Monday, November 30, 2009


Well - I made it - I posted once a day for 30 days straight! I'm sure it's not a coincidence, but I have tendinitis or something in my wrist now, so I may be taking some time off! Maybe not, we'll see. But I'll try to go for quality over quantity and just throw some pictures on if I ever remember to put my memory card back into my camera.

Coming soon:
Pumpkin cake near disaster details
Stuffing Redux

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Penultimate November Post

I was really excited to do my last post of November and say, "Woo hoo! I posted every day in November!" But then I realized it's only the 29th.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Trimming the Tree

Luke and I decorated the tree this afternoon. Last year we got a small live tree and put it in the bay window behind the couch because certain 1 year olds couldn't be trusted with a tree and ornaments.

This year we got out the big, lovely, fake tree and we had room for all the ornaments. We decorated it while Jack was sleeping, and I pretty much let Luke have free reign. (Partially because I got paged in the middle of it and had to work. Booo!!!!) The only direction I gave was to say that anything breakable had to be out of Jack's reach. Luke has an interesting tree decorating strategy. He likes to put things together in groups. So all the little glass balls are together, all the star wars ornaments are together, all the John Deere ornaments are together, and so on. (Yes, our ornaments are awesome.) It's an interesting effect. I call it, "Vintage 6 Year Old."

And yes, I did spend a few minutes thinking about cropping the Precious Moments ornament out of the photo, but it's a very special God Parent ornament that Grandma says is from Uncle John, and Luke likes it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Speaking of Cold Turkey...

With all the crying, and fever, and vomiting, and needing to be held by Mommy or Daddy Jack did not use or mention his pacifier for 30 hours straight over Thanksgiving. This morning, when he woke up as his happy, but still slightly congested self, he said, "Blanket! Stuffie! Boppy???" I pretending I didn't hear that last part and whisked him out of his room.

So far so good.

Until nap time.

Interestingly, he didn't ask for it, but I had the most difficult time getting him down for a nap. I tried to use the bulb sucker, which set of a crying jag, which required a book and singing to calm down, which made him ready for sleep, which made me lay him down, which made him suffer from his stuffy nose, which set of a crying jag, which required a book and singing to calm down, which made him actually fall asleep, which made me lay him down, which made him suffer from his stuffy nose,which set of a crying jag, which required a book and singing to calm down, which made him ready for sleep, which made me lay him down, which made him suffer from his stuffy nose, which made me almost consider digging out the hidden pacifier, which would have made all that for nothing.

So I did the next best thing. I gave up and decided to nap with him. We fell asleep in my bed, and all was well until his snoring woke me up. Yes, I did attempt to bulb suck his nose at that time, but after one nostril yielded such unsatisfactory results, I gave up.

Nap without the pacifier though... that is big!

And by bedtime, Dave will be home so I am not even going to worry about that.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even when I am cleaning up throw up in the hours before Thanksgiving morning, I feel thankful for my wonderful life and happy family, and the health that we enjoy most of the time.

And when my baby only wants mommy, I am so thankful that Grandmom and Grandad are here to flip pancakes.

And when I can't figure out what is wrong with the pumpkin cake, I am thankful that I discovered that I forgot the flour when the cake was only in the oven for a minute.

I am lucky, lucky, lucky! (I am not being sarcastic even a little!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Neti - Reprise

Neti tip #1: You can greatly reduce the chances of pouring salt water down your throat by way of your nose, if you don't try to see what you look like in the mirror while using a neti pot. Know that it looks really weird, and just keep your head down! (So I have read.)

Another advantage to the Neti pot is this: Threatening your children. Any complaints about any ailments and I just say, "You know what might help that? The neti pot. Want me to try it on you?" Last time I hear that complaint for a while!.

Oh, and I added another verse to my song. I think it will be the last, because I am ready to get this song out of my head. Because I was really missing singing "Down down baby, Elmo do karate."

Oh Neti, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind! Hey Neti!
Oh Neti, you're so gross, you're so gross you blow my nose! Hey Neti!
Oh Neti, hit the spot, clean my nose and drain my snot!

Hey Neti, Hey hey hey Neti!

