Shuffle and repeat

Monday, June 30, 2008

Baby B loves getting up on the couch. I mean, she freaking loves it. We try to let her walk around the house by herself as much as possible (as opposed to carrying her), but quite often if we’re trying to herd her to the bedrom to change clothes or to her room for bedtime, she’ll escape and make a break for the couch.

The Couch Game consists of the following. She’ll get up on the couch. She’ll stand up and grin like she’s conquered Mt. Everest. She’ll immediately go from standing to sitting on her butt, bouncing before coming to a stop.

She’ll take the four couch pillows and pile them on top of The Dog. (He loves this. Seriously. He does.) She’ll take back some of the pillows and put them on top of herself, pretending to be hidden. We ask, “Where’d Baby B go? Wasn’t she just here?” She’ll kick her unhidden legs excitedly until she deems it time to reveal herself, which she does with a big laugh. She’ll put the pillows back on The Dog. She’ll throw herself on top of the pillows. She’ll move the pillows again, this time sitting on top of them herself.

She’ll make her way down to the end of the couch next to the end table, point at a glass bowl, say, “Bowl!”, and proceed to pick it up. (This isn’t mom’s china we’re talking about; it’s just a cheap candy-less candy bowl. We don’t mind if she picks up this bowl, as long as she’s gentle with it.) She’ll put the bowl back. She’ll go back to sit on The Dog. She’ll then get off him and lay her head on him. She’ll get off the couch, run around the coffee table, and get back on the couch.

Go ahead and press “shuffle” because the order might not be the same each time she plays The Couch Game, but she’s definitely running on “repeat.”

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Like the old days

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I love Baby B and the fact that she loves her sleep? On Saturday morning, she let us sleep until 9 a.m. This morning she woke us up at 10:45 a.m. We are very fortunate, and I don’t take this for granted at all.

I figure we can expect a terror with the eventual second child, no? Surely lightning can’t strike twice.


The perfect Friday night

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ask several people what their definition of the perfect Friday night is, and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. Some people might say a fun night with friends at a nightclub.  Others might say a romantic candlelit dinner. Still others might say popcorn and candy and the latest chick flick at the movie theater.

I’ll tell you my version of a perfect Friday night: Picking up Baby B at daycare and meeting The Husband at a hardware store to pick up a few things. Enjoying a spur-of-the-moment dinner with the family at the nearby IHOP, looking across the table at my daughter’s dimples as she laughs at our silly dinner conversations, and realizing just how lucky we are to have her in our lives. Going home and giving Baby B a bath while The Husband stops for a couple pints of sherbet from an ice cream store. A fun storytime with Baby B. A 1.5-mile run that helps me get rid of the work stresses of the week. Then relaxing on the couch with The Husband while watching a DVD we rented.

On the surface, it might seem kind of boring to some people, but in the span of six hours or so, we managed to complete errands, dinner, baby time, me time, couple time, and some relaxation time. I can’t think of anything more perfect.


A daddy named mama

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Baby B’s first word was “mama,” and for a while there, she had a definite recognition that I was the person who was mama. Something happened after she turned a year old, and for months now she’s been calling The Husband “mama.” She’ll look directly at him and call out: “MAMA!” If he’s in a different room and she wants his attention, she’ll look at the direction he went toward and proclaim: “MAMA!” There is no mistaking that she’s calling him mama.

Now that I think about it, this shift really seemed to happen around the time I weaned her from nursing. And it also coincided with a shift in Baby B wanting me for many things to a preference for The Husband that continues currently. If she falls and hurts herself, I’ll do my best to comfort her, but she just keeps crying and crying, then wanders over to The Husband, who does the same thing that I was doing, but she calms down nearly instantly.

Another example is at bedtime. The Husband will hold Baby B as she’s saying goodnight to her stuffed animals and to The Dog, then she comes to me for a Mommy hug and kiss. From the time she’s offered to me, she nearly goes limp and resists coming to my arms, and it’s a struggle just to get her transferred to me. I get in a quick hug and kiss as she fusses, then as soon as I lessen my grip, she leans her entire body away from mine and reaches her outstretched arms to The Husband, immediately content as soon as she’s back in his arms.

