Monday, January 31, 2011

Abby's kitchen

So.  Right now, Abby's room contains her crib, a glider, and a changing table.  Those are the main pieces, and all three of those major pieces are going to be donated to the nursery when we get around to setting that up.  Which means, poor Abs is going to be left with a pretty bare room. 

I started thinking about this last fall.  Starting mid november, I decided I would start looking into little kitchen sets.  Abby has lots of play food and pots and pans and she loves them.  But, she doesn't really have a kitchen.  I mean, she's made due.  She uses her radio as a fridge (things go on top when they need to cool), she uses her bookshelf as an oven/stove, and she uses a basket as a sink.  On one hand, I'm proud of her creativity...on the other hand?  It's a little sad. :)

So, anyway.  I started keeping an eye out on craigslist for a set I liked.  I decided pretty early on that I didn't want a big plastic set.  Nothing personal - I just really have a big soft spot for nice wooden toys.  Unfortunately, even on craigslist, nice wooden kitchen sets are often out of my price range. 

Let's fast forward through three months of checking online everyday.  Last night, not one, but three different sets show up.  I ended up having my choice of two of them.  And I went to pick up my choice today.  I'm so pleased with it. 

sorry it's just a phone shot.

The lady was really nice.  Her girls just outgrew it at 5 and 7 years old.  She paid close to $200 for the set new and I got both for $60.  So, while I don't consider that cheap - I still consider it a good investment.  The pieces are clean, well made, sturdy, and...pretty (which is what really matters of course).  The lady threw in several bags of food/dishes and a brand new blender play set too.  I really like that it's so simple.  I feel like that somehow encourages imagination, y'know?

Abby flipped her lid.  She was so so so excited.  She played with it nonstop all night. We had a really fun time.

inside the fridge...um (slash) pantry.  Abby made sure the ice cream went in the freezer. :)


Stove top, with some "lemon and ice cube soup" cooking

making cookies

She went and got her baby and said 
"Here baby - look at the soup cooking!"

letting the cookies cool off.

We played with the set for about 2 hours, and I had to pry her away.  It will be a little while before I can really set it up in her room the way I have planned in my head - but it'll get there.  In the meantime, she's perfectly happy with it no matter where we put it.

I took a video of Abby playing.  I like to keep blog videos under 60 seconds, and this one exceeds that.  But,  I'm a little too lazy to figure out how to trim it right now and, eh, it's fine.  I do apologize for how ragmuffin Abby looks in the video.  It was right before bed time and she's wearing clothes that are too small with hair that is too untamed.  But, again, it's all good.

video


Ok, and this one I'm only adding for the first few seconds....because it's SO Abby.  Watch - as she puts the cookies back in the oven - she stops and has to straighten the tray.  That's her in a nutshell.
I love my kid.
video

Saturday, January 29, 2011

moody

Abby was in a bit of a mood this afternoon.  It's kind of hard to put my finger on.  She wasn't being *bad* necessarily, but she was definitely being.... difficult.  It wore on me.

Just little things like - when I was changing her diaper, she would repeatedly take the diaper away.  She thought it was funny.  If I suggested that she do something she didn't want to do, like, wear pants - instead of saying "no" like normal, she would start crying and pleading "NOnononononono!" with big crocodile tears.  She stole my scissors while I was cutting coupons and freaked when I took them back.  She (semi-accidently) tore a library book page and got a time out.  When I put her in the carseat - she wouldn't turn around right and, again, thought she was being hilarious by standing in it backwards.  When I needed her to walk, she wanted to be carried.  When I needed her to hold my hand, she twisted and pulled the other way.  She insisted on having her feet on two different stairs while riding the escalators.  Little things.  But, all added up, they wore me out!

I was very happy for nap time to get here.  She slept for 3 hours and I was hopeful that a good sleep would help her mood.  She woke up and while I put her on the changing table to change her - she rolled over and pretended to go back to sleep.  Sigh.

Eventually, I got her downstairs.  We had this little conversation:

Me: "Abby, what would you like to do?"
Abs: "no"
Me: "would you like to color?"
Abs: "no"
Me: "Would you like to play blocks?"
Abs: "no"
Me: "Do you want to watch Mickey?"
Abs: "no no no"
Me: "Ok then.  You can just stand there."
Abs: "Oh no! I need to clean up! Music cat fall down!"

She then ran over to her music cat keyboard, which was on the floor, and propped it up against the wall. Then, she found a lost lego and put it back in the lego bucket.  Then? She found some paper and threw it away for me.  After each task, she would say "time to clean up!"  And, I should mention, things were pretty clean.  I'd just spent a good 30 minutes tidying up.

