Saturday, December 29, 2012

Manipulation milestone

Abby asked me for M&Ms this evening. She'd already had plenty so I told her we were done with M&Ms for the night.

I hadn't realized that the bowl of M&Ms were on the counter, easily within reach for Abby.

I turned around and she had grabbed the bowl and was smugly walking toward the living room.

Recognizing my defeat, I told her that she could have one and then we were done.

She sits down on her chair, looks up at me and a big smile spreads across her face.

She says, "I looove you."

Her manipulation development is right on track ... in case anyone was concerned.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I want ...

Abby asked for an apple.

I got an apple out of the fridge and peeled it.

Then I cored it.

Then I sliced it.

I asked Abby if she wanted a Buzz bowl.

Yes, she said.

So I put all of the peeled, cored and sliced apples into the bowl and handed it to her ...

She says, "I want an orange."

Monday, December 24, 2012

A 'boy thing' or just an overprotective Mommy?

This is obviously my first rodeo as a mom, but it's even more so my first rodeo with a boy.

I did not have a brother and have never really been around baby boys until Jack.

Therefore, I have no idea if what I'm seeing with Jack is normal "boy behavior", just his temperament, or I'm a paranoid mother.

I'll let the readers decide.

Abby loves her brother. Loves him. It's so sweet that she actually will say (unprompted), "I love you, Jack!"

She also wants to hug him, kiss him and roughhouse with him.

The latter makes me nervous. He is 6 1/2 months old. She is 2 (and huge).

This evening she was playing with him and there were a few times she got rough with him. I would get stern with her and tell her to stop, fully expecting her force (she had put all her weight on him laying across his stomach; she had inadvertently kneed him in the stomach; she put him in a headlock in an attempt to hug) to make him cry.

But when I would separate them, he would be laughing gleefully, enjoying the playtime and interaction with his sissy.

I'm now wondering if I'm a wuss or if I'm just not accustomed to boys.

I asked Tom and he said, "It's just roughhousing."

Yes, but I didn't "roughhouse" as a girl growing up.

The other amazing thing is the bond between siblings. To be able to witness it as a parent is awesome.

As stated above, she will be physical with him and he loves it. The same thing happens the other way around. She will try to hug him and he will reach for her and grab her hair, keeping it in his clutch. This can't feel good.

But she laughs hysterically, so happy to be with her brother. This floors me considering the girl flips out over the smallest thing (she's two, after all).

I should mention that Abby also flips out when Jack tries to touch her sippy cup, so it's not like he has a free pass.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our two-year old is masquerading as a kindergartner

I really didn't think I would have to deal with this stuff yet.

My daughter is barely two. She's been two for two months. That is all.

Yet I am already dealing with sibling irritation.

On Saturday I ran upstairs to grab something and heard Abby screaming from the living room.

I run downstairs to hear, "Mooooom! Jack's touching my socks!"

Really? A six-month old is touching your feet.

This leads to me battling practicality. My two-year old does not have any sense of reason. She doesn't care that Jack is an infant. She simply cares that her feet are being infringed upon. She wants her personal space.


Jack pretty much reaches and grabs for anything and he is quite resourceful and innovating when it comes to getting from Point A to Point B. I envision Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible making his way through the lasers. Jack uses a multitude of moves to get to Abby's coloring desk, M&Ms, her Jessie doll, etc.

I thought I had at least a year before I would deal with the pesky little brother thing. Alas, it is already upon me.

Also upon me is my daughter's defiance.

We were sitting at the table eating and she took her fork and started hitting the table forcefully with the metal side.

I told her, "Abby, no!"

She looked at me coyly and then began tapping ever-so-lightly on the table with the fork.

I said, "Abby, I said no."

She responds (as she is still lightly tapping), "I'm not doing it."


Just wow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On this day one year ago

On this day one year ago - the Sunday after Thanksgiving - I went to sleep not knowing the events that would unfold in a few measly hours.

Eleven weeks pregnant with Jack, I was trucking through my first trimester, getting ready to go back to work after spending Thanksgiving weekend at home.

At 12:30 or so, our landline phone rang and it was the type of call you hope you never get. Mom and Dad were at Oakwood hospital - Mom thought Dad had had a stroke.

My sister, her boyfriend and I went to the hospital (Tom had to stay with one-year-old Abby).

The prognosis went from something that could be treated with medication to Dad being airlifted to U-M hospital and given a 10-percent chance to live.

Being in that triage with my parents was one of the most difficult things I've been through. Not knowing if I would see my dad again after leaving him for surgery and being with Mom who knew the same thing was obviously tough.

Ultimately, God blessed us tremendously and Dad survived the surgery and has continued to defy odds.

We saw him push through his therapies and go from being unable to do anything on his own to us being around the dad we've always known.

When we spent our days and evenings in the Cardiovascular Center ICU at U-M hospital, I was absolutely terrified my daughter wouldn't be able to spend time with my dad the way she always had.

But she learned to call him Papa while he wasn't even able to see her (kids are not allowed in CVC ICU) and ultimately re-developed a relationship with him to the point that he's always the first one she "calls" when she's at home.

Visiting Papa in the hospital
I just sit here tonight and my mind walks through the events that occurred one year ago and it seems like another time, but it is also a very distinct period in my life and the lives of my family members.

We lived differently then, going to and from the hospital on a sometimes-daily, sometimes-weekly basis. We now know that hospital inside and out. We've eaten more meals in the cafeteria than we cared to.

My daughter wasn't intimidated by the hospital when she came to visit me after I had Jack because she'd gotten so used to being there.

But life goes back to normal, or you develop a new normal. Instead of things being as they always were they're now how they always are.

What I came to learn from the events that occurred one year ago today is that people are caring at their core. Friends and family came out of the woodwork to help and lend support and people still ask me how my dad is.

You come to realize how precious life is and how quickly it can be ripped away.

You also realize how precious children are.

At only a year old, Abby provided innocence, comic relief, blind love in the midst of a tragedy. In the womb, Jack provided hope.

Days into my dad's stay at the CVC ICU, I was scared having gone through such trauma that I asked to go to Maternal Fetal Medicine to hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time. That is such a wonderful memory for me - the ability to hear my growing baby as my dad fought for his life.

Visiting in the hospital
My sister and my cousin's wife, Benita, were outside the curtain where I had the Doppler performed. As we walked back to CVC ICU, they both said, "It sounded like a boy."

When tragedy strikes, there is that grace period when all wrongs are righted, all hurts are forgiven and all faults are forgotten. Family bands together and becomes one, regardless of anything that has happened in the past.

As healing happens, things return to normal and the dysfunction of everyday life returns. It is bittersweet.

You wish you could always have that unified front, but normalcy is more indicative of well-being.

