Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Curse of the Monkey Skeleton

Halloween happened recently. We took Chumbercules out trick-or-treating to score us some candy for the first time. He was a tiny blonde Superman who kept trying to go into people's houses and, as the night progressed, was saying, "trickamatreat" when people opened their doors. It was pretty freaking cute. And it was warm here, which was nice. Though it isn't warm anymore. It's snowed the past couple of days.

Anyway, one of our Halloween decorations is some skeleton I scored in the discount bins several years ago. It's a coated wire frame and burlap, basically. The head has straw on it and the eyes glow red and it laughs. It's motion-detected, so when you walk by it, it does these things. Chumby thought the laughter sounded like a monkey, and from there, the dreaded Monkey Skeleton was born.

Chumb is both intrigued by and scared of the Monkey Skeleton. He cried when he first heard it laugh. The day after Halloween the Monkey Skeleton was sitting outside and we were going grocery shopping and dude wouldn't go out the door because the Monkey Skeleton was there. So, I tossed him in the laundry room and we got in the car.

I came home from work on Monday and the Monkey Skeleton was sitting on the back of one of the couches. I guess when Chumb woke up, he was asking about it, so Mr. Adventure pulled it out and let Chumby examine it. When I got home, it was kind of creepy. He was giving the Monkey Skeleton high fives and saying, "Monkey Skeleton loves me." or, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me." I'm pretty sure both of those things come from Mr. A. Because Monkey Skeleton quickly became his new parenting tool.

"Eat your dinner or Monkey Skeleton is going to get you."
"Potty on the toilet or Monkey Skeleton is going to get you."

I come home from work and am greeted by these giant, round, blue eyes, asking me, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me?" I have no idea how many times I have said, "No, the Monkey Skeleton isn't going to get you."

Hamburglar is two, so he's at the prime age for night terrors. Some of these bad dreams have horses and all sorts of things going on, but the other night, he was dreaming about the freaking Monkey Skeleton (which we still hadn't put away). I told the Mister that I thought it was time to pack up the Monkey Skeleton. Last night at dinner (Monkey Skeleton sits at the dinner table with us), Chumb looked at me and asked again, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me?" and I said no and decided to put him away. Little Man ran from the dining room, screaming, when I picked up the Monkey Skeleton. I just tossed it into our bedroom on the bed, which prompted a whole new series of questions during dinner. "Monkey Skeleton on your bed? Monkey Skeleton sleeping? Monkey Skeleton tired. He sleeping," and so on. Finally, after dinner, I removed the batteries from Monkey Skeleton and shoved him in the Halloween box. Hopefully that will be the end of the Monkey Skeleton concerns.

In Brown Sugar news...

He went in for his two month exam. He weighs 13 pounds, 8 ounces, has a 16 inch head circumference and is 23.75 inches long. They say you should never compare your first and second child. I don't know about anyone else, but that's pretty much all I do. Chumby was 14 pounds at his two month exam. I don't remember the rest of the stats, but I see some sort of growth comparison chart happening within the next year, comparing the growth of my two boys. Because that's what you do when you're a mom scientist, right? Scientist mom? Mother of dragons? Chemistry? What?

Having another kid and a single income family can be pretty straining on the budget, so I'm making Christmas gifts this year. I will post pictures of things I make, if you're interested. Really, I will do it anyway. Because this is my blog, y'all.

I was inspired by the folks over at Happy Hooligans and their 70+ Homemade Toys to Make for your Kids. I already made the sock bunny rattle for Brown Sugar. The rad thing about that was, even with my shoddy sewing skills (I only know one stitch!) I was able to bang out the whole thing in a couple of hours. I did the cutting during nap time, around two in the afternoon. And between nursing, making dinner and putting the kids to bed, I had the whole thing done by 8p. I haven't put a face on it yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to.

I'd like to make a balance board for Hamburglar, but I'm trying to find an old skateboard deck for free or cheap that I can repurpose. And I have a ton of cardboard at my work I can use to make some cardboard construction pieces. I was going to make a couple foam lacing toys, then one of the moms  in my local moms group let us all know that they have wooden 8-packs of lacing toys in the Dollar Spot at Target for $3. So, I scored Chumby some robot ones. I also found a little wooden shape puzzle and some spiderman socks. And some ladybug playing cards for the Little Miss. Who isn't really little anymore. Kid isn't even 8 and she's a freaking Amazon.