Anyway.  Later, she's carrying an apple around (the only thing I could get her to eat).  She put the apple in her red chair and I said, "Abby, don't put your apple in the chair, put it on your plate, the chair is dirty"  She walks to the kitchen and comes back and does this:


Yes, she just went and put her apple in a ziplock and THEN put it in the chair.  A big 'ol "take that, MOM."

This pleased her and she became more tolerable after that (and an episode of Mickey).  I asked her if she wanted to finger paint.  It's been forever since we've done that.  She was very excited.  She had a great time painting after I told her it was ok to be messy.  She kept wanting me to clean her hands after each dip.  Um no.
there's no way painting with your hands could NOT be fun

The funny thing was after we were done and I'd made her dinner.  I gave her a hot dog with a small dollop of mustard and ketchup to use.  Of course, they look just like the paint.  I looked up to see this:

so proud of herself

It made me laugh.

What else?

Oh, during her bath, she spent the whole time washing all her toys.  She put soap on them, she scrubbed them, and rinsed them.  She washed rubber duckie's hair about a dozen times.  Again, my little neat freak was quite pleased with herself.  It was cute in that the whole time she was chatting to herself - narrating really.  "Ok duckie! Time to wash your hair!  Here ya go frog, let's clean up your mouth and your feet.  Dolphin needs to be washed too.  Wash wash for dolphin.  I clean all the friends..."

Before bed, she saw the new boxes of kleenex I'd bought today.  I'd put them on a shelf outside her room.  She stopped in her tracks and said "Oh! Look! Presents for Abby! YAY!"  Cause, they do kind of look like wrapped boxes.  :)  She took the truth well.  We both think tissues are pretty awesome right now anyway.

Speaking of which, Abs is feeling much better.  Her nose is running still, which is causing her to have a nasty cough, but she's back to normal otherwise.  I have the same cough she does, but we're both on the mend.

Kyle is gone till Tuesday night.  He's off doing important and fun things with the National Federation for the Blind.  Today?  Today he's in Daytona - walking on the beach in 75 degree weather.  I'm happy for him, really. ;)  But, we'll be glad to have him back in a few days too!

Anyway, I know this was kind of a random assortment of clips from out day.  They were just things I didn't want to forget.  I hope everyone had a nice Saturday.

grocery & coupons

Saving money on groceries has become a tiny hobby of mine.  I very much look forward to seeing what coupons we get in the paper each week and seeing what's on sale at our store.  I would call myself a regular couponer.  I always go to the store with coupons now.  I don't use them on everything, of course, but if I can get something that we need or use anyway for cheaper - why wouldn't I?

I've heard there was some show on recently about extreme couponing.  I didn't see it, but I'm not one of those.  My typical goal is to save 50% of my total bill.  Sometimes I save more, sometimes less - but 50% is typical...and I'm always pleased with that.

Here's Abs this morning -helping me get our coupons ready and organized for our trip.

Of course coupons are only part of the strategy - it's the pairing of coupons with store deals that really help you save.  Some weeks are better than others.  And, on top of all that, you have to look at what it is you need.  There's no point in buying something you wouldn't normally eat just because you're saving a dollar, know what I mean?  There are a lot of coupons for junky food out there - that used to be a big turn off for me about coupons.  But, I've since learned that you can find good stuff too.

Which is why I'm blogging about groceries today.

This week was a good week at my store.  Between in-store sales, coupons, and catalina deals (a catalina is where you get a coupon printed at the register after you pay) we had a pretty successful trip today.  But, the best part to me was not the savings necessarily - it's that 90% of what we bought was good healthy food that I'll be happy to feed my family.

So, here's what we got today.  I did 3 different transactions in order to maximize the deals.

Transaction 1: 
15 boxes (yes, 15) of whole grain pasta.  All varieties
4 boxes of MultiGrain Cheerios
paid: $19
saved: $19
received: a coupon for $10 off my next order, and a coupon for a free gallon of milk. 

I'm not afraid to stockpile some pasta. :)

Transaction 2: 
2 boxes of Raisin bran*
2 dips
tomato sauce
2 fat free italian dressings
4 Ragu pasta sauces
2 brown mustards 
milk
paid: $5.76
saved: $37.76
received: another $10 off coupon. 


See, it's not all healthy, we do like brownies around here. 

I used my $10 off and free milk coupons from transaction 1.  I had coupons for nearly every other item as well.  The mustards and the milk were free. 

