A self-esteem boost

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yesterday I had to take a shower with The Little Sis to make sure she got her hair clean. We stepped into the shower, and she looks at me from head to toe and says, “I love how you came out.” A little confused, I asked her what she meant. She said, “I love how you came out — like how your body looks.”

If anyone needs a self-esteem boost, she’s your girl.


Then again, maybe look out for this one.

Also in this same shower, The Little Sis was looking at my gallbladder surgery scars, and she was acting a little freaked out. I told her they didn’t hurt me, and I poked one of them so she could see. She said, “Even if I bite it, it still wouldn’t hurt?” Bite it?! Why would that even occur to her as an option?!


Hidden laughter

Friday, April 15, 2016

I think The Little Sis is long past the point of needing to take a nap at preschool, but she gets one anyway. Which would be fine except for the fact that she then has a very hard time going to sleep at night, sometimes not asleep until after I go to bed (anywhere from 10 to 11 p.m.). Naturally, she’s then hard to wake up in the morning, and she then takes a nap at preschool because she’s sleep-deficient, and we get to do the whole cycle repeatedly.

Usually when she’s having trouble going to sleep at night, she’ll play with her baby dolls in her room. We can hear her talking when she does this, and it would be cute if not for the fact that it happens at 10 p.m. Many times she’ll invent numerous excuses for coming out of her room. Most are the typical bed-stalling tactics: “I needed another hug.” “There’s a monster under my bed.” “I’m thirsty.” Other times she gets more creative: “What happens if lava fills my room?”

Sometimes she’ll sneak over to The Big Sis’s room and go to sleep with her already-zonked-out sissy (typically after everyone in the house is already asleep). I am completely fine with this, as long as she goes in there quietly and doesn’t wake up The Big Sis in the process. Usually she’s pretty good about that.

However, a couple nights ago, she was sneaky and went over to The Big Sis’s room while I was still awake, and she wasn’t being quiet once in the room. Odd sounds kept coming from the room, clearly denoting a child that was not even attempting to go to sleep.

I turned the doorknob. I heard a little gasp. The Little Sis was standing in front of The Big Sis’s desk. INSTANTLY, while standing there, she closed her eyes. Pretending she was asleep.

You know…standing up.

It took everything in me not to bust out laughing on the spot.

Of course, then I thought: “Wow, how stupid does she think I am, that I would believe she was sleeping while standing up?”

I choose not to find out the answer to that question, though.

In a stern voice, I reminded her that she needed to lie down and go to sleep immediately. And then I went into the living room so I could release the laughter I’d kept inside.

Parenting sure is full of those moments, when you want to laugh about something your kid did or said, but you have to make sure you don’t react in such a way that could be construed by them as permission for the behavior.

It does make me wonder, though, just how many times I got in trouble as a kid, but my parents were secretly amused or even a little proud or impressed….

Role reversal

Thursday, June 18, 2015
After all the bedtime books have been read and the water bottled has been filled and the final potty break has been taken, The Little Sis gets five minutes of talking time with me, where we generally share additional details about our days with each other, or ask fun questions.
But her favorite thing to do during that five minutes (that often turns into 10 or 15 minutes…oops) is to play “Mommy/Baby,” a role-reversal game where she gets to be the mommy and I get to be the baby, and we play a wide range of scenarios. It’s such a great exercise for her to step into my shoes to experience the power of being a mom and making decisions, and to hopefully see things from my point of view from time to time. It’s also interesting to me because I can see our own parenting methods mirrored right back at me, and it’s a good chance to take a step back and see maybe what is and isn’t working. I also have a chance to see exactly what lessons she’s understanding and were we may need to make a few tweaks.

So many moments from our role-playing end up cracking me up. One time she pretended to take me to the zoo, but she told me that I had to stay in the car and I couldn’t go inside. I did ask if she’d buy me a (real) lion, and she totally agreed! She also regularly buys me tigers and penguins at the zoo.

Another time more recently, she told me she was going to have to go to the grown-up playground (not sure what that is, but sign me up!) and would have to leave me at home. I said, “Mommy, I don’t want you to go. I’m scared to be by myself.” She looked at me seriously, cradled my face with her hands, and said, “Baby, you won’t be alone.” She paused. “The doggy will be here with you.”

I promise I don’t abandon my children in parking lots and/or make the dog babysit the kids!

Would you like fries with that?

Monday, September 29, 2014

At bedtime recently, The Little Sis touched her chest and declared proudly, “I have milk in my breasts!” I’ve explained to her before that she used to drink milk from my body when she was a baby, but she got the concept a little confused. I told her that she doesn’t have milk in there now, but one day when she had babies of her own, her body would make milk and her babies would drink that.

Incredulous, she squeaked, “Will they drink only milk?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Will they have sausage with it too?” she asked.

I tried to hold in my laugh — I did — but I failed. I told her that no, babies just drink milk.

“Just MILK?” she squeaked again.

“Yes, darling,” I said with a smile. “Just milk. No sausage.”

Boo, hiss!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Given the fact that she’s 7 and knows everything in the whole entire world, The Big Sis’s currently preferred response to nearly anything I say to her is, “UGH!” Sometimes accompanied by a grand eye roll, the “ugh” indicates her displeasure with something I’ve asked her to do beyond whatever she is currently doing.

