Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spiders and Ants and Wasps, Oh My!

I hate bugs.  Well, I should say that I hate bugs in my house.  I have no problem with bugs outside the house.  Unless it is a mosquito, I don't care where those little blood sucking creatures are, they all deserve to die.  What really drives me nuts are baby spiders.  (Yes, I do know that a spider is an arachnid and not an insect.  But to me they go in the same category of creepy crawly's, aka, bugs.)  Inevitably we put the air conditioners in and the spiders flock to the inside of my house.  I go to great lengths to block off any possible point of entry, but they still find a way in.  Then of course it has to be a mama spider.  I think I could deal with the baby spiders if they came all at once.  But they seem to come in waves.  To top it off, they love me.  They keep landing on me, which generally results in a lot of shrieking on my part.  Rob has the audacity to just laugh at me.  He blames me for the large influx of spiders.  He seems to think that the house was spider free before I moved in.  I just think he wasn't paying attention.

To make things more interesting, small sugar ants have started a conga line in front of the front door.  I have no idea why they are congregating there, but they seem to think it's a great spot.  I have found that the easiest way to dispose of all bugs inside the house is by sucking them up with the vacuum.  Pookie likes to make sure to point out any bug inside the house.  He will even open the closet door up and pull out the vacuum.  Pookie has an interesting love affair with the vacuum.  He knows how to turn it on and off, and he's not too bad at pushing it around.  He hasn't yet figured out how to plug it in, but I'm sure that's coming soon.  I have tried several non-toxic methods of getting rid of the ants.  Too bad none of them worked.  I finally pulled out my trusty can of Raid and attacked the front door with it.  That seems to have done the trick.

This past Friday, we had the perfect day weather wise.  It was low humidity and in the 70's.  I don't think it could get any better than that.  I decided to open up all the windows and let in the fresh air.  I think the windows are original to the house.  The house was built in the 50's.  The windows leave quite a lot to be desired.  Some are easier to open than others, but they all tend to stick.  This generally results in a lot of banging to get the window to un-stick.  On the front of the house we have a very lovely brick chimney and a small window on either side.  Well, on the right side in-between the chimney and the window, there is a very lovely wasps nest.  They seem to be quite happy there and the wasps haven't bothered anyone yet.  (aka, Rob hasn't gotten around to spraying the nest and killing them all yet.)  So I'm inside banging on the window, trying to get it to un-stick and all of a sudden, out side the window, I see a swarm of pissed off wasps.  Oops.  They were not happy campers.  All I could think of was that our newspaper hadn't been delivered yet and I really hoped that our delivery lady didn't get stung.  Luckily, the wasps calmed down very quickly and our newspaper was safely delivered.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Drains, part 2

Bath time has gotten a little bit easier around here.  Pookie still has an intense dislike of drains.  I think that is something that will take a while to completely dissipate.  Things finally came to a screeching halt a couple of weeks ago during one of Pookie's tubbies.  It resulted in me stripping down to my skivvies and getting into the tub with Pookie.  I have come to the realization that as long as my feet are in the tub, Pookie does okay with his baths.

Pookie has taken to hording all of his bath toys and attempt to sit on them.  That way the toys won't float away and accidentally get too close to the drain end of the tub.  Let me tell you, that process is rather entertaining to watch.  Nothing like trying to sink float-able objects.  Also, all of the bath toys have to be out of the tub before Pookie will get out, and then I need to be the last one out of the tub.  Pookie will still get a little freaked out when I take him out of the tub and start to dry him off.  I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I am still standing in the tub while I'm drying him off.  Our bathroom isn't that big and there isn't a lot of room to maneuver.  Then once he is all dried off and into a set of PJ's, we watch the water go down the drain.

Another thing that has helped is reading books about bath time.  Pookie has really fallen in love with a book called Bernard's Bath.  It's about this little elephant that doesn't want to take a bath and his parents and grandma convince him that baths are fun.  Pookie also really likes Curious George: Plumber's Helper.  George takes a bath and his toys accidentally go down the drain and cause a clog.  The plumber needs to be called to fix the problem.  I think the Curious George book is great because it shows how pipes work and if something were to go down the drain, it could be retrieved.

