Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Why on earth would anyone think a swimsuit pageant would be a fun activity for 2-YEAR-OLDS???? And who would spend $200 on a swimsuit for a 2-year-old? And how the hell did the seller get her daughter to sit still to put that much eye makeup on her (see second photo in the listing).
Check out the seller's other listings ... the one where her daughter is getting crowned and someone has to hold the crown on her head because her head's too small just makes me throw up a little in my mouth.
One of the first official "hacks" I performed as a parent involved the cheap little plastic washtub we got from the hospital - you know, the one they use to give the baby a bath at the hospital, and they can't sterilize them, so you get to take it home with you. Since we already had an official baby bathtub we'd gotten as a shower gift, we ended up turning the hospital tub into a stain removal center.
We kept the tub on the floor in our laundry room, and whenever one of Liza's pieces of clothes got stained, we'd throw it in the tub instead of the regular laundry. When the tub was full, I'd use a stain stick on all the stains, throw a scoop of OxyClean Baby into the tub, and fill it up with the hottest water I could get. I'd throw the clothes in and go so something else for an hour. When I was ready to start the clothes in the main washer, I'd pour the entire contents of the tub - clothes, water, and all - into the washer, along with the unstained clothes and detergent. And darned if 90% of the stains didn't come out!
This method had two benefits over some of my other options, which included soaking the clothes in a sink or in the washer itself. First of all, who wants to soak poop-stained clothes in a sink you're going to use for other stuff? Our laundry was in our bathroom, so I would have had to soak poopy pants in the sink where I wash my face and brush my teeth. Ick. And soaking clothes in the washer would have tied up the washer for an hour and used a lot more water.
Now that Liza's older and we don't have quite so many stains, the tub has been pressed into duty for a few other things, including puke bucket and place to put the kid when she's pooped in the tub. Not bad for an ugly plastic washtub we got for free!
My plan to get Liza to stop spitting water/food/milk/spit all over the place at every meal is finally working - she gets a temporary tattoo if she makes it through the whole day without spitting. Today she got her first tatt. Awww ....
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
And now she's walking and running (well, more of a gallop most of the time, but we're working on that), climbing and crawling, learning to do somersaults and (occasionally) walking on the balance beam with no extra support in her tumbling class. She still always wants to walk up stairs leading with the same leg, but will switch to the other leg if I ask her to, and she doesn't have to drag herself up with her arms anymore when she does it. She's even gone up by alternating legs for a few steps, which just looks so grownup it makes me ache.
When I asked her what today was, she said "Gym Day! See Penelope! And Sybil! No Matt - Matt's at Work. Daddy's at work, far away. .... parachute!" She's been singing the words she can remember to every song she's ever heard in one continuous mishmash loop (Barney is a dinosaur hmhmhmhmhmhmh Abc's and 123's and hmhmhmhmhFriend! hmhmhmh DO DAH! DO DAH! hmhmhmhmhm 5 miles long hmhmhm DO DAH! DO DAH! )and holding five-minute (somewhat one-sided) conversations with my mother on the telephone, turning to me out of nowhere and announcing "The chairs are upside-down" when the carpet cleaners had upended the chairs on top of the dining room table, spraying milk all over the expensive chair in our living room and smiling, saying "I'm sorry Mommy, spitting makes a BIIIIG mess!" in the happiest voice imaginable.
She sees the childproofing gate closed in the kitchen doorway and says "gate closed means stay out" and goes to play with her pretend kitchen in the dining room, where she cooks me a pot of beans and a chocolate ice cream cone and makes me fill her teapot with pretend water about 15 times in a row. She sees me painting the deck and says "Mommy colors on the wall?"
When asked what she wants for dinner, she will always, always reply either "grilled cheese" or "mac and cheese," so you'd better find a way to describe whatever you're serving as one of those two. Rice-a-roni? Just like mac and cheese, only pointier. Pita bread with hummous and feta? Special grilled cheese. Chicken soup? Granted special dispensation because it was the only "real" food we gave her during the stomach flu debacle a few months ago, and she was so grateful that now it's apparently ambrosial.
Also granted special dispensation - tofu and edamame, the boiled soybeans served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants. She likes tofu so much that I have to order her bowl of miso soup with extra tofu - lots of extra tofu - just to keep her busy until the edamame arrive. The kid can blow through 2/3 of a serving of edamame (or "beans" as she calls them) in less time than it takes to write this, squeezing the pods so hard that they squirt across the table and occasionally across the room. She loves playing with chopsticks, and she thought it was just awesome when I was feeding her pieces of pickled ginger from my "sticks" earlier this week. She grabbed her pair and managed to actually fork some of the shredded cabbage plate decoration into her mouth, so pleased with her accidental success that she ate three or four mouthfuls before she realized what she was doing.
