Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Kitchen Remodel of 2010

Dear Girls,
Do you have any idea how much your Daddy loves you?  I mean... really?  Do you have any clue the hell he's been going through, and will continue to go through until the remodel on the kitchen/living room is complete?

Let me just say that the last time your Daddy and I got a bee in our bonnets to paint the living room and kitchen, we vowed that we would NEVER do it again.  And that for the rest of our lives, the red living room would remain.  Because, ain't no WAY we were ever doing that again, and even if we got tired of the red (which we did within a few months) well.... TOUGH. TURKEY. 

Flash forward four years, a leaky dishwasher, a flooded kitchen and an insurance claim that is paying for a new floor and a new countertop, and we decided that hey, even though it's going to be a huge pain in the ass and we probably will hate ourselves during the process, let's just go ahead and repaint while we can... you know, before the floor goes in. 

To be fair, the dishwasher leak has turned out to be a happy accident.  Because since Daddy took down the wall in the hallway and removed the fireplace last February, we've been dealing with a couple of holes in the floor and a jacked up ceiling that we knew we needed to fix, but just never had that push to do it, you know?  Well, the push and the dough.  I would imagine that the job is costing insurance close to $8,000, and is costing us about $2,500.  Unless we decide to pull the trigger on a new fridge and stove so that it will match the new dishwasher and microwave.  IT. NEVER. ENDS.  girls.  EVER.  I guess you could call this a forced kitchen remodel.  And one that we were a few years overdue for. 

Anyway, deciding to repaint meant that Hazel and I moved into a condo in Ogden Canyon, and your Daddy spent entire days painting the living room, kitchen and hallways.  All because he loves you and wants you to have the palace you two deserve.  I feel terrible that I can't help him right now, but I can't be exposed to the paint fumes.  So, I get to placate a 13-month-old who CANNOT. BE. CONTAINED.  And who is also teething.  AGAIN.  Seriously... not sure at this point who's got it tougher... you Daddy or me. 

I kid, of course.  Your Daddy is once again proving to me his Supermanliness.  His Ironmanliness.  His best husband and father in the worldliness.  And I'll never be able to express appropriately the level of admiration and love that I carry for this man.  You two are very lucky that you were born under his star.  And I'm lucky that he chose me. 


PS:  Pictures to come... if I can find any that don't include him covered in paint and dust, rolling the walls in his boxers. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bump Watch - Weeks 26-28

Dear Squirt,
Yea, yea... I know.  Same old story, different day.  Late.  AGAIN.

In my defense... I can't help it!  You're such an easy pregnancy these days!  Sometimes, I even forget to take my acid reflux medication for a couple of days.  And then, of course, I'll eat something spicy and wake up at 1 a.m. and dash to the kitchen for some relief!  I also get to sleep through the night without having to get up half a dozen times to pee.  If I remember correctly, your older sister never allowed me this kind of quality sleep at 6 months prego.  Honestly, if it weren't for my ever expanding belly and the fact that I haven't been able to wear my wedding ring for three months already, I might not realize I was prego.

You are kicking up a storm these days and the other day as I was sitting in the tub, I just sat there and watched my belly jump up and down and move side-to-side.  It was amazing and kinda made me a little sad, just because I'm pretty sure this is my last pregnancy.  Nothing against you, but I'm kinda over the elephant underwear I have to don on every day.

The other night, you had your elbow or something dug into my side and it was so painful that I wanted to cry.  Your Daddy woke up and thought for sure that I was going into labor.  And I knew that all I needed to do was turn over on to my left side and it would be okay, but turning over isn't as easy as it used to be, so I had to have him pull me over.  As soon as I was repositioned, I was fine and went back to sleep.  While your Daddy checked the sheets for amniotic fluid (I found out the next morning) and then laid awake the rest of the night worrying about everything we still haven't done in preparation for you!  Like getting a new door for your room, getting an area rug and a rocking chair, decorating your walls, buying a dresser/changing table, going through all of our bags of clothes to find newborn stuff, find the bottles... and you know, just getting ready for you in general.  Physically, mentally, emotionally.  And that's not even counting trying to explain to Hazel that she's only going to be the center of our attention for a few more months.  That's probably not going to go over so well!!

It snowed here last week... before I was able to put out the Christmas decorations.  I'm hoping that I can get them out this weekend sometime, but it looks like there won't be lights on the house this year, since I don't dare get up on the roof with you, and your Daddy... well, let's just say that he may be the toughest and strongest man in the world, but he's only tough and strong with his feet firmly planted on the ground.  No heights for him. 

You're still super low in my tummy.  Which is nice because I'm not having the breathing (snoring) problems like I did with Hazel, but it turns out that the lower you are, the harder it is for my shirts and pants to fit.  And sometimes, there's a bit of a gap between the two.  And then you Daddy tells me I'm not allowed to wear a particular outfit to work... I assume it's because I look like I have a beer belly?... and I have to remind him that I'm behind a desk 90% of the time, and the other 10% I can just pull my pants up and deal with it.

I know that I haven't posted much about the progression of our pregnancy this time around, Squirt.  This has nothing to do with our level of excitement of your joining our family.  It has to do with Mommy being super lazy.  And tired.  Even though I get a TON of sleep every night (going to bed at 8:30 is HEAVEN), people keep telling me I look tired.  I guess it's from cooking a baby and trying to keep up with a toddler that just wants to GO. ALL. THE. TIME.

Anyway, please know that we are so thrilled by your pending arrival and can't wait to meet you.  We love you sooooo much already and are excited for you to join and complete our little family.

26 Weeks... before the snow fell!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Belated Halloween

Dear Hazel,
So, Halloween came and went without a whole lot of fanfare. You had a great time considering you were dealing with a severe case of the trots. But, we got you dressed up and ready to go Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, it was super cold and rainy that day so we ended up making it a really quick trip.

We started by carving the pumpkins. You loved it!

Then we went to visit the neighbors in your costume.

I "made" your costume this year. In that I sewed a black boa on a pair of black spandex to look like a cat tail. Yep. You've got a super talented mom and didn't even know.

We had to call the evening short because it started raining, but before that, you were enjoying sitting on Daddy's shoulders.

For future reference, putting makeup on a one-year-old for Halloween? Like giving a cat a bath. Only more bleeding.

You enjoyed the one piece of candy that I dared let you have. And even then, you only just chewed on the plastic.

Overall, I'd say it was a successful Halloween. Even if it was technically the day before Halloween since they don't celebrate Halloween on Sundays in Utah.

Get used to it.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monthly Update - Months 12-13

Dear Hazel,
This one is late, too. See the previous entry for why. Suffice it to say I'm trying to make up two months for you and an untold number of weeks to Squirt all in one night. This could require one or two slices of pie to keep me motivated. We shall see.

So, 13 months. My goodness, where has the time gone? Too fast, I tell you. A year ago at this time, I was just getting used to the idea of being a Mommy, and more often than not, failing miserably at it. I'll be honest with you, baby girl, the first few weeks of your life? I wasn't sure I was cut out for this kind of thing. I wasn't sure I could be the mother you needed or would even want. And I really wasn't sure it was EVER going to get better.

But, oh my... what a little time and a sweet little girl can give you in perspective. You brighten up my life, Hazel. I can no longer remember what life was like without you.

You're no longer a little baby. As your friend Jill said to her Mama the other day: "Baby Hazel's not a baby anymore."

Ah... the wisdom of children. Because she's right. You're not a baby anymore. You're this incredible little girl with a beautiful personality and spirit. And I can't believe you're ours!

