My Assistant

I was desperate for an hour’s worth of work time late yesterday. I asked B if she could work on her computer too so I could get a few things done. She agreed so I dialed in and tuned out anything that wasn’t a “I’ve critically injured myself!!” scream.

An hour of work, dinner, bath, dinner for PW and I, another 1.5 hours of work and I caught a glimpse of this in the mirror:

I knew she had been playing with my shirt, I just didn’t know I was a canvas for her new stickers. And I like that PW never asked why I had 100+ stickers across my back. When I pointed out this fact his response was “it’s impressive how straight she made the line”.

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What’s in Baylie’s Bag? – 2 Edition

This is the second edition of “What’s in Baylie’s Bag?”. In case you missed the first, I am documenting  the crazy things that Ms.B likes to carry around with her in an edition posted each week.

This week, Bay chose the baby buggy that once belonged to her Aunt Ali and myself as her method of transportation of her treasure. The contents? Why Barbies, of course.

Contents:

Peter Rabbit themed Barbie

Bath Tub Barbie

Barbie brush

A bowl that once contained Goldfish crackers that were most likely stealthily eaten by Bear T. Dog – now containing a play food ice cream cone

A wiffle ball

The instructions to her Peg Play game which she opens and pretends to read by saying “read read read”. Also a few pegs and the strings from the game

The bathing suit and towel costume from her new and very much loved Build-A-Bear brand “Kat”. We can’t be normal and just build a bear, we build cats

UofA Wildcat puppet – BEARDOWN!!!

Handy Home Improving

Any homeowner will say that the job of improving, maintaining and updating a home is never done. Even friends of ours that live in brand new houses are always doing something. Our story is the same – it’s always something.

That something (besides the dishwasher) was the master bathroom toilet. For weeks it would fill. STOP. Fiiillllll. STOP. Fiiiillll some more. STOP. And on and on until it was done filling. And because our water pipes are in the attic (yes East Coasters, they are in the attic because we don’t have to worry about them freezing) the process was heard throughout the house as the pipes banged with each pause. Not exactly what you want to hear at 3am – or worse, at 5:30am because the sound will inevitably wake up Baylie.

Now when Peter and I were both working, we would have certainly called a plumber and gladly handed over the $100+ to fix the toilet. We were both working 60+ hours a week and it made sense not to waste the precious time we had outside of the office on trying to fix something we know nothing about. But now that we only have 1 income, that’s no longer the case. And after a quick pep talk from my mom – the woman who can fix anything – Bay and I ventured out to the plumbing supply store. After a quick explanation and a new flush valve, we headed home to fix our commode.

Fixing a toilet is a challenge. Fixing a toilet with a busy, curious and eager-to-help 20 month old is an Olympic sport. Thankfully she was very content to play with the extra parts that came with the new valve (yes, there were supposed to be extra parts, I asked) and hand me rags to mop up the water. 20 minutes after we started we were calling everyone we knew to make them listen to the toilet flush without pausing. Yes, we fixed it and fixed it right in one try – $20 worth of parts, a patient salesman at the plumbing supply, some elbow grease and a blind eye to the fact that there was toilet water leaking onto the floor and we did it. The best part is that when we called Peter, A. he was stumped by what the hell I was asking him to listen too and B. was convinced I had called a plumber. When I actually showed him what I had to do to fix it, he was most impressed.

I contemplated taking pictures of my work in anticipation of a blog, but realized that pictures of the back of the toilet was pushing it. However, this goes down as my new “best” when it comes to home improvement. Next up: sprinkler repair!

What The Mary Poppins?

Because B has been sick all week, we’ve been doing a lot of nothing. Our day consists of  administering Tylenol, Vicks Vapor Rub and sitting in the bathroom with the shower on and breathing in the steam. Pretty much anything that will help her breathe easier and recover from this nasty virus.

We started watching Mary Poppins two days ago – one of my all time favorite movies as a kid. As we continued watching it last night, I realized one thing – this is a strange movie. Like Alice in Wonderland / alternate meaning to scenes weird.

First, why is the neighbor’s house shaped like a ship and why does he fire off cannons? I’m not so weirded out by Mary and the children’s trip into the sidewalk chalk paintings, I am however disturbed that Mary then denies that they did this later. And what the hell is the scene with Uncle Albert all about?! Why are they all on the ceiling laughing and having a tea party?? I also think it would be Uncle Albert’s picture  next to “child molester” in the dictionary. I was going to add a picture to the post, but it freaked me out to look at it long enough to save it and add it in…

Thinking back, my other favorite movie as a kid was Old Yeller. For anyone who hasn’t seen this movie – the lovable dog and title character is shot by his master at the end of the movie because he has rabies. When I realized as an adult what actually happened to Old Yeller, I was a little concerned what this said about me and my personality. The more I thought about it, I didn’t realize the owner was killing OY. So really, I should be less concerned about deep psychological issues and more concerned with the fact that I was apparently a very dense child (yes Peter, I said CHILD. Not adult and no, there is no need for a correction).

