Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's going on with you?

I had a lengthy conversation with a dear friend last night with whom I don't get to talk to as often as I'd like.  I have campaigned pretty hard to get her to move her family into our neighborhood so we can have dinner together on any night that the dinner pot is overly full.  My efforts continue to fail and I have to take comfort in the instantaneous connection we have when we to make time for girl talk.

She had a grown-up issue to discuss, which I'm happy to a) keep to myself and b) be a sounding board.    I forget myself and offer my opinion (apparently) a lot more than people want and it is nice to be asked as it good to know I'm not the "you know what you should do.." lady.  (in your head that should have sounded nasally.)

Anyway, she asked me "what's going on with you?" and my initial reaction was to say 'nothing'.  After all, we had finished dinner, the baby was in bed and we were watching America Thinks It Can Dance or some crazy thing like that.  Jason is very entertained by those shows and I do love to hear his belly laugh, but I think some of the contestants are truly mentally 'off' and feel like it's wrong to laugh openly at them.  I much prefer to laugh behind their back...wait, that's not what I meant to say.

Actually, there are a lot of things brewing in TP land.

We re-jiggered our world in order to pay off our house in fifteen years.  There are many things about this that are pleasing, the primary one is that we'll have the house free and clear before we're 60 and before the Peanut heads to college.  The impact to our disposable income rather sucks, but it will only really bite until Lucy gets into real school.  Well, unless we go the private school route.  I kind of hope we don't but, I don't know enough yet to make a blanket statement like "oh it won't happen."

The other big news on the house front is that we are going to deal with our kitchen counters.  Our builder installed nice-ish granite-ish, tiles in the kitchen.  From a distance they are very pretty but the grout situation is bad. We've only been here about 3 years and the grout at the sink already needs to be dug out and replaced.  Because we don't love the color or style we're going to invest in a re-do.  We've saved up some money and have obtained three bids and have made a decision.  We meet with the back splash tile lady this Friday and we should have some kind of a timeline soon.

The bid process was all over the board.  One guy came out, measured told us all the things he COULD do and then emailed his bid to us seven days later.   The other guy, from the neighborhood place that specializes in kitchen re-models, came out, measured and then finally CALLED me with some figures 10 days later, after I called twice to get the bid.  The third person came out, measured, drew up a version of our kitchen and then emailed us the bid before he was in his car.

Thankfully, not only was the fast bid guy the lowest, but the bid included details such as a line item to repair the drywall if the removal of the builder installed tiles damages the wall.  If they don't have to do it, the price goes down.  NICE.  We stopped off at their showroom and picked some samples and now we're on our way.  It is supposed to be a simple job that they say they can do in 3-4 business days.  Ideally, we'll start work on a Monday so we can avoid being without a kitchen on a weekend.  I can do 3-4 days of microwave cooking for Lucy (dinners only) but a whole weekend would seriously suck.  We'll see how long it really takes.

In other news, I've arranged for a babysitter to come TWICE in June so Jason and I can go out and mingle with the other adults without the Peanut.  She is fun, but it's just not the same as a regular date night.

Other than that, I'm feeling a little off kilter.  I'm being especially over sensitive this week to silly things that don't normally bother me.  I'm taking innocent jokes very personally and obsessing about small nuances of conversations.  My brain tells me that this is very likely related to that certain time of the month, but the emotional little crybaby doesn't like that rationalization.  However, when I look at the calendar, the timing is right.  Sigh... stupid hormones.  They shouldn't make you mentally ill.

We're off to celebrate dad's birthday this weekend.  By celebrate we mean, driving over, providing free computer support and grilling meat.  Well, we found out yesterday that the new bbq is still in a box.  Jason loves a puzzle and will happily put it together, but his 'honey do' list is pretty long this weekend and I can't really help because of that whole - keep the baby alive thing.   Thankfully, the weather is supposed to be lovely (over there) and we're bringing the sprinkler to keep our girl (and her mom) busy.

I feel dizzaaay

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

whew, what a week

It never seems to fail that when I leave to go to San Jose for work and Jason is home with Lucy she decides to come up with some ailment that is more than a runny nose.  Friday, Jason took Lucy in to the pediatrician and she was  was diagnosed with an ear and eye infection.  We got the go ahead to share Lucy with others as long as she didn't have a fever.  Saturday and Sunday, she was fever free.

