Friends, Neighbors, Allergies, and Cheese

Yesterday started with beautiful weather; it ended with freezing rain! A huge thunderstorm moved through right as we arrived at our play date, which was thankfully moved to our new friends’ house instead of the park. We were grateful for our friends’ hospitality, and the kids had a lot of fun playing with their bunny. 🙂

Today I get to play hostess as I will have three of our neighbor’s kiddos over this afternoon. I plan to make cookies and then let the kids run wild. The house is clean, and since the kids are four and up, I’ll most likely be able to make some dinner while they’re here since they’ll need a bit less constant supervision. Before they come over, we will have some rest time and I hope to read a bit of Charlotte Mason’s Home Education.

Monkey Man slept in until almost 9:00 this morning. That is the first time any one of my kids has ever slept past 8:30. I was worried about him! He seems to be all right, except for his seasonal allergies, which are really dragging him down right now. We have been giving him some raw honey and a couple of my friends have mentioned some essential oils to use. We’ll try that today!

I think I’ve discovered why Sugar Plum has issues with dairy. I think it’s related to Jonathan’s migraines. Sugar Plum has always had a rough time of it when I’ve tried to introduce dairy into my diet. I had some cheese last night, and today she was just crying and crying while she held onto her little head. She’s done that in the past when I’ve tried cheese (we live in Wisconsin, after all). We’ve been experimenting with keeping Jonathan off dairy for a few weeks, and then trying cheese. Each time we’ve tried it, he’s had a migraine the next day. It’s becoming quite obvious that while dairy may not be the only trigger for his migraines, it certainly plays a part. And I’m thinking it’s the same for Sugar Plum. She gets little baby headaches when I have dairy. Poor thing! So… no dairy for us. Good thing I’m weaning her soon. I’m ready to eat pizza again.

Weekend Woohoo!

Our weekend wasn’t really that exciting, but I thought I’d try to spice things up a bit. Let’s see… what did we do? On Saturday, Jonathan and I cleaned the basement playroom. Holy cow, it was a nightmare. Around Christmastime, we received a box from a family member which contained light pink styrofoam packing peanuts. As a mom who literally can’t stand the mess, I did the smart thing and hid the box away as fast as humanly possible. Kids didn’t even know it was here. I’m so sly. But…

I’m alone in thinking five steps ahead. So when the box I hid, which contained only packing peanuts, was found by Jonathan, he did the logical thing: he put it on a pile of boxes waiting to be taken upstairs to the trash and recycle bins. Let me give you a little piece of parenting wisdom: if you leave a box of ANYTHING within sight, the children will open it to investigate. It doesn’t matter if the box is marked “TRASH” or if the box smells like a rotten herring, if you leave it where they can see it, it is fair game.

And, come on, what kid wouldn’t love to jump in a box of packing peanuts, and roll in them, and smash them to smithereens? “Look, Mom! It’s snowing PINK!”

Our playroom was absolutely covered in minuscule shards of light pink foam. I couldn’t even take Sugar Plum downstairs at all because she likes to investigate everything she finds on the floor with her tongue. I asked the children to do their best to clean it all up. But when they were supposed to be cleaning it up, they were really just dumping it on each other’s heads instead (obviously).

And so we got out the Shop Vac and took care of that little issue. It only took an hour for us to vacuum and rearrange the entire basement so that the play area is more contained and there is much more space for the kids to run around wildly. I mean, why should the toys get all the room? The kids are having a ball putting on theatrical performances every day, and they just love incorporating their gymnastic and acro routines, so the extra space has been really beneficial. Plus it gives me and Hula Girl a great area for our sewing tables. Here’s what it looks like for now, and please keep in mind that we just moved in November and have had no time to hang anything up on the walls or do anything to make this space “ours”:


The sweet pool table and stuff came with the house. We can’t quite figure out how they got it down the stairs in the first place. We can’t get a queen-sized box spring down the steps at all, because of the ceiling height near the bottom of the stairwell. So we’re thinking maybe the pool table was downstairs before they finished off the wall between the room and the staircase?


There’s the trusty Shop Vac. And no more pink styrofoam! Well done, Spavouchum!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon was delightful. We had super warm weather here this weekend! We hit 50 degrees! So of course the whole family went for a walk. We walked down to the lake, which is about five minutes’ walk from our house. The kids were amazed to see the place where the river runs into the lake, because you can see the water rushing in through the places where the lake is frozen. They were also surprised to see the areas where the frozen lake water has pushed the grass up and made giant cracks in the ground. Here’s a picture of me and Jonathan out enjoying the afternoon:


As you can see, even when it warms up, it’s gray here. I saw the sun setting last night for the first time in a week. It lasted about five minutes. So… yeah. It’s gray. I digress.

