Monday, January 31, 2011

Clean Up Your Act

For most people this wouldn't be newsworthy, but for me it is :-)

For most of my adult life, I have been a very (very... very) messy person. At times, I have even lived in places that were not only untidy, but were dirty... because I never, ever, hardly ever cleaned. In recent history, I have managed to upgrade that to moderately messy, but clean... because we hired a bi-weekly housekeeper. The challenge for me has been the shift in thinking from 'set this down and walk off - maybe it will put itself away' to 'put it where it belongs'. I understand that most folks make this shift in their twenties when they get a career or start having babies and put down roots. I guess we just never did that. I spent my twenties in unsatisfying retail and restaurant jobs while pretending to go to college or supporting my husband through law school. We moved a lot and always rented. We never found a place that was home or that we cared enough about to take care of.

A couple of years ago, our marriage almost ended. When we decided to try to save our family, we decided that putting down roots was going to be a big part of that. After successfully avoiding home ownership and parenthood for over 13 years, we bought a house and had a baby within 13 months. Oddly enough, this didn't magically turn me into a domestic goddess. The mess just followed us like the cloud around Pigpen.

As my Mama has been hinting, suggesting and outright telling me for a very long time now, it makes a big difference in your mental state when you are surrounded by mess versus tidy. I just never made it priority... until this tiny person showed up. Not only do I want to show her how to grow up healthy, she runs her fingers, toes, lips and tongue over everything she can reach. Messes are no longer just unsightly, they have the potential to be disgusting and/or dangerous. It's way past time for a change.

So, as part of my recent effort to recommit myself to my job as stay-at-home mama, I have committed myself to keeping our home looking like a place that we want to be. Toward that end, I spent all of last week (with the exception of a sorry bit of time on Sunday) in a tidy home. We could have had drop-in guests at any time, and I would not have been embarrassed :-) It feels so nice to live in a place that looks this good.

Wait, am I turning into an adult? Will I start marking pages in the Pottery Barn catalogue or stalking the IKEA website for sales? Will we finally put some effort into finishing the house? Only time will tell, my friends. Only time will tell.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are You Making Fun of Me?

I'll tell ya, folks - there is nothing like having a tiny mimic with a brain like a sponge in your house to point out some of your more glaringly obvious conversational flaws.

My darling dear has gone from using 'yeah' (apparently my go-to word) to very deliberately saying 'yesh'. She has also abandoned the baby-ish 'CeeCee' and has started referring to her baby doll by her given name which is 'Lucy'. Oh, and she has started calling me 'Mahm' instead of Mama or Mommy, and I would swear that she has also been calling me Rachel behind my back.

Now that she's experimenting with words that make her sound like a big girl instead of a baby, I sound very silly talking to her. She even told me 'No Baby' the other day meaning that she's not a baby anymore.

She's too much. Honestly.

Oh, I know that I've mentioned that Lily Ruth uses some signs, but I'm not sure if I've ever told you about how she has acquired most of them. I took ASL (American Sign Language) in college, but I feel like I've forgotten more than I ever learned. To make up the difference, we've been watching the Signing Time video series. It is wonderful. Lily Ruth has shifted her allegiance from 'Elmo Dinosaur' to 'Time' and even brings me the dvd cover demanding loudly to watch the videos and signing 'time'. Here she is watching the opening theme song. First, she says 'laughing', then she signs 'Alex' and 'Leah'. It's possibly the cutest thing you'll see all day...

Just when I thought she couldn't possibly be any more awesome in one day, she wandered into the kitchen while I was making her lunch for Parent's Day Out and swiped my dishtowel. She then ran into the living room, declared 'FLY' and started doing laps with the dishtowel held like a cape. How did she learn that? Her brain is a miracle and a mystery. Check her out...