* The raisin bran was an especially good find because, as previously blogged, I'm all about some raisin bran right now.  I went through 2 boxes (with some help from Kyle) in the past week and a half or so.  Baby wants what baby wants, and right now, I think raisin bran is a pretty acceptable craving. ;)

Transaction 3: This is where I get the stuff I don't have coupons for.
2 tissues
milk
green beans
chicken breasts
eggs
apples
popcorn
diet root beer
paid: $16.72
saved: $21.22
received: a free gallon of milk coupon for my next visit (I'll use that one next week)


I used the previous $10 off coupon I got.  One popcorn and root beer were free, thus the splurge.  Besides, they'll be good superbowl snacks.

And so, there ya have it ladies and gents.  Our Saturday morning savings.
Total bill was: $119.46
Total spent: $41.48
Total saved: $77.98 + free gallon of milk on next visit

That's a lot of groceries for $40 bucks, if I do say so myself. 

Now, I just have to go rearrange the pantry again. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

28 weeks

A few days ago I hit the 28 week mark, which means we are now embarking upon the third trimester of this pregnancy o' mine. 

That's more than a little crazy.  

I was telling a friend the other day how I feel like this pregnancy will be over before I even realize I'm pregnant.  Even starting our 7th month - I still forget that I'm pregnant sometimes.  The other day, I was playing with Abby and we were just goofing around being ridiculous and I was doing this fake superman leap - for lack of a better descriptor - into the air.   She was laughing at me and then I pulled something and my body said "Dude! You're pregnant.  Remeeeeeember??"  And I was all like, "Um? what? Oh. Yeah.  My bad."

Overall, I'm feeling good.  I have the typical round ligament pain that gets me sometimes.  And the occasional sciatica - I got that with  Abs a lot - especially if I walk any lengthly distance.  But even those things are only occasional.  I really feel fine most of the time. (well, pregnancy wise anyway - this cold is  driving me crazy)

The crazy salt cravings and things I had early on have subsided for the most part.  I get cravings for salt just as often as I get for sweet.  I have been on a raisin bran kick recently.  And I have to add a handful of extra raisins.  It's really good.  I'll have a bowl for breakfast, another for an afternoon snack, and I've had it for dinner twice this week.  Pregnancy does that to me though - I'll find this one food and kind of obsess over it for a little while, and then, eventually, move on to the next one.  Right now?  Raisin bran.  With extra raisins. 

Anywho.  Here's a picture. 28 weeks. 


My boots still zip - so that's a plus.  If this pregnancy is anything like my last, it won't be too much longer before I start morphing into a sloshy water-infused version of myself.

I had my 28 week appointment yesterday.  It was quick and easy.  I had to bring Abs with me since it was a snow day, and she did well.  She knew what to expect and was well behaved - always a relief.  My bp was still low 95/48 I think.  I was pleased that I'd only gained 3 lbs since my previous visit....I really was expecting it to be much more once you consider how I've eaten during all these snow days.  Seriously.  Hopefully I can keep to this growth pace though.  If so, I'll be in a much better position than I was when Abs came.

Yesterday Abby tried to feed the baby by putting her sippy up to my belly button and then sticking a piece of green pepper in it.  She was quite proud of herself.

Ok.  I'll write more later.  I'm super tired right now.  Gonna try to get a tiny bit of rest in real quick.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

on a snowy morning

There was this moment that I wanted to remember.  

Yesterday morning, I left the house to go to work.  It had been snowing for a while - but the temperatures were so cold and the snow was so fine, that the little ice flakes made everything look like it was covered in glitter. 

It was still pitch black outside, but the moon shed enough light to make the snow sparkle.  As I stepped out of the house and looked around, I was taken aback by 1) how pretty it was and 2) how silent it was.  Snow has a way of muting the world, no?

I stood there, on our porch, and just watched the glitter fall - and listened to all the nothing around.  It was so quiet.  So peaceful.  It was rejuvenating. 

Eventually, a car drove by and I snapped out of my mini-trance.  I walked to the car and was pleased to find a trail of rabbit tracks in the snow all the way around the car.  I dunno, it made me happy.  I followed the tracks to the end of the driveway and saw where they crossed the street and disappeared into some brush on the other side.   

I swept off the car - which was easy since the snow was so dry.  And then I just stood there again.  Listening to how quiet everything was.  It's really not often that we're surrounded by that kind of quiet.  I would have liked to have stayed there for longer.  But then I heard the lines from one of my favorite classic poems in my head

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep, 

And so, I packed up and drove off to work for a long busy day.  There's no deep meaning here - no real point to this post.  Other than the fact I just wanted to remember it.  And maybe remind myself, that on occasion, I should remember to stop and listen to all the nothing around. :)  

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

mom hands

I could not tell you exactly why, but growing up, it always really annoyed me when somebody would ask me "do I feel hot to you?"

