Monday, August 31, 2009

A post my mother will hate

Granny hates monkeys. I think she was scarred by the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. This is the cutest monkey I've ever seen though.

Warning: Don't turn your sound up too loud and I wouldn't suggest watching it at work.

video

Life is always exciting around here. Monkeys and all.

mg

Saturday, August 29, 2009

By the time I get around to relaxing at night all of my clever has been used up

Why do I say this? I have pulled up a new post page three times since Monday and NONE of them resulted in a published post. Heck, I'm not even sure this one is going to make the cut!

So instead of drone on about how tired I am and how much I suck b/c I can't even post on my blog that like 3 people read I am going to give you some highlights of the week.

Ready?
  • I took a nap every day this week. It was awesome. I didn't get to today and it is NOT awesome.
  • I feel ginormous but everyone keeps telling me I look great. Somehow that doesn't make me feel less huge.
  • I am teaching again and by the end of a 3 hour lecture my throat hurts and I'm cross eyed. I think maybe teaching at night while 8 months pregnant isn't the BEST idea in the world. You live, you learn.
  • Madeline expressed interest in using the toilet this week. Baby steps right? I am still not taking her out of diapers. No way... No how. She has to have a proven track record of being dry before I risk my carpet and furniture. (and there is also the whole poop thing... which I won't blog about...YET.)
  • I have eaten at least 96 oz. of cottage cheese in the last three weeks. I can't get enough of that stuff. It is like pure gold.
  • Kevin has worked more nights in the last two weeks then he did in the last two years. We miss him, but we do get to see him more during the day so that is a good thing.
  • I think Facebook was created by evil people to make me waste time caring about the status of people I haven't spoken to, face-to-face, in many many years. It's like social networking crack. I just have to check one more time before bed, just in case that kid I took biology with in the 12th grade updated his status for the 40th time today.
  • Madeline has been napping well and sleeping for 12+ hours a night. I know that by blogging this, it means I have jinxed it and she will stop sleeping altogether.
  • I hate heartburn.
  • We had two awesome play dates this week. (Thank you Anna/Madeline and Becca/Rachel/Leo!) I was totally exhausted by both of them. Madeline could have played for many more hours.
  • I am so tired my eyes keep closing.
  • Last night I had a dream that I had the baby and then left it in the car when I went into Babies r Us to get a bath tub and when I got back to the car a gang of little old ladies were yelling at me and hitting me with their purses. So I cried. Think maybe I'm not psychologically ready to have two kids? Nope, I didn't think so...
Ok, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. I sure did. I have more posts in the works, in both draft and just in my head format. Once the weekend is over I will get around to it... maybe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

mg

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why photographic proof can be important when you have a two year old

As I was cooking lunch today I overheard Madeline having the following conversation with her toys in the other room.


Madeline: Yes, you are da momma and you are da baby. Oh, don't cry baby. It be ok.

Followed by a long pause.

Madeline: But momma, why you all tied up?


When I walked into the play room I found this:


I about laughed my socks off.

mg

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dr. Madeline

On our recent trip to Florida I thought it would be smart to have some new toys to help keep Madeline's attention on the airplane and for down time at the hotel. You can't take the whole play room and you can't always be out in the sun so I thought this was smart.

Madeline had shown some interest in Dr. stuff at play dates at other people's houses and a few weeks before we left on vacation she announced she was going to be a doctor. So we got her the classic Fisher-Price doctor kit for the trip. The first day she had it she played with it for an hour straight. There have been a few, very few, days she hasn't played with it since we got home from vacation.

I don't know that there is anyone who has come to visit who hasn't been "checked" by Madeline Opal Doctor (as she calls herself).

This video was taken on Monday or Tuesday (I think). She takes blood pressure very seriously.

video

As you can hear this time she wants to put the cuff on my elbow to make it feel better. Normally she tells us to be brave, that it will only hurt for a minute and gives us a shot. Her shots are some of the best I've ever had. She follows them up with cuddles, a kiss and a band aid. She has the best bedside manner of any doctor I've ever had.

I also have video of her proclaiming that she will be a doctor when she grows up... and those may or may not be played as she is determining her future as a teen.

mg

Resolution

I feel like there has been a lot of negativity flowing on this blog. Ok, maybe not traditional negativity, but we have been dealing with a lot of growing pains in our world and that has been causing us stress. I am in need of resolution so that is what this post is all about. It is time for updates for so many of our recent situations.

