Monday, September 28, 2009

Five, Six, Seven, and Maybe Eight

Lucy is dentally challenged. Most babies her age have eight to twelve teeth. She's got four. Four tiny little teeth. The little gnaw-y beaver teeth. Yeah, yeah, some kids are slow teethers. I'm still inclined to make an appointment to get her fitted for some dentures. Can't you see it? "C'mon, Lu. Spit 'em out. Time to soak your teeth."

I mean, it would just be so convenient not to have cook the bejebers out of everything just so that Lucy can eat some. Call me practical. Lucy's been eating solid food for over half her life. You'd think nature or evolution or someone "up there" would be generous enough to allow her some tools with which to chew it.

Do you remember last week when I was all, "Thank you, Lucy, for giving me no qualms whatsoever about leaving you for an entire lifetime weekend." Remember that? I have two words for you.

Mo-lars.

That's right. The big fat ones. In the back. The ones that are supposed to be the most painful. Three of them have just cut. The fourth one is just hanging out causing general havoc beneath the bulging gums. Of COURSE Lucy would skip the four other teeth she was supposed to get in between then and now.

When she'd be all crabby and not sleeping and I would want to blame the bane of baby-hood, I would look in her mouth and not see anything going on. Of course I was looking beside the four teeth that she already had for the ones that were supposed to come next. It's like those "I didn't know I was pregnant" shows where the girl goes to the ER and they palpate for appendectomy trauma or want to MRI for pancreatic cancer or something. Way to be oblivious.

My reaction would tend toward pity if these teeth didn't make Lucy so darned naughty. They must be the opposite of wisdom teeth. EVIL teeth. Telling her to do naughty things like wipe spaghetti sauce all over the freshly laundered table cloth. Or test out her running skills on the sofa. Or play with cords every time my back is turned. Or turn the Whine Amplifier to 12 (This is Spinal Tap, anyone?) and add another layer of screech.

But, at least I know what's going on now, and I can try to be patient and sensitive to the fact that the girl is probably in pain. Try. I can't remember who told me this, but it's been repeating in my head lately: "If it's really really good or really really bad, you can be certain that it will be short."

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Now, short is a pretty relative term. But it does bring a little hope.

I'm Hoarse from Blathering

It was a good weekend.

I went to bed last night before 9pm. And I had trouble getting up this morning with Lucy at 7:45. Oh, I think there might have been a twenty minute hiatus where I had to get up to rock a screaming baby, but I mostly slept through it, so I'm not sure it counted.

Things I liked best about meeting all my bloggy friends this past weekend:
  • Maggie and I almost missed our flight to Sac town because we were warming up our Talky McChattersons. And we were sitting right there. In front of the gate.
  • All of my expectations - be they about the logistics or the people - were greatly surpassed.

This is what it looks like to hang with internet addicts.
Who have fancy phones with internet on them.
  • I laughed until I was in pain. Mostly because of Whitney and Amy. Them's some funny girls.
  • Elizabeth was the most gracious and lovely of hostesses. I still can't believe all the trouble she went through. The weekend was amazing in no small part to her.
  • We all picked up like old friends that haven't seen each other for a while. Except we had to, you know, ask very basic questions like where are you from and about your family and whatever. But our PHILOSOPHICAL outlooks? Everyone knows about those.

The ladies at a fancy-pants lounge
  • These girls got me drunk on wine, in a spa chair, on the dance floor, and in recovery mode by Sunday.
Let's do this again next year.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Photos: Real Quick

This girl has turned into a monster testing all the boundaries. I don' t think I could have planned a better weekend away to recharge with girlfriends.

If you can't get 'em out, join 'em!

I gave Lucy some strawberries and whipped cream the other day. She started with the whipped cream, then sucked it all off the fruit before handing me her bowl full of strawberries asking for more.

