Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not Yet

We don't seem to have quite turned the corner on the ear infection, although Sophie's fever dropped down under 100 this afternoon, for the first time in four days. She's still pretty miserable, which breaks my heart. She's been sleeping in our bed with me the last couple of nights while Neil slept in the guest room, since he had to work. Tonight, he's on duty and I get to sleep!

I'm hearing that the third day is the charm, so I hope that after we give her antibiotics tonight we'll start to see some more significant improvement.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monkey Bean Update

Just a quick update. Yesterday, Sophie's temperature spiked up to 103, so I took her to the doctor. Turns out it's an ear infection. We got some antibiotics and we're now, hopefully, on the road to recovery. So far, I haven't seen any real improvement. Her temperature is still hovering around 101/102, she is super fussy and won't eat.

I was up with her most of last night, while she periodically slept in my arms. At about 4:30am, I took her into the guest room and attempted to lay down and sleep, since I couldn't fall asleep sitting up, but as many of you know, sleeping with a toddler is difficult. Sleeping with a sick toddler is almost impossible. So, I think I got about 3 hours of sleep. Strangely, I am not delirious from lack of sleep. For those of you keeping count, we're at about 7 hours in the last two days. Is it some kind of mom endorphin that keeps me going?

Neil's going to be home early this afternoon to relieve me. Maybe I can sneak in a couple hours of sleep.

PS - She has a 2 year molar coming in, too. When it rains, it monsoons.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Land of Monkey Just Doesn't Have The Same Ring

The epizooties* have struck our house again. Not me or Neil this time, but our poor little Bean. She has been running a low grade fever and had a drippy nose for the last day and a half or so. As a consequence, she was a real pill yesterday. She wanted to be held. All. Day. I couldn't sit down, because she would start crying. And believe you, me, there was A LOT of crying. She wouldn't lay down, with or without me. So I spent the lion's share of the day walking around with her on my hip. She wraps her legs and arms around me so tight. It would be cute, if it weren't so frustrating.

Baboons Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm considering changing her nickname to Monkey. Between the climbing ...everything, and the clinging to me, it is more appropriate these days than Bean.

Anyhoo, we were up four times last night, so I got a total of about three hours of sleep. Please forgive if this is not my most coherent of posts. One saving grace. Last night was my monthly girl's night dinner and while I contemplated bailing to care for my sick child, by the end of the day, there was nothing I needed more than a couple of hours with NO BABY. I think that is the only thing that is saving me right now from going completely boinkity bonkers.

Keep your fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed that she takes a decent nap.

*An undefined illness characterized by it's capacity to ruin the day of everyone in the house.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Whys*


Are grocery store receipts so dang long?

Does my daughter not want to sleep later?

Does my daughter think that every vertical surface, including the big screen TV, is a canvas for crayon artwork?

Don't toddler pants have knee/shin pads?

Do I let myself get so irritated by all of the political crap that's going on now? Actually, I'm beyond irritated.

Do I have such a hard time visualizing decorating my house? I feel like my house looks like I'm right out of college. All mis-matchy.

Don't my clothes fit better since I lost 10 pounds?

Do I sometimes get irritated rather than concerned when my daughter cries?

Do I not have more motivation lately to do...anything?

Can't I come up with a real blog post today?

*Is the plural whies?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Note To Self

Application of self-tanner is really more art than science. These sorts of things should probably either be left to the professionals. Or avoided. Unless you don't mind looking like a zebra.*

*It actually looks much worse than this in natural light. Hard to believe, I know, but in real light the stripes are MUCH more pronounced. I would show you a picture, but since I'm not leaving the house in anything less than full length trousers until this fades, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Smile This Big

The biggest blue sky
Two chains and molded plastic
Pure sunshine and joy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tickling The Ivories

We have an old, to be generous we'll call it antique, piano that a former coworker of mine gave us. It is in desperate need of a some love. It has several keys that have lost their ivory, is probably quite out of tune (not that I would know) and has at least one dead key. Neil has been pushing to get rid of it pretty much since the day it came in to our lives. I never learned an instrument and it is one of my great regrets so my thought was that it would be perfect for our kid(s) to learn how to play the piano. However that is at least a few years off.

