Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I’m taking this brief respite from my indefinite sabbatical from blogging to commemorate a momentous event in my life. I like to think of it as a sabbatical sabbatical. Here we go…

(drum roll)

At some point in the past 24 hours I reached a major milestone in my daily pursuit to remain alive. By my rough calculations*, I just passed the 1 billion second mark. That’s right - I have been perpetrating my antics on the rest of mortal humanity for upwards of 1 billion seconds now. From the metric perspective and given the current life expectancy rates, the 1 billion second mark is about as major as it gets. This is an especially meaningful achievement for me because most of my daily business (debatably**) is performed using a base 10 number system.

Oh yeah. Happy Birthday to Russell too. Maybe we can combine parties.

*I did not factor in the many unnoticed yet collectively significant moments in my life when I was imperceptibly dead for a few fractions of a second but then came back to life. Nor did I take into account the time periods when I remained alive, but may have travelled through time to future/past dates for (mis)adventures only to return to the exact same moment when I had left.

**Discussion of "daily business" makes reference to time measurement which employs a sexagesimal system. So unless one is using metric time, how could most of one’s "daily" business be performed using a decimal system? Also, my nationalist spirit makes me resent any imposition of the metric system at the expense of US customary units. So while I am forced to live and work in a metric world, I am not of a metric world. In other words, I am not a metrisexual***.

***Metrisexual – n. a term coined by me which means a person who loves the metric system.
(note: this term can be modified using the standard metric prefixes to indicate the degree of a person’s love of the metric system. For example, an average European might be a metrisexual, a high school physics teacher might be a kilometrisexual, and Bill Nye might be a megametrisexual).

Consider your mind(s) blown…………….now. (explosion sound occurring inside your head from your mind getting blown and possibly some smoke vapors coming out of your ears and nose)

Friday, August 17, 2012


Although we have internet, we still don't have a decent computer--and are still on a very unpredictable blogging schedule (which I suppose we always have been). I'm blogging from my phone which is tedious and allows for no formatting...

But I just wanted to put a few pictures up and write a few things down. This little boy of ours is changing! Most of that baby stuff is behind us; his development continues to be my biggest sadness and greatest joy.

He has become a little parrot, repeating what we say and narrating our actions. "Shirt?!" when Brandon is changing his clothes in the morning. "Cart! Cereal! Broccoli!" as we go through the grocery store."Fire truck" as a siren goes by. "Phone" as it rings and a big cheery "kids!" when he seems them at a park. His level of enthusiasm and curiosity is both hilarious and endearing.

The concepts he fixates on continue to amuse us. The other day we were driving somewhere and the whole way he babbled on and on about bunnies, puppies, and trains. I love it! It seems so cliche but I promise, his interest in those topics needed no prompting from me (I'm desperately trying to hide him from Thomas the Train junk because I'm paranoid that all children's programming is going to brainwash my child to only want to eat Doritos and Gogurt and make him start exclusively playing World of Warcraft in a dark smelly bedroom by the time he's four).

We are just starting to get a few sentences-which is kind of fun. "I did it" "I silly" "What's that?" and "I jump in" (the pool), etc. I'm amazed that he understands the "I" concept...seeing as we always address him as "you."

He is gentle and loves other children. He eagerly waves to the plane overhead or the animals on TV. He squeals in delight upon seeing fruit in the fridge and would eat it exclusively if we let him.

In other words, we are doing well. We are happy and healthy and have had a month of seeing family. It was funner and more meaningful than I ever imagined to see Russell play with and get to know his cousins. I don't have a ton of pictures and I always feel weird about posting pictures of other people--but know that it was all a blast. We are blessed and hesitate to even write because we know that so many do not have this good fortune. Nonetheless we hope you are a doing well too and send out love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ear Infections

Want to see the saddest pictures ever taken of our son?
Russell opted to lay on the floor one night during dinner rather than eat because he felt so crummy.
He quickly fell asleep.  Russell hasn't fallen asleep anywhere other than his crib or car seat since he was about four months old.

Last week Russell had double ear infections and went on antibiotics for the first time.

We knew something was up when we were up at the cabin and he didn't want to do anything other than sit on my lap and watch Shrek. It was the first time we used TV as a distraction; after dealing with incessant whining and fussiness for several hours, we discovered that this was the only thing that made him not cry!