However, Monday, the day I left for California, it was back ON in the fever world.  She went to school but they promptly called Jason and told him to come and get her, they stayed home together Tuesday as well.  She was hovering around 101 and didn't want too much food.

A sick Lucy is a snuggly Lucy, so she and dad spent time together on the couch watching "Harry the Bunny".  I managed to work out an earlier flight home so I could relieve Jason.  I arrived home  around 11am and Lucy seemed good, she and I had a quick outing to Target, but when we got home she was tired and lethargic.  I checked her temperature of a fever of 104.  I know that 105 is the scary temp (aka emergency room) so I called Dr. Robin.  By the time we were in the office her temp had risen to 105 and they gave us some ice and juice to cool her down.  Lucy wanted nothing to do with the ice and would only take sips of the juice.

She was given Tylenol which she promptly threw up on my shoulder.  Her reward for that event was a version that is given up the bum.  Thankfully it worked like a charm and she slept well, and her fever dropped to the 99-100 region by morning.  She was a sweaty betty though, and still low on energy.  We spent a day at home Thursday and did everything to Lucy entertained and fed.  Crackers were the food of choice and I'm not too thrilled about a diet of simple grains but it's hard to make a 1 year old eat what she doesn't want to eat.

We took numerous 'walks' in the neighborhood.  Walks meaning, Lucy in the stroller with a blanket.  She loved it and each one used up about 30 minutes of time.  It was clear that Lucy had almost no interest in her own toys and was bored, so going for walks was a nice relief from following her around the house.

Lucy slept quite a bit and I was able to keep up with work - somewhat.  I feel quite safe in saying that I am not made to be a stay at home mommy.  When I'm home and not working I want to get a LOT more stuff done than what the reality of managing the entertainment and life safety of a 1 year old allows.

Thankfully, by Saturday Lucy was fever free and was happily eating real food.  This has lasted and she went back to 'school' today.  My only worry for her today is that her nap schedule shifted over the course of the last week back to the 'nap when you're being a turd' vs. the big afternoon nap.  She was doing the big afternoon nap too, but even yesterday she took a refresher at 8:00.  I feel strongly that letting the peanut nap when she wants to while sick is more important than keeping the school schedule.  Today will be a rough one for Miss Anjelica and team, especially since Lucy decided she was done sleeping at 4:30 am.  We endured the tough love and let her cry it out.  It was an hour of hell while Lucy screamed and wailed.  She did go back to sleep around 5:15 and we let her snooze to 6:30.  It is awful to let her cry it out, but the books say that within a week we should be back to a more acceptable sleep schedule.  4:30 am - NOT OK.

Jason and I decided late Saturday afternoon that since it was a three day weekend and we didn't have anything scheduled that we take a day trip to visit my parents.  After a quick call to check in we found out that my mom was off at some epic garage sale in Packwood, but dad was happy to have us come.

Lucy did well on the drive over (and back) and seemed to enjoy her afternoon with grandpa and the dog.  She loves the swing that my mom put up in the back yard.  We even got grandpa P to come out to lunch with us.

After an epic day Sunday, we spend Monday doing errands and playing at home.

It was nice to drop Lucy off at school this morning and she jumped right back in to the swing of it.  All the little people waved hello and she zipped right over to the breakfast table for her toast and cheerios.  It made me happy to see her in a joyful mood when I left.  When she wasn't feeling well she was clingy and whiny.

I expect she'll be pooped this evening, and don't anticipate much (or any) quality play time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The joys of mommyhood

For the most part, this parenting thing is very rewarding. It ticks all the boxes for "you get way more than you give". When Lucy sees me for the first time in a while, be it first thing in the morning, coming home from day care, or when I come downstairs after a moment in the loo, she lights up and either reaches for me or now that she can, runs to me. The "I'm the greatest thing in the whole world" meter ticks pretty high at those times. Sure, it's a bit narcissistic, I'm aware that a dog who is beat frequently will continue to love and adore his master, but this isn't the same kind of relationship. I seldom make Lucy sleep outside or beat her with a stick. She gets all the fresh water she wants and a 1/2 cup of crunchy food in the morning. She's a happy girl.

