Thursday, December 30, 2010

a little more at Grandma's

Although we missed the 2 feet where we live, it did snow twice on our vacation, allowing Kiddo and Daddy to build a snowman! It has the traditional carrot nose, and less traditional grape eyes. Kiddo loves playing in the snow.
After Christmas I finally saw the lights on Temple Square. And fulfilled my adulthood dream of randomly running into someone I know while in Utah. Note Babs inside my coat. I put her in my Mobi wrap and carry her next to me for both of our warmth. I guess buying that coat too big didn't turn out to be a horrible mistake after all. Lots of people don't initially see her, and then are surprised when her little face peaks out. The longer she's in the hold (we barely both fit at this point) the harder she pushes against me so the coat comes unzipped, and she has more room.
Kiddo learned that she shares a love of Doritos with Grandma. So there are often chips to be had.
It snowed again! And this time she had snowpants, which completely changed the game. While Aunt M shoveled the driveway in preparation of Daddy and Grandma' return, Kiddo literally ran back and forth across the snow covered lawn. Snowpants may be the bane of my sister-in-law's life, but they are a joy to my daughter. (Although in all fairness, they are the exception for Kiddo, not the rule.)
And Kiddo made modeling clay with Grandma. And played with it as much as possible for the next two days. And has asked me at least twice since we've returned home if we have some. One of these days I'll have time to breathe, and truly think about making some with her. But not today.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

years and counting

Okay, so we're really tiny in this picture, but my photo editing program (along with much else on this computer) is having fits, so here we are little. These (plus one who couldn't make it) are the women who ... how awful does this sound ... helped me become a woman. I grew into a functioning adult with them. Or, in better words, my college roommates.
The six of us were actually only roommates for one year, but subsets of us were together for up to three years. It started with four, then they added me, then we added one more, then for the last year we all got married, or student taught, or served missions. Basically, we moved on.

But then a couple years later, Gwen wrote to Sue, who wrote to Tayna, who wrote to Anna, who wrote to Tara, who wrote to me, and here we are, thirteen-ish years past graduation, still friends, but more importantly, still in touch.
Here we are holding our youngests. There is also one really young baby, just a month or two, but she (and mom and siblings) couldn't make it. (Sad for us, good for her.) Between the six of us we have 26 children. (I'm the underachiever, make no mistake about it.)

It was so good to see them again. I grew up with them, where growing means becoming an adult. And it's good to see people who knew you when you were just learning about life.

In a thought that may seem unrelated, my aunt J saw Kiddo on Christmas, and told me how much she reminded her of me when I was that age (Kiddo has my eyes). My other aunt K said the same thing at Thanksgiving. And both times when they said that, I felt a sense of security, of being around someone who knows you better than you know yourself, because they've known you so long, longer than you remember.

Although I certainly haven't known them that long, that's how being with the roommates felt. Secure. These are women who knew me as I was getting to know myself. And through letters, we've started families, and are learning to raise them, and it gives me strength to know that they are doing it, and doing it well, and so can I.

I'll let you know next time I'm around...

Monday, December 27, 2010

increasing mobility

Babs finally decided it was time to crawl. She will go about 3 feet, on all fours, before throwing herself on her belly, and flapping her arms and legs like she did before crawling. She will only crawl to me if I'm on the ground, otherwise she looks at me as if to say "You can walk, you come to me." If she does crawl to me, she stops half way, and impersonates a fish out of water. She will crawl to the wind-up toys Santa brought us. She seems the most motivated by them. She needs to be on carpet, the hardwood floors are too slippery.

She's been "almost" crawling for months. It's nice that she finally doing some. Her range is still very limited, we'll see what inspires her when we return home.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

babs' first christmas

She loved the candy. (I didn't really let her eat it.)
She enjoyed her toys, until Kiddo commandeered them.
And got to keep one of Aunt M's presents.
It seemed to be a good day.

it's christmas!