Leading up to your first birthday, you really perfected the art of walking. And falling. And I do mean perfected, as you've learned that the best way to fall is on one's backside, rather than on one's front tooth. Which makes your Daddy feel a lot better as he was the one standing there when you fell on the sidewalk in front of the house and landed on said tooth. It really tore him up and he's been guilty of a little Heli-Parenting ever since. But, I knew you'd figure it out sooner or later. You're a smart one, little girl. Almost too smart.

You're also super mischievious. In fact, I no longer get to take showers in the morning if you're out and about because you've learned the art of opening doors and the child proof area that you had been confined to is now a joke to you. I got out of the shower one morning to discover the bedroom door WIDE open. And silence. I called your name and still... nothing. I walked into the room and looked in the bathroom to see you elbow deep in the toilet, splashing around... happy as a lark.

I only giggled for a minute before realizing how close to a catastrophe I had just come. Kids drown in toilets all the time. So... now if a shower is to be had in the morning, it must come before you wake up. And sometimes, when you wake up at 6 a.m.? THAT REALLY STINKS.

You are also really into mimicking everything Mommy and Daddy do. In the mornings, you like to come into the bathroom and steal my pick and then proceed to try to comb your hair with it.

And can we talk about your hair for a second? First off, where'd you get the blonde? And where, pray tell did you get the curls in the back? You've definitely got a party going on back there. And, I'll be honest, I really don't know what to do with it. Cuz you're flat on front, curly in the back and those curls are really preventing any length from manifesting itself. So, you're the kid that goes to school without her hair done in anything resembling a "style". Yep. You're THAT kid. Sorry. If it makes you feel better, you should see MY hair these days.

I really think that you got your hair color and curl from my Grandma Paskins. Her name was Beatrice and she and I were pretty close. We used to pick raspberries in her garden. She made the best desserts. She tried to teach me piano (fail) and crochet (double fail). I'd make her tea for "medicinal purposes" and listen to her ruminate about growing up in the depression. Anyway, she had the strawberry blonde color your sporting and had some curl to it. This is the only explanation as no one else in our family has curly hair, and I'm pretty sure your Daddy's side of the family also has straight hair.

You still love you some kitty cat and always go to pet Nytro first thing in the morning while she's eating and I'm trying to get you loaded into the car for school. Luckily, as long as there's food in the bowl, Nytro is fine with your pets. And you've learned to pet softly, so no one gets hurt.

I think they may have taught you that in school. By the way, you still LOVES you some school. I asked the day care to move you into the toddler room a bit earlier than normal because you were killing us in the evenings when you'd only taken a 30 minute nap at 10 a.m. For your information, THAT is a recipe for DISASTER. And the weekends? Let's not even TALK about the weekends.

In the toddler room, they're more regimented and naps are from 11:30-2. It took you just a few days and you fell right into step with the rest of the kids. And those kids? You LOVE them. Every day when I drop you off, you get so excited to see everyone. And the toys in the toddler room are so. much. better than the infant room. There are things to crawl on, books to read, fishies to look at and chairs!!! Chairs for you to sit in! And a table for you to eat with the other kids around. Seriously, you are in heaven in that room.

Fall came around slowly this year... and for that I'm grateful. I needed summer to last longer since winter had hung around until June of this year. But, when the leaves started to fall and we had to start putting you in a jacket to go outside, a whole new world opened up for you. You LOVE leaves. For real. And rocks, apparently.

You also love the river... which makes your Daddy happy since so much of his professional life is about rivers, but it also scares the devil out of both Mommy and Daddy because you REALLY love the river and once you see it or hear it, there's no keeping you away from it.

You are such a great eater... you eat just about anything but it's becoming more and more important to you to eat what Mommy or Daddy is eating. Sometimes directly off of our plates. You love spaghetti, peas, bananas, peaches and strawberries. And toast. You like to walk around the house in the morning carrying a piece of toast while babbling to yourself. I don't know if you're going through a growth spurt or what, but honestly, these days you're eating more than Mommy is. And Mommy's pregnant! Your typical breakfast? Let's see... a banana to eat while you walk around the house checking for weaknesses in the perimeter. This gives me about 60 seconds to get breakfast ready without you standing in the kitchen, directly underfoot, reaching for whatever is on the counter and crying because you're hungry and there's not any food in your hand at exactly that moment. Once breakfast is served, you'll usually eat a whole adult-sized bowl of oatmeal, or three eggs, or a pancake or french toast, and then possibly another fruit.

And then? Then we take you to school where I just found out you've been having a SECOND breakfast. And that's pretty much the story for lunch, snack and dinner. Although, I must say that when you are waiting for second breakfast at school, you sit demurely in your chair at the table and watch patiently as they get your food for you. No crying. No whining. No tears.


This month, you've finally decided that you'll tolerate milk. I think part of it was the fact that you had a nasty bout of diarrhea that lasted almost 3 weeks and we couldn't give you formula... only Pedialyte. That finally cured you of your bottle fixation and then you begrudgingly accepted a little milk.

I don't want to dwell too much on the diarrhea... suffice it to say that 2-3 times a night, someone had a nasty, stinky blowout. And I was doing laundry almost daily just so you had PJ's and sheets to sleep on that night. But demeanor-wise? Never would have known you had the runs. You were perfectly happy and content. The diaper rash that accompanied the diarrhea? That was really something special. You did NOT like that and I felt so bad... you even had skin sloughing off from the burn! Poor kiddo. But, as with everything we rookie parents go through with a first-born, this too passed. And we stored that knowledge for future reference.

You recently went to the zoo. It wasn't your first time, but it was the first time that you were old enough to enjoy parts of it... rather than just staying in the stroller the whole time. We saw monkeys, elephants, giraffes and crocodiles.

Wanna know what you liked the most? The water feature at the entrance to the zoo. We spent a good 30 minutes there. Yep. We bought a membership for THAT.

You also enjoyed the carousel where you rode a zebra that went up and down. We didn't really think you cared for it... until the ride ended and then OH. MY. GOD. Someone was NOT happy about the ride ending and wanted to ride some more. All the other kids got off without a word, but you... well, let's just say that everyone at the zoo that day knew what you thought about the situation.

Shortly after your first birthday party, you started to get really fussy. Like, all the time. And Daddy and I were wondering what demon child had overtaken our beautiful little girl. You would walk around the house all day, groaning and crying. You cried over EVERYTHING. And the fact that you can't communicate with us to tell us what's wrong frustrates you, us and probably the neighbors.

After about two weeks of that act, Daddy finally figured out the cause of your misery - there had to be a reason, right? It's not just the misery of being alive, right? And, yes... there it was. Our answer. Someone was teething three of her four first-year molars. AT THE SAME TIME.

No. Wonder.

Epic fail by Mommy and Daddy on that. We started giving you Tylenol and some teething rings and voila! Our baby is back!

We also bought a membership to the Treehouse Museum for you to visit on the weekends. Oh my... someone's a big fan of the Treehouse and all the cool stuff they have there. And, um... you like it too. Mostly because it has stairs. Did I not mention? You are obsessed with stairs. I don't mind you going up them so much, since you use your crawling technique. But something's not clicking in your brain for coming down the stairs. You think you can just walk down them like Mommy and Daddy. And I'm afraid it's gonna take a big fall for you to figure things out. Until then, we'll just have to hover.

But, yes... the Treehouse has all sorts of cool things. Including horsies! Except you can do without the hat, thankyouverymuch.

You are quite the dancer these days. You love it when we turn on Pandora to a kids station. You giggle and jiggle around.

You also REALLY like it when Mommy does the Hokey Pokey or the Happy Song. And you've apparently learned hand movements for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at school. So that's fun.

