Thursday, April 30, 2009

YA . . . more than OKAY!

I still have several books and authors I want to share with you and so the Book Beat beats on. The popularity of the Harry Potter books and, more recently, the Twilight series, has highlighted the fact that books written for younger audiences also have appeal for adult readers. As with books written for adults, YA books vary in style, quality of writing, and level of difficulty. For me, however, a compelling narrative is a compelling narrative, whether or not I am a particular book’s target reader. I get pretty frustrated/annoyed when people consider certain types of books beneath them. When I read, sure I hope to learn, to be inspired, to be transported, to appreciate the beauty of language and the nuances of a writer’s style, but most of all, I hope to enjoy the reading experience. If you enjoy the books you are reading, do not let anyone make you feel ashamed or foolish about what you read. Now down from soapbox, I present my next grouping of books you may want to check out:

Novels Written for Young Adults that Might Appeal to Readers of All Ages:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I resisted this book, despite its awesome reviews, because I did not think I wanted to read another Holocaust narrative because, you know, they do not tend to end well even though they often highlight the best of human courage and resiliency alongside the worst human depravity. The Book Thief offers insight into the Holocaust from the perspective of a young German girl, reminding readers that not all Germans bought into Nazi thinking, even though party membership was widespread. The book is narrated by Death, which takes some getting used to, but is effective. What I love most about this book is the way it highlights the tremendous power of words, a truth that readers of all ages cannot be exposed to enough. Steal this book if you have to. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This novel made me wish I was teaching ninth grade English, which is, trust me, quite rare. Set in the future, The Hunger Games is the perfect novel for helping one to reflect upon present realities, particularly reality television. LAP and I have discussed how people (ourselves included) these days are kind of “soft” and wondered if we could step up and survive without life’s luxuries if we had to do so. This book offers glimpses of life lived in survival mode. It would be a great book to teach in conjunction with Lord of the Flies or to replace Lord of the Flies with the story of a strong, smart, courageous young heroine. I was an itty bit disappointed with the ending, which clearly left the door open for a sequel (which I discovered will be available in September). I will forgive the ending, I guess, if the sequel delivers. I’m reading another YA book set in the future right now. It’s called Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It provides some food for thought, particularly about the ugly/pretty distinction, but the romance portion is a bit clumsy and the points are made more obviously than necessary. Still, I’m enjoying it and may investigate its sequels, though not in a hurry.

I also want to mention two YA series that I read a few years ago, but want to endorse, though they are nothing like the books mentioned above. I loved the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books by Ann Brashares. Please, please do not judge these books by the movies. I also get a huge kick out of the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison. In my mind, these British books are sort of a Bridget Jones for young teens and tweens. Freaking hilarious at times.

If you don’t trust my authority that YA books are worth checking out, perhaps you might trust Nick Hornby’s. He writes about quite a few YA titles in Shakespeare Wrote for Money, a collection of his reading columns for The Believer, and comments, “I see now that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that’s filled with masterpieces I’ve never heard of . . . The world suddenly seems a larger place” (81-82). So there.

What about you? What are you reading? Any YA titles to recommend? When have you read outside your box and been pleasantly surprised?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Exactly what I didn’t know I wanted . . .

What with no longer watching Bravo’s Real Housewives* franchise, doing a lot of fast forwarding through this season of Dancing with the Stars, getting Little Bit to bed at a reasonably early hour, continuing to clean my perpetually messy and disorganized house while listening to audiobooks, and completely finishing that old dissertation, ntb, I have found more time to read lately.