This cold has been around all month, and that's a little long
Boogers, mucus, snot, now you're in my song!
I'm miserable all right, this cold has done me wrong!
I want to sleep at night, so help me clear my nose, Neti!

Cause now the mucus spills, though skeptics say it won't
My cold gives me the chills, baby please, baby don't
Every night you still, leave me booger free, Neti!

Oh Neti, what a pity, I don't understand
Which way to hold my head with the Neti in my hand.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Neti, You're so Fine, You're so Fine You Blow My Mind

Hey Neti, hey hey hey Neti!

Yes, I am known to seek alternative medicine at the acupuncturist office, and at the chiropractor and I will drink some nasty tea, and burn moxa, and whatever else, and I have had a lot of success with those doctors. But when they both mentioned I should get a neti pot for my sinus issues, I said politely, "Eww, no way, that's kuckoo."

But now that I have seen a neti pot on both Oprah and Martha Stewart, well, I changed my tune. And by that I mean, I continued singing the same tune that went like this, "Maybe I should get a neti pot, even though the whole concept is disgusting." Except that sort of as a joke, I wrote "neti pot" on the list that Dave took to Target last Sunday. And he bought one! Not a sleek, modern teapot style neti pot that would look beautiful in my bathroom when I don't have it stuck in my nose, but a sort of dorky plastic (see photo). It's of the short and stout line of neti pots.

So, the Neti! It's the best! And I am not even going to go on and on and on about snot and boogers, because I think I'll save that for a later post.

Here is where I insert my hilarious rendition of Mickey, except with lyrics about my neti pot and mucus. Except, it's late and I am working on my ORA-30926 problem, and doing point in time recoveries, blah! On the other hand, while I work on that, I might come up with a few phrases here and there***:

Oh Neti, You're so Fine, You're so Fine You Blow My Mind!
Oh Neti, You're so gross, You're so gross You Blow My Nose!
Oh Neti, Hit the Spot, Clean my nose and drain my snot!

Cause now the mucus spills, though skeptics say it won't
My cold gives me the chills, baby please, baby don't
Every night you still, leave me booger free, Neti!

Oh Neti, what a pity, I don't understand
Which way to hold my head with the Neti in my hand.

*** Work in progress

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Poise, What Grace

I took this video at some point during the 10 day stretch that included Dave's 8 day business trip, 2 sick days for me, Luke's two sick days for potential swine flu that turned out to be a bad cold, and 2 snow days. I was never so happy to go back to work after 8 days at home. As you can see, we put that time to good use.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Still Life: With Grape

We had dinner at Murphy's last Thursday because they have a TV and the Buff''s were on. Luke ordered the grilled cheese, for the last time. He didn't like it because of the "bread" and the "cheese". I have forbidden him from ordering it again, but I should really just be proud of him for ordering the fruit as a side dish instead of the french fries. Fully 25% of his fruit cup, though, was taken up by one grape. It was a really big grape. We were all marveling at it's magnificence when it slipped out of Luke's hands and onto the floor. The 5 second rule does not apply in bars though, so it didn't get eaten. I did, however, agree that if he wanted to, he could bring the grape home and we could continue to think about how it's the biggest grape we've ever seen. I told him to put it with the pumpkins, and he said, "If it gets exposed to the light! It is going to turn into a PRUNE!" I started to remind him that grapes actually turn into raisins, but it seemed silly, since this one would probably, actually, turn into a prune. Except now that I have taken 2 pictures of a grape, and written 214 words about it, I think I should probably just put it in the compost now and forget this whole thing ever happened. But first, the grape with a penny for perspective:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And So It Begins

Last year, when I decided not to get a ski pass, I had a knee injury and a 17 month old who was getting difficult to entertain in the lodge. I had visions of the two of us snuggled up together on cold mornings... visions of sewing, and crafting, and working out and reading while he napped. (In my visions, I'm really motivated and Jack is really tired.)

Apparently my visions also did not account for the fact that my sweet, sweet baby would be 2 by the time the ski season started. And that my knee might heal. And that Jack would want to do everything his big brother is doing.

