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Teeny Manolo » Toddler Manolo http://teenymanolo.com Celebrating the Joys of Parenting and Childhood Wed, 22 Jul 2015 01:15:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.15 Budget Friendly Toddler Travel http://teenymanolo.com/2012/08/02/budget-friendly-toddler-travel/ http://teenymanolo.com/2012/08/02/budget-friendly-toddler-travel/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2012 07:00:24 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=8073

Because I have a nine year old and a two year old, this summer we have often found ourselves spending countless hours seeking family activites that will be fun for everyone.

This is a lot harder than it sounds.

Usually my husband and I will talk about it the night before, and all will hinge on how the two year old sleeps.  Or doesn’t.

If things are going reasonably well when we all wake up in the morning, my husband and I will again debate the merits of the chosen activity, by which I mean we discuss the length of the car trip to get there, the price of admission, will there be something there to interest almost all parties.

Twice in the last week we decided to take some fairly involved trips with a specific pricey destination.

Bad, bad idea.

When at the aquarium, my daughter could have cared less about ANY of the varied animals.  She didn’t even care when a lorikeet landed right on my shoulder, right there for her to observe. She was momentarily entranced by the luminous jellyfish, but her interest in that waned sooner rather than later.  She was upset when we decided to move back inside the aquarium after spending quite a bit of time in an outdoor play area.  She was upset when I stood in line for us to touch some starfish, and she was upset when I left the line.

Let me also tell you that she was upset when everyone took turns with bathroom breaks, and as I was trying to physically contain a screeching, bucking child who was crying “Ouch, ouch!” even though nothing was hurting her whatsoever, a male passerby clucked his tongue and said, “Oh, poor thing.’

Um, hi, you mean me, right?

But in short, she acted like a typical two year old.

Of course I knew going into the trips that we could encounter problems, but we really wanted to see how much our daughter could handle.

Turns out, not too much.

Next time we will just have to split up, with one of us taking the older child to the “event” and the other one just taking the toddler to a park.

Just think of the money we’ll save!

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The Fruit Boycott of 2012 http://teenymanolo.com/2012/06/20/the-fruit-boycott-of-2012/ http://teenymanolo.com/2012/06/20/the-fruit-boycott-of-2012/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:20:38 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7964

So I guess this means I should be pretty happy that my two and a half year old daughter refuses to eat any fruit in its fresh form?

She went from eating all kinds of fresh fruit to eating no kinds of fresh fruit.

It’s a phase, Glinda, it’s a phase.

At least it’s a phase where she isn’t exposing herself to organophosphate pesticides, amirite?

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Things I Love: Imaginarium Bouncy Horse http://teenymanolo.com/2012/04/25/things-i-love-imaginarium-bouncy-horse/ http://teenymanolo.com/2012/04/25/things-i-love-imaginarium-bouncy-horse/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2012 06:03:09 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7840

This toy is practically perfect.

It is beyond sturdy, (my 9 year old can ride on it quite violently and it holds up just fine) is low noise-producing, (unlike that damn cat piano my sister bought) and it promotes physical activity.

If you’ve got a 2-3 year old, look no further for your next toy purchase.  We got this as a gift for Christmas, and it is used a LOT, which is saying something for a two year old with a short attention span.

They only sell this at Toys R Us, so accept no substitutes.

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When Does the Sleep Deprivation End, Again? http://teenymanolo.com/2012/04/19/when-does-the-sleep-deprivation-end-again/ http://teenymanolo.com/2012/04/19/when-does-the-sleep-deprivation-end-again/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 06:23:43 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7823

If someone could answer that question for me, I’d be grateful to know when the light will be showing at the end of this long and torturous tunnel.

You see, my beautiful, outgoing, mile-a-minute 2 1/2 year old still does not sleep through the night.

Well, Glinda, that’s fairly normal for her age, you say.  It’s a myth that all toddlers sleep through the night.

You would be right.

However, do most toddlers stay up for HOURS?  When I say hours, I mean that last night she was up from 3am to 4:30am and the night before she was up from 12:30am to 3:30am.  This goes on for usually three to four days a week.

She used to spend most of this time screeching, but she’s gotten a little bit better.  We used to think that it was teething pain, but that is no longer the case as she now has all the teeth she is going to have for a while.  We will give her some water, maybe change her diaper, and we certainly don’t sit there and entertain her. However, she has a horrific time going back to sleep, even though she initially falls asleep fairly quickly.

