Category Archives: Updates

Another post, so soon!

Downs

  • Calvin’s temper has gotten worse the last month or so. I think a lot of this has to do with not getting enough naps. However, some of it is probably just being 2 1/2. I’m working on deciding what behavior I let slide and what I think is unacceptable. It’s tricky. I think this is one of the big upsides to being in a relationship when you have a child, you have someone else to brainstorm with you and tell you when a stance is reasonable or not worth the effort.
  • I started exercising more consistently after daylight savings ended. That extra hour was helpful for both Calvin and I. However, this last week has been pretty bad. I don’t think I’ve gotten up early to exercise since before Thanksgiving.

Ups

  • We had swim class today and Calvin participated in most of the exercises. Calvin loves playing in the water but actual classes are hit or miss because he usually doesn’t want to follow someones else’s schedule.
  • When Jaeger got a raise this fall we assigned most of it to hiring bi-weekly housecleaning. It’s so nice having someone else worry about dusting the piano, etc. The weeks they don’t come I still clean the toilets and the bathtub but that doesn’t take too long.
  • I’m happy it’s the Christmas season. I bought a fake Christmas tree this year with my expenditure allocation. Jaeger grumbled but told me I could put it up as long as I used my allowance for the tree. I really would prefer a real tree but Jaeger’s mom told me it’s really hard to keep a tree alive in Colorado and I wanted to put it up the day after Thanksgiving and not take it down till the New Year. It turns out that buying a tree this year was a good idea as the Logan’s are going to be visiting us for Christmas instead of us having to travel to east Washington.

Cute Calvin Moments

  • Calvin is excited about Christmas. I’ve wrestled with how to address the Santa Claus issue as I don’t see any reason Calvin should believe in Santa Claus. I know people think you can’t have a magical Christmas without Santa Claus but I don’t agree. I never believed in Santa Claus and I always loved Christmas. However, I don’t want Calvin going around and ruining other kids’ day if their parents teach them Santa Clause is real. I’ve compromised by starting most sentences with “some people believe that Santa Claus . . . ” We’ll see how it goes.
  • Calvin is picking up more of my speech patterns. It’s weird hearing myself parroted back. When he drops something now he’ll say, “Oh bother!”
  • Calvin wants to help with everything. His two favorite phrases are, “I can do it” or “Can I help?” It’s charming but would be much more useful if he was coordinated enough to do much.

October is Here

Downs

  • Calvin still isn’t consistently falling asleep in a timely manner. However, he obviously needs the sleep. I think he fell asleep around 9pm last night, which isn’t bad compared to some nights, but he didn’t wake up till some time after 9am this morning. Given that my mom was here, that wasn’t a big deal but normally I have to get him up by 8 at the latest for daycare.
  • I really would like more time in the day.
  • A little over a week ago our dishwasher took 3 tries in order to wash a load of dishes. This probably could be fixed by an appliance repair person but I’ve never liked this dishwasher and figured we might as well replace it. On one hand it might not make sense since we’re only planning to be here another year. However, our current dishwasher looks old and grubby so I think this would help the kitchen appear more attractive if nothing else. After a fair amount of cross referencing, I found a fairly low-end model that got decent ratings on Consumer Reports. I went to Lowes but it turned out they only stocked the stainless steel version. I needed white since everything else in our kitchen is white. So, they ordered it for us. I figured I could wait two weeks since it was still mostly working. Except, the next day it completely stopped working. So, we’ve been without a dishwasher for more than a week now. I’m hoping our new dishwasher arrives very soon.

Ups

  • My mom was here for the past week and Calvin loved having another person around to cater to his every whim.
  • I’m continuing to enjoy the Tai Chi classes.
  • Autumn is coming! The temperatures are starting to get back to humane levels. I can’t wait for the crisp fall air to come back (though I might be in the minority).

Cute Calvin Moments

  • Calvin’s vocabulary and sentence structure continue to expand. This morning he told Grandma, “The garbage truck picks up my trash and dumps it in the truck.” I thought that was a pretty good sentence. Now if only his pronunciation would improve.
  • When it was time to go to daycare today Calvin crawled into the driver’s seat, sat up, and pronounced that he was going to drive us to daycare. I told him that he wasn’t allowed to drive to daycare till he was 16.
  • Calvin is continuing to enjoy going to the pool. He doesn’t particularly like the swimming lessons because he doesn’t like being told what to do. However, he really enjoys splashing around in the water.
  • Since we’re planning to move next spring, I’ve been looking for preschools in the Boulder area. I’ve narrowed it down to three choices based mainly on distance from where we’ll probably live. We are scheduled to go to an open house at one of them and I need to arrange visits for the other two. Should be interesting . . .