It’s interesting to see this shift, as we spent the first year of her life with me as her favorite person (so says The Husband!), and that’s definitely switched now. And I won’t lie: It’s kind of hard to deal with. I really try not to take it personally, as I realize she knows she can get some needs satisfied by mom and some from dad. But at a time when she’s already gaining her independence and is clearly demonstrating her desire for less help from both mom and dad, it’s hard to swallow sometimes that prefers The Husband over me when she does need or want one of us.

I suppose it’s one of those (many) things that I should just learn to deal with, as I know her parent of preference will constantly change throughout her life. I know there are times when I’ve felt closer with my dad, but also times when I’ve felt closer with my mom. I personally don’t have the desire for her to be my best friend; I think there needs to be a little distance between a mom and a daughter in their relationship, so this is a good lesson in how to still show her how much I love her, even when I can’t smother her in kisses as much as I want.


Wordless Wednesday: Who needs a pricey Baby Bjorn?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

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You can do anything but lay off my cute pink shoes

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So we’ve had no luck with Baby B becoming attached to a security/transitional object like a stuffed animal or a soft blanket (I still just can’t bring myself to call them loveys, despite the widespread use of the term), but we did find her first real attachment lately: her cute pink shoes that we bought for her one-year-old pictures over the winter.

We keep them in the lower drawer of a storage bin in her closet, so she can easily get them out herself. For the past few days when we’re in her room playing or doing storytime, she’ll go over to the drawer and pull the shoes out, trying eagerly to put them on herself. She eventually realizes she’s not able to put them on herself, so she comes over to us to put them on for her. This makes her incredibly happy — especially if she’s in her pajamas, for some reason — and she scampers all around the room in her cute pink shoes. She’ll take them off and walk around the room basically hugging them, and any attempt on our part to take them away from her is met with great resistance. At some point she’ll usually decide she wants them on her feet again and will try again herself, then reluctantly decide to let one of us put them on for her. She again scampers around the room in her little pink shoes, just as happy as can be.

This morning she wanted to hold them so badly that we had to let her take them in the car to daycare because we could see the meltdown coming otherwise. Thankfully she left them in the car once she and The Husband arrived at school, but he said she wasn’t that thrilled about leaving them behind.

We promised her that she’d be allowed to wear The Shoes when we took our nightly walk this evening, as we followed through on that. While on our walk, she decided to take off one of the shoes to play with, and it stayed off for the rest of the night until it was time to change into pajamas. Yes, she looked silly walking around with just one shoe on, but she was happy, and why would I mess with that? Besides, I know we’ve got years of interesting fashion statements from Baby B ahead of us, so why not start now?


Dog days of summer

Monday, June 23, 2008

One of the reasons I’d always wanted a golden retriever was because I knew they were good with children, and that could not be more true of ours. From the very beginning, The Dog welcomed Baby B into his home without jealousy, and they’ve developed a special bond that I’ve watched grow closer with each passing day.

They have their moments where they take turns chasing each other through the house and roughhousing on the floor. We typically do stay within arm’s reach when they’re playing like this to prevent The Dog from accidentally scratching her — thankfully he has never shown one bit of intentional aggression toward her, but his nails can be sharp — but most of the time they’re fine just to tumble together on the floor, with plenty of giggles coming from Baby B.

Then there are those moments when Baby B is being a typical toddler and is climbing all over the dog, pulling his ears harder than she should (we always correct her when she does this), and being what is probably a nuisance to him, but he’s amazing — he just lies there and looks up at us as if to say, “It’s okay, you guys. She’s my sissy, and I’ll let her do whatever she wants.” He never becomes annoyed at what she’s doing. Again, we’re always there when she’s climbing all over him — I pretty strongly believe that even the most well-behaved, easy-going dog could potentially snap given the right circumstances, so I think it’s important for them to be supervised — but it’s wonderful to see how laid back he is when she’s the one being aggressive.

Then there are those super sweet moments that just completely melt your heart…like when Baby B goes over to The Dog, wraps her arms around his furry body, and lays her head on his shoulder as he lies there content, sometimes lifting his head just enough to give her a little puppy kiss on the cheek. These two are truly best friends, and we couldn’t be much luckier. I often say that it’s hard to remember life before Baby B, but I can say the same thing about The Dog, too. I think having a dog at her age is teaching her a lot of important lessons, and I know that will continue to be the case as they both get older.


