Haul out the Holly

Yep, another song for ya. Lucille Ball style. ‘Cuz Christmas just isn’t Christmas without terrible singing, creepy Santa masks, and ornamented spectacles. I apologize for the WB petition at the beginning of the clip. I’d also like to draw your attention to the last few seconds of the video, where the poster claims the video wasn’t popular because it was released after people lost interest in musicals. Yeah, that’s why it wasn’t popular. 

Anyway, I have had this song running through my head for the past couple of days, and I’ve been thinking about a comment conversation between Kristy and me. She and I were talking about how this time of year is supposed to be filled with joy and yet it is just filled with people rushing around. Kristy even commented that people seem LESS joyful at this time of year than at any other time.

I had to laugh at myself the other day when Jonathan and I were working on some decorating around the house (because, NO, of course we’re not done! We’ll finish decorating on Christmas). I was getting all flustered and frustrated because he was taking a long time to accomplish some task and I just wanted to move on to something else and needed his help. I ended up saying, “Come on! I just want to celebrate CHRISTMAS!”

Yesterday I was at Walmart (oh, you KNOW I loved it). It was 2:40, and I was due home to feed Gelato by 3. He had woken up from his nap early, so Jonathan was carrying him around the house trying to keep him happy. I was pretty stoked to see a line that wasn’t five carts long (unusual sighting at a Walmart on a Sunday afternoon just before the Bronco game). I happily joined the line and then realized that the lady in front of me had her cart filled with a thousand Yoplait yogurt containers, 35 bags of Fritos, enough pork’n’beans to feed all the relatives in My Big Fat Greek Wedding until they paddle back to Greece in their inflatable canoes, and about a gazillion boxes of Hamburger Helper. You got it- Extreme Couponer Alert!

Since I try my hardest to be kind to all, and it frustrates me when people are rude to total strangers, I decided to stay in the line. I figured walking off in a huff, or even trying to surreptitiously check out the next-shortest line would make the clerk feel bad. It’s not HER fault that the Red Plum insert just came out. She was smiling an apologetic smile at me, and it would have been somewhat insensitive to just run away. So I smiled my “it’s-okay-because-I’m-patient” smile and pulled out my phone to check Facebook.

Then another lady, cart laden with party supplies, complete with piñata, pulled in behind me. She made some sort of comment about being in a hurry because she had to get home to set up before the guests arrived. You can probably see where this is headed.

Not only did Extreme Couponer watch the Sales Associate scan every single item (and check the price of each one while it was being scanned), but then she pulled out a prepaid debit card that had exactly $110 on it- she bought it last week, after all. Turns out the Sales Associate at the register is not actually supposed to be on a register after all. She’s a Floor person who got called to the front due to Excessive Couponers inundating the Regular Register Folk with heaping carts full of processed-flour-and-corn-syrup-laden-but-cheap!!! items. Anyway, the Sales Associate simply CANNOT figure out how to process the card. I mean, it says DEBIT right there on the front of the card, so the machine must be making a mistake when it tells the cashier to press the CREDIT button! She simply cannot press the CREDIT button- after all, the card says DEBIT. So it must be an error made by the Extreme Couponer on the customer side of the machine. She tells the Couponer to clear everything out and run it again, this time hitting DEBIT. Three times. Each time, the Couponer runs it through but the machine does not give her the option to hit DEBIT. It tells her to tell the cashier to press the CREDIT key. This is all too much for our Floor Sales Associate who has kindly but naively stepped up to the rigorous and taxing challenge known as “Customer Service”. So she calls in her Supervisor- a girl who is younger than me by about 8 years. Girl swipes the card, hits CREDIT, and moves on. “Oh, I just didn’t know I could do that! Thank you so much for helping me! I am so sorry that I didn’t realize that could be done! <slightly embarrassed laughter> I guess it’s just this old brain of mine! I keep telling my husband that things just aren’t working the way they used to!” and so on.

