Category Archives: Toddlerhood

How to Wear Out a Three Year Old

On Saturday, we drove a couple of hours to the North Shore Scenic Railroad to see THOMAS!

Since between the three of us (more about that later) we took a zillion pictures, I figured I’d divide this into several posts.

These are the BEFORE photos – the place is full of super fun activities –  They had a bounce house, a bouncy obstacle course, a giant inflatable slide, a bubble foam center, giant cardboard blocks, and lots and lots and lots of train tables. Mason was exhausted before the real fun even began. See why?

trains1 trains2 trains3 trains4Despite younger kids going down the big slide, the Thomas employee felt that Mason should ride in her lap on the way down. I thought it was weird but Mason didn’t care, so oh well! trains6 trains7

He would have bounced in this thing all day had we let him. In fact, he tried to. trains8 trains9

First Fair Rides

The first weekend in July, I took Mason on his first fair rides. It was just a small town fair and I lured him there by the promise of tractors. Unfortunately, he thought that meant “tractor rides” and was kind of disappointed. It was also nearly 90º with high humidity that day, but we still had a great time. We kicked off the day with turtle races (as in, dozens and dozens of people brought turtles they had caught and they raced them) and then we hit the rides

Mason LOVED driving these cars and he went on the ride three times
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He went on another ride with Flintstone style cars and then we went on the giant slide. No pictures of that as I had a hard time convincing him to wait for me to get seated on the gunny sack instead of throwing himself down the slide while he waited.

After that, we watched some tractors and right before I died from boredom, Mason declared it too sunny and that he’d seen enough. From there, we waited for the kids games to start. He wanted to do the foot race, which was divided into both sex and age so when it was his turn, he was racing against two other 3 year olds. Well, when the guy shouted “GO!!” Mason just stood there. The other two kids were basically across the finish line before Mason even started running. Oh well, he crossed the finish line and screamed “Mommy, I ran fast!!” and everyone got a good laugh and he ended up getting a prize since he DID take 3rd place after all.

Third prize was a ticket for a free ride, so I went on a spinning dinosaur ride with him. I learned two things – 1: enclosed rides when it’s 90º aren’t much fun 2: I’m too old to enjoy rides that spin anymore. Ugh. But, at least Mason wanted to pose for a picture!
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Mason went on the pirate ship next. Being a big fan of “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” he was pretty excited about this ride. I could hear him yelling happily through the entire ride. SO cute!
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He wrapped his day up with another ride on the cars and then was sad to find that we were out of tickets so he couldn’t go on the Merry Go Round. Next time, little dude!
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All in all, Mason’s first trip to the fair to do the rides was a success!

Spring Program

The Friday before Mother’s Day, the daycare had a little “Spring Program” in the 3’s and 4’s room – basically all the kids sang a few songs and then we enjoyed some refreshments. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes and required I missed out on the chance to go to something else I’d really been looking forward to, but it was so worth it!

Mason was super excited to have his Mommy and Daddy AND Grandma and Grandpa come see him perform that he ran away from the singing line to give Grandma a hug on multiple occasions. springprogram

He also left in the middle of one song to use the bathroom which is the door right behind him. Everyone got a good chuckle out of that!

Afterward, he was over the moon to be able to drink punch and eat cookies and muffins with Grandma. What more could he ask for?!

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And, for your viewing pleasure, a video

Such a BIG KID – [Not Quite] Wordless Wednesday 4/17/13

Back in early March, we were a bit surprised when Grandma B changed Mason to a “big kid bed” without consulting us first. I mean, that’s a big step, right?!Bed at GrandmasMuch to our surprise, he did great that night.

All through the month of March, we’d been telling him that the Easter Bunny was going to come and he was going to take all of his Nuks and give them to babies who need them. In return, the bunny would leave him a special toy and something new to sleep with. At times, Mason seemed really into this idea and at other times, he’d say things like “I don’t want the Easter bunny to take my Nuks. I need them” and be quite sad. This never failed to break my heart a little bit.

