Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On and Off


I didn't think this was too dangerous, but she has since fallen off the last step twice. When she plays on the lower steps, I always let my guard down because I know that she can't fall that hard, but it seems that when she is playing her interest in the object of play supersedes her usual caution with the steps.
 
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Natalie has also learned to fold her arms and say amen. Okay, so maybe she really just says "MEH!", but we know what she means. Her favorite words are "Pees" or just "Puh" (please) and "Moah" (more). Both of these are requests for food. I am trying to expand her understanding so that she will use please for anything that she wants, but things are progressing slowly. Also, we can't make her say please when she sees what she wants. For example, if we put her in her highchair and hold food in front of her, she can't say it. She is driven mad by desperate longing and, no matter how many times we prompt, "say please", she can do nothing but reach and whine with increasing intensity until she is throwing a full blown tantrum.
 
 
She says "all done" when she wants down from the highchair, along with the sign that we taught her. She also uses this sign and phrase when she wants out of the tub and other situations that she wants out of. She points to all of the pictures on the walls and says, "Baby". She calls Nick "Nih" and Sammy "Sssss", but says Nick more, probably because it's easier and because she likes to pick on him more.  I think she may know what milk is, because when I ask her if she wants it, she goes to the fridge and says something that starts with an M. She likes Yo Gabba Gabba and sometimes asks for it with something that sounds vaguely like "Nyo Na". She also knows "Bouh" (book) and a few other word. She gives kisses (albeit that usually she just opens her mouth as wide as she can and leans into your face until you kiss her) and is starting to like cuddling with her stuffed animals, especially when going to sleep. She likes her boppy pillow and is a little bit possessive of it.
 
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The strict nap thing has worked and the past 2 days she has slept the full 1.5 hours. And she is doing great at night- usually only wakes up once or twice and goes back to sleep on her own after a little crying. We still have the occasional rough night when she wakes up at 4 a.m. and is hnysterical, Micah goes in to calm her down, and she ends up in our bed laying on my face until morning.
 
Now I only have myself to blame for my tiredness. I don't stay up very late, but I have been having trouble falling asleep and waking up frequently at night. Blah. Micah stays up way too late (like, 4 a.m. late) playing with his little computery micoelectronic-y project that I don't understand. It's for self-interest, so he's entitled to spend whatever time her likes on it. I just don't know how he can function with how late he stays up sometimes.
 
I guess that the only other things to share would be our memorable experience on Sunday. We were asked to speak in church and we meet at 9 a.m. so on Saturday, I was in bed by around 9 p.m. to make sure I was well-rested. I had even taken some advil PM for a headache. My talk was all written, Micah was fine tuning his on the computer. I drifted off to sleep. Then a thunderstorm began around midnight and continued on and off until at least 6 a.m. Our dog is terrified of thunderstorms, and kept us up all night long panting in our faces, whining, running around frantically and shaking. At one point, I Micah had to retrieve Sammy from the bathtub- in his frantic terror, he jumped in and couldn't get out. I was fuming. I get pretty irritated when I am woken up under normal circumstances, but when I've taken a sleep aid, Micah can attest: I get mean. I was so mad. So around 6:30, Natalie woke up and cried a little bit and went back to sleep (we don't let her get out of her crib until at least 7), so I crawled back into bed and changed my alarm, previously set to 7 a.m., to 7:20, just hoping to score a little decent sleep. I then entered into the most beautiful, restful sleep ever, which ended on a sudden note as Micah leaned over me to ask what time it was. He then exclaimed that it was 8:26. First words out of my mouth: "Okay. We can do this." So Micah ran for the bathroom while I threw on some clothes (dang it, I KNEW I should have set out my clothes the night before! I ended up picking a less that sacrament-meeting-talk worthy outfit!), then I ran to the bathroom and Micah put on clothes. Then, as he was almost done, Natalie woke up. It was so crazy that she had slept so late, since usually we struggle to get her to sleep past 7. So I got her dressed and Micah ran down to print out his talk. Of course, the printer started to act up. He kept trying to get it to print while I packed the diaper bag with toys and books and breakfast for Natalie. Finally, Micah got all of his talk printed except for half of the first and last page. We had to go, so he brought it and wrote in to fill the gaps during the first bit of the meeting. We miraculously made it in time, sat down right as the meeting began. It was crazy and we were both so frazzled. Not what you would hope for when speaking in sacrament meeting. But it turned out fine. The meeting was actually really So, that's our story of speaking in sacrament meeting.

