Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Photos: Happy Halloween!


SCARY!!

Lucy has become obsessed with BUBBLES! and will often discuss them at length with her toys. BONUS - you can see one of her molars in this pic. Four little front teeth and then molars. She skipped the other four incisors entirely. What's that all about?

THIS is how you wear it.

Lu showed her brain wave scrambler to my sweet friend and running partner (who is obviously adequately impressed).

Jack-o-Lanterns! (The one on the far right is mine.)

Lucy has a special trick-or-treat event over the lunch hour at Daddy's work today. The kids get some treats and get to have lunch with their parents. But 12-1 is right at naptime, so today involves coercing the child to take a nap this morning. I best get on that.

We hope all of you have a happy and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Is Upon Us

Transition complete. We're in full Fall mode, with the rain and the darkness. And my little family is hunkering down in our little house ready to wait it out. Except it's not necessarily that easy. I've been sad lately. And it's the kind of sad that you only realize was sadness after you don't feel it any more. Looking back over the last few days, I thought, "Huh. I haven't been happy."

And it's partly because it's dark when we wake up and dark when we eat dinner. And partly because Lucy has been refusing to sleep through the night. And maybe partly because it's getting rainier and colder, proof that winter is on its way. But mostly because of all of these things together and the fact that I haven't been Doing Stuff. And I like Doing Stuff. It makes me happy.

The weather here is still hard for me. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to it. The transition from the sunny days of summer, and the first gorgeous days of fall we had, to the gloomy wet landscape of winter is a really hard one. On the one hand, I want to get outside and go for a run, on the other hand. The Gloom. It sucks all ambition. It whispers in my ears that I could be perfectly content sitting inside munching Fritos and Halloween candy for the rest of the season. Cerebrally, I understand that getting out will help everything! But then there's Fritos. And Halloween candy. And warm.

Ah, the constant battle.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nahhh-NUM!

That means awesome in Lucy speak.

Our weekend was divine. It included lots of lying around reading while the baby napped, taking long walks in the sunshine, hanging out with friends, an awesome long run, and generally a good mix of Doing Stuff and Relaxing. Is there anything better? I maintain that there is not.

I baked a pumpkin cake in pyrex bowls to make a pumpkin - pumpkin cake. It turned out so incredibly awesome that I have to tell you all about it.


Boo.

Actually, no. Just go get the recipe and then make it. Right now. Seriously, you’ve been missing out on this your whole life, and now you’ll be able to see the light. First I thought it was the caramel cream cheese frosting, but then, no. It’s the cake! No, both together. Mmmmmm. Guuuuuuh. Do it.


I do have one warning, though. Do not have a pumpkin beer and a slice of pumpkin cake and perhaps some candy corn or a couple bites of apple tart in place of lunch and expect to live the rest of the day as a normal human person. About two hours after I indulged, I felt like hot barf. I had not only a psudo-hangover from the empty-tummy beer, but I also had a wicked sugar hangover that left me a complete and utter werewolf.


When we got home, I decided that I really needed some other food in my belly before the police had to come investigate some sort of grizzly murder chez Center of the Universe. So while I put Lu to bed, I made my Bubba go get some ready-made food and then hollered at him –slash – gave him the silent treatment (first one then the other) for a good minute because he brought back grocery store frozen Chinese food that wouldn’t be ready to eat for 20 minutes. I won’t be making that mistake again any time soon. The beer and sugar, I mean. Not the yelling at the Bubba. That I'll probably repeat at some point in my natural life.


And now for your moment of Zen:



Lucy wore her costume to the pumpkin carving party our friends had on Saturday afternoon. My favorite part was how excited she was that all the carved pumpkins had “hats” that she could take off and put back on. So sweet.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Photos: Tiny Triumphs

The Time Out Cage - Yesterday instead of getting mad and sad, Lucy asked for a book and Baby Tad and chilled for about 20 minutes. I can't tell yet if it's a good thing or a bad thing...

