Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Smoothy Operator

It's still a bit chilly outside for frozen drinks, but I got crazy and bought some fruit the other day, so I figured we'd better buzz it up and drink it.

Strawberry, blueberry, banana (frozen fresh), spinach, oatmeal, yogurt and skim milk = Mmmmmm

Sheep Sleep

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Daily Tuck-In

While Peeper was in the tub (and I was right across the hall, listening to her whole play-narration and asking "Are you okay?" any time she got quiet for more than a few seconds), I overheard:

He has his jammies on! 
Wrap him up, I'll take him.  
I need a washcloth for a pillow! I need a washcloth! Maaaammaaaa! I need a washcloth for a pillow for Stevie!

So, I went in to see what the problem was.

It seems that her latest tuckee-in is "Baby Stevie," the pump from an old bottle of shampoo.

(I've explained about Stevie, right? Stevie is the hand-held shower head, based on a Grover video in which Stevie the Elephant helps him to take a shower. "Stevie" helped immensely in getting Peeper past freaking out about having her hair rinsed. Now anything that sprays or squirts water might be Stevie. The sink sprayer is Baby Stevie, as is this pump.)

Stevie is sleeping on a bed made from a piece of foam that used to hold tub crayons. He has a pillow and blanket made from matching "washies" and his "Beddy-Bye Doll" is tucked in beside him.

(She just made up that term this evening. It is actually the snot sucker that we got from the hospital when she was born, but never used for that, as it was way bigger than her little nostrils.)

She even kissed him goodnight.

Of course, we had to be very quiet, so we wouldn't wake him up.

After I got her out of the tub, I was sitting on the toilet (where else do you sit in the bathroom?) holding her in my lap, all snugged in up a towel.

She whispered, "Mama?"

I said, "What baby?"

"I fink I wuv you!"

Tutu Tuesday

Do you notice what you don't see in this about-to-walk-out-the-door-to-dance-class photo?

Her pink poodle backpack, with her ballet shoes in it.

Yeah, I felt like Mom of the Year when she kept asking me, "Why did you forget my bag? Why did you forget my shoes?"

Luckily, when I told the teacher about it, she said, "No problem, we'll find you some!" and I was able to scrounge up a pair for her to borrow, from their consignment shop.

Free Pancakes!

IHOP was giving away free pancakes today, in honor of National Pancake Day, so you know Peeper and I were there.

There was also coffee.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Forty Months

Dear Peeper:
You are forty months old today. Three-and-a-third.

The past week has been kind of rough, because you've had a cold and felt pretty icky. You've been fever-free and mostly just coughing for a few days, but still obviously not feeling quite up to par, because you're pretty cranky.

At least, we're hoping that it's because you're not feeling well!

One new issue that's arisen - hopefully related to illness, tiredness, exciting books, Mama electing to skip baths and other important steps, etc - is that our previously smooth bedtime routine that's been going very well for the past few months has kind of gone all to hell, suddenly.

Or, perhaps, it's because I was stupid enough to make a comment on Facebook, sharing what our routine is and how well it was going.

Yes, your Mama is a dumbass, and blatently violate the first rule of sleep success: Don't talk about sleep success.

So, in an attempt to undo the damage that I've done, I will now talk about our previously successful routine and our recent difficulties. That should fix things right up, right?

7:15ish - "Ten Minute Tidy-Up" - The first few nights, I set the timer, and we did all we could in that time, and then just left the rest. We started in a different room each night, and after a few nights, all the toys were nice and neat, and we no longer set the timer, because it doesn't take ten minutes to clean up that day's toys. Huh. Funny how that works, huh?

7:30ish - Tiiiiime Fooooor Aaaaaa BAFF!

7:50ish - Out of the tub, into jammies, brush teeth (your turn, my turn) and potty.

8:00ish - Into bed. You close the closet door (It connects to the office, so is a big light / sound leak, and when BoyCat was with us, it was a kitty leak as well.) and turn on your nightlight. I turn off the big light and turn on your bedside lamp. We snug in bed and get goody while I read up to four books. For the longest time, the line-up was mostly variations on the Nutcracker theme, with maybe one or two other books thrown in for good measure. Over the past couple of weeks, we've read some fairy tales, but I've put a stop to that, because they get you too riled up. You have to talk about them, and sometimes act them out. At first, I worried that they were scaring you, but I don't think that's the case. Lately, since I've not been feeling 100% I've been pushing the "Grandma Books" which are some that she's recorded for you, because I just have to turn pages and don't have to actually read.