Now it might sound like I was annoyed. To be honest, I was. After all, I knew Jonathan was home with a fussy baby and Hula Girl’s nap end time looming. That’s enough to make any Mommy antsy. But I decided to keep on smiling that patient smile. After all, Floor Sales People can’t really be expected to know all the tips and tricks of the register. So I made polite conversation with her and found out that she was pretty flustered because the day had been crazy, what with the holidays and the Bronco game and all. She seemed to be somewhat timid and she kept getting distracted when the PSA Lady kept saying her name (PSA Lady was calling for someone else with the same name, but you all know what it feels like when someone calls your name, even if they’re not calling you). So, I gave her a little encouragement and wished her a Merry Christmas. She was going to need all the encouragement she could get, because Procrastinating Party Person behind me definitely needs a little Christmas.

Throughout the Couponing/DEBIT Debacle, as I was keenly interested in what was happening in front of me, I couldn’t help but overhear, “<mumble mumble shuffle shuffle beep beep> Hi. Yeah. Of course I am stuck in the long line. No I am not anywhere near leaving. Plus there’s someone else in front of me. No, the cashier’s soooooooo slow. I can’t believe she’s doing the register today. I mean, come on. Don’t they know that today is a busy day? Shouldn’t they put the fast people on the registers? Yeah and the lady is buying like all the yogurt in the store. I am serious.” Et cetera.

Luke 2:10-But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

Christmas sure isn’t about the decorations. It’s not about the wrapping. It’s not about the cider. It’s not about the holly. People need Christmas. Real Christmas. I hope Floor Sales Associate felt some Christmas from me. Isn’t it my job to bring Christmas to the world?

PS- Here’s a little shot of my peaceful Christmas with the family. Jonathan and I were snuggling with Hula Girl and we were reading Christmas stories together while sipping hot spiced cider.

Cider by the Tree

Choices, Fish, and Dead Batteries

Last night, I said to Jonathan, “I just don’t know what to do with Hula Girl tomorrow!”

He suggested the same ol’ same ol’: zoo or playground. But it’s too hot for either of those. I mean, sure, maybe if I weren’t 38.5 weeks pregnant… but I am, so those were not options. So we thought maybe Hula Girl and I would hit the pet store and the bookstore. Then I remembered that I really need to get the fabric to finish up Gelato’s nursery walls and Boppy cover. So we added the fabric store to the list.

Hula Girl woke up feeling like a TWO-YEAR-OLD this morning. And what I mean by that is that she wanted to make all her own decisions and do the exact opposite of what I wanted her to do. This was demonstrated clearly when I chose her outfit for her and she screamed and cried for ten(!) minutes about how she wanted to wear the “nank bop” (tank top) instead of the yellow shirt. Too bad for you, girlie girl. I even chose white undies, whereas she would have preferred blue ones. She made that quite clear.

Sadly for her, I don’t accept that kind of thinking. I have been talking to Jonathan lately about how she’s getting more and more choice-addicted. So I cut her off completely. She has officially made zero choices today. And guess what? Her behavior has gotten better and better as the day has gone on. Guess she needed a bit more reminding about who’s in charge. Also, I think she was getting stressed out with the number of choices she was responsible for. Emotionally, she couldn’t hack it, and she was inwardly concerned that she might actually be in charge. (Which, for those of you who don’t know brain development stuff well, can be very traumatic for a toddler, and they begin to act out to try to force the parent to regain control.)

Anyway, we had a lovely morning together after the tank top and blue undies vs. yellow shirt and white undies episode. She did push back on a few decisions I made, but nothing like the throw-herself-down-and-sob-miserably tantrum from the morning. I chose peanut butter and honey toast and strawberries for her breakfast.* After breakfast we rearranged her art/crafts station because she has gotten tall enough to reach the crayons, markers, glue, and paints. Hence her little redecorating spree the other day. I got a fun idea to have her color a picture and use stickers this morning. We haven’t done that at home in a long time. Plus she needs the practice coloring, I think. I generally give her blank paper and have her scribble on it, but I noticed the other day that she was actually attempting to color in individual shapes when we were at the library. Oops! Guess I should give her practice with that, too. How else will she learn to stay in the lines?** So I busted out my major artistic skillz and drew her some fish.

Here’s the final product! Note the ginormous glue globs under the eyes on the left 2 fish!

Crayons, stickers, and glued-on eyes! What fun!

So our day is sounding all hokey and stay-at-home-mom-ish now, right? (How do I fill the day? Crafts? Shopping? Yes!) Well, it gets even better.

