January 31, 2013

January and Stuff

It has been a quiet blogging month. Or couple of months. Or several months ...

I've been working on this post for weeks, adding a little here and there.

The Boogie was given some soup. "There's celery in here," she complained, "I don't like celery."
"Fine, then don't eat the celery," I told her.
"Well, there's a lot of celery. And I don't like celery. And what's this little green stuff?" she persisted. It was parsley flakes.
"Just seasoning. You can't taste it," I promised.
"Well, I just don't like celery," she whined.  Meanwhile Peabody, who had been inhaling her own soup, suddenly decided that she didn't like celery either. I had no energy to fight that battle. I put the soup in the fridge and told them that when they got hungry they could have it.
"By the way," the Boogie said slyly, "the reason I said I don't like the soup is that I want something else."
"Oh no," I said firmly, "soup is for dinner. If you are hungry you can eat that."

A little later I turned around to see the Boogie holding her bowl with a fake smile plastered on her face. "Guess what?" she said brightly. "I like this now!" Yeah, right.

I warmed it for her, and allowed her to pick out the bigger pieces of celery. She poked around, searching for tiny and tinier pieces. Exasperated, I said, "Just eat those tiny pieces in a bite with other stuff. You won't even taste it! See?" I shoved a spoonful in her mouth. Her face lit up. "You're right!" A minute later she said, "Hey, I just ate some of that seasoning, and I didn't even taste that either!"
"See? I told you," I said.
"Wow," she said thoughtfully, "you are ... smart."

I'm gonna remind her of that someday.

Peabody found a book that had  been colored in. "Did you color in dis book?" she demanded of her sister.
"Oh, yeah, I did," the Boogie admitted, "I did that when I was little, before I knew anything."

Peabody normally wakes up dry in the morning after sleeping all night but for a few nights she's been waking up in the middle of the night and shouting, "Huuuunneeeeee! Daaaaaddeeeeeee! I needa go pee really baaaaaaad!"

One night she woke up multiple times. The final time she called, "Huuuuunneeeeee, Daaaaaaddeeeeeee, I'n all done sleeeeeepin'!" Since it was about 4 a.m. I gave up and brought her into bed with me.

The last few days we've had several episodes of crabbiness whereupon she is sent to her room and told that she can come out when she's finished crying. This morning instead of calling to me that she was awake, she instead yelled, "I'n happy now!" When I went in to get her she asked, "Is it a li'l, li'l, teensy tiny mornin'?"

She says that a lot, the li'l li'l, teensy tiny. Usually it's describing an imaginary injury. "Honey, I need a Buzz Lightyear bambaidge [bandaid], for my sing-ger [finger]. It's a li'l li'l, teensy tiny ouchie." Sometimes she adds very very to it: "It's a li'l li'l, very very, teensy tiny ouchie." She makes me laugh.

She's learned that she can get my attention by calling me Aunt Rachel if I'm not responding quickly enough to Honey. (Who, me? Ignore my children's constant demands? Never!) Lately I've been hearing, "Um, An Rayshel? An Rayshel?" on a regular basis.

I took the side off of her crib to change her bedding, and she asked to "leave the door open, not closed" during her nap that day. She did well, so we've left the side off. After she goes to sleep we push two small chairs up to the side and lay the Boogie's enormous stuffed elephant across them -- if Peabody rolls off the edge she won't go far, and will land on the elephant. In the early hours of the morning a few nights ago I heard her crying. When I went in I couldn't find her in the dark. I was feeling all around on her bed and telling her, "I'm here! I'm trying to find you!" while she wept. After several seconds my eyes adjusted and I realized that somehow she had squirmed off the mattress and then some -- her legs were on the elephant but her upper half was hanging off the side! Last night when I went to check on them she was fast asleep on the floor. At first I wondered how in the world she rolled off without waking up, but then realized she must have been roaming before falling asleep and never made it back to the bed. Naughty child.

For Christmas my parents sent the girls electric toothbrushes. Since they both love to brush their teeth I thought they would be very excited. The Boogie was unsure at first but quickly grew to like hers -- she says it tickles. Peabody, however, was initially totally freaked out. She cried if we talked about brushing her teeth; she cried while she had her teeth brushed.

Eric soon realized that one toothbrush was quieter than the other, so he switched to that one for Peabody's teeth and that took care of her fear. I guess it was the noise that frightened her. Now she likes it. She calls it the zoom-zoom toothbrush and begs to go first when it's time to brush her teeth. Whew!

We went to Baltimore a couple of days ago, to visit the aquarium. Eric and I had gone a couple of years ago during a little anniversary getaway to Baltimore -- we thought it was amazing and looked forward to taking the girls. Despite a late start we had just enough time to see all of the exhibits. Sadly, my favorite exhibit was closed for remodeling. I was so disappointed! I didn't know that it was closed and was really looking forward to seeing it and showing the girls. Other than that it was the perfect day to visit. Because of a late start for local schools most of the school trips had been canceled, and the ones that did show up were leaving by the time we arrived. There were hardly any people there so that meant no crowds! It was nice and we look forward to going again, after my favorite exhibit opens back up.

