Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Holidays

After a total hiatus for the holiday hustle, a few memories remain...

"Alexandra, do you know why they call this holiday Thanksgiving?" I said.
It was breakfast, Thanksgiving morning. We are visiting my parents in Florida.
"No, Mama."
"This is a time when we think of all the things we are glad to have."
"Thanks for you," she said and pointed to me. She looked around the table. "And you," she said pointing to her Daddy. My heart melted. "And you and you," she continued around the table. "And Mimi and Grandad and TT" (our dog). "And Maddie and Chloe" (her cousins), and she went on to name just about every person she ever met.
So the meaning got a little lost, but the very fact that instead of being thankful for toys she immediately pointed to her family made all the difference.

Christmas Eve
After Alexandra's lengthy quest to find "the real Baby Jesus" that had gone on for all of December only to be shown dolls or pictures, my mother-in-law told her that she could see Baby Jesus in church. She was talking about the manger scene set up on the alter that we would visit after the service.
But my little girl didn't want to wait. No sooner were we settled in our pew than she noticed a woman with an infant two rows ahead of us. As the choir finished Hark the Herald Angel Sings, Alexandra pointed to a 4-month-old with a big pink bow on her head and yelled, "Mama, there's the Baby Jesus!"

Christmas Morning
Two months before Christmas, Alexandra wanted a camera. She was always trying to play with mine, and always getting told not to touch. So I spotted the Fisher Price Kid Tough Camera in a toy store flyer, snapped it up and put it away.
One month before Christmas, Alexandra wanted a statue.
A statue? She's two. A statue of what?
A week before Christmas, my mother-in-law got it out of her: a statue of Mickey.
Um, ok.
So like a crazy person, three days before Christmas, I not only went to the mall, I went to the Disney Store.
Talk about Christmas magic: I got a parking spot near the door, happened to be at an entrance actually close to the Disney Store, and found as I entered a giant sign marked Treasure of the Week. The "treasure" was none other than a half-price six-pack of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figurines. I snapped it up and headed for the register where - bonus - there was no line!

Fast forward to Christmas morning...
The little one is shoulder deep pulling the last item out of her stocking when she looks up at me and says, "I really wish Santa bringed me a camera."
Really? I haven't hear her mention the camera for months!
She moved on to the pile of gifts. As she pulled the wrapping from the Disney package, she started jumping up and down. "I's Mickey Mouse's statues, a LOT of them...I knew he was gonna bring me this!"

Wow. Baby's first "real" Christmas, and Mama scored twice. The camera has about 20 pictures of our floor on it, and the statues never leave her sticky candy fingers.
May every Christmas be this merry and bright!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Following an afternoon of trick-or-treating around the local shops in our town, Alexandra asked if she could eat her treats. I told her she could pick out one thing she would like to have if she ate a good lunch.
After munching down 3/4 of a PB&J, she said she was full, which prompted the following exchange:

"OK baby, you did a good job," I said. "You don't have to eat any more."
"But can I have a lollypop?"
"If you're full, how are you going to eat a lollypop?" I asked.
She looked at me. "I'm gonna lick it with my tongue," she said, and stuck it out to demonstrate.
I laughed, understanding that what she heard was how do you eat a lollypop.

"No baby, I mean if you are full, you don't have room for a lollypop."
She scooted over in her booster seat. "Yes, Mama, I can put it right here," she said pointing to the empty space next to her.

I smiled at her. Although I was soundly defeated in my argument, these are the moments I love.
"OK baby. I will get you a lollypop."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Someone's been sitting in my cart!

Alexandra has always been very safety conscious. She holds the railing on the steps, points out bikers and skateboarders wearing helmets, and insists on being buckled into her highchair.

So when we went to the grocery store the other day, and I told her that if she wanted to eat a snack she had to sit in the seat. It was no surprise that while I was looking for her granola bar, she was looking for the seatbelt. Unfortunately, only one side of it was still attached to the cart. The other half was nowhere to be found.

"What happened to it, Mama?" she asked.
"I don't know, baby." I replied. "I guess someone broke it."
To which she asked, wide eyed and serious, "Was it Goldilocks?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Milestone miracle

Today we went to a birthday party. At a bowling alley.
My 2.5 year old is not much of a bowler, but this was her first real kids party other than cake and ice cream at someone's house.

In short, she behaved beautifully. She took turns bowling, didn't try to blow out the candles herself, didn't go rummaging through the gift bags and said please and thank you.
She also told me she needed to make pee pee.
Great! Oh God...a public restroom. Great.
OK, babygirl. Come on.

Well, she did great there too. Didn't touch anything she wasn't supposed to. Let me hold her so she didn't fall into the big girl potty. Washed her hands nicely.
As we were leaving the restroom, I squatted down to her eyelevel and said, "I want you to know that Mama is VERY proud of you. You told me before you had to go potty. You used a big girl bathroom. That is a very good girl."
And you know what she said?
"You're a great Mama." And gave me a hug.
I almost cried.

Who says bowling alley bathrooms are awful?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A kangaroo with no toes

Allie and I are riding in the car the other day and she tells me that when she woke up that morning she saw a baby kangaroo in her room.
OK, wierd. But not that wierd for a kid with a ridiculous collection of stuffed animals.
So I asked what she did with the kangaroo. And she says, "I put it on my bicycle."
"Really?" I say, half listening.
"Yes, Mama," she says. "But I had to pedal because the baby kangaroo doesn’t have toes."