Overnight, Christmas came! Kiddo has been anticipating this day all month. She knows the important detail: it's Jesus' birthday. And she had some idea that presents were involved. We spent a lot of time talking about presents being part of Christmas because of the gift that Jesus is for us. A few days ago we started talking, carefully, about Santa Claus. (She is still petrified of him, and I'm okay with that.)

This morning, we forgot to use caution. "Kiddo, did Santa come?" Aaahhh, she cried in response, until we reminded her that he was completely gone by then. Not only had the stockings been filled, but many, many presents had shown up under the tree.
Then we started opening presents. Kiddo opened the first one. As soon as she saw it (the present, still unopened) she yelled "it's my favorite!" She loves presents.
She also helped open Babs' presents, and anything else that interested her. She was very excited about all of the fun. As she opened a book, Grandma asked her what shape it was? Kiddo announced "A rectangle!"
But eventually, the presents overwhelmed her. We would hand her a present, tell her who it was from, and she would hand it back to that person and wish them a "merry Christmas." We took a break so she could play with what she had.

We also visited Great-Grandma B and family, and then later in the afternoon saw my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents. It was a wonderful day to be with family, and celebrate Christ.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

snow santa

Daddy and Kiddo built a snow man with the fresh fallen snow. They used a carrot for a nose and grapes for eyes.
Then they sprayed it red because it was actually a snow santa. It was so fun to be outside in the snow, to be outside, to have daddy around.
Yes this was while she had her cold. I think going outside is good for one's constitution.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


8 months

I try to imagine loving this girl, with her solemn eyes, more than I currently do, but it's hard. Then she wraps her tiny little arms around my neck, and gives me a sweet baby pat with her pudgy little hands, and I fall in love even more.

the silver lining

We arrived at the homeland two nights ago for Christmas with my husband's family. As we were waiting to get off the plane, I thought I heard Babs cough, but it was such an ugly cough that I hoped it was the baby sitting behind us. It was not (thank goodness for those parents).

By the time we got to Grandma's house, she was full blown sick. It sounds like croup. Kiddo seems to have a lesser preschooler version of it. They are wheezy, snotty, and miserable at night. My husband and I are also miserable as we take turns sleeping for two, occasionally three, hours before switching off again. Of course, we're both also up multiple times.

The timing of it lets us know that they would have been sick any way, whether here or at home. At least here my husband isn't going to work, so we can share the load day and night. And take turns resting during the day. Although ironically, we have no more room than at home, because of our efforts to keep both girls in the room with the vaporizer.

Nights two and three are supposed to be the worst. Tonight will be night three. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

communing with daddy's dad

TV in Grandpa's chair. As his daughter pointed out, he would be so pleased.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

my little dancer

Kiddo had her first dance class this morning. She loved every part of it. She loved having a school, having girls that "will be my friends," the music, the dancing, and of course the mirrors.

She did okay with following directions, I'm sure she'll get better as time goes by.

She did not love that Santa Claus came to visit. (It was the day of the holiday party.) In fact, it terrified her. When he walked in the room she immediately distanced herself from the group, then looked at me with grave concern. I motioned that she could come sit on my lap, an offer she immediately took. Soon, I went and sat with her on the floor so she could be with the girls, and still be safe from the man.

Dance class will be every Saturday morning. She can hardly wait. One mother kindly told me, after learning that she had never had any lessons before, that she was a natural. "It's in her heart" I replied.

Friday, December 17, 2010

really embarrassing when she grows up

I give a lot of thought to how my kids will appreciate being chronicled in their highs and lows as they grow older. I don't know. But I do know Kiddo will want this purged from the records. I'm sharing it anyway. Don't tease her about it when she grows up. She's three, it's okay.

