Tired, but wanted to post a few not-so-good pics before we shove off to Michigan. Hannah and I finally made it to Ultimate Playzone on Thursday morning and loved it! It helped that Brody and Addison were there for Hannah to play with, especially Brody since Hannah trusts him and loves following him around. I was hoping to get some good pics of the three of them bouncing around on all the crazy inflatables, but getting them all together for longer than a split second was totally impossible--they're way too fast for me to keep up with.
This one is verging on inappropriate buttttt....
I almost had a pic of all three of them on this thing but then Brody took off with Addison close behind, and here's Hannah taking off after them.
Brody watching Hannah contemplate the sliding board.
This is definitely someplace I can see us frequenting pretty often. Who doesn't love a giant space full of various inflatables, a giant play house with slide, and a pirate ship with two slidess??? Plus it's cheap--$7 total. Adults are free with one paying kid. And the best part: adults can play too. Toward the end Hannah got bored in the little play house where Brody and Addison were content to keep playing so the two of us hit up the maze inflatable, and by the end of the morning, I was sweaty and ready for a nap. I heart inflatables.
There have been a few days in the last two weeks when Hannah has refused to nap. I blame it on myself because for a while there she was falling asleep by about 1:00 so I started to think, "oh, nap time at 1:00 instead of 12:30," and instead of taking her upstairs at noon to start winding down (which is what time I take her up if I want her asleep by 1:00), I started taking her up at 12:45. It rarely takes her less than an hour to wind down and pass out, so why I bumped nap time back is beyond me and even more baffling is why I keep repeating this mistake in spite of the obvious outcome. ...Actually, I do know why I keep repeating it. It's because she's actually started eating, but only if you follow her around with a spoon while she keeps busy doing more important things, like making her Boots paper doll tell her Dora paper doll to put on her sunglasses. If I follow her around, she will actually eat everything on her plate, but it takes no less than an hour. So an extended lunch time is partly to blame for missing Hannah's nap time window.
This whole following-her-around-with-a-spoon thing has got to end. I know it. I've told Eric that although I have no regrets about making Hannah the center of our universe, if there is ever to be another child, we need to coax her off to one side of the universe at least a little bit. She is a super fun kid to parent, but holy cow is she exhausting!! Sometimes I wonder how(if??) I'll be able to add another kid into the mix without losing my mind, especially if child number two ends up being as spirited as child number one.
As usual, I've digressed. My original intent with this post was to tell you a story I've titled: The Ultimate Imitator. Today I laid Hannah in her crib at 12:50 and sat down in a chair by at the end of her crib for 20 minutes (I've been trying to restart a bit of the ol' Sleep Lady shuffle in an effort to coax her off to one side of the universe), but I hadn't eaten lunch yet so after 20 minutes of watching her lay on her back staring up at the ceiling, I left her to her own devices and went to raid the refrigerator. She was bolt upright in bed in bed playing with her dollhouse dolls--which, for some stupid reason, I let her take to bed with her--before I was even down the stairs. She walks them along the back of the crib and then drops them down between the wall and the crib. Before long, all had plummeted to the floor, and Hannah was at the foot of the bed yelling, "Mommmmmy. Dropped daddy. Dropped baby. Mommmmmy. Help."
I went up but only because I figured she'd pooped anyway and needed to be changed. For whatever reason, Hannah will poop within about 20 minutes of being placed in her crib for nap time. She poops in the potty the rest of the day, but she saves that after lunch poop for nap time. It's about the only predictable thing she does. So I went up, changed her predictably poop diaper, picked up the little dolls, and put Hannah and dolls back in crib. She resumed playing, and I resumed my spot on the couch watching the monitor while looking up recipes in an attempt to plan dinner.
It wasn't long before she had dropped all the dolls again and again started yelling for me. I ignored her for a while but then she dropped lovey, so I went up and returned lovey and blankie only and then came right back downstairs. She screamed for a minute and then decided to use her words: "Nap time. Over. Nap time. Over mommy. Mom. Mommy. Mommmmmmy. Mom. Right now mommy. Right now. Up. Up. Waaahhhhn [One]. Twooooo. Free. Right now mommy. Waaaaahhhhn. Twoooooo. Free."
