Sunday, September 30, 2007


The girls are feeling a bit under the weather today, so with them in bed and Jen out shopping I had to stop and share a few more pics with you. On our trip to Oregon Kate loved the Clifford Book that Grandma and Grandpa had. On one page Cliffords Mom was checking his teeth, and Kate loved to imitate that - flashing her teeth in a way she would not do when faced with either a camera or a toothbrush. Well, one day we were playing peek-a-boo at the dinner table and Jen actually caught her "Cheesy Smile".

Kate was awake at the normal time this morning. These days she likes to get up in the morning but hates to change out of her pajamas. She will scream for her pajama pants as if she developed a relationship with them while she was sleeping. This morning, while recovering with Dad from the catastrophe of having to wear clothes she decided that we needed to have pancakes for breakfast.

I've started letting her help cook. She scoops the coffee and the pancake mix and helps to stir things sometimes. The kid likes pancakes (what kid doesn't I guess) mostly for the stuff you put on top. So as the table is being set you hear "Jam...yay!" and "Dip...yay!" (dip is syrup of course)

She also likes using everyone's silverware but her own, as I realized when I picked up my sugar encrusted fork.

After breakfast we retired to the living room where Claire entertained us on her musical piano. She in on the verge of walking and crawling all at the same time, like her sister. We finally got some video of her standing up on her own.

Oh, and one more for the "Guess Who" line... although this one is easy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Joy via the Picture People

No matter that I've gotten nothing useful done today (besides scanning family photos). No matter that Claire has not had one good nap today. No matter that Kate just fell asleep about 20 minutes ago, after talking and talking and talking in her crib for more than 2 hours, keeping her sister awake for most of that time. No matter that I woke Claire up out of a perfectly good nap this morning to go to the mall and get pictures taken. I have these to show for it.

Claire at 8 months, Kate at 7 months:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is there anything worse?

Is there anything worse than cleaning up vomit in a 2-year-old's crib? I'm talking about in the realm of "everyday annoyances"; I know there are much worse things in reality. I'm still grossed out, even after my swim in the pool to decontaminate myself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How old are you, Kate?

Cake #1.

"I'm one, Mommy!"

"No, you're two! How old are you, Kate?"

"I'm one, Mommy!"

And so it went, back and forth, back and forth. All weekend long we tried to get Kate to tell people that she's now 2, to no avail. Unless you had cake in your hand, that is. Then she would gleefully tell you she was, in fact, two. And then she would expect a hearty "Happy Birthday!" and a bit of your cake.

We started out the festivities by going to get her 2-year-old pictures done at JC Penny's. That was probably not the best place to start, in retrospect. Kate is not fond of professional portraits, and she does not cooperate at all. We somehow managed to get a few cute shots, which I'll share in a couple of weeks when I get them back.

We got back home just in time for pizza and cake with Aunt Jessica and Daddy. I had spent part of the afternoon making her a Dora cake (see above), and she was nominally excited about it. I think she recognized it as a crude representation of her favorite thing in the whole world, and gladly ate it (it was chocolate, after all). She opened her gifts from Jess, and spent the rest of the evening pushing various objects around in it. I have no doubt that we will at some point find Claire strapped in to the chair, and Starbuck should fit nicely as well.

Stroller from Aunt Jessica.

The next day was her birthday party, which went pretty well, rain and all. I was happy to see that the stork cake turned into a duck cake with little effort on my part, and Kate only had eyes for her Dora candle anyway.

Vovo Simone spent hours decorating, and Kate could hardly believe her eyes (and good fortune) when she saw all the candies and balloons that were there in honor of her.

Her friends got her some wonderful gifts (most of them Dora-themed, of course), and she spent the weekend enjoying all of them.

Since the party, Kate has occasionally admitted she is now 2 years old, and she demands that we sing 'Happy Birthday' to her and light her Dora candle each and every time we have cake.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What will you be watching?