On Sunday I woke up feeling like I was getting a UTI. Heck, no. I won’t stand for it. So I booked it to the grocery store and bought a whole lotta cranberry juice and drowned that dang infection. I drank roughly 1.5 gallons of water and cranberry juice yesterday. It was disgusting. I also stayed in bed under a heated blanket for six hours solid (in between trips to pee, which were quite frequent. TMI?) But… it worked! I feel great today. I even woke up feeling thirsty somehow. I really can’t figure out how that works.

Anyway, Jonathan and the kids stayed home from church too, and they played and read books while I stayed in bed and planned the week’s activities and started thinking about Sugar Plum’s birthday presents and so on. I also spent quite a bit of time reading through photography tutorials and guides to learn a bit more about using my new camera (Jonathan got it for me in October). Then I was feeling good enough to get outside and take a few pictures yesterday afternoon. The kids joined me and we all had fun.

Today has been a pretty good Monday. I spent a good deal of time in the kids’ rooms, helping them clean. They’re learning, but sometimes it just gets to be too far gone, and they need an intervention! I know the feeling, so I am very sympathetic and I am willing to give them about a half an hour every other week or so to help them straighten it all up again. I’m teaching them to clean by piling everything in the middle of the room, then sorting the pile into smaller piles, then putting the smaller piles away one thing at a time. It takes SO much less time than trying to start in one messy corner and having to cross back and forth over the messy floor to the other messy corner to put things away. Plus it’s motivating to see it piled in one heap, then organized into smaller, more manageable heaps. After each heap is finished being put away, the kids and I do a cheer. It’s all very fun. Fun-ish. Ok, it’s not very fun. But I try to convince them that it is worth it in the end.

We are about to gather ourselves up and head to the Y for some good ol’ exercise and splashing in the pool.

What did you guys do this weekend? Anything new and exciting?

To be or not to be: Healthy

Good news! I made it through the summer without so much as a sniffle. Almost.

Last Monday night I went to Bible study, and started feeling pretty bad right toward the end. Actually, I think I was feeling bad on the way there, but I had just hit and killed a BUNNY and I thought I was just all jumpy and stressed about that. But as the evening progressed I started feeling worse and worse. Sorry for the TMI, but it felt like a continual labor contraction.

By the time I got home, my entire abdomen was just in pain. Per usual when I am feeling sick or hurt in any way, I whined to Jonathan that I was going to die, and retreated to bed as soon as I could get my teeth brushed. I lay there curled into the tightest ball I could get myself into and just tried to think about other things. It didn’t work. I kept waking up all night long with pain in my stomach. Like, above my belly button, in the middle. Nothing that would indicate appendicitis or anything normal. But a whole lot of pain.

The next morning I woke up still in pain. I am a huge believer in sleeping everything off, so I was truly surprised that I was still in pain. And it wasn’t like it was going away- it was getting worse. I haven’t been to the doctor in about 10 years (whenever it was last required for a physical for high school soccer). Really. I don’t ever need to go to the doctor. Plus I don’t like it much. But I would much prefer a doctor to a dentist. That’s a whole other story. Aaron, if you’re reading this, solidarity, brother.

Anyhow, I called and made an appointment. Jonathan stayed home from work. The whole nine yards. I lay in bed all day until my appointment, by which time I felt pretty good. Pain level back down to about a 3 from a 7. So I was worried that nothing was wrong and I was breaking my nondoc streak for nothing. Fortunately for me he believed that something was actually wrong. When the doc pushed on my stomach, it hurt- but not where I thought it would. Nothing above my belly button was tender/sore at all. I felt nothing when he pushed there. At all. And then when he pushed below my belly button it hurt in the middle above my belly button where it had been hurting all along. Weird.

I had to go have blood drawn. Yuck.

The next day the nurse called me and said the doctor wanted me to go for an ultrasound based on some of my blood work. She mentioned something about elevated levels and such. And she threw in the word gallbladder. We went ahead and scheduled the appointment for the following morning. And Jonathan took even more time off work.