Aware that my Book Beat posts are sometimes boring, I try to think of creative ways to thematically group the books I would like to share with you all. At this point, I have enough groupings for one massive post on books or several "shorter" ones. Without further ado, I present the first grouping:

Books that combine personal experience, great anecdotes, relevant but non-boring research, humor, and plenty of fodder for discussion:

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steven Dublanica aka The Waiter:
This book was a bargain audiobook ($4.95) that I purchased because I had seen the author make a brief appearance on Oprah and liked him. I was worried that the book would be all about waiters spitting in food and that it would bring back unpleasant memories of my days as a waitress at Friendly and then The Olive Garden (where, for the record, I never even considered spitting in someone's food). Though entitled Waiter Rant, The Waiter is more insightful and thoughtful than he is angry and ranting and more compassionate than cynical. Reading about how horrible some customers are will definitely make you want to be an even better diner and tipper. More than that though, this book will make you think about other topics: the social significance of restaurants and dining out, what constitutes meaningful work, workplace power struggles, and the public health implications of treating restaurant employees poorly (i.e., the fact that many work sick because they cannot afford to take a day off and can even be fired for missing a shift on a busy day). The fact that The Waiter is a former seminarian made things even more interesting to me. At the end, he offers tips for being a good customer, one of which is not to ask for extra lemons and sugar so that you can make your own lemonade. I cracked up when I heard that because that happened ALL THE TIME when I worked at the Olive Garden, and I used to marvel at the audacity of those customers.

Pregnant Pause: My Journey Through Obnoxious Questions, Baby Lust, Meddling Relatives, and Pre-Partum Depression by Carrie Friedman
Readers of this blog know how interested I am in trying to chronicle and negotiate the delights and challenges of parenthood. Because I am right in the thick of it right now—the poop in the tub, public meltdowns, imaginary friends, chicken nuggets, night feedings, stroller analysis, heart-melting surprises, messy surprises, sleep books, ear infections, and on and on—it is sometimes easy to forget that small children are not the center of everyone’s world. Friedman’s book is a humorous but also serious take on her own journey toward motherhood—is she ready, how will she know, and why won’t everyone just leave her alone about it in the meantime. For me, it was good to be reminded of how frightening, baffling, and sometimes obnoxious/obsessive that parenthood--especially of really young children--might appear to those who are still thinking about if and when they want to join the fray. Friedman is witty, edgy, and endearingly vulnerable as she describes her, to quote the title, "journey through obnoxious questions, baby lust, meddling relatives, and pre-partum depression." She is not quite sure she wants to press “play” at the end of Pregnant Pause (pretty sweet title, by the way) but I closed the book with a sense that if or when she does, she will be as ready as anyone can be.

Both Waiter Rant and Pregnant Pause would be good book club choices as they are accessible, engaging, and humorous while also lending themselves to discussions of "big" issues.

For now, writing a blog is enough for me, though someday I would like to write a book. I have absolutely no plans to write a novel and indeed cannot imagine a novel that would not be a thinly-veiled account of my life. Reading these books helped me to envision the kind of book that I could see myself writing: a book that combines personal experience, relevant but non-boring research, humor, and hopefully insight.** For now, I am happy living and enjoying my life and trying to have and learn from the kind of experiences others might want to read about, connect to, and laugh at, but when inspiration strikes, I will be ready.

*If you still watch, I’m not judging. I just had to cut myself off when I found myself feeling anxious and on edge during some episode, disgusted during others.

**a book like one previously reviewed on NTB: Helping Me, Help Myself by Beth Lisick, which I wish that I had written or thought of writing

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flat out confused . . .

My personal struggles with fashion and style have been addressed on this blog before. I have complained that there is no female equivalent to "khakis and a golf shirt" and, more recently, fessed up to my tendency to dress in clothes that can double as pajamas.* My comfort zone is Gap and Old Navy t-shirts, paired with comfortable bottoms: athletic pants, jeans, capris, cargos, and sometimes khakis. I have many black t-shirts.