Too funny.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My House Smells Guuuuuuuuud

Today's Recipe: 40 Garlic Crockpot Chicken

Ya'll know how I love my crockpot, right? Well, yesterday I filled it to the brim and cooked up some 'Aweshum' :-)

As you may or may not know, I love garlic even more than I love my crockpot. That is why 40 Garlic Chicken is one of my favorite things ever. My mama and I used to make it all of the time. I haven't made it in a while because I don't enjoy dealing with whole chickens. Out of the blue, Mama decided to not only make 40 Garlic Chicken for our family Christmas gathering, but to make it in a crockpot. That's when I found out that many, many other people have done this before. There are multitudes of recipes on the interwebs for 40 Garlic Crockpot Chicken, but this one is MINE :-)

If you are not currently in love with a crockpot of your very own, you may not know this but crockpot recipes are even more forgiving than soup recipes. You can basically throw things in at random, and dinner will still be tasty! So go crazy, make stuff up and eat, eat, eat :-)

40 Garlic Crockpot Chicken

olive oil
1 bag carrots - unpeeled and vaguely chopped
1 large yellow onion - sliced
4-6 Lbs chicken - whole or parts (I used thighs and drumsticks)
2-3 heads garlic - remove outer paper & separate cloves (no need to peel each clove)
Rosemary, Thyme, Sage (and Parsley if you like it - I don't)
1 cup white wine or chicken broth (I used wine)

Pour a small slick of olive oil into the crockpot (approx 1 Tbsp). Throw in the carrots and onion. Lay in the chicken - I removed most of the skin, but was not really careful. Tuck the garlic cloves in around the edges and between the pieces (or in the cavity if you're using a whole chicken). Scatter any stragglers over the top. Season generously - salt sparingly. You can use fresh or dried herbs. I used approx 1 Tbsp each of dried spices. Pour wine or broth over the top. Cook on 'high' for 3-4 hours or 'low' for longer. I turned the top pieces about 1 1/2 hours into cooking so that more of the spices were incorporated into the 'broth'. That's it! Easy, peasy! The meat fell off of the bones as we took it out of the cooker.

I served the chicken in one giant bowl, the garlic in another bowl, and the onions and carrots in a third bowl. If the meat hadn't fallen apart, I might have served it all together, but I was a bit concerned that we would end up eating a homogenous mush, so I kept it all separate. I strongly advise serving a large loaf of fresh bread with this meal because you are going to want to squeeze the garlic cloves out of their papery skins and onto the bread for immediate consumption :-)

Slow it Down

Lily Ruth and I have been butting heads several times each day for a while now. It's all just regular toddler stuff (don't want to get dressed, don't want to be strapped into my car seat, don't want to have my diaper changed, etc.), but it has meant that occasionally our relationship feels a bit strained. Add in the fact that we spend almost every waking hour together, and we seem to have whipped up a batch of 'You Get On My Nerves', and we both ate a huge portion.

In the midst of this, I have allowed myself to fall into one of my favorite patterns. I like to call it 'I'm All Wound Up and Everything Makes Me Angry - No, I Will Not Calm Down'. It's something that I have done for as long as I can remember. The fact that is has never, never, not even once yielded a positive result doesn't seem to stop me. In short, I'm a big ball of tense, cranky guilt. Sounds like fun, no?

I think (I hope) that the antidote is just to take a giant step back. I need to refocus myself and my attention. Let go of the cranky and the guilt and take a look at what's in front of me. My daughter is not trying to irritate me by refusing to have her picture taken or freaking out about her car seat. She's testing boundaries and voicing opinions. She's trying her darndest to become her own little person - exactly what she should be doing. She doesn't understand my desire to catalogue her growth or my responsibility to keep her safe. Those are my things - not hers. She's a good kid.

I'm doing my best to give her more 'power' during our day. Any time that I can, I give her a choice. I try to listen to and respect her 'NO' as often as possible. I'm making more of an effort to get down on her level to play or read books several times a day. I'm trying to do one unexpected (small) activity a day instead of slipping into our comfortable rut.