Of course, I felt absolutely fine the next day. Not even pretend sore to the touch. Nothing. I’m sure you know how that goes. We decided I should go in anyway for the ultrasound just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. And that is when the ultrasound tech informed me that I have perfect organs and a textbook aorta. She compared me to the man she’d seen the day before whose aorta was so globbed up she had a hard time finding it. But mine was a clear wide path straight through the screen. Yay. And do you want to know what else? My gallbladder was completely clear (from what I could tell- I’m no ultrasound expert).

It took four days for the doctor’s office to get my results back to me. I figured we were all good by then. If I were dying of something, I suppose they would have called me a bit sooner. I was right about my gallbladder. It is completely clear. So now I get to go back for more blood work tomorrow to find out whether my elevated levels were normal for my body or not.

It’s hard to know what to hope for. On one hand, I hope for perfect health so we can just continue on. On the other hand, I hope for them to find something so I don’t seem like a wimp who couldn’t tough out a tummy bug. One thing is for sure: I am thankful for whatever God is doing and I know He is working it out in whatever way is best for me and our family.


Hula Girl can’t get Healthy!

My poor little Chickadee Hula Girl has been sick since February 8. That’s 2.5 weeks ago. Actually, she was sick before that, but that’s the day I actually took her in to the pediatrician to see what to do about it.

Started out with a runny nose. Then one night (February 7), she started throwing up. When my girlie girl throws up in the early hours after bedtime, we know she’s coming down with something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cold, the flu, roseola, or whatever else you can think of. If she is getting sick, she throws up. Anyway, we ended up changing her sheets and jammies 4 times that night. In the morning, her underarm temperature was 102.7.

That day I just let her lie around the house all day before we could get her in to see the pediatrician in the afternoon. She only wanted to lie down in “nests” made of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. She just wanted me to read to her all day long, play Candy Land, or watch short movies (we allow some Word World and The Jesus Storybook Bible DVDs on special occasions nowadays).

Anyway, she had a sinus infection. Antibiotics for 10 days. Then on the 15th, she came down with THE COLD that Jonathan had brought home from work. It was horrible, miserable, and it’s still hanging on to ALL our family members. Yippee.

But. This entire time she has had a fever of 100 degrees. Yes, a low-grade fever for 2.5 weeks straight, even on antibiotics and Tylenol.

Yesterday she went back into “nest mode” and complained of a sore throat. She said she was feeling badly this morning when she woke. So I scheduled another appointment.

Lo and behold, my little Hula Girl has a double ear infection. Probably explains why she wasn’t sleeping a couple nights ago. And why she’s lost a pound and a half in two weeks.

We’re getting a different antibiotic today. Wish us luck. And pray for my little girl to get all better SOON!


Hello, 13 Days Later.

Well, life has been anything but busy lately. I have just been lazy and sick and puttin’ off my bloggin’ duties. However, I have decided that I’m going to print my blog into blog books for the kids since I do a terrible job keeping memories any other way. Really. I forget the camera all the time. I capture things on my cell phone- but really, who knows how to get all those off the phone and somewhere usable!? The most recent entry in Hula Girl’s baby book is on the page marked “On the Day we Brought you Home.” And Gelato doesn’t even have a baby book. So this blog is it. Really. I might need to reconsider my “no pictures of my children” policy. Or at least figure out how to download all my pictures from Facebook as a group (or at least albums) rather than one-by-one. (Anyone know how to do that? Emily Parker, I’m talking to you!)

So yeah, I need to get busy on this blog. I have several posts outlined in my notebook. I promise not all my posts are “this-just-happened-five-seconds-ago-and-I-just-can’t-wait-to-blog-about-it!!!!!!” posts… but some of them are. Not going to lie.

Twenty-three days ago, our groundhog saw his shadow and said we’d have six more weeks of winter. It has been cooooold. Accurate prediction. Now we have three weeks left. Let’s just pray that little groundhog guy was right and that spring comes early again this year! I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can get my kids outta the house!

Twenty-three days ago, I sold a swing and several other baby items on Craigslist. The lady never came to pick them up, until I gave up on her and left the house, after waiting around for her for an hour and a half. Of course, Jonathan didn’t pay attention when I told him the prices I wanted for the items… so we made an extra $20 that day. Guess it’s good to have selective hearing after all, right Dear?! 😉

Twenty-three days ago, I went to Goodwill and got a wreath for our door. It was wrapped in purplish cellophane and had old ugly silk flowers hot glued to it. I stripped it of its adornments and refashioned it into something adorable for my living room.

