Friday, October 29, 2010

Dishwashing Baskets

I recently discovered a new dishwashing basket for baby stuff by OXO; as soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted one. Our old caddy took up almost a fourth of the top of our dishwashing space. The bigger basket was pretty much the standard that was available when I tired of washing the bottles by hand, so it's what we used. The Munchkin basket held a lot more than this new basket, you can see below the new one is pretty much stuffed to the gills with 3 sippy valves and the tops to two Nuby water bottles.
Just About One Day of Bits
The OXO Tot line has a lot of products that look pretty good, and I've always been happy with their other kitchen gadgets so I was pretty confident that I wouldn't be let down. The Mini Dishwasher Basket is just what I need right now. It is slim enough that you can stand it up in the dishwasher and it takes up hardly any space. Check out the side view below.
Slim Side View
I was sold just on the fact that I'd be able to fit a whole days worth of dishes in the dishwasher again without running out of space up top. What I didn't think about was how much cleaner items would come out. In my old basket items would bounce around in the wash and at some point flip upside down and fill with water. Every time there would be at least one thing that needed rinsing, if not complete hand washing. This basket keeps everything snug so they come out clean and not full of funky rinse water.

I've been using this basket for almost a week now, so I can finally recommend it to you. I didn't want to encourage you to go get one until I was sure it would work well. I think everyone that has any sort of basket in their dishwasher for bottle or sippy cup parts should go and get one of these. If you think it's too small for how many bottle pieces you wash then buy two, it's only $7 so that's no more expensive that one larger basket and this will take up less space.

To make up for the general lameness of a post that is all about dishwasher baskets I shall now include a picture of random cuteness.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

His New Thing

Skillet fried toddler, over easy, with a side of adorable toes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Patience - Part 2

Told you he had patience. All this while sitting next to a toddler splashing in the bath.

Fez Cat is Will Get You at a Later Date

Friday, October 22, 2010


Cabbit has always been incredibly tolerant of less than gentle cuddling. I think it's because I've always been a little rougher with him than most cats will stand, but you know he kind of looks like a bulldog and for a while he would even play fetch. So whether it is simply nature, or a bit of nurture, Cabbit puts up with a lot of Max's affections.

This cat gets sat on, hugged, kissed, smacked, has his fur pulled, and once or twice Max has tried to pull his nose off. Cabbit is lucky he doesn't have a tail or I'm sure that would get pulled too. He doesn't seem to have a the same fondness for Max that Bullet does, but he certainly isn't afraid of him (probably because he still out weighs Max) and sometimes I think he figures the kid ain't half bad. I just love it when Max is sweet to the cats and I love this picture of him hugging Cabbit.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Texas Book Festival

I occasionally watch "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" with Max. I've saved episodes on the DVR so that we can see them when we (ok when I) want. He really likes the short song they sing as they go off on the day's adventures, and he seems to recognize his Cat in the Hat doll in a way that he didn't before we watched the show. So it seemed to me that he would probably enjoy going to meet and have his picture taken with the Cat at the Texas Book Festival last weekend.
Hi, go get in the tent or bugger off. Kthxbai.
It turns out that the only rule about the Cat meeting seemed to be that you wouldn't be able to get near the Cat until they wanted you to, and that there would be no lines to queue in. So, although it wasn't what I had hoped for, I was actually relieved when Max didn't seem to notice the big ass cat whisk right by him.

It was nice in the shade, and there was a little breeze, but anywhere too close to the tents and I felt like all the oxygen was gone. I was a little claustrophobic and there were too many people trying to fit in some of the spaces. Since Max didn't care about the cat we decided that we didn't care either and started to head back towards the car, but not straight to the car.
Such fast friends.
We figured Max would enjoy some running around time, and since we had to cross the Capitol grounds to get back to the car we headed for some flat spaces under nice big trees. We ended up finding another family there who had a little boy about 8 months older than Max, and they had a blast together! There was no prying Max away until the other family headed off. By the time we got him home it was well past nap time, and he was pooped, but it was totally worth it.

