Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Photos: Holy hiatus, Batman!

Well, we've got a busy weekend of two different sets of college friends in town, so I'll make this quick:

This morning at Top Pot. Boy, did she feel big with her OWN doughnut, big-girl cup of water and on her own chair.

Speaking of big, we've entered into the world of wearing everyone else's shoes. I love that Daddy's shoes are almost as long as Lucy's legs.

So.... Tall.... And.... Yet.... Not... Quite...

At least I fit in this drawer.

Reading Dr. Suess and generally looking like a big kid. Crazy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fasting, Twenty-First Century Style

I’ve been absent from this space. And for good reason. When the Bubba was in Doha, I got into some bad internet habits. I guess that makes it sound like I got addicted to internet porn or gambling or something. Nothing that scandalous! While the Bubba was gone, I was online for a large part of the day looking for entertainment and a break from being cloistered with a very demanding small person. Understandable, you say? I agree. But my habits hadn’t changed much since the Bubba’s return and that, my friends, is the rub.

I’m the one who wiles away time reading blogs, writing posts, reading magazine articles, updating Facebook and Twitter. And then, of course, I’m the one that complains that the Bubba and I never hang out any more and we’re not connecting, and wah, wah, wah!

I’ve decided to use Lent as a time to reexamine my vocation. That means an internet fast of my own design. The parameters are this: I’m not going to be online for any length of time while a) Lucy is awake, b) the Bubba is home, or c) it’s naptime, but there are chores to be done. I didn’t realize that this would actually cut my computer time to the time it takes to write two work emails and make a move in Scrabble against my mom. BUT! I also didn’t realize how just making that decision - much less following through - would make me much more available to my family and cognizant of their needs.

It certainly does help that Lucy has been So! Much! Fun! lately. She offers an endless string of commentary on whatever’s going on in her head, and let me tell you, 18 month olds have some crazy thoughts going through their heads while they figure out this world. She’s hilarious and fun and just generally awesome.

We went to the zoo on Friday with friends, and it was incredible. It was a gorgeous day, but the zoo wasn’t crowded. Lucy was positively squealing with joy the entire time. She waved at the elephant and said “Hi, Em-we-went!” and when we passed the giraffes munching their treetop leaves she said “Neh-naffe! Snack! Nom-nom!” When I let her out of her stroller, she went to see the monkeys or penguins and got right back in without a fight when it was time to move on. She was playing nicely and being generally very cute with her friend Ethan.

In short, it was PERFECTION. It’s times like that that I want to bottle up so that on regular OMG This Toddler Is Driving Me Nuts days, I can just uncork it for a second and just have a little sniff of what’s in there.

And there is enough of the usual toddler stuff around here too. For the last few weeks, Lu hasn’t been sleeping very well, culminating in two nights of being awake every hour or two. It was less than fun. My girl is such a slow teether; she still has one of her top outer incisors to cut. Well, I figured that was coming in, but it is STILL lingering below the gum line just looming. So I’d give her medicine and that was that. Except, this was a two-fold Mama’s Head Is Up Her Butt situation. Firstly, the poor Bird is cutting both of her bottom canines. By the time I noticed one had already cut the sharp point, and the other was blistering. And TWO, I have not adjusted her medicine intake since she was about 12 months. As it turns out, I was giving her less than half a dose of pain reliever, and then wondering why it wasn’t working. Cue the sarcastic slow clap. Aaaaaand, I take a bow.

Et VOILA! A disjointed conglomeration of anecdotes. Well, what did you expect? This took me about 5 days to write!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday

I had no better idea of how to celebrate Mardi Gras than with cinnamon rolls that are currently rising in my kitchen.

And that's ok with me.

In other news, we got a replacement camera - a little coolpix one. It's not as fancy as our old (broken) one, but it takes a picture. So there.

Therefore! In honor of the sunshine and the Fatness of the Tuesday, here's some pictures to catch you up:

Valentine's day!

The flowers were from Lucy via the Bubba.

Sunny day at the park for President's Day

We always get a spring tease in February.
It's been warm and sunny lately and the blossoms are blossoming!
And this is another reason that we live in Seattle.

Hello, cuteness.

And the best outtake ever:

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Nineteen weeks until my half marathon. It doesn't seem so far when I put it like that. Nineteen weekends. I'm ramping up my milage again this week with my shortest run being three and a half miles and my longest being seven. From this point on, I'm going to be running at least 15 miles a week, and that seems like a huge milestone to me.

This process has been so interesting to me, as a non-athlete. I have no idea of what I'm doing, no idea of how to proceed. I've read three or four books about road racing and training to get an idea of what I should be doing. They've helped for sure - I can tell when my form is sagging from fatigue and dial it in, and I use my shorter runs to practice better technique. But right now, in the middle of my training when I know things are just going to get harder, I wish I had a coach.