And I will now proceed to fill you in on the rest of the time between then and now (* indicates future blog posts to watch for to get more details):

22-13 Days Ago: A lot of the same ol’ stuff. Probably went to Storytime. Probably played a lot of Candy Land. You know, the usual.

12 Days Ago: We went to Storytime and saw our friends there. Hula Girl was very excited to see everyone, and she had her first fruit snack. She now calls them “snack fruit” and asks for them every day. She has not had any since. (Lucky girl is in for a surprise today- I found organic fruit snacks on sale this weekend!)

12 Days Ago: We cleaned and prepared and washed and cleaned and prepared and decorated for our Valentine’s Day party.

11 Days Ago: We had our V-Day party* and it was a blast!

10 Days Ago: Hula Girl and Gelato came down with a nasty cold.

9 Days Ago: Mommy came down with the same cold.

8 Days Ago: Daddy kept our family alive while the three of us languished with a horrid horrid horrid cold.

7 Days Ago: Jonathan stayed home from work to keep the kids alive while I suffered with the worst cold ever.

6 Days Ago: I handled the kids while I was sick. It was a horrible day and I spent the entirety of it feeling like an awful mom. I even posted a topic thread on my Babywise moms google group asking for resources for rejuvenation when one feels like she has become the world’s worst mom. Embarrassingly bad, actually, is how my parenting skills were that day.

5 Days Ago: My throat finally stopped hurting and the kids were somewhat better. A better day overall

4 Days Ago: Felt better and Jonathan and I prepared him for his work’s employee appreciation luncheon.

3 Days Ago: Jonathan won the Hula competition and came in third in the best-dressed Hawaiian competition. Looks like our hard work paid off! 🙂

2 Days Ago: Hula Girl started acting sick again.

1 Day Ago: Hula Girl laid on the floor all day long and cried/whined. Sickie sick sick.

Today: Well, I will write a post about it.

Did you miss me?

Another Unnecessary Pediatrician Visit

Yup. I was, once again, that mom. You know, the mom who’s all worried over every little sign? Those of you who knew me when Hula Girl was little know that we visited the pediatrician a lot. Part of this is that Jonathan’s also a worry-wart in his heart, and when you get the two of us together and tell us something slightly troubling about our children, we automatically jump into “Something’s Wrong!” mode. I would like to take a moment to recognize my restraint so far in Gelato’s life… after all, we almost made it 4 months without an extraneous pediatrician visit. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

In the middle of last week, I noticed my little man scratching at his right ear a lot. I figured I’d keep an eye on it, but he was probably only doing that because he was discovering that there was something floppy attached to the side of his head. Cool. Fast forward to yesterday, when he started crying his “pain” cry when I laid him down to change his diaper. Weird. When I sat him back up, he stopped crying. I tried this about 4 times in a row, and he was definitely in pain when on his back. We eventually got the diaper changed when I distracted him. Then he started crying his “pain” cry in the evening after we put him to bed last night. And he would not be comforted. And every time Jonathan tried to lay him down, he just cried harder.

We thought it was probably an ear infection.

Well, nope. Took him in today and felt like a moron. But at least I now have peace of mind.

I also learned that my kid is a huge chub. He weighs in at 16 pounds, which is 1 pound, 2 ounces heavier than Hula Girl was at his age. Actually, when looking at growth percentiles, he’s only between 50 and 75, but still. I am pretty confident we won’t double his birth weight (8 lbs 13.5 oz, so we’d need to get to 17 lbs 11 oz) by 6 months old, but we didn’t with Hula Girl, either. It’s pretty hard to do when your kids come out so huge. 🙂

Anyway, $30 down the drain; healthy baby; moving on.

Shoo, Fly! Don’t Bother Mommy!

We’re sick. I started feeling a sore throat last Friday night, which progressed to a really runny nose by Wednesday, and now I’m coughing frequently. No one around me had gotten sick, though, until yesterday. Hula Girl woke up from her nap an hour and a half early, crying. Yep, that’s a sure sign that she’s getting sick.

We got her in bed as early as we could, at 7:15, but she still took a long time to fall asleep. Many “curtain calls” later (which we will happily participate in when our kiddo’s sick, but at no other time), she finally fell asleep around 8:30. But then she woke again at 9:15 and was awake, crying in between visits from Jonathan and me, until midnight.