A few weeks ago, I started to worry about the ski season, and what would happen when Dave and Luke left us every weekend morning. "Where Lukie go? Soccer? I go soccer?" Etc. I thought I was keeping my concerns mostly to myself, until Dave said he wasn't planning on leaving today until Jack was safely napping, so it's not just me.

With Jack asleep, and he skiers on their way up the hill, I headed down to the basement, put on my headphones and got on my exercise bike. I did get off, and stop, and readjust things a few times, so Jack can't have been screaming his head off for long before I heard him. Right? I ran up to his room, and gathered him into my loving arms, and tried to console him like only a mother can. He put his head on my sweaty shoulder and said, "No! No like it! No like it! Daddy daddy daddy daddy." Once I had a blanket barrier between my clammy arms and my poor, sweet, neglected baby, he feel back asleep. Then I decided to lay on the couch for a while and wallow in mild guilt. Apparently there are these things called monitors? I am going to look into the concept of setting one up in the basement, so I can hear crying over the sound of the bike or the sewing machine.

It's only until March - Jack and I can get our 2010 season passes then. I think we will be ready for some spring powder days.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Speaking of Tackle Soccer

I like to brag about how super-advanced Jack is in the realm of sports knowledge. So I probably shouldn't share this one:

Jack kicked a basketball into his new soccer goal and yelled, "TOUCHDOWN!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tackle Soccer

I just finished playing tackle soccer with the bossiest tackle soccer player that you will ever meet. It was mostly kicking the ball from one end of the basement to the other and tackling the other player when you got there. You'd think that would be pretty simple, but a certain 2 year old seemed to think I needed a lot of direction.

"Momma! Kick it. Now run. Go go go Momma! Yea Momma! Good job. Now tackle me. Fall down, I tackle you. Get up now please. Run! Kick it!"

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Did I mention that he made me wear a fire fighter helmet the whole time? Every time I tried to chuck it somewhere, he noticed and made me put it back on. "Put on fire fighter helmet, Momma! Helmet on!"

And yes, I predict certain anonymous commenters will say I had this coming.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parenting Tips: Learning to Read

Here is a little story for you about little preschool aged MetaMegan and little MetaMegan's mom on a walk one day.

Little MetaMegan looking at graffiti: Mom, what does that say?
Little MegaMegan's Mom: Oh, that? That says TRUCK.
... pause... pause... pause...
Little MetaMegan: Mommy? That word started with an F. So it must have said, "FRUCK".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parenting Tips: Learning to Read

I am walking a dangerous line here with Luke and his reading. Here it is: I cannot stop myself from laughing when he gets a word wrong. "The woodpecker uses his beak to hemmer... hemmer... hemmer.. hemmer? hemmer?!? hemmer? hemmer. Ohhhhhhh. Hammer." (snicker, snicker.)

100% of the time Luke is laughing, but I fear for the time it doesn't happen. It's just so so funny to me.

I am an awesome mother!

Monday, November 16, 2009

First: The Cake

I was changing Jack's diaper the other day and discussing, sort of over his head, that he may be susceptible to bribery in exchange for some potty training.  Possible M&M's.  Possibly.  As Dave ad I discussed it a light-bulb went off over Jack's head.  He grabbed his stomach and started writhing around and shouting, "I hungry!  Choklat!  I hungry, choklat!"  

And hence, the idea to make a chocolate cake for Jack's birthday was born.  I went to my fave food blog and looked up chocolate cake, and I came up with two contenders.  One was too complicated and the other had coffee in it.  I went complicated.   Mmmm.  Complicated:  Chocolate cake with peanut butter icing underneath another layer of chocolate and peanut butter.

Due to the snow, I knew my favorite peanut-o-phile wasn't going to brave highway 93 to join us so I sent her pictures of the cake throughout the day to torture her.  Good thing, because I can't find the card reader today so we have to rely on the phone picture. My phone takes some good pictures! 

OK, I know everyone wants the recipe.  So here you go.  High altitude readers:  I subtracted one tablespoon of flour, and  I used one 1.75 teaspoons baking soda.  However, I have also made another cake from Sky High before, and I didn't adjust it at all.  

For the record, blogging about the recipes I make from a food blog that I read, is sort of meta.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Jack!

