Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Highs and Lows of the week - May 24th


High: Belle got a shirt that says, "My Dad is totally awesome!". She asked me to read it to her about 25 times before she started repeating it with her own spin. She spent the rest of the day chanting in a little sing-songy voice, "My DAD is SUPer AWEsome!"

Low: I asked her, "Is your mom super awesome?"  She snorted disdainfully and said, "No!"

High: Soon thereafter I dressed her in her "If you think I'm cute you should see my mom" shirt. Hoping she'd decide to memorize that one.  She asked me to read it to her about 25 times before she started chanting in a little sing-songy voice, "My MOM  is SUPer AWEsome!"  Yay



High:  Out back one gorgeous afternoon we found a fuzzy caterpillar crawling across the patio. This sparked about 15 minutes of my kids squatting next to it and crooning, "Its so cute!".

Low:  Went back inside and Medman said, "Crap!  There's a tick in Belle's ear!"  Took her up to the bathroom to remove the horrible creature and found a total of SEVEN on her!  SEVEN!  If you were to set seven of those little buggy vampires end to end, they would probably be as long as my precious little fair-skinned beauty.  Eww!  Seven!  And D had one.  Guess it's true that girls are sweeter.


High:  Medman had a class in Omaha last Friday so we tossed the kids in the car and went with him.  Was a pretty great trip.  My kids are nearly angelic in the car.  I really should remember that the next time they are being buttheads around the house.  Toss them in the car with little baggies of Cheerios and they're happy for HOURS.

We visited the Omaha zoo, which is pretty cool.  The best part was probably the Swamp at Night exhibit.  Swampy and DARK and creepy.  You walk along this wooden boardwalk through a huge barely lit swamp with alligators (crocodiles?  Should a mother who homeschools know the difference?) swimming silently and malevolently about 3 feet below you.  Solidified in my mind what I had always guessed:  I will NEVER go into a real swamp at night.  NEVER EVER.  EVER.

We also got a great deal on a hotel which had bedrooms separated from the main living area AND a full kitchen.  So great.  Usually Belle gets tossed into the room away from everyone so we can stay up later than her.  But this time we decided she's such a big girl that we'll let her and D sleep out in the main area together and Medman and I could get the bedroom to ourselves.  Because other people's children share rooms and actually sleep?  Right?  So maybe the first night they'll stay up and play a little, but surely by the THIRD night (the night after walking 45 miles at the zoo) they'll be so tired they'll zonk off to sleep immediately.  Nope.  Those two turkeys, who's bedtimes are 7:30 and 8:00 normally, stayed up laughing their heads off until 10:00 EVERY NIGHT. But if you had heard the gales of laughter that went continuously for 2 hours, you would have been glad it was going on.  The way the two have fun together may have been the best part of the trip.  Well, that and getting to go to Starbucks. 

Random other highs:

The baby cardinals in the nest about a foot from our front window hatched.  Such pathetic little things at first, but after only a couple days they are fluffy and fat and peeking around planning their first flight path out of the bush.

I saw the first firefly of the year!  I love fireflies!  They're so magical!

And finally some more random pictures:

Hope everyone else had a good week!

Linking up to Jen's Highs and Lows at Life, Crafts and Whatever.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Baby Ga Ga

So I mentioned last post that Belle has become quite talkative lately. I admit that I find my children much more interesting once they can talk.  I mean the baby books tell you that "Soon after your baby is born you will begin be able to interpret their different cries." 

Well, that's a bald faced lie.  Yes, the cry of pain is more high pitched and desperate than the others, but when you are putting the baby in its car seat and it starts screaming, "AAAAHHHHHHH", it's not crazy that you roll your eyes and try to convince it that you only have TWO MINUTES in the car to get to Walmart and the car seat isn't really that bad before you realize that in fact it is a cry of pain and it is because you pinched them in the seat belt.  Oops.  But isn't it better when they can scream, "OWWWW! MY LEG!!!!!!!!!!!"?  (Yes, I just qualified which time I pinched my child's leg in the seat belt as the better time.)

