Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's In Dere, Mama? Guess!

And by guess, I mean say, "I don't know. What is in there?"

For the love of Gawd, don't actually say what's in there, even though it's the tenth time in a row that you've "guessed."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Grill Night

A pre-dinner latte.

Cooking: Chicken breasts, purple onions and homegrown tomatos, all with garlic-herb marinade

Eating dinner. She had some chicken (I think) and some corn that Mommy boiled in the kitchen while everything else was on teh grill.


Peeper had a smore-cooking playdate with her cousins at Eena and Papa's house on Saturday, and they sent her home with ingredients for two more. Peeper tells me that they were cooking them in the microwave (which probably means the stove) but there will be none of that for this old Camp Fire Girl. The whole reason I suggested we grill tonight was so that I'd have a fire for marshmallow roasting.

I actually only made the one smore, which I ate.

Peeper wasn't so impressed with the finished product, and Shrike isn't a big fan of marshmallows, so they just shared the other one "raw." Note the Hershey bar in one hand, and marshmallow in the other. Shrike ate the graham cracker.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ice Cream

After supper, and before the local anesthetic in my foot wore off, I suggested that since it was such a beautiful evening, we should take the doggies for a walk. Over to the ice cream joint, of course.

As I was scraping together enough change for a $4+ sundae, Shrike suggested that we walk a bit further to McDonald's and get something cheaper.

You know, I think Peeper enjoyed her $1.05 cone just as much.


This morning, Peeper was helping me to make some scrambled eggs and toast, sitting on the counter, playing with several breakable thigns that I'd rather she not be playing with, while I cooked.

As I was finishing up and buttering the toast, she tried to give me the empty sugar bowl, saying "Here, got some more butter for you, Mamaaaa!"

I went to take it, but we fumbled the hand off, and it plummeted, oh, maybe three inches, to the counter top and broke. She grabbed a big, broken piece, but I got it away from her and got her off the counter.

Shrike got her out of the room while I cleaned it up, and as I was finishing, I heard her saying "What's that on your face? Is it blood?! Oh, it's from your hand!"

Well, it turned out to be a tiny cut on her finger, which earned her another bandaid, so she wasn't too bothered by it.

This is the third time in her life (and the second time in a few weeks) that she's cut a finger, and I think she's yet to feel anything when it's happened.

Some day, it's actually going to hurt when she hurts herself and she's going to be quite surprised.

Her scrambled eggs were in the freezer cooling off when it happened, so I got her set up to eat, but I tossed my eggs and made new toast, out of an abundance of caution for flying shards of glass.

What I didn't do, however, was even think about the possibility of glass on the floor. Until I felt a piece go into my foot.

I had to walk several steps before I could sit down and check it out, and by the time I was able to look, I couldn't see the glass itself, but I wasn't sure if it was still somewhere in the floor, or still somewhere in my foot.

I called for Shrike, but she was in the bathroom, none to happy that I was interupting her (she had no idea what I'd done). Peeper tried to help, by calling "Mommy! Come fix Mama's toe!"

When she came out and saw what was going on, she was properly sympathetic and brought me the tweezers, and even offered to try to find the glass, but I wasn't about to let her touch it.

The cut was tiny, so my only concern was the possibility that the glass was still in it. I decided to just clean it up and wait to see if it got better or worse over the course of the day.

I took a nap, and it wasn't hurting at all while I was off of it, but when I got up and started walking on it, it was definitely worse than before, and with some steps there was a sharp pain, which made me more suspicious that there was still something in there.

I'd about decided to try calling for a doctor's appointment first thing in the morning, when Shrike suggested that I go to the new urgent care facility, which I'd heard pretty good things about.

By the time I got there and told my story, I was feeling pretty stupid about making such a big deal about it, but when the doctor took a look, using the big magnifying glass, she immediately said, "Oh yeah, there it is!"

What? I wasn't imagining it? I really do have something worthy of medical attention? Well, whaddya know about that.

She said that she'd try to get it out without hurting me too much, but if she couldn't get it, she'd have to numb it up. It didn't take long for both of us to realize that numbing was going to be necessary.

The shot itself hurt much worse than her preliminary poking, but I'm sure it wasn't as bad as what was required to actually get to the glass, so I guess it was the right way to go.

Once it was numb, and she could do God knows what to it (at that point, I was lying on my tummy and couldn't see what was going on) it only took a minute to get the glass out. She showed it to me, and from what I could tell with my old, farsighted eyes, it was tiny and definitely from the cobalt sugar bowl.

