Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fun Family Christmas

Much as I would have liked to celebrate Christmas with my family in Seattle, we did have a really nice Christmas Day with just the three of us. She's a little more aware of Christmas now than last year, although she still calls Santa "Christmas" when you ask her who that is. She took her time opening presents and playing with each one, which was really nice, the way I was hoping it would go. Of course, it went on for hours. We had french toast for breakfast, then opened a bunch of presents and then went to noon mass at the Basilica. I think I'm over going to midnite mass, although it was really amazing to attend when I had the stamina. Maybe when Lily gets older and I'm old and can't sleep anyway, we'll go again. Ha.

When we got back home after church, Lily was really tired, in fact she fell asleep about 10 minutes from home. But then she insisted it was NOT naptime, so stayed up for another hour, and we opened presents again. She was doing her "I'm not sleepy" frenzy and was opening packages too fast, even ones that she knew were not for her. Then we opened a present from Wendy, and it was a fun blanket. I said "Hey, that might be good for nap" and that was a great idea! She went for it. Phew!

Later we opened the rest of the presents and ended with the easel my Mom and Dad got her. I think that and the train set I got off Woot! were her favorite things. And she got a lot of things!! This morning she got up and came downstairs where John was already up, and said, "Let's open more presents!" Ha! The thing is, we will be opening even more presents next week when we see John's dad and Dave and family.

Now, I have a question about accumulating all these wonderful toys and things for Lily. How do you get rid of anything?? One mom from the Lakeshore Learning store told me, "when they're asleep." Yeah, I guess that would be less stressful. But how do I choose what should go? What if she wants it next week?? Ack.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"My Head is Going Crazy"

I don't know where this came from, but whenever we're in the car and I back up, like for parking, Lily will say this. The first few times I thought I wasn't hearing her right, but no, that's really what she was saying. It's funny, isn't it? She knows what's going on, she tells me, "Mommy, you're going backwards." And it's not that it bothers her--she likes it, because in the movie Cars (which she wants to watch every day, but we only let her watch it, like, a couple times a week) there's a silly character that's a car and he drives backwards and it's very funny.

My funny baby.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"I'm Not Sleeping"

Yes, dear, and neither are we. Oh my Gawwwwwd, what a long day. Baby was very 2ish today. And I had a headache, which made me less patient. But it was like a thunderstorm of annoying 2-year-old behavior all day. Not responding to questions when asked. Ignoring me when I tell her to stop doing something, like EVERY thing I asked her not to do today. Breaking stuff, just because. Well, I guess it's because she's being a scientist, but ANNOYING. Messing up my stuff. I even prepared a sculpture session for her, with tons of my materials, like all the stuff she wants to get into all the time. That worked for about 10 minutes. And I was doing it with her, doing my own sculpture, and so of course she has to come over and mess with my stuff, even though I was helping her with hers when she wanted. No, she has to grab my pieces that I've already glued on, and pull them off. Aaaaaarrrgh! Then she pulled a stamp pad apart while "helping" to clean it up after she pulled it off a table taller than her. Like, pulled the spongy bits off the backing. And got it on herself, her clothes, the floor, and her binky.

Walking away when you're reading her a story. So you ask her about 4 times if she's done with the story or wants to finish it, with no response, before you shut the book and get up to do something else. Only to have her come running and insist she wants the story! What she really wants is your soul. No, okay, that's a bit harsh. But if you had the day I had...she just wants your complete and undivided attention, even if she's not paying any attention. You aren't allowed to do anything else. You're like one of those 19th century English butlers who has to be standing by at all times in case the master needs his nose wiped, even if your father is dying in the next room (reference to Remains of the Day). But I digress.

Wouldn't eat anything but sugar today, except for a few bites of good stuff. Wanted something to eat before nap, so I got it for her and then told her I was going to get myself a sandwich, and she said she was almost done, so I didn't make a sandwich. Two hours later, she fell asleep for nap. OH MY GAWD! And that was after 74 different delaying tactics.

Drinking my drink, after I let her make a cup of lemonade for herself. Grabbing my food out of my hand to nibble it, even if she has the exact same food on her plate. Not eating her food unless you feed her bite by bite. That one is really getting old.

Phew. It's 11:30pm now and I think she's finally gone to sleep, as I don't hear her running, jumping, or talking anymore in the other room. John got a taste of all this fun when he got home. I had to go in the bathroom and cry.

It's HARD being a parent some days. And it's not like she's trying to be a little monster. She's just two, and she's acting like a 2-year-old. I'm not even angry with her, although I am angry. And frustrated. And I make sure to tell her that Mommy is not mad at her. Most of the things she's doing, she can't help, she's not intentionally annoying me. She's just figuring things out. And testing limits. That one's a bit harder. I mean, the 74 delaying tactics? Who wouldn't want to scream? And it's even harder right now because she's sick. She has a cough and supersnot ("I have boogers," she'll tell us, when she needs her nose wiped) and a low fever. And so of course we cut her a little more slack. I think the 73rd delaying tactic was that she wanted a bottle of water (no, we aren't giving our baby Evian, she just gets a baby bottle with water in it). And at first I was like "No, no more delaying!" But then I thought, well, crap, what if her throat is sore and she really needs a drink of water? And I'm supposed to be pushing the fluids anyhow. So I asked her "Okay, do you really need a drink of water?" knowing full well she'd say yes. And I got it for her. Which gave her the opportunity to get up and start jumping on the bed again. Aaaaaaaaaa!