We co-sleep with her, but have also tried leaving her alone, which hasn’t worked very successfully.  And truly, we just can’t take it anymore.  It is impossible for me to predict if she will nap or what time she should go to bed from day to day, which drives this routine-loving mom crazy.

We tried speaking to our pediatrician about the issue, but he blew us off and said it was probably just teething.

My tired husband (who has to get up at 5am for work) and I, who usually have to take shifts during her awake periods, are at the end of our rope.  We talk daily about leaving the kids with some water and crackers and checking ourselves into a hotel.  Uh, jokingly, of course.  As if! As if I would think of doing that.  For more than five minutes.

I never knew how wonderful a sleeper my son was until my daughter came along.  He was sleeping all night from 9 months on, and can still sleep through almost anything.

Any advice?  Because I will admit that I am far from a perfect parent.

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Why Don’t They Make These? http://teenymanolo.com/2011/11/16/why-dont-they-make-these/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/11/16/why-dont-they-make-these/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:30:40 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7494

My daughter is tosser/turner/flipper type of sleeper.  She also has pretty much no body fat and gets extremely cold at night, but won’t sleep under covers due to the tossy/turny thing.  My solution so far has been to have her wear footed pajamas at night.  Well, that worked well until we got to size 3T, when the manufacturers apparently made the decision that they could suddenly stop placing the piece of fabric over the top of the zipper which helps to keep the zipper from digging into the neck.  So, her zipper tends to annoy her, which in turn annoys us.

Do you know that in all of the vast Amazon, I could only find ONE  2-piece long sleeve footed pajamas? ONE!  Come on now, I know that there are two year olds that are quite big for their age that could totally still be wearing footed pajamas but are ready to start potty training.  And do you know what will hamper potty training? Yup, a 1  piece footed pajama!

So clothing manufaturers, what is so hard about making a 2 piece pajama set where the pants happen to have feet?  What, I ask?

Also, when my son was about three or four, zip-off pants were everywhere.  And I loved them unconditionally.  There was nothing not to love, and they especially make sense in the climate we live in, which can be warm in the day, but darn cold at night and in the mornings.  But I was only able to buy them for about two years and then, poof! Gone!  Never to return!

Sure, I could buy them at a specialty clothing retailer like REI, but I’m not willing to pay that much.

Why do clothing manufacturers hate me so much?



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Monday Teeny Poll http://teenymanolo.com/2011/10/24/monday-teeny-poll-193/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/10/24/monday-teeny-poll-193/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2011 05:21:55 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7425
50% of you are in agreement with California’s recently enacted law that requires schools to teach about the accomplishments of members of the LGBT community. 20% are good with the idea, but not sure how it will be carried out in the classroom. 25% think that it should be up to the parents to introduce the topic to their children. I think the problem lies in how this will be implemented. I am all for it, but are they going to say something like “Harvey Milk, gay legislator…” or just Harvey Milk, yadda yadda yadda. Does including the fact that they are part of the LGBT community make them seem more “other” than if only their achievements were discussed? I don’t know.

As for today, I’m wondering how you react to someone else’s screaming toddler.

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Things I Love: Nike Kids Sunray Adjust 4 http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/23/things-i-love-nike-kids-sunray-adjust-4/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/23/things-i-love-nike-kids-sunray-adjust-4/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2011 07:00:26 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7150

Whew, that is a handful of a name, is it not?

I know that the Manolo prefers the Saltwater Sandals for the summertime feets of the children, but I’m going to have to differ with him on this one.

Not that there is anything wrong with the Saltwater, they just aren’t my style.

I bought these Nikes for my 19 month old, and they are fantastic. 

Soft, no rubbing on tender feet, a sturdy yet flexible sole that can tackle almost any terrain, can work in wet or dry conditions, and best of all, adjustable on both the back and front straps.


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Things I WILL NOT Miss From the Toddler Years http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/21/things-i-will-not-miss-from-the-toddler-years/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/21/things-i-will-not-miss-from-the-toddler-years/#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2011 06:38:58 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7138

Back when I was convinced that I was going to be the parent of only one child, it was easy to look back upon the toddler years with a certain wistfulness. 

Yeah, now that I’ve got another one, I promise I will never look back on the following with any sort of longing whatsoever:


-The screaming meltdowns.  Not that there aren’t tantrums later on, but at least they aren’t 100% screaming.