I've only been doing this for a few days, but it seems to be helping... me... and Lily Ruth too... and our relationship :-)

I'll let you know how it goes...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I Can't Work on Sundays

I have been carrying around a giant load of guilt about not being a working-outside-the-home mother. Lately, that guilt has grown so large that I've allowed it to overshadow some of my joy. I've been short-tempered and even less patient than usual. I've devoted way too much energy and time to thinking about ways I could try to convince my employer to bend their rules and schedules to fit my needs (they can't, so the effort is wasted). I've looked into job openings that would underpay, underuse and under-stimulate me that still wouldn't fit my needs. I've been a woman obsessed.

I finally just sat down and talked to my husband. Why it took me so long to do so is a mystery. The man is my partner, my best friend and my touchstone. As it turns out, he isn't mad that I'm not back at work. Not only is he glad that we've been able to afford for me to stay home, but he's proud of me for being able to switch gears from working girl to mama. We worked on it together. We're taking another hard look at our monthly expenses, and making more cuts. We're finally getting rid of the expensive car that can't even hold Lily's car seat. I'm going to take over payment of the bills so that I have a better understanding of available funds (apparently the ostrich head-in-the-sand approach is counter-productive - who knew?).

I feel a lot better. The guilt retreats to it's cave. The stone is lifting from my chest. I didn't even have to use the speech that I had prepared in my head that rambled on and on and on about 'Why I Cannot Work Evenings, Weekends and Holidays Any More'. That bit is evident in the way that our days spent together as a family play out...

First, dinosaurs try to drink my coffee:

Then, Lily Ruth needs help figuring out how bubbles are blown - do I use my mouth or my nose?

Then the dog infiltrates the playhouse as Lily Ruth chooses 'nose' yet again:

Then Bing asks if he can borrow the laptop - he has some surfing to do:

How could I miss all of this? Who would keep the dinosaurs out of the coffee, the bubble wands out of the noses, the dogs out of the play houses, and the cats off the internet if I was at work? Daddy only has two hands, and he was using both of them to fry up bacon! See, I have to stay home. It's my job. And I'm good at it ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shoes, Beds and General Mayhem

This has (yet again) been quite a week... and it's only Wednesday!

There was a time during last Summer and Fall that I was satisfied with how often we got out of the house, how active we were, and what Lily Ruth and I accomplished each day. I don't know what has changed since then, but these days I feel like we barely leave the house and we're still just wiped out! I'm having trouble staying on top of the mess in the house, and no matter how often I'm up to my elbows in suds, the dishes remain undone. Ugh.

Enough of that. On to the good stuff!


Miss Lily Ruth got her first pair of Big Girl shoes this week! I had resisted putting her in shoes with a rigid sole until now for several reasons, but it had been cold and rainy here for several days, and she couldn't even walk to the car on her own because her shoes were just thin leather soles. The one time I tried, she had cold, wet feet before we even got to the car - so I caved and we went to Rack Room Shoes for this:

Granted, the shoe in the video is too big. According to the on-line toddler shoe sizing charts, she should be a six, but you can see how ridiculous that is. So we got those for later, and these for now:

How cute is THAT?! I even took a Magic Eraser to my Chucks so that they're clean(er) and look more like hers.

Now we just need to get Daddy a pair!


It's been just over a week since we decided to cut out the co-sleeping and the night nursing. We never intended to bed share at all. In fact, that was one of my 'I Will Never' declarations about parenting. But then I gave birth to a little girl with opinions of her own, and through a series of events that I couldn't even keep track of at the time, she ended up in our bed. It took us about 6 months to get her back into her own bed for half of the night. At first, I didn't mind having her with us because I love her tiny self so much, but recently she has become a flat-out obnoxious bed mate. She wakes up angry every half hour to forty-five minutes and either immediately screeches or demands nursing then screeches if told no. There was also kicking, hitting and headbutting. We finally decided that we had had enough interrupted sleep. On the advice of our pediatrician, we just stopped going in to pick her up in the night.

The first few nights were hard (and loud), but also pretty funny. After the screaming and the alternating 'Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy' came 'agua? agua? agua? yeah.' Which was when I realized that having the heater blasting was a mixed blessing. I took her a sippy cup, kissed her and left the room. That led to 'mama, mama, mama, *gulp, gulp, gulp*, ahhhhhh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, *gulp, gulp, gulp*, ahhhhhh'... Ya'll, you could literally hear her power-slam her water like a marathon runner. It was hilarious.