Now, I'm not claiming that I walk around town like a slob every day. Indeed, a baseline of cleanliness and grooming is essential to my mental health as I learned after spending eight months with Baby Bub, waiting until he "napped" to get ready.*** When my hubby is not traveling, we have a system in place that allows me to get dressed and ready, child free, before he leaves for work. I'm not going to be mistaken for US Weekly moms like Katie Holmes, Reese Witherspoon, or Angelina Jolie anytime soon, but I do put on makeup and deal with my hair pretty much every day. I thought with wearing makeup and dealing with my hair most days, I was doing pretty well for myself, ntb, but I have noticed that there are other women who do these things AND also put together attractive, flattering, cute outfits. It's not that I want to compete with or compare myself to these other moms so much as that I would like to feel more put together, in control, and pleased with myself, if that makes sense.

Of late, I've started thinking that I could improve upon my personal style a bit. I thought at one point of using NTB to challenge myself and others to forego elastic waist pants for an entire week, but I didn't know if I could actually do it or what the point would be. Then, I started thinking that the answer might be to acquire some cuter shirts, either fancier t-shirts or, gasp, some tops that are not t-shirts.

Since my birthday in March, I have acquired some new shirts that, while not high fashion items, are cute and comfortable and not black t-shirts. I want these new items to be part of my weekday wardrobe, but I keep hitting a brick--or, more accurately, a rubber--wall when I go to dress each morning. I put on the nice shirt. I put on my bottoms that zip/button. Then, I have a problem. For me, there is a logical, comfortable choice of footwear for my typical, weekday, GAP brands ensemble: "tennis shoes."** But I feel stupid wearing my new shirts with tennis shoes. It does not look right so I take off the nice shirt I was thinking of wearing and pull out a t-shirt or the lightweight black pullover I wear four days a week so I can keep my tennis shoes on.

I know what you're thinking, "Oh MEP, you need some flats or maybe some Privos." I have been thinking the same thing and even experimenting with some new footwear options, but I just need some clarification on a few items:

1. Am I correct that flats are not always comfortable? That they sometimes rub up against the back of your heel all day long? That they offer little support? That they are not ideal for heaving a double stroller around town?

2. I have figured out that you are not supposed to wear socks with most non-athletic, casual shoes of the sort I see other moms with cuter outfits wearing. I get that and luckily, my dad gave me some samples he had of Peds, these little footie type socks that hide nicely in casual footwear.

2a. But if you don't wear socks, don't your feet STINK by the end of the day? Or, is that just me?

3. I have also noticed that if I put on my jeans and then try to put on a pair of flats, my jeans begin grazing the floor and collecting dust and dirt around the hem. Is this just how it goes or do other people have multiple sets of jeans of varying lengths to accommodate different types of footwear? If that's what it takes, I don't know that I can go there.

If and when spring and eventually summer weather do arrive, things will get a bit easier. I do have a few comfortable pairs of flip flops and sandals I can add to the rotation. Plus, capri pants, though much maligned by fashion experts on television, do solve the problem of the grazing hems.

Until then, I want to up my weekday fashion game, but without much pain, stink, trouble, and expense. Is that possible?

*and I do not mean that I wear lingerie tops as actual tops like some seemingly fashionable people seem to do -- I mean that I wear sweatpants all day and then sleep in them

**by that I mean running shoes, though I do NOT run

***had he napped, that might have worked

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Heart Kings Island

My love of rides, snacks, and people watching is stronger than my distaste for crowds and sweating and thus I have loved going to Kings Island since I was a little girl. I am so excited that Bub is now old enough to begin enjoying its delights. We were in Ohio for my niece's baptism this past weekend, giving Bub and I a chance to break in our season passes, ntb, on opening day.*

Since my visits to Kings Island in recent years have been in the capacity of "parent of a toddler," I have not even entered the non kiddie-land areas of the park in about eight years. That disclaimer out there, I still feel qualified to list my favorite aspects of Kings Island:

Favorite Rides (some of them may no longer exist):
- The Beast and The Beastie
- Backwards Racer
- The Scrambler
- Shake, Rattle, and Roll
- The Smurf Ride (breaks my heart that it is no longer around)

