Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random kid things…

Kids are the most amazing things!  Everyday there is something new – some new discovery – some new event – some new amazing thing from a world that is nothing but fascinating to them!  It is something wonderful to watch (and be a part of!).  And it really makes us “adults” put on our kid goggles and look at the world from the perspective of a child…

Mike is certainly no exception.  Here are three of his more recent items…

First – he has begun to “study” his toys.  He will stare at them silently for long periods of time trying to figure out how they work.  For example, he has a motorized toy that rolls along and drops balls as it goes.  He loves crawling after it and gathering up the balls that it drops.  Recently, he decided to turn it over and see what made it roll.  He spent several minutes studying the wheels – trying to figure out why the back wheels spun on their own while he had to use his fingers to spin the front wheels.  You could see the gears turning in his little head.  A true engineer at heart!  And that makes dady proud!

He has also started to “repair” his toys.  He will pick up a small toy, like a block or some keys, and crawl over to a larger toy, like his exersaucer or his car.  He will then crawl underneath the larger toy and begin banging on it with the smaller toy.  And to top it all off – he will make occasional grunting noises as if he were doing some seriously hard work!

Mike working on his car

Time to do a little vehicle maintenance…


Mike working on his car

Ahhh – here’s the problem!

Mike working on his car

This little “whack” should do it!


Mike working on his car

There – that’s MUCH better!


Another thing Mike has started to do is playing interactive games.  One of his favorites is one that everyone knows.  Peek-a-boo!  He absolutely loves it.  You do it a couple of times (where’s mommy?) – then he will do it a couple of times (where’s Mike?).  And he is not afraid to let you know that he is a big boy and can cover his own head!

He also has a game that he made up all on his own.  It’s called “share the passy”.  He will yank his passy out of his mouth and hold it out to you.  But he doesn’t want to hand it to you – he wants to plop it into your mouth!  He finds this extremely funny, and after a few giggles, he will grab the passy back and plop it back in his mouth.  Then it starts all over again until he is propelled into a full-out gut-busting belly laugh!

The passy game

“Here Dad – you take the passy!”

The passy game

“Give me that passy back! ”


The passy game

“Here Dad – you take the passy!”


The passy game

“Give me that passy back!  Are you hiding another one in there?”

And the last new development with Mike is the discovery of the joy of being naked!  I’m positive that this enjoyment will only grow – especially once he figures out how to disrobe on his own.  And he doesn’t necessarily have to be completely naked to have some “naked fun”.  Apparently, running around with no shirt is nearly as fun!

Naked Mike

“If I hurry, I can get away before they get this diaper changed…”


Naked Mike

“Quick!  Here’s my chance to get away!!!”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A busy fall break!

What do you do when you and your spouse live in two different cities and one of you happens to have a four day weekend?  You plan a road trip of course!

Mike’s mommy was on fall break this past Monday and Tuesday.  So she packed up the mom-mobile and loaded up Mike and the dogs and headed to Cincinnati for a four day weekend!

It was a great time!  Saturday morning was spent relaxing and enjoying each others company.  Something we don’t get to do as often nowadays – and we certainly cherish every second that we get!  Mike was so cute!  With all of his toys spread all over the living room, the thing he kept crawling back to was his books…

Mike reading his book

I always enjoy a good book…”

Polar Bear Polar Bear

   “Polar Bear, Polar Bear.  What Do You Hear? is one of my favorites!”


Books as pillows...

“I can even read one book while I use the other as a pillow!  Who needs all of these other toys…”


Saturday afternoon we went wine tasting.  Who knew that Ohio was the leading producer of wine in the United States until the 1890’s?  Prohibition all but killed the industry – but it is now beginning to make a comeback!  So we tried several varieties – and ended up buying several bottles!  They even let Mike join in the tasting.  He got to try the “100% Concord Grape Juice”.  And while it might not have ranked #1 on his list of drinks – he did indeed drink it!

Sunday was museum day!  We started with the Museum of Natural History and Science.  We weren’t exactly sure how Mike would do.  But all of our worries were over when we entered the museum and the first thing Mike saw was an extremely large stuffed polar bear!  Mike’s eyes got as big as pies!  He pointed at the polar bear, looked at us and said (in his best baby voice) “oooooohhhhh”!  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a picture (the polar bear was simply too big!) – but we did take several others!

   Buffalo Bone

“Wow!  Look at that!”



Mike and the dinosaur

Are you sure that thing isn’t going to get me?”


Mike and the wolf

Look at the teeth on this wolf!”


