?

And he had a great time there too. He got to walk around (he didn’t try to wander off too much), ride in the wrong end of the cart, explore the outdoor furniture and generally just have a very low key shopping trip.

How the other half lives

May 20, 2009 11:02 am

While we were in Pittsburgh we got to an Ocho de mayo gathering at Eileen’s neighbor’s house. There were three other couples there who were all very nice and the host made excellent margaritas but that is beside the point. What I really got from that evening and just our visit to Pittsburgh in general was a view of life in surburbia.

We technically live in a suburb of Boston but it is about as urban as you can get without being downtown. Our two family house has a tiny back yard, no front yard,  1200 sf per unit and was built in 1916.  I work full time and commute via the subway (T). This is normal for us. Most of our friends live and work like this.

Eileen lives in a gorgeous 4 bedroom house in a planned community 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. She decided that having two kids and trying to keep working full time at a job that required a significant amount of travel wasn’t worth the impact on her family life. She is now a stay at home mom who consults periodically for her old job. Most of the families in her neighborhood are in a similar situation. You can afford to do this in Pittsburgh. In Boston, not so much.

At the Ocho de mayo party I heard all the gossip from the neighborhood. The guy who used to live in this house had an affair with woman in that house, one guy is totally crazy and jealous, one woman went on to the school bus to yell at some kids who were picking on her kid, stuff like that. I don’t even know my neighbors names and I have lived here from 5 1/2 years.

While we were there, Jace and I took a walk around the neighborhood. It  was great to be able to let him explore and not have to worry about cars, garbage and urban things. He checked out the rocks, looked at the stream, ran around the tree, climbed up a mound of mulch, watched ants and generally did little boy things. At home I feel like I have to constantly hold his hand and tell him to put that gross thing down.

I like my life here in Boston but there are definitely some things that would be nice to change.

Da Burg

May 15, 2009 1:45 pm

Our daycare provider decided to take a week off for vacation leaving us to fend for ourselves. Since she took off thursday to wednesday, it seemed like a great time to make a long weekend of it so Jace and I took off for Da Burg (otherwise known as Pittsburgh for those of you who didn’t live there).  We went to stay with one of my college friends, Eileen, and her two daughters (and her wonderful husband Jim too, of course). Steve stayed behind to catchup on work and projects.

First thing I have to say is if you are flying anywhere with a toddler and have the option to fly Jet Blue, DO IT. We don’t watch a whole lot of TV around here but the seatback screens on the flight made traveling a breeze. I got Jace his own seat since I wasn’t about the wrestle an octopus by myself and turned on Animal Planet. He was completely enthralled. We also borrowed Julia’s wheels which attach to the car seat. Zipping through the airport on his new ride was quite a hit. He was more than happy to get in and out as required.

The weekend was full of adventures. Delamie, Eileen’s younger daughter, is 4 months younger than Jace so it was easy to find things they would both enjoy. We went to an indoor playspace in a store where they have custom built children’s play houses. Jace got to drive a car,  mind the coffee shop and lots of other fun things while Delamie enjoyed running back and forth across the little bridge. The play area was fenced in which Jace quickly outsmarted by escaping UNDER the gate. After chasing him through store I finally caught him in a staring contest with a giant stuffed dinosaur. I wish I had my camera with me at that moment.

The theme of the weekend ended up being Animals. We went to a local farm stand to check out the ducks, donkey, pig and sheep. Jace can make appropriate sounds for each animal but was terrified of the giant pig. And I have to say, that thing was HUGE! Eileen then took us on a driving adventure to see cows and horses. Finally on Sunday we took advantage of the Mother’s Day celebration at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Eileen got to get kisses (licks) from the deer and we saw the baby elephant run top speed to get to her mommy.  Her gait was just like a toddler running around. Jace thoroughly enjoyed himself pointing out all the different animals and Brenna was a huge help pushing the wagon up the hills while I pulled two toddlers.

We had a great weekend. It was fun to see old friends and a good experience getting out of town. I had been rather nervous that my daddy’s boy would spend all weekend asking “daddy?” but he only asked a couple of times and was satisfied with my responses. But he was certainly thrilled when Daddy was waiting for us at the airport. And I was happy to see him too because chasing a toddler for 4 days is exhausting.

Pictures are Up

1:27 pm

I have finally had a few free minutes to upload and tag some pictures from the last couple of months. Please check out the 18to 24 month album to see how much Jace has grown.

Jace’s favorite vegetable

May 13, 2009 8:45 pm

Sauerkraut.

Big steaming handfuls of it.

Unless you count ketchup and mustard, this is the only vegetable I can get Jace to eat. This is a great discovery, although I don’t think Heather’s going to let us have it at every meal, and definitely isn’t going to allow the ferment-a-cabbage-in-a-closet experiment I’m planning. Though it should keep the scurvy away.

Heard at the zoo today

May 10, 2009 5:46 pm

Me – “Hey Jace, look, a deer”

Jace – “yummy”

Where’s the Camera?

May 5, 2009 8:56 pm

Last Monday Jace and I went out on our Monday walk with William and Julia. This was the first week in a long time that the boys were not bundled up in blankets and rain covers, in their own personal cocoons. They decided this was fabulous and spent the whole trip “chatting” while Julia and I caught up on the last couple of weeks of craziness.

Some highlights from the boy’s conversations are as follows. (I won’t bore you with the highlights of my conversation, not nearly as exciting unless you like work stress and house dilemmas…) After saying hi and babbling for a bit they got into a giggle contest, alternating between William saying giggle and both of them laughing. This was followed by Jace’s pointing out the endless number of balls to William. Next we had a rousing rendition of “STOP STOP STOP” (I think they realized the playground was approaching so they were trying to get a point across). Finally they quieted down and William reached out his hand. Jace grabbed hold and they continued to try to hold hands as we walked down the sidewalk. It took some serious stroller skills to try to walk slow enough and close enough for them to allow to hold hands without bumping strollers. How I wish I had the camera on me.

They were quite sad when we reached the traffic light and had to say goodbye.

(C) Steve and Heather Leibman, 2007.