Highlights of Kings Island for MEP as a tween (though tweens as a demographic did not exist when I was one):
- Dressing in matching (usually fluorescent) outfits with my friends
- Wondering if I was driving the same Tin Lizzie the kids from the Brady Bunch did
- Wasting money making recordings and videos at the Soundtracks place
- Seeing concerts like NKOTB, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson at the Timberwolf Ampitheater

Lowlights of Kings Island for MEP as a tween:
- Complicated logistics of drop-off/pick-up/meeting up in the pre-cellular age
- Running out of money before I had eaten all the snacks I wanted
- Once seeing my neighbor (probably 14 at the time) smoking a cigarette there**

Favorite Food Finds at Kings Island:
- Funnel cake with the fruit topping
- Soft serve ice cream with chocolate sprinkles
- LaRosa's pizza (tastes better at Kings Island)
- Soft pretzels
- Fountain Diet Coke

Perennial Fashion and People Watching Highlights:
- air-brushed t-shirts
- jean shorts
- muscle shirts
- cheapy flip-flops and delicate sandals (seriously, I will never understand who goes somewhere where they are going to be walking ALL DAY and wears the least comfortable shoes they can find?)
- PDA while waiting in lines (noticed in glimpsing the six hour Diamondback line on Saturday that new forms of PDA can include couples groping while also sharing their ipod earphones)
- containers of Skoal glimpsed in back pockets (often of jean shorts)
- kids on leashes

Bub has been to Kings Island three times so far. I bought the passes because his cousins Swiper and Fancy have them, and I wanted us to be able to go together when we visit Ohio during the months Kings Island is open and not have the pressure to "get our money's worth" out of inflated one-day admission prices. It is so fun to watch he and and his cousins begin their own love affair with the amusement park. His favorite things so far are the Bumper Cars, the Blue's Clue's ride, the other little cars, and blue icees.

I thought it might make me feel old to be at Kings Island as a parent. Even though I didn't get a chance to ride any "real rides" and couldn't linger over all my favorite snacks, I had just as much and maybe more fun sharing in Bub's excitement. Indeed, I felt pretty young. The only time my sense of youth was challenged was when I saw two individuals who appeared to be married and who I taught when they were FRESHMEN in high school at the park with children roughly the same age as my own.

I look forward to more fun at Kings Island this summer, especially when the water park opens. I'm also hoping that I get to visit the park without kids for a couple of hours sometime so I can pretend I'm thirteen. I'd like to ride all my favorites, wait for the Diamondback, and enjoy being able to spend more than ten dollars on snacks if I fancy it, ntb.

Kings Island lovers, please let me know if I overlooked some of your favorite things about KI. What about you? Did you have a favorite amusement park growing up? What were your favorite things about it? Please share.

*Little Bit still gets in for free.
**I was such a goody-goody that seeing this unnerved me for weeks

Monday, April 13, 2009

April is the cruellest month.

April is the cruellest month.

Today is opening day at Wrigley Field and the weather is, as it was last year, rainy, cold, and miserable. On this day last year, I remember feeling practically toxic as I negotiated a Cubs traffic jam on the way to Bub's park district class. I felt pissed off and weighed down by the miserable weather. The only thing that made me feel better about things this time last year was my relief that I was not a Cubs fan who had been looking forward to the game. I will admit that I was in such a foul mood on this day last year that I felt annoyed by the fans and their willingness to go to a baseball game in crap weather and unreasonably resentful of the fact that so many of them drove to the game, causing mini traffic jams for me to contend with while they were at it.

I think I'm in a better place this year than I was last because in addition to feeling relieved that I was not going to the game, I actually felt sorry for the die hards I saw walking toward Wrigley with ponchos and umbrellas.

I'm not one to obsess about the weather. I don't watch the Weather Channel. Most days I don't even check the forecast. I don't spend an inordinate amount of time worrying that weather will foul up my plans (perhaps because I don't have that many "plans"). It's my thirty-fourth year of living in the Midwest, and I know that Spring does not magically appear on March 21st. Indeed, after eight years in Chicago, I know that there will likely be only glimpses of Spring--beautiful days here and there but nothing one can count on and build any more than a fragile sense of hope and optimism around--until all of sudden it will be June, hot and humid, and I'll be tempted to complain about how hot it is outside.

