Monday, June 25, 2012

Vermont Flashbacks

What does it mean when you get dizzy every time you bend over or look down at your feet?

I blame the gargantuan spider that found its way onto my lap yesterday afternoon causing me to jump-jump out of my chair faster than Kris Kross's career lasted.  Then, just when I started to relax again, the spider reappeared on my lap...but even bigger than the first time.  As I leaped around awkwardly trying to whack it, it sorta magically floated up into the air and out of my sight.

I think the shock of that incident, in combination with its lethal spidy-bite, and the knowledge that it may be making spider babies in my hair somewhere, is probably what is causing me to get dizzy when I look down.  Or, it could be the horror of seeing my toesies...which are in desperate need of a pedicure.

OR, it could be due to the fact that time seems to whiz past at record speeds, and trying to process life is giving me vertigo.  (This post, in actuality, has nothing to do with spiders or being dizzy.  It does, however, have LOTS of photos.  Browse at will.)

Two summers ago when we went and visited my parents' cabin up on Lake Champlain, I looked like this:

Last year, Madeline was out of the oven, but she looked like this:

She couldn't even crawl yet!

And this year?

 Well, this year she is grown enough to throw temper tantrums in public, consistently try to run away from public, demand to go swimming, eat an ice cream cone by herself, "help" Mimi cook and plant flowers, and watch nearly an entire hour's worth of Mama Mia before getting bored.  Bananas.
Am I right?

Last Year:

This Year:

Last Year:
This Year:

Last Year:

This Year:

Last Year:  
This Year:

Last Year:

This Year:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Madeline Vs. The Pants Monster

Madeline has discovered how to take her pants off, but she hasn't quite gotten the hang of putting them back on yet.

And so, an epic battle of good versus pants ensued.

Until our heroine, worn out from frustration, came crying to Mumma for help.  That's okay, Madeline.  Everyone has to put there pants on one leg at a time.  Bwomp, bwomp, bwomp.

Pants, 1: Madeline, 0

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When Babies Cry Wolf

Madeline has been pushing every limit known to babies recently.  We love her to the moon and back, but oh Lordy, she's wearing Eric and I down to the nubs.

For example, she's been finding ways to avoid bedtime.  When we go upstairs, she runs into our bedroom or the bathroom before we can lure her into her room.  Then we have to wrestle her into her pajamas.  She loves reading books and rocking in her chair, so that's no problem, but when it's time to stop reading, she whines and flails her body off my lap.   She then pretends to examine some previously ignored toy in the corner of her room.  Finally, when I get her in to bed, she plays with her stuffed animals and reads some books to herself before resorting to calling for us.

A recent trick of hers has been to cry, "Poo-poos! Poo-poos!" from her crib.  She's a smart cookie and she knows that if she says it enough, one of us will go up and check her diaper.   About 100 percent of the time, she has no poo-poos.

Last night, I had been ignoring her sporadic calls of "Poo-poos!  Poo-poos!" for a good twenty minutes before her cries turned desperate, and I decided to give in and check on her.
I entered her room to find her standing up in her crib, her shirt wrapped up behind her neck, her arms flailing wildly above her head, doing her best  Beavis and Butthead Cornholio impression.  I guess she got stuck trying to take her top off.  She was not happy.  

As I bent down to untangle her, I also realized that she had gone poo-poos after all.

Palm.  Smack.  Forehead. Well played, Madeline.  Well played.  My Mumma guilt will ensure that I check on you more frequently in the future.

The baby who cried, "Poo-poo," ladies and gentleman.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What We've Been Up To

Eating ice cream:  (Although, honestly, when are we NOT eating ice cream?)  

Introducing Madeline to the joys of Skeeball:
 Watching fifers at local festivals:
Trying unsuccessfully to get a good picture of Madeline and Eric for Father's Day:  
 Doing my best Ms. Frizzle impression by sporting a Flamingo Dress in public:
 Stuffing ourselves into kiddie-sized trains at local festivals:
 Unintentionally playing twinsies with the BFF:
 Eating a first lollipop:

 Visiting the Franklin Park Zoo:
 Where we waited for a giant Corpse Flower to bloom so we could experience the smell of rotting flesh:
 And watched lions napping in the sunshine:
Inserting cats in our photographs thanks to this:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

If I were the father of a head-strong, almost-two-year-old girl, I think I might want a break on Father's Day.  Therefore, I offered Eric the chance to go kayaking, or to watch marching band things, or take an epic nap, or do whatever it is Erics do for the day.

