Friday, December 26, 2008

Another Parenting Milestone

Before and After. Or After and Before. Whatever, you get the idea. I joined the ranks of parents who stay up after midnite on Christmas Eve to assemble my child's big Christmas present, a play kitchen. It was very satisfying. I had White Christmas on TV while I worked, and I drank hot chocolate. I even overcame the obstacle of finding out there were pieces missing! It still came out great and Lily loves it.

New Snowsuit!

Here's Lily in her new snowsuit the weekend before Christmas when we walked over to the nursery by our house to get a tree. It was snowing and beautiful out so we brought her with us and she got to try out her new snowsuit and snowboots.
The other pic is a closeup of her gingerbread-cookie-crumb face right before we left. You can really see the color of her eyes in it, they've changed from blue to a hazel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today: Four Poops and Mommy Go Pee-Pee

So here's silly girl playing peek-a-boo with the mirror.

About today. It's dry season here, what with the cold and the radiator heat on all the time. So two of my knuckles are bleeding from washing my hands so much today. Not spurting or gushing, just cracked skin and really sore, even with lotion on. The best stuff John and I have found for trying to keep our hands from being totally ravaged is Neutrogena's Hand Lotion. But I have to use it constantly because I'm always washing my hands, especially on a day like today, with FOUR POOPS! That's rather a lot, I think.

Okay, then the sentence thing. So far Lily only says a few words besides "Mom," "Dad," and her favorite, "DOG." Often during her naps she'll sit up and say "dog" and then go back to sleep. The other night I went to check on her after we'd put her to bed for the night, and she said "Dad." In her sleep. How cute is that? Sometimes she says "my dog" or "my dad" or "hi dad," and then there's words we've heard once but she didn't repeat them. Like "cracker." And the other day in the car she said "Mikey," her uncle's name. He'll be psyched to hear this. Of course, what he wants her to say is "Uncle Mikey is cool." That's gonna take longer. But she's babbling A LOT now and so I guess I'm tuning in to her more.

This evening I took her upstairs with me and told her "Mommy has to go potty," and went into the bathroom. She followed me in and while I was sitting there on the pot, I could swear she said "Mommy go pee-pee." Is that possible? Could she really string that together at this point? She's 18 months old tomorrow. We don't really use the word "pee-pee," we just say "pee." But she could have added the extra "pee" on her own, I suppose. She says "dog-dog" all the time.

Part of me thinks it's really funny that I'm all ga-ga over potty talk. But it really is exciting. John and I keep having dreams lately that Lily suddenly starts talking in complete sentences. It's really fun to be at this stage where she is starting to communicate back with us. I mean, you basically talk to your baby from day one as if they understand everything you're saying even before they can talk at all, and it's like talking to the dog. But now that's changing, she's following simple directions, like "take this to Mommy," and when we say "We're going upstairs now," she goes to the stairs. That's one stage, where you realize your child is truly understanding your words. But it's such a huge step to hear her then start using words herself for us to understand her.

When you ask her for a kiss now, she doesn't quite understand, but she does get it enough to put her cheek next to your face so you can give her a kiss. Like "You may kiss me now." Hee hee.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lily Gets a Perm!

Not really! Like I would do that. Right after I give her a tattoo. It's just the funniest nap hair she's ever had. Doesn't she look devilish in the top pic? She gets all sweaty when she sleeps and her hair goes wonky curly.
Okay, so I have to confess to some Mommy neurosis. Lily is now starting to feed herself, which is very exciting, but also very stressful for me. I don't know why it makes me so crazy, the mess. She's getting better with the spoon, but I know she has to be a spaz for a while until she gets proficient, so meanwhile she gets more food on her face, clothing, the floor, me, and the high chair than in her mouth. And she'll play with it and dump the food jar or tub over if I don't watch her closely. I guess that's where I draw the line, is dumping the food out. I'll let her explore, but when she picks up the food container, it makes me crazy because she's always turning it sideways or upside down to explore it. And I'm like "No! No dumping!" And If I try to hold the container down on the high chair tray so she can get her spoon in and out without the thing sliding all over the tray, she gets cranky and moves it all the way to the edge of the tray and then spoons it from there to her mouth, which of course makes a bigger mess because most of it never makes it to her mouth. I guess she's trying to be independent, but it's frustrating my efforts to get food into her! Argh. I feel like I'm being really neurotic about this, but I don't know how to just let it go. I mean, I can't just let her do whatever she wants all the time when she's eating. I have to set some limits. So then I'm constantly trying to find a balance between letting her explore and learn and even have fun, and setting limits about what she is allowed to do with the food. And it's exhausting! I have a headache right now and I know it started a couple hours ago when I was trying to feed her. John is much more laid back about the messiness, but then he's a guy and they don't really see mess anyway. Mess blinders, they have. Now I'm talking like Yoda. I need to just go take a break and make some art.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Can Climb on Chairs

And a-one, and a-two and a-three, abracadabra I'm sitting in the chair! Actually she's about to stand up, which we are trying to discourage. She fell off this chair backwards splat on the hardwood floor and that hurt. But amazingly, no bump!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My First poem about Lily

Lily Eating Strawberries (17 mos.)