So today, I’m feeling a little like Phoebe (from Friends, not the dog that we found last weekend) when she realized that her mother had edited all the movies she saw as a kid and never knew the full meaning behind them. I’m now a little afraid too of watching anymore childhood favorites for fear I will learn that they too have some coo coo meaning and or further prove that I was in fact, a very dumb kid.

January is Not Our Month

Our family calendar:

Phew. I am so happy to see February. It seems that January 2011 has turned into our “sick month”. We started out with the stomach flu two weeks ago.

Then last week, Baylie suffered a buckle fracture in her ankle. No, I was not drinking wine and ignoring the child. She was actually at the Little Gym and is trying very hard to learn to jump. She launched herself off of a 10 inch high piece of equipment and sort of decided mid jump to make it a big step instead of a jump and landed awkwardly on her left foot. I knew instantly something was wrong – she had the “I just got 4 vaccinations” cry and then she wouldn’t walk. This kid was crawling at 6 months, she lives to move especially when she’s with her buddies so for her to insist on sitting in my lap for the remainder of class was a huge red flag. Only our kid gets hurt in a literally padded room. Thankfully the doctor insists that it will be totally fine, it’s not going to affect her softball career later in life nor is it a sign on any problem with her bones. He said it’s actually pretty common and minor enough that they don’t cast it. She’s getting around fine by crawling or scooting and has been walking more and more. I caught her trying to climb into her crib yesterday to get a pacifier so I’m thinking she’s milking it a little for the extra carry time by mom and all the pacifiers she can stand.

Thinking we’ve had our fill of doctors and hospitals for the year, I was resistant to the idea that Bay was a little congested yesterday morning. I tried to blame her phlegmy cough on her yogurt but no luck. By the time she woke up from her nap she was wheezing like an asthmatic and again, only wanted to be snuggled. It’s never a good sign when she wants to sit still. 3 hours of Vick’s Plug In Vapors, the frog shaped humidifier cranked up to high and watching Baby Einstein snuggled together in her room, she climbed out of our chair and wanted to play with her kitchen set – whenever she wants to try to feed Bear T. Dog a fake hot dog, things are looking up.

I’m very much not looking forward to yet another trip to the doctor today. Mostly because I don’t want to sit on the sick kid side of the waiting room. The only other time we’ve been to the doctor for being sick (yes, we’re extremely lucky that B is almost two years old and this is the first time she’s been sick) I thought she had an ear infection so we sat on the “well” side because I didn’t want her to catch anything. I don’t think the other moms and nannys are going to take kindly to my wheezing, juicy coughing kiddo on the well side so I’m going to have to bite the bullet, sanitize our chairs and hold my breath like the big girl that I am.

Is it February yet?

A Watched Phone Never Boils

Er, rings.

Nap time in our house means Baylor sleeps for approximately 2 hours and mommy scrambles to get as much done in those 2 hours as possible. I can be quite productive – “to do” items are prioritized not only by need, but also if it can be accomplished with the help of my assistant”. Dishes these days are a toss up. She’s actually pretty good at handing me the silverware and then is totally entertained pushing the buttons – she actually locked out the controls the other day and I had to break out the manual to undo it. Laundry is fine as long as she gets to push and pull the baskets, put the wash into the dryer, push all the buttons and I can fold it on the bed so she can’t pull down the freshly folded shirts. Most household cleaning is doable. She really likes to swiffer, take turns holding the vacuum and makes “ppssshhht ppssshhhtt” sounds while holding the spray bottles of cleaner (because she can’t actually squirt it, she just makes the sound).  But anything to do with the office is a no go – she lllooooovvveeess to type on the computer, whether or not I’m sitting at the computer makes no difference. She climbs into the chair and either wrestles me for the keyboard and mouse or stands behind me and tries to get the headband, hair tie or ear piece away from my head. Not only is it unproductive, it’s also potentially painful.

That said, all calls that I need to make, bills to be paid, blogs to be written and read, emails to be sent, etc. take place between in the hours of noon and 2pm. Most significant are the calls because I’m self conscious about a screaming kid in the back ground, especially when it’s a semi professional call. I try to make all calls of this nature around noon and then pray that the return call will happen before 2pm. Which, it almost never does. As soon as I hear the tell-tale sounds of a baby starting to wake up, I know that phone is going to ring. I try to ignore the sounds. If it hasn’t been two hours yet, I go in and silently rock her back to sleep, begging for just 45 more minutes.

