Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Random, random post.  I have a few cute pictures of Dashiell to share, plus I'm feeling a need to rant about a maternity-related issue, and I need to make an actual list of the new blog name ideas so I have them all written down in one place!  So this is going to be long, and very disjointed.  Apologies. 

I bought Dashiell these p.j.s from Old Navy a couple of weeks ago, and they are my new favorites.  I love the wrestling look!  I especially love the "abs" drawn onto the p.j.s  How flippin' cute is that??  Someday when he's a teenager Dash will see this picture and ask, "what the hell did you dress me in??"  Ha!

The park nearest to our house is a "passive park", meaning no play equipment, and no dogs, running or ball playing allowed (it should be noted that no one pays attention to the dogs, running, or ball playing rules).  But Dashiell likes going there anyway, mostly because there's a huge rock to climb on, and this awesome tree to swing from!  It's also the first tree he's really attempted to climb, which is both exciting and of course worrisome to this particular mom.  I try not to let me worry show too much, though I do keep pretty close by when he climbs in it just in case! :)

Alright, the rant:  I realize that I should just bask in the glory of being pregnant and not complain about stupid things.  And I realize that this particular rant is small potatoes and probably not worth my time to write or your time to read.  So feel free to skip it if you want, I won't be offended.  But why do maternity clothes suck so much??  It's not the cuteness factor - many of the things I have are fairly attractive (at least now, while I'm not in the big-as-a-house phase of pregnancy).  But why - WHY - are they so expensive?  Honestly, these clothes will only be on my body for less than 9 months.  Quality is not what I'm looking for (and often not found anyway, regardless of price).  I want cheap, good-looking clothes that will hold together for a short amount of time.  Certain mall maternity stores - you aren't selling gold.  You're selling temporary clothing.  And maternity swim suits?  They're the worst culprits of the over-priced clothing!  Maybe if I lived in a warm-weather state and predicted swimming throughout my pregnancy and not just for 2 months of it, I could see paying the prices asked for a suit, but I hate spending $50 or more for something that I'll wear a handful of times for 2 months of my life. 

As for maternity styles, I'm calling out Liz Lange for Target - why the hell do you think I'd want a white t-shirt that is so thin you could see the *color* of my belly button?  Yes you are offering cheaper clothing, and I appreciate that, but still, I'm not entering a wet t-shirt contest here!  Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I want to show off everything I've got!  And why hasn't anyone mastered making maternity shorts that aren't hideous?  I have a couple pairs of capris that look fine, but every pair of shorts I have tried are bunchy and weird-looking.  And for some reason all the shorts at Old Navy have a 3" inseam, which I wouldn't even wear if I wasn't pregnant.  Short-shorts are not a friend to a cellulite-prone pregnant lady, believe me.

This is all compounded by the fact that 1) I borrowed most of my clothing when I was pregnant with Dashiell and had to give it all back.  And Dash was an April baby, which means the majority of the clothes I do still have are for winter weather, so I'm basically starting from square one. I had about 3 items of clothing in my "maternity clothes" box that were appropriate for summer wear (and yes, I am in need of actual maternity wear already.  This belly of mine likes to flaunt itself - maybe Liz Lange is right to design too-showy clothing?).  And 2) I have yet to find a good source of used maternity clothes.  The majority of my friends are done with their baby-making years and have long since given away their clothes, so borrowing is out.  And the selection of maternity clothes at local consignment shops is less than stellar.  I did find a few things, but not nearly enough. Sigh.

Alright, rant over.  Thanks for letting me vent, and apologies to those who are seething over the fact that I'm complaining about something so trivial when in reality I should be thanking the heavens that I am lucky enough to be pregnant in the first place.  I am thankful, believe me.  But sometimes you just have to get it all out.

