Friday, December 22, 2006

24 months


Dear Maddie,
Two. TWO YEARS! You've been in our lives for two entire years and it feels like I blinked and it whooshed by. We often stare at you and just watch. We wonder how you became the person you are, who you will become in the future, how you look nothing like us (or me), how you became so darn smart, how you went from 7 lbs/4 oz bundle of joy to a 24 pound sack of joy.



I remember being up late at night nursing you when you were just a few weeks old wondering if I was the only person on the plant who wasn't sleeping and why I couldn't form a complete sentence anymore. I wondered when I would feel like a person again not really able to comprehend (at the time) that your coming into my life really made me a person with a mission and made us a family.


You've become quite the nurturer these days and often ask, "You okay, mommy?" just to check in with me. It's a question I often ask you too. When we spend our one-on-one time together after school sitting on the couch watching Sesame Street with you cuddled into the nook of my arm eating your snack, you look at me and sweetly offer some of you food to me, "Want some, mama?" and then you try to stuff the snack into my mouth. When I take a corner too fast in the car or go over some bumps, you cautiously warn, "Whoa, Mama! Slow down, slow down!"



I'm thankful that you will have this blog as a record of our family of your early years, and I hope that you see this as your "baby" book because, well, it kinda is. I've kept monthly letters with pictures since August 2005 and wrote the story of your birth on your first birthday. I'm also going to do the same for your little sister too.

You've learned so much over the past two years, and we think you're pretty darn smart for your age. You continue to speak in full sentences, conjugate verbs correctly, and almost have the proper use of pronouns nailed down. Every phrase and word your dad and I say is repeated verbatim, including things you should NOT say. You've adopted many of my mannerisms and mimic my tone of voice, facial expressions and hand gestures. You're like a "mini-me" but without the brown hair and eyes. I think you're about to enter your "Daddy Stage" because you've been so focused on me for the last two years, we think it's about time you whine and cry for your dad too. Plus, your sister will be here in another 6 weeks, and well, we're hoping you are going to be okay with that.

You go pee pee on the potty at least once per day, and even pooped once (albeit on accident--you were trying to pee). We're not pushing the potty training thing because we know you will master it once you're ready.

You're third year of life is bound to be lots of fun, full of changes, growth and development. You will likely not remember your first two years when it was just the three of us, but I hope my stories about you here on this blog will be just another way we can show you how much you're loved and cherished every single day.

Happy Birthday, baby. I love you.

How much?

SOOOO. MUUUCCH.

loves,

Mama

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Christmas pageant and pee pee


A few weeks ago, I discussed here about the odd decision for Maddie's teachers to ask 13 two year olds to stand on a stage and sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to a room PACKED full of parents. I think there were at least 150-200 kids, parents, grandparents in the audience all pointing cameras and video recorders at the kids.

Thank goodness that Madison's class was the first up at the Christmas show because I don't think she would have been able to stay awake if she was required to wait. She was so confused as to why she was going BACK to school at night, and cried when we dropped her off in the classroom with her teachers so we could take our seats. The show started at 7:00 (read: bedtime), and Maddie's class marched into the room, climbed up the steps, looked around at all the people, either began to scream and cry, or sat down in their chairs.

(Pay no attention to the giant belly in the corner of this photo):


Maddie scanned the crowd to try to find us. Zak was hiding behind the camera and I was crouched down behind someone's grandmother. We figured that if she saw us, she would cry, but if she didn't she would sing, or at least sit there though the song.

Here is the video for your enjoyment. Make sure you have the volume turned on so you can here the song, the teachers singing, and the screaming little girl.

After we got home, Maddie insisted that she needed to go to the "potty train" before she went to bed. I reluctantly agreed, assuming this was a stall tactic for staying up later. I sat her on the toilet, expecting the norm, nothing. While she was sitting, I peed, rearranged the cabinets, and much to my amazement, I heard the magical sound of toddler pee in the a plastic potty for the very first time. (Her teachers say she's gone on the toilet at school before, but never for us at home). I almost passed out from shock. I just gasped (trying not to scare her into stopping) and stared until she was done. Then, I ran around like a monkey in celebration with Zak that our baby won't be in diapers on her way to College.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Maddie's 2nd B-Day party


Maddie turned two (ohmigod, she's TWO!) yesterday and we had her party at Chuck E. Cheese. We invited ZERO other children, which is a decision that I'm really happy with. If there were little kids who were family or close friends who had little ones, I would have invited them, but not just her school friends. She's still way to into herself and just wanted to play with the other party attendees (my dad and Susan, Zak's mom and Uncle Marcus, and of course, Zak and I).



We got there at 11:00 and rode the rides and played the games. Maddie enjoyed her entourage that went with her everywhere. Zak and Uncle Marcus had the most fun playing video racing games together.

We at pizza, participated the Chuck E. Cheese birthday show, and played some more. (I switched to YouTube!! Let me know if you have trouble with the videos.)

We all left and came back to the house to open presents, sing Happy Birthday, and eat cake.

As a side note: I made the cake with Susan the night before, and was made fun of endlessly by my dad and husband for her 1st year birthday cake (which was lopsided, but very good). I love the fact that I make her b-day cakes. I am a great baker, but a not so great decorator, and Maddie should know that her Mama baked and decorated her b-day cakes with much love.


Maddie ate her cake with far less mess than she did last year, and actively participated in the opening of her presents (good practice for Christmas). She reluctantly agreed to her nap (two hours late), and woke up ready to play with her presents. As soon as she woke up from her nap she immediately said, "Is Uncle Marcus still here?"

