Friday, April 29, 2011

Sh** head (literally)

I boycotted blogging this week, not for any particular reason other than that I felt like a boycott was in order.  Maybe I'll call it a staycation to give it some validity.  Whatever it was, I'm feeling guilty now, more about the other blog than this one, but partially about this one.  Since I don't have any ideas brewing for the other one, I'm going to post a story here that I've already related to a number of you. I figure it'll make me feel a teeny bit less lazy and unproductive, and also, it's kind of a funny story, one worth remembering down the line if anyone needs to write a speech for Hannah and wants to include an embarrassing anecdote from her childhood to warm up the audience.

When it comes to waking up, this has been kind of a gross week for Hannah.  On Saturday it was vomit; on Wednesday it was poop.  She woke up super early that day, before 6:00. (Her sleep has been incredibly screwed up lately which screws up my schedule/routine which makes sanity incredibly difficult for me, even with acupuncture so I've been trying desperately to get her back on a good sleep schedule.)  Since ignoring her hasn't ever worked very well, I decided to try something new: I calmly entered her room and told her it wasn't time to get up yet so she should go back to sleep or play quietly and I'd see her in another hour.  Hah!!    Yeah right.

About 15 minutes later I was laying in bed finishing up my bottle of water and getting ready to head downstairs to take my probiotic and do some stretches (which I was determined to do since I haven't been able to all week because of Hannah's early bird antics) when Eric decided that he couldn't ignore the crying anymore and went in to get her. The thing that stinks about Eric going to get her is that all he does is bring her directly to me, and HELLO! There is a reason that I haven't gone to get her.  As it turns out, it's a good thing he did go in to get her--THIS ONE TIME--because she was standing at the end of her crib naked from the waist down, poopy diaper in one hand, poop all over the other, holding up the poopy hand and saying "help, help, help."

For the record, I did bend over the crib and give her butt a sniff when I went in at 5:45 just to make sure she didn't have a reason for waking up that early, and I smelled nothing! Sigh.  I swear that I could have unending patience for months on end and cater to her every screaming whim but the one time I decide to call her bluff and ignore the cry for wolf, that's the time that she decides to change her own poopy diaper and make me look like a giant jerk face.

Eric cleaned her up, and I continued to lay in bed, quietly sipping my water and listening to the conversation between daddy and daughter about the perils of changing ones own poopy diaper.  Later that morning I discovered a crusted bit of brown in her hair and, upon smelling her head, determined it to be renegade poop.  I probably shouldn't admit this, but I didn't wash it....I combed it out, wetted the spot down, and avoided smelling her head for the rest of the day.  I think my gross tolerance, low to begin with, gets lower every day that I am a mom.

There's more: later that day she refused to nap (I blame over exhaustion but it's possible that I've read too much Sleep Lady).  I was up and down the stairs a bunch and then she was quiet for a bit, and then loud again so I trudged back up huffing and puffing in annoyance all the way and found her, for the second time that day, naked in her crib.  She had removed her shorts and diaper, disassembled the liners from the pocket of the diaper, and shoved the diaper pieces between the bumper and the crib bars.  And I'd ignored her for long enough that there were a few wet spots scattered throughout the crib.

Have I mentioned that I hate changing crib sheets?? It's impossible to reach the dang mattress, even with the bar down, and the stupid bumpers crowd everything up so that I can't get the corners around the mattress edge without a lot of struggling, and the back corners are totally not reachable...Is there some trick that I just don't know about? Don't hold out on me moms, if you've got the trick, spread the love.

Sheets changed, baby changed and back in bed, load of laundry going, and I'm back downstairs in an attempt to do something productive. Within about 15 minutes the sound of "UH OH!" gets louder and louder from her room.  That's what she says when she drops her lovey or water or when she needs help with something. I return for like the 17th time that afternoon and am none too happy about it only to find that she has stripped herself down AGAIN and peed in the crib AGAIN.  Are you SERIOUS??

This time I got smart: I put her in a onesie.  It was so hot out this week that I was skipping that seemingly unnecessary layer, but as it turns out, it's quite necessary if not for warmth than as a diaper lock-down device.  So far she hasn't figured out how to unsnap the onesie so the new rule in this house is that Hannah is not allowed in her bed without a diaper AND a diaper lock-down device.

