Tuesday, July 28, 2009

big boy bed

The first night in the toddler bed, or "big boy bed" as we've been calling it, was a huge success! Deuce is still sleeping now! I wasn't actually home to put him down for the night in it, but I'm so proud of him, and very saddened that he's growing up so quickly.

I squirreled away the checks he got for his birthday, and I'm going to Target today to get the Cars "Cruisin' in Style" bed set. I really pushed for the much cuter transportation themed one, but it's his bed and I let him pick. Very opinionated.

I'm surprised how easy the transition was because we didn't actually do anything to prepare him. We talked about it, and then we took off the crib side and put on the side rail and just let him get in and out... if only potty training could be that easy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

File under Fun

Our day at Seabreeze was great!
I don't have a lot of tips to share, just pictures of Deuce!

Deuce went on his first solo amusement park ride. I was horribly nervous, but there were lots of other somewhat respectable looking adults putting their beloved children on the rides, and there were no chaulk outlines on the surrounding area, so... on he went!

He drove a T-bird (this is the beginning of the ride, so he looks a little nervous)

after the first loop he has his groove

These boats were adorable until the ride stopped and he stood up and tried to get off by himself - on the water side! No harm done.
He went on twice

And this is a tiny little roller coaster. I'm glad he went on with this slightly older little girl, because as soon as she started laughing, the worried look left his face and he laughed hysterically at her.

We also enjoyed the carousel and DeuceDad's company picnic before we went over the water rides. We had carried our two bags through the park but we did finally get the lockers when we went into the water park. They are tiny, but reasonably priced.
I have to compliment the changing/restroom facilities. I usually HATE public restrooms and I remember the changing areas smelling like someone had peed in the curtained spots. But this was really clean. It's airy, spacious bright, with no dripping water or mystery puddles.
We took Deuce to the kids spray area and found 3 little waterslides. They're the size of playground slides but with water running down them. They were a huge hit - Deuce did one of the slides literally dozens of times. That gave us a chance to trade off and do a big people waterslide. So fun! I would have loved to have a waterproof camera for the afternoon.
Then we went on the Lazy River, where you float around this loop - it was so relaxing and Deuce did a good job staying on my lab on my tube. There are waterfalls, and I did my best to keep us out of them, but we went under one and Deuce cried hysterically! Poor man!
Then we changed up, enjoyed some fried dough and the train, and took Deuce home for a long overdue nap.
My concerns over our baggage ended up being no problem at all. It's such a small park that you can lock up your stuff and go back to it over the course of the day without really trekking all over.
The diaper question wasn't answered until we got into the kids area itself. The sign said to use a swim diaper covered with rubber pants (available for purchase). We let Deuce go au natural. I'm sure I would have freaked about that in pre-parenting days, but judging by the look of the bottoms of the other children, he wasn't the only one without protection. Plus the possibility (likelyhood?) of adults peeing in the adult rides grosses me out way more than some baby pee.
So that was our day - it was a lot of fun, very relaxing and we're hoping to go back!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Amusement Park Prep

Today is DeuceDad's company picnic at Seabreeze! Seabreeze is a small local amusement park, and it's lots of fun. It's definitely wimpy compared to Six Flags or Busch Gardens, but it's close and inexpensive and fun.

I have a few things I'm not sure about, so tomorrow I'll hopefully have some 'how to survive an amusement park with a 2 year old in diapers' tips. My main concerns are my camera (would LOVE to bring the big boy but afraid it will get wet or stolen), and the water slides (are swim diapers allowed? are we going to get E coli?). We brought Deuce last year, but didn't do the water park, and someone stood with the stroller the whole time.

I did get some tips from a local moms website, RocMoms.com. I'm sure every area has something similar, and it's a great resource for local info from a parent's perspective. I found RocMoms from the newspaper's website, so look around.

I'm off to pack a bag - wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Since I've been out of work, I'm trying to spend more carefully. I'm doing my best to live by the motto
Use it up,
wear it out,
make it do
or do without.

I am doing a pretty good job going from a person who, within reason, buys what I want when I want it, to a budget-conscious if not frugal shopper.

Some of my successes are the outdoor plants that I got from the clearance section of the garden store. $74 of plants bought for $28 because they came without guarantees. I guess the discounts only get better as the season goes on and stores don't want to winter plants over.

