Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hannah takes Clay to Port Discovery

I was reprimanded today for slacking on my blog.  My mom has been waiting none-too-patiently for me to post pics from Hannah's play date with her cousin last week, and the thing is, I would have posted them WAY sooner, but I totally forgot about it. I also took (and forgot about) some pics of Hannah helping Eric build a window box last weekend and also of Hannah's first ride in the Jeep.  I don't know how I managed to forget about the existence of so many pics....Suffice it to say that I will be busy posting them over the next few days.

First things first though. Chip and Erica brought Clay down last Thursday, and I took them to Port Discovery because it was rainy and Port Discovery is probably the coolest indoor place for kids to play, and since Chip doesn't come down often, I wanted to make sure we did something super fun to entice him to come back more frequently.  

We spent most of the morning in the Tot Trails exhibit because it's pretty contained.  Clay is a runner and he's increasingly hard to keep up with. He's like a bumble bee or a butterfly or some other quickly flitting insect, flying across the room from object to object.  That's not Hannah's style, but she managed to keep up. 

Clay took a minute to warm up to the nets but once he got used to it, he was all over it and climbing up parts of that Kid Works exhibit that I'd never been up before...My camera settings were all screwed up though so I don't have any good shots of all that fun craziness.

Uncle Chip kicked the soccer ball around with Clay and Hannah for a while.  

Back at the house, the kids pulled the cars out of the garage and took 'em for a little spin around the kitchen.

I have a number of pics of Hannah planting a super huge kiss on Clay, but none turned out...

Earlier in the week we were looking at baby pics of Clay, and I kept telling her that he was coming to play soon. I guess it worked, I mean, I guess she remembered him this time because when they pulled up, she was standing at the door squealing in excitement and clapping her hands.  I think they liked the welcome party....I hope it makes them want to come visit more often. I like hanging with my little brother. I should probably motivate their way more often too....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hannah goes to an elephant's birthday party

As I said in the last post, I was MIA for much of Eric's parents' visit last weekend, so I didn't get any pics of Hannah with her grandparents this time around, but Eric took the camera to the zoo and snapped a few.  They went to Samson's 3rd birthday party to watch the elephants eat birthday cake.  Since I wasn't there, I don't have any stories for you, and I couldn't talk Eric into being a guest blogger of sorts, so the pics will have to stand on their own.

Hannah and Granpah.
Hannah with...a...penguin?
Elephant birthday  cakes--don't they look yummy??

Hannah cruising along with Granpah and Grannah.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mommy and Hannah throw a few temper tantrums

Dear friends with children older than mine: do the terrible twos start this early (19 months) or is this some other phase I should know about?  And if the terrible twos starts early, does that mean they'll end early? And also, how do you get out the door on time when your child refuses to let you dress them?

Hannah's first holy-crap-this-is-more-than-just-a-fit tantrum was last Thursday after story time at the library.  The weather was awesome so when she wanted to keep walking rather than get back in the car I happily acquiesced. We followed the sidewalk all the way to the next cross street and then I reached for her hand to cross said street, but she jerked away from me, tucked her arms in tight, and said "mine!"  I tried to explain that holding someone's hand was mandatory when crossing a street and absolutely the only way she was going to make it to the other side to continue this walk but she wouldn't have it so I eventually picked her up and juggled her screaming, kicking, thrashing body all the way back to the car smiling wanly at the people we passed and thinking to myself that now I know how it feels to be that mom, you know, the one whose kid is acting like her pants are on fire.  Once I managed to strap her into the car seat I heaved a sigh of relief and then drove home with all the windows down so that Hannah could share her feelings with the other windows-down drivers while we waited at red lights.

Since then, the majority of her tantrums have occurred when it's time to change her diaper or get her dressed. Yesterday she woke up from her nap with poop all down her leg; I could see it soaking through the leg of her pajama pants. I picked her up careful to avoid touching that leg and laid her on the changing table but she immediately jumped up and clung to me screaming. After snuggling and coddling and pleading and insisting, I eventually asked her what I had to do to get her to let me change her diaper and started offering things I thought she coveted.  I hit the jackpot when I mentioned juice.  Down the stairs with poop-covered toddler, carefully carrying her so as not to end up a poop covered mom, carefully pouring juice and screwing on lid, carefully back up the stairs to the changing table where poop-covered toddler remembered her end of the bargain and laid still while I got to work cleaning her up.