In addition to our bath time rituals, we have taken to checking out other drains.  Mainly the sewer drains in the street.  Pookie likes to check to see if there is water at the bottom of the drain.  He also likes to reaffirm the fact that he is indeed too big to fit through the grate and will not get sucked down the drain.  After dinner, as long as it's not raining, we set out for a walk around the neighborhood.  As we go along Pookie will pick up rocks and sticks, although, he is limited to one of each.  Sometimes when we go for a walk, Pookie will want to bring along his egg.  This drives me nuts because I have visions of him dropping it down one of the drains and not being able to get it out.  Generally I try to dissuade him from bringing anything along for a walk.

I love to hear him chatter as we go along.  There is a section where there are a lot of trees and Pookie will call it the spooky forest.  I tell him that we have to be quiet and tiptoe through the "forest."  Pookie, of course, thinks this is great fun.  I'm sure the neighbors think I'm nuts.  Really, who cares what the neighbors think, Pookie is having a grand time and that's all that counts!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good job car!

Pookie has been very interested in choosing paths.  For example, we go for a walk after dinner to take a look at the sewer drains.  (That is a whole other story.)  As we walk along, we come to crossroads and we decide which way to go.  This path versus that path.  We make our choice and continue on our walk.  

Earlier today, we were driving along, and Pookie was jabbering on about the paths the car was taking.  I talked to him about right turns and left turns.  Then proceeded to tell him when we were making a left or right hand turn.  Pookie had a lot of fun announcing the direction that we were turning in.  Apparently he felt that the car needed a little bit of praise and out of the back seat I heard "Good job car!"  Good job, indeed.   

Monday, May 27, 2013

Drains

Pookie is now afraid of the drain on the bath tub.  Afraid might be too mild, terrified, might be better.  A few tubbies ago, Pookie was taking a bath in the big tub.  When he was all done, I started to drain the water before getting Pookie out of the tub.  He became very concerned about his bath toys.  He thought that they were all going to get sucked down the drain.  I told him that his toys were fine and that they couldn't fit down the drain, only the water could.  He seemed to calm down and didn't really say anything about it again.

Then came the big melt down.  Once again, I was giving Pookie a tubby in the big tub and I thought everything was going well. I scrubbed him down and he was having fun splashing in the tub.  Then all of a sudden Pookie started to freak out.  I guess that too many toys had congregated at the end of the tub near the drain and he thought that somehow they were all going to get sucked down the drain.  Mind you, I hadn't started to drain the tub yet.  Pookie started grabbing his toys and tossing them out of the tub.  He was freaking out so badly, I pulled him out of the tub before rescuing the rest of his toys.  In order to show him that the no one and nothing was going down the drain, I rolled my pants up, got into the tub and let the water drain.  Let me tell you, he was NOT happy about that.

I have been giving Pookie his baths in the kitchen sink again.  This seems to be helping slightly.  He still will freak out at the very end.  I find this interesting because I empty out the sink after I am done scrubbing him down and refill it with clean water so Pookie can splash around for a while.  Apparently he is okay with the sink draining as long as the water is running.  I have no idea how I am going to convince him that he and all his toys are safe.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

And we're off!

Pookie is a runner.  Well, at the moment, it's more of a skip / gallop as apposed to a run.  Regardless, the kid is fast on his feet.  Normally, this isn't too much of a problem.  My middle brother was a runner, so I know that I can't take my eye off of Pookie, because he will disappear.  Generally if he does wander, he's not too far away.  Until today.

We were working in the garden.  I was trying to get the rest of my plants planted.  Sometime this week we're getting a sprinkler system put in, plus the beds still need to be mulched and I just want all the plants in place.  As we are going along, Rob's guys come by.  Pookie, of course is thrilled to see the trucks.  I needed to talk to one of the guys for a minute, to go over business what-not, and during that time, Pookie disappeared.  Thank goodness Rob's guys started to look for Pookie.  We checked the front yard, the back yard, behind the garage, in the garage, and a quick check of the neighbors yard.  As I was checking the house, one of the guys found Pookie.  He was on the far side of the neighbors house.  I have never been so scared.  I know Pookie was only missing for a couple of minutes, but it felt like forever.  It is the most disgustingly sick feeling, with a large dash of panic on top.  

