Category Archives: bugaboo

Skills I never knew I had

This handy little tool has become one of my best friends over the years:

Image source

I certainly never set out to become a handywoman.  It has kind of been thrust on me by kids.  Lately my trusty screwdriver has been used to remove and reinstall doorknobs.  Bugaboo has a knack for locking himself in the bathroom or my bedroom.  The problem then is that he can’t unlock the door to get out.  Mom with her screwdriver to the rescue!  Have a toilet paper roll holder that has been taken off the wall?  Yep, I can fix that.  Towel bar pulled away from the wall brackets?  I can fix that, too.  Maybe I need to just ban Bugaboo from the bathroom entirely.

What unforeseen skills have you gained as a parent?

Adventures with a 3-year-old and the toilet

I’ve kind of inadvertently taken a bit of a blogging break for the past couple of weeks.  I swear it was only a few days and now we’re almost halfway through February!  Around here, we’re trying to potty train Bugaboo.  We’ve been kind of half-way doing it for months, until I realized that we’d managed to replace these:

with these:

Same purpose, but with the advantage of going up and down easily and the disadvantage of costing more.  So, we’ve (read: ME!) been more diligent with cloth underwear and use the “sleeping underwear” for naps and long errands.  Still probably not the best idea, but it works better.

So, the other night I told Bugaboo that it was time to go potty before he went to bed.  He raced upstairs to the bathroom and threw the lid of the toilet up.  Then he looked inside at the freshly cleaned bowl and reached his hand in.  I told him that was gross and grabbed a towel to dry his hand.  As I turned to set the towel on the counter, in went the other hand!  I grabbed the towel again, and dried hand 2, just in time for hand 1 to plunge back into the water.  We did the drying routine again.  This time I just dropped the towel and pulled his underwear down.  He quickly stepped out and plunged both hands in the bowl!  He had that little mischievous glint in his eye and started giggling. 

Another round of towel drying and dropping, then as I reach to sit him on the toilet, he giggles, turns and starts splashing again.  This time I keep hold of his wrists as I dry his hands and get ready to set him on the toilet.  That is, until I feel an unusual warm spot on my leg.  I glance down to see a growing puddle and a wet spot on my jeans.  At least he had fun.  Maybe sticking with diapers isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

What’s your best potty training moment?

Tuesday 10 – 10 Things I Handwrite

I’m a procrastinator, so very rarely are my posts written ahead of time.  Today’s Tuesday 10 with Lena is no exception.  However, The Author is home from school since she’s not feeling well.  Bugaboo is begging for someone to play the Wii with him.  He even has my mii selected.  How can I say no to that 3-year-old cuteness?  That means you get a guest post from The Author!

Hello everybody! Today’s Tuesday 10 is “10 things I handwrite.” This one is really easy for me. And I know that you all want to have pictures of Bugaboo playing the Wii.

1. Homework
This seems obvious. Sure, I’m at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) magnet, but almost everything is still done by hand. Being at a STEM school means that we have fabulous classes and half our tech doesn’t work. (And engineering group projects take up all the space in your email.) Homework is unwanted and can take forever. Why, yes, I am thinking of geometry!

2. Notes
My school doesn’t assign computers to each student. I don’t regularly use a computer in most of my classes. Any notes we take are done by hand. Four classes a day (we’re on block scheduling) means an hour and a half per class. Depending on how much we get done, we may or may not spend the whole class period cracking jokes and taking notes.
And everybody wonders why all the pencils vanish… I’m confident that they’re with everybody’s socks and pens.

3. Quiz Bowl Scores
I’m on the Quiz Bowl team. At practices, we have a handy-dandy system that makes scorekeeping very easy. At meets… not so much. If the reader doesn’t have a helper with them, they need the team’s “alternate” to time and/or keep score. Timing is a lot harder because you have to pay attention to the stopwatch, so I delegate that to one of the other team’s members or the helper.