Once clean she refused to let me put another diaper on her. By then I was tired of the fight and we didn't have anyplace to go anyway so I stood her up on the floor stark naked except for her white socks and explained that if she wasn't going to wear a diaper, she needed to put her pee in the potty rather than on the floor. This worked surprisingly well. She's peed in the potty a ton in the last few days and as long as I make sure it's next to her when she's playing, she'll even stop playing and pee in it without being prompted.  This morning after I removed her 12 pound night time diaper she insisted on going commando in her pajama pants and for the first time, those pants stayed pee-free.  No accidents!

So the good news is that this independent phase is making Hannah want to potty train herself.

The other good news is that due to my amazing acupuncturist, I'm able to be the mom I want to be and remain patient and compassionate throughout these ordeals (so far anyway).  The other thing that helps me keep my cool is that these tantrums of hers are so insane and crazy and ridiculous and DRAMATIC that it's almost humorous. I mean, it's not, it's not funny at all, but it's like...unreal. Maybe. Is that the word I'm looking for??  The point is, I'm not getting all worked up and walking out of the room with gritted teeth to take deep breaths before returning, so yay for that!  And when the novelty of this new stage wears off, I'll still have my acupuncturist to needle me through it. I wish I'd known her (and the amazing-ness of acupuncture) when I was pregnant and post-partum with different life could have been!!!

So, for the most part (for 20-24 days/month) I'm normal again, and even my cycle is finally normalizing (thank you naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist!), which means my bouts of crazy are more predictable.  Even in my bouts of crazy though, I don't have the rage anymore--that complete frustration and desire to throw plates at walls.  Now I just have an intense urge to run away and curl up by myself in a quiet room someplace far away from civilization...I get a little mean with Eric, but only a little. And once during this last bout I got mean with Hannah, but in my defense, she had her hand shoved down the front of my shirt and was pulling on my boobs while I was trying to eat. Also:  I was starving AND I'd just finished nursing her. She was distracted and didn't want the other side until I sat down to eat.  This intensified my urge to run away to someplace where I could eat without getting a titty-twister from a not-quite two-year-old.  I can't run away yet (counting down the days till she's weaned), but as soon as Eric hit his days off, I peaced out as much as possible. I scheduled an emergency acupuncture treatment, went to yoga at the gym, went to my room with a book during Hannah's nap times. I took a vow of zero productivity and zero desire to take care of anyone other than myself and Hannah (when she was in my charge). And it worked. I managed to get through it without a temper tantrum, but it means I was MIA while my in laws were visiting which means that I have no pics. Eric took the camera to the zoo with him the one day and got a few shots of Hannah with her grandparents so I'll upload those later and maybe see if I can talk him into being a guest blogger of sorts to support his pics...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dressing up

Hubby was getting ready for the night shift yesterday when Hannah donned his hat and badge and started cruising around in them. I loved the backwards hat combined with onesie so much that I raced for my camera and for some miraculous reason, she froze.  I don't know why she's got that far off look in her eyes, but I'm loving it and am adding this pic to my long list of pics that I want to eventually print and frame.

Then she got a hold of his cell phone....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hannah's first moon bounce

I know I've already posted a ton of pics of our previous two visits to Port Discovery, and for that reason, I wasn't even going to take my camera in with me when we went on Saturday, BUT, there was a moon
bounce there to celebrate Littles' Day (for kids under 5), and I LOVE a moon bounce so I felt it necessary to capture Hannah's first bounce. And since I was carrying the camera anyway....I took just a few more....okay, a lot more shots, but hey, that's why I titled this blog "Going Mamarazzi"!! At least I'm cognizant of and apologetic for the things that make me annoying.  Just be happy that this is a blog post and you can get bored and close the page the very second that your eyes start glazing over out of boredom.

First, the moon bounce shot.  Sadly the moon bounce was not the hit I thought it would be. I guess, as with most things, she'll need a little more time to get used to it before she's bouncing around like a professional moon bouncer.  I mean, she liked it, but just not for long, and she didn't do any bouncing, just a little exploratory crawling.

So, the Goddard School sponsors this event, and they had this awesome bubble machine set up at one of their tables that blew giant bubbles and even blew a ton of bubbles inside of bubbles. I expressed my admiration for this machine and was told that they picked it up for $15 at Walmart....I haven't shopped at a Walmart in years on principle, but I'm tempted to sneak in and grab one of these things because I really, really HATE blowing bubbles. I love having bubbles, but I hate blowing them.  Maybe I can find it on Amazon and keep my principles? Oh, I forgot to mention that Kylie and Adrienne came with us too, and there's Kylie's back in the pic below.

