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Monday, February 28, 2011

Bubblegum Ice Cream

I used to love the stuff when I was a kid. I would eat around the bubblegum, picking it out and saving it until all of the ice cream was gone. By that point, the gum would have defrosted and I would throw the whole lot into my mouth, chewing away like a cow chewing cud. It was bliss.

I was tickled, then, when Ana ordered bubblegum ice cream at the mall the other day. My first surprise was the color - neon blue. I didn't remember that part... oh well... a little artificial coloring, make that a lot, never killed anybody, or did it?

Ana was as taken as little Me with the bubblegum, although her preferred style of eating was to choke down the ice cream so that she could get every little piece of gum that she could see.

The deal in our family is that when she gets ice cream, I am the drip licker (sounds a bit obscene as I type, but it's all innocent, I swear). It's actually my sneaky way to get another flavor other than my usual butter pecan or peppermint. Given the recent warming trend, despite the gulp style of eating Ana was employing, her ice cream started dripping right away. I was actually excited to have my nostalgic moment with my favorite childhood flavor realized. Imagine my dismay, then, when I realized that bubblegum ice cream is... DISGUSTING. I wouldn't feed it to my dog, although he would happily eat it. I felt the same level of disappointment as when I learned that Mickey Mouse was really just some sweaty guy in a costume. What other childhood flavor memories would be dashed if I tried to relive them? I'm going to go ahead and make some predictions:

squeeze cheese on Ritz crackers - cheese to cracker ratio of 3 to 1
Handi-Snacks - I loved that little red plastic stick you used to spread the "cheese"
roller skating rink nachos
Flinstones push-up pops
potato shoe strings

What were your favorites that should probably never pass your lips again?

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If You Go Hiking....

If you go hiking with a four and a half year old and her six year old friend, this is what will happen:

Even if you make everyone go potty before setting out on the trail, someone will discover 15 minutes in that they need to go #2.

If you weigh the cost of going back 15 minutes to the potties and realize you might as well call it a day at that point, and therefore explain that when hiking or camping - in emergencies - you can go in the woods and use tissues for toilet paper, you will be told, "That is not appropriate for little girls."

After you go back to the potties and camp out there for a while, the two friends will surely discover the vending machines and will start the most persuasive campaign of their lives to get whatever sugar laden thing you will give in to buying. Which is none.

After the seriously disappointed hikers are herded back onto the trail, you will realize you should not have made a big deal about this trail being named River Hike because with your almost hour long setback, there is no way on God's green Earth that you will be walking all the way to the river.

Someone will get poked in the head with a stick. Twice.

The most exciting finding of nature will be some horse hoof prints in the dirt, which will then cause everything to come to a full stop while little people sit in, run their hands in, try to roll in, and any other manner of dirtying in the dirt.

Then you will make a tactical error and turn onto another path that is a longer way back, but will actually have shade. This is a tactical error because seriously... at this point longer = death. Also an error because for some reason, someone thought it wise to build a bench at approximately every 2 minute point on this trail. You will sit on all of them.

At some point you will start wearing a child on your back.

When you get back to the parking lot, you will promise popsicles so everyone will get buckled up in record time and will hopefully retain good memories of hiking, rather than the time that they walked aimlessly for 2 hours, other than checking out the exciting bathrooms, vending machines, and dirt.

Then your child will say - Next let's go camping!

At this point you will try not to swallow your own tongue.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Real Life Pocahontas

Ana and I had an errand day yesterday. She had excitedly put on her Pocahontas costume in the morning and was playing "Mommy Pocahontas" to her plastic Pocahontas doll, so I didn't have the heart to make her defrock before we headed out.

Needless to say we got lots of smiles and a few laughs - none so loud or long as the woman that witnessed nature loving Ana in the mall parking lot. It was the perfect intersection of Ana's green tendencies and her Pocahontas persona.

Upon spying a crushed Red Bull can in the parking lot:

Oooooooooohhhhhhh Nooooooooooo! (the drama) Someone hurt the land!!!!! Why would they do that to the land? I'm so sorry for you land! I will help you to feel better, poor land!!!!