Two days after his 3rd birthday, SuperDad changed Mason’s crib into a toddler bed. Mason helped him “build” it and part way through, he picked up his Nuk and said “I don’t want the Easter Bunny to give my Nuk to babies! I’m throwing it away!” He proceeded to walk to the trash and throw away his favorite Nuk.  He was SUPER excited about his new big kid bed and probably would have went to sleep at 6 pm had we let him!newbedThat night, he went to bed in his big kid bed without his Nuk and just like that, a month has passed and he’s been sleeping great and never again asked for his Nuk. He found a random pacifier last week and went “What is this Nuk doing here?!” and promptly threw that one away too.

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I’m shocked and amazed and oh so happy (and a teeeny bit sad too *sniffle sniffle*) that this all went so well. Yay for BIG KIDS!

35 Months

In one month, Mason will be three. That is CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZYYY!!!  Since I’ve been so bad at blogging lately, I figured I would throw up a “Month Day” post, just to look back at the last month since we all can see this blog definitely hasn’t been a good reflection!

In his 35th month, Mason….

  • saw Yo Gabba Gabba Live! in the Cities and had a great time!
  • got a big kid’s sled but hasn’t been able to play with it much due to lots of 0º temps
  • wears mainly 24 month clothing with some 18 month and 2T stuff thrown in
  • loves to wear his train and monster hoodies he got for Christmas, as well as his “John Deer Shirt and pants” (the pants are actually plain camo pants LOL)
  • went to his first birthday party for a non-relative and had a great time swimming and eating cake (Thanks A and Q!)
  • Started seriously transitioning into the “Big Kids Room” (aka 3 year old room with 4-12 close by) at school
  • loves to say “Mommy/Daddy, I like you” randomly. Like when he calls you into his room at 2 am.
  • worries about whether Joe is sad when we are not home.
  • loves to bring us our things – he’s constantly bringing me my Kindle and both of us our phones or bottles of pop. Even if we’re in the bathroom or somewhere where it’s obviously NOT needed.
  • didn’t see his Grandma J much as she was sick most of the month
  • ate his last meal in our favorite family cafe.
  • really enjoyed shoveling with SuperDad.
  • celebrated Valentine’s Day at school with a tea party and his favorite stuffed puppy was his special guest.
  • decided napping at home is for babies, but laying in his crib and watching “Bob the Builder” on the Kindle is fantastic.
  • favorite inside activities are watching TV (ugh), play with his tractors or monster trucks, playing with his trains, and playing hide and seek.
  • favorite TV shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Chuggington, Doc McStuffins, and Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • favorite outside activities right now are shoveling and stomping in the snow.
  • likes to play the “one parent against another” game by coming bawling to one of us going “Moommmmyyy, Daddy said I couldn’t have a cookie!!! *sob* *sob* *sob*” It’s very pathetic and hysterical all at once.
  • is spot on with most of his colors and can count actual objects up to 14 if he feels like it.
  • loves to talk about Auntie Sarah and Baby Liam.
  • missed two days of school with a fever and a bad cough
  • still refers to his grandmas by the colors they wore last. “My pink grandma” “my blue grandma” It keeps us guessing
  • cried for half an hour when he came home and Joe wasn’t there (Joe was at the vet) Telling him Joe was at the doctor made him cry harder. Poor guy.
  • roleplays with his cars and trucks and there is usually a mommy, daddy, and baby or kid
  • insists on wearing his “Monster shoes” even though they are getting too small and he has awesome Yo Gabba Gabba shoes in an appropriate size
  • would wear his winter boots everywhere if we let him
  • gets mad if we talk while he’s watching TV. “Shhhhhhhhh!! be quiet!!!” is a common phrase during his two TV shows per day.
  • rarely eats a decent amount of food at supper time. He eats all his food at breakfast and lunch at school, so I try not let this bother me.
  • favorite snacks are still little muffins and teddy grahams.

I can’t believe this dude is going to be THREE in less than a month! Man, time flies!!

Currently 2/15/13

Mason is currently:

LOVING his new pots and pans. I picked up an adorable play set from Ikea yesterday (anyone ever notice that 90% of play dishes are TINY and made for like, 6 month olds?!) and he’s super excited to have bigger pots that he’s allowed to play with… unlike Daddy’s stuff.