Then she put some antibiotic ointment on it and way more bandage that seemed necessary and sent me on my way, with instructions to come back on Tuesday for a tetanus shot, since I haven't had one since 1985.

(They're out of the shots, and expect a shipment on Tuesday. There will be no additional charge, because today's copay will cover it.)

When I got home, Peeper was quite impressed with the bandage. She kept saying "It's okay if I touch it?"

I guess it was pretty impressive.

It started hurting again when the anesthetic wore off, but I don't think it is as painful now as it was when the glass was in it, and Tylenol seemed to help a bit. I should probably go take some more now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thirty-Four Months

Dear Peeper:
You are thirty-four months old today, which is just dangerously close to three.

Within the past week or so, strangers have started guessing you at three, and when they ask, I've started answering that you're "almost three," but then, of course, I have to qualify that with some big dumb thing about how "I'm just getting used to saying that, because "thirty-four months" sounds silly, but she'll actually be three around Halloween, and . . . oh, yeah, you have a nice day, too, thanks."

In a few days, I guess I can start saying that you'll "be three next month," but you know I'll have to add, "Well, the end of next month," because that's the kind of Mama I am.

The big news in your little world lately is that you're now the proud owner of a New Big Girl Bed, and you've even slept in it for four partial nights.

Last night, you were actually there pretty much all night, but I was with you for the majority of it (from about 3:30 on).

We did move back to the big bed around 7:30 this morning, but then you were up and out of bed (and, therefore, so was I) as soon as the clock "turned into an eight" (there was no talking you into nine today), so I'd say that's pretty close.

You also like playing in it, and you really seem to like your cool zebra-striped sheets, so I think it's going quite well so far.

We are in no rush to get you moved out of the big bed fulltime, we'll just be happy with the occassional grownups-only bedtimes for now.

Speaking of your sleeping habits, we've pretty much completely dropped your nap now, although you occassionally have one if we have to be in the car for a while, especially in the late afternoon. You seem to go back and forth between a few nights of 9:00ish bedtimes and (after I make the mistake of saying that outloud) 10:30ish bedtimes.

Either is better than the midnight or later that you'd be doing with a nap, so I think the naplessness is here to stay.

You usually have a sleepy / cranky period sometime around 4 - 6 pm (not the whole time, but somewhere in that range), but a little goody (but not too much - I have to watch closely that you don't doze off) usually fixes you up and you catch a second wind to get you through a few more hours.

Other than that, or if you're not feeling well, you're still usually a pretty happy, cooperative, easy-going kid, for the most part (and compared to many kids your age). You do tend to get frustrated when things (or we) won't "copawate" with you, but unless it's cranky-time, that's usually pretty short-lived.

Our biggest cooperation issues with you are usually about not wanting to go to the potty when we suggest it, and about making a huge mess at the table, with the pouring and mixing and whatever elsing it is that you want to do with your food and drink instead of eating and drinking it.

And every single time, you seem genuinely shocked - shocked, I tell you - to learn that we aren't please when you dump a cup of water into your plate of food.

"Mommy doesn't like it when you do that, Peeper."

"You doooon't?"

That is actually a typical sort of response from you, and when it's not about something so frustrating, it's really funny.

The inflection is impossible to reproduce in writing, but there's just this totally (feined?) innocent, incredulous, "Little-old-me?" thing to it.

Your latest thing is to suddenly exit the scene - either because we're trying to get you to stop doing something you want to do, or trying to get you to do something you don't want to do, or just because, with a "buh-bye!" (that could be straight from the old SNL flight attendant sketches) or, occassionally, a more formal "Goodbye!"

That's just one of the many hilarious things you say these days, most of which are probably unintentional. I'm sure that just the natural literal-mindedness of a toddler, but you often come across as quite the smartass. Which of course, makes Mommy and Mama very, very proud.

For example, the other day, you ran into the room an announced, "I pee-peed!" Of course, since no one had taken you to the potty, I asked "Where?" Your answer: "Into my panties!"

For a while there, everytime we got in the car, you requested "Itsy Bitsy Spider." One day, I didn't want to scroll through the whole CD (on the iPod) looking for it, so I just started it at the beginning, and said "I think Itsy 'Pider is on this one." I then adjusted the volume and asked you, "How's that sound?" and you said "Sound like 'itsy bitsy 'pider, climbed up . . . ."

Um, no  honey, I wasn't asking how the song goes!

