Thursday, June 25, 2009

The key to Popsicles...

I know you've all been dying to know the trick to toddlers and Popsicles... we'll, Ada and I figured it out.


That's it. A one-and-a-half-year-old just can't do the whole pushing up of the Popsicle in the plastic sleeve and her little hands get too cold and she whines and then drops it and it breaks into pieces and you have to start all over. It just isn't worth it. Too many tears involved and eating a Popsicle should be fun. Delightful even.

Moral of the story: Never overlook the value of the stick.

Will you just Pee already!

You know how, when something big happens or someone famous dies, everyone runs around years later saying "I remember exactly what I was doing when...". My parents have told me about when JFK was shot. I remember where I was when I found out about Princess Diana, the first plane hitting the twin towers. Big stuff like that.

I found myself today, sitting in the Doctoress' office with Ada, after waiting 1.5 hours for her to pee into a little baggie they sticker to her butt to catch a sample, and thinking that that will be the story I tell of when I found out Michael Jackson died. Yep. That will be my memory.

"Well Ada, when you were 1.5 years old, I took you to the Doctoress because you had been running a 'low-grade' fever for three days and I thought it was teething but wanted to be sure. The nurse taped some little baggie into your diaper and I tried to get you to pee for AN HOUR AND A HALF. I tried to feed you goldfish crackers. I tried to give you water. I ran your hands under warm water at the sink. We walked around the Doctoress' office. I pushed on what I thought might be your bladder. I sang to you, rocked you, spun you on the chair in her office. I tried everything. It was awful. You were fussy and screaming. Hungry. Tired. In pain from your molars coming in and all of a sudden, your daddy sent me a text message -- remember when we used to text message Rick? -- and it said "Michael Jackson died." And I replied "Farrah Faucet did too." She was one of the original Charlie's Angels but that was before my time (but not your grandma's-they all tried to have her hairstyle at their weddings--kinda like my generation and 'the Rachel'--Jennifer Aniston's haircut-- from the show Friends).

Never did get that pee sample. But there is always tomorrow.

In memory of Michael, I'll try to get some video of Ada doing her backward foot shuffle which I have lovingly dubbed the "moonwalk". He might have been weird and disturbed, but he made some really great music. And Farrah had great hair.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Wet, Bump-filled Day

It all started with a crappy night's sleep due to rolling thunderstorms all night long. Then it progressed into a nasty wet morning filled with storms stretching to Elgin. And now, it's just one giant, humid, armpit of a day.

Our neighbors next door, who happen to be some of the greatest people on the planet, are moving. I'm crushed of course because they are the one's with baby Eva who is 10 days younger than Ada. We've shared a lot of stories and tears and frustrations over this past year and a half. Colette has saved my butt more times than I can count by relieving a sick nanny or filing in the gaps when a sitter had to leave or didn't show. She's been my go-to momma and should seriously be considered for momma sainthood. Tomorrow is the big day. They are loading up the truck and moving to Seattle. Not like that's far. Just HALF WAY ACROSS THE FRIGGING COUNTRY. But at least now I suspect I'll get to see Seattle. Or somewhere else fun when they potentially move again in 2 years for her husband Rob's Super Fellowship. Silly Doctors. Have to go and do all that learning and stuff.

So today started similar to yesterday... with me desperately trying to figure out what I can do to help them out before they move so I can dig myself out of good-neighbor debt. Yesterday I got to return library books for her (easy since I had books to check out) and today I went to the bank to get cash and quarters(for us both) while she went to target to get diapers and wipes (for us both).

We started with a cash and check swap at the back door which turned into the first bump of the day-- and the worst in my opinion. As I was carrying Ada back inside from our back porch, I misjudged the step at the threshold and wiped out. I dropped Ada -- luckily it wasn't until we were only a foot from the floor that I let her go and she's used to falling-- and I took the brunt of it. Youch. I was trying to quick, run inside, grab my shoes so I could open and close the gate for Colette to get her car out of the back lot. Instead, I ended up falling through the back door, landing on my left hip/thigh and smashing the heck out of my left foot. I have a HUGE bruise on my hip now -- even after icing it for a half hour. It hasn't even started to turn purple yet because it is so deep. Yep. I'm in pain. And then there is my foot, which doesn't seem to be broken but is really made at me for being a clumsy idiot.

