Sunday, August 29, 2010

She's A Little Bit Me...

Her favorite shoes are sparkly silver ballet slippers.
And if you didn't think a ten-month old could have a favorite pair of shoes, you were not at my house this morning when I considered taking the aforementioned slippers off of my child in favor of more practical tennis shoes.

Her favorite hobby is carrying around a bag and putting "stuff" in it.
She slings it as high as she can manage, almost over her shoulder. Yes, like a purse.

She oohs and ahhs over necklaces and earrings, and she will point out a nice watch from twenty paces.

And every morning, we stand in front of her closet so she can run her hand across the clothes hanging in front of her.

This couldn't have happened soon enough. With awards season underway, I need a 2nd vote for T.V. rights. There's no reason I should know the baseball score but not have any idea what Heidi Klum is wearing tonight...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Excuse Me?

Excuse me, young man?

Yes, you!

I hate to bother you...

I can tell you have a lot of work to do, and this is quite a big day for you...

BUT, I was wondering if you've seen my little boy?
You see, he was just here, and then I turned away for a minute and now I can't seem to find him!

Maybe you've seen him?
It's kinda funny.
He looks an awful lot like you.

Well, anyway!
You just let me know if you run into my little boy, OK?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happily "Edited" After

We took a trip this past weekend. It was sort of our "Last Hurrah" of the summer. We scooted on over to Orlando for a fun-filled stay at one of our favorite resorts.

One of the perks of living in a tourist mecca is that you quickly learn how to do the tourist thing yourself, but cheaply!

So, last weekend, we planned a trip that only had one thing on the agenda:

Stay & Play At Hotel

There are so many activities to do at this particular resort that there is really no need to leave the grounds. And we resolved to stay put and enjoy ourselves for 2 nights and 3 activity-filled days.

We were so thrilled when we arrived. Except that our room wasn't quite ready. But we checked our bags and headed toward the pool. An hour later, we checked with the front desk. No luck.
After 3 hours of keeping the kids busy without the luxury of luggage or a room close at hand, we finally settled into an upgraded (for all our trouble, thank you very much) room with a view of all the theme park fireworks shows. Good enough. (Except that Drew refused to even look out the window either night, fearing the loud noise and bright lights of the spectacle.)

We ventured out of our hotel the first night to dinner and to visit one particularly well known theme park's downtown shopping district and legendary Lego store. At dinner, Miss M spilled my husband's soda all over both of them and the waitress. After finishing their food in their wet, stained clothing, we headed out. After parking miles away from our final destination, Drew spent a grand total 3 minutes playing before he decided that the venue was too dark and too crowded and way too hot.

So, we found a great little show at the ampitheater, hoping our boy would enjoy a rousing, audience-participating dance fest. He sat in the baby's stroller instead. Luckily, Miss M found the entertainment absolutely delight, and she moved and grooved to the Chicken Dance and the YMCA on her daddy's shoulders.

With an exhausted and unenthusiastic little guy on our hands, we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. On our mile-long walk back to the car, my back went out. I couldn't walk in any position except completely doubled over. So, my accommodating hubby dropped me off at the entrance to the grand lobby, where I shuffled like Grandma Mable to the glass elevators and managed to crawl to a steaming hot shower for some relief.

That night, as I finally found a comfortable sleeping position, Miss M awoke the entire floor, announcing that the teething medicine and Ibuprofen had WORN OFF! It took 15 anxious minutes to calm her down. I could almost hear the businessmen and women down our corridor cursing. We finally calmed her down and got her back to sleep, but it took a while for mama & daddy's nerves to calm down as well.

We woke early with a new resolve to make up for our rough start. We dressed and headed down to the breakfast buffet. Considering that we hoped to make it a "Cheap" weekend, we couldn't justify spending $20 pp on breakfast. So, we once again ventured off the property of the hotel to find a suitably priced meal.

Upon returning, we were able to get some swimming, kayaking, putt putt-ing, and arcade-game playing in before lunch. Wanting to give our kids the "Mouse-House" experience without going to the parks, we headed back to the theme park's shopping/dining/entertainment boardwalk for some lunch. We chose a wild, child-friendly themed restaurant. Drew laid his head on my lap and closed his eyes the entire time.

We were eagerly anticipating the afternoon, though, as my brother and his wife were coming to hang out poolside with us and enjoy the amenities. As they arrived, a colossal Florida thunderstorm rolled in, too. It stayed as long as they did. So, instead of bike-riding, volleyball-playing and rock-wall-climbing, we sat in the lobby of the hotel's downstairs conference room facilities and let the babies crawl on the plush carpet.

After a nice dinner out (where we had to battle traffic and monsoon rains), my brother's family left. The clouds rolled away and the sun came back out for the remaining 30 minutes of daylight.
So, Drew and I headed down to the pool. We stuck our feet in the hot tubs and the cold water and talked a little about the start of Kindergarten. About 15 minutes into our "swimming", Drew announced that he'd like to go upstairs and watch some baseball with his daddy.

We settled in for the second and final evening of our stay. At approximately 11 p.m., after the fireworks show that no one would watch was over, Miss M woke up screaming again. She was absolutely inconsolable for 10 minutes.

That was when I made the call.

