Friday, August 27, 2010

making music

How fabulous! Not only did I pull out the little violin, Kiddo found a bow too. Now she can really make music. (I missed the photo op with the violin backwards - oh well.)

Dear Grandma...

Dear Grandma,
Thanks for the ballet slipper socks. It's been pretty warm this summer, so I haven't used them much, but Mom put them on today. I guess she thought it was chilly enough. They taste great. I love them!

love, Babs

Monday, August 23, 2010

props from my 2 year old

Kiddo decided to change back into her "ice cream jammies and ice cream pants" with a pull-up for her nap. After her nap I was trying to get her back into underwear, and it was not an easy task. She openly rebelled more than once. So I decided that she could stay in her pull-up, but I would not let her do anything she asked, until she changed.

Finally she had to use the potty, so the pull-up came off, and I took this opportunity to get her changed. But after washing her hands, she did not want to put on her underwear (I believe she wanted to get in her swimsuit - my fault for not putting it away), so there we were arguing with her naked on the floor. I insisted she must put on underwear, and explained it would be best if she got dressed because we were going to the store after dinner. She continued to resist until I threatened standing in the corner.

She was then quick to let me get her dressed. As I walked off, frustrated and tired, to pick up Secundus who was now crying in her crib, Kiddo started clapping her hands and said "Good job getting me dressed mommy!"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Davy Jones is my new best friend

Davy Jones, of the Monkees, is my new best friend. My husband's too. That is, if you define best friend as the voice you spend the most time with. He sings a marvelous rendition of "Your Personal Penguin," by Sandra Boynton. Luckily, it's well-written and well sung. Unfortunately, it's very catchy. So, if you'd like to sing along too, have a listen.

junior conductor

I lead the choir at church (all six of us). My husband kindly sings in it. My pianist recently moved, so I now accompany it. (There is another pianist, but I need her to sing.) Since we are two parents, and two children, but I am otherwise occupied, we needed someone to take care of Kiddo. And then inspiration struck. Since I was at the piano, there was no one conducting the music. We gave Kiddo the task.

She performed admirably, albeit a little off task. Whenever she would forget to conduct, one of the ladies would kindly remind her by waving their hand a bit. And if we weren't actively singing, she would request to sing "I am a Child of God."

Near the end she sat on her stool, and was apparently carefully inspecting her underwear. So my husband (we're all family here) asked her if she needed to go to the potty. "No," she innocently replied. "I just need to stay here and sing with my friends." They are her friends, and they loved singing with her. (We sang her request at the end.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

return to the beach

We went back to the beach today. I meant to have another, six months later, family picture, but the camera died (and has been miraculously resurrected thank you!) when that moment came. Instead, caught on camera, is the moment my husband almost lost my firstborn to the sea. He kept a firm grip though, so we get to keep her.

Here is my patient husband riding the waves with Kiddo. She wasn't so sure at the beginning. By the end we couldn't keep her out. Each time I'd call them in (with a worried stare at her increasingly blue lips) she'd head back out - without us (he'd catch up). I finally said "enough" and we came home.

So once again the beach was a major success for my sweet girl. I did largely the same thing I did last time, dip my toes while holding the baby. (It was easier last time though, she was better contained.)

smart infinity

Kiddo is pretty contrary these days. If you tell her something you plan to do, she often counters with a declaration of "No, I'll do it." And, she loves to complain about being "stuck" in the car. We may encourage this by agreeing with her, and telling her to deal with it.

This evening on the way home from Indian food (so good), she called from the back "Mama! I stuck. Can you push this button?" (the one that undoes the straps). I told her no, because we were still driving, and we don't get out while we're driving.

"No, we are not still driving!" she claimed. I'm sad to admit this degraded into the equivalent of "are too," "are not," argument for a minute or so (with my husband chiming in). Then, feeling smug, my husband said "we are infinity." Kiddo thought a second, the replied "we are not infinity!" and he and I laughed.

She got the right comeback, and used a new word, and even pronounced it better than most of the other words she used in that sentence.

a, you're adorable

She's learned to grab, and of course put things in her mouth. How cute is this? (and that cowlick!)


Grammy spent a week watching Kiddo be a "princess-cess" and decided to deck her out appropriately. When the box opened showing a princess dress, Kiddo was more than excited. And then it turns out there was also a princess crown, a princess magic wand, a princess purse, and princess shoes... well, I couldn't help her dress fast enough. So here she is in all her splendor.