After using the potty she puts the toilet paper between her cheeks and announces to me she has a tail. She does this each time she is undersupervised (often, I'll admit) for the deed. Although I formally discourage it, it always make me laugh (usually on the inside, but the first time she did it, out loud).

big christmas tree

We went into NYC yesterday to see the Rockefeller tree, and whatever else the city had to offer. (Yesterday, it was the ferris wheel inside Toys R Us.) It was tiring, what with the two little kids, carrying both of them a lot of the way, and the rush and bustle. I felt bad for Kiddo, a little person among a sea of legs and knees. But she liked the tree, loved the ferris wheel, and I liked being out with my family.

My mom always took us to do things like this. As we stopped for dinner I realized it's not that these things were easy for her, but that she knew the memories we would form and the experiences we had were worth the effort it took (don't correct me if I'm wrong mom). And I really think it is. And, I remembered that I brought my family to the City because I wanted to enjoy things, so I stopped more often, and took time to ooh and ahh over whatever I wanted to so it wasn't a rush to get somewhere, but a journey.

If we can continue to have outings like this, we may do them more often... or at least keep doing them.

ps- isn't my husband nice looking?


Is it me, or is my daughter really talented? This, a typical drawing, is a person with a head, a body, and legs (complete with toenails)! Plus a belly button, eyes, eyebrows (no face is complete without them), a smile, and cheeks. And this from a girl who a few months ago didn't even like to use paper and crayons.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

turning three

This is how Kiddo's birthday started:
A huge pile of presents where previously there had been none. The one present that was visible before her birthday was high on a shelf, where she would occasionally notice it, and insist she needed a present right now. I decided to keep them hidden until her birthday. Given that, what happened next should not have been a surprise.

After giving her strict instructions not to open any presents, I went to make myself breakfast. Soon there was the sound of tearing. And her interacting with her beautiful princess dishes.

Another warning about not opening presents was issued.

Which worked just about as well.

Then all the presents were moved out of her reach. But then it hit me, in years past, she struggled with all the presents at one time; she wants to enjoy them. So I slowly doled them out throughout the day (and even into the next day in all honesty).

She helped make her own birthday cake, which means I tried to make it faster than she could eat the batter.

Here she is in her favorite present, her ballet outfit:
We finished off the day with a few friends over for cake:
Here she is with her new friend and his mom (his brother is behind him.) She was so excited when he came over, she bounced up and down shouting his name. Then she opened the present. She loves her boat so much. She begged to take a bath so she could "float it."
Here are some other friends who also joined us:

The day seemed to be a hit, from start to finish.

Happy Birthday Kiddo!

Monday, December 13, 2010

comfort sucking

Toes. If Babs had her way, she would suck on her toes all the time. Too bad her mom sticks them in footed clothing more days than not, and all nights. Oh well, maybe next summer.

my sweet girl

This is how adorable my little girl looked as she did her part(s) in the primary program. I sure do love her.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

primary program

In the middle of our second (and last) practice, I thought to myself "this is going to be insane." Then I thought, "just like a primary program should be." I honestly can't judge whether it was more or less crazy than a primary program should be, I've never actually been involved in putting one on before. But I suspect ours had slightly more than typical craziness. Here are some of the highlights:

