Things that Scare Me/Freak Me Out

October 31, 2006

Today being Halloween, I was reading a list of the Scariest Things In The World on MSNBC.com, and it got me thinking about some of the random and not-so-random things that scare me, freak me out, or give me the heebie-jeebies:

  • Possession – I don’t know if it was being raised in a Roman Catholic household, or what, but movies or stories about demonic possession always freak me out the most. I still have trouble watching The Exorcist.
  • Heights – I am sure I am not alone in this. When we went up on the World Trade Center towers about, oh, 8 years ago or so, I couldn’t stand anywhere near the edge of that platform on the roof. In fact, just thinking about it makes my heart speed up. Of course, I am not sure if it is a fear of heights, or a fear of falling. Or maybe, as someone once said, “I’m not afraid of falling. I am afraid of landing”
  • Knowing something scary is about the happen – especially in movies. Usually, the actual scary part doesn’t bother me as much as when I know something is going to happen. I’m once of those people who will cover their eyes and peak out through the cracks between their fingers.
  • Sloths – I know it sounds weird, but sloths really, really creep me out. I mean, just look at them, with their slow movements, and their long arms, and, ugh, those claws on them. Even pictures of them freak me out.

I think I’d better stop here. I’m getting a little freaked out.

So far, about all that’s scary to my daughter is loud noises. Oh sure, she’ll tell me stuff is scary, like our Halloween pumpkins, or the dark, but I don’t think those things really scare her like loud noises do.


Halloween 2006

October 30, 2006

our pumpkins

Part of the fun of my daughter now being 2+ years old is that this year she “gets” holidays, and it fun watching the excitement and wonder in her.

This year, she is really excited about Halloween. As I mentioned previously, she helped in deciding which costume to wear this year. And last night, we carved the pumpkins…

We began earlier in the day gathering her input on what type of pumpkin. “Do you want funny or scary?” … “Scary!” I eventually sketched out a picture of what the pumpkin would look like to get her input and approval.

The actual pumpking part, however, started off a little difficult, because she wanted to help with the carving, which, of course, meant she wanted control of the knife. She had a mini-fit when she didn’t get her way there.

Eventually, I had carved out the eyes on my pumpkin and showed the results to her. Her response conveyed her excitement at seeing the pumpkins begin to take shape: “Wow!” and “Great job, dad!”

We were able to get her involved by having her carry one of the tea light candles from the cabinet to the pumpkin. Then we worked on her pumpkin. We started off letting her color on the pumpkins with her markers. We also had a kit from the Halloween party we attended a week ago, which had little foam stickers which she could affix to the pumpkin to form a face. The results were awesome for a 2-year old.

All in all, she had a blast planning, marking, decorating, and finally seeing the pumpkins in the dark with the candles lit.

I can’t wait for the excitement of the actual trick-or-treating!

And then there’ll be Christmas!


The Peanut Battle: Part IV (Halloween)

October 28, 2006

candycorn

Candy sucks.

At least, when you have (or someone in your household has) a peanut allergy.

One of the great things about Halloween is getting to eat “leftover candy,” by which I mean candy that is actually left over, and the candy you eat before you hand any out because you know that particular piece of candy will be “leftover”.

Ms. Kaz and I always used to buy Reece’s Sticks and Reece’s Peanutbutter Cups (I especially love the Inside-Out ones), which often seemed to be “leftover”. This is the first year we’ve had to check packages for peanut ingredients or the dreaded, “processes in a plant which also processes peanuts.” Let’s just say that this makes buying Halloween candy much more difficult.

For some, it is easy. I love the “fruity” type of candies – SweetTarts, Laffy Taffy, Twizzlers. Ms. Kaz cannot stand those, and prefers chocolate. “Get me KitKats… if they are safe,” was the advice I was given when I called to say I was stopping to buy some bags of candy, “otherwise, Nestle Crunch.”

Of course, KitKats are produced in a plant which also processes peanuts.

Last night, I had a conversation which went something like this:

Ms. Kaz: So, what kind of candy did you buy?
Me: You mean, like, chocolatey candy?
Ms. Kaz: Yeah.
Me: Well, KitKats were out. I did get some chocolate bars.
Ms. Kaz: What kind?
Me: Chocolate.
Ms. Kaz: Like the assorted miniatures?
Me: No, just chocolate.
Ms. Kaz: What kind?
Me: Just chocolate.
Ms. Kaz: Like, Hershey’s or Nestle’s or what?
Me: *shrug* I dunno…
Ms. Kaz: ….
Me: I also got Nestle Crunch..?
Ms. Kaz: cool.