Yes, she's worn this most waking moments since it arrived. Yes, we've picked up a friend from the hospital and gone to the grocery store in it. And yes, I'm fine with that. Because while I'm not always happy when Kiddo is happy, my happiness is certainly more likely when she is, and she is very happy in this outfit.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"I love being a princess"

At a recent visit to the park, Kiddo ran to the gazebo, and did her "I want that" dance, talking about ... it was hard to understand until I saw what was out of her reach. It was a princess cup. No one was there, so I determined it was abandoned, a cup from Chuck E. Cheese with a crown lid. I took off the crown top, cleaned it in the wet grass, gave it to her, and disposed of the rest.

And since then, she hasn't gone long without her "princess crown and tutu." We have yet to let her leave the house this way (with both any way). She is so happy about it. It lets her live her dream of being the "princess ballerina mouse" (Angelina Ballerina, a British cartoon based on the childrens' books). (She says "cahn't" now, with a British accent instead of the most American "cant".)

She seems unable to find her tutu on her own though. Twice she has been staring directly at it and not seen it. Once it was touching her foot, she still missed it. But she sure loves it. (Thank you grandma.)

sucker addendum

The palm is no longer the surface of choice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

words from kiddo

Kiddo has a lot to say. Her vocabulary now allows her to express a lot of ideas, and she has plenty to say. Although I'm tired in the morning when she pads into our room and onto our bed, most mornings I try to be sociable, because of all the things she will tell me. Here are some of her thoughts recently (not all in the morning):

I told her ants had six feet. She replied, "Ants have six feet. I only have two feets. And momma has two feets. And I have a bot-tom, and momma has a bot-tom." [She appears to have dropped the substitute "bobbin" for bottom, sadly. "Momma says bottom" she insists. I do.]

This morning Daddy was the lucky partner in one of her favorite games, 'under the covers,' where you put the blankets over your head. As she looked around she exclaimed "I found feets! on your legs!"

At the end of Aunt M's last visit, she wrote some things on the mirror for Kiddo, and included a picture of a signature turtle. Since Kiddo learned all her letters, and she loves to identify them. She read: "I-L-O-V-E-Y-O-U spells turtle!"

I was taking out the garbage the other day, and she was only wearing her underwear. I asked her if she wanted to come, and explained it would require her to put back on her clothes and shoes. "No," she countered, "I want to go in my belly and my toes!" I went alone.

She loves the television, and would watch many, many hours every day if I allowed (as it is she only watches some hours). I usually tell her as we start how many shows or how many minutes we can watch, even if it doesn't really mean anything to her. Yesterday she requested that we "watch TV for some long minutes."

Today she informed me that she was wearing "a skirt, a shirt, some underwear, and two blue eyes."

Then there are the things she says all the time, as she's learning how the English language works. Like "No, that mines!" or "No Daddy, you don'ts have to go."

Or the most common phrase I seem to hear: "Mama, where are you?" As if there was any place to hide in this little apartment.

The things she say that just make me smile the most though are the simplest. A lot of time when she gets something she's asked for or wants she says "thanks." It's good to hear that she's learning gratitude, or at least manners.

Then I offer her something that she wants, and she says simply "yes." Given how much trouble we've had learning that word, it is beautiful to my ears.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

thoughts at the hospital

While at the hospital I had a lot of down time, because infants sleep a lot, and I had no house to clean and no toddler to take care of (well, I still had them, but they were unavailable). And, I was between good books, and was unwilling to pay $11 a day for the TV. Okay, so here some of them are:

*I didn't love any of the hospital experience, but an important parental rite of passage is now completed, a visit to the ER and a hospital stay. I'd love to never re-experience any of this.

*Babs had a roommate who was 2 weeks old, but had the same problem: an unexplained high temperature, and they were waiting for it to either be explained or resolve itself. Which meant there was another mom dealing with the same issues I was (except her baby was TEENY, and mine is not). It was interesting to see different family dynamics, like how she dealt with her baby, family interaction and the like. She was also bilingual, and would talk to her mom changing languages seemingly on a whim. I'd like to have that skill (especially with Spanish!).

*I'm generally tougher than my husband about watching our kids get procedures done. So, when they drew blood, or took x-rays, I loved her, I held her, and told her that life was tough, so deal with it. My husband apologizes and gets teary. When they told us they were admitting her (which came as a surprise to both of us) he started to cry. I just accepted it. As my husband drove home, he told me that occasionally he would sob. Then Kiddo would pipe up: no, dadda can not be sad, I will be sad. Then she would fake cry for a bit. At least she offered comic relief. I cried in relief when Babs acted enough like usual self that I knew she was all better.

