Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mmm, Steak!

We grilled a steak this evening, with a "zesty herb" marinade.

I'm not sure whether that's herbs or zests all over the kid.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Carnival Fun

We took Peeper to a small carnival this evening, and she did a little better with the rides than her last attempt.

She was very interested in the rides when we were walking around looking at things, and even tried to go get in line for a couple of big-kid things.

She rode one all by herself, and was doing very well until the last few rounds.

I thought she was looking a little doubtful when she was on the far side, but when we shouted "Hi!" as she went by, she perked up. Until she didn't. As she went by that time, she was close to tears, and saying "Peeper all done. Peeper all done."

Either the carnie heard her or she just got lucky, because the ride stopped right about then. Whew.

Next, we all rode the carousel together, but this one was moving a lot more slowly than the one she and I rode at the fair, and I just held her because she was having no parts of that horsie.

That went fine, so then she and I rode one of these little trucks. That went way faster that I expected, with a pretty tight turn, too. I was white-knuckling it, holding the little steering wheel with one hand and Peeper with the other!

She did okay on that one until about the last three rounds, too.

Then we got some funnel cake, listened to the band (and watched Peeper dance), unloaded the rest of our tickets on a family that was on their way in, and called it a night.

Letter of the Week(s): N

Tot School
~ Peeper is 31.5 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.

We spent two seeks on Nn, because in the middle, Peeper and I went to Texas for our quarterly visit with my family, and my 25th high school reunion. She was, as always, a great little traveler!

Our letter crafts: N is for Newspaper and n is for numbers. (Both ideas came from No Time for Flash Cards.) After I helped her to get the letters all gluey, she stuck everything on.

And here's her "ABC box" for the week. This was a tough one: N magnets (serif and sans serif), nine magnet, n tub foamy, Nn book, N block, Nn animal card (narwhal), neckerchief, and necklace.

Her necklace was hiding inside the neckerchief.

Looking at her favorite page in the Nn book.

Since she did so well with finding the numbers last week, I thought I'd try something different with the cards. I asked her to put three puffies on the "3" card. Instead, she gave the ladybug eyes, put some puffies on some of her dots, and stuck some others on there, too. Oh well.

Just hours before we left for Texas, Homeschool Creations released a Wizard of Oz tot pack. You know I had that sucker downloaded, printed, cut and laminated in time to sneak it into my carry-on bag! Most of the pages are over her head (trace the letters to spell "Dorothy," for example) but I did print a few and, more importantly, I did the cards for the various characters.

She looooves her "Wizard uh Oz cahds!" and has asked to play with them many times. She identifies the characters and sorts them out and and I'm not even sure what else, but they keep her occupied for a while, and that's fine by me!

She has a bit of an obsession with tracing, and being traced.

She has alo, apparently, given up clothing for the summer.

Several weeks ago, I gave her these straws in a parmesan cheese jar. She enjoyed dumping them out, and even sorting them by color, but when I suggested that she drop them through the little holes, into the jar, she had no interest, and even got kind of ticked off about it. I guess she just wasn't ready for that yet, because now, she's all about it. She picked up every single straw and poked it in a hole. 

I put my new (to me - Thank you, Craig's List!) color printer to good use with these "letter pages" (as we call them) from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Here, she's matched up the "Mama" and "Baby" letters. (Actually, the other day, she identified a letter as "Capital __", so maybe she's rolling her little eyes at me when I talk about the "mamas and babies.")

And, after we got home from Texas, Carisa from 1+1+1=1 got on a roll and release several letters of her tot school printables at once. Now she's ahead of us, (we were a few weeks into the alphabet when she started doing them) so we're looking forward to having her materials available for the upcoming weeks!

Her N is for "net" and the vocabulary development theme is insects and other creepy-crawling-flying things that one might catch in a net.

This is the first time I've given Peeper this kind of a Montessori-style matching page with her vocabulary cards, and she did a great job of matching up the cards to the pictures on the page. She didn't quite get that she was supposed to put them in the blank square - she kept wanting to put them on top of the matching image - but that's okay.