4. Novels
I know that this makes me sound crazy. Yes, I write novels by hand. My friends that also write books do the same. Why?
We’re in school for eight hours a day, with limited computer access. Even if we had regular access, there are filters. They’d probably find a lot of the stuff in our novels “not school-appropriate.” Say, a book about ninjas. With weapons. And magic. And semi-questionable morals. Oh, and it’s set in a dystopia… Easier to handwrite. (Notebooks are easier to carry around, too.)

5. Journals
Mom does this, too. There’s something magical with the concept of handwritten mementos from another time. A person’s handwriting is so special, so unique, and totally different from anybody else’s. Mom writes her journal entries in cursive. I’m so used to print that it’s second-nature to start writing in it.

6. Swim team attendance
I manage the swim team. Actually, I managed the boys’ basketball team (2 years ago), both swim teams (last school year), the volleyball team (this year), and started on the boys’ swim season last week. Managing requires taking attendance, running various errands, picking up equipment, handing out towels at the end of practice, etc.
It’s easier to take attendance with paper and pencil than vanish into the coach’s office for a few minutes to do it online. I don’t have to get the key, go to their office, enter the office, take attendance, close up the office, and come back.

7. Tests
It’s weird when tests are on the computer. We took practice tests to narrow our Academic Pentathlon team down to nine students last week. They were on the computer. It was very different from what we’re used to!
In the past, we’ve even done state writing tests by hand. I’m not sure if we’re doing that this year. The tests start today, and here I am, guest posting at home.

I don’t copy quotes off of the internet or any of that. People say some really weird things. Those random, everyday things are what I write down in the margins of my notebooks.
Here’s a really good example of a quote with a story: “It’s a snake!”
I’m just going to say that PE last year, walking outside, and seeing a snake gets totally out of hand when one of the girls picks it up and everybody else goes crazy. I’m the fast walker sitting on the steps waiting for everybody else to get up the hill, laughing at the whole thing.
I want to put it in a book someday.

Wow. This is harder than I thought it would be.

9. RPG character sheets
I’m the person in my family who has been wanting to run a family RPG (role-playing game) for over a year now. It hasn’t come to anything yet, so I use the book to create RPG versions of my characters. It helps to make them more lifelike and less Mary Sue-ish.

10. Things I want to remember
This goes hand-in-hand with number 8. If I want to remember what somebody said, I write it down. If I want to remember what word I missed at the spelling bee, I find out the correct spelling and write it. If it’s an away meet tomorrow and I need to remember what time to leave class, I take a note.
Fun fact: My school’s National Junior Honor Society has been instructed not to tell the others in the school how much we use our agendas. It’s the example-setters that don’t use their agendas at all… Yeah, we’re normal teenagers.

I can’t leave you with only two pictures of Bugaboo…. Here!

A final note on teenagers’ stance about cursive and handwriting not being taught in schools anymore: When we learned this in my geometry class a few months ago, we were appalled. We had a nice argument with the teacher about whether or not we’ll actually use it. (We insisted that we will, in fact, need to know how to write things by hand.) Most of us use print more than cursive, but there are people I know that are so used to cursive that they’ve forgotten how to print. I think that handwriting is probably here to stay.

Adventures with Bugaboo

As grandparents were visiting this past weekend, one grandma observed that Bugaboo is always going at 90 miles an hour.  It’s true, he is a busy little boy.  He’s adept at throwing temper tantrums, complete with flinging objects and banging his head on the floor.  He also gives the sweetest hugs and loves waving good-bye and blowing kisses.  He can make a mess in 2 seconds flat, but will gladly help to clean up the mess with a smile on his face.