Grandma and Papa
When I gave birth to Jack, it marked the end of a unique and difficult time in the lives of my family. My pregnancy coincided with my dad's illness and recovery and Jack was the crescendo.

My parents were able to visit me in the recovery room (literally less than an hour after he was born) and hold him and love on him as any grandparents would.

One year later, life continues. Normal for my parents consists of doctor visits and new prognosis. We have a spunky, two-year-old daughter and a sweet, five-and-a-half-month-old son.

The hope is that quality of life for my parents will continue to get better and that Abby and Jack will provide light in the midst of difficult recovery.

Regardless, to think back to one year ago today is to feel incredibly blessed that we are where we are and that we continue to journey together.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's not the 'terrible twos' ... it's just Abby

Abby is a firecracker ... putting it mildly.

We've had multiple battles with her these past few weeks. We've technically lost each and every battle, but we will not lose the war.

About a week and a half ago, we went to Wiard's. We drove out there before I had to leave for Philadelphia, shelling out the overwhelming up-front cost knowing Abby would have a great time looking for pumpkins, seeing the animals and playing in the park area.

She instead refused to get out of the stroller. We ultimately had to take photos ourselves around the apple orchard and the trip ended up being nothing more than an extremely expensive tantrum.

Then we drove up to Grand Blanc the following week to get family photos taken. I have never had professional photos taken of our kids and was really looking forward to it.

I didn't dress Abby warm enough and she quickly wanted to go home. She said she wanted to go home every .2 seconds. I had to explain to her that I was still going to get photos with Jack, who was (naturally) happy as could be.

We ended up battling her back at the photography studio, but got a few photos with Jack after I had to throw/slide her next to him before she quickly scooted away.

Managing this child is a sport, let me tell you.

Then there was Halloween last night. I had bought her a costume knowing full well she wouldn't wear it, but I hoped I'd be proven wrong. I figured if I didn't at least try to get her into a costume I'd fail as a parent.

Well, she refused to put her costume on, even though it was Jessie from Toy Story. I let her know she was no fun (she wanted to keep her "kitty shirt" on) and proceeded to model the costume myself. Tom and Leia also took turns.

I see all of the positive in this behavior. I foresee a passionate young lady/woman who is loyal and fun. She will have no shortage of personality, that's for sure.

As for us, we'll just keep enjoying the ride and try to waste as little money as possible.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"No, Grandma, I'm eating pizza!"

We were sitting in the kitchen at my parents' house eating pizza.

Mom was talking to Abby about seeing Tom when we got home.

Mom: "Daddy is going to be so excited to see you! He'll say, 'Abby, it's so good to have you home!'"

Abby: "No, Grandma, Abby's eating pizza at the table!"

Also, she later sported the hat to the right.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Boy-Girl, Boy-Girl

I was putting Abby to bed tonight and she wanted to read "Thank You, God".

The first page had a bear with a bow on her head. Abby said, "Girl bear."

Then she called the boy bear on the other page the "Mommy big bear".

I said, "That's a boy bear. Who else is a boy in our house?"

After a perplexed look from Abby, I said, "Jack! Jack is a boy."

Abby replies, "No, Mommy! (with a you-are-an-idiot tone) Jack is a baby."

"Yes. Jack is a baby. But he's a baby boy."

"No, Mommy! Jack is a ba-by."

Yes, yes, I concede.

I then ask, "What is Abby?"

She proudly replies, "Abby is a girl!"

"What is Mommy?"

Abby says, "Mommy is a girl!"

Then I ask, "What is Daddy?"

She just looks confused.

I say, "Daddy is a boy!"

She replies, "No, Mommy ... Daddy is on the phone!"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Leia's tragic reality

Leia's inner dialogue during an all-to-familiar situation this afternoon. Please read with the voice of Stuey from Family Guy.
"Last time I checked, I was a cat ... not a pillow."

"I recognize I'm a little on the fluffy side, but that doesn't mean you can just do whatever you'd like."

"You're about to get a paw in the face."

"I'm so done with this. You're cute, but I need to retain my dignity. You're lucky I didn't go Lucifer on you (see Cinderella)."

"Are you following me?"

"Sonofa ..."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why? WHY?


I have truly understood what God goes through with us here on earth through the first two years with my daughter - particularly the last year when she has had the capacity to misbehave.

There are times I just don't get it and it frustrates me to no end. Something so simple I ask her to do, she refuses. Just because.

Today she threw a Memory game on the floor. All the pieces went everywhere. I asked her to pick it up. She wouldn't do it.

We were supposed to go to my parents' house so she could play with some new toys they got her and visit. I asked her if she wanted to go see Grandma and Papa and she was excited and ready to go.

I got her dressed, put her shoes on and I packed the bags to leave. Jack was in his carseat. All she needed to do was pick up the pieces from the Memory game and put them back in the box.

Would she do it?


She wouldn't do it for an hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF.

I explained to her in as simple a cause-and-effect terms as I could. If she picks up the pieces, we will leave for Grandma and Papa's house. Do you want to go to Grandma and Papa's house? Then pick up the pieces.

No. No, no, no, no.

She screamed. She whined. She misbehaved by climbing into Jack's rocking seat and yanking things off the end table.

I put her in her room telling her she would have to take a nap. Five minutes later I went back in there, asked her if she still wanted to go to Grandma and Papa's. She said yes, so I told her great - all we need to do is pick up the pieces.

Would she do it?


More screaming. More asking for food. More attempts at playing with other toys.

I called my mom to tell her we wouldn't be able to come over because Abby wouldn't pick up the game she threw on the floor. Mom asked her to please pick up the game so she could come see her.

She put two pieces in the box and abandoned it. Back to screaming, whining, responding to me by saying I needed to "help" her put it away.

I tried the nap method again, going back up there in the hopes that it had sunk in and she'd clean up the game. Nope.

Finally - at 10:45 (I was ready to leave at 9:30), I put her upstairs in her room for good. I have no idea how long I'm going to let her rest up there, but I just sit downstairs perplexed.

Such a simple task. Put some pieces in a box. Not difficult. All she had to do was put pieces in a box and she would have had everything she wanted.

Makes me wonder how often we do things like that. Deny God's promptings for no good reason and miss out on great opportunities.

I really hope Abby puts the pieces away soon so we can go to my parents' house and she can play with new toys. I would be so happy to give her exactly what she wants.

I'm sure that's how God feels too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A little mush. Just a little.

As much as I love the entertainment element of writing about my motherhood, I feel I need to write a bit about my children on a serious note.

My kids (yes, I can't believe I have 'kids' in the plural) are amazing and watching them grow and develop is quite the experience.

I've always been around kids, but there is something about seeing something that wasn't there one day suddenly show up the next. It's like Michelle Pfeiffer's character says in "The Story of Us" - "All of a sudden there were no people and now there's people!"