On to the blog name ideas:  I'm still trying to come up with that perfect name, but a few people have given me ideas that may be contenders:  First, from Shannon, "Hanson party of ???", which I like but would probably go with "party of four" since there will be four of us when the baby arrives.  On the off chance we turn into a party of five, it's an easy upgrade. :)  The only problem is that I still have my maiden name and am not technically a "Hanson".  I think I could overlook that if need be.  From Jenn, "Handful of Hansons".  Cute, but still the "Hanson" issue.  And from Betsy, "And now there are Two".  But should I change that to "and now there are four" since there are four of us in the family?  Or should I just stick with the number of kids?  I was thinking something like D+1, but I feel like we'd have to complete the equation somehow and I haven't found that perfect "=".  Plus it would have to be changed again when Baby2.0 arrives and we give him/her an actual name.

So more suggestions are welcome!  Keep 'em coming!

Thanks for sticking with me through this crazy long disjointed post! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In need of a new blog name!

When I first started this blog, I was almost 18 weeks pregnant with Dashiell.  Rick came up with the clever name "Baby Pending", and I chronicled the ins and outs, ups and downs of my pregnancy.  After Dashiell was born and the baby was no longer pending, we needed a name change!  The Dashiell Diaries were created, and I've been writing about the life of my little guy ever since.  But it seems like we're now in need of another name change!  My little guy is going to be a BIG BROTHER!  Woo-hoo!!

Baby2.0 at about 12 weeks

We're super excited to add another Hanson to our family!  And we're even more excited that it took comparatively no time to get this little one cooking!  With Dashiell it took two years, a lot of heartache, and a little medical intervention.  With Baby2.0 it took four months of "let's see what happens", with the thought in our minds that that Dash might end up being an only.  But the universe thankfully had other plans for us, and our cozy little family of 3 will now be a rockin' family of 4!  Yes!

Currently I'm about 15 weeks, due January 10th (though if Baby2.0 is anything like Dashiell, s/he'll be born January 20-ish.  No rush.).  And if you read my first post (linked above), at the time I was complaining about being almost 18 weeks and looking like I'm 5-1/2 months (there was a picture with the post at one time but it's mysteriously gone).  How naive I was!  With this pregnancy, it's like my belly is on steroids.  I expect to get the, "how far along are you?  6 months?" question any day.  But it's all good - as long as the baby is healthy and I'm healthy that's all that matters. 

So back to the name change - I'm seriously coming up blank.  Any suggestions would be welcomed and thoughtfully considered.  And if your suggestion is chosen, there will be acknowledgments and accolades. 

Thanks for reading and letting me share our exciting news!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Does my 3-year-old actually LIKE sharing??

I'm not going to say that Dashiell is always good at sharing toys or other things (I can think of a few play room occurrences that were less than stellar examples of sharing) but I think he actually likes sharing his stuff with his friends!  The other night our friends Shawn and Michele came over with their 5-year-old daughter and almost 1-year-old twin sons, and Dashiell was genuinely thrilled to see the other kids enjoying his toys as much as he did.  It was awesome!  He especially seemed to like it when the babies played with his toys - anything they did was hilarious!  Look - the babies are pushing the Riddler's car around!  Now they're chewing on my pretend food!  Ha!!  There were one or two times when Dash took away something the other kids were playing with, but a gentle reminder that we share our toys when we have visitors was all it took to get him back on track. 

Our kiddo likes entertaining (he LOVES having visitors!) and he wants to make sure everyone is having a great time.  It's a reminder that at one time Rick and I liked entertaining too.  In fact, we still do, we just never get around to inviting people over!  I think it's time for a change...

Alright, this picture is completely unrelated, but cute nonetheless and I have to share it!

Our guy does get a lot of joy out of life!  And despite the 3-year-old drama we often have to deal with, he gives a lot of joy, too.

Blueberry picking!

I mentioned in my last post that we went blueberry picking last week, which despite his new-found hatred of blueberries, Dashiell really enjoyed doing.  I happen to have some cute pictures from that day, so I thought I'd post them!

We went to a cute little pick-your-own farm called "Parlee Farm" in Tyngsboro, which in addition to fruit picking and farm stands has a great petting barn area with lots of goats!  The one above wanted to make friends with Dashiell right away!