8:30ish - Lights Out - and get goody on the other side.

Until recently, you conked out pretty quickly at that point, but lately, especially if I've read fairy tales, or let you skip your bath, or - oh man, accidentally let you take a nap - there's been tossing and turning and whining and trying to get up and Mama getting frustrated and much to-do.

A couple of nights ago, during a particularly trying bedtime fiasco, you kept trying to get up. At one point, you were standing on the toy box at the foot of the bed, telling me, "It's ok. It's ok if I get up." Not defiantly, just matter-of-factly. I said, "No, it's not okay." and you said, reassuringly, "It's ok with me." I wasn't sure whether to curse or laugh. I believe I did both.

I hope that the problem is being sick and exciting fairy tales and messed up routine. I really, really hope this isn't our new normal.

On a lighter note, here's your highlight reel from the past month:

I walked into the kitchen and find you wearing your crown and sticking your wand in your ear. I asked "What are you doing?" to which you replied, "I can't hear you, I have a wand in my ear!"

You and Mommy were brushing your teeth when I overheard, "Oh, good spitting, Mommy!"

I asked you what you're going to be when you grow up. I followed each answer with "Really? Anything else?" and got the following career options: Firefighter, Construction Worker, Clown, Panda, Chef, Kitty. And as I was posting that on Facebook, you added "And a DOG!"

We must be doing a good job of validating your feelings. While playing in the snow the other day, I said, "Oh Honey, Mama is soooo cold!" to which you replied, "It's okay to be cold, Mama!"

You were helping me cook, so I had you hold a couple of pans while I sprayed them with Pam.

The overspray got on you, and you asked why. I said, "I'm sorry, Mama just missed the pan, and got it on you."

So you said, "Do it better. Do it right."

One morning, while you were going potty: Here's (your stuffed dog) Bingo. Hold him while I am on the potty. Don't put him in the potty. He will get dirty and yucky. Don't ever do that. Don't do that. I want my dog dry.

You: I want to take my jammies off!
Me: Why? Is there something wrong with them?
You: They're flowery and kinda icky.

Dogs barking outside. I walk into the room where you are, and you say, "Mama! I have a job for you! Go let PerfectPup in!"

You (out of the blue): I wanna see whatcha got.
Me: What I got?
You: Whatcha got in you cabinet.
Me: In the snack cabinet?
You: Yeah, in you snack cabinet.

You seem to have a better grasp of search terms than many adults I know. I guess I "type out loud" when finding your Sesame Street videos, because you've started telling me things like "I wanna see 'Grover fly a kite.' Type 'grover' and type 'kite.'"

One evening, you wanted to see "Pictures of AuntieKay's kitties" on Facebook, so you told me to "Type 'AuntieKay' and type 'kitties.'"

When I said, "Okay, I will type AuntieKay's name: (Her Real Name)," you argued with me, though. "Dat's not her name!" I'm not sure I ever convinced you.

After checking my phone a million times at the grocery store the other day, looking for updates from Maryland's House vote on marriage equality, and not having any service, after I was in the car, I realized that I somehow had it on "airplane mode."

I said, "Aw dang it!"

You said, "What's the matter, Mama? Did you forget your wallet or something?"

What are you, like thirty years old?

Your career plan a week later : Construction worker, kitty cat, bus driver, sheep, fish

Me: C'mon, Peeper, let's go pee-pee.
You: I not a fan of pee-pee!

During a trip to the potty the other day, I said something about your "booty."

You told me, "No, you hafta to use a grown-up word."


"You hafta to use a grown-up word. You don't say 'byewty.' (This is how you pronounce it. So cute!) You say . . . butt."

I never did convince you "grown-up words" aren't actually required for grown-ups.

When I told you about Target's "Read Across America" event, I said, "They will read some Dr. Seuss stories, and there will be some prizes and snacks."

Your response: "Will any of them be . . . chocolate?"

A couple of days ago, you asked to watch "Bert & Ernie's Great Adventures" videos on YouTube. In Spanish. And then got mad when all I could find were the ones in English.

While playing outside today, you went into your playhouse, and started pretending to be the witch from Hansel and Gretel.

Mommy and I were sitting at the patio table talking and only half paying attention to you.

A few minutes later, you came over to us and said, "Excuse me. You're supposed to eat the house."

You are something else, kiddo.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy 1/3 birthday!

I love you!