He is the king of her universe, next to Zak of course. Then she recounted her birthday morning and told us all about how she sung and danced with Chuck E., how she is two, how she ate cake, and told me all about her presents. Throughout the entire day she spontaneously throw her hands up in the air and say, "It's my birthday, and I'm TWO! Yea!!!" She would also sing "Happy Birthday" to herself with her toy microphone.

Here's to hoping that TWO isn't so terrible.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A big week

This was a big week! Maddie:
1. Went pee pee on the "potty train" for the first time (that I saw). Not drops....a serious pee.
2. Participated in her first Christmas pageant. Notice I didn't say that she sang at the pageant.
3. Turned TWO today and we celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese.
4. Ran into Santa while she was at the park, and didn't want anything to do with him.

I have videos of #2 and #3 (aren't you glad there aren't any videos of #1?). I created a site on YouTube.com that I am attempting to figure out how to use instead of the PutFile account that is linked on the right. I haven't been able to post videos there for a long time (it takes forever).

I also have the long stories to all four and pictures that I will share, plus her birthday letter which I've been working on for a while. So, this post is basically for those of you who know it's her birthday and are checking for the details. I'm letting you know that I'm working on it.

Check back in a day or two. I'm tired and pregnant! Jeeze!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A party with too many handshakes

Zak and I went to his "work" Christmas party on Saturday night. Translation: I will know no one, and it will not really be that much fun.

To add to the not much fun part, I can't drink alcohol nor were there many places to sit. I was busy meeting new people that I will never see again, shaking hands with complete strangers, and saying, "I'm 32 weeks, and it's a girl" one bizillon times. The GREAT part of the party was the food, of course, and well...um, more good food. Oh yeah, I did get to get dressed up and go out with my husband for the night too. Thanks to Grandma who came to babysit for us! Look how cute we are:




At the party, I found myself completely disgusted at all the hand shaking. I didn't count, but I am guessing that there were at least 50-75 people there. I think I met, and shook hands with, every single person. I would then eat some delicious finger food, essentially eating whatever it was on their hands as well. Eeeewwwww! I was dying to find some Purell, but I had left my purse in the car. I had to rely on just two handwashings with soap and water.

I've decided that hand shaking is disgusting, and I think we, as a country, should really stop this germ spreading habit of ours. There are plenty of other cultures we should learn from where they greet each other in much more sanitary ways. Part of me is really just plain germaphobic, but the other part of me is just so DAMN TIRED OF getting/being/caring for the sick. I just can't take another cold or virus to work its way into my family. Maddie just started sniffling and coughing (AGAIN!) last week, but she now appears to be on the tail end. This wasn't a major one, but still....AGAIN! Blah.

Anyway, we didn't get home until after midnight, and my carriage had definitely turned into a tired pumpkin by then. We were tired! Old married folks like us don't get out much, nor do we stay up past 11:00. It's not like the good old college days, oh those days.... Maddie did let us sleep in until 9:30! She's a good girl like that.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A new bed!


We finally bought a new bed. The queen bed we've been using was originally purchased for me, by my dad, in 1987 (that's almost 20 years if you're not so good with math)! They say you should replace a mattress every 10 or so years.

We figured it was about time for a few reasons, mainly my giant belly and new boyfriend that I like to sleep with (my body pillow). Although the kids won't/don't sleep with us, sometimes we all cuddle on weekend mornings in bed, and frankly, we just needed a new bed.

The bed is HUGE and HIGH. Zak was afraid I'd fall out and hurt myself during my middle-of-the-night-no-room-in-my-bladder tinkles. I've managed just fine and kinda have to roll out of the bed and hop down. I'm not sure how the co-sleeper is going to work since it will be nearly a foot too short to be even with the bed. I suppose it doesn't matter so long as I can reach the baby at night.

Maddie loves to get on the bed, but when she tries too it appears she's climbing Mt. Everest. She grunts and she groans as she tries to pull herself up, and then she finally asks for help. When she gets down, she dangles from fists full of comforter and hangs a good 6 inches from the floor then drops. After that she says, "Again, Mama, Again!"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shake a booty

Maddie learned that the word "booty" means butt from someone at school. I think it was one of her teachers. I first discovered this as we were driving home from school one day and a good song came on the radio, and Maddie said, "I wanna Shake a Booty" and did this little shoulder shimmy that indicated she wanted to dance. When I burst out laughing with a giant, "What did you say!" she appeared to be shy about it and hid her face.

Since then she learned that "Shake a Booty" is the same as dancing and she will refer to each interchangeably. She also will point at one's bottom and call it a booty. As in, "I touching Mama's booty," as she pokes my butt.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Daycare, The Musical

When I picked Maddie up from school today, attached to her normal "this is what I did today" paper was the following note (word for word, including the grammar): "Dear Parents, we will be having a christmas program on Dec. 13, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. Here is a copy of the song we will sing. Please practice everyday with your child. P.S. Need to wear a red sweatshirt and .50 cents for the antlers (by this Friday). Thanks"

I continue to the next page and find the selected song for 22-27 month old kids is "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

That's in just two weeks! at 7:00 p.m? On a School night? Huh? She isn't even TWO yet! She is pretty good with her ABC's, The Barney Song, and Itsy Bitsy Spider, but Rudolph? I hardly can recall each verse every time Christmas rolls around! I think a far more logical choice would be to a.) postpone the Christmas program to next Christmas or b.) change songs to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star because they all know that one because they sing it all year.

I think they should have been more ambitious with a group of kids who are just learing how to talk, and ask that they sing Ave Maria instead. Now, that would be impressive!