For now, it just sits, gathering dust, in our living room.

After having walked past, under and into it for the last umpteen months, Sophie took notice of it for the first time yesterday. Since I would probably pee myself if one of the cats jumped up on the keys in the middle of the night, we usually keep the cover over them but she discovered that she could lift up the cover and stick her little hand in and make NOISE. Seeing an opportunity to keep my sweet pea occupied for a little bit, I took off the cover and let my little musician go to town. Now she can't get enough of it.

Neil had broken me down and I was just about ready to ship it off to wherever old pianos go to die, but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll call up a piano tuner. See if we can breath some life back into this old beast.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sometimes I Feel Like A Hypocrite

Sophie has not been a good shopping companion lately. So much so, that I have just about decided that I'll have to do my shopping on weekends and evenings when Neil can watch her. Which is crazy, but I just can't deal with her shenanigans. The screaming, crying and wriggling out of her stroller or the cart are just too much. I had a few things that I really wanted to get today, though, and emboldened by a successful nap, I figured we would give it a try. As usual, her behavior was the opposite of my expectations. She keeps me on my toes, that one. She was chatty and cute and didn't fight me at all getting in or out of her stroller.

So to reward her, and because it was an absolutely gorgy day, I took her to the park. I wasn't the only one with the idea, there were a ton of people there. As usual, Sophie made a beeline for the swings. My girl can not get enough of them. We HAVE to get something for our house. Anyhoodle, there was a twenty-something guy pushing his daughter on the other baby bucket swing. After a few minutes, he pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

Now, I'm a former smoker, and I feel pretty strongly about smokers' rights. They've been pushed out of just about everywhere. Of course, I recognize the health hazards, but what people do to their own bodies is their business in my book. I felt weird about this though. Yes, we were outdoors and the dangers of second hand smoke in this setting were probably less than the fumes from the exhaust of the vehicles on the road right next to the playground, but it felt wrong. I didn't say anything and I didn't run off, clutching my daughter to my bosom, because I don't want to be that person. I did keep an eye on him though, and if he had thrown that cigarette down on the ground, I would have given him a piece of my mind. (He didn't.) I felt like a hypocrite feeling so weird about it when for so many years that was probably me.

What would you have done?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Mornings - Updated

We had a breakthrough today. For the first time, Sophie woke up from her nap and instead of screaming and pounding on her door until someone came to rescue her, she did one "hey I'm up" pound and then quietly played with her toys. How awesome is that?

There are plenty of toys, books and other distractions for her in her room, so no shortage of things to keep her occupied. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this carries over into the mornings, mmkay. Because this mommy isn't loving getting up at 4:45am. Not loving it at all.

Update: We were awakened at the stroke of 4:50 by our child's wails. Not at her door, however. (GOOD) We laid in bed for a minute hoping she would go back to sleep, but no. (BAD) Neil says, we better go in there, it worries me that she's not at the door. How crazy is that? We long for her to stop banging on the mothertruckin' door and when she does, we worry something is wrong. Of course, she was fine. However, despite a little drinkypoo and some cuddling, she would not go back to sleep.

I made the decision to bring her into our bed. (Will I regret this one day?) On many other occasions, we have tried to lay down with her, but she would never settle down. I wasn't optimistic that today would be any different. It was. She curled up next to me and fell right asleep. Of course, it was the fitful, restless sleep of a toddler, so while she probably got the best sleep of her life, I was awakened every 10 minutes by a shifting, rolling, kicking 19 month old. The upside is that I did get another hour of sleep. Was it good sleep? Oh hecks no. But I'll take whatever I can get.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Boldly Going

It probably won't come as a surprise to most of you that I'm a Sci-fi junkie. I love the stuff. I am especially partial to movies/books/tv shows that are set in the future, but supernatural and spacey stuff also ranks pretty high on my list. I think my love affair began in 1977, or thereabouts, when I first saw Star Wars. I was a wee three years old and probably didn't understand much of the story, but I loved the spaceships and, of course, my very first boyfriend, Luke Skywalker.

luke skywalker Pictures, Images and Photos

I must confess, though, that although I will always love Luke, my affection has strayed. And strayed. And strayed. Let's face it, I'm a Sci-fi hottie addict. In the past thirty odd years, I have added a few* names to my roster of Sci-fi boy toys. I would now like to introduce you to the newest addition:

Chris Pine Pictures, Images and Photos

Helloooo, Chris Pine.