To see Abby be a baby and then suddenly have imagination is astounding. She'll be mixing water in a bucket in the bathtub and she says, "Cooking ... noodles, chicken, broccoli." The fact that she is even able to have that sense of imagination out of nowhere is crazy to me.

Of course, I don't express my astonishment over my daughter often because it just doesn't translate through conversation or writing. You have to see it for yourself.

Yesterday Abby was "talking" on the phone (it was a flip cam) to a lion (hey, she knows lions. Maybe it was Calvin). She said a few words of gibberish to said-lion (making sure she paused in intervals for the lion to speak) before busting out in a sense of unnatural, pretend laughter.

Then today Abby was pulling puzzles out of a shopping bag one by one while Tom and I were in the kitchen. One box after another that she put on the floor. Then all of a sudden I hear her dragging the heavy bag across the carpet. When she passes the wall and is in my sight I see that she is dragging the bag with Leia inside. Leia looks slightly pleased with the ride, but quickly changes her tune as the bag starts to tilt and Abby doesn't stop.

We were sitting at the dining room table and she suddenly said to me, "Peggy ... buh-bye ... see you later ... alligator!" I said, "Aunt Peggy said, 'See you later, alligator?'" She gave a resounding, "YEAH!"

As much as I've heard some celebrity parents say that teaching children to say please and thank you is teaching them to be robotic, I have grown to see my daughter say, "Thank you, Mommy!" and "Thank you, Daddy!" all on her own when we give her things. I melt every time. She gives hugs and kisses and is just her own person.

I just don't have the words to express it because talking and writing about it doesn't do it justice, but it's been a wild ride so far and we (speaking for me and my amazing husband) absolutely love it.

Another proof-of-God experience is to see just how different Jack is from his sister. Up until this point, at least, she is me in every stretch of the imagination. She's bold and stubborn; loving and affectionate, yet not overly sensitive; funny (naturally, she gets that from me).

Jack is so clearly NOT all of that.

He is sweet by nature. Where Abby could be set down alone as an infant to swing or stare at hanging objects in her play gym, Jack needs interaction. He needs human contact and affection. He screams when left alone, but when we start talking to him, he just coos and smiles in a way I don't think I've ever seen a baby coo and smile. He is just so, so happy, but he needs that affection and human touch. It is so endearing.

Even in the womb, Abby would jab at me when I would set my hand on my stomach as if to say, "Hey! I'm occupying this space right now! Lay off!" Jack would move when I would put my hand on my stomach, but it was to snuggle up to the touch. My strong girl and my sweet boy.

Abby nursed, but wasn't attached to it. She loved the bottle and went on strike three or four times over the 10 months we did it. Jack was at the breast within a half hour of being born, knowing exactly what to do and knowing it was exactly what he wanted to do. Fits their personalities to a tee.

It's fascinating to see both of our children be loving, yet need us in very different ways and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Jack grow into his own personality and see just how different he and Abby are (and what similarities they have).

I will often say that Abby is me and Jack is Tom - even down to appearance - but I know they will each have some of each of us as well as some God-given uniqueness. The bottom line is that we have the privilege of being their parents and being with them as they mature into adulthood.

So far, it has certainly been an entertaining, thrilling and humbling journey.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A big smell from a small boy

So I'm sitting on the couch with Jack while Tom and I are watching Project Runway, when an overwhelmingly-awful smell fills my nostrils.

Me (in exasperation and disgust): "Is that YOU?!"

Tom: "What ..."

Me: "That smell. It smells like rotten eggs."

Tom (actually checking to see if it's him): "No ..."

Me: "Is it the litter box? I mean ... Wait a second ..."

I put my face to Jack's diaper.

Me: "Oh my gosh, it's JACK!"

I was in true disbelief. The boy channeled the gastrointestinal system of a beer-drinking, fast-food eating, middle-aged man. He is 11 weeks old.

He looked at me, grinned and cooed.

I fear for what the future holds.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Disposable undershirts

Jack has managed three (yes, three) diaper blow-outs in less than two days.

Carters comes with five undershirts in a layette and we have had to throw away three of them.

I have no idea what is going on, but it smells.

"Is that a Buzz shirt?"

Woke up today and Abby was wearing her red Buzz shirt when I woke up this morning.

Me: "Are you wearing your Buzz shirt?"

Abby: "No."

Me: "You're not wearing your Buzz shirt?"

Abby: "No, no."

Me: "What shirt are you wearing?"

Abby: "Buzz shirt!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How our kid sleeps

A) Can you tell she likes Toy Story?

B) She is, in fact, sleeping with her head at the foot of the bed.

C) I enjoy that she and Woody are "sleeping" in the same position.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"This is how you repay me?"

We all had those days when we were kids. We were having a fantastic day with one parent, the other or both and then - for one reason or another - we ultimately ended up throwing the worst temper tantrum we could muster up.

These tantrums could be thrown as a two-year old or 12-year old. They take different forms, but are tantrums nonetheless.

Regardless, it resulted in the "this-is-how-you-repay-me speech" from Mom and/or Dad.

"I drove you all the way to Cedar Point, paid for you and your friends to get in and this is how you repay me?"

"I went to three stores to find your special jeans, spent $50 of my own money and THIS is how you repay me?"

"Do you know how much time and money I spent planning this party for you and this is how you repay me?"

I received insight into the toddler version of this speech (and what brings it on) today.

The last Monday of my maternity leave (that's for another post) and I've become old hat at this two-under-two thing.

When I say "old hat" I mean I no longer look around in disbelief, stewing. Instead, I'm not surprised while stewing.

Sometimes I'm able to just go to my "happy place". Unfortunately, the door to said-place is sometimes locked. We'll get into that another time.

I was up early and actually showered AND dried my hair (hold the applause until the end of the post, please) before 7 a.m. I was ready for Miss Abigail.

She got up and I made her oatmeal and got her dressed in Buzz Shirt No. 2 (we alternate). We watched The Cat in the Hat and played downstairs in the toy room. Jack wasn't overly compliant, but we made it work.

After Jack was fed and calmed down, I asked Abby if she wanted to go to the park. I put Jack in the Ergo so Abby could ride in the wagon. It's what she always asks to ride in when we go to the park, but I always use the double stroller for my own sanity.

She was so excited and we brought her new Buzz Bear. I wrestled Jack into the Ergo (he's in a weird, in-between size for it) and we headed off. Unfortunately, I grossly underestimated the heat and was sweating bullets before we even got to the park.

I pushed Abby (and Buzz Bear) on the swing for what seemed like an eternity and then she "cooked" (threw wood chips into a hole) before we left. She also ate dirt. It was a good all-around experience.

We got home and I made her lunch: a peanut butter sandwich with extra peanut butter on the side, apple slices (which she asked for and didn't eat) and yogurt. She licked the peanut butter off the bread, ate the extra peanut butter with her hands, dipped the bread in yogurt and licked it off and then ate the rest of her yogurt - and a second - by dipping her fingers in it.

