Sunday, July 07, 2013

Toddler Quotes #5

Her:  Mommy will you lick this (jam) off my arm?
Me: No thank you.  Here is a wet wipe.
Her: Why won't you lick me?  A goat would lick me.

"I want to sing a song about a light that fell down when a car went boom."

Me: We will pick your cousin up a the ferry dock.
Her:  Does it fly?
Me: No it goes through the water because it's a boat.
Her:  But fairies have wings!

Upon her first sprinkler play of the summer "This thing refreshes my bum!"

Friday, June 21, 2013

Toddler Quotes #4

"I'm making a zibbit for my museum."

"I'm shutting this door with the greatest of shuts!"

Upon seeing the star next to the "1" on an elevator button, she shouted "Macy's!"

"It's a small world after all. There's so much we all share that it's time we eclaire it's a small world after all!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

In the Meantime

While all our big life changes are going on around us, Little Sister is doing all sorts of momentous things of her own.  Over the last few days she's cut two, count them, two new teeth!  Given that these are her first ones, it really was not a huge amount of fuss that she made.  This is in keeping with her generally calm demeanor, so I shouldn't be surprised.  Still I am grateful.  I think Older Sister cried for weeks before her first tooth came through.

Speaking of teeth, L.S. is also making huge strides on the food front.  She was never a great fan of purees, and I did wonder if I might have a picky eater on my hands.  It turns out that all she wanted was to be able to feed herself!  We still struggle through a spoon feeding (which I do to ensure that she gets enough iron-fortified cereal) but when it's time to get out the tiny pieces of sweet potato, she gets very enthusiastic.  Her pincer grip is tops, and she quickly shovels tiny bites of carrot, peeled blueberry, peas, and cereal puffs into her mouth.  If her tray should become empty before the meal is over, she yells for more.  I guess the second child has to learn to speak for herself or she might never get fed.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Fun with Barbasol

In the midst of all the tumult of the last few weeks, it turns out that the kids still need, well, everything.  There's no stopping just because you are booking flights, or trying to find foreign lawyers, or wiring money to the funeral home.  They don't take any time off for meetings with contractors or filling out mortgage documents.  Kids are really not amused by the packing of boxes.  Thus we have been working hard to find activities to keep little brains absorbed, and that is how we found ourselves spraying shaving cream on a dump truck.

The shaving cream is a trick I remember from student teaching in a 5th grade classroom.  It turns out that even sophisticated nine year-olds think that squirting Barbasol on a desk top is a super fun time.  Squishing it around (thereby cleaning the surface) can entertain an entire class for a good 15 or 20 minutes.  When you're finished, everything smells fresh and clean.  Preschoolers are even more enchanted by the idea.  First we tried it out on a table, and it was amusing, but then Daddy had the idea to take it outside.  Mountains of foam on the truck AND a bristle brush made her positively giddy with joy.  Now we have the shiniest truck in the neighborhood, and we managed to get a few things done.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


My poor mother-in-law passed away over the weekend.  It was a very sudden and unexpected event, and it has everyone, most especially my husband, completely blind-sided.  She was neither old nor frail, and I really did expect her to live a good long time.  I suppose these things just happen sometimes.  The good news is that she died at home in her bed with her animals nearby.  Just the way she would have chosen.  Of course this is only small consolation.

She was a formidable lady with a strong sense justice, a quick mind, and a keen sense of humor.  She spent much of her time caring for those who had no one else; her circle of rescued pets was an ever-changing menagerie.  Her circle of friends was larger still, and I know there will be many people missing her in the years to come.  She loved her family fiercest of all, and there will forever be a gap left by her departure from this world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New House Doings

Earnest money is away, so I guess we're very, very likely to get this house.  Now come all the logistical challenges associated with moving out of one house, fixing it up, fixing up the new house, and moving into that.  Scheduling is going to be tricky, and it's made all the more interesting because we're talking about the middle of summer and everybody is going on vacation.  At the absolute minimum, we need to find a floorer, painter, foundation experts, and movers who have time to work within our window.  I foresee many hours on the phone in my future.  These are good problems to have.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

House! House! House!