Volcano of the mouth

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It really seems that when Baby B adds new words to her vocabulary, a whole bunch of them come exploding out within a few days! Some new words recently include:

*mine

*purple

*red

*blue (“boo”)

*green (“geen”)

*bubbles

*boobie (“bo-buh”)

*cat


Eyes on the skies

Friday, June 20, 2008

We live along the incoming flight path of our local airport, which is located a few miles from our house, so we see airplanes of all sizes flying over our neighborhood several times an hour. Baby B has recently taken note of these airplanes and will point out every single one that flies overhead when we’re out on our nightly walks. The Husband and I are fascinated with airplanes — I swear to you they’re modern magic and I could watch them all day long, like a tropical sunset or an aquarium or a crackling fire — so we often stop the stroller and let Baby B watch the airplane as it fades into the distance to land. She’s very polite and waves her hand and says “bye-bye” to the airplane before we continue our walk

What was amazing tonight was during storytime before bed, Baby B was sitting on the futon with her back against the window in her room. The blinds were closed, so none of us could see outside. She turned her upper body and started pointing at the window, and at first I didn’t get why…until The Husband pointed out the sound of the airplane flying over the house. She’d heard the sound and made the connection without even seeing the airplane. This girl has not just her eyes on the skies, but her ears too!


Well, crap!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I bought two potty chairs on Saturday.

Um, when did I become the mom of a toddler on the verge of potty training?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that Baby B is just shy of 17 months old, and we have no intentions of starting full-on potty training quite yet as we are still waiting for her to show some more of the readiness signs. But I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and get the potties, put them in the bathrooms, and let her discover them on her own.

She’s definitely been curious about them so far. She even seems to have a desire to sit down on them, as she’ll stand in front and start to back up as though she’s going to plop down once she’s close enough. When I’ve seen her do this, I’ve encouraged her with things like, “Oh! Is that your potty? Do you want to sit down on your potty?” But as soon as she loses interest in it, I drop the subject completely. I do not hound her to continue.

I know that potty training is completed in many smaller stages, and I think our first victory will be just having her regularly sit down on it while completely clothed; she’s already done it twice, but not quite regularly yet. We have no timeline in mind — we have no delusions of her being potty trained by 20 months or anything — but we figure it’s a good thing to start bringing into her world and especially her language, since I feel that a big component of potty training is successful communication.

(Boy, I sure sound like I know what I’m talking about, huh? Fact is: I know very little and will be seeking out books very soon. Any recommendations are welcome from those of you who have gone through this before.)


Wordless Wednesday: Send it back! My infant turned into a toddler!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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Run fun

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

As I mentioned last week, I had my first official race earlier this evening. It was just a 3K walk/run, or about 1.8 miles, but I thought that was going to be a good starting point for me, then I plan to aim for a 5K in August.

My realistic goals for the race were:

1. To finish.
2. To not injure myself.
3. To run the whole time and not have to stop or walk at any point.
4. To finish in 20 minutes or less.

We had a PERFECT day for the race; sunny, mid-70s, and no humidity. Perfect. It was a small group of runners (about 10 or 15 of us), then there were about 10 people walking the route.

I met the first goal of finishing the race. I finished last of the running group, but I could tell most of the other people were serious runners, so I wasn’t too discouraged. I wasn’t competing against them, just myself.

My second goal was met, as I didn’t injure myself. In fact, so far I’m not even sore. (It helps that I’ve been training for this for a while.)

My third goal was a little harder to achieve, especially since the last third of the race was uphill, but I managed to run the entire distance. It was a definite challenge, but I did it.

The last goal turned out really cool. I wanted to finish in 20 minutes or less, but keep in mind that I’ve never officially timed any of my runs. I was just estimating something that I thought was reasonable. Know what my final time was? 19 minutes and 59 seconds. I kid you not! When I rounded the corner and saw the clock said I had 10 seconds until I hit 20 minutes, I kicked it into high gear and made it to the finish just one second ahead of my goal.

I’m definitely proud of myself for achieving this goal, and I look forward to working hard in order to complete the 5K run in August.


Polly is ready and wants another bite

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It’s funny because you don’t realize how much you say certain words and phrases until your little parrot of a daughter starts repeating them back to you. This weekend Baby B started saying, “Ready?” and it always comes out in question form with the middle syllables drawn out slightly and always said in her cute, high-pitched voice. “Reeeaaady?” After she started saying it, I began to realize just how often I say it, and it’s all the time apparently! Before changing her diaper. Before swinging her around. Before dinnertime. Before putting her in the bath. You get the idea.