We learned that sick kids are kind of tricky. Well, I take that back. When they have a fever, it is obvious. They are burning up so give them some Tylenol and be super loving and patient because, duh, they're sick. Russell had a fever of 103.4 for a day...it was a little scary for me.

But when little kids aren't feverish but are still acting abnormal, it is such a puzzle. It is a never ending saga of questioning everything the child does as well as your own parenting skills. Are they throwing a tantrum because they just really don't want that type of toy or is it something else? Is his nose running because he'a teething or because he's sick? Did he just wake up in the middle of the night because he had a nightmare? Or is the house too hot? Or is he sick? Does he not want to eat because his metabolism is changing or because he's sick? Etc., etc.
This one's the worst. This is probably when his fever was the highest.

This constant questioning also happens because for ten minutes he could be the fussiest, most inconsolable being ever and then for the next twenty minutes, he's as happy as a clam to rearrange rocks on the patio. When that happens, you're like, "Well, I guess he's not sick, because he seems OK right now!" But then a few hours later you are perplexed when your otherwise ravenous toddler won't eat.

So last week was tricky like that. Actually, things got rougher for us after he started the antibiotics. I think I expected them to make everything better within 24 hours; when he continued to act so crazy (tantrums, picky eating, waking up at night) several doses into the antibiotics, I started to accept the fact that Russell was just moving into his terrible twos and that I needed to get a grip on this parenting stuff--Ignore those tantrums! Remember, you're the parent! All that sort of self talk. I was getting so frazzled and down right terrified for what might be in our future of toddler behavior that I promptly checked out several toddler parenting books from the library because I was sure I was messing my son up royally.

But then, Russell became happy again. We started going whole days without any meltdowns and now it has been over a week and we've had many of these types of moments:

Hindsight is always so clear. A big fat "DUH" keeps sounding in my mind because obviously, our little boy was still feeling icky. I don't know why I was so set on second guessing everything. I'm still interested in reading those books but I'm just grateful that I don't have to have such a handle on that tricky behavior quite yet.

Fun with Grandma on her birthday celebration

"Mom, I think I just got stuck in the cupboard!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012


This may or may not be our last post for a while...we are cancelling our internet until we can update our technology. I can still post from my phone but the editing is a bit of a bear. So is writing via a small touch screen. But, that's the way things go. No complaints here.

Before Comcast cuts us off, I wanted to share some fun videos. Russell is at this stage where not only does he seem to just "get it," but he can access the world like never before. Between climbing, talking, and manipulating objects, he's exploring as much of this wide world as he can. His memory is improving and he is connecting the dots like nobody's business. Just last  night I watched him put together a puzzle without any help whereas a few days prior it was really frustrating him. I still get sad that he is outgrowing some behaviors, but watching him pick up others is, quite simply, really cool.

His verbal skills are some of the most entertaining. Russell is constantly trying to use and say new words. There are many things he can communicate without a hitch and then there are many many more than leave both of us stumped. That must be so frustrating for him, because he really is trying, but our toddler translation skills are not as up to par, apparently.

This first video is of Russell at dinner the other night. If you can't tell from the video, he LOVES strawberries...only he doesn't call them anything close to that. Once we figured out what 'bila' meant, we were able to make him a lot happier. The instant he sees a strawberry carton while we are at the grocery store, he starts to practically shriek, "Bila!"  We've gotten to the point where we have to keep them away from the dinner table after he has eaten his veggies or protein because he'll refuse to eat (or talk about) anything else.

The next video is one I took when I thought my camera was on picture mode...it worked out perfectly, though, because it captured him saying his version of 'airplane.' He is very consistent about this word. Every time an airplane flies overhead, he smiles, points excitedly up to the sky and says, "Mungy!" He can say "apple and plenty of other 'A' words, but somehow 'airplane' and 'mungy' are homophones to him. Did I use that word right? I don't think so, but maybe you know what I mean. Watching it might make you a little motion sick, sorry about that.
And the final one is of Russell and his beloved ice water. It doesn't really have anything to do with language acquisition, but the way he breathes during the drinking process is hilarious to me. He doesn't do it quietly, that's for sure. Actually, it does illustrate something about his current developmental stage. At one point, he very concretely says, "Ice."  He tends to do that...when he sees or hears something that he knows the word for, he'll usually say it. So when he hears a dog, he says "Gog". When he sees someone in a hat, he'll say "Hat" etc. It's like what he used to do with the sign for lights. Only now he has that same fascination with fans..."Pan, pan!" he'll say. 
All right...good riddance crappy computer! Hopefully next time I publish from a computer it'll be from one that is not 7 years old. Although if the time it took us to decide on a phone is any indication on how long it will take us to decide on a new computer, it might take a while. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

18 Months

Our boy is one and a half years old!