The Little Sis, recently going through an award-winning parroting phase, took on this not-so-charming response for herself at first, but now she has developed her own noise to show her displeasure about something: she hisses.

Like a cat.

I didn’t really make the connection at first, but then she did it the other day and I realized what she was doing. After being hissed at by a couple of (normally friendly) cats recently, The Little Sis has channeled those felines and made it her own.

To make sure I was hearing her right, the next time she did it, I asked her, “Did you just hiss at me like a cat?” She put on a faux grumpy face, wrinkling her brow and pouting her lips, then a smile slowly crept across her mouth to indicate just how pleased she was with herself.

“Yeah,” she said.

At least I don’t have to maintain a litter box for her?

Tiny tidbits

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Just a couple random things I don’t really want to forget:

*The Little Sis has named a little baby doll mermaid Stoby-and-Amaya. No idea where the name came from.

*The Little Sis recently started watching “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” but she calls it “Clippard.” I love it.


Joie de vivre

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Little Sis has an incredible love of life at the moment. Even the littlest things turn her giddy with enthusiasm as she takes in all that’s around her. “I LOVE oranges,” she’ll declare to me, unsolicited. “I like my babies very much,” she’ll assert with unmatched confidence.

This morning I was buckling in The Little Sis in the car when she noticed that one of our trees has bloomed overnight. She said, “Oh, Mommy! Look! The tree has flowers on it!” I turned around and said, “Oh yes, it does! They’re pink!” Enunciating each word carefully, she said, “I LOVE flowers! They are so PRETTY. I am so ‘CITED!” (Have I mentioned she’s very in tune with her own emotions, as well as the emotions of others? She loves to identify how she’s feeling. “I so fwustwated right now.” “Is Sissy mad?”)

I must admit that her enthusiasm is quite contagious and makes me want to start singing the praises of all the little things in life.





To the beat of her own drum

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Big Sis got a new bathing suit this past weekend, and it’s quite an understatement to say that she loves it. She wore it basically all weekend long, sometimes underneath her clothes but sometimes just the bathing suit only.

At dinnertime on Sunday, I told her that she needed to take her bathing suit off because I didn’t want her to accidentally get her food on it. Without too much complaint, she left the table and came back — wearing nothing at all! I really didn’t want to laugh, but it was so unexpected that I couldn’t help it.

The Husband, through his own stifled giggles, told her that she “needed to wear something” at dinner. So off she went again. This time she came back wearing, well … something. She had put on her winter hat, a fleece scarf, and nothing but her birthday suit. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Brady Bunch episode with Greg’s “exact words” argument as The Big Sis pointed out, “You just said I needed to wear something. This is something!”

We did convince her to put on undies, and that’s how she ate dinner. I’d post a picture of it, but it’s not that appropriate to share publicly.

Well, at least she wasn’t wearing her bathing suit?


Meet the babies

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meet The Little Sis’ current favorite baby dolls:

From left to right:

1. Ariel. This one is technically The Big Sis’ plush doll, but The Little Sis sort of took it over. She is greedy with babies like that.

2. Soft Baby. This was the baby doll we got her for her first birthday. Soft Baby is the mom of School Baby, per The Little Sis.

3. Lilly. Named by The Little Sis after the daughter of one of her teachers. This is one of her favorite babies; she gets lots of extra attention and nurturing. She is the mom of Ashley, according to The Little Sis.

4. Ashley. This was The Big Sis’ first baby doll (back in 2008), but The Little Sis found it and took it as her own. This is her overall favorite baby doll.

5. Belle. This is still technically The Big Sis’ doll (sense a theme here?), but she is “borrowing” it.

6. Big Baby. We got this baby doll for The Little Sis for her second birthday. We’ve taken Big Baby to the grocery store before and we’re always stopped by people who think the baby is real!

7. Grandpa. No idea why she named the baby Grandpa, but there you go! Grandpa is the dad of School Baby, per The Little Sis.

8. School Baby. This is a baby doll that we found at my dad’s house — no idea where it came from. Maybe my sister’s from a long time ago? I’m not really sure. She named it School Baby because she likes to take it to school. School Baby is the daughter of Soft Baby and Grandpa, according to The Little Sis.

You say potato

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Some of The Little Sis’s current word mispronunciations (I’m blanking out on a lot of them right now, but will come back and add more as I think of them):

Chex sticks = chapstick

La-la-la-la = Cinderella

Iguana = Tiana

tea = bottle of water with ice (because she sees my iced tea and thinks anything with ice is tea)

blelly = belly

Air-wuh = Ariel

some-scream = sunscreen

pancapes = pancakes

‘licious = delicious

callipater = caterpillar

Wordless Wednesday: Monkey see, monkey do

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Little Sis very quickly got the hang of pulling items out of her stocking on Christmas morning, opening the wrapped gifts from Santa, and proclaiming to the rest of us what she’d received.

The best reaction all day was when she opened a package of ponytail holders. Excitedly, she declared: “YAY! I got circles!”