You are all about books these days. You want us to read to you all the time and you definitely have your favorite. You love the Pop-Up Nursery Rhyme book Grandma and Grandpa got you for your birthday... but you prefer the ones that we can sing to you. You also love, love, LOVE the Wheels on the Bus book that someone cursed - I mean - blessed us with. We sing that song at least 15 times a day. And it doesn't matter where that book is, you manage to find it, bring it to me and then crawl on my lap, lay back, suck your thumb, twirl your hair and listen.

And let's talk about the hair twirling for a moment.

It's adorable. You are a left-thumb sucker and a right-hand twirler. And it's constant. It's how you soothe yourself, so I'm cool with it.

You've started to talk to yourself and to us. A lot. I'm convinced that your first word took place a few weeks ago and was, of all things: Moo. It happened when you were reading a book with Daddy and he pointed to a cow and said "moo". Afterwhich, you pointed to the same cow and said "moo". Three or four times. The day after than, you said "doggie" when pointing to a picture of a dog. And just this morning, I could have sworn you said "woof" after I pointed to the doggie and said "woof". Of course, your Grandpa is happy that your first word was moo. He's ready to buy you your very own cow.

That should about cover the last couple of months. You are growing in leaps and bounds and I'm sure I've forgotten something super cute or important. But, that's the way life goes, I guess. Too fast.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Birthday Post - A Month Late

Dear Hazel,
You'll have to forgive me, as this post is late. Really late. Not as late as the post that I was supposed to write about our trip to San Diego in June... and is still unwritten... but late just the same.

In my defense, since your birthday we've had Halloweeen (yet another post I haven't written!), and both your Daddy and I have suffered through back-to-back sinus infections.

And you... well, you had 3 weeks of waking up covered in diarrhea 2-3 times a night.

And severe diaper rash.

All while teething 3 of your 4 molars.

By the way, all of Mommy and Daddy's friends who didn't tell us how miserable a teething child could be and how our quality of life would suffer until those stupid molars poked through... well, they've got some explaining to do.


So, a post about the awesomeness that was your Big Day kind of got pushed to the bottom of our priority list. But, things have returned to normal, well the "new normal" of having a toddler running the house.

But, more on that in a later post. For now, let's talk about your First Birthday!!!

We invited some close friends to come celebrate your big day and it was a huge success! We are so glad that we had set up the basement as the "kid" room and that's where you spent most of the day. You were the Belle of the Ball and since you were also the youngest in attendance, all of the other kids doted on you by pushing you around your little train and feeding you chips. And when they weren't doing that, they were busy jumping in the Jump-O-Lene that Daddy had blown up - singlehandedly! - for the occasion.

I have to admit, leading up to the Big Day, I was kind of worried that no one would come. Not that there was anything that led me to believe people wouldn't come. But, you know... I'd never been to a First Birthday party, so I didn't know if people would actually come or if they would think it was a stupid idea. Hazel... EVERYONE that we invited showed up. EVERYONE. We couldn't believe it! Pretty soon we had over 20 people upstairs and who knows how many kids downstairs??? All I know is that I'm pretty sure that our house exceeded its maximum occupancy under the Fire Code.

You opened up presents and had help from Sydney, Sarah, Gavin and Cressie.

You were a big fan of the new rocking chair that Mommy and Daddy got you. I searched the city high and low for the perfect chair... one that was timeless and could stand up to the wear and tear you are bound to bestow upon it. I knew there had to be one out there that met those criteria. My parents still have a rocking chair that all three of us kids used. I finally found one at a consignment shop. From the 1890's. And I gotta think, if it's survived intact for over 100 years? We can get a few more years out of it.

And the verdict?

You spent the entire present opening time on that chair. So I think you like it.

Grandma and Grandpa Paskins got you a homemade Raggedy Ann doll. It's all yours, Hazel. And no one else in the world has that doll. I'm hoping that when you're old enough to appreciate it, you'll actually.... you know, appreciate it. Because the only time you pay attention to that doll right now is if she happens to be sitting in your chair. And this is an unacceptable event in your world.

You definitely cleaned up at your birthday, baby girl. You got a teapot and tea set, building blocks, a puzzle, birdhouses and books!! LOTS AND LOTS OF BOOKS! And seriously, thank goodness for new books because you were so. over. your little collection of books. The new additions saved Mommy and Daddy's bacon and bought us at least a couple more months before we have to go find new books for you to ooo and awwwww at.

After the debauchery of the present opening, it was time for your birthday cake. Our friends from the coffee shop recommended someone to make the cake for us, and it was totally worth it. And if Mommy had been thinking straight, she would have taken a picture of the cake when it was dropped off, instead of waiting to take a picture while dozens of hungry children were surrounding her waiting to dive into the cake. (And eating one of the eyes when Mommy wasn't looking.)

Your cake was in the shape of a kitty-cat... your favorite animal. Up until two weeks ago when you discovered monkeys. Anyway, the kitty-cat was all yours. And you elected to play with it and throw frosting everywhere.... until Daddy put a piece of cake in your mouth.

OH. MY. It was GAME ON from that moment on. You're definitely my child when it comes to your sweet tooth.

While we didn't get a still picture of you actually eating the cake, we do have a pic of the end result.

Everyone else partook of the bigger version of your cake as you stumbled around the house, drunk on fatigue (yep... guess who skipped her nap on her birthday?), sugar and the kid-mania that had infested our house for a few hours. You were such a trooper, Hazel. You stayed up all the way until 7:30!!! After which Mommy and Daddy cleaned up the house, and then sat on the sofa mumbling incoherently. What a day!!!

I have to admit, a year ago I didn't know how we were going to make it through the day, much less a whole year. I wasn't sure I could do it. But now? You are just the most amazing little girl. You have such a sweet spirit and when you're not teething, you're full of giggles and delighted screams.

Thank you for joining our family. Thank you for causing my heart to burst out of my chest every time I see you. Thank you for making me actually want to have another one! You're going to be a great big sister and I can't wait for our family to become whole.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bump Watch - Weeks 23-25

Dear Squirt,
HOLY. CRAP. You're going to be making your appearance into this world in just about three months. WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE??

Just a quick update since I've been absolutely freakin' terrible at tracking this pregnancy for reasons mentioned in previous entries.

- I am carrying you really, REALLY low. So when you kick or move around it's a completely different feeling than when Hazel kicked.

- Since you're so low, I haven't yet had any problems breathing and your Daddy has yet to record my snoring. Again. Perhaps he learned his lesson the first time?

- You've had to put up with Mommy taking medication for yet another sinus infection. Blame Daddy for this one.

- Amazingly, my back aches have disappeared... which is a really good thing because I don't think I would have survived the next three months with back pain.

- I haven't had any specific cravings with you... other than baked goods. Oh how I LOVES me some Great Harvest Bread in the morning. One of these days, you'll be able to appreciate the goodness of a free slice of pumpkin chocolate chip bread before work. I do wish that I was craving something - ANYTHING - remotely healthy.

- I am huge. No. Seriously. Huge. One of the reasons I haven't been posting pics. Well, that and do you think Mommy can remember to take a picture each week? Do you think she has time to take a picture each week? In between changing diapers and trying to cheer up a teething baby? Nope.

- Have we even remotely started getting your room ready for you? Nope. This is because we know that for the first month or so, you'll be in our room with us. We also need to order some wall decals, an area rug, a new door and a a changing table. Daddy also needs to get some of his friends over to help move the desks from the office downstairs to make room for your crib. Which means we need to order some beer and pizza. The only thing we do have right now is your crib. But it's not put together. Because that would require us to be responsible and on top of things... and I gotta be honest, sometimes we just aren't. These days, we're lucky if we remember to turn on the dishwasher so we have spoons for breakfast in the morning.

Yep. That's pretty much it these days. I can't believe you're going to join us so soon. I can't believe we're gonna jump on that ride again. I can't wait to meet you and to see what you look like. I can't wait to see how your big sister reacts to you. I cannot wait for you to join our little family. I think you'll be the perfect addition. And I can't wait to spend hours with you in my arms.