After Hula Girl and I completed her fish project, I got dressed and the two of us headed out the car. I turned the key and heard rrr, rrrr, rrr, rrrr, click, click, click, click. Thinking it must have been a one-time-only deal, I turned the key again, and this time I heard click, click, click, click. Boo. Dead battery.

Normally it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. I would have herded the little Hulameister back into the house and occupied her time with fingerpainting and dancing and general glee and merriment. But, remember folks, I am 38.5 weeks pregnant.

What if I went into labor and couldn’t get to the hospital!? (No, I do not plan to drive myself there, but I also do not plan to ride all the way there in 100 degree heat in the other car. The other car’s A/C is broken.) And then how would we get home once Gelato’s ready?! No, no, no. This will not do. Must.fix.car.

So we walked across the street to see if the neighbors could give us a jump. I was praying the whole time that a) they were home, and b) they knew how to jump a car. I have no knowledge of this. Well, a) they were not home, and b) there are no other neighbors around that I trust. So we went home and called roadside assistance.

Dude came in 15 minutes! It was awesome. He jumped the car and left it running so we could head over to Walmart (AGAIN) to have them check out the battery.

We pull up to Walmart and ask the nice garage guys to test the battery. Yup. Dead. So they go ahead and replace it. Sounds simple, no?

Well, not exactly. See, our car’s battery is down under all the other stuff. It’s right next to the wheel well, in the fender. WHO DESIGNED THIS CAR?!?! I mean, come on! Isn’t the battery kind of something that people try to get to frequently!? Obviously it has poles above the engine where it can be jumped, but it’s seriously buried down there. So of course they have to take off the wheel. And the fender.

An hour and a half of mindlessly wandering Walmart and thanking whoever it was that thought of putting Subway restaurants right inside Walmart and feeding Hula Girl a lunch consisting of things she’s never going to eat again (turkey with nitrates and fake juice, anyone!?) later, we found out that our car was ready. Score.

Hula Girl kept saying to me, “Ay-oh cah is wix! Ay-oh cah is wix!” (Our car is fixed! Our car is fixed!) She was delighted. Weren’t we all?!

And we got home just fifteen minutes late for Hula Girl’s nap. I’d call that pretty successful.

*Peanut butter: I have decided to start introducing peanut butter. Hula Girl has had no problems whatsoever with coconut milk, which I was determined to do before peanuts. Therefore this morning she got her first taste of peanut butter. Like a true member of our family, she said, “Mmm! [Hula Girl] yike meanuh bah-bah!” ([Hula Girl] like peanut butter!)

**Staying in the lines: I was actually kidding. I don’t think it’s important for a 2-year-old to learn to stay in the lines. I actually need to pull out my “art for kids” stuff from college to see what she ought to be doing now. Maybe that can be my next research topic. I generally like her to just do what she feels like she should do with art/craft supplies. Granted, this usually generates no “art” as it were. Just messy hands and lots of miniscule marks on a page.

Macaroni Meltdown!

(Did you like the alliteration? Ha.)

There have been very few times in Hula Girl’s life after 6 months when I have wondered if she actually ate enough. This morning was one of those times. If you have low blood sugar and have gone a while without a meal before, you can definitely relate to our experience.

See, she’s been sick for what feels like a decade, but has really only been about 2 weeks. Her most recent symptom has been vomiting after every single meal and sometimes in the middle of sleeping, both naps and night. I’ve been doing a lot of laundry. Anyway, because of all this vomiting, we’ve been keeping her diet pretty limited, basically down to rice, toast, avocado, and crackers. She actually won’t really eat anything else. She also only drinks water. I tried giving her Pedialyte, but after her initial cupful, she was done with it. It tastes too sweet for her, I think. (Side note: how proud am I as a mom when my kid won’t drink juice or Pedialyte because it’s too sweet for her liking?!)

This morning’s breakfast, therefore, was not preceded by her normal 8 oz of milk (obviously, since milk + upset tummy= GUSH of nastiness). I am getting so bored of trying to get her to eat toast, waffles, and oatmeal, especially when she just really won’t eat anything. So I spread some strawberry jelly on a rice cake and handed her that. She actually liked it, and ate about 3/4 of the rice cake before declaring herself “ah dah” (all done). I asked her if she was still hungry, and she said no. So, down she got and off we went to brush teeth and read some books.

