Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - A Look Back

Once again, here's a bit from the first post of each month.

~~~(flashback sound effects) ~~~

January 1: Happy New Year!
I owe the Anonyparents' next-door neighbors an apology. For two years, I've been bitching about their New Years Eve fireworks that go on from about 8 pm to 3 am. (At least that's what happened when Peeper was two months old.)

Actually, it turns out that it's the whole freakin' neighborhood.

Our MOMS Club is holding a big (we hope!) indoor yard / bake sale on Saturday, to benefit a local family who has two children fighting a life-threatening hereditary illness, one of whom is not expected to win that fight. It's an incredibly sad situation, and I really hope we can help them.

(If you're local, please email me for details!)

So, today and tomorrow, Peeper and I are baking. And baking. And baking.

March 2: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Today our MOMS Club celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Or, perhaps I should say we celebrated it again, since so many of us were at the Target event on Saturday!

April 1: Last Day in Hometown
This is our last full day at the Anonyparents' house, before head to BabyBro and HisLovelyWife's for Phase II of the trip.

This morning, we dropped Anonymama at the beauty shop, and made a run to Starbucks for some coffee and breakfast while she got her hair did, then back for a brief visit with "Grandma's beautyshop ladies."

May 1: Nothing
Shrike has been pee-testing since Monday (although at least the first couple of days of that were pure folly) and we've seen nothing.

We keep thinking that if we stare at the sticks long enough, maybe something will show up, but alas, no.

June 1: Flyin' Free
We had big plans to grill this evening, but since we once again, neglected to buy new Matchlight charcoal for the new season, and once again, last summer's has dried out and once again, it would not light, and since it was still about 85 degrees out when we got hungry, we just cooked the chicken inside, with big plans to dine al fresco an hour or so later, when it was a bit cooler out.

July 1: Meet the Hopsicles!
All three embryos survived the thaw and (we are told) they looked great.

The transfer went as smoothly as it possibly could (unlike last time) and they're now tucked safely inside Mommy's uterus where, hopefully, one is getting ready to settle in for eight months or so.

August 1: Water Baby
For the second time in a row, a MOMS Club pool party was on swimming lessons day, so we figured we'd better not go - but, as luck would have it, Shrike's nephew's birthday dinner (14!) was this evening, right at lesson time, so we went to the pool party for lunch, out for dinner with the family, and will make up swimming lessons on Wednesday.

September 1: Gymnastics
This evening, Peeper and I took a free demo class at a gymnastics and dance studio near our house.

She loooooved it, but I think that instead of enrolling there, we'll probably take what we assume is a very similar class at the city recreation center, starting in a few weeks, because it's cheaper.

October 1: Happy Birthday to DaCousins!
Well, technically, they won't be two until tomorrow, but the big party was today. And I do mean "big." There were about fifty people, including something like fifteen kids. And several animals. 

November 3: Well Child Check
Today was Peeper's three-year-old check up, and she did great!

She was super-cooperative, and the doctor told her that she's "the perfect patient." Once again, when he asked "Can I listen to you?" she said, "Yes!" and held still for everything, and even trying to lie down to be examined before she actually needed to.

December 1: Advent Kickoff
It's December 1, so Peeper opened the first drawer on her advent calendar today!

There, she found a Hershey's Candy Cane Kiss (yummmmm) and a note with the picture that you see at the right.

It was a hint about a very special video email for Peeper - from Santa Claus!

But There Were Cookies!

New Year's Eve Fireworks

It's been quite a busy day around here. A few days ago, I finally got off my ass and decided that if Peeper and I were going to have New Years plans (Shrike is working) I would have to make them.

So, I put together a low-key, family-friendly, early evening New Years Even party. Of course, when you don't start inviting people until December 28, it's pretty much guaranteed to be low-key!

We ended up with just two other moms, plus kids (a barely-three boy, two recently-one girls, and Peeper) which was just the perfect size, actually.