Height: 31.7", 24%
Weight: 25lbs, 61%

The pediatrician's office measured him three times at our past visit. The first two times showed that he was exactly the same height as our 15 mos visit, which put him in the bottom 3%. When the pediatrician came in, she remeasured him and was able to get him another inch or so out of him. Don't ask me how because I watched all three measurements and they looked the same. The point is that he remains a little on the short side.

Favorite past times: drinking ice water from a cup (he could do this all day!), going "outie" (outside), and showing off for visitors (often in the form of running into the couch or ottoman with his tummy, like sort of lucha libre, or frantically pointing to his latest fascination while babbling rapidly).
Taking a toddler to a ranch just as they are understanding that animals are real is probably one of the cutest things ever.  
Fave foods: "Banas" (bananas), ilk (milk), eese (cheese)...pretty much anything that falls into the lunch or snack category.

green smoothie face

Teeth: All of them except for those two year old molars. The canines are just slowly pushing their way through those gums. He's handling it like a pro though.

Haircuts: Zero. I'm just about ready to cut it...not only is it starting to look a little silly but more people are mixing up his gender than when he was an infant. Not that I care too much, but the kid has a serious mullet (no we have never cut his bangs).
Food storage, cokes, a new bottle of ibuprofen, our son...all we need!

I had to post this video because in it, he his makes a dog sound...you just have to be real quiet while you watch because it doesn't sound like the typical dog sound. He just kind of breathes in and out. It was probably my favorite thing that he did for a while. But alas, he's already moved on as he's learned how to make a real, "ruff ruff" sound. Now my favorite thing that he does is reach up for me to take his hand as we walk around. Not a bad replacement if you ask me.

PS: Shelley, months ago you gave him that outfit that he is wearing in the video and it now fits better than ever! It is the gift that keeps giving. :) Thanks!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Russell's 5...

Today I was driving and the thermostat said 95! Aiye!

The following are pictures of things Russell has been up to:

1.) Putting things down his shirt. I believe in this particular picture he has all 12 of the blocks to his shape sorter toy in his onesie. The other day i watched him attempt to put an entire Tupperware container down his shirt. It didn't work. Sorry for the blury pic.

2.) Trying to do summersaults. He can't quite do it but he loves to get in position and squeals with delight when we flip him all the way over. Again sorry for the blurry picture. He's not too good at holding position for too long. And I hate flash photography.

3.) Picking flowers. Believe it or not 'flowers' is one of the words he knows. He always points them out in books and says "flawa". It sounds a lot like how he says "water," but as his trained and certified interpreter, I can assure you he is actually saying "flower." He has a tendency to pick a flower while we are out in our yard and carry it around as he explores. It is pretty cute to see him toddle around with a solitary flower in his fat little hand. He has started to do the same with snacks, actually. I'll give him a lone Ritz cracker after nap and he'd rather delicately hold in that eat it. Don't worry, it is eventually eaten. That boy has never been one to deny food.  And he no longer wears that shirt. It is obviously too small, I just had to have him wear it that day to 'make sure.' Don't ask. I do weird stuff like that some times.
4.) Food is the perfect segue for this next this pic. I snapped this while at a big family gathering a few weeks ago. Yes, he is eating food off abandoned plates. He is always the one to try and dig a bag of snacks out of another mom's purse or continue to ask for snacks during a play date long after the other kids are done eating. I call him "Forager Extraordinaire." He can hear a package of food being opened or a food item being crunched in a closed mouth from a mile away, I swear. And of course, the instant he hears those noises, he puts his pointer finger up to his mouth and taps his lips. As his trained and certified interpreter, I know that he is saying, "I want to eat that."
5.) Bubbles. He is more into the act of blowing bubbles than the bubbles themselves. He asks to do "babus" almost daily. He loves to hold the wand, dip it in the bottle and 'blow.' The blowing is somewhere between licking the wand and hyperventilating and it brings him great satisfaction. He no longer allows us to even hold the bottle while he dips the bubble wand...he wants to do it all by himself. Luckily bubbles are cheap and a fairly benign mess.
On this week's agenda are: finding an inexpensive tricycle toy, nursery for the first time, and maybe a dip in the pool for the first time this season. He also has his 18 mos pediatric appointment and I'm anxious to see how much he's grown.  Hope you all are well! 