Problem solved, future grievances avoided. Until she figures out snaps...

Monday, April 25, 2011

The only egg hunt that didn't get rained out

Torrential never ending downpours made it so the DBFA egg hunt at Patterson Park was a no go, and cold temps on Friday made the Bunny BonanZOO at the The Zoo a less than ideal activity, but yesterday was sunny and 70s and a great day for an egg hunt at my dad's house minus the fact that I'd spent the night before puking....I guess Hannah's vomiting wasn't as random as I thought it was.  Eric came home with a really bad stomach ache on Friday, and although he didn't vomit, we're blaming him for bringing in the bug.  What I don't get is why bugs like that always strike in the middle of the night, you know? I mean, when do you ever puke in the afternoon???  I certainly never do. So on top of incredible stomach pains, that horrendous pre-puke feeling that ransacks your whole body, and dehydration and a general depleted feeling you also end up severely exhausted and lacking sleep. Totally uncool.

Needless to say, when I woke up on Sunday morning, I wasn't sure I was going to make it back to Hagerstown, but Eric made me suck it up and motivate.  We had to stop once so I could lose the banana I'd choked down, and I got really car sick (as usual) riding in the back with Hannah, but we made it.

Once there, I was not my usual picture snapping nut job, and the pics I did snap are not so hot, but that's never stopped me from posting before!

Upon arriving at my dad's, I went immediately to the couch to lay down.  The fam joined me there and Eric snapped a few pics of the kiddos playing.

After about a half hour I motivated off my butt and suggested we get the egg hunt underway because I wasn't getting any less tired.

Hannah picked up on the concept pretty quickly and had fun filling her basket.

There were six eggs for each of them, but when it was all said and done, Clay only had two...Not because he didn't find any, he found them, he just wasn't too interested in picking them up.  Hannah followed behind him, trying to keep up, and picked up the eggs he wouldn't.

Eventually Clay found something more interesting than eggs: my dad's tractor.

I'm loving the new outfits that Grammy sent Hannah--tons of tights and t-shirts that are all mix and match, cute, and super comfy (and on sale).

Time to inspect the loot!

While in the garage, Hannah found my dad's shop chair and started wheeling it around the yard with Clay's occasional help.

I tried to get Hannah to wear the bunny ears but she wasn't interested...

I also tried to get Hannah to nap, but she wasn't interested in that either. I took her into my dad's room with her lovey and blanket and some books, but she knew that Clay was still running around outside the my dad's room and refused to settle down.  Clay was late on his nap too and they were both getting increasingly fussy and started fighting over toys so Chip and Erica took Clay home.

After they left, Eric passed out on the couch and dad and Hannah started washing my car.  Sondra got her a little bucket and her own rag.  She loved it! I snapped a few shots and then I went and passed out in anticipation of a rough ride home with an over-exhausted child who won't do more than cat nap in a moving vehicle.

My anticipation was spot on.  In spite of being exhausted, Hannah slept for only 30 minutes in the car and spent the rest of the ride crying.  She continued crying for most of the rest of the night until almost 8:30 when she finally fell asleep...The thing about crying until 8:30 is that I attempted to put her to bed at 7:00, right on time.  And she was soooo obviously tired, but couldn't fall asleep.  After finally falling asleep way later than her usual bedtime, she woke up earlier than usual this morning at 6:15.  So, I think the books are right: bad sleep breeds bad sleep.  Anyone who thinks that my daughter is going to sleep awesomely because she missed her nap is dead wrong.  Nope. No.  Never.  And this is why I don't go anyplace and why I am such a stickler for sticking to her schedule....It will take us days to get back on schedule. Many long, frustrating, exhausting days.

I can't complain really because it's my fault; I know better.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vomit hair

How do you get the smell of vomit off a toddler who spent the night rolling around in her own puke if two hair washings, one shower, and one soak in a bubble bath don't do the trick?

And, after that, how do you assuage yourself of the incredible guilt at, upon going into to say good morning to said sweet little toddler, you are bombarded by a horrendous smell and greeted by a baby who's hair is vomit-matted into an Einstein-ish hairdo, who's ears are full of puked-up blueberries, and who's crib and stuffed animals are smattered with dried and crusty puke?