*My husband wasn't actually there to provide backup with Kiddo, because Babs was sick. So I was both watching my little girl, and all the other kids, and leading the music, and helping with the program. I think I'd like to do less next week.
*Of the 13 (I think) kids that participated today, no child has attended more than three Sundays in the past three months. At least 1/2 read their lines for the first time today. Two were "walk-ons" from the congregation. These were children we deemed too young to be put in the program today, but wanted their chance at the microphone.
*Luckily, we had a lot of extra lines, because two of the older children, who we had depended on to say a lot of lines, mutinied. Their behavior was sufficiently bad that we told them not to participate, and sit with their mom; then tasked a branch presidency member to make sure that no one changed their minds and decided to come up anyway.
*Kiddo prepared two statements, but got to do four, and the closing prayer. Yes, they let my not quite 3-year old say the closing prayer. No, she would not accept any help.
*Although I tried to prepare by taking her to the bathroom before Sacrament Meeting, Kiddo turned to me two minutes before the program started to tell me she had to poop. WHAT??? I started walking to the door trying to figure this one out (I really couldn't leave), and decided to ask one of my good friends (yes, you know that is a good friend). She actually volunteered as soon as I was in whispering distance. Bless you CE.
*This meant Kiddo missed her first line. So when her second turn came up, she was insistent that she "do it herself!" So I let her state her first line "God is the Father of our spirits" before moving on to the next one. I tried to whisper it to her, so she started whispering. So then I spoke normally, and so did she.
*I prompted most of the kids who needed prompting (which was most of them) because they would repeat whatever they heard, including the other primary leader's accent and mispronunciations that come with an accent.
*We invited the congregation to sing along when they could (after providing them with the words) because of how few kids knew all the songs. We sang a cappella because there is no piano in our primary room, and since we hadn't practiced with a piano, I figured the day of was the wrong time to start.
*I started one song way high. Then I forgot the words, then the melody because I was so distracted by Kiddo trying to hide under my skirt. After dropping the visual aids I stopped singing, and had us start again. I used the restart as a chance to sing just a little lower. My good friend took this opportunity to come sit closer to the front to provide a person to help keep the kids still. This sort of worked.
*Many of the kids in primary are rovers, and move throughout the meetings. Most of them managed to sit still for most of the program. Miracles.
*They all sincerely wanted to sing, say their lines, and participate. They really did a good job.

And it's done. With any luck, this will be the last I do for a long time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

365 days

Last year exactly, on this cold, dark Saturday night, we finished unloading the last of the boxes into our storage unit (earlier in the evening we'd already dumped a whole ton in our small apartment), dropped of the rental truck (good riddance), signed a lease, and moved into our current apartment. It was very nice to have all of our stuff back, but mostly it was nice to be all under the same roof, with no more work separations from my husband. He was grateful to no longer be in hotels. I was grateful to be together again (did I already say that?). We were excited to settle in. We had a dinner that had thoughtfully been provided for us by one of the people in our branch, and dreamed about the future.

A lot has happened since then, but all in all, it's been a good year. We are happy. And we're together. The Lord opened so many doors and windows to get us here, and we have been, and continue to be, richly blessed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

happy holidays

Is it just me, or does she sort of remind you of the dog wearing reindeer antlers in The Grinch who Stole Christmas?

(Yeah, we're sticking to just the side ponytail for now.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

5 feet and counting

Babs still isn't crawling. And that's okay with me. What she is doing is getting very close.

I used to be able to leave her sitting down, and when I came back four or five minutes later, she'd be just where I left her. Now she's learned to lean over onto all fours, think about crawling, even lifting one limb, then reaching out in the direction she wants to go, and falling to her belly. She then reaches whatever it is she wants to get. Or doesn't reach it, and flails around trying to get it.

What this does mean is that the radius of safety that I have to keep around her keeps getting larger. Which really means that the things that I've decided are okay for her to have keeps growing.


Alert: this blog is about my child's continuing adventures in understanding the potty.

Somewhere along the line, we taught Kiddo that carbonated drinks are "spicy" and that's what we call them, "spicy drinks." They of course have a little kick, and little bubbles.

Lately, as she has poured her pee from her little potty into the big one, she sees the bubbles that come from pouring liquid from one container to another, and announces, "My pee is spicy!"

(She's also recently realized that she can see her reflection in her pee. "My pee makes me yellow" she declares, leaning dangerously close to the surface.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

tree, take two

I thought Babs looked super cute today, so I tried to get her picture in front of the tree again. Kiddo, of course, wanted to be part of it.

My husband's first reaction when he sees this picture will be to say "Where are Kiddo's clothes?" That is simple: on the bathroom floor. She took her pants of while going potty before her nap. She took the shirt off (and specifically walked into the bathroom to put it with the pants) while I was making dinner. The real question is why are her clothes off? Another simple answer: she took them off. And I wait until he is almost home to make her put them back on. It's a little game we three play.