And in the middle of it all, she's constantly hugging me and kissing me and cuddling up and saying "I love you, Mommy." So whattya gonna do?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


"Everybody JUUUUUUUUUUMP!!!!!" This was Lily's mantra just a little while ago on our bed. We bounced along gamely, mostly watching her to make sure she didn't fall off the bed. She's so cute when she jumps, it's with such abandon and freedom.

Today we had our monthly art group meeting and John was being docent for Basilica tours at the same time, so I got to bring Lily with me to art group. She's really warming up to people, I love it. Today she was sharing everything, going around and asking people if they wanted orange slices from her orange, and then sharing the colored pencils that Sharon got out for her to color with. I swear, she sees her art aunties more than her grandparents who only live an hour away. Will I get this when I'm in my sixties, the desire to travel around the world and neglect seeing my grandkids more than 3 times a year?? Yeah, I'm a little peeved about it. But there it is. And what great art aunties she has! Sue brought her a wrapped present so she would have something to open when we exchanged our gifts. Such a sweetie. I made a great choice for a godmother. And friend. I think Sue is almost as much fun to shop for as Lily!!

Sorry no pictures right now, our camera broke and I'm not remembering how to upload pics from our old one. Never buy an HP camera, it's a piece of crap.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angels on the Elevator

Sounds like a title of a Frank Capra film, doesn't it? Well, it's actually about a toddler putting things where they don't go. And Mommy trying to keep her mouth shut and let her experiment. We have one of those old (as in I had one when I was a kid back in the day--the 1970's) Fisher Pricer garages, with the ramp and the elevator and cars that come with it. And it's become the central toy that all other toys revolve around. It's like the center of Lily's toy universe.

We have a lot of other cars besides the ones that come with the garage, and it's fun to play with all of them at the same time, seeing which ones fit down the ramp and how fast they go (Hot Wheels cars go pretty fast once they exit the ramp). Mostly Lily likes to initiate new cars into the garage, but sometimes other toys get the garage treatment as well. Today she tried to get a small watering can to go down the ramp. It didn't. Go. Just fell over. Getting out Christmas decorations, we found a couple of crocheted clothespin angels that a friend in Utah made us 15 years ago or so. Lily of course took them apart so they had no base to stand on, and then today she decided they should go for a ride in the elevator. I'm not sure if they fit or not. I had to look away and bite my tongue. This is a constant process I go through as a parent: She decides to play with something that isn't really a toy. I think: Can she hurt herself with it? Will it break? If it does, can I easily fix it? If I can't, do I really care? Is the joy of exploration worth more than the risk of the thing getting busted?

It's like I need a flowchart in my head. And on days when I have a headache, it's just too much to figure out for a hurting head. I've found I have to just decide ahead of time to stay calm and let things go. Within reason, of course. I'm allowed to yell a bit if she tries to turn on the stove.

Wow, I'm tired. But I have to share that I'm very proud of myself for getting through this day and keeping baby safe and happy. I've had a rotten headache all day long, Nora was out sick so I had no help and no breaks, and then John had to stay late at work. I even made Lily dinner, when I would have liked nothing better than to lie on the couch with an icepack on my head. Oh, and did I mention I had nausea as well? Those pesky migraines.

You know what makes it easier? I gets snuggles and hugs and cute little kisses all day long from Lily. If she's not already in my arms, most of the time all I have to do is look at her and open my arms wide, and she'll come running and jump into them. How can you complain when you get so much love?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Been Gone So Long

I've really been missing posting on this blog so I'm trying to get back into it again, and I think I'll change some things.

So let's just start with today. Lily is sick with some kind of cold and has a runny nose. No fever, but tired and cranky. Today was refusal day, as in everything (ok, 95% of everything) I proposed was rejected. There is always a cute element to her behavior, even when she's being a booger, which is often my saving grace that keeps me from getting really mad and just makes me smile and keep calm. I have had a migraine today so that makes it all the harder for me.

So the cute part of Lily's refusal is that she has her grammar mixed up a bit. I'll ask "Do you want some pear to eat?" And she'll say "I want not to eat a pear." And even though it's the seventeenth thing I've offered her to eat, I can still marvel at how she almost got it right with how to say a very clear NO. I mean, she's 2 1/2, for Chrissake, and she's speaking in complete sentences! She uses present and past tense correctly, says please, thank you, and you're welcome, and is generally amazing with her use of language.

Still, I have to admit I was extremely annoyed today, as she had decided that pretty much everything Mommy offered was rejected. And if she actually wanted to do something that I suggested, like read a book, she would go ask Daddy to do it instead. John was home today because of a big snowstorm, and so I was unpopular most of the time. Usually that doesn't get to me, but the headache kind of ruins my patient Mommy demeanor.

Tomorrow I guess I won't take her to school because she is sick and I don't want to give it to anyone else, even if it's not the flu. I took her to art class on Tuesday morning because the kids don't really interact much, as they all have their own art space and work individually. And she liked being out. The snowstorm was just starting and she loved seeing the snowflakes coming down. She was sort of hopping around like a little bunny.

John bought her a sled at Target today, which was a great idea, but I don't think we have any snowpants or waterproof jackets for her yet. Many, it's hard to keep up with having the appropriate seasonal clothes when they are growing so much!