My friend Mrs. Cowboy told me a long time ago that her daughter listens to audio books. I thought that was really smart, so for Christmas I bought the girls The Caboose Who Got Loose and Corduroy with accompanying CD. They love them, so on our next trip to the library we found several more books with CD. I also picked up the audio version of Beezus and Ramona and Ramona the Pest -- we've been listening to them in the car and we've all really enjoyed them. I read every Beverly Cleary book I could find when I was a kid -- some of them over and over and over -- but it's been years since I have, and Eric said he'd never read any of the Ramona books. Next will be Henry Huggins, and then I'm going to try to find The Mouse and the Motorcycle. It's fun to start introducing the Boogie to books that I loved. Peabody is not so thrilled with them ("No, I not wanna listen to Ramona! No Beezus!") and much prefers the Mary Poppins soundtrack. Still, she will happily listen to Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow!

They are cute and funny, these girls.

January 26, 2013

Peabody Gets a Hair Cut

The Boogie and I had our hairs trimmed yesterday. I was tempted to take Peabody. She has been looking pretty shaggy lately. She just needed a little trim, though, and I couldn't justify paying ten or fifteen dollars to have someone do it. So, though I've never cut hair aside from trimming my own bangs when I'm really desperate, and though I definitely do not have a steady hand, I attempted to do it myself. And ... it didn't turn out too badly!

Today's fabulous style



I love her curls!

I never know what to do with the hair from the first cut. I feel as if I should save it ... but I don't know what to do with it! It should go into a baby book or something. Peabody doesn't even have one. That's what this blog is for! So, I took a picture and then threw them away.

She was such a good girl. I was more nervous about her wiggling than anything. She sat pretty still, though. My sweet girlie, growing up so fast.

January 14, 2013

The Adventures of Mama Dog: Bird Watching

After Christmas we bird-sat the cousins' parakeets, Jack and Mr. Pickles, for a week.

Mama Dog was beside herself.

The birds stayed in the girls' room because it was warmest there. At every chirp, Mama Dog would jump the gate and dash down the hall to the bedroom, where she would sit like this for hours:

Nothing would deter her from jumping the gate (which she KNOWS she is not supposed to do) or tempt her away. The birds ignored her, except for when I put the cage on the floor right before they were picked up. Mama Dog pressed her nose to the cage, and Mr. Pickles flapped at her, chirping angrily. Mama Dog had to be physically restrained after that!

I hear rumors of a doggie/birdie playdate in the future. I don't know who will be hosting that -- somehow I don't think anyone is eager to have a dog chasing a bird through their house ... I have visions of little birdie heart attacks ...

In the meantime, I imagine that Mama Dog's dreams are filled with parakeets.

January 12, 2013

Christmas 2012

I started writing this post weeks ago and just kept adding to it ...

Our tree is, I think, the biggest one we've ever had! We had to do some rearranging to fit it into the living room. The girls had fun decorating it.

Peabody helped

Peabody likes multiple ornaments per branch

Pigtails! I love them!

We decided that it would be Peabody's turn to put the penguin on top (this year his belly is filled with coffee beans and he smells delicious.) When Eric lifted her up the look of anticipation on her face turned to sheer terror and she started crying -- I think maybe she thought Eric was going to put her in the tree. So the Boogie put the penguin up. Maybe Peabody will be more willing next year.

The coffee beans made the penguin a little too heavy for the branch! 

The hutch is the perfect place to decorate -- it's nice to spread things out around the room instead of bunching them all up on the bookshelf.

I've really enjoyed listening to holiday music this year. While I worked in the office we listened to a radio station, and their Christmas music selection was limited, redundant, and awful (if I never hear "Last Christmas" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "The Christmas Shoes" again it will still be too soon.) It's been so nice to pick and choose what I like to listen to. The last couple of years we've added some Hanukkah music to the mix and Peabody gets very excited when she hears anything about a menorah; "A nora! A nora!" she shouts, jumping up and down. The Boogie sang the entire "Twelve Days of Christmas" to Eric one night, going up a note with each verse, counting backwards "eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, eight geese a laying," and finishing up with "a cartridge in a pear tree" each time.

Peabody has been getting into it too. She says Blissmas instead of Christmas. One day the Boogie pointed out that a character's name was Charlie, but it was pronounced Chahlie. "Chahlie?" Peabody exclaimed, then began to sing "Have a holly, Chahlie Blissmas!"
She sings, "We mish you a melly Blissmas, we mish you a melly Blissmas, and a happy new you!"
She climbs up on the piano bench and bangs on the keys singing, "Twinkle bells, twinkle bells, twinkle all a way!"

