Feb 27, 2008

The potty training isn't going so well.

Grace isn't very interested in using the potty, but she loves turning over the step stool and pretending it's a cart. I think it's cute she's so creative, giving her doll a ride and all, but at some point the HOURS we've spent watching "Elmo's Potty Time" better start paying off for her, because John and I have the potty thing pretty much nailed.

Feb 26, 2008

I want to be ALONE.

I sometimes think Brady looks sad, and I assume she'd like more attention. I'm starting to wonder if all the wrestling we do with her at bedtime just annoys her. She's probably thinking, "Here we go again. My humans need more love. And I never get any treats afterwards."

Feb 24, 2008

Being a parent is HARD.

Yesterday Grace asked to take a nap at 11:30 — before lunch and two hours prior to her usual nap time. John and I were all, "Uh, okay sweetie, if you insist." Then she woke up from her nap with a fever and clearly miserable. But what the hell is a fever when there are no other symptoms other than EXTREME crankiness? A dose of ibuprofen seemed to help, but she wanted to be on one of our laps at all times and to know where the other parent was even if we were peeing in the bathroom ten feet away and she could hear the tinkle. So she fussed a bit in the middle of the night (morning, whatever), but ibuprofen quieted her and today she seemed okay for a while.

But then again today she wanted to go "nappy" before lunch, and when she woke up she had a bloody nose. When I say "bloody nose" I don't mean a little trickle; I mean blood POURING out of her left nostril. When I held a tissue up to stop it, she (naturally) thought I wanted her to blow. Ugh. So I did what any forty-year-old mother would do in this situation — I called my mommy. She and my dad got online and gave us the Mayo Clinic's guidelines for how to stop a bloody nose. It worked. Then she got a fever again and was all miserable. More ibuprofen — magic.

I'm still a mess and all I can say is that I'm so happy my parents are around to help in emergencies. THANKS, MOM AND DAD! Also, it's easy to think of something more difficult than being Grace's mom — not being Grace's mom.

Feb 22, 2008

Late night

A couple of months ago I spilled water all over my desk, and it ruined my keyboard. You think, "It's just water, it'll dry." But no, the keyboard was a goner. When I took it back to The Apple Store and mentioned the extended warrantee I'd purchased, Ducky (this was the nice young man who sold me my computer) said, "No problem--UNLESS YOU SPILLED SOMETHING ON IT." At this point, I might have just said, "No, it just stopped working." But I cannot lie, you see. Not unless I have had DAYS to come up with something plausible. So I hung my head and resigned myself to buying a new keyboard. BUT THEY DIDN'T SELL THAT KEYBOARD ANYMORE. They did, however, sell a more expensive version, which I would have been happy to purchase except that it was SILVER and didn't match my white iMac. (Seriously, what were they thinking?) Anyway, because I'm cute in a pathetic sort of way, the manager rummaged around in back and found some reject keyboard like my own and gave it to me — FREE. When I got it home I noticed the space bar was funky, and I discovered someone had popped it in upside down. Once I fixed that I was a happy camper. Lesson learned, right?

Tonight I spilled beer on my desk. I dove for the keyboard first, of course. I think it's okay. Guess how I'm celebrating? With a fresh beer. Cheers.

Over the moon

I don't know that the lunar eclipse (below) had anything to do with it, but Grace and Julian finally succumbed to the chemistry that has been building for years. Notice how his hands gently cradle her head. Really, it was too romantic.

(Photos courtesy of Julian's mom, Justine)

Feb 18, 2008


We had a fun walk today, and I finally remembered to bring my camera. This happens so rarely that I took a LOT of pictures — way more than I'll subject you to here.

My nuclear family. Their backsides, anyway.

Those big blue eyes make me forgive her for hitting me today.

Finally got around to having my legs lengthened.

Handsome devil.

Sometimes Brady actually comes when called, and she does it the same way she does everything else — with conviction.

Grace loves the moon, and points it out if it's visible anywhere in the sky, day or night.

We showed her how to put her hands in her pockets. For some reason, this seems terribly mature and I find it hilarious.