I wont fall!
Actually, there are numerous things she does that are adorable and bring me joy. Small things such as when she's done with her milk it is important that she (and only she) put the lid to the bottle back on. She does NOT want help. She has embraced the art of 'kissing' and while she blows kisses to all the teachers and classmates at school, she saves the special kisses for Mommy and Daddy. These kisses are mouth kisses, but she leans in with her mouth open and makes contact while saying "aahhhh". We are working on teaching her to kiss with her mouth closed, but every now and then it is my treat to take a milky, open mouthed kiss from my little peanut. She dances, but doesn't shake her booty just yet. Thus far, when the music moves her it is a head shaking and arm twisting joy. I think the booty moving will come when she's more solid on her feet. Speaking of... as she's zipping around the house on her two feet there are times when her center of gravity gets out of alignment and she will make every wild move to avoid falling over. Every now and then we catch her in a I'm-not-falling-off-this-balance-beam arm flail that makes us giggle.

Her love affair with the stairs is waning, but that just means we have to be on high alert. Our original idea of keeping she play world limited to the kitchen/family room area was not an achievable (dare I say a delusional) idea, Lucy is everywhere in the downstairs and we spend our weekends and evenings in a constant two person parade around the house. We take turns with her while the other parent does fun things like make food, clean up food, and other life chores. Laundry happens during the week while Jason & Lucy are away. That perk is reason enough for me not to change jobs. I can see how people who work outside the home and have one or more little people have piles of laundry in various stages of completeness.
Lucy's other 'cute' trick these days is a fascination with any gadget with buttons. The little cd/radio player in her room is an amazing toy. This little 7 inch square cube has no less than 20 buttons that she can click, click, click. This morning she somehow set a snooze alarm that nearly caused my heart to stop when it finally went off. The alarm was so loud that it sounded like the walls were shaking. I know someday she will set the thing to go off at three in the morning and we'll go crazy trying to figure out what it is. As buttoned items go, the tv remote use to be the #1 coveted toy, but the iPhone is now the top 'want!'. This brings me to the ugly truth about parenting.

Kids are jerks.

I didn't make that up, Christopher Walken said it in his interpretation of the classic story "Where the Wild Things Are." He also said 'kids like George Wendt', but that didn't resonate with me as much as the declaration that 'kids are jerks.'

Lucy expresses her jerkiness in lots of special ways. Her inability to cope when things don't go her way is a small sign of this fact. I will do something horrible such as not give her the phone, not let her walk in the middle of the street or change her diaper after she's made a 'boom boom' (that's grandpa's term) and she will hop up and down, cry, with actual tears and hit a pitch with her voice that moves the water in my inner ear to the point that I'll have to lay down to get my balance back. Other tricks include slapping, and the oh so cute body flop and kick. I've read that all kids go through this and we are working on "identifying our feelings" so that when she CAN talk she can calmly say "damn it mama, I want the remote or I'm going to feel angry." We are very much working on making it clear that slapping and grabbing are not ok, but unlike a four year old these are lessons (for Jas & I) in being consistent, firm and calm.

She's not a possessed child (all the time.) We have figured out that most often when she's acting up something else is wrong, and it usually can be remedied with sleep. However, those moments of wickedness on her part wear on a person. I can see where parents with out other coping skills (aka GIN) can forget themselves and respond to the toddler temper tantrum in like fashion. I'm aware that these frustrations will lighten up and then be replaced by some other trauma like having to eat peas when pizza is wanted. The naming of feelings feels a little bit like parental mumbo jumbo, but when she's able to express the difference between mad, scared and hurt it will make calming down a bit easier.

The things that Lucy wigs out about seem to change daily, but then so does her world. This morning she was pissed that I wouldn't give her my coffee cup, but then she also explored the upstairs bedroom, closet, bathroom loop on her own for the first time. (This reminds me honey, we MUST put the cupboard door safety locks on the cabinet in the laundry room this weekend. She doesn't know those cabinets are there yet, but she'll find them and all the cleaning stuff is in there.) We were able to do our morning routine with her doing laps. Well, my modified morning routine anyway. I use to shower in the morning and do my hair - now, i shower at night and if I'm lucky I get to wet my head down to do my hair, but more often than not...ponytail. I can see why after having three hundred children Kate Gosselin opted to chop of the ponytail to save herself some time in the morning.
Sure it looks stupid, but it's not a mommytail!
Back to our story,  every day is something new and the 'good crap, she's a jerk' moments are fewer than the 'oh, I have the sweetest baby in the whole world' moments.  Both are probably a slight exaggeration.  Also, I've met some of your children and they are also sweet angels who are above acting up because you don't happen to have seedless jam on hand, so don't go all crazy on me any say that I'm disparaging YOUR child.  I'm only speaking a truth that few parents will admit.  It is a GOOD thing we love these little beasts because there are times when a kennel could come in handy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Walking and Talking