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Austin Powers move with her new toy borrowed from Jackson.
(FYI, I'm DOING MY HAIR in the bathroom.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Three Things on This Thursday

1. Firstly, and most importantly, I got up at six this morning again to run. I'm doing it, people. The only non-negotiable is having the Bubba get up at the same time in order to get my lazy bum help motivate me out of bed. And? I stepped on the scale this morning against my better judgement, but! I'm at my lowest weight. Well, lowest weight since November, 2007. And that made me want to try on some of my "skinny" clothes. Weeeelllllll, we still have a ways to go. But we're on the right track!!

Secondly, I have all kinds of stuff to get done today because I leave TOMORROW for Sacremento! Swag for the Blathering. Library run for adequate amounts of trashy novels for the airports. Figuring out what knitting project I'm taking and whether I have bamboo needles that size in order to get it through security at the airport! Laundry! I guess I should also think about packing. But which outfit which day? And accessories? I can actually wear fun earrings since there won't be anyone trying to grab them out of my head!

Thirdly, my child. Do the Terrible Twos start at 13 months? I'm beginning to think yes. She climbs, she takes things apart, she tears the leaves off my house plants! When Lucy gets it in her head to do something, God help the person trying to stop her. She can out-wait me. And by that I mean distraction techniques are no longer working.

Let's take the example of the garden, shall we? When we play in the yard, it is inevitable that Lucy will become at some point interested in "picking strawberries" whether or not there are red ones, and mostly this just means terrorizing my garden. I will correct her, play in her sand box with her, show her how to pick dandelions, and otherwise occupy her. She will wait until the very second my guard is down and then bee line for my garden again, tomatoes be damned! She's like a super robot that calculates my next move in order to destroy me. I have nothing more to say about this - other than GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND, BUBBA!

Lu, were you a house cat in your former life?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

13 Things You Might Want To Know Before Meeting Me

I luuuuuurve meeting new people. However, meeting a bazillion new people all at once is a little more than intimidating. But that's just what I'm going to do this weekend in Sacramento!

So! In preparation for The Blathering, here are 13 things about me:

1. Remembering peoples' names is basically the hardest thing EVER for me. I am a typical extrovert, but I have an AWFUL time remembering peoples' names even though I really, REALLY want to. I often ask people to repeat their names two or three times within moments of meeting them. This is a super embarrassing flaw. Please don't hate me for it.

2. I'm a loud talker. I have lots of siblings for which I will blame this. My mom calls my oldest brother and me Mr. and Ms. Loud. I'm also a loud laugher. And I laugh a lot.

3. I'm pretty good at being a chill mom, but I might make you look at all the photos on my phone or iPod. And also? I really do want to see all the photos on yours. Even if they're pets.

4. I have quite a potty mouth that I am trying to curb now that my daughter repeats most of what I say. Chances are, after a drink or two, no holds barred sailor swearing will ensue. I do my best to keep it under wraps.

5. Another quirk that comes out with a little alcoholic lubrication: my need to make everyone laugh. I am relentless in my trying to be funny. Sometimes it works. Sometimes the foot goes into the word hole.

6. I really like doing things with my hands. I can't watch TV without a yarn or sewing project, I tear the labels off of my beers, I constantly turn my wine glass in my hands, I twirl my hair. I'm not nervous, I'm just not still.

7. I'm a toucher! I hug! I back slap and hip bump and nudge. But I am not at all offended if you remind me that I'm in your personal space.

8. SAHM is an new position for me. It turns out I really like it, and I really like my kid. I read and learn all I can about my new profession. I could talk to you for ages about babies' cognitive and physical development. I find it FASCINATING.

9. Other than that stuff, my favorite things to talk about are books and food and knitting. I'm always looking for book recommendations and new recipes and patterns.

10. I'm a huge francophile. I have a Masters in French Studies which I am currently putting to use by teaching the language to a small person who strongly resembles my husband.

11. My knitting is compulsive. I have two or three projects cast on at any given time and I have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning not only to finish a project but to get to the "good part" of one. Like turning the heel of socks or finishing the cable panel or getting to the armpits of a sweater. Oh the thrill!

12. I come from a family of 5 and my Bubba is one of seven. Together, we have 25ish nieces and nephews. Our families are a big part of who we are and we cherish them, and I get kind of defensive when people judge big families.