This ‘n’ that

Monday, December 9, 2013

I found out that our dollar movie theater was playing The Wizard of Oz this past weekend, so I offered to take The Big Sis to see it. I gave her two choices: We could get popcorn and candy and call that dinner (the movie was at 5 p.m.), or we could get something small at the movie and grab a quick dinner after the movie. I thought for sure she’d go for the popcorn and candy option, but she did not. As she told me, “Because popcorn just isn’t a very healthy choice for dinner.” What the heck, kid?! I mean, yay for her! But what the heck?


The Big Sis lost her third tooth last night, her top right central incisor. This one has been very wiggly for weeks, and despite trying to pull with string on two different occasions, she had no real luck with it until last night. She’d tried for a good 45 minutes before bed but we eventually had to give up. Around 9:45 p.m., she called out for me, and I went in and she said she was pretty sure it was almost out. I let her get up, and within a couple of pulls, she finally had it out!

I was sort of sad at her first two teeth being gone since it changed her look so much, but this one hasn’t bothered me for some reason.

Her top left central incisor is also wiggly, though I don’t think that one is coming out for a while. All she wants for Christmas (at the moment) is just one of her front teeth.


The next time I get the idea to make Chex Mix and Christmas cookies, please — someone stop me!


A couple weeks ago, The Big Sis read a story in school about Sarah Hale, who led a letter-writing campaign to get Thanksgiving recognized as an official holiday. For one question, she had to answer, “Who was the hero of Thanksgiving?” Her answer: “Sarah Hale was a Thanksgiving hore.” Cracked me up.

Also, she had to answer which president made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Her answer: “aper hand linkens” (translation: Abraham Lincoln)

No limit

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This is a story I had the minister share at my mom’s memorial service. I haven’t really saved it anywhere other than email, so I’m going to post it here.

Anyone who knew Mom well could tell you that two of her favorite things in life were beach vacations and shopping — and she tried to combine both whenever possible. One year, she, Dad, and Sis, and I were spending the week in Panama City Beach, and the city map showed the location of a shopping center that Mom decided she just had to get to. Dad was in the driver’s seat and Mom was playing navigator — but it’s probably important to note here that Mom often couldn’t read maps that well and didn’t want to — Dad claims that she may have even taken some pride in that fact. But there she was, trying to get to this shopping center, so she was paying extra attention to make sure Dad got us there.

“Keep going straight on this road, then turn onto Limits Drive,” she told him. Dad obeyed, as he knew better than to get in between Mom and her vacation shopping. But we kept driving, and there was no Limits Drive in sight. “Turn around,” she said to Dad. “You must have passed it.” So Dad dutifully turned around and looked more carefully for Limits Drive this time. But still no Limits Drive.

It was time for someone else to take a look at the map, and Mom pointed out Limits Drive on the map to the others. “See? Right here it is,” she pointed. Sure enough, a dotted line was shown on the map, and if only they could find that road, it would take them directly to the shopping center.

“Um, Mom,” I said, probably with an obligatory teenage eye roll. “There’s no such THING as Limits Drive. The dotted line you’re looking at is where the city limits are marked on the map. There’s not actually a road there. We have to get there a different way, on a road that actually exists.”

We all got a good laugh out of it, and it became a frequent family joke that still continues to this day. Mom was always good-natured and took the relentless teasing at her expense. So, Mom, wherever you are, we hope you’ve finally found your Limits Drive — and that the shopping you find there was worth the wait.

These boots were made for sleeping

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I’ve mentioned The Little Sis’ love of shoes, and I think also how she’s gone to sleep in shoes before. But this picture rocks, so that’s tonight’s post:

Shoe in

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ways you know your 2-year-old is utterly obsessed with shoes:

#248: She is currently asleep for the night with The Big Sis’ too-small Crocs on her feet, after wearing them non-stop once she got home.

#249: When #248 becomes a regular occurrence in your home.

Get the back

Sunday, November 10, 2013

With The Little Sis in the potty-training process, there are a lot of times she tries to use the potty but doesn’t do anything. Maybe this should be a confession, but we don’t make her wash her hands every single time she sits on the potty; we do if she is productive, of course, but otherwise, we just have her use some hand sanitizer, which we call “hand rubbies.”

Recently, I was showing The Little Sis how to use hand rubbies on her hands. “Rub your hands together. Good! Now make sure you get the back.” What I MEANT was to make sure she got the backs of her HANDS. However, she took this to mean her ACTUAL back, so she reached around her body to spread it onto the small of her back.

And each time since, she does her hand rubbies by rubbing her hands together first, then reaches a hand around her body to put some on her back. I tried correcting her the first few times, but now I just let it amuse me as I watch her do it and don’t speak up. πŸ™‚

Did you do your taxes?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Even though The Little Sis is 2 years old and has her share of moments where she doesn’t want to go along with what we ask of her, she’s largely a compliant and obedient child. Some days, I think her favorite words are “yes” and “okay.”

[boggle] This is a very different experience compared to The Big Sis, who is a lot more spirited and defiant by nature and certainly gives us a run for our money most days.