Trying on Dada's shoes. Nothing like trying
to get ready for work with a loud, curious one year old.

Success!

We were trying to take a Christmas card photo with the camera on a timer.
HA! (That means none of them turned out.
This one of me and Lu isn't TOO bad, though...
I have to laugh at how tightly I'm having to restrain her!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All the Unexpected Changes

A friend of a friend is newly pregnant. I suppose I could just simplify and call her my friend. I like her and her husband - they're awesome people. But, I guess I'm not good at that whole making friends and sharing groups and how does that work out and I still feel like our mutual friend should be invited when we do stuff. ANYWAY, my friendship psychosis has NOTHING to do with this story, so let's move on, shall we?

She's one of the first of her group of friends to be pregnant, and she was adopted by her parents, so she has found herself not only new to this pregnancy business, but having a surprisingly singular experience among her peeps. I'm completely open to supporting her in any way I can, and I told her so. She's planning on quitting her job and launching into a high-powered career as a SAHM when the little one comes. She had one question for me: "What have been some of the most unexpected changes you've faced transitioning from a working gal to a SAHM?"

What a question. Sometimes I wish someone could have explained to me everything that was going to change in my life, but there's nothing that a newly pregnant person can hear that will prepare her for the transition from singular person to mom, much less working singular person to SAHM. It's like trying to describe surgery to someone who's never had a scratch. Hm, that makes it sound less than fabulous, but the fact is, it's incredible, there's just no folder for something like it the file cabinet of her brain yet.

There are things that can be understood on a purely cerebral level. Women have babies. Period. No big deal there, right? I mean, the world has been turning for ages, and women have been having babies since the beginning of time! Some choose to stay at home and take care of those babies. They have to get used to a new ever-changing schedule. Check, check, aaaaand check. I mean, it's all well and good when it happens to SOMEONE ELSE, and of COURSE things change, blah di di blah blah. But when the exact same thing happens to YOU? It's a horse of an ENTIRELY different color. I'm pretty sure God planned parenthood that way. It's an experience unlike any other, and there is no way to prepare for it, you just have to have faith and learn as you go.

I don't know about you, but I LOVED the first couple months of my new gig as SAHM. They were AWESOME. I loved every second. I was on vacation! With a new teesey-weensey little baby! I spent my time staring at my new little baby and feeding her and taking naps and eating. My postpartum hormones weren't too bad (I think I can say that now) - there were some times when I would collapse in tears and wonder why in the world I thought I could EVER be a mom, but for the most part, I was great big equal amounts happy and awe-filled.

And then the reality of the situation set in when Lucy was about 5 months old. The adrenaline and new excitement wore off, and I was left with a very demanding, thankless, dirty job and not much to show for it. And I had to come up with a coping plan.

I've discovered a lot about myself on this SAHM journey. I am no longer master of my own schedule and giving up that control has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I am a person that needs feedback about the work I'm doing, and more meaningful than "Good job." That's something I've had to learn how to ask the Bubba for. I've had to rearrange the structure of my life and my daily goals.

Redefining success is something that I didn't think of as a solution right away, but I have to think about it almost daily now. When I plan my day, I have to make an effort to shift my focus from getting MY list items done to making life happy for a small person regardless of chores. So, my bathroom gets cleaned sometimes, my carpet gets vacuumed once in a while, dinner gets made most days, but my only responsibility is to my daughter. My job is to show her love and help her learn and grow. At the end of the day there's nothing in that that you can mark off a list, and there's no clean desk.

I still struggle with choosing Lucy's needs over coffee with friends or, more realistically, reading Hippos Go Berserk! for the millionth time over taking care of the overflowing hamper. Every new developmental stage Lucy goes through leads to a brand-spanking-new learning curve for me, and I'm still getting used to being a mom in a lot of ways. This brings me to the biggest change in my life: I've had to learn to live with very large doses of ambiguity. I am the kind of person that likes knowing what to do and doing it right the first time. In parenthood and especially as a SAHM, there is no direct reinforcement and I live with a nagging feeling that I'm not doing this right. Not only that, but there's no practice round (I suppose one could argue that that isn't true if you have more than one kid....)! There is no Right. The right way? Ends up being the way it works for you. It's been hard for me to learn to trust myself like that. In truth, most days I just try not to screw up too bad.