There were several bugs in this set that were new to her, so we talked about them and learned their names and even looked at the words.

I didn't get any photos, but we also did this with the small mammal cards from the M is for Mouse printables that were also released this week.

And, for our final letter N activity, we made nests out of noodles.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thirty-Two Months

Dear Peeper:

You are thirty-two months old today, and you just get more amazing and more of a total little person every day.

I'm still not doing too great about blogging all the cute and funny things you say as soon as you say them, but let's see what I can remember.

When you step down off of something, especially the raised beds in the backyard (the ones for bushes and stuff around the edge of the yard, not the veggie garden) you usually say "I got it!" So it shouldn't have surprised me when I was wearing you at the outlet mall and walked down a small set of steps and you said proudly, "Mama got it!"

You are all about "I wuv you" these days, and it just melts my heart when you say it to me. Then I remember that you're not especially discriminating about who - or what - you say it to.

The other day, we were outside and you were saying "I wuv you . . . sky! I wuv you . . . (looking around) grass! I wuv you bucket!"

Another time, you were asking to go play downstairs, and by the time I got there, you were leaning against the basement door, saying "I wuv you, downstairs. Mwah!"

A few days ago, you worked to get your hand into (almost) the right shape, and then told us, "That sign means 'I wuv you!'" I left the room for a bit, and when I got back, Mommy told me that a little while after that, you'd held up your open hand and said, "Where 'I wuv you' go?"

You've made up a couple of words that I suspect will be part of our family vocabulary forever.

Darklish: (dark-uh-wish) adj. Not quite dark, Syn: Dusk, Ex: It's not sunny. It's darklish.
Winding: (wind-ing) v. Moving air around, Syn: Blowing, Ex: Da air cuhdishawuh stopped winding.
Right now, you're in the bedroom, hitting the full-length mirror and saying "Stop doing dat!" It's interesting to note that a few weeks ago when you played this game, you'd say "Not do dat!"

Well, hell, I'm sure as soon as I hit "publish," I'll think of a hundred other stories that I should share.

So, what else is new with little old you?

Your language skills continue to develop by leaps and bounds. You now speak in complex sentences all the time, and you're starting to work on pronouns. You still often say things like "Peeper have Peeper's toy," but you're also using "I" and "me" and "my" appropriately sometimes. Interestingly, I've not heard you use "me" for "I" but maybe that's yet to come.

We're still doing our letter of the week (just started O) and you totally know your alphabet. There are a few lowercase that still give you trouble, but just tonight in the tub, you were holding up letters and telling me "Dat letter S! Dat letter Y! Dat letter R for (BoyCat)!" and so on.

Oh, and your big math news is that 4 and 8 seem to have shown back up in the past few days! For a while there, you were pretty consistant about counting "1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7-9-10!"

Speaking of counting, when you want to nurse at a time or location that's less than convenient, I usually offer to give you "goody to twenty" or, if it's really inconvenient, "goody to ten," and then counting while you nurse.

You're usually cool with that, and often go ahead and say "9, 10!" and quit before I get that far.

Lately, though, you're the one who's suggesting that we count. When I'm working (or playing) on my computer and you're watching Sesame Street on Mommy's, you'll say "Goody twenty in Mommy's chair!" and you're usually okay with either stopping or moving to my chair when we finish.

I've also started counting to ten for transitions, such as getting into the car, turning off the water (outside or in the tub), or taking a potty break, and it works very well.

Before, we were having big scenes about getting buckled up, because you wanted to run around in the front yard, but now, as soon as we walk out the door, you start playing and I start counting, and by the time I've got the doors open and the diaper bag in and I'm ready for you, I'm usually at seven or eight, and when I say "TEN!" and scoop you up, you just laugh all the way to your carseat.

Oh, did I say "potty breaks?" You are now in panties at home during the day, and you're doing fairly well with it. It's definitely still our job to tell you when to go potty (and sometimes I forget) but you're (mostly) compliant about going when we suggest it.