But The Little Sis? If you ask her to put her clothes in the hamper, she’ll respond with an enthusiastic, “OKAY!” and the scurry off to do just that. If she’s standing in the recliner and you ask her not to, she might resist at the first request, but then she does just as she’s asked. Truthfully, I almost don’t know how to react; I’m sort of conditioned to continue making my point, and I’m almost shut down when she behaves.

Now, I’m not naive enough to think she’s always going to be like this. At some point, whether a week from now or when she’s 15, she will test her boundaries more — but for the moment, I am enjoying every single minute of compliance.


At dinner, I ask both of The Girls questions about their day. “What did you do in Art?” “Did you read any books?” The Little Sis is always so eager to answer her questions with a cute little, “Yeah!” But she’s so agreeable that after a while, I start to wonder whether she’s answering my questions for real, or if she’s just answering everything with a yes. So I throw in some trick questions for her, just to test her answers. For example, after getting a string of “yes” answers, I’ll ask her, “Did you get to swing on the playground?” And if I get an affirmative answer, I know she’s not really answering my questions correctly, as her daycare’s playground doesn’t HAVE any swings.

My favorite question to ask her, though, is: “Did you do your taxes?” What a ridiculous question to ask a 2-year-old, and it amuses me to no end when she smiles and says, “Yeah!” Then I begin to unleash a series of silly questions to see how many she’ll agree with. “Did you all go to the zoo? Did you get to be the teacher in your class today? Are you going to take out the trash later?” The Big Sis has gotten in on the action, too, and poses crazy questions of her own, all in an attempt to see just how agreeable she will be.

If she answers “no” to doing her taxes, then we know we can take her answers at face value. Well, for the most part…

What’s in a name?

Saturday, September 14, 2013
There are some strangely named kids out there, generally the product of parents who yearn for their child to be unique and don’t care what lengths they have to go to in order to achieve that. We’ve run across several during our daycare and elementary school years, both odd names and unusual spellings of more normal names.

The Big Sis and I were at lunch recently, and I was asking her about her first week of school, her teacher, her new friends, etc. I must have zoned out a bit when I caught her saying, “…and Twilight’s brother…” Wait, huh? Hold on there, child. Twilight? I did the math, and it was possible that someone who read the Twilight series of books liked it so much they named their son (daughter?) Twilight. I began to cringe for this poor kid, but I had to remain neutral to The Big Sis; I couldn’t let her know that I thought this kid’s name was completely stupid. Not really the professional thing to do.

I tried to just let it go, but it got to me enough that I finally said, “So, wait…Twilight. Is that the name of a kid in your class?”

“No,” The Big Sis said with a sigh. “Twilight Sparkle. From My Little Pony?”
OHHHHHH! Twilight Sparkle! From My Little Pony!!

I was incredibly relieved, to say the least.

But look out. You know there IS some poor kid out there who is named Twilight. You just know it.

Wordless Wednesday: Wigging out

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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Obsession. For toddlers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I’ve been crafting a post in my head about The Little Sis’ current toddler obsessions for a while now, but just never seem to have the time to sit down and write it. Then the other day I was looking through my blog archives for The Big Sis’ 18-month checkup update when I ran across this post that I wrote about her toddler obsessions, and I just had to smile — so many of them were almost exactly the same. So, without further adieu, presenting The Little Sis’ toddler obsessions, version 18 months:

*Shoes. Ohmygoodness this girl loves shoes. Which is funny, because the first time we went to buy her real shoes after she could walk, she was crying her little head off because she hated them so much. Funny how some things change. We actually have just one pair of shoes for her (confession??), but she loves them. It’s often the first word she says when she wakes up in the morning, and she often indicates very clearly to us that she wants to take OFF her footed pajamas so she can put on her shoes, even before she’s had her diaper changed or eaten breakfast. But it’s not enough to have on her shoes. She then wants to take off her shoes. Why? Solely so she can put them on again — no joke. She retrieves our shoes, often from other rooms, and offers them to us, even if we’re currently wearing shoes. She likes to return all shoes — hers and ours — to their rightful spot when they’re not being worn. Girlfriend loves her shoes, much like The Big Sis did as well.

*Dogs. This is another obsession she shares with The Big Sis (and many other kids, I’m certain; I understand it’s not unique to just them), but she gets so excited by the “dog-doh.” (And yes, she says it exactly the same way The Big Sis used to; I have no idea why, but I think it’s endlessly adorable.) At each first sighting of The Dog — first thing in the morning, after returning to the room, after returning to the house, whatever — she eagerly and quickly proclaims: “Dog-doh! Dog-doh! Dog-doh! Dog-doh!” and her body convulses with sheer joy. She’ll run over to him and give him a great big hug, and acts surprised — but insanely happy — if he returns her greeting with a lick. But her obsession isn’t limited to just our “dog-doh.” Like with The Big Sis, she has some kind of freaky dog radar, so she is nearly able to detect any dog within a half-mile radius before it’s even come into view. “Woof! Woof!” she’ll say, then start up with: “Dog-doh! Dog-doh!”