I love her little exclamations, too. She’s said “uh-oh” for quite a while now, but she recently added, “Whoa!” to the list. I don’t know why, but that one makes me laugh nearly every single time she says it, I think because it reminds me of some air-headed surfer dude. “Whoa!” And it’s not just that she says it, but it’s always at appropriate times.

She’s recently become obsessed with birds, and she’ll spot one from down the street, pointing to it and saying very matter-of-factly: “Birrrr!” I swear this kid may be a bird herself with those eagle eyes of hers.

In addition to telling us “bye-bye” at bedtime, she now tells us “nigh-nigh.” Sometimes during the day, she’ll pull a blanket or pillow over her, lie down, and declare: “Nigh-nigh!”

Perhaps the biggest advancement in her talking has been stringing together very basic two-word “sentences,” beginning with “more bite” when she either wants something else to eat or wants something that’s on our plate.

The language development that I see happen right before my very eyes each day is simply amazing.


It’s a zoo in here!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Upon learning the forecast for Father’s Day was quite favorable, we decided to make the 1.5-hour jaunt north to visit the Cincinnati Zoo, Baby B’s first time there. The day turned out to be perfect: a little on the hot side maybe, but plenty of sunshine and no humidity. After a delay at the admission gate due to computer problems, we got parked, put on sunscreen, and headed to the entrance of the zoo shortly before 11 a.m. We had a feeling that Baby B would like the zoo because of how much she seems to like nearly every animal she encounters, but we had no idea just how much she’d love it.

I’d say her favorite animals during the day were the elephants (who doesn’t love the elephants?!), the polar bear, a snake that was very active, and pretty much any bird (including those that weren’t on display!). At nearly every exhibit, she would wave hi to the animals, and then as we’d turn to leave, she’d wave and say “bye-bye” on her own, without us prompting her. Adorable. I’d say her absolute favorite animal was the Sumatran rhino, who was just fresh from a big mud pit and was pacing back and forth. She liked him enough that he was on the receiving end of some air-blown kisses from Baby B! 🙂

We stopped for a lunch break and somehow managed to find enough for Baby B to eat in spite of her picky tastes and the selection of mostly junk foods at the zoo cafe. After that, we visited a few more animals and then departed around 3:30 p.m., stopping for some ice cream on the way home to help cool us down.

I think what amazed me most wasn’t that Baby B was so entertained by all the animals, but that she was able to spot them almost immediately — generally before we were able to ourselves! She really has a good eye for that sort of thing.

I do wish I’d been able to take more pictures, but one of us had to hold Baby B so she could see the exhibits while the other had to take care of the stroller and diaper bag. Oh well, the important thing was that we all had a very nice time, and it was mission accomplished on that front for sure.


Two words for The Husband on Father’s Day

Sunday, June 15, 2008

For all the times you volunteer to change the yucky dirty diaper…

For all the times you check on Baby B during the night, just to make sure she’s okay…

For all the times you lose yourself in the moment during a dance with Baby B…

For all the times you totally could bail on the not-so-glorious daddy duties but instead step right up for the challenge…

For all the times you put up with my craziness…

For all the times you drop off Baby B at daycare…

For all the times you hold Baby B’s hand as she goes down the slide…

For all the times you try to stop Baby B’s tears with a goofy face that will undoubtedly make her laugh…

For all the times you stand beside Baby B, ready to catch her if she falls…

For all the times you supported me during my 14 months of breastfeeding…

For all the times you help out with your share of the housework…

For all the times you let me sleep in…

For all the times you’re right behind Baby B’s swing, pushing her higher as she says, “More!”

For all the times you make Baby B laugh with your silly animal noises…

For all the times you show your unending love for both Baby B and me…

For all the fun we have…

Two words: Thank you.


Is it just me…

Saturday, June 14, 2008

…or does it seem a bit much that I saw probably 10 to 15 kids under age 2 at the grocery store tonight around 10:30 p.m. (some of whom were making it very clear that they were quite cranky)? I think I’m really good about giving parents a break when they have a screaming child in a store — one day I may be one of those people — but I don’t have nearly as much patience when it’s that late and the kids probably should be home in bed.