Just like the doctor said it would, it has gotten better every night. She still wakes up around 2 or 3 and is fairly adamant about wanting out, but we've held firm. I will not go in and get her before 5 am. If it's 5 or later, she can come in and nurse until time to get up.

To try and make the transition easier and more fun, I made her a few pillow cases so that her bed feels more like a place that she wants to be. I think it has helped... at the very least, it made me feel better :-)

As you can see, she's got a pretty sweet little set-up with her 'Ish', her stuffed animals, her baby CeeCee, her pillow and her fuzzy blanket. Who wouldn't want to sleep in there?


So, to recap: Mess v. Mama is an ongoing battle which I am determined to win.
Lily Ruth v. Big Girl shoes is a huge triumph for Lily Ruth.
Lily Ruth v. Mama in the matter of Mama's Bed is tipping in my favor!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dorky Teenager In My Body

I got Lily Ruth into bed for the second (final?) time tonight. I threw the Netflix disc into the Wii and perused my choices. I just wanted something to watch while I was unwinding with the one (that's right... just one) drink that I am allowing myself tonight (I'm cutting waaaaay back :-P). I spied some of my husband's recent additions to our instantly viewable queue. He's adorable by the way. There is a hilarious mix of kid stuff, British comedy, Black Hawk Down - a real mish-mash. Then (GASP), I saw that he had added U2's The Joshua Tree for me *SQUEEEEEEE* I was overjoyed, and grabbed the laptop to see what else I could get... and... you guys... I got RIO by Duran Duran.

That's right. I'm on the couch in my pajamas with a Scotch and soda watching Duran Duran talk about how the band formed and then how the album came about. Every time that they play even a snipet of music, I get shivers. You heard me. Early eighties pop-synth-rock sends me over the edge. The opening of 'Planet Earth' makes me want to squeal like a pre-teen and jump up and down.

I watched the rocumentary 'Arena' so many times that we probably paid it's full price in rental fees several times over. I can still quote from it - and they're showing bits of it. I'm gonna watch it over and over and over and over. This is my idea of heaven.

As is this:

That's right - I'm CRAZY diverse :-P

After I awaken from my Duran induced stupor, I'll tell you about buying Lily Ruth her first pair of hard-soled shoes :-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ready to Eat?

Today's Recipes: Dragon's Breath Sauce and Light & Lively Chicken Soup

Since I've been all Lily Ruth-centric and light on the crafting and recipes lately, I've decided to double up. That's right - 2 easy-peasy recipes that I adore for different reasons :-)

The first originally comes from The Wine Lover's Cookbook (by Sid Goldstein). Of course, because I'm me, I make it slightly differently. Also, this is one of my mama's favorite things in the whole world, and she renamed it :-) It's a very very (very very) spicy sauce that we like to serve with shrimp... or chicken... or beef... and/or noodles... but mainly shrimp. You can very easily double this - it's just as good ;-) *edit - I just went back and read the recipe again... I really just make it the same way he does...

Dragon's Breath Sauce

1/4 c hot chili oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (or regular sesame oil)
1/2 tsp Thai chili paste (or WAY more)
2 1/2 Tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
2 Tbsp chopped pickled ginger
2 Tbsp juice from chopped pickled ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 c chopped cilantro leaves

Mix it all up and pour it over stuff you like to eat. Be forewarned, it is SPICY! We usually grill unseasoned, shell-on shrimp and boil some noodles. Then we peel shrimp, pour sauce over them and the noodles and eat until we cry. You will totally have dragon breath when you are done... hence the name...


My next recipe came to me in a vision last week. It was cool but not cold, and I wanted soup but I didn't want a hearty stew (unusual...) so I started thinking about the yummy Caldo de Pollo that you can get in so many Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants around here. What came of all that ruminating was a light, fresh tasting soup that I loved and will make again.