It's very humbling to realize you're being imitated, and it's also kind of enlightening since you often don't realize certain things about yourself until they're imitated. So, yep. I often say, "Right now Hannah" when she's lollygagging around. And when I want her to do something, say, lay down so I can put on her diaper and pajamas, I say "Hannah, I'm going to count to three. You can either come lay down by yourself, or I can come and get you and lay you down. Wahhhhhn. Twoooooo. Last chance to lay down by yourself. Three. Okay, I'm going to come get you." She almost always does the thing I'm asking her to do at "thr..."
I talked to her through the intercom in the monitor telling her that nap time was not over, and that'd I'd be up in 20 minutes, exactly 2 hours after laying her down. I'm desperate for one of those toddler alarm clocks to help convey the message of when she should be sleeping and when it's okay to wake up, but we spent so much money on the bunk beds and mattresses for her room that we're still paying for some of July's expenses and have no room for $40 clocks that may or may not work with Hannah.
So I turn off the volume on the monitor for the next 20 minutes to keep from losing my mind, and I watch the clock. At 2:40, I drudge into her room and open the blinds. After standing her on the floor, she continues her imitating by pointing at the crib and telling me to "Lay down. Close eyes." That's a command you don't have to tell me twice! Unlike my daughter, sleeping is one of my favorite activities and there are few things I'd rather do. I crawled into her crib, curled up, and closed my eyes. She grabbed a library book and sat on the chair that I was sitting on earlier at the beginning of her nap and began reading aloud to me. This is the kind of role reversal I can get behind.
This is what I mean when I say that she is both frustrating and totally fun.
If you made it all the way through that spiel, please accept these totally unrelated photos from yesterday as a reward for your efforts.
Yesterday morning we decided to tempt the gods of luck by playing with an open umbrella indoors during breakfast. It made a pretty fun tent-like structure.
After breakfast we put on our raincoats and took the umbrella outside with the intent of singing in the rain and jumping in some puddles, but that's when Shannon and Atticus pulled up so we happily went back inside to play. Hannah helped me babysit Atticus all day yesterday, and with the exception of nap time (during which both children screamed simultaneously for over an hour forcing me to run back and forth between the bedrooms every 10 minutes), she was quite helpful.
Somehow, Atticus didn't discover Hannah's birthday balloons until the end of the day when his daddy came to get him. The kiddos spent a good 15 minutes swatting those things around and giggling like crazy.
Whew. That was a lot of writing. I'm spent so you'll have to write your own conclusion on this one.
Eric had to run 16 miles this morning, and since we had nothing else to do, we decided to bike along beside him and be his pit crew. His plan was to do two 8-mile loops over to Druid Hill Park and then back, and our plan was to just do one lap. Hannah needed a break once we made it to the reservoir though so we pulled over at the far end where you can see a view of a bunch of on-ramps to 83 and the city in the background and stretched our legs, drank some water, and ate a snack while Eric ran a few laps around the reservoir. Those laps upped his first loop to 11 miles so that when we made it back to the house, he just had to rehydrate and head back out for a short 5 miler.
Hannah liked watching daddy run, and I guess she really liked being on the bike too because she had me remove the protective waist band thingy from her trike so she could get on and off independently. After her nap we took her and her trike over to the parking lot behind The Rotunda to give her a chance to practice pedaling by herself. Now, just to be truthful, that parking lot has a slight but definite slope which helped her pedaling efforts pretty significantly, but still! We were impressed none-the-less with her first independent trike ride!!
As a disclaimer, we had a terrible time editing this video...While filming Eric cut her head off for the last 30 seconds or so. We tried to cut that but the editing software really blows so...when you get to the part where her head is cut off, you should probably stop watching...Also, for some reason I can't get it to embed so you'll have to just click the link.
After my dad and Sondra left on Friday, Eric and I got busy in the kitchen. Cooking busy, that is. Actually, we started getting busy toward the end of their visit because there was a lot to do. Eric made the cole slaw and started the potato salad while I was at the playground. He put the pork in the crock pot the night before (while I was struggling to get the birthday extravaganza: part 1 pics posted). I had started the hamburger buns before leaving for the playground, and he rolled them out and cut them while I was gone. Then there was the shortcake to make and the ice cream to prep....I made peach shortcake and peach pie ice cream (my attempt to duplicate Ben & Jerry's Willy Nelson's flavor which is, by far, my favorite). By the time Friday was over, we were beat, but it was nice to wake up on Saturday and just hang out with our guests rather than have to spend time in the kitchen.