No sooner do I close the door and sigh with relief… the whimpers develop into wails and I close out what I’m working on. Only then does the phone in fact, ring.

 

An Unholy Combination

I had great hopes to write a lovely blog today regarding happiness. unfortunately, two vaccinations and a new tooth on the verge of breaking through the gum line created an unholy combination of pain that lead to a 3 hour melt down. I didn’t know the kid could actually cry that much. She was to the point of tear-less sobs and on the verge of dry heaving. All of my usual tricks did nothing – she sat in her bubble bath clenching two pacifiers and screaming with the third in her mouth. I even busted out chocolate milk thinking it might sooth the savage beast, but no. I resorted to driving her around on the 101 for about 40 minutes. It finally did the trick – she calmed down enough to fall asleep and then snuggle in once we got home.

I’m now exhausted, still staring at my to do list to get ready for the out-of-control huge brunch we’re throwing Sunday, tripping over the pile of presents to be wrapped and ignoring the fact that the dogs are in desperate need of a bath. I’m also seriously considering throwing in the towel and having a cocktail and nap myself….

Kiddo Milestones I’m Grateful For

I read another blog this week called Ironic Mom. She is a Canadian mom of twins and writes very funny and honest posts about life with her kids. I also hear her read with her Canadian accent in my head which makes it even better. Her post last week was about ten milestones that her twins had reached that she was grateful for and I started thinking of my own list. There aren’t ten of them, but they are huge milestones so I figure a few will do.

Sleeping through the night – Baylie might be the only kid I know that waited until she was almost 7 months old to finally sleep for a consecutive 8-11 hours at night. I am not a person who deals well with a lack of sleep, and after roughly 210 weeks of rarely sleeping more than 4 hours at a time, I was near death. I looked like a zombie and felt like one too. Finally, the excitement and exhaustion of getting together with family let her sleep for 10 hours Christmas Eve.  It was a Christmas Miracle!

Taking less than 40 minutes to drink a bottle – I never knew it would take so long to feed a baby. The first month of her life, it felt like it took hours to feed her. I remember watching reruns of talk shows at 3am willing her to eat faster.

Feeding herself – for a long time, Bay was a really picky eater. I would have to trick her into taking a bite of food and then push her to finish a few bites so that she would actually eat solid foods. Once she could feed herself finger foods, all that went away. She could feed herself what she wanted and at her own pace. I wasn’t locked to a chair but could make coffee, feed dogs or, gasp, feed myself!

Walking – I was so excited for B to walk. And then when she did, I was ready to jump off the roof. She was into everything that had previously been out of reach. She was also suddenly silent – there were no more hands slapping the ground as she crawled so she was able to slip away when I wasn’t looking. She instantly knew how to climb the couch, chairs, tables, walls and proceeded to do so often. After 2 days of baby proofing,  I was suddenly back in love with her walking. We could play chase, she could carry things, push things, be set down in a public place without me worrying about her contracting something horrible off the floor.

Understanding what I’m saying – We have been at the point for a few months now where Bay can comprehend what I’m saying. It’s amazing to be able to communicate with her. I love asking her where her nose, ears, fingers, belly button and booty are and she can find all of them. She understands that “bye bye” means that the person, place or thing is going away – or more likely that we’re going away. So when it’s time to leave the park we say “bye bye park” and she gets it. No tears, no fuss, just time to go. Mostly I like asking he to pick up all the toys out of the living room (one by one I identify them, but hey, it’s a start) and take them to her room. Some might call it child labor, I call it creative parenting.

I can’t wait for what is coming next. Although I’m concerned that when we get to the talking phase that I’m going to really regret not curbing my snarky remarks and swearing…

Monkey Dance

Baylie slept until 7:40 this morning. She hasn’t done that, well, ever. Maybe this whole “no morning nap” thing isn’t so bad after all…

Bay loves music and to dance so I thought I would find some cute kids songs to put on the Ipod for her.  I went to ITunes and typed in “kids music”. I disturbed a little by the lyrics of some of the kids songs – i.e. do you know all the words to “Pop goes the weasel”? I do now and they’re weird. It turns out it’s about drinking too much and having to pawn your good coat. I kid you not, look it up.

So I figured if we’re going to listen to something we can dance too and the “kids” songs are about drinking, we might as well listen to something that is actually enjoyable, even if it’s about drinking. Que my running playlist and the classic Beastie Boy’s Brass Monkey.

Brass monkey. That funky monkey…

Thankfully she makes the gestures for when we sing “No More Monkeys  Jumping on the Bed” and not like she’s tipping up her cup.