Last spring there were nail-biting cliffhangers, wild surprises, and edge-of-your-seat finales. Now it's fall, and television is back. There are new shows and old, remakes and revivals. Here's what's got me ready and waiting at 7pm:

I might also check out:

What's on your list?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More from the "Who is This?" chronicles

We'll start with one picture and see how you do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh, Dear. And: what's new here

It's 3pm. I put Kate to bed at 1:35. I know that it's outside of my window of nap heaven, but I was late picking her up from daycare, and late getting her back for precious nap time. Claire started rubbing her eyes at about 1:50, so I put her down, too. They are still awake. Still! Awake!

I just went in and told Kate to lie down and go to sleep. Claire looked up with expectant eyes. I picked her up (she had backed herself into the corner and was stuck) and she started smiling at her sister. I couldn't tell if it was a "Ha! Mom picked me up and not you!" smile, or a "You are so funny, big sister!" smile. I leaned Claire in real close to Kate for a kiss, and they both started giggling. Cute, oooglie, girlie, baby giggles. So Cute. Love.

As for what's new:

Kate is going through a growth spurt. Is this normal for 2-year-olds? She is eating like crazy. I don't know if it's because we switched her from whole milk to 1%, but she is eating like a big kid. We're talking a whole hot dog, 3/4 of a cup of peas, a whole sippy of milk, some cheese and some chicken. At one sitting! Whereas she used to just eat a quarter of a sandwich for lunch, she'll now eat a half a sandwich, a cup of fruit and some milk, and still seem to be hungry. Some of you might think I'm making up the part about the peas. I am not. How did I do this? It's a bit of a game: I pour peas from the spoon in the big bowl directly onto her little spoon and she shovels them into her mouth, all the while asking for more. Big spoon to little spoon to mouth. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. She ate half of Tim's portion (in addition to her own) the other night.

She is also talking up a storm. Hurricane force! Here is a mini translation guide:
  • Ohhhh-tay, Mommy! = Okay, Mommy! (that was easy, huh?)
  • Beee = big
  • No sugs! = No slugs!
  • Wheh yu goin Mommy? = Where are you going, Mother?
  • How 'bout... = How about....(usually followed by "playdoh", "too-tee" [cookie], or "outtide" [outside])

As for Claire, she has gotten 4 teeth in 2 weeks (2 on top and 2 on bottom). She is still in swimming lessons, but will finish on Thursday because her instructor is going on vacation. She is almost able to flip herself over a good portion of the time when on her belly, but not quite.

She is also keeping some solid food down. Imagine my distress on Saturday when she bit into a grape and swallowed half of it without chewing it first! We were at a party and I had forgotten her mesh bag, and thought I would share some grape with her anyway. I thought she would suck the juice out of it, not bite into it! Of course this was silly thinking on my part. But. She kept it down, along with the baby food carrots I fed her the day before.

So today I gave her some teeny chunks of banana. No vomiting. Of course, this brings up (pun not intended) my current dilemma. I sort of don't want to feed her solid food yet. And it's totally for selfish reasons:

  1. I weigh 7 pounds less than I did when I got pregnant with Kate. This is not because I've been good about eating right or exercising like an aerobics instructor. This is all Claire, baby. And I love eating my peppermint patties and chocolate cake. Not to mention Swistle's brownies.
  2. Stinky poo. I used to sing 'Smelly Cat' to Kate ('Smelly Kate' in my version) after we started her on solids.
  3. Umm, I guess those are my biggest reasons. But she seems to want real people food so bad that I am starting to give in and give it to her. Stinky poo and all.

