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


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!


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.


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."


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.