The big 3-0

Friday, June 13, 2008

I try to keep my focus on this blog to things that pertain directly to Baby B, but please allow me a minute to toot my own horn.

After Baby B was born, I lost most of the baby weight fairly quickly (mostly due to breastfeeding and also her eating so often that I barely had time to eat meals myself), though I soon came to realize that my body proportions were not the same as before, even though the scale was close to the same as it was pre-pregnancy. Unfortunately, I found every excuse in the world not to get back to working out, and after the holiday foods of 2007 hit, I came out of it with some gained weight, and I wasn’t happy about it.

In mid-January, my office began a “Biggest Loser” type competition, a 12-week program with weigh-ins every 2 weeks. There were weekly prizes (I won the first week!) and overall prizes at the end for the greatest percentage weight loss. With a lot of hard work, I ended up finishing third in the contest, winning a gas gift card. I wasn’t doing this just to win the competition, though that was certain a good jumpstart and a good motivator for me. I was in it to finally shed the weight that I’ve needed to lose for quite a while, and also to be a good role model for Baby B as she began to tackle table foods.

So I’ve continued my efforts, and I’m very proud to say that as of this week, I’ve officially lost 30 pounds. (“Officially” to me means that I stay at that weight for a few days, AND I hit that weight at night, as opposed to in the morning when I typically weigh less.) Thirty pounds! I’ve still got another 20 that I would like to lose realistically, but I’m trying to enjoy this moment and really take the time to reflect on what a good job I’ve done.

I’ve been a lot better about food overall, cutting back on portions and making good choices for snacks. I do not deny myself goodies from time to time, but I approach it in a smarter way. It’s possible to have a sliver of cake instead of a huge corner piece.

I’m sure part of what has helped has been chasing after a very active toddler. Just when I think I have a chance to sit my butt in a chair, I have to get up again to chase after her. Honestly, though, I don’t mind that being the case. Everyone said how much it would suck when she was walking and she was all over the place, but I really actually like it. Dare I say it’s fun?!

But I think the biggest thing that has helped me is making working out a regular part of my day. It’s just as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth is. Most weeks, I do at least one physical activity every day of the week, and some days I do two things. Most days I will take a walk with The Dog and/or Baby B and The Husband now that the weather is much nicer. I have some workout DVDs that I like to do every other day, including cardio, Pilates (my favorite), and yoga.

Earlier in the spring, I also started running, which I typically do on the other nights when I don’t do a DVD. I am not what I would consider a runner, but it’s something I’ve tried to do in order to kick up the intensity of my workouts, and I’ve gotten much better at it as I’ve gone along. I have no dreams of running a marathon — I’m not *that* into it — but I am excited to say that I’ll be running in my first official race, just a 3K, this coming Tuesday evening. My next goal is to run in an annual 5K race downtown in August. And who knows, maybe I’ll run in our city’s 10K race on July 4 next summer (I’m definitely not ready for that this year). Frankly, running in the 5K will be a big accomplishment in my book, and I feel like it’s something that’s well within my ability. Most of the time I run 1.5 miles when I go out at home, but when I was in Massachusetts a couple weeks ago, two nights in a row I ran 3.3 miles, approximately the equivalent of a 5K. Now, doing it on a nice spring evening is one thing and doing it on a muggy August evening is another, but I feel like I’m well on my way to being prepared for the race. Let’s just say I have a feeling I won’t be finishing last. 🙂

I think another thing that has helped motivate me has been the fact that Baby B is fully weaned and I feel like I have my body back again. I feel like by working out, eating well, and losing this weight, I am taking control and fully reclaiming it after it was essentially Baby B’s for nearly two years because of pregnancy and then nursing. Now that my body is mine again, I want to prove to myself what kind of control I really do have. It is so empowering to see not just the numbers on the scale drop, but also to see my clothes either fitting better or becoming much looser. The jeans I’m wearning today are a size smaller than I wore a month ago, and they’re about to fall off me. It doesn’t get much better than that.