My answer was always "I don't know! I'm not a thermometer."  This was usually said in an annoyed tone accompanied by an expression that my sister once described as my "annoyed-cat-with-flattened-ears" look.  If you've ever owned a cat, you probably know that look.

Perhaps it had something to do with not wanting to be the one to determine somebody else's illness.  Or maybe it had more to do with the lack of actual data involved in that determination.  I never understood how you could tell if somebody had fever by touching them.  I mean, maybe they just ran up a flight of stairs and are warm from the work out, maybe my hands are a little cold today and you seem hot just by comparison, maybe you're always a little warm - how am I supposed to know what's normal for you?  Or what if I say the wrong thing?  If I say "yes, you feel warm." Then are you going to start getting all sickly and pathetic on me?  If I say "no, you feel fine" Then you're probably going to say "man, I just don't feel well"  Because, really?  Very few people want you to tell them if they have a fever when they feel just fine.

Anyway, point is.  I was never comfortable with that roll.  As I grew older, I became less annoyed and would just tell people "Sorry, I'm really no good at telling that"  And I meant it.  I really couldn't tell.

And now, that's all changed.

I have mom hands.

This is one of those things that changed for me.  One of those things where there is a very clear line for before I was a mom and after I became a mom.  My hands are now, not only able to detect fevers, but are able to detect the degree of fever...I'd be willing to bet they're pretty accurate too.  And, this skill is generalized.  I can tell Kyle if he has a fever or anyone really.  I have mom hands.

I think part of it is a superpower that you get when you have a kid.  But, the other part probably comes from all the holding and touching involved in being a parent.  My hands know what Abby feels like healthy and not.  It is simple to know when she's sick. In fact, with Abby, I don't even need my mom hands to detect a fever.  I can see it in her eyes.  Sometimes I think I can feel it.  Mom senses.

Kind of like how you grow eyes in the back of your head.  Same deal. :)

Anyway.

Abby woke up around 4:30am whimpering.  I was already up, Kyle went to rock her and texted me that she was hot.  She was. We gave her some Tylenol and put her back down.  Around 5, I heard her barely whispering/whimpering on the monitor "mommy? mommy?"  I went to her and her fever was breaking.  She was soaked with sweat.  I got a cold rag and wiped her face, head, neck, back.  A few minutes later, she was cool and comfortable again.  She whispered to me, "I wake up?" and I told her that it was still night time.  She laid down, grabbed her blanket and whispered, "night night, sweet dreams. thank you mama"

and my heart melted into a little puddle in my chest.

She's still puny today.  But, she ate - so that's an improvement.  I imagine that 2 days from now, she'll be fine.  Kids get sick, it's what they do...and they need to get sick so they can learn to fight off other things.  In the meantime, while she gets better, I'm keeping my mom hands at the ready.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sickly

My poor baby is sickly.

Not really sure what it is - or IF it's anything other than a cold.  But, it makes her pitiful.

Her nose is running constantly.  Her eyes are red.  She has a wet cough.  She's not eating much.  She probably has a slight fever. It's just sad.

Tonight, she only ate a few bites of pears for dinner...and a little medicine.  Then, she asked to go upstairs and rock.  So, that's what we did.

After we'd rocked for a little bit, we went about the bedtime routine.  While I was changing her, she started coughing - but because she was laying down, she gagged.  This made her cough more.  The next thing I know, she's throwing up.  Now, she hadn't eaten much, so that was good...in a sense.  But, the poor thing still threw up 3 or 4 times between gagging and heaving.

The whole time, I'm just rubbing her back, telling her it's ok, trying to wipe the tears off her face while minimize/contain the mess she's making.

And Abby?  She was just scared.  She was bawling.  Gasping for breath.  Big tears rolling down her face.

And with the first breath she gets under control, do you know what she says to me?  She says "oh, excuse me!"  She said it through broken sobs and crying.  If you can imagine.  The thought that she felt the need to say "excuse me" after that broke my heart.  Really, it did.  It was the saddest thing.

With her second breath, she squeaked out, "rock?"

So, that's what we did.

We rocked, and I read her some stories while she calmed down and all but fell asleep on my chest.  I gave her some more medicine, rubbed her down with vicks, and rocked her some more.  Eventually, I had to put her down, and when I put her in the crib, she didn't move.  She just looked at me with watery red half-opened eyes.  Poor baby.  I didn't want to leave her.  But, I knew I needed to let her try to sleep.

I've already been back once to calm her down from waking up crying.  Hopefully, she starts feeling well enough to get some rest soon.

I do not enjoy it when she doesn't feel well.  At all. :(

Send us happy get better thoughts.  She's crying again, so I'm off.

Friday, January 21, 2011

another snow day.