Keep safe in there, little Squirt.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween Hazel!

Minutes after this was taken, Mommy's heart melted and puddled in her shoes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Dear Hazel,
On Sunday, you turned one. ONE. I can't believe it... you're growing up so fast! It seems like just yesterday you were this tiny little body with long flailing arms and legs that could not be contained by a mere receiving blanket, screaming into my ear because you had a gas bubble that just wouldn't pass. And I can't believe it but I remember thinking then how glad I would be when you grew up and could fart on your own.

Careful what you wish for, right? Because I'm so. not ready for you to grow up yet. My heart still melts when you reach for my hand to steady you on your feet... but it seems even now - at just 12 months! - those moments are fewer and farther between. You want to do it on your own. You want to do everything on your own. You want to do everything that Mommy and Daddy do... but you certainly don't want, or need, our help.

Walking, sitting on your own chair, brushing your hair... even feedings!... those have all been taken over by you. We are not allowed to cut up your food for you anymore. You will take the banana whole, thankyouverymuch. And that grilled cheese I made the other day... the one that I gave you half and cut up into small pieces for you and then attempted to eat the other half? You'll have my half, thankyouverymuch. And don't ever pull that crap again, okay Mommy?

We've had to actually buy you your own spoon and fork. Not that you're actually able to use either of them much. You do enjoy holding the fork while you hand feed yourself, though. And you'll dip the spoon into applesauce and then attempt to lick it off. And all of this pleases you very much. So much so that you lift both arms up in victory... and then place both of your (usually food covered) hands on top of your head and proceed to wear whatever is left of your food. Which makes for really fun cleanups.

Also, just in time for your birthday? Your first molar!!! Or, as Daddy and I like to call it: THE RUINER OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD. Let's just say that your first molar breaking through isn't going all that well. It makes you wake up early and walk around the house groaning and crying. Nothing we've tried, short of Tylenol, seems to help much at all. So we just have to listen to the constant cries of pain that cannot be soothed. And keep repeating our mantra: This Too Shall Pass. IT MUST.

I think you're coming out of the worst of it, though. The other day we actually saw a smile. One that had been missing for the last few days. So that was nice. I tried to capture it on camera, so I could look at it to remind myself that the monster living with me right now is only temporary and my darling angel is still in there, somewhere... lurking.... but, you know how you are with photographs. YOU HAVE NO TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHS WHEN THERE ARE THINGS TO GET INTO AND BREAK!

You absolutely love your newfound mobility and have this fun little habit of taking off whether or not Mommy wants you to. And you seem to make it a specific point NOT to follow Mommy and Daddy or go where they want you to. Mommy and Daddy are there on the left? RIGHT TURN IT IS!

You've also discovered the joys of swings and if we let you, would probably spend the rest of your life in one.

You have also discovered ducks. We made a trip to Dinosaur Park a few weeks ago where you got to feed them and were absolutely amazed by them.

Feeling inspired, the next day we took you to Beus Pond... which absolutely blew your mind. The sheer number of ducks and geese were enough to blow MY mind. And when the geese started to get a little fussy because of a dog that was being walked nearby, and they started to run towards you (as you were standing on the path to the water)... well, you didn't even flinch. Mommy flinched enough for you. Of course, Mommy's beaten up a few geese in her day so it was no big deal. Canada Geese are nothing compared to a Mommy in protection mode. Much less, a pregnant Mommy in protection mode.

Last week, we dressed you up in your Halloween costume and took you to the Nature Center for their Halloween celebration. We were kind of rolling the dice with you, since you usually melt down around 7 each night, but we felt that it would be worth the risk. And OH. BOY. Was it ever! At the Nature Center, you discovered leaves. LEAVES!!!

I mean, it's not like we have trees and stuff in our backyard, right? The Nature Center leaves are THE BEST. And when we took you away from your beloved leaves, well, I thought the world might just end right there.

We ran into some friends from college that had a little girl just a few months older than you. Not that you really noticed since she pretty much stood still next to her mommy.... while you practiced "running" down the road. You know... where all sorts of wild animals are. And a significant drop-off into a ditch. Luckily, Daddy was there to save the day, pick you up, turn you around so that you could run back the other direction. Meanwhile, the 15-month old that I just mentioned? Stood there watching. Pretty sure I only saw her blink once. And I still gotta find out from her Mommy: WHAT MEDICATION DO YOU HAVE HER ON... AND WHERE CAN I GET MY HANDS ON SOME?

Yes, yes... you're a bit of a Hazel Tornado these days... which makes it awfully hard to get a good picture of you, so I just have to wait and take one when you've fallen down.

Ain't nothin' containing you. I think we'll take you up to the football field this weekend and just set you loose. I'll watch from the stands. I remember laughing at one of my girlfriends from college that I played basketball with. She had a little boy who would seriously run laps around the track and never tire. And I kept thinking: "Yep... That's definitely YOUR kid." Because she seemed to believe that she was never that hyper as a child. And I tried to remind her that she WAS that hyper as a 20-year-old. And yet here I am. I KNOW I was never this active... no matter how many times people remind me that I was a total tomboy. I distinctly remember never liking to get my hands dirty... whereas you routinely like to play in the dirt and rub it all over your head.

Yep. You're clearly your father's child.

Yesterday, you had your one-year immunizations. And that was fun. Really. Like shove bamboo sticks through your eyeballs fun. You had a pretty rough day after that. But guess what? This morning... SOMEONE SLEPT UNTIL 7!! You haven't slept until 7 in weeks! And you woke up happy... just like the little girl we remember from the summer! You have no idea what that does for Mommy and Daddy's psyche, baby girl. And if it weren't for an unfortunately head-first tumble in to the bar stool this morning, we would have had a tear free morning for the first time since your molar started coming in.

You've turned into quite the little girl, Hazey. You're no longer our baby... and that makes me sad. Every day I see something new in your development and I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing by having you in day care while I work. I love day care. You REALLY love day care. You get to play with your friends all day, every day. You even get excited in the mornings when I put on your socks, shoes and jacket because you know that means that pretty soon you get to see your people. When we finally get there, I put you down in the lobby to check you in and then you lead me through two rooms to get to your room... where I open the door and everyone goes: YAY!! Hazel's here! I'm not even kidding you. That's the greeting you get. My hope is that you get that kind of greeting for the rest of your life whenever you enter a room.

And then... well, then you turn around and start to explore the other room instead of walking into your room. You never get upset when I drop you off, unless you're sick and just want to be cuddled. And the socialization you get in that place simply cannot be replicated if I were a stay-at-homer. But sometimes... sometimes I wish that I was a stay-at-homer. Just so I got to be the one to frost cookies with you for the first time. So that I got to be the one to teach you to dance to Thriller. So that I got to be the one to finger paint with you for the first time. So that I got to be the one to teach you how to crawl down the stairs the right way, or to teach you how to play nicely with others. Two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening plus the weekends... well, they really don't add up to much, you know?

But then again... I seriously might go crazy if I stayed at home. So, there you have it.

Ah... motherhood. A never-ending trip of utter, soul-consuming guilt. I can't believe that I waited until I was 33 to try it.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Bump Watch Weeks 21 and 22

Dear Squirt,
I know, I know... late. AGAIN. Geez, Mommy. Get it together, already!

Yet again, I find myself apologizing for failing to update you on your (my) progression in these months of you growing inside me. I would take full responsibility for it... or try to throw your sister under the bus by proclaiming that running around after a toddler who has learned to walk and continually fall directly on her face is exhausting.