Either way we have practiced every day at least twice, and she will sing the last word to each verse. However, and this is a big HOWEVER, she sings this with me, in her own comfortable environment. There is no way that she will stand in a room full of strangers, on a stage, with Zak and I within eyesight, sing a song that she just learned without running towards me with arms outstretched and yelling, "Mama, Mama, Hold you!"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving family fun

We had a week long celebration for Thanksgiving. On Sunday, Zak's mom, "Gah-ma" came for a few days. In addition to playing, "this little piggie a million times..."

She went with me to my doctor's appointment and heard the baby's heartbeat. I'm 30 weeks pregnant today, and I. CANT. BELIEVE. we will have a baby in 10 weeks. I honestly don't believe it. This time of year goes by so fast anyway, and we have a ton of visitors who will be with us between Thanksgiving, Maddie's B-day, and Christmas.

We also ate lots of Honey Baked Ham and Pecan Pie for our first Thanksgiving dinner of the week with Grandma Wendy. This Honey Baked Ham concept is fabulous. Not only is it the most delicious thing on the planet, but it is SO EASY to serve (read: no cooking). It's a tad on the expensive side, but we can make, like 10 meals, not kidding, with it. I guess that means it's worth it if you really like ham.

Our SECOND Thanksgiving celebration was with Zak's Dad (Grandpa), Stepmom (Grandma Mary), Sister (Aunt Terra), and Brother (the infamous Uncle Marcus).


Our second Thanksgiving dinner was the old fashioned kind on Thursday with THREE turkeys, one baked, two fried. Three turkeys? Yes. Oh, did you ask how many people came over to eat these three turkeys? Six, well seven if you count Maddie who hardly ate any turkey, but did say, "Umm, good chicken, mama!"

My father-in-law, Terry, brought his fryer and two extra turkeys. He wanted lots so he could have leftovers. Turns out that he forgot to take his turkey with him when they left, so now guess what is on the menu for Christmas dinner? Frozen Turkey, and maybe a ham too!

On a crappy note, I am sick again. Really sick this time. Thank goodness that Maddie hasn't caught it from me, yet. Zak started it with a sore throat. The next day, I got the sore throat too. I progressed to a leaky nose, really sore throat, and now my ears and nose are congested, I have a serious cough and I've lost my voice. I've never had congested ears (feels like I'm under water...Especially on the left side), and I've NEVER ever lost my voice. That's the weirdest thing ever. It started with just a scratchy, sexy voice, now it's more whisper/non existent. I think Maddie and Zak are secretly happy with that. I was getting pretty bad by Sunday, miserable actually, and stupidly didn't call my doctor until Monday. She didn't see me, but I self diagnosed and decided this wasn't your ordinary cold. I haven't been this sick in over 10 years. I guess I have an ear infection, sinus infection, and either an upper respiratory infection or freaking bronchitis. It was bad. The doctor gave me an antibiotic and I almost immediately felt better.

If you're counting, and I know my dad is, that is FOUR colds for me in just 12 weeks. It is my SIXTH cold since I've been pregnant. Maybe I'm allergic to San Antonio? I've been reading a lot about allergies, which I've never suffered from, and how central Texas is one HUGE allergen. Something about the cedar and oak trees, and I will also throw in the heat too. I'm definitely allergic to the heat.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SOLD!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that our house in Chicago was under contract. Well...dum da da dum.....it is SOLD! We are now the proud owners of just one house! Yea!!!

Once the house price was negotiated and we went through the inspection process (and more negotiation), we signed the house over to our relocation company who purchased the house from us, who will then sell it to our buyers on their desired close date. Whew, that was a giant run-on sentence!

Either way, we are done. That's all that matters. Yea us!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Silly Texans

Sometimes when I write on this blog I am never really sure if I have already told the same story. It's kinda like when you tell one friend what happened to you yesterday, but you can't recall who you told your story to and you end up telling them again only for them to say, "yeah, you just told me that story yesterday." Maybe it's just me, but I can never remember if I told the Internet a story, discussed it with Zak or a friend, or maybe I just thought about it and didn't say anything to anyone. Regardless, that is not what this post is about, just an apology if you've already heard me tell you how silly Texans are. Anyway....

It's the week of Thanksgiving and it was 77 degrees today. I will mention that it did get (according to everyone here) "VERY COLD" last week when the temperature dipped into the 40's. Based on watching the overly dramatic weatherman, you would have thought that we were going to be having lows below zero and the polar ice caps were forming in San Antonio. "There is a VERY POWERFUL cold front moving down from Canada, and we experience a very windy evening with cold AM temperatures." Blah, blah, blah...the high reached well into the 70's.

Based on what the average citizen was wearing (and not what it felt like outside) you'd guess it was in the 50's. I'm talking long pants, long sleeved shirts, sweaters, boots, hats, and jackets. I didn't see any gloves, but I fully expected to. I, on the other hand, wore a cute denim skirt and short sleeve blouse (and flip flops) today AND I still turned on the air conditioner in the car. Why? Because it was sunny and 77 degrees, people! That's a beautiful day to be outside!!

I am beginning to worry about Zak though, he's falling into the same trap as the rest of the Texans. First of all, he turned on the HEATER yesterday just because it was 67 degrees in the house. Second, he dressed Maddie in a FLEECE long sleeved sweater and corduroy pants for school last week. Same story: cooler in the morning and warm in the afternoon. When I picked her up for school, she was SWEATING and told her teachers all day how hot she was. The poor girl was so hot, she didn't even want to play outside!

It kinda reminded me of when my grandmother came to visit me in Chicago a few winters ago. She's lived in San Diego for the last 40 years of her life. It was early spring, but with highs in the 50's all week. She was dressed to climb Mt. Everest, but we were really just shopping on Michican Avenue. She'd bundle up when we went in and out of stores; scarf, hat, gloves and all. I wore a light coat and jeans. Maybe I just have thick blood!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Potty Train!