Once, as you were climbing up onto your stepstool and then the potty, I said "Climb aboard!" and then "All aboard the potty train!" and you thought it was hilarious.

(Yes, I know this is not original. The Baby Signs potty training book / video / system is based on that exact concept.)

Now, when it's time to go, we'll say "Chugga-chugga! Potty Train leaving the station!" and if you're in the right mood, you'll run to the potty.

One time, I said "Chugga-chugga, pooo-pooo!" and you've picked up on that, so as you run, sometimes you'll say "Pooo-pooo!"

If you're not in the right mood, you'll run past the potty and dive under the comforter that's usually piled up in the floor at the end of the bed, and I'll have to fish you out, saying "Oh no! Potty train's derailed!"

And if you're really not in the right mood, I'll just carry you, while you say "No pee-pee! No pee-pee!" and then sit you back down on the toilet repeatedly, as you say "Peeper all done!" - sometimes while pee-pee is literally coming out at that very moment.

No honey, not quite done, yet!

While we're in the bathroom, let's talk about bathtime. You love taking a bath, although it sometimes takes a bit of convincing to get you in there.

I usually say, "Hey, guess what? It's tiiiime foooor aaaaa . . . " and on a good night, you'll say "Baff!" and run in there, but sometimes you'll say "Time for play!" or "Time for watch Sesee Stweet!" or whatever it is that you'd rather be doing.

Usually I'll go ahead and get your water running and wait for "Stevie" to tell you that he's ready, and that usually gets you moving.

Who's Stevie? Why, Stevie the Elephant, who helps you bathe, of course. (You have to watch this all the way to the end to see Stevie, sorry.)

We were have big issues with getting your hair rinsed before Stevie showed up, but now, you stand in front of me and I tell you to "Look up at Stevie! Look at his big, floppy, elephant ears! What color are they? That's right, they're gray! Look at his little beady elephant eyes, and his big ol' white tusks!"

Stevie is just one of the many imaginary games you like to play. You are very into talking to your toys and showing them things and asking them questions.

A couple of days ago, I'd just made a smoothy and gave you some in a straw cup. It's wasn't a sippy cup with a straw, but one with the straw built into the side. This was a mistake, because before I even put the empty blender in the sink, I heard a "plop" and turned around to see you holding your cup upside down, with smoothy all over the floor.

I said, "Why did you dump that in the floor!?" and you said "Tigger know," and then turned to the Tigger toy that was right beside you and said "Tigger, why Peeper dump uh smoovy in da flowuh?"

He might have known, but he wasn't talking.

You also have quite the little medical practice going here. We diagnose a lot of tummy aches and perform several surgeries a day. It generally goes something like this:

Peeper: Bear need a opawashun. His tummy huhts."
Mama: Oh, okay, give him an operation.
Peeper: No, Mama do it! He need meh-sin. His tummy huhts.
Mama: Okay, where's the medicine?
Peeper: Ummm . . . Here's mehsin!
Mama: Okay, Bear, here you go . . . . all done!
Bear: I feel great! Thank you, Dr. Peeper!
Most of the medicine is applied topically, but if you do decide to prescribe an oral medication instead, you have a lovely bedtime manner while adminstering it, "Here go, Bear. Mehsin. Is it good, Bear?"

You also like to check your patients' blood pressure and listen to their hearts, or, as you tend to say "Take his stefascope."

They must be very healthy, because your diagnosis after each test is "He looks GREAT!"

When we were in Texas, you found one of those rubber tourniquets that's used for blood draws (Anonydaddy is a doctor. They have these sorts of things lying around.) and decided it was a toy.

One day, you were holding it across your mouth and saying "I am a doctor!" (Yes, when you declares who / what you're pretending to be, you say very clearly "I am a . . . ." Okay, occassionally, it's still "Peeper's a . . . . " but not often.)

Then you said, "I am Dr. C!"

That's your dentist. (I'd been talking about her, by name, the evening before.)