Drunk With Sleep

So, just in case you were wondering, I'm still here. Yesterday took a piece of me, but I'm down from the ledge this morning.

Sleep is the root of all of our problems around here. Or, more accurately, the lack of sleep. Lucy has not been sleeping well. She will sleep for about an hour at a time, and then she will wake up, be crabby, and need to be held/rocked/patted/rubbed/loved on for about 10-15 minutes. Repeat. All. Night. Long. Add in a couple of really early wake ups - today was no exception - and you've got yourself a recipe for an, oh shall we say interesting? day.

Oh Sleep. I lost you, and I feel like I never truly appreciated you. I want you back, but you never return my messages, you unfriended me on Facebook, you won't stand to be here while that other girl is around. How I miss you.

I thought at first that the two naps that Lucy sometimes takes was finally interfering with the night sleeping. So I went to a one nap schedule. The only thing that happened is Lucy became more crabby, more needy, more whiny, and more stumbly - slash - accident prone. So today we're back to a morning nap. Which started at 8 am. We'll see how this day goes.

The Bubba and I were talking about a potential baby number two last night and dreaming and whatnot. And as exciting as another baby seems, it scares the ever-loving crap out of me at the same time. I don't think I'll ever sleep again. Not for 25 years until all my babies have left my house.

The sleeplessness has made us all a little drunk.

video

(As you can see, Lucy would win any dance-off in her age bracket. She started head banging on her own - like she invented it. I think it's about the funniest thing I've ever seen. Is it terrible that I couldn't stop laughing even when she bonked her head??)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Bright Side?

I cried at the grocery store today.

I was just thinking as I got up this morning, that things have been pretty awesome lately. And as we all know, happiness doesn't sell, so what am I to write on my blog? Self-congratulatory posts of how well I'm doing with my running routine? Bragging on how fun and awesome my kid is? As much as you can all be happy with me for those things, an interesting blog post it makes not.

So, lucky you, life kicked me in the pants today and I can tell you all about it.

It all started with a 5:30 am wake up for the day. Thank you, teeth that just don't stop coming. I figured since we were all up, we could drive the Bubba to work and then if I was out maybe I'd find the motivation to go grocery shopping right away and get it over with. I mean, really, YAY ME! right?

Well, let me tell you that grocery shopping a half hour after the place opens on Monday morning is Da Bomb. Everything was freshly stocked from the Sunday pillaging, and the sales from the weekend usually continue through the first part of the week. Awesomeness. ( Am I the only one who gets excited about this?) Everything's peachy, and I got ingredients for cranberry orange muffins, and life couldn't be brighter.

Halfway down the canned tomato aisle, Lucy started really acting up. She had been mildly crabby (see: 5:30 wake up), but nothing big. At this point, Lucy made it her life's mission to use her surprisingly fast little hands to take everything within reach in the cart and throw it to the floor, the louder or messier the better.

Shall I pause a second for the effect of those words to sink in?

My first reaction was to remove the child's flailing limbs from the environs of the missiles she wanted so badly to launch. As I leaned down to grab her, she snatched my glasses from my face and threw them to the floor with the other carnage. I was at a loss of what to do. I looked down and saw ... nothing. I have remarkably poor vision. I'm worthless without glasses or contacts and have been since I was 6 years old. If I were born in ancient times I probably would have been eaten by some predator very early in my life. So basically, I was up a creek, wishing I had a pair of glasses to find where my glasses had gone.