Panda Pics - 40 Months

She'd just bonked her head, and wanted to take the photos with BoBo Bear.

"I am all done."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Again With The Tucking

This morning, she made a "widdle bed" for "the doggies."

That's a photo of PerfectPup from her puppy class graduation, and a Chow magnet that she likes to pretend is BigGaloot.

Later, I asked her to come move them out of my way "So I don't bump into them and wake them up," and she just rolled them over onto their tummies and covered them back up.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Read Across America

This morning, Peeper and I went to the Read Across America event at Target, in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday (coming up on March 2).

T and her girls were there, as well as a few other MOMS Club friends.

Tucked In, Again

The ballerina needed to sleep (on the kitchen floor), because she has a cold.


Cornstarch + Water + Food Coloring = Freeeeeky.

What it is and how it works.

Fairy Tales

Peeper has discovered fairy tales and wants to hear more and more of them. We're struggling to find ones that we find acceptable. Some of the issue is that we prefer those that are not all about "someday my prince will come," but also, holy cow!

I get that these stories come from a different day and age, and that probably nothing you can find in a children's book today approaches the gruesomeness of original versions, but seriously?

Hansel and Gretel?!

I am MUCH less concerned with the witch trying to cook and eat the children than I am with the parents plotting to abandon them in the woods, because they can't afford to feed them.

Twice. (They made it back the first time, and the parents got mad and tried again!)

When I read it, I'm generally saying, "Um, and then the went for a walk, and they thought maybe they would get lost, so they took bread crumbs, and then they got lost and their parents looked and looked for them but couldn't find them, and . . . . " while hoping she doesn't wonder why it takes four pages to say that.

Funnily enough, her first exposure to most of the fairy tales, especially the ones she's particularly "into" these days - Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk - were through Sesame Street, which of course, shows a very different version of them.

Hansel and Gretel, for instance, are a take off on Hans and Frans and they "just want to throw breadcrumbs!" and Rapunzel cuts her hair because it keeps getting caught on things and she can't have any fun.

So, she saw these, and wanted to hear more about them, so Shrike got out the "Inappropriate Fairy Tales" (as we call it) book and read them to her, and now she's kind of obsessed.

At story time yesterday, I asked the librarian to help us find some more appropriate versions, but guess what? The ones we ended up with are pretty much word-for-word like the ones in that book!

We've actually read (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture - Amazon affiliate link) that the "gruesome" versions are good, in that they let kids work through scary things in a fun way, but parental abandonment, no thanks!

I'm not totally sure about people getting eaten up, but Peeper seems to be okay about it. It makes Rapunzel-gets-knocked-up seem pretty tame, in comparison.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bird Bed

I walked into our bedroom this evening to find this.

I do have a vague memory of hearing something earlier about "Dere. I put Big Bird to bed."

I guess she did.

Role Play

Shortly after watching a video of The Three Pigs, Peeper stacked up these things and told me, "Look! It's a house. Made out of crowns and a astronaut helmet and a Boppy!"

When I asked, she told me that the three little pigs live there, and she was the Big Bad Wolf.

She said "Little pigs, little pigs, let me in!" once, and then she started fiddling around with a fridge (okay, file cabinet) magnet and saying something about typing.

After a bit of clarification, I realized that she was texting the pigs to tell them to let her in! (There were better photos of her doing that, but they had a lot more nakiness in them, so I went with this one.)

Then she said, "I don't have a screen. I need a screen."

A moment later, I saw this.

Then she said, "I need my computer. That's not a screen, that's just some magnets."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Story Time - Transportation

This evening was story time at the library, and from what I caught, when I wasn't looking through fairy tale books or refreshing Facebook on my phone, waiting for news from the Maryland Senate vote on marriage equality (Woo Hoo!), the theme was transportation. 

I think there was a book about an airplane, one about a train and one about a hot air balloon. And the kids danced around a houseplant to a hip-hop version of Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush.

Then we made an airplane, out of a clothespin, a magnet and two-and-a-half craft sticks. You can stick it on the fridge, and use it to hold things. How cool is that?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feeling Better?

. . . aaaand then she coughed til she threw up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lego Pants

There are red and green and blue and yellow pants. She made them out of "dese widdle sticks."

Poor, Poor Baby

Evidently, I am an idiot, because I only bought a 1 oz bottle of Tylenol last night, which meant that we ran out midday today.

So, back to Target this evening. Peeper fell asleep on the way there, and didn't wake up until I put her in the car to come home.