I love the Midwest and plan to live here always. I love how much one can appreciate beautiful weather, even for a day, after a LONG winter. I love seasons, even though spring seems to get skipped so often. My Midwestern heart suspects that if I were to ever move to a place with better, more consistent weather, even when hubby and I are retired, I will feel as if I am somehow "cheating."

But seriously, these cold and rainy spring days are so difficult. Even though I know I have much to be thankful for and much to be happy about, it is very difficult to make plans, count blessings, and look forward hopefully on days like today. I look outside and think, "Enough's enough."

I don't want this post to be a litany of complaints, though on this rainy Monday it is hard not to go there.

Instead, I will focus on a some of the things that are making me feel more hopeful and peaceful.

* Bub's commentary last night before bed, "The Easter bunny going to visit me and he say, 'Bub, you were a good boy on Easter,' and then he bring me more candy."

* Little Bit, though he is giving me fits with his sleeping and eating, learning to crawl for real now and being so stinking proud of himself -- also how he looks when he attacks a Gerber wagon wheel

* the fact that hubby is busy at work -- the boys and I miss him when he has a lot of work to do, but I am thankful that he loves his job and that it seems secure

* new (to me) song I heard on the awesome season of finale of Big Love that I purchased on itunes and have been listening to over and over: "I Found a Reason" by The Velvet Underground

* book I heard about because a character in another book referenced it and I forgot I had until this afternoon: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim -- I've only read a few pages so far but it features a woman who, on a crap February day, is tempted to book a holiday in Italy for April -- seems promising

* lovely visit with my in-laws this weekend and upcoming trip to the promised land (Ohio) this weekend for my niece's baptism

* thinking about Dwight and Andy singing John Denver on Thursday's The Office

* already knowing what we are having for dinner tonight

* text messages from my siblings and parents

* the fact that I mistakenly purchased Starburst jelly beans of the "tropical" variety instead of standard and that they are SO BAD, I will not be tempted to over-indulge and may just throw them out

* fountain Diet Coke from Burger King

Tell me, what things, big or small, are making you happy or hopeful on this April day, however "cruel" (or not) it is in your neck of the woods . . .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Investors Welcome

Little Bit is cute as ever, generous with the smiles, loud as anything when he laughs, and so stinking proud of himself when he gets to do his walking laps (both hands up, holding those of adult hunched over to guide him).

But, of late, Little Bit has been a little bit more than we bargained for. Dare I say, there have been moments when we have been tempted to replace the "B" with an "sh," affectionately, of course. It's not his fault. He's on a second course of antibiotics for an ear infection that was diagnosed three weeks ago (on my birthday, ntb). The ear infection was coupled with lots of coughing and snot and the typical sleep and feeding issues that arise during illnesses. Blah, blah, blah. The long and the short of it is since the ear infection began he has been difficult to feed, napping like crap, waking up at least twice a night to be fed (after a decent multi-week run of one wake up), and, the past ten days or so, starting his (and thus our) day sometime in the 5:00 hour.

Not one to sit around moping and complaining,* ntb, I have instead decided to use my spare time to turn these challenging few weeks with Little Bit into an opportunity to help other frustrated families and become rich enough to feel as if I could buy Lean Cuisine pizzas even when they are not on sale.

Loyal readers, you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Obviously, what follows is not the business plan that I will be putting before the investors. I will leave the industry research and financial modeling to my hubby, who kicks ass at that kind of stuff, ntb. I am planning to secure the top legal mind in West Virginia (who will take my call, ntb) to help me to protect my intellectual property and/or secure the necessary patents and whatnot. LAP will be in charge of all accounting. PITA and my mom will be on the marketing team. Sales covered by my dad and brothers, one of whom already works in the infant products industry.