I got down on hands and knees and eventually found ... wait for it ... PART OF MY GLASSES. My pretty new glasses! My pretty new EXPENSIVE glasses! WHERE'S THE REST OF THEM? I had to crawl around a little more before I found the other piece. They had broken in two at the bridge. As I examined them, I saw that they hadn't broken, but one lens had come unglued from the special joint thingy attached to the bridge, and needed to be carefully slid back in. Hell if I could do that without my glasses on.

I stopped someone in the aisle down the way and asked if they could figure it out. It was a very nice lady who called me a "poor thing" and couldn't do anything because it didn't seem to fit together. At this point, I'm wondering how the heck I'm going to get home and I'm shaking with anger at my child who is still being a guiltless ape in the cart. A tear of frustration might have slipped out at this point.

I worked my way to the toy aisle, got some random thing off the shelf to shut Lucy up for Lucy to play with, and set to work trying to shimmy my lens back into its joint. It eventually got there and my glasses were fixed enough for me to get home, but not before I cried for almost loosing it on my baby (who is at this point being an ANGEL and telling me a "eeep" says "baa!") and for feeling so abso-freaking-lutely helpless.

After getting myself as together as I could, and getting the rest of the groceries, and checking out, and going back because I forgot some stuff, and then finally loading the car, I looked at the receipt. It seemed to me that they charged me too much for one item that was discounted, so I went BACK inside to the service counter where the representative said slowly in a sick sweet voice "Oh, no, Honey, see that? That's a NEGATIVE SIGN. That means you SUBTRACT that amount. Do you GET IT?" And then I went out to the parking lot and cried again because maybe I look stupid enough for people to talk to me like that. And only after I wiped my eyes to get on with my day, I wondered if I could beat the ensuing assault charges if I went back in knocked that lady's block off.

I'm hoping my day can only get better from here. The cranberry orange muffins might help.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Photos: Mish-Mash

Strutting her stuff in her new fall wardrobe.


A very busy woman! Lucy has her cell and a board book and a plastic sheep. Ready for work!


I just finished this double knit reversible hat for Lucy. And even though it's not perfect (it was my maiden voyage in double knitting and there were a couple of snafus), I LOVE IT. It's called Bird On A Wire, which I think is perfect for our Birdie.



Is it just me, or is there a SERIOUS lack of clothing for little girls with trucks on it? Lucy picked out this coverall to wear today with her trucks on it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You Are Not One Of Us

Dads are different from moms. I'm not sure that anyone would argue with me even though I'm talking about something deeper than an anatomy lesson here. The expectations are different and the attitudes are different from one parent to another. I know when my mom left town, it was equal parts Vacation From Regular Rules and Teach Daddy How Things Go for us kids. My bubba has admitted to me, too, that he can tune Lucy's crying and whining out all together. Which, I would imagine, is great for his football watching abilities while I'm at work on Sundays.

When daddies enter the realm of SAHMs, weather for a short stint, or as a SAHD, there's a learning curve that they don't always see. I feel like there's almost a CODE among SAHMs. It's not as strict as a list of rules, but more like unspoken guidelines of interaction. We are all over our kids' interactions with each other making sure they're sharing and being fair and saying nice things and not leaving anyone out. We make polite conversation with other SAHMs. We make comments about "How old...?" or "How cute..." or "What do you think of such-and-such stroller because I was thinking about buying one." And try to make things comfortable without being over friendly (this IS the Pacific Northwest after all).

Daddies in similar situations are okay with other people interacting with their kids. Which, on a side note can be a good thing because then you can compliment a kid's really nice slide dismount without the mom giving you a weird Why Are You Talking To My Kid look. Daddies are okay with someone else wiping their kids' noses, intervening in fights, pulling up pants, etc.

So, the conclusion is that daddies may be more laid back about child care than mommies and lackadaisical about the SAHM CODE, but the following case study takes this to the extreme.

