LOUD children, should you have to keep yours quiet?

June 27th, 2007

Has anyone else read this story about the family that was being sued because their children played too loud in their backyard pool?

One neighbor initiated the lawsuit, but I saw on a television show, a link to which I can longer find, that there were many neighbors who had been annoyed by these girls antics. And that all of them had complained numerous times to the family about keeping their girls more quiet. Saying that they were outside in the pool every single night screaming and yelling until at least 9pm, the neighbors I think has said it went on even later than that.

When I first heard the story, I as a parent, was annoyed on behalf of the girls. It’s their backyard, they should be able to enjoy it as they see fit.

But then I heard the audio tape and listened to the neighbors.

So I also have to wonder, as the parent of those two girls, why you would not make an effort to have your children play in the pool more quietly. Or at the very least, instruct them that after dinner hours were to be quiet pool playing time. I don’t think you need to scream to play outside.

I am very aware of this with my children. Seven children can be very loud. I will allow loud screaming play for short periods of time. But then I always intervene and explain to them that or neighbors probably don’t want to hear every detail of the game. This is especially true on the weekends. I tell the kids that people like to enjoy their backyards after a long week of working and want to relax and listen to the birds and enjoy the solitude.

The lawsuit has since been dropped. But I wonder what will happen now in the neighborhood.

I did say virtually indestructible

June 23rd, 2007

Did I say indestructible?

This is what happens when your child decides to fill their nalgene bottle up to the top, screw the lid on, and put it into the freezer. Even though they had been warned not to do so.

a hack from me

June 21st, 2007

This probably isn’t even worthy of a post. But I have never let that stop me before.

My children are horrid with the shampoo bottles. They would spill them out, accidentally they would say, or leave them laying on their sides to pour out onto the little shelf and run down into a pool on the shower floor, or drink it.

Okay, I don’t actually have any evidence of the drinking it, but what else would make them go through an entire bottle of shampoo in one shower. What?

It drove me crazy. To the point that I would stand in the bathroom and ration out the shampoo into outstretched hands sticking out from behind the shower door. But after a few days of that, and a stern lecture, I would let them try themselves. Because what a drag to spend your entire evening in the bathroom handing out dollops of shampoo.

Then one day about a 18 months or so ago I was shopping at our local big box store and came upon an enormous bottle of shampoo that had a pump top. It was $20 and when I figured out how many ounces of shampoo was in there compared to the normal sized bottles I was buying, it was comparable. So I bought it and brought it home. And it has been wonderful.

I just refilled it for the second time ever with cheap Suave dollar a bottle shampoo. Remember I have boys who don’t have all that much hair.


They don’t waste the shampoo at all anymore. I had concerns that they would pump and pump and let the shampoo run out onto the shower floor for fun, or whatever reason they do it. But they haven’t. Probably because each pump does not give you that much shampoo. In order to make a big mess you would have to stand there and really give your arm a workout.

And so I discovered another thing about my children, they are basically lazy. And in this case it works to my advantage.

An fyi

June 18th, 2007

I know you all have probably already read about it, but Thomas the Tank Engine wooden toys recalled.


And he looks so harmless and happy, belying the lead lurking in his shiny coat of blue paint.

Dear Chris: the move to a toddler bed

June 14th, 2007

My daughter is 2 1/2 and we’ve got another little girl arriving in 16
days (not that I’m counting or anything). The girls will share a room, and I was wondering what suggestions you have about moving a toddler from a crib to a bed. We haven’t done it yet, as potty training took all the concentration we could muster.

Here are my concerns about the bed: safety (I panic at the thought of my little girl being able to roam the house at night. What if I can’t hear her?) and the transition of the new baby coming.

Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!


Well Ryann, first off congratulations! And you might have already had that baby since I am rather slow in answering my mailbag lately.

My first question would be, Why do you want to move your 2.5 yr old over? Is she climbing out of the crib? Or do you just want the crib free for the baby?

I like to keep my children in cribs for as long as possible. I have found that it just feels more confining to them and they are not as apt to get out.

Once they are able to climb out I typically lower on side of the crib so that it is more like a bed rail than anything. And, I know it sounds counter intuitive, I teach them how to climb out safely.

With so many changes happening in her life right now…potty training, a new baby etc I think I would keep the comfort of the crib for awhile longer. If it is at all possible.