It's really too bad that they don't make an electric fence for kids.  I would so invest in one.  I know, it is my duty as a parent to keep an eye on my child.  I'm not the first parent to misplace a child, and I know I won't be the last.  It's funny, we keep our pets on leashes and make sure that they are properly fenced in.  Kids are a whole other story.  I've heard that using a tether on a child is just bad parenting.  Can't you teach your kid to stay with you and not run off?  Sorry, I have a very inquisitive child that likes to disappear.  I think I would rather make sure my child is safe, thanks for asking though.  At two, Pookie doesn't have the brain development to realize that running off is a really, really bad idea.  So I think that I will be investing in some rope and a dog run.  I don't care if I have to tie Pookie in knots, I'm not loosing that kid again.  I guess I'm going to be "that" parent on the street.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Socks

Pookie is obsessed with socks.  The socks have to be just right on his foot, not too tight and not too baggy.  Apparently they have to be properly aligned, as well.  He will ask me to fix his socks through out the day.  I guess they need adjusting from time to time.  Pookie can get very cranky if his socks are not properly situated on his feet.  It also helps if they are blue socks.  Sometimes I can get away with other colors, but blue is the definite favorite.  Pookie can get very cranky if he is not wearing socks.  Although, sometimes it is okay to wear shoes without socks.  But as soon as the shoes come off, he needs to put his socks back on.

Not only is he obsessed with his own foot wear, he is very concerned about other peoples foot wear.  I like to go around barefoot if possible.  This completely throws Pookie for a loop.  He will go into my room and either get my slippers or find a pair of socks, then bring them over to me.  Pookie will proceed to shove the slippers at me and insist that I put them on my feet.  You can see him getting agitated if you are not wearing something on your feet.  

I think this whole thing is hilarious   He seems to have inherited some sock quirks from my side of the family.  My middle brother is fanatical about seams in his socks.  They drive him nuts.  Plus, the socks have to be just so, otherwise he starts to have issues.  Then there is my mom, she hates bare feet.  She doesn't like the feeling of different textures from the floor / ground on her feet.  She even wears socks with her sandals.  Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with wearing socks with sandals, but that look wouldn't be my first choice.  Although, I think at this point in her life, comfort trumps anything else.  It will be interesting to see where Pookie's sock obsession takes him.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dinner disaster 2013

Polenta.

I've heard some great things about polenta.  How versatile it is.  It can be creamy or firm.  You can put just about anything in it or on top of it.  It can be creamy yummy goodness.  Or so I have heard...

Every so often, I want to try something new for dinner.  I am always looking for new ways to put the same handful of stuff together.  Every time I go to the grocery store, I keep my eye out for anything different that could fit in Pookie's list of safe foods.  As I was going through the pasta aisle and saw some instant polenta.  I've never had polenta before, but I thought I would try it out.  I think instant polenta might have been my first mistake.

Rob had a very late day yesterday, so of course I thought that was a great time to do a dinner experiment   I had some steak tips, carrots and polenta.  Well, the carrots came out really well.  But it is hard to screw up carrots.  The steak tips were a little chewy, but were edible.

Then we come to the polenta.  I read the instructions on the package.  It seemed easy enough.  I got out a pan, filled in the appropriate amount of water, tossed in some salt and waited for it to come to a boil.  I think my second mistake was using too small of a pan.  The water came to a boil and I started to add the polenta in, mixing all the while.  Well, wouldn't you know, boiling polenta is like a volcanic explosion.  It landed on at least three walls, the floor, all over the stove and me.  Of course this is the point that Pookie comes into the kitchen to "help."  I scooted Pookie out of the kitchen, at which point he has a melt down.  I couldn't leave the polenta all over the kitchen to harden into rock.  So I got out my cleaner and cleaned off the stove, walls and floors before sitting down to dinner.  I get Pookie's dinner all set as he is continuing his melt down.  Nothing like an over tired, over hungry two year old.  I finally sit down to eat and the polenta is horrible.  It has become a congealed hot mess.  Ugh.

Then to top of the whole hot mess of the dinner, as I was getting the dishes into the sink, Pookie knocked over my glass and spilled cranberry juice everywhere.  It was on the table, on the my chair and all over the floor.  Double ugh.

At some point I want to try polenta again.  However, I think I am done with the instant stuff.