And yes, Babs is chewing on a diaper, she loves them so. (It's clean.) It was that, or be facing the Christmas tree to touch it again (which she also did plenty of).

(But they do both look super cute. So I was right about that.)

Merry Christmas.

budding photographer

Kiddo has decided she wants to take pictures. She takes beautiful ones, like this:
Not only are the pictures super wonderful, we also had a small altercation about when she should be done taking pictures, which ended with the camera being dropped on our kitchen (tile) floor. Now our battery door is held shut with a rubber band. But, it still works, so the broccoli rubber band may be an important part of our future.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

o christmas tree

So far, my husband and I have traveled every Christmas except the one when Kiddo was born. So, a Christmas tree hasn't been very high on our priority list (usually it was finals and other end of the semester stuff). The year Kiddo was born we had a tree because my mom was there, and it was super high on her priority list. This year though, Kiddo is old enough, and although we're traveling, it just seemed like it was time. So we bought a tree. It's 3 feet tall, and sits on our coffee table. Kiddo loves it.

When my husband suggested they go buy a Christmas tree, she yelled "yeah! And it will be green!" When they came home with it, she couldn't wait to show me. I put some lights on it, then they hung some of our limited supply of ornaments. It gives our room a festive little air, and is perfect for our small space. Maybe next year we'll have a big one, but for right now this is just right.

(For your viewing pleasure, my first (and perhaps only) attempts at a picture of the girls in front of the tree. You'll see Secundus overly occupied with touching the tree, and Primus occupied with whatever goes on in that little head of hers that is not what I would like her to be doing at the time. Is she dancing? Probably.)

the suspense is killing me

Next week is our branch primary program. This is the Sunday meeting where the primary kids (age 3 - 11) present short messages about what they've learned over the year, accompanied by songs they've learned. The parameters of the meeting suggest that one never knows what to expect from such a meeting, and there are always a lot of surprises. The specific features of my branch suggest that there will be more happening that is unexpected than typical.

First, the leader of the primary is new, she has only been serving for about 3 months. That would possibly be enough time to put together a program if she had had consistent attendance from anyone. She has not. In addition, her first language is Spanish, which sometimes leads to interesting phrasing as she translates from her native Spanish to English. She is so concerned about having a good program, and is not shy about expressing her high expectations; mostly I think she just wants to children to succeed.

There are two English speaking families, but they mostly have not attended for the last two months, so they are not prepared to participate. Each time we talk about the program they state emphatically that they will not participate. They are very rowdy but they love to sing, and know all the songs we are supposed to be singing. They sing with much spirit and see Primary much more as a negotiation of activities and behaviors then as an organization with expectations.

There are two new families who just transferred from the Spanish speaking ward, but speak good English (the children are truly bilingual). They come every week, and are happy to participate, but do not know any of the songs in English (nor is it clear that they know them in Spanish). And two weeks is not enough time to teach them. And they are not old enough to give them papers to read the words. Sadly, only one is old enough to assign lots and lots of speaking parts. The other three just have small parts.

There is also a girl who's mother is learning about the church, but she knows nothing about the norms of church attendance. She is very keen on her opportunity to speak in the microphone though. She complains about all the singing, unless we are singing "Follow the Prophet" (especially since the more energetic family introduced their dance to the song today).

Plus, Kiddo, at almost three years of age has two speaking parts, and quite possibly knows the songs best of any person who will be participating. It's a rough time when you're counting on the two-year-old to keep things going.

Who will come? How much of the program will have to be prompted? or just read by an adult? Will I be the only one singing? How grateful will the woman in charge be when this is all over? I have no idea what to expect this next Sunday, except that I will certainly need a nap afterward. I love my branch.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

she'll love this when she's older

There is no doubt that Secundus is about as cute as can be. But she is also really good at closing her eyes half-way in photos. Almost every time I try to take her picture, I get one like this, which hides her adorableness, just a bit.

I keep trying until there is one with her eyes open. I feel like my mom, and grandma have this problem too. It's good to know she has some traits from the maternal line.