He turned me down.  Instead he took his family to the zoo, humored me by touring a vintage market, and even cooked us dinner.  What can I say...I hit the jackpot with Eric.

He is a wonderful father.  I learn a lot about parenting from watching him with Madeline.  He's more patient than I, more laid back, and more willing to let his own desires slide for the sake of someone else's whims.

Need an example?  He contorted himself into this tiny train to make Madeline happy.  I would have been a much better, and more comfortable fit, but he let me eat lunch with my friend in peace without even having to be asked.

Two years ago we celebrated Father's Day by setting up a crib.  Last year, I made him this cheese-tastic video chronicling Madeline's first months.  This year, I got a little lazy and bought him some BBQ accessories...

However, I also asked him if he'd answer a few questions about fatherhood for the ole bloggy-wog.  If you've been reading for a while, you might remember that we did the same thing right before Madeline was born.  You can read that interview here!

I thought it would be fun for an update...especially since it's Father's Day...and because we had a semi-tough day with our little beastie  angel.

What is the best part of being a dad?  

Watching M discover the world.

What is the most challenging part?  

Making enough time to really see her grow up.  It is so easy to get distracted by work, Ipads, etc.  I always try to make enough time to be with her.  It's hard sometimes, but always worth it.

What do you know about father-hood now that you wish you knew then?

That it's not as hard or as easy as it seems.

What's one of your favorite Madeline memories?  

Her first REAL laugh.

Do you have any advice for new or future fathers?

As cliche as it sounds, just enjoy every minute!

What's your choice for the best piece of baby gear or equipment?  

A good stroller, or "tollo" as Madeline likes to call it.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

21 Months

Dear Madeline,

You are now twenty-one months old.  I wrote the other day about how quickly you are changing, and that has seemed to be the theme this past month.  Every day you surprise me with something new.

For example, you suddenly speak in complete sentences....with pronouns and everything!   It's great because just last week every other phrase out of your mouth was "No, Dada!" or "No, Mumma!"  Now you can tell us specifically what you like and don't like, want and don't want instead of just resorting to yelling at us.

Last month you were having a lot of temper tantrums and meltdowns, but that seems to have settled down (a bit) recently.  Don't get me wrong, you still have very little patience in life,  (Gee, where did you get that from???) but the violence of your temper has calmed.  Maybe it's due to your increased communication skills.  It has to be less frustrating to actually be able to state that you want milk in the morning instead of juice.

"Do you want some chicken, Madeline?"
 "No, I no like it."
"Okay. Do you want some bread?"
"Yes, please!"

 See?  Problem solved.  (Well except for the not eating anything but carbs issue...)

Two guys on bicycles rode down our street while we were eating dinner tonight.  Your back was to the door so you didn't see them, but you perked up when you heard them laughing and chatting.

"Mens!" you declared.  "I heard it!"

I commented to Dada that a week ago you wouldn't have been able to say that.  I was pretty impressed.

Another sign of toddler hood?  We've swapped out your highchair for a booster seat.  I think you enjoy being at the regular table with us much more.  You don't seem to put up as much of a fuss during dinner.

Meanwhile, you've been a pile of kisses and hugs the past few weeks.  When you hug us, you put your entire body into it.  Your pudgy little arms wrap tightly around our necks, and sometimes you take our faces between your two hands for a kiss.

My favorite new thing you do is when you come running into the kitchen to see me full-speed ahead.  You come crashing into me, wrap your arms around my knees, bury your face in my legs and sigh, "Oh, Mumma..."

I usually bend over to rub your back and return the hug.  Then you release me and go running full-speed ahead to a different part of the house to continue playing.

It's funny watching you zoom around everywhere.  We were playing in the yard after school today and you were just running everywhere.  So much so, that it sometimes makes me dizzy to watch you.  

I'm so glad summer vacation is right around the corner.  I'm looking forward to spending lots of lazy days with you my sweet baby girl.


Maddie Says...

"I want it!"

"Oh my goodness!"

"Now what?"

"I no like it."

"I like it."

"No pushing."

(Upon seeing her stroller in the back of my car...)
"Oh, I love it!"

"Jazz, baby!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Plum Worn Out

I feel a little lame whining about how exhausted I am when a week from now I will be on a bodacious two-month-long luxury vacation in my house, but.....(whine)....I am so tired.