I kept expecting the theme song from the Pocahontas movie to start playing at any moment..

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Friday, February 25, 2011

From Scratch

Mommy, can I have pancakes for breakfast?

Sure, but we'll have to make them from scratch because the ones we had in the freezer are all gone.

But I don't want mine scratch(ed)! I want mine fat and fluffy.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

No... Where's My Real Present?

Daddy returned from his work trip bearing a small gift, as is our usual tradition. We have coached Ana not to ask for her present right away and she was clearly working hard to hold herself back.

Daddy! You're back!

Hi Ana! Come here, Baby! I want to give you a hug and a kiss.

(big hug and smooch)

Ahhh... that was so nice of you... is that all you have to give me?

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Disturbing Show and Tell

Ana's preschool is going to be starting up a show and tell the last Thursday of the month. I received a paper from Banana's teacher giving us a head's up about what to bring and where to put our object when we get to school on show and tell day.

We were talking the whole concept over at breakfast time:

So Ana, kids bring in something from home to show to the class and they tell a little bit about it. For example, someone might bring in a stuffed animal, or their favorite book. Maybe something that they got on a trip. What are some other things that would be good to bring for show and tell?

Well, like a dead bird. That would be interesting.

Uh... interesting to say the least. While I appreciate her interest in all things science and nature-y, I'm thinking the ick factor and clear health violation might rule that one out.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making Wishes

I don't know what it is about my hair lately, but Ana is apparently not a fan. She's had two opportunities where she's been able to make wishes about things and my 'do has ended up the target.

I have been wished about on a penny dropped into a fish pond, and yesterday I was the recipient of a hair related wish on one of those dandelion puff ball things.

I wish that Mommy will have different hair. (She has yet to realize that you aren't supposed to wish out loud, nor are you supposed to answer questions about your wish.)

You wish that I had different hair?


What do you wish my hair would be like? (Thinking longer, braided like Rapunzel, some other princess-y type wish)


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh Crap... I Mean American

Banana has come up with her own word of frustration... American. We were following one of her buddies over to his house on Sunday afternoon in our car:

I hope we will be the winner!

Babe, I don't think we are because we are following him. Besides, we want him to get there first so his mom can open the door for us.

Nope! I think we will be the winners! (Gotta love my girl's optimism)

We pulled into the driveway... surprise... behind him.

Oh American! We weren't the winners. Bummer! American! Oh well, maybe the next time. That's okay.

I kind of like her style. At the very least it sounds a lot more patriotic than things I usually say. I think I'll try it out tomorrow.

Oh American! I left the keys back in the house. I'll have to go get them.

Oh American! I forgot to bring the checkbook and tuition is due.

Oh American! I went to the grocery store and I forgot the one thing that I was supposed to get in the first place!

See how patriotic I will sound?

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Peanut Butter Girl

My lady loves peanut butter, as do I. I often say things like - Oooh, I could marry it! or Oh, I could take a bath in it! about things that I really like... peanut butter, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate.

Last night, after dinner, Ana was still hungry so she asked for a spoonful of peanut butter. Enjoying her snack, she started waxing poetic a la Mommy, but then her soliloquy took a decidedly odd turn:

Oooh! I love this peanut butter! I could take a bath in it! I could poop on it! And pee on it!

Yet another conversation I never imagined myself having - explaining why we would not want to poop on something that we actually like, that by doing so we would turn it into something that we probably wouldn't like... Never imagined that that wasn't just innate knowledge...

Ana could be on to something, though. The next time I can't stop eating something at a meal, instead of dousing it with salt, which is not 100% effective, I might try one of her suggestions. At the very least it would get me kicked out of the restaurant...

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going Dark Until Saturday

I will be out of town, returning Friday, so the next Ana Banana post will go up on Saturday. I'm sure we will have lots of stories saved up by then!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Suspicious Baking

While wiping Ana in the bathroom:

"Whoo-wee, Ana! Stinky! What were you cooking in here?"

I wasn't cooking!

'Yes you were! You were making stinky sandwiches."

Oh, yeah! And I just took them out of the oven. See, they're still warm!