We did it oh we did it! Oh we did it oh we did it!  We finally managed to win the offer battle (against seven other players, and one of them was all cash) and now we are under contract.  If all goes well, we will be moving into our new place by the middle of July.  I can't believe the house hunt is finally over.  Once the slog of moving is over, we will actually have our weekends back!  More details to come.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Potty Training

Holy crap (har!) I think we've done it!  Delphinium showed some interest out of the blue and we seized upon it as enthusiastically as we could.  A few times since then she's asked for diapers, but we just keep saying that she's a big girl and only the baby should be wearing diapers.  She seemed quite fine with that idea.

The first few weeks were a bit rough.  Sometimes, by the end of the day, I was washing an entire load of wet things which was quite demoralizing at times.  We did persevere however, and things did get better and better.  It helps that we have a travel potty which allowed us to stop anytime and anywhere to have a quick pee.  It also helps that we were in the the thick of training over Easter, and I broke my less sugar rule by giving her a jellybean every time she sat successfully.  At roughly two jellybeans per hour, I felt it was a worthwhile trade.

About three weeks on, and we're mostly there.  I would say that we now average one accident every three or four days, and even that seems to be tapering off.  I bought some iron-on transfer patches to help her tell front from back on her underwear, so we talk about trying to keep the robot or the butterfly dry.  We have not even attempted to go all night, but sometimes she wakes up dry too, so I have hopes.  Now if we can just avoid regressions, we'll be in great shape.  Fewer diapers!  Squeeee!

Monday, April 22, 2013

House Hunting Again Some More

In the time since I've left off posting, we've been busy real estate bees.  We've seen well over one hundred houses at this point, and made many offers.  On the upside, my geography of our local area is way stronger than before.  On the downside, we just lost out on our 9th bidding war last night.  You simply cannot compete against buyers who are waiving all contingencies and paying all cash.  Do we have another bubble in the making?  If I were good with a crystal ball I could probably use that to a huge advantage, but sadly I am far to down to earth for that.  What to do?  What to do?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Baby Six Months

On the morning of Little Bird's doctor visit I was fretting.  She was six months old, but she still had not rolled over as the books said she should.  Was she delayed?  Were there other shortcomings I might not have noticed?  I would need to consult with the pediatrician!  Then, of course, she did it. With mere hours to go, she rolled over for the first time.  She was shocked and horrified to find herself on her tummy and wailed and cried until I rescued her, but I was thrilled.

The visit with the doctor turned out to be fine too.  As it happens, our girl is a little on the large side (maxing out the charts for height and weight) so it is a little tougher for her to do things like roll over and begin to crawl.  She has a lot of mass to haul around, so it may take her a little longer than smaller babies.  There's not question that all the chub is making her very strong!  The doctor says not to worry at all, and she will be on her way in no time.

At six months Little Bird is sweet, sweet, sweet with a ready smile for most everyone she meets.  She loves to watch her sister play all kinds of big girl games, and I can actually get a dinner made or a load of laundry washed just by putting her in her exersaucer next to the toy train tracks.  She likes to play with her own toys too, and we've hauled out all of Delphinium's favorites.  Taggy, Gerald and Sophie the Giraffes, and the bug jar are all getting lots of love and chewing.

Much as I wish I could say that everything is going swimmingly, there is one area where we are still having a struggle.  Sleeping.  Did you know I was going to say that?  Delphinium was a very poor napper, in the beginning at least, but she slept through the night from the seven weeks to seven months old (when teething ruined our fun).  Little Bird has slept through the night ONE time ONE TIME IN HER WHOLE LIFE!  The doctor is quick to say that she is the more typical of our two kids, and that we should not worry.  That's all fine and good, but I am TIRED.   Really, really tired.  Maybe one day soon she'll decide to sleep.  More likely,  I'll just have to keep functioning on my two remaining brain cells.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Have you seen Ergo baby carriers?  Every generation of kids seems to have different set of cool, must-have gear, and this era is no exception.  From Baby Legs to Pack'n'Play to Exersaucers and Bob strollers and even Nose Frieda, there are so many items, good and silly, to tempt parents.  The Ergo is one of those items that is really actually worth the hype.  The virtually all cloth baby carrier somehow manages to be hugely more comfortable for parental backs than anything else I've ever tried.  On a recent outing I forgot my Ergo, and had to use my old Bjorn for a 1.5 mile walk.  The difference in my neck and shoulders was instantly apparent.  I think the $80 price tag will be easily met (I like to pay $1 or less per use on baby gear) by the hundreds of uses we'll get our of ours.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Five Month Baby 2.0