-The Lightening Strike-
Things seem to be resolving themselves. Our phone lines were out for half a day and AT&T surprised me by having the problem fixed a full 24 hours before they said they would. Not only that, but they gave us a new modem/wireless router to replace the one that was fried by the lightening strike. The laptop is working but the lightening surge blew the Ethernet port in the desktop so we are without that computer. That is the main reason there haven't been any photos posted. They are all on the desktop. I'll post one I have on my laptop for you...

This problem should be fixed soon. I have photos to share, so as soon as I can get those up I will. Promise. I know we lucked out with the lightening. Other than the two strands of blown up Christmas lights on the deck, a GFCI outlet that probably needs to be replaced, and the computer issues we haven't found any other damage.

-Bath Time-

So I appreciated all your comments about bath time. I have showered with Madeline occasionally. My only problem with that is that some days a five minute shower is the only alone time I get. I am just not willing to give that up. Five minutes is five minutes. I may modify that advice and just put her in her own shower instead of a bath. It is worth a try.

Sorry for the poor quality, it is a cell phone photo.

As you can see in the above photo, Madeline gets the concept of the bath bucket. But for now it is in the bath tub as a toy, not as a hair washing tool. We will play with it until she decides she wants to try it again. I won't be as forceful next time. Until then I'll just have to live with somewhat soapy hair.

-Nap Time-
Wednesday night we hung black out shades in Madeline's bedroom. Yesterday Madeline napped in her own room, in her own bed for an hour and a half. It was glorious. I didn't want to get my hopes up for an encore performance today, but she's been sleeping for the last two hours. I might just jump for joy. I'll let you know if this pattern continues over the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed!

mg

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Success, we hope

Busy night but I wanted to do a quick update.

She went down for her nap at 1:30p. She slept for just over an hour and 15 minutes.

We'll take it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Black out

Madeline has napped at home twice since our return from Florida, three weeks ago.
That is twice in three weeks.... not good. Today she refused to nap at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's. Tonight we installed black out shades in her bedroom. (We had them at the old house but didn't here b/c she was sleeping without them.) Everyone offer it up, or say a prayer or whatever you are comfortable with, that she naps tomorrow in her room with her new black out shades.

Otherwise, I might be breaking out the pack n play and putting it in the Master bedroom closet. (No windows, and a air vent... that isn't cruel is it? I didn't think so...)

mg

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lightening strike

Yesterday Kev and I went to the ball game with my brother and sister in law. (thanks for taking us guys! We had a great time.). There were two rain delays and two massive but short lived storms. When we returned home we found the Christmas lights on our deck had exploded and 7 or 8 breakers in the house had been tripped AND our phone line was out. This includes our modem (which Kev thinks is fried) so I may be scarce (ok, more scarce) this week. I'll let you know how things are going the week if I have the chance. Please keep your fingers crossed that the damage isn't more extensive than we currently think. We suspect a lightening strike... Argh. Sometimes I hate nature.

mg

Friday, August 14, 2009

Madeline is 2 years old.

Madeline is 2 years old.

Madeline is 2 years old.

That is my mantra right now. And I honestly mean right NOW.

Madeline has her moments but life in general with Madeline has been good. When there is a tantrum about snack, I can usually calm her quickly. When she freaks out because The Street has ended and she doesn't want to turn the TV off I can usually distract her. When it is time to go to bed (with the exception of nap time of course...) and she cries "I need you Mommy" I can detach and tell her I will be there in the morning she calms and goes to sleep.

Bath time, however, is never this easy. She doesn't mind hanging out in the bath. She has the coolest bath toys and loves pretending to swim. The problem comes at the end of the bath. She hates having her hair washed.

So today my mother bought us a new tool to aide bath time. It is one of those buckets with a soft rubber side to set on the kid's forehead to avoid water in their eyes. They call them shampoo rinse cups. They make so much sense. They should work.

That is unless you are a two year old and you won't listen to your mother's assurances that it won't get water in your eyes if you look up at the sky and instead look down just as water is running across your head which sends it into your eyes which freaks you out even more which sends you into a crying jag that lasts for at least three days and two minutes and only ends when you are scooped out of the tub still soapy* and wrapped up in a towel. Are you exhausted yet? I am.

I begin reasoning. I start with, if you just listen to me it will work. If you follow my directions you will be just fine. We can go back to happy fun bath time. Shoot, this could be part of happy fun bath time. You can do it yourself. I won't even help. What two year old doesn't want to "do myself"?