[A side story: as we put the girls in the car to go to the ER, Babs was crying, which is often what she does in the first five minutes of so that she's in her car seat, especially when she's tired. As I latched Kiddo in, she started fake crying. I said "What's wrong?" She looked at me guilelessly and said matter-of-factly "both my girls are crying." "No," I replied, "you do not need to cry." She loves for them to be doing the same thing.]

*The view from our sixth floor room (we were next to the window) was one of the largest parks in the area, so lots of trees, then the NYC skyline. If you have to be stuck in a hospital, that's not a bad gig, especially at night.

*Throughout the initial procedures in the ER, I consoled myself that if we had to be there, at least she was darling in her tiny hospital gown.
*I will now ask more questions when they go to stick my kids. They stuck her IV port in the arm she sucks. That was an uncomfortable three days as she tried to get her hand back to her mouth.

*I asked a lot of questions before the last procedure (the spinal tap, when I had to sign a waiver). I wanted to be sure it was necessary. At one point the doctor said "We agreed to this earlier." Had I been more coherent (it was around 2 am) I would have said "No, you explained it to me and I indicated I understood earlier." I respect the education and knowledge that it must take to become a doctor, probably more than most given how much time I've spent educating myself. I trust and need that expertise, but they should not expect me to give them a carte blanche with my child, because they don't have my mother heart for her.

*I left Secundus in her crib alone in her room (with her roommate) to get some food for the vending machine. As I stood waiting for the elevator my head jumped to thinking about families who have long-term visits to hospitals, and long-terms illnesses, and my heart almost broke in sorrow for them. I had to change thought topics very soon because of the horror of it all. How do they do it? I'm sure they do it the same way we survive all hard problems, one day, one moment at a time. I never want to know.

*I am so grateful to live in a land where expertise and medicine are so plentiful. And to have good insurance that makes it accessible. And an expectation of health for my family. And priesthood blessings.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Babs has spent the better part of the last month trying to suck her thumb in an attempt to self-soothe (like my other, she does not approve of pacifiers). She poked at her eyes, scratched up her face, and really struggled with finding her thumb.

In fact, she has given up. Although this picture gives the impression that she is sucking her thumb, she is in fact sucking her palm where her thumb meets the palm. And she actively searches out this knob of her hand when she's trying to go to sleep.

With the other hand she grabs and pulls at her hair. A bald spot seems pending.

It actually works out nicely, because as soon as she's sucked for just a few moments, she falls asleep, hand safely at her side. Perhaps this means that we'll only need to wean one child from sucking her thumb. Or perhaps we've just postponed the inevitable. She sure is cute though.


With our visit to the hospital she was weighed and measured. 16 lbs; 26 inches. Yeah, she's huge.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

our long weekend

When my husband came home on Thursday I announced that Babs was sick. He asked why I thought that? "Because I know" was the answer.

We took turns that night holding her, worried about the heat radiating off her small body, and wincing each time she made the high pitched squeaking infant-in-pain cry. About 7:30 Friday morning I realized that a) she was still hot even after some Tylenol and b) she was not eating well. By 8 we were at the local emergency room.

A dose of Motrin from the nurse brought her temperature back down, and marked the return of her happy, engaging personality. But a temperature of 102.7 is worrisome for a 3-month old, so they ran some tests. They did some blood work, took some urine, and did a chest x-ray. And everything came back negative. Her white blood cell count was super high, so she was clearly fighting off something. As the Motrin wore off, her temperature crept up again, again into the 102 range. So they admitted her.

That night when her temperature found it's way to 102+ again (between Motrin cycles), they did a spinal tap to check for meningitis. And following procedure, they started her on antibiotics, because you just don't want to take any chances.

She continued to have a fever into Saturday, then by Saturday afternoon it was gone. But we had already done the spinal tap, so we had to wait for the results, which came back Monday morning. (It's a 48-hour test.) It was a long 36 hours (the time from when her fever was gone and we could go home).

I was extraordinarily grateful to have doctors and medicine to help my baby through a pretty nerve wracking few days. But I was also really grateful to come home.

I had a lot of random thoughts from my time there, because there was lots of time to think. I'll share those later. For now I'm just grateful that we're home, and every one is well. (Because, my husband thought to give Primus some allergy medicine, and her cough is gone too!) That's a serious blessing.