Hannah's first vomit, and I wasn't there to hold her hair back and brush her teeth and clean her up.  Why didn't she yell for us????  Or did she yell and we not hear her???  I feel so terrible...horrible...craptastic.  So glad it happened on a weekend when Eric was here to help out with clean up.

We're off to buy a new video monitor this morning.  We've been without one for about 6 months, and until this morning, I didn't think we needed one.  Obviously I was wrong. We definitely need one.

On the bright side, she seems fine this morning.  She has a great appetite and is in good spirits, no fever or anything.  I can think of few things worse than puking so I can't imagine she slept through it, but maybe....So weird and upsetting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hannah dyes some eggs

Now that Hannah is getting older I've got a goal of doing more craft projects with her and have been on the hunt for a book with ideas.  I thought Waldorf would be a good starting place since my favorite crafts with kids blog (now deleted) was by a mom who home schooled her children in the Waldorf tradition.  I found one promising Waldorf craft book, but then one of the reviewers said it was mostly crafts for adults to do without the kids with the purpose of making toys for the kids.  That's cool and all, but I have my own stuff to do in my own time; I want crafts I can do WITH Hannah.  Anybody have any recommendations?

Anyway, I figured egg dying was a good, easy place to start so we dyed eggs yesterday when she woke up from her nap.

Hannah's first response to getting her hands on a hard boiled egg is to bang it on the nearest surface.  As a result, she ended up snacking on the first egg.

I didn't have one of those kits you can use to make designs, so we tried to color on the eggs with a white crayon, but it mostly just made the eggs look kinda textured.  Maybe we colored too much?? It was so hard to see where we'd written!!

We started with the basic colors: green blue, pink (okay, pink isn't basic but who dyes eggs red??), and yellow, and then when that batch was finished, we changed the green to teal, the blue to purple, the yellow to orange, and the pink tooooo....I forget. Maybe we made that purple and made the blue...Anyway, the point is, we opted to do it that way both to save on dye and because I only had four of those little parfait type glasses which seemed to me to be ideal egg-dying glasses.

We put the eggs in individual bowls to dry so they wouldn't stain each other. (And yes, Hannah is without pants at this point.  She peed in the skirt she was wearing, and I never got around to getting her a new set of drawers.  That was her only accident though! She made it to the potty every time for the rest of the afternoon.)

Our finished product is, like I said, a bit textured, partially because of the crayon and partially because the first egg isn't the only one Hannah attempted to crack open. I think they're kinda pretty though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Planter's paradise

The egg hunt we were supposed to go to on Saturday morning was canceled ahead of time due to the fore casted torrential downpours.  Eric and I have been wanting to check out this Sun Nurseries place that one of his coworkers told him about, but it's a 35 minute drive west and trying to find a time to go there has been impossible, sooooo, on a whim, I got in touch with Kathryn and lo and behold! She happened to be in town from college and willing to come spend the morning with Hannah so Eric and I could have date morning at the nursery.  Romantic, right??? Screw dinner and movie--this was way cooler.  Kathryn took Hannah to Port Discovery and Eric and I went and picked out a bunch of plants in the pouring rain.

That place was AWESOME.  We took measurements of all our window boxes, both our plot and MC's plot out front, the planter Eric built out back (pics below), the flower boxes hanging off the back deck, and our assortment of hanging baskets and pots.  One of the workers there helped us combine food with flowers to create what I think is going to bloom and blossom into a pretty rad urban garden.

Most exciting thing purchased: blueberry bushes! One of them is even called Hannah's Choice--how cool is that!  Both are out front so we'll see how they do with birds, squirrels, and random pedestrians...

Eric was so psyched when we got home that he put on his rain suit, gathered his tools, and got to work in spite of on again off again downpours.

He finished up with the front plots right about the time Hannah was waking up from her nap and moved on to the window box.

The sun reappeared the next day, and Hannah and Eric tackled the second story window boxes.

I curled up under the covers in bed to watch, and after a while, Hannah joined me.  She had pulled out a flower from a bunch and was inspecting it closely.