We gave her several sips of water to hydrate her little body, Tylenol to bring down her fever, and Baby Rub to help her breathe better. I rocked her several times, each time telling her more of our special story (a story that I’m making up as we go- it’s about a beautiful princess who has a gleaming white horse named Sparkle and a little gray bunny named Buttercup that the princess and Sparkle rescued from a hole in the ground). Last night, Sparkle and the princess discovered an enchanted waterfall in the middle of a beautiful wood that smelled like cinnamon. 🙂

Anyway, after a loooooong evening, we just let her sleep in. She slept until 8, which is 15 minutes past the time I normally get her out of bed. 8 hours of sleep all night… for a kid who usually sleeps 10-12 hours… needless to say, she’s a bit crabby today. Add in the fact that her nose won’t stop running and she probably feels a bit achy, and it’s no wonder she’s slightly mulish.

But do you know what? Today (so far) is one of the best days we’ve had together as a family in a while. Hula Girl’s sickness has forced us to just really slow down and spend lots of quiet time on the living room floor playing with toys and on the couch reading books. Hula Girl is wearing two of her tutus, five leis, and her stripey jammies. She is sporting a ponytail “just like Mommy’s” and carrying her “pink blankie” with her wherever she goes. Jonathan is being super sweet and making sure she drinks 4 sips of water every 20 minutes.

Anyway, even though she’s feeling sick and awful, she’s still our funny sweet girl! She’s giving kisses left and right, she’s asking to help us or to watch us do everything we do, from breakfast to throwing away tissues. And my favorite- she’s singing all her favorite songs. Even last night when she was wide awake (in between crying spells), she was singing her ABCs. She also really loves the “Shoo, Fly! Don’t Bother Me!” song… and that’s where the title comes in. She saw a little fly flying toward me while I was researching our mattress-wrapping technique, and she sang, “Shoo, fly! Don’t bother Mommy!” How sweet. 🙂

Hope y’all have a great weekend! We’ll try to rest and get better ASAP! After all- we only have 5 more weekends left as a little family of three, and swimming lessons start next Saturday!

Pregnancy #2- 15 Weeks

This week has been pretty good. I had a cold all week (second one in a month, boo), so that was kind of lame. However, I did the Wet Sock Treatment for 3 nights in a row, and it worked like a charm. Jonathan has actually managed not to catch this cold, which is fantastic. Hula Girl, however, has it just like me. This is the first cold in her life that has actually caused her to cough. But it’s much milder than last time, and she’s still sleeping well at night.

Anyway, this week I popped out. Seriously, on Sunday my stomach looked like I had a possible “burrito baby” but on Monday, there was no mistaking the fact that I am pregnant. Oh, joy. I remember last time taking a picture at 14 weeks by the Christmas tree. You could see a little pooch, but I was still easily wearing one of my long-sleeved t-shirts.

This time around, my shirts aren’t fitting properly, and it’s not just because of my stomach, either. You know. For some reason, that part of me is like 3 times bigger than last time. Crazy. I need to go shopping for new maternity underthings. I suppose I could just get out the ones made for nursing.

Let’s see… other than the cold and the popping out, this week was relatively uneventful. No real nausea (a little bit today, but that’s because I have a headache from the sinus congestion). No real cravings. Except on Monday night, when Jonathan drove out in the cold to get me a chocolate malt, plus chocolate ice cream and candy, just in case the malt wasn’t working for me. Mmmm, that malt was DIVINE. I think I’ll be making myself a chocolate milkshake later on today.

I have had the beginnings of the aches and pains in my midsection and back. The other night I had to use a pillow under my stomach because it was pulling to the side and my ligaments were feeling too stretched. Yes, already. I just have, like, no torso, so the baby really has no room to grow inside me. So he or she has to push OUT. I do remember having ligament pains and bellyaches somewhat early on in the last pregnancy, too.

It’s hard not to compare pregnancies, I just realized! I hope the need to compare will end with the delivery. I don’t want Gelato growing up thinking he/she has to be identical to Hula Girl. I’m actually really excited to see what kind of personality Gelato has. I mean, Hula Girl’s personality is so perfect for our family. She fits right in. If you met her and you knew me beforehand, you’d easily see that she’s my daughter. It’s just strange that it will be easy to tell that someone else with a different personality is also my child. Pretty cool.

Anyway, we have a doctor’s appointment next Friday, so I’ll postpone the 16-week post one day to give the latest info.