We do not have specific TTC plans for #2 yet, but I think my main goal before TTC again is to get back to a weight that I am truly happy with before having to go through the intentional weight gain process once again. I have two hopes for next time around. One is that I would like my top weight with the next pregnancy to not exceed my starting weight for the first one. If I can drop my next 20 pounds, I think that goal is very realistic. My other hope is that next time around, I get back to working out sooner than I did this time. I made every excuse in the world not to this last time since things were so busy with taking care of Baby B in addition to nursing and working full time. I know that next time around will be even more challenging with all of that in addition to taking care of a toddler, but it’s just something that I will have to make time for, even if it means getting 45 minutes less sleep each day. It’s also a good way to ensure that I have some time to myself, which is something I want to keep as an important part of my life as a mom.


Another year

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today I’m another year older.

Another year wiser.

And another year happier.

Thanks to Baby B and The Husband for making me so happy and helping make my dreams come true. I cannot imagine celebrating my life’s milestones without you both (oh, and The Dog, too), and I look forward to what the coming year has in store for us.


Wordless Wednesday: A mom’s work is never done

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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ENTer tubeman

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We had another follow-up visit with the ENT this afternoon, and things still look good with Baby B’s tubes. He said they’re still open, so he anticipates us getting a full 9 months out of them. (Sometimes scar tissue will grow over them and close them up, but that’s not the case for her.) We return in three or four months for a hearing screen (just to make sure all is well) and check-up.

(I’d write more, but I seem to have acquired Baby B’s cold, and I’d really just rather be a bum on the couch before hitting the sack.)


Baby, you’re a doll!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I don’t think I ever told the story of Baby B’s new baby doll. I don’t know why, but 18 months has always seemed like an appropriate age to give a baby doll. It was perfect for our niece because she was definitely aware of other babies and acted very nurturing toward it. So that was our initial plan, until we saw The Perfect Baby Doll about a month ago — at a Cracker Barrel of all places.

It was a nice, small size for Baby B, but the best part was that it had a pink elephant on its pajamas and came with a little stuffed pink elephant for the doll. In case you don’t know or don’t remember, Baby B’s nursery is painted a sage green with accents of pink elephants around the room, so a baby doll that fit this theme was too perfect. We debated whether to buy it, but had initially decided not to get it and just look for something at home (we were out of town). We were seated for dinner, and later while I was gathering our stuff, The Husband went to the cashier to pay our bill. Baby B and I went out to meet him, and he was holding a big, brown paper bag. Knowing exactly what was inside, I said, “What did you buy??” and he just smiled.

So we had the doll but decided to hold onto it until Baby B was closer to 18 months old. Again, not that it was a magical age or anything, but that’s just when we wanted to give it to her. But then I had the idea that maybe it’d be a good new toy for the plane ride to Massachusetts, so we agreed to give it to her then. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but Baby B  was definitely interested in the doll from the beginning and has gradually come to really like it.

And since Baby B is too young to name her baby doll, I’ve selected the most appropriate name I can think of: Ashley.


Kiss the boo-boo

Friday, June 6, 2008

We’ve quickly learned the disadvantage to warm weather and cute shorts for a toddler: scraped knees! We’ve been sending Baby B to daycare in pants (and plan to continue this unless it’s a rainy day, which means they won’t go outside to the playground), but a couple times recently in the evenings it’s been near or at 90 degrees, so we’ve changed her into shorts when we get home. Baby B really isn’t a kid that falls down a lot, actually, unless it’s on purpose. But twice now she’s fallen to a knee when she got too excited.

The first time was a week ago with The Husband when she was scampering down a hilly sidewalk near our house. She got too excited and got her first scraped knee. The second time happened yesterday with me. We were walking down our street and she saw the cute little dog at the house on the corner. Staying true to her obsession with dogs, she pointed at the dog, said, “Dog-doh!” and started running toward it, tripping after about five or six steps. This knee scrape wasn’t as bad as the first one (though now she has a matching one on each knee), but it did require some Mommy kisses and some first-aid treatment.

And the poor girl — a skinned knee and she still didn’t even get to play with the dog-doh!


Tidbits and tales o’ toddlerhood

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On non-bath days, we’ll sometimes have to get sunscreen from daycare out of Baby B’s hair (they put it on her head because she doesn’t have much hair, and what she does have is very thin, so her scalp is pretty exposed. And trust me, a hat would not stay on her head longer than 10 seconds while playing), so we have The Husband hop in the shower with her since it’s faster than a bath. She really likes the water splashing down on her, and I’m glad we do a combination of baths and showers so she can experience both early on. Anyway, when The Husband turns off the water, she looks up at the showerhead, raises her arm, and waves her hand up and down at the wrist, saying, “Bye-bye” over and over to the water that has disappeared. She never does this when the faucet is turned off during a bath.