Ahhh! 3:15 and it is silent! Yesssss.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Overheard yesterday at Costco:

"Kate, don't draw on your sister." -Tim, addressing his eldest daughter, using a command that is sure to be issued regularly over the coming years

"So, what I'm wondering is: do you drink because you have kids, or do you have kids because you drink?" -woman in front of us at cash register, referring to our 4 bottles of wine, Costco-sized tequila bottle, and 24-pack of Pacifico beer

"Look, she's using Claire as a pillow!" -Tim pointing out that Kate was leaning heavily on her sister in the shopping cart

"Kate, which cake do you want? Honey, that's not a ducky, it's a stork. Do you want balloons or flowers or a princess on your cake? You really want the ducky, huh? O-kay, then." -Jen trying to talk Kate out of her stork ducky birthday cake, to no avail

Friday, September 14, 2007

Trial; Also: is it the weekend yet?

I've been sneaking teeny bites of vanilla yogurt to Claire. Don't worry: no one's been looking, and therefore she's kept it down. I think it's like the dieting thing. If no one sees you eat that hot fudge brownie sundae with whipped cream and 2 cherries (what?), no actual calories are consumed and therefore you do not gain any weight. So, it's been Claire's and my little secret. Anyway, she keeps grabbing for my fork of citrus chicken, or trying to divert my peppermint pattie-laden hands to her mouth. I am certain that she is not supposed to eat poultry or chocolate at this point, so I opted for carrots this afternoon instead. It's been an hour. She is sleeping, so either when I hear her wake up she will be lying in a puddle of orange guck, or she'll be happy as a clam and arching her eyebrow at me as if to say, "Why haven't you given me more of that good solid food yet?" My response will be, of course: because.

Are there anymore carrots in here?

Jen & Claire.

Claire, Tim & Kate after breakfast.

Today is the birthday of the Air Force. Personally? Woo-hoo. But, to celebrate, we went to breakfast together this morning on base. As in before swim lessons. Before 7am. Before any of us were truly awake. Dear God I am tired. It's been a long week, especially since neither Tim nor I had a weekend last week. Right now both of the girls are sleeping. And what am I doing? Blogging. I have a serious problem, folks.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I did it!

I've been debating cutting my hair for a long time. Cutting my hair, not just trimming. I don't know why; I've just wanted to try short hair. So here I am! I dropped Kate off at daycare, and took McLaren with me. I thought for sure when I went to pick Kate up she would have some kind of ... reaction ... but no. Nothing. She just ran to me to give me a big hug. "Mommy!" Claire, I'm not sure about. I think she is skeptical, but I at least still sound the same, so I think she's accepting me. My husband, I'm not so sure about. I like it, though. That could change when I have to do it myself. My hairstylist can make any cut look good in the shop. Me? I'm not that patient or talented. I hope I haven't ruined my hair.

We're all starting to feel better. There's still a lot more snot around here than I like, but we're on the mend.

Yesterday Kate fell in the pool. I was already in, and close-by. She was reaching for something in the pool, and suddenly: splash! She kind of tumbled in, and bit her tongue and (I just realized this afternoon) also scraped her chin on the way in. But I was really calm. I think it helped that I was right there in the water already, in case she needed help. She floated to the top in no time and righted herself on her back. After some coaxing from me, she flipped over and grabbed my hand, just like in swim lessons. Awesome. That is why we are going through the pain of swim lessons. Way to go, Kate!

My friend Amie commented the other day that she envied me a little on the family front. I understand her thoughts, but just wanted to give a glimpse into my daily life:

Tim got home on Tuesday. Then he had to work late last night, so it was just the girls and me for dinner again. This is not meant to tell you that Tim is an absentee father; it was just pretty much mealtime standard.

Imagine a rectangular, glass-topped table. I sit at the head of the table so as best to see and attend to both girls. Kate is to my left in her booster seat. Claire is in the highchair on my right. Kate eats a few bites of food with her utensil, and then tilts her head to the side cutely and wipes her garlic pasta-covered little fingers across the table, stopping momentarily to admire her work. She then stuffs pasta into her mouth, forgoing the nice fork I have provided for her.