But, no... I think the blame for this whole thing lies with... YOU. Holy cow, Squirt! Have you ever worn me out these last few weeks. I'm exhausted when I go to bed. I sleep like the dead. And then wake up just as exhausted! I don't recall having this level of fatigue in the second trimester with your sister, so it's gotta be something you're doing. Like, I dunno... stealing all my energy and my mojo, perhaps?

I guess, though, to be fair I should at least attempt to update you on the events of the last few weeks so that when you're old enough to read and experience sibling rivalry over the number of posts generated during my first pregnancy and compare it to the second... well, then you and your sister will actually have something to fight over, right?

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the doctor and had our ultrasound to make sure everything is okay in that little tiny space you call home. And, of course, since we have absolutely no patience and like to plan ahead, we found out that you are a GIRL!!! Holy crap! Another girl! We are so excited!

Your Daddy is proud as a peacock and can't wait to be "That Guy." You know, the guy outnumbered 3-to-1 (actually 4-to-1 if you count the cat) by females in the house. He's also looking forward to buying another gun... one for when Hazel starts dating, and the other for when you start dating. It surely didn't help matters when I reminded him that the first guy I dated, I ended up marrying. Of course, I was like 20 at the time...

Anyhoo, we got to see some great pics of you via the ultrasound. You're already so different from your sister. When she was in utero, she was positioned (for the most part) on her tummy, with her legs and arms curled up under her. Looking peaceful and calm. She looked like an Anne Geddes photo in black and white.

But you? You are flat on your back, with your legs and arms BEHIND your ears. I'm sorry... but this just CANNOT be comfortable. There's no way you're getting in rest that way. It looks neither peaceful nor calm. And Anne Geddes would be thrown in jail for posing a child that way.

We also got to see your beautiful little face. And I guess in a few months we'll know for sure, but I swear that you have lips. YES!! Lips! We could tell that Hazel didn't have lips at her ultrasound... further proof she was a Nadolski. But you? You've got my lips. In that, you know... you have lips.

We can't wait to see what other differences you have. When your sister came out, she looked like the perfect mix of Mommy and Daddy.... and I gotta think that you're going to be the same. Only with lips.

Besides being completely fatigued all the time and, yes, I will admit, falling asleep at my desk and drooling on the keyboard, I'm experiencing other pregnancy issues. Most notably, the pain in my back.

My doctor explained to me that the reason my back hurts so much now when it didn't hurt at all with the first pregnancy is that my abs never really had a chance to recover and strengthen before throwing myself onto this rollercoaster ride again. Which is why I was showing at 4 weeks. But, man... by about 2 p.m. every day, my back has thrown in the towel and has explained to me that it will see me tomorrow morning. Goodnight! Also, the fact that I seem to be carrying you very, VERY low... well, I'm no doctor but that can't be helping matters.

And, of course, by 7 p.m., it has threatened to fire me for crimes against the spine. The good news is that your Daddy feels bad for me and actually volunteers to give me a massage. And if that's not good enough, he sends me to a day spa the next day to get a real massage. Which is why at 12:30 today, you and I are gonna be in HEAVEN!

But honestly, if it weren't for the back pain, fatigue, incredible acid reflux and the fact that I feel like even my maternity pants are screaming in horror when I put them on every day, I would hardly know I was pregnant. Occasionally, I can feel little flutters from you and last night your Daddy was actually able to feel you kick. Or what I can only assume was a kick. And if that's true, then perhaps you've gotten out of your turtle-stuck-on-its-back pose? We can only hope.

21 weeks!

This picture was taken last week after your Daddy and I had our weekly Friday lunch date. You're going to grow up loving this river, Squirt. Trust me. We can barely keep your sister out of it. Of course, we can barely keep her out of the toilet these days. Do me a favor? When you're old enough, save your fascination with water for the bathtub or pool, mkay?


Monday, October 4, 2010

11-Month Update

(Written on Sept. 24, posted on Oct. 1... because I couldn't find the pictures I wanted!)

Dear Hazel-Basil,

This month has been full of excitement for you. We have had quite a few visitors come see you. Notice I didn't say us... this is because it's all about you these days. You finally got to meet your Uncle Vince and his daughter, Avery. Avery was pretty excited to meet you, since the two of you are the lone girls amongst all of the cousins. Keep that in mind in the coming years when we go to the family reunion at the beach. You two need to stick together!

Anyway, the two of you were adorable together. It was love at first sight. Avery was sooooo great with you and you were so excited to have another kid running around making noise in the house. It gives me hope for when Squirt comes along.

The following weekend, Uncle Bart came to visit with his son Matthew and your Aunt Natalie's son, Kyle. Oh. My. Goodness. All of this excitement was almost too much for you to bear! Both of your cousins are so pleased with you and I know that they're always going to look out for both you and Squirt. You're so lucky to have been born into such a great extended family.

After they left, and your Daddy and I failed miserably to entertain you with the same kind of excitement, Aunt KC came over and I've never seen you get so excited without peeing your pants. (Although, that last part is supposition... you probably DID, in fact, pee your pants... just cuz that's what you do!). Aunt KC crawled around the floor with you, chasing you, letting you chase her and then... well, then Mommy brought out the Choo-Choo train and made Aunt KC take you out on the sidewalk. From that point on, it was THE BEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD for you.

Ah, the Choo-Choo Train. Let me give you a little background about that little ditty. Last month when we visited Granny and Gramps up in Preston, you had a blast pushing around my old baby rocking chair. You pushed it and pushed it and pushed it. And laughed and laughed and laughed.

So, your father and I, being those parents who will do ANYTHING to hear you laugh again and will spend their last dollar on a toy that you like, rather than the toilet paper we so DESPERATELY need, immediately went to Target and picked out a Winni The Pooh Choo-Choo Train that you can either push or ride.

And, let me just state for the record what a HUGE mistake THAT was. Because while you love to push the train around, you don't quite yet understand the laws of permanency (i.e.: walls, fridge, sofa). And when you run your train into the wall, you scream holy terror for someone to please, MOVE THE WALL! I'M ONLY TRYING TO WALK HERE!

So, yea... we're banking on you learning how to actually steer the train sometime in the next few months because when that train is out, ain't NOTHING getting done in the house. That's why, when Aunt KC comes over, she is instructed to take you outside and let you push the train to your hearts content. And then when your legs finally get tired, you can ride the train the rest of the way.

It makes you happy because it's awesome.

It makes me happy because I can actually cook supper.

And it makes Aunt KC happy because she's counting that as her workout for the day. So it's aces all around.

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to the world of peas. And things have never been the same. My goodness, baby girl... do you. love. peas. I just pour them on your tray, and it's like Christmas in September. We call it the scoop and score because you grab them - sometimes a handful at a time, sometimes one at a time, depending on how dainty you're feeling that day - and shove them down your gullet in no time at all. And things only got better when we sliced up some watermelon and put it next to the peas. You couldn't decide which one to eat. Ultimately, the watermelon won out. Which makes sense since I pretty much lived on watermelon when you were just a twinkle in your dad's eye... and an elbow in my bladder.

And adding the peas to your diet has really made my life easier because I just couldn't find a green veggie that you would tolerate and I was stuck trying to sneak in chopped up broccoli in your spaghetti. And, I'm sorry... BUT THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT.

You know what else isn't right? The fact that my sweet, precious, darling baby girl is starting to throw fits. Like full-on, throw herself face-first into the floor when she doesn't get her way... or when Mommy's had enough of the train and takes it away... FITS. And I've heard this stage lasts a while. Fantastic.