We didn't have a formal present opening thing; Hannah pretty much opened them as people walked in the door. Grammy was first to arrive, and she brought Hannah a smaller, softer Elmo doll--good for snuggling--and some adjustable roller skates which Hannah is pretty into though she prefers to sit back on them while holding my hands and let me push her along. She also got her a book, some Dora and Boots paper dolls, and some new socks because I'd called earlier that week and asked her to pick up some more purple socks. The last pair she got have become Hannah's favorites, and she will not wear any other pair when sleeping, not the white or green or pink. Just purple. Unfortunately they do not come in packs of just purple so we now also have two pairs of pink and green socks which Hannah will not touch. On the bright side, two pairs of purple socks means they get washed occasionally.
Kim and Jason showed up next with a very cool magnetic dress up doll that Hannah has played with pretty much every day since then. She's already picked out her favorite outfit and we are not allowed to put the doll in anything else which is a total bummer for me because I want to play too! Sigh.
Before choosing that favorite outfit, she let Grammy help her dress the doll. Lucky Grammy.
The loot piled up on the table! Daddy was pretty into the skates while Grammy stuck to the doll and Hannah just stared on blankly, clearly overwhelmed with her sudden increase in toy choices.
I guess it was all too much because Hannah retreated into the snuggly safety of Kim's arms and stayed that way for an abnormally long time. Awww!
When Grammy showed up, I said "Hannah, guess who's here??" Her eager response was "Jason??" Nope. It's Grammy. But here's Jason!
The carpeted upstairs seemed like a good place to take our first test run on the skates.
My Aunt Pam and Uncle Donny were the next to show up. They brought Hannah this puzzle with zoo animals that makes the noise of each animal. The monkey is, hands down, the favorite. Hannah and I play with that puzzle a lot during meal times but we use the animals like they're dolls and march them around the table and have them talking to each other. They also got her this magnetic number maze which she does not totally grasp the concept of yet, but she does like to point out the animals, and we are working on learning how to use the magnetic wand thingy.
Chip and Erica and Clay rolled in last with a bag full of tissue paper and this really sweet kitty cat keyboard that Clay picked out for her. The cool thing about that is the microphone (and also the "meow" setting where each key meows the appropriate note). Hannah has a much smaller keyboard with a mic, but the mic recently died and she has recently been really interested in using it, so this present was really timely.
Not sure what light that is on Clay's face...I guess a fellow mamarazzi??
After opening her last present, Hannah took Clay upstairs to show him her new bunk beds and bed tent.
Next up on the toddler's agenda: running laps up and down the hallway and in and out of the bedrooms on either end of the hallway while screaming and giggling incessantly.
After working up a good appetite, we all grabbed food and found a seat. Hannah's favorite part of any bbq is the hamburger bun which is why I opted to make my own.
The post lunch coma...I think Eric took this pic while I was upstairs with the kiddos. (I got new curtains last week!)
Said kiddos went straight from lunch to jumping on the bed and then rolling around in it. Clay is blurry in every single picture because he does not hold still for longer than a second at a time...
I finished up the desserts then, stuck a candle in some whip cream, and gathered everyone around the table to sing to Hannah again. She looks thrilled, right? She loved the peach ice cream which was a total melted mess and didn't harden up until much later in the day, but didn't touch her shortcake.
And back upstairs again, doubly full and on somewhat of a sugar rush. Clay was very enthralled with Hannah's baby Lila and spent much of the rest of the visit feeding her. He's going to be a good big brother when his little sibling comes in February!
I think Clay might need his own baby doll...I might have to look for one for him for his birthday.
Hannah was hanging all over Uncle Donny, wrapping her arms around his neck and jumping on his belly, but all of those pics turned out blurry because of my refusal to use a flash. This is all I got...Better than nothing!
Mmmmkay. I'm exhausted. And we still need to take down the decorations...It's like a permanent birthday party up in here.