Max is in a cuddly phase right now, and has started freely giving hugs to Jeff and me. While running around he actually ran up to the other little boy's mom and hopped in her lap to give her a hug. There was a brief moment of jealousy where the other little boy did not want Max honing in on his territory, but then he gave Max a kiss. It's a shame they aren't our neighbors, because that would totally rock.

On a side note, I'm going to make a blanket statement right here and say that I will not be letting any of my kids play Call of Duty. I thought it was pretty horrible when my four year old nephew was always begging to play CoD*, but when the sister of Max's playmate this weekend said that he was pretending his whistle was a gun because he loves playing Call of Duty I was just stunned. Who on Earth lets a two year old play, or even watch, Call of Duty? I don't know enough about the game to know at what age the story line might be appropriate, but I do know enough about the level of violence to know that preschoolers don't need to be exposed to it at all.

Updated 10/25
* I should probably have taken the time to expound on the video game habits of my sister's kids. There was a time when the kids were granted access to games and movies that in my opinion were not appropriate at all. This was not all their mom's doing, she had help with some of these decisions. The kids spend time with their dad (her ex) and used to be baby sat by our other sister, because mom was working a full time job. As can be expected with several different sets of care givers, not everyone was always on the same page as far as what was allowed, and what wasn't.

I'm not sure when things started to change, because we live several hundred miles away, but I do know for a fact that things are much different now. One of the major changes is that mom is able to stay home with the kids now, and as such she is able to be in more control of what they see and do. The last time that we were in town with them the kids wanted to play video games and she asked them about the rating. They know they are no longer allowed to play games that aren't age appropriate and they don't like it. No more CoD in that house. I was proud of her when I heard the law being laid down, and I should have given her credit in this space instead of just bringing up the old times. I was too busy ragging on the fact that somewhere someone thinks CoD is okay for a two year old, and sees nothing wrong with them pretending to shoot people. That was my bad, and I'm sorry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Blog Has a Mini-Me

I created a new blog yesterday. It's kind of a sister to this one; you can find it here. I've also made it a tiny home on the left sidebar of this blog.

There's really nothing special that's going to go on there. The current plan is that the posts will be tiny things that I don't want cluttering up this current blog space. I know that's pretty much what Twitter is for, but this is an experiment, so bear with me or feel free to ignore it.

I make no promises. I may hardly ever post on it, or I may go nuts and overrun the place. I also reserve the right to kill it dead at any time; so don't get too attached unless you want to pay me actually money, in which case perhaps we can come to some sort of arrangement.

Monday, October 18, 2010


It becomes almost impossible at some point to take pictures of your child from the front. I have ample pictures of the back of this child's head, and I have pictures of all sorts of blurs. Take for instance the following photo:
Exit Stage Left
I swear that Max is in that photo, you just can't tell because the lighting was dim and he was on the move. I think I took 10 photos in 2 minutes because he was being all sorts of adorable, and this was one of the best. He's not yet old enough to understand or tolerate a direction to stay still, but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up.

Sometimes you just have to get creative. If you have the same problems of "blurry kid" that I do you can try to following technique. During daylight hours, take your kid and tickle them until you can lay them on the ground. Use the red-eye flash to distract and immobilize them, and then with a steady but quick hand click some pictures with the macro setting on your camera.
I had to pin him to the ground.*

Voila, you will have precious close ups that accurately depict that darling smile in no time.

*Not really, that red eye flash really throws him for a loop.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Small Wonders

I can't believe how excited I am by this, but Max is actually using crayons today. This is the first time he's been offered a crayon and actually drawn with them, instead of try to chew them then throw them on the floor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How Does He Do It?

This kid keeps getting cuter. I don't see how it's possible, but every time I turn around he's just more adorable than the last time I looked.
Mah Bukkit

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Kind of Obvious

Even when they don't have the words to communicate what they're thinking, sometimes it is clear what a toddler wants to know.
What the heck is this?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sometimes Max can be fearlessly independent. It's times like these I have to remind myself that he's not a little baby anymore, and to let him have a little room to roam.