Some days you just need to come home, change straight into your pj's, and watch Tangled.  Or, as Maddie likes to call it, "Punzel!"

P.S.  I'm pretty sure Rapunzel and Eugene are my favorite Disney couple.  Just putting that out there...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tales of Two Dirt Farmers: On NOT Killing Peter Rabbit

Back in April, we constructed our raised garden bed.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we finally got some veggies in that dirt.   We planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and yellow squash.

This might be a little too much veggie actions for such a small space since our garden has gone from this:

to this:

in just a few short weeks.  By August, it's going to look like the mighty jungle.

Look at this little guy....

And look at him now!

Eric also stapled some chicken wire around the perimeter of the garden to keep the wild garden-eating beasts away.

Like this trouble maker:

Don't let the cuteness fool you.  He's really thinking, "I don't know when or how, but I'm going to eat the hell out of you, garden..."

This rabbit comes back every night.  Madeline loves him, and he is NOT shy.  Last night we got about three feet away from him, and he did not mind.

True Story:  My step dad has a friend who once solved the problem of a rabbit eating his garden by taking out his cross bow and killing the rabbit.  He then erected a simple wooden cross just outside the garden with the inscription, "Here Lies Peter Rabbit."  I was thirteen when this happened, and it left quite the impression on me.

I, however, am not Katniss Everdeen, so I do not own a cross bow.  The fence will have to do.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happiness is...

 Bagel with extra butter.  In the words of Madeline, "I want."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stranger in Diapers

Sometimes Madeline changes so fast that I feel like someone snuck in our house overnight and swapped out our redheaded baby for an identical redheaded baby with a completely different personality.

It started last weekend when we went to New York.  My typically shy baby was running all over the place, pushing people out of her way, throwing around hugs, and cuddling with family members she had only just met.

Meanwhile, she's adopted a new favorite phrase:  "No, Dada," followed closely by, "No, Mumma!"  Sometimes when she says it, I have to turn my head and swallow my laughter.  It's her tone.  It's not demanding.  It's teenager-ish.  It's as if she's saying, "Omigod, Mom and Dad, you guys are so totally embarrassing!  Don't you know I am trying to eat these Cheerios off the floor, and you are totally in my way?"

On the other hand, sometimes it's not so cute.  It wasn't cute yesterday when she snatched my car keys off the table and threw them on the floor.  When I asked her to pick them up she answered, "No, Mumma!" and ran away.  Fresh.  Fresh. Freshie.

I guess her teacher at daycare is feeling the brunt of it too.  Madeline, my sweet baby girl, has taken to table dancing at school.  Yup, that's right...table dancing.  I guess she puts up quite the protest when she's removed from the tables.

She's been such a rascal recently, that I've had to keep her very close.  Yesterday, she made it half way up the stairs in desperate pursuit of her pacifier before I could catch her.

As a result, I've started having her "help" me make dinner so that I can keep a closer eye on her.  I pull up the step stool and she watches me cut up veggies.  Tonight she helped me crack some eggs.  She has a lot of fun, and so do I.

And surprise, surprise, Madeline loves raw onions.  I was chopping some up yesterday when she took a piece in popped it in her mouth.  I expected her to spit it right back up, but she continued munching on the onions the way one would munch on popcorn.  My daughter, who only eats pasta, bread or cheese also has a thing for onions.  Who knew?  

Yet, for all her changes, there are some things that remain the same.  After dinner tonight we were dancing around to some music in the kitchen and she demanded to be picked up.  While I bopped and swayed, she put her head down on my shoulder and started to doze off....just like how I used to put her to sleep when she was a smaller and less-complicated human being.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Train Diaries

We've traveled with Madeline via car and via ferry, and now we can add train to the list!  The two of us took the train from Boston to New York on Friday morning to meet Eric.

I was a little nervous to be making the trip on my own.  Madeline is wildly unpredictable these days, as little bears tend to be.  Luckily, she was really good over all.  I only added two new white hairs to the collection.

Here's how it went down:

5:25 AM- My step dad Bob picks me and Madeline up to give us a lift into the city on his way to work.  Bob wrestles with the car seat a bit getting it into his car, and I thank my lucky starts I don't ever have to move those things on my own.  There has to be a less complicated way to make babies safe in cars.  Roof racks???