So I'm in pain, Ada's screaming, Colette's in the back parking lot loading Eva into the car and not sure what's going on up on my porch. I hobble outside with Ada --mostly so she'll stop crying as she loves to be outside -- and end up sitting on my new glidder on the porch and kicking up my foot to give it a rest. Colette's laughing at me (in a kind way) and taking photos with her camera phone. I didn't feel so bad not opening the gate for her since she got some form of amusement out of my pain. Now that I'm typing, I remember that I landed on my wrist too. That smarts.
Colette leaves, doing the gate by herself, and I round Ada up to get dressed and ready to venture out into the black sky crazy storm. Am I nuts?

Yesterday's task was a piece of cake. Today's, not so much. You see, even with my umbrella, rain coat, and golashes, I was no match for today's storm. We considered walking to the bank and then I realized just how dumb I was being and opted for the car. We got outside, got drenched, and of course, I had to re-adjust the straps to the car seat as my lower half is hanging outside the car, partially under the umbrella, in the biggest downpour of the year. We finally get settled and I drove to the grocery store down the street for bananas and stamps. We got wet going into the store, and even more wet getting out of the store.

Soaked, we drove to the bank. Got a loading zone parking spot. Unloaded in a major downpour and hustled into the bank. Got our cash and coins, made deposits. All of this while holding Ada because she wasn't in the mood to be down. Of course. How else do you make a hot, humid, and wet day worse? Run errands carrying a 30 lb child everywhere you go. It's fun. Really!

We step out of the bank and it is only drizzling now. We get to the car and Ada tries to run down the street. I grab her, pull her back to the car and stand her a bit too close to the door. As I click the unlock button and open the door, guess who gets bonked in the head with the car door and goes down like a rock into a standing puddle under her butt? Yep. Ada! Bump #2 of the day. Screaming, wet, into the car seat she goes. Lunch and naptime are fast approaching and she's communicating that very clearly. And by the time we got home, it was raining cats and dogs all over again. And BIG cats and dogs-- like Lions and German Shepards-- this time.

Finally we're home. We strip down, dry off and start over. Grab some lunch. Then she's due for a nap.

We rounded out the day with a packing party at Colette's with 2 other neighborhood moms and kiddos, and a few more bumps on Ada's body as she bounced off the packing boxes and fought over stuffed bunnies.

Let's just say, as much as I don't want tomorrow to come as it means Colette is really moving, I'm so happy to be done with today.

Moral of the story: If it's raining, roll over, have a nap party until the sun comes out and call it a day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

TGF Sign Language

I'd like to thank whomever invented sign language and whomever thought it would be a good idea to teach it to babies and toddlers. THANK YOU!

And to any of you parents that don't think it works or aren't sure that it is worthwhile, you're just being silly. It's the BEST BEST BEST LIFESAVER in the Universe when you are the mother of a child who's vocabulary is non-existent.

At a year and a half, Ada can already sign:
All done
Brush your teeth
and maybe a few more I can't remember off the top of my head.

That might not seem like a lot, but when you are communicating with someone who can't say any words, it's awesome, enlightening and worth every minute I spent learning and repeating the signs.

Not having been around many children or watching them grow up since I'm the youngest sibling and within a year of my cousins, I really don't know when to expect her to start talking like a little person does. I guess I just figured it would be at 8 months or something and she'd be quoting Shakespeare at her first birthday party. Obviously not. So this is working for me as a temporary band-aid. I hear that babies with older siblings start talking/walking/etc sooner because they are more motivated. I get that. And maybe that will be the case when we have another one and I won't be so desperate to translate what he/she needs. Hopefully experience with the first one will help reduce that learning curve too.

Until then, I'm happy that she is signing. I'm also glad to see that she waves bye-bye when people leave, is slowly mastering blowing kisses, and gives occasional high-fives. That's all BIG in my world.

I'm grateful for the things she is starting to say and the potential they hold: A-duh, Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Bubba, AHHHH! EKKK! and that's about it (unless you count panting at dogs and barking). I think she's starting to get it and I hear that once she does, we won't get her to shut-up ever again. But I've heard that extreme with each milestone and my kid just seems to be on the "slow and steady wins the race" track. She took her time learning to crawl, same with walking, still hasn't really started running -- walking fast or with spurts of energy-- and is still taking her time.