I made my own lunch and asked if she wanted any, so she ended up dissecting some green beans and eating a few bites of couscous. By the end of the meal, she looked like a Christmas sugar cookie with sprinkles.

The entire time she was eating lunch, I let her watch "Buzz". She watched Toy Story and the last third of Toy Story 2. When she was finished eating, I cleaned her up and was going to wind down with her before her nap.

That's when it started.

Abby went NUTS because she wanted "Buzz again! Buzz on the TV! Buzz again!"

Her screaming woke up Jack, who had been sleeping peacefully in his Rock n Play (something I was excited about because it meant I could put Abby down for her nap without interference), so I had two screaming children on my hands as I began cleaning up all of the couscous off the floor.

Abby raced through the house - upstairs, downstairs - screaming "Buzz AGAIN! Buzz on the TV!"

That is when the insight hit me because, without warning, the phrase, "This is how you repay me?" popped up in my head.

I was overly cheerful this morning. I took her to the park in the wagon, sweating my arse off just for her. I pushed her in the swing. I lost Jack's paci in the process. I made her lunch with tons of peanut butter and let her watch Buzz back-to-back.

And this is how she repays me?

I ultimately had to carry her upstairs for her nap and put her in bed without stories because she was so out of it, she wouldn't relax even to let me read to her. She screamed bloody murder for a few minutes, but has since fallen silent, thank goodness.

Mom, you can go ahead and chalk this up as one of those "learning experiences" you wished upon me over the years while you were in the midst of one of my many, many tantrums.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Funny moment to write down

I was rushing around trying to get the kids ready to leave the house. In the process, I was massively peed on (think fire hose) by Jack when I took his diaper off (Note: I always put a wipe over it, but he was already mid-(forceful)pee when I pulled the front down. I'm lucky I didn't get it in the face.).

I had left my clothes on the washer and the door to the washer and dryer open (we have them in a closet).

I was downstairs tending to Jack and I kept calling for Abby to come downstairs. It was all too quiet up there.

Finally, she emerges - looking very pleased with herself - with a Downy ball.

She made sure to put it on the ground (on its side) so the water inside of it spilled onto the floor.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daily Bites from the Dub Household

Enjoy some quick thoughts from my frazzled self.

Recognizing Mommy's Love for Coffee
Kimberly and I took Abby (and Jack) to Jungle Java this morning. It was an adventure, to say the least. I welcome all parents of teens to bring their children to our house to help them remain abstinent.

Anyway. We stopped at Starbucks on the way back because I hadn't had any coffee yet for the day. I hilariously thought I would be able to have coffee at Jungle Java "where kids can play and parents can relax!" Riiiight.

I was putting Abby down for her nap and put my coffee on the dresser so I could read her a book. Abby walks over to the dresser and points up, saying, "Mommy foffee!" It actually took me a minute to figure out what she was saying because I had no clue she knew "coffee".

I said, "Yep! That's Mommy's coffee!"

She said, "Hold it?"

"You want Mommy to hold her coffee?"

"Uh huh."

I fall deeper in love with her every day. She's now recognizing my need to caffeinate.

She did what?
I really regret not having a video monitor when I hear Abby over the audio monitor saying, "I did it! I did it! I did it!"

My mind wanders to many different possibilities. Did she climb onto the changing table? Retrieve an action figure that fell on the floor? Do a handstand? I'll never know ...

Paci-weaning victory!
One very exciting piece of news is that Abby has completely disassociated from the pacifier.

We were in our room and she found two of her pacifiers: one "Pinky" and one "Greeny". No idea where I was hiding them.

She ran them over to me and said, "Jack? Jack?" Meaning they were Jack's.

We give Jack a completely different kind, so the fact that she said they were for him means she's totally over them! Yay!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sleep experiment fail

We got home from my parents' house around 1:45. Abby typically goes down for a nap around 1. So, I was already behind.

I brought Abby and Jack upstairs to the bedroom with the intent of putting Abby down for her nap. Well, Jack began stirring in his car seat and I had to tend to him first. I ended up getting him to sleep, putting him down in his crib.

Because he was asleep, I decided to test having Abby and Jack sleep in the same room.

When I was trying to put Abby down, she kept climbing onto the side of the crib to peer in at Jack sleeping.

"Jack? Jack!"

Then she would get down, point to the bottom of the crib and say, "Abby climb?"

Repeat times 10.

I finally went into the bathroom and got her stool so she could safely look in on Jack (in the event that he needed big-sisterly assistance).

I got her into her own bed and told her sweet dreams. At this point it was 2:45. Awesome job, Chrissie.

I heard her talking to herself (or Jack?) for awhile.

I would here a bunch of garbled gibberish followed by "Jack?"

"Ajdkau jkdaliurl djkalrks Jaaack?"

Repeat times 10.

She then fell silent for awhile. I held on to the pipe dream that she may have actually fallen asleep.

Then I hear, "Buzz Lightyear reporting for sector duty!"

My dream faded.

He reported a few more times before she started to say, "Woody? Woody? Woody Woody Woody? Buzz? Buzz? Buzz?"

Then Buzz's laser went off.

Now I hear her saying, "Ow! Ow! I hurt! A boo boo. A boo boo. Abby hurt!" For the record, I have heard zero thump or indication that she may have actually hurt herself. I call nap foul.

The glass-half-empty perspective: Abby didn't nap. She may be cranky.

The glass-half-full perspective: She occupied herself for more than an hour. Jack slept through it all.

No idea when we will retry this doozy of an experiment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The maturity of parents

As many of you now know, Abby is currently obsessed with Toy Story. These movies are good, so it isn't an issue, but it has brought Tom's and my immaturity to light.

The main character in the Toy Story movies is Woody.

Do I need to elaborate on the immaturity I am speaking of?

The lines that make me giggle are endless.

In regards to getting the Toy Story dolls for Abby
Tom: "I was in the store thinking to myself, 'Should I get the 15-inch Woody or the 12-inch Woody?' Then I was like, 'Heh heh heh'"

Abby during the scene in Toy Story 2 when the cardboard cutout of Woody is revealed
"There's a BIG Woody!"

Me talking to Abby about finding her doll
"Where's your Woody?"

I could go on and on. Clearly we will be teaching Abby mature life principles as she grows up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So Long Pacifier: the Stuff Sitcoms are Made of

Abby's Vaseline-crusted hair.
Oh. My. Gosh.

Just when you thought it was safe to celebrate a pacifier-free life.

Abby completely duped us into believing we were going to get off scot-free with the pacifier removal. We introduced Buzz, Woody and Jessie and she did pretty well at bedtime and naptime for the first two days.

Then came day three.