Winter...

 
We've had flurries a number of times in the couple of days. It's been super cold, in the 20's at night and the 40's in the day. I know that probably sounds like nothing to our friends in the mountain west or northeast. But for Atlanta, it's pretty much apocolypticly cold. By Saturday, it is supposed to get back up to the 60's and I really hope it stays. Even if it were in the 50's I could at least go for a walk with Natalie all bundled up, but it is so cold and windy we can't do anything! I'm not excited at all for it to be in the 90's with 100% humidity in a month, but at least then I could go to the pool! We're going crazy cooped up in this house!
 
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On the positive side, it seemed like the bugs came out of hibernation during the first warm spell, so this freeze should kill off a lot of them. We should have a smaller problem with bugs this year. That's good- fewer cockroaches and ticks/fleas. Also, probably fewer lyme disease/west nile outbreaks this year.
 

Friday, March 22, 2013

How To Tell Your Child Is Tired

Your child just might be tired if she curls up on a pillow and pulls a silicone muffin pan over herself like a blanket.
 
I never dreamed I would see someone get their snuggle on with silicone bakewear.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How Did She Manage That?

I took Natalie to the doctor yesterday. She had an oozing nose, green mucous coming from her eyes, a juicy cough and a slight fever. She just finished a round of antibiotics for the runny nose that she has had forever (on and off since last September or so?), so the Dr. basically just said don't bother with any more antibiotics and just deal with it. This made me a little mad because you only have to look at her to know she's sick, and he just told me to hope it would go away, and treat the symptoms with nose drops and a humidifier (these haven't helped yet). Typical industrialized medicine: treat the symptoms. Who cares about the cause unless it is likely something major, in which case there is enough of money involved to investigate.
 
The trip to the doctor's was more upsetting than the visit though. I put her in her car seat, gave her a travel-sized magnadoodle, and drove down the road 10-15 minutes. When I went to get her out, she had this massive red scrape from her mouth halfway to her ear! It wasn't bleeding, but this shot is from this morning, a day after the fact, so it's probably going to take a while to heal. All I can figure is that she did it with the tip of the magna-doodle stylus, which isn't sharp enough to cut but could probably cause an abrasion like this.
 

 
Nick gives Natalie some sugar:
 
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

So Cute!

Natalie just got the cutest dress from Grandma LeAnn! It was hard to get a good frontal picture to capture the dress because she doesn't stand still, but you can see the little frog on the front.
 
It came just in time for her to wear it to Church on St. Patrick's Day. Awesome!

 
The best part is the fanny cover :)

 
Thanks LeAnn!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chaneling Cousin Aaron

 
This'll teach me for laughing at my nephew's latest climbing stunts.
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It's been another sucky week.
 
I've been sick, Micah just got sick, and Natalie may be sick (it's hard to tell- she always acts fussy). She's still got all 4 molars poking through around the edges, but still covered in gum mostly. They seem stuck there.
 
It's the worst thing ever to have to take care of someone when you feel horrible and need to be taken care of yourself. I blame my lack of rest for the fact that I am not over this after 4 days. I'm starting to believe that I'm just going to feel like crap for the rest of my life because I will never get a decent break to be able to recuperate. I've got crazy congestion and sore throat, fever, headache and soreness all over. Every time I have to pick up Natalie, I just want to crumple in a pile of mommy and die.
 
Natalie's been watching a lot of TV. And unfortunately, she's liked it a lot. Yesterday and this morning I've tried to leave the TV off for as long as possible, but she just kept standing in front of it, pointing to the screen and babbling indiscernibley. She's been making a lot more messes because I just don't have the energy to divert her to a more constructive activity.
 