Busy September

September has been very busy. We started out with a Megafest over Labor Day weekend. I think this is probably the best one yet with Calvin. We got a babysitter for 4 hrs two of the days and for the last two days he was in daycare for the full day. This left Saturday as the only day for which we were trying to fest and entertain Calvin at the same time. It worked out reasonably well by me taking him to church for the first half and meeting up with the others on Pearl street and letting Calvin wander.

While I’m still sad that Borders is going out of business, that hasn’t stopped me from going and looking for bargains. To my surprise, I found quite a few that I hadn’t read from authors that I have enjoyed in the past. I’m looking forward to a chance to read them.

Toward the beginning of September I started going to a Tai Chi class at the rec center. I checked out a DVD of Tai Chi many years ago and, while I liked the concept, it was obvious this wasn’t something I was going to be able to pick up from a video. I was looking over the rec center guide because I was interested in getting Calvin enrolled in swimming classes and saw this Tai Chi class. It fit into my schedule so I decided to give it a shot. It’s a drop in class so everyone is at different levels. Fortunately, a whole bunch of new people showed up the same day I did so the teacher decided to start at the beginning. It’s pretty slow going. Reminds me a lot of learning the piano. At the begining you’re awful and change happens so gradually it almost isn’t noticeable. However, I knew it wasn’t going to be simple and it is interesting.

Jaeger’s mom visited us this week. She arrived on Sunday and just left this morning. She and Calvin had great fun amusing each other. We also celebrated Jaeger and my birthday (since she was in person, she wanted to do both at the same time). We had mini-German chocolate cakes that were very fun. Jaeger’s mom also gave me a duvet comforter which I’ve been wanting for almost a year. It’s white with a grey pattern and I think it lightens up our room more than our blue duvet cover does.

I did manage to find a swimming class for Calvin. In addition, I found a “tumbling” class for him. Each is only once a week so it’s not too overwhelming.

We went to his first Tumbling class on Monday. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The class was held in a medium-sized classroom. There was all sorts of equipment scattered around such as a trampoline, balance beam, mats, etc. They started with 10 minutes of “free time” where the kids got to explore everything. Then we did a warm-up. Calvin seemed to know exactly what he was doing even though this was his first class. Daycare must have them do some of this stuff or something. He’s not learning it at home . . . After the warm-up, she demostrated a little routine that she wanted them to all go through. When she first demonstrated I didn’t believe that the kids could do everything but Calvin proved I was wrong. It was chaos but controlled chaos. Calvin had a lot of fun and we got back home later than I was planning.

The next evening was swimming lessons. It turns out that Calvin is a little fish. He was fighting my hold on him most of the time trying to get me to let go. Given we were in 3′ deep water, I didn’t. He enthusastically splashed and paddled and threw a fit when it was time to get out. I think I’m going to buy him a pass and come early on swimming days and also go to the pool another day a week. At least, I’ll try that schedule out and see if it works. Calvin was also fascinated by the group showers. I turned the shower on and expected him to object since he doesn’t like them at home. However, he didn’t complain and started experimenting with how far out he could get before he no longer got wet. Then he’d back up until the shower was spraying the top of his head.

Jaeger’s mom babysat Calvin after the pool and I met Jaeger in Boulder where we went to eat and then wandered into the Boulder Bookstore where we bought even more books.