So, we didn’t end up with an ideal selection of Halloween candy (and if any of you suggest Candy Corn, I’ll scream. Candy Corn is the most vile, disgusting, sugary candy ever… and I can’t stop eating it if it is there!) this year. We did okay. I did get my “fruity” candies. Ms. Kaz did get some chocolatey.

But nothing with peanut butter for us to eat.

Of course, if my daughter gets any in her Halloween bag plastic pumpkin…


I Don’t Want to be a “Dad”

October 27, 2006

Sometimes I don’t want to be a dad.

Well, okay, I love being my daughter’s father, and I love my daughter. Being a friend to her is easy. Being a friend to her is fun. It is the being a dad part that is sometimes difficult. You know, doing all the dad (and mom!) things like cleaning up after her, getting up in the middle of the night to see what is wrong, and punishment. Punishment, I think, is the hardest part of being a dad.

Tonight, Ms. Kaz was at her book club, so it was daddy-daughter night. For 90% of the night it was fun. We ate dinner. We made some popcorn. We watched some Peter Pan (I know, I know — TV — but it was just 15-20 minutes. Besides, what else is there to do while eating popcorn?!?).

Then it was time to start the bedtime routine… Read the rest of this entry »


A Trip to the Doctor’s

October 27, 2006

syringeMs. Kaz has a genetic blood clotting disorder. Don’t ask me what it is called. She has the 25 letter name of it memorized, I don’t. I just need to remind her to take her aspirin before long trips.

Because she has this disorder, our pediatrician recommended our daughter get tested for this. Which, of course, means having blood drawn.

Little did we know, it meant having blood drawn from both arms.

Greg, over at DaddyTypes, has a post up regarding a study that (duh) kids don’t like needles, and trips to the hospital that involve needles raise anxiety levels in kids.

Well, I gotta say, our 27 month old daughter was a brave little soldier, and did a great job. At least, according to my wife. I didn’t go. And I’m glad. I don’t like blood. When my daughter banged her chin and bit her tongue a couple weeks ago, I even struggled with that blood.

Of course, they did put some local anesthetic cream on her arm, which probably helped a bit. That, and probably playing “doctorin'” with us and giving and getting pretend shots.

Anyhow, she got through it just fine. Got some bandaids with cartoon characters and a couple toys as prizes for being so brave.

Now, we just have to take her for a second round of tests.


Baby Food Options

October 26, 2006

As Ms. Kaz and I begin to consider maybe thinking about possibly having another child, maybe, it might be time to revisit baby foods. 

The Contra Costa Times (via the San Jose Mercury News) tackles two options beyond the traditional grocery store bought, big brand, jarred baby foods.

In the first article, they discuss the new trend of providing babies with “gourmet” baby foods. The companies claim their foods are fresher and therefore better tasting and better for your baby. I remember our daughter liking vegetarian vichyssoise a lot. That’s pretty gourmet, right?

The second article deals with an less expensive option, although one which requires the parents have some spare time – making your own baby food. The article offers some important safety tips, some tips on food choices, some time saving tips, and even a recipe. We dabbled in these dark arts making our own baby food when our daughter was, well, a baby. It was a short-lived experiment.

Anyone had success with making your own baby foods? If we have another kid, and if we try making our own again, you can be sure I’ll be documenting our successes and failures here…


Tuesday 7:00am-8:30pm (R)

October 25, 2006

Apparently, yesterday was a re-run. Or maybe a marathon of re-runs. Or maybe one of those flash-back, clip-laden shows with just a little new thrown in. Here’s a summary:

  • Our daughter didn’t take a nap at daycare. Surprisingly, though, she was in a pretty good mood that night. However, she did…
  • Wake up in the middle of early night, utilizing her “I’m scared” cry. This, and waking up for an hour in the middle of the night for no good reason, helped me get only about 4 1/2 hours of sleep. The other thing that helped me get so little sleep is…
  • The cats decided to be pains in the butt starting at 4:30am this morning.

So that was my night. My day began with work calling me at 6:10am. Fortunately, I was able to redirect them to someone else.


Am I becoming a helicopter parent?