After her food had an appropriate amount of time to settle, we left the house to go shopping. We needed cat grass seeds (Riley is destroying our houseplants- grr!), soil to plant them in, new washcloths to wipe Hula Girl’s hands after meals (the old ones get stinky pretty quickly), and some new books for Hula Girl’s library. We went to Walmart and walked around a bit, picking and choosing what items we needed. When we got to the car, I realized that I had forgotten to pick up some macaroni and cheese, which is one meal she just won’t turn down.

Since she seems to be on the mend, I feel like she can handle a few noodles and some cheese- nothing that will make her have (even more) diarrhea. So we decided to head back into the store and get some macaroni. I let her walk this time and it took us about 10 minutes to get from the door to the correct aisle. When we got there, I showed her 3 types of macaroni that she could choose from (all organic, all real cheese), and of course she chose the one made with rice noodles. Fine with me- rice will also keep her from having loose stools. Then, she proudly carried her “mah-mah-no-nee” to the register, handed it to the cashier, and said, “mah-mah-no-nee” several times. I am positive she was quite excited. She asked me to “opee” the macaroni, but I told her we had to keep it closed until we got home.

When we got in the car, she started saying, “Eat, eat.” Uh-oh. Two stores to go, and she is oogling her box of goodness while declaring herself hungry. And I don’t have a snack for her.

She made it through the bookstore and the pet store without too much hassle, but made sure to inform everyone we saw that she has “mah-mah-no-nee inee da” (macaroni in the car). One-track mind.

By the time we got home, we were 15 minutes late for her independent playtime. I took her upstairs to her room, set out her toys and gave her a half of a graham cracker to hold her over (I never give her food away from the table, but today it seemed absolutely necessary). As soon as I left, a high-pitched, wailing voice followed me down the stairs and to the stove, where I hurriedly got some water boiling for the noodles. And for the next ten minutes, all I heard was, “MAH-MAH-NO-NEE! MAH-MAH-NO-NEE! MAH-MAH-NO-NEEEEEEEEE!” Then she got quiet, and I could hear her crunching her cracker. 30 seconds later, “Mo cah-cuh! MO CAH-CUH! MAH-MAH-NO-NEE!”

So I took pity on her and didn’t make her stay in her room for the next 20 minutes, and I brought her downstairs to watch me finish her macaroni. 10 minutes later, we were seated at the table. 10 minutes after that, there was no more macaroni left in the pot and she was telling me “ah dah.” I asked her if she enjoyed her macaroni, and she answered with her deep, happy, “Yee-aaaa-hahah!”

Lesson learned: NEVER shop for macaroni, kid in tow. Also, bring a snack. Doy.

Sick, Sick, Sick! and 19 Months

Well, we’re sick again. AGAIN! Can you believe it! It’s like all I ever write about is sickness in our house. Ugh.

This time around has definitely been the worst we’ve experienced so far. Hula Girl came down with ear infections a couple weeks ago, so we put her on antibiotics. That seemed to help her for a while, but then Jonathan got sick with a cold, and lo and behold, I caught it from him. This is the worst cold I have ever had. I have been coughing all night for the past week now, which means I’ve gotten maybe 4-5 hours of rest each night. And on top of that, Hula Girl has now started vomiting after almost every meal, so I’ve been cleaning and doing laundry like a madwoman!

Last night I tried the “Wet Sock Treatment” to try to help myself sleep better. It’s supposed to increase circulation to the feet, decrease congestion in the head, chest, and throat, and help the “treatee” sleep better all night. Here’s what to do:

  1. Soak your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes beforehand.
  2. Wet some cotton socks with cold water and wring so they’re not dripping.
  3. Cover the cotton socks with dry wool socks.
  4. Go to bed.

In the morning your feet should be warm and dry, and your socks should be dry as well. I had heard of this before, but never tried it until last night- and it was crazy! My sinuses were no longer hurting this morning and my feet were warm and cozy and dry. My only complaint is that it did nothing to soothe or abate my cough, so we had to deal with that until I finally fell asleep around 11. But then I did sleep, and sleep well, until 6:45. So I think I’ll call my first experience with it a success. You’re supposed to do it 1-3 nights in a row. I will definitely be trying it out again tonight.