I'm planning ahead with the posts today (Saturday) so I'll have something for Sunday without having to log into my computer at all. You will have to wait to see the birthday boy on his special day for a few days, and I'll be sure to share some cake (pictures) then too!

So, without further ado..

Happy Birthday to Jack, who has grown so much in 2 years!

From Babbling

We love you so much!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Sun Will Come Out.. Tomorrow!

Things are looking up! We bought a new coffee maker today, and it is programmable, so tomorrow should start off well. I ran 5 errands in 47 minutes today: A New Record!

All that is left to do is make a really complicated 3 layer-with 2 types of icing- birthday cake for Little Baby Jackie's birthday party tomorrow. Yes, nothing can possibly go wrong now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Dummening: In the Form of Clumsiness

You'd think I would be really calm, and not at all jittery to the point of dropping things and breaking things now that I really can't make coffee. Yeah, I recently broke the coffee carafe. It wasn't that big of a deal because we could just use the french press until I search every store in the tri-state area for a replacement carafe. That worked until I broke the french press. There was also an incident where someone knocked a glass into another glass in the cabinet, causing massive breakage, but I am not claiming that. I swear that was Dave.

Regardless, now that I am unhappily giving up caffeine, it's odd that this sort of thing keeps happening. What sort of thing you ask? The sort of thing where I say, "Oh great! There is the perfect amount of salad left over to make a really big salad for my lunch tomorrow!" And then I followed that up with, "I'll just take a picture of this with my camera."

A few nights later I was making a fritatta for dinner.

In case it isn't clear, that is a picture of four eggs* on the floor. Luke took a look and said, "Crack an egg on your head, let the juice run down."

On the bright side, the frittata did turn out to be delicious. There weren't any leftovers. (I took the picture before everyone had seconds.) Happy Friday the 13th, everyone; I hope you enjoyed your week of dummening! (And since the week was about The Dummening, I am sure no one will care that it was only 5 days long!)

* I did not use the eggs that fell on the floor.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Work Dummening

I blame all my work dummening this week on the fact that I absolutely had to solve a problem before I went to sleep on Tuesday night. Did I say Tuesday night? Because I guess I meant Wednesday morning at 2:30 am. That pretty much threw off the rest of my week.

Then today, I needed to create a database link, but I didn't know the password and the person who knows the password was at physical therapy, so instead of connect to user identified by password, I used connect to user identified by values ' '. And that apparently can trigger a bug that causes ORA-0600 errors. (ORA-00600: internal error code, arguments: [kzdlk_zt2 err] to be specific.)

Oh, the hilarious and wacky adventures that I get into at work. I bet you are all wishing I talked about it more often. The reason I am evening talking about work at all, is that I was one dummening story short for the work week, and I am saving a good one for tomorrow. But really, if I start getting hits from people searching on kzdlk_zt2 err I am totally turning this into a DBA blog and I am going to get rich off the add revenue.

Until tomorrow...

(Oh - to you DBA suckers, you need to get rid of the quotes and use the real password. See metalink note 456320.1)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Smarty Pants Revisited

I already mentioned how I did some dumb things while making my smarty pants outfit. I mentioned ruining the shirt and the end table. But did I mention that at one point I sewed the front and back of the pants together? I did do that. But it still turned out to be a cute outfit. Dave thought I was going to sew the smarties on individually, like sequins. That may have been cool, but I never could have done it while watching our new TV obsession, The Wire.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Diaper Drama Day 2

Do I talk enough about diapers to officially be considered a mommy blogger? Bring on the ad revenue! I'm talking to you Pampers! Come on Pampers, don't you want a frazzled, disorganized, Megan Fox look a like to be your new spokes mom-dle?

OK, back to the dummening. I was with other Ladies Who Lunch (at Target) and we were in the diaper section. My Ladies Who Lunch (at Target) friends are two co-workers with toddlers about Jack's age. They were discussing Size 4 diapers vs. size 5 diapers. I said, "What? Jack is still in 3s! Why move to 4s? You get at least 12 fewer diapers for the same price!"

They had a lot of answers to my incredulous question:
Because 3s are too small!
They leak!
Have you looked at the size recommendation?!!