Speaking of, you still love to sing, and you've recently added a few new songs (and nursery rhymes) to your repetoire, including Tisket A Tasket, Widdle Miss Muppet, and some others that I can't think of right now. The other day, you were singing something new and when I asked where you'd learned it, you said, "In the car." Oh yeah, that is on ths iPod, isn't it?

We're still cranking thorough your Letter of the Week curriculum, and we're on the home stretch, wrapping up Uu this weekend. We were on target to finish right before our upcoming trip to Texas, but then we spent two weeks on S. Now I'm not sure whether to double up a couple of letters (probably XY?) or have to do Z when we get back.

I suppose I'll report back on that with my next letter.

In the meantime, I guess it's about time for me to wrap this up and think about actually going to bed with Mommy when she gets home, which will be any minute.

Well, with Mommy and you, since you're in the big bed tonight, but that's fine, too.

I love you, big girl!


Safe and Sound

I know that I'm sort of coy on here about our exact location, but I think I've made our general area pretty obvious, so I thought I'd flatter myself by thinking that someone out there might be worried about us, in regards to Hurricane Irene.

Although we do live in a mid-Atlantic state, we're not close to the actual Atlantic at all, and our local forecast is only calling for "scattered thunderstorms" and maximum winds of 25 - 35 mph, so we're fine here.

It has been quite overcast and humid all day, with that feeling that something is coming, but right now, it's just a little breezy and raining a tiny bit. It actually may have stopped raining, but I'm sure that will be off and on as the outer bands pass over us.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the earthquake a few days ago, many people in our town did feel it. One friend even reports watching the walls of her house undulate.

Shrike says that she heard the windows rattling and felt her chair move "like a wave" but thought it was the nearby Army depot blowing things up, as they are wont to do.

Me? I was sitting about six feet from her, and felt nothing. I may have heard the windows and had the same thought and it didn't really even register, but I was sitting in my rocky computer chair, with Peeper wiggling around in my lap, so I'm sure I wrote off any movement as her.

So, to summarize:

Earthquake - we're fine.

Hurricane - we're fine.

I am a little concerned about these two recent sightings, though:

Dr. Peeper, I Presume?

Panda Pics - 34 Months

I tried to get Peeper to let me take her Mr. Panda pictures on her new Big Girl Bed. As you can see, the results were mixed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cold Rain

After the business part of bathtime is over, Peeper usually asks for "cold rain," which means that she wants almost all the hot water turned off, and the shower turned on.

When I peeked in with the camera tonight, I was a little disappointed to see that she didn't have her washcloth on her head, like she usually does.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MOMS Club Open House

This morning was our MOMS Club's open house, a back-to-school carnival with games and fun food. We had a great turnout among our members, and a few potential members, and the kids all seemed to be having lots of fun, so I say it was a big success.

I took lots of photos, but they were all chock full of other people's kids, so I'll just share this one of our kid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tomato Tasting

This afternoon, Peeper and I went to the annual tomato tasting at the county ag extension.

I taste-tested twenty-four varieties of tomatoes and four salsas. (None of which were more than the tiniest bit spicy, oddly enough. The black bean / corn / tomato was delicious, though.)

The local creek runs by the extension's building, and there's a trout hatchery there. So, Peeper saw (and fed) lots of fishies in the water, and lots and lots of ducks who also live there.

Later, we saw this cool grasshopper. He let Peeper get very close, and never hopped away. I thought he might be dead, until she almost stepped on him and he sort of twitched. But still didn't hop. Weird. At one point, a fuzzy caterpillar crawled right past him, too.

When we got home, she told Mommy that we'd been to a zoo!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Bed Girl

For three nights in a row, Peeper has nursed to sleep on the couch while watching The Wizard of Oz, then moved to her Big Girl Bed, and then eventually, back to the Big Bed by morning.

Tonight, the first time I suggested that we have night-night goody, around 8:30, and asked where she wanted it, she didn't hesitate a bit before saying "My big girl bed!" On the way there, she told me "Mama bought me cubbies!" (covers) and then showed me her panda night light, and hopped right up into bed.

She nursed for about two seconds, then sat up to play.

Needless to say, that was not actually bedtime.

Around 10, after playing for a while, eating dinner leftovers and brushing her teeth again ("I can brush?" "Yes baby, you can brush again." Runs into the bathroom, asking for toothpaste), she said that she wanted her goody in the big bed tonight.

Which is fine, we're doing this at her pace, and I'm amazed that she's been in her new bed as much as she has already.

And, hey, maybe I'll get to sleep through the night tonight!