Now, on to the fun part of life! Hula Girl is 19.5 months old, and I am loving, loving, loving this age. I was a bit worried that it would be a difficult time, as I have heard that 18-21 months is a really difficult testing period. However, I think Hula Girl’s advanced language skills have really benefited us and we’ve been able to weather this period with little frustration.

My most exciting moments are when Hula Girl comes up with different ways of showing that she really is in control of her language. Last night, for example, she said her first real sentence. I say her first real sentence because it’s the first sentence she’s said that hasn’t been just her mimicking us. She watched Jonathan putting batteries in a new toy and was quite excited to play with it. She finally reached up her little hand (he was taking forever) and she calmly said, “Me do.” This was super exciting to me for a couple of reasons. First of all, she’s never referred to herself as “me” before. (She has said “I” when she has been sad, as in “I throw up,” or “I cry.”) Second, she’s never said the word “do” before. She’s heard us plenty of times, asking her if she wants to do something, like, “Do you want to do it?” She always answers yes! But last night, she took the initiative, and I was so proud.

She’s also demonstrated several times that she has learned the concept of one-to-one correspondence. This is a mathematical concept that is crucial for any person. When I was teaching, this was the very first thing any student needed to understand in order to succeed in math. Basically, it means that Hula Girl can match a number to an object or group of objects. For example, when she counts, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” she is  using rote memorization to list off a bunch of words. But when she has a stack of 5 blocks and counts, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” while moving one block at a time, she is showing that she has one-to-one correspondence. Basically, two blocks is two blocks is two blocks- two blocks will never be four blocks. And yes, she has demonstrated one-to-one correspondence with up to 6 items at a time. Smartie!

My favorite part of the day, as it is for most parents, is bedtime. Our bedtime routine includes Jonathan giving Hula Girl a bath while I prepare her room (turning on sound machine, filling humidifier, closing curtains, etc.), then Jonathan lotions and dresses her for the night while I read to her and then we talk about her day. I read a short poem or song from an awesome gift we received from Hula Girl’s Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Elinor for Christmas. It’s an old collection (from the 1800s) of Christian poetry and hymns, one for every day of the year. And even better- it has Hula Girl’s name in the title. So I read her poem or hymn while they listen, and then Hula Girl starts asking, “Bout day? Bout day?” because she loves to talk about her day. I stand next to her and stroke her hair and we go through the day’s events together. We talk about what we had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We remember any special events that occurred that day. The very last part is when Jonathan asks her what she liked best about the day. She used to just look at him blankly, because it really is a difficult question for a 19-month-old to answer.  But the past few nights, she’s had something to say. One day she liked the kids at storytime. Another day she liked the visit from Grammy and Great Grandma. And yesterday, when we were all sick at home, her favorite thing about the day was “Eenie muh, Daddy.” (Reading books with Daddy.) Precious.

I can pretty much understand every little thing she says these days, even though her words are definitely not clear to outsiders. I find it so interesting that I can tell what she means just by small inflections or hand gestures that accompany her words. She is not one to waste words. She does not babble all day long. She talks all day long, but always with a purpose. She is constantly narrating her environment and trying to make me understand what she means. My very favorite thing is when I’ve worked hard to figure out what she’s trying to say, and I get it right. Then she smiles and laughs and says, “Yee-eeeaaa-ha ha ha ha!” in her really deep happy voice. Love it. 

She is no longer plagued with a huge sense of stranger anxiety. When we go out to the store or the library, she will actually approach anyone she can see and tell everyone, “Hi!” Many people aren’t sure what to do with it, and they just grin and move on without saying hi back. This frustrates her, since I’ve always taught her that “it’s nice to say hi.” She has even followed some grown men around Walmart just to tell them hi until they greet her in return. Funny thing is, when they DO say hi, she often runs back and hides behind me. Silly girl.

There are so many more things to say about Hula Girl at this age. I will be adding more posts soon since everything is getting back to normal around here. I can’t wait to get back to writing more frequently! I have missed this!


Have you missed me?

We moved! and, we moved. 😦

We Moved!

Jonathan got a new job in a bit larger town. So, we packed up our little life and got out of our tiny little house ASAP. Moving this time around was quite disastrous. I just had no motivation to pack, and we did things in such a random manner that I am still unpacking boxes and finding “homes” for our belongings. And yes, we moved two, almost three, weeks ago. Sigh.