While that was in the works, our friend MommyA had a death in the family (our deepest condolences to you and yours) and we offered to help out any way we could, specifically by watching "Baby"J (who is now 21 months old, and at least as big as Peeper), since all of her regular sitters are relatives who would also be attending the funeral.

As it turned out, that happened today, so J was here from about 9:30 this morning until right about the time that our party guests were arriving. (Yes, I did invite A and J to stay for the party, but they were, understandably, not up to it.)

I got most of the clean-up done yesterday, then prepped some food this morning, while Shrike hung out with the girls, and this afternoon, I actually did a load of dishes, or maybe even two, and mopped the kitchen floor, while they "helped" by running around, around, around, and through the kitchen.

Given all that, it actually went pretty smoothly, until this evening, when Peeper started taking out (I assume) her frustration at sharing both toys and Mama all day long on our friend A's little girl, H.

It was not cool the couple of times that she bonked J on the head with a stuffed toy, but they are pretty equally matched and it was a soft thing, and J was yanking toys back from her, too.

This evening, she was bonking a teeny fourteen-month-old on the head with hard toys.

This was not. Cool. At. All.

We had much Talking. About. It.

and the best I can get out of her is that she did it "because I like her" or possibly even, "because I love her."

Oh jeez.

With prompting, she agreed that she was tired of having company and wanted everyone to go home, and she may have volunteered that she was feeling "mad" but I don't know, it was an exercise in circular logic, really. There was also a lot of "because I hit her."

This isn't the first time that she's pushed her or played rough with her, and we're really not sure how to make it stop. We so do not want her to be That Kid.

For this evening, each of the toys that she weaponized (I believe there were three. Plus some pushes.) were put away until tomorrow, and I did a "time in" with her - taking her aside to talk about why it is not okay to hit, and how H and A aren't going to want to play with her (she looooves both H and A - she kept chasing A - yes, the mom - saying "I gonna get you!" and tickling her) if she hits H.

I told her that if someone hit her, I would be very mad and very sad and wouldn't want to be around them anymore, and that's how A feels when she hits H.

She could say all the right things and told me she understood, and then, two seconds later - wham!

At this point, we've not done "time outs" with her (for anything) mostly because we've really not seen a need for them, and also I'm not sure how effective they are at her age.

I much prefer the whole "gentle discipline" and "natural / logical consequences" thing, but I have described "time out" to her, in the sense of "do we need to do that in our family, to help you to remember. . . ?" and so far the threat usually does the trick.

Given that, I think it goes without saying that spanking is out of the question for us, and yet I will say it.

(Your kid, your choice, your business, but for us, it's 100% off the table, for many, many reasons. Not the least of which is that we both have tempers that tend to "snap" and, for myself, at least, I know, without a doubt, that if hitting her were an option at all, it would happen primarily when I am not in control of anger, and that truly frightens me. There have been many times, when I have thought, at the height of frustration, "If only I could hit her," and then a few minutes later, "Thank God I can't hit her." So, yeah, not gonna happen.)

Our goal, of course, is not to punish her for the behavior, but to change it - and to either eliminate her urge to hit, or to help her learn to control it.

Tonight, especially, I think that a time-out would have probably exacerbated the problem, because I'm almost certain that she was acting out as a reaction to having had other kids in her house all day, and having to share her toys and her Mama, so if I'd reacted by further isolating her from me and her stuff, I think that would have only made it worse.

I would think that the natural consequence of beating on your friends is that they don't want to play with you any more, or their mothers won't let them play with you, so it seems that a logical consequence for hitting would be to not be able to play with her friends.

I've told her that if we're at an activity (these are MOMS Club friends) and she hits, we will have to leave, but I'm pretty sure that's going to bite me in the ass. For one thing, I can't always leave, because I'm the president!
Also, there are times when she asks to go home, and I either want to or have stay, so I'm a little concerns that she's going to go bonk somebody in the head, so I'll take her home.