Friday, March 30, 2012


So getting ready in the morning is a daily cirucs...I have a baby gate set up so Russell can only wander between his and my room while I shower and dress. These rooms are baby proofed enough, I figure, that he'll be fine entertaining himself while I shower and make myself presentable for the day. Or so I thought.

This is what happened a few days ago:

If you can't tell, that is a metal hair barrette behind the adapter. I was right next to him, only my back was turned. I suddenly heard this big POP!, Russell started screaming, and I smelled burning. He had found the barrette on the ground and started playing with it...I have no idea if he intended for it to go there or if it was some random accident. Luckily, he was fine...only a little soot covered and frightened. Getting the hair clip out from behind that electrical adapter was quite electrifying. It was essentially a live wire...I used a silicone oven mitt to try and unplug everything and sparks flew each time I jiggled it. It was scary! Poor Russell was beside himself. I've never seen him so scared, not even with the vacuum. I had to give Brandon another frantic call and he suggested I turn the power off, which was the perfect solution. The outlet still works fine, as does everything that was plugged in. I don't think Russell learned his lesson as moments later we were in the living room and he started tugging on a plugged in cord.   
Some of the soot came off his fingers before I could get a good picture.
This is the "To Top it All Off" part. While I was talking on the phone to Brandon, trying to figure out what to do, I put Russell on our bed. Our bed is his most favorite place ever. He loves to touch the buttons to my alarm clock, flip through the books on my nightstand, and basically mess with every possible object Brandon and I have near our bedside. That activity can keep him occupied for 15 minutes at a time. It drives me nuts, but I needed him occupied. It was during that portion of our morning that he pooped. And since he was only in a onesie (remember we were still in the getting dressed stage of the day), some of the poop got out of his diaper and smeared all over the bed when he got himself sandwiched between my bed and my nightstand. Luckily it was also laundry day and so the bed was stripped of sheets...but still. I wasn't planning on washing the mattress cover that day.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Morning light, morning hair, and some Picassa editing.
 M: Many visitors. We have been visited by several wonderful friends this month with more visitors to come which is such a treat. March Madness (take a guess who's watching).  

A:  Apple! One of Russell's newest words. Adorable and awesome also come to mind when describing him...Aroma. Our orange and grapefruit trees are bursting with blossoms right now and the scent wafts through the kitchen window on occasion.

R: Red red! red? I'm trying to teach Russell colors and it is going slowly...I can tell he differentiates between colors but he isn't too keen at showing me. Redirecting.  Russell is slowing becomming a bonafide toddler with the behavior to prove it, with mini tantrums, toy throwing, and biting himself or other objects just to prove how mad he is. Yikes. Tips on toddler redirecting? Rattlesnake Killer. At least that is what they call me. True Story--the other day I was driving with my friend and drove by a rattlesnake. We watched it hiss and sidewind for a bit which was kinda cool and kinda freaky. A few days later, my friend found it dead in about the same spot. I must have run over it (I knew that was a possibility but it didn't seem mortally wounded when we watched it). So yes, I'm a rattlesnake killer.

C: Commitment. We are about to get new phones and we have been debating this since before Thanksgiving.  Computer. We need a new one, but getting a new one is also like the cellphone ordeal. Arg. Decisions decisions decisions. Cheap! That is the main culprit, actually. Decisions would be a lot easier if I didn't second guess everything. Can I get a better deal somewhere else? Will it be worth the money? Do we really need it? Cookies. We still have a box of Candy Cane Joe Joes in our cupboard and it totally comforts me to know that it is there. Just one is actually a perfect treat about an hour after dinner since we try not to indulge on dessert on weekdays.We have one more Somoa left. Don't worry, I'll let Brandon have it. They are his fave. As far as the homemade stuff goes, we have three varieties on our freezer. We are aficiandos if you couldn't tell.