13. Games are awesome in my book. Any sort, really. Scratch that - no sport-type games. I'm so uncoordinated I can't drive a stick shift. Any other games? I'm in.

This weekend is basically going to be the Mother of blind dates. I don't know anyone but Maggie. But I'm looking forward to it more than I am anxious about it, I think. I mean, if these ladies are anything like their blogs? We're already bestsies.

Back on the Wagon

The Fitness. It has not lived here for a while. I have not written about it because, um, let's say it went on summer vacation for the past few months. Oh hell, let's be honest. I've just been super lazy.

But that's the past! I've turned over a new leaf (again)!

On Saturday, I flippantly asked the Bubba how I could possibly ever be a better wife to him. I mean, because obviously I am awesome and that pertains also to wifehood. And then I decided that that was an interesting question if taken seriously, and a good opportunity for personal growth. So I asked him to think seriously about it and we'd talk about it later.

You're probably wondering where the heck this is going by now. Well, I won't divulge the intimate parts of the Way We Work, but I will tell you that one of the things that my Bubba said was that he loved to see me as proud of myself as I was when I started from fat and lazy and worked my way to (fat and) 5k. And that got me to thinking.

SO! Ergo! Therefore. The new leaf. I've got a new 10k training program that I've devised for myself. It includes yoga on Mondays and the Shred on Wednesdays and a cardio workout video on Fridays. Running Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Three days in and so far so good (premature much, Lizzie?)!

The excuse factory for me ran on WHEN. When do I exercise? I like running and getting out, but Lucy likes riding in the jogging stroller some days and not others, or it's such a pain to get baby and baby gear out of the house. And after the Bubba gets home, my day is just done. Bath, bedtime, dinner, dishes, unwinding, done.

But today! I set the alarm clock and got up before my child. It was weird to have a few minutes of hushed dark morning just with my Bubba and me as I laced up my runners and contemplated long or short sleeves. I grabbed nothing but my iPod and out I went.

There were very few people out on the Burke Gilman Trail in the chill and the sun was just beginning to color the sky over Montlake and Capitol Hill and Mount Rainier. And I was alone with my thoughts for the day. I thought about my plans for going out of town to the Blathering this weekend, what Lucy's schedule is like this week, errands I need to run.

And when I got back home, Lucy had just started stirring and I had enough time for a quick shower. Before the Bubba headed off to work.

It seems like a great time to have to myself, but the bed is just so! nice! I'm working on it though, people. The routine. And then when it's routine it won't be quite so hard. Right? RIGHT?

If you have kids/busy schedules/no time when or how do YOU exercise?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Photos: Randomness

Lucy has figured out:
- posing when the camera is pointed at her
- throwing things away in the kitchen trash can
- bringing mom her shoes and hat to go outside
- how the spigot works in the bath tub

I'm doing my best to keep up with her!

Sitting in my box with my sunglasses is the COOLEST.
(please ignore mildly inappropriate doll-on-doll action in the foreground.)

Daddy and Lucy walking down our street

Reading Mama the program at the wedding

I cut her hair again. Lopsided though it may be.
I now know why moms cut their kids hair into the dorkiest shapes.
It's EASY. And the hair is out of her eyes.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lucy Thinks Your Tractor's Sexy

When we go to the library, I always pick the cutsey books. The ones about the poor little chick that gets lost and scared, but at the end finds its mommy and everything's better. The books about how many kisses you can give a baby. The ones that talk about the beautiful colors of the flowers in the garden. Lucy has very little patience for these books. She'll listen for a page or two and then she'll be on to the next thing.

If, however, the book is about trucks? Lucy is sitting riveted, pointing at the pictures, waiting for the very last page to ask me to read it again. Right now on our shelf, we have a spattering of Sandra Boynton books, and a word book, and then a whole bunch of truck books. Dump trucks, construction machines, emergency vehicles, farm machines, Lucy loves them all.

I found truck stickers at the store a few weeks back, and put them all over the crib and wall in Lu's room. Lucy goes to bed now talking to her trucks. We'll hear "Uh oh, Kucka!" from her crib a million times as her trucks "dump" their "load." It's super exciting to me that Lucy has such an active imagination, but I always thought that it would tend more toward princesses and less toward excavators.