The craziness started after I attempted to put her down for a nap. She complied and stayed quiet in her room, but I suspect she didn't sleep even though she was in there for an hour. When I got her up, she turned into Crazy Abby.

I essentially turned into a raving lunatic chasing her around the room, grabbing things from her and placing them out of her reach. We ultimately ended up with a collection of ointments, lotions, pens, etc. in the center of our dining room table because it was a spot she couldn't reach.

It started when she removed Jack's blanket from him and looked at me coyly. I told her to put the blanket back. She did ... for a millisecond. Then she removed it again and repeated this three or four times. When I scolded her, she thought I was HILARIOUS.

Then she rocked Jack as hard as she could until I shooed her away from doing that. She quickly stole his pacifier and raced into the other room so I had to chase her down and remove it.

Don't worry, that didn't get her down!

She shoved the baby swing hard in what appeared to be an effort to break it before moving on to the DVDs.

She quickly cleared the shelf and began removing the discs from their cases. Then she wanted a snack, asking for cheese. I went to the kitchen to get said cheese and turned around to find her with her finger in a tub of Vaseline, looking at me mischievously.

I took that from her, so she moved on to the toys with small parts.

She grabbed a couple wooden toy sets (think nesting-doll-type things) and began putting the small pieces in her mouth. The second time she tried it, the entire thing went in her mouth. I quickly confiscated that and placed it on a high shelf.

I put her in her room for a couple minutes to collect myself and organize the room.

On the way back down from her room, she opted to go down on her stomach, head-first. Awesome.

Her reign of terror was just beginning. She opened the wipes box and tried to pull every one out of the box. She grabbed lotion and squirted it onto her hands and the floor.

Each time I removed what she had and turned to relocate it, she scurried off to find something else.

Tom came home and thought the entire thing was entertaining and attributed her behavior to being a typical two-year old. I wasn't angry with him for making this statement, but couldn't help but be satisfied when - in response to him asking Abby to bring him a heavy coaster she ran off with - she promptly threw it at him.

Don't worry ... no dads were harmed in the process.

The kicker to this awesome day came at bedtime. We gave her a bath and put her down to a chorus of screaming. SCREAMING. SCREAMING.

It reminded me of the sleep training days. It's been awhile since we've had to instill the cry-it-out method, but we had no choice. She was inconsolable and wouldn't calm down for an hour.

Finally, after repeated attempts at getting her to sleep, she fell silent. We breathed a sigh of relief at the fact that she was finally asleep.

Then more crying. Tom went in to investigate.

Suddenly I hear, "Chrissie? Do we have more sheets?"

"Great," I think. "She threw up." This is something she did regularly while we had trouble getting her to nap.

Turns out she didn't throw up at all.

Tom said he walked into the bedroom to find Abby on her bed, cross-legged and covered head to toe in Vaseline.

She had climbed up onto the changing table, grabbed the Vaseline and proceeded to spread it to her hair, her body and her bed.

I had to give her another bath, though I didn't do a good job of cleaning the stuff out of her hair, so she had a great look going today. She ultimately went to sleep after some time calming her down and we had a much easier night tonight, though it wasn't perfect.

I have to say, though ... the worst part about this entire ordeal is that Tom DIDN'T TAKE A PICTURE! Come on now! This stuff needs to be photo-documented!

Especially since it is going to take something big to top this performance. I'm sure Abby is up for the challenge.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The dreaded pacifier removal

Abby still uses a pacifier. We've all called it a "that" for quite some time. Not really sure how she started calling it "that" ... I think we just asked if she wanted "that" and it stuck.

Now she calls it "Pinky" because weaned her down to only using a pacifier at night and she would sleep with two: one pink and one green. Tom calls them "Pinky" and "Greeny" but she calls them both "Pinky".

Getting rid of the pacifier cold turkey has been in the works for awhile. We wanted to make sure it was the perfect storm. Unfortunately (because we're scared), that time is now.

  1. Jack is here and has woven into our household.
  2. She's on a rigid (and successful) sleep schedule for both naps and nighttime.
  3. We can't put it off any longer!
Since Abby is now obsessed with Toy Story, we decided to get her "big girl" gifts: Buzz and Woody dolls. These are the real deal, too, people.

We literally watch Toy Story, Toy Story 2 or Toy Story 3 multiple times a day. Don't judge.

We figure these dolls would help the transition. We decided to pull the trigger tonight.

First we broke the news to her (following a nap when she still had "Pinky" and "Greeny" in her grasp) that she was a big girl and that we were going to give her pacis to babies. She handed them over.

Then we introduced her to her new big girl friends.

It was as if she saw movie stars ... or ghosts. She was totally freaked out when she saw Buzz and Woody. She has since fallen in love with Woody and is terrified of Buzz ... which is completely ironic because she refers to Toy Story movies as "Buzz".

But Buzz makes noise and he startled her, so now she just enjoys him from afar.

It was a tough bedtime tonight, but we're hoping she sleeps through the night no problem.

I'm fully expecting to need an adult beverage during tomorrow's nap time, however.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Embracing the chaos

I have a happy-go-lucky, glass-half-full husband who has been sure to remind me that I have to laugh at the craziness of having two under two.

One thing I haven't been afraid to do is take both kids out. In fact, I have found that to be a source of sanity because seeing the walls of my house is becoming more and more painful for me!

On Tuesday, I took Abby and Jack to the library for a playgroup. It is a 0-24 month playgroup with stories and music and the like. Abby goes to playgroups with her Mimi and loves them, so I figured this would be a no-brainer.

I took Jack in the single stroller and took Abby by the hand and we walked in to the room full of mommies, daddies and infants/toddlers. They were in the midst of explaining the rules ("Don't bring your older kids! This is why!") and then broke into a song about an elevator, complete with dance instructions that we didn't get because we were two minutes late.

As parents had their kids in their laps moving them "up the elevator" and "down the elevator", Abby opted to grab a couple of shakers and weave in and out of the parents and their kids. I tried to coax her back to me to participate to no avail. She just ran around the room. I tried to give her sleigh bells. She wasn't interested.

Then, without skipping a beat, she ran out the door. I rushed out behind her, leaving Jack in his infant seat (I'm going to scar my son by leaving him in random places ...) and said, "Don't you want to play with the kids?" She promptly replied, "No," and kept walking. Okay then.

I grabbed Jack and we ended up in the kids section with the toys, the fish tank and the computers. Afterward I drove through Wendy's to get her french fries. I'm sure it was a phenomenal morning for Abby.

Wednesday I took both kids to Barnes and Noble, thinking Abby could play in the kids section. They have a Thomas the Train toy set up, so I kept telling her we could go play with the trains. She screamed when I put her in the car (she wanted to go to the park), but perked up once we got to the store.

