Sometimes Tart, Travel Tales

Beach Vacation

“Vacation” and “toddler” cannot be used truthfully in the same sentence. You may be on a trip with a toddler, and you may even enjoy your trip, but you are definitely not on a vacation. You may even take a trip without your toddler, but you are still not on vacation. Once you have a child, you are never again on carefree vacation. Until last month, we had not taken a real vacation since before May of 2003 when I found out I was pregnant. At the time we were holding American Airlines “non-refundable, non-transferable, we-got-your-money-and-there’s-nothing-you-can-do-about-it-nannah-nannah-boo-boo”…

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Sometimes Tart

How I Spent September

Well, it happened. I knew it would happen sooner or later. I was hoping it would be later rather than sooner, but it was sooner, as in “the first day of school” sooner. I was warned by everyone I know who has ever had a kid in day care or pre-school or a church nursery or public that Sean would come home with a virus. So it wasn’t totally unexpected. I didn’t really expect it would be the first day of school. I didn’t expect that it would wipe out our family and my computer for…

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Antique Childhood, Hospitality & Manners, Use Your Words

Those Magic Words

Courtesy is an important life skill. I don’t think you can begin teaching this too early. Sean and I are learning sign language together and the first signs we learned were “please” and “thank you”. I also think one of the best ways to teach your child is by example, so whenever we are at the grocery store or bank or a restaurant, I always make sure to say “please” and “thank you” to the clerks and waiters so that Sean might see that it is proper to treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Just the…

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Mildly Amusing, Use Your Words

Who’s On First?

Early this morning, this exchange: “Dat!” pointing to a picture of Antique Daddy holding him. “Sean, who is in that picture?” “Dah-dee!” “Yes, and who else is in the picture?” “Yee-ew.” “No, not me Sean, that’s you in the picture.” Looks at me puzzled and nods in agreement, like yes, that’s what I just said. “That’s not me, that’s you. Say me.” “Mah-mee.” “Yes, I’m mommy, but that’s not me in the picture. It’s you.” Points to himself, “Yee-ew.” “No, you’re me and I’m you – no wait, now I’m confused. Okay, let’s start over. Can…

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Mildly Amusing, Sometimes Tart, Use Your Words

The Word That Must Not Be Spoken

Today I want to talk about the word butt. I find this word to be a fairly innocuous description of a particular part of the anatomy, even endearing in some ways, especially when compared to other more colorful terms that I know. It was only recently that I found out that “butt” is one of those four-letter words you are not supposed to say in front of children, at least in this part of the country. And this was puzzling to me because when and where I grew-up, the utterance of this word did not ruin…

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Mildly Amusing, Travel Tales

Toddler Travel Tales, Part II

In part two, of Toddler Travel Tales, it turns out the actual traveling part of our recent trip was the easy part — especially in comparison with the staying in a hotel part. To say that we “slept” in a hotel room with our son would be a gross overstatement since in the four nights we were there, no actual sleeping occurred. Here are some fun hotel facts that you may not know: The curtains at the Marriott can hold up to 25 lbs. Cell phones do not flush, but they do float – for a…

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Mildly Amusing, Travel Tales

Toddler Travel Tales, Part I

Earlier this summer, we took our first airplane trip with our toddler and it went a lot better than I expected. In spite of the discomfort and delays, more commonly called “air travel” nothing happened that involved mopping up and/or paying for the dry cleaning of a person heretofore unknown. So that was good. I was dreading taking him on the plane because I have been on airplanes with toddlers before and by comparison it makes poking my eyeballs with toothpicks seem like fun. Which is why the flight attendants don’t hand out toothpicks. On our…

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Southern Living, Thank You Notes

Pay It Forward

So much has been written and said about Hurricane Katrina, that I hardly think I have anything more to offer on that topic in terms of how things went so horribly wrong and who is to blame. What I do have to say is how proud I am of my adopted home, the great state of Texas and the many Texans (naturalized or native) who have stepped up to the plate to care for the suffering. We are a big state with big hair, big hats, big ideas, occasionally big mouths, but most of all, big…

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Parenting Gone Awry

Great Expectations

When my doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, he handed me the book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting.” Written in a user-friendly Q&A format, it addressed a lot of issues that came up for me as a clue challenged first-time mother. I liked it so much, that I bought “What to Expect The First Year” and more recently “What to Expect the Toddler Years”. While these books are very helpful, the book that new mothers really need is “What You Won’t Expect (And Couldn’t Imagine Even with the Help of Psychotropic Drugs).” For example: I…

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Antique Daddy, Outsmarted

Turned In By A Toddler

Be warned. Your kid will rat you out. Even if they can’t talk, they will tell on you. After an especially challenging day last week, Antique Daddy offered to make my daily trip to Wal-Mart for me – and this is the good part – and take the boy with him! That’s right, I would be in the house ALL BY MYSELF for 30 whole minutes. I immediately started making a mental list of the fun things I could do while they were gone: 1) lay on the sofa and stare at the ceiling, 2) lay…

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