That was going a little too far... even for me.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

First "Slumber Party"

Ana has a friend, James, visiting from Wisconsin. She knew him for most of her life - they were buddies in Pittsburgh - and his family moved shortly after ours did. It has been so wonderful to see how much fun Ana is having with him. None of her anxiety is here, she is her old self, and has even created her own song about how she is "going to marry him, but only when they grow up because that's what Mommy says is the rule. Ooh, ooh, ooh."

These days, Ana will tell anyone who will listen, and even anyone who won't, how she does not like kids to come to her house because it makes her too nervous, but she was overjoyed to find out that James would be sleeping at her house! "A slumber party! Slumber party! Whoo! Hoo!"

I figured I'd be popping her bubble when I told her that James would be sleeping downstairs with his parents and she'd be sleeping up in her room, but I shouldn't have worried. "Yea! A slumber party! A slumber party!"

"Uh...yes, Ana. A slumber party!"

Hopefully she will forget all about this particular slumber party by the time she has her first real one. I can just imagine her now... "Hey...wait a minute! That lady tricked me!"

Until then it's sweet dreams ;-)

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ana's Boyfriend

Apparently Ana is going to be asked to go steady at her next playdate - there is a little boy in the neighborhood who has a crush on her. This little guy has recently discovered the difference between a "girlfriend" and a "friend that's a girl" and he has decided that he wants to convert Ana from the latter to the former.

All very cute and endearing until I learned that this Romeo also had his sights set on another girl who just moved into the 'hood. This other blondie didn't replace Ana in his affections, rather he informed his mom that he wanted two girls instead of one.

Ana has yet to find out that he wants to make her his girlfriend, but she has played "date" with him at other playdates. He puts her on the back of his tricycle and they ride around until she falls off. Not making this stuff up, by the way. Ana then gets back on and they go off on another date. If that's how Daddy treated me on a date, he'd have some 'splainin' to do, but that's a whole different matter. Hopefully by the time she's a teen I will have taught her to have a little more self respect - at least get a good meal out of the deal before he drops you off of the back of his car.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

You Can Keep Your Sympathy

We have made big strides in the way Ana talks to others when she is feeling nervous or insecure. We've come a long way from the early days just after our big move. Ana has progressed from I'll kick you in the eye to You are not as pretty as me to her newest - the false sympathy statement.

It's a really simple formula, actually. Think about something you are insecure about. Then, talk up how much it actually is not a problem for you. Finally, say you are sorry for someone else that they are not as great as you/have as much as you in relation to your insecurity.

Example 1: Insecurity = being good enough
Not a problem = because she's winning the game

Final statement = Mommy, I feel sad for you because you are not a winning person like me. Your person is not as far as mine. Oh, I feel so sad for you that you are not winning like me.

Example 2: Insecurity = not having enough
Not a problem = because she hoarded all of the doll dresses and gave me the naked doll

Final statement = Mommy, I am sad for you that you don't have as many pretty dresses as me.
I have none, Ana. You gave me the naked doll.
Yes, I am sad for you that I have the more prettier dresses and you don't have any. I am so sad for you.

Example 3: Insecurity = having enough love
Not a problem = because her Daddy had just given her big hugs and smooches at the door before he left for work.

Final statement = Mommy, oh it is so sad that Daddy does not love you as much as he loves me. I am sorry for you that he wants to marry me and not you. Poor Mommy. You will have no one to marry. But that's okay - you can live with me and Daddy at our house.

Somehow, in all of those cases, I just wasn't feeling it...

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Am I Supposed To Brush That?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Mommy! My dance is over. You have to yell on-corn so that I will keep dancing! Yell on-corn!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Barbie's Bum

Ana saw a friend's Barbie book and immediately coveted Barbie's style. "I wish I was like Barbie."

Those were words I never wanted to hear - it's bad enough that Ana's obsession with the Disney princesses leaves her wanting and needing to be "fancy" at all times. I talk to her about how she is beautiful and special just the way she is - yet here she goes upping the ante with Barbie.