But look!

There are goats climbing around on ramps!

It was a pretty cool set up.  I didn't get a picture of this, but they have a tall platform at the top of one of the ramps that you can use pulleys to get food up to, so the goats LOVE going up to the platform to get additional snacks!  Dashiell and his friend Liam fed goats the usual way, though, by gingerly holding out a hand full of food, then dropping most of it as soon as the goat licked at their hands.  Sorry goats!

After checking out the goats it was time to grab a bucket and pick blueberries!  There were a TON of them, and plenty at Dashiell-height so I didn't have to pick him up to get to the good ones.  I instructed him on which were the best blueberries to pick (the big ones that don't have any pink on them), and he was so good about picking the right ones!  He was so single-minded on this task - his friends that were with us were running about, picking a few berries but mostly playing around (or eating the berries they picked), yet still Dashiell was focused on the task at hand and didn't stray!  I was amazed!

Here he is, bringing his perfect berries to me to put in the bucket.  Don't let the mouth fool you - though it looks like he was eating berries, I can assure you he didn't!  He totally missed out! ;)

After a long morning toiling in the fields, it was time for a break!  Whew - picking blueberries is hard work!

It was a fun morning, and I think we'll do it again when the raspberries are in season!  Yum!

Parlee also sells amazing blueberry donuts (worth a trip out there, even if you're not picking any fruit yourself!).  Dashiell was disappointed to see that they had blueberries in them, but somehow managed to choke down 2 and a half donuts.  Poor child! ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Contrary to Popular Belief...

Ah, the glorious age of 3!  While there are many, many wonderful aspects (better communication, awesome imagination, greater coordination, better sense of humor, even more hugs and I love you's than before, etc.), the thing that is currently driving me batty is Dashiell's constant need to contradict EVERYTHING.  Everything!  I could tell him that we live in a house, and he would claim otherwise.  But the contradictions involving food are probably the worst.  Everything that he used to love, he now wants nothing to do with.  The kid even turned down pizza the other night.  PIZZA!  What the - ?!?  Yesterday we went blueberry picking (D loved picking blueberries, but will not eat them anymore - last year at this time he LOVED them, and a few times in the past years he's eaten them and enjoyed them, only to reject them the next time they were served.), and they had lovely fresh strawberries at the farm stand.  Dashiell requested that we get some, and as a lover of strawberries myself I of course obliged.  That afternoon I asked D if he wanted some of the strawberries, and replied yes.  So I cut up a few of them, put them in a bowl, and gave one of them a taste test.  These were the BEST strawberries I've tasted this year, and I said as much out loud as I was about to give the bowl to Dashiell.  AS SOON as the words were out of my mouth, he says, "maybe I don't want any strawberries" and leaves the table, strawberries uneaten.  Unheard of!  This kid is a strawberry fiend!  The same thing happened this morning - I was cutting up strawberries for my cereal, he asked if they were for me or for him, I said "me" then asked him if he wanted me to cut some up for him too, he said yes, then he decided he didn't want them as soon as they were ready to eat.  Of course the strawberries didn't go to waste, but still, it's the principal of the thing!  I'm thinking if I tell him he can't have any and make him put up a fight for them, maybe then he'll eat them again. 

Part of our current food problem that has less to do with being contradictory and more to do with him being just plan stubborn is that he remembers EVERYTHING.  So 1-1/2 years ago when he had that hot dog that he didn't like?  Well, that of course means that he'll never like a hot dog again.  Not even one as cute as this!

I got the idea for it from the Annie's Homemade facebook page (I think they got it from the Frugal Stepmom blog), and I hoped he'd at least try it.  No octopus hot dog for him thank you very much!  And carrots?  About 8 months ago I gave him a carrot that he choked on (not to the point of not breathing, but it went down the wrong way and he coughed it up), so now anytime I give him carrots, he reminds me that he choked on one and doesn't want to try another.  Grr.