At first she
gobbles them, you
slice each in-
to quarters
like the moon. Her
mouth open, a baby
bird's, waiting
for the next, too
eager to
use her hands.

Then fingers in-
terrupt yours, taking her
time, savoring feel,
movement, guiding her
hand to mouth, then
taste and nourishment. Sated.

Now the careful
pieces become more
experimental, devolve in-
to barely recognizable
shapes, squashed under
the shadow of her
curiosity, until
only red juice

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I Love Naps

Naps are so much fun with Lily, even when I don't get much sleep. She fights it at first, not wanting to go to sleep, but laughs when I drag her away from the edge of the bed by her leg back to the cozy nap spot we build every day on our bed, consisting of my big pregnancy pillow on two sides, the headboard on one side, and my body on the fourth side. She has her favorite bear and we have about four other bears on the bed, so we might have a little bear wrestling and tussling. And when I can see she is starting to get really sleepy, I open my arms, and she will sometimes just dive right into them and cuddle up against my body, with my head on top of her head. Of course, often she head butts me, which she doesn't seem to mind, but for me it smarts. But it's the most wonderful feeling when she dives into me like that. Then when she wakes up, she'll crawl on me again, or head butt me to get my attention if I'm not already awake. I love it. I love her, she's such a sweetie. I am so blessed.

While Mommy Was Crafting

Lily was exploring. Now, if I was all organized like those people in the Someset Studio magazines, I'd have all my ribbon on rolls mounted on the wall. But where's the fun in that? I just have all my bits of ribbon crammed in a big Ziploc, and when Lily wants to look at it, I just hand her the bag and she gets to do this. It doesn't take that much time to clean up, and she has a great time with all the colors and textures. And Daddy even draped some of them around her to show off her princessyness. I just made up that word.

The Fast Slide

This slide was super fast. We went on it three times. Once Lily went down by herself, and although she looked happy, I thought it was a bit much for her, so Daddy held her the other two times.

There were other slides as well that we did, but these are the only ones I took pictures of because I was having a hard time keeping up! Lily had a fantastic time playing, and we did, too, although I am not sure who was more worn out after.

Not Really

But Miss Snarky Pants did have cabin fever by the time she got well, after the two weeks of diarrhea. Oy. So when she got well we took her to this really fun place, an indoor park and play area that has this massive play structure that you climb up into. There's a toddler area, which we played in first, that's the bottom three pictures. Then there's the big kids area with big slides and a climbing wall and all kinds of stuff. The top pic here shows how they made "stairs" for the kids to climb up. John is helping Lily climb.

It was interesting in that the structure was built for parents to fit through, and they actually encourage parents to go through it with their kids, but we didn't see that many other parents. Most of them were sitting in this sort of amphitheatre below the play structure, reading, drinking coffee, basically ignoring their kids. Yeah, quality time.

Mommy and Daddy don't buy me any toys

So I have to play with the toilet paper.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going On A Dog Hunt

First thing in the morning, before I even get clothes on, I think it's best to find some dogs. First, see, I found a picture of a dog on the toilet paper roll package, and then, as you can see, I found the picture of dogs in this book. Am I good or what?

My First Popsicle

Yum. I ate about half of it. I even knew how to hold it right.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Can Walk Up The Slide In My New Shoes!

Yeah, not really. She fell over the side and went bumpo in the sand. But she's okay. Just another minor speed bump in the life of a toddler. Still had lots of fun going down the slide today. It was unseasonably warm.

A Historic Moment

As I write this and sit up late on my computer because I can't sleep because I have a migraine, I listen on MPR to John McCain's concession speech. Wow, I can hardly believe it. It was almost too much to hope for, but we finally live in a country that can elect a black man to be President. Can I get an Amen?! Dr. King's gotta be havin' a party in Paradise.

Now this is a world I'm happy to bring a child into. Not another one, mind you. Don't get any ideas. I already have the perfect tot. But how cool is it that she'll grow up and learn in her American History that when she was less than 2 years old, we elected a black man to be president. And she was part of it. That's right, she voted. Hey, she has the sticker to prove it.


Spider Girl Checks Out the Climbing Wall

I Can Fly! I Can Fly! I Can Fly!