Friday, December 3, 2010

not yet

Kiddo is very excited about her upcoming birthday. Because of some confusion about what birthday means (up until very recently it meant a cake), and some confusion about the passage of time (she seems to know 'now,' 'not now,' and 'maybe tomorrow'), waiting for her birthday is hard.

So on Monday, her daddy and her made a calendar of the highlights of this month: his birthday, her birthday, Jesus' birthday, church, library, and flying to Grandma's house. She repeated this mantra all the time. "First it's Daddy's birthday, then my birthday, then Jesus' birthday."

This morning she realized that we had celebrated Daddy's birthday, so it was now in the past. "It's my birthday!" she yelled. Umm, not yet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

daddy's birthday

For my husband's birthday he got to work late, attend our town's Christmas Tree lighting ceremony (in which only 2/3s of the lights actually turned on), and dance at "Frosty's Dance Party" in the "Christmas Park" (as Kiddo calls it).

But, he had a brother-in-law in for the festivities which included a homemade cake and frosting, with five candles, which were only partially blown out by the almost three year old.

Was it a good day? He's with his girls, I'm sure it was.

Happy Birthday Honey.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

daddy's girl

Kiddo realized a few days ago that she can draw with her toes. She's pretty proud of herself. Her father also has many varied toe talents (origami anyone?).

Her daddy's best friend calls them prehensile toes. I just think, really?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Kiddo falls asleep in our room, because that's how we work the two kids going to bed at the same time who share a room dilemma. (I'm working on other solutions, but haven't got there yet.)

Last night I picked her up to move her to her own bed. With her head resting on my shoulder, her feet hang to my knees. I always talk about how tall she is, but that really drives it home. She is growing up, and doing a good job of it.

Today at the library she tried to have conversations with multiple children. "Hi, I'm E, I'm fine. What's your name?" Awkward, yes. But an excellent effort, especially for her age.

More than once this fall I have watched her and thought, she is no longer a toddler, she's a girl now. It seems to have happened so fast. (And the quickness of it is what keeps me going through all the less fun things that come with caring for her and her sister these days.)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today I asked Kiddo to count the Clifford's on a page. (Her new obsession is reading about Clifford.) Some quick math made me think this was beyond her, but it would be interesting to see where she could get.

She didn't miss any dogs, understood one-to-one correspondance for counting, and counted to 24 with no mistakes.

When did this proficiency happen?

giving thanks

We visited my aunt and uncle for thanksgiving, just like we have for many years now. As we drove into their development I laughed uncomfortably, then said, "you could fit our entire block into their house." That was a little exaggeration. You could really only fit our building, and our two neighboring buildings (and possibly a fourth) in their house. You could fit our block on their house and yard though. Despite my best efforts, a small current of frustration ran through my head through most of our few days there, in comparing what I have with what they have, and finding myself coming up short.

Now, they are older, and more established, so of course they should have more than I do. But I just wanted a little more: a little more space, a little more amenities, a little more money, a little more trees, a little less asphalt.

But I was wrong to think that (and knew it at the time, although I couldn't shake it off at the time). I am richly blessed. For example, I have a home, and last year at this time we didn't have that. And we have a job, which 15 months ago seemed unlikely. Also since last year I have two sweet, sweet girls, instead of just one. And I have been richly blessed with many good friends here, people who love me and my girls.

My change of heart was complete when we returned home. After a long car ride (that serendipitously brought us past my favorite mexican restaurant at dinner time!), we got the girls to bed, I was rinsing a few dishes. As I looked at my tiny sink in my small kitchen, and placed the hand-washed dishes in our drying rack, I remembered that my little family is very happy in my little space, and that is enough, and even plenty, for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

baby food

My friend came by today with her three week old, and all the stuff that comes along with such a small baby. Kiddo was excited to see what was in her huge diaper bag. Before too long she came across the tupperware of powdered formula.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Formula," I answered. "You don't need it," I added as she tried to open it.