She has stopped demanding juice first thing in the morning, and instead drags all four (five? six?) members of the posse down to the kitchen and demands to show them her plants (the vegetable seedlings we planted earlier this week, which are sprouting in pots on the windowsill). At bedtime she tells me when she's too tired to read the usual number of books or sing the regular songs ... "Mommy, COVERS!" "No Amazing Grace ... night night, Mommy! Kiss bunny! Kiss Bob! Kiss Mingo! Kiss ... sheep? Sheep! Kiss Kitty! Kiss Pink Duck! Kiss Zebra! Kiss Mingo again! Sweet dreams!"
She sits through books with actual plots and, thank the lord, paragraphs, such as The Poky Little Puppy and The Story of Ferdinand. Henny Penny is a favorite this week, and I tickle her stomach to cue her to say the line "the sky is falling " in an increasingly silly voice. When her Pooh song book ran out of batteries in the middle of getting ready for bed tonight, she didn't throw a fit, just said okay when I told her we would buy more batteries tomorrow. If asked, she will "read" me one of the storybooks Jason brought home from Italy, which says things like "she is yellow, like the sun."
She loves the "numbers" Jason's mom got her for her birthday - a set of foam letters and numbers that you can stick to the wall of the tub. We started her out with just the numbers, but now that she knows all of those (and even counted to 15 one time), we give her a handful of letters each night to play with in the shower. She sticks them to the wall, mostly in the wrong direction, then lovingly adjusts them when I tell her what's wrong. At the end of the shower she has to line them up on the wall to make a word, all of the letters touching in a strange arc across the tile, all consonants with an occasional 1 or 7 thrown in for good measure. She loves to watch me write, spelling out the names of people we know on the AquaDoodle and pointing out each of the letters as I draw them. She holds her AquaDoodle pen as if she had been writing all her life, at least when she isn't squeezing it as hard as she can to make it leak dots of water all over the mat.
She has to ring the doorbell before she will go through the front door (thanks a lot, Jason). She rang it with the storm door shut the other day, and I told her it was just a little ring because of the door being closed. When I opened the door, she rang again and said "Now it's a BIIIIG ring!" Going to the mailbox is the daily after-nap ritual, and boy, is she ticked if we didn't get anything. The endless parade of school buses, mail trucks, delivery trucks, tree trimming trucks, garbage trucks, and cars of notable colors that pass our house are all commented on and apparently require confirmation - "yes, that is the garbage truck."
Whenever our car turns in to our development when we return from a trip, she announces "The New House!" Today when we went for a bicycle ride and I came into the development a different way, she leaned forward in her seat and started poking me in the back, yelling "Missed New House! Missed House!"
She loves my old Fisher-Price doctor kit, complete with funky-smelling oral thermometer and a blood pressure cuff with a dial that spins when you squeeze the bulb. I get examined thoroughly at least twice a day, including checks for reflexes on my boobs and eyeballs, and an oral exam that involves her attempting to ram the pretend otoscope down my throat. Oh, and shots, too, lots of shots, some of which she also gives to herself (how unsanitary!).
She calls the white skull-and-crossbones charms I put on her crocs, "crabs." When in doubt, any bird is a blue jay, a woodpecker, or a sea gull. Or a duck, of course.
It's just so weird that she's finally turning into a kid, someone with whom I can hold a conversation without having to feed her lines, someone who listens when I tell her things and picks them up right away. Tell her one day that this is your wrist, this is your elbow, this is your shoulder, and later that week she's liable to tell you she wants her sticker on her wrist, not her shirt.
She's busy all the time - I can definitely see why the Montessori folks call the various learning play activities "works," because she's serious about figuring this stuff out. I kept her busy for over an hour yesterday by handing her a garden hose and some different size buckets and cups ... she didn't need any guidance from me beyond moving the hose to a new spot on the lawn every 15 minutes or so to keep her from drowning, she just experimented with how to pour water from the hose into the containers, how to pour from one container to the other, what happens if I hold the hose over my head, holy crap that water is cold, oh look my feet are sinking into the lawn and I can make big muddy splashes if I jump up and down, etc.