OK, now I am listening. No toes. Where does she come up with this stuff?
"Where did you and the baby kangaroo go?" I ask her.
"SWITZERLAND?!" Really, not the answer I was expecting.
"What did you do there?"
"It was cold so we left." Maybe a lucky guess...?
"Where did you go next?"
"Seasons Pizza."
Now there's an answer I would expect. My in-laws take her to Seasons Pizza at least once a week. I think they would take her there every day if I would let them...but I digress.

"Oh yeah?"
"Yes, and then we went to Mexico."
"You and a baby kangaroo on a bike?" This story is getting better and better. In fact, it even seems familiar. Like maybe something that happened to me in college...or at a concert...but I digress again.

"Yes, Mama," she continued patiently. Like she had to remind me of something she just told me. (Now THAT is a familiar feeling!) "I was carrying the baby kangaroo because he didn’t have toes."
Seriously…I didn’t know what to do when I heard this story. My mouth hung open. I half suspected my in-laws accidentally bought the wrong mushrooms. Where did she hear about Switzerland and know it was cold there?

And then she ends the story by saying, "Mama?"
"Yes, sweetie."
"A baby kangaroo is a joey."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love stinks!

Alexandra has two new habits that, well, stink.

When she gets bored, or sometimes in the middle of playing, sometimes she will take off her shoes and socks, toddle up to the nearest adult, and say, "You want to smell my feet?"

Potty training is going well...for weewee. Poopoo is a different story. She still insists on going in her diaper, but immediately tells me she needs to be changed. As soon as I get her onto the table, she always says, "You want to look at my poopy now?"

Sigh...not really, but at this point there's no way to avoid it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Meet Flopsy...

My daughter has started making things up.
Not bad things. Nothing dramatic, or mean, or to save her butt from trouble. So I wouldn't call it lying...

"Did you meet Flopsy?" she asked me the other day, holding out her hand, palm facing up toward me.
"No, baby," I said, trying to take her hand, thinking that she was reaching out for me to hold it.
"NO! You're hurting Flopsy!" she howled.

As it turns out, Flopsy is an imaginary boy bunny that she carries in the palm of her hand.

I am sort of embarrassed, but I have now been using Flopsy to entertain guests and family members. As in, "Oh, have you met Flopsy? No? Allie, can you show Flopsy to Mama's friend?" At which she will immediately respond by holding out her empty hand, palm up, a huge smile on her face.  "He's very soft," she will say.

My amazed friend will giggle, not sure if it's ok to laugh, until she sees the grin on my face and breaks down to laughing herself.

So maybe I am not making fun of my daughter's wild imagination after all. I like to think I am just sharing a few smiles.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I can't hear you...

Scene: the bathroom.
Time: to get out of the tub.

Mama: Allie...
Allie (puts fingers in ears): Gagagagaga!
Mama: Hee hee...Allie...
Allie (puts fingers in ears): Gagagagaga!
Mama: Hee hee hee...It's time to get out of the funbath, baby.
Allie (puts fingers in ears): Gagagagaga!
Mama (trying to regain composure and speak sternly): Alexandra.
Allie (puts fingers in ears): Gagagagaga!
Mama (laughing hysterically now): Allie, where did you learn that?
Allie (puts fingers in ears): Gagagagaga!
Mama (hugging squirmy toddler and still giggling): I love you, sweet pea.
Allie: I love you too mama.

Ok, seriously...where did she learn that?!

A final observation: Strawberry-banana bubble bath - organic and all natural though it may be - was not meant to be smelled by people who have spent the afternoon at a wine gulping tasting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hearing grown-up expressions coming out of my toddler's mouth is always hilarious to me for some reason. Not the embarrassing stuff she repeats, but the everyday phrases she interprets in her own ways.

Today, Allie woke up saying, "Mama, there's a problem! Mama, you have to come!"

She didn't sound distressed, so I wasn't worried. I went upstairs, cracked open her door and peeked in. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I asked what the problem was. Then I noticed she was naked.

"I can't get my foot in my jammas, Mama."

Sigh. Smile. "That's ok, baby. It's time to get dressed anyway..."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My baby is growing up!

This weekend's naps were big on entertainment, but way short on sleeping.

Saturday, I was doing things in the kitchen, listening to her "read" books from memory in her crib for an hour. Then it got quiet and I said to Mark, whew I think she finally fell asleep. I went outside and Mark went into his office. I hadn’t even gotten to the garden yet when he yells out the window for me to come in for a second. He had just sat down at his desk when something caught the corner of his eye. He looked over, and there was Allie sitting at the bottom of the steps.

"Hi Daddy," she said. "I just wanted to come downstairs."

Sunday, I came into my office after I put her down. A few minutes later, I heard little feet running back and forth upstairs. After 10 minutes, I figured I should go tell her to get back in bed. As I got to the top of the stairs, I could see her waiting for me, outlined in the darkness.

"What are you doing out of bed...and, oh God, where are your pants?"
"I had to go potty, Mama."

I went into the bathroom with my half naked child to find that she had taken her stuffed animals from her bed, arranged them around her potty, taken off her pants and diaper, and - indeed - made weewee, all by herself. And tried to wipe herself - not with the wipes that she couldn't reach. With the toilet paper. Yards of it. Draped in, over and around the toilet, wicking the water out and making a soggy mess everywhere.

I hugged her and laughed so hard for 10 minutes I almost peed myself. And not in the potty!

My only regret is not thinking to take a picture.