Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Training Wheels

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Babyproofing 101

As most parents of young toddlers do, Kris and I decided to install a baby gate at the base of our stairs. Simple, right?

Step 1: Go to store and pick out gate. Choose expandable, compression-style one. Pay $39.99 + tax

Step 2: Take gate home and attempt to install it, only to realize that even at its widest setting, it's still too narrow for our landing at the base of the stairs. Oh, and compression-style won't work since our banister is too narrow.

Step 3: Return baby gate to store. Receive $39.99 + tax.

Step 4: Measure landing. Make note that baby gate must be at least 48 inches wide. Not 46.

Step 5: Take husband and baby to Babies R Us, which is 25 minutes away, but has a much better selection of baby gates. Pick out extra-wide gate that anchors to the wall and has a lovely walk-through feature. Pay $79.99 + tax

Step 6: Husband attempts to install new fancy gate, only to realize it still won't work with our funky banister.

Step 7: Make 25 minute drive back to BRU to return gate. Receive $79.99 + tax

Step 8: Complain to good friend Jes about baby gate woes. Receive sympathy.

Step 9: Get a phone call from Jes. Her mom owns a kids' consignment store and just received a unique roll-out style gate that is designed for extra-wide landings and funky banisters. Thank Jes profusely and offer to buy gate. Pay $55

Step 10: Ask husband to install new (used) baby gate.

Step 11: Wait 5 days. Ask husband again to install new (used) baby gate. While waiting, invent new ways to keep baby away from stairs by piling pillows and laundry baskets on landing.

Step 12: Decide to install baby gate yourself while baby is sleeping and husband is out camping. Measure. Drill holes. Measure again. Install gate successfully. Sit back and drink a beer while admiring your handiwork.

Step 13: Use gate successfully for two weeks. Notice it's slowly beginning to pull free from the wall.

Step 14: Screw gate back into wall using drywall anchors so that it's more secure.

Step 15: Continue to use baby gate. Learn to save precious seconds every day by stepping over baby gate instead of unhooking it, as designed.

Step 16: Step over baby gate too carelessly one evening, trip, and tear the entire gate out of wall. Endure laughter from husband, who watched the whole thing.

Step 17: Turn baby gate installation duties over to husband, who devises clever new anchor system that's sure to keep the gate secure.

Step 18: While moving coat rack out of the way for husband to complete his install, drop base of coat rack on pinky toe, breaking it (the toe, not the coat rack).

Step 19: Spout expletives. Place bag of ice on toe.

Step 20: After 3 trips to Home Depot ($27) and lots of measuring and drilling, husband's install appears successful.

Step 21: Once again, someone steps over baby gate, trips, and the whole thing rips from wall. Husband spouts expletives.

Step 22: Husband tries yet again to re-anchor gate to wall. Drills. Spouts even more expletives as he accidentally drills through PVC pipe which, come to find out later, drains our washing machine.

Step 23: Call a professional.

Step 24: Go to laundromat.

Step 25: Professional cuts hole in drywall, patches PVC pipe, installs a 2x4 inside the wall on which we can anchor the baby gate, patches the drywall, retextures and paints the wall, and installs the baby gate.

Step 26: Pay professional $100. Consider it a bargain.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An Unconventional Dad

So, Kris and Bronwynn had a conversation over breakfast this morning that went something like this:

K: Baby B, did you know there was an old lady who swallowed a fly?
B: oooeh
K: I don't know why the hell she swallowed a fly, but I guess she might as well die.
B: *munch munch*
K: So what did she swallow to catch that fly? A frog! She swallowed a frog to catch the fly, but I don't know why the hell she swallowed a fly. I guess she'll die.

Kris went on to explain that a snake swallowed the frog, and a hawk swallowed the snake, and a moose swallowed the hawk, and a hippopotamus swallowed the moose, and a dinosaur swallowed the hippo. But the lady still died.

So then, he switched gears:

K: B, do you know what a polliwog is?
B: uh-oh
K: It's a tadpole.
K: (directed to me) We should get her a polliwog.
Me: I thought you were going to get her a turtle (based on a previous conversation).
K: My mom never let me have a turtle, because she said they carry diseases. ...Maybe we could get her a snake!
Me: No way. No snakes. I don't want pets that can escape.
K: B, do you want an iguana?
Me: Iguanas are better than snakes, for sure.
K: Well, we're never getting her a ferret. If anyone brings a ferret into this house, I'm going to let Ollie eat it.
B: (motions for more banana) *munch munch*
K: No rodents, period.
Me: Unless it's a big rodent, like a guinea pig.
K: Yeah, guinea pigs are okay. B, do you want a guinea pig? My brother had one that lived for 8 years!!!
B: uh-oh (banana fell on the floor)
K: B, did you know that 6 is afraid of 7?
B: uh-oh
K: 'Cause 7 8 9!

It was an educational morning.

And lest anyone tell you that becoming a parent means you have to give up all your fun and dangerous hobbies, take a look at what Kris was up to one recent weekend afternoon. He was in the garage cutting some new baseboard, and I noticed it was taking quite a while, so I went out to check on him and saw this:

Monday, September 1, 2008

What about "Mama"?

B's communication skills have exploded this past week. She's finally picking up on the sign language we've been teaching her, and she loves to motion "all done!" when she's finished eating. She claps and waves, and says a couple words like "hi" "uh-oh" and "Dada." Just yesterday, we noticed that she also says "Ollie." She crawled over to the back door, stood up and banged the glass saying "ah-eee! ah-eee!" She knows Ollie is usually in the back yard, and she wanted him to come to the window. So cute!

So, the only person in the house she hasn't named is "Mama." Hmmmm.... I guess there's no need to say "Mama" when Mama responds so well to screams and cries!
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