Exploring the Playground

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trying New Things

Max was cracking me up at Pho Thaison this weekend. He was watching Jeff eat pho, eying each spoonful as it went into Jeff's mouth. So being the kind daddy that he is, Jeff let him try it. I think Max had 3 or 4 tastes, and each time made an interesting face. I'm not sure what he thought it was going to taste like, but I think that every sip caught him off guard.
Also, he absolutely hates vermicelli noodles. I wish I had video of him reaching in to pull them back out of his mouth and then vigorously shaking his hands to get them off his fingers. Granted, they weren't the best noodles, but they weren't that bad.

I know I recommended Pho Thaison recently, so I need to let you know about this visit. The pho must have been good because Jeff scarfed it down quick as he could while still having to feed Max. The noodle bowl left a lot to be desired though. Maybe I'm just spoiled after Jeff dragged me up north to Sunflower Cafe, but although there was a ton of beef on top, the rest was poorly cooked noodles, and 1/4 bowl of iceberg lettuce. No sprouts or anything, and hardly any flavor at all. The spring rolls were still excellent though.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pot Luck Win

Yesterday was another awesome pot luck dinner at the Thomas house. I have an odd relationship with pot lucks. I always think they sound great right from the start, then some where in the middle trepidation sets in and I fear that it won't work out well so I kind of don't want to participate, but then I get my act together and everything works out just fine. (It's not always perfect, but I don't think I've ever just not had any food.)

Last night was one of the perfect ones. The food went well together and there was a nice balance of main dishes and veggie sides, as well as an assortment of breads. I love bread, so maybe that's coloring the experience for me. There were also ample beers of quality stock, and of course absolutely wonderful company. On top of all that, you could not have asked for nicer weather. Sometimes I wish we could just let Max sleep on the couch for a little while so we could stay out longer, but I don't think it would work... maybe when he's seven.

I wish that I had some photos to share with you, but I failed at that. We arrived later than planned, so we were already losing the light. Then I stayed indoors to keep Bill company as he cooked beets (I'm not converted I still think they taste like sour dirt) and hear his story of having his beard molested by TSA. By the time I made my way outside I just couldn't get good pictures with my phone.

Even with the flash you get a blur if you or your target are moving, so chasing down little ones for a picture was not working at all. I didn't bring the real camera, so you'll just have to use your memory or imagination as you will to imagine the good times. The kids were adorable, the four kids that don't belong to me spent most of the time roaming the yard as a pack. Max pretty much played by himself, except when trying to get clobbered. He almost gave me a heart attack by repeatedly trying to dive into the danger zone of a fast moving swing. The first time I was okay, but by the seventh time I thought I was going to have to call in the relief parent to take my place.

We got home, and tucked an exhausted little guy into bed and five minutes later his dad was snoring away. It was just too much fun for everyone. I hope we get to do it again soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still Buddies

I interrupted a moment of play; Max was dangling one of the straps that secures his booster seat where Bullet could paw at it feverishly. This was safer than the earlier game where Max was surprising Bullet from behind a curtain, while Bullet was trying to sleep.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Lunch

We had lunch today at the Lux Bakery & Cafe while getting new tires on the vehicle. By happy chance today was half price bubble drink day! Jeff got himself an Asian Pork sandwich and I had turkey, Max had a plain hot dog because it's easier.

The turkey sandwich was incredibly plain. Jeff's pork was not plain, but I didn't really like it. The hot dog was quite tasty, and might be what I opt for if we ever make it back. I highly recommend the green apple bubble tea, and I wish it was what I had ordered. I got the spiced chai and it tasted too much like a ginger bread cookie for my tastes. The pearls could have been better flavor wise, but at least they had a good texture. The folks running the place were quite nice, and they have really pretty paintings on the wall. To end the meal we got a tiny cupcake with lemon icing that was awesome.

If you're at Firestone and need some food you might check it out, but I'd suggest Pho Thaison for food instead, and hit up Lux for some dessert on your way out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Saturday

Playing a quick game of acorns with Daddy at Southpark Meadows.