Monday, September 29, 2008

Screw the all-natural cleaning supplies....we need the deadly stuff in this house!!!

Ok, so those of you who know me well know that I try really hard to only use natural, organic cleaning supplies, cosmetics and other household items whenever I can. I'm very aware of the things I put down my drain and onto our bodies in this house. Joel reguarly gets pissed at me for buying the rough scratchy biodegradable toilet paper and I drive 45 minutes into Lahaina to buy Dean's California Baby organic shampoo and bubble bath. Most of the cleaning products we use are Ecover brand, purchased at the health food store for a small fortune. But I have to say that I am SOOOO glad I had two nasty non-natural products on hand this weekend!!!!

It all started Saturday morning. Joel went to watch football with my Dad, so Dean and I were on our own all day. Dean was happily watching cartoons in the morning, so I decided to take a quick shower. When I got out, Dean was very proud to show me some artwork he had been working on during my shower....see, he decided it would be cool to color ALL OVER the living room carpet with a hot pink highlighter!!!! I about died. So if you have kids and you have carpet, go to Home Depot and buy yourself a gigantic bottle of this stuff....

It took some time and some serious elbow grease, but no more pink marker in the living room carpet!!! (We've also used this to get out squished blueberries, throw-up, baby diarrhea, coffee, soda, and just about any and all food products you can think of). It really does work. So, crisis averted. Saturday proceeded with no more emergency clean-ups!!!

Enter Sunday afternoon. Joel was laying on the couch watching TV, Dean had just gotten up from his nap and I was doing some work on the computer. (I will only mention the fact once that Joel was in the SAME ROOM as Dean during all of this.....{insert the sound of me loudly clearing my throat}). I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water and Dean was standing in front of the island holding a Sharpie (yes, a PERMANENT MARKER), which he had happily used to color all over the cabinet door and drawer faces of the island....Here's his beautiful handiwork:I was able to resist the urge to physically harm my husband (who was about 20 feet away while Dean rummaged through the drawers to find the marker), although I must say it was difficult. I was convinced we were either going to have to replace the cabinets and drawers (and imagining that the builder probably used some rare discontinued cabinets, meaning we'd have to redo the entire kitchen) or we'd have to strip and re-stain what we had. Joel decided to get out the magic erasers that we never use (yes, I've seen the frightening e-mails with pictures of children with chemical burns from the magic erasers). I very colorfully told him what I thought of that idea, but he gave it a shot anyway. And surprisingly, the magic eraser really did magically erase permanent marker from our cabinets without damaging the cabinet or wood or stain in any way!!! Mr. Clean saved the day!!!

So, even though I'm proud that I am environmentally and health conscious about our household products, I'm SOOOO glad we happened to have these 2 not-so-healthy items on hand this weekend (I'm pretty sure water and vinegar wouldn't have helped much with either problem!!).

And I'm happy to say it looks like Dean will live to see his 2nd birthday after all! :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun with Chalk and Bubbles

I've been meaning to post these pics for a few days now and am just now getting around to it...sorry! Dean had a good time last weekend coloring all over the driveway with some sidewalk chalk!! Here are a few pictures (forgive me for my "artistic" shots....I am taking an online digital photography class to try to learn some of the manual settings on my super nice camera I've had for almost 3 years now but never taken off of auto....I'm quickly learning that although I do consider myself to be a very creative person, I am soooo NOT artistic!!! And yes, there is a difference!).

Dean is so funny. He has learned to open the big heavy door into the garage and well, we can't have him going out there. We've had NO luck finding a child lock that fits the handle on that door, so being the evil parents that we are, we told him one time that there was a monster out there. I'm not even sure how he knows what a monster is (other than Cookie Monster, who he loves). But somehow, instinct kicked in (or maybe it was the exaggerated sound of terror in our voices when we told him "no Dean no, don't go out there, there's a monster in there", but he's convinced. He hasn't even tried to go out there since. In fact, now when I go out there to do the laundry, he stands inside the door and seems a little worried. When I come back in, he grabs my hand and looks up at me and says "no, no. Monsters, Mommy". I've told him that "the Monsters are scared of Mommies and Daddies and we would never let them get you, but it's probably just a good idea to stay in the house anyway, OK?". He listens intently, says "OK" and then runs off to play without a care in the world. I can't believe how smart he is. Well, I think he's smart. I need to get out my books and compare him to the "norm", but it seems early to me for some of the things he is able to do. He will be 2 in December and he is able to identify just about all of his colors, he can count to 4 - sometimes 5 (sometimes I can even say "how many, Dean?" if there are 2 or 3 objects and he can correctly say 2 or 3 without having to count them), and he is able to identify several letters (probably about half of them). He is also able to watch something on TV and apply those concepts to things he sees in real life. For example, the only time he has ever seen hop-scotch to my knowledge is on Curious George (if you're a parent of a toddler, you've probably seen the episode with the lucky hat about a million times also). My Mom said that on their walk a few weeks ago, they came to a chalk drawing of hop-scotch and Dean was standing on 1 foot and trying to jump, like he knew what to do. It is just so amazing to watch his little mind develop!! Anyway, enough Mom boasting.