Maybe I need to revise the consequence to just having to sit with the grownups and not play for a while?

More importantly, though, I think we need to figure out why she's hitting, and address that, rather than just doing something to her after the fact.

I know that tonight she was feeling especially stressed (although you wouldn't have known it from her behavior other than the repeated toddler-head-whacking) so maybe this was kind of a one-off thing, but it's certainly not the first time she's pushed H, and she and C (T's almost-two-year-old) can really get into it.

At least they are pretty evenly matched, size-wise, and the toy yanking and pushing is pretty reciprocal and C has a big sister, so she - and her Mommy - are used to that sort of thing.

Poor little H is just like "What the hell?" As is her Mama.

A and T, and thus H and C, are probably the friends we see the most often, and Peeper really likes both kids (as well as C's kindergartener sister, whom we don't see as often) and is very comfortable with them, so maybe that's a factor in how she feels free to wail on them. (She never laid a hand on the other little girl, almost the same age as H, who was here tonight.)

Whatever it is, we just want it to stop.

We really don't want to be those people that the other moms avoid, because of their little bully of a kid, and I really don't want her to be that kid.

We're open to advice, of the gentle variety.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dr. Peeper, On the Case

Here, she is exhibiting her excellent bedside manner, hugging and comforting "Herr Drosselmeyer" after he was "hurt in a campfire."

The next step, of course, was to lay him out on the exam table and instruct her assistant (me) about the exact location of his bo-bos, so I'd know where to put the medicine.

You'll be happy to know that he's all better now.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Dressed Up....

In the bathtub tonight: "I can't go out wifout dis on, cause somebody would say '(gasp) dere's a gurl wif her tummy hangin out!'"

Says the child who checks the mailbox in her panties.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Target Nurse-In

Finally! After three-and-a-bit years of breastfeeding, I finally got to attend a nurse-in!

If you've not heard about the international Target nurse-in this morning, here's some more information about it, from Best for Babes.

When I first read about it, and didn't see my local Target on the list of locations with events scheduled, oh, you know I took the cow by the boobs, added us to the list, and started spreading the word.

As you can imagine, I've nursed at Target a million times, and have never had a problem, nor has anyone that I've talked to had a problem at the local store, so we approached it as an opportunity to raise awareness, to thank our local store for their support, and to ask corporate to be sure that all stores are following their own policy and the applicable state laws.

It wasn't huge, but I was still pleased. We had five moms planning to attend, and ended up with three. Most of the time, it was just me and Peeper and our friend A and her fourteen-month-old daughter H. We hung out at Starbucks visiting, nursing for a while, and drinking coffee.

Then we tracked down a manager and presented him with the following letter:

Dear Manager:

We want to thank you for your store's support of breastfeeding mothers and children. We have nursed our children in your store many times, and have always been treated with respect.

Unfortunately, that was not the case for a mother who recently nursed her infant while shopping at a Houston-area Target store. She was asked to move to a changing room, in direct opposition to both Target corporate policy and Texas law.

We appreciate that, in our experience, the Chambersburg Target and its employees have always acted in accordance with Target's policy and with the Pennsylvania law that guarantees the right of a mother and child to breastfeed any time and anywhere that they are allowed to be.

We will be sending a copy of this letter to your corporate office and asking that they strive to insure that all of their locations and employees are as well-trained and well-educated about the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children as are the ones in Chambersburg.

Thank you again, for your support of mothers and children.

(signed by the moms, including our kids' names/ages)
Later, another mom and her two kids showed up, and we did some shopping. About then, Shrike called to remind me about our haircut appointment, so Peeper and I had to bail and go get "spiffy."

Oddly enough, we didn't actually get any photos of us nursing, probably, because we were doing it at the same time, so our hands were full, but A and I each got a cute one of Peeper showing off her Target Nurse-In sticker.