Maddie went pee on the potty today at school!! I am SOOO excited and proud of her. Turns out that the trick is just to take her dry diaper off when it's about time for her to be ready to pee, and tell her to push.

"Pee Pee comin' out on the potty train!"

Maddie is very proud of herself. Let's hope this behavior continues! Wish me luck, and feel FREE to post or email me ANY tips you have.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sweet Dreams

Every night before Maddie goes to sleep we've always given her the normal kisses, hugs, and told her we'd see her tomorrow, we love her, and wished her sweet dreams. She still (knock on wood) goes to bed very easily and generally wakes bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The only difference is now when she wakes up and we greet her, the first thing she says is, "Hi, Daddy! I had Sweet Dreams!"

She has only said it to me once or twice, but Zak is usually the one who takes morning duty. She says this to him nearly every day.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day to my Pops, Maddie's Great Grandfather, who was a prisoner of war in WWII. His plane (American Beauty, a B-24--replica below) was shot down over Germany and he was captured after parachuting to the ground. He lived in some pretty terrible conditions for nearly a year until the war was declared over, and they were simply released from their cells and were required to fend for themselves until they were rescued.

His story, as he writes it, is much more eloquent and detailed than mine above. It's been published in a magazine before ("Time Lost: A Vets Story of WWII" The Ozarks Mountaineer, April 1999) , and he still tells his story to school age kids and participates in parades.





Thanks for what you did for your country, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We love you and appreciate your sacrifice.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Stop it, Sunshine!

Over the past few weeks, Maddie has really been into the weather, specifically if the sun is out or not. When it's dark outside, she will encourage the sun to come out. "Come out, Sun!"

The problem with the sun occurs early in the morning or in the late afternoon, when the sun is at its brightest and in your eyes in the car.

The conversation between Maddie and the offending sunshine goes something like this:

"NOOO! Sunshine! Too bright!" She SCREAMS at the top of her lungs, flailing her arms to move the sunshine from her face.

When I tell her to close her eyes, she yells, "NOO!"

On the way home from school today, Maddie did the same routine, except this time she was extra bossy:

"No, Sunshine! You stop it! Stop it, Sunshine! Go Away!"

I think it is time we get The Girl some sunglasses.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Oh, the naivete of children...

Two stories:

Maddie and I were sitting on the couch and Zak was sitting below us on the floor watching TV. Maddie ran her hand along the top of Zak's head and said, "Ouch, Daddy has an owie. I kiss it." She leaned over and kissed the top of his head where his ever increasing bald spot is located.

I was giving Maddie her medicine, and I usually sit her on the kitchen counter so I can get a good shot in her mouth. She was sitting next to the Halloween candy that she worked so hard for, yet is unable to eat. It was totally forgotten about, and she doesn't even really know what candy is anyway. She reached her hand into the bag, pulled out a handful of candy, and said, "Mama, what's this?" I said, "Oh, it's just some papers." "Okay," as she put the 'papers' right back in the bag for Zak and I to eat after she goes to bed.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Good news!

Our house in Chicago is under contract! Yea!! The inspection is on Monday, and after that (fingers crossed) we should be in the clear!

We are VERY excited to get the contract prior to the holidays and the loooong Chicago winter.

Big thanks to St. Joseph too. He didn't work as quickly as we had hoped, but I guess he was comfortable in the yard.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006


Hooray for Maddie's first real Halloween! She was a tired and grumpy princess, but ended up having lots of fun.

She caught on to the concept surprisingly quick, and was going up to houses and strangers with little apprehension (so long as they gave her something). "Trick or Treat" was said a few times, mostly before the door was answered, and a "thank you" was required before leaving the doorstep.



Her costume was given to Maddie by her grandparents -- Zak's dad and stepmom (thanks Terry and Mary!), and it fit Maddie PERFECTLY. The "pumpkin purse," as she called it was a gift from Aunt Terra. We filled it up TWICE with candy. Maddie kept asking us to open the candy, but then refused to let us touch her candy or pumpkin purse. She carried it the entire time on her arm, with either her glow stick (a huge hit!) or a piece of candy in the other hand.


One house we went to gave her a bag of chips, and she was fascinated by this. "Look, mama! CHIPS!" She held on to the bag of chips longer than any piece of candy.


The best part about Trick or Treating with a toddler is:
1. The night starts early and ends early. We're far more tired than she is, and turned off our lights by 7:30.
2. Parents get to eat ALL the candy!

Next year, there'll be TWO little munchkins in costume! Good Night!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

T-R-O-U-B-L-E

How do you know when your toddler is feeling better and no longer has a fever of 102 degrees?

When she starts checking out the boys again!

SERIOUSLY.

The Girl checks out any boy between 3 and 8 years old. She immediately stops what she is doing, eating, talking, or whining about. She then looks them up and down and STARES. She will crane her neck to watch boys. Today, at Chic-Fil-A, she watched a little boy walk down the hall and completely turned around in her chair to watch him walk into the bathroom. She kept looking backwards to see if he was finished yet, then after a few minutes said, "Boy still in the bathroom?"

This is not a mere curiosity with kids in general. She likes all kids and will play with them, and she's also not too interested in boys her own age or any female in general. I know this from the way she acts around girls:

"Hi Girls." Smiles, looks away to see if they have any brothers.

With boys, she gives a flirty stare. Almost like she is shy and embarrassed to be looking, but refuses to look away. Thank God boys are too dumb to notice her behavior...until they turn 13, that is. I've got several good years to teach her to not be such a hoochie mama and how to flirt appropriately with boys....not ogle them like slabs of meat.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Family Illness Update

The Girl and I stayed home today and watched TV. She had a 101 degree fever in the morning when she woke up. Her fever didn't go down much during the day, even with medicine every 4 hours, the lowest being 99 degrees. Before bedtime, she was 102.9 and begging to go to sleep. "No bath, no rock-a-baby, I get in bed now, please."