Not that I'm complaining! I think it's hilarious that Lucy knows the difference between a skid steer and a tractor and a back hoe (and a combine and a front end loader.....). Even if I have to look it up first.

video
Next step? Operating licenses.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catch-Up

Is this thing right? It's Wednesday already? As in, the week's half over?!

This weekend was a whirlwind. My sister and brother-in-law and two of their kids flew in on Friday morning for a quick visit. And do you know what I learned? That I am OLD.

Friday we did downtown in true tourist fashion. The Market, the Monorail, the Space Needle, the Rack! Fresh fish and chips, bubble tea, still-hot greasy doughnuts! Then we bought some fresh coho salmon and made it on our grill here at home and had a chance to hang out.

This photo would be perfect if someone were
standing directly in front of me blocking my Harm (ham-arm)

When they left for the night to go back to their hotel, I lay in bed completely unable to sleep from the constant activity and the stress of being a good tour guide. That and my knees were killing me. I even wore sneakers! I had to take some pain reliever and wind down for a good hour before sleep would come.

And that was just Friday! Saturday the Bubba and Lucy and I showed the sissy's family around our quirky little neighborhood, walked along the ship canal, and walked around SU's campus - older niece is wanting to get as far away from home as possible when she goes to school. (Just kidding, Brenda.) It would be pretty cool to have her come our way. I'm pretty sure we could work out some sort of nanny-for-food sort of deal...

Saturday night was my cousin's wedding. And as it turns out, Brenda and I were the only people from our side of the family there! It's not a huge extended family. But we were sort of expecting a family reunion. No such luck.

My cousin went to USC and our families are from Ohio, so what better day to wed than on the day USC plays Ohio State? Half the friends there were friends from USC and all of the cousins on that side of the family went to - slash - currently attend Ohio State. We were pretty sure it was going to get ugly a couple times when each faction started singing their fight song on the dance floor!

Brenda and I had fun and we laughed and drank wine like grown-ups and shook our booties like, um, not grown-ups.

Lookin' good, sister.

But then we had to say goodbye in the parking garage at the end of the night. Their flight was bright and early, and there's no way I was mobilizing to meet them for coffee or anything. So goodbye it was.

Too short a visit. From the Wednesday perspective, it seems almost like it didn't even happen. Like we made it up. Like three days ago Older Nephew wasn't playing with Lucy on the floor. Like I didn't get to show my sister what my adult life looks like with my own family. But fun was had.

The pictures and souvenir T-shirts will prove it.

And the pictures OF souvenir T-shirts will too.



Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Photos: Afterthought Edition

Guess who sept ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT for the first time in days?? ME AND LUCY AND THE BUBBA! And this morning? Oh, I love everything. The dishes! I get to do them! My sweet baby! She's just so incredible! My house! I get to finish cleaning it this morning!

And guess what else?

My sister is coming today!! She lives in Wisconsin. And lives a very busy life with 7 children and a husband and a job. And I don't think she's ever visited me where I live before. Not even when I still lived in Wisconsin. MY SISTER! IS COMING! TO SEATTLE! TODAY! And my BIL and one niece and one nephew. Wheeee!

We've got a family wedding this weekend (I KNOW. Another wedding. And this is the end - well, I hope it is because I'm totally BROKE) and my sister decided last week that she was going to throw caution to the wind and come to Seattle! It's as good an excuse as any to come and visit me. Even if I only get her to myself for a day and a half.

I've made an itinerary in order to maximize the hang-out time and sight-seeing. And did I mention I'm EXCITED???

My sister is 15 years older than me, but I would consider us rather close anyway.It's not like we ever really shared any life experiences together. Our relationship has been broader than that. I look up to her. What I mean is, even though they haven't been congruent, we have shared in each others' experiences. We've been present and interested in each other's life. And that's what makes it good.

And now that Lucy's in the picture, we have one huge thing in common. I talk about whatever stage we're currently dealing with here and Brenda know exactly where I am and what I'm feeling. She can acknowledge the hard parts and find humor in it and make me believe that it's a transitory thing instead of how it normally feels - like it's going to be this way For Ev-Er.