There are many exciting features of our new location, not least of which is the shopping opportunities afforded here. Let me be clear: while WalMart is still our closest store, we do not have to shop there unless we want to! Now we can choose between 3-4 other large supermarkets, all of which carry-get this- organic foods! Hooray! It would have been so much easier to live here when I was on a total elimination diet during the winter. I could have gone shopping and eaten more than just… well, never mind. We are just really excited to shop for foods that are wholesome and fresh again.

Another perk: our house is officially large enough to store all our belongings inside! We don’t have to rely on an old chicken coop any longer! In all honesty, we have had to put some of our things (my old teaching stuff and some books) under the house in the crawl space. And our garage is a nightmare. But it all fits inside, and that is what we were going for!

I can even cook, clean, read, watch a movie, facebook, blog, exercise, and entertain company… all outside the confines of our bedroom! Our last house was so small that when we had guests over, they had to go outside or into our bedroom during Hula Girl’s naps, just so she wouldn’t hear us and wake up early. I diced veggies for soups and stews on the bedroom floor. I did yoga in the 25 square feet available between the foot of the bed and two dressers. I watched movies with the headphones on while lazing in bed for hours on end… because it was too cold to go outside in the winter. But not any more! All three bedrooms are upstairs, and I have ample cooking, dining, entertaining, exercising, and relaxing space downstairs. Now the only reason I laze in bed is that I stayed up too late the night before and I just.don’t.wanna.get.up.today.

We moved. 😦

Okay, our move has not been all sunshine and peaches. (Or colorful leaves and pumpkin spice, if you’re going by seasons. Which I am. So leaves and spice it is.)

First, we miss our old neighbors dearly. They are some of the best folks walking around on this planet. I had so much fun with them, and they never thought my exuberance was too much. Unless you count that one day I had caffeine in my latte on accident. But for real, they are awesome, and we miss ’em like heck.

Next, we haven’t made any friends. In fact, we’ve kind of made enemies. I don’t want to go into details, but we’ll never be BFFs with anyone living on our block. And it’s because… drumroll, please… we’re white. I thought prejudice was the other way around? You know, like the white slave owners, Rosa Parks, and all that? Isn’t that the whole point of things like affirmative action and equal opportunity employers? I haven’t really ever experienced anything like this before, where someone doesn’t like me for something that has nothing to do with my personality. I’ve dealt with that plenty of times (can you imagine!? lol). This one is just hard for me to take. I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to reason it out. I’ve been thinking, praying, and talking to Jonathan about it for a few days now, and I can’t seem to figure out what to do or how to help the situation. Any ideas appreciated.

Our final downside is another delicate situation. This time, with our landlord. Let’s just say that he doesn’t appreciate that I have anything to say or think, since I am not a man. Um, ok.

But we’re okay with things the way they are. The house itself is lovely and we’re thoroughly enjoying it. Hula Girl is especially excited to be here, since she can run and run! There is just so much more space than in our last house. She is also enjoying the extra exercise from climbing up and down the stairs all day long.

Tomorrow I will be posting something a little more specific. I just thought you’d like a general idea, you know, for context. I have a lot of projects and other ventures I’m bursting to share, but I don’t want to write a three-million-word post. Just don’t want to overwhelm ya. 🙂



Busy but Good Busy

Well, it has, yet again, been a while. I have not felt particularly busy, but things have been happening. Definitely have a lot going on around here, when I stop to think about it. Lovin’ the craziness, because it’s coming at a doable pace. Bring it on.