Maggie and Carrie and I made plans to meet at a kid friendly coffee shop in the area yesterday morning. I hadn't been there before, but the website touted a kids' playroom! What else would you expect since it's right next door to a Gymboree! I imagined a paradise of big comfy chairs and delicious caffeinated beverages and a large, clean play area for the kids and maybe even someone to WATCH the kids while we talk Life. Wouldn't that be lovely?

The reality was the grimy truck stop version of that fantasy. The coffee shop was tiny and it smelled like burnt coffee. The kid's area was a small, dirty room shut off from the rest of the shop by a wobbly pocket door. Maggie and I arrived at nearly the same time, ran into each other in the parking lot and escorted each other in.

Beyond the pocket door, there was a couch and a small table dominated by four adults, and a large nook containing toys and a kids' size table dominated by two children. Since we planned to meet Carrie there any minute, we carved out a place for ourselves to stand by the wall, and let our kids loose.

Except. The four adults in the room were obviously talking business. There were two people in nice suits and shiny shoes, and the other two had two-day beards, jeans and fleeces, and one even had a stocking cap on. The dude that belonged to the two children was talking excitedly about maximizing profits! and 60% returns within the first year! And the two suited people would say, "Weeellll, my first question would be......" This was some sort of financial business meeting.

This would normally not be a big deal, a business meeting in a coffee shop, except that there were two needy children involved. The four or maybe five year old girl kept interrupting the "So the marketing......" with "Daddy! I want you to play with me!" and yelling at her little brother to stop touching whatever she was looking at. And the daddy would completely ignore. And when he couldn't ignore anymore, he would say "Okay, I'll come play with you," and then resume his conversation and ignore. And then it turned into a contest. The kids whined louder and called for "DADDY!" more often, and Mr. Daddy would talk louder to be heard over them. And those four adults were taking up the entire room with their legs crosses straight in front of them and Maggie and me and five kids crammed into the toy nook. In fact, we stopped being able to hear anything going on at the table right next to us because everything was a jumble of "DADDY!" "tajectory" "HEY! STOOOWP IT!" "general trend" "DADDY!"

I wanted to give this clown some credit. I hoped that his babysitter bailed at the last second and that's why they were all here. I hoped he had more sense than that so that I could see him as 1) a viable caretaker and 2) a viable businessman. But the truth is probably that he planned it this way. He probably chose a place where he wouldn't have to watch his kids so that he could get funding for whatever he was so excited about and not have to worry about a babysitter.

After 10 minutes, we couldn't take any more. I don't know how the suits lasted as long as they did. If I were them? I'd be out of there super fast calling over my shoulder for Mr. Daddy to come to my office for a meeting when he's serious about whatever it is he's excited about.

We called Carrie and told her to meet us somewhere else because we weren't going to witness this dude being so rude not only to us but to his kids. And then, on our way out, Mr. Daddy's daughter yelled "I HAVE TO PEE! I HAVE TO PEE!" and the Daddy slowly and reluctantly got up from his chair all the while continuing his conversation about the "plan." One of the suits said "Can we just take a 5 minute break?" with what I imagine was pure relief in her voice. But not before he took the girl's hand, and then made very steady eye contact with me like he was about to ask me a question. Was he about to ask me to take his daughter to the toilet? After I mediated a couple fights so as to avoid physical harm in the toy nook? And I gave him an OH NO YOU DIDN'T JUST MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH ME look.

In my experience, a SAHM can carry on incredibly disjointed conversations punctuated by catching their kids or hollering at them to cut whatever it is they're doing out or to complement a picture. She would die a little inside to have her kid need stern correction by another mom (although if my kid is, in fact, doing something wrong I'm not only okay with it, I would expect you to correct her or at least say something to me). I find it hard to believe that a mom would have gone so long tuning out the pitiful begging of the obviously needy kids not having fun with the grimy-ass toys in the dirty toy nook of the tiny coffee shop. Out of their element, nearing lunchtime, wanting some attention. And the moms I know certainly wouldn't tell their kids that they'll play with them and then ignore them.