It is a little odd that we haven't moved up a size yet, because normally I am the first person to move up a size, weight guidelines be damned. My policy is this: 2 consecutive blow outs and you move up a size. Someone recently questioned the 2 in a row policy. Why deal with that twice? Are you insane? Yes, but 1 blowout could be an isolated incident resulting from bad diapering. And Jack really hadn't had any leaks or blowouts.

I insisted that 3s were fine for my small bottomed and possibly thirsty little boy and I bought another box.

They did seem a little small, but so what? 96 diapers for the same price as 84! So what if he looks like he is wearing a diaper thong.

Before my next trip to the store, Dave happened to mention Jack's weight.

Dave: Jack weighs 25.2 pounds, in case you need that info the next time you buy diapers.
Megan: 25.2?
Dave: Yes, 25.2

I looked at the size recommendation on the 3s (16-28 pounds) and I bought another box. Just one more! Dave said, "3s again? He's at the top of the weight range!" I said, "22.5! No he isn't! Dave said, no, I said 25.2, and you repeated it." Oops.

Almost immediately, Jack had 2 consecutive blow outs. Ugh. 94 diapers to go. Dave had a good solution though. Just take all those diapers to the daycare and buy bigger ones!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Diaper Drama Day 1

I am going to kick off The Week of Dummening with a little story about diapers. The last time I mentioned the topic is was in reference to the fact that we were days overdue for bringing a new stash of diapers to the daycare. It is funny, because there are a lot of families with kids at Luke's school and younger kids at Jack's daycare, and we see the parents up to 4 times day, crossing paths at various drop offs and pick ups. But we can rarely coordinate something that would make things easier on anyone. Just twice I've plopped one of Jack's friends into the bike trailer with Jack after dropping off Luke at school to save another parent a trip to daycare. But that accounts for 2 times of the 1000 times we have discussed some sort of coordination with other parents. And of course, I've never successfully pawned off my kids on anyone.

One cold day, I decided to drive Luke to school because we weren't organized enough to catch the bus, and we certainly weren't organized enough to drop off Jack first. So after standing around until the bell rang, in the cold, I was carrying Jack, both of us in puffy coats, back to the car, to go to daycare when one of the other moms said, "Want me to take Jack?" I said, "Oh, that would be so great! But DARN IT! If I forget diapers again... And I left them at home, so I need to go get them. Drat!" I may not have actually said drat.

And once I managed to buckle Jack in the car for the second time that day, there was no way I was going to go through it again before dropping him off for the morning. I knew Dave was working from home so I called him and asked him to meet me at the end of the driveway with diapers so I wouldn't have to get out of the car. He said he would just get on his bike in a couple hours and ride the diapers over to daycare. Great! Problem solved. Too bad I didn't take the other mom up on the free stroller ride to daycare. Oh well. I said hi to her again when I saw her a few minutes later. And Dave dutifully took time out of his day to pedal the diapers over to school because we just couldn't forget one more time.

Eight or so hours passed and Dave texted to discuss was picking up whom.
Dave: Target plans? Took all the diapers to daycare.
Megan: No problem. There's a box in the trunk.
Dave: Doh!
Megan: ?

10 minutes or so passed and a light bulb comically lit up over my head. I had diapers in the trunk of the car that whole time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Note the time. I had already been up for 2 hours when I took this picture. I started to shut down databases and applications, and I watched the scripts run on part of my screen, while on the other part, I watched Weeds while I pedaled my exercise bike. I had the pancake mix almost totally ready to go on the griddle before the boys woke up at 6:45. I was feeling pretty good about things until my big stack of pancakes fell over and I realized it was going to be a really long day.

Dave was not yet awake when I took this picture, but I can't complain because he did some serious yard work today.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Parental Proclamations

You know how every parent ends up saying something without thinking and then being totally surprised about what came out of their mouth? Like, you swear you are never going to say, "Because I said so, that's why!" and then when you do, it's sort of startling, but also really satisfying. You've finally accepted your role as a real parent, and joined that elite group of half the population that needs to finally just say something and have it be the end of the conversation.

