Thursday, November 29, 2012

Random thoughts

Really, probably all of my posts should be titled, "Random Thoughts." Oh well. :)

Poor Katie's lip is much, much better today. The little sores inside her mouth are getting smaller and smaller, and I think in a couple more days they'll be completely gone. Thank goodness she's a fast healer!

I may have mentioned that Katie has woken up once or twice during nearly every nap for the past two weeks. Yesterday I went in and comforted her for the first wakeup, but decided to let her cry for 5 minutes for the second one. She was back asleep within 3. Hmm. So today I tried it again, and she settled down long before the 5 minutes were up. So we're back to sleep training. Thank goodness this wakeful habit hasn't carried over to the nighttime. I'm having enough trouble sleeping as it is!

Oh, I wanted to report that I have really fallen off the wagon when it comes to having a Spotless Kitchen! So much for the 28 days theory. I kept the kitchen spotless for more than 60 days, and then frankly I just got too tired. I'm still keeping on top of bottles, and keeping the sink more or less clear of dishes, and cleaning off the island more often. But folks, cleaning the kitchen is So Much Work! Especially with my "helper," Katie. She really loves to help, which is so cute, but of course everything takes 100 times as long and I have to go and redo it when she's out of sight (which is almost never!)

Then there was the adventure of "Wash-Empty-Bottles-Katie-Self." Katie loves to talk about the empty bottles that are always waiting to be washed. Yes, she's over 2 years old and I still give her bottles. Please don't judge. For me, a bottle is part peacekeeper and part safety net. Katie likes to have a bottle when she wakes up in the morning and after her nap. She also likes one before bed. When I say "likes," I mean "screams bloody murder if you don't give her one." And, long ago, I discovered that the only way to keep her from screaming like a banshee in the car is - you guessed it - a bottle. I give her one when we get in the car, and I bring another in a little soft-sided lunch bag with an ice pack inside. Most days we go out in the car, usually in the midmorning. So Katie is still drinking 5 bottles a day. If she's sick, or something is wrong (teething, crazy bloody mouth injury, etc) then she gets more. It calms her down and gets much-needed calories into her, so that's why I think of it as a safety net.

So anyway - one day Katie really wanted to wash those bottles just like Mama does every day. I thought, what's the harm? My parenting class said I should be giving her opportunities to do things herself. So I pulled up a chair from the kitchen table and let her stand there with the water running, and put soap on the bottle brush for her. She was in heaven! At least, until about 15 minutes later when she started to put the bottles upside down on the drying rack. That would have been OK, except the bottles were still full! Water everywhere - all over the hardwood floor. Side note - wood is a really dumb thing to have as a kitchen floor. So many times I've wished for linoleum! But no, we had to go with a "designer" look. Clearly we did our decorating before Katie was born! Anyway, Wash-Empty-Bottles-Katie-Self quickly became "Clean up, Clean up, everybody everywhere," which was a lot less interesting and earned me some particularly shrill screaming. Oh well.

Wouldn't it have been great if she could wash her own bottles? I guess if she's old enough to successfully wash them herself, she really shouldn't be using them anymore! LOL!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving adventures

Well, we're back to the grind after having Dada all to ourselves for an entire week. It was awesome. It was also exhausting, because it was Thanksgiving. And I didn't even cook! Nor did we battle any traffic or Black Friday crowds. Thanksgiving just takes a lot out of me. Sorry to gripe, but it's my least favorite holiday. I barely even got to eat any turkey, but I did get lots of stuffing and mashed potatoes, so all was well. No pie either, now that I think about it, but you know what? I'm perfectly happy to save my gorging for the Christmas season. Plenty of yumminess coming our way!

I wanted to boil down our Thanksgiving holiday to one fantastic thing and one horrible thing, but I'm having trouble coming up with just one fantastic thing. Having Anthony here was wonderful. I love to see him interact with Katie, and of course it gives me a break. He washed so many bottles, too! Love that man. He also put up our Christmas lights, yay! It feels unnaturally early to be doing that, but I'm glad because it's so much effort to put them up and take them down. Might as well get some good use out of them, right? We also had incredible - no, insane - weather for most of the week. Our friends were in town from Seattle, and we got to spend some time with them. I even had a girls' lunch out! WOW!

And...the horrible thing. Two horrible things, actually. One is that Katie woke up from every nap all week except one, screaming and crying and refusing to go back to sleep. She was really freaked out about something. A couple times we were able to get her back to bed after 15-20 minutes of screaming, but mostly she just refused to go back to sleep. So much for relaxing during her naps.