Since it was sunny I took a bunch of pics of the finished work done the day before, but...I probably should retake them on a cloudy day because sunny pics aren't great...See?

Here's a close up of our first floor window box.  It has rosemary, sage, creeping jenny, cosmos (the tall flowers), and some little blue flowers that will fluff up between the creeping jenny and the cosmos. (The second story boxes have the same except instead of the herbs they have some tall grass.)

After nap, Hannah grabbed her sunglasses and headed out back to help dad finish up the planter.

How cool is this planter!!! It's exactly what I wanted but was super expensive online. We happened to have most of the wood laying around so all Eric had to buy was the liner and a couple 2x4s and then, voila! My magical husband waved his wand around and made this awesome planter appear for me!  He's so nice.
We didn't get all the stuff for this box because it wasn't in yet, but it'll have tomatoes, sugar snap peas, basil, mint, cilantro, a sugar baby, and some marigolds to keep the bugs away.  We're putting strawberries in the hanging baskets, nasturium and an assortment of herbs in the flower boxes on the deck, and carrots and mixed greens in separate 5-gallon pots.  We've got more pots so we'll probably end up with more stuff, but that's the plan so far.

I can't wait for everything to fluff up and get going! It's going to look (and hopefully taste) awesome!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Hannah wears goggles

Hannah has been consistently sleeping until 7:00-7:30 lately which is great except that now we tend to run late to all our morning activities (even though I wake up at 6:00 with Eric--6:20 on days when his alarm is off).  On Fridays we try--usually unsuccessfully--to get out of the house by about 8:45 so we can get to the gym right at 9:00 when the kids club opens.  This way I can swim for an hour or so, then still have plenty of time left to go get her and take her swimming for another hour or so.  The later we get to the gym, the less time Hannah has to swim....OR, the later Hannah goes down for a nap.  In an effort to speed up our process tomorrow morning, I laid out our swim stuff while she was napping and left it in a pile on our bed.  It was still there when she went chasing off after the cat during dinner.  I guess the cat sought sanctuary in our room which was a smart move since the goggles proved to be more distracting than the furry feline.  When Hannah came back downstairs (sans cat), she had my goggles around her chest...I'm not sure it's a look that will ever catch on, but I admire her creativity and forward fashion sense.

By the way, this shirt is one of those random hand-me-downs that I talked about trying to avoid in the last post because of vanity issues.  Why would they make a toddler shirt with three teenage-looking girls on it and the saying "best friends"? Toddlers don't have best friends. It's just weird. But Hannah likes it and is always trying to get out of the house with it on.  Lucky for me it is now in the dirty laundry so, at least for the next few days or so, I don't have to worry about her pulling it out of the drawer and the subsequent inner turmoil I have between wanting her to express her individuality (valid) and wanting to meet my incredibly low standard of cool (not valid).  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giving in to a spontaneous pajama day celebration: A lesson in vanity

I picked up some little hair bands and gave Hannah her first set of pigtails yesterday.  She has the same cowlick in the front that I do which makes it unwise to part her hair anywhere except the opposite side of the cowlick so I gave her some cutely crooked pigtails.  Well, I thought they were cute anyway, but we all know that my sense of fashion is pretty limited.

Hannah's first pigtails.
I guess she liked her pigtails because she brought them to me this morning, pointed at her hair, and waited patiently while I tied up her hair.  She hasn't pulled one out yet which surprises me since she often pulls out her barrettes.

In addition to requesting specific hairstyles, she has been wanting to choose her outfits as well. I try to do what my mom did with me when I was little and offer her two choices, that way she feels some sense of control but the choices are still reasonable, but she tends to refuse both of my choices and is none too quiet or polite in her refusal.  This morning I had laid out jeans and the striped shirt she's wearing in the pic above and asked Eric to dress her while I cleaned up breakfast. I came upstairs a few moments later and she was wearing the flannel top to a pair of pajamas that she occasionally naps in (I always put her in footed pajamas for night time sleeping though).  She was refusing the outfit I'd laid out for her. I went into the bathroom to pee and had a bit of an aha moment. Not a eureka because it wasn't some great idea, but more like an awakening, a moment of enlightened self-awareness if you will.  I stopped to consider why I was opposed to her leaving the house in flannel pajamas.  Since they're flannel and it was near 60 degrees even first this morning, her freezing off her little bum was off the table.  The only reason I could come up with was that it looked silly and was embarrassing.  But for who? She obviously wasn't concerned with embarrassment....Oh how difficult to admit my vanity!

