Friday, July 24, 2009

"Ry Ruff Eww"

"Mhhm." Says I to the noise coming out of Alice's mouth as I cut up an apple for our snack.

"Ry Ruff Ew." She repeats and then says, "Tank" after receiving her slice of apple.

"You're welcome", I reply automatically.

My pantleg is tugged gently and I look down. "Ry Ruff...Ew." Alice says into my blank face, then she adds to clarify: "...Mama".
I am beset by a sudden thunderous realization and a buzzing thrill behind my cheekbones.

"I love you too baby!"

Color me gobsmacked.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

8 years and still kicking (though not each other)

Happy Anniversary Tony

As a gift I made you almond eggplant korma, sweet potato badi, and saag paneer because it was cheaper than ordering take-out Indian food.

You gave me the time to slowly make dinner by taking the baby out, and when you returned you brought wine and chocolate.

Best date-night yet.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Alice's Sunday Crown

It is stupid crazy hot out. Thirty days over 100 degrees. So no-money family fun time outside the house is a trial, especially when your toddler has recently been running a fever.

First thing you need, is a fabulous hat:

Thank you Grammy for the new hat.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Any idea what this is?

We saw it on I35 and I still have no idea what I'm looking at.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cardboard Tube Samurai Princess

This was a "2nd Halloween" costume suggestion for Alice from friend Joe. I wanted to post this picture to show how right on this idea is for our delicate little flower. Sorry not to have responded to the actual email, will reply soon.

This little boy in these photos is sweet Josef who is Alice's second cousin. The kids were playing in the toy room at Tony's Aunt and Uncle's 50th anniversary party. Alice brandished her swords at most of the attendees who were mostly liberal arts professors. She got a lot of Homer quoted in her general direction.


And when the world is quiet
and the evening moon is bright
We put on our pajamas
and hug all our Mammas
and never fall asleep all night.

-Sandra Boynton ("Snoozers")

This is a bedtime story Alice hears every night but she really took it to heart this evening. It was our fault letting her fall asleep in the car after 5pm and then expecting her to be tired again at bedtime.

FYI: For most of her life we have been walking Alice to sleep in a carrier strapped to our chests and placing her in the crib when she drops off. Our pediatrician thinks that toddlers shouldn't be put to sleep this way. She wants us to put Alice in the crib and let her fall asleep on her own. So Alice has been put in the crib and stroked and sung to and loved on for hours. She has also been left to her own devices while Mommy counts to ten in the other room. We have used a million tools and tricks but never once has she fallen asleep on her own in the crib. Here is what I used tonight:

1) The transitional object:

The point of a transitional object is to give the kid a cuddly toy that can be snuggled in place of a parent when the kid is ready to learn how to fall asleep without constant attention.

Alice has chosen the stuffed lamb that I (and my sister) also loved as a toddler. Alice routinely snuggles Mr. Lamb while falling asleep...with her father. With me Alice just throws the lamb to the floor. Tonight I picked the discarded lamb up off the floor and put it in the crib.

Alice screamed like I had gently placed the lamb in an abattoir. She flung herself onto the lamb and clutched it to her chest. How could I have put this defenseless creature in the torture chamber?

To make sure this wasn't a fluke I walked Alice out of the bedroom and watched, as we passed out of sight of the crib Alice's grip on the lamb faded until he was hanging by a hoof. I inched closer to the crib and Mr. Lamb was pulled back into her desperate protective embrace. No lamb was ever going to suffer like she has suffered.

I have decided, at least for the near future to jettison the "fall asleep alone in the crib" training like an unwanted lamb.

2) Singing

An hour into the huge failure that was tonight's bedtime routine I started the first bars of "You are my Sunshine" which I have sung since Alice was a zygote. My daughter looked deep in my eyes and slowly shook her head, "No."
I burst out laughing at that unexpected critique. Alice squinted, wrinkled her nose, and gave me a wide grin. All this while still slowly shaking her head. "No Mommy."

3) Giving Up

At the two hour mark I just flopped down on our bed with a deeply overtired Alice. She proceeded to climb drunkenly all over me and fling herself into all sorts of contorted positions only to bounce up to standing again in a parody of a person covered in balloons trying to lie down for sleep. At one point she draped herself over my legs. From my perspective I could only see her chubby baby legs and rear end stuck up in the air. I thought, "This is good enough. Just fall asleep now and I promise not to move until morning."

4) Really Giving Up

At one point Alice went from a supine position to standing up and walking around crying in desperation. So I just caved and called for Tony to halt his cooking of our dinner (a lovely chicken pot pie) and to come tag me out. When Tony took Alice in his arms she started wailing and reaching for me. It broke my heart to see her so upset but Tony told me to go get a beer and take a knee.

3 minuets later. Guess what happened.

So Alice has been asleep for about three hours now and I have an early appointment. Tony suggested that since he is on vacation this week I should sleep downstairs just in case she is fussy again in the middle of the night.

It should be noted that I have not slept away from Alice since she came into being. Which is why I am up typing instead of trying to fall asleep.

Where is Mr. Lamb?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Moose and Squirrel

We have named Alice's two front teeth "Moose and Squirrel" because Alice looks like Rocky minus the Aviator cap.
We have a runner up for potential 2nd Halloween Costume.

Check out the uncanny resemblance:

Thank you to Claire for the delightful princess pajamas!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fatten her up like a Xmas Goose

Alice is a bit of a string bean as I was at this age. So much so that at her one year check up she actually weighed less than at her nine month appointment. The pediatrician thinks that Alice's current predicament came from learning to walk early (burning calories) and developing teeth late so she was not able to eat with enough skill to pack on the pounds. Also she was exclusively breast fed and kids who have formula in their diets are fortified with slow burning calories whereas breastmilk burns up quickly. The additional Rice cereal with pureed fruits and veggies only go so far. In fact I might have some weight loss success if I switched to an all blender diet and spent my days learning to walk in circles shouting "kitty!".

Long story short the Dr. wants Alice to gain about three pounds in the next five months.

I am firmly and manically committed to this mission. I add carnation instant breakfast (plus a vitamin shot) and frozen blueberries to her morning milk. I keep a tiny box of raisins in her hand at all times. I hand feed her crackers with veggie puree on top. I slather her ricecakes (the favorite teething device) with full fat cream cheese.

Which is why I recently cleaned:

A pair of my pants covered in cream cheese handprints.
A cat covered in carnation instant breakfast, milk, and blueberries.
A diaper filled with about a half cup of undigested raisins.

Right now Alice is holding an asparagus spear (topped with a dollop of deviled egg filling) and looking at me quizzically.
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