H: House cleaning and house projects.  Our garage sale was a success and I'm already plotting another. A ceiling fan, some new flooring, adding some new trees and other plants to our yard, and more painting are in the works and it feels good to change it up. Hair. Mine is getting cut on Saturday and there are still no plans to cut Russell's. His mullet and bedhead are quite the sights! Brandon wants it to get out of control and I think I'll just cry when it is finally trimmed. I want my Russell to be a baby forever. Heat. We just had the first day of spring, which in Arizona means, "Hello summer!" The days are getting longer and temps have dabbled in the 80s.  I'm just crossing my fingers that our first day over 100 is still along way away. At least the pool is heating up! 

And here's Russel looking especially round and comfy in my latest garage sale find.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obsessions II

February 29th! What a special day.

Anyways, here are Russell's obsessions. Bet you thought I wouldn't get it in this month, eh? I didn't quite know myself.

I wrote a lot of this post several weeks ago (as evidenced by the publish date), and everything is still pertinent today. So it is proof that he's certifiably obsessed.

1.) Lights. Now in addition to flashing the light sign constantly, he says, "ites, ites, ites."  Several times through the day we go to various rooms to turn the lights on and off, and each time he is just as fascinated. Things get even better for him when we pick him up so he can flip the switch himself. Not letting him play with the light switch at church has caused many a tantrum. Oy.  The other day I gave him a headlamp to play with and he was in heaven.
We still have not cut his hair and sometimes it is pretty awesome.

2.) Keys. This one is perhaps the most annoying. His favorite, of course, are the ones with buttons on them. At first, I thought it was harmless to let him play, but when I found that his playing had opened my trunk from inside the supermarket, I put an end to that game. I thought I came up with a clever solution by putting my car key on a carabiner so that I could easily detach it from my other keys. Of course, the instant that carabiner is off, he is no longer interested in the other keys. Although just two days ago, I used the boring key ring to open our house door and he was instantly like, "What?! Those keys are important too? Give them to me NOW!"

What makes this obsession the most annoying is that he thinks perfect stranger's keys should also be his. Many a time has he has begged a stranger for their keys after he's noticed them in their hands or chased after someone upon seeing or hearing some keys dangling from a purse. Now that he's talking a bit, he'll also say, "ees, ees, ees..." in the most pleading, desperate voice to prove how badly he wants them. At friends' homes, I've discovered him roaming around with random key rings...as happy as can be while the other children are busy destroying the toy room. I get worried we'll be responsible for someone being stranded because Russell has unknowingly displaced their keys or because Russell has pressed the buttons to their car key so hard that it broke. Can I apologize in advance?

3.) Cell phones. Pretty much the same description goes with this obsession as with the one above. The only difference is he is better appeased with fake phones. We have 3 toy phones and he likes them all. He even thinks a calculator is a phone and if you spoil that secret, I will kill you in the night.
Sometimes I make him wear that hat inside because it is so cute.
 4.) Doing What We Do. This is the newest one and it is to be expected, although I am again surprised at how early in his life it has happened. It shows how thoroughly he knows how things work and wants to be apart of it. He loves to help us unload the dishwasher, he begs to throw his dirty diaper into the outside trash...so much so that we often have to let him hold the folded up dirty diaper for the duration of the change so that he knows he will not be denied the privilege of taking it outside. If we don't, he whines and wiggles so incessantly that it makes it really hard to get that diaper on. Feeding himself is his newest obsession at meals and let me tell you...it is messy and tedious as he can't really do it at all! But he will not let us hold the spoon any longer. 
All by myself!

I could go on and on about this topic...and I actually I will.  If I am getting dressed, he immediately takes my dirty clothes and puts them in the hamper. If we are grocery shopping, he loves for me to give him an item so he can throw it in the cart behind him. If we are out with the stroller, he loves to be taken out of it so he can push it.  He loves to press the button on the fridge that fills our water glasses. He has found my hair clips and asked me to put them in his hair and has been seen trying to put on his dad's slippers. If I wipe something off the floor, he does that same motion with his hand. If I have come out of the bathroom, he immediately goes to the toilet to try and flush it. A funny story: The other day I caught him playing in the bathroom.  This doesn't happen too often because the door is usually closed.  As I approached, I said, "Russell...we don't play in here." When he heard me, he started to frantically unroll the toilet paper roll. Just before I snatched him up, he yanked off as much toilet paper as he could and stuffed it in the toilet, as if to say, "Boo-ya, Mom. I got to do it anyway! Take that!"