6:20 AM- We arrive at South Station.  Our train isn't on the board and a brief moment of panic sets in.  I check my ticket to make sure I booked the right date.  Eh, I'll figure it out later.  I ignore panic and focus on breakfast.

6:25 AM-  The Dunkin Donuts at the station does not sell orange juice.  WTF?!  On the other hand, it's free donut day!  Hizzah!

6:30 AM- Madeline ignores her free donut and eats my  bagel instead.  I don't mind because my stomach is in nervous, nauseous mode over the fact that my train is STILL not listed on the schedule.
Munching on our free donut and people watching.  

6:33 AM- Homeless people adore my kid.  She keeps waving at them, and they keep waving back.  I try to be polite while at the same time giving Mumma-Bear-back-the-hell-down-creepazoid body signals.

6:35 AM- Madeline yells "Hi people! Hi people!" to the masses of commuters.  We get the occasional smile among lots of grumpy stares.  How early do these people have to get up in the morning to be arriving in the city at this hour???

6:40 AM- My train is STILL not listed on the schedule.  I try texting Eric, but he must still be asleep because he does not text back.  I check my ticket for the fifth time and then check the date on my phone to ensure that today is, in fact, the first of June.

7:00 AM- Madeline is finally finished with my bagel.  She ate the whole thing.  Only an hour until our train arrives...maybe?
7:15 AM- Madeline refuses to sit in her stroller and insists on pushing it around the station.  I try my best to keep her out of the way of stampeding business people and/or the friendly homeless folk. 

7:20 AM- An old woman wearing knee-high rainbow stockings, yellow crocks, and khaki shorts (surprisingly, not homeless) waves at Madeline.  Madeline is mesmerized.  I use the moment of distraction to check my ticket again.  LIGHT BULB MOMENT!  My train's final destination is Washington D.C....not New York.  It's been on the schedule the whole time after all.  Massive sigh of relief.  Also?  I'm a bonehead.

7:30 AM- There are zero changing tables at South Station. Why, God, why?!?!
I ended up changing Madeline's diaper wedged between two women applying their morning makeup.  Either they have children of their own or they've seen it all because they didn't even blink at the toddler bum no more than an inch from their elbows.  At least it was only pee-pees!  

8:00 AM- Hallelujah our train has arrived just in time.  Madeline is starting to be a beastie.

8:10 AM- Madeline cried when we boarded the train, but she calmed down quickly once she realized she got her own big girl seat. 

8:15 AM- Only on the train a couple of minutes and I've already had to break out the Little People.  Not a good sign. 

8:20- 9:00 AM - We color, look out the window, watch a movie, and play some games.  Madeline is pretty good, but I'm hoping she takes a nap soon!

9:48 AM- Madeline is asleep!  Hooray!  Time to catch up on some Game of Thrones reading. 

10:50 AM- And she's awake again...Brienne of Tarth will have to wait.

11:15 AM- Oh holy hell, please let us get there soon.  Madeline just threw a fit over not being allowed to play with the ice pack in our lunch box.  Meanwhile, eating is for the birds, Mumma!

11:25 AM- Madeline's head fits perfectly between the wall and the seat.  I hope the people behind us like babies because Madeline's pretty set on playing peek-a-boo with them.  I also hope the people in front of us don't mind babies because she kicks the seat every time I tell her not to do something she wants to punch the windows, stick her fingers in the electrical outlet, jump on her seat, or play with the ice pack.
Maddie is well-rested after her power nap.  Mumma is nervous.  
Noon-ish:  The view gets more interesting as we approach the city.  I try to keep Madeline occupied by talking about all the things we see outside the window.  Madeline keeps insisting that she sees sheep and cows, which is funny because all I see is graffiti and apartment buildings.

12:30-ish:  Madeline waves and yells, "Bye-Bye!!!" to all the people on the train as we exit.  Almost everyone smiles and waves back.   "We made it!"  I tell her.  "Hooray!" she claps in response.

12:35-ish:  I call Eric, who is supposed to meet us at Penn Station because I have little hope of ever finding my way out of this labyrinth on my own.  "Where are you?"  he asks.  "Um, in front of a Starbucks..." I shrug.  Luckily, he is superman and he knows exactly which Starbucks I mean.

We meet up with Dada and he whisks away to the LIRR for yet another train adventure.  By the time 6 pm rolls around, Madeline falls asleep during dinner.  What an exciting day!