October 2010

Madeline’s first Halloween was quite a success! She had a wonderful time, beginning with Friday’s discovery of a freshly carved pumpkin…

Followed by our neighborhood Halloween party on Saturday…

We like the balloons!

Not so much with the jumpy-jumpy, though.

Madeline and Cooper, sittin' in a tree..

Then, today we participated in Trunk or Treat at church. Madeline had a fabulous time and happened to run into one of her school friends. ūüôā

I've been here all day, people. Time to go.

Happy Halloween!!


I am, admittedly, a germaphobe. I disinfect my kitchen every night. I carry anti-bacterial wipes in my purse, and use them frequently in public places. Public bathrooms creep me out, and dirty bathrooms in houses give me hives. If I touch things that I think might be dirty or have some sort of flesh-eating bacteria (which, in my head, comes from being unwashed) I have a tingling, filthy feeling in whatever part of my body touched that grossness until I scrub it with disinfecting soap.

I know it’s irrational, but that’s the way it is.

Considering this completely insane fear I have of all things unsanitary, I am writing this post to own up to the hypocrisy of my disdain for people who grow fears from everything they see on TV or read in the grocery store aisle.

I found this funny article in Reader’s Digest, which highlights the ridiculousness of believing all the media hype that revolves around the next big thing that’s going to kill you and your entire family. You know, things like onion dip¬†and staplers.

I had to share.


A little bald kid by any other name would be as whiny!

Another name for this post could be, “More of Heather’s Random Thoughts.”

Far be it from me to tell someone else what they should name their own children. I’m all for naming your kids names that are important to you, or¬†making sure that your child is not going to be one of six Heathers in the fifth grade.¬†(Although it does kind of bug me when I look at a name spelled “Yvinsten” and learn that it’s pronounced “Stevenson.”)¬†This post is not about that. Dan and I find the art and science of names pretty interesting.

There are several things that brought on this little rant, one of which is the fact that Uncle Mike and Aunt Sara have announced the name of Madeline’s cousin-to-be. And, let me just say that I LOVE IT!! But, it got me thinking about names that we’ve encountered, names we would consider for our next child, etc.

For instance, did you know that I teach Steven Tyler? Yep. I have also had the privilege of teaching Garth Brooks and RayCharles. Personally, I think this shows a lack of imagination on the part of the parents…or, maybe they’re just superfans. Who knows? The sad part is that when I commented that it’s awesome that Steven Tyler’s name is Steven Tyler, HE DIDN’T GET IT!

I’ve also been thinking about how names cycle through generations. When I was a kid, all the moms had names like Cindy (my mom), Mary (Dan’s mom, and Monica’s mom), Linda, Kathy, Pam, Judy, Nancy. You see where I’m going with this. Dad names haven’t changed quite so dramatically. Dan, Phil, Ken, John, James. Classic names. So, when I call moms for my students, I expect to be calling someone with a mom name. Sometimes, I do get the occasional Barbara or Susan. But, it’s a little disconcerting to look at a 17-year-old’s parental contact information and see “Chad and Kelli,” or “Jason and Brandie.” These are names that were most common among people my age, and it freaks me out that people my age could have teenaged offspring. (Yes, I realize that means I believe myself to have a non-mom name. I’m OK with that.)

Speaking of name trends, when exactly did it become so popular to give traditionally boys’ names to girls? I’m not necessarily talking about surnames as first names – that’s been going on in movies for decades and some of them are adorable. I’m talking about when Dan and I are sitting in church and see¬†the name “Robert William —-” on the list of confirmands and a little girl wearing a pink dress comes forward. (Hyperbole, people!)¬† Maybe not that extreme, but names are definitely becoming more androgynous.

OK, two final points and I’ll shut up.

Caillou, dear, you’re on a show for very young American kids. You’re screwing up their phonics instruction. Tell your mama.

There is a teacher in a not-to-be-named-just-about-an-hour-west-of-here-town, whose first name is Barometer. We also once had a server named Seminar. I jest not.  Perhaps sometimes, people can take it just a little too far.

Miss Madeline is continuing to amaze us by adding new words to her ever-expanding vocabulary. I don’t count them as real words unless I know she understands what they mean. Sometimes, it sounds like she has said something, but there’s no way she could possibly have a frame of reference for it (like when Dan swears she said “cookie” at 3 months old. I believe¬†him. I have no doubt that she¬†uttered the phonemes that make up the word. ¬†She still has never seen a cookie).

I’m almost sure she knows “duck” since she says it while sitting in a duck-shaped tub while holding a rubber duck, but I’m not absolutely sure since she sometimes calls her bear a duck, as well. She says “mama,” “dada,” nunu” (no no), and her latest declaration is, “Uh-Oh!” She says it whenever she drops something, or when anyone else drops something, including strangers in the store. She also says something that sounds like “book,” but I’m not going to add that one to the list until I know that’s what she’s saying.

I love it when she tries to imitate us by babbling back at us in the same tone in which we just spoke to her. ūüôā

And speaking of words, here’s a little story to entertain those of you who are parents, and inform those of you who will be.

Madeline and I went shopping for a few fall goodies to decorate the house. No sooner had I turned my head to look at a price tag, did a certain little Sweet Pea pull off a fistful of plastic berries from a wreath and cram them into her eager little mouth. She looked quite put-out as I was raking them off her tongue, and then looked me in the eye and said, “UH-OH!!” Uh-oh, indeed.

Later, after we came home, I put the little imp down on the floor to play with her stacking rings and various other toys spread around the floor. Figuring that she was safe and entertained, I took the opportunity to slip away to the potty for a minute. In 60 seconds it took me to use the bathroom, wash my hands, and dry them, this happened…

I didn’t even know she could open the cabinet the movies were in!

Apparently, you have to watch these little critters constantly to keep them from hurting themselves or eating your dvd collection.

Switching the subject to something completely unrelated, does anyone else get toy and baby care catalogs they never requested?

Some of them are ridiculous, like the ones designed with the paranoid parent in mind. I’m all for baby-proofing, but good grief! And, some of the others either amuse me or make me roll my eyes. For instance, who in their right mind would pay $400 for what is essentially a Big Wheel with a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine on the front?? That’s just craziness!

But, my biggest complaint about these toy catalogs is that it seems to be out of vogue to encourage kids to use their imaginations. So many of the toys are designed to do all the playing for the child, so all the child has to do is sit there and watch. How does the child learn to be creative and, well…learn?

So, that’s our story for now. Do you realize that in two days, Madeline will be 10 months old?! I don’t even want to talk about how old she’ll be in two months.