It was cute, and she really needed it, but it happened at around 6 pm, so her usual 8:30 bedtime ended up being something more like 11. Ugh.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Poor Baby

Saturday night, shortly after Shrike got home from work, Peeper woke and whined around a bit, while I waited to see if she'd go back to sleep on her own.  (She often does, so I tend to give her a minute or wait until I hear something that sound really awake-awake.)

Then called out with the most pathetic, hoarse, kind of creepy "Maaaamaaaa" you've ever heard.  When we went to check on her, she was sound asleep already (for the moment). It kind of freaked Shrike out, but I've seen her do it several times, so it didn't bother me.

But her voice, when she'd called for me did. As did the gurgling in her nose as I nursed her back to sleep.


I turned on the humidifier on my way out of the room, and hoped for the best.

After not one but two sheet changes overnight, we awoke to a very coughy, very hoarse and kind of congested kiddo. But sometimes that's as far as it gets and then she's fine, so we proceeded with our plans, shopping and cleaning up the house for a MOMS Club Mardi Gras party scheduled for this morning.

By bedtime, though, it wasn't looking too good. I thought she'd never get to sleep for more than ten minutes without coughing or snorting herself awake, and around 11:30, I just gave up and went on to sleep in her bed with her.

When she woke up this morning, not surprisingly, she was hot-hot-hot (about 101' according to the magic forehead thermometer) and obviously felt awful.

We immediately cancelled the party and dosed her up with some Tylenol.

An hour later, she was bouncing around, pretending to be Santa Claus. It's amazing what a differences just a couple of degrees of body temperature can make.

(Yes, yes, I know we're supposed to let her just have a mild fever to "burn out" the infection, but it makes her feel so awful. I can't just sit by and watch that, knowing that I can make her feel better so easily.)

In the night, we'd discovered that the saline spray and snot sucker were no longer usable (don't ask) so we planned a trip to the pharmacy to replace them.

One thing led to another, and there was a sale and coupons and $5 gift cards if you buy two packages . . . and Peeper and I ended up at Target with a list of about ten things we needed.

We usually do Target pretty well, as you know, but this trip was absolutely hellish.

She started whining to go home with about three things left on our list. Then I had to stop (with her parked a few feet away, looking awful but hopefully keeping her germs to herself) and give an impromptu sling tutorial to a very young mom of a four week old little girl, and her friend.

("Okay, first thing: You're wearing it backwards.")

When I came upon them, the one who turned out to be Mom was getting the baby set up with the friend wearing her, but she was way too low, too lose, scrunched up in a cradle position, completely covered in the padded-rail sling, which was being worn backwards, and therefore pretty much non-adjustable.

Just from the safety factors alone, I had to say something. I was very nice about it, "I'm sorry, but could I please help you? I sell slings and other baby carriers, so . . . ."

They seemed to appreciate it. I hope they weren't too freaked out.

Anyway, then we finally got to the checkout aisle, and as I started unloading, I remembered that I'd forgotten one of my "deals" so zipped back over to the feminine hygiene aisle for a couple of packages of pads.

Back to checkout, where everything scanned, and the guy gave me one gift card. I should have had three.

We figured out that I had one of the right paper towels and one wrong, so another guy ran off to switch those. Then I had the wrong size package of pads. Peeper and I took those back, and couldn't find the right size, but found out that we could get a gift card with three of the ones I had, so we grabbed another.

Back to check out, rescan everything, and pay.

Return cup holders (Does your Target have cupholders for Starbucks and the snackbar? Tell them to get them!) and I gave poor Peeper some of the Tylenol that we'd just bought.

Then, we still had to go to the pharmacy because - would you believe - Target doesn't have the good snot sucker.

As I'm looking for it, Peeper tells me that she needs to potty, so we run across the building (The pharmacy is in a doctors' office building - were her pediatrician used to be.) and take care of that.

Back to the pharmacy, and I have to get help finding what I'm looking for. First, she tells me they don't have any such thing, but could order it. Even though I know I bought it there. Then, on another aisle, she picks up a box and says "This isn't what you want, is it?"

YES! That is The Good Snot Sucker!

We have a quick consultation about possibly acceptable cold remedies for a three year old (Answer: Homeopathic stuff. Decided to pass on it.), then she's so pathetic she didn't even want to eat her free lollipop there, she said she'd just take it home.