*Babies. This obsession started about six months ago, over Labor Day weekend, when we found The Big Sis’ first baby doll at my parents’ house and brought it home. The Little Sis took immediate possession of it (and thankfully The Big Sis was agreeable to this), and she hasn’t looked back since. I’d say it’s somewhat of a comfort item for her, at least at bedtime and occasionally around the house; we don’t usually take it with us if we leave the house. This baby doll is named Ashley, and she also got another baby doll for her first birthday that we call Soft Baby. (Creative, no?) She has some other baby dolls as well, but these are her two favorites by far; when she starts calling out for “baby! baby! baby!” these are the ones she is requesting. She also loves to look at pictures of babies in books. The other day, I made the video camera on my phone forward-facing, so The Little Sis was staring at herself on the screen while it recorded, and she was quite entertained by herself. Then, I played it back for her, and she was so funny reacting to the “baby” on screen. I’d ask, “Who’s that?” and she’d declare confidently: “BABY!” in between cracking up at herself.

*Mama. I have long joked that we needed to have another child because The Big Sis was 100% a daddy’s girl — often to the exclusion of me — so I needed a kid who liked me better. Well, let’s just say I got my wish, and boy does The Little Sis prefer her mama at this point. As we’ve seen with The Big Sis, this likely will be cyclical over the years, and it won’t always be like this, but I’ve had to learn to do a lot around the house one-handed with a toddler on my hip, as The Little Sis can’t bear for me to be much more than an arm’s length away from her at any given time. Sometimes, like when I need to get something done in another room and don’t feel like listening to a meltdown because I walked away for 20 seconds, it can be frustrating, but secretly I sort of love it. πŸ™‚

*Juice. The Little Sis does not get “juish” — ever — at home or at daycare. Yet she uses the word generically to convey a desire for her cup that contains either milk or water. For some reason, I can’t let this go and feel the need to correct her every single time she asks for her “juish.” “You mean your milk? Yes, here it is.” But anyway, she’s obsessed with her “juish”-that’s-not-really-juice.

*The Big Sis. The Little Sis has long thought that The Big Sis hung the moon, but this sister worship has really kicked into high gear of late. If The Big Sis is not within view, The Little Sis will call out her name in question to ask where she is. She loves playing in her crib with The Big Sis. She loves reading books with the Big Sis. I could go on, but you get the idea. Another obsession to add to the list.

Wordless Wednesday: First time “using” the potty

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Giggle spray

Friday, January 11, 2013

The other day, The Big Sis was taking her bath, but it wasn’t bath night for The Little Sis, so she wandered in and out of the bathroom while The Big Sis was in the tub. At one point she found the open box of bath toys right in front of the bathtub, and the spray bottle caught her attention. She handed it to The Big Sis, who filled it up with warm water and gave it back to her. (Partners in crime, I tell ya.)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but wouldn’t you know that she figured out how to pull the trigger of the spray bottle within a few minutes.

And I shouldn’t be surprised, but every single time, she managed to spray it right into my face.

And I really shouldn’t be surprised, but every time she sprayed it in my face, she let out the biggest and best giggles in the world.

Fumble with trigger.


Look up at me.

See my surprised face. (Confession: I exaggerated it sometimes.)

Erupt in giggles.

Second (and third, and forth…) verse, same as the first.

So by the end of it, my face ended up pretty wet, and my shirt was rather damp, but OH it was worth it to get those giggles. She gives them freely even on off days, but there’s something so sweet about it every single time.

Even if it meant water in the eyes every 20 seconds.

Miss speaking

Saturday, November 24, 2012

For the most part, The Big Sis has dropped all of her funny ways of saying things. Refrigerator used to be “frigerlater.” Dog used to be “dog-doh.” (Though, interestingly, The Little Sis has taken on “dog-doh” now.) So many ways she misspoke that were quite amusing.

But she picked up one relatively recently that she continues to hang onto even though we know she knows what it’s supposed to be. Instead of pinky swear, she’ll say “pinky square.” I don’t know why that one amuses me so much, but it really does. She’ll stick out her littlest finger and declare: “Pinky square!”

I like to respond with: “Pinky circle! No, pinky triangle!” πŸ™‚


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Husband (to me): I have “Art Is Dead” stuck in my head.

The Big Sis: What?

The Husband: Oh, just this song that got stuck in my head. Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head?

The Big Sis (singing): It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world…

Touche, Big Sis. Way to default to the biggest earworm in the world!

Bonus Wordless Wednesday: Baby says life is A-OK

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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Wordless Wednesday: Biker chick

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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Wordless Wednesday: Who needs toys??

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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Save the date

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Big Sis told me the other day that she’s going to marry a boy in her preschool class. We’ll call him Second Choice, as she told me she keeps asking First Choice if he’ll marry her, and he keeps saying no. (He also keeps saying he’s going to marry his stuffed dog. Boys.) So I said, “So you asked Second Choice and he said yes, so that’s why you’re marrying him?” She concurred.

So I probed a little further and found out more information.

I asked where they were going to get married. Answer: “At the new playground close to our house.” Sweet! We’ll just put some balloons on the monkey bars and streamers on the slide and we’re set — playground decor really should be kept simple and and the equipment should stand on its own merit, you know.

