Sunday, October 23, 2011

Musical Interlude

Finn spent the last week with his grandparents, and we spent it sick.

I mean, we were sick.

With colds.

Here's a song...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NICU Follow-up Graduation

babywhumpus had his last visit to the NICU Follow-up clinic today, and I feel strangely ambivalent. While Finn has no lingering complications from his prematurity, I like the attention. Plus, I like going back to Children's even though everything has changed. These people took such good care of him, and I like the chance to see them again.

In any case, he topped out the Bayley Skills test and would have done even better, but he was quiet for the first part of the test, acting shy, and definitely did not do some things that he does do. Which the nurse certainly understands.

In any case, he's a rock star in the preemie world, and we feel very fortunate.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A fine day up north

IMG_7586Pumpkins & HamFree KittensHamIMG_7593_MG_7596

Harvest for the Hungry, a set on Flickr.

daddywhumpus, babywhumpus, and I headed up to Brainerd, MN, for the "Harvest for the Hungry," co-sponsored by Finnegans Irish Amber, a nonprofit beer company (yes, you read that right), and a number of local vendors at the beautiful Farm on St. Mathias. The Hounds of Finn played three sets of acoustic music and there was general merriment to be had.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Last night, I left the livingroom briefly, and when I returned, Finn said, "Mama, I'm sorry I spilled your beer." It took me a second to process, as I looked at him, and then noticed the Guinness bottle on its side near the front door, its contents spilled in between the floor rug and the door mat. I then remembered that Finn and I had been sitting in the arm chair by the front door, and I had put my beer on the floor next to the chair, thinking, as I did it, "This is a stupid place to put this. I am going to knock it over."


The thing that astounds me is Finn's willingness to volunteer this information when he could have said nothing. I probably would have figured that I did it. I am going to take this a sign of maturity and intelligence.

Of course, he still craps in his underwear.

But all-in-all, I think I would rather have the honesty and apology.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Days of Whine and Roses

It appears that some people think we get babywhumpus from day care, bring him home, slap a crown on his head, and let the little prince rule the show.

This is far from the case. He doesn't get his way through whining or demands, which are his two favorite modes of communication at the end of the day. I get it. All I wanted to do yesterday was whine. Or wine. (I beered.) But we don't foster that type of communication by capitulating. We ask him to try again, or we restate that he can whine and have nothing instead of the wonderful thing he wants or we have offered. It usually works, but we are not to the point where he starts out asking nicely more than 50% of the time. I'd be happy with 51% at this point.

I just read that one good tactic to use in response to whining is whispering. The article says that it will help you keep your cool and encourage your child to use the same type of voice. It's also remarkably creepy to whisper in a potentially volatile situation. It can create a strange aura of intensity that is often much more effective than anger or yelling. Yelling rarely helps, although I have found a quick, sharp bark of "FINN" to be useful to cut through the Wall of Whine.

Another suggestion is to designate a "Whine Room" where the tiny person has to go when it whines. I think I would rather be the one isolated, but this is an interesting idea, though probably impractical in a small house that already has a Naughty Chair.

Then there's the Whine Toll, where the kid has to pay every time it whines. This is, of course, money out of my pocket, and I don't think I can afford it, especially considering that he has no real concept of money, and we might have to resort to a Fee-for-Pee system in the Whumpus house.

We can't confuse the real value of money when we are trying to exit diaper land. I think I'd rather have whining than crappy underpants (last night, it was really, really similar to cat barf).

Monday, October 3, 2011

This is a Family Issue

You know, I don't normally use this site for activism, but I know this man, and he has a family here.

This is important, so take a minute, follow the link, read the information, and if you agree, please sign.
The recent ICE raids may well have brought in some dangerous people-- Aracelio is not one of them.
Link to Petition on