For all of that, I am thankful.

Moral of the story: Save even a tiny portion of your sanity by teaching your toddler to sign -- even if it is only More, All done, Milk, and Food, you'll be so happy you did and save so many unnecessary tears from being shed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pedicures all around...

The other day, I was sitting out on the back porch enjoying the nice summer weather when I decided my toes could use a new coat of polish. Easy enough. Except for one small detail.


She just can't sit back and watch me have all of the fun. So to save her from driving me nuts and throwing a tantrum in the backyard, in range of all of my neighbors' open windows, I gave in.
When forced to choose between not painting your toenails at all, painting them but getting nail polish all over your 1.5-year-old's little hands, or painting your toes and hers at the same time, I opted for the lesser of the evils. So here it is.
Ada's first pedicure.

Moral of the story: If you can't beat them (which is illegal and just wrong), include them. Maybe you'll get some cute toe nails out of the deal.

Getting Older...

So this past Tuesday was the big 3-0 for me. I'm starting a new decade. Crazy.

For my birthday, I asked for a full-length mirror. I'm too old to keep asking my husband if my outfit matches and saying "how does this look?" or "what about this?" whenever I have a wardrobe crisis--which is happening with increasing frequency these days.

Being the nice guy that he is, Rick took me on an adventure to Ikea to scope out mirrors. When we found one we wanted, we couldn't get it into the car with Ada and I still in it. So he went back a few days later and surprised me with it.

Holy big mirror.

Then we had to hang it. But first we had to find the drill's extra battery pack and charger so we could sink anchors big enough to hold this 42 pound beast on the wall. We turned the house upside down looking for this battery pack and charger. (This is my actual birthday we're doing this. How romantic and just what I always wanted!) Rick spent half an hour in the storage units downstairs looking for it. I went up to our neighbor's place and looked to see if we loaned it to her and forgot to get it back.
No where. Nada trace. Nothing. (If you're psychic powers can help, let me know because we still haven't found it.)

Then we borrowed our neighbor's drill and realized we didn't have anchors that would hold that much weight and would have to do the install the next day anyway.

Finally, we got the anchors installed, got the mirror on the wall, cleaned it up all nice and pretty. Rick spent 10 minutes working the streaks off the glass with a paper towel all meticulously. Perfect. We stood back and admired our handy work and the nice, new, enormous mirror.

I'm thinking... "So this is what I look like." It's a full scale version of me. Not just the top half that fits in the mirror above the sink. Not me standing on the tub, leaning against the opposite wall on an angle to see if my skirt looks okay. Not me kicking up my heels to see if my shoes match my outfit. Not me standing on the dining room chair to see what I look like in the mirror over the fireplace. And not me taking a photo of my skirt, shoes and legs to see if I can make an outfit work. But me. Just me. Just like I'm in a fitting room.

This is going to come in handy--until I forget it's there, drop my towel in the morning and scare the bejesus out of naked me with my naked reflection. I know that time will come...

Until then...

Well, let's just say we woke up this morning and who walks into our room but little miss Ada.

She looks at me. She looks at the mirror. Cool mom. Then she sees herself. Then she points to herself. Then she starts pounding on the mirror with open palms, giving herself high-fives and thinking she's on a play date with the world's coolest kid that just happens to look just like her and do exactly what she does. Neat.

Then it hits me (not literally -- Rick got anchors that will pin a horse to the wall).

We'll be cleaning it daily. It's going to turn into the never ending wall of fingerprints.

See what I mean... she's only known it was there for 12 hours...

But it does look nice. (minus the hand prints)

Thanks Ricky.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Hightlights

Ada peed on Rick while he was holding her in her bath towel after a much needed rinse in the shower upon returning from a day at the beach, which just so happens to be the worlds largest sandbox in which Ada learned that she doesn't, in fact, like to eat sand and when she does eat sand, she throws it up on the beach for all of the volleyball players to see.

That's it. That's all I've got. Hence the "highlights"... pee and vomit. What more could you ask for?