Light & Lively Chicken Soup

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin
4-6 dashes Chipotle Tabasco
2-3 peeled carrots - cut into coins
1/4 - 1/2 Lb crimini mushrooms - chopped
4-5 garlic cloves - minced
8 cups chicken broth (homemade is best - duh - but I use Pacific Foods a LOT)
3/4 c uncooked Fideo (or any fine/small pasta)
2 zucchini - chopped
1 bag fresh spinach - chopped or torn
1 container cherry or grape tomatoes - quartered
1/2 c (or more) fresh cilantro leaves

In a big pasta or soup pot, brown the chicken thighs in a small amount of olive oil. Season with cumin and Chipotle Tabasco (use however much you like, I'm totally guessing at how much I actually used) as they cook. After you turn the chicken the first time, add the carrots and the mushrooms. Just before the chicken is done, add the garlic. When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot and scrape all of the browned bits from the bottom to loosen them - leave them in the pot along with the carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Add the broth (also only an estimate, the more chicken/pasta/vegetables that you add, the more broth you'll need) and bring to a boil. While the broth is heating, chop the chicken and return it to the pot. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta & reduce the heat to a simmer. 4 or 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the zucchini. When the pasta is done, add the spinach, tomatoes and cilantro. Serve immediately :-)
Makes 4 or 5 servings... or more...

** Notes on making soup: Soup is very forgiving, and very 'fluid' (HA!) - this is why I am so bad about measuring what I use when I'm making it. Taste after each major addition, and adjust your seasoning accordingly.

Oh MAN, now I'm hungry again!

Have YOU made anything lately that I need to know about?


Lily Ruth had an appointment with her pediatric cardiologist this morning. As it turns out, it will be her last visit with the cardiologist. That's right - her last.

Lily Ruth had a Ventricular Septal Defect. Her particular VSD was very low on the septum - considered 'muscular', and very very small. Only a few drops of blood crossed through the septum during each heart beat, and those drops did not interfere with the function of her valves (a big worry with septal defects as blood crosses through small defects with quite of a bit of velocity). Furthermore, it was located in an area that is more like mesh while the heart develops, so it was not unusual for there to be an opening there. When he looked at it when she was two weeks old, her cardiologist told us that we should not worry about it. He considered it 'more of an oddity than a defect'. During her last appointment, he said that a muscle bundle was already beginning to grow across the opening, so he was hopeful that it would be closed by her 18-month visit AND IT IS! He said that she has a normal, healthy heart and she doesn't need any kind of special consideration AT ALL.


What with our recent decision to simultaneously stop co-sleeping and night wean, and my darling daughter's recent kamikaze approach to life (yesterday, she whacked the bridge of her nose on the coffee table - nice bruise, Grace), it is a true blessing to have one less thing to worry about. Now I can focus on important things like what color my toenails should be, how much coffee one 37-year-old (reasonably) healthy female can ingest in a 4 hour period and writing down vital house rules such as 'All string cheese must be eaten in reasonably sized bites, not stuffed into cheeks like hamsters or squirrels' so that everyone knows what is expected of them :-P

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy Busy Baby

Well, it's been an eventful 24 hours! Yesterday, we took Lily Ruth to her first professional sporting event. She took it like a champ :-) She was entranced when the Spurs hit the court to warm up

She became the belle of the ball when she tried to make a break for it during the first quarter

She clapped and cheered and flirted until just before half time. Then she grabbed my shirt, looked me straight in the eye and demanded 'GO GO GO' in her most serious voice. We took her home and even got her to bed at her regular time.

She woke up somewhere between 1 and 2 with a raging fever. I guess the doctor was right - she really does have a virus. She tossed and turned and flipped and flopped while burning up for several hours. I dithered about getting her up to take her temperature / give her some Tylenol / suction out her nose, but she was actually asleep, so I left her to it, and told myself that I would take action if she woke up again. She only roused enough to ask to nurse.