Hula Girl Update

  • Weaning- Well, it’s official. We started weaning exactly one week ago. We started by dropping one of her nursings and replacing it with a cup of whole milk. She did pretty well, drinking about 4 oz the first day, which was way more than I expected. She then proceeded to drink anywhere from 1 to 4 oz/day for the last week. Today, I dropped a second nursing. She drank 3 oz for the first cup, and when she wakes from the current nap, she’ll have the opportunity to drink up to 6 oz more (although I think she’ll stick with 3-4 oz). We’re currently on 2 nursings/day now, one right when she gets up and one right before bed. I think I will drop the bedtime nursing last. By the time she’s 100% weaned, our goal will be 16-24 oz of whole milk/day, spread across 4 cups. Doable. I am also remembering that we can count yogurt, cheese, and on the (very infrequent and special) occasion, ice cream.
  • Talking- Hula Girl is on the brink of a major language explosion again, I do believe. She is really into jabbering and babbling on and on in baby talk. I hear a lot of “Dadadamamadadammamanaanoononono.” She also likes to experiment with pitches and volume. Her favorite pitch/volume combo is definitely the ear-piercing shriek. Her second favorite is the whispered, “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” She has gotten quite good at saying and signing many words, such as more, mama, dada, milk, no, uh-oh, elbow (pronounced, “Bel-bow!”), all done, banana, and a few more. We’ve also noticed her ability to make the sounds for quite a few animals, including pigs, sheep, dogs, cats, lions, tigers (which sound freakishly similar to lions), chickens, fish, ducks, and monkeys.  But my favorite “new words” as of recent times have been the colors. Yes, she knows some colors. I walked into her room yesterday wearing a purple dress, and she pointed to it and said, “Pu-pow.” She has also successfully identified blue (“Boo”) and yellow (“weh-wow”). Oh, and she can say our cat, Riley’s, name: “Rah-rah.” She even uses the /r/ sound. I can’t wait until this girl really gets going!
  • Walking/Standing with Arms Down- Hula Girl’s walking and standing has mostly included the “arms-bent-at-the-elbow-and-balled-into-fists-for-balance” maneuver. However, she’s been trying to walk and stand with arms at her sides for the past couple of days. Let me tell you, that has got to be the funniest thing to witness, ever. Since she doesn’t have her hands up to balance, she sticks her little tummy out instead- like, WAY out. And she doesn’t do it slowly or subtly. Nope, it’s more of a hip-thrust motion that goes awry, and it always knocks her down after a few steps. So funny.
  • Does it Fit?- Hula Girl’s latest “something to do” obsession has been to see what fits inside of what. She has a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, a big plastic liquid measuring cup, a felt brown toy grocery bag, and a small 1/3 cup dry measuring cup. These, together with her other toys, have kept her entertained for hours during the past week. She’ll start by putting something in the Victoria’s Secret bag, lifting it, and walking around with it for a bit. Then she moves the toy to the liquid measuring cup, and carries it around. Next, to the grocery bag, to be carried, and finally, to the dry measuring cup. Most of her toys don’t fit in the dry measuring cup. However, if they do fit, she will walk around holding the cup by the handle and jiggle the toy inside of it so that it clanks around while she walks, which is probably the most fun she’s ever had. Just ask her! She also likes to go “shopping” and fit as many toys as possible in one container before dumping them into the next. Carrying boxes, bags, and containers is the coolest!

My Projects Update

  • Well, the table and chairs are finished! I will be taking/posting pictures soon. I will actually be posting a before/after because it really does make me HAPPY to see what we started with, and how it ended up. Let me just say, I LOVE our table and chairs now. LOVE. I couldn’t be happier with them.
  • I also cut the fabric for 12 cloth napkins to go with my table and chairs today. I will be finishing the hems this evening after I visit our local Walmart for the thread (I know, who runs out of white thread!?) They match the chair fabric.
  • I will be making some cloth flowers next, to put up on my shutters in the kitchen. I have an old window and shutters hanging on the wall, and I will be putting a mini-bunting in the window, but the shutters really need… something…. to make them seem less boring. Fabric scraps? Check. Flowers are definitely in our future. 🙂

Garden Update

Remember how I was feeling somewhat down about our garden recently? Well, I’m not so forlorn anymore.