My biggest concern with these fits? That you'll chip a tooth on the floor when you hit it. Sersly... you've got 4 on top and 4 on bottom now. A full mouth! And I just know that one of these days, that headbutt to the floor is really gonna cause some problems and I'm gonna have a snaggle-toothed baby until your real teeth come in... in about 5 years. FABULOUS. The fact of the matter is that I'm just not ready to go dentist shopping for you. So, if you could hold off on leading with your face during your tantrums, that would be spectacular. Really.

Besides throwing the fits, you're also a big fan of snuggling. Man, do you like to snuggle with both Mommy and Daddy. Especially in the mornings when you've just woke up. You're a big snuggle bunny then. It takes about 5 minutes for you to really come out of your grogginess and then it's game time.

Speaking of the mornings, when it's just you and me getting ready for work and school, you make it a point to be in whatever room I'm in. And when you locate me, you squeal in happiness and then proceed to see what you can do to "help". If I'm in your room trying to pick out an outfit for you, you make sure that you pull out every single article of clothing and throw it on the ground. You know... to help.

If I'm in the bathroom, you make sure you open all of the cabinet doors and attempt to eat the AJAX while I'm drying my hair. Because Mommy and Daddy haven't yet gotten around to baby-proofing the bathroom. So then Mommy has to hold the doors shut with her knees while she applies her makeup. And that's fun. Yep... you're great and locating and accessing the most vulnerable area of any room. Very helpful.

And when I'm making breakfast, you find it most reasonable to be underfoot because if you're under my foot, then you know exactly where I am, don't you? AND THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF YOUR EXISTENCE, IS IT NOT?

I think the other point of your existence is to make sure that changing your diaper and your clothes be like shoving a badger into a picnic basket. Seriously, baby girl... you. are. impossible. If you're not wriggling out of position, then you're screaming bloody murder. With your screams, one might wonder if your PJ's are, in fact, made of acid. It's THAT bad. I don't even try to put you on the changing table anymore because I'm not sure I can keep you from falling on your face from 3 feet up. So, we do most changes on the ground... and hope that no poopy's fall onto the floor. I could really get over this stage quickly... but it's been going on for a few months now with no end in sight. Heaven help us.

This month, you also got to go to your very first football game. You were enthralled by it all and we can't wait to take you to the next one. You loved all of the action and seeing all the people and kids at the game. You especially love the band and got really excited every time it started to play. You were a total rockstar and stayed awake and pleasant the whole time we were there until we left midway through the 3rd quarter because it was already 45 minutes past your bedtime. I suspect that you're a bit of a social butterfly. Who knew?

(Side note: Holy blond hair! Where did THAT come from?)

And I absolutely cannot forget to mention the swing. Oh... how you LURVE the swing. You like to get pushed up as high as possible and then just swing until you stop. At which point, we must start the whole process over again. You also like to throw your woobie down on the ground and then try to look at it from the swing as if to say: "Hey! Get back up here!" Yep. Cause and effect is big time in your world right now.

And the horror that comes with LEAVING THE SWING? Unforgivable. Unless there are goldfish involved. In that case, all is forgiven. I seriously can't believe we didn't have this all summer... such rookie parents we are.

You'll learn that as you get older, Hazey. Your Daddy and I? We have NO clue. And we're just trying to figure things out day-by-day with you. And once we've finally got a handle on whatever new thing you've got going on... well, then you go ahead and throw another curveball at us. And we're not quick learners like you.. our brains take a while to wrap around an idea and come up with a plan. I can only ask you now that you don't hold this against us too much when you're old enough to understand just how clueless Mommy and Daddy really are.


PS - The fact that you're almost a year old now? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?

Monday, September 20, 2010

18 Weeks? 18 WEEKS??

Dear Squirt,
Forgive me for not writing sooner. There's much to be said about the differences between a first pregnancy and a second pregnancy. Especially those pregnancies that are less than a year apart. With your sister, Hazel, I had plenty of time to document and yes... wallow... in every aspect of the pregnancy. I could write about how the smell of canned corn made me want to throw the can at your Daddy's head. I could talk in detail about every detectable feeling of nausea and every time I felt a tiny movement inside my ever-expanding waistline. I talked in great length about my cravings of hard-boiled eggs, watermelon and orange juice.

But with this pregnancy? With you? I've been more than slightly remiss in documenting. But I have two good reasons.

1 - Your sister doesn't leave me a whole lot of time for pondering all of the wonders that is the pregnancy. I don't get the luxury of falling asleep at any time, in any place. Or being nauseous and not wanting to even think about food. When I come home from work, my day isn't even close to being over, as it was during the first pregnancy. In short, I don't really get to wallow in this pregnancy. Because the minute I do, your sister will be in the bathroom cabinet (that has not yet been baby-proofed) eating the AJAX.

And I guess that somehow you know this? Because...

2 - Were it not for the fact that I've seen several sonograms and heard your heartbeat repeatedly at said sonograms... and were it not for the fact that I started showing at like 4 weeks? I would NEVER know I was pregnant. No cravings. No super sniffer that's requiring the ban of certain foods or household pets in my vicinity. However, I will say that for the first trimester, I had an overall feeling of nausea just kind of lurking below the surface pretty much the entire time. Nothing that would prevent me from eating or anything (my waistline thus far can attest to this) but always there... lingering. It doesn't help that midway through the first trimester the whole house went through a bit of the stomach flu. Keep in mind, Squirt, that it takes a special something to get your Mommy to actually toss her cookies. And usually that something lands her in the hospital for three days. So when my turn with the stomach flu came through, I fought it. And fought it. And fought it.

And failed miserably. But, at least I got it out of my system. And I feel like I can still declare that I have never thrown up due to a pregnancy.

But, I digress. To put it more fairly, this pregnancy is completely different from the first one. I guess that's the most notable part of carrying you, so far. It makes me wonder every day what you're going to be like and how you're going to be different from your sister.

I suspect that you, my dear, are going to be a pretty laid-back little baby. But I also predict that of our little family, you're going to be the Tender Heart. Your sister... she's the Playful Heart. I can say this because while she caused me a ton of heartburn (of which you've completely skipped thus far... preferring to go straight to the acid reflux, thankyouverymuch), you've actually caused me a lot of absolutely unnecessary tearing up. Over anything and everything. And sometimes these random tearing up leads to full on bawlfests... for NO. GOOD. REASON.

It doesn't matter if it's a commercial about coffee, adopting a dog from the shelter, or a good price on milk. It's beginning to get a bit ridiculous. As evidenced by my emotional breakdown at the airport last week. I missed a connecting flight from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Entirely not my fault... other than the fact that I elected to go with US Airways initially and SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER.

Anyway... it's not like I've never missed a flight. And it's not like it was a big deal. It really wasn't.

Except... except when I went to the ticket counter to get rescheduled on the next flight I broke down and sobbed. SOBBED, I tell you. I had just run a full-out sprint (as much as I could, in fact, sprint) from Terminal A to Terminal B. And something about my adrenaline spiking at perhaps the same time as my hormones? Well... this is all supposition, but there was SOMETHING going on there. And the result was your Mommy blubbering like a 10-month old and trying to explain to the agent that "Really... I'm fine. Just need a moment. I'm not even upset." And yet, these words are pretty much meaningless when mascara is running down your face and snot is leaking out of your nose and you just can't seem to get control of your affect so that it actually matches what you're feeling and trying to express to those innocent souls around you who have suddenly found themselves trying to calm a hysterical pregnant woman... who knows there's no reason for the hysteria and yet, can't. stop. crying.

The good news, I suppose, is that the agent felt bad for me and I scored a free water and an exit row seat on my next flight. I'm not sure if it was the emotional breakdown (which, btw... everyone in line stared. yes. they. did.) or the fact that I told her I was 4 months pregnant with a 10 month old at home and she figured I needed something to help me cope!