"Formela" she repeated, trying to get the feel of the new word.

"No, for-MU-la" I asserted, so she could get the word right.

"For-ME-la" she repeated.

As we went through the correct word, and her repetition, the third time, I was gratified to learn that she understands first and second person. When I say "you," she says "me."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

lots of babies

I was perplexed as to why Kiddo spent half of dinner time with her eyes closed. I asked my husband what his thoughts were on the issue. A few minutes later, when she had fallen asleep with her feet on the floor and her body resting on her chair, we knew. 5:40 was a really early bedtime.

About 7, when our friend's kid was here too, so his parents could attend the same church meeting my husband was attending, she woke up. And the kid had had a late nap too. And Babs hates to miss the party.

I had anticipated a quiet evening with three sleeping babies. Instead I got a lot of time with all of them.

They're all asleep now. Or no longer at my house. I can go to bed now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

culture clash

I want Kiddo to have some friends her age, or slightly older than her. Currently all her friends are at least a year younger than her, or are adults. So, I've reached out to a woman at the library whose son is the same age. After her son being sick, then me, we finally got together today.

We showed up, and she offered me something to drink. I told her no thank you, and didn't think any thing of it. About 15 minutes later I noticed that her table was filled with drinks and snacks. It was then that it hit me, she is Indian, and they rules for entertaining are different for her. Not long after I accepted, gratefully, treats for me and my daughter. She was a very gracious hostess. And Kiddo will always accept a lollipop and m&m's.

After we'd been there about 90 minutes, Babs needed a nap, and I felt that we had surely overstayed our welcome. I started to make excuses about getting my kid home for a nap, and my new friend seemed genuinely perplexed that I would think I should leave. She assured me we should stay for at least a few hours. She later asked Kiddo if she'd like to come over every day. She loves to hold Babs. She got us pizza for lunch.

When we finally left, four hours after coming, I was concerned that she would think I was being rude, but really, Babs needed to sleep in her own bed. (She'd taken a short nap there, but like Kiddo, sleeps best in her own bed.)

And although I wasn't expecting a four hour play date, we will certainly play again. Kiddo really enjoyed herself, and now has a friend her age. She'll learn a lot by being around him, important things like how to climb up walls, and crash cars into each other, and eat spicy food. And, I'll think I'll enjoy myself a lot more next time, because I'll know what is expected of me, and will be able to relax. (And I'll schedule it for a day when I'm not exhausted by babysitting someone else's kids the entire day before.)

sleeping lessons

On Monday Primus took a huge (and needed) nap. But the whole time I worried about the consequences of that act, namely that she would not fall asleep that night until really late. Turns out that Secundus had a hard time settling too. So, we tag-teamed from one to the other trying to get them to sleep.

I fed Secundus, and she finally settled and was almost asleep. Primus was very quiet in their room, so I thought she was almost down too. I took a chance, laid Babs down and reminded Kiddo to be quiet.

I sat down on the couch, and soon heard the following (spoken quite loudly):
"Okay Baby, here's how you go to sleep. You have to stay asleep all night, until the sun comes up. You go to sleep when it's dark, and stay asleep until the sun is out."

I of course peeked in, they are both in their beds, Babs pushed up on her arms to see her idol, her big sister, who is at least still in bed, although clearly not close to sleep. Babs made some six-month old noise.

"No, that's not how you do it," comes Kiddo's authoritative voice. "You are quiet, you close your eyes, and make a smelling noise," accompanied by the sound of exaggerated deep breathing.

The lesson continued from there, until I finally had to step in, and separate the two, so at least one of them would go to bed. Secundus slept soon after; Primus finally crashed a little after 10.

I'm sure I'm done with naps for her now. But quiet time is still part of our day.