I recently took him shopping to get new shoes.  I spotted a pair that I thought would work and pulled them off the shelf to try them on.  However, he had a different idea and latched on to a pair of Spiderman shoes.  We put them on, checked the fit, then set him on the floor and told him to walk down the aisle so I could see how they fit.  He must have thought he was free as he took off running.  About three steps later he stopped, looked down in confused frustration at the elastic cord preventing his perceived freedom and promptly ripped the price tag off in his attempt to get his shoes unrestricted.  It’s a good thing we bought that pair of shoes.  (On a bit of a side note, do you know how long a two-year-old can stay enthralled with banging his shoes together to watch them light up?  The inventor of light-up shoes deserves a bonus in my book.)
Another lesson learned on this shopping trip:  try the dress shoes on BEFORE the fun character sneakers.  Plain black shoes are much more difficult to try on wiggly feet of toddler screaming, “No, Mom!” as he points to his much cooler Spiderman shoes in the cart.  It’s also best to store the Spiderman shoes out of sight and/or reach on the closet shelf for Sunday morning if you don’t want a repeat of the in-store tantrum.  Now you know, if you ever have to deal with an opinionated two-year-old.

Playing with Food

We completed another healthy challenge (for my family competition) with the kids yesterday.  (Read about our first challenge here.) This time they used fruits and vegetables to create some kind of food art and then had to eat their creation.  I prepped different fruits and veggies and the kids went to work.


We ended up with  variety of creations.  Bugaboo was lucky to get anything on his plate.  He was eating as fast as we could offer him different foods. This kid LOVES his fruits and veggies! He did carefully place the half-eaten banana inside the pepper ring.

Princess decided to make a person.  She copied from some of the other kids, but asked about having little carrot pieces for hair and decided on a strawberry “belly button.”

Little Miss Sunshine created a chef.  She was thrilled when I bought mushrooms since she has been begging for them for ages.   That made a perfect hat and she got creative with other fruits and veggies and some toothpicks.

Mr. Adventure started with a plan to make a trash can containing each fruit or vegetable.  I’m not sure what message that was supposed to make. He decided to change to this person design.  Not too bad, right?

The Author made this cute little chick.  It’s almost too cute to eat.

The Artist attempted to create a geek-inspired scene.  This is Loki (in the top middle) and frienemies.  There’s the Hulk, Ironman, Mjolnir, bow and arrow, and the Black Widow symbol.

The next time you hear, “I’m bored!”  why not break out the food and let the kids get creative.  The only catch — they have to eat whatever they make.  Mine all did great at the devouring part, too.  The only food left was on Bugaboo’s plate, and he probably ate the equivalent of two plates snacking while sculpting.

If you happen to be looking for a great resource for produce, check out Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op to see if they’re available in your area.  We have enjoyed being able to try new foods and always having a variety of produce.

Kids’ll keep you on your toes

A couple weeks ago when I was gone to my Woodbadge scout training, Princess decided to try her hand at cutting hair.  She “thought it would look cuter” if she cut the sides.  I wasn’t going for the resulting mullet look.

I whipped out the scissors and did my best to cut everything even(ish).  There are still issues around her face, but at least it isn’t a throwback to the 80’s.

I was shopping and found the cutest pair of pajamas for Bugaboo.  I told him I wanted to take a picture, so this was his response:

His top says, “Mom’s 24 hr. Wrecking Service” and does that ever describe him!  He also explored a new career path while I was gone — mural drawing.  He found a couple markers and decorated the wall near the top of our stairs.  

I don’t plan on hiring either one of them in their chosen career path without some more training and experience, but they sure do make life fun.

I guess I’ll keep them around for a while. 🙂

I’m a slacker

Lately I’ve been a real slacker as a blogger.  There aren’t really any good excuses, just life.  So, here are some completely random photos from the past few weeks:

 Bugaboo hard at work with one of his favorite pasttimes — Angry Birds
 Little Miss Sunshine and Mr. Adventure all dressed up for Crazy Day.
 Our “It’s everyone’s birthday” cake (that chocolate chip glaze is the BEST!)
Someone around here turned 40, and it wasn’t me. 🙂