October 23, 2006

We took my daughter to a Halloween party yesterday. She was so excited to put her costume (Minnie Mouse – her choice) on. She was especially excited to see cupcakes at the party (she ate all the frosting, and one bit of the cake part). She was even excited to see all the costumes the other kids were wearing.

The one thing she seemed uninterested in was playing with the other kids.

She goes to a daycare with two other kids, whom she loves playing with. I would even say she may be more outgoing (and aggressive, but not in a bad way) than the other kids.

But at the party, she insisted she was “a little shy” and didn’t want to run around and shout and dance with the other kids. Some of the kids were a little older, so maybe it was a bit understandable. But there were also a lot of kids her age. Still, she was “a little shy.”

Then something else happened that made me start to worry… Read the rest of this entry »


More “awwwwwww!”

October 23, 2006

Part of our nighttime ritual is for each of us to take turns holding our daughter and singing her the “na na” song, as she knows it. I think I mentioned this before, but it is a song my mother uses to calm babies, and my daughter has grown attached to it for comforting when hurt, and at night.

Tonight, my wife started to singing this song, and my daughter reached out to me and said, “wanna be family?” So we all held each other and sang it together. Afterwards, my daughter said to us, “thanks for being family!”


Super Fly & Liking Monkeys

October 21, 2006

Here’s a couple of quick quotes from my daughter from this weekend…super fly

Daughter: Daddy, wanna be super fly with me?
[She was putting her blanky around her shoulders and pretending to fly like Superman]

Ms. Kaz: Watcha thinking about, sweetie?
Daughter: I’m very serious, mama.
Ms. Kaz: Serious about what?
Daughter: Liking monkeys.
[Upon further discussion, we believe she was 'curious' 'like monkey', i.e. Curious George. But we like this version better!]


Greening Your Baby: The Chemicals Around Us

October 20, 2006

Wow. Between this article blog entry on the abundance of chemicals in our environment, and the blog posting I found it via (see below), I’m not sure how much more there is for me to say.

I don’t believe in creating panic in parents (not that I think this article does so), but I think there are some good ideas in these types of articles for people to try. If you even try one or two things every now and then to make your childrens’ world a little better, that’s all we can ask for.

The world needs more green parents. Well, sort of. Overpopulation is a big problem, as well, but that’s another story.

[TheGreenQueen blog via the, uh, BoobJuiceFactory]


She’s so funky, eh*

October 20, 2006

The other night, as I was tickling my daughter, she said, “tickling and playing games with dada is fun!”. Awww. Here’s a list of the games in our current rotation (in no particular order):

  • “Dada, wanna get your diaper changed?” – this game came about because we now store a “portable changing station” basket of supplies downstairs. Apparently, I am very “poopy” these days.
  • “Dada, wanna sleep with me?” – we lay on the couch with a pillow and blanket, I pretend to snore loudly, and she repeatedly wakes me up.
  • “Dada, wanna go under bed with me?” – we actually just go under the sheets on the bed. Even more fun when the cat joins us.
  • Playing Doctor – I’ve discussed this before, but lately it has been “Spiney” the plastic dinosaur who is getting sick a lot.
  • “Dada, wanna go in special girl tent with me?” – this is a game Ms. Kaz invented with my daughter. Despite the name, it wasn’t quite as exciting as I had hoped.
  • “Dada, wanna play tiger with me?” – I start with a goofy tiger (“roar roar roar”), then she asks, “be little tiger?” and I do the same in a “little” voice. Sometimes I get the, “wanna be big tiger?”
  • “Dada, wanna climb like monter with me?” – she puts her rain boots on her hands and we both walk around on all fours (actually on our feet, not on our knees, like crawling).

* This is what I think most Americans thought Peter Gabriel1 was singing in the song, “Games Without Frontiers.” He was actually singing, “Jeux sans frontier”, which is French.4
1 For those too young to know Peter Gabriel, he used to be in the band, Genesis2
2 For those too young to know Genesis, it was the band Phil Collins3 used to be in before he started singing crappy sappy Disney songs.
3 For those too young to remember Genesis, oh, just forget it.

4 I once knew a guy who thought the song, “Don’t Fear The Reaper” was actually, “Don’t Feel The Reefer”5
5 Of course, this is the same guy who drew sheep in Pictionary for the word, “veal” 6
6 The actual word on the card was, “veil”


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