I am a long time Star Trek fan. One of my all time favorite movies is The Wrath of Khaaaaaan!

Khan's Revenge Pictures, Images and Photos

I saw that in 1983, while on a transatlantic flight to Germany. I have seen it a gajillion times since then. Check out Ricardo Montalban's buffness! Dude was like 70. Seriously, the ear crawly things still totally give me the heebie jeebies. I've watched most of the series and all of the Star Trek movies, so it's no surprise that I would be excited for the new movie to come out. And major bonus, the movie was directed by JJ Abrams, one of the geniuses behind LOST. (Not judging, but I'm not Trekkie enough to go to the conventions dressed as my favorite character, nor do I speak Klingon, well, except for a few words, KERPLA!)

I was not let down. For two hours, I was sucked into the world of James Tiberius Kirk and the fearless crew of the USS Enterprise. I even liked Zachary Quinto as Spock, and I was absolutely ready to hate him in the role. Rare for me, I didn't look at my watch even once during the movie. Also, for the first time in a long time, I actually want to go see the movie, in the theater, AGAIN. I haven't seen a movie in the theater more than once since I was like 14. There were laughs. There were tears. The special effects were awesome. The villain was deliciously evil. Major WIN.

Have I sold you yet? Go see it.

star trek 3 Pictures, Images and Photos

*Nathan Fillion, Harrison Ford, Richard Dean Anderson (McGuyver AND Stargate SG1), Ben Browder, Christopher Reeve, Ethan Hawke (Explorers), Jamie Bamber, Joe Flanigan, Karl Urban, John Barrowman and and and...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

I have all kinds of things to write about, but I just don't have the time to put together a coherent post right now. I've got a kid who is as high maintenance as they come. Or so say the ladies at the gym daycare. I've seen the other kids that go in there, and trust me when I say, this is no small accomplishment. There are some whiny, needy kids in there. So, since my daughter is requiring constant vigilance, we'll just have to settle for some random thoughts...

I am a much happier person when I get a decent night's sleep. I'm not even asking for eight hours. I just need more than four. How do I explain this to my daughter?

The fact that Sophie can now scale just about any item of furniture and the baby gates is very frustrating.

Sophie drank the remnants of Tide in the measuring cup yesterday after letting herself into the laundry room. I didn't think she could open doors yet. Crap.

I can't decide if I want to grow my hair out a little or keep it short. I like it short, but I get hair envy whenever I see someone with a cute longer haircut.

Last night's season finale of LOST was all kinds of awesome. I hate that we now have to wait EIGHT MONTHS for the show to come back.

I just finished the Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Loved it.

I made Chicken Paprikash for dinner tonight, recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, and I said "waiter, there's too much pepper in my paprikash" about a thousand times.

I have a bit of a crush on Nathan Fillion. I loved him in Firefly. Loved. Him. I hope they don't cancel Castle.

I bought an exercise skirt to wear to the gym. I'll probably never actually wear it. What was I thinking?

Our cat, Gomez, purrs so loudly, I can hear him from across the room. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bedtime Dance

The Escape

The Booty Shake

The Chase


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nightime Ruminations

Since we converted her crib to a toddler bed last week, Sophie requires we accompany her a little longer on her journey to sleep each night. I shouldn't grumble, someday I will look back on what will likely be a short period of time with fondness, but some nights it's as much as an hour and frustration, thy name is Cara. After a couple of nights, I discovered that turning on her Rainforest Waterfall Soother helps in the process. She lays in her crib and I lay on the floor next to her and we watch it. It is mesmerizing. It makes tinkly music and rainforest sounds and has very pleasant lighting. It just about puts me to sleep.