(Just before feeding Babs came another moment I'd like to remember. Kiddo had been in my bed, and since I was picking up Babs, I decided to move her to her bed, hoping it would settle her (it often does). As we went into her room she walked straight to Babs' crib, stuck her little arm through the slats and gently stroked her cheek, comforting her obviously distressed little sister. My heart melted. I then shooed her into her bed and took the baby out for some food.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


This is an odd use of my post: (and I'll delete it once I've had success)

Tara, are you reading this? My e-mail address for you is defunct. I've called a few times, no one has answered. Please call or e-mail me. I feel a void.

Friends of mine who know Tara - do you how to contact her?

ring sizing

I had the local jeweler resize my wedding and engagement rings the other day. As we were waiting to talk to him, Kiddo was looking at the display cases. (Also conveniently at her eye level.) "Look at those beautiful accessories for an outfit," she sighed.

This from the girl that doesn't like her hair any way but down, and who's mom never wears make-up, accessories, and certainly doesn't have outfits. Thank you Fancy Nancy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

walk in the woods

The local Audubon society holds walks in the woods for 18 mos to 4 year olds. I took Kiddo in October, and was excited to do the next in November. It was today.

Today was cold, windy, and I still haven't bought Kiddo this year's winter coat. So I put in her in some layers with last year's coat (only a little too small right now) and we went anyway. The walk was long, but Kiddo is a good sport, and enjoys being around other people. But there were no other kids there, so it was just more adult interaction with the coordinator, Miss Kelly. Oh well, I tried.

At the end she was pretty tired, but we had almost made it to the car. Then she slipped on a hill, and landed hard on a rock. She melted into lots and lots of tears and wailing. Somewhat used to the tired melt-down, I didn't pay much attention as she started to say "I need to go..." In fact, I cut her off and said, "Home. Yeah, we're going really soon." "Nooooo. I need to go potty."

I had suspected for the last while, but had hoped I was wrong. Having really no other options, I quickly pulled Babs out of her carrier (she was strapped on me) and handed her to Miss Kelly. Then I grabbed Kiddo and walked about 20 feet into the woods, pulled down her pants, positioned her accordingly and told her to let loose.

"I'm making the leaves wet." Umm, yeah. "I need to wipe my bottom."

"I'll find you the softest leaf I can." I replied.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

fully functioning brain

According to the Self magazine, my brain should be back to its typical size, and working again. It's return to normalcy was accompanied by the realization that I'm really tired, and tired of waking up two times a night, every night. I'd like for my fat baby to be able to sleep longer. If you have any suggestions as to how to do this, with the understanding that she shares a room with her older sister (who I really like to sleep through the night), I'm all ears.

Friday, November 5, 2010

story telling

When I finally intend to go to sleep at night, my husband usually comes with me. He tries to read while I fall asleep. Except it's usually the first quiet moments we have together, so I tend to interrupt his reading a lot to tell him stories from the day. (I believe that this sort of drives him crazy, but he won't admit to that.)

Last night after a story he laughed at me. I asked him why and he said, I love how you tell stories. First there is the build up, then the punch line, then the analysis.

What he didn't know is that I know that I always keep going after the punch line. I feel like I need to say more, and can never just let my stories be. This was a problem in my academic writing, and is a problem on my blog. I'm working on it. Notice how well I told the voting story?

"Can Babs play?"

As I think is common for children, Kiddo has always been a big fan of sitting in boxes, and laundry baskets fit the bill perfectly. If one is sitting empty, she is sure to fill it with herself. Today, while in the laundry basket she asked if Babs could come play with her. I was happy to help out and put Babs in. (I love that she wants to play with her sister, and tries to interact with her.)

Then Kiddo asked, "Should we take a picture?"

And this is what I got:

as the moments fly by

I was telling my mom the other day that I spend so much time staring at my sweet Bab's face, because it's so beautiful, and I love her so much. But I do it with a vague sense of panic, because I know I did this with Primus too, and don't remember what she looked like at that age, or how I felt in those moments.

That's why we take pictures, my mom reminded me. And why I write, I remind myself.

So this is me, trying to remember.

(the other one was really precious too)