It took me a minute to figure it out, but then I realized that Dr. C (like all dentists these days) wears a mask when she's working on you. Well, of course!

And speaking of our trip to Texas, once again, you were a lovely traveling companion. This was your tenth trip down there and you're becoming quite the expert at the whole thing. We were lucky enough to have a row to ourselves both ways (how did that happen?!) which was nice, and you were (mostly) happy to sit in  your special-big-girl-airplane-seatbelt, and watch Happy Feet with no sound, and play with your new Wizard of Oz cards and eat lots of snacks and occassionally come over to my lap for some goody.

Actually, on the flight home, we kept running into turbulence, so the seatbelt light stayed on for quite a while, and then we both fell asleep. So, other than a couple of quicky sips while we were both buckled in (which I do not recommend, even with prehensile goodies like mine), you went goodyless for most of that flight.

(Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe that's how we got the row to ourselves. Perhaps our passenger profiles have been tagged with some sort of "naked breast" warning.)

I'm sure that's not the only profiles of us with that warning, though.

Oh well, tough goodies for them if they don't like it, you're thirty-two months old and you still like it quite a bit and that's just fine with me.

It's also fine with me that for four of the past five days, you've skipped your nap and, instead, gone to bed around 10:30 and slept ten to twelve hours. We've not been getting up to go anywhere in the mornings, so I hope you can keep that up when we get back to doing that. If you wanted to go to be more like nine or so and sleep twelve hours, that would be cool, too.

I'm a little apprehensive about the thougt of giving up naptime, but if get an earlier bedtime (for you - I'm still up just as late) out of the deal, that's cool by me.

Speaking of my bedtime, though, as you might guess, I'm actually fudging the timestamp here a bit, because it is well after midnight, and you're going to be up in the morning, so I guess that's all I've got to say about how wonderfully amazing you are this month.

I love you little girlie.


Panda Pics - 32 Months

After Peeper's bath this evening, I got her shirt on, and was about to get her diaper and jammy pants on when she ran out of the bathroom laughing and saying, "Peeper gonna wun away nakey!"

I lured her back to her room with the promise of taking her Mr. Panda pictures "nakey-booty" and then getting jammified.

As you can see, it worked.

"Give Mr. Panda a hug."

"Ewwie hug Mr. Panda!"

"How 'bout a widduw kiss?"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Queen on Her Throne

This afternoon (after a trip to the fertility clinic, where we were told that Shrike's uterus looks "beautiful" and "perfect" and we got the go-ahead to start her progesterone shots) we went to Shrike's aunt and uncle's house, along with a bunch of her other relatives, to celebrate five June birthdays, plus Father's Day.

We'd dropped Peeper off at Eena and Papa's house that morning, and on their way to the party, they all made a stop at Walmart.

Peeper showed up at the party with a horse named "Horsie" and this groovy deck chair.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hat Chick

Just a typical evening at Target.

Truth in advertising

I do declare!

You can't go wrong with a fedora.

Modelling is hard work!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Plan B: Frozen Embryo Transfer

I don't think I've really blogged much about our baby plans since we had the official negative beta, so I suppose I ought to bring everyone up to date.

Those who are playing along at home will remember that our IVF cycle resulted in three frozen embryos, and the plan is to transfer all of them a week from today, July 1.

Yes, all three of them, based on Dr. E's recommendation. She says that's our best bet for actually getting Shrike pregnant. Given her age and whatnot, our odds of having one of the three stick is only about thirty percent, the odds of two is something less than ten percent and the odds of getting all of them is more like two or three percent.

In case you're wondering, though: One. We're hoping for one. And all those "Hey, maybe you'll have triplets!" jokes really are not so funny, thanks.

The transfer date was arrived at after much confusion, and scrambling and changing and emails back and forth, regarding Shrike's vacation schedule, the lab schedule, and oh, I don't know, the alignment of the stars and planets or something.