When she woke up this morning, her fever was gone, and she seemed to feel pretty good - except that she needed to be physically touching me with at least 2 of her 4 limbs. She even developed a new game to play in her crib that involves showing off her extension - my little dancing wonder :-P

Eventually she took a really long nap during which I freaked out because I was afraid that my mama was dying. Then my mama announced that she wasn't dying so I calmed down. Then my husband came home early to be with us (especially me).

THEN, my incredible daughter SAID HER OWN NAME!!!! I've been trying for MONTHS to get her to say her own name. I work on it with her every. single. day. Tonight, we were hanging out and Lily Ruth was pointing at each of us and saying 'Mama, Daddy, Bingy, Doggie'. Just like I do every day, I pointed at her and said 'who's that?' She smiled and said nothing. I persisted with 'can you say Lily?' She demurred. Giving it the old college try, I worked my way around the room with 'who's that', 'Mama', 'who's that', 'Daddy'... and when we got to her she said 'ee-lee'. I shrieked with delight and made her do it about 20 more times. We even called Nanny. She'll only mumble it in a very self conscious manner, so I couldn't get video, but I'm sure that will change soon.

Then we had dinner, and resumed hanging out. Then Lily Ruth SAID HER FIRST THREE WORD SENTENCE!!!!! She was playing with Daddy and they were discussing his glasses. She said 'Daddy's glasses off' and took them off his face :-O. He put them back on and said 'glasses on' so she took them again and said 'Daddy's glasses off'. Holy cow! She's moving so fast that she's a blur.

All of this activity wore her out, and she took a quick ice cream break with her dinosaur before bed.

She went to bed with a minimum amount of fuss... but the doggie (who is on my shit list now) woke her up by incessantly pacing the wood floors with her giant clicky toenails. So now it's after midnight and the two of us are watching Sprout. Well, truth be told, I'm surfing the web and Lily Ruth is alternating between 'cooking' for the dog with measuring spoons and plastic bowls then trying to force feed the dog air and pushing every damn button on her Elmo activity table.

No rest for the weary.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Go Hug Your Mom

Seriously. Right now. Even if your hug can only be held in your heart or over the phone or through e-mail. Go hug your mom.

My own mom is fine (she says), but for a while today she thought she might have had a (small ?!) heart attack. She called me all calm-like to let me know that she was recuperating at the Heart Hospital and would soon know for sure if said incident had been a real heart attack or not. I stayed all calm-like and asked her what had happened, etc. In the middle of telling me, she had to go talk to doctors. As soon as she hung up, I couldn't breathe. I managed to dial my husband's cell phone number - because it's always good to make phone calls when you are gasping for air and crying hysterically - and in the manner of all good heros, he announced that he was dropping everything to come home so I could go be with my mama. My dad called before I could calm down and told me that Mama had NOT had a heart attack, but is severely potassium depleted. This can mimic heart attack symptoms since potassium is required for each and every heart beat. She is being gently urged to swallow huge horse pills of potassium, and should be home tonight.

Ya'll, I am in a panic. I want to go over there right now and crawl into that stupid hospital bed and hug my mama, but she'll be out of there before I could get across town. I also want to crawl into Lily Ruth's crib and kiss her until she swats at me, but she's been fighting a virus and seriously NEEDS this nap... and the dumb crib would probably collapse if I hauled my butt over the rail... I also want to start cooking and not stop until there is enough food ready for several families. I think I'm going to have to settle for cooking.

Mama, I love you. I'm sorry that I'm telling your business on my blog. I'll be over later with more food than will fit into your refrigerator.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Today was Miss Lily Ruth's 18 month well baby visit. She is growing well, hitting all the pertinent marks, and speaking very very well :-)

In addition, the pediatrician couldn't hear her heart murmur any more (which bodes well for her cardiologist  appointment next week!), but she COULD hear quite a rattle in her lungs. Coupled with the congestion in her nose and the cough that Lily Ruth only exhibited while in the doctor's presence, and she has been deemed 'viral'. She supposedly has some sort of Bronchialitis (NOT Bronchitis) which is fairly harmless, but could be contagious, so no Parent's Day Out tomorrow (booooooooooooooooooo, hiss). There is also a chance that her breathing will become labored in the next few days and she will have to have a breathing treatment. Oi. She hasn't even acted slightly sick! No fever. Eating fine. Sleeping the same. Whatever.