And one more, just being cute.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet Treats

Yeah, I suppose I should have posted this before Christmas, but that just didn't happen. Sorry.

I made several different sweet treats for the MOMS Club cookie exchange and to put in some gift bags. Some old favorites, some I've always wanted to try, and a couple of new ideas from Pinterest.

I had Peeper help me with the pretzel treats, which maybe wasn't such a good idea.

There! 104 pretzels, all laid out in a grid, while she watched!

"Dere! I spread dem out for you!"

Can you get which Candy Cane Kisses I put on, and which she did?

There was a lot of this.

Finally ready to melt. Did I really neglect to take a photo of the finished product? Oh well, they look the same as previous years.

The rest, I did on my own.

That night, after Peeper was in bed, I made mint hot chocolate truffles, based on this recipe that I found on Pinterest.

The original recipe calls for: 
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt

but I discovered, after I'd shopped, that it only makes 9 - 10 balls, and I needed more than that. 
Luckily, I'd also picked up a bag of Andes mint chocolate chips, and had bought a pint of cream, so I used: 

1 bag (10.5 oz, I think) of milk chocolate chips
1 bag (11 oz, I think) of Andes mint chocolate chips
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix everything up in a microwave safe bowl, and heat a minute at a time, stirring well in between. Just like the recipe said, it magically all came together when it didn't look melted at all. I whisked it a bit to get it all smooth. That's the whisk from my immersion blender that you see in the photo, but I did it by hand. If Peeper had not been sleeping, I probably would have used the blender.

Stick the bowl in the fridge for a while until it's thick and scoopable, then make quarter-cup (or so) plops, and put it in the freezer. This is not the most attractive stage of the recipe.

When they are firmish, make them into balls. First, I used my bare hands to make the balls, and picked them up to wrap in plastic, but that was a big mess.

Then I just used a spatula to scoop it onto a piece of plastic wrap in my hand, and then use that to make it into a ball and wrap it up.

Keep them frozen until you're ready to use, then put in a mug, one ball to about a cup of milk, and pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Yummmmmm.

The next thing I made was also a Pinterest recipe - chocolate peppermint dipped marshmallows, which I found here and here.

I used just a packaged meltable chocolate candy . . .

. . . and regular old peppermints, crushed up in the blender. (They got a lot more crushed than this.)

For the sticks, I used some really small-diameter chocolate-dipped peppermint sticks that I found at Aldi. I just snipped the wrappers open and stuck out enough to go into the marshmallow. Then I dipped them in the chocolate and rolled them in the peppermint.

I make it sound easy, but there was quite a bit of experimentation with the dipping and drying set up. This seemed like a good idea, but didn't work at all.

Shrike convinced me that it would be fine to just put them down on the marshmallows, and that worked great. Thanks, honey!

If you look at the one in the foreground of this photo, you'll see that I had a small problem with the wrappers, in that there's now about an inch sticking out. So, I took each one off, snipped off about an inch or so from the open end, and stuck it back on.

Then I wrapped the marshmallow in plastic and tied it all with a ribbon.

These were delicious, if I do say so myself. The concept is that you would stick one in a cup of hot chocolate, but I've been making that minty anyway (First with the truffles, then with a bit of peppermint schnapps. What?) so I've just been eating them.

Peeper likes them, too. When I was working on the other things, I let her have one of the not-so-pretty ones. She and Shrike were in the other room while she was eating it, but I kept hearing her say "Thank you, Mama! Thank you, Mama!"

I asked Shrike, "Why does she keep thanking me?" and she said that "She's saying 'thank you' every time she takes a bit of it!"

The last things I made were chocolate and vanilla dipped pretzels, with crushed peppermint sprinkled on them. I've never made them before, but they were pretty straight forward. Dip, sprinkle, chill, done.

After I'd used up all the whole pretzels and all the peppermint, I spread the pretzel pieces on a pan and drizzled the rest of both candies onto them.