I inquired where they were going to go on their honeymoon (after explaining that a honeymoon is a special vacation you take after you get married). She thought for a moment and then said they’ll go to “that water park” — referring to The Beach water park north of Cincinnati, where we took her last summer during our last weekend trip as a family of three. I told her that a lot of people indeed choose to go to the beach for their honeymoon. πŸ˜‰

Then I asked whether she wanted to have any kids. Her first answer was that she’ll first have two girls so they can be sisters, and then two boys so they can be brothers. Her second answer was even more amusing — that she was going to have 20 kids, including four at a time first and then again right after that. Curious how she was going to support all of these children, I asked what she was going to do for a job when she grows up. After thinking for a minute, she said she was going to be a teacher, which of course I praised as a good job — but on the inside was wondering exactly how she was going to support 20 children on a teacher’s salary. So I asked what her future husband wants to be when he grows up, and she replied that she didn’t know. I made a suggestion, “How about a doctor? Maybe even a surgeon. I think that might be a good direction for him to go with all those kids.”

Twenty grandchildren just from her — oh MY! I hope I have enough gum in my purse to go around!

Wordless Wednesday: My doppler-ganger

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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To the theater

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Going to the theater is something that The Husband and I have always enjoyed doing together. As for me, I remember being as young as 9 or 10 and going with my dad to shows in the touring Broadway Live series, including such shows as Driving Miss Daisy (before it was made into a movie) and Into the Woods. I remember the excitement of getting dressed up and going to see these wonderful plays and always being eager to impress the audience full of grown-ups that I was mature enough to be included. I never had much desire to be part of the action myself (see also: don’t like the spotlight!), but I certainly began to hone my appreciation for the theater back then, and it has carried through into my adult life.

At age four, Baby B is still too young to see a lot of the plays and musicals that The Husband and I see, so for now it is our thing that we do together as adults, but of course I want her to develop an appreciation for it, so when we decide she’s old enough, she’ll get to accompany us if she wants.

In the meantime, we have a great way to let her practice the rituals of theater-going in an age-appropriate way, by taking her to productions put on by our local children’s theater. We took her to a preview showing of Click Clack Moo at a local bookstore recently to test the waters and she said she wanted to see the long version of the play, so we got tickets for this past weekend.

We got all dressed up, we reminded her beforehand about appropriate rules of behavior for such situations, and then we enjoyed our Sunday afternoon together at the theater. I watched her reactions during the play, and they ranged from intense concentration to full-on laughter at the funny parts, so I could tell she was enjoying herself. She did well with sitting in her seat and kept her questions to a minimum.

After the play was over, I asked her, “Did you enjoy it??” She furrowed her brows, crossed her arms, and said, “NO!” Admittedly a little disappointed, I asked her, “You didn’t? How come? It looked like you were having fun.”

She said, “I wanted it to be even longer!”

It’s too early to know if we have another theater fan among us, but in the meantime we’ll continue to offer her opportunities to see shows at the children’s theater (and perhaps also less-formal amphitheater-type shows) and see what kind of interest might develop.

A whole new world

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve given an update just on Baby B, so I’ll focus today’s post on her.

*You know how dogs sometimes do this crazy run around the house, running at full speed from wall to wall for a few minutes just before settling down for some rest or sleep? (Well, our dog does that, at least. I can’t speak for all dogs.) Baby B has taken to doing this, as well, usually when she’s naked before a bath or before putting on her pajamas at night. As she runs at top speed from one end of the house to the other, she always proclaims, “I have to get my energy!” I’m working on breaking it to her that she means to say, “I have to get my energy OUT,” but it’s kind of cute that she thinks that’s how she gets her energy, by running around like that.

*Baby B has shown some signs lately of not wanting to be alone. For example, I’ll tell her that she can play on her new swingset in the backyard while I’m getting some things done around the house, and sometimes she’ll go out there without a problem, but sometimes she says she’s scared. I ask her why, and she always says eagerly (not in a scared way), “Because of the tornado!” Naturally, no amount of explaining tornado conditions — and why a tornado is very unlikely with a perfectly sunny sky — seem to settle down her imagination. (Generally we come up with some sort of compromise, that if she will go out there for five minutes, then one of us will come out there to spend time with her.) We are also working to make it so The Husband doesn’t have to stay in her room with her until she falls asleep at bedtime since she says she’s scared with one of us in there. Now, if staying in there involved 15 minutes of our time, no problem, but it takes two hours or more. It’s definitely a fine line between giving your child the comfort and reassurance they need and making sure these master manipulators don’t play you for a fool.

*Baby B is enjoying her new swingset and has really mastered getting herself started and pumping her legs to continue swinging without need us there for that. For whatever reason, this is something she couldn’t quite get on park swings, so it’s nice to see some development in that area. At parks, though, she still prefers the bucket swings because we’re able to push her super high, which just isn’t possible on regular swings without the fear of us pushing her out of her swing onto the ground. (And yes, that has happened. Multiple times.)

*The Husband has started to introduce Baby B to non-princess Disney movies such as The Sword in the Stone, The Black Cauldron, and Pete’s Dragon. Although they don’t have nearly the production quality that current movies have, that hasn’t bothered Baby B one bit and she’s enjoyed all of them — and has enjoyed asking all the new questions that arise.