I went to the Starbucks first and got myself some much-needed caffeine. They also had those plastic straw cups that were cute and (shockingly) not over-priced, so I let her pick one out and handed it to the girl behind the counter and asked if she could fill it up with water for Abby.

Her reply?

"Yeah, if you pay for it ..."

Thanks. I thought they were free.

We rode up the elevator (I successfully kept Abby from pushing the emergency call button - victory!) to the kids section. She loved playing with the trains. It got a bit more difficult when Jack started fussing and I had to feed him while trying to chase Abby around and do damage control as she yanked book after book off the shelves.

She ended up finding some Toy Story wall decals that I decided to buy her since "Buzz" is one of the top words in her current vocabulary. I packed up Jack and told Abby to come back to the elevator so we could go home. At this point, Jack was screaming because he needed a new diaper.

So we made our way to the bathroom. In the process, Abby grabbed a giant Hungry Caterpillar stuffed animal and tucked that under her arm. I had a fleeting thought of buying it for her until she dropped it and I caught sight of the price tag. I kid you not, $37.99. For a stuffed caterpillar. When she dropped it, I distracted her and we left it in the bargain book section.

She did well during the changing and we made our way to the checkout line. I stood in line with the stroller with Jack as Abby decided to yank as many pairs of reading glasses off the shelf as she could. I rushed over and put them back, so she moved on to the bookmarks. When I told her to put those back, she ran out of my reach to the gift bags, promptly returning with a birthday bag.

When it was our turn to go to the register, she had a birthday bag that I had to take back, leaving Jack (again) in the line next to a pleasant(and amused)-looking man. We put the bag back and I went to Jack and started pushing him toward the register, thinking Abby was right behind me.

Think again.

I was halfway down the row when I heard the cashier say, "You're on the wrong side!"

Abby decided to make friends with the Barnes and Noble staff and walk behind the registers. Awesome.

Luckily, the young woman was very nice and let Abby bag the decals. The amused-looking man giggled and looked on.

After paying, we finally made our way out the door thanks to a tween young man holding one door for us and a disgruntled-looking young woman holding another.

We got to the car and I saw that we killed an hour. We went home, I fed Jack and we went to the park.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This too shall pass?

I'm in the midst of my second week caring for Abby and Jack by myself.

It's been an adventure.

Toddler 411 compares toddlers adjusting to new siblings to the five stages of grief. My assessment is that Abby is in the midst of "Anger", which is thoroughly depressing for me since that is only Stage 2! Luckily, Stage 5 is "Acceptance" ...

The fun behavior I am dealing with the past couple days includes:
  • Odd food preferences. Abby will now only eat peanut butter (straight ... not ON anything), cookies and yogurt. The yogurt, however, she will only eat with her fingers. She is more than capable of using a spoon, mind you. Today she "ate" the entire thing with her hands. She asked for more and I walked over there to find that the yogurt cup was missing. It was on her lap. Along with half of the yogurt.
  • Park or bust. Abby only wants to go to the park. Nothing else. I suggest the water table, blowing bubbles on the front porch, the library, etc. It's the park. That's all she wants.
  • "SEAT!" Abby gets frustrated when she needs something, but I am holding Jack and can't get to it right away. She has started demanding I put him in his infant seat when she needs something.
There are plenty of other instances where she throws tantrums. My heart goes out to her because I know she is frustrated and just wanting my attention and I am struggling to give it to her ... even though Jack may be the easiest newborn on the planet (the boy eats, pees, poops and sleeps. Fussing isn't even a category).

This too shall pass ... right?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Memories and Highlights

It was a wonderful second Mother's Day.

It was nice having the day with Abby - especially since she now understands completely that I'm her mommy (wasn't quite the same when she was seven months old).

Highlights of the day:
  • Tom made me breakfast this morning - eggs, toast, an orange and coffee. I brought my breakfast downstairs to eat and Abby proceeded to try and steal food off my plate and ultimately ended up eating the majority of my scrambled eggs.
  • Tom had Abby give me my gift - a poem with her hand print on it that Mimi helped her make at the library. She gave it to me and then Tom told her to give me a kiss. She said, "No," and then tried to leave the room, saying, "Downstairs?"
  • My poem says: "Dear Mommy, As I grow, I'll change a lot; The years will fly right by. You'll wonder how I grew so quickly; When and where, Oh my! When you look at this handprint and your little one recall; Memories will come back of me when I was so very small. Love and kisses, From your very own, Abby." Okay. I'm going to start crying again.
  • I had to work this morning. I was told one person I "looked hilarious" (due to my large baby belly) and then asked if "I was the one who painted my stomach like a pumpkin." Nope. Wasn't me.
  • I was trying to decide how to visit everyone I wanted to visit this afternoon. I wanted to visit my grandma and my parents. When I asked my mom what they were doing, she mentioned they had taken my grandma out to lunch and she was at their house. Bonus!
  • It was wonderful to see my parents, my sister and boyfriend, my grandma, my aunt and uncle and my mother-in-law. It was also awesome to spend time with my baby girl and my husband!
  • I was excited to get some ice cream to finish my great day. I scooped a bunch of ice cream into the bowl and then went to lick the scooper. The scooper was way too cold and my lip stuck to it. I lost a layer of the inside of my upper lip. It's bleeding. It hurts. Boo. (Yes, I know you are all thinking about A Christmas Story).
  • Finally, my top highlight was putting my girl to bed. She sat on my lap and let me read her four stories and then crawled right into bed. What an amazing blessing she is.
It is going to be difficult for me to create a better Father's Day! Though there is the possibility that I give Tom a son on Father's Day. That would be the ultimate, can't-one-up gift. Right?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Just when you think you've found the perfect toy ...

I posted a bunch of pictures on Facebook yesterday of Abby enjoying bubbles in front of our house. Tom and I had the task of creating the bubbles and she chased them, stood in awe of them, pinched them, etc.

Today we went to Babies R Us to get a bath sling for Little Man. They had a buy one bath item, get the next 40-percent off. So I figured I'd look for a bath toy for Abs.

Imagine my excitement (and Tom's) when I found a bath tub bubble maker.

We brought it home, put batteries in it, and stuck it to the wall. I even had Tom grab the Flip Cam so we could capture some (appropriate) video footage.

Well. We put her in the bath tub. Pushed the button. And she freaked the freak out.

She enjoyed it somewhat. But quickly became agitated and wanted me to turn it off. I tried a couple more times and she got more freaked out with each effort.

By the end of the bath, I simply mentioned that I could make bubbles again by pushing the button. That's when the nervous breakdown happened.

She started crying and stood up in the tub because she wanted to get out. I should probably mention that this child LOVES baths and always cries when we TAKE her out ... not because she WANTS to get out.

It was one of those moments where I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Naturally."

Because this always happens when you think you've found the perfect toy. Always. Never fails.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Abby says the darndest things ...