Feb 17, 2008

D'ya think it has poop on it?

This morning I woke up with a headache (might have something to do with last night's wine consumption), and while I lazed in bed with a cold pack on my eyes, I overheard this conversation between Grace and John:

"What's this?"
"That's your brown shirt."
"Does it have poop on it?"
"I don't think so."
"What's this"
"Those are your white pants."
"D'ya think they have poop on them?"
"No, I don't think so."
"What's this"
"That's your red shirt."
"It's dirty."
"Yeah. That's why it's in the hamper."
"What's this?"
"Those are your pajamas."
"D'ya think they have poop on them?"
"No, they're just dirty."
"What's this?"
"Those are your green shorts."
"Do they have poop on them?"
"Yes. They definitely have poop on them."
"What's Mommy doing?"
"I think she's laughing at us."

Feb 16, 2008

Be mine.

Grace got her first Valentine at school Thursday. It was from Nate, a boy she adores. At first I thought he'd singled her out, and I was impressed by his excellent taste, then I realized that EVERYONE got one. Grace didn't seem to mind, but I was annoyed that Nate's mom is so together that she thought to do something so sweet for the kids.

The next day we had a play date with Maxwell and his mom, Deborah. He gave Grace a HAND MADE Valentine, but I have no picture because Grace carelessly left it at their house. It was lovely, and I suspect a bit of Deborah's impeccable taste crept into its design. John and I are ready to seal the deal on Maxwell's and Grace's future marriage, and we're building her dowry. I'm not sure Deborah and Matt are on board yet. Maxwell is quite a catch and probably wants to keep his options open.

Feb 13, 2008

That's it, hand over the camera.

Other than caring for and feeding this little cutie, I have done NOTHING today. She's sick again and I woke up with a slamming headache, so we even skipped Music Together, which is a high point of her week. I'm still in my pajamas and haven't showered. While she was napping, I sent a couple of email queries for The Book, which was EXHAUSTING. When I took this picture she was watching her fourth Elmo DVD of the day as a frozen pizza cooked for dinner, and I recalled a time when I worried that John would let her watch too much TV when I wasn't home. That was probably around the same time I intended to make her baby food from organic produce and always feed her "whole foods." Stop laughing.

Feb 11, 2008

Are those horns, or is it just me?

Gracie loves her bath, all except for the part where I actually wash her. Then it's like trying to bathe a cat, only louder. I try to get the shampooing and body scrubbing over with first, and every now and then I clip her nails. Then I sit there (soaked) catching my breath and watching her splash all the water out of the tub. But maybe I'm doing it backwards. Maybe if I wait until she's all relaxed and then catch her off guard, she'll be too surprised to fight me. Either way, I love it when she says, "I'm pruny!"

Feb 10, 2008

Couch potatoes

Grace woke up screaming around 4:00 this morning. Despite our best efforts, we could not get her back to sleep. As luck would have it, it was my morning to sleep in, so John got the short end of THAT stick. Plus, he spent another weekend being Mr. Mom so I could write. So when he went to walk the dog this morning (I swear I do stuff, too), Grace huddled at the door wailing because Daddy was gone for MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES, and she was stuck with this strange lady she's seen only in passing the last day or so.

A rare (but brief) moment with her thumb out of her mouth.

Feb 6, 2008

Monkey see, monkey do

Brady is on the job 24/7, making sure the family is safe and the security of the compound isn't breached. Someone coming to the door is an obvious code red, but she's also on the lookout for subtler threats. For instance, if a human being walks by, particularly with a dog, or -- the ultimate emergency -- a CAT ventures onto our front patio, Brady tears to the long vertical window by the front door, slams into the glass and barks like she's gone mental. Then, if a broader view is needed, she'll jump on the chair in front of the big window and continue her doggie alarm.

Now Grace mimics her, barking and all. I can't decide if this is really clever, or if I should have her evaluated. Either way, if I wanted two dogs barking, I'd have gotten another dog. I got Grace so I'd have someone to cuddle, and, eventually, to do chores.