This is my 4th winter in Boston and I don't believe we've ever had snow like this.  I was shocked when I learned that school had been cancelled again.  I'd read that we could expect 2-5 inches today.  Apparently, that number crept up to 8 inches or so.

Still.  This is Boston, no?  I mean, I totally understand why they closed.  When you serve a population as large and as spread out as ours is - you really don't want to risk people trying to get to school and walk to the bus stop and get home safely on unplowed roads etc etc.

But, I'd planned to get so much done today and next week is crazy super busy for me.  I'm not allowing myself to panic about next week yet...but I could.  If I let me.

Anyway, it's all spilled milk at this point because school was cancelled and I spent the day at home with Abs.  Kyle still had to go in.

We started the day with pancakes. Yum. 


After breakfast, and sending Kyle off, Abby and I decided to spend the morning working on this potty training gig.  We had one accident and 1.5 successes.  Her successful time was really the first time that's happened.  But, here's the thing y'all.  She cried the whole time.  She was so scared.  I praised and praised and encouraged her.  I even gave her m&ms.  I let her pick out all the stickers she wanted.  We called daddy to tell him what a good job she'd done.  We talked about it.  And?  After all that - she was pleased as punch with herself.

And yet.  Anytime I suggest that she try again - she shakes her head furiously and says "nononononono"

All that to say.  I don't really think she's ready for this.  So, I'm going to back off.  We'll keep talking about it and giving her opportunities to train.  But, if she doesn't want to - I'm ok with that.  I hate seeing her get so panicked about it.  I had secretly hoped she'd be trained by the time #2 got here.  That's not going to happen, but that's ok.

Anyway.

After all the potty training drama - I think Abby was worn out. I sat in her room to watch her play, and she crawled up in my lap and asked to be rocked.  This is extremely rare.  She relaxed and I rubbed her back for nearly 20 mins.  After that, she just sat with me, cuddled with me, talked to me, played with me - all while sitting in the chair.  She just wanted to be held.  She wanted to snuggle and be close.

It was pretty much awesome.

I soaked up every second of that goodness I could.  We read books, I rubbed her back again, I tickled her, and she patted the baby.  She snuggled into my shoulder again and we just sat there in silence and rocked.  I watched the snow fall outside and just breathed in as much Abby as I could.

We sat in that glider for over an hour together.  I tried to take a few pictures so that I could remember the moment.  We were still in our PJs...I did mention today was a snow day, right? ;)

she stayed like this for 20 mins while I rubbed her back.

Abby wanted to hold my hand after noticing and kissing "mommy's tiny boo-boo"

 snuggles

We eventually made our way downstairs and had lunch.  Then Abby took a nap.  When she got up, we decided to make cookies together.  That was fun. I took pictures, of course.

she was drumming.  

my big helper

and yum. :)


Abby decided to play while the cookies baked.  
Yes, she's wearing her mittens, she loves them.
She also told me that she was "in the oven"...so maybe they were oven-mitts...

finished product.  They have oatmeal in them...so they're healthy. :)

Kyle got home and we all enjoyed dinner together before putting Abs down for the night.  Now I'm going to put my feet up and settle in for a movie I think.  It was a good day, even if unexpected and even if it makes my next week crazy.  I was happy to have the chance to spend the time with Abby.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a few thoughts

I've mentioned this before. 

When Abby was born, maybe before we even left the hospital, I was holding her and Kyle and I were just staring at her...taking her in.  Without looking away from Abby, I said to Kyle, "Isn't it weird to think that she's the oldest?"  Without looking away from her, he said "yeah, it is"

We've known Abby would not only be our first, but our oldest child since before she was born.  I shouldn't say known.  I should say hoped.  Because you can only plan so far.

I don't know exactly what to expect from Abs when this second little one joins us.  I figure, for the most part, she'll behave as most children her age behave when they get a new sibling.  That's to say, they will be shy and excited, confused and interested, threatened yet protective.  I think we'll go through phases of typical acting out behavior - but I think, really, she's going to do so well. 

Abby is going to be such a good big sister.  

We've started talking more and more about the baby.  I still don't think she "gets it" 100%.  But, she knows that the extra room is "baby's room" and the toys and things in there belong to baby.  She'll kiss my belly - and pat it - and even tickle the baby regularly. We've been practicing with her own baby dolls.   How to be gentle - how to be careful.  Sometimes, while she's eating supper, I'll carry and hold one of her dolls while I cook or clean or just talk to Abby.  This mostly amuses her.