(to the tune of Peter Pan music). This is Lily playing on a bouncy jet at a park near Mary and Jack's. What a happy girl! We had the park all to ourselves, so we tried out everything. Yes, I'm going backward in time, do not attempt to adjust the horizontal. We have control over the vertical.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stage 2: Runny Poo

For 1-2 weeks. Well, been through one week. Oy, messy. Stinky. Poor baby, you can tell when her tummy hurts. Not too bad on the diaper rash. Can't go out anywhere because she's contagious as long as she has diarrhea. I cheated today and took her to Nordstrom this morning and got her some big girl shoes. She's been squished into her leather shoes for a while and we haven't been able to get out, so I wanted her to have some good walking shoes. Got some hot pink Stride-Rites. Why are they as expensive as adult shoes? Can someone esplain this to me? No make sense. Tiny.

So Halloween sucked. Better luck next year. I want to go to ZooBoo and to at least one event with my SAHM group. I was just so looking forward to doing Halloween stuff with her. WAH, says the Mommy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

After a Day of the Vomit Virus

These are blurry because they were basically taken in the dark. I'm lying on the floor in Lily's room and everyone is finally sleeping. Although Cocoa peeked when the flash went off. Phew, we made it. Poor Lily. After the second barfing this morning within an hour, we called the triage nurse at her clinic (which wasn't open yet) and she said Lily had the "vomit virus" that is going around. Ew.

I think I might have had that a few days ago, only I never actually vomited, just felt on the verge of it all day. Had to walk to Walgreen's with Lily in the stroller (about 3 blocks) to pick up some presciption anti-nausea meds. But enough about me.

My poor baby threw up about 6 times, I think. I lost count after we had to change her outfit for the 3rd time. All we could do was try to keep her hydrated, which meant giving her a few teaspoons of Pedialyte (baby Gatorade) every 5 minutes. For 4 hours, then if she had stopped vomiting, we could double the amount of liquid we gave her. But we couldn't give her anything else to eat or drink. It was heartbreaking watching her throw up and cry in bewilderment. We decided John would stay home, because we weren't sure how labor intensive this would be. It was not as bad as it could have been (said like a true Midwesterner). She did stop throwing up after noon. Took a long nap (I napped with her) without any barfing and then we started giving her more liquid and she kept it down. At about 7 in the evening we gave her some crackers and she was so happy! Every time one of us ate something today, she cried because she wanted some and we couldn't give it to her. So it was great to finally have her own crackers again. And she kept them down, no more barfing.

We don't know if she gets milk tomorrow morning or not, or if I should take her to her ECFE class. We're just glad to get through the day. We'll call the nurse in the morning to figure out what's next.

Notice how she's wearing the same jammies she wore this morning. Only because we had to do a load of vomity laundry.

It All Started With an Innocent TP-ing

This morning: 7 a.m. Miss Lily decides the hall needs some new decor. She looks a bit wan. Should have been a clue...She threw up a few minutes later. That was the first one.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Playing on the Deck at Jack and Mary's

Here's cousin Amanda walking Lily up the stairs, while cousin Emily messes up her Dad's hair. Then of course we have the "walk towards me now" picture, and the camera wouldn't go off fast enough! And then the cutie walking around after stealing some of Daddy's pizza.

I Eat It

Lily actually picked two apples by herself. Then she tried to eat one. She doesn't have quite the tooth power to do that yet, although she can eat bites after we cut it up. But I thought, how great, she got to go to an apple orchard this young and this was my FIRST time ever. I guess it's a midwestern thing. Next year I'm hoping we get to go pick blueberries with her. She would love that, and make a big mess.

Goin' On A Hay Ride

Actually, it was a hayless ride, which was good for me because I'm allergic to hay. So the top pic is us in the wagon, about to be pulled by two big draft horses into the apple orchard. The bottom pic is the fab tire swing they had at the orchard. Lily loved swinging in it with Daddy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mom 'n' Lily in the Hammock Chillin'

This is at Jack and Mary's the weekend we stayed there for Jack's 70th birthday party. It was great weather, and although I had a headache (the patch on my forehead is a cooling gel) I still had a great time, and so did Lily. They are right on the lake and it's just beautiful there.

Hey, Look, I'm the Dog. I'm Chewing This Ball.

Of course I know how to use a spoon.

I Can Suck My Own Toe!

And man is it funny!

Thrift Store Cuteness

Okay, so the coat is a little big. But so cute! And the hat is just fairy-tale princess cute. We got these at the thrift store Savers in Eau Claire, WI when I spent my birthday weekend at Mary and Jack's. It was a great way to celebrate, cuz I love thrift stores. We found clothes, books, toys, and even a new Halloween costume for Lily.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


After lunch, I kind of let Lily loose to see what she wanted to explore. There's a lot of open space on the second floor of the Children's Museum, and big windows, so first she had to climb up on the window ledge and look out. In the top shot you can see in the background the church down the block where Mike and Sue got married.
She carried her bear around a lot this trip, which was very cute. And yes, she climbed up all those stairs, and was very proud of herself.

Fun Mirror!


Here's Lily playing in a new exhibit at the Children's Museum, all about balls. It was pretty fun, especially the part just for toddlers. She hasn't really figured out how to throw yet, but she likes picking up the balls and moving them around.