We have an Elmo bath mat that we use to keep Abby from slipping in the tub. It has rubber decals within the layers of rubber. The decals are of Elmo with sandbox toys, beach balls, seashells, etc.

We are on our second bath mat since the first one "wore out" due to too much use in water (essentially, it ended up gross, so we made the switch).

Well, I was giving Abby her bath tonight and the bath mat had shifted so she could lift up the corner. She lifted it and looked at the suction side of the bath mat. The adhesive attaching the decals to the bath mat was turning black (you can see the adhesive since the decals are attached within the rubber layers of the mat).

Abby took one look at it and said, "Poop."

How observant.

Flips the bath mat over again.


What could I say?

"Yes, baby, that looks like poop, doesn't it?"

Flips the bath mat over again.


We'll be getting a new mat.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What seemed like a good idea at the time ...

... has clearly revealed to me it was not.

I got down on the floor to play with Luke. I am now "stuck", uncomfortable and trying to will myself to stand up.

At 31 weeks pregnant, I am officially operating like someone twice my age, grunting and struggling to make any major moves (e.g. getting into bed ... getting out of bed ... standing up ... sitting down ... getting into a car ... etc. etc.).

Okay. I can do it. Here I go ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good prognosis!

Luke and I had our appointment at 10:30 this morning at the Animal Cancer and Imaging Center in Canton. It was a consult appointment after he had the mass removed from his tongue a couple weeks ago. I've definitely been nervous about it because I don't want to hear bad news, but I was also excited because it would mean answers - something I haven't really had a lot of since the whole thing started.

First thing's first - I really liked the place. It was in a great location tucked away from everything. Then they had a kitty room (since dogs and cats both attend this place), which was great. Though he could have walked around the kitty run, Luke, of course, opted to hide in his carrier behind the cat bed.

It didn't take too long for us to get into an exam room. The girl who weighed him and spoke with me initially was very, very sweet and commented on how handsome Luke is (I never know whether to say thank you since I obviously have nothing to do with his looks).

The oncologist came in shortly thereafter and proceeded to give me great news.

Essentially, the tumor Luke had on his tongue is one in a million. Most oral cancers in cats are aggressive and spread to other areas at a rapid pace. This type of cancer (a fibrosarcoma) doesn't typically spread, though it can be difficult to remove it in its entirety.

The tumor was sent to Colorado State for evaluation, so they know that it wasn't fully removed because there weren't "clean edges" around it. This means there are still cancerous cells within his tongue.

They took Luke back and sedated him so they could fully check his mouth and throat and make sure there were no other legions. They also did a chest x-ray to confirm nothing had spread to his lungs, heart or surrounding edges.

It was all clear!

Since all we are dealing with is the cancerous cells on the tongue, the surgeon checked Luke's tongue and said he was a candidate for additional surgery. The surgeon will remove a larger portion of the tongue to more than likely remove all of the cancerous tissue. Once that portion is removed, it will be sent to Michigan State for analysis and - if it has clean edges - Luke will be considered cured!

The surgeon came to see me before I left and had such a liaise fare attitude about it because it was such a low grade tumor that I felt immediately reassured about things. He is confident he will be able to remove all of the cancerous cells.

Thank you to everyone for all of the thoughts and prayers regarding our kitty! We are relieved he will more than likely be just fine.

In other news ...
  • Abby is currently obsessed with sippy cups. We currently have four on our counter because she needs to keep trying new ones.
  • She is also obsessed with her "thats" (pacifiers). She needs to be holding two with one in her mouth.
  • Her big-girl bed arrived today. There are positives and negatives surrounding this. Positive, she loves our bed and says "night night!" when she's on our bed. Negative, she will be able to get out of her bed. Yikes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feeling better

After an evening with the family, I am feeling a little better about Luke.

He is definitely acting himself and actually seems to be acting much better since the surgery (he had two teeth and the growth removed).

He is eating just fine and wants to play. All good signs I hear.

It was one of those things where I just had the feeling everything wasn't going to be okay when I knew we had to send that growth for biopsy. I just had that uneasy feeling. All of the reassurance I was getting wasn't working and I think that's because - deep down in my gut - I knew everything wasn't perfect.

Now that I've received the news, though, it's almost calming because that tug at my gut has been confirmed and now we can move forward from there. I now have a different tug in my gut: that everything is going to be just fine.

I'm nervous about having that perspective, but I have it nonetheless. Aside from that, I just need to trust that I will be taken care of and comforted no matter what happens with him.

This event is just one in a long list of events that has made this a rollercoaster of a pregnancy. Such polarizing differences between Abby and Little Man.

With Abby, it was that elation of a first pregnancy. It's like it's an event - a wedding or something like that. Everyone wants to know what is going on with the pregnancy, you register for gifts, have showers, you know your life is going to change dramatically.

With baby no. 2 (especially so soon after baby no. 1), the reaction of telling people I was pregnant was something along the lines of, "Oh. Wow. That's nice. You wanted them close together, huh?"

Since those less-than-exciting responses, my dad has had major heart surgery and a stroke and has been on the mend since November (when I was about 11 weeks along), my work life has been insane, we had a slight scare on our anatomy scan and now this issue with Luke. Oh, and did I mention I have a rambunctious toddler?

It's been crazy and distracting to say the least!

It's almost like the fact that we will have a baby in less than 10 weeks is just a fabrication. I haven't really been focused on this pregnancy at all. We still need to get a double stroller, a toddler bed for Abby and those teeny little newborn diapers :)

I'm really excited, though, that's for sure! I'm also nervous about this whole "boy" thing.

But that's for an entirely different post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tough News: Luke's growth is cancerous

I received a call from the vet this afternoon and Luke's growth is (was) cancerous. It is a neurofibrosarcoma and I'm heartbroken.

I was really hoping to get a chipper call that confirmed a clean bill of health but that didn't come. As soon as I heard the vet's voice on the other end, I knew I wasn't going to get good news.

I have to take Luke to a cancer center on Tuesday to talk about next steps. Of course I've looked up this type of cancer and it's apparently locally aggressive, meaning it doesn't really spread, but it's also very difficult to get through surgery. Think of tree roots that implant themselves and make it difficult to get all of them out.

The vet that did Luke's surgery is optimistic since we got it so early, because of his age and because of this specialist she is sending us to. Still, it's difficult to look this stuff up and see things like a three-year survival rate being optimistic.

Worst of all is the idea of separating him and Leia. They are littermates and have been together their whole lives. In fact, they were inseparable since birth. Like I said, I am heartbroken.

I'm not sure exactly where to go from here. I'd like to start by halting all the crying I've been doing, but I can't seem to get the tears to stop. I love these kitties so much and thought for sure I'd have them to a ripe, old age.

I know I'm jumping to conclusions, but I just can't seem to snap out of it. I just want my furry baby to be okay.