This was also the visit for Lily Ruth's first anemia check. This simple blood test should have been a non-event. It is a finger prick blood draw into a small collection straw. Not anywhere nearly as bad as the PKU screening that they do on newborns or the bazillion vials that they draw from mamas during pregnancy. We wandered over to the lab portion of the pediatrician's office, and waited our turn. The tech completed the test then put a dot bandage over the site, and told us to make sure that she kept it in place until the bleeding stopped. I nodded, stood up with my crying baby, and made my way toward the exit. Just as we got to the desk, Lily Ruth (still crying) handed me something. It was her bandage. This would have been fine if that damn finger hadn't been bleeding like a geyser. Both of her hands, her shirt and my sweater were covered in blood. It took us FOREVER to staunch the flow and get a regular sized bandage over her finger. We left looking like victims of a horrific incident... which we were...

We made it home without further incident. Lily Ruth handed me her bandage about 15 minutes later. I thanked her and went about the business of making our lunch. When I turned to hand her a toddler sized bowl of pasta, both of her hands were covered in blood AGAIN. Ugh. We washed up, applied another bandage, and tried to forget our morning.

Lily Ruth did a good job of moving on. She ate, drank, pushed CeeCee down the street in her doll stroller and found an 'AWESHUM ock!' (awesome rock) which she brought home and added to her toy stash. Then she bottomed out and took a 3 hour nap.

I - on the other hand - could not relax. I dragged out the felt and made THIS instead:

It was a big hit...

of course, it cannot replace CeeCee, but we had multiple rounds of 'dinosaur, RAWR' which is big fun.

I'm sure that I will have recovered by tomorrow... at which time I will be able to share the recipe for the delightful chicken soup that I made for dinner tonight ;-)

Monday, January 3, 2011


Ya'll, my daughter is learning so much so fast! I can't even keep up! I was completely unaware that she even knew what 'surprise' meant, but she just saw a version of the classic 'popping out of a box surprise' and even before the character on screen said it, she sat straight up and crowed 'PIES!!!' then laughed and laughed.

I feel like all I do is follow her around in awe. I have a recipe to share, but it will have to wait since my wunderkind is about to do something else that I need to watch...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Insomnia or Intelligence

When Lily Ruth was still very small and was already exhibiting an inability (refusal?) to sleep, my good friend Suzan sent this to me:

This is from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. The politely phrased "won't *@#$* sleep" thing is about half way down.

•Walks and talks at an early age
•Has a large and advanced vocabulary
•Learns rapidly and easily
•Reads at an early age
•Demonstrates a great appetite for books and reading
•Entertains self for large blocks of time
•Has a long attention span
•Readily retains a large amount of information
•Consistently organizes, sorts, classifies and groups things, and names them
•Has a heightened curiosity (asks ‘why’ often)
•Fantasizes often
•Is self-motivated, self-sufficient, and independent
•Shows sensitivity to other people’s feelings and empathy in response to their troubles
•Demonstrates leadership abilities
•Exhibits perfectionism
•Likes to discuss abstract concepts (such as love, justice, etc.)
•Has a high energy, needing less sleep than age-mates
•Learns new material rapidly
•Loves puzzles, mazes, building blocks, and toys that challenge
•Has an advanced sense of humor
•Prefers the company of older children or adults
•Is highly creative, imaginative
•Is a keen observer
•Expresses unusual sensitivity to what they see, hear, touch, smell or feel
•Is widely informed, especially in areas of personal interest
•Expresses concern for the world’s problems

Obviously, Lily Ruth is too young to be classified as gifted or not, but it sure is fun to take some of her more 'difficult' traits and twist them into signs if 'giftedness' instead if signs of 'brattiness' :-P I've done it off and on since I received this list. I'm doing it again today... because my beautiful, amazing daughter is feeling a bit spirited this morning...

adorable, yet NOISY! Welcome to my world ;-)