We had a ladies' meeting at church one night, and I wanted to plan a craft for us to do so I turned to the reliable Google (I'm not creative on my own and must find others' good ideas to copy.) Google failed me, though -- while I found lots of cool ideas they were not what I was looking for. I noticed that a friend had posted a new entry on her blog so I decided to take a break from my frustrating search to read it ... and she wrote about the ladies' meeting at her church, and the craft they made! It was perfect timing. Thank You, Lord. So we made sock snowmen and had a wonderful time. A couple of days later the Boogie and I made one for her to give to one of her friends and I think it turned out pretty cute ... though I have to confess that I pretty much just copied what the other ladies did. It wouldn't have turned out nearly as cute if we had made it before the ladies' meeting.

We had our annual family party with MIL's side which was fun, as always! The Delaware clan came to our side of the river which I so appreciate -- not that I mind driving over there, and they have lovely homes to host in, but it's easier on the little ones.

Eric and I were par of the choir for the Christmas program. We sang four songs and in between each song were some Christmas memories recorded by church members. That was SIL Joy's idea and it turned out really nicely! She did some interviews with kids, too. My favorite was DR who, when asked what his favorite part about Christmas is, replied excitedly, "I know! Presents! AND ... presents for ME." Four-year-old honesty at its finest. Peabody and the Boogie were interviewed; I can't remember what Peabody said, but the Boogie's response was phrased like a question, as if she was thinking, am I giving the right answer here?

On Christmas Eve we got up early and made the turkey for the next day -- it was the first time I roasted a turkey without a roasting bag, so we cooked it breast-side-down for a while, then flipped it over. I basted it regularly and I must say, I think it was one of the best we've made. That afternoon we headed to 52 for an afternoon of eating eating eating, and exchanging gifts. This year we sisters-in-law decided to have the cousins do a name exchange instead of all of us buying gifts for every child. I thought it worked out well. It was the year of Nerf guns -- many cousins got one, including our girls. For a while the dads took over the guns and it was mayhem! After dinner we went to church for our Christmas Eve service.

Christmas morning we followed tradition and went out for breakfast at a local diner. Peabody did very well with seeing gifts under the tree but not being allowed to rip into them all right away, especially since we let her open her new winter boots before we left. She immediately put them on and kept them on ALL day. After breakfast we went back home and opened all of our gifts to each other, and the ones from my family. My mom sent the girls some more adorable little dolls that she made, and Eric and I received pounds and pounds of our favorite coffee from our favorite coffee roaster! I'd given Eric a list of clothes I needed/wanted and he really came through. This year he asked for a safety razor so I gave him a nice one along with all the accessories.

The girls got lots of lovely fun toys, books, and puzzles but the Boogie's favorite gift is a neat story; not so much the item but rather how we acquired it. Weeks before Christmas we got a toy catalog from Target and I gave it to the girls. They pored over it and the Boogie was quick to make her requests. What she wanted most of all was Baby Butterscotch, an interactive toy pony. There was no way we could afford to get it for her, and honestly even if we could have I don't know that we would have. We were, of course, very noncommittal about it but she kept talking and talking and talking about how much she wanted it. After a bit I began to think that I needed to come up with a way to break to her gently that she was not going to get it. Then one day I got a text from someone asking if we were planning to get the pony for the Boogie, because she could get it for us for suuuuuper cheap. Without going into too much detail, this woman is an avid bargain hunter and knew that the Boogie really wanted Butterscotch, and she worked out an amazing deal to get us the pony at an amazing price (all legitimate! Nothing illegal!) Well, of course we couldn't pass that up. We saved it for last, tucked away behind the tree. When all the gifts but that one were opened I asked the Boogie how she liked her gifts, and if she got everything she wanted. "Well, I did get everything I wanted," she said bravely, "well, except for just one thing ..." You can imagine her response when she ripped off the paper! It was so very nice of our friend to do what she did for the Boogie -- she went to a lot of trouble and didn't gain anything from it, except for, as she said, the thrill of finding a bargain.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day MIL and FIL, and one of Eric's brothers and his family all came over for dinner. We ate and ate, and then played Apples to Apples -- I'd never played it before, what a fun game! We had a really nice time. After they left our neighbors Chief, Mrs. Chief, Junior Chief, and a young serviceman from church came over for a visit. All in all it was a great Christmas!

Our last Christmas activity was to make the trek to Delaware on New Years Day for the get-together with FIL's side of the family. FIL's brother and his family weren't able to make it, and one of Eric's brothers was out of town with his family, so it was kind of strange to be there with relatively few people. FIL's dad, Pop3, loves trains and had a round track set up in the basement with a ride-able (is that a word?) Thomas engine. The Boogie, Peabody, and HE spent a lot of time riding on it! They had a lot of fun. It was a very pleasant afternoon.

And now Christmastime is over. Christmas stations have been deleted from Pandora; Christmas movies have been removed from our Netflix queue; Christmas DVDs are relegated to the back of the shelf once more; the living room has been un-decorated and the tree put out with the trash. We kept everything decorated for longer than we normally do -- I kinda didn't want to put it all away but now that it's done the living room feels so nice and uncluttered, not to mention much bigger now that the giant tree has been removed. A fresh start at the beginning of the year!