I am not ready for Katie to wake up from her nap yet. She fell asleep around 1:00 and instead of flopping on the couch, exhausted, I decided to spring into action.
First, I fixed one of Katie's favorite bath toys - a wind-up fish whose tail flips back and forth so he really swims. He recently stopped flipping, and Katie was pretty disappointed. I cracked that bad boy open, squirted in some WD-40 (my favorite fix-all!) and he's good as, well, used. He's not 100% better, but at least he flips a little now. I'm sure it'll be good enough for Katie.
Then, I quietly and stealthily hid both of Katie's Santa Claus dolls until next December. It's not that I don't want her to play with them, but I think they'll lose significance if they're just out all year long. I remember that I used to LOVE opening up our boxes of Christmas decorations every year, and seeing some favorite old holiday friends. The funny thing about these Santa dolls is that my mom gave Katie two identical ones - but we only officially "gave" her one. One lived upstairs in her room, and the other one downstairs in the den. She never saw them together, so I'm not sure if she realized that there are two! She might just think Santa is everywhere at once. LOL!
Then I decided to get a head start on dinner. I'm making a casserole for the first time in decades. I'm pretty sure I made one once before, but I really can't remember. What usually turns me off from casserole recipes is that they nearly always call for cans of condensed soup. I'm not a food snob (my love of Kraft Mac n Cheese is proof) but condensed soup just seems so salty and full of chemicals. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I found a recipe for homemade cream-of-anything soup! And it's not even hard to make. It just takes a little uninterrupted time, which is why I decided to do it during nap time.
Unfortunately, Katie woke up screaming while I was chopping the onion. Luckily I hadn't put it in the pan yet. I turned off all the burners and went upstairs to calm her down. She went back into her crib without a struggle. Next I was elbow-deep in onions and mushrooms, and about to start making a roux, when she woke up again. She's been up intermittently ever since, making little snuffling noises and whimpers, but not full-on crying, so I'm trying to let her settle herself back down.
But I didn't get to finish making the casserole and I probably won't be able to during this nap. Too much going on! I refrigerated the cream of mushroom soup and the chicken I'd cooked in the crockpot. Hopefully it won't be too hard to heat them up later and throw them together with some frozen veg and some cooked shell pasta. Sigh. I'm on tenterhooks, waiting to see how this dish will turn out!
The other thing I want to try to do is make some "Cloud Dough" for Katie to play with. I've been waiting for a reasonably mild, non-rainy day to try this, so Katie can play with it outdoors. That stuff is NOT coming inside! It's 8 parts flour and 1 part mineral oil, and it's supposed to have similar properties to Moon Sand. It feels soft to the touch but you can mold it into shapes like damp sand. They had some in the sensory bin at school last week and Katie was totally engrossed in playing with it. Sounds super fun and super messy. Let's hope she won't protest too loudly when it's time to put it away.
Oh, and I almost forgot! I had a super scary moment today, and that reminds me - I need to make a trip to Home Depot when Katie wakes up. Maybe Cloud Dough will have to wait until tomorrow. Katie was playing in the backyard before lunch, and I was unloading the dishwasher. I can see her out of the kitchen window, but there's also more space on the side of the house where I can't see her. I got that "Spidey sense" that I hadn't heard her voice for a minute or two, so I went outside to see what trouble she'd gotten into. THE GATE WAS OPEN! She was gone! I don't think I've ever run so fast in my entire life. She was right out front, trotting along the sidewalk with the most triumphant smile I'd ever seen. Thank God! True to my parenting books, I didn't scream at her (aside from the "KATHERINE ELIZABETH!" I let out when I saw the gate open.) I simply knelt down beside her, took her hand and said, "Katie, I'm so glad you're OK, but it isn't safe for you to be outside by yourself. Let's go inside and have lunch." She screamed when I picked her up, of course, but only for a few seconds. I wonder if maybe she understood what had just happened?
Anyway, off to Home Depot for a new lock for our gate! SHEEEEEEEEESH!