And most of this stuff is stuff he just randomly started doing on his own.  This video is another example...it is what happened after he got into an open cupboard.
So there. That is our February life. Wildflowers are blooming throughout this city of ours and the highs are in the 60s and 70s. We are loving it (but not the weeds) because we know it won't last long!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I'm dividing this post in two. That way I'll be sure to have two posts this month.

I'm currently obsessed with:

1.) Having Pandora on my TV. We got a new TV for Christmas and while it is big and fancy, my favorite feature is that it has an app for Pandora. We now have about a billion stations. It is to the point that whenver I say, "Let's turn on some music!" Russell gets a big smile and bounces up and down in that toddler sort of way--a pre-music dance. A surprising favorite is the Raffi station because in addition to Raffi, it plays Sound of Music, Little Mermaid, Jungle Book, Oldies, and School House Rock. I learned that adding Regina Spektor to my Arcade Fire station made it not cool anymore so I had to delete it and start all over.  I totally have a guilty pleasure station called All the Single Ladies (Beyonce). I 'thumbs-up' some pretty ridiculous pop songs (except for the Katy Perry ones because I hate her) and it makes mopping the floors and getting dinner ready a little funner.  The Kanye West station was a bust, but I shouldn't be surprised. I just wanted to see, you know?
2.) Steel Cut Oatmeal. It is such a deal when you buy that bag at Costco! I once even got Brandon to eat a bowl sans sugar. I think it is growing on him!
3.) Game of Thrones. This one is only a maybe.  I just made it through book one. It was super super long and it kind of reminds me of Pillars of the Earth which I did not like, but I find myself thinking of it all the time. What is going to happen to the Stark family? And isn't that crazy what happened to Daenerys?  

And that's about all for me.  

For Brandon, I'm not even sure. Football's over, so that leaves a major void in his system until next fall. He continues to be obsessed with Blue Bell ice cream and Red Robin.  He found a new reality show to adore, which is fine by me because it is way better than the Bachelor. It is called, The Challenge: Battle of the Exes. You'll have to ask him. And while you do, you should tell him to start blogging again. He was so good at it, remember?

And next time...Russell's obsessions. They are very clear cut.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is This the Beginning...?

So I loosely thought I would make a New Year's Resolution to blog 2x a month. And here I am, on the last day of the month entering the first blog of the New Year.  Hmph. That's why it was a loose resolution. I never wrote it down or even mentioned it to anyone. Doing it that way means not following through with it is OK.

Anyways, this month Russell learned to shake his head to say, "No."

At first, it was actually pretty cute.  See below video.
And now...I'm going to be honest...it is one of my least favorite milestones to date. He uses that skill all the time! 

"Russell, do you want milk?"

Head shake no.

"Russell, should we play with some toys?"

Head shake no.

"Russell, let's go to the car!"

Head shake no.

The only thing he seems to not regularly exercise his right to head shake is to 1.) eat bananas 2.) go outside and 3.) get a blanket from his crib to play with (he loves blankets, it is pretty cute).

So lately, there's been a lot of head shaking going on...which means a lot of "No, I'm not going to do what you want." Which also means that Russell is fully aware of what is going on around him and has opinions. Although, I will say that he sometimes seems to shake his head just because he can, even though he might really want something. I have a feeling that is usually the case when I offer him milk or some cheerios, as evidenced by the fact that I will put those items in a place where he can access them and he usually does, once he realizes that I'm not about to force him to have a snack.

The thing that really worries me about this is the future...I didn't realize I was going to be navigating through "No!" starting at 15 mos...Hopefully I won't be too much of a give-inner.  If I am, don't tell me right away. I might take it personally as that tends to happen. You can maybe tell my mom or Brandon and they'll (try to) brake it to me gently so I don't feel too horrible. You can tell me if I ask (although you should still use your best judgement here). You can also tell me in an indirect way, like "When this happens at our house, I do xxxx."  

Anyways, we hope you are well. Come visit us!