She's been in a relatively good mood, cuddly and mellow. She didn't eat much all day except for a big breakfast. She didn't want any of her favorite fruits (I tried to push them because they're all loaded with Vitamin C) or even her beloved raisins.

Her symptoms seem like a regular ole viral cold, but it could always be an infection that needs antibiotics. I'm not a fan of antibiotics unless one REALLY needs them. She isn't complaining of her ears or throat hurting, but does have a very congested and runny nose. I feel so sad for her.

I was reading on the Internet today that kids in daycare get on average 7 colds per year, and kids in pre-school and kindergarten get 12 colds per year!! That's once a month!

I guess we've just been lucky in the last two years with her only being sick once or twice. Just to be safe, Zak and I both got our Flu Shots this month, and Maddie has an appointment for her shot on Monday (if she is better by then).

Zak and I seem to both be on the tail end of our colds. Neither of us had a fever, just the nose congestion and overall yucks.

Blah.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Am I just crazy, or is this normal?

When I refer to Maddie's "school," I'm really talking about a daycare. I just like to use the word school with her to get her used to the fact that she will be in school for the next 20 plus something years. Like the rest of us were!

Since Maddie started this new "school" on September 12, that's 7 weeks, she has had THREE fevers (2-3 days each), a bout with diarrhea, a constant runny nose during weeks 4-7, and been "hurt by another child" at LEAST 3 times (bitten, scratched, hit, etc). She's been sick more times in the last 7 weeks than she has in her ENTIRE live if she had lived it TWICE. She was NEVER sick when she was at Ms. Tippi's at home day care center (also referred to as the best day care place in the entire world).

I'm SO fed up, and annoyed, and angry, and have been reduced to tears about this on several occasions. I just don't know what to do anymore. I feel G U I L T Y to put her in this environment, but it is honestly the best place I toured in our area. Part of me liked the day care setting because she could interact and be social with other kids her age. The problem with that is that she is "older" in every way but her age than all the other kids. I don't want her to grow up too fast, and am not one of those pushy moms that expect their kids to be the smartest over achievers in the class. In fact, those are the kids that are often made fun of and have the hardest time growing up. I just want her to be in a safe, clean enviornment where she is loved, appreciated, nurtured and taught.

I'm finding that the only place for that is in my own house, but then she doesn't get to be around any other kids (and playgroups don't count), I don't get to use my brain, talk to adults, or socialize the girl.

Zak and I used to joke that Ms. Tippi "ruined" us in terms of being a great daycare provider and we'd never find another like her. How little did we know how true that would be. It has been BY FAR the hardest part about moving to San Antonio....harder than leaving my job, income, house, friends, and pleasant summers in Chicago. It's harder to deal with even though we STILL haven't sold our house and are paying two mortgages! HARDER.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Let the aches and pains begin!

Only 25 weeks pregnant, and the heart burn and sciatica pain has begun. This pregnancy has been relatively easy if you don't count the debilitating migraines during month four.

I'm energetic and feeling good. I've gained 12 pounds so far which is about where I was with Maddie. I look just like I did with her too...HUGE boobs and a tummy that has finally caught up with them!

The heart burn just started yesterday, and I thought it was a flukey spicy food thing, but I almost never get heart burn. I have it again today and it started after I ate bread. I can only assume it's from a pushed up stomach that will only continue to rise until it just even with my neck. I never really had a problem with being just 5'2'' until I got pregnant. Now I know what it would be way better to be 6'2''...I could easily carry a baby, breathe, and eat at the same time I was walking down a runway earning millions. Okay, so maybe I wouldn't be a model, but the first three things would definitely be true!

Update: I wrote the above post a few days ago. Since then, all three of us are sick with a cold. This is my second cold in 5 weeks. My excuse is a "pregnancy related compromised immune system." Maddie's excuse is the GERM FACTORY where she goes to school. UGH! Zak worked a job fair for his company, shook hands with over 100 people, and DID NOT wash his hands or Purell until he got home. How gross is that? He earned his cold. We all have runny, snotty noses, mixed with congestion, headaches and overall crankiness.

I had a doctors appointment today and she congratulated me on entering my third trimester. "WHAT? That can't be true...third trimester?" That means this baby is coming soon! With Madison, I couldn't wait to see/have her. With #2, I'm perfectly content to keep her inside cooking a little longer.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Maddie and her guys

Maddie has a group of "Guys" she bathes with every night that her Papa bought her.

She puts them "unnerwater" and gets them "all wet," then they "go swimmin'" in the bath with her. She also makes them "hold hands" and gives them kisses night-night after bath time is over.


Last night I asked her if Piglet was a boy or a girl. "Girl."

Pooh Bear? "boy."

Elmo? (No answer. I understand, no one is really sure.)

Owl? "boy."

Cookie Monster? "BOY!"

Ernie? "GIRL!" No, the rumor is that he is gay, but that doesn't make him a girl. He's actually a boy.