Loving the turtle in the water world exhibit
I never noticed these body driers fun (and necessary)!
Also never noticed the surfboard photo prop area...Good eye Adrienne!
A bean bag is another thing I've been wanting to get for Hannah, I think because when I was little, I always wanted one.  We don't really have any place to put one though...

Collaborating on an art project
The last few pics reminded me that I've also been wanting to get Hannah a little toy kitchen for a while now...but we don't really have any place to put that either. Maybe we should just get a membership to Port Discovery and go there when we want to romp on the beanbags and cook in the play kitchen.

Mmmm....mustard on my eggs
We got a free 3-month membership to Port Discovery when we joined the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance which we'll be activating soon, but I promise not to keep bringing my camera in and posting picture after picture of Hannah (and Kylie) running around the children's museum.  This is it! Hope it wasn't too painful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poop-eee in the po-teee

An awesome thing happened tonight.  Well, one awesome thing and one pretty cool one.  First, for the first time ever, Hannah told me she needed to use the bathroom BEFORE going to the bathroom.  (She was already in her pajamas and getting ready for bed so I suggested she just go in her diaper, but she insisted I remove her pajamas and let her sit on the potty.)  I thought she was just stalling because she didn't want to go to bed, but she sat right down and pooped in the potty for the first time ever! It was so cool, and she knew it. We both jumped up and down and squealed and cheered.  Eric happened to be walking in the door right afterward so I picked up Hannah and we ran downstairs to tell him the good news.  Hannah kept pointing up the stairs and motioning for him to follow. She walked him right up to the potty and pointed out her poopy (which we'd saved to show him) and then we all did a happy dance.  Hannah's happy dance was hysterical and lasted for a good 15 minutes.  It made me wish I had a pocket camcorder....but we still haven't figured out which one we want.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hannah and Lila

It wasn't long before Hannah was reunited with Lila, the very awesome but very expensive baby doll she picked out last week while putzing around with daddy.  My mom just couldn't resist an opportunity to spoil the daylights out of grandbaby! She was planning a visit for last Sunday anyway and said that since she got paid on Friday, we'd take a walk up to the store when she got here. Of course, Hannah wanted the doll on the shelf so it took a little persuading to convince her that the one in the box was even better.  Once home she waited very impatiently for Grammy to get Lila and all her little accessories out of the box and then for daddy to get the batteries in.

I snapped a bunch of pictures of that first reunion with Lila, but it was a cloudy day, and as you know, my pics are not so good when I'm lacking natural light...

She's out of the box! Wahooo!!!
Helping daddy put in the batteries.
Giving baby her bottle.
She likes to have daddy help her feed the baby.
Giving baby the pacifier (which is now lost...)
"Shhhhhh daddy! Baby is sleeping."
Teaching Lila how to build towers with the blocks.
Hannah is a natural mama.  She rocks Lila when she's crying, patting her on the back and saying "shhhhh..."  She loves to feed her her bottle (and sign for milk prior to doing so).  She puts her in the booster seat during meal times, the other chair at her table during playtime, and holds her in her lap when in her car seat or stroller.  She even holds the baby up to my boobs and insists that I nurse baby Lila. Today we managed to get out of the house without Lila which was great, because I don't like for Hannah to bring Lila into the gym or wherever we're going, but Hannah doesn't like to leave her in the car.  She cried for the first 10 minutes of gymnastics on Monday and just kept repeating "baby, baby, baby" because I told her that Lila had to wait for us in the car.

We are currently without a video camera (but are doing research on various pocket camcorders trying to figure out which we want) but I used my mom's to get some footage of Hannah in full mama form.  Eric and I even took a whirl at figuring out the Windows video editor. Well, Eric took the whirl; I got frustrated and waited until he'd figured out the technical part of it.  The video still way too long and only the most die hard Hannah fan's will endure the whole 2 minutes, but I can't edit any more out.  My favorite part is in the first couple of seconds though when she looks at my mom and signs "milk".  Check out the cuteness:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hannah and Kylie Go To the Zoo

I'm stumped on my current self-assigned assignment so I decided to take a break from it to post some pics from last weekend. I've got a bunch more and since it's almost weekend again....