The baby has discovered her feet! And also her voice.  She's now five months old, and the progression of new skills is amazing.  All this new awake time (down to 3-4 naps per day) means she can grab her toes, play with toys, and yell, yell, yell.  She's full of zest and energy and chubby-cheeked smiles, so everybody wants to stop and chat.  She's a wonderful companion, and if she would just let me have a little bit more sleep at night, life would be good.

Friday, March 01, 2013

House Hunting Again

Now that the baby is getting a little older, we've decided to get back into the house hunting game.  We still want a new house for the same reasons as last year, mainly space, but  now it's especially important.  We are feeling the realities of having another person (and all her stuff) in the same area.  We know we could make do with the house we have.  I know that I was raised in a much smaller house than the one we have now.  We know that this is a first world problem.  Nevertheless, if we can afford something that suits us better than our current place, shouldn't we go for it?

Since we're open to a wide range of locations and house types, it seems like we shouldn't have too much trouble finding something.  However, the same problems that plagued us last year are now even worse!  Namely, the low inventory available in our price range, and our allergy to anything needing serious work.  The agent says the number of homes on the market today is 30% less than it was at this time last year.  It is certainly turning out to be a sellers market.  Low, low interest rates are the only thing keeping this a worthwhile prospect.

Therefore, we head out again and again, to see houses that never seem quite right.  We find lots in great locations, but the actual home is awful.  We find lovely homes located on ultra-busy streets (or directly behind the fire station!).  Shared driveways, impossible garages, sharp hills, no sidewalks, and eyesore neighbors all plague us on the outside.  Dark rooms, musty basements, ancient bathrooms, and cracker box kitchens seem to await us on the inside.  One day we hope to find one place, just one place, that doesn't have anything major wrong with it.  But I'm not bitter. Much.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Vaccinate Now!

A few months ago, I wrote about my support for vaccinations especially in regard to the pertussis outbreak in our state.  Washington and Oregon have two of the highest rates of unvaccinated children perhaps due to the large numbers who follow "alternative" lifestyles.  These are people who believe vaccinations cause more problems than they prevent.  Of course there are also simply the lazy people who just can't be bothered to protect their children.  Both groups have always driven me up the wall since they are relying on the immunity of the rest of us.  Now this issue is brought into stark relief for me by a recent experience.

A regular part of our weekly schedule is a visit to a certain shopping area which includes a grocery store and a Starbucks.  We often grab bread or eggs before meeting a friend for coffee.  Imagine my dismay when I read in our local paper that there had been a case of measles reported in our town.  When I went to look at the dates and locations of exposure, I found that our one regular stop was the main focus of concern.  Even the times of day lined up.  The rest of us are fine, but since my baby is too young to be vaccinated, she is at real risk for this illness.  We had three whole weeks to wait before we were in the clear.  I am happy to report that she is fine, but that is a matter of luck and nothing more.

A baby or child who catches measles is in for several weeks of recuperation and a host of unpleasant symptoms.  Most children, however, do recover without permanent harm.  Pregnant women are a whole other issue.  If they are expose to measles their babies risk blindness, deafness, and even occasionally death.  This is not about some vague desire to be "natural" or "have less chemicals" or "avoid autism."  Science, the best information we have available, does not support these concerns.  It is about protecting the lives and health of my baby and yours.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine '13

It's now been ten years since M and I first met, and I still think he's the proverbial cat's pajamas.  Therefore, here is a list of ten reasons to love him (in no particular order):

10. Cool under pressure
9. Smart, smart, smart (alec?)
8. Reads (novels even!)
7. Hilarious
6. Produces beautiful babies
5. Takes care of beautiful babies
4. Endlessly patient with beautiful babies
3. Fabulous cook
2. Perfect travelling companion
1. Puts up with me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sick Day with Two