The second horrible thing happened on Saturday. We were across the street, sitting on a park bench playing with pine needles. Well, I was sitting - Katie doesn't really do that. She was climbing up, sliding down, rolling on her tummy, running to get more pine needles, going over to touch the trash can, you get the picture. She climbed up next to me, scooted around and dangled her legs over the back of the bench, slid down, and somehow managed to bump her chin. Problem was, she had her bottom lip between her teeth at the time, so she bit the dickens out of it. She screamed bloody murder, and to be honest, her mouth looked like bloody murder too. It bled so profusely that I thought she'd knocked out a tooth. (She hadn't.) I also thought she might have bitten right through her lip, since it was bleeding both inside and out. (She hadn't.) It just bled A LOT. And poor Katie wouldn't let us put pressure on it, or put ice on it, or hold her, or do anything at all. She just stood there screaming and crying and bleeding and trying to wipe the blood out of her mouth, which I imagine tasted very yucky. She refused the cool teething ring we keep in the fridge for boo-boos. She would swat us away screaming if we tried to touch her. It was terrible.

At one point, when we thought she'd bitten through her lip, we thought we might have to take her to the ER. But, Anthony made a bottle for her and after a few refusals, she calmed down enough to drink it. Then I read her every book in her book basket, and she ended up passing out on my lap. (Which never happens, by the way!) While she was asleep, we got to take a small peek inside her lip to see what had happened. Two tooth-shaped gouges were the cause of all the blood. They were pretty deep, but not bad enough to need stitches. The cut on the outside was pretty minor too. And now, two days later, the gouges have kind of filled themselves in, and there's just some weird blistering going on. Clearly it's healing well, thank goodness!

So those things, combined with the drama of Thanksgiving Day with the in-laws, actually make me a little bit glad to have things back to normal. We went to preschool today, and so far her nap seems to be fine, so WHEW! We get a month to recharge before the next round of drama begins. But the aforementioned holiday yumminess is going to help a lot!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Katie's birthday!

I can't believe it - this past Sunday, my little princess turned 2! Can't believe it's been 2 years since we brought our sweet little bundle home. Of course, Katie started the "Terrible Twos" at 17 months, so in a way I feel like I've been dealing with a 2 year old for quite some time. If she started 7 months early, she should end 7 months early too, right? So I only have 5 more months of Terrible Two-ness to go! What? That's not how it works? Aw, come on!!

We made it through Katie's 2nd birthday party. It was an entirely Hello Kitty-themed affair, with the notable exception of an Elmo-shaped birthday candle that she just can't get enough of. Every time we pass it in the grocery store, she goes crazy for it. Of course, you could say the same about every Hello Kitty thing under the sun - and by the way, is there anything under the sun that *doesn't* have Hello Kitty's face on it? Whenever we're out shopping, it's a constant stream of "Henno Kitty! Henno Kitty!"

Anyway, I digress. Katie's party started at 4, and we served Trader Joe's apps and Mountain Mike's pizza instead of cooking. Anthony mixed some grown-up drinks, and we had sparkling juice and sodas for our niece and nephew. All in all, the party wasn't too bad. We kept things flowing (food, present-opening, cupcake-eating) and were all wrapped up in time for Katie's bedtime. My favorite moment was when Crazy Grandma and company refused to take Katie's unsubtle hints that they'd overstayed their welcome: "BYE BYE EVERYONE!!!  BYE BYE!!! BYE BYE!!!" This went on for nearly 20 minutes! Sheesh.

For presents, Katie got some nice books and Legos from her aunt, uncle & cousins. In the wake of last year's pony fiasco, we gave Crazy Grandma a list to choose from. What's the pony fiasco, you ask? Last year, Crazy Grandma asked if Katie would like a rocking horse for her birthday. Anthony told her yes, as long as it's made of something durable like wood - you know, something simple, classic and non-gimmicky. So Crazy G showed up with a fluffy pink plush TALKING, SINGING pony. It says 4 phrases in a woman's voice when you squeeze its right ear, and then sings a creepy song in a man's voice when you squeeze its left ear. Oh, and ITS MOUTH MOVES. And the hard plastic base scratches our wood floor. Perfect - exactly what we wanted.

So I guess this year will be known as the Microwave Fiasco. Katie loves to imitate Mama, and she doubly loves anything that beeps, so of course she's rather obsessed with pushing the buttons on our microwave. This would be fine, except I have to hold her up to do it, which is tiring and doesn't really help me get dinner ready. We figured she would love a little toy microwave of her own, complete with beeps and lights, just her size and reachable whenever she feels like "cooking." Anthony told Crazy G not only the exact model of toy microwave we wanted, but the aisle on which it is located at our local Toys R Us. He even emailed her a picture of it. Crazy G told him she bought it. Anthony started dropping hints to Katie about what she might be getting for her birthday. I had a bad feeling about this, so I told him to stop.