And Abby takes care of her babies too.  She's constantly saying "oooh, the baby is SO cute!  Sweet baby, awww."  She feeds them...constantly, and mostly they get hot chocolate.  ;)  In fact, hot chocolate, has replaced tea, water, and milk at Abby's tea parties lately.  But, as any good mother would, she always tells me "baby drink hot chocolate! But too hot, so cool off, now baby drink it. Not too hot now" and then she blows on the teacup to show me that she's making sure it's not too hot.  Sometimes she puts cotton balls in the hot chocolate - she pretends they're ice cubes.  

Abs reading a story to her baby

And a note to this new baby too:  You and your sister are going to be the best of friends.  Not always - sometimes you will fight and argue and be jealous of each other...but that's all part of the journey.  I am so excited that you will have each other.  I am very much looking forward to watching your sibling-hood develop.  It's going to be a lot of fun. 

Anyway, these were just a few random thoughts floating around this head of mind today.  Wanted to get them out before they dissipated. 

Have an excellent Thursday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

potty training

I'm not sure I'm ready for this.  I'm not even 100% sure that Abs is ready for this either - but there's a fine line between waiting for her to be ready and ignoring it because I'm lazy.  I think she's about 85% ready, so we've decided to do some preliminary potty training.  

I'm not expecting her to be trained in a week.  In fact, I don't have any expectations.  I just want to introduce her to the concept more so that I can be a better judge of her readiness, y'know?  

So, since we had a 3 day weekend at home, I figured I'd start things off right.  We went to Target last week and bought her some "big girl underwears"  She was very excited about them.  She wanted the Mickey Mouse ones, but they were for boys, so she settled for Minnie.  We talked about them and we talked about potty training all week.  We got potty books.  I downloaded potty apps on my phone.  We were prepared. 

As an aside - can I just say that I find 99% of potty training materials (books, songs, videos, apps) to be...what's the word...abrasive?  No, that's not the word.  There's this line of having to spell things out for toddlers to understand and maintaining some sense of class about it that I find is often ignored.  This is more of my problem than the material.  I guess I just prefer not to sing and dance to bathroom topics.

So, anyway, on Saturday morning, we skipped the diaper and I let Abs run around in her shirt and panties and we...waited.  I put her on her little potty every so often to no avail.  But, it was good to talk about it and encourage her.  I spent most of the morning feeling slightly anxious and like I was watching her like a hawk.  In a word, it was tiring. 
big girl


The funniest thing was that Abby got a little cold.  Our house is old and when it's in the single digits outside, it can be cool in the house.  But, I didn't want to put Abs in pants, so she took it on herself to get warm.  She went and put on her hat, mittens, and boots and played all morning like that.  Hilarious.

tangent: Dear Abby, you will hate me one day for posting this picture, but just know this: there were others that were much more embarrassing that I could have posted.  And really, it's very very cute and makes me laugh at the memory of our Saturday morning.  I hope you see the humor in it and don't hate me for too long. 


I'm thinking this is going in her senior yearbook.

Anyway.  We tried all morning.  No luck.  Then, Abs gets up and goes down the hall and I starts *screaming*  I ran to her to find that she'd, of course, had an accident.  That had never happened to her before and it really did scare her.  The worst part?  She was still wearing her boots - which were now...kinda soaked.  She had tears streaming down her face and kept screaming "My Boooooots! Oh no!  My boots are wet!  Abby made mess!"

I felt so bad for her.  Really, I did.  I cleaned her up and sat her back down on the potty.  This may have been a mistake.  Because, she was terrified to get off again.  She kept saying "No, Abby made mess!"  Y'all, I swear, I didn't so much as wrinkle my forehead at her.  I was all positive and "it's ok" and trying to diminish the trauma best I could - but the girl does not like messes and was being rather hard on herself. SIGH.

Eventually, I got her off and we went about the rest of the day.  We had one mini accident later too, but we turned that one into more of a positive.  I mean, accidents happen and there is no way around them when starting on this journey.  They have to happen to learn from.  But...that's hard to explain to the toddler population.

Abby does love her sticker chart.  It's not fancy - but she's excited about it, and that's what matters. She gets a big sparkly sticker for a successful attempt, and she gets small stickers for just trying at all.  She totally gets it.  We actually have 3 stickers on our chart now, but I took this picture earlier in the day.


So, I dunno.  Part of me thinks this would be a lot easier if I could just stay at home with her and concentrate on this "project" all day long.  But, I'm not home with her.  And we spent a lot of our time running errands in the evenings (and I'm not ready to leave the diapers at home for trips yet).  So, I feel like I have these little small windows of opportunities to get training in, and that it is too inconsistent to make real progress.

But, then I remind myself, I'm just introducing concepts to her - she'll let me know when she's more and more ready.  Child-led, that's the key, right?  In the meantime, we'll keep a good stock of stickers...and paper towels, handy.