Well we are home today sick, so I actually have the chance to make a blog post!  An amazing rarity these days.  When either of us is sick, I allow Delphinium to watch television, and I don't even feel guilty (too much) about it.  It turns the day into a really calm experience.  Every few hours, when things are just starting to get whiny or sad, we have fifteen minutes of Kipper or Thomas, and everything is better again.  Another way we maintain sanity is by doing art projects.  Yesterday she painted half an egg carton with tempera paints, and then today we applied the eyes and face to make a caterpillar.  I remember making these so often with my brothers!  Let's just hope she's over things by Thursday, so she can go give her paper airplane valentines (how cool is that?  you can fold the card into an airplane!) to her classmates.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Doctor Visit Four Months

In celebration of turning four months old, I took Little Bird in to see her pediatrician for a well-child visit.  The biggest news is that she's doubled her birth weight!  For someone who started out so slow (with the tongue-tie) that's pretty impressive.  I do have to say that she has some delightful rolls and dimples, and absolutely the cutest chubby knees I've ever seen (don't tell Delphinium I said that).  She's also grown four inches in four months.  No wonder she cries sometimes!

The doctor declared all to be well with our girl, and said that she is developing and progressing nicely.  She can hold up her chest and head when on her tummy, follow a toy held in front of her, and even reach for the toy (not always successfully) and put it in her mouth.  The days of not worry about what's in arms reach of the baby are certainly over.  Next month she even gets to start out on solid foods!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Four Months

Baby 2.0 is now FOUR MONTH OLD!  On the one hand, it seems like yesterday that we were at the hospital, but on the other I can't really remember what it was like not to have her.  Did I say that already?  It's quite possible I posted the exact same thing when she was one month or three months, and I really wouldn't remember.  Sleep is still a bit of a challenge as she's been waking at night more than she used to.  However, I really cannot complain on the sleep front since she goes down for naps and now nighttime without hardly any complaining.  Seriously, you lay her down where you would like her to sleep, and there is often no crying at all before she conks out.  Amazing if you ask me.

Add to all that a happy, easy personality, and you have a very lovely baby in my humble opinion.  She pretty much just goes along with us and does all the things we do.  We tackled the grocery store the other day with just the three of us (I had mostly been waiting until M or Grandma was around) and it went really well. The Ergo is really becoming our friend.  She's happy riding around on my front, and it gives me use of both hands.  I put the Big Girl in the cart, and we were off!  We also use the Ergo when the weather is on the dry side, and it allows us to get out for walks in our neighborhood.  When we had thirteen days in a row without rain, I think we managed to get out on about ten of them.  At this point, exercise is at least as good for the head as it is for the body.

Over all I would say we are doing a pretty good job of fighting off the winter-with-a-tiny-baby blahs.  It takes serious work to get out of the house and go, but it definitely pays off in the sanity department.  Afternoons are still long (Is 4pm until Dad gets home a killer for all moms?  I suspect so.) but a combination of art projects and puzzles usually gets us through without too many struggles.  When the going gets really hairy (as it occasionally will with a baby and toddler) we break out the pile of books.  It turns out that you can nurse and read at the same time, and peace can be had.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Forth Trimester Ends

There is nothing quite like watching your tiny noodle of a newborn (oh how I love that peanut shape they curl into at that stage) suddenly "wake up" as they turn that three month mark.  That whole argument about the forth trimester of development really rings true at point.  With our Little Bird we notice this most with her vision.  For her first several months she had that vague, unfocused look unless you were about six or eight inches from her face.  Now it seems obvious that she can really see for much greater distances.  We know this because she's started making eyes at us from much farther away.  For instance, when I put her on her play mat and stand above her, she tracks my face, and smiles when she sees me.  (The smiles and giggles just get better and better, and now she is making many more "comments" about life as well.)  She can also sit in her exersaucer on the floor and watch me cook dinner which is really a fabulous development in my book.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Toddler Quotes #3

I have taken D's half empty box of raisins, dropped in a handful of nuts, and handed it back to her. She says "Nuts in the raisin box!?  That's the craziest thing I've ever seen!"

D, watching me change her sister for the umpteenth time "Well this is a poopy morning."

From the backseat of the car "Zed zed zed!  Zee zee zee! Zed zee zed zeee!"