I suppose this stems from my Want To Do It Right The First Time disease. I want to be a good runner. I know cerebrally that I will to do my best and consider it an accomplishment. It really is sort of a paradox between those two schools of thought in my brain. I want to go to the starting line of my race and feel good, and I want to FINISH 13.1 miles. The more I run, the more it seems possible, and then I not only want to finish, I want to DO WELL. I want to have a good finishing time, I want to do it like I know what I'm doing instead of showing up and following the crowd.

I still have two weeks before my One Year of Running anniversary. I started the couch to 5k program at the end of last February. I like running. I like the way it feels, but more than that, I like the planet-halting sense of achievement from being better/faster/stronger than I ever thought possible.

I have to remember that this is just fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010


It's been dry lately and even sunny sometimes, so we've been doing our share of playing outside. When it comes to playing I'm a fan of the Whatever Causes Exhaustion on the toddler's part, which is usually a trip to the jungle gym at the park. Now, my girl can climb up and down and around a kajillion thousand times. And I always have to step in and wedge her crying for more into the car or stroller and explain that there will be a next time.

But our yard? We are not often just chilling out with toys in our yard because it doesn't usually meet the WCE criteria mentioned above. The other day after a walk to see the boats on the canal, I decided to grab a rake and get the stray leaves in the yard as well as all the dead stalks I just left last fall when my irises were done. As we got toys out and whatnot, I realized that the end of last summer was probably the last time Lucy was left to her own devices in the yard. I ended up comparing the kid that WAS with the kid that IS.

The last time we played in the yard, she was an uncertain walker, she would sit in her "urban sandbox" (a long shallow tupperware filled with play sand) and pour sand on herself with cups. This time, Lucy built a train and had them load freight onto sailboats in the sand box. She was more or less narrating as she went along, too. I was blown away.

No one warned me how freaking cool this newfound imagination "stage" is. Lucy talks for minutes on end to "Mike" (We have quite a few Mikes in our lives!) on the "phone," which could actually be a phone, but is just as likely to be a calculator, spoon, toothbrush, etc. And right now she's singing along to a CD of kids' songs. Singing along! In key! ("Winnows on bus. Up an nown! Up and nown! Aaah roo nown!"

Lucy had her 18 month checkup at the doctor, and, as expected, she is awesome. She even politely asked "Write. Pees." to Dr. Sarah who then let her write with a pen on her clipboard. I was so proud (Harvard Med School, here we come!). And she did a happy little All-Done-Checking-Up jig to entertain us while we finished chatting.

The Bird weighs 25 pounds 11 ounces, which falls in the average, has a head circumference of 46.2 cm, which falls in the average, and is 35.5 inches tall. Dr. Sarah showed me on the growth chart where that height dot is - and it's about an inch and a half above all the other little lines on the chart. She laughed at it being so far above average and then we measured two more times to be sure. It was correct.

Do you know what this means? It means she's grown 5 inches in the last six months since her last checkup! It makes those inconsolable wake-ups seems like the growing pains my 6'3" husband remembers so well from his youth. And it only makes sense that Lu is wearing size 2T to fit the length of her legs and arms - but 12-18 months works just fine for the waist/torso. I'm in love with t-shirts and leggings right now because then I can buy the 2T and they actually fit in the limbs AND without looking too big. And skirts! It also makes me wish I had a functioning sewing machine to make her some clothes that fit.

In Lucy's world, every number is "nine" yet she knows that nine comes after eight and will shout it out when we're counting. She loves running like Mama, and is a huge fan of "Ready? Set! Go!" races. She likes her "friend" Beeire (a stuffed elephant that Lucy named all by herself) so much that she insists on taking her along for naps and bedtime. And last night, when it was time for bed, I covered Lucy up with a blanket, Lucy covered Beeire with her lovey.

She says "Wah You!" with a kiss and hug, and plays independently more than ever. Her favorite things are her puzzles, music, and books. But the cars that she can put things in a drive around are up there too. Every time it gets a little too quiet and I have to look around to see what's going on, Lucy is almost always lost in a book. Like father, like daughter.


Sunday, February 7, 2010



That's a great sigh of relief. I'm not sure I realized how stressed I was until my Bubba came home, and now I keep thinking, "OhmyGOSH this is SO MUCH EASIER with another person around." Yeah, way insightful.

By the time Lu and I found a parking spot in the hourly lot at the airport, the Bubba was already through customs and got his bag, so we actually met him in the airport-to-parking structure skyway. And it was perfect. Lucy caught sight of her daddy a couple steps in and ran all the way with open arms. She gave him a tight squeeze and then proceeded to (I suppose) catch him up.