Ernie, it's time you and Bert finally came out of the closet. My 22 month old daughter even knows that you're gay. Really, it's okay. Everyone will still love you. By the way, it's time to consider a new wardrobe. I really wish you'd change your shirt. I think you've been wearing the same one since 1970.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

22 months

Dear Maddie,
Yesterday you turned 22 months old. You're sitting in my lap right now watching Sesame Street as I'm typing this letter to you. You watch Sesame Street everyday after school. I like to think of it as your cool down time since school is a crazy place. Your Grandma Wendy watches you on the school's parent spy cameras from her office all day every day. She says if you survive The Germ Factory Preschool, you can make it through life just fine. She calls your "friends" little terrorists scavengers, and they steal your food, take your toys and are annoying in general. Grandma reports that you are now sticking up for yourself. That explains the scratches and bites, and this photo:


You usually return from preschool very tired, moody and cranky. It wears you out! You give me a daily report of what you did at school: "I played. I colored. I went outside. I read books. I sang songs. I played with (insert all boys names here)." You rarely mention any of the girls you are in class with...just the boys. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Just the other day you had your first full on major temper tantrum. It was because you wanted to watch TV and it was nap time. I told you that you could watch a show AFTER you took your nap (which you never object to since you love to sleep), but this sent you over the edge. Your mouth opened and all hell broke loose. You screamed like you were losing an appendage. You kicked like a soccer star. You threw your body around like a bucking bronco. You hyperventilated. You SCREAMED and CRIED and YELLED at me like the world was ending. I just stared at you not sure of what demonic spirit took over my sweet baby. I tried to reason with you (didn't work, duh!), I tried to hold you, I tried to calm you down and make you breath (like you were a yoga student), but nothing worked. So, I did what any good mom would do....kissed your red, snot covered, tear soaked head and put you in your crib and shut the door. It was nap time, and I'm the boss. You cried for 30 more seconds as I listened at the door, but then stopped immediately (now that you weren't getting any more attention) and went to sleep. About 30 minutes later I went to check on you and you were fast asleep and still breathing all funny the way one breathes when they've been crying hard...trying to catch your breath. When you woke up (all cheery, by the way), I asked what you were feeling earlier during your tantrum. You said, "I was sad." I asked you why, and golly gee, you couldn't remember! We went downstairs for the as promised TV time and a snack.

That reminds me...you are using full, complete sentences on a regular basis. Nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, conjunctions, feeling words (are those adjectives?) and even verbal fillers (umm....). We're so proud, and kinda surprised at this. Most kids your age can't speak coherently at all, but you're ready to start writing your own blog.



You are also ready to start potty training. You are showing all the signs. You even say, "potty train?" when you have to poop. We think you believe the name of the potty is a "potty train"..like a choo choo train. You figured out how to take off your diaper (not such a great thing), but can't quite figure out how to take off your pants (note to self: keep pants on The Girl at all times). We're reluctant to start because you will need to move up to the next level of room at school for them to really work with you, and we think your baby sister's arrival in a few months will make you reconsider your choice to be a big girl. We're still thinking diapers are easier for now, but we'll see.

Your relationship with your dad right now is a bit unpredictable. You tell him, "NO, DADA!" anytime I'm around or anytime he comes near me (especially when he comes home from work). This has put a damper on the um, amount of attention, um, I get. However, you two are best friends so long as I am not in the house. You will actually watch football with him all day long. That's something even I won't do. He's teaching you all the football terms, and you dutifully repeat them at the appropriate times (touchdown! first down! running! fall down! holding! unsportsman like conduct!). You may not know it now, but this skill will come in very handy one day. Boys think it's cool when girls know sports. How do you think I convinced your dad to marry me? I know all about YAC's.


I think it's cool that you know football and all the other great things you know now, and all the stuff you still have to learn. We're proud of you and love you "soooo muuucchh."

Loves,
Mama

Monday, October 16, 2006

Crazy Hair

This is what happens when Daddy is left alone and does hair....


After I finished laughing, he said, "What? What's wrong with that pony tail?"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Aunts are great!

There is something special about Aunts. I am not an aunt yet, so I'm really not sure what the magic is all about, I only know the magic exists. I think it has to do with love, presents, clothes, and silliness.

Maddie's "Aunt Ter-wa" (and Uncle Marcus) came for a quick visit last weekend. Terra will occiasionally call me for a "size check" while she's shopping. The conversation usually goes like this:

"Hi, what size is Maddie wearing right now?"

"She's true to size, so she is in her 18 months clothes, but is outgrowing them. She'll be in 24 month clothes by her birthday."

"Okay, I found this super cute ________ and tons of other stuff."

"Terra, you don't have to buy her anything!"

"What kind of Aunt sees something cute and doesn't get it?"

So for this trip, Terra arrives with a "mummy's girl" long sleeve black t-shirt, a multicolored long peasant skirt, striped stretch pants, a pumpkin for trick or treating, and stickers. None of these things were intended to go together, but Maddie insisted that they all be worn/carried together at the same time. She even fell in love with the BAG they came in. Magic, I tell ya, pure magic.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

For the love of shoes!

My girl has been sporting the same tired white sandals for the entire summer. She grew out of her fancy-how-much-did-you-pay-for-those? sandals by July.

How'd I know they didn't fit anymore? Oh, her toes hung over about half an inch. Like a hobo baby.

When we go shopping, we look for shoes. Every. Single. Time. The problem is that Maddie just won't let me put any on her feet. "NOOOOooooo! I do it!" She prefers to try on shoes that are twice the length of her foot. We spend a lot of time in the women's size six section. Coincidently, that's the size that I wear!

Several weeks ago at a playgroup, Maddie wasn't interested in the sand or the other kids, but she did find a pair of shoes that she wanted. The only problem was that they belonged to someone else! Maddie would steal the shoes, put them on, and run around the playground until I made her give them back to the sad, shoeless little girl to whom they belonged. Then we repeated this game three times.

They are Crocs and a little on the pricey side for plastic shoes. However, the kid's mom told me I could find the shoes (imitation Crocs) at Payless (cha-ching....my price range!), but they may not make them small enough for The Girl. Well, we went to Payless, and found the right size! Here she is with her new shoes:


Maddie cried and cried when I made her take them off yesterday. We don't wear shoes in the house, and that means Maddie too. BUT, they were new and clean, so I let her wear them for a little while.