The Snowy Day

Every once in a while, good ol’ Colorado gifts its residents with a larger-than-average snowfall. Interestingly enough, it’s usually on years when the snowfall totals are far below average. But then in one snowstorm, we make up about half of what’s needed to get on track. Denver currently has about 10 inches, or so I’ve read on my Denver friends’ facebook status updates. We actually got about 6 inches, but it’s all very very wet and is packing down quickly.

To celebrate the snow (or to force myself to at least embrace it since I am, in fact, sick again), I took Hula Girl outside this morning and let her wander around the front yard while I shoveled the driveway. She was in “neen why no” heaven. (Clean white snow.) I told her she could eat the snow from the tree and on the ground where I wasn’t shoveling or tossing loads of dirty driveway snow. At one point I noticed she had fallen down on her tummy but was just laying there licking the snow. Then she floundered around for a few more minutes until she got back up, declared, “Did it!” and started the new game of “flop on my tummy into the deep deep snow and eat as much as I can!” She had snow all over her face. At one point she decided she’d remove her mittens, but I did not allow that- her little fingers would have frozen! I also looked over and caught her bouncing/dancing with her little fists up in the air and a jubilant expression on her face numerous times. Not sure if she had made some major snow discovery or was just excited to be out in it. Either way, it was really really cute.

When we came inside, I made her a cup of hot chocolate (she calls it “ah dah daht”). Then we watched a movie. I was trying to keep her somewhat contained since my body is aching and I feel so run-down, but she wanted nothing to do with it after 4 minutes. I guess it’s a good thing that my child doesn’t like to watch shows, but it can also make for some looooong days when Mommy is sick.

After she was finished with her ah dah daht, she decided she wanted more. So she took her step stool over to the microwave and was pushing all the buttons as she said over and over, “Mo ah dah daht beep!” She added the beep in for the microwave. You know, because microwaves deserve to be heard, too. She played at this activity for about 5 minutes.

What strikes me most about her today is the way she automatically says no to anything I offer, but then realizes what she turned down and then asks for it. For example, at lunch today I asked her if she wanted some avocado. She said no, of course. 5 minutes later, she said, “Dah-doh, Mommy?” So I got out the avocado and she ate half of it. (After finishing a veggie burger, cheese, and banana bread. Lil’ piglet these days!) I have been working on trying to offer choices so that the answer can’t be a simple yes or no, but sometimes the answer really is a simple yes or no. “Do you want avocado?” I wasn’t going to offer her anything else instead… so yeah.

For those of you interested, the pizza last night was a big hit. Jonathan was very surprised and pleased to have pizza for dinner. He actually jumped up and down a few times once he got his boots off. Hula Girl actually ate 3 pieces of pizza (about 2.5 inches wide at the top) plus a full plate full of her spinach/basil noodles. Like I mentioned, she’s a piglet lately!

Tonight’s dinner is going to be à la Jonathan. I called him and begged him to bring something home so I don’t have to worry about trying to cook. I just want to take a nap. Which I’m going to do… now! Happy Friday, everyone.

Gray Fuzz

It’s been gray outside all day, it’s supposed to rain this afternoon. Then the rain is supposed to turn to snow overnight and we’re supposed to wake up to 6 inches of fluffy white stuff. COLD fluffy white stuff.

I am feeling quite under the weather- like I’m coming down with another cold. Fortunately Hula Girl is not showing any symptoms of illness (she will usually stop eating and that’s our first clue) and so I’m hoping that my immune system is just so depressed that I’ll be the only one who gets it this time. If I get it at all. I could just be overthinking the headache and the possible almost-sore passage between the nose and throat. (What is that called, by the way? I taught it when I taught 4th grade, but that was… oh, five years ago. Crazy how time flies and how pregnancy brain makes you forget everything you ever knew.)

Tonight I plan to surprise Jonathan with a pizza from Papa Murphy’s since it’s going to be so cold and we were expecting to eat salad for dinner. I went on a “no-meat” rage last weekend, so all our meals have been 100% vegetarian this week. Not so good for a guy who wants to gain muscle and get back into the gym. Anyway, my plan for tonight’s pizza is to just get something warm to accompany the salad and let him have a little bit o’ animal in his diet. Sick, even typing that makes me feel gross. His half will be pepperoni and pineapple; mine will be black olive and mushroom. Hula Girl will sample from both halves, and will probably have a serving of spinach-basil noodles on the side.