Ikea Kids Pots
DREAMING of the next time he can go swimming. We went swimming for his friend Quentin’s birthday yesterday and he can’t wait to go again. It’s been way too long!

ADMIRING his teacher at school. He LOVES MIss Marie and talks about her all the time, listens to her, and always wants to bring stuff to school to show her. Last week, he demanded to bring his flashlight on two different days, just to “show Miss Marie”

KISSING legs. He loves to run up and give you a big hug and then plant a big wet kiss right on your leg. It’s a cross between weird and really really cute.

GIFTING his three favorite daycare teachers with boxes of chocolate. I realize this was probably “wrong” of me to single them out, but he has the same two teachers in the two year old room 90% of the time and the other teacher will be his main teacher in the threes and has been with him since he was born. It was either chocolate for them or chocolates for 10, many of which maybe only see him for ten minutes a week. Blah.

WeeMason’s Mom is

LOVING: getting out of the house. I kinda sorta maybe had a little meltdown a few weeks ago about the fact that it had been MONTHS since I’d been able to leave the house to do anything without massive planning. Like, not even run to the store and buy a t-shirt. Since then, I’ve had three solo trips out, gotten my haircut, and had a girl’s day road trip to Ikea. My sanity level is so much better now!

DREAMING of warmer weather. We are halfway through February and February is usually the worst month for me (I give up on ever seeing Spring) The past few years have brought us temps in the 60s in March, so I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is coming. Granted, we’re in Wisconsin, so we could still get three feet of snow in APRIL, but hey, warmer weather IS coming.

ADMIRING my husband for being so awesome.

KISSING SuperDad, Mason, and Joe the greyhound. Duh

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That Time We Ruined Story Time….

As many of you know, I’ve struggled since day one finding stuff Mason and I can do together as most “Mommy and Me” activities take place between 10 am and 1 pm during the week and I work 8-5 every day, and I work most Saturday mornings as well. There are very few activities that take place after 5, on Saturday afternoons, or on Sundays in my area.

Which is why I was THRILLED when my library started offering “Bedtime Story Time” every few months last year – basically an event where they read themed books and do a little activity with all the kids in their pajamas – the event starts at 7 pm and the idea is that you can take your kids home and go to be right afterward.

The first even went attended was Christmas of last year. It went great and we had a lot of fun and Mason sat and listened to the stories in total awe The next event went well too, but had pretty poor attendance – I think there were just three kids and three moms there that time. I kept bugging the library (I’m in there several times a week) to try one last time and I promised I would get them more attendees and they agreed to host a “Halloween Story Time”  and invited kids to come in either in costume or in their pajamas.

I spent lots of time begging friends to come, advertising on Facebook, etc, and I was excited when three other kids from daycare showed up, as well as one of Mason’s friends, and a few other kids who we didn’t know. The kids were adorable in their costumes and it had all the makings of a great night.

Mason even agreed to pose with a little girl he had never met and they were ADORABLE together.

Unfortunately, Mason was WAY too excited to be surrounded by kids he knew instead of by all strangers. After about 5 minutes, he declared his costume to be too hot and stripped it off. Which caused two other kids to try to undress too, regardless of if, like Mason, they were wearing anything under their costumes. Oops. Next, Mason and his bff from school started talking loudly about their costumes and wrestling over A’s “pirate’s gold.” We put the “gold away” and then Mason wanted to hide behind the book shelves. Then he wanted to jump on the pillows. Then he wanted to touch the jack-o-lantern. Any attempt I made at getting Mason to sit and listen to the stories was met with screams, kicking, and tears. It was typical toddler behavior, BUT since the other kids were all trying to listen to the story and my kid was basically out of control, it was pretty horrifying.

Soon I just let him do his thing (which involved playing quietly with toys about 20 feet away form the story group) since he was being both quiet and still. Except two of his friends really wanted to join him. Next thing you knew, we had toddlers/preschoolers running all over the library and you couldn’t even hear the librarian over the shrieks.