Have you heard the Pemco insurance radio ads? (they're worth checking out if you haven't and know people from the Pacific Northwest) They pick out a stereotypical Pacific Nothwesterner, poke fun, and then say something like "First Snowflake Freakout Lady? You're one of us."

WELL, Coffee Shop Dad? You are NOT one of us. I rate you SAHM FAIL.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

There's Light!

I'm pretty sure I've been ignoring my child for the past two and a half weeks.

I play with her, I feed her, I change her diaper, but I've grown this thick wall of indifference in order to weather the repercussions to cutting eight teeth at once, which manifest themselves in the Whine and also the Crab and also the Happy-to-Sobbing Mood Swings. I have adopted the discipline theory of "Choose Not To Care" because really, everything would be a miserable fight if I was enforcing every rule. These are very naughty teeth.

Two of the molars are now all the way through, we're still waiting on the inside points of the top left molar, and the bottom left hasn't cut at all yet. And then there are still the incisors being little white lines beneath the surface of the gums waiting to do their worst. So we're still very much in the throes of teething. But now the drool is the only side effect, it seems. (On a side note: Every once in a while I will hear her slurp her drool so it doesn't spill over her lips. She is VERY fastidious about being dirty or wet. Ha!) Somehow my kid has a good attitude again, and this without copious amounts of pain reliever.

It was like I woke up from a nap. A little groggy and a little blurry wondering where I was and why my kid was being so fun.

She plays with her toys for chunks of time without interaction! She runs at me with open arms every once in a while for a kiss and a cuddle! She reads her books to me and sits still while I read to her! And best of all? I can put her in her cage (pack-n-play) while I shower or run down to the basement to change the laundry and she PLAYS HAPPILY WITH TOYS while I do it. This child! She seems like my laid-back girl again!

It made me pause and think, "When did this happen?" Was I so numb that I didn't notice my kid being so fun to hang out with? Have I been missing days of fun baby while I was in my Survival Coma? Or did this just manifest today when she woke up? I'm leaning toward the latter so that the guilt doesn't kill me.

I understand that you cannot be nearly as excited about this as I am. You probably didn't even believe me when I told you how naughty she has been and what a challenge it was for my sanity and my patience and my will to live. You probably just remember how incredibly laid back my baby is, right. I could always brag on Lucy being good sleeper and a happy baby. She never cried (Never? My memory isn't THAT affected even if YOURS is.) except to communicate some pressing need. But there were were the teeth. The age of pushing. The combination. Oh my.

But yesterday she played so nicely with friends that I didn't want them to leave. And I'm happy that we're going out to see more friends at a kid-friendly coffee shop today. Because she's so CUTE! And also? Fun!

And she'll tell you so herself:

video

Let's go ahead and all say a little prayer that this phase is one that lasts.

video

Amen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Means Pumpkins

It's been a gorgeous fall. More beautiful than any I can remember in the last 4 something years of living in Seattle. The sun has shone on the changing leaves and the temperature has dropped into sweater-and-scarf coolness. The damp has held off. And that makes all the difference!

Friday was a "mandatory day off" for the Bubba's company. I haven't written any of these days down on the family calendar just so that when my Bubba comes home on a random Tuesday and says "Remember that this Friday is a furlough day." I can be pleasantly surprised and excited about a long weekend, and I don't worry so much about the dent in the paycheck.

This weekend we got outside as much as possible and had some nice visits with friends. Friday, we made dinner for friends, and there's not much more to say there except to tell you that we made this butternut squash soup and I put together this apple pie, and I can't recommend either of them highly enough. Have you ever put wine in your caramel? AMAZING. In fact, I'm counting the minutes until lunchtime when I can eat some again.

On Saturday we hauled ourselves down to Bonney Lake to pick out the perfect pumpkins.

The search is on!

The pumpkin patch also had some small farm animals, a corn room (Seriously. A room full of dried corn for the kids to jump and dig in), and some other fun things for bigger kids. Lucy was mostly ambivalent.