After the Museum of Natural History and Science, we moved over to the Cincinnati history museum.  It was very interesting to say the least!  Perhaps the most interesting thing was how in the mid to late 1800’s, the Irish were thought of as “immigrants who are coming to our country – legally and illegally – to take our jobs and escape their debt.  They have no interest in learning our culture and stay together in ‘herds’ rather than trying to integrate into the community.  They have absolutely no allegiance to this country”.  It’s almost funny now – we once hated the Irish with a passion and now they are one of our most endeared heritages.  Substitute “Mexican” for “Irish” and “2010” for “1850” and you have a similar story.  It also was the beginning of the resentment towards Catholics (since the Irish were Catholic after all).  People were convinced that the Pope was trying to end U.S. political independence.  People even tried to pass laws to prevent the Irish from becoming citizens (so they couldn’t hold political posts and the Catholic Church couldn’t take over).  Very interesting stuff…

Irish need not applyIrish need not apply” was very common in the mid 1800’s…

Sunday evening, we went to church.  We decided to go to St. Lawrence since it was close to the museum and and a 7pm mass.  What an interesting coincidence to discover that the St. Lawrence Parish was founded in 1868 (see how that figures in to the dates above!).  The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1886!  The entire building – inside and out – was absolutely beautiful!!!  It’s not the oldest church in Cincinnati (that would be “Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church” – and yes, old is indeed part of the name), but it’s traditional gothic design could keep you wandering around the church for hours…

St. Lawrence Catholic Church circa 1896  An photo of St. Lawrence Catholic Church circa 1896.  It still looks the same today!

Monday was “back to work” day for “the dad”.  It was almost like being a a normal family again!  Leave for work, then come back home to find the family waiting for you!  It sure does warm your heart and soul…

Welcome home from work daddy!Welcome home from work daddy!”


And that was the end of the break.  Tuesday, “the mom” loaded up the car.   Before she could head back to Knoxville, she had to have a tire replaced – there was a screw through the sidewall that couldn’t be patched.  But the day ended up being a good!  “The mom” took a quick detour to see Aunt Diane, Uncle Jessie, and all the cousins!  Mike had a great time playing with Amber, Jessica, and Anthony!  And then it was on to Knoxville and back to the normal routine!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The sippy cup adventure

Ahhh – my little boy has developed quite the personality.  His latest trick?  Pulling our leg.  Let me explain…

It all started when we decided to try moving towards the sippy cup.  As with most things that involve parenting or raising children or childhood development – we were clueless.  So we started by pouring some juice in the sippy cup sitting it on the tray in front of Mike.  And he responded by picking it up, shaking it, turning it upside down, and throwing it on the floor.  Then he looked up at us with his “How did I do?” expression…

We tried several more times over the next few days.  We tried to show him how he could raise the cup to his mouth and some yummy juice (or formula) would come out.  It all met with the same fate.  Some shaking.  Some banging.  Sometimes he would turn it upside down and suck on the bottom (“Is this how you do it”?).  Sometimes he would stick the handle in his mouth and suck on it (“Is this how you do it?”).  Sometimes he would simply take his arm and sweep the sippy cup off his tray and send it crashing to the floor.  We tried drinking from the sippy cup ourselves thinking that Mike might “follow our example”.  We tried a half dozen different styles of sippy cups.  Try, try, try as we might – no matter how many times we showed him how to drink from the sippy cup – he stubbornly refused.

Then comes daycare.  We asked his teacher Mandy for some advice.  She, after all, gives sippy cups to kids all day long!  Her advice?  Bring in the sippy cup and let me give it a try.  So we did (laughing all the way).  Surely she doesn’t know how mighty Mike’s will is!

With great anticipation, we pick Mike up from daycare.  To our flabbergasted surprise – he drank a full 4 ounces from the sippy cup.  AND he ate some puffs, a mum mum biscuit, and a biter biscuit (and we have had very little luck with any solid food!). 

Now it’s official.  The joke is entirely on us!  Mike knows all about drinking from the sippy cup (he probably learned it from his girlfriend Harper).  He has simply been pulling our leg all along…


Bang the cup...

Do you bang it like this?”

Nothing comes out the handle...

How come nothing comes out from here?”

With our ego’s a little bruised, we decided that we couldn’t be outdone by a 10 month old boy.  So we tried the sippy cup at home once again.  Although this time we gave it to him with no fanfare and paid no attention to him while he had it (except to occasionally pick it up off the floor).  The result?  When he was convinced we weren’t looking, he raised the sippy cup up and took a drink!  Fortunately, we had the camera ready and he was BUSTED!


Dang!  They caught me red handed!”