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fishy fun

What a great day it's been. Perhaps the most productive day I (or Kyle) have had in a while. But, productivity aside, we had a really nice time as a family today. And that is always good.

We all got up this morning and left the house before 9am. This is significant in and of itself. We swung by dunkies and grabbed some hot drinks (and "yo-yuts" for Abs) because it was frigid today. The actual temperature was in the teens, but the wind chill was hovering between -1 and 5 degrees. So Cold! However, chill aside, it was a stunningly gorgeous day. Everything seems clearer when it's cold. But, the sky was blue, no clouds, and the sunshine was piercing. Beautiful. Still, we needed coffee.

The three of us hopped a train and headed downtown. The train ride enough would have been a good day for Abs, but we had bigger plans. After a bit of a detour on a busline that took us nowhere, we found our way to the New England Aquarium. I'd been once before, but this was Abby and Kyle's first visit here.

We had a great time. I only have one complaint - why or why must the aquarium be so dimly lit? Are they all like that? It was nearly impossible to get one good picture the whole time we were there. And, I promise, I tried. I'll share what we got, but goodness, my camera is NOT a low-light camera. So, my apologies for the blur.

It didn't take long for Abby to figure out that this was going to be fun.

As soon as this Ray or "blanket fish" came into the window - Abby clutched to her daddy tight!

This is Myrtle the turtle. She's 80 years old, 560 lbs. Awesome.

While watching some of the tank windows, the turtle came into view and stopped in front of Abby. They looked at each other for a few seconds and then she swam away. Because her flippers were constantly moving, it looked like the turtle was waving at Abby. She thought so too. The rest of the day, she would periodically start telling us about her trip to the aquarium and it always included, "and then? and then the turtle - the turtle said 'Hi Abby!' and then the turtle swam away! And I saw the turtle's feet! The turtle's feet were daaaaancing!"


Penguins. They have all types. Always a hit.


The aquarium has a small "critical care unit" for sick animals. Abby sat next to this turtle who was trying to recover from pneumonia for a while to keep him company. She was very sweet to him.

She was also quite fond of these little statues all over the place.
This is also, possibly, one of the only times I've ever posted a picture where I had to use the flash.
I'm generally anti-flash - but man, it was Dark in there.


After a few hours looking at all the fish, and as Abby would tell you, "the little fish and the Biiiiiiiiig fish too!" We bundled up and walked over to Legal Seafood for a nice lunch. I know, I know. We took the kid to eat seafood after spending hours watching fish. Aren't we awesome parents?

In her defense, Abby only had fish-SHAPED ravioli. Cute, no?

We did have fun coloring though. Abby gave me the color crayon she wanted and told me "mommy make red fish?" And then once the fish were drawn, she took the blue crayon and made "aaaaaaallll the water!" :)


Lunch was awesome, and it was just really nice to spend the whole morning together as a family in the city. We had no hard schedule and just enjoyed being in each other's company. It was grand. Once we'd eaten ourselves silly, we bundled up again and walked back to the train. It was still really really cold outside.

Abby was SO hyped up on the train ride home. She loves riding the trains anyway - but after a fun morning of activity and a big lunch - she was just in such a good mood.

She spent most of the train ride home singing (kinda loudly) and dancing in her seat. She can be really funny. We took a few pictures while we made our way home. I'm fond of this one -

fish-kisses

After we made our way home, we put Abs down for a nap. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of productivity for both me and Kyle. At the end of the day, the house is clean, our guest room and office have been combined - the will-be-nursery is empty and waiting to be converted, the groceries are bought (I saved more than I spent!), and...did I mention than everything is clean and put away?

Amazing. I had brownies for dinner.

I think this one sums up today.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

3 words.

"Abby loves Mommy!"

I've waited 25 months to hear that. Unprompted.

Mommy loves Abby, too.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 14, 2011

she'll be here all week, folks.

Abby makes us laugh all the time.  Often, it's the little things that we think are funniest.  Some of these things are things that only Kyle and I will find funny - because we're her parents.  And, when your a parent, you find things funny that others don't because you know all the ins and outs and quarks and thoughts of your child...so I think you're able to appreciate the subtlest of humors.