Invention Number One: "Tick Tock, Re-Set Your Baby's Clock"
This first project is very much still in the research stages. I'm not sure if the end result will be a product, a pharmaceutical, a homeopathic solution, or some sort of proven process/system that parents will be trained in by certified Tick Tock Trainers who will not wear company golf shirts and Dockers. Tick Tock is not intended for everyday use or as a safety net for lazy/irresponsible parents who disrespect their children's sleep need or parents who have unreasonable expectations for the amount of sleep they can expect from their baby. No, this product is for parents who work hard to keep their kids well rested, but cannot crack the early morning wake-up cycle. At Casa MEP, we don't ask for much, but we do ask for a wake-up in the 6:00 hour. 7:00 a.m. feels like 10:00 a.m. on the rare occasions when one or both of the boys sleeps past 7:00. A couple years back, we had a three or four month period with Bub waking up in the 5:00 hour, and I drove myself batty trying to crack it: reading sleep books, adjusting bedtimes, documenting naps, changing feeding times, etc. Eventually, that stage ended, but I couldn't say how or why. Tick Tock would save parents from the brutality of the 5-something wake-up and the insanity of trying to figure it out by offering either a product or process to allow a one-time re-set of the child's body clock to save everyone a lot of frustration and lost sleep.

Invention Number Two: "Tiny Trough"
Little Bit is not full-on crawling yet, but he has a speedy and somewhat stealthy army crawl. He is at a stage where he wants to put anything he finds in his mouth. I am very vigilant and keep Bub's favorite treasures--coins, candy, broken crayons, miniature alphabet magnets--far out of Little Bit's reach (and Bub's too, when I can manage it). I also sweep and vacuum regularly enough to keep the biggest hunks of junk off the floor. And yet, Little Bit continues to spot prey and move in for the kill. This morning he quickly slithered about seven feet because he spotted a small green morsel of dried play-doh he wanted to sample. I've already mentioned how he gets tired of Puffs and tosses them on the floor. If, however, he finds a puff on the floor, he is suddenly all about ingesting it with enthusiasm, ditto any other scrap or crumb of food he can get his little hands on. Hubby has taken to calling Little Bit "the scavenger." Despite his apparent hunger, meal times are not going well. Many days he balks at baby food, but he's very unpredictable with the new table foods. Loves bananas one day, shoves them off the tray the next. He was really into the first five pieces of avocado I gave him and then wanted nothing to do it. Ditto pasta pickups. Ditto pears. Ditto Gerber vegetable crackers. The only slam dunk of the new self-feeding transition we're trying to ease into has been the cheese puffs (they are organic, but I'm not going to kid myself that they ought to be an essential part of any kid's diet).

Bub's food issue has always been a resistance to trying new things (outside the categories of candy and crackers). Little Bit seems willing to sample anything he finds on the floor . . . that's where the Tiny Trough comes in!!! I haven't drawn up the plans yet, but picture a size-adjustable piece of sanitary, easy-to-clean, BPA-free, and possibly customized-to-match-your-flooring hard plastic with molds of bowls, crevices, and other small hiding places on top. Just toss those cubes of avocado, those peas, that tofu--whatever healthy food you want your kid to try--onto the Tiny Trough when the child is not paying attention. Then, put him/her on the ground and let him/her crawl over, happen upon the Tiny Trough, and being eating and exploring with glee. To encourage eating, you may pull child away from the Tiny Trough a couple of times to ensure that he/she will remain enthusiastic about getting back to it right away.

I think it goes without saying that you're going to need to act quickly if you want to be a part of these unique opportunities. Let me know how much you're in for . . .

*and just kidding, I can mope and complain with the best of them, though I am getting better about staying positive

Monday, April 6, 2009

Grains on the Brain

Loyal readers know that I have used NTB to document my culinary interests, obsessions, and experiments. For awhile, I was working on soup and then moved on to salad recipes. I know that my cooking posts tend to be on the boring side, but sharing them with you makes me feel more motivated to try new things in the kitchen.