Fortunately, she has a couple of new books that have kept her attention. So there's at least 90 seconds of the day taken care of...
 

She's digressed in her food-dropping. I don't know what to do. We've tried a harsh "no", we've tried swatting her hand, we've tried completely ignoring it. She won't stop. She will drop everything on her tray, then cry and whine for more. Then, 5 minutes after getting down, she's back at the chair, pointing and asking for "more" because she's hungry since she doesn't eat her food. Sammy likes it, though being the official food-picker-upper sometimes has it's drawbacks. Here, he sports a dropped pea.

 
Natalie now refuses to take a second nap. So I am trying to get her to take a longer nap because one 30-45 minute nap a day is just not enough for her or me. So I leave her in her crib for a minimum of an hour and a half. Yesterday and the 2 days before that, she woke up after 45 minutes as usual, then gave up crying after 10 minutes or so and went back to sleep. Today, she woke up and has been crying in her bed for 30 minutes now. The dogs are barking and howling and I am going crazy. She wakes up earlier and earlier- this morning Micah finally got her out of bed around 6. I though Daylight Savings was supposed to help us in that department? A normal child her age should sleep14 hours a day and she rarely sleeps 11. Don't know what I'm gonna do with her.
 
EDIT: I went to get her out of her crib and she had red bite marks all over her hands and arms and 2 big bruises on her forehead. This kid is crazy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blah.

There's not much to report from this week.
 
Aside from my minor breakdown on Thursday-Friday. Natalie had been so impossible during the afternoon last week. By the time Micah got home Thursday, I was so dead. My sanity was just gone and I couldn't do it any more. I left him with Natalie and went straight to bed with a pint of ice cream, ended up throwing up and then hardly sleeping because I was overwhelmed with the dread of waking up and having to do it all over again and again and again every day for ever and ever and ever. The next morning, I felt sore all over and had no energy and just wanted to not be me.
 
Micah stayed home on Friday to watch Natalie and give me a break. And he maintains that I can't get a job if it's for the wrong reasons. I question how wrong my motivations really are. Micah has agreed to watch Natalie once a week while I persue something self-enriching. Maybe that will help? Currently researching my options. They teach yoga, meditation and ESL for free at the library and there is an arts center right down the road that does 6-wk classes. Or I could do night classes at one of the many colleges around town in a bunch of different subjects.
 
Anyhow, here's Natalie looking out the window with the pups. I haven't mentioned Nick the chihuahua in a while, but he is still with us. It's been a month and a half and he hasn't had any applications for adoption, which is fine, since he is such a sweet dog we don't mind him at all. I'm just surprised.
 

Natalie loves her Legos. We are teaching her to put things away, because it's too hard to clean up when she dumps her blocks, legos and gears all at once. She's learning fast.
 

A little TV watching after church yesterday.

 
The only other things to report is my shopping trip to Publix, in which I purchased:
8 pints ice cream
4 64-oz juicy juice
4 honeymaid grahamfuls
2 boxes pasta
2 6-packs pudding
10 yakidoba instant noodles
a $50 gift card to QT (gas station)
And I paid $49.60.
Or, as I like to think of it, I bought the gas card and everything else was free :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Accident

Natalie was doing her buisiness on her potty every morning for about as month, but as her sleeping patterns changed, she no longer had to go first thing in the morning. So, I try to give her chances during the day to get used to the potty. Ususally she just sits on it in her diaper, but today I thought I would take off her diaper and really let her try. So I took off her pants, tucked her onsie flaps into her collar, took off her diaper, stood her in front of her potty, and..... she peed. On the floor right in front of her potty. The most obnoxious part? After I finished cleaning it and her up (she insisted in splashing in the pee puddle before I could get it all), she sat down on the potty and wouldn't get up!
 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snow!