The gift bags each included a bag with some of each kind of pretzel, a bag of pretzel / M&M treats, four marshmallow pops, and four hot chocolate balls.

I took big pretzels and pretzel M&M treats to the cookie exchange. I really should have photographed them before I put on the plastic wrap, but I wasn't about to try to take it off and rewrap it.

Thirty-Eight Months

Dear Peeper:
You are thirty-eight months old today, and other than Christmas, of course, by far your biggest news in the past month is that we have recently declared you Officially Potty Trained.


A month ago, I was hoping to hear just one "Mama! Pee-pee!" soon, and now you're telling us on a regular basis that, "My pee-pee's tryin' to fall out!" or "I got a biiiig giant fing in my booty tryin' to come out!" 

(This is what I get for talking to you about exactly what "the feeling" actually feels like, to help you recognize it.)

And, a couple of times yesterday, we discovered that you were in the bathroom, on the potty. You had gotten your step stool and potty seat into position, climbed up, gotten your pants down and sat - all by yourself!

As soon as we figure out how to help you with tearing off some toilet paper without unrolling the whole roll (it's not intentional, you just have trouble tearing it) and work on your wiping technique a little bit, you'll be able to handle pee-pees all by yourself!

Not only do you tell us when you have to go, but you've had very few accidents lately. Off hand, I can think of maybe three pee-pee accidents, one of which you were able to "cut off" and finish in the potty, one of which was totally our fault (in the car) and another that you reported as soon as it started.

(Christmas Eve at your aunts' house. In a fancy dining chair. I think I grabbed you up before anything soaked through your tights and corduroy pants.)

And I don't remember the last time you pooped in your panties. And today, you pooped in your panties (but finished in the potty) for the first time in probably at least a week or two.

There are still the occasional wet beds (including last night) but from what I hear from friends, that's to be expected for quite a while.

It's not such a big deal when Mommy's home to change the sheets while I goody you, but it is pretty unpleasant when I'm trying to get them changed super-fast while you cry, because you just want to go back to sleep. So, yeah, let's work on scheduling that a little better.

Last night, you got the comforter, too, and when Mommy brought us a throw blanket from the couch, you wanted nothing to do with it because "It doesn't maaaaatch!"

You are all about the matching. If you start out the night in jammies (Which is rare, you prefer to just wear panties. All the time.) and something happens to either the top or the pants, we always have to change the whole set, to make them match. I've had to explain to you a few times that things don't have to be the same color to "match." (You have several outfits with coordinating, but not same-colored pants and shirt!)

You are also all about dress-up, especially in your Sugar Plum Fairy gear.

Oh, and the ballet. You are loving all things ballet-related these days. It started, of course, with Nutcracker, but you now have DVDs of Swan Lake and Sleepy Beauty, as well.

For Christmas, you not only got a sparkly tutu, tiara and wand for dress-up purposes, but also some real tights and leotards and a ballet skirt.

What's all that for?

Well, next week, you are going to go to "one ballet class, to see if it's something that you might want to do with you're a little bit older."

What I've not exactly told you yet is that "a little bit older" probably means "two weeks later, when we get back from Texas."

One of the local dance studios, where many of your friends take lessons, has a KinderDance I class starting next week, for 3 - 5 year olds. When we ran into the teacher at Target last week, she told me that, so far, it's almost exclusively barely-threes, which sounds like a good fit for you.

The class will be an hour each week, and will include tap, ballet and some tumbling. It's not a Mommy-and-Me, which makes me a little nervous, and I'm a bit concerned about your tendency to go off and do your own thing, but the instructor (who is also the owner of the studio) has told me that that's pretty much par for the course at that level, and not a big deal.

When I mentioned the possibility of  you "dancing on the stage" you freaked out a little bit, and almost backed out of the whole thing, so you will not be participating in the recital this year, and you never have to participate in it, if you don't want to.