Speaking of the Little Miss, we scored her a great tablet for $50 from Groupon Goods. I think she'll be pretty excited. And, since I'm making things for the boys, I thought I would make her something, too. I've seen those story boxes that are, like, $50, that come with a story printout and some dolls so you can act out the story. Then, I thought, "I bet I can make that for way cheaper!" And I found a tutorial online. I decided to go with Little Red Riding Hood because I will only need to make 4 dolls. Though, I keep thinking I should do a Little Prince theme instead. I don't know. She knows the story of Red. I have about a month to decide for sure. And I figured I would gift the dolls in their little story box with a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. And, since she's nearly 8, I imagine she will make Present Face.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nursing, swearing, reading, creating

I always have brilliant ideas for what I'm going to write about either late at night or super early in the morning when I'm feeding Brown Sugar. But I never remember what they are later. Oh, well.

I received a text from a friend on Sunday. She said, "I'm nursing a hangover!" to which I responded, "I'm nursing a baby!" It's interesting to see how different paths lead people different places. She graduated college a year before me.

I was thinking about that the other day. I think it was late Friday or Saturday night when I was up with the babe. Or maybe I was doing dishes. I realized that if I didn't have kids, I would probably be nursing a hangover, too. And then I wondered what I used to do with all my time. Aside from drink, I didn't really do a whole lot. I went to work. I bought really expensive glasses that are super fancy and made of titanium. I walked around a lot, looking for new places to drink. So, having kids has made me sober but also made me want to drink. A lot. By next September, I will be drinking all the wine in the world. I will have one of those beer hats with the straws, but I will have wine on one side and water on the other. Because hydration is really important, you guys, and I need to set a good example.

Speaking of setting a good example...

We've entered the parrot phase. Chumbercules repeats nearly everything either Mr. Adventure or I say. I really need to watch my mouth while I'm driving. Like, really. I'm not even going to write what I said (and what Chumby repeated over and over again for the next 3 miles). Because it was bad. Very, very bad. At home he tends to swear in context, though. Some people talk about how genius their children are. Ours is a swearing prodigy. And I don't find that surprising.

Breastfeeding is way easier this time around. It has been since the beginning. I think Chumb may have had a slight lip or tongue tie, or maybe I was just really bad at breastfeeding. But, things are way easier with Brown Sugar. For me. Mr. A is staying home again and Brown Sugar isn't a fan of the bottle, I hear.

We had the Little Miss over the weekend, though I think she may have Amazon blood because the kid is a giant. The Home Depot has kid's workshops the first Saturday of each month. They're totally free and they do some cool stuff. Last month she made a wooden fire engine for Fire Safety month and this month she made a wooden jet for Veteran's Day. They get a little apron and a pin to represent the activity they did. She's 7 and it's something fun she gets to do, just her and her dad, which is nice.

Chumb loves his baby brother, but sometimes it's hard. Like if Tiny wakes up from his nap and is all, "waaah! I'm a baby and I'm crying because I'm hungry!" And Chumby will say something like, "No! Put nipple away. Don't feed brother, I hungry, too." because he wants me to make him some food. So, that's a challenge. It's definitely way easier when Mr. A and I are both home. I don't know how people do it once they're outnumbered. Mr. A was sick on Sunday and was in bed and it was very hectic in the House of Adventure. I wanted to take the kids to the park, but I also didn't want to take three kids somewhere by myself. I guess I'm just not brave enough.

I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but I've been thinking about Christmas and Christmas gifts. We are trying to get rid of pretty much everything we own and trying not to spend a lot of money. We scored the Little Miss a tablet from Groupon Goods for $50. She will be 8 in January, so it seems like a good age. But, with the little guys, we are kind of in this magical place where neither of them really give a shit. Sure, Chumby is starting to figure out this whole present thing (he sang happy birthday for about two weeks after he turned two, then got really excited  for his Uncle's birthday. So excited that I made my brother blow out a candle because Chumby thought the cake needed some fire). So, I think I'm going to DIY it. The only problem with that is, like with most things in my life, I get things about 85% complete before I just stop working on them.

I found this list from Happy Hooligans of over 70 DIY toys and crafts to make. I'm thinking a sock bunny rattle for the baby and maybe some of those wooden roads for Chumby? Or a drop box? Maybe some of those alphabet clothespin dolls for the Little Miss? That's the other tough thing for us. Mr. Adventure and I were early readers and we both loved to read. We were super advanced readers by the time we were in second grade. The Little Miss doesn't really care for reading and isn't reading at grade level, so we are constantly thinking of things we can do to help her improve her skills without her realizing she's learning something.