In other news – the weather has been fabulous here!  We decided to spend some time outside in our wonderful backyard.  Of course, we had the camera with us.  And while we may know next to nothing about child rearing, we are bound and determined to capture it all on film!  Here are a few of the pictures we took…


Mike in the backyard

Mike looking like a little man!


I'm in jail!

Mike on the deck doing his best “Let me out of jail” pose…

  Howdy!     “Howdy everybody!”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another ear infection? Are you kidding me????

Yes – this past weekend, those exact words came spilling over my lips.  Mike does indeed have another ear infection.  This time in the right ear.

We made this glorious discovery a mere 6 days after he finished his antibiotic and a paltry 3 days after the pediatrician gave us the “all clear” from the last ear infection.  This makes his fourth ear infection since August 30th.

As we have come to expect – there were no outward signs of an ear infection.  No tugging on the ear, no decrease in appetite.  This time – he didn’t even have a fever.  Instead, he was playing happily on the floor with his new ball (which he quickly mastered rolling back and forth to mommy and daddy).  Suddenly he began crying and couldn’t be consoled.  After a few hours of crying (which is WAY out of the ordinary for Mike), we called the doctor and took him in.  One peak in his ear brought out the “wow – that ear drum is red a bulging”.  Tubes might be in Mike’s future – although the doctor is not keen on them just yet.  Apparently because of Mike’s age, the tubes don’t stay in very long (which would mean a series of tubes over time).  But if the infections keep coming then we might be left with no other alternative. 

The good news?  The next morning after the antibiotic shot and Mike was back to his normal happy playful self!  And if you ever wanted a strange prayer request – we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want Mike’s Eustachian tubes to start a growth spurt!

Even more good news?  Mike has been practicing his standing!  That’s great news for his clubbed feet.  While we have never been the type of parents to “speed his development along” – this is one thing we really want to see happen.  Once he starts putting weight on this little feet and walking around – we should (hopefully) be able to get rid of the brace!

 Mike trying to pull upI try to pull myself up – but I’m not quite strong enough yet…  


Furniture surfing

…but with a little help, I can stand up like a pro!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The ear update…

Just a short post to update you on the status of Mike’s ear.  We went back to the pediatrician this past Tuesday.  She took a quick peak in his ears and declared them both un-infected!  Or would that be “disinfected”…

Whichever it is – I’m pretty sure that the grammar police don’t read this blog!  If they do – then they’ve been extremely lenient!!!

So hooray for Mike and his lack of infected ears!  Hopefully, we won’t be making any more trips to the doctor in the near future.  However, there is an orthopedic appointment just 5 short weeks away………

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another big weekend…

Last weekend was quite an adventure!  It all started when Mike and his mom were trying to meet dad in Evansville.  We had planned the trip on the spur of the moment – Mike’s dad had decided to ride in a bike ride.  And that makes a perfect excuse for visiting family and friends!

So with happy hearts, Mike and his mom loaded up and headed out.  About 2 hours later, the joy came to an end when the interstate was closed to to an accident.  What is normally a 5 hour drive is already extended to a 6 hour drive with Mike.  And being stuck in traffic on I-40 turned the drive into a wonderful 9 hour epic saga.  Needless to say – once they arrived, everyone (including the 2 dogs) were much relieved!

But we all made up for it on Saturday.  Much lounging around and a lot of doing nothing.  Mike got to play all day with his nan.  And he really enjoyed the attention that he gets when cousin Lucas and cousin Kiersten come over to play!!!  And later that evening, he got to try some Turoni’s pizza (he spit it out – just like all of the other solid foods except the previously mentioned cheese grits).  But he still enjoyed seeing Sara and Nathan (and mom and dad enjoyed visiting with Matt, Karen, and Mark).

Sunday was the big bike ride – Mike’s dad rode 50 kilometers.  Not too bad for an old guy!  Not as far as previous years, but considering it was only 50 degrees when the ride started and the wind was blowing like crazy – he was more than ready to stop and get in the car and turn the heat on “high” when he was done!  Next year, he’ll be back in shape and will ride the 100K with Mark (especially since the gauntlet has already been thrown down!).  The coolest part about the whole thing was having his picture in the paper!  You can check it out by clicking here.

After the ride, we got to go visit grandpa!  And much to our surprise, Aunt Tracey and cousin Kylie were there!  We played and visited and visited and played.  The best part of the visit was seeing Kylie in her Halloween costume – she was so cute!!!

But like all good things – our visit had to come to an end.  We loaded up the vehicles, and said our goodbyes.  The best part of the trip home?  It only took the usual 6 hours!!!