"I'm done," I stated. "Take her downstairs. I'm packing the bags. We're outta here."
My husband, at his wits' end too, gladly obliged. With screaming infant in hand, he headed out the door, through the hallway, down the elegant glass elevators, and through the luxurious lobby, apologizing as he went.

I scooped up everything I could and began throwing it into bags. Dirty clothes, wet bathing suits, sodas and souvenirs were heaped into whatever open luggage would house them. I woke a sleeping Drew from his slumber and put him into the stroller. He began to cry as he realized that his little vacation was coming to an abrupt, late-night end. He, too, cried all the way out of the room, through the hallway, down those same elevators, and past the same courteous staff (who were, I am pretty sure, waving goodbye rather enthusiastically).

And almost exactly at the stroke of midnight, our beautiful carriage turned back into a pumpkin, and pulled out of the resort's gates.

I tried to make small talk with my husband on the way home about the ordeal of the last two days. But he wasn't up for much small talk. I understood. So, with bitter, steaming coffee in hand, we just drove west in silence until we were home sweet home.

With a few days of perspective, the trip doesn't seem quite so bad anymore. The mind is a great editor. The bad memories and mishaps often fade with time. The good stuff mostly remains.

And with a few great pictures and some creative editing, I can ensure that this vacation goes down in the memory book as a fairy tale!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One (Almost) Down.. 19 More to Go.

I wiped her eye to remove some crusted sweet potatoes last night. She screamed so loud that I gave her a full-body scan to see what could possibly be broken or bleeding.

After crying herself to sleep, she woke up, remembered how mad she got earlier at me, and threw another fit. I rescued her from her crib just as the hysteria caused her to puke all over both of us.

I cleaned us up, fixed her a bottle, and rocked her back to sleep.

Six more times she awoke throughout the night, screaming as if her hair was on fire.

I called my mom this morning, and we went through a laundry list of possible causes. Yogurt or chlorine water from the pool (both of which she consumed yesterday) could be causing tummy troubles. And her brother did have a runny nose this week. She could be coming down with a misery-making bug.

Whatever the cause, she was a pitiful picture all day today as well. She cried when I walked into a room and cried when I left. She screamed every time her brother got within a foot of her, and sobbed when a chair fell over (nowhere near her, I might add). She wailed as I tried to bathe away her sorrows and fussed over her afternoon bottle.

During one sobbing gasp, I finally got to see what was causing all her angst. The telltale white "bump" under her lower gum shone from a foot away.

My little girl's very first tooth is about to make it's debut. And apparently, she thinks it's worthy of quite the show.

Part of me is relieved to know what's wrong with my wee one. The other part of me just googled "How Many Teeth Does a Baby Get?"

Apparently, we have a long road ahead of us so I'm stocking up on teething tablets and Tylenol.

And booking this girl her own agent.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nine Months

For the first six months of her life, I captured Miss M's growth by taking her picture next to the same little brown bear on the same polka dot blanket. You may recall that by six months, she was outgrowing the bear and the blanket!

I haven't posed her with her props recently because we rarely remember to pause for a picture. Everyone is just busy going... going... going.

I guess with all that moving around on our parts, Miss M took the hint. And since that last picture was taken, she's been working on MOVING.

At six months old, she finally found her balance and began to sit.
By seven months (and way behind the curve) she decided that she might as well roll over.
At eight months, she slowly (and UNgracefully) picked up the crawling thing from her two cousins (who have been moving for months now!)

Yes, she was a little girl on the move.. and into trouble!

(who me?)

But all that moving around did not prepare me for what she had up her sleeve last week. Late one night (and way past her bedtime) when she thought no one was watching, my little baby walked to me.

Walked. To. Me.

I made such a big deal about it that she shut down and went back to crawling for about a week and a half before she got up the nerve to try it again.

But today at the mall playground, she threw caution to the wind. For the rest of the day, it was all we could do to keep up. She has conquered the playground, the bowling alley, the living room and the kitchen tile. She can go barefoot or with shoes, as long as there's a snack and a smile waiting somewhere down the line.

And the girl we thought would be our laid-back baby forever has surpassed her big brother's walking milestone by almost a month.

I stayed up way too late playing with a new website a friend recommended called Animoto. I just wanted you to be able to share in our excitement. So, I hope you enjoy my feeble first attempt at creating a video!

There's something so cute about that stumbling and lurching that is typical of a new walker. Kinda like Godzilla terrorizing the village.

Only in our case, Godzilla's village consists of a 5-yr old boy who must save his video games and action figures from impending destruction.


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

grow up!



No, Go AWAY!


What are you DOING in there?

There's a roach! There's a roach! A big one!

Well, then... just try to kill it.

I can't! I can't!

Find the roach spray.

I don't know where it is!

Then go get a shoe and hit it.

I won't do that! I'm not that brave!

Alright... (overdramatic sigh)... I'll be right there.


In an effort to be completely transparent, there's something I must let you know about this conversation between me and my five year old son.

The italics were his words... and the bold ones were mine. And this was a verbatim conversation that took place between us yesterday afternoon.

Yeah, he's looking for a place of his own this week. Something quiet, a little less dramatic. I'll just call him to come over when I need him to squish a bug for me.