Update October 2015

We've been living overseas since about the time this blog petered out. There are lots of funny Mo-and-Curly-abroad stories to share -- I'm exploring the best way to do that.

Thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's fun to stay at the...

Wondering where I've been lately?

That's right, the Y.M.C.A.

Tonight we took our hyperactive (well aren't all 3-year-old boys hyperactive?) preschooler to his first gymnastics class. For someone who isn't especially shy, tonight he decided he would rather hold onto my leg and repeatedly kiss Babycakes on the head than join his pint-sized peers in the little gymnastics class.

And this is the kid who begged me this morning, "Mom, can I skip day care and go right to 'nastics?"

"Um, no."

"Why not?" he whined.

"It doesn't start until 5:30 tonight."

"That's OK, I'll sit here until 5:30," he says, at approximately 6:30 a.m.

But all that initial excitement died as soon as we walked into the gym. It wasn't until the last 10-15 minutes that he decided to participate. But then, he loved it. Or what was left of it.

And then, as these things go, he was having so much fun he didn't want to leave. He even tried to sneak his way into the class for bigger kids that starts after his class.

(You can read about our other Y adventures at Boogerland, including my shake-those-hips-zumba-mama class.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More pro-nun-cee-aye-shun

Some more of my favorite preschooler dialect...Check Spelling
  • Hi-yo! (hello)
  • Boooosters (blisters)
  • Cracks (crocs, as in the plastic shoes he can put on himself)
  • Toe food (tofu)
  • Thai food (any food with "Toe food" in it, including Indian or Chinese food)
  • The Wide (the "Y" as in "YMCA")
  • Cool (pool)
  • Hot Cool ("hot" pool, otherwise known as a "hot tub")

"I don't go in the Hot Cool at the Wide, because it might give me booooosters."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I need red to go green

In honor of Earth Day, I'll share a little story about how I've finally managed to start using cloth shopping bags.

I always liked cloth shopping bags in theory. Even when I was a teen-ager, I'd ask store clerks not to give me bags if I was just purchasing a couple items or had my backpack strapped on. And back then, it was kinda kooky to request, "No bags, please." I even remember my uncle snidely explaining to a store clerk, "We're saving the environment."

But now that people have finally caught on, I find that not only is it acceptable, but it's almost expected to BYOB (as in Bring Your Own Bags). Especially here in crunchy Madison.

My problem? These days I can barely make it out of the car remembering to take the diaper bag, my wallet, keys, cell phone if I'm lucky, and not one but two actual kids. How in the world would I remember to bring shopping bags?

Well, I found the trick: Get the brightest, redest, most obnoxious bags you can find and put them right next to you in the front seat. That way, you can't miss 'em.

I used to use Trader Joe's bags, which are a more muted red. Then I got the Target bags - and now I only forget them, maybe once out of every 25 shopping trips. And for me, that's doing really well.

Read about my other green mama tip at http://boogerland.today.com. (Clicky link at right.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Boys are gross

Exhibit A: My preschooler has been making a disgusting noise lately. It's kind of a combination of loudly clearing his throat, coughing and yelling "BBBBUUURRRSSHHHH!"

He does it at random. We never know when it's coming.

And it's so darn gross that when he does it in public, everyone within earshot takes an immediate step away from us, waiting to see if he's about to spit or throw up or scream. But he doesn't. He just makes that awful sound, and goes on his way as if nothing happened.

So when he started this, I demanded, "What are you doing?"

He shrugs.

"Why are you making that horrible noise?" I tried again.

"What? Oh. It's my garbage disposal."

And come to think of it, he really does an excellent imitation of a garbage disposal.



Exhibit B: Babycakes is already imitating fart noises.

Today I was holding Babycakes in my lap. He tooted, somewhat loudly.

I could see him concentrate for a second, and then he blew raspberries.

Realizing just how well he'd imitated his tooting sound, he started laughing his little head off.


So, I conclude: Boys are gross. Simple as that. (But they sure do keep me laughing!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There's always a caveat

I've noticed lately that every time I tell my preschooler he can do something, there always seems to be a caveat. Every "yes" is laced with a "but don't do this."

Here's what I mean:
  • "Sure, I'll cuddle with you... if you promise not to wipe your nose on my shirt."
  • "Yes, it's OK to bite your nails... just don't bite other people's nails."
  • "You can walk ahead of me ... wait, not that far ahead of me!"
  • "I guess you can lick those blueberries off your plate... no, you can't lick them off the floor."
  • "You can have that piece of candy... please don't eat the wrapper... or feed it to your brother."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Combing for answers: Another mystery solved!

Just like with pacifiers, socks and mittens, we have a problem with disappearing combs in our house. I'd get out of the shower and look around, but my combs never seemed to be in my drawer.


OK, so I'm not the most organized person, and for awhile, I figured that I was just leaving them in odd places - like I tend to do with the TV remote. I even bought one of those giant bags of combs one day thinking, "OK. Problem solved."

But it wasn't. A few weeks later, they were gone. Every last one of them.

I'm a little batty, but not that batty.


I used to joke that there was probably a big stash of combs somewhere in my house. (Just like pacifiers, socks and mittens.)


But I didn't know how right I was.


Getting out of the shower one day, I found my toddler shoving a comb in the little slot between the open bathroom drawer and the sink. Sure enough, I open the cabinet under my sink and way in the very back, what do I find?

A giant mound of combs.


Now, whenever I run low, I know exactly where to find them.

Wish I could say the same for pacifiers, mittens and socks...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More quotes from Boogerland

This time, from the mouth of our preschooler:

"My mom shops at Sloppy Joe's." [Er, Trader Joe's.]