And how about face products - I haven't bought face wash or lotion in 3 years! Yes, that's before Deuce was born. I used to sell Mary Kay, so I did have a stock pile. But I'm also using up a lot of tinted moisturizers and other things that I buy new seasonally. I have thrown a lot of things away that have turned, particularly Clinique things that I have had since before I started selling Mary Kay. But at $20 or $25 a pop, every time I find a tube of something I feel like there's money in my pocket.

Of course it just wouldn't be me if I didn't have some failures too. For one, there's the bed frame I bought off craigslist that didn't even attach to the bed properly (thankfully that has been resold). The Rubbermaid paintbrush I got a "great deal" on because it was $4 instead of $12 that I usually spend on a Purdy brush. (It leaves crazy streaks). Or the potty chair I bought without doing any research. Deuce isn't tall enough to sit in the middle of the seat - it's made for giants (luckily found that out before Deuce really used it and was able to return).

Sometimes researching items doesn't really help though. Of all the potty chairs on Amazon, not one has 5 stars, and it seems like boys can manage to pee on everything regardless of the size and shape of the "splash guard".

All in all I must be doing okay, because we're staying afloat. More than afloat, we have everything we need and we're paying less for it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

M is for My other hobbies

I crochet (or knit, now) almost every day, late at night when we're unwinding in front of the TV. But fiber stuff isn't my first or only hobby.

My first hobby is baking. This is Deuce's birthday cake. It's two layers of chocolate cake with white frosting and decorated with mini, plain and peanut butter M&Ms. I got the idea from Parents magazine. It took just as much time to decorate as it did to bake and frost!

I got my love of baking from my dear Grandma Anne. She has "got it." She times cookies by when they smell done. She measures with a scoop. Like, not a measuring cup. She just knows how to bake, and though I'm not as skilled as her, I do love it.

My favorite hobby is scrapbooking. I started scrapbooking before I was married, just to spend time with friends and because I thought it was fun. Now that Deuce is on the scene, I do a LOT of scrapbooking.

This is his second year, what I was able to finish before his party:

(that's an American Crafts D-ring binder, which I love for any project that isn't ever really "done")

Scrapbooking is the way I record my feelings and emotions, express my love for my family, create something I can share, exercise my mind... and let's face it, it's how I spend a lot of money. DeuceDad actually doesn't mind though because I've had this hobby for about 5 years now, longer than I've ever held down a single job, so it's not a waste.

I am so fortunate for all the nap-time I spend on these hobbies. So when I'm not blogging, you know what I'm doing!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I don't even know where to start.

I haven't blogged in a while - I've been home, away, busy, sleepy, up, down and around pretty much non-stop. (And I used to work, too?)

Some of the highlights since June 23...


We went to Green Lakes and camped with friends. We have camped with this group a few times, and have always enjoyed ourselves. We were really looking forward to it, until a huge thunderstorm rolled overhead as we were packing the car. We actually got the car totally unpacked and called everyone to confer... only for the sky to clear and the weather to be gorgeous. We repacked the car (minus a few essentials forgotten in the fray) and off we went.

It's a really nice park - actually a national forest, I think - with a beautiful beach for swimming and lots of trails. Our sites were in a great location, and the weather held out. A great trip!

July 4th!

We celebrated the all-American way. We over ate and watched baseball.

"Dipfest" started as a discussion over what the best kind of taco dip is.

It turned into an allout gorge-fest that the hostess is not entirely recovered from. Digestively speaking. There was no clear winner, but the contestants for taco dip were "Alyson's taco dip" (cream cheese/sour cream/taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, lettuce, cheese), chili cheese dip (cream cheese, chili, cheese), and 7 layer taco dip (cream cheese/sour cream/taco seasoning, refried beans, guacamole, salsa, olives, jalapeno slices, cheese). Also in the photo are chicken wing dip and artichoke dip. I feel sick just thinking about it.

We went to see the Red Wings. We took Deuce last year, but he was mostly interested in popcorn and playing in the grass. This year he was able to follow along a little (here, in the red tshirt, bemoaning a blown call) He was great at the game, and we're looking forward to bringing him again.

Hangin' with my Dad!

My dad had some time off mid-week, so we went to the Strong National Museum of Play together. The working folk don't get to do stay-at-home stuff like story hour, so this was a treat for Dad.


This is the completed "first sock evah!" and the second one has another 2-ish inches of calf and some ribbing left to go.

Amazingly, sock knitting has been my procrastination knitting, used to keep myself from a cable scarf (I think I got the cable thing figured, just trying to finish the yarn), and a sweater (whoa) that is very intimidating.

Not too shabby - hoping to have some fiber stuff to share soon.