I was wasting my time. The tears continued. Why do I, as a pretty kid savy adult, keep trying to reason with the unreasonable? Why? Because I am too smart for my own good, that's why. I just want her to see the light. I just want her to know that I am not trying to flood her... just get her clean. I want her to be as smart as I think she has the potential to be. So again I revert to my mantra...

Madeline is 2 years old.

Madeline is 2 years old.

How do you wash your kid's hair? Do they hate it? Do you want to cry after bathtime? (cause tonight I do...) I am open to suggestions. I may not be painting the new nursery biege... but I will listen to your suggestions this time. Pinky promise.

___________

*What to know how I got the soap out of her hair? Still wrapped, very tightly, in a towel, I laid her on my lap, head over the tub and used said shampoo rinse cup. That did not go over well. Just in case you were wondering.

mg

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nap time

We are experiencing some nap time woes lately.

The week before our trip to Florida, Madeline decided she didn't like napping. She napped one day out of the four before our trip. It was my hope that she would get back into a schedule while in Florida and she did. She was so tired each day she napped like a champ.

Then we got home and she decided napping was for suckers. She struggled through nap times sometimes falling asleep in her chair, sometimes reading in her room for hours and never closing her eyes.

Then we went to IA and she napped again. At my parents, or Kevin's parents she naps. In those situations she is confined to a pack 'n play and she has no choice but to nap I guess. Being able to exit her bed is the issue. Books are too enticing not to read.

Sunday was no exception. I could hear her for at least two hours reading books. She was reading lines from classics like "Hop on Pop" and "Put Me in the Zoo." She even broke out some of the new favorites "Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct" and "There's a Monster in My Opu."

Then, 20 minutes before dinner, she is silent. When I go to get her, as we are already late to our dinner date, this is what I find:


Face down in a pile of books.

What am I going to do with her?

mg

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Argh.

I've been trying to blog all day without luck. So to be brief...

-happy anniversary Granny and Poppy.
-went to Mobot today and it was grand.
-started a new class tonight, they don't suck.
-off to bed after a rough night last night... For me, not little bits. I hate my hips this pregnancy... Either that or they hate me.

More tomorrow.

mg

Monday, August 10, 2009

yet another vacation

So much is going on in our world. I haven't blogged about much of it out of respect for our privacy and because honestly so many aspects of life were up in the air I didn't feel like explaining every change that came our way.

Confused anyone? Let me explain. The Friday before our trip to Florida was Kevin's last day of work at his former job. It is all good... he had a new position before he resigned from his former. It is a good move and that is about all I have to say about this right now. Anyway, because of the scheduled wedding trip and the new job's scheduled start days Kevin had two weeks off.

So we returned from Florida and after a few days at home we headed to Iowa for a few days. This was the first road trip with Madeline and getting to Indianola, IA was about a 6 hour drive. Let's just say, it was rough. We had a couple of games and multiple DVDs to entertain her but we were hoping to have her nap for at least an hour or so. She ended up only napping for 45 minutes. This meant she was out of sorts for the rest of the evening.

We arrived to our hosts in Indianola and they launched about 30 hot air balloons for us.

Ok, so they didn't do it for us. Indianola is home the US hot air balloon museum and we just happen to be there for the first day of their week long festival. Madeline was interested at first, but that quickly turned to this:

She was done traveling, exhausted and ready for bed. A big thanks to Melissa and John for letting us stay with them and for being so understanding when Madeline was in melt down mode.

The next day we headed to Oskaloosa, IA for part two of our IA vacation. Kevin's college friends were gathering at Aaron and Jenny's house for a reunion of sorts. It had been 4 years since we had seen all of them and we were long overdue for a get together. I love Kevin's friends. They have always made me feel like I am one of the group (even though I am the only one who didn't go to school with them) and man are they some fun and funny people!

Madeline with Quentin and Jenny. We took Q a little gifty and Madeline had to show him how it worked... that and she thought it was for her.

Mads.

Quentin. Q is 9 months younger than Mads. They had a blast playing together.

I have to share this photo. Kevin was up to no good and his face is priceless. His mother is always talking about what a stinker he was as a kid. I am sure she has seen that face before. Oh, how I love that face.

Big thanks to Aaron and Jenny for hosting us for the day and night. They even gave up their own bed for us. How kind they were to give up their bed for a pregnant lady! My belly and I thank you. To Beth and Justin, thank you for "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Totally love that book and Madeline does too! It was a joy to see everyone and I loved our late night talk and early morning breakfast. Jenny the waffles were awesome.