"Mom that lady's eating fries with cows in 'em!" [McDonald's french fries. They contain beef fat.]

"Can you cuddle with me forever?"

"All right! They have a monkey bar in here!?" [Noticing the support bar in a handicap-accessible bathroom.]

"I want to go in an airplane. And I want it to be an airplane with a potty in it."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The shopping gods are not pleased

I've had some less-than-ideal shopping experiences lately.

(No, they don't involve putting a leash on my son :)

Read about them at http://boogerland.today.com/.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dear Blog, I haven't been faithful

You may have noticed the link on the right that sprouted up recently, touting a second blog. Yes, it's true. I haven't been faithful to my dear Better-Than-Boogers site. I've started tinkering with a new site.

It's called Boogerland. (Creative, hunh?) You can find it at today.com. It's got a different format, different style than blogspot here.

I'll still keep writing about our lovely adventures and my kids wacky sayings and doings. You can find that right here.

Then on Boogerland I'll share tips, advice and product reviews. You know, those little things I've learned along the way that help to make my life just a little bit easier. Or perhaps the occasional warning: Don't do this, don't even think about it!

So get clicky. And let me know what you think.

Thanks, lovely readers, for your continuing comments and support.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Mom, I can't eat Tyrone!"

I haven't mentioned it in this blog before, but I think it's time to out myself. Actually, my whole family - me, husband and the boys. We're veggie people. Vegetarians. We don't eat animals.


But we're not the type who have "Meat is Murder" bumper stickers or get all judgey when someone else eats steak. No PETA membership here. We're the more laid-back type who eat eggs and cheese. (We live in Wisconsin, so cheese is actually part of our required daily intake.)


We don't preach to the kids about our dietary choice. We just eat this way. In fact, our oldest doesn't have a clue that "normal" people eat meat and we're actually the "weirdos."


So the other night, when my son staged a protest at the dinner table, I can assure you it wasn't something he learned from us.


Though maybe I should have seen it coming.


About a year ago, I bought him a box of Backyardigans fruit snacks. I noticed that he'd play with them, but never eat them. And trust me, this kid is coo-coo for fruit snacks. After it happened a couple times, I asked him about it.


He got a horrified look on his face, and said, holding up the gummy, blue blob, "Mom, I can't eat Tyrone!"


From then on, I bought the generic fruit snacks or the ones shape like cars or Legos.


So back to the other night, we were having bean burritos, when he got oh-so offended.


"Mom! It's me! I can't eat that!"


No amount of coaxing would help, and it took me awhile to figure out his objection to bean burritos.

You see, we swaddled our boys when they were babies. In fact, my toddler went though a second swaddling stage after Babycakes was born, because he wanted to be wrapped like his little brother.

And how do we always refer to swaddling? Being a burrito. As in, "Time to make you into a burrito," or "Goodnight, Burrito Baby."

I even caught the two of them rolled up in blankets on the living room floor the other day. The Big One explained, "We're playing burritos, Mom."

So now that he sees himself and his brother as burritos, he can't stand the idea of eating them.

I guess I'll be making him quesadillas for a while.

And it will be interesting to see what he says about the animal crackers in the cupboard...

Friday, April 3, 2009

New moms: You'll need thick skin

I was watching a TV show once that tried to show teen-agers how difficult parenthood actually is. They started by making the girls where strap-on pregnant bellies. One of them refused to leave her room because she was "embarrassed" to walk around with the heavy basketball under her shirt.

If she thought having a giant belly is embarrassing, she should try having a toddler!

You know, everyone tells you that parenting is exhausting. And exhilarating. And sometimes daunting.

But rarely does anyone warn you about how embarrassing parenthood can be.

I was thinking about that the other morning while dragging my 3-year-old out of story time at the library, after he made it clear that there was no way he could a) sit remotely still or b) stay relatively quiet or c) stop provoking the other kids to misbehave along with him.

And then there are the times he:

  • Loudly asked me, "Why is that girl's skin brown?"
  • Patted an older gentleman on the butt in Wal-Mart.
  • Announced to a large line of people that he'd just gone poop.
  • Took a bite out of a box of fruit snacks at the grocery store (so I had to buy them). He similarly licked a stuffed animal at a bookstore.

And then there are the everyday situations, like changing diapers on bathroom floors because there aren't any changing tables, or breaking into a run to get your newly-potty trained child to the bathroom on time - or the accidents that ensue when you don't make it.

Perhaps there should be a baby shower card that says: "Congratulations! You're life will never be the same. PS: You might want to get some thicker skin, because parenting is more embarrassing then you've ever imagined."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's my dog, er, son

My son has always been active, even as a baby. He went from rolling to walking to running in a matter of weeks. And lately, we've had a big problem with him running away from us in public places. And it's especially hard to chase after him when we're towing Babycakes in his car seat or a grocery cart, etc.

After running away from me in Trader Joe's last week, and giving me the scare of my life, I became exasperated. So I did one of those things I always said I'd never do: I bought a kid leash.

Just like the other things I said I'd never use - a pacifier, premade PBJ sandwiches, disposable bibs - I quickly realized why other parents like these so much.

Really, it's worked like a charm. Now when we go to the zoo or the store or even for a walk around the block, I'm a lot more confident knowing that he physically can't run away from me.

I only wish I would have bought one sooner!

Sure, we get some evil stares from people, horrified that I walk my toddler around on a leash. So we've come up with a great response - my son barks at them.

In fact, just yesterday a woman said to me, "How can you treat him like an animal?"

And perfectly timed, my son looked at her and loudly exclaimed: "Woof! Woof!"

She was so shocked she just walked away.

(April fools ;)