If things go well with the free sample class next week, you'll start going weekly when we get home from Texas (you'll just have to miss one week) and if it doesn't go so well, I think we'll try the "Fun-Dementals" class that's aimed at 2 - 3 year olds.

I hope that one or the other will work out for you, and that you'll enjoy actually learning to dance as much as you enjoy playing at it. And if not, then we'll stop the classes, and you can just do all your performances right here on the coffee table.

Now, let's see if I can remember some of other things that you've said and done lately . . . .

A couple of weeks ago, you were watching videos on Mommy's computer, and I was on mine, when you said, "Here, here! Take this pen! (pencil)" When I asked why, you said, "Because I write on this desk," and showed me the pencil marks.

You know your not supposed to write on the desk, but evidently you also know that if there's a pencil available, you can't control yourself.

A couple of other times you've said, "Take this away from me!" when you were spraying your hair detangler, which you also know you're not supposed to do.

When you want me to leave you alone, you tell me "Go to you computer and type an email!" The other day, you threw me out of the bathroom, saying, "Mommy's gonna help me. Get outta here and check you email!"

You've also got some great excuses when we want you to go to the bathroom. My favorite, I believe is "No, I'm trying to cut back!" 

You are all about the nakey. The other day, we were expecting dinner guests at five, and around four, you were watching Nutcracker and dancing naked on the coffee table, when I heard you yell, "Mama! Our friends are here!" It was actually another friend dropping something off, and she swears that her daughter does the same thing, but yeah. Big picture window in the living room.

The next day, you were up there when I heard, "Mama! There's a roofer at the door!" It was actually a neighbor dropping off a mis-delivered package, but he was in jeans and a tshirt and you've seen a lot of roofers lately. A year ago, you probably would have called him a plumber.

I think you've decided that we're starting our New Years exercise program (not that we necessarily had one planned) early, because you had us huffing and puffing to The Elmo Slide in the office. 
Your little sayings and mannerisms crack me up. Many of them, I'm pretty sure you've picked up from Sesame Street, but others, I have no idea.

When you're playing with your toys, and getting things set up, you'll say, "There you go, there you go, and there you go!"

The other day, you added, "And there you have it!" on the end.

When you were opening Christmas gifts, you were channeling Bert in the Gift of the Magi sketch, saying "Let's see here, um, let's see here, um . . . " and once we showed you the trash bag for wrapping paper, every single scrap that you pulled off, you handed to her, saying "Here you go, Mommy. Here you go, Mommy."

I love how you talk to inanimate objects, too. If we're in Target and I bump into someone with my cart, you'll ask "Why you said, 'Excuse me?'" but you will say it to some blocks on the floor, if you have to move them out of your way.

You also talk to my "goodies." When you want to nurse and I'm not fast enough on the draw, you'll say "Oh goody? Goody? Where are ya, goody?!"

One day, you said to them, "Goody! Oh goody. Speaking of goody, I want goody!"

And speaking of goody, at thirty-eight months old, you are still going strong, with no signs of stopping any time soon, but I am seeing some subtle changes in your nursing habits, especially about going to sleep.

Before you started sleeping in your own bed, I would nurse you to sleep - sometimes in bed, sometimes in front of my computer, sometimes in front of Wizard-of-Oz-on-da-tee-vee - and then it would be this huge thing to get you unlatched and sneeeaaaak away without waking you up.

Now, you still nurse to sleep, but usually in your bed, while/after reading several night-night stories (including three - count 'em three - versions of The Nutcracker) and once you're asleep, either you'll unlatch and roll over on your own, or I can just whisper "Roll over, Baby," and you will.

Occasionally, you'll even unlatch and roll over while you're still awake, then fall asleep while "just cuddling" and talking to yourself.

When you're cuddling and going to sleep while not nursing, you always whisper to yourself. I so wish that I could make out what you're saying, but I usually just catch a word or two every now and then.

And what else?