Calvin Moments from Today:

  • We went to the library today and one of the books Calvin wanted me to read was ABC Kids by Simon Basher. It’s a cute ABC book where there is a child, whose name starts with the first letter of the featured alphabet letter for that page, that sits on top of the letter. When we got to the letter C, Calvin said, “you get off letter! My letter!!” I didn’t even bother telling him that it wasn’t a real person. I just told him we needed to share the letter. He was not impressed by this logic. (To see the picture he objected to, go to the Amazon link then click Search inside this book. After that, in the “Search Inside This Book” search box, type Claude.)
  • On the way back to our house, Calvin announced from his car seat that he wanted to go home. I told him that we were going home. He then said, “Step on the gas mommy!” I was incredulious that I had heard correctly so I carefully asked if he wanted me to go faster and he concurred. It’s not a phrase that I’ve used in his presence but Jaeger informs me that he probably picked it up from Cars and Trucks and Things that Go where it says, “Step on the gas, Bunny Rabbit!”
  • Today at supper Calvin eyed my glass and then said, “May I have some water.” This astonished me for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a complete sentence with no words missing. Second, he properly used the word “may” instead of “can.”

September is going to continue to be busy. I play for Sabbath School tomorrow and then have practice at someone’s house later in the afternoon. I play for church the following week and Bethany and Josh will be here for Bethany’s reunion. Then the week after that, my mother arrives to get her Calvin fix.

Grocery Store Changes

Last week I had almost finished an update when my computer suddenly died. Of course, I had not been saving my epic entry. Jaeger helpfully pointed out that if I had been using a smart text editor, something would have saved anyway. However, while I like Vim for some things, copying and pasting into a browser is not one of them. Jaeger suggested I should try gVim for this purpose so we’ll see how well it works . . . Below is a quick recap of what I had typed last week as well as my new up/downs.

Our King Soopers store has been adding NuVal to many items. Their rating system doesn’t really match my own personal rating system. For instance, a product can get a pretty high rating for being low in sugar even if this is entirely due to artificial sweetners being used. I’m more of a whole foods type person. I’d much rather buy full-fat, full-sugar ice cream and eat a small portion than eat a larger amount of no-sugar, no-fat ice cream.

However, I was fascinated to discover that even though I don’t really believe in the system, it still influences my buying decisions. I buy a package of individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolate pieces every week. I’ve discovered that if I don’t have something sweet within the house when I’m craving sugar, I will instead make brownies and eat half the pan the same night. Not a good idea. Instead, I compromise by allowing myself several pieces of Dove chocolate every day. I usually get the dark chocolate variety but two weeks ago I was contemplating getting milk chocolate. Then I saw that it had a slightly lower NuVal number than the dark chocolate. I couldn’t make myself by the milk chocolate variety. Same thing happened last week. I was reaching for the milk chocolate and got stopped by seeing the NuVal number. It’s really odd since I haven’t been impressed with the rating system so you wouldn’t think a number it assigns would stop me from buying something.

In other grocery story news, I was taught that, in general, buying larger amounts of items tended to mean you paid less per ounce for it. For instance, a gallon of milk tends to cost less per cup than a half-gallon of milk. However, I’ve noticed that this is less likely too be true these days. Quite a few times within the last month I’ve picked up the larger size without thinking and then just do a quick sanity check on the price per oz and discover that I’m better off buying two of the small sizes. This has been true for frozen orange juice, oil, and shampoo. I’m wondering if this has been going on for a long amount of time or if it’s a new trend in grocery stores. I’m use to a smaller size being a better deal when it’s on sale but in all of the cases mentioned above, I was comparing non-sale prices.

Down

  • Calvin stayed up later than normal for a couple of nights last week. He refused to stay in his bed and instead would bring out a book and quietly flip through it at the top of the stairs. On one hand, I can remember reading after I was suppose to be in bed when I was a child. However, he obviously isn’t getting enough sleep when he does this which is disastrous for the following morning. Also, the only way to get him to sleep like this is for me to go and fall asleep next to him in his room. Then, when I wake up, I sneak back to my own bed. It’s not very restful.
  • I lost my cell phone about a week ago. Somehow in the five minutes between checking the time on it to actually leaving the park, I managed to lose it. It hasn’t turned up. Several days ago I gave up and ordered a new unlocked phone. I took it into T-Mobile and was impressed by how painless they made it to transfer my existing prepaid account to the new phone. I think I actually prefer the new phone but I would rather have not spent the money for a new phone.