Or sometimes you end up saying something and suddenly you realize that you have turned into your mother or your father? Well today I said something that I have no doubt has been said by countless parents, but it is certainly something I never heard growing up, and I have never said before. It went a little something like this,

"Hey! No fighting by the top of the stairs!"

What? I mean, it's good advice, but not something I imagined myself saying when I envisioned myself as a parent.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interesting Solutions

Remember all that snow? Me neither. It was 77 yesterday. Today, Jack was playing outside and he dumped a play lawn mower full of water onto the patio. Then he jumped in the water. Then he fell in it.

Then, as I valiantly attempted to continue reading the paper, in order to be a great mother, by knowing what is going on in the world, Jack wandered off saying, "Oh no! Water. Oh no! Water." Then that sweet sound trailed off into silence. Soon I realized that a quiet toddler is a dangerous toddler. It turns out that Jack's method for absorbing excess water in your pants is to roll in the sandbox.

I should have seen that one coming, for sure.

And that is a good segue into my programming announcement for next week. Are you ready for 5 days of dummening? Starting Monday, it will be all dummeing all the time, all the way through into Friday. I can think of 4 ideas right off the top of my head, so I am either going to have to think harder to come up with a fifth one, or else just keep my fingers crossed that I do something dumb in the next week. Chances are good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Pumpkins

I had some compliments on our carved pumpkins, but I can barely take any credit. Dave did most of the the cutting, cleaning and scooping. And cleanup. Luke did the actual design and carving on his and I did the carving on mine. But all the credit goes to Dave.

Luke's is on the left on top of the cooler and mine is on the right. Dave did both of the lower pumpkins. The grim reaper was from a stencil and he did his own alien design.

They look even better in the dark!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Study in Contrasts Part 2

Yesterday was a tale of two sledding hills. Today it's all about the 18 inches of snow that closed down boulder:
From Blog pix

And how it wasn't totally melted, but it sure did warm up 2 days later in time for Halloween.
From Blog pix

From Blog pix

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Study in Contrasts Part 1

We had 2 snow days last week, and it was sort of silly if you ask me. I mean, since when does 18 inches of snow stop Coloradans from going to work and school? For 2 days?! My work was sort of closed for part of the time. I had to work from home because school was canceled, and the daycare was closed. So when my work said people could go home for the day, what was I supposed to do? I worked on and off and I played outside and shoveled. We went sledding once on Wednesday and once on Thursday.

On Wednesday we walked to the sledding hill near our house, and on Thursday, we rode bikes to a hill slightly farther away.

The hill within walking distance is really steep and dangerous, and my rule is that one parent (Dave) drags the sled to the top with the kids, making sure they don't get knocked down on the way up, while the other parent (me) waits at the bottom and prays that they make it down safely. At the hill a little farther away, Luke can just sled with his friends all he wants, while one parent (Dave) sleds with Jack while the other parent (me) socializes with other parents at the top of the hill.

A couple more differences between the two days...

Posses of 18-21 year olds:
From Blog pix

Vs. Toddlers in Inner Tubes
From Blog pix

40's chillin in the snow:
From Blog pix

Vs. Kids drinking hot chocolate:
From Blog pix

Crazies in One Piece Snowsuits from the 80's... and yes, there is someone hitting a jump on a kayak in the background:
From Blog pix

Vs... Ok, yeah, I have nothing to contrast with that.

But hey - how cute can you get:

From Blog pix

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Somebody Put Baby in the Corner

I just started to upload pumpkin patch pictures, and snowstorm day 1, and snowstorm day 2, and Halloween and everything in between. And I thought, "Wow! I have a lot of material for my blog!" and then I thought, "Good thing! It's November and I am planning to blog every day in November!"

So I thought I would start with the most random picture, and the big announcement that you can look forward to 30 days in a row of posts here, so yea!

Oh, and one Jack story. We have started the 6 month period of the year where he has a runny nose, and I had wrestled him onto my lap so I could wipe his nose and apply some lotion. He was kicking and writhing and yelling, "Down, Down!" and then he segued right from an angry, "DOWN!" into a laughing, "down down baby, Elmo do karate", and it worked. I started laughing and let him down.