Yesterday, you grabbed the drawstring of Mommy's jammies, and pulled on it, saying "C'mon, leash! C'mon!"

Speaking of jammies, Eena and Papa got me some cupcake jammies for Christmas, and when I tried them on, you hugged my leg and said, "Oh, I love you!" I asked, "Do you love Mama, or do you love my cupcake pants?" and you said, "I love Mama's cupcake pants!"

And speaking of love, your newest funniest-joke-ever is to tell us that we don't love you. You like to tell me, "Only Mommy loves me, not you!"and you tell Mommy "You don't love me!" (Somehow I don't get credit for "only" loving you. Hmmm.)

You're cracking up when you say it, so we consider it a good thing that you consider "my parents don't love me" to be the most absurd thing that you could possibly say.

But you do know that we love each other. A few days ago, we were out running errands, and at one point, i said, "Target next, my love!" and you asked, "Why you say 'Target next, my love?'"

(Because "WHY" is your response to everything these days. I know. Three.)

I said, "Because we're going to Target next, and because you are my love. Are you my love?"

"Yes," you said, so I asked, "Who else is my love?"

You told me, "Mommy is you love," and then asked (of course), "Why Mommy is you love?"

I said, "Because she's my wife and I love her."

And you said, "You like to kiss you wife, and you like to hug you wife."

I said, "I sure do!" and asked you what other things I like to do with her. You came up with "talk to her" and "eat with her," and I added "spend time with her, and spend time with Peeper with her, and go places with her," and yeah, that pretty much covers it, I think.

As distracted as we are at times, and as crazy as our schedules can be, and as little us-time as Mommy and I tend to get, it really made me happy to know that you know that we like to hug and kiss each other.

I'm also pleased that you seem to be pretty in touch with your feelings, and able to verbalize them.

A few weeks ago, I decided that one of your pumpkins (yes, there's still one around, even now) just had to go to compost immediately. I probably could have snuck it out there when you weren't looking, but I told you that it was getting squishy and yucky, and needed to go out, and asked if you wanted to help me take it.

Of course, you did, so we talked about how it will rot and make compost that will help to grow new pumpkins and other veggies next year. You tossed it in the can and looked at it and said "Bye-bye, pumpkin. I am sad about you pumpkin."

It about broke my heart, and I so wanted to just make it all okay, but I know that it's important to have these experiences, and to be okay with being sad about things, so I just acknowledge it and gave you a hug and reminded you about next year's garden.

Sometimes the things you're "sad about" don't seem like a big deal to us, but they certainly are to you. This evening, we were in the basement, and you were playing with a painted canoe paddle, swinging it around. We took it away, and told you that it wasn't a very good toy, because it was going to break something.

Oh, you'd think you'd lost your best friend. You teared up, and cried, "I am sad about yoooouuu!" When I said, "I know you're sad about it," you asked, "Why I sad about it?" So I said that "You were having fun with it, and Mama took it away, because she didn't think it was a good toy, because it could break something, so you are sad."

On the way up the stairs, you said, "I thought it was a great toy!"

And there you go, breaking my heart again.

I'm also very pleased with how you verbalize your questions and concerns about our feelings, too.

Last week, I was telling Dr. T about how I lost it with you when we were making Christmas treats, and yelled at you, and a few minutes later you asked, "Why you were angry with me?"

Her response was basically, "Ouch. But good for her!"

So I did explain that I was frustrated and angry that you weren't cooperating and that you were touching everything I'd told you not to touch, but I also apologized for thinking that what I was working on was something that would be fun for you to help with, which it clearly - in retrospect - should have just been a Mama thing.

It just amazes me that you are big enough for us to have these sorts of conversations, and I really hope that, as you get older, you keep wanting to talk to us about these things.

And about every thing else.

And now, I'll shut up and maybe even go get some sleepy. We've got a goody party to go to at Target in the morning.

I love you, Roodle!