You may remember that Dean had been going to Music Together classes at the Tropical Plantation since he was about 4 months old and LOVED them. The classes usually run in about 9-week sessions, about 4 sessions per year. They have cancelled the last 2 sessions and I have heard through the Mom gossip that they may not re-start. I was very disappointed about this as Dean really enjoyed the classes and I liked that he had some social time with other kids his age. Last week we were playing at the play structure at the mall and ran into one of the little girls from his gymnastics class, Makena, and her Mom, Brynn. Brynn told me about Kindermusic (which I've heard wonderful things about but didn't realize we had here on Maui). It runs year-round (not in sessions like Music Together) and is for children birth to 3 yrs old. We attended our first class on Wednesday. Let's just say that I think Dean really NEEDS to be involved in some type of structured group activity like that. He didn't participate as much as he did in Music Together, but I'm hoping that's because it was in a completely new environment (it's at the Music Conservatory at the mall, where I was also excited to hear they have wonderful piano lessons beginning at age 4) with lots of new things to look at, new people to check out, etc. He mostly just ran around the room, tried to climb the shelves, and didn't share a single thing. I signed up for a month, so we'll see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed. We've definitely entered the "Terrible Twos", so I'm just hoping we can get through classes without any major meltdowns!!!

Oh, last but not least....we are very proud that Dean now says "please" and "thank you" without being prompted. It's pretty funny though that his "thank you" sounds EXACTLY like a really really naughty word that starts with an "f" "F$&% you". When we're out in public and he says this, I sometimes get some weird looks, so I always try to quickly say "oh, you're welcome Dean" very loudly.

OK, sorry for the lengthy update...I'll try to be more consistent with my posts!! Take care and have a good weekend!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pool Play

WARNING: TONS of adorable pictures....

Dean had a super fun morning today playing in the kiddie pool at the Wailea Marriott!! Today is his friend Taylor's 3rd Birthday, so we joined Taylor and her parents (Heidi and Aris) and friends at the pool for some fun. Dean LOVED it. The kiddie pool there was great! It was only about 1.5 feet deep and had a really cool play structure in the middle with lots of spraying and splashing water. He wore himself out. We got lots of good pictures. I tried to narrow it down a little more, but I just couldn't leave any of these out!!! Sorry for so many pics of basically the same thing, but I'm sure most of you won't mind!!
This is why Mom's never in any of the pics....Daddy isn't so good with the camera!!!

Happy Birthday Taylor!!!

Sooooo tired!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bad Blogger, I know.

Ok, Ok....I know, I've been slacking. Enough complaining already! Here are some pictures...

Joel bought Dean this super nerdy (but REALLY cool) t-shirt in Honolulu a few weeks ago. The copyright on it was 1981, which I thought was hilarious!!! He looks so cute in it!!! It's so tacky...yet somehow it lovingly reminds me of my Grandpa Marvin, who I'm pretty sure has this exact same shirt and has probably worn it to numerous weddings (and likely would have worn it to our wedding if he would have been here!!! - and I'm NOT kidding)!!!! :-)

Dean's so happy his new BFF Charlie is FINALLY back from a long summer in far away Minnesota! Charlie is about a year older than Dean and Dean is pretty sure Charlie is the coolest kid in the world! We've had fun hanging out with Charlie last Wednesday at the park, Friday at our house (Charlie's Mom Ellyn helped me cut about 5 million pieces of paper for my workshop on Saturday - thanks Aunty Ellyn!!!), and this morning we got to go meet Charlie's new puppy Buddy. Buddy is ADORABLE.
Dean was having fun imitating everything Charlie was doing....
Dean and Charlie giving quite the piano recital for us this morning. (Somehow I didn't get a picture of Buddy, but I'll be sure to do that in the next few weeks - really, he's SOOO cute).
Charlie ROCKIN' the alphabet song!!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Park, walk & beach

We spent Sunday evening at Kahului Community Center park and Dean had fun playing on the playground (specifically the slide, as usual!!!) and running as fast as he could down the hill. He was also pretty fascinated by the soccer net!

Today we enjoyed our day off by driving over to Wailea this morning and doing the beach walk - Dean insisted on walking himself, which makes it painfully slow for us as he has to stop at every single light along the path and every sign. At each sign, he wanted me to read him the sign and point at the words. He seems very interested in letters and words lately. I wonder if he'll be an early reader? He also wants to smell every single flower along the way and pick up every single leaf or rock. So it took us half an hour to go about 200 yards!!! After our walk, we played on the beach for a little while. There was a big pile of lava rocks at one end of Ulua beach and Dean thought it was lots of fun to carry the rocks one by one over to the water and throw them in. He's say "ocean", then "splash" and then squeal and run back for another rock! He also for some strange reason decided to revert to his baby days and ate a handful of sand. He thought that was pretty funny. I'm not sure if he was pretending it was food or what, but he just laughed and laughed - maybe it was our reaction. But the best thing about beach day is naptime - 3.5 hours today!!!! Yippeeeee!!!!