Please say some prayers for us ... particularly for me getting through the next six days to Luke's appointment. I know it is going to be an anxiety-filled week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

30 weeks? Holy crap.

Yes, 30 weeks. I am 30 weeks along with this little man. How is that possible?

With everything going on in my life during this pregnancy, it has flown by at a rapid rate. With Abby, I felt like it took for-e-ver (Sandlot quote). Now I'm in disbelief that we will be a family of four (humans ... two kitties) in two months.

I'm officially developing that concern that Abby is going to be sad once the baby comes. I know that she will be loved and jealousy is normal and yada yada. But (perhaps it's hormones or just Mommy-ness) I can't help but feel sad that she may feel rejected.

I'm definitely enjoying this time with her, though! Even though she gets into crazy-mode (I'm assuming because she's currently cutting four teeth). I really think these times are preparing me for the teenage years. The child can go off on a dime.

  • She currently enjoys fastening the buckles on her high chair (while she's not in it). Because of that, she threw a big-time fit when I tried to put her in the high chair to eat.
  • She needs to have three pacifiers ("thats") at all times. She will walk up to the dish drying rack and whine and scream until we give her three: one for her mouth and one for each hand.
  • We are terrible parents if we attempt to dance.
  • Sometimes we are allowed to sing. Other times we are terrible parents if we attempt to sing. I personally think Tom and I have splendid voices.
  • She loves being the center of attention, but don't try to pose with her on your lap. She runs. And screams. And fights.
These are just a handful of examples. Eighteen months going on 13?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our Sitcom (and Michigan over Penn State)

Michigan played at Penn State this afternoon. It's a big game because they could win a share of the Big Ten Title if Ohio State wins later today.

I watched the first half while Abby napped. When she woke up she was in defiant mode. Finally, she just booked it up the stairs while I was watching the game and I was forced to follow. I let her in our bedroom and we ended up "watching" the rest of the game from our bed.

Both cats followed us into the bedroom and Leia wouldn't sit still on the bed. Every time Leia got close to Abby, she would yell.

Leia would sniff.


Leia would draw back.

Abby: "CAT!"

Leia would sniff.


Repeat approximately 10-15 times.

I'm lucky I got to see the final seconds of the game when Michigan took the win!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Big girl" bed?

With Little Man on his way, we have the quandary of where he will sleep.

Our hope is that Abby will move on to a "big girl" bed and he can have her crib.

Not exactly sure how that is going to go. She's a great sleeper and seems to sleep like her mother: as though she's in a coma. But it's the going-to-sleep process that has me wondering.

Currently, we have a great bedtime routine. She gets a bath, we read books and she goes into the crib awake. She has no issue falling asleep on her own.

Prior to falling asleep, however, she DJs in her crib.

She has a Twinkle, Twinkle Violet. We turn on the music after we lay her down in the crib. It says, "10 minute of lullabies."

Once we leave the room, it takes maybe one minute before she starts pushing the different buttons. The one on the bottom is nighttime music, but there is also a general music button.

She pushes this button over and over again. It starts out LOUDLY singing, "NAPTIME'S HERE, MY EYES THEY CLOSE ..." We end up hearing, "NAPTIME'S HEEER- NAPTIME'S HERE, MY- NAPTIME'S HEEERE ..."

In addition to that, she makes sure she pushes the buttons on her music box (aka mobile until we took the mobile part off of it). That includes music by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Typically, Abby selects Mozart.

So we end up hearing the lyrics of Violet over the infamous Mozart. This is all well and good in her crib. But what are we to expect when she could potentially get out of her bed to unwind? What exactly will our child get into?

I'm very ready for the "big girl" bed, but it terrifies me at the same time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What does this say about my child?

Since she has been old enough to understand (probably around a year), Abby has not been pleased when it comes to sharing her toys. And when I say "not pleased" I mean a pee-pee dance, stomping, screaming fit.

Now, I understand that Abby doesn't have the capacity to understand sharing at this point (Lord knows Mayim Bialik would have something to say about this post), but her behavior is enough to evoke these looks:

"The Look"
And when I say she evokes these looks, it's the toddlers she's with that give her those looks as if to say, "Dude, what is your problem?"

Last week, I took Abby to a friend's house to play. Obviously, this means that all of the toys in that house did not belong to her. This is where it was particularly troubling. She suddenly became possessive over toys that weren't hers.

She kept trying to give me a stuffed bear that belonged to the other little girl. Whenever the other little girl would reclaim the bear (that belonged to this girl), Abby would pitch a pee-pee dance, stomping, screaming fit.

Now, I am pretty sure she pitched the fit because she considered this bear to be a special gift to her Mama, but it did evoke "the look" from the other little girl (see photo above).

Tonight was even more extreme.

A different little girl came over and was playing with Abby's toys. Abby was not pleased with this. She literally attempted to retrieve every single toy the other little girl was playing with to give to me so I could "protect" them. Every. Single. Toy.

Again, this evoked "the look" from the other little girl (see photo above).

In both cases, the little girls Abby was playing with also opted to placate her.

The looks they had on their faces were along the lines of, "Wow. This girl is really, really upset. It's not worth it to me, here you go. Take the Elmo that you never play with."

Yes, I know Abby doesn't understand sharing yet, but if we continue along this route, we are going to have to seriously intervene.

I suppose we could take the Mayim Bialik approach, but I don't know how many friends Abby would be able to make in the midst of that process.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eating = Licking?

Abby emphatically went to the fridge saying, "THIS! THIS!"

Obviously, "this" left me zero clues as to what she actually wanted. I kept running down the list to see if I could give her what she wanted.

Finally I said, "Would you like an apple?"

Yes, Abby says.

"Apple. Apple."

Okay, great. So I cut up the apple into smaller slices and give her one. I cut the rest up and put on a plate. I'll eat most of them.

I sit down on the couch and see that Abby is now playing with her books and has put the apple slice on the floor.

She then walks over to me and starts grabbing the slices off the plate, one-by-one. She licks each one, then places it carefully back on the plate.

Apparently, actually eating the apple wasn't in her plans.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Well, we have foresight into our future thanks to a couple incidents this weekend.

First, I was concerned that Abby would be uneasy being dropped off at the church "daycare" while I went to service. She has been reluctant to leave us lately or tends to cry when we leave. Instead of my concerns coming to fruition, she saw the toys and kids in the daycare and never looked back. So much for our clingy child.

Second, I was less concerned that Abby would be overly jealous of her new sibling that will arrive sometime in June. Yesterday we were visiting a friend's three-week old and I was holding her. The dog then barked, startling Abby. She wanted to sit on my lap for comfort ... but I was holding the baby.

She tried to yank the baby off my lap by the foot.

I can see I'll need to be a tad more concerned about Abby come June.