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Our post-story (and song) time ritual each night goes like this: The Husband holds Baby B as she says goodnight to her stuffed kitties, stuffed raccoon, and stuffed lion (each individually) on the bookshelf. Then we open the door and let her hug The Dog and say goodnight (“nigh-nigh!”) to him. I ask for a mommy hug and she acts like she’s going to come to my arms, but she fakes me out and dives back into The Husband’s shoulder. I pretend like I’m sad, and she eventually comes to give me a hug. I give her back to The Husband, we turn on the crib aquarium, and I go to the door to leave, turning around to say “bye-bye” (this has helped tremendously with the brief bout of separation anxiety lately) and blowing her a kiss. I shut the door most of the way but still make my presence known by opening and closing the door a little or making a funny noise. After about 10 seconds of this, I open the door quickly and burst into the room, walking silly over to Baby B, who giggles in The Husband’s arms. I open my arms wide and give them a big group hug, one arm over The Husband and one arm over Baby B.

So here’s the funny part. When I go in to give the group hug, I keep my arms around them both. Baby B then takes this time to put one hand on my cheek and one hand on The Husband’s cheek and push our heads away from her and facing toward each other so we’re thisclose to kissing. We do a silly little kiss and she giggles. We turn our heads toward her, but she does the same thing again, pushing each of our faces toward each other until we kiss. It’s such a fun little game that she invented! 🙂

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Have I mentioned what we call Baby B’s Big Cheesy Grin? She does this all the time and it just cracks us up (even when it probably shouldn’t). She does it at many different situations, but the most sneaky is when she’s just done something wrong. For example, if she throws her food on the floor, the first time we’ll say, “Unh-uh! No food on the floor! Don’t throw!” The second time it happens, we’ll say, “Unh-uh! We said no food on the floor. Eat your dinner!” She looks all serious at first, and we think she might be really getting our point, and then she busts out the Big Cheesy Grin, and it’s all over. I’m much better about not bursting out in laughter when she does it, but it’s very hard not to. But it’s not just times like these when she does it. She’ll pull the Big Cheesy Grin when she’s also doing something really fun and wants to show her complete satisfaction; it’s not just when she knows she’s being rotten. Though she sure does like to bust it out then.

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You know how it’s always depicted in movies and TV when someone is electrocuted…they have this surge that goes through their body and causes them to convulse? That’s exactly what it looks like when Baby B has one of her Surges. A Surge happens in our house when Baby B either does or eats something that she really, really, really enjoys. A bite of blueberry pancake? SURGE! Time for a banana? SURGE! We get to go for a walk? SURGE! She puts her arms out like she’s going to give a high five, then her smiling face gets red and she does her little mini-convulsions. It cracks me up every time, but so far I haven’t tried to get it on video because I think it would come out too subtle and you wouldn’t really be able to tell what she’s doing. Still, it cracks me up every time she does it.


Wordless Wednesday: A-dress-ing the fact that she is not a he

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

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Nein. Non. No.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

For a while we’ve known that Baby B understands what we mean when we say “no” to her, but this turned around on us recently when she started using the word. All the time. Like it’s going out of style. (And boy I wish it would!)

Yes, it looks like we’ve reached the dreaded “no-is-the-answer-to-everrything-in-the-whole-wide-world” stage.

“Baby B, would you like to eat dinner?”

“No!”

“Do you want to play outside?”

“No!”

“Can I have a hug before you go to bed?”

“No!”

“Can I have that back?”

“No!”

You get the idea. In a way, it’s kind of impressive how certain she is when she asserts her little “no!” Our approach so far has been to honor her “no” whenever she says it, hopefully so she’ll learn that it’s not a game and that the word has a meaning and consequences to saying it.

I’ve had to start to be careful lately about how I say things to her if it’s something that’s non-negotiable. If she says she doesn’t want to play with the dog when I ask, that’s fine. But I can’t have her refusing meals, so I try not to word that as a question and instead say, “It’s time for dinner! Let’s go eat!”

We’ll see how long this approach works for us!