So, the new culinary goal is to start incorporating more whole grains into the diet at Casa MEP. Whole grains under consideration include:
Brown rice
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
Whole-wheat couscous
Wheat berries
Wild rice

This list is a product of a quickie google search, not extensive research. The only whole grains on the list I've prepared before are brown rice, oats, and couscous. Others I have eaten, but not worked with in my kitchen.

One recipe I want to attempt for sure is Wheatberry Waldorf Salad. I purchased a miniscule amount at Whole Foods once (eight bites for $4 or something ridiculous like that) and enjoyed it.

So, you tell me, what do you do with whole grains? I would welcome recipes or links to recipes. I am especially fond of cold salads, foods with lots of texture, and recipes that don't require lots of ingredients. I would tell you how to link to recipes when leaving comments, but I don't know myself.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Appetite(s) for Destruction

Appetite for Destruction: Little Bit Wants to Bite

Bub loved baby food, and I mean loved it. Loved it so much that, as I've mentioned many times on this blog, he still ate baby food peas and sweet potatoes until a few months ago and, when our babysitter is here, continues to eat them (he accepts them from her, but not from me, not that I've still been pushing them). Little Bit eats his baby food just fine, but I can tell (or at least I think I can) that he really wants food that he can pick up and eat on his own. I am a little nervous about this. Bub was spoon-feeding himself baby food before he ever wanted to feed himself much table food. Little Bit, perhaps because he sees Bub eating "real" food next to him whereas Bub just saw me wide-eyed and holding a spoon, looks at that food with longing. Even though he has six, huge teeth and a pretty good pincer (?) grasp, I have been waiting until his next check-up to ask about moving forward with more foods. For now, the only things I feel safe letting him eat are little, itty, bitty pieces of banana that I pre-mush a bit for him, and puffs. When I pour a little pile of puffs on to his tray or on the exersaucer while he's "exercising," he gets super excited at first. Then, pretty soon, he realizes, "Oh, these again. Not what I was hoping for." He eats some of the puffs and others inevitably end up on the floor where they are accidentally stepped upon by me or intentionally pulverized by Bub.

Appetite for Destruction II: Tornado Bub

I'm not a neatnik, never have been. I do like things neat and tidy, but I seldom manage to keep them that way for very long. Daily, I attempt to straighten our place up as best as I can, just trying to achieve a baseline semblance of order that keeps me feeling somewhat in control. Since Bub and Little Bit are typically only asleep at the same time for about twenty minutes a day, nothing is ever too tidy during the day. But even if they slept for two hours, I know that with Tornado Bub in town, I could spend all of nap time picking up and nothing would stay orderly for more than ten minutes or even ten seconds. Honestly, he has an appetite for destruction. It's like if he sees that I've straightened the pillows on the couch, he feels compelled to go over and toss one of them on to the floor. If he notices that I'm sweeping, he has to grab his little broom and "help" and by "help" I mean go directly to the pile of crumbs I've gathered and scatter them with his broom. If I am foolish enough to leave a pile of folded laundry in his reach, it does not stay folded for long. If I ask him to get me a "Little Bit diaper," he often gives me half the bin. Bub does have to clean up after making these messes. When I have the energy, it's immediately. More often than not, it's after Little Bit is in bed. Then, we "work together" to put all the crayons back in the tin, all the Megablocks back in the bin, or all the shoes back under the shelf where we keep his footwear. I'm not concerned about him being unhelpful or incapable of picking up, I am concerned about his seemingly physical need to bring disorder to order. I hope it's just a stage.

Do any of you have a tornado in your home? Any tips? What about ideas for what to feed Little Bit? Just please, don't tell me avocado. I know it's mushy and he might like it, but I don't like thinking about all the avocados that will go brown in my fridge so I can use enough of one to satisfy the Bit. Despite their healthy fat status and my love for them, I don't want to see myself eating an avocado a day before it goes bad.
Blog Designed by : NW Designs