Yes, they are plastic. That means that I can throw them in the dishwasher, if I were gross enough to do that. And yes, her feet sweat like a hot day in Texas when she wears them. She's got gross clammy feet like Zak. YUk.


When we came home from school today, she cried questioningly and whimpered, "Shoes? I wanna wear pink shoes?" all sad an pathetic like. Cry me a river. I want clean floors!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sing songs?

Maddie loves to sing songs, but you have to know them very well to be able to understand them. Sometimes she sings on command, and other times she'll ask if you want to hear one by saying, "sing songs?" This is not a request for YOU to sing to her, in fact, if you do she will say, "No, No, NO!" until you stop. She is asking if you want to hear HER sing songs. Here are my favorites:

1st song:
Issy Bissy Ider, up up up, WASH IT OUT, WASH IT OUT (sweep arms dramatically and yell that part). Came the SUN and ied up ain. WASH IT OUT!!

2nd song:
Go Go Go on boat, enty on STEAM, mary, mary, mary it's a EEEEAAMM.

3rd song:
I Happy, I stomp feet, CAP hands.

4th song:
Inkle, Inkly ittle ARR, I under where are. (Hands in air with fists opening and closing) UP UP UP in sky high, ike a mond in sky.

5th song: (and my personal favorite)
ABCDEFG, HIJK ElloMenoPeeeeee, Qu, RSTV, wouble you, XYZeee. I sung my ABC, ext time, will you sing wit me. YEA!!!

6th song:
BaaBaa Sheep hab ull? YES SIR YES SIR, THREE FULL! One fur naster, one fur her, one fur girl on lane.

7th song:
Up and down, up and down, ALL THREW THE TOWN! Swish, Swish, Swish ALL THREW THE TOWN! Mommy's say, Shhh, Shhh, Shh, ALL THREW TOWN!

8th song:
Rosy, pockets of posey, And we all fall DOWN (hurl self dramatically onto the floor)!

If you know all these songs, and can decipher what I've typed, you must be a parent of a toddler!

All songs are sung over and over with the right tune and tempo, and usually with appropriate hand gestures if there are any. I NEVER get tired of hearing Maddie sing, but I don't think she'll ever get past the first two episodes of American Idol. You know what happens with those first two episodes, and it’s not pretty. Pretty funny, but not pretty.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I want a pony!

Maddie's already asking for a "Pony," but thank God that she means Ponytails for her hair, not the real horse like kind that are expensive and require a ranch and giant pooper scoopers.

Maddie's new teacher, Ms. Tamika, puts Maddie's hair in ponytails or pigtails nearly every day. I think she is secretly disgusted that we bring Maddie to school looking like a ragamuffin with just a little hairbrushing (if she's lucky) and only put in barrettes if it's picture day. Her hair is still very short and mullet-y, and her bangs are getting long. I can't really figure out what to do with it. Apparently, Ms. Tamika knows all about ponytails. I can't believe that Maddie sits still enough to allow them to be put in. She doesn't even let me wipe her buggers away, let alone try to do anything with her hair!

Since Ms. Tamika gives her "ponies" everyday, Maddie always asks for them. "I want ponies. TWO of them. One. Two." Yesterday, Ms.Tamika was too busy to give her ponies and I was told she whined all day for them. Maddie continued to whine at home for her ponies and for the first time, allowed me to put them in.

When she accidentally (on purpose) pulls out the hairband, she says, "Uh-oh, I broke the ponies. You fix it."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A scorpion in the bed?!?!

My mom came to stay with us a few weeks ago and got into a fight with our pet scorpion. Well, we really don't have a pet scorpion, but apparently he lived with us and we didn't know it. This is one of those stories that isn't at all funny at the time, but it's now something I can laugh at and tell the Internet about. I'm not really sure how funny my mom thinks it is yet. Here goes...

At 3:30 in the morning, my mother bursts into our bedroom. "Mandi? Zak?" she's crying. We leapt out of bed like two teenagers caught doing something, even though we weren't (we're married, with a kid, we were sleeping for goodness sake, so stop asking)!

"Huh, what? Are you okay? Where's Maddie?" I instantly thought something happened to Maddie and she was coming to tell me the terrible news.

"I just got stung by a scorpion, and since I'm allergic to bees, I don't know how I am going to react." She's hyperventilating now. She's holding the back of her arm (tricep area), and is very panicked. She was afraid she would go into anaphylactic shock.

"WHAT? A scorpion? Are you sure? Huh? Did you see it?" My mother is prone to slight exaggeration and drama (hmmmm...I guess it's genetic) and I had a hard time believing there were scorpion (or any other scary bugs) in my new house. We don't live in a tool shed for goodness sake! We do, however, live on the edge of a "greenbelt" and there are woods for a few miles behind our home.

Just after it stung her, she felt the prick and, in the dark, brushed her pillow thinking it was just something on the pillow. She heard the noise of the scorpion hit a shopping bag across the room, and immediately got up to see what made the noise. She saw the scorpion inside the bag (2 points!) and immediately beat it senseless with the remote control. It was very small, the size of a silver dollar, but big enough to scare the hell out of her and I.

I fully expected that we were going to call 911 or go to the ER because of her bee allergy. I made her lay down, gave her Benadryl, and washed her arm with a cool towel and iced it. It was red (probably from the ice) and slightly swollen. By this time (10 minutes post sting) she was still breathing normally and not having any odd sensations.