She's a rock-star mom and a kick-ass sister. And she's coming to visit me today! La ti ti dah!

Oh, is it Friday Photo time? I almost completely forgot. Here you go (grandmas!): At The Park Edition

Hooray!

Big kid slide!

Round and round!

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Can you believe she's able to do this on her own?
Bubba is there for back-sliding emergencies only.
My little chimpanzee!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear Teeth, Bite Me. Sincerely, Lizzie

Just when I feel like I'm getting the hang of this particular developmental step in Lucy's life, I get blind-sided by something else!

I was ready to sell my child last night. Not even. I was ready to place a Free To Good Home add on Craig's List. I would have settled for taking a financial bath in the transaction. And I would even have offered all the accessories and plastic toys as a bonus.

My mother's intuition tells me to read the (oh so subtle) clues as Teething Round Three. The princess won't let me look in her mouth, though, so it's hard to be certain. However, if it is indeed teeth, this round is a Doozy. She's got the runny nose to go with it. And the whiny attitude. Oh, and the NOT SLEEPING ONE LITTLE WINK.

The copious amounts of saliva emanating from the creature's mouth during the day seems to get stuck with the over-abundance of snot in the throat-al area causing gagging and coughing and all manner of sputtering patheticness at night. And the child subsequently freaks out as if she's just taken a couple lungs full of bath water and will not lay down.

For three nights now, I have been mattress for this little body for at least an hour or two a night while she calms down enough to deign to be in her bed ever again. The Bubba and I have been zombies during the day from being woken up by coughing and gagging and the consequent screaming from which point Lucy has a really hard time settling back down.

But last night? Totally took the cake.

I was in bed - asleep mind you, see previous paragraph - before 9pm after having tended to Lucy twice already since 7pm and administered a dose of pain reliever. I was then woken up at 10:15, 11, and 12am with the sad baby. At 12, I finally sat up with her thinking that if anyone was going to get any sleep, it was going to be because I dozed in the chair with her.

Except! She couldn't roll around if she was cuddled on my shoulder!

So, she ended up in our bed finally at 1:30. From which point, she slept ok. And we did not.

The end.

I am praying really really hard that today goes easy on me. And I've got a BIG WEEKEND ahead of me too. One in which Lucy gets left with BABYSITTERS! I've already started stressing out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Toddler Just Sounds So Cute

Lucy turned 13 months on Labor Day.

And by the way, when can we stop counting every month of the child's life? I'm good with saying "She's one" maybe until 18 months. And then what? Do I go back to saying 18 months or can I say one-and-a-half when the 19th month starts? And then move on to "almost two" after a couple months of that? I don't think I can be bothered to remember the months anymore. Just so you know.

I have a full-fledged toddler now. No way around it. I can't turn around before she's into EVERYTHING. E-v-e-r-y-thing. There's nothing this girl isn't curious about. It seems like every time I avert my eyes from my child I have to play the Where's Lucy? game.

Sometimes she's pretty predictible. She'll have gotten the bathroom door open somehow and will be eyeing the toilet paper roll (if I'm lucky!) or she'll be in the pantry/storage closet trying to figure out how to take all of her daddy's tools out of their cases.

Today I went into Lucy's room to put away some clean clothes. When I came out? She was gone. Totally disappeared. I called her name in the living room. Nothing. In the office. Nothing. In the kitchen. Nothing. There's no more to our house. I keep the doors to our bedroom and the bathroom closed. She wasn't anywhere. So I had to start looking through the CABINETS people. And the space under my desk (with the chair pushed in).

Do you know where she was?

In the teeniest little crevice between my kitchen rack and the wall where I keep my mop. Playing SILENTLY.

Can you see her pink elbow barely poking out?


The lip of the wall is just big enough that she
can comfortably play there without being seen!

She's learned how to crawl up onto the sofa. And doesn't know how to turn around to get down safely. So every once in a while I'll look up and she's rolling around in the pillows on the sofa.