On a side note about the vegetarian meals, Hula Girl has eaten so many veggies this week it’s boggled my mind. Usually she eats a great helping of carbs (just like her Mommy and Daddy- carb lover!), some fruit, maybe a helping of veggies if I can pray to the right number of Veggie gods prior to the meal, and she’ll always always always eat her protein (beans, meats, anything with protein- she gobbles it up). But this week she’s eaten mostly veggies and carbs, with a little bit of proteins thrown in there for good measure. I have intentionally not offered as much fruit just to see how she takes to the veggie options when fruits aren’t available. I’m liking the trend. Her favorite mealtime activity has been to find the peas that are hiding inside the rigatoni. It’s been quite fun to see her enjoying her veggies so very much. This week’s favorite veggie: “Ma-um.” (Mushrooms.) Now that’s my girl!!!

Also, I’ve been very intentional lately about allowing her to participate in things I’m doing around the house, but not really forcing her to do activities just because I think they might be fun for her. (Big step in the right direction! Congratulations to me!) This morning, for example, she stood up on the stepladder so she could help me make her breakfast, a veggie omelet. She ripped up a ton of spinach and cut some mushrooms in half with a plastic knife. I had to go back and cut the mushrooms smaller, of course, but hey- it was GREAT to see her so excited about helping. I have never asked her for “real” help in meal prep before. Usually I hand her an empty bowl and a whisk and ask her to “mix the pancakes” or whatever.  But this morning, I thought, “Hey, why not see what she can actually do? She’ll love it, and I’ll train her early to like helping in the kitchen!” She did love it, and by the time we poured the eggs in the pan, she was so excited to eat that she just kept repeating, “Omee? Omee? Omee?” I even let her shake her own pepper. What a big girl. It was yet another lesson for me in empowering her to be independent, and even though it’s hard to learn the lesson, it’s so rewarding to see her happy and capable.

Here are a few other words she is so fond of saying that just crack me up:

  • “Oh, Noooooooooo!” She says this in a high-pitched whiny voice whenever she drops something. We have no idea where she learned it. It’s absolutely hilarious. I am so glad to have captured it on film.
  • “Dee-doh Dee-doh!” (Twinkle, Twinkle)
  • “Neen wah nee nee” (Clean fresh blankies) Ever since witnessing her blankie enter the washer covered in soaking wet vomit and exit the dryer fluffy, clean, and fresh, she has referred to both blankies as “clean fresh blankies.”
  • “New eet” (New sheet) This originated around the same time as the blankies- when she was vomiting after every meal, we changed her sheets a lot, and we made a big deal about putting new sheets on her bed. Now every time she goes down for a nap she tells me she has a new sheet. Not always true… but still adorable.
  • “Doh-dee-mime, did, in on, boy, dee, da da, dee-doh dee-doh.” (Storytime, kids, sing songs, boy, girl, color, twinkle twinkle) This is her mantra, and she repeats it at least 20 million times a day. She loves to remember storytime and who she sees and what she does there. Interesting that she has yet to remember that storytime is where we read books. Ha!

I also have to include a very funny habit of Hula Girl’s that I keep forgetting to write down. This girl is crazy about fuzz. She pulls out little shreds from her blankies, both of which are made of yarn, and rolls them in her fingers until she has a fuzz ball. She calls them “wuh.” Her absolute favorite thing to do with her “wuh” is to stick it up her nose. She will gather about 35 fuzz balls together in one giant fuzz conglomeration and try to put the whole thing up her nose. I usually find her after naps and nighttimes just laying there in her crib, stuffing fuzz up her nose.

Now, she doesn’t just love to put it up her nose. She also loves to carry it around in her left hand. She always always always has at least 5 fuzzballs in her left hand. She’s been a fuzz collector since she was about 10 months old. As you can imagine, 9 months of shredding/carrying fuzz around has left a veritable fuzz factory in our house, and you will always be able to find at least 4 or 5 fuzzballs on our carpet. When Hula Girl is playing, she will literally stop everything (even if she’s in mid-run), and stoop down to collect ANY fuzz she sees.

And when it’s mealtime, she used to accidentally eat the fuzz and choke on it. So now we have a mealtime ritual. The fuzz lives on the corner of the dining room table until the meal is over and her hands are clean again. I don’t want yogurt-covered fuzzballs littering my house or stinking up my daughter’s hand. That would be gross. 😛


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