But the biggest attraction by far? Not the animals that Lucy barked at (even though they were chickens and goats and sheep. Ah, to be fair she DID wiggle her nose at the rabbits). Not the field of knobbly vines to navigate. It was the wheeled contraptions.

First! The wheelbarrow!

"OH WOW!" Lucy kept saying!
Practicing her balancing skills.
I'll let you imagine the shrieks of frustration that ensued.

Next! The tah-do! The tractor took us on a short ride around the patch. Plenty long enough for a 14 month old.

Fist bump! Tractors rides ROCK.

A close second to the Things That Go that gained Lucy's attention? The issue of the cleanliness of the pumpkins. There was no appeasing her elevated sense of propriety. She tried mighty hard to brush the dirt off of every single pumpkin in the patch.

Why can't they keep these clean?

But we ended up with the perfect family of pumpkins which are sitting on our porch. We're waiting for the inspiration to carve them.

Uuurrrgh. This one's HEAVY.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

14 Month Update

So much for blogging this week.

I've been fully engaging a certain small(ish) person who happens to live here in every single part of her day. And when she finally sleeps, I stare at the wall for a few hours to recover. The teeth. They might kill me. The outside points of three of the molars are now established, but we're still working on the inside pokies, and the third molar that is causing a lot of swelling and making my daughter a slobbery biting machine. And this while, from what I can tell in the glimpses Lucy affords me, the four other side incisors are thinking about making an appearance.

My friend Carrie and I used to joke that when (IF on my part!) we get to heaven, we'd lobby that God change the teething course to one just really bad month and get it all over with. I'd have to say that this experience has changed my mind. Both for my own sake and for the poor kid's. Eight teeth at once is more than one person and the surrounding innocents should have to bear.

Add to the teething the usual toddler exploration of boundaries and trying of patience and breaking of rules and break-neck moodswings, and I've had myself a nice rounded handful of craptastic this week.

HOWEVER! I did not sit down to write this intending to outline the yuck-fest that is Chez Nous right now. It is the 8th, and Lucy is officially 14 months old. Therefore! A Lucy Update!

14 month summation in 10 words or less: The fun is more fun, the suck is more sucky.
  • Lucy's vocabulary has mushroomed, and it's mostly hilarious (to me). She does a pretty good job of getting her needs across now between words and sign. She says "Hi, Mama!" when I walk into her room in the morning. Like she's a person or something! Her other favorite phrase is "No WAY!" I hear that a couple times a day. She's started putting a couple words together too. Like "Car! Go!" or "MO! peeesss."
  • Lu has a couple of her books memorized and it cracks me up when she interrupts my reading with whatever word comes next.

Evidently a frog says "Rrrrraaaah, rrrrraaaah"
  • Last night Lucy woke up and just started saying "Oh, no! Oh no!" very pathetically. Maybe I shouldn't find that funny, but I couldn't stop laughing.
  • A large part of Lucy's interest during the day is directed toward our living room windows. She can stand in the corner of the couch and watch for trucks and people and dogs for a good while. She's a pretty good guard dog in the sense that I hear "TOW-TUH!" (tow truck = delivery truck and pickup truck also) and "BeeBoh!" (people!) and various animal noises to alert me to the goings-on of our busy neighborhood. Oh and how could I have forgotten the "WeeeeOOoooo, weeeeOooooo."
  • When Lucy is in a different room from me - EVEN IF SHE CAN SEE ME - she'll start her own game of "Marco Polo." She'll holler "MAMA!" To which I respond "Baby!" "MAMA!" "Baby!" Repeat an unfunny number of times. Sometimes she comes to find me, sometimes she just wants to make sure she knows where I am.
  • The opinions. She has them about everything. From wearing her orange Crocs ALL DAY NO MATTER WHAT to what she wants to eat. In fact, she'll walk into the pantry and point at the things she wants for me to get down for her. Now I know how the Bubba feels when I need him around just to be tall for me.
Orange shoes and headband: Necessary accessories with cat pj's.