Tonight, Abby had us chuckling to ourselves time after time.  Some of these things will be "you had to be there" things.  But, well, I was there- and I want to remember them.  Thus this blog.  :)

When we all got home tonight, Kyle and I sat on the couch and were discussing work-related issues.  We had decided that we would eat dinner after Abby went to bed and just feed her separately tonight.  Apparently, we weren't moving quickly enough for hungry Abby.  While Kyle and I were talking amongst ourselves, she went into the kitchen, got her step stool, climbed up and grabbed a banana and ran back to us.  She threw the banana next to me and, very enthusiastically, asked "You wanna banana??"  Before I could so much as tell her "ok"  She was saying "Why, yes!  Sure! Thank you mama!"  I started to peel it, but she wanted to do that part herself.  She was also very happy to go throw the peel away and tell us - in no uncertain terms - that she was being a "BIG helper"

Kyle and I laughed because she just took matters into her own hands.  She was hungry - she went and found herself some food.

seconds after she finished her banana - she came back with an orange.  Same thing.  She wanted to peel it herself, and then enjoyed it.  At this point, I decided we should probably go feed her a real dinner.

I go to the fridge to get a bell pepper and some hummus (per Abby's request).  I pull out the bell pepper and as I'm walking with it to the cutting board, Abby - like a pirana jumping out of the water - latches on to the bell pepper teeth first and takes a huge chunk out of it.  Like, she didn't even try to take it away from me - she just took a big bite while I walked with it.  It took me aback.  I told her she should wait for me to cut it for her - but she was marching around the kitchen giving us exaggerated "MMMMM!  Bell Pepper Yummy!" commentary.  Obviously proud of herself.

While we're eating - Kyle decided to try out the new facetime function of my ipod touch.  This means, he was video chatting with me.  I was on my phone in the kitchen - he was on the computer in the office.  This confused Abby a little bit.  She chatted with Kyle on my phone (video style) for a second and then said bye.  When Kyle joined us in the kitchen again, Abby says "Oh Hi!  There's the real daddy!"

Later, when Kyle left again, Abby started chanting over and over "Oh, Daaaaaaaady, where aaaaaare you??"  Even after he came back - she kept it up.  Then, she changed it to "Oh, Coffee, where are you?"

....we're really not sure where that came from.

Then she painted the wall with her hummus.

...that got her in trouble.  But, then she offered to clean it up for us.  And she did.  I gave her a wipe, and she cleaned the whole wall.

I dunno.  There was more after that.  Little things that she said during our bedtime routine and funny things she did earlier in the day.  But, my mind is getting sleepy now.

I'll leave you with this video.  I know it's about 60 seconds longer than most people will care to sit and watch - but, hey, that's ok.  :)  Just some afternoon dancing.

video
 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

underwears

This is my first post via my phone. Kinda cool.

But, the reason I'm writing is:

Abby is wearing her 1st underwear right now. She thinks she's pretty hot stuff at the moment.

We're gonna try some training this weekend - wish us luck!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

snow day #2

As previously mentioned, I got off work today too.  Kyle didn't - but that's ok, we need him to go make money. ;)

Unlike yesterday, today the roads are (mostly) clear and the sun is out and the sky is blue and everything is sparkly and white.  It's really pretty.  We decided to venture out this morning and pick up a few things we needed at Target.  

We had a good, productive trip.  One of the things on our list to get was "big girl underwears" for Abs.  She's quite excited about them.  I'm not sure we're ready for them...but we're thinking about taking advantage of this upcoming 3 day weekend to do some more potty training with her.  We've been kinda slacking, so we'll see how she does.  At the moment, she's excited about them.  Let's hope that stays. 

our snow day breakfast.  :)
(Abby got to sprinkle the sugar on the toast and say "it's snowing on bweakfast!")

After we got home from Target, we took it easy for a few and then decided to head outside.  My aunt and uncle got Abby this adorable jacket a year ago.  It was way too big of course, but it's been hanging in her room for over a year now and so I was excited to see her in it.  I was happy to find that it fit perfectly, was warm, and....that hood - it melts me.  So, thanks Mary & Robert for the awesome jacket.


We spent most of our time outside today throwing snow.  The snow is really dry and powdery, so making a snowman was proving to be a bit difficult for both of us.  Luckily, Abby was just as, if not more, content to simply throw the stuff.

...*whistling* Walking in a winter wonderland...

I don't really ever get tired of looking at her.  I know, I KNOW... 
It's a mom thing, but, so what. :)

Abby trying to decide what to do next.  
By the looks of it, I think she was thinking about jumping in.


We taught Abby to kick her boots to get the snow off before coming inside.  
It didn't really dawn on her that kicking the snow was a bit counter productive. 

trying to make snowballs.

hi mom.

playing in the "tunnel"

the icicles are on the large side.

We came back inside to warm up (with yet MORE hot chocolate ;) and we had lunch.  Abby's down for her nap now - she went easily.  I think I'll use some of the time left in the afternoon to do a few productive things around the house for a change.  

It's back to work tomorrow...which should be interesting since I'm massively behind on things now.  I'm gonna try to just roll with it, but wish me luck all the same. ;)

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