Maybe next summer we can host here in STL? Or ISU v. Iowa is an option too... let's not have it be another 4 years!

The trip home wasn't quite as long. (Only 4 1/2 hours) Madeline slept most of the way from Kirksville, MO to home. We did watch quite a bit of The Street and Word World however. Thank goodness for portable DVD players!

mg

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Part IV: Finale

Sorry for the multi-day wait. Not that anyone noticed... only one comment after all those photos?!?! (by the way, Thank you Michelle)

This post is the last in the Florida series. I can't believe it has taken me this long. I miss my daily ramblings posts. I will be back to that very very soon, I hope.

Back to our trip. The final morning on the island, like all others, we spent pool side. Then Bryan and Beth wanted to show Madeline an alligator that lives in a lagoon in the condos Beth's family usually stays at when they visit the island.


Bryan and Madeline looking for the Gator.

The alligator was in a lagoon, behind a chain link fence and we were up on a deck well above the water. Madeline had a hard time seeing the little guy. He was only 4 feet long or so.... still larger than I am totally comfortable with of course. But we didn't hang around for lunch if you know what I mean. :)

After lunch at CheeBurger CheeBurger (thank you Bryan and Beth!) we headed back to the condo. The plan was to nap and then beach or pool, but it was raining. We can't complain, it was the first bit of rain we saw since we first got to the island. So Paw Paw built a tent!

I don't know who had more fun, Madeline or Daddy! That is until we found Maw Maw and Paw Paw hanging out in it later. (To their credit, Madeline had been playing with them, but lost momentary interest!)

Dinner was spent at the condo of some very dear friends. I don't use last names, so let's call them the M family. I nannied for this family for 6 years while working on my undergrad and graduate degrees. The youngest of their three children was only 3 months old when I started watching them. The M's were on Sanibel vacationing as well with their extended family. Grandma M owns a condo on the island (where Kevin and I vacationed, and honeymooned previously) and they were kind enough to include us in their vacation as well.

The M family's cousin, Rosie, 15, has a keen interest in photography and took a bunch of photos of Madeline while we were there. They are some of my favorite photos of Madeline, ever.

Like this one I used as a header for the month of August 09.

Madeline and Sophia. Sophia is the youngest in the M family. Coincidentally, the dress Madeline is wearing belonged to Sophia when she was Madeline's age.

Kiki, Madeline and Kiki. You read that right. Madeline calls her blanket, kiki. To me Kiki is the young woman on the left, the middle kid of the M family. I love this photo for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that it has two of the most beautiful young girls as its subject.

The good photos just kept coming:




and this is just a fraction of them. I have to give a huge thanks to Rosie for these amazing images. She doesn't live in STL, but I will have to find out when she plans to visit so I can get her to snap more photos of our little miss.
__________

So that wraps up our wild week in Florida. As I said before it is one of the best vacations I have ever had. Not that it was without stress. There was some of that too, but really feel a peace on that island. It was amazing to share that with Madeline. I think she could feel it too. Kevin and I have already talked about going back. Maybe not in the near future, but once our little ones are a bit older and can enjoy the slower pace a little more.

Huge thank yous for:

Bryan and Beth- without your beautiful wedding our vacation wouldn't have happened. You showed us a fantastic time while on the island and we thank you for including us in your day. We wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Bruce and Sue (aka, Maw Maw and Paw Paw)- you were wonderful roommates and we can't thank you enough for all the help you gave us with Madeline while on the island and while traveling. Your love and support made this week an amazing trip for our whole family.

The M family- thank you to Janet for lending us all your kid gear, including the baby bed and sheets and a million and a half beach and pool toys. To the rest of the family, thank you for including us in your vacation. Dinner was great and the company was incredible.

I have a few more catch up posts to get up here. Then I am done with the behind the times stuff...then back to your regularly scheduled programing?

mg

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Florida, Part III

Part 3 of our fabulous vacation: The Wedding.

We had a long day ahead of us so we started with a very large and healthy breakfast!

Although we had spent hours at the pool we hadn't ventured to the beach (except for evening walks to find shells). So we headed into the surf to catch some waves (which, as you can see, were non-existent) and build the obligatory sand castle.

Michelle requested a belly pic and on this blog, you know it is ask and you shall receive around here.

So I know it is not traditional, but I thought it was cute! Me at the beach at 28 weeks.


Madeline totally loved the beach. She liked digging in the sand, playing with the seashells and splashing in the surf.