  • Carrots- they’ve come up, and now they’re sprouting the more ferny-looking leaves at the top! SO cute!
  • Kale- um, we’re having a lot of Zuppa Toscana soup this fall. I am so looking forward to it. (Did you know, by the way, that kale is one of nature’s superfoods? It’s PACKED with nutrients, and it’s quite tasty!)
  • Chives/Green Onions- The ground looks like the head of a ChiaPet where I planted these babies. I consider that a good sign.
  • Strawberries- our strawberry plants make delicious strawberries. They’re tiny, but it’s like eating the very best, sweetest little rubies on the planet. Seriously, they’re awesome.
  • Herbs- haven’t sprouted. Boo.
  • Green Beans- These babies are taking over our lives. They’re going to be monstrous.
  • Peas- We’ve already harvested/indulged on these little pops of perfection. My friend Aaron recently tasted some of the first harvest, and referred to fresh snap peas such as ours as “God’s candy.” Well said, Aaron.
  • Jalapenos- the potted ones are hangin’ in there; the ones in the ground aren’t coming up. Not that I mind.
  • Broccoli- we have one broccoli plant. It’s surviving.
  • Cucumber- we have one cucumber plant. It’s surviving, but definitely not thriving. I will be shocked if we have cucumbers at all.
  • Tomatoes- all three plants have yellow blossoms and are on the 2nd or 3rd rung of our tomato holder thingies.
  • Squash- we have so many squash plants. I hope you all like painted gourds, because that is what we’re giving away for Christmas presents this year. I might only be half-kidding.
  • Brussels sprouts- not sure on these. We might have some growing, but they might be weeds. We’ll see when they get bigger. We just don’t know what they’re supposed to look like when they sprout.
  • Corn- oh yeah, our corn is growing now!!! We’ve got about 25 corn plants that have sprouted; I am sure more are on their way. YESSSS!
  • Watermelon and Cantaloupe- After the squirrels ate the first round of seeds, Jonathan planted about 17 seeds/mound. And we’ve got about 7 plants growing outside. Now if we could just remember which ones were cantaloupes and which ones were watermelons…

See, busy. But good busy. Pictures to come.



Shirley Temple’s in my Head!

I have that Shirley Temple song- “Cuppy Cake” something or other- stuck in my head.

And now, so do you. You’re very welcome.

In other news, Hula Girl is officially able to stand all by herself. *Clarification: she can pull herself up to standing, and then let go. She can’t actually manage the feat of standing up.* Along with being able to stand, she is attempting to take some steps- she hasn’t actually managed to go anywhere. She falls every single time. But she’s trying! Until she actually stays up for a few steps, I’m not counting it as “walking.” So there.

I am feeling rather snarky today, can you tell?

Tomorrow Hula Girl and I will be traveling to my parents’ house so we can escape our lonely house while Jonathan has extra training at work. I am torn between hoping she walks this weekend or not. I think it would be fun to have her walk for the first time at Grammy and Grampy’s house, but it would be lame for Jonathan to miss it.

Anyway, we’ve got to take another run to WalMart this afternoon to get some fruit and snacks for Hula Girl for our weekend. We’re also going to pick up some drain cleaner because our bathtub is not draining. After my shower today, I was standing in ankle-deep water. I thought that was a bit ridiculous. This is after our land lady has paid a terrible plumber to come out- twice.

It’s raining now. I feel snarky and gloomy now. I need ice cream.

How you do cheer up when you’re feeling blue?

Breakfast for Dinner

I killed the microwave last night. I was cooking some turkey bacon to accompany my omelet. I put it in and cooked it, but when I checked it, it was still flimsier than I like. So, I decided to put it back in for 30 seconds. I closed the door, pressed the ‘3’ and then… the digital screen went black. I opened the door. The light did not come on. I unplugged and re-plugged the whole microwave. Nothing. I pushed the “Reset” button on the wall. Nothing. I checked the breaker. It wasn’t broken. The microwave is dead.

We just got this one, too! Less than 2 months ago! So, I have yet another reason to visit WalMart. We didn’t actually make it there yesterday because Hula Girl had such terrible naps and I had to try to force her to take a third nap. It was unsuccessful. But now I have more on my list anyway. We’ll have to go when Jonathan gets home so he can help lug the evil dead machine.

I just realized that “breakfast” is what broke my microwave… fast. Hm.

It was really nice and warm here today. I took the covers off the windows in the nursery and let the breeze blow through. Hula Girl and I enjoyed it very much! I have decided I need to start nursing her in different environments since we’ve got our trip coming up in a couple of weeks. I don’t want her to be hungry the whole day when we’re traveling because she’s too distracted to eat. The open windows did not prove to be a distraction this morning. We’ll see how she does in the living room this afternoon.

Hula Girl will be one year old in 10 weeks from today. Unbelievable.

What’s your favorite breakfast-for-dinner option?

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