To make a long story short(er), the ended up cutting story time short by two stories and Mason never did settle down. The night ended with me dragging him home after he refused to stop jumping off of a couch. Yeah, mom of the year….

The next day, I e-mailed the librarians the pictures I had taken (per their request) and apologized for Mason’s behavior and mentioned that in hindsight I should have left when he started acting obnoxious instead of letting him inadvertently encourage all of his little friends run and play. I just was at a total loss at what to do – we NEVER get to attend events like that and I didn’t know when we’d have another chance (it wasn’t like “Well, we’ll go home tonight and try again next week” was an option) and going home would have meant the fun was over for Mason and ME too since I was excited to spend some time with the other moms. I explained in my e-mail that I saw that Mason and I needed to spend some time visiting the library when all of his friends WEREN’T there so I could remind him that libraries are for quiet and reading and NOT jumping off benches and playing chase and reiterated how sorry I was for turning the evening into a rodeo.

The librarians never wrote me back and to make matters worse, when they announced the next Bedtime Story Time a few weeks before Christmas… “Ages Three and Up Only Please”

I was totally horrified and felt awkward going into the library for the next several weeks. I don’t know if we’ll brave another story time after he turns three – since it’s not like he’s going to magically act better just because of a date on the calendar. I’m kind of at a loss here – I can drag him out of Walmart screaming because I know I can go back to Wal-mart the next day or next week, but what happens with stuff like this that there may not be any “second chances” anytime soon? Would he even remember “4 months ago, you were bad so we had to leave, so don’t do it again?” UGH. Why do simple things get so complicated?!

So, what would you do? What should I have done?

Currently… 1/11/13

Mason is currently

Missing: his shopping cart and his ride-on toys. They ride-ons have been in the basement since the Christmas tree went up and the shopping cart went down to make way fore new Christmas toys and he asks about all of them frequently. So much for out of sight, out of mind!

Thinking: that he is a BIG KID. He hates being called a big boy or little. He will instantly correct you and say “No, I’m a BIIIIG KID!” Pretty sure this is because at daycare, they have the “Big Side” where the “Big Kids” go and he desperately wants to go there.

Moving: Hahahahah, when ISN’T he?? Typical nearly 3 year old, he plays non-stop from one toy to the next – takes out all his trains, plays for two minutes, starts cooking us some pies, then demands a TV show, only to “back u men” (vacuum) with his penguin a minute later.

Considering: the finer points of snow, snow melting, and puddles. Snow is great, puddles are great, but snow melting is sad. It’s a real issue here. LOL

Playing: Cooking us food (lots of pies, cookies, muffins, and spaghetti these days) and driving his trucks around are his two favorite activities these days, behind begging for more Mickey Mouse of course….

Mason’s Mom is currently

Thinking: that it’s just my luck that the night that I have someone to keep an eye on Mason so I can go do some “me time” shopping, it’s freezing rain. Then realizing that I hung a comforter on the clothesline to air out earlier today. And now it’s raining. FIGURES.

Considering: about our ten year plan. We should be able to pay our house off in the next 9 years if we play our cards right and it’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Moving: my butt a bit more. Trying to make it a priority that I get at least 7000 steps every day and on Tuesday night, I did 2/3 of the “Jillian Michaels for Beginners” video. I say 2/3 because on Circuit 4, she announced that there were two more circuits and I collapsed and shut it off to avoid crying. LOL Was going to do it again tonight, but considering I can still barely get out of a chair, I better postpone it one more day.

Joe the Greyhound is currently

Missing: summer days of running in the yard. Snow and ice are no fun because it means no off leash time


Thinking: that getting to go for two hour long car rides today was absolutely awesome, despite spending an hour at a clinic in between his rides.

Considering: which he would rather eat – pig ear, bully stick, or peanut butter jar

Moving: a lot better due to pain medication (he’s got some senior dog back/hip pain going on, poor guy!)

Playing: “Steal the food” – someone has gotten quite adventurous with his food grabbing. He was never like that before Mason came along, but apparently Baby Mason dropping food all the time made him an opportunist. He can sneak off a snack cup full of crackers like one stealthy villain.

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HK