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None of it stuck, but we had flurries on and off all day yesterday. It was much heavier than this at a few points, but this is the only video that I successfully kept. My camera was so full, I accidentally deleted the one of Natalie experiencing snow for the first time. Sad!

We had a ward cook-off yesterday. I entered east carolina barbecue pork and crusty bread and Micah entered ghost chili. I also made pumpkin rolls for the dessert category. We didn't win anything. There were so many other amazing desserts, I wasn't surprised. And Micah's chili cooked a little too long, making the beans disintegrate, so it wasn't the best he's made. But my pork was amazing! I was quite surprised that it didn't win anything (there were maybe a dozen entries and 5 prizes?), lots of people told me how good it was. I guess I just didn't have any fans at the judge's table! It was still fun though, and we're still winners because we have so much leftover food that I don't need to cook at all today :)

Today at church, we divided nursery. It was amazing!!!!! There are 7 kids that will be turning 3 this year who are now in senior nursery and 4 kids (plus Natalie) in junior, with many, many, many more on the way in the coming months. Our ward will have 15+ kids turn 18 months during the year, so we may even need to divide again later on. But we are so relieved. The last few weeks have been so horrible, we would leave church every Sunday feeling totally dead. The real problem was the age ranges- the older kids were always bulldozing the littler kids over- a couple are super active- and it seemed that anything that we could do to engage and entertain the older kids was too dangerous for the little kids. We were in junior nursery today and it was such a relief!!! I mean, aside from a few mopey missing-mommy-moments, the little kids were just so much more mellow. They're not as fast, so when they leap up and run away from singing time, we are fast enough to catch them. Before, I wasn't sure we could handle being in Nursery any longer, but now I'm sure we can make it until July, when Natalie can go to nursery on her own and we will probably (hopefully?) be released. I know that the primary presidency have their sights on our eventual release, but I'm a little nervous because they have had trouble getting enough nursery workers called to even split the kids into 2 groups. Since we were called as soon as we got back from Boston, I haven't been in Relief Society since last April, so there are tons of new sisters who I don't know, plus I'm excited to have an hour and a half each week that I can just spend at church sitting and listening. It will be amazing.

In other news, we watched seasons 2 and 3 of Downton Abbey in 2 weeks. I am relieved that we're through; I now have an extra hour or two every night to clean, do projects, or sleep. But I really enjoyed it. Micah was enjoying it a lot too, even though he didn't watch most of the first season with me, but the end of season 3 made him so upset, he declared that he would no longer allow the show "a place in his heart". I understand that they had to do it and am not that angry, since that storyline was basically over and they really needed to move on to something more interesting. Afterall, in the true soap-opera tradition, as soon as the drama ends, they must start some more! Downton Abbey, for those with only limited knowledge of it, is a PBS series about an aristocratic household in the early 1900's. I call it a soap opera, but it's really well acted and the scenery and cinematography is positively delicious. It follows the members of the family as well as the servants working there and I think the characters are all so unique and interesting.

Natalie has been really independent this week, spending as much as 30 minutes to an hour playing by herself. It has allowed me a lot of time to prepare for the cook off, clean, and take care of a bunch of little tasks. The only problem is that she still needs to be supervised. Several times I have looked up from what I was doing to find her splashing her hands in the toilet and slurping the water off of her hands or pulling the dog off the couch. She's been snapped at a few times, but obviously not hard enough for her to learn to leave them alone. It's been hard with Sammy's back being injured; he moves around a lot better now, but is still very sensitive and gets very nervous when Natalie approaches. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but doesn't walk the same, stumbles when he runs, and won't jump up onto the couch or bed. I'm not sure if we should have him rechecked at the vet or just assume that it will take time for him to return to his old activities.

I don't dare wish for warmer weather because I know it will only be a few weeks until it's too hot, but I do look forward to warm enough weather to go to the park and go for more walks and jogs.



I'm sure Micah will be glad for the cold mornings to end. Micah rode his scooter this week to Marta and it seems to be running fine. His motorcycle helmet arrived yesterday. And he now has a life insurance policy. I feel safer already.