Panda Pics: Thirty-Eight Months

"I gonna give the camera a kiss!"

My favorites.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

As is traditional, Shrike, Peeper and I headed out to Target this evening, to make some returns and check out the after-Christmas clearance sales. Toilet paper and paper towels were also on sale, so we spent what seems like a ridiculous amount on them, but was a lot less than we could have (and we got two $5 gift cards out of the deal!) and picked up a nutcracker that Peeper's been eyeing - 50% off`! Plus some groceries, because the cupboards, they are beyond bare.

Then we made a stop at Staples, because they were having a 15% off anything-you-can-stuff-in-this-bag sale, and I need toner for one printer and ink for another. We also picked up some washable do-a-dot markers to replace the permanently-skin-staining bingo daubers that cheap-ass Santa thought he could get away with.

Then we popped over to PetsMart to visit the animals, and then to Michael's (Or "Mike's" as Shrike called it. Evidently they are big buddies.) to take a look at their clearance stuff. Of course, Peeper found a ballerina ornament that we had to have (at 60% off). For something like $2.50, we told her that it could be a toy if she wanted.

Now we just need Clara. Of course, her monkey does an excellent job with that role.

By then, of course, we were famished, so we got some dinner. (I should probably photoshop these two pictures together, huh?)

When we got home, she stripped down and dressed up, then climbed in my lap and said "You gonna take a picture with the Sugar Plum Fairy."

So I did.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

As you saw, Santa did his thing last night, and Peeper was a very happy girl this morning - once we reminded her about it.

She went through her presents a lot faster than last year, without too much stopping to play in between, and she handled it pretty well when we got to the end of them.

Christmas Goldfish!

Should we be concerned by the fact that this  little guy and his ladybug friend are still oozing enough petroleum product that they left a grease stain on the wrapping paper.

"Oh! Santa brought me a panda! It's a panda piwwow!"

Opening her stocking.

Her stocking haul. There was also a little M&M guy and the big M&M Nutcracker.

Chocolate Santas, all in a row. 

The Big Truck! It came with three guys, their tools, and a steam roller. 

The guys and their tools. 

I think Santa should have sprung for the washable, non-toxic Do-A-Dot markers, instead of going with the Dollar Tree bingo daubers.

She even enjoyed watching me and Shrike open our gifts to each other, after she was all done with Santa, although they weren't anywhere near as exciting.

Once everything was opened, we just hung out and played, had some brunch, and hung out some more.

Around midafternoon, about the time we started trying to get Peeper cleaned up and dressed to go over to Shrike's grandparents house (it was a drop-by affair, since Grandma's not up to a big thing), she was kind of starting to lose it. Nothing overly dramatic, but pretty out of control, compared to her usual easy-going ways.

She was throwing toys around, coloring on the (sunroom) carpet with a (washable) marker, and being quite uncooperative about washing up and putting on clothes.

"No! I just want to stay here nakey!"

So, I picked her up and said, "Christmas is pretty exciting isn't it? There's just too much excitement isn't there? You don't really know what to do with it all, do you? How about if you go out in the back yard and run around and yell 'Yay! It's Christmas!' Do you think that would help? Do you need to put clothes on first?"

She decided that she could do it in her panties, if I carried her. (It was in, oh, the upper 40s at the time?)

So, I carried her out the door, and she jumped down and ran around, as prescribed, yelling "Yay! It's Chwismas!" over and over, until she came running back to me and said, "Can I put some clothes on? It's kind of cold out here."


Energy diffused - Check
Clothes on - Check
Mother-of-the-Year highlight reel complete - Check

All dressed up (finally) at Grandma and Pappy's house. 

Those Damn Sleigh Bells . . .

. . . wake me up every year!

Stockings for everyone (including some treats for the critters).

The pile o' presents!

Panda pillow pet (well, an off-brand version)

"Nutcracker Sweet" M&M dispenser!

This train table is so gay.