To bring Barbie back down to reality, I told Ana and interesting fact (who knows if it's true, but it was going to work for me) that I had once heard - "You know, Ana. If Barbie were a real person, her head is so big, her boobies are so big, and her waist is so small that she would just fall right over. Isn't that crazy?! Real people can't look like Barbie or they would fall over! We're made the way we are for a reason."

Yeah! And her bum! You forgot her bum!

"Uh...yes... and her bum is just too perky... it would make her fall over too?"

Yeah! Hee hee hee.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Sh*t My Dad Does

Has anyone caught that show, Sh*t My Dad Says? I've got a new one for you - Sh*t My Dad Does.

I have a really, really wonderful dad. He is kind, generous, thoughtful, smart, loyal, and the list goes on and on. He is also a sucker for his Ana Banana and the adoration is mutual - Ana adores her "Papa Bear". I think it might be partly because it is such a love fest, that Papa Bear does not like to rock the boat.

There was the time that he shared his Diet Coke with her... when she was 2... right before her naptime.

There was the time that he responded to her wielding a knife with, "Oh you! You give that back you little bola! You come back here with that!"

And then there was Saturday night. Date night. We had a great time out and came back to a quiet house, with Papa Bear relaxing on the couch, so we knew all had gone well. And it did. Except for the TV watching time. God bless Papa Bear, Time Warner does not make it easy to find the preschool on demand channel. So, while channel surfing, he happened to come across King of the Hill. Recognizing something animated, Ana quickly talked him into letting her watch it.

Papa Bear described the plot to us and said that it all wrapped up with a good message. But, first, there was a drunk ex-NFL football player that moved in across the street from, I guess, the main character. The guy was overweight, loud, and belligerent. He also apparently was racist and kept beating up some Asian character. But, it was okay because the assault left a mark on the Asian character's face, so they were able to use that as evidence to show the police.

You have to understand, I am not an uptight mother - on most things - nor is Scott an uptight father. What was done was done, so instead it became downright hysterical. Hysteria probably fueled in part by our glasses of wine with dinner, but hysterical nonetheless. I believe it was when Papa Bear used "but it had a good message in the end" and "assault" in the same sentence that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom. My bladder is not known to hang in there when I am laughing so hard that I can't make noise. Just saying...

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Good Cop/ Bad Cop

Ana is very polar in her categorization of me and Scott these days. It's a total 4 year old thing, but one of us is "her best" at any given moment in time and the other one "is being mean" to her.

Yesterday Daddy was the meanie because he refused to play with the only naked doll in the dollhouse. Apparently Ana was offended by the nakedness and wanted Daddy to play with the doll...in the dollhouse garage.

It works in my favor when she is striking against Daddy because she will happily comply with anything I ask. I managed to brush her hair and her teeth with no fuss whatsoever. Last night, though, it was my turn to be the terrible one. My crime? I made her leave a playdate to go home to bed. For shame. I couldn't sway her with the argument that if she stayed, she'd be playing in the dark because everyone was going to bed. I think she thought that sounded like a fine plan.

I realized that I am becoming a seasoned Mom, however because in the past I would have felt a little twinge that I had fallen out of favor. This time, though, I knew that my lady's loyalties are fleeting and I should put my feet up while I could because soon enough it would be my turn to be the chosen one.

Scott and I are evolving as parents. I know this because we are now starting to think about how we can use this good cop/ bad cop thing to our advantage. We came up with the following.

Me: No, I don't think she should have any carrots.
Scott: Mommy, I think you should give her a chance. You need to share the carrots with her. Let her have some.

Scott: I think she should go out with fuzzy teeth.
Me: No! I don't want my baby to have fuzzy teeth. That's terrible! I'm going to help her brush them and you can't stop me, Daddy.

Me: I really think we shouldn't let her go to the bathroom. We should just let her do the pee pee dance like she's been doing for the past hour - she'll be fine.
Scott: No! I'm going to let her take care of her body. Mommy, you can't let her go potty in her pants. She can use the potty - I say so!

I give her about 10 days before she's on to us, but what a glorious 10 days it will be!