Claire nonchalantly drops her plastic cup off the side of her tray and then looks at me sideways as if to say, "gonna pick that up for me, lady?". She sucks her thumb noisily, eyeing my bread, and converses with her sister:

Claire: Mmmma!
Kate: ABC, weeeee ah way home, icky pea! Icky pea! Icky pea! UH-OH. Icky pea! Mommy beee (big) hug. More dip, Mommy! More dip more dip more dip! (shoving bits of olive oil-covered bread across the table at me) UH-OH. (bread dropped on floor) Ice keem cone! Ice keem cone! Aaah done, Mommy, aaah done. Git dow! Git dow! Aah done!
Claire: Aah Mmmma! Mamamamamama! (banging cups)

Tim arrived home right as the girls were settling down to bed (post dinner, post clean up, post bath, post teeth brushing, post story time, post whining about not wanting to go to bed, post endless runny noses...). They were so happy to see him, and quieted right down after he tucked them in. How do you like that?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Codes, codes for eberyone

Sick. We are all sick. All of us who are here, that is. Kate got it first, and gave it to Claire, who then shared it with me. Damn daycare. Now, of course, I'm feeling really bad about getting so very frustrated with Kate over the weekend; she was just feeling ucky and now I know why she was whiny. I want to whine right now, too.

I feel worst for Claire, because she's a baby and can't even pretend to blow her nose. So nostril sucker thingy it is, accompanied by nose drops. She hates it, and I hate doing it to her, but it's worse to let her cry and get so congested that she starts to gag.

The nights are long. None of us are sleeping well, and every time one of the girls wakes up, so do I. Our throats itch and are sore, and the coughing is hard to sleep through. My head is pounding, and the tantrums Kate works herself into are making me a little crazy. Not thoroughly crazy, because I've been able to head most of them off today, but I've got my tickets to crazytown in my hand just in case.

I thought I'd have my husband back to help out tonight, but it seems that this will not happen. Of course. His jet's still broken. Severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow morning when he is (currently) scheduled to leave, and I am hoping to have him home by Wednesday. Until then, I'll be chugging Nyquil vodka OJ in an effort to get rid of this bug.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


That's our record for the season so far. Two and ze-ro. As in, no losses! I am shocked, mostly because the game today was against #22 Boise State, and well, because our past few seasons have been horribly painful. Next week's game is against Ohio State, followed by UCLA and USC at the end of the month. They've said Washington has the toughest schedule in the country, and I believe it.

Today Kate talked to her daddy on the phone: "Daddy come home soon?" That was her first question. Kinda breaks your heart.

Me, I'm sitting here eating a vanilla sundae with Sander's hot fudge, because: yum! I'm debating whether I'm going to sit down and watch my movie: The Lake House. Seen it? Is it worth it? Bah, I'll probably do it, just so I don't have it sitting here for the next month. But, not before I post some pictures!
The avocado attacked me, Ma.
Claire's "I'm tired" pose.

So big!

So tired, but still so big!

Happy at dinner.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thank heaven for baby medicine

That's right, I drugged my daughters and they are now both sleeping peacefully. Last night: not so much. And today I figured out why at least one of them was crabby: McLaren has another new tooth. Yes, another one. The second one this week. The new one is her upper left front tooth (my sister could tell you the name and number, but I'll just call it what everyone knows: the upper front tooth). After finding the tooth poking through this morning, I am impressed that she slept at all last night, or this past week for that matter.

Kate is still all congested and snotty-nosed, and cough-y on top of that. Now, after some toddler's Dimetapp, she is sleeping soundly! I have high hopes that this will allow me some continuous sleep tonight, as well. Because last night sucked, I tell you.