-Which leads to the next one, the lack of clear communication.  Because pointing and grunts ain’t cutting it.


-The whole “learn to feed yourself” ordeal and the ensuing havoc wreaked upon my walls and floors.

-Napping.  Not that I dislike napping per se, but it tends to break up the day into inconvenient chunks, especially with an older sibling in the mix.

-The whole process leading up to the napping, which is anything but restful.

–Teething.  My God, the teething.  The sleeping hours I have lost, with the youngest being the largest offender, have no doubt shaved years off my life.

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An Open Letter to My Fellow Restaurant Patrons http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/08/an-open-letter-to-my-fellow-restaurant-patrons/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/08/an-open-letter-to-my-fellow-restaurant-patrons/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2011 07:04:27 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7095

Dear Fellow Patrons of the Fabulous Little Cuban Restaurant,

I know.

On Saturday night, through no real fault of my own, I became one of THOSE parents.  I’ve never been one of THOSE parents before, and I assure you it was as traumatizing to me as it was to you.

You see, we purposely chose this restaurant because not only does it have fantastic food, but also an open-air dining patio.  This patio enables us to make a quick break for it in case our 18 month old gets squirmy.  We are well aware that the mood swings of a toddler are, shall we say, unpredictable.

Anyhoo, the lovely people at the table next to us, you were being very sweet to her. Especially when she unleashed her version of “hello” on you, which is to basically scream at you until you are forced to acknowledge her.  It’s cute the first time she does it, but gets reeaallly old by the third time.  I’m well aware of this.  You were even playing peek-a-boo with her, which is really above and beyond the call of duty.

And that is why I felt especially bad when, in a fit of pique and knowing that her Dad was distracted, my daughter managed to grab our bread basket and hurl it at you and your table.  She wasn’t trying to be mean, she is merely extremely interested in the laws of physics.

But, I guess I didn’t take into account that even though the open-air thing is good for getaways, it also means the tables are sort of scrunched in closer together than they would be at a normal type of restaurant.

You truly did not deserve to have pieces of French bread all over your table, and I was mortified.

We apologized to you profusely, and you were extremely gracious about it, which sort of made me feel worse.

All I can say is, she doesn’t get it from my side of the family.

Thanks again,


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Just Talk, Already! http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/02/just-talk-already/ http://teenymanolo.com/2011/06/02/just-talk-already/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2011 07:25:36 +0000 http://teenymanolo.com/?p=7075

When my daughter was an infant, she was a constant babbler. All kinds of consonants, vowels, and syllables came out of her mouth, I even have videotaped proof!  I smugly congratulated myself on my obviously superior parenting skillz.

Everyone, including myself, was CERTAIN that my daughter would be an early talker. Family legend has it that my sister was speaking in sentences by the age of one, and I secretly harbored the belief that my daughter would be right there.

You see, much angst was visited upon us as my son was a late talker.   He was our firstborn, we didn’t know any better. At eighteen months he said “Mama,” “Dada,” and “Uh-oh.” And that was it for quite a while.  I think he began truly stringing words together at around age two, and he completely bypassed the baby talk phase, with every word crisp and enunciated as could be.

So when my daughter’s first birthday passed with nary a word in her speaking arsenal, I didn’t think too much of it.

I mean, she was constantly being spoken to, if not by myself, then by her brother or her father.  Everything was described for her, every action explained, every object given a name.

So I figured the talking was just right around the corner.

Silent Bob, as I call her, had other plans.

Those plans include giving a bloodcurdling shriek when I don’t understand exactly what her grunting means, or what object she is pointing to.  She knows a phone is for talking, as she holds it up to her ear, but anyone foolish enough to try and converse with her is only rewarded with some heavy breathing a la Darth Vader.

So as of nineteen months my daughter has a vocabulary of absolutely zero words.

Not mama, or dada, or brother, or hi or bye or anything at all.

Sure she says things that could possiblby be words, but they are applied in a completely random way and I would be fooling myself if I thought she was really saying anything.

I’ve done some research and it seems that a tendency toward late talking can be genetically influenced, as my husband didn’t talk until he was almost three(!) and so my children apparently come by it honestly.

I know that years down the road I will be standing there, wishing she would stop talking for just a nanosecond so someone else can get a word in edgewise, but damn if it isn’t annoying.

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