So, this brings us to Belle's 2-year-old checkup.  Now the average child reaches 20 lbs around their first birthday, give or take a couple months.  Mine, not so much.  We were really hoping that Belle would finally reach 20 lbs by two years.   If you've never had tiny children, you may not be able to relate to the low level of worry that persists as you see your child outgrown by everyone around them.  As you see the little dot added well below the 5th percentile on the growth charts at every doctors visit.  As, if taken by themselves, their height and weight development plop them in the 'failure to thrive' category.  (Especially, I would add, if your husband is a medical resident who occasionally has to assess children who are similarly sized and diagnose terrible illnesses.)

So it is a kindness from God that our kids tend to develop sooner than the average in other ways.  For D it was lots of other ways.  But Belle it's just been verbally.  She's one of those kids that goes from 5 words to 500 in a couple months.  And she's a complete chatterbox.  She can talk for so long that your ears hurt.  Things like, "I tell D it is time for lunch." and "When D watched the movie a tweet-tweet bonked the window!" 

And that chattiness is comforting to us as validation that some part of her tiny person is developing. So even though the nurse at her appointment is going to crinkle her brow a bit when she charts that little growth dot, she will also be bombarded by such a verbal barrage that she won't wonder if I'm some sort of negligent mother who starves and never educates her daughter. 

In the waiting room Belle is doing her normal, "I'd like to talk to every stranger in the room" thing entertaining all the sneezing and hacking elderly people waiting with us.  We get called back for our appointment, and the nurse looks at Belle and says, "Wow you are getting so big!" (clearly just a generic line she uses with all children...)

And Belle looks at her with the most vacant expression ever seen on a human with an IQ above 26 and says, "Ga ga!"

What the????? 

Me: Can you tell the nurse how old you are?

Belle: Ga ga!

Seriously?  In the one place where the SOLE PURPOSE of our visit is to gauge your development?  And "ga ga"?  Even real babies never actually say "ga ga." 

Nurse: Did you just have a birthday?

Belle (still looking blissfully vapid): Ga ga! 

And in that moment I saw the nurse get an overly sweet smile as she clearly filed my daughter under the category of "cute, but slow."

And that was it.  For the next 20 minutes my daughter refused to say anything to either nurse or doctor other than "ga ga."  When the nurse left to get the doctor, Belle glanced at the "Go Dog, Go!" book that we had with us and said, "The doggies are going up the BIG ladder!!! Up, up, up!  The ladder is H'MONGOUS!!!!"

But when the doc shows up, she pasted that idiotic expression back onto her face and cheerfully said, "Ga ga!"

So I lamely kept muttering things about how usually she's quite talkative and she's not really as completely underdeveloped as she is appearing.

And we left the appointment with her NEVER breaking character.

In the hallway outside the doctors office she looks at me, pulls the lollipop out of her mouth and says happily, "Look mommy!  I got a purple lollipop!"

Me (through clenched teeth): Oh REALLY?!?!?!??!

Belle (cheerfully): Yup!  It's yummy!  I LOVE it!!!!

And at the same moment that an elderly woman in the hallway turned to smile sweetly at this happy child I snapped off a, "YOU ARE SUCH A TURD!!!"

And yes, the woman's expression changed to one of disgust as she filed Belle under "Cute, happy child with a mean old hag of a mother."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Belle!

My baby girl turned 2 last week.  2!

I've done the math several times to make sure it really has been that long since she was born. 

So here's a list of just a few of the things I love about her:

1. She's hilariously funny.  I know I'm her mom and supposed to say that, but she is really funny.  Granted she's funny in an odd sort of way (like doing spaced out arm-waving, nonsense singing episodes where she closely resembles Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean), but she often has us in tears of laughter at the dinner table.  In honor of her funniness, here is D's all time favorite picture of her. 