I never thought I'd be one to play dress up with my daughter since I certainly don't like doing it for myself, but as it turns out, I've developed quite an obsession with making her look as cute as humanely possible with the random assortment of hand-me-downs and impulse Target buys she has.  And the problem with that obsession is that I get some sort of parenting validation/security boost every time someone says "awww! She's so cute!"  I know, sick and twisted.  I was ashamed of myself as soon as I realized that that has been happening in my subconscious.

The weird thing is that I don't do that with myself. I mean, generally speaking, I don't care what I look like. I wear the same pair of black yoga pants every day of the week and one of two long sleeve shirts with my favorite black sports bra.  If the weather is cold, I wear Uggs; if it's warm, I wear my Vibrams.  I wash my uniform once a week. I am form over function. I do not read fashion magazines. I don't like to shop. I rarely buy new clothes because even when I do, I end up not knowing how to incorporate them into a reasonably cute outfit, and I don't like trying. I hate staring at my closet, and frankly, I don't like staring at Hannah's either, trying to piece together cuteness with what we have.

Anyway, the aha moment was that vanity is not a good reason to do anything and since I couldn't come up with a better reason for not wanting her to wear her pajamas to the farmer's market this morning, I helped her put on the matching pajama pants and her shoes and socks, and decided that today was a good day to celebrate a spontaneous pajama day.

I don't want to stifle her ability to express herself and if pajamas are her vehicle for expression, fine. I'm sure that as she gets older, her choices in clothing will probably get more and more embarrassing for me so I might as well just learn to appreciate her sense of individuality and expression and practice walking proudly beside her pajama-clad self in anticipation of the day when she asks me if she can shave her head into a mohawk.  I mean, it's just hair, right? It'll grow back.  Honestly though, I think I'd probably be more embarrassed if she wanted to wear popped colors and those pastel-colored floral print dresses...But either way, as long as she isn't wearing anything slanderous or slutty, I'll try really hard to leave my vanity at the door and let her dress herself however she sees fit.

Hannah celebrating a spontaneous pajama day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hannah's first circus

We took Hannah to her very first circus on Thursday morning, and it was awesome!! We've decided to make it a yearly tradition and are already looking forward to next year and hoping Hannah will be able to make it through the whole show.  This year we left at intermission because shortly before intermission (which happened around 11:45 a.m.--lunch time), Hannah started getting fussy.  For the first hour she sat really still on Eric's lap and just stared wide-eyed, taking in who knows how much of the crazy lights, loud noises, animals, and acrobats, and then she must have reached stimulation overload.  Intermission might have been enough of a break for her, but she woke up early that day (of all days!) and was rubbing her eyes and doing the sleepy whine, so we decided to stick to her schedule and take her home for lunch and a nap.

Eric and I were bummed to have to miss the second half of the show so we bought a DVD. We also bought Hannah a coloring book and have spent the days since then coloring in elephants and clowns.

In spite of pretty decent seats in the lower concourse (last row) and the fact that Eric and I took turns fiddling with the camera settings, we never did figure out the ideal circus setting and therefore didn't manage to get any  good pics. Fortunately, I assume that most of my followers just like following along with Hannah and don't care about photo quality (namely, grandparents), so this should suffice!

Climbing on the rails before the show.
The show introduction.
Daniel Raffo and nine members of his tiger brood.
I think this is a shot of the Ulaanbaatar Ballerina...but I could be wrong.
The Mighty Meetal lifting over 1200 pounds.
The Sky-High Ice Gliders on their high wire.
The Torres Family was one of my favorites.  They raced seven motorcycles around in this 16-foot sphere reaching speeds up to 65 miles an hour...It was crazy.  
 That was the last show before intermission.  I had Eric try one more time to get a pic of Hannah with the Ringling Bros. sign in the background...It's a little out of focus and Hannah looks exhausted, but I guess it's better than nothing.