When you buy the big bed make sure to get a side rail, or bed guard,whatever the technical name for those things are. Those will prevent your child from falling out of bed in the middle of the night. Though I have one child who is far too old to still be falling out of bed, yet he does with an alarming frequency. But, he never wakes up. Sometimes we hear a huge bang and go running in only to find him sound asleep on the floor. Other times we don’t hear a thing but see him asleep on the floor in the morning.

All of my children have gone through a period of “testing” the new big bed. Usually this is a couple of weeks after the initial bed set up, after you have been lulled into believing the adjustment period is over, when it suddenly occurs to them, “Hey, I can get up out of this bed whenever I want!” And then they do. I have found that dealing with this by being firm and putting them back in their bed with no fanfare stops it.

With the new freedom that a bed offers, you will need to re-childproof the bedroom. Most of us think that our children’s rooms are childproof, but now you need to look at them from an unsupervised child point of view. This age has always seemed like the most dangerous to me. They are able to do so much, yet lack any real cause and effect thinking.

Are dressers and bookcases that are large secured to the walls in the event that your child decides to scale them? Are the cords to lamps tucked behind the furniture to prevent them being pulled down on top of the child? Outlets covered up? Lamps high enough so that little hands can’t reach the lightbulbs? A friend of mine just had her child burn herself on a warm mist vaporizer that was in her bedroom.

After you do all that, you may want to put a baby gate up again across their bedroom door. At least until you know if they are going to be the sort of child who wanders in the middle of the night. All of mine prefer to come harass me in the wee hours of the night rather than go anywhere else in the house.

And when you put your child in the big kid bed for the first time prepare to have your heart break a little looking at them so small in the great big bed.

We are all going to die

June 7th, 2007

Plastic and cancer

I think the bottom line is that we are all going to die. One day at least.

You know, I think, and this is just me talking here, that there are so so many things to worry about that I refuse to let myself get worked up that a plastic water bottle will give my children cancer.

If it is your particular soap box issue, fine. We personally don’t drink milk. But I do let my kids eat cheese. See, I am my own contradiction.

But my children drink soy milk and eat soy products. OH MY GOD, my sons are going to grow boobs!!!

I also avoid heavily processed foods, but even that is subject to my own whims and not based on anything scientific perse.

If I let my boys walk around with glass bottles they would be much more likely to fall, break the bottles, cut themselves bad enough to require stitches, and then develop an antibiotic resistant staph infection and require amputation.

Don’t let a few studies that have not been scientifically proven cause you to rend your clothing and plan your own demise.

If I were going to go there, with the water bottles, I would also have to acknowledge all the other things that they are exposed to daily that have at one time or another been linked to cancer.

All the processed foods that have ingredients I can’t even pronounce
The hormones in milk
Electronics… remember the cell phones causing brain cancer scare a few years back
The ecoli contaminated meat
The ecoli contaminated fruits and vegetables
SOY causes cancer
The off gasses from my child’s crib mattress
Red dye in my children’s food
Hot dogs

What are we supposed to do go outside and nibble some plants and catch rain water in our hands to drink. Except whooooops acid rain. Or is that scare over now? I can’t keep up.

Seriously you can make yourself crazy. (or crazier in my case)

Life is full of risks. All we can do is make our own decisions and at the end of the day hope they are the right ones.

Eat as healthily as possible. Drink water, but not too much because you know that is bad for you too now. And try to come to grips with the fact that much of this life is simply out of our hands.

So now you all can stop emailing me links. :-) Or I will be forced to email you links back, like this one. NOTMILK!

And to think I came here to my blog today to write about transitioning your child from a crib to a bed.

I even bring them on vacation

June 6th, 2007

Sitting in a seat attached to a bike is thirsty work

the nalgene bottles AND the children.

a beach tip

June 4th, 2007

All you experienced parents out here already know this one, but I remember when I first heard it it revolutionized my beach going experience with children.

Yes, revolutionized. No I am not dramatic, why do you ask?

Baby powder. Squeeze it onto your sandy kids. Rub the powder in. And viola the sand comes right off.

I remember as kid trying to wash the sand off of my feet before putting my sandals on. And it was impossible. I could never get my feet dry enough not to have sand stick to them. Then my feet would be uncomfortable in my shoes. And I remember whining and complaining about it, which if I can remember then I feel sorry for my poor mother.

(This is also good for grown-ups if you get sand in you bikini line area. TMI? Probably, huh? But you’ll thank me if you are stuck wearing your bathing suit for a couple hours after you have left the beach and are having areas of your body exfoliated that are not meant to be exfoliated. You’re welcome.)