While I was laying there, I thought that it was a little like watching TV in bed. You know, minus all of the comforts of a bed, I was on the floor, after all. Which got me to wondering if they make TVs for cribs. Sure, there's the whole "is TV good for babies and toddlers" business, but most parents follow their own instincts on that anyway. Meanwhile, when has what is "good" or "right" had anything to do with what manufacturers will produce and retailers will sell?

Is it wrong that I would seriously contemplate getting one if it meant that I could get that extra hour of sleep in the morning?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Because I know you've all been on the edge of your seat wondering how we are...

Neil and I finally dragged our sick butts to the doctor yesterday. The good news is that we're not dying. Yet. Doc gave us prescriptions for antibiotics and nasal sprays to help with the congestion. I am pretty sensitive about my schnoz. It's a rare day that I am okay with sticking something up there, but after the last so many days of misery, I was happy to shove that plastic tube up there and squirt-squirt. Sweet mercy, just a few minutes later I was rewarded with my first clear breaths in days.

Today, we're both feeling a little better. Still not 100%, but any improvement is cause for celebration. I think we've crested the hill and it's just coasting from here on out.

So that's my update, meager and boring though it is. Happy Mother's Day to all of my mommy peeps out there! I hope the day brings you all of the joys you deserve!

*Another picture of me. That's twice in one week. Alert the media. Please feel free NOT to tell me how bad I look in this one. I wouldn't normally post a photo that I don't look fabu in, but I thought this one was interesting. Also, you can just see the Poison Ivy on my right arm. Because it wouldn't be enough that I just had the flu. Oh no, I had to get Poison Ivy for the first time in my life at the same time.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still? Still.

This sickness still has its grimy paws on the parental units in the Land of Bean. Neil and I actually slept in the same bed last night for the first time in three days. Of course, I use the term sleep loosely because most of the night was spent blowing noses and coughing, with some tossing and turning thrown in for good measure and then we were awakened by the babe banging on her door at the unholy hour of 4:45am.

Backing up to explain why Sophie was BANGING on her door. We had a major upheaval around here yesterday. Sophie finally decided that she would be contained by a mere crib no longer. After escaping four times yesterday, despite all efforts to prevent it, we decided it was time to convert her crib to a toddler bed. So at 8:30 last night, an hour and a half after her bedtime, Neil worked to safetyize her room while I did the bed conversion. Mostly because that task allowed me to stay sitting down most of the time.

Luckily, Sophie adjusted to her bed pretty easily. And by easily, I mean I had to crawl into that little bed with her, no mean feat for this, ahem, curvy gal, and then cuddle her until she fell asleep. Then, of course, I'm stuck with trying to figure out how to get out without waking her up. Fortunately, my steel trap of a brain recalled the old Hug and Roll. Fifteen minutes later, as I watched her on the monitor, she literally slithered out of her bed onto the floor where she slept for a couple of hours, until I couldn't look at it anymore and I went in and ever so gently moved her back into her bed.

She made it through the night fine, but when she woke up at 4:45, unconstrained by a crib, she got right up and began banging on her door. This is a rather unpleasant way to be awakened, especially when you're sick, but when does my girl do anything halfway? Never, that's when.

So now our baby is in her sortof big girl bed. Seriously, it's killing me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sickness Comes On Horseback But Departs On Foot - Dutch Proverb

Still sick. The baby, or as we're now calling her, Typhoid Mary, is cranked up on "my parents don't even want to move, let alone play" so she's bouncing around like I gave her speed. Her only lingering symptom is a constantly running nose. Neil and I aren't faring so well. Mercifully, Neil's parents came over yesterday afternoon to distract the Bean for a while so we could get some much needed rest. They are, without a doubt, some of the nicest people around. I am lucky to have them in my life.

One of my more unfortunate symptoms, in addition to the aches, chills, weakness, sore (huge understatement) throat and stuffy nose is hypersensitivity. Sounds, lights and temperatures are particularly painful. Since I'm drinking tons of water to stay hydrated, I have been visiting the commode quite frequently. Every time I plant my sensitive cheeks on that seat, it is like sitting on a thousand needles. Because of this, I have decided that it is time to invest in a heated toilet seat for all three of our bathrooms.

What? I don't think I'm overreacting at all.