Oh, boy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

For the record, it doesn’t offend me if someone sees Baby B and thinks she’s a boy. She wears a wide range of clothes and we’ve never felt the need or desire to overgirlify her so that her outfit screams, “Hey, people, I’m a girl!” So in some cases, especially since Baby B has very little hair, I can see how the mistake would be made. And I don’t make a big deal about correcting them if they ask how old “he” is. I usually just answer the question with the correct pronoun and let it go.

But what truly baffles me is when people make the mistake when she’s dressed girl-appropriate. When we were at the airport last week, two different people at security called her a “he.” What was she wearing, you might ask? A medium pink shirt with dark pink cherries and dark pink pants. What part of that ensemble said boy, I wonder? Like I said, it truly doesn’t offend me, but I’m more amazed at the sheer ignorance.

On Saturday, it happened twice within about 10 minutes at two different stores. We went to buy Baby B some summer sandals, and the cashier asked if she could give “him” some stickers, which she obviously picked from her boy pile of stickers because she ended up getting ones from the movie Cars. I just accepted the stickers and didn’t say anything otherwise.

Then we went to a pet store right after that, and Baby B was looking at the bunnies and ferrets. Another mom walked by with her toddler and saw Baby B looking at the bunnies and asked us how old “he” was. The Husband politely corrected the woman: “She. She is 16 months old.” The woman apologized, and I made some lame joke about the fact that we’re still waiting for hair. This time, Baby B was wearing the outfit pictured below: red shorts and a spaghetti-strap shirt with black, red, white, and pink stripes. Maybe I’m out of the fashion loop here (which is quite possible, I’ll admit), but I would never dress a boy in a spaghetti-strap shirt, pink stripe or not.


Travel tidbits

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I’ve got a ton of random stories/thoughts from our trip last weekend, so I’ll just compile them here as they come to me:

*Baby B did great sleeping in the Pack N Play in our room. I was afraid that we might wake up her, but she slept perfectly while we were there, despite some of her naptimes being super-late due to our activities that day.

*One of my favorite moments was in the Manchester airport when we were waiting at our gate. She led The Husband by the hand (which was unusual because she usually doesn’t want to hold our hand when she’s walking) and took him all around the seating area, waving and saying “bye-bye!” to all the other passengers. She had everyone in stitches.

*The most challenging part of the flight home was when Baby B had a dirty diaper blowout that required not just a diaper change but also a change of pants. The Husband tackled this duty in the airplane bathroom, and he deserves a medal for it.

*I’m not sure why, but Baby B has recently decided she hates having her diaper changed on hard public changing tables, which obviously makes being out of town a difficult task. If I take her near one, she either stiffens up or becomes jelly bones and cries a cry that’s panicked and unlike any other cry she has. I’ve had to start mastering the art of the standing diaper change, which I didn’t expect to have to do for a while, but I don’t see any other option. She’s just fine during diaper changes at home.

*The descent in an airplane most definitely bothers Baby B’s ears and makes her cry from the pain. It sucks because there’s not much we can do; I don’t nurse anymore, she doesn’t have a pacifier, and she doesn’t take a bottle. We tried some crackers and a sippy cup, but once the pain starts, she won’t pay attention to anything else until we land.

*For the record, I still hate strollers, but taking ours on this trip really did come in handy. I guess I’m going to have to get over that stroller thing because she’s too big to use a carrier, too heavy to carry in our arms for long, and we’d never get anywhere on time if we let her walk on her own the whole time.

*Related to my stroller distaste, I just don’t get why people who are pushing strollers are so completely oblivious to their surroundings. I made a vow to never be like that (or at least keep it to a minimum!), and I think it’s so far so good on that front.

*We went out for ice cream one night, and we let Baby B have bites of what we got. She kept asking for “maw!” of The Husband’s mocha chip and pretty much ignored my chocolate chip cookie dough. She really tends to like the things that I never expect her to like.

*At the children’s museum, she found a little green ping-pong-type ball floating in one of the water stations. She played with it there for a few minutes, then took off running down the length of the museum (with The Husband in close pursuit) all the way to the exhibit at the end of the building. What was there when they arrived? Several stations set up with these little green balls, which is obviously where this stray one had come from. She obviously had no way of knowing that’s where the ball came from since we hadn’t been to that exhibit yet, but it’s still fun that she did find where the ball came from before we figured it out!