What she wasn't too interested in however was building a sand castle. It is that sad pile of wet sand to her right. Not to awesome if you ask me... but fun was had knocking it down eventually.

After a long morning at the beach and then the pool we headed back inside for a long nap and much needed baths.

Madeline in her dress and bow right before heading out to the beach for the wedding. Isn't she cute?

Now for an actual belly pic:

Me and #2 at 28 weeks. I was holding my dress back so that is why the belly is so pronounced.


Beth and Jane. Aren't they gorgeous!

Beth with all of the kids. Count them... 7!!! Madeline was less than thrilled to have a bunch of strangers shouting for her to smile... not to mention the gobbling... but that is a story for another day.

Then it was time for the wedding!

The Groom! Isn't my brother in law handsome? It totally runs in the family!

Farris, helping Madeline down the aisle.

The newest couple in our family. I didn't get many photos during the ceremony mainly because I was trying to stop Madeline from #1-crying, #2- throwing sand #3- being a two year old. Totally futile, I know.

Madeline and I at the cocktail reception before dinner. Yes we caved and gave her a bop between photos. I was keeping the peace and it worked.

Our new family. Madeline, Kevin, Me, Beth, Bryan, Sue and Bruce.

The Cake!

It is a blurry photo but because there has to be a record of it somewhere... my brother in law (and sister in law too) dancing*.

*Dancing is not a past time that our guys (meaning Kevin or Bryan) partake in regularly, or very willingly.

So that is the wedding. It was a beautiful day and we are most happy to have gained a new and most wonderful member of the family. Welcome Beth. I am glad we didn't scare you away!

Florida Finale tomorrow. Promise it is worth it!

mg

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Florida, Part II

Let me apologize for the drawn out nature of these posts. As I sort through photos I just can't bring myself to skim over them. I want to do them justice and I want to document this all so that we have a record of our lives. Now that #2 is on his or her way I feel, more than ever, I have to keep this record so I don't forget the good and the bad. Of course this trip was all good!

Thursday: Rehearsal Dinner

So the real reason for our trip to Florida was for Kevin's brother Bryan's wedding. So after a morning in the pool the ladies started the wedding festivities at the spa!

My mother in law got her very first manicure with hot paraphin wax. I had both a manicure AND pedicure which I adored! I haven't really had the time or the ability to reach my toes lately! So a HUGE thanks goes out to Jane, Beth (my new sister in law)'s mother, who was our host at the spa! My toes thank you!

That evening we headed down to the beach to the rehearsal.

Madeline, Bryan and Beth.

Didn't I tell you it was a gorgeous place?!?!

Madeline had the best flower girl partner, Farris. Farris is the youngest in her family and she was SO good with Madeline. She instantly took control of making Madeline feel comfortable and was such a good role model for all of the kids in the wedding. (Did I mention there were 7, yes 7 kids in the wedding?!?!?!)

After the rehearsal we had dinner on the lawn.

Sue totally approved of the ice cream sundae bar for desert. I mean yumm-o, right?!

Again, aren't those palm trees and that sky just instantly relaxing.

After dinner we headed down to the beach as a family.

Kevin taught Madeline how to bury her feet in the sand.
Did I mention that Madeline loved this vacation and the beach? Isn't she adorable?

Did I mention how much I loved this vacation? and those two above? Oh I want to be back there right now... don't you?


Tomorrow, Part III: The Wedding!!!!

mg

Monday, August 03, 2009

Florida, Part I

Kevin's brother Bryan got married last week. He and his now wife chose one of the most beautiful places I have ever been as the location for their wedding.

In 2003 I visited Sanibel Island with the family I was a nanny for and fell in love. Then in 2004 Kevin and I visited the island on vacation. We loved it so much we returned a year later for our honeymoon.

Although this trip was VERY different from our previous vacations on the island it was still a fantastic week surrounded by wonderful people and amazing scenery.


When we first arrived on Tuesday we headed out to the beach to give Madeline her first look at the gulf. She loved it from the start. Although she wasn't sure what to think about the waves lapping at her feet, she loved the birds catching their dinner in the surf and shells washed up on the beach.



The sun was very low so we didn't stay out very late that night. Madeline had a long day of travel anyway so we all went to bed early.


Wednesday we spent hours at the resort pool. We woke up, ate breakfast and went to the pool. Then we ate lunch, took a nap and went back to the pool.


Then there was dinner and although we didn't head back to the pool... we thought about it.

We spent many, many hours in the pool over the week we were there. But there was a lot of other stuff going on with the wedding.

Part II tomorrow.