Oh, that bear? He was playing the role of Mommy during today's matinee performance of Peeper Wakes Up and Goes to the Big Bed All by Herself.

Letter of the Week: T

Tot School
~ Peeper is 33.5 months old ~

A Note To My Regular Readers: I may be repeating some photos or stories that I've already published, but I want to put all our learning activities in the one post that's part of the Tot School link-up.

Tot Schoolers: Welcome! If you enjoy this post, please feel free to stay for a while, and have a look around. I'll give you a fair warning that much of my blog is PG-13, but my Tot School link-up posts will always be G-Rated.

I was a little more on the ball this week, and actually got some things done before, oh, Thursday!

Our letter crafts for this week were T is for Tiger and t is for train track,

There is this little poem in Peeper's Zoobies book about tigers.
Pink nose
Orange face
Black stripes
All over the place!
One night, quite a while back, Shrike and I were in a silly mood and got stuck on it, reciting it back and forth to each other, at random times, for no apparent reason. (I guess you had to be there. Perhaps it was one of Peeper's no-sleepy nights.)

So then, of course, it's become a running joke at our house. We didn't realize that Peeper was paying attention (Of course she was paying attention!) until she started reciting it. So, of course, she and I had to say it a few times while we were making our tiger. (And I had to make sure he had a pink nose!)

The train track was a bit of a challenge. Originally I was thinking I'd use toothpicks for the ties and pipecleaners for the rails, but then I spotted the straws and decided they'd be easier to cut, and not poky. I probably should have gone with the toothpicks, because these were kind of a pain to get on there, and because the rails would have been a lot closer to the paper, and would have more surface area to adhere to.

I tried one pipecleaner and blew that off pretty quickly, in favor of strips of black paper. Amazingly, after drying overnight, it seemed to be pretty solid, and after a few days of hanging on the "art line" everything still seems to be there.

(Unlike poor e for elmo's nose, which we've probably replaced twenty times.)

This is about the only photo I got of the process. My hands are usually pretty busy trying to help her get all the parts in the right places.

Our ABC box was pretty full this week: T magnet, Tt book, Tt card, teddy bear, triceratops, tricycle, towel, timer, tall tower, tongs, Tigger, traffic reflector, turtle, telephone, taco, T-bone, toast, two, tambourine, tiger, tool, tail, trashcan, teether, train, truck book and tree.

Not pictured: The tampon we added later. Yes, Peeper knows all about them.

Also, ten tiny toddler toes.

Again, she wasn't super-interested in her Tot School Printable pages or cards (T is for Train, and transportation), nor did she do much with the Confessions of a Homeschooler T is for turtle T/t sorting, but oh boy, did she like this one.

I've not been printing the "cut and paste" pages from the COAH activities, mostly because I didn't want to deal with it, when we're already doing a lot of glueing for our letter crafts, and glue-time around here mostly involves me trying to keep Peeper from taking bites out of the gluestick or licks of the white glue, but when I saw the turtle one, it dawned on me that if I laminated and cut it, she could use it as a puzzle!

This may not be exactly how this little guy was intended to look, but she put him together all by herself, just having been handed the pieces and told to make a turtle!

Speaking of Zoobies poems (as I was at some point above), she also started reciting - completely unprompted - the little poem / fingerplay from the turtle book that we've not read in ages:

Turtle pokes his head out when he wants to eat (stick thumb out)
And he pulls it back in when he wants to sleep (tuck thumb in)

She can pretty much get the thumb part right now, but gets confused and says ". . . he wants to sleep" for both lines. But I was just amazed that she remembered it at all.

Last week, I ran into a good sale on this toy shelf I've been wanting for a while, so of course I bought it. I assembled it this week, with a lot of help (really) from Peeper.

Ages ago - before I owned a laminator or a functional color printer - I made Peeper an Apple Matching file folder game. As you can see, it wasn't very pretty. Also, Peeper wasn't very ready for it. She liked sorting the apples by color (Such as they are - that's supposed to be green, yellow, red, yellow across the top row.) but that was it. She was not at all getting the idea of looking at the pictures on the pockets and finding the same apples to put in them. So, I put it away for a while.

This week, on a whim, I brought it out, and she is now absolutely ready for it. I showed her the idea with one or two pockets, and she totally got it. She still had to hunt for them and think about it a bit, so it's not too easy for her - a perfect fit.

The only problem (other than how ugly and flimsy it is) is that, well, I guess this is part of the flimsy thing, but she was having a lot of trouble actually getting the cards into the pockets, which was really frustrating her.