All afternoon Lucy would randomly stop playing with her toys, walk over to the Bubba and say, "MY Dada!" while gently touching his cheek so that he had to look in her face. It was so darn sweet. Like she was telling him very sincerely how much she missed him.

He came home bearing gifts too! A beautiful cashmere pashmina from Iran for Lizzie and some fresh spices - including saffron - from the Waqif (don't tell anyone), a cute outfit and a book for Lucy. He brought some candy back too, but I suggested (I am nothing if not magnanimous!) he bring it to work and share it there. Of course this was after I took a bite of a delicious-looking chunk of marshmallow-y pistachio-y goodness and it tasted just like a urinal cake smells.

Since Friday afternoon, the Bubba and I have been wandering around like a couple of newlyweds - never more than an arm's length away from each other. And there's the added bonus of sweet things - usually I have to beg him to say something nice about me/to me - he's just not very verbal in his affection. But the other night in bed he said in a half-asleep state, "I'm never going to let you go." That'll carry me through my day to day for a while. I'm not looking forward to the workday tomorrow, but then again, as the Bubba said, "I get to come HOME after work tomorrow." That will be a nice change.

It's a little frustrating to have the Bubba back but still out of commission with the jet lag. He's present but that's about all he has the energy for. After his recovery, it'll be back to honey-do! I'm going to try to convince him to write a guest post here at some point, because (obviously) I can't talk about his experience, and I think it's interesting enough to write down.

In short, life is getting back to normal, and I am so happy with that normal.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Days 12 and 13

Low points:

1. My kid is a turd right now. Willful Disobedience is her middle name.
2. I have a headache which doesn't help with #1.
3. I'm tired of hanging out in the bathroom.
4. I've been eating like it's my job.

High points:

1. I'm still right on track with my running and training. And I'm doing
pretty well, if I do say so myself.
2. Lucy pees on the potty sometimes.
3. She also tells me about it the split-second before she pees on the floor.
4. I made a chocolate souffle that rocked my own world
(see Low points #4).

Super awesome high points:

1. We found out for certain that the Bubba is coming home TOMORROW!
2. I get to see my husband tomorrow.
3. Lucy gets to see her Daddy tomorrow.
4. Life can get back to normal tomorrow. I could cry with relief.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 11

I went for a very painful run today. I did about 30 minutes of hills. Not huge hills, but they were big enough to kick my butt. Which I guess really isn't saying much. I'm trying really hard to stay on track with training and being smart about food, but it is so dang hard right now. The remaining active is relatively easy. I mean, just getting outside and putting my ear buds in is incredibly freeing. With Lucy strapped in her jogger with some snacks, she's good to go boat/duck/bike/dog spotting, and I'm free to think about whatever I want. And mostly it's whatever radio program I downloaded - Wait Wait or Whad'ya Know. I get to think about grown-up things and laugh at grown-up jokes. So nice.

But the eating. Oh, the eating. I went to the store this afternoon to get some big girl underpants for my shortie, and ended up with a cart full of junk food. We had a delicious dinner of Morning Star chik'n nuggets, banana, and some monkey bread that I've been craving for about eighteen years. I made the sauce with fresh blueberries that were on sale this week. I can safely say that I ate the equivalent of a couple of meals' worth of calories of that bread tonight. What is this "moderation" thing anyway. I don't get it. (But the monkey bread. SOOOOO GOOOD STILLLLL CALLLLINNG ME.)

I'm pretty sure I'm a boredom eater. If I've got things going on, no problem. And usually if I run in the morning, I have the mentality of "Well, I don't want all that work I did to be for nothing" and I can keep things in check. But lately? Not so much. The moment Lu goes to bed my nose is in the fridge every five minutes eating anything from cold leftover pizza (another gourmet meal right there) to rice crackers to Lucy's cookie treats. And let me just go ahead and reiterate: not hungry in the least.

So you know how, if you recognize some behavior, that's the first step in changing it? Not so much with me. At least right now. Talk about exhausted. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted from 24/7 with a 17-almost-18-month-old who likes sitting on the potty and demands to go diaper-free without my husband around for moral support.

For fun today, I scrubbed the bathroom. I figured what the hell? We're spending so much time in there anyway lately I might as well stop giving the stink eye to the hair ball cowering in the corner and do something about it. It's nice. I'm thinking it might be nice to do the kitchen too, and maybe change the sheets in the bedroom and make everything fresh and new for when the Bubba gets home (IN JUST A FEW VERY SHORT DAYS - inshallah - OMG!).

But that would seriously cut into my shoving-food-at-my-facial-orifice time.