I did what any Gen-Xer would do in a medical emergency, I grabbed my laptop and searched the Internet for medical advice. The Internet told me to call Poison Control, so I did because the Internet doesn't lie. The perfectly calm (and oddly alert for 3am) lady who answered told me what do to (all things I had already done, thankuverymuch) and said that scorpions in Texas are not deadly, and going to the ER was not necessary unless we wanted peace of mind and or wanted to spend the night in the lobby of the hospital. No thanks. We're good.

Zak did a thorough Scorpion Check of her room, and blankets before she would go back to bed. I didn't think she'd be able to sleep in the room anymore, but thank God that Benadryl knocked her out otherwise she (and by that I mean WE) would have never gone back to sleep.

She slept until like 10 am the next day...so late that I went in at one point to make sure she was still breathing! After telling Maddie what happened and we needed her to help us with "Scorpion Patrol" she went around saying, "squish the bugs" and stomped her feet on the imaginary scorpions.

My mom ended up taking the scorpion back home in a ziploc baggie for my little cousin, Brandon, who wanted it for show and tell. She also got on the phone and told everyone, in her very dramatic, but charming way, "You wouldn't believe what happened to me.....(da da da dum)....I got stung by a scorpion....YES! A scorpion, can you believe it. Where? IN BED, IN TEXAS!"

...in my daughter's shack of a house.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why Red Raider football damages my husband

Did you see today's Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M game today? Well, neither did I, except the last few minutes when the Red Raiders converted on fourth down and then went long for the winning touchdown with just 26 seconds remaining to win the game. Go Tech!

Zak watched every second of it.

Coach Mike Leach and his retarded offensive play calling (who calls a run when you're a PASSING OFFENSE and you're 3rd and 25?) will be completely responsible for Zak's first heart attack. I also hold him personally liable when Zak needs to be hospitalized for dehydration because he sweated so much out of his armpits that everything near him is totally soaked and he needs IV fluids to replenish his pitty body.

Yeah, it's true, gross, I know. I thought about including a photo of his disgusting t-shirt, but didn't want to subject the Internet to that.

I will hold Zak's father responsible for his faulty DNA that contributes to his nervous leg shake that nearly shakes Maddie and I off the couch for the length of the pre-game show and game. I mean, who could possibly be that anxious over a football game (besides for every other Red Raider fan who suffers heartbreakers nearly every "winning" season).

Zak ran around the house like a monkey after we won, and Maddie dutifully followed by screaming "TOUCHDOWN" and "GO TECH" and jumping around on the couch laughing at her crazy dad. Throughout the game she provided her own entertaining running commentary like, "I watch football" and "he falled down" and "running, running, running" and a sad little "I take a time out too?"

The good news is that we're 4-1 and will stay in the Top 25. The bad news is we have a long season ahead of us and there is no end in sight.

Don't you just love the fall? Watch us play Mizzou next Saturday!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A conversation

Today on the way home from preschool, Maddie and I had this conversation:

"What did you do at school today?"

"I played."

"With who?"

"Carlos!"

"Carlos? Who's that? Is he your boooyyyyfriend?"

"Yeeesss...."

"WHAT? He's your boyfriend?"

"Yes. I hold you."

"You let Carlos hold you?!" (nearly swerving off the road)

"Yes." (With a huge grin on her face)

"Did you let Carlos give you kisses and hugs?"

"Yes!" (laughing)

(Ohmigod, she's not even two years old!)

"Caaarrrloooos!"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

21 (and a half) months

Dear Maddie,
You turned 21 months old last week, and puked for the very first time. How fun for you! You just kinda looked like it like, "what the hell was that?"



This was another month of big changes for you, and we promise there won't be any more for at least five more months...when your sister is born (more on her later). You started a new preschool and we're not so sure if you like it or not. There are a lot of kids in your class, and they are all the same age as you are. I think this just annoys you. It annoys you because you're just like your mama, smarter than everyone else...or at least we think we are. All the other kids are still in the baby phase, and you've moved on to your "big girl" phase. You say, "I a big girl!" just to remind us if we forget. The other kids don't talk, don't have nice manners, can't sing their ABC's or count to 10, don't play with you, and still poop in their pants. Well, actually, you do too, but at least you let us know about it. Your teachers tell us that you are a mini teacher, telling the kids what to do, and repeating the directions they give. Just so you know, this won't win you any friends, but will assure good grades.


The big news this month is that we told you that you were going to have a SISTER. I think you already knew this because when we asked you if you wanted a brother or sister you would ALWAYS say you wanted a sister. Like, "Duh, mom, of course it's a girl." You lift up my shirt and kiss my belly everyday, you also say "ah, baby" and pat my belly. You've also noticed my (much) bigger BeeBoos, and like to poke them and rest your head on them. Regardless, we think you're going to be a great big sister.

Hmmm...what else did you do this month?

You got a new pair of shoes! They are PLASTIC and you love them like they were covered in diamonds.


You mastered (kinda) the use of a spoon and spork. You're better with wet-ish items, like yogurt. You make a MESS when you eat these days.



Your Nana (or Nina as you called her) came for a visit, and you showed her the San Antonio River Walk. You were pretty sassy to her, so you should tell her you're sorry one day. Only one of us is allowed to be sassy to her, and I had that one wrapped up many years ago. This is the face only I am allowed to make:


You ate 10 lbs of raisins, or "rains" as you say, this month. We think you think they are candy and that you're getting away with something. Guess what? They are just dried grapes, and you poop them out like nobody's business.



You also like to speed eat corn on the cob. We give you a piece, look down, then back up to see your greasy happy face and a sucked dry cob.


You told your dad, "Happy Day" on the 19th. Happy Birthday is what I was tring to get you to say, but you're sweet for trying.

We love you!
loves,
Mama