Ups

  • Calvin and Jaeger went to an airshow today which left me alone. I used the time to make a trip to Costco, where I spent too much money, and then cleaned out the fridge in anticipation of our next Fest.
  • I’ve had quite a few good books to read recently. I loved Ghost Ship, the newest Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Liaden book. I also enjoyed A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, by Meredith Duran, Hounded, by Kevin Hearne, and Heart Search, by Robin Owens. Currently, I’m re-listening to Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. A couple of weeks ago I had been listening to Faking It which reference characters in Welcome to Temptation and made me want to re-visit the first story :-) Not sure what physical book I’m going to read next but I’m queuing up Visions in Death, by J.D. Robb, as my next audio book. I love Robb’s Eve Dallas series but I have to take breaks between each book before I can listen to the next one.
  • It turns out that I had maligned Calvin when I claimed he lost my iPod. It had fallen into a box while I was cleaning the basement last December. I just found it. Since I already bought a new iPod that I like, I’ve decided to give this one to Calvin. That is, I’m loading it with “Calvin Music” and playing it in the car when he’s with me.

Calvin Moment
Calvin seems to be getting more into books recently. I checked out a copy of Richard Scary’s Best Storybook Ever from the library about a month ago. It’s not really my preferred type of book for Calvin. To be frank, I find the book to be a bit mediocre. The illustrations don’t speak to me and the stories are extremely simplistic. However, Calvin loves it. He’s spent up to a half-hour at a time flipping through those pages which, for a toddler, is incredible. So, when I stumbled across a used copy at The Boulder Bookworm, I immediately snapped it up. At this point, having Calvin enjoy the concept of books is much more important than nitpicking about quality.

Calvin is also becoming more involved in book selection at the library. When we visit, I’ll sit down at a couch in the children’s area and Calvin will scamper off to a book bin and pick out a book for me to read to him. Once we’re finished, he’ll scamper off to find another book. He still plays with the toys in the library some but obviously is becoming more interested in the books themselves.

Well, it turns out that Calvin is refusing to go to sleep again tonight. So, I must head upstairs to fall asleep on his floor as an example . . .

Updates

Down

  • Calvin has been very restless this last week. This means I sleep in later and don’t get a chance to exercise as much as usual. I’ve decided that getting adequate sleep is more important than exercising. However, the mornings that I do manage to exercise I feel much more in control of life.

Ups

  • We have a new babysitter who started today. So far, it looks like she’s going to work out well.
  • Last Friday was staff day for the library. I drove up to Greeley for the day and had a chance to see many of my co-workers that I usually only communicate via email. I met one library assistant who told me that for the longest time she thought my name was an acronym that stood for something. Finally, she asked her supervisor what the acronym stood for and he told her that I was a real live person :-)
  • I’ve started practicing the piano between when I drop Calvin off at daycare around 8:30 and when I start work at 9. It’s not a lot of practicing but it’s better than nothing.
  • It’s very warm and sunny today. During the cold spell Calvin and I spent a lot of time visiting the libraries in order to get out of the house. I really like our house but it can be a little confining day after day, especially since I usually work from home. Visiting the libraries gives us a chance to get out and play in a new environment. Plus, when I go to Carbon Valley, I know the staff and can spend a couple of minutes chatting with them. However, I’m a firm believer that children need lots of outside play so I always feel a little guilty when I’m not willing to freeze so Calvin can play. Calvin rarely notices if it’s cold. I imagine it’s because he runs around so much and is in constant motion. Yesterday we walked around the neighborhood for a little bit which Calvin really enjoyed. He always hates coming in from outside.

Calvin Moment

  • I started noticing that Calvin will turn a book right side up if I give it to him upside down. He might have been doing this for a while but I just recently noticed it.
  • Calvin is learning his colors. I’m starting to try to swap video clips with M&Ms as potty training rewards. M&Ms are a lot more convenient when we are away from home. An interesting side benefit is that I’m teaching Calvin colors using the M&Ms. He has a definite preference for blue M&Ms. Another thing I’ve noticed is that he often calls orange items yellow. I think this is because we call school buses yellow but they can look closer to orange in some cases.

Simplification

  • Because I worked a full day on Friday, I didn’t work today. Instead, I took the opportunity for our babysitter to amuse Calvin while I went down into the basement and tackled our filing cabinets. I weeded two of the drawers and ended up with a foot (literally) of paperwork that needs to be shredded. I’m hoping to get through the final drawer tonight. However, I don’t think it will be as bad since I’ve already done some weeding in that drawer previously. I also was able to straighten up the shelves above the laundry area and throw out some cleaning products that we no longer use.