2. She's the most beautiful two year old in the history of the world.  A fact I had suspected for some time, but I did some extensive research (3 minutes Googling 'most beautiful toddler') and it is a fact.  She is more beautiful than any of them.  And has been for most of her life.  Here she is at 5 months old. 

3. She has an infectious laugh.

4. She sweetly says 'Thank you' anytime anyone gives her anything.

5. She says 'I sorry' easily.  Even when the other person is the one who's supposed to be apologizing.

6.  I love how (even though I mocked her 6 months ago for not being able to speak) she has an enormous vocabulary which she uses non-stop.  She just this moment traipsed into the kitchen and said, "Mommy, you done yet? I have my boots on.  I want to go outside." 

7  She loves her big brother.  Whether they are dressed up fancy....

 ...or hanging out in pj's on Saturday morning in her crib.   (Yup, hers are on backwards.)

8.  She's snuggly with her mommy. 

9.  She sings Be Thou My Vision with me every night at bed time. 

10.  She has impeccable fashion sense.  Here she is on a nice spring day decked out like a garden gnome with her winter hat and her brother's over-sized Thomas shoes. 

11.  She is very affirming.  The other morning I woke her up and she was examining her backwards pajamas, clearing looking for a way to get them off.  She tugged slightly on the cut I had put in the back of the neckband so she could breath while the pj's were on backwards.  Then she smiled at me and said kindly, "You did a great job cuttin' my jammies, Mommy!" 

Happy Birthday, Belle.  I love you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Highs and Lows May 11

Jennifer over at Life, Crafts and Whatever is doing the highs and lows of your week again.  She got the idea from a movie, The Story of Us, which I've never seen, but the family in the movie shares the highs and lows of each day at the dinner table.  I think I might start that at our house.  Sounds like a nice thing to share.  

  • Mother's Day was lovely.  Hubby took the kids to get donuts first thing in the morning so I got a half hour of peace (frankly a little eerie) and didn't have to make any food!  Then we did a long, leisurely drive and a picnic lunch and finally worked in a date night to dinner and the movies.  Saw our first 3D movie (yes, we are that behind the curve).  It was cooler than we expected.  I think I ducked once so that Thor's giant pecks wouldn't smack me in the face.
  • Raccoon: caught and removed easily.  The only moment I felt even vaguely sorry for him was when he was clinging to the top of the trap and stretching his little clawed hand through the wire toward the unfeeling heavens in a plea for freedom.  But then he looked at me with his hateful, beady little eyes and my sympathy disappeared.  Besides, I'm sure he's quite happy in his new habitat, wherever that may be.
  • Grandparents in town who entertained the kiddos on two hot humid days.  
  • My little Etsy shop has seen a lot of business thanks to Mother's Day.  Just on the verge of being too much business, actually, but still nice. 

  • My right kneecap has decided that it no longer wants to be part of my body.  Can't blame it really as baby #4 is really creating a great deal of extra weight for the kneecap to carry.  Anyway, it's decided that if it fills up a huge balloon of some sort of fluid behind itself, sooner or later it will just eject itself out and be free.  Unfortunately that is causing a bit of pain for the rest of the leg.  Stupid kneecaps and their drive for independence.  
  • This one is a mixed high/low.  I've added a necklace to my Etsy shop that I created originally for myself as a remembrance necklace for my son, Jack.  It reminds me of two arms holding something precious.  It seems to resonate with people though and I've had a ton of orders for it. So with each order I have such mixed emotions.  I know that for myself, it is so valuable to have small, concrete reminders of Jack's little life.  Something that makes it seem more real, so I am glad that other mothers are getting something similar.  But it is also heartbreaking to hear peoples stories of loss that they share while they are ordering.  Especially around Mother's Day.  So if you know a mother who's lost a child, send her a quick note or give her a quick call to let her know you are thinking of her at this time.  Don't worry, you don't have to say anything profound  Just let her know you are thinking of her and her child.  Sooner or later I'm actually going to write the post on what a mourning mother needs that I've been tossing around in my head for a couple years. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Highs and Lows

My bloggy-friend Jennifer over at Life, Crafts and Whatever started a linky party about the highs and lows of your week, which seemed like a nice post for the weekend. 