When we got home, she did make pretty short work of it, and then we busted into the 70% off heart-shaped box full of Hershey's Pot of Gold Chocolate Truffles.

Pathetic, but chocolaty:

This was supposed to be a smile.

Later, as we sat down for dinner, she was looking aaalll around the table, obviously searching for something.

I asked, "What are you looking for?"

She said, "I wookin for da chocwate!"

Grown-Up Words

This morning, I moved Peeper's Poor Ballerina Who Keeps Losing Body Parts from one spot on the counter (where she was awaiting surgical superglue reattachment of one hand and the other arm) to another.

When I put her down, one of her (previously glued) feet snapped off.

I told Shrike about it, saying, "All I did was move her, and her damn foot snapped off!"

So, of course, Peeper asked, "Why her damn foot snapped off? Mommy, Mama moved my Poor Ballerina and her damn foot snapped off. Why Mama snapped my Poor Ballerina's damn foot off?

To her credit, she did drop the "damn" when I reminded her that it's a "grown-up" word.

During a trip to the potty this afternoon, I said something about Peeper's "booty."

She told me, "No, you hafta to use a grown-up word."


"You hafta to use a grown-up word. You don't say byewty. You say . . . butt."

I never did convince her that "grown-up words" aren't actually required for grown-ups.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bathtime Fun

That's a seed catalog they're reading, and she's "eating" the veggies in the pictures.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Best Morning Ever

Last night, I took Peeper to the potty and got her tucked in around 1:30 or 1:45 am, and went to sleep shortly after.

She woke up just after 7 am, and we made another potty trip, then I crawled in bed with her and nursed her back to sleep.

At 7:40, she woke up again and said, brightly "I wanna watch videos! Let's get up!"

I said, "Oh, Baby. Mama is soooo tired. See the clock? Mama will get up when the seven turns into an eight. Can you play quietly until then? Pleeeaase."

I really had zero expectation that anything of the sort was going to happen, but she proceded to entertain herself until about 8:20 (I think?) at which point she crawled back in bed to nurse some more, then got up and played, then back for more goody, and so on until nine o'clock. 

It was glorious.

I had some vague awareness of what she was doing, and peeked at her occasionally. I heard her "reading" at least one of her Nutcrackers books out loud, and I roused up long enough to squint at it and tell her the author's name when she asked me.

Seriously, she woke me up to say, "Mama, what's the arfur uh dis book?" I asked her this evening if she remembered doing that, because I thought I might have dreamed it.

I'm pretty sure I didn't dream seeing her standing on top of her panda-less bookshelf, but at least she sat down when I told her to.

I did, however, dream that she was unloading and reloading all the books from the bookshelf.

Evidently only half of that was true. This is what I found when I woke up.

It was totally worth it.

When I finally did get out of bed, I felt better than I have first thing in the morning in months. At least thirty-nine-and-a-half of them.

And then - then - when Shrike got up a little while later, she cooked breakfast. Scrambled eggs and toast. On the stove and everything.

I didn't even worry about the mess in Peeper's room, I just put it at the top of the list for our "ten-minute-tidy-up," which is a new thing that Peep and I are doing every evening before bath time.

Here she is, ostensibly helping to clean up, but if look closely, you'll see that she's actually emptying the contents of the one remaining drawer into a laundry basket.

Dog Bones

As we were driving from one grocery store to another this evening, Peeper was in the backseat chitter-chattering.

Suddenly she says, "I gonna sing you a song about dog bones. Dooooog! Booooones! Dat's all of it."

Luckily for you, she was willing to do a repeat performance for the camera after we got inside. She added a couple of new songs to her repertoire, as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Best I Could Do

I did get a couple of cute videos of Peeper today (The one I just posted and another in which she's identifying a bunch of train table people as MOMS Club folks. I only posted that on the MOMS Club FB page. It's probably not nearly as entertaining if you don't recognize any names.) but my plans for library story / craft time photos were thwarted by gluey fingers (mine).

So, there's this:

C Is for Cookie 2/16/12

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Morning Snuggle

Peeper was hosting a picnic breakfast in the sun room, which is not connected to the central air and heating system, so I went looking for my sweatshirt. I thought I could just sneak into the bedroom, where Shrike was sleeping, grab the shirt and get out.

Evidently, I opened the flood gates.

(It was dark, so I never did get exactly the shot I was going for, but you get the idea.)

Oh, and I never did find the sweatshirt. Well, that's not true. I found it several hours later. On the couch in the living room.