I told her today that we were starting a new system, and if she could make it through a whole day without spitting (her new favorite pasttime), I'd give her a temporary tattoo. She sat there and listened to my whole explanation, looking at me the whole time, and examined the tattoos closely. We'll see if she can pull it off tomorrow, but at least for that moment, I'm pretty sure she understood the bargain.
Yes, it's been a good week, and yes, she still acts like a 2-year-old, turning selectively deaf when she doesn't feel like doing what I ask her to do, occasionally throwing herself on the floor and flailing to indicate her displeasure at the turn of events. But she's also gotten smart enough that if I come up with a reasonable explanation, she turns off the tantrum like a faucet and moves on, which is a refreshing change from the round-the-clock screamfests from her early months.
The kid who used to scream if anyone other than me even looked at her is now willing to (uneasily) let the waitress lift her into the high chair or the bus driver lift her up the stairs on the bus. When strangers talk to her she still does the "turn away and pretend I'm not here" thing, but she's smiling when she does it, and I think she does it more because she knows it's cute than because she's really shy. She actually answered two of the waitress' questions at dinner the other night. Instances of whiny cries of "mooooommmmmmmyyyyyyyy" while grabbing the lower half of my body and attempting to climb up my front have decreased markedly in the last month, as have night wakings and nights and naps where it's impossible to get her to sleep.
There are still plenty of moments (and days) when I could cheerfully wring her neck, but the rest of the time I'm glad she's around. Gives me an excuse to watch the first 15 minutes of Finding Nemo over and over again, if nothing else :)
I love, love, love this photo. The rest of the series is interesting, but this one totally rocks.
Oh, and this one is cool, too, if only because it looks like the balloon is some evil flower about to eat her hand. Bwahahahaha
Oh, and this one ... "Und having made the incision with my bare hands, I vill reach into the chest cavity and remove the cancer like ... SO!"
Ooooh, and the symmetry on the balloon plus the goofy expression on the guy makes this one a winner.
You really need to just flip through the whole photoset. Wicked cool.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Yesterday at 5:30 a.m., I was awakened by the Mother of All Bladder Infections. "Come into the bathroom," she whispered into my ear. "I have something to show you." I won't even tell you what that bitch did to me in there, but it was gruesome. Somehow I managed to live until 9 a.m., when my doctor's office opened, and the nurses hoisted me off the stoop and into an examining room.
I love my doctor because he's not at all nonchalant about illnesses. He is always highly alarmed by my condition, whatever it is, as if he'd never seen anything like it before. Strangely, I find this reassuring. If I'm in pain, I don't want my medical specialist to poo-poo my discomfort. So when he gasped in horror at the sight of my urine specimen--just eyeballing it made him gasp, kids! It didn't look good!--I kind of wanted to kiss him full on the mouth. It would have made an adorable story for our future children. Unfortunately we're both married, and my husband was fretting in the waiting room. Our love, it cannot be.
And by the way, "finslippy" is one of those words that gets stuck in my head and repeats and repeats, despite the fact that it doesn't mean anything. Stupid thing has been bouncing around for days. And now that I've written about it, I'm guaranteed at least a few more days. Sigh.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Includes such hits as "why our town has the airport's noise complaint phone number on it's homepage," "talking in sentences (sorta)," and "native dancing culminated by demonic possession." After a description like that, how could you NOT watch?
Sunday, May 20, 2007
And some lovely snapdragons ...
Oh, you mean that satellite dish. Funny, I barely even noticed it!
I can't wait until the pampas grass matures. Twelve feet high! Huzzah!
Friday, May 18, 2007
- Spray a small microwave-safe container with cooking spray. I've used a coffee mug, a Pyrex casserole dish, and a cereal bowl, all with good results.
- Break an egg into the container and use a fork to stir it up, mixing in a little milk or water to thin it down and some salt and pepper to season, if you think the anklebiter would like it.
- Microwave on high for about 45 seconds, then use the fork to flip over the cooked egg and break it up a little. You can sprinkle some cheese on top at this point, if you want.
- Microwave for another 30-60 seconds, depending on how dry the kid likes his eggs and how powerful your microwave is.
The eggs will be ridiculously hot when they're done, so DO NOT give them to a kid right away. We've had good luck with spreading them out on a separate plate (not the container they were cooked in) and putting them in fridge or freezer for a minute or two. Cleanup of the cooking container should be pretty easy if you sprayed it before use; if you didn't spray it, you may have to soak it for a while to get the cooked egg off.