So, yes... right now I'm currently riding a tide of tender emotions... all of which I'm blaming you for. And I can't wait to see if my prediction is correct. And I really hope that once you come to join us, this doesn't mean that you're going to be crying more than your sister did the first month of her life... because honestly, I'm not sure that's even possible.

Ogden River @ 18 weeks!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Food Fight

Dear Hazel,
I wonder... if we just put spaghetti sauce on all the foods we try to trick you in to eating... vile stuff like chicken, eggs or strawberries... would you at least give it a try before spitting it out of your mouth, deeming it unworthy of your royal tastebuds and banishing it from your sight while expressly forbidding anything other than spaghetti and bananas from coming near you ever again?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 Month Update

Dear Hazel,
What an AMAZING month for you! And not just because we've gone exactly seven weeks without visiting the doctor for anything other than a Well-Child Check-Up or getting your tubes in your ears. Which, by the way, I believe is a reason behind your AMAZING month.

A couple of weeks ago, we took you to the McKay Dee Surgical Center where I was going to voluntarily let them cut holes in your ears in the hopes that it would help with the amount of ear infections you get, as well as help with your hearing. The entire procedure took less than 7 minutes... but that little piece of trivia didn't make me feel better as the anesthesiologist (who looked like Santa... and I think is what makes him so good as his job) walked with you down the hall as you played with his beard. Just knowing that I wasn't going to be there to hold you when you got scared sucked the life right out of me.

But, yep... 7 minutes later, the doctor came in and told us the surgery went well and that when he'd made the incision in your ear drum, it had retracted due to all the pressure in it. So, even if we were still questionable on whether or not we really needed to put tubes in due to the infections, the pressure was an issue and should help you start to talk more, and probably help with sleeping and balance.

When I was able to hold you again, you were crying from the anesthesia but as soon as you were in my arms, you got on your thumby and were okay. In fact, we ended up taking you to day care later that day and you had a great day there, too!

Since the tubes went in, you've been even happier (if that's even possible!) and like to babble a lot. We've also noticed that you're sleeping better at night. This may be because of the tubes... or it might be because we got tired of having to go in every night to pat your back three or four times a night/morning. It was getting old. And after we went on a walk around the neighborhood one night and ran into some friends who told us that A) they rocked their babies to sleep for FAR TOO LONG and it bit them in the butt later and B) they never let their babies cry-it-out and it, too, bit them in the butt later... well, your Daddy decided that we weren't going to have that issue and that we would let you cry-it-out that very night. I highlight that this was your Daddy's idea only to garner more favor with you when you're old enough to read this. Although... truth be told, your Daddy's strength saved my sanity because after 6 minutes of crying and six minutes of me shooting eye-daggers at your Daddy for said strength? SILENCE.




And that silence? Extended until 7:30 the following morning. And the next night... when you cried for 8 minutes and then slept until 8:30? And the following night when you cried for 6 minutes and slept until 7:30 again?

You're Daddy deserves a very large piece of cheese for that brilliant move.

And, believe it or not... that's all it took. Three nights of crying it out. Voila. A whole. New. Baby. And now we let you cry it out in the afternoon and you'll throw down a three-hour nap. This? THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED. You haven't had three-hour naps since you were 2 months old. You may be consolidating your naps into one big one, as well. Which is nice.

Anyway, we are now full believers in putting you in the crib awake and letting you cry for a few minutes. In fact, now you don't even cry. You just lay there, jump on your thumb and it's "See ya in the morning, Pops!" And in the morning? On the days where I don't actually have to go in and wake you up at 8 a.m. because I have to go to work? You don't even cry to let me know you're awake and it's time to eat. You just babble to yourself and lay in the bed while you wait for me to come get you. Or, you stand up, reach over the railing of the crib and start throwing books on the floor so that it makes noise. You love doing that.

And all of this has somehow got to have an influence on your mood because I didn't think you could get happier... but HOLY COW you're one happy pooper. You're all smiles when you wake up. And you're usually all smiles when you go to bed. Happy. Pooper. That's you.

You're also really into pointing. Pointing at Mommy. Pointing at Daddy. Really... pointing at just whoever isn't holding you at the time. You also like to point at the kitty when I feed her in the morning. I'm convinced your first word is going to be "kitty" because you sit and point as Nytro eats and I keep repeating "kitty" to you. This is after you've gone through your "OMG! SCREECH!! THERE'S A KITTY! SCREECH!" routine when you first see the kitty as we walk out the door to go to school.

This month, you've also started making a face. Or rather, The Face. Because of The Face, we've had to add a new phrase to our vocabulary... and the vocabulary of the free world: Sqwunched up. That's pretty much The Face. Sadly, I must report that The Face? Not the cutest thing I've ever seen. I mean... when you're smiling, sure. Cute. When you're not? When you're just looking at something or someone and possibly trying to figure out quadratic equations in your head at the same time? Not. So. Much.

Apparently, your Daddy used to make this face when he was young as well. I'm not exactly sure how to change this behavior... short of showing it to you in the mirror next time you do it and then shielding you from the glass when it shatters. Because, sweetie pie, I can guarantee that if you knew what you looked like doing it? CURED.

Since you've been crawling for over a month, you've gotten noticeably faster. And often in the mornings, you and I have a race to see if I can get the dishes loaded before you make it into dishwasher from the living room.

I have yet to win that race.

Into the dishwasher, Mom? Yep. You're a bit of a climber these days. You'll climb on anything. You prefer climbing on Mommy and Daddy, but an open dishwasher door will do. You love the slide in the backyard and apparently at daycare the other day, you climbed up the slide on your own. You. The girl who can't yet walk.... climbed up a slide. And again... you're your mother's daughter. Or have I not told you that my parents had to build a 5 foot fence on the farm to keep me inside the yard? Yea... I can see that you're on the same trajectory. We're totally screwed.

You also like to sit under the kitchen chairs and move them around. This is, of course, once you've gotten tired of banging on the pots and pans in the kitchen and after you've thrown the wire whisk (a.k.a.: your BFF) across the room and the empty 2-liter bottle of Coke has bored you to death. It truly doesn't matter what toys we spend our money on for you. You much prefer items that are not intended to be toys. Like the cable bill, the pots, the dishrag hanging on the oven door, the oven door, the spatulas, Mommy's ankle braces, Mommy's water bottle and anything you can get your hands on in the fridge (*cough*Daddy'sBudLightLimes*cough*)

But, for sure... your favorite "toy" is the little piece of paper that daycare gives me when each day that details what time you ate, what time you napped and your disposition for the day. If you don't get that paper within .2 seconds of me getting it - whether or not I've had time to read it - HEADS. WILL. ROLL. You hold that thing in your hand all the way home. And if you happen to fall asleep with it? Don't even think about trying to remove it from your clenched little fist. In fact, the only thing we can do is hope that we can distract you with the wire whisk or a Goldfish cracker so that you'll let your guard down and we can sneak it away from you.

This is not to say that your love affair with paper doesn't have a useful purpose. Changing your diapers these days is like trying to shove an octopus into a wet paper bag and usually ends up in tears. Your tears. My tears. Daddy's tears. But sometimes? When we think of it and give you a piece of paper during the diaper change? ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD AGAIN AND MOMMY ISN'T A FUMBLING IDIOT TRYING TO PUT A DIAPER ON A GREASED PIGLET.

Speaking of a piglet... you're quite the eater these days. I'll say it... sometimes you're kinda picky. Sometimes you like strawberries. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you like blueberries. Sometimes you don't. But you always, always, ALWAYS like bananas. And spaghetti. And Goldfish.

We're having to sneak in green veggies with the spaghetti and that's sad because you used to just eat whatever we happened to throw in your mouth. You still do at daycare apparently. For the love... you actually ate a hotdog at daycare last week.