Lucy was so proud of herself Sunday when she was taking independent steps all over our living room. She's tentative on the hardwood floors and that is FINE BY ME. Let's let her fall on the soft carpet before we go into head bonking territory.

Our living room is void of most of the things that make walking a challenge, like toys and furniture. We had our carpets cleaned Monday, so Sunday afternoon the family room was perfect for a new walker who needs lots of space.

The amazing thing is that not only was she getting up on her own to walk, but she felt the need to carry her water with her too. I would think that mastering the art of walking would be easier if your weren't carrying something, but this is yet another lesson in the fact that Lucy is her own person.

This little video only shows a few steps (and only for the last few seconds of the movie) but it's a fun one.

Super cool right!

We have already noticed that she is very aware of all the spaces in the house. She loves to go upstairs - mostly it is fun to get up the stairs and close the gate at the top. Once we're up there it is kind of lame in that there are fewer toys. She loves to "carry" things for me. This is usually an envelope or a sock, but getting up the stairs and ensuring that the important item gets there too is a lot of fun. More often than not she has to stop at the landing halfway up the stairs and take a little rest, but then she motors on her way.

On the tooth front, she's up to nine now. One of the bottom molars is IN. We haven't seen the counterpart on the left side of her mouth, but her cranky attitude tells me it is coming. My usually sunny girl has taken a turn towards the pissy from time to time. Her lack of words must be frustrating, and I bet she'll be happier when she can tell us what she thinks she MUST HAVE. That list often includes things that she may not have like the remote, knives, fire, blow torches and acid. Lucy will simply have to learn from these disappointments. Although, this morning she did get one of the magical items, no not the blow torch, the remote. The joke was on her because the first button she touched made the magic box turn off. We are violating the recommended advice and letting her watch the Baby channel in the morning as we get dressed. She's learning terrible things like the american sign language sign for "socks" and "play".

At school, Lucy has fully transitioned into the Toddler Room and even received a diploma for graduating from the Infant Room. She seems happy with the older kids and the issue of naps has been (forgive the pun) put to rest. When they entire class lays down and is quiet she does the same thing. They play harder in the Toddler room and have direct access to the outside and Lucy is in heaven. She is keeping up with the master walkers and it is my guess that words will becoming very soon. I expect to hear "mine" and "no!" in short order. However, I am told that Lucy does a very nice job of sharing. She's also empathetic to others. One of her last acts in the Infant Room was to come to the aid of one of the babies who had lost her pacifier and was crying. Lucy zipped over there, picked it up and put it in the babies mouth. WOW.

Speaking of pacifiers, we have made our downstairs a pacifier free zone and are limiting use to naps and bed time. This isn't to say we're perfect - she sat with us in church Sunday and we did use it as a silencer during the sermon. Soon we'll simply leave her in the nursery and enjoy an hour of Jason and Terri time. She loves the music so much that it is fun to see her get her "axle rose" on when the band plays, but keeping her happy makes it hard to focus on the talking, and we are there to hear the talking.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

First steps!!!

fictionary (borrowed)

Borrowed from one of Jason's co-workers.

Ginja:  The red headed ninja

clearly, not a new concept to anyone but me.  Thank you for letting me borrow the awesome image.  (I have maybe 6 readers so I doubt I'm boosting the awareness of your cool graphics too much.)

Lucy, the furniture mover

She's starting to get a real handle on the walking thing, but likes the assistance of a steady hand or if we're being mean furniture will do.  Moving around the coffee table isn't enough anymore, so she'll use smaller more mobile furniture to get her where she wants to go.

Friday, May 04, 2012


Va-dazzle: the sparkly diamonds attached to your lady bits.