This girl is so darn smart, it's hard for me to both keep up with her AND remember that she's still just a baby. And at least once a day I thank the good Lord for things like the highchair and the crib where I can strap her in or cage her and have a moment of *SIGH*.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pride Cometh Before the Fall

Some days I think I have this job wrapped up, pretty, with a bow on it. And then, of course, the universe has to put me back in my place.

Yesterday I woke up with Lucy, got dressed in my workout gear, made and cleaned up breakfast, and did a workout video while Lucy played with her toys. Well, there was a fair amount of pausing the video to help with something or interest the child in another toy. Which ended up being fine because ohmygoodness it kicked my butt.

Anyway, back to my list of awesomeness: after working out I showered, got us dressed, and then we went to a new play group that Lucy and I are going to do for the rainy season. Lucy might as well have died and gone to heaven what with all the noisy toys and little bikes to fight other little kids over.

When we got home, it was lunch and nap. And during nap I made veggie nuggets for the recently converted non-veggie eater, set some dough to rise for some homemade focaccia, and cleaned the kitchen, and got all the books that are due together for a walk to the library after nap.

Now, at this point, I am convinced that I am The Awesome. I mean, who could POSSIBLY be more awesome than me right now?

Then the nap was over. And my daughter was replaced my an irritable bear-monkey hybrid creature.

After only 15 minutes with this beast, my high totally deteriorated. At one point I went in the kitchen to take care of a diaper and returned to find Lu standing on the table in the living room, and I found myself yelling, "Lucy! What the hell is wrong with you?!"

That's when the Perfect Wife and Mother Award Committee showed up and took away my shiny new trophy and replaced it with a poopy diaper.

I got too cocky. I forgot that every time I get a handle on How Things Work and SAHM Time Management something poops the bed. It's just the nature of the job. All of a sudden everything is unpredictable and there are brand new challenges to get grips on. Every day is a study in ambiguity and Lucy constantly reminds me how very little I am actually in charge. Most days I'm really good at rolling with the punches, but sometimes? Sometimes it just frustrates the hell out of me and I want to trade this for a predictable job.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Photos: The Impossible Possible

Lu is growing so darn fast. And she surprises me every day with stuff that she picks up. Yesterday I taught her how to fist-bump after she put one block on top of another. Ivy league, baby. Ivy league.

If I could just get in here, I could put more books in the toilet.

When we got this warm-up outfit from our friend Anders last year, I thought it would NEVER fit her. (GO SVERIGE!)

And another thing I never thought she would wear? These little orange Crocs. We got these as a baby shower gift, and my head exploded trying to imagine a little person wearing them one day. And now she loves them so much that she threw a fit when I tried to take them off for her nap.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We Eat A Lot of Cheese


One of Lucy's favorite new games is "What's this?" and "What's that?" Which sounds like "Da Tisch!" and "auh dasch!" She may have been German in a previous life. I keep expecting her to channel it and come out with "Hรถr AUF bitte!"

She has some amazing stamina for the "Auh dasch!" game and, I'd like to think, is tireless in her thirst for knowledge. Too bad she got stuck with me for a mommy.

We were at the grocery store the other day and she kept asking "Auh dasch!" And for a while I answered her "Apples!" or "Fruit!" or "Lettuce!" (I'm going to go ahead and let you believe that we spend a lot of time in the produce section buying and consuming the healthiest of foods). But I soon bored of it, and I didn't want to spend the entire time announcing everything I was putting into my cart.

For a while I made up stuff. Or maybe I just translated it into her language. "It's a puggerba." "Boggerbu." "Nanerfuh." Thinking that she'd tire of it eventually. She didn't.

I resorted to:

"That's cheese."

"Auh dasch!"

"Cheese."

"Auh dasch!"

"That's also cheese."

"Auh dasch!"

"That's cheese."

"Auh dasch!"



I'm pretty sure I'm about to get an award for my great and good work with this child.