Credit for this hack goes to our friends the Wendlings, who have used this hack almost every morning for the past six years. Their kids like their eggs, I can tell you that.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Yes, these are proofs, and I'm not supposed to duplicate them. However, since I'm duplicating them for the sole purpose of telling the world that I love Brunner's photos so much that I may be willing to drive for 6 hours to have my daughter's portrait done there every year, I don't think they'll sic their lawyers on me anytime soon.
That last shot is one of my favorites, even though you can't see her face that well. Anytime I get to see her trying to put bracelets on Mingo the Flamingo (proud member of the Pink Posse)'s neck, I break into a chorus of awwwws. And you can't even see the ring-around-the collar Mingo is developing from being carried around by his neck by a grubby-handed urchin.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Check back (much) later for gratuitous cute kid video, featuring interpretive dance, demonic possession, shoe baptisms, and much, much more!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Okay, maybe it's not as pretty as SouleMama's, but still - no more trekking up and down 17 stairs to double check things when I write patterns! Hurrah!
Those ugly navy curtains have got to go ... after I finish the kitchen valance, and the master bedroom curtains, and the guest room curtains, and the guest room quilts ... looks like I'm going to have to learn to like them for at least a few months.
Not to be outdone, Jason has been busy in the basement and garage:
Yes, the garage still looks like a disaster, and I can't reach half of the things I need, but a lot of the boxes will clear out on trash day, and the rest of the clutter is garage sale stuff that needs to be organized once there's room to do so. Oh, and that chest-high pile of broken-down boxes? It's for sale, if you want any.
Finally, I've got the house finished enough inside that I finally got around to starting the garden. Nothing like a little red-and-white-annual action to draw the eye away from the enormous satellite tv dish we installed 10 feet away, smack in the middle of our front yard. The guy is coming on Wednesday to see if there's anyplace else in the yard or roof we can install it that is a) less of an eyesore, and b) not against our township's zoning laws (oops). We haven't heard any complaints yet, but I'm sure it's coming. Nothing says, "We're your gracious new neighbors!" like planting one of those in the front yard. If only we had a rusty car on cinderblocks to park next to it, or maybe one of those concrete lawn statues ... I'm thinking we hitch the concrete burro (and maybe concrete Mexican guy, too) to the dish, make it look useful. Then install some of those blackface stable boy statues at the end of the driveway, and maybe a Virgin Mary in a grotto praying to the dish. That should offend just about everyone in the neighborhood, right?
**which actually contains nothing lubricated, X-rated, or battery-powered - just miscellaneous bud vases, Christmas coffee mugs, and other stuff I found on sale that doesn't yet have an intended recipient. Great for those last minute "Oh crap, I forgot to get Jason's boss's wife a gift for him to take to their Christmas party" situations.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Books shelved, "wat-nots" (as the movers labeled them) distributed, lamps lit, pictures and quilts hung, carpet vacuumed, dining room turned into a William Wegman Shrine, kitchen turned into a Sandy Frick shrine. Check. There are still a few miscellaneous bits and pieces to put away (or throw away), but at least you can see most of the carpet and the top of the dining room table.
Meanwhile, Liza was doing some rearranging of her own:
Friday, May 11, 2007
Why it pays to just pack the thread in a shoebox instead of on the wall organizer:
Unloved and unwanted sewing/craft supplies that don't have a home in the sewing room (yet)
Because my mother was right, the old kitchen paint was the color of dried blood. Now if we can just do something about the countertops they faux-finished to look like malachite ... ***
The last of the main boxes - nothin' but books, baby! Four tall, three wide, and three deep ...
What happens when you move from a 3000-sq-ft house to a 1700-sq-ft house? Basement Overload. Not to mention Garage Impairment and Bulging Shed-itis.
Oh, and I found my checkbook - it was in my knitting bag. And, buried under a load of stuff in an unloved section of my "office" stuff, a gift card that a friend gave me two years ago ... guess we're going to find out whether Victoria's Secret was serious when it said they never expire.
*** new kitchen paint color: Butter Up, from Sherwin-Williams, the same as our last house. The semi-annual paint sale is this week, so we stocked up on some of the colors we know we'll be using. Our bedroom will be Restful, the color we used in the family room in our last house. The guest room and lower-level bathroom will be Lupine on the top, and white beadboard from the waist down. We're staining our swingset and deck, too, but I can't find links to those colors. Red and green, respectively, in case you were wondering.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Oh, and in case anyone wants a trip down memory lane, here's a link to Liza's birthday post last year.