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Friday, February 4, 2011


Ana said dammit again yesterday. It had been about 4 months since the last time, so I thought it had just gradually left her memory. No such luck. We still don't know who she heard it from - it's neither Scott's nor my word of choice - but if it's you, you'd better duck and cover!

The trouble is, she uses it totally appropriately. I had an emotionally draining day and resorted to an afternoon of show watching with her to rest. We ended up checking out America's Funniest Home Videos, which was tricky because I had to try to preemptively fast forward through stuff I wouldn't want her trying at home; but, she thought some of the stuff was hysterical and her laugh is totally worth it. While laughing, she dropped her cup of water on the floor. Oh, dammit!

She immediately looked at me, so I know that not only did she remember the word, she also remembered that it was a big no-no. To deflect her guilt, she said, What's dammit mean? I'm all about actually explaining things because I think that takes some of the magic out of it, so I launched into an explanation. Which was just about when I realized I had no real idea how to define dammit. You try it.

I wrapped up my majorly lame explanation with a, "But we don't say that word. It is not a good word and it is something that is not okay to say. Mommy and Daddy don't even say it."

That was like pouring gasoline on the fire. With my Lady, ultimatums and doom and gloom stuff make her nervous. Being nervous makes her chatty. Ana+chatty+bad word = nothing good can come of this. She broke into a song:

Dammit is a no-no word.
Dammit is something we don't say in our fa-mi-ly.
Dammit is something not great.
Your teachers won't like you to say dammit.
Don't say dammit.

I have to say, she set it to quite a catchy little tune, but it was not good. Once we reach that point, there is nothing I can do to turn the ship around. I have to hope that it dies a quiet little death tonight in her sleep. Luckily we have 4 more days until we're back in the classroom. Not so luckily we have a playdate tomorrow. Hi, my name is Ana, dammit!


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bless You

This is how sad I am. Other people find money in their pockets, I find tissues. That's not the sad part so much as the fact that I get just about as excited at finding a tissue as other people do when finding money.

Driving in the car today, I stuck my hand in my jacket pocket to look for my phone.

Oh! A tissue! I didn't know I had that! We're going to need that!

You might get similarly excited if your child never met a surface that she didn't wipe some nose present on. I will take clean pants, a clean car seat, or a clean rug over $20 any day. Now that's just sad.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Who's Teaching Whom?

I know that "they" say that kids teach parents more than parents actually teach their children. I agree with this - I've learned a lot more patience, acceptance, and how to repeat myself ad nauseum without losing my mind. I didn't expect the teaching to be actual teaching, though.

Mom, we looked in the kitchen, in the office, in my room, in the bathroom, in your room... everywhere for my magazine. Where could it be?

I don't know, Babe. I think we have to face the fact that it probably got thrown out with the garbage. I think it's time to give up looking - it's gone.

But Mom, you know you have to stay positive! Positive, Mom! That's the way to be. You can do it! Keep looking!

Sadly that was not my voice speaking... I'm thinking it was thanks to her preschool teacher. Now I will have to remember to add even greater positivity to the list of qualities I am trying to cultivate. That's going to suck. Uh... I mean... what a fun challenge! I can't wait to try to grow my already somewhat positive nature into an even more positive nature. Hip, hip, hooray! Go being positive!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Ana's speech therapist is working with her on the idea of "expected" and "unexpected". She uses it in the context of things like, "What is expected when someone says hello?", or "That was unexpected that the boy did not want to share with us. What can we do?"

Ana has really taken to these two words and likes to use them, sometimes appropriately and sometimes not. Sometimes appropriately, but in very "unexpected" situations. For example (for those that don't like too much information, I would stop reading now):

I am still the one that has to wipe her bum. She is more than willing to do it, but I am not willing to suffer the consequences of her trying at the age of 4. I finished wiping her bum and was helping her pull up her pants when she started grabbing her rear.

Babe! Don't touch your bum! We will have to wash your hands again because you will have bum germs on them! (And yes, sadly I do talk like that.)

But Mom, look what I found! (holds up a scrap of toilet paper that I left behind) That was unexpected!

Unexpected indeed...

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