She likes to pretend to go to bed

She's too little to understand that she might take a header off the sofa and she needs to turn around to get down backward. She loves playing at going to bed on the pillows. Here's the game: she lays her head down and then writhes around like she has snakes in her pant legs while I make snoring noises. Pause for maniacal laughter, repeat. Super safe on the edge of the sofa, you know?

I logged on to the public library website to see what books are waiting for us from our reserve list and lo! The child had somehow found my knitting bag and had deftly removed the needles from the socks I'm working on! It was time for a new project, but I wasn't quite going to scrap the socks!

I have to have a hawk eye on that child every moment. Every little chore turns into a very complicated multi-step process.

And now I am fully aware of why parents of toddlers feel like they never get ANYTHING done.

Poop Battle 2009


We had the loveliest, laziest four-day weekend! Having the Bubba here makes everything nicer. Especially the diaper situations. Oh, did I tell you? We have a sort of agreement about diapers. Well, maybe not so much of an agreement as an ultimatum. A kind of laying down of the law. Sort of.

Here's where I talk about poop again (consider yourself warned).

Lucy is an amazing eater and therefore an amazing pooper. The volume that girl puts out rivals ... oh I don't even know what I want to compare it to, so I think I'll leave it at that and trust that you get the idea. Hm? Really? You want a visual? OohKAY. When I lived in Madison, (WI) I lived next door to this Great Dane named Lady, and she had the biggest dog poops I've ever seen. Lady's poops are to beagle poops as Lucy's poops are to other baby poops. How's that?

ANYHOO, the girl poops twice a day. And that's on a no-blueberry day.

Morning.

Afternoon.

Clockwork.

And guess who cleans up those two-to-three poopy diapers a day? This Mommy. And then when I sat and thought about it (when am I NOT thinking about poop, you ask?) I change on average 99% of Lucy's diapers every day. I get her up in the morning when the Bubba is getting ready for work, and I am bathing her and getting jammies on when the Bubba is coming home from work.

And let me just interject here that I do not at all resent the fact that since I am primary caregiver of this child that I get the brunt of the messy part of parenting. I'm just saying that all of that means that the Bubba changes about 4 diapers a week (this may or may not be an exaggeration). And after I sat and thought and did the math, I declared,

"THIS IS NOT FAIR."

Now the Bubba gets to change every poopy diaper during the weekend. If I start the change and catch a wiff? "Bubba! It's for you!" Like it's a stinky phone call he has to take in the nursery.

And me? I get a vacation from washing out cloth diapers in the toilet! From wiping the messes off of that cutest of bums!

And I like it. Oh, it's so, so nice to have a break from dealing with someone else's excrement.

Except! Somehow that conniving diabolical husband of mine plans things that I wouldn't plan. Like feeding the child bananas and cheese during the weekend. Then yesterday he performed some trick in the form of meals including blueberries and peaches and pears and yogurt and black beans.

The diaper this morning? Was ... well, I don't think there are adequate words in my vocabulary. It was astronomical. It was shocking. It was amazing. I thought for a moment about calling Guinness and asking if they have a poop volume by age category. If there are world class categories of contest pooping. Because Lucy could be making us some prize money.

And thus beginneth the Poop Battle of 2009.

Just you wait until Saturday, my friend. You think I don't know how this works? I've got some recipes of my own.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Friday Photos: Skip A Day Edition

I know, I know. It's only Thursday, you say. BUT! The Bubba has the day off tomorrow and we're going to enjoy another long weekend! I'm going to be WAY too busy having fun tomorrow to post any Friday Photos.

SO!

The fam at Cannon Beach in Oregon.
This is a framer.

Olly-olly-oxen-free!

Where does the sand go?
Or rather: I wonder what this tastes like?

Eating fried rice like it's her job at Molly's 1st birthday party.

Modeling her new fashion-forward hat.
Bring on the chill, Fall!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bad Hair Day




Alternative title:

What Happens When You Go To Bed After Eating A Peanut Butter Sandwich And Your Mom Doesn't Wipe Your Hands Before You Try To Pull Your Ponytail Out.