So, I just redid the whole thing, using card stock (since the pockets aren't laminated), and my awesome $20 Craig's List color printer, and my nifty laminator.

How do you like them apples?

Just within the past two or three weeks, Peeper's started actually doing things with Playdoh herself, rather than just telling us what to make. She's a big fan of "worms" (as pictured below) and "turtles" which involves pulling off bits of Playdoh and smushing them all on top of each other.

Oh, and this huge blob of beautiful periwinkle Playdoh she's working with here? It used to be four smaller cans - light pink, dark pink, purple and blue. For a while it had a really cool tie-dye look to it. We've just had to give up on the concept of different colors.

According to Peeper, this arrangement of plastic food "wook wike a amimal," with eyes, a nose, a smile and a tongue. It started with just the cracker and cookie, and then she started adding things and telling me what they were.

While I was organizing our big drawer of school supplies and teaching material that we've bought along the way and don't need yet (flashcards, age 3+ workbooks, chemistry cheat sheet . . . ) Peeper was checking it all out, and I told her that, "These are some things you're not ready for yet, just let Mama put them away for now."

Then she a package of giant plastic US coins and said "I ready for dis." And I realized that she's reaight. She is very interested in coins, and asks which one is which. She's actually pretty trustworthy with them, in terms of the choking hazard issue, so I was actually going to blow these off, but I figured if she wants to play with them, what the heck. Besides, they are big enough to actually see what's on them.

Of course, right off, she asked "Who dat man?" "Oh, that's Thomas Jefferson. He was a president."

"Who dat man?" "That's George Washington . . . Abraham Lincoln . . . um, Eisenhower? hang on, let me Google that . . . Roosevelt! That's Franklin Roosevelt!"

A little while later, she was matching up the coins and said, "Dat a dime? Dat Rode-a-belt?"

I went to get a Sharpie to label the butterdish that I'd put them in, and when I came back, Peeper was in her Cozy Coupe, and I couldn't find the money.

"Where's your money?"

"It in da back." (of the car)

"Oh, where are you going with your money?"
"To da bank!"

The next day, Shrike was sitting on the other side of the room, and I was telling her about it and I said to Peeper, "Tell Mommy who these people are over here," meaning the presidents on the coins.

She said, "Mama and Peeper!"

She comes out with stuff like that all the time. I'm sure it's just the very literal mind of an almost-three-year-old, but I hope it's a sign that she will share our keen sense of smart-aleckness.

(Why yes, I did censor that last sentence a bit to stick to my promise of 100% G-Rated Tot School posts. You know what I meant.)

We did decide to foster her new-found interest in the US Presidents by buying a little "fact book" about them from the Target dollar aisle.

She keeps looking through it pointing to different ones, saying "Dat Obama? Dat Obama? Dat Obama?"

You'd think he'd be easier to pick out from the crowd. (I think she's got it now.)

I didn't actually do this until the following week, but since we're talking about the coins and presidents, I'll go ahead and tell about it: I opened the book to the first page, and matched up the quarter and nickel to Washington and Jefferson's pictures.

Then I found Lincoln's page and gave her the giant penny. After a bit of hinting "Hmm, does the guy on the money have whiskers?" she was able to find him.

Then we did Roosevelt, and she found him right off. That one seemed the hardest to me.
But the biggest thing that she learned / did / accomplished this week is this:

I've already blogged about her New Big Girl Bed extensively, so feel free to check out my past few posts, but the upshot is that after cosleeping her entire life, and having never been in her crib, she's now asleep in her was-a-crib-now-a-youth-bed for the third night in a row.

No pressure, she's welcome to do what she wants when she wants with it, but I've been (with warning) putting her in Her Big Girl Bed after she nurses to sleep in my lap, and she's stayed there a few hours.

She's not made it an entire night yet, nor do we expect her to for a long time (or want her to, really - we still love having her with us) but it's a huge step, which so far, has gone pretty smoothly.

Other than the part about having to wake up and go to her. That's no fun. I don't know how baby-in-their-own-room people do it.

This afternoon, I reminded her that when she wakes up, she can just get out of bed and come across the hall and get in what is now known as "the big bed." (Formerly "the bed.")

We practiced that a few times - I tucked her in and she pretended to sleep, while I went and pretended to sleep in our bed, and then she "woke up" and came in an "woke me up" and I lifted her into bed and snugged her up and nursed her.

It remains to be seen if she'll remember it in the middle of the night, but she sure had fun with it this afternoon.