A couple of weeks ago (June 12) Shrike had a day-two ultrasound and blood and everything looked hunky-dory to begin the cycle, so that afternoon, I gave her the first of many (many, many, we hope - if she gets pregnant, they'll continue through the first trimester) butt-shots of estrogen.

The shots have been a bit of an adventure, because of the five that she's gotten so far (they are given every three days) there have only been two that I gave her in the comfort and privacy of our own home.

The second one was the day that Peeper and I headed to Texas, which was a complicated procedure in and of itself. Shrike was working a way-too-early shift that week, so Peeper and I got loaded up and met her at work, where I gave her the shot in the parking lot, while she stood outside the car, between the open doors, and then we headed to the airport.

The next two shots happened while we were gone. She'd talked about having her mom (an RN) do them, but she ended up giving them to herself. In the butt. That's impressive. And limber.

I did today's before she left for work, without incident, other than some bleeding, which seems to happen a lot when I'm the one giving the shot. Sorry, honey.

(If I didn't think she'd kill me, I'd tell you about how she was singing "And then you stabbed my ass, now I'm a buh-leeder!")

Monday's shot could be tricky, too, because (assuming Peeper and I are feeling better and Shrike hasn't gotten sick by then), Shrike's parents are taking us all to a toddler-oriented amusement park that's a few hours away.

The plan (I think) is to go on Monday, do the park, spend the night and then come home. The shots are supposed to be at about the same time each day, so that should put us right in the middle of the park at mid-afternoon shot-time.

Oh, and she'll be getting two shots that day, because on Sunday, we go back to the clinic (the one an hour and a half away, because it's the weekend, of course) for a lining check, to make sure that her uterus is looking all cozy and welcoming, and assuming that everything is good in there, then she starts the daily progesterone shots.

In a natural cycle, progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum, which is what's left behind in the ovary after ovulation, until the placenta takes over production, a few weeks into pregnancy.

With a frozen cycle (or recipient cycle - what I did when we made Peeper), you have to take progesterone shots, because you didn't ovulate, and don't have a corpus luteum.

The effects of the progesterone on the uterus depend on how long it's been exposed to it, so when the embryos get there and start trying to implant, they need to find a uterus that's been getting progesterone for the right amount of time.

With Peeper, I started the progesterone around the time of egg retrieval (I'm wanting to say the same night that Shrike triggered - 36 hours before retrieval), but this time, because the embryos were frozen at five days old, they will be expecting to find a uterus with about five days worth of progesterone in it, sooooo, after the lining check on Sunday, if everything is a "go" she'll start taking the progesterone shots daily until the transfer on Friday.

From there, it's pretty much the same as before.

She'll be on bedrest for 24 hours (although we'll probably go ahead and stretch that through the entire next day) and will beta 13 days after transfer, with translates to 18 "days post ovulation."

(In giant quotes, of course, because these little guys/gals were actually ovulated and conceived back in April!).

Of course, she'll be testing early, but probably not as early as last time, because that was just silly.

If there's any news to be shared we will, of course, share it as soon as we're comfortable.

With Peeper, that didn't happen until we saw a nice high beta at 13 dpo, because I just didn't have enough faith in the pee stick the half a dozen pee sticks I'd seen over the two previous days to justify making a big announcement yet.

Also, for those of  you who are counting on your fingers right now, if this works we'll be looking at a due date of around March 18, at which point Peeper will be about five weeks shy of 3 1/2.

(And Shrike will be exactly the same amount shy of 43 and I'll be two weeks shier of 44. What the hell are we thinking?!)

"Color Peeper! Color Peeper!"

One of the (few) cool benefits of working at a newspaper is that Shrike occassionally brings home what they call "butt rolls," the remains of a big roll of newsprint. Other than the part about how it's on an incredibly heavy and potentially toddler-toe-crushing metal spindle, it's awesome for Peeper and her obsession with the tracing of her body and its parts.

Here's tonight's masterpiece.

Is it live . . .

. . . or is it Memorex?

It's totally freaking you out, isn't it?

Totally unrelated, but totally adorable.