I don't think I mentioned this, but at the end of last week Eric got pulled from his regular job to work a different mission that provides 24-hour coverage.  So after working regular hours Monday through Thursday, he worked a 12-hour day on both Friday and Saturday, then went in for 12 hours on Sunday night and Monday night.  He slept all day Tuesday and is enjoying his "weekend" now until he returns to that stupid schedule at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. This is a terrible schedule, and I have no idea how fire fighters do it on a regular basis...I'm trying not to grumble about it much since it's way worse for him than me (since I at least get to sleep at night), but man, it sucks for me too.

Since Eric was working on Saturday, my usual Saturday morning yoga routine was a no-go for me.  Instead we met Kylie and her mommy at the zoo. They brought Kylie's wagon which was the highlight of the day for Hannah, much more so than the animals.  She sat right down and didn't stray often, not even to get a better view of the animals.  When she did get up, she returned to the wagon pretty quickly and then started calling for Kylie to get back in too.  She'd point to Kylie's seat and say "Ky, Ky!"

African elephants
Teeny tiny golden frogs, quite possibly extinct in the wild
Riding the tram
When I told my mom how much Hannah loved the wagon she said she'd been thinking of getting her one for her birthday, but I don't know if we can wait that long!  The weather is getting nicer and we're taking more walks and it's such a fun way to transport her. Might have to start looking for one on Craig's List....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wielding a Knife

Hannah hasn't had the motor skills necessary to wedge the little wooden knife between the cracks in her wooden produce...until this weekend, that is.

Ack! Watch your fingers!

I'm backed up big time on Hannah photos but have been busy with my new writing gig.  I signed on to cover children's activities in the Baltimore area for  It doesn't sound like it'll be the best paying job, but I'm having fun and looking forward to taking Hannah to some of the activities I'm discovering.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Swimsuit Baby Carrier

I bought Hannah a new bathing suit on a recent Zulilly deal since her current one is getting a bit tight, and I had it sitting out along with my swim cap and goggles on Friday morning when she decided it made a better baby carrier than swim suit.  Please note that the baby in the "carrier" is not Lila. Lila is still at the store. This is the baby my mom bought for her a really long time ago.  She's always loved it and carried it around, though her obsession with it waxes and wanes. That obsession has been waxing pretty hard since her discovery and subsequent loss of Lila....To fill the void, this baby goes everywhere with us lately.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Love at First Sight

Hannah fell in love for the first time today.  Her name is Lila and in addition to being "infused with a delightful vanilla scent," she laughs, cries, sucks from a bottle, and has eyes that open and close.  Hannah found her at Amazing Spiral, this strange but cool store in The Rotunda that's 1/4 comic book store, 1/4 book store, 1/4 toy store, and 1/4 random mish-mash. It's a pretty fun place to stroll through which I guess is why Eric stopped in with her after picking up batteries from the Radio Shack next door.  Anyway, according to Eric, Hannah went straight for Lila and was delighted to discover that Lila made a sucking noise when Hannah put the bottle in her mouth.  She was even happier when she poked Lila in the side and Lila responded with a cascade of giggling. When it was time to go home, Hannah held Lila tightly and made for the door.  Sadly, Daddy had to wrestle Lila from Hannah's arms to prevent our little toddler from becoming a shop lifter.  Eric put Lila high up on a shelf out of Hannah's reach which made both Lila and Hannah cry hysterically.  Hannah was still crying and saying "baby, baby, baby" over and over again when they walked in the front door a few minutes later. I'm pretty sure he'd have bought it for her if her price tag didn't say $90....She was a little mad at Daddy for when she got home which meant I got a good snuggle, but her sniffly snuggling and pathetic moaning for her beloved baby had me ready to walk back up there and buy it for her out of my fun money for the month.  I didn't though. That's a lot of money for a baby doll, even if it does laugh, cry, blink, and eat....I did mange to find it on Amazon for $72...Still a lot of money.

Anywhooozle....prior to the baby doll escapade, I was just going to post this picture of Hannah that I took earlier this morning wearing her sun hat and purse.  I'm incredibly entertained by her constant efforts at dressing up and hope she'll still have this interest when she's a little taller because I saved my old prom dresses just for her.  She can thank Amy for that. I was ready to sell them or put them in the donation pile a few years ago when Amy told me that she was saving all of hers for her future daughter because her favorite thing to do when she was little was go to her aunt's house and try on all her aunt's old formal dresses.  So my dresses are hanging in Hannah's closet waiting for the day that they can be converted to costumes.  Too bad I don't own any high heels....Eh, I guess that's a good thing actually.