Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

Thanks for checking in! I've recently moved my blog to Please come visit!

Monday, July 25, 2011


It's started. We knew it was coming. But tonight, it happened. The climbing. Oh, the climbing. Sure, we've seen him life his legs up and pretend to pull himself up on his crib. But nothing like this. And I have a feeling that life as I know it may be over soon. Very, very soon.

I was in Robbie's room putting laundry away, having left him on the other side of the gate. It's an average gate. One you'd find at Target (which, incidentally, is where I found it) or any garage sale. You know, it has the bar that goes (stupidly) horizontally across the front? The bar that just invites a child to climb up on it with both feet, balance himself, throw his hands in the air, and yell, "Tada!" The bar that gets him just close enough to the top to throw his leg over and shimmy down to the other side?

Yeah. We have that gate. On three different doors. And don't you for a minute think that he didn't do the same "Tada!" routine on every single gate. I suppose there is good news, though. After all, the companies weren't stupid enough to put that damn bar on both sides of the gate.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

25 July 2011

"Don't put the bath-water-soaked-toilet-paper in your mouth!"

24 July 2011

"Don't brush your teeth with the dog's water."

"Don't spit pretzels at the cat."

"We don't flush hair brushes down the toilet."

On Spitting...

Every day I make Robbie repeat the same sentence several times. "I. Will. Not. Spit." Variations may include "food", "at the dog", "on Daddy/Mama/any other individual in spitting range".

But none of it really seems to work. Robbie repeats what I ask him to repeat. He gives me the obligatory, "Sowee." And then he spits again, with that gleam in his eye. Sometimes, if I seem really angry, he avoids eye contact for a few minutes and then offers a sweet smile.

How do you deal with spitting? It's not like I can take anything away from him (which is what I do when he throws things). Spanking seems too severe. Time outs don't appear to do much good. And spitting back, while extremely tempting, is just gross. Maybe ignoring it is the way to go? Hoping he'll stop if he doesn't get attention? And do girls even do this?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beach Buddies

Robbie and Pete have known each other since they were two months old. Their forced friendship has been blossoming for the past two years, over play dates (really an excuse for the moms to get together and take a collective breath, hoping to survive motherhood until the next play date) and four months of playing together on Mondays at day care.

Unfortunately, as they have gotten older, the boys have seen each other less and less. Life happens, and people don't get together as often as they should. It's days like today, though, that remind me how important lifelong friends are. I still have a few of them, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure Robbie does, too.

The boys were beyond excited to see each other. I had to cajole Robbie into his swim diaper before he was allowed to greet Pete with all the enthusiasm of a pent-up puppy. They babbled incoherently, playing with the cats and dog. They squealed with excitement when they realized they got to ride in a car next to each other.

Then they hit the beach, flying through the sand and making a mad dash for the water. And went their separate ways. They played around each other for the better part of an hour, sharing shovels and watering cans. Suddenly, though, they were right there together, arms around each other. Smiling and "cheesing" for the camera.

Rob and Pete crowded together on the beach towel for a dinner of pizza and Diet Coke (I know, I know. No judging!). Then it happened. They were off, pieces of pizza in hand, running across the field, shrieking in delight. They chased each other up the hill and down the hill, around the other beach-goers, and, much to Rob's delight, to the parking lot gate.

The entire way home, all we heard was, "Pete. Fun. Water. Fun. Pete." I guess that means Rebecca and I are just going to have to suck it up and get together more often. Fabulous, isn't it, when a forced friendship blossoms into something beautiful?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lessons in Ice Cream

Ice cream is ice cream, right? A delicious frozen treat no matter how it is served? Not necessarily. Especially when one Robert Gaetano Manna is involved.

In the past, we've had melt downs (pun totally intended) over ice cream when Justin shared his vanilla-based ice cream and I didn't share my coffee-based ice cream. I figured I would stay ahead of the game this time by ordering a kid's scoop of coffee cookie ice cream in a cup. The sizes are generous, and I got an extra cup and spoon. It was perfect. Robbie, Justin, and I would all sit around and enjoy our treat.

Except Robbie didn't want his ice cream. He told me it was yucky and tried to throw it. I was confused; the entire way down, Robbie had been talking about 'cream. He didn't want any sort of taste of the deliciousness. After five minutes, I was ready to lose my mind. Who has a two-year-old throw a temper tantrum while out for ice cream?

And then, as I looked around to point out all the kids being good with their 'cream, it occurred to me. They were all being good with their 'cream CONES. I bolted to the counter, grabbed a cone, and spooned the ice cream into it. And to my immediate left? A very happy little boy, grinning from ear to ear. He looked at me as I offered the cone and said, "'Cream, Mama. Tank you."

Lesson learned. Ice cream in bowls is for babies and grown-ups. Kids eat ice cream in cones. And, since I don't have a baby any more, I'll be ordering an extra cone from now on.


I'm sure I've mentioned Robbie's love of all things coffee. At least once or twice. Right? Well, just in case you forgot... He loves it. Absolutely loves it. It's actually gotten to the point where we order him his own coffee if we go to Dunkin' Donuts (a small and, of course, decaf - when Justin remembers). It's so much easier than trying to wrestle our own drinks away from him.

So, after church this past Sunday, we stopped by Dunkin' Donuts for a little mid-morning pick-me-up. Young Robert decided his own coffee wasn't enough. He toured the backyard with his cup, my cup, and a sippy cup of juice.