Guess who hit a growth spurt??? In the last 6 months, Hannah has gone from being in the 20th percentile for weight to the 50th. The spike on the chart the pediatrician showed me is huge. When it comes to height, she's holding steady in the 90th percentile. Here are her stats:
Weight: 26-1/2 pounds
Height: 35-1/2 inches
Head circumference: 50.1 cm
My only concern was Hannah's potential allergies. I don't think I ever got around to blogging about her gigantically swollen eye that she woke up with about a month ago and left her looking like a non-hunched back Hunchback of Notre Dame. I raced her off to the doctor's office the day and the nurse practitioner on duty said that we since it was soft (rather than hardened) and not leaking and not bothering her (she didn't flinch when the nursed pushed on it) that we had nothing to worry about. It was an allergic reaction to something, possibly just a bug bite though we couldn't find the bug bite. Anyway, since then that same eye sometimes gets red and watery. Since that's the worst of her symptoms and since she's young, we're going to wait to do allergy testing.
Other than that, all is well! Her doctor is impressed that she's using the potty as much as she is (midway through the exam Hannah grabbed herself and said "pee!" so I had to race her off to the bathroom).
Oh, and apparently it's time to start looking at preschools--did you know that??? Well, if we're going to do preschool anyway. I don't know what we're going to do, but if we want her in a preschool when she's 3, we need to apply as close to Labor Day of THIS YEAR as possible. That's insane to me. I guess I need to start doing some research to figure out what we want to do. Maybe something for a day or two a week would be okay but I don't think she needs much (and I don't think we can afford much). Is it me or is there always something to research....
Just uploaded pics from Hannah's second birthday extravaganza on Saturday! I'l be editing and uploading in the next day or so....
Today's the day that Hannah officially entered what I, so far, consider to be the terribly awesome 2's. Aside from that power struggle phase she hit around 19 months, I think this age is awesome. You can keep the whole baby phase--I'll take a talking, walking toddler any day!
She's really growing up too. She leaves the house more and more often in underwear with few accidents. I've even started leaving her in the kids room at the gym without a diaper--just one day a week until she gets used to having Miss Hope put her on the potty, but still, that's good progress! As for boobies, she's letting go of those too. Two days ago she made it through an entire day with no boobies at all! Most days she still nurses first thing in the morning, but that's it. It's happening!
She's also learning her colors which I guess is part of learning to talk and wanting to label everything. We had Mouse Paint out of the library in our last batch of books, and she loved that one so I think that jump started the color thing.
Alright, enough blabbing, on with the pictures! We have a big birthday weekend, and today was just the start! My dad and Sondra came early today bearing balloons and a present. Hannah was watching out the window as they walked up the sidewalk so she was excited before they even got in the door.
And right about here is where the battery on my camera died, and I had to switch to cell phone. And right about here in the post, is where my computer died, and then Eric's died, but then I got his to start working again. It's almost 11 which is WAAAAAAY past my bed time, but I'm going to persevere a bit longer. Unfortunately, Eric's computer doesn't have photo editing software so the cell phone pics are not edited since I didn't email them to myself until after the internet killed my computer.
Anyway, it's a bed tent!! Woohooo!
They played in the bed tent for a very long time while Eric and I got to work in the kitchen making cupcakes (found a recipe with no sugar, just a tablespoon of honey in a cooking for babies and toddlers cookbook) and then prepping all the food for tomorrow.
After a while I coaxed them out of the bed tent and outside to get some fresh air and take advantage of the temperature not being 100 degrees.
My little climber! She's after my heart with all this climbing she's doing.
Pappy and Grandma Sondra brought her Easter basket up that we left behind along with a few empty eggs. She carried that thing everywhere we went this morning, taking the eggs in and out of the basket and separating them and then putting them back together again.
An egg half makes a great clown nose.
Don't worry, I didn't forget about the 2-year comparison pics! Let's use this one of Hannah since it's a great face shot...
And here's 2-year old Eric,on the right (with Uncle Justin on the left).
And here's 2-year-old Terri holding my new baby brother!
To be honest, I haven't even looked at these pics closely to compare them because getting this post up has been a 3-hour affair involving a number of computers and phones and hard drives and insanity and frankly, I'm tired. This is way past my bedtime and we have a BIG day tomorrow with lots of my family coming up to celebrate Hannah's birthday. Lots more pics to come....
Also, there's no way in H-E-double hockey sticks that I'm taking the time tonight to edit this thing so I'm sorry in advance about the plethora of typos.