*Speaking of movies, she was asking me about magic, like the kind that happens in movies. “Like in Shrek when Fiona turns into a yogurt.” “An ogre?” I clarified. “No, a yogurt.”

*Baby B is quite familiar with Disney songs, so I wasn’t surprised when she started singing along with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin when it came on during dinner last week. What did surprise me was when she started doing choreographed hand motions to the song. I thought, “Why in the world does she know something like that?” Then it dawned on me. Her class is preparing to do the preschool graduation program at the end of the month. I asked her, “Are you all doing that song for the preschool graduation?” She said they were. Listening to the lyrics in that context, I immediately started tearing up. And my kid isn’t even graduating from preschool this year!! I’m going to lose it next year, it seems! A whole new world indeed.

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you
Now I’m in a whole new world with you

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world
Don’t you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath – it gets better
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment red-letter
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

Awww, nuts!

Friday, March 25, 2011

As a special treat, The Husband will occasionally get some in-shell peanuts at the grocery store, and Baby B loves sharing these with him. She’s quite proficient at opening them herself, and she loves to talk about how the skins are so good for you.

Last week another bag of peanuts entered the house and The Husband and Baby B were sharing some after dinner. I was off doing something else when Baby B yells across the house to me: “Mommy, do you want to eat some of Daddy’s nuts??”

Call me immature if you wish, but I almost couldn’t compose myself enough to answer.

A date to sedate

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today was Baby B’s sedation appointment to have her cavities filled at the pediatric dentist, so we headed out early and arrived in time for our appointment at 7:45 a.m. She was unable to have anything to eat or drink this morning, but I’d prepared her for that last night, so she wasn’t surprised this morning when she woke up. We were called back first for them to weigh her (36.2 pounds) and measure her heartbeat and blood pressure to make sure she was okay for sedation, then we went back to the waiting room to await the dentist’s arrival. They called us back again and she had to drink her cup of “princess juice,” as they called it, that would sedate her. (Side note: Is this stuff available for purchase somewhere? We could use a bit each night before bed!) She drank it in one big gulp, then we were sent back to the waiting room to wait for it to take effect. They said it could take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

I’ll admit, knowing just how energetic and feisty Baby B can be, I was wondering what would happen if the sedative didn’t take effect in her, if somehow she bypassed the normal effects of the medicine. For a good 40 minutes, she was up and about and running around, no sign of any changes. Then, around the 45-minute mark, she started slowing down some. She wanted to lie down on the bench beside our chairs, then asked to sit in my lap to read a book (Bob the Builder, which I never want to read ever again after reading it approximately 52 times today and at least that many times last visit). She was definitely fighting the sedation…she’d close her eyes for a minute, then open them again and proclaim, “I’m not really sleepy, I just got up early today.” She was still a little wiggly in my lap at first, but eventually settled into my lap in a horizontal position as though she needed to sleep but didn’t want to succumb.

About an hour after she’d taken the drink, around 9:20 a.m., the nurse came out to get her and walk her back to the treatment area. (Parents are not allowed in the back during sedation appointments.) I grabbed a magazine and read some while she was back there, and about 30 minutes later, the nurse came out to give me an update. They’d done a set of x-rays in the back first to make sure there weren’t any other unseen cavities (like between teeth) that needed to be filled while she was under, and thankfully everything there looked good. He could tell that the two cavities on the top back were as result of the enamel not forming correctly (we’d previously been told that for the upper right tooth, but that hadn’t been confirmed for us on the other side before today). She told me again that the cavity on the lower left was so small that normally The Dentist wouldn’t have done anything about it, but since she was under, it was a good idea to take care of it. With the top right tooth, that one came close enough to the nerve that they had to put a special medicine in there first to act as a padding of sorts so the filling didn’t come too close to the nerve and cause sensitivity issues. The nurse said they were on the last tooth and she should be out in a few minutes, so she went over the discharge instructions and then returned to the back.

When Baby B was done, The Dentist called me back and gave me an update of how things went (basically what the nurse told me), but he did add a few things. He said she never fully fell asleep — that some kids completely zonk out from the sedative but she never did. She’d close her eyes for a bit and then open then and look around to see where she was and who was with her. As a result, it took a little longer to complete the work than if she’d just slept, but he said that wasn’t a big deal. He again emphasized how small her mouth is and how close her teeth are together and how important it is to brush, floss, and use mouthwash.

Then he laughed and said, “So The Little Mermaid is her favorite movie?” I said, “Yeah, did she tell you that?” He said, “Well, when we cut back on the laughing gas, she said she could sing like Ariel, and she proceeded to try [singing this]. But her voice was kind of raspy, so she said, ‘Nope, that’s not it. Let me try again.’ So she tried again, singing Ariel’s song for everyone.” I laughed so much at that. Just then, a nurse brought her back to me and said, “We got a wonderful treat of her singing for us!” Baby B and I proceeded to the checkout area and when I set her down, the first thing she said to me was, “I was so brave!” I agreed that yes, she was VERY brave today. The checkout person told me, “I’m pretty sure she’s the happiest I’ve ever seen anyone doing sedation.” So funny that her personality still came out so much even through the sedation.