PS - Sorry I haven't been around to visit all of you in the last couple of days. Unbelievably, I just don't have the strength or concentration for much computer schtuff. Hopefully I'll be back up and running soon. I miss you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Own Personal Hell

A sickness has taken over my house.
First it was the babe.
A veritable onslaught of snot.
Then it was the husband.
Same symptom, bigger weapon.
And now I'm starting to feel off.
Guess who still has to take care of everyone, though?

Pray for me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sometimes Wishes Do Come True

Saturday night, Neil and I met a couple of friends at a local restaurant for a night of beer, crabs and laughs. Lots of laughs. For those of you not familiar with Blue Crabs, they are a delicacy that is native to Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. When alive, the crabs are true to their name and are quite blue, but when cooked they turn a lovely orange/red color. Around here, we steam them (the only way to do it) and load them up with tons of salty Old Bay Seasoning. So much seasoning, in fact, that your hands (and shirt and pants and surrounding floor) are coated in the vibrantly orange stuff. It is not an overstatement to say that by the end of the night, you feel like you will never be able to get it all off of you.

I had never even heard of this style of crab before I moved to Maryland, and it took me years to develop the taste, but now I love them. Back home in Kansas, if you say crabs, you mean Alaskan King Crab Legs, of the Deadliest Catch variety. I still love those and the amount of meat you get out of them versus the Blue Crab, which is a lot of work for a very little meat*, is awfully appealing, but a night out eating blue crabs is an Experience.

It took the four of us three hours to pick our way through two and a half dozen crabs, but I wouldn't have traded a minute of that because during that time we traded stories, told jokes and caught up on each others lives. It's about more than just the food.

Sometimes easy isn't best.

* An experienced picker produces less than one ounce of meat from the average crab.

** A rare photograph of me to be posted here. I swear I don't keep them out due to some sense of modesty or desire for anonymity as much as that I am generally the one holding the camera so there just aren't many pictures of me. I actually put on make-up for this little outing. Don't hold back, you can tell me how pretty I look. No really, you can tell me. It's okay, don't be shy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update: The Power Of Music

Remember my friend's video of the couple playing the piano?? When I posted it just a week ago, it had had about 50,000 views on YouTube. Now it's over 190,000 and it's about to go worldwide. I don't want to say it's all because of me, but I think we all see the connection. They'll be playing it on Good Morning America at 7:45am EST tomorrow (Monday) morning. How awesome is that!! Tune in if you can!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Top Ten: Anywhere But Here

I've been feeling pretty frustrated lately. Sophie is so inquisitive, which I guess is good, but she is also EXTREMELY willful, which is not so good. She is into everything and simply will not accept no for an answer. Maybe someday that will do her good, but for now it is driving me crazy. Some days I just wish I could teleport myself away. Away from the crying and screaming. Away from the "Stop! Don't! Get down! Please eat! Don't eat that! Another poopie diaper?! Arghhhh!"

Ten things I wish I was doing right now, if time, money, distance and my 30-something metabolism were no issue:

1. Sipping a cup of tea in a sidewalk cafe on the Champs Elysee while I admire the gorgeous fashions of zee French ladies.

2. Sunbathing on a white sand beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico while charming little Mexican men bring me salty, limey margaritas.

3. Laying in bed. All day. Anywhere that has no kids. And no cats. Just me and a stack of books.

4. Looking out over Loch Ness from the battlements of a medieval castle, fancying I see a head poking up through the waves.

5. Eating beignets in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Listening to all the fun accents and wishing I could live in one of the beautiful wrought-iron adorned homes.

6. Driving on the back roads of Kansas. Nothing but wheat and cornfields in any direction.

7. Enjoying a full day of pampering at the spa in the hotel we stayed at for our wedding/honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas.

8. Drinking copious quantities of ale from gigundus steins in a beerhaus in Munich.

9. On an unlimited shopping spree in New York City with my best friend to tell me what not to buy and a personal driver so we don't have to toddle around on our mile high Louboutins. (How freaking fabulous are those shoes!!)

10. At an all you can eat crab leg buffet, melted butter up to my elbows and a never empty ice-cold Dr. Pepper at my fingertips.

Where would you go? What would you do?

Have a great weekend!