Tim is cross-country. For you non-flyer types: he flew a jet out to some big to-do function on the east coast. Except that he broke in San Antonio tonight, and will probably not be going to his destination, but will still hopefully be home early next week as planned. As for me, I'm not using my time wisely. I had the computer on from earlier today, and I've been sitting here, reading blogs and such for nearly 2 hours. I could have been reading Harry Potter. Or cleaning up around here for once, or watching the chick flick I got just for this weekend, or sleeping for God's sake! But I've been unproductively surfing the internet. Addict. I'm an addict.
Tomorrow I plan to be firmly planted in front of the TV, watching the Michigan-Oregon game, and willing the network to switch mid-game to what is sure to be a much more interesting match: Washington vs Boise State.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The downside of daycare, er, pre-school, and an update on McLaren

I think Kate is getting a cold. She is supposed to be napping, but I keep hearing coughing. Then I have to run in and check to make sure she isn't throwing up, because she's making that horrible "cough like I'm going to vomit" cough.

Claire's upper GI appointment was this morning. We arrived slightly after 8am, and waited 45 minutes to get called back. I hate that! I mean, it had to be like the first appointment of the day, and she's a baby! Don't keep the babies waiting, folks. They get crabby. Claire did really well, though. She was starving, and drank enough of the barium to allow them to perform the test. I only cried once, which I thought was pretty good, considering they had to strap her to a padded board, head strapped down as well, and rotate her little body around so they could x-ray her. That part only took about 10 minutes, and the rest was more of a wait wait wait exercise. After the rotating x-rays, they took lie-down x-rays about every 20 minutes for a little more than 2 hours, to see how the barium was passing through her system. The doctor who analyzed the results said that she did not see anything abnormal, and that that ruled out all sorts of 'bad things'. I'm not sure what those bad things are, exactly, but since they don't apply to McLaren, I'm not bothering to find out. So, the end result is pretty much where we started: they don't know what is causing her to vomit after eating solids. I did give her avocado in the mesh bag the other night, and just like the banana, she kept it down. I'm sort of afraid of what the next round of tests are going to be; I'm pretty sure they will be much more invasive than the one this morning, so I'll be trying to figure out if we should just wait another month to see if she passes through this phase, or if we should keep going with the tests.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Crack, teeth and family time

We didn't turn the computer on yesterday. When is the last time you did that? I spent very little time surfing the internet over the weekend, and then just decided to (gah!) not turn the computer on yesterday. I think the internet is sort of like crack for me. I turn the desktop on in the morning, and it hums at me, beckoning. Well, I tried to go a day without it, and I survived! It was quite nice, actually. No headlines to stories that won't get read, no random blog reading (of course, this means I have lots of blogs to catch up on today), no wasted time reading movie reviews of flicks I'll never see, no flipping through emails that I need to respond to. Instead, we swam, watched college football, played with the girls, worked on Claire's walking skills (I know, she's not even crawling yet), cleaned house, and got a lot of stuff done.

Claire has her first tooth! I noticed it on Saturday; it's her bottom front right one. And the left one next to it is just about to break the skin, too. And, while she was doing her silly snorty-nose thing this morning, I saw what I think are the top two (2!) teeth just under the surface. I have no idea how she is sleeping through the night, what with all those teeth just about ready to pop out.

For those interested in the follow-up to the banana story from last week, here it is: she kept it all down! Then yesterday I gave her some avocado, and it stayed down too. She didn't have much of those foods, so I'm still taking her in on Thursday for her upper-GI scan, but I'm hopeful that she's fine and will stop barfing at the sight of solid food soon. Maybe she just doesn't like rice cereal. And who can blame her? That stuff looks gross.

Kate started pre-school today. Really it's just daycare, but I feel better calling it pre-school. I'm a stay-at-home mom (who is never home) and now I'm farming my eldest daughter out to daycare pre-school twice a week for 3-4 hours. She had fun today, playing with other kids and other toys. I think she gets bored here. She is now trying to get Claire to play with her, which is so cute, but so sad since Claire just has no clue how to play yet.

I didn't get a lot of stuff done while she was gone; Claire had swim lessons and I had to get on the internet and make sure it was still there. But I'm hopeful for tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll get more stuff done.