No promises that mine will be neatly delineated between Highs and Lows like other peoples, or that it necessarily will only encompass the past 7 days, but here goes (by topic):

Highest high: On Tuesday we went down to the Big City for a secondary ultrasound to really thoroughly check out Baby Boy's heart and other various organs.  And everything looks great!  We were, of course, very relieved.

It was also a nice perk to just lie quietly on a table while Medman wrangled the two kids into civilized behaviour.  D was very interested to see the baby and Belle, well she's oblivious, but overall they did really well.

Low: Every night in the past week Belle has at least partialy taken off her pj's after we put her to bed AND twice disrobed entirely including pulling off her diaper.  Eww.  Thankfully both times we had just a #1-type mess, not a #2-type mess, but the possibilities of her creativity freaked me out.  And she is completely immune to hearing rules such as "LEAVE YOU PAJAMAS ON!!!!!!!!!!"  After dutifully and solemnly agreeing that she will leave said pajamas on, the minute you leave the room you can hear her cheerfully saying, "I pull my zipper down!  I see my arms!  I see my tummy!  Where are my knees???"

High: The day I realized, "Hey, she's just outgrowing her 12 month pajamas!" (Yes, I know she's turning 2 in 10 days....) And I grinned an evil grin, grabbed the jammies, snipped off the little footies, snipped a little slit in the back of the neck to loosen it up a bit and stuck them on her backwards.  Yup, zipper and snap right up her back.  And yes, she looks like Huck Finn with her cut-off, too-short pajamas, BUT SHE CAN'T UNDO THE ZIPPER!  I proudly admit that the first night I did it when I went in later and saw her sleeping fully clothed I threw my hands into the air and did a silent dance of victory.  I can still beat you, ya stinkin' one-year-old.

Random Low:
While I was driving on the TWO LANE "highway" that goes through our 3 mile long town.  (The only place in town that you MIGHT get stuck sitting through more than one cycle of a traffic light.  If you are out at RUSH HOUR which goes from 4:55 to 5:05, AND it's turkey hunting seasons AND you are sitting in front of our only grocery store)  I got pulled over for deciding at the last minute NOT to turn from the left turn lane, but instead to go straight through the deserted intersection.  Unfortunately, one of our public servants happened to see.  And I had to bite my tongue to not say something sarcastic as he told me, "You're not in trouble, just wanted to make sure you are more careful in the future.  Especially on BUSY roads like this one."

Yes, sir.  You really got to keep your head on a swivel in traffic like this.

Random Highs:

-Picking flowers with Belle in the back yard.  Are her favorites the cheerful yellow dandelions?  No.  The sweet purple flowers that are sprinkled across our yard?  Nope.  She likes, "the green ones."  That would be the empty stump of a dandelion which has already had all its fuzz fly away.

-Belle wearing an adorable blue and white checkered dress that I MADE FOR HER AND IT ACTUALLY FITS while picking the flowers.  I will not mention how many things I've made for her lately that do not even fit over her minuscule head.  Apparently I have a measuring problem.

Lowest Low:
Thursday night, before heading to bed, Medman glanced outside AND THERE WAS A RACCOON CLIMBING OUT FROM UNDER OUR DECK.


If you don't remember the last raccoon problem (and you have some free time to read my overly long telling of the adventure) look here  and here

Anyway, NOT excited about our new nocturnal neighbor.  And yes, he's huge.  (I flat out refuse to believe it's another female.  It's male.  I could see it in his beady little eyes.)  He's huge like a small bear.  Or a baby hippo.  Maybe even a teenage hippo. Or a raccoon known by his friends a Magnus Coon-Magnusun.   And since Animal Control flat out refuses to believe that there can be animal problems on the weekend, we can't call for a trap until Monday morning.  I'll get a picture of the monster to post once he's caught.  I'm sure you're all dying to see him.