And my hunch was justified. Crazy G showed up with an enormous box, bigger than Katie herself. Katie gleefully unwrapped it was a Cupcake Kitchen, complete with an oven, a completely useless mini sink and a fake burner. I can't quite figure out why you'd need a burner to make cupcakes, but whatever. Katie likes it, but I don't love having another giant hunk of plastic in my house. C.G. also bought Katie some extra plastic cupcakes that are a different brand and aren't compatible with the kitchen, so that's grand. I'm sorry, I'm being ungrateful - it is a really nice gift. I hope Katie gets lots and lots of use out of it. Sigh.

Let's see...Mama and Dada got Katie an entirely age-inappropriate Hello Kitty mini umbrella, which (unbeknownst to me) has a very powerful spring-action opening mechanism. That thing opens with a bang, little eyes and fingers be damned! Yikes. We also got her some adorable and sturdy-looking gardening tools, so she can start wreaking havoc in the dirt outside. Yay, more laundry! We got her a small wooden train set from IKEA, which she totally digs. And we got her some more of IKEA's weird felt food. We love this stuff - it's so...Swedish. This set came with some parsley, lemon, and a whole salmon, from which you can peel bits of fish fillet. Super weird and super fun! We tried not to go overboard with the presents, but I think we kind of did. Oops. And Christmas is right around the corner. I am going to have to make good on my threat to go around and weed out some of the toys she's no longer interested in. We get so many hand-me-downs that we don't have enough places to put it all anymore!

Anyway, we had a nice long weekend with Dada, which is a far better treat than any present could ever be. Now it's back to the daily grind, at least until next week when Dada has the whole week off!! WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!

Oh, I probably should post some pictures. Naturally, we took 43 with the "good" camera, 14 with camera phones, and a whole bunch of video, but only these 3 are worth posting. Sigh.

Happy birthday to me!!!

BLOONS! Oh man, she loved them.

No need for cake-smashing this time around! That's my girl!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Facebook envy

Once again, I have Facebook envy. Everyone (including myself) posted pictures of their kids, dressed up for Halloween. Why am I the only one whose child will not stand still and smile at the same time? I got about 3,000 dead-serious pictures, 4,500 action-blurred pictures, 150 costume-malfunction pictures, 67 nose-picking pictures and 2 pictures that were OK enough to post. Gaaaaah! I swear Katie looked cuter than the pics show.

This is the one that ended up on Facebook:
Something about this apple doesn't taste right...

And here are a couple of samples of what I'm dealing with:
Really? You waited until this photo shoot to start trying on the gardening gloves that Grammy gave you? And would it kill you to smile?

That's a dish scrubber. I guess this qualifies as "Whistle While You Work"

This picture-taking gig is so frustrating. I have just enough expertise with my camera to make picture-taking really difficult. Sometimes I think I should just go back to shooting in "green rectangle" (i.e., uber-amateur) mode because I tend to get in my own way when playing around with aperture and shutter speed. I mean, how are you supposed to think about all those things while you chase your toddler around the kitchen? I've been trying to set a custom white balance too, which is darned near impossible because I'm never shooting in the same spot.

Anyway - photo-taking aside, we had a wonderful Halloween. Dada came home early from work, we all ate dinner early, and we bundled our little princess into her wagon for trick-or-treating. We only stopped at a few houses, but she had so much fun looking at all the kids in their costumes. She insisted on getting out and jumping on the gigantic inflatable slide that someone had rented. I love our neighborhood - a lot of families go all-out on Halloween. There were some really elaborate decorations! One house had their teenage son dress up like a scarecrow. He stood perfectly still in the garden, and every once in a while would shout "BOO!" and scare the bejeesus out of someone. Katie thought it was funny.

Another house thought Katie's costume was so precious, they wanted to take a picture. I said, "Sure, good luck! I've been trying to get a picture of her all day." Sure enough, as soon as they took out the camera, Katie was suddenly mesmerized by their enormous inflatable Frankenstein's Monster, and looking at the camera was out of the question. Sigh. I just remembered that nearly the same thing happened to us last year with her ladybug costume. Only one of the pictures was good enough to post, and she wasn't even looking at the camera! And that was before she could walk! Omg.

Anyway, we ended up with a little bit of leftover candy (score!) and lots of fun memories. That's what it's all about, right? Even if you don't have the pictures to back it up? LOL

Happy Halloween, everyone!