Um... gross. You were neither camping nor at a baseball game... which is the only time hotdogs should be consumed. But, apparently, whatever the ladies at daycare give you, you're cool with. But Mommy is only allowed to feed you spaghetti, bananas and applesauce. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. And sometimes in the mornings.

Daycare has been fun for you this month, too. Since you're one of the oldest and definitely the biggest, you have gained a reputation for stealing binkies out of the mouths of the little ones. Not that you like binkies. And not that I've been able to get you to take a binkie since you discovered the wonder that is your tongue and your hands. But for some reason, you're just not down with the binkie babies in daycare. Bully. You're THAT kid. You're also one of the happiest ones in the room. Every time I come to pick you up, you're playing and as soon as you see me or hear my voice, you start motoring over to me, happily squealing as if to say: "YAY!! You're finally here! I've been waiting for you all day so I can have my piece of paper!"

You're a big fan of playing with my hair. And playing, to you, means a lot of pulling it out by the roots. You spend a lot of time doing that. And a lot of time talking to yourself while you do that. And sometimes you dance a little while talking to yourself and pulling it out by the root. Sometimes, the only thing that can distract you is if Daddy starts the toy that sings the ABC's to you... that gets you to let go of my hair, crawl over to the toy and sing and dance to the ABC's.

You're also really good at playing ball. You like to throw the ball to one of us and then clap in delight. Because you're really proud of yourself. You are proud of yourself a lot, these days. You're starting to stand up unassisted and are so excited when you do that you forget that you need your legs to balance you and then you go right back down. But I gotta hand it to you, you're tenacious. You get right back up and try again. Makes me tired just watching you!

Last week, we borrowed a tag-a-long for the bikes from some friends and you had your very first ride with Daddy while I went to Book Club. The result? You were asleep within minutes. The next ride, though, you thoroughly enjoyed it and giggled most of the time.

We also went swimming with you this weekend and you loved the water. Loved it so much that you kept shoving your face in it and you would come up sputtering as if to say: WTF was that?

Since you're getting a little older, you're starting to get more frustrated and go into meltdown mode when you don't get what you want. Usually, this means that it's bedtime and heaven help the parents who had not prepared for this occurrence ahead of time and didn't have you in your PJ's yet. Because it will take two grown, college-educated adults to get you into said PJ's. And may possibly leave you scarred for life.

We know that it left scars on our arms and our corneas.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mother Of The Year

Dear Vomit-Machine,

(Or should we call you Poop Bucket?)

So... guess who got a touch of the stomach flu this weekend? That was fun.

Actually, to be completely honest, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Considering that you and I left Daddy at home for the weekend so that we could drive up to the farm to see Grandma and Grandpa and I could go to my 15-year reunion before you and I drove back down to Provo to go to a reception... which made the weekend really, REALLY long.

And considering that you had projectile vomit Friday night at the farm.... (We can only thank our stars that we were outside on the grass, which made for an easy clean up!) But, being the Mother of the Year, I figured it was a one-time occurance and shouldn't be a problem for the rest of the trip. That night, when I woke to the smell of rancid diharrea and had to wrangle you while you were still asleep so that I could change one of the most toxic diapers I've ever seen, I figured that you'd probably got the last of the evil out of your system.


And considering that during the trip, I ended up with a broken down car that left me having to borrow Grandpa and Grandma's car to make the trip to Provo... and considering that apparently my prego brain is working overtime right now and I managed to run out of gas.....

On the freeway.

In the rain.

Because I tried to make it from Preston to Provo on a 1/2 tank of gas.

Cuz your Mommy's a rock star that way.

I mean, really... WHO RUNS OUT OF GAS. More specifically, who hears a beeping noise, wonders what it is, then assumes that it must just be a malfunctioning seat belt alarm AND CONTINUES TO DRIVE?

Also, considering that once I was able to cross FOUR lanes of traffic with my hazards flashing as the tires slowed down their rotation and was able to make it to the last exit ramp for a few miles, I discovered that you had a nasty case of the trots... and you had leaked that all over your car seat.....

And, considering that any number of weirdos could have stopped to offer "help", we ended up being helped by a nice man and woman in University of Utah shirts who got me some gas. In the rain, mind you... and refused to take any money? Seriously. I swear it's gotta be your cute little face that did it. Me alone? I would have been hoofing it to get the gas for sure....

And, considering that you had a pretty tough night that night in the hotel room and threw up all over your bed and spent the night in bed with me... which meant that Mommy slept zip, zilch, nada... because you're such a squirmer when you sleep that I was worried if I didn't stay awake (or at least partly awake) you'd squirm right over the edge....

And, not that THAT would have really made a difference because the following day when you and I finally made it home and you had yet ANOTHER runny diaper and you somehow managed to stick your foot in the poop... I broke a cardinal rule and while I was putting the diaper in the bucket, didn't have my hand on you. And the next thing I know, I felt like something wasn't right in the atmosphere and turned just in time to see you land on the floor after rolling off the table.

And one of my nightmares just came true. AWESOME.

Yep... that's me, Mother of the Year.

Luckily, you weren't hurt. Just scared. Nothing a little snuggling couldn't fix. And, hey... if that snuggling turns into an hour nap for you and me? I'M NOT COMPLAINING.

When Daddy finally got home from his volunteer activities that day, I asked if he could watch you while I took a nap. A THREE. HOUR. NAP.

But, it turns out that I wasn't the only one who needed one because when I got up? Guess who ELSE had been asleep for three hours? Apparently, the weekend had taken a toll on you, too.

But it sure was fun. In fact, we took some pics to document the fun-age.

You got to help feed 17 geese. Seriously, 17 geese?
Grandma and Grandpa need a new hobby.

And you got to take your first ride with Grandpa on the four-wheeler.

You got to rock in Mommy's old rocking chair from when
she was your age...
or maybe a bit older. Same size, though!

You got to hang out (and throw up) in Grandma and Grandpa's awesome yard.

You got to meet your cousin Grayson... who, I think might
have been a little taken aback by the tornado that is Hazel.

And you went to your first luau in your very own mumu, thanks to Aunt Carol.

Yep... it was quite the event filled weekend.

The next morning, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to figure out a way to withdraw my nomination for Mother of the Year. I got up before you, got showered, dressed and ate breakfast all before you woke up. Then, I got you changed and fed and we had a little snuggle time before it was time to go to school.

School. There's something about that word that I think makes you nauseous because when I asked you if you were ready for school? Up came EVERYTHING you'd eaten that morning and the night before. And it kept coming. And coming. And COMING. You even buried your face in my chest as it came, which meant that it was all over your face, in your eyes, in your ears.

I gotta tell you... I wasn't really sure how exactly to clean up the mess. You were covered. I was covered. The couch was covered. So, we took a trip to the shower and decided that today, you and I would be staying home.

I think, though... getting that last throw-up out of the way really made you feel better because you've been fine ever since. Sure, sure... right now, all you really want is the bottle and have declared a moratorium on anything resembling solid foods unless it's a banana, but I'm hopeful that once your tummy starts feeling better, that will change. The good news is that I think that the yogurt I've been sneaking into your bottle is helping with your tummy... something about the probiotics calming it down? At least, that's what the doc recommended. But, he also said that you're not the hugest baby he's ever seen... so it's possible he's crazy.

In other news, you go in for your ear tubes on Monday. I don't know whether to be excited or scared for you.

Excited because, YAY! No more ear infections we have to treat with antibiotics!


I think this is our best option as the ENT said that you're hearing is a bit compromised now and that you're ripe for another ear infection given the fluid in your ears. I wonder if they'll let me be in the room with you when they put you under?

I'll let you know how it goes. Although, if you're actually reading this when you're older, you probably already know by now!