I paid my arm and leg, then we left, stopping at the store for some soft foods to get us through today. She wasn’t supposed to eat anything for 2 hours after the appointment since her mouth was numb in three quadrants, but she hadn’t eaten since dinner last night (and didn’t eat much then), and she said she was hungry. I went ahead and let her try some applesauce, and she downed that in no time and asked for another container, which she also inhaled. About 30 minutes later she asked for some lunch, and she’s currently eating some macaroni and cheese and yogurt. Poor thing, though, keeps asking for apples, and I’m not supposed to let her have things that she has to chew that much until tomorrow (though they said we can try at dinner if she wants).

Thus far, I’d say that things have gone very well. She’s pretty low-key at the moment, but not super-sleepy. They said she may want to nap, and I can let her for 30-minute increments or so, but not to let her sleep it off because it’s going to mess up her sleeping schedule too much. So today is a movies-on-the-couch day — starting with her beloved Ariel, of course. πŸ™‚

Greedy guts

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Since Baby B is so set on having a sister, I try to bring up the idea of a brother — just in case that’s how this goes — whenever she starts talking about wanting a sister. (Again, she does not have any clue that I am pregnant. And I will say that these hypothetical conversations are much less painful now, but they were completely heartbreaking before.) I’ll interject something like, “I wonder what it would be like to have a brother? I bet you could have so much fun together!” Her typical response is to dismiss it and re-emphasize that she’d rather have a sister. I try not to push the brother thing too much — but always make sure to mention it as a possibility so she’s not taken by surprise if that’s the news we tell her in a few weeks.

A couple weeks ago, she had a new answer when I suggested a brother would be fun. She said, “I still want a sister. But this time, I want BOTH a sister AND a brother. I want both of them.”

Ack! LOL

Baby B was brushing her teeth at the time, so I ran out to where The Husband was, told him the story (out of Baby B’s earshot), and exclaimed in a faux dramatic and exasperated tone, “We finally are on the verge of giving her ONE, and now she wants BOTH. What we do for her is never good enough!” We both got some good laughs from that.

Hey, kid. One day you’ll realize just how fortunate you are to even have this opportunity. We certainly do.

Wordless Wednesday: New set of wheels

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You threatening me?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We seem to be in the midst of a (probably temporary) reprieve from three-year-old behavior, and I have no idea how long it’s going to last, so I’m certainly trying to enjoy it. (Which is good because the rest of everything else in life seems to have caved in on me this week, and I’m not sure I could deal with all of it at the same time.) Bedtimes have still gone smoothly, we’ve met overall less resistance, and our errands on Saturday went perfectly…we were on the way home and I realized, “Hey, I didn’t get frustrated with her once.” And I made sure to thank her for the most excellent behavior.

Still, even in good times, three-year-olds are not without their self-created drama. Her big thing right now seems to be making threats if we don’t let her do something — but the threats are so hilarious and only seem to hurt herself. For example, Halloween candy has been a source of debate this week, and if she has a piece, that’s fine, but she can’t get one later. So in The Most Dramatic Tone in the History of the World, she’ll say, “Well, fine, if you don’t give a piece of candy for dessert, then I’m never going to have dessert ever again!” Um, dear, that’s actually fine with me. The other day she pulled something similar, asking to go to the playground on a rainy day. I explained why we couldn’t go and suggested we go another day, but she pulled the drama card yet again and said, “Okay, fine, but if you don’t take me to the playground today, then I’m never going to the playground ever again.”

I know there will come a day when her threats and jabs are much more hurtful, so I’m trying to enjoy the sheer ridiculousness (and often lack of logic) of the current ones as much as I can.

McMarketing genius

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yesterday at preschool, there was a note on the activity summary board explaining that the class had talked about restaurants and menus that day. Part of this discussion included a poll of the kids’ favorite restaurants, which McDonald’s won by a landslide. Knowing that Baby B has never eaten at McDonald’s, I asked The Teacher out of curiosity what she’d said was her favorite, but she couldn’t remember right away.

In the car, I said, “I heard you were talking about restaurants at school today. What did you say is your favorite restaurant?”

She pondered for a bit, then proclaimed confidently: “Old McDonald’s!”

Incidentally, the McDonald’s people are GENIUS if they can convince a kid who has never even been there that McDonald’s is her favorite restaurant!

(Her correct answer, for the record, would be Arby’s. We struggle with fast-food restaurants, which are often a necessity for us when on the road, because she’s picky and won’t eat things like chicken nuggets, burgers, or other typical fast-food fare. Put a regular roast beef sandwich in front of her, though, and she goes to town. So if we have to do fast food, Arby’s is typically the first choice.)

Wordless Wednesday: No cameras

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You know you have a girly girl when…

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In the car on Saturday, we were listening to Baby B’s favorite CD, the Disney Alice in Wonderland soundtrack. At one point Alice says something about trousers, so Baby B asked, “What are trousers?” Fair question, as we don’t usually use that word here.

The Husband said, “Oh, they’re like pants.”

She was silent for a minute, then very seriously said, “What are pants?”

Eeek…she’s been obsessed with dresses for so long that she forgot what pants are! πŸ˜‰