It's not just food that he has to fight us on.  Since the beginning of our warm weather, he generally freaks out anytime we put him in shorts ("I want longs!"), and he insists on wearing socks.  Okay, this child may faint from heat exhaustion soon.  I just don't get it.  And if he gets even the smallest drop of water or milk on his clothes, prepare for a meltdown.  Seriously, last night as it was 90 very hot degrees, he spilled 3 drops of water on his jeans while we were leaving the grocery store.  You would have thought I was pulling his hair with all the carry-on that happened.  It evaporated before we even got home, but he wanted to change his pants anyway.  I let him put on his pj bottoms since he could wear them to bed later, mostly because I was too hot and tired to fight him on this minor issue.  So he ended up looking like a college boy, which I have to admit was pretty funny:

Dashiell is an amazing kid who I love to pieces, but some days I just wish he could go with the flow a bit more.  But even when he doesn't, at least he keeps me laughing.

(Side note: Look!  We got him in shorts that day!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

More visitors!

A couple of weekends ago we were blessed with more visitors in our home!  My mom, my sister Terri, and my niece Abby came out from Bemidji, MN for a nice long visit!  To say Dashiell was excited to see them was an understatement.  Visitors mean built-in playmates, and it means we go out and do stuff we don't do on a regular basis, like travel into Boston or go to the beach or visit cute coastal towns.  Which is what we did!  They got in on Thursday after a LONG day of traveling, so we mostly chilled out at home for the afternoon.  On Friday we all went up to Newburyport for the morning so Abby could go to the Life is Good store there, and as luck would have it we discovered that Newburyport is totally cute!  I've lived out here for almost 14 years, and this was my first excursion there.  Tons of shopping, and it's really kid-friendly.  We did manage to eat at the worst restaurant in the whole city, though, which was less fun (seriously, we were the ONLY customers and it still took an hour to get our food!  And the crab sandwich?  It was a whole crab, shell and all, deep fried and thrown on a bun.  And it tasted fishy, to boot.  The waitress claimed it was "their best sandwich - everyone loves it!"  Sure.  Long story short, don't eat at Glenn's in Newburyport).  After our sad lunch, Rick and Dashiell headed home for a nap, and us ladies went to Kittery, ME to do some outlet shopping.  I didn't buy anything, but Terri and Abby found some great deals.

Sunday we headed into Boston!  We even rode the T to get there!

Okay, I admit, I chose the picture of Dash and I on the T that I look best in, not the one he looks best in.  It's my blog, after all.  But Dash was excited to ride the train, and he did a great job getting on and off and wasn't too impatient during the waits between stops.  I think we were more impatient than he was, especially since it wasn't clear that we were supposed to take a shuttle at North Station instead of waiting for the next train and we almost missed our Duck Boat tour!
That's my attempt at getting a picture of D and I on the Duck Boat.  I think it more than makes up for me choosing a decent picture of myself on the T.  Dashiell did well on the tour, though towards the end of the "driving" part of it he was getting a little bored.  THEN we got on the water!  That was totally exciting for him.  Though he did keep asking if we could go over a waterfall, and I had to explain that the goal of most boating expeditions was to avoid the waterfalls, not travel down them.

After the Duck Boat, D and Rick once again headed off for a nap, and the rest of us went to Cambridge so Abby could visit Harvard.  While she is only 16 (only?  Wasn't she just 8??) and not ready to apply to colleges yet, Harvard is one of the schools she's strongly considering.  I hope she gets in!  It would be fun to have her around!

We visited with Rick's parents and grandparents that night, and we got a nice pictures of Nana and Grandma with Dashiell.

How cute is that?

Monday we all headed to Revere Beach (except for Rick - he had to work) for the morning/afternoon, and after Dashiell's 30 minute crying jag regarding the use of sunblock, we all had a great time.

It was a fun visit, and I was sad to see them go on Tuesday.  But the good news is that Rick, Dashiell and I will see them in just over a month when we go to Bemidji for my High School Reunion!  Yay!

Oh, one last cute picture of Dashiell, Terri and Abby:
Aww... :)